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PorcFest 2005 Roundup #3

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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 1 , May 23 4:44 AM
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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
      *
      /*5/22/05: PFS (PorcFest Spam) #10*/
      /*PorcFest Roundup #3*/
      /* * MORE STUFF is happening and being finalized with respect to
      the Second Annual PorcFest 2005. So it's time for another roundup, as
      follows...
      /
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      */Lest We Forget...the PorcFest is Free!/*
      / * HAVE YOU NOTICED* that the PorcFest is (mostly) free to
      everyone? All you need to do is "make it," and you get to hear the
      speakers, mix with the libertarians, go to shooting classes, talk
      politics around multiple campfires, go on hikes to the top of mountains,
      and attend the Circle of Liberty and other Happenings...all without
      having to pay (doesn't include the NHLA dinner or Michael Badnarik's
      courses, or the meals, but come ON, *most* of it is free). There's a
      reason for that: If you come to the PorcFest, you'll fall in love with
      the Free State. And the function of the PorcFest is to highlight the
      Free State Project and the Free State. Thus, we've decided to make the
      PorcFest "self-funding" each year. This year we've benefitted from some
      extraordinary friends of liberty, and raised over $15,000 for individual
      freedom and the PorcFest. Check it out online on the Free State Project
      web site under "FSP Fundraising at http://www.freestateproject.org/.
      * SO COME ONE, COME ALL...*and if you haven't gotten your plane
      ticket, or planned to drive to the PorcFest...do it now.
      /
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      */2nd AMENDMENT ACTIVITIES.../*
      / ...planning is continuing apace. If you want to learn how to
      shoot, polish your shooting skills, or just "pop a few caps," it's all
      coming together. Multiple firearms will be available for beginners to
      learn on, including .22 revolvers (excellent learning pieces), larger
      caliber pistols, shotguns, and rifles. In addition, our shooting
      teachers (Porcupines, all) are talking to a nearby gun club to the
      PorcFest for shooting and teaching purposes (they have both pistol and
      long-range rifle ranges), in addition to talking to the "sand pit" owner
      for more informal shooting. It's going to be fun! Bring your ear-protectors!
      /
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      */EEEK!!! IT'S AN ORGY!/*
      / *Heh!* Two weeks ago I noted that the FSP Polyamory Group would
      be holding a party at FSP Polyamory liaison Denise Penkalski's motel
      room "primarily byob, for socializing," as Denise said. The party will
      be held on Friday night. To find out the location "tell people to find
      me and ask on Friday (I won't know what room number until I check in),
      or find others wearing the 'Poly-the-Parrot' buttons, and they should be
      able to tell how to find me," says Denise.
      * WELL!* Immediately after that announcement appeared, one
      Porcupine objected vehemently (identity hidden to protect the guilty
      party), saying "Forget about New Hampshire welcoming the FSP. When this
      gets out to the newspapers -- and it will, with the translation "orgy"
      -- whatever tolerance the Yankee Establishment might have considered for
      the FSP will shut down tighter than a clam. This was NOT the way to win
      hearts and minds."
      * GEE,* responded PorcFest Czar Varrin Swearingen, "I wonder if
      we'll get in trouble when we announce the Christian church service we're
      holding for Porcupines on Sunday morning?" (No telling what the media
      could do with that one!)
      * Guilty Party *responded, "There are people on both sides of the
      political aisle looking for any excuse to label the FSP as
      trouble-making goofballs. I hope I'm wrong, but I predict there's going
      to be a media storm over this, and whatever image the FSP might have
      wanted to project as serious and positive contributors to New Hampshire
      society will go right down the drain....Good luck with damage control."
      * In the meantime,* there was doubtless a lot of laughter in
      certain Porcupine corners. So for the statists and socialists who are
      monitoring the PorcFest Spams, let me say "Earth to statists and
      socialists: A polyamory social gathering is not an 'orgy'. And for those
      of you who were hoping to find evidence of one, *so sorry!*" I myself
      (boring old married guy) intend to visit the Polyamory party, and say
      hello to the various good Porcupines in attendance. Perhaps Varrin and
      Edie will drop by, as I hope Jason and Mary will too if they get a chance.
      *Denise in the meantime* has written "I'm not a big one for party
      rules, but please know that I expect the following, and reserve the
      right to ask someone to leave my room if they don't observe them:
      * Be respectful of the rules/laws of the campground/hotel/NH.
      * Don't drink in my presence if you're under 21.
      * Be respectful of all party attendees, as well as my personal
      belongings.
      * I'm assuming that the hotel will shut down anything too rowdy,
      so volunteer bouncers (besides myself as party monitor) will be
      appreciated."
      WOW. Really dangerous stuff going on there! But, tough as it may
      be to admit, the Free State Project is about inclusiveness and
      tolerance. Libertarians are like that. And a polyamory social
      get-together does not an "orgy" make. LOL!!!
      /
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      /*TALKING ABOUT DANGEROUS AND SUBVERSIVE STUFF...*/
      / ...FSP Vice President Evan Nappen has asked me to share with
      everyone the following:
      /
      */ANNOUNCING THE FORMATION OF THE PORCUPINE ENTREPRENEURIAL GROUP (PEG)/*
      / If you have ever said to yourself, "I want to move to NH, but
      I don't know what I'm going to do when I get there," then PEG may be the
      answer to your soul-searching. The FSP is a group of folks with a
      variety of skills, experience, and knowledge. However, we have a common
      goal --- to live in the Free State. The idea behind PEG is to focus our
      most visionary entrepreneurs on creating a manufacturing Company in New
      Hampshire. PEG will brainstorm to determine what product to produce. At
      this time, a gun factory is a serious possibility; however, what
      eventually will be made will be decided by the group. PEG will formulate
      and execute on a business plan. The first meeting of PEG will be at the
      Porcfest in July 2005.
      PEG will create jobs for Porcupines moving to New Hampshire. It
      will allow participants to live the Ayn Randian dream of production and
      profit in the Free State. In order to join PEG, you must satisfy the
      following five requirements, and be invited to join:
      1. Be an FSP Participant.
      2. Be willing to invest $50,000 or more into the Company.
      3. Have a desire to own, start up, and work for a manufacturing
      Company in the Free State.
      4. Possess experience, knowledge, or a skill needed by the
      Company (e.g. accounting, marketing, engineering, sales, law,
      management, IT, HR, finance, machine shop skills, etc.)
      5. Be a rational, forward-thinking person who is not afraid to be
      creative or to take reasonable risks.
      Send me your request for an invitation to PEG by answering 1-5
      above and emailing them to me at gunesq@.... If you are
      invited to join PEG, you will be told the time and place of the first
      PEG meeting at the PorcFest. Let this be the first step toward our
      economic freedom in the Free State. Please note, this is NOT an FSP
      project, but rather a complimentary effort. --Evan Nappen
      /
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      /*MEA CULPA, MEA CULPA, MEA MAXIMA CULPA! * /
      / *Oops. Apologies all around are in order. Last week I screwed
      up in the following ways:*
      * "Mooseboy" is Randall Wolfe, NOT Ian Scott, who is actually "DJ
      Entropy". Randall was driving the ill-fated "Moose-Mobile" that slammed
      into a moose on the way to the PorcFest 2004...with Ian in the car. No
      one was hurt, thankfully.
      * At the Circle of Liberty it was NOT "Mooseboy" who yelled out
      "Bring on the Kool Aid!" Ian Scott, aka DJ Entropy, wants credit for it.
      So it was Ian who yelled it out, not Randall.
      * Rich Tomasso, an LPNH activist-extraordinaire, wrote to tell
      me "you misspelled 'arcology'." Seems I spelled it "archology" at least
      one time. Sorry, sorry, sorry! (On a side-note, added Rich, "One of the
      founding members of the LPNH has designed an arcology tower structure
      that could house tens of thousands of people." Drawings for the
      structures were featured on the front cover of Infinite Energy magazine,
      issue #49, found at
      http://www.infinite-energy.com/iemagazine/issue49/index.html.)
      * Dr. Mike Edelstein out of San Francisco, as well as Jason and
      several other eagle-eyes, wrote to tell me I misspelled the acronym for
      the evil type of Republicans, calling them "RENO's" instead of "RINO's."
      It is true that they are RINO's...but there are doubtless RENO types (as
      in former U.S. attorney general Janet Reno) in the GOP also! Sorry anyway!
      /
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      / * NEXT WEEK* I want to talk about...food. There are going to be
      several Big Meals to be had at the PorcFest, chances to gather together,
      share the blessed Company of all freedom-loving people, and share
      water...and food.
      Need I say more?
      /
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      */SYATPF!/*
      / * ("See You At The Porc Fest"! Note: This is Evan Nappen's slogan. I
      stole it to use it here.)*/
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      / *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 232 on the list. See who's
      signed up at 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 thing together, but we need you too. Help by joining
      the PorcFest planning email list at
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/porcfest2005.
      /
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      //
      /*SUPERCHARGED SOLITONS, Chapter 10, 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/.)*

      Frank Bennett was never apprehended for the killings on the Metro.
      For months the media fanned the hysteria, and "Mr. Chako" found
      himself feted as a hero by many of Miami's community leaders. He was
      hailed by the Miami Sentinel editorial pages as a "model for the new
      minority leader." Within a few months he was put in charge of a new
      community redevelopment grant for a high-crime Latin section of the city.
      When an enterprising investigative reporter for the Miami
      Sentinel discovered Chako's long criminal record, including two charges
      of murder that were dropped after witnesses refused to testify, the
      debate within the Sentinel was sharp, but not prolonged. The story was
      spiked. "Not enough facts," the managing editor blandly told the
      reporter. He didn't explain that the editorial board was afraid of
      hostile reading environment lawsuits from the ACLU if the story ran.
      But some months later, when the U.S. Attorney's office in Miami
      began investigating financial irregularities within the multi-million
      dollar grant program, the reporter's story was resurrected and splashed
      across the Sentinel front page. Although a grand jury heard allegations
      that redevelopment grant money was being funneled into Castro-Guevara
      gang coffers to finance drug importation, no indictments were handed
      down. The reasons for the case being closed were never explained.
      Two months after the story on financial irregularities broke,
      the investigative reporter was mugged outside his condo and beaten so
      badly that he lost an eye. "Bad luck," agreed the authorities. No one
      thought it had anything to do with the CG's or Mr. Chako.
      Six months after that Mr. Chako was found dead in an abandoned
      car. He'd been injected with a massive amount of heroin, and $l,000 in
      small bills was stuffed in his mouth. He'd had his fifteen minutes of
      fame. The world shifted its attention. The Metro Vigilante was never
      caught. The police and media moved on to other crimes, other stories.
      The Block Committee Volunteers League (BCVL)---a new union formed by the
      growing numbers of increasingly powerful block committee
      volunteers---tried to keep the case open, but even they couldn't resist
      public inertia. So instead they increased their agitation for ever
      stronger enforcement of the anti-gun laws.
      The world moved on to more interesting and current topics.
      As for Frank Bennett, shortly after the Metro incident he had
      met his best friend Rick Thomas at a small neighborhood tavern in a
      rundown section of Miami. They often shared beer there after workouts at
      their nearby karate dojo. Bennett walked into the bar and saw Thomas in
      a booth at the back. He wandered toward the rear, uncharacteristically
      examining all the faces he passed. No one sat near the booth where he
      slid in across from his friend.
      "Greetings, Frank," said Thomas in a low voice, "interesting
      experiences you've been having lately." A friendly-looking waitress
      strode up, and Bennett ordered a draft beer to match the one Thomas was
      nursing.
      Bennett sighed as the waitress brought a beer in a frosted mug,
      plunking it down in front of him. He took a long draught, then spoke
      dryly: "No kidding."
      He wiped foam from his mouth and glanced meaningfully at the
      brown corduroy jacket he'd taken to wearing lately.
      "You wanna tell me what went down out there?" Thomas asked,
      raising his eyebrows. "Although, I must say, I think I've got a pretty
      good idea anyway." He paused. "My guess is that the media and the system
      are trying to stick some very bad stuff on you that you didn't do."
      "You'd guess right," Bennett replied. He casually turned,
      scanning the interior of the tavern. No one was nearby, nor did anyone
      even appear interested in the two men sitting in the rear of the bar.
      Bennett turned back, took another long drink from his beer and looked
      across at his friend. "Listen to this," he said.
      Some minutes later a silent whistle issued from the pursed lips
      of Rick Thomas. "Man, that's bad. You could easily have been killed when
      those BC scums invited those Castro-Guevaras to go after you."
      "Yeah, I guess they had something like that in mind. They were
      scared, and they knew the police couldn't get there in time to stop
      anything that was going to happen."
      "So they just figured they'd let it to happen to you," snorted
      Thomas. "Isn't that just what you'd expect: real, get-down,
      straightforward protection from crime!" He snorted again, taking a long
      drag from his beer, raising it in tribute to his scientist friend.
      Frank Bennett sat morosely. "You don't seem to be working up too
      much sympathy for the two who got murdered," he noted dryly.
      "You neither," shot back Thomas. "Listen Frank, we both have
      trouble working up sympathy for people who love exercising power over
      other people, and who enjoy pushing other people around. The difference
      is that you and I come to that feeling from different places. You feel
      the way you do because they tried to get you personally greased. I cop
      my attitude because I'm a libertarian. It doesn't make any difference if
      they try it on me, on my workout buddy, or some other innocent who
      happens along. It's all the same, far as I'm concerned."
      "Thomas Jefferson and everything, hah?" needled Bennett at his
      friend.
      "Not only Jefferson. He was good, but he didn't have the
      understanding we've been gifted with today." Thomas paused, sipping from
      his beer. "I'm talking about other voices of individual freedom: Mises,
      Hayek, Sowell, Rand, Rothbard, Friedman, Walter Williams...people who
      talk to us about freedom and justice, now and forever."
      Bennett shook his head slowly back and forth. "Man, I just can't
      believe I've got this black friend who's a flaming capitalist." He took
      another draw from his beer. "I know it's not that hard to get there,
      what with the government squeezing everyone with the damn block
      committees, the gun searches, and so forth. But still, I just don't know
      how you get there."
      He smiled impishly and raised his mug to beer to his friend. He
      liked needling Rick Thomas about his extremist libertarian politics, and
      enjoyed listening and learning from the resulting declamations.
      --------------------------------------------
      Dr. Richard Thomas was a philosopher, a writer, and an
      economist. He had graduated from Harvard University as an undergraduate,
      somehow avoiding the socialist propaganda that passed for a curriculum
      at the school. He'd then earned a Ph.D. in politics and economics from
      George Mason University before it had been shut down by multiple hostile
      learning environment lawsuits, most of them essentially funded by the
      federal government. Dr. Thomas also had had several scholarly books
      published on the origins and foundations of capitalism, but with the
      advent of hostile reading environment lawsuits, his books had quickly
      been driven from the marketplace. Now they were out of print everywhere
      except in New Hampshire, where hostile reading atmosphere lawsuits had
      been banned under both the state and federal constitutions.
      But everywhere else Rick Thomas had been destroyed financially
      by the repeated lawsuits, even though he continued to publish in
      underground publications that were always being sued and/or shut down by
      the authorities. Now he made his living as a taxi driver in Miami,
      despite the fact that he had repeatedly been offered a full
      professorship at Free State University. The Free State U. people had
      begged him to come to New Hampshire, not only for the prestige of having
      him at the university, but also for his own protection. The wackos in
      the Free State were worried about his safety as they observed government
      becoming ever more repressive and out of control everywhere else.
      Dr. Thomas had refused. "People need me more here on the street
      than up there," he had told Free State envoys who had traveled to Miami
      to meet with him. "Good things are going to happen eventually," he told
      them. "Reassertion of individual freedoms. And I intend to be a part of
      it when it happens."
      The Free State people had argued with him. How could he or
      anyone else be able to put up any resistance to the increasingly
      repressive regime that the United States had become? How could he hope
      to have any effect when his books had been driven from the bookstores
      and he faced physical attacks from government goons wherever he was
      invited to speak in public?
      Dr. Thomas had merely smiled, and thanked the Free State people
      for their concern, as well as for the offer at Free State University.
      "But no thanks," he said. The Free Staters had gone back home to New
      Hampshire, both disappointed and fearful for Dr. Thomas's eventual safety.
      -----------------------------------------------
      Dr. Richard Thomas looked across the tavern table at his friend
      Frank Bennett. "Capitalism means freedom, Frank, it's a simple as that.
      Those who don't understand that have no brains."
      Bennett snorted. "All the school curriculums these days beg to
      differ. You know how they put it: 'Capitalism is evil. It isn't
      progressive. Capitalism doesn't care for people. It harms the
      environment. Capitalism causes inequality. Only the government can make
      sure we're all protected and all equal."
      "Blah, blah blah..." responded Thomas. "You know what the Latin
      root for capital is? It's 'capita'. Means 'head' in Latin. Thus,
      capitalism is the most 'head-centered' form of human social and economic
      organization. All the socialist drivel they pour into kids' heads in
      the schools doesn't change it a bit. Obviously, what passes for
      economics and government curriculums today doesn't have anything having
      to do with brains."
      "Worse yet," Thomas continued, "what they teach the kids about
      'people-centered' versus 'money-centered' or 'corporation-centered'
      systems is exactly the opposite of reality."
      "Well, they seem to get away with it pretty well," said Frank
      Bennett.
      "Yeah, they do that. But the fact is, capitalism is the only
      'people-centered' economic system that exists. Unfortunately, most of
      its defenders, from Adam Smith to Ayn Rand, got it wrong. Both Smith and
      Rand taught that capitalism is based upon selfishness, greed, and
      venality. The fact is that capitalism is based upon gift-giving."
      "Gift-giving?" repeated Frank Bennett, ordering another beer
      from the passing waitress.
      "Yep. The hallmarks of capitalism are faith, generosity, and
      concern for the needs and desires of others. How else are you going to
      be a successful capitalist, unless you figure out what other people
      want? You produce it and sell it to them, and you get rich. You produce
      something the masses don't want, and they proceed not to buy it. And you
      go bust. Easy as that."
      "Well, it doesn't look like anyone except the companies tied in
      with some level of government are producing anything these days.
      Especially with all the hostile this-and-that environment lawsuits.
      "Yep," said Rick Thomas, taking another drink of his beer. "It
      all fits right together: the government tells everyone that only it can
      provide for them. Only it can protect them. Only it can decide who makes
      what in the business world. Then it disarms them so they don't have any
      way to either protest or defend themselves...whether against the
      government or the gangs, which are just extensions of local governments
      these days. Then the street gangs pretty much run wild---except for some
      cosmetic prosecutions--and that creates even more danger to normal
      people. That in turn creates more demand for more cops and more
      government and more block committees to supposedly protect us. When
      amplified by the mainstream media, it's a vicious circle.
      Bennett took a drink from his mug. Thomas paused, sipping again
      from his mug of beer, motioning to the waitress for another. "You know
      as well as I do that the BC's are there to keep an eye on everyone, so
      government can expand its power all the way around. They tell us 'the
      public demands it', when the real function of the block committees is
      the same as in any dictatorship: to make sure no real opposition can
      form up. With everyone watching everyone else, there's no way in hell
      people can stop the slide into oppression...or the dictatorship that's
      sure to follow."
      Thomas shook his head. "It's not their country Frank," he said
      in a soft voice, almost as if pleading with his friend. "It's ours. It
      belongs to everyone who makes their own way, in whatever way they want
      to, from the engineers and doctors to the shopkeepers and working
      stiffs, to the pimps and whores and poets and artists and dope sellers
      and ditchdiggers. As long as you don't live on the back of someone
      else...that's the original promise of this country. And even though the
      promise originally didn't pan out for us black and brown types, it was
      starting to...it was happening for us all before they decided to screw
      everyone equally---black, tan, red, brown, yellow or white."
      Bennett shook his head slowly. "What's happening to us?"
      "We're getting half drunk," Thomas answered, gesturing boozily
      at the beer mugs.
      "No dammit," Bennett slurred back. "I mean us the people. The
      country. Our system."
      "Oh, that," said Rick Thomas. "Hell, isn't it clear? Our damn
      educational structure broke down in the late 20th century. Never got
      fixed." He paused, peered pointedly across at Frank Bennett. "People
      started being taught not to think independently, they were taught that
      certain ideas were out of bounds. And in time the entire system tends to
      run down as the bad ideas take hold, and any competing ideas are
      forcibly stifled. The thing is, you can't stifle the competing ideas
      unless...."
      Thomas's lecture was interrupted by a commotion at the front of
      the tavern. A man who looked like a construction worker at the end of a
      workday was raising his voice at three young males who stood around him
      as he sat at the bar. All of the three wore blue plastic armbands of
      BC's, and had BC cell-phones clipped to military-style belts.
      "Don't give us any shit, man," said one of the men, raising his
      voice at the construction worker. "You pull out your ID! Now!"
      Frank Bennett and Rick Thomas watched the developing
      confrontation at the front of the bar, then looked at each other. As
      one, a thought struck them, and they grinned together. Bennett leaned
      over across the table to Rick Thomas: "Strike a blow for competing
      ideas?" he said softly.
      Thomas held a big grin and nodded his head. They slid out of the
      booth and strolled casually to the front of the small tavern with
      exaggerated crafty movements. The block committee members saw them
      coming, and smirked; here were two half-drunk working slobs. One of the
      men turned, jabbing Rick Thomas in the chest with a fiberglass
      truncheon, stopping him. "You two aren't going anywhere. You're next.
      Pull out your ID. We're checking everyone in the area."
      Thomas grinned and responded in a loud voice with a distinct
      slur. "Why don't you blow me, asshole." He grabbed the BC's club,
      pulling him forward while simultaneously launching a sidekick which
      landed on the BC's chest, knocking him head over heels. Instantly the
      entire bar erupted into a comedic brawl. One of the other BC's brought a
      club up to strike Rick Thomas, but Frank Bennett grabbed it,
      simultaneously aiming a drunken kick at another of the three, who
      promptly doubled over, howling and holding his groin.
      Bennett yelled, yanking the police baton away and waving it over
      his head like a drum major's baton as Rick Thomas head-butted the BC in
      front of him who stumbled back, stunned. In the meantime, the
      construction worker had jumped off his chair and picked up a seat
      adjacent to his, swinging it up and over his head to come crashing down
      on the single remaining. As the first BC that Rick Thomas had kicked
      jumped up, Frank Bennett slipped on the beer-slicked floor and half
      fell, wrapping his arms around the terrified BC's waist while Thomas
      grabbed the guy in a head lock, more to stay on his feet than to do any
      harm. The BC slugged Thomas in the stomach, whereupon Thomas violently
      threw up all over the two BC's still sprawled on the floor.
      "Uuuggggghhhh!" yelled Bennett, sweeping the BC's feet out from
      under him, while Thomas stumbled toward the tavern door, following the
      construction worker who was already making a rapid exit. The last BC
      fell on top of his vomit-covered fellows, impelled by a quick shove from
      Bennett who hurried toward the door behind Thomas, yelling "taxi, taxi,
      committee creeps need a taxi!" all the way into the darkness of the
      night. The two hurriedly floundered around a corner, where they found
      Rick's taxi. They tried to stuff themselves in the driver's door at the
      same time, and Bennett finally found himself shoved to the passenger
      side, his feet resting on the steering wheel and sticking into the face
      of Rick Thomas, who was howling with laughter as he fired up the
      familiar yellow vehicle and squealed around a corner in the dark. The
      sound of drunken laughter drifted back over the snarl of the taxi motor
      as they sped off into the darkness.
      After that incident, local block committee volunteers tended to
      avoid that particular tavern. The bar owner told them he'd never seen
      the three troublemakers before, even though he had occasionally had a
      beer himsefl with the personable young scientist and the erudite taxi
      driver. What could he say? Bennett and Thomas were okay in his book:
      they paid for their beer, tipped the waitress, and didn't try to grab
      her ass. Besides, nobody liked the block creeps. Let'em go stick their
      noses into somebody else's business, he reasoned.
      The next time Bennett and Thomas came by for a beer, the
      bartender gave them his thoughts about the block committees, along with
      a free pitcher of beer. They agreed with his analysis, saying that it
      certainly sounded reasonable to them.
      More than reasonable, in fact.
      /
      /(to be continued)/


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