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03/02/2004 Archived Entry: "Blogging on the installment plan"

Whew...I am so far behind in blogging that it will take a while to plough through the backlog of items I've tagged. Rather than keep you waiting for a grin...here's your cartoon fix! (I'll be posting material in chunks during the day.) Nick Anderson's "Oh Snookums"; Clay Bennett's "For Best Actor.."; Ben Sargent's "Additional Amendments"; Steve Sack's "Swishy Founders"; and, Chuck Asay's "Dancing?"

I promised to update readers on Samuel Edward Konkin III's death. Promise kept.

News and commentary on privacy....

---Wired reports "RSA Security has developed a countermeasure to block scanning of radio-frequency ID tags..." Yahoo!! [Product Placement] And note: a non-governmental solution.
---more good news on the RFID front?this time from Germany via CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering), "Hammered by the press and facing a Saturday protest, METRO executives announced Thursday that they would stop putting Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags in their shopper `loyalty cards'..." Ibid note above.
---and, now, the governmental approach. Wired reports, "Lawmakers in several states this week are preparing rules to prevent Wal-Mart and other companies from using radio-frequency identification tags to spy on their customers."
---the IndyStar advises that "Businesses and people whose [Indiana] state taxes are past due might see their names, addresses and debts published on the state's Internet site..."
---the St. Petersburg Times warns that Pinellas District schools in Florida are pondering a $2-million system that would require students to use their thumbprint to get on the bus.
---The UK Independent reports, "America `bugs' the world. Nothing politically or militarily significant, whether mentioned in a telephone call, in a conversation in the office of the secretary general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, or in a company fax or e-mail, escapes its attention." A frightening article. Perhaps we can fall back on government's notorious incompetence. But that has dangers as well, as the next story may indicate.
---The Libertarian Enterprise offers the story of fellow-libertarian Frank Ney, who writes, "In checking my options this weekend for a convention next month, I've discovered some fed has put me on the CAAPS bad-boy list." He is prohibited from flying in the United States, which severely limits his ability to work, visit family, and attend gatherings. One likely cause: mistaken identity due to a misspelled name.
---as long as we are talking about airlines, Dale McFeatters asks an interesting question in a Capitol Hill Blue article. "TSA can up the fine if its agents don't like the 'attitude of the alleged violator.' This doesn't include threats....Frosty. Condescending. Negative. Unctuous. High falutin'. How did we get into the fix in this country where a government agency is trying to regulate the attitude of the public?"

To end on a lighter note, I want to thank Dave G. for bring to my atention the fact that sniggle.net has posted one of articles, one of my favorites "The Bathtub, Mencken, and War."

Best to all,

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