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It's 2005 PorcFest Roundup Time!

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  • Tim Condon
    * The Free State Project s* * Second Annual Porcupine Freedom Festival* * will be held on* * Saturday, July 23, 2005, thru Sunday, July 31, 2005 * *
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 20, 2005
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      *
      The Free State Project's*
      * Second Annual Porcupine Freedom Festival*
      * will be held on*
      * Saturday, July 23, 2005, thru Sunday, July 31, 2005 *
      * at*
      * Rogers Campground & Motel, Lancaster, New Hampshire
      **4/17/05: PORCFEST SPAM #5* * *
      /*It's Roundup Time, Porcs!*/
      /* */*or*
      /* */* Let's talk about a bunch of PorcFest stuff!*
      /*
      */*FIRST...A friend has sent an inquiry regarding the Mock Town
      meeting to be held in Unity, NH on Thursday, July 28, 2005. "What time
      is it going to be?" Good point, Pat. I did say the place ("That's why
      Ms. Gere--a member of the Unity board of selectmen for more than a
      decade now--has set up a 'traditional deliberative session' at the Mock
      Town Meeting in Unity's Town Hall."), but I didn't nail down the time.
      It'll be in the afternoon. The exact time will be repeated in future
      PFS's and will be on the schedule at
      http://www.freestateproject.org/news/festival/schedule/. Plan to be there!
      SECOND...our 2005 PFC (PorcFest Czar), Varrin Swearingen,
      reports that "the speaker lineup is coming together," and includes Jason
      Sorens, Amanda Phillips, Michael Badnarik, Ed Naile, Katherine Albrecht,
      and either Jason or Heather Talley of the international "Bureaucrash"
      organization. More to come on that list.
      THIRD...Margot Keyes is going to host the "Welcome Wagon"
      presentations by various Porcupines who have already made the move to
      the Free State. Good stories to be heard at this one! Especially if
      you're thinking about making the move before the Free State Project hits
      20,000 participants (as many of us are).
      FOURTH...It looks like we're going to have a school voucher
      debate between the famous liberty-lover and teacher, Marshall Fritz, on
      one side, and writer and educational crusader Samuel Blumenfeld on the
      other. Which one is in favor, and which one is against? You'll have to
      come to see the fireworks! Two freedom-lovers debating two opposite
      sides of an issue. That is going to be good!
      FIFTH...It's looking like we're going to be able to have...a
      LIBERTARIAN ROCK CONCERT, featuring the extraordinary rock group POKER
      FACE. Now this one isn't finalized, Varrin is still working on it, but
      the portents are good. Poker Face is famous for having supported Michael
      Badnarik in his LP Presidential campaign in 2004. Stay tuned!!
      SIXTH...Mary Gere, the selectman from the town of Unity who we
      all met last week, reports that the citizens of Unity are getting
      excited about the Mock Town Meeting, and many are planning to "play
      their parts" in this educational demonstration of New England democracy.
      You go, Mary!
      SEVENTH...Bureaucrash, Inc. puts on astonishing libertarian
      protests all over the world, and their two leaders, Heather and Jason
      Talley, are going to be at the 2005 PorcFest selling the incredible
      Bureaucrash T-shirts and sweat shirts (how about Karl Marx or Che
      Guevara with Mickey Mouse ears on them, or a T-shirt with a skull that
      says "Communism Kills," or one that looks like a collegiate football
      jersey that says "FREE STATE" across the front?). You're gonna like
      these T-shirts. Bring extra money to buy a bunch!
      EIGHTH...They're talking about putting together a Silent Auction
      on Saturday where a bunch of cool stuff will be sold, all to generate
      funds for the Free State Project. Get ready to bid!
      NINTH...Advertising for PorcFest 2005 is about to begin in
      Reason Magazine, the national Libertarian Party News, and some New
      Hampshire publications. Come one, come all!
      TENTH...Good golly Miss Molly! People are already starting to
      talk and think about PorcFest 2006! Let's don't jump the gun. A few
      thousand liberty-loving citizens at the PorcFest 2005 will set the stage
      very nicely for the next year's blow-out. But let's make this one a huge
      success first. Ahem. Have you signed up on the We'll Be There list at
      http://www.freestateproject.org/news/festival/bethere2005.php? If not,
      get on it! The more the merrier!
      ELEVENTH...There's going to be a special presentation, presided
      over by super-Porcupine and FSP Vice President Evan Nappen on Friday,
      July 29, 2005. It will be called "Breaking the Chains" and will be part
      of the "We Made the Move" and "Welcome Wagon" presentation given that
      afternoon. "Breaking the Chains" will feature real chains, and real
      bolt-cutters, and will be a real crowd-pleaser. Margot Keyes will be the
      Welcome Wagon Queen presiding over it all along with Evan Nappen.
      TWELFTH...Bill Walker, out of Virginia, will be coordinating our
      Second Amendment activities. He writes that "I can feel everything
      really starting to gain traction and momentum...and it's still a few
      months until the festival! The 'We'll Be There' list is HUGE, and
      growing every week!" More about Bill and 2nd Amendment activities
      (classes, shooting, etc.) coming up soon. Keep your eyes on the PorcFest
      spams!
      THIRTEENTH...no...there's no 13th. However, take a look at that
      We'll Be There list, would ya? Last year we topped out at 177...today
      we're over 200 and it's still growing! WAY cool!
      *
      * */*SYATPF!*/
      /*(See You At The Porc Fest!)*/
      /*
      */
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      /* */ FURTHER NOTES:
      1. You need to be a part of it! For all information about the
      PorcFest 2005, plus to find out how you and your family can help out, go
      online to www.freestateproject.org/festival. Join in both attending and
      helping to publicize the 2nd Annual Free State Project Porcupine Freedom
      Festival...aka the "PorcFest 2005."
      2. Forward this email to your own email lists. We all have lists of
      friends, family, and freedom-lovers we know, and they should all have
      the opportunity to plan on attending PorcFest 2005. So when you receive
      this PorcFest spam, pass it on!
      3. In 2004 the We'll Be There List topped out at about 177, and over
      300 people attended. Today there are already 205 on the list, and we're
      still months away! To check out who's already signed up, go to
      http://freestateproject.org/news/festival/bethere2005.php...and then add
      yourself and your family members!
      4. Lodging and accommodations at the Porc Fest: Here's everything
      you need to know about the Lancaster, NH campground and motel where the
      PorcFest will be held, as well as other local lodging; go to
      http://www.freestateproject.org/news/festival/lodging.php.
      5. PorcFest 2005 is going to be extraordinary. How do we know?
      Because PorcFest 2004 was a stupendous success. Don't believe me? Check
      out the reports and pictures we have online at
      http://freestateproject.org/news/festival/festival04/
      6. If you have any questions, email Varrin Swearingen, our "PFC"
      (Porc Fest Czar) for this year, at varrin@..., or me,
      Tim Condon, at tim@... (813-251-2626). Many people are
      helping put this gathering together, but we need you too. Help us by
      joining our PorcFest planning email list at
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/porcfest2005. /*

      */
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      /*SUPERCHARGED SOLITONS, Chapter 5, By Tim Condon

      The warmth of the summer Miami night washed over Frank Bennett
      as he exited the big defense firm building. By habit he scanned the area
      as he moved through the darkness toward the empty parking lot. He walked
      easily, almost loping toward the lights on the street nearby.
      Bennett headed toward the Metrorail station he knew was several
      blocks away. He automatically checked the presence and position of the
      four-inch lock blade knife in his lower right jacket pocket. In a crisis
      situation, he knew he could and would use it. He also knew that his
      martial arts experience, born of regular rigorous workouts regularly
      attended, would lead him to seek any opening for a quick escape. The
      knife, he reflected, was really a device to help open an avenue of
      retreat, and cover it, by ensuring that no mugger or other criminal
      would be overly eager to pursue.
      The thought made him comfortable. But how much better would it
      be, he thought, if every peaceable citizen could travel about safely and
      unmolested? In recent years government had failed in what were virtually
      its only legitimate functions, the protection of life, rights, and
      property. The only alternative, Bennett mused---in his mind at
      least---was for every citizen to go about armed. And the obvious weapon
      would be some type of gun. After all, how could the elderly and infirm
      ever hope to master martial arts or knife fighting, not to mention the
      strong and able-bodied? Yet the thought unsettled him. Everyone walking
      around with guns or knives was a prescription for anarchy and chaos, he
      thought. He didn't notice the irony as he strode along, armed with his
      own illegal knife.
      Frank Bennett needn't have worried. For years the private
      ownership of guns had been totally outlawed everywhere but in the
      aptly-named Free State of New Hampshire. As usual, the ferociously
      independent citizens of the state had refused to give up a single
      fundamental right, especially the right to keep and bear arms. The
      establishment of the block committees everywhere else had fared no
      better. "We don't believe in the concept of everyone spying on everyone
      else, whether its government spies or private spies," the
      Harvard-trained state attorney general, Amanda Phillips, had announced.
      Governor Nappen had backed her totally.
      Unfortunately, block committee volunteers elsewhere became known
      for poring over old run registration and ammunition records, using them
      to track down the invariably peaceable and usually elderly citizens who
      clung stubbornly to old guns hidden in attics and locked drawers. The
      mainstream media of course helped with periodic calls for more urgent
      pursuit of "dangerous seniors," and lauded the work of the block committees.
      It was almost as if real crime didn't exist, Bennett reflected.
      People seemed ever more reluctant to mention what was clear to everyone
      who ventured outside their own homes. The streets had long since been
      lost to well-armed gangs and other criminals who now held sway when the
      sun went down...and often ruled the streets during the daytime as well.
      The old Second Amendment rights activists had warned that "when guns are
      outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns." They had been greeted with
      sneers and derision in the media, accused of having "a bumper sticker
      mentality."
      "No shit," Bennett thought dryly to himself as he continued
      through the cloying, humid night, "Maybe they were right about it after
      all, bumper stickers or not." The night was lit at intervals by the
      orange glare of halogen street lamps shining from the top of multi-story
      poles. He paused, stepping quickly into shadowed bushes as he spotted a
      group of five young toughs cruising the street a half block ahead of
      him. They turned, not seeing him, and drifted away. He waited several
      minutes, watching silently, then resumed his walk to the Metro station.
      No sense tempting anyone, he thought idly.
      The poured-concrete Metrorail train station came into view, and
      he bounded up the steps two at a time, relieved to see a sleepy Metro
      guard half-sprawled on one of the benches. He knew the gangs and other
      thugs rarely attacked the Metro guards; the union was strong, and
      although the authorities rarely protected the general public anymore, an
      attack on any kind of police officer, guard, or block committee member
      called forth instant retaliation, usually of questionable legality.
      Politicians and media commentators agreed that such steps were
      regrettable but necessary, to protect the integrity of the legal and
      political system. In the meantime, common people continued to bleed and
      often die in the war zones that most public places had become after dark.
      Bennett sat on a bench near the Metro guard, glad for the cop's
      presence after receiving a wary stare from the tired officer. He grinned
      and greeted the guard with a friendly wave, defusing the other's
      concern. The guard returned to a half-doze.
      A train thundered into the station on the elevated rails, and
      Frank Bennett stepped on after slipping a token into a turnstile. The
      car was deserted, and Bennett relaxed a little as the doors
      automatically closed; nevertheless, he chose a seat near the end of the
      car, and away from any window where someone outside could easily spot
      him. He leaned back as the train moved through several stops.
      Suddenly his attention was drawn to two figures moving down the
      length of the next coach. They seemed to be working their way back
      through the train, examining each car. Bennett could see them through
      the car's end-windows. One was a
      middle-aged, officious-looking woman, the other an older man wearing a
      faded, crumpled military cap. Bennett idly watched as they pulled the
      sliding door aside and entered his coach. The two immediately spotted
      him in the otherwise empty car, and marched purposefully down the aisle
      toward him, glowering. He continued watching impassively as they strode
      up together and stood glaring down at him. He looked back at them
      impassively. Both carried fiberglass police truncheons, and had
      hand-phones clipped to military-style belts. They also wore the blue
      plastic arm brassards of the block committees. The man and the woman,
      Bennett reflected, had the smell of Block Committee all over them,
      written large in their attitude. Meddlesome and officious BC's were
      increasingly detested by normal citizens, and for increasingly good reasons.
      "Let's see your ID, fella," the woman peremptorily demanded. The
      man stood to one side, holding his truncheon in what he thought to be a
      threatening manner.
      Frank Bennett gazed up at them. "Let's see yours."
      "Don't get funny with us," the woman said, reaching for her
      hand-phone.
      "I call your bluff," said Bennett. "If you want to call the
      cops, do so. You're bothering a citizen right now, and you've refused to
      identify yourselves, although I imagine you're block committee busybodies."
      "Oh, you want to play legal games, huh?" snarled the man,
      stepping forward menacingly.
      "Hold it Tom," said the woman. "We may have to call for a backup
      to handle this one." Bennett still hadn't moved, and continued to gaze
      up at the couple.
      "You go ahead and call," said Bennett, his anger rising,
      "because I'm getting tired of you both standing in front of me;
      otherwise, why don't you go try your luck with the Camachos." The
      Camachos were one of the most feared street gangs in Miami; even with
      the threat of official retaliation backing them up, the BC's invariably
      steered clear of them.
      "You seem to know a lot about the gang yourself," said the
      woman. "Maybe we'll have the police pick you up on suspicion of being a
      member." She raised her hand-phone and began pushing buttons, but
      stopped abruptly when the door at the rear of the coach slammed open
      with a crash. Four young, scarred, tough, and street-mean burst into
      the car carrying rattling chains and spike-studded leather straps. The
      blood and metal spikes through their lips and cheeks identified them.
      They were Camacho gang members, it was three o'clock in the morning, and
      the only people there were Frank Bennett and two block committee
      busy-bodies.
      "Oh shit," murmured Bennett under his breath.
      */
      /*(to be continued)*/


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Tim Condon
      * The Free State Project s* * Second Annual Porcupine Freedom Festival* * will be held on* * Saturday, July 23, 2005, thru Sunday, July 31, 2005 * *
      Message 2 of 2 , May 4, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        *
        The Free State Project's*
        * Second Annual Porcupine Freedom Festival*
        * will be held on*
        * Saturday, July 23, 2005, thru Sunday, July 31, 2005 *
        * at*
        * Rogers Campground & Motel, Lancaster, New Hampshire
        **5/1/05: PORCFEST SPAM #7* *
        SECOND AMENDMENT ACTIVITIES AT THE PORCFEST
        *
        /* */* AS PROMISED, this week I want to tell you all about the
        multifarious 2nd Amendment activities planned and still in planning for
        the Second Annual Porcupine Freedom Festival. Bill Walker of Glen Allen,
        Virginia is our Point Man for organizing shooting fun, classes, and the
        like at the PorcFest. He'll be attending the PorcFest, legally wearing
        his signature "open carry" .45 automatic (because we all have the legal
        right to open carry in the Free State), with his beautiful and talented
        Significant Other, Kate Marshall.
        It turns out that Bill became a libertarian when he argued that
        anyone should be able to freely own a machine gun in America (the 2nd
        Amendment, you know), and one of his college chemistry professors told
        him "if you really believe that, you should be voting Libertarian." Says
        Bill, "I had no idea what he was talking about, and after a quick
        internet search, I discovered Harry Browne, and I was hooked. Reading
        nearly everything ever written by Ayn Rand contributed to
        un-brainwashing me after growing up in New Jersey and Maryland."
        "I have optimistic plans for 2nd Amendment activities at the
        PorcFest," explains Bill, "including general discussion of the 2nd
        Amendment, what it means to various individuals, and why it is important
        in modern society. I want to cover general gun safety, gun handling
        skills, the function and technical use of a wide variety of firearms,
        the three phases of projectile ballistics, self-defense tactics,
        dry-fire exercise, clay pigeon shooting, IDPA-style events, and shooting
        the Army Qualification Test to practice rifle skills."
        "Specific classes I would like to see presented include the
        following:
        1. Basic Firearms Safety.
        2. Practical Firearms Carry and Use (holsters, clothing, legal
        considerations, etc.).
        3. Small Arms Function (basic operating principles).
        4. Practical Firearms Use (how to actually shoot).
        5. Self-Defense and the Law."
        "All the above promises to be really FUN! You haven't lived
        until you've drawn a concealed handgun, engaged cardboard badguys, and
        then reloaded to deal with their cardboard cronies against a timer. And
        you haven't lived until you've blasted clays from the sky with a
        shotgun, or powdered them at close range in a 3-gun competition. I
        regularly attend such events with men and women ranging in age from 13
        to 73, and I always have a great time, meet new people, learn a
        lot...and get to recruit new FSP members! So really, these activities
        are going to be geared toward almost anyone who shows up to the
        festival, whether they have ever shot a gun or not."

        Is that enough for you Porcupines? Well there's more. "Michael
        Badnarik, a strong supporter of the Constitutionally protected right to
        keep and bear arms, will be at the festival, and I will be bringing my
        Model 1911A1 .45 caliber handgun that he and his VP candidate, Richard
        Campagna, both signed. I have also invited other libertarian 2nd
        Amendment activists to come to the PorcFest, including Sunni
        Maravillosa, Vin Suprynowicz, Aaron Zelman (who won't be able to attend,
        but will be supplying me with various 2nd Amendment and Jews for the
        Preservation of Firearms Ownership materials for the festival), and Kim
        DuToit."
        "People should actively participate in 2nd Amendment activities
        because such freedoms are an important part of our American heritage.
        These activities build self-confidence, increase rational understanding
        of guns and decrease baseless anxiety and phobias, and because in
        today's society--just as in all past societies--there are predators and
        criminals that we have the responsibility to control and defeat. Our
        freedom to buy a gun, to carry a gun, and to use a gun only sets the
        stage for responsible citizens to begin the lifelong task of learning to
        use these modern tools to protect (and sometimes feed) our families, our
        loved ones, and our neighbors."
        "The more that people can familiarize themselves with firearms
        before the festival, the more rewarding all of the activities will be.
        Terms won't be foreign, basic operation of firearms and names of parts
        will be generally understood, and timidity due to ignorance will be
        reduced or eliminated. I personally favor books by Massad Ayoob, Jeff
        Cooper, and Kenneth R. Royce (Boston T. Party), but anything that people
        can do to prepare themselves for a really action-packed festival would
        be to their benefit. I will welcome anyone who will listen and respect
        my rules for safety to participate in the festival's activities. And if
        you want to just watch and not shoot, that's also fine with me. I'm
        always helping people who are new to guns, and am always happy to defer
        questions to more knowledgeable people."
        "Since the schedule is still being established, the main 2nd
        Amendment speakers may be from the Gun Owners of New Hampshire and other
        local organizations, although Sunni Maravillosa seemed very enthusiastic
        about attending. Evelyn Logan will be teaching a Refuse To Be A Victim
        class, and Tony Lekas may spearhead an excursion to the indoor range in
        Manchester of which he is a member in order to train new shooters. I'm
        still looking for people who are familiar with the use of firearms to
        help me answer questions for people who are new to guns, as well as to
        act as Range Safety Officers (RSO's) at any shooting events where we may
        need them. I need people who can donate and/or build and/or lend
        shooting equipment for the 2nd Amendment activities at the PorcFest,
        including IDPA target stands, 1x2's, clay throwers, cases of clays, and
        other such materials that would be a big help in making it all happen."
        "I am also looking for NH gun dealers who would be interested in
        sponsoring events and/or setting up vendor tables for the convenience of
        shooters (to buy ammo, targets, gear, cleaning stuff, etc.) SO..if you
        know any New Hampshire gun dealers who would like to be a part of the
        PorcFest and increase their business, put them in touch with me!"
        Help out with the Second Amendment activities at the PorcFest:
        You can contact Bill and Kate at their Virginia home at 804-747-4751, or
        email Bill at his email address of creativechemist888@.... */*

        NEXT WEEK there's going to be another roundup about the revised
        schedule, newly confirmed speakers, the now-confirmed free libertarian
        rock concert, and other great stuff. Tune in then to hear all about it!
        */
        /* SYATPF!*/
        /* (See You At The Porc Fest!)*/
        /*
        */
        ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        /* FURTHER NOTES:
        1. You need to be a part of it! For all information about the
        PorcFest 2005, go online to www.freestateproject.org/festival. Join in
        both attending and helping to publicize the 2nd Annual Free State
        Project Porcupine Freedom Festival...aka the "PorcFest 2005."
        2. FORWARD THIS EMAIL to your own email lists. We all have lists
        of friends, family, and freedom-lovers we know, and they should all have
        the opportunity to plan on attending PorcFest 2005. So when you receive
        this PorcFest spam, pass it on!
        3. In 2004 the We'll Be There List topped out at about 177, and
        over 300 people attended. Today there are 215 on the list. To check out
        who's already signed up, go to
        http://freestateproject.org/news/festival/bethere2005.php...and then add
        yourself and your family members!
        4. Lodging and accommodations at the Porc Fest: Here's
        everything you need to know about the Lancaster, NH campground and motel
        where the PorcFest will be held, as well as other local lodging; go to
        http://www.freestateproject.org/news/festival/lodging.php.
        5. To see what PorcFest 2005 is going to be like, take a look at
        PorcFest 2004 reports and pictures online at
        http://freestateproject.org/news/festival/festival04/
        6. If you have any questions, email Varrin Swearingen, our "PFC"
        (Porc Fest Czar) for this year, at varrin@..., or me,
        Tim Condon, at tim@... (813-251-2626). Many people are
        helping put this gathering together, but we need you too. Help us by
        joining our PorcFest planning email list at
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/porcfest2005.

        */
        ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        /*SUPERCHARGED SOLITONS, Chapter 7, By Tim Condon*/
        /*(Note: This is the latest chapter in a dystopian-future science
        fiction novel where the United States has gone to hell and only the Free
        State and its fiercely independent, individualistic, and defiant
        citizens observe the Constitution and maintain traditional American
        freedoms; as such, they continue to prosper amid the wreckage elsewhere
        in America. Each chapter appears at the end of each PFS, all of which
        can be found and read online at
        http://www.freestateproject.org/news/festival/publicity/.)

        Behind him Bennett heard railway cars begin moving, oblivious in
        their automation to the ugly events transpiring inside one of the cars.
        Bennett paused in the darkness, peering backward, watching for signs of
        pursuit. There was none. He jogged quickly across a street, then through
        a condo parking lot to an adjacent street. He didn't hear the
        distance-muffled crack of a firearm as the train left the station and
        picked up speed. He paused in deep shadows and reached automatically to
        his cell phone, rushing to dial an emergency number, then stopped. He
        look around for a pay phone. Across the street a closed gas station had
        a phone.
        Bennett jogged across the street and grasped the phone with his
        hand inside his jacket arm to avoid fingerprinting the receiver. He
        punched in 911 and a bored operator answered as he pitched his voice in
        a high screeching whine, spitting the words into the phone: "Six people
        are on the Metro heading south from the Gables/U.S. One station. Four
        are CG gang members, two are BC's, one CG is badly injured, the BC's are
        in danger of being beaten and raped."
        He hung up as he heard the inevitable "state your name and
        address" over the receiver. Only then did he feel the warm drip of the
        blood from his right forearm soaking into the fabric of his field
        jacket. Moving quickly away from the gas station phone and into the
        adjacent run-down neighborhood, Bennett held up his right arm to a dim
        street light.
        The fabric of the jacket was sliced through. Some blood soaked
        the area around the cut. He held the forearm with his left hand,
        squeezing, using the fabric as a bandage; he could tell the cut was not
        deep, and hoped it wouldn't require stitches. He didn't want to have to
        go to a hospital tonight, where he would doubtless be spotted by
        authorities looking for a man crazy enough to assault a Castro-Guevara.
        If his identity became known, he would be dead within a month.
        Moving quickly through the neighborhood away from the railway,
        Bennett heard a dog bark from a darkened backyard.
        How to get home.
        He paused; he was miles from his originally intended station. He
        took out his cell phone and punched in a quick call. He heard the
        buzzing sound of the phone on the other end.
        A sleepy male voice answered: "Yeah."
        "Rick. Frank here."
        The voice became more alert on the other side. "What's going on
        Frank? It's three in the morning, man." The voice of Richard Thomas,
        Frank Bennett's best friend and karate sparring partner, calmed him.
        Bennett spoke quickly: "I'm in trouble, Rick. Need you to pick me up at
        a closed convenience store off LeJeune, about six blocks south of U.S. One."
        "On the way, man. Are you hurt?"
        "A little bit. Not too bad I don't think. I'll be behind a
        dumpster on the back side of the store. Do me a favor and call Linda
        too. Tell her don't under any circumstances call the police. I'm okay.
        Got it?"
        "Got it. On my way."
        Bennett huddled deep in the shadows behind a crumpled dumpster
        at the back of the convenience store, waiting for Thomas to arrive. In
        surprisingly few minutes, lights slowed behind the store, passing across
        the dumpster, then abruptly expired. Bennett moved to the edge of the
        dumpster, peering around as he heard the hoarse whisper of his friend
        calling to him.
        "Frank! Are you back there?"
        "Yeah, I'm here," Bennett said, stepping gingerly from the
        shadows. "Let's hit it. Did you call Linda?"
        "Yeah, she's freaked, but she'll sit tight till we get there."
        "Good," replied Bennett. "Let's go. There may be all kinds of
        cops around now. I may need some medical attention too, don't know for
        sure."
        The two men slipped into Rick Thomas's taxi, and it slid
        smoothly from behind the building. Thomas wound expertly through back
        suburban streets, taking them across only two major intersections. As
        they drove, Bennett checked out his slashed forearm. He was relieved to
        find the cut neither deep nor serious; a few butterfly bandages would
        take care of the matter. Once again he thanked his penchant for wearing
        the old, heavy-cloth Army jacket, even in the humid hotness of
        summertime Miami. His main reason for wearing it was the multiple
        pockets easily reached, particularly important when it was necessary to
        carry the lock-blade knife.
        Rick Thomas glanced over at his friend as they approached
        Bennett's duplex apartment in South Miami. "Man, were you out there
        playing Billy Badass tonight?"
        "Yeah," replied Bennett wearily. "I guess you could say that.
        Not exactly something I asked for." He fell silent.
        "You mind telling me what happened?" inquired Thomas.
        "Not right now, Rick. At this point, it's probably better you
        don't know. Just don't tell anyone about this, hah?" He looked over at
        his friend. "Just let it lay for now; it's best you don't know
        anything...if you get my drift."
        Thomas nodded. "My lips are sealed, man. I just want you to
        know, this is going to be one great story when you do tell me about it;
        I can't wait for the noise to die down."
        "Yeah, well don't believe what you might see in the papers
        tomorrow," Bennett said. "Couple of BC's might have gotten hurt...maybe
        bad, and the media's going to get it wrong as usual." He hesitated, then
        continued in a low voice. "The BC's could have gotten waxed. I don't know."
        "Really?" said Thomas, brightening perceptibly. "I can't wait to
        read about it. Couldn't happen to nicer scum."
        "You know, that's the second time tonight I've heard them
        referred to that way."
        "You bet your ass, man, You listen to your friends." He turned
        silently into the driveway of the ramshackle duplex where Frank and
        Linda Bennett lived. The rundown neighborhood was quiet in the early
        darkness. "How 'bout I come in, help you out," Thomas said as a light
        came on by the door and they saw Linda step out, dressed in a running
        outfit with sweat pants and sweatshirt.
        "Nah. You go on; I'll be okay. I'll tell you, though, you saved
        my ass tonight. I'll talk to you later about it. You did good."
        "Shit," Thomas snorted. "All us Uncle Toms like to save at least
        one whitey's ass every year. That keeps us in good with the INS." He
        grinned in the darkness at Bennett, but his eyes were wary. There had
        been suggestions that he should be deported for "writings prejudicial to
        minority equality." He had scoffed at the notion, since he was a
        minority himself, and his writings were exactly the opposite of what was
        charged.
        But he hadn't laughed when a local ACLU lawyer recruited a local
        "civil rights organization" to charge him with illegal discrimination
        and "hostile reading environment" based upon "lack of diversity" in his
        politically charged writings. Although the courts had welcomed the
        suit--the U.S. Supreme Court had long before approved "hostile reading
        environment" lawsuits as "an exception under well-settled international
        law to our First Amendment rights, which must be said to be flexible and
        evolving in response to trans-national realities that this Court must
        take into consideration."
        The campaign hadn't gotten far, but it wasn't intended to. The
        lawsuit had been designed to silence the increasingly popular Richard
        Thomas, "the cab-driver philosopher" as he was becoming known.
        Threatening writers with years of courtroom litigation and millions of
        dollars in legal fees had become a common tactic designed to silence
        those who asked questions embarrassing questions or disclosed facts
        embarrassing to any level of government.
        The threat had failed miserably when an unnamed benefactor group
        out of New Hampshire--the Free State wackos were at it again, commented
        the media--had donated large amounts of money to fund Thomas's legal
        defense. In addition, the situation had actually become comical when the
        New Hampshire ACLU--notorious for their willingness to go anywhere, for
        any amount of time, to defend First Amendment freedoms---had dispatched
        of team of lawyers to Miami, where they had set up a virtual law firm in
        one of the downtown hotels...a law firm devoted exclusively to a single
        lawsuit, that of "People for Reading Diversity, Inc., plaintiff, versus
        Richard Thomas, defendant." The result was that a team of constitutional
        lawyers out of the New Hampshire ACLU were squared off against a group
        of ACLU lawyers in Miami. It had become a circus, and Richard Thomas,
        the black cab-driver philosopher, had become more popular than ever.
        Frank Bennett grinned at his friend. "To hell with that stuff.
        You're staying right here in the U.S. of A., where you can save my ass
        when I get in binds like tonight."
        Thomas laughed. "My pleasure. I'll see you at the dojo if you
        don't get in touch before."
        "You'll hear from me," Bennett said as he stepped out of the
        taxi. He reached across the front seat of the cab and they shook hands.
        Bennett stood for a moment, watching as Thomas pulled out and drove down
        the silent street. He turned to Linda, who had come up behind him, and
        hugged her fiercely.
        "What's going on?" she asked, looking him over, worry tinging
        her voice.
        He exhaled into her hair as he held her. "What a night, he
        whispered. He paused, holding his wife, and looked off absently into the
        darkness. "But I think I may have come across one helluva breakthrough
        tonight in the lab. I think it opens up...possibilities...."
        His wife looked quizzically at him, but did not speak. She knew
        his mind was miles away, back in his laboratory. They walked together
        into the apartment, the silence of the dilapidated neighborhood
        surrounding them.
        */
        /*(to be continued)*/


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