The good news about the software patent mess is that it has an easy solution: There shouldn’t be software patents. Code should be copyrighted if that’s what the author of the code wants to do, but whil conventional patents are sometimes abusive, software patents are almost invariably either abusive or else redundant with existing copyright protections. Software patents do far more to inhibit innovation (by making the cost of doing new things both high and strangely unpredictable) than to encourage genuine technical innovation. They are, however, very useful for encouraging legal innovation as companies have strong incentives to gin up new patents!
National Journal’s Hotline reports that a recent fundraising letter issued by Scooter Libby’s Legal Defense Trust includes the following quote from former Cheney aide Mary Matalin:
This loyal soldier in the War on Terror doesn’t have to go at it alone.
Scooter Libby knowingly exposed the cover of a CIA operative. He did it to exact political revenge on Joseph Wilson, who had revealed that intelligence was “twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.” The damage from the leak was serious enough to warrant a CIA investigation. Arthur Brown, a CIA division chief who retired in 1995, described Libby’s action as the “moral equivalent to exposing forward deployed military units.”
Libby is no “soldier,” let alone a “loyal soldier.” A different label for him was offered by President George H. W. Bush: “I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors.”
“Americans are keenly aware of how many U.S. forces have lost their lives in Iraq, according to a new AP-Ipsos poll. But they woefully underestimate the number of Iraqi civilians who have been killed.”
When the poll was conducted earlier this month, a little more than 3,100 U.S. troops had been killed. The midpoint estimate among those polled was right on target, at about 3,000. …
Iraqi civilian deaths are estimated at more than 54,000 and could be much higher; some unofficial estimates range into the hundreds of thousands. The U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq reports more than 34,000 deaths in 2006 alone.
Among those polled for the AP survey, however, the median estimate of Iraqi deaths was 9,890.
In a recent interview on CNN, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) claimed that it was “absolutely untrue” that he once said we should “take out Mecca in order to send a message.”
After airing Tancredo’s remarks, host Anderson Cooper said, “As always, we care about the facts on 360″ and proceeded to display Tancredo’s statements from an interview he conducted with Pat Campbell in July 2005. A review of the transcript showed Tancredo arguing that if terrorists were to use nuclear weapons in the U.S., we should respond by nuking the Muslim holy city of Mecca. Watch it:
Transcript: Read more
“What’s wrong with sucking up to everybody?“