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Over the summer of 2010 I began to ask myself, "what do you do if two of our Rights, as citizens of these United States, are diametrically opposed?" I came to the only viable conclusion: you compromise. Our great Nation works when there is compromise.

Right now most of you will agree with me that our political system is broken. What we currently have is: the politics of destruction; special interest groups who have the power and money to dictate policy; politicians who must spend their time raising money for the next election instead of doing the People's business; and, there are those who are so concerned about getting re-elected they cede their responsibilities to the citizenry to those groups making the loudest noises and the greatest threats.

The attacks that we were inundated with during the this election cycle belittled the democratic process. Shame on everyone involved. And, shame on the political obstructionists who are more interested in gaining and maintaining power than doing the people’s business. During these very difficult times all of us should be supporting our President. The challenge for all of us is, how do we improve upon this imperfect union that we call the United States of America? One thing I know for is not by dividing us.

I can remember when I was sixteen years old there was a day when my father called out to me, "Jackie, come quickly. You have to hear this. It's Winston Churchill. Come listen." I raced to the radio and for the first time heard a recording of Churchill's speech to a Nation standing alone against the greatest evil the world has ever known: "...we shall defend our island no matter what the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; and we shall not surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until in God's good time, the New World, with all it's power and might, steps forth to the rescue and liberation of The Old."

That day my hero was born. Where are our heroes today? jkt

Monday, August 23, 2010

Freedom & The Internet

I read an article in Newsweek (August 16, 2010) called "Needles in a Haystack, (how) a 20-something named Austin Heap found the perfect disguise for dissidents in their cyberwar against the world's dictators."

It's almost like something out of the movies. Austin, a computer programmer, was sitting at home on his computer playing videogames as he usually does in the evenings. His boyfriend asked him if he was following what was going on in Iran, but he was busy "killing dragons". When he checked his twitter account later that evening he learned about the growing number of Iranians claiming that the recent election (June, 2009) was rigged. The oppressive Iranian government was censoring the internet and other media outlets, preventing protestors from communicating with each other and spreading the word.

The internet is another one of those great equalizers that gives unfettered access to news and world-wide events. Well, almost...except in authoritarian regimes, such as China and Iran. To retain power, they censor any information that might plant the seed of liberty. Austin believes in the power of the internet to advance Democracy, so he rolled up his sleeves and said "OK, game on".

He literally took on the Iranian government! The end result was that he and a friend created Haystack, the anti-censorship software that hides someone's real online destinations so that censors will think you're visiting harmless websites. It turns out that there is a new generation of "hactivists" fighting against internet censorship. God bless them all!

There is another danger lurking and the outcome could decide who will ultimately control the internet – large corporations or net users. The internet was designed to place control with users and all web destinations are treated equally. It's called "net neutrality", and has existed from the beginning of the internet phenomenon. But now internet service providers want to profit even more from the net by establishing a tiered system pay-for-use similar to that of cable TV.

Heck, I can't even afford cable. So, what will this mean for me and others who can't afford to pay? To learn more, go to:

In it you'll learn about the recent agreement reached by Google and Verizon, out of the public eye, on how internet traffic should be managed.

As you read more about the threat to internet neutrality, keep in mind that until recently, Google embraced the censorship policies of China in order to do business in the country, using filters nicknamed "The Great Firewall of China".

Get involved. Write your Congressional leaders and demand laws that will protect network neutrality.