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Living Freedom Posts

James Otis, Jr., the unknown founding father

Today is the birthday of James Otis, Jr., according to my copy of The Liberty Calendar. Few people have heard of him. He’s the man who said, “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” (Never mind that he should have just shortened that to, “Taxation is tyranny”; he made a good start.) He argued brilliantly against the writs of assistance that were so contentious in the years before the American Revolution. (We could use him again these days.) Otis unfortunately went crazy. And he died young — struck by lightning, exactly as he had hoped he would be — while others went…

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Three great sites

1. The Ultimate Answer to Kings. A few years back, on a forum that was in those days known as The Claire Files, I kept running into this guy. I’d be reading along in some thread. I’d think of a scintillatingly witty reposte … and before I could click to post it … this guy, Joel, would say exactly what I was thinking, only say it better and shorter. The nerve of that man, huh? He’s blogging these days, and his blog is The Ultimate Answer to Kings. When you go there, you can never be quite sure what you’ll…

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Census: arrogant or desperate?

Shazam. $2.5 million bucks for a 30-second SuperBowl spot to advertise the census. $138 million (or more) for the entire Cooperate with Your Masters campaign. In 28 languages, yet. Are these folks Soviet-style arrogant, spending money on their Big-Bro agenda as if the poor taxpayers actually had any? Or are they flat-out desperate because more and more people are realizing that census resistance is a safe, no-nonsense, and ever-increasing way for people to send a go-to-hell message to Washington? Or both? A couple of months ago, on a visit to the Big City, my friend and I had to scoot…

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Indy-Pindy: The Liberty Mouse

“In a warm little burrow, deep in the ground, a family of mice had a baby. His name was Indy-Pindy.” By the end of the first page of Kent McManigal’s new children’s book, young Indy-Pindy, The Liberty Mouse, has left his comfy burrow and set off, in the grand style of old-fashioned adventures, to make his way in the world. The first creature he meets is a snake who soothingly assures Indy that he doesn’t need that thorn he picked up as a weapon. “I’m here to help you,” smiles sneaky-snaky Gub. And that gives you a pretty good introduction…

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Monday Miscellany

Here’s a small collection of stuff I’ve picked up or thoughts I’ve thunk during the last week. This might become a regular feature. Or not. 🙂 An astute observer dropped this into the comments on a census post this morning: “Don’t Trust the Census.” Maybe you knew that so-called “confidential” census data was used to round up Japanese-Americans during World War II. Did you know that General Sherman — he of the unpunished “civil” war crimes — used census data in his genocidal march to the sea? The virtues of adversity. I mentioned the heroic Sister Kenny in my recent…

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Even kaleidoscope artists are freeing themselves

I’m on a couple of listservs for kaleidoscope builders and collectors. Yes, every tiny interest group has a list these days. In fact, the kaleidoscope world even has its own membership society, which holds regular conventions. As you might guess, it’s been hard times for kaleidoscopes the last few years, as it has for arts and luxuries in general, so the Brewster Kaleidoscope Society has cut its conventions from annual to bi-annual. One of those rare conventions is coming up and people on the lists are talking about whether they’ll be there or not. “Or not” seems to be a…

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A question for you: Movies about inspirational people

Somebody asked me yesterday whether I still write movie reviews for the print version of Backwoods Home. Officially, I do (Dave willing). But as a practical matter, I ran out of family-friendly, English-language films of interest to a rural audience a long time ago. P.T., the person who asked the question, hoped I would review biopix of inspiring people — particularly women. Thought that was a great idea. With two reservations. First, most recent biopix (aside from often being about dissolute folk who wouldn’t be welcome on many backwoods homesteads) are just giant mess-blobs. Take movies like “Ray” and “La…

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New level of search privacy

Dr. Katherine Albrecht — who is as beautiful as she is intelligent and (I can personally testify) as kind as she is gorgeous* announces via YouTube a new level of search-engine privacy to debut this [now LAST] Thursday. The search engine she represents, StartPage (aka IXQuick in Europe), already bills itself as the world’s most privacy-respecting. This week it adds a proxy service to, “… revolutionize the way people surf the web by allowing completely anonymous access to virtually any page on the web. … We are upping the ante by allowing users to privately visit the websites they find…

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