Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Enough is Enough

The republicans have really gotten on my very last nerve in the past month. I am so beyond patience with ignorance and vitriolic rhetoric I can hardly bear to read the news these days.

It is fine to disagree with a political idea, it isn't fine to not understand it and pretend you do.


Let's start with the healthcare issue.

 There is a logical disconnect on the right from the anti-choice folks. Birth control prevents unwanted pregnancies. Thus, birth control prevents abortions. I personally agree with President Clinton. Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.Women need affordable access to doctors and prescriptions for birth control. It is the best interest of our society economically if women are not taken out of the workforce because they are unable to manage their health.

If you are a woman, you often use hormonal contraception for multiple reasons. I took the pill for as long as I could handle it to prolong my fertility. Having a serious case of endometriosis required me to slow down the advance of the disease until I was ready and able to have a second child. It is not uncommon for a woman to see her dr. as a result of rough menses only to be told that the best solution to taming the symptoms is to use contraception. It is a good thing. It allows a woman a better chance of being able to be a productive worker, prevents unwanted pregnancies, and often helps a woman with unmanageable symptoms.

 NOW says 20% of the time contraception is just birth control, 60% of the time it is medical and birth control and 20 % it is strictly medical. The administration says that insurance should cover this and they should. Just like they should cover cancer care and diabetes. This issue is not about having sex, it is about women's health. That Rush Limbaugh and the catholic church want to make it about anything else belies the point and spotlights their ignorance about "lady parts".

Then there is the "death panel" legislation hyperbole that is totally taken out of context of the healthcare bill. The legislation states that the provider should make themselves available for living will consultations if the patient desires it. That is a great idea and the next time I see my dr, I need to remember to tell her that I have no wish to have my life prolonged by machines. Somehow the republicans have this nutty idea that this legislation says that this service is required by the patient to obtain medical care. Are they on crack ? Read the actual bill and not some stupid pundits misdirected quotes of it.

Now on to the ridiculous accusations about President Obama. He is not a communist or a socialist in theory or in action.  Guess what ? He is for all intents and purposes a moderate republican in drag. Every president since FDR has tried to fix our healthcare system. It is utterly childish to be angry because "your team" did not get the touchdown. The federal bill is almost a duplicate to the one Romney signed into law in Mass.

 Do republicans actually know anything at all about politics other than the silly misleading soundbites on infotainment fake news shows ?  I wish they would take this test and compare their results to President Obama. Guess what ? President Obama was born in Hawaii. Guess what ? Hawaii has been a state since 1959 . That makes President Obama a US citizen.

Now lets discuss another fact. President Obama is a child of a white woman and a black man. In our culture he is considered black. If racism gets you all hot and excited, understand that President Obama is like soft porn. Examine your real prejudices and understand that this is why the republicans really hate him. It is DUSGUSTING that racism still exists in our culture. Anyone who just hates "Obama" with no logical reason should look good and hard at their own feelings on race.

Lets talk about President Obama's education. He was a graduate of Harvard and a constitutional law professor.What an amazingly educated and accomplished person. He is well spoken, articulate, and highly intelligent. This is something that we should celebrate, unless your envy is more important to you than your common sense.

His personal life. Republicans have nothing even close to the values President Obama has lived by.
He married his college sweetheart and has stayed married. He has two lovely daughters. There are no real scandals that have any credibility, unless you count the fact that he has a really awesome jazz voice. Although I do not like it all that much, President Obama is a confirmed Christian. He has never been found to worship Islam, and supports Israel in spite of how ridiculous they behave. When did the republicans decide that the United States was now a theocracy ? I am not completely thrilled with President Obama. The reason for this is, I actually am a liberal. However, I respect the office of the President of the United States, and feel compelled to demand that there be a modicum of respect for such a talented and astute person.

Now lets talk about Iran. Iran has human beings in it. There is no proof that Iran has or is able to achieve the 90 % enrichment required to make a nuclear weapon. The last inspection showed them at 20%. Panetta has admitted they have NO CAPABILITY. The pentagon says there is NO RISK. Associated Press mistranslated the Farsi statement about wiping out Israel. Then the rest of the idiots in media re-quoted the false statement. Israel has already bombed Iran's nuclear facilities, but for some reason, that never hit the mainstream news. I had to find it out via Wiki Leaks.

Just as no one can give me the death penalty for hating my ex husband and wishing him harm, we cannot invade Iran and murder it's citizens just because they do not like Israel.That the republicans think it at all acceptable to fear-monger with such bad information is reprehensible. If you need something to be scared of, be afraid of Pakistan. They actually do have nukes and are highly unstable.

If you are a republican and think any of the statements I have made are skewed or false, I have some advice for you. Go to the original sources. Do not count on "news". "News" these days is more about ratings than it is about facts. Actually, that is my whole complaint with the republican party in it's current form. Republicans do not seem to be using any critical thinking what so ever. If one is just too lazy to really learn anything that is not "spoon fed" by shock jocks and self interested sources, then do not be upset when you are called an idiot. 

We need the unfounded accusations and the absurd name calling to end. It should end by people in the media, but more importantly, our politicians must stop doing it. If we are ever going to break these walls down, we should return to honest and civilized discourse in this country.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Me & Senator Franken

Senator Franken - This Means You

I have been corresponding with Senator Al Franken in regards to PIPA  for awhile now. Here is his latest lukewarm missive about the issue. My response can be found directly below it. Sadly, I still do not think he really gets it.

Dear Lisa,

Thank you for contacting me about S. 968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (the PROTECT IP Act). I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me on this important issue.
As you may be aware, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided to shelve the PROTECT IP Act. I wanted to take a moment to share why I support copyright protection legislation—as well as why I believe holding off on this bill is the right thing to do.
I understand as well as anyone the importance of keeping the Internet free from undue corporate influence. I've been a champion of net neutrality, which I believe to be the free speech issue of our time. At the same time, there are millions of Americans whose livelihoods rely on strong protections for intellectual property. If we don't protect our intellectual property, criminals will continue to profit from their work. We cannot simply shrug off the threat of online piracy. We cannot do nothing.
Right now, a company has no way to enforce its rights if it finds that its products are being pirated or counterfeited on a website hosted overseas. The PROTECT IP Act was designed to give the Attorney General and private companies a way to cut off the flow of money to these foreign sites. We can't force those sites to stop infringing our copyrights and trademarks because they're not subject to our courts, but we can make sure they don't make money in the process.
I strongly believe in protecting American intellectual property, but I also heard from many Minnesotans who were concerned about the possible effects of the PROTECT IP Act on the Internet. Frankly, there is a lot of misinformation floating around out there: If this bill really could do some of the things people have heard it would do (like shutting down Wikipedia or YouTube), I'd never support it. But even so, I believe we need to seriously consider the many concerns that constituents have shared.
As I said, I support copyright protection legislation, but I also believe in the value of the Internet as an engine to enable free speech, new business models, and economic growth. If holding off on this legislation gives us an opportunity to take a step back and try to bring everybody back to the table, I think it's the right thing to do. It's worth getting this right. And while I work to get it right, I will keep your concerns in mind.
Thank you again for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to do so in the future on this or any other issue that may be important to you.
Al Franken
United States Senator

Dear Senator Franken,

 I have been corresponding with you regarding internet freedom and the bills that are putting it in jeopardy. I realize you personally will likely not read this but perhaps one of your staffers will. Senator Franken when I voted for you it was based on a trust I had that you would represent me. The cheesy  old  teacher ads aside, I did feel you understood the Democratic party and it's ideals. NOT ONCE in all the time you were running for office did you EVER mention internet regulation in any of those ads. I did not send you to the senate to work against my own convictions on this issue. In fact, you never brought it up at all in your campaign that I can find.

 This rebranding of  copyright infringement to piracy is annoying. What is also annoying is your utter disregard for the future of a free and open internet. Senator Franken. PIPA had a SEVEN MINUTE debate. Can you explain to me how exactly the American people are being represented in this process by a SEVEN MINUTE debate? Once I was made aware of this issue, I contacted you. Your responses have been full of more rhetoric and no real genuine concern.

 I told you the story of how through a women's rights page on the internet I became acquainted with the plight of Afghani women under the Taliban. If those women had mistakenly used copyrighted materials under these laws, I would never have seen that website. It is not up to our government to decide for me as a citizen what websites I can or should view.

 The other concern I have is with the less savory aspect of this politically. Chris Dodd, on national television basically blackmailed all of the politicians he has "donated to" and warned them to stay "bought". So tell me Senator Franken, have you been bought and if so will you "stay bought "? There are so many things I hoped you would be able to accomplish when I voted to send you to the senate. Heal the economy, work in harmony with the president, protect women's and civil rights. The internet has been a great equalizer for the common man. To treat it so carelessly is appalling.

 Your latest letter to me on the third still indicates you would basically  sign anything that was brought to the floor with the word piracy in it. You repeat the same baseless argument about the cost of piracy. The argument is flawed on so many levels. There is no independent research to justify these claims.

 Copyright infringement is a service issue. The old guards demand/scarcity  business model is not working for them. That is their problem. If the content industry refuses to embrace new technology and work towards solving their own problems, then they deserve to fail. Legislating for a failing business model does nothing but hold our country back. 

 One last thing,  the last  line of your letter said something about bringing everyone to the table. Senator Franken, you better buy a very big table. What the proponents of this type of legislation fail to understand is that this is not a traditional two sided argument. It is not Silicon Valley versus Hollywood. It is THE INTERNET versus old media. We are not misunderstanding anything. We understand exactly what RIAA and MPAA want. They will not get it. Even if that means I have to vote an otherwise ok senator out of office.   

 Senator, we agree on so many things. Please do not waste your chance to be a force for good in our country.

Lisa James 

Update 2/8/11 If you do not follow  Mike Masnik's Blog at Techdirt.com , you should. Point for point, lie for lie, Masnik obliterates "piracy" bills.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Welcome to the Intertubes Super Pacs !
 All UR Bases r B long 2 us.

Yeah ok that is a pretty old school meme, but then so am I. Well, it has been a hell of a week hasn't it? I don't even know where to start. I guess focus on the positive is the best way to go. Great things happened this week. Great things. The web came together in a monumental fashion to stop SOPA and PIPA from becoming insta -law. Talk about crazysauce! The day was saved. One battle in a big war did get won. Watching Twitter on Wednesday was one of the most astonishing days in recent history.

Who did it ? The tech industry, the bloggers, the non profits, the gamers, the 9gaggers, the activists, the hackers, the indies, the porn fans. Yes, the damn porn fans lol. There were some really awesome trending topics.  #FactsWithoutWikipedia  was one of my favorites. It was GREAT fun ! The web was under attack and it was not having it. They gave everyone an earful. Congress, Senate, the White House and the people that bought them off had a really bad day.

To be clear, SOPA and PIPA used the word "piracy" to misrepresent bills in congress that would demolish our web as an avenue of open and free speech & forward innovation. It ate the constitution for lunch. There was a SEVEN minute hearing on PIPA before it was rubber stamped for cloture vote. The House flat out REFUSED to hear from the tech industry or anyone else that had concerns about this bill. Now there are some debates about piracy and what it is or is not  doing to certain industries.Some crazy unfounded numbers are floating around. There are some arguments about copyright law and how it is continually getting more and more draconian.

I can only speak for my own experience. Yeah, if you want to view content that under existing law is copyrighted you can do so. My argument is that is not necessarily a bad thing for those industries. I realize that feels extreme to anyone that reacts emotionally to the word "piracy".  Often the industry themselves will post their content in a "post radio"modern style format to garner attention. In my experience that works. I heard a great song on Bones awhile back called Pride. I went to you tube and looked up a fan vid, found the song and listened a few times. It was an indie group that had failed  due to lack of sufficient saturation named Syntax. I proceeded to buy the song and I also now own the cd.  Twilight is another example. I saw the movie at a questionable site, bought the books and then the DVD's. I faithfully line up to see all the movies as well. Now I admit that this 13 year old girl franchise has a lot of awful and is not telling our young girls a very good message. Regardless, the cgi wolves and cute young people are fun to watch. I love edgy gamer artist Luis Royo. After seeing his pictures on the web, I bought his book.  This has happened a lot, I see or hear something that I am interested in, I find  it on the web, then I buy it. Under SOPA and PIPA this content would not exist. I would not be buying anything, because I never had any exposure to it.

As many others have so clearly stated Piracy is a service problem. Technology is ripping along at nascar speeds. Industry Super Pacs that cannot cope such as MPAA and RIAA  are frustrated. They should be embarrassed. Rather than evolve, these old guard industries are reacting. They are reacting like spoiled children. Old business models are dying faster than the Beta format did. Artists can self-publish now. The "middle man" is becoming obsolete. Apple just released an app for authors that will enable them to self publish without paying the publishing industry ANYTHING. Start up indie musicians are not feeding the recording industry labels. New movies are getting made and bypassing ALL of the old guard Hollyweird.  Cable news is so much more a fictional tv drama these days than actual news, many web users don't even watch it any more. Why bother when there are so many indie sites out there that don't put up fake videos and are not owned by anyone named Rupert Murdoch ? Many of us, myself included, have fired their cable tv company in favor of  more selective and cheaper content. The shows I watch can be found legally and free on the web or with a small paid subscription.

This is creating a lot of new money and innovation in our society and our economy. It is also dealing a death punch to those that refuse to see the writing on the wall. So here comes the old way of dealing with these things. MPAA chief Chris Dodd and his Super Pac of cronies decided to buy their way out of this. If you check the federal election site or just Google "campaign contributions SOPA PIPA" you can easily follow the money. THEY BOUGHT THE WHOLE GOVERNMENT. The government did not stay bought. They caved in droves when faced with millions of screaming angry people that had no pseudo facts when Wikipedia shut down. A peaceful, REALLY LOUD non-violent world wide protest did the unthinkable. It stopped the old guard Super Pac dead in it's tracks.

We won this battle. There is no doubt that we have not won this war yet. There is a huge media push ad buy- in now funded by the Super Pac to ask the American people to reconsider. After all, how can you be "for" piracy? It is the same old thing, Only if you like piracy would you support stopping legislation that will end existing law. This dying industry that cannot evolve wants to police the world and burn down anything and everything that it dislikes or is threatened by. It is the same fallacy trap as " Do you like money ?" Money is used to buy everything from wars to child pornography. so hence you if you like money, you like wars and child pornography. These kinds of silly gimmicks are tiresome. You can be against  piracy and still not agree that we need to take down 100 websites with a nuclear warhead aimed at the future of the entire internet. Not that it would work anyways. The websites would be back up somewhere else by the end of that business day.

Anyways, sorry I rambled a bit today. I am just GLOWING at how great a job the web did to defend itself. Everyone that participated is to be commended. They will rebrand SOPA and PIPA as New Coke, but at least now we have a fighting chance. Stay informed. Stay on your elected representatives like flies on molasses.

Friday, December 30, 2011

So Many Issues, 
So Little of  My Patience Left

 You ever wish there really was a time machine ? No ? Wait til you hit middle age. Your fantasies take abrupt changes in theme and this is the sort of thing you might really lust after. I know for myself , physics, archeology, and cosmology would have been definitely on the "to do" list in high school and college.

  Ever since I saw that annoying article by Popular Science in an urgent care waiting room about universe theory, I have felt under-educated in things that really interest me.  Several years, and many frustrating hours of trying to learn on my own later, that regret stays with me. I am still almost as baffled as I was that day my 14 year old son had an ear infection. He calmly tried to explain string theory to me while we waited for the doctor on the paper- lined bed. I got a copy of that article and read it a zillion times. I discovered Stephen Hawking and added his writings onto my personal inventory of things that fascinate and confuse me. Things, I may never fully understand. It would almost be kinder to have that time machine and be able to go back and never have read that article.

 The same goes for my sudden political awareness. It can be quite disconcerting. As a young adult I did a lot of the searching and decided my values. Then I found the Democratic Party. They were the most closely aligned with my own opinions so it was a great match. The years flew by, I was busy raising children, marrying, and discovering I was allergic  to marriage. I faithfully voted my party in elections, watched some news now and then, and I even helped out on caucuses in 2008.

The truth though, is I have been incredibly lazy. This is becoming more evident each day. I had no idea how little I knew. Like my adventures into astro physics, it has been really trying to get up to speed. I thought I had a pretty good handle on things and I was  wrong. I never liked the idea of invading Afghanistan, it brought down the Soviet Union and history has a way of repeating such things. I knew Bush had dragged us into Iraq on faulty intelligence and I was pissed about it. I believe that we did a horrible wrong by invading a sovereign nation. But, to be honest, I really did not give it enough thought. Other than to be really angry that I had actually shook disgraced Senator Larry Craig's hand and believed him when he looked me in the eye and personally told me that we really had no choice, the security of our nation was at stake. That of course, was a flat out lie. Heaven knows where his hand had been before it shook mine.

 I grew up in a family with a tradition of service to our country. My dad was in the Navy. He was a flight engineer. He only stayed in 4 years as I was born and he did not wish to be away from his family. Now he is legally blind and the V/A is taking care of him. He worked 40 years in the mines only to have his medical retirement benefits stripped by some really underhanded company machinations. He never fired a gun at a single soul.

 My oldest son is now in the US navy. He is finishing a tour in Japan where he has been searching for dangerous mines in the waters. It has been ever so trying to not be able to call him.  I have only seen him twice since he got out of boot camp. Again, he has never fired a weapon at a single soul. He will be moving back to the US for his next tour and I am told he will possibly be a funeral director or working on a tug boat.

 My youngest son tried to run away to the army at 18. His dad and I almost threatened to disown him if he did. He wanted to join the FFO program and put a nice fat target on his lovely head. Now as parents, we never allowed our kids to play with guns or even GI Joes when they were little, so naturally we raised two boys who's idea of rebellion would be to go into the service. Well, what do you do? With  the younger one, we finally got him to see reason and he is in college. He still threatens to join the service when he gets frustrated with math and homework.

 My attitude about the military was always shaped by the idea of the US being a force for good. We helped liberate Europe and put an end to concentration camps. We put an end to many conflicts that rightfully needed to be ended. I assumed that is how things were still being done.

 See how naive one can be, even at my age? Imagine my shock when I started reading what we are really doing these days. Drones are killing children. We are policing, not for human rights but because our Oil Companies would like better access to certain parts of the world. It sickens me. I don't blame the enlisted people in the military. I blame those that are responsible for ordering them to do these things. I am FURIOUS with my government. I joined Amnesty International at age 18. I always thought that my country was the one working for the betterment of humanity around the world. I am now learning that we are problem in many cases and not the solution. The more I learn, the sicker I feel. That time machine would really come in handy about now.

 So like my lost youthful education, my lost innocence and my misplaced faith in my government are all things I must come to terms with. I must educate myself further. Every time I think I finally understand, a whole new pile of crazy lands in my lap.  The time for me to be blissfully ignorant is past. Now is the time where I scramble to atone for my own self involvement and laziness.

And then.......... I am gonna make a hell of a lot of noise.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

SOPA & PIPA  The Damage They Can do.

With permission from Dr. Barnathan, I am reprinting his letter to Congressman Lamar Smith. Congressman Smith is the author of SOPA. A law, which threatens to devastate our DNS system and takes a giant hatchet to free speech. This letter can be  found on the congressman's Facebook page, a link is provided below.

" Michael Barnathan - If I may join the chorus of angry voices posting on an unrelated wall topic (because you don't allow more general commenting on your wall) for a moment, the SOPA bill you authored threatens to undermine one of the foundations of the Internet, the Domain Name System (DNS).

As a computer scientist, allow me to enlighten you as to just one reason, though a major one, why this implication of your bill is fundamentally problematic:

DNS is the "phone book" of the Internet, and is the reason you can access Facebook at www.facebook.com rather than, say, If your bill succeeds, large swaths of the 'net could potentially go dark in very unpredictable and scary ways. More fundamentally, your bill would irreparably weaken DNSSEC, the system which provides DNS with its network security, making it impossible to legally implement DNSSEC in a working manner. This (re)opens sites to a type of attack known as DNS poisoning.

Here's what this means in English: let's imagine we're in a post-SOPA world. Say that you log onto Facebook to post on your wall. Your browser reads facebook.com, but unknown to you, a DNS attack on Facebook has taken place, and Facebook's "phone book" entry now points to an illegitimate site. You are sent to that site, most likely hosted in a foreign country. Since the browser still claims you're at facebook.com and the site otherwise looks like Facebook, you feel no hesitation when the site prompts you for your password. Your account is now compromised, and you don't even know it.

And it wouldn't be just you. Everyone logging onto Facebook at that time would have their accounts compromised. Individual hackers would love it. So would hostile foreign governments looking for ways to weaken the American infrastructure and economy.

Are you starting to see why weakening DNS is a bad idea? Here's another reason: the current Domain Name System is largely an American-owned service. Almost all of the "root" servers which form the system's backbone reside in the USA, and the system is controlled by the Department of Commerce. That is the only reason why your legislation could have any jurisdiction over the system at all, of course.

But the Internet is a vastly complex worldwide network. It has a knack for routing around damage. So what would most likely instead happen is a massive switch to an unregulated and highly distributed DNS system which is completely outside of any national control. Whoever owns DNS owns the Internet, and such a system could quickly grow to such a scale that you could never suppress it, unless you relish the entire network going down.

If you're still reading by this point, I'm impressed. Did it make sense? With all respect, if it doesn't, you need to acquire a better understanding of the technologies which make the Internet work before you propose legislation which will impact them. I will be happy to explain anything further, as I suspect will anyone with expertise in this area.

If nothing else, think for a moment about the unusually large number of people and organizations with technical expertise coming out of the woodwork to tell you how bad an idea this bill is, and admit that perhaps there are sound reasons why it is untenable.

Best Regards,
Dr. Michael Barnathan
Ph. D. Computer Science."

Source  http://www.facebook.com/LamarSmithTX21

****Thanks to Dr Barnathan for so kindly allowing me to reprint your very informative letter.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Christmas Miracle in the Making

  There is a bill sitting on President Obama's desk right now. I am pretty sure that is not unusual. However, this bill is unusual. The NDAA  bill, on it's face, is just a defense appropriations bill. Well in this day and age, we need a military unit, and we need to pay for it. So that is really not anything to get all worked up about.

 Here is the problem. Those rat bastards in the congress are always adding some stupid crap to necessary bills. This practice has been going on ad infinitum for years. It annoys the  people they serve, but they do it anyways. They write up a law to do anything in D.C., and the next thing you know there is a funding attached to it for scuba diving lessons in Malaysia.

 What I cannot credit, is how this foolishness is allowed to continue. NDAA was drafted by Senator Carl Levin, a democrat from Michigan and Senator John McCain, a republican from Arizona in a closed door comittee. Now, a bill to pay for our military expenses is an admirable thing for our senators to finally agree on and get taken care of. If only we had better senators.

 There is a lot of transparency missing here. Time to get on My Trusty Tin Foil Hat. There were no open hearings regarding the drafting of this bill. There was very little media communication about this bill. On the face of it, that would be ok. I mean really, who wants to read about how many toothbrushes we are gonna need to buy for the guys on the USS Enterprise?  But this time, our senators were really incompetent, or else they are really sneaky. I cannot say which is true.
Either way, I would like to take a giant boot to their asses.

 In the language of the bill is something that is just incredible. America, we are so hosed. The bill states, that the president may detain and imprison US citizens indefinitely without trial. HUH ? Who thought that was a good idea ?  All you have to do is be suspected of terrorism. Well, you may be thinking, I am not a terrorist so it does not affect me. Not so. I just threatened to take a giant boot to the asses that wrote this thing, as a result, it could be me. A middle aged, pissed-off mother with one child in the US Navy and one in college. Some one, who has never even gotten a DUI. Yeah.... there were a few parking tickets.

  I see it going down like this:

 Special forces swarm my small town in a camo-colored Humvee caravan. Seal Team Six blows down my door with C4 weapons-grade explosives. They catch me in my  yellow flannel nightgown and my fuzzy green slippers. I am eating a bowl of Ben & Jerry's, Schweddy Ball's flavored ice cream.
They throw me down on the carpet, point an M16 to my head and handcuff me.( I woulda vaccumed if I had known I was getting company.) Then they drag me out into my yard, with my neighbors watching and a Black Hawk helicopter swirling overhead. That gossipy Mrs Davis tells Old Man Peterson "yeah I always thought she was a terrorist."

 Next thing I know, I am in a grey cinder block room. I am tied to a chair, with bare light bulb hanging over my head. The CIA interrogators are asking me who else is involved in my plot to install giant boots into the asses of incompetent senators. I tell them, "I was smart enough to think of it all on my own" but they don't believe me. They investigate my friends and my 70 year old mother. They decide that my mother could be a risk. She is a "known associate of mine" and she spends a lot of time on her IPhone. They are not convinced she is really playing Words With Friends.

 So I get sent to a prison camp, with no legal recourse and no Kindle. Indefinitely. Ugh... kill me now.
 I cannot live without my Kindle.

 The outrage over this bill, is causing something of a stir.

 Even the Tea Party seems to be upset about it. I cannot understand how easily this pile of suck, and abridgment of basic civil rights has gotten by all of us. Twitter streams regarding NDAA are lighting on fire. President Obama said he would not sign it. Then he reversed his position. There are last minute petitions flying all over the web, begging him to reconsider. Most civil rights groups are unable to speak coherently, they are so shocked.  We don't know how this is all going to end.  I admit, I am very concerned. If a bill is bad enough for the left to want to work with the right, you know it is a really bad idea. That is the "Christmas Miracle" that no one saw coming.

 As for me, I will miss hearing from all of you.
I am not sure I will be able to get mail in Guantanamo.

Friday, December 16, 2011

 Learning More About Occupy 
My Excellent Trip Into Crazy Town is Time Well Spent.

 So this political awakening I have been experiencing is sorta like eating beets. I don't like beets, they make my plate look messy, and they taste bitter. But they might possibly be good for you.

 The Occupy kids (oops I should say young adults sorry)  are such a  bright spot in all of this for me. They are going everywhere where and telling everyone off. That is what young people SHOULD be doing. Geesh, all this video gaming and obsessing over celebrities is turning our kids minds into mush.

  I spent some time watching the Boston group on Ustream and man, they are so sweet. The mayor Thomas M Menino decided to evict them, shame on you. There were so many people there supporting them, and none of them were the least bit violent. One moment that really hit me, was when they put a projection on the wall of a large building that said "You cannot Evict an Idea". Another, was when a marine in full dress uniform stood at the front of the protest group as a visual aid of what our military is supposed to be in place for. They did get evicted this week, the police apparently did it after all of us that were watching went to bed. Seems to me, if they have nothing to hide, they would not need to use these kinds of tactics.

 AJ and the Washington group did a tour of their camp on Sunday via Ustream. Nope ..... no drugged out hippies. Just scary political dangers like a chess board station, a life-sized Jenga game, and some hunger strikers huddled up in sleeping bags. Did I mention these kids have jobs ? Sophie was conducting the tour. She is such a doll.

 Washington Occupy's protest of the DC Chamber Christmas party was so funny. They sang rewritten carols and read parables from the bible about Jesus turning over the tables of the money changers in the temple. There was a lot of talk about serious things, like how much debt can the American people are yoked under, how corrupt our politicians are, and how important freedom is for everyone.  Really subversive talk huh ? The US government needs to pull it's head out of it's ass and leave these kids alone.

  Which leads me to the way our police are treating these kids. Not all police, but there are some that are just gone bongo. There was a kindly officer at the Boston protest who was  reasonable. You could tell he wanted no part of hurting anyone for practicing their constitutional rights. But too many times, we are seeing this is not the case. Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Maddow and others are screaming, apparently at the air, about what is happening. If anyone should be in jail, it should be an abusive officer hurting our kids. There seems to be some sort of disconnect in our values that it is ok to beat, intimidate, and hurt peacful protestors, but it is not ok to stand up for your rights.

  Still the media seems to be intent on dis-informing us. They give no credit to the Occupy kids for pushing us towards change. Or they ignore them all together. Google news is really terrible about this. You will never find anything about the protestors if you rely on them for your daily news. I cannot imagine why.  Time magazine, who I never really liked much, is one of the few establishment media sources that is recognizing what this really is. They voted the protestor  Man of the Year, and gave the Occupy movement it's justified credit.  MSNBC has also been more sympathetic than most. Kudos I say, to those that swim against the waves of silliness.  As I write this, an article popped up that the SEC is charging Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac CEO's with FRAUD. That is a direct result of our brave young people speaking their excellent minds. Still, news organizations go on with this incredible spew that these kids are socialist, drugged out, stinky hippies.

 If you really wish to know about what is happening out there, it seems you must do your own research. Ahh !!! But there lies the problem for those of us who are not so savvy. It is hard to find sources that are credible, and harder still to disseminate all the crazy from all the real.  My advice is to take everything with a grain of salt. Don't bury your head in your butt just because things are not readily understood. It is difficult, yes, but it is not impossible to become better informed. I recommend getting a twitter account. I find a lot of "real time" accurate  information is spread this way.

 Bless you Occupiers, and all that are supporting you . You are changing our world right before my very eyes. Thank you !