Chad Perrin: SOB

14 October 2006

Mark your calendars.

Filed under: Liberty — apotheon @ 06:55

October 17th is the day President and Petty Tyrant in Chief George W. Bush intends to sign the Military Commissions Act into law. We all knew he was a wannabe dictator by now (at least I hope we all do — those who don’t, you should learn to read), so this isn’t a huge surprise. The problem is the wankers in the Senate and House of Representatives who voted for this bill, known to some as “The Torture Bill”. It essentially reduces the prohibition against torture by US governmental officials to a mere admonishment that they shouldn’t do anything that leaves marks. Otherwise, torture is A-Okay.

Of course, despite all the press this gets as the Torture Bill, that’s not the biggest problem with the Military Commissions Act (check the BORDC website for a brief summary of some of the Act’s talking points). As much as that is a major problem, it pales beside the significant defanging of the power of the courts to issue and implement a Writ of Habeas Corpus. Habeas corpus is, in essence, the legal precedent that keeps the government from “legally” making people vanish in the night without due process, without probable cause, and without hope of ever seeing daylight again. The United States government is taking a significant step toward the worst any oppressive regime has to offer. I mourn the inexorable loss of liberty here.

If you’re curious about who to vote for or against this November when a bunch of Congresscritters come up for (re)election, you should check out this voting record on the Military Commissions Act. The Congressional districts are listed, so you can check political maps of Congressional district divisions to see who’s supposedly your “representative” in the federal legislature. The people who fucked you over are very helpfully listed in blue. Never vote for them (again).

If you don’t start voting for Libertarians now, you may as well kiss your ass goodbye.

The State of the Net (in my world)

Filed under: Geek,Liberty,Metalog — apotheon @ 12:03

It has now been more than a week since I’ve posted here. Argh.

I’ve been hammered by work-related stuff all week. I got about thirteen metric arseloads of work piled on me as of Monday, and have been getting caught up the entire time. My weblogging has suffered, as a result. On the upside, it looks like I’ll probably be able to get a new personal project off the ground by the end of the month, assuming no catastrophic issues arise to stand in my way.

That project will be a new news analysis and commentary website. Some of you might be familiar with the stagnant experiment in that realm I called @political. I’d link to it, but one of the consequences of this new effort will be that the content of @political will be replaced with something else in the near future, so there isn’t much point. In any case, that was primarily a soapbox for yours truly with some delusions of grandeur in the form of the vague belief that others would contribute regularly as well in exchange for . . . well, nothing, really. A couple people actually did contribute a fair bit of content, but it just wasn’t sustainable in the previous form.

The new plan is, in fact, built around a workable business model. Writers will actually have an opportunity to make money. Not only that, but so will editors: one of the major hurdles to making the original effort work is that I was the only editor, and frankly, that’s more work than writing. Now I’ve got a way to compensate (and thus motivate) both trusted editors and contributing writers with filthy lucre. On top of all that, this involves a way to compensate me, too. I’ll give more details on the project as they become available, but I’ll give you a hint: if this sounds like something you’d like, thank Sterling for helping out with the initial setup.

That said, I think we should take a brief moment to marvel at the stupidity of scary censorship that calls to mind secret police and book burning in a search engine. Yes, that’s right, a wannabe search engine is engaging in some really disturbing censorship practices — and doing so in a way that really raises privacy concerns as well as convincing me that its service sucks.

Busted by ChaCha Here’s a screenshot provided to me by a friend who recently decided to try out ChaCha (please excuse the blurred-out and obscured IP address). As you can see, ChaCha’s practices leave something to be desired in terms of respecting privacy and one’s right to seek out, and find, knowledge. This looks like a concerted effort to support ignorance, really — and I don’t even know what the heck the people at ChaCha think is so dangerous that we must be protected from it in that search term. Seriously. The word “fetish” has many meanings, y’know, and is hardly condemning on its own — or in combination with “lumber”, for that matter. Really. WTF, mate?

I already knew ChaCha sucked, but this really takes the cake.

All original content Copyright Chad Perrin: Distributed under the terms of the Open Works License