ACTA fool!

January 28, 2012

You’ve heard of SOPA and you’ve heard of PIPA. Have you heard of ACTA?  ACTA or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is an international version of SOPA that our man Obama signed back on October 1st, 2011.

ACTA appears to have the stamp of tyranny all over it.  The law is so egregious that it’s independent monitor Kader Arif has resigned stating “The whole process which led to the signature of this agreement: no consultation of the civil society, lack of transparency since the beginning of negotiations, repeated delays of the signature of the text without any explanation given, reject of Parliament’s recommendations as given in several resolutions of our assembly.”

You know it’s bad when the independent monitor resigns.  Other prominent voices have also come out to condemn this legislation.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation has said “If there’s one thing that encapsulates what’s wrong with the way government functions today, ACTA is it.”  The hacktivist collective Anonymous went on the offensive attacking Polish government websites.  They released a tweet stating “”Dear Polish government, we will continue to disrupt and interfere with your government official websites. Do not pass ACTA.”

Criticism has been issued by more mainstream voices as well.  US Rep. Darrell Issa had this to say about ACTA “As a member of Congress, it’s more dangerous than SOPA.  It’s not coming to me for a vote. It purports that it does not change existing laws. But once implemented, it creates a whole new enforcement system and will virtually tie the hands of Congress to undo it.”

As a writer and a former musician I beleive in protecting intellectual property rights.  Having said that we cannot do so at the cost of civil liberties.  Legislation like SOPA and ACTA take it too far.  I would rather risk being plagiarized before we sacrifice the free internet.

NC based photographer Cannie Osbourne of C&O Photography had this to say regarding intellectual property rights “I would go after someone who infringed on my copyright, however ACTA and SOPA take it too far.”


CMPD aka Charlotte’s secret police.

January 27, 2012

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m new on the scene in Charlotte, NC. Since I’ve been here I’ve smelled something rotten. The familiar stench of corruption and oligarchy hangs over the metropolis like a shroud of decadence.

As many of you know Charlotte will be hosting the Democratic National Convention during the week of September 3, 2012. Many have touted the DNC as a boon for the city.

The convention may bring more money into Charlotte, however something much more sinister will follow with it. About a year ago the Charlotte City Council voted to give City Manager Curt Walton absolute authority over DNC contracts.

At first glance this vote appears to be innocuous. Unfortunately this is not the case. The city is slated to spend $25 million on equipment in preparation for the DNC. What exactly are they planning to buy no one knows. These purchases are not going to face a public vote.

Personally I would like to know how this money is going to be spent. The Charlotte Observer is also curious as they have sent a public records request to the CMPD. The Charlotte Police are responding to this request with silence and stone-walling. CMPD deputy chief Harold Medlock had this to say regarding the lack of transparency “All of that speaks to our ops plan, our strategy.”

The CMPDs official company line is that the denizens of Charlotte should get used to being ruled by secrecy. This kind of law enforcement immediately calls to mind other secret police organizations such as the gestapo and the KGB. Not only is this frightening it is also illegal.  According to the Charlotte Observer “N.C. public records law states that city purchases are public record.”

Not one to take the local media’s word at face value I researched the law. The Citizen Media Law Project puts it like this

You can inspect all “public records” of North Carolina’s public agencies. The term “public record” refers to all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, tapes, or electronic data made or received in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 132-1(a).

So how does Charlotte’s elected officials feel about this blatant violation of NC law? They think it’s just dandy. Mayor Anthony Foxx said “I am not bothered by the discretion given to the City Manager unanimously in a vote by the last City Council.  As the Convention draws closer, we will need to be expeditious in decision making.”

City Council member David Howard seems to be asleep at the wheel.  According to him “I definitely don’t remember that vote, but it doesn’t bother me. This (the DNC) is a live moving organism, We should make sure we get this right. If something goes wrong, we won’t care about how we did it.” My response to David is what the fuck. You don’t remember. If something goes wrong you won’t care how. It’s clear to me that Mr. Howard is an idiot.

Someone should tell the mayor that fools rush in. In regards to the oblivious David Howard I think he needs to find a job that he can do. He needs a career with a name tag and a paper hat.




Blind acceptance is a sign of stupid fools who stand in line.

January 25, 2012

When I was growing up in the 90s punk rock had a bit of a revival.  I would listen to punk bands like the Dead Kennedys,  Black Flag, Social Distortion, and of course the Sex Pistols.  I idolized people like Mike Ness and Johnny Rotten.  I was so into punk that I began to play guitar.  In fact I had a one man punk band for a while which is still available at

http://www.myspace.com/phaustband

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBfeaAivVzI

Many of you may be wondering what punk rock has to do with a political blog.  A lot of those bands were very political and had a huge impact on my world view.  Posted below are a few lyrics that stand out.

Social Distortion: Don’t Drag me Down

“You’re eighteen wanna be a man

Your granddaddy’s in the Ku Klux Klan

Taking two steps forward

and four steps back

Gonna go to the White House

and paint it black”

Black Flag: Police Story

“This fucking city is run by pigs

They take the rights away from all the kids

Understand we’re fighting a war we can’t win

They hate us, we hate them

We can’t win, no way”

Dead Kennedys: I fought the Law

“I’m the new folk hero of the Ku Klux Klan

My cop friends think that’s fine

You can get away with murder if you’ve got a badge”

Sex Pistols: God Save the Queen

“God save the Queen

Tourists are money

But our figurehead

Is not what she seems”

These punk rockers were really pundits in disguise. Collectively they opened up my eyes.  Honestly if it weren’t for them I would probably be a card carrying republican and a white collar bankster looting the economy with the rest of the Wall Street scum. I am thankful everyday that I was rescued from the base criminality of modern American business men. Jello Biafra describes these businessmen like this “I’m not an artist I’m a business man no ideas of my own.”

By the time I was getting into punk most of these bands were defunk, however the punk revival took place because the youth of America had seen enough to realize that the authorities were utterly corrupt. These bands were relevant when they first came out, relevant during the 90s, and they are more relevant now than ever before.

Today the authorities are still as corrupt as ever. It’s time for a new generation to pick up the mantle of dissent and rebellion. The battle for America’s soul needs fresh blood. People like me are getting older. We are all in our thirties now and we could use the reinforcements. I urge all of my millennial readers to join the fight against corruption today. Your country needs you now more than ever.

There’s always room for Jello.


And Leonidas Wept

January 23, 2012

There was a time when the Greeks ruled the known world.  From Alexander the Great and his Macedonians to Leonidas and his Spartans the Greek people have a fine fighting tradition, however there is an enemy they cannot defeat. Like a Hydra their enemy has several heads and refuses to die. The ancient monster of greed is threatening to swallow the island nation whole and to take the entire EU down with it.

The economic strife in Greece is a prime example of a vicious cycle.  EU and IMF austerity mandates have forced Greece to dramatically reduce government spending. This reduction of spending caused the Greek economy to shrink dramatically thus greatly reducing the tax base.

Similar austerity measures have been taken all across the EU. Making matters considerably worse several European nations have had their credit ratings downgraded and they have seen an increase on bond yields. Simply put an increase on these yields would dramatically increase interest rates for several European nations. Countries like Greece and Spain cannot service their debts as it is. If their interest goes up a sovereign default would be eminent.

The European media has taken to calling these ailing nations PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain). Not only can these failing economies drag all of the EU down with it, they can also have a devastating effect on America.

American companies and investors have significant exposure to the European economy. A systemic failure of the Euro Zone could capsize our already listing economy.


Could 2012 really be the end?

January 22, 2012

In the immortal words of Dani Filth “This is the end of everything.” The 2012 presidential election is like a dark cloud hanging over us. At any moment we know that we will need to pick between eating shit or getting punched in the balls.  Much like every other election held in my lifetime people have the choice to pick between the lesser of two evils.

We all know what we will get if we cast our vote for Obama.  As I stated in my article The Return of the Rock N Roll Politico

“We are still stuck between Iraq and a hard place.  The Obama administration appears to be a continuation of the Lil Bush Regime.

According to opensecrets.org Goldman Sachs contributed $1,013,091 to the Obama campaign and $394,600 to the 04 Bush campaign.  In addition Morgan Stanley contributed $512,233 to Oboma and $603,480 to Bush.  Citigroup also joined the foray by contributing $736,771 to Obama and $320,820 to Bush.”

If you don’t want another four years of the same old same old you will need to look to the Republican party. Traditionally I am not a Republican and for good reason. The GOP presidential candidates are a whos who of charlatans and failures. Let’s take a look at these unlovable losers.

What can I say about Rick Perry? This man is either incredibly insensitive or just plain stupid. This guy actually hung out at a place called the Niggerhead Ranch. Apparently he went there on a hunting trip. I wonder what he was hunting.

Rick Santorum isn’t much better.  The man is a traditional gay basher If I ever heard one. During a 2003 AP interview he had this to say regarding homosexuality and sodomy laws “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.” This thinly veiled homophobia has no place in modern society.

Mitt Romney takes the cake when it comes to audacity.  Last June I wrote an article called Romney Unemployed. Posted below is an excerpt from that article.

During a Tampa, FL campaign stop, GOP presidential candidate Willard Mitt Romney was quoted as saying “I should tell my story, I’m also unemployed.”  Much like the unemployed group he was speaking to Romney does not have a job, however he is independently wealthy.  I find it in poor taste for a man worth $200 million dollars to compare himself to unemployed citizens.

Romney’s jobs record is a sick joke.  When he was governor of Massachusetts his state placed 47th out of 50 for job growth.

Mitt Romney has another strike against him. He is a Mormon after all. Personally I think all religions are silly superstitious nonsense. My hero Bill Maher put it like this

“The Scientologists and the Mormons I think should merge. Call it ’Mormontology.’ But they’re just funnier because they’re newer…If you didn’t know the first thing about Christianity and somebody told you, for the first time, this story that God is all powerful, better than us in any way. But he has a son. He’s a single parent. And he tells the son, ’Son, you’re going on a suicide mission down to Earth. Don’t worry. They can’t kill you because you’re really me. so here’s the plan. I, God the Father, wink wink, I’ll come down to Earth first. Easy because we’re two people. God the Father, God the son.. And I’ll see if I can’t find a Palestinian woman to impregnate so she can give birth to you. I mean ME. Oh, you know what I mean!’ The silliest story I’ve ever heard.”

I grew up in the 90s when Monica’s blue dress was all the rage. During that time I remember hating Newt Gingrich to the level of intoxication. I just remember thinking that he was a huge asshole. Here is a man who went after Clinton for cheating on his wife when he was the most unfaithful politician on Capitol Hill. According to his Ex wife Marianne Gingrich Newt wanted an “open marriage” so he could pursue a dirty affair with congressional aide Callista Bisek who is now his third wife. Throughout the 90s Newt was well known for giving speeches about the importance of family values.  All the while he was nothing more than a petty philanderer.

In summation it would appear that all hope is lost, however there is a silver lining to the dark cloud that hangs over us. That glimmer of hope is Ron Paul. My sister who is a lifelong Democrat put it like this. “I saw Ron Paul on TV today and he was making a lot of sense.” Keep in mind that this comes from the lips of a former staffer for the now deceased Democratic Congressman Owen Picket.

I can only hope and pray that Ron Paul secures the GOP presidential nomination. To quote Bill Maher Again “I’d vote for Ron Paul.” In my previous article Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011 I covered the fact that Barney Frank and Ron Paul had co authored a bill which would have federally decriminalized marijuana. Posted below is an excerpt from that article.

Representatives Barney Frank and Ron Paul introduced bill HR 2306, or “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011″.  To quote Bill Maher “In these hyper partisan times this issue was able to unite a flaming liberal from Massachusetts and a crazy Republican right-winger from Texas. Oh marijuana, is there anything you can’t do?”

S.C. Senator Tom Davis has also voiced support for Ron Paul stating “I’m endorsing Ron Paul because enough is enough. Despite this wave of unprecedented government spending, our unemployment rate has remained above 8 percent for the last 34 months and 146.4 million Americans – one out of every two people in this country – are now classified as poor or low-income.”

I cannot say that I agree with Ron Paul on all of the issues. It is no secret that this blogger is pro union. I am also coming out and stating that I am and always will be pro choice. Having said that I still beleive that out of all the 2012 presidential candidates that Ron Paul just makes the most sense.

Even though we don’t see eye to eye on every issue I’m looking at the big picture. No one is perfect and that includes Ron Paul, however the man is a conservative in the classical sense. He represents a party that used to beleive in fiscal conservatism and limited government. The GOP is supposed to be the party that wont waste all of the money and wont pry into your personal affairs. I beleive that Ron Paul could restore those classic values if he were to be elected president.


Whats so civil about war anyway?

January 21, 2012

Megaupload and the SOPA scare are a virtual 911 for the internet community.  This is Pearl Harbor for all freethinkers on the net.

In my previous article MegaUpYours I had stated “SOPA and PIPA be damned.  It looks like Uncle Sam is going to do whatever he wants regardless of the law.  Enjoy a free internet while you can because it’s days are numbered.”

The Megaupload debacle has far reaching implications that extend beyond cyberspace. Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown had this to say regarding the raid “In the very near future… there will be a number of other groups that will pop up using more military methods, and the situation will get worse and the things will escalate until such point as inevitable civil war in the US occurs.”

Brown went on to criticize the raid and the government’s heavy handed tactics stating “This raid on Megaupload shows that even without SOPA already in place, here they are already arresting the owners of Megaupload and shutting it down.”

I say civil war indeed.  The Occupy protests have shown us that the authorities are content to silence dissent instead of correcting the problems that they cause. The framers of the constitution must be spinning around in their graves.

It is clear to this blogger that Uncle Sam is no longer looking out for the interests of his people.  Thankfully we have groups like Anonymous to keep him on his toes.  If anyone can prevent the breaking of the internet it is them.


MegaUpYours

January 21, 2012

With the recent raid on Megaupload one must wander whether or not SOPA and PIPA legislation are even needed for the government to break the internet.

If you attempt to reach megaupload.com your browser will be redirected to http://usdoj.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/

The link above displays a warning issued by the Department of Justice that states that the domain has been seized due to a federal indictment.

According to a press release issued by the Department of Justice

“Seven individuals and two corporations have been charged in the United States with running an international organized criminal enterprise allegedly responsible for massive worldwide online piracy of numerous types of copyrighted works, through Megaupload.com and other related sites, generating more than $175 million in criminal proceeds and causing more than half a billion dollars in harm to copyright owners.”

In response to the Megaupload raid the hacktivist collective anonymous conducted DOS (denial of service) attacks on the websites of the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, the Motion Picture Association of America, and the Recording Industry Association of America.

The Stop Online Privacy Act made people nervous because it would allow the U.S. government to seize servers and domains in the same manner in which they did with the Megaupload raid.

In light of the raid I am gravely concerned.  It would appear that without even enacting legislation that the internet is fair game for Big Brother.  Although the precedent sent by this debacle  limits our personal freedom it will not prevent piracy.  According to blogger Dennis Fisher of threatpost.com “No law passed in the U.S. is going to have any real effect on whether people steal movies, music and books. That ship has sailed.”

SOPA and PIPA be damned.  It looks like Uncle Sam is going to do whatever he wants regardless of the law.  Enjoy a free internet while you can because it’s days are numbered.