Monday, July 26, 2004

We're From The Government, And We're Here To Help You

It was bad enough when most of the supermarket chains started requiring American citizens to carry ID cards in order to buy a loaf of bread at merely retail price. Now President Bush has signed an executive order preventing you from paying cash for a house or a new car unless the dealer/realtor runs a background check first to make sure you are not a terrorist! If they don't run a check, they can be fined $250,000, or get up to 10 years in prison or both. So much for encouraging people to live within their means.

Here's a terrifying look at what it will be like to even order a pizza soon. Turn your sound up to play this Shockwave clip from the ACLU.

Next, did you know that running a website in contact with TV fans around the world was an international conspiracy against the MPAA? Adam McGaughey, creator of the popular website found out the hard way. Even though Stargate executive producer Brad Wright called the site "cool", someone took offense.

First, the FBI investigated McGaughey under the Patriot Act. Then they raided his apartment, seized all his computer equipment. When the equipment was taken, the FBI guaranteed that it would be returned within 60 days. Eight months later, McGaughey finally got back a pile of hardware that had been vandalized, and much of which was damaged beyond repair. Finally, to add insult to injury, the Feds filed charges against him in a Los Angeles court, even though McGaughey, a lordly Macintosh repair technician, lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. Oddly, there has been almost no media coverage of this at all.

UPDATE: Turns out the Stargate contreversy is ont as clear-cut as Mr. McGaughey might like. See this thread on /. and lots of comments on Usenet for more details.


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