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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Archive for the ‘Privacy and self ownership’ Category

Claire Wolfe

Sunday links

Sunday, November 15th, 2015
  • I like Ross Douthat. In this day of screaming absolutes he always has a nuanced take on things. But even he says that the current campus crisis is something U.S. universities deserve.
  • And if anybody had doubts about what a bunch of whiny brats those “oppressed” university students at Mizzou are, check out their reactions to the slaughter in Paris. Whaaaaaa-waaaaa, nobody’s paying attention to US! Will the little narcissists ever feel shame?
  • Meanwhile at Yale the social justice pecksniffs protest a free-speech panel.
  • Australia is going to try out a hip, cool, and groovy cloud-based virtual passport system. Think the problem of lost passports is bad? Wait till you’ve experienced the airport joy of “the Internet is down” or “we don’t find you in our database” or “we’ve just been hacked.”
  • Okay, I get that paid patriotism is despicable. But why dump on the sports teams and not on the paying Pentagon? (H/T jed)
  • Have a Google account? Here’s how to see what they’re sharing about you. And how to change some of it. A nice nod in the direction of privacy. Nowhere near enough, but something.
  • The TOR Project accuses a university of selling us out for big fed bux. (Keep in mind that this allegation is unproven at this point.)
  • Inside the world’s largest “apocalypse shelter.”
  • Adolescent uses mom’s gun to eliminate a burglar from the gene pool.
  • Speaking of adolescents and criminals, remember the Barefoot Bandit? Though in his case crime doesn’t pay, in fact 20th Century Fox is paying most of his restitution.
  • We may not have flying cars, but we’ve now got personal jet packs! (Via S. who says, “I want.”)
  • Finally, have a look at a group you might not have known even existed: jailers for Jesus.
Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
Claire Wolfe

Weekend links

Sunday, November 8th, 2015
Claire Wolfe

Friday links

Friday, November 6th, 2015
  • There’s one deadly sin that we do less as we age, says the WaPost. Actually, I can think of several. But the article is still a nice reminder that getting old has its great benefits.
  • MamaLiberty tests 9mm ammo.
  • OTOH, while 9mm is emerging as the clear favorite in TZP’s current poll, Mike Vanderboegh offers a rather compelling, if strictly empirical, argument on why .45 ACP is “better.” (Great link to ballistics tests, too.)
  • The Blackphone2: “not recommended at this time” for paranoid patriots.
  • So typical. So very, very, very typical. That crooked cop who staged his own “murder” had a long, long record of crude, thuggish, corrupt behaviors about which nobody did anything.
  • Faisal Mohammad and his mad manifesto and egregious grudges. Thank heaven for one gutsy construction worker who knew something about knife-fighting techniques and how to counter them. (Ever notice that these “civilians” who stop mass killings tend — even if they are unarmed — to be people who understand weaponry and know the ways in which a shooter or a stabber can be vulnerable?)
  • On the lighter side, here’s a pug getting excited about … um, broccoli. Nom nom …
Claire Wolfe

Musings on fate, the future, and the struggle between central controllers and freedom lovers, part II

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Part I is here

Take driverless cars, for instance. If we were in a less tech-perilous, tyranny-seeking time, I think most of us would be excited about them.

You and I may be skeptical about a specific new technology, but we tend not to be technophobes. We’re not ones who reject the new out of hand. We may not want to buy the first flying cars or be on the first ship to colonize Mars or the Moon, but we probably have friends who do want to and maybe even know a few who will. We jumped on computers years ahead of the average and were getting acquainted on BBSes before the Worldwide Web tempted slower adopters in.

So no, we don’t innately distrust tech.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Musings on fate, the future, and the struggle between central controllers and freedom lovers

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

I’m reading — rereading, actually — the excellent book Isaac’s Storm, about the Galveston hurricane of 1900.

One hundred and fifteen years later this remains the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history. By a long margin. The San Francisco earthquake? The Chicago fire? The Great Peshtigo fire?* The Johnstown flood? The eruption of Mt. St. Helens? Hurricane Katrina? Forget them. All small potatoes when compared with what befell the people of Galveston.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Weekend links

Saturday, October 31st, 2015
Claire Wolfe

Oh heck, enough of my whining. Have some links.

Thursday, October 29th, 2015
  • Amish man sues to buy firearms without photo ID.
  • Those secretive, usually warrantless stingray units? Turns out they can record the content of phone calls; not just act as a locator. (H/T MJR)
  • Liberalthink: We MUST have the $15/hour minimum wage even if it puts people out of work.
  • The news just gets more dire for Obamacare’s race to the bottom.
  • Kevin Wilmeth asks, “How cool is Marilyn Williams?”, who defended her home with a precision air rifle (aka “sniper rifle” to the media).
  • I’m not sure how the term “social justice warriors” (SJW) came into such popular use. But I don’t like it. It’s too easy for the SJWs themselves to see that as a good thing. I think we should use a term nobody could learn to love (and a more accurate term, besides): pecksniffians.
Claire Wolfe

Traitorous senators overwhelmingly pass CISA

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Just now. 74 to 21.

I posted about Orwell, Rand, and CISA last week.

The data in question would come from private industry, which mines everything from credit card statements to prescription drug purchase records to target advertising and tweak product lines. Indeed, much of it is detailed financial and health information the government has never had access to in any form. The bill’s proponents said the data would be “anonymized”.

Cisa would create a program at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through which corporations could share user data in bulk with several US government agencies. In exchange for participating, the companies would receive complete immunity from Freedom of Information Act requests and regulatory action relating to the data they share. DHS would then share the information throughout the government.

Well. All I can say is thank heaven those freedom-loving small-government Republicans are saving us from the excesses of those Eeeeevil big-government Democrats. Whatever would we do without them?

Claire Wolfe

Weekend links

Saturday, October 24th, 2015
Claire Wolfe

I try to avoid thinking about proposed legislation

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

I really do. But sometimes the combination of Orwell and Rand becomes too obtrusive to bear. To wit: the CISA blowup.

The gloriously bipartisan Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, sponsored by freedom-loving Republican Richard Burr (NC) and — guess who? — our old friend Dianne Feinstein (D-Control Freak) would “allow” tech companies to “voluntarily” share information about their customers with the federal “security” apparatus “so it can be analyzed for signs of lawbreaking – be it computer related or not.”

Companies that “volunteer” would be given legal immunity against angry customers. But as the linked article in The Register points out, legal action by betrayed customers would be unlikely because the information sharing would be secret and not even subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.

Feinstein said organizations won’t be forced to reveal citizens’ private lives to Uncle Sam: it won’t be mandatory for businesses to hand over people’s private records, she claimed.

“If you don’t like the bill, you don’t have to do it,” Feinstein said.

Oh good. That must mean us little folks get to opt out, right? Right?

Feinstein continues:

“So it’s hard for me to understand why we have companies like Apple and Google and Microsoft and others saying they can’t support the bill at this time. You have no reason, because you don’t have to do anything, but there are companies by the hundreds if not thousands that want to participate in this.”

Please name those eager thousands, Ms Feinstein. So we can publicize their good citizenship!

And those companies that don’t “volunteer”? Ms Feinstein’s collaborator Burr has words for them:

… Burr said on the floor that he couldn’t understand the opposition to CISA. Businesses against the new law will put their users at risk, he said, because by not sharing people’s personal information, they will not be given intelligence and heads up on attacks from the Feds.

“When the companies who are against this get hacked, they are going to be begging to cooperate with the federal government,” he opined.

So … “volunteer” and the fedgov will help protect your company (while screwing your users). Fail to “volunteer” and you won’t be warned of known security threats to your operation (thus screwing your users). And we’ll soon have you on your knees, begging.

And no, it’s not too much of a leap to assume that if you fail to “volunteer” to rat on your customers the fedgov’s “security” agencies themselves will become that threat to your company’s security.


This creepy mess, with all its Randian-Orwellian justifications, is expected to come up for a Senate vote soon. Yes, Mr. Burr, Ms. Feinstein. You just go ahead and hammer that new nail in the coffin of U.S. tech industries. Farewell to their hopes of operating overseas, especially in Europe. Farewell to their brightest U.S. customers.

It’s hard to believe that even these petty tyrants and the secretive unintelligent agencies that have no doubt put them up to this can be so obsessed with omnivorous information gathering that they’ve blinded themselves to the ruination they’d be wreaking.

One teeny part of me almost wants to see this bill pass. For their past collaboration with illegal NSA snoopery (known and unknown) the group of companies usually referred to as “the tech giants” deserves the blow that such a law would deliver. Never mind that they’ve so recently found privacy religion.

Then the better part of me quickly says no, don’t let this happen. Not to anybody.

But for cryin’ out loud, if you’re going to do it, at least be honest about what you’re up to.

Oh. But I forget. They’re politicians. And this is the 21st century where saying what you mean and meaning what you say is strictly for us rubes.

Claire Wolfe

Sunday-Monday links

Sunday, October 18th, 2015
  • “Mommy, am I going to die?” Cop shoots four-year-old after he showed up to “help” her injured mother. Clearly all in a day’s work for this callous dude. Missed the family dog, though.
  • Drone defense on a budget. “I want one,” says MJR, who sent the link.
  • White House aide shoots at her cop boyfriend. Much has been made of the fact that this babe is a “special” assistant to Obama, but apparently in WH parlance, “special” is as in “rides the short bus.” Barfetta Barvetta Singletary. Don’t ever ask that woman out on a date.
  • Per Shel in comments, it seems that Attitude is alive and well in Virginia.
  • Seems that happy hunter-gatherers never heard of this “you must get eight hours sleep or your brain will rot” rule.
  • Ugh. This person sounds like somebody out of the old Soviet Union. She’s apparently fit to teach American students, though.
  • Better person: Elderly vet saves 16 kids from knife attack.
  • Fedgov eliminates pork from prison menus. Claims it has nothing to do with religion. (Love the comment from the National Pork Producers Council.) UPDATE from MamaLiberty: As quickly as it was imposed, the ban was reversed. Seems that even the fed BoP doesn’t dare mess with a powerful senator from a pork-producing state.


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