Archive for Politics

Spokeo = Privacy Under Attack!

By · January 8, 2011 · Filed in Politics · No Comments »

Having a website with myname.com you’d think I wouldn’t care too much about my privacy, but I do. Today I got wind of something that is a blatant attack on it and is a class action lawsuit waiting to happen – Spokeo.com!

On top of having almost all of your vital information available for any psycho to find, they make it somewhat tricky to block this info for your own privacy.

After removing a few of the entries for my various email, usernames and personal names I tried to do the same for my techno-challenged parents and got this message:

“In order to prevent abuse, we must limit the frequency of privacy requests. Please try again tomorrow.
Government o…fficials please use your @.gov email address for priority processing.”

This is absolute garbage! To top it off, my wife tried to remove her name using another computer and IP address and got the same message. The ABUSE is the ability to have this information freely available without our permission. To top it off, if it wasn’t for getting this information from a friend’s Facebook wall I would’ve never known that this site even existed, however, I’m sure that psychos and hackers do.

As Benjamin Franklin, the greatest American who ever lived once said, “those who would trade an essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither.” Whoever came up with this crap most likely did it under the guise of “security” and “freedom of information” when in reality this is an INFRINGEMENT on our privacy AND freedom. I hope that news spreads and this awful site is either shut down or limited to a permission based listing. Especially considering that our Facebook information that we set to private was readily listed on there.

Please post your thoughts and any ideas on how we can take action…

The 69th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor – A Day In Infamy and How It Compares to Today

By · December 7, 2010 · Filed in Personal, Politics · No Comments »

Today is the anniversary of one of the most important days in American History. It is the anniversary of Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor which led to US entry into World War II.

Both of my grandfathers served their country for this cause and sadly, I never had a chance to talk to either about the selfless choices they made to serve this noble cause as my mother’s father passed away before I was born and my dad’s father passed away when I was only 7 and had yet to even learn about US or World History.

In fact, if you have any family or friends still alive that served in World War II, please make it a point to thank them for their service on this day of remembrance, much like thanking any Veteran on Veteran’s Day or showing our support on Memorial Day. Although, in my opinion we should celebrate these heroes EVERY day and not just one day out of the year, which sadly most people just see as another day off of work or school.

With that in mind, I think it’s important to see the differences in this country from 1941 to 2010:

Pearl Harbor(then) vs. 9/11(now)

First off, it is important to note that Pearl Harbor was an unprovoked attack with a clearly defined aggressor nation- Japan, while September 11th was a rouge group of mostly Saudi Arabian nationals with a few Egyptians, Emiratis and Lebanese, however, no true leader state and certainly not the nations we attacked in response- Iraq and Afghanistan. Even though Afghanistan was believed to be the protectorate of Al-Queda leader Osama Bin-Laden, they held little to no responsibility in the actual attacks as Al-Queda we’ve found is a worldwide network with not one specific nation to represent their interests and only a few that foolishly sympathize with their cause.

In addition to being behind the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese of World War II were a much more formidable foe than Al-Queda, who despite utilizing the idea of suicide attacks to cause collateral damage are nowhere near the size and strength of Japan’s “suicide bombers” who were aptly named “Kamikaze Pilots”.

All-out support(then) vs. half-assed support(now)

For World War II it was a full-scale effort from the battlefield to the Heartland. Unlike today where the furthest most will go is sending a small care package to a soldier abroad, the Americans of World War II gave up many luxuries that us spoiled, lazy Americans of today take for granted.

In fact, they’d laugh at the garbage of today like “yellow ribbons”, bumper stickers or “car flags”, when they were going the extra mile, converting factories used to make cars and toys into military use and as such people were willing to cut back on resources such as plastic, tin and oil to support the greater good. All this while people of today would call giving up their behemoth SUVs “un-American” or even “Socialist”, the people of World War II thought there was nothing MORE American you could do than sacrifice for the greater good!

War of Necessity(then) vs. War of Aggression(now)

I could argue that it’s near impossible to classify a war as a “war of necessity”, however, World War II was just that! After exhausting all diplomatic outlets even after Germany had invaded Poland, Western Europe finally acted and it took this event on 12/7/41, 2 years after the official start of the war to get the US involved. Thus this was a “war of necessity” as there was no other way. However, today, while what Saddam Hussein did was atrocious, he did it within the confines of his own country, aside from his attempt to invade Kuwait in the first Operation Desert Storm, he never really posed a threat anywhere close to what the Axis Powers of World War II did.

In the end, as much as you can try to justify Operation Iraqi Freedom or The War In Afghanistan, both are Wars of Aggression, even if Saddam did have the WMD’s(which he didn’t) or the Taliban did consort with Al-Queda to assist in 9/11, it would pale in comparison to what we have in the US and unlike the Cold War ideal of Mutually Assured Destruction, any Iraqi or Afghani nuclear, chemical or biological attack would’ve been met with complete annihilation of Iraq and/or Afgahnistan and only those countries.

Soldier of then vs. Soldier of now

The soldiers of World War II were ALL able bodied men, there were no exceptions, from the young farm boy in Oklahoma to baseball superstars Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. Today, it is mostly the young farm boy who still believes in his country or it’s the legacy child whose parents, grandparents and so-on served or worse, the inner-city teen who feels their only way out of the ghetto is in the Army and has no idea what he’s signed up for usually because of an over-zealous recruiter who cares more about promotions and quotas than the well-being of this young man.

To compare generations, my grandfathers BOTH served in World War II while for my generation, only my brother and one of my cousins served. I had the opportunity to serve, however, I was almost a victim of the above mentioned overzealous recruiter who was more interested in getting his bonus from signing me up than realizing that I was on my way to college. He wanted to sign me up for the Reserves, when in reality he should’ve been signing me up for ROTC. Thankfully I was able to get out of the Reserves, otherwise I would’ve ended up in Fallujah or Kabul instead of Champaign-Urbana.

One of the few heroes of our generation similar to Williams and DiMaggio was Pat Tillman.

Pat gave up a multi-million dollar contract and made his commitment with little fanfare and never really gave a reason as to why he made the sacrifice he did. Sadly, Pat was killed in combat and even worse, his death was originally stated as enemy fire only to be exposed as a lie since he was killed by “friendly fire”. The cover-up alone gives weight to the idea that Pat’s death was not accidental and someone wanted to shut him up, most likely because he was on to the fact that this was a “war of aggression” and he was not the type to keep his mouth shut. In fact there is a documentary, titled: The Tillman Story which shines a light on the entire story, a movie that I am desperately waiting for to come out on DVD as it is not currently being shown in my area.

The Economy of Then vs. The Economy of Now

Back then the country went to war in part to pull out of The Great Depression, as evidenced above, people were willing to make sacrifices, mostly because they didn’t have much to begin with. Another sacrifice that was made was purchasing War Bonds, where people would loan what little money they had to the government to help fund the war in exchange for a small monetary return on their investment, but a larger return on their investment in the form of safety and freedom.

The wars we’re in now are quite the opposite and in addition to The Housing Bubble and The Financial Market Crisis of 2008 the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to an unprecedented budget deficit to which we might never recover. And why not? Because no one is investing in the government! Everyone is led to believe that putting our trust in the government for security and freedom does not require investing money or effort because they’re all corrupt and incompetent. While I will agree that the some politicians are cowards and most of them are probably corrupt, I realize that they are the necessary evil to keep us safe from any threats, domestic or abroad. The other majority of politicians are usually greedy and incompetent, I could go on and on about them, but the bottom line was it was their aggressive nature and inability to reason on the two wars we are currently in that got us there in the first place. The cardinal sin some political leaders are guilty of was giving in to the greed of Main Street trying to sell the American dream to those who couldn’t afford it by ignorantly extending credit lines and mortgages to those who couldn’t afford them, mostly because most of the few profitable industries we currently have tie back to defense contracting, where only a select few are actually profiting from these wars. This greed of Main Street no less was fueled by a greater, more calculated greed from Wall Street and as such our economy is still in shambles while Main Street and Wall Street had to work together during World War II to ultimately lead to the greatest economic boom this country has ever and will ever see in the years immediately following the war.