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Category: Privacy and self ownership

Owning our own information and telling Big Brother to get lost

IN PRAISE OF MEN
Part I: Groundwork

I’ve come to realize that this (now darned-near mythical) blog post I’ve been promising, “In Praise of Men,” is a book, not an essay. And it’s a book I’m not going to write. So I’ll to try doing what I can in a series of posts. Today I’ll just state my premises and lay some groundwork. This step has been a stumbling block for me and I need to get it done so I can move ahead. Let’s get some basics down on pixels. Premise #1: BIOLOGY Sex is biological and overwhelmingly binary. Are there exceptions? Of course, and they…

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Fear and loathing in the hinterlands, part II

A small sign of the times The town at the foot of the hill had a crisis last week. It didn’t have to be a crisis. It began as a mere glitch — human caused, but easily human reparable, too. The city expected a contractor to notify residents of several streets about a planned water outage. The contractor didn’t do it. When residents quite naturally began contacting city hall (aka the water company), city mucky-mucks proceeded to make things infinitely worse. They spent an hour pointing fingers (“It’s the contractor’s fault! We have nothing to do with it! They lied…

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Our tribal future (a ramble)

The “left” wants somehow to unite us all behind ideas that are inherently divisive. (“My life matters more than your life,” “I belong to more victim classes than you do,” and “If you don’t think exactly what I happen to think today, you’re evil and should die.”) A growing faction on the “right” (including, apparently, former quasi-pseudo libertarian Peter Thiel), wants to unite us all behind big-government nationalism. Here’s my bet: neither plan will fly, at least not outside of academia, think tanks, and their devotees. The only thing that will ever unite millions in the foreseeable future is a…

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Indulgences on the road to Armageddon

This afternoon I poured myself a glass of a lovely white wine. Then I just sat. First I sat in the newly finished screen porch contemplating the bank of ferns behind Mo Saoirse Hermitage. When it got too chilly I came inside and slipped into a big bentwood rocker that has a view out the south windows. A few stalks of Crocosmia Lucifer were beginning to open their exotic flame-red blooms. Beyond them lies my 1/4-acre park-to-be, which is about halfway done and is now pastoral and pleasant after seven years of fitful labors. I so seldom do this, just…

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A Sunday ramble, from politics to picking up cedar limbs

The problem of free speech Gab, the free-speech social network, has suffered yet another blow. Visa has yanked their merchant account, preventing people from using Visa cards to make payments to the company. Worse, the ban also extends personally to Gab founder Andrew Torba AND to any members of his household. Gosh, can anybody think of other times and places when family members were punished for the politically incorrect deeds of others? Oh yeah … the Soviet Union, Communist China, and Nazi Germany. Fun times, fun places. Of course, this is just Visa, a private corporation, and not the work…

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Wednesday links

Been a while since we had a simple links post … Tomorrow is “Take Yourself to Work Day” in Michigan. 🙂 Eric Peters says reopen and reject. The great Paul Rosenberg: Nothing changes as long as we obey. Still waiting for that $125 Equifax was going to send you for sloppily letting your personal information be grabbed by identity thieves? You aren’t getting it, but banks are getting their share. Wearing a mask, are you? Not to worry; this company thinks it can help Big (and Little) Brother recognize and track you via your eyes and eyebrows alone. And this…

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Little rays of sunshine

Pardon the sappy subject line, but after last week’s angry rant it seems right to post some rays (even if they are just very little pinpoints) of good cheer. Life goes on despite every petty act of totalitarianism from every petty politician or bureaucrat — and both real rebellion and creative monkeywrenching appear and grow. —– On the personal front, shortly after I ranted last week, a longtime Commentariat member and friend-I’ve-never-met wrote to remind me, in the nicest way, to follow my own advice. That is: Not to let the bastards grind me (you, us) down. Stupid, evil bastards…

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Anger and madness

I dreamed last night that I was in Portland with a dozen or so blog friends when The Big One hit. We had gone to the city searching for Covid-19 supplies, which was tough enough. But now we were trapped by Mother Nature — in a world where people had been ordered to fear and avoid each other. In a world where natural instincts to help had been crushed. For some reason, I had a large collection of books with me, which two of my friends quickly “borrowed” without permission. I knew they immagined my collection would be loaded with…

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A Tale of Two Towns

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Publicly, the worst. Privately, sometimes the best. It was the time of Covid-19 and of goodness and nastiness. —– In a small dry-country town, a health club owner whose business was ordered closed for being “non-essential” during the pandemic panic checked with the sheriff: Could she conduct exercise classes outdoors, with small groups, everyone staying six feet apart? Yes. Midway through her first class, deputies of that very same sheriff arrive. A busybody has spotted the “deadly” and “illegal” activity and they’ve been dispatched to shut her down.…

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Freedom in the time of panic
or
10 small ways to turn crisis lemons into freedom lemonade

I began writing this post after California ‘crats shut down the Bay Area and Governor Jay Inslee of Washington state demanded that all restaurants in his state close their doors except for take-out and delivery. I also began the original version of this post with a fulmination about the insanity of specific measures (“You oldsters stay in your homes and don’t go out even to buy food.” In other words, “We don’t care if you starve for want of helpers to run errands for you; just don’t clutter up our hospitals or disrupt our attempts to make ourselves look like…

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