Archive for the ‘Politics’ category

SOPA & PIPA & You

January 19, 2012

Yesterday was the day of the great Blackout Protest against SOPA and PIPA. Thousands of sites participated and it did make a difference!

Four key senators abandon online piracy bills amid web protests

Congressional support for controversial online piracy legislation eroded dramatically on Wednesay in the face of an unprecedented online protest supported by tech titans such as Google, Wikipedia and Facebook.

Several key senators withdrew their support from the Senate’s Protect IP Act, including Tea Party favorite Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), an elected member of his party’s leadership.

Sen. Jon Cornyn (R-Texas), who leads the Senate GOP campaign team, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, also retreated from the bill.

Thousands of websites went dark on Wednesday to protest the two Internet piracy bills, the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s Protect IP Act (PIPA). At least two California Democrats, Rep. Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren, joined the protests by blacking out their web sites.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a leader of Senate conservatives, also came out against the bills, calling them “misguided bills that will cause more harm than good.”

“When protecting intellectual property rights, we must not undermine free speech, threaten economic growth, or impose burdensome regulations,” DeMint tweeted.

[continued…]

My favorite quote from the above has to be this: “Leahy, the chief author of the Senate bill, said the protest is based on a misunderstanding of the legislation. ”

Doesn’t it seem like every time there is widespread protest against some proposed legislation (TARP, Obamacare, NDAA…) the fascists who want it to pass resort to telling us we’re just too stupid to understand their wonderful law? LOL!

I did, however, happen across this video that tells why you SHOULD support SOPA and PIPA:

 

On a more serious note, I did learn that the President of the MPAA (the leading organization lobbying for SOPA/PIPA) is none other than retired Senator Chris Dodd. Yes, he of the now infamous Dodd-Frank law of new banking regulations and countless unintended (?) consequences.

Chris Dodd actually had the nerve to say that the blackout protests are an “abuse of power“. Do I even need to point out the irony here?

So that’s where we are now. Don’t forget about SOPA and PIPA when the blackouts are over. Harry Reid in the senate insists he will push forward. And as recent history has shown (TARP, Obamacare, NDAA…), however loud the opposition, however unpopular the bill, if “The Powers That Be” want it done it will be done. But maybe this time we’ll have better luck since virtually EVERY big web site in the world is on our side of this fight. We shall see.

Money Bomb Alert

June 8, 2011

Three Things Old Media Keeps Getting Wrong About Ron Paul

May 15, 2011

Whether through laziness, stupidity, political bias or willful ignorance there are three things that most “old media” gets wrong about Ron Paul time and time again. It never ceases to amaze me because they could get any of these things right with just a minimal amount of effort.

1. Money Bombs & Grassroots

Countless articles have described the record-breaking Ron Paul money bombs as being created by his campaign or his “tech team” or even Ron Paul himself. Despite the fact that Congressman Paul has repeatedly and publically said that neither he nor his campaign had anything to do with the money bombs, somehow, old media cannot fathom the concept of purely grassroots driven fundraising.

And make no mistake, every one of the money bombs held on Ron Paul’s behalf were invented, built and maintained by the grassroots. Grassroots supporters created videos for the money bomb sites, publicized the dates through various social networking sites, email and in real life conversations. The only thing Paul’s official campaign ever had to do was put a real-time donation counter on the offical campaign web site and collect the millions of dollars that rolled in. Period.

There have also been a number of articles since Ron Paul announced his 2012 candidacy suggesting that Dr. Paul could be a “kingmaker” this time around by eventually encouraging his supporters to back another candidate. But Dr. Paul’s grassroots aren’t so easily swayed, not even by the man himself. With this bunch, principles and integrity matter. A lot.  If there were another candidate in the race who had lived all his/her life by the same set of core principles, who had a 30+ year record of always voting according to the Constitution, who never once voted to increase taxes or trample on anyone’s civil liberties, then maybe, possibly, the Ron Paul grassroots would have another candidate to back so enthusiastically. At the moment, there does not appear to be another such candidate.

2. Isolationism

This one is even easier (right-leaning media I’m looking at you on this one). Get a dictionary. A good one. Look it up. Here, I’ll even help … Webster’s Online Dictionary. See what it says there?

Isolationism is a foreign policy which combines a non-interventionist military policy and a political policy of economic nationalism (protectionism). In other words, it asserts both of the following:

  1. Non-interventionism – Political rulers should avoid entangling allianceswith other nations and avoid all wars not related to direct territorial self-defense.
  2. Protectionism – There should be legal barriers to control trade and cultural exchange with people in other states.

Isolationism is not to be confused with the non-interventionist philosophy and foreign policy of the libertarian world view, which espouses unrestricted free trade and freedom of travel for individuals to all countries. This “libertarian isolationist” view is best defined as a policy of nonparticipation in foreign political relations, but free trade and affability to all people.

So, an isolationist society is something like North Korea. Ron Paul does not endorse an isolationist society. Period.

3. Racism

Implying a person is racist is always the last resort of  those who know they cannot win a debate with logic or sound ideas. And this is one of those debates (now I’m looking at you, left-leaning media). Ron Paul being racist is a complete impossibility. It is antithetical to everything he has stood for, without compromise, throughout his life.

 “Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called “diversity” actually perpetuate racism. Their obsession with racial group identity is inherently racist. The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence, not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.”–Ron Paul

There you have it. The three things that old media consistently gets wrong even though it would not be at all difficult to get them right. It’s enough to make you wonder why they can’t seem to get it right, isn’t it?

Ron Paul: I’m Back

May 15, 2011

Another outstanding effort from a Ron Paul grassroots supporter:

It’s Official: Ron Paul 2012

May 15, 2011

Ron Paul Money Bomb – Legalize Gold and Silver

May 15, 2011

What all the WikiLeaks “Cablegate” Fuss is About

December 10, 2010

Brilliance from Boing Boing:

And Now a Very Special Holiday Message from The Ministry of Love

December 7, 2010

 

Press Office
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Dec. 6, 2010

WASHINGTON — Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the expansion of the Department’s national “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign to hundreds of Walmart stores across the country—launching a new partnership between DHS and Walmart to help the American public play an active role in ensuring the safety and security of our nation.

“Homeland security starts with hometown security, and each of us plays a critical role in keeping our country and communities safe,” said Secretary Napolitano. “I applaud Walmart for joining the ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ campaign. This partnership will help millions of shoppers across the nation identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to law enforcement authorities.”

The “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign—originally implemented by New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and funded, in part, by $13 million from DHS’ Transit Security Grant Program—is a simple and effective program to engage the public and key frontline employees to identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities.

More than 230 Walmart stores nationwide launched the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign today, with a total of 588 Walmart stores in 27 states joining in the coming weeks. A short video message, available here, will play at select checkout locations to remind shoppers to contact local law enforcement to report suspicious activity.

Over the past five months, DHS has worked with its federal, state, local and private sector partners, as well as the Department of Justice, to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign and Nationwide SAR Initiative to communities throughout the country—including the recent state-wide expansions of the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign across Minnesota and New Jersey. Partners include the Mall of America, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Amtrak, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, sports and general aviation industries, and state and local fusion centers across the country.

In the coming months, the Department will continue to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign nationally with public education materials and outreach tools designed to help America’s businesses, communities and citizens remain vigilant and play an active role in keeping the county safe.

h/t Drudge Report

 

Thirteen O’Clock wonder what, exactly, “other threats” and “suspicious activity” is supposed to mean…

Ministry of Plenty 100% Sure It Will Control Inflation

December 7, 2010

Bernanke Is 100% Sure

From ZeroHedge.com:

I don’t know about you, but I’m not 100% sure about anything. The older I get, the less sure I am about everything. I question things that I was sure were true when I was 25 years old. I’m not sure I’ll wake up in the morning. I’m not sure I’ll survive my commute to work. That is why I was flabbergasted last night as I watched Scott Pelley interview Ben Bernanke on 60 Minutes.

As a side note, boy this show has gone downhill. In the old days of real journalism, Mike Wallace would have scorched Ben Bernanke, pointing out his phenomenal ability to be wrong or clueless on every financial issue the country has faced in the last 10 years. Today, Pelley underhands softball questions to Bernanke and never challenges him. It was a pathetic display of journalism.

Below is the dialogue that made me almost fall off my chair:

Pelley: Is keeping inflation in check less of a priority for the Federal Reserve now?
Bernanke: No, absolutely not. What we’re trying to do is achieve a balance. We’ve been very, very clear that we will not allow inflation to rise above two percent or less.
Pelley: Can you act quickly enough to prevent inflation from getting out of control?
Bernanke: We could raise interest rates in 15 minutes if we have to. So, there really is no problem with raising rates, tightening monetary policy, slowing the economy, reducing inflation, at the appropriate time. Now, that time is not now.
Pelley: You have what degree of confidence in your ability to control this?
Bernanke: One hundred percent.

The hubris in this statement is breathtaking. The U.S. economy is a complex interaction of thousands of variables and is intertwined with the policies and actions of hundreds of other countries throughout the world. No one has a handle on the worldwide economy and no model can predict anything with any amount of accuracy. And still, this pompous professor from Princeton who has never worked a day in his life in the real world is 100% SURE that HE knows what will happen and when it will happen. I’m sure his track record of predictions and analysis will give you comfort in this statement:

“We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think what is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize, might slow consumption spending a bit. I don’t think it’s gonna drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though.” – 7/1/2005

“Housing markets are cooling a bit. Our expectation is that the decline in activity or the slowing in activity will be moderate, that house prices will probably continue to rise.” – 2/15/2006

March 28th, 2007 – Ben Bernanke: “At this juncture . . . the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime markets seems likely to be contained,”

May 17th, 2007 – Bernanke: “While rising delinquencies and foreclosures will continue to weigh heavily on the housing market this year, it will not cripple the U.S.”

June 20th, 2007 – Bernanke: (the subprime fallout) “will not affect the economy overall.”

continued..

What Do You Get for a $59.2 Billion Dept of Ed Budget?

December 7, 2010

The fiscal year 2009 Dept of Education budget was $59.2 BILLION. And what did all that money buy us? Not much.

Teens in U.S. Rank 25th on Math Test, Trail in Science, Reading

Fifteen-year-old students in the U.S. ranked 25th of 34 countries on an international math test and scored in the middle of the pack in science and reading, raising concerns the U.S. isn’t prepared to succeed in the global economy.

Teenagers from South Korea and Finland led in almost all academic categories on the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment, according to the Paris-based Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, which represents 34 countries. U.S. students ranked 17th in science and 14th in reading. The U.S. government considers the OECD test one of the most comprehensive measures of international achievement.

The results show that U.S. students must improve to compete in a global economy, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said yesterday in a telephone interview. The Obama administration is promoting national curriculum standards and a revamping of teacher pay that stresses performance, rather than credentials and seniority.

“The brutal fact here is there are many countries that are far ahead of us and improving more rapidly than we are,” Duncan said. “This should be a massive wakeup call to the entire country.”

continued…

Naturally, the government response is to spend MORE money and give themselves MORE power. But doesn’t the 30+ year history of the federal dept of education prove that it is positively made of FAIL?

Abolish DOE at the federal level. Give control of the schools back to the individual states and local communities. Save billions of dollars and bring real learning back to the schools. After all, a mind is a terrible thing to waste, right?