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Current Topic: Politics and Law

CIA plans to purge its agency
Topic: Politics and Law 6:05 pm EST, Nov 15, 2004

] "The agency is being purged on instructions from the
] White House," said a former senior CIA official who
] maintains close ties to both the agency and to the White
] House. "Goss was given instructions ... to get rid of
] those soft leakers and liberal Democrats. The CIA is
] looked on by the White House as a hotbed of liberals and
] people who have been obstructing the president's agenda."

A "No Dissent" sign has clearly been hung in the Langley lobby.

Is the problem obstruction of the president's agent, or failure to construct evidence to support the president's agenda? That seems to be a point which is unclear. If I've been following the "CIA revolt" story accurately, it appears the reason for the dissent is that the CIA was not listened to, and then told to do what amounts to lying. In short, being used as a political tool and not an intelligence asset, or both in a way that trampled on the institution's sense of honor.

Several Ex-CIA agents have come out and accused the Bush administration of outright character assignation via leaks to the press. Things seemed to heat up after Plame and Armstrong, and then public statements from decorated agents like Larry Johnson.. All previous to the current 'shakup'. There is more going on here then visible on the surface or in the press, and its clearly been going on for awhile. It probably started minutes after the first plane struck the north tower and was firmly in motion before the second strike. All public perceptions likely managed. Spook stuff. Hollywood guarantees that any view of the situation is polluted with bullshit perceptions of how stuff works over there... But that's fine, I bet everyone wishes their office politics were so romanticized.

Ahem... To fully break from any seriousness and insure that I am full of shit, let me give you my best guess: There are only four people who know what is actually going on, and if you were to so much as look any of them in the eye, they would have to kill you using some type of mysterious red, blue or green poison gas. This one reaches to the highest levels of The Conspiracy. Put away your Illuminate card deck, you can't handle the truth!

Holon.. I just got a text message on my shoe phone, I'll have to finish this post later.

CIA plans to purge its agency

NYT | Ashcroft Quits Top Justice Post; Evans Going, Too
Topic: Politics and Law 3:14 am EST, Nov 10, 2004

] Leading candidates to succeed Mr. Ashcroft include
] Alberto R. Gonzales, the White House counsel, and Marc
] Racicot, the chairman of Mr. Bush's re-election campaign.
] Larry D. Thompson, who served as deputy attorney general
] until last year and is now the general counsel of Pepsico
] in Purchase, N.Y., is a personal favorite of the
] president but is said not to be interested in the job, a
] Republican close to the White House said.

] Former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York City was
] mentioned by some as a possible successor, but his
] spokeswoman, Sunny Mindel, said Tuesday night that
] he was not interested in the job.

NYT | Ashcroft Quits Top Justice Post; Evans Going, Too
Topic: Politics and Law 9:10 pm EDT, Sep  7, 2004

] Politics for Nerds. Your vote matters.


The unthinkable. The people whom are credited with "the first" weblog have now dived into politics. This might seem like a no-brainer, and you may be correct. Slashdot gets in an uproar over legal issues all the time, but politics is virgin ground. Its a nerd site. Its always been a nerd site. This will be nerd politics.

Think voting machines, election policy, "let me copy my fucking files", and "you can pry my privacy rights from my cold dead fingers as they lie upon my keyboard encrypting files and compiling code". You will hear something about Ralph Nader, but don't get too shocked, the page is more Blue then Green. There is some Green. Slashdot is very Green. Teal actually. However, this is decidedly Blue page. Read into that, as I'm sure it is.

For those who are unfamilar with Slashdot, its an indisputable piece of evidence that any "uber popular" collective weblog is at best a technologically advanced form of the lowest common denominator.

DoJ Blacks out Supreme Courts Quotes
Topic: Politics and Law 3:31 am EDT, Aug 30, 2004

In the correct context, a relevant connection can be as powerful as unique new information. Be prepared to fight for your ability to make and share both. Don't lose heart if your speech is someone else's.

DoJ Blacks out Supreme Courts Quotes

Wired News: Wrong Time for an E-Vote Glitch
Topic: Politics and Law 4:56 pm EDT, Aug 17, 2004

] During the demonstration of the Sequoia machine last
] week, the machine worked fine when the company tested
] votes using an English-language ballot. But when the
] testers switched to a Spanish-language ballot, the paper
] trail showed no votes cast for two propositions.

] "It was our fault for not proofing the Spanish language
] ballot before demonstrating it," Charles said. "We had
] a demo ballot that we designed in a hurry that didn't
] include all of the files that we needed to have the
] machine present all of the voter's selections on the
] screen and the printed ballots. That would never
] happen in an election environment because of all the
] proofing that election officials do."

A lack of QA might pick our next president.

Wired News: Wrong Time for an E-Vote Glitch

The Problem With the CIA
Topic: Politics and Law 4:48 pm EDT, Aug  3, 2004

There is a corporate culture in America that says as long as the process is adhered to, people have done their jobs. Orderly, predictable processes that can be clearly mapped and explained are not an end in themselves. The time and effort spent on them can be justified in only one way: success. Over and over, the lovers of ISO 9000, 9001 and endless other standards confuse the means with the end. They embrace order -- even when it leads to failure.

That is what happened at the CIA: A culture of process destroyed a culture of excellence. There are many outstanding people at the agency, in both the Directorate of Intelligence and in Operations. The agency's obsession with the intelligence process crushes these people daily. Those who flourish in this environment are those who can sit through long meetings without falling asleep. The people who can peer through the darkness and see the truth are either sucked into the surreal world of modern management or shunted aside.

Gold Star.

The Problem With the CIA

Supreme Court: COPA ....Bad! Porn ......Good!
Topic: Politics and Law 5:21 pm EDT, Jun 29, 2004

] A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday barred
] prosecutors from filing criminal cases under a federal
] law designed to restrict Internet pornography, concluding
] that enforcement could violate Americans' free-speech
] rights.

No more COPA.

This is a good day for porn, speech, and kids under 13. Porn and speech are great, but I do concede that its a good idea to keep the kids out of it. 13 is a fine age. I only objected that sites like this had to follow the same restriction or risk liability when a kid got sent to Suicide Girls or something.

Most young kids now know how to lie on web forms and bypass windows boot-up processes, COPA never stopped them. It did nothing to stop production of child porn content. In general, it never really addressed any problem directly.

] "I don't think that pornographers have any more right to
] shove their smut into the faces of children in cyberspace
] than they do at the corner newsstand," he said. "The
] pervasiveness of pornography on the Internet is going
] to be a barrier to its development."

Porn, Porn, Porn, and Warez carved the Internet from the wilderness.. The first seriously successful businesses on the Internet were service providers and porn sites. Face it, if history were to end right now, it would be said that the Internet was a device that simulated sex. No one would know any better of it.

And to clear one thing up. No one is anti-porn, they are anti-porn popup and anti-porn spam. There is a difference.

Supreme Court: COPA ....Bad! Porn ......Good!

Yahoo! News - Judge Suspected of Masturbating in Court
Topic: Politics and Law 8:18 pm EDT, Jun 24, 2004

] "On one occasion, Ms. (Lisa) Foster (Thompson's court
] reporter for 15 years), saw Judge Thompson holding his
] penis up and shaving underneath it with a disposable
] razor while on the bench," the petition reads.
] Several witnesses, including jurors in Thompson's court
] and police officers called to testify in trials, said in
] the petition they heard the "swooshing" sound of a penis
] pump during trials and saw the judge slumped in his
] chair, with his elbows on his knees, working the device.
] The witnesses said the pump sounded like a blood pressure
] cuff being pumped up.
] According to the petition, Thompson admitted he had a
] penis pump under the bench during a murder trial but he
] told investigators it was a gag gift from a friend.

Sometimes you just have to meme something... And it was either this, or an article about Cheney saying "fuck" on The Senate floor..

Yahoo! News - Judge Suspected of Masturbating in Court

F.C.C. Chief Said to Back Nextel Plan for Airwaves
Topic: Politics and Law 3:39 pm EDT, Jun 24, 2004

] The No. 6 U.S. wireless carrier has proposed moving some
] of its operations to the 1.9 gigahertz band and giving
] the FCC some airwaves it holds in the 800 megahertz band
] for expanded use by public safety organizations.
] Police and fire organizations have complained they have
] difficulties communicating in emergency situations
] because of interference with commercial wireless services
] using 800 Mhz.
] Nextel also has said it would pay $850 million to cover
] the costs of reorganizing the public safety groups and
] another $512 million to move some users in the 1.9 Ghz
] band. It has offered airwaves in other bands as well as
] part of the swap.

They get to trade up to a higher band if they fix/modernize police/fire/etc radio? Hrm..

F.C.C. Chief Said to Back Nextel Plan for Airwaves

Hacking The Law
Topic: Politics and Law 7:46 am EDT, May 27, 2004

Ex-technologist turned to law posts (mostly IP related) ideas, rants, discussions, short plays, etc.

Hacking The Law

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