Welcome to the somewhat unbalanced mind of Orbson Rice.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Facebook’s New Privacy Policy Allows Access to Personal Email Accounts

Facebook is facing criticism this week as it unveils a new privacy policy that allows them access to users’ private email accounts. According to page 273 of the policy, “Facebook has the right to access user email accounts in order to obtain data to better customize the Facebook experience. We will never give out user names or passwords to any 3rd party with the exception of affiliated organizations.” Facebook also announced that they will be requiring users to submit two email accounts with corresponding passwords to “adequately secure” their Facebook accounts. Finally, Facebook’s new policy states that all users “knowingly license Facebook and/or its affiliates to use any posts, photographs or videos submitted by the user for the company’s advertising, product creation, market research or any other use allowed by law.” Essentially, anything you post is now owned by Facebook.

Privacy advocates are in an uproar over the new privacy policy which they see as a “blatant disregard for the rights and privacy of the individuals using the website.” Many Facebook users have attempted to fight previous policies by posting a “cease and desist” statement on their timelines. However, according to Cyber Privacy Attorney Harold Pinter Esq. of the newly created U.S. Cyberwrite Office, “That post was a hoax and didn’t accomplish anything. However, the protections it offers are needed and thus we have created a postable cyber-statement to help protect the privacy of all Internet users.” In order to stop Facebook and its affiliates from reading and using your private information, Pinter recommends posting the following onto your timeline:

In accordance with §3.8.6(b) of the Uniform Code for Privacy on the Internet, I hereby state that any and all content placed upon my timeline, or that any friend, associate or entity shall place upon my timeline is hereinafter “cyberwrited” by the Cyberwrite Office of the United States of America. Shall any person or entity knowingly use any information, photographs or video from my timeline without my expressed written permission, they shall be in violation of the Cyber Apocryphal Act of 2012 and I shall be reimbursed in the amount of $1,000 for each instance. This statement is both vacuous and lawful and the legal principle of ego sum stultus hoc est satira shall take immediate effect.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Republicans Caught Creating Fake Polling Stations

(My Election Day Orb has a bit more bite and a little less cheek. By the way, Election Day should be a national holiday. Let's get on that. )

An investigation in Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida has unveiled a plot to create fake polling sites meant to lure Democrats away from real voting stations. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a partner to the United Nations, sent 44 “observers” to key swing states to monitor what they feared could be widespread voter fraud by conservative Republicans. The NAACP and the ACLU requested help from the OSCE as they saw potential for “a coordinated political effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans — particularly traditionally disenfranchised groups like minorities.” The OSCE agreed and within hours of the monitors’ arrival, they discovered an indefensible Republican strategy to create fake polling to lure certain voters away from real polling stations.

According to an OSCE monitor,
“I am currently in Cleveland, Ohio at Jane Adams Elementary School. This is an official voting site, however, I witnessed the construction of a fake voting station in the parking lot outside. I noticed that everyone working on the station was wearing Mitt Romney paraphernalia. I approached as a potential volunteer and was told by a young man what they were doing. He was ordered to create this ‘alternate voting site’ and asked to direct certain voters to it. Specifically he would tell any ‘minorities and obvious liberals that the fake site was where they should vote. The young man seemed to believe that their votes would still count, though the machine that accepted ballots was made of cheap plastic and appeared to empty into a trash bin. When I asked what constituted an ‘obvious liberal’, he said he was told to watch out for Hybrid cars, Obama bumper stickers, Whole Foods bags and anyone being too friendly. When I asked whether this was legal, he responded in the affirmative stating that the election staff inside the school was overworked and this would help them count the ballots faster.”

This is the most blatant attempt by Republicans to disenfranchise liberal voters, however it is far from the only instance. Monitors in Wisconsin and Florida have already found similar fake polling sites. In Arizona, officials put the wrong election date on all election information written in Spanish. In addition, Ohio officials sent out election information in districts with a large population of Democrats that included both the incorrect date and incorrect directions to the polling station. Over the past year many conservative leaders have also tried to “combat voter fraud” by creating voter ID laws aimed at disenfranchising minorities, low income individuals and other democrats. Conservatives have even bragged about their efforts. House Republican Leader Mike Turzai stated, “Voter ID which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done!” While the court has struck down many of the laws, the creation of these fake polling sites demonstrates the unabashed determination of conservatives to stop certain Americans from voting.

Not surprisingly, the request for foreign monitors has angered conservatives. Catherine Engelbrecht, president of True the Vote, a conservative group dedicated to stopping election fraud, states “These activist groups sought assistance not from American sources, but from the United Nations…. The United Nations has no jurisdiction over American elections. So nobody should listen to anything they say.” While she is correct in stating that the U.N. has no jurisdiction in the U.S., “all OSCE member counties, which include the United States, have committed since 1990 to hold free and democratic elections and to allow one another to observe their elections.” Therefore, unfortunately for conservatives, the monitors have a right to both watch and then report what they witness. You would think that a person dedicated to preventing voter fraud would not mind listening to the opinion of an independent third party.  Engelbrecht should not be worried though, even if the minorities, elderly and other liberal scum get to the proper voting stations on the correct dates, they will likely be voting using electric machines created by Hart Intercivic and owned in large part by H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G.’s founder, Tony Tamer, and three other H.I.G. board members are huge contributors to guess who? Yep, Willard Mitt Romney. America, land of the free, so long as you can pay for it.

unedoted photo of trash can by: daquellamanera