CIA employee gets fired for blogging

BoingBoing keeps making a big deal out of this CIA employee who got fired for blogging. She allegedly wrote some comments in her blog that questioned torture, or the CIA’s use of torture, or whatever.. we’ll never know exactly what she said.

Well…. She’s not really a CIA employee–she’s a contractor who works for BAE Systems. And, she’s a software tester, so I can’t imagine she does anything remotely related to torture, torture policy, or torture research for the CIA. I’m sorry she lost her job, but I don’t think she lost her job because she was blogging or because of her views related to the Geneva Convention.. as BoingBoing puts it. I think she lost her job because she’s employed as a software tester and she wasn’t spending 110% of her day testing software. (If she were a government employee things would probably be very different–they would have had to sick Scooter Libby on her–lol).

I love BoingBoing, but they do this kind of thing a lot… They take an issue and do one of two things to it: 1) turn it into some sort of a “blogging is freedom of speech” issue or 2) turn it into some kind of “this is why we need fair use” issue. I’m all for blogging and I’m all for fair use but BoingBoing’s constant desire to boil down an issue into one of these two camps gets a little old some times.

This CIA employee thing is a perfect example. It has nothing to do with blogging. If she were posting her beliefs on torture in the break room her employer probably would have had the same response: “we didn’t hire you to criticize the hand that feeds us, you’re fired.”

A while back they did the same sort of thing with the Sony rootkit fiasco. They turned it into a fair use issue. They made the issue out like all these people got burned by buying music they couldn’t copy onto their computer; as if they had to buy the music and then copy it onto their computer to survive. Well what about this: what about just NOT BUYING THE MUSIC in the first place?! No one’s twisting your arm making you buy overly copy-protected music. You’re not gonna die if you don’t buy it. If you don’t like DRM… VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET. There are plenty of other legal ways to obtain the same music.

*Deep breath*… Or maybe I’m the one that’s messed up and I always read these arguments into BoingBoing’s post. Maybe if I just stopped reading BoingBoing they’d stop making every issue out like it’s free speech or fair use.

Where the hell we are

The Bend Visitor and Convention Bureau released a crazy flash animation on last month that was supposed to be the beginnings of a viral marketing campaign for Bend. Well, it backfired…

The local newspaper let the cat out of the bag, and then a whole lot of Bend residents started asking questions about who was paying for the video. Many of them, including myself, felt the animation was not only an unusual marketing tool, but also a little … I don’t know how to put it. I don’t personally find it offensive, but I could see how others in Bend might. It begins with two stoned ducks asking where the hell they are, and then it’s explained to them (in so many words) that they’re in a place where hicks, hippies and big-bosumed ladies congregate to enjoy the great outdoors. It tries to be hip and edgy, but it just comes off as strange.

Some enterprising bloggers did the research and it turns out the animation cost $35k to produce and was paid for by the hotel tax. So Bend residents didn’t really pay for the video; Bend’s visitors did. Regardless, I still feel it’s a waste of tax dollars.. (especially because it backfired)! I hope other cities learn from this mistake.

Here’s a backup of the video if you haven’t seen it.