Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Is right now the time to be messing around some Country Music Star?

Yeah - he pretty much sums up so much about what is wrong with our fine country. Style over substance, litany over research, and "I gotta get it now, cause tomorrow I may be dead." Sad really our president 'fiddling' while Rome burns.

But we got 3 1/2 more years of this bozo. God I hope some party can pull a true leader out of their butts. Someone who isn't so beholden to the status quo, and has the balls to take the country in a positive direction. And who isn't a foppish puppet of a wacked out "Cardinal de Richelieu" type. But I ain't gona hold my breath.

Which leads me to ask - where are all the leaders in politics? Is it the case that our system scorches out any folks who show that quality. I am reminded of Howard Dean's display, and what that wrought for him. used to think that at least out of the horrors of 9/11, maybe people would be motivated to examine their surroundings, and take action. How silly was that?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Just sent my first letter to the FCC

Just sent this email to the FCC:

I was highly outraged at Bob Novak's behavior on CNN on Thursday, August 4th. While fining CNN may be an option here, I do not think they are at fault. In order to discourage this behavior, please consider fining Bob Novak. Or perhaps a ban from the public airwaves for 6 - 12 months.

Thank you,

For more about this watch mediamatters

Go Ahead - you try it!

You can get the FCC's email addresses here.

By the way - I copied Bob Novak as well. His email is

Is your child pre-homosexual?

Just take this quiz.

Warning - as my friend who pointed this site out to me said "Don't click until you're ready to see red."

Here's my take on it.

If your child is pre-homosexual you should move them immediately to the post-homosexual phase. There they can be comfortable with who they are. This is best accomplished by sending them to scout camp. (Be imediately suspicious of anything with jamboree in the title. Exhibit 1: Country Bear)

I mean really. I am so embarrassed by our nation sometimes.

This scientific analysis brought to you by the same people who think that Intelligent Design is science.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Winning the Battle; Losing the War.

So the USA PATRIOT act was up again before the Senate, and they failed to end the stomping of American liberties.

I see so many parallels between the 'War On Terrorism' and the 'War On Drugs'. Not the least of which is the spurious definition of 'war'.

The most disturbing is the way a bogeyman is set up as a distraction from how the government is really rolling back our civil liberties to the days of English rule. Weather it is the specter of Junkies or Jihadists, those who protest the encroachment of their rights are cast as supporters of that nebulous enemy.

Another unsettling trend is the 'just trust us' attitude. There is always an undercurrent with these laws: Its OK if we lower the threshold on these 'constraints' as it will help us get junkies / jihadists, but you, John Q Public, have nothing to worry about. However the sheer amount of examples of abuse of Civil forfeiture laws should convince you otherwise. Even if an administration does not intend to abuse a law, once the option is out there, it is SO VERY hard to get those rights back. Even if you believe that the current folks in power are above reproach you should ask yourself: "Do I trust those who will follow for all time?"

A massive irony here is that often the people advocating this trust the government attitude are those who claim to believe in a smaller Government.... anyways.....

Lets not kid ourselves. The USA PATRIOT act, like the federalization of the 'War On Drugs' are examples of a Government careening out of control. No longer is there a need to serve a warrant for ANY potential crime. The Government doesn't even need a warrant for many searches - including wire taps and library records.

Is it at all possible that someone at Al Qaida knew how we (and in general the west) would react to these terrorist attacks? I don't know, but I wouldn't put it past the wiley bastards. Maybe they only had an inkling. Bin Laden claimed, when the towers fell that he never expected the damage to be so extensive. Perhaps he is watching the once strong tower of our liberty collapse under his onslaught, and thinking the very same thing.

So my question is - What do we do? I write my congress person regularly, but I'm in North Carolina, and ain't much gonna change their mind. Is there any hope, or is the American public gonna get what it is asking for?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Leave a Legacy that lasts for forever less one day....

While debating the Sonny Bono copyright act (proceed with caution on that link, congressional legislation is contained within), one non-elected politico turned industry wag (Jack Valenti) suggested that copyrights should last "forever less one day". Why was he so generous as to give the public an extra day? Because Section 8 of the US Constitution requires it.

"The Congress shall have Power ...... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

(Remember this legislation passed before the Senate realized they could toss out that document if they marketed their cause well.)

Ironically the driving force behind this legislation was, in a large part, the Disney Corp. Disney, who (and here comes the ironic part, Allanis) developed several old stories into major cash cows.

Now there is nothing wrong with making money off a good idea, but after a while there are some severe consequences. Spider Robinson's short story Melancholy Elephants sums up just one of them quite nicely. There is also a very nice document on the subject that goes into depth on all the issues.

Perhaps the greatest loss from this law are all the properties that have no known owner. They can

"So what is your deal with all this Mr?" You might ask - a little impertinently I hasten to add.

Well - I went to Disney last month, and they were offering these little legacy plaques in Epcot. You will see them right as you go in. Basically you pay $25 and you get a postage stamp sized plaque on the wall. "Leave A Legacy" the program is called. And when I saw it I just couldn't stand the irony; I had to do my own little protest.

So I bought a plaque: Located at East 6-d-12-5-18

They sent me a really nice folder to commemorate the event:

(To clarify this is a quote from Walt - "To the youngsters of today, I say believe in the future...."

The plaque says: "Authors life plus 75 is too long." Then it has my name.

As my friend said, "Way to strike a blow against the man."

Yeah, way to strike a blow, huh. I know - it ain't much - more on that later. In the meantime, here is my modest proposal to you.

If you go to Disney:

1) buy a plaque.
2) put some words of copyright law protest on it.
3) find my plaque and give it a look see.
4) add your plaque # and message here.

Will it make a difference - not in the least, but here's where I'm coming from: At least I let my voice be heard - even if I had to pay money to do it. And the best part is, Disney is putting it on display for 20 + years. Shame it won't last as long as their copyrights. And maybe - just maybe - if enough people do this we might draw attention to this issue. Don't hold your breath!

But even if nothing comes from it, and no one ever reads this page (the far more likely outcome, to be sure) then at least I got a really good laugh at the postage sized prank I pulled.

I want to be clear here. The aim is not to take the whole company down in the flames of righteous wrath. I don't begrudge Disney the cash from their intellectual property. But, I do firmly and strongly believe that their lease on these collective ideas has to end at some time. 40 years should be more than plenty. After that let your ideas go back into the collective subconsciously for someone else to draw upon and innovate.

Who knows, you may be pleasantly surprised at what someone will come up with when they don't have a corporation's multi-million dollar cash flow on the line.