This of course depends on what tyranny means. The general definition is 'the arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power'. To me the key term is 'unrestrained'. In the United States we theoretically have three co-equal branches of government that are supposed to check each other. But those checks appear to have failed. As evidence just take a look at an article published in the Washington Post. What we see there is a well enumerated list of powers that are now held by the Presidency. Powers that explicitly allow for the unrestrained use of power by the President. Continue reading Is the United States a Tyranny?
In understanding the current debt 'crises' one needs to understand that it's all a show. A manufactured crises to enable both sides to push for radical changes that they otherwise didn't believe they could get through.
As FactCheck explains the debt ceiling has been regularly raised 78 times since the 1960s and in fact we have been close to default at least 3 times during the Clinton and George W. Bush presidencies. So there truly is nothing new here.
That doesn't mean, btw, that insanity on both sides couldn't actually result in a default. But if it does it's important to understand that we would be destroying our economy as a result of a manufactured crises that both sides decided to create in order to push their own agendas.
In light of the Supreme Court's decision that corporations have first amendment rights it's worth addressing the question - do corporations have rights? Thankfully this is one of the more trivial legal questions (really). The answer is no.Continue reading No Virginia, corporations are not people
For a long time now I’ve been convinced that America democracy is dying, if not dead. Our will to be a great democracy got broken somewhere along the line. Instead, all the evidence shows me that this country works exclusively for the small ruling elite who run the world’s corporations.
Continue reading The water is boiling – American Democracy
TechCrunch claims that Yahoo!'s handing over data on a Chinese journalist to the Chinese government was, on balance, appropriate behavior. What I believe TechCrunch completely misses the point on is that Yahoo!, of its own free will, made the decision to become a 40% owner of a Chinese company that hosted sensitive personal information within the reach of the Chinese government. That is Yahoo!'s real ethical failure. The fact that the Chinese government used its powers to grab that data was the inevitable outcome of Yahoo!'s actions. I believe Yahoo! should have refused to have involved itself in any situation that would see its users sensitive data stored in a country with such an abysmal human rights record. I personally believe that Yahoo! deserves enormous criticism for its actions and some kind of movement to refuse to do business with Yahoo! until it gets sensitive data out of the hands of the Chinese government seems completely appropriate.
To the folks who read this blog, who are mostly in the on-line services business, this issue isn't just theoretical. Everyday we make decisions that affect the privacy and security of our users. Where do we host our data? What kind of interception facilities do we put in our networks? What kind of logs do we keep? We all have an obligation to act ethically, to use our knowledge to help people, not harm them. When we record more than we need, keep it longer than we need, make it too easy to recover/intercept and store it in the wrong place we fail in our ethical obligations and for that we all need to be held to account.