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User Journal

Journal Journal: Definitions of Racism in the Seattle Public School District. 2

"having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology"

Why is being an individual being equated with racism? And what in the hell is "future time orientation"?


Definitions of Racism Runners

The systematic subordination of members of targeted racial groups who have relatively little social power in the United States (Blacks, Latino/as, Native Americans, and Asians), by the members of the agent racial group who have relatively more social power (Whites). The subordination is supported by the actions of individuals, cultural norms and values, and the institutional structures and practices of society.

Individual Racism:
The beliefs, attitudes, and actions of individuals that support or perpetuate racism. Individual racism can occur at both an unconscious and conscious level, and can be both active and passive. Examples include telling a racist joke, using a racial epithet, or believing in the inherent superiority of whites.

Active Racism:
Actions which have as their stated or explicit goal the maintenance of the system of racism and the oppression of those in the targeted racial groups. People who participate in active racism advocate the continued subjugation of members of the targeted groups and protection of "the rights" of members of the agent group. These goals are often supported by a belief in the inferiority of people of color and the superiority of white people, culture, and values.

Passive Racism:
Beliefs, attitudes, and actions that contribute to the maintenance of racism, without openly advocating violence or oppression. The conscious or unconscious maintenance of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that support the system of racism, racial prejudice and racial dominance.

Cultural Racism:
Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as "other", different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers.

Institutional Racism:
The network of institutional structures, policies, and practices that create advantages and benefits for Whites, and discrimination, oppression, and disadvantages for people from targeted racial groups. The advantages created for Whites are often invisible to them, or are considered "rights" available to everyone as opposed to "privileges" awarded to only some individuals and groups.

Source: Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, 1197 eds. Adams, Bell & Griffin

A pseudobiological category that distinguishes people based on physical characteristics (e.g., skin color, body shape/size, facial features, hair texture). People of one race can vary in terms of ethnicity and culture.

A group whose members share a common history and origin, as well as commonalities in terms of factors such as nationality, religion, and cultural activities.

The way of life of a group of people including the shared values, beliefs, behaviors, family roles, social relationships, verbal and nonverbal communication styles, orientation to authority, as well as preferences and expressions (art, music, food). "What everybody knows that everybody else knows."

A dynamic process that occurs when members of one culture (culture of origin) come into contact with another culture (host/dominant culture) over a long period of time. The process involves exposure to, reaction to, and possible adoptions of aspects of the other groups culture. Adapting to the characteristics of the larger or dominant culture, while retaining some of one's unique cultural traits.

The process of giving up connections to and aspects of one's culture of origin and blending in with the host/dominant culture. Also, the wholesale adoption of the dominant culture at the expense of the original culture.

An attitude or opinion that is held in the absence of (or despite) full information. Typically it is negative in nature and based on faulty, distorted or unsubstantiated information that is over generalized and relatively in-flexible. Prejudices can be conscious or relatively unconscious.

Treatment of a group of people within a society that results in the systematic denial of equal access to civil rights, freedoms, and power within that society. It involves a devaluing and non-acceptance of the target group and can be manifested economically, politically, socially, and/or psychologically. Individuals, through their values and behavior, can collude with a system of oppression which contributes to its maintenance in a society.

"In any given circumstances, people who are the same in those respects relevant to how they are treated in those circumstances should receive the same treatment" (p. 45). Equality defined in this way, looks at the individual and the circumstances surrounding him or her. It does not focus on group differences based on categories such as race, sex, social class, and ethnicity. This view is one of assimilation because it assumes that individuals, once socialized into society, have the right "to do anything they want, to choose their own lives and not be hampered by traditional expectations and stereotypes" (Young, 1990, p. 157).

".... deals with difference and takes into consideration the fact that this society has many groups in it who have not always been given equal treatment and/or have not had a level field on which to play. These groups have been frequently made to feel inferior to those in the mainstream and some have been oppressed. To achieve equity, according to Young (1990), "Social policy should sometimes accord special treatment to groups" (p. 158). Thus, the concept of equity provides a case for unequal treatment for those who have been disadvantaged over time. It can provide compensatory kinds of treatment, offering it in the form of special programs and benefits for those who have been discriminated against and are in need of opportunity."

Equitable Access
Equitable access provides groups of people access to resources, services and programs that would not otherwise be available to them due to disadvantages created over time resulting from many factors including marginalization, racism, discrimination, and oppression. In essence, equitable access attempts to create a level playing field between the have and have nots.

Equity and Equality Definitions came from Krause, J. K, Traini, D. J., & Mickey, B. H. (2001). Equality versus equity. In J. P. Shapiro & J. A. Stefkovick (Eds), Ethical leadership and decision making in education (76-90). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Students in Denver in trouble for wearing flag/USMC shirts 5

Flag Bans Enacted At Shaw Heights Middle, Skyline High

POSTED: 2:13 pm MDT April 6, 2006
UPDATED: 9:11 pm MDT April 6, 2006
DENVER -- Several students at Shaw Heights Middle School have been disciplined for wearing shirts that depict the American flag, an act that is in direct violation of the public school's recent ban on all flags, depictions of flags, or flag colors on student clothing.

One student said he was suspended for wearing a DARE program shirt with a flag behind the logo. Another student, Katie Golgart, said she was suspended for wearing a Marine Corps shirt.

Elizabeth Haas, told reporters that she was told to turn her Marine Corps shirt inside out and when she did and then turned it back the right way, she was suspended. Haas, an 11-year-old sixth grader, said that she wears a USMC shirt every day to support her brother, who is in the Corps, and she wasn't aware of the ban until she was suspended.

All of the students who were suspended said they had a connection to the military -- either they have a family member now serving or someone in the family had once served. They said despite the school ban, and even if it means another suspension, they will continue to wear their shirts.

"I'm gonna going to school and wear another Marine shirt just to show that I support my brother and what he does," Haas said.

The students' parents are behind them 100 percent and are willing to fight the schools' ban, saying that it's a fight that they are going to win.

"I did let her (the principal) know that I would fight her on this because I knew I was right. And that's exactly what it is. We are right to wear our flag. We are right for my daughter to wear her United States Marine Corps shirt to support the Marines -- future, present and past," said Eric Golgart, who is the son of a U.S. Marine.

Schools such as Shaw Heights in Westminster, Colo., and Skyline High School in Longmont, Colo., have enacted bans on all flags -- American and Mexican -- as a way to diffuse the confrontations students have engaged in because of the recent immigration debate. School officials say it's a safety issue.

Shaw Heights Principal Myla Shepherd implemented the flag and clothing ban last week after several incidents, including one in which about 25 students wore camouflaged clothing on one day.

In a letter sent home to parents that's dated April 7, Sheperd doesn't sound as if she's backing down from the ban.

"During the week of March 27th, students were observed exhibiting behavior that was interfering with instruction. This behavior appeared to be directly related to students' attire. Our goal at Shaw Heights Middle School is to provide a safe learning environment for our children/students. The neutral dress code that was implemented as a result of widespread student behavior has been very beneficial," she said.

"On Friday, March 31, we sent home a letter detailing the neutral dress code, specifically asking that students not wear the following: clothing that makes a political statement, camouflage clothing, and banners, flags or bandanas of any type. I would like to clarify the dress code, as there seems to be confusion about colors of clothing. Students may wear all colors -- red, white, blue, green, etc. They simply may not wear attire that displays a flag. We will continue to monitor student behavior and as the situation improves we will consider returning to our original dress code. " Read full letter.

Shaw Heights has 650 students, of which about 46 percent are white and 41 percent are Hispanic.

Last week students at Skyline walked out of class to protest the ban.

"We're very angry. This is my country. They make me stand up and say the Pledge of Allegiance every day ... but then when I want to wave a flag they won't let me?" Skyline student Colyn Norwood said.

Skyline High School Principal Tom Stumpf said he enacted the flag ban after American flags were brazenly waved in the faces of Hispanic students, and in one case, a Mexican flag was thrown into the face of another student.

"The (policy) evolved because the flags were being used, not as a symbol of cultural heritage, but the flags were being used as symbols of bigotry, a symbol of hostility. They were being used to inflame different groups and we're simply not going to tolerate that at Skyline High School," Stumpf said.

The schools fly the American flag in the classrooms and other areas.

Students at Shaw Heights Middle plan to have a rally at 8 a.m. Friday in support of the students who have been suspended.

Colorado Law Protects Display Of American Flag

Because of this divisive issue, Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers requested that a copy of Colorado Revised Statute 27-2-108.5, concerning the proper and legal display of the flag of the United States, be sent to all Colorado superintendents.

"The statute is clear," said Suthers. "No Colorado school has the authority to prohibit students from reasonably displaying the flag of the United States on their person or property. While schools can and should act to prevent conduct by students that interferes with the education process, their remedy must be narrowly tailored and cannot include a general ban on displaying the American flag."

C.R.S. 27-2-108.5 reads, "The right to display reasonably the flag of the United States shall not be infringed with respect to the display: (a) On an individual's person; (b) Anywhere on an individual's personal or real property."

"I understand that they're trying to deal with rising tensions and I appreciate that, but they're going to have to find a way to do it without banning, in particular, the American flag," Suthers told 7NEWS.

Suthers even threatened to get a court injuction to stop school officials from enforcing the flag ban.

The American Civil Liberties Union is also sounding off on the issue.

"The Colorado statute, however, applies only to American flags, which raises another constitutional issue. The Constitution prohibits what the case law calls 'viewpoint discrimination.' This means that the government cannot silence one side of a debate while allowing speakers who favor an opposing viewpoint. Thus, to the extent that personal display of American or Mexican flags now symbolizes opposing views on the current national debate about immigration issues, the Colorado statute cannot constitutionally protect the right of students to display the American flag while allowing a school to ban the display of a different flag," said Mark Silverstein, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Colorado.

On Wednesday, the state Senate voted to withhold state grant money from schools that break the flag law.

"I think what the Senate did was simply blow a whistle, if you will, and say, 'Wait a minute, you're going too far.' My guess is that that will be enough," said Sen. Andy McElhany, R-El Paso.

This is just stupid.

User Journal

Journal Journal: RHAT kills the fedora foundation 1

From: Max Spevack
To: fedora-announce-list-AT-redhat.com
Subject: Fedora Foundation
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2006 22:55:32 -0400 (EDT)

To my fellow Fedora community members:

As many of you are aware, FUDCon Boston is this Friday. One of the most
important topics that we will be discussing there is the future of the
Fedora Project, specifically with regard to the Fedora Foundation.

I'd like to ask you all to read the document that follows this note. It
reviews Red Hat's intentions in initially announcing the Fedora
Foundation, and outlines the problems that have led us to the decision to
move in a different direction. It also discusses the plan that we are
implementing instead, and the steps that we are taking to ensure that the
Fedora Project continues to thrive and grow.

It is as complete, honest, and transparent as we can make it. If you feel
that there are places in which it lacks those qualities, call us on it,
and we will respond.

This document represents the work of many people both inside of Red Hat
and within the Fedora community. It is a long read, but a very worthwhile

So take a look, read, digest, and share your thoughts. I look forward to
discussing this in great detail on email, and also with as many of you as
possible in person at LinuxWorld and at FUDCon over the next few days.
Many of Red Hat's most active Fedora folks will be at those two shows, so
please come and talk with us.

Max Spevack


Last June, Red Hat announced its intention to launch the Fedora
Foundation. We've had a lot of smart people working hard to make this
Foundation happen, but in the end, it just didn't help to accomplish our
goals for Fedora. Instead, we are restructuring Fedora Project, with
dramatically increased leadership from within the Fedora community.

The next obvious question -- "Why no Foundation?" -- deserves a detailed



When we announced the Foundation, it was with a very specific purpose, and
in a very specific context. The announcement was made by Mark Webbink,
who has been the intellectual property guru at Red Hat for a long time
now. His stated goal for the Foundation: to act as a repository for
patents that would protect the interests of the open source community.

Once we announced the intention to form a Foundation, people inside and
outside of Red Hat were interested in working beyond the stated purpose --
an intellectual property repository -- and instead saw this new Foundation
as a potential tool to solve all sorts of Fedora-related issues. Every
Fedora issue became a nail for the Foundation hammer, and the scope of the
Foundation quickly became too large for efficient progress.

A team moved forward to create the Foundation itself. We created the
legal entity, came up with some very basic and flexible bylaws, and
appointed a board to run it temporarily. This all happened pretty
quickly, because this was the easy part. We had articles of incorporation
in September 2005.

Then came the hard part: articulating the precise responsibilities of the
Foundation. This conversation took months, but ultimately it came back
around, again and again, to a single question: "What could a Fedora
Foundation accomplish that the Fedora Project, with strong community
leadership, could not accomplish?"

So here, in order, were the possible answers to that question -- and why
we found, in every single case, that the Fedora Foundation was not the
right answer.

ONE: The Fedora Foundation could be an entity for the development of an
open source patent commons.

This was the obvious starting place, and what we actually announced. One
of the lurking concerns of the open source community is the threat of
software patents. The Fedora Foundation could have been an ideal
repository for defensive patents. We envisioned soliciting patentable
ideas from businesses and/or individuals, paying for the prosecution of
these patents, and then guaranteeing open source developers the
unrestricted right to code against these patents using a similar mechanism
to the Red Hat patent promise.

What we weren't counting on was the rapid progress of the Open Invention
Network (http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/press.html), which serves a
similar purpose for businesses in a much more compelling way. Without
going into too much detail, it became clear to us that OIN is going to be
the 800-pound gorilla in the patent commons space, and we were eager to
join forces.

OK, so much for soliciting patents from businesses. What about
individuals? If we were to focus the Fedora Foundation's efforts on
soliciting patentable ideas from individuals, how many could we get? Our
gut decision: not many. Most developers who actually work for a living
have agreements with their employers that prevent them from pursuing
patents independently. Many university students who pursue patents are
required to grant them to the university.

After putting a lot of work into the idea of a Fedora Foundation patent
commons, in the end it just didn't seem compelling. So we shelved the

TWO: The Fedora Foundation could act as a single point of standing for
legal issues.

The Free Software Foundation serves this purpose for the GNU projects.
We thought that the Fedora Foundation might successfully serve the same
purpose for Fedora projects. Have you ever noticed that the GNU projects
all require contributors to assign copyright to the FSF? That's because
there's this legal idea called "standing" that matters deeply to lawyers
and judges. Here's a little skit that helps to explain why standing is

BAILIFF: Come to order for case Z-38-BB-92. Plaintiff is Small Software
Project. Defendant is Great Big Computer Corporation.

JUDGE: OK, have a seat, folks. The docket is busy today, and I've got a
doctor's appointment in two hours. Plaintiff, what's this all about?

PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL: Well, your honor, there's this license called the GPL
that the defendant is *totally* violating. Basically, they stole the
plaintiff's code and put it into their software program.

DEFENDANT'S COUNSEL: Hold it right there. Your Honor, plaintiff doesn't
have standing in this case. There's 100 different developers that wrote
this code, and the plaintiff only represents six of them. Plaintiff
clearly doesn't even have the legal right to sue us, Your Honor.

JUDGE: Looks like this case could be Pretty Hard, and this whole
"standing" thing gives me a perfect excuse not to think about it.
Counsel, get back to me when you've got the other 94 plaintiffs.

So, standing is a big concern. In the world of lawyers, it's one of the
big potential unknowns around defending open source projects, especially
projects that have lots of contributors.

The obvious problem with establishing standing in this way, though, is
that a single entity *must* own *everything* in your project. That's why
the FSF *requires* copyright assignment.

What Fedora projects currently exist where copyright assignment makes

Well... none, as it turns out. Let's look at some of the current Fedora
projects as examples.

At present, the two most successful Fedora projects are Core and Extras --
which, together, basically constitute a big Linux distribution. And what
is a distribution? Ideally, it's a high-quality repackaging and
integration of content owned by others. That's the whole point. In such
cases, copyright assignment makes no sense at all.

Then there's the Fedora Documentation project, which produces
documentation and makes it available under the Open Publication License
(http://opencontent.org/openpub/) without options. Given the liberal
nature of this license, it just doesn't seem all that useful to ask
contributors to assign copyright for defense of these works.

Then there's the Fedora Directory Server, which Red Hat purchased and open
sourced. No question who holds standing there; it's Red Hat. The time
may come when the Fedora Directory Server project is ready to incorporate
lots of changes from the community, but until that time comes, the
question of copyright assignment is pretty much a theoretical question.

Which is what a lot of this comes down to -- the question of legal
standing is either an open or theoretical question at best, and probably
better left to an organization such as the FSF that focuses a great deal
more attention on these types of questions.

Put another way: we have a finite amount of resources to make Fedora
better. How much of that cash should be going to expensive lawyers --
especially if Red Hat already has lawyers who have a strong incentive to
defend Fedora, should such a defense prove to be necessary?

So the Fedora Foundation didn't seem compelling as a mechanism for
copyright assignment, either.

THREE: The Fedora Foundation could act as an entity for funding
Fedora-related activities that Red Hat didn't have great interest in

Funny thing, that. We asked some of our closest friends this question:
"Would you donate to an independent Fedora Foundation?" The answers were
very interesting, and ran the gamut. Some people were incredibly
enthusiastic: "We'd love to give money!" Some were neutral: "Thanks, but
we'd rather contribute code." And some were less enthusiastic: "Red Hat
is a successful, profitable company. Why are you asking *me* for money?"

Here's another funny thing: if you choose to incorporate as a non-profit
entity in the United States, then you subject yourself to a number of
rigorous IRS tax tests. One of these tests is the "public support test."
If you say you're a public charity, well by golly, you have to prove it.
If, within four years, you aren't collecting fully one third of your money
from public sources, then you're not actually a public charity.

People are always shocked when we tell them how many resources Red Hat
puts into Fedora. If we were to make the Fedora Foundation a truly
independent entity, then we'd have to track every dime of that expense as
"in-kind contributions". That means we'd have to track:

* The cost of bandwidth for distributing Fedora to the world;

* Every hour that Red Hat engineers spend working on Fedora, whether that
is the actual writing of code, release engineering, testing, etc.;

* Legal expenses of running a Foundation;

* Administrative expenses of running a Foundation.

As an intellectual exercise, let's ignore all of those numbers for now
except for bandwidth. Back in the day, when Red Hat would release a
distro, we would regularly get angry calls from network admins at big
datacenters, complaining that we were eating all of their bandwidth. If
you ever meet any of our IT guys over a beer, be sure to ask them about
the time we melted a switch at UUNet.

The demand for Fedora is every bit as high, and the March 20 release of
Fedora Core 5 was no exception. So let's take a conservative guess and
say that the bandwidth cost for distributing Fedora comes to $1.5 million
a year. Yes, even though we have BitTorrent trackers and Fedora mirror
sites worldwide.

That means that a public Fedora Foundation would have to raise $750k in
public funds -- remember the one-third public support test -- every single
year, just to pay for *bandwidth*, assuming no growth and no other

So what would happen, under such a scenario, if Red Hat were to decide to
spend more money on Fedora? Because that's exactly what Red Hat wants to

There were alternatives to the public charity angle. We could have set up
a private operating foundation, and we explored this avenue -- but then it
wouldn't really be an independent entity. It would be a shell. The fact
that Red Hat would still likely bear the legal risk of Foundation
decisions, and the complication of raising public funds, made any 501(c)
less attractive.

In short: the fund raising burden for a truly independent Fedora
Foundation would be terrifying. So the Fedora Foundation clearly wasn't
compelling as a fund raising entity -- if anything, it represented an
impediment to building a better Fedora Project.

FOUR: The Fedora Foundation could provide mechanisms for more community
participation in key decision-making processes.

>From the day the Fedora Project was started over two years ago, it's been
our goal to build these mechanisms, Foundation or no Foundation. How
successful have we been?

Initially, we had some problems. In the last year, though, we've had some
pretty clear successes. The Fedora Extras project is a good example here.
When we officially launched it in February 2005 at FUDCon Boston, we put
together a steering committee that consisted of a pretty even mix of Red
Hat and community packagers. At FUDCon Germany last summer, we
strengthened the group with more European members. Earlier this year, we
successfully handed off leadership of the committee to a community member.
Red Hat continues to provide logistical and legal support, but Fedora
Extras policy is determined by the community.

So what happens when the Fedora Extras Steering Committee (also known as
FESCO) runs into difficulty? Well, they escalate the issue to "the
Board." And who is "the Board?" It's been the people running the Fedora
Foundation -- but it's also been the people running the Fedora Project.
Whenever "the Board" had been asked to make a decision, there's been no
practical distinction between "Project" and "Foundation."

What *is* vital, whether we're talking about "The Foundation" or "The
Project," is the actual presence of community members on the board -- but
more on that later.

FIVE: The Fedora Foundation could serve as a truly independent entity,
providing the ability for Fedora to grow separately from Red Hat's

This is the real heart of the matter. This is what some people want to
see: a more independent Fedora. This is The Question That Must Be

The simple and honest answer: Red Hat *must* maintain a certain amount of
control over Fedora decisions, because Red Hat's business model *depends*
upon Fedora. Red Hat contributes millions of dollars in staff and
resources to the success of Fedora, and Red Hat also accepts all of the
legal risk for Fedora. Therefore, Red Hat will sometimes need to make
tough decisions about Fedora. We won't do it often, and when we do, we
will discuss the rationale behind such decisions as openly as we can -- as
we did with the recent Mono decision.

But just because Red Hat has veto power over decisions, it does not follow
that Red Hat wants to use that power. Nor does it follow that Red Hat
must make all of the important decisions about Fedora. In fact, effective
community decision making is one of the most direct measures of Fedora's

The most important promise about Fedora -- once free, always free -- still
stands. We aim to set the standard for open source innovation. A truly
open Fedora Project is what makes that possible.



Since Fedora's inception two years ago, a diverse global community has
developed around Fedora -- and, as in any open source project, natural
leaders have emerged. The time has come to reward some of these leaders
with the opportunity to define the direction of the Fedora Project at the
highest level.

Therefore, we've reconstituted the Fedora Project Board to include these
community leaders directly.

Initially, there are nine board members: five Red Hat members and four
Fedora community members. This Board is responsible for making all of the
operational decisions of the greater Fedora project, including decisions
about budget and strategic direction.

In addition to the nine board members, there is also be a chairman
appointed by Red Hat, who has veto power over any decision. It's our
expectation that this veto power will be used infrequently, since we're
all aware of the negative consequences that could arise from the use of
such power in a community project.

The chairman of the Fedora Project is Max Spevack. Max has been with Red
Hat since 2004, previously as a QA engineer and QA team lead for Red Hat
Network. He is a member of the Fedora Ambassadors steering committee, and
has been a Linux user since 1999.

The Fedora Project board members from Red Hat are Jeremy Katz, Bill
Nottingham, Elliot Lee, Chris Blizzard, and Rahul Sundaram.

Jeremy Katz is a Red Hat engineer. He is the longtime maintainer for
Anaconda, and a founding member of the Fedora Extras steering committee.

Bill Nottingham joined Red Hat in May of 1998, working on projects ranging
from the initial port of Red Hat Linux to ia64, booting and hardware
detection, multilib content definition and fixing, and is currently doing
work related to stateless Linux. He's also been involved in various
technical lead details, such as package CVS infrastructure and
distribution content definition.

Elliot Lee has been a software engineer at Red Hat since 1996. His open
source contributions include release engineering for Fedora Core,
co-founding the GNOME project, and maintaining assorted open source
libraries and utilities. He is a founding member of the Fedora Extras
steering committee. Elliot current leads the Fedora infrastructure team,
making it easier and enjoyable for contributors to get more done.

Chris Blizzard is an engineering manager for Red Hat. He has served on
the board of the Mozilla Foundation, and is currently leading the One
Laptop Per Child project for Red Hat.

Rahul Sundaram is a Red Hat associate based in Pune, India. He is a
longstanding contributor to multiple Fedora projects, a Fedora Ambassador
for India, and a member of the Fedora Ambassadors steering committee.

The Fedora Project board members from the community are Seth Vidal, Paul
W. Frields, Rex Dieter, and a fourth board member to be named as soon as

Seth Vidal is the project lead for yum, which is one of the key building
blocks for software management in Fedora. He also maintains mock, the
basis for the Fedora Extras build system. He is a founding member of the
Fedora Extras steering committee, and he was one of the people chiefly
responsible for the first ever release of Fedora Extras packages in 2005.
Seth is also the lead administrator of the infrastructure at
fedoraproject.org, which includes the Fedora project wiki, RSS feed
aggregator, and bittorrent server.

Paul W. Frields has been a Linux user and enthusiast since 1997, and
joined the Fedora Documentation Project in 2003, shortly after the launch
of Fedora. As contributing writer, editor, and a founding member of the
Documentation Project steering committee, Paul has worked on a variety of
tasks, including the Documentation Guide, the Installation Guide, the
document building infrastructure, and the soon-to-emerge RPM packaging
toolchain. Paul is also a Fedora Extras package maintainer.

Rex Dieter works as Computer System Administrator in the Mathematics
Department at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Rex is a KDE advocate
and founded the KDE Red Hat project. He is also an active contributor to
Fedora Extras. Rex lives in Omaha, Nebraka, with his wife, 2 children,
and 4 cats.

It's true that a lot of the key governance details -- term length, board
composition, election or appointment process -- have yet to be resolved.
One of the first responsibilities of the new board will be to work with
the Fedora community to answer these questions.


Red Hat has been supporting a free Linux distribution for over ten years,
and Red Hat will *always* support a free Linux distribution. We want to
work together with the Fedora community to make Fedora better. We want a
Fedora that is a true partnership between Red Hat and the community. We
want to build effective models to make that partnership real. We want to
see the folks at MySQL managing MySQL in Fedora. We want to see the folks
from kde.org managing KDE in Fedora. We want to see the folks at Planet
CCRMA managing audio production applications in Fedora. We want Fedora to
be a launching pad not just for open source software, but for open content
of all kinds. We want the Fedora Project to be a way to fill the
community with high quality software and content, and we want to empower
the Fedora community to innovate in ways we'd never even considered.

The new Fedora Project Board has a strong mandate to make these things
happen, and has the full support of Red Hat. We ask that you, the members
of the Fedora community, give them your full support as well, and we thank
you for all the support you've given us so far. We would not have made it
nearly this far without your patience, your friendship, and your tireless

fedora-announce-list mailing list

User Journal

Journal Journal: Made-in-Israel Paper Cups (Saudi Arabia is Insane)

JEDDAH, 22 August 2005 -- Paper cups with Hebrew writing disturbed both employees and medical staff at King Khaled National Guard Hospital on Saturday. The catering subcontractor for the hospital coffee shops began using them on Saturday after their usual supply ran out.

"We were shocked and angry," said an employee. "How can Israeli products be allowed and how did they enter this hospital?" he asked.

The Filipino employee who works in the Al-Musbah coffee shop asked: "Why is everybody mad about the cups?" He was told: "Because they are made in Israel!"

According to hospital officials, the matter is being investigated and action will be taken.

Saleh Al-Mazroi, executive director for operations at KKNGH, said the matter had been referred to authorities in Riyadh and was being dealt with.

On the bottom of the paper cup was a website address and a telephone number. When Arab News looked at the website -- www.orion-rancal.co.il. -- it was found to be in Hebrew though there were a few words of English: "Israeli disposable paper, plastic and foam dinnerware supplier for restaurants."

Arab News contacted Ibrahim Al-Musbah, manager and owner, who said, "I thank you for informing me. I will look into it personally and the offending articles will be disposed of." He added that the company has a supplier in the Kingdom from whom they buy restaurant supplies. According to Al-Musbah, the supplier might be unaware of the problem.

Al-Musbah later contacted Arab News and said that the paper cups had come to his company by mistake. The cups were in a cardboard box that looked exactly like the ones his company normally receives and so the employees did not notice any difference. Al-Musbah added that the supplier was named "Jeelani" and that he would supply Arab News with his contact numbers today.

The paper cups were quickly withdrawn from use but might there not be other, less obvious, Israeli products in our shops and marketplaces?


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Journal Journal: Sun Opteron workstation $895 or $30 per month for 36 months

Does anyone know anything more about this system?

By Ashlee Vance in Chicago
Published Monday 27th June 2005 14:42 GMT

Sun Microsystems has polished off its cheapest and likely most attractive Opteron-based workstation to date.

The hardware maker today introduced the world to the Ultra 20 a one-way (one socket) box that starts at $895. That price has to please a lot of Sun customers who complained when the much higher-end W2100z amd W1100z workstations arrived, costing thousands of dollars. With the Ultra 20, Sun is really delivering some of the price/performance benefits associated with x86 chips to the developer crowd.

Sun has long been a major player in the workstation market, pumping out Solaris on SPARC boxes for engineers, developers and designers. The rise, however, of Intel Xeon's processor ate into a huge chunk of Sun's workstation share. Sun's line of Opteron-based systems is its response to this loss, and the Ultra 20 is the first box in this line aimed square at developers.

Sun unveiled the system at its Java One conference which starts today in San Francisco.

"This system is meant to reach a much broader audience," said John Fowler, Sun's vice president in charge of the x86 systems. "Java One is the world's biggest developer conference, so it made sense to show it off there."

While you can buy the Ultra 20 flat out just like any another bit of hardware, Sun also has a much weirder pricing option. Customers can pay $30 per month over three years ($1,080) and get the system, Solaris 10, Java Studio Enterprise 7, Java Studio Creator and support. This package full of Java tools is meant for the developer crowd.

Initially, the Ultra 20 will ship with a single-core version - 1.8GHz to 2.6GHz - of AMD's Opteron. As El Reg reported last week, AMD will make a dual-core version of this 100 Series chip available in the third quarter. (AMD confirmed the move to customers in a note issued Friday.)

The Ultra 20 also ships with up to 4GB of memory, up to 2 SATA drives (80GB or 250GB), six USB 2.0 ports and two IEEE 1394a ports. The box will run Solaris x86, Red Hat and SuSE Linux 32-bit and 64-bit and Windows XP Pro 32-bit and 64-bit.

Sun continues to see a sharp rise in it Opteron system sales. The company is currently battling with HP for the top spot among all Opteron server sellers.

Sun has enjoyed particular success in Germany where it holds 41 per cent of the Opteron server market versus 23 per cent for HP, according to the first quarter figures from Gartner.

You can see the Ultra 20 in all its glory available here.

Along with the Ultra 20, Sun also pointed to the new Ultra 3 Mobile Workstation, which runs on its UltraSPARC chip and starts at $3,400. This system looks like a rebranded version of a Tadpole laptop. ®


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Journal Journal: U.S. Freezes Military Ties, Shipments to Israel 8

Tuesday, June 14, 2005 The Bush administration has begun to block arms shipments to Israel and suspend joint programs after the two allies failed to resolve a dispute over arms sales to China.

U.S. officials said the Defense Department and Israeli representatives were unable to draft a memorandum of understanding that would halt Israeli weapons sales to China. They said the two sides could not agree on a supervision mechanism for Israeli arms exports.

Israel has agreed to increase government supervision of arms exports, the long-held turf of the Defense Ministry, Middle East Newsline reported. But officials said the Israeli delegation refused to accept U.S. demands for increased access to Israeli negotiations with foreign militaries. The countries were said to have included India and Singapore, two leading clients of Israel's defense industry.

"This is certainly an issue that is being discussed between the United States and Israel, and we have made our concerns about the sale and transfer of defense equipment and technology to China known to Israel," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said on Monday.

Whitman refused to confirm a report by the Israeli daily Haaretz that the administration has demanded details of more than 60 military and security deals with China. He also did not address the Pentagon boycott of senior Israeli defense officials.

"We continue also to raise concerns with our allies, our friends and partners and look for them to take responsible approaches to arms sales to China, too," Whitman said. "This is broader than just Israel."

The failure to draft the MoU appeared to have heightened the crisis between the Pentagon and Israel's Defense Ministry. The Pentagon has boycotted high level meetings with Israeli officials since July 2004 in wake of Israel's efforts to upgrade the Harpy unmanned aerial vehicle for China.

Since then, the Pentagon has embarked on a process of escalating sanctions. They included the suspension of Israeli participation in the Joint Strike Fighter program.

Officials said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sought to resolve the crisis during his visit to the United States in late May. They said a week after Sharon's return, the United States informed Israel that it had been suspended from the JSF program.

In 2005, the administration began holding up arms deliveries to Israel, such as night-vision systems, and delayed a scheduled strategic cooperation session. Officials said the U.S. Army has stopped relaying information on a project to develop the Hunter-2 UAV, based on an Israeli-supplied platform. Northrop Grumman has been the prime contractor of the project for the U.S. Army.

The Pentagon has also refused to engage with three Israeli defense officials. They were identified as Defense Ministry director-general Amos Yaron, head of the ministry's New York-based procurement division Yekutiel Mor, and Sibat arms export chief Yossi Ben-Hanan. These officials were said to have been responsible for Israel's defense relationship with China.

Israeli defense sources said the Defense Ministry has responded to all of the Pentagon requests and still envisions an MoU by August 2005. But they acknowledged ministry opposition to the U.S. demands for increased transparency of arms deals and the dismissal of the three officials.

"The Defense Ministry is holding discreet and pertinent talks with the United States to solve the misunderstandings, which it does not believe need to make public," an Israeli Defense Ministry statement said.


All I have to ask is what in the hell was Israel thinking?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Gay book ban goal of state lawmaker 2


Gay book ban goal of state lawmaker
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
News staff writer

MONTGOMERY - An Alabama lawmaker who sought to ban gay marriages now wants to ban novels with gay characters from public libraries, including university libraries.

A bill by Rep. Gerald Allen, R-Cottondale, would prohibit the use of public funds for "the purchase of textbooks or library materials that recognize or promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle." Allen said he filed the bill to protect children from the "homosexual agenda."

"Our culture, how we know it today, is under attack from every angle," Allen said in a press conference Tuesday.

Allen said that if his bill passes, novels with gay protagonists and college textbooks that suggest homosexuality is natural would have to be removed from library shelves and destroyed.

"I guess we dig a big hole and dump them in and bury them," he said.

A spokesman for the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center called the bill censorship.

"It sounds like Nazi book burning to me," said SPLC spokesman Mark Potok.

Allen pre-filed his bill in advance of the 2005 legislative session, which begins Feb. 1.

If the bill became law, public school textbooks could not present homosexuality as a genetic trait and public libraries couldn't offer books with gay or bisexual characters.

When asked about Tennessee Williams' southern classic "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof," Allen said the play probably couldn't be performed by university theater groups.

Allen said no state funds should be used to pay for materials that foster homosexuality. He said that would include nonfiction books that suggest homosexuality is acceptable and fiction novels with gay characters. While that would ban books like "Heather has Two Mommies," it could also include classic and popular novels with gay characters such as "The Color Purple," "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and "Brideshead Revisted."

The bill also would ban materials that recognize or promote a lifestyle or actions prohibited by the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws of Alabama. Allen said that meant books with heterosexual couples committing those acts likely would be banned, too.

His bill also would prohibit a teacher from handing out materials or bringing in a classroom speaker who suggested homosexuality was OK, he said.

Allen has sponsored legislation to make a gay marriage ban part of the Alabama Constitution, but it was not approved by the Legislature.

Ken Baker, a board member of Equality Alabama, a gay rights organization, said Allen was "attempting to become the George Wallace of homosexuality."

Aside from the moral debates, the bill could be problematic for library collections, said Jaunita Owes, director of the Montgomery City-County Library, which is a few blocks from the Alabama Capitol.

"Half the books in the library could end up being banned. It's all based on how one interprets the material," Owes said.

E-mail: kchandler@bhamnews.com

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Journal Journal: MUSLIM INTEGRATION - Eyes Wide Shut - Germany - Interview 2

In an interview with DER SPIEGEL, German feminist publisher Alice Schwarzer discusses the difficulties Germany has in dealing with its Muslim women and the growing influence of Islam in Europe.

About Alice Schwarzer

Alice Schwarzer has long served as the intellectual leader of the German feminist movement. Her magazine Emma, which recently turned 26, is highly regarded and widely read. The interview here recently ran as part of a DER SPIEGEL cover story on the struggle Muslim women face in their integration with the West. The feature covered everything from arranged marriages to the forced wearing of the headscarf -- both prevalent in Germany, which is home to more than 3 million Muslims.

Alice Schwarzer: "The multicultural ideology is untruthful."

Alice Schwarzer: "The multicultural ideology is untruthful."

SPIEGEL: For decades, people have looked on without doing anything as some of Germany's Turkish women were stripped of their rights. Why has this stirred so little resistance in German society?

Schwarzer: Because every denunciation of this abuse is immediately branded as racism. But common sense is never wrong: A women, who stumbles about beneath a mountain of cloth while her husband strides around in jeans or a girl who is supposed to enter into a forced marriage? That's a scandal no matter what culture you belong to.

SPIEGEL: Well, you wouldn't hear any accusations of racism from the political right.

Schwarzer: Do you consider all conservatives to be racist? The left, especially, has appealed up till now for a "tolerance of differences." But really, people who make that argument think that Turkish women are a different type of people in another culture whose rules must be accepted -- even if they're misogynist and misanthropic.

SPIEGEL: What have your personal experiences in the fight against the oppression of Muslim women been?

Schwarzer: Intimidation! It all started with my Iran trip in 1979, two weeks after the seizure of power by Ayatollah Khomenei, as I wrote about this new variant of fascism in "Emma." They certainly didn't make any secret of their intentions, just like the Nazis in 1933. People pegged me as a "racist" and "friend of the Shaw." And even today in Germany, no one wants to note that the so-called rebels in Chechnya have practiced (ultra-orthodox) Sharia law since 1994! I haven't heard any human rights activists protesting about that.

SPIEGEL: How do you explain this reaction?

Schwarzer: It's naked contempt for women, but also self-hatred as well as this German desire for beliefs. After the Nazis condemned everything foreign, the children now want to love everything foreign, with their eyes closed tightly. After their left-wing gods went into decline, they want to believe in these new gods.

SPIEGEL: Wasn't it the leftists who took up the issue of foreigners?

Schwarzer: Yes, but often under the mantel of the multicultural ideology, which I consider to be dishonest. They veil the fact that we don't treat others with a basic attitude of equality, but rather in a patronizing manner. This special kind of love of things foreign is just the flip side of contempt of things foreign. We've just seen in the Netherlands what direction a wrongly understood tolerance can take us in. These self-righteous fanatics believe they have the right -- even in our democracy -- to butcher non-believers in order to muzzle any criticism of their delusion.

SPIEGEL: In Germany, the recent headscarf ban has drawn attention to the living conditions of Muslim women. Marieluise Beck, the federal commissioner for integration policy, believes that women wearing a headscarf can be more easily integrated -- especially because they're allowed to leave the house.

Schwarzer: By so frenetically supporting the minority of Muslim women who demonstratively wear the headscarf, she's also stabbing the majority in the back who deliberately don't cover themselves. Does the integration representative even know what kind of moral pressure a headscarf-wearing teacher can exert on a Muslim school girl and her parents? After all, the Islamists consider an unveiled woman to be a whore.

SPIEGEL: But don't basic rights include freedom of religion?

Schwarzer: That has nothing to do with religion, it's politics. Add to that the fact that a teacher's job isn't self-fullfillment, but rather to represent democracy. If an Islamic headscarf is permitted, then why not a (full-body covering) chador or a burqa? In Swedish and English schools, girls have already shown up in burqas.

SPIEGEL: The courts have been dealing with suits from Muslims who want to assert their ideas in this country. How does Islamic law influence German legal practices?

Schwarzer: Insidiously. The Islamists have been conducting targeted propaganda in Germany since the mid-1980s. Their primary offensive is the social infiltration of their own people. Their second is the undermining of the democratic educational system. Their third is the infiltration of the constitutional state. In concerted actions they have, in the past several years, attempted to infiltrate the Sharia law into the German legal system. The flag of this crusade is the headscarf. Professor Mathias Rohe, a judge in the Nuremburg higher regional court who is active in this area, said very openly when asked in 2002: "In Germany, we are applying Sharia law every day. If a Jordanian gets married here, then we marry them under Jordanian law - including the "right" to polygamy.

SPIEGEL: You want to ward off Islamism using the constitution?

Schwarzer: Of course! We fought arduously for our freedoms, like enlightenment and democracy, and we can't allow ourselves to fall back from what we have achieved. Human rights are universally valid and indivisible, regardless of culture and religion.

SPIEGEL: What policies do you expect in order to protect women's rights and to counteract the influence of Islamists?

Schwarzer: There's much to be done because everything has been neglected. Mastery of the German language and the acceptance of our legal system has to become part of the criteria for naturalization. In the affected neighborhoods in the cities, youth programs and contact with the youth need to be actively pursued so that girls and boys are no longer so alienated from each other and so they are not open to incitement by mosque associations that are enemies of democracy. In these neighborhoods and at the university level, we need to actively and constructively put up resistance to the rat-catcher propaganda of the Islamists. And we have to give concrete aid to the acutely threatened women and girls.

SPIEGEL: Shouldn't the affected also raise their voices -- also in the fight against radicals?

Schwarzer: The silence has ended. The most courageous are already starting to raise their voices. And they're paying dearly for it. Following the murder of Theo van Gogh, the name of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Dutch member of parliament of Somali-Muslim origin, has been on the death lists that have been found. She's gone into hiding. Should we all now remain silent out of fear? No. It's time to ask for a little bit of solidarity from democratically minded Muslim women and men.


User Journal

Journal Journal: GOP seeks to repeal food labeling law 9

All I can say is what the hell where they thinking?


Cattlemen split over country-of-origin requirement
The Associated Press
Updated: 6:15 p.m. ET Nov. 17, 2004

WASHINGTON - Telling consumers where their meat, fruit and vegetables came from seemed such a good idea to U.S. ranchers and farmers in competition with imports that Congress two years ago ordered the food industry to do it. But meatpackers and food processors fought the law from the start, and newly emboldened Republicans now plan to repeal it before Thanksgiving.

As part of the 2002 farm bill, country-of-origin labeling was supposed to have gone into effect this fall. Congress last year postponed it until 2006. Now, House Republicans are trying to wipe it off the books as part of a spending bill they plan to finish this month.

House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said he expected the Senate to agree to repealing the measure, whose main champion two years ago was Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

"I can't find any real opposition to doing exactly what we want to do here," Blunt said.

President Bush never supported mandatory labeling. Chances for repealing the law improved when Daschle, still his party's leader in the Senate, was defeating for re-election Nov. 2. Daschle indicated through a spokesman this week that he probably will not fight the repeal.

Those who want the repeal say the labeling system is so expensive that it far outweighs any benefit to consumers. The Agriculture Department has estimated the cost could range from hundreds of millions to billions of dollars in the first year alone.

"Everybody realized it was going to cost a lot of money, and ranchers were going to have to bear most of that," said Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., chairman of a Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry subcommittee on the issue.

Food processors and other opponents of mandatory labeling say they are amenable to voluntary labels.

Grocery Manufacturers Association spokeswoman Stephanie Childs cited the government's voluntary standards for labeling organic food and said, "That's the sort of thing we should be looking toward."

Voluntary system created
Supporters of the labeling requirement says opponents want the repeal so producers will not have to spend money getting ready to follow the law. The House Agriculture Committee approved legislation this year to substitute a voluntary system for the current law.

The issue divides cattlemen and other livestock producers. Many of the bigger livestock and feedlot operations, as well as food processors, do not want mandatory labeling.

Producers in favor of mandatory labels believe consumers will prefer U.S.-grown food over foreign imports. The law requires companies to put country-of-origin labels on meat, vegetables and fruit.

"We really feel that country-of-origin labeling is one of the key things we need to keep ourselves competitive in that market. I understand the trade-offs," said Doran Junek, a rancher in Brewster, Kan. Junek also is executive director of the Kansas Cattlemen's Association, an affiliate of R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America.

Consumer groups say the issue is whether buyers have a right to know where their food came from.

"When nutrition labeling was suggested by advocates 25 years ago, the industry kept saying, `Oh, we can't do that,'" said Carol Tucker Foreman, director of food policy for the Consumer Federation of America. "Look, they've done it. They love it. Consumers use it."

The wrangling does not affect fish because Congress did not include fish last year when it delayed the mandatory labeling. Fresh and frozen fish will be required to carry labels beginning in April.
© 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or

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Journal Journal: Elegy for a Profession 1

Posted by: StrugglingInMI on Tue, 09 March 2004 14:49:15 | (2324 Reads)


Elegy for a Profession

A song of the discarded

Hello, Corporate America. Do you know us? Do you remember?

We are I/T.

We are the men and women who helped you build the 21st century.

We flocked to the new technologies, taught ourselves the skills we needed when colleges could not, and forged the tools you asked for.

We signed up willingly, knowing that of all professions, ours was the one where today's knowledge would be tomorrow's obsolescence, where last week's skill is worthless now, and where falling out of touch with progress is career suicide.

And we knew, some of us, that ultimately it would be impossible to keep up with the pace of change - but we tried anyway.

We are I/T.

We are the ones who embraced the idea of 7 x 24 operations, who willingly condemned ourselves to odd hours, unpaid overtime, and ever-increasing expectations, so "expensive equipment could be used most efficiently."

We are the ones who gave up families, friends, and "life outside" to spend endless hours building, fixing, and changing the systems that kept you going and growing. We learned that the dream of a 40-hour workweek would never, ever apply to us.

We are the ones who carried pagers when they were almost exclusively the tools of doctors, pimps and drug dealers.

We are a young mother, sitting in a cubicle at 3:00am, troubleshooting a software problem while her new baby sleeps in a carryall next to her desk.

We are a husband, called from his bed in the dead of night, on call not to save a life, or rescue a trapped motorist, but to rebuild a database index, or repair a broken disk drive. And sometimes, the problem was fixed, and it was the marriage that stayed broken.

Do you know us? We are I/T, too. We are the family of a "computer geek", who learned that vacations, holidays, and sick days did not mean freedom from stress for our loved ones, or uninterrupted time with us. We watched as our parents and spouses took cell phones, laptops, terminals, and manuals with them everywhere, ready to give up our family plans on a moments notice to keep your business running. We heard the phones ring in the middle of the night, at the park, or during dinner. We tried to understand.

We are I/T.

Yes, we are the ones who listened when the siren song of ever higher salaries beckoned. Are you surprised? Do not blame us for taking the salaries you offered. Rather, look to yourselves for creating a work environment so intense, so stressful, so demanding that for ten straight years, the schools to teach the next generation found fewer and fewer applicants.

But your demands did not decrease. In desperation, you threw money at us to buy the expertise your own voracious appetite made scarce.

We are the ones who welcomed foreign workers into our midst, when things were so bad you had to recruit overseas to feed your endless demand. While other departments struggled with racism and intolerance, we became a United Nations in miniature, grateful for help from any quarter, any society that could ease the crushing workload. We built a society of equals, holding no prejudice except technical inadequacy.

We watched our budgets shrink each year, while demands for productivity soared, and our pleas for more help were ignored. And we endured the criticism when the inevitable failures occurred, as overwork, stress, and tension took their inevitable toll on our skills.

We are I/T.

We had to learn not only our profession, but yours too. We learned your business practices so well that sometimes we knew more about them than you did; and we are the ones who had to stand by and listen to your "voice of experience" while we watched you make fatal decisions.

We designed the systems you asked for, only to watch as those with too much power and too little knowledge made decisions that doomed them to failure - a failure for which we would take the blame.

We sat in the sales presentations with you, horrified as we listened to you sell a customer on a technology you did not understand, and we knew could not be delivered at the price you promised. When we protested your inflated claims, we were criticized for being "too negative" - and we took the hit when reality collided with a salesman's almighty commission check.

We did the work, kept the lights on, kept the back room functioning, year after year, knowing that the best we could hope for, the only reward, might be that no one would find a reason to complain that day. We lived with the constant knowledge that almost everyone outside our own group looked on us as a necessary evil.

We are I/T.

We listened to the countless calls for help from people who could spout endless streams of information on inane subjects, but could not remember an 8-character password from one day to the next.

We watched as it became fashionable for those who controlled your companies, and our destinies, to shrug their shoulders and wave a hand at "the computer guys", when "technical issues" arose. To be computer illiterate has become a badge of honor in the boardroom.

We watched as the hardware industry built better and better desktops, and the software designers were forced to use that power not to add real utility, but to dumb down and simplify basic operations, because you couldn't be bothered to train your employees- it took too much time.

We watched as you leveraged the tax system to change us from employees to contractors - a creative way to deny us the benefits we needed like everyone else, while giving you the freedom to drop us the instant you felt we weren't needed. No one was laid off - contractors were just "not renewed".

We are I/T.

And now, many of us must watch from the sidelines.

We watch as you take our jobs and hand them to people in other nations - not immigrants who come here, willing to work hard, and to contribute to our society, but people still in their native lands, trained to do our jobs at a fraction of the cost.

You train them to answer phones "sounding like Americans" so an unsuspecting public does not know they are talking to someone half a world away. To add insult to injury, you use the tools we built for you to make this happen.

You claim that no impact to the economy will come of this, but you do not explain how the loss of billions of dollars worth of spending power, from thousands of high paying professional jobs, will be offset. People in India and China do not buy clothes, cars, and homes in Detroit or Indianapolis.

You do not explain how America will stand on her own, when the technology she relies on is developed and supported by people in nations whose agendas and goals are not hers. What will happen when interests change, technology leaks to those who are not friends to democracy and the American way of life, and the tools to keep things running are no longer here?

You do not explain how the few jobs that remain will be filled, as people retire or burn out, and students again shun I/T curriculums because they see the misery their parents have suffered at your hands.

We are I/T.

We send out resumes by the ream, month after month, as savings and retirement money slowly dwindle, unemployment runs out, and no one will talk to us about a job, in any field. In desperation, we apply everywhere, to do anything, but to no avail. We are overqualified for anything else, and we are unable to work in the field we love. Hard-working professionals with college degrees and decades of experience are stocking shelves and serving drinks.

Do not blame us, Corporate America, for the cynical attitude we have toward you, for some of us remember 20 years ago, when we could not buy a job, and you threw us out on the street at a moments notice.

And now, it is happening again.

Thank you, Corporate America.

We are I/T.

Some of us will remember.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Dean calls for Mandatory ID requirement for net access. 2


COMMENTARY--After Howard Dean's unexpected defeat last week in Iowa, public attention has focused on his temper, his character, and that guttural Tyrannosaurus bellow of his not-quite-a-concession speech. But Dean's views on Americans' privacy rights may be a superior test of his fitness to be president.

Dean's current stand on privacy appears to leave little wiggle room: His campaign platform pledges unwavering support for "the constitutional principles of equality, liberty and privacy."

Fifteen months before Dean said he would seek the presidency, however, the former Vermont governor spoke at a conference in Pittsburgh co-sponsored by smart-card firm Wave Systems where he called for state drivers' licenses to be transformed into a kind of standardized national ID card for Americans. Embedding smart cards into uniform IDs was necessary to thwart "cyberterrorism" and identity theft, Dean claimed. "We must move to smarter license cards that carry secure digital information that can be universally read at vital checkpoints," Dean said in March 2002, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. "Issuing such a card would have little effect on the privacy of Americans."

Dean also suggested that computer makers such as Apple Computer, Dell, Gateway and Sony should be required to include an ID card reader in PCs--and Americans would have to insert their uniform IDs into the reader before they could log on. "One state's smart-card driver's license must be identifiable by another state's card reader," Dean said. "It must also be easily commercialized by the private sector and included in all PCs over time--making the Internet safer and more secure."

The presidential hopeful offered few details about his radical proposal. "On the Internet, this card will confirm all the information required to gain access to a state (government) network--while also barring anyone who isn't legal age from entering an adult chat room, making the Internet safer for our children, or prevent adults from entering a children's chat room and preying on our kids...Many new computer systems are being created with card reader technology. Older computers can add this feature for very little money," Dean said.

There's probably a good reason why Dean spoke so vaguely: It's unclear how such a system would work in practice. Must Internet cafes include uniform ID card readers on public computers? Would existing computers have to be retrofitted? Would tourists be prohibited from bringing laptops unless they sported uniform ID readers? What about Unix shell accounts? How did a politician who is said to be Internet-savvy concoct this scheme?

Perhaps most importantly, does Dean still want to forcibly implant all of our computers with uniform ID readers?

Unfortunately, Dean's presidential campaign won't answer any of those questions. I've tried six times since Jan. 16 to get a response, and all the press office will say is they've "forwarded it on to our policy folks." And the policy shop isn't talking.

Then there are the privacy questions. To curry favor among the progressive types who form the backbone of his campaign, Dean has positioned himself as a left-of-center civil libertarian. He's guest-blogged for progressive doyen Larry Lessig, embraced the Brady Bill and affirmative action, told audiences on the campaign trail that the Bush administration has "compromised our freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism," and pledged to repeal parts of the USA Patriot Act.

It's difficult to reconcile Dean's current statements with his recent support--less than two years ago--for what amounts to a national ID card and a likely reduction in Americans' privacy. "Privacy is the new urban myth," Dean said in that March 2002 speech.

"I know of no other Democratic candidate who has this view on national ID," said Chris Hoofnagle, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "I hope that he'd reconsider his policy on national ID because it has significant affects on individuals' right to privacy and does not make the country more secure. If you think about it, the implication is that children would have to be issued cards as well. Are we talking about ID cards from birth?"

Dean's March 2002 speech to a workshop at Carnegie Mellon University--given just six months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks--was designed to throw his support behind a standard ID proposal backed by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). At the time, Dean was chairman of the National Governors Association, a key ally for the AAMVA as it lobbied to transform the humble state driver's license into a uniform national ID card.

"I'm not surprised," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the technology and liberty program at the American Civil Liberties Union and a former Vermont resident. "It's a backdoor national ID. It won't even work to protect against terrorism because we know that some of the 9-11 terrorists had phony driver's licenses that they were able to buy on the black market."

It's true that most American adults already carry around driver's licenses. But the AAMVA proposal would have mandated biometric identifiers such as digitized fingerprints or retinal scans. Depending on how the system was implemented, your license could be equipped with a smart card (which Dean suggested) that could store information about your movements whenever it was swiped in a reader. It could also be tied to a back-end database so all verifications would be logged with the time, date and location.

The idea never gained traction in Congress because of privacy concerns and opposition not only from conservative activists, but from Democratic-leaning groups including People for the American Way, National Consumers League, and National Council of La Raza.

One prominent group that did support a standardized ID at the time is the New Democrats' public policy wing, which has suggested that microchip-implanted smart cards could hold not only retinal scans or fingerprints but also "food stamps, voter registration, library cards, hunting and fishing licenses" and a wealth of corporate data like E-Z-Pass, gas station automatic billing, and banking information. In one of history's ironic flourishes, Dean lashed out at the New Democrats last month in Exeter, N.H., dubbing them "the Republican wing of the Democratic Party."

It's possible that Dean has a good explanation for his uniform ID card views, and can account for how his principles apparently changed so radically over the course of just two years. Perhaps he can't. But a refusal to answer difficult questions is not an attractive quality in a man who would be president.


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Journal Journal: RMS 'fires' lead Hurn dev over license issue. What?

Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 11:33:16 -0800
From: tb@becket.net (Thomas Bushnell, BSG)
Subject: What's up with the GFDL?
To: gnu-prog-discuss@gnu.org

Richard Stallman is pushing an anti-free license for documentation.
By that, I mean, a license for documentation which, if it were used
for software, would unquestionably be understood as unfree.

There are many negative consequences of this action:

1) The Debian Project, which is committed to free software, cannot
      distribute GFDL'd manuals as part of the Debian system. This is
      ironic in the extreme, because RMS used to complain that Debian was
      too loose about distributing non-free things. Now Debian is too
      tight for him.

2) It is not possible to borrow text from a GFDL'd manual and
      incorporate it in any free software program whatsoever. This is
      not a mere license incompatibility. It's not just that the GFDL is
      incompatible with this or that free software license: it's that it
      is fundamentally incompatible with *any* free software license
      whatsoever. So if you write a new program, and you have no
      commitments at all about what license you want to use, saving only
      that it be a free license, you cannot include GFDL'd text.

3) The FSF solicited public comment on the GFDL, but this seems to
      have been a deceptive enterprise. The goal seems to have been to
      garner public support for it, and that simply failed. So the FSF
      does not trumpet that little public comment, and has issued no
      explanation of why such a widely unpopular documentation license
      should be used.

4) RMS has now "dismissed" me as Hurd maintainer because I have
      publicly spoken against the GFDL, saying that a GNU maintainer must
      support and speak in favor of GNU policies. If this is really
      RMS's reason, then it means that he demands the right to control
      the speech of every GNU volunteer when it comes to GNU project
      policies. He wants not merely to set the direction, but also to
      require that each and every one of us publicly support a GNU policy
      when asked to.

I do not know what the right response is. I believe perhaps the best
thing to do is to create structures for GNU project volunteers to
express their opinions so that we can even find out what the GNU
project thinks. Heretofore, RMS has been an able spokesman, but when
he disregards the comments of volunteers (even when explicitly
solicited), works against free software, and attempts to control the
speech of GNU volunteers in talking about such issues, something has
gone very wrong.

I suspect that nothing will happen, and the sad result will be that
while free software will continue to thrive, the GNU project will
die. I do not know what would prevent that.


Technical Addendum
- ------------------

The incompatibilities of the GFDL with free software are not
controversial. There are two central problems.

First, GFDL'd manuals can contain "invariant sections" which cannot be
changed or removed. This is a restriction on modification which isn't
permitted for free software licenses. Moreover, it is not a trivial
restriction or one that imposes minimal costs. Invariant sections can
be very large, and the pieces of a GFDL'd manual that one wants to
copy might be small. (For example, a description of how to use a
single function, if copied from the Emacs manual, requires the
inclusion of many kilobytes of extraneous text from invariant
sections.) Such restrictions are not allowed in free software

Second, there are restrictions on what formats a GFDL'd manual can be
distributed in, which work to prohibit encryption and the like. No
such restriction exists for free software licenses.

User Journal

Journal Journal: P.A. Incitement And Hatred Documented Before U.S. Senators 11

PA Hatred

Just a sample of what is in the article.

"The PA Ministries of Education and Sport have turned the most abhorrent murderers of Jews into role models and heroes for Palestinian youth. [For instance, a] tournament for 11-year-old boys was named for Abd Al-Baset Odeh - the terrorist who murdered 30 in the Passover Seder suicide bombing. This past summer, during the period of the US-sponsored Road Map, numerous summer camps were named for suicide bombers... As recently as September this year, PA Chairman Arafat and 13 PA leaders jointly sponsored a soccer tournament honoring arch terrorists... Each of the 24 soccer teams was named for a terrorist or other Shahids [Martyrs], including some of the most infamous murderers like Yichye Ayash, the first Hamas bomb engineer, who initiated the suicide bombings...

"While music videos around the world are used to entertain children, in the PA they are used to indoctrinate children to hatred, violence, and Shahada. Regularly-broadcast PA music videos have actors depicting Israelis carrying out execution-style murders of old men, women and children, or blowing up mothers with their babies. In one music video broadcast continuously in 2003, actors portray a woman being murdered in cold blood in front of her daughter. In another, broadcast tens of times in 2003, the image of a young girl on a swing turns into a flaming inferno, and a football blows up after being kicked by a child. Children are taught through these videos not only to hate and to be violent, but are openly encouraged to aspire to death through Shahada [Martyrdom]. Clips designed to offset a child's natural fear of death, portraying child Shahada as both heroic and tranquil, have appeared on PA TV thousands of times over three years. One clip for children ends with the words: 'Ask for Death - the Life will be Given to you.' In another, a child writes a farewell letter and goes off to die. Children who have achieved death through suicide missions have been turned into PA heroes and role models by the PA leaders.

User Journal

Journal Journal: As U.S. high-tech wages slide, fewer jobs may head overseas 1


WASHINGTON -- As U.S. companies send more high-tech work overseas, they are creating a "downward pressure on salaries" that may help slow American job losses, a technology industry leader told Congress on Monday.

Indeed, U.S. workers may have to get used to lower wages, said Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America. Unlike the late 1990s when the tech sector was booming, U.S. workers no longer can expect employers to offer "six-figure incomes to technical people with little or no actual on-the-job training," Miller told the House Committee on Small Business.

Americans must face the "hard truth" that offshore companies not only offer information technology services for "a fraction of the cost," but they can "compete for increasingly more sophisticated and complex IT work," he said.

The silver lining of this wage pressure, Miller said, is that "a more competitive payroll picture may undercut" the push to move U.S. jobs offshore.

Miller said cutting wages is not the only strategy for staying competitive. He said a key step is to provide greater value, which means raising the skills of U.S. workers and the creativity of U.S. companies.

"The U.S. cannot legislate or regulate its way out of this perplexing situation," Miller said. "At the same time, however, to do nothing -- as Bobby McFerrin sang, Don't Worry, Be Happy -- is to risk an ever-increasing number of knowledge worker jobs disappearing overseas."

Miller called on Congress to boost funding for tech education, approve trade agreements to open more markets to U.S. goods and services, and make the tax credit for research and development permanent.

At the same time, "companies must do their part by providing internships, mentorships and other mechanisms" to draw young people to the field.

He also called for the creation of a National Center for IT Work Force Competitiveness to study industry trends and analyze work force skills.

But another witness, Natasha Humphries of Santa Clara, Calif., said that despite her efforts to boost her value through greater education, she still lost her job this year.

Humphries, a 1996 Stanford graduate, focused on acquiring "new skills through classes, seminars and self study" to become a senior software quality assurance engineer at Palm.

She said Palm began a campaign to outsource all testing assignments to India and China, which accepted contracts paying $2 to $5 an hour, compared with wages of $30 to $60 an hour in California.

Humphries said she tried to upgrade her qualifications. But she said Palm management discouraged her from enhancing her skills. In August she was fired. The reason was her paycheck, not her lack of skills, she said.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Grove warns of software downfall 2


        Posted on Fri, Oct. 10, 2003
Grove warns of software downfall
By Heather Fleming Phillips
Mercury News Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - Intel Chairman and tech visionary Andy Grove sent a warning shot across the bow of the federal government Thursday.

The U.S. software industry is about to lose jobs and market share to foreign competitors unless the government acts quickly to fight protectionist trade policies and double U.S. productivity, he said.

``I'm here to be the skunk at your garden party,'' Grove began in his afternoon speech beamed via satellite to an otherwise rosy gathering of software executives in Washington.

He predicted that the software and services industry is about to travel the well-worn path of the steel and semiconductor industries. Steel's market share dropped from about 50 percent to 10 percent in a few decades. U.S. chip companies saw theirs shrink from 90 percent to about 50 percent today. Now the writing is on the wall that software could suffer the same fate, said Grove, whose 1996 bestseller was titled ``Only the Paranoid Survive.''

``It would be a miracle if it didn't happen in the software and services industry,'' said Grove, noting that he was speaking on National Depression Day.

Political ramifications

Grove's speech comes at a sensitive time for the industry and the Bush administration. The industry still is struggling to get out of a three-year slump. And a year before the presidential election, the administration is looking for signs that its economic stimulus programs are benefiting industry and turning the economy around.

``This administration has very high productivity growth but also job losses and they're rightfully nervous about that heading into a presidential election,'' said Bill Whyman, an analyst with independent Washington research firm, Precursor.

Why are things looking so grim for software? Grove attributes it to fewer people getting advanced degrees in the United States in science and engineering, the high cost of U.S. labor in comparison to some foreign countries, and the fact that high-bandwidth connections are prevalent and cheaper, making it much easier for U.S. companies to work with developers in countries such as India.

The phenomenon is not only affecting software, he noted, but is trickling over into other important sectors such as health care.

Grove's speech was viewed at the Global Tech Summit, sponsored by the Business Software Alliance.

``Dr. Grove gave a provocative talk with a frank assessment of what the future might hold if governments and industry aren't aggressive about facing some of our biggest challenges head on,'' said Robert Holleyman, president of the Business Software Alliance. ``But that doesn't mean the future is grim,'' he said, noting that a study the trade association released Thursday shows the industry is set to create more than 1.5 million new high-paying jobs worldwide.

He added that software CEOs agree that the United States needs a solid plan for confronting their issues. A group of about 20 executives, including Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, traveled to Washington this week to lobby administration officials and Congress.

Grove said he was hard-pressed to find a comprehensive statement on what the government is doing to address the issue. ``We haven't even articulated the problem,'' he said.

The Bush administration rebutted Grove's claim that it hasn't worked to battle the problems facing the industry.

``We certainly understand the challenges there,'' said Phil Bond, undersecretary of technology at the Commerce Department. He noted that the government has a policy to make sure that all children are ``technologically literate'' by the eighth grade. Funding for science and math education was also recently boosted by $1 billion.

``In trade, I don't think anybody questions the free trade credentials of this administration,'' he added.

All hope not lost

But Grove said all hope wasn't lost. The industry in partnership with the U.S. government still could turn things around if it acts quickly. His recommendations: boost funding for research and development at universities; adopt policies that attract the best workers from around the world; better collaboration between companies on pre-competitive technology; and raise the hurdle for intellectual property litigation.

``Time is our enemy,'' he said.

After the speech, Grove was questioned on his desire to preserve jobs domestically, while at the same time Intel and the industry as a whole are moving jobs offshore. Grove responded that the industry is facing conflicting goals of serving shareholders and doing ``the right thing for the country.''

In the absence of public policy to help guide us, we have no choice but to export jobs, he said.

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