Category Archives: Real Life

Anti-Immigration or Anti-Refugee Bills are immoral and not in Virginia’s interest

In sync with President Trumps push to persecute refugees and immigrants, the Virginia General Assembly has had a number of bills introduced that do not represent what America stands for nor are they in the best interest of the citizens of Virginia. The majority of these bills increase the burden of running day to day services for the state. The burden of work is increased for entities providing immigration or refugee services, education, and just general contracting with government entities.

I urge you to find out who your legislatures are (http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/) and get in touch telling them that these laws are not in the interest of Virginia.

Below are my letters outlining my objections to HB 1468, HB 1723, HB 2000, HB 2001, HB 2002, HB 2236, and SB 1262.

America’s morals and responsibility to take in those who are escaping war or are trying to make a better life are parts of what I believe make America great. I feel that discrimination and additional laws against refugees or immigrants, illegal or not, are unnecessary and our existing laws are well in place to punish those who intend to harm our citizens, community or country.

I urge you to not support HB 1468 as it applies a double standard of justice which America cannot stand for. Justice is a right of all people and if a person is within our borders they will experience the same justice everyone else does. HB 1468 introduces a broad stroke burden and strain upon the families and law enforcement who face incarceration. If a person is not an immediate threat to our safety they shouldn’t burden our justice system any more than anyone else.

I urge you to not support HB 1723 as it is unnecessary to track individuals movement outside of the current systems that exist. If an entity within the state enters an agreement to settle some refugees, Virginia doesn’t need to have a “refugee list” that is updated prior to settlement agreements being executed. This increases the burden of the government and those most affected by the refugee status. This slows down organizations ability to help these people who are most vulnerable.

I urge you to not support HB 2000 as it increases the burden to do work within the state with the state and is ridiculous to write a law that chains our state’s freedom and self governance to a minimum standard held by the federal government. Virginia doesn’t need laws that remind us what the federal law is. What a waste of time.

I urge you to not support HB 2001. The law places unnecessary burden on the education system to perform law enforcement. Furthermore the law casts a cloud of suspicion where none is needed. The education of those seeking to better themselves is in the interest of America and our institutions are not a place for a dark cloud of suspicion but enlightenment and promise.

I urge you to not support HB 2002. The law places an unnecessary burden on the entities who are trying their best to help immigrants and refugees find a better life. The immigrants and refugees are already cleared by the federal government. The law is made to create red tape and excessive state mechanism to disrupt these important services. I urge you not to support systems requiring the registry of individuals age, gender, and national origin of each individual. They are not in the interest of America.

I urge you to not support HB 2236. In this time of change, it is important to not to bludgeon localities found to violate the law nor is it necessary to chain our law to that of the federal system. First the language of the law is despicable to take away funding to a locality just because they are found to violate the law. Note that it doesn’t include willful or not just found in violation. The law is designed to hurt localities that fail to enforce immigration laws which of course will be localities with immigrants. The law is designed to reduce services which will cause unnecessary stress and harm to the members of the locality and is sinister in its attempt to drive people away. It is an awful law that is in no way representative of American values.

I urge you to not support any of the following: HB 1468, HB 1723, HB 2000, HB 2001, HB 2002, and HB 2236.

Re: SB 1262

I live in Charlottesville VA and am alarmed at the rate of anti-immigration bills being introduced into the Virginia state legislature. Having a locality be libel for an illegal immigrant’s actions via VA SB1262 is just disguised discrimination and intimidation. There are already plenty of laws in place to address illegal activity regardless of a persons immigration status. I urge you to vote, debate and take a stand against VA SB1262 and other proposals in its vein.

 

Powerful people make powerful foes with coercion, intimidation, and slander

“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nothing hidden that will not be made known. Everything you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight; what you have whispered in locked rooms will be proclaimed from the rooftops.” — Luke 12:2-3

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage… If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.” — Shakyamuni Buddha

“I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.”  — Martin Luther King Jr.

“The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.”  — John F Kennedy

The facts are that leaks happen, have happened in the past, and will continue to happen.  People who leak that are motivated by immoral means do not just turn over their powerful and valuable information to the press and disseminate the information publicly.  They sell it, they trade it, and they keep it a secret.  Leaks to the press however are almost always painful yet enlightening for the public, serving a much greater good for the people while usually tarnishing the reputation of those which the information is about.  People who leak information are often called traitors, immoral, or are even threatened with their life. The current Wikileaks storm  is not the first time that questionable judgment by the government was brought to light.  Further, the alarmingly aggressive actions by the government at the highest levels is indicative of a much more sinister cover up by those in power.   In 1971 the case of New York Times Co. v. United States established that the freedom of press and information is above the government’s urge to censor and keep secrets.  The Pentagon Papers where the government claimed that the release would cause, “irreparable injury to the defense interests of the United States” turned out the be one of the catalyst that helped the American public stop their government from waging an endless war in Vietnam.  The Court decided that the freedom of press from censure is paramount to the freedom of the people.

The release of the Pentagon Papers derailed the government plan to expand the Vietnam war.  Also it showed that President Johnson was lying to the public and congress about the urgency of the threat of communism.  “We seek no wider war” he claimed running for President in 1964 yet continued to build the war not primarily for freedom or the Vietnamese people but only, according to a DOD internal memo, “to avoid a humiliating U.S. defeat”.  Putting our soldiers lives on the line and expanding the chaos and tragedy of war simply to avoid egg on the government’s face is truly the ultimate humiliation.

Around 1971, Daniel Ellsbery leaked the top secret documents because he saw the unjust war and the horror being unleashed by the government, lost and out of control.  He was harassed and called a traitor.  The president systematically organized a secret campaign called “The White House Plumbers” to smear Ellsbery’s name and used all their power to make anyone question their association or will to associate with Ellsbery.   This is the same committee which then went on to perform the cowardly Watergate burglaries leading to uncovering the Watergate scandal.  The government couldn’t ever prove that Ellsbery leaked the documents.

Fast forward to 2009.  Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, in Iraq since 2005, was well aware from his intelligence position of the brutal oppression and torture suffered by Iraqis from Americans in the name of preventing terrorism.  Pvt. Manning also had access to the secret plans and blunt accounts of top government official’s complacency and encouragement of perpetuating the horrendous acts all in the name of homeland security.  It is believed that Manning leaked the documents to Wikileaks.  Manning couldn’t keep his ego in check and bragged about the release of some recent leaks to Adrian Lamo.  Wikipedia references, “According to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a reporter from Forbes has published information, according to which Adrian Lamo works as a “security specialist” with “Project Vigilant”, a private security institution which also works for the FBI and the NSA”  Most likely the victim of indirect entrapment, Pvt. Manning is now facing up to 54 years in prison for removing the dark blindfold  placed over the American people’s eyes in the name of their security.

With the most recent releases, Secretary Clinton now says that the leaks are “an attack on the international community.”  This is the same rhetoric used by previous corrupt governments and their officials once they realized that their despicable and illegal actions were coming to light.  Even though news organizations all over the world are reporting and reading the leaks, Wikileaks and especially Jullian Assange is being singled out by what is by evidence of its own documents a brutal and unchecked government out of control in this war on terrorism.  The Denial of Service attacks against Wikileaks are not being condemned or even investigated.  Business associates are being coerced into disassociating themselves with the organization.  The government is showing no outrage for illegal attacks against websites and sits idly by as some representatives claim they would be comfortable with the murder of Assange.

The truth is that the United States government should never be involved in despicable acts against people in other countries or against its own people.  The freedom of the people to know and the press to keep us informed trumps the claim that nearly all secret information about government operations should be kept secret from you for your own protection.  Realize that truly the protection is not for you but the criminals which are operating in secrecy, wary of their transgressions being challenged and fighting tooth and nail to get back the powerful leverage they gain through secrecy.

The government fears the empowerment of an informed people and will always act to quell the the dispelling of this “secret” knowledge which gives them leverage against anyone else.  The cloak of secrets allow them to lie directly and have no repercussion of their actions, neither thoughtful discourse nor debate, only absolute power.  Their secret actions and collusion with powerful private parties are coming to light.  Do not have shame but relief that now the truth is revealed.  Let information of the government and its actions empower everyone, not just those who use these “secrets” for their own personal interests.

This post was inspired by the Institute for Public Accuracy release, “Ex-Intelligence Officers, Others See Plusses in WikiLeaks Disclosures

In Loving Memory of Joseph Harry Scales Jr.

Joseph H. Scales Jr. of Greenville, South Carolina, formerly of Fife, Virginia in Goochland County, went to be with his Lord on December 27, 2008. He is survived by his wife of fifty- years, Roselle Faulconer Scales and by his daughter, Mary Scales Lawson and her husband Dr. Jeffrey Lawson of Greenville. He was predeceased by a daughter, Grace Scales Yoder of Fairfax, Virginia. He is survived by her husband and wife, Joe and Patty Yoder. Mr. Scales is also survived by four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren: Roselle Lawson Bonnoitt of Greenville, S. C.; Margaret Lawson Meadows, of Jacksonville, Fla; Joseph Scales Lawson of Charlottesville, Va; Caroline Yoder of Nashville, Tennessee; and Madeline Yoder and Grace Yoder of Oakton, Virginia. He is also survived by two sisters, Grace Scales Evans of Maryland and Anne Scales Sims of Cascade, Virginia. He was predeceased by a brother, Edgar Forrest Scales and a sister, Elizabeth DeShazo .

 

Mr. Scales served his country in World War II as a Pacific based pilot in the U. S. Air Corps. His professional occupation was that of a conservationist. He worked 29 years as District Conservationist in Goochland, Fluvanna and Powhatan Counties for the United States Department of Agriculture. He was one of the first to pass the Virginia State soil scientist exam. After retirement, he established a private consulting firm dealing with the practice of soil and water conservation. He designed many lakes in the state of Virginia.

 

He served as Sunday School superintendent and was an elder for many years in Byrd Presbyterian Church, Goochland Virginia. He was a delegate to the General Assembly in 1974 for the Presbytery of the James.

 

Through the years, Joe received many awards and commendations. In 1985 he was chosen to be Grand Marshall in the Goochland Day Parade. He served as President of the Goochland Historical Society, the Goochland Farm Bureau, the Ruritan Club, and the Soil District Supervisors. He also served on the board of zoning appeals of Goochland County for 12 years. In 1974-75 the Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District recognized Joe as largely responsible for its winning first place in the Goodyear Conservation Award and runners up in 1975-76.

 

The ultimate highlight for Joe was following his move from Goochland to Greenville to be nearer his daughter and medical facilities. This came when the Goochland Historical Society and the Goochland Garden Club honored him and his wife with a reception and presentation of a tray on which was engraved: “Joseph H. and Roselle F. Scales – In grateful appreciation for your devotion to and active involvement in the life of Goochland County, Virginia for more than 50 years.” Then later, the Goochland County Historical Society dedicated their magazine to Joe and his wife.

 

Born in Cascade, Virginia, March 21, 1922, he was the son of Grace Fitts and Joseph Harry Scales. He attended Virginia Polytecnic Institute prior to World War II. After the war, he completed his studies and graduated from the University of Virginia.

 

 Grandfather, you will be missed.

Word of the day: Fascism

Republican Fascism

Fascism is an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers individual and other societal interests subordinate to the interests of the state. Fascists seek to forge a type of national unity, usually based on (but not limited to) ethnic, cultural, or racial attributes. Various scholars attribute different characteristics to fascism, but the following elements are usually seen as its integral parts: nationalism, statism, militarism, totalitarianism, anti-communism, corporatism, populism, collectivism, and opposition to economic and political liberalism.

Link

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” – The 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution

As congress continues to have no backbone. We are seeing the erosion of our civil liberties as well as having atrocities committed in our name. We have illegal search and seizure of information through phones and through the internet. Congress is passing bills which allow for “blanket wiretapping.” Such wiretaps could allow for all people with the last name “Smith” to be tapped. How do you find only Smith? You apply a filter that says, read everything that says Smith. However to do this, they read EVERYTHING. Every single thing you send over the internet. And face it people, for most, a vast majority might be porn. Oh, Mr. Smith, I see you like going to kinkycrazyness dot com. Telecommunications over the internet! It is the future they say. Oh, well you see Mr. Smith, we were filtering for certain words on your voice packets and we would like to talk to your private conversation with..

The NSA is reading all of our internet communications and congress keeps saying this is OK! It is a direct violation of our 4th Amendment Rights.
NSA Wiretap Methods

Pick out an article from bigbrother over at slashdot. They all point towards an over reach of power.

Images Pulled From:
http://www.bushflash.com/14.html
http://www.oldamericancentury.org/14pts.htm
http://www.spamdailynews.com/publish/ATT_tech_outs_NSA_spy_room.asp

Network Neutrality

The following is a letter which I have sent to my representatives in Washington.

I am writing you today about an alarming DOJ press release #07-682. This release relates to “Network Neutrality” of the Internet. Please allow me to elaborate how the DOJ views such as, “precluding broadband providers from charging content and application providers directly for faster or more reliable service ‘could shift the entire burden of implementing costly network expansions and improvements onto consumers'” are flawed and misunderstand the very nature of the Internet.

The Internet was built for easy, redundant distribution of information from one computer to another. Taken another way, “content and application providers” are actually every user on the Internet, not just Google or Amazon. Each user has the ability to use their computer to provide “content” or host an “application”. This is inherently the great power of the Internet. No longer is the ability to provide information to anyone in the world restricted to the very powerful or wealthy. Each person’s PC, no matter who they are or where their connection is, is able to communicate with anyone else’s PC with the understanding that the information will reach the other as soon as possible. The DOJ mentions “differentiating service levels” as if these service levels do not exist, but they are present with connection speed pricing. I can currently sign up for AT&T’s broadband Internet service at two different levels 1.5Mbps for $19.99 and 3.0Mbps for $29.99. Comcast also offers different levels of service, one cost $19.99 for 4.0Mbps and $49.99 for 6.0Mbps. This pricing method is simple and fair for all. If I wanted even more speed, I can contact business providers.

Please protect the open and extremely valuable resource that our great country has created. Large corporations understand that if they are given permission to shape Internet traffic as they please, they stand to make extremely large amounts of money. However, this traffic shaping would be at the cost of the very freedom that the Internet has created. No longer would one person be allowed to share their digital creation with everyone else freely. For example, AT&T has a service called which streams live concerts to users on the Internet. If AT&T, controlling one of the largest networks within the Internet, were given permission to shape content and application traffic, they could immediately degrade the transmission speed of any competitor that offered similar content. Eliminating competition with the throw of a switch would be very convenient for large corporations that maintain vast parts of the Internet.

All users of the Internet already pay for their connection. Please do not allow the DOJ or anyone else to persuade you otherwise. The freedom of information and communication at maximum speed is imperative for the USA to remain competitive in this new high speed world. I invite you to visit the website http://www.speedmatters.org (which I am not affiliated with at all) for more reasons why the DOJ’s opinion is wrong and anticompetitive in itself.

Thoughts on the day

I read quite a bit around the internet, but especially on Slashdot. I’ve always found many posts insightful or just funny so I figured I would share with everyone else some of my thoughts or someone else’s thoughts on various subjects posted around the net. I guess you could call this a quote roundup.

Today on Slashdot I was browsing through the comments relating to, “Security Threat In the New Wiretapping Law“. The article gives the inference that because governments are sloppily implementing secret monitoring of internet and phone traffic, people are going to be able to exploit these monitoring systems and wage denial of service (DoS) attacks against the very system that was implemented to “protect” the people.

Besides the sheer irony of a system being put in place to protect but then is used to cause chaos, there are some real implications of privacy invasion. Privacy is one of the very basic needs of each person that is not discussed in polite company very often. Many would welcome the monitoring in order to guarantee safety, however this methodology is severely flawed. By welcoming extra intrusion into your life, such as allowing lawmakers to go unchecked with warrantless wiretapping, you are inviting another human to make judgment on your actions without them seeing anything but data. Just think, if your friend was addicted to an illegal substance and you felt that you wanted to understand more about the substance what better place to find information than the internet? Your query goes shooting over the tubes, perhaps through AT&T systems, where a NSA sniffer (that is tech speak for NSA program that records every single thing that goes over that connection, including web address, who you are, what you typed in) records the information for future data mining. This information is interesting to the government, perhaps it is red flagged as potentially dangerous, because one of the sites you hit also contained information about bomb making. Narcotics and bomb making could potentially put you in a sticky situation later on. What if searching put you on a “watch list”? What if your future employers used a system of background checks that flagged you as bad due to this watch list? All because you were concerned for a friend. This may sound extreme however it already happens with airline do-not-fly lists. You cannot find out how you got on the list; you cannot find out if you are on the list. Oh but you’ll find out as soon as they come after you.

Enough of my paranoid rambling. This is a serious thought. People do stupid things, everyone does, however if we are not able to have a second chance, a time for forgiveness, a time when your past actions are disregarded for your present actions, then everyone is guilty of doing something wrong immediately. What if the government fined you for every time you went over the speed limit? What if the government fined you for every time you listened to some music that was illegally acquired? This may be acceptable to some but consider that instead of a fine, they incarcerate you without notification of your family. Without the ability to call a lawyer. Sounds more like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq than America, however our government is already doing this in Guantanamo Bay. We are slowly edging towards an unforgiving society where no one is allowed a mistake. My fellow people, if you have never made a mistake in your life than this is perfectly suited for you. However, I would indulge that you are not any more perfect than I am and sometimes your actions are only understood by yourself.

America is a place where the rules apply to everyone. This makes things fair. When the government starts casting nets for information, they will catch the information they are seeking. Will it be in proper context? Probably not. Further, does this net apply to everyone? Again, probably not. So the real question that remains, is who is really breaking the law? I leave you all with this post from rtb61:

If they have nothing to hide, why is it secret wire tapping and secret warrants.

If they have nothing to hide, why isn’t every communication between lobbyists and politicians recorded and publicly declared.

If they have nothing to hide, why is not the activity of every law enforcement officer recorded whilst they are on duty, rather than a taser to torture why not a video camera to record.

If they have nothing to hide, why secret no fly lists.

Let’s all of us give up our secrets and privacy at the same time or maybe lets start with the people who are in such a hurry to take our privacy whilst keeping their own dirty secrets, which will be the most interesting, our little white lies, or the massive whoppers of the corrupt corporate executives, the typical lying politician, the abusive power freak law enforcement officer, and of course the biggest liars of all lobbyists.

Virginia LOSING ALL RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES

Please everyone write your legislator as we are nearing a time when Dominion gets another monopoly after we just were freed from it.

Del. Harvey Morgan, R-Gloucester, warned that Hogan’s measure could help an already prospering Dominion to get even richer at the expense of its 2 million Virginia customers. He also suggested “re-regulation” is being rammed through the legislature in too much of a rush.

From Bill to end electricity deregulation clears Senate – DailyProgress

I wrote the State Corporation Commission to make sure what was happening is true and this was the response:

As the legislation now stands, it would end retail electric choice for residential and most business customers. That would include the 1,335 retail customers in Virginia currently receiving their electricity supply service from a competitive supplier providing renewable energy options. The proposed legislation includes incentives for utilities like Dominion Virginia Power to use renewable sources of energy through voluntary renewable portfolio standards.

Andy Farmer
Education Resources Manager
State Corporation Commission

You can see the two bills here:
Senate 1416
House 3515

Live painting from 01/05/07: Frankfest @ The Canal Club, Richmond, VA

oh yeah, Joe? you had a few predictions and resolutions, did you? well i had a few myself, and they are these:

to continue to try and to manage more and more responsibilities at work and at home. this includes the art thing. balance is key and something i’m trying to achieve without it overwhelming/frustrating me. what can i say? i can be lazy.

to be a better counselor at the group home that i work for.

to not worry so much and to enjoy things more.

and finally, to create more live paintings this year than i ever have prior. so, with that in mind, Friday night was a nice little kick off to the year at Frankfest. check out my blog for specifics if you’re interested…here’s the painting in the meantime, lovelies.

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Happy New Year

Potomac River, Washington DC, 2006-12-29
Happy New Year everyone. Yes, the blog has been neglected for some time, but please do not interpret that as me not caring. Remember, I pay for this shiz so obviously I am going to use it. I try not to do sappy goals, but I believe last year I resolved to see more music than I had ever before and it happened. I will do a yearly round up soon. Again, let’s keep resolutions realistic:

1. Tape more music. I saw a lot and could have taped more… well not much more but still.
2. Challenge my mind. I want to read more and expand my horizons some. This can include sports, friends and just acquiring new skills.
3. Be a better person. This involves being patient and understanding for everyone. I want to respect my sisters and brothers the best I can and hope for the same.
4. Keep on being me and being free.

5.23423424234234. Yes it is decimal because we know it probably won’t happen but I want to do a blog post every week. Perhaps some poetry too.

I owe you all a lot of pictures and sketchy videos. They will be delivered.

Peace out you all and have a great year.

Joe’s Predictions:

2007 will suck more than 2006. I am sorry but I think it will happen. We’ll have a good run with the democrats controlling congress and the senate, however ‘ole Dub-ya will veto the crap out of stuff. He doesn’t seem to be on the side of the people. We will see a growth of people wanting the general good for the earth, however corruption will play a key part in the downfall of some great parts. Open source will spur the private sector to invest greatly into the future.

2008 will bring the end of the darker times. The Middle East will be a disaster however, in that wake people will gain a common appreciation for each other.

2009 has gains in the technological field including unfathomable processing capacity along with the advent of a more flexible programming language that makes software easier and less prone to bugs. This will be supported by an open source movement.

2010 will bring the end to storage problems for personal data.

2011 all information will finally be free.

2012. We’ll see what happens at the end of the Mayan calendar. The human capacity to acknowledge and consume information will become infinitely more accessible, giving rise to unlimited knowledge.

People will recognize that we are connected in many more ways that what appears. Thoughts and ideas will be more easily shared.
Potomac River, 2006-12-29 Afternoon

Crazyredbeard set to paint live for the Everyone Orchestra at the 10,000 Lakes Festival

there you have it folks. progenitor and author of the sipder flies himself, mr. crazyredbeard, will be painting for the Everyone Orchestra at the 10,000 Lakes Festival this summer. i post this not to toot my own horn mind ye. i’m a humble man.

i post this to FREAK THE EFF OUT! i’m honored that EO would even think to have me back. i was lucky enough to paint for them for three nights this past Fall, 10/06-10/08/06 and was able to sell two out of the three paintings i created. the music was amazing, the musicians top notch and the experience one to remember. i’m certainly pleased to say the least that they think enough of my work to want to have me back. 🙂 God is good.

here are the three that came about from the run this Fall…

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Recher Theatre, 10/06/06 Towson, MD

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The State Theater, 10/07/06 Falls Church, VA

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House of Blues, 10/08/06 Atlantic City, NJ
word!! this is definitely the biggest event i’ve ever painted and i’m so thankful for the opportunity…hope to see you all at the Lakes!!

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Fishman signing the back of my painting @ The State Theater, Falls Church, VA

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The State Theater 10/07/06

http://www.10klf.com

http://www.everyoneorchestra.com