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May 3, 2010

Wikinews interviews Brittany Phelps, administrator of the United States Pirate Party

Wikinews interviews Brittany Phelps, administrator of the United States Pirate Party

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Politics and conflicts
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Wikinews reporter Peter Coti interviews Brittany Phelps, administrator of the United States Pirate Party, who talks about her job and her goals.

Interview

Unites States Pirate Party Logo

Wikinews waves Left.pngPeter CotiWikinews waves Right.pngWho are you and what do you do?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBrittany PhelpsWikinews waves Right.pngFor the past three months, I’ve been the administrator of the United States Pirate Party. In general, I direct and oversee the activities of the USPP. At the moment, my most challenging task is to cultivate state parties across the US. Without them, the national party is essentially insolvent.

Wikinews waves Left.pngPCWikinews waves Right.pngWhat is the Pirate Party?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBPWikinews waves Right.pngThe United States Pirate Party is a relatively new party in the U.S., currently undergoing a revival after having been founded a few years ago. We are similar in nature to the various Pirate Parties found internationally, though we differ somewhat in platform and formation.

Wikinews waves Left.pngPCWikinews waves Right.pngWhat are the goals of the Pirate Party?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBPWikinews waves Right.pngWe are dedicated to protecting Americans’ rights to privacy, freedom of information, reforming the patent and copyright systems, and ensuring government transparency.

Wikinews waves Left.pngPCWikinews waves Right.pngWhat are some things you personally want to change about the government?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBPWikinews waves Right.pngThere are a great many things I could bring up in regards to changing in the government, so I’ll keep it to my three greatest concerns: Transparency, privacy, and ballot reform. Firstly, transparency is required from our government in all but the most dire situations. President Obama seemed, at first, to be promising in this regard, but again and again since he took office, he has proven that hope to be ill-placed. ACTA is hidden from FOIA requests, more light is not shed about torture techniques, and numerous bills, most memorably the recent health care reform, are not brought to light for the promised number of days–how is this transparency?

My second qualm, privacy, is boiled down very simply–as technology grows, so does the ability to invade the privacy of citizens for the sake of a potential safeguard. This route is far from affective [sic] in its proposed function. We should take the time to find more effective ways to reduce crime without invading the privacy of law-abiding citizens. Not doing so is to treat each and every American as a criminal without a trial.

And, thirdly, ballot access. While not necessarily a plank of our platform, it is a challenge that the USPP will have to face early on. There is a long standing idea that the United States has two political parties, and that’s it, end of story. I can’t help but wonder of these people–do you think that the country was founded between these two parties alone? We are a nation of many people, with many ideas and many opinions. To try and simply this to a black and white dichotomy does a disservice to the nation and its people. There are shades of gray.

Wikinews waves Left.pngPCWikinews waves Right.pngHow did you get involved with the party?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBPWikinews waves Right.pngI got involved last fall after hearing of the success of our European counterparts in their elections. I was certain that someone had started a Pirate Party in the U.S., but was surprised that I hadn’t heard about it already, so I went looking. And here I am.

Wikinews waves Left.pngPCWikinews waves Right.pngDo you think you have a chance against other parties?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBPWikinews waves Right.pngI have no disillusions about it being difficult, but I am convinced that we have the capability to do so, yes. Furthermore, I welcome the challenge.

Wikinews waves Left.pngPCWikinews waves Right.pngIf you could change anything right this second about the government what would it be?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBPWikinews waves Right.pngI think if I had the opportunity to change anything, it would be one of the three that I covered in question 4. I’m inclined to say ballot access, considering the immediate impact it would have for the USPP and other smaller parties, but transparency and privacy would be close contenders.

Wikinews waves Left.pngPCWikinews waves Right.pngCould you take this test, and let us know where you stand on the political spectrum?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBPWikinews waves Right.pngAfter taking the test, I got a 60%/40%, which put me just inside the zone for a “Centrist”. Sounds about right.

Wikinews waves Left.pngPCWikinews waves Right.pngAnything else you want to add?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBPWikinews waves Right.pngJust today we launched a new website, as part of our effort to restart the movement in the United States, so I invite all who read this to waltz on over to our website and take a look. Thanks for reading!

Related news

  • “”Avast ye scurvy file sharers!”: Interview with Swedish Pirate Party leader Rickard Falkvinge” — Wikinews, June 20, 2006

Sources

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.


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May 2, 2010

Bomb scare closes Times Square, New York

Bomb scare closes Times Square, New York

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Crime and law
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Archive photo of Times Square.
Image: flickr user Victoria.

A car containing a bomb was discovered in Times Square, New York City, causing the evacuation of streets surrounding the area.

Reports say the vehicle, a Nissan Pathfinder, parked outside a theatre on 45th Street and Seventh Avenue, had smoke coming out of the back at around 6:30 p.m EDT (10:30 p.m. UTC). Unconfirmed reports say an unknown man ran away from the car. A roughly square area of the city, its boundaries formed by 43rd and 48th Street and 7th and 8th Avenue, was evacuated.

The New York Police Department bomb squad was called in and were able to retrieve the package using a robot. Officials removed gunpowder, consumer-grade fireworks, two five-gallon cans of gasoline, three propane tanks, electrical wiring, and two clocks with batteries that apparently were fashioned as one or two detonators. The bomb has been described as “amateurish”. No casualties or injuries were reported.

As of yet police have not named a suspect and are reviewing security footage. The car used by the suspect was stolen and had a non-matching license plate; the legitimate owner of the plates does not appear to have been involved in the incident.

President Barack Obama has congratulated the speediness with which the New York Police Department responded.

New York has been in a state of constant alert since the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. In September 2009, a plot to attack the New York Subway with suicide bombers was uncovered by police. In December 2009, Times Square was evacuated due to a illegally parked van, although it contained no explosives. On March 6, 2008, a small bomb was set off in front of the United States armed forces recruiting station in Times Square.



Related news

  • “Times Square shuts down due to suspicious vehicle” — Wikinews, December 30, 2009
  • “Small explosion investigated in Times Square, New York” — Wikinews, March 6, 2008

Sources


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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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