Obama Signs Global Internet Treaty Worse Than SOPA

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement was signed by Obama on October 1 2011, yet is currently the subject of a White House petition demanding Senators be forced to ratify the treaty. The White House has circumvented the necessity to have the treaty confirmed by lawmakers by presenting it an as “executive agreement,” although legal scholars have highlighted the dubious nature of this characterization.

Under the provisions of ACTA, copyright holders will be granted sweeping direct powers to demand ISPs remove material from the Internet on a whim. Whereas ISPs normally are only forced to remove content after a court order, all legal oversight will be abolished, a precedent that will apply globally, rendering the treaty worse in its potential scope for abuse than SOPA or PIPA.

Once again, Pres. Obama demonstrates his hostility to Congress, the concept of Separation of Powers, and the personal liberties we in this country have, until now, assumed were inviolate.

So say, for example, that you take your car to a mechanic.  The car’s not running all that great, and you’d like to get it a tune-up.  Your mechanic takes on the job, and promises you that your trusty automobile will soon be running better than ever before.

You pick the car up later that day, and drive off, expecting great things.  Funny though, something isn’t quite right.  Now it’s got a clank and a shimmy it didn’t have before.  So you take it back the next day to have it looked at again.

Noooo problem, insists the mechanic.  We just need a little more time with it.  Soon it’ll be like new.  You’re somewhat skeptical, but the mechanic seems confident, competent, so you entrust your family wagon to him one more time.

Later you pick up your vehicle, accompanied by the smiles and assurances of the maintenance staff that all is well.  You drive off with a renewed sense of confidence and optimism.

Funny though, now not ONLY does it have a clank, and a shimmy, but the radio doesn’t work and it stalls at stop lights.  You’re a bit miffed, and limp it back to the dealership to demand that the mechanic set things aright.

The mechanic clucks and sighs, and shakes his head, and informs you that you just have to be patient with him.  These things are complicated, they take time.  It might even appear to get worse before it gets better, but really, he’s the mechanic and you’re just the driver, so you need to trust that he’s doing what’s best for you.

Properly humbled, you entrust your sole mode of transportation to this august, if slightly condescending professional and hope for the best.  Later, you pick your car back up, and the mechanic’s beaming smile assures you that all will be right, no really, this time he means it. 

But, as you go to pull out of the parking lot, the muffler falls off, the tires blow out, and the engine catches fire.  You bail out of the burning wreck of what was once a perfectly serviceable automobile, and storm up to demand an accounting from the so-called “mechanic” who trashed your car.

It’s not my fault, he insists.  As a matter a fact, it was the old mechanic you had that caused all the problems.  There was too much wrong with it to fix in the time you gave me.  You should blame him, not me.  As a matter of fact, wouldn’t it be better if you just rode the bus?

Now, at some point in this scenario, wouldn’t you figure out that this so-called mechanic had no real idea what he was doing, had no idea how to actually fix your car, and was really just pretending to repair things in order to soak you for the cash you kept paying him to “fix” these problems, many of which HE HIMSELF CAUSED?!

That said, WHY, oh WHY do we keep looking to Pres. Obama and his administration to somehow “fix” the economy?  Every time he’s tried, he’s given us back something worse that what we started with.  Why do we overlook behavior in a President that we wouldn’t stand for in a mechanic?

We really, really, REALLY need to find a new pit crew.

Life is kicking me in the scrotum.  Wearing track cleats.  So…yeah.

Insane.  Insanely awesome.  Wow.  How do you “practice” something like this? Yee-ikes.

The New Year is upon me.  I don’t know what it is about us humans that we place such significance in these milestones.  A New Year’s Resolution!  Some magical threshold is crossed and now, because I put a 2012 on my checks instead of a 2011, suddenly I have a previously unrealized capability to complete retool my life.

This year I’ll drink less, work out more, be nicer, give more to charity, blah blah blah.  No, you probably won’t.  Not really.  Oh, sure, for a couple of weeks you’ll burn with that 2012 fervor, emotionally effervescing with a frothy intensity of determination to improve yourself from the train-wreck that somehow managed to limp cross the finish line of the last year.

‘Cept dat, lo and behold, you are really just the same ol’ joe you were three weeks ago.  Still facing the same problems, still fighting against the same intertia that makes it so much easier to watch The Biggest Loser than it does to hurl yourself off the couch and into the gym to actually make your own progress.  Still spending too much, saving too little, saying the wrong things to the wrong people.  Still burdened by the same fears, hesitations, reluctances.

So what’s different?  What makes us think that we suddenly have some new superpower which will help us overcome all the same struggles that kicked our butt for the better part of the entirety of 2011?

Read the rest of this entry »

This year I resolved not to make resolutions.  I resolved not to resolve, but rather, to DO.  So, one of my not-resolutions is to get back into the blog business, and start posting more regularly.  Maybe even try to build this site traffic back up from more than just you seven hard-core fanatics who still seem to swing by semi-regularly.

So.  I’ve culled through my blogroll and purged quite a few of the links.  Basically if the blog was a dead link, just plain dead, or hadn’t posted anything in a year or so, it went by-by.  I also dropped a few that I had just because, but never actually read, or if I did read at one time, have so changed their focus or format that I don’t any more.   Generally, if you link to me, I’ll probably link ya back, unless you blog exclusively about cats or unicorns or something; in which case, the likelihood of you actually linking me in the first place is pretty slim, so it’s probably not an issue.

If you want a link  just post a comment saying so, and I’ll check out yer site.

My goal is to lighten things up a bit, but still keep my hand in with the politcal commentary and general social whinging and gritching.   If you’re willing to stop by, I want to give you something worthwhile to read while you’re here. 

So. with that blathering aside, perhaps I’ll get on with it!

Hypocrisy, thy name is Democrat.

Posted: January 5, 2012 in Blitherings

You know, for all the froth and high dudgeon we had to endure for the better part of eight years as the Left carried on about Bush/Cheney and Haliburton, cronyism, etc., I have to wonder what we’re going to here out of Media Matters and Code Pink about Obama’s unconstitutional “recess” appointments of three of his Big Labor cronies to the NLRB?

What would Michael Moore and Jeneanne Garafalo have had to say if Bush had said that Congress was essentially irrlevant, and if they got in his way, he’d just do what he wanted anyway via Presidential Executive Orders, and like it, bitches?

Or, you know, had Bush taken a $4 million Hawaii vacation for the whole family while the rest of us struggled with upwards of 15% unemployment?

Hmm. I guess we’ll never know, will we?

White House: When Congress Won’t Cooperate, Obama Will Take ‘Small, Medium and Large’ Executive Actions

Carney said the president wants to work with Congress, but if the House and Senate don’t, Obama will.

“He’s going to take the actions that he can take using his executive authority to help the cause here, to help Americans deal with this challenging economy. And they can be small, medium or large actions and they don’t have to be just executive authority actions,” Carney continued. “They can be things we can do working with the private sector. So he’ll pursue all tracks.”

Carney added the president still would like to work with Congress (emphasis mine).

 “But it is not accurate to suggest that he doesn’t want to engage with Congress and that he won’t engage with Congress,” Carney said. “He wants to continue to work with Congress. He and his advisors believe there will be opportunities to cooperate with Congress this year. We believe, as a purely political matter, that some members of Congress that have pursued an obstructionist path may begin to see it in their political interest to actually demonstrate to their constituents that they can get some things done.”

To me, the two bolded passages reflect a strange perception on the part of our current President that working “with” the Senate and the House of Representatives is somehow optional.  That it’s sort of the preferred method, but by no means the only method of getting legislation passed and implementing national, federal policy in this country.

In other words, Congress has relevance only as long as the Emperor deigns to give it such.  If it gets in his way, gets inconvenient, slows down his agenda, well then it’s time to shoulder the thing aside and get down to the real business of running this country the way HE thinks it oughta.

Folks, anywhere else, that’s called either a monarchy, or a dictatorship.  And for all their talk about George Bush and his “imperial” presidency, I see President Obama showing a much more overt, fundamental, and arrogant disregard for the rule of law and the concept of separation of powers than any previous member of the White House.

Congress is explicity empowered and mandated BY THE CONSTITUTION as the body which make the laws in our country.  NOT THE PRESIDENT.  If the President is only willing to work with the Congress when they are doing what he wants, then they are no longer “of the people, by the people, for the people,” but rather, merely the steno pool for the CEO.

Scary, scary stuff.

via Protein Wisdom.

How Obama’s ‘Other Half’ Lives

Census data shows 48 percent of Americans are either “poor” or “near poor,” the Associated Press reported yesterday, perplexing everyday people and delighting the nation’s harshest critics here and abroad.

The AP story implied this staggering news was the result of deteriorating economic conditions. In fact, though, the number of “near poor” Americans increased dramatically because the Obama administration dramatically (but quietly) changed the official definition of poverty.

Traditionally, a U.S. household was considered “low income” or “near poor” if it had income below 200 percent of the official poverty income thresholds. The Obama administration has raised those income thresholds and thereby transformed the way the government measures poverty and near poverty.

Under President Obama’s new definitions, a family of four in Oakland is “near poor” if their annual pre-tax income is less than $89,700 plus medical insurance. In metropolitan Washington, D.C., the near-poverty line became $80,500. In New York, it’s now $78,500; in Boston, $68,900; and Chicago, $68,600.

Now, one would think that, after three years in office, a President would take pains to minimize the reported numbers of poor in his country, as this unfortunate statistic could be laid firmly at his feet.  Ah, yes but.  IF it is a fundamental component of your social agenda to highlight how many distressed, poor, disenfranchised, needy, hurting people there are in the country who are desperately in need of your federally-funded social programs, well then perhaps you’d want to spin the numbers a different way.

People dependent on a government for their subsistence are, in fact, dependent on the government.  They are beholden to the people who control their income. And as such, are that much more susceptible to influence, coercion and control.

Obama is pushing with everything he has to implement more and more “social controls” on our society.  Re-branding the middle-class as “near poor” greatly widens the pool of proles to whom he can refer when justifiying both his war on “the rich”, and progressive and onerous taxation to fund all these programs for the poor.

Tea Party vs OWS

Posted: December 9, 2011 in Blitherings

Yeah, what HE said.

Via Retired Geezer