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[NB: I originally wrote this on October 7th, shortly after Occupy Philadelphia began.  I had kept it private for a while.]

the suit that i bought to impress the employers that had no intention of hiring me hangs lifeless in my closet

these are desperate times you know, and desperate times call for forgetting the desperate

"we've a need for a sales pitch by a swinging dick, we've no need for a trans aspie chick"

the clothes that i wore exactly once, in the store, lie in a heap on the floor

i cannot fit into your mold

the price of your luxury condo is more than the budget of a small non-profit trying to save lives

with your precious tax abatement you could save a thousand poor people from dying of hiv

with your orchestra tickets you could feed a thousand hungry people as you ponder why no one plays classical music at occupy philly

you could buy books for a thousand public-school students for the cost of one of your power suits

social workers struggle to survive as you buy caviar with their money

you feed on our blood as you do your best to break us

well you broke me today

and i hope your happy.
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[NB: I know that I'm responding quite late to the news of the virus that infected the Predator drone command-and-control center.  I couldn't formulate a coherent response at that time.  A recent discussion with a friend of mine brought this issue to the fore.]

You call yourself pilots

Pilots risk their lives to carry out their missions

You sit in front of your video screens in air-conditioned comfort

You call yourself soldiers

Soldiers look human beings in the eyes before shooting them

Soldiers know that they might shoot first

Soldiers lay their lives on the line

You tell jokes, eat sandwiches, surf the net

You wank your joysticks

And half a world away, innocent people die

War is just a video game to you

Only cowards fight push-button wars

Only cowards inject lethal chemicals into an innocent man's veins without even looking at him

Only cowards order an innocent man's death because they can't admit they were wrong

Push a button and a dozen Afghanis die

Push a button and an innocent man dies


May the souls of those killed by our drones and our wars for oil, rest in peace.

May the souls of Troy Davis, Manuel Valle, and all other people murdered by the state, rest in peace.
gallinggalla: Flammable (Organic chemists will understand the significance) (pic#700851)
Google's proprietary Dart language.

I have to agree with Peter Bright's conclusion.  Javascript is busted.  Dart is not the way to fix Javascript problems.

So, Google?  All those Javascript developers - those who developed jQuery, node.js, Firebug, YUI, all sorts of highly-interactive, highly dynamic Web apps, including your own frakkin' Google Apps developers?  All of those people who poured blood, sweat, and tears into developing libraries, frameworks, developer tools, debuggers, and apps?  All those people who worked 14-, 16-, 18- hour days, who put their lives aside, who amped themselves up on coffee, Jolt, Red Bull and G-d knows what else to get through it?  Who sacrificed their relationships, families, friendships, and health to deal with Javascript's quirks and limitations, not to mention those of the DOM?  Who spent countless years collaborating with each other on the often fractious, unwieldy ECMA design committees?

You're demanding that they just throw this all away - everything they've learned about large-scale software development with a language not originally designed for that, everything they've created, all the tools and glorious wonderful interactive dynamic Web 2.x sites, and all for a proprietary language that you developed in-house, with no input from the developer community or from vendors of browsers other than your own.  You piss on the ECMA Technical Committee and on collaborative development in general.  And you expect us (yes, I'm a burnt out former developer) to swallow your proprietary language and your arrogance without complaint.

What the fsck ever happened to "Don't be evil?"  You're turning into another Microsoft; indeed, you're beating Microsoft at their own game.  At least Microsoft is being dragged kicking and screaming towards greater support for open Web standards.

Page and Schmidt: You want to break the Web.  You want to turn the Web into your proprietary playground.  You want to own every bit of our personal information, every app that we use, every piece of data that we need to store someplace.  You want to destroy any notion of personal privacy:

On December 2009, Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, declared after privacy concerns: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines – including Google – do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities." Privacy International ranked Google as "Hostile to Privacy", its lowest rating on its report, making Google the only company in the list to receive that ranking.
You actively collude with the Department of Homeland Insecurity, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Justice Department, and other Federal agencies in suppressing free speech and other Constitutional guarantees and in disrupting social justice movements.

Google, you have become the evil that you once sloganeered against.  What happened? Or was "Don't be evil" just a marketing ploy?

Eric Schmidt and Larry Page, you are part of the 1%.  Stop being evil.  Stop trying to take over the web.  Support Harmony in particular and the evolution of Javascript into a better development platform in general.  Have some respect for the thousands of person-years expended by Javascript developers.  Have some respect for Web standards and their development.  Have some respect for privacy and stop enabling our government's shredding of our constitutional rights.

Collaborative development is slow, but maybe that's what we all need now.  This never-ending push for features for the sake of features, churning for the sake of churning, change for the sake of change, all without consideration of the human cost has got to stop.

Developers, designers, testers, QA folks, doc writers, tech bloggers, game designers, please, please, join the Occupy movement happening in your city.  Take control of software development away from the giants and put it into your hands.
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I'm sorry to curse, people, but this is fucking ridiculous. A conservative federal judge, Roger Vinson, in the conservative court district of Pensacola in the conservative state of Florida, is throwing a hissy fit about the Affordable Health Care Act because:
Vinson's 78-page ruling hinged on the argument that by requiring people to buy healthcare insurance the government could set a precedent that would upset the free flow of food across state boundaries.

"Congress could require that people buy and consume broccoli at regular intervals," he wrote.

He says this is sufficient reason to block the requirement that all people obtain insurance (which is scheduled to go into effect in 2012), and that is sufficient to scuttle the entire legislation.

This kind of off-the-wall shit isn't just coming from the fringes, folks. It has poisoned our court system. This is a very dangerous precedent; Rethuglicans will use the courts, including the Supreme Court, to the greatest extent possible to codify oppression, class war, and fascism into "constitutional" law.


Jan. 14th, 2011 06:46 pm
gallinggalla: (Default)
Someone at Bruce Schneir's security blog actually suggesting the death penalty for stealing, say, a couple of buck's worth of copper.

Ah, capitalism, the system that values copper over the lives of human beings.

[FYI: I have a great deal of respect for Bruce Schneir's skills in security, especially information technology security, so I'm not ragging on him. But the comment threads on his articles are often a cesspool.]
gallinggalla: (Default)
[H/T mattbastard]

Jeffrey Sachs acknowledges that wealthy corporations and individuals are making war on poor and working-class people, with the help of both major political parties. He nails it when he says that Obama has done nothing but kowtow to the rich:
Obama swept to power on the promise of change. So far there has been none. His administration is filled with Wall Street bankers. His top officials leave to join the banks, as his budget director Peter Orszag recently did. He is always ready to serve the interests of the rich and powerful, with no line in the sand, no limit to “compromise.”

Mr Sachs thinks that should the Rethuglicans be successful in enacting sweeping cuts to programs that benefit poor and working-class people, that these people will rise up in resistance:
In the end, I don’t think [the Rethuglicans] will succeed. For the moment, most Americans seem to be going along with Republican arguments that it is better to close the budget deficit through spending cuts rather than tax increases. Yet when the actual budget proposals are made, there will be a growing backlash. With their backs against the wall, I predict, poor and working-class Americans will begin to agitate for social justice.

But there's one thing that Sachs is not considering: The intensity with which the Obama Administration is ramping up the police state.

Because, you see, the Cravencrats are not a counter-party to the Rethuglicans. They are not an alternative to the Rethuglicans. The Cravencrats and the Rethuglicans are two prongs of the same strategy of turning the US into a neo-liberal haven for the rich, of destroying the middle class (partly by cooptation of the upper end into the upper class, and partly by pushing the rest into poverty), and of literally mandating mass homelessness and starvation for the poor and working class.

And when it comes to using the police state to ensure that the poor stay not only poor, but disenfranchised: Obama indeed says, "Yes We Can" to the wealthy of this country. I mean, gee, if East Germany was so successful in getting its citizens to snitch on each other, why can't we, President Obama? "Yes We Can!"

Now I'm not saying that it would be impossible for poor, working-class, and (the fast-disappearing) lower-middle-class people to rise up against the capitalist system, but I do think that Mr. Sachs isn't taking into account just how effective the US police state has become, the brutality with which it operates, and the technological means that they have at their disposal (funded, of course, by wealthy individuals and corporations) to spy upon, capture, detain, and torture protesters and to suppress dissent in general.


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August 2012

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