Free Speech for All, Even on the Internet?

free speech, Internet, Write Anything Wednesday

While I was offline, there were more developments stemming from the violence in Charlottesville, VA. I already talked about the planned protests by white supremacists, but I plan on talking about more of the details in the coming days. But one caveat of this discussion involves free speech, which I will discuss now.

I was made aware of this issue because of an article on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s website. As the writers of this article point out, the actions of the services involved set an alarming precedent.


What Happened?

The Daily Stormer, the Neo-Nazi website which was used to help organize the event in Charlottesville, became embroiled in a controversy involving freedom of speech.

Sometime after the attack in Charlottesville, the writers at that site insulted Heather Heyer, the woman who died when she was run over in Charlottesville in a heartless, disgusting article.

Days after that article, The website was essentially taken from the open Internet by GoDaddy and Google. GoDaddy, a domain hosting service, kicked the Daily Stormer off its service and Google cancelled the website’s Internet registration.

This move forced the Daily Stormer to move to the Dark Web. The managers of the website took to twitter on Tuesday, August 15, to tell their followers how they could access the website after the takedown.

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Blaming the Complainers: Why Do We Do This?

complainers, blaming the complainers, complaining about the complainers, rude, Write Anything Wednesday
“You need to stop complaining!” I beg to differ …

Why do we sometimes lash out at complainers?

Every now and then, I complain. Airing my grievances makes me feel a little better about certain situations because it helps me clear my head. When I know how I feel about something, why I feel that way, and I am able to express those feelings, I can then take a step back and reassess the situation. It’s certainly better than bottling up my feelings and letting the negativity fester.

I know I’m not the only person who sees it this way.

Sometimes, I have to deal with rude, judgmental people. These people pretty much act like I, or others, don’t have any right to complain about certain things. At times, these people even seek to blame the people who are complaining, even without full knowledge of the situation.

That really ticks me off, especially when I or another person who is making a complaint has a valid reason. For instance, they could be living with a messy, irresponsible roommate or they could be working for a mean, inconsiderate, slave-driving boss. Regardless of what others may think of those situations, it may be hard for the person with grievances to immediately do something about it.

But the complainer haters don’t care. They treat other people’s complaints like petty little annoyances, even when they were butting in anyway.

To be honest:

I am annoyed when people just complain but offer no solutions.

And people who complain yet expect others to fix the mess are trifling.

Then there are people who need to get some things off their chest.

When someone brushes this person off, the dismissive person is hastily handling a problem they might not have been asked to deal with in the first place.

Continue reading “Blaming the Complainers: Why Do We Do This?”

My Computer Is a Piece of Crap

my computer, piece of crap, overheating, backup, Write Anything Wednesday
My computer (it’s not the one in the picture) really sucks right now.

I am thisclose to taking a sledgehammer to my computer.

Today, I tried to run a backup on the stupid thing, but all attempts were unsuccessful. Twice, this stupid mix of plastic, metal, and silicone shut itself down due to overheating. Both times, the backup stopped itself, forcing me to try again.

After the third or fourth failed attempt, I lost my temper and threw my external hard drive across the room. (It’s a small, portable one. I guess it still works, but it sucks, too.)

Not only was this backup taking 5ever to get 60% done, but my stinkin’ computer now acts like it can’t do more than one stinkin’ task before it overheats.

I really hate this thing and there’s so much I want and need to do online.

I really need a new one, so bad. (But I can’t afford one right now.)

ARGGGGHHH!!!!

By the way, Firefox still sucks for me, as well.

John McCain Is Ailing, but He Can Be Fairly Criticized

John McCain, ailing, Congress, senator, normal order, ACA, health care bill, vote, criticism, Write Anything Wednesday
Sen. John McCain addresses the audience at the 129th National Guard Association of the United States General Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug. 25, 2007. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill) (Released)

This past week, many Americans heard or read some said news about Arizona Sen. John McCain. The six-term senator, a war veteran and former POW, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. He had to be hospitalized because doctors found a brain tumor.

McCain had the tumor removed completely, but he had the same form of cancer that killed Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy and Bo Biden (former Vice President Joe Biden’s son). The prognosis is not good for Sen. McCain, who is 80 years old.

After this news came out, there were people on the left and the far right who went after McCain and said he deserved this illness. I would never wish that on anyone.

On the other hand, it is fair to criticize McCain’s Senate votes, past and present.

In particular, McCain made a key vote in order to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (A.K.A. the ACA or “Obamacare”). I want to share my thoughts on this development. Let this serve as a prelude to a deeper discussion of health care in the United States.

Continue reading “John McCain Is Ailing, but He Can Be Fairly Criticized”

Why It’s So Hard to Talk About Racism

racism, Jane Elliott, experiment, society, Write Anything Wednesday
Jane Elliott is a person who understands how insidious racism is. In fact, she created an exercise to help others understand, as well. (Taken from a screenshot.)

Why is it so hard to talk about racism no matter where you are? The answer is complicated, but I want to take the time to list my observations on the matter and connect older posts I made which only broached the subject.

Let me start by showing sharing a video. CalicoJack shared this on one of his posts, but I have a different angle to show you.

Think about this video for a moment because I will get back to the premise of that experiment later.

Originally, this post was going to be an open letter to racists. I had already put down a number of thoughts a year ago, but I couldn’t post it.

I didn’t really know how to start or finish the letter, let alone how I wanted to organize my thoughts on the matter.

Also, I know much of what I had to say would only fall on deaf ears.

Additionally, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to make certain thoughts public.

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A Look at U.S. Crime Rates and More

U.S. crime rates, arrests, FBI statistics, school-to-prison-pipeline, poverty, race, narratives, Write Anything Wednesday

Last week, I talked about my thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement. A week before that, I talked about the 1994 crime bill, an op-ed from 2016, and a briefly addressed why I hated the types of comments the subject matter addressed. In particular, I wanted to take the opportunity to broadly address those comments because they are usually written by people who want to highlight who black people are overrepresented in terms of U.S. crime rates.

It is well known that black Americans are arrested more for various crimes despite only accounting for a little over 13% of overall U.S. population (according to the 2010 census). For example, blacks were arrested more for murder and so-called black-on-black crime occurs at a higher relative percentage than white-on-white crime in years where these statistics were tracked. However, this data is also skewed by people who want to support a specific narrative. At the same time, other statistics are largely ignored.

To fully have this discussion, we need to not only look at federal statistics, but look at the following:

  • Incarceration and conviction rates.
  • The School-to-Prison Pipeline (including uneven punishments and convictions for minority youths).
  • The effects of poverty on U.S. crime rates, and;
  • As a bonus, “Officer-involved” shootings.

This should give us more of a complete picture of what is going on and give no one an excuse to avoid an open and honest debate. However, more needs to be said about institutional problems in the American justice system.

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What I Think About the Black Lives Matter Movement

Black Lives Matter, Jesse Williams, race relations
In 2016, actor Jesse Williams gave an impassioned speech about race relations. He specifically praised the Black Lives Matter movement.

I agree with the message Black Lives Matter espouses, but I’m not in agreement with the overall movement.

This was the position I took for the most part, although this movement was started nearly 4 years ago. I rarely looked into news items involving BLM. So, I couldn’t really know how I felt until I did some much-needed research.

How do I feel about the Black Lives Matter Movement now? It was not an easy question to answer, but I have always taken exception to criticism of its overriding message and the overall movement.

For example:

On April 9, 2016, I came across an article by Marjorie Romeyn-Sanabria. The article was entitled, “Why Bill Clinton Is Right About Black Lives Matter.” I didn’t really care for the article, but some of the comments it garnered were even worse.

Originally, I had planned on pulling a few passages from the article and discussing them. But instead, I made a list to give myself time to gather my thoughts on the issue. Unfortunately, I never made the time to start writing about my thoughts until now. But I did go back and examine the one-year-old article, here.

One reason I wanted to make this post (and series of posts, starting with a review of the 1994 crime bill) was because of articles like the one from Romeyn-Sanabria. I feel that the content and the comments left under the article were dripping with ignorance and obfuscation.

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Let’s Look Back at the 1994 Crime Bill

1994 crime bill, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, April 2016, Philadelphia, Black Lives Matter, Write Anything Wednesday, prison population

In the early half of 2016, the subject of the 1994 crime bill dogged Hillary Clinton’s campaign — until it was eclipse by other matters. The attention was however placed on Clinton as her husband, Bill, signed it into law and Hillary gave her unyielding support to it at the time.

In a 1996 speech, Mrs. Clinton hit upon a couple of buzzwords in defense of the 1994 law; those were eventually used against her. In particular, Hillary Clinton was called out for her mention of the term “super predators” (in black neighborhoods).

Activists, especially those apart of or in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, thus called former Secretary Clinton’s civil rights credentials into question.

Eventually, Bill Clinton was confronted for his role as president, since he signed the 1994 crime bill into law. In defending his wife, Clinton made some incendiary comments.

What do I think of it or Clinton’s speech? I can’t exactly tell you without establishing some context. For starters, I need to look at the law itself, why it was passed, and its effects on black Americans and the overall prison population.

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100+ Questions I’d Like to Pose to My Readers

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Hello, everyone! I created a survey about the 2016 election, but I always wanted to delve deeper by asking my readers even more questions. Basically, I want to gauge the public’s general feelings about the election overall and see how they feel about U.S. domestic and foreign policy. In the process, I decided to make a big ol’ list post.

Now, no one has to answers these questions directly, but I would like anyone reading this to look these over ask themselves these questions, and see what they Know and how they feel about various topics.

But if anyone does decide to answer any of these questions, the answers I receive (at least for the first survey) will help to inform some of my posts. I will share a few general details, then compare and contrast some of my findings.

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SaM Blog Update (May 31, 2017)

blog update, survey

Hello, readers! It’s time for another update. I have some things in store for June 2017 and beyond.

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