Es Ist Zeit for Justice Democrats

So the Justice Democrats decided to shoot themselves in the foot recently by asking for the resignations of founding members Cenk Uygur and David Koller. Both are also founding members of the online news show The Young Turks.

While I do not support what Cenk and David had to say which you can read about there https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/justice-democrats-ousts-cenk-uygur_us_5a3eb4d1e4b025f99e178181

I do support the right to free speech, and recognize that speech and actions are two separate things or at least they should be. As noted in the article, Cenk said some really stupid things about women over 18 years ago, he apologized for them and deleted them 12 years ago and apologized for them again recently. So sure, he said something stupid, but what he did wasn’t illegal so why are the Justice Democrats shooting themselves in the foot and asking him to resign.

Let’s try to be objective about this, because part of their reasoning is good. They want to be a party that actually has values, and that’s a good thing, and they say his statements violate their core values.

However, no crime has been committed here and honoring the first amendment should be part of the values of any political organization in the US. So NOT honoring them is now something the Justice Democrats and Republicans have in common. Actually, sadly this is true of most of the political organizations at this point because they’re really private corporations and do not reflect the values set forth in the constitution.

Also, no one gave the Justice Democrats more of a boost than TYT Network and specifically Cenk Uygur. They even recently created a show for progressive candidates called “Rebel Headquarters.” It was one of the only places that we actually got to hear from progressive candidates, and I hope that won’t come to an end. I think TYT Network and Cenk are big enough to keep doing the interviews, etc. but who knows.

So the Justice Democrats shot themselves in the foot on this one, or another way to put it might be that they cut off their nose to spite their face. At a time when the Republicans routinely support candidates that should be in jail for actually assaulting children should we really be attacking Cenk and David for some blog posts they made 18 years ago?

I think the tweet from William LeGate (a person I know nothing about personally by the way) puts it best. “Now, you’re calling for the top progressive leaders in your organization to resign over WORDS—not actions—they wrote nearly 2 decades ago, deleted 12 years ago, and have publicly apologized for & condemned.”

I guess no one can learn and grow anymore. At least not when the Justice Democrats are too busy polishing their halos to stop and look at the 1st Amendment. It doesn’t say that you have to agree with what people say. Just that they have the right to say just about anything they want.

This is why the progressives never have anything and why we can’t get rid of the Corporate Democrats or the Republicans. The Corporate Democrats like Patty Murray, Cory Booker, Maria Cantwell… the list goes on, don’t even blink an eye at accepting money from big Pharma companies that charge a child $7,000 a month for cancer medication. Of course they charge less in other countries for the same medication, we’re just really “lucky” in the US and get to pay those rates. I think that’s far more of a crime than some 2 decade old blog posts, but hey at least they talk like respectable people in public right? I guess that’s more important then their actions now.

So while this kind of stuff is going on, the Justice Democrats are cannibalizing their party over some “he said she said” blog posts from 18 years ago in violation of a huge supporters 1st amendment rights. Sure, you don’t have to agree with Cenk, but to boot him for something he said and not for something he did, especially something he said almost 2 decades ago, and apologized for. Well, that’s fascist. We need progressive candidates now, what a stupid reason to lose our best shot at a better future.

The episode “Majority Rule” of “The Orville” deals with what happens when you let huge masses of poorly informed people judge everyone in the court of public opinion. Especially a populous as immature as our own. Sure, it seems democratic but the result is always over the top because it’s easy to let others suffer when you’re disconnected from their suffering and most people really don’t stop to think about what they’re doing before they do it.

In my own home town we have a 52,000 square foot, publicly owned, unoccupied building downtown that we could house a huge portion of our growing homeless population in, but we won’t open it up. Government officials, who always “say the right things,” are willing to let the homeless freeze to death instead while they use the police to forcibly sweep the homeless out of camp sites and drag their feet on legislation to help them, but hey at least they didn’t say stupid things on their blogs in their late 20’s. Probably because most of them are too stupid to figure out how to setup a blog in the first place. So I guess that’s what’s important now. What you say, not what you do. I think it should be the other way around.

https://www.fox.com/watch/4e9ac96523b454de771f95a4f775facb/

“Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say…” — Ice T

There Is No War On The Cops/It May Be The Other Way Around

This week, President Trump made sure we all knew that even if a cop was trying to unjustly murder you, and you defended yourself, you would receive the death penalty. Since those laws are decided on a state by state basis, and the federal government doesn’t regulate local law enforcement except in times of emergency, I’m not sure how he’s going to ensure that, but I don’t think that was his intent. I think his intent was to let poor people know that they better stop resisting, because there is a different set of rules for how the police will treat them than people in Trump’s class. Fortunately, I doubt most police officers take him seriously, but some do and how many militarized police officers do you need out there knowing they can do whatever they want and get away with it? I live in one of the safest cities in the US and even our cops have a tank and full tactical gear. How many of them do we need to abuse their authority to cause a tragedy?

Furthermore, many reputable sources, like the New Yorker, have looked at the data and shown that there is no war on the cops. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/20/opinion/why-there-is-no-war-on-the-police.html

In fact, with especially with the introduction of new body armor, and more importantly updated educational programs for the police, police work is actually safer than most would think. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/blake-fleetwood/how-dangerous-is-police-w_b_6373798.html

So why are our police departments arming themselves to the teeth? Could it be because they’re being hyped up by external forces? Could it be because our totally corrupt governments are worried that people may be done putting up with their shit?

So why is our President trying to create an even greater rift between the police and the working class, and going out of his way to make the jobs of the police more dangerous than they need to be? Simple:

  1. He’s totally out of touch and literally lives on a different planet than you do in his mind.
  2. He never refers to pesky things like studies and statistics and simply believes everything he hears from his friends and says out loud.
  3. He wants to draw attention away from the fact that he should have been impeached by now.
  4. He wants to draw attention away from the fact that he’s probably started a war involving nuclear armed Israel to please a few donors. A war which we’ll probably get involved in at some point. Well technically we already are since we sell advanced weapons to Israel so they can oppress the Palestinians, but that’s a whole article in itself.
  5. He doesn’t want you thinking too hard about how all of your information is going to be censored now, thanks to the loss of Net-Neutrality, which is a concept that he never really understood.
  6. He wants you to forget that he is robbing you blind with his new tax plan.

You know what, I’ll stop there. There are simply too many things to list here that he is trying to draw your attention away from. Basically, he’s desperate to do anything to draw attention away from himself. The problem is that he’s doing things like causing wars to do it.

I get it, Hilary Clinton was an awful candidate. I get why people didn’t vote for her. Sure, you probably should have voted 3rd party instead of for Trump, but I get it. At this point though, if you still think that was a good decision, I don’t know what to say. I mean even the rich people should be getting ready to dump Trump after they pass the tax cuts. Which they shouldn’t do to us, but they will anyway. Why hang onto him after that? It’s obvious that he’s not going to help the working class out, which was the only solid that most of the people that backed him up did, or said they did anyway.

83% of Americans Want Net-Neutrality, FCC Says Fuck You

This one is short because I just want everyone to take a moment and consider what happened today and what it means. For or against Net-Neutrality 83% of Americans were for it. They wrote to the FCC in support of NOT repealing Net-Neutrality laws and the FCC did it anyway! What does it mean when 83% of Americans want something, express that clearly to their elected government, and the government does the opposite on behalf of the top 10% and big corporations instead? It means that we no longer have a democracy, we have a Corporate Dictatorship.

MPA Trains Officers to Murder Unarmed Dads

A letter to the Mesa Arizona Police Association that defended a out of control cop, named Philip Brailsford, that murdered an unarmed dad and got away with it even though he was backed up by 6 other cops, and they were all outfitted with assault rifles and other tactical gear like kevlar vests, oh and had non-lethal weapons at their disposal too. Guess MPA really means, Mega Pussy Association. Perhaps it should be changed to MGA (Mesa Gestapo Association or MCA (Mesa Coward Association). Still, as always I think most cops are good people trying to serve their communities, but this can’t be tolerated. Yet it was.

“Dear MPA,

Here is a song from the 3rd Reich to use the next time you need to get pumped up so you can have an out of control officer, with an assault rifle, shoot an obviously unarmed dad 5 times in a hotel hallway instead of just taking him into custody. Your organization is a disgrace to good police officers everywhere and you put their lives in jeopardy when you protect murdering thugs like Philip Brailsford, and his equally out of control commanding officer Charles Langley, who both said they would have done it again if given another chance.

Really, a guy with body armor, an AR-15, and 6 other cops outfitted in a similar manner to back him up, couldn’t just have handcuffed an UNARMED suspect?! He wanted to kill David Shaver and you know it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X986rZT_5X4 Good thing you kept the fact that he engraved “you’re fu****” into the side of the assault rifle, he should have never had, out of the court room. Stuff like that shows intent for 1st Degree murder, shhhh. Hell, he shot the guy 5 times for Christ’s sake. Here’s the video of the murder again. https://youtu.be/qYRRSdjdcbo

Looks to me like old Phil enjoyed himself, but probably only half as much as old Charles did. You know, just like any control freak bully would. Now please, old rich neo-cons, turn up the Fox News, then post lots of stuff in support of cops murdering people, because you think they’ll never come for you.”

Here’s a link to 3 petitions to bring these murdering thug to justice.

https://www.change.org/p/change-org-philip-brailsford-must-be-charged-with-1st-degree-murder

and

https://www.change.org/p/the-mayor-of-arizona-justice-for-daniel-shaver

and

https://www.change.org/p/arizona-supreme-court-arrest-retired-sgt-charles-langley

My God, Daniel Shaver was just at work. Anyway, if any of you know any poor, working class people in Arizona make sure you tell them to watch the fuck out for the cops!

How Can Anyone Be Voting for Roy Moore?

‘If you don’t want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying that you want a country based on Christian values.’ — Jimmy Carter

I waited a few days to see how the Roy Moore thing played out, but I both NOT surprised and disgusted with the deep south. Roy Moore and Doug Jones are pretty much neck in neck right now. I think this really proves how full of shit most extreme Christians are. They say they want Republicans because they are the moral party that protects life from conception and in general care about other people but their actions prove otherwise. Extreme Christians in the south obviously care about tax cuts a lot more than decency. If that weren’t true they would have demanded a different candidate than Roy Moore from their increasingly Christian Extremist Republican Party. Plus, what is their problem with Doug Jones? Is it really so bad to vote for a candidate that wants to do things like help the poor regardless of their religious beliefs, race, etc. Sounds like that’s exactly what Jesus said, ya know, unless you’re a hypocritical racist Christian Extremist that only cares about money (aka apparently most Republicans in Alabama). If that’s the case you’ll vote for a child rapist before, God forbid, voting for someone who actually gives a bit of a shit about other people like Doug Jones. Can we please let the south become its own country already so we can stop trading with them and not recognize them as a country? How awesome would it be to invade them when they started acting like this? Between Charlottesville and this, is there really any hope? We’ll make Northern, VA part of DC, move Disney World up there, and cut off the rest. You know, maybe that’s where we should put Trump’s wall. Between the backward, racist, Christian Extremist south and the rest of the country. Between the amount of unsecured guns, stupidity and inbreeding they’ll probably get rid of each other in just a few short generations.  Just food for thought. I try not to stereotype the entire south, but man they make it hard not to sometimes. They certainly do seem to immature to be allowed to participate in the government of a “free” nation.

Trump Tax Cuts = South Park Underpants Gnomes Profit Plan

So listening to the arguments for and against the Trump Tax plan it seems like they basically have the same plan as the Underpants Gnomes in South Park.

Phase 1: Collect Underpants

Phase 2: ?

Phae 3: Profit

Really, when you look at it they’re basically saying the same thing. They’re saying:

Phase 1: Give even bigger tax cuts to the wealthy

Phase 2: ?

Phase 3: Profit

Let’s look at one specific example of why this won’t work. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said that if these tax cuts come through he will bring $150 Billion back to the US. What he isn’t saying is that they’ve already started automating jobs at Foxconn. So if they build a plant here it will be almost entirely automated. That means that virtually no jobs will be created for human workers and the only people that will benefit are the investors. Whatever, I’ve told you all a long tome ago to start using Linux anyway LOL :). Seriously though, Linux is awesome and pretty much guilt free. I’m always happy to help someone learn more about Linux.

Anti-Net Neutrality Is Corporate Welfare

Net-Neutrality is in the news yet again as we are on the cusp of losing more of our first amendment rights again to big, unethical, telecom companies. Instead of making all of the arguments for net-neutrality that other individuals, organizations, and net-neutral companies like Google have already done a great job of I want to make a very specific one. I want to talk about how it’s corporate welfare.

You see, when a town install public broadband or has a company like Google available these companies tend to actually do their installs correctly. A town like Bellingham, WA would cost about $10 million dollars to wire up, if it was done all at once, of course publicly owned networks tend to pay for themselves including for their own expansion and maintenance, so you usually install some at a low cost, and then incrementally allow it to expand, but that is a topic for another article.

What is relevant is that if you look at a town like Bellingham you will pretty quickly realize that most residents only have real access to 1 telecom company and that almost all of the providers here are anti-net neutral. CenturyLink put an almost laughable amount of fiber in and is overselling their capacity and service choices here, just like they did in King  County.

http://www.king5.com/money/consumer/centurylink-hit-with-class-action-lawsuit-over-billing-practices/451646322

Estimates put it at about only $500,000 so about 1/20th of the fiber necessary to really make Bellingham competitive in the modern world and their pricing is way higher than Google. Of course getting real figures out of CenturyLink is next to impossible. This spotty service isn’t even available everywhere and is anti-net neutral. Comcast is even worse with their copper infrastructure. Our government has used these poor providers as an excuse not to give us better choices, and this has resulted in virtual monopolies all over our town. This is true of many place in the US. Some towns simply have their service cut off if they don’t purchase enough connections from one of these giants. See these town in 13 states that had 1,300 connections abruptly shut off by Verizon proving that totally private service is not reliable. https://muninetworks.org/tags-57

A company like Google though, and most publicly owned networks, expand until the town has adequate coverage for everyone, include an access for all component, and therefore provide adequate opportunities for everyone. Smaller private providers often just get absorbed by Comcast or one of the bigger providers, who often make the absorbed connections and quality standards surrounding them worse. This gives you the illusion of choice but really just hides monopolies in the background.

So how is this corporate welfare? With net-neutrality a company has the incentive to build a better network to keep data prioritization equal. This is not expensive for them to do and lowers the cost per MBit for consumers. Even with that, most Americans pay 10 times the amount paid in other developed countries for their services and get much worse service in return. Without net-neutrality a company can throttle connections or even steal bandwidth from other parts of the network to keep premium customers data flowing at a fast rate, making the slower connections even worse. They can also take ransoms from companies to prioritize their traffic above others. Think of how this will effect the news! It also means that they are not regulated to build better networks and that the connections for most individuals will get worse while only an elite few see better connections. We are allowing them to do a terrible job and make more money than ever off of their poor services by not regulating them. That’s how it’s corporate welfare. We’re essentially giving them more money by not guaranteeing their services will even be good or usable for most.

It should be noted that most of our regulation was almost toothless before this anyway. If anything we needed more regulation to protect the interest of the average American, not less.

Also, the FCC under the Trump administration is pushing many other backward telecom standards listed here.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/26/fcc-wont-vote-on-net-neutrality-in-november/

Most of them sound good until you look into them. For example, the “Common-sense measures” to ease transition from copper to fiber, part of what they’re voting on is also corporate welfare. See Fiber is a great idea, especially publicly owned fiber, in fact it should be the default standard for telecom cabling in the US today, but this administration is just going to give tax money to big telecoms to upgrade their privately owned infrastructure. So 18 Billion dollar CenturyLink will not have to spend their own money maintaining and upgrading their own infrastructure. You’ll do it for them, even if you’re note one of their customers. They will be given your tax dollars instead. It’s a handout.

Equifax Notice of Data Breach (With A Truth Filter Enabled)

About 1/2 of all Americans received a letter from Equifax over the last few weeks outlining the totally unacceptable data breach that, of course, no one who makes more than 250k a year at Equifax is being held accountable for. Even though there was obviously insider trading, the most likely source of the breach was internal, and at best the Equifax executives withheld the data for at least a day while they sold off their stocks. The letter, of course, tries to inform the consumer of the problem without assigning any blame to Equifax. It’s overall goal is to help Equifax executives avoid being held accountable for their criminal activities. So here, I am reproducing the letter with George Carlin style interpretations in parentheses () where appropriate. Enjoy!

EQUIFAX

NOTICE OF DATA BREACH

Dear Proles,

This letter follows up on a cybersecurity incident Equifax announced on September 7, 2017. (It took us months to admit to it and then even longer to try and cover our tracks which is why you’re receiving this letter so late.) At Equifax, our priorites with regard to this incident are transperncy and continuing to provide timely, reassuring support to every consuer. (Meaning, we will pretend to care if you call us but you’re pretty much on your own if you are actually a victim of identity theft, etc. because of our criminal incompetence. I mean come on, you know the Corporate Democrats would have never held us accountable, so why do you think the Neo-Conservatice Republicans led by Trump will? We can do whatever we want and get away with it right now!) You are receiving this letter because you are one of the 3 million additional potentially impacted U.S. consumers that has personal information that was potentially exposed, as described below. (Meaning, your data was definitely taken. In fact, you’ve probably already had to at least run credit reports and file fraudulent credit card charge claims, but we still won’t admit to it because we don’t care. In fact, you have to be out of your mind to keep doing business with us. That is assuming you don’t lose everything you’ve worked so hard for in your life before you can protect yourself, because we took so long to inform you in the first place.)

What Happened

From mid-May through July of this year, Equifax discovered that criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files. (Meaning that we had inadequate security because we never took it seriously, underpaid our IT staff, and had too few employees working on security to keep your data safe. Basically, we didn’t give a shit and never will since we can always get away with blaming our workers regardless of how we treat them. Also, by certain files we mean that we had lots of your data in just a few locations, making it easy for criminals to get lots of data at once. Our security model is often referred to as the Cadbury Creme Egg Model. Meaning hard outer shell, soft creamy center and our eggs were old and had even been dropped.) Upon discovery, we acted immediately to stop the intrusion. (Ok, well our own commentary shows that we didn’t act immediately, but hopefully this sounds good enough that you don’t put 2 and 2 together on that point). The company promptly engaged a leading, independent cybersecurity firm which has been conducting a comprehensive forensic review to determine the scope of the intrusion, including the specific data impacted. (You know, like we should have had been doing the whole time since we had data on about 50% of the population. Oh well, fuck you, deal with it!) Equifax also reported the criminal access to law enforcement and continues to work with authorities. (Which is kind of a joke, because all of our social systems have been totally gutted by people like our CEOs, and the upper class in general, but this sounds good to say here.) Based on the company’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017. (So over a very long period of time, and we just weren’t paying attention, or some of us were involved. Remember Ockham’s razor. It probably took place over an even longer period of time, but we’ll never admit to that.)

On September 7, 2017 Equifax notified U.S. consumers of the data security incident, including that approximately 143 million (plus the 3 million additional consumers above so actually 146 million) U.S. consumers were impacted. (We’ve tried to soften up this number by using the whole U.S. population of about 323 million, but the adult population is about 250 million, meaning that 60% of consumers had their data stolen in a way that can be used immediately. Meaning that trusting your money with any large U.S. bank or credit organization is literally insane and shows you why our system is unsustainable.) On October 2, 2017, following the completion of the forensic portion of the investigation of the incident, (so 6 months after the original incident, because we were busy trying to cover up our own crimes), Equifax announced that the review determined that approximately 3 million additional consumers were potentially impacted. (See, we keep saying potentially, when we mean definitely. We’re just so spineless that we won’t take responsibility for anything, and honestly, for the sake of the species, shouldn’t be allowed to breed as we represent the worst among you. I mean, really, you guys all go to work for a living, and then we steal from you, it blows our minds that you tolerate that, but you do so whatever!) To minimize confusion, you are receiving this letter because you are one of the potentially effected U.S. consumers. (Again, replace potentially with definitely here.)

What Information Was Involved

Most of the consumer information accessed includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some instances, driver’s license numbers. (Basically, everything someone needs to totally fuck up your life. Oh, and it’s your responsibility to solve the problem, not ours. Thank god for the Republicans and Corporate Democrats who are on the take and will never hold us responsible. Phew, it would be a close one without those guys on our payroll.) In addition to this notice, Equifax will send you a direct mail notice if your credit card number was impacted. (Which is not true, because many of you who know your credit cards were impacted did not receive notices. I’m sure we’ll pretend that we just didn’t know. Tee-hee.) We have found no evidence of unauthorized access to Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases. (But then again, we missed everything else for months, and took even longer to report it, so that doesn’t really mean anything. In general, we’re totally incompetent, or at least that’s what we want you to think. We actually probably just stole from you.)

What We Are Doing

(Overall, we’re just pretending to care. I mean, come on, we all know that the Trump administration won’t hold us accountable.)

Upon learning of this incident, Equifax took steps to stop the intrusion, and engaged an independent cybersecurity firm to forensically investigate and determine the scope. Equifax also engaged cyersecurity firm (it really does say firm here, we can’t even be bothered to proof read stuff like this) to conduct an assessment and provide recommendation on steps that can be taken to help prevent this type of incident from happening again. (This was always possible, we just chose not to spend money on protecting you until something awful happened because it would have cost us money that our spoiled kids could spend on blow to use in their Ivy League dorms.)

Equifax is focused on consumer protection and has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to help consumers. (We should have called it equifax_unacceptable_data_breach_2017.com) We are also offering free identity theft protection and credit file monitoring to all U.S. consumers, even if a consumer was not impacted by this incident. (You know, like we always should have since we make millions off of reselling your information, etc. This is also a way for us to shift the blame back to you when something happens to you because of our incompetence.) This offering, called TrustedID Premier, includes 3-Bureau credit monitoring of your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports; copies of your Equifax credit report; the ability to lock and unlock your Equifax credit report; (meaning it’s totally useless if another credit bureau is used) identity theft insurance; (of course no amount is specified here, because we’ll totally try to fuck you on that later like any insurance company) and Internet scanning for your Social Security number – all complimentary to U.S. consumers for one year. (We hope this will keep us from going to jail, but come on, we can’t give you more than one year, because we’re just that greedy.) To find out more information on this complimentary offer and to sign up, please click on the tab “What Can I Do” on the dedicated website. You must complete the enrollment process by January 31, 2018. (Better keep saying complimentary. Then people feel like they’re getting something when they’re not really. Well they already got screwed by us, so that’s something right…)

In addition, by January 31, 2018, Equifax will offer a new service allowing consumers the option of controlling access to their personal credit data. (Like we always should have offered, but remember we were too busy selling your information, buying cocaine and hookers with the profits, and supporting candidates like Donald Trump so we could get away with incompetence like this all of the time, to do that. Also, this will be useless if someone uses another credit bureau.) The service we are developing will let consumers easily lock and unlock access to their Equifax credit files — for free, for life. (Again, it’s not really free. It’s your data after all. We had no right to withhold it from you in the first place.)

What You Can Do

In addition to enrolling in identity theft protection and credit file monitoring, please see the “Identity Theft Prevention Tips” and State Information below. (A great first step would be NOT doing business with us anymore. Oh and NOT voting against your own interests in the future. You should probably start voting for people that will actually hold us accountable. I mean really, what other proof do you need?!) This information provides additional steps you can take, including how to obtain a free copy of your credit report and place a fraud alert and/or credit freeze on your credit report. In addition, please monitor your account statements and report any unauthorized charges to your credit card companies and financial institutions. (All of who should know better than to trust us in the future.)

For More Information

Equifax is committed to ensuring that your personal information is protected (well not really, that’s why we’re in this mess in the first place, but this sounds good here), and we apologize to you for the concern and frustration this incident causes. (I mean, again, if we cared, this wouldn’t have happened, but maybe this will keep you from putting us in jail where we belong.) If you have additional questions, please call our dedicated call center at 866-447-7559, available from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Eastern Time, seven days a week. (Even after this we won’t give you a 24 hour call center. Come on, that means underpaying workers for 3 shifts and we are still really, really greedy and incapable of taking responsibility for our mistakes.)

Sincerely,

Equifax Inc.

(Notice how we didn’t list the names of any of our upper echelon here. We don’t want you remembering who they are.)

The NFL and Trump (Both 1st Amendment Hypocrites)

So before I say anything else, let me say how disgusted I am with the obsession Americans have with pro-sports. Talk about having backward priorities. We are on the cusp of losing our healthcare, we may be going to war with North Korea, the environment is a total wreck, we have the largest gap between the rich and poor since the gilded age, and Americans in general have not reacted to it. In fact, about 1/2 of voters voted to make the situation worse for other Americans by voting for Trump, but now, now that he screwed with football. Now we’re getting a reaction. I guess in some ways I should be happy that anything got people off of their asses to do something, but man what a bunch of sheep. Anyway, before you get your panties in a bunch, because I insulted your pro-sports gods, it’s important to note that both sides are hypocrites when it comes to the first amendment. Sure, maybe the players themselves are not but the NFL definitely is a fascist organization. That’s why most of their owners voted Trump in the first place as I’ll expand on below.

The modern collegiate sports system is very much like a system of modern slavery after all, especially when it comes to football and basketball. Keep in mind that the NFL and NBA get most of their players from collegiate slave labor programs where they ruin their bodies and keep them from getting properly educated all in the name of making the university money and scoring points using some kind of ball.

Anyway, I won’t even make the financial argument about watching a bunch of rich assholes argue the first Amendment via sportsball games. The players have a right to protest the American flag if they want to. Like it or not, that’s free speech. Instead I want to talk about the hypocrisy on both sides.

So, again, I support free speech in all of its forms, including the NFL players that want to protest the American flag. It’s easy to see why, especially the African American players, feel the way they do and should protest. In fact, it’s proper for them to do so. When our country was founded we understood that ideals were important than profits and having a culture based on individual liberties and freedoms mattered. So even if the guys writing the documents (aka the founding fathers) were hypocritical slave owners themselves, their core ideas were good and they set the foundation of our culture. We should be going more towards individual freedoms, not away from them.

Still, it’s always hilarious when the NFL pretends to give a shit about free speech. For example, the Seahawks pretend they really care about free speech when they play at CenturyLink field and have CenturyLink, Comcast, AT&T and Verizon as partners, advertisers and sponsors. These companies fought for, and won, the right to censor all of the information that you receive via network prioritization and with their Anti-Net Neutrality stance. Perhaps Trump should become a Seahawks advertiser, then he can get away with doing whatever he wants in regards to speech and the Seahawks.

Here is a list of the stadiums that different pro-football teams play at. They’re pretty much all owned by corporations that censor information and/or support companies that do. Most of these companies support Trump too. The Trump administration is totally against Net-Neutrality as well so why they can’t agree on who should or shouldn’t stand for the national anthem, they do all agree on one thing. That giant corporations should be allowed to censor your information.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_National_Football_League_stadiums

One final thought. The NFL was already refusing to sign players like Kirkpatrick for their protests. Plus most of the NFL owners were huge Trump supporters. Many of the players were too, using their celebrity status to help get Trump elected, just so they didn’t have to pay their fair share in taxes, even though they knew he was a huge racist. In fact, they gave him so much money that it’s arguable that without their support the Trump campaign would not have been successful. Are they having buyers remorse now?

Update: Well it looks like most of the wealthy owners, especially the ones that helped Trump get elected, have almost all caved into his demands. Guess the players really are slaves. Sure, very wealthy slaves, but slaves none the less.

City of Bellingham Washington’s Backdoor, Fascist, CenturyLink Deal

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating the Internet must treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication. — Wikipedia

The COB officials kept saying it over and over again. “It’s a Cable TV deal, not an internet deal. We regulate Cable TV, not the internet. That’s done at the state level.” Here’s what they didn’t tell you.

CenturyLink recently signed a deal with our very corrupt Mayor Kelli Linville and our equally corrupt city council. According to the COB, it was supposedly just a Cable TV deal for PRISM TV services with CenturyLink, one of the most fascist, irresponsible, hated companies in history and for good reason. One of those reasons is that they have been on the front lines of fighting against Net Neutrality and for the right to censor information. This behavior is part of the reason that Net Neutrality was established by the Obama Administration in the first place. President Obama was a member of the Democratic party, the same party that represents and even endorses most of our local candidates.

The City didn’t just sign a deal with CenturyLink. They assigned staff, at our expense, to the 18 billion dollar company to help them come in and then used a 2nd provider clause to help them avoid even the small amount of regulation that was placed on Comcast. So basically, they came in with no regulation.

The COB also did not seriously investigate other options, even though one of the most successful public fiber networks is literally next door in Mount Vernon and they offered to share information. The COB public works director, Ted Carlson, even threatened, on behalf of Puget Sound energy, to end the one meeting they had with two local public fiber experts because they were using PSE as an example of poor infrastructure.  Brian Heinreich, the deputy administrator, showed up late to the meeting and then refused to share any of the information from it with the council. By this point, they were already deep into giving CentuyLink corporate welfare to come into the community. Apparently an 18 Billion dollar company needs our help to figure out how to operate here and they need us to do it at our own expense.

The mayor would not give a public option the time of day, even laughing the city’s own attorney off stage when he suggested they should go over the exceptions being made for CenturyLink by the COB. The council joined her in this laughter right after Michael Lilliquist implied that it was silly and told James Erb, the city’s very hard working attorney, that he could sit down. It seems that the mayor and council considered this deal to be a joke, or the public too stupid to care about or even understand what was going on. CenturyLink sent four lawyers to this meeting just in case any pesky people from the community showed up.

The PRISM TV service is served over a small amount of fiber, but paired with the loss of Net Neutrality, they can prioritize any traffic they see fit. Meaning that when you go to test your connection at a speed test site your traffic will be prioritized too, often giving you a false positive, but it gets even better. This kind of behavior is why CenturyLink is in the middle of a class action lawsuit in King County. http://www.king5.com/money/consumer/centurylink-hit-with-class-action-lawsuit-over-billing-practices/451646322

The day after signing the “TV” contract with CenturyLink Kelli Linville personally killed a report that was being put together on other private internet options in the area even though it was near completion. She as also delayed a report being put together on public options, as far as anyone can tell, indefinitely. So they keep saying it’s a Cable TV contract, but they keep treating it like an internet solution. Of course, they skirted over the details about how CenturyLink’s low-income options tend to be a joke and how their services still cost about 10 times what they do in other developed countries. They also ignored the fact that they cost 3 times what they do even in other parts of the US like Kansas City. They laughed again at the idea of wiring up the whole city with fiber even though this would cost about 1/5th of what they’ve already spent on the ill advised Waterfront project and even though the network would pay for its own expansion if installed correctly. In fact, a public network could be started with as little as $300,000 and could support dozens of local providers.

Of course all of this information was sent to the mayor and the council before the July 24th meeting. They had 2 odd meetings. A 1pm meeting where the public was not allowed to ask any questions and a 7pm meeting where the public could make brief statements, but the council never took any anti-CenturyLink information under consideration.

In fact, Roxanne Murphy and Pinky Vargas gushed over CenturyLink, thanking them for coming into our town. Both said the opposite at a Young Democrats meeting to get their endorsement. Pinky was asked specifically if she supported Net Neutrality which she said she did but at the July 24th meeting she then backed up and gushed over one of the most Anti-Net Neutral, and therefore anti-first amendment companies in history, CenturyLink. Roxanne had an equally poor showing saying she would support the same kind of infrastructure they had in Tacoma and specifically public infrastructure, but then telling CenturyLink how she has been a customer of their for years, and will wait as long as necessary to get their services.

The city says that CenturyLink can not discriminate economically but has effectively given them every means to do so. CenturyLink simply is not going to go into communities that don’t have a “certain kind of infrastructure” meaning they will mostly be going into newer, wealthier communities. So their business practices will result in economic discrimination, just not in a way they can be legally held accountable for.

Also, if it was just a cable TV contract then why did the Bellingham Herald run two articles on CenturyLink’s behalf. One highlighting it as an interent service?

Their second defense is that CenturyLink could have sued them if they didn’t let them come in. Well we pay for lawyers to be on the COB staff and since doing business with a company that is attacking the first amendment is against our code of ethics we could have easily defended against this.

Of course this won’t address any of our social concerns. When asked what CenturyLink was doing about North Bellingham by Dan Hamill they refused to answer his question. Dan of course voted for them anyway because he’s corrupt.

Now I know people hate it when you make references to the Nazi’s. Almost as if we’ve been programmed to have that knee jerk response, but the parallels between Anti-Net Neutral companies like CenturyLink, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and most of our providers and governments nationwide and the Nazi’s are inescapable.

Most people think the Nazi’s were socialists, but the system they actually pushed for was a system with a bunch of trusted companies working closely with the government. They wanted the government to be stronger than corporations but in the end their goals were met as long as these two entities were stronger than the people. They all agreed that they needed to have control of the media to control the people like they do now because we don’t really have other options in Bellingham. Similar behavior like this has all been well documented in a book called “Rise of the Fourth Reich” by Jim Marrs.

All of this so the city doesn’t have to establish a Dig Once policy to install inexpensive conduit, improve their existing infrastructure, and give you real options via a publicly owned, net-neutral, internet system. I don’t know about you, but something smells pretty bad down at city hall to me. Nothing is more important in a free society than the free flow of information and your government consistently chooses to backup companies that have fought for the right to censor the information you receive and charge you the most per MBit of data in the developed world.

CenturyLink has confirmed in an e-mail sent to me by Marty Mullholland, the city’s IT director, that they will not be providing better service to the county. They also have confirmed that they have the right to pull out of Bellingham if they do not get 20% of users within 5 years and they will not even establish a local office if they do not get 30%. Even Comcast gives us a local office with a lower percentage of users. So basically if they don’t get a monopoly of some kind they will not take us seriously as a community.
Historically the cable companies don’t actually compete with each other. They establish territories and no real competition takes place. This is partially due to the fact that content providers set the rates for what their content will cost. Think of it in regards to how the oil industry works. OPEC sets the overall cost of oil. Sure, you may have a Mobil and a Shell station in the same town but their rate for fuel will only vary by a few cents.
This dependence on fuel can be totally replaced by creating better infrastructure for charging electric cars, which have many advantages, but pressure from the oil companies and our government’s lack of interest in creating real infrastructure keeps that from happening. The same thing is happening with broadband.
Content providers have tried to slow down the expansion of Google Fiber by originally double charging them to provide the same content as other providers like by stating that Google was a non-traditional provider. Even with all of this Google provides TV and Gigabit internet services for $100 a month in Kansas City. Google has already decided not to come to Bellingham for many reasons that would require a separate article to explore.
All of this so that we can continue to not improve our infrastructure and continue to pay ten times the rate for internet that they do in other developed countries. With a truly good internet connection you would not need separate TV services. In fact, you don’t now. Here is a breakdown of the cost of internet and TV by country. Keep in mind that their speeds are also about 10 times better down and 100 times better up than most of you can get in Bellingham. We pay the highest price for internet per MBit in the developed world.
Kansas City (Gigabit Internet $70 with TV $100)
Japan (Gigabit Internet $25.50)
Hong Kong (Gigibit Internet $24)
Sling TV (Starts at $20)
So if you were able to get internet at an affordable rate and wanted TV you could pair it with something like a Sling package and pay less than half of what CenturyLink wants to charge you. There simply is no excuse for the rates that we pay and our lack of infrastructure. Pair that with the Anti-Net Neutral stance of most of Bellingham’s providers and there is no excuse for not at least perusing a public option to create real competition, address our social and economic issues, protect ourselves from content censorship, and drive down cost.