The FCC is clueless

This. Here’s the kicker:

…but perhaps the most fundamental is a simple misconception, one that persists in the work of the FCC but also of proponents and opponents of network neutrality. It is the false distinction between what they call “edge providers” (YouTube) and “end users” (people who watch videos on YouTube).

I really wish Obama would remove chairmanship from Wheeler. And stop appointing lobbyists.

Overturn ECPA Now

UPDATE: We made it! As of right now, there are 105,628 signatures on the petition. Thank you! Can’t wait to hear what the white house says on this.

Please sign this petition! I’m having trouble believing that it’s taken this long for people to take a minute to sign it. Is the level of apathy about this so great that no one thinks anything they do will make a difference? Or perhaps it’s more “I haven’t done anything wrong, so I have nothing to hide.” Wrong. Do you want privacy? Do you want strangers to know what’s in your medical records? Your bathroom medicine cabinet? Your bedroom?

Yeah. Sign it.

Term Limits

I am aware that at least some term limits on political offices are mandated by the Constitution, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel like spouting off about some injustices that I feel are detrimental to our political processes.

First, I think that any elected official should only be given a single term. Crazy, right? The pandering and playing at centrism isn’t doing the electorate any favors, yet that’s exactly what so many in office do solely because they know there’s an election down the road and they don’t want to lose the money, perks, status, power, whatever. Take those distractions away, I say. Force folks to act more on their conscience by replacing their ambitions with the certitude that they won’t be in office once the term is over (and I’m not saying they can’t re-run, but it will have to wait until the term after next). The existing two-year terms for congressional representatives is probably too short in this scheme, so I would recommend extending it. Continue reading “Term Limits”

We Won!

Finally, the politicking is over. Yes, I know this post is absurdly late, but in a few tight races, they’ve only just recently finished recounts and whatnot, without any surprises.

In my post on the Capillary Man, I echoed the assertion that Obama winning a second term was actually a far more significant measure of the integrity of the country than winning the presidency initially. In terms of the electoral college, his win was solid, but the popular vote was close. Luckily, the numbers showing the large percentage of whites that voted for Romney won’t be as much of an issue in the next election, since the country as a whole is becoming increasing less caucasian.  Continue reading “We Won!”

Controlling the Debate

I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher yesterday, and I empathized with Maher’s frustration at not being able to communicate with people because we can’t agree on facts (Maher refers to this as being “inside the conservative bubble”). In the context of the show, one of the panelists denied climate change, and said that because there are opposing views on climate change from some scientists, it shouldn’t be regarded as a fact. Continue reading “Controlling the Debate”

The False Promise of Having Multiple Candidates

People say that we need to have more folks appear on ballots to make elections fairer and get the right person elected. That’s all fine and good, and I’m 100% behind this effort to break out of a two-party system that is so inured in our culture.

There’s only one problem: You can only pick one candidate in most of these elections. The two-party system has defined how the elections are conducted, so why would we ever need to do anything but pick our first choice on the ballot and be done with it? Easy. If you can only pick one, and multiple people are on the ballot, all of sudden people start to ask themselves if they shouldn’t vote for a candidate who may not be their first pick in order to prevent a strongly-disliked candidate from winning.

This was the very same kind of discussion I had with some friends prior to the 2010 gubernatorial race in Maine. The Green candidate had dropped out and the Democrat fell under a cloud of disgust and resentment from her own party members for the dirtiness of her campaign. This gave an enormous boost to Cutler, the independent, but it wasn’t enough to counter the combined Republican and Tea Party support for LePage. He won with 38% of the vote, but the third-, fourth- and fifth-place candidates had an aggregate of about 25% of the vote. If the folks who voted for them or Cutler had been able to mark others as their second, third or fourth choice, would LePage have won?

I sincerely believe he would not have won. Of course, it’s impossible to tell since the alternative rankings were never recorded. This is why I will never support having more than two candidates unless the race has alternative (ranked choice) voting. I think everyone would get fairer elections if they did the same.

Schneier on Security: Court Orders TSA to Answer EPIC

Schneier on Security: Court Orders TSA to Answer EPIC.

Please help the courts force the TSA to consider public comments on full body scanners.

Year ago, EPIC sued the TSA over full body scanners (I was one of the plantiffs), demanding that they follow their own rules and ask for public comment. The court agreed, and ordered the TSA to do that. In response, the TSA has done nothing. Now, a year later, the court has again ordered the TSA to answer EPIC’s position.

Please sign the petition!