Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts in Rantings

It is absolutely disgusting how people continue to say that we should support the troops and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. I can’t and won’t. This video aptly explains why so many people believe as I do.

There may have been men and women who had good intentions when they joined the military, but they are just as guilty as their superiors for not refusing illegitimate orders and for violating international laws and committing vile acts of rape and murder.

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After receiving a lot of negative media attention towards their new bandwidth caps, TimeWarner has attempted to justify the situation by saying that it’s the customers fault.  TimeWarner wants tiered Internet access, but not ala carte cable.

What TimeWarner has essentially done is oversell their subscriber lines, then complain when subscribers try to use the bandwidth they were sold.  It is as if TimeWarner has five pieces of candy and sells two different customers three pieces of candy each.  Then, when each customer wants their three pieces of candy, they blame the customer for being greedy and charge them more for that third piece.

What happens is that customers get charged for three pieces, but only take two or one because it’s less hassle.  TimeWarner profits because it’s charging for candy not taken and they can sell that same third piece over and over, making more profits on something they never intended on giving to the customers.

TimeWarner now claims that their unlimited candy policy is now $150 per month.  This is well above what most people can afford.  However, once people do start paying this, there will be, again, more caps and limits on speeds while finding a way to charge the customer again.

The fact is, they don’t want you to listen to last.fm.  They want you to pay them for their music channels.  They don’t want you to stream Netflix.  They want you to pay for pay-per-view movies.  They don’t want you to watch TV via Hulu.  They want you to pay them to watch TV.  They don’t want you to watch baseball on mlb.tv.  They want you to pay $70 more and watch MLB Extra Innings through them.

This is clearly about keeping money and charging you more for something you can get for free online.  Their business model is quickly becoming outdated and TimeWarner are grasping at anything they can to take more of their customers’ money while giving them less.  It’s anti-competitive and monopolistic and the sooner TimeWarner’s customers walk, the better.

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Youthful transgressions are part of life.  Everyone does something stupid that they regret, but, in the long run, it doesn’t really harm you.  That is, as long as law enforcement doesn’t get involved.  When it does, many children’s lives are destroyed, named perverts, and put on the sexual register for life.  Such is the way law enforcement and judges believe is the only way to protect children from themselves.

On March 25, 2004, Amber and Jeremy took digital photos of themselves naked and engaged in unspecified “sexual behavior.” The two sent the photos from a computer at Amber’s house to Jeremy’s personal e-mail address. Neither teen showed the photographs to anyone else.

Amber and Jeremy were arrested. Each was charged with producing, directing or promoting a photograph featuring the sexual conduct of a child. Based on the contents of his e-mail account, Jeremy was charged with an extra count of possession of child pornography.

Under a 1995 ruling, in a case called B.B. v. State, the Florida Supreme Court said that minors can have carnal relations with each other and it is not a crime unless they document it.

The problem with the appeals court is that they felt Amber was guilty because the computers could be hacked and people could sell the photos.  This ultimately says that merely owning naked pictures of yourself, on your own computer, is illegal because someone could hack it and take the photos.

If someone’s stealing pictures of you in a compromising position and using it for blackmail or simply to profit off of your body, that makes you a victim. It’s not a crime to place yourself in a position where you may be compromised; it’s not a crime to walk alone in a bad part of town, or to wear “provocative” clothing.

The dissenting judge in the case agreed.  While taking naked pictures of yourself as a teenager should be discouraged because it could lead to future problems, it should not make you a sex offender.

Another girl in Pennsylvania is refusing to be bullied by the district attorney for taking photos of herself and her friend in their bras.

A 14-year old New Jersery girl posted multiple photos of herself naked on MySpace so that her boyfriend would see them.  While this is stupid, does anyone really believe that this girl should be charged with child pornography.  She simply does not understand the ramifications of her actions.  If she is convicted, she will be forced to place her name, for life, on the sex offender list.  This will permanently prohibit places where she can live and work.  Is the girl an idiot?  Yes.  Should her life be ruined because of it?  No.

It’s time for those in positions of power to educate instead of prosecute.  If we don’t, matters will become worse.  Many of these children do not understand the consequences of their actions.  They should not be labeled for life for something idiotic they did as children; something which they didn’t even understand.

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BBC news is running a series on being unemployed and they’ve managed to find a woman who has never had a job in her life.  Despite their best efforts, the BBC did not make me feel sorry for this woman.

Elizabeth Malcolm, 43, has never had a job. She lives in a two-bedroom council flat in Glasgow with her three children, one grandchild, two cats and a hamster.

So, this woman left school at least 25 years ago, but has never worked.  She’s managed to sponge off the government for this long and still manages to have money left over for pets.

Neither of her two working-age children has a job.

Well, isn’t that nice.  The British taxpayer gets to pay for even more people who don’t work.

But she concedes that she doesn’t really know why she didn’t get a job, and that there was an element of just “not getting round” to it.

Oh, but you did manage to “get round” to picking up those benefit checks for 25 years.  Seriously, what the hell does she do all day that she can’t get round to picking up a newspaper and looking for a job?

She doesn’t think school wanted her to stay on because she “wasn’t too bright” and used to bunk off a lot.

Ah, so we’re supposed to feel sorry for her because she couldn’t even manage to get up and go to school on a regular basis?

Without any qualifications she assumed she wasn’t able to follow her chosen path and join the Army. She never actually made it to the recruitment office to ask.

I have two words for this woman: lazy bitch.  Exactly how hard is it to walk to town and get this information?  Or was the recruitment office up in a high tower and she had to complete an obstacle course to get to it?

While Elizabeth “feels angry” at herself for not getting into work when she was younger, at the same time she believes looking after the kids and the house has been a job in itself.

Yes, it is a job in itself, but millions of women manage to raise a family and work at the same time instead of using lame-ass excuses such as, “it’s too hard to take care of kids and work too.”

The family survives on a combination of Income Support and Child Tax Credits, claimed by both Elizabeth and Danielle. Both also receive the universal Child Benefit for one child each. It all amounts to about £270 a week for the five of them.

Danielle is the daughter.  She’s 17 and has an 11-month old son.  Are we seeing a pattern here?

Things will change for Elizabeth next year, when she will no longer be entitled to Income Support for being a lone parent. She is already being asked to attend interviews at the local job centre.

Good!  You’ve sucked off the system for 25 years.  Go find a job.

“They send for you every month to ask you why you’re not working and if you’ve been looking for work. I’ve told them my situation, that I’ve been having panic attacks when I go out – which started after my dad died – and they’ve written it all down.

Oh here we go.  You’re about to be kicked off the dole and now you suddenly have panic attacks.  That means you have to have some disability pay and still not work.

“They said I’d be better off if I was out working because Jon’s at an age now where the money I’m getting will stop soon. I’d need to sign on [for unemployment benefit] again and I don’t want that because I think I’m too old to sign on.”

You’re not too old.  Stop making excuses.  Just go get a job and stop trying to scam the system!

Elizabeth lost both her parents in the past four years, with her father’s death hitting her and William particularly hard. After his grandfather fell ill William became depressed and left the Army.

Can this family stop being a bunch of whiny babies?  People lose relatives.  Get over it.  Old people die.  Cry about it and move on.  Using it as an excuse to leave your job and not find a job is just pathetic.

In 2006 the children’s father, John Purcell, who was separated from Elizabeth but had been visiting the kids, was stabbed to death. Soon after, William was savagely attacked by local gang members and stabbed several times. After a second attack he stopped straying more than a few feet from the house, and started drinking more and more.   It’s left William so afraid to go out, he can’t sign on.

Hey, I’m sorry your life sucks, but so do millions of other people’s lives.  Go get some counseling, get your life sorted out and stop whining.  I’m sure William’s fellow soldiers are glad they didn’t need to rely on him in any tragic situation.

With no father on the scene, Danielle relies on help from the family. She says she hopes to learn to be a hairdresser or beautician. “All my pals are looking for work as well. But it’s not that easy to get a job straight away, you’ve got to write out your CV and everything and then hand it in to places.”

Oh…my…God!  If writing out your CV and handing it in is so difficult, how in the hell do you expect to make it in this world?

Day-to-day she spends her time going to the shops for her mother, collecting her money, or visiting friends who also have children.

Oh, so you’re really not looking for work then?  Thought so.  Oh, and your mom is sitting on her butt at home doing nothing because you’re running all the errands.  My god, people, wake up and smell the idiocy.  It’s Idiocracy come to life.

As my mom always says, “must be nice.”

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When you finally thought that the extreme religious views couldn’t get much worse, there’s Conservapedia.  If they’re not wacky enough for you, then you can try Christopedia.  Both are frighteningly scary in their own ways, however, their extreme views give conservatives and Christians a very bad name.

Much of their information is taken to be accurate and factual, when, in fact, it is not.  Yet, many people visit these two sites because of the appearance of accuracy and the inability for its users to genuinely filter out the garbage and add in the truth.

An example of inaccuracy is entry on Barack Obama:

President-elect Obama could become the first Muslim President to be sworn into office at his inauguration on January 20, 2009, possibly using the Koran.

Besides this being wholly inaccurate, the citation at the end of the sentence is a link to a Christian Science Article from 2006 about Congressman Keith Ellison, who is a Muslim, and wanted to carry a Koran to his swearing in ceremony.  The problem is that most people don’t read the citations.  They merely look that there is a citation and assume that whatever was written is accurate.

Conservapedia still feels like it is written by home schooled or Christan-schooled children who do not know any other way of life besides what has been spoon fed to them.

Conservapedia, however, seems very liberal when comparing it to Christopedia.  Their main page still features President-Elect Barack Obama prominently, with several inaccuracies in the entry.

Obama was allegedly born in Honolulu, Hawaii to an African Muslim father from Kenya, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., and an atheist white American mother, Stanley Ann Dunham.

There is no “allegedly” to his birth.  Barack Obama has released copies of his birth certificate and the hospital in which he was born in, as well as the state government, have verified his birth.  It is unnecessary to point out the religious leaning of his parents unless you are trying to stir up hatred against these belief systems.

They also make a point of showing Obama in Muslim dress, without giving the full details of why he wore such clothes.  I too, have worn traditional Muslim dress before.  I was at a friend’s wedding and it was the custom, so I dressed appropriately, yet, three years later, no one is accusing me of being a Muslim.

They also use “guilt by association” by including Reverend Wright.  The problem here is that make a point of mentioning here that Barack Obama has had an association with Reverend Wright for since 1988, yet they don’t see that they are claiming Obama is a radical Christian, while at the same time, a Muslim.

Michelle Obama, Barack’s wife, is also referred to as a Negroid-American, claiming that she will be the first “negress” to become first lady of the United States.

It is a bit ironic that “today’s verse” listed on the main page, under the entry for Barack Obama, is Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” and Mark 12:30-31 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. ”

It does not appear that they can practice what they preach.

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