Saturday, May 26, 2007

On John Edwards and bumper stickers

Cirroc reader Richard thinks that Edwards will have a tough time overcoming the shallow coverage he is receiving in the press. Sarcastically, he says "[i]t's about time we had a truly pretty guy in the White House."

I refer the reader to Tom Tomorrow's comic on the issue at Salon (click-through ad or subscription required).

Personally, I don't care for his Washington helmet hair. Perhaps he should rethink his choice of salons. But to end this post on a substantive note, I was quite pleased with his speech last week to the Council on Foreign Relations. From the ABC News article:

In a defense policy speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Edwards called the war on terror a "bumper sticker" slogan Bush had used to justify everything from abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison to the invasion of Iraq.

"We need a post-Bush, post-9/11, post-Iraq military that is mission focused on protecting Americans from 21st century threats, not misused for discredited ideological purposes," Edwards said. "By framing this as a war, we have walked right into the trap the terrorists have set that we are engaged in some kind of clash of civilizations and a war on Islam."


Saturday, May 5, 2007

Rape in Second Life

From Volokh (via Wired):

"The Brussels Public Prosecutor’s Office has asked investigators of the Federal Computer Crime Unit to patrol in Second Life.

In the virtual world of the computer game[*] a personality was recently “raped.” Following the virtual rape the Brussels police opened a file. “It is the intent to determine whether punishable acts have been committed,” according to the federal police. The Public Prosecutor’s Office was also alarmed. At the vice section acting officer Verlinden opened an informational investigation into the details."

I agree with Volokh's core assessment that forced sex between avatars should not be interpreted as a criminal violation. But Second Life is a ripe ground for the growth of new criminal laws proscribing internet conduct. How long before we see U.S. anti-pornography laws reach into games like Second Life?