Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

Letter to Liz Warren’s campaign:

Letter to Liz Warren’s campaign:

Liz is my Senator and I started out supporting her. Now I am leaning Bernie or frankly, any Democrat but Liz. My disenchantment started with Liz wiffle-waffling over Medicaid for All. Is she for it or against it now? Having some third system for a transition as Liz has reportedly proposed is a trillion dollar opportunity cost which can and should be avoided.

Why can Liz not say anything nice about socialism? I am a union member and DSA member, and Liz’s program is a socialist program. Why can she not acknowledge democratic socialists such as Eugene Debs, Upton Sinclair, Michael Harrington, Bayard Rustin and Victor Berger? We don’t want ‘Bernie Lite’ and we definitely do not want another entitled, neoliberal, rightist candidate like Hillary Clinton. I’m so disappointed, and looking forward to a progressive challenger from the real Democratic party of the people when Liz runs again for Senate.

I was a credentialed voting state delegate to the 2018 Democratic convention. I welcome your response.

best,

Henry Edward Hardy

Copyright © 2020 Henry Edward Hardy

15 January, 2020 Posted by | campaign, disenchantment, media, news, politics, presidential, scanlyze, socialist, USA | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rise of Skywalker is a Film Designed by a Committee

Rise of Skywalker is a Film Designed by a Committee, and when we say that we mean not only an indictment of how the Lucasfilm and Disney execs worked over the story, but the obvious and huge retcons of the story line not only from eps 7 and 8, but also the original trilogy.

In the original trilogy, we cared about the characters. We were curious and even inspired by the force and samurai wizard mentors such as Obi-Wan and Yoda dishing out ice cream koans like [The Force is] “an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together” and “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Episodes 7, 8 and 9 eschew the samurai warrior/wizard mentor stuff and goes for an origin story of the protagonist Rey. But after three movies, we still know almost nothing about her, and she knows almost nothing about her origins. Why is it that so many strong female characters are devalued by spending their entire story line angsting about “who am I?” I mean does John Wick or James Bond get all emo about their identity?

Special effects are wonderful, of course. The script is just miserable. Lawrence Kasdan this is not. Acting is serviceable. Adam Driver still seems weirdly miscast to me as an evil Sith wannabe overlord. He comes off more like a creepy abusive satanist boyfriend. Daisy Ridley gives a solid performance as Rey. She really gives it her all physically and emotionally. Her whole fierce elf aesthetic made me think of Elfquest.

The music was not John Williams. It was bombastic, overly dramatic and had only sound and fury, nothing really memorable or lyrical.

One of the things which made Fury Road a great movie was how the battles were set up, you could tell exactly who was where doing what. Ep 9 is the opposite, it’s a huge mess.

Trying not to be too spoilerish but there are also big issues in terms of even the internal logic of the third trilogy leading to a problematic and improbable deus ex machina.

The best I can say about ep 9 is that it re-retconned a lot of the scurrilous and disrespectful retcons in ep 8. But continuity is out the window totally. And for folks who enjoy the Old Republic and the legends continuities these three last Star Wars films gave us nothing and disrespected or devalued a lot of what we thought we knew.

Skywalker is a well-made movie in terms of production values. As a story, it is very unfullfilling as a way of ending the Skywalker series and fails in theme, plot, characterization, and continuity.

2 of 4 stars.

Copyright © 2019 Henry Edward Hardy

20 December, 2019 Posted by | scanlyze, Skywalker | , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Star Wars 7,8,9 would go if I was the writer and producer

I’m so disappointed with the deconstructive and destructive nature and intent of the new Star Wars movies. Leia and Han’s storybook marriage disintigrated and their son turned into an emo psycho-killer cultist. Everything Luke believed when he was a young Jedi knight was wrong, and now he is a broken old man who has severed his connection with the force and sunk his starfighter in the sea.

What a load of horse hockey.

So here’s how it would go if it were up to me.

The crawl at the beginning of ep 7:

STAR WARS
Episode 7
A New Menace

The NEW REPUBLIC has collapsed into feuding republics and principalities. The RESISTANCE was disarmed. Those who resisted are hunted as terrorists and killed or imprisoned. HAN and LEIA SOLO run a shipyard and cantina at Mos Eisley on Tatooine.

Demobilized STORM TROOPERS form the basis of a political movement called the Home Soil Movement. Imperial Remnants threaten the Republic from beyond known space. And where are the Jedi? Vanished, gone and almost forgotten.

LUKE SKYWALKER disappeared ten years ago and his whereabouts are unknown.

Prologue

Luke and Leia at the cantina… smuggling/resistance business… an unexpected guest. It is Chewbacca, taking some leave before returning to Kasssyk to take up a post as a General in the militia.

Chewbacca is concerned. His scouts report that dissident Storm Troopers have found a new line of credit with the banking clan and have been seen on Kamino, home of the cloners who made the Clone troopers during the Clone Wars. Over dinner they fall to discussing old times.

After the destruction of the second Death Star and fall of Emperor Palpatine, much of the fleet was demobilized. However a sizable fleet of several hundred ships under Admiral Thrawn departed for the Unknown Regions.

What happened to Luke? After the war he was hailed as a hero but refused all honors, retiring to Tatooine, living in Obi-Wan’s old campsites and becoming much of a hermit. Then one day he was gone, just gone. And Leia could no longer sense him in the force.

PS I wrote this Dec 30, 2017, but I am posting it now in contrast to the actual progress and conclusion of the third Star Wars trilogy.

Copyright © 2019 Henry Edward Hardy

20 December, 2019 Posted by | scanlyze | , , , , | Leave a comment

Letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren about the CASE ACT S.1273

TO: Senator Warren and staff; whom it may concern

FROM: Henry Edward Hardy

SUBJECT: CASE ACT S. 1273 concerns, proposed revisions

DATE: October 23, 2019

Dear Senator Warren.

I am a strong supporter. We in Somerville Ward 7 love you and we have your back.

I want to share with you in more detail some of the concerns about the CASE ACT S. 1273 which I shared during my call to your office today.

Copyright is enabled by the US Constitution Article I, Section 8, Clause 8:

[The Congress shall have power] “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.

In other words, the social good desired is for all writings and discoveries to come into the public domain in a reasonable time.

The development of copyright law over the past century has gone instead in the direction of keeping copyright works out of the public domain for longer and longer times, and imposing more and more harsh punishments on violators, and moving into the domain of strict liability without regard for knowledge, or intent of the alleged violator.

“Copyright trolls” churn out hundreds of thousands of demand letters to try to bully individuals without the means to afford legal representation to settle on their terms. The people who will be the targets and victims of the CASE Act will be the most vulnerable and underprivileged members of society. Just missing a notice or failing to file the right papers in a timely manner could lead to a default judgment of $15,000 dollars or more.

A possible remedy for the CASE Act is to revise it such that:

* The plaintiff must show knowledge and intent by the alleged violator.

* The plaintiff must demonstrate with clear and convincing evidence that a specific accused person committed specific illegal acts on a specific day and time, in a specific place, in a specific manner, causing a specific harm. Not just Internet Protocol Number or MAC address matching over a range of dates.

* Fair use must be a specifically available and overriding defense.

* The plaintiff must document actual harm in a specific dollar amount.

* The accused who are indigent, disabled, or on public assistance must receive defense counsel at federal expense.

* There should be no elements of strict liability and the burden of proof must lie entirely with the plaintiff.

* There should be substantial punishments for those who misuse the statutory procedures to churn out false or unsupported claims. In particular, the ‘unclean hands’ doctrine should apply to plaintiff trolls who have already been found in violation.

Thanks for all you do and we love you!

Best,

Henry Edward Hardy

25 October, 2019 Posted by | CASE ACT, Elizabeth Warren, politics, S.1273, scanlyze, Warren | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To the NSA: Preserving the Open Internet and the Constitutional Republic of the United States of America

In 2014, I was invited by the Harvard Berkman Center to a closed seminar titled, “Intelligence Gathering and the Unowned Internet.

Here’s my RSVP acknowledgement:

Thank you for your RSVP to the event, “Intelligence Gathering and the Unowned Internet,” taking place tomorrow (4/8) at 12:00PM at Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Hall, Millstein West A (Second Floor). The panel will feature Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies Yochai Benkler, Director of Compliance at the National Security Agency John Delong, Director of the NSA/CSS Commercial Solutions Center Anne Neuberger, Berkman Fellow Bruce Schneier, and Professor of Law, Government, and Computer Science Jonathan Zittrain, moderated by WilmerHale Professor of Intellectual Property Law Terry Fisher.

For more information about the event, visit http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/events/2014/04/unownedinternet.

This luncheon will be brown bag / bring your own. We encourage you to arrive a few minutes early to secure a seat. Please note that this event is at capacity and accruing a wait list — if you find yourself unable to attend, please let me know ASAP.

We look forward to seeing you.

Best,
Dana

When I attended I found it was standing room only. I was the only one who brought a statement, which I distributed. Several people came up behind me and said things like, you are not alone, and we are doing what we can. At the end I hand delivered the statement below to several participants including Anne Neuberger and John Delong. We had a cordial discussion. I told them they’ve been living in a bubble and going to closed seminars with hand-picked attendees from the highest levels of academia and the IC wasn’t enough to get them out where they could hear the people. Anne said maybe we have or to that effect.

MEMO
To: The NSA and the Intelligence Community
From: Henry Edward Hardy
RE: Preserving the Open Internet and the Constitutional Republic of the United States of America

2014-04-08

Summary
Recommendations:

1. Re-establish the firewall between foreign intelligence and domestic law enforcement.
2. Require a specific, not general, warrant with probable cause for any surveillance of anyone in the world. The idea that you can segregate US persons from others as far as surveillance is a legal fiction, and in practice, next to impossible.
3. Ban and retroactively abolish all general warrants and bills of attainder. Retroactively rescind, and ban the future use of National Security Letters.
4. Disallow active duty military personnel from working for NSA.
5. Remove CSS from NSA.
6. Abolish FISA and the FISA court.
7. Abolish the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act.
8. Repeal the USAPATRIOT Act and the FISA Act.
9. Re-establish posse comitatus.
10. Re-establish habeus corpus.
11. Eliminate the pen register exemption from the fourth amendment which has been used to justify the coillection of so-called metadata.
12. Restore and strengthen the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
13. Strengthen whistleblower protection for US Government employees, and extend this protection to contractors as well.
14. Abolish the UK/USA Pact, the so-called “Five Eyes.” Disallow sharing of foreign intelligence with any other nation or entity which cannot be held accountable to the US Constitution.
15. Hold NSA employees and contractors and the FISA court judges legally accountable.

main text follows:

The new aristocracy was made up for the most part of bureaucrats, scientists, technicians, trade-union organizers, publicity experts, sociologists, teachers, journalists, and professional politicians. These people, whose origins lay in the salaried middle class and the upper grades of the working class, had been shaped and brought together by the barren world of monopoly industry and centralized government. As compared with their opposite numbers in past ages, they were less avaricious, less tempted by luxury, hungrier for pure power, and, above all, more conscious of what they were doing and more intent on crushing opposition. This last difference was cardinal. By comparison with that existing today, all the tyrannies of the past were half-hearted and inefficient. The ruling groups were always infected to some extent by liberal ideas, and were content to leave loose ends everywhere, to regard only the overt act and to be uninterested in what their subjects were thinking. Even the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages was tolerant by modern standards. Part of the reason for this was that in the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance. The invention of print, however, made it easier to manipulate public opinion, and the film and the radio carried the process further. With the development of television, and the technical advance which made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end. Every citizen, or at least every citizen important enough to be worth watching, could be kept for twenty-four hours a day under the eyes of the police and in the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of communication closed. The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time.

–George Orwell
1984
1948

My name is Henry Edward Hardy. I am a senior systems administrator at Tufts University, and I am speaking here only for myself and not for my institution or any other group or entity.

I’ve been a system administrator since the days of the ARPAnet. Back then when I started there were only maybe 100 thousand to 200 thousand people on the net, and a few thousand administrators. We were few enough that we could all be identified by our initials. My NIC handle is HEH. We were all together then. Anyone who knew enough to ask, could get an account on dockmaster. I thought you guys were heroes. I thought you kept us safe from tyranny and a godless totalitarian surveillance state.

Suffice it to say you aren’t my heroes anymore. You *are* the totalitarian face of a comprehensive surveillance state which would have put the KGB and Securitate to shame.

We were all together then and we all worked to nurture and protect that which we recognized as so dear, so unique and valuable, the Internet. The greatest achievement of mankind, and the greatest gift of the United States to the world, a vehicle and a venue for cooperation, understanding, learning and creativity. For freedom and liberty guaranteed by anonymity and privacy.

It is a truism to say that “everyone has secrets.” More profoundly, everyone knows something which they would literally do anything to prevent being made known to others. It might be something criminal, but in most cases it is not. It could be knowledge of a family matter, of an affair, or a child whose father isn’t who they think it is. It could be a medical matter, or a sexual fetish. It could be a key, a password to a bank account or a brokerage account. It could be a business matter. In any event, if you and you alone have access to all the world’s secrets, and when there is no public accountability or restraint through the mechanisms of a democratic society, then your power, and the inevitability of its abuse, is unlimited.

System administrators should be your allies. We both want to protect the Internet and keep it safe. In theory anyway. But when we read in the popular press snarky blather such as “I Hunt Sysadmins” then how can we regard you as friends?

Before the United States was founded, the British had a secret court called, “The Star Chamber”. The Star Chamber started by 1398 and was shut down in 1640. One of the motives in establishing the Bill of Rights was to insure there would be no secret Star Chamber-like courts in America. As wikipedia puts it,

The historical abuses of the Star Chamber are considered a primary motivating force behind the protections against compelled self-incrimination embodied in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[14] The meaning of “compelled testimony” under the Fifth Amendment – i.e., the conditions under which a defendant is allowed to “plead the Fifth” to avoid self-incrimination – is thus often interpreted via reference to the inquisitorial methods of the Star Chamber.[15]

As the U.S. Supreme Court described it [in Faretta v California], “the Star Chamber has, for centuries, symbolized disregard of basic individual rights.”

Spying on everyone all the time without a specific warrant for which there is probable cause: if that isn’t compelled self-incrimination then I don’t know what is.

The Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court, sometimes called “The FISA Court” is just such an unconstitutional secret Star Chamber. Shut it down now, and repeal and invalidate all of its decisions retroactively.

One of the Abuses of the British which led to the US Revolution was the use of General Warrants. People were not secure in their homes or papers. The British ultimately used this power to quarter British soldiers in the homes of unwilling citizens. The result was a violent revolution, and the writing of a constitution intended to prevent General Warrants from ever being used again.

My advice: stop using General Warrants. They are both Totalitarian and Unconstitutional.

My message to you is: Stop Spying on us.

Follow the Constitutional process. Get a specific warrant based on probable cause and approved by a judge in open court. And use open source methods whenever possible, and surveillance as a last resort.

My recommendations are:

1. Re-establish the firewall between foreign intelligence and domestic law enforcement.
2. Require a specific, not general, warrant with probable cause for any surveillance of anyone in the world. The idea that you can segregate US persons from others as far as surveillance is a legal fiction, and in practice, next to impossible.
3. Ban and retroactively abolish all general warrants and bills of attainder. Retroactively rescind, and ban the future use of National Security Letters.
4. Disallow active duty military personel from working for NSA.
5. Remove CSS from NSA.
6. Abolish FISA and the FISA court.
7. Abolish the Communications Assistance to Law Enforement Act.
8. Repeal the USAPATRIOT Act and the FISA Act.
9. Re-establish posse comitatus.
10. Re-establish habeus corpus.
11. Eliminate the pen register exemption from the fourth amendment which has been used to justify the collection of so-called metadata.
12. Restore and strengthen the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
13. Strengthen whistleblower protection for US Government employees, and extend this protection to contractors as well.
14. Abolish the UK/USA Pact, the so-called “Five Eyes.” Disallow sharing of foreign intelligence with any other nation or entity which cannot be held accountable to the US Constitution.
15. Hold NSA employees and contractors and the FISA court judges legally accountable.

Sincerely,

Henry Edward Hardy
senior systems administrator
Tufts University
institutional affiliation for identification purposes only
[email elided]

20 October, 2019 Posted by | 2014, Anne Neuberger, John Delong, politics, scanlyze, USA | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment