Eric Holder's terrible tech-liberties record


The outgoing Attorney General presided over groundbreaking changes in civil liberties in the physical world but was a disaster when it comes to freedom in the world's nervous system: the Internet.

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Catalan president defies Madrid, decrees independence referendum


Catalonian separatism has grown and grown in the face the brutal austerity imposed upon Spain during the Eurozone crisis.

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Toronto Mayoral Race: an endorsement for Olivia Chow

Like many Torontonians, I have been disheartened with the quality of city government, which has been sliding into a right-wing, populist doldrums ever since the amalgamation of the city with its suburban neighbours under Mike Harris, back in 1998; finally, though, there's a candidate for mayor that I can really get behind: Olivia Chow.

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NZ's National Party sued by Eminem for copyright infringement


The National Party was instrumental in passing the harsh "strict liability" NZ copyright laws that offer no relief from liability, even for people who buy licenses that turn out to have been offered in error -- as appears to be the case in the National Party campaign ad that used Lose Yourself for bed music.

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SF predicting the present: novel anticipated Detroit water crisis

Paul Di Filippo describes Ben Parzybok's new novel, Sherwood Nation: "The book is obviously as headline-friendly as the Ferguson riots, inequality debates, Occupy protests and climate change reports; but there's also a Joseph Conrad-Grahame Greene-Shakespeare style concern with the nature of power, the roles that are thrust upon us, and the limits of friendship and love."

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Not one Republican Senator voted for campaign finance reform


The entire GOP Senate caucus voted against Tom Udall's proposed Constitutional amendment that would have allowed states to set rules limiting campaign contributions, overturning the notorious Citizens United Supreme Court decision that found that money was a form of protected speech.

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#InternetSlowdown jams Congress's switchboard

Yesterday's net-wide campaign for Net Neutrality put through more than 1,000 calls per minute to Congress!

Elizabeth Warren speaks for allowing states to limit campaign finance

It's a stirring Congressional speech in support of Tom Udall's (D-NM) Constitutional amendment.

(via Reddit)

Catalan separatists plan largest ever European demonstration for Sept 11


Liz writes, "This Sept 11 is the 300th anniversary of the loss of Catalonia's sovereignty to Spain. Catalans will commemorate the date by holding a massive demonstration -- perhaps Europe's largest ever-- on two major Barcelona boulevards, creating a huge letter V for Vote with upwards of 1.5 million expected participants."

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I survived an illegal abortion

Fran Moreland Johns sought an abortion in 1956 following a workplace rape. Now the author of Perilous Times: An Inside Look at Abortion Before and After Roe v. Wade, she survived a back-alley procedure in the days before legalization, and warns that with women’s rights under renewed assault, those grim days are returning.

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Mayday anti-super-PAC backs anti-corruption senate candidate in NH GOP primary

Brian from Mayday.US writes, "Lessig's anti-corruption Mayday PAC is entering its toughest race of this election cycle - supporting pro-campaign finance reform NH Senatorial candidate Jim Rubens in the Republican Primary against Scott Brown. Lawrence Lessig's anti-corruption Mayday PAC has just launched an online tool where supporters of campaign finance reform across the nation can call voters on the phone and urge them to come to the polls and vote for reform. Its first test is this Tuesday, September 9th."

GOP's not-so-secret weakness: unfairness


"A capital gains tax rate (making money off money) that is lower than the earned income rate (making money off work) is just not fair; bestowing that rate on hedge-fund managers through a specially designed loophole is just not fair" -Wick Allison, American Conservative, Nov 12, 2012.

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Scott Brown Senate campaign threatens Lessig for calling him a "lobbyist"

Colin Reed, the campaign manager for Scott Brown's primary race, says that because senate rules don't define his boss as a lobbyist, he'll use his "legal options" against Lessig (Brown, a former Mass. state senator, works for "Nixon Peabody, a law and lobby firm, as counsel").

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NY politics: "progressive" Kathy Hochul loses debate to herself

Kathy Hochul is one of Tim Wu's opponents in the primary for the Democratic nomination for the NY lieutenant governorship (I endorse the Teachout/Wu ticket), but won't debate him.

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Russia's population declined by 7m (5%) between 1992 and 2009


The decades since the collapse of the USSR are the longest period of depopulation in Russian history, and the first peacetime loss of that scale anywhere in the world. Booze, violence, obesity, and poor standard of living alone don't account for the mortality either.

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