August 31, 2004

Electoral Reform in Washington

Alright, the time has come for me to comment. If you live in Washington, you've no doubt heard of the crap that's gone on. The Republicans and Democrats (acting together, to preserve their shared dominance over the American political system) sued the state over its "blanket primary" system, and the system was declared unconstitutional, because it is a "nominating primary" and yet it does not give the parties any control over who is voting to nominate their candidates. Washington never had a presidential primary, due to not having a valid electoral system in place. Under the original system, Washington voters...
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Topic(s): Politics
Posted by Kenny at 3:17 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)

August 25, 2004

Download Music and ... the Government Will Steal Your Computer?

Also on slashdot today, a pointer to a Reuters story about a justice department raid on the homes of peope accused of the vicious crime of ... file sharing? Four raids took place, computers were confiscated but not arrests were made. John Ashcroft reportedly made idiotic and generally fascist statements to the affect that it would be "inappropriate" for the justice department to "stand by while such theft is taking place." Give me a break! Allow me to let you in on a little secret: If I can take it from you, without depriving you of it ... It's NOT...
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JibJab Wins

I had previously mentioned the lawsuit threat regarding the hilarious JibJab parody of the old patriotic song "This Land". Well, Slashdot is reporting that the case has been resolved and, as it turns out, the song was actually in the public domain to begin with, and the company doesn't control the rights after all. You mean there's still a public domain?...
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August 22, 2004

Props to Joe Lance of The Chattanoogan

Props to Joe Lance for his great opinion piece in The Chattanoogan. Mr. Lance has an excellent list of the "un-Conservative" things done by the Bush administration and points out that "In far too many cases, the phrase 'conservative values' refers only to the candidate's views on aspects of social interaction or religious concepts. The hype surrounding the so-called 'culture wars' is a distraction and a ploy to ensure that the rural, lower middle class votes for a feeling about morality rather than for an economically sound administration" concluding that the only way for a true political conservative to go...
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Topic(s): Politics
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August 13, 2004

Interview with Michael Badnarik

The Augusta Free Press has a great interview with Michael Badnarik today. Some of my favorite quotes: On the 9/11 Commission Report: "The 9/11 Report reads sort of like a Rogaine prescription for a chemotherapy patient. Yes, the patient is losing his hair, but that's the least of his problems. The report talks a lot about enhancing the nation's ability to collect and analyze intelligence, but it doesn't get to the real problem, which is an interventionist foreign policy that needlessly creates enemies." On the Federal Department of Education: "I've read the Constitution many times. No matter how I read...
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Topic(s): Politics
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August 11, 2004

Badnarik Campaign: Now is the Time. Speak up on Intellectual Property Law!

The Badnarik campaign is reporting on their blog today that their site's Alexa stats are continuing to climb. If you examine the statistics closely, you will note that has already exceeded in total pageviews per day, and is poised to defeat that site in "reach" (the number of internet users out of every million who view the site each day) as well. There are thousands (and that's a conservative estimate) of avid Internet users who are eligible voters disenfranchised by America's two-party system. This force being mobilized by the Badnarik campaign could, at the least, really shake things up (imagine a Libertarian winning a couple of Electoral votes!). However, there is one issue very near and dear to the heartss of these would-be voter computer nerds which the Badnarik campaign has completely failed to address: Intellectual property.
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Topic(s): Politics
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August 10, 2004

In Case There Was Any Doubt: IRS Shows True Colors As Illegal Extortion Racket

The New York Times is running an article today entitled "Tech Company Settled Tax Case Without an Audit". The text basically shows how a secret agreement between the IRS and a minor semiconductor firm allowed said firm to avoid paying some $51 million in back taxes on shady stock option packages given to employees. Frustrated with the failure of the internal chain of command to address the illegal nature of the deal, Remy Welling, the auditor who was asked to approve it, took her case to the FBI, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), and the press. She will lose her...
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Topic(s): Politics
Posted by Kenny at 10:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

August 9, 2004

Rights for Authors - Not Publishers

Tim Wu, guest blogging forLawrence Lessig, notes that the JibJab parody of "This Land is Your Land" is actually supported by the family and estate of Woody Guthrie, the now deceased author of the song. Asked about the parody, granddaughter Cathy Guthrie reportedly responded "this parody was made for you and me." The rights are controlled by a company known as The Richmond Organization, and they are threatening to sue JibJab. The parody is hilariously funny and highly reccomended. The family's decision ought to stand, and the rights of individuals ought to triumph over the rights of huge corporations. After...
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The Bush Campaigns Active Targetting of Conservative Churches - An Outrage!

The New York Times is reporting again (free registration required) on the Bush campaign's active targetting of conservative churches. One Assembly of God near St. Louis, Missouri is reported to have sent out so many political mailings to its members that the postal service denied it the free postage priveleges generally given to non-profit organizations. This is an outrage. The Church is a place for morals, but not for politics. The two are not the same.Churches endorsing particular political leaders was a large part of what led to the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. The...
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Topic(s): Politics
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