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Exit ArchiveArchive for the "Politics" Category

Thanks to an Ars Technica article, I got a bit sidetracked today.

Two bills have been introduced, one in the Senate and one in the House, that prevent the FCC from “regulating the Internet.” The fake front argument is that “no one wants the government regulating the Internet!” Because, you see, it’s so much better to leave that regulation in the hands of the people who provide the service in the first place. I hope you’re not missing the subtle sarcasm there.

These bills are really meant to allow your Internet provider to filter, restrict, or censor Internet content as they see fit if they feel it is in the best interest of… themselves. The argument that the companies need to do these things to protect their systems, their businesses, and the economy of the universe at large are so retardedly illogical and false that it gets me fuming. You could smoke gouda on my head.

The Senate bill S. 1836 by our friend John McCain and the House bill H. R. 3924 by some hack legislator named Marsha Blackburn (I base her hack status solely on this bill) are eye-rollingly named: “Internet Freedom Act of 2009″ and “Real Stimulus Act of 2009,” respectively.

Internet Freedom Act, Mr. McCain? If you must believe that a handful of greedy douche bags with profits as a sole motivator are in need of freedom, fine go ahead. It must mean you’re ignorant or a complete douche yourself.

If the providers get their way, within the next decade, I guarantee you (really, it’s a guarantee), we’ll see limitations on our Internet access. “We have to limit the speed because speed is expensive and you don’t want to pay $400 a month for speed, now, do you?” “We have to limit P2P access because it’s stealing the Internet from others who need it!” “We have to make sure you don’t download .m4v files over 200Kb because, hey, we’re not here for your convenience!” Whatever the arguments end up being, I’m absolutely certain Time Warner will make sure I am not able to get fast download speeds from sites they deem “hostile to Time Warner’s interests.”

I am so pissed at this, I wrote to my congressfolk! You can do it, too. You can find your Senator here, at the top right of the page, and you can find your Representative here, at the top left. Write them if net neutrality is important to you. It should be, unless you’re a greedy douche bag.

* * * * * *

My e-mail to Henry Waxman:

I am flabbergasted at Representative Marsha Blackburn’s irrelevantly- and deceptively-titled Real Stimulus Act of 2009 (H. R. 3924).

It is ignorant to believe that cable companies and telcos have the true interests of their customers at heart when it comes to making sure we are all allowed to access what we want when we want on the Internet. These companies have to be TOLD that it will never be okay to limit our access. Money will always be the excuse for why speed has to be throttled, or why the amount of data we can download every month has to be limited, or why certain kinds of files have to be discriminated against.

We should all appreciate the money it’s taken to install the infrastructure capable of bringing such a phenomenon as the Internet into our lives (though it lags behind much of the rest of the technologically-blessed world), but claiming “too much” Internet will hurt profits and the economy is an insulting and specious position.

Real stimulus is letting the Internet continue to be an open, unburdened frontier, passing all data through at maximum possible speeds at all times. Business is not capable of monitoring itself, only the FCC can do so.

Please vote against H. R. 3924 and work to convince others of your colleagues to do the same.

Thank you!

I love this little animated GIF. I have no idea who made it, but I thank Michelle for sending it to me.

I made it click-to-play so the looping wouldn’t drive people nuts. But it’s so cute, I don’t know who’d be driven nuts by it. I could watch them celebrate over smoothies for hours.

I took place in my first demonstration Saturday, meeting downtown with about 11,999 others to protest the passage of Prop 8 in the recent election. I just now got to reading coverage in the Los Angeles Times, and I can’t believe how Prop 8 supporters have gotten even more hateful. Take this, for instance, reprinted from the Times:

“They can protest all they like, and it doesn’t change the fact that Prop. 8 has passed and the election is now over,” said Frank Schubert, manager for the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign.

There were many religious signs at the protest, most of them being held by people who were obviously religious themselves. “The same Bible was used to justify slavery.” “I was born gay. You were taught religion.” Even some “Mormon Against 8″ signs. There was a lot of humor, as well.

Again, from the Times: “It’s unfortunate that the ‘No on 8′ campaign has devolved into personal attacks and statements of religious bigotry. If they think this is going to help their cause long term, they might want to consider a new strategy.”

It’s unfortunate? Hypocrite! The Yes on 8 campaign was nothing but personal attacks and statements of religious bigotry. Oh, such a twister of words. It’s devious, untrue, and bordering on evil. It’s definitely hate. It makes my skin crawl. Well, when these supporters of segregation end up burning in their hell with those who strung up black people in trees and those kept women from being able to vote, perhaps then they’ll think twice about their treatment of their fellow man.

(Click the pictures to see larger versions. I’ll be putting more pictures of the protest in my gallery soon.) (UPDATE: I did not!)

Ha ha ha ha! Ha HA ha ha ha! HA ha HA HA HA!

I don’t want to post the illustration at which I’m laughing because it’s copyrighted, but you can go see it here.

This is an intelligent, non-partisan, thoughtful, brief explanation of why conservatism has strayed, and why Obama can be seen as this election’s only attractive candidate.

D Magazine: “A Conservative for Obama”

Below is a link to a series of photos of Barack Obama, from October 2006 to the end of the Democratic convention in Denver. They were taken by Callie Shell, who traveled with him during his campaign.

Looking at the pictures and reading Callie’s words, you can believe, for once, that this politician is a real human being. The picture of Obama cleaning up after himself at the ice cream parlor, as well as the picture of his worn-out shoe soles that he had already had replaced once, make me very, very excited that tomorrow may bring someone to the White House that I can truly support and like.

Callie Shell’s Obama Photos

(Keep clicking on Show More Images to see them all.)

Want a good read, and confirmation of why Obama must be elected President over McCain? Then head on over to The New Yorker, whose endorsement of Obama is stated with intelligence and eloquence. These are the arguments that have to be made to those who think America’s okay after the last eight years, and that McCain will be an effective, healing leader.

Thank you thank you thank you, Jon Stewart.

It is to be expected that conservatives would reverse the spin once Palin was chosen, but it still does not make it palatable. It makes me seethe, really.

Here are some very funny faux McCain bits, courtesy of 23/6. Enj— I mean, have fun!

First, McCain’s Voice Mail to Palin Leaked to Press.

Then, Advice for the Big Speech.

I waited until late to write my weekly LFTI blog post. And it shows!

Let’s hope Obama does not pull this kind of procrastination while writing his speech for Thursday. Then we’ll all be doomed!

I had never heard about the four boxes. Here’s a great example of how we’ve exhausted three in regards to this warrantless wiretapping thing. This wiretapping issue got me so angry last week (here’s why), the fourth box would have looked mighty tempting. As Robb said at Denny’s on Sunday, repeating what so many of us have said so often since 2000, “What does it take for people to say, ‘Hang on a minute here…’?”

(Four boxes link found via Daring Fireball)

Joe Lieberman. Fighter for freedom! Defender of American values! Unless he doesn’t like you. Read here about Lieberman asking Google to remove all YouTube videos from radical Islamist organizations.

Google’s response is logical and considered. Thank goodness in this crazy age of radicalism on all sides that one company can be a voice for reason and—

Oh. Wait. Google, at the request of the Indian authorities, turned over information about a man who posted vulgar things about a politician? So much for that. I wonder what adhering to China’s laws will cause Google to do

Whatever Google does, I hope Joe Lieberman stops doing anything. Really, this man’s a lunatic. You can trust that I will refuse to take down this post if he sends me an official letter of complaint.

 

The California Supreme Court ruling yesterday to allow same-sex marriages in the state was an overdue move ahead for sanity and common sense. The usual round of knob-heads who think it’s their business to get in other people’s business believe quite the opposite.

Knob-heads. They have ruined the country over the last 7 years. Now, granted, every generation thinks the country’s been on a road to ruin ever since it began (back in the 1950s, if you believe some people), but I think backwards sliding on social issues is a great sign of a country being ruined. Two steps forward, three steps back.

So what do I want to say to these knob-heads? I want to say what Fake Steve Jobs said today in his post about Obama and Silicon Valley. The second paragraph is a wonderful tirade, the kind of thing I’d love to say. So I’ll link to it instead and let my own voice be heard!

No, that is not me making fun of Japanese. On the contrary! It’s… well, not on the contrary. I’m not even sure why I used that phrase. I just know I’m not making fun of the Japanese language or people. I wear a Chococat bracelet, for God’s sake!

All I want to say is that there’s a lot of talk going on about the fonts Obama and Clinton and McCain are using in their political campaigns. I don’t have the energy to post all the links here (see previous post regarding not getting things done), mostly because there are so very many. But here’s the one that got me started on this post in the first place (via Daring Fireball, of course).

What I thought might be both fun and helpful was posting snapshots of the three main candidates’ websites here for easy comparison. So I did. This is what their homepages look like today. Click on any of the images to see them full-size. (They are large PNGs, so they may load slowly.)

Let’s start with McCain.

John McCain\'s Website on April 22, 2008

Boy, that’s a fun site! All the wonderful colors! The cheer! The optimism! The Optima! (And the Gill Sans and the Myriad and the Futura and the Trajan and… ACK!) If John McCain were an investment firm, this would be a great website design. Or, perhaps, a great start to a website design.

How does Hillary’s look?

Hillary Clinton\'s Website on April 22, 2008

Hmm. How… cute. Is she running for district council? And I hear she just recently put a new font on her site. Is that… Gotham? Copycat! Charlatan! Lemming! Oh, wait, it’s Avenir? Well, then, she’s definitely not copying what’s-his-face. The guy with the funny name. What is it again?

Barack Obama\'s Website on April 22, 2008

Ah, yes, that’s right. Obama. Well, now, this is a site! Look at the airiness! The beauty! The hope! The change! The fonts! Gotham! And I can not for the life of me find the name of the serif and script fonts, but they are fantastic. Look how well the script and Gotham work together! Now if only HTML 5 were in effect, we wouldn’t have to put up with Helvetica and Georgia in the text boxes.

Most pundits have agreed that Obama’s branding team knows what it’s doing. I have to agree. That is one professional, good-looking, and effective site. It’s yummy. I’ll take a double scoop in a waffle cone, please.

 

Any dumbass who supports the marriage of church and state should be given gentle daily reminders of why that is a horrible idea.

Here’s today’s: “Afghan Student Sentenced to Death After Downloading Report.” And we “liberated” this place? Good job, us! We rock!

Here is a very interesting New York Times op-ed from 1992, written by the recent winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Doris Lessing.

“Questions You Should Never Ask a Writer”

A tidbit:

Powerful ideas affecting our behavior can be visible only in brief sentences, even a phrase—a catch phrase. All writers are asked this question by interviewers: “Do you think a writer should…?” “Ought writers to…?” The question always has to do with a political stance, and note that the assumption behind the words is that all writers should do the same thing, whatever it is. The phrases “Should a writer…?” “Ought writers to…?” have a long history that seems unknown to the people who so casually use them. Another is “commitment,” so much in vogue not long ago. Is so and so a committed writer?

Next time you hear a press release from a company or politician saying that they are “committed to blah blah blah,” ask yourself what that means. Maybe it’s a different context than Doris mentions here, but indeed, the phrase “committed to” implies a point of view without truly committing to it. “We are committed to finding ways to end racism” is not that same as “We are finding ways to end racism.” The first is, I’d say, entirely meaningless, though it imparts import and involvement.

Our current American regime is expert at using language in this “Communist” manner.

I’m here at LAX, waiting to board a plane for Denver for my 20th high school reunion. What better time to post a link to an interview with Kip Hawley, head of the TSA? It is a good interview, with some no-nonsense questions.

Now, when can we get those yummy meals back that we all used to enjoy so much?

Here are some interesting bits from the Web thing today.

First: Translations of the Japanese Get a Mac ads. Just in case I haven’t talked about these ads enough.

Second: An AP reporter gets zapped by the Air Force’s “pain gun.” How scary is this pain gun concept, anyway? Yikes! I suppose the intellectual question would be, is it worse to be shot with a physical bullet, or by a spooky, unseen force? The ignorant, liberal question would be, why should anyone have to be shot at all?

Third: The recent vicinity of George Orwell’s former flat is currently being surveilled by no less than 32 cameras. George’s flat was number 27B. The name of the Wired blog I got this from is called 27B Stroke 6. It’s named after the form in Brazil with which Sam tortures the Central Services grunts—and vice-versa. And now I have an even larger appreciation for the brilliance of the Brazil screenplay.

This is quite priceless:

While there might be much to say about the results and the fallout of yesterday’s elections, a quick, concise, amusing picture with a geeky Mac twist is all that’s needed.