"The ideal citizen of a politically corrupt state, such as the one we now have, is a gullible dolt unable to tell truth from bullshit." I came across this 2012 article today and thought still apropos to the state that we are in. We need to educate ourselves past what politicians and popular news media are telling us to believe.
We're glad the Pussy Riot members were released, despite the political circumstances leading up to the Sochi Olympics. But we continue to remain baffled about why the >russians don't do more to demand greater democratic controls. Is it pride? Fear? Skepticism of democracy? American democracy is admitedly imperfect, but that doesn't mean they should not strive for something better than the stifling, dehumanizing, de facto authoritarianism of Putin.
Now's the time to reform gun laws. This text message exchange between a father and his son during the Arapahoe High shooting is terrifying and heart-rending. There must be a better way forward, because the status quo is needlessly endangering our children. Regardless of what our politicians would have us believe, we believe it's possible both to respect the 2nd Ammendment and to bring sensible controls to gun ownership. (Even 69% of NRA members believe that gun show sales should be subject to criminal background checks.) We have to press our elected leaders about this, because our children should never have to text us about how well they're hiding from a school shooter.
So Target disclosed that criminals somehow accessed credit/debit card information for as many as 40 million of its Black Friday retail customers. Alright, it's settled. We gotta go back to a cash-only society. But seriously, if you shopped in a brick-and-mortar Target store in between November 27 and December 1, double-check your transaction history. This is the the kind of thing that justifies having a positive brand image. The press coverage of it has been relatively light, but we wonder how such a breach would be reported if it were to happen to more divisive brands like Walmart.
The sky is falling!! Congress is actually gonna pass a budget without delay or chest-beating brinkmanship! And all it took was Boehner having a spine, and a couple experiments by the to prove the obvious. So kudos to Boehner's nascent spine, and a hearty, forceful pat on the back of the 113th Congress for meeting our minimum expectations. For once.
Congrats to the >chinese for their lunar landing! They join only us and the former Soviet Union in accomplishing a soft-landing on the moon. May humans continue to explore space in peaceful cooperation.
Korean Friendship Bell Restored We salute Ernest Lee and the Korean Friendship Bell Preservation Committee for their their volunteer work resulting in the restoration of the Korean Friendship Bell in Angels Gate Park, San Pedro, California. The 17-ton bell was cast in South Korea in the early 1970’s, at a cost of more than $1 million, and was presented to the United States as a gift for our bicentennial. Since then the bell has fallen into disrepair and the city of Los Angeles had neither the money nor the skill to repair the bell. Several years ago the Korean Friendship Bell Preservation Committee was formed and took it upon themselves to find the funds and talent to restore the bell. When local metallurgy experts said restoration of the bell was outside their expertise they eventually identified and contacted Beom Jong Sa, the manufacturer of the bell. The Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism supported the project and paid more than $300,000 to hire the required experts including master metallurgist Chai Dong-Hey, whose mentor created the bell. We hope the city of Los Angeles will find the will and means to maintain the restored treasure that some Koreans consider the West Coast Statue of Liberty. And we hope that visitors to Southern California will include the bell in their itinerary.
Wind Energy Vs Eagle Kills We need a balanced approach between development of wind farms and protection of eagles. And by balanced we mean the number of “acceptable” kills must be independently monitored. Federal officials announced on Dec 6, 2013 that some wind power companies will be allowed to kill and injure bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty. The regulations include restrictions where the permits will be reevaluated every five years and could be suspended if companies are not meeting requirements. However the government is relying almost exclusively on self-reporting by for-profit companies. Are they serious? If this is the best Obama can do what can we expect when a conservative is in office?
We support those who use their time and talents for the public good. Code for America is an excellent example as they use technology to make governments more responsive. As an example, San Mateo County in California has one of the lowest rates of food-stamp participation in the country, due to a difficult application process. Changes in the process would require 18 agencies to overhaul their data-processing software. The participants want to create a program that would ask simple questions to applicants and use the answers to populate the complicated government form.
New or a rehash of the same old ? I'm hoping for something fresh and it just launched today. I will give it a week of steady watching, but some suspect it to be a more polished version of CNN...
Al Jazeera English had an bias - but it's always nice to see an outside America or more critical perspective. This show will be funded by money from outside the US, but made by those who reside in the US. I hope a beneficial combination for those who are able to subscribe to this channel.
They started off on a bad foot though, banning content basically from the other Al Jazeera networks around the world...
There is no question that child abductions are tragic, and that Amber Alert phone notifications (part of the national Emergency Alerts System) are a great idea. But the implementation of this notification program is terrible! iPhone users were jolted awake several times last night by their phone's "Alarm" ringtone, which is designed to sound like a 1950s military base under threat of imminent attack. On iPhones, the Amber Alert system uses this specific ringtone at full volume, even when in Silent Mode or Do Not Disturb is activated. Unless a tsunami is about to wash Los Angeles into the ocean, common sense tells us that particular sound is not necessary or appropriate, especially since it can be triggered in the middle of the night while people are sleeping. It's an all-or-nothing design, where the only option one has is to opt-out entirely. Given the ringtone choice, it wouldn't be surprising if many people did opt out. The poor decision to use this particular ringtone is a lesson in the importance of getting the details right.
The new web page attachment feature allows us to show a summary of a webpage along with the vox, ...original
We love this new feature! It will heighten the political discourse and accountability throughout the land for decades to come! (This is an example of a "Reply" post, which encourages and supports long-lasting topical discussions between groups--all driven by democratic processes.)
The new web page attachment feature allows us to show a summary of a webpage along with the vox, whenever we include a URL in the vox. The current implementation is rough, but it works. To attach a web page summary, simply include a URL in your vox... as you're typing, the site should detect the URL, and if it is able to create a summary, it will display the summary details next to the vox text box, where you can write comments about the referenced webpage. For example: No parliament means no representation. Looks like Egypt may be headed for a dictatorship.
There's a new Photo upload feature, for those times when words won't suffice. Speaking of which, check out the trendy logo!
Is it in the works to have a profile type section where one can see all their own "voxes?" Similar to how twitter has it. Just curious... might be a nice idea to see a compilation of all the voxes you wrote.
We support Governor Brown's proposal to increase sales tax and raise levies on upper incomes to help raise money for schools and balance the state budget. * sales tax = 1/4 cent per dollar for four years * levies = graduated surcharge on incomes over $250,000 for seven years We will vote in favor if it makes it to the November ballot.
We support the position of Steve Lopez, LA Times columnist, re California's race to the bottom for quality public education.
Over the past decade state funding for schools has declined by 42% and the effects have been devastating.
The remedies are not simple but as Steve puts it:
You cannot fix any of this in a state more inclined to build prisons than schools, despite projections of a huge shortage of college-educated workers by 2025.
You can’t fix it when you’re the only major oil-producing state with no excise tax, and you refuse to correct the huge property tax advantage Proposition 13 extended to corporations.
You can’t fix it without modest concessions from public employees, including teachers, on pensions and benefits.
And you certainly can’t fix it with three competing and unimaginative tax-increase proposals — one by Gov. Jerry Brown — that would restore some school funding, but are likely to do each other in come November.
We are noticing the improvements to the site. Once "reply" and "comment (12)" are unlocked, all hell is going to break loose. In a good way.
"U.S. soldier in Afghanistan goes on a shooting rampage." If anything is surprising about this, it's that it took so long to happen. We have a culture that glorifies violence, and praises aggression as the American way to solve problems. Our educational system is completely devoid of tolerance and diversity instruction, has failed to equip students with adequate job skills, and completely down-plays the greatest of American traits, a overriding respect for the content of one's character. And then we fill the frontlines of our military, literally the faces of our nation to those countries who are at greatest ideological odds with us, with the most extreme personifications of these problems. We weren't surprised 10 years ago, and we're not surprised today. It's time we re-learned what it means to be American.
Excited for the new Ipad 3!
We need to inform the coaching staff and front office that the Lakers NEED to start playing Luke Walton. Luke is a TWO-TIME world champion with HIGH BASKETBALL IQ. He also owns a BBQ restaurant. Our voice needs to be heard. And Fisher needs more playing time as well. He's a certified BULLDOG! Run the offense through Fisher and Walton pick-and-rolls. Let's bring back Showtime!
Voting a post up or down is one of the key components of blocvox yet most posts have only one or two votes. It’s a test environmentalists; let’s test it. Vote up or down but vote.
Yesterday President Obama lambasted Republican presidential candidates for their vague, amorphous criticisms of weakness in his handling of Iran. While it's reckless, premature, and dangerous for these candidates to imply the need for war, they force the President into a sticky situation. While we support his desire for a diplomatic resolution, we do feel the President must take care to balance his political desire to point out the flaws in the Republicans' rehetoric, with the nation's strategic need to be extremely assertive with Iran. Specifically, he must craft his statements about Republicans not to signal to Iran that military force is completely out of the question. Otherwise, he can embolden Iran and ironically bring us closer to war.
Kudos to the Russian people for not going down under Putin's rule without a fight. The only way Putin can hope to be re-elected (a whopping six years from now due to constitutional changes in 2008) without resorting to all out fraud, will be to incite fears of "the West". It's now in his interest to drive relations with the U.S. into the ground, which won't help our ability to militarily confront terror threats. While on the one hand that is scary, on the other hand it may hopefully force U.S. foreign policy to be more bilateral.
We're not as excited about tomorrow's rumored iPad 3 announcement by Apple as we are about the AppleTV! 24/7 Siri! (If only they could make her sound like the computer from Star Trek The Next Generation!)
For the second consecutive year China boosted their defense budget over 10%; now topping $100 billion. Buy "made in China" and we arm a soldier. Buy "made in USA" and we give our neighbor a job.
We should try to use "we" in our voxes and when creating blocs make sure the title used represents a group. So maybe "gossip girl fans" or "environmentalistsal activists". (Note: bloc names do not currently support spaces.)
blocvox encourages participation in the social construction of our world...it's problems, it's solutions, it's outlook on the future.
We need to invest more in renewable energy - not new drilling in the Arctic Ocean! Obama admin has gives all but final go-ahead to Shell for new drilling in the Arctic Chukchi and Beaufort seas. These are the nurseries of the world where thousands of birds feed & nest and the waters nurture food-chain building blocks for whales, walruses, seals & polar bears. New drilling sites scheduled for this year. Shell claims to be prepared for spills but their cleanup equipment cannot work in that kind of weather. Once the ice sets in boats will be unable to sail & a spill in October could not be addressed until spring. More at LATimes.com, Kim Murphy, 3/4/12
Welcome to the tea-party. We need to brighten our image by doing something positive for this country. It's not too late to start you know...
Tentatively making my way around blocvox. Will run this test up the ol' flagpole to see who salutes.
Wonderful user interface design so far!
We love this site!!!!!!!!