Enron and Freedom

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Thanks to Lisa ReinCBS MarketWatch and SF Gate more on Enron, the Jr. Bush White House, and Freedom of the American People.

Mr. President, your “critic free zone” from September 11th is up — time for us, the American people, to take a closer look at what you’re doing. And so far, you and your buddy Ashcroft scare the hell out of me.

Two planes took down the World Trade Center. Two men are trying to bring down the Constitution, break it apart, and sell it cheap. Enron and Freedom — and the year’s just barely started.

Folks, take that red, white, and blue flag out of your eyes and see what’s going on.

History People Political

Bridge Security

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Hmmmm. Increased security at the old Bay Bridge anchor room today. National Guardsmen in plain view as well as some suspicious black vans with heavy privacy glass parked right next to the barricade on my side of the barricade. I should grab my camera and go down and take some pictures — see what kind of excitement I can generate.

Week before last some poor folks moving out of the Bayview Apartments had their moving van surrounded by four CHP cars and two CHP motorcycles. Reason? The movees were darker skinned, had dark hair, and I think one had a mustache. Ah, folks — I have a hint for you. Darker skinned folks with black hair aren’t that uncommon in California.

Last week a homeless person breached the Bridge security and set up an encampment right next to the bridge. It wouldn’t be so bad but this particular homeless person is scarier than shit as he has a habit of chasing people screaming at them. If he’s there, I can’t go to the only store in the area because I don’t know what he’ll do. When I called the San Francisco police department with the problem I was connected with a Sargeant responsible for San Fran’s vagrancy problem. According to him, the San Francisco police department isn’t responsible for any bridge security in any way. I would need to call the CHP instead.


I called the CHP and was connected to Dispatch. I told them a homeless person had violated the Bridge security and was encamped next to the bridge. They said they would send someone out to check it out.

Two days later the homeless person finally just moved away on his own. Today, three days after the homeless person left, Bridge security is stepped up.

There’s a moral to this story somewhere, but damned if I can figure it out.


Early Weblogging Dec 2001

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

If you’re concerned that Ashcroft and the White House are going too far in their hunt for terrorists, email Senators Leahy and Kennedy, as well as your own state senators. You can find senator email addresses at Even if you don’t agree with me, email anyway — let your voice be heard.


Agreeing on Ashcroft

This is likely the earliest weblog entry I’ll be able to recover from the Wayback Machine. My earlier Manila weblog site entries were overwritten by an overzealous web bot that Userland was running. This includes postings that happened right after 9/11/. And before that, I created each individual writing using static HTML. 

I’ve found that weblogging is particularly useful when you want to say something quickly. What can I say? I just can’t stay away!

Speaking about saying something, Dave Winer writes about his concerns regarding Ashcroft’s recent actions. I’m writing to say that I concur with Dave, completely and totally on this issue.

The scariest thing I’ve heard from a member of the ruling politic is the following, from Ashcroft:

    • To those who pit Americans against immigrants, citizens against non-citizens, to those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America’s enemies and pause to America’s friends. They encourage people of good will to remain silent in the face of evil.

I supported President Bush and his campaign in Afghanistan. I still do. And the more I hear about the Taliban the more I think we should have gotten involved with the situation a long time ago. However, I draw the line at secret military tribunals, holding people for months without any legal representation, profile-based questioning without merit or just cause, and most particularly, telling the people of this country that criticising the white house is aiding terrorism.

Liberty. Freedom. Justice for all. What the hell are we fighting for if these are nothing more than token words: red, white, and blue-speak. These are rights we have to fight for daily; to preserve not only from the enemy without, but also from the enemy within.

Previous weblog entries can be seen here.


Comments on the Communications Decency Act

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

My first real experience with the Internet was subscribing to a Usenet on a symbolic modeling language. I remember reading a response from a researcher in Switzerland and deciding to write my first entry into the thread. Every time someone would write from a different country I was awed. Where else and in what other circumstance could people from different countries and different cultures converse in such a way that the topic at hand becomes the focal point, not the differences of those speaking.

Where governments have trodden through the front door with fanfare and progressed with little steps, or failed, the Internet has moved quietly through the back door and succeeded. Until now.

While the Internet was nothing more than an insider’s tool, it was for the most part unconstrained and relatively open. Now that the access to the Internet is open “to the masses” we seek to impose constraints and limitations. Worse, where before each country’s boundaries were transparent, they now seek to make them not only opaque but a virtual brick wall. The main benefit of the Internet is taking down boundaries not putting them up. The Internet is owned by no Man, no Woman, and no Country.

I was following some forgotten path through the Web once when I stumbled on a letter from an Irish environmental terrorist. He wrote the letter in prison after he was captured while attempting to bomb a factory that he believed was damaging to the environment. This letter was fascinating. It was not an interview on some slick TV show, or in some slick magazine. It was an unsolicited recitation of facts and beliefs of a person that most of us would have an easy time dismissing as a nut after a two paragraph word byte in the press. Did I agree with the person? No, and I do consider myself an environmentalist. Bombs and bullets are never the way folks, nor are bricks and bats. However, the letter did give me a perspective that I would never have had if I had not read it. I cannot as easily dismiss an act of terrorism as an act of a mad person, which in a way makes the act even more frightening. Would this letter be considered “excessively violent”? Would the group that posted it be in violation of the law?

Could something like this be considered obscene? In some countries and in sometimes it could be. In certain countries, a picture of a woman bare faced and holding a career would probably be considered obscene. Full frontal nudity is considered by many in the United States as obscene but is probably considered perfectly normal in other countries. The very thing that makes the Internet great, the absence of borders, makes it virtually impossible to determine a common point of obscenity or a common point of decency.

We in the United States cannot agree within our own borders what is ‘decent’. One person believes in allowing free choice for women, and another would consider this indecent and obscene. Would information on the Internet on abortions then be considered illegal? If your child read this material, and it was presented in a scientific manner and presented only facts, would the originators of the material be in violation of the law?

If all we read in books, or all we see on TV, or all we hear on the radio, and all we can discuss on the Internet is material suitable for small children neither they nor we will ever and can ever grow, and we as a society will never mature.

Perhaps that’s what some people, including Congress, really want.

That’s it, folks.