Saturday, June 22, 2013

Why Obama is Out of Control

Who is this man in the White House?  He certainly doesn't appear to be the same person who talked about transparency, hope, and change in 2008.  The shape shifter we have for a president now has turned out to be the reincarnated spirit of Woodrow Wilson.  Like Wilson, this man is drunk on power, hates transparency and governmental accountability, and is hell bent on smashing any political opposition he may face.  The Constitution, which he has sworn to uphold, has become his toilet paper.

Who would have known that he would invoke the Espionage Act more than any other president combined?  Who could have guessed that instead of apologizing after his administration was found to be spying on average American citizens and destroying their privacy rights, instead he defends such behavior under the guise of "protecting us from terrorism?"  Is this the same man who grew up to become a community organizer, church going Christian, and civil servant?

Ed Snowden, the whistleblower who exposed the lies and corruption is now being charged by the Obama administration with espionage.  Snowden should be receiving a medal for his heroism, not facing up to 10 years in prison and extradition.  The Obama administration is also behind the cruel and unusual punishment and prosecution of Bradley Manning, the whistleblower who exposed thousands of instances of government lies, corruption, and murder.  While Nixon was known for his hatred of whistleblowers, he is nothing compared to this administration.  In fact, Nixon is a raging liberal compared to Obama.

Anyone who still believes the nonsense about allowing the government to impose itself into every aspect of our lives in the name of "protecting us from terrorism" need only look to the Boston bombings.  The spy state didn't prevent that, now did it?  Hell, the Russians directly called the U.S. government and warned them about Tamerlin Tsarnaev and nothing was done.  It appears that the use of spying and information collection by this administration is being used to control, cover up, and smash its political opposition.  It views the enemy of the state to be the actual citizens of the U.S.

It is also interesting how this administration has no second term agenda.  The first term at least had the goal of reforming health care.  This term is all about playing political games and increasing the powers of the government.  It is about waging terror strikes using drones and ordering cyber attacks on other nations while hypocritically condemning other countries from doing the same types of cyber attacks.

The sad thing is that Obama is the president because our system put him there.  Romney would have been worse.  The system only promotes those who unquestioningly accept corporate power and elite control.  Around election time we get some well rehearsed propaganda to make us believe we are in control.  After the election, the real business of America happens--this means free giveaways to Monsanto, big banks, and other deep pockets.  The rich and elite of America ensure that their power remains strong.  We are fools to believe that if we simply elect the right man or woman, things will get better.  The system, with its corrupt campaign finance system, prevents that from happening.  True change can only come from widespread political organization by the masses and an involved and engaged citizenry.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Rethinking Texting: Taking a Second Glance

"Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief..."

Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2

In an earlier post, I mentioned why I wasn't into texting.  Since that time, however, I have changed my mind.  In law school, we had a professor who required us to answer a single question for a law exam.  We had 24 hours to produce an answer to the legal question.  The rub was that we had to be concise and precise.  He gave a strict word limit that meant no bullshitting.  One had to know what one was talking about in order to properly analyze the problem and answer the question.  At the time I didn't understand why he required this.  His explanation was that judges, when reading briefs, want to read legal pleadings which are short and to the point.  They don't have time for trivialities.

In time I have come to recognize that brevity is indeed the soul of wit.  Being able to filter out extraneous information and distill information down to its bare essence is far from easy.  In fact, it is one of the more difficult analytical things we can do.

Just listen to the way most people tell stories.  A good storyteller won't waste time with irrelevant details.  He won't be overly descriptive, but will emphasize the right elements at the right time.  Having a sense of pace and proportion in storytelling is critical.  Most people, however, stink at telling stories because they ramble on and fail to get to the point.

In an age when cell phone calls and long distance are essentially free, the temptation to over talk is rampant.  Something that could be said in a few moments ends up taking much too much time.  Efficiency and productivity of the workday suffer.  At the end of the day, you wonder where your time went because you didn't get anything done.

A text message that limits you to a limited number of characters requires you to put some organization and thought into your message.  You are forced to distill things down to their bare essence.  For many types of communication, such as dinner plans, scheduling changes, etc., this is the perfect medium.

My phone is still old and not designed for texting.  It is slow and arcane.  Yet I am coming to appreciate the hidden beauty of texting.  It reminds me of my old law school professor and his brief exams.  Sometimes understanding comes slowly, but sometimes it finally does arrive.

The future involves texting, and I am finally okay with it.