Indeed, they are used for good far more than for evil, and their use is almost ubiquitous: essentially any site that deals with personal or financial information is SSL-encrypted. Gmail uses SSL by default, and now even Google Search is available over SSL. Most instant-messaging clients use SSL between the client and server, and Skype uses transparent, end-to-end encryption for all voice, video, and chat messages, as well as file transfers.
In a way, crypto is not unlike firearms1 : it can be used by bad guys plotting dastardly deeds, but its benefits to society are considerably greater than its drawbacks.
In fact, I consider strong crypto to go hand-in-hand with free speech: being able to speak privately (and, on a related note, anonymously) is one of the strongest foundations of liberty. I hold this believe so strongly that I regularly use and encourage others to use strong crypto in their everyday lives. For those wishing to contact me securely, my PGP key is available here. One can also send me an S/MIME-signed message and I will reply with a signed+encrypted message.
One nice thing about the recent Arizona immigration law is that it’s running remarkably good interference for the permitless carry law in Arizona.
Sure, the permitless carry law isn’t really a big deal in Arizona, but what little drama that could be stirred up against it has been replaced with ire for the immigration law and I haven’t heard a peep against the carry law in any media recently.
The Arizona House of Representatives just voted to approve SB 1108, the “Constitutional Carry” measure that was up for voting.
Now, it goes to the governor. If she signs it (or it passes without her signature), Arizonans will be able to carry firearms concealed without a permit (e.g. Alaska/Vermont-style carry). I’m pretty sure the governor will sign the measure.
Here’s a video of the proceedings from the ASUA meeting tonight.
Sorry for the poor quality video and audio — I recorded it with my cellphone video camera, which is clearly not the best recording tool. Such is life.
I’ll go through the videos and add annotations/captions in the future.
At several points, I wanted to say to the pro-gun people, “Stop it. You’re not helping.” — we’re not talking about the Second Amendment, nor guns in parking lots, nor anything else. We’re talking about whether the ASUA, the University of Arizona student government, should support or oppose a state senate bill that would allow faculty with valid CCW permits to carry concealed firearms on campus. Your efforts basically confirm every negative stereotype, though most of the pro-gun females who spoke were clear, articulate, and made some good points. This is a matter of giving responsible adults — professors, specifically — the choice to carry a firearm on campus if they wish.
The ASUA is holding a voting meeting tomorrow in the Ventana Room at the Student Union at 5:00pm. They’ll allow a brief period of public discussion on the topics (the gun issue is the first thing on the schedule, so show up promptly), but then the ASUA Senate will have their own discussions and vote on the matter. I highly encourage decent public speakers (i.e. not like those who spoke tonight) to attend and speak tomorrow. If we get good public speakers, particularly those who don’t fit into classic stereotypes of gun owners (e.g. women, disabled, professors, etc.), that could go a long way toward getting the ASUA to support this measure.
A state senator in Pennsylvania wants to pass legislation naming the Pennsylvania Long Rifle as the state’s official firearm. Report here.
While I think that such legislation is silly, I otherwise don’t have any objection to it. Some, however, do:
[O]opponents say the idea of designating a state firearm is unthinkable, especially since Pennsylvania cities are scarred by gun-related crimes.
Said opponents are not named in the article, nor is their reasoning — such as it is — explained. How does naming a historical, blackpowder, single-shot, longer-than-four-feet-long rifle as the state’s official firearm have anything to do with violent crime? Whoever these opponents are, they need to unbunch their panties.
Today, when riding to work, I passed a Toyota Prius going the other direction.
Now, this is not an unusual occurrence — (plural form of Prius) are hardly rare cars, and one sees quite a few in Tucson.
This particular Prius, however, was completely decked out in “Obama 2012″ livery. This didn’t appear to be the work of some guy with a white car and a few bumper stickers, but rather a professionally-done thing.
If this is some sort of official campaign vehicle, I think it’s a bit too bloody early: the President was inaugurated 6 months and 22 days ago and still has 3 years, 5 months, and 9 days until the next inauguration. He’s barely 14% through his term and people are already gearing up for the next election…that seems…crazy.
Why don’t we wait a bit to see how he’s been doing at, say, the 25% and 50% marks in his term, and then see if he should run for reelection. As far as I can tell, there hasn’t been any of the promised “change” he talked about — Washington seems to be conducting business as usual.