The graphic to the left is a screen capture of a “seized domain” notice. This is a notice that the government puts up on a site when they seize a domain because they suspect it is involved with piracy of intellectual property. (Click here or on the image for a larger, clearer view of the graphic.) The key word is “suspect,” because the government only has to waltz into the chambers of a judge, say “we think this is happening,” and they can take the domain.
There is no notice to the domain owner. There is no chance for the domain owner to rebut the accusation. There is no due process. One day your domain and all the supporting files belong to you and the next day they do not.
While this may or may not bother you, it should. There is no difference between the government seizing an domain without due process than if you woke up one day to find your car had been seized because you were suspected of speeding.
Using your tax dollars, the government has now produced the following video it places on the seized domain instead of the seized notice. (more…)
If everything goes well, the last launch of the space shuttle Endeavour will take place this afternoon. Endeavour is the youngest of all the shuttles and this mission, her 25th, will be her last.
There is a certain sadness to the end of the shuttle program. It is not the same as the ending of the Mercury and Gemini programs. Both those programs were designed to build success upon success in order to built more powerful vehicles to take men to the moon. The end of the Apollo program signified a shift in priorities by NASA. Once John F. Kennedy’s challenge and vision of putting a man on the moon by the end of the 1960’s had been realized, much of the glamor and scientific benefit of going to the moon was lost. The emphasis shifted to the shuttle program in order to build what would become the International Space Station as well as to be able to launch, retrieve and repair satellites and orbiting telescopes. (more…)
We mentioned the other day about the “well qualified” Helmut Kohler my City Council has hired to educate the rest of us poor stupid minions on energy and sustainability. In the same issue of the City Newsletter, the aptly named “Beachcaster,” the vice-mayor of the city has an article describing a “town hall” meeting over which he presided concerning “progress” within the city and the “progressive view” of the future. In fact, vice mayor Chase was so thrilled with the idea of “progress,” every time he used the term in his article, he capitalizes and italicizes it. As an example, Chase writes,
On March 3, I had the opportunity to host a Town Hall Meeting where we continued down the path of those early volunteers to discuss PROGRESS. A few of the PROGRESSIVE ideas we shared that evening include:
No less than 17 times in a one and a quarter page article does Chase scream “PROGRESS” at us. (more…)
At one point in America’s history, unions were a necessary force in making the workplace a safer place in which to work. Early working conditions for American workers were often dangerous to the worker. While much of the original raison d’etre for unions has been replaced by federal laws and agencies such as OSHA there is no doubt that much of the safety workers enjoy today are from the early union fights.
In the recent past, charges have been levied at unions for not caring about anything other than the influence and power of the union rather than workplace safety and the quality of work by union members. Nothing shows how far unions have slipped from their original concern over the health and safety of the common person than this story coming out of Scranton, Pennsylvania:
Scranton police file grievance after chief makes off-duty arrest
The Scranton police union has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the city for an off-duty drug arrest made by Police Chief Dan Duffy in March.
The complaint, which was filed with the state Labor Relations Board on April 14, takes issue with the chief arresting a man who was allegedly in possession of marijuana because the chief is not a member of the collective bargaining unit and was “off duty” when the March 20 arrest was made.
In what can only be described a completely and utterly lack of touch with reality, the union is claiming that in their contract with the city, only union members can make arrests. As the chief of police is not a member of the union, he is prohibited from arresting someone when not on duty. (more…)
Despite what you see to the left – the NFL logo with a rusted lock and chain to signify the NFL lockout – this post is going to be about unions. The case study of “Unions Gone Wild” is going to be the NFL Player’s Association. (The union that doesn’t exist except for the fact the union head is in charge of negotiating for the player’s non-union. More on that in a minute.) It is also going to be a post on forum shopping, and the power of the government to strip people of one of the most cherished rights: the right of people to own property and to control the direction and dispensation of that property.
For those who have been hibernating and have only now come out of their caves since Easter, the NFL as a company and the owners have been involved in a labor dispute with NFL players bargaining under the union known as the NFL Players Association. Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the union and the owners, the owners announced that they were legally going to opt out of the CBA and wanted to negotiate a new agreement. This was announce several years ago. When the actual dissolution of the CBA occurred neither party was surprised. The owners had negotiated agreements with other other providers of services (namely the television networks) to have a war chest with which to sustain what might be a lengthy negotiation. The union started a fund to help players to weather the labor impasse as well as offering financial advice to players. (more…)
Recently, my local government took a bribe in the form of a grant from the Department of Energy to upgrade the air conditioning system at City Hall. The amount of the grant is over $200,000 and comes with a stipulation – that each and every issue of the town’s newsletter, the local government has to print an article “energy efficiency and sustainability.”
This month’s article is entitled “An Introduction to Sustainability – Why conserving energy and being efficient makes sense.”
The first thing one notices is the glowing review of the program and the writer by the editor of the newsletter. The “energy efficiency” writer is described as “well qualified for this task” of writing the articles. (more…)