July 16, 2003  ·  admin

I recognize that the blog entries have been quick. I�m new to blogging, a little tired, and have been on the road. This is the first time this week where I�ve had a little more time to really sit down and digest some of the comments.

I’m really impressed by the candor on this blog, and the complexity of the discussions.

Someone asked which parts of the Patriot Act I thought were unconstitutional. I have real problems authorizing the FBI to obtain library and bookstore and video store records simply by claiming the information is “sought for” an investigation against international terrorism. It’s also clearly unconstitutional to detain indivduals and deny them access to a lawyer.

As to Digitial Millenium Copyright Act and other copyright issues, we’re still developing a policy on these items. I appreciate everything you have had to say on these issues, and encourage you to continue to tell my campaign how you feel we should best address these complex issues.

Finally, one of you asked if there would be a White House blog. Why not?

Thanks again, Howard Dean

  • LarryB

    Well said, Governor. This comment section would be a perfect place to lay out our best arguments – with the lay person our intended audience – regarding the DMCA. Let’s go people – we’ve proven we can be long-winded, now let’s see if we can handle concise and persuasive.
    Larryb

  • Eddie

    Yes!

  • Will

    Dr. Dean,

    Would you allow your attorney general to take the following actions John Ashcroft has taken:

    • Denying Zacharias Mousoui access to prisoners at Guantanamo
    • Holding Jose Padillia in a brig without access to the civil justice system?
    • Sending Tommy Chong to prison for selling bongs
    • Interviening with federal dollars on Nevada’s marijuana legalization
    • Stopping California’s medical marijuana program?

    Thanks, I’m on the fence.

    Will

  • RJ Davis

    Dr. Dean,

    Just the idea of a White House blog makes me anxious to pull the voting lever today. Access to government is one of the many rights that have eroded.

    Thank you,

    Rob

  • J.B. Nicholson-Owens

    The anti-circumvention provisions in the DMCA stifle fair-use (you can’t make fair-use extracts of the original data from something you can’t copy), extend the functional restrictions of copyright to that which you would get under an unconstitutional infinite term of copyright (because the copy prevention code never expires even when the work enters the public domain), hampers journalism and research (Prof. Felten’s SDMA team was stifled), is being used to prevent competition (Lexmark printer lawsuit against Static Control Components), and works against legitimate consumers (Sony’s AIBO and “regionalization” restrictions). Other sections of the DMCA have other weaknesses (for example: criminal penalties for copying? That’s way too harsh) and long-term problems with widespread adoption (getting other countries to adopt DMCA-a-likes through trade treaties? Why push others into bad legislation?), so I’ll leave it at that.

    The EFF has a valuable reference on the unintended consequences of the DMCA that is worth reading. It has many examples and is easily skimmed (since I know a politician’s time is short).

  • J.B. Nicholson-Owens

    Minor correction–SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative), not SDMA.

  • anna

    i was going to refrain from commenting again on lessig’s blog for fear of stomping on uncharted ground, but i would like to add something about the gov’s stance on the [un]patriot[ic] act.

    i had the opportunity to ask him about a specific provision in the act when i spoke to him at a fundraiser last january. as a property owner and someone who respects the constitution, i find it outrageous that the act allows law enforcement to enter a home without a warrant, and conduct a search and seize without notifying the homeowner. i specifically asked dean about this provision, and he agreed that is was unconstitutional and told me he would support repealing that part of the act. it was the only part i got to mention, but i thought i would let you all know that i had some more info.

    i don’t claim to speak for the gov, but when he told me he’d support repealing that part, i got the sense that he is someone who – while not a lawyer – respects the constitution and can recognise when something is obviously unconstitutional.

    i hope that helps fill in some blanks, and thanks for tolerating my newbie comment.

    election 2004: bring it on!

  • Jonathan Mendelson

    Thanks for your responses!

    Regarding the DMCA, I feel that it stifles free speech. It prevents people from reverse engineering technology to find insecurities, even though there are many legitimate academic and scientific purposes for this.

    One example of how horrible this is occurs with voting machines–there are electronic voting systems whose internals are protected weakly, but it’s illegal to reverse engineer them to find vulnerabilities.

    So, if there’s an electronic voting machine that’s very insecure, it’s illegal for people to reverse engineer them to circumvent any weak security and prove that they’re insecure. This “security through obscurity” will lead to weaker security schemes that aren’t accountable. Anyone who would want to rig voting wouldn’t feel restricted by the laws, whereas scientists wanting to study their security and show that they’re insecure couldn’t do this without facing legal ramifications.

    As for copyright law, in brief, I feel that it’s very unbalanced. The Constitution grants people the ability to have copyrights in order “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”

    But, why do copyrights need to last someone’s whole life plus 75 years? It seems to me that this restricts the public domain, and it is extremely unbalanced in favor of inventors rather than the public domain. Copyright isn’t a natural right and should only exist for a limited time–say, 25 to 50 years. Early on in US history, I believe that it was only around 15 years.

    Of course, there are many other arguments against the DMCA and current copyright law, but these are a few that I feel are the most important.

  • Anonymous

    One thing I will say about the Patriot Act – it’s brought out the creativity in people. I can’t help but smile when I hear that business are actually purging their customer records just so they can never be arbitrarily seized under the authority of the Patriot Act.

    Customer buying patterns are a goldmine to businesses. If anyone ever had any doubts about the scariness of this law, the fact that they’re voluntarily destroying this data is proof enough.

    The story

    Even scarier – now that this is happening, Ashcroft may try to amend Patriot Act II (if and when it ever gets off the ground) to make it illegal to destroy these records.

    -j

  • http://www.inuus.com/ Paul in SF

    Dr. Dean. This entry is an improvement over the last two, which seemed a bit disconnected from the discussion. I hope that you can give us further details in the next few days of blogging. Also, please tell us some personal information about yourself. What makes you tick? For instance you’re an MD — what scientific books have you read recently that may influence your thinking? The more we know about your background the better able we can help you.

    Now, on to the subject at hand. I hope that the comments here help you formulate a rational copyright policy in your potential future administration. One question: can you even present a policy that reduces the monopoly power of the media given that you will inevitably depend on them for electoral success?

  • Matthew Saroff

    > * Sending Tommy Chong to prison for selling bongs

    Are referring to Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong?

  • http://drdiegosanchez10.tripod.com Diego Sanchez

    We hope the person that is in charge of reading the blog sent them to the President. I doubt that the President can read the whole blogs that are sent.

    Ser�a una muy buena idea. Esperamos que la persona que se encuentre a cargo de leer los blog los envi� al Presidente. Dudo que el Presidente pueda leer todo los blogs que se le env�an.

  • jp

    Copyright terms are too long. Record companies (the big 4 that buy up the smaller ones that care) are misleading racketeers.

  • Joe Buck

    Will, Dr. Dean answered one of your questions in the the blog entry that you are replying to: “It�s also clearly unconstitutional to detain indivduals and deny them access to a lawyer”. This is exactly what was done with Jose Padilla.

    On medical marijuana, Dr. Dean has said that he opposes the state-by-state approach, and will order the FDA to do the science to
    reclassify it if appropriate (and it seems there’s already enough in
    the literature to provide evidence that it’s effective for a number of conditions). I think that an FDA that reports to an M.D. rather than to a right-wing radical is likely to do the right thing. Pot might wind up having the same status as cocaine, which is approved as a local anaesthetic but
    still illegal and controlled. So, he’s to the right of me on this one, but if the FDA winds up approving pot for glaucoma and as anti-nausea for chemotherapy patients (as well as for a couple of other uses), this would then apply in all 50 states, not just liberal states that allow ballot propositions.

  • Me

    Reposting in from earlier discussions for your edification (maybe you’ll read them and give responses, or at least they’ll hit a bit harder in a less populated/more recent thread):

    * Disney has made their money on a systematic rape of the public domain. Hercules, Snow White, Aladdin to name just a few. Now, when the time has come that their own works ought to enter the public domain so that other authors might produce new works and enhance art and science based on what Disney has put out, Disney suddenly finds that the public domain isn�t so great. Doesn�t this in itself make you very worried that Copyright has suddenly become infinitely extensible and that no new works may EVER enter the public domain again, and we need to wait until 2019 just to find out if any ever will?

    * The DMCA and its prohibitions on reverse engineering, on their face, are laughable. Where does the difference lie between someone tinkering with their car, or their toaster, and someone messing around with software they have bought?

    When did our ability to legally tinker with, repair, improve, or otherwise mess with something we have bought go away, and why? I submit that about the only right any producer should have, if we do something they didn�t intend with a product we bought, is to take away our warranty and (perhaps) have some immunity from lawsuit in the case of someone injuring themself by doing something really, really stupid.

    =============

    Given that Disney has made their living from a rape of the public domain, yet paid for legislation like the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act specifically to avoid having to give back TO the public domain, will you, as president, propose legislation to return copyright terms to a properly short, and not-retroactively-(or otherwise)-extensible, duration?

    Just to be perfectly clear; I have no problem with Disney, or anyone else, drawing from the public domain. It’s like copying code from an open source project, you’re free to do so.

    What I have the biggest problem with is Disney then taking those properties, and refusing to give back to the pool they came from. When they do that they destroy the public domain, which is a horrible thing.

  • http://subintsoc.net/situationroom Geheimbundler

    Me: Like others, I have to disagree with your use of the term “rape” to describe Disney’s use of the public domain. I do think Disney is hypocritical for using public domain characters and stories, and not giving back. I am a big proponent of rolling back copyright extension and the DMCA. But taking freely available material isn’t “rape.”

    Semantic precision is important. Sloppy terminology makes our arguments against Disney and company look hysterical and/or confused.

  • http://www.charm.net/~pete/pete.cgi Pete

    Thank you for posting, Governor. I like the direction this is heading!

    I’d like to second the above recommendation to read unintended consequences of the DMCA document cited above. It’s an excellent primer on a complicated issue.

  • http://www.bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    Interesting remark from Gov. Dr. Dean today: It�s also clearly unconstitutional to detain indivduals and deny them access to a lawyer.

    While it’s generally true that the constitution doesn’t allow individuals to be detained without charge or counsel, there are certain exceptions, some better recognized than others. One is a prisoner of war exception, and this applies regardless of citizenship and place of detention, as it did during the Civil War. And another is the exception made when the government arrests on bench warrants issued in civil cases, such as suspected non-payment of child support. The prisoner-of-war exception has been operational since 1812, and it’s not particularly controversial today, outside of reflexive Bush-bashing circles, except as to the definition of who’s a POW and who isn’t.

    The child support exception is of more recent vintage, and should be of more concern to genuine civil libertarians because it affects thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people annually. Child support is a debt unlike any other, in which the debtor can be sent to prison for non-payment, and for which there is no right to counsel as long as it’s charged as contempt of court (a civil law beef) rather than criminal violation of a duty-to-support statute.

    Does this concern anyone, or do we believe that child support is so important to innocent children and their mothers that the end justifies the means?

  • http://subintsoc.net/situationroom Geheimbundler

    QUESTION FOR THE GOVERNOR:

    Gov. Dean, I’m greatly impressed by your willingness to honestly confront the mistakes, deceptions, and misdeeds of George W. Bush and his administration. As the Waldman Political Report said after the Nov. 2002 elections, the Democratic party doesn’t need to move left or move right, it needs to stand up!

    My question: Are you aware of the growing controversy over “black box voting?” Computer experts are expressing great concern about the unauditable, proprietary touch-screen electronic voting systems being used across the country. Some of these companies are owned by major Republican contributors. In any case, the code which runs their machines is not open to public inspection.

    The expert consensus is that electronic voting machines should be required to produce a human-readable paper receipt, verifying the voter’s choices. Ideally, one receipt would be deposited in a ballot box, and another copy would be for the voter to take home. This would allow for checking the computer tally against the paper tally, to make sure no accidental or deliberate miscounting occurred.

    We saw touch screen systems malfunctioning last year in Florida — Janet Reno couldn’t even cast a vote for herself in the Florida gubernatorial primary due to technical problems at her precinct.

    Problems with voting, of the kind we saw in Florida in 2000 and again last year, threaten the very bedrock of our democratic system. Will you make sure that Congress finally and decisively acts to set stronger federal standards for elections, including requiring “black box voting” systems to be openly auditable and to generate a verifiable paper trail?

    Thanks,
    Adam

  • Me

    I use the term Rape, because what they do is take, and take, and take, and not give anything back.

    The term comes from the Roman mythical event, the Rape of the Sabine Women, in which the Romans invited the Sabine tribe to visit, and at a signal from the emperor Romulus, stole the women. Later, the Sabines attacked to win back their women, and the Romans killed them.

    So, Disney “Rapes” the Public Domain the same way the Romans “Raped” the Sabine people: They take freely, and DO NOT GIVE BACK.

    Clear enough in terminology?

  • Jack Kessler

    Howard Dean said,

    > I�m really impressed by the candor on this blog,

    Understatement…

    On The WELL we call it “The Fray” — nothing like self-policing to bring out the best, and worst, in folks.

    > and the complexity of the discussions.

    That too. It’s the speed-typing, really: used to be that glib speakers had the advantage — now anyone at all typing-impaired has real communication problems, thanks to the computer revolution. Until voice-keyboards get going, that is… Most useful course I took in high school, it turns out — typing…

    > Someone asked which parts of the Patriot Act I thought were unconstitutional. I have real problems authorizing the FBI to obtain library and bookstore and video store records simply by claiming the information is �sought for� an investigation against international terrorism. It�s also clearly unconstitutional to detain indivduals and deny them access to a lawyer.

    “Terrorism” is being used to justify all sorts of things unrelated to terrorism, now. Ironically “terrorism” is one term which the international legal community never has been able to define: the problem is, and has been at least since a 1937 treaty which tried to define it, that “one person’s ‘terrorist’ is another person’s ‘freedom fighter’” — Nelson Mandela was called a “terrorist”, also Mao and Gandhi.

    Even if we in the US come up with a definition of “terrorism” on our own, though, we need linkage between the problem and the solutions we advocate — cops in classrooms won’t prevent Columbine High School tragedies, any more than armed pilots in cockpits will prevent “terrorism” — that stuff is political window-dressing, when what we need is something effective.

    So I hope you can dismantle the hysteria which has characterized the Bush Administration’s, and the country’s, response to “9/11″ so far. E.F. Schumacher used to talk about “appropriate technology” — matching the remedy with the need — what US “terrorism” policy needs now is “appropriate response”. Invading Iraq went _way_ past that… swatting at gnats with a bazooka…

    > one of you asked if there would be a White House blog. Why not?

    Better have big bandwidth… “policy input” will take on a new definition…

    > Thanks again, Howard Dean

    The blog and the campaign generally are an inspiration to us all, Governor: after that last election, and particularly after “Florida”, we all have needed a renewal of our faith in our political process — and your campaign’s Internet innovations are providing that faith, through the excitement they generate and the “intense democracy” they involve. “The candor and the complexity”, like you said… The US is a great place…

  • Larry Garfield

    Governor Dean,

    I’ve been impressed with your campaign so far, and know many people who support you, but so far have remained on the fence as to who is best to take down our current fascist regime in Washington. The question of Intellectual Freedom is one of the key issues that is keeping me on the fence. Regarding the DMCA, as former President of the DePaul University Linux Users Group and a journalist in the IT field, may I offer a few suggestions:

    The Constitution explicitly empowers Congress “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;”

    So any act of Congress that can not be shown to “promote the progress of the sciences and useful arts” is contrary to the Constitution. Similarly, anything that is not a “limited time” is contrary to the Constitution. These are some of the main points that people interested in these issues talk about.

    Another impact of the DMCA is that it has established a de facto “guilty until proven innocent” policy for copyright infringement. While it may not be part of the letter of the law, countless times in the past few years we’ve seen some small site shut down by a cease and desist letter from a large corporation, which the courts (the government) then insist the small site obey. That is, they are assumed to be in infringement unless they prove otherwise in court, and these small sites never have the money to go up against an army of lawyers on retainer at multi-national corporations. That is not dissimilar from warrant-less search and seisure, which is a portion of the Patriot Act that, according to another poster here, you oppose (and I agree with you).

    It has also resulted in another loophole around warrants. Twice in recent memory (Verizon and SonicBlue), the courts have, using the DMCA as an excuse, ordered a company to turn over its customer lists and information about its private business dealings not to the court, not to the police, but to members of the RIAA. In essence we have deputized multi-national corporations with law enforcement power, but without any judicial oversight.

    It should be noted that the same companies that would benefit from the FCC deregulations are the ones that are actively subverting the law via the DMCA and similar measures. (They are either the same corporate entity, or owned by the same corporate entity, such as the UPN network, division of Paramount, division of Viacom.)

    I fully understand that not many voters outside those already interested in these issues will understand the lengthy details of these policies. That is one of the reasons why it has been so hard to raise awareness of these issues. That is why I mention the analogies to unlawful search and seisure. The 4th Amendment is something that most voters do understand (except under the Patriot Act, of course).

    Quite simply, if our private physical property is to be protected from unlawful search, seisure, and destruction by the government or by others (including other people and other companies), then shouldn’t our digital property be similarly protected?

    For more on the damages of the DMCA, permit me to refer to you to an article I wrote last year, aimed at a high school audience.

    http://www.digitalspeech.org/dmca.shtml

    Thank you again for taking the time to speak with us this week.

    (And about a White House Blog, very cool idea. T’would need a better interface than MoveableType, though. Maybe SlashCode?)

  • Me

    Oh, and just in case anyone wonders, there’s this as well:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=rape

    Take a look down the page:
    rape1 ( P ) Pronunciation Key (rp)
    n.
    The crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse.
    The act of seizing and carrying off by force; abduction.
    Abusive or improper treatment; violation: a rape of justice.

    tr.v. raped, rap�ing, rapes
    To force (another person) to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse; commit rape on.
    To seize and carry off by force.
    To plunder or pillage.
    —————————————————

    To plunder, to pillage… Sounds like what Disney pulls with the Public Domain to me. Anyone disagree?

  • http://subintsoc.net/situationroom Geheimbundler

    Me: I hate to clog this thread with quibbling, but both your etymology and definition of “rape” are incorrect. It actually comes from a Latin word meaning “abduct” or “seize” (check your dictionary).

    Disney is not “abducting” or “seizing” Aladdin or Snow White; these characters are still freely available for the rest of us to use. Remember, Thomas Jefferson said that just as one can light a candle from another candle without diminishing the original flame, one can acquire an idea without diminishing the original source. That’s the beauty of the public domain.

    Again, I’m no fan of Disney, and I do think they are hypocrites, but their use of public-domain characters does not diminish others’ access to them. So unlike the Sabine women, these characters and stories haven’t been raped, abducted, or seized in any sense of those words.

    “If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is… an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it.” –Thomas Jefferson

    I’ll not belabor this point further.

  • http://subintsoc.net/situationroom Geheimbundler

    Please note that I posted my above entry before seeing your own dictionary reference.

    You may have looked up the proper definition, but you are still misapplying the word in re: the Disney situation.

  • http://www.bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    The interesting thing about copyright is that it protects individual artists, and not just Evil Multinationals Who Rape the Environment, Foul the Air, and Kill the Fishies. One such artist who would like this better understood is the punk rock genius and blogger Dr. Frank, who writes about people who want music to be free:

    Sounds great. What I still can’t figure out, though, as I’ve said time and again, is: if nobody has to buy anything, where do you get the money to make the recordings? It’s hell of expensive. As it stands, you get it from a record company, which advances you the money in the expectation that it can be recouped by exploiting the resulting product; or you do it small-scale by yourself and or with friends, not calling it a company perhaps, but still stuck with the reality that every dollar you spend has to come from somewhere. But we’re declaring this method, this entire model, illegitimate, a fallacy, an “ass”.

    What are we supposed to do, have a PBS-style pledge drive or something? Let me know if you really have figured out a way to record an album for free, because it would really help me out right now.

    He explains the issues better than I can, so go check it out if you’re genuinely interested in helping the Little Guy.

    http://www.doktorfrank.com

  • http://subintsoc.net/situationroom Geheimbundler

    Richard: It’s been suggested that artists could make most of their money through live shows and selling merchandise. Actually, this is already frequently the case, since artists tend to get screwed by record companies when it comes to royalties from recordings.

    An additional source of revenue could be through an ASCAP-style system of compulsory licensing. The current system only benefits songwriters (as I understand it, owners of clubs, bars and restaurants which play music pay a fee to ASCAP, which passes the money on to songwriters). An Internet-age system which would also benefit recording artists could work thusly: ISPs could monitor which tracks are being most frequently downloaded, not to charge individual users, but to compile statistics. All Internet users would pay a surcharge on the assumption that they’d be downloading an average of X songs per month. The statistics on which songs were most popular would be used to allocate the surcharge monies to artists.

  • Me

    I have no problem with limited-term copyright.

    But when it’s for over a century; when the balance is 99.8% for the artist… that’s silly.

    Patents don’t last that long, and for good reason. Imagine if the automobile were still patented, and Ford the only company allowed to make them… now realize that that already applies to all copyrighted works.

    Starts to look a bit silly, no?

    And for Geheimbundler: The problem is that Disney then uses their own copyright to enforce pseudo-ownership. True, they cannot fully enforce it. But if you write something that even remotely resembles theirs… be prepared for lawyers. This comes down to even using the same NAMES.

    In any case, let’s rephrase then. Disney PILLAGES and PLUNDERS liberally from the public domain. Better?

  • http://www.cs.duke.edu/~justin/ Justin Moore

    Richard Bennett said

    The prisoner-of-war exception has been operational since 1812, and it�s not particularly controversial today, outside of reflexive Bush-bashing circles, except as to the definition of who�s a POW and who isn�t.

    I really don’t see how this issue is that difficult. There are two possibilities to consider:

    • We are at war, in which case the prisoners we took are in fact prisoners of war and deserve rights under the Geneva Convention, or
    • We are not at war, in which case the people we captured were in fact arrested and need to be processed through some judicial system. While it doesn’t necessarily have to be that of the US — it can be that of Afghanistan, Iraq, or Liberia (this comment brought to you from the year 2004) — we can’t just “disappear” these people onto some island.

    Given how much some Republicans have gotten all worked up about liberals, moderates, and even some other Republicans disagreeing with our “wartime president” I maintain that we are essentially at war and that the prisoners are in fact POWs and deserve Geneva-style treatment.

    Or do my comments “give aid” to our enemies?

    �I’m saddened, saddened that this president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we’re now forced to war, saddened that we have to give up one life because this president couldn’t create the kind of diplomatic effort that was so critical for our country.”

    – Tom Daschle

    �Those comments may not undermine the president as he leads us into war, and they may not give comfort to our adversaries, but they come mighty close.�

    – Dennis Hastert, regarding Daschle’s comment

    I swear, is all political discourse these days simply name-calling and (direct or indirect) accusations of treason??

    -jdm

  • Me

    Seems to be, yeah. Name-calling turns into sound bites after all, which is all that media (of either flavor) seems to know.

  • http://www.bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    Who said anything about treason, Justin? We’re only talking about civil liberties and copyright on this thread.

    Let’s assume that we’re at war with Al Qaeda, their allies Hamas and Hezbollah, and their state sponsors and that the detainees are therefore POWs. They have a right to be treated humanely, and to be released when the hostilities cease, and not a whole lot more, correct? Therefore they have no more right to counsel than a child support debtor does.

    So where’s the beef?

  • http://www.bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    All Internet users would pay a surcharge on the assumption that they�d be downloading an average of X songs per month.

    So my momma, living on a fixed income and struggling to pay for her prescription drugs, has to subsisidize your music habit in order to use the Internet to flirt with her boyfriend?

    Sorry, dude, but that’s a non-starter.

  • Henrik Treadup

    If it were not for the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act the collected works of Albert Einstein would have entered the public domain in 2005. Imagine high school students being able to download “Relativity: The Special and the General Theory” form ProjectGutenberg at no cost.

    Sadly an animated rat got in the way. Each time the collected works of Albert Einstein risk falling into the public domain the Senator of Disney will step in and urge congress to extend copyrights for another 20 years.

  • http://www.cs.duke.edu/~justin/ Justin Moore

    The treason comment was more a reaction to the “wartime president” to “criticism thereof is treason” self-contained thread than any of your comments. General frustration boiling over, basically.

    “The beef” is that the administration is almost certainly being a bit slack in terms of the following provisions of the Geneva Convention:

    • No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.
    • Prisoners shall have opportunities for taking physical exercise, including sports and games, and for being out of doors. Sufficient open spaces shall be provided for this purpose in all camps.
    • Immediately upon capture, or not more than one week after arrival at a camp, even if it is a transit camp, likewise in case of sickness or transfer to hospital or another camp, every prisoner of war shall be enabled to write direct to his family, on the one hand, and to the Central Prisoners of War Agency provided for in Article 123, on the other hand, a card similar, if possible, to the model annexed to the present Convention, informing his relatives of his capture, address and state of health. The said cards shall be forwarded as rapidly as possible and may not be delayed in any manner.

    Etc, etc.

    -jdm

  • http://dean4az.blogspot.com Michael Bryan

    Right On!

    Finally, a candidate who wants to engage in a on-going dialog with the people. Contrast the openness of Dean to having an official White House blog (to which he personally will post sometimes, I should hope) to Bush’s reluctance to even hold a press conference with a bunch of Presidential appeasement monkeys!

  • Jack Kessler

    > As to Digitial Millenium Copyright Act and other copyright issues, we�re still developing a policy on these items…

    From a business perspective, DMCA is a balancing process, between the authors of information and the marketers / distributors, the publishing industries.

    Authors always think that publishers make too much money, and publishers always think that authors do. Book publishers pay authors their measly 10% or maybe at most 15%, of net — after “expenses”, the way they _don’t_ do in Hollywood nowadays, for “stars” anyway — and those “expenses” can wipe out profit entirely, for a long time. Book “stars” who get advances are pretty rare: the book publisher needs 5,000+ copies sold to break even, nowadays — so that means authors and publishers who work on less, like most academics and too many “beginners”, all go broke.

    And authors, too, have an unrealistic estimation of the value, and the cost, of marketing and distribution. Many of them found this out the hard way recently in the Dotcom Bust: it’s not enough simply to put up a fancy website — it’s never enough, in sales, to wait for the customer to come in — you have to go out to get the customer, and then you have to distribute, and handle returns, and manage complaints, and do billing and collections, and…

    Whether all of that is worth all of the expenses plus 90% of the profits, well… but it _is_ expensive, and most of the Dotcommers who did go Bust did so because they underestimated it: ask any venture capitalist who lost on them.

    So I don’t think DMCA, again from a business point of view, is so much a matter of the complex legal issues which it certainly represents as it is an economics transition, and a “changing industrial structure” question. In Lessig you have the nation’s leading expert on DMCA legal issues, anyway. The underlying economics question for you, though, to me seems to be how far are you willing to readjust, now, the continuously-adjusting financial balance between authors and publishers?

    Every publishing innovation, since Gutenberg and before, has caused a realignment in these terms. “Authorship” doesn’t necessarily go back that far, but “ownership” does: the moment some 15th or 16th c. noble saw “money” in the new technique, the “dedication fee” and the “copyright fee” were born… So, same difference: DMCA is simply the latest chapter in a long financial interest-balancing tug of war.

    The publishers won, on this DMCA round, I think. I basically agree with Lessig’s position, as I understand it, and I sympathize greatly with Eldred. The Internet, and the new digital technologies generally but particularly the Internet, have provided the “author” with all sorts of new tools enabling a circumvention of the “publisher”: an awful lot, of what those antiquated and top-heavy hierarchical industries — like the print publishers and the movie studios and the music companies — used to perform for society now no longer is needed.

    But a lot of it still is. The Dotcommers found that out the hard way… For every harp-player out in Australia who has no chance of ever interesting Disney in marketing and distributing her little music disc — who now can “go direct” via the Internet, and reach the entire world — there is a Metallica rock group which still needs some giant marketing & distribution “publisher” machine. There are a lot of “little guys”, but there also are a lot who aren’t little — and we, the public, need _both_ of them — unless we’re all going to listen only to Australian harp music, or only to Metallica…

    So I believe, myself, that the DMCA legal issue is phony, somewhat: being used as a cover-up, by some, for other things. There is an underlying economic, and therefore political, problem beneath the legal arguments: the publishing market simply has changed — new techniques have been discovered / developed which now make it possible, for some, to circumvent the older industry. The market will adjust to this, as witness the checkered recent fortunes of Universal, and Vivendi, and of print publishers everywhere — but while it does, we need to avoid “hard-coding” anything legal into the fluid economic developments.

    I would rely on Lessig, for this. His books and arguments make the case for the “little guy” pretty decisively and eloquently. But I wouldn’t forget that the mass of us consumers — Metallica fans and Danielle Steele readers and Australian harp music lovers and the rest — still need the big publishers and movie houses and record companies, too, for some things. Marketing and distribution are not cheap, and amateurs can’t do them. So if your policy backs away from DMCA, as I believe it should, let it do so with heavy input from old knowledgeable corporations which are in “the biz”: they won’t like what you are doing, but they know it’s needed, and — being “businesspersons” — they will be happy to have been consulted, at least because they’ll be looking closely for some profit advantage for themselves in your new policy, anyway…

  • Benjamin Hinkley

    “Let�s assume that we�re at war with Al Qaeda…”
    -Richard Bennet

    Assuming you mean official state of war, we are not. First, no official declaration of war has been issued by Congress. Second, how can you declare war on an completely decentralized, nongovernmental organization? It would be akin to declaring war on soccer hooligans or Ayn Rand enthusiasts. We certainly should prosecute war on nations who provide material aid to them (Al Qaeda, that is, not objectivists. Although….) But beyond that, all actions are properly the domain of nonmilitary security forces such as the FBI, and the criminal justice system.

    If you can declare war on Al Qaeda and change the rules of justice, what is to prevent you from doing so with any organization? That, to me, is far too slippery a slope to tread.

  • http://none Pepper

    I am very interested to know the Dean campaign’s position on the coming peak in world conventional oil production that may occur around 2010 according to some retired expert petroleum geologists (see Dr. Colin Campbell). After the world peak is reached (US48 production peaked in the early 70s), there will be no possiblity of increasing the amount of conventional oil produced. How can the world economy grow without an increasing amount of energy? How can the “third world” develop in this environment? Renewables can help alleviate the slide down, but they cannot power the economic growth we are used to in the USA.

    The Bush administration knows full well of this problem (see comments by Texas energy investment banker Matt Simmons) and this obviously played an important role in decision to invade Iraq.

    Are you going to begin to educate the American public about “peak oil” if you take office?

  • http://www.teleread.org/blog David H. Rothman

    Governor, a quick look at your list of campaign donors showed that you might be relying less on the usual Hollywood fatcats than some of your Democratic campaign rivals have. Were you immediately about to use Larry Lessig�s blog to announce a long-overdue stand against the DMCA and other atrocities? That�s what I hoped a few days ago.

    Now, however, at least for the moment, you�ve let me down. A lifelong Democrat, I may or may not vote for you in the primary. But I can guarantee that will never happen if you continue to wimp out on copyright matters. You�ve had weeks and weeks to decide. Just when might you finish �developing a policy.� Come to think of it, can�t you use a Polaroid or even go digital? Forget politics; a Net-friendly position is simply the right one to take. But if you must be �pragmatic,� it�s clear that your boosters on the whole are anti-DMCA. Chris Suellentrop, writing in Slate, is correct: �Dean wants to be Napster, but his supporters are more like Gnutella: They don�t need to go through Dean to connect with one another.� And that is especially true on Net-related issues such as copyright.

    You needn�t pander, though; just show a conscience and maybe a tinge of the better form of populism. Clerks and cops should be able to enjoy free or at least affordable information to reach sound decisions as parents and voters. Suppose a chemical plant is about to set up operations near their homes. Will a nurse not only be able to retrieve EPA information, but also benefit from easy online access to copyrighted books and local news articles about past effects of the chemicals involved? How familiar are you with blue-collar workers and others with demanding and inflexible schedules, especially in this era of waning union influence? Probably very much so, as an MD. Surely, then, you know how tired many working people are at the end of the day, especially mothers. Secretaries lack the same control over their schedules as $70K-a-year soccer moms. And wired libraries could empower the non-Volvo set more than just access to the conventional variety–however much we need brick libraries, too. Isn�t it, in fact, time for a well-stocked national digital library system, usable from home, to augment badly funded local branches? Support could come through a mix of public and private funds to assure maximum freedom of expression. The system could offer not only the usual forms of downloading but also provisions for file-sharing–with fair compensation for publishers and writers.

    Meanwhile, for an example of the need for a balanced copyright policy and the just-described library system, I invite you to drop by http://www.teleread.org/blog/2003_07_01_archive.html#105837575530658585 on the Teleread.org site. You�ll read of the mothers and fathers at Rucker Stewart Middle School in Gallatin, Tennessee, who scraped up $750 for classics for their school�500 books they could have downloaded off the Internet for free. �What morons,� the copyright gentry would say. �No,� I would say, �what a persuasive example of the ignorance that a better information system could fight.� These are simply good people deprived of the facts and knowledge they needed for their children to enjoy thousands of classics, at no charge, from Gutenberg.net. Al Gore failed Rucker Stewart Middle School�despite the talk about a little Tennessee girl being able to dial up the entire Library of Congress. Far more entertainment executives sat on the White House�s NII Advisory Council than did teachers and librarians. A supposedly ex-copyright lobbyist, still plying his old trade, presided over the writing of the Green and White papers. Maybe you can do better than Clinton and Gore.

    Alas, however, information on the Net isn�t enough by itself. The digital books, the scientific writings, the art, the music, must be a true part of our schools and libraries, with training and other forms of support at the local level. Much good can and should be done privately, such as through Gutenberg; but if we really want to take full advantage of the economies of the technology, we also need to do more. Will you distinguish yourself from so many of your fellow politicians and take a good stand on both copyright reform and the need for a well-stocked, well-integrated national digital library system of the kind discussed at http://www.teleread.org ? And if you can eventually inspire other Democrats and, yes, Republicans, too, then so much the better.

    Meanwhile you might pay close attention to some thoughts of Glenn Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor who publishes InstaPundit.com and who in many ways is probably my political opposite. How correct he was in observing at FoxNews.com: �Democrats are left with a choice: side with fatcats, and against consumers and popular artists, or turn on a constituency that has been a major source of campaign funds.� Can you please break us out of this destructive loop?

    David Rothman, for TeleRead.org | dr@teleread.org

    Author, �Copyright and K-12: Who Pays in the Network Era?�

    http://www.ed.gov/Technology/Futures/rothman.html

    (A paper commissioned by the Department of Education under Bill Clinton but unfortunately still timely in most respects)

  • http://www.teleread.org/blog David H. Rothman

    Governor, a quick look at your list of campaign donors showed that you might be relying less on the usual Hollywood fatcats than some of your Democratic campaign rivals have. Were you immediately about to use Larry Lessig�s blog to announce a long-overdue stand against the DMCA and other atrocities? That�s what I hoped a few days ago.

    Now, however, at least for the moment, you�ve let me down. A lifelong Democrat, I may or may not vote for you in the primary. But I can guarantee that will never happen if you continue to wimp out on copyright matters. You�ve had weeks and weeks to decide. Just when might you finish �developing a policy.� Come to think of it, can�t you use a Polaroid or even go digital? Forget politics; a Net-friendly position is simply the right one to take. But if you must be �pragmatic,� it�s clear that your boosters on the whole are anti-DMCA. Chris Suellentrop, writing in Slate, is correct: �Dean wants to be Napster, but his supporters are more like Gnutella: They don�t need to go through Dean to connect with one another.� And that is especially true on Net-related issues such as copyright.

    You needn�t pander, though; just show a conscience and maybe a tinge of the better form of populism. Clerks and cops should be able to enjoy free or at least affordable information to reach sound decisions as parents and voters. Suppose a chemical plant is about to set up operations near their homes. Will a nurse not only be able to retrieve EPA information, but also benefit from easy online access to copyrighted books and local news articles about past effects of the chemicals involved? How familiar are you with blue-collar workers and others with demanding and inflexible schedules, especially in this era of waning union influence? Probably very much so, as an MD. Surely, then, you know how tired many working people are at the end of the day, especially mothers. Secretaries lack the same control over their schedules as $70K-a-year soccer moms. And wired libraries could empower the non-Volvo set more than just access to the conventional variety–however much we need brick libraries, too. Isn�t it, in fact, time for a well-stocked national digital library system, usable from home, to augment badly funded local branches? Support could come through a mix of public and private funds to assure maximum freedom of expression. The system could offer not only the usual forms of downloading but also provisions for file-sharing–with fair compensation for publishers and writers.

    Meanwhile, for an example of the need for a balanced copyright policy and the just-described library system, I invite you to drop by http://www.teleread.org/blog/2003_07_01_archive.html#105837575530658585 on the Teleread.org site. You�ll read of the mothers and fathers at Rucker Stewart Middle School in Gallatin, Tennessee, who scraped up $750 for classics for their school�500 books they could have downloaded off the Internet for free. �What morons,� the copyright gentry would say. �No,� I would say, �what a persuasive example of the ignorance that a better information system could fight.� These are simply good people deprived of the facts and knowledge they needed for their children to enjoy thousands of classics, at no charge, from Gutenberg.net. Al Gore failed Rucker Stewart Middle School�despite the talk about a little Tennessee girl being able to dial up the entire Library of Congress. Far more entertainment executives sat on the White House�s NII Advisory Council than did teachers and librarians. A supposedly ex-copyright lobbyist, still plying his old trade, presided over the writing of the Green and White papers. Maybe you can do better than Clinton and Gore.

    Alas, however, information on the Net isn�t enough by itself. The digital books, the scientific writings, the art, the music, must be a true part of our schools and libraries, with training and other forms of support at the local level. Much good can and should be done privately, such as through Gutenberg; but if we really want to take full advantage of the economies of the technology, we also need to do more. Will you distinguish yourself from so many of your fellow politicians and take a good stand on both copyright reform and the need for a well-stocked, well-integrated national digital library system of the kind discussed at http://www.teleread.org ? And if you can eventually inspire other Democrats and, yes, Republicans, too, then so much the better.

    Meanwhile you might pay close attention to some thoughts of Glenn Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor who publishes InstaPundit.com and who in many ways is probably my political opposite. How correct he was in observing at FoxNews.com: �Democrats are left with a choice: side with fatcats, and against consumers and popular artists, or turn on a constituency that has been a major source of campaign funds.� Can you please break us out of this destructive loop?

    David Rothman, for TeleRead.org | dr@teleread.org

    Author, �Copyright and K-12: Who Pays in the Network Era?�

    http://www.ed.gov/Technology/Futures/rothman.html

    (A paper commissioned by the Department of Education under Bill Clinton but unfortunately still timely in most respects)

  • http://www.soletta.com Ross Judson

    Governor, I am truly hopeful that your campaign will break yet another rule: That of truly enumerating, in detail, a comprehensive platform. I believe that your platform should be an evolving document…it needs to grow and be shaped during this primary. You need to bring it on, in detail. Do something candidates for the Presidency haven’t done in decades — put a stake in the ground on issues. Put a LOT of stakes in the ground. Be detailed. I hope and pray that you can be the candidate who does not patronize the citizens of this country. If they can read Harry Potter they can deal with it.
    Your web site has a good start on this. Keep it up! Expand it! Make it a comprehensive analysis of where we are as a country, where we could be, and what we need to do to get there.

  • http://www.teleread.org/blog David H. Rothman

    Re double posting. Sorry, people. Not the best connection around here right now, and that threw me off. Ideally under President Dean, the White House will be friendlier than the present one toward technological innovation–including the net.connection variety ;-) – DR

  • http://blogdayafternoon.com Jeff

    Dr Dean,

    One issue that needs be addressed is the War On [Some] Drugs. I’m not sure who’s so terrified of marijuana smokers, that they’ve concluded the only recourse is to incarcerate them. When was the last time a pot smoker broke into your house and stole your TV? He’s at home on the sofa watching his own TV. These are NOT violent people. If there is no victim, then there is no crime. A prison population of two-million does not reflect a healthy society. Get these non-violent drug offenders out of prison.

    After you’ve won the presidency, do me a favor. There is just one law I’d like to see passed: “Congress shall enact no legislation without first repealing an existing law.” We have WAY too many laws…

    – Jeff

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    I’ve been trying to come up with a simple way to explain why the DMCA is bad, in a way a sympathetic politician might grasp. Here’s what I’ve got now:

    Dr. Dean, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the Freedom-Of-Information Act (FOIA). It provides a means for citizens to examine the workings of our government (social architecture). As a topic, the Freedom-Of-Information Act is certainly not something the average voters cares about. But to reformers, to people participating in government, it’s a critical issue.

    The DMCA is a kind of technical Secrecy-Of-Information Act. It provides a means for corporations to *severely* punish citizens who examine the workings of our computerization of society (technological architecture) As a topic, this Secrecy-Of-Information Act is certainly not something the average voters cares about. But to reformers, to people participating in technology and society, it’s a critical issue.

    And just as an argument of National Security is used against the Freedom-Of-Information-Act, a similar argument about Crackers/Pirates is used to justify the Secrecy-Of-Information Act.

    I’ll plug my Library Of Congress DMCA testimony http://sethf.com/anticensorware/hearing_dc.php again as a very real-world example of the social benefits and personal perils of fighting secrecy.

  • Zelig

    Dr. Dean,

    Please support the freedom of the press and demand that Vermont release your gubernatorial papers that you sealed at the end of your term.

  • http://subintsoc.net colereux

    Hello; I’m one of the mob that drifted in thanks to the news of Dean’s blog-week. I certainly knew about Lessig, at least :)

    I feel for the bind of any politician on a blog, even one willing to be strategically blunt like Dr. Dean. If he gets too specific about DMCA now and changes his position later he’ll offend worse than being vague now. Everything he says he being watched and gauged. Unless you are as thorough-goingly unreflective as Mr. Bush that has to wear on a pol.

    I do think you can say “Well, I’m not ready to declare my position on the DMCA, but my position will be based on my respect and concern for the public commons, fair use, and the public domain” etc. Call it a meta-position is safe enough and less traditonally ‘political.’ than simply failing to engage the subject.

    As for me, I think what is more important that the term of copyright is that one’s right to parody and comment on works not be infringed; there is increasing pressure to silence, for example, negative book reviews which quote the text. You are all well aware of these trends of course.

    MY saw is what is happening to software & technology: aggresive software patents and the shift towards disallowing reverse engineering are barriers against competition that almost can’t be beat. How can anyone but a giant corporation compete against, say, the “One Click” patent? Or companies that patent applications of algorithms? Or human genes, or what have you.

    -thomas

  • http://baylink.pitas.com Jay R. Ashworth

    > Finally, one of you asked if there would be a White House blog. Why not?

    Cause Toby and Sam’ll be too busy to wr…

    Oh, sorry. Wrong Democratic White House. :-)

    Oh, and yes, Geheimbundler (what does that mean, anyway?), I understand that eVoting and the poor design of DRE voting machines is on the Doc’s desk — ST and I have certainly been flogging it hard enough over on the campaign blog, with references to Mercuri, et al.
    – j

  • http://www.museworld.com/ Curt

    Lessig and the EFF could advise you best about the DMCA. In general though the best principle to focus on is whatever allows, encourages, and protects the right of individuals and small businesses to innovate.

    There’s this line that a corporation’s growth pattern can go over, where innovation becomes less important than protecting margin or attacking other companies from a monopolistic position. If monopoly can be limited, if smaller businesses and individuals and inventors can be encouraged, then it encourages that old Yankee ingenuity that I think of as the positive side of being American. When our laws encourage us to litigate defensively though, while our corporations might attain short term defensive advantages, I believe we’re actually stunting our own long-term growth. In other words, help out MacGyver rather than the bully.

    Emphasis on smaller business and american innovation will also help solve the issue of our jobs being drained offshore, because usually those offshore efforts come from companies that are so large that they have already decimated their competition. I personally don’t believe in creating laws that prohibit offshore jobs because it is a negative control. We should be advocating MORE freedom of movement, not less, and creating policies that encourage more American innovation is a positive way to accomplish the same goal of creating more American jobs.

    In addition, I hope you will also consider advocating changes in patent law – not in RELAXING standards to allow faster patent approvals as the current administration does, but in tightening up standards to return patent applications to their original standards: focusing on actual inventions and implementations, not on obvious thought patterns and ideas like software algorithms and business processes.

    Finally, I hope you will appoint intellectual-property people that aren’t blind ideologues, but that are honestly up to the task of reconciling very difficult oppositional forces and recommending unorthodox solutions. We citizens deeply want certain objectives, and we often have flawed reasoning on the best way to accomplish those objectives due to our lack of perspective. We’re more open to creative solutions than the polls think we are…

  • Doug Lay

    Gov Dean and staff:

    Like many “techies,” I’m greatly bothered by the DMCA anti-circumvention provision. While protecting artists’ rights in a digital environment is an important goal, I see no evidence whatsoever that the DMCA has done anything to slow digital piracy in its four years on the books. The law is ineffective at doing what it is supposed to do, yet it is being leveraged by large corporations in ways that erode citizens’ fair use rights, impede legitimate research, and threaten to outlaw the long-standing technology industry practice of reverse engineering. For examples of such cases, please look here:

    http://www.eff.org/IP/DMCA/20030102_dmca_unintended_consequences.html

    The intentions behind the DMCA anti-circumvention provision may have been good, but the provision in practice is ineffective at best, highly destructive at worst. I believe the law was passed too quickly, without sufficient input from all stakeholders and (consequently) without a sufficient understanding of all the technical and social issues involved. I would like to see a “back to the drawing board” approach to the whole issue of intellectual property rights and enforcement on the Internet, this time with the benefit of several years of hindsight and with input from a greater number of players – consumers, artists, and a wide range of technologists in addition to entertainment companies and large technology companies.

  • Dan Z.

    Governor Dean,

    Thanks for reading this far down in the comments.

    I’m excited at how your campaign has embraced the internet. I think you’re on the cusp of embracing that change yourself. Keep going.

    You’ve said you’re new to blogging. Have you taken a look at Gary Hart’s blog? ( http://www.garyhartnews.com/hart/blog/ ) Senator Hart is a good blogger. His posts are meaty, thoughtful, and direct. They’re worth examining.

    Blog entries like that are more valuable than you realize. They energize your supporters, they convert those on the fence, and they make voters feel *connected* to you.

    That, I think, is the greatest lesson of your campaign so far. Voters will reject candidates and campaigns they cannot feel connected to. If you can make enough people feel connected to your campaign, you will win. Period.

    This form of connection is as cheap as they come. While it’s important to reach out using every avenue available, the time and effort you spend blogging will pay some of the highest dividends. It’s your secret weapon at this point, something neither Bush nor your competitors for the Democratic nomination seem to perceive.

    I’ve watched and read your Great American Restoration speech. I’ve seen you hold a room full of folks spellbound talking about balancing the budget. I hope you’ll make it a priority to set aside a block of time every couple of weeks and write about your vision for our American future. Write about the things you feel passionate about.

    We’ll listen. And we’ll vote.

  • http://baylink.pitas.com Jay R. Ashworth

    Damn, Dan; that’s well said.
    – j

  • mc

    Governor Dean,

    Yesterday, I told you about my experiences with the Patriot Act as an undergraduate, thank you for making your position known to this community and thank you for answering my question.

    I’d like to tell you, or your staff, the the DMCA also posses a real threat for the many reasons outlined herein. Professor Lessig is a visionary in the area of copyright reform and it would be wise for any serious candidate for the Presidency to seek his advice on these important issues- and to name him to the bench.

    The DMCA endangers technological advancement in this country. Like the “Patriot Act”, it has a chilling effect on academic discourse by outlawing some common techniques in the field of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. This administration has impeded the progress of Science- you have my vote- if elected please reverse this alarming trend.

    Respectfully,
    Matt

  • http://nic-naa.net Eric Brunner-Williams

    A jurisdictional question for Gov. Dean (and Larry too when he gets back from R&R, and if he’s interested. It isn’t IPR, but if ICANN is jurisdictionally interesting, then one believes in fairies, or takes an interest in edge cases).

    As before, a couple of paras of context before the question.

    Jim Oyler sells fireworks on a 20 acre parcel in Johnson County, Kansas.

    In the 1600s, the Shawnee concentrated in the Ohio valley, in what is now Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. They were the late Mississipians, matrilineal/matrilocal, post-Hopewellian, the end of the long chain of Moundbuilders; the cream of the crop. Disease, then the Beaver Wars, the expansion of the Five Nations (Iroquois) and their British allies, drove the Shawnee out of the Ohio river valley for a century.

    A series of treaties secured the Shawnee land in 1831, with the “guarantee that said lands shall never be within the bounds of any State or territory, nor subject to the laws thereof.” This treaty was modified in 1854 to reduce the total acreage, and terminate collective title to land, and in 1869, the Shawnee and Cherokee tribes were merged. The 10th Circuit Court determined “[t]here is no evidence … that the 1869 merger … altered any rights vested under previous Shawnee treaties.”

    The 20 acre parcel is part of Lot 206, the last land held by descendents of the 1854 individual allotment.

    Without determining if one or more Oklahoma Tribes, jointly or severally, has authority over Lot 206, or if the United Tribe of Shawnee are an Indian Tribe, or if the United Tribe of Shawnee possess a “governement”, or if Jim Oyler is the Principle Chief of the UTS, and knowing that in Johnson County the sale of fireworks is illegal, answer the following:

    Where does state jurisdiction end?

    How will you improve the relationship between Tribal Governments, the Federal Government, and the States Governments?

    How will you improve the situation faced by Eastern and Southern Tribes when attempting to determine the jurisdictions of each governement?

    Eric Brunner-Williams

  • http://anonymoses.blogspot.com Anonymoses

    Governor Dean,

    It is an honor to write to a gentleman who himself has the honor to be among so many truly wondrous souls as are the Democratic contenders during this historic presidential election. (May it be an election, and not a selection, this time!)
    And may whomever among you rises to the top, embody the best in each…Sharpton’s humor, Braun’s sagacity, Edwards’ universality, Kucinich’s vision, Kerry’s gravitas, Gephardt’s care for the worker, Lieberman’s wit, Clark’s wisdom…and your intuition and courage.
    Any one of you would be better for America and the world. May you all bring out the best.

    After Bush, what we know we need is, among other things — many other things — information, sunlight, truth, wisdom. Well, that’s 4 things. Sorry. But blogging (which you all should do for the sake of feeding us information and openness) is a way to let us know the goods before we buy.
    We were cheated last time.

    White House blog? Under Mr. Secrecy? A few more months, and a legitimate President might do so.

    May your better angels guide you all…

    -Dave K. Beckwith
    Charlotte, NC

  • http://www.bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    Justin, do you have any reason to believe the POWs in Gitmo are being treated poorly, other than your reflexive hatred of the President? All the accounts I’ve seen say they’re being treated in way that’s very sensitive to their religious and ethnic ways, and that most of them are gaining weight. I suppose you could argue that we’re torturing them into over-eating, but that would be wild speculation.

    If you can declare war on Al Qaeda and change the rules of justice, what is to prevent you from doing so with any organization? That, to me, is far too slippery a slope to tread.

    Do you propose, Benjamin, that we ignore Al Qaeda, or better yet, present arrest warrants to the governments that harbor them in hopes that we can put them on trial individually with court-appointed counsel? This doesn’t strike me as a realistic strategy.

    Yes, I understand that we’re used to dealing with formal declarations of war against states, and not used to using that method with non-government organizations, but this is a different kind of menace, and one that Lessig’s followers should understand well because it’s an end-to-end network.

    And surely you appreciate how powerful that can be.

  • Rob

    Richard Bennett said:

    Justin, do you have any reason to believe the POWs in Gitmo are being treated poorly, other than your reflexive hatred of the President? All the accounts I�ve seen say they�re being treated in way that�s very sensitive to their religious and ethnic ways, and that most of them are gaining weight.

    The only news I have on the “Enemy Combatants” (I don’t think they’re even POW’s, since technically there is no war) is that they are being held incommunicado, refused lawyers or any contact with the outside world, and they’ve been there that way for many months now. That’s not how the United States should be treating prisoners. We’re supposed to be supporting the Geneva Convention, and it’s hypocritical to only apply it to our people.

    Yes, I understand that we�re used to dealing with formal declarations of war against states

    LOL. When’s the last time we officially declared war against someone? I don’t think we even declared war against North Vietnam, it was just a bunch of executive orders and resolutions of Congress. Declarations of war are apparently passe’; if you declare war, you give your enemy time to react and take up defensive positions, which costs American lives. Can’t have that!

    Do you propose, Benjamin, that we ignore Al Qaeda, or better yet, present arrest warrants to the governments that harbor them in hopes that we can put them on trial individually with court-appointed counsel? This doesn�t strike me as a realistic strategy.

    Maybe not realistic, but certainly if we value the ideals we are supposedly fighting for we should seek to apply them equally. Especially to our enemies! Otherwise we’re just another big nation with a big military throwing our weight around trying to bully other countries into doing our bidding.

  • mpr

    Dr. Dean,

    The recent blunders out of the White House regarding Iraq and WMD seem out of character. No one can deny they have been (up until now) a well-oiled media machine. The story is gaining traction in the press and the White House almost seems to be feeding the frenzy with miscomment here, miscomment there.

    Kind of makes you go hmmmm…….

    The neo-cons surrounding the President’s administration have always enjoyed playing three steps ahead of conventional wisdom. Their bold if not brilliant tactics have served them well in manipulating public opinion to serve their own agendas.

    My heart hopes they finally got burned playing with fire. But my head says something smells.

    Tell me they are not baiting the Democrat’s on this one!!! I fear a (WMD) rabbit in a hat.

  • Andy

    Governor Dean,
    It’s been reported that the Secretart of Defense admits our troops will be in Iraq for the next five years. If, and when you win the election, and are in office, do you plan to retract these troops, and if so, any specifics would be enlightening.

    Also, I’m aware of your plan on medical marijuana; would you plan to expediate the rate at which the FDA is given the chance to put it through it’s trials; or do you plan to let it run it’s course, and agree with their decision if and when it does?

  • Anonymous

    Governor, this is why you are winning people over:

    article “Tenet Says He Didn’t Know About Claim”:

    CIA Director George J. Tenet told the Senate intelligence committee yesterday that his staff did not bring to his attention a questionable statement about Iraq seeking uranium in Africa before President Bush delivered his State of the Union address.

    cover Bush’s behind:

    Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) told reporters afterward that allowing the president to refer to Iraq’s alleged attempt to buy uranium in Africa shows “the process was broken” and illustrates “sloppy coordination between [the] State [Department] and CIA and the NSC [National Security Council] and the White House.”

    cover Bush’s behind:

    Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman said: “If I was president and I was put in a position to make a statement in a State of the Union to the American people that was not truthful, and the CIA director came forward and accepted responsibility, I’d ask him to leave.”

    pull-no-punches:

    Howard Dean said that Tenet was not the most serious problem under scrutiny but that he should resign because he helped cover up for the White House. “He knew very well that the intelligence was false,” Dean said, “and for him to take the blame means he was participating in an attempt to avoid finding out what really happened.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A2936-2003Jul16.html

  • jon

    I want to second “me”‘s observation that Disney has made a fortune off the public domain and should now be forced to do the right thing and contribute to the same.

  • Brendan

    Mr. Nennett,
    Does giving people the material things of life — exercise, food enough to gain weight constitute treating them well if you deny them the basic political rights recognized in our country and mandated through treaties? I could care less if I am massaged every day and fed steak and lobster if I am imprisioned and not even charged with a crime and/or given due process (whatever that maybe in this circumstance — certainly not perpetual incarseration). I would say I was being treated inhumanely.

  • Anonymous

    Do you propose, Benjamin, that we ignore Al Qaeda, …

    You might want to reread my post, as I said no such thing, and said as much.

    … or better yet, present arrest warrants to the governments that harbor them …

    Harbor who? Members of Al Qaeda? Certainly. If a nation provides material support, such as safe haven (see Afghanistan), they risk facing the rightful wrath of the US. If they turn them over, we try them. I don’t see what’s so unreasonable about that.

    …in hopes that we can put them on trial individually with court-appointed counsel?

    What do you mean, “in hopes”? If you’re issuing an arrest warrant, you’re doing it because you have reason to believe they have are are planning to commit a crime.

    This doesn�t strike me as a realistic strategy.

    I guess I’m not clear about what you think is, although you give me the distinct impression that it involves giving the government a great deal more power to the government than I, or I imagine our founding fathers, think is wise.

  • Katherine

    Richard Bennet–
    Not going to get into the enemy combatant thing.
    Child support is not the only example of civil detention without any right to counsel, as you probably know. It’s pretty common in immigration law. (I would venture a guess there are more people in INS jails.) How do you feel about it in that case? The Due Process Clause refers to “any person” not “any citizen” so I think it’s the bright line civil/criminal distinction that the courts rely on.

  • Jer

    Zelig -

    The records sealed are not of the accomplishments and actions of the Governor. Those have been reported by the media and recorded in laws, and as such are public knowledge. Rather, the records sealed are “who-said-what-to-whom-and-when”. Sealing records is common practice when running for office. Smear campaigns by the opposition can take any little casual statement to an aide out of context. As a voter, that’s a waste of my time.

    But if you’re concerned about sealing records, ask Mr. Bush why he’s trying so hard to seal presidential records – and sealing them nearly forever, not just for 10 years.

    -j

  • Ed Batewell

    Do you propose, Benjamin, that we ignore Al Qaeda, or better yet, present arrest warrants to the governments that harbor them in hopes that we can put them on trial individually with court-appointed counsel? This doesn�t strike me as a realistic strategy. – Richard Bennett

    It’s my understanding that execution chambers are being constructed at Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay, presumably for the purpose of, well….executing the prisoners of something or other with an undefined legal status.

    With all due respect to the brilliant minds on this board, and mindful of the exciting possibility that the future 44th President of the United States will be reading this post and our responses, I ask you: Can you suggest a realistic strategy for dealing with this “different kind of menace”? In no way am I asking for solutions that remotely involve ignoring Al Queda or the threat they pose. Also please understand that I am not a lawyer, I have the highest respect for the US Constitution, and I am a concerned American citizen.

    In my view a realistic, effective strategy for dealing with this new threat, would comply with either the terms of the Geneva Convention or, alternately, with the terms of the US Constitution. To fail either litmus test (or both, in the current example, due to the vague legal status of the detainees) is truly unfortunate because The United States of America would have voluntarily abrogated precisely the two things that have made America great in our lifetimes (other than jazz and baseball):

    We will have abandoned our constitutional concept of individual rights, as currently habeus corpus, and indeed entire amendments to the Bill of Rights are regarded as impediments or nuisances in fighting this “war on terror”

    or

    we will have squandered the respect of the world, so dutifully earned by previous generations of Americans, by shirking our commitment to the Geneva Convention as regards the humane treatment of prisoners of war, and by our hypocrisy on matters of human rights.

    Ultimately any strategy that does not meet one of these two criteria can only serve to weaken the republic in time, in ways that aren’t immediately apparent, but in hindsight will be seen, at best, as a scar on our democracy.

    I do appreciate the urgent need to come up with creative solutions to new problems (or in this case, a new threat). I admit, I am not sure what the answers to homeland security are, but I’m quite certain of what they aren’t. I think Governor Dean summed up my sentiment nicely, albeit on a different subject. He said: “Surely the greatest country in the world can do better than this”.

  • Manu

    I know this is a bit off topic for the current thread, but I’ve found an interesting link today on slashdot. It’s a statistical analysis on all registered copyrights in the last century, and how past and current legislation has affected the numbers. Draw your own conclusions on how current legislation has affected true inovation and expansion of culture.

    BEWARE!!!! This site opens many popups and attempts to install Gator. Either use a non-IE browser (Mozilla/Firebird) that lets you block all popups, or install popup blocking software for IE. The Google toolbar comes to mind.

    http://linuxizer.virtualave.net/STATISTICS/

    After going there it may not be a bad idea to install this:
    http://www.lavasoft.de/software/adaware/
    and running it as many times as needed until it doesn’t find anything spyware or adware on your system.

  • Eddie

    I probably shouldn’t be mentioning this, but my dad’s applied for a job at Guantanamo Bay.

    He’s a civil engineer.

  • Rebecca Juro

    Governor Dean,

    As a transsexual woman, I was very pleased to learn that you insist on the inclusion of gender identity protections in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act as a condition of your support for the bill.

    What was somewhat disappointing, however, was that it took me six weeks of peppering your campaign with emails and phone calls to find this out.

    To date, including yesterday’s HRC Forum, I have not yet heard or read of you publicly declaring your support for a transgender-inclusive ENDA and only once, in an opinion piece you wrote for PlanetOut a few months back, even mention that you support equal rights for transgender people.

    Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that you don’t shy away from publicy declaring your support of equal rights for gays and lesbians. Why have you thus far not chosen to publicly declare your support for the rights of transgender people and your support for a transgender-inclusive ENDA as enthusiastically as you speak out on gay and lesbian equality?

    I’d really like to know…and I know I’m far from the only transperson who would.

    Thank you.

  • CPeters

    The music industry is just a small part of IP discussions, but it is a great example of how wrong things can go. The large record companies should have seized the opportunities the internet and multimedia presented them with – it is the perfect marketing tool. The new Apple model should have been started up years ago by the labels themselves, people will pay 99 cents a song for the convenience of a well ordered catalog. Companies are also failing to provide people with quality product, not just musically, but also in terms of what you get for your money. Cassette tapes did not destroy the record companies, because albums provided a more substantial product – big covers with artwork and liner notes/lyrics, sometimes a poster, etc… There was an incentive to buy an album instead of just taping it. They can do the same thing now – add bonus multimedia features when you download an entire album, have a CD allow you to access a site with downloads that you can only reach with the CD on your desktop, etc… Look at DVDs vs. VHS, I never bought VHS tapes of movies, but I buy DVDs because I get something extra. The music industry needs to be more concerned with figuring out how to use new technologies instead of trying to rewrite the laws.
    I want to see more of a distinction between copyrights held by individuals and those held by corporations. I want to give money to artists who create the work (its the only reason I buy CDs at all) but knowing that companies manipulate the markets and pass very little onto the creators of work makes me feel like everyone is getting screwed over.

  • TrueAmericanPatriot

    Why won’t there be a White House blog? Because you won’t win, Howie.

    BUSH IN 2004!!!

  • http://subintsoc.net/situationroom Geheimbundler

    Me: I agree with you 100% that Disney is overly litigious and unforgiving about anything that even remotely resembles their works. Even tho parody is supposed to be protected speech, few people dare to parody Disney characters and films, because their phalanx of lawyers is so fearsome.

    Richard: hey “dude,” your mom is already subsidizing the music industry when she buys blank CD-Rs labeled for audio use — there’s a surcharge that goes to the record cos. on the assumption that the discs are being used to copy music. The surcharge on Internet connections — which might be levied only on broadband users, thus not interefering with your ma’s flirting, cybersex, or whatever if she’s a dialup customer — would be similar. And spread around, it wouldn’t be too onerous on anyone. Maybe the ISPs could pay it without even adding it to users’ bills (the cost would get passed on, but not directly). Does your dear mother ever go to eating or drinking establishments that play live or recorded music? If so, she’s already contributing to the ASCAP fees that get paid out to songwriters, even tho it’s not a line item on the check the waitperson leaves on her table.

    Jay Ashworth: “Geheimbundler” is German for “member of a secret society.” :)

  • Joshua Stratton

    Dr. Dean–
    I’m a formerly self-supporting artist, now going to law school so as to practice in the IP field. I’m also an independent voter, but I will say that I find you more appealing than any number of other Democratic candidates (or former officeholders). Time will tell if I vote for you or not of course, as my vote has to be earned. (But you’re doing okay so far)

    Anyway, regarding copyright reform, I think that what is needed from a President (as opposed to Congress) are five things:

    1. Work to either reform or escape from our international IP agreements. Many of the reforms from 1976 on have been due to Congress not taking into consideration the needs of Americans with regards to copyright, but seeking parity with foreign countries, chiefly the bloc of European countries. One problem with this is that, despite the Eldred decision, this is not really intended to promote progress; it’s just to promote parity. To what end, I can’t even guess. It’s like having a race to the bottom since we each one-up the other. Since Europe tends to have different laws than we do, and radically different reasons for their laws than we do, which are incompatable with the Constitution, we mustn’t allow ourselves to be dragged around. This isn’t a slam on Europe, which is somewhat fashionable these days, but it is a complaint about their copyright laws as compared to what ours used to be and should be again. We should either encourage our partners abroad to adopt more American copyright laws (i.e. those intended solely to promote public aims rather than to help artists profit at long term public expense) or, since it takes all kinds, we should drop out of such agreements. I don’t encourage serious pressure, note. I think that the US should, as a rule, lead by example than by forcing things on other people. The US is in an extraordinarily strong position with regards to IP. And we were through much of the 20th century before we started to really adopt some of the most egregious treaties. We’re in no serious danger if we do this.

    2. Although there are higher priorities in appointing federal judges — who are badly needed by the way — all else being equal, the judges that are appointed should have some understanding of IP law, and more importantly the rationale behind it, and how it differs from property law which it is often (deliberately) confused with. Justice Breyer, for example, ‘gets it’ as evidenced by his dissent in Eldred. Others (I won’t name names but they’re prominent in certain circuits) do not get it. But it isn’t a liberal/conservative sort of issue — look at the breakdown of the votes in Eldred.

    3. A copyright-reformist President should urge Congress to pass legislation to reform that brings our laws back in line with our Constitution. Reducing terms, increasing formalities, reducing copyrightable subject matter, decriminalizing infringement (something pretty unique to copyright), etc. Given that big media groups have money to lobby with and the public domain does not, this will be difficult, but should not be neglected.

    4. Instruct the DOJ to pursue businesses that use their lawful copyright monopoly in unlawful ways. Napster had some valid complaints about the big five (now big four) record labels ganging up as a cartel. There have been price fixing offenses. There was the Microsoft case. As we’ve seen there of course, a good strong effort in the beginning can be sabotaged later on, so speed is a factor.

    5. Currently US government works are, generally, public domain material. Government agencies under the direction of the President should be directed to develop works and fund works in such a way as to get those works into the public domain, as opposed to purchasing and thus encouraging the development of copyrighted works. The quality can remain the same, but at least this way, so long as the government is going to fund the creation of works, they might as well be available to everyone for no extra cost. I’d dearly love to see a public-sphere competitor to Lexis and Westlaw emerge as a part of this initiative.

    Lastly, during the campaign, it might actually be a good idea to name a point man to work on the various IP related issues, hash out a platform, and interact with various folks on the subject including on the net. But you should stand by such a person. I know that this is not a real juicy issue for the majority of Americans, but on the other hand there are lots of Americans who seem to at least subconsciously disagree with the current state of affairs as evidenced by the current wide scope of piracy, and as you’ll have noticed there is a smaller but vocal group that is amazingly interested in this subject. Meaningful interaction with someone influential (if not the actual candidate, due to other enagements) who gets it would really help.

    Colereux–
    I’m not worried if Dr. Dean announces a specific policy on IP reform and then alters it later. PROVIDED that he is forthright about his reasons for doing so, and that those reasons are sensible. There is plenty of room for a difference of opinion as long as his motives are okay. The wrong motives — I’m thinking here of a change spurred on by big donations from the content industries — are a different kettle of fish.

    Jon–
    Let us not say ‘force Disney’ to give up copyrights. That makes us look greedy. It may have hurt us in Eldred. Rather, let us remember that the public gave Disney a copyright on the condition that Disney later willingly give up their copyrights at a certain date. All we want, I think, is for the original bargain to be honored. If we’re going to call names, the name for Disney is a welsher.

    Anyone–
    Does anyone know where a schedule of Dr. Dean’s appearances can be found. I’m interested in hearing him speak the next time he is in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area; meetings of Dean supporters are not interesting to me however, and so far that’s all that I’ve come across.

  • http://www.cs.duke.edu/~justin/ Justin Moore

    Richard,

    I cited three specific sections of the Geneva Convention which, according to a variety of news sources, the Bush Administration is violating if the prisoners are in fact prisoners of war. You addressed none of those points. None. Zero. Yes, it’s great that they’re being fed, clothed, and are gaining weight. But did I cite those sections of the Geneva Convention? No. The facts on which I base my allegations of Convention violations are

    • The administration has admitted it is interrogating these people, and using methods — such as sleep deprivation, disorientation, and auditory assault — that clearly fall into the category of “unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment”.
    • The administration has admitted that it holds prisoners in their cells nearly around-the-clock, mostly all but about five minutes per day. Time outside their cells do not involve sports or any sort of social activities. This clearly violates the second cited provision.
    • Former prisoners whom the administration has admitted were arrested by mistake have gone home to families who did not know where they were, if they had been captured or killed. This clearly violates the third cited provision.

    The simple matter is that actions speak louder than words, and by the US taking these actions in violation of the Geneva Convention we open the doors to other countries doing the same to our soldiers. My uncle was in the Marines’ airborne division, and I have a cousin in Afghanistan now.

    Now, if you’d care to address the three sections of the Geneva Convention which I have quoted — and I will ignore any responses that include the phrases “well-fed”, “gaining weight”, or “reflexive” — I’m open to discussion. The bottom line is: is the Bush Administration violating the Geneva Convention? Yes or no?

    -jdm

  • http://dean4az.blogspot.com Michael Bryan

    I certainly agree that certain provisions of the PATRIOT Act are unconsitutional, but just as worrisome are those which though potentially consitutional none-the-less expand the scope of domestic surveillance and erode civil liberties and due process protections without really addressing the problem of terrorism. It has never been shown, or even claimed, that American’s freedoms, especially our immunities to unwarranted searches and seizures, are a problem in combatting terror.
    I urge people to look at the EFF’s analysis of PATRIOT, the problems go much deeper than just a few provisions, the whole thing needs to be thrown away. In fact, the AG’s own reports to Congress on the use of Patriot indicate that PATRIOT powers are being used prodominantly for standard police enforcement, not primarily to combat terror.

    The PATRIOT Act erodes many protections against intrusive and unsupervised police surveillance, yet no case has been made that such powers would have prevented 9/11. In fact, because of the Bush Administration’s stonewalling and restruction of funds to the commission investigating 9/11 we still have no answers. Nor are we likely to get satisfying answers while Bush remains in office.

    I would ask Dr. Dean to please form a board of inquiry with all the funding and access it needs to really investigate 9/11 and ask Congress to repeal PATRIOT as two of his first acts in office.

  • Jack Kessler

    “posted by Joshua Stratton on Jul 17 03 at 12:44 AM”

    If you come back in here, Josh, be sure to leave an email address so the campaign & others will be able to reach you later on: no point in posting such an excellent analysis, unless you provide some way for people to follow up with you.

    You are right on point about Europe, for instance, and our IntProp scramble to keep up with them — “droit moral”, geez, so Victor Hugo still holds his copyrights… — also the Lexis / Westlaw lockhold.

    But IntProp concerns a lot more than just a “small and vocal group”, these days, given market concentrations in the old publishing industries plus current Internet penetration rates: “not a real juicy issue for the majority of Americans” only if those Americans don’t care, or no longer care, about freedom of information and the importance of access to it.

  • Jack Kessler

    nb. the last, see Ben Franklin’s comment on the Constitution:
    “This… can only end in Despotism… when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other…”

  • http://www.bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    I’ve seen no evidence that the administration is violating the Geneva Convention with respect to the Al Qaeda combatants in Gitmo, Justin, and you haven’t presented any such evidence, or even an argument – you’ve just summarized some points which you believe we may have violated.

    The administration argues, and I think correctly, that Al Qaeda members detained in Gitmo fall in a legal gray area between the constitutional rights that Americans have on our soil and Geneva Convention rights afforded members of a foreign military service in a state of war. So while I’d like for us to generally follow the Convention, we’re not under any obligation to do so, and I don’t think our treatment of these people one way or another is going to make Al Qaeda as a whole start liking the United States. These people practice suicide bombing, after all.

    It’s interesting that you maintain they deserve better treatment that what’s afforded to Deadbeat Dads (lovely term, isn’t it?) in the United States.

    Historically, we’ve responded to new and unique threats with new and unique legal arrangements, and sometimes these have been attacked by people who call themselves civil libertarians. Two examples that spring to mind are organized crime and domestic terrorists like the KKK. RICO statutes relax rules of evidence and due process and open up avenues of prosecution for conspiracy supported solely by circumstantial evidence — the RICO predicates — that wouldn’t be sufficient to convict under pre-RICO standards. As long as RICO isn’t abused (NOW wanted to prosecute anti-abortion protesters under RICO, but the Supremes said “no”), I don’t see this as a problem.

    To combat domestic terrorists we have cross-burning statutes that upset the ACLU, but the Supreme Court has upheld them, largely due to Justice Thomas’ strong support of criminalizing cross-burning as an inherently terrorist activity, and we have FISA courts issuing wiretaps in secret, which upsets the ACLU and the EFF as well.

    It seems to me that we can’t simply rely on criminal prosecution in foreign courts to reach Al Qaeda members, so we do what we must to keep the nation secure. Somebody has to act like a grownup in dealing with organized terror, as much fun as it may be to lob rhetorical bombs at the Administration in order to score political points and to scare campaign money out of the ignorant.

    My personal standard is that no foreign terrorist deserves better treatment than we afford American fathers, but YMMV.

  • Henrik Treadup

    So Richard, ALL the people held in Guantanamo Bay are terrorists? Interesting. Do you have any proof of that?

    Oh, I forgot the people detained in Guantanamo Bay “fall in a legal gray area” so we don’t need any proof. Real convenient…

  • http://nic-naa.net Eric Brunner-Williams

    David Rothman’s comments are worth reading. Public access to public content should take precedent as policy over public expansion of private bandwidth w/o modification of the existing content delivery systems. Fatter pipes for more popups isn’t interesting. Of course, the provisioning industry, telcos, switch and router vendors, bandwidth resellers … would not be the beneficiaries of policy that focused on fixing the existing access to content for dial-up users.

    Oblig disclosure: I work for a NE regional dial-up ISP, and simply getting POTS to Indian Country is not “done”.

    Oblig Joe Trippi reminder: I asked your campaign for your candidate’s tech position paper in late May or early June. I’m still waiting.

    Eric Brunner-Williams

  • http://www.jzip.org/. adamsj

    I’d like to echo the comments way above from Paul in SF.

    Along with hearing a little about the influence of science and medicine on your thinking, I’d like to know about your personal relationship to technology, particularly computers and the Internet. I don’t expect to hear the details of your personal kernel patches, but:

    Are you overloaded with e-mail? Does spam cause you a problem personally? Do you carry a laptop? Have you ever lost your personal files due to a failed backup? Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X–or Mac OS Classic? Microsoft Office or Open Office? IE, Netscape, Opera, Mozilla?

    And oh, yes, one for Richard: Are you now or have you ever been caught looking at a Blue Screen of Death?

  • http://www.mentata.com/ds/retrieve/forum/cspanps/CM15 Jon Roberts

    I have been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration on a spectrum of issues, and have paid a price for it within my own highly homogenous community. I have followed your campaign and have great respect for your intelligence, candor, and courage. I was particularly pleased to discover that you would be guesting on the Lessig Blog, which I also follow. Now, when you suggest a White House Blog, there is no parallel: you are an anti-politician (in the best sense). I don’t know if you fully understand what you’d be getting into, especially with unrestrained voices like mine in circulation, but there may be no better way to bring the current spiritual crisis of the American people to the surface. We are a great nation, but have never solved a problem by not talking about it. Good luck, and let me know if I can be of service.

  • Rebecca Wright

    I decided several months ago that I supported you, Governer, and in the time since then you keep doing things that make me glad of my decision. Just the idea that you would consider a White House blog is incredible. Now all we have to do is get you there!

  • Joseph W. Mathews

    Welcome Home Governor!

    Your comments on the Patriot Act are on target. I run a
    travel agency in Manchester, Vermont and am a Rotarian.
    We sent 40 members of our district down to Honduras in
    January doing construction work for schools, hospitals etc.

    Wire transfers of even a few thousand dollars have become
    such a chore. Physical location of each office (even had to
    state the suite and floor number for a Boston bank) etc. on
    and on. We can certainly track wire transfers of large sums
    with a streamlined system and not nitpick everyone to death.

    Due to Act 60 (for the rest of you, that’s Vermont’s, since
    ammended, statewide property tax for schools), I couldn’t
    support your campaigns for Governor after passage. I was
    also at Riley Rink in Manchester when you had the “guts” to
    show up take questions and the heat. It was not only the
    right thing to do, but, opposed to the bill or not, I admire
    your courage before a hostile crowd!

    Readers of these postings, please note. This Vermont
    Republican and thousands like him strongly support the
    Governor. He’s the real ticket, can win and get the budget
    out of a hole. We’ve just put another $10 million into our
    rainy day fund (what about the other 49 states much less
    the federal government?). While now out of office, much of
    the credit, nevertheless, goes to Howard Dean’s leadership.
    God help the Vermont governor that get’s us in a hole again
    and thanks Howard!

    Remember Harry Truman? Well, listen to Howard Dean.
    “Give’em hell Howard!”

  • Dan

    Several days ago Thomas Ridge, stood up announced the great success of Homeland Security Department in conducting a country-wide hunt for child-molesters and pedophiles.

    http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Politics/ap20030709_1461.html

    Seemingly this is news that have nothing but glad tidings. After all what sane person wouldn’t want child molesters apprehended?

    What is worrisome are the implications that become apparent upon examining the data provided by HSD

    Firsty it appears to be targeting foreigners, feeding the xenophobia of the group mind by tying the ‘other, people not like us’ to the perhaps the most abhored crime on the books.

    Secondly, and just as importantly, it ilustrates a truly alarming fact that the mandate of the Homeland Security Department is extremely mallable.

    The main and most important reason for its establishment was to minimize the threat of terrorist action within the Continental United States. Now it appears they have begun to assume the duties of such agencies as FBI and Police. It’s a slippery slope at its best. Where does it stop?

  • http://dean2004.blogspot.com Aziz Poonawalla

    Governor Dean,
    one simple problem posed by the DMCA is that products like DVD X Copy are ilegal. This is an amazing product because it allows you to back up your investment in DVDs so that the originals are not damaged. I spent about 30 dollars on my DVD of The Fellowship of the Ring, and intend to do the same for Two Towers when it comes out in August – and being able to back up movies that I legally paid for is a critical need with such an investment.

    However, the DVD X Copy software is under ferocious attack because the MPAA argues that it is a tool for piracy. Remember, there is a legitimate use for this software, just as there is for a VCR. But the DMCA makes it illegal to circumvent the copy-protection sheme that was added to DVDs soely to deny users the ability to back up their disks (to force us to buy new expensive copies). So the fair use rights are circumvented.

    Here is a news story about the legal challenge to the software.

    Regards
    Aziz Poonawalla
    dean2004.blogspot.com (Dean Nation)

  • http://electricgypsy.iuma.com Shmoo

    I am speaking from the perspective of being a very well informed (and opinionated) independent musician. Copyright law is broken and no longer protects the “creator” or “originator” of a work. Technology has at last become available in the past few years allowing independent musicians can make our music available to the public. (It came several years late due to supression by the “industry” in my opinion, but finally is here.) Now, technological advances have made the distribution of music via p2p/internet virtually free, “legal” or not. So the advantage of being able to finally compete with the “industry” would seem to hurt me and my band’s efforts to sell our music if they can always get it for free. At least, one would think.

    However, only the exception to the rule, namely, a very few (super-stars) of the few (the rest of the signed artists) have ever truely benefited from the business model of recorded music in the previous century. In the overall view, ONLY the “industry” has gained.

    The vast majority of musicians have always been unsigned. And, the vast majority of our important musical cultural heretage comes from the same unsigned musicians.

    The “industry” seeks to retain it’s business model, and the myth is that the musicians wish to keep it too. Yes, I would hope to be rewarded for my many years devotion to my craft of making music. One would think that the death of the “industry” model would be a blow to that hope.

    But technology has advanced, that model has become obsolete. The “industry” with all it’s power and $$$ and influence seeks to keep us in the dark ages. At one time in history, that “industry” was actually needed to get quality recorded music to the people. But that is HISTORY.
    This is a bad analogy, but… at one time, the horse and buggy was needed to get around, then someone invented the automobile. The horse and buggy industry died off for the most part.

    Evolution occurs. Deal with it. My band must and will adapt to the fact. It may seem unfair that at the same time the technology became available to compete with the “industry” at about the same time that technology also killed of the business model we were going to use to do that competing.
    (The sale of music CD’s being a viable money maker dead due to the ability to get free recorded music online!) But, you know what? As I pointed out already, hardly anyone except the “industry” made any money at it anyway. Musicians, on the whole have NEVER been hurt by the advance of technology. ONLY helped in the long run.

    The entire premise that music (or any idea/IP) is “property” is flawed to begin with. When you by a CD (or other IP product) you are NOT paying for the SONG (content) itself… what you REALLY pay for is the service of having the content assembled and packaged in a convenient way for you to access it.

    Copyright needs to be closely looked at by our society. I agree that the creator/author should be the only person who has “say-so” about what happens to that work… (if anybody)
    and perhaps that right of the creator should be non-transferable. Because an IDEA rightfully belongs to EVERYONE unless the creator keeps it to themself. But then, what good does it do anyone?

    I am trying to be brief about too many issues… most of the regulars here have a clue as to the things I am trying to articulate. I ask that they use better words to help get these ideas across to our potential next Prez.

    Gov. Dean, please take the opportunity you have to learn from everyone here about these many important copyright/freedom/public domain/privacy/etc. issues.

    The “old” way of doing things is broken and a relic of the previous century… we need to evolve as a society!

    –Shmoo, of Electric Gypsy

  • Lucian

    I think the issue is, we need a balance. We need enhanced consumer rights, meaning what you can do what things you purchase. Perhaps give the consumer limited distribution rights, and allow consumers to legally sell mp3s and split the profit 50/50 with the musician. By allowing the consumer to become the distributor, and removing the RIAA from the picture entirely, we wouldnt have this problem.

    So if an mp3 is 50 cent, the consumer/distributor and musician split the profit so they both get 25 cent. This rewards consumers for sharing distributing and marketing, it could also have the added effect of putting a price on music again.

    But the key in my opinion is consumer rights. The public domain also should be given a greater importance. At least when it comes to things which are so easy to replicate and distribute.

    Basically what P2P has done is replaced the old record company middle man model, by making the consumers the marketers and distributors of music.

  • Lucian

    So what are your opinions people? Would you support a system which allowed you to legally have distribution rights to music files?

    You could be given credits or money and use the credits to buy more music, or you could just buy music so you can earn cash.

    Either way, I think we should come up with systems which allow musicians to profit. The only reason why musicians cannot profit right now is because the RIAA wants to continue to be the middle man. The RIAA no longer is important in this industry.

    You have distribution(the consumer)
    You have the marketing (the consumer & the creator)
    You have the networks which allow this

    All we need to do is add money into the mix.

  • Lucian

    So help me come up with ways in which musicians could be paid, you also need to give incentive to file sharers who can share and get music for free, to buy or pay somehow.

    Maybe ad revenue and use the TV/Radio model, or perhaps theres new untried models, but we have been in this situation before with the Television when it was first invented, also with the world wide web when it was invented. Now we are in a new position due to P2P, its time to adapt to the new technology.

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    Gov. Dean –

    Will you push for an independent and public investigation into 9/11? George Bush has been stomping the commission by limiting its funds among other ways to make it less effective. Senate Republicans just resisted a bi-partisan probe into the Iraq intelligence as well. Will you urge the media and the American public to press for an investigation into both of these? The simple fact that the victim’s families still do not have all the answers is a crime against America. This was the worst thing that has happened on American soil in decades and yet we still haven’t had an investigation!

    Also please encourage the FCC to overturn its rulings about media ownership. The media IS the public government watchdog and I don’t feel that they’re doing an adequate job. It’s a shame to get real news you have to go online and can’t just switch on the TV.

  • Me

    I realize that this is a very political question, but it’s one that has been nagging me for weeks.

    Politically speaking, both the Democrats and Republicans, Tom Daschle and George W Bush alike, have forgotten what a “constituency” really means.

    Your constituency is not just the people who voted for you in the last election. It is not just the people of your own particular political party in whatever district or domain you were elected to represent. It is not even those who voted in your last election.

    It is ALL PEOPLE in whatever domain, whether they voted for you, against you, or weren’t allowed to, from those who are only a few seconds old all the way to those who may be dead in five minutes.

    You were elected in Vermont, not to represent just the interests of Democrats in Vermont, but to represent all of Vermont. I can see nothing in your particular career to indicate that you have run Vermont in anything close to a proper way, but every indication that you are as partisan as most politicians.

    What do you say to that, Gov. Dean? Is there room for true representatives in our government, or is it just partisan bickering from now on?

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    No he actually ran Vermont for the good of the middle rather than one end or the other.

  • Me

    Bi-Partisan is a buzzword.

    To the Democrats, it means “The Republicans caved on what we wanted.”

    To the Republicans, it means “We passed with the votes of a couple token Democrats.”

    I’d rather have something be NONPARTISAN. Meaning, it was supported equally from each side of the aisle.

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    Give an example of something you feel would be a non-partisan issue?

  • Lucian

    J-Sin that is exactly why we cannot allow our freedom on the net to be removed in the name of capitalism.

    Thats what happened to TV, its profitable right now to go along with the government, Foxnews is making money.

    You wont make as much money if you say the truth, because only half the country will listen to the truth, the other half wants to hear about how great our country is, and how much of a hero Bush is.

    Bush can do no wrong because people wont hear it. Bush cant lie because people wont accept the possibility.

    The internet is free, no corperation runs the net, and that is what allows something like this situation here to occur.

  • jayo

    Governor Dean,

    Crap like this MUST STOP…..

    http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,59654,00.html

    Upload a file = federal offense + $250,000 fine
    Kill someone = get off on a technicality or good behavior
    Violate Antitrust Laws = Lobby to buy new laws in government

    This is indeed absolutely rediculous.

  • Me

    Actually J-Sin, so far our tech issues with regards to the DMCA and other copyright crap have been nonpartisan issues.

    And if we had more people willing to stand up for their beliefs like Joe Lieberman (idiot though he is for trying to censor video game/TV media for violence), the presence of religious individuals and their being able to express themselves while in public office would be one as well.

    This is one part where I think the ACLU have their heads up their asses. They use “separation of church and state” to justify discriminating against religious individuals. Should a judge put up the Ten Commandments, he should be applauded for making a statement that in his courtroom, the law and his decisions are tempered by morality. Instead, they throw a hissy fit, and scream about political correctness.

  • Me

    Note: the aforementioned bill in the Wired article above was proposed by Rep. Conyers (Michigan) and Rep. Berman (D-Disney).

    Big surprise right?

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    religion has no place in justice.

  • jayo

    to “me”

    Thank you for mentioning that. I am just so upset at the state this nation is in with regaurd to copyright and IP that when I read that, it put me over the edge, so to speak.

    Like mentioned before I believe it was mentioned here. This is a country founded by the people for the people, NOT by the corperations (most of which are based out side this country), for the corperations.

    Congress needs to re-evaluate their duties in office, and re-read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    I, in reading the Constitution was unable to find where it said “Accept large donations from special intrest groups and make laws in favor of these groups, in which these laws will allow groups to make futher financial gain.”

    Can someone point me to this in our Constitution, or Bill of Rights.

    Howard Dean , please bring the USA back to the original ideals our fore fathers originally intended it to be.

  • Luci

    i supported bush in the last election. now i see that was a mistake.
    Dr. Dean, good luck and best wishes :-) I will be voting in 2004 and you will have my vote!

  • Dale Southard

    Richard writes:

    I’ve seen no evidence that the administration is violating the Geneva Convention with respect to the Al Qaeda combatants in Gitmo

    So, you, Richard Bennet, haven’t seen any evidence violations, thus proving the proposition that no violations have occurred. Nice. May I employ the same logic?

    Justin, and you haven’t presented any such evidence, or even an argument – you’ve just summarized some points which you believe we may have violated.

    Last I checked, the ICRC was the the entity to which signatories of the GC defer for inspection and judgment. Not you. Not Justin.

    Of course Justin as put forward at least 3 situations that would, by at least my reading of the GC articles, seem to indicate the gitmo prisoners are being treated in a way that violates the GC. But since your standard of proof appears require the US gov to either submit to ICRC inspections which find violations or stipulate that the violations are occurring, I doubt that such proof exists. Lacking such proof, it becomes a matter of faith. Given the level of dissembling that this administration has employed in other policy areas, I’m not inclined to believe that they’re any more forthright in this area.

    later on….

    It seems to me that we can?t simply rely on criminal prosecution in foreign courts to reach Al Qaeda members, so we do what we must to keep the nation secure. Somebody has to act like a grownup in dealing with organized terror, as much fun as it may be to lob rhetorical bombs at the Administration in order to score political points and to scare campaign money out of the ignorant.

    You’re right. Let’s lob rhetorical bombs at anyone who holds a differing opinion. They must be ignoratnt, or terrorists. [BTW, like you I'm a computer scientist (though, judging by your use of propsitional logic, I clearly got better grades in discrete math ;-) ). Unlike you, I work for a weapons lab, including the big honking background checks and the other fun fun fun required to maintain a DoE clearance. What did you do for your country again that endows your opinions as superior?]

    My personal standard is that no foreign terrorist deserves better treatment than we afford American fathers, but YMMV.

    Oh, of course, everyone in gitmo is a foreign terrorist. I forgot. When was that trial again? What, no trial? Then surely the evidence against them was made public? How about incitements? Formal charges? Arrest warrants? Call from the psychic friends network fingering them?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that there are terrorists in gitmo, and I have no sympathy for them. But doing justice means punishing the guilty not just punishing someone. Many of us love our country and feared the Communists because that latter went around detaining people in airports because their “papers were not in order”, after which they would disappear to a gulag someplace. Good thing our democracy isn’t allowed to function in the same manner….

    As to you persistent comparisons between the unlawful combatants and people behind on child support, didn’t the latter actually get their day in court prior to the child support being levied? I can sympathize that being held in contempt of court is harsh treatment, but the time to fight that was when the child support payments are being argued, not after you’ve violated the court-ordered support. Hopefully your laywer will spring you soon. ;-)

  • Me

    J-sin,

    You couldn’t be more wrong. The basic precepts of morality common to every major religion are where humanity gets its definition of justice from.

    The Constitution states that Congress shall not make laws respecting a particular religion. Nowhere does it say that all religion shall be excised from public government, nor does it prohibit those of a religious leaning from participating in government, offering their support and services to government, or participating in government programs designed to enhance ALL community-oriented groups, religious or not.

    The ACLU, on the other hand, seem to feel that discriminating against anything remotely religious in nature is proper. That’s a horrid thing.

    We clear here?

  • Cat

    What about the British requests that they be allowed to try their own citizens, two of the people currently held at Guantanamo? Should they be honored? They are our allies and they don’t believe in the death penalty– surely they should have some say over their own citizens.

  • Michael

    Dr. Dean,

    I think pretty much everyone here would like to hear you denounce the DMCA as an abomination, but I really appreciate the implication that you’re going to look at IP issues logically. If you do, I’m confident you’ll come to the right conclusion. In any case, you at least know the DMCA exists. My congressman voted for it, and all he can say in his defense is “Huh?”

    The one other big concern that comes to my mind at the moment is how you intend to handle the government’s need to collect accurate and objective information. Of course this refers to the CIA, but that’s just the most prominent instance. I think it was on Meet the Press that you expressed your doubts about the accuracy of some economic numbers put out by the Treasury Department. You’re not alone in that concern, and there have been complaints about pressure from the Bush administration affecting reports from the EPA and other agencies. Obviously, the government needs an objective source of information to base it’s decisions on, and it’s a serious problem if that information isn’t getting through. I’ve heard the idea of applying the 10-year term of the FBI director to the director of the CIA, but is that sort of thing applicable to other agencies, or will it even help? At this point I’d be happy with just a working CIA, but I think it’s important that this issue doesn’t die there.

    While I’m at it, what do you think about advertising of prescription drugs on TV? Would you like to see the decision to allow those ads rolled back?

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    No you’re further from the truth actually. Religious freedom is why our country was founded, which the ACLU is actually fighting for. Religious values, while you may believe is where human morality originate, are not what our nation was founded on nor what it was intended to be surrounded by. Our nation has become more and more puritanical in nature and as a result, the “tolerance” of religion finding its way into our government has seen a tremendous rise.

    There is no reason that our government should have any faith-based systems. There also is no reason for a judge to put up the Ten Commandments in his or her courtroom. Religion has its place–in the home, in the church, in the synagogue, or in the mosque–but never in government. If you feel so strongly just look at all the nations in our great globe that have attributed religion and government as one. Religion by nature unfortunately breeds social injustice, discrimination, and false altruism. Certainly this is the very vocal minority but it does encapsulate all religions. To say that the ACLU fighting for religious and government separation is the wrong cause is not only abhorrent but dangerous. The simple reason is just one question:

    Where does it stop?

    Should an atheist or Muslim have to swear on the Bible in order to give testimony before our government? Should I listen to our President talk about how God told him to strike Al Qaeda? Should my tax dollars allow a school to have a church meet on their grounds on Sunday? Should John Ashcroft be allowed to have a prayer group at the Justice Department? What’s the difference between Islamic fundamentalist government and what the Bush administration has slowly been doing?

    I do understand your dilemma but there’s no getting around the simple fact that religion does NOT belong in government period. It’s that simple. And the ACLU despite what you may think doesn’t discriminate at all. In fact their actions have ALWAYS been congruent to the notion that God and religion have no place in government. That’s why they fight as many occurrences as possible. They don’t take a side, they protect what freedoms we have left. Feel free to go about your religion in whatever way you deem but leave it out of government matters. To say the ACLU is discriminating is the horrid mistake. In fact they’ve been fighting to ensure that no religions are discriminated against. That’s the point I think you’re missing.

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    Gov. Dean –

    I’d like you to address the resurgence of left-wing liberal politics and all of the grassroots campaigns that have evolved through the Internet during the time of this administration. I find it amazing how many people took to the streets in protest against the wars in Afghanistan and even more so during the build-up to the war in Iraq. I’ve also noticed that more and more people are starting to have firm opinions one way or the other regarding this president. Sure you’ll always have your partisan politics but I don’t know of a time when it’s seemed that more people are actively participating. A perfect example is MoveOn.org. I feel that a lot of the pundits and political analysts aren’t realizing that many millions of people feel so strongly (again in one way or the other) about this President that they will work hard to ensure either he’s elected for the first time or that he’s not elected. Maybe that’s why he feels the need to raise a quarter of a billion dollars to run a campaign (while reducing benefits to the military that helped boost his popularity even!).

    Are you planning any sort of virtual get-out-the-vote campaigns for any of the caucuses?

  • Carlton Nettleton

    I think the viewpoint that basic foundations for justice come from the shared ideals found in most religious traditions is in contradiction to modern philosophical thinking that most people take part in and the philiosophies this country was founded upon. FWIW, I consider the period we are living in now to be POSTmodern, not modern, with the modern period ending at the close of the Cold War.

    The leaders of our nation in 1776 based the rationale for their revolution, and subsequent government, on the idea of NATURAL law. That human beings had a a series of NATURAL rights to do this and that and if a tyranical form of government denied human beings those rights, the human beings had the right to change their government to one that respected their NATURAL rights. This was a significant break with the past which relied on tradition to enforce order in nations. Both the King and Parliament had a traditional rights which formed the English government and there was little or no recourse to change things, since that was “the way things were done”. So, the leaders of 1776 would likely REJECT the notion that the basis of justice comes from religious tradition.

    Modern people are not so interested in natural law anymore. Modern people rely more on the ideas of existentialism to understand human interactions. Existentialism is often confused with moral relativism, but that is not the whole story. Existentialism merely states that society makes COLLECTIVE judgements on what things have value and what do not. How are those judgements are made through actions of each individual person. Additionally, existentialism proposes that each person is qualified to make moral decisions on their own and they need not seek out religious tradition, or the input of others, to make their own decisions.

    For example, if I think that following the speed limit is a value worth keeping, then I will act accordingly and only go 65 on the freeway. If I rather go 75, then my ACTIONS show that I reject the value of “65 is the speed limit” and now place value on new standard “75 is the speed limit”. What if I choose to go 65 most times, but when I am in a hurry I want to go 75. Then my actions show that what I really value is the 65 speed limit for most cases, but I want to ability to go faster in limited cases when I think it is safe to do so. Much more complex than “the speed limit is 65″, but a much richer understanding of the actual human interaction and I would venture, a value shared by many, many people.

    I would also think modern people also reject the idea that the common elements of religious tradition form the basis for justice. Modern people feel that as human beings we can make the decisions on what forms the basis for justice of not. Other wise why do we even have legislatures and judges? If everything is written down in a book somewhere, what is the point of democracy?

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    thank you Carlton that was a great read! :) Makes me want to go back to my university and take some philosophy classes.

  • http://goatee.net/ Joseph Reagle

    03.07.17.th | Howard Healed

    Everyone is discussing Larry Lessig letting the Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean guest blog in his place. Perhaps there are grand implications for democracy and all that, but I sometimes linger on the trivial. The image of Larry massaging his temple while staring at the monitor with migraine inducing intensity always gave me a little chuckle. But now they’ve given Howard Dean a 3rd degree sun burn on top of that! Here’s a version that looks a little less painful.

  • Greg Watson

    I want to thank Dr. Dean for doing this blog – although I know he’s busy, I wish we could get more frequent entries. The access to a leader is something that’s missing in an era of politicians insulated by press secretaries.

    On the Patriot Act side of things, I’m doing my part by checking out every possibly incriminating book from my local library and video store. The Seattle Public Library is giving out bookmarks that have warnings about the Act on them – I think it’s a fantastic idea.

    Thanks for the space – one more thing: Forget calling for Tenet’s resignation; it’s obvious he’s being the patsy. I firmly believe Cheney’s head should roll; how can his office not be interested in the results of an investigation it ordered (Ambassador Wilson’s trip to Niger)?

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    I’ll tell you how his office couldn’t be interested–it wasn’t delivered by Big Energy! :)

    See the thing that’s had been annoying me with Democrats is that they falter too often and don’t ever try to play as dirty as the Republicans do. And they let the media get away with murder. How else can you explain zero press coverage of an intern found dead in Joe Scarborough (you can see his annoying show on littleFoxMSNBC) right at the same time the Chandra Levy case was made headlines. While I wouldn’t say that he had anything to do with it, it did however deserve a national spotlight, even if it was to be brief. But there was rare a mention. He also resigned soon after that. But Gary Conduit a Democrat (not trying to take sides with him either here) was put on the grill while Joe a Republican wasn’t even given a little lit BBQ sauce let alone put on the coals.

    I’d embrace more liberal programs on a national cable network if they were ever put in place. And that’s why I support Dean because he’s sticking to his guns and he’s also trying to produce a true opposition party not what the DLC wants, which is a wishy-washy Centrist one.

  • Me

    “There is no reason that our government should have any faith-based systems.”

    On the contrary, there is a very good one. Our nation has RELIGIOUS INDIVIDUALS. For them not to see the representation, and be able to elect religious individuals, is to deny them equal representation.

    Equally important again as I said: Religious groups deserve the same chance to participate in and be involved in our government as nonreligious groups do. Otherwise, you are saying that Atheism is the only allowed viewpoint of the government, WHICH IS DISCRIMINATING AGAINST ANYONE RELIGIOUS. Am I getting through yet J-Sin?

    “Should an atheist or Muslim have to swear on the Bible in order to give testimony before our government?”

    Well actually, I’d make the Muslim swear on a Koran. And for the Atheist, I’d probably drag out a copy of the Constitution, or perhaps the Oath of Citizenship, or perhaps both, and make him swear on that. Fair enough?

    “Should my tax dollars allow a school to have a church meet on their grounds on Sunday?”

    If your tax dollars also allow an atheistic group to meet at the grounds on Sunday, or any other time of the week… YES. A Church, or a group of Muslims, or a group of Puritans, or Pentecostals… IT DOESN’T MATTER. ANY group that is part of the community, whether they are religious or not, deserves equal access.

    “Should John Ashcroft be allowed to have a prayer group at the Justice Department?”

    If others are willing to join him? Yes. If Muslims wish to have a prayer group there as well, and there are Muslims to join it? Yes. If Pentecostals want to? Yes. If a SINGULAR INDIVIDUAL wants to sit and pray at his desk, he should be allowed to.

    Likewise, if a Judge wants to have a copy of some document reminding him to be merciful… so be it. The moment you bitch about the Ten Commandments, you are censoring content. Nobody would bitch and moan if he put a passage from the diary of Robert E. Lee on the wall, so why should they care about a passage from some other book that happens to be religious?

    Censoring content is NEVER GOOD. Get that through your thick skull.

    “In fact their actions have ALWAYS been congruent to the notion that God and religion have no place in government. “

    That very notion is discriminatory against the religious. And that is what I hate about the ACLU: that they do not see the point that to be truly equal, ONE NEEDS TO TREAT RELIGIOUS GROUPS/PERSONS EXACTLY THE SAME AS NONRELIGIOUS GROUPS/PERSONS, and not deny them access to anything simply because they are religious in nature.

    “In fact they�ve been fighting to ensure that no religions are discriminated against. That�s the point I think you�re missing. “

    No, they fight to make sure that no religious viewpoint may even be heard in Government, which is discriminating against and censoring the religious viewpoints. It’s discrimination.

    “What�s the difference between Islamic fundamentalist government and what the Bush administration has slowly been doing?”

    Islamic Fundamentalist government ALLOWS NO OTHER VIEWPOINTS. The Bush administration doesn’t care WHAT religion they are, provided their money doesn’t trace to terrorists. The Bush administration recognizes the good that religious groups can do, and have always done, helping the poor, and the needy, and those in trouble, and want to make it easier for them to do so. It is pragmatism at its finest: rather than have the government waste money putting in a NEW giving structure, and competing with the religious groups, they take advantage of the work the religious groups have already done to create a giving structure, and use federal money to enhance it, so that more of the federal money in question gets to the people who need the help most.

    Consider the difference: paying 1000 bureaucrats to disburse items to the needy, or paying 500 bureaucrats and having 500 bureaucrats-worth of salaries help even more needy people? Which would you prefer?

    These are very different things indeed.

  • RJ Davis

    Dr. Dean,

    What do you make of the fact that President Bush has hired two men convicted of lying to Congress to serve key government roles (Poindexter and Abrams)?

    Would a Dean administration have the guts to cut loose the D.C. lifers who seem to creep back in no matter what crimes they have commited?

    Do you support term-limits in Washington? I would happily support any candidate who would push for 2-term limits on all elected Federal positions. I believe that turning over the population of Congress is the only way to stop the deep-seated corruption of Washington.

    Thanks again for the blog!

    RJ

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    what?!?!?!?!?! Do all groups regardless of purpose have to have stated religious tendencies??!?!? I never said that the government should embrace atheism. I don’t think that the ACLU has a stated religious goal in one way or the other. Their members range in all religions and affiliations. On the contrary, I’m saying that religion has no place in government. Thus atheism has no part either as atheism relies on religion in that it is something that is part of the belief (in their case the non-belief). It just needs to be a non-issue. Religious organizations do not need to permeate our judicial process whatsoever. Your statements are absolutely unfounded! There is no reason that our government needs to debate religion–NONE! I never said that groups shouldn’t have the same access–they actually do have the same access. They can lobby just as well as the ACLU can.

    You said “That very notion is discriminatory against the religious. And that is what I hate about the ACLU: that they do not see the point that to be truly equal, ONE NEEDS TO TREAT RELIGIOUS GROUPS/PERSONS EXACTLY THE SAME AS NONRELIGIOUS GROUPS/PERSONS, and not deny them access to anything simply because they are religious in nature.”

    No it’s not that at all. Why is this so hard for you to understand. They’re fighting to ensure that ALL religious organizations and religions are treated fairly by ensuring that one isn’t favored over the other. The best way is by eliminating references in government. That’s not discrimination at all. It’s indifference if anything. And who is saying that by displaying or not displaying the Ten Commandments is a reduction of a religious organization’s access? Must religion be intertwined with everything in our world? That’s not fair to people like me who feel that religion has its place just like government has its place. And does Christianity as a whole feel slighted because of this? The Bush administration DOES care what religion they are–and it’s Islamic. Spin it any way you want it always goes back to Middle Eastern countries and/or Islamic countries. If you disagree then why haven’t we be “fighting the war on terror” in Ireland? Or on radical Jewish groups? Or on radical Christian fundamentalist groups? Abortion clinic bombers are terrorists just like Al Qaeda but somehow they don’t find their way into the crosshairs, so don’t preach to me about how the Bush administration is blind to religion.

    And yes I would “bitch and moan” about any personal content in a courtroom. Why have it? You can put that in your private chambers away from the process of judgment. I don’t mind if someone prays at work or in school but there needs to be clear limits. A moment of silence has been added to the state of Virginia’s public schools. Why? Because after 9/11 school officials just assumed that students needed this. The ones that don’t pray or participate feel isolated. I know because my brother is one of those kids. And he’s been ridiculed because he isn’t religious like many of the students so he doesn’t feel compelled to participate in a veiled religious activity at a public school. Is that fair? Ashcroft also paid big bucks to hide a naked breast on a statue. Why? Because of his religious beliefs. He also feels that dancing is wrong. Why? Because of his religious beliefs. He is imposing his religious values on others–namely those that work at the Justice Department. While there isn’t a problem with a prayer group at a Department it is put in much higher perspective when it is the leader or CEO of a company or institution. That’s where it is just skirting the borderlines.

    There’s no reason to have any religion represented in our government. Period. You may think that having no references is atheism but that’s not true, it’s simply saying that religion has its place and government isn’t it. I don’t understand why this is so difficult for you to understand. If you think it’s ok to have someone swear on the Constitution, then why not have ALL of us swear on a Constitution? That’s what it should be. What you’re in support of is preferential treatment as someone else sees fit. But who regulates it to make sure it doesn’t go too far? What if a judge follows Pat Robertson and condemns homosexuals time after time when they enter his court because he or she believes that they’re mortal sinners? Should that prejudice be allowed because we wouldn’t want to ‘censor’ religious values? That’s where your argument completely falls apart and that’s precisely what the ACLU is afraid of. Take off the blinders, open your eyes, and rejoin what America was founded on. And don’t resort to lame Internet insults. It’s beneath you and it’s insulting to the rest of the group who would like to read good and insightful posts, not insult-laden Internet rage. :)

  • jayo

    To: Me

    I am not a very religious person, so this matter should not really bother me, however it does because what you said is absolutely true. It is discrimination, and it is just as bad if not worse than for our country to discrimination against race, or sex, because religion is what you believe, it’s your driving force. I even understand the importance of this, and like I said, I am not a very religious person.

    I must note that “me” argued his point very eloquently.

  • Carlton Nettleton

    It is my feeling that government should have NO viewpoint regarding religion. Individuals have always been, and will continue to be, free to practice their religious practices as they see fit. People in government have been always free to make their views known and work with other people who share similar views.

    Since government has many coercive powers, government should not get in the business of favoring, or even appearing to favor, one religious outlook over another. Religious individuals can do all they want with their beliefs since they do not have the power to tax me, imprison me and/or wage war on me or people like me who simply because we diasgree with their religious outlook. What I object to is allowing a single person’s religious views color or direct the actions of common government. For example, I object to the idea our government cannot give family planning information to women in 3rd World countries that have high population growth because SOME of the information includes abortion. That is giving one religious viewpoint more power than others, a viewpoint not shared by the majority of the people in our common nation. That is using the coercive powers of government to force other people to follow one set of religious practices over another.

    Please recall the desire to maintain a seperation between the two institutions of government and state sponsored religion is based out of the observation when the two are linked violence is the result.
    - Spain, a Catholic nation, sent the Spanish Armada in 1588 to conquer England, a nonCatholic nation
    - Jesuits working to destabailize England and overthrow Elizabeth in the 16th century
    - France was executing Hugenots in the late 17th century in a rising level of masacres

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    again I humbly bow to a better post by Carlton. :) My point precisely, only said much much more eloquently.

  • http://www.museworld.com/ Curt

    Regarding the administration pulling a WMD rabbit out of a hat, what the neocons are good at are applying pressure from both sides of an issue. So if they take an action and it somehow gets messed up, they still somehow get an advantage out of it. So there needs to be some groundwork laid so that if there’s a WMD hat-rabbit (“surprise! We found them! You democrats are idiots!”), that it still works to the administration’s disadvantage. (Like, “we went to war for THAT?!?!”)

    As for IP stuff, I sincerely hope that Dean will ally with the EFF. He’ll definitely get the entire geek vote if they endorse him.

  • Me

    Separation, in the stated goals, and separation in DENYING ACCESS/CENSORING are two very differing things.

    J-Sin would have that no Presidential candidate, or anyone on the job for the Government, ever spoke to someone of their religious beliefs.

    J-Sin would have any Religious group barred forever from using any resources provided to other groups by the government. I argue just the reverse: the only way to be truly neutral is to allow the Catholics, the Muslims, the Moonies, the 4H club, the Jaycees, the Booster clubs, the local recreational sports leagues, the Girl Scouts, the Explorers, the SAME right to request usage of public facilities, WHETHER THEY ARE RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS OR NOT. Otherwise, you are discriminating against them for being religious, and we can’t have that.

    Having no references IS atheism. It is denying the existence of religion, denying that the beliefs those people have carry worth to the whole of the population, and refusing the people who are involved in government their chance to speak their mind. It is censorship at its worst.

    The government should not censor people for being atheistic, or for being religious. All Carlton has put forth are examples of religious people being crappy to one another. The US was founded on the idea that we can all coexist. But that does NOT mean that the Atheists should have sway, that groups which gather because they share a religion should have any less meaning than groups that gather because they like a certain game, or like to plant trees, or like to go camping.

    The ACLU does not fight for all religions to be treated equally. They fight for all religious groups and persons to be treated equally crappily and for all religious groups to be denied the right to ask for resources that nonreligious/atheistic groups are free to ask for. And THAT IS WHY I CALL WHAT THEY DO DISCRIMINATION.

    Because it is.

  • Spit

    Just to butt in…
    First off, it seems a small point, “me”, but I think it’s often overlooked that those 500 bureaucratic jobs are not just going to the “faceless evil minions of government” but to real federal and state workers who, like the rest of us, need employment… sorry, but I live in a state capitol, and I can never get over the way so many people forget that public work is part of the economy too, as is obvious by the unemployment lines in THIS city. Does laying people off in the name of uber-efficiency REALLY benefit us all (economically) in the long run?
    As to the great religion/indifference debate:
    The arguement that religious expression should be allowed in the context of the government is based on 1) an assumption (with which I agree) that atheism is a religion in its own right and 2) an assumption (with which I avidly DISAGREE) that saying NOTHING about religion is the same as favoring atheism. I’m certainly against the Ten Commandments up in a courtroom, but I’m also not advocating that we put up big signs that say “God is a Lie” either. The idea that all religions can be treated equally by governmental institutions is a farce; can you picture Congress allotting money to the Church of Satan for humanitarian causes?

  • Me

    IF the Church of Satan were to document it, and document monies spent helping the poor, and time spent volunteering and aiding organizations like Habitat for Humanity… YES, I CAN.

    After all we treat the Scientologists as such now don’t we? And any freshman Engineering student can tell you that the basic tools of their religion couldn’t possibly, under the laws of nature as Science knows them, work as the Scientologists claim.

  • Me

    As for those 500 bureaucratic jobs… at a certain point, government jobs that exist for the sole purpose of providing government jobs are WASTE. If you take your logic further, why don’t we all become Communists/Socialists? Have the Government guarantee everyone a job, and a paycheck, match the exact number of Government positions to the size of the population… what’s that you say? It was tried and collapsed under its own weight?

    Gosh. Maybe just having the Government create make-work jobs IS a crappy idea, and we should let government departments be just large enough to efficiently get done what they need to get done?

  • Carlton Nettleton

    Having no references to God/Creator/Supreme Being in government is atheism from YOUR religious perspective. Government is created for the edification and advancement of people. Democratic government is people coming together to solve problems caused by people using human solutions. Government’s role is not to please God or to solve God’s problems. That is why people construct churches, temples, mosques and synagaogues.

    The main issue I object to with giving religious organizations government money is you give giving religious organizations massive ammounts of cash to fund their religious activities Many religious organizations have two purposes – recruitment of additional people to their beliefs and perform social services. In the past, both of those goals had to share the same resource base. If a religious group wanted to expand membership, they had to cut back on charity or vice versa if they wanted to give out charity. Most groups find a balance that works for them and the community they live in. By giving religious groups government money to perform charitable works, you, in effect, give the recruitment part of religious organization’s mission an incredible infusion of resources. No longer does the preacher have to BOTH give sermons and serve soup to the homeless, he/she can use government money to hire someone to serve the soup while he/she is out there preaching, converting, bapstising and lobbying.

    You will never hear groups or individuals explain how by giving government money to them helps their organization with their recruitment mission because they never want you to think about it. They never want you to think allowing them to divert money from their charitable activites we give them public money to recruit people to their religion. They just want you to think that ALL the public money is going to the soup kitchen, but it is just not. They are diverting the money that previously went to the soup kitchen back to their religious mission (such as paying rent on fancy new properties, keeping the lights on in a church with falling membership, printing up voter guides to distribute in the pews the week before election day, etc., etc., etc.) while taking the government money to keep the charitable contributions to the community at SAME LEVEL.

    This is the plan and this is how GWB intends on rewarding the Christian conservative voters who backed him in the 2000 Election. Their votes had a price and this is how Bush is paying them back. This is what is objectionable and this is one reason why me, people like me and the ACLU, want a seperation of church and state.

  • cal godot

    “Me” wrote: “Having no references IS atheism. It is denying the existence of religion, denying that the beliefs those people have carry worth to the whole of the population, and refusing the people who are involved in government their chance to speak their mind. It is censorship at its worst.”

    Atheism is, put simply, a denial of the existence of a god or gods. Madalyn Murray O�Hair wrote: “Atheism is based upon a materialist philosophy which holds that nothing exists but natural phenomena. There are no supernatural forces or entities, nor can there be any. Nature simply exists.”

    But there are probably as many definitions of “atheism” as there are atheists. (OK, maybe not that many.) One thing atheism clearly is not is a denial of the existence of religion. Only a fool would deny the existence of religion, just as only a religious person would claim that religion is superior to other forms of inquiry.

    Whether atheism is a religion remains a debate. I do not accept that it is a religion, as there are no rituals, no dogma, no churches, no oaths, no clergy, and none of the other factors which most recognize as the symbols or components of a religion. The only people who say atheism is a religion are religious people. Of course it *must* be a religion is the religious people say it’s a religion – after all, they know a false belief when they see one.

    As for the value of religious beliefs, no reasonable atheist would deny that people derive some comfort from their religious beliefs. False beliefs have as much power to comfort as do facts, perhaps even moreso because the facts are often disconcerting (even to atheists). Most religious, for example, teach that their followers are somehow special, better than those of other religions. This must be very comforting to adherents of a faith. Certainly the notion that I am just as capable of selfish chicanery and moral corruption as GW Bush does not give me comfort. I wish I had a god to assure me that I am better than Bush. Alas, I have only my own moral compass and my own evidence of the benefits of a moral, mostly honest life.

    Anyone who believes that Bush’s push for funding “faith-based” groups was anything other than payback to the religious right is sorely in need of a reality check. But then, the religious people of this country have never had much of a lock on reality, so I guess it’s to be expected.

  • Anonymous

    Neither of us were talking about make-work jobs… we’re talking about real work that has to be done by real people. You’re talking about real people in an essentially privatized religious organization, and I’m talking about real people doing that SAME needs-to-get-done work in the public sector. The crux of it is this: why send that work out to be done, with OUR money, by religious organizations that may or may not have the public interest in mind, when it is already being done by people in the public sector who are there specifically to HAVE the public interest in mind?
    Look, I work with a lot of gay and lesbian kids, some of whom rely heavily on soup kitchens and the like. These are kids that do not and will not feel welcomed, to say the least, by some fundamentalist Christian church handing them a bowl of soup… partly because (whether or not YOU agree) they tend to blame those fundamentalist Christian churches for their position on the street in the FIRST place. So, just based on this example, if we’re going to, say, feed everybody equally, we are going to have real problems if we take money away from public, secular institutions that feed these kids and hand it to the Church of Latter Day Saints or whatever.
    And by the way, in your perfect world maybe the Church of Satan could get funding to feed the poor, but in the real world there would be mass protests from Orange County to Topeka to Atlanta. It would be a mess, and all of this is avoidable by just making religion a NON-ISSUE. We’re not pro, we’re not con, we’re just not saying ANYTHING.

  • Spit

    Forgot my name, too :)

  • Me

    Carlton,

    You might be right, depending on the group. But consider the following: week after week after week, people give money to these groups, to perform works of charity and support whatever efforts they put forth. If these groups do recruit more people, then there are more contributions FROM those people, which will get funneled to public works.

    Besides: RELIGIOUS GROUPS ARE NOT THE ONLY GROUPS THAT RECRUIT!

    4H recruits.
    The Boy Scouts recruit.
    The Jaycees recruit.

    EVERY GROUP RECRUITS. And every group, if you give them money, will split some of that money on public works, and some on recruiting.

    Your arguments are a red herring. If we give all groups, religious or not, the same right to ask for money, and all groups in question are reporting back their spending, and all groups in question engage both in recruiting and public works, THEN WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RELIGIOUS AND NONRELIGIOUS GROUPS AS FAR AS THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE CONCERNED?

    The answer is, of course, there would be none. The religion, or lack thereof, of the groups, would be a nonissue. And THAT is what our Constitution tells us to to.

  • Me

    Carlton,

    You might be right, depending on the group. But consider the following: week after week after week, people give money to these groups, to perform works of charity and support whatever efforts they put forth. If these groups do recruit more people, then there are more contributions FROM those people, which will get funneled to public works.

    Besides: RELIGIOUS GROUPS ARE NOT THE ONLY GROUPS THAT RECRUIT!

    4H recruits.
    The Boy Scouts recruit.
    The Jaycees recruit.

    EVERY GROUP RECRUITS. And every group, if you give them money, will split some of that money on public works, and some on recruiting.

    Your arguments are a red herring. If we give all groups, religious or not, the same right to ask for money, and all groups in question are reporting back their spending, and all groups in question engage both in recruiting and public works, THEN WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RELIGIOUS AND NONRELIGIOUS GROUPS AS FAR AS THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE CONCERNED?

    The answer is, of course, there would be none. The religion, or lack thereof, of the groups, would be a nonissue. And THAT is what our Constitution tells us to do.

  • Me

    Hrm, how’d that doublepost happen? odd. My apologies for the doublepost.

  • Carlton Nettleton

    None of those organizations are religious by nature. They all nonreligious organizations. While I object to public money going to ANY private organization, individual or business, it is less objectionable that public money goes to secular organizations. If my money goes to an organization, I , or my representatives, should have a right to control how that money is spent and what is said in my name. Do you really believe the government will give this money away freely and expect nothing in return? If it were I, I would demand access to accounting records, hiring and employment practices, minutes on discussions regarding how public money is spent and host of other oversight activities. You just cannot give these groups money and pray for a good outcome.

    Since I think the government has NO role in telling a religious organization how to best spread its message, what is the content of the message, how to balance their books, what people they hire for their activities, types of businesses to subcontract or how to apply their religious practices in the pursuit of charitable actions, the government should NOT give these groups any money. With government money, comes government oversight and that is VERY dangerous infringement on the right to practice your religion freely without government interference.

  • Me

    Access to accounting records: I agree.
    Hiring and employment practices: I agree.
    Minutes on discussions on how public money is spent: I agree.

    Oversight is not a problem, Carlton.

    So you seem to be of an opposing mind already; you want the government not to support ANY organizations.

    So we have three options:

    1. Support no organizations at all.
    2. Support only those organizations certain people (whoever they are) think are not objectionable.
    3. Give all the organizations the right to file for support, regardless of their beliefs, as long as they can back up that the money is being spend on what they claim it is being spent on.

    Surely even you can see that of the three, the only discriminatory one is number 2. Yet that is the one you are advocating?

    As for Government oversight, there is also one other point to consider: groups that do not wish the oversight, need only NOT ASK FOR THE MONEY. How about that? If they don’t want the government telling them how they can spend the money, they can spend their own instead, or hold a bake sale, or a car wash, or anything else. They can keep the money the government gives them in entirely separate accounts, and apportion it in entirely different meetings, so that the government oversight is not a problem.

    But they should have as much right to ask for that money as any group. Otherwise, you are discriminating against them based on their religion.

    And actually, by your definition, the Boy Scouts ARE religious by nature. They are nondenominational in that they do not care what religion you are, but they do ask that you believe in some higher power. For that matter, the requirement of a belief in a higher power is a part of the Texas state constitutional requirements to hold public office.

    Keep that in mind and get your facts straight.

  • Carlton Nettleton

    I was just considering this thought – Why does the government have to be so concerned about the government APPEARING to be discriminatory when we know religious groups to BE discriminatory?

  • Joy in CA

    Governor,

    First let me say that I appreciate your energizing this campaign in a way that gives the Democratic Party something to hope for and rally around. Many people I know are big supporters of yours, including a former classmate who currently works on your campaign. While I myself haven’t chosen a favorite yet, I do find your views enlightened, intelligent, and perhaps most importantly, feasible.

    Secondly, let me add that blogging is a great idea for outreach in a political sphere that increasingly assures that only the richest and best-connected people get heard. Best of luck to actually keeping up with all the comments you’re sure to get!

    I wanted to ask for more detail about your views on education reform, a subject that is becoming more important to me daily, as I hear of teacher layoffs, even more budget cutbacks, and after-school program cuts.
    —— As president, how would you increase school funding?
    —— No teacher can divide their attention among 35 children and still teach as effectively. (Ask them, if you don’t believe me.) How will you work to improve the student-teacher ratio in schools (which I believe is possibly the most pressing concern for schools today)?

    Teacher accountability has been hyped a lot recently. But you seem to believe, as I do, that accountability lies more with students’ attitudes, and ultimately with their parents for not teaching them the importance of coming to school ready to learn. Just as you have insightful comments about healthcare reform, since you are trained in medicine, teachers have a world of experience in knowing where the educational system is broken, but they are almost never consulted when policy is made.

    —— Would you (do you, as Governor) work with teachers to find out what they need, and where improvement could be made?
    —— What about standardized testing?
    Every teacher (across the country) that I know say this does nothing but lower standards of teaching and student evaluation. What is this “high-standard testing” you mention, for those of us non-Vermonters. :-)

    Okay, I’ve rambled for quite a bit. One more comment, and that’s about my stubborn belief that campaign finance reform is an imperative, if we are ever to have a political race that’s really about issues, and not about fundraising ability or name recognition.

    I am in favor of the proposed, but little-hyped solution that has a separate institution specifically to take campaign contributions from donors, and redistribute the money to candidates, without disclosing donor identity, under penalty of law. This way, no individual’s right to contribute is “capped,” but candidates are also freed from ties to any particular contributing lobby.

    Anyway, again, thank you, and good luck!
    Joy in CA

  • Me

    Carlton,

    You think you know religious groups to be discriminatory. Some are, some aren’t. Some, like the Salvation Army, give to others no matter WHAT their religious beliefs. No proper, moral, religious person would turn someone away at the door who needed help for belonging to another religion.

    It is not for the government to judge, Carlton. Because you claim that religions discriminate, does not make it so, and it does not give the government any right to discriminate against them. Two wrongs, or even one perceived wrong followed by another actual wrong, do NOT make a right. Only three lefts do.

    That has got to be the whiniest, most pathetic argument you’ve come up with yet.

  • Me

    Education reform: I remember when I went to school.

    Public schooling. Got to be second only to Hell in the “places you don’t want to be” list.

    There were few good things I remember about public schooling. The teachers were overworked, and underpaid, and typically working two jobs if they were single.

    The schools were underfunded as well; teaching materials were often over half a decade old. Class sizes were too large. Discipline was nonexistent: teachers weren’t and still aren’t allowed to do anything about the troublemakers.

    There were only a few good things:

    1. We said the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. This was A GOOD THING. We SHOULD love this country we live in, and there is nothing shameful about saying the Pledge — no matter what Carlton might whinge and moan about mentioning God.

    2. In my grade school days, we still had standardized testing. We took the Iowa Basics. Yeah, they weren’t much, but they were useful. There were basic skills we needed to learn, and you cannot know that someone has learned them unless you administer some form of test.

    At higher levels, standard testing works only in areas where there is consensus. But for lower levels and basic skills, it works just fine.

    So I suggest the following:
    1. A national minumum-wage for public teachers. Something decently high so that no teacher need work a second job. That way, we won’t scare away people who would LOVE to go into teaching, but think they can’t make a living at it.

    2. The return of discipline. Disruptive students need to be removed from classes, and quickly, and the teachers need the authority to do so. One student can ruin 34 others; can we really allow that to happen over and over again?

    Note: I do not suggest that we allow physical punishments. But we cannot simply shuffle troublemakers, bullies, and miscreants around from class to class. They need to be put where they can’t harm anyone except each other. It would have been a hell of a lot better than them harming me over and over again.

    3. Standardized testing and the end of social promotion. If someone is not at a 5th grade reading level, they shouldn’t be in the 7th grade. Don’t put them there because of age. They only become the students mentioned in point two when you do that.

  • Carlton Nettleton

    My position is give NO money to any organization. Religious organizations are private organizations composed of private individuals, so they should be able to choose their own standards of behavior and conduct for their members. It is NOT discriminatory to deny people something they have no claim on in the first place. You asking the government to allow PRIVATE organizations access to PUBLIC funds.

    Government should not be invovled with the day-to-day activities of any religious organization since it interferes with the free practice of their beliefs. Putting money into a seperate account will allow religious organizations to simply divert the money that previously went to the charitable activities back to their religious missions while taking the government money to keep the charitable contributions to theie community at SAME LEVEL. This seperate account idea is just a shell game.

    The Boy Scouts are a PRIVATE organization. If they were not, their shameful discrimination of one of their own decorated members would have been a violation of law. Additionally, the requirement to take believe in a higher power in order to serve in PUBLIC office in TX is in violation with Article VI, Section 3 of the Constitution that states “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States”.

    Please check your own facts before asking me to check mine.

  • Me

    “Section 4. No Religious Test – No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.”

    Hasn’t been ruled unconstitutional yet, Carlton.
    http://fact.trib.com/1st.texconst.html

    As for the Boy Scouts; they receive public funding. So do 4H, and a slew of other organizations. Sports organizations can use public lands and playing fields. So can most other groups, simply by asking for them ahead of time.

    If we provide publicly funded materials, or buildings, or anything else, ANY group needs equal right to request their use. Otherwise, we’re discriminating.

    Or we could use your method. No public parks, no usage of government buildings (except by government employees) at all, no public backing of banks, no FEMA, no other disaster relief, no National Guard actions except to police our borders (yeah I know they don’t do even THAT in the first place but hey)…

    Sounds pretty stupid to me. What a waste of resources to have none of those.

  • Carlton Nettleton

    Since the US Constitution is superior to the state constitutions, the state constitution is in violation of the federal constitution. Since Article VI, Section 2 decries the Constitution “supreme law of the land” and Admendment XIV, Section 1 applies the Constitutional protections to the states, the wording of the TX is not in congrunace with supreme law of the land. While TX used to be an independent nation, it is now part of this union and its constitution is subordinate to the US Constitution. Just because that section has not challenged, does not mean it was, or is, legal.

    I have no problems with any PRIVATE group asking to use PUBLIC FACILITIES provided they follow guidelines set up by the public regulating body when those facilities are available to the public. You are confusing the issue by suggesting that while PRIVATE groups can ask to use public facilities it is discriminatory to deny them access to PUBLIC MONEY. That is not the case – private individuals or groups have no right to request PUBLIC money. If they choose to, private groups can share public facilities with other private organizations provided they follow the public guidelines for use.

    You are also trying to confuse matters by raising other uses of public money. The examples cite – FEMA, FDIC, National Guard, etc. – are intended for the public good. They are not organized or used in a manner for PRIVATE citizens or groups.

    I enjoyed our conversation today. However, I need to get moving along from this thread.

  • Me

    No, Carlton, I’m not.

    You said that public schools, after hours or out of school hours, should not ever be used for religious gatherings. However, those are PUBLIC FACILITIES, and those PRIVATE GROUPS should be able to request them whether they are religious or not, now shouldn’t they?

    As for monies: the same thing applies. There are Federal grants available for philanthropic organizations that are dedicated to helping the poor, the needy, the homeless. To forbid groups of a religious nature from applying for these monies, if they intend to put them to the same purposes the other philanthropic organizations do and are willing to go through the same oversight procedures the other philanthropic organizations go through, is discriminating against them for being religious.

    Stop trying to cloud the issue and address those points.

  • Lucian

    Teachers can teach 35 children.People need to use the new technology to do it. Right now we all are communicating with thousands of people at once.

    Also I’d like to tell you this, colleges are designed for big classes, most public schools are not. Perhaps if we spent some money to design public schools to handle big classes and provide teachers with the tools they need to teach big classes, a teacher can teach 35 students.

    I think using computers, e-learning software, and the internet allows students to all learn and get a personal connection with the teacher. It seems to work in college at least.

  • Me

    Colleges can handle larger classes because the students IN the college are adults, or nearly so, and can comport themselves relatively appropriately. They have longer attention spans and can buckle down to the task at hand.

    Young children can’t. They haven’t developed to that point yet. 35 kids in a first-grade class is a problem. 35 kids, in 10th grade, might not be. You ever taught a first grade class? I spent a week during HS as a teachers’ aide. Gave me a whole lot more respect for a teacher who can even control 20 of those little ones, much less 35 of them.

    All the technology in the world won’t cut it when the students aren’t capable of sitting still for 10 minutes straight.

  • Benjamin Hinkley

    “However, those are PUBLIC FACILITIES, and those PRIVATE GROUPS should be able to request them whether they are religious or not, now shouldn�t they?”

    That is my feeling, and in fact, is the case. I must say, I did not however, get the impression that anyone reasonable was in disagreement on that point.

    “There are Federal grants available for philanthropic organizations that are dedicated to helping the poor, the needy, the homeless. To forbid groups of a religious nature from applying for these monies … is discriminating against them for being religious.”

    If I may be so bold, it seemed to me Carlton was saying that he believes that instead of issuing these grants at all, we should instead use the monies for governmental solutions.

    “Teachers can teach 35 children.People need to use the new technology to do it. Right now we all are communicating with thousands of people at once.”

    Two points:

    1. Communicating does not equal teaching. My high school physics teacher could communicate very well, but he sure as heck could not teach squat. Teaching is a very specific case of communication requiring much more of its participants. While our communication here may be educational, it is simply the exchange contrasting opinions. It does not serve to indoctrinate (for lack of a better word) its participants with a specific manner of approaching problems or provide a comprehensive factual reference to a given subject.

    2. If you’re willing to spend the money necessary on new technology, why not spend it on a simpler solution, such as
    more teachers?

    That said, I do think certain classes (e.g. early education, history, science labs) benefit more from smaller class sized than others (e.g. PE, science lectures), and should be taught accordingly.

  • Me

    “If I may be so bold, it seemed to me Carlton was saying that he believes that instead of issuing these grants at all, we should instead use the monies for governmental solutions.”

    He did eventually get around to that, after I had debunked all his “only religions do X” points that were not true.

    However, he still failed to answer the core question: Given that we provide these grants, is it or is it not discrimination to bar religious organizations from applying for them on the basis that they are religious organizations?

    I believe it is.

  • http://www.curiousfrog.com/weblog/ Mike

    Dr. Dean,

    The opportunity to post a comment that a Presidential Candidate may read seems too good to be true. I appreciate your willingness to try alternate means to reach the voting public and the candor in the thoughts you have posted here. After listening to you for the past couple of months I have concluded that you are one of the few politicians who believes that acting like a concerned human being should come before the quest for votes. And you have displayed more genuine intelligence and depth in two brief posts than our current President has done in over two years. For that, I’m proud to say you will be the first candidate I have ever openly supported and donated money to.

    Best of luck with the campaign. And may you not have to sacrifice many of your ideals in the name of compromise after you have been elected in the upset of the century.

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    Me. You’re standing too close to your own posting name.

    “J-Sin would have that no Presidential candidate, or anyone on the job for the Government, ever spoke to someone of their religious beliefs.

    J-Sin would have any Religious group barred forever from using any resources provided to other groups by the government. I argue just the reverse: the only way to be truly neutral is to allow the Catholics, the Muslims, the Moonies, the 4H club, the Jaycees, the Booster clubs, the local recreational sports leagues, the Girl Scouts, the Explorers, the SAME right to request usage of public facilities, WHETHER THEY ARE RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS OR NOT”

    Please don’t speak for me. You missed my point so clearly it’s invisible. Did I ever say “spoke”? No I said it didn’t have a place. And it doesn’t. Why may I ask are you conducting such a frivolous argument of which you cannot even adequately support without going into superflous superstitutions? It isn’t discrimination at all. How is this difficult to understand?

    What I really want to know is where you think this major discrimination is happening? Where? Do you honestly feel that not allowing a particular religious object in a supposed objective courtroom is a lot to ask? Do you really feel that religions are being slighted there? Or is it just the Christian religion? Since I brought up the religious organizations using public property to conduct their services I figured I deserved a retort–There is no reason for this to happen. Regardless of how you’d like to spin it, my taxpayer dollars go towards building, maintaining, and funding that facility. In essence that means that a religious group of which I may disagree could use a public building. That’s not fair, especially when I know for a fact that this same building has denied access to Muslim organizations wishing to conduct themselves in a similar matter.

    The public should not have to fret over this matter. Those facilities never should have been used for religious purposes, in, out, or during class. It’s that simple. I’m glad “me” wants to become more puritanical. But that’s not the answer for a modern society that is in essence trying to be the most articulate form of a melting pot.

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin/ J-Sin

    Me – you know how to contact me. Feel free to do so. I’d rather not waste other bloggers time with this discussion that clearly could be settled via e-mail. :)

  • Nathanael Nerode

    Another voice in favor of reading the EFF’s explanation of the disaster that is the DMCA:
    http://www.eff.org/IP/DMCA/20030102_dmca_unintended_consequences.html
    The EFF is absolutely right and accurate here.

    I’ve already commented (on a previous blog entry) about the problems with overly long copyright terms. It’s worth noting that there are general problems with the extension of what copyright *covers*, as well. Originally copyright covered only the right to make verbatim copies of books (or portions of books); now one can copyright “characters”, “situations”, and other things which are essentially ideas, not the expression of ideas, as well as “public performance”, which is being stretched to the point that it probably includes reading aloud to someone else.

    This is routinely used by copyright holders in attempts to suppress parodies and other original works loosely inspired by other works. The case of “The Wind Done Gone” is a classic example; even though that case was won by the author of the parody, she should never have had to go through the legal system in the first place. Corporations now routinely use threats of copyright infringment, even when they have very weak grounds, to suppress free speech, and this is made possible by the very broad interpretation of copyright laws in recent years, together with the fact that corporations are never punished for bringing these illegitimate suits. The EFF (http://www.eff.org/) has more information on this at http://www.chillingeffects.org/.

    “Fair use” is no longer safe, because, as Larry Lessig pointed out, it now means that you have the right to hire a lawyer to try to prove that you’re allowed to do what you’re doing. There’s no
    level of use where a creator can be sure the courts will rule that it’s fair use, any more.

    The copyright interests have also been attempting to destroy the “first sale doctrine” (under which you can give a book you legally bought to someone else, without violating copyright) online. Under their interpretation of the law, if you *buy* online music, you can’t legally play it for anyone else (it’s a copy, a public performance, an illegal publication, or all three). And under the DMCA, with its draconian “criminal copyright” rules, you may be sent to prison for doing so.

    I’m not kidding; this is the way the copyright interests have mutated copyright law into an engine of censorship. What couldn’t be censored by the government, couldn’t be censored using libel laws, couldn’t be censored based on “public morality”, can now be censored based on copyright. Copyright, meant to promote the spread of knowledge (this is the meaning of the 18th century phrase “progress of science”), is being used as a system to suppress the spread of knowledge. This is quite likely the biggest danger to free expression in the United States today.

    I’ve already commented (on a previous blog entry) on why most “software patents” don’t qualify to be patents at all; but there’s another reason. Case law says that “mathematical algorithms” cannot be patented, and that’s exactly what most software patents are trying to patent.

    The problem of ‘black box’ voting machines is very real as well. I am glad to say that in New York we still use the old mechanical lever-pull voting machines, which (mechanically!) create a paper ballot for each vote, which can be looked at in case of disputes.

    Electronic voting machines would be OK if their code was free, open, and therefore available to be audited by the best people in the country to make sure that they were counting honestly — and as people voted they created a paper record which could be checked if the machine crashed. (And the code doing that must be publically audited for honesty as well.) We simply can’t afford to allow high-tech vote fraud; the consequences could be disastrous.

    Hopefully you see that the primary worries of the online community about so-called “intellectual property” laws, is that they are being used routinely by large corporations and others as a scheme for suppression of free expression (usually things they think would make them look bad); suppression which would cause scandals if the government did it. This *must* be stopped; it is a fundamental issue of American liberty.

    I look forward to your policy on “the DMCA and other copyright issues”, and I hope that you recognize that these are fundamental, essential issues of the right to free speech, not abstruse or obscure issues at all.

  • Me

    J-Sin:

    “In essence that means that a religious group of which I may disagree could use a public building. That�s not fair, especially when I know for a fact that this same building has denied access to Muslim organizations wishing to conduct themselves in a similar matter.”

    For one: the Muslim organization should have been allowed the use of the building. Whoever denied them access was in the wrong.

    Beyond that, however: THEY ARE TAXPAYERS JUST AS YOU ARE.

    By your logic, the local Young Democrats, Young Libertarians, or Young Republicans chapter should not be allowed to use the building, because you might disagree with them.

    Ditto, the Sierra Club, or Greenpeace, because not all of us agree with some of their stances on the environment.

    Of course you will come back saying that these are not religious groups. SO WHAT? The point is that they pay taxes just as you do. They are citizens just as you are. They ought to have the same right that you do to request the use of the facility, and the purpose of their group, or ideology of their group, SHOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE.

    The moment you start trying to censor them for content, saying that the only reason you would deny them access is that they are religious, you are discriminating against them for their religion.

    The Constitution does not require that we all agree.
    The Constitution does not guarantee that you will never be offended. On the contrary, in the very first amendment it guarantees you the right to say things that in all likelihood WILL offend someone.
    The Constitution explicitly FORBIDS treating groups differently for race, sex, or creed (ideology/religion).

    You ought to spend some time reading the thing and understanding it.

  • Me

    By the by, J-Sin, your bit about “take this to email” is only marginally less cowardly than Carlton’s flat-out running away from an argument he was losing.

    I continue to post here in hopes that others will stand up and join in the discussion. Nobody was ever served by not being able to be a part of rational debate.

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    Me: That’s lame! The only reason I said e-mail is because I don’t want to keep hitting refresh and checking up on this blog throughout the day. I have no interest in stopping this argument because it’s interesting to me but I also have no interest in sparring with you since you obviously are just after “winning”, whatever that means.

    But on your argument on the Constitution it also expresses that religion and state should not be mixed. What’s stopping a religious organization or any organization for that matter in meeting at a non-federally funded or state-funded building? Nothing. See that’s where you’re confused, you’re confusing religion as if it’s just speech and that’s all. I think that would offend most religious people. And that’s precisely where your argument falls flatly on its face. I don’t know why you’re making this so hard on yourself. Religion doesn’t belong in our government. Despite what you may think Religion is all about exclusion when it comes to other religions. That’s why it has no place in government among many other reasons. In your world, you’d have prinicipals opening their schools with a prayer! That would exclude all the children that are of a different religion or of none at all wouldn’t it? Is this really that difficult for you to digest?

  • Me

    Religion, as far as the Government should be concerned, IS just speech. That is what you are missing.

    Subscribing to a religious ideology is no different from subscribing to a political ideology. Self-righteous people may think differently; so be it. They’re allowed to think differently, it’s one of the things that makes this nation strong.

    “But on your argument on the Constitution it also expresses that religion and state should not be mixed.”
    NO IT DOES NOT.
    Read the section again.
    It states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”
    Even with the 14th amendment applying constitutional constraints to the states, this STILL does not mandate that no religious word shall ever be heard in government. It mandates that the laws of the land shall not put any religion forth above any other.

    “In your world, you�d have prinicipals opening their schools with a prayer!”
    On one day, perhaps. On another day, if a local minister, or Imam, or Priest, wanted to come in and give an invocation or benediction, they would be free to ask to do so, and had darned well better be given permission, or at least added to the scheduled rotation if someone had already asked for their favored day. Or if an Atheist parent wanted to come in, and did not believe in God, but wanted to state as much and nonetheless wish the children a happy and productive day, SO BE IT.

    EQUAL access is the key, J-Sin. The inclusion of all, rather than “check your religion at the door.”

    “What’s stopping a religious organization or any organization for that matter in meeting at a non-federally funded or state-funded building? Nothing.”

    So what? What is the difference between allowing 4H to use a federally or state-funded building, and allowing a bible study group, or a Koran study group, or a group meeting for group meditation Buddhist-style? ONLY THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.

    That’s discrimination. The use of non-publicly-owned buildings is not the issue. Equal access, for all citizens, to publicly owned buildings, IS the issue.

    Your argument that “oh but they can go somewhere else so what does it matter” is akin to the Jim Crow laws of the old South; Blacks couldn’t use the good facilities, because there were separate facilities for black use only, which of course weren’t as well maintained or well furnished or well constructed. And we threw that load of bullcrap out a LONG time ago.

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    Whoa…please don’t say that. There is no similarity to what I’m saying and Jim Crow laws. You’ve obviously no interest in real debate and would rather fling insults than actual rational thought. It’s absolutely ridiculous to say what you’re saying. By having a prinicipal or anyone lead a prayer in public school that is establishing a religion. Period. It’s not a matter of equal access but of teaching and promotion of religion, which is precisely what would have occurred. The Supreme Court has ruled on similar matters. Perhaps you should undertake some of these exercises so you have a better understanding of what you’re mudding out. Sorry but you’re wrong. I consider this matter settled. You believe what you believe and I believe what I believe. Running around in circles isn’t helping anything but your venting of anger and I don’t care to participate in your slanderous dribble anymore. Thanks for helping me pass some time at work though! :)

  • Me

    J-Sin,

    It has nothing to do with being slanderous. Slander is the willful printing of untruth so as to harm someone.

    I state a fact. Jim Crow laws were discrimination, designed to deny people equal access to facilities on the basis of their race.

    What the ACLU wishes to do is deny people equal access to facilities on the basis of religion. That is wrong and reprehensible and bears a stark resemblance to Jim Crow laws.

    The “exercises” in question failed to address what is the key point; in no instance when people were presenting religion, did anyone request simply to present theirs side-by-side. Instead, they attacked presentation.

    Intolerance is never the key, J-Sin. If you cannot see that, then this nation is the worse for your presence.

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    Me: See there you go again. ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK. Does it really make you feel that much better? I’m glad that you took the time to know me before you made such a nice comment like “this nation is the worse for your presence”. But don’t think you’re going to make me stoop to nasty insults. You’re acting extraordinarily immature and it demeans your argument rather than solidifying it. If you had any kind of gumbo you wouldn’t post anonymously while flinging these half-witted insults. I invited you to an email debate and you declined, which is fine, but as I said I consider this matter settled. Please move on and insult someone else, I have better things to do.

  • Phlinn

    Regarding the above discussion about the Geneva convention(s) (There is more than one, and we haven’t agreed to some of them, but the POW treatment is one we have signed and which I will discuss) AFAIK do NOT protect any al-quaida or taliban inmates of Gitmo for 3 reasons. See http://193.194.138.190/html/menu3/b/91.htm for the exact text.

    1. The geneva convention only applies to engagements between goverments who are both signatories, or between a signatory and someone who also respects the provisions. Afghanistan has never been a signatory. This is a minor issue, because the US usually treats regular POWs pretty well anyways to make surrender more appealing.

    2. The convention also does not protect anyone who themselves violate the convention, even if they are a signatory. This is a stronger issue for why we aren’t too concerned with the strict rules of the convention.

    3. It specifically designates as legal combatants people who wear uniforms, OPENLY carry arms, or otherwise identify themselves as soldiers, and does not provide ANY protections for other combatents. I assume this is intended to allow the execution of spies, but would certainly apply to members of a terrorist organization as well given the way they operate.

    OTOH, I really despise any attempt to declare two of our own citizens to be an enemy combatant and thus remove their rights. Even if they have compelling evidence that they were terrorists, I refuse to grant the government the right to remove citizenship without a trial since it makes all the rights granted to citizens pointless.

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    I have to agree with you Phlinn on the government removing citizenship without a trial. It defies all of which we’re supposedly fighting to protect. Ashcroft time after time has made a mockery of the Justice Department.

  • Me

    J-Sin,

    You’ve already stooped to nasty insults. Calling my reasoned arguments “mudding out”, accusing me of slander for properly and logically comparing the ACLU’s position to Jim Crow laws, claiming I have no interest in a real debate.

    I am the one who has been putting forth cogent points and inviting you to logically analyze and debate them. Instead, you demean them, throwing around insults. Calling my points “slanderous dribble” is nonsense.

    Running away from an honest debate only proves you have no point. Ad hominem attacks, including the one claiming that I am a coward for posting anonymously, when you are the one running away and claiming I am not worthwhile to debate with rather than putting forth honest points of your own, are a disservice to everyone reading this.

    Carlton ran away because I debunked his argumenst. Leave now and you concede as well.

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    Yawn…nice threats.

  • Me

    Gotta agree with you there as well, Phlinn — stripping their citizenship after trial is one thing. If they’re worthy to be held as enemy combatants, however, they ought to be on trial for treason first.

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    Is this going to be tolerated? Interesting that this happened while Blair was in the United States. Very sad and I feel for his family.

  • Me

    What’s there to be tolerated? We don’t even know what has happened yet; there is suspicion the body is his, but it hasn’t been confirmed. No coroner has run an autopsy to determine cause of death yet. We have no facts on how the person died, when he died, if it’s the person in question, who killed him, if it was connected to anything, if he might simply have been a mugging victim…

    Now if it turns out he was assassinated, that’s something else altogether. But sensationalism in the matter is not going to help anything. And accusing Blair, or anyone in government, of doing so before we even have a cause of death or any facts, or even a confirmation of identity of the body, is RIDICULOUS.

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    yawn…there were no accusations…perhaps an innuendo but no accusations. I just think it’s fishy and should raise some eyebrows at the very least.

  • Me

    Any death that appears to have been a murder deserves investigation.

    Making an innuendo, or a veiled accusation, that the death had anything to do with Britain’s politics goes a bit far right now. I’m sure the British police aren’t so inept as to fail to investigate that possibility, and it is THEIR place, not yours, to be bringing that up if and when it is substantiated by something other than your hatred of Bush and Blair.

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    Yawn. Isn’t there a FoxNews report for you to follow up on?

  • Me

    No, J-Sin. I don’t watch FoxNews. And the continual “yawn” thing is really pathetic.

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    yawn.

  • Me

    Robin has REALLY bad taste I see.

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    HA. Nice, I’m hearing some sticks and stones…perhaps next to start threatening my wife or insulting her further…double yawn. Internet anonymity for “tough” guys. Glad to see that my posts infuriated you with such gusto that you had to find out a little more about me. But if you were going for shock value you fell short. I wouldn’t have put up my site if I had something to hide. Now what do YOU have to hide. :)

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    Me: Did you see I even mentioned our argument in my journal too…or were you too busy searching for something to shock me with!

  • Me

    No, I am fully aware of it. Just didn’t seem relevant.

    Was just making a comment; your wife apparently has bad taste, or a really thick skin, if she can put up with you.

    You didn’t need to make personal attacks upon me. You didn’t need to accuse me of slander when you new damned well my comparison between the ACLU’s goals, and Jim Crow laws, is a perfectly apt comparison.

    You certainly didn’t need to go on your little “Yawn” kick. But you have nothing logical to provide it seems. Instead you have to attack me, or try to, rather than find something logical to say.

    Further, I never once said the words “liberal media”, nor did you challenge me to point out liberal things said on major networks, as you claim on your journal.

    Nor did I go through anything regarding Clinton, except to point out to others (not you) on this blog that, IF Bush is lying about Iraq’s having sought uranium and broken the cease-fire (UN Resolution 687 for those who look things up), and IF the policy of Regime Change in Iraq is a bad policy, then Clinton is just as guilty as Bush, because he said everything Bush has now said, back in 1998, and it is Clinton, not Bush, who created the national policy of Regime Change.

    Now, as far as the rest goes… you can come up with some actual logical arguments, or not. It’s really up to you at this point. If you can’t handle a little logic, or the truth, then fess up to that.

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    hahaha whoa, I was referring to someone else when I was talking about the liberal media. Last night at a bar I was discussing that topic with someone else. Don’t get all pressed. I’m not that concerned with ya! And…

    “Was just making a comment; your wife apparently has bad taste, or a really thick skin, if she can put up with you.”

    Sounds like an insult to me. More of the same from you. And yawn indeed–you’re making me sleepy. Let’s go back to talking about Dean!

  • http://www.smother.net/jsin J-Sin

    How’s Comcast by the way? I’m moving soon and will have to switch to them…

  • Me

    Wouldn’t know, not on them.