Waking up to a shut down government

Waking up to a shut down government.


A kindred spirit! Yay!


World Dystopian Literature Day

World Dystopian Literature Day.

I’m all in favor, but September is far away and our dystopia is (or at least it’s seeds are) here now.

Triangulating On Truth – The Totalitarian State

Insightful analysis of the whole PRISM thing. When are we going to start the “revolution” (strictly by ballot box of course; don’t want the Secret Service AND the NSA on my ass)?


The Guardian breaks a big story yesterday – a court document authorizing the FBI and NSA to secretly collect customer phone records. All of them, for all Verizon customers.

Then today the Washington Post breaks an even bigger story – a leaked presentation stating that the NSA is “tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies” to collect information on users. The project is code-named PRISM.

These are the huge repositories of user information from Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple. Dropbox, we’re told, is “coming soon.” Twitter is noticeably absent.

Then the counter stories – most of the companies mentioned in the NSA presentation have denied that the NSA has access to their servers. And people are pointing out that the Verizon order doesn’t include actual phone conversations, just the metadata around those conversations.

On the WP story, that means one…

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Blue Texas and Politifact

Politifact Texas recently did a check of a comment by Gilberto Hinojosa, to the effect that Texas’ electoral votes combined with California and New York (i.e. if Texas voted for the Democratic candidate) would make it mathematically impossible for a Republican to win the White House. 

They rated that one false, and I’m inclined to agree with them. Around the same time Hinojosa made a similar comment “And the day that Texas becomes blue, it becomes mathematically impossible for Republicans to elect the president of the United States.” There is a nugget of truth here and the right context could have switched this from False to True.

Electoral-Vote.com tracks the presidential race based on each of the 51 state (and District of Columbia) races for President and color codes the states based on the strength of a candidate in the most recent polls. When you add up the electoral votes of the states that reliably vote Democratic, you get 241. The states that reliably vote Republican (including Texas) total 191. If nothing else changed, Texas’ 38 electoral votes would put the Democrats over the top since the minimum to win is 270 electoral votes.. If Texas became reliably blue, The Republicans would hardly have a chance without major ideological reforms.

Hello world!

Greetings to one and all! I’ve been talking about doing this for quite awhile, but now I’ve finally gone and done it. I’m blogging!

My mission is to be a voice of reason, a proponent of sanity, and a purveyor of thoughtful responses to current events. Like the Tea Party movement, I want to take my country back. Unlike the Tea Party Movement, I believe that it was taken away from me long ago. Or rather, I and other moderates let people like the Tea Party have my country out of neglect. I feel pretty strongly that one of the main problems with this country is that the moderate factions of both main parties have been too silent and that many of our problems with feeling like our country has been taken away stem from being insufficiently vocal against the crazies out there.

I have strong sympathy for Jon Stewart’s call to Restore Sanity and so I will always try to be calm and reasonable and refrain from ranting unnecessarily.  Except about warrantless wiretapping; I don’t think I can keep a promise not to rant on that subject. Just wanted to set your expectations.

Keep an eye out for future posts. My plan is to comment on letters to the editor and Op/Ed pieces published in the Austin American-Statesman. I think that kind of structure will keep me coming back fairly regularly and if I feel moved to do more, that’s fine too.

Thanks for your time.