Linux, politics, and other interesting things
Currently in the US the main political parties are deciding who will contest the next presidential election. Naturally this gets some commentary from all sides.
Planet Debian has syndicated two blog posts commenting on these issues, it’s interesting to compare them:
First John Goerzen writes a post about an issue he (and almost everyone in the Debian community) considers important – copyright law . He quotes the Randall Munroe who is the author of www.xkcd.com (described by the author as “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language“) which is wildly popular in the free software community (I believe that there is a fan-club which has meetings). Randall’s commentary is quite interesting and I recommend reading it . The most noteworthy fact is that Barak Obama has sought advice from Lawrence Lessig – who has done more for the free software community than any other lawyer.
John’s post doesn’t contain much original content, but citing a lengthy post from a highly regarded source and quoting a particularly relevant paragraph make it very noteworthy.
Next Jaldhar Vyas writes about “the war against Islamic terrorism”  and makes the claim “we are finally gaining the upper hand in Iraq“. To consider that claim it’s best to read some expert commentary. William S. Lind  is a widely respected conservative who is an expert on military strategy, his comments about stabilising Iraq are always interesting . It’s sufficient to note that William has been predicting failure for the US occupation of Iraq right from the start and that events over the last five years have proven him correct.
William S. Lind’s thoughts on Democracy are interesting too , I don’t agree with him in this regard (I generally disagree with him on most things other than military matters) but it’s an interesting thought.
Jaldhar also claims that “Democrats on the other hand have a closer association with the media who are behind many of the sillier IP laws“, this seems to be a reference the the “liberal media” conspiracy theories. There seems no clear party association with bad IP legislation (both the Democrats and Republicans do silly things in this regard), and debunking the liberal media claims can be done simply by watching some TV (choose a couple of random news shows on different channels). Fox is not the only right-wing news outlet.
Jaldhar also has a conspiracy theory about the Supreme Court and the “need to ensure that the court does not veer leftward again as it will inevitably do during a Democratic administration“, not that the Democratic party is particularly “left” by whatever definition you might apply to the word. I prefer the www.politicalcompass.org analysis which shows that all the serious contenders in the Democratic primary are Authoritarian Right . So the result of the next US presidential election will determine how authoritarian and right-wing the government will be, the fact that it will be authoritarian and right-wing is beyond doubt. That said it would be good if the authoritarian right-wing government that we (*) get at least has some decent policies in regard to IP law (which is the hope for Barak Obama).
John Nichols has an interesting analysis of Ann Coulter’s support of Hillary Clinton over John McCain . It would be interesting to see Jaldhar’s comments on this issue.
(*) I use the term “we” when talking about US politics to acknowledge the fact that the Australian government will take orders from Washington. Some pundits predict that the Greens will be the second major party in Australian politics in a couple of elections time, so maybe in 8 years time we will have an Australian government that represents Australians instead of Americans. But for the entire duration in office of the next US president (be it 4 years or 8) they will be able to get the Australian government to do almost anything that they desire.
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