Happy New Year!

The site may be up and down…

For the next few days, the site may be up and down a bit…

I waited to switch my domain away from GoDaddy until the 29th, to take advantage of the offer of donations to the EFF… and during the transfer period, the site may be up and down a bit, as I am not always good at following directions and it takes my kids a while to straighten things out again.

I’ll be back soon…

Posted in about. Tags: . 1 Comment »

GoDaddy: a case study in how democracy is being lost

December 29th, 2011, is the official ‘Boycott GoDaddy Day’:  everyone is being encouraged to move any domain names they may have with GoDaddy

Why GoDaddy?

Let me count the ways…

Yes, GoDaddy has backtracked on their support of SOPA – but this is more than just a case of ‘too little, too late’.

GoDaddy actually helped draft SOPA – and is already one of the go-to companies when the US government  (long before SOPA ever becomes a law) wants to blacklist websites:

“That was good enough for Judge Kent Dawson to order the names seized and transferred to GoDaddy, where they would all redirect to a page serving notice of the seizure. In addition, a total ban on search engine indexing was ordered, one which neither Bing nor Google appears to have complied with yet.”

Yes – right now, long before SOPA, a judge had ordered that a website be transferred to GoDaddy in order for it to make it easier to blacklist them – following a court proceeding where the accused may not even be notified until after the ruling is made.

(Aside:  this shows that the stated goal of SOPA – to protect copyrights from pirating – is unnecessary, as all of this is already being accomplished under current laws.  The scales of justice are already very strongly tipped towards the copyright holder and against regular citizens – SOPA would not only tip them even further, it would destroy the internet as we know it.  If, say, one copyright holder complained that one single blogger at WordPress were to publish a link on their blog that led to a home movie of their kid singing a (copyrighted) pop song, under SOPA, the whole of WordPress and all the innocent blogs on it would be blacklisted!!!!  Yes – this is what life under SOPA would be, and not just in the US because the effects would be internet-wide!)

It seems GoDaddy is a willing tool at best, an active collaborator in the process of oppressing people without just process at worst.  This is the type of behaviour which enables totalitarian governments to keep their populace ‘under control’!

It is easy to see why it is so very easy for people to hate GoDaddy – even before one considers their idiotic commercials or their CEO’s weird hobby of shooting and killing elephants…

In other words, GoDaddy is a poster child for the collusion of government and business – the result of which is that government policy is increasingly shaped by the concerns (and thus passes laws to the benefit of) of a smaller and smaller circle of businesses.  This leaves the citizenry unable to affect political change, since legislators of all stripes are dependent on these corporate interests to raise sufficient funds.

Have you ever heard of the ‘four boxes’ necessary for constitutional democracy to function?

  • Soap box: A box you stand on in the street trying to explain your views to the public. Figuratively, building public opinion for your case.
  • Ballot box: Public, free, democratic elections. If the laws don’t work, and the elected representatives don’t get it, replace them.
  • Jury box: If no public representatives get it, neither the elected nor those available to elect, the second to last line of defense is the judicial system, which can overturn laws that go against the most fundamental rights.
  • Ammo box: If the system has been so thoroughly corrupted that the entire establishment is acting as one, and it is not possible to change the laws to safeguard fundamental liberties, then only one option remains.

Think about this while keeping in mind the lessons of SOPA:

  • Our soap box is being taken away on the internet using anti-piracy and anti-child-predator laws so badly written that once passed, they can be used to ‘disappear’ any voice on the internet the government does not like – at the same time as anti-terrorism laws coupled with classifying even non-violent protesters as ‘low-grade terrorists’  and the rise of anti-blasphemy legislation is stripping our rights to speak our minds in public.
  • Our ballot box has been made irrelevant:  the political process has been so twisted that now, in order to get elected, governments are less reliant on the citizenry than they are on an ever-narrowing circle of corporate and special interests.  We, the regular people, no longer believe that it makes any difference whom we vote for, because all the politicians are responding to the needs of this circle,, not to the citizens.  THAT is why the voter turnouts are falling so rapidly:  ordinary people believe that the ballot box has been lost to irrelevance…
  • The Jury box:  that is where we are now!  We are now relying on the last of the checks and balances – the judiciary – to protect us.  But, if the above-linked ruling and the Austrian ruling against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff are any indication, we are quickly but surely loosing our third box, on both sides of the big pond!
  • Which inevitably leaves us with the very last box:  the ammo box…  This is not something I would like to see happen, but we must never forget that all our rights exist only as long as we are prepared to take up arms to defend them…which is why there is such a direct link between how oppressive a government is and how much it wishes to disarm its citizens.

So, how did we get from the GoDaddy boycott to taking up arms in defense of our innate rights?

GoDaddy has highlighted just how close we are to having lost our first three boxes.

It has highlighted just how high the stakes are.

It has shown us just how hard we have to fight so that our society does not devolve to that fourth box!

Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah, were found responsible for 9/11 attacks

Bloomberg reports:

“In Havlish,   et   al.   v.   bin   La den,   et   al. , Judge Daniels held that the Islamic Republic of Iran, its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Iran’s agencies and instrumentalities, including, among others, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (“IRGC”), the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (“MOIS”), and Iran’s terrorist proxy Hezbollah, all materially aided and supported al Qaeda before and after 9/11.  “

This is all well and good, but what does this truly mean?

Will the representatives of the Iranian regime who enter the U.S.A. be arrested and held accountable?

Will they – at least – be expelled from the US and will all representatives of the Government of Iran be prevented from entering the US, including to attend the UN, ehich is physically located there?

Because if they are not then what is the point of even going through with this exercise?

Time to end the war on drugs

Richard Branson takes a look at Portugal’s decade-long experiment of drug decriminilization:

“In 2001 Portugal became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines.”

.   .   .

“Following decriminalization, Portugal has the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the EU: 10%. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%, Proportionally, more Americans have used cocaine than Portuguese have used marijuana. “

This does not even touch on the principle of self-ownership, which means that nobody – including the government – has the right to permit/deny me putting whatever I choose into my body, from food to medicines and drugs.

The flip side of this whole war on drugs – and one which I never hear mentioned, but which has real life-altering implications on actual flesh-and-blood human beings – is that of the legality of use of medical drugs which governments seem to think they also have the right to regulate.

In Canada, where the government pays for drugs of senior citizens, the government intentionally drags its feet approvinglife-saving medications: it costs the government less per pill and the treatment is considerably shorter!  It’s all about incentives…

 

 

Ninja squirrel!

The 2011 year roundup from Michael Geist

Michael Geist takes a look at technology laws in 2011 from A to Z.

Readers of this blog may be familiar with some, like:

“B is for Baglow v. Smith, an Ontario Superior Court decision which ruled that comments on a blog should not necessarily give rise to a claim in defamation, when the person alleging defamation has a right of reply in the same blog.”

Well worth bookmarking for future reference…

“A Black Day for Austria”

Do you remember the case of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, the Austrian woman who had the courage to speak truth about Islam?

Her criminal conviction for disrespecting Islam had just been upheld…

Europeans are increasingly legislating dhimmitude!

Where will this end?

Hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas!

Posted in Humour. Tags: . 1 Comment »

‘Merry Christmas’ roundup

…is at Blazing Cat Fur!

(it includes a kitty pic of Pip – major bonus!!!)

Merry Christmas!