Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for April 26th, 2012

Michigan Board of Canvassers rejects petition that it approved on grounds of font size/updated

Posted by Charles II on April 26, 2012

Michigan has destroyed self-governance at the local level.

Now it has turned the law into a mockery by rejecting a petition to vote on the Emergency Manager Law. Here’s the morning story. Now the petition has been rejected–because the Republican members decided that the font size was too small. The Republicans are not just run-of-the-mill Republicans, but active operatives.

According to Rachel Maddow (I forget exactly when), before the petition was circulated, it was approved by the Board of Canvassers.

The Declaration of Independence says,

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

The Michigan Republicans are certainly testing the limits of what Michiganders wills suffer. Font size?
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Update, Laura Clawson, DK:

Stand Up for Democracy, which collected the signatures, had an affidavit from the printer affirming that the petition headers were printed in 14-point boldface font.

Clawson links to Eclectablog, which has done font size analysis and has more details on the printer’s affidavit and supporting evidence.

I do not understand why more people–especially Michiganders– are not in an uproar over this. What is going on in Michigan would seem to be outright tyranny, in which control of political institutions is used to reinforce control of political institutions, even when it means violating the law.

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Posted in abuse of power, government, Republicans as cancer | 2 Comments »

Take action against CISPA

Posted by Charles II on April 26, 2012

Look: taking action is as easy as sending an e-mail. Just do it.

HR 3532 (CISPA) pretends to defend against intellectual property theft and other electronic crimes. In reality, it makes it possible for any corporation involved in the transmission of data to treat your communications as public information. Democratic amendments by Schakowsky and Lewis to sharpen the definitions and make it less obnoxious, will not even be allowed to come up for a vote. Michelle Richardson, ACLU:

Under this bill, if they share our private information, they get complete protection from liability. Consumers will no longer be able to assert their privacy rights that exist under current law and hold them accountable in court. They can’t be prosecuted by the government like they currently can for illegal wiretapping or sharing information. They’re getting FOIA exemptions, so that no one will ever know about these breaches or the things that they share with the government. They’re really walking away here with maximum flexibility to share our personal information with minimum accountability and no enforcement to make sure that they are not oversharing and infringing on our privacy.

Here is the text. Looking at it, the key problems I see is that companies are allowed to decide what constitutes a threat. So, if Fox News regards liberals as a threat to national security, they can send your IP and postings on their message boards to the NSA with the subject line Dangerous radical a threat to the American way of life. They are exempt from prosecution or even FOIA to expose it. It would greatly facilitate identity theft, since the NSA can be handed the financial records of any person that, say, your grocery store imagines to be suspicious. And since so many governmental functions are done by contractors, who knows who will be looking at it?

Very, very few Americans wants Chinese hackers to steal research conducted by the US aerospace industry or permit groups like Anonymous to bring down all financial transactions as a protest against a decision by the credit card companies they don’t like. But MBNA and Boeing are not the ones who face the real brunt of electronic crime. It’s liberal sites being hit by ddos attacks by conservatives, people suffering identity theft thanks to insecure ATMs, and everyone whose address book gets stolen by spammers. This legislation is almost certainly not going to help the American people, while it will enable the NSA to become something the Stasi only dreamed about.

EFF is all over this. Go read:

A FAQ on CISPA

Immunity = impunity for companies

Voices across the political spectrum oppose CISPA

And above all, take action

Posted in impunity, Internet, wrong way to go about it | 2 Comments »

 
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