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Month: September 2013

Thursday links

On the darker side It’s just theory and the technology of it is very much over my pretty little head. But Bruce Schneier notes that it’s possible to insert surveillance almost undetectably at the microchip level. More evidence that while the NSA may know what you’re doing, it has no idea what its own people are doing. The ACLU doesn’t come right out and call the FBI America’s secret police. But pretty close. Alas, they still imagine the agency might investigate and reform itself. (Via Sipsey Street) But of course, it’s all just okey-dokey-hunky-dory-nifty-zorch because none of it’s unconstitutional! On…


The aggression principle

You’ve heard of the non-aggression principle, otherwise known as the ZAP or the NAP. A lot of freedomistas regard it as the golden rule for a free society. Well, Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi have now coined a phrase to define its opposite: The aggression principle. That’s the rule behind all government, of every type, everywhere. We all know what it is. We’ve been talking about it for a long time. Why hasn’t anybody ever named it? (Michael and Neema call this podcast “one for the ages.”)


Well, what do you expect from government?

I don’t mean what do you expect from government. I can make a pretty good guess at that. I’m thinking of the ordinary Joe or Josie who’s shocked and indignant over and over again upon finding that government isn’t a caring parent or diligent servant. Was talking with a local real estate agent today. He’s had a sale pending for two months. Deal is solid. Buyer’s credit is golden. House has appraised for more than the selling price. No problems whatsoever. Except it’s a VA loan and there’s one piece of paper missing (a DD-214, for ye of military experience).…


Tuesday links

Good news. There’s a typeface designed to be hard for NSA computers to read. Bad news. It’s pretty hard for humans to read, too. More of an art/protest project at this point (though created by a former NSA contractor). But just a taste of how smart people will ultimately defeat the Stasi. Kent McManigal on avoiding being sucked into people’s negative vortexes. You know those strange names parents are giving their kids, these days? Names like Naiphthan, Elyivya, and Nevaeh, and J’oshau? Well, we can all be glad nobody’s getting stuck with these names any more. And speaking of names…


Monday links

“The FBI was the obvious suspect.” What a perfect choice of words. (H/T JB) Rescued fighting dogs now “being trained to love.” Don’t really think they need training to love; mainly to trust after the hells they’ve been through. Happier dogs — and cats — at The Fluffington Post. Are pants-pissing cowards attracted to police work? Or does the job bring it out in them? At least this time when the cops were forced to investigate themselves for shooting dead an unarmed man they didn’t find that “procedures were followed.” Summers is out. And here’s a nice little act of…


Dilbert: Prophet of hope

Things are bad in the Stasi state. Things get worse in the Stasi state. Worse yet, each revelation of governmental lawlessness, Big Brotherism, and contempt for We the People is met with a giant yawn. It’s so easy to despair. Then along comes a reminder that not everybody is yawning. What you laugh at says a lot. The story arc for the above started with the September 6 panel. H/T to JB for making my day.


Saturday links

Swarms of tabs are buzzing ’round my head again. Some contain news that fills me with such loathing I can’t decide whether to blog about it or run for cover. I’ll avoid the most loathsome for now and merely blog the good, the bad, the indifferent, and the funny to clear my browser and my head. The NSA disguised itself as Google to enable even more spying. Part of me says this is bad in the same sense that the CIA’s longstanding practice of disguising its agents as journalists is bad (for the health of actual journalists). Part of me…


Friday freedom question: bad luck to bad actors

Since we haven’t done a Friday freedom question for a while, and since today is one of those Infamous Fridays — the thirteenth: What’s the best thing (or things) you can think of today that would cause some well-deserved bad luck to the Stasi or their pals, agents, and enablers who are ignoring the Bill of Rights and stealing our freedom? This could be something real and practical (therefore publically non-incriminating, please) or highly theoretical (therefore any fantasy scenario Hollywood could dream up).


Thursday links

Loving a bad dog. (Oh yeah. Been there …) News of the weird. Shelley’s Ozymandias. Um … with socks. Wall Street deals in physical commodities. Commodities producers operate hedge funds and sell derivitives. And there, and there, and there go the trillions. I really like Ricky Gervais and I want to see this. For anybody who still doubts that Edward Snowden did the right thing. Won’t get anywhere. Not enough. But the Surveillance State Repeal Act is a start. Yes, we already know that the fedgov is run not merely by narcissists but by full-blown sociopaths. Still, this Salon piece…