My first Digg code goes live

So if you’re interested in seeing what I’ve been doing for Digg lately, you can now go to the site, log in and send invites to your friends. You’ve actually always been able to do this, but now you’re able to keep track of how many friends you’ve invited, those friend invites will be announced to the world on the homepage and you’ll automagically be added to the invitee’s friends list.

Once you’ve invited a friend, the friend needs to register and digg at least three stories before they count as a referral. At that point a little note is posted to the frontpage announcing your invite and your friend referral count in your user profile goes up. I, of course, invite all of you to join.

I’ve also been working on other magical doings, but I can’t talk about those quite yet. I hope to talk more about that work after it goes live as well.

Bill of Non-Rights

A family member of mine sent me one of those ultra-patriotic/conservative mail forwards that was, essentially, a “Bill of Non-Rights” that included a bunch of “get off your lazy ass and get a job” language and two things, in particular, I find laughable.

This is an English speaking country. We don’t care where you are from, English is our language. Learn it or go back to wherever you came from!

I submit that this country, from the very beginning, was multi-lingual and multi-national. I know for a fact that my ancestors didn’t speak English when they arrived, rather they spoke German and French. America is not, nor has it ever been an English-only speaking country. In fact, about 28 million Americans over the age of 5 speak Spanish at home. There’s nothing wrong with being bilingual. In fact, that’s pretty cool if you ask me.

You do not have the right to change our country’s history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history, and if you are uncomfortable with it, TOUGH!

Where to start? How about with the fact that “In God We Trust” wasn’t added to coins in America until the Civil War. Also, there’s that pesky fact that “One nation … under God” wasn’t added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954.

Now, please, let’s stop with the preposterous assertions that we’ve always been an English-only Christian nation. The truth is we’ve always been a multilingual multicolored nation and it’s only getting moreso. California, for instance, became the first state in the union in 2000 to be a minority-majority population (meaning there’s more of “them” than “us” if that’s how you think).

Maybe a better solution is to follow the Bill of Rights as they are, which guarantee the right to speak any language you want and practice any religion you want. And, guess what, it’s actually been like that from the beginning.

Term 'Civil War' is inadequate term for Iraq

A new Pentagon report said some elements of the war in Iraq fit the definition of civil war, but the term “does not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict.

What I read from this is that the situation in Iraq is much worse than a simple civil war. In fact, with the meddling ways of Iran and Syria it probably is much worse than a simple civil war. Throw in a little religion and a thousand years of bikering and you’ve got yourself something that the term ‘civil war’ “does not adequately capture the complexity of …”.

The problem, of course, it’s that it’s our complex conflict. We’re the ones that messed everything up and we’ve got to at least try to fix the mess, which is why I don’t support an immediate troop pullout. What I do support:

  1. Actively engage Syria and Iraq on all fronts.
  2. Add strict deadlines to a phased reduction of forces so the Iraqis are forced to step up and start policing their own state.
  3. If all else fails, bribe Turkey into letting us create three states out of Iraq. If you didn’t already know, Turkey is vehemently against an independent Kurdistan.

God, please kill my daughters

The state of Texas is up in arms about the fact that the governor had the nerve to require that the HPV vaccine be given to all 6th grade girls. The nerve! A vaccine that prevents cancer?! Given to my daughters?! Blasphemy!

Their reasoning? It promotes promiscuity. Please. How about you do what every other self-respecting parent does when faced with an uncomfortable situation with their children: lie. Tell them it’s a vaccine that prevents cancer and leave it at that. How about having a responsible conversation about safe sex instead of pretending that your daughter is different and won’t have premarital sex.

I’ll let you in on a little secret; 9 out of 10 Americans practice premarital sex. That study includes women from the 1940’s as well so you older folks can’t get all holy on us younger people.

My vote is every girl is vaccinated and we cross our fingers that cervical cancer and HPV is abolished in the same manner that polio was for our parents.

FBI snooping did not follow "rules"

To absolutely nobody’s surprise the Justice Department’s inspector found the FBI to be guilty of “serious misuse” of the power’s granted to it via the PATRIOT Act to secretly request a person’s financial, banking and phone records. What I find laughable is that the audit says that there were no indications that any of the activity “constituted criminal misconduct.”

I find this laughable because these rules are actually laws governing how the FBI can use these powers. They’re not guidelines; they’re law. Normally, when a person or entity doesn’t work within the letter of the law they’re guilty of criminal misconduct in some form or another. How this isn’t the case here I’ll never know.

On a slightly higher note it is refreshing to see a head of a public agency take fully responsibility for the misconduct of their agency. Mueller, the head honcho of the FBI, plainly stated, “”I am to be held accountable.”

I’m looking at you Bush. I’m also eyeing you Cheney.