Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Reforming a new party under real Republican principles

The principles of the Republican party are a joke. They are not just empty, it is offensive to anyone that believes them to say that Republican politicians have lived by those ideals.

What is outlined in the article lists the reasons why I am a libertarian. However, I do recognize that there really isn't a Libertarian party. I think this may have something to do with Libertarian belief in individualism, an individualism that they take pride in that means they would never be caught dead at a political convention.

However, if there was going to be an activist Libertarian party, I think this guy totally nailed it. We need a new party that believes in the Republican platform that has been completely corrupted. The Republican party has gone so far from their ideals that there really isn't anything worth saving.

There are times when we need a strong call to "clean house"... and then there are times when you simply need to recognize it is time to move. I used to be a Republican because I strongly believed in the party's principles. I also more closely resonated with other Republicans, minus a bit of the paranoia that was sometimes associated. But looking at the Republican party and what they actually accomplish, all I can say is WTF?!?

I will admit that one issue soo close to my heart that this country desperately needs is the Fair Tax Act. It is built on the principles of liberty and freedom, not to mention developed by a think tank, not a lobbyist.

If McCain could have rallied people together on at least that one issue... I probably would have voted for him, just because it is more important than the seat of one man. I love and hate Obama, but look forward to his leadership of this nation, and the pride people take in supporting him.

I have said this before: Every stand that repulsed me taken by Obama that made me reconsider for McCain, McCain has taken the same position. I think they are both war mongers. They are both entertainment industry sell outs, and they both want the government to take a stronger, more parental role in every persons life as if it wasn't even their own.

On those points, I want to support Ron Paul. He stands up for what he believes in,, and I agree with his positions, and his perspective on American history is one that just makes a lot more sense to me.

But He recently endorsed Tom McClintock. I had not herd of him before, but I was excited to learn more about who Paul was supporting, particularly someone with ambitions to be a representative of California. I read his website, and the many comments, on his position on the various California propositions.

It made me really think about some of Ron Paul's less vocal opinions of things that I disagree with him on. Things where I disagreed with his position, but agreed in principle with many of his justifications. He has argued against things I had believed, in the name of sound policy. He has convinced me many times that sound policy comes before emotions with regard to the kind of power we are willing to hand over to the government, particularly in the area of health care / insurance.

But how does he support McClintock? Maybe McClintock just speaks to what I feel is the wrong crowd. Secondly, I don't care what anyone else thinks necessarily about me picking between Paul and Obama. However, in this signal for change, and my open mindedness to the idea that people really want to change the way the government works in our lives, a new sound approach on socialism; not Marxist socialism, but a democratic socialism lead by Obama; do I want to commit to supporting that, taking the reasonable middle ground, or stick with Ron Paul.

Know what, I may not know till I get to that booth, where I want to say that I am, and where I want to say that I was.

Guess we'll see.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

This was in your lifetime if you are half way to voting age

Just how fast can Linux boot?

TheWindBlows wrote in response to the linked article...
Wait until 9.04 one of its goals is to boot even faster. Windows 7 boot is optimized and boots at about the same speed Ubuntu boots right now though as far as desktop loading goes I'm not sure that Windows wins in that.
There is a project called fastboot or something that basically puts most all of the init stuff into background at a lower priority and 'cheats' to get to the desktop faster. Looks great to me. My prob is with post and grub. I have a LOT of stuff inside my computer, and it takes almost 10 seconds to just get to the grub menu, and another 15 seconds to get to the desktop. The projects aim is to get those start up things that were put into background eventually started up before they are needed, but not before you are given any functionality over the desktop.

I look forward to it.

One of the questionable things is that networking support won't be up when you get to the desktop, that it will take almost another 5 seconds before it will be up. Soo, I see that as "If the first thing I want to do is jump on the Internet, start up time to web browsing will take almost as long as it previously took to boot. What is the down side here?

Now what I think would be cool is if an onboard Linux could boot up and be used right away, many claiming desktop / web support available within 2 seconds of hitting the power button. What if this could be used while your computer is booting in the same way you use a Live CD while the OS is installing. Then while doing whatever it was you wanted to do, a little message could pop up "Your desktop is ready, would you like to switch now?" This would absolutely rock, and I don't think it would be terribly difficult to integrate.

Why Windows 7 has so little to offer...

... and misconceptions / revisionist history on the 'greatness' of windows XP.

There will never be another system like XP. There CAN'T be. To understand that you need to know what XP was. It was a merge of Windows 2000 and Windows 98. Windows 98 was a 'home user' operating system great for web browsing, games and such. Windows 2000 was a more user friendly Windows NT with some major updates, and great performance as a server / business platform. The problem was that windows 2000 and windows 98 were two completely different operating systems, as different as OSX and Solaris. One was targeted more towards business and the other towards everyone else. A lot of people didn't get this, and were quite upset at the incompatibility of software. "Why can't we just have one operating system called Windows?", thus, Windows XP was born. It took somewhere the best of each, and everything of both and put them all into one system. XP is VERY little more than Windows NT and Windows 98 all in one.

Vista offers nothing significantly new, and I doubt Windows 7 will have much more either except with some hope, FINALLY posix compliance somewhere in some broken weird way, you know, where tools can only be used in a very specific, Microsoft anticipated and approved way. But that isn't any motivation for me since I already have a real posix / iso compliant OS. But it will be nice Windows 7 might give Windows fans a chance to catch up with the rest of the world.

And with regard to the linked article, being better than Vista, putting hype against hype, is a pretty low bar. Will "better than Vista" really be a selling point?

Ok, I can't help it. Ubuntu 8.10 (released today, woot) has been advertising for months, both short and long lists describing the specific functionality and productivity that 8.10 users will gain by upgrading from 8.04. You can actually watch the progress of individual components of the system and their integration by checking out the blue print.

So there are supposed to be some performance improvements, but we can't see what they are, or know how it works, or criticize the method. Linux had a huge debate over the "completely fair scheduler". a LOT of people gave their input on that. How many people audit components like that in Windows? Ok, so personally, I thought XP had a reasonably good scheduler from what I could tell (not including network applications).

My problem is that I am simply supposed to put out all this money for yet another operating system, without really ever getting to know what I am buying... err... licensing to use?

Its not a bad idea, and many people feel like it works for them. It just doesn't work for me. Windows 7 does not draw me at all, and neither did Vista. It wasn't a 'Vista bad' thing for me necessarily, I just didn't see anything that should catch my attention.

Well, at least they aren't claiming "Windows 7 will be WAY better than Windows Me!". But it feels a little too similar.

Is this what people really think today about equality?

Bjornredtail writes in response to this video against prop 8:
Lessig didn't comment on what I think is the strongest argument in favor of prop 8: Individual Freedom.

I think that having state recognition of homosexual marriage will be used to force people and their organizations to recognize gay marriage, regardless of their personal beliefs.

This is far more worrisome than the limited inequality that would exist if prop 8 passed. The state recognizes civil unions, and the state would not block a gay couple from being married without state recognition.
My response:
Can you explain how civil rights forced white people to like black people, or [forced] anybody to believe that blacks were equal just because they were given equal protection under the law? The only argument I have heard on this issue is that being gay is a choice, and being black is not. [So one is treated] like a disease [and the other like an illness]. You speak like these were things we were forced to do. I disagree, maybe they were the RIGHT thing to do. Or is civil rights just a defense against the uppity? What do you really believe?
Note: Comments on youtube are limited to 500 words, which requires me to pick words sometimes too carefully in ways that are too quickly to the point at the expense of clarity. With more room on my blog, I have restored the comment in full with the parts that I think needed more clarity. I have done this before, but this time I just thought I would take a chance to point it out.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How to convert an Atheist into believing there MIGHT be a god.

I never believed in God. And I really tried, but it never took While from a young age, I searched many historical / religious text, I never found anything I could really believe in, other than science textbooks. It just made the most sense. If you can call 'Spinoza's God' (Pantheism) a God, then all science text books to me are the manifestations of the glory of God as He inspires us to study His Universe. The one thing I did get from Church ever as a kid was that God was Truth. It really made sense to me, and I ended up believing that with all my heart. So science is the study of truth, and truth is God, then I must conclude that if that is true, then the Bible is pure evil.

But what about the possibility that this is not mutually exclusive with the possibility that The bible is true, different from being truth? The principles of the Bible are true, with regard to the things that we can confirm are true, and despite that some parts are absolutely false, it statistically possible that some of the parts we can't necessarily prove not true, are.

For example, how about if the bible was written by God, and that part of the stories were true. Lucifer was cast from heaven, and became the Bible. He represents all of the lies, super concentrated, and people not only read them, they believe in order to spread evil about the Earth. Let's say Jesus was Satan's fictional character that he played, but the event didn't actually happen. Satan made it all up, but of course it would have to sound all nice, like there was a God or Heaven or such lies, while we see such things as patently not true. You see, there are all these twists and confusions to trick you into believing that truth is just too hard to look for, when it isn't, and that then it presents you with an easy all-in-one convenient story that just gives you all the answers. The Devil teases you like this, trying to keep you from seeing God's glory while you got your nose stuck in a book. The book even warns you about it. Worshiping false idols. Again, this relationship between what is false and what is true.

And again I conclude that the Bible must be false when the truth is all around us, cause remember that God is with us. He can hear our prayers, and grant them. The freedom and power to discover truth, and "the truth will set you free", removing the binds that allowed what was concerning us in our prayers to become resolved.

So, God it real, and He put the Bible on this planet in his way that if understood, such as we could understand the falsehoods in his own story, then you were truly a master, and you will get into heaven when you die, otherwise you just become dirt, and die like you THINK Atheists die. But as the miracle of science shows, matter makes up everything, and your matter will become part of another lifeform, and get yet another chance to get into heaven.

All you have to do is read, and the understand that the Bible is a divine story in which it predicts its own falsehood.

So Atheists are right, and there is a God, and if you understood him, he would never want to believing in such silly non-sense.

Response to McClintock's opinion on the California Propositions

@Josh and Tom

I do not see how you can call yourself a Libertarian or a conservative and support prop 4 or 8. I am a registered libertarian because I believe the constitution outlined a framework for the limitations in the purpose government is meant to serve. There are certain things people CAN do and there are things that people CAN NOT do. The only role I see necessary for the government is infrastructure and contract enforcement / dissolution, with very broad interpretation. Roads, power lines, Internet are infrastructure issues. Issues from murder to civil rights are a matter of social contract. Good policy is the only thing that can legitimize a government. When a government goes beyond its role of infrastructure and contract enforcement, it becomes illegitimate. This was a fundamental flaw identified with democracies by the Greeks is that Governments that serve the majority rather social contract of the society for the individual, you end up with a class-ism separating people into groups for which the government serves, and others to which are only slaves.

Marriage is a social contract. It may have many varieties with regard to religion, race, eye color, and hair style, but natural law allows two people to coexist in what ever way they desire. God's law, if you would have it: Anything that can happen on a deserted island. Two people can coexist and either work together, or not. These are the fundamental laws put into place by the natural order of the universe. That can not be regulated legitimately any more than making heavy things smaller controls gravity.

Now, a legitimate government can recognize that individuals may wish to coexist in a way that is mutually beneficial. This is a natural social contract. The government can, as part of its role it serves in assisting with social contracts, reduce the obligations on parts of the individuals to contribute to the government because in the way that the government is there to assist people, those people are already assisting people with each other. To make matters simple, the government will only recognize one such commitment between any two people at a time (not including dependents, but that is a different type of social contract). This amounts to reduction in taxes, joint filing, hospital visits, and other such things that make them a unit in the eyes of the law, and recognizing the reduction of work necessary by the government because these two people are partly doing the governments job with respect two those individuals, for each other.

Between person + person = contract and the recognition of that contract by the government, what legitimate role could the government have in judging who the members of that contract after we have recognized then as citizens.

Under this interpretation of the role of government and legitimate social policy, person + dog = marriage is legitimately illegal because the dog is not a citizen, and therefore can not enter a legal contract in any way that is enforceable by the government (don't read too much into it, it was only meant to be taken at face value and the context). person + child = marriage is not legitimate because the government does not recognize children as adults. Government recognizes its citizens, and children are still wards of the parents. In a society, with regard to social policy alone, there is a social contract that says "I will be a part of this society, but I don't want you to have sex with my kids". This social contract is enforceable by law going back to natural law / deserted island. People need to know the differences between being part of the society, and being alone in nature.

So as Wanda Sykes puts it, if you are against same-sex marriage, don't marry a member of the same sex. You don't want to enter into a certain contract with somebody, you don't have to; another part of the governments role.

Now, more of the way that this role of government is recognized is in the first amendment, with regard to religion. The contract of Marriage exist in all religions I know of. It is an important part of peoples faiths. The religious implications are irrelevant with regard to the role the government plays.

Government should not regulate religion, religious ceremonies, or other things that have no legitimacy having a relationship to the law. However, there is no reason why the government should not be allowed to call its relationship to this social contract that coexists with the persons faith, also marriage. If the government can not legitimately coexist with the word marriage for the implications it can have with regard to a persons faith, then either the relationship needs to be abolished, or the name needs to change for people to recognize and respect its differences.

Marriage for all, or we need to only have civil unions.

Now prop 4 is a little more complicated. I mentioned earlier the legitimacy the government has to step in with regard to relationship with minors, but this is something different. The elements and legitimacy of the government with regard to social contract contrasted with natural / God's law. Natural law says, as in what will happen in nature, is that a woman becomes fertile. With regard to the moral standards of our society, it is very young, but nature only knows a female as either prepubescent, and fertile. We can mess with it in all kinds of ways. We could force medication on people, we can chain chastity belts on them, we can even traumatize them with terrible stories of whores and witchcraft, but none of that changes the natural order of things.

Further, there is way more to reproduction and fertility than man + woman = baby, or eggs + sperm = baby, or penis + vagina = baby. Look at infant mortality rates around the world, and see it is more complicated then that. Women that want to become mothers that have lived so far very rewarding lives that want to expand on their experiences by adding motherhood to that experience are warned of the dangers of possible complications involved in breeding. It is common to expect possible mis carriages in early term. Part of this comes from nature knowing and regulating this. The natural law causes some people to not become mothers, causes people to die during childbirth, causes miscarriages / spontaneous abortion. A big part of that is a womans body can know if it is right to have a baby. In nature, animals frequently kill their young if they know that the children would not survive, and that if the mother takes care of herself, she is going to have better opportunities to actually have a healthy litter or whatnot in the future. Obviously, this is most common amongst mammals.

This is a complicated and emotional issue. While this may have sounded like an argument to support abortion, that was not the purpose. The places where the government can get involved with regard to abortion were outlined in Roe v. Wade, which was NOT a 'free for all' on abortion. It clearly outlined circumstances and situations where the government at different levels could get involved. To any supporter of pro-choice or pro-life as each life to be referred, I hope you know and understand exactly what Roe v. Wade actually decided, because I will agree that it addressed the core "issue" in a very unique way, unlike much of any other supreme court decision before or after.

So to social contracts and natural law, it makes it is illegitimate for the government to not recognize the right to privacy rights of minors IN THIS UNIQUE CASE. Driving, smoking, drinking, voting, owning property, and many other things that are rights, privileges, and benefits of civilized society. In this way, the government has an obligation to uphold the requests of the parent with regard to those issues as the child is still a legal defendant. Over simplifying, in every other case, the government is protecting the people from the government such that benefits do not become hindrances, even if they continue to be liabilities.

For lack of a better term, the government does not enable women to become pregnant in the way that all the other things of a great society can offer. Further, the courts have recognized the wisdom of Edward Abbey and this legal relationship between citizen and government:

"Abolition of a woman's right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: a form of rape by the State."

God / Nature has already given a woman the right to choose, in many ways. As the government has decided its role in enforcing the social contract of expectations of the part of society for a fertile woman, we leave to the woman what would otherwise be left to nature. There is no legitimate reason for an issue so closely related in the natural contract between a woman and nature for something like the government to come in and apply its ideas about age and maturity on an issue with which the government had no role to play.

Other than that, most everything else there is to say on the matter has been said. Parents should have the right to form open and honest relationships with their children as their defendants as they see fit. There is little justification for government to impose mandates on parenting other than the strict guidelines with regard to overt abuse and neglect. Teachers can be compelled to teach certain subjects and for certain core material be covered because parents are trusting their kids with that teacher. The government is expected to regulated, especially when it comes to a government (public) school. To give the government the power to force parents to talk about anything with their kids can be understandable, but it is completely illegitimate with regard to the role of government.

As for the other issues:
prop 1: infrastructure. Will this proposal over all make a positive contribution to the infrastructure of California? Yes.

I have some issues with the way that those contracts are given out, but that is a completely different issue that is not going to be resolved by revising this bill in any way.

2: Social policy? Well, that is why we vote. Is this the minimum standard we as a society want to set for providing these types, whether they be used domestically or for import. I think it is a good bill, but it is not complete. If we want this to be our social policy, it needs to be more than a restriction on California farmers. Prop 2 should be a consumer protection not a farm animal protection; farm animals are not citizens. The restriction should be on what is legal to produce and sell in this state. Then California is setting a good example in its policy, and providing for protections for consumers that wanted that policy. Seems easy enough. So vote yes if you think this is good and can be improved, or reject it for either disagreeing with the idea, or because we should not make bad laws that need to be fixed later. I side with only passing good laws.

3. Government might have a legitimate role in medicine, but it has utterly failed in every attempt. The progress made has been by individuals, doctors, and organizations that have been forced to battle the government. Yuck, what a mess. Government needs to get out, figure itself out before trying to just do MORE. Out of the context of what government has done for health care, this proposal makes no sense in our present economic situation.

5. Something the government has gotten overly involved in and screwed up horribly. The number one cause of accidental death in this country is prescription drugs followed by non prescription drugs. The drug war wasn't just a failure, but it should have reinforced this idea of the role of government and splitting up people into classes it very damaging to society. Our only solution to drug problems in the past (at least drugs the government can't give out patents for and such) is use it as an excuse to circumvent civil rights laws, and lock up undesirables. The issue has become more complicated, and we have learned that prohibition does not work. This will be a delicate issue, and while I could be in support of a sledge hammer to the issue, I recognize the desire by people for this to be a progressive matter, and that aside from the problems with the law, there are some real issues with drugs that need to be addressed. Prop 5 is a very well designed step towards a society that supports and protects social policy.

6. I think about the same is true for prop 6 as prop 5, but I am less familiar with the details and implications of the proposals, but feel that right or wrong, it is a legitimate role of government to address this issue, and that the people I would be most concerned about this bill being affected are in support of it.

7. Infrastructure? NO! This is a private business matter. There are TONS of problems with power companies in the state due to well intentioned BAD policy. This might possibly have a place in some state that had a handle on the issue, but it is particularly awful to try to throw on top of the heaping pile of [junk] that has become utilities management in this state. This is the most corrupt industry in this state, rivaled maybe only by telecommunications.

9. The way McClintock is putting it, such a law is already in place. If there is a problem, it is being addressed from the wrong angle. I am for victims rights, but there is a limit to everything before it just becomes [bad].

10. I completely agree with McClintock's argument.

11. Same

12. Same

The government is not your god. What a sick implication that you would petition the government to address issues completely outside of its role or purpose. Take some responsibility for your own lives, and use sound judgment before giving up your rights to make the government to do your bidding, cause some how historically, that never quite seems to work out. The government is power hungry and happy to take anything you give it. Think of Stephen King's "Needful Things". Be careful what you wish for.

UPDATE: Glad I blogged this, cause my reply wasn't posted. maybe it was too long, but I had a lot to say. Rather than starting a new post, I want to share the thoughts I had in the few hours after this posting.

With regard to the principles I argued for that make a legitimate government, I started thinking more about something humorous about this election. We are stuck picking between a democrat, and a socialist. With regard to some of the comments made on the Mark Levin Show (Afternoons PSD Sirius Patriot 144) about Obama's anti-founding fathers, anti us constitution comments from 2001 on Chicago Public Radio, I started reflecting on "Trying something different". If failure is a reflection of the plan then it is not terribly difficult to argue the plan didn't work. Our founding fathers told us what would work, and how this country would ultimately fail. They were right. So if we are going to praise them for what they did so well, maybe we should give them a little more credit for this countries failure.

Barack Obama has Hope for Change. republicans (little 'r' just for you Mike Church) have the worst fears of his Marxist regime, as they put it. I have been arguing for awhile that arguing with others that the constution is GREAT, bug that we gave up on it long ago. We live in a Media run, strongly religious right, communist nation. So maybe the republicans are right, and maybe the reason this isn't getting any huge attention because this is exactly what people want, and kinda don'd want to use the forbidden 'C' word to describe their beliefs because it has been such a taboo subject since the McCarthy Era and the Rosenburg trial. Or maybe they just havn't actually read the Communist Manifesto and understand the vision Marx had.

So what if Obama wants to try this new social experiment of what I have refered to as "democratic socialism". Obviously some people disadreed with Ron Paul on his reasons why people should not vote for him; "If you think that government has to take care of us, from cradle to grave, and if you think our government should police the world, [then I am not your cannidate]" he says.

With all the problems in this country right now, I think people are desperately looking for something different, in a major way, possible just in protest of how bad things have gotten screwed up so bad. The country wants to take another look at communism, but with more of a classless approach, a compassion for the american dream that works on giving a helping hand to everyone that wants to try. People are saying screw progress, we want help today.

I don't think this is the best solution for the country... but I do recognize that despite the fact that I think what is flanned is totally wrong in so many ways, I am exactly in the margin to get the most help... if you ignore the possibility of the whole system collapsing in on itself such that nobody can get any help.

Maybe this is the last I can hope for instead of feeling so cynical. I am told to worry about the economy, so I look into it (reading up on some of the great minds on the issue, such as Smith and Mesis) and see the people that are meant to ei leading this nation doing what appears to be down right guessing! All I can think is WTF, a HS Economics clas could show you why what you are doing is totally messed up. Taxes, people complain about taxes. So a real study is put forth to find the best system for all that would not change the present level of income. Pure reform. Real research was done my some of the best minds and finally produce a masterpiece. Finally some rational legislation based on logical reason and historical fact. The Fair Tax. What happenr? It gets ignored! All democrats can say is "Sales Tax is regressive". Read the damn bill! Yeah, it is pretty freaking long, but NOTHING compared to the montrosity of the present system.

It is crazy and frustrating. I am more sympathetic of the people happy that Obama has won than the people claiming the end of the world that McCain lost. I think a lot was totally fucked up by the Clintons, and Bush is being blamed for not fixing it. I CAN NOT accept all the blame being thrown at Bush in the face of a democraticly controlled congress. But fuck democratically controlled, there are 435 members of congress with all their stupid little commities trying to get everything right. Yeah, Bush wasn't a great leader, but this isn't Boy Scouts, you are United States Congressmen. With such a push over of a president, why wasn't this the time for Congress to shine?

Hmm...

Well Here's to HOPE. I am glad people like Obama... but other than that, I don't think I have anything positive to say. Maybe later... on a different subject.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wanda Sykes puts things into perspective

Thanks feministing.com for sharing this video in your article on gay marriage.

Which came first, Copyright or Creativity?

So there was an article on Slashdot today that got me very excited.

There is a big discussion going on, as usual with these issues, with a full range of opinions on this.

In this discussion the question came up of which came first, creativity or copyright with the argument presented:
1. creativity
2. printing press
3. mass distribution
4. copyright
5. the Internet
6. the RIAA

pretty simplo IMO.

This was a comment by Tharos.

It was the "Pretty Simple" I could not ignore. This was my response, disagreeing that organizations like the RIAA are something only of the present that came about AFTER the Internet:

Interesting perspective on history. But if many people think this is the way that it happened, no wonder we are in the mess we are in today, IMHO.

Survival has always been about advantage. Even in interspecies interaction, the winner most always the one that knows something the other does not. Where food is, where predators are not, deceptions in numbers, camouflage, and other things. Ultimately, nature and human history have shown that knowledge is power. Further, in competition, it is about having more power, even if by simply ensuring less knowledge by potential adversaries.

It may not have been called copyright in the century leading up to the Statute of Anne, but the control over the flow of information, and special armies to protect such information from falling into the "wrong hands" has been around as long as there has been written language. In some places, there were even were secret spoken languages meant only for the elite that were forbidden to be learned by commoners by threat of death. Even Caesar used encryption algorithms to pass secret messages to troops (Still known today as the Caesar shift). Scribes were required to take oaths not to reveal the secrets shared with them, and master texts were bound by shackle to the most trusted members, not in ways necessarily to keep the book from harm, but to keep the text away from unauthorized eyes.

All this is copy protection because every time we see an image or read a text, or see a sound, our brains make a copy... albeit some better than others.

So in many ways, copyright, the protection and control over knowledge came first, and with the birth of creativity and free thinking immediately came with it along side was methods of copy protection.

Wit the invention of the printing press in 1439, copyright was thrown into chaos. The distribution of knowledge was able to fight copyright in new ways never before conceived. Governments quickly responded with copyright police that hunted down book publishers, rounding them up for public hangings and beheading for their crimes to serve as an example of how they would deal with pirates; stealing work from scribes and writers. It was a problem the elite argued would destroy knowledge, creativity, and progress as there would be no longer any motivation for thinkers to think, scientists to study, or writers to write.

Well, they were right in part. The scribes guild vanished over a period of time. Knowledge as it was known, held in secret by a powerful few, had been destroyed.

But... someone and for some reason people did keep writing books, and all the tales of the end of the world of creativity never quite came about. Some argue it was actually the other way around, that a revolution took place and a generation of thinkers were born, but whose to say what really happened, right?

But then came a new battle. The scribes were gone, and book publishing had taken over. People had been enlightened, and there was a new thirst for knowledge, this time in masses, and printed books had been legalized. This time, the control was in the hands of the book publishers. But as the elite scribes had known, power isn't just control, but exclusive power. Book publishers wanted exclusive rights to publish books. The printers guild aka Stationer's Company, were granted exclusive right to print the books, so long as royalties were paid to the Queen. Books were 'bought' by the queen, and she would give the texts to book publishers that would get exclusive printing rights indefinitely. No royalties were ever paid to writers, and writers were banned from self publishing or seeking an independent press. Queen Mary I of Great Britain was the first MPAA / RIAA of its kind. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

By 1709, Shakespeare had been dead nearly 100 years. The independent publishers fought even harder for a more free copyright law, as opposed to the indefinitely perpetual copyright law in place. Shakespeare is a part of our culture and can not be owned by anyone. Stories are a part of who we are, not to be owned by individuals. Knowledge should be spread by any means necessary, and we are here to meet that demand.

A settlement was reached in the British courts in 1709 with the Statute of Anne, looking to balance the rights of people who would write stories contributing to culture, science, and "useful arts", and the rights of the people whom were members of that culture, both as readers, thinkers, and writers that draw upon that culture. Copyright would hence forth be limited to a period of fourteen years for new works, with requirements that copies be placed in all the libraries of Britain, and free for Stationer's Company to reproduce.

The founding fathers of the United States Constitution recognized this important protection and balance between culture, progress, and control, and thus included in the powers granted to congress the 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"... Which with the powerful lobbyists of today have taken from "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" to "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", but that is skipping ahead...

Quickly, Fox, Kodak, and Disney take a whole bunch of stuff, without any regard to copyrighted books and movies to patented film types and projectors, moving to California to form Hollywood because it was far enough from Washington DC to avoid the law, not to mention inventors seeking patent royalties for their inventions. skipping ahead, Disney becomes super power, tries to expand copyright but fails until people are distracted by WWII. Threatened by radio, congress grants freedom to radio despite major opposition. Disney / MPAA greatly threatened by Cable Companies saying it is going to "destroy creativity" just like radio as these companies run their pirate cables, just as scribes had claimed in 1400's. Congress grants statutory royalties. VCR comes out. BIG freak out, blah blah blah, more copy right statutes. broadcast flag, blah blah blah, CD, DVD MAJOR FREAK OUT... again, as usual as the dominent power of information / culture distribution was threatened. Internet, same thing so on and so forth.

So what I see? Culture was created and controlled by and elite few and distribution was difficult. Over the past millennium, there is always the attempt for "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." ~George Orwell (or Rage against the Machine for those that don't read books), or as Lawrence Lessig puts it, "1. Creativity and innovation always builds on the past. 2. The past always tries to control the creativity that builds on it. 3. Free Societies enable the future by limiting the past. 4. Ours is less and less a free society."

So I see it as, there is and always will be creativity. It can not be stopped. People with power and money from their success will fight to keep that control, and that power can potentially be limited by government. People will always fight for progress by any means necessary. Our government today is powerless to encourage progress due the many controls of the creators of the past.

The difference, as Sigmund freud put it, we are lucky to live in an age where people only burn our books and not us.

For a more complete version, read Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig, or watch any of his videos / lectures on youtube or opencinema, and a great film, Steal This Film Part II on the history of copyright, or part one on government coruption by the media, produced by The Pirate Bay.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q25-S7jzgs "Larry Lessig: How Creativity is being strangled by the law"

Obligatory comment left by me on this video:

This is the most important issue of our day. Our government is controlled by the media because those that don't get the entertainment industries approval CAN NOT get elected for prohibition to exposure via vital media such as TV and radio. I don't want to call it a fix all, but the passiveness to this control by the media bleeds into many issues that have resulted in entertaining further bad policies by example of what we have had to endure from the media. Lessig, you NAILED IT! You are my hero.
I'd also like to mention that from this video, with regard to the revolution by our youth. Our youth rejects the law as a whole because of the major parts of it that are corrupt, even though parts of the law in principle have validity. These congressional monopolies were written into our constitution only in so far as to promote progress. There was a balance. Now that congress has become so one sided, youth rejects balance in revolt against the corrupt monopolies congress has been bullied to give out.

Jack Valenti called it his own terrorist war, him being on the side of the monopolies. Hmm... the only terrorist I see is the man determined to rewrite the constitution in his favor. They may not be on our soil, but today we have a great American patriot that is not looking for mediation or compromise but has set his mission to destroy this evil the only way he knows how. He has enlisted hundreds of millions in advertising to fuel a undefeatable black market for any piece of culture the demons of our time would try to lock away and strategically hand out like bread to starving children. He has given the world a Horn of Plenty, looting from the pirates that stole our culture and try to comodotize and control it. Our great American Patriot's are Gottfrid Svartholm, Fredrik Neij, and Peter Sunde. Long Live The Pirate Bay!

With this caveat:

When our society returns to progress and we live in a Free culture as promoted by Lessig, Patry, and other men I consider great American heroes (reserving patriot for those of Edward Abbey's definition. GREAT men, just different), there will be no place for the pirate bay. As it is a front line of defense against injustice, a free culture will not need (no offense) such a crude and unorganized site that is merely an index. Sites like Jamendo will dominate. The evidence I present to defend this is this: Look at the inclusions in the index. Look for public domain works. Look for creative Commons work. Try to find work people are trying to give away or share with the world. You won't find any. The great success of The Pirate Bay is fueled only as a counter to greed and corruption. This explains the hundreds of millions of dollars in "off-shore accounts" around the world. Freedom, and a love for cultural sharing where artists recognize the influence culture has had on them, and the opportunities for creativity it provides unilaterally, there is no place on the pirate bay. It is only a forum for patriots to band together against corruption. When the corruption is broken, the Pirate Bay will sail off into the sunset of our history, as it will have no place in the free world.

Let that be a reminder to would be cultural tyrants out there. This is a war YOU started, and the Pirate Bay will help end. The numbers say every Internet user is a soldier, and every dollar TPB makes should stand as a memorial to the intolerance of your ways.

And on a related note, notice the praises for the television stations that now share their content on the web? The business model of the future may not be complete, but you can easily see where it is going. I know there is a day where one studios artwork will disappear from the pirate bay, and all that money they had been getting will go to the studios, and that will be the first studio to start its own bit torrent tracker, or whatever they have to call it. Hopefully that will take place before the last movie achieves rot away on their not so permanent nitrate film.

The Pirate Bay will soar so long as it is profitable. Ye of so little faith that can't find a better business model, and must turn to the government to "fix" it for you, like fixing any other game.

Ooh, and to anyone that read the other news on slashdot, it appears our old friend Ted Stevens will be observing a series of cubes. Ha ha ha!

Please comment if you made it through my whole rant. It is appreciated.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jamendo

This site is great! Lots of CC work where artists get free promotion, and people can comment, review, and download music. I have been listening to this album most of the afternoon. I love it!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Prop 8 is SOOO GAY!

I have not been pro 8 at any point, but I feel so strongly about it, I feel had begun to feel ignorant, not understanding how ANYONE with any sense of good inside of them could support this measure to change our constitution.

Oh, and to double check, does it seriously need a 50%+ vote to pass? or is it 66% like the US Constitution?

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/138/2/210

A good article on how the APA resolved the matter. I interpret the last line as to mean that heterosexuals hold certain values about their heterosexuality that conflict with homosexuality.

The funniest thing I see about this is that the church seems to find homosexuality WAY more normal than I do, or much anyone else I know.

What I hear from no on 8 people is that gay is normal for some people, that is just the way they are, and I am different.

The Yes on 8 people say that everyone really wants to be gay and that if people learn about being gay or that being gay is ok, everyone will become gay, and nobody will take care of their families or children or society because being gay is just too wonderful, but the human species will die out!

And even if there was some chance of that being true, is the idea of continuing the species, or heterosexual intercourse, or the opposite gender so detestable to you you need a law to make sure everyone else has to suffer as much as you sacrifice on a regular basis?

Can I just stop for a moment and say... WTF!?!?!?!??

Of course there is always the possibility that this is just the most politically correct way of saying they REALLY like sex,and know what a pain they can be in relationships such that if men can get their pleasure from other men, they will never get laid again.

The more I think about it, the yes on 8 people must have the biggest homo fantasy EVER about the world and the way people work. In a way... it is kinda hot.

It is like as if being hetro is some kind of struggle to make the world a better place, to which I just go HUH?!?

I have been with men and women. I appreciate them each in their own way, but discovered I am VERY straight. It even hurts some times because I believed it was all programming and that everyone in a natural environment was bisexual... and I felt SOOO enlightened... but alas it took me no time at all to realize I was hopelessly straight. I think the biggest part is smell. Guys are gross, and the scent of a woman drives me CrAzY!

I guess being heterosexual is just natural for me.

So again I ask, where the hell are these people coming from, if not of a place of deeply repressed homosexuality?

How about for a poster: "Sorry boys, it isn't as gay as you think. No on Prop 8!"

The Pirate Bay

If you desire to steal expensive software and not pay anything for it, Gnu/Linux was recently assessed at being a $25 billion piece of work.

The purpose of information is for it to be shared. Disney fights this hard because they understand it; Disney is the master of theft, and they will crush anyone that tries to invade their territory.

The Pirate Bay is only a glimmer of how great a Free Culture could be. They get strength from greed and oppression. Only in the world we live in today with the members of th MPAA and RIAA buying the government and forcing their monopoly onto the world could a site like the pirate bay thrive. As it is mentioned in the video, they have no content of their own, and yet from this pure black market of culture, they make hundreds of millions of dollars.

Though as other commenter's mentioned, The Pirate Bay is a very comprehensive, and powerful site with some of the highest traffic in the world. That can't be cheap.

However, the statement that The Pirate Bay has none of its own content is not quite true. They made two movies: Steal This Film and Steal This Film: Part II.

The first movie is about the raid on The Pirate Bay. The second movie is about the history of the exchange of ideas, and what powerful people have done to try to stop it.

For a more specific historical look at British common law regarding copyright, and copyright law in the United States, I HIGHLY recommend Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig, a man who is my personal hero. If you simply are not the book reading type, he has some great videos crying out "oh why, oh why, can we not follow the constitution!" (ok, a little poetic licence). This is one of my favorites.

Something I hope to write about soon is about the corruption of our United States Congress, and how the entertainment industry poisnns their way into getting special legal protections for their should be dying business model.

The key: If you as a politician don't support the entertainment industry, you don't get to use our medium; no TV, no Radio, no News coverage of your events; unless you count getting to buy infomercials along side teeth whitening gel and VegiBlender 2000. And all this puts you where next to your opponent?

All that before smear campaigns and lobbyists.

Only a seriously sick corrupted fuck could ever support the PRO-IP Act, which totally explains why there were only 5 coegressmen that voted against it, like Ron Paul.

As we watch our country erode away, how can people really try to put all this on the president. One man. Diamond got sued into oblivion for their mp3 players, but when Apple bent over to the RIAA, who now gets all the credit for making mp3 players famous. And consumers are thrilled. Makes me sick.


Sherrie Lockwood

Have you noticed anything? She seems to be about the only person posting all the yes on 8 videos. Further, she is censoring all the comments so that there are only comments from people that are yes on 8. I have seen a full range of comments, and most op the prop 8 videos have many thousands of comments. Hers? only a few hundred, yet she has some of the most watched videos. viewings in the tens of thousands.

It appears she has me blocked me from sending her any kind of messages or commenting on any of her videos. I think that is very telling.

I checked out her web site. WOW, she is very active. HUGE website about herself, church, children, and scout troop. As if her hundreds of videos were not enough.

The really weird thing is with all the stuff she is saying about traditional family, she is a single mother of three boys.

I have nothing wrong with that, and she really appears to be a great mom, and her kids seem really cool, looking through her site... but how is that in any way "traditional", in so far as she seems to keep making the argument?

I think she is the best example of a person with an alternative lifestyle that is a wonderfully supportive parent that has raised some great children. Who is to say you can't call what she has a family? Anyone to pity those kids for coming from a "broken home" really needs a reality check.

Ironic, I think.

I'll skip the history lesson on this one.

DON'T READ THIS POST!!!

The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. ~Henry Commager

Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime. ~Potter Stewart

A free press can be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom a press will never be anything but bad. ~Albert Camus

Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them. ~Mark Twain, 1935
I posted the above to a video on youtube "Vote YES On prop 8-Six Consequences" by user sherrielockwood. She has heavily censored the comments on her page to ensure that only people that share her opinion can leave comments on her page. How sad.

Well, with people able to post their opinion almost anywhere they like, maybe it is nice she keep a little sanctuary for her dying little cause :)

Is there any chance that all these people saying that they need to fight this cause because God wants them to... when it fails, will that mean that they will understand that they were wrong?

*sigh* Don't worry, I know it is too much to hope for.

That makes me think though. I don't have anything against Sarah Palin. She is a cute little underdog. Despite disagreeing with certain opinions of hers (not all), I do have a concern for her mental well being. I am not implying that she is crazy...yet, because I think it is great when people can draw strength from where ever they can get it, Superman, Jesus, Captain Picard, whoever. It is wonderful.

The place I am concerned is what will happen when she looses. She and her supporters have proclaimed that she is "filled with the Holy Spirit", and while I might really like to fill her with my Holy Spirit, is there a chance she may just loose it when the votes are finally counted, and so few were for her and her man? I don't mean violent crazy, or locked up crazy, but if she really thinks she is the instrument of her god, what will it say about God when her god is ineffective at getting her to president of the senate?

Ha Ha HA!!! ok, maybe I just can't talk about this seriously... Never mind.

I am sure she will come up with some kind of excuse for everything in the end. Hell, she isn't going to stop being a politician. :)

California Proposition 4 Rant

Got an email from a friend asking my opinion on California Proposition 4, Parental notification before abortion law being proposed. This was my rant:

UPDATE: Jonanda42 has given be permission to post her question that got me going on prop 4. Here it is.

Prop 4 is a little more complex for me. Although I am pro choice, having had daughters myself, I have difficulty with the idea that an underage girl could seek an abortion without parental or guardian consent. I do agree, however, that she may be in an environment that might not be condusive to that kind of news and she may be at risk for abuse. But I hope that those cases are few and far between.

What do you think about prop 4?
---
I certainly hear the cry of parents that care and worry about the choices their children will make. I would hope that every mother daughter relationship has the strength to discuss such an emotionally difficult choice.

I am pro choice, but not in the choice of whether or not to have an abortion, but the choice of how and when to start a family. Sex is fun and it feels good. Some people use this in good ways, and some take advantage of it in really terrible ways.

Many things have been tried through out our history to control breeding and population both in the name of religion and science. Eugenics is just bad social policy, because it is people thinking they are better than nature and can therefore make better choices than an individual. People talk about it like as though as if it was only the Nazi's that ran those types of policies, but they were not. Similar "programs" of different types were going on all around the world, particularly in the US since the 1920's. It doesn't work. The last of a national eugenics program did not end until 1958.

So what does this have to do with abortion and parental consent? People still sympathize with eugenics for its merits, even when we know its horrific dangers as a social policy.

Pro-choice is about that individual freedom. We do not force people to breed any more than we would tell Sarah Palin that she is too old to have a child because of the risk of Down's Syndrome (1 in 8 children of women over 40 have DS). We do not judge people for those kinds of choices, nor do we push people with the law. It is a way that we accept that life has a way of running its own course.

The place we do push people with the law is with child abuse. If a child is obviously abused, or admits to abuse, there are mandatory reporting laws. These I agree with, even if I would criticize CPSs effectiveness, as I have called them myself on more than a few occasions.. Some would likely say that a pregnant minor is proof of abuse... but that is not what this law is trying to address.

The world is a big scary place, and we all try to look out for each other. There is no bigger choice in a persons life than when to start a family. Biologically, and if there is a God what he decided, the time when that natural right comes for a woman to make that choice is the day she becomes fertile. That is just biological law.

Prop 4 tries to manipulate that in a very careful way. We can not know every persons family, but this law is only intended to help one very specific group of people, while neglecting another.

Most kids I think are wrong about how they think their parents would react to an unexpected pregnancy unless it had been previously discussed in great detail. But there are some kids that do know. Some kids are really smart and may know that their parents would disown them, or see them as a murderer if they got an abortion. Maybe the kid lives on the street and has worked very hard to stay away from abusive parents. I can not know what every minors position might be, or the circumstances of their pregnancy. For many that get abortions, as difficult as it is, there is a chance there are even bigger more complicated issues. And there are a lot of kids in bad/other situations. They do need help. This law is not going to provide any kind of help those kids need.

This law adds bureaucracy to an already difficult situation in order to assist strongly religious parents in preventing their children from having abortions. That is the only objective of prop 4. Even voting no, I desperately with there was a proposition to help more of these kids in a way I could be voting yes on. This is NOT it.

Parents need to talk to their kids and help them make good life choices. This starts from the time you as a parent decide to have children. Talk about love, sex, and family values. Give them condoms. Help them get birth control. Remind them that their body is sacred and to share it when it is going to be respected. If they are having strong feelings, encourage them to masturbate in privacy, use a vibrator... just don't go with them to pick it out. You have all the time to care and connect with your child and hope that you have given them all the best.

You pray that with all this work that your child will want to share the details of love and sadness with you. You hope that when they meet someone they love that they may marry, have kids, and make the same happiness that you were so privileged to have, and they will tell you every detail along the way so you can be happy for them...

... and that is what I hope every parent wants

...but there is always that barrier that keeps you from really knowing. That part is individuality. Their uniqueness that makes them who they are that you love is the same thing that means you really can't ever know exactly what is going on in their head, no matter how much you may want to.

So there I think outlines all the fears of the best parents. Prop 4 comes from that love in a way. But it is too much. You have had a lot of time with that kid until that day they become fertile which is so far from what we consider adulthood today.

And hopefully all that means that they would talk to you.

But if for whatever reason they as individuals decide this is something they can't talk to you about, this time, then we need to understand and accept that choice, no matter how difficult that may be. And at that point when they have made their choice, hopefully informed as you raised them to think, is not the time for a doctor to be compelled by the government to insist on opening the lines of communication between parent and daughter.

Maybe there are girls out there that had to grow up a little too fast, need to take things one step at a time, and decide that this isn't the time in their life to start a family. We can't take that power away from them.

End of rant

So that pretty much covers all the various things that go through my head with regard to parental notification laws.

Prop 4 is bad social policy, even if it can sound in the best interest of our children, unfortunately this isn't it. The reality is that it is just an anti-abortion last line of defense that I can not support.
---

I'll post the original question that inspired this rant, when I get consent :) posted!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

To Jonanda42:

Jonanda42, thanks for the request for comment, but reading your page got me into a rant. my comment ended up being way too long to post, so here is what I wrote in full. A reply comment would be appreciated. My other rant on California prop. 8 is included in the article as well.

Take care
---

Thanks for the request for comment. I'll share what I think the most important point is:
I wrote a full opinion on one aspect of the issue (not my usual satire) on my blog. The short of it, many states had constitutional bans on interracial marriage as recently as 2000. Not enforceable since 1963 with Loving v. Virginia, the year before the civil rights at of 1964 that gave extended equal protect of the law regardless of race, GENDER, religion, and national origin. So, are people really arguing that equal protection regardless or gender was a mistake, or needs to be dissected more carefully? With our grossly incompetent congress at this point in time, the reference you want to give them is the bible?!? The bible is a cute piece of fiction with some interesting stories that reveal a lot about life 1600 years ago, and further back for the old testament. People are actually arguing the relevance of the bible to guide our politics, but disregard the constitution as dated because the founders could not have known what todays world would be like? BULLSHIT! I think our founders understood a hell of a lot more about tyranny than the vast majority of the country. Back to prop 8 for a sec, this is the PERFECT example of how democracy is a doomed failure. You want to read an ancient text that was actually based on fact? Read The Histories, a fantastic piece about what the Ancient Greeks learned about why democracy sucks; key point: despite whatever works, it eventually comes down to the majority being able to do whatever they want to the minority. 51% of people can vote to change the constitution while 49% oppose? That is FUCKED UP, and the fact that this is even on the ballot pisses me off. Blacks only make up 15% of the American population... so what? that means the other 85% can RAPE them for anything their hearts desire? Sadly, equality didn't come through change in the hearts of Americans. It took some rouge supreme court justices that looked at the heart of the constitution to understand the great theory of America and FORCED it upon an unwilling majority declaring "WAKE THE FUCK UP, THIS IS AMERICA!!!". So go on and impose your little democratic gestapo because some law might make you come out of the fucking closet, or tell your children they have the right to make informed decisions about love. The one great thing about even the remote chance this might pass is that it will justify an appeal to the United States Supreme Court where it will be found unconstitutional, and it will force EVERY STATE to recognize gay marriage. And not only will your your precious little children be taught about love between two people, but right next to Loving v. Virginia their history books will cits that nasty time in history before fags v. California.

All you can hope for is deadly cancer that will turn you into dirt (sorry, heaven is a lie) so you won't have to see a place where fags can marry. Sorry suckers, it is going to happen, and your gay son is going to help.

You just can't outlaw stupid...

This could probably be a whole series, but this is just in relationship to a recent visit to the local superior court house to help a friend do some research on his case. It made me think about the procedure of things, and the up and coming prop 5 on the ballot. See link if you are not familiar.

Just to note, I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. Though that should probably be at the bottom of my page, I am just saying it now in case I don't ever get amount to putting it on my page... as with many things :)

(UPDATE: There now is a little disclaimer next to the copyright notice, woot)

That being said, I am getting a stronger and stronger impression that a public defender is about as helpful as having Brutus and Judah as military advisors; they are not traitors to the cause... necessary... yet... but they swear to have your best interests at heart. So anachronisms aside, I think the system as it is designed is GREAT! If you look at the law and the job the judge and public defender have to do, it is amazing. The standard, if you look at the rules, are VERY high for protecting the interests of an accused... the problem? Same problem you have in any game where everyone knows the rules of the game except you. You CAN NOT win in that situation, and as the title suggests, you can't outlaw stupid. So what happens, and whose fault is it, especially when they, or anyone for that matter, already has evidence against you?

Unfortunately, there are a LOT of people that never take the time to learn the law, mostly because it is considered boring or uninteresting... but complain when the systems does not work the way (they thought) it was supposed to. Know why it fails? Because between a seasoned judge, district attorney, and oddly enough your own lawyer, you are still the weakest link.

Ok, getting back on track, what does this have to do with prop 5? In the blindingly fast process of arraignment I observed, there were two ways that cases went. Plead guilty and receive the minimum mandatory sentence graciously offered by the judge and set date for sentencing, OR plead not guilty to which you were asked a series of 'simple' questions that waive as many of your constitutional rights as possible. Ironically, I bet that was what they thought "not guilty" avoided.

The one that really got me was the "Do you want to give your lawyer more than 45 days to review your case?" You think this would be a very simple, straight forward question, right? Of course it is! The 6th amendment gives you the right to a speedy trial. With misdemeanor charges in California, that means they have 45 days to prove their case, or dismiss. However, some people need more time than that to fight the evidence against them, otherwise there would be a violation of due process, taking what was meant to be a protection and turn it against you.

So my question is this: Why is the accused being asked at an arraignment without an attorney how long it will take a lawyer to put their case together, especially when you have the right to waive at ANY time, but you can never un-waive? Isn't this a better issue to discuss with the lawyer, and allow the lawyer to advise the client on?

(UPDATE: Evidently you can waive and unwaive at any time, more or less, but it resets the clock for the D.A.; 45 days starts over)

But of course that issue was handled in Miranda v. Arizona. Not only do you already have so many rights to protect you, but police have to explain them to you before 'many things can happen'. You have a right to an attorney (further, you have a right to a competent attorney, US v. Pope) and all that other good stuff. Do people just not get that those rights still apply when you are in court, not JUST with police?

There are too many clich├ęs about "common sense" to pick one, but it appears to me that it is a big issue of law. For example, if you are unsure of what entering a plea necessarily does, why are you answering the question? But at the same time, why should a judge be explaining those "special circumstances" to you? I only read about this recently. When you enter a plea, as offered by the judge, you acknowledge validity of the proceedings. Sure, you got all these rights and stuff, and you and the court are going to argue many things. If you enter a plea, you are not necessarily waiving a right, but it can be used against you later. Or more simply, arraignment is a stage in the proceedings. Once you enter a plea, you are assisting in moving things forward. Well, what if there was something that you could have challenged in that stage? Well, as we have seen in many movies, is that you can only say "guilty, not guilty, or no contest". But what if you just say nothing? Can you get in trouble for not saying anything at all? What if you don't understand what is going on, but you know you have the 5th amendment to protect you in some way?

Maybe it is insignificant, as I really haven't researched it thoroughly, but if you do not enter a plea, the judge is forced to enter you into a plea of not guilty, with the interesting side effect of never having a record of your acknowledgement of the validity of the proceedings. It is called a "mute" plea, and goes on record as such. My impression that pleading can be used against you later; "Well, if any of your rights had been violated before this point, why didn't you say something. Sorry, too late". Anyway, take that for what it is worth, I look forward to looking into it further.

Ok, so as briefly mentioned earlier, accused have the right to a competent attorney. Did a little homework on what that really means. I discovered, for lack of a better word, really quite hard core. US v. Pope is very interesting. I am sure to anyone that hasn't read it will finish saying, "Wow, I never knew the standards for lawyers are so tough!". They should understand the evidence being used against you, what is legal, and defend their client to the best of the ability like any other lawyer. Some lawyers may have special arguments or tricks up their sleeves, and that doesn't count. Neither do obscure interpretations of the law, but they should be up to date on relevant cases, particularly for the local county and state.

So what inspired this post was outrage, nearly getting up and yelling at the judge Better judgment told me that could have resulted in nothing but bad, by comparison to sitting there quietly. I painfully could not justify taking the risk, despite feeling that any lawyer worth his weight in water would have done things differently. Nobody there for misdemeanor weed possession had representation. I think there were about a dozen people there for such charges.

And here is one of those places where entering a plea would be bad. These people were being charged with a crime the people of California are trying to change, with prop 5. Among other things, it would reduce minor possession to an infraction and a $100 fine, and no civil assessment, meaning it would be just like a traffic ticket where you just have to pay the fine, and you are done.

These people moved forward with misdemeanor proceedings, to which all I could think was WHY?!? Don't plead guilty to something that might not be illegal in two weeks?!? The law is retroactive in this case. Pleading innocent wouldn't make sense either because you are still moving forward with something that might not even be illegal in two weeks.


Why not simply request a continuance? Two week continuance? First request? I'd bet you could ask for a two week continuance for ANYTHING! Like, "Umm... I don't know if I want a public defender, I need to ask my mom" would be a good enough reason, let alone the fact that the law may dramatically change very soon.

As I said before, any lawyer worth their weight in water would have made that argument, and any lawyer that didn't should be charged with malpractice.

UPDATE: I wrote this with a lot of frustration and obviously didn't look over it when I wrote it. I will go back and fix some of these really broken sentences in the near future. Sorry to inconvenience anyone that was interested in what I was trying to say. FIXED!

No on Prop 8!

This was a letter I sent in response to a very angry reply I received regarding some satirical comments I left on a "yes on prop 8" advert on youtube. Sorry I do not have the original comment as I can not find a way to track my youtube comments. oh well.

Oh, to note though, the various pieces of satire basically had a theme of me cheating on my wife and my gay lover wanting to marry me, which was why I needed prop 8 to pass, and how prop 8 is an important step towards establishing traditional marriage as being between a white man and a white woman (As was the law in many states up until as late as 2000, seriously, though technically unenforcible since 1963 with Loving v. Virginia)

Anyway, here was my response:

hmm... I seem to have written too much today, or too many people are posting to quickly that I don't know which message you were replying to.

Anyway, I quickly tire of the same repeat arguments from both sides. I prefer to express myself through satire; making an argument for the opposition that exposes them for their wrong. Anyway, if perchance your question of "what does this have to do with race?" was actual curiosity I would love to share my perspective assuming you are even still reading this.

For a long time African Americans could not marry. This was more in the time of slavery and such, but it did take some time after until African Americans could have 'legal' marriages. More quickly than states giving African Americans the right to marry each other were states quickly scrambling to impose laws that separated marriages of blacks, Chinese, and Latino marriages from traditional white marriages. For the most part they could marry each other, but only whites could marry whites.

With a lot of argument over "rights" and such, like women wanting to vote, in 1924, the state of Virginia passed a constitutional amendment, passed by the majority of the people, making it a felony for interracial couples to marry.

The Title: Racial Integrity Act of 1924, and was strongly pushed as a measure to help preserve "traditional marriage".

This was the law when Mr. and Mrs. Loving left Virginia in 1958 to get married in a neighboring state where it was legal. Upon their return to Virginia, they were promptly arrested, their marriage annulled as unlawful, and they were sentenced to prison.

They appealed.

Their fight would not be won until 1963 (5 years later) in the Supreme Court where the acceding opinion would declare that these laws were an abomination to the heart of equal protection and due process of law. One year later, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed baring discrimination on the basis of RACE, color, religion, GENDER, or national origin.

Even after that, racial discrimination laws would stay in place, though unenforced until as late in many states as 2000, just 8 years ago.

This is how this issue is EXACTLY the same. And maybe Californians want to go back to 1924, protecting marriage for its traditional meaning, and being gay was a disease just like being black (remember disease = genetic / hereditary disorder), or maybe the judges in Loving v. Virginia were right, that "equality for all" is something we should embrace and to all that opposed have learned a lesson that the government is meant to help and support all Americans, not the majority of them. Paraphrasing Obama (though I know he supports prop 8) "This isn't Straight America, this isn't Gay America, this is the United States of America!"

With some of these racist marriage laws having been repealed in far less than half your lifetime, what would you, your family, or friends say if told African Americans need to have Civil Unions because traditional marriage is for white people... but DON'T WORRY, Civil Unions give you all the same rights as white people... except you can't call it that, that's all. Think of the children. We wouldn't want them getting confused!

I hope such an idea strikes rage in your heart at such a notion.

May this give complete clarity on my position, and if you actually read this far, thank you for listening.