observations from a slightly mad german-american

Friday, December 07, 2001

More on Ashcroft's comments.

Ashcroft Defends Antiterror Plan and Says Criticism May Aid Foes Mr. Ashcroft's comments describing criticism of the administration as aiding the enemy produced angry rebuttals from several civil liberties groups. In one example, Ralph G. Neas, the president of People for the American Way, said Mr. Ashcroft was trying to intimidate his critics into silence.

Thursday, December 06, 2001


No apologies from me.... John Ashcroft is a fascist jerk.

His latest statments to the Senate boil down to "if you dare
question what I do, you are in league with the enemy and are a traitor".

(He was reffering to those who question the appropriateness of the
anti-terrorism tactics employed by the Bush Administration.)

I disagree -- any person who claims to love this country and claims to
stand for the princples and basic liberties upon which the US was
founded has an obligation to take the Government to task when it
tries to ignore or curtail them.

("Question everything," Thomas Jefferson once said.)

It seems to me the "enemies" are those who would destroy the USA's
foundations: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- as
enshrined and protected by the Constitution.

The government may be within its legal rights with its actions as
of late against foreign nationals.

But in so doing, it exposes the arrogance and hypocrisy that got
the US into this mess in the first place.

We cried foul when US nationals were tried in Peru by secret
tribunals and without adequate representation.

We cried foul when US nationals were tried in China by secret
tribunals and without adequate representation.

We cried foul when US nationals were tried in Afghanistan by
secret tribunals and without adequate representation.

And now we propose doing the same in the interests of "security".

If we want true security, we gonna have to look at how we managed to
forment such deep resentment throughout the world and do something about it.

Hill, Ashcroft Defends Anti-Terror Tactics (washingtonpost.com)

(And to any militaristic nationalist f***s who might think me an
unrealistic la-la-land can't we just love our neighbor weenie: Yes,
I do believe that the USA must stand up for herself when attacked,
and yes, I do believe we are right to bomb the f*** out of the Taliban.
And yes, I do consider myself a Liberal.)

And I thought the DMCA was bad... Along comes the SSSCA.

I haven't researched this issue too much yet, but the little I've learned so far isn't good.

SSSCA is a new set of legislation that has been (or will be) proprosed by Senator Ernest Hollings, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

It appears to place significant requirements on all electronic data that would seriously hamper innovations and intellectual freedom. The only people I see benefiting are the entertainment industry and a few software firms (can you say Microsoft? Oracle?).

It would essentially outlaw free software* like GNU/Linux or FreeBSD, because they allow themselves to be freely copied and resold -- which would fly in the face of the legislation's requirements that software have built-in copy protection.

Seems handy for Microsoft and Sun. The largest portion of web-servers, mail-servers, etc., on the Internet today are based on Linux and Apache -- both free software. Outlaw those two products, and who gets the hole created in the market?

This isn't just about "Microsoft is evil" -- that's too general of a statement anyways -- there is much more at stake.

Brush up on the issue and write your Senators and Congressman to let them know how you feel about it.

Links below:

  1. Letter to Senator Howlings from the Assocation for Computing Devices (ACM).
  2. More to come soon...

Happy Thursday.

*The term "Free Software" is oft misunderstood, due to a quirk of the English language. For more information, visit the Free Software Foundation.

Wednesday, December 05, 2001

Burying one's head in the sand has long been the standard practice in our country, and it doesn't appear that will change any time soon...

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