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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Please write your representatives today -- NO to SOPA

Today is a great day to register at www.congress.org.   In one fell swoop, you can send a letter like this to all of your representatives:

Dear ,

The internet has grown into a massive provider of jobs, services, and a richer life experience for people all over the world.  The freedom of communication has created opportunity for poor and rich alike.  There are countless ways for anyone to derive revenue by providing services on the internet. 

Since there are so few rules, a person only has to worry about providing a good service.  The bar for business entry is low.   Commerce on the internet is thriving because of this.  If we increase regulations, fewer people will benefit from commercial activity, this is a simple but absolute fact.  It will be more difficult for the average citizen who you represent to derive revenue.

There are liars among us who claim that they are "losing" money because of the internet and the freedom of exchange of digital media.   This is a ridiculous argument because without the success of the internet, a hugely lower percentage of people would ever even know that their media existed.  Profit in media is derived from audience size.  Which would you rather have, a penny from 5 billion people, or $10 from 100,000 people?   If some businesses are losing money, it is because they need to adapt their business model, NOT because the internet needs to be regulated.

Please, I implore you, protect the freedom that exists on the internet. People in every corner of the world are counting on your opposition to SOPA and PIPA.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Redneck Art?

Worshiping the beer gods?
It is colorful.  It is eye-catching.  Hell, I'd even go so far as to say it's provocative ... or, maybe I'm easily entertained, but I did stop to take a picture.   Some might say it's trash, or maybe a redneck version of a totem pole.  Is it art?  Who am I to judge ... though I must say that I have a preference for angles carved into rock.

My secret garden is kind of an interesting social experiment now.  It's like a little "un-controlled" park.  More have been coming to enjoy this place lately, and I'm happy for that.  Unfortunately, people are freaking messy.  There are beer cans and trash everywhere now.   This is odd to me; people come because the garden is a pretty place to hang out, but people leave their trash everywhere and make it NOT a pretty place anymore.  Oh well, at least I know that if I'm ever homeless and destitute, I can come here for a steady supply of aluminum cans to cash in.

I'd give anything to hear the thought processes that led up to the decorated tree.   "...damn, Bubba-John, this place looks like shit.  We oughtta try fixin' it up a little or somethin'."  "...yeah, that dead tree over there depresses the hell outta me ... it needs some beer-corations."

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ron Paul 2012 - Phone From Home Volunteering

If you really want to get involved in politics this year, please consider joining Ron Paul's phone from home army.  You can sign up for it here:   http://phone.ronpaul2012.com

I just finished my first session.  It's pretty easy, and you can even play games on your laptop while you do it because very few people actually answer the phone.   Most of the time you are just sitting there listening to a phone ring.  I definitely recommend a headset though.   My old elbow got tired pretty quick while holding a flip phone.

I only found 2 people to complete the survey.  One guy was firmly voting for Newt, and another lady was undecided.   I was sad about her because she said that she lost a cousin in Iraq.  She was also firmly convinced that we need to keep Iran from getting nukes.  That made me even more sad because now someone else is going to lose a cousin.   Many more people in Iran are going to lose cousins, and that makes me even more sad.

Couldn't we at least try leaving them alone, and just see if they leave us alone?  I know 9/11 was what got all of this started, but where does it stop?  Someone I think a lot of once said, "If an angry person backhands you up side the head, take a moment to think about why they did that."  It is hard to swallow one's pride and admit that the anger was deserved, but that is the only path to peace.   The world expects nothing less of a strong man, or a strong nation.  We must acknowledge our wrongs, even if we did not personally commit the crimes against others.  America has brought much death to the Middle East over the last few decades; this cannot be denied.

It is time to leave the Middle East.   It does not matter if our armies occupy their lands because of oil or because of our good intentions.  Their people believe that we are there for our own benefit, not theirs.  We can never avoid the conflict of interest or the appearance of evil as long as our troops occupy their soil.  If they bring war to us, we have the right and the duty to defend ourselves.   We do not have the right to bomb a people just because they won't succumb to our will.


You don't ever have to hang up your phone once you start making calls.  It took me a bit to figure that out.   If no one answers, the system will automatically disconnect you and call the next person.  If you get an answering machine, there is a button to click for that.  Then you click 'leave a voice message' when you hear the 'beep'.  The computer gets confused if you hang up, so always let it disconnect you and then it will call the next person.   When you need to take a break, there is a little check box you can click when you confirm the results of the call.