politics, civil rights, intellectual property, science, capitalism, and foo

« March 2003 | Main | May 2003 »

April 20, 2003
NRA Enters D.C. 2A Fray

I didn't mention the earlier 2nd Amendment challenge brought by folks loosely associated with Cato as it wasn't yet newsworthy beyond a decent strategic choice to both have non dispicable plantiffs and to side step the incorporation issues of the Second Amendment in the states.

What I didn't notice is that back on April 4, the NRA filed suit in D.C. as well. This is interesting partially because this is the first Second Amendment case that they NRA has actually brought.

Far more interesting is the third count in the complaint. They allege that the plantiffs have been denied the protection of The Civil Rights Act of 1866 which is now 42 U.S.C. �1981(a). It provides in part, "All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory ...to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property as is enjoyed by white citizens. ..." This act was a direct response to the reconstruction era Black Codes and was intended to protect the same rights as The Freedman's Bureau Act which states, "That in every State or district where the ordinary course of judicial proceedings has been interrupted by the rebellion, ...the right. ..to have full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings concerning personal liberty, personal security, and the acquisition, enjoyment, and disposition of estate, real and personal, including the constitutional right to bear arms, shall be secured to and enjoyed by all the citizens of such State or district without respect to race or color or previous condition of slavery."

Reading between the lines, the NRA has also choosen african american plantiffs. I find the potential spin here fascinating.

Posted by hoffmang at 09:18 PM

April 18, 2003
Streaming v. Downloading

Bob Kohn and I used to get into an important argument at EMusic. Bob always seemed to feel that streaming of music (and thus other digital entertainment) will someday overtake the dowloading of the same.

I was just glancing at the most recent Wired and it was talking about Moore's Law and hard drives. Basically it was stating the the price per storage unit was decreasing faster than Moore's Law.

This I believe will be the pivotal issue in the streaming v. downloading debate. While hard drive space is getting cheaper faster than Moore's Law, bandwidth is not progressing nearly as fast as Moore's Law. It is going to be much cheaper and easier sooner to just store and trade .wav files, much less compressed data.

The other driving factor that will push toward downloading is that bandwidth is and will continue to be a shared resource, while storage is not and thus has an even larger leg up on streaming.

This is not to say that in 100 plus years this distinction doesn't get blurred by the technology to the point you can't tell the difference, but in the here and now its important in the forecasting of the pressures on the technology and entertainment businesses.

Posted by hoffmang at 12:58 PM

April 17, 2003
Contains Language

So we decided to watch a DVD tonight. It was rated PG and the description said that it contained sensuality and language.

I thought we were long past the era when movies lacked language...

Posted by hoffmang at 09:53 PM

April 11, 2003
Central Nitwit Network

I'm shocked at the lack of decency that CNN showed in its coverage of Iraq. Eason Jordan's Op-Ed shows something truly despicable. The best analysis I've seen on the matter interweaves Jordan's comments with his interview a while back and comes from Eugene Volokh. Scroll up for Dr. Volokh's similiar but slightly different take on all of this.

Normally, I would be making some comment about how there is a lot to be said for CNN admitting this in arrears, but at some point the Enron comparison becomes valid here. CNN's objectivity on something so extreme is vital to the national discourse. CNN was trading on the public's assumption that CNN's reporting only held the usual biases that American media outlets often have. It turns out that staff members were being tortured and CNN's coverage was being extorted. This sounds like an attempt to head the subsequent bad news off at the pass. Plus, how does a businessman justify letting only a few of your staffers get tortured. CNN ends up being complicit ala Tokyo Rose.

If CNN had been reporting Iraqi atrocities to the American people, the entire debate over war there would have been vastly different.

Thanks to the clever woman with whom I live for the title of this post.

Posted by hoffmang at 06:04 PM

April 09, 2003
Quotes at the Fall

From this AP story:

"We discovered that all what the (Iraqi) information minister was saying was all lies," said Ali Hassan, a government employee in Cairo, Egypt. "Now no one believes Al-Jazeera anymore."
"We Arabs are clever only at talking," Haitham Baghdadi, 45, said bitterly in Damascus, Syria. "Where are the Iraqi weapons? Where are the Iraqi soldiers?"
Tarek al-Absi, a Yemeni university professor, was hopeful Saddam's end presaged more democracy in the region.

"This is a message for the Arab regimes, and could be the beginning of transformation in the Arab region," al-Absi said. "Without the honest help of the Western nations, the reforms will not take place in these countries."

and this is just priceless
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud, looking upset at a news conference, called for a quick end to Iraq's "occupation." In a rare departure from diplomacy, Saud responded to a question about Arab anger toward the United States with: "I don't want to talk about anger if you don't mind today."

The Middle East has learned that even a free press has to be taken with a grain of salt, they have real issues to deal with if they want to be taken seriously, and the Saudis are going to have some issues all their own.

I think this qualifies as a pretty darn good day in history.

Posted by hoffmang at 03:26 PM

April 06, 2003
Iraqi Information Ministry

I really wish the Iraqi Information Ministry could go on the air and explain how we haven't seized his building.

Posted by hoffmang at 10:49 PM


You know we are fighting an asymmetrical war ourselves when you find precision guided concrete blocks and swingsets in our arsenal.

Posted by hoffmang at 10:38 PM

April 04, 2003
Fantasy Ideology

I'm listening to folks here claim that there is some conspiracy that drove us into the Iraq war. At the same time, we're fighting people similarly disconnected from reality in the Middle East.

Comfort has disconnected a certain part of Western society and lack of hope has disconnected the other. I don't know what I think about it, but I find the parallel fascinating.

This essay germinated this thought for me.

Posted by hoffmang at 07:00 PM

April 01, 2003
Instapundit DOSed

Glenn goes on CNN. Makes a couple of cool comments. His blog becomes unreachable.

He just got promoted to Major General Blogfather...

Sometime later tonight his blog'll be reachable.

Posted by hoffmang at 09:35 PM

Powered by Movable Type