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Monday, June 30, 2014

ALEC Transparency - Ain't what it used to be

ALEC trans-par-ency
ain't what it used to be,
ain't what it used to be,
ain't what it used to be,

ALEC trans-par-ency
ain't what it used to be,
just a few years ago.

ALEC has learned to mislead the press very well when it comes to the issue of transparency.
Unfortunately for the reader - the press writes what ALEC says - doesn't check to see if it is true - so the press feeds the public lies.

ALEC Distorts Transparency

because of member concerns about transparency, Meierling said.



“The fundamental issue is people want to know,” Meierling said. “Critics of the organization and supporters of the organization say let sun shine on everything.”
****

"We really believe in transparency," ALEC spokesman Bill Meierling told The Huffington Post. "We believe that more eyes on our model policies will create better policies.

****


After “taking it on the chin” for a few years, ALEC is making an effort to be more transparent, said state Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro.



Bull crap
ALEC only makes transparent - what ALEC wants the public to see.
ALEC intentionally distorts its policy and mission - by only publicizing what they want others to believe.

Everything of importance for the public to know is still secret at ALEC

Just a couple of examples of how ALEC is less transparent now - then it was before.


The NEW supposedly more transparent agenda
   doesn't show which corporation is sponsoring the bill
   doesn't show which corporate representatives are doing all those presentations

HIDING information

And then there is this agenda.
The International Relations Taskforce
Corporations and lowly STATE legislators meeting with foreign nationals outside the purview of our state department.  AND writing legislation that affects the US.

The NEW supposedly more transparent agenda
      doesn't show who is the Private Sector (Corporate) Chair of the Taskforce
      doesn't show which corporation/foreign national is doing the presentations
      doesn't show who is sponsoring the bill 
        -evidently the corporate lawyers haven't hooked up with a legislator yet
         to intro the bill
    and that is important - as demonstrated here:
DECEITFUL and HIDING information of who actually wrote the bill and who is the corporation (profit or not for profit)  promoting the bill.
AND it was planned this way - to execute just like this - by ALEC
LYING!

And the you have this!!!
The American Legislative Exchange Council use to be extremely open back in the '90s - that also has changed.


ALEC Less Transparent Now Than It Was In 1995
If Meierling wants to talk about the past, explain this.  How is it that ALEC is owning up to its secretive "past," when the group published full task force membership lists and the text of all model legislation until 1995?
Important Caveat for the Future
The 2011 agendas shown above were on the Common Cause webpage - Common Cause has recently dropped these documents from their webpage.
This is a shame.

Now that historical information that proves - beyond a reasonable doubt -  how ALEC REALLY operates,  behind closed doors, is no longer available to the general public - who needs to know this information and see this information.

Friday, June 27, 2014

2014 - Ridding the US House of ALECers



ALEC and the US House
ALEC members in the House that retired this year

There are 11 - and if we don't watch ourselves they will be replaced with 11 other ALECers.

We need to start now 
to support the Dems with money or volunteer time
to educate our friends and neighbors about ALEC
NOTHING WILL CHANGE
if we replace one ultraconservative pro-corporate extremists of the American Legislative Exchange Council party, with another

#VoteNo2ALEC

RETIRED 
Spencer Bachus (AL)
Runoff election July 15th.
State Rep. Paul DeMarco and policy analyst Gary Palmer
     DeMarco is probably ALEC, hasta be to attend an ALEC? Taskforce meeting
        Was a presenter on an ALEC panel
         Exploring the Development of ALEC Principles on Workers Compensation Reform
        Civil Justice Task Force
        States & Nation Policy Summit | Grand Hyatt | Washington, D.C.
        November 28, 2012
Could be replaced with nother ALECer

John Campbell (CA)
   Mimi Walters GOP – ALEC lover – will face Dem Drew Leavens in November
   Walters probably ALEC – definitely an ALEC lover

Could be replaced with ALEC lover


Rodney Alexander, R-La.
Replaced in November 2013 by Vance McAllister – who resigned in 2014 amid multiple reports of scandal
Primary October 5, 2014 for November election
No known ALECers on the primary ballot as of this point – 2 ALECers declined to run for the position – but then you have the Duck Dynasty nephew running

Mike Rogers (MI)
   Primary for this position on August 5
   Both GOP candidates are ALECers Tom McMillin and Mike Bishop
Could be replaced with nother ALECer

Dave Camp (MI)
   Primary for this position on August 5, 3 GOP candidate, 1 ALECer
   Camp endorsed ALECer John Moolenar to take his place, running against Dem Jeff Holmes
   Will be a hard seat to keep away from ALEC without lots of boots to ground and money
Could be replaced with nother ALECer

Howard Coble (NC)
  Runoff – election July 15 - ALECer Phil Berger is vying for this seat will run against Mark Walker for GOP endorsement 
    Berger is endorsed by ALECers Coble,  Gingrich  ALEC loving Virginia Foxx
Could be replaced with nother ALECer

Jim Gerlach (PA)
  Ryan Costello, GOP – not known ALEC - will face Dem Manan Trivedi
  Will be a hard seat to keep away from ALEC without lots of boots to ground and money

Doc Hastings (WA)
   Primary is August 5 for this seat, 12 candidates
   Known ALECers running Janea Holmquist
Could be replaced with nother ALECer


RUNNING FOR SENATE
Cory Gardner (CO) to run for senate
  Won primary – will face Mark Udall in November

Jack Kingston (GA) to run for senate
   July 22nd Runoff GOP election
   Runoff election in July between Kingston and Perdue

Phil Gingrey (GA) to run for senate
   Did not advance in primary for senate
   GONE, probably to his high paying lobbyist job for an ALEC corporate member

The entire house is up for re-election this year.
I heard a buttwipe on the radio this morning say that 98% of the seats are safe.
I refuse to accept that
and as many as possible must not be re-elected.

#VoteNo2ALEC

and then of course you also have

ALECer Eric Cantor who lost his primary bid

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Turn Off Your Comcast HotSpot




For more reasons than I can tell you - I hate Comcast.
They are - of course - a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council ( ALEC ).

Unfortunately I have to use them 
unless I am willing to accept 1.5 Mbps that CenturlyLink offers - my only other option.

So - Comcast reigns supreme
Comcast screws their customers every day in every way - becausetheycan
And the FCC does nothing

This whole issue, the Comcast HotSpot, infuriates me.
I bought my own modem – so Comcast can’t make obscene profits off me to “rent” their modem.
I bought my own modem – to ensure Comcast would not use my house to increase their market share, with the Comcast HotSpot.

Imagine this:
  • A pedophile sitting in a car right outside your house watching porn - using a wifi connection you are providing.
  • A prostitute sitting in a car right outside your house connecting with clients - using a wifi connection you are providing.
  • A drug dealer sitting in a car right outside your house connecting with clients - using a wifi connection you are providing. 
While the IP address of the public service will be different from that of the hosting customer, the physical address of both will be the same.

Cops, lotsa cops - with guns -at your address
for something you did not do
GUILTY! until proven innocent
   - that's how the justice system works in the US, now
GO TO JAIL faster than you can imagine
for something you did not do.

That’s it for my original thought.
The rest of this is snips from across the web – source links at the bottom.

Comcast is quietly turning on public hotspots in its customers’ routers, essentially turning private homes into public hotspots.

Comcast has been swapping out customers' old routers with new ones capable of doubling as public hotspots.

noticed a new Wi-Fi network popping up on his home computer.
 “Suddenly there's this service that says XFINITY Wi-Fi.
coming from the Comcast router inside his hall closet.

Comcast's new X-Finity Home WiFi Hotspots will add a second separate and distinct signal to your home modem.  One is yours      The second will be for your guests

"The lack of consumer choice is disrespectful," wrote Kelly Morgan, vice president and general manager for Frontier, in a blog post. "Rather than allowing customers to opt into opening their homes to becoming hotspots, they are unilaterally making homes into hotspots and forcing customers to figure out how to opt out of this sharing if they don't want to be a commercial hub for Comcast."

Comcast basically said
"You know, we aren't even going to ask you if you want this, you'll just take the feature. Saves us from having to explain it to you."

“This is actually an opt-out, not an opt-in. So they'll actually send this command to your router to enable this public Wi-Fi hotspot in your house and hope you don't object to it," he said.

"From a security standpoint, it just adds another access point for a hacker or bad guy to get into your system," CPR Tools CEO John Benkert told WINK News.

Comcast gets a fairly cheap way to extend its network—by having its customers pay for the equipment!

Comcast representative told me the company expects to have 8 million customers with the public access feature enabled by year end.

in 19 of the largest U.S. cities.

Another concern should be that in an attempt to grow Comcast’s customer base, the public service will allow two free one-hour sessions per MAC address per month to non-subscribers.

you can buy or "rent' a wireless router from Comcast. I suggest you buy one from a store instead of renting one.

If comcast wants to use my router to provide service to others, then they can bloody-well pay me for that service I am providing.

If they are going to use the modem that they're renting to me to provide service to others, then they ought to reduce my rent.

LEGAL ISSUES FOR YOU
While the IP address of the public service will be different from that of the hosting customer, the physical address of both will be the same.

Comcast is essentially using your private residence as a corporate resource.

As many as five people at a time can use your personal hotspot;

There have been reports that you must re opt-out every time your router receives a 'refresh' signal.

the odds of serious problems emerging are very, very high.

And the FCC does nothing
 









Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Expose ALEC? We'll Send the Attack Dogs


Shaking my head in disbelief this morning
Right-wing rag bitching about the costs of an open records request – but that’s not the focus of this entry.

The focus here is about ALEC transparency – or lack thereof.
ALEC has been screaming how transparent they have become - which is an outright lie when you compare current meeting documents to older meeting documents or review their webpage for specific ALEC bills
YET – when a left leaning legislator makes ALEC meetings transparent by reporting on the meetings to left-leaning publications
    the right goes nuts
    ALEC goes nuts
    and the intimidation starts

The right-wing and ALEC don’t want transparency of the mechanisms  of ALEC and this is proof.

The right-wing never ceases to amaze me with their stupidity – their incredulous belief of equivalency in what they do and why they do it.

This morning – trending – is an article that was released by the right-wing funded Media Trackers about open records requests that were made against WI legislator Chris Taylor – back to that later.
 
But really
– it is a right-wing, same old, same old.
Different person, different year
– intimidation of anyone who dares expose their precious ALEC

Most people aren’t aware that back in the day, way back, Republicans did the same thing to a Wisconsin University professor when he dared – yes dared – to start talking about ALEC.  The Republicans filed an open record request against William Cronin because he had the audacity to start exposing ALEC – way before ALECExposed existed.
But the right-wing didn't - - - 

Different person, different year
– intimidation of anyone who dares expose their precious ALEC

The right-wingers are probably saying
Payback is a bitch – you libtards filed open record requests against ALEC members – why can’t we intimidate people who are exposing ALEC?

What these right-wingers are too muddle-headed to understand is that there is no there, there.
Open records requests against someone reporting to the press, about a meeting they attended as part of their legislative duties – what ALEC desperately tries keeps secret – has no feet.

When CMD requested open requests on ALECer Vukmir in WI and ALECer Rep. Stephanie Klick of TX,  the open records requests were to reveal the secret mechanisms of ALEC, the extent that ALEC was going to keep their documents secret to the public.  These were open records requests to make public – what should have been public –the manipulation of our state legislatures by ALEC.

Some might say – well that’s what the right-wingers are doing now – trying to expose records that are secret to the public – BUT that's a spurious argument. 

Open records requests to expose secret ALEC documents that intentionally impact the governing of our country are not comparable to open records requests for records of a legislator exposing ALEC meetings in a magazine article - about content they learned at an ALEC meeting they attended, as part of their legislative duties

Chris Taylor has never hid her relationship with The Progressive – she published her reports on the content of ALEC meetings there, twice.  There’s no there, there.  Yes there might be emails between Taylor and various left leaning organizations – but so what, she’s a liberal.  Really, so what?  What difference does it make that Ms. Taylor is reporting about the content of ALEC meetings and working with left-leaning organizations to do so?  It's historically evident that the right-wing does not report about the content of ALEC meetings - that is how ALEC has stayed under the radar of the public for 40 years.
What is the right-wing media trying to do – silence Taylor for ALEC?
What is the right-wing media trying to do – intimidate Taylor for ALEC?
What is the right-wing media trying to do – and who asked/paid them to do it?

Did Chris Taylor break any laws? Hell no.
Chris Taylor attended a supposedly legislative focused meeting, in her duties as bonafide legislator, 
reported on the meeting to inform the public of what she experienced, 
as a legislator at a supposedly legislative focused meeting.

And the right-wing attack dogs cut loose

What Chris Taylor did was break the secrecy laws that surround ALEC meetings and ALEC is pissed.
What Chris Taylor did – is exactly what the right-wing press doesn’t have the balls to do – report on ALEC.
Yes, ALEC is pissed – no one, absolutely no one, else cares about the content of Taylor’s reporting – except ALEC!
The intentional secrecy of ALEC is destroyed when an attendee reports on the “closed door meetings” of ALEC. The content of those meetings should be public domain and Taylor has made bits and pieces of what she saw/heard public and ALEC is pissed.

How dare someone report what is happening at an ALEC meeting!  How dare they!  ALEC meetings are designed to be secret so the public does not know the evil ALEC is cooking up.
This is Exactly why ALEC will not allow citizen journalists or even left leaning journalists into their meetings.
ALEC knows what is happening at their meetings is WRONG.
ALEC legislators know what they are doing at ALEC meetings is WRONG.
ALEC and ALEC legislators know what they are saying at ALEC meetings is WRONG.
ALEC and ALEC members do not want what they do at meetings reported – cause they know it is WRONG.
ALEC is evidently pissed enough to secretly send right-wing funded media to intimidate and deter.

So what is the right-wing so-called press looking for?
Nothing but sensationalism
Nothing but intimidation
     to shut-up Chris Taylor

The right-wing setting their crosshairs on someone like Chris Taylor – for reporting about ALEC – which by the way – the right-wing media, does not do.

Moral of the story – don’t piss off the American Legislative Exchange Council or the right-wing will send their attack dogs after you.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Throwing Stones At ALEC


Corporate people who live insulated from the masses should be careful when they throw stones at ALEC--the stones can bounce back and bite them in the ass. 
There is a certain level of hypocrisy that the public will not accept - even from non-profit corporations.  Non-profit corporations can't spend their time throwing stones at ALEC to increase their funding, but then turn around and partner with ALEC when it suits their fancy. Non-profit corporations can't spend their time throwing stones at ALEC to increase their funding, at the same time that they are supporting various ALEC policies.

During my time as a blogger, diarist and tweeter – I have found that most people want to ignore posts like these, not share them with others.

NOT because the entry is untrue – but because people don’t want to believe it is true.
Entries like these are a conundrum for people because it makes people think about 
what they want to know
vs
what they don't want to know.
Entries like this produce cognitive dissonance for readers - because what they have been trained to believe, want to believe, is put into question - - kinda when you learn for the first time that Santa Claus is not real.
Potential conflicts of interests are exposed and there is definitely a disturbing juxtaposition between listen to what we say, not what we do 
People will want to say no, please don't tell me this is true.
But it is true and it is sourced.




#VoteNo2ALEC

Today is one of those days where my brain is screaming.

If WE THE PEOPLE don’t eliminate ALEC while we are standing in the voting booth – we may as well just accept the fact that our “representative government” is gone.

#VoteNo2ALEC



Why would I say that?

Because, as long as ALEC controls legislation that is being introduced at the state and federal level – nothing can be done to stop them –

unless

WE THE PEOPLE remove ALEC members from office so that ALEC has no control over legislation.



Let’s look at a couple of examples that I hope will wake the people up – and show them that it is the responsibility of WE THE PEOPLE to stop ALEC – not other entities.



The most stunning:

The ACLU

The ACLU attended the May 2014 meeting of ALEC and is currently working in partnership with ALEC on prison overcrowding issues and privacy issues.


Why?  because the ACLU recognizes the power that ALEC has to distribute legislation across the United States.

The ACLU could have chosen a different method to work through these issues – but they chose to partner with ALEC to have access to ALEC legislators.



CUNA  - Credit Union National Association

Remember years ago when we hated the big banks – many that belong to ALEC – and we “moved our money”?  Well shortly after that CUNA joined ALEC.

CUNA doesn’t just attend ALEC meetings to be an exhibitor – CUNA sits on an ALEC Commerce, Insurance, & Economic Development Task Force.

CUNA could have chosen a different method to work through legislative issues affecting its industry – but they chose to partner with ALEC to have access to ALEC legislators.



NAACP - FLORIDA
The NAACP of North Carolina has been a major leader in the publicizing of the injustices of the ALEC-run state of North Carolina. NC Moral Mondays have become as much a part of the cry against injustice, as were the demonstrations in Wisconsin when ALECer Scott Walker started his destructive rule of that state.
But, when you look at the NAACP of Florida, you see a different story, a more disturbing story out of Florida, in regards to the re-districting issue in Florida - which by the way IS an ALEC issue. The article notes that the Florida NAACP has chosen not to fight for equality for voters, but has sided with the Florida legislature on re-districting and basically said , hey people should just be happy they get to vote - so what if the district is gerrymandered.



IEA of Illinois –  Illinois Education Association  (National Education Association)

IFT of Illinois - - Illinois Federation of Teachers (American Federation of Teachers)

TWICE – yes twice, the IEA of Illinois has endorsed, supplied funding and boots on the ground to an ALEC member, Kirk Dillard


To top it off – it didn’t stop there The IFT – a division of the AFT, which supposedly is anti-ALEC organization – not only threw their support behind ALECer Kirk Dillard but gave him a six figure donation in support.  IFT supposedly represents the teachers in the City of Chicago – who have been decimated by ALEC-esque city legislation, killing their schools.



IEA and IFT could have chosen a different method to work through upcoming elections and legislative issues affecting its industry – but they chose to financially support an ALEC legislator.



These examples are no different – absolutely no different, than Google joining ALEC specifically to get legislation passed for their new cars.  Google saw ALEC as a way for their organization/corporation to benefit from ALEC legislation and the end result is they join/supported ALEC – for their own selfish profit-driven reasons.



What these examples demonstrate is - - taking the easy way out, being lazy.
Rather than using the systems that these organizations have in place to attack the issues - they do what corporate America does - they deflect/defect to ALEC  ---  because its easier.  NOT because it is correct, but it is easier.
By partnering/providing support with/to ALEC the examples above give credence to the ALEC model – credence ALEC DOES NOT deserve to have.



Now on to the UFT and AFT

United Federation of Teachers

American Federation of Teachers

The national office of AFT supposedly rails against ALEC in public, against ALEC policies.  But – there’s a glitch.



Randi Weingarten is the mouthpiece for the AFT against ALEC educational policies.

One of the ALEC educational policies is the expansion of charter schools – charter schools that steal taxpayer money from our public schools to give to for-profit corporations to run substandard schools that hurt the taxpayer and the students.





That day, Weingarten’s message was about the need to restore community involvement and oppose “corporate-influenced school reform."


“corporate-influenced school reform."

It’s time to realize that both the UFT and the AFT are corporations.

It’s time to realize that both the UFT and the AFT influence school reform.





or “corporate influenced charter school” – AFT is a corporation

AFT is against – charters that aren’t unionized.



In fact, in 2009 – Weingarten, then UFT President, partnered with a “corporate influenced charter school” in NY, the Green Dot “Public” Schools to establish a charter school in NY City




Green Dot “Public” Schools is a nonprofit – that intentionally shifts taxpayer dollars from our public schools to charter schools.  But evidently that’s okay – as long as the charter school is unionized and you advertise your charter school as “progressive”.

Wiengarten still sits on the Board of Trustees of that school.




The UFT/ Green Dot “Public” Schools school in 2012/2013 school year had


with



Oh – if only our public high schools could have such statistics



And the absolutely stunning and most questionable statistic about this school is that they claim a 100% graduation rate – 100%.

Nothing in life is 100%, unless whatever you are measuring has absolutely no uncontrollable variables.

The UFT/ Green Dot “Public” Schools school is 100% students of color, in The Bronx, NY - - which has way too many variables that can not be controlled.




The UFT Foundation took over the charter school from Green Dot in June 2013 and renamed it University Prep Charter High School.

Maybe because the results weren’t as good as they had hoped for in a union run charter school



According to the UPCHS webpage, Wiengarten still sits on the Board of Trustees of the school.



With AFT and UFT

As long as a charter school is unionized and some owned by UFT – charters are okay – to the unions.

In fact, UFT doesn’t sound much different than any other for-profit corporations stealing tax dollars for its charter school

That is why the UFT has opposed the funding freeze on charter schools in the state budget and has fought to lift it. And why we have called for eliminating the two-year lag in charter schools’ funding formula and proposed that charter schools whose educators participate in the Teachers’ Retirement System should be allowed to take that cost off their books and have the local school district assume it.


One of the ALEC educational policies is the expansion of charter schools - but evidently, if the charter school is unionized – that makes them a better charter school.

Yet, all the while, it is a top ALEC objective to destroy all unions, starting with those in public service. 






WE THE PEOPLE are the only entities that are not corporations.  We must fight this battle for ourselves and keep the organizations that supposedly represent us and seek our funding - representative of us.
WE THE PEOPLE can no longer sit back and assume that organizations that purport to serve the people, actually serve the people - these organizations must be monitored and when we see them take actions that do not correspond to the mission they state, we must protest their actions.
WE THE PEOPLE can not expect others to do our work for us in regards to the elimination of ALEC legislative/policy power in the state and federal government.


WE THE PEOPLE are not corporations focused on self-centered sustainability, at any cost.

WE THE PEOPLE must be responsible to take our government back from the ALECers, by our words and by our actions.

#VoteNo2ALEC



The American Legislative Exchange Council exists only to provide legislative services to organizations (profit and non-profit); through intentional manipulation of state legislation by ALEC legislators, for the sole purpose to benefit ALEC corporate members.

Because of this, these same corporations can not be trusted to act on behalf of WE THE PEOPLE – because the organization’s long-term survival – using ALEC legislators to pass ALEC legislation that favors the organization –is more important to their survival in the long-term, than WE THE PEOPLE. 



Non-profits can be just as selfish, self centered and inwardly focused – as the for-profit corporations that tweeters and bloggers vilify for their involvement with ALEC.



Unless WE THE PEOPLE, wake up and realize that the only way that ALEC can be truly be stopped is for WE THE PEOPLE to vote ALEC members out of office – I don’t see much success in stopping ALEC legislation from further corrupting our nation.



You can’t sit at your keyboard from now until November and hope & pray things will change.  
YOU have to take action between now and November to educate your friends and family about ALEC and to encourage all to vote ALEC members out of office.  If you don’tnothing will change – it will only get worse, with more and more organizations who say they speak for the people, turning to ALEC for the easy way of getting what they want, for just a fist full of a few dollars more.



ALEC is one of the most powerful political forces influencing our nation,

& therefore the most dangerous

few have heard of it.

This is by design



If you don’t take action – no one else will.



#VoteNo2ALEC