Category Archives: Crazies in Politics

Signs of Life: Mental Health, Guns, Storms and just… Why?

Standard

Signs of Life #1.

My first serious watercolor pencil painting, but also a statement for 2012.

With all the DEATH, where are the Signs of Life?  Signs of Life #1

Traditionally, this is the time to run through the highlights of the past year. Vacations, accomplishments, major milestones, etc. We’ve had those. Nuri graduated from Law School and officially got engaged. Yeah! We went on vacation on Emerald Isle with Brian’s extended family. My own little version of Hell. Kat graduated from college and unofficially got engaged! Yes! Andy bought his own house. Dang! Nik got his first professional photography job. Huzzah! My Dad is doing great and is our new dog Disa’s enthusiastic walker and caretaker.

Obama got re-elected!!

My family’s Signs of Life.

None of us have been direct victims of the disasters of 2012. Drought, Hurricane Sandy, 5 horrendous mass shootings, Republicans. (OOpps, that just slipped in…) None of us got Lyme Disease, flu, had a heart attack, broke bones, killed in war. We have roofs over our heads, make enough money to pay for food and transportation. Nik had major surgery on his jaw and it went extremely well. We’ve managed to hold off Chuck the cat’s cancer for almost a year with 3 successful surgeries.

We have been so incredibly lucky.

On the other hand, some of us are in rough situations like millions of our fellow citizens. Two members of my family have no medical insurance. One is disabled. One has no job and one only has a part-time job. One depends on Food Stamps and Medicaid. Two can’t afford the physical and mental healthcare they need. Our family income has been steadily decreasing over the last 4 years, so my hubby and I can’t help the kids the way we’d like. My father has had to help with Nik’s medical bills.

We’re all still alive in our own homes.

Which is more than many families can say. So many have been hit by one of the series of man-made tragedies that characterized most of 2012.

Drought, Hurricane Sandy, 5 horrendous mass shootings, Republicans.

Global warming. Drought. A new Dust Bowl?

Hurricane Sandy. Global warming. Rising sea levels. Greedy developers and people in denial building densely on fragile barrier islands and wetlands, subsidized by Federal Flood Insurance and mortgage deductions for 2nd homes. Many insisting on rebuilding, lulled by false reassurances from pseudoscientists paid by the global warming denial lobby. Loss of life SO minimal in comparison to Typhons hitting the Philipines and monsoons in Bangladesh, but trust Americans to feel whiny and sorry for themselves.

Republicans. Pfff…. IQ-challenged toadying Tea Party minions without an original thought among 12 of them. Their fear & lie-soaked divisive campaign polarized the nation in a way not seen since the Civil War. I’ve wasted enough words on them.

This past Friday, there was the most horrific mass murder in  my memory in the United States.  I say “in the United States” because mass casualties regularly occur around the world at the hands of our government, religious fanatics, rogue regimes and greedy corporations. Even in the US, deranged killers have shot more people at one time.

For months, we’ve been hearing about a shooting in the parking lot, in a movie theater, in an emergency room, in family homes, in houses of worship. Never was it time to “talk about gun control”. The US has the highest rate of violent gun crimes in the developed world. Mindblowingly high. Our elected officials have no interest in tackling the issue. By the time I heard about the guy in the hockey mask shooting Christmas shoppers in a mall, I was getting “death-by-semi-automatic-assault-rifle-toting madman” fatigue.

But then came the children.

20 six and seven-year-olds and 6 brave adults trying to save them.

The media feeding frenzy started as soon as one of them picked up a disturbance at the school on the police scanner. “School shooting” I heard. Yawn. Another crazy high school kid. “Elementary school shooting” Ears perked, but, eh, probably a guy shooting his wife in the parking lot. “Teachers shot and unknown number of student casualties” Got my attention.  “Sandy Hook. kindergarten rooms. unknown number of children killed. SWAT team. Shooter dead”. Oh. My. God.  He’s shot the babies!

You never want to see these at your kid’s school:

121214081343-31-newtown-1214-horizontal-gallery

121214060522-20-newtown-1214-horizontal-gallery

And you certainly don’t want to see this:

121215035033-02-newtown-1215-horizontal-gallery

So in their wisdom, the media are now providing us with headlines like:

“Mental health care in U.S. questioned amid another tragedy” ,

dealing with the mental health aspect of the Sandy Hill school shootings, pleas to not blame autism, and

“What Drives Suicidal Mass Killers”

from the NY Times, a thoughtful article detailing the convergence of factors that often lead a very sick young man like this one  to commit atrocities. Boy, no one’s ever suggested better mental health care might prevent a mass shooting, eh, VA Tech??

However, most articles focused on the gun control aspects, in about a 1:6 ratio (just a loose estimated ratio based on 5 major news sites):

“Has life in America gone insane?” ,

“Put reason back in America’s gun debate”

and one of the most important:

“Do We Have the Courage to Stop This?” ,

from the NY Times, includes this salient information:

Other countries offer a road map. In Australia in 1996, a mass killing of 35 people galvanized the nation’s conservative prime minister to ban certain rapid-fire long guns. The “national firearms agreement,” as it was known, led to the buyback of 650,000 guns and to tighter rules for licensing and safe storage of those remaining in public hands.

The law did not end gun ownership in Australia. It reduced the number of firearms in private hands by one-fifth, and they were the kinds most likely to be used in mass shootings.

In the 18 years before the law, Australia suffered 13 mass shootings — but not one in the 14 years after the law took full effect. The murder rate with firearms has dropped by more than 40 percent, according to data compiled by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, and the suicide rate with firearms has dropped by more than half.

Or we can look north to Canada. It now requires a 28-day waiting period to buy a handgun, and it imposes a clever safeguard: gun buyers should have the support of two people vouching for them.

Most of the standard crazies came out of the closet:

Despite the report that Rupert Murdoch Wants Stricter Gun Laws After Newtown (he was Australian, after all), Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News “Doesn’t Get the Memo” and “David Clark, the executive producer in charge of Fox’s weekend coverage, gave producers instructions not to talk about gun-control policy on air. “This network is not going there,”” If you don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist in the FOX universe, which lets you know they’ve stalled at the developmental stage before object permanence.

Cynicism runs rampant:

“Sorry, But Don’t Expect Any Change After Newtown”

“[America is] a country in which citizens own roughly 200 million guns, roughly one third of the entire planet’s supply. Ownership is allowed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution, even though a 10-year-old would interpret that the right to bear arms was directly connected to the forming of a militia. The Second Amendment is not as much a legal right to bear arms as it is a psychological crutch for our great American narrative of toughness. Don’t expect great change.”

Might it be different this time? President Obama vows to see that this never happens again a priority. NYC Mayor Bloomberg has pledged to use as much of his fortune as it takes to change laws. Even previously rabidly pro-gun lawmakers are unabashedly admitting no one actually needs a semi-automatic assault rifle.

Maybe they’ve heard. Maybe they’ll listen. Maybe they’ll do something. Maybe the things they’ll do will actually make a difference.

Stranger things have happened.

A Tree Grows cartoon fuzzy

In my picture “A Tree Grows” (cartoonized Version),

roots of a stunted, neglected tree reach through broken sidewalk toward the sun.

No! No! Bad SOPA! Bad PIPA! No! No!

Standard

I’ve censored the following, in protest of a bill that gives any corporation and the US government the power to censor the internet–a bill that could pass THIS WEEK. To see the uncensored text, and to stop internet censorship, visit: http://americancensorship.org/posts/45811/uncensor

I am SO ███████ ████ ██████ who don’t ████ ██████████ how the ████████ █████ ████ the █████ to ███████, and, ██████, █████, a █████-████ ██████ ████ has ██████ the █████ and ██████ █████████ ███████. The Big $ has ██████ our ██████████; our so-██████ ███████████████ are too ██████ and too ██████ to ████ ████ ████ ██████ ████ are █████ to the ███████ ██████ in the US and ██████ the █████.█████ all the █████████ who are ████ █████████████ ██████ for ████ ████ – do ████████ you ████ to do, █████ of ████████, to ████ ███████ █████ █████████ are ██████ out of ██████ and ████████ by ███████████, ████████, ██████ █████ ██████!!

Uncensor This

Is the Password to Grandma’s Basement “123456” or “password”?

Standard

I enjoyed the article about Gnosis hacking the Gawker website & revealing how apathetic users are about using passwords. There are so many sites requiring a password to “become part of the community”, that it’s quite easy to get password burnout. But “123456”? Really? I understand the temptation. Many times in the last 20 years, I’ve found myself staring at those annoying red letters that announce my failure to join the correct user name with the correct password. I now have a fairly simple, but secure method to generate a unique PW for each individual site, which allows me to remember them easily. No more scribbling pws on yellow stickys – something my 80-year-old father still does “just in case”. He has a healthy disrespect for technology, despite spending 5 hours a day on-line.

In an attempt to further simplify my life & connect with the on-line community, I try to keep the same user name & avatar (now a gravatar…). That way, all the same people who comment on the NYTimes, NPR & BBC sites can recognize me in the Comedy Central forums too! The problem comes when someone else has sneakily acquired it first, & I have to modify it.  I’ve also had issues when the sign-in is an email address that’s not my primary email.

Usually, I’m OK, as long as my browser picks up the pw correctly. Not all sites let me save info in my browser, nor do I want all of it in my browser! I get around this by keeping bits & parts of this info in various files on my system. None of this is any help, however, if I’m attempting a log-on from a remote site!!

Earlier this year, I password protected the administrator ID on my son’s netbook,  using a combination of letters, numbers & symbols – in what I thought was a fairly simple phrase – in order to keep it safe from teenage hacking fingers.  Now, despite the “hint” I set up, I can’t for the life of me remember them! I’ve even tried doing an algorhythm matrix to test all the probable combinations I might have used… Massive fail. Now I can’t access the security OR maintainance features… or upload new, protective firefox add-ons. What I get for being so clever, I suppose – defeated by my own cunning!!

(UPDATE!! 1/2011. My cleverness returned with the new year, I realized there must be a back door in XP Home for all the other idiots who’ve done the same thing… Found it! Also finally pressed the right button at the right time, to get into SAFE mode. It’s one of those computers with a proprietary start-up; it doesn’t have that old fashion black screen. I, once more, have the “Mommy hacker of the House” crown…)

I also use numerous add-ons which allow me to browse fairly anonymously. My next step is to set up a rotating proxy, which is about as far as I am willing to go – there’s just not that much I have to hide & so much time I can devote to dealing with privacy & security features.

Meanwhile, we continue to be bombarded by the convoluted saga of stolen, leaked government documents, Julian Assange’s trumped-up Swedish charges, bail or no bail, Anonymous attacking “anti-wikileaks” sites, etc….

So who needs to spend time on privacy & security features??? Repeat after me – “The US Government”! A very low ranking soldier (what is he, a private?) is accused of up-loading bunches of supposedly sensitive documents from Afghanistan to wikileaks. He’s probably not the same guy responsible for the latest 250,000; there are probably quite a few leaks in that dam. Here’s one of the big problems – these documents were in a place that’s security is roughly equivalent to boxes in my Grandmother’s basement. She wouldn’t let just anyone in the front door, but there were at least 3 half windows downstairs. Like anyone was going to want diplomatic cables, right?

Now, it turns out that most of them are really, really just trash. The “what are you doing Tuesday night? Let’s have dinner” sort of trash. Why do you think only a few have been released? How long will it take to sift through a quarter million potential junk mails, in order to find something actually interesting? As an scientific information specialist in one of my former lives, I spent LOTS of times sorting through confidential corporate documents, most of which were exactly the same sort of trash. Much sympathy I have for the wikileaks sorters!

Why is so much trash considered “confidential”, “classified”, “secret” or “top secret”? And if it’s so important, why is it in Grandma’s basement? Here’s my theory: It’s been shown that government correspondence suffers from “over-classification”;  those red stamps are so pretty! Government officials are notorious for thinking anything they do is much more important than it actually is. So, the ones in charge of security know most of it was completely drivel, and, as such, didn’t think it was worth extra-special security. By this, I mean “security that a high school graduate can’t hack”…the equivalent of using a password more secure than “123456” or “password”. Unfortunately, that also means worthless paper is mixed with documents that truely might be important (or embarrassing…)!

Even though Grandma would never let a stranger through her door, she invited several of these sweet young leakers in. After all, they were her grandchildren’s friends. Some of them may have even been her grandchildren… She wasn’t aware of it, but she really did need help cleaning out the basement!!!

Thank you, Mr. Assange & wikileaks.

Visa, I was about to be sympathetic, but then I read this…

Standard

I want to make it clear that, although I support Wikileak’s and their mission, I in NO WAY condone attacks against anyone in their name. That is just as bad as what is being done to Wikileaks; the attackers are just as bad as the repressive organizations they hate.

Dec. 8th NYTimes Lede blog>

‘Operation Payback’ Attacks Fell Visa.com

By ROBERT MACKEY

I started reading this article with the thought “now they’ve gone too far. Is this the world we really want?”. However,  as I read further, I became more & more disturbed at actions taken by multinational corporations, such as Visa, who have targeted smaller companies they believe (or know) support Wikileaks.

Visa, now you’ve gone too far!

Once a company starts involving itself in international politics – especially in an arena where it should (theoretically) have no particular interest. After all, aren’t they the ones who want to be accepted everywhere?? Why are they now rummaging through their files  & spending time threatening businesses – who are using their service & making them money? How far does this go, and where does it stop?

Money police?

Visa & MC have set up a virtual global monopoly on money transfe r, along with eBay‘s more evil twin, PayPotty. They are throwing their collective weight around, in an attempt to shut down an organization that some governments don’t like. (OK, hate, despise, fear, etc) Who’s tail is wagging these big dogs? Or are they the tail?

Here are a few of the key paragraphs from the blog that, shall I say, pissed me off?(my bold)

The move against Visa comes after a Web services company in Iceland, DataCell.com, which has supported WikiLeaks and still hosts a Web page facilitating donations to the organization, complained that the credit card company had tried to force it to stop working for the non-profit media site… the company also hosts the Web site Wikileaks.ch.

…Mr. Sigurvinsson told Iceland’s national broadcaster RUV that “he finds Visa and MasterCard’ s request that DataCell stop serving WikiLeaks highly distasteful, asking what business two private companies have dictating terms to another private company.” He added, “It is clear that they will never close WikiLeaks except by taking the whole Internet down.

The chief executive of DataCell, Andreas Fink, explained in a statement that his company has been operating “a payment gateway so people can donate” to WikiLeaks for two months. On Tuesday, Mr. Fink said that Visa had asked DataCell to stop accepting payment details from Visa cardholders who wanted to donate money to WikiLeaks. The company declined to do so, because, Mr. Fink explained:

After discussions with our lawyers, we have decided that we can not honor such requests based on the pure simple fact of untrue and unverified accusations.

Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship and/or limitation. The right to freedom of speech is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law. Furthermore freedom of speech is recognized in European, inter-American and African regional human rights law. (US courts can’t argue with this, now that they’ve pronounced corporations “people” in terms of $ = free speech)

It is simply ridiculous to even think WikiLeaks has done anything criminal. If WikiLeaks is criminal, then CNN, and BBC, The New York Times, The Guardian, Al Jazeera and many others would have to be considered criminals too as they publish the same information. Nobody even tries to touch them though. You can still buy a New York Times subscription and pay with your credit card I guess.

On Wednesday, Mr. Fink added an update to his statement, in which he said that Visa and MasterCard had stopped processing all online payments facilitated by DataCell, affecting up to 3,000 clients, apparently to ensure that no money would make it to WikiLeaks. Mr Fink added that his company was taking “immediate legal actions to make donations possible again.”

He also wrote:

The suspension of payments towards WikiLeaks is a violation of the agreements with [Visa’s] customers. Visa users have explicitly expressed their will to send their donations to WikiLeaks and Visa is not fulfilling this wish. It will probably hurt their brand much much more to block payments towards WikiLeaks than to have them occur. Visa customers are contacting us in masses to confirm that they really donate and they are not happy about Visa rejecting them. It is obvious that Visa is under political pressure to close us down. We strongly believe a world class company such as Visa should not get involved by politics and just simply do their business where they are good at. Transferring money.  They have no problem transferring money for other businesses such as gambling sites, pornography services and the like so why a donation to a Web site which is holding up for human rights should be morally any worse than that is outside of my understanding….

This is not about the brand of Visa, this is about politics and Visa should not be involved in this.

I knew there has to be more than one reason I don’t use credit cards… besides keeping out of debt & out of their great greasy paws….


Hydras Happen: When Do Governments become Terrorists?

Standard

A Hydra…

Cut off its head – how many more will grow back?

(Bold/underlines by me; red is obviously my biased, snarky commentary. I altered photographs & art to suit my purposes. )

Today, JA turned himself in to the British authorities. They’re holding him without bail, which is only a bit bizarre, since he turned himself in… He’s fighting extradition, so, I believe (gotta check this fact) that the British judge has to look at the evidence to see if there are actually any grounds.   That’ll b e a fun one – the charges now are something like… “the condom broke” and “I was half asleep”…

Can we all sayWitch! Witch!“? Now, who were we talking about???

Even before today’s less-than-momentous events (Just ’cause JA is in the brigg doesn’t mean WL stops!!), the forces have been massing (or is that “the masses have been forcing???). I’ll get back to the Hydras in a bit. First, I need to let this out….

Why is there a huge amount of hysteria around the release of information that is already public???? From NYTimes article of 12/7/2010:

British Court Denies Bail to Assange…

“Perhaps in a warning shot of sorts, WikiLeaks on Monday released a cable from early last year listing sites around the world — from hydroelectric dams in Canada to vaccine factories in Denmark — that are considered crucial to American national security.

Nearly all the facilities listed in the document, including undersea cables, oil pipelines and power plants, could be identified by Internet searches. !!!!!But the disclosure prompted headlines in Europe and a new denunciation from the State Department, which said in a statement that “releasing such information amounts to giving a targeting list to groups like Al Qaeda.” (How dumb do you think they are???)

Asked later about the cable, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the continuing disclosures posed “real concerns, and even potential damage to our friends and partners around the world.””… (How dumb do we think she is?)

Justice Department prosecutors have been struggling to find a way to indict Mr. Assange since July, when WikiLeaks made public documents on the war in Afghanistan. But while it is clearly illegal for a government official with a security clearance to give a classified document to WikiLeaks, it is far from clear that it is illegal for the organization to make it public. (especially when they aren’t American, anyway – you have NOOOOO jurisdiction!!!)

As to the burning question, When Do Governments become Terrorists?... On Sunday’s Meet the Press

GOP Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said of Assange:  ”I think the man is a high-tech terrorist. He’s done an enormous damage to our country, and I think he needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And if that becomes a problem, we need to change the law.” As usual, when wielded by American authorities, the term “terrorist” means nothing more than: “those who impede or defy the will of the U.S. Government with any degree of efficacy.”  Anyone who does that is, by definition, a Terrorist.  And note McConnell’s typical, highly representative view that if someone he wants to punish isn’t a criminal under the law, then you just “change the law” to make him one. (in this case, the bold was added by GLENN GREENWALD, color by me)

Umm, let me see – no law for someone to break. Hate that someone. Make up new law, so can say “he break!!. I don’t want to sound like, gasp!, Glenn Beck, but, OMG!!

Hitler Did This.

Will ou r government actually cross this line? I’m peeking through my fingers; I don’t want to look. It’s like one of those awful movies where you see someone standing with their back to a cliff, slowly walking backwards… Cliff! Cliff! Look Out!!!

The Atlantic:

Wikileaks is a powerful new way for reporters and human rights advocates to leverage global information technology systems to break the heavy veil of government and corporate secrecy that is slowly suffocating the American press. The likely arrest of Assange… has nothing to do with the importance of the system he has built, and which the US government seems intent on destroying with tactics more appropriate to the Communist Party of China — pressuring Amazon to throw the site off their servers, and, one imagines by launching the powerful DDOS attacks that threatened to stop visitors from reading the pilfered cables.

(OMG! NOOoooo! It’s not even a slippery slope, it’s a CLIFF!!!…)

 

Now that I’ve given myself a headache, back to Hydras!

Wikileaks isn’t the only group with all the info:

Again, today’s NYTimes:

So far, the group has moved cautiously. The whole archive was made available to five news organizations, including The New York Times. But WikiLeaks has posted only a few dozen cables on its own in addition to matching those made public by the news publications. According to the State Department’s count, 1,325 cables, or fewer than 1 percent of the total, have been made public by all parties to date.

In recent months, WikiLeaks gave the entire collection of cables to four European publications — Der Spiegel in Germany, El País in Spain, Le Monde in France and The Guardian. The Guardian shared the cable collection with The New York Times.

First 5 heads – the allegedly free press...

Since Nov. 28, each publication has been publishing a series of articles about revelations in the cables, accompanied online by the texts of some of the documents. The publications have removed the names of some confidential sources of American diplomats, and WikiLeaks has generally posted the cables with the same redactions.

From WIRED:

A truly free press — one unfettered by concerns of nationalism — is apparently a terrifying problem for elected governments and tyrannies alike… The greatest threat we face right now from Wikileaks is not the information it has spilled and may spill in the future, but the reactionary response to it that’s building in the United States that promises to repudiate the rule of law and our free speech traditions, if left unchecked.

Scary Scary Free Press!!! Where’s “Deep Throat” when we need him? Oh, that’s right – he’s already said he supports WL.

Then there are the members of the “great unwashed masses” – that’s everyone who’s not a diplomat or the press…. Examples:

Quote from yesterday’s NYTimes about the backlash:

“an orchestrated effort [by an Internet group, Anonymous] was under way to attack companies that have refused to support WikiLeaks and to post multiple copies of the leaked material. The Anonymous manifesto singled out PayPal, which cut off ties with WikiLeaks for “a violation” of its policy on promoting illegal activities, a company statement said. “The reason is amazingly simple,” Mr. Housh said of the campaign. “We all believe that information should be free, and the Internet should be free.”…

By late Sunday, there were at least 208 WikiLeaks mirror sites up and running. “Cut us down,” said a message on the WikiLeaks Twitter feed on Sunday, “and the stronger we become.””

PC World:

WikiLeaks has asked the Web community to open mirror sites so it cannot be downed or censored and said Monday that 355 new sites are already up.

McCarthy? Watergate? Hypocrisy? Stupid threats that are going to get a LOT of people in trouble, eventually? You decide….

HuffPo (with Wired & NYTimes):

Talking about WikiLeaks on Facebook or Twitter could endanger your job prospects, a State Department official warned students at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs this week. The State Department said they never told anyone to say this. Well, yeah. It was one of their guys just sayin’ (the obvious).

Here’s the email:

From: Office of Career Services
Date: Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 3:26 PM
Subject: Wikileaks – Advice from an alum
To: “Office of Career Services (OCS)”

Hi students,

We received a call today from a SIPA alumnus who is working at the State Department. He asked us to pass along the following information to anyone who will be applying for jobs in the federal government, since all would require a background investigation and in some instances a security clearance.

The documents released during the past few months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents. He recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter. Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.

Regards,
Office of Career Services

To their credit:  On Monday, John H. Coatsworth, the SIPA Dean, reversed the university’s earlier position, affirming that students “have a right to discuss and debate any information in the public arena…without fear of adverse consequences.”

I think they are afraid of even more heads from this Hydra.  They should be.

We’ve come full circle. Our government using threats, international pressure & lies (what do you call someone who terrorizes???). A press wavering in its tracks,   unable to decide whether to stand up for democracy or cringe like a cowering dog. Hydras, brave people popping up all around the world, dedicated to restoring sanity & spreading

the truth that information is freedom.  (Isn’t that what the West keeps trying to tell all those dissidents

in “repressive” countries?) All followed by more massive hypocrisy from previously mentioned Western government. I don’t like playing this game, but Who’s the Terrorist?

NNNOOOOoooooo!!  I told you IT WAS A CLIFF!!!!!

 

Wikileaks Witch Hunt Continues On… Stop It, Stupids!!

Standard

If you read further down, I mention a way you can still get donations to Wikileaks.

Been sleeping under a rock for the last few months? Here’s the background on Wikileaks .

You’d think the world would have learned. You’d think the countries known for their supposedly free-speech principles would be less blatantly hypocritical. Perhaps you’d even think they’d remember what happens when you persecute someone seen by a large part of the world as a hero.

No. Of course not.

Martyrs are pretty hard to kill!

Sometimes they turn out to be hydras: Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a former WikiLeaks’ spokesman, has announced plans to launch a new and more transparent platform on his own, the German news magazine Focus reported.

Suddenly, all these “democratic” countries, which put down all those ol’ repressive regimes, are bound and determined to repress information that they don’t want you to have.

And you know what? It’s silly stuff, really. Reminds me of the guy from Burn Notice who says ” you know those spies – a bunch of bitchy little girls…”  So what have we learned? Diplomats are catty? People say one thing & do another? Human beings run our governments?

OH NO!!! Stupids.

Today, eBay, via paypigpal, cut off wikileak’s donation account.

This follows Amazon kicking them off their servers, hackers continuously attempting to shut down the site, denial of service cyber attacks on servers & sites seen as friendly to them (remote computers commandeered by rogue programs bombard a website with so many data packets that it becomes overwhelmed and unavailable to visitors), Interpol putting out an alert for JA, Sweden deciding they’re going to try to arrest him on a (bogus) rape charge, and the US & UK “powers that be” roundly denouncing the release of all these nasty embarrassing documents (’cause that’s all they are!)

Pitchforks. Torches. Angry… diplomats? Where are the peasants? Oh! They LIKE Mr Assange!!  So does brave, handsome Stephen Colbert, who courageously interviewed this evil? treacherous? world-destroying? Oh! I have to stop! It’s too funny… Here’s the Interview.

Me likes Julian, too. Thinks him HOT! Brains, guts & cool Scandinavian looks, with that great mashed-up Australian/European accent. What’s not to like? Me must be peasant.

OK. So he’s no saint. Who is? Oh yeah, her.

Are these “the Pentagon Papers” of 2010? Daniel Ellsberg has given his backing to Wikileaks. You remember? The one who leaked the Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam war in 1971? The papers that, in the end, had little, if any, impact – except for giving jobs to a lot of journalists.

Today (Dec 4, 2010), on the BBC News Web Site, News Analyst Anatol Lieven writes: (my bolds & italics)

Finally, there is the wider question as to whether such leaks are a good or bad thing. After careful thought and with certain reservations, I’d have to say that on balance they are good.

On the security threat which has so often been cited as an objection, it seems that Wikileaks have taken care to exclude anything that can endanger specific US agents or actions.

Another objection is that for the need for confidentiality in diplomacy – so that diplomats can express candid views to their home governments without fearing that they will be spread all over the media.

This is a much stronger argument, but in the end it is outweighed – in the West, not obviously in Russia – by the fact that we are after all supposed to be democracies, and our electorates have the democratic right to know more than they have done in recent years about the conduct of their government’s foreign policy.

Far too much misinformation and outright lying has surrounded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Overall, we in the West now live in an atmosphere of security hysteria and obsessive secrecy that would have filled our ancestors with horror.

If the threat of more Wikileaks releases makes this less likely in future, so much the better.

As to the effects on the tender sensibilities of Silvio Berlusconi, Vladimir Putin and Hamid Karzai of private US official opinions of them – well, how very tragic.

The more these people know of how the outside world regards them the better for their countries. From this point of view, Wikileaks might almost be seen as rather a good way for a US administration to pass on candid messages that it could not possibly deliver officially.

On Saturday, media freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders issues a statement condemning  personal attacks on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and “the blocking, cyber-attacks and political pressure” in what it called the first “attempt at the international community level to censor a website dedicated to the principle of transparency… We are shocked to find countries such as France and the United States suddenly bringing their policies on freedom of expression into line with those of China.”

Oh Yeah!

The Wau Holland Foundation, named after a German hacker & the organization’s main (known) private financial backer, is actively collecting donations. So far they have collected euro750,000 ($1 million) for WikiLeaks, covering the organization’s expenses. Following WikiLeaks’ recent releases, they are now experiencing an enormous number of contributions. On its website, the foundation says “the huge and in this form unique amount of donations has caused the delay of issuing contribution receipts” — which allow Germans to deduct donations from their taxes. If you want to contribute, they have instructions on their site. Of course, you can’t use PayPorker.

If I write that I strongly support his efforts to encourage global information transparency & think Wikileaks is a brilliant idea, am I committing treason?

Bwahahahahahaha!!!

Reasonable Intelligent Freedom-loving People of the World Love You, Julian! You can come hide at my house. We’ve got this great closet under the stairs. I’ll even move out the kitty litter box & wire you in a light bulb. You can pretend you’re Harry Potter…  We won’t tell my husband. He’d be afraid of the government & all that!

Just remember to watch out for the Stupids!

A note:

This is one of my favorite articles about JA run on the musicians4freedom site:

Wikileaks’ Julian Assange Homeschooled to Avoid Unhealthy Respect for Authority

More Wikileaks fun:

Check out  the cynical, tongue-in-cheek coverage on Anorak News,  an independent online sensation exposing prejudice, inhumanity, stuff shirts, misogyny, a biased news agenda, conformity, misanthropy, spin and the worst and best of human culture in words, pictures and video.

Will the “Feds” Just Bury That Stinking Corpse?

Standard

Has we make some progresses?  Is they gonna be smoked by Uncle Sam?

Wanna take a sucker bet?

(My insightful, snarky, childish, cynical and/or totally disillusioned & disgusted comments are in Orange. Yeah, just like this! I was thinking about using full-color photographs of drowning victims to illustrate this post, but I felt it was horrifying enough by itself – so I’m just using the usual annoying gifs  & poignant photos stolen from other internet sites….)

From the Nov 25 News & Observer:

“Feds launch probe of N.C. mental health system”:

RALEIGH — The U.S. Justice Department has opened a formal investigation into North Carolina’s struggling (Too late. It already drowned) mental non-health system, the first step in a process that could trigger a federal edict for sweeping reform. They need an exterminator ,  not a broom.

The probe is the result of a complaint filed in July by the advocacy group Disability Rights North Carolina(the heroes!!), which contends that the state is violating the Americans With Disabilities Act (DUH) for failing to provide proper housing for people with mental illness. Is there a “Someone in the state government must have a brain” act?

Nearly a decade after the state Department of Health and Human Services (oxy-morons ) closed thousands of beds, (thinking, somehow, if they close them, the nasty crazy people would go away???) in government-run psychiatric hospitals as part of a reform effort, more than 6,400 people !!!! w ith s evere mental illness are housed in adult care homes scattered across the state, living in sometimes (usually) squalid and dangerous conditions. And the rest? Under the Bridge. If they’ re lucky. Remember the Bridge?

The mental patients, their care typically (always!) paid for with taxpayer money, are often far younger than the  elderly residents with whom they are housed.  In the last two years, at least four residents with mental illness have been killed by fellow patients who had histories of severe mental illness and violence.

That’s one way to cut the budget, isn’t it, Bev?

Vicki Smith, (Our struggling Heroine of this pitiful saga) the executive director of Disability Rights, after she stopped jumping up & down from the morsel that had been thrown her way, said the federal investigation could force the state to take actions to fix the mistakes (nice word for complete & utter incompetent failure) made during North Carolina’s 2001 reform effort (reform? really? effort?), which has also resulted in people with mental illness routinely languishing for days in emergency rooms, eating nothing but graham crackers & ginger ale, because no bed in a NC psychiatric facility is available. (exists)

And these are just the adults. Don’t even get me started about the kids!!

Word of the federal investigation also comes as the state (the state, as in “state of confusion”? ” state of oblivion”?) is debating further cuts to the state’s (already non-existent) mental health system and moving to close Dorothea Dix Hospital, because they don’t need to take care of “those people”, the communities will, won’t they?.

“Now DHHS is going to have to answer a whole series of questions about why mental health reform has failed,” Smith said. “This is huge, from our point of view. Huge.” Poor deluded woman.  Bet she believes in Santa Claus & the Easter Bunny, too… But she IS our heroine, so hush!

The Justice Department informed the state of its pending investigation through a five page letter received by DHHS administrators in Raleigh on Thursday.  However, because of the low literacy rate of DHHS employees, there was a delay while the letter was translated into simpler language by Bert & Ernie, so the state department did not (could not, would not) reveal the news until it issued a three-sentence media release earlier today, hours before the start of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Cowards.

Renee McCoy, a spokeswoman (ie patsy) for the state agency , said there would be no comment beyond the media release, which said the state will “work with the Department of Justice to provide all necessary documents and information in response to the complaint.” Can you believe that’s all one sentence?

There no longer is a NC Mental Health System.

All there is left to do is clean up the bloated, stinking corpse.

WRAL also reported:

The United States Justice Department has notified North Carolina that it plans to investigate claims made in a complaint filed last summer by Disability Rights North Carolina.

The advocacy group alleges that mentally ill people are being housed in adult (demented old people who have been left there to rot) couldn’t care less homes

(building marginally meeting housing codes) that lack the qualifications (the Homes?? you mean run by, um, I was going to say “people”, but that’s not the appropriate word in this context.  I’ll just leave that to your imagination…) to care for p eople (under the age of 70 who can’t be tied into a wheelchair) with psychiatric  disabilities (including brains fried from crack, booze & fetal alcohol syndrome) ….Disability Rights claims thousands of people with mental illness do not have appropriate alternatives for care (back to that Bridge again, huh?), a situation which they say violates federal law.

There’s a law against Bridges now?

Where do I send my great big DUH?

It’s now very, very early Monday morning. Today, the press pack will be on the hunt, attempting to tree those ol’ sneaky DHHS  ‘coons.

They best be careful; lots of rabid raccoons around the area recently…