Scripting News for 9/29/2006

How Bush goes 

I seriously think my country has lost its mind. We’re getting the best wakeup call possible with the torture bill. We’re getting the warning, if we re-elect the Republican Congress, we deserve what we get.

However, it’s not up to me, it’s up to the Republicans. That’s the basic truth. If you love the Constitution, if you love this country, how can you support what Congress just did. I struggle to find something to say, but then there really is nothing left. If the Republican voters can’t figure this one out, we’re totally screwed.

I wonder if Bush will leave office at the end of his term. Someone should ask him that question and listen carefully to the answer. An unequivocal “yes” is the only acceptable answer. I don’t think he’s planning to leave. That’s what all this maneuvering is about. The next step will be they’ll find some American citizens who are terrorists, and Congress will vote that in time of war the President doesn’t need to charge them with anything to imprison them until the war is over. They can already put non-citizens, legal or illegal, in prison, indefinitely without charging them.

What’s next? How far is “economic terrorism” from Islamofascists? Not really very far at all. When McCain runs for President the immigration issue will be front and center. Use your imagination if you want to understand what the final solution will be. And you should worry. I don’t believe U.S. citizenship is any kind of protection.

We may be in the last moments of free speech in this country, unless we do something about it. It seems we still have a vote. I will vote against the Republicans, take that as a given. But that isn’t enough. We need people who voted Republican in past elections to stand with us, to vote them out, now, so we can begin the process of unwinding the mess we’re in.

I heard a talk by Joseph Biden earlier today. I think he’s got some interesting ideas. Might want to take a look at that, for something positive and constructive we can focus on. And yes, once there’s a new Congress, we can begin the impeachment process. That’s how Bush goes. We can’t wait for him to decide whether he wants to leave or not. It’s time for him to go.

An important life lesson 

I should probably do a Flickr illustration for this one.

Four years ago today: “One of the lessons I’ve learned in 47.4 years: When someone accuses you of a deceit, there’s a very good chance the accuser practices that form of deceit, and a reasonable chance that he or she is doing it as they point the finger.”

Yahoo opens its identity system 

Jeremy Zawodny links to Yahoo’s diminutively named Browser Based Authentication (or BBAuth).

If it’s easy to program, and delivers on what it says it does, this is a huge deal. Basically Yahoo is opening up their identity system, and user-data system, so developers can build on Yahoo as a platform. It’s a bit further than Amazon was willing to go with S3 (it has an identity system, but it’s not the same one that Amazon uses).

The Identity Gang folks are going to be talking about this for a long time to come. Now Google and Microsoft have to speak. I’m pretty sure they’re not going to federate with Yahoo. Will they?

Ryan Tate is “confused but interested.”

Wes Felter: “Google released the same thing a few months ago.”

Wikipedia as a tool for character assassination 

Seth Finkelstein: “For people who are not very prominent, Wikipedia biographies can be an ‘attractive nuisance’. It says, to every troll, vandal, and score-settler: ‘Here’s an article about a person where you can, with no accountability whatsoever, write any libel, defamation, or smear. It won’t be a marginal comment with the social status of an inconsequential rant, but rather will be made prominent about the person, and reputation-laundered with the institutional status of an encyclopedia.'”

I don’t believe in War On Terror 

I don’t believe in “War on Terror.” It’s a Republican code-phrase which is used to change the US from a republic with a strong foundation for freedom, into a Christian terrorocracy. The irony is of course that the terrorists are the ones who always invoke this idea of “War on Terror.” After the latest fiasco in Congress, we’re once again dependent on the courts to uphold our basic values. We’ve lost two branches of government. For now the executive appears to be respecting the courts. Key word there is “appears.” I have no idea what they plan next.

Daniel Conover: “Shame on us.”

23 responses to this post.

  1. We’re not waging a war “on” terror–the US is waging a war “OF” terror–on its citizens. The Constitution, Bill of Rights–what are those? Seems most of Congress, the House and the Executive Branch don’t know any more.


  2. I think it is all good it’s only right that people get slated on the internet, thats’ why it’s here.


  3. Dave, if you find a link explaining what *exactly* developers can do with the Yahoo BBAuth, please post it! It sounds exciting but I could not find any nitty gritty details on what it does.

    There’s lots talking about how to do the authentication and the mechanism for getting the user signed in. But then what? What sort of user data can I store for my own app, and how is that done? What sort of Yahoo data can I get access to if the user authorizes it?

    The FAQ seems to focus on all the details AROUND the core functionality. So does the main docs page. The examples page is very high level — they link to sites using the service. But what does the service actually *do* once you get it up and running?

    Sign me confused but interested.


  4. Posted by Jim Erlandson on September 29, 2006 at 10:19 am

    Re: Identity and Microsoft.


  5. They have really started pouring up some top quality Kool Aid for independent developers –


  6. Posted by Pat Cavit on September 29, 2006 at 11:32 am

    Ryan: There’s really two big things I see BBAuth being useful for. One is having a login system that doesn’t require users to create a new username and password. You don’t get access to their Y! profile details or anything, but at least you can be sure they have logged-in and you get a unique identifier out of the deal. Asking someone for profile info isn’t as big a deal as having them create a new username/password combo that will need to be memorized or saved somewhere.

    The other nice thing is authenticated APIs, being able to modify stuff within Y! properties as opposed to just reading it is pretty neat. Note that I haven’t tried any of this yet but I’m hoping I’ll be able to start playing with it soon.


  7. Posted by Wes Felter on September 29, 2006 at 12:47 pm

    Google released the same thing a few months ago:

    Both the Google and Yahoo APIs have weird limitations, but it’s an interesting step.


  8. OK, so I have them logged in to Yahoo. Is there at least a way to get some sort of handle or UID that will be consistent from session to session, so that I can store some info on them on *my* server? Is “token” in supposed to identify the user across multiple sessions?

    There has to be a point to having them logged in.


  9. PS The “being able to modify stuff within Y! properties” sounds promising, where can I get more info on that?


  10. Come to Canada Dave, even for just a while?. Things are pretty fucked up here right now, with our secretive right wing prime minister and his even weirder , but he will be out again soon and we can get back to making progress.

    Gay marriage, Keeping peace, standing up for what we believe in, not going to places like Iraq (is Afghanistan ANY better?)

    We tell ourselves that, that those thing actually matter — that we are making some progress…. but what is the next war is over one of the great lakes, or the northwest passage? What if we are terrorists because we withhold fresh water supplies that we can’t afford to give up?

    The label of fascist, terrorist and criminal is so vague and random now… it’s hard to tell.


  11. First, and perhaps most important, your focus on Republicans makes wise sense. We need to gain allies in the Republicans. The Republicans hold the keys in this current political environment. And the responsibility, by the way.

    Dave, this post about the country is my favorite in a long time–a very important post which deserves wide reading. Pamphleteering in the best sense. What more can I say. I am sad. Period.

    The “war on terrorism” is completely manufactured. As someone said recently, terrrorism is not an opponent, it is a tactic. The way to deal with it is through police work and spying.

    Our nation is at war, however. Ask the troops, the families, the survivors, the defense contractors. Neil Young says it well, with the title to his album “Songs in a Time of War.” This is our era. But, many ask, who is the war against, and why are we fighting it?

    There is no opponent worthy of the name. There is no threat worthy of the dying. Bush, with the support of congress, has unleashed a real war against sham enemies.

    The answer is that we are fighting a war in order that the President and his allies can benefit from what are usually the secondary benefits of a war–silencing of dissent, cowing of the opposing party, consolidation of executive power, suspension of individual rights, and war profiteering by friends in business.

    What is so frightening is how effective Bush and his friends have been at gaining these benefits. Perhaps they can focus almost exclusively on maximizing these benefits, given that there is no real opponent in the war per se.

    One of the interesting things to consider is the difference between wars with real, credible opponents–and wars with sham opponents. The Vietnamese as a threat to the United States? The Iraqies as a threat to the “American Homeland”? The Cubans?

    What are we thinking…


  12. Dave,

    Don’t let THEM convince you that what they do is in any way associated with “Christian”. What sell-out churches do in this country is worship America and worship their own success, and buy wholly into the story that these criminals at the helm are selling: that they can have a piece too. Theirs is nothing but an American paganism; a national piety that replaces God. I myself refuse to grant them that victory and hijacking of Christianity.



  13. Dave: there’s on old expression: When you point the finger, there’s always three pointing back. Think about that for a moment.


  14. Dave, the real issue goes beyond the Bi-partisan thing. For years our country has been sold-out by the elite of both sides. The 2008 election won’t matter a hill of beans either. Bush, right now is enacting legislation which will take place in 2010–what’s that all about?

    As for moving to Canada, why bother? In 2010-despite what Congress thinks–the North American Union will be in place unless we “the people” can stop it. We won’t have border issues because there won’t be a Mexican or Canadian border–just the one continental perimeter–why do you think Bush is sending mixed messages on immagration? Their building a Mexican Consulate, aka “Smart Port”, in Kansas City. What’s that all about?, Nafta, the great sell out of America. CanMexica–the New North American Nation. That’s what the secret deals, the partnerships, the Banff Secret summit, Agenda 21, Animal ID, Real ID, food tracking, hay tracking are all about. Sounds like a load of consipracy theory (and like a true conspiracy theorist, that’s what “they” want it to sound like) but check it out, do the research and find out why the UN owns our National Parks and why we are being held accountable to the EU for property development codes. The sooner America wakes up from its American Idol, NFL, Survior fueled stupor the sooner we can regain our Constitutional Freedoms and throw off the totalitarian, fascist shackles we’ve blindly let be put in place.


  15. Posted by Joe Brigs on September 30, 2006 at 7:33 am

    Is this a scripting blog or a political blog? I think you should stick to what you know, and it’s not politics


  16. It’s not people like Dave who are destroying political disourse in this country. Political discourse was destroyed by an administration, echo chamber (AKA “The Mighty Wurlitzer”) that, unchallenged by a fearful and docile press, equate dissent with treason and questioning authority with empowering terrorists. Political discourse was destroyed by an administration that relies on deception and pavlovian stimulus substitution. (Say 9/11 and Saddam in close proximity often enough and Saddam evokes all the emotions that are rightfully attributed to 9/11–no evidence, logic needed.)

    That a majority of Senate and House Democrats voted against the Torture Authorization Act is a good thing. That the Senate Democrats didn’t oppose it with every parliamentary maneuver available to them is a shameful thing.

    For those who imagine that Dave is straying from his areas of expertise, I offer this metaphor. What Bush and his radical, authoritarian cabal are all about is anti-competitive, anti-user lock-in.

    That Dave is using this forum to speak to his audience about the grave perils facing the United States from right-wing lock-in is the least I would expect from him.

    For me, right-wing lock-in means that torture is being done in my name. And that makes me so ashamed of myself and my country.

    History asks, “where were the good Germans?” I don’t want future history to ask, “where were the good Americans?”


  17. democracy means everyone participates. people who think only “experts” (like george bush?) should have a political opinion should move to a country which has a police state where they’d feel much more comfortable.


  18. Far too many of us are fighting to save the flag by destroying the country.


  19. Bravo Michael, well said. We need everyone to keep hammering at this until all of the bad politicians are out of office.

    Thanks Dave, I keep thinking thoughts along the lines of what you said, and don’t get a chance often enough to speak or write them.


  20. See, this is exactly why I read this blog (aside to keep up with any developments in RSS/OPML land). I read mostly blogs of people who I tend to agree with (libertarians and conservatives) but want to keep my ear to the ground to hear what the people I disagree with are saying…

    Frankly, I’m getting a little distressed. I suppose it’s human nature, the terrible dangers of “partisianship” “Publius” discusses in The Federalist Papers. People want to believe the best about “their side” and the worst about “the other side”. I’m a SF Giants fan in baseball and of course the Dodgers are a bunch of bums while Barry Bonds isn’t so bad from a certain point of view 🙂

    This tendency is amusing in sports. In politics it gets a little dangerous. People on the left right now are hyperventilating about Bush to a dangerous degree! I remember reading a few rightist nuts during the Clinton administration who were convinced Clinton was a cocaine dealer as a Governor, that he used the State Troopers as hitmen, that as president he ordered the deaths of Vince Foster and so on, and that any day now the black helicopters and the BATF were going to enforce the New World Order… I knew (though I didn’t like Clinton) that indulging in the sort of echo chamber speculation was wrong. The world of talk radio back then (the web having not taken off for most people) was rife with people who reinforced each others partisan tendency to think the worst of the Other until it was ridiculous.

    Frankly Dave, you (and you are not alone in this) are sounding that ridiculous to me. You are deluded by your echo chamber if you think that Bush would try to seize power and even more deluded if you think most of his supporters would let him. Seriously: round up 10 republican friends (if you have 10 republican friends; if not I can lend you some of mine) . Ask them whether they would support Bush if he announced he is asking Congress to vote to repeal the 22nd amendment so that he can continue to serve to fight the war on terror. I predict a 100% rejection of this course of action…

    I’d like to further challenge you to come out of your echo chamber a bit. I subscribe to feeds of liberal political commentators I consider moderate (say Kevin Drum); not because I agree or particularly appreciate their analysis, but because everybody needs to hear contrary views. If you never have anybody call your views stupid or wrong or even evil, you probably need to broaden your exposure a bit. Now I don’t pay attention to the demented (say Keith Olbermann) because people that nuts just piss me off; I don’t learn anything from them. But if you think everybody who disagrees with you is evil, if everybody of the contrary opinions seems insane to you, perhaps the problem is not them… Pick some moderate supporter of the War on Terror and read their stuff for a while (Glenn Reynolds perhaps?)

    Understand that there are also smart people on the other side of issues, people who also care a lot about the country, who have thought through whats going on and just come to different conclusions. They might be wrong, but it doesn’t make them evil or stupid – any more than you are evil or stupid because you have come to different conclusions. It just means they have different assumptions, different values, different life experiences…

    See, the whole democracy thing works only as long as we are willing to be governed even when we disagree with the decisions of the majority (there is of course a time not to be governed (see Letters from a Birmingham Jail)) but that should be a course of last resort. Partisianship, indulging in the echo chamber of self confirming opinions really ends up being the enemy of democracy… Get out and mix it up a bit and keep thinking about it aloud on your blog…


  21. Posted by Samium Gromoff on October 3, 2006 at 5:48 am

    You mention voting as the chief remedy. As if you could vote the financial oligarchy-backed cryptofascists out of the office. They vastly outresource the scattered opposition. Their hold on the collective mind of the citizenry /and/ the voting machinery lands them a sure-fire win, anyway.


  22. Posted by Samium Gromoff on October 3, 2006 at 5:59 am

    As for what metapundit said — Bush is an important active element which enables system degradation, but by no means the chief one, or a deciding one. So, pointing all fingers to his person is very naive — he is backed by an immensely resourceful set of interests, which calculate/control every his move (of course, as much as it is possible, given his unstable personality).


  23. Dave: there’s on old expression: When you point the finger, there’s always three pointing back. Think about that for a moment.


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