Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Possible End of Judicial Review

Does the Real-ID Act Contain a Constitution Busting Trojan Horse

Excepting the various laws designed to protect the minors, it is rare indeed that my favored tech sites feature commentary on the nature and status of law. Other than Groklaw, very few tech oriented sites concern themselves primarily with matters of law or politics. Thus, I was rather surprised to see the above editorial posted on Ars Technica.

Nevertheless, it speaks volumes of the current state of American politics when the technophiles are picking up on the sweeping federalization of the Three-Headed Giant. While others, such as Vox Day have commented on the Devil's Own, it's almost heartwarming to see the technophiles picking up on the vary real threats of current Federal governance in the United States.

Anyone with a passing knowledge of American jurisprudence and Constitutional history should realize that judicial review in the United States is a construct of the Court. While it may be arguably too powerful, the construct arrives at its current state from a series of critical judiciary decisions that begin with Marbury v. Madison and culminates in The United States v. Nixon. The decision in Nixon effective gives the Court jurisdiction over matters of Executive Order, as well as other pseudo-legislative Executive Authority. To a degree, I think the provisions of the Real-ID Act attempting to circumvent judicial authority are designed with this precedent in mind.

The Legislature and Executive both recognize the danger of judicial fiat, but removing it entirely might very well be a Bad Thing (tm) at this point. The United States Supreme Court, while certainly not exempt from bad decisions, has been functionally emasculated by the Bush Administration as it is. The Executive stands in continued defiance of Court order on both the Guantanamo and Hamdi issues. Due process of law has taken a back seat. Removing the Court from matters of law would simply be the icing on the cake.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Utah Figured It Out

Utah Governor Snubs "No Child" Requirements

I believe this makes Utah the first state to officially reject George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind Act. While not exactly in line with my goal of privatized or home schooled education for all children in the United States, it is comforting to see that at least one state executive has a clue. However, they aren't going far enough. The entire benchmark suite and yearly progress accounting needs to be negated as well.

An acquaitance relates:

In order for a school to pass AYP (Annual Yearly Progress), only 1% of your total population can be exempt from the annual test. Total population includes all children in a school, including all special needs students. Deaf, blind, MR, LD, ADHD, resource, autistic, ED, you name it. One percent in our school works out to exactly one child. Out of 250.
I was a little curious as to how the Federal Department of Education arrived as a number of 1 to represent 1% of 250 students. He didn't have a satisfactory explanation, just the documentation from the Federal Department of Education, which confirmed his statement. Incidentally, his small, rural public school has more "Special Needs" children than they have exemptions.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Blair, Bush, and Saddam Hussein

This should be a dead issue. Bush and Blair both commit themselves and their administrations firmly to the waffle. Neither admits any wrong doing, intentional misdirection or misinformation. The supporters of the current coalition (read that as U.S. strong-armed) military action in Iraq, the regime change, and the puppet-state building, are doing all of the legwork for defending the missteps and mischaracterizations of these two executives.

In the United States, no manner of evidence (even the findings of our own Senate Intelligence Committee) has been able to properly locate blame for misinformation from the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate Whitepapers. The Administration has censured and ignored the findings of our check on his administration, all while making cries of a distinctly liberal media. Yet, there's no lack of information or quoting of Lord Butler's Report. The legislative oversight of the United States is overlooked, in fact consciously ignored, because the published opinion of British parliamentarian supports the party line: Hussein had WMDs.

Yet, no intelligence group in the world actually presents intelligence or evidence to support the claims of an imminent threat. A friend in England has this to say:

Jack Straw was foreign secretary, John Scarlet was head of the intel briefings and has now been promoted to head of MI6 here. Anyway, the core point of this is UK context missed in the article; Jack, and others, publically stated the case for war was strong, and required, and we were under imminnent threat. They stated this repeatedly.

As for 'imminent' .. in the UK the WMD dossier explicitly claimed weapons to be deployed within 45 minutes. There was also strong implication, and uncorrected open press interpretation, that these weapons could reach Cyprus, where we have a military base.

Despite that the original source has been shown to be a single Iraqi source, uncorroborated, with many many caveats about the quality of info inside the intelligence service suppressed from consideration by the JIC (Joint Intelligence Committee), and those that remained then excised from the public report.
And this is precisely the problem here in the United States. The findings of our own Senate Intelligence Committee is being ignored, both here and abroad, just like the findings of Britain's oversight groups based on the interpretation of a single source: Lord Butler. The validity of the Cake Uranium claims are still questionable (after all, they cost a CIA Field Agent her cover).

The party line is that war was necessary. It's shifted from WMDs to preconceived nation building. The recent leaks discussed in the Times indicate that Blair was privy to the pre-planning Condoleeza Rice hinted at during her Senate testimony. As more time passes, it's seems to me that it is becoming increasingly evident that Bush and his supporters, both foreign and domestic, were determined to invade Iraq, through whatever meants necessary.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Software Libre v. Microsoft, Valve, et al.

Valve has seen the future, and that future is Steam

You Own Nothing

Linspire's Michael Robertson is a little over the top. Valve has some legitimate complaints with Vivendi (I won't dredge up the Half-Life 2 fiasco). However, there is a disturbing trend in the world of retail software and pre-packaged hardware in the computer industry: your purchases are single fee leases with restricted End User License Agreements and Terms of Use. The intellectual property cartels, first through the DMCA and later the Uniform Computer Information and Transaction Act, have created a society where the consumer does not own their computer or the software they use.

This disturbs me.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Let's Try This Again

It's been quite some time since I've posted to my blog. In fact, I've been downright delinquent in considering this space since last September. I won't bore anyone with the details, but I should now be able to find more time to blog. Look for regular updates starting Monday.


Friday, September 10, 2004

Willful Ignorance

I have noticed a trend among the more rabid George W. Bush supporters I encounter in my daily travels: they are all willfully ignorant. I recently had a rather large argument with a friend of mine who believes Bush is the greatest president the nation has ever seen. She is quite adamant in her support of Bush. In fact, she is so adamant in said support that she refuses to read anything that might possibly cast Bush in a negative light, as it is "just the bitter commentary of the liberal media." There exists no fact, information, or truth that could convince her Bush should not be re-elected.

Concurrently, I am reminded of a discussion I have had with an individual concerning the electability of Bush. Quite simple, he refuses to vote for anyone but a Republican, feels that Republican Party backing is indication enough that Bush is the superior candidate, and likewise refuses to entertain any information, fact, or evidence otherwise, because it must be "the lies of the world." In both cases, they find it insulting that anyone would ask them to defend their choice, much less provide evidence to support their position or consider evidence that might alter it.

In the case of the second invidual, he once said, "I could not possibly vote for John McCain, in good faith, because he is America's greatest threat to free speech. By helping to author the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002, he has done us all a great disservice." I pressed him, rather pointedly on this issue by pointing out:

1. George W. Bush signed it into law after promising to veto it on his campaign trail.
2. George W. Bush could have vetoed the law, which would not have survived a post veto vote in Congress.
3. George W. Bush has invoked the law directly against 527 groups, used the RNC to pressure broadcasters airing ads from 527 groups with this law, and is now seeking to make it stronger in an attempt to silence 527 groups and other "third party" anti-campaigners.

Despite all of this, the second individual says it would be hypocritical to not vote for bush, even in light of his previous statement that the BCFRA is a great threat to free speech.

This morning, while enjoying my usual breakfast as a Mom & Pop diner, I was approached by an individual who handed me a button and a bumper stick. He said, "Vote Bush/Cheney in 2004." I asked him to defend his position and he simply said the Democrats won't know how to fight the War on Terror. When questioned about the validity of said War, the individual could not provide any factual or meaningful information.

In almost every encounter, the people I meet supporting George W. Bush's re-election campaign are ill informed, intentionally misinformed, and incapable of providing material defense for their candidate selection. They are willfully ignorant of the truth, dismissing facts and evidence as the rantings of the liberal media, regardless of the opposing source.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Review Incoming

Viewsonic P70f

I've spent the last several weeks shopping for a CRT. I've read reviews, both professional and consumer, until my eyes felt like bleeding and the eyestrain was miserable. This is pretty hard to do, considering I use an LCD most of the time. However, after much consideration, deliberation, and debate, I finally decided on the Viewsonic P70f 17" CRT. As this is to be my new gaming monitor, the considerations for its purchase were demanding.

The criteria I used to judge this monitor were numerous, but refresh rate, resolution, and display type were definitely primary criteria. The monitor uses a .24mm stripe pitch Diamondtron aperture grille, which provides exceptional color clarity and image consistency. Unlike Trinitron apterture grilles, the Diamondstron variant doesn't have a fanning phosphor pitch. This means better geometry, less distortion, and more consistent physical display.

In any case, the monitor should arrive today and I will post my initial opinion of the device in practice tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Bush vs. Civil Liberties

Since when is the President of the United States and the Department of Justice above the law? Instead of executing the law as they should, the Bush Administration is ignoring Constitutional law, U.S. jurisprudence, and U.S. Legal Code with wreckless abandon.

Yesterday, the White House authorized a DoJ press conference concerning Jose Padilla. In the conference, Padilla was portrayed as a conspirator with Al Qaeda and held responsible for several unquantifiable non-crimes that have not occurred. In fact, they complete waffled away from the dirty-bomb agenda.

As it stands, he has been held, without counsel for over a year and subsequently without indictment or criminal charges. The White House and Department of Justice are ignoring court orders to charge or release him, and ignoring the Federal Court decision that he cannot be labelled as an enemy combatant.

There are no quanitifable or qualifiable crimes attributed to his activities.

More to the point, the White House officially negated any chance the man has at a fair trial or an impartial jury with yesterday's announcements. More to the point, it is a Federal Crime to attribute a unsubstantiated crime to a U.S. citizen prior to indictment in the United States. When the highest executives of law in the United States are breaking it, where do we turn?

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

40 Days and 40 Nights
Comcast Considers Blocking SMTP

We all have to deal with it every day. Somehow our email address gets circulated, sold, or spidered by every jackass with half a brain and a personal computer. As a result, we are subject to an epic downpour of SPAM. Sadly, it has none of the makings of the Monty Python classic.

The biggest problem with spam isn't necessarily the proliferation of useless emails bogging down traffic, cluttering inboxes and creating a general quagmire of frustration and exasperation. The vehicle for malware delivery and installation targetted at the uninformed user is the real danger. In some ways, this is a Good Thing (tm). It will force the casual user to achieve higher levels of understanding and operation if we want to defeat the clandestine distribution of malicious software (malware), as well as the obvious theft of processing power and computer resources.

Friday, May 21, 2004


I apologize for the complete lack of entries over the last month. As I am sure some of you can understand, there have been real issues prohibiting me from posting to my blog. The insanity of my politics, observation, and thoughts will continue, beginning Monday, 24 May 2004.

Peace be with you all.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Government 1 People 0

Welcome to the Defeated States of America! Actually, defeated might be too kind a word. As November and the 2004 General Election approaches, it becomes more apparent exactly how defeated the United States truly is. Of course, I'm also not talking about the War on Terror. In fact, I'm not talking about the War in Iraq or the War on Drugs or even the War on Pornography. Normally, I'd wax eloquent on the nature of the boot in the face of American people, but I'll leave that George, as he seems to do a good job of it.

One of the ultimate signifiers of defeat is the increasing rhetoric that any third-party vote is a wasted vote. The public education system teaches that dogma with basic citizenship classes: America is a two party sytem. The governmental status quo is indoctrinated into the minds and hearts of future Americans as a method of perpetuating the state. History is intentionally misreported, as the obfuscation of myth and legend supplant factual accounting of events. Of course, history is just stories the winners write to preserve their exploits and perception of the truth. Incidentally, the socialization of primary education in the United States has allowed the government to shape, form, and design the history that its children are taught. The history of the "winner."

It's a particularly poignant facet of the Orwellian nightmare to consider that our children (in the collective sense) are being indoctrinated and acculturated from an early age as rabid followers of a two party super state. Their rights and responsibilities are less than significant when compared with the proactive self-perpetuation of a government that controls the primary means of education.

I sit here writing this after a long debate with friends on the virtues of a libertarian society. JP, my fiesty fiery locked friend from Montreal, questions the sanctity of individual sovereignty and personal property: "Libertarian ideology would be fine if you changed the economic model it requires." She went on to further explain that energy would be the ideal currency and that personal accumulation of wealth creates a widening Rich/Poor gap. She felt that everyone should have equal wealth, accumulatory ability and opportunity, and that it is the State's responsibility to provide health care, education, and basic staple services. And when I called her a socialist, she recoiled...

On the flip side, L suggested that creating a more competitive and representative government in America would be detrimental to the people. L even went so far as to suggest that a single party system might be preferrable to the current model, but that any expansion of representation would be negative.

And the only thing that could come to mind is ... "War is Peace."

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Intel's New Memory Proposal

It could work. It's not a bad idea.

The Government is Truth. Peace is War.
Administration Wages War on Pornography

Are we still thinking George W. Bush is the greatest president since sliced bread? The facts are in on Clinton's policy and the truth is, it wasn't bad. But G.W. Bush has taken his Bible to the Oval Office and is apparently seeking divine intervention in the management of this country. After all, we're off in the Middle East creating democracies out of Islamic fundamentalist dictatorships, working on codifying anti-homosexual discrimination into the Constitution, trying to hamstring the Federal Courts with legislation, and now he's taking on free speech and individual freedom in other ways.

The expanion of the Federal Government since the Bush administration took office has been terrifying. Sadly, there's no proof that the opposition will make it any smaller. We've lost. We, the American people, have been defeated by the bureaucracy. It was evident to me in 2000 that we'd lost. After all, the world got to see a man the majority of the population did not vote for go into the White House. Individual freedom was the Holy Grail of the United States. Unfortunately, freedom is slavery.

Monday, April 05, 2004

T-Minus 10 Days and Counting
Why Your Tax Cut Doesn't Add Up...
Ominous Lies

People keeping telling me that the American public elected George W. Bush. What's really amusing is that when you refute the notion that G.W. won the populat vote in the last election using official election statistics, they tell it is just government spin to make Al Gore look better. Well, November is coming and it's 10 days from 15 April 2004, so I figured some insight into the U.S. economy might be helpful. Of course, not wanting to resist a good jab at the President, I figured some insight into current tax code would be helpful as well...

Vox is almost always on the money when it comes to financial matters. His understanding of economics is solid enough that he knows who to look to for information and analysis that cuts through the Keynesian bullshit of the U.S. government. When reading over his column, you should note the real indicators of inflation and price indexing (Gold, Silver, and securities) as opposed the numbers that the Federal government and all of its economic indicators are espousing on a daily basis.

Of course, what's more fun is when you look at the mainstream media's explanation of how the tax breaks don't exactly work as pitched to the public. More over, it's even more fun when you look at proposed changes to the tax plan that include minimum alternative taxes and a shift from capital gains taxation to a salary based tax economy. The amount of revenue the Federal government needs is only going to increase. Under Bush's plan to shift tax burden from investment gains to salary gains, economic mobility will become greatly hamstringed as well as marginal income.

So, as I've already filed all of my tax documents and gotten my returns this year, which were less on less income than last year, I wonder how many of you will find that you're paying more money out after the tax cuts than before ...

Thursday, April 01, 2004

A Long and Winding Road
Those wily rangers!

The United States is headed a slippery slope with an increasing grade. What's scary is not the insensitive, elitist vanity of some comments, but rather, the terrifying closeness of their posts to the truth. I have said before that genocide is the only viable end for the current path of American policy in Iraq and towards Al Qaeda.

In this thread, we have people advocating nuclear strikes, outright genocide, and patently dehumanizing other human beings. The United States is suffering for inconsistent and ineffective policies regarding the Middle East for the last 60 years. When coupled with the growing resentment of intellectual and industrial decline of the Arabic world, the religious disputes between the West and Middle East are magnified. Whether rational or not, the religious zealots draw connections between the imperialism of Christendom and the decline of the Arabic/Islamic world.