Archive for government

Help Ron Wyden Stop SOPA and Protect IP

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2011 by rottenart

There’s no two ways about it: these laws are terrible. Taken together, the bills would allow the government to blacklist and shut down any website even thought to contain copyrighted content and it would allow criminal action against those who host such content, even unknowingly. How bad is it? Bad enough for Google, Apple and Yahoo to oppose, for one. Even the New York Times and LA Times newspapers have come out against them.

Luckily, it appears that a campaign to stop the bills seems to be having an effect. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has led the charge against these intrusions into online privacy but he still needs your help:

“The other side, all of these lobbies, the content industry, is enormously powerful… They’ve spent hundreds of millions over the last few years in politics. They are very, very connected.”

[…]

“[This lobby] has a history of making statements that are anti-innovation. It was not long ago when the motion picture industry said in a widely-viewed public forum that the VCR was to the movie industry what the Boston strangler was to women home alone. So, we’re up to a very savvy, very well financed lobby, and suffice it to say, these kinds of issues are a bit technical until people see what’s really at stake, which is a free and fair Internet.”

How can you help? For starters, go to StopCensorship.org or FightForTheFuture.org and sign a petition. Then, you can head over to Congress.org to find your senators’ and representatives’ contact information. Give them a call, write them a letter or (least effectively) shoot them an e-mail. Let them know that you’re opposed to censorship of the internet.

This is a pretty crucial issue for all of us who not only use the internet but create content too. Help stop SOPA and PIPA!

 

 

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Big Government is Bad, Right?

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by rottenart

An interesting catch over at digby’s blog: did you know that Alabama has its own Dept. of Homeland Security? Not just a couple of officers, mind you, but a cabinet level agency on top of their state and local police forces, FBI offices, and Federal DHS offices. As digby notes, it’s not surprising that everyone went a little nuts in 2001, creating an entirely new government bureaucracy from whole cloth (with a 2010 budget of nearly $100 billion, by the by) but the extent to which this federal system was mimicked by the  states is staggering. As this WaPo special report lays out, this is a very lucrative and extremely comprehensive network that essentially does the work that the federal agency already does and still manages to find very little to do.

What’s even more striking is how little attention this receives and how it explains things like this:

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If You Need it Explained…

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2011 by rottenart

…then  here you go! From the magnificent Story of Stuff website:

Yeah, Buddy!!

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2011 by loudmouthliberal

With the extreme , wide range of choices for the Republican nomination, the candidates are a subject I have stayed as far away from as possible.  It is not probable , to me, for any of the front-runners to earn the nomination (okay, maybe the nomination) as they are all far right Christian conservatives with little grasp of the average American, have little stability of view-point, offer scandalous voting records as opposed to their current views, and are environmental science denying, corporate puppets.  I know this can be said about many politicians, but with where we are as a nation right now, I don’t see us handing one of these thugs the White House.  Except for two… maybe. And while these two’s views on issues aren’t exactly my own on a lot, listening to them is like a breath of fresh air across the wild, overgrown Republican field.

Now, neither are probable candidates, mind you. They’re not even showing in the polls.  One has not even been allowed to debate. But what a mistake that is for the right! I really think that one of them is probably their only real chance at beating Obama. Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m Obama 2012 all the way.  However, I would like for the two best men for the job to be running in November. Actually, the four best

That being said, my first pick for a reasonable candidate is Jon Huntsman. Unfortunately, too many Americans are unaware of the fact that America is not, in fact,  a Christian nation and that it is actually unconstitutional to use one’s religion against them to deny them the presidency. In short, I’m afraid, the fact that he is a Mormon will not help his cause in the least. If you combine that with the fact that he doesn’t get much media coverage and has little name recognition compared to other candidates… fat chance.

Now comes the real disappointment… the lack of presidential nomination promise for the Roemer campaign!! I’m telling you, what he is selling is right where the people are headed and what the country needs right now if we’re talking about getting the money out of politics and holding corporations and banks accountable. The problem with Buddy is his very message is to his own detriment with the way our electorate process works right now.

No PAC money. No corporate sponsors. $100 donations from the public. That’s it. Both a blessing and a curse, as it’s impossible to win an election against the kind of money the others have without having that kind of money yourself; Which is pretty impossible to get without a corporate sponsor. It’s a vicious cycle. Also, he’s the only candidate so far to make an appearance and spend time with the protestors at the Occupation. Pretty impressive, if you ask me.

We have several major issues we need to be working on as a people and will need to do so indefinitely. Unfortunately, we can only get there if we correctly express our voices at the polls, as much as we can in our daily lives, and whenever the opportunity forces itself into our consciousness, such as OWS.  Since Citizens United, corporate money in politics has been at the top of that list. It also expresses the necessity of taking a good look at the SCOTUS, and working to reform that and other corrupt branches/agencies/policies that work against the will and prosperity of the people. The 99%.

It really is a  shame how we got here. It is a tragedy where we are. And it’s gonna be a hell of a  journey where we’re headed.  Giving in is not an option. Giving up is not a choice. It’s a long, hard road ahead and we are only just beginning. If everyone, everyday, makes a conscious effort to make a difference, we’ll be there in no time.

It Stands to Reason We’d Get the Bill Wrong Too

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2011 by rottenart

It’s much, much worse than we thought. Keep in mind, the $4 Trillion long-term number is also leaving out such important metrics such as:

  • Future payments for interest on the debt from 2011 forward.
  • Unfunded costs that American[s] paid to care for their war wounded family member[s] (one in five of the cases of serious wounding has this effect).
  • The costs of the CIA Predator and Reaper drone surveillance and strike program in Afghanistan. This “black” budget item, which included the costs of the drones, the operators, fuel, and weapons, is not known publicly.
  • The promised money, yet to be paid, for reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq.

…along with some other important items. Here’s the entire report [PDF] written by Neta C. Crawford and Catherine Lutz. It’s a pretty sorry state of affairs all around. Given the low-ball estimates when we began this great colonial adventure compared to what this report outines, there’s every reason to believe that the numbers only get bleaker from here.

Why Do They Hate Working People?

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2011 by rottenart

I never in my life thought I’d live to see the day when lawmakers were as blatant about their contempt for working people as this.  Ohio is obviously not alone in the list of states facing a full out assault from an increasingly radical and unpopular GOP. What’s really interesting is that halfway through 2011 and with a Republican presidential primary just heating up, right-wing state legislatures show no sign of abating.

If this is what Republicans think the voters care about, gutting the minimum wage and attacking teachers for their pensions, then the choice couldn’t be more clear. If weren’t lucky enough to be born a millionaire and have to work for a living, why on earth would you associate yourself with a party that so obviously hates you?

Meanwhile, In Spain…

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2011 by rottenart

Police are beating protesters (WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO!). Funny how you won’t hear about this in the Mostly Useless Media. The protesters, by the way, are demonstrating against high unemployment and the ongoing financial crisis hitting the middle and lower classes.

Wait a minute! That sounds like a place I know!