Today’s Links: March 21, 2012


DAVID HILL: “Will Obama Take a Bite of Apple?
“Whenever products and services become ubiquitous, Democratic consumers and voters start treating them as public assets that should be politicized and placed under the thumb of the state, ‘publicized,’ the inverse of privatized. Investor-owned utilities and regulated industries like airlines know the syndrome.”

TIM CARNEY: “Just Making the Bulbs Illegal, Not Banning Them
“[Washington Post factchecker Glenn] Kessler makes the odd claim that nobody has banned Edison’s lightbulb — they just made it illegal to manufacture or import. […] If I set up a factory that turned out the traditional incandescent — ‘Edison’s light bulb’ — and tried to sell it, the federal government would shut me down because my bulb was illegally inefficient. How is that not a ban?”

DAN AUERBACH & LEE TIEN: “Dangerously Vague Cybersecurity Legislation Threatens Civil Liberties
” The bills range from being downright terrible to appropriately intentioned, yet they all suffer from the fundamental inability to clearly define the threats which are being defended against and the countermeasures that can be taken against those threats. Without good definitions and an emphasis on transparency, we cannot be certain that government entities and corporations will refrain from abusing their power, interpreting the definitions in the statute expansively, and infringing on civil liberties.”


CENSORSHIP – Russian Court Upholds Ruling to Ban Scientology
“Court spokeswoman Anna Tyurina said that during the course of the hearing it was proven to the court’s satisfaction that Scientology was aimed at forming isolated groups, prepared to engage in extremist activities in a battle with the rest of the world.”

CALIFORNIA – California Cities Scramble to Avert Insolvency
“When the city of Stockton, Calif., announced last month it would skip some bond payments and enter talks with its creditors, the municipal debt world shuddered.”

AIR TRAVEL – FAA Finally Reconsidering its Stance on Gadgets Aboard Airplanes
“Now the FAA is planning to investigate itself whether iPads, Kindles and other electronic devices really can harm a plane during crucial flight phases.”