Illinois: Who should I vote for – OR – Ballot access

Being registered in Illinois where Obama won the Senate race by a 30-point margin (and lost in my home county by the same), there seems to be next to zero chance that the state will vote Republican for the first time since Reagan. As such, I’d be throwing my vote away if I vote for a Democrat or a Republican. The only goal I can hope to reach with my senatorial and presidential votes is to help ensure future ballot access for a third party or two. Disregarding certain joke candidates and the rather scary Socialists and Constitution types, should I be voting for crazy tree huggers or crazy capitalists?

The old hippy lady runnin’ on the Green ticket for the Senate seems a little, well, odd. Is the party dead in Illinois? Is the Libertarian party any more or less likely to lose ballot access than the Greens in the near future? Should I split the vote and go for a lib Presidential candidate and a Green in the Senate?

Please keep in mind that I don’t give the slightest bit of a hoot about any of the following when formulating a response:

  • Abortion
  • Gun ownership

And I do care rather a lot (obviously) about consumer, privacy, and fair use rights. I’d love to see the borders opened up to substantially higher numbers of immigrants, and I wish to see barriers to international trade continue to be chopped away. I’d like to see poverty abated in the third world, and feel that the problem in the United States is miniscule in comparison. Obviously neither the¬†Greens nor the Libs are a good fit, but neither are the (D)s and (R)s.¬†Any thoughts?


The libs aren’t even running a libertarian (small L) this year? So which of these three folk who want to strip away my fair use rights am I supposed to vote for again? Bad year for IP counter-reform. Bad year for privacy rights. Bad year for consumer rights. Bad year for folk who’d like to survive doing business with the police. (By the way, here’s a good free read.)

Now both mainstream candidates want to break out everyone’s favorite dead horse, instead of dealing with timely national issues in which it’s possible to enact real, meaningful change? This when American workers and employers are already struggling to meet increasing demands for stringent privacy policies in the global marketplace?

Bad campaign year all around.

OpenDNS no panacea

The entire technical community needs to be a great deal more careful and cautious about promoting OpenDNS as a cure-all for security concerns in DNS. I used their service in the States for quite some time, and, while there were several major problems, it actually would have been an adequate solution for the security concerns we face today.

Not here, though: I, and probably most people in the third world, now have no choice but to use my ISP’s DNS servers for the bulk of my DNS requests, due to NATing and, more importantly, transparent proxies hardwired to keep DNS requests local. Even if I were able to use it, though, I’d be caught by parental filters that have configured so aggressively by other customers that it would prevent me from hitting many legitimate sites (this includes multiple news sites). OpenDNS authenticates users and saves preferences by IP address (often dynamically updated via ddclient or something of the sort), making it very, very easy for one ignorant sumbitch on a network like this to greatly limit the network’s utility to all users.

In other words, even without the proxy/even if we could reliably use 3rd party DNS servers for the bulk of our DNS requests, it still wouldn’t do the user much good on a small NAT’d ISP like this one.

As long as they’re secure, we’re probably much better off supporting the use of publicly accessible DNS servers like and, as long as they remain as such and reasonably secure, or going straight to the root with secure, locally hosted DNS. That said, this is still only an option for users that aren’t trapped in this very, very common predicament. This hits numerous coffee shops, universities, 3rd world ISPs, 1st world free ISPs, anyone using ISP-side “accelerators” (ie caching proxies – can’t believe some ISPs have the gaul to make you pay for this), etc.

Death to the transparent proxy!

Biden’s anti-privacy, anti-personal rights stance on technology getting some press

Joe Biden’s pro-RIAA, pro-FBI tech voting record

I’ll be shocked if this news breaks outside of technical circles, but at least there’s some vibrant discussion on CNet, /., et al about this man’s frequent attempts to do substantial damage to our basic fundamental human right to privacy. Any chance at all that the Republicans might do less damage?