2 Legit 2 Quit?

For those of you expecting this to be a piece about Bernie Sanders, you are going to be disappointed.  This is a bit more personal.

Awhile back, I posted something about an app I had made using a snap-together development tool. I mentioned the end goal is to do something like the ACLU’s “Mobile Justice” app, but for states that have “Stand Your Ground” laws.

To do this,I fear the app may require me to go beyond the simple tools and into some actual coding.  I did a quick refresher in Java and now find myself, as is common with many of my ideas, in a state of stuck.

I think I can get it this time, I just had to activate some features on my smart phone.  The tablet I have is basically “locked” for development purposes.

I also think I may now be able to use Google’s Android Development tools.

Why am I doing this; one, I may be a bit OCD about it, two, it may be I see this as a challenge, three I may just see myself as “2 Legit 2 Quit


Lighting The Way

Let me begin by wishing all a happy and holy Easter!

Last night, as I often do, I went to Easter Vigil services at my church.  Along with the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass, the Easter Vigil Mass is one of the more unique services in the Catholic Church.  The service began with what was called the “Service of Light”, where the Easter Candle, used for Baptisms, is blessed.  After the candle is blessed, the candles of the congregation are lit, it is quite a sight to see the congregation slowly process into the church and see the entire church, save for the altar, lit only by candles.

I got to see a different example of the light and fire that can be in people earlier yesterday as well, when I went to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s march and rally for Bernie Sanders.  The event began with some words of inspiration from the organizers, and then we took to the streets for a march to the State Capital.  Chants of “We are the %99”, “Feel the Bern” and “Love trumps hate”, rang through the streets of Harrisburg.  A brief rally on the steps of the Capital followed, and we returned to the venue that we began from.

After that, the entertainment portion of the even began with Genesis Lorraine and the Start opening the show with, perhaps appropriately, the Beatles “Revolution”.   Performances and speakers continued throughout the night.

As the “Service of Light” went on, I couldn’t help but see that we have an election where we have light and darkness.  In a sense we have two candidates trying to capture an electorate that is disillusioned, much as I told Genesis before she began her set, “We have the light and the dark side in this election”.

What I also realized that we cannot fight darkness with darkness, we must bring the light.  Until, much like when the lights in the church came on during the Gloria, enough eyes are opened.


A Tour of TOR?

“It is better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have” is a favorite quote of mine.  In preparation for potential attacks on the internet from a Trump Reich.  I have taken to trying to become familiar with tools that in many cases were designed to be used against leaders of authoritarians.

One of these tools is the TOR web browser.  But the browser is used by more than just dissidents; journalists, businesses and even the US Navy use TOR to keep information safe from prying eyes.  The browser is also a major part of what is called the “Dark Web” or “Deep Web”.

Continue reading “A Tour of TOR?”

This is NOT What Democracy Looks Like

I am reading Howard Zinn’s People’s History of The United States, and am realizing that the history of America seems to be one of repression and resistance.  Many times, that resistance was violent.

Martin Luther King and other Civil Rights leaders brought a new concept to resistance–that of non-violence.  As I stated before, the images of Freedom Riders, etc being attacked by dogs, knocked over with firehoses, or beaten by mobs did much to sway the conscience of Americans towards their goals.

Alas, opponents of Donald Trump’s campaign do not seem to be getting that message.  There were reports of more violent incidents in Arizona and New York, and some personal information about Trump’s family getting online may be a warning shot from those claiming to be allies of Anonymous.

This all needs to stop!  For one, these actions only strengthen Trump’s narrative, of him being a target and a victim.  This narrative is one the resonates with his base, many of whom may feel they have been victimized by a government more concerned with helping minorities than them.

Second, it’s not American.  America is a democracy, we have an electoral process, we are in the process of exercising that process.  We are not a state of anarchy, we do not operate by mob rule.

Do Trump’s opponents have to right to dissent and disagree, yes!  But play by the rules.

In any sport; football, basketball, mixed martial arts, etc, the surest way to lose is to play your opponents game.  Violence and threats may be playing right into the Trump Campaign’s hand.  Educating and organizing non violently might even succeeed in striking more fear into Trump’s campaign.  Seeing a few thousand African-American, Latino, or Muslim voters registering to vote might do more damage to Trump’s campaign than any riot.




Calling Out Trump?

As part of yesterday’s entry, I referenced Anonymous’s declaration of a “Total War” on Trump.

That announcement came complete with a date of April 1st, April Fools Day.  Now it’s likely that this could be a ruse of some sort.  That the actual ‘attack’ may come earlier or later.

I think this because it seems like poor tactics to let your target know when you are coming.  Why would Anonymous give Trump a chance to harden his systems, etc?

Do they doubt the technical sophistication of Trump’s campaign.  Yes, Trump’s base is mainly lower-class, less-educated, rural, white males, but there have to be a few IT types in his inner circle.

Also, a person who has some connections with Anonymous told me this is kind of out of their scope.  Anonymous does not concern itself with politics and elections.

Of course, any group of people can call themselves “Anonymous”.

Rules of Resistance

A woman refuses to give up her seat on a bus, a single man stands up to a column of tanks and a group of online activists turn a shooting in Florida into a movement.  Many great movements have started with simple acts of defiance.

Reports that a Donald Trump rally in Chicago and one in Cincinnati may hopefully inspire activists to follow their lead.  But these activists best realize that there may be a few rules of engagement.

One is keep things peaceful.  Remember the way Martin Luther King built sympathy for his efforts was by remaining peaceful while the cameras showed the dogs, fire hoses and mobs attacking them.  Rushing a podium is not going to build sympathy and may only add fuel to Trump’s narratives.

Second, build coalitions.  The announcement of a affiliate of  Anonymous to declare “Total War” on Trump might be an opportunity to build a coalition between “Hacktivists” and activists.  Looking to work with other groups like Food Not Bombs might also lead to opportunities.  Should Trump somehow win, these coalitions may prove useful as Trump may seek to take revenge.

To prevent this, activists need to remember this simple fact; the place we really have to beat Trump is at the ballot box.  Making sure efforts are made to register voters, that they have necessary IDs, and have transport to the polls will do more to stymie Trump than any rally.


Stuck In The Middle

This is something that came up a few weeks ago when my Aunt took me to my Nephew’s 5th birthday.

I’m not really old enough to be part of the older voters that are making up Hillary’s base.  I’m also not really young enough to be part of Bernie’s “Millennial” base.

I will say that perhaps as the result of many of the jobs I’ve worked, even my current job, I may be closer in terms of ideals to Bernie’s base, and many of his ideas and views make more sense to me.