Monthly Archives: July 2004

Making A Stronger Wiki

Wikis are a great idea, but they are clearly vulnerable to bad actors. If there is a large community supporting the Wiki, it can have social antibodies against 'bad' content. But wiki architecture is also open to mechanized attacks, and those can be overwhelming. What to do. One lightweight but potentially effective answer comes out of today's Slashdot interview with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. [link fixed]

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Posted in Internet | 2 Comments

For the Civil Libertarian In Your Life

What would you expect to find at

Not, I would imagine, the Total Information Awareness Gift Shop, but that is what it is. Proceeds to the ACLU. (See the FAQ.)

[This came up in an aside at the Meltdown conference. Yes, we are getting punchy.]

Posted in Law: Privacy | Leave a comment

Bush, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft Resist Application of US Supreme Court Detainee Decision

In the Hamdi decision the Supreme Court ruled that US citizen detainees have a right to bring a habeas case to challenge their detention and that they should have access to counsel for it.

Why then is the Bush-Rumsfeld Dept. of Defense, abetted by the Ashroft Justice Dept. refusing to allow a lawyer access to Ali Saleh al-Marri? Is it because he is not a US citizen?

Charleston attorney files motion to see man held as enemy combatant at Naval Brig: Attorney Andy Savage filed a motion in federal court last week demanding to see al-Marri, who has been held without access to family, friends or attorneys.

The US Supreme Court last month ruled it was unconstitutional to hold someone indefinitely and says detainees should be able to challenge their detention.

The motion Savage filed says al-Marri's attorneys asked assistant prosecutor David Salmons about the matter and was told the government could not allow him to see a lawyer. A spokesman for the Justice Department refused comment.

I do not see how Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri's Qatari citizenship will suffice to block his right to a hearing, and to counsel to prepare for it. And I can't imagine any other grounds the government could have for this behavior.

Update: Scrivener's Error says that I am not cynical enough.

Further update: The article I linked to above now says, “Attorney Mark Berman says the Justice Department approved meetings with Ali Seleh al-Marri in a phone call on Tuesday night, and the lawyer expects to meet with al-Marri within two weeks.” That's good.

Posted in Civil Liberties | 2 Comments

Archivist Update

Last April, I blogged the flap over the Bush administration's attempt to replace the Archivist of the United States, something that looks suspiciously like an attempt to have a hand-picked successor on hand next January, which when the GHW Bush administration papers become potentially open to public viewing. The Washington Post has an article on the issue, which includes a thumbnail of the proposed new Archivist's confirmation hearings. It has to be said that he doesn't sound so bad…although why the Bush people wanted to push out the incumbent early remains very mysterious.

Posted in Politics: US | 3 Comments

US Taxation of Multinational Enterprise: Part VI

The multinationals discussion thus far has felt a bit like a trip down memory lane. Today, however, we have a topic, foreign subsidiaries, that is so topical that there is news today! (My source is today's The Wall Street Journal Online.)

Part IV noted that the US' foreign tax credit regime represented altruism in the interests of encouraging trade and helping developing countries. Well, once one takes foreign subsidiaries into account, one realizes that we have done less.

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Posted in Law: Tax | 8 Comments

US Taxation of Multinational Enterprise: Part V

Thank you all for the posts. Compare Jim's comments on Part III to Paul's on Part IV and you get the contours of the contemporary debate. Dan's, PGL's, and Jim's posts flesh out how complicated these issues are in the real world. (Jim, I really hope that Michael takes the blog back over before I have to talk about consumption taxes.) In the end, I do not have a view on the deduct vs. credit issue with regard to foreign taxes, because I do not understand the welfare effects of international trade adequately at this time. But, I can focus the analysis so that others can apply their views of trade.

Which gets us back to the foreign tax credit.

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Posted in Law: Tax | 7 Comments