Release of new temperature data shows the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.
I don’t know how many of you followed last week’s January 18th Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA – US Senate bill) saga on the Internet last week. PIPA (Protect-IP Act) was the companion US House bill. January 18th was, I believe, an historic date, in which an epic political battle occurred between grassroots activism and the horde of media industry lobbyists who had lobbied (and influenced), the US legislature – both Senate and Congress. Grassroots activism WON!
Here is the chronology:
- Big media had lobbied and got Congress to introduce the SOPA and PIPA bills back in May, 2011.
- Back in May 2011, there was only one US Senator publically opposed to SOPA.
- As of December 31, 2011, there were only 6 Senators who had gone on record opposing SOPA.
- At 8 AM, January 18, 2012, there were still only six US Senators opposing SOPA.
- By 5 PM, January 18, 2012, there were forty two Senators publically stating opposition to the SOPA bill.
- 5 PM, January 18, 2012, SOPA was dead, certainly in its present language.
3,000,000 emails were sent to members of Congress during the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM on January 18, 2012. How did that happen? A number of leading Internet websites, including Wikipedia, WordPress, Mozilla, Flickr, Craigslist, and thousands of other websites around the country participated in a 24-hour blackout of their sites. Even Google blacked out its name, on the Google.com site. I know. I attempted to visit both the Wikipedia and the WordPress websites on January 18, 2012.
Instead of reaching those websites, I was redirected to a “Blackout” page. One of those redirected pages, (I’ve now forgotten which one), offered me the opportunity to send an automated email message to my US legislators, which I did. I had previously read some news articles about the “big brother” nature of SOPA/PIPA and the potentially destructive unintended consequences that this massive legislative over reach could have on the Internet, as we currently know it. I was primed to act. But I had not, up until January 18, 2012, actually taken any action in support of my then-formed opinion of the issue.
Being unable to instantly obtain the particular information, which I happened to be seeking that day, plus the instant opportunity to act on my general dislike of the pending legislation and my immediately unhappy mood, galvanized me to action. I sent my automated emails to my legislators, and went on my way that day, resigned to waiting 24 hours for the opportunity to obtain my sought-after information. That evening, I received an automated email from fightforthefuture.org informing me that the battle had been won. Thirty six US Senators had reversed their public position on SOPA between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM, and now were publically opposing the legislation. The day before yesterday, I even received an email from Senator Marco Rubio’s office, my FL senator, telling me in a politically nimble fashion, how he was for SOPA before he was against SOPA. Clearly even Marco was a bit flummoxed by the whole event.
Now, I do not agree with the much of the other advocacy positions that many of the groups, which formed this coalition, espouse – Michael Moore being one perfect example. I relay this story simply to emphasize the significance of what can happen with a properly focused, brilliantly strategized, well organized, and smartly executed grassroots campaign. Just think about it. Can you imagine what it would take to reverse the public position of 36 US Senators over the course of 8 hours? An act of war, perhaps. 9-11, certainly. But I’m not sure anything much less poignant could make this significant an impact. Many, if not most, grassroots campaigns are nowhere near this successful. This battle is an incredible case study for grassroots activism, which must be carefully and thoroughly studied by anyone interested in grassroots activism.
Here is the Fight For The Future video educating about PIPA:
Here are a few news articles documenting how this effort took place:
This overall story is a wakeup call for me – about how we focus on issues, strategize action, and organize campaigns. No grassroots campaign is alike, but much can be learned from this successful case.
This is just some silliness that popped into my head some weeks ago. Someone asked me what I thought about Mitt Romney and I had replied that (historical rumor has it) George Washington had to be almost dragged kicking and screaming from his home to preside as this nation’s first President, and Romney has been running for what seems like 6 or 7 years. This is not meant to be an endorsement of any candidate running for POTUS, nor a knock against Romney. It just is what it is.
George and Mitt
Imagine if you will a conversation between George Washington and Mitt Romney. What would you say if you had the opportunity to speak to George Washington. More importantly what would Washington say in reply.
Mitt Romney: “Excuse me. Aren’t you George Washington?”
George Washington: “Why, yes sir, I am and of whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with?”
MR: “My name is Mitt Romney and I’m running for the Presidency.”
GW: “Oh, yes, hmm… I’ve heard of you.” Washington turns away to leave.
MR: “No. Please wait. I beg of you, don’t go. I want to speak with you.”
GW: “What of, sir?”
MR: “You were the father of our country. You had the respect of every citizen. The name, George Washington, is known universally to mean a great leader of men, a symbol of liberty and freedom. Please tell me how I can win the presidency of this country? I am the only one that can set us back on the right course.”
GW: “Sit down and hold your tongue at what I am about to tell you. First, please stop calling me the Father of Our Nation. I know you won’t stop but do you have any idea how much pressure that places upon my weary shoulders. Look around, should I be proud of a nation that steals from its children to purchase the consent of a mass of leeches. Giving to them such treasure that they would never purchase for themselves? To what end? The perpetuity of a class of aristocratic lawyers whose only desire is life at the public trough.
Doest thy appetite for the sweat and blood of the average man have no quenching? Whom do they represent but for themselves? Certainly not those they claim.
Nay, if I am the Father of this Nation then let it be a bastard and know only my back.
MR: “Wait, you can’t turn your back in our time of need.”
GW: “I beg your pardon I have stayed firm all this time. It has been you that have turned away. Away from me, and from great men like Jefferson, Adams, Franklin and Madison and from the countless men whom I led and who died, and for what? To free ourselves from one tyranny only to run into the arms of another?”
MR: “That’s just it. I need your help in defeating Obama.”
GW: “Nay. That man, ill guided as he may be, is not the tyrant I speak of. The tyrant is this government of yours. Pray tell, how did it get so? Do Jefferson’s words have any meaning in this day? Does the Constitution get consulted as the rule by which you govern? Have you stricken the word LIBERTY from your dictionary and relegated it to the history books of school children? The city that was named in my honor was a swamp. It has been drained but a swamp it remains. You rid it of the snakes but left the vipers and the vermin.”
MR: “I agree, that is why I want to be President of the United States. To change things, to make things the way they were, the way you and those great men intended.”
GW: “Want? No man can want this job anymore than they can go into battle with their sole purpose being awarded a medal for valor. This is not a job you want. This job must find you, as it found me. I certainly did not petition for it.”
MR: “Well, Mr. President, it doesn’t work that way anymore.”
GW: “Yes, I am painfully aware of such, painfully aware.”
MR: “Mr. President, I’m the only one who can save this nation.”
GW: “Mr. Romney, you are a man of considerable height yet your large frame cannot hope to contain such vast an ego.
Our time together grows short. Go forth and tell your counterparts the following. No one man can save this country. That Godly undertaking is in the hands of every man. Set my people free as Pharaoh did to the Israelites. Free them in the truest sense of the word. Free them from the bondage of taxation. Free men are not to pay for the trappings of royalty. Stop favoring one enterprise over the other, this is not for a government of men to be undertaking. Allow the individual states to rule themselves in matters that concern only them and their citizens. Adhere to the Constitution, and counsel your judiciary to do the same. Do not work to pass laws that undermine the rights of the citizens, they are of greater intellect than you would like to believe. The gold our streets were paved with is not a shiny metal but the wealth of freedom that existed nowhere else on Earth. Return the country to its citizens Mr. Romney, nothing less will save it.
One last thing before I go. Respect and honor go hand in hand and neither can be purchased.“
There are always those that question the wisdom of groups such as these as supporting a candidate. They’ll tell you to put the information out there and let the individuals make their own informed decisions. They side against supporting anyone that is not the “perfect candidate”. So I ask, Who is the Perfect Candidate?
When you make complex decisions or decisions on complex issues most people use a matrix. They might not even know what a matrix is and if not for Keanu Reeves it is possible that they might never have heard the word “matrix” before. They probably do it in their mind as apposed to putting it down on paper. Some people call it “weighing all the options”.
Simply put. It is a table with values on it.
When selecting a candidate to vote for everyone places the candidate and what they’ve said, what they’ve promised, what they’re for, what they’re against, and what they’ve done in the past on their own matrix.
Why can’t we have a standard matrix? Why must everyone have their own? Simple, everyone puts different importance and values on the issues as it relates in importance to them.
Glenn Beck’s 9-12 Movement. The very movement that brought us and 100,000’s of others like us together started with a list of issues Glenn called Principals. Glenn went on to say that you didn’t even have to believe in ALL 9. Six or Seven was good enough for him. In numbers that’s 66-77%. That’s all you had to believe in. Which 6 or 7 didn’t matter. It didn’t matter which one you felt was more important than the other. It was a matrix of values, you decide for yourself what went where and where you fell.
What makes a perfect candidate? Ask 10 people, get 10 answers. The only perfect candidate for you is the one you see in the mirror. He or she is the one that will score perfect 100% on your matrix
THERE IS NO PERFECT CANDIDATE, as there is no perfect man, we all fail in our desire to be as perfect as we can. Man is imperfect, man is fallible .
So the better question is – Which candidate best represents what we believe in? or Which is the best choice of candidate to promote our beliefs? Ask 10 people you might get 5 and 5 in a two person election. Ask 10 people in our group, which is made up of people who believe in at least 66% of those 9 Principals and you’ll find that most of those people will fall one way. To the candidate that BEST represents what we believe in.
We can either choose to sit on the sidelines, cheer for each other in a parade, or take the legal action afforded to us by the Constitution and start making change. We as a group need to support and elect the BEST choice of candidates, not wait around for the Perfect Candidate who doesn’t exist.
January 31st is the date for Florida’s Presidential Preference Primary Poll. Be sure to vote at your local precinct.
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Our Mission is to Organize, Educate and Motivate other like minded individuals. We are FOR AMERICA and NOT for any particular political party. We challenge and oppose the Liberals and Progressives in this country who wish to subvert our Constitutional Rights & Liberties and force their agendas upon unwilling citizens. Continue reading