Welcome to another installment of great Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) articles of the week.
Typically, I like to lead with a few personal things in this space. This website isn’t just money, but it covers a variety of interests of mine such as health, technology, sports, and increasingly politics. (Sorry about the politics thing. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older, but I remember the days of 1997 or 2003 when they didn’t seem to matter. Objectively, I’m fairly sure the five biggest news stories of each and every day weren’t political. However you feel about politics, they matter when it comes to personal finance, so it’s not a stretch to include topics that are deemed “political” like healthcare, fossil fuels, the environment, and equality.)
The last week has been a whirlwind. We’ve got tenant turnover at a condo which means a lot of work. My awesome wife has done 98% of it as she’s been traveling to the area for other reasons. I’ve been covering the kids and home. I typically have had only an hour a day to look at the blog, which isn’t enough to keep up with email, much less write a useful article.
I did manage to read a few articles this week that are worth sharing. While I typically cover FIRE articles, I have a very important article to share from The Consumerist:
- Consumerist: Should a Whistleblower/Consumer Advocate Be Allowed to Remain Anonymous After Losing a Court Case?
I consider this blogger, who I know simply as Amthrax, to be a friend. To see The Consumerist cover the story and the EFF protect him is important. I would estimate he’s written around 500,000 words about Amway, MonaVie, TEAM and LIFE. Each and every one is well worth reading. In my opinion, he’s done it for the same reason I’ve written about pyramid scams, to help people make an informed decision.
The court case he lost wasn’t about writing anything false. As I understand it, he simply found a damning piece of evidence of fraud and archived it on his site for the purpose of news and commentary. Unfortunately, Big Pyramid claimed copyright infringement and won.
The court ruled that Amthrax should still be able to remain anonymous. In my opinion, the lawsuit was never about copyright infringement (it’s hard to say Big Pyramid was damaged by it), but about chilling the speech of a strong critic. It seems that Big Pyramid proved me correct as they are now appealing to higher courts to unmask Amthrax. I haven’t read the details of their reason to unmask him, but if the technicality is corrected, the only reason I can think of is to terrorize him for his free speech.
I reached out to Amthrax and asked if there was anything I could do. He simply asked that I share the story. So if you are reading this, please take to any and all social media you have spread his story. Tell the world that it isn’t okay for Big Pyramid to terrorize critics.
- Retirement Basics: Your Permanent Vacation
I got an email from the blogger about sharing this and it is extremely well done.
I can only quibble with the lack of a proper Aerosmith reference which is mandatory with any mention of Permanent Vacation. He’s one step away from walking on danger street.
- How To Predict the Stock Market
That’s not the title of the article, but it feels like it should be. I can’t go too deep into this, because it’s the subject of an article in progress. Consider it a preview.