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Saturday, February 24

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Federal Government Sun Nov 22 2009

The Anti-Counterfeiting and Trade Agreement: Do You Know About This?

The Obama administration is a part of a multinational, closed-door negotiation aimed at developing a treaty to help curb media piracy. That's right--rather than go through a normal legislative process where the public would know what was happening and might--this is controversial!--actually have a voice, the Obama administration is working secretly to draft a treaty that would make Internet Service Providers (ISPs) responsible for policing their networks for pirated material. Using treaties to enact policy is frequently referred to as "policy laundering."

Lobbyists? Special interest groups? Hell no! This is Barack Obama's glorious presidency! He cares about YOU, not those big, rich bastards that run "companies" and "corporations" that step all over the little guy. Surely he wouldn't appoint "at least five former intellectual property attorneys from the Recording Industry Association of America" to his administration or refer to media piracy as a "national security issue!" Obama's benevolent rule will be rife with government subsidized happiness! You won't have to pay your bills! No more of that evil administration from before!

All sarcasm aside, this is a wretched way for the government to enact a policy that will likely affect every one of us. Is media piracy right? No. Is having ISPs police their networks, throttling the bandwidth of anyone who is suspected of downloading or uploading pirated material, the solution? Absolutely not. Furthermore, we don't even know what the process will be for determining what constitutes pirated material, how they will determine that (e.g. just how much are they looking at what you do--privacy?), or what the restrictions will actually be. Why? Because the Obama administration thinks it's a national security issue so important that the public can't know. Yes, Hollywood paychecks are a national security issue, ladies and gentlemen.

Is this the change that you hoped for and believed in? Or really, isn't this the exact same kind of underhanded, sneaky stuff that made us all lose our faith in government during Bush's administration?

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Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...


Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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