Apple submits to Chinese state censorship.

I guess that it doesn’t matter if information wants to be free, or not. If your major source for manufacturing iPads has an issue, then that’s the end of the matter: “Apple has disabled its news app in China, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation, the most recent sign of how difficult it can be for foreign companies to manage the strict rules governing media and online expression there.” For the benefit of somebody who might only be familiar with English as used by The New York Times, the phrase ‘the strict rules governing media and online expression’ is semantically equivalent to the word ‘censorship.’  The Times is using the former instead of the latter because the Times doesn’t like admitting that it’s picked the wrong side when it comes to American foreign policy.

Now, this is the part where I’m supposed to be at least mildly sympathetic that Apple had to turn off its news app in the People’s Republic of China because the alternative would be having to deal with ChiCom complaints and corporate warfare over every time Apple told its Chinese users something that the ChiComs didn’t want their subjects to hear. Alas, I’m not sympathetic to Apple at all.  This is part of the devil’s deal that the company made with the PRC in order to get a pipeline  of cheap electronics; and while I’m happy to criticize the PRC, Apple doesn’t really have that luxury. They knew what the deal was. Continue reading Apple submits to Chinese state censorship.

Guardian shocked to discover that people are scared of ISIS.

I don’t know what’s more shocking: that this happened in England, or that the Guardian is upset and appalled about it.

Visitors to a London exhibition celebrating freedom of expression this week found plenty of familiar taboo-busting work, from Jamie McCartney’s The Great Wall of Vagina, an eight-foot long cast featuring the genitals of 400 women, toKubra Khademi’s video of an eight-minute walk she made through Kabul in Afganistan, dressed in lushly contoured body armour. But they will have looked in vain for one work detailed in the catalogue by an artist known only as Mimsy.

Isis Threaten Sylvania is a series of seven satirical light box tableaux featuring the children’s toys Sylvanian Families. It was removed from the Passion for Freedomexhibition at the Mall galleries after police raised concerns about the “potentially inflammatory content” of the work, informing the organisers that, if they went ahead with their plans to display it, they would have to pay £36,000 for security for the six-day show.

After all, ISIS exists largely because the antiwar movement – which the Guardian enthusiastically supported – somehow managed to convince Barack Obama that it is a smart thing to go back lose a war after you’ve already won it.  The fallout from that galloping disaster on roller skates is still playing out in real-time, but so far it looks like it’s not going to end up being good for anybody concerned.  So it would have been nice if the Guardian had ended this piece with a terse Sorry we fornicated the canine on this one, folks

Moe Lane

PS: Given the way that the British so aggressively work to disarm their subjects, I’m not surprised that art gallery owners over there are so skittish. I don’t approve, but I’m not surprised.

#rsrh Staff on GOP re-election campaigns, please read.

I’m not going to mince words: keep your C0ngressmen and Senators from voting for the Stopping Online Privacy Act.  If they do vote for it, do not promise them access to online grassroots support; if this thing passes, I for one will be checking voting records as part of the process of deciding whether or not to help out a particular Republican legislator*.  I won’t be the only one, either.

And – forgive me for saying this – I don’t really care what the motivation was for a ‘yes’ vote.  I’m already pushing the limits of my tolerance by giving ostensible Republicans/conservatives a pass if the bill itself doesn’t.

Moe Lane

*Staff on Democratic re-election campaigns, please note: for your people I’ll be doing that whether SOPA passes or not.  There’s a heck of a lot of online cross-party and cross-ideology opposition to this bill; it’s going to be a digital albatross around the neck of anybody who votes for it, and a wise adviser will advise his or her boss to avoid the initial shooting.