Politics Archives

I wish this category did not exist.

God, Chris Dodd, get a clue!

“You’ve got an opponent who has the capacity to reach millions of people with a click of a mouse and there’s no fact-checker. They can say whatever they want.” –Chris Dodd

Dear Chris Dodd,

What happened last week was your ass getting fact-checked.

Perhaps you missed Salman Khan’s plain English analysis of SOPA and PIPA?

Or Fight for the Future’s PROTECT IP/SOPA Breaks The Internet from way back in October.

Or Clay Shirky’s brilliant TED Talk on Why SOPA is a bad idea.

Even Stephen Colbert came out against Stop Online Piracy Act (in his own, inimitable way).

That not enough? How about Our Internet and Save Innovation by Engine Advocacy.

Or perhaps you need something in plain text. Check out Reddit’s technical examination of SOPA and PROTECT IP.

And don’t forget the umptybillion SOPA/PIPA posts on Boing Boing you made the Internet suffer through.

Finally, for something a little different, check out World Covers’ Rolling In The Deep, a video mashup of 71 different people all covering Adele’s hit song, which is “illegal” on so many levels, it will probably make your head explode (with any luck).

Update: Sign a petition at Whitehouse.gov to Investigate Chris Dodd and the MPAA for bribery after he publicly admitted to bribing politicians to pass legislation.

· Politics

Cuddly Communism

When I think of Vietnam, my first thoughts tend toward the Vietnam War (which I’ve taken a liking to calling the “American War” as they do locally), and not that they are one of the few remaining communist states. This fact was immediately brought home as we left the airport and were greeted by banners displaying the hammer and sickle draped from every lamppost. I laughed to myself.

From all outward appearances, it’s “communism in name only” after the market reforms of Doi Moi (similar to perestroika in the Soviet Union) that occurred in the late 1980s. Vietnam today is booming. That said, they still go all out with the communist symbolism, albeit with a warm and flowery kawaii-esque makeover. I’d call it “pastel propaganda”—much of it related to the Tet Festival that was happening while we were in HCMC.

Communist billboard in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam during Tet Festival 2011

Communist billboard in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam during Tet Festival 2011

Communist billboard in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam during Tet Festival 2011

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· Politics

Could someone explain this to me?

Please tell me I’m not the only one who saw a hot dog and hamburger taped to his head? (Hint: it’s his ear!)

An opposition supporter with pieces of bread taped onto his head shouts slogans during an anti-government protest in Sanaa February 3, 2011. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
Photo by REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

File this under “captions that do not do their photograph justice”:

An opposition supporter with pieces of bread taped onto his head shouts slogans during an anti-government protest in Sanaa February 3, 2011. Tens of thousands of Yemenis squared off in street protests for and against the government on Thursday during an opposition-led “Day of Rage”, a day after President Ali Abdullah Saleh offered to step down in 2013.

Me and rms

Justin Watt and Richard Stallman
Justin Watt and Richard Stallman, aka rms

At the San Francisco WordCamp today I got to see Richard Stallman give his free software talk and then perform his crowd-pleasing St. IGNUcius bit. I don’t usually do this, but afterwards I stuck around so I could get my picture taken with him.