Archive for category Liberty

On Animal Testing

devotionAnimals – with great certainty, mammals like cats, dogs, monkeys, pigs and so on – are conscious, feeling beings. Only the least intelligent human, or one completely unfamiliar with the company of animals, can argue otherwise with a straight face. Animals use language, tools and create domiciles; they express emotion, they will sacrifice themselves for their offspring, and they can learn.

They, in many ways similar to human babies, are unable, for lack of sophistication, to consent to risk taking. They don’t have the potential to turn into the kind of advanced being a human baby does; nonetheless, they do think, they do feel, they do suffer. As any human with any reasonable degree of insight can tell you, imposed suffering without any degree of understanding why leads directly to even more suffering and deeper fear. Therefore, it is wholly unethical to subject them to risk (or certainty) of suffering via coercion; further, it is selfish and cowardly to do so for the benefit of yourself or those you value.

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Bicycle Helmets – feh

You can pad yourself until the world can’t hurt you no matter what happens, but the compromise is you lose some sense of the world with every layer you put between you and it. I’d rather feel the wind in my hair.

With regard to insurance companies, they should simply adjust rates and coverage until the bottom line reflects the actuarial reality.

With regard to law, the government should never, in their private lives, be telling the citizens how to dress, what precautions they must take when pursuing any particular activity, or trying to justify the forgoing by implementing programs of any kind. If the government is aware that certain types of behavior present specific risks, then they have exactly one acceptable tool available: education. Which I do encourage them to use.

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Let's talk Commerce Clause

One of the higher profile judicial injuries done to the constitution is the Supreme Court’s commerce clause scam. The commerce clause of the US constitution simply says that congress is authorized the power to regulate interstate commerce. Interstate means between the states. It’s always meant that.

But the Supreme Court has trashed the actual meaning and replaced it with the following: They now have the power to regulate any commerce, anywhere, including when it transpires entirely within a single state, on the premise that something could be used for interstate commerce.

Here’s what they mean by that, and why the commerce clause is now 100% applied as authority to use power to regulate “intrastate commerce”, the exact opposite of the constitution’s intent.

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The Sotomayor Nightmare

ConstitutionBurningThe role of our constitution has been eroded to an already frightening degree by decades of congressional and judicial malfeasance. The 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 10th amendments have all been roundly scorned; the commerce clause outright inverted; the ex post facto directives ignored; and the article 3 authorization to judge constitutional issues perverted into a de facto power to amend.

Now comes Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, a judge with a history of outright constitutional bewilderment. If she is confirmed, as seems likely, there can be no doubt that the injuries to the basis for our constitutional republic will accelerate. Just look at her history:

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Public Wifi is Dying

Wired asks, Why isn’t wireless available everywhere?

In a public business I’m involved with, we used to provide free wifi. The cost to do so was low, the risk to our properly isolated network was minimal and our customers really appreciated it – no question about it.

Initially, it seemed like a great idea. A really great idea. And as long as you kept your eyes on the ground and didn’t look too hard at what was going on around you, it kept looking good.

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Man fights federal "sex offender" list registration

Here’s the story.

Both the feds and the states are prohibited from creating ex post facto law.

Adding to someone’s punishment post-conviction is explicitly ex post facto.

This is why Ohio reasons that this particular person should not have to register. They understand the constitution, and their registration law is constructed to obey it.

However, the supreme court has ruled that registration is “not punishment” (which is sophist, ridiculous and absurd, but regardless, that’s what they said.)

Consequently, any state or the feds can register anyone, for anything, pre- or post-conviction, guilty or not. Another example of just this kind of misuse of power is the no-fly list. They make the list, decide you belong on it, bingo, you’re on it, and you have no recourse.

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Obama administration disenfranchises torture victim

In an article in the New York Times today, lawyers representing the Obama administration told judges that a case alleging the US government was responsible for utterly horrific torture “could not be litigated” because it would “reveal state secrets.”

This event, if accurately reported by the NYT, should be taken as the very brightest of red flags.

The fifth amendment of our constitution says that “no man… shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself” – this is the clearest of prohibitions against using coercion to force a person to speak. The eighth amendment of our constitution prohibits “cruel and unusual punishments”. The sixth amendment says “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial”.

I cannot express how disappointed I am in the Obama administration.

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Well, that didn't take long.

President Obama has publicly sided with the Bush administration on the question of whether the President should be allowed to establish warrantless wiretapping programs designed to monitor US citizens.

The fourth amendment is very clear on this. Obama should be very clear on this, as he has claimed the hat of a constitutional law professor.

So here we go, sliding yet further downhill, and it only took two days.

Sigh.

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