The future is revolting, then probably very prosperous: quick peek at how I see things
The 2016 candidate field embarrasses me. As a human, as an American, as an information savvy Internet user.
They all seem to be saying varieties of the same things we've always heard, and that's unacceptable now that we know so much better today than we did then.
Jeb Bush's anti-marijuana bullshit. Chris Christie's anti-marijuana bullshit. Everyone's pro-NSA, pro-surveillance, "Snowden is a criminal" bullshit.
You probably want to scream at the TV screen or smartphone when you read this silliness from these aging famous humans, yet you don't. "At least a lot of dumb people who watch cable find him to be OK, maybe that's enough," I reassure myself when I remain silent, when I don't use my limited influence and connections to mock, disparage, mock some more and scream at these awful bastards.
Because they are really quite awful. They are really out of touch.
More than 600,000 Americans are doing prison time for cannabis, which is something we all know to be medically beneficial for many based on the data, and economically a neutral or even sometimes strong positive force in the states where it has been successfully legalized for usage and sale.
We also know a variety of surveillance, including NSA data gifting to the DEA and local police / federal use of Stingray cell phone interception tech, is being deployed illegally (i.e. in clear violation of Amendment 4), to sniff out cannabis users in regressive states where prosecutors still push for many years in prison for possessing something safe and fun and relaxing I can get in a Colorado gift shop, legally and without obnoxious social stigma, within a minute.
I recently heard from a listener and viewer, he's a black vet about to do 3 years in prison in Virginia because they caught him receiving cannabis in the mail, which he needs for his ongoing PTSD. The medicine helps him and that's the only reason he's goin' away. He didn't harm anyone. Didn't steal anything. Didn't threaten anything. Just an adult in an allegedly free society who wanted a natural plant that reduces the anxieties he experiences as a soldier who has killed for America.
The Democratic governor of his state, Terry McAuliffe, is listed on Marijuana Majority's web site as a vocal supporter of medical marijuana reform - but obviously not vocal enough, because he's letting a black veteran in his state do time for seeking access to something he should have had legally in Virginia, years ago. Shame on Democrats like Terry. He also hasn't responded to anyone on Twitter in more than a year.
How is this governance for the people, by the people?
How did a federal judge rule the NSA can turn back on illegal spying of 314,000,000 Americans on US soil?
Something needs to change.
It's four years of shit sandwiches and insincere people on cable telling us why more rights need to be taken away, why more people need to do time for marijuana use, why it's OK for the feds to hound someone like Aaron Swartz (the cofounder of Reddit and a promising young tech prodigy) to the point of his unfortunate suicide, why it's OK for them to ruin the lives of hardworking people in the emergent legal cannabis and digital currency industries - ironically the two industries most likely to provide Americans with good paying jobs and the economic growth that consolidation, bank bailouts, and illegal surveillance simply have not provided.
I say just speak up, all the time. We probably are too late to demand better candidates at the national level this time around. But we can get them to concede on some obvious points if they want our vote and our nominal support in any form, rather than boycotts, riots or whatever visible form of non-compliance emerges when any populace realizes they are not free.
Stop illegal surveillance of US citizens on US soil. That is actual totalitarianism, and when the personal risks of slipping in the bathtub are orders of magnitude higher than being beheaded by ISIS, it's also an obscene misappropriation of taxpayer money that would be better spent on space exploration, cancer research, newer trains... etc.
The longer we pretend it's OK for these monsters to mentally rape us on cable TV every evening, the longer we slip into Stockholm syndrome mode and go "well, maybe Aaron Swartz did deserve 30 years in prison for downloading some academic articles without permission" and go "well, maybe Ulbricht did deserve life in prison for creating a digital marketplace that wasn't eBay/PayPal cartel friendly" ... the longer we apologize for psychotic old bastards who will be mathematically outmoded soon any way (by the coming shift in how money is issued by societies), the longer we have to live in a world that is not quite free. Not quite private. Not quite OK.
Thanks for reading.