NSA Recruiter Assaults Student for Asking Questions About Data Collection

The University of New Mexico hosted a Engineering & Science Career Fair on Sept. 17, 2014 for students to meet with potential employers.  The National Security Agency was among those in attendence, with a booth and a less than cheerful representative.  The NSA’s recruiter’s name was Neal Z. who did an absolutely horrible job in speaking with two curious students about the NSA and their policies.  From a different perspective Neal Z. did a phenomenal job in exposing the authoritarianism and hostility that those in power have against individuals who dare to ask questions.

The entire interaction was hostile from the very beginning with Neal Z. speaking to the students, Andy Beale and Sean Potter, in a mocking tone.  First the NSA rep claimed:

NSA is not permitted to track or collect data about US persons. …


EFF to Defend Student Bitcoin Developers in Court

New Jersey Prosecutors Issue Flawed Subpoena for Tidbit Source Code

Newark, NJ - Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury will appear before a New Jersey Superior Court judge on Monday, Sept. 22 to oppose a subpoena issued to MIT students over their prize-winning Bitcoin mining program, Tidbit.

Tidbit was designed to serve as an alternative to viewing online advertising by allowing website users to help mine Bitcoins for the site they’re visiting instead. It was developed in late 2013 by Jeremy Rubin and fellow classmates at MIT for the Node Knockout Hackathon, where the program ultimately won an award for innovation. The creators never made the program fully functional, serving only as a “proof of concept.”

In December 2013, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs issued a subpoena to Rubin, requesting he turn over Tidbit’s past and current source code, as well as other documents and agreements with any third parties. It also issued 27 formal written questions requesting additional documents and ordering Rubin to turn over information such as the names and identities of all Bitcoin wallet addresses associated with Tidbit, a list of all websites running Tidbit’s code, and the name of anybody whose computer mined for Bitcoins through the use of Tidbit. …


"With the United States on the verge of another war in the Middle East — or is it merely the continuation of a decades-long war? — we libertarians need to reacquaint ourselves with our intellectual heritage of peace, antimilitarism, and anti-imperialism. This rich heritage is too often overlooked and frequently not appreciated at all. That is tragic. Libertarianism, to say the least, is deeply skeptical of state power. Of course, then, it follows that libertarianism must be skeptical of the state’s power to make war — to kill and destroy in other lands. Along with its domestic police authority, this is the state’s most dangerous power. (In 1901 a libertarian, Frederic Passy, a friend of libertarian economist Gustave de Molinari, shared in the first Nobel Peace Prize.)"



The Scottish economy, with its diminishing oil and gas revenue, has been hit particularly hard by deindustrialization. But as post-industrial technology rapidly becomes the norm, an economic base is increasingly viable. Key services can be unbundled from geography; the referendum received much of its impetus from the effects of the most limited competition of Scotland being able to pick and choose between the UK and the EU. And full competition of currencies, for one, will go far beyond the choice between the pound and the euro. Decentralization to a point matching the level of the traditional Scottish clan system will no longer be a romanticized memory, but everyday reality.

The sun is setting on the imperial state.



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Remarks on Jan Narveson’s “Libertarianism: the Thick and the Thin”

… Quite interestingly, Narveson suggests, and seems to endorse, a sort of grounds thickness in his discussion of voluntary charity, suggesting that valuing others for their own sake would seem to ground both libertarianism and a commitment to (voluntary) charity. I think that’s almost certainly right; but I simply don’t see how that doesn’t commit Narveson, on this point, to a very thick sort of thick libertarianism — if the reasons for libertarianism are also reasons for charity then libertarians can’t reasonably be stingy, even if it would be perfectly consistent with the non-aggression principle to do so. Any number of things — racism, sexism, feminism, labor strikes, strike breaking, monotheism, atheism, homophobia, homosexuality, etc. have all, at one time or another, been alleged to conflict with the sort of generalized respect for persons that Narveson seems to draw on in order to connect libertarianism with voluntary charity; and if any of those cases can be made, then it seems like Narveson has allowed for a very thick set of thick commitments. Is this a problem for Narveson (and thus a reason to reconsider what he says about charity), or an opportunity (and thus a reason to reconsider what he says about thickness), or have I simply failed to grasp a distinction that he wants to draw?

Broadly speaking, I’d be interested to know what Narveson takes to be problematic in versions of libertarianism that urge a pretty robust set of commitments beyond pure and simple non-aggression. Is it a general problem in principle with some of the kinds of thickness discussed, or is it merely a specific problem in fact with the particular programs he’s seen suggested as companion pieces to libertarianism? (After all, he does seem to accept a pretty thick variety of thickness when he discusses the virtue of charity.) If libertarianism needs to slim down, which specific varieties of thickness does it need to avoid—and what’s the health benefit to doing so?


It Didn’t Begin With George Reisman | Austro-Athenian Empire

… Bear in mind that Hodsgkin, the author against whom these scaremongering jeremiads are directed, was a defender of private property on Lockean lines, and had simply pointed out that the capitalist class’s monopoly of the means of production was the product of state privilege rather than of Lockean homesteading and free exchange. So deeply enmired were Mill and Knight in a right-conflationist vision of the economy that they were apparently unable to see Hodgskin’s attack on state interference with private property as anything but an attack on private property itself.


5 Things I Learned as the Internet's Most Hated Person

Hi. My name is Zoe, and I make weird video games with some degree of success (and make them playable for free, if you’re so inclined). My life is generally pretty uncomplicated, I guess, aside from the fact that a month ago the Internet decided to make me the center of a supposed global conspiracy. I made the mistake of dating a guy who would later go on to write a several-act manifesto about my alleged sex life and post it to every forum he could create a handle for. Normally, this would blow over with little more than a “whoa, check out THAT guy,” but since I work in an industry that has very strong feelings about women, it quickly mutated from a jilted ex’s revenge-porn to one of the most intense scandals in recent gaming history.

Long story short, the Internet spent the last month spreading my personal information around, sending me threats, hacking anyone suspected of being friends with me, calling my dad and telling him I’m a whore, sending nude photos of me to colleagues, and basically giving me the “burn the witch” treatment. During all of this, I found that … 


Man Calls Cops To Report Vandals At His Home, They Show Up And Kill Him

47-year-old Daniel Martin Jr. of Lawton Oklahoma was shot and killed by police in March after he called 911 to report vandals outside of his house.

The police responsible for the murder have been cleared of any wrong-doing by an internal investigation, and the death has been ruled “justified”.

When Mr. Martin spoke with the 911 dispatcher he warned them that he had a gun, and that he would be carrying it just in case the vandals were to break into his home.

However, somewhere this message got lost in translation, because when Martin opened his front door for the police, someone shouted “gun,” and Lawton police officers Elijah Garcia and Anthony Edwards fired multiple rounds, News Oklahoma reported.

Recordings later obtained of the exchange between the dispatcher and the police show that the police were warned that the victim would have a gun. …


C4SS Feed 44 presents Roderick Long's “Thinking Our Anger” read and edited by Nick Ford.

"This disagreement between Lawrence and Seneca conceals an underlying agreement: both writers are assuming an opposition between reason and emotion. The idea of such a bifurcation is challenged by Aristotle. For Aristotle, emotions are part of reason; the rational part of the soul is further divided into the intellectual or commanding part, and the emotional or responsive part. Both parts are rational; and both parts are needed to give us a proper sensitivity to the moral nuances of the situations that confront us. Hence the wise person will be both intellectually rational and emotionally rational.

If Aristotle is right, then Seneca is wrong; emotional responses can facilitate our moral perceptions rather than either displacing or merely echoing them. But that does not mean that Lawrence is right; Aristotle is not advising us to place blind trust in our gut reactions. Emotions can be mistaken, just as intellect can; as Aristotle puts it, emotions are often like overeager servants, rushing off to carry out our orders without first making sure they’ve grasped them properly.

Feed 44:

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