Thursday, September 30, 2010

Will the Justice Department Be Authorized to Shut Down Internet Sites?

That this is even being contemplated chills me to the bone.
Will the Justice Department Be Authorized to Shut Down Internet Sites?: "

On September 20th, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced legislation — S. 3804, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act — that seeks to give the Department of Justice the power to shut down websites anywhere in the world that are found to infringe on intellectual property rights. This would be accomplished by ordering U.S. domain registrars and registries to stop resolving infringing sites’ domain names. While this bill has the noble-sounding goal of preventing online piracy, handing the federal government authority over the Internet would set a troubling precedent that would imperil Internet freedom in America and across the world.


One disquieting issue is the lack of any requirement that these sites be found to violate the laws of the countries from where they operate. In fact, under this bill sites operating perfectly legally under the laws of their own nations could be shut down by the U.S. Justice Department.

America has been a pretty fair steward of critical internet infrastructure up until now, but we only deserve it as long as we respect the responsibility that power gives us. Pushing edicts across the planet is a lousy way to do that, especially over something as idiotic as copyright infringement.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Unintended Consequences

The primary results in Delaware last week have generated some interesting consequences, such as this thoughtful and well written plea for Christians and Wiccans to come together.

Vodkapundit � Come Together: A Plea to Annoy Christians and Witches Alike!: "There’s some common ground here, where both sides could — and should — meet politically, if not spiritually. For that to happen, however, certain Christians (not nearly all of them) would have to drop their insistence that Wicca is equal to Satanism. And certain Wiccans (not nearly all of them, either) would have to abandon their childish liberalism."
I don't think anyone expected O'Donnell to be this polarizing, but there's a definite opportunity here. Could this be the start of a Wiccan right-wing?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Liberals vs Conservatives

It's like he has a plasma lance of perspective. How have I not found this guy before now?

Perhaps he's just cynical, but he's smiling anyway.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

So...Communism doesn't work?

Cuba details plans to lay off 500,000

Sweeping reforms cut workers from payroll to save funds

Andrea Rodriguez and Paul Haven / Associated Press

Havana -- Cuba's communist leaders have already determined what soon-to-be-dismissed workers should do after they get pink slips in sweeping government layoffs, detailing a plan for them to raise rabbits, paint buildings, make bricks, collect garbage and pilot ferries across Havana's bay.

Many of the workers tossed from state jobs into the marketplace could see their new enterprises fail within a year, officials acknowledge.

From The Detroit News:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

From the ground up


John Ratzenberger may be best known for playing a knowitall, but don't discount the man because of the part. Here are some interesting disturbing statistics:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 25 percent of the working population will reach retirement age by 2012, resulting in a potential shortage of nearly 10 million skilled workers. This heightens the price our nation is paying for dismantling so many in-school vocational training programs during the past few decades.

The current shortage already sharply reduces the growth of U.S. gross domestic product, contributing to our overall economic problem. America’s infrastructure is falling apart before our eyes. Municipal water and sewer systems are failing, and more bridges are unsafe to cross. Yet the nationwide shortfall of more than 500,000 welders is causing already-funded repair projects to be canceled or delayed.

Read the whole thing.  I eagerly await this documentary.

Via Instapundit.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Gender Based Violence!

More proof that men are more violent than women:

According to her complaint, she and fellow pledges were punched, slapped, kicked, slammed into walls, struck with a wooden spoon and a cane, and had books and coins thrown at them during a series of 16 nighttime initiation sessions. Howard recalled one evening when a sorority sister told her to close her eyes. She was then struck on the buttocks with what she later learned was a kitchen pot. The pledges were also frequently struck with a wooden paddle, Howard said, blows that left her with welts on her buttocks.

Oh wait...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Risk Dominates Fun

Part of having fun is taking a risk.  Unfortunately risks can lead to unpleasant consequences, and when those consequences lead to other people paying for your lack of judgement, they tend to remove the risk.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Elementary school playgrounds in one West Virginia county are losing their swing sets.

Swings are being removed from Cabell County schools in southern West Virginia in part because of lawsuits over injuries.

Cabell County schools safety manager Tim Stewart said Wednesday that a lot of parents are accusing him of being un-American, but he says the cost of maintaining a safe surface is too expensive.

Stewart says a lawsuit in the past year involved a youngster who broke his arm jumping off a swing like Superman. It was settled for $20,000.

I would be so pissed at the kid's parents.