July 15, 2003  ·  admin

Thanks for the many, many comments. We’ve just arrived back to Vermont after six days on the road. I appreciate all the feedback. People asked what can be done about media deregulation. I think we need to re-regulate the media that has clearly abused its authority by censoring information that should be made available to the American people. Someone asked about the Patriot Act-we should repeal those parts that violate our constitution.

In the second quarter, our campaign had over 73,000 donors. We have over 60,000 people on Meetup. Every one of them is making a difference. If everyone gets involved, we can change the political process in this country and prove there is a better way to change the country. That is what this campaign is about.

Thanks again, Howard Dean

  • Eddie

    *sigh*

  • Eddie

    If you’re online right now, it might be a good idea to read some of these posts…

  • p mac

    Dear Dr Dean. I’ve been reading the CATO site lately, and while I’m not an out-and-out libertarian, they do have a point, that there are simply too many government regulations.

    I’m not against government regulation; rather I believe that efficient government regulation contributes to a well-ordered society. Cato criticises the natural tendency for bureaucracies to self-perpetuate by overregulation. Their conclusion is that all regulation is therefore bad. (I find this outlandish, to say the least.)

    But there’s no need to alienate the libertarians completely by neglecting the rules of good government; after all the government does exist to serve the people.

    So what are your plans to streamline government regulation. If you could reduce the number of government regulations while at the same time improving the efficiency of the good ones, that would be a great accomplishment. Even CATO would agree.

    P McIlroy

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    Earlier, I wondered if a staffer would be ghost-writing the entries.

    Now I’m wondering if the entries are auto-posted by a script.

  • Eric

    Thanks for taking the time, Dr. Dean.

    I don’t have much of a question, but I wanted to tell you that you’re turning some heads. I’m a college student, and I don’t think one in ten of the students at my school voted in the last election. But over the past few years, the apathy has turned to a tangible anger at the way our country is being run by the administration, and I know that a candidate that offers even the most cursory of gestures to my generation will mobilize us in ways you probably can’t imagine. I’m still reading up on you, but I’m beginning to think you might be able to do this.

    I look forward to the debates. Keep up the good work.

  • Anonymous

    Dr Dean:

    Let me start by saying that I have tremendous respect for your efforts here, especially considering the fact that it is widely known that you are not the most tech savvy and you are embarking upon new territory in campaigns.

    However, you have to realize that choosing to guest blog on Prof Lessig’s blog places you in direct contact with those who are most knowledgeable about copyright and technology issues. I understand that you are very busy, and you certainly cannot expect to be an expert on everything, but so far your posts have contained incredibly generalized statements with unnecessarily elementary conclusions.

    The above post illustrates my point painfully. You argue for media re-regulation but fail to draw a cause->effect relationship between deregulation and censorship (and also fail to say how you intend to ‘regulate’ censorship. Furthermore you suggest that we should repeal the unconstitutional provisions of the Patriot Act…I ask you: Is there anyone in the United States who would not agree with this statement? Certainly if a law is unconstitutional it should be repealed.

    If you aren’t familiar enough with the issues to have an opinion any more complex than that which has been posted (but instead want to know how this audience feels), then perhaps you should do a Request For Comment format instead of a Blog format.

  • Jonathan

    Governor,

    Which parts of the Patriot act do you consider unconstitutional? I’m sure Ashcroft and Bush consider it Constitutional, otherwise I don’t see why they’d approve of it. Just curious for some specifics. Otherwise keep up the good work.

    And Seth–I’m not sure why you’re so skeptical. What is it that makes you so? Don’t you trust Prof. Lessig enough to believe that he’d only let a guest blogger blog if it was the guest blogger himself? I think Dean is a different type of politician, and I don’t see any ulterior motives with any of his actions. I’m skeptical of most politicians but Dean seems rather honest to me.

  • Jonathan

    Also Seth–I might note to you that the Governor posted an audioblog and they’ve taken pictures of him blogging. His posts all seem consistant with what he says in person. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be him posting. Maybe Prof. Lessig will affirm this when he comes back.

  • jt

    Jonathan: Seth is (quite humerously IMHO), saying that Dean’s arguments have, thus far, been so elementary that they could have been posted by an artificially intelligent script.

    I don’t think (now) that anyone doubts that it is truly Dr. Dean who is posting.

  • Jonathan

    Also, Governor,

    I agree with the others that some more details on your ideas would be nice. You’ve already stated well your positions on several other issues, and I think this community would like to hear what specifically you have to say with regards to legislation such as the DMCA and what you might do to reform copyright law…or if you haven’t staked out your position yet, perhaps some partial thoughts you have about them.

    It also would be good to hear if you’re going to have a long conversation with Prof. Lessig about copyright and technology issues. A very large number of people agree with his words, and when you’re formulating your policies, I’m sure a large number here would like him to speak to you about them.

  • Dave

    There have been some comments complaining about how Dr. Dean’s comments lack specifics. While folks on this list may know a lot about IP, we seem to be displaying an appalling lack of knowledge of politics (obviously, not everyone).

    I have confidence that if you spent a few hours talking with Howard, you’d have a higher opinion of his take on things. But, as a politician, he needs to address vast numbers of people simultaneously. This means that my pet issue (business method patentability) probably won’t be addressed, and neither will yours.

    If you feel you have a good idea, tell us. If it sticks other folks will discuss it, and I’d guess that Gov. Dean will take the time to weigh in on the big subjects. If we decide on some questions as a group I have no doubt that we’ll get answers. If I decide that we should agree, it’s my burden to convince you to care, not Dean’s to respond.

  • Igor

    Dr. Dean,

    If you do happen to win the Democratic primaries, do you have anyone in mind as a running mate? Also, how would you take care of the situation in North Korea?

  • Lisa Pease

    Is it possible that Lessig invited Dean here just to introduce a new audience to Howard Dean? Surely Lessig knew that Dean is not as conversant as he or this audience on the issues around IP, various copyright legislation, etc. It was a risky move, and some people are bound to be disappointed. But I think Lessig’s motive was not to show you how much Dean does or doesn’t know about IP law. It was to introduce you to someone he is himself interested in. If you want to know more about Dean, because clearly he can’t respond to all the individual posts here, than head over to his site at http://www.deanforamerica.com. Or attend a Meetup, along with 62,000 fellow Americans, where you’ll here from Dean from various people with various levels of contact with him. If you’re not interested, that’s fine too. But I don’t see Lessig inviting other candidates to blog here.

  • Brian

    Dr. Dean,

    I just want to say that, while I’m young and I’ve always considered myself a Democrat, you are the first politician who has been able to express and fight for what I’ve known is right. You have the guts to challenge Bush on the issues and I think you would crush him in a debate. You have my support!

  • Steve-O

    Dear Dr. Dean,

    Let me begin with the simple statement that I love what you’re saying. The country is starting a dangerous trend and honest change is desperately needed, so I wish you the best in the coming election.

    But I feel that you are missing the true potential of this oppurtunity. With weblogs, the immediate broadcast features are great, but the feedback and discussion are truely the promise of this medium. I would love to see you discuss some of the issues raised here (this thread alone has some great ideas for topics).

    So please please please show some personality. Most here fear a mediocre-on-issues candidate because we remember the 2000 election mess and know change is needed. So show us what you think! Challenge us with your opinions! Make us believe in your values! Show us your future! I promise that if you do this, many will join you.

    Oh, and the new picture is rather disconcerting. A clear clash with the down-to-earth image of Dr. Lessig.

  • Joe Trippi

    Seth — can I ask you something — don’t you think that if we were ghostwriting this stuff we would have come up with something better than that? I mean seriously if that post doesn’t prove Howard Dean himself is posting — I don’t know what will cut through your doubts.

    Now lets talk about the substance of this one — maybe its only because I work for him — but I think he was saying — I just came off the road after six days — thanks for the feedback — but right now I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed. I mean it was posted at 11:28 Eastern Time.

    This isn’t an excuse — he is afterall the one who is running for President — I am just putting this post in perspective.

    And I can guarantee you one more thing — I know him — and he will read every comment, its just how he is.

    Thanks
    Joe Trippi

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    JT’s right. I have no doubt that Dr. Dean posted that last entry himself, as I don’t believe a ghost-writer would be that vacuous.

    Now, in general, politicians have their material written for them by staff. That’s just the way it works. It’s not even because they want to dissemble. There’s just no *time* for the candidate to write all the speeches, answer the letters, do the position-papers.

    A while ago, I wrote an essay about “The Internet and the Journalistic Pyramid”, regarding how similar constraints meant the net-hype wasn’t going to change journalism. Comparably, blog-hype isn’t going to change politics.

    What was I noting earlier, is that Internet posting is particularly amenable to staff ghost-writing. Even if Dean himself posted an entry in front of the cameras, there’s nothing which says later entries can’t be staff ghost-written.

    Earlier, what I thought might happen, is a staffer would read the blog comments and compose “Dean”‘s responses, subject of course to his approval. After all, how different is that from composing position papers or writing speeches?

    Ironically, likely the cut-and-paste posting we’re seeing is authentic, but it’s trivial. Not even “I am overwhelmed by the responses which have been generated. I care. I really care. There’s so much food for thought here. I’m listening to you, yes you, as you educate me on these issues – IP, DMCA, Eldred …”

    Again, Dr. Dean is a good guy. It’s nice that he’s trying. But the result is dadly falling far short of expectations.

  • Ian Field

    Let me add this:

    The self-importance on display here is as disappointing to me as the Governor’s posts are to many of you. You’ve been offered the opportunity to have your words seen, contemplated, by a possible future president. Perhaps a little humility, and an awareness of things greater than your topic of interest, is in order.

    An RFC format? PLEASE! Manage your expectations and your hubris.

    Ian

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    N.b. that last “JT” was in response to

    “Jonathan: Seth is (quite humerously IMHO), saying that Dean’s arguments have, thus far, been so elementary that they could have been posted by an artificially intelligent script.”

    But it works as a reply to Joe too.

    And again, Gov. Dean’s not wrong for being so busy. Absolutely not.

    What I keep pointing out, is that lack of time MEANS there cannot be meangingful dialogue, as a physical constraint.

  • Emily

    I think the gov. seems pretty focused on an important campaign, and I for one am glad that he is focusing most of his attention on that larger responsibility that he is making to his supporters. Guest hosting here is a chance for those who post here regularly to learn about Dean, and might introduce new people interested in Dean to the issues usually raised here with Lessig.

    As a big supporter of Dean, I’d also be very interested in the running mate question….is there anything to be said Trippi?

    - Emily

  • Max Philby

    One point I’d like to make in response to the question “What exactly is unconstitutional about the USA PATRIOT Act” (awesome question, by the way…) is this:

    I would just love to see a candidate go through some key points on PATRIOT and point out key specific problems (e.g. lack of “probable cause” in Section 215, which allows government agencies to go after any and all records — health, library etc.) BUT ALSO pick the two or three things that are good about the Act. Personally I think that granting the government broader powers to freeze finances for terrorist organizations is a wonderful way of combatting terrorism. By taking this kind of approach, Governor Dean could show that he is strong on Justice, Fairness and the Constitutional way, while also being strong on the things that actually do help make us safer.

    Sorry, that was somewhat OT. But I just want to echo everyone’s request that specifics need to be addressed — I hope and believe Governor Dean will have a chance to do that over the next couple of days. I’m part of the Dean-supporting audience that is coming over here without deep understanding of IP issues and enjoying the education. Thank you all!

  • Vermonter for Dean

    I don’t want to intrude on this blog, but I have a suggestion that I think might make for a much more productive conversation with Dr. Dean. We all know that the man is campaigning like the energizer bunny, so his time is limited. I’ve been reading the posts, comments and questions and I’m finding it pretty overwhelming, and I’m not even the one who is supposed to be addressing this stuff. Why don’t you folks who are regulars here try to organize things a little bit to make things a little easier for Dean to get specific. Rather than fire off a gazillion questions and waiting for him to choose one to answer, why don’t you guys put your heads together and come up with one compelling question a day (even two or three part questions) and post it and let him address that one question. You could all submit some questions and vote on which ones to ask. Howard Dean was a great governor and is a very smart and sensible man. I think you’ll really like what he has to say…but without some kind of organization and simplifying of this whole process I suspect things aren’t going to go as well as they could. Okay…I’m going back to lurker mode now. I hope you will consider my suggestion and make the most of this opportunity.

  • Kelly Chaves

    Dr. Dean-

    I’ve gone to one of the Meetups and greatly admire you as a candidate, and though I will be moving to Australia next summer (attending Graduate school, hopefully), I plan on requesting an absentee ballot and voting for you in the Oklahoma Primary. The question that I want to ask you is this, what are your feelings on a national transportation system? Congratulations on your success. Even though I am a student, when money permits, I plan to donate to your campagin. Keep up the good work and give ‘em hell.

  • http://www.likelystory.net manyoso

    Joe — can you — please stop — using this — annoying habit of hyphenating — your every — thought?

    I’m sure that Governor Dean is posting, but so far his posts haven’t amounted to much. If this is truly about communication, then Dr. Dean needs to understand that the people he’s talking to on this forum WILL NOT be impressed with these vacuous comments. I would love to hear the Governor devote some time to a thoughtful dialogue.

    Joe, seriously, I am one of the Governors biggest supporters, but please, don’t waste this opportunity. Lessig’s blog is a wonderful place to begin a conversation with this community, but it is going to require more effort.

  • http://www.likelystory.net Adam in MA

    eileen, speaking as someone with a long and deep interest in both the copyright reform community that this blog represents and as an early and outspoken supporter of the good doctor (I believe we’ve spoken before, I’m Adam in MA in the Dean blogosphere), your comments do not help.

    This is not a Dean blog and should not be about the political campaign of the Governor. Seth, Me, and others have every right to expect some conversation of substance instead of the standard stump speechs that inspire so many in the Dean blogosphere.

    Speaking as someone who comes from the FOSS community, I want to know what the Governor thinks of the DMCA and assorted similar legislation like the Fritz Hollings bill/chip. I would like to know if the Governor has any feelings about the Eldred V Ashcroft case or the proposed Eldred legislation. Even some general thoughts about Copyright, Trademark and Patents and his impressions on these subjects. Is the Governor aware of the multifaceted problems with Software patents and their dangers? Patent reform?

    This dialogue is exciting and I hope that the Dean campaign does not overlook this community. It will require some research (I’d be happy to provide a linked list of reading material) and some effort, but given the Dean campaign’s penchant for ‘getting it’ so far when it comes to the Internet and community participation, I am still hopeful.

  • Jonathan Putnam

    Eillen–comments like that are out of place here. In fact, I get kind of pissed when there are dozens (or hundreds) of comments and I have to scroll through comments like yours to get to any meat. If you want to flame Seth, e-mail him, or better yet, post your diatribes on your own blog. I’m not elitist. I simply want to further discussion.

    I am particularly interested in Dr. Dean’s take on OpenSource. Many governments worldwide continue to express interest in Linux, OpenOffice, etc. Do you think our government should invest more money, time, coders to this broad initiative?

    I would also like to know your personal opinion on the Creative Commons license. Also, do you think that downloading music to judge its worth constitutes fair use? Do you feel current copyright law (the extensions in particular) unduly restrict what many consider to be legitamately public works?

    As a final note, I would like to invite readers to check out Nooron.org. The recent surge in blogpower enables peers to filter information into what I consider different “worldviews.” The potential power of a system like nooron to share information and technique has me very excited. Perhaps a staffer could examine the more technical aspects of the site. However you, Dr. Dean, should definitely take 5 minutes out and read the whitepaper.

    Thank you for your time. I wish you luck.

  • http://www.likelystory.net manyoso

    Oh, Adam in MA == manyoso, BTW.

  • http://demosthenes.blogspot.com Demosthenes

    As others have said, I’m very impressed at the guts and care that Governor Dean has demonstrated by guest-posting here. This is much trickier than Clinton playing the Sax on Arsenio Hall, especially with the possibility of Republican-prompted trolling on the site.

    I would ask Governor Dean’s critics here to remember that every word written on this site will no doubt be hoovered up by Republican “oppo research”, thus requiring the candidate (and Mr. Trippi) to be very careful about what they say. It may be bland compared to the sort of freewheeling discussion that bloggers and blog commentators are used to, but they don’t have to worry about their comments showing up out of context in a campaign ad a year from now, either. The Republicans have demonstrated that they will bend words however necessary in order to maintain power; while that is the source of their current problems, it is something that we need to be aware of.

    That said, I’m interested in the comments that were made by Gov. Dean about re-regulation. My question is this: Given that a limited number of conglomerates have already seized extraordinary power within the U.S. media, how would a Dean administration go about the business of proper re-regulation while avoiding the danger of merely cementing the current arrangement? Would he consider the reimplementation of a variation on the “Fairness Doctrine”?

    I also have a different, related question. Gov. Dean has demonstrated knowledge of the pernicious effects of deregulation. He has not (to my knowledge), however, discussed the widespread growth of what has been colorfully described as “the mighty Wurlitzer”: the arrangement of conservatively biased think tanks, pundits, news outlets, opinion journals and, yes, bloggers that provides key support to the Republican party and the conservative movement, as well as using its resources to influence mainstream media and the political elite in its favor. This phenomenon has been the subject of several books and articles: including Robert Borosage’s The Mighty Wurlitzer, David Brock’s Blinded by the Right, and Eric Alterman’s What Liberal Media? It is also a staple discussion topic of many liberal bloggers (including myself) who believe that this phenomenon is key to understanding the success of the Republican party and George W. Bush. Indeed, even the popularly elected Al Gore acknowledged its effects not too long ago.

    So, given that, my second question is this: Is Gov. Dean familiar with the phenomenon of the “mighty Wurlitzer”, has he read the books and articles related to the phenomenon, and what ideas does he have on breaking the stranglehold on the media and government that this arrangement has given conservatives in general and the Republican party in particular? Are Dean’s efforts to involve liberal/progressive bloggers in his campaign an indication of a belief that these bloggers are a means by which to blunt the power of the Republican spin machine? And if there is a Dean presidency, what steps will he take to discourage this attempt to gain control of the American political discourse?

    Again, thanks for taking the time to read these comments and responding when you can. And thanks again to Prof. Lessig for allowing us access to the future candidate.

  • eileen

    I apologize if I offended anyone. I’m not a regular member of this group and I’m afraid I had a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. I fully realize that it this not a Dean Board and while I expected that he would be challenged, (and hoped that he would learn something, as would I) well. . .I also kinda felt that from the get-go there were those who were dismissive and mocked his pledge to “listen” and condemned him as a panderer based on one day of posting. So, I freely admit to being a tad defensive. But I also apologize again for being the guest that noone knows who comes in and pisses on the carpet.

    eileen (blotting with paper towels)

  • mc

    Govenor Dean,

    I hope you win. As an undergraduate, every time I check a book out of my public university�s library I worry that a record of my borrowing selections will end up in the hands of federal agents � without any sort of court order. I worry that my friends and fellow students who are visiting the U.S. from foreign countries will one day disappear, secretly arrested and tried before a military tribunal or detained indefinitely in �deportation proceedings� without access to counsel. The USA Patriot Act scares me, what portions of it would you seek to repeal? Or perhaps a better question- what parts would you keep?

    Because of the deregulation of media the head of Cumulous Radio may have been able to banish the Dixie Chicks from a few dozen stations for a month- re-regulation is an important issue and I thank you for addressing it- but the Government of the United States of America has made me fearful of checking out too many dissenting library books, has made my foreign friends afraid of discussing American politics, and their families afraid to interact with any public officials. Tell the American people about the Anti-Bill of Rights Act they called the Patriot Act. Tell us what portions you would seek to repeal if we elect you President- and I sincerely hope we will.

    Respectfully,
    Matt

  • stephen

    Dr Dean:

    Please look at REAL reform of the taxation system to make it VERY simple. Taxes do not seem fair any longer.

  • Vermonter for Dean

    I said I wasn’t going to post again…but I feel compelled to say something else. If Dean says he will read all the comments, he will read them. He also has a tendency of not answering a question unless he has enough information to do so. He has always been (at least politically here in Vermont) someone who takes the time to really understand a situation before forming an opinion on it. Give him a chance to digest the new information. Also, a lot of the questions being asked of him are just as generic as his answers posts have been. If you want a “meaty” answer then give him some references to research enough to give an answer he feels good about. He’s not someone who is going to just tell you what you want to hear. He’s going to give you his sincere and honest opinons…which is a real rarity when it comes to politics. This guy really listens to what people say, and he takes the thoughts and views of the people very seriously. Since he’s reading every comment, he knows better what you all want from him…but as much as you ask questions you also need to provide enough information for him to form an opinion and discuss things in a way that everyone feels good about.

    Now I have a question…when Gov. Dean isn’t here, what are the main topics of discussion? I’ve noticed several posts about open source software and censorship. Are there a lot of scripters who work on open source projects posting here? If so…you guys are the best! I’ve been dabbling around a tiny bit with PHP and if it weren’t for open source and the sharing of scripts online I wouldn’t be able to learn a darn thing. It’s great to have access to good programs and great talent for free, and I’m very thankful and appreciative for all the hard work and devotion put forth in making those scripts available to people like myself who are some what technologically challenged.

  • Ian Field

    Demosthenes,

    Excellent question/point. I’m certain the various appendages of the Dean camp have a general awareness of the Wurlitzer(certainly of some aspects, and at least a sense of the macro-phenomenon). However, I don’t know of a coherent strategy to counteract it (beyond the obvious: disseminate our message).

    Obviously, this will be an ongoing theme for Dean the president, but we (supporters) should have a tactical approach for Dean the candidate. Any suggestions?

    Ian

  • http://onefatherfordean.blogspot.com One Father For Dean

    Expectations are high, process is new, details are missing, complaints are many, host is busy, support is broad, visitors are enlightened, locals are pissed, questions are pointed, answers are needed….

    It’s still all good.

  • Ilan

    At the risk of making an ad-hominem argument, I have to wonder what Seth’s expectations really are.

    A presidential candidate gunning for a primary? Trying to budget his time, and the money he’s been entrusted with by a group of volunteers?

    This blog should be a low priority. Yes, it’s a wonderfully democratic way to respond to people’s concerns. But it’s not worth more than an hour a day. If Howard Dean has enough time on his hands to meet Seth’s “expectations” with respect to this blog, he’s got more problems than just some overly-vacuous postings.

  • Ilan

    This is a meta-comment. It’s about the blog and not about Howard Dean himself.

    So to be fair, the blog postings are vague. Blogs have a history of being more personal and ‘gritty’ than a website or a campaign commercial; they’re first-person, not a venue for states-of-Union or press releases. What I gather is that some people wish Howard Dean would open up somewhat when he posts.

    For instance, why is he running? When did he make that decision? (This is covered on his own website, but how about hearing it in his own words?) If media de-regulation is a problem, what particular warning sign clued him in? What did he wish he could do about it?

    How has the campaign trail gone? I’m sure that’s on his mind. How have people reacted to his message; the positive *and* the negative feelings?

    Maybe that’s not what the goal of this blog was, but it’s certainly something people might expect when reading a presidential candidate’s electronic diary.

  • Lucian

    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/07/14/1026185141232.html

    This is ridiculous, I hope its not true.

    Do we really need millions of spies? For Bush?

    I can see it now, someone getting fired from their job because one of the millions of Bush supporter spies told big brother they were a terrorist.

    I don’t understand how so called conservatives can pass laws like these!

  • chase

    Vermonter for Dean has a good point. What specific questions would people here like to hear the Doctor answer? Given his limited time, which questions are the most crucial? I’m wondering myself what the goal of this stint is, other than introducing people in this community to Dr. Dean.

    There’s policy stuff, like his stance on the DMCA or copyright extensions, which parts of the PATRIOT Act are unconstitutional (and which are not), how the FCC should re-regulate media ownership, and so forth. And there are more general questions about who he is, why he opposed the war in Iraq, and so on, questions he’s already answered elsewhere. I’m not sure this blog is the most efficient way to address these things.

    I think a better line of inquiry might be: how does he know Professor Lessig? Why did he agree to post here this week? What is his interest in intellectual property rights? What is it about him or his campaign that should appeal to “cyber libertarians”? What concerns and questions does he have? What does he hope to accomplish?

    He talked about the overpowering influence of corporations recently, in places like his Great American Restoration speech. I’d like to hear more along those lines, especially in light of the enormous amounts of money pumped into political campaigns. What obstacles will People-Powered Howard face? Can he make it to the White House without being bought even a little, has he been surprised at anything he’s learned along the way, and what efforts, if any, does he see the “special interests” making to stop him? We know about the DLC and the GOP trying to McGovern him – what’s the view from inside as he breaks into the “country club”?

  • chase

    Would other people like to hear about these things, or do most prefer something else? This is the first time a Presidential candidate has done a blog, and it could be disappointing or great. Let’s see if we can figure out what would be most useful for us (and most doable by the busy Governor) to make this opportunity a success.

  • Mark Barnette

    Can reasonable people please agree to spell USA-PATRIOT Act properly, in all-caps, to minimize any confusion about the misbegotten law and actual patriotism?

    Thanks. And, yes, so far I do believe you have my vote, Governor.

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

    I think a better line of inquiry might be: how does he know Professor Lessig? Why did he agree to post here this week? What is his interest in intellectual property rights? What is it about him or his campaign that should appeal to �cyber libertarians�? What concerns and questions does he have? What does he hope to accomplish?

    These get my vote… have at ‘em, Governor!

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

    An IPR question for Gov. Dean (and Larry too when he gets back from R&R), with a couple of paras of context before the question.

    What rights does the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation have to “pequot.com”?

    At the Berlin meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), there were three groups proposing to draft the intellectual property rights regime that the then-forming ICANN would opperate under. One of these three expressed a view on the subject — private law theories of marks, even property, would not exhaust the repitoire of possible theories of rights to names. Indigenous polities — “states”, retained a claim as sovereigns to their own names.

    At the time of the Berlin meeting of ICANN, pequot.com was the property of three or four cute yuppies working the e-financial side of the dot-com boom. They, or their successors-in-interest, still are today.

    In bricks-and-morter space, the jurisdictional claims of the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Court have over a claim by the Estate of Tasunke Witko to the name “Crazy Horse” has been answered — Ferolito, Vultaggio & Sons and Heileman Brewing do not market “The Original Crazy Horse Malt Liquor” on the Rosebud, so the Estate’s claim to an Oglala Lakota name, cannot be tried in an Oglala Lakota courtroom.

    A few years ago a German avant guard music group sampled recorded sound and marketed a recorded sound product, without the prior knowledge of, or the permission of, or a revenue sharing contract with, the authors of the audio recording they sampled. The authors of the original audio recording were Indians, and their work was not protected by an assignment of right from the authors to some distinct corporation or collection of individuals.

    It is clear that the private law of ICANN, a California 501(c)(3), holds no jurisdictional promise to Indigenous polities. It is a dead end, not a means to access the International Law system for Tribal governments that must otherwise obtain access through National governments, if they are permitted access at all. Similarly, access to WIPO by parties other than UN member states, makes the protection of traditional music vastly more difficult than corporations enjoy under US and International copyright law.

    Finally, and this is where the bones lie, there is patent law. In the genes of Indians, Indian cultivars, and indigenous medicinal plants, there is the indigenous intellectual property. This collective property right is defined in both WIPO, and Biodiversity Treaty frameworks, but is inaccessible to Tribal governments, with the exception of a reburial right to the bones of our direct ancestors.

    How will you improve the protections available to Native American Intellectual Property?

    Eric Brunner-Williams

  • jp

    Dr Dean

    I’m confident that many wealthy people are are as concerned as anyone about the balooning deficit. I have of course, witnessed what appears to be a new Democratic strategy in which wealthy politicians have been asserting their lack of need in that area, but I think that it should be taken further. I think that the wealthy are patriotic and are willing to forego future tax cuts and even accept some tax increases, while the Republican party is ideologically obsessed with tax cutting.

    I think that asserting that no one, not even the rich, actually thinks that these tax cuts are a good idea, would isolate the Republicans further. I think that praising rich Americans as patriots willing to sacrifice puts the Republicans in an impossible bind, especially when linked to the very real and much more serious human sacrifice that our servicemen in Iraq are making.

    Thanks for standing up, Dr. Dean.

    JP

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

    fellow commentators – remember Dean’s last post. It looks like Dean is posting here to ask us about what issues we feel are important, not to tell us what his positions are. It’s clear from his previous post that he is looking for facts upon which to base is policy issues.

    We are a resource for him. That means we need to take this rare opportunity to educate a candidate for President of the United States on the issues about IP, copyright vs patents, Eldred, DMCA, SBCEA, etc.

    Asking questions of Gov. Dean at this point is counter productive. I know exactly where Seth is coming from because shared his complaint until Dean’s prevous post – when I realized that the purpose of this guest blog was 180 degrees from my earlier assumption.

    Here on Lessig blog is a vocal and articulate community on IP issues. Let’s use our knowledge and give Dean the facts he needs.

    Asking him what his Veep choice will be or why he enters politics is as much as wasted oipportunity for ourselves. Here we can help shape a possible President’s views on IP and we’re asking him the Friday Five?

    We clearly aren’t going to get a detailed policy statement from Dean about IP this week. But if we play our cards right, we might get one before the primary. For once we have the power, which is what the Dean campaign has always been about.

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

    Governor Dean, I’d like to use the opportunity you’ve given me to say that the Digital Millenium Copyright Act is a very dangerous bill – possibly more dangerous than the PATRIOT Act, because it allows corporations to restrict freedom and rights with no oversight. (The PATRIOT Act at least dumps you into the government judicial system, where you have a theoretical chance of winning).

    The DMCA does not outright deny the right of fair use as defined in the landmark Sony/Betamax case. In that case, the recording industry sued to prevent SOny from making VCRs, arguing it would destroy the movie industry. They lost, thankfully, preserving the right of fair use (until now).

    Fair use means that consumers can, for example, “time-shift” content (ie, record prograns to watch later) and share them with friends. It says that as long as a given technology has a legitimate non-copyright-infringing use, it cannot be outlawed, even though some people might indeed use that technology for copyright infringement.

    What makes the DMCA dangerous is that it sidesteps fair use, and then actually removes it with impunity. Under the DMCA, while fair use is still legal, circumventing copy protection (a broad concept) is made illegal. This seems innocous, but it is dangerous.

    I’m going to yield the floor to someone more articulate who can provide simple examples of how the DMCA limits fair use specifically. This is after all Lessig Blog :)

  • ap23

    Who is responsible for the god-awful color on this photo? Unless Howard Dean is actually an Oompa-Loompa this photo is seriously messed up. Do you want help proofreading and vetting content for this site? I’d love to help, and I hate to see visual travesties like this Dean pic. Pics like this make the Lessig site look like Andy Warhol for Dummies. If this pic is intended as some sort of visual commentary on Dean, It belongs on an art blog, not Lessig’s. And if this pic is strictly for Lessig’s blog, than, well, have you no eyes fools?

  • Brian Perry

    Aloha.

    The most powerful force in Democratic politics right now is not optimism or ideas, it is hatred of Bush. The Democratic challenger who best channels that hatred will instantly and strongly grab the liberal base of the party.

    The winner so far is Mr. Dean. His most popular idea appears to be simply a Bush rollback- I’m not waware of many others. Of course, this is plenty of meat for the base- their wildest fanstasy made real.

    Dean supporters, watch yourself- your idealism is being used for the personal power of one man. If he wins, and completes the rollback, what then?

    As for topics specific to this blog, intellectual property concerns rate so low on the list of voter concerns, I am not surprised that Dean can’t muster any novel posts.

    The real exercise here is to try and make him appeal to the young and hip on the internet, who may be inexperienced voters and somewhat plugged out of the political system. He wants the internet badly, due to the influence it has over young poeople, the group that he in turn has the most influence over.

    Let’s put it this way- Bush is doing nada on the internet, and he will easily raise $200 mil for this election. Dean gets kudos for “changing the political process” and raising $4 million+ through Paypal. Why hasn’t he pulled in at least 5 times that through normal channels? Perhaps the donors are not there.

    In summary: Bush Hatred + Youthful Idealism + Youthful Inexperience = Howard Dean’s Internet Success

    Younger Dean supporters might be interested in checking out the 1972 election results (or just google George McGovern) for the most recent Democratic campaign that was run in opposition to was war and based on the votes of the youth:

    http://www.multied.com/elections/1972state.html

  • Stephen

    Dr Dean,

    Please get yourself booked on the Daily Show, it’s the only credible news source on television, and it’s mostly fake news. Ok, that’s a sad story in itself but it’s the right demographic for your campaign.

  • Daniel

    Dr. Dean,

    First, thank you for running a campaign powerful enough
    to have a chance at ousting Bush from the White House.

    Never let the conservatives frame the debate. Bring it back to common sense and true compassion.

    I do ask that you make education more of a centerpiece of your article.

    For a truly free society, education must be free, and of the same high quality for every citizen. Why should the walthy have access to better public schools, private schools if those do not suit them, and the ability to attend top universities (while the rest of us accrue debt at state colleges).

    What is our society losing by not properly educating it’s youth?

    Finally, please continue the good fight on media.
    Freedom of speech is not just the ability to speak, but the right to be heard. Current media outside of the internet makes this impossible save for a wealthy few.

    One person, one vote cannot happen until we have reached
    one person, one voice.

    Information is the currency of decision making, which means those who can be heard shape how elections run, and therefore the course of our country.

    So please Governor, stand up for education, and stand for an equal voice for all.

    Thank you,

    Daniel

  • jayo

    Aziz:

    A-men to that.

    I will tell you of a odd situation that my friend is in. My friend is a commercial dj and according to the DMCA he cannot circumvent the copy protection, also legally, being in a commercial business he cannot make back up copies of his music. (So he can leave the originals home in a safe place)

    Now even though he has insurance covering his equipment, music, etc. A violent fight broke out at his last gig, and some of his cd’s (which are now out of print) were destroyed. Had it been legal for him to make back-ups he would still have the music.

    Now he has to submit a claim to his insurance company, wait for the claim check (lose work in the mean time) and home he can find copies of the out of print music somewhere.

    This is just one of the reasons why the DMCA is bad. Can anyone explain to me under the DMCA are you buying a physical product CD/DVD or a license to listen/view the contents on a CD/DVD. Because if it is a license, which I think the RIAA/MPAA said it was, then he should have been able to legally time or space or media shift his collection of music legally.

    I also being a DJ do this with my records. Record to CD. How ever this is for my own use for I no longer am in business as such.

    I would like to hear any comments on this, and topics about why are government is stand behind corperations and special intrest groups who have comitted anti-trust against its consumers, lied to congress, and are not even business based in our country.

  • http://www.ericpoole.blogspot.com Eric Poole

    For those questioning Dean’s motives, I think the simple reason is the fact that you, the daily reader’s of Lessig’s blog, and your friends, can raise a heck of a lot of money. This blog is by far the most intelligent I have ever seen, and really shows the power of the internet to bring intellectuals together for the sharing of ideas. Some of you have been questioning Dean’s beliefs, and motives for posting on this blog, but even though I think it is all about money, I believe his intentions are honorable. Say what you want about Howard Dean, or about his specific policies, you cannot argue that a Howard Dean Presidency would leave this country in a better state than another term for George W. Bush. I unhesitantly make this argument, because just the candidacy of Howard Dean has already made this country better, and healthier. I want you to really think whether the Democratic Party, and the media, would really be questioning Bush on Yellowcake, Budget Deficits, and Iraq, if Howard Dean had not made it patriotic again to question the President. Regardless of whether he blazed the trail, or was just the first person to show that there are a lot of people not happy, we actually have two parties again for the first time in almost two years. Even the Republican party is standing up to him, with the House killing the Total Information Awareness program and his proposed expansion of nuclear testing (Thank God on both accounts). I feel hope for the first time since we invaded Iraq. The average millionaire is receiving a 96,000 dollar tax break, not bad for a 2,000 dollar dinner. A 2,000 dollar gift to Howard Dean, on the other hand, is an investment in the future, an investment for your children. An investment for free health care for every child, an investment so that your child will grow up with clean air to breathe, and an investment so your child can take advantage of the social programs your grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought for in the 1920s and 1930s, like Social Security, in dire peril due to unrestrained spending and reckless tax cuts. We will never find a Presidential Candidate that is in line with every one of our personal beliefs; I really, really disagree with Howard Dean’s very pro-Israel foreign policy beliefs, but I believe that a Howard Dean Presidency is possible, and would leave our nation in a better state than anyone else. But it is up to us to get him that Presidency, and while his grassroots network is strong, and getting stronger every day, it would be bolstered immeasurably by the inclusion of the intellectual elite, like the lawyers, doctors, and professors that read this blog daily, not only for money raised, but for ideas and motivation.

  • http://home.telepath.com/~hrothgar/muffat_to_handel_c.html Timothy Phillips

    Governor, you have mentioned media consolidation and the PATRIOT act: so far, so good. But will you, if elected,

    1) propose the repeal of the Copyright Term Extension Act, either unilaterally or as part of a build-down process in which we and our European trading partners would together gradually reduce the duration of copyright over time,

    2) propose the repeal or modification of the “device” and “circumvention” provisions of the DMCA 17 U.S.C. 1201 (a) (1) and 1201 (a) (2),

    3) propose the repeal of or modification of 17 U.S.C. 1101 (a) (1), and the introduction of an explicit time limit on the prohibitions of 17 U.S.C. 1101 (a) (2) and (a) (3) (to make them conformable with the spirit of the constitutional requirement of “limited times”) ?

  • jayo

    I really need to proof read before I post, but I tend to “shoot-from-the-hip”.

    Here is another thought that Lessig has brought. I view of public domain, what is Dean’s view on the new movie “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”. and without a healthy public domain movies like this will be fewer and fewer.

    With my limited knowledge of laws in reguard to public domain. Since the characters are public domain, and the studios used them in a movie do they remain public domain or do the studios now own them for another 70 or 100 or some other rediculous time period.

    Also if the characters are public domain should having copyright protection on the DVD once it is released to DVD also be illegal if the characters are infact public domain. It would seem to me that anything built on a foundation of public domain would in itself become public domain.

    I know I worded this all wrong but some of you out there know exactly what I am getting at.

  • Dana Powers

    Firstly, I completely agree with Stephen – the Daily Show (hosted by Jon Stewart on Comedy Central) would be a great place to book some time. Last night Gary Hart was on and had a great dialogue re: the bipartisan report on terrorism issued by himself, Newt Gingrich et. al. warning of an imminent terrorist threat 2 years before Sept. 11, 2001. Stewart also asked him about the presidential race, and Hart joked about his run oh so many years ago, as well as Sen. Clinton’s potential candidacy. Stewart followed up with what appeared to be a ‘tell me about Howard Dean’ question, although he didnt mention you specifically. Anyways, I think its a great idea – Jon Stewart is a very smart, very funny guy – and he doesnt usually grill into people ‘just for kicks’ like some other talk show hosts…

    Next, I’ve mentioned the Eldred Act, which stems from the recent Supreme Court decison in Eldred v. Ashcroft. Returning fairness to copyright laws is something the lessig community feels very strongly about, and we believe supporting the Eldred Act is a great first step.

    Something else that is very important to us, which I haven’t seen mentioned yet, is FCC Spectrum Licensing. Traditionally the FCC has licensed parts of the ‘spectrum’, or radio frequencies, to TV/radio/cell phone/gov’t agencies for use. This system is predicated on the idea that radio waves are a scarce resource, like the rainforests or oil reserves. With recent technological advances, this is not necessarily the case. Prof. Lessig writes extensively about this in his book The Future of Ideas. The FCC is not ignoring this idea – in fact, the FCC specifically named certain radio frequencies as ‘unlicensed’, or free for use by anyone, i.e. completely unregulated. These frequencies are small, but they are driving an industrial revolution of sorts, enabling things like wireless phones and wireless internet access from laptops. I urge you to learn more about the ideas behind open spectrum and support Michael Powell and the FCC in any future decisions which open up more spectrum for public use. Prof. Lessig has a list of online resources.

    Comments for others:

    Seth, I found an interesting post regarding the Dean campaign here. The poster shares your cynism for the politic of the Dean campaign, but gets it (as Lessig would say) regarding why the campaign is different. No president or candidate with any chance will ever have time to engage in the way you want them to. What Dean is saying is with this campaign – he wants us to engage each other. I have yet to hear anything about what I know is your issue #1 – anti-censorship. Tell people about it. Tell Dean about it. You have a unique perspective and I really think people should know about it.

    Brian Perry: or you can just go back to Negativity-World and when the campaign is over, you can google Howard Dean.

  • Soul Rebel

    Brian Perry: You are misinformed about who Dean’s supporters are. You say “Bush Hatred+Youthful Idealism+Youthful Inexperience=Howard Dean’s Internet Success”, and, as a math teacher, I can confidently say that equation does not add up. I am 32, and attended my first “meetup” for Mr. Dean (which is an absolutely brilliant way for Dean supporters to network) this month. Of roughly 50 attendees (what I considered a fairly substantial and surprising number) I was by far the youngest. There were people there from all backgrounds, intellectuals, working class, black, white, hispanic, and into their 70′s and 80′s. This is what I would call diverse support, and not inexperienced. And hatred of Bush was not the rallying cry. Though I’m sure we all loathed him in our own special way, the focus was more on Howard Dean and what he can do to help the country that Bush has marred – there was no mudslinging and namecalling. I promise you that Bush has done so much damage to this country that slanderous speech is not even necessary. Be informed.
    Go Dean

  • Me

    Ok — people have said that we are supposed to posit one or two GOOD questions for Gov. Dean to answer, so here’s mine:

    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?

    -and-

    Given the chilling effects of the DMCA, and its effect of making copy protection destroy our fair use rights, will you sponsor and sign legislation similar to that already proposed by Rep. Boucher?

  • Avdi

    I was excited about this guest-blogging spot, but so far I have been dissapointed. Governor Dean does not show understanding of the medium – he comes off as just another pol trying to appear “down with the little people”. If you want to blog, that means participating in a global conversation. Not repeating vague stump-speach excerpts.

    Some have said on this thread that Dean has limited time and has to address a multitude of questions in that time. While I understand this, I question his motives in taking this guest blogger spot if he wasn’t planning on genuinely participating in the conversation. I’m sure he has a website; that would be the perfect place to post general position statements and to ask for money. A blog is different. Unless he comes to understand that, this runs the risk of coming off as just another publicity stunt.

  • http://www.petersimard.com/pas/peteopia.aspx Peter

    RE: DMCA

    Does anyone have an opinion they would like to share with Candidate Dean about implementation of DMCA as pertains to the upcoming DRM-OS from Microsoft, code named Palladium?

    This operating system, as I read it, appears to be extremely invasive, and installation of the OS is agreeing to allow MS unfettered access to your computer at any time of their choosing.

    Good starting points for research & commentary are:
    http://www.anti-dmca.org/
    http://www.anti-dmca.org/DRM-OS.html
    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20020627.html

  • jayo

    In response to “me”:

    Those are two great questions. I was kind of hinting to those topics. Thank you for putting it the way that you did. I feel GHD should answer those and elaborate on his view on each. How does he feel personally about those two topics.

    Another question would be his views on the “power” Special Intrest Groups AKA “Big Business” have which trump the “peoples” views in the Government’s desicion making process. Which can be seen for example, in the recent deregulation of media by the FCC. Does he feel this is a growing problem in all aspects of the Government’s desicion making, and what steps if any, does he feel need to be taken to change this.

  • Kelly Miggs

    Governor Dean is a lot like Tyler Durden.

  • Sam in Raleigh, NC

    Gov. Dean,

    I’d like to recommend to you an article on gene patents and some of the implications for medical/intellectual property. The article’s titled “Who Owns This Body?” and it’s by Wil S. Hyton. It was published in Esquire, June 2001, Vol. 135, Issue 6.

    You can read a copy of it here.

    (Click on the “Full Text” link at the top of the page).

    SUMMARY: The article describes the bizarre world of gene patents and how companies are trying to patent every discovered gene subsequence in sight.

    UPDATE: The CDC is filing patent claims on SARS in order to keep SARS research public. After reading this article, you’ll understand why. I hope you and your staff can come up with some sort of effective response to this IP issue. Universal Health Care coverage, while a good thing, may not be able to keep costs down in the long run if we don’t start some kind of meaningful reform of the gene patent system (and the USPTO in general).

    I hope you’ll spend the time to read up on this issue. This country is in desparate need of gene patent reform. I hope you’ll speak to this issue eventually when you start speaking again in-depth about Universal Health Coverage.

    Live well.

  • Vermonter for Dean

    Avdi…like I mentioned in my last post…Gov. Dean is listening to what people are saying here…and it WILL affect how he thinks about the subjects being mentioned. As Aziz pointed out…Dr. Dean is here to learn, get input from people about these issues and be certain he knows what people think. It’s not just about publicity or getting his name out…although I’m sure that’s an added bonus. Dean is a man who genuinely wants to know what you think and cares about your opinion. Take this opportunity to tell him about what your concerns are and what you would like to see done. Try to look at this as if you were going up in front of congress to testify for something you believe in. Tell him what your concerns are and explain what you think needs to be changed and why. I do think he’s here to listen. It could be that he’s in the process of forming his position on these kinds of issues and he wants to know how the people feel.

    If this was just some publicity stunt. why would Dean do it here? Realistically, there are many other places where he could do that and reach a heck of a lot more people.

    The bottom line is that for probably the first time in your life…YOU have the opportunity to tell the future president of the US what matters to you and why…and he’s actually listening! He’s giving you the power to have influence and input. You should take it. And yes, I”m that confident he’s going to win.

  • http://evso.blogspot.com Elizabeth

    Gov. Dean –

    There are so many comments to your entries that I’m not able to sift through them all; the question I am asking may have already been brought up.

    I am an Americorps alum and am worried about the state of the program. Bush encouraged people to join in his 2002 State of the Union, but no measures were taken to ensure funding for all the new Americorps recruits. Now it looks like Americorps will die. What is your take on this? What do you think of the national service program?

    For more information, go to Save Americorps.

    Thanks!
    your fan in Austin,
    elizabeth

  • Dana Powers

    Me, you seem to be upset that Disney used the public domain to create new works, but isnt that exactly what you want more of? Your use of the term ‘rape’ doesn’t seem warranted because, in fact, we all adore Disney for their creativity and use of the public domain; what we want is a larger public domain so that more people can do what Disney did. What we don’t want is Disney using the money they made from utilizing the public domain to shut it down for the rest of us.

    The Eric Eldred Act

  • http://home.telepath.com/~hrothgar/burns.html Timothy Phillips

    The contribution of Jul 16 03 at 8:09 AM above states that the Disney Corporation has made its living by an assault on the public domain. If this is intended as an aesthetic judgment on the Disney Company’s work, then I disagree but will say no more on the matter here. However, if it is intended as a moral judgment on Disney’s use of the public domain, and is intended to imply that any use of the public domain is some sort of assault or plunder, then I disagree and I will state further that this characterization of the use of the public domain appears inconsistent with the contributor’s stated opposition to the CTEA, and is in any case wrong. The use of the public domain is our right. It was the Nashville songwriters, in their brief for the Government in Eldred v. Ashcroft,
    ( see
    http://www.telepath.com/~hrothgar/ttarchive.html#20021005
    )
    who thought that copying from the public domain was “piracy”–not Eldred’s supporters.

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    Dana,

    Thanks for that Blankenhorn post, it was informative.

    I think there’s interesting tactics in the Dean campaign, well worth note. But they’re adaptations, not revolutions. For example, “You have the power”, that’s very reminiscent of Jesse Jackson’s phrase “I AM somebody”.

    It’s critical to keep in mind the distinction between real participation, and the illusion of participation. Of course no presidential candidate will have the time to engage us – that’s exactly my point.

    I’m quite put-off by organizations that attempt to create such an illusion. I know it’s not real. My few trips behind the smoke and mirrors, leave me unable to immerse myself in any of that emotional magic.

    The reason I haven’t gone into much discussion of anti-censorship issues is, as I always tell people, civil-liberties are by definition anti-majoritarian. That is, nobody tries to censor or suppress the popular or inoffensive, censorship is directed at the troubling and unpopular (note I don’t claim this as an original thought). So almost no politician will have a strong, thoughtful position against censorship (or at least admit to one in public). So why bother?

    In fact, I wish I could write a book on the topic of the political problems in Internet civil-liberties. In 1995 when I started out campaigning against censorware, NONE of the big organizations would help me, because they were trying to pull off a political deal on the topic. And this week, in the wake of the CIPA (library censorware law) Supreme Court decision, there is, drumroll, … a faction which is maneuvering for a politics/business deal on it. Politics just isn’t pretty,

    Blog posts just aren’t going to make a difference. Especially at a campaign level.

  • Me

    No.

    My comment on Disney is that they take, and take, and take, from the Public Domain, and REFUSE TO GIVE BACK. The whole point of Copyright as enumerated in the Constitution is that the monopoly on an intellectual work be granted for a LIMITED time, so that they can make money from it, but then it returns to public control so that others can expand on it, draw inspiration from it, and create other things based on it.

    Look at literature for a good example. We have tons of 1800s authors’ works compiled into scholarly editions, for use in colleges and for those studying literature. After 1920 we have JACK SHIT. Why? Because the copyrights are tightly controlled and scholarly editions of important literary works of the last century CANNOT BE MADE. Disney and associated corporations, in their vehement search to keep their own properties from entering the public domain, have harmed the public domain and our own literary past.

    If this were not the case, we would have scholarly editions of Animal Farm, of the Foundation series, and of other noteworthy books out there, and they would be studied. But they aren’t.

    So to return to the answer: the reason Disney is Raping the public domain is that they take, and take, and take, and REFUSE TO GIVE BACK. They produce items based on properties which have long ago passed into the public domain, twist and torture and neuter them, and do not allow their own works to inspire others.

    The balance needs restoration. The whole point of the public domain is like open source software. You can take, and use, the ideas held within, and so can I, but we are required to relinquish our own innovations (eventually) so that others can use our innovations as well and go on to create EVEN BETTER things with them.

  • Anonymous

    what a mess.

  • Roger Zimmerman

    Dr. Dean writes: “I think we need to re-regulate the media that has clearly abused its authority by censoring information that should be made available to the American people.”

    Well, since this is the most specific statement the governor has made in his otherwise vapid “blog” entries, I think it deserves a response:

    This is a concept-killing use of the word “censor”. I would submit that what the media does when it chooses not to broadcast certain information – or when it chooses to present information in a specific way – should be called “editing”. It may be bad editing; it may obfuscate, mislead, deceive, even slander or libel. Or, it may be completely true, but not to your (or some other politician’s) liking. In the case of slander or libel, there are already judicial remedies available under our system of government. Otherwise, I submit there is no justification for imposing any coercive penalty on any institution because of the content of their speech. There is no way to read your sentence that that doesn’t beget the implication that the government ought to have control over what the media broadcasts or prints. That, sir, IS censorship. It is no different in principle from what the dictator of Cuba has done recently to writers that have been critical of his regime (i.e. thrown them in jail). I would ask you and your supporters to explicitly renounce the use of government power in this way. Otherwise, you have no claim to be ready to uphold an oath to “support and defend the constitution”.

    Sincerely,

    Roger Zimmerman

  • Factotum

    Posted by Lucian:
    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/07/14/1026185141232.html
    This is ridiculous, I hope its not true.
    ….
    Project TIPS is a joke. Like all Bush Homeland Security inititiatives. They have a Toll Free line, that actually connects you to the TV show, “America’s Most Wanted.” I’m not kidding – they send you to a Faux TV show. It’s the draconian measures that aren’t written about that concern me. The reading of email, the wire-tapping, the secret incarcerations, the (a little OT, but related, imho,) rigging of touch screen ballot boxes, etc..
    This gang operates on the assumption that it’s silly to waste your time on a bunch of small lies, when a few BIG ones will do the trick (Market efficiency in lie theory?)

    The Democrats have been little better when it comes to alot of these issues though. Clinton brought us through the same basic policy on Iraq, despite the same basic intel. More Americans were prosecuted for marijuana under Clinton than at anytime before or since. More protections were granted to big media and big pharmaceuticals during his terms than at any other time as well.

    I hope Dean will be frank about some of that stuff, as he has been about more recent Democrat screw-ups that are more politically advantageous. He seems like a good guy – I think he’ll address it.

    Off to the race-track, us unemployed bums have to fit the stereo-type. I might stop off and get some government cheese on the way home, too.

    All for today,

  • James

    Let me say that many of us appreciate the brevity of these posts, the length is welcome in a world of politics where an answer to a simple question can go on for paragraphs without answering. I’d much rather read a yes or no than a long winded response with no actual answer. Also I’d like to thank Gov. Dean for his time as running for president surely isn’t something that leaves a lot of free time. This election will be the first presidential election which my peers will be able to vote in, and I’d like to see a Dean vs. Bush election, but as I’ve been reading many “pundits” say it seems as if you’d have a better chance with moderates if you highlighted your more moderate record along with your more liberal intentions. I’ll assume your campaign has heard this before but I do know that my more moderate peers are unfamiliar with parts of your record that could win you support.

  • Anonymous

    James,
    The problem is that these aren’t simple issues, and the people here expect Dean to state exactly where he stands and why he stands there. It doesn’t have to be a stance on IP, since it’s not fair to expect him to become instantly conversant on that issue, but it would be nice to read him write, “These are the standards I’ll use when making a call on this issue, and these are some of my initial concerns….”

    As it stands right now his posts are mostly, well, there’s not anything, really. I came here excited, but that excitement is quickly fading.

  • Jim Ray

    Governor (and Doctor). I’m pleased to see that you seem to break with Democrat orthodoxy when it comes to firearms. That’s healthy for your party (and should be seen that way, even by those who may disagree that it’s an individual rights issue). I’d like to REALLY put you on the spot… What is your opinion about the drugwar, and specifically medical cannabis?

    I’ll be honest, I’m a libertarian, so I think it’s totally corrupt and wasteful of taxes. Under Nixon in 1972, it only cost about $101 million/year for the USA to fail at changing human nature. Now it’s tens of billions of dollars for the same level of failure. This country jails a great many nonviolent people (but lets violent ones out!) some of whom may have religious (First Amendment) as well as medical (Ninth Amendment) and even God-forbid states’ rights (Tenth Amendment) issues with the current laws. These people do not respect the idiotic laws because the lawmakers — many times motivated by racism, as it turns out, just as they were with firearms prohibition laws — never respected the will of the people (which is simply to be left the hell alone, IMO).

    It’s not just medical marijuana patients claiming (this is radical…) that God doesn’t make mistakes! These days, the cannabis-hippies all say that they can manufacture (fiber/oil/plastic) out of not-very-psychoactive hemp very-cheaply, while reviving the family-farm; yet the government seems to clearly favor petrochemicals (apparently because the cannabis-hippies have too-few expensive lobbyists). I say let ‘em all compete in a free marketplace, which is probably what makes me such a radical libertarian nutjob.

    If you wish to keep pot prohibition just say so, but please support the inclusion in presidential debates of candidates who do not (such as the Greens or Libertarians — especially Dave Barry*!). Actually, whether you’d oppose the inclusion of third-parties in debates is another good ‘on the spot’ question for you — 2 for the price of 1! Thanks.
    JMR

    * Yep, I voted for Dave Barry last time, and I might do so again this time! I haven’t regretted it for a second, either. He’d make a fine president.

  • Richard W. Crews

    Ever wonder why drugs are
    half-priced in Canada? Why law-breaking northerly
    seniors charter monthly buses to Canada to smuggle
    their own prescription drugs? In Canada, the
    government is on the side of the people; imagine that!
    Canada deals with the drug companies directly,
    conducting block purchases.

    In his blighted �State of the Union
    Address� ( the most soiled SOTU address in the history
    of the USA � think WMD ), Bush said �Instead of
    bureaucrats and trial lawyers and HMOs, we must put
    doctors and nurses and patients back in charge of
    American medicine.� His plan required dropping
    MediCare and joining an HMO to get the prescription
    drug plan! Just another lie from bush. The minority
    Democrat Senators stopped that, allowing seniors to
    get their benefits while staying in MediCare. So the
    Republican House passes a plan that puts patients into
    HMOs, then divides the country into 10 SuperHMO buying
    groups. Ten, so that there will never be a strong
    single buyer, one that will really bargain for your
    benefit. Divide and conquer the people! That way the
    Big Pharmaceuticals and the Big HMOs both profit Big
    Time! The fight’s on; Republicans for Big Business
    versus the Democrats fighting for the people.

  • Westley Sherman

    I think we need to re-regulate the media…

    Since the media relies on the IP monopolies granted to it by the government through copyright law, one approach to dealing with media monopolies would be to expand fair use rights (decrease copyright protection) for news coverage. That way, small independent broadcasters could use the larger broadcasters’ material as a starting point but then provide an independent commentary.

  • H Graham

    I arrived at this website through one of the Dean blogs. As a novice about IP issues, I’m aware of the concerns mentioned, but find it hard to uderstand hard data about them. Part of the problem has been my inability to ask the right questions (I don’t have the specific language required); and part has been the steep learning curve required to make sense of more complex implications of the obvious problems.

    I want to thank those of you who chose to educate in your responses. This American is terrified of the corporate chokehold on intellectual information, material and ideas. My frustration at being unable to figure out how to frame my concerns while being aware of the speed at which intellectual property is being locked away from public access leaves me numb.

    Knowing that there is an organizational center for addressing these concerns finally gives me some hope. I suspect Dr. Dean is in something of the same position I’m in. The only way to become informed is to take the risk of diving in where one feels exposed, clumsy and very very new. The only way to to act rationally is to become informed. I guess there isn’t any way to duck the pain of being a freshman.

    Again, thank you and, please, keep on teaching us.

  • Gershon Bialer

    Dean stated earlier that he supports regulating the media. Does he support regulating the internet, and if so in what way? I support continuing the internet tax moratorium, and making government regulations more friendly for international internet commerce. Does Dean support making ICANN more democratic, and what should done about the use of DMCA to censor websites?

  • Bill Rehm

    Recently, The Committee for an Unified Independent Party sent out a questionnaire to every presidential candidate, “asking him/her to
    respond to the concerns of independent
    voters”. Dr. Dean (or his campaign staff) took the time to respond.

    Several people over the past 3 days have suggested something similar. To facilitate this, I wish the Dean campaign would open a new topic titled “What are your positions?”, where appropriate questions could be collected and discussed. Ideally, some consensus could be achieved about which questions should be included.

    I think it’s unrealistic to expect Governor Dean to answer these in real time, but (if the list could be finalized this week), perhaps he could respond at a later date and make that information available to Dr. Lessig.

    I confess that I don’t have the intestinal fortitude to wade throught these threads to collect the questions myself. My hope is that a new topic would encourage people to concentrate these questions there themselves.

    In that post, Governor Dean’s campaign could specify the constraints. By that, I mean a list of topics, a max number of questions, etc.

  • Bill Rehm

    Another thought. I believe Governor Dean has made statements on some of these topics. Given his limited time, it might be worthwhile for his staff to post a few more topics that quoted these statements. Obviously, identifying themselves as staff.

  • Sean

    Somoene mentioned making taxes easier. I think they should be automated. I mean my company already sends a copy of my W2 to the IRS, the IRS knows how much I owe them.

    I’d say that unless you were going to make itemized deductions, the IRS should automate it. They have my W2 info, they can find out how many dependants I have and whether or not I’m married through a simple webform. For 90% of people they’re going to just use the standard deduction, and send us either a bill or a check.

  • Beverly

    Governor Dean,
    The Patriot Act reminds me of a fiction book written about 15 years ago called, The R Document, in which a national tragedy sparked the need to re-regulate civil liberties and in return for security, the American people willingly handed over their civil liberties. With the recent furor concerning the “intelligence” reports supporting the administration’s premise for war on Iraq, do you believe that the American people are going to demand a repeal of the Patriot Act, or barring a full repeal, expect an inquiry into the unconstitutionality of the Act? Furthermore, are there any circumstances in a democractic society in which the revocation of civil liberties should be enacted and enforced?

  • Ian Field

    Westley Sherman,

    Regarding fair use of news content. At this point, I’d support that plank without reservation… What is the downside (besides po’d media moguls)?

    Ian

  • Dana Powers

    It seems that the recent FCC de-regulation moves may not come to fruition:

    This Washington Post article indicates that the House Appropriations Committee just voted 40-25 to withold funding needed to implement the FCC de-regulation. Although officials in the White House said they will urge the president to veto the legislation unless the de-regulation changes are funded, this looks like a big win! Wow, and here we thought that the FCC lacked checks and balances…

  • Me

    All that means is that the FCC will skimp on something else to implement it. Look for them to stop enforcing any number of other things they’re supposed to be enforcing… or maybe they’ll take a payoff from someone and put that money towards it.

  • http://www.museworld.com/ Curt

    God, some of you are complete jerks. Why not focus on questions Governor Dean can actually answer? If some of you are intent on sniping about every little thing, go run yourself and see how far you get. First, asking about Dean’s potential running mate is just a completely lame question with no forethought. It would be impossible for him to share his personal preferences or thoughts about that at this date. The most he’ll be able to do is say something noncommittal that will just lead to you sniping at him about being “empty”. Same thing with “testing” him and demanding he list out exactly which Patriot Act parts are unconstitutional. If you want Dean to be your advocate, then you have to give him something to advocate. Instead it seems like some of you are insisting that your role is to hang back, fold your arms, and wait for him to discern your silent beliefs and say just the right thing to “earn” your vote. I’m sorry, but those are the worst kinds of citizens to represent. Governor Dean is putting himself out there to solicit a dialogue with citizens with real concerns. He’s telling you that if you’re willing to work to manifest the power of your citizenship, he will work to represent you. This sniping needs a complete attitude adjustment because many of you are acting like you are coming from a position of strength or something, when thus far the reality is you’ve been unrepresented. Tell him what you need, and then ask him if there’s anything you can do. Some of you are still going to insist on believing that this is all for show or something, but in my mind there’s a point at which you can’t be helped because you’re just being a victim of your own cynicism. If that’s the reality you choose then go be silent and quit participating in what other people are trying to manifest.

    Curt

  • Richard W. Crews

    Has anyone read much of Charley Reese? I’ve been reading him for years. He is a right-winger in my book; he calls himself a Libertarian. Yet, today, he came out for a national single-payer health care program for all.
    Read him at : http://reese.king-online.com/Reese_20030314/index.php

  • Dana Powers

    Me, I could be wrong, but my interpretation of the second paragraph of that article is that this isn’t a general FCC spending cut, but a specific denial of funds for the de-regulation. I’m really not familiar with governent spending at this level of detail, but the article states that this move ‘effectively restored the old limit of 35 percent’.

    I also find it interesting that 11 of the 40 votes approving this measure came from republicans on the committee. I’m not sure if you’d call this a bipartisan response, but it certainly shows that this issue is something that resonates with both parties. If the President does veto this, I’m confident Dean (and others) will call him on it.

  • RJ Davis

    Richard W. Crews — One of the reasons the current administration trash-talks Canada is because the Canadian government does a much better job of working on behalf of its citizens. Not to say it is perfect, many Canadians will tell you it is not.

    But, on specific issues like health care, prescription drugs, transportation, tolerance and social services they are way ahead of us.

    Canada scares the neo-cons, because right next door we have a progressive nation.

    Now, some right-wingnut is going to bring up Quebec and the difficulties there.

    Well, listen, no country is perfect. If you recognize perfection as the only state that can be better than what we’ve got, well… that’s a non-starter.

    I will tell you that America has fallen as of late. I think the decline began under Reagan. Infact, I know it did. You may expect me to think the Clinton years were this great sky-high ride, but not really. I figure they were just the only level spot (or slight rise) in what has been 20 years of a downward spirial lead by the out of control GOP capitalists. Captialism is good, but like everything, it can go too far.

    I long for a President of human decency. Carter was the last one that had that. I want that and more.

    Rob

  • Me

    Curt,

    That’s why I phrased my question very directly. Would he propose legislation to fix the broken copyright system in this country, and put the balance back in public interest where it belongs, or is he useless to us?

  • VT Resident

    Governor: What is your position on education funding? Do you think the rest of the country should follow Vermont’s lead? Is Act 60 sustainable? How would respond to the fact that you ask for the middle class to fund much of Vermont’s schools, with taxes rising at a rate several times that of inflation? What about the fact that this past year over 50 school budgets were defeated, all as the eventual result of funding laws that you signed while in office? What do you have in store for our nation? Do you plan to destroy other school systems and cause a national upheaval in the way schools are funded?

  • Screwed By Dean in VT

    What is Dr Dean’s position on the purpose of the US Supreme court? Are they supposed to create laws, enforce laws, or determine the constitutionality of the laws. If you study Vermont history, Mr Dean seems to think that the purpose of a supreme court is to create laws. Then, when the court directs you to write a law, it *HAS* to be passed by the legislative branch and signed by the executive branch. Do you agree, or disagree???

    Oh… sorry… is that wrong? Isn’t the purpose of the supreme court to pass judgement on the legality of a law? If so, then Mr Dean seems to have a basic problem in his understanding of how laws are created, as several times he has allowed the Supreme Court of VT to write his laws for him, and then just rubber stamp them. Let’s remember the fundamental way our governement is established, and look for another candicate who might actually have some experience and understand the relationship of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of our government.

  • Lucian

    “I�d say that unless you were going to make itemized deductions, the IRS should automate it. “

    This could be done via computers. We have the technology to do it. I think electronic voting isnt such a bad idea either if its done right. These computers should NOT use windows, the software should be classified and closed from the public so limited people know how it works to hack the system. The security of the system should be as security as our nuclear and other military systems.

    Here’s a question I have for Dr. Dean, What is your plan for the economy?

    I am a college student, we are in a recession, and republicans are giving people tax cuts, why arent college students tax exempt? I’d like to be able to work while in school and have tax exempt status, this worked for highschool but not for college?

    I’d also like to know what Dean’s opinion is on fixing the current Bush tax cut plan. Sure tax cuts are good, but only when properly targeted, will you cut taxes for the working class and for students and take some of the tax burden off us?

    I’m also worried about the current outsourcing problem. Once upon a time I had a good job in the tech industry, now all of our jobs are being outsourced over seas, what is your policy on globalization?

    You dont have to answer these questions right now, but these issues must be solved and hopefully you will reveal your policy on globalization.

    The reason I talk about the college situation along with globalization is because both are linked. Due to outsourcing more people are going to college including myself so that we may compete against the world. What will our government do to help give us an edge in this competition with the world so that we wont lose jobs?

    The problem with the economy based on my research is job loss. Jobs are being lost because companies are outsourcing at a higher rate due to the current communications technologies we have. As these technologies improve, outsourcing will eventually cause our economy to lose millions more jobs. How can we combat job loss in the tech industry? College tuition is rising as well, what ways can we help students beyond financial aid?

    You are an MD, I’m sure you know how expensive it is. So anyway thats what I’m interested in, if Joe Trippi or any Dean supporter with knowledge on Deans policy wants to talk about solutions to the Globalization and Economy issues we face, please reply.

  • Lucian

    I do have a few possible solutions for the outsourcing problem.

    One solution, is to stop rewarding companies for outsourcing. We should only give tax cuts or tax breaks to companies who hire at least 90% American workers, there are alot of other safeguards which can be put in place as well.

    The other solution is to make our country so much better or more educated that it becomes a quality issue for companies who outsource.

    You can see here at cyberlodge that alot of tech workers are concerned about the outsourcing issues.

    college students also are concerned because when they finally do graduate, theres no jobs.

  • Vermonter for Dean

    Looks like someone from the hate fueled “Take Back Vermont” debacle has found their way here…unfortunately. As a Vermonter I feel it’s my duty to clear up the somewhat hostile comments posted about Dean. Act 60 and the Civil Unions bill were both born from the results of Vermont Supreme Court cases. Some kids sued to get equitable school funding and won. A lesbian couple sued for equal rights and won. Dean did the noble and right thing, and signed the laws to give those people equal rights. Although Act 60 is still a process in the works that needs to be tweaked and reformed…it’s an attempt to make sure ALL of Vermont’s kids get a good education. It’s true that a lot of towns wouldn’t pass the school budgets…but that isn’t Dean’s fault. You can thank Bush for that because of his ridiculous “No Child Left Behind” Act which slaps all kinds of rules onto public schools and then doesn’t help with the funding to pay for it. As a result, the towns and state has to come up with the money to fund this nonsense. This is true of all states. Property taxes and state taxes are going through the roof to try to pay for Bush’s Education Bill. Now he can pay hundreds of millions of dollars for his corporate pals to “manage” Iraqi oil fields but he can’t pay for decent schools for our kids.

    And regarding Civil Unions…although the majority of Vermonters were initially opposed to the idea and were uncomfortable with legalizing Civil Unions…when we saw the disgusting hatred coming from the “Take Back Vermont” campaign we were MUCH more uncomfortable and opposed to the hate mongering. Civil Unions are here to stay and it hasn’t changed anything here in Vermont for heterosexuals.

    Sorry to go off topic…but it’s chafes my butt when my fellow Vermonters aren’t educated or infomed or just simply behave badly. They had ought to feel fortunate we had a fiscally responsible governor who kept the financial house in order because if it weren’t for Howard Dean our state would be in the same financial dire straights most states currently are in this economy. Some folks just don’t know how good they have it.

    Glad to see things headed in a more positive direction. After Dean’s last response no one should have any doubts that he’s reading the comments, listening and genuinely wants your input. Who wouldn’t vote for a guy like that?

  • http://www.lostagain.net/Once_Upon_A_Time/ Schnee

    Keeping this short and to the point, as to what concerns me as we come into the 2004 election: my biggest concerns are the economy and foreign policy.

    Bush’s war with Iraq on top of his tax cuts for the rich and rising unemployment rates, are ballooning the deficit. Dr. Dean, how do you plan to address these problems?

    What I’d like to see in the next president is someone who leads with intelligence, honesty, and integrity. A president who would be respected in the world community. Not feared and loathed like President Bush. I’m tired of the lies. I’m tired of the manipulative propaganda and finger pointing. I’d like the US to be a positive force in the world again. I’d like to see decision making based on common good rather than based on what special interest groups want–based on what’s good for the country and the world community.

    Dr. Dean, what strengths would you bring to the office of the Presidency? Your mention of a White House Blog suggests you’d be more accessible to the public. Is that one of your goals? How else would your administration be different than the current one?

    Okay, that rambles more than I wanted it to, so I’ll stop there. :)

    Dr. Dean, it’s a pleasure to see you blogging. I hope you will get the opportunity to dive into more details in the upcoming days.

    Thanks for giving us all a glimmer of hope that the ‘Bush Monster/Administration’ can be defeated in 2004. :)

  • Robert

    Does anyone know the ages of all the Dean brothers or their birthdates? Jim, Bill, Howard and Charlie. I think Charlie
    was 16mo younger than Howard but what about Jim and Bill
    and what do they do?

  • WASPS AGAINST DAVID DUKE

    David Duke is a malignant narcissist.

    He invents and then projects a false, fictitious, self for the world to fear, or to admire. He maintains a tenuous grasp on reality to start with and the trappings of power further exacerbate this. Real life authority and David Duke’s predilection to surround him with obsequious sycophants support David Duke’s grandiose self-delusions and fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience.
    David Duke’s personality is so precariously balanced that he cannot tolerate even a hint of criticism and disagreement. Most narcissists are paranoid and suffer from ideas of reference (the delusion that they are being mocked or discussed when they are not). Thus, narcissists often regard themselves as “victims of persecution”.
    Duke fosters and encourages a personality cult with all the hallmarks of an institutional religion: priesthood, rites, rituals, temples, worship, catechism, and mythology. The leader is this religion’s ascetic saint. He monastically denies himself earthly pleasures (or so he claims) in order to be able to dedicate himself fully to his calling.
    Duke is a monstrously inverted Jesus, sacrificing his life and denying himself so that his people – or humanity at large – should benefit. By surpassing and suppressing his humanity, Duke became a distorted version of Nietzsche’s “superman”.
    But being a-human or super-human also means being a-sexual and a-moral.
    In this restricted sense, narcissistic leaders are post-modernist and moral relativists. They project to the masses an androgynous figure and enhance it by engendering the adoration of nudity and all things “natural” – or by strongly repressing these feelings. But what they refer to, as “nature” is not natural at all.
    Duke invariably proffers an aesthetic of decadence and evil carefully orchestrated and artificial – though it is not perceived this way by him or by his followers. Narcissistic leadership is about reproduced copies, not about originals. It is about the manipulation of symbols – not about veritable atavism or true conservatism.
    In short: narcissistic leadership is about theatre, not about life. To enjoy the spectacle (and be subsumed by it), the leader demands the suspension of judgment, depersonalization, and de-realization. Catharsis is tantamount, in this narcissistic dramaturgy, to self-annulment.
    Narcissism is nihilistic not only operationally, or ideologically. Its very language and narratives are nihilistic. Narcissism is conspicuous nihilism – and the cult’s leader serves as a role model, annihilating the Man, only to re-appear as a pre-ordained and irresistible force of nature.
    Narcissistic leadership often poses as a rebellion against the “old ways” – against the hegemonic culture, the upper classes, the established religions, the superpowers, the corrupt order. Narcissistic movements are puerile, a reaction to narcissistic injuries inflicted upon David Duke like (and rather psychopathic) toddler nation-state, or group, or upon the leader.
    Minorities or “others” – often arbitrarily selected – constitute a perfect, easily identifiable, embodiment of all that is “wrong”. They are accused of being old, they are eerily disembodied, they are cosmopolitan, they are part of the establishment, they are “decadent”, they are hated on religious and socio-economic grounds, or because of their race, sexual orientation, origin … They are different, they are narcissistic (feel and act as morally superior), they are everywhere, they are defenseless, they are credulous, they are adaptable (and thus can be co-opted to collaborate in their own destruction). They are the perfect hate figure. Narcissists thrive on hatred and pathological envy.
    This is precisely the source of the fascination with Hitler, diagnosed by Erich Fromm – together with Stalin – as a malignant narcissist. He was an inverted human. His unconscious was his conscious. He acted out our most repressed drives, fantasies, and wishes. He provides us with a glimpse of the horrors that lie beneath the veneer, the barbarians at our personal gates, and what it was like before we invented civilization. Hitler forced us all through a time warp and many did not emerge. He was not the devil. He was one of us. He was what Arendt aptly called the banality of evil. Just an ordinary, mentally disturbed, failure, a member of a mentally disturbed and failing nation, who lived through disturbed and failing times. He was the perfect mirror, a channel, a voice, and the very depth of our souls.
    Duke prefers the sparkle and glamour of well-orchestrated illusions to the tedium and method of real accomplishments. His reign is all smoke and mirrors, devoid of substances, consisting of mere appearances and mass delusions. In the aftermath of his regime – Duke having died, been deposed, or voted out of office – it all unravels. The tireless and constant prestidigitation ceases and the entire edifice crumbles. What looked like an economic miracle turns out to have been a fraud-laced bubble. Loosely held empires disintegrate. Laboriously assembled business conglomerates go to pieces. “Earth shattering” and “revolutionary” scientific discoveries and theories are discredited. Social experiments end in mayhem.
    It is important to understand that the use of violence must be ego-syntonic. It must accord with the self-image of David Duke. It must abet and sustain his grandiose fantasies and feed his sense of entitlement. It must conform David Duke like narrative. Thus, David Duke who regards himself as the benefactor of the poor, a member of the common folk, the representative of the disenfranchised, the champion of the dispossessed against the corrupt elite – is highly unlikely to use violence at first. The pacific mask crumbles when David Duke has become convinced that the very people he purported to speak for, his constituency, his grassroots fans, and the prime sources of his narcissistic supply – have turned against him. At first, in a desperate effort to maintain the fiction underlying his chaotic personality, David Duke strives to explain away the sudden reversal of sentiment. “The people are being duped by (the media, big industry, the military, the elite, etc.)”, “they don’t really know what they are doing”, “following a rude awakening, they will revert to form”, etc. When these flimsy attempts to patch a tattered personal mythology fail, David Duke becomes injured. Narcissistic injury inevitably leads to narcissistic rage and to a terrifying display of unbridled aggression. The pent-up frustration and hurt translate into devaluation. That which was previously idealized – is now discarded with contempt and hatred. This primitive defense mechanism is called “splitting”. To David Duke, things and people are either entirely bad (evil) or entirely good. He projects onto others his own shortcomings and negative emotions, thus becoming a totally good object. Duke is likely to justify the butchering of his own people by claiming that they intended to kill him, undo the revolution, devastate the economy, or the country, etc. The “small people”, the “rank and file”, and the “loyal soldiers” of David Duke – his flock, his nation, and his employees – they pay the price. The disillusionment and disenchantment are agonizing. The process of reconstruction, of rising from the ashes, of overcoming the trauma of having been deceived, exploited and manipulated – is drawn-out. It is difficult to trust again, to have faith, to love, to be led, to collaborate. Feelings of shame and guilt engulf the erstwhile followers of David Duke. This is his sole legacy: a massive post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • http://dishvak.150m.com mattv.dishvak

    I found your site while searching on Yahoo for examples of blogs. I am trying to start my own and I’m trying to learn how this works.