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Go to jail!

A few weeks ago, Slashdot had a post about the new bill in Congress to make streaming infringing videos a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail if just 10 people watch the video. As more details come out, the bill keeps looking worse and worse, as it appears that the definitions used in the bill would mean that merely embedding or linking to an infringing YouTube video could put you on the hook for jail time. Obviously, supporters of the bill insist that’s not who will be targeted with this bill, but just the fact that they could be should be worrisome enough. We’ve seen other laws “misused” in the past.

Again, there’s that idea that all works and ideas are to be commodified and hoarded. The Founders allowed for a 14-year copyright, and another 14-year extension if the author or inventor was still alive. They had this crazy idea that creative works should eventually become part of the public domain, to enrich society.

What a bunch of losers.

Elizabeth Warren

Where the attacks are coming from, and why.

Lying weasel

Closet queen Eric Cantor. No, Eric, it is NOT just like when a family puts money away to buy a car. It’s the United States government, we’re the richest in the world:

Stop making sense

Go read the whole thing. Dave Johnson:

But DC is not only not talking about jobs, they are talking about austerity – cutting the very things that create jobs. History and the experience of other countries as they struggle to crawl out of the economic collapse has shown again and again that government investment in infrastructure and education and scientific research and manufacturing are the path to recovery. England, Greece and others trying austerity are falling back into recession. Meanwhile China is investing hundreds of billion in high-speed rail and other infrastructure. Germany is investing in manufacturing. Others are investing billions more in infrastructure. All are pursuing green energy sources.

Mired in austerity ideology, we are doing none of these. For example, on a PBS NewsHour discussion of the House vote rejecting a “clean” debt-ceiling bill Tuesday, Rep. Peter Roskam said,

…any raising of the debt ceiling has to be preconditioned upon cuts that drive towards a real economic recovery and long-term growth and prosperity and job creation.

Rep. Roskam actually claimed that cutting the things that have proven to drive growth and job creation will drive growth and job creation.

New e coli strain

I’m always torn about posting this stuff, because while it’s certainly newsworthy, you probably already know that our food system is at high risk and you don’t need to get hit over the head to understand that:

The World Health Organisation has said that the E coli bacterium responsible for an outbreak that has left 17 dead and infected hundreds in Europe is a new strain that has never been seen before.

Preliminary genetic sequencing suggests the strain is a mutant form of two different E coli bacteria, with lethal genes that could explain why the Europe-wide outbreak appeared to be so big and dangerous, the agency said.

Hilde Kruse, a food safety expert at the WHO, told the Associated Press that “this is a unique strain that has never been isolated from patients before”.

She added that the new strain has “various characteristics that make it more virulent and toxin-producing”.

So far the mutant E coli strain has infected more than 1,500, including 470 who have developed a rare kidney failure complication. Researchers have been unable to pinpoint the cause of the outbreak, which has hit at least nine European countries.

Come on, now. Are you shocked?

Go, Bernie, go

Bernie Sanders on deficit reduction and “shared” sacrifice.

Buffalo Springfield

How I wish I could see this show.

Deep thought

If our political class doesn’t do something meaningful soon about global warming, opening our windows for cooler air in the summer may go the way of the horse and buggy.


“We’ve never seen such horror.”

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