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A Bill to ensure that United States Treasury funds are not expended for certain purposes of personal aggrandizement or self promotion.

I’m working on this to send to my congress critters as a request for legislation. This is a first draft…

H. R. _

To ensure that United States Treasury funds are not expended for certain purposes of personal aggrandizement or self promotion.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 8, 2018

A BILL

To ensure that United States Treasury funds are not expended for certain purposes of personal aggrandizement or self promotion.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Challenge and Commemorative Coins Act of 2018”.

SECTION. 2. Limits on Challenge and Commemorative Coins.

(a) Any other provision of law notwithstanding, no elected official, appointed official, employee of the United States Government, or member of the United States armed forces may expend or commit any United States funds or assets for any purpose associated with the design, creation, or dissemination of any Challenge or Commemorative Coin bearing the likeness or name of any living person.

(b) Congress may enact specific exceptions to subsection (a).

(c) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) The term “Challenge of Commemorative Coin” means…

(2) The term “Likeness” means any photograph, video, movie, drawing, cartoon, sculpture, bas relief, or other visual representation.

Redressing the Distortion of Elections and Political Speech by Corporations

(This was originally posted on Oct 14, 2011.)

Proposed Amendment to the United States Constitution To Redress the Increasing Distortion of Elections and Political Speech by Corporations and Other Aggregate Forms

Proposed Text

Corporate and other aggregate forms of organization are neither Persons nor Citizens under this Constitution and shall have neither protections, rights, nor legal standing under this Constitution

This Amendment shall not be construed to deny or disparage the power of Congress or the Several States to enact legislation that defines rights, powers, limitations, liabilities, and standing of such corporate and other aggregate forms of organization

Tiny Houses Are A Weak Idea

There is no doubt that many of our communities need safe, clean, accessible, and inexpensive housing.

This note does not dispute that need. Rather, this article, questions whether “Tiny Houses” are among the better answer or whether there are better approaches.

Many communities are under pressure by advocates for increased housing for the homeless to consider adopting policies that encourage tiny homes.

The argument made here is such policies may be a weak answer to the need to provide housing for the homeless.

Domain Names Are Fading From User View

Prologue

The internet has changed and evolved ever since it’s ancestors first came to life in the late 1960’s. Some technology fades away and is forgotten; other aspects continue but are overlaid, like geological sediments, so that they are now longer visible but are still present under the surface.

The Domain Name System - both the technology of DNS and the deployed naming hierarchy we all use - are among those aspects of the internet that, although they feel solid and immutable, are slowly changing underneath our feet.

PC-Engines APU2 LED/Mode-Switch Driver for FreeBSD

The PC-Engines APU2 is a very nice board when you need a lot more horsepower than a Raspberry Pi but still want low power, small form factor, and no moving parts.

Among the many features of the The APU2 are three LEDs and one mode button/switch.

I needed a device driver so that my code could control the LEDs and read whether the button is pushed.

I wrote one. It is up and available on the InterWorking Labs website: at https://iwl.com/.

Update: (February 2018): This driver no longer works on recent versions of the APU-2 board. However, there is a working alternative now available at https://bugs.freebsd.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=189772.

Internet: Quo Vadis (Where are you going?)

ArcadiaArticles, blogs, and meetings about the internet of the future are filled with happy, positive words like “global”, “uniform”, and “open”.

The future internet is described in ways that seem as if taken from a late 1960’s Utopian sci-fi novel: the internet is seen as overcoming petty rivalries between countries, dissolving social rank, equalizing wealth, and bringing universal justice.

If that future is to be believed, the only obstacle standing between us and an Arcadian world of peace and harmony is that the internet does not yet reach everyone, or that network carriers are unfairly giving different treatment to different kinds of traffic, or that evil governments are erecting “Great Walls”, or that IPv6 is not yet everywhere, or that big companies are acquiring top level domains, or that encryption is not ubiquitous … The list goes on and on.

I do not agree.

I do not believe that the future internet will be a Utopia. Nor do I believe that the future internet will be like some beautiful angel, bringing peace, virtue, equality, and justice.

Big BrotherInstead I believe that there are strong, probably irresistible, forces working to lock-down and partition the internet.

I believe that the future internet will be composed of “islands’.

These islands will tend to coincide with countries, cultures, or companies.

There will be barriers between these islands. And to cross those barriers there will be explicit bridges between various islands.

Network traffic that moves over these bridges will be observed, monitored, regulated, limited, and taxed.

The future internet will be used as a tool for power, control, and wealth.

And to a large degree the users of this future internet will not care about this.

This paper describes this future - a future more likely than the halcyon world painted by others.

Why Did I Break A Perfectly Good Website?

I have reworked the old, Joomla based, CaveBear website. It took a lot of work. A lot of URLs got changed, thus breaking external links. And I am sure that a lot of small adjustments remain to be done.

The old one was not broken.

So why did I break a perfectly good website?

Well, I’ll tell you why.

It all begins with the idea that much of the content of today’s world-wide-web will disappear.

Redressing Excess Corporate Power

Proposed Amendment to the United States Constitution To Redress the Increasing Distortion of Elections and Political Speech by Corporations and Other Aggregate Forms

Karl Auerbach ─ October 14, 2011 ─ Version 1.04

Proposed Text:

Corporate and other aggregate forms of organization are neither Persons nor Citizens under this Constitution and shall have neither protections, rights, nor legal standing under this Constitution.

This Amendment shall not be construed to deny or disparage the power of Congress or the Several States to enact legislation that defines rights, powers, limitations, liabilities, and standing of such corporate and other aggregate forms of organization.

The Problem:

The conservative wing of the US Supreme Court has elevated several corporate rights to at least the same degree of Constitutional protection as the rights of natural (living) people.

There is little or no precedent for the creation of these rights in corporations. The idea of the modern corporation did not arise until nearly a century after the writing and adoption of the Constitution. And the 14th Amendment predates the rise of the modern corporation by at least a decade.

In other words, these corporate rights are the product of judicial legislation.

Biodiesel Stinks

Monday, 21 April 2008 16:25

It used to be that people who drive with the windows open or the top down could identify two kinds of vehicles from their smell, even at long distances: Ford diesel pickups, both old and new, and old diesel Peugeots.

The ranks of the stinkers have been supplemented by biodiesel conversions of cars and trucks that should have been scrapped long ago.

And here in Santa Cruz, there are a lot of these things.

Unanswered Questions

Sunday, 20 April 2008 17:00

So far none of the candidates for president has answered some of the questions I would like to hear answered:

  1. Will, and when, will the candidate initiate a review with the purpose of repudiating Bush’s excessive signing statements?
  2. Will the candidate promise not to use signing statements except to identify ambiguities and difficulties so that Congress may provide clarifications?
  3. Will, and when, will the candidate repudiate the concept of the “unitary executive”?
  4. Will, and when, will the candidate recognize that the Constitution of the United States not only limits the powers of the United States Federal government, including the executive, within the geographic borders of the United States, but everywhere.