For those of you who reside in the US: GO VOTE!!!!!

Happy Election Day all! I know I started this whole experience out saying that I was not planning on getting political or religious or… whatever. It’s all fair game. Apparently if something is important enough, I will blog about it.

Today is election day and there are all kinds of issues on the docket. From the presidential election to our local county sherrif to state questions and back. Working for the amazing institution that I do, I was lucky enough to get to take time during the busy work day and do my democratic duty. And so should you! This years decision was not easy for me, they are never light things to just wing but I have been paying attention. I don’t just trust the media though, there are too many opinions. CNN is very good at remaining neutral and their ratings reflect that. As boring as it was, I made an effort to pull up the questions being voted on and the platforms, or stances, of the candidates and actually read them. I was very glad I did because this morning I felt confident about my choices.

The polling places are open from 7 am to 7 pm so if you have an opinion and can vote, please do. If you are registered and do not know where you are supposed to go to vote you can look it up by entering your zip code in the “polling place locator.” Google “polling place locator + your home state” or just go to your states government website (example: www.{StateAbbreviation}.gov) and search there. If you choose not to vote, remember that you let others make the choice so you really don’t have room to complain about the decision made. Just sayin’.

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PIPA/SOPA

I blogged breifly about these pieces of legislature last December and asked for your help in stopping them. A little less than a month has passed and as the Senate and House gear up to return after the holiday’s I ask again to do your part, as I have been doing mine.   I first learned about these from a webcomicker whose webcomic I have been following for a few years. Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire by Mookie at http://www.dominic-deegan.com.  On January 18th (tomorrow) there will be a ‘blackout’ to protest these abhorrent pieces of censorship.  BoingBoing will join Reddit in the Jan. 18th blackout, as will Tucows Inc. and all of the I Can Has Cheezburger sites. Craigslist came out against SOPA/PIPA. The White House said it would not support SOPA/PIPA! As Mookie says: momentum is building against these toxic bills but the fight isn’t over yet. Do what you can to let the House of Representatives and the Senate know that this legislation needs to be killed, not revised.  Please go to  sopastrike.com to join in tomorrow. This site lists websites that will be participating as well as ways you can help. It also links ways to block out your own website.   I pledged to donate a dollar if Wikipedia would blackout as well. On Jan 24th, Congress will vote to pass internet censorship in the Senate, even though the vast majority of Americans are opposed. We need to kill the bill – PIPA in the Senate and SOPA in the House – to protect our rights to free speech, privacy, and prosperity.

Also check out this site: fightforthefuture.org. This is one of the non-profits working to defend online freedom.

Politics!

I am not a politically active person, however there are a few bills in the House and Senate that desperatly need attention. I personally have not read the bills, yet. I have researched what I can and will refrence a website that I believe did the subject matter justice. Please, please check this out. The bill in Congress is acronymed SOPA and in the House is PIPA.

Essentially, these have to do with internet piracy, the music industry/hollywood and Freedom of Speech. It would effect every person who utilizes the internet, for shopping, research or leisure. For social networking, data backup or even sharing your pictures.

I suggest a search engine for these bills. They are posted and available for the public to read – fair warning though, I printed a copy out and have been highlighting and annotating all over it – just to understand it as best I can. I have not completed the project.

http://www.OpenCongress.org         SOPA is a front page issue here, utilize this amazing tool.

http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/2011/10/protect-the-internet.html This is the article that really made me choose to post about this rather than just researching for myself and contacting my representatives. The comments are, for the most part, educated and active.  Nobody starts name calling or cussing at the internet. It appears to be a group of people here are concerned and know how to do something about it.

Find and write to your Senator here: http://www.senate.gov/general

Find and write to your Congressperson here: http://www.house.gov/represent

Call your senators and congressmen now! (202) 224-3121