The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Tech

The Politics of Tech

US e-voting system gets cracked in under 48 hours.  ”We successfully changed every vote and revealed almost every secret ballot.” Is it supposed to be that easy? [The H Security]

“Solar panel made with ion cannon is cheap enough to challenge fossil fuels.” Sounds good to me! [Extreme Tech]

Hackers (Th3 Consortium) are threatening to out government officials who used their .gov e-mail addresses to browse porn. [The Atlantic Wire]

An English college student is facing extradition to the US for violation of US copyright laws. [ars technica]

A new printer that reverses laser printing without damaging the paper. Neat-o. [Extreme Tech]

The RP and Willem Dafoe on Wall Street Journal Radio

The RP and Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe appeared yesterday on Wall Street Journal’s Daily Wrap with Michael Castner.

They were on to discuss their upcoming film Platoon 2: Electric Boogaloo.

OK, not really.

Willem Dafoe was on to discuss some new movie of his about the end of the world.

And The RP talked about a different kind of apocalypse — the collapse of the American democracy, and what No Labels is doing about it.  The RP reported on yesterday’s historic hearings on their “No Budget, No Pay” legislation.

It is worth a listen.  Click here to hear the podcast.


Jeff Smith: Advice for Blago on His First Day in Jail

As former Illinois Rod Balgojevich spends his first full day behind bars, contributing RP Jeff Smith offers him a few educated tips:

After spending a year in federal prison on an obstruction of justice charge stemming from a 2004 congressional campaign violation, I have a few tips for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich as he heads for prison.

1. As your grandma probably taught you, God gave you two ears, two eyes and one mouth — use them in proportion.

• When you get to prison, listen, watch and learn. You’ll have a hundred questions on your first day and in one month you will know the answer to 90 of them without having to ask and risk looking stupid.

•Don’t ever ask anybody about their crime. If they want to tell you what they did, fine. But you won’t know if they’re telling the truth. And if you ask and strike a nerve with someone, the result may not be pretty.

•Don’t talk about how you got railroaded. So did everyone else.

•Don’t ask anything about anyone’s family; it will be a sore subject with many, especially those who have not seen or heard from their children or ex-wives in years.

•Don’t ever talk about how much time you have. Someone else has more. (more…)

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Conscience and Cleverness

Hope your conscience is greater than your cleverness.

When I was about eight or nine years old I tried tricking my mom into giving me money I could spend at Thornbury’s Toys.

I told her I was curious about how checks worked and wondered if she could teach me. My mom was impressed with my curiosity and desire to learn and that I took the initiative to ask. She happily pulled out her check book and started going over each line and how it needed to be filled in.

“So, for example, let’s say it is going to be for $10. Where would you write that?” I asked.

My mom showed me where on the check that went and wrote in the amount in numbers and then in her beautiful cursive longhand.

Next I pointed to “Pay to the order of” line and suggested, “Let’s say it’s for, I dunno, like, Thornbury’s Toys. Is that where you’d write out ‘Thornbury’s Toys’?”

“Yes! Exactly!” My mom replied, excited to see I was really paying attention and understanding this lesson….and gladly filled out that line “Thornbury’s Toys.”

I asked her to please finish filling it out and asked if I could keep the check to study and memorize. She proudly signed her name, wrote “Toys’ in the “For” line and handed over my homework assignment for me to “study,” as I requested.

Well, you see where this is going. I proudly took the check and went back to my bedroom to try to now figure out how I could get a ride to Thornbury’s—and not from my mom.

But something awful and unexpected happened. Guilt slowly crept in. A loyalty to my mother and to honesty began to displace the excitement I was feeling about the possibility of buying a new toy. And the sense of cleverness started to feel heavy and burdensome like something I should be more ashamed about than proud of.

In fact, the feelings were so horrible, without understanding what was happening to me, I immediately tore the check into tiny little pieces and threw the pieces away behind my clothes drawer–where no one would find it.

Several years later when we moved to a new house—and the clothes drawer was being moved–I was standing there to pick up those little shreds of paper, which signified the still alive little shreds of guilt. I hadn’t forgotten them…or the lesson I had learned.

Just a Few More Hours to Enter “No Bracket, No Pay” NCAA Contest

Just two more hours to enter an opportunity of a lifetime.  Or at least a good time for all.

Yesterday, “No Budget, No Pay” legislation — sponsored by Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Cong. Jim Cooper (D-TN) — received its first hearing by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT).  The landmark bill, sponsored by No Labels, would deny Congressmen pay if they fail to pass a budget and spending bills on time. (Read all about it here, and Click here for more information on how you can get involved.)

Now today, March Madness erupts — the first full round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament begins play across the country.

To celebrate the convergence of these two monumental events, we at The Recovering Politician and No Labels are sponsoring our first NCAA basketball March Madness bracket challenge.

No Bracket? No Pay!

We are calling it…wait for it… “No Bracket, No Pay“.  The RP Nation and No Labels activists across the country are invited to submit a completed NCAA bracket — for free — and the winning brackets (and perhaps some losers as well) will receive BIG CASH PRIZES.

(OK, full disclosure:  The “BIG CASH PRIZES” don’t actually involve “cash.”  But we will come up with some fun stuff to give away.)

Entering the tournament is simple and easy. Just click here and follow the directions.  And you don’t need to be a roundball expert to play — in most office pools, it’s the clueless hoops-a-phobe that usually wins.

The deadline for entry is  TODAY (!!!) at 12pm (Noon!!!) EDT. 

And remember, you can’t win if you don’t play — No Bracket, No Pay.

Click here to join the fun today (or at least before today at Noon EDT.)