H.R. 347

3 March 2012 06:59 pm
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An email to my alleged representative, Congressman John Lewis, (D)
What were you thinking in not speaking out against this bill which many are concerned is designed to specifically outlaw lawful and important protests in cities and near conventions? How did this sail through without notice and make its way to the president for signature?
Your historic work in the civil rights movement would not have been possible under laws such as this. Protestors are already subject to arrest by local authorities at their whim and are already being jailed for their decisions to speak up and protest. These arrests are slowly working they way through the courts for recent protests and many are being overturned. 
Why would we need or want a Federal law and prison terms for peaceful protestors, any where, ever?
I am deeply disappointed in you and you honored peers and I'd not thought that possible after some of the unconstitutional authoritarian garbage you have recently passed without reading. This is a new low.

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So far this week I've (as have a hundred other people in the headers) gotten mail forwards of different political rants from two different people with a note of smug outrage aimed at the opposing side, and overall at "the press". Some of this will blow over in a few weeks, one hopes ...

To get the facts out of the way: Iraq had programs to develop weapons of mass destruction. Sen. Obama got lots of campaign donations from quasi-governmental financial institutions. Pres. Clinton signed the law that completed the dismantling of the legal protections for the financial industry that were assembled after the last round of this (aka The Great Depression)**. Journalists and publications have their own biases. No surprises there for anyone, we hope.

None of this magically makes Pres. (G. W.) Bush a good president, invading Iraq a great idea, or the financial crisis we have created the fault of either party in particular. It doesn't make Gov. Palin a reasonable choice for a vice-presidential candidate either. (Not even for the Republicans.) Or either the Cartoon News Network or Fox News a good choice for your sole "news" source.

And in partial rebuttal to Mr Card's recent rant: If anyone actually believes that the Republicans are solely responsible for creating the financial crisis ... ... ... even Wikipedia can disabuse them of that notion quickly given a chance. Also, "the press" is/are biased as is every individual who writes much of anything, especially about politics. Especially including Mr Card who I am singling out here because I sometimes agree with his political rantings despite his bias of monotheism.( Apparently this week he is using Roe as a bludgeon against judicial activism ... *wince* no winners in that fight.) Don't like what people write? Write your own. You could even put it on the Internet, I hear.

Now then. An argument of the form "Because a reporter biased to your side said something that was wrong, my side is right" is at best an ad hominem on a straw man, a double fallacy!
Without taking up moral relativism I can assure everyone that there are no right answers in the current political landscape, particularly not on the US Presidential ballot. It is in the best interest of the Parties and demonstrably not in anyone else's to keep trying to divide the world (or the electorate) into two camps. Please don't buy into this and please try to bring the hype and rhetoric under control.

** Ref http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass-Steagall and thanks to [livejournal.com profile] folk for that link.
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So get your buckets ready folks, because in just a few week we'll have another chance to throw them overboard with the rest for the ballast. Sing with me now:

Throw the bastards out!

No one who voted for the (sic) USA PATRIOT Act or this steaming pork laden turd needs to grace their seats in Washington ever again. Particularly if you are disgusted with the state of the US political system and weren't planning on risking a trip to the voting booth ... please reconsider and turn up to turn them out!

All you have to do is show up and push the buttons not labeled Incumbent, and you'll be part of the solution, and won't that feel better?

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I think the most dangerous blow was that, once driving back to Alpharetta from Norcross with the gas we passed stations in Alpharetta that now had gas (although they did not on our first pass by them).

Next most awful was the Shell at Jimmy Carter and Buford Highway? that was lit up, had numbers on the signs, no sacks on the pumps .. but the pumps were switched off and their were no humans in evidence.

Skipping the rest, I would like to congratulate QuikTrip for their honest and helpful behaviour in this manufactured crisis. I did not encounter any QT that was dishonest or gouging (all were charging 3.97). Of the three Shell stations I interacted with in the first part of this week, one was fine, one vacant, and the third (just west of 400 at Holcomb Bridge) was gouging, charging 4.50/gallon rather than the 4.19 on the sign. BPs have been out of gas entirely, save for the one whose malfunctioning pump prompted the adventure.

In other news, several of you have linked to a map of how the US Congressional districts voted on the "bailout". It is here in the New York Times. Maybe it's just the volume of data, but I can't make any useful inferences from this piece of abstract art. Has anyone else done better?
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cat >> fix_economy.rb && ruby -w fix_economy.rb

investment_banks.find_all do |bank| bank.has_requested_federal_bailout_money?
    unless bank.ceo.already_in_prison? or bank.ceo.dead?

while Congress.dads_wallet_open?
  set_price(:unleaded_gasoline, 2.00)
  ship_goods_to(:gas, :here)

appraisers.find_all do |liar| liars.committed_fraud?

mortgage_holders.find_all do |signer| signer.lied?

government = executive_branch + legislative_branch
government.each do |officeholder|

p 'Problem solved. Please return to economic and political norms.'  
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I'm still trying to compose a thoughtful and useful response to [livejournal.com profile] mangosteen's recent pondering.

Unfortunately, amidst that, I tried to look up some writings about the state of US politics in OSC's rant column. And have since read his latest, which has upset me (Perhaps the labour situation at work and Steve Jobs plotting against us have me in a political mood?). Thus:

Obama's Real Religion as explained by Orson Scott Card, award-winning science fiction author, noted religionist, and ornery cuss.

I'll wait to make my comments on his ideas until you've all had a chance to read it fresh.

I'll point out that familiarity with Michael Crichton's State of Fear or David Brin's Earth could prove helpful is digesting OSC's remarks. I've read both.

On a lighter note, but perhaps more immediately useful:

How Not to Get Your Ass Kicked By the Police, a sort educational film narrated by Chris Rock has found it's way to GoogleTube

Oh, and I almost forgot. Now who is the Smiler and who is the Beast, mm?
adric: (writing)

Data < Information < Knowledge < Wisdom

Censorship and dishonesty both serve the same goal of corrupting and disrupting the flow of data, without which we do not get new information, cannot form new knowledge, and will move no closer to wisdom.

Life is a series of choices, made with the data, information, knowledge, and wisdom available at the time. Don't you want (your children) to have the most and best of these available for every decision?

Data is raw, unfiltered, disorganized. Information is filtered, organized. Knowledge is tested, disprovable. And wisdom ? Wisdom is the result of the choices you already made and the consequences thereof.

This post brought to you by seething anger at a few so-called parents on the Internets. I really hate people sometimes. See links in previous few posts for ample upsetting material. Comments welcome.
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"Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power."
-- Ben Franklin, http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin

"Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia"
-- Ministry of Truth radio address, in George Orwell's novel 1984 : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four. As noted in the WP article, the announcer changes the name of the eternal enemy halfway through an address.

I'm a bit behind on my Escape Pod, but this one seems to be on the same topic: http://escapepod.org/2007/08/23/ep120-the-sundial-brigade/

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