Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

October 17, 2007

Getting Free Speech Wrong

Proving the old adage that politics makes strange bedfellows, and that misunderstanding the Constitution is something that both the right and the left are guilty of, the President of NARAL and the President of the Christian Coalition have a joint column in today’s Washington Post about the refusal by Verizon Wireless to allow broadcast text […]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 6:13 am || Permalink || Comments (27) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Free Speech,Individual Rights,Technology
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October 16, 2007

Verizon Admits It Turned Over Customer Data Without A Warrant

Today’s Washington Post reports that one of the nation’s largest telecommunications companies routinely complies with requests for customer data from government agencies without requiring a warrant: Verizon Communications, the nation’s second-largest telecom company, told congressional investigators that it has provided customers’ telephone records to federal authorities in emergency cases without court orders hundreds of times […]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 9:34 am || Permalink || Comments (3) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Individual Rights,Privacy,Technology
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October 10, 2007

Free Speech in the Free Market

Tim Rutten, writing for the LA Times made several interesting observations regarding talk radio,, and the way congress has responded to commentary coming from each. [T]he House and Senate censured the liberal activist group for taking out a newspaper advertisement that characterized Gen. David H. Petraeus, the U.S. military commander in Iraq, as […]

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August 22, 2007

Jimmy Justice: Policing the Police

As a general rule, I believe that most police officers are brave, respectable, and truly do their best to honor their mission statement: to serve and protect. As with any organization, there are some bad apples, however. And what happens when a police officer abuses his or her badge to break the law or harass […]

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August 3, 2007

Why Bush Cancelled Warrantless Wiretapping Program

Some of you may remember this story, from mid-January (covered by Doug here). The tone of the story is that Bush backed down to pressure from Democrats and the American public, and realized that his program might be over the line. The Bush administration said yesterday that it has agreed to disband a controversial warrantless […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 2:39 pm || Permalink || Comments (23) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Privacy,Technology,The Surveillance State,War on Terror
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IRS Signs Over Fort Knox To Nigerian Scammers

Okay, well maybe it’s not THAT bad… But it’s close: IRS employees ignored security rules and turned over sensitive computer information to a caller posing as a technical support person, according to a government study. Sixty-one of the 102 people who got the test calls, including managers and a contractor, complied with a request that […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 2:01 pm || Permalink || Comments (1) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Humor,Taxation,Technology
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July 22, 2007

autoDogmatic Reports On SC Ron Paul Rally

Aaron, one of the bloggers over at autoDogmatic and the founder of the Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter, recently attended a Ron Paul rally in South Carolina, particularly looking for freaks and fringe groups. He found none: You see, I went in expecting an audience which was somehow “not normal”, indescribably; maybe quirky or geeky; paranoid; socially-awkward; […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 2:28 pm || Permalink || Comments (30) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Election '08,Politics,Technology,Theory and Ideas
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July 15, 2007

Senate Democrats Vote Against Free Speech

On Friday, the Democratic controlled Senate voted down a bill that would have barred the Federal Communications Commission from reinstating the so-called Fairness Doctrine without Congressional approval: WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Friday blocked an amendment by Sen. Norm Coleman that would have prevented the return of the Fairness Doctrine, a federal rule which required […]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 8:24 am || Permalink || Comments (4) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Free Speech,Individual Rights,Technology
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June 2, 2007

Total Security = Total Paralysis

The Register (slogan “Biting the Hand that Feeds I.T.) is one of my favorite news sources on IT related matters. Skeptical, sarcastic, they do not suffer fools lightly. Today reading their rss feed, I came across this article: DHS: beware stink-bomb touting terrorists Unusual paranoia over chemical attack in the US takes many forms. It […]

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May 24, 2007

When corporations fight proxy wars using governments

It is always depressing to see a political battle erupt where you know, no matter who wins, the average citizen will be screwed. One such slow motion train wreck is taking place in Massachusetts as we speak. I became aware of it when one of the groups put an ad on TV that was so […]

Posted By: tarran @ 1:40 am || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Free Trade,Freedom of the press,Government Regulation,Monopolies,Property Rights,Technology
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April 21, 2007

Venezuela Launches Surveillance Blimps

The British have cameras, the Venezuelans have $465K dirigibles to do their surveillance: Venezuela launched a Zeppelin on Thursday to patrol Caracas, seeking to fight crime in one of Latin America’s most dangerous cities but also raising fears that President Hugo Chavez could be turning into Big Brother. Around the hot-dog stalls of the run-down […]

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April 5, 2007

US Reaches H1-B Visa Limit On First Day

Each year, we’ve reached the cap of H1-B visa applications earlier and earlier. This year, we have met (and nearly doubled) the cap on the very first day the application process is open. US reaches visa cap, skilled workers out of luck Technology companies may face a shortage of skilled workers later this year after […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 11:32 am || Permalink || Comments (41) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Economics,Free Trade,Government Regulation,Immigration,Technology
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April 4, 2007

New Mexico — Taxing Their Way To Space Tourism!

N.M. Voters Divided Over Spaceport Tax A referendum in New Mexico yesterday on whether to raise a local sales tax to help pay for construction of the world’s first commercial spaceport remained undecided today, and won’t be passed or defeated until about 550 provisional ballots are counted later in the week. Dona Ana County election […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 3:29 pm || Permalink || Comments (2) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Taxation,Technology
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April 3, 2007

FBI Extending Jurisdiction to Virtual Worlds

FBI checks gambling in Second Life virtual world FBI investigators have visited Second Life’s Internet casinos at the invitation of the virtual world’s creator Linden Lab, but the U.S. government has not decided on the legality of virtual gambling. “We have invited the FBI several times to take a look around in Second Life and […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 11:18 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Government Regulation,Legal,Technology,The Nanny State
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Russian Censorship And American Liberty

Over at Reason, Cathy Young relates a story about the increasing online censorship in Russia. Putin is tightening the screws, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that Russia is slipping back into authoritarianism. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s steady rollback of hard-won press freedoms has entered a new stage. Not content with suppressing television, radio, and newspapers, […]

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April 2, 2007

I’m Suing The X Prize Foundation

Because they stole my idea: The competition requires significant energy and emissions goals (most importantly, fuel economy) with at least 100 mpg or its equivalent. The guidelines are replacing the outdated MPG with this new standard, MPGe, which takes into account energy equivalents, no matter what the energy source. Production capability is another important requirement: […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 11:51 pm || Permalink || Comments (3) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Environment,Intellectual Property Rights,Technology,Theory and Ideas
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March 22, 2007

Judge To Feds: You Can’t Treat Us All Like Children

Today, a Federal Judge in Philadelphia struck down a 1998 law that made it illegal for online content providers to allow children access to “harmful” material: PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge on Thursday dealt another blow to government efforts to control Internet pornography, striking down a 1998 U.S. law that makes it a crime for […]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 1:26 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Free Speech,Individual Rights,Technology
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March 1, 2007

Satellite Radio, Monopolies, And Legislative Stupidity

Doug’s been doing a good job of keeping up with the news on the proposed XM/Sirius merger. As he’s pointed out, having one monopoly satellite radio is better than having two that go out of business. But something has been left out of the equation. What’s wrong with a monopoly in satellite radio? After all, […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 5:12 pm || Permalink || Comments (5) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Government Regulation,Media,Monopolies,Technology
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February 16, 2007

The FCC Wants To Regulate Television Again

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission says that Congress should grant it the authority to regulate violence on television: WASHINGTON — Television networks are free to sprinkle their programs with shootings, slashings, torture and other gore because the government has no regulatory authority over violent programming. But a draft report being circulated at […]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 7:33 am || Permalink || Comments (1) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Free Speech,Individual Rights,Technology
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February 15, 2007

The Present And Future Of The Blogosphere

A few days ago, I reposted The Future Of Liberty, in order to set the stage for a post on the American’s article on Milton Friedman & blogging. Yesterday, though, Doug jumped in between steps A and B with his own post… But I think there’s more that can be said. A lot of people […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:57 pm || Permalink || Comments (3) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Blog Discussions,Technology,Theory and Ideas
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