Friday, February 15, 2008

Open Rights

Human Rights First - This is test. What is the objective of this organization?

Our Mission

Human Rights First believes that building respect for human rights and the rule of law will help ensure the dignity to which every individual is entitled and will stem tyranny, extremism, intolerance, and violence.

Human Rights First protects people at risk: refugees who flee persecution, victims of crimes against humanity or other mass human rights violations, victims of discrimination, those whose rights are eroded in the name of national security, and human rights advocates who are targeted for defending the rights of others. These groups are often the first victims of societal instability and breakdown; their treatment is a harbinger of wider-scale repression. Human Rights First works to prevent violations against these groups and to seek justice and accountability for violations against them.

Human Rights First is practical and effective. We advocate for change at the highest levels of national and international policymaking. We seek justice through the courts. We raise awareness and understanding through the media. We build coalitions among those with divergent views. And we mobilize people to act.

Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York and Washington D.C. To maintain our independence, we accept no government funding.

2005-06 Accomplishments
2005-06 Annual Report

Open Protest (1)

Iran: Protests over ban of women's magazine

Zanan Magazine [Fa] (means “women's magazine”) was banned by the Iranian government two weeks ago, after 16 years in print. Iranian authorities have canceled the license sof many journals and magazines in recent years, but Zanan's closure has stirred strong international and national protests.

More than 120 academics and human rights activists such as Noam Chomsky, J├╝rgen Habermas, Betty Willams, and Shirin Ebadi have signed a letter and addressed it to Iranian leaders protesting the ban.

More than 1000 Iranian journalists, intellectuals, and cultural personalities within Iran and abroad, wrote a similar letter and praised the role of Zanan in Iran. Human Rights First launched a protest campaign too.

Open QOTD (1)

Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from
acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.
-- W. Somerset Maugham


SCO is back

From the Oh Puke dept.:
Embattled Unix vendor SCO may get a new lease on life, thanks to a $100 million infusion aimed at helping it emerge from bankruptcy and pursue its controversial legal claims.

The financing comes from Stephen Norris Capital Partners (SNCP), which will take a controlling

It is time to start investigating Stephen Norris Capital Partners. Who are they? Where does their money come from? Why do they feel continued litigation is in anybody's best interest?

If, and this is a big if, SNCP has anything other than a pure heart and a helping attitude then we should seriously consider NOT supporting any of their other interests.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Message of hope

Quote of the day:

Obama gives us content, conviction, and commitment. Frank Paynter

He was there!

Open Curiosity RE: DRM & RIAA

Which Operating System and/or application set has been used to copy the majority of the 'illegal or pirated' content?

Why doesn't the RIAA go after the entity that is has the greatest interest in and most responsibility for such 'illegal or pirated' materials?


Open Changes

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Open Photo Op


Borrowed from the University of Chicago
The Law School
Home > Faculty > Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
Senior Lecturer in Law (on leave of absence)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Open Count

Count every vote! Every vote counts!!!

Call for Help: Create Petitions to Count the Vote in Washington State, Count the Popular Vote in the DNC
By Zephyr Teachout, 02/11/2008 - 11:53am

After everybody aped Moveon's brilliant petition innovations, petitions became a tool for list growth, mostly a marketing tool. But there are two things happening right now that just beg for petitions--real ones, as in, people petitioning the government and their candidates:

(1) Superdelegates ought affirm popular vote. I tend to think they should affirm the total vote numbers around the country, but I'd be happy with the affirmation of the delegate count. Consensus around this needs to be decided before the popular vote is decided, so that the process is not subservient to the political needs of either candidate. Will someone make a petition for this, one that we can then distribute, along with thoughtful signators comments, to all the superdelegates?

(2) Count every vote in Washington. The Washington Republican chair seemed comfortable declaring a winner when Huckabee was only 242 votes behind, with thousands of votes yet to count.

These situations--where elites breezily assume power--create something approaching democratic horror (is there a word for this, the gut-grippling fear that we are really not in charge?) I've talked with people at poker games and marches, and been flooded with the real fear of friends, frozen by the prospect of superdelegates making the Democratic party decision this year. I have the highest respect for Howard Dean, but I'd vastly prefer a brokered convention between people's representative delegates than a brokered deal between superdelegates--lets show some sound and fury for those that signify nothing.

Open [Counter-] Insurgency

Doc Searles highlighted John Robb’s explanation of 'progress' in Iraq

Where this goes from here is problematic since (and I say this to get you thinking and not to shock you) the US is now leading both the insurgency and the counter-insurgency in Iraq
I think Robb is giving the administration too much credit. Instead of "leading" I suggest that the US is 'paying' for both the insurgency and the counter-insurgency. There in lies the fatal flaw in the overall US strategy. The US is using money like a drug. The US is attempting to addict the Iraq population to an inflated standard of living all the while hoping that peace will break out.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Open Absurdity

Saudi woman's cafe plight highlights rights problems

The English-language Arab News quoted a 40-year-old financial consultant, named only as Yara, as saying she was arrested on Monday by members of the powerful Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

She said she was holding a business meeting with the man in a branch of Starbucks in Riyadh, in a section reserved for families. Saudi law requires that unrelated men and women be segregated in public.

Yara said she was taken to a Riyadh prison, strip-searched and forced to sign a confession to having been caught alone with a unrelated man -- an illegal act in the kingdom which enforces a strict Islamic moral code.

"I had no other choice" but to sign, said the married mother of three. "I was scared for my life ... I was afraid that they would abuse me or do something to me."

She said the religious police, known as the Muttawa, released her several hours later after her husband, Hatim, intervened.

Open Privacy Manifesto

Our sense of privacy is predicated on the perception of our right to choose. Our right to be an individual when making our choices.

Our expectation of privacy is the assumption that we get to choose what we divulge about ourselves and what we choose not to divulge.

Our privacy is not about what someone else dictates as private but what we choose to keep private or conversely what we choose to make 'public'.

In order to implement a system that honors an individual's expectation of privacy it must

  • Affirm that all participant information be kept private until the participant specifies that a given unit of information can be made public.
  • Or, clearly state that by associating with a system the participant is choosing to make all activity associated information public.
  • Clearly state and guarantee that all meta-information is and will be kept anonymous.

Open Demise of the Internet

Sorry, I broke the Internet. Really, I am very sorry...

When I created the link ( Second SuperPower ) I realized that this was the demise of the Internet. The 'First SuperPower' will never allow a larger community to overshadow it. Very soon we will see the heavy hand of established power brokers impose "for-our-own-good" draconian measures to insure that SP^2 is fractured. We are already seeing this in with the implementation of Global Internet Filtering.

ONI flashmap

ONI - OpenNet Initiative reports ...
On Jan. 29, the Council’s Committee on Information Policy held a panel to discuss the bill, which addresses the issues of administrative regulation of content and activities within the World Wide Web - or rather, its Russian segment.
From Nart Villeneuve | Internet Censorship Explorer

Search Monitor Project: China

Search engines are increasingly censoring their results, often by geographic location, having a significant, negative impact on the right to freedom of expression. The most advanced cases of censoring political content is in search engines that market a version of their product in China. This project aims to expose and monitor the censoring practises of search engines with a specific focus on China.

It is very easy to imagine the following here in these United States...
  • Content filtered under the auspices of 'National Security' - The Powerful must monitor and censure information deemed contrary to the 'best interests' of 'Powerful Security'.
  • Content filtered as a form of power segregation (The Powerful have access to "unfiltered" information while the "weak" masses are given only what "they need to know".)
  • Content filtered as a form of the 'free market' business model (e.g. economic subjugation) - This is the 'Information for Profit' model where only the affluent can 'afford' access to unfiltered information.
  • Content filtered as a from of Ideological 'Cleanliness' - Under the auspices of 'social health' information is filtered and censured for the "good-of-the-people".

. . .