And not necessarily in that order.
1) Thank you, Obama, for protecting our precious copyright laws and not those icky Social Security and Medicare programs. (And say Hi to Chris Dodd for me)
The nation’s major internet service providers by year’s end will institute a so-called six-strikes plan, the “Copyright Alert System” initiative backed by the Obama administration and pushed by Hollywood and the major record labels to disrupt and possibly terminate internet access for online copyright scofflaws.
The plan, now four years in the making, includes participation by AT&T, Cablevision Systems, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon. After four offenses, the historic plan calls for these residential internet providers to initiate so-called “mitigation measures” (.pdf) that might include reducing internet speeds and redirecting a subscriber’s service to an “educational” landing page about infringement.
The internet companies may eliminate service altogether for repeat file-sharing offenders, although the plan does not directly call for such drastic action.
“We are farily confident the program will launch by year’s end,” said Jill Lesser, the executive director of the Center for Copyright Information, the name of the group behind the program.
WikiLeaks to begin election-related dump
According to a release Wednesday, WikiLeaks will begin publishing 200,000 files relating to the presidential election. The GI (Global Intelligence) files are emails obtained through a hack on private intelligence firm Stratfor, which were leaked to WikiLeaks by Anonymous. The release states:
These GI Files releases will shed insight into key U.S. federal election players… Through this release WikiLeaks aims to inform the U.S. electorate in an unbiased way through the release of source documents from one of the most oddly influential companies in the U.S. today.
Apple, Bing Maps Reveal Secret Sites
A top secret base in Taiwan, revealed on an Apple Map. The Navy SEALs’ rehearsal site for the Osama bin Laden raid, found on Bing. Once again, commercial satellites have snapped images of things that governments would rather hide from public view. And once again, those governments are finding that there’s not much they can do, once this sensitive imagery ends up online.
Google Earth and competitors have been turning generals red-faced for the better part of a decade by posting on the ‘net pictures of sensitive locations. Back in 2009, the Pakistani press blew the lid off of the U.S. drone campaign there by publishing Google Earth pictures of a local airbase — with American Predators parked on the runway. This summer, orbital images appeared online of a stealthy and previously-undisclosed robotic aircraft at Lockheed Martin’s “Skunkworks” facility.
State Court Justice, for Sale or Rent
If you live in the battleground state of Florida, and you've watched television in the past few weeks, you may have seen a campaign advertisement designed to convince you that there is something terribly wrong with the Florida Supreme Court. "Our own supreme court denied our right to choose for ourselves," the off-screen narrator laments. The ads began airing statewide just four days after the Florida Republican Party decided that it would oppose three of the state justices in their retention bids. That move came as a surprise to many in the Sunshine State. The Miami Herald headline (and subhead) on September 21 pretty much say it all:
In Surprise Move, Florida GOP opposes Supreme Court justices' retention in November
In a unanimous vote of its board, the Florida Republican Party took the unprecedented move Friday of opposing three Supreme Court justices because of a nine-year-old ruling in a murder case.
No sitting justice has ever lost a retention vote, the Herald reported. But then no sitting justice has ever had to take on Americans for Prosperity, the conservative group funded by Charles and David Koch. The billionaire political activists aren't riled up over an old murder case. That's penny-ante stuff to them. They are still angry about the passage and ratification of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the federal health care law. And they have a first amendment right to express that anger by pouring as much money as they want to pour into a state judicial retention race. America, what a country.
It's not that Occupy Wall Street, on principle, is undeserving of criticism. Theoretically, some conservative opponent could make a sensible film pointing out its various shortcomings. But Occupy Unmasked, a “documentary” starring the late Andrew Breitbart, is just total fantasy: a deranged hodge-podge of bizarre memes, wild dot-connecting and unadulterated fury. Its central thesis holds that the movement was founded as—and remains—an elaborate front for the Obama re-election effort, having been surreptitiously organized by actors ranging from the SEIU, Rachel Maddow and “professional anarchists” to Amy Goodman, Hamas, Russia Today, Matt Taibbi and the Anonymous hacktivist collective. Indeed, these folks all conspired, in the words of Citizens United president David Bossie, to “destroy the very fabric of America.”
No good way to segue, but here goes...