CATO Institute: Net Neutrality, Obama and Oatmeal (Berin Szoka)

Here is some food for thought:

What do you think?

Reason TV’s ‘Nanny of the Month’: February 2014


The most lucid examination of the gun control issue to date

C0nc0rdance is a scientist who often appears on The Magic Sandwich Show, which I sometimes watch.  And while I do not agree with all the views expressed on that show, I do like the level and manner at which the discussion occurs.

So, when C0nc0rdance put out a video on the topic of the 2nd Amendment and the whole gun control issue, I expected a well thought out, well supported position.

Having heard C0nc0rdance’s views on individual vs. collective rights, I also expected that his conclusion will not be the same as mine.

I was not disappointed – on either count.

I was, however, surprised how long into the video I agreed with each and every word he said.  His conclusion and mine hinge on one very important distinction in how we perceive ‘rights’….

It is my core belief that the only way for a society to function is to recognize the inalienable rights of each and every individual within that society.  The very concept of ‘collective rights’ is anathema to our civilization, where all rights derive from the individual.  It is therefore not possible for any group to have different rights than those the individuals within that group have….because if it did, then those individuals within these privileged groups would have greater rights than other individuals in society and we would no longer have equality before the law.

In other words, in order to ensure that each citizen is treated equally by the courts and the law, we are limited to only legally recognizing individual rights.  This makes any argument based on ‘group rights’ invalid.

Despite this insurmountable difference of opinion in individual vs. collective rights which makes C0nc0rdance arrive at a different conclusion than I, I think his argument is very good and well worth listening to.

Reality Check: VP Biden, “No law abiding citizens fears 2nd amendment infringement”


The Reference Frame: EU bureaucrats’ new strategy to close Czech nuclear power plant

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.

Still OK.

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.’

Read it and weep…

UN has plans to ‘regulate’ the internet…

…right out of existence.

This is more than UN’s Agenda 21 which seeks to gain control over parts of nation states through bypassing their legitimate governments (and which Alabama had just banned within its borders), it is an attempt to re-shape the internet to the liking of Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Iran!

From C/net:

‘ISOC’s Sally Wentworth, senior manager of public policy for the group, warned that the proposals to be considered are not “compatible” with the current open manner in which the Internet is managed.

Vint Cerf, Google’s chief Internet evangelist, co-creator of the TCP/IP protocol, and former chairman of ICANN, said the ITU meeting could lead to “top-down control dictated by governments” that could impact free expression, security, and other important issues..

“The open Internet has never been at a higher risk than it is now,” Cerf said.’

In my never-humble-opinion, it is time to dissolve that toxic tumour upon our society also known as the United Nations!

These Are the Bastards Who Passed CISPA

UN wants to ‘regulate’ the internet

As if SOPA, ACTA Bill C-30 were not enough, there is a new threat to the information superhighway – from the United Nations, none the less.  From The Wall Street Journal:

On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet. Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year’s end. As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said last June, his goal and that of his allies is to establish “international control over the Internet” through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based organization under U.N. auspices.

If successful, these new regulatory proposals would upend the Internet’s flourishing regime, which has been in place since 1988. That year, delegates from 114 countries gathered in Australia to agree to a treaty that set the stage for dramatic liberalization of international telecommunications. This insulated the Internet from economic and technical regulation and quickly became the greatest deregulatory success story of all time.



Does this not illustrate that it is:

  • time to leave the UN – iff we cannot de-legitimize and dismantle the organization as a whole
  • time to really push to establish an internet substitute which is diffused, so that there are no pipelines which could be controlled by any regulatory body (the current technology that could be used for this is still under development – and much too slow)

Yeah, I have called for both these things in the past, but perhaps the time is running out faster than we expected…

Slashdot: Do You Like Online Privacy? You May Be a Terrorist!

Here is another example of the Western governments’ war on its citizens.

Yes, war.

It sickens me that governments are now openly saying that if you shield your screen from the view of others, this makes you a terrorism suspect!

This creates precisely the type of environment where hacker-vigilaties will be not just tolerated, but positively embraced by a population that feels increasingly under attack by the very institutions created to ensure their individual rights.

Let’s not make any mistakes about it:  it is not Twitter and Google who are increasingly censoring us, the members of online communities.  Even though they facilitate access to the virtual world of the web, they are themselves physical corporations which exist in the real world, very much subject to the whims of real-world governments.

As such, they are subject to the arbitrary rules which various governments impose on corporations operating within their physical boundaries.

It is unreasonable for us to expect that these corporations will put the freedom on the internet above their ability to physically survive…

So, you may blame them for buckling – but don’t blame them for imposing the censorship itself:  the blame lies directly with our governments, our regulating bodies, and us, the citizens, who permit this encroachment!

The solution?

We must all fight to prevent all governments from usurping jurisdiction over the internet, the way they have been doing!


I don’t know.  Yes, I have been thinking about this for a long time, but there simply is no clear answer.

The easiest solution I suspect would be to continue the efforts to create alternatives to the ‘pipelines’ that ISPs use to deliver internet connections, but the more people try to solve this, the more actual attempts there are to make the web truly uncontrollable and impossible to be regulated by anyone or anything anywhere, the better chance there is of success.

So – keep your elective representatives responsible – and keep hacking!

Al Jazeera in English – an email campaign to lobby the CRTC

Tonight, my hubby received the following email:

From: Campaign for Democratic Media –
Date: Thu, May 28, 2009 at 5:00 PM
Subject: Canada needs Al Jazeera!
To:[name redacted]

Broadcast Diversity

We want Al Jazeera English!

Al Jazeera English is being considered for airing in Canada by the CRTC, the federal broadcast regulator. Tell the CRTC to give its approval to list AJE as an “eligible” service so that Canadian cable and satellite companies can carry it.

The CRTC has begun a 30-day consultation period when Canadians are being asked whether AJE should be allowed in Canada. Comments must be received by the CRTC no later than Monday, June 8.

Al Jazeera English is renowned for its high journalistic standards; for its fearless, unembedded reporting, including in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; for giving a global voice to the South; for speaking truth to power; and for its diversity of voices from around the world.p>

Tell the CRTC that you want to see Al Jazeera English in Canada.

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
CRTC Commissioners

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Canada needs Al Jazeera!

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

I urge you to approve Al Jazeera English’s application to broadcast in Canada.

Canadians live in one of the world’s most multicultural and diverse countries. It is important for Canadians to be able to get the diversity of perspectives AJE offers in its unique mix of international news, current affairs and documentaries. Al Jazeera English has 69 bureaus and already broadcasts in more than 100 countries. AJE has more than 1,200 highly experienced staff from nearly 50 nationalities including more than 45 ethnicities, making Al Jazeera English’s newsroom the most diverse in the world.

AJE offers balanced news coverage and has been widely credited for giving a global voice to the South. The Canadian audience is internationally minded and in this globalized age, people want news from all corners of the Earth.

Al Jazeera English will open a Canadian news bureau if it is permitted to broadcast in Canada. This will make AJE the only international broadcas ter located in Canada making Canadian stories available to the world.

Al Jazeera English is acclaimed for its diversity and quality in journalism. Canadians’ communication rights, including the right to receive and impart information regardless of frontiers (Article 19 of the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights), demand that the award-winning Al Jazeera English be approved for broadcasting in Canada. Thank you.

[name redacted]

Campaign for Democratic Media
Ethnic Channels Group

Take Action!
Click here to take action on this issue
Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.

What’s At Stake:

Al Jazeera English requires CRTC permission to be able to broadcast in Canada.

If it wins CRTC approval, AJE will open a Canadian news bureau, making it the only international broadcaster telling our stories to the world.

Al Jazeera English is acclaimed for its diversity and quality in journalism. Canadians have the right to receive and impart information regardless of frontiers (Article 19 of the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights).
Campaign Expiration Date:
June 9, 2009

If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for Campaign for Democratic Media.

Personally, I am torn…  I am not particularly keen on the whole ‘Al Jazeera English’ getting any ‘official blessing’ from anyone.

At the same time, I reject the very notion that the CRTC has ANY jurisdiction over the ‘airwaves’:  as such, lobbying them for – or against – anything would amount to a recognition of their jurisdiction, and thus something I find morally unacceptable.

Still, I thought this interesting enough to let everyone make their own minds up about!

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