To all Republicrats: If you look at the insane amount of spending out there, have you considered that this may in part be a result of this? Everyone who talks about reforming government corruption begins and ends at campaign finance reform. It may be worth it to think of how much payola would be corrupting the system if the government wasn’t hemorrhaging cash like it was suffering from financial Ebola. The price of campaigning has skyrocketed because there is a definitive value on a Congressional vote, and there is no consequence for representatives to reward their cronies. These people are already ethical bottom-feeders, and any naive reliance on campaign finance reform ignores the fact that buying a vote on the hill is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. For anyone outside the Congress, that’s enough money to find a way to skirt the law.
Perhaps, I dunno, we might enforce existing influence-peddling laws and prosecute these pay-to-play congressmen? Just a crazy thought.
Boing-Boing tells us of a lil Canadian think-tank report. The Conference Board of Canada (sounds so official, I trust them already) who’re self-characterized as “the foremost, independent, not-for-profit applied research organization in Canada. Objective and non-partisan. We do not lobby for specific interests” (you know they’re independent, they said so.) had been paid by the province of Ontario to do a study on the “Digital Economy.” So they applied their foremost independent research to produce an objectively non-profitable report.
Now they might be non-partisan, or lobby for specific interests, but it seems that the report they plagiarized came from an agency that is and does.
From Michael Geist:
[The Conference Board's] claims should take a major hit based on last week’s release of a deceptive, plagiarized report on the digital economy that copied text from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (the primary movie, music, and software lobby in the U.S.), at times without full attribution. The report itself was funded by copyright lobby groups (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, Copyright Collective of Canada which represents U.S. film production) along with the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. The role of the Ontario government obviously raises questions about taxpayer dollars being used to pay for a report that simply recycles the language of a U.S. lobby group paper.
I’ve piled on plagiarists here before, but you’ve sunk to a new low if you’re plagiarizing language specifically to be alarmist about the piracy of intellectual property. So asshats all round.
This does not mean the guy does not have issues. May I present, for your consideration, Andrew Mizsak, 28 year old member of the Bedford School Board, who also works as an independent political consultant. Perhaps he’s done consulting for his mom, who serves on the Bedford city council. If he has, I hope he doesn’t charge her much, she is his mom, and he’s still living in her house rent free.
Yeah, this guy’s on the school board and still lives at home. Shouldn’t school board members like, have kids or something? Not be kids?
Ok, some might say, “maybe you got it wrong, maybe his parents moved in with him?” I would have to respond by saying, if that’s the case then it is even more bizarre that the police were called in to a domestic disturbance between him and his 63 year-old dad over the junior Mr. Mizsak’s refusal to clean his room.
Let that sink in.
It gets better.
From the police report, after the cops arrived, “Andrew was sent to his room to clean it. He was crying uncontrollably and stated he would comply.”
Punchline: his dad decides not to press charges because he didn’t want to ruin his political career.
(via Weird Universe)
Apparently, if this post causes you substantial emotional distress, Congress wants to put me in prison.
Of course, that’s not how they characterize it.
Again, we have more proposed legislation to protect the children. Which begs the question why say this, “with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass or cause substantial emotional distress to a person” instead of “with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass or cause substantial emotional distress directed at a minor child.” Is this hard? Almost as if they want to leave the door open to prosecute such comments directed at anyone. And a note on the language that’s really troubling, there’s nothing that says that the bullying has to be targeted at a particular person. Under this, if you intend to cause substantial emotional distress to some group (say Scientologists, to pick a random group that would never ever abuse a bad law to intimidate its critics) you’re breaking the law.
I got into a semi-heated discussion with a friend on Facebook who thought I was trivializing the problem this legislation is supposed to address by saying, in my snarky fashion, that this was a blatant power-grab by Congress to attempt to give the government the power to throw a chilling blanket over the raging fail-fire that is the interwebs. Problem is, way too many people think that way and support legislation based only on its stated intent. This includes the asshats in Congress. Especially the asshats in Congress.
So my asshat today is Rep. Linda Sanchez, not because she wants to deal with cyberbulling, but because that by supporting legislation like this she is one of three things: 1) She’s too stupid to recognize the unfortunate implications of such poorly-worded law. 2) She’s too cynical to let any legislation that purports to help the children (regardless of actual content) pass by without her fingerprints all over it. 3) She is intentionally using a tragic event as a pretext to slip in a unconstitutional power-grab by the state.
Remember this post? The law where we essentially banned both the vintage toy secondary market as well as every small toy producer that doesn’t have the resources of Hasbro? I know, instinctively, that the reaction of most readers was probably less “that’s a terrible law that’s a completely unwarranted government intrusion to solve a problem that doesn’t exist,” and more like, “ok, but they’re reasonable people, no one is actually going to show up and shut down my yard sale.”
To those who rely on the State to make reasonable interpretations of bad over-broad legislation, I present the government manual from the CPSC that you will need to follow if you want to have a legal yard sale.
Yeah, I’m the nut.
Then there’s that evil rendition thing, still evil, still policy. . .
Weren’t we at least going to officially recognize the Armenian genocide? Guess even that was too much to ask.
People used to laugh at me when I said there was no difference between Republicans and Democrats. The laughter’s kind of forced now.