Monthly Archives: October 2013

“Open data,” influence, and ethics in government

This past Friday, I headed up to Parker to attend CityCamp Colorado 2013: Change The Game. CityCamp is the annual conference of OpenColorado.org, an organization dedicated to “support[ing] a transformation that will lead to a simple, beautiful, and easy-to-use government”. Now, I’m aware that the word limited did not appear in that vision statement. But I believe the pursuit of transparent and accessible government data is one that encourages citizen engagement, and thus at least has the potential to diffuse the policy analysis and implementation process from concentration in the hands of a professional bureaucracy. With properly informed citizens, that is a good thing. However, ethical qualifications to the collection and usage of large government data sets are valid concerns. I was at times a bit worried that I was the only one so concerned. Continue reading

Endgame: elections, laws, regulations, and the future

(Sedona, Arizona) Here in one of America’s truly spectacular beauty spots it is possible to forget the outside world while hiking the remoter trails of Arizona’s Red Rock State Park lands. Occasionally “reality” intrudes (e.g. U.S. Park service personnel performing the “essential” task of towing the cars of “lawless” citizens who had the effrontery to hike into “closed” Federal Park Lands). Continue reading

The shutdown ends, but problems persist

I’m on record as believing the federal government shutdown strategy, while legitimate, was a tactical mistake on the part of congressional Republicans. Not only did the made-for-cable-news theatrical episode detract from the unmitigated disaster that was the Obamacare rollout, but President Barack Obama and company have no more interest in negotiating over policy than they do in competently handling any other aspect of governing a free nation. Continue reading

Republicans divided against themselves

Anyone who has been paying attention to American politics for the past decade can recognize that the United States faces some serious problems at the start of the 21st century. Will this be another American Century? Nobody knows, but the trends seem disappointing. Exacerbating this is a political culture that has turned its back on trying to find reasonable solutions to the problems we face. Continue reading

It’s a bloody “Sunday” for Christians dominated by Islamic extremists

There’s a jihadi slogan that says, “First comes Saturday, then comes Sunday.”  It means, on Saturday we kill the Jews and on Sunday we kill the Christians. Escalating persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Africa is evidence that “Sunday” has arrived. President Obama is apparently unfazed by the religious genocide against Christians as he cedes U.S power and influence in the Muslim world. Continue reading