Sunday, February 25, 2007

Net Neutrality

This video nicely explains corporate attempts to turn the internet into a corporate place where only certain voices have access. As it is now, the net is an open, public, equal place where we can all say what we want. Visit and find how to take a stance and keep the internet a public place where all voices have equal access.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Cheneyspere & Fitzgerald

Dog bless Raw Story for keeping a stiff upper lip in the darkest of times. In this story by Brian Beutler Raw Story claims prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is stalking Vice President Cheney, like a wolf in search of a fat arrogant bullfrog. With all due regards to the office of the Vice President, Cheney's blithe participation in the information war surrounding the Plame scandal has seemed like a Very Bad Thing from the start.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Headlines and pacification

"Dems foiled in bid to bash Bush on Iraq"
-Arizona Daily Star headline. Yes, we are just trying to bash Bush. A convenient buzzword that portrays bipartisan efforts to end an invasion begun on false premises as something more akin to a baseless temper tantrum on the part of Democrats. The headline tacked onto this AP story published in the AZ Daily Star backs up Benjamin Whorf's theory that language affects thought.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Apathy and magnetic yellow ribbons

Asylum Street Spankers on complacency.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Molly Ivins

Here is a lady who would kick your ass, who was living proof the pen is mightier than the sword, who would walk in there and say what's what on a daily basis. And she was from Texas, living proof that Texas is not an outpost of moron, shit-for-brains fuckwads.

One of my cousins down there has expressed some concern about this current view of Texas, for which we can thank not Molly, but somebody named George....

Quoting from an Ivins column of July 2005 about the ACLU:
“We suffer the worst attack on this country since Pearl Harbor, and the Bush administration sends the FBI after the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU exists to protect every citizen’s rights as defined in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States. The ACLU works solely through the legal system: It does not advocate violence, terrorism or any other damn thing except the Bill of Rights. Since when is that extremist? … We are living in a time when our government is investigating an organization that stands for the highest and best American ideals.”

BushCo replacing U.S. Attorneys

Getting fired for doing a good job is exactly what happened to a high up Washington state U.S. Attorney. Jon McKay was damn near famous for his job performance. He was highly thought of by judges and everyone else. He was ordered to quit 2 months ago by the Bush Administration. McKay was in line to become a federal circuit court judge but apparently was not a BushCo automatic right wing zealot drone. It's well know BushCo has been packing federal circuit courts across the nation with right wing radicals, and diverting attention by growing a huge crop of rhetorical bullshit about "activist judges" (= any judge who does not tow the tyrannical BushCo party line).

McKay's firing is detailed, to some extent, in this story by AP writer Gene Johnson here in the Seattle Post Intelligencer. The story is deeper, though, as U.S. Attorneys of similar stature across the nation are being dumped by BushCo under a secretive provision slipped into the renewal of the Patriot Act 2 years ago. A notable example is that of Carol Lam, the San Diego U.S. Attorney who was prosecuting the spectacularly corrupt Republican House Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Hm, go figure. How'd that happen?

This article in by Joe Conason details the other firings.

The House of Representatives has taken notice of this typical BushCo boodoggle thought. The chairwoman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, Linda Sanchez, is beginning hearings on BushCo's attempt to end Congress' role in appointment of federal Attorneys.
"No presidential administration - now or in the future - should be allowed to dismantle the important constitutional set of checks and balances to achieve a political agenda."
Go Representative Sanchez!

Also, according the same Raw Story article by Mike Sheehan quoted above, a bill is under consideration that would nullify the slimy Patriot Act provision that allowed BushCo to appoint U.S. Attorneys without Senate oversight.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Using TOR at Bowling Green State

This story, which was posted on the loveable Boing Boing, shows what can happen when you start anonymously using the web at work. A professor got a visit from the campus computer security expert and 2 of the campus police detectives. The trio was chasing an actual wrongdoer but thought the professor's use of the ubiquitous Onion Router (see the EFF's info and download page here) was enough to come and question the professor. They also felt it necessary encourage him to stop using TOR.

A good way to describe The Onion Router, and our current use of the internet, is to point to an obvious analog with postal mail, AKA snail mail. You usually put your letters in an envelope, right? Maybe an envelope made with opaque paper so no one can hold it up to the light and see what's inside? We seal the envelope, too, right? Why do you do this- to simply contain the pages, or because IT'S NOBODY'S FUCKING BUSINESS WHAT YOU DO WITH YOUR MAIL?

We live in an age, thanks to BushCo, where you can become a suspect- a suspect of nothing specific, mind you, for resisting violations of privacy. Furthermore, according to the ACLU, it is currently commonplace for the military and the police to spy on people who belong to peace advocacy and anti-war groups.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Pima County tries to prevent mindless destruction of Davidson Caynon

The Arizona State Land department is committed to the mindless rape of pristine desert wilderness on a grand scale. Its latest effort to allow mining in a wilderness area on the flanks of a 9400 ft. mountain range south of Tucson is a good example of the typical AZ state land department way of doing business.

Most of it seems to center around Mark Winkleman, the department's current commissioner. Since he's entered office there has been a strong push for destruction of parcels of land best left alone. Conservation, environment, quality of life & pollution issues have been consistently ignored by the department in recent years.

The latest development (no pun intended) is detailed in small part here in the Arizona Daily Star. Winkleman and crew have crassly stated that the rape of this part of the desert is nobody's business but the land department's, and that the department is above legal challenges, and presumably, the law. Winkleman is allowing an open pit mine in the middle of a natural high desert area that rises up to the Santa Rita mountains, a lush sky island, part of the Coronado National Forest.

With this fucking moron working for the state of Arizona, it won't be long before we are facing the same kind of environmental devastation that folks in West Virgina are facing with so-called mountaintop removal.

State Trust land was purchased many years ago, to be leased to ranchers and eventually sold, and the money diverted to education in Arizona. However, most state land purchases are now in the middle of wilderness areas or national forests, or have become desert outposts in the midst of massive-scale housing developments.

A great example of the latter is the nationally known 3 square mile mountain biking area known as Fantasy Island. Opposition to the blading and grading of this area has resulted in an official OK to keep about 2/3 of it free of development. This is one fight where Republicans and Democrats came out together in force- mountain biking unites us, the desert unites us, the quality of life we share in Arizona unites us.

After all, true Republicans are in favor of sensible stewardship of the land, and conservation of natural resources. It's the new breed of republicans that's so bent on short term profit and the destruction that results. Everyone should realize that this is the only planet we have, and destroying it, does not, to put it in republican terms, make good economic sense.

A line must be drawn somewhere to stop the wholesale destruction of Arizona's deserts. Whether the sale of State Trust land to developers actually benefits education in Arizona has been the subject of a lot of argument around here. Evidence points to Winkleman and crew being heavily under the influence of developers and other industrial interests that have traditionally contributed to the destruction of Arizona's land.

Law in Arizona states that recreational use of State Trust land OK with a nominally priced 1 year permit. Mountain bikers for years went to the little restored house in downtown Tucson, shelled out their 15 bucks, got the permit and headed toward the mountain biking trail on the east side. A couple weeks ago I went downtown to renew my permit, discovered that the office had been closed down. Yesterday I looked up the new State land office, which is on the top floor of a tall downtown building. Inside the office was a richly paneled desk, deep carpet, and a million dollar view. The glizty receptionist apologized and told me the office no longer issues permits. You have to send the form and the money up to Phoenix now. This takes the place of some folks who used to simply sign and stamp the permit.

This kind of service also represents the new tack of the state land department under Winkleman.

Winkleman, get out. You're not serving Arizona in the least.