If only our legislators would REPEAL ONE LAW PER DAY!
Here are suggestions for repeal.

Why repeal?

“That government is best which governs least.” Thomas Paine

Friday, December 31, 2010

FDA should butt out and let us take care of ourselves

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Save the Net - Abolish the FCC

Save the Net - Reason Magazine

Abolish the FCC

Save the Net

| December 22, 2010

Because there exists no area of human activity that couldn't benefit from more paternalistic attention ... Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Federal Communications Commission to your Web browser.

Congressional Democrats cannot find the votes to pass "network neutrality." No problem. Three unelected officials will impose rules on hundreds of millions of satisfied online consumers. A federal appeals court stops the FCC from employing authority over the Internet. Again, not a problem. Three out of five FCC commissioners can carve out some temporary wiggle room, because, as any crusading technocrat knows, the most important thing is getting in the door.

It's not that we don't need the FCC's meddling (or worse); it's that we don't need the FCC at all. Rather than expanding the powers—which always seem to grow—of this outdated bureaucracy, Congress should be finding ways to eliminate it.

Why would we want a prehistoric bureaucracy overseeing one of the past century's great improvements? As a bottom-up, unregulated, and "under-taxed" market in which technological innovation, free speech, and competition thrive—at affordable prices, no less—the Internet poses a crisis of ideology, not commerce, for the FCC.

It's about control and relevance. What else can explain the proactive rescue of the Web from capitalistic abuses that reside exclusively in the imaginations of a handful of progressive ideologues?

What is the FCC doing? It's complicated, and in some ways, it's irrelevant. It claims that regulatory power will ensure that consumers enjoy an "open Internet." (With more broadband providers than ever, is there anything more open than the Internet?) But the FCC can censor speech. And once the FCC can regulate Internet service providers, those providers will be more compliant and more interested in making censors happy.

The FCC also can hand out favors that hurt competition. And as Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Harvard Law School, wrote in 2008, "economic growth requires innovation. Trouble is, Washington is practically designed to resist it. Built into the DNA of the most important agencies created to protect innovation, is an almost irresistible urge to protect the most powerful instead."

Even as Chairman Julius Genachowski claims that he will employ a "light touch," the FCC leaves open the possibility that it will use the Title II docket to classify broadband as a public utility—and, as you know, nothing says progress and modernization like "utility."

The same organization that forced all consumers to buy Ma Bell-made telephones for decades, the same FCC that enforced speech codes via radio "fairness doctrines," the same FCC that took two decades after its invention to OK cellular technology for the marketplace and acted similarly sluggishly with cable and satellite innovation has no business online. It has a history of hurting consumers, not protecting them. (Unless you need protection from fleeting expletives and the once-a-decade nipple controversy.)

It is likely that a new Congress—or perhaps the courts—will undo this regulatory power play. And though "net neutrality," or "open Internet" (no one needs to worry; doublespeak is still flourishing), may not survive, it reminds us that the FCC's institutional positions conflict with the vibrancy and freedom of the Internet.

Positions that are as archaic as they are detrimental.

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of Nanny State. Visit his website at www.DavidHarsanyi.com.


Bonus Reason.tv Video: "3 Reasons the FCC Shouldn't 'Touch' the Internets"

REPEAL New FCC Government Power to Regulate Web Traffic (not to be trusted)

FCC Gives Government Power to Regulate Web Traffic - WSJ.com

Internet Gets New Rules of the Road

Consumers Guaranteed Right to View Content; Service Providers Allowed to Sell Faster, Priority Speeds for Extra Money

WASHINGTON—Consumers for the first time got federally approved rules guaranteeing their right to view what they want on the Internet. The new framework could also result in tiered charges for web access and alter how companies profit from the network.

The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday voted 3-2 to back Chairman Julius Genachowski's plan for what is commonly known as "net neutrality," or rules prohibiting Internet providers from interfering with legal web traffic. President Barack Obama said the FCC's action will "help preserve the free and open nature of the Internet."

The move was prompted by worries that large phone and cable firms were getting too powerful as Internet gatekeepers.

Most consumers haven't had a problem viewing whatever they want online; few instances have arisen of an Internet provider blocking or slowing services.

Rather, the FCC rules are designed to prevent potential future harms and they could shape how Americans access and use the Internet years from now. In the future, the Internet industry will be increasingly centered around the fastest-growing categories of Internet traffic—online video, gaming and mobile services, analysts say. Cisco Systems Inc., the broadband network provider, has forecast those services could quadruple by 2014.

The FCC has approved rules that would give the federal government authority to regulate Internet traffic and prevent broadband providers from selectively blocking web traffic. WSJ's Amy Schatz explains what the new rules really mean.

Comcast Corp. and other Internet providers have experimented with ways to handle the growing problem of network congestion. Recently, Mr. Genachowski suggested that instead of selectively slowing certain traffic to cope with congestion, providers could consider charging consumers for how much data they consume. That would be a departure from the flat monthly fees consumers pay now for Web access. It's something providers privately say is one of the only ways to make a profit and fund network infrastructure.

Such a system could pose a challenge to companies like Netflix Inc., which streams movies over broadband networks to televisions and computers. Netflix Tuesday said the FCC decision did not go far enough toward protecting content providers.

Editors' Deep Dive: Net Neutrality Debate Heating Up

Access thousands of business sources not available on the free web. Learn More

The new rules will also allow phone and cable companies to sell to Internet companies like Amazon.com Inc. faster data delivery for extra money, particularly on wireless networks. That would let a company that offers streaming video, like Google Inc.'s YouTube, pay a wireless company like Verizon Communications Inc. a bonus for guaranteed delivery of its videos to consumers' smart phones.

But FCC officials said any such priority service must be disclosed, and they said they would likely probe and reject such efforts. That could prompt some of the many expected legal challenges to the new rules, since it is not clear if the FCC has authority to enforce them.

Consumer groups and other organizations, including the American Library Association, oppose such high-speed toll lanes, arguing all Americans should have the same quality of Internet access.

The FCC's decision is a mixed bag for consumers. The new rules—which haven't been released in full—say that land-line broadband providers can't block legal content from websites, or "unreasonably discriminate" against companies like Skype or Netflix that want to use broadband networks to provide video or voice services. They also require providers to give consumers more information about their Internet service, like actual download speeds or usage limits.

But the rules come with some wiggle room for the industry. Service providers will be allowed to engage in "reasonable network management" to cope with congestion on their systems.

Wireless companies are less restricted by the new rules—a win for the industry because consumers are increasingly accessing the web using hand-held devices such as iPhones or Blackberries. Mr. Genachowski said mobile carriers faced more congestion issues than other companies and need more leeway to manage their networks.

Wireless companies would be prohibited from blocking Internet voice services but they could block access to many other applications, citing congestion issues.

Reaction the FCC's rules was mixed. AT&T Inc. said the rules were "not ideal" but would bring some "market certainty so that investment and job creation can go forward." Verizon said it was "deeply concerned" because it didn't think the rules were needed. A coalition of Internet companies including Google said the rules were a good first step but stronger regulations on wireless networks were needed to ensure the same rules apply to both wired and wireless Internet.

Bloomberg News

Steve Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple Inc. and a staunch proponent of keeping the Internet unregulated, after an FCC hearing on Tuesday.

Some venture capital firms that invest in innovative applications and wireless technology expressed concern about how the rules will impact the wireless business. "The problem is that there's so much ambiguity in the rules," said Brad Burnham of Union Square Ventures, which has invested in startups including Foursquare and Twitter Inc.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703581204576033513990668654.html#ixzz18rKRm8Uf

Sunday, December 19, 2010

REPEAL the Americans With Disabilities Act, Good Intentions Gone Bad

Good Intentions Gone Bad by John Stossel on Creators.com - A Syndicate Of Talent

This wheelchair ramp costs $1.1 million to the City of San Francisco

You own a business, maybe a restaurant. You've got a lot to worry about. You have to make sure the food is safe and tastes good, that the place is clean and appealing, that workers are friendly and paid according to a hundred Labor Department and IRS rules.

On top of that, there are rules you might have no idea about. The bathroom sinks must be a specified height. So must the doorknobs and mirrors. You must have rails. And if these things aren't right — say, if your mirror is just one inch too high — you could be sued for thousands of dollars.

And be careful. If you fail to let a customer bring a large snake, which he calls his "service animal," into your restaurant, you could be in trouble.

All of this is because of the well-intentioned Americans With Disabilities Act, which President George H.W. Bush signed 20 years ago.

The ADA was popular with Republicans and Democrats. It passed both houses of Congress with overwhelming majorities, 377 to 28 in the House and 91 to 6 in the Senate.

What does it do? The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, requiring businesses to provide the disabled "equal access" and to make "reasonable accommodation" for employees. Tax credits and deductions are available for special equipment (talking computers, for instance) and modifying buildings to comply with the accessibility mandate.

The ADA was supposed to help more disabled people find jobs. But did it?

Strangely, no. An MIT study found that employment of disabled men ages 21 to 58 declined after the ADA went into effect. Same for women ages 21 to 39.

How could employment among the disabled have declined?

Because the law turns "protected" people into potential lawsuits. Most ADA litigation occurs when an employee is fired, so the safest way to avoid those costs is not to hire the disabled in the first place.

Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and author of the Overlawyered.com blog, says that the law was unnecessary. Many "hire the handicapped" programs existed before the ADA passed. Sadly, now most have been quietly discontinued, probably because of the threat of legal consequences if an employee doesn't work out.

Under the ADA, Olson notes, fairness does not mean treating disabled people the same as non-disabled people. Rather it means accommodating them. In other words, the law requires that people be treated unequally.

The law has also unleashed a landslide of lawsuits by "professional litigants" who file a hundred suits at a time. Disabled people visit businesses to look for violations, but instead of simply asking that a violation be corrected, they partner with lawyers who (legally) extort settlement money from the businesses.

Some disabled people have benefited from changes effected by the ADA, but the costs are rarely accounted for. If a small business has to lay off an employee to afford the added expense of accommodating the disabled, is that a good thing — especially if, say, customers in wheelchairs are rare? Extra-wide bathroom stalls that reduce the overall number of toilets are only some of the unaccounted-for costs of the ADA. And since ADA modification requirements are triggered by renovation, the law could actually discourage businesses from making needed renovations as a way of avoiding the expense.

A few disabled people speak up against the law. Greg Perry, author of "Disabling America: The Unintended Consequences of the Government's Protection of the Handicapped," says that because the disabled now represent an added expense to businesses, many resent them.

Finally, the ADA has led to some truly bizarre results. Exxon gave ship captain Joseph Hazelwood a job after he completed alcohol rehab. Hazelwood then drank too much and let the Exxon Valdez run aground in Alaska. Exxon was sued for allowing it to happen. So Exxon prohibited employees who have had a drug or drinking problem from holding safety-sensitive jobs. The result? You guessed it — employees with a history of alcohol abuse sued under the ADA, demanding their "right" to those jobs. The federal government (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) supported the employees. Courts are still trying to sort it out.

More money for the parasites.

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "Give Me a Break" and of "Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Repeal NJ Handgun Restrictions Now!

Gun advocates ask if Christie's a straight shooter | NJ.com
November 30, 2010

A lot of pundits in the past have made comments on our governor’s size. Let me be the first to compare Chris Christie to a continent.

In his shift to the right over the years, Christie has moved at a pace that is positively tectonic. Christie started out in politics as a typical Northeastern liberal. He has, over the years, engaged in a sort of continental drift. Now, he’s a big hit in the Heartland.

But those who suspect a certain insincerity on his part keep coming up with embarrassing items from his past. One such item now knocking around the internet is a 1995 campaign mailer in which Christie attacked his opponents in a race for the Republican nomination for state Assembly.

"Tony Bucco and Mike Carroll want to repeal the ban on assault weapons," it read. Below it was a photo of an AK-47. But gun enthusiasts point out that the law also banned certain .22 caliber rifles, weapons useless for anything other than assaulting a soda bottle.

Shooters are sensitive to that sort of thing. Bucco and Carroll ended up in the Legislature, where they serve to this day.

As for Christie, he seems to have learned a lesson from that loss. By the time he ran for governor last year, he had adopted the position that politicians traditionally adopt when they really, really wish the gun issue would just go away: He said he wouldn’t seek new laws, but would enforce current laws.

That’s not good enough for gun lovers, and the case of Brian Aitken shows why. Aitken, a media consultant in his mid-20s, was a normal, law-abiding citizen until January of last year. That’s when he moved back to his native New Jersey from Colorado, where he had lived for several years.

He brought along three handguns he had legally purchased there, thoughtfully calling ahead to the New Jersey State Police to determine how to legally transport the guns to the Garden State — locked in the trunk of his car and unloaded.

But when police found them there after a minor family dispute at his mother’s house in Burlington County, Aitken faced felony charges.

Aitken didn’t help his case when he went on former New Jersey judge and Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano’s "Freedom Watch" TV show in August 2009. He told Napolitano how he felt he was being railroaded under then-Gov. Jon Corzine’s campaign to crack down on guns. When Aitken later went on trial, the judge admonished him for trying the case in the media. He was found guilty and sentenced to seven years in state prison, where he sits today.

The case shows the flaws in New Jersey current gun laws, said Carroll, a lawyer from Morristown who still holds that Assembly seat he won in that long-ago race against Christie.

"He was almost certainly guilty of what he is accused of doing," said Carroll of Aitken. "Technically speaking, under New Jersey law, you can’t even stop for coffee if you’re transporting guns."

Visiting his mother’s house with guns in the trunk exposed Aitken to the same sentence he would have faced if he’d stuck up a 7-Eleven.

"Assume for the moment he’s guilty. So what?" said Carroll. Treat it like failure to get your dog licensed."

Meanwhile, Napolitano, who has a home in Sussex County, told me yesterday the case represents an opportunity to take advantage of two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions to attack the constitutionality of New Jersey’s gun laws.

"Heller and McDonald have changed the whole world," said Napolitano, citing decisions in two cases in which the court affirmed an individual right to possess firearms. "If you can have a gun in your home, then you have to be able to get the gun to your home."

Aitken is quickly becoming the poster boy for the effort to loosen some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. So if our governor’s going to keep carving out a role as a right-winger, Christie will have to confront New Jersey’s liberal laws on gun control.

"If I were Chris, I’d say ‘Unless you can show me why I shouldn’t pardon this guy in 24 hours, I’m gonna do it,’" Carroll said.

Has Christie moved that far right? Continents drift slowly, but occasionally that drift results in an earthquake.

MORE ON THE CASE: Check this article in Reason Magazine for more on the case. Also on Dec. 12 there will be a rally in Toms River to free Brian Aitken. Also check this post on the Volokh blog about a lawsuit in Illinois that would help gun owners who were in a situation similar to that in which Aitken found himself.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Which gun laws to repeal first?

Safer Streets 2010: Which gun laws to repeal first? - Los Angeles gun rights | Examiner.com

John Longenecker

    In my Safer Streets Newsletter, I'm posting how and why we need to talk to non-gun owners before the election. I'm joined today by fellow liberty writers David Codrea, our friends at the Tenth Amendment Center again and Michelle Malkin. You can opt-in to the Newsletter here.

    If we're going to talk about the repeal of gun laws, I'm sure it's not going to happen all at once. (If only... if only...) Which gun laws ought to be repealed first? How about these?

    1. A nationwide concealed carry which is either a repeal of concealed carry regulation or a national reciprocity for a concealed carry permit. I don't care which, it's a start. Ultimately, the second amendment is the only concealed carry law we need, if only it were respected. But gun laws did not come into being overnight, they won't be vanquished overnight. (If only... if only ...)

    2. No gun regulation by type. I've written several times that there is no such thing as sensible gun regulation. It does not fight crime in the sense of how and where violence is really fought; it only makes people de facto criminals, and that is not an administration of justice in a free society, is it? What we are voting for this November is to unseat this very kind of subjugation, and it is why and where we need to repeal gun laws as the first step to a smaller government.

    3. Configuration of weapons. Yes, guns are weapons, and free people are armed with weapons. What makes people free is that they are not required to wait for official intervention in lieu of acting in their own interests in the immediacy of a time of violence. The assertion of and the official recognition of citizen authority already present within every person is going to fight crime better than an exclusivity of after-the-fact agencies. The best solution is, of course, both. The free citizen, however, cannot operate freely in time of violence nor be adequately prepared for local disaster if his choices of weapons and fixtures are so arbitrarily limited by agencies a priori.

    4. The repeal of who may carry and where they carry. Remember that you do not find violence, it finds you, and that happens not only everywhere, but anywhere. It happens on school grounds. It happens in airports and aboard civil aircraft, in the workplace and in the car. Repeal all gun bans in areas where thugs simply don't read the signs and bring guns and knives in anyway.

    But something else has happened: Without waiting for permission, some of these places have seen citizens interrupting violence. How can they do that? Put simply, they have the authority to do it, one of the best kept secrets of gun control. For the first time in a long time, the San Diego school shooter, the citizen who interrupted a child's kidnaping and other cases are not castigated by police, but openly praised. This brings me to item 5.

    5. A paradigm shift in official perceptions of the sovereign and who has the monopoly on all lethal force. In America, law enforcement answers to the electorate and officials who command them answer to the electorate. The Military is also subject to civilian oversight, and follows the Commander-in-Chief. But not only is the Military answerable to civilian oversight, so is the Command-in-Chief!

    Militias, on the other hand, are not bound to answer to the Commander-in-chief, and are not affiliated with our armed forces. In order for the country to work right again, officials need to respect our sovereignty much more, and that will begin with respecting the lethal force which rightfully belonged to us exclusively long before we delegated some of it to servants. We got along fairly well for generations before an organized police force or National Guard. We never delegated all of it, only enough for servants to do the jobs we hire them to do, and we need officials to understand this.

    Until that hour, all gun laws are an interference with the sovereign in this country. All gun laws challenge the supreme authority of the sovereign in this country, and are culpable as groundwork for further depredation of the electorate.

    This November, remember that you are voting for independence from many such predatory programs, and that individual freedom began with the law that made the people the sovereign and the officials our servants. This has not changed, it has only been obfuscated and defied.

    For more, see Safer Streets 2010 the e-book before the November election. Available atAmazon.com Kindle Store and also publisher direct.