Introducing Myself

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Radley was kind enough to invite me to guest blog here at the Agitator while he and the Agitatrix take a vacation in Alaska. In addition to being jealous — I’ve long wanted to visit Alaska — I am also honored; Radley is one of my very favorite bloggers and The Agitator is one of the few blogs that is on my must-read every day list.

For those who do not know me, a brief introduction is perhaps in order. My name is Ed Brayton and I am the voice behind the blog Dispatches from the Culture Wars. I am also the co-founder and president of Michigan Citizens for Science and a Fellow with the Center for Independent Media.

Perhaps most germane to this blog, I am also the plaintiff in a FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Trade Representative regarding the WTO settlement that the Bush administration signed with Canada, the EU and Japan over our online gambling laws. Radley has written about this issue a great deal. In fact, it was on this blog that I first read about the settlement, which may cost American consumers something on the order of tens of billions of dollars to preserve the government’s ability to prevent Americans from gambling online. I immediately filed a FOIA request for a copy of that settlement, arguing that we certainly have a right to know how much of our money the government is willing to spend to prop up their authoritarian anti-gambling scheme. The USTR denied the request, claiming that the settlement was classified for national security reasons. That being patently absurd, I appealed and was again denied. I filed a federal lawsuit, which is ongoing as we speak. My attorney filed our reply to the government’s response brief last week and we should have a ruling in the next few months. Perhaps I’ll post more about that over the next few days.

–Ed Brayton

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6 Responses to “Introducing Myself”

  1. #1 |  HtownGuy | 

    Thanks for filing the FOIA requests and lawsuit. It is insane that we have to pay a settlement to other countries to maintain our government’s control of our personal entertainment choices. It’s even more insane that we can’t find out how much we’re paying to continue restricting our liberties.

  2. #2 |  Danno49 | 

    Keep fighting the good fight, Ed. Thank you for investing your time, talents and treasure in doing so. It is folks like you and Radley (and many others!) who are the main voices of common sense and logic in these knee-jerk times of nonsense and the illogical.

    I look forward to reading what you have to offer here at The Agitator.

  3. #3 |  Fritz | 

    “The goddamn Germans got nothin’ to DO with it!”

    My apologies; it is my only reaction any time I see or hear the word “germane”. Please don’t let my immaturity spoil your impression of the readership here.

    Looking forward to your posts!

  4. #4 |  billb | 

    Ed, perhaps you could post some PDFs of the various briefs in your case? I’d be interested in reading them.

  5. #5 |  Alien | 

    Just wanted to say Ditto regarding the good fight against the outlawing of online gambling and having to pay a settlement. Keep up the good work.

  6. #6 |  Chetly Zarko | 

    Good luck with the FOIA lawsuit. I’d love to see the briefs too.

    We have something in common. We’re both currently FOIA lawsuit litigants – although I have the rare distinction of being a Defendant-Intervenor in the a “reverse FOIA” that seeks to quash my FOIA request and the right of the public body to release the information.