Monthly Archives: April 2016

How to Vote 101 (Because Sometimes Its Scary To Ask These Things When Adulting)

Fellow Pennsylvanians, tomorrow is our primary. I have been anticipating this day since last year at this time (when Bernie announced he’d be running). Tomorrow is very important. Even if you’re not into politics, which is totally okay, I urge you to go vote if you’re registered.

How can you tell if you’re registered to vote in PA? How about finding where you’re polling place is?  Here’s the link that will tell you all of that. 

Maybe you know you’re registered and where to go already, but you’re nervous because you’ve never voted before. That’s totally okay. I know that it might seem scary and complicated, but it’s not. And if you’re someone who doesn’t like to ask questions to the people working at your polling location, I can guarantee that there are printed directions posted everywhere in the polling place on how to vote.

If you’re still nervous, I’ll tell you what goes down:

You show up to your polling place. You walk in. There will be a table and probably a little old lady sitting there with a signature book. She will ask your name. You’ll tell her. Then she’ll find your name in the book and have you sign it. If this is your first time voting you will need ID- a license, birth certificate, etc.  If it isn’t your first time, you don’t need anything (Although, I bring my ID just in case something fishy happens).  You’ll then get a paper ballot for your registered party and will be told to go to a little booth which has a curtain around it for privacy. Then you fill in the circle of the people you’re voting for. If you don’t know who to vote for for a particular race, say for example the Attorney General Race, feel free to just leave it blank (or vote randomly). When you’re done, there’s a printer looking machine that you feed your ballot into.

Its that easy. Seriously.

If you don’t know who to vote for and are registered as a democrat, I beg of you to vote for Bernie Sanders for US President and John Fetterman for US Senate. If you weren’t planning on voting, please reconsider. It’s one of the things that makes us American and one of the only ways to get our control back as a people. 

trix voting

voting’s really important

 

 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , ,

N.C.’s HB2 is Nasty, Smelly, Diarrhea Bullshit.

pepto bismol

NC Republicans and Gov. McCrory should provide everyone in NC a bottle of Pepto for all the bullshit they’re causing.

I can’t take this dumb transgender bathroom shite anymore. North Carolina’s HB2 “Public Public Securities and Facilities Act” AKA the Bathroom Bill is trying to make an issue out of a NON-ISSUE. This bathroom law isn’t about keeping sexually deviant predators from raping little girls, it’s about allowing businesses to actively discriminate against transgender people. Technically, in North Carolina, it is a LAW to discriminate against transgender people.

Anyone who is sporting the argument “I don’t want some ‘man in a dress’ coming into the ladies room and preying on young girls” is ignorant and insulting to the rest of humanity who aren’t idiots. I have to take a strong stand on this. It’s really bothersome and the amount of shit that trans people already have to deal with is so immense that I’ll never be able to comprehend. At least let them use the bathroom in peace.

I recently had the opportunity to attend The Commonwealth Medical College’s Fourth Annual Transgender Health Conference and it was really eye opening. As far as statistics go, transgender women of color experience the highest rate of being the victims of hate crimes and murder. Transgender people attempt suicide at rate of 14.1% as compared to the general population of 1.4%. Dare I say that there is an epidemic of suicide in the transcommunity that can be prevented with just a little bit of education for the rest of the general population?

Do you know a transwoman or transman? You probably do and don’t even know it. I’m so proud to have an aunt who is transgender and is an active advocate for the trans community. She is so intelligent, the highest ranking transwoman veteran(!), is beautiful, and a woman.   (Here’s her being dope af on MSNBC) If someone like her, who is a woman, is forced to use the men’s room she could be put into a very dangerous situation. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is an overlap in ignorance between the people who are pro-HB2 and perpetrators of crime against transgendered people. Really, how safe do you think transpeople feel already? And then to be forced into an intimate area, surrounded by people of the opposite sex?

I grew up in men’s bathrooms. My father raised me and if my dad couldn’t find a stranger woman who looked nice enough to take me to the bathroom (which in hindsight is probably more dangerous), then the only option would be for my dad to take me into the men’s room. I’m not psychologically fucked up from seeing men pee in nasty urinals as a little girl. As an adult woman, I have used the men’s room if the ladies room line is too long and I have yet to be assaulted in a public bathroom.

And what about the dudes who ate too much at Taco Bandito and make a gross mess in the bathroom? Do you want to see some pretty lady walking in and having to use the stall you were just in? I mean, how nasty is that? So freaking gross.

isis king

Do you really want beautiful Isis King to have to experience the dangers of using a mens room?

So what else is in HB2? Well, along with the bullshit bathroom stuff there is a provision that municipalities cannot raise the minimum wage to be HIGHER than the state’s current minimum wage of $7.25. HOW CRAZY IS THAT? Say you live in Random City, N.C. and the city votes and agrees to raise the minimum wage to $10.00, well you can’t because that’s against the law. Fucked up.

I’m a fan of the boycotts happening against HB2, but that isn’t enough. Educate yourself and others around you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know something. To willingly stay ignorant is as bad as active discrimination. Email Governor Pat McCrory and tell him to overturn HB2. Sign this Change Petition. Email all of the House Republicans in NC because they ALL voted in favor of HB2. Watch this really telling episode of Brothers that touches on public bathroom issues. Do whatever you can do. As my baby boy Senator Sanders likes to say “Change never comes from the top down, only from the bottom up”.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

FBI vs. Apple Outcome- Be Afraid, Be Very, Very Afraid

I haven’t written anything for a while, and its not because I haven’t had thoughts, but ive just been really busy to the point where you’re so busy that you all of a sudden become unbusy and you’re not sure how to deal with it, so you figure out a way to become even more busy than before, and then after a few days of just straight up stress you realize, “oh yeah… I forgot that I need balance in my life” .. you know what I mean?  Anyways…

Lets talk about one of my favorite topics: Cyber security. This is a topic near and dear to my heart because it’s fucking intense shit. I want to write a few posts about my feelings on recent cyber security threats from our own country, and decided to start with the most recent, eyebrow raising case, the US vs. Apple.

go tim cook!

Tim Cook- willing to fight for American’s Privacy

So everyone probably has heard about the San Bernardino iPhone Case. The FBI vs. Apple case. February 16th, 2016, the Federal Court ordered Apple to unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter to see if the shooter was working directly with ISIS. Specifically, the FBI is asking that Apple make software that would allow people (or really, in this case, super computers that can try multiple combinations quickly until it figures out the passcode) to try passcodes on iPhones as many times as they’d like before all of the information on the phone is deleted. Currently, if you have an iPhone, you can try to unlock the phone up to 10 times in a row with a wrong code before it swipes all the info clean.

The next day, Apple strongly said no, which is a nice, big “fuck you” to the government.

Well, why wouldn’t Apple want to help unlock the phone? Surely, Tim Cook and everyone at Apple would want to find any other terrorists who may be connected to this travesty. And the answer to this, is of course they want justice for the victims families and to help find any additional terrorist ties. But the real reason why Tim Cook doesn’t want to build this software is because he believes in the American values of LIBERTY and PRIVACY.

So can the FBI really not just unlock it anyways? The argument is that the Apple’s software all are signed by an authorized signature from Apple when there are an updates or changes in the software’s encryption. What the FBI apparently can’t do is forge this secret signature and they need Apple’s help. But don’t get it twisted- again, they aren’t trying to just unlock the phone- they are asking for Apple to build SPECIFIC SOFTWARE that the government can use to unlock any iPhone. And that, my friends, is what this whole circus is all about. It’s not about the tragedy in San Bernardino, that is simply the guise the government is using so that they can strengthen the capabilities to spy on its own citizens.

Tim Cook did already give the government everything that they could that was on the phone, btw, before the court order. Plus the government made a mistake- they would have been able to upload information up to the cloud, but fucked up when they changed the user name on the phone, and therefore can no longer backup the phone onto the cloud.

Here’s Tim Cooks words, explaining that this case is not a case about unlocking a phone, but is case about the future of civil liberties:  “We cant have a backdoor that’s only for the good guys [to use]. Any backdoor that is created give the bad guys can exploit anyone’s iPhone”. Cook explains that if Apple makes this software being requested, that it is analogous to creating cancer for technology. 

And if the government has the power to make apple write this software, then what is next? What else will Apple be forced to create in the name of “security”? A few republican debates ago, when I transcribed the whole thing, the candidates were in agreement that we should basically draft computer programmers to work for the FBI. And if they don’t comply then they are breaking the law. So  Silicon Valley folk, I’d consider making sure that your passport is up to date before you get drug into a cyber war.

The government was never meant to be this big in terms of ruling daily life. With a precedent set by Apple if they were to give into the government would basically give the a-ok for the government to strong arm nongovernmental agencies to comply with them. Technically, due to the court order the FBI had, they could have come in with heavily armed SWAT teams and made the employees at Apple work to make this software. They didn’t because they were able to find an Israeli company to unlock the phone (its not clear to me if they just unlocked the phone, of if they created software that can ultimately hack into anyone’s iphone). That’s how out of control this whole thing is.

 

Tim Cook takes pride in his company. He made a wonderful statement with his interveiw with Charlie Rose, in which he said that the people buy apple products are his customers, not the government. This is about civil liberties, if we take encryption away, the only people affected are the good people, not the bad people. If we limit it, it will hurt the good people because anyone can hack into any iPhone. He also explained that there are things that technology should not be allowed to do.

Ok, how about the “Why should I care, I’m not doing anything bad, let the government record all of my daily doings, who gives a shit” argument. Well one, it is the principle. When you are giving up all of your privacy to the government you are giving up your autonomy. The founding fathers decided that the government should not get in peoples way of choosing how they want to live.

HumanCentiPad

Kyle didn’t read the terms of use for the new iTunes update and look where that got him.

You know the terms and conditions that no one reads? Well, most of the apps on your phone ask for permission to due multiple insidious things, such as make calls, record you, to listen to your phone calls, to read your text messages, all without even having the app running. And since you agreed to those terms and conditions- well, you willingly gave permission to be under big brother’s watch.

And what are some examples how this can get out of hand?: say in a custody court, the judge allows the husband to open his wife’s phone and shows a picture of her smoking marijuana. This can get her kids taken away, even if it was a one time thing at a party.

Or what if you get pulled over, and your car gets searched, including your phone. And they open up your phone and see all your naked pictures of you and your husband. This might not be incriminating (unless you live in Mississippi where sodomy is illegal and you’re giving your hubby a bj- because that is considered sodomy), it still is a total invasion of privacy.

So this is why I’m worried about the future of the internet and our civil liberties. They are already being compromised. And when government is already so corrupt, who is to know what else will happen. The FBI’s overstepping of liberties is enough to recognize that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements