Internet Bill Of Rights

Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do? wrote the below rights we should have for the Internet (source):

I. We have the right to connect.
This is a preamble and precondition to the American First Amendment: before we can speak, we must be able to connect. Hillary Clinton defines the freedom to connect as “the idea that governments should not prevent people from connecting to the internet, to websites, or to each other.” It is this principle that also informs discussion of net neutrality.

II. We have the right to speak.
No one may abridge our freedom of speech. We acknowledge the limitations on freedom of speech but they must be defined as narrowly as possible, lest we find ourselves operating under the lowest common denominator of offense. Freedom is our default.

III. We have the right to speak in our languages.
The English language’s domination of the internet has faded as more languages and alphabets have joined the net, which is to be celebrated. But Ethan Zuckerman also cautions that in our polyglot internet, we will want to build bridges across languages. We will want to speak in our own languages but also speak with others’.

IV. We have the right to assemble.
In the American Bill of Rights, the right to assemble is listed separately from the right to speak. The internet enables us to organize without organizations and collaborate and that now threatens repressive regimes as much as speech.

V. We have the right to act.
These first articles are a thread: We connect to speak and speak to assemble and assemble to act and that is how we can and will change the world, not just putting forth grievances but creating the means to fix them. That is what threatens the institutions that would stop us.

VI. We have the right to control our data.
You should have access to data about you. And what’s yours is yours. We want the internet to operate on a principle of portability, so your information and creations cannot be held prisoner by a service or government and so you retain control. But keep in mind that when control is given to one, it is taken from another; in those details lurk devils. This principle thus speaks to copyright and its laws, which set the definitions and limits of control or creation. This principle also raises questions about whether the wisdom of the crowd belongs to the crowd.

VII. We have the right to our own identity.
This is not as simple as a name. Our identity online is made up of our names, addresses, speech, creations, actions, connections. Note also that in repressive regimes, maintaining anonymity — hiding one’s identity — is a necessity; thus anonymity, with all its faults and baggage and trolls, must also be protected online to protect the dissenter and the whistleblower. Note finally that these two articles — controlling our data and our identities — make up the right to privacy, which is really a matter of control.

VIII. What is public is a public good.
The internet is public; indeed, it is a public place (rather than a medium). In the rush to protect privacy, we must beware the dangers of restricting the definition of public. What’s public is owned by the public. Making the public private or secret serves the corrupt and tyrannical.

IX. The internet shall be built and operated openly.
The internet must continue to be built and operated to open standards. It must not be taken over or controlled by any company or government. It must not be taxed. It is the internet’s openness that gives it its freedom. It is this freedom that defines the internet.”

Why One Auschwitz Survivor Avoided Doctors For 65 Years

Yitzhak Ganon survived Auschwitz SS doctor Josef Mengele's medical experiments

Sixty-five years ago, infamous Auschwitz doctor Josef Mengele removed Yitzhak Ganon’s kidney without anesthesia. The Greek-born Jew swore never to see a doctor again — until a heart attack last month brought his horrific tale into the open.  >> Read the full article

Renovating American Infrastructure

 Roads, Bridges & Trains Paul Wootton

I was talking with Scott at lunch yesterday about our normal random things and somehow we got on the subject of America’s infrastructure.  I was telling him I recently read a great article from Popular Science about renovating America’s infrastructure and wanted to share with everyone as well.  The following is an excerpt: “Chicago road crews are scrambling to fill 67,000 potholes a month. Communities in Pennsylvania rely on 100-year-old water pipes made of wood. Squirrels still cause widespread blackouts. The country’s 600,000 bridges, four million miles of roads, and 30,000 wastewater plants desperately need attention. The solution isn’t patches, it’s an overhaul. Soon roads and power lines will fix themselves, and we’ll mine energy from sewage. America’s 21st-century tune-up won’t happen overnight, but we could start reaping the benefits (faster broadband! cleaner water!) within the next few years.”  >> Read the full article

Bay Bridge Fail Whale

Bay Bridge Fail Whale

If you haven’t heard about our Bay Area traffic nightmare, the Bay Bridge has been closed since Tuesday when a 5,000 pound steel beam decided to crash onto the upper deck. They are building a new bridge but it isn’t expected to be completed until 2013.  People are having to use BART (love BART) now and according to, records were broken on Thursday with 442,000 passengers, using the trains.

Read more:

An Unusual Love Story (Email I Received)

Friends Forever – An orangutan was in a rescue and not doing well.  This old hound wandered in absolutely emaciated and the orangutan snapped to like his buddy had arrived. He stayed with the hound night and day until he was well and in the whole scenario found a reason to live.  Suryla and Roscoe are now inseparable.

Where you lead, I will friends Suryia the orangutan and Roscoe the Blue Tick hound.
Doggy paddle's the order of the day here for the couple who live at the Tiger's Sanctuary in Myrtle Beach , SC.
Suryia and Roscoe spend hours together every day - they're particularly keen on swimming.
There's always time to chill.
For once, Roscoe's letting it all hang out.
A dog's not just a man's best friend, he's an orangutan's too.

Healthcare, Obesity, and Wikipedia Data Oh My!

20/20 John Stossel Exposes Canada Care and Socialized Medicine

A former co-worker posted the above video about healthcare on Facebook which brought up some discussions I have been having with people.  Lots of people have been saying Canada’s healthcare is lacking and according the the video above that seems to be the case.  I think we instantly look to Canada’s healthcare because it is the closest socialized medicine nation to what we could compare ourselves with (besides they are our friendly neighbors to the north).  Any time someone has talked about Canada’s healthcare I point them to the list of life expectancy by country on Wikipedia.  The US is #50 and Canada is #8 (see below).  Obviously healthcare can’t be the only contributing factor but what other factors can you think of?

Rank by
Entity Overall life expectancy at birth
1 Macau ( China) 84.36
2 Andorra 82.51
3 Japan 82.12
4 Singapore 81.98
5 San Marino 81.97
6 Hong Kong ( China) 81.86
7 Australia 81.63
8 Canada 81.23
9 France (metropolitan) 80.98
10 Sweden 80.86
11 Switzerland 80.85
12 Guernsey 80.77
13 Israel 80.73
14 Iceland 80.67
15 Anguilla 80.65
16 Cayman Islands 80.43
17 Bermuda 80.65
18 New Zealand 80.36
19 Italy 80.2
20 Gibraltar 80.19
21 Monaco 80.09
22 Liechtenstein 80.06
23 Spain 80.05
24 Norway 79.95
25 Jersey 79.75
26 Greece 79.66
27 Austria 79.5
28 Faroe Islands 79.44
29 Malta 79.44
30 Netherlands 79.4
31 Luxembourg 79.33
32 Germany 79.26
33 Belgium 79.22
34 Saint Pierre and Miquelon 79.07
35 U.S. Virgin Islands 79.05
36 United Kingdom 79.01
37 Finland 78.97
38 Jordan 78.87
39 Isle of Man 78.82
40 South Korea 78.72
41 European Union 78.67
42 Puerto Rico ( US) 78.53
43 Bosnia and Herzegovina 78.5
44 Saint Helena 78.44
45 Cyprus 78.33
46 Denmark 78.3
47 Ireland 78.24
48 Portugal 78.21
49 Wallis and Futuna 78.2
50 United States 78.11

She (my former co-worker) pointed to health statistics on BMI which was smart, I never would have thought to do that.  As you will see below, America is an overweight nation.  The US is #1 and Canada is #11 but I don’t think there is too much of a correlation to show that correlation equals causation (my sociology professor would be so proud) here which is exactly my point.  If our healthcare is so great, and our BMI levels not that far off from other nations with much better life expectancy, why are we #50?

I’m sending this to a Canadian counterpart to get his take on healthcare as well.  I mean afterall “Canadians strongly support the health system’s public rather than for-profit private basis, and a 2009 poll by Nanos Research found 86.2% of Canadians surveyed supported or strongly supported “public solutions to make our public health care stronger.”[4][5]

A 2009 Harris/Decima poll found 82% of Canadians preferred their healthcare system to the one in the United States, more than ten times as many as the 8% stating a preference for a US-style health care system for Canada[6] while a Strategic Counsel survey in 2008 found 91% of Canadians preferring their healthcare system to that of the U.S.[7][8]. In the same poll, when asked “overall the Canadian health care system was performing very well, fairly well, not very well or not at all?” 70% of Canadians rated their system as working either “well” or “very well” [9] A 2003 Gallup poll found only 25% of Americans are either “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with “the availability of affordable healthcare in the nation,” versus 50% of those in the UK and 57% of Canadians. Those “very dissatisfied” made up 44% of Americans, 25% of respondents of Britons, and 17% of Canadians[10]

In November 2004, Canadians voted Tommy Douglas, Canada’s ‘father of Medicare'”) the Greatest Canadian of all time following a nationwide contest.[11][12]

I want to open the conversation up to you.  What other data can we look at to show why the US would have a lower life expectancy than our neighbors to the north if not obesity, or healthcare?  If you send data, please site your sources for everyone to benefit from.  Thank you!


400 Pound Snake



Hi everyone, it looks like this post is getting a ton of interest which is great.  I’m getting some good comments on the post and don’t forget to check out the rest of my posts while visiting (come back and visit me at  I was looking at all of my snake postings and found I have quite a few so if you enjoy this one check these out.  @WilliamsJoseph tweeted this out and I thought it was pretty awesome.  Can you imagine running into this thing?

“A massive python named Deliah was moved by Florida wildlife officials to a temporary home after her chain-link cage near Apopka, Fla., was deemed unsuitable on Friday. The 16-year-old python measures 18 feet long and weighs 400 pounds.”  Source:

Obama’s Speech to America’s Students

President Obama's Message for America's Students

I just finished watching the President’s speech tonight and I liked it.  I think the first part was a little weak but toward the end it had some real substance.  I don’t know if it had much impact in student’s lives overall but I also don’t think it hurt anything either.  I loved the examples at the end regarding failure.  Everyone is going to stumble at one point in their life and you aren’t always going to be good at everything you try.  I think people give up on things too easily.  I had a preacher in Oregon who didn’t teach me much (sorry but you didn’t) but the one thing that did stick is every Sunday he would tell his congregation to “stick and stay and make it pay”.  What he meant by that is you are going to get your feelings hurt at one point or another but if you let others take you away from your true purpose you will lose out on learning and fellowship.

Let’s take a look at America’s education system:

  • American 12th graders rank 19th out of 21 industrialized countries in mathematics achievement and 16th out of 21 nations in science. Our advanced physics students rank dead last.
  • Since 1983, over 10 million Americans have reached the 12th grade without having learned to read at a basic level. Over 20 million have reached their senior year unable to do basic math. Almost 25 million have reached 12th grade not knowing the essentials of U.S. history.
  • In the same period, over six million Americans dropped out of high school altogether. In 1996, 44% of Hispanic immigrants aged 16-24 were not in school and did not hold a diploma.
  • In the fourth grade, 77% of children in urban high-poverty schools are reading “below basic” on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
  • Average per-pupil spending in U.S. public schools rose 212% from 1960 to 1995 in real (i.e. inflation-adjusted) dollars.
  • In 1960, for every U.S. public school teacher there were approximately 26 students enrolled in the schools. In 1995, there were 17.
  • The average salary of U.S. public school teachers rose 45% in real dollars from 1960 to 1995.
  • In 1996, 64% of high school seniors reported doing less than one hour of homework per night.

My article with sources at the bottom of the page:

My Notes from President Obama’s Speech:

  • Unless you show up, education doesn’t mean anything
  • Put in the hard work it takes to succeed
  • Education is the responsibility they each have
  • Everyone has something they are good at and you have responsibility to yourself to find what that is
  • You can’t drop out of school and drop into a good job
  • Nobody has written your destiny, in America you make your own future
  • You won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try
  • Some of the most successful people in the world are those who had the most failures
  • You can’t let your failures define you, you have to let your failures teach you
  • Asking for help isn’t the sign of weakness isn’t a weakness, it is a strength
  • Even if people give up on you, don’t ever give up on yourself

Everyone has been super quiet in “commentland” these days, what did you think of the speech?

Tesla Coil


Nikola Tesla was an inventor and a mechanical and electrical engineer. He is best known for many revolutionary contributions in the field of electricity and magnetism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. On his birthday last week Google dedicated a logo to honor his contribution to the world of science.  In reading through the article they linked to I liked a quote from Tesla about Thomas Edison:  “If Edison had to find a needle in a haystack, he would proceed with the diligence of a bee to examine straw after straw until he found [it]. I was a sorry witness to such doings … a little theory … would have saved him ninety percent of his labor”.