by Jason Hanson
On Jun 30, 2018
This “best of” edition of the Weekly Drop is dedicated to spy gadgets — voice recorders, hidden cameras, covert self-defense tools and more.
Meta-Description: This “best of” edition of the Weekly Drop is dedicated to spy gadgets — voice recorders, hidden cameras, covert self-defense tools and more.
by Cade Courtley
On Jun 15, 2018
Now, you probably aren’t roaming the streets of Iraq or visiting villages in Afghanistan (I hope). But here are some techniques you can apply if you are walking or driving the streets of your city and think you have a tail.
On Jun 13, 2018
In Part II, you’ll discover 10 ways to protect your home from an unruly mob… nine ways to ensure your children or grandchildren stay safe even if you get separated… and one of the most underrated preps you can do right now that will make your life a whole helluva lot easier in an emergency.
by Jason Hanson
On Jun 7, 2018
If you are in the car traveling, you still want to be able to quickly access your gun in case you need it. If you have to leave it in the car, you should absolutely make sure it’s secured and out of sight. Read on for specific recommendations on concealed carry in your vehicle.
by Jason Hanson
On Jun 1, 2018
Before you embark on a road trip this summer, there are a few aspects of car safety you should take into account. In today’s “best of” edition of the Weekly Drop, you’ll discover several ways to stay safe on America’s roadways.
by Owen Sullivan
On Apr 25, 2018
These days, identity theft is so easy to pull off that just about any thug can get in the game. And the drug gangs are taking full advantage of that. Use these strategies to keep criminal hands off your identity.
An article in Security
by Owen Sullivan
On Apr 24, 2018
When Paul retired from the police force, he thought his days of hunting criminals were over. But just two years later, the 67-year-old was being personally targeted by an identity thief… and it made his life a living hell.
An article in Security
by Jason Hanson
On Mar 31, 2018
This week’s mailbag is all about security — from some of the best self-defense weapons to the simplest thing you can do to safeguard your online privacy. Plus, six expert tips to ensure your bike won’t get stolen — even when you travel with it.
by Jason Hanson
On Mar 24, 2018
This week’s mailbag features a few good gear recommendations. It also address issues such as whether it’s safe to save passwords on your browser, what gear you should take with you to the range and how to secure alternative forms of transportation.
Take a look at this…
How does seeing this clock make you feel?
[Enter feelings here.]
Approach people on the street and show it to them and they’d probably say things like angry… hopeless… despondent… irate… indignant…
Or they’ll just shrug their shoulders in indifference.
Well… it might sound crazy, but I feel…
To me, the “Clock of Doom” that looms above is merely a sign of the time.
Leviathan, you see, is losing its grip. The Fed-funded Frankenstein economy is floundering.
Many would like to tell you that this is cause for panic.
But not us. Not today. Because when government loses an inch, innovation and ingenuity takes a mile. And makes it better.
As you may know, we’ve been talking all week about how the individual has — and will continue to have — more and more control over his destiny.
It’s one trend we don’t mind riding, either.
What makes us so certain that this trend will continue? Well, for one, after a certain point, the government won’t be able to afford to stop us.
And we are like a tennis ball being held underwater. As soon you let that ball go… zoooop!… we surge right up through the stratosphere.
Remember, they must pay the man to point the gun and scream orders in loud, aggressive tones and to shoot.
Otherwise, the whole coercive card house blows away with the first puff of “Wait. Why am I doing this again?”
But we’ve been saying this for years.
“The U.S. government is going broke,” our Baltimore HQ pack leader Addison Wiggin wrote several years ago.
He penned these words in 2008, as the sky was falling and exploding behind him.
Just like in one of those Michael Bay flicks.
“At this rate,” Addison said as the wound of the crash still laid bare and unstitched, “it won’t be able to do what you believe it can do.”
He wasn’t surprised that the economic wallpaper had been ripped off to reveal the roaches. He’d been writing about the U.S.’ fiscal irresponsibility for decades.
And it all seemed to be coming to a head just as he and Kate Incontrera finished up their book and documentary, I.O.U.S.A. (the documentary was, to toot their horns, nominated for the 2008 Sundance Grand Jury Prize. Roger Ebert called it one of the top five docs of 2008. It’s great).
“One study,” Addison wrote, “conducted by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCAP), suggests that without meaningful increases in government revenues and reform of the entitlement programs:
- By 2020, the federal government will stop conducting 1 in 4 things it’s doing now.
- By 2030, the federal government will stop performing half of the services it provides.
- By 2050, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will consume nearly the entire federal budget.
- By 2082, Medicare spending alone will consume nearly the entire federal budget
“At the current rate,” says Addison, “it’s inevitable: Most Americans are going to have to rethink what they expect from their government.
“Do politicians need to be held accountable for the promises they make during election campaigns? Seems like a natural.
“But individuals need to take responsibility for their own financial future, too. Planning better, saving, and investing wisely in private life will make it easier for policy makers to make difficult decisions regarding the finances of the government.”
For many people, this is all very scary stuff…
Responsibility, that is.
Scary because many have been trained to believe that we need the government to provide for us. Sing us to sleep. Coddle us at night when we’re scared.
Many can’t fathom that anyone unfettered by oppression wouldn’t immediately start trembling violently in fits of uncontrollable hysteria.
Or just go completely insane.
How could anyone truly free accomplish anything productive and meaningful? It’s preposterous.
Wouldn’t they just immediately start collecting bottles for molotov cocktails? Or start shooting strangers up with all the freely available narcotics?
So indoctrinated are we, some probably think such absurd thoughts while waiting in line at the DMV… or while licking a stamp at the post office… or while signing a speeding ticket for going three miles over the limit.
Little does the nonbeliever know, he’d get by just fine without government overreach.
And, ready or not, he’s about to realize it firsthand…
Yesterday, we talked in fair detail about how the individual is getting his power back.
[Warning:Cliche alert! Cliche incoming! Beep! Beep! BEEP!]
Well… as you know, with great power comes great responsibility.
So not only will the world become increasingly more equitable… it’s also going to take a heavier stance on accountability, transparency, innovation and value.
In the burgeoning age of personalized production, you see, the new consumer is smarter, more demanding and more empowered.
He or she wants the best.
And to find it they consult expert reviews, they read consumer feedback reports, they use savvy online tools, and they Google the crap out of a product pre-purchase, studying every square inch.
In short, we expect more out of the businesses we choose to patronize.
And those who are willing and able to adapt quickly enough to our ever-evolving palettes wins our hard-earned cash.
Again, better for you. Bad for Cronies, Inc.
But you should keep in mind…
When I talk about these things, I’m not speaking of them as if they’re far off into the future.
They’re happening right here. Right now.
And with that, let’s dive right into our next 25 ways to Delete the Beast.
Let’s dive right into our next 25 ways to Delete the Beast…
Here are 25 more ways, courtesy of Jeffrey Tucker and Max Borders (FEE.org)…
ONE. Private schooling/homeschooling: If you don’t like the government schools, take your kids out. Millions of families are doing it. Some are even forming virtual coops and getting content from online sources.
TWO. Online education: Are you after a real education or a signaling mechanism? MOOCs and other online sources (like Khan Academy) are reducing the costs of education—away from the inflated guild of higher ed and publicly funded indoctrination camps.
THREE. Alternative nicotine delivery: From a revival of roll-your-own cigarettes to snus (smokeless tobacco) to e-cigarettes, people are responding to health concerns and ever-higher cigarette taxes — just not the way anti-tobacco zealots think they should. Cue increasingly shrill backlash.
FOUR. Farmers market cooperatives/urban homesteading: Farmers market coops have people trading goods in kind. People barter and contribute their labor outside the auspices of government skimmers. Plus, people in big cities are growing their own food—USDA free. (Here’s a tip!)
FIVE. Private neighborhood security: Check out new apps like Peacekeeper. It’s just one example of the ways local communities can reduce the cost of security and emergency services—and keep it local. (Here’s another in Detroit.)
SIX. Barter markets: If you are in business, you know the score. If you can trade services or goods directly, it’s best to forego the paper trail. You donate programming time, I’ll give you web space. You promote my product, I’ll promote yours. If money doesn’t change hands, you can avoid all kinds of problems with the government. Barter has become a natural response to the tax collector.
SEVEN. Email/social media swarming: With social media, it is possible to ignite popular outrage against the machinations of legislators. The outcry against SOPA/PIPA is a good example. The floods of protest against invading Syria had an effect on the pullback from that near disaster, too. Political activism will never be the same. It’s desktop democracy. Aaron Swartz lives forever.
EIGHT. Camera phones: One powerful weapon against the State is probably in your pocket right now. Consider Copblock and the Peaceful Streets Project. They keep cops accountable through tech-enabled “eternal vigilance.” The more people who stand up in the face of intimidation (or simply film from their windows with a zoom lens), the better.
NINE. Private venture capital markets: There’s a problem with Fed-set interest rates. No one really wins. Since the policy of zero-percent interest rates began, a gigantic non-bank lending and borrowing sector has picked up where the banks left off. And its rates are set by the market.
TEN. P2P file sharing: The survival and persistence of file sharing through “torrents” shows that civil disobedience in the face of intellectual monopolies is alive and well, despite a 20-year war on the practice. The more the monopolists fight, the more file sharers win.
ELEVEN. Speed: At a certain point, no one bothered driving 55 any more (not just Sammy Hagar). People sped en masse until Congress decided to let the states set speed limits — higher. It’s a paradigmatic case: People disobeyed until the law was changed.
TWELVE.Crowdfunding: If you need startup money, you can pass around the virtual begging bowl. But it can’t be just any old thing. You have to convince the crowd to let go of their resources. But that might be a much lower barrier to get over than snagging the attention of venture capitalists or prying a loan out of your bailed-out bank.
THIRTEEN.Social entrepreneurship: The welfare State tends to make people dependent supplicants. Foreign aid does, too. But entrepreneurs with causes are creating better ways of helping the poor, from microfinance to the return of mutual aid societies like the Christian healthcare coops cited above. The social entrepreneurship sector is enjoying a tech-enabled renaissance despite the State. (See also young social entrepreneurs.)
FOURTEEN. Medical tourism/opt-out: For a while now, people have been taking their medical problems to other countries that offer comparable care more cheaply and without all the red tape. In fact, people used to come from Canada to get care they couldn’t get in the land of “free” healthcare. Medical inflation is so bad in the United States now that a lot more people are leaving to get treatments abroad, or opting out of the third-party payer healthcare cartel. Meanwhile, some people are leaving to get treatments the FDA hasn’t approved.
FIFTEEN. Self-managing organizations: Firms like Valve and Morning Star show that you don’t need formal hierarchies — “bosses” — for an organization to run well. These firms might teach us that the world doesn’t need bosses, either.
SIXTEEN. Tax sheltering: Value creators are tired of having their rewards raided by the people with the guns and the jails. Apple, for example, uses a multinational tax-sheltering scheme so complicated that mere mortals can’t possibly follow it. The result: extra capital to make the iPhone ever cooler. Politicians whine but consumers cheer. (Just when you thought Swiss privacy laws were finished, there’s no doubt that clever people will find new ways to hide their capital from the State.)
SEVENTEEN.Supper clubs: Underground foodies are paying visits to chefs and great cooks outside the auspices of the public health nannies. Every home is a restaurant, every kitchen an income earner. Similar supper clubs sprouted up in Chicago when aldermen in that city banned foie gras (a ban that was eventually overturned thanks to popular outcry, civil disobedience and counter-special interests).
EIGHTEEN. Offshoring and inshoring: Sometimes corporate taxes, union controls, and regulatory control are all just too much. U.S. corporations take their production elsewhere (currently the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, when state taxes are taken into account), even as foreign corporations venue-shop for the best production facilities in the United States (away from high taxes and cartelized unions).
NINETEEN. Food trucks: Bricks-and-mortar restaurants love regulations because they can keep a boot on the necks of competitors. That’s why cities that tolerate food truck culture are giving these restaurants a run for their money. If you can stand to eat your tacos on a park bench, it might be worth hitting a food trailer—the ultimate in microentrepreneurship. They are often at the forefront of experimentation and variety.
TWENTY. Social networks and Skype: Millions of people from all over the world are interacting as if they were next-door neighbors. Subtly this blurs the lines created by nation-states and creates a far more cosmopolitan world—one that exposes the arbitrariness of jurisdictions that you may or may not happen to have been born in.
TWENTY-ONE. Driverless cars: The technology is here. It certainly changes the calculation for distracted or intoxicated drivers, and it fixes the problems with public roads the State won’t fix. Driverless cards will give us safe, automated travel and deny the State funds it gleans from hassling people for both major and minor offenses that result from bad infrastructure, human error, and poor judgment. It’ll just take one or two areas of the world to deploy them successfully to unleash the change.
TWENTY-TWO.Crowdsourcing private equity: Kickstarter and other online fundraisers were required by law to restrict their services to donations and not sell stock. But what about premiums for donations? How big can they be? The limits are being tested. In a few years, you will be able to buy startup equity with Bitcoin and the whole world will benefit. In any case, the loophole has been already been created.
TWENTY-THREE. Private conservation: You can be an environmentalist without agitating to have pristine lands given to the State for taxpayer management. Groups like the Nature Conservancy and Ducks Unlimited do great things when they don’t turn land over to the State. And private individuals are opting to conserve land rather than sell it.
TWENTY-FOUR. Immersive environments: We’re in the process of creating the Matrix around us. From Second Life to immersive games, we may soon see linkages between the virtual world and the crypto economy that result in interesting new forms of order.
TWENTY-FIVE.Twitter revolutions: Having troubles with a tinpot dictator or religious zealots? Organize, demonstrate and overthrow with Twitter—#overthrow. (But be careful you don’t end up installing a regime that’s worse than the one you helped overthrow.)
[These originally appeared on FEE.org, right here.]
Any of these catch your eye? Let us know: Chris@lfb.org.
Before we wrap up, here’s one important thing you can do today…
Let’s jump to some reader mail we received yesterday.
“To me,” Rachel H. writes, “the most interesting of your first 25 were:
“Airbnb, private power generation, concierge health care and prescriptions, p2p lending, expatriation and seasteading.”
“Hey, Chris!” Vickie T. writes. “I am interested in learning more about:
“Private Power Generation
“Raw Milk Movement
“You didn’t give us a limit on how many we could choose, but I figured that I should give you a break and stop at 5.
“This is very interesting stuff!”
“Chris, as per your request,” says Don M., “I am expressing interest in ‘Private power generation.’”
LFT: Thanks for writing in, Rachel, Vickie, and Don.
Very helpful. We’ll be sure to cover those topics in more detail in future episodes.
Tomorrow, we’ll show you 25 even better ways to languish the leech.
Until then, have a great day.
And make it count,