Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Net neutrality

Does anyone reading this blog really think that all data traveling over the internet should be treated equally? Is this video as important as an online course or a doctor communicating with a patient via web cam?


I use the Internet to write on this blog and to play Call of Duty online. There are corporations and universities that have way better things to do with their bandwidth than I do. If they want to reach an arrangement with their ISPs to get the better access that they need, they should be allowed to do so.

Do we really want the FCC regulating the Internet? Ever notice that networks will still air "Pearl Harbor" but won't show "Saving Private Ryan"? You can thank the FCC for that.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wikileaks and Hacktivists

I work as a private security officer, so I understand the importance of secrecy. I have signed a confidentiality agreement, and I will not breach that agreement on this blog or any other website. Military personnel and civilians who hold security clearances have an obligation to protect secrets as well.

If a soldier releases a classified secret to a journalist, then that soldier should be disciplined. But secrets are like intestinal gas: once passed along, everyone knows about it and it cannot be taken back. Sometimes you don't even know who spilled the beans or cut the cheese. Once it's out, everyone is free to talk about it.

Journalists should be allowed to publish these former secrets because the damage is either already done or is inevitable. If Julian Assange knows something, Osama bin Laden probably knows it too. What I find bizarre is all this emphasis on one website. Aren't there plenty of other conspiracy theory websites? Why is Wikileaks taken anymore seriously than any other forum filled with anonymous trolls?

What is really making me mad are the "hacktivists". These politically motivated hackers are no better and no worse than common vandals. They should be denounced for their methods rather than be admired for their cause. In my opinion, those people are the ones who really do belong in prison.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Should poor people pay taxes at all?

Since poor people are more likely to spend additional income, liberals tend to advocate policies that steer money towards the poor. Since taxes are a net drain on the economy, conservatives tend to support cutting taxes.

So here's my idea that I think everyone can get behind: make all income up to the federal poverty level tax exempt. For an Alaskan (the federal poverty level is the highest in that state.) living by himself, that would be $13,530.

People can argue all day long about what the poverty level should be later. But can't we all agree that a government that has enough money to give to multi-billion corporations should not be taking money from people who can barely make ends meet?

This would be a tax break that can pay for itself in the long run: poor people who can take care of themselves would be less dependent on social services.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Close Guantanamo for Christmas

This time of year, we are all reminded that most Americans worship a shaggy haired Middle-Easterner who was brutally tortured and killed by a superpower.

While I recognize that sometimes not even Middle-Easterners can avoid killing other Middle-Easterners, we probably should leave out that whole torture thing. I don't want us to be the antagonists in somebody else's New and Improved Testament centuries from now.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Civil Forfeiture in Indiana

Here is a good article about civil forfeiture in Indiana.

How does this issue affect you and your kids?

It could affect you if you are ever accused of a crime. To put you in prison, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. But to take your house, the prosecutor only needs to establish that you probably committed an offence.

It is affecting your kids because seized funds are supposed to be turned over to public schools, but instead the money has been going to private attorneys and the police departments who pursued the cases.