I just saw this status on facebook and I thought I’d share it. It’s interesting how the police don’t have duty to protect you at all. I just thought I’d share that.
I was about the sync my contacts on my phone when I read this… It says Facebook stores the information of your contacts. Scary right? Its just more Big Brother I tell you.
Is Facebook a spying machine?
I have been concerned about the direction of this country in a right leaning-direction (politically) since Ronald Reagan was president. I’m not a liberal or a conservative, but I am a progressive, so I can talk about this in a way that attacks both Democrats and Republicans. My parents are both liberals, but I have decided to not be completely like them because I’m a bit of a rebel myself. On my new facebook page I try to show this feeling of rebellion. During the Populist and Progressive Era from 1890 to 1920, the ‘conservative effect’ was almost non-existent. The earliest example of the conservative effect is when Teddy Roosevelt had to compromise on the Hepburn Act of 1906 which banned free railroad passes with conservative senators that opposed it so it could pass Congress (this got many progressives mad). Most of the 20th century, a sort of ‘conservative effect’ did not exist, but there was some sort of undercurrent of it. For example, even though Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR’s wife, pushed for an anti-lynching law, President FDR still didn’t pass an anti-lynching bill so he didn’t tick off those in the south, some who were conservatives. Conservatives almost derailed Social Security when it being passed in Congress as part of the New Deal reforms because they said it was ‘too much government.’ Also civil rights legislation was almost stopped as well because conservatives opposed it. It’s much worse nowadays.
In today’s world, the examples of the conservative effect are numerous including the whole scare with the death panels in the summer of 2009 which caused weaker healthcare reform which was tailored to get conservative support. The law passed on party lines and a slim Democratic majority in approved it in the House of Representatives and Senate. 2 years earlier in the Bush Administration, when John Bolton was America’s ambassador to the U.N., he called for radical statements such as the abolishment of the United Nations as shown in this youtube video. I respect his opinion, but this affected America’s reputation and made Americans look like a bunch of crazy idiots. Conservatives are so strong that they gather together in a cloud and attack anything the Obama Administration says or does like a bunch of locusts. During the release of WikiLeaks documents throughout 2010 from the Iraq War, War on Afghanistan and finally the diplomatic cables from the State Department, Obama wavered and did not defend press freedoms because he would look weak to conservatives. At one point, Obama hypocritically stated: “I’m a big supporter of non-censorship” which is exactly the opposite of what the U.S. government did, which was censor WikiLeaks by telling organizations to cut off funds, blocking access to the documents at every government level to governmental employees and saying the documents ‘endangered national security.’ By the last release of documents in November 2010 (in the codenamed ‘Cablegate’ by Wikileaks), Obama didn’t even say anything about it because he was probably scared of being vicously attacked by the conservatives. This bunch of locusts caused Obama to cave on a position he made in his presidential campaign on the Bush tax cuts. In the lame duck session last year, he signed a law that extended the tax cuts for the rich (highlighted by a 5 minute video by The Young Turks) as well the tax cuts to the supposed middle-class which was tied along with reauthorization of many of the tax cuts in the stimulus bill or ARRA. This was a horrible compromise because he gave in on one of the most important stances to the American people, which I will never forget. The ‘conservative effect must be stopped from affecting every part of life in America because that would cause division of our nation that Lincoln vowed to stop: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
How can we stop the conservative effect? Having deliberate action can stop it. Not that long ago, with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) repeal, shocked the conservatives and shook them to the core as showing in this article. Also during that lame duck session as highlighted in Obama’s message on the subject: the New START Treaty was approved and the 9/11 bill was passed through Congress (also the tax cut proposal was passed which I mentioned earlier). Supposedly, the government shutdown being discussed in the news media may be averted because Republicans backed down according to Open Congress: “House Republicans today unveiled their bill to extend government funding for two weeks… Reid spokesman Jon Summers said that he is ‘encouraged’ by the proposal.” This wouldn’t have happened if the Senate Democrats led by Harry Reid where Democrats have a majority* hadn’t stood up to the Republican ideas to cut funding that “include $1.24 billion in program terminations and $2.7 in earmark eliminations from last year’s funding bill… like defunding Planned Parenthood or blocking the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.” We may need new political parties to solve this issue of partisan bickering (if the issue can even be solved) with third-parties such as the Progressive American Party and the American Progressive Party. In addition, we need to have the parties come together and have more similar beliefs because this division will result in one party becoming entrenched in their positions of power. Entrenchment can lead to corruption if politicians are in power too long, so American citizens should use the democratic system to elect new people every few years to replace the ones that have stayed in power. In conclusion, what we need is a new political system with stronger third-parties and a media that keeps the political parties in check, not a polarized media output with some shows cast as ‘liberal’ (ex: MSNBC, Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, etc…) and others as ‘conservative’ (FOX News, FOX Business and all other Fox channels,etc…).
*= House Democrats were not numerous enough to stop a bill from passing in the House because the Republicans had a majority in the House of Representatives. Democrats have a slight majority in the U.S. Senate.
Note: PBS, C-SPAN, NPR, CBS, ABC, and Al-Jazeera do not fall into the ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ categories. They just report the news how it is, barely opinionated at all. Truthfully there is no such thing as non-opinionated news, but these channels keep it to a minimum. They are corporate giants, which is bad for the news industry but they are not tainted with ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ views.
By Burkely Hermann, Chief Correspondent for HermannView
I have been following politics after a bit of a dip on Sunday when my internet went down. I have been asking myself why the Democrats didn’t propose what the Republicans are proposing. Its not the healthcare repeal (which I do not support) is not what I’m talking about. On CNN I saw that Congress will be broadcast live on Facebook for the first time ever on the the “Pledge to America” Facebook page (http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/04/boehner-to-livestream-opening-day-of-new-congress-on-facebook/). I was really shocked that there had been no live broadcast of Congress on facebook yet. Why didn’t the Democrats do it? It seems that they didn’t have the guts to do it (they had the votes, they could have made it more transparent). If you don’t remember back on November 03, 2008 (a day after Obama was elected President of the U.S.), Obama said he would have a more transparent government which he seems to not have lived up to.
Five examples of how Obama did not live up to his promise of ‘transparency’:
1. He went after WikiLeaks even though he said he would protect press freedoms (yes they are a news organization and not a terrorist one.
2. Healthcare reform was mostly done behind closed doors even though Obama many times said it would be an open process. This angered a lot of people in America.
3. Many committees and votes cannot be seen by ordinary citizens, its only limited committee hearings, as you can see on C-Span.
4. Obama mentions that citizens will be able to comment on legislation before it is signed. This is not available (there is a service called OpenCongress, but its not run by the government) and this weakens the power of the people, the root of democracy.
5. Most importantly, he says that George W. Bush’s administration was the most ‘secretive’ because it had policies that ‘favored the special interests and had policies that could not stand up to the sunlight.’ Well, healthcare reform, financial reform and all the other reforms have favored the special interests in some way, shape or form. Also, according to Time Magazine’s December 13th issue in 2010, more secret information was created than in the last year of the Bush Administration with over 54 million documents containing secret information (more than twice that of the height of Bush Administration secrets in documents in 2008). But I have to be fair.
To be fair, the Obama Adminstration has created the first iPhone app for the White House in U.S. History, the White House is more open to visitors than ever, many government sites have facebook pages, twitters and some have flickrs to engage the voting population. Also, Obama did appoint the first Technology director as he said in 2008 (the video is sourced above). But the Democratic Congress even with a majority back in 2009 after the sweeping 2008 elections that gave Democrats more control in both Houses of Congress did not propose these rules that proposed by the House Republicans a few days ago (http://rules-republicans.house.gov/RulesRepMedia/file/PDF/HRes%205%20Sec-by-Sec.pdf): “Requires each Committee, to the maximum extent practicable, to provide audio and video coverage of each committee hearing or meeting and maintain recordings that are easily accessible to the public.” Also the new rule that allows personal computers on the House Floor but “prohibit[s] the use of any mobile electronic device that is disruptive of the decorum.” These seem like common sense rules, especially with the personal computers (if everyone is allowed to have them then laws can be blocked if information is found to be wrong, creating a safety net) and allowing more access to see House hearings. Even though these new rules only apply to the House, some may bleed over the Senate (still with a slim Democratic majority). In conclusion, even though the Democrats seem to act more transparent (or say they will), the Republicans are making the same promise and see intent on putting it place. The question is will the Democrats help make the House more transparent or hold up the secret culture of Washington. That’s a question for next time.
I added some pictures in this version. Enjoy!
Well I keep thinking about Human Geography because of this test I have Monday on the subject. So, I decided to apply my Human Geography or study of human phenomena to my blog. I don’t want to alienate anyone so I’ll keep it short. My ideas from my my central idea has a (cultural) hearth or a center to it, my house. From that, my ideas spread out among the 62 members of Facebook and possible countless others. But is is really expansion diffusion, what I am explaining or some other type of diffusion?
Let me get into more examination. Well the definition of expansion diffusion as the definition from my book is an “innovation/idea that develops in the idea in the hearth and remains strong there while spreading outward.” Well, my idea remains strong in the hearth, which I think is me, not my house so it is expansion diffusion. But the internet is only available to certain number of people. Of those people, only 62 are part of this group. Relocation diffusion or the movement of people to spread ideas/innovations doesn’t apply here because its not like AIDS/HIV spreading from Africa (I don’t have many other people writing except for me). Like my teacher, Mr. Kelly has told us, you can have multiple types of diffusion in one area.
Along with the expansion diffusion I mentioned eariler, I think that hierarchical diffusion is occurring too. I define it as ideas passing through the most connected people first. I think this is very true. My blog is an internet idea and would not be possible without the internet and all the people that read it go on the internet and its very unlikely that anyone from some countries like Liberia would read my blog (my blog is very very U.S. centered). Sorry for writing a blog that may be boring to you, but I just had to get this out of my system while I’m trying to download Microsoft Office 2010 on my computer to get Publisher to use on a school project.
- By Burkely Hermann, Head Writer