United Liberty Staff
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$800,000: Annual cost to tax-payers of maintaining one prisoner in Guantanamo Bay.
166: The number of prisoners currently in Gitmo.
86: The number of prisoners currently in Gitmo who have been cleared for release but not actually released.
46: Detainees scheduled for indefinite detention without charge or trial.
15: The age of arrest of the youngest Gitmo detainee ever, Omar Khadr, who was “tortured and refused medical attention” because he would not confess.
15: The number of prisoners under the age of 18 who have been kept at Gitmo.
9: The number of inmate deaths at Guantanamo Bay.
6: The number of those deaths suspected to be suicides.
2009: The year Obama was supposed to close Gitmo.
Being a libertarian-leaning blog, we touch on a variety of issues. From those of you that aren’t familiar with libertarianism, it is a philosophy grounded in individual liberty, limited government, and free markets. Our commentary is based from that unwaivering viewpoint.
This past provided endless fodder for bloggers. From the push for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) to the terrorist attack in Benghazi to the 2012 election. While there was plenty to talk about this year, 2012 also served as a reminder that our liberties are still being slowly taken away.
With all that said, here are the top 30 most read stories from United Liberty during 2012. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed writing them:
We’re live from a Google+ Hangout, watching and critiquing the debate tonight between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan. You can watch the debate live here and you can listen to our commentary below:
Welcome to United Liberty’s Super Tuesday Live Blog. We’ll be getting started around 6:30pm or so. But before you join in on the conversation, here are some links to read on things to look for this evening.
Over at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver lays out the various scenarios that could unfold tonight, including delegate projections for all four candidates. Politico has a list of 10 things to watch for tonight, including Ohio, where a win could help Romney put the race to bed much quicker. CNN only gives three things for us to watch, but one of them (voter turnout) could obviously be a game-changer.
Watch returns come in:
Welcome to United Liberty’s coverage of the South Carolina primary. We were anticipating an interesting day between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, but polls have showed movement in recent days. It looks like Gingrich will win the state this evening by a decent margin, despite some bad press in the last 72 hours.
You can track results from the Palmetto State here.
In keeping with the goal to educate readers about the dangers of SOPA and PIPA, here is a piece by Jeremy Kolassa, originally published on January 12, 2012.
Going off of my colleague Ron Davis’ post about technological reasons to oppose that monstrosity known as SOPA (and it’s Senate twin, PIPA), here are a couple of news stories from earlier in the month to share with you. I am a bit late on these, I admit, but I want to place them here just to show how ineffectual SOPA will actually be.
The first “solution” will probably fail and end in misery and a fireball, but you have to give some credit to these guys: a group of hackers want to send up a satellite that will act as an independent file-sharing server, a sort of space age Sealand:
The scheme was outlined at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin.
The project’s organisers said the Hackerspace Global Grid will also involve developing a grid of ground stations to track and communicate with the satellites.
Longer term they hope to help put an amateur astronaut on the moon.
Hobbyists have already put a few small satellites into orbit - usually only for brief periods of time - but tracking the devices has proved difficult for low-budget projects.
The hacker activist Nick Farr first put out calls for people to contribute to the project in August. He said that the increasing threat of internet censorship had motivated the project.
In keeping with the goal to educate readers about the dangers of SOPA and PIPA, here is a piece by Jason Pye, originally posted by on December 27, 2011.
We’ve been posting a lot about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) lately. You’re going to continue to hear about it online over the next few weeks. SOPA is touted by supporters as legislation that would prevent copyright infringement and secure intellectual property rights, but it would actually promote internet censorship and ignore due process. In fact, SOPA isn’t likely to stop piracy.
If you want to learn more about the law and its implications, you should watch this video that explains how many of the companies supporting SOPA are in fact guilty of distributing software that promotes piracy:
In keeping with the goal to educate readers about the dangers of SOPA and PIPA, here is a piece by Ron Davis, originally posted on January 11, 2012.
My post from earlier today, 8 Technological Reasons to Stop SOPA and PIPA, discussed the legitimate technological problems with the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). These bills are supposed to be an attempt at stopping online piracy, but as I mentioned yesterday, they will not work but will instead cause harm to the speed, reliability, security, and safety of the Internet.
There are also political reasons this legislation should not be supported. Here are eight of them:
SOPA and PIPA will not stop piracy. It’s even a stretch to argue that they would impact it at all. I explained how earlier, but the technical details aren’t important to today’s point. If proposed legislation will obviously not accomplish its stated purpose, it should never pass. This one point alone should be enough for your congressman and senators to oppose it. In case it’s not enough, keep reading; I have seven more reasons.
SOPA and PIPA mandate censorship compliance. When a domain name is seized by the government, ISPs are forced to comply with the censorship. There is no option of appeal for the ISPs; they must comply.
In keeping with the goal to educate readers about the dangers of SOPA and PIPA, here is a piece by Jeremy Kolassa, originally posted on November 21, 2011.
I’ve been following the progress of the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” or SOPA, also known as the “Internet Blacklist Bill,” for some time now, but haven’t posted about it because I feel that other websites cover it far better. Recently, though, I’ve seen some news I feel I have to share to United Liberty readers, because it comes straight from the “Holy Crap I Never Saw THAT Coming!” department.
For a good summary of why SOPA is a bad law, you should read the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s explanation. You can also grab the actual text of the law here. In effect, the bill would criminalize “casual piracy”—linking a music video on Facebook would land you some stiff penalties, as well as penalties for Facebook. Goodbye Youtube, as well. For that reason, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, Google, and a host of other Internet giants have come out against the bill, in addition to groups like EFF, DemandProgress, CreativeCommons, and Mozilla.
In keeping with the goal to educate readers about the dangers of SOPA and PIPA, here is a piece by Jeremy Kolassa, originally published on December 21, 2011.
In one of the few instances of “good news,” or at least “not that terrible news,” the Stop Online Piracy Act has been delayed until after the winter recess:
WASHINGTON POST - The House Judiciary Committee confirmed Tuesday that it will delay continuing debate on the Stop Online Piracy Act until after Congress returns from its winter recess.
Committee spokeswoman Kim Smith said in an e-mailed statement that the hearing is expected to be scheduled for “early next year.”
Well, that is certainly good news on one front. It at least means they won’t be shoving it down our throat today.
But they’re going to try again. It always happens.
There was widespread outrage when TARP was first proposed, and under that public onslaught, the House of Representatives bucked its campaign contributors and shot the plan down. There was much rejoicing—until they passed it, with even more pork, four days later.