aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Friday, November 11, 2005
Misleading the public on WMD
RICHARD LOWRY: I think it is proper to try to put barriers around the debate and say if you are saying we went to war based on a lie, you are telling all our troops they are fighting and dying on a lie, that, I don’t think, is—that’s not an above board argument, and I don’t think the Democratic Party should be swinging behind that argument…
Every major Democrat in the Senate, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, John Edwards, Evan Bayh, Joe Biden, they all voted to authorize the war. If the intelligence were entirely baseless, they would have noticed. It is not as though they take George Bush’s word for everything.
Of course, it’s true that a broad swath of Democrats got it wrong, too. But they didn’t get it wrong for the same reasons as the administration. When the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published a definitive study of the administration’s presentation of the WMD intelligence last year, it found that “officials systematically misrepresented the threat.” While Democrats may have believed that Saddam posed a long-term threat, they didn’t exaggerate evidence and stifle government experts to justify an imminent invasion. As Kenneth Pollack...wrote last year in the Atlantic, “Only the Administration has access to all the information available to various agencies of the US government--and withholding or downplaying some of that information for its own purposes is a betrayal of that responsibility.”
Sony stops shipping the devil disks &tc.
Stung by continuing criticism, the world’s second-largest music label, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, promised Friday to temporarily suspend making music CDs with antipiracy technology that can leave computers vulnerable to hackers.
Says Cory at Boing Boing, “Of course, the stores are still filled with infectious CDs, and untold millions of computer users have had their PCs compromised by the rootkit.” If you’re one of them (Mac users, you have different crippleware from Sony) Ed Felton’s posted a Sony DRM Customer Survival Kit.
Dan Gillmor calls today’s SF Chronicle article the first serious MSM coverage he’s seen. And Donna Wentworth notes this unexpected rebuke from Stewart Baker, the Department of Homeland Security’s assistant secretary for policy:
“There’s been a lot of publicity recently about tactics used in pursuing protection for music and DVD CDs in which questions have been raised about whether the protection measures install hidden files on peoples’ computers that even the system administrators can’t find.”
In a remark clearly aimed directly at Sony and other labels, Stewart continued: “It’s very important to remember that it’s your intellectual property—it’s not your computer. And in the pursuit of protection of intellectual property, it’s important not to defeat or undermine the security measures that people need to adopt in these days.”
There are so many issues raised by this but the one that still resonates most for me is the EULA. We’re not freely entering into these agreements, we don’t know what they say, and these companies don’t want us to:
The “users” think they are buying something more than a license to play music or use software only under certain prescribed and limited circumstances. They think they paid for it, they own it.
Legal niceties aside, they bought it, they paid for it, and when they find they have to click “yes” to use it—Big Shocker!—that’s what they do.
If they knew all that they were signing away with that quick click they’d know too the true full cost they are paying and just precisely how little they’re “legally” getting.
My bet is we’d see a helluva lot more copyfighters.
The EULA in this case is 3,027 words!
Fair and accurate
Bobby Kennedy on Fox’s Global Warming special set to air this Sunday:
In one segment of the show, I accompany a Fox News crew to Glacier National Park in Montana where only 27 of the 150 glaciers that graced the park in 1850 remain--and these will be gone within our generation.
The portrayal of global warming in Fox’s piece is both fair and accurate.
On Robertson’s comment & a pastor’s reaction
I’m sorry, but the more I listen to Pat Robertson the further away from his theology I find myself moving. First he pretty much condones murder (remember those commandments?) and now he describes a God who is prone to petty jealousy (like playing on the playground and someone takes away my ball).
The God I know in my life and the God I preach from the pulpit looks nothing like the God I hear Pat Robertson talking about. My God is the Beloved and does everything out of and for love, not out of or for control. Control has to do with certainty. The God I see in the Bible is the God who is always surprising us with grace.
The Carpetbagger on Robertson and Bush:
George W. Bush has appeared at two Robertson-hosted Christian Coalition events and the president even met with Robertson in early 2003 to discuss the war in Iraq. For that matter, tune into the 700 Club on any given day and you’ll see high-ranking officials from the Bush administration chatting about today’s biggest issues.
And Andrew Sullivan reminds us...
… that he was one of the religious leaders phoned by Karl Rove to discuss Supreme Court nominees. My rule of thumb is that I will trust the good faith of any Republican politician who is prepared to criticize Robertson publicly. Until then, he’s their problem.
UPDATE: John in DC, “Now, call me crazy, but if intelligent design doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with God, then why will God’s wrath come down on a town that voted that ridiculous theory down?”