Sunday, July 25, 2010

Translucency and Diffused Government

The following excerpts are from the LA Times on the WikiLeaks release of six years worth of classified military documents pertaining to the war in Afghanistan —

    *National Security Advisor James Jones says the disclosure could endanger lives and U.S. security.*

    *In a statement, President Obama's national security advisor, Marine Gen. James L. Jones, deplored the "disclosure of classified information" that he said could put the lives of Americans and U.S. partners at risk and threaten the nation's security.*

Endanger lives? Just what the hell does a nine year war do? Did I miss the class that covered all of this? — Threaten the nation's security? Don't they mean these whistle-blowers like Julian Assange and his commie anti nationalistic cohorts are threatening the *securities* of the organizations who profit on war? Their carte blanche "*Homeland* security blanket of war profiteering held in place by fear has outlived it's believability. We either evolve sanely...or insanely...and I choose the former.

You can't preach transparency only to choose which windows the public can look through. That does not fit my definition of transparency. The people *NEED* the whistle-blowers...they are our life line...the carriers of truth...the people's stories. They are us! The whistle-blower laws here in the U.S. can be treacherous unless your legal fees are paid. The Whistleblower Act of 2007 is so deep in the bureaucracy, a person could drown fighting their way up the slick muddy bank of shit creek. So once you decide to crawl out that skinny limb — you best have some heavy hitting supporters, or an entire community of supporters the size of Texas. The laws that really do protect the people, are always vague, toothless, and I find myself embarrassed that we as citizens accept this as the norm.

First we need to understand what a whistleblower really is, and how and where do they fit in the scheme of things.
A whistleblower is a person who raises a concern about wrongdoing occurring in an organization or body of people. Usually this person would be from that same organization. The revealed misconduct may be classified in many ways; for example, a violation of a law, rule, regulation and/or a direct threat to public interest, such as fraud, health/safety violations, and corruption. Whistleblowers may make their allegations internally (for example, to other people within the accused organization) or externally (to regulators, law enforcement agencies, to the media or to groups concerned with the issues).

Whistleblowers sound a lot like public heroes from what I'm reading. Apparently our government does not feel the same way. What of the transparent and participatory government referenced in the whitehouse memorandum on "Transparency and Open Government"? Here is a quote from that memorandum:
Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use.

See, it's when they throw that "consistent with law and policy" into the mix that they muddy up the waters, and obscure the transparency. How many levels of transparency do you think there are? I only recognize "one". Perhaps it was a typo, and what they meant was "Translucency and Diffused Government".

You may ask what sort of organization is WikiLeaks? What kind of staff and funding do these commie subversives have?
According to a January 2010 interview, the Wikileaks team then consisted of five people working full-time and about 800 people who worked occasionally, none of whom were compensated. Wikileaks has no official headquarters. The expenses per year are about €200,000, mainly for servers and bureaucracy, but would reach €600,000 if work currently done by volunteers were paid for. Wikileaks does not pay for lawyers, as hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal support have been donated by media organisations such as the Associated Press, The Los Angeles Times, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Its only revenue stream is donations, but Wikileaks is planning to add an auction model to sell early access to documents. According to the Wau Holland Foundation, Wikileaks receives no money for personnel costs, only for hardware, travelling and bandwidth.

Subversives? Not in my eyes — on my screens here in Sardis, they look more like responsible citizens and caring human beings! Hey emperors, we like this new transparent fabric you are wearing...we most definitely need to take care of those weavers who can spin their transparent threads with such talent. Thank you WikiLeaks for promoting honesty, openness, and for empowering the people! And thank you for the excellent view from the box seats. It makes the game much more's always hard to tell the players from those cheap seats in deep center field!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

David and Beth

Take a walk with Beth through her and David's lovely garden! I agree with her, there is nothing more cooling than a walk around the vegetable garden...especially one as gorgeous as theirs. I'm sure most of you who live and breathe folk music...know of the musical talent of David Francey — and Beth acts as his full time partner and manager in the business side of his music. But have you ever seen the beautiful artwork of Beth Girdler? I am thankful Whole Wheat Radio introduced me to David's music, and now through David, I have been introduced to the wonderful talent of Beth. They both just seem to radiate warmth and happiness...and man, what a beautiful garden! :-)

But wait, there's more! David also likes to paint as well and has some of his work displayed on his artwork page. He also has a Road Journal and Beth is a writer as well and you can read some of her work at the Log Cabin Chronicles. I wonder if Canada knows how fortunate they are?

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.