We’ve received a number of notes from readers disturbed to see visible on CDM ads opposing same-sex marriages and endorsing California’s Proposition 8. These were, naturally, not ads run by CDM or meant to imply any endorsement. The ads came from a group that supports a proposition that would ban such marriages, and they apparently purchased massive amounts of real estate on Google Ads. I think these ads only appeared to our readers in California, but as that’s a major center of readership and because there are broader implications, I want to respond.

CDM was one of many sites targeted with ads that were irrelevant to our content and offensive to at least some readers and publishers. To me, this ad is a massive abuse of the trust publishers place in Google. Further, publishers discovered competitive ad filters didn’t block this unwanted content. I have disabled all Google campaigns at least until after the US election, even though Google Ads are a major source of the revenue that pays our server bills.

I hope Google responds to what happened soon. I will say Google is generally to be applauded for being responsive to abuses of their network, so I’m optimistic. To me, this conflicts with the whole principle of targeted ad networks, and I hope we get a remedy. (At the very least, I’m disappointed that the ad filter wasn’t more responsive once we found the issue.)

Google aside, I feel obligated to say something about the politics behind this. If you support Proposition 8 or its principles, I don’t intend to cause offense; you’re entitled to your opinion, and this is an issue to be decided in California. But one thing I really believe about creative communities is that it’s essential to make our first political imperative tolerance and support. There’s a wider community of people here whom I’m sure don’t always agree. But one thing I won’t tolerate is a position that excludes another group or judges any “lifestyle,” whether that’s you choosing to use racks of modular analog synths or whom you choose as your partner. California will make its own choice in regards to its constitution. But for CDM, this is a simple question. And as a matter of policy, whether political or otherwise, my promise is that ads on CDM will not conflict with what those of us who work on the site believe. For that reason, I’m sorry this happened, and the ad interaction is something I’ll look closely at in future.

Update: Google has posted how-to-block instructions. But the results can take hours to take effect, and we’re in a minute-to-minute election cycle. That’s simply not good enough. And it doesn’t answer why these ads appeared in the first place, when they’re irrelevant to content. It demonstrates a single advertiser can game the whole system.

  • Morgan Wells

    I would think that Google would respond. Along with with Apple, they have publicly opposed Prop 8.

  • http://orbsmith.com anton

    well done sir.

  • http://www.daevlmakr.com Vlad Spears

    Nine cheers for you, Peter.

    Polling here in California shows Prop 8 getting beaten back by a slim margin even after all the highly deceptive ads from those seeking its passage, but we won't know for certain until the returns.

  • http://www.jaymis.com Jaymis Loveday

    I'm behind Peter on this as well.

    Heh heh.

    Good luck Californians.

  • http://www.radionowhere.net Mike Baker

    Peter, thanks for the explanation and the rationale. As a No On 8-voting Californian, I've been dismayed and confused to see these ads all over the web today. Thanks for not only taking a stand against them, but making a principled explanation for it.

  • WH

    No on 8, unfair and wrong!

  • jbrandt

    Thanks again for taking the time.

    If you're losing ad revenue from disabling google ads until they clean up the junk, I think that's a pretty good incentive for donations.

  • http://things.sansumbrella.com David

    Thanks, Peter. I appreciate the position you are taking and look forward to voting no on 8 when the polls open.

  • velocipede

    Talking Points Memo, one of my other favorite blogs, also got the same Google ads, even though it is a fairly left-leaning news and analysis site. Needless to say, they also shut down the ads.

    Equal rights for all!

    Aaron

  • Josh

    I greatly appreciate your response. With the way that ads are sometimes embedded in content with little to distinguish them (especially in RSS feeds), it seems inappropriate for an ad network to syndicate what is effectively an editorial opinion, particularly when that opinion could cause loss of favor and readership. So I think you are correct to apply a filter: ad messages are often mistakenly attributed to the content provider, even if you are just the "messenger." At any rate, kudos for the takedown, and I'll drop a donation in your paypal inbox to do my part in the interim.

  • http://www.cutwithflourish.com Ed

    I'm in Australia so I don't get to vote on this one but it is concerning irrelevant and possibly offensive ads can sneak through like that. Respect to Peter for choosing his principles over ad revenue. Matrixsynth did the same thing.

  • poopoo

    Same thing on Matrix synth. This is making google look bad.

    Anyway over here in Singapore we don't have gay people…the government banned them.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    It's a California-only ballot initiative, so I don't get to vote on it in New York, either.

    At least on the left-leaning sites, even though it's something they disagree with, it's relevant to the content. Here, the issue is not only that I disagree with the ad, but that it's entirely unrelated to any content on the site. That's not how Google Ads is supposed to work. In fact, if you're running, say, a "Vote for McCain" site, and a pro-Obama ad appears, the impact isn't so bad. But if you're running a "Cute Puppy of the Day" site and the same ad appears, and you happen to be for Ralph Nader, then it's another matter.

    And in this case, it's even worse. If I just disagreed with the ad, that'd be one thing. But one of the ads suggested that Prop 8 was necessary to "protect your childs education." [sic] I know many of our readers are not heterosexual or are in same sex partnerships. This ad effectively implied to some our readers that those partnerships threatened someone else's kids. That to me is really unacceptable.

    I don't think this is rocket science here. Google Ads is suppose to run ads that are relevant to our site — this wasn't. And in the event that someone abuses the system, Google needs a mechanism for blocking those ads immediately. As is blatantly obvious on the eve of an election, timing is everything.

  • gwenhwyfaer

    It wasn't just the synth sites; questionablecontent.net (which is excellent btw!) had them too, and was just as appalled by them. Clearly the ads were going out quite indiscriminately, so I can't help wondering whether someone inside Google is complicit in this campaign. (Obviously, if they are, they need to be directed into alternative employment post haste…)

  • robin parry

    this comment is what prop 8 seeks to end. that is anything that offends someone with their head stuck up their a**, deciding by their own failed morality what others are free to do.

  • Claude Ravel
  • CK

    Thanks for that, Peter.

  • David

    I like CDM because it reflects my interests, not my politics. You did the right thing by pulling down Google ads. Google should be ashamed of themselves for mismanaging an inadequate system that doesn't do what they claim. Unfortunately, Goliath doesn't care.

  • http://keithhandy.com Keith Handy

    whether that’s you choosing to use racks of modular analog synths or whom you choose as your partner.

    What if we choose a rack of modular analog synths as our partner?

  • no politics in music

    bravo.

  • MonksDream

    Kudos, Peter.

  • ERF

    You got 6800 Experience Points.

    CDM Reputation Level Up!

  • http://www.myspace.com/bedrumboy rob dekoch

    I'm glad I didn't see these ads! Thanks for the response. I'm really hoping that my partner (of almost 10 years)and I will be able to stay legally married. We've been married twice so far (once at SF City Hall in 2004 and again in neighborhood park this July). I hope the last one sticks!

  • Chris

    Well done. I live in CA and have seen these ads suddenly start showing up on the majority of Google ad-supported sites, regardless of relevance. I applaud your decision and, although I have been reading your site for quite a while, it just now occurred to me to donate. I hope my $20 bucks helps to defray your costs at least a little. I admire your courage in making the right decision even when it goes against your own economic interests.

  • http://www.tammen.org Hans Tammen

    It's still disturbing enough that's even an issue in 2009. Well written, Peter.

  • poorsod

    I agree with Hans… there was furious debate over the gay-marriage ("civil partnership") issue here in England about 18 months ago; the outcome was that same-sex marriages now carry the same legal status as the other sort.

    I am, however, still somewhat horrified that it was even up for question in a country like the UK. It's interesting that most of the opposition came from within the Christian Church. I wonder what Jesus would have thought.

  • Niall

    I read CDM through it's RSS feeds and so only rarely come in contact with the ads anyway. Would you prefer if I click on a couple of ads (there is really no chance I'll ever buy anything), or a straightforward donation? What would be a reasonable share of your hosting cost?

  • Mattbot

    I applaud the stance you are taking on this issue. Well done!

  • Adrian Anders

    Bravo Peter. I hope Prop 8 goes down in FLAMES!

  • bliss

    Two thumbs up, PK!

  • Lsd25

    Thank you for your efforts in support of tolarance.

  • Swami Digital

    I think most readers recognized it was an ad with no affiliation to your website. Kudos to you for acting on it though!

  • deb

    i am watching/surfing/listening with bated breath this nov. 4 from sunny toronto.

    best of luck to you all, my american friends.

    d

  • Nick E.

    Peter, you continue to grow in my respect and admiration. Thank you for being a just and reasonable person.

    oh and the ads we're all over hackaday, had me a bit confused…

  • JIm R

    You should not be surprised that Google accepted money for ads on Prop 8.

    Remember, they agreed to censor their search results in China in order to get a piece of that market.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4647398.stm

    When you put Google ads on your site, you are doing business with a company who puts profits over net neutrality and free speech.

    Hopefully the Prop 8 ads will wake people up to this fact.

    "Don't be evil"…..indeed.

  • Andy

    I would just like to point out that every time someone clicks on one of those ads, it costs the advertiser a small amount of money. So if a lot of people were to click on those ads, it would cost the advertiser a lot of small amounts of money. I'm just saying . . .

  • http://www.fundamentalfrequency.com Carl

    Donation sent – good work

  • http://www.bunnywunny.com Veronica

    Thank you!

  • rob

    It is small minded to limit debate in this way. I believe in free speech and free markets. You violate both by trying to govern political speech through legitimate adds that you had previously agreed to run… its not like you didn't know how google adds worked… or maybe you were that ignorant?

    Like it or not Pro 8 is a REAL (aka legitimate) ballot initiative and so therefore you should be very careful when trying to limit debate like you are.

    Prop 8 is really more about children than anything… everyone talks about the adults but what about the kids? Every child deserves the best chance we can offer them at having BOTH a mother and a father. Sure this does not always work out but its not what we should be going for… gay marriage always leads to a situation where there is NO DIVERSITY of gender between the two parents. Furthermore marriage recognizes the unique fact that children are created by a man and a woman. This used to be common sense but now the world has just gone wacky.

  • rob

    OH and I already voted YES on prop 8 along with 5 other family members! Good luck to all!

  • Jack

    Hey,

    You wanted the ad revenue from Google so what gives you the right to complain?

    Shut down the ads and you lose money!!

    Welcome to capitalism 101!

  • Dustin

    I noticed this the other day and found it quite off-putting, but didn't bother emailing you. I'm glad others did and that something potentially offensive and completely political was removed from this site. There are sites to discuss politics or religion or whatever but this is not one of them. Synths and Computer Music are the only things I come here to hear about. :) Thanks for taking action!

  • deb

    argh.

    peter, i have a newfound respect for your balanced and articulate writings, opinions, and other PK-generated text. i was about to go bananas but then i thought, "what would peter kirn do?".

    *deep breath*

    …..

  • Darren Landrum

    @rob: This is not a political web site. It's not even close to being one. Google serves context-sensitive ads. Ergo, no political ads should ever have appeared here. The implication is that someone gamed the system in a way Google has not intended, and if that happened, the advertisers violated Google's terms of service.

    It's simple, really.

    And since this is not a political web site, I will not comment on any of your other points.

  • http://wowcool.com/engine Marc Arsenault

    Thanks for the intelligent reply to this stupid abuse of AdWords, Peter. The politics just don't belong here. That's it. Simple

    For those who said they didn't mind the politics in paid ads here, I wonder how they'd feel about ads for sex or religion? Oh, wait, that was rob twice. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest he's not a regular CDM reader. Keep watching those Google alerts, buddy!

  • Joe Lindsey

    Thanks for taking the time to explain the situation. Your well-balanced point of view is much appreciated. If "targeted ads" is what Google promises, then it looks like they've got some explaining to do.

  • rob

    For people who proclaim to be the judges of all that is Tolerant you all sure to sound angry, judgmental, and even hateful. You all fall lock step together in your thinking and attack anyone who might differ with your opinion. Hypocrites. But no matter I still like you guys even if you cant stand me for my politics. Wow we have come a long way in America haven't we?

  • poorsod

    Just for the record, Rob, there are lots of examples of same-sex couples with very healthy, normal, well-rounded (albeit adopted, obviously) children – in happy, supportive families.

    A good example would be Sandi Toksvig, the broadcaster. She is a lesbian and her partner and her have three children (by artificial insemination)… in an otherwise normal family.

    Conversely, thousands of children are brought up with parents of each sex and are brought up very poorly.

  • rob

    It's true… I think basing families on test tube babies is just the wrong direction to go. Society is playing games with evolution and the well being of our children.

    I'm sure there are lots of healthy children raised by both gays and single parents. However this is just not the ideal situation and something we should not encourage… single parenthood or same sex couples. Being that there are waiting lists for couples to adopt children I don't think there is a good argument there for adopting children into "exceptional" circumstances due to lack of willing couples (I personally know people who strapped 50K to their bodies and went to russia just to adopt so no shortage of parents here).

    As far as this not being a political site well it kinda is now that the owner made a political statement with it. As a business owner myself I would NEVER let my politics show in my business… if you want to run an anti prop 8 pro obama ad and pay google for it then more power to ya!

    Stop for a second and think about how you are adding to the divisiveness and bitterness of the whole election.

    I understand I am in the minority opinion within the music community… I'm used to it… but man is it funny to see you all becoming "main stream" and "I" am now becoming rock n roll/punk what ever you want to call it. At least there is a bright side for me I guess. =)

  • Greg

    I would not expect tolerance or acceptance from liberals. That is why myself and 5 members of my family votes YES on 8. Like the mayor of SF said it is coming like it or not. So, stop trying to stop free speech and just STFU.

  • Polite

    @Rob – regardless of your views on the matter. I think the point of this having been removed is that google ads was supposed to show relevant advertisements for the site. For example, on a site about creating digital music, people should not be confronted with advertisements about politics. If, at a stretch, it should at least be a song about politics.

    However, kudos to your for having an opinion against what appears to be status quo, but it is not your opinion that people are upset about here.

  • eniq

    rob,

    I'm glad that you represent a minority opinion.

  • eniq

    Polite,

    Kudos given for being an ignoramus?

    I guess the Mindless Middle does have more influence than I thought.

  • Frank Lee

    You say "I won’t tolerate is a position that excludes another group or judges any lifestyle", however you won't tolerate those who wish to preserve marriage to only a man and a woman. How hypocritical!

    We tolerate your civil unions. Let us have our marriages.

    However we will not tolerate polygamy, polyandry or bestiality.

  • Dustin

    Rob, I don't think this website is a "business" as you put it (I can't find a single thing to buy and haven't paid a dime for a subscription). It's a blog and news site for making electronic music!!

    The main point here is, I don't believe this site was put together to be a platform to discuss politics, religion, or sexuality. The moderator of the site thoughtfully removed an ad that didn't belong here.

    If there was an ad that said no on prop 8 and someone complained about it, and he removed it, would you still be upset? If this really gets you so upset you should really find some sort of political outlet online or maybe start your own blog, but I don't think this is the place.

    Let's all get back to talking about Creating Digital Music!!!!

  • Downpressor

    Peter Kirn,

    Music being a part of culture is inherently political. Even without words, by composing in a particular scale, genre, or with a certain set of instruments, social and political ideas are implied. Even without political intent, creators are constantly subject to social/political interference in terms of what we can or can not publish. I think you are experienced enough in all this to understand without 1000 examples.

    By announcing the editorial intent not to carry ads which might offend one segment, you in a way set yourself in opposition with another. Its your site, your rules, but I fail to understand why you are "sorry" about your editorial position since you are making no pretense of neutrality. Your point about targeted ads is entirely valid, yet the editorial makes it political.

    Rob,

    To echo Polite, bravo to you sir for being willing to take the heat for speaking your mind.

    Polite said "on a site about creating digital music, people should not be confronted with advertisements about politics"

    Why not? Ads are understood to be outside of the content. No one forces you to read them or agree with them. Are we all such delicate flowers that we need to be protected from ideas which may not be in line with our own?

  • http://ardour.org/ Paul Davis

    @Downpressor: the "offence" is not based on positions one way or another. Its visiting a site about digital music and finding content (from the site authors or ads) about US domestic politics. The contract you agree to with Google Ads do not indicate that this will happen (I know because my own site also uses Google Ads), and it is widely understood that the system is specifically designed to push only relevant ads to the hosting website, and indeed the way the algorithm Google uses to select ads should not have matched those ads with this site. Somebody in the pro-Prop 8 groups gamed the system, so to speak. Whether or not you agree with Prop 8 (whether you even know what it is), you can hopefully agree that Google Ads should not be subvertible in this way, or should not offer the service contract that it does. Perhaps you don't realize that the contract specifically discusses relevancy.

  • West

    Well played, Peter.

    The other side of this coin is quite simple – this site is, more or less, owned and operated by you. Ergo, those complaining that pulling the ads is an abuse or violation of free speech (Frank, Rob, etc.) forget that in a Democracy and in Capitalism, you get to do whatever you want with your own business, provided it isn't infringing on the rights of others. This is not a publicly owned and operated forum, and therefore you are 100% within rights to do whatever you want, however you want with this site.

  • joel

    peter, thanks for clarifying. you are a cool, respectable gentleman of leisure.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    To everyone, just now getting back; I was involved in get out the vote efforts yesterday.

    I should clarify: I'm not looking to avoid politics. But an advertisement that's pushed to the site without my knowledge or consent is obviously *not* how we want a political topic introduced, let alone a sensitive one.

    Paul Davis says it best: the real issue is the contract with Google. I was upset about this ad specifically, but I'm actually even more upset that the underlying system has completely broken down:

    1. Google delivered an ad it shouldn't – in large quantities.

    2. I had no way of knowing that ad was being delivered, other than readers.

    3. Google's preview mechanism for testing the ad didn't work.

    4. Google's filtering mechanism may have worked, but it was so slow to respond I never found out, and timing is everything.

    5. Google has only the ability to filter individually by domain, which means other ads of this type might get through.

    6. Google has no direct mechanism for contacting them.

    7. Google must be aware that this is a major problem for its publishers, yet they've had virtually no response days after this problem first appeared.

    In fact, #7 has got to be the deal breaker. As each day goes by, Google had better come up with a really, really good explanation. What happens if the issue is a product that's offensive in some way? What does this say about the fundamentals of the whole service — the ad aside, the only way to deal with the issue was turning the entire system off?

    I think by the time Google gets around to an explanation, a lot of its customers will have moved on — again, not because of the ad per se, but what it revealed about the system.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    And again, a big, big thanks to everyone for your support. I really appreciate it.

    I'm not sure where some of these other comments are coming from, but yes, of course: I love free speech. There are plenty of venues that are better places for it than Google Ads with slogans running from one political sponsor on my site.

  • http://wowcool.com/engine Marc Arsenault

    I'd just like everyone to know, that I and five members of my family make electronic music. Really, I counted, there were five.

  • pollysix

    "…But one thing I won’t tolerate is a position that excludes another group or judges any “lifestyle,” whether that’s you choosing to use racks of modular analog synths or whom you choose as your partner."

    = Super-Awesome quote

  • Peter Dines

    America, congratulations from this Canadian on your bright shiny new president. And congratulations to Peter K for helping get out the vote in a historic election.

    Sadly, it looks like prop 8 is going to pass, but unless I'm mistaken, this can be contested in the supreme court – right?

  • Flip

    Rob, I'm sorry to hear that you support discrimination.

    "As a business owner myself I would NEVER let my politics show in my business…"

    Here's a large list of businesses, churches, national organizations, elected officials, political groups, labor organizations, civil rights organizations and newspapers against Prop 8:

    http://www.noonprop8.com/about/who-opposes-prop-8

    I have my own business and I am proud to say that I oppose Prop 8 just like I oppose racism and sexism as well. If a client doesn't like that and doesn't respect my views? They can take their business elsewhere. I would prefer not to work with bigots.

  • Flip

    @Peter Kirn:

    For the next election cycle, I have a new prop to introduce:

    "No out of state funding for advertisements supporting California State propositions."

    Although, I doubt Utah Mormons would like to be excluded from trying to impose their religious views upon Californians at the cost of 20+ million dollars.

  • Flip

    @Greg: "I would not expect tolerance or acceptance from liberals. That is why myself and 5 members of my family votes YES on 8."

    =

    "I don't expect tolerance or acceptance, so that's why myself and 5 members of my family don't tolerate or accept others."

    Uh huh. That makes sense.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Updates:

    The last votes are being counted, but it does appear the proposition has passed. (note that some people did call it a bit early; as of this morning the proposition was leading but not fully passed)

    But yes, it will be challenged in the courts. The political battle here isn't over.

    Side note: I said "partnerships"; I should have said "marriage."

    Here's my prediction, though: I think the passage of Prop 8 could put even more heat on Google in this situation. As I said, to me the issue *isn't* this ad, specifically. Google, as an ad publisher, has every right to run ads they themselves disagree with and to profit from them. Other publishers can do the same. It's a long-standing tradition that "op-ed" style ads run in publications. The issue is choice and relevancy, and Google failed both. The whole pitch of Google Ads is that they're relevant to readers and relevant to content. This one was not. The other pitch is that publishers have control. Again, clearly we did not.

    I mean, hey, maybe I'd be happy to run ads arguing about alternative energy and global warming. But don't tell me you're going to run ads relevant to my site and then run something completely different.

    And given the huge influx of outside money into this specific campaign, you can bet the specifics of the advertising debate and the political debate that collided with it will both continue.

  • Waldo

    To all those who resepct diversity and free speech and the will of the people, please respect the outcome of the Prop 8 measure. I voted against Prop 8, but this issue has been tested widely and repeatedly. The people don't want gay marriage. Give them a few years. They'll get it. Don't shove it down their throats. To those who cry discrimination, well society often discriminates and is usually "unfair." The Obama administration will discriminate against people with high incomes. This is every bit the violation of rights as the prohibition of gay marriage. Doesn't make it right, but he won the election and he'll get the chance to make his case. Please respect those who disagree with you and don't call them bigots, racists, etc. at the drop of the hat.

  • http://www.destinationmoonband.com Dave AA

    I guess the subtext here is that Google may have accidentally-on-purpose let the ads appear where they weren't supposed to because of all the money being paid to them.

    "We're aware of this issue and are taking steps to rectify the problem (as soon as we finish counting our piles of cash.)"

  • flip

    @Waldo:

    Nobody is disrespecting "diversity or free speech" by pointing out gross injustices or a pathetic acceptance of discrimination. Nobody has to "respect" the outcome of a violation of equality either. The "issue" is easily compared to civil right struggles of the 50's and 60's: It wasn't long ago that popular opinion dictated that a white person and a black person could not get married. Wether or not people "get it" does not make it acceptable.

    Furthermore, the Obama tax plan of allowing the middle class and the poor to keep more of what they have already earned is NOT discrimination against the wealthy. We have lived under a plutocracy for long enough. It is a pathetic analogy to compare the disgusting denial of gay civil rights to rich people being denied their excessive, greedy tax breaks. You're damn right Obama won the election. The American people have spoken loud and clear.

    Lastly, nobody has to "respect" those who espouse discrimination. It is ugly, despicable and reeks of miseducation and ignorance. This is no "drop of the hat"… This is calling it for what it is: The ugliest side of humanity preventing us all from being fair and ethical.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Waldo: I think it's possible to say that the proposition itself is discriminatory and wrong. I don't see any particular point in name-calling, I agree — partly because of my faith that if they really understood the issue, more of them would have voted against the Proposition. I certainly respect and encourage difference of opinion. But part of the reason the ads on CDM are especially disturbing is that a lot of the advertising *by the same group* has been factually inaccurate. You can't have respectful, productive disagreement if one side is — how shall we say — unencumbered by facts.

    The ads came from protectmarriage.com, and at least one of the banners on CDM suggested education was threatened. That argument as been roundly debunked by California's government. It's simply *not true* that voting *against* a ban on currently-protected legal marriage means mandated education on same-sex couples for your kids. (Now, personally, I'd be more than happy to see kids learning about gay couples in schools, but then we can have that debate in a factual environment instead of a made-up one.)

    The point I'm hearing from you, though, Waldo, is that the tone should be civil. I absolutely agree. I know it's tough when passions run high, but that's even more reason to keep focused on the issues.

    And I certainly felt the tone of the ads on CDM was wildly inappropriate, suggesting children are somehow threatened by non-discriminatory marriage.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Oh, yeah, and as for "discrimination against the rich" — both the Republican and Democratic Parties advocate progressive taxes in the US. Unless you're talking independent candidates — H. Ross Perot, Steve Forbes, etc. — all modern major-party candidates are talking about taxes that are weighted to give people with more income a larger share of responsibility.

    And no, that's not remotely related to this unless someone says rich people can't get married.

    None of this is really related to digital music, with one exception: musicians and producers are often self-employed or under-employed. That means they are deeply impacted by policy proposals having to do with health care access.

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  • rob

    I'm shocked by all the morman bashing going on by the no on 8 people after they lost the election. Fight it in the courts and ballot box if you must as that is the right way to address your concerns. I am an agnostic so have no real interest in mormanisism but to attack them as a religion is just dirty and will only increase tensions. Please reconsider the attacks on religion and religious groups. It's hateful and turns you into real bigots.

    Even John Lennon said in Revolution that if you have "minds that hate" you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow. If your reason for supporting gay marriage is love then please SHOW it. Using intimidation and fear will produce the opposite effect to what you desire.

    If the Yes on 8 people maintain their cool and show love rather than anger and hate then we will win out in the end.

    I would like to point out that if it had not been for so many Obama supporters voting YES on prop 8 it might not have passed. 7 out of 10 black americans voted Yes on 8. Yes we can!

  • Waldo

    Peter, you are correct that a progressive tax is endorsed by both R & D. But a tax is a taking of property and a progressive tax is discriminatory, both on an absolute and relative basis. Society has many discriminations, some just, some not so just. We will get there with gay marriage.

    Flip, "letting people keep more of what they earn" is not an accurate reflection of the dynamic. It's the people's money/property, poor or rich. The government takes it at the will of society at large. They don't "let" anyone keep their money, any more than a thief "lets" you keep your musical equipment.

  • Flip

    @rob: It's not about attacking Mormonism as a religion, it's more about them keeping their religion to themselves instead of trying to turn their beliefs into state laws which support discrimination. But the real absurdity about this is the Mormon history of polygamy in marriage.

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