Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968)
On Wednesday, January 18th, I will be joining my fellow bloggers and many others on the internet, by going dark. What does this mean? We are protesting two internet censorship bills currently before Congress: Protect IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
Do you upload videos to YouTube? Do you share videos or other content on Facebook? On Twitter? On your blog? Then these bills will affect you.
“YouTube would just go dark immediately,” Google public policy director Bob Boorstin said at a conference last month. “It couldn’t function.”
Essentially, both bills help the entertainment industry from being ripped off, but in fact they are far more likely to allow corporations and the U.S. government to censor websites they don’t like. This would impact the First and Fourth amendments of the United States Constitution and could essentially kill the internet as it exists today.
Corporate supporters of S968 (Protect IP -or- PIPA) and HR3261 (SOPA) demand the ability to take down any web site that affects their profits — without prior judicial oversight or due process — in the name of combating “online piracy.” Craigslist
Looking for important information on Google? Under these bills, the anyone could claim something as copyright infringement and shutdown that website and ask Google to remove the site from it’s search engine.
Uploading a cute video of your dog onto YouTube? You better make sure that you don’t have your favorite song playing on your radio. Under these bills, your content could be considered copyrighted material and mot only removed from YouTube, but you could be sued by the record label or artist that owns that song.
You can learn more about PIPA and SOPA in the video below, or for a more humorous take on the bills, go here to see Stephen Colbert breaks down SOPA. Please send your Congressman or woman an email to let them know you don’t support SOPA or PIPA and they shouldn’t either.
“It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today,” former Sen. Chris Dodd, now chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA),commenting on Internet Blackout Day.
I’ll be off the Internet Wednesday in protest of SOPA and PIPA. please join in protest.
Reddit general manager Erik Martin worked for an independent film production firm prior to joining the tech world, and frequently received bogus requests to remove his company’s material from YouTube.
“We would get a lot of erroneous . . . takedown notices, even on our own trailers for our own films put up on YouTube, because keywords would match,” Martin said on a Tuesday conference call with reporters. “Especially when companies are using automated tools — it’s a script, and human beings aren’t even looking at this — the potential for abuse [under Protect IP and SOPA] is huge.”(Huffington Post, 1/17/2012)
Supporters of PIPA and SOPA: RIAA, MPAA, News Corp, TimeWarner, Walmart, Nike, Tiffany, Chanel, Rolex, Sony, Juicy Couture, Ralph Lauren, VISA, Mastercard, Comcast, ABC, Dow Chemical, Monster Cable, Teamsters, Rupert Murdoch, Lamar Smith (R-TX), John Conyers (D-MI)
Opponents of PIPA and SOPA: Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, eBay, AOL, Mozilla, Reddit, Tumblr, Etsy, Zynga, EFF, ACLU, Human Rights Watch, Darrell Issa (R-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Ron Paul (R-TX)
Where Do Your Members of Congress Stand on SOPA and PIPA?
Follow the money trail – Who is lobbying for PIPA and SOPA?
How SOPA would affect you: FAQ
CNN Money – SOPA explained: What it is and why it matters
This year I was thinking about doing another post on Daisy and Jasper’s favorite things, but just couldn’t bring myself to purchase more “things” for my dogs. The truth is that Daisy, Jasper and Lady have lots of new toys to choose from, most of them sitting in their toy basket, untouched. It turns out that the toys my dogs love most are not new. In fact, they’re old, and dirty and dilapitated… and in most cases, falling apart. Why invest in new?
So instead of writing about Daisy and Jasper’s new favorite toys this year, I would love to hear from you.
Is there a new toy that you purchased this year that your dog absolutely loves? Or, have you purchased a new toy for your pup that you can’t wait to give him? And if not, is there a toy that your dog has long held as their favorite over the years?
I would love to hear what your dog’s favorite things are this year.
Yes, that extra hour of sleep is nice, but then I have to contend with the sun setting at an earlier hour. Not much of a trade off in my mind. That extra hour gave me and my dogs time to go for a nice walk in the evenings, while the sun was still up. Now I get to enjoy daylight all day long while sitting in a cubicle at work – where I can least enjoy it, and by the time I get home it’s dark and cold outside.
Walking with my dogs after dark would not be a huge issue for me if not for the lack of sidewalks and too many fast drivers on our street. It makes me nervous to walk on my street because of those fast cars.
A few times last week, I was able to make it home in time to take the dogs to the dog park just as the sun set. Yes, this dog park is not my favorite, but at least it has good lighting and there are no speeding cars to contend with. Honestly though, most nights I get home and find myself coming up with reasons not to walk the dogs in the dark.
How are all of you dealing with the time change and making sure your dogs get enough exercise? Are there other ways that you are keeping your dogs busy? Or, are you walking in the dark too?
My very first apartment had a lot of amenities I liked – a deck, off-street parking, a huge living room and a large bedroom with a huge closet. It also had something else… a ghost cat. I know. It sounds crazy doesn’t it?
The first time I knew I had a ghost cat was soon after I moved in. I was laying in bed, about to fall asleep, when I felt little cat paws walk up along the side of my body, alongside my leg, and then knead the mattress right next to my hip and lay down. I remember lying there frozen with fear. Did I just imagine that? Was I half asleep and just dreaming it? Was I losing my mind? It kind of freaked me out. The only way I could sleep that night was to tell myself that I had imagined it.
Over time I would come to realize that it wasn’t a dream. I really did have a ghost cat. And, he would often sleep by my side after kneading the mattress. Even after I got my two real cats, Nick and Sebastian, he would come up on the bed and follow the same old routine of walking along the side of my body, kneading the mattress and then curling up beside me. For some reason, it never seemed to bother my cats that there was another kitty, not to mention a ghost kitty, sleeping on my bed.
When I moved to a different apartment across town my ghost cat came with me. His routine was always the same and I began to find his presence comforting.
I once told my mother and sister about my ghost cat, but they just rolled their eyes and tried to humor me. They didn’t believe in ghosts. But I knew that what I was experiencing was real.
When I started traveling for business, my sister would come to stay with my cats so she could give Sebastian his insulin injection in the morning. One evening, I called her to see how my cats were doing and she informed me that she had had a visit from my ghost cat. She told me that the previous evening she had been almost asleep when she felt the little cat paws walking up from the end of the bed and then start to knead. She had assumed it was Nick or Sebastian, but when she looked, both cats were already sleeping next to her. I think she was a little freaked out by the whole thing, but it was nice to have some validation.
Somewhere along the way, my ghost cat just disappeared. I have often wondered what made him go. Was it the new bed and mattress that did it? He seemed to disappear right about that time. Or, did he just find someone else that needed his comforting more? I like to think it was the latter. How nice to think that he moved on to help someone else that needed him.
Have you ever had an experience with a ghost pet of your own?
It is with great relief and that I wholeheartedly accept BlogPaws’ apology and offer one of my own. My emotional expression of frustration was never meant to harm anyone, nor create the firestorm that followed. As I mentioned in response to a comment today, I should have written my thoughts in a journal instead of my blog. I apologize to BlogPaws and to anyone else who was hurt by the words that have been spoken (on both sides) these past two days.
Let us put down our sticks, our stones, and our words, and work together towards the one thing that unites us all – the animals.
My thanks to Tom, Yvonne and Caroline for being the first to offer an olive branch and to those who brought levity and thoughtful insight to the discussion
I leave you with the one person who always seems to see the bigger picture, and who’s wisdom I respect a great deal, Pamela Webster, and her beautifully written blog post “Lessons in Grace – The Idealists vs the Realists”
I am not a big celebrity follower, but last week I happened to see a news release from Ipsos.com featuring recent polling results for the most popular and least popular celebrities in America.
Betty White won the list as the most popular and most trusted celebrity, while Paris Hilton took the top of the list for least popular.
It got me to wondering… If there was a poll asking animal lovers which celebrities they would place at the top of their popular and unpopular lists when it comes to animals, whom would they choose?
I’d definitely put Michael Vick at the top of my least popular list, but when it comes to most popular I have a hard time deciding. Victoria Stilwell? Andrea Arden? Ian Dunbar? Patricia McConnell? Hmmm.. Tough decision.
Who would top your list for most popular and least popular?