March 28, 2015

Freedom Outlaws Handbook 9-12


The phone rings.


"Good evening, I'm with the National Political Porkbarrel League, and I'd like to ask you a few questions about your views on current issues."

"Sure," you say.  The next thing you know, after a few innocuous-seeming questions about your name, age and occupation, you're blurting out your opinions on drug legalization, gun control, censorship, abortion, the United Nations, and the legitimate extent of federal police power.

Who are these people, anyway?  Why are they doing this?  Why are you doing this?  What's going to happen to this information?

You don't know and you have no way of finding out.  This could be anybody calling you.  For any purpose.  Be paranoid; its good for you.  Don't tell anybody anything, even if they give a convincing story about who they are and how they'll use the information.

Even if you happen to be talking to a legitimate pollster (a rare breed these days, when even old-ling organizations like Harris and Gallup, and even the once pure-as-driven-snow Zogby, are more bent on molding opinion than reporting it), why should you let your ideas, your tooth brushing habits, your car buying patterns or anything else be known to every marketing geek in the universe?  What do you gain by it, beyond the momentary satisfaction of having some minimum-wage telephone slave pretend to care?

There is a crack in everything.  That's how the light gets in.-- Leonard Cohen


Have you considered what might happen to all that highly personal data you've been entering at networking websites like Facebook?  Or on job-seeking sites?  Or the profiles you've created for yourself on any website you might be a member of?

In addition to all the marketing purposes those friendly web businesses might put it to (despite their soothing, but ever-changeable and non-enforceable privacy policies)... in addition to all the possible hacks or cracks your data might be subject to... understand that your data can be subpoenaed, or even gotten upon demand by a variety of federal or stat investigators with no court order at all.  And they don't even have to have a reason.  Think twice before you get carried away with personal profiles or self-revealing chatter.

Whats worse though, is that some of these networking sites, like plaxo ( encourage your friends and business associates to post information not about themselves, but about you.  If just one of your friends is an irresponsible, networking-mad idiot who accepts the invitation to upload his entire Outlook address book to Plaxo's servers... there ain't nothin' you can do about it.  Except be more aware of the quality and intelligence of the people you associate with-- which is always a desirable (if damn near impossible) goal for all Outlaws.

Mass democracy, mass morality and the mass media thrive independently of the individual, who joins them at a cost of at least a partial perversion of his instinct and insights.  He pays for his social ease with what used to be called his soul, his discriminations, his uniqueness, his psychic energy, his self.-- Al Alvarez, British writer and poet.


Forget you ever learned that you are a "good citizen" and the "police are your friend."  Fifty years ago, maybe.  But not in these days when every individual is a potential suspect.

At you'll find a simple, printable guide by Andrew M. Somers to help you though any encounter with a law enforcer.  Its major points are:

  • Always be calm and polite
  • Always protest a search
  • Be aware of your body language and eye movements
  • Insist on seeing a lawyer
  • Never admit to anything
  • Never invite the police into your home, office, or car
  • The police can and do lie

And above all:  "Remember that the justice system is never more lenient on you when you give up your rights.  Confessing or cooperating will only make things harder on you.  When you give up your rights, you also give up any hope of being treated fairly.  Always be police and courteous, but never cave in and waive your rights. EVER."

If you think "there's nothing to fear if you haven't done anything wrong,"  then read Somers' other short essay, "You're Guilty Until Proven More Guilty!"
It's also online at  And don't forget the excellent book You and the Police by Boston T. Party.  I can't tell you the number of times I've heard somebody banging their foreheads and groaning after a traffic-stop-gone-wrong because they didn't follow Boston's advice.

The government is mainly and expensive organization to regulate evildoers and tax those who behave; government does little for fairly respectable people except annoy them.-- E.W. Howe, 1926

If government has become the modern world's religion, then security has become our god.  We demand not only national security (whatever that may be), but every possible form of personal security, from protection against chickenpox to bailouts of crooked or inefficient businesses to programs that steal money from the young in order to protect us in our old age.

We son't leave horrible jobs, merely because they're our source of health insurance.  We won't risk getting rid of some bloated government bureau-- and replace it with nothing--  because we're terrified that freedom will be harmful.  We won't step outside the box in our thinking or our conversation because we're worried that some person (perhaps somebody we don't even like!) will disapprove of us.  Or worse, we don't speak our minds because we're afraid our opinions will get us investigated by the paranoid powers-that-be.  Above all, we tremble that our investments may fail, that our retirement fund will go bust, that our insurance will fail us, that we won't have money at some time in the future.
But (in the only time I can ever remember agreeing with John Maynard Keynes) "In the long run... we are all dead."  So what the heck makes all that security so important?

Sure, we'd all like to know that when we're 90, we'll have grocery money.  IF we make it to 90.  But the just-plain-fact is that the best security plans can crash and the person who relied on them may end up worse off than the person who always lived close to the edge--  but lived on his wits and his skills.
I admit that there are few notions that provoke more more disagreement among freedom lovers than the idea of letting go of security.  Perhaps even more than most people, freedom lovers embrace prosperity.  After all, in a truly free world we could pursue wealth and security with a passion, knowing we were earning our money honestly, not having it taxed away and used for foul purposes, and that our wealth would never be used as a threat or a club against us.

But in this world clinging to "security" sometimes makes us insecure.

Your "security" could get lost in an economic crash, stolen by an embezzler, wiped out in in a volcanic eruption, blown away in a car wreck, confiscated by the government, or lost to hyperinflation.  And if you've relied on it too strongly, you'll be far worse off than your country cousin who had far less "security" but had independence.

So sure, do some planning for the future.  But don't let security be your god.  It's a false god that will turn your loyalty away from freedom and may betray you in the end.

When you ain't got nothin', you got nothin' to lose.  You're invisible now...-- Bob Dylan


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