“Reason does not want Ron Paul to win. Reason, Cato, Nick “I’m so hip” Gillespie, etc., all want to preserve their roles as mayors of the libertarian ghetto. In order to do that they have to collaborate with the statists and the corporatist-controlled media which keeps us behind the ghetto walls instead of supporting the one candidate who might help us break through. Ron Paul has done more for liberty than anyone at Reason or Cato ever has – and they know it.”—
“I often hear the ultimate "shut up"—that if you don't vote, you have no right to complain about politics or society. The reality is the exact opposite: By voting, you are playing a game whose rules are that the majority vote winner gets to control the reins of government, in all its unspeakable power. If you complain about the results of the game you chose to play, you're just being a sore loser—or winner.”—Brian Doherty
Do you ever feel that there is no hope for this country? It's rational to think that all the atrocities that are being committed only happen because 'the people' don't know about them and that if some light were shed there would be outrage. But to me, more and more every day, that 'the people' actually WANT all of these things to happen, they think it is right and necessary. Do you think there is any hope for true liberty when so many Americans seem to fundamentally approve of killing it?
Sometimes I do think that, and sometimes I don’t. It’s hard to say, really. There are a lot of reasons to be hopeful, and also a lot of cause for discouragement. I like what Matt Welch of Reason had to say on the subject when I interviewed him:
[Right now there’s a] paradox of on the one hand if you look at everything that has happened even in the last ten years—which has totally sucked as a decade since 9/11—if you look at what has happened to all of our lives in the private sphere, if you look at the ability of people to transcend what they’re born into, we’re just getting more free by the nanosecond. Things are getting better in so many different ways. You’re not sentenced to the conditions that you were born in. And this is more profound than most people realize, I think, and we have argued that it affects us on the level of behavior in the way that we can organize our own culture instead of just receiving everything as a sermon from on high telling us what to do, we can control our universe and manipulate it.
This is happening at the same time that on paper and in other degrees the government has more control than it has had in a long time. It’s certainly spending more as a percentage of our money than they have in a long time and as Harvey Silverglate has pointed out in his book of the same title, we commit on average three felonies a day, even if we’re law-abiding citizens, just because they keep ratcheting up the criminal code.
So, how can those two paradoxes be true? How can we be by all measures more free and at the same time less free in terms of where we are on paper with the government?
[…] So I think a lot of [change in the direction of liberty] is inevitable. It doesn’t mean that somebody with a big L on their forehead is going to ever be the President. I think that’s the wrong way of looking at things. We have a sort of cultural libertarianism that is eventually going to form the way that politics is done.
Ultimately, I do what I can, try not to get too wrapped up in problems I can’t fix, and keep the mindset of the Jefferson quote I just posted:
The ground of liberty is to be gained by inches, and we must be to secure what we can get from time to time and eternally press forward for what is yet to get. It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.
“I’ll Show You My Genome. Will You Show Me Yours?” is an article by Ronald Bailey in Reason magazine which discusses the privacy of publishing one’s Genome Map. The human Genome was first completely mapped in 2000 in a government funded research. Now it is possible to map someone’s genome for four-hundred dollars by private companies. Genome Mapping helps making decisions regarding health on which medicines to use for a particular patient. However, a main concern is the accessibility of this information to groups such as life insurance companies or the government who could use it to profile its citizens. Also, possible employers could view this information on potential employees and make decisions based on their genetic traits.
Bailey claims genetic privacy is not an issue. He illuminates how the Federal Bureau of Investigation has indexed 8.5 million genetic profiles of convicted criminals and people who have simply been arrested. Continuing that regardless of safeguards the government will develop a database with all their citizens’ genetic information. In an attempt to calm the privacy storm, he explicates that insurance companies are not allowed to use genetic information to charge different premiums to customers. This is due in part to the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) which passed in 2008. This also subdues the fears that employers obtain such information. Bailey then quotes the federal government’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stating “acquisition [of genetic information] through commercially and publicly available documents like newspapers is permitted, as long as the employer is not searching those sources with the intent of finding genetic information.”
Despite Bailey’s attempt to ease qualms concerning this privacy issue, he clearly fails to convince as the evidence he uses contradicts his thesis. Questioning his choices, Bailey attempts to ease his mind of publicizing his genetic profile by doping the reader into a false sense of security. Constantly trying to sell a service that costs hundreds of dollars, Bailey’s integrity comes into question explaining how the price of genetic testing has gone down. Furthermore, his lack of concern regarding the government’s arm over reaching its boundaries is rather alarming.
Starting his article with a link to his genetic profile on snpedia.com, the “Wikipedia” of genetic information, Bailey mentions how the website’s own creator would not even do this. Bailey begins by advertising the cheapest available genetic screening companies and expands how one company offers their services over the counter of a local drug market. However this service was pulled by the FDA as the tests kits did not have clearance to be regulated medical devices. Bailey delves into the early costs of testing and illustrates how inexpensive they are to consumers now, only for a third of their genetic information. Bailey, however, “doubled up on genetic testing” clearly questioning the validity of these tests.
Bailey subjects his raw genetic information to scrutiny on Prometheus, “a trait analysis tool that links test results to research reports compiled at the wiki-style NSPedia.” However, Bailey fails to mention Prometheus is a pharmaceutical company which also sells genetic drugs. Regarding life insurance companies and employers who may use this information, Bailey describes how GINA will protect possible employers. However it is made clear by the EEOC, that hiring staff have access to this information making it difficult to ensure there is no genetic bias. Private insurance companies are taking genetic testing as a way to charge higher premiums, Bailey clarifies. However, the government is explained to be unbiased moderator between this information and interested parties.
The problem being the government itself is an interested party. Collecting genetic information on anyone who have simply been arrested, the FBI, is no stranger to secrets. Bailey even mentions an article from the New York Times which argued for building a DNA database for which local law enforcement could have access to. While this could be useful in solving some crimes, it is intrusive and unconstitutional. And according to Baily, “- the authorities will be able to build their database anyway, regardless of whether or not we choose to disclose any genetic information voluntarily.”
Bailey’s article regarding genetic privacy is not about general genetic privacy, simply about his disregard for his own privacy. Some would say he’s a brave man for putting himself on display but clearly he’s not setting a smart example. Bailey accepts the fact that his government is hypocritical of their own laws, clearly not an exemplary person. This acceptance, along with the advancement in genetic identification and constant surveillance constantly been proven to lead to tyrannical government. Bailey is not only wrong about genetic privacy not being an issue, he’s a misinforming his readers, which is much more dangerous.
The Liberal Bias
It is outlets like this that keep the division between Americans that are more to the center. The line here: “* We’re using “scientific” in the Republican sense of the word. So we really mean “made up”…” clearly shows that Reason has no desire to unite Americans. A generalization like this is one of the best ways to alienate people, and Reason is determined to be unReasonable and keep the divide as wide as possible. Democrats are just as guilty of “making up scientific data” as Republicans are, so my advice is to Reason is: find a more credible angle.
Amplify’d from reason.com
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