Reason is a proud media sponsor of the annual Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference, which will take place May 2-5 in Washington, DC. This year's theme: Life, Liberty & Digital Rights.
Life, Liberty & Digital Rights
The 16th Annual Conference on Computers, Freedom & Privacy
May 2- 5, Washington, DC
CFP is one of the largest and oldest privacy and technology conferences in the world. Anyone interested in privacy and security should attend. This year's panel topics include government surveillance, federal privacy legislation, electronic voting, RFID, network neutrality, privacy of electronic health efforts, spyware, and social networking.
Keynote speakers include Senator Patrick Leahy, Lydia Parnes--Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, and Vernor Vinge--Computer Scientist and Science Fiction Author.
Program, venue, registration and other details can be found at www.cfp.org.
The influential economist is dead at the age of 97. Among the worst headlines I've seen so far is The (Australian) Age's "Galbraith takes his leave of the affluent society."
Back in 1999, Reason Contributing Editor Jack Pitney wrote of JKG's memoir Name-Dropping:
There is a quaint frozen-in-time quality to Galbraith's thought--sort of Austin Powers without the bad teeth and mojo. Looking at Great Society welfare programs, he maintains that the solution to poverty is simply to give money to poor people, without necessarily expecting them to do work. In the decades since LBJ's War on Poverty, all but the staunchest statists have surrendered to reality and abandoned such notions. Oddly, Galbraith vents inordinate anger about America's effort to defeat Soviet communism in the Cold War. Austin--I mean, Mr. Galbraith...we won.
Jacob Sullum dismissed Galbraith's fears of advertising and consumerism here.
In the same Opinion section, Chron columnist Debra Saunders explains that she's turned off by tomorrow's planned protests, in which legal and illegal immigrants are planning to skip work, school, etc.:
The bottom line is that while these demonstrations, I am told, are supposed to make me feel better about illegal immigrants, I feel angry when I see thousands of people who knowingly break American law, yet somehow feel entitled to do so and outraged that they have not been sufficiently rewarded for it.
And I'm someone who wants to find a compromise that accommodates working families that have put down roots in California.
Whole thing here.
I don't share Saunders' discomfort with illegal immigrants--whether the discomfort is economic (there's no good reason to believe that low-wage migrants seriously screw domestic workers much less consumers) or cultural (as I've noted elsewhere, Latinos learn English at about the same clip as the old-time immigrants from Southern and Central Europe did).
But I do agree with her that tomorrow's protest is a pretty damn bad idea. Part of the moral high ground that illegal and low-wage legal immigrants hold is that they're willing to work harder and longer than many other people. This confuses that basic message. And so does the idea of yanking your kids from school. And it's not helping anything that the date is May 1.
The nationwide protests a couple of weeks ago were models in political persuasion--totally peaceful and quietly forceful in their rhetoric and sheer numbers. Tomorrow's seems set to undo a lot of that.
Under the bill, it would be legal to have 25 milligrams of heroin, a fifth of an ounce of marijuana or half a gram of cocaine. The bill also makes it legal to possess small amounts of LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, amphetamines and peyote.
President Vicente Fox had proposed the law in January 2004 in the hopes of slowing down the rapid growth in drug addiction and the ranks of small-time dealers that has hit Mexican cities and towns in recent years, just as it has long plagued American cities.
Both houses of the Mexican Congress passed it in a last-minute flurry of legislation as their session drew to a close. The final version of the bill passed the Senate by a vote of 53 to 26 during an all-night session that ended Friday morning. After its final approval, the president's spokesman, Ruben Aguilar, said Mr. Fox would sign it into law.
U.S. reactions: Unnamed U.S. diplomat calls the move unhelpful, and impressively named State Department spokeswoman Janelle Hironimus babbles boilerplate. San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders says it's "just plain dumb." Los Angeles NORML director Bruce Margolin says the quantities are too small.
Thanks to Ryan Posly and Dan Playstead.