Contest

Nov. 28th, 2009 01:51 pm
tonyajot: (Default)
Okay, folks - here's how it goes. The more people that can get people to reply to my postings here (past, present, and future), regardless of content that put your username as their referral in their comments, gets a custom written fanfiction of his/her choice in the fandom of his/her choice (assuming I know the fandom even peripherally), with the pairing of his/her choice. Anything goes, gen, het, slash, threesomes, moresomes, whatever your little heart desires. One caveat - anonymous postings are automatically disqualified. The story is guaranteed to be a minimum of 650 words.

You can skip the posts of my personal bullshit. Frankly, it's pretty boring, but let's try to raise some awareness with the postings I've made that have some actual substance to them, huh?

The deadline is January 1, 2010 at 12AM. Votes will be tallied by me (and someone else, if I can con...er convince them to assist.) A posting must consist of more then five words (that's not the same five words written five times) and CAN include flames. Bring on the heat, if you must. I can take it.

Just, please, try to get people aware of some of these topics. They're important to me. Important enough for me to do this. So, please, please do your part to pitch in.

Desperately seeking people who give a damn,

Tonya
tonyajot: (Default)
I pondered long and hard before broaching this subject. There are public concerns, however, that I believe outweigh my misgivings. No matter how much you may think you trust a loved one, there are some sensible precautions that you can take. (And yes, just taking some of these steps could indicate a crack in that trust's foundation, but sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry.)

1. Never allow anyone no matter how long-lived the relationship or how deep the trust to EVER take compromising photographs or videos of you. The fact is, that relationships do end, and even if they don't, you have no control over where or in whose hands they end up. If you've already made this mistake, do not be naive enough to believe that the pictures have been deleted or that the video has been erased. These are convenient excuses. If you don't mind that you might end up with an embarrassing photo somewhere you never intended it to be, then you can ignore this warning completely.

2. Technology is outpacing the law so fast that it just can't keep up. When you are talking about spousal or other close relationships, the lines are blurred even further. There are now cameras so small that even the tiniest of pin-pricks make them difficult to detect. Whether you are doing something worth spying on or not, remember that a joint reisdence in particular affords you NO legal protection whatsoever in regards to your rights to privacy. Video from these cameras can be set up to transmit wirelessly to off-site computers or telephones and is often A quality and sometime in living color with audio. Be forewarned. It isn't just Big Brother who is watching you these days.

3. Computer worms are tricky little buggers, some exist that no anti-viral software will pick up, particularly if the person you trust is also the one who helps you with your 'I.T.' issues. Some worms are sophisticated enough to detect every single keystroke you enter on your keyboard, they can track every website visited, every e-mail or diary entry. This doesn't even need to BE a loved one. Absolute strangers can access great quantities of highly personal information, including health records, DVD rentals, etc., using nothing more than your I.P. address. There is little to be done with this phenomenon until the law catches up. What you can do is get a very good anti-viral program and learn how to maintain it yourself. I recommend Trend Micro, formerly known as PC-Cillin. Keep your anti=viral updated regularly and do scans at least once a day, if not more. When downloadng any software, pictures, e-mails, or games, be sure that you don't accidentally agree to change something in your system's registry. This is crucial, because once your system's registry has been corrupted, you have left yourself virtually wide-open for this and many even more malicious attacks.

4. People will tell you that you can't have your phone line tapped. Those people would be wrong. Worse yet, if the person you've trusted lives in the same residence as you, they are perfectly within their legal rights to record any and all incoming and outgoing phone calls from that residence. There are devices on the market that can do this and do it very cheaply. If you suspect your phone is being tapped by someone with access to your interior or exterior phone lines, insist on having a phone company respesentative come out and inspect the entire phone system, from where the wires enter the house to where they meet in the interior junction box.

5. Other people will tell you that it is impossible for someone to remotely redirect outgoing calls from your cordless telephone. This is also patently untrue. While the products that can do this are very much more expensive than those previously mentioned, they do exist. An example would be, if you went to call 911 for assistance, but instead reach a grocery store. You hit redial and reach a bait and tackle shop. To the best of my knowledge there is no way to counter an attack such as this. 6. Spoofing/Static I.P. Addresses - Many households share one static I.P. address. What this means to you, is that your spouse or trusted loved one can do virtually anything in your name and you will have not one scintilla of proof that you were not the one who did it. This can set you up for financial, legal, or emotional hardships in the long run. If anyone out there has figured a way around this, I would be gratified to hear it. As it stands, this is one of the most terrifying bit for many of us. A person could theoretically visit a bunch of kiddie-porn sites, using your computer virtually with your I.P. address and leave you to face the consequences. This is serious stuff, folks.

Warning signs:

1. The person in question mentions casually something you only spoke aloud to yourself while in an empty house.

2. The person in question asks questions about a private telephone conversation that you had when he/she was not present and the conversation has not been brought up by you.

3. The person in question suddenly takes a dislike or insists that you cut communication off with an online friend or group, to which he has never been exposed to or introduced to.

4. The person in question asks leading questions as to how you spent your day and then questions something that you forgot to mention or even intentionally ommitted. For example: "Did you phone for that insurance quote today like I asked you to?" "Yes, I did. I'll get an answer soon."
"You did NOT! They put you on hold and you gave up after only a few minutes!"

5. You suddenly receive a gift that you never mentioned wanting to anyone other than a friend that the other person has little or no knowledge of and upon querying the friend, he/she disavows all knowledge.

Ask yourself, if the person that you have placed your trust in could have come by such knowledge in any other way and if the answer is 'no', please use sensible precautions. At the very best they are violating YOUR trust by such underhanded methods and the very worst they are extremely controlling and potentially violent when crossed. If you do find such intrusive invasions of privacy - do NOT confront him/her about it. Suggest counseling or leave immediately and get to a safe location. There is no telling how someone will react to being caught out like this, for some this invasion of privay is an addiction. ANd this is absolutely crucial - NEVER ingore the situation. It can lead to years of what is tantamount to living in a prison where everything you say or do is monitored at all times and you are never free to do or say aything that may end up on his/her surveillance equipment. We live in a very technological age. As such, we must do better at passing legislation to protect ourselves and our loved ones from such privacy invasions and we must arm ourselves with the knowledge of just what tools are out there that may be being used against us. My two cents.
tonyajot: (Default)
I sometimes get so worked up about the civil liberties that we, in the United States, fail to apply equally to our own citizens, that I do not want you to believe that things such as gay rights or true health care reform are the only things that we should be focused on.

The fact is, those of us in the so-called 1st world countries are fortunate. Regardless of the homelessness and hopelessness that comes to us, we are still very, very lucky to live in a time and a place that allows for freedom of speach, the right (for most of us) not to live in fear everyday of being shot, raped, or tortured. Most of us have food and clean drinking water. Most of us have education (despite its obvious faults). And, most of us have the luxury of hope. Hope that we, as a people can improve out lot in life. That we can make a difference by speaking out and encouraging others to do so.

The fact of the matter is, there are so very many issues that trouble me that it is little wonder that I get so little sleep.

To see first hand truly horrid and inexcusable attrocities against a people whose only crime is where they were born geographically, I urge you to visit this site: http://www.eyesondarfur.org/index.html

Our natural resources are under attack globally. Our Polar Ice Caps are melting. Polar Bears are in deadly danger as are seals and other wildlife dependent directly on these climate changes. Governmental interference has declassified the Colorado wolves from being endangered species and the murder of these noble creatures has already begun. Initiatives in our Congress and Senate have repeatedly failed to address issues that affect us directly, such as drinking water that is safe from contamination. I urge you to visit this site: http://www.nrdc.org/

So-called 'Blood Diamonds' and 'Conflict Diamonds' are still a problem, despite the pressure from the U.N. to prevent their mining and sale. Don't buy your wife or girlfriend a diamond engagment ring, necklace or any other diamond product until such deplorable conditions can be guaranteed NOT to continue in practice. Tell her or him the great 'myth' that diamonds are rare. They aren't. They are actaully quite common. It is only the diamond industry itself which helps to perpetuate the myth, driving prices up and keeping stones that are already in a family out of the marketplace. Is the stone you are wearing, worth a child having a limb severed by a machete? Does this not represent the opposite of the loving gesture such a gift should represent? I urge you to visit this site: http://www.un.org/peace/africa/Diamond.html

And here I return to medical care. The big four pharmaceutical companies regularly and routinely fail to do their fair share in helping rid the world of everything as 'simple' as a flu academic to AIDS drugs that can prolong and provide a healthier life for their recipients. The WHO, while it has tried long and hard, has been unable to move orgranizations such as the WTO to improve these conditions. Doctors without Borders, among other worthwhile organizations need your immediate assistance and commitment to better health care for EVERY human being. Not just those lucky enough to have been born in a geographically advantageous area of the world. I urge you to visit this site: http://doctorswithoutborders.org/

In the United States there is a severe shortage of qualified foster parents to help children who have been orphaned, abandoned, or neglected, many of whom suffer from health problems themselves. These children and others who live in single parent households are desperate for positive role models in their lives and people who genuinely care about them. If we don't want to see another generation of brilliant minds lost to a failing system, we need to step up and DO something about this. If you feel you are able, foster a child or children - for the love, not the money. If you have any free time, think about mentoring a child. (These children need better role models than celebrities and sports stars.) I urge you to visit these sites: http://www.nfpainc.org/ and http://www.bbbs.org/site/c.diJKKYPLJvH/b.1539751/k.BDB6/Home.htm

Every day, countless women and children are abused by someone they trusted. Oftentimes, they are forced to flee with little more than the clothes are on their backs. These are frightened women and terrified children with nowhere to go and no resources when they do arrive someplace. Donations to organizations that support survivors of domestic abuse are almost always tax deductible. You know those little sample bottles of shampoo you get at a hotel? The little packets of toothpaste in the mail? A comb? A chapstick? A toy your child no longer needs? Clothing you haven't worn in years? Each and every item can make a huge difference to these people in need. And let's not forget the men in such violent situations either, who may fee emasculated or embarrassed by the abuse they have suffered. I urge you to visit these sites: http://www.dosomething.org/actnow/actionguide/contact-your-local-ywca and
http://www.menstuff.org/issues/byissue/domesticviolence.html

I'm going to request something contrary to the most common suggestions for this time of year. In addressing homelessness and hunger, I'm going to urge you NOT to limit your gifts to the holiday season. Shelters are often inundated with gifts that can spoil more quickly than they can be used this time of year. By all means, give coats, mittens, healthcare products, and toys. These are always welcome. But, rather than a one time gift at the holidays, see if you can afford to make a more regular donation to such facilities. It does little good to gorge oneself on a feast once or twice a year, when the larder is bare the rest of the time. Instead, consider setting aside a small monthly donation or, if you can afford it, a large yearly contribution towards keeping these shelters open and feeding those that need the help. In these difficult economic times, if you are in a position to hire help, please do NOT write these indigent people off as smelly, unshaven, or without a permanent address. Assess them as people, not just as 'homeless'. You might be surprised at how hard they are willing to work, especially if they are trying to support a family. I urge you to visit these sites: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf, http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/
http://www.chaminade.edu/hogan/documents/homelessBrochure.pdf

These are just a very small few of the issues that trouble me. As soon as I get the chance, I'll go into VA Hospitals, Welcoming our Veterans Home, and a whole host of other social issues.

We seem to be making some progress with the bill that would provide eqaulity in the workplace for homosexuals, transgenders, and persons who are straight, but are mislabeled by management. Unfortunately, this bill does little to help in those states who insist on their inalienable right to hire or fire arbitrarily without even needing to give cause. It also does nothing to address the DA/DT issue that is apparently being tied into an appropriations bill to be presented in September of 2010. That's two months before November elections, folks. It's an attempt to shut us up and it isn't even that covert. That doesn't even begin to address the fact that it's almost a YEAR away and even one more day of this discriminatory and prejudicial policy is too much longer to tolerate.

Our politicians aren't going to do anything about any of these issues or any others unless there is something in it for them, so it's up to us, folks. The regular 'Joe's' out there, need to spread the word and do what we can to make the world just a little bit better.

I am now stepping down from my soapbox for the evening...er morning. Whatever.

Tonya

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