Archive for the ‘Reforms’ category

On Terrorism – Part 2: How to Eliminate Terrorism Without Eliminating Liberty

2010/06/13

We fight our so-called War on Terror as if we had only one ambition in our entire existence: to destroy terrorism at all costs. In reality, we have many goals, such as economic growth, personal and cultural development and many others, including maintenance, and expansion, of our civil liberties. So the real question is how do we stamp out terrorism without stamping out freedom?

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On Terrorism – Part 1: What’s It Good For?

2010/05/25

This will be a 2 part series. In part 1 I will look at terrorism from the point of view of the terrorist. I will ask ‘what’s terrorism good for?’ In Part 2 I will look at terrorism from the point of view of society. I will ask ‘how do we end terrorism without ending liberty and privacy, using what we learned in part 1?’

PART 1

Now that all the blathering about the failed bombing in Times Square has cooled down, I would like to ask a practical question: ‘what is terrorism good for?’

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On Greed: How to Not Take the Bad With the Good?

2010/05/20

Greed is the spur to action for many of our businesses and leaders Without their greed, we wouldn’t have as much production or as high a standard of living. Greed has been recognized as a good thing going back,at least, to the English and Dutch mercantilism of the 1500s, if not earlier. Since then, influential people such as Increase Mather extolled what Max Weber later called the Protestant Work Ethic, and Adam Smith who implicitly praised greed and its role along with the invisible hand of markets.

But sometimes, greed goes too far. The events of recent years show us the need for reforms:

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On Intellectual Property Part 2: How Can It Be Fixed?

2010/04/10

In the decade before the American Civil War, the South worked furiously to strengthen the position of slavery in the law. They forced several compromises that required a new slave state be added to the country with every new free state. They passed, and several times strengthened, the Fugitive Slave Act, that made it illegal for anyone to assist slaves in escaping. They considered slaves to be ‘their property,’ and they inserted this into the law of the land. They clung to this, even though mechanization and other advances were making their labor-intensive style of agricultural uneconomical anyways. Their position was plainly wrong, and slavery was abolished after our civil war.

In the last decade, the music and similar industries have worked furiously to strengthen the position of intellectual property in the law. They have forced many changes to the copyright law (especially the Copyright Acts of 1976, and 1998) to prevent anyone from stealing ‘their property’. While the Music Industry isn’t treating the music artists and consumers, quite nearly as badly as slaves, bold action is needed to restore justice in the land.

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On the Record? An Open Letter to President Obama

2010/02/17

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing an open letter to you today, to ask you to renew your focus on those things that inspired the nation to elect you.

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On Internet Privacy and Security: What Are Best Practices for Concerned Citizens?

2010/02/14

Internet privacy and security are your responsibility. If you do not take sound privacy precautions, you may reveal more of your personal preferences, habits, etc than you wish, and you may find you are haunted by the ghosts of your internet usage in the offline world. If you do not take sound security precautions, you will expose your computer, and your files to being erased, locked out of, or taken over and used for illegal purposes, which you may be held responsible for depending on the laws of your country.

Presently, the threats to your internet privacy and security include the following in order of severity: various governments, organized criminals, marketers and websites who you do not want to collect your information and/or are careless with your information. Commercial tools, such as antivirus and firewalls, do not begin to protect you from all these threats.

You will be able to greatly increase your protection from all threats by following my recommendations. This paper makes the case for internet privacy, and internet security. It then lays out a procedure, in plain language, containing the practical methods that you, as a private citizen, can take to maintain maximum privacy and security online. (more…)

On Politics – What Should Be Done?

2010/01/31

Lately, there has been an explosion of outrage from both left and center who mostly voted for Obama, and from the Tea Party on the right over the issues that confront our country and over our inability to resolve them effectively.

I see many good ideas across the political spectrum – from far left to far right, and at many points in between. I would like to see this energy be harnessed to drive forward the improvements that are needed in this country.  (more…)

On Intellectual Property – Part 1: What Needs to be Fixed?

2010/01/21

Lately a lot of attention has been placed on the issues of infringement, of music and software pirates, or competing companies infringing on patents, and the actual people who do the creating don’t get paid much. The artists want to make a fair living (or better) off of their labor, and have the satisfaction of knowing their work is valued by their fans. Consumers contend that they want control over how they consume the work, want to not overpay (or pay at all if they are pirates), and furthermore some may have further concerns around online payment and Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies. Both sides raise some fair and good points.  Both sides also have some major weaknesses in their positions. (more…)

On The Price of Oil and Gasoline: Why Is It So Much and How Can It Be Reduced?

2009/12/01

President George W. Bush was a terrible president – arguably the worst ever.  That said, he did one thing that I really liked: he greatly increased the American production of natural gas – which is why its price has fallen by one third to one half of late.  Why then have the price of oil and gasoline stayed so ridiculously high when the cost of natural gas has fallen?
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On The Time Crunch: How our Society Steals Your Time – and How to Get it Back!

2009/11/28

Many people in this country are short on time today.  Work, family and other obligations take nearly our entire time.  There is not much left for personal time to ourselves.  Not much time is left to be politically or religiously active or start a business.  For the good of the country, the good of the economy, and most of all the good of ourselves we must recover some of this time. Three areas of opportunity present themselves for recovering some of our precious time. 

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