Archive for category Polly-tics

Why SOPA Makes Sense (but not to me)

This is the age of information warfare and digital warfare. After watching a brief video on the internet hacker group Anonymous, I now understand why control over the internet is so important. And it’s not because of some whiny record label companies.

Anonymous, has given the federal government reason to stir. The Occupy movement could be taken down in a matter of days if it was deemed out of control. American opinions however, are not so quelled. This seems to be the focus of Anonymous. The complete naked purpose of a government and it’s people. No guarded opinions, and no carefully crafted words. Just the truth.

Which is scary to me. The whole idea of digital warfare is scary to me. It covers a broad range of tactics, from internet propoganda, to hacking the files of a police department. (Let’s not forget that a U.S. drone was allegedly hijacked by the Iranians.) Anyone could be a target, really. And with so much information and control, rested in the hands of our trusty computers and mobile devices, almost anything is at risk.

But let’s be serious. Anonymous, who is a Homeland Security target, probably isn’t too interested in pulling out the skeletons of your close. In fact, they’re a little more Robin Hood-esque; hacking the files of the rich, and donating money to charity.

This is why it makes sense now. If I were one of the accused 1%, I wouldn’t want my money, credentials, or otherwise private life, available to the other 99%. That is scary. I would grab the internet by the balls, and use whatever digital wizardry hackers use to make sure shit like this doesn’t get out of hand.

Maybe thats not the point. Maybe, I’m off subject. But I feel like these types of groups may be poking the bear. How will it answer?

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The Rev. Would Have Been Booed Too

IT’S SAD TO SAY THAT THE MLK DAY HAS GONE AND PAST, WITH NOTHING MORE THAN AN EXTRA DAY OFF.

But to me, and to many others in my town. It’s not over.

Over the weekend I was asked to cover a story about the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event  for my student newspaper the Horizon. Yes, of course, I respect and appreciate the work of the reverend, but I had never engaged in any activity that truly celebrated his work until now.

It has always seemed to me that MLK Day is celebrated just before Black History Month for a convenient reason. Now I just find it a coincidence. Or maybe a conspiracy…

True, he was a hero amongst African-Americans and a figurehead for all minorities. But more importantly, he was a hero amongst all Americans, a figurehead for equality and civil rights. His work not for any race to claim.

I realized this when I found myself downtown in a mid January blizzard, with a couple hundred other Americans in celebration of the reverend and his work. But it was not just a celebration. There was a purpose. The people in the streets were not the same townsfolk that meet for the local Ho-Down. They were demonstrators. They carried signs, they sang, they marched, and they were THERE.

They were not demonstrating racial equality (except for a couple with pickets that said so). They were demonstrating the same thing the people on Wall Street demonstrate today. Financial equality.

I admit, when I showed up to cover the event, my expectations were pretty typical: A sombre black man in a business suit at a podium, reciting, quoting, or otherwise repeating the words of the reverend. People snoring. That sort of thing. But what could you expect? The reverend is celebrated as a leader of racial equality.

He was assassinated before he was able to take part in his Poor Man’s March. The Poor Man’s March was aimed at eliminating poverty in the U.S. and creating financial equality.

And here we are today. In a battle between the extremely wealthy and the people who need showers. Where are our leaders? Our figureheads? What happened to inspiration? Camaraderie?

The reverend’s work and passion could not mean more to Americans now. Not just in eliminating poverty, but in creating peace, brotherhood and justice. One of his most basic principles that must be kept in the back of our minds today as we go about our daily lives:

“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws”

Similarly, Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence:

“Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [i.e., securing inherent and inalienable rights, with powers derived from the consent of the governed], it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

Or simply, don’t let the Man give you the Pickle.

Newt's face says it all

By no means am I pushing Ron Paul politics on anyone – but I find it disturbing that the man was booed off stage at the GOP debate for announcing the use of the “Golden Rule.” In what case are the American people more deserving than another nation’s people? Really. What makes us better?

 These are basic moral principles that are being rejected and neglected. For what?

But, just as Independence Day comes with a bang and sizzles into the horizon, MLK Day passes us with less recognition. It’s not a day for African-American people, and it’s not even a day about celebrating/promoting civil rights. It’s a day about doing something.

(For the record, there is no Ho-Down where I am from. At least that I am aware of.)

 

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Everyone is Gay

I’VE HAD THOSE NIRVANA LYRICS IN MY HEAD FOR A WHILE.

For brevity’s sake, and for clarity (and also becasue it’s 3 a.m.), I’ll get right to it.

I read “Letter From Birmingham Jail” the other day, as part of an English assignment, and also because of MLK day on Monday. Students are usually force fed this kind of stuff in college, especially since it’s practically a  seasonal thing. I found the letter extremely compelling and I urge EVERYONE to take a look at it. It’s written extremely well and defines the struggle for civil rights in America in the 60s.

… I share this becasue of a recent “debate” I took part in, regarding the homosexual community. A bill is on the floor in Seattle right now to approve sam sex marriage. The outcome, I could care less about to be honest (although it is expected to fail just shy of a couple votes). There are plenty of gay people in Seattle who seem perfectly content as things are. The question that arose, is whether the gay rights hold as much weight as black rights? Again, read the letter from MLK, it’s amazing. Do his words still ring true today?

Granted they should be the same thing for all good Americans. But does one outweigh the other? I would like to hear from you.

(Sorry for not posting in so long. School is… school. I’ll make a point of it this weekend!)

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Romney Intercepts al-Qaida; Scores Touchdown

I’ve been watching CNN for the last hour. It’s Monday night. 2:29 am. Weird.

Since the holidays, I sort of fell off the edge of the Earth. I was more involved with gluing the shards of my sanity back together than keeping up with current politics and news developments. Luckily, the cold weather keeps me inside and the new college semester has me wondering: is journalism today really an expression of the first amendment, or is it simply a means to entertain?

I’ll spare you my reflections on the year of 2011, and instead get right to the point: Sports. I spent the 24th of December in southern Humboldt County, CA, watching the Seahawks duke it out with the 49ers. While the game held me on the edge of the seat till the two minute warning, I was disappointed to see the Seahawks lose (again). I had to hold my tongue though; Humboldt county is 49ers turf.

Ka-Kaaaaaaaaw!

I watched as the game came to a close, dully, as ESPN sound effects swooped in. Terry Bradshaw’s idiotic voice echoed throughout my skull. Howie Long’s chiming confirmed that football was done for me this season. There is no time to mourn the loss of your team when ESPN talk show hosts want to flap their gums. It’s time to find something a little more serious to pay attention to, like politics. But who am I kidding? That’s just another sport itself.

At least U.S. politics appears to be a sport. If American’s are capable of love, it’s the love of winning. The world may seem to be at it’s end (beware of Mayan prophecy scams) but the American people still have a lot of fight left. But much news lately has been interesting; especially towards the end of 2011: Iranians hijacked a U.S. drone, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act, and the GOP is left with Mitt Romney as it’s leading Presidential candidate. None of this is exactly good, but hey! At least Kim Jong-Il and Moammar Gaddafi can be marked off the NSA’s assassination list.

“The Occupiers on Wall St. fight the system. Rick Santorum supposedly owns a jarred fetus. Al- Qaida is infiltrating the fragile Libyan government.” These things have little in common except that they are news, and they invoke an emotional response. However, emotional as they may be, you don’t live with Mr. Santorum, and if you live on the West Coast, the Occupiers are as far away as Libya. My point is, none of these things cause that much stir. I find Iranian cyber warfare just as spooky as the next guy, but until an Iranian hacker shuts down all of Comcast, I am content just reading about it.

Politics to me, has become a sport on a grand scale. It has no seasons, but instead must endure the test of war, poverty, stupidity, and general humanity before it can ever be considered a serious business.

My New Year’s Resolution: Give a shit about it.

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Same War Different Bill

LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT OUR LIVES, OUR WORLDS, AND FOR A MINUTE, BE HONEST WITH OURSELVES.

How much does media dominate our lives? If your reading this post, it’s safe to say that it plays a significant role in the way you live, dress, eat, and think. Most importantly, how you think. The media – especially the news media – is an all around conflict of ideas, from every angle, that targets the human brain with misinformation.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been delving into the philosophy of that previous statement of information wars. Which is why the other week, when I read an article about the U.S. Senate hearing out a bill that will target Americans with military force, known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I wasn’t worried.

According to some U.S. politicians, the world is a place of eternal conflict that we are all a part of. The “battlefield“, as it is described by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), has been in existence since I was in high school. I have, like many of my friends, grown up in this “battlefield.” So when I am told by extremely liberal media sources that the U.S. Constitution is being ripped from the people, that the economic crisis and false flag operations are all signs that the GOVERNMENT is TARGETING YOU, I am not surprised, nor am I scared.

When I was younger I heard some very clear words in George W. Bush’s address on September 20, 2001: “You are either with us or you are with the terrorists.” Those words pierced my brain like a diamond spear, and to this day, I am still unsure how to interpret them. Good ol’ Dubya certainly had a way with speaking people (that even my first journalism instructor would admit to, after he met the man in person). It was a way that made your spine shiver with devotion. But Hitler was also a good speaker. It was that speech, and those words, that made me see  the lines of this “battlefield.” The righteous, the good, the Christian, the American, the white-washed people of fortunate upbringing; and the corrupt, the evil, the Muslim, the terrorists, the gay, the anarchists, the Canadian, and the people of the Third World.

That view is extreme, and obviously the thoughts of someone who hasn’t done enough of their homework to appreciate fully what the former President was saying. But it was also obvious that each person was to participate in this Global War on Terror in some way. There were things that were happening in the U.S. government, that I was just beginning to understand. I knew what the Patriot Act was, and I knew what it meant.

The battlefield is not of guns and roadside bombs, snipers and mortars – at least not yet. It is a battle of information, where news networks, the CIA, NSA, and FBI, instil fear in the people. The so-called “unbiased” news is becoming a burden on people, where the opinions of the individual matter more to those who have the same idea. After all, no major news network will ever change the minds of people on a large scale.

Needless to say, the NDAA passed, 93 – 7. And because history is written by the victor, yes, the world is officially a battlefield (yay!). Acting out against the U.S. will eventually lead to your demise.

People are going to hear what they want to hear. InfoWars has a video about the  NDAA. Those Americans crazy enough to want to fight their own government in an open war (with guns, bombs, snipers and such…) will eat up the doomsday terror tone, load their shotguns, pack their beans, and start siphoning gas from their rich republican-voting neighbor. The same thing happened when Saddam Hussein was hiding his weapons of mass destruction.

My mom (who is a hippy) is constantly lecturing me about the laws of attraction. She tells me, “If you worry so much about something, then you can make it a reality…” or something like that. Assuming she is right, I think the fear of  government tyranny is becoming stronger as more people feed into it (I’m talking to you, Occupy protesters). Fear is the medias sharpest tool, after all. The media shows us civil unrest in American cities, war in Afghanistan, failing economies. With these things, we are scared into hiding under the wing of an institution.

Yes, we are all potential targets for USNORTHCOM now. But did anyone think they could get away with terrorist activities before? (Look at the foiled plots.) I have met government hackers and other Homeland Security agents before. They are always looking for terrorists or information that will lead them to terrorists. I only ask that people rethink their fears. No one has a gun to your head, and until then, viva la liberte.

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NY Times Speaks a Dead Language

DOES ANYONE HAVE A F****** CLUE WHAT LANGUAGE THE MAJOR NEWS OUTLETS ARE SPEAKING?

I consider myself a pretty smart DUDE, therefore I find it appropriate to stay updated with the news. Granted, there’s a lot of it… so you must pick and choose which subjects you stay on top of. Don’t ask me why I would choose politics, or business. I still don’t understand either of them.

God knows I try to understand politics, and more recently, I’ve been trying to grasp the concept of the failing U.S. economy. Shouldn’t everyone? It’s asinine to worry over something you don’t fully understand. A few years ago, recession was a bad word. More recently, the one word everyone is afraid of is collapse. What does that mean? Does that mean another Depression (notice the caps lock)? I’m unsure.

What I do know is that the EU plays a bigger role in the financial crisis than I thought.I turn on the radio in my truck, and it’s NPR. Someone is frantically spelling out doom for Greece and the U.S. economy. What does Greece have to do with the U.S. economy? No clue. This calls for a news paper. And here I am, hoping to make sense of it all; I am too naive. I open a NY Times article. I can now fully appreciate the statement “ignorance is bliss.”

It has had little intrinsic connection to the American stock market in the past, as Mr. Bernstein is quick to acknowledge. But it has been a perversely contrarian signal of late. As the European rescue plan for Greece appeared at times to unravel last week, Greek 10-year notes hit new lows, falling to less than 30 percent of their nominal value — a 70 percent discount. As the price dropped, the American stock market often rose.

The distant pop you just heard was a cluster of neurotransmitters in your brain exploding. I am actually mad that I can’t understand this, or provide anyone with information regarding the crisis facing Greece (or Italy). It has come to the point where reading a biased and misleading article is more appealing (and informative) than anything else.

This brief sentence from an NPR article made the most sense to me:

(The Greeks) see the (poltical) wrangling as a shameful circus while they get poorer and poorer.

 Sounds oddly familiar…

All other news articles may as well be in Sanskrit. Any helpful hints? Books? Articles? Can you just tell me what’s going on? I really hate to say it, but I’m completely baffled by major news sources. I hate to sound like a typical conservative-doucher-conspiracist, but this is obviously a ploy used by the “got-derm” liberal media to confuse simple folk like maself and invoke irrational fear. The less I understand about the news, the more I’m afraid of it; the more news I understand the more afraid I am of everything else.

It’s a lose-lose situation.

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The Worst News EVER

THIS IS IT.

This is the worst news that has ever been told. If you are holding a cup of coffee, I suggest you swallow it down now. If you are using power-drill or holding a newborn child, you may want to put it aside for now. This will probably disturb you.

You or your loved ones, may possibly be…. A LIBERAL.

I know! It is hard to believe, but after taking this shocking test on Gotoquiz.com I have discovered that yours truly, is in fact, a liberal. It doesn’t matter how many assault rifles I want to own or how I want to use them on illegal immigrants. According to the polls, I am one bad fetus-aborting-pollution-hating-gay-marriage-supporting mother of a liberal. Even on this poll, again, I am overwhelmingly liberal.

If you are not a liberal, then what about your spouse? Your children? Are they?

My good friend Pat

Who am I really kidding, though? Everyone knows who they affiliate with. Most of my friends have piercings and I enjoy a fresh slice of sushi now and again. I’m not afraid of these things, though. No, because in my own nihilism, I am not a liberal – and you don’t have to be one of those sissies either.

The main reason I post this, is because beneath a mess of mixed identities and ego, I’m just a regular person. And like a regular person, I got on the bus, read the news, and learned that according to Mississippi lawmakers, life begins at conception. Yes. When mommy and daddy bumped uglies. That’s your effective date of life. To hell with Birth Days, in Mississippi, you celebrate Conception Days. So in Mississippi, I may actually be a year older than I am. Cool! But not really.

Initiative 26, which is more than likely going to pass, will ban abortion entirely, even in cases involving rape, incest, and health. It will also ban some forms of birth control (Why?).

The flaming liberal emerges.

I understand that abortion is bad, and those who take advantage of them are irresponsible. One might say they are complete idiots. But the fetus really doesn’t have much in the way of a cerebral cortex at this point in it’s “life” and therefore doesn’t necessarily worry about these things – or anything for that matter. I dare say, such a fetus wouldn’t have much more value than any other bodily tissue, say a spleen.

Maybe that’s a bold statement, but so is saying a child should be given up for adoption at a young age, then be aborted as an uncognitive fetus. And I hate to bring out the extremes, but isn’t it a little ridiculous to deny a 13 year old girl who is a rape and/or incest victim the option of abortion? That almost is actually The Worst News Ever.

Let’s put aside the moral and religious ideas. No one said you had to believe in God to be an American. In fact, I’m pretty sure that is far from being a pre-requisite.

No abortions in Mississippi? Get your coat hangers ready. Your either about to have a lot of miserable children or unhealthy women. Fine. I don’t plan on having unprotected sex in that state anyway. Hopefully they don’t ban rubbers their. Oh, what? Florida, Michigan, Montana, Wisconsin, and Ohio are hoping to push for similar proposition? I guess that makes six states that I will never visit.

 I find it strange that after all these years of striving for justice, equality, and freedom, issues such as these are so blindly sought after. For instance, Idiot Lawyer quoted in the New York Times: “… it’s an opportunity for people to say that we’re made in the image of God.” That supports nothing, but your religion which you are forcing upon others. The idea that a fetus is a person with human rights is more convincing. With that, can a fetus have citizenship? Could the fetus sign some documents for the INS?

All this hair-splitting is really irritating.

 As sarcastic as I may sound, it is a serious issue that needs resolve. States can do what they wish with the clinics, but life must be determined at a federal level

… Rest assured conservative viewers, I do support smoking and I still love the Second amendment.

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