Thursday, September 1, 2016

Assorted

     1. Nothing Outside the State!

     Does Andrew Cuomo have a little Mussolini blood in him?

     Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders are patting themselves on the back after the governor finally signed Albany’s latest useless ethics-reform package. But they’re pretty much the only ones cheering.... it imposes onerous and overly broad disclosure requirements on nonprofits and legitimate charities that will only serve to inhibit their fund-raising and limit their ability to lobby government.

     We’re talking about institutions like hospitals and charities, whose ability to engage in political activity is already tightly regulated by the IRS. Now, the New York Public Interest Research Group says, they may have to disclose all of their donors if they so much as “talk to another not-for-profit.”

     New York was recently rated the least free of the fifty states. Our state power-mongers are more avid for increases in their authority than any others. They’re openly opposed to anything done by private agencies that they can’t somehow tax and control. And Andrew Cuomo, the Thug-in-Chief of the Empire State, has this nasty habit of ramming bills through the legislature at three AM. All in the name of “transparency,” of course.

     Viewing developments such as this one, it’s pretty clear why Cuomo doesn’t want firearms in the hands of private citizens.


     2. Shut Up.

     Australian jewel Joanne Nova provides this morsel:

     Students in the University of Colorado expressed concern about the first online lecture in “Medical Humanities in the Digital Age”. All three Professors together replied via email that students should Drop class if they dispute man-made climate change
     “The point of departure for this course is based on the scientific premise that human induced climate change is valid and occurring. We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘other side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course,” states the email, a copy of which was provided to The College Fix by a student in the course.

     “Opening up a debate that 98% of climate scientists unequivocally agree to be a non-debate would detract from the central concerns of environment and health addressed in this course,” the professors’ email continued.

     “… If you believe this premise to be an issue for you, we respectfully ask that you do not take this course… – signed Professors, Rebecca Laroche, Wendy Haggren and Eileen Skahill

     The ban included discussions on online forums among students (we wouldn’t want people polluting the thoughts of believers, would we?) And no thoughts or arguments outside of those approved by an unelected, unaccountable foreign committee shall be considered.

     The warmistas are utterly terrified by actual debate. But of course! Their non-science is nonsense. And theories that can’t stand exposure to observed facts have only one way to survive: they must suppress all discussion of them.

     Andrew Klavan has the right of it:


     3. While We’re On The Subject Of “Climate Change.”

     Steven Crowder has produced a pithy debunking video of “climate change” myths, and has appended links to articles with extensive information on the specifics. It’s worth twenty minutes of your time; trust me on that.

     What I find most notable about the affair is and has always been the warmistas’ emphasis on “consensus.” In point of fact, there is no consensus on the subject. That myth was fabricated out of a single survey of “scientific papers,” the methodology of which has been investigated and thoroughly debunked. More, 31,000 genuine scientists have signed a petition opposing political action on “climate change.” But these are not things you’re likely to hear about from the main stream media.


     4. Yet Another Infringement Of Your Nonexistent Right To Privacy.

     Nothing in the Constitution of the United States guarantees your “right to privacy.” That’s as it should be, for as I’ve argued and repeatedly written, not only is privacy not a right, it isn’t even possible. Yet there are still things governments do to intrude upon our privacy that we’d surely rather they refrain from doing. Here’s the latest of them:

     Since January, police in Baltimore have been testing an aerial surveillance system developed for military use in Iraq. The system records visible activity across an area as wide as thirty square miles for as much as ten hours at a time. Police can use it to work backward from an event, watching the comings and goings of people and cars to develop leads about who was involved. "Google Earth with TiVo capability," says the founder of the company that provides this system to Baltimore.

     But the technology collects images of everyone and everything. From people in their backyards to anyone going from home to work, to the psychologist's or marriage counselor's office, to meetings with lawyers or advocacy groups, and to public protests. It's a powerful tool for law enforcement—and for privacy invasion.

     So this technology collects information about us that we’ve already released into the common environment. That’s not a search or a seizure as the Fourth Amendment regards them:

     The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

     Yes, “effects” includes all one’s movable property, but when one ventures out in public, the information is there to be collected by whoever wants it – and for whatever reason he might want it. The only way to keep such information to ourselves is not to emit it in the first place: i.e., to stay home.

     While such surveillance is therefore within Constitutional bounds, it does present an unpleasantly eerie aspect. We’d rather governments not be watching us all the time. But how do we stop them from doing so, when even Google Earth already has enough data about us to forecast where we’re going and what we’ll do there with pretty good accuracy?


     That’s all I have for today, Gentle Reader. It’s just as well, as I’m seriously behind on two different novels-in-progress. Apropos of which, I’ve reluctantly concluded that the way to “loosen up” on a stalled writing project is not to start another one. Verbum sat sapienti.

     See you tomorrow.

2 comments:

  1. Even when their is scientific consensus don't rest easy. Remember that just a scant approximately 100 yrs ago it was 'settled science' that the atom was the basic indivisible building block of nature. For those of us using computers and many other technologies it is very good that 'settled science' was not only wrong but very very wrong.

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