Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ex-prosecutors embrace courts for terror cases

Attorneys Richard Zabel and James Benjamin concluded that civilian courts are able to produce just, reliable results while protecting national security after examining 123 terrorism prosecutions. Their examination, entitled "In Pursuit of Justice," comes as Mohammed faces a military commission trial at Guantanamo Bay.

I agree. The court system works. It has stood the test of time and is core to how our system of government works. Use it. Don't waste resources on a new unproven solution in this case. Reduce, reuse, freecycle.


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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Senators: No need for paper e-voting trails, 'electronic' OK

Wrong!!! Numerous real *computer* experts have reached the conclusion that paper is the best option. Why do politicians think they know better? I'm a computer professional and once thought that it would be better to go all electronic. But after looking into it more carefully, I realized that my first impression was wrong. Paper is an excellent technology to use for voting in this case. Paper ballots and trails don't require that much in resource use and voting is critically important to get right. Get rid paper use elsewhere in government but use paper where it makes sense. Trust the majority of experts.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

The Obama Connection - Relationships & Networks

Barack Obama’s grasp of Internet-driven networking comes from his conviction that in a globalized world sociability is a force as strong as sovereignty. Obama and his campaign understand the power of the internet more than any others currently running for President. They also understand that the internet is a game changer.

Many are encountering "Future Shock" as the internet continues to change the world. Things that were impossible before are now easy. Information that once seemed innocuous as public information can now seem invasive when every move one makes in public can be tracked so exactly that people no longer have the semblance of privacy they once enjoyed. Getting information on all subjects and connecting across the globe is now easy -- for better (democracy) or for worse (terrorism). Free speech is also on this cutting edge. Whose law applies to your speech? The law that governs where you write? Or the law that governs where people read?

Obama and his team are further down this new path than any others. Obama is better positioned to lead us in this new age than any other.

"It’s the networks, stupid, and the generations that go with them."

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Older Brain Really May Be a Wiser Brain

One of own strengths is that I like to think outside the box and make different kinds of connections between information. Often others have trouble keeping up with me and wish I would focus more. But as it turns out this "weakness" is actually one of my "strengths" as described in the recent research described in this article.

“It may be that distractibility is not, in fact, a bad thing,” said Shelley H. Carson, a psychology researcher at Harvard whose work was cited in the book. “It may increase the amount of information available to the conscious mind.”

"A reduced ability to filter and set priorities, the scientists concluded, could contribute to original thinking."

"Jacqui Smith, a professor of psychology and research professor at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, who was not involved in the current research, said there was a word for what results when the mind is able to assimilate data and put it in its proper place — wisdom."

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Blind Win Court Ruling on U.S. Currency

A federal appeals court ruled that the United States discriminates against the blind and those with limited vision because its paper currency is all the same size. It is time for US money to be Section 504 compliant.

I was "blind" to this situation until I heard about it in the news today. Now that I've read through what the situation is with US currency, it seems blatantly obvious to me that our currency must be changed to make it accessible. I'm surprised something was not done sooner.

Some references on this subject:
Currency Features for Visually Impaired People


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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thank God All People Can Be Treated Equally

I’m a happily married heterosexual Christian who is relieved and pleased that gays and lesbians will soon be able to marry legally in California (May 15, 2008 ruling by the California State Supreme Court).

Now my many heterosexual and homosexual friends can benefit equally from the institution of marriage for their families, relationships, and children.

The United States was founded on the basis of equality for all humankind. We continue to discover and benefit from the natural, but sometimes slow to arrive, consequences of this simple yet momentous premise.

Declaration of Independence:
.... We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...

US Constitution:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity...

Safe Cycling

Many believe that bicycling is unsafe and that cyclists are more often at fault than motorists. However both are untrue. A recent article on SF is somewhat more accurate in discussing the risks of cycling and who should become more educated.