IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

DC Council: ‘Our citizens are minding the law too well… Fuck them, raise the price of parking’

The D.C. Council on Thursday is prepared to consider whether to raise parking ticket fines by $5 and extend the hours for when meters in “premium zones,” which include the busiest commercial districts, will be in effect, from the current 10 p.m. until midnight. Parking ticket fines currently range from $25 to $250, depending on the violation.

via End of an era: Technology is changing the way we park as tickets decline – The Washington Post.

GH Reynolds: Fire college ‘Palace Eunuchs’ to fix higher ed

At California Polytechnic University-Pomona, for instance, the number of administrators grew 221% from 1975 to 2008. Administrators now outnumber faculty at that school 12,183 to 12,019. In 2010, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor employed 49% more full-time administrative and professional staff than full-time faculty. Nationwide, the number of full-time administrators per 100 students at leading universities grew by 39% between 1993 and 2007, while the number of employees engaged in teaching, research, or service grew only 18%, according to the Goldwater Institute.

Even when schools plead poverty and reduce faculty payrolls, transferring teaching duties to low-paid part time adjuncts, they keep hiring administrators. As a study from the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and the American Institutes for Research discovered, over the past 25 years the ratio of non-academic to academic positions, at both public and private universities, has doubled. When asked, college presidents blamed funding cuts and talk about efforts to cut costs. But the “funding cut” story is a “fairy tale”:

“In other words,” according to one recent New York Times column, “far from being caused by funding cuts, the astonishing rise in college tuition correlates closely with a huge increase in public subsidies for higher education.” Likewise, the cost-cutting is largely bogus: As economist Richard Vedder of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity says, “I wouldn’t buy a used car from a university president. They’ll say, ‘We’re making moves to cut costs,’ and mention something about energy-efficient lightbulbs, and ignore the new assistant to the assistant to the associate vice provost they just hired.”

But how to get rid of the Palace Eunucks ?

via Reynolds: Fire administrators to fix higher ed.

Air Force to certify SpaceX for launches by June

Certification of the Falcon 9 under the revised agreement is expected no later than the end of June 2015, the Air Force command said. SpaceX had filed suit in 2014 contesting the $11 billion sole-source EELV contract to ULA, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. In January, SpaceX agreed to drop the lawsuit, while the Air Force said the company could compete for future contracts once its certification was complete.
“We look forward to completing the certification process and competing for EELV missions,” SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell stated.

via Air Force to certify SpaceX for launches by June — Defense Systems.

Scientists have discovered a new state of matter, Govt officials exploring methods for taxation

An international team of scientists has announced the discovery of a new state of matter in a material that appears to be an insulator, superconductor, metal and magnet all rolled into one, saying that it could lead to the development of more effective high-temperature superconductors.
Why is this so exciting? Well, if these properties are confirmed, this new state of matter will allow scientists to better understand why some materials have the potential to achieve superconductivity at a relativity high critical temperature (Tc) – “high” as in −135 °C as opposed to −243.2 °C. Because superconductivity allows a material to conduct electricity without resistance, which means no heat, sound, or any other form of energy release, achieving this would revolutionise how we use and produce energy, but it’s only feasible if we can achieve it at so-called high temperatures.
As Michael Byrne explains at Motherboard, when we talk about states of matter, it’s not just solids, liquids, gases, and maybe plasmas that we have to think about. We also have to consider the more obscure states that don’t occur in nature, but are rather created in the lab – Bose–Einstein condensate, degenerate matter, supersolids and superfluids, and quark-gluon plasma, for example.

via Scientists have discovered a new state of matter, called ‘Jahn-Teller metals’ – ScienceAlert.

EXACTO: Self-guiding bullet hits moving target

The Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program, run by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is looking to increase the accuracy of difficult, long-distance shots with bullets that can change direction in flight and seek out their targets.
Last year, DARPA and developer Teledyne Scientific & Imaging demonstrated the ability to hit a target that was offset from where the rifle was aimed. In the recent live-fire tests conducted in February, shown in the video above, researchers showed they could hit targets that were moving, even accelerating.
The shots were fired from a standard rifle at sniper ranges using .50-caliber bullets. In the tests, an experienced shooter hit moving and evading targets repeatedly, DARPA said. And for the first time, a novice shooter hit a moving target.

That, is a pretty darn good acronym.

via Self-guiding bullet can now hit a moving target — Defense Systems.

Liberator Gun, Software Creator Sues State Department

Wilson has tried to keep on the right side of ITAR law. He’s asked them in at least 10 separate official requests to tell him if his original Liberator plans actually fall under its jurisdiction. He’s also inquired if if his current main project, the “Ghost Gunner,” a home CNC mill which allows individuals to make metal AR-15 lower receivers at home without serial numbers, falls under ITAR. (Such a request is known as a “commodity jurisdiction” request.)

Their answer, if I’m reading the suit correctly, is that the hardware does not but that software does. The suit details at length a confusing series of bureaucratic buck-passing from the ITAR people that makes it very hard for Wilson and Defense Distributed to know whether their planned activities will bring criminal punishment down on them.

Wilson said in a phone interview this morning that he’s trying to get all Ghost Gunner customers to affirm that they are U.S. citizens, since he fears if he sells one to a non-citizen (which could constitute “export”) he just might run afoul of ITAR.

 

via Cody Wilson Sues State Department Over Threats About Spreading Digital Gun-Making Files – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

Technology at Wash U maps human genome in 3 days

The two 3-inch-by-1-inch glass chips held the unfathomable amount of genetic information contained in 16 human genomes. On Thursday, a technician placed the chips — called flow cells — in a new genetic sequencing machine at the Genome Institute at Washington University and closed the door.
In just three days, the task will be complete.
It’s mind-boggling given that it took scientists working all over the world more than 10 years and about $1 billion to first sequence the human genome, a feat declared officially complete in 2003.
This ultra-fast sequencing machine, which hit the market last year, is only sold in groups of 10 — a system capable of sequencing 18,000 human genomes a year at just $1,000 to $1,500 per genome.

Excellent.

via New technology at Wash U maps human genome in days; large-scale studies now possible : Lifestyles.

You can earn $13,000 a year selling your poop

ou can donate blood, plasma, eggs, and sperm. Why not poop? Yes, your feces are perhaps your greatest untapped monetary resource. Thanks to a nonprofit organization called OpenBiome, you can cash in to the tune of $13,000 a year — and save lives while you’re at it.
Since 2013, OpenBiome has been processing and shipping loads of it all over the country. The frozen stool is administered to patients who are very sick with infections of a bacteria called C. difficile. The bacteria can cause extreme gastrointestinal distress, leaving some sufferers housebound. Antibiotics often help, but sometimes the bacteria rears back as soon as treatment stops. That leads to a miserable, continuous course of antibiotics.

Somebody has to do it.

You can earn $13,000 a year selling your poop – The Washington Post.

RSA president: ‘the need for intelligence shouldn’t slow down the use of encryption’

In an interview with IDG News Service, Amit Yoran, president of RSA, also rejected calls by U.S. intelligence chiefs for industry to tread carefully in deploying more encryption in case it cuts off their ability to eavesdrop on communications by suspected criminals.
“The government is not the answer here,” he said, when asked about White House proposals for sharing of cybersecurity information. Despite the growing severity of attacks and a feeling that the government should “do something,” the issue is best left to private companies, because they are the ones developing networks and the technology that defends them, he said.
“Nobody is going to say information sharing is bad, but I’ve yet to see what is being asked to share by whom, for what purpose, to which parties, how will it be protected, how will it be used and then what is the value proposition back for sharing information,” Yoran said.
Instead, he said the government might better help by sharing some of its own threat intelligence with the private sector.

Good. Better ideas on CS will come from the private sector.

via RSA president questions government role in cybersecurity | Computerworld.

Stossel: Politicians Deny the Science of Economics

Now that government has lots of power, people look to it to create jobs. Communist countries had five-year plans. They didn’t work.
That’s because jobs come from government getting out of the way and letting employers produce goods.
Every new layer of regulations sounds nice — protecting the environment, providing more health care, forbidding discrimination against disabled people — but most rules do more harm than good.
Humans have needs and desires. Entrepreneurs see those needs as opportunity. They hire people not out of generosity or because government told them to — but because it’s profitable to employ people if they produce valuable goods.
If it’s not profitable, that means those people would be better employed doing something else. The prices customers are willing to pay and the wages workers accept are the best indication of which jobs can be done profitably and therefore ought to be done.

Don’t some call for the arrest and jailing of people who “Deny the Science” of Economics

via Jobs: How to create them | Fox News.

Police Departments Have a Pre-Tailhook Mentality and That Must Change (con’d)

Update: A defense attorney uncovers a brazen scheme to manipulate evidence, and prosecutors and police finally get caught.

For city/state/federal prosecutors the change must be their mindset of ‘win at all cost’.  The law is not a game to keep score and further your career. “

Prosecutorial and police misconduct are often dismissed as just a few bad apples doing a few bad apple-ish things. But what happens when it’s entrenched and systemic and goes unchecked for years? That looks to be the case in Orange County, California, where the situation got so completely out of hand this spring that Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals issued an order disqualifying the entire Orange County District Attorney’s Office (that’s all 250 prosecutors) from continuing to prosecute a major death penalty case.

..

In an explosive moment following a hearing last year, Sanders revealed that the Orange County Sheriffs Department has maintained a massive, secret, 25-year-old computerized record-keeping system called TRED. These TRED documents were full of potentially exculpatory data, but the agency officials had systematically refused to turn any of them over, or even acknowledge their very existence, to defense counsel.

===

What is this ‘mentality’?  Without bogging down into the history of US Naval Aviation’s (needed) ‘Come To Jesus Meeting’, US Carrier Pilots had developed a sense of entitlement:  That they were an elite, small cadre, with command-inspired esprit-de-corps, doing a dangerous job, fighting for justice against the bad guys, that the officer on the line ‘knew what was going on’ and how to do the job.  “Old-guys” ‘flying desks’ did not know what was really happening.

Outside advice and unwanted intrusions to the units were dismissed and discounted.  Officers of the line banded together with unofficial codes of conduct to protect the group.  These ideas and actions are corrosive and the Navy instituted a systemic change, to correct these problems.

We should be ecstatic there is not a single-point National Police Command that would bring change to police forces like the Navy/DoD was able to enact.  This would be a very different country with a singular police command and I never want to see that happen in the United States.  Using the word “Police” is referring to all US law enforcement agencies—Federal, State, Local.  As seen in the news lately Federal enforcement are having internal problems with discipline and integrity.  This is not an indictment of all officers, agents, departments, and agencies.  This is a general public perceptions and public relations problem.

How will change come to:

  • 12,501 local police departments
  • 3,063 sheriffs’ offices
  • 50 primary state law enforcement agencies
  • 1,733 special jurisdiction agencies
  • 683 other agencies, primarily county constable offices in Texas.

Except for the Feds, it will not and cannot come from Washington.  ‘Proclamations from High’ would be in form of a written notice/paper that would be read, acknowledged and initialed by each officer, placed in their admin jacket and promptly forgotten.  Even for the Federal agencies the same boilerplate would be followed/filed/forgotten.

How to make the changes to all these departments?

On the city/town level the city leaders have to change their mindset of using police officers as revenue generators/tax collectors for city coffers.  This is not just a small town issue of parking tickets, expired plates, licenses.  Teaming with federal agencies allows agencies to ‘arrest’ someone’s money (and split it 80/20 with the Feds) declare the monies/property guilty, hold an administrative hearing, find the property guilty and take it.  Even without the properties’ owner being charged with a crime.  This creates a perverse incentive for the cities to continue to act in this repugnant (to the Constitution) manner.  If your city budget will not support all of those AFSCME administrative drones it is time to cut back on ‘guaranteed’ city jobs.

Taxpayers, this is where your say (vote) comes in to play.  It is time to pay attention to the bloat in the Courthouse.  With less ‘professional administrators’ to support, funding for policing duties and efforts can be adjusted to concentrate on front-line safety-of-the-public issues.

For city/state/federal prosecutors the change must be their mindset of ‘win at all cost’.  The law is not a game to keep score and further your career.  This leads to unsaid collusion with officers to NOT “tell the truth, the whole truth, so help me god.”  The must win mentality is destructive, causing prosecutors to expect (if not demand) that the police always be on the side of the state.

For police departments and Field Office levels the change will only come though committed Leadership.  Not though any management principals—Leadership.  There is a difference and it does matter.  These leaders must obligate themselves to changing the mindset of the officers they command.  If the command hierarchy will not change, the city/town/taxpayers must demand new leadership.

Once the institutional conversion begins it will take consistent actions and words to make the officers on the line understand that the old order of business is not acceptable.  Individual officers should not have to be afraid of speaking out to curtail egregious and illegal behaviors.  Even as simple as, ‘The guy is in handcuffs you should stop hitting him now.’ These ideas of common sense, of restraint when danger to the officer(s) is no longer a factor, are missing from many police departments.  The impression to the pubic of, “I don’t take no lip, with this cannon on my hip.” has to end.  Yes it is a cliché, but generalizations do not appear out of a vacuum.

Not demanding change to these problems, though leadership, will cost the taxpayer’s money; directly, though lawsuits against rogue officers/Departments and indirectly from mob violence and riots.  Cities, States and Federal law enforcement that do not effect these much needed changes in leadership will find their officers continuing to act in a manner that is detrimental to the public good and public opinion.

If your citizens do not support the police, are afraid of the police, and do not respect the police–officers on the line will continue to think “Us vs. Them” and will not support, respect and defend the constitutional rights of the citizens.

NASA May Have Accidentally Created a Warp Field

Which brings us to today’s warp field buzz. Posts on NASASpaceFlight.com, a website devoted to the engineering side of space news, say that NASA has a tool to measure variances in the path-time of light. When lasers were fired through the EmDrive’s resonance chamber, it measured significant variances and, more importantly, found that some of the beams appeared to travel faster than the speed of light. If that’s true, it would mean that the EmDrive is producing a warp field or bubble. Here’s a comment from a space forum following the tests.

Good.

via NASA May Have Accidentally Created a Warp Field | Mysterious Universe.

Virginia and North Dakota Wrestle with Restrictions on Drones

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) has signed legislation that drastically reduces the ability of police departments in his state to use drones for surveillance.
It also makes it clear that drones should never be equipped with weapons, used for private surveillance, or to keep an eye on people speaking or holding rallies in public.
North Dakota is not the only state to be embroiled in a discussion over the use of drones to spy on its citizens.
But in North Dakota, the debate has been about more than the protection of privacy. Economic development and jobs were factors just as, if not more, important than constitutional concerns.
The North Dakota Legislature and Gov. Dalrymple agreed on legislation limiting the use of drones in mid-April. This was not a debate quickly settled.
It took the legislature in Bismarck more than two years to do this deal, in part because the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department has been relying on the use of drones in its surveillance operations.

via Virginia and North Dakota Wrestle with Restrictions on Drones | PJ Media.

Not from The Onion: Chinese Crack Down on Strippers At Funerals

BEIJING (AP) – Chinese officials are launching a campaign to crack down on stripteases and other lewd shows that have become popular at funerals in some rural areas, the Ministry of Culture said Thursday.
The ministry said in a statement that it will tighten control over rural culture, where vulgar performances have been thriving because of a general lack of cultural events.
Such erotic performances at funerals are a relatively new phenomenon. Many rural people believe that a large attendance at funerals is a sign of honor for the deceased, and the shows are used to attract more people and display the family’s prosperity.
The funerals also are a rare occasion for crowds to gather as villagers working as migrant workers in industrial centers return home to bury the deceased.

via Chinese Officials to Crack Down on Strippers At Rural Funerals – US News.

Protein converts pancreatic cancer cells back into healthy cells

Scientists working in the area of pancreatic cancer research have uncovered a technique that sees cancerous cells transform back into normal healthy cells. The method relies in the introduction of a protein called E47, which bonds with particular DNA sequences and reverts the cells back to their original state.
The study was a collaboration between researchers at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, University of California San Diego and Purdue University. The scientists are hopeful that it could help combat the deadly disease in humans.
“For the first time, we have shown that over-expression of a single gene can reduce the tumor-promoting potential of pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells and reprogram them toward their original cell type,” says Pamela Itkin-Ansari, adjunct professor at Sanford-Burnham and lead author of the study. “Thus, pancreatic cancer cells retain a genetic memory which we hope to exploit.”

Good.

via Protein converts pancreatic cancer cells back into healthy cells.

Attention All FORTRAN Programmers: Call your office, you are on deck

What made Ada difficult also made it secure and reliable—in simplified programing terms, it was hard to get code past Ada’s exacting compiler, but once you did, it was extremely reliable and resistant to many types of attacks. Could that reliability and security be combined with an easier development path?

via An unexpected source of mobile security: Ada — Defense Systems.