Category Archives: Politics

Some awesome documentaries

My ex boyfriend really enjoyed watching documentaries (and he even got me to pronounce the word correctly!) so I’m going to start a new “documentary” section for my blog, so maybe I’ll spend more time watching them and sharing them here. A good place I’ve found to look for some good ones:

Me watching the North Korean documentary
Me watching the North Korean documentary




The very thought provoking things I’ve watched lately:

Vandana Shiva: Food, Ethics, and Sustainability

(start on 24:50. from here:

This Is What Democracy Looks Like (Seattle 1999 WTO)

All Wars Are Bankers’ Wars

North Korea Exposes the Western Propaganda


Cities: adopt these privacy laws

To follow up on a my previous post about enacting local initiatives for the people’s right to privacy:

  • A publicly-accessible warrant must be provided to monitor or capture any private voice communication or digital data, at rest or in motion.
  • Only the entities that privately sign digital certificates for the purpose of encrypting voice communication or digital data, at rest or in motion, can decrypt said voice communication or digital data.
  • Only the original creator of a private certificate may own and use, in such a way, that allows said entity to view or record decrypted voice communication or digital data.
  • It is illegal for any entity to attempt to break or subvert any voice or data encryption mechanism.

I foresee some business impacts to these, so some of them probably need to change. Discuss!

Spearheading a Wikisource repository for political speeches

How did President Obama think about a politically-sensitive topic that concerns you a year before his presidency? How about 5 years before his presidency? 10 years? How far back in his public service does his opinion matter?

Politicians talk a lot. Everyday. Their public speeches should showcase their absolute and relative opinions about how they think Government should affect you. Where can you go to see what they said? How compassionate were they about the issues that matter to you? Did they lie? Did their opinion change? Why did it change? We can’t even begin to answer these questions unless we document them.

This project aims to have citizens use their cell phone’s video recorder to document the speeches of local, state, and national representatives. These videos will be uploaded to, openly licensed using the Creative Commons, and transcribed so that search engines can index these important words.

The goals of phase one:

  • Develop a standard Wikipedia-modeled framework for properly documenting public political speeches
  • Spread the word to everyone so people know to record their representative’s public speeches
  • Spread the word to netizens who wish to transcribe and verify the transcriptions
  • Spread the word to journalists and researchers to constructively use this data
  • Wiki 1,000 political speeches within a one-year time span

Example: Remarks by the President on Osama bin Laden


Which Side Are You On

Re: article: Lines in the Sand: Which Side Are You On in the Hack

I think that ‘Us-vs-Them’ reasoning is really common in hacker’s online and offline publications. There’s a lot of big ideas and vague expectations so I hope it’s not too hard to choose something to be skeptical about in this article.

A lot has come out in the media this past year about _all_ (not just the select few who make the news) of US congress is subject to financial corruption– Lessig and This American Life go into detail. Anonymous has gone after law enforcement (LE) and when they do, I can’t help but feel they’re motivations are misplaced. When LE perform anti-constitutional acts (spying, protestor abuse, etc), to me, they are mostly a symptom to a very complex problem. Why is this issue reduced to “Hackers” vs. “.Gov and .Mil”? It’s way too simplistic for my liking.

Jacob Appelbaum often makes fun of LE by saying things like, “99% of them make the rest look bad.” Retrospectively, why wouldn’t society (not just egocentric hackers) want more socially-sensitive, honest, and intelligent people working for publicly funded institutions? Intellectual challenges exist in many forms and even more that are unformed. Anyone can log on and become Anonymous. It would not surprise me at all if LE agents, on the side, help hack dictator regimes in foreign countries for the lulz and the obvious morally valid execution of activism. I don’t know everything that the author of this particular article is thinking, or if s/he has ever been in a real fight, but usually, attacking someone doesn’t change their mind about the root issues. And with all due respect, changing the mind of your adversary is the objective here (think: making a friend of your enemy as many great martial artists would teach), even if it’s more complex, more difficult to understand, and harder to change.

#jan25, A Dream

This is a dream I had the early morning of 2011 January 28. I think it was in retrospect of watching the protest in Egypt on Al Jazeera English.

I appeared on site of some protest. It looked like a small freeway exchange, with bridges above my head and below the road where I and many people were crowded. But where cars once drove, there were people talking and moving about. I walked towards a small group; they were friends, but I don’t know who they were. Suddenly I heard a small crowd behind me scream and yell in a very distinctive way. I turned my head to the sounds and I saw a few armed police officers walking up the road towards my location. I turned back and I started to run. At my dismay, I started running towards another police officer, one that hadn’t caught my attention. I think from his perspective it looked like I was running towards him to attack. But I wouldn’t ever find out. He pointed his handgun at me and fired four rounds. I remember one bullet hitting my left arm, one in my chest, and two in my lower abdomen. I remember spinning around and falling to the ground in a seated position, watching my white shirt turn red. There wasn’t a thought more in my head. I had been shot.