Monday, October 31, 2005

Hilarious Parody of lef-wing hysteria

"This is what happens when you don't listen to the brillant Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer and instead go for the GUSTO. Bush is MOONING US with the blessing of the DAMNED FUNDIES OF HIS PARTY. The RIGHT WING has captured the REPUBLICANS and has turned them into a THEOCRACY. Pretty soon all of us are going to be wearing BURKAS and be barefoot and preganant in the KITCHEN. AND you KNOW that hes not going to be for GAY MARRIAGE (COME ON! How could you NOT be for gay marriage? Stupid Right-WINGERS and your stupid morals and values. LOVE is a moral value), and with any luck, and if BUSHIE gets one more on the SCOTUS, a WOMYNS RIGHT TO CHOOSE is going to be GONE. And we are going to have to get our abortions in BACK ALLEYS. And no birth control. AND DARE I FORGET...BUSH*TLER IS GOING TO REINSTITUTE SLAVERY!!!"
I endorse Alito, and I predict he'll wind up on the SCOTUS despite a fight in the senate. Last I checked, you could buy money for 78 cents on the dollar over at INTRADE, by betting that Alito gets confirmed.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Jeff Jarvis gets it right

"He goes after the quality of two crappy Wikipedia entries and with them rejects the whole notion of amateurism. Except I could show him many articles in my local papers that are crappy. Does that negate the value of all newspaperdom and all journalists?"
Interesting article on Web 2.0 and the evolving relationship between companies and the customers they serve. Ultimately, the internet will enhance our lives because more information is better -- for everybody; buyers, sellers, producers, consumers, creators, companies , individuals, politicians, PACs, everyone -- than less.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Armed populations are harder to exterminate

"In other words, in the face of evidence that an armed populace prevents genocide, the human rights community has largely gotten behind a campaign to ensure that there will be no armed populaces anywhere in the world...
Given that the traditional approaches of conventions and tribunals have failed miserably, the human rights community should be prepared to endorse a new international human right: the right of law-abiding citizens to be armed." (via Instapundit)

I think about this in terms of power decentralization: decentralized power structures (like the US system of checks and balances and federalism) by their very nature are more robust, more flexible, and more fault-tolerant than centralized systems.

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Marriage Debate, a few last thoughts:

Link:: "But of course if you are advocating for SSM, you really do know that social meanings matter. You've made passionately clear that an identical institution called “civil unions” that delivered all the legal incidents of marriage just wouldn't be good enough, because it doesn’t mean the same thing. You seek to use the power of government to take all those accumulated meanings of marriage (which were not created by the government) and re-direct them to same-sex relations, and many of you clearly also want to discipline those who don’t accept your moral view, to the best of your abilities. And so many want to do this in the name of liberty, without even acknowledging what SSM is: the use government power to impose a new morality on a reluctant people."

Family pictures

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The era of big government being over, is over.


Just say no to universal suffrage

Link. Some liberal, pea-brained judge thinks showing a driver's license prior to voting is too much of a burden on people. Read the whole thing.

Friday, October 14, 2005

So what kind of beast am i?

From Wikipedia:
"Minarchism is the view that the size, role and influence of government in a free society should be minimal ... Many minarchists consider themselves part of the libertarian tradition, and claim that what they call minarchy continues the traditions of classical liberal philosophy. The term is perhaps most often used to differentiate libertarians that believe it is possible to have a state that protects individual liberty without violating it itself, from the anarchists who believe that any state is inherently a violation of individual liberty. Minarchists believe some minimal government is necessary to preserve liberty (from invading non-minarchy based armies, if nothing else)... Many minarchists agree that government should be restricted to its 'minimal' or 'night watchman' state functions of government (e.g., courts, police, prisons, defense forces). Some minarchists include in the ideal role of government the management of essential common infrastructure (e.g., roads, money)...
minarchists favor expansion of power in a government of a small jurisdiction (like a city or county) over a larger jurisdiction (like a state or nation). This leaves individuals who wish to avoid living or working under the expansion more options (it's easier to move to another city or county than to move to another state or country)."

New TEchnoUtopia art

I'm updating the look of Technoutopia with this new original artwork by ... me.

Multiple-personality disorder

I have recently been accused of being schizophrenic. Reason: I frequently harp on the size and scope of the federal government (and its budget), yet I also link to posts like this one which argue that our federal budget deficit isn't so bad.

To explain my internal consistency, it suffices to divide the issue of federal spending into two realms: one is the realm of law and philosophy of government, the other is the realm of economics.

When looking at things through the lens of economics, I think its clear that:
1. There is no impending budget-deficit crisis.
2. Current spending levels are supportable, given robust economic growth.
My take-away is that, from an economic stand-point, we shouldn't go crazy with tax-cuts or spending-cuts in an effort to "tame" our "exploding" national debt.

Before we start analyzing government spending economically, we first have to ask ourselves what the Constitution authorizes the federal government to do as a matter of law. (And what powers we should give to government more generally.) From this perspective, I am convinced that the federal government is too powerful:
1. the constitution lays out a central authority whose powers are limited to a small number of specificall enumerated functions (national defense, interstate commerce, foreign affairs, regulation of the money supply, federal courts) -- compare this to our current situation: the courts have allowed the federal government to regulate (and tax) pretty much anything.
2. the un-constitutional power of our current federal government manifests itself in two ways: federal regulations and the power to tax and spend.
3. I want to reduce the power of our federal government, thus I desire a reduction in government spending/taxing. This is an end in itself and completely independent of any economic analysis (though I happen to believe that lower taxes will induce greater economic growth).
So my desire to see the budget reduced is motivated by a desire to reduce the scope and power of the federal government, not by economic concerns.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Susan Crawford blog on Internet Law

Link :
"The copyright concerns that scholars have been focused on for the last ten and more years are proxies for the central problem facing the internet: private control of our internet experiences. We’re moving from the conceit of owning information (the problem of IP, the problem taken on by Jamie Boyle in his 1996 Shamans, Software, and Spleens) to the conceit of owning the public internet itself – or, in other words, the conceit of owning flows of information. "

Read the whole thing. Interesting questions and ones that are important to answer correctly in the coming techno-utopia.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Why I'm not a republican anymore


"Republicans took control of Congress in 1994 by promising 'the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public's money.' A look out my window says that isn't happening.

A review of the federal budget confirms it. Federal spending was up 33 percent in President Bush's first four years, making Bush the fastest spender of taxpayer dollars since President Johnson. Between the pork-filled highway bill, the emergency spending bills for the war in Iraq and now the blank-check plans for Hurricane Katrina, he's breaking that record now.

When Katrina spending is factored in, Bush will likely be the fastest-spending president since Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II."
Oprah-induced Child Molester Hysteria: Read the whole thing. A little vulgar, but funny and the point is well taken. In perusing Oprah's list I notice that I'm guilty of many of these "Molester-traits": I enjoy hugging and kissing my two kids, I act like a kid when around them and encourage them to act like kids themselves, I like to play human-steamroller and give them piggy-back rides, etc. I guess Oprah has already profiled me as a pervert.

Friday, October 07, 2005

DRM screws legitimate users instead of pirates

The War on Game Pirates | TG Daily: "While these copy protection methods are finding their way onto an increasing amount of videogames, the ironic thing is that despite all the hassle they create for honest users, they don't work all that well. I've seen as many cracked copies of 'protected' videogames on the Internet as unprotected games. The real joke is the fact that the cracked versions of the games do not come with the disruptive copy protection - meaning that the pirates do not suffer the ill effects of the driver that are inflicted upon legitimate paying customers."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Google declares war on Microsoft

"GOOGLE HAS confirmed that it will launch free spreadsheet and word-processing software online and take on Microsoft in one of its biggest markets.

Under the deal, Google will allow web users to access Sun's OpenOffice from a toolbar.

Sun's Australian spokesman Paul O'Connor bubbled that the deal was a wake-up call for Microsoft:

'At the moment most people are used to having to pay for software packages, but at the end of the day, the value is in the content and services – not in the software itself,' he said."

No duh! I don't know how many times I've gotten into it with people over intellectual property and so-called "piracy" who lamely conclude their arguments with the bold economic assertion (stated in a tragically pained, kind of whiney voice): "But without copyright, how will software developers make any money?"

Hello people, ever heard of World of Warcraft? Everquest? Google? Trying to own the bits is moronic, the value-added is in service and support.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Interesting Digital Identity presentation

Fascinating stuff, by Dick Hardt (I recommend downloading the large version, even it is low-res, so the small version is probably unwatchable).

I impatiently await the realization of his ideas; its only a matter of time.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Pictures from DC

A shot of me, listening to my 4Gb iPod Nano <\drool>, at the WWII memorial in DC last week.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Intellectual Honesty in budget discussions (a modest proposal):

The Skeptical Optimist:
Maybe a Constitutional amendment is in order; something like this:

"Article XXVIII: Anyone who talks or writes about the raw dollars of debt, the raw dollars of deficit, or the raw dollars of interest payments, instead of debt as % GDP, deficit as % GDP, or interest as % of tax receipts, will have his ________ or her ________ chopped off in the town square within twenty-four hours after conviction of the crime. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation, except the President shall have the duty to enforce this article when the violator is a member of the Congress."