Monday, August 29, 2011

Perry, Bush, and Beer

It was said that when Dubya ran for president, he was the kind of guy that people felt they'd enjoy having a beer with. If that's the case, then does that make Rick Perry the loudmouth at the bar telling you how many beers he has had and maintaining that he still isn't drunk?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

H.R. 1981 , and your online privacy

HR 1981 is a bill that is called the "Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act" but could be more accurately titled the "Internet Power Grab Act". It requires ISPs to store all their customers' information such as name, address, phone number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, websites visited etc. for 18 months. This is done under the pretense of catching child pornographers by basically treating everyone who has a computer like they could be one.

I'm hearing a fair amount of opposition from both sides of the aisle on this one, and sadly support for it as well. If this bill bothers you as much as it does me, call/write/email your representative and Senators and tell them how you feel.

Here's a video summary:


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Democrat-Gazette disses Egypt (and Turkey too).

    Tuesday's issue of the Dem-Gaz had a stunningly pessimistic editorial about the trial of Mubarak in Egypt, and about Egypt's future as a whole. Of course it delved into their raging "Muslim Brotherhood is going to take over Egypt" hard-on that is seemingly shared by every right wing commentator in existence.

  They pointed to Mubarak's being in a cage as if that had some sort of inherent significance, ignoring the fact that the use of the cage in the courtroom is commonplace in the region (and even in Italy, France, and Germany when a particularly violent defendant is on trial). They even titled their piece "Lion in a cage: Hosni Mubarak on exhibit". References to the French Revolution were also made, and the whole thing was enough to make the reader believe that the writer expected guillotines in the street at any moment.

   Look, I don't dig the Muslim Brotherhood. Their presence in Egypt is unsettling. But they will have some sort of role in whatever government Egypt ends up having. We can deal with it, or we can freak out over it. If one reads the Economist the situation doesn't seem nearly as bleak as the Dem-Gaz's editorial would have you believe, but still very much up in the air.

  An article in the same issue dealt with Turkey as an example for the region. Of course if one read the Dem-Gaz's Mubarak LionMan editorial or whatever you want to call it, you would think that an Egypt headed in the direction of Turkey would be a scary prospect indeed. They described Turkey as a place that is is slowly heading the way of a theocracy. Meanwhile a poll in the aforementioned issue of the Economist addressed the percentages of Muslims that support harsh punishments like whipping for theft, stoning for adultery, and the death penalty for leaving Islam. Of all the Muslim countries mentioned Egypt had the highest percentages in favor of such punishments, hovering around 80% support. Turkey on the other hand saw the lowest percentages in favor of any Muslim country on the list, less than 20%.

  I understand 20% is still too much, but if Egypt were going to head any direction I would be pretty pleased if it was Turkey's.