The trillion dollar coin

Last month, the US passed through a politically created fiscal crisis; commentators were suggesting that for the third time Congress would cause the Federal Government to run out of cash and default on bond and salary payments, and 3rd party bills for goods and services. This is a tactic pursued by those who don’t like government expenditure unless its on arms. I argue that there were three ways that the Government could have sidestepped this piece of legislative extortion. The most amusing route would be to mint a $1Tn coin. I conclude, overleaf, by arguing that, progressives should be wary, this idea of legislating, or embedding fiscal policy in treaties or constitutions is designed by people who support the founding fathers, who while they opposed taxation without representation, were almost equally opposed to taxation with representation. NB The EU’s stability and growth treaty commits its signatories to a level of national debt and a level of national deficit. They need to change this, these decisions need to be under democratic control. There's [much] more overleaf ... ...

Safe Harbour

Last month the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled the US Safe Harbour treaty to be insufficient for European data protection law purposes. How important this is, is subject to debate. One of the principles of European Data Protection law is that personal and confidential data must be “adequately protected”. The CJEU has stated that the US Safe Harbour agreement offers insufficient and uncertain protection to European personal data. …

Stable doors and missing horses, tightening up on personal I.T. security

One conclusion I have come to after the weekend since the securocrats, like the copyright monopolists seem to never give up is that we need to equip ourselves properly. I plan to train myself to use ixquick’s search engine, and open a jabber account. ixquick do not require a login, and thus can’t tie an IP address to an identity and they do not log what is done. They are planning a secure mail service. They are a Dutch company, with a US subsidiary. I wonder where the computers are? Is this over the top, or will Firefox private windows be enough? …

What does Obama’s victory mean for us?

Obama wins re-election as President of the USA against the combined might of Wall Street and Occupy’s 1%. Congratulations!

Several UK commentators have expressed the view that it’s good news for Cameron because an incumbent won re-election despite the fact that the economy was in an appalling state. See [James Forsyth in the Spectator]. Most surprisingly Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph, who offers Cameron six other lessons. What they miss, as expressed on Conservative Home of all places, albeit in the comments is that the Tories have deliberately wrecked Labour’s recovering economy; Obama managed to get a stimulus package through and as his VP and running mate, Joe Biden said, “GM is still alive”. The Tories and Democrats are also travelling in different directions on Healthcare provision. The most important difference though is when Obama says “We’re all in this together”, he’s believed, when Cameron or Osborne say it, they’re not…partly because as in Romney’s case, they have some very unpleasant and greedy friends. …

Copyright, a constitutional right

For some reason, I had a quick peek a the US Constitution earlier today, I wonder if Congress’s powers,

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

would permit nationalisation? What gobsmacked me though is that artists, authors and inventors copyright protection is a constitutional right. The constitution grants congress the right, or maybe duty,

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

Mind you, I don’t see where it says that companies have the right to buy the copyright and pursue the author, artist and inventors customers. In fact, the consitution states that these rights should accrue to the authors and inventors, not their agents. Perhaps the current legal framework is unconstitutional.


Several people are exploring in the US, the limits of useful Arts, in particular looking to see if Porn films can be considered ‘useful arts’? DFL 12 Aug 2103 …