SOPA: An Open Letter to Spencer Bachus

Saturday, December 17th, 2011 @ 9:13pm

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has been making rounds during the past couple of weeks, and as a result I feel a need to express my staunch opposition to this bill and am including my letter to my state representative below. SOPA works by giving power to intellectual property holders to force isps, search engines, and other sites to block access to infringing content or faced being shutdown entirely. This is clearly an overstepping of bounds by the US government, and I feel that it breaks the very “openness” of the internet.

Dear Congressman Bachus,

I am writing to you to express my strong opposition of H.R. 3261: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The internet has grown to massive use over the past two decades, and has proved to be a useful resource for knowledge, ideas and speech. This very growth has provided a wealth of jobs and tools used to enhance the lives of many people.

While I understand that protecting one’s intellectual property is important, there are already various measures to protect those copyrights. SOPA sets a dangerous precedence by giving too much power to one entity.

The passing of this legislation stands to have a serious impact on the very structure of the internet. Many architects and engineers of this very system have already expressed grave concerns on the details of this bill (

Even if SOPA passes, there is little that would actually prevent or stop piracy. DNS works by mapping a human friendly name (i.e. to one a computer can understand (i.e. Blocking a DNS entry does nothing to prevent access from a “infringing” site and is simple to bypass by entering the IP address directly.

I strongly urge you to do the right thing and vote against the passage of this bill and hope that you encourage your fellow representatives to do so as well. I will closely be watching the outcome of this legislation.

Jason Wilson

25 and counting…

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 @ 1:44am

Today marks me having spent a quarter of a century on this planet earth. I guess 25 isn’t usually a very big birthday, but it feels like a very big milestone to me. My insurance is (supposedly) reduced, and I can now rent a car. Yay?

25 is a big milestone for me at least, since I had a lot of goals that I expected to accomplish before I was 25, but sadly some of my largest goals that I had hoped to achieve have fallen short, although no fault of my own.

“Life is short”, they say, but I think life is really what you make of it. Sure I haven’t accomplished two key goals I had in place, but I have very few regrets of these past 25 years. I heard a very good philosophy the other day that applies very well here, and it goes something like this: Live life without regrets. A regret is something that you wish you had done, but didn’t. To live life without regrets is to take the opportunity even if nothing comes of it. Don’t live life such that have a regrets of inaction.

While I didn’t realize that concept until recently, I have noticed that over the past few years I have been living by this philosophy. The regret of not doing something is much greater than being disappointed by the results of said action. The event may not have the expected outcome, but you will never have to experience the emptiness of not at least having tried. I don’t want to live through life wondering, “What if…?”

It’s difficult to say what I expect or want to accomplish in these next 25 years, God willing. Maybe I had unrealistic goals for these last 25, or maybe the time just isn’t right yet, but I don’t plan on giving up. There is something worth fighting for, and I am going to fight for it with all my heart. The battle isn’t over yet, and today just isn’t another day. It’s a milestone of my accomplishments and stubbornness to keep on going, even when the going gets tough.

Happy Birthday to me indeed.

The Problem with Social Networks

Monday, March 23rd, 2009 @ 11:18am

Ever since the dawn of social networks, I have always been hesitant to join the fray. When Facebook first came about, I resisted for as long as possible to join in. Eventually I saw some value in Facebook, and finally created an account. A similar situation occurred with Twitter, but I was able to some value in using Twitter and hesitantly tagged along.

Social networking does have some value and purpose, but one of the things that concerns me greatly is how easily information is released, and the questionable privacy loss that occurs when information is placed in the social network’s hand. It begs the question, “How safe is my information?” One of the key reasons why I host my own blog is because I feel it is very important that I hold the key to my information and decide how and when information is released. When I allow my information to be handled by someone else, I lose that privilege and stand a great risk to my privacy. Even still while I control the information on this blog, I am still very cautious in what personal information I post since the information is available freely to anyone.

This is why I try to limit the amount of information that is available on social networking, and I highly recommend others to do the same. I feel some sense of humanity is lost since so much information is available so freely and released with no regards of the consequences. I must admit, I do not have anything to hide but rather feel that certain freedoms of an individual are being violated or forgotten in this age of freely available information.

I don’t have anything against social networks outside of that, and I find both Facebook and Twitter to be great tools for communication and keeping in contact with people. My word of caution is just be careful in the information is released, because they’re no guarantee that the information will remain safe.


Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 @ 11:05am

What if...?

The politics of Alabama are a messy business, especially in Birmingham. Over the past couple of years we’ve had to deal with antics of Larry Langford and the corruption of the two-year college system. And of course that’s not even really considering beyond that including Siegelman and Scrushy. It’s a really scary thought to think what could have happened had these people not been caught and unsupervised.

It’s additionally frustrating as often times the costs of these scandals and corruption are passed on to the taxpayers. For example, when we first moved in to our Townhome here in Birmingham four years ago, our water bill was often in the $20 range. Now four years later, it’s spiked up to nearly $80 a month due to the increased sewer bond rate with no real end in sight.

It’s a frightening world we live in today with this economy and the ongoing scandals, but I think it also goes to show where your foundations are in by how you react in these times. Luke 6:43-49 is the perfect parable describing the above situation, and is almost laughable in how well it matches the outcome of everything. 43-45 talks about how you will know a man by his fruit, and a bad tree will not produce good fruit, and neither will a good tree produce bad fruit.

46-49 goes on to talk about having a firm foundation, and how going through times of trouble really begins to tear at you and show what kind of foundation you are really standing on. Just something to think about and ponder on as the rest of the world attempts to instill fear and panic.

I know I’m not a perfect person, and I do worry from time to time. But I also know that having that firm foundation will allow me to weather the storms of life and it’s encouraging to know that there is something for me to stand on, even if everything else around me collapses.

Residential Associations

Friday, December 5th, 2008 @ 9:07pm

It’s time to rant.

I understand the purpose behind residential associations, and I have to say it could be a good idea if the so called “power” of members of the board was not abused. I have the feeling that there are at least a few members on the board who are on a power trip and have nothing better to do than to annoy and harass members of the community.

Let me explain: As some of you know, I have lived in a townhome community for the past 3 1/2 years. I’m sure several of you have received “tickets” for violating the rules of the community. Parking here is quite an ordeal as the streets themselves are poorly designed and are quite narrow, not really adequately designed to allow traffic here, but that’s another story.

Anyway, over these past 3 1/2 years we’ve received so called minor infractions on our record for parking, usually over silly things like blocking a mailbox (when we’re not) or parked on the grass (when the front bumper is hanging over the concrete pad by 2″). We’re quite sure it’s always the same person as we’ve had several run-ins with a neighbor across the street, but has not been anything other than a somewhat minor annoyance.

Until now.

Sometime around late August, my roommate’s car had broken down and he had it parked in the driveway until late October until I finally got him to move it to an overflow parking area so we could use the garage. Keep in mind, this parking area is away from anyone’s house and is rarely full. We thought it would be fine until we recently started getting notices complaining about the car being parked there for an extended period and that any parking here was only for day-to-day use. I figure it’s really not that big of a deal, ask him to move it a couple of times then not press the issue, since I don’t really care.

But here’s where the crap hits the fan. After a second notice we find that his passenger side car tires have both been slashed, which we find highly suspicious due to the fact that we already have someone complaining about nearly every little thing that we do so it should not be a coincidence that his car was vandalized. But it gets better, we find out that a week later his car was broken into, the electrical system ripped apart in addition to his radio stolen.

I’m normally a pretty understanding guy, but this has to stop. I don’t care what kind of problem you have with a person but vandalism is certainly not an answer, and I intend on pursuing this and finding out who it is. I hope whoever did this realizes that there is a potential for jail time in addition to hefty fine.

Needless to say, I’m tired of putting up with all of the crap that goes on here and the board with strict out-of-line senseless rules. I will be gone next year, and I will make sure to inform our land lady as to exactly why.

Washington: Day 4

Saturday, July 21st, 2007 @ 10:55pm

I suppose it’s time to report on day 4 of Washington.

It was the worst of our days, and a very long day at that. Our flight was scheduled to leave from Yakima at 6:45am, and we were supposed to eventually arrive in Birmingham at 2pm on the same day. We arrived at the airport at about 6:10, with no one at the desk so we had to go straight through security to try to check Clint’s bag since we had to check it on the trip to Washington due to it’s size.

We finally make it through security only to have them tell us they won’t allow his bag on due to size and contents and refused to check it. We figure we can try to catch a later flight, and opt to wait.

Due to the size of the airport however, there was only 2 Delta flights (both going to Salt Lake) with about 4-5 Horizon flights going to Seattle. Also, according to the employees at the airport there were no actual Delta employees working there to talk to, so we had to make multiple phone calls to Delta customer service to attempt to get our issue resolved. After hours of arguing with Delta, and just attempting to get out of Yakima, we finally were able to get a flight out of Seattle — which so happened to be 3 hours away.

So we had to take an airport shuttle to Seattle, arriving there at about 2pm. Our flight left at 12:30am, so we had a pretty long wait ahead. We were not allowed to even check in until 6 hours before our flight, so we had to wait outside security just hanging out until we could actually check in.

At this point as well, we had no money and were tired and hungry, but managed to luck out. In one of our few trips to the Delta desk I noticed a blackberry cellphone sitting there that someone seemingly left behind. After a few phone calls to the guy’s wife, we luckily were able to run into him and catch him before his plane left. He gave us $20 for our trouble which allowed us to actually eat dinner.

So basically we spent about 10 hours in the SEA-TAC terminal, another 6 or so hours on the plane before we were able to actually arrive in Atlanta, and then another 45 minute flight arriving in Birmingham at 9am over 24 hours after our original flight was supposed to leave Yakima.

This experience has left me severely unsatisfied with Delta’s customer service. They were supposed to offer and allow our baggage to be sent via a later flight, which they did not. We attempted to get them to do so, only to have them reply that we would lose all of our baggage. We tried to get on a standby list for any number of flights leaving Seattle, which several Delta customer service representatives claimed they don’t do standby. Of course, we found out they were lying when the desk was calling standby passengers as our flight was leaving at 12:30am. We kept getting mixed results from Delta having them tell us multiple things many of which conflicted with each other.

In short, it was a long trip and we were just glad to be back…

A Late Night Story

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007 @ 12:54am

It’s late, but I just have to post this because I can’t really contain it. I really have started to cherish the quiet times I’ve had lately. It’s not because I’m depressed, or sad, or anything of those things. It’s actually quite the opposite! Even if that were the case it still doesn’t keep me from thinking how awesome our God is! It’s like my day doesn’t even really begin until it happens, I feel so energized and refreshed after doing so. Tonight even, I just took a walk out in the woods, in the dark and it was just amazing. The moonlight, the fireflies, the nice little crunching of leaves, all evidence of our Lord and Creator. I can’t even really put it into words…

I’ve been doing a lot of studying lately on different people in the Bible and the relationship between them and God. Mostly David, but he’s not actually the person I want to talk about. I actually want to focus on Gideon. I know we’ve all read and seen these stories before in Sunday school, but it seems like there’s something new to learn every time you look at them. Here are the Israelites, again being oppressed by some foreign nation (the Midianites). In comes Gideon, where God tells him he will use Gideon to free the Israelites from their oppression.

Now here’s the fun part of the story. After Gideon asks for some signs from God, Gideon gathered some people to go up against the Midianites. And of course, God intervenes and tells Gideon there are too many. I think at this point, I would’ve certainly have been questioning God at this point. “Too many people? You can never have too many people!” But of course, Gideon obeyed. 22,000 people left. 10,000 people remained. That’s a lot of people! Yet even after that, God still said there were too many and reduces it to 300. That just amazes me, an army of 300 against a whole nation? And of course, we know the rest of the story…

Just reading all of that made me really ponder, do I have the same amount of obedience that I would do something that would just seem… so insane? Gideon had some amount of courage to go into that battle… and faith too. While I might not be called to go into battle like Gideon, I do hope that I can demonstrate the same amount of courage and faith that Gideon did in all that I do, even when the world says that its wrong. I strive for that same boldness and courage… I hope in some way that this has inspired you in the way that it has inspired me…

It does kind of feel like an emotional roller coaster though… but even knowing that, I’m okay! Things have been really crazy (and busy) this semester. Projects, projects, projects… and a little bit of eating and sleeping between projects. But the other thing that amazes me is that Christ has experienced all that I have experienced… for my sake. Pain, sadness, happiness, joyfulness, tears, anger… many of these traits and Christ has experienced every one of them. I really do ponder why we don’t sometimes see, “…and Jesus laughed.” in the bible. We know that he wept (John 11:35) and got angry too (John 2:13-17) and faced temptations (Luke 4:1-13). I’m sure these other things happened. Yet he knows the pain we experience, and the sadness that happens in our lives. And rejoices with us when we are joyful, and grateful. And somehow, that just makes it all worthwhile.

Sorry for the long post, but if you made it through all of that congratulations! You deserve a cookie.


Psalm 30

Monday, March 5th, 2007 @ 8:48pm

Psalm 30:1-12

I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me. O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.” Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled. I cried out to You, O Lord; And to the Lord I made supplication: “What profit is there in my blood, When I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth? Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper!” You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

This passage had spoke to me so much today, that I just could not stand to not share it with those who might read this. I have had an interesting time this weekend, but an experience that has brought me so much closer to God and understanding Him. I hope and prayer as the weeks come and go that this passion will not die down, and I will continue to seek him daily and that everyone will be able to see Him work through me in all of my actions, words, and deeds.

Knowing all of this, all other details of my life have become insignificant. It seems the closer I grow to God, and the more I seek Him out the more everything else falls into place. I can’t explain the peace that I have right now, I wish I could. It’s beyond explaining. I just know right now that I am thankful for each and every one of my friends and hope that I am, and can be a blessing to them for as much as they have been to me.

Even at this time, where I feel like I’m at a spiritual high, I still ask for prayer. Why? Because I’m human, and I’m not perfect. As long as that is the case life will have its ups and downs, and at sometime it will have its down again. I pray that I will continue to seek God not only in the mountain, but in the valley as well, that I will continue to seek him even in those times I feel as if I am far away from him.


Sunday, February 4th, 2007 @ 4:13am

Ah yes, sleepless nights. I’ve been sitting in bed for the past hour and half staring at the ceiling just pondering, praying, and contemplating about life in general. You can get a good bid of thinking done when you don’t have anything else to do.

To think that this is my last semester of college, it’s kind of strange. Many of my friends that I have gotten to know over the years, have enjoyed hanging around, and have come to love… I may not see them again a year from now as we each go our separate ways. Even though I thank God for every moment I am able to have with my friends, it is somewhat depressing to think that in the future I may not see them again…

I’ve also had time to ponder God’s plan for my life as well. I guess the question, “What do you want to do after you graduate?” continue comes up and does make me wonder what I really am going to do after I graduate. To be perfectly honest however, I really can’t say I know. Am I okay with it? Strangely enough, yeah. I can’t really explain it but for all my life I have known that God has a plan for me, even if He hasn’t revealed that plan to me. Because of that I can rest assured that even through the good times, and the bad times He will be there for me. There’s really no need for me to worry about what comes tomorrow, next week, or even next year for that matter. I just know He’ll provide, and that’s just comforting. Something amazing is in store, I just don’t know what yet.

But I’m not perfect. I still have my faults. Even knowing that, I do still tend to worry from time to time when I know I shouldn’t. Yet I pray every day for His strength, and His guidance, and most of all… patience. Patience probably is the hardest thing for me. Especially with how instant everything is in society today, everything happens now. I wish His plan would unfold now, I wish I did know what was going to happen in the future. Yet, even still He still has his reasons for not showing me the big picture. It does make you ponder upon the amazingness of God, and really makes you humble when you realize trite simple things are nothing to Him. It’s at that time when you remember everything is under His control, everything is in His hands, that finally peace returns. Our God really is an amazing God…

Change, that’s also another interesting thing to think about. Sometimes I wonder, “Am I really gravitating towards who/what God wants me to be?” Change is never an easy thing in itself, yet even still I strive to become more like Him every day, through all my failures, and my many short-comings.

For now, I will continue to ponder some of these thoughts while I attempt to sleep…

Toccoa Falls

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007 @ 7:41pm

So I have returned from my weekend journey to Georgia, and it has been an interesting trip, so I’m not really sure where to start.

The Ghetto Bowling AlleyI suppose I’ll start off with the most interesting tidbit of the trip. The ghetto bowling alley. On the night of my arrival, we had decided to go to the local bowling lanes in Toccoa Falls to bowl a few games. Clint had told me before what to expect, but nothing prepares you for the sight (or experience) once you are actually there. These lanes had to be at least 30 years old, and did not work half the time. As is evidence in the photo you see, their “bumpers” were made up of those flexible plastic drainage pipes. Also, none of the pins really matched so you would get the occasional blue, yellow, green, or some other odd colored pin mixed in with your white. The lanes would malfunction frequently (we actually got to bowl 1 1/2 games because they moved us to another lane as ours kept messing up), and the lanes were uneven. Needless to say, it was by far the most interesting bowling lanes I’ve ever been. Although, even with all of that going on I still managed to bowl a 169.

In other news from Toccoa, I’ve posted some photos from Toccoa on my Flickr account of the scenery of Toccoa. You should check it out. Toccoa is kind of rural, but makes for some nice scenery as it’s nestled in the northeast Georgia mountains close to South Carolina.

On the trip there from my Grandparents, I had decided to surprise Rick at work just kind of randomly. He didn’t know I was going to be in Atlanta, so I thought it would be funny to stop in and say hi without him knowing. I had been trying to find out when he was working all week from Jeremy, but finally got his schedule from Sadie. Although, I didn’t hit the right Applebee’s the first time, I got directions and headed to the second one which I knew was his once I saw a green Ford Taurus parked backwards in the parking lot. When I walked in and asked for Rick Watts, and the girl working up front started yelling out, “WATTS!” pretty loudly, since he was in the back. The shock and surprise on his face was pretty priceless though, as he stood there stunned repeating, “What are you doing here!?” several times before I actually got the chance to say anything. After that we just sat down and talked while I ate lunch. I do feel kind of strange however, I’ve never given Rick a tip for his services before…

Although, the most frustrating part of my trip wasn’t until my journey home. Something ripped through my tire about 30 minutes outside of Birmingham and caused me to have a flat tire which took me about 1 1/2 hours to change. It should not had taken that long, but it took a while to get the lug nuts off and then the tire got stuck, which took me the rest of the time to get it off. During that time AAA didn’t show up, but a state trouper did and even he couldn’t get it off. Oh well, at least I’m back in Birmingham now…