Internet Privacy: Republicans and Democrats Unite Against YOU

Issues come along every now and again which remind us how both parties ultimately consider us peasants.  We are to be controlled, not listened to.  We can see this in our farce of an electoral system, from the fractured primary season up to the electoral college and voting sans paper-trail.  We can see it when we observe both parties fail to deliver on anything 80% or more of the public agrees on.  The only difference on those occasions is the Republicans will at least say they won’t represent their constituents, the Democrats play make believe and insist they will.

One such gem of an issue is privacy (Slashdot, emphasis mine):

mytrip brings us a story about the FBI’s efforts to make records of users’ activities available to law enforcement for a much longer time. Several members of Congress also lent their support to the idea that such data retention should be mandatory for a period of up to 2 years. Quoting: “Based on the statements at Wednesday’s hearing and previous calls for new laws in this area, the scope of a mandatory data retention law remains fuzzy. It could mean forcing companies to store data for two years about what Internet addresses are assigned to which customers (Comcast said in 2006 that it would be retaining those records for six months). Or it could be far more intrusive. It could mean keeping track of e-mail and instant messaging correspondents and what Web pages users visit. Some Democratic politicians have called for data retention laws to extend to domain name registries and Web hosting companies and even social networking sites.
If you read the article, you’ll see the outpouring of support for the FBI’s request from both sides of the aisle.
This is a joke.  It must be.  We are growing a society where the government knows more and more about its citizens, but we know less and less about our government.  That is not Democracy.  It is not a Representative Republic.  It is the road to totalitarianism, and it means flushing our civil rights and our liberty down the toilet.
I’d really like to see something like this become a larger part of our national discourse.  We are so utterly shut out of our “democratic process” its a sick joke we only laugh at because we find our own pain darkly funny.  This is just the latest example that our elected officials don’t give a shit, and are more than willing to trade our rights for greater control.

Boycott Girl Scout Cookies

The charge is being led by two rather impressive girl scouts (Green Daily):

Two Girl Scouts in Ann Arbor, MI say that they’re no longer willing to peddle the sugary and addictive treats, because they contain environmentally destructive ingredients. While completing their research to earn a Girl Scout Bronze Award, Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen discovered that one of the most beloved — and up until now guilt free — brand of cookies has a major environmental dark side. They say that the ingredients inside Girl Scout cookies are killing the Indonesian rainforest.

The culprit in this case is palm oil, the cultivation of which is responsible for the clearing of massive stretches of East Asian rainforests. Apparently, the girls found it particularly disturbing that the farming was endangering the habitat of Indonesian orangutans. Latching onto a sympathetic species is always a good way to promote conservation — these are some smart Girl Scouts. They’ve got a website up and everything, very informative.

Admirable stuff.  I also dig the messaging of the website.  At the top is the phrase “kids can do it”, at the bottom, “you can do it”.  Its a small thing to do.  Next trip to the grocery, check out the ingredients when picking up anything with a nutrition box on the packaging (an educational activity anyway).  If you see palm oil, make a note of it and put it back.

Odd note, palm oil has a lobby.

Clinton, Super Delegates After PA

Hillary won in PA:

Clinton called Tuesday’s win “very big and very sweet” and stressed that her win should send a message to unpledged superdelegates.

That message?  Ignore the popular vote, the delegate count, and just vote for her.

I imagine that will be well received by the Democratic base.  We prefer our decisions be made for us by our betters.