“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, June 27, 2014

Aaron Swartz - Why you should care -philosophical questions about information, who controls it and the freedom of the web.

BY VICTORIA FLEISCHER  June 27, 2014 at 1:12 PM EDT
Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger recently spoke to chief arts correspondent Jeffrey Brown about his new film, “The Internet’s Own Boy.”
For Aaron Swartz, the teen tech prodigy who became a leader in the fight against regulation and privatization of information on the internet, social activism wasn’t a choice, but a calling.
Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger characterizes Swartz’s mission this way: “If you can do something good in the world, what’s your argument for not doing that? … That’s something that seems clear through most of his life and its something he asked himself a lot.”
Knappenberger’s latest documentary, “The Internet’s Own Boy,” tells the story of Swartz, his contributions to web technology, his activism and his eventual suicide in January 2013.
Swartz was a leading figure in the creation of technologies, including the RSS system, a web feed that aggregates content, and in building companies, including Reddit.
According to Knappenberger, Swartz was a major contributing to early RSS working groups online. These groups were largely compromised of tech people in their thirties, forties, and fifties, but that didn’t prevent the teenage Swartz from participating.
“They listen to him and they treat him like a serious colleague because he holds his own. At one point, they say, ‘we’d really like you to come out to one of this face-to-face meetings’ and he says ‘I’d love to. I’m not sure my mom would let me though, I’m only 13.’”
Swartz’s story represents many of the questions raised by our modern age — philosophical questions about information, who controls it and the freedom of the web.
Swartz was being targeted by the federal government for downloaded massive amounts of documents, without paying for them, from online digital storehouses, including J-Stor, a digital library of academic journals. The charges against him carried a potential sentence of 35 years.
In 2013, Swartz was found dead by suicide at the age of 26.
“His story, I found, was this incredibly moving, compelling, inspiring, infuriating,” said Knappenberger. “But also the sheer volume of things that he was involved in was so relevant.”
“The Internet’s Own Boy” opens today in theaters and is available for download.


  1. Sorry, Deuce, I just don't have the stomach to read the Madman from Mississippi and the "Desert Rat" heap praise on this guy who anyone with a brain could tell HATES THIS COUNTRY...

    But, since this thread is so far Rat Shit Free:

    Carolla has now spent more than 450 thousand on legal fees, and they are just getting started...

    There's a corrupt fucking judge in some fucked little town in Texas raking in the millions for these crooks.

    1. Sorry, second link's mp3 is no longer available for freeloaders.

      First one is, tho.

    2. "this guy who anyone with a brain could tell HATES THIS COUNTRY..."

      Sorry again: Ambiguous:

      Barrack Hussein Obama, POTUS, manifestly despises this country and what it stands for.

    3. Doug, you are so funny.
      What does the country stand for?

      Which side of the Whiskey Rebellion do you stand with?
      Grant or Lee?
      Sherman or Atlanta?
      Federal Reserve Notes or JFK's Silver Certificates?

      Think about it and let me know.

    4. The 16th Amendment or the Original Constitution?

      Which version is the country you stand with, Doug?

    5. Boehner's "Law Suit" or Articles of Impeachment?

      The Constitutional remedy or "Make Believe"?


    Having nothing to do with the above link, for those who have not noticed, we are all well and truly screwed. While we spent years thinking as partisans, the Pubs and Dems became the Soviet. Mississippi isn't burning it's just up to its eyeballs in Soviet game-playing.

    1. It's not the Government, it's the Corporations that owns it.
      The Corporations are not people. They are not accountable.

      Eisenhower was correct. MacArthur was correct. Smedley Butler was correct.

      The Skull & Bones are not what the United States should be led by.
      Banks that are to big to fail, should be dismantled.
      Media Conglomerates broken up.
      Main Street should take precedence over Wall Street.

    2. Doug thinks there is a difference between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush.
      A difference between Lester Crown and the Koch Brothers.
      Between Leslie Moonves and Rubert Murdock.

      He's still in the 19th century.


    Given today's demographic report, the group's name may be apropos - Fine Young Cannibals. Let's just hope their interest is in paying our bills and not payback.


  5. Just listening to the Pink Flloyd Channel, playing Run Like Hell...I loved to run as a kid. I used to pretend that I was a horse when I really wanted to crank it up and beat who I was running against.

    1. I was into bicycle races, myself, although I was the fastest guy in the west up to fourth grade, and ran against the Fastest Man on Earth, Tommy Lee Smith, in some later grade. (he only beat me by 5 or 10 yards in the 100)

      WRT to horses, my farmgirl mom would occasionally regard me as: A Horse's Pa-toot.

      Little did I know what an accurate and complimentary description that would turn out to be.

    2. Just looked it up:

      All these years I thought it referred to the a horse's giant penis.

      Now I'll have to get therapy for hating my mother.

  6. Funny how easy it is to prove that "Jack Hawkins" is indeed Mr. Rat Shit.

    I challenge either of them to provide evidence of me implying any difference between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.

    Both of them are patriots when compared to BHO, however.

    1. Where the hell you been hiding Doug?

    2. Presumably you had the talk from your momma about birds and bees, that covered the difference between Jeb and Hil.

    3. Well, Doug, why isn't Mr Boner filing Articles of Impeachment, if he is so awful?
      Instead of some 'Made for TV' bullshit.

    4. He being either Mr Obama, Mr Boehner, Mr Holder or any other Federal dickweed.

      There is no reason to 'sue' the President.
      Comical misdirection by Mr Boner, by the time the 'law suit' proves fruitless, there will be no time for impeachment.

      Get a grip of reality, Doug.

    5. That's exactly what Obummer wants. This way he just sinks into the tar.

    6. .

      The Boehner lawsuit is a legitimate approach. The biggest challenge he might have is convincing a court that he and his bros have standing to bring the suit. To me it seems reasonable to assume they do. However, it's hard to tell whether the courts would agree.


    7. Cite the chapter and verse in the Constitution where it says the House of Representatives should take the President to Federal Court?
      Come on Doug, surely you can reference that.
      It will be the Hallmark of the GOP majority in the House, which they have held for the last five years.
      The best the GOP can muster is a law suit?

      And you perceive them as being 'serious' about governance?

    8. Months wasted, Q. No Federal Judge has jurisdiction over the President.
      The Supremes may, if they pushed it, but they will tell Mr Boner to follow the Constitutional remedy.
      If Mr Obama is committing numerous misdemeanors, or high crimes the House has a remedy, it is called Impeachment.

    9. Three years, not five, mea culpa.

    10. .

      Don't be silly rat.

      You talk of wasted months, but Impeachment would be a wasted effort if the case was rejected in the Senate which you know it would be as long as Reid is in charge. A court case is a simpler, easier approach if you can prove standing to bring it.

      Where Boehner to claim that the Presidents actions (i.e. executive orders) infringe upon the constitutional powers granted to Congress I would think he should have a pretty good basis for having the case reviewed by the courts. Now, of course it would depend on what presidential actions he stated violated the separations of powers. There is a whole range of executive orders presidents have issued, some constitutional and others not.

      The court cases don't occur that often but we saw two just recently, Obama's recess appointments at the NLRB were ruled unconstitutional and we saw the limits the court put on the EPA's ability to control greenhouse gases.

      We don't know what Boehner has in mind, but whatever he comes up with the court has set some guidelines for reviewing it. The guidelines were set up in a concurring opinion in the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952) case by Justice Jackson. They said the legitimacy of the executive orders need to be judged according to this hierarchy:

      (1) Those issued pursuant to an express or implied authorization of Congress. Here the president’s authority is at its maximum. The EO is invalid only if the federal government as a whole lacks authority to do what the EO does.

      (2) Those based upon undefined powers that lay in a "zone of twilight" where the President acts solely on the basis of his independent power and Congress has not spoken. Congressional inactivity or indifference may sometimes enable measures on independent presidential responsibility. In this area, the validity of the EO depends on the imperatives of events and contemporary imponderables rather than on abstract theories of law.

      (3) Those incompatible with the expressed or implied will of Congress, and thus rely solely upon his constitutional authority. Here presidential EO power is at its lowest, and must be scrutinized with caution before being taken, because the EO is only constitutional if a court can disable the Congress from acting on the subject.

      Not sure what Boehner with come up with but I would say that a couple that are ripe for review before SCOTUS would be:

      1. The changes Obama has unilaterally made to the Obamacare law, and

      2. The changes he has unilaterally made to the immigration laws

      I would think these fall into category 3 and would be ripe for review. I'm sure there are others.


    11. We'll see, but I doubt that Boner gets very far with it, not past November. It's an election ploy.

    12. Agreed.
      Jack, Rat, Doug, and Limbaugh all agree.

      BHO remains the Superputz of the Universe, nonetheless.

  7. You guys do know that there are quite a few people in the world that think Aaron Swartz did not commit suicide, but was murdered.

    When Aaron Swartz refused to deal with the devil, did the government "suicide" him?

    Aaron Swartz was Murdered – He Faced 3 Months in Jail Not 35 Years!

    Aaron Swartz's Father Says Reddit Co-Founder Was 'Killed By The Government'

    Now there are lots more such stories ... google the key words .... Aaron Swartz murdered ...

    1. I don't know who Aaron Swatz is, let alone how he snuffed it.

    2. Hung by the neck.
      The Feds are said to have had a weak case, but lots of PR invested.

    3. Kind of a Vince Foster & Barry Seal scenario , but different.

      by Scott Creighton

      Aaron Swartz did not take his own life. He was murdered in order to save the state the embarrassment of losing their trumped up trial against him. He faced a maximum of 6 months in jail, reduced to 3 for good behavior as is the law, not 35 years as the complicit press will tell you. He was killed so that a movement he helped lead would be crippled right before another SOPA / PIPA internet crushing bill is about to take shape. He was killed because he refused a deal and would have stoked the imagination of the opposition by winning in court. Unfortunately, far too few “alternative” activists out there are willing to make this statement. Activists who owe this young man a great deal as they enjoy a free and open internet which is about to close down forever.

      Aaron Swartz was murdered and I am sure he won’t be the last. Perhaps the most obvious lesson here is too the “hacktivist” community at large: when we bust you and drum up charges against you, you turn and serve “the greater good” or… you get “Swartzed”.

      Swartz was a leading and effective activist standing opposed to the neo-liberalization of America and the people investigating his death are Billioniare Bloomberg’s “mini-CIA”. Get the picture? I guess he’s lucky he wasn’t renditioned to Djibouti like other dissidents as is the custom under Obama.

  8. I suppose I should RTFA once in a while, eh? ;-)

  9. As a kid I was lucky. I had available real horses to ride. There was never any love of cycles, although they were fast and convenient. No, for me, I loved the living unity of the large, strong animal and the man. It is primative, but for those who have experienced it it is mythical.

    Now, with a boost, I can still mount, but the days of flying across a field with the wind, the mane, and the sweat in my face are gone forever. Any horse instantly determines the caliber of its rider and behaves accordingly. Fortunately, good-natured horses adjust themselves to handle the handicapped, making a slow walk a pleasure.

    1. Horses are marvelous animals.

      And, many horses have more sense than humans, and more dignity.

      As a marvelous English writer pointed out not that long ago.

  10. We don't know what Boehner has in mind, but whatever he comes up with the court has set some guidelines for reviewing it. The guidelines were set up in a concurring opinion in the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952) case by Justice Jackson. They said the legitimacy of the executive orders need to be judged according to this hierarchy:

    (2) Those based upon undefined powers that lay in a "zone of twilight" where the President acts solely on the basis of his independent power and Congress has not spoken.



    The Mother of All Guidelines, for sure..........undefined powers in a zone of twilight

    1. These 'undefined powers in a zone of twilight' are, exactly, those powers demanded by Quirk of Hamdoon, and granted too, for 'those emergency situations when all is lost' and only True Leadership can save the day.

  11. 50,000 Christians flee Iraqi city as ISIL approaches

    Robert Spencer Jun 27, 2014 at 12:41pm Iraq, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Muslim persecution of Christians

    Assyrian Christians

    The world will little note nor long remember the suffering of Christians in Iraq or other Muslim countries. As long as no “Islamophobia” is being committed, all is well.

    “50,000 Assyrians Flee Fighting in North Iraq,” AINA, June 16, 2014 (thanks to The Religion of Peace)

    (AINA) — Nearly all of the population of Qaraqosh, 50,000 Assyrians, has fled the city amid fighting between ISIS and Kurds. Syrian Catholic Archbishop Mar Youhana Boutros Moshe attempted to negotiate with ISIS and the Kurds to convince them to leave the city, but the negotiations failed. ISIS and the ‘Revolutionary Tribes’ (Sunnis) are set to storm the city.

    According to Bishop Yousif Habash of the Syriac Orthodox Church in New Jersey, Qaraqosh (also known as Baghdede) is now almost completely abandoned. A source reporting from Qaraqosh told AINA the population has fled to Arbel, Dohuk, Alqosh, Tel Kepe, Telsqop and Ankawa. Monasteries and churches are filled with displaced Christian refugees from Baghdede. There is an urgent need for food, water, medical aid and blankets.

    Kurdish forces and ISIS pounded each other with mortars. The Kurds have positioned themselves on the east side of Qaraqosh, ISIS and the ‘Revolutionary Tribes’ have stationed themselves on the west and south side, near the villages of Tawajna and Qurtaba-Arab and south of Balawat.

    ISIS has given the Kurdish forces an ultimatum to leave by 7 P.M. else face an attack.

    The city is known by three names: Baghdede in Assyrian, Hamdaniya in Arabic and Qaraqosh in Turkish.

  12. Boehner's memo said he will bring legislation to a floor vote in July authorizing the House general counsel to file the suit. The case would take months to work its way through the courts, but it would give Republicans new fodder to try to sway voters in the November congressional elections.

    "I think Speaker Boehner is being a very effective advertisement for the Republican Party," said John Hudak, a governance studies fellow at the Brookings Institution. "He's playing to his base."

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama had "solid legal rationale" for his actions and added Congress should work with the administration instead of taking it to court.

    "The fact that they are considering a taxpayer-funded lawsuit against the president of the United States for doing his job, I think is the kind of step that most Americans wouldn't support," Earnest said.

    Legal experts said U.S. courts are generally reluctant to wade into what they perceive as political fights between Congress and the White House.

    Stanley Brand, who served as the House's general counsel under the late Democratic House Speaker Tip O'Neill, said a narrowly focused suit has a better chance of success, particularly when it comes to Supreme Court review.

    A suit as broad as the one envisioned by Boehner would face skepticism from judges, Brand said.

    "They’re not referees of political disputes, they’re arbiters of concrete action," he said. "The courts are not going to supervise a president that way. I don’t want to say it’s harebrained, but it’s close to it."

    1. Bullshit.
      Your previous post re: Boehner is closer to the mark and pretty much says it all, the Quirkster's protestations notwithstanding:

      Jack HawkinsSat Jun 28, 12:22:00 AM EDT
      He being either Mr Obama, Mr Boehner, Mr Holder or any other Federal dickweed.

      There is no reason to 'sue' the President.
      Comical misdirection by Mr Boner, by the time the 'law suit' proves fruitless, there will be no time for impeachment.

      Why you chose to sabotage yourself with this nonsense:

      "Get a grip of reality, Doug."

      Only you can know, or not know, in the midst of your mindswamp of blasphemy.

    2. "Comical misdirection by Mr Boner, by the time the 'law suit' proves fruitless, there will be no time for impeachment."

      end quote, and well said.

      On the upside:

      I saw an apparently recent picture of Mr Boner in which The Dick's Head was not orange!!!

  13. Teresita RedingerFri Jun 27, 11:51:00 PM EDT

    That's a nice looking horse.

    Any particular description that fits, Jack/Rat?

  14. Daryl Wright witnessed Michael Jackson physically abusing his monkey, Bubbles.
    ...more than once.

    Eventually, Bubbles got his revenge and attacked Mike.

    Sadly, the upshot was that the evil Mike put Bubbles in a cage.

    Happily, when kids came to Neverland, Bubbles would lure them close to the cage, shit in his hand, and smear it on their little faces.

    1. In highschool, Adam Carolla's friends Ray Oldhaffer and Chris Boehm got together and placed Chris's shit in Ray's hand.

      Ray then proceeded to slap the shit into Adam's ear.

      Good times.

      Adam chased him around the school until it dawned on him that he was running around the school with shit in his ear, at which point he pulled his hoodie over his head and headed for home.


    Offense: 2907.06 - Sexual Imposition

    Details: Tier I Sex Offender


    What is "Sexual Imposition?"

    It gets complex:

    Grist for the lawyers.

    1. "(3) The offender knows that the other person, or one of the other persons, submits because of being unaware of the sexual contact."


      Does "passed out" count?

      ...just sayin.