Responses to the “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide” comments

In the US, we are accustomed to certain levels of privacy.  Many politicians at all levels of government want to reduce our expectations of privacy.  From installing cameras everywhere (including inside private homes) in a certain town in Texas to illegal wiretaps on US citizens to the previous uses of Carnivore to gather online communications we have faced constant intrusions into our privacy.  So many governmental apologists would respond that if you are doing nothing wrong, then you have nothing to hide.  The natural corollary to this would be that you have nothing to worry about from being spied on illegally by the government.

For those of you that are not satisfied with that claim, perhaps you’d like to try some of these responses to people who tell you that?

The idea that “if you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about” assumes that the government is full of good people that would not abuse their power, ever. Even if this were true now, we cannot be sure it’ll be true in the future. The US Republic was founded on the idea that humans are corruptible and we need to have checks and balances against corruption built into our government. Because corrupt people will oppress those who have done nothing wrong.

. . .

So whenever I hear the nothing to worry about line, I usually respond with something along the lines of “yeah…, isn’t that what Stalin used to say?” It usually shuts them up, but won’t change anyone’s mind.

. . .

It honestly doesn’t matter what you think or “feel” about who should be carted off, and how. We have a Constitution in this country that guarantees every American citizen the right to face his or her accusers in a court of law. This is the law. It is not up for debate:

“No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

I know plenty of people who will disagree with my belief that I’m still entitled to privacy, even though I’m doing nothing wrong.  I don’t want the government watching me just because someone wants to.  If the government wants to watch me, there are legal means to do so.  And until those legal means are pursued, no one has a right to watch my every move just out of curiosity or just in case.

[tags]US citizens’ right to privacy[/tags]’s massive Massive list

Here’s a substantial listing of completely free, free to try, and free to play with pay to upgrade extras games.  The list is presented as a Massively Multiplayer Online games list, but I would classify it more as a MMO focused with some just online not-Massive games list.  Regardless of what you call it, there are scads of games, most with a small thumbnail view of at least something in game.  I haven’t checked how many games are listed, but it may well be 200+.  If you ahve any thoughts of online gaming and don’t want to pay to play, you must check out the list and find something you like.  There are so many games, I find it hard to imagine not finding something that appeals to you.

[tags]MMO list, Massive Massive list[/tags]

Crocodile Hunter funeral held over the week-end

(via Blue’s News)

After turning down the government’s offer for a state funeral, Steve Irwin’s family held a low-key funeral for the Crocodile Hunter over the week-end in Queensland, Australia.

Family and friends of the man known as the Crocodile Hunter reportedly joined the low-key ceremony in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast.

It is believed that afterwards Mr Irwin was to be buried at Australia Zoo, the Queensland zoo dedicated to Australian fauna owned by Mr Irwin’s family.

Details of the funeral service are expected to be made public on Monday.

[tags]Crocodile Hunter funeral, Steve Irwin buried at the zoo[/tags]

9/11 news around the web/world

There’s more 5th-year anniversary of 9/11 than can be covered in one post. Here are a few links to some of the better known news-outlets covering the events of the day. I kinda start with Google News any more. There’s a couple of pages of coverage at the New York Times. Over in England, The Guardian posts about it, too. Another of my favorite news site is The Associated Press. And be sure to check out’s world news section for a few tasty bits, as well.

I want to end with this one thought, so cluefully covered at


[tags]9/11 coverage, News on the 5th anniversary[/tags]

Slow times post recovery

I’ve been too busy to work on the site for a couple++ days, and I’m not sure I’ll quite get back to frequent postings for a few more days still.  But to break to drought, here’s a quickie on poisonous fish.  Apparently, there are significantly more poisonous fish species than poisonous snake species.  Perhaps this will set up Mr. Jackson for his next movie sequel?  I’m thinking something with fish in a glassbottom boat.

The 1,200 presumably venomous fish tallied in a new study is six times previous estimates. Fish with a biting bite outnumber all other venomous vertebrates combined, in fact.

“The results of this research were quite surprising,” said researcher William Leo Smith of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

This might surprise you, too: More than 50,000 people are poisoned by fish bites every year, Smith and his colleague said. Symptoms range from blisters to death.

. . .

“Venomous fishes are in almost all habitats,” Smith told LiveScience. “They range from mountain streams to the depths of all oceans, but the vast majority of the most venomous fishes are in the tropics, he said.

There are also “plenty of venomous fishes” in the United States, but most are “not particularly harmful,” Smith said. Exceptions include a few scorpionfishes in California and the Western Atlantic.

“However, there is always the possibility of introduced species being quite venomous,” he said. “And, we have an example of this in the case of the lionfish/firefish, which became introduced in Florida, and now individuals can be collected at least as far north as Long Island in the fall.”

Should swimmers worry? “For the most part, no,” Smith said. “But people should always exercise caution when dealing with unfamiliar fishes or known venomous species.”

Sounds scary.  I don’t think any of those poisonous fish are on the same deadliness scale as the blue ring octopus, but these critters can still kill you dead.  Forever.

And that’s a very long time.

[tags]Poisonous fish, Fish on a mother-@#$@ing boat?[/tags]