Hard Truths: #truthhardon

HardTruths_7_30_15Prepare to Love What You Hate
There may be no more disliked political figure than Ted Cruz. Even in republican voter circles, at least ones outside of Texas, the man has a polarizing premise. While many love his allegiance to conservatism and libertarian principles, still others fear his scorched earth methodology which was a key factor in last year’s government shutdown. And that’s among the group that ostensibly identifies with his message. Amongst liberals, hatred and fear of Cruz has reached G.W. Bushian proportions.

Well, prepare to forget everything you know about Senator Cruz.

In a nearly 20-minute rant, which C-Span has helpfully immortalized online in a post titled “Ted Cruz Goes Nuclear on Mitch McConnell,” Cruz lit into Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, leader of Cruz’s own party, in no uncertain terms. 

You really have to watch the whole video to feel the tingles in your nethers, but the gist is that Cruz and many of his colleagues on both fringes (Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, in addition to Rand Paul), suspected McConnell of a backroom deal to save the Export/Import Bank. The Ex/Im Bank is basically a giant house of filthy corporate welfare that the overwhelming majority of Americans know next to nothing about. Both socialists like Sanders and libertarians like Cruz can agree on one thing: it has no business existing, giving handouts to corporations that then play shell games with their profits to return next to none of the money they received in guaranteed loans (in the form of tax revenue).

Things can get tricky in politics, where sometimes strange laws make for even stranger bedfellows. In almost no other situation, save perhaps this and Edward Snowden, do the fringes share so much in common. They also shared an impassioned mouthpiece last week, as Cruz spared no feelings in calling out McConnell. In some of the more shocking moments, he reveals private conversations he had with Senator McConnell and the specific promises that were made (most notably that McConnell had not engaged in any backroom deal to prop up the Ex/Im Bank in exchange for passing the controversial Free Trade Agreement), then he drops the hammer, calling Mitch McConnell a bald-faced liar who had deceived his entire party. Then he takes the hammer and smashes every piece of fragile dinnerware in the building, as he calls out the entrenched leadership of both parties, McConnell and Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, for being bought and paid for shills of the corporations that are ruining seemingly everything.

It’s an inspired and inspiring bit of political theater. Cruz’s much vaunted skills for oration are on full display, and there couldn’t be a stronger campaign video out there for any of the prospective presidential nominees. 

Of course, it remains to be seen how genuine Cruz really is, but if you watch the video, one thing is for certain: it’s going to be a mighty chilly Christmas card exchange between these two come December.

New Frontiers
Have you ever plagiarized or been plagiarized from? It’s no fun either way. I only have experience with the latter, but I’ve met some who’ve been tarred with the brush of the dirty P-word and I can assure you they get it way worse than us victims.

But in the age of new forms of communication, how will copyright protection evolve? Not many people try to get away with republishing The Corrections, because they know someone will notice.  But what about more fleeting expressions?

We now have our answer as Twitter has begun the process of respecting DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notices. What does that mean exactly? Well, if you try to repeat a joke you saw on Twitter, without properly citing your source (by which I think they take a retweet as a proper citation), and that person somehow notices, they can appeal to Twitter and have your tweet taken down for copyright infringement, complete with an embarrassing legalese post from the admins on how you jacked someone else’s wit.

 No word yet on how this will affect Carlos Mencia and Dane Cook, who primarily only steal jokes on stage.

By Sidney Reilly