Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry aren’t just devout—both have deep ties to a fringe fundamentalist movement known as Dominionism, which says Christians should rule the world.
Short version: they want the Dark Ages to return.
For the past year, we’ve talked a lot about how police and some courts have been abusing wiretapping laws to go after people who film the police in public. Thankfully, more recently, it appears that more and more courts have been smacking down such lawsuits, and those who are bringing them are regularly being scolded. Not everyone has received the message however. For example, there’s police officer Michael Sedergren, who was disciplined for an incident in November of 2009, in which police were caught on video beating a guy named Melvin Jones III. The video was made by a woman named Tyrisha Greene. Jones had bones all over his face broken and became partially blind in one eye.
You would think that Sedergren, who was suspended for 45 days for his actions in the video, would know better and just get on with his life. Instead, he’s “filed an application for a criminal complaint” against Greene, saying she violated wiretapping laws in filming him without his permission. Everyone involved knows the law is not intended for situations like this, where an officer of the law is out in public. If this officer’s response to being filmed involved in questionable activities is to push for criminal charges against the person who caught him doing it, it seems like he does not deserve to be an officer of the law at all any more. What a massive abuse of the law.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett wants to pay higher taxes.
In an op-ed in the New York Times, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway urged politicians in Washington to raise taxes on the “mega-rich” who have been “coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress.”
Buffett, who has repeatedly argued for higher taxes on the rich, said the tax rate on his 2010 taxable income was about 17.4 percent, lower than any of the other people who work for him. Their rates ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent, he said.
In coordinated raids Monday at locations in Delaware, South Dakota, and California, federal agents apprehended dozens of executives at Visa Inc., a sham corporation accused of perpetrating the largest credit card scam in U.S. history.
According to indictments filed in U.S. District Court, Visa posed as a reputable lender, working through banks to peddle a variety of convincing-looking credit cards carefully designed to dupe consumers into spending far more money than they had. The criminal group would then impose a succession of escalating fees on unpaid balances, allegedly bilking some $300 billion from victims in the past year alone.
"This is criminal behavior of the most vile sort," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a press conference following the arrests, estimating that one in three Americans have fallen for the scam since its inception in the 1970s. "By masquerading as a legitimate business, this illicit syndicate was able to prey on helpless citizens for decades, charging unfathomable interest rates on the order of 15, 20, even 30 percent or more. It’s staggering. Nobody could afford that."
"The actions of the Visa crime ring amount to nothing less than mass extortion," Holder continued. "Anyone who’s holding a Visa card has most likely already been ripped off."
Me: “[Company] tech support, how may I help you?”
Caller: “Hi, I’ve got a problem. Your program is telling me to get a pet snake. I don’t want one.”
Me: “Excuse me?”
Caller: “It’s giving me a message telling me I need a snake to run it.”
Me: “Read the message to me please.”
Caller: “Error: Python required to run script.”
Last week I read about an Android licensing issue that I wasn’t previously aware of. It’s a pretty serious one, and it’s not that hard to understand. The short version is that
rampant non-compliance with the source code disclosure requirement of the GPLv2 (the license under which Linux is published) — especially but not only in connection with Honeycomb — has technically resulted in a loss of most vendors’ right to distribute Linux;
this loss of the distribution license is irremediable except through a new license from each and every contributor to the Linux kernel, without which Android can’t run; and
as a result, there are thousands of people out there who could legally shake down Android device makers, threatening to obtain Apple-style injunctions unless their demands for a new license grant are met.
At first sight it may appear unthinkable that things could go so wrong with the distribution license for the very foundation Android was built upon. But I did my research and the above conclusions are just consistent with legal positions taken recently by two of the most renowned Free Software organizations — the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) and the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) — in another context involving GPLv2 (and software embedded in devices), the so-called BusyBox lawsuit (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, case no. 1:09-cv-10155).