Red State, we have a problem.

I am not a lawyer.  I do, however, wrangle – some of the time, professionally – with digital rights.

There are lots of different laws governing what rights we have online, they can vary widely from country to country .. the European ones are particularly nasty, especially around notifications of changes and the right to opt-out from data gathering or sharing.

I mention this because it seems that Red State have made a legally dubious decision .. one that has the potential to violate some of those laws .. by passing our user information – the information we chose to trust Red State with – to Disqus.

I post, or .. I posted, I suppose, as this is my goodbye.. as acat, from the shadow of Chicago.

I’ve mentioned Mrs. Cat and Junior Cat… I’ve shared some recipes… we’ve had some fun… but I’ve not given a name nor a precise location.  This is because I’m not particularly interested in pulling punches… I come here to talk, bare claws, but I don’t want any problems (like Stricia) following me home, eh?  I notice that I’m not the only one to do so.  (salute to Repair Man Jack, streiff, and many others)

It seems, to this cat, that streiff has been pretty clear that The Management aren’t unanimous on this direction, this change.  (It also looks like Bill S. is quite angry about the way this is going)  I haven’t heard much from Neil, he’s probably busy working on some technical piece.

What I don’t get, though .. what has me puzzled .. is how Erick Ericson could have endorsed this decision.

Erick clearly isn’t 10 feet tall, doesn’t wield a magik sword, doesn’t shoot lightning out of his {ahem} .. and I doubt he walks on water (at least when it’s above zero .. something that happens less often in Georgia than my neighborhood…) and keeping up on digital rights law isn’t his beat, so it’s possible he could have screwed up… but right now, that’s somewhat circumstantial.  Erick, after all, isn’t the final word at Red State.

I noticed that Red State’s sister publication (one I don’t normally visit) Human Events ( recently adopted a *remarkably* similar format to the one Red State is now sporting.. right down to the thrice {accursed} Disqus implementation.

When he introduced this design, Erick claimed it as his .. done on a blank sheet of paper.  Why, then, would Human Events have Erick’s design?  Why would Human Events have it *first*?  What’s the link?

Did Erick take over Human Events and not mention it?  One would think the Human Events writers would be dancing in the streets over the larger Red State audience, and the chance to interact with their readership… but I haven’t heard a party around here….

Perhaps we should ask The Human Events Group?  (

Could Cathy Taylor, whose bio over at Human Events ( claims she oversees Red State .. which is kind of remarkable since she doesn’t seem to have said word one to the Red State community – no diaries, no comments, A DEAFENING SILENCE, since her arrival last November.  Could Cathy have had anything to do with this?  It’s hardly an unfamiliar narrative, the new manager wants to put their own mark on the group … but doesn’t take the time to UNDERSTAND it first…

Perhaps we should look higher up the food chain .. this whole Red..Events enchilada is owned by Eagle Publishing, who list Joseph Guerriero ([email protected]) as their contact.  I wonder what Joseph, who has never written a single word on Red State, has to say about this.

I’m not saying that Cathy or Joseph have anything to do with this.  I’ve always been clear that I’m an outsider to Red State, just another poster. Perhaps we should, very politely and respectfully, mind!, ask them.

This will be my first and last diary.  (So, what do you think, Aaron?)  I’m interested in small government .. I’m interested in individual liberty.. and part of that, a subtext I find every time I read through the Bill of Rights, is an expectation of privacy.  I’m not interested in sharing information – especially when I don’t know *what* I’m sharing or *who* I’m sharing it with – just to be a part of this community.

Frankly, if Eagle or Human Events Group or Erick signed off on this, if they want me to share my information, they should be ashamed .. and they should also be seeking legal counsel.  Privacy is not just an afterthought-right .. it’s not in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights or any other amendment .. but it *is* a rather essential right, and the right to manage who can see what we share, especially online, is rather significant.

By choosing this path, *WHOEVER* signed off on it, I’m quite sure some of our European readers have grounds to talk to lawyers.

I’m going to miss this community.  Hopefully, given some time and some independence, it will recover.  If not, I’m sure Conservatives will find different places to chat, where we can clearly see those who would read over our shoulders.


Tags: Erick