S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Things you would want to know about . . . OR NOT!

The Blogosphere is all about sharing. We share opinions, points of argument, news, information, ideas, personal items, funny stuff and much more. For some time now I have had this blogger friend, "betmo," whom I often mention. One of the reasons she is my friend is because she is so good at sharing. She writes comments on my posts and we exchange e-mail. Knowing each other for this long we understand each others' tastes on the Internet. Some of that communication is about things in which she thinks I would be interested. Today's post is actually sort of co-written by my friend, because she gave me all the following links.

Like with any news, some things we want to know; some things we definitely don't, because we would rather stick our heads in the sand. Or it turns out to be "TMI" (too much information). Not with my friend, however. She sends good stuff. It follows:

Cool Advertising -- From my friend, "betmo": This website is a visual treat. I really enjoyed its creative aspects. Now this is clever advertising! Have fun:

Take a minute and look at this one! HEMA is a Dutch department store. The first store opened on November 4, 1926, in Amsterdam. Now there are 150 stores all over the Netherlands. HEMA also has stores in Belgium, Luxemburg, and Germany.

Click here: HEMA's product page and take a look at their web page. You can't order anything and it's in Dutch, but just wait a couple of seconds and watch what happens. . .

Internet -- From Wired: I'm not one to download music, but I can truly understand the temptation to get something for free. I have to confess that I have captured TV movies or specials on video tape and played them over again later, shielding my eyes from the "warnings!" that told me I couldn't do it. However, the bootleg music websites seem to go over the line, in my opinion. And I don't want to pay for a service I do not use via an ISP surcharge. I think a lot of others with the same habits probably think the same way. "Music Industry Proposes a Piracy Surcharge on ISPs" By Frank Rose (03.13.08)" To quote:

Digital-strategy consultant Jim Griffin thinks ISPs should be made to collect a music surcharge from broadband users to compensate the copyright holders. (Courtesy U.S. Senate)

Having failed to stop piracy by suing internet users, the music industry is for the first time seriously considering a file sharing surcharge that internet service providers would collect from users.

Hmmm, about elections -- From The Raw Story: With the recent state primary, I used a paper ballot that was then scanned. I would have refused to use an electronic voting machine and demanded a paper ballot. I believe we can do that in Texas. Ohio stopped using the machines because the Secretary of State could not certify the safety of the balloting system. This story is mystifying to me because Diebold is in the "doghouse" with so many states and voters. Why would anyone want to give billions for this company? "United Technologies Makes Unsolicited $2.63 Billion Offer to Acquire ATM Maker Diebold" STEPHEN SINGER AP News Mar 02, 2008. "Diebold, based in Canton, Ohio, makes ATMs, business security systems and voting machines."

Big Brother -- This was right up my alley. I am a privacy and civil liberties "nut" any way. I cannot imagine that any rational exec would think this would fly. There is a part of me that even identifies with conservatives who decry the "nanny society." If we don't get up off our couches more our great grand children will be born with little stumpy legs. From Unscrewing the Inscrutable: "But think of the convenience!" To quote:

Gerard Kunkel, Comcast’s senior VP of user experience, told me the cable company is experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know who’s in your living room. The idea being that if you turn on your cable box, it recognizes you and pulls up shows already in your profile or makes recommendations. . .

Comcast is already experimenting embedding cameras into DVR boxes that actually watch the television watchers. Big Brother, anyone?

Water/water -- From Alternet: "Is Your Drinking Water Contaminated? Bottled Water Isn't the Solution. Posted by Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch at 6:58 AM on March 11, 2008. Contaminants in drinking water are a national problem that need a national solution." Bottled water is wasteful because of the trash it leaves and the carbon resources it unleashes. But the next article is even more alarming. We are all taking in medications that have not been doctor prescribed, in our tap water! Also from Alternet, "Sedatives and Sex Hormones in Our Water Supply. By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!. Posted March 25, 2008. An AP journalist who helped lead an frightening investigative report considers the dangers posed to the country's drinking water."

Bullying and LGBT -- From The Bilerico Project: There is no excuse for bullying of any kind. My daughter is a third grad teacher and her school has a formal anti-bullying program to curb bullying a kind of "child abuse by other children." "Are We Doing Enough to Stop Bullying at School? Filed by: Patricia Nell Warren, February 29, 2008." To quote:

Bullying has been part of school life forever. Teasing targeted anything imaginable, from race or religion to the size of your ears. But bullies always pushed extra-hard on any nonconformity on sexual orientation or gender. Today that push of theirs has gotten horrendously blatant. As the LGBT rights movement grows in national influence, it's no accident that school bullying has gotten so bad.

Slavery -- From Mother Jones: Human trafficking in an under told story. This article is very well done and worth the read. " 'The Apex of Slavery' Interview: Benjamin Skinner went undercover in Istanbul to negotiate the purchase of slaves from human traffickers. What he found was a thriving trade in human misery." Interviewed By Caroline E. Winter, March 27, 2008"

Today you found out a few things you really wanted to know. Thanks to "betmo." And it it was "NOT!" to any of the stories, I don't know what to tell you, except that I hope your day gets better.

View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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betmo said...

i like sharing articles with you because you always put them to good use :) thank you.

Carol Gee said...

betmo, I left you a comment yesterday but, evidently, I just previewed it and forgot to post it.
So I will say again that you send me very good material with which to write good posts. Thanks!