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Just a little late

The usage stats are up

Here are the site activity stats for 2011

    Visitors    1,055,178
    Page views  2,139,091
    Hits        2,322,470
    Gigabytes   15.19
The corresponding numbers for 2010 were
Visitors – 890412, Pages – 2173992, Hits – 2507315, Traffic – 15.65 GB

which indicates that I am getting more visitors but they are spending slightly less time on the site. Either that or something else.

All your data are belong to us

Recently a company called Megaupload was seized and shut down. Now it happens that a lot of people stored their own data “in the cloud” at Megaupload. It also happened that a number of people were storing illegal copies of movies and such. The FBI, at the behest of the media company organizations, seized the assets of Megaupload and shut the company down. Fine, you say, but what about all those legitimate customers. Here’s a good explanation I found on the internet of how it’s all working out.

Imagine you own a storage unit in a large complex. Now, a few other people are storing illegal contraband in their storage unit, but that’s just a few out of hundreds, and most people are perfectly law-abiding. The police get wind that there’s contraband in one of the units. They react by putting police tape up across the front of the entire storage unit complex, confiscate everything, legal and illegal alike, and torch it all…just to be sure they got all the contraband.

Another good one I heard: Imagine a full parking garage. One of the cars in the parking garage was used in the commission of a bank robbery. The cops don’t want to be bothered trying to figure out which car it was specifically, so instead they impound the entire garage full of cars permanently and tell all the owners they have no recourse. They get the car they were after, but in the process infringe upon the rights of everyone else.

Both of those do a good job of explaining how law abiding citizens will be totally screwed by shit like SOPA/PIPA. At Megaupload, there were millions of legitimate users doing nothing wrong, but all their shit is taken, too, no trial, no recourse, no chance to ever get their totally legal content back, just because other people broke the law. If it were a physical structure, like the storage unit or garage in the above analogies, nobody would argue that the public would go apeshit, but because it’s a web site and a bunch of 1’s and 0’s people don’t conceptualize it like that, but that’s what it is.

I understand that some of the screwees are putting together a class action suit against the FBI. Lot’s of luck with that.

It makes you proud to be from South Dakota

The following is from http://100r.org/2012/01/south-dakota-indians-sue-for-early-voting/. The website, 100Reporters, reports on corruption and malfeasance around the world. It’s nice to see that South Dakota makes it into the big time.

Native Americans have never had an easy time getting to vote in South Dakota. In 1977, the state attorney general dismissed the Voting Rights Act as an “absurdity” and advised state officials to ignore the federal law. The state didn’t allow Native Americans into polling places until the 1940s, though federal law had given them the right to vote in 1924. In 2004, a judge stopped poll watchers from following Native Americans out of voting places and taking down their license-plate numbers.

Through the years, Native Americans in South Dakota have filed more than 20 lawsuits over their right to vote.

This month, members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe went to court. In the upcoming presidential balloting, tribal members will have only six days of early voting, when the rest of the state has 46 days to cast early ballots in the primary and general elections.

Filed in federal court this month, the lawsuit contends the disparity is discriminatory, and amounts to “a denial of the right to vote.” One civic group has branded the state’s practice “a back door poll tax.”

The Oglalas’ complaint names state and county officials, including Jason Gant, secretary of state and overseer of elections for South Dakota, and the commissioners of Shannon County, which is roughly contiguous with the Oglala’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and oversees state and national elections there.

“I understand why the plaintiffs want what every other citizen gets, but we’re simply out of money,” said the head of Shannon County’s commission, Lyla Hutchison.

Gant’s official website shows he is not just secretary of state but treasurer of Committed to Victory, a PAC whose purpose is “to elect Republican candidates,” according to documents Gant (as treasurer) submitted to Gant (as secretary of state) in 2011. The website also shows Shannon County with 10 times as many Democrats as Republicans. Of 7,683 registered voters, 5,890 are Democrats; another 588 are Republicans. The rest are mostly Independents.

I guess it’s a case of the right hand shaking the right hand – no lefties allowed here.

Just a little late

Recently I checked in with the VA to see whether I could get any medical benefits and such. They clasified me as category five. I think this means I’m eligible for filling in applications for help if there isn’t anybody else who needs help, although I think there was something in there about clinical studies with experimental animals. I may be exaggerating a bit. Be that as it may, I am now enrolled, and I got a nice letter that started out


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) thanks you for your service to our Nation, and as you make the transition back to civilian life, we are here to assist you in meeting your physical and mental health care needs.

Er, ah, well, yes, I’m grateful and all that but I got out in 1957. If I haven’t managed the transition to civilian life by now, I really don’t think I’m going to make it.

Medical stuff

In short, there is a lot going on. I may go into a program of chemo treatment with a drug called vidaza. I’m still looking into the pros and cons. I’ve written a bunch of stuff which I will post as separate articles.

This page was last updated February 1, 2012.

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Collected editorials