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Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
defended the unlimited detention of suspected terrorists saying, You can’t allow somebody to commit the crime before you detain them, because if they commit the crime, thousands of innocent people die
, she told the USA Today daily.
Why do we need courts or even laws? The government can see into the future and know who will commit a crime. No need to worry, our government will only torture the bad guys, because they know absolutely who they are and what they will do. They don't need any intereference from those pesky courts or congress.
Spying on citizens
The Washington Post
reports that the Pentagon is expanding its domestic surveillance activity.
We are deputizing the military to spy on law-abiding Americans in America. This is a huge leap without even a [congressional] hearing," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a recent interview.
And this from the article...
The White House is considering expanding the power of a little-known Pentagon agency called the Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA, which was created three years ago. The proposal, made by a presidential commission, would transform CIFA from an office that coordinates Pentagon security efforts—including protecting military facilities from attack—to one that also has authority to investigate crimes within the United States such as treason, foreign or terrorist sabotage or even economic espionage.
Economic espionage? What is that? Violations of the DMCA? Reverse engneering? When did the military become criminal investigators? I thought that's why we had a Justice Department. I guess quaint notions like civilian control of the military are just so pre-9/11.
I feel safer already.
Copy Protection Robs The Future
has a good article on his blog describing the harm that copy protection does to future generations. If the DRM crowd has their way, the Rosetta stone might be illegal.
When it says "My Computer" it doesn't really mean YOUR computer
Following on the Sony rootkit fiasco, comes this gem from the FCC: consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement.
Basically, the FCC is stating that you only have the right to run software if it is approved by the cops. Like Sony, the FCC, FBI and other big brothers feel that they have the right to control what you do with your computer. Not just after the fact if you violate a law, but before you do anything. There may be an argument for this sort of thing, if you were to consider software as a device and the internet were licensed. For example, the government has an interest in regulating the kind of vehicles that travel interstate highways. It regulates vehicles and licenses drivers. However, the net has no licensing requirements and software is more analogous to speech than a device. The FCC and especially Sony appear to be applying prior restraint on a form of expression, a form protected by the first amendment.
We weren't lying, we were just...
just what? VP Dick Cheney has been running around defending the administration's pre-war actions. "What is not legitimate and what I will again say is dishonest and reprehensible is the suggestion by some U.S. Senators that the President of the United States or any member of his administration purposely misled the American people on pre-war intelligence,"
). So if they didn't try to mislead us, then they were wrong about Iraq's threat to the US. We seem to be left with the choice of considering the adminstration a collection of liars or a group of incompetents who lead the nation to war for the wrong reasons.
Of course congress, almost all Republicans and most Democrats were eager to believe They weren't willing to question strongly either the veracity of the White House or it's ability to interpret intelligence. What happens next? Now we have demands for immediate withdrawl from Iraq and it seem likely that the administration will either adjust or interpret the intelligence to indicate that they should withdraw soon. Iraq will be left crippled and a training ground for Al Qaeda. Whatever happens, it's unlikely that either the White House or congress will rethink the notion that the current long term war is good policy. Is the "war on terror" the best way forward from here or is "terror" a crime being perpetrated by a mafia-like group of organizations upon the citizens of various nations? Are suicide bombers soldiers in war against the West or criminals terrorizing their home towns? Should they be brought to justice or subdued in a war? It's probably time to rethink our strategy, but we probably won't.
The American Museum of Natural History in New York has been unable to find a sponsor for its new exhibition detailing the life and discoveries of Charles Darwin according to The Register
. Apparently, American corporations, which depend on science, even biotechs which depend on evolutionary theory are too timid to support science.
The $100 laptop will change the world.
The $100 laptop
will change the world. This is one of those key devopments that will change they way things work, like the mass-produce auto or the internet. When hundreds of millions of kids who had limited or no access to computing suddenly get their hand a serious computer things will be different.