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Voice in the Wire

December 16th, 2008

Late in the evening of December 6th, in the Exarcheia district of central Athens, 15 year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos was out with friends. Shortly after 9pm the group became part of a confrontation with members of the Greek Police. Alexandros was shot and killed.

In the days following the killing Alexandros became a symbol of a growing frustration among Greek youth over the country’s growing economic problems, rising unemployment, and a general perception of an inefficient and corrupt Greek government.

Riots in Athens over the death quickly spread like through out the country and then through out the whole of Europe.

The speed at which the riots spread has in part been attributed to organizers using text messaging and the internet as a means of spreading their message and setting up meeting locations. In an article to the Associated Press, Paul Have wrote…

At least some of the protests were organized over the Internet, showing how quickly the message of discontent can be spread, particularly among tech-savvy youth. One Web site Greek protesters used to update each other on the locations of clashes asserted there have been sympathy protests in nearly 20 countries.

This isn’t the first time we have seen the internet become a tool of the disenfranchised as a means of organizing protests.

When California passed Proposition 8 on November 4th, a wave of Anti-Prop 8 web sites such as Join the Impact, appeared on the web as a means of directing information to protesters and to organize events such as the Nationwide protest of November 15th and upcoming December 20th “Light Up The Night For Equality“.

Even in tightly controlled China, the internet has been used to organize people to effect change in government policies and stop construction of a chemical plant.

The internet is still basically in its infancy and the genie is out of the bottle. It’s difficult to imagine just how the civil rights movement of the 1960′s would have progressed had the internet been available. Imagine watching Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech as a live web cast or if Rosa Parks could have texted all her friends to join her in sitting at the front of buses all over the country on the same day.

Often, as individuals, we feel somewhat powerless against those with power, whether it be government, or the vocal majority. We sit in our homes feeling sorry for ourselves and saying “I can’t do anything about my situation so I’ll just make the best of it.” What we don’t realize is that we are rarely if ever truly alone.

Cross posted at The Pajama Pundit

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Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

Personal Update

So, It’s been a while since I posted anything on this here blog thing-a-ma-jig, which means that I’ve been pretty active in other things.

Outside of work the one things that takes up most of my time is the game shop, Multiverse Comics & Games. Being a 1/3rd partner in the business for the last few months has certainly been an adventure, as well as a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to many more years with it.

I also just finished with the refinancing on my house. That was sure mind racking experience. At one point I thought I was going to be forced to practically triple the amount of insurance I have on the house. Fortunately that all worked out in the end. all in all I only ended up knocking about $100.00 off my monthly payment but in the long run the lower interest payment will be worth all the trouble. Now if I could just get my school loans consolidated I’d be a happy camper.

I spent most of last week and this weekend fighting my yearly spring cold. Wednesday I drove my office mates nuts with all my coughing, sneezing, and hacking. Thursday I broke down, called in sick, and went to the doctor. He put me on antibiotics. I’m not a big fan of doctors and hospitals, but I figure if the government is going to force me to buy health insurance then I might as well take advantage of the damn thing. Of course when I went to get a physical last August I didn’t expect it to turn into a four month odyssey through the world of blood tests and ultrasounds, just to come out the other side with the knowledge that I need to loose weight. Hell, I could have told them that for less money.

The unusually warm weather we are having this week has me itching to start get things together for this year’s garden. I really want to do one again and I really want to try that raised bed idea that Dad gave me last summer. Downside is, that with all the time I’m spending at the store, I have even less time this year to actually care for a garden. I may have to try conning my step-father into some “sharecropping.” Of course, I still don’t have a garden tiller. Maybe I should have bought one of them instead of a new bookcase. Oh well.

I loaded Windows 8 onto my desktop when the consumer preview was released. I have yet to really make up my mind on it. I did go back to Windows 7 over the weekend, and promptly fried my Ethernet port. At least cards are pretty cheap. I think my biggest issue with Windows 8 right now is that it is so new that very apps have been made that take advantage of the new Metro style start menu. I spent 90% of my time looking at the Windows 7 style desktop as I ran everything from FireFox to Star Wars the Old Republic.


Welcome to 2012 everyone.

I hope you all had a happy and joyful holiday season and didn’t spend too much time soaking up the alcohol on New Year’s Eve.

2012 is going to be a big year with the presidential election campaign moving in full force, the Iowa caucuses now a couple of days behind us and the New Hampshire primary a few days in front of us.

Also this year we are supposed to experience once version of the apocalypse or another depending on what superstitions and myths you subscribe to. Personally I expect that I’ll be filling out a 2012 tax return come this time 2013 and going about my daily routine as normal.

Come August 13th of 2012 I will turn the big 4-0. I haven’t made any real plans yet for my birthday, it is some 8 months away right now; but I’ll most likely take my usual week of vacation from work. Other than that, who knows at this point.

Blocking Debate

The National Organization for Marriage, along with most other Anti-Gay hate groups often throw the victim card around, claiming that Marriage Equality Advocates are trying to silence the voice of Christians through Non-Discrimination legislation like ENDA, which makes this recent post at the Ruth Institute Blog (a NOM funded affiliate organization) so ironic.

Oftentimes I read someone’s comment and wonder if I really ought to let it pass or trash it. Usually I go ahead and approve it because of our very open policy on this blog.

While they are certainly within their rights to censer commenters on their blog, and I completely agree that if a comment contains foul language or threats of violence it should be deleted, if not turned over to police, I just have to wonder who is trying to silence who now. I guess we will just have to wait and see if the Ruth Institute is just as heavy handed in deleting civil discussion posts that disagree with their stance on Marriage Equality and Abortion.


Betsy from the Ruth Institute has been kind enough to respond to me my post by copying it verbatim as a comment; which would appear to be a violation of copyright and fair use but I’m a forgiving individual.

Betsy then goes on to actually make a personal attack against me…

The words that I put in italices point out, VV, your lack of reading comprehension skills.

Which kind of seems to go completely against their own new comment policy which is called the “Fun To Be Around Rule.

Update 2:

It now appears that Betsy and Ruth Institute are not really interested in civil debate as they have now deleted my remarks as well as Betsy’s cut and paste of my blog post.

Site Updates


Word Press 2.8 was released recently and I finally went about the task of upgrading the site. Many of the changes in 2.8 had to deal with how Word Press handles themes, plugins, and widgets and that required a lot of updating in order to get everything to work properly. For a short time yesterday I couldn?t get my links widget to work. =(

Everything seems to be back up and operational now and I?ve also added a few new features to the site.

One new item is the Polling widget that you now see in the first sidebar. Scrolling down further you?ll find Three new RSS feeds, one is the PR Newswire USA feed and the other is the PR Newswire Iowa feed, and I?ve added a feed for The Pajama Pundit, a great political blog with a spectrum of view points. I?ve moved the Amazon MP3 download portal to the 2nd sidebar as well as the ?What am I reading? block.

You will also now find this navigation block at the bottom of the site to make browsing older posts a little easier.

New Picture (4)

I?ve also added a new feature to my posts that should make it easier for folks to share them if they like them.

New Picture (5)

I hope everyone enjoys the updates and be sure to tell your friends about us.

Busy Week

I know, I’ve been really quiet this past week. I got a little sidetracked. I bought a new car Thursday night after test driving it on Wednesday. I traded in my 95 Pontiac Bonneville. The new car isn’t really that new, it’s a 99. It is also a Pontiac Bonneville. It is even the same color as the old one. I’ll get some pictures posted here in a few days and everyone can have a laugh at my predictability. If anyone in the local area is interested in a car you might give Randy a call at Wes Finch.

While I was side tracked we had some interesting happenings in the news.

Obama passed the 100 day mark as President. I’ll be making the obligatory 100 days post in a day or two, looking back on my impression of how he has done, and where I feel he is going. I’ve been happy with most of his actions but not everything.

The H1N1 (Swine) flu has, as of this posting, spread to 22 states, including Iowa. The Marshalltown school district, which is only about 30 mins north of me, will be shut down for the next 10 days as a handful of students are suspected of having contracted the virus. I’m not all that surprised that it is in Iowa, but it was a tad unnerving to hear that it was so close. Many of the employees at the factory I work for live in the Marshalltown and Tama areas.

Chrysler was forced into bankruptcy because several of the hedge funds that they owed money to thought they would have a better chance in bankruptcy court and thus refused to make a deal. Something tells me that they might be in for a bad surprise. Word is going around that they want to complete the bankruptcy procedures in about 60 days, which I don’t think has ever been done before with such a large company. I have to admit I’m a tad concerned about the governments involvement in the deal overall but I understand it. There is already taxpayer money on the line due tot he past bailout cash that was handed out, and there are thousands of jobs online as well. If the jobs can be protected and the company be taken through quickly enough that the government can quickly and safely get it’s hand out of the automotive cookie jar, then I think we will better off. But the government must part itself of interests in private companies as soon as possible.

The dome on the training facility of the Dallas Cowboys collapsed over the weekend, trapping several people. Four people ended up going to the hospital.

Well that’s a quick wrap up, I’ll be definately trying to post more in the coming week. Thanks for stopping by and please everyone feel free to post a comment or two, even if it’s just to say hi.