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I Hate Linux

Monday, August 31, 2009

Photos from the Jay Inslee town hall (8/30/2009)

Do note the box sitting on top of the garbage next to the bench on the left... we'll come back to that later:
Town Hall Entrance

Planned Parenthood was there as well... complete with pink shirts (shame it's not my color):
Planned Parenhood

Hand outs about the bill, unfortunately they aren't the most accurate given they to make the false claim that illegal's will not be covered under the plan:
Hand outs

Hands Outs title

Those with questions were asked to write their name and city on a peice on a card and put it into one of 3 boxes... Agree, Undecided, and Disagree... only the bulk of the questions on Sunday seemed to be more of the Agree sort... but they claimed to be drawing from all of the boxes equally:

~1 hour to go:

The beginnings of our conservative section:



"Make no mistake... let me be clear... I am not paid to be here":






The above gentlemen wasn't the only one sporting an Obama 2008 shirt:



If it is now fair to use Ted Kennedy's memory to push this bill... is it also not fair to push back and remind people of his actual history?

Fox News was also not a popular group:

This woman wanted to go beyond HR 3200, all the way to actual universal healthcare (as proposed under HR 676)


Despite the box out front, not as many pink shirts were seen within:

This was by far my favorite sign, but not because of the front...
My fav sign

But the back:

The back of my fav sign

"This signs was made by two seniors from garage stuff"... I think it's safe to say that he is a garage logician.


About 15 minutes before the go official starting time, we saw a start of a parade around the room of various people holding their signs, and in all cases getting various reactions from the crowds.



Another sort of professional sign we saw more of on Saturday than Sunday:




Below is by far the sign that got me going the most... (and I'm still kicking myself for not getting a good shot of it)... it said "I (heart) socialism & communism too":
I (heart) socialism & communism too

Oddly enough this man's sign was a converted sign for Dino Rossi (two time GOP candidate for Governor of Washington)... which on the other side said something to the effect of "Have you no shame Republicans?"




We even had a couple of SEIU members join us:
SEIU Members

Standing room only midway through:

Socialist Alternative... .ORG?
Socialist Alternative? .org

While leaving I noticed something strange sitting upon the trash can:
What's that box?

What is it? The very box that likely the bulk of the "Health Care for America NOW" signs came in, all 41 lbs of them that fit in this first (of 2) boxes:

UPS Label 

Who is Health Care for America NOW? A quick read of their About Us page indicates that:

Our Steering Committee includes: ACORN, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, AFT, Americans United for Change, Campaign for America’s Future, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Campaign for Community Change, Children’s Defense Fund Action Council, Communications Workers of America, International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), MoveOn.org, NAACP, National Council of La Raza, National Education Association, National Women’s Law Center, SEIU, UFCW, USAction, Women's Voices, Women's Vote and Working America.

What's even better... is that it appeared that the person who brought this box (though different than who it was addressed to (who appears to be a rather prolific protester/organizer in the area)) was the same person who was responsible for the "Single Payer Now" banner which was being taken down as I photographed this trash.

For all of the photos, see the Flickr set.


Jay Inslee Town Halls

As mentioned yesterday, I had the 'pleasure' of attending both of Jay Inslee's town halls this weekend, the first in Poulsbo and the second in Edmonds.

While the first I was surrounded entirely by supporters of the bill (a couple of whom refused to listen to anyone who had anything unkind to say about such a program, despite they being the ones who engaged me), I did find a couple of others who were willing to talk and listen... even one gentlemen who commented:

It's a shame that those who are so against the bill don't say anything about an alternative

I agreed, but added:

I can tell you how to fix the bulk of the problem in 5 minutes, problem is most of the slogans based on it don't generally fit well on a sign. If I hold a sign that says "Support inter-state commerce" or "make all healthcare tax free"... it's neither catchy nor understandable without a minute or two of explanation.

He was intrigued and asked me to explain... so I did. I talked to him about the need to make all health care (both insurance and out of pocket expenses) tax deductable or none at all and how that gives employers and Flex spending accounts an unfair advantage... as well as the competitive advantages of opening up the health insurance market to allow plans to be purchased from out of state.

#2 though was a far better experience (despite getting through fewer questions and seeming to have a more hostile crowed towards liberty) where not moments after finding my seat in the bleachers of the gym and getting off the phone with tdaxp after describing some of the interesting attempts at 'grass-rooting' from the other side that I saw walking in to the town hall I had a woman a few rows below me turn and ask:

"Who are you with?"
"No one, it's just me" I responded.
"I mean, you've got a lot of equipment there, are you a reporter? Or blogger?" noting my netbook, digital camera and itty bitty flash camcorder.
I laughed and said "While I do blog from time to time, occasionally politically... I'm just here as another angry constituent."

Since moving out here probably the most important thing I've learned... is it's best to be reserved with regards to ones political views until you know how the other side stands... because if you aren't careful you may just find yourself talking to a rabid communist, socialist or statist... of which the Seattle area has many.

We started chatting from afar... and I ended up moving down to chat more face to face, eventually I learned that she was a recently laid of nurse who was a conservative and opposed the current bill... so 2 out of 3 isn't bad.

A short time later later a couple of elderly people who turned out to be conservative came and sat down next to her, of course we didn't know it at first and expressed curiosity in their sign... and approved.

As the gym continued to fill another elderly couple came and sat down next to me to the left, we briefly got a chatting about the weather and other such trivialities when they looked closer at the signs in front of us (anti-bill) and didn't feel comfortable remaining... so moved elsewhere.

Shortly later another elderly couple sat in the same place and those in front of me and I laughed and said "you know, the people who sat there last weren't too happy with some of these signs... you may want to take a quick look to see if you want to sit near us."

They looked, they laughed, agreed with them and stayed.

To the right of me eventually found another semi-elderly couple, a woman and her husband who turned out to be a mixed marriage, she a democrat (of the Regan sort), and he a staunch conservative... though both were against the bill... and she even mentioned that she voted for McCain back in November.

Eventually three more anti-bill people found their way to the row behind me, a mother and her adult son (~20) and another man.

It was strange... while a few were well dressed and my looking like a crazy hippy who would be expected to support the bill(something mentioned to me several times over the weekend)... no one had any swastikas, assault rifles, Astroturph or pay stubs from the lobbyists funding us to be there... and yet we all managed to find each other (thankfully).

Because of that... the strength in numbers and reminder that we are not alone in this fight (even if just a sub section) gave us a better voice when the congressmen would pat himself on the back while delaying his answer to a question... or worse filibuster for 5 minutes to a simple question that was limited to 60 seconds.

Another neat thing about finding some like minded people, was that it gave me the opportunity to get up and run around the gym for a few minutes taking some additional pictures while having them momentarily watch my stuff.

Why couldn't I trust some bill supporters to do the same? Call me crazy, but if you are so hell bent on raising my taxes to pay for things like universal healthcare, cash for clunkers, the stimulus bill (and all of it's pork), nationalizing banks and auto companies or other complete wastes of money... I just can't trust you with my physical property either unless I'm fairly sure that you aren't going to try to redistribute it.

A number of photos I took from Sunday's event can be seen here.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Congressmen Jay Inslee: Liar, or blatant incompetent?

Yesterday I had the... 'pleasure' of attending the first of two town hall meetings on universal healthcare.. I mean national health care, wait no, health care reform... no... now it's health insurance reform.

To restart... yesterday I had the... 'pleasure' of attending the first of two town hall meetings on health insurance reform and HR 3200 as is being negotiated and re-written in Washington DC at present.

While there I came with a camera in hand to document events, but also to see if the arguments of the congressmen had changed at all since his pair of telephone 'town hall's earlier in the month. (they had).

Unfortunately though, he repeatedly revealed himself to not be the most honest on the issues at hand.

During the opening of the meeting he talked for about 20 minutes about the status of the work in Washington, why it is needed and some common myths about the bill... #2 was with regards to the coverage of illegal aliens:

Seems pretty clear cut... but I was puzzled, because I knew about the amendment proposed by Representative Dean Heller (R-NV) which would have expressly forbidden inclusion of illegal aliens through explicit verification of legal status... but was rejected by the House Ways & Means committee... along party lines no less.

This is important... because without an explicit declaration and mechanism to enforce said declaration, any implicit allowance or vagueness can be used at the local level to allow it or through the courts to explicitly grant it (as was the case with public education).

On the way home while listening to Wednesday's episode (mp3) of the Mark Levin show, Mark mentioned a report from the Congressional Research Service titled "Illegal Aliens Can Receive Benefits Under House Health Care Bill" (PDF warning)... and upon getting home also found a write up of this press release on HotAir.com.

To quote the report specifically:

Under H.R. 3200, all legal permanent residents (LPRs),23 nonimmigrants, and unauthorized aliens who meet the substantial presence test (defined above) would be required to obtain health insurance.24 Noncitizens meeting the definition of nonresident aliens (e.g., temporary visitors, temporary workers in the United States for less than 183 days in the year) would not be required to obtain health insurance. Notably, the IRC does not contain special rules for individuals who are in the United States without authorization (i.e., illegal or unauthorized aliens). Instead, the IRC treats these individuals in the same manner as other foreign nationals—an unauthorized individual who has been in the United States long enough to qualify under the substantial presence test is classified as a resident alien; otherwise, the individual is classified as a nonresident alien.25 Thus, it would appear that unauthorized aliens who meet the substantial presence test would be required under H.R. 3200 to have health insurance.

So 3200 does refer to them... and even require them to carry insurance, but would we force poor illegal's to pay when poor citizens not to? HR 3200 does contain the following blurb:

Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.

This would seem to be something that would prohibit money from going to illegal's... there is zero enforcement mechanism.

Under the current plan anyone who seeks assistance would be required to show that they are in fact in need and make less than 400% of the poverty level through IRS records and so on... and yet we do not have a similar requirement to check with INS records.

Odd that eh?

While some might say that this is not a lie because he may not know the truth and is simply pushing what he believes... if he is either unwilling or unable to keep with reports and non-partisan research on the subject (coming from the Congressional Research Service no less)... then this would be more of a lie due willful ignorance.

What's worse though... is today he repeated the exact same myth at his latest town hall today:

Suspecting his story wasn't going to change due to the facts I came with a copy of the CRS report and amendment in hand and waited for my name to be drawn from the box... sadly I did not get the chance to point out this strange double-standard... but did instead get to talk with a number of great conservatives and tell plenty of others about the fact that Jay Inslee clearly seems to not know what he is talking about.

Had I had my wits about me this morning (and more time)... I would have shown up with a large sign that said "Jay Inslee is wrong on healthcare for illegal's and I can prove it"... only to be displayed after he made the claim one more time. Maybe next time.

Sadly I'm rather new to this whole, going to town halls and heckling your elected representative when they pat themselves on the back rather than answer simple questions thing.

In either case... I truly think it is time to start offering Mr. Inslee some end of political life counseling... even though at both town halls he was rather popular with his constituents.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Snitch #14: The final chapter?

Given the continued evidence that the snitching program has ended... coupled with the fact that I really am quite busy with my day job, it's become quite clear that maintaining a daily letter writing campaign to the White House just isn't wasn't going to work for too long... so tonight I present my final letter (for the time being) in this series:

From: Brendan Grant
Sent: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:58 PM
To: president@whitehouse.gov
Subject: It's time for a change...

To whom it may concern,

For the last 2 weeks I have daily written you regarding various fishy statements coming out of the White House or from its closest supporters, and in all of this time no one there has seen fit to reply to me or even add me to David Axelrod’s spam list... so I am sad to say that this will be my last daily email to you for the foreseeable future.

None the less I wish to write you a final (at this time) email with a few thoughts to expand on mine from the previous night on the kinds of healthcare reform that would actually produce measurable gains and benefits without restricting personal freedoms in this country.

While it is rumored that the President is content to be a one-term president if he can get his health care agenda passed, should he rely on the congress to utilize Reconciliation (aka the so called ‘nuclear option’), he risks not only making himself a one-term president, but alienating a significant portion of the electorate so that in 2010 not only are reconciliation supporting democrats (in the house) punished... but so to would they in the Senate... just as they would be in 2012 and 2014.

In the spirit of the death-panel provision of various bills which were pointed out by Sarah Palin and eventually removed from the Senate bill that referred to ‘end of life counseling’... please allow me to offer some end-of-political-life counseling, not only to the president and his cabinet... but to the entire Congress.

The unfortunate fact is that between the stimulus bill, the continued bank bailouts, the AIG bonuses, cash for clunkers, S-CHIP, brining a new unifying tone to Washington, and the appointment and confirmation of Timothy Geithner... this administration has utterly failed in virtually all of it’s domestic pushes... and rather than admit their own failures, has spent a great deal of time trying to blame the previous administration (despite the current one being all too eager to pick up the previous ones torch and run with it)  but also to claim that there wasn’t enough regulation (ultimately a failure of government) and claim that the only solution is more government.

While some would say that your foreign policy has largely been a success... I’m forced to disagree. On Iran you opted to side with those who rigged an election and stand back as they brutally oppressed the opposition. In Honduras you once again sided with the clearly illegitimate party against the will of the people. You have time and time again alienated the British. You’ve allowed the North Koreans to continue to test its arms, negotiated with them for hostages and all but ignored the Russians and their continued attempts to re-assert themselves.

Perhaps... it is time that this administration take a second look at what they’ve done since January, see that their actions and initiatives thus far have been wildly unsuccessful, admit that they may just have been wrong and try a different direction... but instead of a government managed/mandated/implemented direction, consider a free market one.

This administration like many on the left has been quick to attack the free market while luxuriating in its benefits. When will you recognize that these evil corporations and rich people are the very same people that create jobs and wealth in this country, not the government. That they are the drivers of economic growth, not the government. That partnering with and reducing restricting and taxes on them is the way to bring about massive growth and expansion in our country... not further regulation and taxes.

Brendan Grant,
Redmond, WA

And of course... I also submitted this letter through the new web based snitch page as well:

(Click for full size)

Ahh how one day I look forward to looking through the Obama archives to see the letters I sent to them so long ago.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Snitch #13: A missing apology or two

With the sad news that the White House's snitching program has apparently ended (or at least perhaps, transformed), this evening I opted to write the White House through their new snitch page which actually asks you not to snitch interestingly enough:

Please refrain from submitting any individual's personal information, including their email address, without their permission.

Is it just me... or is refrain not a strong enough word?

Anyway... tonight's letter in the web form:

(Click for full size)

And in text:

While it is certainly noble that you have abandoned your domestic snitching program, especially with the news that the White House was spamming people who did not request information from it and now even are clear that people should not submit other people’s personal information or email addresses without their permission… I find it fishy that an administration that has been so quick to apologize for so many things that he thinks that we might have done wrong through history... that he nor Commissar Douglass have been so quick to come out and apologize for either the previous spamming or their now likely seen as incorrect request to have the American people snitch on their fellow citizens should they encounter something that seems fishy.

In fact... this reversal seems rather fishy if you ask me, almost as if the way the American government is viewed abroad is more important than how it is viewed by its own people.

Tell me... how many electoral votes are there in Germany again?

Brendan Grant
Redmond, WA

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Jay Inslee: Less of a coward?

After the joke that was the telephone 'town hall' 3 weeks ago, it appearances that Congressmen Inslee has finally decided to stand before his constituents in person and not just hide behind screened phone calls.

It seems though the person writing the press release didn't get the memo that this is no longer a debate over health care, but now health insurance.

I cannot tell say how thrilled I was at this news (which I've been slow to post I'm afraid) as I had called his office several times during the first week of the august recess asking when such town halls would occur... a question that generally didn't receive the most favorable answer.

I for one will be there with camera in hand and questions related to why he wants to open the market up to only a single competitor and not invoke Article I, Section 8 and supersede state insurance mandates and open up the field to out of state competition when it comes to health insurance.

Given his behavior during the telephone town hall and initial reluctance to have these in person town halls... I'm forced to leave the question mark in place in the title of this post. Only time will tell if it is warranted or not.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Snitching program over?

After posting tonight's snitch, I noticed that I had a new item in my Junk Mail folder... it turns out to be a delivery failure of the most recent email:

From: postmaster@mail.hotmail.com [mailto:postmaster@mail.hotmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, August 16, 2009 10:04 PM
To: Brendan Grant
Subject: Undeliverable: Secretary Sebelius and her distrust of the free market

Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups:

There's a problem with the recipient's mailbox. Please try resending this message. If the problem continues, click Help.

Diagnostic information for administrators:

Generating server: bay0-omc2-s6.bay0.hotmail.com

#< #5.2.1 smtp;550 5.2.1 <flag@whitehouse.gov>... The email address you just sent a message to is no longer in service.We are now accepting your feedback about health insurance reform via:http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck> #SMTP#

Given the seeming admission that the public option is dead... it would appear that they are in the process of a larger shift, something that includes moving away from the previous snitching system.

Shame... I've enjoyed my daily snitches to the White House thus far.

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Snitch #12: More dissent from within

The news seems to indicate that the health care insurance reform with a 'public option' is largely dead (score one for us!)... now the question comes in of just how much we (the American people) allow them to ram through in their second attempt.

Tonight's snitch gives some ideas as to what such real reform should include:

From: Brendan Grant
Sent: Sunday, August 16, 2009 10:04 PM
To: flag@whitehouse.gov
Subject: Secretary Sebelius and her distrust of the free market

During a time when the public option of the current health care insurance debate is becoming more and more unpopular... and may even be dead say some (http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/sen.-conrad-public-option-a-wasted-effort-2009-08-16.html) that Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services uses the opportunity to belittle the private insurance industry once again.

I do apologize... but must take a couple of snippets of her appearance on CNN this weekend and some statements she made and discuss them with you as the whole thing was rather fishy: http://www.politico.com/singletitlevideo.html?bcpid=1155201977&bctid=34089722001

> What I think is important is choice and competition

While few will disagree with that statement on the surface, the mechanism of doing that is in the question. Rather than... bring in one single government option, why not throw the field open to even more competition?

Never forget that one of the biggest hindrances to competition in the insurance market is not the companies themselves... but the states that not only put expensive mandates in place as to what a given policy must include (even when few would willingly purchase such coverage if given the choice), but also helps to prevent insurance plans being purchased in one state and used in another.

Why should I as a Washington State resident be forced to buy insurance from a company here... when I can buy a car from a company in Michigan, a TV from a company in New York, and a computer in California... and still use them all just as easily and fully as I would if I were to purchase them locally?

While I am not a lawyer... I would think that the various state regulations out there likely run afoul of Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the US Constitution which says:

>[The Congress shall have power] To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes

After all, one of the reasons that the Articles of Confederation were replaced by the Constitution was because some of the states were not only engaging in their own foreign policy... but also limiting inter-state commerce through their own taxes and regulation of ‘imports’ and businesses beyond what the framers intended.

You’d think that such federal intervention in this case would be popular with the current President and Congress... why not do so? Why not open up the insurance market in one state to competition from the other 49?

Furthermore, why not expand the COBRA program and allow more people to maintain their insurance after they leave their job and not just the 18 months mandated by federal law?

Of course a better option would make it easier for an individual to buy their own insurance... and while that is possible to day (though more expensive than getting it through ones employer), why not remove the advantage that employers have over people and change the tax system and even the playing field?

Today employers are able to deduct the cost of subsidizing health insurance to their employees, and the employees are able to use pre-tax dollars to pay for their premiums. Not so if the employee decides to get insurance on their own elsewhere, instead they are paying with post tax dollars which effectively raises the cost of such a purchase, but also reduces the incentive of people to do so on their own, lowering the risk pools and ultimately raising prices even more.

And of course... there is tort reform... but then this administration and congress hasn’t been all that willing to talk about it. Any reason why?

>You don’t turn over the whole new marketplace to private insurance companies and trust them to do the new thing

This is the fishy she said... she seems to be making the assumption that private insurance companies do not at present compete with each other... and that a single government run entity would be able to do what a couple hundred years of a mostly free market in this country hasn’t been able to do.

Why is that? More so to go back to one of my points above, why not stop allowing the states to continue to disrupt interstate commerce and enable an insurance company in Tennessee to sell their health insurance anywhere in the nation?

There are countless things that can be done to improve the options of the American people to have even better and more competitive and complete access to health insurance (and health care)... and yet you have so refused to take any of those steps other than even contemplating.

Brendan Grant
Redmond, WA

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Snitch #11: Dropping polls

And now...Saturday's letter.

Though you'd think after all of these someone.. somewhere would see fit to reply in some way.

From: Brendan Grant
Sent: Saturday, August 15, 2009 11:57 PM
To: flag@whitehouse.gov
Subject: Where are the legions of supporters?

We keep hearing at various town halls and press conferences that the American people want health care insurance reform and that the only people who oppose it are k-street lobbyists, insurance company executives, people who wish to destroy the presidency of the President, or those being bused in for Astroturfing by the first three groups... and yet a recent Rasmussen Reports poll (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/august_2009/54_say_passing_no_healthcare_reform_better_than_passing_congressional_plan) says that only 35% of polled likely voters think the current bill being worked on in congress... while another 54% think that not passing any kind of health care reform this year would be better than passing what is currently being proposed.

Why is this?

While those in the administration and the 35% are quick to claim that it is because of misinformation and astroturfing that people are turning away from reform... isn’t it more likely that a sizeable chunk of the 54% have read some portions of the bill and don’t like what they are seeing? Or perhaps are hearing what their elected officials are telling them and realizing it doesn’t jive with the bill?

2 weeks ago my very own congressmen Jay Inslee during a telephone ‘town hall’ (he’s so brave) said that illegal aliens would not be covered under the proposed legislation... and yet when an amendment was proposed to specifically exclude them... it was rejected by Democrats on the House Ways and Means committee (http://www.sodahead.com/blog/118927/closing-health-coverage-loophole-for-illegal-aliens-is-rejected/).

Is it not more likely that after all of this time, the American people are not buying what the president and his supporters are selling? His daily tracking numbers do seem to indicate that (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll).

Rather than try to act so fast and move in leaps and bounds... why not be more measured in your response. If there are in fact 46 million Americans who are uninsured (a routinely debunked number http://hotair.com/archives/2009/07/24/ramirez-meet-the-uninsured/), why not target those who are actually unable to get insurance specifically rather than try to change the entire system when the vast majority of Americans are happy with their coverage at present (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/august_2009/confidence_in_u_s_health_care_system_has_grown_in_recent_months).

I continue to wait for your reply,

Brendan Grant
Redmond, WA

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Snitch #10: Defection from within

Forgot to click "Publish" last night... so the blog gets two new snitches this evening, even though this one was sent a hair later than planned:

From: Brendan Grant
Sent: Friday, August 14, 2009 11:56 PM
To: flag@whitehouse.gov
Subject: Murtha defecting?

First the President puts a deadline of before the august recess to get health care reform passed... then he backs down and moves to a September deadline... isn’t it fishy that John Murtha is now suggesting that maybe it won’t happen until January... the year of a mid-term election no less.

Source: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/08/14/murtha-differs-from-obama-on-health-care-timeline/

What can we do to bring him in line again?

Brendan Grant
Redmond, WA

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Flag #9: Self incrimination

I've been at flagging fishy bits related to health care insurance reform for the last week. I'm happy to see that others are getting involved:

In that spirit tonight I report a truly fishy character:

From: Brendan Grant
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2009 8:00 PM
To: 'flag@whitehouse.gov'
Subject: A seemingly deliberate attempt at (mis)information


While there is little doubt that that the campaign of the Dear Leader’s White House to identify opponents of their glorious health care insurance reform has been a resounding success... recently I encountered a person who actively seeks to fill up the system with seemingly fake emails.

This person identifies himself as one Brendan, living in Redmond, WA and blogs out of http://ihatelinux.blogspot.com/

Specifically he even has an entire tag category related to his attempts to send emails unrelated to your calls to report fishy things related to opposition to health care insurance reform: http://ihatelinux.blogspot.com/search/label/Snitching%20to%20the%20White%20House

He must be stopped, how can we work together to achieve this?

Brendan Grant
Redmond, WA

P.S. Why am I not so lucky so as to be on the David Axelrod propaganda email list? I feel so left out :(

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Snitch #8: The man at the top, redux

Ahh the joys of a late night at home working on work, almost keeping you away from necessary bits of blogging.

Tonight's snitch is an indirect expansion on last nights.

From: Brendan Grant
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2009 12:00 AM
To: flag@whitehouse.gov
Subject: Why does the President continue to misrepresent his (perceived) allies?

While there is certainly plenty of fishy things floating around out there (like Levi Johnson being seen in public with Kathy Griffin (who knew she was that desperate?))... it is far more fishy the mounting evidence that our Dear Leader has once again misrepresented his perceived allies.

First we are told by the President that if the stimulus bill passes that Caterpillar will be able to re-hire some of its recently laid off workers, only to be later contradicted by the CEO of the very same company.

Later we have the President suggesting that doctors are eager to remove peoples tonsils because of the money they’ll make... only to be challenged by the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.

Still not deterred by what others may think... this week he once again proclaimed that if said legislation passed, fewer limbs would be amputated because of the cost benefits to the doctor,  and yet the next day, the American College of Surgeons says otherwise.

Seems... fishy. One would think that after so many unsuccessful casts into the lake that our Dear Leader would try a different lake... or perhaps a different type of bait.

Brendan Grant
Redmond, WA

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Snitch #7: The man at the top

While this administration has thus far had a few notable 'press conferences'/'town halls' which had questions which seemed more than a little fishy (Huffington Post question on Iran, Gates arrest question at healthcare press-conference, etc)... for the most part they've been ignored by the wider media.

Today we had another such event... and like both of the cases I mentioned above, their was a fair bit if fishiness to go along with it when one digs into names and details... which is the subject of my latest snitch to the White House:

From: Brendan Grant
Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 10:55 PM
To: flag@whitehouse.gov
:The President Himself


I believe I have tracked down further information on the previously reported “Senator” Obama... I have reason to believe that he may just have become our Dear Leader... though as yet it seems he has not been able to purge the records of his past, something that is quite unfortunate.

During today’s town hall, our Dear Leader took a question from young Julia Hall from Malden, MA... only her presentation seemed... fishy and further investigation by persons opposed to healthcare reform indicates that Julia is the tougher of one Kathleen Manning Hall, someone who donated nearly $2000 to the glorious campaign of Dear Leader during 2007 and 2008... as well as the firm she worked for donating more than $12,000 to Democrats in 2008 and not a dollar to Republicans.

Source: http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=911911

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the photos. Who is that woman sitting next to the questioner? Does she not have more than a passing resemblance to the woman standing next to the president on Ms Hall’s Facebook page?


Smell or not, this cannot stand! Our Dear Leader must set the record clear that these photos and donations were to “Senator” Obama, a man who no longer exists and never really did. That he distances himself from those donations and those times and that this question was the work of Julia Hall who did not know she was going to be called on until she was.

It is funny though... this is not the first time we’ve had a softball question at a press-conference/town hall that stunk of being a plant... surly our Dear Leader is so powerful that he can handle a hundred fast-balls at once... only why does he not take them all on at once, instead of playing things down? Does he fear that we will tremble in fear of his awesome batting abilities? Or is it something else? If so... I pray that we never learn it, that that, like the healthcare debate and speaking without a teleprompter... could destroy his presidency.

Brendan Grant,
Redmond, WA

Once may be an accident... twice indicates poor judgment... three times though... ~7 months in and we've got such a clear pattern? At this rate I guess we can can count on another 18 or so planted questions before his first term is up. Happy hunting (for plants)!

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Snitch #6: Fishiness from within

Another day, another report, this time reporting an unexpected person... the original requester of the reports.

To: flag@whitehouse.gov
From: Brendan Grant
Sent: Monday, August 10, 2009 11:33 PM
Subject: Say it isn't so!

Commissar Douglass,

At your request last week I began submitting reports on fishy activity with regards to the health insurance debate going on in the nation right now and have taken up this job reluctantly as I while I certainly believe whatever my government tells me... I am always hesitant to turn in those for re-education that I think may not require such a firm hand.

With that in mind... it pains me to no end this evening as I make this report and turn you, Commissar Douglass in after your appearance on CNN’s show Reliable Sources... where you asserted that while specific facts/sites were being collected... no personal information was being retained (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alUHihwwri0).

Forgive this lowly MSNBC viewing, tree hugging, change loving, gun-hating, granola eating, once weekly bathing, bicycle riding, paper recycling, bio-fuel burning, limousine riding, tofu eating, organic soap loving, godless, vegan citizen... but isn’t not retaining such information (by virtue of it being sent to and processed by the White House)... illegal?

Please... tell me it isn’t so, tell me that you are not breaking federal law and not actually deleting any part of the information you receive... for if it was true... I do not know how I could live with myself knowing that I helped you break the law.

Brendan Grant,
Redmond, WA

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Snitch #5: But he was asking for it

On Friday the Denver Post had an op-ed titled "Presenting new rules for radicals", a reference to the book Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky and a person whose ideas allegedly "intrigued and influenced" both President Obama and Secretary Clinton in their younger days.

Unfortunately... the article opens quite clearly:

If you're a virtuous and patriotic American, you may find this column either offensive or misleading. If so, please forward it to White House authorities at the Department of Fishy Activity. (E-mail the good people at flag@whitehouse.gov.)

Which of course means I had little choice yesterday:

(Click for full size)

The text of my 'brief message' to the tip address:

As "virtuous and patriotic American" who also happens to be a "freaky right-wing zealot" who of course does everything that Rush, Sean and the rest of talk radio tells me... not to mention the K-Street lobbyists and insurance executives who are funding my manufactured outrage... I recently ran across the following article contains numerous bits of fishiness regarding the health care reform debate (which alone makes it worthy of reporting)... but also instructs me to do so... so I am.

Brendan Grant - Redmond, WA

Know what's worse than my not having yet received a response to anything I've reported (even something automated would be a delight)? The fact that they haven't even bothered to reply to insult my failings with regards to grammar.

Perhaps... they are starting to see through me.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Snitch #4: Someone we'd never expect...

It's another day and time for another bit of snitchery:

From: Brendan Grant
Sent: Sat 8/8/2009 4:31 PM
To: flag@whitehouse.gov

Recently the following email came way which is fishy to say the least...  I’ve edited out some of the more recent forwards to protect my direct source.

It appears though... that we have a leak...

From: Mollie
Sent: Tuesday, August 04, 2009 8:53 AM
To: Lauren; Audrina; Heidi; Spencer; Spencer’s Creepy Flesh-Colored Beard; Brody; Lo; Stephanie; Justin

OMG! Kevlar makes me so hot.

From: Snowball
Sent: Tuesday, August 04, 2009 12:07 AM
To: Napoleon; Snowball; Boxer; Squealer; Old Major; Clover; Moses; Mollie; Benjamin; Muriel; Mr. Jones; Mr. Frederick; Mr. Pilkington; Mr. Whymper; Jessie and Bluebell; Minimus

Dude, this is sick! You’ve got to see it!

From: Joe Biden
Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 3:45 PM
Winston Smith; Julia; O’Brien; Mr. Charrington; Ampleforth; Parsons; Symes; Jones; Aaronson; Rutherford; Emmanuel Goldstein; Big Brother

Have you seen this?!?!


Maybe now we have a way to get Nancy to step down.

From: Nancy Pelosi
Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 3:22 PM
To: Congressional Democrats; Congressional Republicans; My Plastic Surgeon









After yesterday's letter... I just couldn't resist some lolcats from icanhascheezburger.com

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Snitch #3: LOLmobz Edition

Still no word from the White House or the Speakers office to my previous reports/questions. Thankfully I'm still not deterred.

Today I encountered a page which takes the brilliance of lolcats... and a the timeliness of the angry mobs we continue to see at many town hall meetings throughout the nation.

Below is an example of one of the shots from that site:


This site and it's contents are the subject of my latest report to the White House snitch line:

TO: flag@whitehouse.gov
CC: president@whitehouse.gov
From: Brendan Grant
Sent: Fri 8/7/2009 7:55 PM
Subject: Reporting members of "The Mob"

Attention: Representatives of the People’s Central Committee

Recently our glorious DNC created an advertisement to call attention to angry mobs that were disrupting town hall events throughout the nation and causing general chaos and disorder in or ordinarily serene society (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtTBkxvBq88).

Today I uncovered this web site (http://thedanashow.wordpress.com/2009/08/06/meet-the-mob/) which purports to contain countless detailed photos of members of the mob.

It is obvious that my report to you yesterday on Barbra Boxer calling out the "well dressed" protestors had some effect... as these protestors do not appear to be as well dressed as asserted previously.

If there is anything I can do to help identify these angry, well dressed, swastika carrying, funded by lobbyist mob goers so that they may be re-educated, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Given the natural reaction to seeing such anger, I would encourage you to follow forthcoming link afterwards to help cool your nerves as it links to a Bing Images search cute puppies: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=cute+puppy

Long live the revolution, long live ObamaCare, long live the enemies of the mob.

Signing off,
Brendan Grant
Redmond, WA

P.S. Given I've not had the pleasure of hearing back from you yet on my reports, I have opted to widen the recipient list of this to help ensure that the vital information I pass along is received by the proper people.

Interestingly when finishing this blog post... I received a response (of sorts):

TO: Brendan Grant
From: comments@whitehouse.gov
: Fri 8/7/2009 7:56 PM
Subject: <blank>

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your message.  On behalf of President Obama, we appreciate hearing from you.  The President has promised the most transparent administration in history, and we're committed to listening to and responding to you.

In order to better handle the millions of electronic messages we're receiving and respond more quickly, we've implemented a new contact form on our website:


Please note that this web form has replaced comments@whitehouse.gov.  That email address is no longer monitored, so we encourage you to resubmit your message through the link above.  Thank you for using the web form and helping us improve communications with you.


The Presidential Correspondence Team

Given the repeated failures of this administration thus far to be as transparent as they promised... one wonders for how much longer they will continue to make the claim that it will be "the most transparent administration in history."

It's laughable for them to be saying so now... if they keep this up for much longer, it'll just be downright sad.

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Snitch #2: Barbra Boxer

Following up on last nights report of "Senator" Obama and his opposition to President Obama's health insurance/care reform plans... I still have yet to hear back... nor still from Senator Pelosi's office.

Not to be deterred, I have submitted a second report... this time on Senator Barbra Boxer:

To: flag@whitehouse.gov
From: Brendan Grant
Sent: Thu 8/6/2009 10:56 PM
Subject: Reporting Barbra Boxer


Recently Senator Barbra Boxer was seen recently on MSNBC (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZV84OBtGpSQ) talking about the “well dressed people” who were disrupting the town hall meetings... unfortunately she seems to be less than honest in this as not all we see showing such outrage are in suits and ties.


  1. http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/checker.aspx?v=GdnzIrnzkU
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoMNDdQ1_h0
  3. http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2009/08/shock-video-dems-sneak-union-thugs-into.html

I’d link to more... but I suspect you won’t watch many of them.

Instead... perhaps you could you please be so kind as to point me to these well dressed people that Senator Boxer was referring to... and explain why their dress indicates their background or who or what is responsible for them being there?

Personally speaking... when I was young I was taught to show respect to other people for countless reasons... including doing so based on their position and would at times, even dress up as part of it.

Perhaps... they could all show up dressed like... what? Smelly hippies? Would Senator Boxer consider that normal? Or should those who wish to speak with their elected officials show some degree of respect and perhaps... dress up slightly for the event... and it is Senator Boxer who is trying to distract people from the actual issue at hand... that a sizeable number of people aren’t buying what she and others are selling in the health care debate.

I eagerly look forward to your response,

Brendan Grant
Redmond, WA

P.S. I submitted a report last night on "Senator" Obama and am still awaiting a response... can you perhaps tell me when I may hear something?

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The Speaker and the Swastika

Given the claims by Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying of some attending various town hall meetings with their elected officials:

They're carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on healthcare

I went looking for this imagery.. unfortunately couldn't turn anything up so opted to ask the Speaker's office.. so this morning I called the House of Representatives Switchboard @ 202-224-3132 and had the following conversation:

Other party: "Capital switchboard"

Me: "Speakers office please"


Other party: "Speaker Pelosi's office."

Me: "Good morning, given the comment from Senator Pelosi regarding seeing swastikas and similar <interrupted>

Other party: "... it was just an observation! <click>"

Automated recording from Speaker Pelosi: "Thank you for calling..."

I proceeded to leave a message, even including my phone number and asked where and when she saw those 'swastikas and symbols like that.'

Sadly I doubt I'll get a response... so I may just have to ask again tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Can’t win? Just turn in your opponents to the government!

During the last 8 years when truly vitriolic things were said about the President or America in general we were lectured and told that "Dissent is Patriotic" (or derivations there in)... a message that has shifted radically since the November elections to the point that some now consider dissent to be racist.

This week saw a blog post on the official White House blog which seems to have it's own ideas:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can't keep track of all of them here at the White House, we're asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

(emphasis mine)

It's funny... back in 2002 when the Bush Administration pushed Operation TIPS (Terrorism Information and Prevention System) as a way to broaden intelligence gathering methods to combat possible terrorism (something I am always in favor of)... a few screamed bloody murder with regards to civil rights thinking... and yet we aren't hearing the same kind of concerns from the media yet on this.

But why should there be? They are so dissimilar after all, one was a program help to combat domestic terrorism (I'm sorry, man-made disasters) while the other is to combat... right-wing extremists?

Similar right? Not so much.

The key difference is that one was clearly a reasonable security measure with reports going to non-political security agencies with a stated intention... protecting the lives of the American people, the latter is largely political and being run by persons with clear and stated political addenda's.

What's the solution? Do just what they ask... report fishy things! But specifically things coming from the White House and other supporters of the current incarnation of ObamaCare so as to remind them that not all of us who oppose them are funded by the insurance industry or K-street lobbyists and that a significant amount of dishonesty and double-speak is coming from their own ranks.

On a side note... it’s strange that so few are asking: "who is funding the ObamaCare campaign?"

As part of this, this evening I fired off my first email to my new friends at the White House’s Health Reform Office:

To: flag@whitehouse.gov
From: Brendan Grant
Sent: Wed 8/5/2009 10:53 PM
Subject: Report on "Senator" Obama's disagreements with President Obama

Commissar Douglass,

In a recent blog post, a story linked to from the Drudge Report with the headline "Uncovered Video: Obama Explains How His Health Care Plan Will 'Eliminate' Private Insurance..." was described as  "a very deceiving headline" and the speaker went on to accuse some unknown people of taking sentences and phrases out of context.

I regret to inform you that the video linked to there (and available at: http://www.breitbart.tv/uncovered-video-obama-explains-how-his-health-care-plan-will-eliminate-private-insurance/) contains the very clear words of then "Senator" Obama who which is obviously an Republican plant (possibly involving time travel or the occult) to discredit our Dear Leader.

Forgive me though, as my time at the re-education camp... I mean the Miniluv Happy Summer Camp has not come to pass yet... would you please explain exactly to this completely loyal citizen and party member how his words are being taken out of context? Exactly what is the context here? It is quite clear that the traitorous (to our Dear Leader) "Senator" Obama was advocating for a single payer health system when he said:

"I don't think we're going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There's going to be potentially some transition process..."

Especially when contrasted with lines of his from 2003 (http://www.breitbart.tv/obama-in-03-id-like-to-see-a-single-payer-health-care-plan/) where he said:

"I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program"

Even expanding on it a moment later to say:

"And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan."

While I certainly do not believe that our Dear Leader is a supporter of a single payer health system being the loyal party member I am... however given he has never said so specifically while he has been our Dear Leader, doubts can arise (in lesser and dishonest minds that is)... not that I wish to tell his eminence what to do or how to lead... only I am forced to wonder, would not it silence many of his disloyal critics if he were to come out and correct the record with the help of Minitrue and explicitly that he does not and never has, just as last week he reminded us that we've always been at war with Eastasia?

Certainly we must track down this "Senator" Obama and educate him as to the truth as it is and always has been... that our Dear Leader does not support a single payer system and has always been clear that he never has while condemning the words of "Senator" Obama... however with my limited knowledge I wonder, can we do that when this "Senator" Obama seems to have mysterious disappeared on November 16th, 2008 and only leaving numerous fragments of video behind... many of which seem to say the same thing? I worry that perhaps the followers of Emmanuel Goldstein may pose an eventual threat.

Please advise me on how I may help in tracking down this "Senator" Obama and what I can do to continue in the continuing the success of the revolution.

All hail our Dear Leader and peace be upon his long and beneficent reign!

Sincerely yours, the ever loyal and eager to serve Brendan Grant of Redmond, WA.

When trying to combat this plan we have many options, but one of the best ones may just to use their own weapons against them.

So lets take the advice of then Candidate Obama "get in their face"... not just with regards to Senators, or Congressmen... but the White House as well.

Heard some interesting, seemingly contradictory or outright dishonest statements coming from the White House or other supports of ObamaCare? Why not tell them about it?

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

How to keep yourself from getting hired

In these days of a difficult job market... one must work even harder to land a job, let alone an exceptional one... as well as be careful what one does both on and off the job market... and having your name be Bing-able in such a way that returns many negative hits... isn’t likely to help, especially when you are the one creating that issue.

This morning I ran across this story about a woman in New York City who is suing her old college for $70,000... not 4 months after graduation for the cost of her tuition.

Why? Because she can’t find a job.

While I can certainly feel for her... she’s going about it all wrong as believe you me, having difficulties on the job hunting front is something I know thing or two about.


I graduated with my undergrad back in December 2003, had a summer internship, but during the summer of 2002 I remained unemployed and vowed not to let that happen again, a difficult task as at the time entry level jobs in the technology industry were hard to come by.

Come January 2003 I embarked on a massive resume spamming campaign where in 10 days I mailed out 110 personally addressed, semi-tailored cover-letters and resumes (each individually licked closed as well) to businesses throughout the country (but mostly focusing in the South Dakota area).

From all of that I received 20-25 form responses that were mostly along the lines of “we’ll add your resume to our tracking system and let you know if something opens up”... 3-4 phone calls asking to know more, 2 interviews, and one job offer (which I accepted).

All the while I still utilized my school’s Career Services department for more leads... one of which lead to a fantastic interview which lead to a second one immediately afterwards and a possible position I ended up having to withdraw from consideration of later.

If the plaintiff in this case was never given a single lead from the school’s Office of Career Advancement and never returned her calls when she went asking for help, and was witness to locked doors when she’d come asking during normal business hours... I’d think she has a case... but if they pointed towards a position or two, she applied and didn’t get a callback, I’m more included to point the finger of blame back at her for not being able to sell herself adequately... sadly the article is not specific as to what exactly she expected to receive and what was offered/given to her.

And yes... the above is being said by a guy who shamelessly panhandles for funds online to help pay off his student loan debt.

What’s the difference? With all of my debt (both student and otherwise)... I’ve never once blamed another person or organization (well, except for once rather sarcastically when I took idea and ran with it and had it bite me initially because I didn’t do my homework and read the fine print (once again, my fault and no one else's)).

Brendan’s Brilliant Idea #247225 – Do it yourself DLNA

While I was apparently one of three people in the world who liked Vista... I absolutely love Windows 7 and one of it’s killer features from where I sit is the Play To feature in Windows Media Player 12... which allows you (as an extreme) to request that one device in your home (PC, Xbox 360, other DLNA supporting media renderer) to play content that exists on a second device (say a Windows Home Server running TwonkeyMedia Server)... all while being controlled from a third (another PC, laptop or even cell phone).

So lets say you want to have a dedicated device in your living room, bedroom, office or other place where you want to stream audio to via this mechanism... your options are not cheap.

Building a standalone, barebones networked PC is one option. Spending $1200 on a premium receiver is another.

What about lower priced consumer level devices?

Sonos will sell you a device for ~$350. For ~$250, Linksys would love to talk to you.

Both though are still too expensive… in fact my maximum price for such a device would be <$100... which shouldn’t be too difficult considering Apple has been selling their AirPort Express product for the last 5 years for just $99 and can often be had on eBay for under $50.

But it doesn’t support DLNA does it?

There’s the brilliant idea... why not make it?!?!

Rather than try to hack the firmware... why not write a wrapper service that speaks the (sadly) proprietary (but reverse engineered) Remote Audio Access Protocol (RAOP) to the device and pretends to be a DLNA Digital Media Player to the rest of the home and other devices.

No doubt the AirPort Express isn’t the only device that could be used by such a system.

Take older Roku devices which were controllable from either a front panel or from custom software running on the PC... a similar wrapper could be built for it utilizing the Roku Control Protocol (PDF warning).

Remember Linksys? They have a far less expensive network audio player (the WMB54G retails for ~$90 and requires custom software to control)... though as far as I can tell the way it is controlled is as yet unknown.

The AudioTron is another possible target.

So in the end... a need exists for a bit of software that pretends to be a DLNA media renderer to the controller/user... and passes along control requests via device specific add-ins to the various kinds of proprietary devices in the home. Simply run and configure this bridging service on a device like a Windows Home Server (where most of the media should already be) and you have an always available setup for streaming your music throughout the home and from any DLNA compatible device to far less expensive ones.

Brilliant, eh?