Category Archives: Political

How not to use a Gun

What’s wrong with people!? I have absolutely no problem with sane adults having the right to bear arms (legally), but there’s something beyond disturbing about this video. Is this some sort of bizarre militia indoctrination? The child’s brain hasn’t even developed to the point where critical thinking is possible! No, no, NO – this is just plain STUPID.

I’m all for protecting our freedoms and everything, but why on earth would you ever do this to your child? The NRA should be up in arms (literally) over this gross display of lunacy. Would someone please point out what’s right about this?!

Worst Dad Award Nominee

Someone, please – tell me this isn’t real.

Growing up Catholic

“I grew up Catholic – then I grew up.”

I wrote that for the first time a few years back (and still find that statement somewhat humorous, given that I once considered becoming a priest). You could likely blame my University education for this fall from faith – after discovering that most world religions are dominated not by spirituality, but by politics, money, and power. Prove me wrong. 🙂

Ah, but we’re talking about faith – and you can’t prove faith. Faith is personal. Faith is also not genetic. I’m not questioning the existence of a higher power – and never could. I question man, and have every reason and ability to do so. I don’t question followers who have already questioned their faith – “God” is who you believe “God” is, if you believe in “God” in the first place.

I’m not a political or religious blogger – so you might ask why I’d bother to bring up something so personal today? I watched Deliver Us From Evil the other night, and felt compelled to share my disgust with the organization that enabled something like this to happen – at any level. I’m embarrassed for every Catholic, recovering or active. This situation is wholly unacceptable, indefensible, and unforgivable. I wish I could remember the comic I heard on XM 150 the other day – who wondered why the Catholic church cares more about protecting unborns than it does living children. Heh.

Let me also state that there’s not a thing I would change about my own childhood and upbringing (I have amazingly wonderful parents). I loved being involved with the mass as an altar boy – but the more I learn about the “church” that raised me, the happier I am for shedding its doctrine. WWJD? Start his own religion – which is precicely what he did, which is precicely what hundreds of men have done throughout history.

I’m off to join the People’s Front of Judea.

The Politics of Star Wars

In response to Jeff’s Advice for McCain (which, itself, was a response):

Maybe John McCain is going for the nerd vote with this commercial’s (as you put it) “Star Wars” production values? When you have Darth Vader in your video, it’s almost guaranteed to go viral. Upon watching this particular McCain political ad, I felt compelled to hop into my Landspeeder, float down to the local cantina, and down a few rounds of Jawa Juice with friends.

I used to bullseye womprats in my T-16 back home (Iowa), and that couldn’t have taken any longer than McCain’s video. Personally, I think it’s more reminicent of THX 1138. Then again, I also think that Hilary Clinton looks a lot like Figrin D’an (a Bith) and Barack Obama is totally a Lando Calrissian wannabe.

Maybe it’s just me, but I believe that Jabba the Hutt would make an amazing candidate in this election. Too bad the “Gangsta” party hasn’t been formally recognized yet. You might as well vote for Greedo, the “True Green” candidate – and even then, you’re throwing your vote into the trash compactor.

Is it just me, or does Jeff Jarvis look an awful lot like Obi-Wan Kenobi?

Hacking Democracy

I can’t remember why the TV tuner was dialed into HBO the other night, but we happened to catch an airing of Hacking Democracy. I’ve been so busy lately, that I’ve hardly had time for entertainment. This film wasn’t entertaining half as much as it was informative, however.

Electronic voting machines count about 87% of the votes cast in America today. But are they reliable? Are they safe from tampering? From a current congressional hearing to persistent media reports that suggest misuse of data and even outright fraud, concerns over the integrity of electronic voting are growing by the day. And if the voting process is not secure, neither is America’s democracy. The timely, cautionary documentary HACKING DEMOCRACY exposes gaping holes in the security of America’s electronic voting system.

Shouldn’t we be basing every one of these electronic voting systems on open source software and platforms? Wouldn’t that be our best defense against tampering? Otherwise, we’re placing our complete trust in a potentially untrustworthy organization. If there’s a time and place for the “wisdom of crowds,” this is it.

To Vote or Not to Vote

If I have the right to vote, then I also have the right to tell politicians how they can earn my vote. I’m politically independent, and will remain that way until the day I die. What do I ask for? Nothing unreasonable.

  1. No negative campaigning, ever. I don’t mind a healthy debate, but when it comes to mudslinging – there’s no easier way for you to earn my non-vote. You’re trying to prove that you’re more trustworthy than your competitor by illustrating how your competitor is less trustworthy. Are you REALLY THAT STUPID (or is the population of my country RELALY THAT STUPID to reinforce this kind of behavior)?!
  2. Avoid hardline affiliation. So, you’re running on the Democratic ticket? You don’t have to remind me of that every time you open your mouth. Ultimately, it’s what you do in office and with your peers that matters. For whatever it’s worth, today’s conservatives make Barry Goldwater look like a liberal – and even Goldwater (himself) predicted that would eventually happen.
  3. Share your true passions. The “issues” are going to change over time, so don’t try to win me over by guessing what I want to hear. Tell me what you think, and I’ll decide whether or not I like the way you tell me. I don’t want to see what you’re doing on the campaign trail – what were you doing before you hit the campaign trail? Stand by your own convictions, not the convictions someone tells you to stand by.
  4. Stay out of my personal life. Do you pay my bills? Do you decide how I should spend my hard-earned money? Do you tell me which non-profit organizations I should support? Do you live with me? Do you drive across town to get me a Peet’s every morning? Then please, don’t try to make other personal decisions for me.
  5. Consider a new public relations team. I can’t think of anybody more out of touch with reality than someone in “PR” (seriously). If you need good advice, listen to your parents and/or your closest friends. If you want help getting the word out or lining up engagements, just ask the blogosphere. “We” really believe in you – even though we’re not on your payroll.

I’m not throwing my vote away – the system is. These are just personal pet peeves, not necessarily political ones. Hey, this *IS* a personal blog!

Spam Traps

Three times in the past week, I’ve unwillingly opened the door to young solicitors. Actually, the number is closer to five (but I only responded to three, with tonight’s salesman mistaken for the pizza guy). Some are peddling magazines, while others are selling books – doesn’t matter (they’re all annoying). Each and every time, as soon as I push back the dogs and fling open the front door, they ask:

“Is your mom or dad home?”

To keep from bursting out in pants-peeing laughter, I have to bite my bottom lip and tell the knock-knock-nerd that my parents be out of the country for at least three months. There’s going to come a time when I’m actually going to look like an adult – so I’m enjoying this defense while I still can. Of course, I get different questions from phone spammers:

“Hello, Mrs. Pirillo?”

I always affirm this kind of telemarketer greeting, knowing that I’m quickly going to lead our conversation into uncomfortable feminine subjects. As far as I’m concerned, telemarketing, junk mail, junk email, and door-to-door sales should be outlawed and punishable by death. It’s to the point where I don’t even wanna check or answer anything. The offers are certainly amazing:

“We can help raise your credit score!”

No, you can’t – that’s my personal responsibility, and I’m certainly not going to give business to anybody who says otherwise. You lose, you’re a loser, and you’re going to burn in hell. I don’t remember giving you permission to spam my snail mailbox, either. I’m sure it was buried in some privacy policy somewhere that I missed. Your wasting more than just paper, man – you’re wasting my air. God hates you. At least your crap gives me the giggles at times:

“Extra Income Online (corrected)”

Thank you for sending me a corrected version. Seriously. There are no virgins waiting for you in the afterlife, so give it up. If I want to make extra income online, I’ll just rent more body parts – body parts that can’t be enlarged with your so-called viaGaGRa. Leave me alone, leave me alone, leave me alone, leave me alone. Die, die, die, die. You make pacifists bloodthirsty, don’t you know?

Political Things I Don't Understand

  • Last week, Pope Benedict XVI quoted a Byzantine emperor who characterized the Prophet Muhammad as “evil and inhuman.” In protest, several Muslims set fire to five churches in Palestine. I’m not sure whether to laugh or to cry.
  • Who coined the “Islamic fascist” label? It’s manipulating language to further fan the flames of hatred and fear. Why not simply call them “facsists” – or stick with “terrorists?” I don’t remember abortion clinic bombers being called “Christian fascists,” do you?
  • Why is Clinton so upset over this weekend’s Fox News interview? Was he forced to do it by gunpoint? Did he have the option to screen the questions? Were they fair questions to ask? Is there such a thing as a fair question?
  • Why won’t Nancy Grace shut up about the Duckett case already?! She needs to wake up and realize that she’s not in a court of law, but a television studio.
  • Why am I hearing a lot of “they want to kill your family” talk from the American media? I wonder if that’s what we’re being accused of on the other side of the fence. The problem is: I don’t want to kill anybody, anywhere.
  • Why do I keep hearing the “N” word in popular music?! If they’re going to say it, people (of all races) are going to repeat it – and that’s not something I’m terribly comfortable with, if only because I’m white and nerdy. It’s one piece of pop culture that I wish would just go away.
  • Why do people still vote along party lines? Isn’t that like buying a certain brand, even though that brand has started to diminish in quality over the years – based on it being “the brand?”

The Politics of Security

Online Security is important. Flickr users in China, Iran, and Iraq feel the same way I do – though Microsoft employees in Lebanon and Israel don’t (since they’re all on the Mac). An Online Search for the keyword yeilds few results, so perhaps we’re in need of more Education – or more Firefox Advertising from the Bush Administration?

Iran Invented Human Rights

Ever hear of the Cyrus Cylinder? Apparently, neither has AhmadiNejad. From the Iran Chamber Society:

The charter of Cyrus the Great, a baked-clay Aryan language (Old Persian) cuneiform cylinder, was discovered in 1878 in excavation of the site of Babylon. In it, Cyrus the Great described his human treatment of the inhabitants of Babylonia after its conquest by the Iranians.

And from Wikipedia’s page on Cyrus the Great:

Although the cylinder reflects a long tradition in Mesopotamia where, as early as the third millennium BC, kings such as Urukagina began their reigns with declarations of reforms, the cylinder of Cyrus is often referred to in modern times as the “first charter of human rights.” In 1971, the United Nations translated and published it into all of its official languages. The cylinder decrees the normal themes of Persian rule: religious tolerance, abolishment of slavery, freedom of choice of profession and expansion of the empire.

Ironic? I kid you not.

Let's Expand the Patriot Act!

I can’t believe what I’m hearing on CNN right now: pundits are suggesting that we extend the Patriot Act. “We need an MI5” is what they’re saying… even though such a structure would trample directly on America’s first amendment rights. Unbelievable. They’re playing on our fears to take away our freedoms. Does that sound right to you? Don’t get me wrong: I’m very thankful that officials in the UK were able to stop terrorists a few hours ago. But it’s not just your life that’s at risk now – it’s your civil liberties. Yes, I agree – we should be on high alert, but not for the reasons they’re spoon-feeding to us. Media propoganda is in full swing; scare tactics only serve to manipulate you and public opinion.