Open Source All The Cities

There is a new sheriff in town. It’s called “Open Source” and it’s here to stay. It will soon be entering a community near you. A good friend of mine, Jason Hibbets of Red Hat, is currently writing a book and needs our help.

First, what the hell is open source? Wikipedia says “open source refers to a program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design.” So how does this apply to government and cities? “Open-source governance is a political philosophy which advocates the application of the philosophies of the open source and open content movements to democratic principles in order to enable any interested citizen to add to the creation of policy, as with a wiki document.”

Long story short, open source is a way for our local governments to become more democratic. The people have a stronger voice and are able to create change. If you are interested in politics, policy, or democracy, you should definitely pay attention to open source governance.

Jason is on a mission “to create a better citizen experience.” I can get on board with anything along those lines. In order to make this a reality, Jason has written a book – The Foundation for an Open Source City. He recently started an Indiegogo campaign to raise $3,000. This money will cover the cost of publishing the first 500 books. The incentives are pretty awesome too. You can get signed copies of the book, video chat with Jason, or even have him moderate an event for you!

 

***If you want to become part of the open source movement, donate here!***

My Television Debut….Be Afraid

Plain Talk Politics

The world is ending. Be very afraid. This Sunday, February 3rd, I make my television debut on NBC 17 at 12 noon. Jeanne Bonds, host of Plain Talk Politics and friend of mine, invited me to come on set and share my thoughts on small business, startups, and taxes.

Think that’s scary? I shared my thoughts while two elected officials from the House of Representatives sat next to me! Representatives Tim Moore and Kelly Alexander were great sports. The show was a ton of fun to record and features exciting insights.

Jeanne and Plain Talk Politics aim to help voters stay informed on issues with no party bias. It was great to hear words like “collaboration” and “bipartisan” while we were recording. Take some time on Sunday to tune in and let me know what you think!

Let me know if you agree or disagree with my viewpoints. If you disagree, I’d love to hear why. There is no single “right” answer so sharing is caring! :)

Huffington Post And Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A looked like it had entered the LGBT debate last year. It seemed all hell had broken loose. Activists were protesting stores. There were Facebook pages, Twitter campaigns, petitions, etc. On “Support Chick-Fil-A day”, the food chain broke all their previous sales records. Sort of a confusing situation, huh? Was there a winner? Loser?

Who the hell cares! Shane Windmeyer just wrote an article for Huffington Post that shines an entirely new light on the situation. After reading the article I can’t state how much respect I have for Shane and Dan Cathy. Both men seem to epitomize what it means to be a man. They understand that differences can be resolved and that collaboration is essential to long-term success. Hopefully our elected officials can learn a lesson or two from these two extraordinary men….

Huffington Post Article about Chick-Fil-A

What do you think about Shane and Dan’s relationship? 

Cory Booker and The Political Paradigm Shift

The world is changing all around us. The internet and mobile devices have already changed so many dynamics of our life. I saw something yesterday that simply amazed me. Cory Booker (Mayor – Newark, NJ) was able to directly see the complaint of a constituent. Not only did he see it, but he sprung into action!

Cory Booker Twitter ConversationYes, you just read that right. The Mayor of Newark, New Jersey sent a random constituent his cell phone number and told her to text him. It doesn’t get anymore social then that!

The world is changing around us. Politics and the interactions between constituents and their politicians is ripe for innovation. Booker may be on to something here. Or maybe, he just understands what a true democracy is….
What do you think about having the ability to directly interact with our elected officials? What is the most frustrating thing about the current disconnect? I would love to hear your thoughts below!

 

Why Wolf Blitzer and Piers Morgan Are Scumbags

Too many men and women have died fighting for this country for people to act like this. Watching the video gets me fired up because of their utter disrespect for our country and everything we stand for. I use to think that both men did good journalistic work, but this shows what assholes they are.

It’s bad enough to not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem. It’s even worse when you don’t stand after you’re getting yelled at by congressional delegates. Forget your political party, as a country we must demand more from those in a position of leadership or media.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts. Am I overreacting? Or are these two idiots getting the negative publicity they deserve?

A Veteran’s Perspective on Obamacare and The Supreme Court Ruling

The United States is the greatest country on earth. As a 17 year old I volunteered to risk my life to defend it and the principles on which it was founded. Since then I have had too many friends who gave their life to uphold that commitment. Even more were injured and they still deal with the repercussions today.

This level of sacrifice puts things in perspective. Each veteran I served with felt they were “defending freedom.” This freedom means that the citizens of the United States don’t live in fear. They have the freedom to choose how to live their lives. If they want to have 5 children, they can. This isn’t China. If someone wants to practice a certain religion, they can. No one will stone them for not following a national religion.

All of this has come under jeopardy. Months ago President Barack Obama helped pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The same day, 26 states sued the federal government over the ACA (also known as Obamacare). Is that a joke? I wish. More than 50% of the states

The Supreme Court of The United States of America

A portrait of the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States of America

didn’t agree with it. Unheard of! Many felt that the individual mandate was unconstitutional because it violated personal freedoms. Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling on the case. In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare. Chief Justice John Roberts, a historically conservative-leaning justice, voted with the liberal justices to make the difference.

It is noteworthy that President Obama was very clear from the beginning that the Affordable Care Act was not a tax. I don’t know if this was for political reasons or not. It doesn’t matter. The Supreme Court stated that the law was upheld because they viewed it as a tax (as opposed to viewing it as a regulation on commerce) which therefore gave Congress the power to enforce it. This legal jockeying is absurd. I’m not a lawyer so maybe I’m just naive and dumb. Doubt it though.

For a moment, I want you to forget party lines. I don’t care if you’re a Republican, Democrat, Independent or Alien. Frankly I don’t care if you have never paid attention to politics in your life. THIS IS A BIG FUCKING DEAL. For the first time in my life I’m scared of what is possible in America. I’m scared that we’ve lost the first piece of our freedom. When this has happened historically, the rest of the societies freedom usually crumbled soon after.

Today I don’t write as a Republican or Democrat. I write as a protector of freedom. The same thing I swore to protect at age 17. I can’t truly be free if it is mandated that I buy something. I understand controlling or prohibiting me from doing certain things for reasons like safety, etc. A mandate to do something is completely different. If the government can mandate me to buy insurance, what can’t they mandate me to do? What if they mandated me to have kids? What about if they mandated that I need a job and can’t retire? This is some scary shit.

The sad part is that there are many people that President Obama has tried to help with Obamacare. I think these people need help too. They should have access to care. Instead of mandating it for everyone, we can merely provide access to those in need. Nobody says that sick people should be abandoned. I do think however, that there are better options to help without encroaching on the inherent freedom that this country was founded on. We can’t forget that the pilgrims came to America to escape mandates and other forms of government oppression. I don’t think we’re at that point yet but the door is certainly open.

I rarely become passionate about what happens in Washington. Today I can’t stop thinking of each young man I know that sacrificed so much in order to protect our freedom. If we lose that freedom than they died in vain. That is not an option. I will be paying close attention to how the next 6 months play out and who is elected President in November. While everyone must choose their candidate individually, I ask that each of you becomes educated on the issues so that you can make a sound decision according to your thoughts, values and morals. Is that too much to ask?

What is your reaction of the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare? Do you see other areas where our freedoms are being encroached? If you completely disagree with me, why? Help me understand more of this issue by leaving a comment below or tweeting me @APompliano!