Archive for the 'liberty' Category

Page 2 of 3

cyberone: tenenbaum v. riaa

we are moving to quash the riaa’s subpoena to joel’s little sister for cd’s joel has burned and given her. we are moving to quash under the FRCP 45 on the ground that the request is unduly burdensome and because the requested materials are not relevant (or at lease have not been argued as relevant) to any claims advanced by the parties.

we, matt sanchez and i and others who join us, will do our best to oppose all further burdens upon joel and his family imposed by riaa on grounds that the abuse already imposed makes any further burden undue.


presidential poker game

sitting with position on obama
waits for obama to make his play
not hillary
what does that say
what does that say
to whom is he speaking
mccain sees a tell and makes his play

all-in with palin
straight talk rollin
mccain the maverick fighter
alaska woman at his side
choo choo who do you choose

obama seen and raised
action now to him


go jamie!

Another Blow To Justice

By Jamie Gorelick
Tuesday, July 29, 2008; A17

Another stunning report has documented the bold and illegal influence of
politics at the Justice Department over the past eight years. For decades,
Republican and Democratic attorneys general had protected from political
influence the hiring of career prosecutors and administrative judges. There
was an unbroken rule, embodied in law, regulation and department policy,
that no political questions would be asked of those who wanted to serve in
career — as opposed to political — positions in the department. We
demanded of our Justice Department, in its core prosecutorial and
adjudicative functions, that it be separate from politics. Until the Bush

Last month, we learned that political functionaries deputized by Attorneys
General John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales had screened the best and the
brightest coming out of law schools, judicial clerkships and other positions
to weed out those who appeared to be Democrats or who might hold liberal
ideas; favor was shown to Republicans, members of the Federalist Society,
and those considered to be good and loyal conservatives. As the department’s
inspector general and its Office of Professional Responsibility noted, this
is illegal. It also breaks the promise of justice that is above politics and
undermines the department’s best values.

Now, an equally graphic report by the same two offices concludes that in
2003, the apolitical process for selecting immigration judges and
prosecutors was stood on its head. A chief aide to Attorney General Ashcroft
(and later to Attorney General Gonzales) “outlined a new process for hiring
[immigration judges] that listed the White House as the sole source for
generating candidates.”

Thus, immigration judges — who, by law, are to be chosen without regard to
their political pedigree — were no longer picked by the nonpolitical office
that is supposed to find and train the men and women who mete out justice to
tens of thousands of immigrants. In the interview files for these candidates
were such comments as “Cons[ervative] on ‘god, guns + gays’ ” — but not
much about whether they understood immigration law or had the capacity for

Even more appalling, others, including a counsel to Attorney General
Gonzales, illegally selected individual line prosecutors — who wield
tremendous power over the reputations, liberty and livelihood of
Americans — using Internet searches on such keywords as “Bush, Gore,
Republican, Democrat, Clinton, spotted owl, abortion, gay, gun, and Florida
recount” to assess their political and policy views.

Why does this matter?

In a long career counseling individuals being investigated by the Justice
Department, I have had to explain to sometimes cynical citizens that
politics are prohibited from influencing such inquiries. My ability to give
that assurance has hinged on both the public perception — and reality —
that the career assistant U.S. attorneys, line prosecutors and lawyers who
work at the department are picked on their merits and proceed without regard
to politics.

Until now.

During the Bush administration, we have seen U.S. attorneys fired under
circumstances that have led many to conclude they paid the price because
they wouldn’t prosecute Democrats; honors program applicants screened for
their political leanings; and now the process of hiring line prosecutors and
immigration judges similarly politicized. How do we reassure the American
people that justice is being meted out fairly? Trust and respect lost are
hard to win back.

Worse, the reports lay out evidence that the political appointees behind
many of these missteps knew that what they were doing was wrong.

But responsibility does not end there. The department’s senior leadership
turned over hiring decisions to people with no history and no understanding
of the institution, people who came from the Republican National Committee
or White House political functions. The predictable result was that the
department would have, in essence, political appointees in career positions.
Thus was the department’s fundamental promise to the American people —
which had been respected for decades — broken.

Where were the career people on whom we count to keep the department honest?
The latest report concludes that the two most senior people responsible for
protecting immigration judges from political influence had “sufficient
evidence . . . to have realized that political or ideological affiliations
played a role” and that they should have spoken up to others who could do
something. The same criticism was leveled at those who ran the office
overseeing the honors program and lateral hiring. Where were they? It is
disappointing that they failed to act forcefully to protect the department
they served.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey, himself a former career prosecutor and
judge, pledges to fix these problems going forward. But more is required.
The department needs to hold individuals responsible for their actions. It
needs to offer opportunities to those who were improperly denied them. And
it needs to make sure that this never happens again. Restoring the promise
of unbiased justice will take the efforts of both this attorney general and
his successors.

The writer, a deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration, is a
partner at WilmerHale in Washington.

obama internet platform

draft lessig
to be chairman of the fcc

put the net in the hands of people who love it

Forwarded conversation
Subject: obama platform

From: Charles Nesson
Date: Sat, Jul 26, 2008 at 9:44 AM
To: Lawrence Lessig

on monday night (july 28) i am hosting a Listen to America platform meeting on Internet Democracy and Education.
where better to start than with your thought. what would you say is platform number one?

From: Lawrence Lessig
Date: Sat, Jul 26, 2008 at 6:13 PM
To: Charles Nesson


From: Charles Nesson
Date: Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 8:40 AM
To: Lawrence Lessig

you put a . after trust

trust what
trust whom
trust why

From: Lawrence Lessig
Date: Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 7:50 PM
To: Charles Nesson

trust in the very idea of government. that differences might be differences of good faith. that agreement might be won for the right reason.

Re-Empowering Juries


CHARLES NESSON: I start from a presumption of liberty. Think of the founders of our nation. They assembled as people who had the liberty to create a government. They knew that historically all governments reflect their own self-interest and come over time to limit, if not destroy the collective power of the people. They believed that a government built of checks and balances would ensure protection of their (and our) liberty into the future.

One method for doing this was to provide that the government must present its case for taking away a citizen’s liberty to a jury of peers, and that the jury must unanimously agree to a general verdict of guilt as warrant for the State to take his liberty. The jury will endure as a bulwark so long as it decides the whole case — the law and the fact. When all other balances fail, the jury will remain as the last protection of liberty.

In a criminal prosecution the legislature must first pass a statute that defines a crime. The executive must then choose to enforce the statute by formally charging and proving a statutory violation. Finally the judiciary must oversee the trial of the charge to make sure the statute is constitutional and the process of proof completely legal. Thus the state”s claim to take the liberty of a citizen is presented to a jury of the people. WE the PEOPLE. The jury is us, so that our values of liberty and justice will be preserved into the future against the state.

I want to make a doctrinal point exposing the flaw in the legal argument used by the judiciary to take away the jury’s power to decide “the whole case, the law and the fact,” thereby reducing the jury’s role to that merely of factfinder. “Law” used in describing the jury’s role means justice in the sense of connection with the conscience of community. The judges who created the current doctrine of jury nullification read “law” to mean the formal law created by the State, e.g., legislation, common law, judicial precedent. In claiming for themselves in a dichotomy between judge and jury of “law” and “fact” the prerogative of authoritatively articulating such matters of legality they left the jury only with “fact” and took the jury’s justice function away.

The judges did this in the 19th century in dispute as to whether lawyers could continue the established practice of arguing unconstitutionality of statutes to the jury despite the trial judge’s ruling that the statute was constitutional. Judges decided that lawyers may not re-argue their legal rulings to the jury because it is the judge’s business, not the jury’s, to decide matters of law. But in every case, the ruling was based upon the judges power to decide constitutionality and other legal matters. It resolved the question insofar as it applied to constitutional matters, statutory interpretations and evidentiary rulings — matters of legality. But it did not address, nor did it justify, the claim that juries had no business deciding “law” in the more fundamental sense.

Even after the “legalities” have been articulated by the judge to the jury, the jury hears and must accept the interpretation of the law of the state that the judge puts upon it, the jury nonetheless retains the essential independent function and responsibility of deciding whether to apply the state’s law to the defendant before them. That is the jury’s constitutional function. That is its protective check and balance versus the state’s power to deprove a citizen of liberty. To take this funtion away diminishes, even obviates, the jury’s function as the last bulwark of liberty.

All right, that’s my ten minutes. I’d be delighted with any and all comments.














party for the poker philosopher

from  andrew at
4:25 AM (1 hour ago) [jamal 263.JPG]

I began play yesterday with 565K chips. My girlfriend was preparing to fly out here to join me. While she was at the airport, I lost most of chips and was down to 135K. I called to warn her that there was a very real danger of my being eliminated before she arrived. She hates flying, and I didn’t want her to spend five hours on the plane each way for nothing. She still had 20 minutes before boarding, so I told her it was her call and I’d let her know if anything changed. Twenty minutes later, she sent me a text message: “On brd. I hv confidence in you. :-)”

Two days later, there are 80 players left, and I am in second place with 4,444,000 chips. We are all guaranteed $77,200. I really don’t know how I made it through the day at all, let alone with so many chips; my table was so tough, full of really solid players.

This is me with another player named Jamal, we’ve been friends since we played together two days ago. I got moved to his table at the end of the day, and we both made it through.

Thanks to everyone who’s called, written, posted, etc. to congratulate me or wish me well. I am somewhere between terrified and exhilarated.

Much love,


what kind of contest can we imagine
what topic for debate
what form for crafting how the contest comes together
will will bring BOSTON together

all politics is local
tip o’neill says so
and my senator galluccio who sponsors little league
and dimasi the speaker of our house
and our governor deval
speak for massachusetts
speak for WE the PEOPLE


look what comes in this morning’s mail

from  andrew at

4:38 AM (9 hours ago)

Well, despite starting the day with the second largest chip stack, I ended up getting eliminated from the 2008 World Series of Poker in 35th place, winning $193,000. It’s hard to complain about that result, and if you told me a week ago that I would do so well, I would have been elated. But once we were down to 79 players and I was in such great shape, I started dreaming of the final table, so it’s a bit of disappointment. I’m sure that will pass soon, though.

Overall I made a great run, met a lot of friendly and interesting people, and had a blast. It was even more exciting to have all of you following along and cheering me on. Thanks for all your support,


PARTY on wednesday at a very cool galleryXIV in the south end where ABRAHAM OBAMA is on display. please invite all in the boston area who have been following you to come and raise a glass to andrew.

Andrew Brokos, a.k.a. Foucault, the poker philosopher, did wonderfully at World Series Of Poker. i am hosting a party to celebrate his achievement at galleryXIV 450 harrison st in the south end at 7pm on Wednesday JULY !6 2008. Please come by to see Andrew, hear his stories, experience ABRAHAM OBAMA, have drinks and party.
looking forward to seeing you then.

Charles Nesson, a.k.a. eon





exciting news. at our ABRAHAM_OBAMA party wednesday will be andrew brokos, my best living proof next to howard lederer that poker is a game of skill, known online as foucault, the poker philosopher. who is currently playing in the world series of poker. he is returning to boston on monday and will come to our party. it’s a great opportunity for us to hear his stories and celebrate his achievements at the tournament. if you know anyone who would be interested in meeting him or playing poker please invite him or her to join us at galleryXIV 450 harrison st in the south end at 7pm on Wednesday JULY !6 2008. fern and i will provide wine beer snacks. and hopefully music. please respond with thoughts suggestions contributions of any sort and please try to attend. we’ll have a lot of fun.


look what comes from andrew in the morning email

Internet Freedom Foundation


Robert Darnton on Rhetorical Poker and the future of research library

The Library in the New Age – The New York Review of Books
“I want to argue that every age was an age of information, each in its own way, and that information has always been unstable.”
(tags: internet information tech books digital culture library history)

I used to be a newspaper reporter myself. I got my basic training as a college kid covering police headquarters in Newark in 1959. Although I had worked on school newspapers, I did not know what news was—that is, what events would make a story and what combination of words would make it into print after passing muster with the night city editor. When events reached headquarters, they normally took the form of “squeal sheets” or typed reports of calls received at the central switchboard. Squeal sheets concerned everything from stray dogs to murders, and they accumulated at a rate of a dozen every half hour. My job was to collect them from a lieutenant on the second floor, go through them for anything that might be news, and announce the potential news to the veteran reporters from a dozen papers playing poker in the press room on the ground floor. The poker game acted as a filter for the news. One of the reporters would say if something I selected would be worth checking out. I did the checking, usually by phone calls to key offices like the homicide squad. If the information was good enough, I would tell the poker game, whose members would phone it in to their city desks. But it had to be really good—that is, what ordinary people would consider bad—to warrant interrupting the never-ending game. Poker was everyone’s main interest—everyone but me: I could not afford to play (cards cost a dollar ante, a lot of money in those days), and I needed to develop a nose for news.


the Electronic Enlightenment, a project sponsored by the Voltaire Foundation of Oxford. By digitizing the correspondence of Voltaire, Rousseau, Franklin, and Jefferson—about two hundred volumes in superb, scholarly editions —it will, in effect, recreate the transatlantic republic of letters from the eighteenth century. The letters of many other philosophers, from Locke and Bayle to Bentham and Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, will be integrated into this database, so that scholars will be able to trace references to individuals, books, and ideas throughout the entire network of correspondence that undergirded the Enlightenment.

what of the enlightenment of the internet.
what should a great research library archive?



i want to thank everybody for coming here today and especially the people who were here from the beginning

eric wiseman
tom smuts
dave marglin
jon zittrain
john perry barlow
larry lessig
alex and wendy
myles berkman
fern and eric saltzman

we are here to talk about the future of the net.

my vision of the future of the net is the same as the vision i enunciated ten years ago.

cyberspace is an integrated media realm of stories told and shared by digitally connected and enabled hearts and minds.
WE are the Future of the Internet. We have good stories to live and to tell.
let us make our stories represent our values of
open code
open access
open talk
open education
let’s bridge the digital divide
let’s build the commons of the net

Open Letter to Governor Deval Patrick – Poker is not a CRIME!

To the Honorable Deval Patrick
Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Dear Deval:

Who Wrote Your Casino Bill?

Your Casino Bill tries to make playing poker online a CRIME! You threaten people like me with two years imprisonment and $25,000 fine. A disgraceful federal law passed without democratic process as a rider to a port security bill already criminalizes payment companies for processing bets. But even that misguided law stops short of criminalizing online poker players.

Since November 2007 when you offered up your casino bill I have been trying to determine who or what the force is behind the criminalization provision. I spoke with your spokesperson on the casino bill. He surprised me by being completely unaware of the criminalization provision. Obviously to him this was not something high on your agenda.

Word in the poker community was that lawyers for Sands Casinos in Las Vegas had contributed to the crafting of the casino bill. And indeed I had seen Sheldon Adelson, the powerful chairman of Sands, present and in the flesh at the State Legislature’s December 18 hearing on the bill. So I wrote him a letter and asked him directly: do you support the criminalization provision? Did you help write it? To my delighted surprise, on March 6th he replied to my letter disavowing any involvement in or support of the provision. He offered to help “encourage its separation from the bill.” So it seems not to be the casino interests who stand behind the criminalization provision.

With Mr. Adelson’s letter, I have gained an ally. But I have not solved the puzzle. In the meantime, Kyle Sullivan, your press secretary, accused me in public print of being “ill informed” about the bill. So I wrote him and said, “As one who is well informed, would you please clarify who wrote the bill and how the criminalization provision got in there?” There’s been no reply as yet.

I keep sending letters – to Daniel O’Connell in the Office of Economic Development, to John Hall the president of Suffolk Downs, which is the State’s largest race track, to George Carney, who owns the dog track in Raynham. I will keep writing letters and pressing the issue until I get an answer.

Who wrote the bill’s provision trying to make playing online poker a crime? Do you stand behind it now?