Federal regs II: State Dept’s new regs would transform the Internet beyond recognition

Keep the Internet free.

dont-mess-with-internet-404Rusty Weiss called to our attention Monday morning an update to “arms trafficking” regulations posted to the Federal Register last week by the State Department.  The National Rifle Association has sounded the alarm, having recognized quickly how these new regs would effectively shut down the exchange of information among gun enthusiasts on the web.

But the chokehold effect would be felt in other quarters as well.  This move by the State Department is an absolutely terrible idea across the board.  Even if it dealt with international trade in pork bellies or chicken parts, rather than arms, it should still be opposed strenuously on principle.

Its effect will be to make a tremendous chunk of what people talk about on the web every day subject to prior restraint, by, of all agencies, the State Department – or, potentially, other federal agencies, depending on topic. Continue reading “Federal regs II: State Dept’s new regs would transform the Internet beyond recognition”

Surgeon General-gate and the double standard for mixing health, guns, and politics

The public health realm IS political.

The New England Journal of Medicine has come out in high dudgeon over the vocal opposition of gun-rights activists to Obama’s surgeon general nominee, Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy.  Howard Portnoy highlighted earlier this month Dr. Murthy’s belief that doctors should interrogate patients on whether they have guns in the home.  As Howard pointed out, the provisions of Obamacare mean that the results of such questioning would be entered into the universal health-care database to which government officials would have access.  The NRA naturally objects.

The editorial at NEJM thunders: Continue reading “Surgeon General-gate and the double standard for mixing health, guns, and politics”