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02/06/2004 Archived Entry: "Practical privacy"

Cartoon Fix for today: Steve Sacks' "CIA Intelligence"; Pat Oliphant's "Oh Horrors!"; Tom Toles' "Cannon Fodder"; and, David Horsey's "I'd Tell You If I Could".

NEWS FLASH! Dean Loses Primaries, Bares Breast on National TV, by Jeremy Blachman. (VERMONT) "'Wardrobe malfunction' was the term Howard Dean's advisors used to explain why he bared his breast during his concession speech following tonight's primary returns. There were signs that this was not an accident. It happened during the portion of Dean's stump speech known among his supporters as 'Rock Your Vote,' in which he promises his supporters to 'have you naked by the end of this cadence of standard political rhetoric.' Dean's press director had told an MSNBC correspondent to expect 'some shocking moments.' And some Dean supporters were, no doubt, disappointed to see that it was only his breast that was exposed, and that his nipple was covered by a hanging chad. It was a disappointing night for the former Vermont governor, who had once hoped to clinch the nomination with the round of contests tonight. Instead, it became just another in a series of campaign missteps. Dean was apologetic: 'sometimes our emotions just get the breast -- er, best -- of us'."

And, now, onto to practical privacy...Remember: "The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom." Justice William O. Douglas.

The Christian Science Monitor offers a useful article on how to maintain Internet identity privacy -- e.g. how to purchase anonymously -- including a link to "EFF's Top 12 Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy." The Unlimited Freedom of Speech site is a more general doorway into information on e.g. ECHELON, including links to General Application Software Solutions, Crypto Information and Solutions, Steganography, and CCTV Cameras. And while you are reading up on technological solutions, ask yourself how self-sufficient your are. What is the relationship of self-sufficiency to privacy? Every time you go to someone with your hand open -- not in barter, but to ask a favor -- you give them the "right" to ask questions of you, to make demands. You should grant this "right" with great discretion, giving it only to friends and those you trust. It may not be possible or desirable for you to be 100% self reliant...even Brad and I, with our forest for heat and fresh flowing water, choose not to be entirely self-sufficient because of the cost. Not in terms of $ but in terms of opportunities and quality of life. Thus, although we are dabbling with solar energy, I doubt that we will ever disconnect the electricity. Nor will I ever willingly forego the DVDs, the satellite dish, the CDs and other marvels of culture that technology delivers so effortlessly into my life. Having said this...Brad and I will always endeavor to have the necessities of life stockpiled. With freedom comes responsibility, and that sometimes means preparedness.

Mary Lou Seymour's Liberty Action of the Week is entitled "Snow, ice and self reliance." Although she lives in the South, Mary Lou was hit by recent ice storm and it reminded her that even a one-day ice storm can interrupt electric power for a week. Her emphasis is on emergency preparedness which, admittedly, is different in nature than a more general emphasis on self-sufficiency -- (the latter includes, for example, stocking up on several months worth of food.) Mary Lou offers a list of supplies you should have on hand; tips on how to protect your home during blackouts; tips on safely heating your home during emergencies or staying in an unheated home; and, alternative cooking. For emergency preparedness, I also strongly recommend the book "Surviving Terrorism" by Jarret Wollstein. You don't have to believe in the likelihood of domestic terrorism. I'm a skeptic on that point but I adhere to the advice offered in several chapters, and have done so for years.

This just in from our privacy-loving unofficial-co-blogger Gordon P: "The techno-morons in Washington -- In a surprise amendment to a 1946 Trademark Law, Senator Lamar Smith of Texas will require anyone who owns their own domain-name, to post their name, snail-mail address, e-mail address, and phone-number in the internet WHOIS database, or face a seven-year jail sentence and a $150,000 fine. Allegedly, this is to combat peer-to-peer downloaders. The fact that it will also expose the sensitive personal information of millions of legitimate non-"peering" individuals, families, and small business owners to the Entire World is utterly lost on this ham-headed idiot. Can you say 'Cure is Worse Than The Disease' ??? <_*Grrr*_>"

Best to all,

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