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The Almighty Buck

Journal Journal: It's the economy, stupid!

I work for a regional telecom company so I am acutely aware that sometimes I bite the hand that feeds me. That does not, however, change the fact that watching state and federal representatives fall all over themselves in a rush to give out more cash to corporations is sickening. My state (Minnesota) is usually a moderate to slightly left leaning state, but recently there was a backlash after Jesse Ventura and we are now in the grip of a Republican governor as well as House. Like just about every other state in the country right now we have a deficit that needs to be balanced. Minnesota has a high standard of living and a strong upper class which has raked it in hand over fist during the good times. Now, our governor is saying that during the bad times the rich and the corporations need to be protected from this hardship. Tax cuts to the rich and tax incentives to corporations are being coupled with massive cuts to higher education, lower education, the arts, and more than anything else support for the elderly and poor. These freaks then -straight faced- say "Everyone must sacrifice during these trying times." The local republicans are in lock step behind Jr. and the White House mafia, feeling all but invincible and hoping for another "tragedy" to occur so they can ride that wave of violent jingoism through the next elections. This country is capable of being a good world leader and a good example to others. We are not even trying to be that now. We are too busy making money at any cost, no matter who gets screwed in the process.

Yay team............

Privacy

Journal Journal: Tech and politics

Up until recently I was like the vast majority of Americans out there. I had definite opinions about corporate and fundamentalist interests infringing on the people's privacy with draconian legislation pushed through congress by "bought and paid for" legislators. I had a point of view that I thought was not being heard, but I thought "What good will it do? I'm just one voice and I don't want to stand out because it will just attract those right wing extremists who terrorize those who disagree with them." Hell, I have a family to think of and just the idea of having some pro-life group singling my family out to make me pay for believing differently kept me from speaking out. Then I discovered the internet (actually, I invented it--just kidding) as a tool to communicate with like-minded individuals. Being able to get together with others to make your collective voice heard makes all the difference in the world. Right wing extremist groups are like high school bullies, they pick on the weak and those who are not well represented or a part of a well organized group. Another benefit of speaking as part of a group: local, state, and federal officials will pay more attention to a small well organized group than they will a single well organized individual. And when you find that your left wing long-haired hippy communist idea is actually shared by soccer moms, accountants, farmers, and of course long-haired hippy communists, you feel more comfortable speaking your mind.

The internet has been an extremely powerful political tool when utilized by the grassroots organizations. I believe the success they have seen is the main reason for corporate and right wing attacks on internet privacy. Communication and the right to communicate is so valuable that fundamentalist groups will go to extreme measures to quiet opposing views. I have come to realize that my voice is needed and that this will be an ongoing debate because there will always be those who would try to quiet opposing views by any means possible.

I am much more active in my government now thanks to the internet and the freedom we have to gather online and question those who should be serving us in government.

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