Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 29th Aug 2013 14:14 UTC
In the News

Victoria Espinel, who until recently served as the White House's first intellectual property enforcement coordinator, will now head one of the most powerful trade groups in the tech industry. She's been tapped to become the new president and CEO of The Software Alliance (or BSA) starting September 3rd. In her new role, she'll be tasked with pushing the anti-piracy interests of major players like Microsoft, Dell, Apple, Oracle, and Intel. And while the BSA spends a large part of its time lobbying Congress and other governments to push that agenda, Espinel will be barred from engaging in such practices herself - at least initially. According to Politico, an ethics pledge Espinel took to secure her "copyright czar" position under President Obama prevents her from lobbying for at least two years.

No corruption here. Nothing to see. Move along.

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But he promised......
by SeanParsons on Thu 29th Aug 2013 15:52 UTC
SeanParsons
Member since:
2011-01-11

On January 21, 2009 Obama said:

But the American people deserve more than simply an assurance that those who are coming to Washington will serve their interests. They also deserve to know that there are rules on the books to keep it that way. They deserve a government that is truly of, by, and for the people. As I often said during the campaign, we need to make the White House the people's house. And we need to close the revolving door that lets lobbyists come into government freely, and lets them use their time in public service as a way to promote their own interests over the interests of the American people when they leave.

I know.....I'm old enough that I shouldn't be surprised by another broken campaign promise :-(

edited to add italics

Edited 2013-08-29 15:54 UTC

Reply Score: 11

RE: But he promised......
by WorknMan on Thu 29th Aug 2013 17:11 UTC in reply to "But he promised......"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I know.....I'm old enough that I shouldn't be surprised by another broken campaign promise :-(


Yes, I have my own 'laws of politics', and the last one says:

No matter who is voted into office on any particular election, you're going to see bumper stickers during the next election that inform us that we need to 'take back America', and each candidate who is running will promise 'real change' in Washington. However, if nobody has been able to pull off 'real change' yet to the degree that everyone is satisfied with the results, there is little reason to believe that it will ever happen in our lifetime.

Reply Score: 7

RE: But he promised......
by No it isnt on Thu 29th Aug 2013 19:59 UTC in reply to "But he promised......"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

When Obama lied, it was business as usual.

Reply Score: 3

RE: But he promised......
by bassbeast on Thu 29th Aug 2013 20:21 UTC in reply to "But he promised......"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21 1864 "I see in the near future a crisis approaching; corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."

Honest Abe nailed it all those years ago which is why instead of having the sane copyrights the founding fathers intended we have "forever minus a single day" and thanks to the gutting of the DoJ nobody will say boo no matter how blatant the bribes and corruption is. This is why I say until We,The People get a seat at the table ALL COPYRIGHTS should be completely ignored, they are unjust laws and the stealing of the commons by the elite who are locking our history behind a paywall.

If the original copyright terms would have been kept you'd have every movie and song up to the late 70s free to download and enjoy and more importantly you'd have all that material available for mash ups and sampling and chopping up to make new works, it would be just incredible. So until the people get a seat at the table you should treat any and all copyrights older than 27 years as what they are, stolen property.

Reply Score: 15

Par for the course
by ishtar on Thu 29th Aug 2013 16:03 UTC
ishtar
Member since:
2013-07-30

Chris Dodd & Job Biden anyone?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Par for the course
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 30th Aug 2013 20:35 UTC in reply to "Par for the course"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

No, thanks. I just had a Tom DeLay Sandwich, so I'm good for now.

Reply Score: 3

really?
by TechGeek on Thu 29th Aug 2013 18:01 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Is anyone really surprised given the fact that Obama thinks its ok to order the death of Americans without charges or trial? Our government is no longer for, of, or by the people.

Reply Score: 5

RE: really?
by bornagainenguin on Mon 2nd Sep 2013 12:18 UTC in reply to "really?"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

Is anyone really surprised given the fact that Obama thinks its ok to order the death of Americans without charges or trial? Our government is no longer for, of, or by the people.



Yep, Obama has been the best Republican president I can recall seeing in my lifetime.... ;-)

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 2

American Corporatocracy
by dunkgreen on Thu 29th Aug 2013 22:55 UTC
dunkgreen
Member since:
2013-08-29

Yet another example of the American government working for corporations and not the people. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

Reply Score: 8

Comment by aligatro
by aligatro on Fri 30th Aug 2013 02:18 UTC
aligatro
Member since:
2010-01-28

You mean "Copyright Czaritza". Czar is masculine version of the word.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by aligatro
by pepa on Sat 31st Aug 2013 06:31 UTC in reply to "Comment by aligatro"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

I think it's Czarina.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by aligatro
by fossil on Sat 31st Aug 2013 22:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by aligatro"
fossil Member since:
2009-05-29

I think that czarina is the anglicized version of the Russian word царица (tsaritsa) but Russian is something I just dabble in, not really fluent.

Reply Score: 4

Wikipedia
by devloop on Fri 30th Aug 2013 05:27 UTC
devloop
Member since:
2007-11-12

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture#United_States_examp...

I think this section needs some editing to add this as an example.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wikipedia
by Soulbender on Fri 30th Aug 2013 06:15 UTC in reply to "Wikipedia"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The funny thing is how much the US complains about corruption in other countries. Of course, that complaint rarely amounts to something other than "the interests of the U.S was not served so obviously there's corruption".

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Wikipedia
by bnolsen on Fri 30th Aug 2013 08:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Wikipedia"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

huh? corruption in government is as old as government. the american experiment was about "limited government" which assumed that government was a necessary evil that had to be strictly controlled. Its amazing it lasted 200 years or so and "limited government" is now a joke.

Time to go back to the federal government being limited to at most 3% of gdp which would put it in charge of just military operations and not much else. What isn't there can't be corrupted. And the remaining competition between the state governments should help those clean up as well.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Wikipedia
by Soulbender on Fri 30th Aug 2013 09:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wikipedia"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I don't see how that relates to my post though.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Wikipedia
by saso on Sat 31st Aug 2013 01:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wikipedia"
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

Time to go back to the federal government being limited to at most 3% of gdp which would put it in charge of just military operations and not much else. What isn't there can't be corrupted. And the remaining competition between the state governments should help those clean up as well.

So you don't want institutions like the USPS, FBI, NASA, FAA, FCC, EPA, NRC, NOAA, etc.? You do realize that our way of life has changed a bit since the 1790s...

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Wikipedia
by Alfman on Sat 31st Aug 2013 03:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wikipedia"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

saso,

"So you don't want institutions like the USPS, FBI, NASA, FAA, FCC, EPA, NRC, NOAA, etc.? You do realize that our way of life has changed a bit since the 1790s..."

Personally I think government is a good thing in theory, insofar as it's genuinely representing the public and being accountable. But when the theory meets reality it's a different matter entirely, since many modern governments end up existing for their own sakes without regards to the will of the people and without accountability.

I would actually like to see most of our federal taxes get decimated in favor of higher local taxes and local programs. This would theoretically increase government competition, increase the odds of good ideas being adopted and spreading, and increase the government's ability to cater to the local demographic which federal programs cannot. Diversity is a great thing. The federal government could provide emergency safety nets and military needs, but ideally we would not be dependent upon the federal government at all for ordinary needs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Wikipedia
by saso on Sat 31st Aug 2013 10:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wikipedia"
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

Personally I think government is a good thing in theory, insofar as it's genuinely representing the public and being accountable. But when the theory meets reality it's a different matter entirely, since many modern governments end up existing for their own sakes without regards to the will of the people and without accountability.

I agree with you that it's not perfect. My post was about pointing out that the federal government, for all of its faults and rampant corruption, still performs important duties which most people would not want to get rid off. You don't throw the baby out of with the bathwater.
I would actually like to see most of our federal taxes get decimated in favor of higher local taxes and local programs. This would theoretically increase government competition, increase the odds of good ideas being adopted and spreading, and increase the government's ability to cater to the local demographic which federal programs cannot. Diversity is a great thing. The federal government could provide emergency safety nets and military needs, but ideally we would not be dependent upon the federal government at all for ordinary needs.

Right, that's why I only listed agencies which require inter-state powers and coordination in order to be effective. If you want to see how the "as little federal government as possible" thing is working out, take a look at the EU. That's not to say that the EU is generally worse off, but some of the EU equivalents of the US agencies work with a lot more friction and slower (ESA, Interpol, postage, European parliament, etc.) and some things have no equivalents (NOAA, EPA, NRC, etc.). Switching to the EU model would mean pretty much dissolving the union.

Edited 2013-08-31 10:45 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Wikipedia
by zima on Tue 3rd Sep 2013 14:11 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Wikipedia"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Many of those that you listed are not even EU organisations :p

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Wikipedia
by Alfman on Sat 31st Aug 2013 03:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wikipedia"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

I was curious just how much of our taxes went to NASA after reading your post, it turns out not much at all and it's still being targeted for cut.

http://www.space.com/22023-nasa-authorization-bill-debate.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_NASA

"The American public perceives the NASA budget as commanding a much larger share of the federal budget than it in fact does. A 1997 poll reported that Americans had an average estimate of 20% for NASA's share of the federal budget, far higher than the actual 0.5% to under 1% that has been maintained throughout the late '90s and first decade of the 2000s.[16] It is estimated that most Americans spent less than $9 on NASA through personal income tax in 2009."

Of course we all know where the money's going without even looking...
http://www.warresisters.org/pages/piechart.htm

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Wikipedia
by saso on Sat 31st Aug 2013 10:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wikipedia"
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

I was curious just how much of our taxes went to NASA after reading your post, it turns out not much at all and it's still being targeted for cut.

Of course it isn't much, NASA is a research organization doing cutting edge long-term research, so it makes sense that its budget is going to be limited, plus there's a shitload of other agencies in the federal government (as I noted). However, that having been said, I kind of appreciate its work and the fruits of its labor, which have paid off thousandfold. If NASA were to be broken up between states, though, it would be too small to do what it does. Advancing the space frontier requires non-trivial amounts of money and effort and that kind of implies a big budget of a big country.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Wikipedia
by Alfman on Sat 31st Aug 2013 20:08 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Wikipedia"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

saso,

"If NASA were to be broken up between states, though, it would be too small to do what it does. Advancing the space frontier requires non-trivial amounts of money and effort and that kind of implies a big budget of a big country."

Well, it's ironic that you'd say this because it seems like the future of space in the US is being privatized by ridiculously wealthy individuals. I cannot say whether this is a good or bad thing, but it (kind of) contradicts the notion that advancing the space frontier actually requires a big government.

However that said, I still feel sad we've abandoned our space shuttle program and that we're now dependent upon other countries for space travel. We're loosing our position at the top.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Wikipedia
by kwan_e on Sat 31st Aug 2013 23:11 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Wikipedia"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

it seems like the future of space in the US is being privatized by ridiculously wealthy individuals. I cannot say whether this is a good or bad thing, but it (kind of) contradicts the notion that advancing the space frontier actually requires a big government.


The future of space is being privatized, but they are hardly breaking any new frontiers. Private companies are doing what we already know how to do, so they can improve upon it. That's harder frontier work.

"Frontier" means the unknown, and only fundamental science and engineering can expose and solve those problems, not economics. The economics of doing those things can only happen after we know what actually needs doing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Wikipedia
by saso on Sun 1st Sep 2013 00:38 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Wikipedia"
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

Well, it's ironic that you'd say this because it seems like the future of space in the US is being privatized by ridiculously wealthy individuals. I cannot say whether this is a good or bad thing, but it (kind of) contradicts the notion that advancing the space frontier actually requires a big government.

What SpaceX and others are doing is great, but it's not advancing a space frontier. We've known how to reliably get to LEO for 40 years now. There's no point in having NASA do it, so it's *right* that they cede that to private enterprise.
But when was the last time you saw private enterprise spend a couple billion on a new space telescope with purely curiosity-driven research goals in mind? I.e. no return on investment within the next couple hundred years. Or sending deep space probes to explore TNOs. *That's* how you advance a space frontier; not by hauling cargo to LEO.

However that said, I still feel sad we've abandoned our space shuttle program and that we're now dependent upon other countries for space travel. We're loosing our position at the top.

It's a good thing NASA got rid of the shuttle - the damn thing just cost way too much and provided little to no benefit over expendable launch vehicles. In the end, the shuttle was just a job security and government subsidy program for a few entrenched companies. Sadly, Congress is trying to force NASA to do it again in the crazy-ass SLS program, because many of these companies have quite a bit of lobbying (read: bribing) power.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Wikipedia
by zima on Thu 5th Sep 2013 22:58 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Wikipedia"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I still feel sad we've abandoned our space shuttle program and that we're now dependent upon other countries for space travel. We're loosing our position at the top.

The shuttles (both programmes, also Soviet shuttle) were a costly mistake, they set us back. The STS was conceptually obsolete (by autonomously docking satellites, a feat we did at the end of 1960s*) before it seriously got onto drawing boards.
It looked impressive, that's almost all.

* There is some talk about taking few in-storage (not launched) ISS modules, attaching them to small orbital tugs (like Progress spacecraft), and launching using expendable rockets. Even with R&D on tugs, the cost would be much lower than a shuttle launch.

BTW, you might have noticed that I use "we"/"us" differently than you - beyond tribal sentiments, for entirety of humanity. :p

Edited 2013-09-05 23:15 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Wikipedia
by kwan_e on Sat 31st Aug 2013 14:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wikipedia"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Neil DeGrasse Tyson makes this comparison:

If you try to slice of a piece of a US dollar bill in proportion to how much NASA gets of the budget, you don't even get into the ink.

The military gets in a single year more than NASA ever got over its entire lifetime.

I also like NdGT's solution to bring American innovation and economic supremacy back on track: just double NASA's budget. That would be more than enough to get us to Mars.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Wikipedia
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 30th Aug 2013 20:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Wikipedia"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

You haven't seen corruption until you go through an adoption process or some other official government regulated process in a third world country.

The real problem in many cases isn't that there is money exchanging hands, but that its a really inefficient system as some officials will hold out for larger sums based on how much they think you can pay. You're just literally waiting around for days for no good reason just to get paperwork stamped. If their was just a flat fee of $100 per stamp, it would be in the open and things would just get done a lot faster.

Corruption in the us is on a bigger scale, like politicians holding out on signing bills unless certain moneys are contributed to his campaign, or you give 30,000 cash birthday present to his daughter. It affects people, but its less of a daily occurrence for most people. I don't have to worry about the DMV shaking me down to renew my plates. I know what the fee is and things are done.

Reply Score: 4

Money
by MOS6510 on Fri 30th Aug 2013 10:13 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

It's all about money and the economy, a system that can't sustain itself.

They keep coming more and more important, more important than anything else, more important than the environment, the people, animals, health, the planet.

The government and companies need to keep finding ways to make more money. If they can't do it the right 'n' good way they'll just do it the wrong 'n' evil way.

We, the people, are guilty too. People won't accept taking a step back in their luxuries and way of living.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Money
by Alfman on Fri 30th Aug 2013 16:21 UTC in reply to "Money"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

MOS6510,

"We, the people, are guilty too. People won't accept taking a step back in their luxuries and way of living."

I don't necessarily disagree with your post. However if we're talking about the middle class, then I do think the economic situation is actually causing people to step back from their luxuries and way of living in real terms, if not by choice, then by force.


On the other hand, modern generations don't "feel" the pinch as much as they should because now we're financing our stuff via various kinds of debt. Consider:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/TOTALCB?cid=101
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/TOTALGOV?cid=101
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/REVOLSL?cid=101
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NONREVSL?cid=101

The interest on this debt is ultimately transferred out of the lower and middle classes to the upper classes. Of course this is putting off a major financial crisis as more of the indebted generations start to retire without any net personal wealth at all. The officially predicted social security budget shortfalls are looming, which will leave many 100% broke. It's not going to be pretty.


IMHO profit driven creditors are an economic evil. Even those of us who try to be financially responsible have to face inflated prices caused by others paying with credit.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Money
by zima on Tue 3rd Sep 2013 13:47 UTC in reply to "Money"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

We, the people, are guilty too. People won't accept taking a step back in their luxuries and way of living.

And like I say, govs are largely reflections of their populations...

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Stephen!
by Stephen! on Fri 30th Aug 2013 15:46 UTC
Stephen!
Member since:
2007-11-24

In her new role, she'll be tasked with pushing the anti-piracy interests of major players like Microsoft, Dell, Apple, Oracle, and Intel.


How does Intel have anti-piracy interests if they're a hardware company?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Stephen!
by eprubio on Fri 30th Aug 2013 16:24 UTC in reply to "Comment by Stephen!"
eprubio Member since:
2008-01-09
RE: Comment by Stephen!
by smashIt on Fri 30th Aug 2013 23:30 UTC in reply to "Comment by Stephen!"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

How does Intel have anti-piracy interests if they're a hardware company?


intel had tons of problems with relabled chips
maybe that falls in the same category

Reply Score: 2