Category: Politics & Law

October 2nd, 2017 by Michael Sauers

About a month ago a friend pointed me to an article which used a photograph of mine. The trouble was, this was a commercial use of my photo and while they did attribute the photo to me, my CC-BY-NC license didn’t allow for commercial use without asking me first. So, I took a chance and sent the author of the article my a $50 invoice for reprinting my photo. I didn’t ask them to take it down, I just asked that they pay me for the use.

I didn’t hear back for a week so I sent a follow-up invoice requesting that at a minimum I receive a response form them with how they planned on addressing the issue. Their response: the check is in the mail.

Lo an behold a few days later I received payment in the amount of $50. No apology, but here’s hoping that they learned their lesson.

(Thanks to Kathy D. for the heads up and I think my standard licensing fee just increased.)

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July 14th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

There have been moments when, liberal as I am, I have been impressed by Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE). Then there’s the rest of the time. This article, central point quoted here, gets at the heart of it.

Many politicians are hypocrites, of course. But most of them are also phonies and bullshitters. Ben Sasse isn’t. He stands out by educating himself earnestly and speaking honestly about complicated matters of history and policy. (He’s got to be the only serving Senate Republican to have written a book that approvingly cites 1960s leftist cultural critic Paul Goodman.) Unfortunately, he is also beginning to stand out by doing nothing of substance as the things he says he believes in are thrown in a garbage can by his own party. Evidence that Donald Trump was at best indifferent to and at worst complicit in Russia’s sabotage of the last presidential election is growing. Mitch McConnell is turning into the home stretch of an attempt to force through a wildly unpopular health care bill that still hasn’t had a public hearing. Democratic traditions are under attack, and Sasse is not returning fire. Does any of his thoughtfulness and honesty really matter if, come voting time, he’s just another partisan hack?

Read the full article @ Slate.com .

Photo: Gage Skidmore .

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July 7th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

Published on Jun 16, 2017

Chris Hayes is the host of *All In with Chris Hayes* on MSNBC and an editor-at-large at *The Nation*. Ta-Nehisi Coates called his first
book, *Twilight of the Elites*, “a stunning polemic.” Hayes’ latest book, *A Colony in a Nation*, offers a revelatory and challenging new framework to understand inequality and justice in America today.

Hayes gives us a new way to frame—and advance—the national conversation on policing and democracy. He proposes that our country has fractured in two: a Colony and a Nation. In the Nation, we venerate the law. In the Colony, we obsess over order; fear trumps civil rights; and aggressive policing resembles occupation. How and why did Americans build a system where conditions in Ferguson and West Baltimore mirror those that sparked the American Revolution? Hayes explains how a Nation founded on justice constructed the Colony—and how it threatens our democracy.

Get the book here: https://goo.gl/McLwRv.

Moderated by Torrence Boone, VP, Global Agency Sales & Services.

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June 23rd, 2017 by Michael Sauers

‘Pirate’ sites Sci-Hub and LibGen have been ordered to pay millions of dollars in damages to Elsevier, one of the largest academic publishers. A New York District Court granted Elsevier’s request for a default judgment of $15 million in damages. Sci-Hub’s founder says that she can’t pay the damages even if she wanted to, and for now, the “Pirate Bay for science” isn’t going anywhere.

Read the full article @ TorrentFreak.

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June 9th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

Wed, May 3 from 6:00 – 7:00pm CDT

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May 12th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

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April 14th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

From Amazon.com:

New York Times best-selling author and Emmy Award–winning news anchor Chris Hayes argues that there are really two Americas: a Colony and a Nation.

America likes to tell itself that it inhabits a postracial world, yet nearly every empirical measure―wealth, unemployment, incarceration, school segregation―reveals that racial inequality has barely improved since 1968, when Richard Nixon became our first “law and order” president. With the clarity and originality that distinguished his prescient bestseller, Twilight of the Elites, Chris Hayes upends our national conversation on policing and democracy in a book of wide-ranging historical, social, and political analysis.

Hayes contends our country has fractured in two: the Colony and the Nation. In the Nation, we venerate the law. In the Colony, we obsess over order, fear trumps civil rights, and aggressive policing resembles occupation. A Colony in a Nation explains how a country founded on justice now looks like something uncomfortably close to a police state. How and why did Americans build a system where conditions in Ferguson and West Baltimore mirror those that sparked the American Revolution?

A Colony in a Nation examines the surge in crime that began in the 1960s and peaked in the 1990s, and the unprecedented decline that followed. Drawing on close-hand reporting at flashpoints of racial conflict, as well as deeply personal experiences with policing, Hayes explores cultural touchstones, from the influential “broken windows” theory to the “squeegee men” of late-1980s Manhattan, to show how fear causes us to make dangerous and unfortunate choices, both in our society and at the personal level. With great empathy, he seeks to understand the challenges of policing communities haunted by the omnipresent threat of guns. Most important, he shows that a more democratic and sympathetic justice system already exists―in a place we least suspect.

A Colony in a Nation is an essential book―searing and insightful―that will reframe our thinking about law and order in the years to come.

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March 30th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

My blog post from this day in 2005

I was sitting outside the Pella, IA public library earlier this morning waiting for it to open when I saw a cop come out of the police station across the street. He held in his had something that looked like a golf club, a long stick with a bend at the far end. I sat there as I witnessed him walk down the street behind all the parked cars (on-street angled parking) and poke his stick under each car and look down. It seems that his pole had a mirror on the end and he was checking the undersides of all of the card on the street. Witnessing this just creeped me out. Town cops walking down the street and randomly looking under parked cars. I realize that this was probably legal since the cars were parked on a public street but the only thing that would make this practice less creepy (or maybe more creepy) is is this cop had a reasonable suspicion of some nefarious goings-on.

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March 18th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

All rights reserved. All lefts are reserved too. And while we’re reserving things, I’ll also take front row seats to all NBA Finals games. Unless you are observing the doctrine of fair use, please do not reproduce, distribute or transmit this work as it took a long time to make and I’d like to be paid for it, just as you would. If you are from the future and are in the possession of winning lottery numbers some exceptions can be made, so get in touch. Otherwise go in peace into my book with reciprocal author/reader respect. We need each other to do well. Cheers.

Dance of The Possible / Scott Berkun—1st ed.
March 2017

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February 17th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

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