Posts tagged 'politics'

Obama Administration Comes Out Against SOPA, PIPA

I feel pretty strongly about this. I won't vote for a politician who backs SOPA or PIPA:

Obama Administration Comes Out Against SOPA, PIPA | TPM Idea Lab:Even more promising for critics of the bills, the Administration came down firmly against one of the most vehemently opposed portions of the bills — the part that would give the government the power to force Internet Service Providers to stop loading overseas webpages accused of piracy. Under the original versions of SOPA and PIPA, ISPs would be required to change their Doman Name System settings to block sites accused of piracy, a measure that critics said would essentially break the Internet and make it more insecure.

Latest Links #42

Carolina blue

My country and even my state have made me damn proud this week. Congratulations to President-elect Obama and thanks to all the folks who worked so hard for change over the past couple of years.

Map of USA with NC in blue

Happy birthday USA

And please get well soon.

Update: I couldn't look at that picture of George any longer, so I took it down.

Jesus Camp

It's been in my Netflix queue for a long time and it finally arrived this week. Jesus Camp (see also Wikipedia, IMDB) is a documentary about an evangelical Christian bible camp that indoctrinates children with far right-wing and anti-science teachings. It's an excellent documentary and well worth seeing if you want to understand what's going on in the deep red areas of the USA. It's truly scary stuff, but church folk aren't all like that -- check out Evolution Sunday coming this weekend to a pulpit near you.

Pundit's Monitor

Looks like Elias had a fun weekend creating Pundit's Monitor, a political blog monitoring tool using a heap of Java tech: the Nutch search engine/web crawler, Burton's TailRank FeedParser for auto-discovery and ROME for feed parsing (though he doesn't mention that in the post). 

Transparency now

John Robb: No, the HUGE problem, the elephant in the room, isn't leaks. Rather, it is in a complete lack of transparency. As we have seen again and again, secrecy prevents the full analysis of alternatives. It shuts down debate and prevents the qualification of sources. It is also the crutch of bad and/or nefarious management.

Tim Bray's blasphemy

Tim Bray: To all the excellent Christians and Jews and Muslims out there: I know you exist. But you’re vanishing from view behind the cloud of mucky dust being raised by your lunatic fringe; as of right now, in the twenty-first century, when someone claims to be deeply religious, that’s grounds for suspicion of bigotry, greed, and a predisposition to homicide. Which is one reason my little boy isn’t being taken to church, for the moment.
I wish I had the guts to be so brutally honest on my blog. Tim's right on. And I'll add this: if we don't curb the crazies, we're not going to make it through this century.

Happy holidays everybody!

Personally, I love the fact that by saying "happy holidays" I can wish good people well and at the same time irritate the assholes of the world.

Red state rebels

Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina: NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Town Council that the Council hereby petitions the Bush Administration and Congress to immediately end the war in Iraq, re-establish a progressive tax code, curtail end favoritism toward corporate interests, develop responsible policies focused on renewable energy, and commit to priorities that reflect the common good.
According to Sally Greene, "the Town Council enthusiastically and unanimously passed" the resolution.

Evolution is an intelligent design

Why do the creationists insist on calling God a dumbass?
Don't they realize: evolution is an intelligent design.

RackSpace vs. the jackboots?

From the EFF statement: "Rackspace may claim to provide its customers with 'fanatical support,' but in this case it looks like it was more interested in serving the government," added Kevin Bankston, EFF attorney and Equal Justice Works/Bruce J. Ennis Fellow. "Despite these new revelations, a key question remains: Did government agents intentionally mislead the web host into thinking it had to hand over complete copies of the Indymedia servers?"

To summarize the story: when the US government requested the server logs for the grassroots media network IndyMedia from internet service provider RackSpace, RackSpace couldn't find the files. So RackSpace handed over IndyMedia's servers. I wonder how the government agents worked their magic? Did they threaten to declare RackSpace an enemy combatant and lock the whole company up without a trial?

Reform the patriot act

And check the Reform the Patriot Act blog and feed. Via Ruby Sinreich.

Amoral entities

Dare Obasanjo: Corporations should not be amoral entities that only exist to generate money. They employ members of a community, they exist as part of community and their actions affect both local and global communities.

Right on Chapel Hill!

My hometown makes me proud and activist bloggers played a part From the News and Observer:

CHAPEL HILL -- They swooped in by the busload to the town they said was filled with "dead churches" that "disregard the Bible," hoping to win over some sinners.

"I came here because I love Chapel Hill," said the Rev. Ron Wood, pastor of Celebration Assembly of God on Weaver Dairy Road and a member of the anti-gay-rights group Called 2 Action.

"I'm an ordained minister, too," he added, referring to several speakers at the Town Council meeting Monday who identified themselves as clergy members. "But I'm not one who believes I have the right to disregard the word of God."

Their message was rejected by the majority of Chapel Hillians who met them at Town Hall with signs, T-shirts and buttons proclaiming their support for gay rights.

It's our fault

The people of America have failed us today: "As Larry says, "It's over. Let it go." Jon is saying, "Don't complain - organize!" Although the previous post about the wacky voting system is interesting, it's unlikely that any sort of recount or technicality will change the fact that today, the people of the United States of America have voted for George Bush. It was close, but the Americans have chosen Bush. It's a sad day, but in a democracy, you get the politicians you deserve/vote for. This was their chance to change their leader and they have failed. For awhile, many of us thought that they had been conned into voting for Bush - that they didn't know he wanted to be a War President. Many people didn't equate the US policies with the people of America. We thought they had made a mistake. Now US policies = US Citizens. You Americans have my sympathies, but it's still your fault.

Please vote and please vote for Kerry

Politically, I'm pretty far left of Kerry. Normally, when I think about voting I think about so called "liberal" issues like equal rights, social safety net, environment, and gun control. This election, I don't have to think about those issues at all to decide who to vote for. This year, there is no choice. Our president lied to us to justify going to war when we did not need to, he ignored the expert planners in our intellience and defense agencies, he mismanaged the war to the point of disaster, and from day one he has been stuck in constant political campaign mode -- unable to admit that he or any of his subordinates made a single mistake. The guy should be thrown out of office, right now. I don't even need to talk about how we are mistreating prisoners in Iraq and Cuba. I don't need to talk about US citizens being denied fair trial. Case closed, but that's just me.

Folks are so polarized this year that I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of convincing you Bush supporters to throw the guy out. Maybe some of your conservative brethren can change your mind. This election, many republicans, conservatives, and former Bush supporters are re-considering their candidate and either endorsing Kerry or refusing to vote for Bush. Here are some of them. If you are planning on voting for Bush, please follow the links and these endoresements in full. (the emphasis below is mine):

The Economist: Invading Iraq was not a mistake. Although the intelligence about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction has been shown to have been flimsy and, with hindsight, wrong [ . . . ] But changing the regime so incompetently was a huge mistake. By having far too few soldiers to provide security and by failing to pay Saddam's remnant army, a task that was always going to be long and hard has been made much, much harder. Such incompetence is no mere detail: thousands of Iraqis have died as a result and hundreds of American soldiers. The eventual success of the mission, while still possible, has been put in unnecessary jeopardy. So has America's reputation in the Islamic world, both for effectiveness and for moral probity.

Scott McConnell, American Conservative magazine: The record, from published administration memoirs and in-depth reporting, is one of an administration with a very small group of six or eight real decision-makers, who were set on war from the beginning and who took great pains to shut out arguments from professionals in the CIA and State Department and the U.S. armed forces that contradicted their rosy scenarios about easy victory.

Andrew Sullivan writing in New Republic magazine: The lack of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq remains one of the biggest blows to America's international credibility in a generation. The failure to anticipate an insurgency against the coalition remains one of the biggest military miscalculations since Vietnam. And the refusal to send more troops both at the beginning and throughout the occupation remains one of the most pig-headed acts of hubris since the McNamara era. I'm amazed that more war advocates aren't incensed by this mishandling of such critical matters. But even a Bush-supporter, like my friend, Christopher Hitchens, has termed it "near-impeachable" incompetence.

And carefully consider this list of Republicans for Kerry in 2004

And this blog which documents Republican Swtichers which includes 42 newspapers (compared to 6 that switched the other way)

And this collection of video ads featuring Real People who voted for George Bush in 2000, but will be voting for Kerry in 2004

Wanna buy some wood?

Was it just me, or was Bush's strategy for tonight's debate to out-shout both his opponent and the moderator?

Throw the bums out!

I've always avoided "controversial" topics such as politics on my blog, but that needs to change and this is important. Russell is right. Get out there and convince somebody to vote for Kerry and Edwards.

The next story.

Recession, terrorism, war, and now an apparently unstoppable and deadly airborne virus called SARS is sweeping the world. I'm ready for some good nows now, please. The story still seems to be in the margins, at least in my part of the world, but I think it might start to push to war off of the front page in the upcoming weeks. The story is popping up in the blogs I read now, particularly Joi Ito's and The Agonist. There are some who think the panic is a bit overblown and I hope they are right.

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