This is an unbelievable statement from one of our top medical advisors. Heroin overdoses kill many people; there is a cheap rescue option, though, kits called Narcan that cost a mere $9.50 and allow people to save lives. The Bush administration opposes their distribution.
Dr. Bertha Madras, deputy director of the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy, opposes the use of Narcan in overdose-rescue programs.
“First of all, I don’t agree with giving an opioid antidote to non-medical professionals. That’s No. 1,” she says. “I just don’t think that’s good public health policy.”
Madras says drug users aren’t likely to be competent to deal with an overdose emergency. More importantly, she says, Narcan kits may actually encourage drug abusers to keep using heroin because they know overdosing isn’t as likely.
Madras says the rescue programs might take away the drug user’s motivation to get into detoxification and drug treatment.
Hang on there…Bertha doesn’t like non-medical professionals having access to an antidote? Does she also tut-tut the availability of defibrillators in places where someone without a medical degree might use them to save a life?
And it just gets worse. She opposes saving lives because watching a friend go into delirium, spasm, turn blue, and die in front of you is a pretty good deterrent to drug use. Even better, if you turn blue and die you won’t be repeating your filthy drug habits ever again — the War on Drugs chalks up a win! We have a public health official advocating more deaths among victims of drug abuse as part of their compassionate approach to improving the health of our citizens.
The debate isn’t security versus privacy. It’s liberty versus control.
You can see it in comments by government officials: “Privacy no longer can mean anonymity,” says Donald Kerr, principal deputy director of national intelligence. “Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people’s private communications and financial information.” Did you catch that? You’re expected to give up control of your privacy to others, who — presumably — get to decide how much of it you deserve. That’s what loss of liberty looks like.
It should be no surprise that people choose security over privacy: 51 to 29 percent in a recent poll. Even if you don’t subscribe to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it’s obvious that security is more important. Security is vital to survival, not just of people but of every living thing. Privacy is unique to humans, but it’s a social need. It’s vital to personal dignity, to family life, to society — to what makes us uniquely human — but not to survival.
If you set up the false dichotomy, of course people will choose security over privacy — especially if you scare them first. But it’s still a false dichotomy. There is no security without privacy. And liberty requires both security and privacy. The famous quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin reads: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” It’s also true that those who would give up privacy for security are likely to end up with neither.
Last night, an anonymous tipster pointed us to this Austin Heap webpage that purportedly reveals the iPhone’s secret Application SDK key. Another tipster, also anonymous, then tipped me to iPhone “Elite” developer Zibri’s blog, that shows the same key. So what does this mean? Since all iPhone applications must be properly signed for iTunes to process them and for the iPhone to load them, this key suggests that hackers are closer to creating compliant IPA application bundles for home-brew iTunes distribution. With the proper key, developers can create and distribute applications that load through iTunes without Apple’s blessing.
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And it’ll probably change soon.
I missed it – did we get an update on the manned mission to mars?
An ad I received from Costco today featured the following:
Next Generation Condoms
Irony, like youth, is wasted on the young.
Actor Sylvester Stallone at ‘John Rambo’ press conference today. By Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images.
Last night we told you about Qtrax, a new P2P service aimed at combating illicit P2P by offering a legit service that compensates artists and labels via enforced advertising. In that story we briefly noted that Qtrax didn’t appear to have all of its ducks in a row: the company was saying that it had signed all four major music labels, when it appeared that they hadn’t. At the time it was rather unclear, however, because Qtrax told both Reuters and Wired that it had the necessary signatures.
Late last night the LA Times called around to confirm the deal and found that only Universal would say that it was close to a deal. EMI and Warner denied a deal was in place, and Peter Kafka says that Sony BMG has also denied that there was a deal in place. In short, no labels have signed on yet.