Halloween tricksters start early
When Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, hunted pheasants on opening day of the season in Iowa, hobgoblins and ghouls didn’t wait for Halloween to cast their wickedness, flying in on Twitter brooms with tweets like this one: “Ted Cruz and Steve King are going hunting together this weekend and I cant tell you how much I hope someone gets shot in the face.”
And this: “Will Steve King pull a ‘Dick Cheney’ tomorrow while pheasant hunting? Maybe Ted Cruz will be close by … Naughty, Naughty me.”
The media were close at hand, shooting cameras instead of rifles.
Conservativechick observed, “It looks like the usually silent news media is on the hunt. Wow, another story about a tea-party member? They come out of the woodwork for that!”
It was a horror show! Facebook users awoke last Monday to find their Facebook page wouldn’t upload messages or photos. Zip, nada. The chat function was down for many. Freaked out frenzied users went to Twitter, typed in “Facebook won’t work” and saw they weren’t alone. Facebook was down around the world! Hashtags “RIPFacebook” “GetWellSoonFacebook” and “Facebook down” quickly trended globally.
Sound Migration posted this graphic:
Of the myriad tweets expressing concern #FacebookNotWorking, this one probably expressed it most humorously:
By 10:57 am ET, Facebook was back up again. On the same day Facebook was down, President Obama announced from the White House Rose Garden a “tech surge” that would address the failure of the Obamcare website HealthCare.Gov.
More humor: The Drudge Report headlined it this way:
Now this is spooky
Do you have any idea how many entities are tracking you as you leave a digital footprint in your travels around the Internet? Not including the NSA, I mean.
Take a guess … three? Three hundred?
Now you can know for sure by downloading a freebie from Mozilla, developers of Firefox web browser and its affiliated products. Called Lightbeam, this tool exposes who is “looking over your shoulder on the web.”
Mozilla says Lightbeam is a “watershed” moment in the battle for web transparency. Users will be able to see a real-time visualization of every site they visit and every third party that is active on those sites, including those who might be sharing your data. Click here to find out how it works and to download the free add-on.
And finally, last weekend in Washington, D.C., a group held a bi-partisan rally against government surveillance. Though NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden wasn’t at last Saturday’s #StopWatchingUs march on Washington, his name and face were ubiquitous.
Former Democrat Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Republican Rep. Justin Amash spoke against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).
According to Twitter aggregator Twitchy, “The Amash-Conyers amendment to the annual defense appropriations bill, which would have restricted the NSA’s ability to spy on individuals not suspected of terrorist activity, was narrowly defeated in July by a vote of 205-217.”
Marchers weren’t dressed for Halloween, although some costumes, like these surveillance hats would fit the bill.
He was the minstrel of the ’70s … Sweet Baby James. He saw “Fire and Rain.” And last week James Taylor got a little of both when, invited to sing the national anthem at the opening of Game 2 of the World Series at Boston’s Fenway Park, he began with, “Oh beautiful,” from “America the Beautiful.” The singer quickly segued to the “Star Spangled Banner’s” familiar opening words, “Oh say can you see.”
Taylor has twice performed the national anthem at both World Series Game 2 ballgames (2004 and 2007), which were victorious for the Boston Red Sox, and again at last April’s memorial service for slain MIT police officer Sean Collier, killed during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. At a special Boston Strong concert last May to help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, James Taylor and songwriter Carole King lent their support, forming a special bond with the audience with their song “You’ve Got a Friend.”
An avowed leftist liberal and enthusiastic supporter of President Obama, the singer took some hardballs for last Thursday’s seeming lyrical gaffe, but given his experience at Fenway, was Taylor being forgetful or exercising artistic license?
Either way, I’m tempted to call it a home run in exchange for all those years of great music. Boston fans evidently thought so too, loudly applauding Taylor, proving that music transcends politics and, though “It used to be her town,” they let him know “You’ve Got a Friend.” By the way, the BoSox won that night, making it two for two in the series, and three for three for Sweet Baby James. Can another BoSox World Series pennant possibly be “So Far Away“?