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grahamhgreen's Journal
grahamhgreen's Journal
January 31, 2013

WTF! Unlocking Your Cell Phone is Now Illegal!!! (Sign the Petition - 4,000 Needed)

we petition the obama administration to:

Make Unlocking Cell Phones Legal.

The Librarian of Congress decided in October 2012 that unlocking of cell phones would be removed from the exceptions to the DMCA.

As of January 26, consumers will no longer be able unlock their phones for use on a different network without carrier permission, even after their contract has expired.

Consumers will be forced to pay exorbitant roaming fees to make calls while traveling abroad. It reduces consumer choice, and decreases the resale value of devices that consumers have paid for in full.

The Librarian noted that carriers are offering more unlocked phones at present, but the great majority of phones sold are still locked.

We ask that the White House ask the Librarian of Congress to rescind this decision, and failing that, champion a bill that makes unlocking permanently legal.

SIGN HERE: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/make-unlocking-cell-phones-legal/1g9KhZG7

Unlocking: this term mean the phone can be use for more than one SIM card.
January 30, 2013

Tell President Obama: Appoint Raul Grijalva Interior Secretary

From Dennis Kucinich:

Congressman Raul Grijalva's name is being floated as a possible appointment to be the next Secretary of the Interior, and I could not think of a better choice to lead this important federal agency. It would be a bold pick that would dramatically change how our federal government treats our federal lands. Will you join with other protectors of our environment and ask President Obama to Appoint Raul Grijalva as Secretary of the Interior?

Raul Grijalva's leadership on the House Natural Resources Committee has demonstrated how he is a champion of clean air, clean water, renewable energy, comprehensive mining reform and environmental conservation. He is the type of bold leader that we need at the Department of the Interior. We need his leadership to better conserve our public lands for generations to come. His appointment will send a strong signal to special interest groups and well-funded lobbyists: the days of influencing our environment with cronyism and fat checks are over.

Raul is a friend to me and to our movement. As co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Raul has been an outspoken supporter of health care for all Americans, fairness in our tax code and bringing our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and has been a leading voice for fair, comprehensive immigration reform.

If Raul Grijalva is named the 51st Secretary of Interior, we know that we will have a champion on behalf of all Americans in this critical cabinet position during President Obama's second term.

But we only have a few days before President Obama is expected to make his decision on who to nominate. Please sign this petition and tell him to appoint Raul Grijalva as Interior Secretary.


Dennis Kucinich

Sign! http://kucinich.bluestatedigital.com/page/s/appoint-raul-grijalva
January 29, 2013

Simple Guide to Gerrymandering (how 26% is a win for Republicans)

I'm trying to come up with a simple diagram to explain gerrymandering. Let me know if this makes it easy to understand!

Imagine there is a state that has only 2 congressional districts (like Hawaii).

Now say that 26% of the state is Republican, and 74% is Democratic.

How can the Republicans win with only 26% of the electorate?

By making the Democratic district 100% Democratic!

Normal distribution of votes:

Gerrymandered distribution of votes:

Now extrapolate this across the entire country. This is how the Republican have stolen the House of Representatives, and will steal the electoral college if we don't stop them!

January 24, 2013

Petition: Don't Let Verizon Kill Free WiFi!

PETITION TO VERIZON: We call on ISPs like Verizon not to pursue punitive action against businesses that provide free WiFi by slowing down or eliminating their Internet access. Help keep the Internet as free and as open as possible -- revise your "six strikes" plan now!

We have the details on how various Internet Service Providers plan to implement their anti-infringement "six strikes" plans -- and it's not good.

AT&T's plan is to block access to frequently visited sites. Time Warner will constantly redirect you to a landing page. Verizon will plans to reduce connection speeds to the snail pace of 256kbps.

What do all of them have in common? None of them actually let you get up to six strikes -- and all of them have the potential, even as they claim they're not "cutting people off" from the Internet, to make free WiFi almost nonexistent.

Verizon has confirmed that its "six strikes" plan will apply to businesses, not just personal accounts. That means the cafe down the street may end up with essentially unusable WiFi if even one customer abuses the system -- and even terminate their accounts entirely.

We can't let that happen. A free and open Internet is one of the most important tools a democracy can have -- and as long as ISPs like Verizon plan to battle copyright infringement by slowing down or eliminating business's Internet access, that tool will be in jeopardy. Will you join us in urging Verizon not to bow to copyright holders at the expense of their customers?

Sign Here: http://act.watchdog.net/petitions/2278

January 22, 2013

The Vision and the Budget

In the 1970s, that budget was more than 4% of GDP, too little to meet America's needs even then, but at least within the ballpark. Then came Reagan and the goal to "starve the beast," meaning to cripple the government by cutting tax revenues so that spending would have to decline as well.

The non-defense discretionary budget fell to under 4% and continued to slide. By 2008, in the final year of the Bush Presidency, it had declined to 3.7% of GDP, and was no longer able to fund programs in science, technology, energy, climate change, education, job training, and infrastructure needed to keep America modern and competitive......

By now, the non-defense discretionary budget of Obama is less than under Bush, measured relative to the size of the economy. It now stands at around 3.4% of GDP.....

Now here's the rub. President Obama seems intent now on a fiscal deal within the next few weeks that will make all of this permanent. All of the great vision and dreams will come to nothing if there is no budget to support them. And yet what is the White House championing?

I kid you not: the White House is touting a budget based on a baseline in which the non-defense discretionary budget will fall sharply in the coming years, to just 2.4% of GDP by 2022. That would be the lowest level in decades. It would make impossible the realization of the vision in yesterday's great speech.

And the truth is even worse. The 2.4% that would be left for all of the uplifting investments in his inaugural address also includes national security spending such as homeland security. If you strip out the national security spending from the 2.4% of GDP, we'd have just 1.7% of GDP available for all federal discretionary programs not related to national security and defense.

We need more revenues. Period. And not just small and symbolic revenues, but robust new revenues to fund expanded federal programs in education, infrastructure, science, technology, and the environment. A reasonable estimate is that the Federal Government would need at least 2% of GDP per year more in revenues compared with the current situation. These could be found in a variety of ways: taxes on high net worth, a financial transactions tax, an end of corporate loopholes, a tax on carbon emissions, and so forth.

So here's my recommendation. Let's pay careful attention to what the President proposes in actual budget spending and revenues in the next few weeks. Let's keep our eye on the discretionary part of the budget - the part that will fulfill his vision or leave it as merely nice words - and then let us judge. Are we a country prepared to invest in our future -- or only to speak eloquently about it as the environmental crises multiply and the economy continues to stagnate?


“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” - Dr. King

What's the plan?
January 21, 2013

China to surpass US by 2049: report

BEIJING - Experts at a Chinese think tank said China is likely to surpass the United States in an all-around way by 2049, the year the People's Republic of China will celebrate its centennial anniversary.

According to a report released Tuesday by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will be realized and the country will surpass the US as long as it nurtures sound "national health".

The report defines "national health" as the overall operational condition of a country, using resource sufficiency and wealth distribution as the major criteria.

National health is the greatest form of capital China can use to surpass the US, the report said.

The report said China's national health has been better than that of the US since 2007, adding that its superior health will further expand in 2019, when China is expected to become the world's biggest economy.

The report includes assessments of the national health of 100 countries, analyzing factors such as natural and economic immunity, national decision-making and enforcement capacity and national responsibilities. The countries were also classified into four categories in terms of their national health status.

China was ranked 11 with a national health status of "up to standard", while the US, Japan and Britain were given a status of "health deficient" among 37 countries.

Sweden, Finland and Australia were ranked among the top 10 countries with a status of "surplus health".

Ethiopia, Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan were ranked at the bottom due to their "weak health condition", according to the report.

The report said that the US health status is deteriorating in tandem with its economic downturn, despite the fact that the US is still a nation of wealth and power.

China's national health is ascending due to its advantageous economic immunity, capacity for regulation and credibility, the report said. http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2013-01/08/content_16097039.htm

To those who support the costly trade agreements.... please stop..... you're killing us.
January 21, 2013

Bank predicts 8.5% growth in 2013 !!!!!


Can we please get out of the costly trade agreements now?


SHANGHAI - Economic growth in China will be about 8.5 percent this year, with domestic demand being the driving force for expansion, a Bank of Communications report predicted.

Demand from Europe and the United States will bottom out and boost Chinese trade. Exports will rise about 8.5 percent this year from 2012 and imports will climb 10 percent, the report released on Friday said.

Domestic demand will continue to replace investment as the leading engine for economic growth, according to the report. It forecast nominal growth for retail sales at 16 percent and actual growth rate at 12.5 percent in 2013.

China will adopt loose fiscal and stable monetary policies to support the real economy. Its new lending will stand at about 9 to 9.5 trillion yuan ($1.43 to $1.51 trillion) in 2013, the report said.

China's gross domestic product grew 7.8 percent year on year to 51.93 trillion yuan, the first annual growth rate below 8 percent since 1999, National Bureau of Statistics data showed on Friday. http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2013-01/20/content_16146155.htm
January 20, 2013

Half-a-Billion dollar Giveaway to Big Pharma Hidden in the 'Fiscal Bluff' Legislation

The provision gives Amgen an additional two years to sell Sensipar without government controls. The news was so welcome that the company’s chief executive quickly relayed it to investment analysts. But it is projected to cost Medicare up to $500 million over that period.

Amgen, which has a small army of 74 lobbyists in the capital, was the only company to argue aggressively for the delay, according to several Congressional aides of both parties.

But critics, including several Congressional aides who were stunned to find the measure in the final bill, pointed out that Amgen had already won a previous two-year delay, and they depicted a second one as an unnecessary giveaway. “That is why we are in the trouble we are in,” said Dennis J. Cotter, a health policy researcher who studies the cost and efficacy of dialysis drugs. “Everybody is carving out their own turf and getting it protected, and we pass the bill on to the taxpayer.”


It's not funny. They pass a bill to 'reduce the deficit' that winds up costing Medicare more - in order that they have an excuse to cut the benefits, presumably, as well as enrich their benefactors.

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