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Category: Practical Freedom

A broad category of things we can do, or things others are doing, to increase personal freedom


A few years ago, two of the many kind readers of this blog sent a substantial donation specifically for buying a generator. The money they sent was enough to purchase an inexpensive generator — or make a good start on saving for the compact Honda or Yamaha they knew was on my wish list. They gave me that option. My choice. I decided to stash the donation and keep on saving for the Dream Generator. While it made me nervous not to have backup power, I figured that — not being particularly a Ms Fixit — I needed the reliability,…


Wednesday links

  • Had to happen. Prosecutors in Arkansas are demanding cloud data from Amazon for one of its voice-activated Echo devices. Authorities don’t seem to think they need a warrant or a subpoena, just a “demand.” Amazon differs.
  • There’s also this little question among money-hungry local governments as to whether you should pay them for arresting you. The Supremes are expected to weigh in.
  • You ready for a new ice age? (C’mon, damnit. I still want my global warming! Especially now that we in this corner of the world are soon to “enjoy” some of the lowest temps we’ve seen in years.) 16 Comments
  • If you’re a member of Claire’s Cabal …

    If you’re a member of Claire’s Cabal and you haven’t stopped by the forums lately, I hope you’ll drop in and maybe stick around. Current doings: We’ve just opened the “Members Helping Members” section where cabalistas can offer their assistance on anything from transportation and relocation to their professional specialties. We’ve got several lively new discussions going on, from an easy-newsy one about the “Hamiltonian” electors to the quite deep topic, “The spiritual dimension of freedom.” We always have something going on about money (sound or unsound) and economics in Silver’s Corner. And there are several excellent recent threads on…


    Some doings at Claire’s Cabal

    I don’t mention Claire’s Cabal much. But it seems time for a small update. First, we have a couple of public areas in the forum, to give a small taste. I’ve just posted a copy of this excellent article by Silver where anyone can see it. If you thought you knew every malign effect of the Federal Reserve, he describes one you probably hadn’t considered. Second, we’re in the process of starting up a “Members Helping Members” section where volunteers can offer assistance with anything from transportation and a place to stay to professional advice. Just announced it today and…


    Midweek links

  • Did anybody here think the MSM really meant all those editorials about how they were going to be more politically unbiased from now on? Here’s USA Today defining the entire alt-right movement as “espousing white nationalism.” And here’s Alan Dershowitz having to point out that Steve Bannon is no anti-Semite. I’m not fond of either the alt-right or Bannon. But get real, media. Get real. Your life depends on it.
  • And they ask — they seriously ask! — “Will America Now Have a Pravda?” No, you willfully blind jackasses: America has had a Pravda and an Izvestia for many years now. 20 Comments
  • Although this applies only to the Pacific Northwest …

    … it’s a good wake-up call for anybody who might face a widespread natural disaster (which is, of course, everybody). Last summer, a vast exercise called Cascadia Rising was quietly carried out through the Northwest. For government types and emergency-service providers only, it made barely a bump in the consciousness of ordinary people — which may prove to be the ultimate flaw in its design, but that’s a question for another day. Cascadia Rising was designed to test emergency response in event of a “full rip” earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone. Full-rip means a monster, a megaquake, 9.0 or…


    Midweek links

  • Niall Ferguson on simplifiers vs complicators and how they can both be big problems in politics and government.
  • What the hell is a “security directive,” anyway? Sounds like something Ayn Rand would make up for her villains to impose. And why would any supposedly private company jump to comply with one? And furtherwhy, after the righteous drubbing the big ‘Net companies took for kissing the NSA’s butt (post Snowden) would Yahoo (and probably others) be so eager to continue osculating stinky feddie posterior?
  • Speaking of security, Bruce Schneier says, “Stop trying to fix the user” and fix the underlying systems. (I think he’s a lot right and a bit wrong, as spotted by his commentors.) 7 Comments
  • Ten powerful ways to act locally

    We’re cruising down life’s highway and we find ourselves backed up in traffic by a colossal wreck. Glass and metal and blood and guts are strewn everywhere. Some survivors scream for help, while others lie bleeding out, pierced by steering wheels and shards of glass. But never fear! First responders are already on the scene. The experts will soon handle the ghastly situation. Except that the “experts” on this particular highway of life are standing there screeching at each other about their Twitter messages, tax returns, fat-shaming, mutual degrees of personal and financial corruption, and whether or not they enabled…


    12 preparedness items you might not strictly need but would be glad to have

    This being the OFFICIAL National Preparedness Month, I’m sure you’ve diligently been working on your preps for the last three-plus weeks. Right? Wait. What’s that, you say? You’ve been working diligently on your preps for lo these many years and you hardly have to concern yourself with some belatedly declared month? Of course! You’re pretty well set by now, right? But everybody’s always lacking something. With that in mind, here are 12 preparedness items you probably don’t strictly need but would be great to have if you don’t already. And yes, these are Amazon Associates links. 1. Can organizers, trackers,…