“Smart” gadgets versus your privacy and security

I’ve had a few things to say about the so-called “Internet of Things“, and how it threatens our personal privacy and security.  Any moderately competent hacker can use such devices as a way to spy on us.  However, it now appears that the authorities are doing the same thing, by forcing the providers of such devices to hand over what they record.  Worse still, the companies in the field are not very helpful in letting their customers know about such issues. A decade ago, it was almost inconceivable that nearly every household item could be hooked up to the internet. These

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Kids on the road: a scary situation

A UPS driver recently had a scary experience with a small child hiding in leaves piled up on the edge of a road. Driver Jordan Weaver was in Elkhart, a town about 150 miles north of Indianapolis, on Nov. 5 when he spotted the barely visible boy hiding in a leaf pile inches from the road … He first walked across the street to give a parcel to a woman who turned out to be the boy’s mother.“I couldn’t believe it at first — my heart completely stopped,” Weaver said when he saw the boy on the ground. “Luckily, I parked across

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A “refugee caravan” with almost no refugees at all

About that “refugee caravan” currently making its way through Mexico to the US border:  it looks like it contains almost no “refugees” at all, but rather plenty of economic migrants, looking for a free ride at the USA’s expense.  Daily Wire sent a reporter to infiltrate the convoy and talk to its members.  It’s an eye-opening report, highlighting not only their real motivation, but also the very well-funded, well-organized network that’s trying to bring them into the USA, in defiance of our laws.  It’s nothing less than prearranged, politicized criminal conduct. So, when pro-illegal-alien commenters rail against President Trump for

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Slings and slingshots can be a lot more dangerous than I thought

I used to play with slingshots as a kid.  In those days, we made our own out of Y-shaped branches we picked up among the trees on Table Mountain, and used strips of old bicycle inner tube (or, on one memorable occasion, my mother’s entire stock of elastic for clothing – she was not amused!) to make the sling.  They could launch acorns, or small pebbles, or nuts from my father’s old-nuts-and-bolts jar, out to 20 or 30 yards.  I never hunted with them, but plenty of other youngsters did (including a younger Lawdog, with hilarious results). I hadn’t realized that slingshots have

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The party of the rich is . . . ?

I note that the recent mid-term elections have produced one interesting result that hasn’t received much comment. California, New Jersey, New York and Virginia dominated the top 10 wealthiest congressional districts. Out of the wealthiest 50 districts, 13 are located in California; eight are in New York; five in New Jersey; and four in Virginia. Massachusetts, which didn’t make the top 10, still sports four of the nation’s richest congressional districts.Here are the 10 richest congressional districts in the U.S. by median household income:. . .Among the top 10 richest congressional districts, Democrats now represent all 10. Out of the 50 richest

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“Seizing property before it can escape”

Back in May, we looked at a proposal to use property taxes to pay off Illinois’ and Chicago’s pension deficit.  In particular, its advocates noted: The tax would be capitalized into real estate values which would prevent people leaving the state to avoid paying for the liability. It looks like Chicago and its satellite communities may be about to implement that progressive wet-dream tax. They figured out a way to tax wealthy folks trying to flee Illinois: A progressive real estate transfer tax, and the idea seems to be getting popular.. . .Chicago today has a real estate transfer tax of $5.25 per

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Sunday morning music, for the centenary of Armistice Day

One hundred years ago today, “on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918, fighting ended in the First World War with the implementation of an armistice.  Since then, 11th November has been celebrated all over the world, particularly in Britain and her former colonies, as Armistice Day.  The full peace treaty took many months more to negotiate, but at least the killing was over. It was one of the very worst, most destructive, and most pointless wars in the history of the world.  Untold millions died, or were maimed, or were hurt, yet their sacrifice

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