Tag: freedom

Tonytown.com - Lots of political parties

The Real Problem In Politics

Tonytown.com - Lots of political partiesYou’ve all heard me say it repeatedly, I’m an equal opportunity hater when it comes to political parties. To date, I haven’t been convinced to re-evaluate this stance, and to be honest I am tired of questioning my own stance for the sake of social and economic concessions.

Let me explain my logic on this. It really all comes down to misrepresentation. In this, I mean the root of problems we all have an opinion on has been consistently compromised to achieve other agendas that happen to be promoted or supported by large(r) voting demographics.

By subscribing to the idea that we can only make a difference if we support the two major political parties here in the U.S., we effectively cripple our opinions and values. This isn’t about whether or not you’re a hardline conservative or liberal…its about your representing your individual values in our government.

At this time, the two major political parties have at one time or another supported or promoted diametrically opposing views, but the majority of the time, subscribing to the perception that these views are in fact the only two options available to voters is incredibly fallacious.

Example: PersonX is just another citizen that has values and opinions, said person feels that abortion needs more regulation, and also feels that the current level of gun control needs deregulation in accordance with their perception of both the bible and their understanding of their constitutional rights. Under the current system of representation, this person has only one ability to make that change directly, their vote.

Due to the current voting powers and the political parties integration into the voting system, PersonX is quite incapable of finding adequate representation in the government. Why? Because currently they are fed the perception that if they do not vote for either Republicans or Democrats, they will achieve neither.

This idea is why we’re essentially socially and economically upside down right now. Right now PersonX can use heir voice, and convince others that his or her opinions are right, but when it comes down to getting all those people PersonX has convinced to align accordingly…PersonX’s vote and that of his subscribers will only be capable of achieving a half win because the only people they are offered to vote for are either Republican or Democrat.

Resolving this issue is complex, because our government is now incredibly intertwined with large business organizations that would also lose their sway if they weren’t capable of influencing votes and legislation to a majority of voters by influencing the two political parties that hold. Thus Big Business will never support the idea that people shouldn’t concede their vote to achieve only a portion of their goals.

Another example: a vast majority of voters do not feel we should be pursuing military agendas all over the globe as if most of the world were at war with us. Yet here we are, constantly pushing our own military into other countries that are most often demanding we not get involved. I am the first person to subscribe to a national defense strategy that permits and promotes our freedoms. This is a very commonly held belief, I ask people, I ask my friends, and I talk with complete strangers…just to see where my own opinions stand against others. While a majority of people are ignorant of our current state of military affairs, those that did show an interest ALL expressed the same sentiment I did. Now if all these voters have expressed this sentiment, why on earth are we fighting all over the world??? I know I voted for a guy that favored trade-building over war and regime changes. But…nothing changed? Where is my representation?

The answer is simple, the two major political parties in the U.S. due to their party affiliation are in fact forced into making concessions that reflect the goals of the party, not the people they represent. By representing the party and not the citizen, the government representative is no longer capable (or willing) to adequately repesent the opinions and beliefs of their constituency. Simply put, the Republicans and Democrats are only capable of serving their own agenda, and not yours. There are rare exceptions to this, but these are exceptions to the norm and unfortunately regularly cause the nation to be completely misrepresented in almost every facet of government, military action, and diplomacy.

If this wasn’t enough for you to understand my point of view, your should then simply take my word for it and research who you’re voting for, you may find that the person you put on such a big pedestal rarely holds the values you thought you were voting for. IMO…the best politicians are the ones that have solutions for limiting government involvement and regulation.

-T



Yearning for Learning…

We all have those points we reach where we re-evaluate where we are and what we want. I honestly think that it’s part of the process by which we make sure we’re not repeating mistakes and are on the path we want to be on.

As you all know, I started my own consulting business about a year ago, and it’s been a learning experience to say the least. I’ve learned more about the business world and finance and taxes in the last year than I had in decades prior.

It occurred to me that one thing I truly love to do is learn…be it people…trees…the wind…math…okay…maybe not math much anymore, but you know what I mean? My spark is still there…in scenarios where I have to immerse myself into an environments where I have no bearing, and no experience. While I am hardly getting rich by becoming my own boss, but I am enjoying a level of freedom that I didn’t even know when I was a kid. Part of that freedom has been having the time to take on learning TONS of subject matter I didn’t have time for beforehand, and recently, I’ve even started inquiring about tuition costs for school because unfortunately, some of the world I want to know lays buried in the books and lectures of professors I normally wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

The bottom line, I miss learning, I miss that feeling where I’m entering a completely new arena and have to soak in absolutely everything. It keeps my mind from getting too bored, which unfortunately is very easy for me if I don’t have a conversation going on…or a book to read…or the internet to soak in and learn about…well…everything. Well, as I’ve learned recently, an undergraduate degree acquired online costs over $70k. Yup.

That is what I said. HOLY CHRIST ON A POGO STICK…SEVENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS…

…and that is 100% do it yourself computer based training.

Unfortunately, as I stated above, I have time – but money like that – not readily available, especially considering my health problems and trying to buy a house this year…I know it’s simply not an option at rates like that.

So here comes that spark…

I’ve been a TED subscriber for quite some time, and the messages you hear on it are incredible…there are soooooo many people out there trying to broaden our horizons and make this world a far better place, it’s pretty inspiring. So much that I’ve tried to make sure I watch at least a few TED video’s every week or two so that I know what they know, or at the very lest can draw some ideas or inspiration.

And earlier today I saw this article on free courses offered online…

TED Blog – Completely free online classes? Coursera.org now offering courses from 16 top colleges

TED.com - Ideas Worth Spreading

And after that I checked out Coursera.org and found that t wasn’t the degree I longed for…it was the education, thee information, and the opportunity to soak more of the world or turn my brain to jello trying.

I went on to find a number of other organizations that offer free education and courses. I realized that some people and organization were finally trying to improve the world, by allowing the mind to grow. In a society that puts a price on access to virtually any information, there are finally a number of organization that are trying to share that wealth instead of profiteering from it.

Again. Me. Inspired!

So where did all that take me?

I have the time, I am going to take it and learn as much as I can while I still have it. There are already more courses out there than I could finish in the next decade, and I think that within the next few years the amount of curricula available will grow exponentially.

You’re probably reading this and thinking Jeez Tony you could have just said, “I’m going back to school.”

True, I could have, but then I wouldn’t have shared all these nifty links to all these places online that provide free education.

The Khan Academy – TONS of video and stuff…LOADS…I also found these guys from TED.

OpenLearn– I haven’t tried these guys yet but they have a huge course selection.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – Open Coursework from a great Medical School. Prize material for med students!

Tufts University – More Med school offerings


Stanford University
– That’s right, Stanford has buku lectures free via iTunes!!!!

UC Berkeley – More from UC Berkeley, available via iTunes!

OpenCulture – Has a FEKTON of courses listed available online.

Education Portal – Good information regarding online coursework.

What did I find for myself? A sustainability class, some newer Philosophy classes, loads of history classes I might actually like learning from…bottom line…enough for me to really enjoy regardless of where I learn it.

😉

-Tony



I’ll walk away from Facebook for supporting CISPA.

You all know I am incredibly big on freedom of information and the U.S. government really seems to be drinking some cybercrackpot’s kool-aid again. Because here we are again and it hasnt even been a year.

As it happens, the next incarnation of SOPA, called CISPA (the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) is slowly creeping up on Capitol Hill.

…and once again, only a fraction of the proposed legislation has the interests of the American people behind it.

The rest of that legislation is geared toward holding companies blameless and granting them permission to submit personal data to the government without court order. This includes texts, email, private messages via social media…essentially most of the communications mediums we use privately are now suddenly available to the big business to use.

The Young Turks presented a very good explanation of the legislation and point out some incredibly important details that you should be aware of.

http://cyberspying.eff.org/

If you want to read an overabundance of views and peoples’ reactions and opinions on the matter, I STRONGLY suggest you check out The Debate Club because of the raw amount of information present. I will also point out that for some inexplicable reason the only people promoting this are those representing big business.

Essentially it comes down to this. Facebook doesn’t want to get in trouble for giving the government carte blanc to their information. Neither does Twitter. Now any other corporation. However that’s apparently where that sense of importance ends. As long as they arent held liable for invading our privacy, they simply stop considering it an invasion of privacy.

And thus we come to this little tidbit…

Nothing you say or do online should ever be considered secure, safe, or private. You can take all the precautions you want, but the bottom line is that the government will never back down from making online activity fully trackable and accessible. A worse turn will be it impact this has on free speech. Too many people have been conditioned to fear first and question freedoms after their lost. This legislation will allow companies to attempt to silence individuals without proof or due process.

Lame.

So, that’s basically where I draw the line. I will publish 100% from my blog and own my own information and only promote forums where privacy is respected, not just alluded to.

Here’s my idea. Omit the 60% of the bill that allows private companies to be privy to our information and remove the guarantees of non-liability. I bet these companies work one hell of a lot harder to clean up their content rather than simply saying “not my fault!”

-Tony