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Instagram Says They’re Listening Or Did They Just Get Caught?

Posted on | December 18, 2012 | 1 Comment

instagram-cookiejar

Instagram unveiled their new Terms of Service on Monday that is set to take effect on January 16, 2013. Then the earth moved. Their new TOS gave them the rights to sell your filtered photos free of finagling a fair fee or asking your permission. (Points for alliteration?) Picture sharers were visibly upset, as seen in their Instagram photos. Ok that’s not true but they were mad and had good reason to be.

Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf. – instagram.com Privacy and Terms of Service Changes on Instagram

The interwebs went crazy at the possibility of Instagram and some soul less corporation making money off of their loved ones. I joke but it is a serious change in policy and privacy violation. Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram, responded a day later with a blog titled “Than you, and we’re listening” as a clarification of sorts of the TOS that had users running for the hills.

Yesterday we introduced a new version of our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service that will take effect in thirty days. These two documents help communicate as clearly as possible our relationship with the users of Instagram so you understand how your data will be used, and the rules that govern the thriving and active Instagram community. Since making these changes, we’ve heard loud and clear that many users are confused and upset about what the changes mean.

I’m writing this today to let you know we’re listening and to commit to you that we will be doing more to answer your questions, fix any mistakes, and eliminate the confusion. As we review your feedback and stories in the press, we’re going to modify specific parts of the terms to make it more clear what will happen with your photos. – instagram.com Thank you, and we’re listening

The blog goes on to basically say that they are just misunderstood. The impression I get when reading it is that they are trying to say that maybe they didn’t know people would take the new terms the way they did. I find that hard to believe. I’m supposed to believe that a leading internet company like Instagram that is owned by the even larger privacy-violating-prone Facebook didn’t know what message they were sending? These lawyers know what they are writing and what leeway the words give them. I don’t buy it.

The easier thing to believe is that Insta, as the Japanese call it, put out the TOS the way it was, purposefully, to try to see what they could get away with. If the hoopla wasn’t big then they’d have impunity over your images. If they got caught in a rage fest they’d then have a point to scale back from and still look better than before. Think, a negotiation where you ask for more than you want up front. Facebook has done this before.

Caught

When startups become corporate they are pushed more than ever to turn a profit for shareholders and investors. I’m sure Instagram is faced with this after the almost $1 billion purchase price paid by Facebook earlier this year. In the Information Age the commodity is information. Marketers and business salivate at the chance to get their hands on these millions of social media users data. These companies will continue to push the boundaries of privacy, ethics, and fairness to eek out a bit of extra profit.

For people still uneasy and ready to jump ship there are ways to liberate your photos before you delete your account. Wired.com and others are passing Instaport (Instaport.me) around as one such method so much so that there is a service message at the top of their site saying; “We are expecting high traffic right now. If you have problems downloading your photos, please try again tomorrow or the next days.” As TechCrunch put it, they are “buckling under the pressure of people’s requests.”

So is Instagram really listening or did they just get caught? My money says they tried to pull a fast one.

Additional:
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/12/instagram-addresses-tos-rage/
http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2012/12/18/167559536/the-day-instagram-almost-lost-its-innocence
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/12/how-to-download-your-instagram-photos-and-kill-your-account/

New America: The Crossing of the Fulcrum

Posted on | November 14, 2012 | 1 Comment

“The White Establishment Is Now The Minority” – Bill O’Reilly

This is what is at the heart of the extremist views involving Obama for the most part. Bill is right, it is a changing country. We’ve been moving towards this change for a long time. What I believe we are seeing is The Crossing of the Fulcrum™ (mine don’t jack it). Bill is also right when he says “It’s not a traditional America anymore.” He means it’s not a guaranteed white led America anymore.

Up until the last few years integration was tolerated because the “traditional America” still held all the cards. As I remarked to someone about this subject, it’s like a pet. We can love them, share our food with them, even trust them with our children and regard them as members of our family even to the point we’d fight others over them. But that’s all contingent upon us maintaining control over them. As soon as that control is threatened by being bit or whatever, the arrangement is no longer agreeable.

What I’ve seen from many throughout the course of the election is their surprise at the types of comments coming from people they regarded as friends – people saying things that they probably don’t realize are offensive and wrong because it is what the culture is and has been. Let’s be clear, “traditional America”, “traditional American values” were forged in a cauldron of racism with an arrogance of superiority from one group over others. We all know the history. It is true whether the subject is race or religion. Some of our cultural normalcy has followed that type of ideology. Just because the laws were changed doesn’t mean some of the traditions and thoughts have as well. When you come to terms with that reality then you understand the malice behind some of the rhetoric. There is nothing wrong with tradition. However there is something wrong with tradition rooted in a past of prejudice, superiority, and ignorance. There is something even more wrong in trying to perpetuate it.

If we go purely by poll results, at least 50% are past those outdated ideals. It would be hard to quantify how many still want to stick to them. It would also be unfair to those that are on the opposing side but don’t agree with those traditions to even try. So it can be left to this. To those people who fit that characterization your legitimate opposing viewpoint is valid and respected. It is your duty to distance yourselves from that pariah in your party, group, friends, family and associates. You need to pull them aside and let them know that they are living in a past that was built upon committed wrongs. It is unfortunate that, as they stand in your ranks, your voices will be confused with theirs and you will be painted by the same brush that paints them.

To those that fall within that “traditional American values” category, that one that thinks an over ruling “White Establishment” is the proper order of things, know this, you are making yourself irrelevant in a society moving forward. You are also making others that side with the cause you have latched on to look bad. Time is not on your side. I understand change from what you are used to isn’t always pleasant. I’m not the biggest fan of it myself. We have to look at it though and see why it’s coming and why we fear it. Is there a real cause to be afraid or is it something we were raised to believe is something we should be afraid of? Or has the foundation of the construct of our society been one that exemplified a culture that brings about that fear? For multiple generations now people have accepted and understood the errors of the past. It’s time for you to do the same otherwise your irrelevance awaits you with open arms.

A re-elected Barack Hussein Obama signifies that shift of ideas in this country. It’s not a post-racial anything by any means but it is a tilting towards the other end of the balance beam. The first election could have been a fluke – something for the history books. The second says something more definitive in the ideals of many in this country. It says that we don’t have an issue being led by someone who does not look like the other 43 Presidents and we do have an issue with extremism and outdated ideologies. It also shows that many of the previously silent won’t be so any more.

“American”, “traditional values”, sometimes “Christian” and similar phrases are thrown around to incite fear in the hearts of people who feel a Manifest Destiny type right over what it is to be a legitimate American. The thing that Republicans and those in the extreme conservative camps are seeing and afraid of is the rise of historically marginalized groups increasingly unwilling to be victims of second class subjugation. Yes twenty years ago Obama would have been stomped in the election. Twenty years before that he would have been new to being allowed to vote. Twenty years before that there were water fountains that he couldn’t drink from because of the color of his skin. So the fact that he has won re-election to the office of President of the United States over that “white establishment” candidate in the midst of an extremely vitriolic conservative atmosphere is forward progress.  I am talking about a climate that has witnessed deliberate race baiting against him and minorities by elected officials and leaders of the movement, attempts to legislate voter suppression, and an overwhelming financial outlay to try to secure a victory for the beliefs that think those tactics are ok. That does say something positive about the people of America. It also says something about the idea of attempting to reach one facet of a more perfect union.

So yes Bill, we want stuff. We want stuff like equality in thought, word, and deed. We want stuff that isn’t a hand-me-down from the days when it was solely your stuff. We want the same stuff that you have benefited from and have held from us. We want stuff that is a part of the fabric of the nation not just a patchwork piece that is tolerated. We want stuff like a seat at the table and a name on the deed of the house it is in. We aren’t tenants, nor children to be patronized. We are cohabiters. Those that see things that way are becoming more the majority with each generation and unless you learn from the error of your ways you will evict yourselves. We won’t vindictively force you out but that stubborn unwillingness left inside of you will eat you alive from the inside out as things become more at odds with the past that you desperately cling to. Man does not change time, time changes man.

Former Colin Powell Chief of Staff, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson confirms Republican “party is full of racists”

Posted on | October 27, 2012 | 2 Comments

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson on The Ed Show on MSNBC

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s chief of staff during his time as Secretary of State, speaks in response to former New Hampshire Republican governor and Mitt Romney campaign co-chair John Sununu’s comments about General Powell’s endorsement of President Obama being race based.

“My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people, not all of them, but most of them, who are still basing their decision on race,” Wilkerson said. “Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists. And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that’s despicable.”

Let’s keep it real. This is what we’ve known since day one but when we say it the excuse is that we are race baiting. What say you now?

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I wouldn’t say that all Republicans are racist or bigoted. That would be untrue and unfair. However, the party is full of them. Conservative pundit champions and media, clearly feed into that mentality, promote and thrive on it. This is one major place from where the far extreme division in our country stems from. There have been too many “slips of the tongue” to make an argument otherwise. From Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives Jon Hubbard’s comment about slavery being a blessing in disguise to Sarah Palin’s recent “Obama’s Shuck and Jive Ends With Benghazi Lies” comment and beyond. Actions speak louder than words and are not prone to verbal mistakes due to the deliberate effort it takes to execute them. Examples abound, from the actions of the RNC attendees that threw nuts at a black CNN camerawoman and said, “this is how we feed the animals” to Republican voter ID tactics that will specifically deter poor and minority voters from voting because they will most likely vote for Obama. Then there’s this guy.
Put the white back in White House

You sir, are not helping.

One of your own, an insider, who served as Chief of Staff to Republican General Colin Powell during his term as Secretary of State in the George W. Bush Administration has pointed out definitively, clearly and publicly that the Republican party is full of racists. It’s not a big revelation to many but for some it is a statement that you need to come to terms with for the sanity of the country. And for those of you Republicans who aren’t of the mindset of the Sununu’s of the party you should understand that what you are supporting comes from that mindset. It also begs the question of, “Are the core ideals of that party, your ideals, rooted in a bigoted ideology that is centuries old, that you were raised with, therefore you don’t think it is what it is?”

A Republican friend of mine who decided to vote for Obama this time around said the reason she leaned towards Romney was because he “looked Presidential”. I asked what that meant and the reply was that he was light skin, gray hair, grandfather type because this is the image she had always seen. The image of a white man as President is the image she’d seen her whole life. That image is what a President was supposed to look like. She is of South East Asian descent. So that means that even someone that looks like her didn’t register to her as Presidential material. That is a form of normalized bigotry perpetuated by our culture that isn’t her fault and isn’t an isolated outlook.
A recent Associated Press polls finds an increase in those harbor these types of feelings whether they are aware of them or not.

Racial prejudice has increased slightly since 2008 whether those feelings were measured using questions that explicitly asked respondents about racist attitudes, or through an experimental test that measured implicit views toward race without asking questions about that topic directly.

In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell. – huffingtonpost.com “Racial Views: Poll Shows Majority Harbor Prejudice Against Blacks

So what should Republican supporters do who really don’t subscribe to the type of mentality that Colonel Wilkerson says is rampant in the leadership of the party? What should they do about their support and belief in these ideologies that are dictated and driven by racist and or bigoted premises? First would be to take a long hard objective look in the mirror to try to get to the core of why they believe what they believe and what was behind the original concept of that learned belief. Detach yourself from the rhetoric and the dogma you have learned to accept by standing outside of the issue and contemplate it from there. Don’t be afraid to overturn something you’ve believed for a long time that turns out isn’t true or is negative. Take in different points of view on the argument and the reasons behind them. There is nothing wrong with having conservative views and values. Everyone has some issues they are more liberal about and others they more conservative about. At least be honest with yourself about where they come from and why you have them.

Or not. I’m more liberal about caring what you believe.

Additional:
http://tv.msnbc.com/2012/10/26/colin-powells-former-chief-of-staff-my-party-is-full-of-racists/
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/10/25/1094211/romney-campaign-chair-colin-powell-endorsed-obama-because-he-is-black/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/27/racial-views-new-polls-sh_n_2029423.html

Joe Biden Brings the Win in Debate over Paul Ryan

Posted on | October 12, 2012 | 2 Comments

Hulk Biden vs Paul Ryan

The 2012 Vice Presidential debate was a showdown between current Vice President Joe Biden and VP hopeful Paul Ryan. This battle for votes was held at the Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College, in Danville, KY. I don’t know if Ryan expected Biden to perform like Obama did against Romney but that was not the case. The Joe America got last night was not the same Joe that debated Sarah Palin in the previous presidential election. Hulk Biden came to play and was not going to take any of the nonsense that Obama let slide last time.

Obama lost the last debate, not because he was wrong or overwhelmingly misleading but because he let Romney dictate the conversation. If judged on information alone Obama would’ve won that debate. Unfortunately that’s not the only deciding factor. As I’ve said before, the first debate was a learning experience and the Obama/Biden team wasn’t going to get caught off guard like that again.

VP debate moderator Martha Raddatz kept a hold on the exchange far more effectively than Jim Lehrer. She also didn’t let Ryan run her over like Romney did to Lehrer in the previous debate. Raddatz even tried to cut through the rhetoric several times and asked for specifics from the candidates. Paul had trouble giving those.

Malarkey

Joe Biden won this debate. He gave facts and figures and aggressively checked Paul Ryan’s attempts to control the dialogue with misinformation, question dodging and malarkey. Biden was obviously prepared to take on the Republican strategy that Romney displayed in the last debate. People criticize Joe Biden for being too aggressive however I believe he did exactly what he should have done. This election is far too important to let blatantly inaccurate and unrealistically outrageous claims stand. We’ve already seen that the Republicans aren’t too fond of factual information and are more than willing to broadcast egregious misrepresentations of reality as witnessed at the Republican National Convention. Most people in the United States are not politically aware  or are misinformed due to biased corporate media punditry. That is no more so true than with conservatives, mainly because of Fox News. The point being, is that many people are going to take the statements made in these debates at face value without doing any further research or fact checking.

Now of course the Republicans are officially going to deny that they lost this debate; unlike Barack Obama who pretty much admitted that he had an off night. But, if there is any doubt in your mind that the Republicans don’t know they lost the debate then let the following tweet serve as evidence of that acknowledgment.

Yes, that is high-ranking Republican strategist and Sith Lord Karl Rove reminiscing about having a moderator that they can manhandle.

Paul Ryan did get in one jab that made me chuckle. Acknowledging that Biden had achieved a full mount position on him, Ryan said, ‘I know you’re under duress to make up for lost ground.’ Point to you Paul. Well played sir. Well played.

If you missed the debate or just want to watch Joe Biden keep his foot on Paul Ryan’s neck for 90 minutes check out the video.

The ball’s in your court Barack.

Joe Biden vs Paul Ryan, who won?

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Romney Wins Over Obama In First Debate Decision

Posted on | October 4, 2012 | No Comments

Let’s get right to it. Obama got handled by Mitt Romney in the debate. It’s unfortunate and I probably won’t sleep well tonight but it is what it is. Surely over the next few days the fact checkers will come out and disprove a lot of things Romney said but he’s not about facts, nor is his party. Representatives have said as much before. Even though Romney spread a lot of misinformation, he still topped Obama in the debate.

Mitt Romney won because he led the conversation. He dictated the topics he wanted to debate the President on, the stuff he prepared for and wanted to say. Obama followed the trail that Mitt put down which put him in defense mode instead of the lead position. It didn’t matter that Romney wasn’t being truthful because he delivered words with conviction and chastised the man in charge. Barack Obama stayed on the ropes instead of calling Mittens out on his BS every time it came out. Whenever Obama lobbied against a Romney answer Mitt responded with, “that’s not true”  and Obama left it at that instead of showing what was wrong with Romney’s answers. Mittens brought his gloves to the ring.

I’m not saying that Mitt was right, just that he sold it better. Let’s face it, probably 99% of the people will not look up his claims or Obama’s. People are going to take what was said at face value. I bet fact checkers are going to rip holes all through Romney’s discourse but the audience for that isn’t going to be anywhere near the size of those that watched the debate. Therefore that tree is going to fall in the woods with no one around to hear the sound.

Obama held back a lot of ammo. He was either taken aback by his opponents aggressiveness or wasn’t ready. He wasn’t the hero we deserved tonight. Obama didn’t chin check Romney when he should have.

Those dirty 47%
We heard nothing about the 47%. Arguably one of the most devastating self-destructive Romney  statements was the recording of his remarks about the 47%. Since that came to light, he’s lost points to Obama and even major backers have started funneling money to other Republican candidates in various races. Where was this in the conversation tonight?

Obamacare/Romneycare
Obama’s health care reform compares with the one that Mitt Romney enacted in Massachusetts. Mittens flipped the comparison well. The plans are essentially the same, written by the same guy even. Mitt and his party have been dancing around this the whole campaign because they want to repeal Obama’s campaign promise win but only because it came from Obama. When pressed on it finally, Mitt pulled a judo move and said the plan is great for the states individually but not at a federal level.

The Medicare cut
Obama shouldn’t have let that $716 billion dollar Medicare slash float out there without clarifying. Romney put that number out there and there was no real rebuttal to Romney’s misinformation.

I care about creating jobs!
How many times did Governor Romney say this all night? We know this isn’t true. Not once did Obama check him on his outsourcing history of American jobs. Obama could have even pulled some lines from Clinton’s speech highlighting that Republican leadership isn’t a job creating one. This was an open shot to bring about Bain Capital and Romney’s pioneering efforts to send American jobs overseas.

Republican obstructionism
Romney tried to hammer home points that Obama didn’t reach the goals he set out to reach. He also painted the picture that coming into office facing Democrats in his state he had to learn to reach across the aisle. Ironically this has been one of the biggest criticisms of Obama’s presidency. Many think Obama tried too often and too long to reach across the aisle even though every time he did, he got his hand slapped back at him. Mitt tried to use the health care bill passing without bipartisan support as an example. The problem with Mitt’s words is that it is because of the Republican mission to deny anything that Obama tried to do that there was no bipartisan support. The Republicans simply  would not play ball even after compromises and suggestions they themselves proposed were included. The fact of the matter is, the reputation of the party was so badly damaged by Bush that they couldn’t let a Democrat win or they would look even worse. They were willing to play games with the lives of Americans and the stability of the country to salvage their public face. Obama didn’t point any of this out and let Romney’s words stand.

$5 trillion dollar tax cut
Obama kept repeating it and Romney kept denying it. The problem is Obama never said what that tax cut was or how it was going to reach such an astronomical figure. The fact is, this has been answered before and Obama is correct. Politifact vetted the $5 trillion details back in May and found Obama’s figures to add up. All Obama had to do was clarify what he was talking about so the point wouldn’t wind up on the floor of a he said she said exchange.

Those are just a few points. I don’t know what happened out there. Everyone has an off night but tonight was not the time to have one. Obama didn’t fail miserably and go down in flames completely. He executed the same calm level-headed arguments that we’ve come to expect from the President. He let Romney get away with far more than he should though. Many speculated that Romney would pull out the Reagan “well there you go again” line but I was hoping Obama would have used it. Obama had a few moments where he sounded like he was starting to speak from his chest but they didn’t stay around. I think he was aware that he wasn’t gaining the traction he wanted. Did you see how he checked the moderator for his 5 seconds? He was frustrated.

Somehow I don’t foresee Biden overwhelming Ryan in their upcoming exchange. Hopefully the Obama/Biden team will take a hint from tonight and adjust accordingly. Romney/Ryan are playing to win regardless if they are being factual or not. We saw the same thing in the Republican speeches at the RNC. Facts can trump lies and misinformation, they just have to actually be presented to shut them down. I don’t believe Mitt will get the drop on Barack the next time around though.

In the end, they both punked host Jim Lehrer. That’s just my two cents. What do you think?

Who do you think won the first debate between Obama and Romney?

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By the way, Romney, the streets are watching. Big Bird has words for you.

Big Bird has words for Mitt Romney

I’d do what the 7 foot tall talking bird says if I were you.

Read the full debate transcript.

5 Free Alternatives to Apple IOS 6 Maps

Posted on | September 20, 2012 | 3 Comments

can-haz-google-maps

Apple’s newest iteration of its mobile operating system, IOS 6, just released and you’ve rushed to download it. The new performance upgrades, Facebook integration, and the brand spanking new Apple Maps application all entice you to upgrade. Remember what the wise man said about fools rushing in?

The general consensus around the interwebs is that the IOS 6 Maps applications is sorely lacking in comparison to the previous Google Maps powered app. It’s pretty but user experience and functionality have both been downgraded. The new Maps app touts a slick new interface, turn by turn directions, and a 3d view. It all sounds cool but apparently the hype isn’t measuring up in the real world.

The most notable features missing are an equivalent to Google Maps’ Street View and transit information. There are some other issues as well, like identifying locations in the wrong zip code. To be fair, Google has had something like a decade head start aggressively building their Maps infrastructure; even violating your privacy to make it the top-notch tool that it is. They have a very solid map database that benefits users world-wide. The IOS  Maps app that we’ve all come to rely on is no more; at the moment. For city dwellers, transit riders this can be a deal breaker. It is for me, I am withholding my upgrade. Maps was and is one of the most used apps on my iPhone. I upgraded to the iPhone 4 specifically for the use of the compass in Maps because coming out of the subway and not knowing which direction to go adds at least an extra 2 blocks to where ever you are going.

Google apparently isn’t in any rush to launch its own IOS app. It’s too early to know if the jailbreak community is going to be able to resurrect the original app. And I’m sure Apple wants to move forward with their lackluster offering. If I were Apple, I’d throw the old Maps app in the app store for free. I don’t know much about the contract deal or the technicalities and lawyer speak so maybe they aren’t allowed to. Although I’d think it would just be calling Google’s API but what do I know? Anyway, the question remains what to do if you have upgraded to IOS 6 and are hating Apple Maps life? I’ve put together a list of 5 free IOS 6 Maps alternatives that may help you avoid an attempted downgrade.

The choices are in no particular order. All were tested for locations in New York and over a WiFi connection. If you know of any others drop it in the comments to help your brethren.

Update: Apparently Nokia has very good web app offering with its Nokia Maps at maps.nokia.com. Thanks to Henry in the comments for the tip.

Check out 5 Free Alternatives to Apple IOS 6 Maps

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

NY’s Large Drink Ban, Where Do You Stand?

Posted on | September 14, 2012 | No Comments

This week the New York City Board of Health, at the behest of Mayor Billionaire Bloomberg, approved a ban on large sugary drinks.

Seeking to reduce runaway obesity rates, the New York City Board of Health on Thursday approved a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, street carts and movie theaters, the first restriction of its kind in the country.

The measure, which bars the sale of many sweetened drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces, is to take effect on March 12, unless it is blocked by a judge. – nytimes.com Health Panel Approves Restriction on Sale of Large Sugary Drinks

Our drink sizes are way out of control. Big Gulps used to be a challenge, now that size is normal.

With obesity in this country way past the danger zone and childhood diabetes becoming more common place, I can understand the idea behind the policy. However, and this may surprise many coming from someone whose refrigerator looks like a produce department, I don’t agree with the ban. We are offensively fat. Yes, something must be done to change the ass size of Americans before the planet rolls over but I don’t think this is the way to go. First of all it’s meaningless.  Some people will just buy two drinks. Second, what about the rest of the garbage that usually accompanies those buckets of soda? Sure every little bit helps but I can still by a 2 liter bottle of soda for somewhere around $0.99.

2 liter soda

Obey your thirst.

Then there is the choice aspect. I completely understand that reducing obesity saves tax payers money. A nation of overweight people have an affect on rising health care related costs and energy consumption. Ok, after that assessment I’m almost lost about why I don’t support the ban. Oh yea. The issue is, this ban sets a precedent that has the possibility to lead to us being more and more controlled. Also, it’s a half-assed band-aid attempt to solve a much larger problem. You might say that at least they are trying something. Bloomberg would probably agree.

“This is the single biggest step any city, I think, has ever taken to curb obesity,” Mr. Bloomberg said shortly after the vote.

Really? This is your big effort? I’ve got some better more effective steps. Michelle Obama is focusing on physical activity, maybe she’s on to something Bloomy. How about stop cutting gym class in school? How about school lunches with a focus on raw fruits and vegetables and water to drink? My high school had diet soda machines because I guess the diet part made them feel better about putting soda in our schools. How about we put a ban on the toxic ingredients in our food supply like steroids, hormones and industrial chemicals? How about education on the subject? How about zoning that restricts the amount of bodega’s and convenience stores that primarily stock these offending foods in the poorer neighborhoods where obesity is an even more devastating problem. You want to make a real effort give me a call.

Some are comparing it to the smoking ban put in place in New York that restricts smoking inside of public establishments and outdoors at public locations. There is no comparison. The smoking ban I support and were I President I would make it national law. You can’t get obese by standing next someone drinking a jug of corn syrup and carbonated water but you are attacked by toxic poison when a smoker is puffing near by.

Personal responsibility in America is sorely lacking, especially in health related matters. Obesity and diet related illnesses are killing us or making us pawns of the pharmaceutical industry and the AMA. It needs to stop but a small roadblock that sets a precedent that says we are protecting you from yourself for your own good may bite us in the butt later on. The TSA and law enforcement loves that type of mentality. Drink sizes need to be smaller but being told to make them smaller doesn’t stop them from doubling up or filling that fix with something else. The mentality has to change.

There are reasonable arguments on both sides of the issue. It’s easy to buy into the ban for some of the reasons I cited above. Maybe I’m wrong and am short-sighted on the issue. After that obvious viral marketing video promoting the bacon sundae below I might have to change my stance. SMH.

This is you America, look at yourself!

What do you think?

Do you support the large drink ban in NY?

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Additional:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/14/nyregion/health-board-approves-bloombergs-soda-ban.html
http://www.motherjones.com/media/2012/06/supersize-biggest-sodas-mcdonalds-big-gulp-chart
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/6039232921/in/set-72157627220835741/ 

Former President Bill Clinton Another DNC Win

Posted on | September 6, 2012 | 2 Comments

Bill Clinton DNC 2012

Former President Bill Clinton always did have the gift of gab. Couple that with eloquence, confidence, and intelligence and you have a good combination. The DNC 2012 is pulling off a lot of win with Michelle Obama’s speech and now Bubba’s words of wisdom.

Whereas the first lady’s speech hinted at Republican inaccuracies and foolishness, Clinton came direct with a ton of data.So much so that FactCheck.org’s recap was called “Our Clinton Nightmare”. Bill gave a lot of information and showed a real understanding of how things work. Slick Willy may be a country boy but he is also a Rhodes Scholar. Of course it is the DNC so they are going to try to make Democrats look like the right choice for you and I. Both parties do it. So did Mr. Bill deliver the truth?

Republicans will find plenty of Clinton’s scorching opinions objectionable. But with few exceptions, we found his stats checked out. – factcheck.org “Our Clinton Nightmare”

This is the type of discourse that Democrats need to have with the public. Straight forward, on the offensive, backed up but the facts and truth. We saw Bill do this on FoxNews against Chris Wallace and it was effective. The people, Democrat or Republican or other, just want the truth.

Bill Clinton’s speech is in stark contrast to RNC speakers VP nominee Paul Ryan (whose speech “contained several false claims and misleading statements“), New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (“largely avoided factual claims in a Republican convention keynote address that was heavy on generalities, opinion and platitudes“), and former candidate Rick Santorum (heh Santorum). Their convention addresses were found to be full of leading inaccuracies and misrepresentations. Is this what the base of the Republican party wants? Are Republican voters happy with being misled. American’s shouldn’t be.

Now if you take a neutral stance and base your decision on the fact that one guy told you verifiable facts and 3 others mislead and misinformed you where would you stand? That is what I don’t get about some of the Republican supporters, even when enlightened with the truth they seem to still refute the facts and refuse to grow. I hope I’m over-generalizing here. However, VP nominee Paul Ryan, doesn’t seem to be phased by facts as Clinton pointed out.

Now, when Congressman Ryan looked into that TV camera and attacked President Obama’s Medicare savings as, quote, “the biggest, coldest power play,” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry because that $716 billion is exactly to the dollar the same amount of Medicare savings that he has in his own budget!

You got to give one thing: It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.

How do you debate that? Well the former President told us.

You want to know why? Their campaign pollster said, “We are not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”

Now the last statement has to have you thinking that no one really said that. Well, yea. Neil Newhouse said it.

Mitt Romney’s campaign said on Tuesday that its ads attacking President Obama’s waiver policy on welfare have been its most effective to date. And while the spots have been roundly criticized as lacking any factual basis, the campaign said it didn’t really care.

“We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,” Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said at a panel organized by ABC News. – huffingtonpost.com Mitt Romney Campaign: We Will Not ‘Be Dictated By Fact-Checkers’

How do you reconcile openly saying you are willing and not required to tell the truth as you try to convince people that they can and should trust you enough to represent them? Please someone explain it?

Picard Facepalm

 

Moving on. Clinton on his idea of the Democratic party’s ideals:

We Democrats, we think the country works better with a strong middle class, with real opportunities for poor folks to work their way into it, with a relentless focus on the future, with business and government actually working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity. You see, we believe that “We’re all in this together” is a far better philosophy than “You’re on your own.”

On the success of the Democratic policy:

It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics. Why? Because poverty, discrimination, and ignorance restrict growth.

On the Obama’s example:

I am grateful that they have worked together to make it safer and stronger to build a world with more partners and fewer enemies. I’m grateful for the relationship of respect and partnership she and the president have enjoyed. And the signal that sends to the rest of the world, that democracy does not have a — have to be a blood sport, it can be an honorable enterprise that advances the public interest.

These are inclusive ideals that encourage respect among those that are more and less fortunate than you. How is that not a good ideal to work towards?

Bill shut it down in his speech. Watch it and you’ll see what I mean. It turned out that his facts pretty much checked out. Although, Bill stop pointing to your budget surplus, we know you jacked Social Security and other funds for some of that money. That money should never be touched.

Additional:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/dnc-2012-bill-clintons-speech-at-the-democratic-national-convention-excerpt/2012/09/05/f208865e-f7a4-11e1-8253-3f495ae70650_story.html
http://factcheck.org/2012/09/our-clinton-nightmare/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/23/mitt-romney-_n_1836139.html

Michelle Obama Speech at the DNC

Posted on | September 5, 2012 | No Comments

Michelle Obama at the DNC 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the 2012 Democratic National Convention putting a focus on her relationship with Barack, family, and struggle. Admittedly she almost lost me in the beginning. It started off a bit slow for me, describing her familial relationships and Barack’s busted old car. However the story paved the way for her to be able to drive the point home. That point? That an Obama presidency and the President cares about family, fairness, and helping others.

Michelle really spoke to an idea of progress and moving forward together. She communicated very specific ideas that combated the opposing viewpoint without mentioning any of them directly. The GOP tends to push agendas that favor those already succeeding or reinforce a greedy and dehumanizing idea of trickle down success that doesn’t work.

A couple stabs at the GOP mentality had to do with women being capable of making decisions about their own bodies and that the Obama’s couldn’t have went to college without financial aid opportunities.

Mitt Romney took a jab or two as well as Michelle spoke of her husband.

And he believes that when you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity…you do not slam it shut behind you…you reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.

Ouch, don’t bring Mittens to a match where boxing gloves are needed. See what I did there?

Watch Michelle Obama’s full DNC speech. Read Michelle Obama’s full transcript on the next page.

Did Michelle Obama deliver in her DNC address?

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Additional:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/michelle-obama-dnc-speech-full-2012-hard-work-17156165
http://www.wcnc.com/news/READ-First-Lady-Michelle-Obamas-DNC-address-168550076.html 

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Obama’s Birth Certificate Middle Finger To All Is Awesome

Posted on | August 25, 2012 | 2 Comments

obama birth certificate mug

Look at it. Picture it in all it’s glory. This is awesome. There is a bit of arrogant style in the Obama campaign selling a mug with his long form birth certificate plastered on it. After all the time-wasting ridiculous witch hunting that took place over his place of birth, this is funny as hell to me. Donald Trump should own one. He was vetted by the government, Hawaii confirmed his birth several times, and still these birthers persisted with their thinly veiled bigoted attack against the black man that they couldn’t fathom being in the highest office in the land. Many still feel an uncomfortableness with Barack Obama being president that has nothing to do with his policies or political party. Those are convenient excuses to attempt to mask the real issue. Even now after he produced the long form certificate there are still those that refuse to accept the validity of the record. I don’t need to mention the Tea Party movement or the Republican party’s unprecedented opposition to anything Obama has tried to do to help the country but I just did, so there. Even Irish President Michael D. Higgins can see the nonsense.

Mitt Romney recently made a remark regarding the birther issue. He can say it was a joke but it was obviously an attempt to revive that bit of doubt in supporters minds to make them lean more in his direction.

“No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised,” Romney said. – washingtonpost.com Romney dig at Obama: No one’s asked to see my birth certificate, people know I’m from Michigan

wonka romney birth certificate meme

Oh that is funny Mitt. Comedy gold. You are a rich white man in America, you are rarely asked to prove anything. Unfortunately, white privilege is a very real thing here. Ask Louis C.K. about being white. You, Judge Tom Head, and Rick Perry should go on a comedy tour. For those that don’t know Texan, Judge Head (seriously?) recently said there could be a civil war if Obama was re-elected. Texas Governor Rick Perry spoke about the state seceding from America after Obama’s election.

If we think these things have nothing to do with race then we are fooling ourselves. It doesn’t matter how great your relationship is with the blacks. Oh wait, Obama is half white? No, he only became that when it looked like he was going to win. Before that, he was black.

Let’s stop trying to mask these issues and admit them so they can be dealt with. There are still people who feel a certain way about black people. That feeling isn’t going to go away over night. It will take time and that is ok. Our society’s culture leads feelings in that direction with indoctrinated teaching, media representation, stereotype participation and history. Those images are going to be there in many people. They will fade in time. Barack Obama is proof of that. The youth will lead the way.

It would be unfair to not mention the opposition Obama has had to face from some sectors of the black population as well. Namely things like, “he’s not a really black.” I’m talking to you, Boondocks creator Aaron Mcgruder and those like you. Come on people, let’s get it together.

So to you President Obama go kudos for the way you have dealt with what has to be very difficult mental stress. I don’t agree with you on everything. NDAA is criminal, nuclear power is dangerously irresponsible, and appointing people who are part of the problem to positions that cause those problems are some of my pet peeves with you. That being said, this mug is awesome. I see you.

Additional:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/romney-says-north-american-energy-independence-achievable-calls-for-more-offshore-drilling/2012/08/23/b6d955fe-ed95-11e1-866f-60a00f604425_story.html
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/04/15/governor-says-texans-want-secede-union-probably-wont/
https://store.barackobama.com/obama-2012-store-home-outdoors/obama-2012-store-kitchen/made-in-the-usa-mug.html

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