URLs du Jour — 2012-04-23

  • Constitution Signers, National
Constitution Center The editors of National Review examine the proposed "People’s Rights Amendment" that would restrict rights protected by the Constitution to only "individuals acting individually", denying any protected rights to individuals acting cooperatively. It overturns centuries of law, and concentrates unprecedented power in Congress. Nancy Pelosi considers this to be a fine idea. Hey, what's not to like?

    The editors conclude:

    Nancy Pelosi proposes to amend the Constitution the way the iceberg amended the Titanic. The First Amendment has served us well. Nancy Pelosi has not, but she has led her Democrats to a disturbing place in their quest to secure power, even at the cost of cashing in the Bill of Rights.
    You can check the legislative status of this odious amendment here, including its cosponsors. Who deserve your unmitigated contempt.

  • Over the weekend I attended the Granite State Patriots Liberty PAC "Save-Our-Republic Tea Party" in Dover New Hampshire's lovely Guppey Park. Skip of GraniteGrok was there too, and did great work recording the event for posterity. Check out his reports here and here. Attendance exceeded expectations, and the speakers were almost all good. (Only exception: Dr. Joe Tarta, speaking about ObamaCare, was unprepared and lackluster. Sorry, Dr. Joe.)

  • Hey, kids, remember when President Obama was pushing to get Obamacare passed, and repeatedly said things like "If you like your health care plan, you keep your health care plan"?

    That was a lie, of course. But the Obama Administration is engaging in a desperate (and expensive: $8 Billion) attempt to make sure a large fraction of the electorate don't find out about that lie until after the election. A bunch of old folks were due to get pushed out of the popular "Medicare Advantage" program in October 2012. But…

    But the administration’s devised a way to postpone the pain one more year, getting Obama past his last election; it plans to spend $8 billion to temporarily restore Medicare Advantage funds so that seniors in key markets don’t lose their trusted insurance program in the middle of Obama’s re-election bid.

    The money is to come from funds that Health and Human Services is allowed to use for “demonstration projects.” But to make it legal, HHS has to pretend that it’s doing an “experiment” to study the effect of this money on the insurance market.

    That is, to “study” what happens when the government doesn’t change anything but merely continues a program that’s been going on for year.

    I strive to live up to the Costello Pledge ("I used to disgusted, now I try to be amused.") But President Obama really makes this tough. (Also on this topic: Peter Suderman at Reason.)

  • It has been estimated that each smartphone and tablet contains approximately 4000 patented elements. At Wired, Lore Sjöberg reviews some of the more obscure ones, including:
    Method for Using Up All Your Battery Power at Once

    Motorola took out this patent in 2004, which describes a software approach to making it so that your electronic device takes several hours to get down to 50 percent battery power, then suddenly drops to 10 percent “in, like, half an hour, and you’re not even watching movies or anything.” The fact that this functionality is apparently necessary for practically any device with a touchscreen puts Motorola in a strong bargaining position.


Last Modified 2012-04-25 12:25 PM EDT
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