Thu, 17 Jul 2003

John Conyers, Howard Berman Considered Harmful

Upload a File, Go to Prison

John Conyers is not my representative in Congress, though he does claim to represent part of the Detroit area. Indeed, it's clear from this bill that he doesn't represent anyone in Michigan, just these lobbies. Howard Berman is already well known in tech circles for introducing this wacky crap.

:: 12:18
:: /opinion/politics/technology | [+]
::Comments (0)

Wed, 25 Jun 2003

Black Music Month, June 2003

via Todd Larason, amplified by Curt

African-American music continues to influence the American music scene today with styles such as rap and hip-hop. As we celebrate the many creative and inspiring African-American artists whose efforts have enhanced our Nation, we recognize their enduring legacy and look to a future of continued musical achievement.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2003 as Black Music Month. I encourage Americans of all backgrounds to learn more about the heritage of black musicians, and to celebrate the remarkable role they have played in our history and culture.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-seventh.

Look at that date again. I could say something catty here, but there's really no need, is there?

:: 19:36
:: /opinion/politics | [+]
::Comments (0)

Mon, 02 Jun 2003

Bread And Circuses

"You can walk the streets of the United States and you will never find a single person who's in favor of more consolidated media, unless by chance you happened to bump into one of Rupert Murdoch's children." - Reed Hundt, former U.S. FCC Chairman, in Salon

:: 00:34
:: /opinion/politics | [+]
::Comments (0)

Sun, 25 May 2003

"Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"

Here is a page to bookmark--The Center for Public Integrity has assembled a database that tracks the ownership of media outlets, as well as industry-sponsored junkets taken by FCC officials between May 1995 and March 2003.

Curious about who owns your local media, telephone and cable company? This searchable database contains basic information on every radio and television station in America as well as every cable television system and telephone company. You may search by company, by call sign or by area. Searchers will find basic information on some of the most important telecommunication companies, including a brief corporate profile and basic financial information.

:: 15:17
:: /opinion/politics | [+]
::Comments (0)

Thu, 15 May 2003

While You Were Out...

The American Civil Liberties Union has posted a pretty eye-opening poster (153 kb PDF file) that works as a fairly succinct description of what the existing USA Patriot Act means to your privacy rights, and why you should be really worried about Patriot II.

:: 03:01
:: /opinion/politics | [+]
::Comments (0)

Wed, 23 Apr 2003

G'head, keep voting for these jokers

(via Kent Williams)

I just love living in a theocracy, don't you? (link). I'm getting "Handmaid's Tale" flashbacks.

:: 13:12
:: /opinion/politics | [+]
::Comments (0)

Fri, 14 Mar 2003

When you download MP3s, you're financing TERROR!

I just keep waiting for the moment when someone nudges me in the ribs and says "just kidding," but it never comes.

I think Tycho puts it best here:

John G. Malcolm, deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice, did say there seems to be some connection between illegal copying and organized crime, in that many of the groups profiting from illegal copies are highly organized and can have international distribution networks. Organized crime often supports terrorism, he suggested.

"These groups will not hesitate to threaten or injure those who tend to interfere with their operations," Malcolm said.

This is the first statement I have ever read where Manga speechlessness - "..." - is the only valid response.

:: 13:16
:: /opinion/politics/technology | [+]
::Comments (0)

Thu, 13 Mar 2003

There's a new "Get Your War On"

Devastating freedom smackdown. I can't credibly talk about a government that parodies itself. Memo to the rest of the world -- Americans aren't really all this freaking stupid.

:: 16:07
:: /opinion/politics | [+]
::Comments (0)

Tue, 11 Mar 2003

Reason #65535 why the DMCA sucks ass

Overzealous reactions to takedown notifications can and do severely damage real people and organizations. The "guilty until proven innocent" provisions mean that complaints that used to be handled via a single email between interested parties very quickly devolve into a real denial of service for people that aren't even necessarily related to the "infringer." In this case, an upstream provider actually deleted a customer's SQL database, which had to be restored from backup. How crazy is that?

:: 10:37
:: /opinion/politics/technology | [+]
::Comments (0)

Sat, 25 Jan 2003

"There are exactly... 57... Communists in the House of Representatives"

Numbers are fun. You can make them say whatever you want them to say.

:: 11:26
:: /opinion/politics | [+]
::Comments (0)

Wed, 15 Jan 2003

Disney Wins, Eldred (and everyone else) Loses (via /.)

"The upshot is that no works produced in the United States after the 1920's will ever go out of copyright." Money gets what money wants. No surprises.

:: 11:31
:: /opinion/politics | [+]
::Comments (0)

Thu, 12 Dec 2002

Delayed reaction

When I wrote this entry just a few days ago, it indeed seemed like the national news media was sleeping on the Trent Lott story. Over the past few days, the story has finally taken on a life of its own, though I still have to wonder if it would have continued to be ignored if the major news outlets hadn't been shamed into action.

:: 08:01
:: /opinion/politics | [+]
::Comments (0)

Tue, 10 Dec 2002

Why's everyone sitting on the Trent Lott story?

Yechh, politics. But this story doesn't seem to have pissed off nearly as many people as it ought to have.

:: 10:50
:: /opinion/politics | [+]
::Comments (0)

Sun, 24 Nov 2002

Going too far...

Pretty soon it seems there will be nothing left. Options, options.

:: 07:53
:: /opinion/politics | [+]
::Comments (0)

Wed, 13 Nov 2002

Papers, please. Do you haff your papers?

If you've lived in the Detroit metro area, then you know how terribly invasive this is. The Detroit-Windsor border has historically been one of the most open in the country -- open enough so that it was common for downtown workers to go to Canada for lunch.

:: 20:19
:: /opinion/politics | [+]
::Comments (0)

Wed, 25 Sep 2002

What is it good for? Absolutely nothing -- say it again!

:: 14:27
:: /opinion/politics | [+]
::Comments (0)

Tue, 24 Sep 2002

1. Remove thumb from ass. 2. Place thumb on nuclear button. 3. Repeat as necessary.

4 more years! 4 more years!

:: 16:48
:: /opinion/politics | [+]
::Comments (0)

Mon, 16 Sep 2002

Terrah! Terrah!

Now kids, what do we do when we assume? We make cowardly decisions based on fear rather than on common sense. Oh yeah, and we make an ASS out of U and ME. Can't forget that.

:: 18:49
:: /opinion/politics | [+]
::Comments (0)

“There was no difference between the behavior of a god and the operations of
pure chance…”
— Thomas Pynchon, _Gravity’s Rainbow_