Bob Schwartz

Tag: Jeb Bush

Does the New Jeb Bush Book Infringe Hundreds of Copyrights?

Jeb Bush - Reply All

A funny thing: None of the Bush politicians are lawyers. Though they do know some.

Which is one reason Jeb’s new book of his e-mails from being Florida governor (Reply All) is perplexing, along with the question of why he’s publishing it at all. He makes a big point of saying in it that in Florida, letters and e-mails to the governor are part of the public record, which is true. Anyone has the right to read them.

But…that doesn’t settle the question of whether the writers of those letters and e-mails still hold any copyright in them, such that if you (Jeb) decided to collect them all, and publish them in a book of your own that you sold, you might not be infringing their rights. Because the two things—being a public record and giving up the right not to be copied—are two separate things.

I’ll leave it to other lawyers and to journalists to pursue this matter, if it’s worth pursuing, because frankly, I don’t care that much. Maybe it’s just the spectacle of a campaign unraveling in so many ways that has piqued my interest a little. Or wondering, as historians may if they care to, how this all went so wrong.

Mandatory Campaign Esperanto and Poetry

The First Amendment forbids the government from controlling how political candidates campaign. Which seems a shame, since the abuse of language, logic, and truth that goes on often seems criminal, a form of citizen abuse.

But if we could make some changes, it might be fun and even enlightening. So instead of having to endure candidates pandering with their (sometimes questionable) fluency in Spanish, we could require all of them to campaign in Esperanto.

Jeb Bush might then have launched his campaign this way, almost certainly capturing the Esperanto vote:

En ajna lingvo, mia mesaĝo estos optimisma ĉar mi estas certa ke ni povos fari la jardekoj tuj antaŭ la plej granda tempo iam esti viva en tiu mondo.

Ke hazardo, ke espero postulas pli bona kiu estas en ni, kaj Mi gxin donos mian ĉiuj.

Mi kampanji kiel mi utilus, irante ĉie , parolante al ĉiuj, observante Miajn vorto, alfrontante la demandoj sen flinching, kaj restante fidela al kion mi kredas.

Mi prenos nenio kaj neniu por sentado. Mi kuras kun koro.

Mi kuras por gajni.

Ĝi komencas tie kaj nun.

Kaj mi petas vian voĉdonon.

Dankon. Dio benu vin.

In any language, my message will be an optimistic one because I am certain that we can make the decades just ahead the greatest time ever to be alive in this world.

That chance, that hope requires the best that is in us, and I will give it my all.

I will campaign as I would serve, going everywhere, speaking to everyone, keeping my word, facing the issues without flinching, and staying true to what I believe.

I will take nothing and no one for granted. I will run with heart.

I will run to win.

It begins here and now.

And I’m asking for your vote.

Thank you. God Bless You.

Even better, let us require all candidates to campaign in poetry, rather than in their often overextended, useless, uninspired, and uninspiring prose.

They could choose any genre or form that suited them and their message. Rhyming or free verse. Classic or experimental. Long or short. Of course, we would be thrilled if they would go with haiku or some other sort of micro poetry. Imagine a campaign speech only 17 syllables long. It would be blissfully over as quickly as it began. By the time they got through “God bless you and God bless the United States of America,” they would have exactly one syllable left. Which given the nonsense that we have to endure, may still be one syllable too many.

Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’

Laudato Si'

The Pope’s new encyclical, Laudato Si’, has been much in the news. Whatever you’ve heard about it, if you haven’t seen it, you really don’t know the whole story.

You’ve heard it is about the environment and climate change, which is in small part true. You’ve heard Catholic presidential hopefuls such as Jeb Bush and Bobby Jindal admonish the Pope, their spiritual father, telling him to stick to religion and stay out of politics.

The encyclical is much bigger than climate change, the environment, and certainly bigger than Bush or Jindal or dozens of politicians. It is a big statement about the moral and religious shortcomings of this modern world and us modern people. You don’t have to be Catholic or Christian or faithful or religious to read and appreciate it. You just have to read it.

It is full of inconvenient and uncomfortable truths. Which is probably why the coverage has focused on the environmental exhortations, rather than on the broader cultural, media, technological and social ones. In essence, it is nothing less than a call for radical evolution, in the spirit of the radical evolutionary upon whom the church is built. There are plenty of established institutions and powerful interests and individuals, including the media, who could be forced to change if such radical evolution came to pass. And many of them don’t want to change, and don’t even want us to listen to the Pope talking about it.

The encyclical is a long and deep but very readable work. Download it, sample it. You don’t have to read it all, or all at once. It is naturally grounded in theology, and in some particular theology, but be assured that the observations and conclusions don’t require you to hold any sectarian beliefs. It only requires that we believe that things are far from perfect, and that after we take a close look at ourselves and others, we believe that we have the power and obligation to make things better.

It is filled with so much quotable inspired thought and inspiration. Here is just one brief excerpt:

114. All of this shows the urgent need for us to move forward in a bold cultural revolution. Science and technology are not neutral; from the beginning to the end of a process, various intentions and possibilities are in play and can take on distinct shapes. Nobody is suggesting a return to the Stone Age, but we do need to slow down and look at reality in a different way, to appropriate the positive and sustainable progress which has been made, but also to recover the values and the great goals swept away by our unrestrained delusions of grandeur.

Laudato Si’ PDF

Laudato Si’ epub and Kindle