Tag Archives: Ben Franklin

We have a reader! He’s an old white guy.

And we hear he’s angry because he thinks we called him an “angry white man”. Actually, what I said (also here, here, and here) was:

As an old white man, even I find it impressive how much this area is run by old white men.

Curious that someone would be angry about what we didn’t say. Maybe he just heard what somebody erroneously told him we said. That happens when somebody volunteers for public office. Which is why I applaud anyone who steps up to volunteer.

Besides, it’s not the appointees we’re criticising. It’s Continue reading

Wikileaks wins against VISA

Kim Zetter wrote today for Wired Threat Level, WikiLeaks Wins Icelandic Court Battle Against Visa for Blocking Donations

The Icelandic partner of Visa and MasterCard violated contract laws when it imposed a block against credit card donations to the secret-spilling site WikiLeaks, a district court there has ruled.

The Reykjavík District Court ruled that Valitor, which handles Visa and MasterCard payments in Iceland, was in the wrong when it prevented card holders from donating funds to the site. The court ruled that the block should be removed within 14 days or Valitor will be fined the equivalent of about $6,000 a day.

WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson told the Associated Press that it was “a small but very important step in fighting back against these powerful banks.” He said other lawsuits are ongoing in Denmark and Belgium.

The fine isn’t nearly big enough, and of course Valitor is appealing.

“This is a significant victory against Washington’s attempt to silence WikiLeaks,” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in a statement about the win in Iceland. “We will not be silenced. Economic censorship is censorship. It is wrong. When it’s done outside of the rule of law it’s doubly wrong. One by one those involved in the attempted censorship of WikiLeaks will find themselves on the wrong side of history.”

They tried to silence Ben Franklin, too, for distributing some government communications that he got from an anonymous source.

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty
to purchase a little Temporary Safety,
deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
—Benjamin Franklin, An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania, 1759

History found old Ben to be on the right side. It will find the same about Julian Assange. Which side are you on?