“Whisper” Goes Quiet 1/18/12 to Protest SOPA & PIPA

Protest The “Protect IP Act”

Many websites are blacked out today Weds. January 18, 2012 to protest proposed U.S. legislation that threatens internet freedom: the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
From personal blogs to giants like WordPress and Wikipedia, sites all over the web — including this one — are asking you to help stop this dangerous legislation from being passed. Learn how this legislation will affect internet freedom and please take action.

According to Gizmodo,  “The momentum behind the anti-SOPA movement has been slow to build, but we’re finally at a saturation point. Wikipedia, BoingBoing, WordPress, TwitPic: they’ll all be dark on January 18th. An anti-SOPA rally has been planned for tomorrow afternoon in New York. The list of companies supporting SOPA is long but shrinking, thanks in no small part to the emails and phone calls they’ve received in the last few months.”

So what is SOPA? or PIPA? At first, it sounds like a good idea–it is supposed to protect content providers. But Gizmodo argues that “SOPA is an anti-piracy bill working its way through Congress that would grant content creators extraordinary power over the internet which would go almost comedically unchecked to the point of potentially creating an “Internet Blacklist” while exacting a huge cost from nearly every site you use daily and potentially disappearing your entire digital life while still managing to be both unnecessary and ineffective but stands a shockingly good chance of passing unless we do something about it.”

So call. Or email. If you’re a subscriber, go see the site for yourself–there’s plenty posted today about ways you can show your protest. Then boycott the internet yourself.

After I post this and publicize this, by 930am I am planning on joining in as well and staying off the internet today. This site will be “dark” from 8am-8pm and post a flag and info about the issue until January 24, 2012.

Which Presidential Candidate Should You Support?

On the USA Today website, you can play the “candidate match game” to see which candidate’s views are closest to your own:


You might also want to check out:


Do you know of others ways to evaluate how well your opinions match with the candidates? Please share!

“Seeing” by Annie Dillard from “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek”

“Seeing” by Annie Dillard
from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (HarperPerennial 1974)

When I was six or seven years old, growing up in Pittsburgh, I used to take a precious penny of
my own and hide it for someone else to find. It was a curious compulsion; sadly, I’ve never been
seized by it since. For some reason I always “hid” the penny along the same stretch of sidewalk
up the street. I would cradle it at the roots of a sycamore, say, or in a hole left by a chipped-off
piece of sidewalk. Then I would take a piece of chalk, and, starting at either end of the block,
draw huge arrows leading up to the penny from both directions. After I learned to write I labeled
the arrows: SURPRISE AHEAD or MONEY THIS WAY. I was greatly excited, during all this
arrow-drawing, at the thought of the first lucky passer-by who would receive in this way,
regardless of merit, a free gift from the universe. But I never lurked about. I would go straight
home and not give the matter another thought, until, some months later, I would be gripped again
by the impulse to hide another penny.

It is still the first week in January, and I’ve got great plans. I’ve been thinking about seeing. There
are lots of things to see, unwrapped gifts and free surprises. The world is fairly studded and
strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. Continue reading

Readings to start a new semester

Write what you’d like in a page or two about these readings and turn in at our next class for extra credit.

What are some of the connections that you “see” between the various readings? Can you connect them with what we’ve talked about so far in class?

Remember English 2 and English 1A are 5 unit classes which = 10 hours of study a week. This may seem like a lot of reading but you should be able to finish it in less than 5 hours.

I hope you enjoy the readings! The Annie Dillard essay is one of my favorite pieces of writing.

Textbooks for Spring 2012

–50 Essays edited by Samuel Cohen 3rd edition (2011)

–Nowtopia by Chris Carlsson (AK Press 2008)

–The Everyday Writer by Andrea Lunsford 4th edition (2010)

English 2:

The Craft of Revision (Thomson Wadsworth 2004) by Donald M. Murray

English 1A

Choose ONE for your  “Reading on Writing” (RonW) assignments:

Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life  (Bantam 1990) by Natalie Goldberg

Bird by Bird  (Pantheon 1994) by Anne Lamott

The Craft of Revision (Thomson Wadsworth 2004) by Donald M. Murray