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Monday links


  1. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal December 30, 2013 8:52 am

    Cute dog story.

    The free will thing: “Freedom House defines a nation as ‘free’ if it meets two criteria. First, it must ‘elect representatives who have a decisive impact on public policies and are accountable to the electorate.’ Second, the nation must allow ‘freedoms of expression and belief, associational and organizational rights, rule of law, and personal autonomy without interference from the state.’
    Seems to me they are completely missing what freedom is. “Nations” can’t be free; only individuals can. And if it depends on politics and Rulers, it’s not “freedom”.

  2. NSA_botnet
    NSA_botnet December 30, 2013 10:40 am

    The ‘NSA intercepted shipments’ is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out Jacob Appelbaum’s last talk at #30c3, titled ‘To Protect And Infect, Part 2’. Very scary stuff.

  3. Laird
    Laird December 30, 2013 11:52 am

    Kent, the Freedom House definition speaks in terms of a “nation” being free but its actual words are clearly geared toward individuals, so I think your objection is misplaced. However, I do have a bit of a problem with the first part of that definition. An elected representative body doesn’t necessarily correlate closely with “freedom.” The US Congress is but one illustration.

    I found that article on the NSA hijacking hardware to be profoundly depressing. Why aren’t we already descending on the NSA headquarters en masse and burning it to the ground? (Sowing that ground with salt might be a bit of an overreaction, though.)

  4. jed
    jed December 30, 2013 3:30 pm

    Abandoned places — so cool. Of course, many of them are quite dangerous. But I look at some of those and think, hey, that’d be an awesome place to live.

  5. jed
    jed December 30, 2013 4:21 pm

    Here’s another link.
    Burn the fucking system to the ground.

    So, life in an abandonded lighthouse doesn’t sound so bad, compared to that. Only trouble is, you’re living in an abandonded lightouse.

  6. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau December 30, 2013 5:49 pm

    I agree, burn it down. Except for one thing – it will burn whether we like it or not. It’s not a choice that is available to us.

    Only then will McElroy’s millenials have a chance out of their hole, although things won’t be reasonable for a very long time. Hard to be, with all those bodies lying around.

    “Next up from Shaneekwa and Loudmouth Bob are us regular peons. We can have our balls squeezed at the airport, our rectums explored at the roadside, our cars searched because the cops got permission from a dog (I owe some Reason intern a drink for that one), our telephones tapped (because terrorism!), our bank accounts investigated (because FinCEN! and no expectation of privacy!).”

    One point here that needs elaborating is that we all still retain free will. If you get your balls squeezed or your rectum explored, you had to permit it first. Some day it will occur to people to stop permitting such things, come Hell or high water.

  7. jed
    jed December 30, 2013 6:44 pm

    Yeah, I heard about that ‘secret compartment’ law. Realistically, I don’t know why TPTB thought they needed yet another reason, considering how low the bar is already. Pretty soon, ‘being outside’ will be considered probable cause.

    Paul, there are certainly those around who didn’t ‘permit’ themselves to be violated. One victim said that another officer put a gun to his head while Vagnini administered a choke hold, touched his scrotum and fingered his anus.

    On a lighter vein, The Denver Post has fired up a pot new site, The Cannabist. That gives me a chuckle.

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