The GOP voted to trash your privacy

As always with the GOP it's about pleasing the wealthy donors and showering with gifts the rest of us pay for, like it or not.

Latest give away ( not signed by Trump yet ) is a law to allow your ISP to spy on you and sell your personal information to anyone they like without your knowledge or permission.

It would allow them to insert ads into your web browser. It would allow them to secretly plant software to try to circumvent measures you may try to instal to protect your self.  Make no mistake this is an attempt to legalise corporate hacking of personal computers and cell phones.  ( Personally I think that would go down in flames in a court of law but who want's to pay for that battle? )

I wrote a letter and sent email to my GOP representative and Senator in DC. Below is a copy. I also added my voice on the White House web site's contact form. This kind of law is a very sharp example of how the swamp works.  Perhaps Trump can be persuaded to veto this theft of privacy of the American People if he gets enough backlash.  Your silence is a reward to the corporate monopoly over your congress.

03/29/2017

To: Congressman Yoho, Senator Rubio,

 

For the first time since Vietnam I am ashamed of my country. It appears your party is leading the charge to divest our citizens of a future, a decent education, clean air and water, health care, workplace safety, right to vote, attacks on media, a decent wage and now our personal privacy.

 

No wonder Russia invested in a right wing win!

 

Then you guys snuck it in. Passed a bill clearly a reward to the wealthy corporations who bankroll campaigns. You sold us out, allowing ISP's to gather then sell our personal information, at a profit, without our permission or knowledge. How KGB of you. This, along with threats to Net Neutrality are acts against the average citizen to enrich a small segment of wealthy patrons.

 

Perhaps you can explain to me how this is good for the typical American, having their privacy exploited for corporate profit? How is this representing the people as opposed to representing a very specific segment of the corporate world?

 

Is this how America goes down? Is this the plan to dupe us, brain wash us into turning our entire nation over to a small group of the powerful and wealthy? We are almost an oligarchy now. Will you give away your moral fibre to help tip it the rest of the way just to keep your donations and political privilege?

 

I know the tried and tired arguments that have proven wrong time and again. You guys will be remembered for the misery and shame you create by tearing down our nations people in exchange for cash.

 

All this will come to haunt you in the coming elections. You are either for the people or for the corporations, it cannot be both.

 

Weigh what you do and always ask honestly, who does this really benefit and why are we doing this?

 

Your future actions will demonstrate who you choose to represent.

 

 

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It is REALLY time to take some security measures of your own. http://4yourprivacy.com is my site. It provides information on how to protect yourself from the theft of your personal information such as browsing history, email etc.

We are in between a rock and a hard place.

Trumps presidency puts all of us in peril as a society that values freedom, truth and fair play.

There are calls to impeach Trump already.  This is not new, people wanted the same of Obama probably because he was "not like us".

Trump may actually be entangled in illegal activities both in terms of the emoluments clause of the Constitution and with regards to his alleged ties to Russia and Putin.

Here's the conundrum.  Do we want Trump removed from office?

Before you shout a resounding "YES" consider this.

The Line of Succession for the president is, Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, Orin Hatch.

Any and all of the above would be more than happy to rubber stamp virtually every anti-middle class, anti-safety net, anti-environment, anti-health care, anti-anything measure congress would but in front of them. 

Ask yourself, when was the last time any Republican ever proposed anything that would have a negative impact on the wealthy or corporations? Go on, I dare you to name one. All negative impact is on the shoulders of the average American and every such impact a financial advantage to the top few percent.

Trump, not so sure. For all his negatives he may not be as quick to trample over the middle class as would the others.

In some ways the best we can hope for from Trump is that he will not be a simple rubber stamp for a rush to oligarchy as would the rest who are in ideological lock-step.

Think about what you wish for and remember, the current Senate can still be a bottleneck for some destruction.

It is up to us to be sure to turn out to vote in the mid terms. If we can at least recapture the Senate we have a decent chance to hold off a lot of damage until we can boot Trump out of the white house in 2020.

If ever there was a time to NOT STAY HOME on election day it is for ALL future elections. You stay home you give your choice to someone else to make for you. This is what we got.

 

What happened to truth?

We have a constitution and the very first amendment is, well, The First Amendment. It is arguably the most important because without that freedom of the press and expression, a rogue political official (TRUMP?) can trample all the rest.

I find it strange how one faction can be so up in arms over an amendment that is not even under attack (2nd Amendment) yet remain unconcerned with the fate of the First Amendment.  Are they no equal legally?  If you lose the first, will the others be far behind including your 2nd and so on?

Some points to ponder from the news.

  • Trump says media is "Enemy of the American People"  USA Today, NY Times
    ( Nikita Khruschchev banned that phrase! )
  • Trump team ponders a White house with no press corps.  NY Daily News.
  • Trump teams threatens reporters with "investigation" if they report negative news on Sessions. Daily Kos
  • White house selectively bans news from press briefings at White House. Washington Post
  • Kellyann (alternative-facts) Conway, Bar files complaint for lying on behalf of Trump administration. Law News

Yes there is more, much more and it continues as I write. But the real problem is not media it is lies and the fact that real journalists will continue to expose those lies whenever they exit this administration. The GOP seems content with this for obvious reasons, it plays into their wheelhouse of keeping people angry and uninformed.

The media itself has to accept a piece of blame in this.  Sometimes they do get it wrong as do we all, but it is incumbent on the media to correct itself. Some do a better job of others. Sadly the outlet that seems the most "factually challenged", FoxNews is the darling of the right. 

The more you report actual facts the greater the chances of being attacked by this administration.

Trump and his team are using a couple of well worn tactics. (Hitler used them as do all dictators) First, discredit the news.

He then threatens directly or indirectly to use his authority to punish those who's reporting is not to his liking. Banning, threatening to "investigate" reporters etc.

When his henchmen ban a reporter from a press briefing one can assume that reporter must have reported a fact that reflects badly on Trump. Wear that as a badge of honour.  But for those who remain one must ask, are they accepting Trumps terms?  Can we trust those who choose to remain?

The goal is or should be obvious, rebuild a media that will do and say as they are told.  We call this version of our press corps "Pravda" if I can borrow a name from Trumps favoured nation.

Media can fight back and MUST fight back.  If one reporter is banned all should walk out.  Sure, Trump may prefer to talk to no media directly but the alternative is to have him talking to only "His" media leaving us with only propaganda, not news.

Media can be more selective in repeating and honoring every word coming from this administration. Fact check first then report the actual facts at the same time his often inaccurate utterances are published. Don't let his words get a jump on the facts as you did during the campaign. ( Yes YOU guys helped put him there )

Let's get media to stand as one in support of the First Amendment, the People's right to know and most importantly Facts and Truth.

Truth is Trump's Kryptonite, hold it close to his face!


Additional thoughts:  Can we trust what comes from a president when he seeks to eliminate from briefings those he believes will tell the truth or not ask the hard questions?  This demonstrates two things to me. 1) He intends to mislead the American People and 2) He does not want to be challenged on any point.

Can we trust those journalists reporting if they choose to accept Trump's terms in order to remain in these briefings? I'm not sure but in time those who remain will either tell the truth and be banned or report the lie and damage their own credibility.

 

 

Feel free to share this on Facebook, Twitter etc.

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Keystone Pipeline in the news, again

Trump is undoing Obama's halt on construction of the XL pipeline expansion. At first I had the typical liberal bias against this project but after watching a documentary on rail disasters I have second thoughts.

For starters some basic facts.  Much of this pipeline is already installed and working, the brouhaha is over adding a shortcut from the same place to expand and shorten the route.  This pipeline system is owned by a Canadian company, (TransCanada) not a US company, and is use to ship oil from the North to US Refineries for processing into fuels etc.

Like it or not the oil will move South for the foreseeable future.  Whether we put it in a continuous pipe or rely on trains the transportation of crude is part of our lives until we learn to use alternative sources of energy.  Until that happens, these are the only two choices.

 

Oil Trains transport where pipes don't go.

 

Sign indicating presence of pipe line below ground

 

 

Look at the photos above. On the left is a "pipeline on wheels" while at the left is what you see with a buried line. 

While both choices are bad on one account or another, after seeing the aftermath of a horrible disaster that wiped out the center of a Canadian town, leaving 42 people dead, no one can doubt the dangers of moving crude by rail through our towns and cities. At least a line under ground cannot plow into a city and burn down it's entire down town area as happened to Lac-M├ęgantic in Canada.. 1

 

We cannot count on our political leaders to make good choices as long as they are so heavily influenced by corporate greed. Sometimes in the sort term you take the lesser of two evils.  Accidents on rails can be very greatly reduced by implementing Automatic Train Control.  Congress mandated this after the terrible commuter crash in California, only to keep postponing it at the request of the industry. More crashes have resulted in more deaths while waiting.

At the same time Republicans in Congress wanted to force Obama to make a decision on the pipeline in 60 days. It is very obvious who Congress works for since both decisions are to enhance private profits, one to delay an expensive project that could prevent rail disasters, the other to force a decision to get a new pipeline buried under American soil for a foreign company. (Who, by the way, is technically prohibited from trying to influence our elected officials)

Regulations are there to protect actual people not corporations, but the Republicans in Congress are more concerned with protecting profit than lives and are willing to trash protections for us in order to protect the bank accounts of their patrons.

There is ONLY one way to finally get a government that actually believes they work for us, kick out everyone and start over. And repeat as necessary.

For now, perhaps a pipeline is a safer alternative than rail.

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