Happy Martin Luther King day!
Happy Martin Luther King day!
Warrantless DNA collection is now a reality in the USA, as per the US Supreme Court.
In a State that, with the coming of Obamacare, how long do you think it will take before the police and medical files are linked?
And in an increasingly broke state, how long do you think it will take before medical treatment is rationed – and denied to people with genetic markers for specific diseases, even if they are disease-free, simply because it would be a ‘risky’ investment for The State to make?
Free courses online are a great equalizer: sure, you won’t earn a degree by taking free classes over the internet, but you can gain an education without the crippling cost associated with earning a degree. And, after all, it is the education and knowledge you have that you can apply in your daily life that will improve your situation, regardless of a piece of paper.
Yet, if you are in Minnesota, this avenue to self-improvement may be closed to you.
Yet another way government bureaucracies are limiting your life choioces!
‘The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the state has decided to crack down on free education, notifying California-based startup Coursera that it is not allowed to offer its online courses to the state’s residents. Coursera, founded by Stanford computer science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, partners with top-tier universities around the world to offer certain classes online for free to anyone who wants to take them. You know, unless they happen to be from Minnesota.
The law’s intent is to protect Minnesota students from wasting their money on degrees from substandard institutions, Roedler says.
The thing is, no one is wasting their money on Coursera courses, because they’re free. (Yes, says Roedler, but they could still be wasting their time.)’
UPDATE, Oct. 19, 7:07 p.m.: Common sense has indeed prevailed! Minnesota has decided to stop enforcing an outdated law that had led to Coursera telling the state’s residents they weren’t allowed to take its free online classes. For more, see my follow-up post here.
This really should not surprise me, but the EU bureaucracy is rising to new ‘Randian’ heights!
Here is the short version of the story: the Czech republic is good at producing electicity. In addition to hydro dams and other sources, it has invested heavily into nuclear power plants – over many decades, so that 1/3 to 1/2 of their electricity comes from nuclear power plants. The Czech energy policy has been so successful that now, green-invested Germany buys much of its electricity from the Czechs.
While some of the Czech nuclear power plants are brand-spanking new, some are older and pre-date Czech’s entry into the EU. These older plants use uranium fuel enriched in Russia.
So far, so good.
Then, Czrch became a member of EU.
Except that now, the EU bureaucrats came and told the Czechs they will have to shut down the power plant(s) that use Russian enriched uranium, because there is a pre-existing EU regulation that only EU enriched uranium may be used in EU nuclear power plants…
From TheReferenceFrame (note: Temelin and Duchovany are Czech nuclear power plants):
‘Temelín – with its combined Russian-American design – was opened after the fall of communism, in 2002 (although the construction began in 1981), and it was a frequent target of attacks by the Austrian Luddite activists. However, Dukovany (constructed started 1974, opened in 1985-1987) which has apparently invited almost no opposition just came under a vicious assault by the EU bureaucrats.
We are learning that the Europeans are not allowed to buy uranium enriched outside of the EU due to some strange paragraph agreed upon at the 1994 EU Corfu Summit (island in Greece). Holy cow. How many shocking ghosts of this magnitude does the EU have? We weren’t members of the EU at that time and the citizens who were deciding about our EU membership in a referendum were not told that “Yes” could mean that some stunning assholes could get a weapon to close our nuclear power plants because of some silly sentence okayed by some drunk and corrupt jerks at an island belonging to a country that shouldn’t have been in the EU at all. If this information were the case, I would consider the referendum to be fraudulent.’
This is not the first study – but a follow up one that confirms earlier findings:
‘A recently published Harvard University meta-analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has concluded that children who live in areas with highly fluoridated water have “significantly lower” IQ scores than those who live in low fluoride areas.’
It’s not the only problem with fluoride – it has also been demonstrated to cause childhood bone cancer. (That is why, ever so quietly, fluoride was removed from children’s toothpaste…)
And, perhaps most ironic finding of them all is that too much flouride actually increases – yes, increases – the probability of getting cavities!
Yes – you read correctly: a little bit of fluoride reduces the incidence of cavities – but more than a little bit, and the cavities are more frequent than they would have been with no fluoride at all! Plus, you get all the side-effects…
Of course, fluoride is also used as prescription medication to reduce the function of the thyroid – making people more tired, sluggish, fat and, yes, apathetic…
Now, we can add ‘making us dumber’ to the list of side effects this government-enforced medication-in-the-water scheme is causing….it sounds like ‘the government is putting poison in my coffee’ line is not ‘Paranoia’ after all!!!
I have said this often – and in many ways.
I have lamented the disconnect that exists between the people who fight for civil liberties in general and freedom of speech in particular and those who are battling the copyright trolls and those hardly audible voices that are trying to raise alarm about the abuse of patent laws.
Part of the problem – in my never-humble-opinion is that each of these groups comes from a completely different sphere of interest/infuence and, for all practical purposes, from different cultures.
They do not dress alike.
They do not follow the same trends in popular culture.
They do not agree on what ‘societal norms’ are today.
They do not read the same news sources.
And – perhaps most importantly – they do not use language the same way: not only do they not use the same words to express themselves, when they do use ‘common’ words, they do not use them in the same sense.
Example: when Canadian Free Speech acvocate Ezra Levant was being sued for defamation by an HRC troll by the name of Vigna, one of the ‘defamatory’ statements was that Mr. Levant accused Mr. Vigna of ‘hacking’. The judge then started a bit of a lengthy discussion about what does the term ‘hacking’ really mean: the consensus – undisputed by Mr. Levant’s sounsel – was that ‘hacking’ implies an illegal act!
Sitting in the audience, I came close to screaming out: it does no such thing!!!
‘Hacking’ simply means ‘an innovative use of existing code/coding’!
I can easily say that I ‘hacked together’ a new app from bits of code I had from before: no illegal activiy implied! Sure, many people can use hacking for illegal purposes, but ‘cracking a problem’ is not the same as ‘cracking a safe’ – so the word ‘cracking’ does not, in itself, have illegal connotations.
Same with ‘hacking’.
BTW: Mr. Levant was found to have defamed Mr. Vigna for saying he had ‘hacked’ something…
No wonder that the first two groups (civil libertarians/free speachers and anti-copyright-people) as ureasonable and weird… (The last group is perhaps less distasteful to each of the first two, but, being mostly scientists, they are just not that great at communicating just how dire the situation really is….they are trained to overcome problems – not bitch about them: so, that is what they do. Which does not mean the problem is not there and is not desctroying our way of life!)
So, why is the message not resonating?
‘At this point in the discussion, the copyright industry will complain that they only take action for the illegal bitpatterns found, and that there is no infraction on the right to legal communications. And in doing so, they put themselves in the exact same spot as the old East German Stasi, which also steamed open all letters sent in the mail – but only took action on those with illegal content, just like the copyright industry describes as their preferred scenario. Stasi, too, sorted legal from illegal, and left the legal alone.’
And that is exactly what the copyright industry is demanding: decrypt and check all the communication, permit the legal bits through and hand the rest over to law-enforcement agencies!
Please, consider the following court ruling in the UK: All UK ISPs are now compelled to block access to Pirate Bay.
onsider what is necessary to accomplish this: each and every bit of communication has to be decrypted, analyzed and then either permitted to pass through or not.
That means that a private company not only has the right – it is compelled to – read each and every single email everyone sends.
What do they do with the information they receive in this manner? The ruling does not bother itself with such mundane details….
Sorry – please, insert the worst invectives of your choice here….
Because in a very real sense, this does indeed mean the end of private speech on the internet and the end of anonymous speech on the internet.
And let’s not forget our not-so-distant history: anonymous speach is the cornerstone of liberty!
Without anonymous speach, there would be no Federalist Papers.
Without anonymous speach, there would be no way to overthrow tyrants.
No wonder those who want to hold power will use any pretext that presents itself in order to eliminate private communication and anonymous speech!!!