The Declaration of Independence, Annotated

The assumption of natural rights expressed in the Declaration of Independence can be summed up by the following proposition:  “first comes rights, then comes government.”  According to this view: (1) the rights of individuals do not originate with any government, but preexist its formation;  (2) The protection of these rights is the first duty of government; and (3) Even after government is formed, these rights provide a standard by which its performance is measured and, in extreme cases, its systemic failure to protect rights — or its systematice violation of rights — can justify its alteration or abolition; (4) At least some of these rights are so fundamental that they are “inalienable,” meaning they are so intimately connected to one’s nature as a human being that they cannot be transferred to another even if one consents to do so.  This is powerful stuff.

Really, read the whole thing. Great stuff. Via The Volokh Conspiracy » The Declaration of Independence Annotated.

The Gun Mandate

That being said, there will be some who still don’t want to own a gun. And that’s fine! The government won’t require you to purchase a gun. But if you choose not to purchase a gun—thus leaving yourself more likely to be a victim of crime and necessitating higher police costs, putting a drain on public resources and shirking your responsibility—you will have to pay a penalty or a tax. The IRS will collect it; it’ll just be a line on your 1040. Between $500 and $5,000 a year, depending on how much you make and where you live, should get the job done.

via The Gun Mandate.

Cop Fired for Planting Dope, Says He Did That and More Under Orders

In Crestview, Florida, Police Street Crimes Unit investigator Tim White is out of a job for swiping grass from an evidence locker and planting it at a residence to beef up the grounds for a search warrant application. Even more interesting, he says he did so on orders from a supervisor. And that’s just the beginning of the interesting revelations White turned over in a letter to David Cable, mayor of the city of 21,000. In fact, it’s that letter that led to his newly unemployed status, and may lead to so much more.

You mean you can’t trust the police because of the war on drugs? Via Florida Cop Fired for Planting Dope, Says He Did That and More Under Orders – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

Declaration of Internet Freedom

We believe freedom to be an essential condition of human flourishing and technological progress. We see the Internet (and digital services in general) as the vehicle for the greatest expansion of freedom in human history to date. Yet we recognize that the “Internet” of tomorrow may look nothing like the Internet of today. No one can plan the Internet’s evolution. The best policymakers can do is to respect the following core principles of “Internet Freedom”:

Humility. First, do no harm. …

Rule of Law. When you must intervene, start small. Regulation and legislation are broad, inflexible, and prone to capture by incumbent firms and entrenched interests. …

Free Expression. Don’t stifle the free flow of information, compel speech, or hold intermediaries (e.g., ISPs, social networks) responsible for the speech they carry. …

Innovation. Protect the freedom to innovate and create without government’s permission, provided others’ rights are respected. Don’t block — or mandate — new technologies. Don’t punish innovators for their users’ actions.

Broadband. Government is the greatest obstacle to the emergence of fast and affordable broadband networks. Rather than subsidizing yesterday’s networks, free the market to build tomorrow’s. End central planning of spectrum and legal barriers to competition.

Openness. Open systems and networks aren’t always better for consumers. “Closed” systems like the iPhone should be free to compete with more open systems, like Android. …

Competition. Antitrust is regulation. …

Privacy. Don’t coerce private companies to disclose consumers’ data. …

via Declaration of Internet Freedom.

UK Health Care is US Future Under ObamACAre

A young patient who died of dehydration at a leading teaching hospital phoned police from his bed because he was so thirsty, an inquest heard yesterday.

Officers arrived at Kane Gorny’s bedside, but were told by nurses that he was in a confused state and were sent away.

The keen footballer and runner, 22, died of dehydration a few hours later.

via Patient dying of thirst rang 999: Inquest hears of mother’s fury at nurses who neglected son | Mail Online.

Air conditioning uses less energy than heating

[A]ir conditioning in warm regions uses far less energy than heating in cold regions.

So if you want to help save the planet, move out of Vermont and get yourself to Alabama where people know how to live in harmony with Mother Gaia. Moving out of New England could be the purest form of environmental activism; your selfish, earth destroying choice of living in Massachusetts in killing us all. And as for Canada, Gaia’s message is clear: shut it down, now. The Germans for their part could help the planet by moving to Spain and Greece; this might also help with Europe’s financial woes.

Perhaps the blue model politicians whose tax and spend policies are driving businesses and residents out of their states are smarter than they look. They could be green activists, steadily working to save the earth by driving people out of the northeast. We look forward to green activists introducing legislation in Congress to levy new taxes on those whose choice to live in cold states imposes costs on the more virtuous and eco-friendly inhabitants of Texas and South Carolina.

It only seems fair.

But if you live in cold climates like the northeast, as Via Meadia does, don’t despair: As the climate warms and winters get milder, your houses will start to use less energy too. The worse global warming gets, the better world citizen you become.

via Save the Planet, Get Out Of Vermont | Via Meadia.

Online threat — but police raid wrong house

Police state.

Imagine you’re sitting at home, comfortable on the couch, watching the Food Network, when all of a sudden a heavily armed SWAT team breaks down your door and storms into your living room.

That’s what happened to 18-year-old Stephanie Milan, who was watching TV in her family’s Evansville, Ind., home last Thursday (June 22), when a team of police officers broke down her storm door — the front door was already open — and tossed a flash-bang stun grenade into the room.

"The front door was open," Ira Milan, Stephanie’s grandfather and the property owner, told the Evansvile Courier & Press. "To bring a whole SWAT team seems a little excessive."

[Wi-Fi Warping Wallpaper Keeps Hackers Out]

Turns out, however, that the SWAT team had the address wrong.

via Online threat — but police raid wrong house – Technology & science – Security – msnbc.com.