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Democrats

Journal Journal: Congress Accelerates Out of Control 2

Snippet from RealClearPolitics, Congress Accelerates Out of Control:

When the news broke about alleged safety defects in Toyota vehicles, official Washington was appalled. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood accused the company of being "safety deaf" and said "they have a very bad business model."

Then there was the reaction from customers, the very people whose lives and safety are at stake every time they get in a car. In the first four months of this year, Toyota's U.S. sales did not fall, as you might expect. They rose by 12 percent.

Sticky gas pedals, sudden acceleration, alleged violations of the law, federal fines, multiple recalls -- none of them sent Americans fleeing in panic.

User Journal

Journal Journal: /. 2.0 weirdness 4

Anybody else have the issue where you only see one icon for a friend/fan? I have people who are both and I only see the green friend icon. Used to see both of them, friend and fan.

I use Firefox, but this is an issue in IE too.

Google

Journal Journal: Has Google Jumped the Shark? 2

My apologies to the people whom posted in my journal about this previously. My journal entry was disrupted by a few individuals whom apparently have nothing better to do than troll my journal in an attempt to restart old arguments not related to the topic at the hand. That problem has now been addressed and will not be happening again.

The original journal entry was about Google's new "everything" sidebar. You can see an example of that sidebar here. I regard this as as a sad attempt to copy Bing at the expense of the minimalist interface that made Google famous. As yet Google is not providing a way to opt-out of this new "feature". Several people have taken matters into their hands. halcyon1234 posted a greasemonkey script in the original journal entry I did about this story.

I hope that Google does eventually provide an opt-out so such measures aren't necessary. The everything sidebar might be useful for some people but it contributes exactly nothing to the search results as far as I'm concerned. If the comments on Google's forums and other sites are any indication I'm not alone in this belief.

User Journal

Journal Journal: George Will: Campaign finance: a 'reform' wisely struck down 33

George Will's op-ed for tomorrow should be required reading for those /. readers condemning the recent SCOTUS ruling on campaign finance "reform". Some highlights:

The Federal Election Commission, which administers the law that rations the quantity and regulates the content and timing of political speech, identifies 33 types of political speech and 71 kinds of "speakers." The underlying statute and FEC regulations cover more than 800 pages, and FEC explanations of its decisions have filled more than 1,200 pages. The First Amendment requires 10 words for a sufficient stipulation: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech."

Alarmists say the court's ruling will mean torrential spending by large for-profit corporations. Anna Burger, secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union -- it has spent $20 million on politics in the past five election cycles -- says a corporation will "funnel their shareholders' money straight to a campaign's coffers." Wrong. Corporate contributions to candidates' campaigns remain proscribed.

Cleta Mitchell, Washington's preeminent campaign finance attorney, rightly says that few for-profit corporations will jeopardize their commercial interests by engaging in partisan politics: Republicans, Democrats and independents buy Microsoft's and Pepsi's products. If for-profit corporations do plunge into politics, disclosure of their spending will enable voters to draw appropriate conclusions. Of course, political speech regulations radiate distrust of voters' abilities to assess unfettered political advocacy.

Mitchell says the court's decision primarily liberates nonprofit advocacy groups, such as the Sierra Club, which the FEC fined $28,000 in 2006. The club's sin was to distribute pamphlets in Florida contrasting the environmental views of the presidential and senatorial candidates, to the intended advantage of Democrats. FEC censors deemed this an illegal corporate contribution.

Emphasis mine on that last bit. This is something that I've been patiently trying to explain for the last few days. How is a law that regulates the political speech of organizations like the Sierra Club, NRA, ACLU, or AARP compatible with free speech? Those who are eating up the FUD on this ruling ought to stop and consider this point very carefully. In this country we have the right to petition our government for a redress of grievances. One of the more effective ways of doing this is to band together with like minded people. If the Federal Government can muzzle the aforementioned groups then what good is free association and speech?

User Journal

Journal Journal: OMG, I agree with Karl Rove, that can't be good..... 10

WSJ op-ed.

This bit kinda sums up in a nutshell why I'm bitter: Mr. Obama has not governed as the centrist, deficit-fighting, bipartisan consensus builder he promised to be. And his promise to embody a new kind of politicsâ"free of finger-pointing, pettiness and spinâ"was a mirage. He has cheapened his office with needless attacks on his predecessor.

Another interesting point: For example, he voted for the bank rescue plan in September 2008 and praised it during the campaign. Yet on Dec. 8 at the Brookings Institution, Mr. Obama called it "flawed" and blamed "the last administration" for launching it "hastily."

Oey vey

User Journal

Journal Journal: Thank you TWC, it's about time....

So Time Warner finally got off their collective lazy asses and increased our upstream here in the STNY market. Must have happened recently but I didn't notice it until today when I took my traffic shaping rules (configured for the old upload speed) offline to do some unrelated testing. Noticed that I had a full megabit of upload and called them to confirm it. Previously they topped out the upstream at 384kbit/s on the standard tier and 512kbit/s on the turbo tier.

The new tiers are 15/1mbits for turbo and 10/1 for standard. A few months ago they bumped up our download speeds to those rates but had left the upstream at the aforementioned slower rates. Previous to that we had 8mbits/512kbits for Turbo and 5/384 for standard. Glad they finally increased the upstream to a more realistic value. The downstream is nice, although I can't really peg it unless I fire up three or four different downloads. If my employer wasn't paying the bill I'd consider dropping it down to standard. Same upstream bandwidth and more downstream than I need.

I wonder if this means Verizon is eying our market for a FiOS roll out? It seems that TW's MO is to lowball their bandwidth tiers in the markets where they don't have any competition, then they bump them up right before someone else moves in. Would be nice to have a second option. I'm too far away from the CO to get DSL with any decent speed. In this neighborhood it tops out at 1.5 and is borderline at that. TW is currently our only realistic choice. Not sure I'd change away from them to go to FiOS (I hate Verizon with a passion) but it would be nice to see someone actually compete with them for a change.

Google

Journal Journal: Google Wave Invites? 2

I sure don't have any of those, but I'd like one hint hint. Thought I signed up early enough to get an invite but my Inbox is sorely missing them.
Technology (Apple)

Journal Journal: Apple TV (to put Boxee on) 3

I'm trying really hard not to buy one and I need to hear from someone who has one to tell me that it sucks and that I should by no means get one.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Mod Rating

Slashdot has come out with a real innovation. The moderator system has been broken for some time ( I assume it may be better, dunno) so I just read the comments at -1 raw and uncut, and now I can view comments without all the crazy ratings.

Freedom kicks ass!

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