Utter Randomness

Okay, I’ll stop doing separate posts of randomness. For a few minutes, maybe. I’ll do one post of bits of randomness.

What does “fisk” mean, pretty please? The contexts in which I’ve seen it used make me think it involves ripping something apart in a blog in a sarcastic way, but I’m not sure.

Weekly affirmation by way of keiracaitlyn:
SCORPIO – JOY – “I focus on the aspects of my life that bring me joy. I spend time with loved ones and creative projects that feed my spirit and uplift my heart.”
Should I take that as a sign that I should find the time and money to go get the fabric and fibers for the stitching project I’ve put off since last November?

Good article about fundamentalism: The Fundamental Problem

I found another homeschooler whose blog I enjoy, Mrs. Du Toit. Someone posted a marvelous bit she’d written about liberty to the TAGMAX list.

Parents were asking a very simple question which was loaded: I have a child. I want to educate my child in a manner and method of my choosing. I want to take responsibility for the well-being, development, nurturing, and education of my own child. Since this must be illegal and strange, how do I get approval from my government to allow me to do this?

Thud. I finally got it.

When did this happen? When did Americans get the idea that they had to seek the permission of the government for anything? Did the phrase, “at the consent of the governed” get tossed aside at some point? Did they really not understand what that meant? There was no mention of the right to educate your own children, according to your own rules, without government intervention or meddling in the Constitution of the U.S. Were they kidding? Did they not understand WE THE PEOPLE?

No, they didn’t understand:

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The preamble to the Constitution is such a small paragraph. Why was it so difficult to understand?

It was right there. It’s written in every dictionary and every encyclopedia. There are literally thousands of books which explain it. You can write your Congressman or Senator and he’ll send you a copy of it for free. There are thousands of website sources.

The ten words in that preamble, the most precious of all secular documents, are seldom (if ever) spoken of, never debated, and seldom recited:

“Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

There it is: Secure the blessings of liberty to yourself and your children (and your children’s children). That’s where it is written. Liberty means freedom. It means free from restriction, meddle, unreasonable search or seizure and so much more. The Bill of Rights was an addendum and a further expansion of those ten little words. That’s why the Bill of Rights was an after thought. We don’t need Constitutional amendments to secure our liberty, and articulate specific rights. We HAVE all our liberties articulated, in those ten little words.

The government doesn’t tell THE PEOPLE what we can do, WE THE PEOPLE tell the government what it may do.

How much more basic to a parent’s liberty could be the raising and educating of your children, as you deem appropriate?

If people were confused about this, what else were they misunderstanding about our country, our system, and everything that makes us the freest and greatest Republic in all of history?

If the people were writing me about so basic an issue, what other things might they not understand? Was I among them in my misunderstandings? What conventions and myths had I accepted, without question?

I’ve had misgivings about eBay ever since I realized that if any user asks for your personal information (whatever address and other information you gave them to set up your account), they’d give it to them just for the asking. You didn’t have to be engaged in any transaction with the other user, and they seemed to think that was just fine because they also sent you the other person’s information. Through WHOA, I helped several people who were harassed offline due to that practice. The company claimed to have tightened up its privacy policies and stopped that practice a couple of years back. “Tightened” isn’t what I’d call it, though:

eBay to Feds: come and get what you want
By Andrew Orlowski
Posted: 19/09/2003 at 19:24 GMT

Israeli daily Haaretz has unearthed highly embarrassing, and disturbing comments by an eBay executive. To an audience of law enforcement officials, eBay’s Joseph Sullivan boasts that his company’s privacy policy is meaningless.

“We don’t make you show a subpoena, except in exceptional cases,” Sullivan told a closed-door session at the CyberCrime 2003 conference last week.

“When someone uses our site and clicks on the `I Agree’ button, it is as if he agrees to let us submit all of his data to the legal authorities. Which means that if you are a law-enforcement officer, all you have to do is send us a fax with a request for information, and ask about the person behind the seller’s identity number, and we will provide you with his name, address, sales history and other details—all without having to produce a court order. We want law enforcement people to spend time on our site.”

Law enforcement snoopers will have plenty of material to work with: Sullivan also boasts that eBay has logged every item of user information since 1995. eBay helps with over 200 a month, Haaretz reports.

It’s the second privacy scandal this week. Host of privacy site Don’t Spy On.US, Bill Scannell discovered that budget airline Jet Blue handed over 5 million passenger records to the Transport Security Administration and a contractor, which augmented them with credit records and passengers’ social security information. You can still read the details here (PDF, 2MB – Thanks to ls). ®


Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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