Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lessig "very moderate" on copyright law

very moderate? I have this picture of Richard Stallman piggyback riding Joseph Utsler through Disneyland with a flamethrower as a modest proposal.

I take some offense at the derogatory use of 'very moderate' to describe him. I will admit I am a bit of a fanatical fan, but I don't see how his 'moderation' could be interpreted as 'soft', as I feel you are implying.

Each side has declared war. Hollywood has gone so F***ing insane with copyright to buy and manipulate our culture and government that many people refuse to acknowledge any respect that copyright could hold. The Pirate Bay is a monument to the damage and hostility created by the content cartel. If there was any 'moderation', aka, embrace of current technology, and respect of the progress clause of the constitution, the Pirate Bay would not exist because there would be no need.

With opinions so violent on both sides, it is amazing Lessig has seen through all the BS, knowing what people want, was creators want, and the beauty of a read/write culture, he has given tools to artists like creative commons to artists that let them do what they always wanted to do. Lessig enables people around the bullshit, not someone going around trying to CONVINCE people things need to be a certain way. I feel he opens peoples hearts to what they already knew.

By contrast, we have FOSS guys like RMS. I respect him and use a lot of his software. I love what he has enabled. But His ideal is one that only respects freedom to consumers. I hate proprietary as much as any other Linux fanboy, but I don't think a developer that wants to keep some part of his project private is evil, so long as it doesn't become some kind of standard or requirement the way Windows is required for most computer purchases. I am reminded every once in awhile that my problem with proprietary is when it is not a choice, and I don't understand why.

and "utterly broken" is extreme. it is a binary opinion that generalizes it as a whole, to say that none of it works at all. That is extreme, and just not true. Lessig gets very technical about the parts that are broken. His focus in Free Culture, IMO, was scope, derivative / remixed works (fair use really wasn't about derivative works), orphaned works, and the hunting down and labeling of children as terrorists work wanting to be a part of their own culture.

One thing I think of in terms of a shorter copyright term is that it would apply to GPL works too. If copyright was, say, back to 14 years, how much of the Linux Kernel would become public domain where derivative works would no longer have the protection of "share-alike"?

I see him as an extremist who is well educated, and rational about about the feelings around copyright law. He is not a man without enemies for his opinions.

There are parts of copyright law that absolutely defy common sense, but there are parts that are technical and common sense does not bring about the right solution. For example, the constitution leaves the power of determining and changing the length of copyright term to best meet the needs of the people to promote science and the useful arts. And as far as common sense goes, Ashcroft WON on the 'common sense' argument of "why shouldn't Disney be able to retain complete control over what THEY made?'. I think what is lacking is some maybe difficult to understand science of what kind of copyright would "promote science and the useful arts", not common sense, because common sense may not be the understanding to most people what it is to you or I.

It is like free market: 'common sense' (of a certain uneducated type) says that the government should be able to come in and fix every little problem with just the right regulations and controls, but for those that have read the works Mesis or Smith would understand how 'economic planning' by a bureaucratic governmental entity doesn't work / can only work in certain ways.

I think common sense has taken over in government, replacing logic and rationality. My common sense says 'look at the damned Constitution', but what common person do you think even knows it is in there?

With all the people that know, love, and respect Lessig, I can bet that his voice will carry a lot of weight if he uses the position to the best of his ability. Power is not given, it is harnessed. Want to see the position have no power? Give it to RMS.

Lessig is by far the best man for this position, or the best person to advise Obama on who should get the position. After Lessig, I would pick William Patry, then pretty much anyone they would agree would be best. I can't imagine the position going to someone they would dislike.

I would be very curious to know who you think is more extreme then Lessig that has made a real contribution. Ok, maybe Fredrik Neij or Peter Sunde, but that's never going to happen.

Ignorance is bliss?

"You can't take the car out of the parking lot until you pay for it" == women are property.

Some people have relationship, people that make a commitment to have a life together. There are many ways to bond to see if a life commitment is going to work. Going on dates, having sex, living together, whatever. You have a life together to see if you want more. It is a test drive. Having anything but a real committed relationship before marriage means you are doing something else...

That something else is what is wrong, in my opinion. This man just bought pussy. She is now his property. This is exactly the definition of a slut; a woman that uses her cunt to get the things she wants, something to manipulate another person with.

If I was going to 'buy' something to put on my dick, it wouldn't be a woman. WAY too much maintenance to keep around all the time. Prostitutes are much better partners in a situation like this cause they are much less expensive, and they leave when you are done with them. Or a maid. They are much cheaper than a full time woman.

If he was looking for a baby factory with that 'new car smell', then each to their own.

The only way this works is if they can allow their delusions to continue into reality, denying what is going on, never try to be more intimate than necessary to make kids, never experiment, and certainly NEVER have a talk about what they want from life, cause that tends to break things quickly. After that a combination of stupidity, income, and early death will ensure a long marriage.

And if you ever thought there might have been more to life, just tell yourself over and over again "ignorance is bliss", "ignorance is bliss", "ignorance is bliss"... and more than likely any 'greener grass' will be just as disappointing as your marriage.

And if that doesn't work, remember that Jesus and all the other x-men are happy for you. :)

And don't worry, a life where you make an effort and learn from your mistakes really isn't very rewarding just like you think (just in case you need me to tell you that to make you feel better)

Have a nice life!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Another Prop 8 discussion

So it has been awhile, but people are still talking quite a bit about this issue. I know it is going through the courts, and those that have always been on the battlefield are still there fighting, but this is different. Regular people that don't discuss politics generally, and whose lives were not really affected by prop 8, haven't just gone back to their lives. They are still talking about this. Even those that voted yes are still asking questions about this issue.

I Hear: I don't understand, but I want to.

This is how I got involved. I was so angry over this, for the past many months. I really didn't get it. I listened, and I feel I have gotten a much better understanding of the issue. Not just the tricks, and the lies in the ads, but where people really feel conflicted, or just comfortable with voting yes, as if, in my mind, it wasn't going to hurt people in the same way it wasn't going to hurt them.

Anyway, I got a kind letter from someone I did n't know that enjoyed the satirical exchange between myself and YesJesusYes on YouTube. I Visited their page and read the following qustion / comment left on their page:

From standj21:
Yeah I see what you are saying, and I support your position , but you first need to explain to me how one has the "right" to be married, and Im not talking about gays Im talking about everyone. No one has a right to be married, if it were true we would not be having this conversation, what you need to understand is that it like many things is a privilege, and privileges can be taken from you, or in some cases never granted to you. It is my understanding that civil unions are allowed, and that can be between gay couples, and straight couples.

Like I said I may be wrong I never really spent much time researching it. If prop8 was designed to keep gay couples from the same benefits as straight couples then I would take issue with it, because the only purpose of a law should be to protect, never to impose ones believes, if by enacting a law that protects religious rights to not observe gay marriage, or to protect anyone from penalties from the government for not observing gay marriage (which by the way is one of the strongest arguments on the other side) I feel that its worthy of being passed.

Which begs the question, what are gay people looking for, what do you specifically want? Please dont say you want the right to marry, hell I want that to be my right too, but it just aint gonna happen, and Im straight even. Is it that you just want to have a ceremony? If that is the case then the government should not have a say in it anyways, and neither should anyone else.

Kind regards, and best wishes, Justin
I know where you are coming from. I'll never be able to put it as eloquently as Keith Olberman or Lawrence Lessig, but here was my response I left to some of the questions not necessarily covered the two people mentioned on my feelings.

@Justin: Is it a privilege, or is it something special that goes along with something religious? Separation if church and state PROTECTS religion, would you want one Christian sect telling all the others what to believe? Civil Union does not give the same rights as marriage, even if everyone agrees it should; that is a much more technical argument, however, Supreme Court has said separate is inherently unequal.

And great question, is it a right or a privilege? It is a right. What are the rules to get married? 18 or parental consent. There is also the argument it is a human right, legal recognition that two people want to be together across national lines, disaster, keeping a home and tax issues related to such things. The first of which is not granted in the US, domestic partners can not be foreign nationals.

Next, have you ever heard of a court ordered divorce where couples were doing so bad the court made them split up? Denied marriage to two straight people for an issue other than race? I could totally agree marriage could or should be regulated. Why not a 30 day waiting period? Why not mandatory background checks or full disclosure such as is required when you buy a house or a gun? I know why, cause we don't want the government that involved in our personal lives. We protect marriage as a human right.

Finally, critical in this fight, was labeling homosexuality a behavior, and NOT a person. Seems like semantics, right? no. The issue makes a big difference with regard to law. If there were not just homo-behavior and we actually had homo people, 'they' then get special rights as what is called a 'suspect class'. Religion and forms of worship and classes of people can be regulated, but only with a super-majority, >75%. This is why we can have pedophiles as people, not "a behavior", and they don't get legal protection... just as a matter of the law anyway.

Democracy fails when it is the majority ruling over a minority. This is why I do not recognize "The will of the people" as any legitimate argument, especially when it is 52%. Your words acknowledge gays as people, a class of society that are being put to one side versus another, not just a behavior to be discouraged. If we like this country, and want to give meaning to that term law, then we need to recognize these people, like em' or not, as a suspect class with rights, rights, such as marriage that can not be taken away without a super-majority. This is a class war, and that is why people are so angry, so bitter. 52% (down from 63%, both less than super-majority) is not getting regulated away any time soon. Which side do you feel proud to stand on?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Ant in response to this video I just saw with Dr. Phil:
I think someone needs to reread Uncle Tom. No ex-black people, huh? I think that was what Uncle Tom was all about, a color blind society. In a color blind society there are no black people, just people. Uncle Tom today says "be straight and no one will discriminate against you". You can have black skin, just don't 'be' black, and don't have 'black' thoughts. Well to those people, I say with all my heart FUCK YOU and your Uncle Tom idealism. That is NOT how we fight classism in this country.
Sometimes it is really hard to fully express yourself in 500 words, in case that seemed really broken up. Listening to it again...
"sexual preference"? Lessig has a great video on how and who we "choose" to love. Do you really "choose" the person you love? I choose who I let in my life, but I don't think we get much choice who we love. Battered women can not choose to not love their abuser, they can only choose to not have it be a part of their life. That is why leaving is so hard, cause you CAN NOT choose who you love, gay or straight.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Testimony of Rev. Jim Jones' Mistress

I did not know much about this incident until I heard the story of a woman that was both a survivor and an early advocate fighting her family not to follow Jim Jones to Jonestown. Sounds lie there were a lot of mixed stories about what had happened, and how and under what circumstances eventually led to the murder of nearly a thousand African Americans that had thought they were moving to start a new life.

People should know what happened, and the above link is to one of the more informative articles I have been able to find confirming some of the more conspiratorial theories of what happened November 19, 1978.

Let us remember what really happened.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why my feelings towards Windows could be described as HATE

If you really want to understand where a lot of the HATE comes from, read the Halloween documents: It is a compilation of documents, albeit stolen, from Microsoft executives discussing the impact and threat of Linux dating back as far as 1997. It establishes that, in their eyes, FOSS is a vastly superior development model that Microsoft can not compete with, and that Linux is not only a superior operating system, but that there is no legitimate or LEGAL way to design or develop Windows in a way to out pace it, let alone make it better. There are other issues around that, and many of the stories of their illegal escapades, despite readily available on the web, have been through the telephone game so many times you don't even know what they are talking about. There are also idiots that love Linux, and then simply those that love it that can not articulate themselves well.

The Halloween documents continue to get updated as disgruntled employees and lawsuits force Microsoft to reveal internal documents about illegal activities, and contentions with other companies. In addition to my own frustrating experience with Windows, there were simply things I wanted to do that were more easily facilitated under Linux. That is why I use Linux. The business practices outlined in the Halloween documents, all of which have been verified as authentic my Microsoft, are the reason for the HATE towards Microsoft / Windows.

I don't care how fast it is, or what features it supports. There are serious moral implications that I refuse to ignore any longer.

On a lesser note, I believe FOSS is the best path for the human race, and the best thing for everybody. I think it would be embraced more readily if it were not for the lies spewed by Microsoft, because they deal in taking and distributing software as they see fit for a price. They do not develop, which puts them in a very bad position in a FOSS world.

I don't like the OS war, and I recommend Windows to anyone that just wants to do certain things with their computer and would never look at as a tool. The things on Linux that serve me I recognize as individualistic, not necessarily superior. I prefer struggling with the difficulties of getting things to work under Linux because I feel I am always learning something new about the system. Fixing problems under Windows never felt like that when erasing and reinstalling was most always your best and fastest solution to mysterious errors.

I'll even admit I have more problems with getting things to work the first time under Linux, but the trade off for me is greater flexibility and opportunity to do anything I want with my machine, versus just having an interface to using whatever I bought the way Microsoft or someone else intended.

So that is this fan boy. I appreciate the time you took to outline your concerns about the community, so I felt obligated to share in the same respect.

God is faith

I really hate this term, and has likely been the biggest turn off to organized religion that has ever crossed my path for consideration. Here is just another example of such errancy .

Hetman writes:
No one ever said [evolution and creationism] could not coexist. They just cannot coexist in science class. Just like alchemy and chemistry cannot coexist in science class. God is faith based. Evolution is based fact.
I respond:
I think it is a little more like comic books are not legitimate reading material for an English class.

Science takes faith too, the faith that we are seeing and understanding things in the same way. It is a philosophy, a method for all of us to look at the world in the same way. By your definition, science is just easier. Where the hell did you get that impression?

Religious faith is based on an exploitation of the human necessity for truth, and tries to give people an easy way out to look at the world. They give you little books with simple stories to memorize, and you are done! True philosophy is a commitment to constantly working towards better understanding.

In theory, organized religion could be a pathway towards understanding, but instead it the infomercial diet pill of the mind.

If you could understand this, you would get why evolution is not a FACT, it is a THEORY.
I think some people are just looking for different thins in the world. Some people see it as something small that if they could just understand it, then they can control it and live out the perfect life. I think some of these people also see things as "if it works, it must be right". The problem with this is is the limitations of our own self observation. So many questions have been asked for centuries about 'what is truth?' and 'how do we measure it?'. There have been models for truth through out history. We still look to classical Greek texts to see how in many ways we have not changed. Our children are not born knowing or understanding more about our universe than civilizations of long ago.

But as new theories, models of understanding, have been tested and evolved over this time, we have perfected to the best of our ability, a path to true understanding and communicating about our world.

Wikipedia, on the Scientific Method, opens with:
[This theory] refers to bodies of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.
I would argue that this has been the goal of philosophy throughout history. "Bodies of techniques" is what is specific about the scientific method, while the rest is philosophy. Religion falls into the realm of philosophy, and by this definition, I am sure any theist could argue that by this definition, religion plays this role for people's lives, while science only refers to "stuff" and "things" that their god put here. This keeps science outside the scope of being able to say anything new, different, or conflicting with reality, well, their reality.

What this quote plainly takes out of context is what those bodies of techniques that are integral to understanding the difference between "science" and just "any other philosophy". This is the foundation where we decide what we are going to accept as truth, and what we regard as ideas and speculation. This model illustrates it well, from the web site:

The last step that is not included (because this is a guide for students doing science fair projects) is that the results must be independently verified. Further, and this is the real kicker, the independent results must match as exactly as possible. In general, any hole in a theory breaks it, when such conflict can be verified through an independent study, particularly when such studies come up with better models that more accurately relate a phenomenon. Then further there is the whole difference between causation and correlation. It takes more than seeing two things together to say that one thing causes another, but that is a bit more complicated.

So what does this mean really? I think it means that we either have to accept or reject it as a foundation for absolute truths. It doesn't mean that things that aren't proven by science are false, it just means that they aren't proven as true... by the same token, science can prove that things are NOT true, but it does not mean that things that can not be proven to be false are true.

So in every way I have ever been able to look at things, the bible is just a book. It Is like any other book, there are good books, and there are bad books. Good ones not worth reading, and bad ones worth reading too. Personally, I think there are a lot of other better books worth reading. Unless you just want to know what all the hype is about, go ahead, but i'll just say it is a pretty bad book not worth reading. I am far from saying this simply because it is old it is somehow out dated, it is out dated for many other reasons that would require a close analysis of the text, which is not what I am going to go into at this moment.

Well, to be honest, the old testement is entertaining as insight to what primitive humans undertsoof about the world. It is worth reading from that perspective. The sequel on the other hand has the taste of Uwe Bolle and Michael Moore.

Now I can reconize that I am not taking into account all the impact that "the new testement" has had on history, as many kids today can't appreciate the impact of Birth of a Nation or Citizen Kane had on film, I have lost interest as many kids today will have difficulty appreciating Star Wars in the face of so many fanatics getting in their face telling them how it is the greatest movie ever, and making it out to be so much more than it really is, the latter being more relevant in this case for me, but knowing that the former is a big issue for many people I know that have ever had to endure going to an orthodox church.

More I just don't get...

hufflepuff17 writes:
God and Evolution cannot "Co-exist" because saying God used evolution to create everything is belittling his sovereign power and it being a miracle. We will never be able to wrap our minds around God or how he does things because we cannot conceive perfection or infinite power. So don't try and put God into a box so we can think we understand how he does things because we never will. Evolution is just our way of trying to put the creation story into a box and not letting it be what it really is, which is a miracle.
My reply:
"Evolution is just our way of trying to put the creation story into a box and not letting it be what it really is, which is a miracle."

It is really interesting you would say that because I would not hesitate to say exactly the opposite, that the wonderful place that is our world with all of its things to study and observe, the bible tries to take all that greatness and put into a small box by taking out of context some ancient story of privative human understanding of the universe and trying to say that is exactly the way things must be because it has been accepted for thousands of years.

I WILL agree I put the bible into a box (more like a can to be exact) by limiting my perspective to seeing it as just another book. Why not actually look at the history of the text you revere so greatly. No Star Wars fan boy calls another any less of a "believer" just because they acknowledge that George Lucas's wife may have had a really big role in the original trilogy. The Bible is a collection of stories kept by ancient people and their understanding of the world. Good stuff, very interesting, but why are you taking it apart to be something it is not? What an insult to the PEOPLE that took the time to put and keep it together.
I just know there is something here with these people that I am NEVER going to understand. My only comfort is that this belief does something for them that makes their lives either happier, or more stable. But it still makes me sad.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Response to My Boyfriend won't quit World of Warcraft!

It is odd, I recently started playing wow again after having played on and off casually. I did play a LOT for a short time when I was depressed, but I set goals for myself, and when I met those goals, I was no longs interested in playing. Now this time, I am not playing every day, but it has made me quit smoking. I noticed that I smoked when I was bored, and that is all it was. Now when I am bored, I jump online, play an arena / pvp match, grind a few quests and then sign off.

Addiction is a difficult thing to break. Addictions are a place of security and consistency. They are something you can get a predictable response from in what he expresses is an unpredictable world in a way.

I have seen many people / girlfriends loose people to wow. I have argued, to be honest, that it can be that wow sets a high bar. It can actually be more stimulating than the average relationship. You do sound like you care, but I think in order to be successful you need to know what you want from this. Why do you care? Is it only that he is a human being? Was he supportive of you in college in a useful way? You need to identify what you want more than a chance to pity him.

It may seem far fetched, but he has told you what he wants, even if it seems "unrealistic". He is an abc that wants to visit his native country. There is nothing wrong with him disliking this country and wanting to go to china, even if it is a little out of immediate reach.

I would suggest getting engaged with his interest in wow. Don't psyco-analyze him, just ask him what he is doing, and what he hopes to accomplish. If you are worried about coming off as a noob that doesn't understand, get to know some of the lore; wow is very rich with intermingled stories that have been a long time in the making. warcraft as a story is 15+ years out there. Get to know some of the stories, and ask for his feelings on some of the conflicts, or how a particular conflict may get resolved.

If you can identify with the goals he is setting now, and he can recognize the accomplishments he is making, I think he would see that he is able to achieve goals hie sets for himself. The problem with an addiction or any habit is that you can't set a goal to NOT do something, cause that isn't anything at all. You need to set a goal to DO something, or better, accomplish something. wow sets little achievements that are attainable in an entertaining way that is rewarding and often requires team work. Going out with friends, or sex, or partying are fun and pleasurable in their own way, but they are not goals, they are things. They can be rewards between accomplishments to reward ourselves, but they are not accomplishments in and of themselves. This is where "real life" can be a depressing challenge next to the attraction of wow.

I believe that if he can more closely identify with his goals, he may stop making them so lightly, and take more pleasure in the completion of his goals, even in the mean time it is only in the game. I would bet that as he sets goals for himself that as he accomplishes them, he will feel more "finished" at the end of his gaming sessions.

I think you can see at this point where goals become their own limits and how steps can be taken towards his real goal of going to China. Also, China has some of the best Internet in the world, not to mention they they have the first real clinics for treating gaming addiction as its own thing that needs specialized attention.

It sounds like he wants to break the addiction, but that the game plays an important role. He also has aspirations. The connections need to be made that will give him choices to empower himself, and do what he wants to do in his life.

If you want to comment back about my suggestion (or anyone else) going to post this to my blog. nakedpenguins dot net. Hope you can add this to the many other suggestions you have received, and hope you found the perspective yo were looking for. Good luck.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Warning, Jesus got involved. Some adult content was inspired by and included in this email.

YesJesusYes writes:
Hello Homosexual.

Do you want to know why we so successful in passing Proposition 8? Because of YOU! (Thank you!!) How much money did you contribute to the "vote no on prop 8!" campaign? Probably zilch, based on the pitiful amount of money that was raised to counter our pro-family advertising. How many "vote No!" rallies did you go to? Based on the pathetic number of anti-8 rallies (and even more pathetic number of participants at them), you probably didn't go to a single one, did you? In fact, if just one fifth of all homosexuals in California would have given $50 to the "vote no!" campaign, you would have outspent our "yes!" campaign by millions. If just one tenth of homosexuals in California, who claim to be so against this proposition, had actually protested or rallied, there would have been hundreds of thousands protesting in the streets of California. Hahahahaha! I saw about 20 protesters. This leaves me with one simple conclusion: YOU DON'T CARE! You pretend to care, but you don't! Why else would the vast majority of you and all your homo California friends do absolutely NOTHING?! Oh, sure, there are a few random die-hard homosexuals who gather in little 50 to 100 person rallies to "stand up" for your homosexual agenda, but the rest of you, MILLIONS of you, don't give a rat's ASS about your "equal" rights!

I'll let you in on a little secret: My church has known for YEARS that the homosexual community is apathetic, unorganized, and unmotivated. (Except when it comes to your parties and disgusting gay parades) Why do you think my pastor gets away with preaching anti-homosexual, pro-family messages on regular basis? It's because he knows you people won't do anything and simply don't care! You're all too hung over to show up and protest at our church on Sunday mornings, because all you do is party and do drugs. Does that offend you? Well truth hurts.

Actually, I have to take that back. I can't give you ALL the credit for passing proposition 8. If I did that, I would be ignoring the tens of millions of dollars and countless hours of organized effort ME and my church put in to passing it. I do have to pat myself on the back a little. You see, I've given 10% of everything I make to my church EVERY month. Do you know how much money that is? (It's thousands and thousands of dollars a year.) Do you have any idea how many of me and my friends/family give thousands and thousands of dollars to our anti-homosexual churches each and every month? (millions and millions a year.) Our churches are organized and have every bit as much money as we need to defeat homosexuals each and every time a proposition or constitutional amendment comes up for vote. That's why gay people are losing their rights all over this country! Did you know 30 states have now passed (by VOTE!) constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage? Hmm….it sure sounds like we're winning to me!

Good luck changing this country with your youtube posts and angry emails. While you sit on your ass at your computer, I'll be rallying with my fellow anti-homosexual Christians, raising money to continue taking away you and your homosexual friends' rights. And every time I see one of your pathetic rally of 20 or 30 homosexuals huttled together on a street corner, first I'm going to laugh, then I'm going to think of you and wonder if you're a) partying, or b) sitting on your ass in front of your computer. Then I'll laugh again.

My reply:

1) I will totally agree we are having way more fun than you. Personally though, I don't do drugs.

2) I am married to a woman, and ban on gay marriage doesn't stop my wife or I from having as much sex as either one of us with either men or woman. It is really great to be attractive, just fyi.

3) If 10% of your income amounts to "thousands" of dollars a year, I am sorry. But thank you for yet another example of how it is easier to get money from poor people than rich people; it is why they are poor!

4) You only make ten * thousands of dollars a year, and rather than saving for a college fund, let alone move to a nice neighborhood, buying better food, keeping a nicer house, tutor for your kids to get better grades, you give that money to some fly by night group that calls themselves a religion? I love this "fuck the dead sea scrolls, we got words on gold" joke. It would only be funnier if I was the one getting the money, which leads to...

5) The church (members, pastors, whatever) loves gay bashing, and going to protests while good little mommy bakes cookies for their good little Mormon husbands. But he who works hard has to play hard. Do you have any idea how many blow jobs I have gotten from really nervous "homophobic" Mormon in their 20's? I have many gay friends and every one of them has a sugar daddy. And you know who helps make this happen? People like you! Guys that are attractive and out of the closet are self empowered, have no repressed homosexual feelings, and have nothing to hide. They are also choosey. That is no fun. On the other hand, you get one of these homophobic, church going, perfect husband types and start talking about how uptight woman can be sometimes, and it is amazing how quickly the conversation will turn to "why can't women be more like men?", to "have you ever tried?" to "I wonder what it is like?", to "Would it be ok i I sucked your cock, I'm not gay! But don't tell anyone / my wife. She would be all weird about it." These guys always think they are soo original. But it is too funny how virgins think so hard and are all confused and stuff to always come up with the same answer. I just smile, and tell them "I understand sure you can suck on my cock a bit, and don't worry, you can fondle my balls too".

6) It doesn't matter. Unless you believe your own propaganda, nothing is going to change. Teachers can teach about love all they want, male male, male female, female female, whatever. And I don't know if you have paid any attention to the national issue, but this whole prop 8 thing has got every kid in every school talking about gay marriage. I thought that was what you were trying to stop, and you call your little temporary restraining order a win? YOU and your church made homosexuality the biggest issue in this country after the election, and after that, you successfully changed the minds of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and the Governator against prop 8 and pro gay marriage. The only "victory" you got was pandering to the poorerst and least educated and told them all kinds of horror stories... only to get 52% of the vote. HA HA HA!!! You do know WHY the supreme court has never heard the ban on gay marriage issue? Cause they have already said that it is a CLEAR violation of equal protection, and separation of church and state. With California finally taking the ranks to get a ban on gay marriage, this will mean the supreme court is going to actually address the issue directly. While you go to church and whine about all the fun the gays are having, and how they must be the reason why your marriage sucks, or whatever else poor people do, some of us actually pay attention to what is going on with regard to the law, and follow what the supreme court does, and how they think. Something my friends laugh about every once in awhile with regard to "apathy" is how few people actually know the supreme court addresses more than one or two case a year. So until the bill is signed into law, anyone planning to get married still can, and nobody married now will loose their marriage licenses at all. Its called contract law and de facto segregation. Do you have any idea how the this system of government works at all, or do you only know how to spread the lies and get people to sign petitions to "save the children"?

7) Well, despite this email obviously being targeted to a mass audience, and my name merely being on a list with (I am sure I could name a few) others, Any other implications I have already blogged about, and if you care to read / comment, I would love to have more to share and laugh about with my friends.

And last but not least, thanks for giving me something to write about. I have been a bit busy partying and loving life recently, but not having too much to blog about, ant this was inspiring. Who would have thought I would be so influential as to get on your list. I feel so special.

And don't forget that the whole church is a lie, that they cheat you with a smile on their face, there is no god, and when you die you will have gone from a whole fake life of servitude to an imaginary superhero just to make someone else rich. There is no heaven. You had one life and you just wasted it on nothing. "And it would be funny if it just wasn't so sad".

And now we are both laughing. What a great world we live in that two people can make each other so happy, despite our differences.

Have a nice life, and keep on reaching for that rainbow, or planet, or whatever your adorable little fan club dies.


I love youtube!

Update on prop 8

So I was updated recently regarding Scenario #1 in my Californians Vote God Hates Fags.

Sadly, in a way, not a possibility. Governor does not sign such laws into place... but it is still up to legislature to interpret what the law actually does. It looks like it is going to go route #2 or #3, as I have been hearing there are already seven appeals in place, + 2 lawsuits against the Mormon church working on a case for voter fraud for she many lies in their campaign to manipulate the vote. I am betting that the churches lies will be seen as free speech unless there is some part I am missing.

It will be interesting to watch, particularly under the upcoming administration.

Some are making points that "no on prop 8" failed because the yes on 8 people tried a LOT harder to canvass the state with their message. My question is how much of that is true, because of (relative) apathy, and how much of that was half the fighters, not hoping so much that it would pass, as leaving it to the supreme court? If the latter, I strongly hope that apathy does not spill over into the support for making a good case in the supreme court.

And on another note, hurray to the (some 18,000?) protesters camping out in front of the Mormon church in LA. While that may have made more sense 2 weeks ago, I find it hilarious that as the church thought they were fighting the gays off, and keeping them away from their family / children, their church is now where they can see more gays than a pride parade in SF.


HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA... *stop to inhale* HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think I might just cry a little that is so funny.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Governmental role in Free market - part #1

I got this message from someone bringing up the old "too much" / "too little" regulation argument. Seemed like a good topic to rant about today and my perception of what is going on in this situation.
fgrod writes:
Democracy and the free market system only works when you have a protective body in place to stem corruption and cheating. Wall Street and China continue to break the rules and plunder the system with gov't doing nothing about it.
With regard to stemming corruption and cheating, it reminds me of the old Latin saying "Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodies?" or better known as "Who watches the watchers?"

Free Market, according to Smith is without monopolies naturally. a monopoly requires total control over a supply line... which is usually impossible, impossible without government intervention, intentional or otherwise.

What the government should do is manage certain acceptable standards; limits that encourage competition, or standards that say what people don't have to compete with. Preferably, I would like to see standards bodies that rate companies and products to inform people about quality and such.

I think education is the key. the problem with trying to control things behind the lines rather than letting consumers make informed decisions, consumers get more apathetic as they trust the government to take care of everything for them, and voluntarily get dumber.

One example: I like the V-chip. FCC says what kind of rating a show / station gets based on the content. Consumers can choose to use the v-chip or not, and automatically filter what they want to be able to watch, or let their kids watch. HOWEVER, any kind of filter on what can and can not be put onto certain types of mediums is wrong, imo. Further, allow stations to put whatever they want, and not get ratings, or use an open system that allow organizations to develop their own rating systems. Then consumers can pick their own standards body, and pick which rating systems they like and block content as truly as they wish, with as much assistance to make informed decisions as possible.

Let the free market take care of the rest. Free Market Theory says the best stations, the best chips, the best standards body, and the best shows will come out on top as consumers are free to make those decisions. Even let tv makers decide the chips they want, and what is on or off by default. The best will win out with freedom.

Free Market Theory also says that, by contrast, the equilibrium for which that would reach naturally CAN'T be figured out by a bunch of politicians arguing about it. The market will figure it out better and faster than anyone. Especially when technology continuously changes.

I personally think the government can and is a central location for people to complain about the world. customer feedback is more important than anything. According to Mesis (The Theory of Money and Credit), government can merely be a player in the market (ok, a bit more, but beyond the scope of this rant). If the government has all the best knowledge of what people want, they can use or sell the ideas that will produce the best products that will dominate in the market that other very smart people will have to compete.

What I see is people calling bad regulation "too much regulation, leave it alone" or for the same thing "it is too little regulation / too many loop holes". There isn't "too much" or "too little" regulation. Further, I can't remember who said this, but I agree "There is no such thing as a loop hole. It either is the law, or it is not the law". Loop holes are either people disagreeing with the law, or natural the natural result of trying to control something that can't be controlled resulting in "unintended consequences". One such example: High taxes + world market = take business elsewhere. How those businesses go elsewhere isn't the issue, be it their money, their headquarters, their labor, their call centers, whatever. Government can't break natural laws: If the government does not provide a competitive advantage to encourage international corporations to come to the United States, they won't.

I feel we cripple businesses, tweaking and poking and making up reasons to change how much money we won't take away from them without any real thought to the big picture, social policy, or much thinking period. I think rather than poking at individual products or even industries, we can have guidelines and standards bodies that inform customers about businesses.

Speaking metaphorically is difficult, so let me use a real example of some "bad regulations and loop holes. In California, there was recently a proposition for people to vote on, proposition 2. This was a law that was intended to curtail animal abuse, particularly by requiring a minimum amount of space for chickens and nursing / pregnant pigs. Good idea, bad law as written. This law only affected California farmers. It non nothing to regulate consumers or importers. The pro argument was that California wasn't going to tolerate mistreatment of these animals. The con was the increased costs for space and unfair competition. What I think would have been better to help everybody would be either 1) require labeling to inform consumers about whether certain farms meet a certain standard OR for those that like a more aggressive solution, require that stores must only sell eggs that meet those regulations, and possibly add the same requirement for anyone in California to sell eggs. This makes the playing field even, and means that everybody is supporting fair treatment of animals, not just California farmers.

Only labeling eggs and informing consumers that this products meets certain standards I think falls under the "less regulation" catagory, While the flat prohibition is "more regulation". Prop 2 is just bad regulation that doesn't really address the problem in a way that I feel has any relationship with what consumers want, or have any business really voting on. Prop 2 is just tweaking, and not something that I think moves us towards being a more enlightened society about the treatment of animals.

Free market works... but how would anyone know living in the United States when we really have nothing like it here. I am not saying all the regulations are bad, I just don't think the types of policies we put in place encourage free market. Best example? look at the recent "rescue / bail out" plan. Even aside from the heart of the bill and its intention, look at all the tweaks that make up 90%+ of the bills text and you can see it could only be the result of guessing and buying votes. The wooden arrows, for example, after some investigating totally made sense... but only in a place where our taxes are so screwed up could a problem like the one addressed by that section of the bill need passing. Further, it is only a patch, it doesn't address the heart of this giant mess we call a tax code that can not be understood by anybody in its entirety. Many argue that not everyone needs to understand it... but is that really justification for it to be so convoluted?

A quick note, I support the Fair Tax. May there be problems with it? Quite possibly! I say it is a great start, and that it addresses the issue from the right direction. Now it is just a matter of details. It just needs to be the RIGHT details. The only place where any tweaking that might be industry where what definition of "consumption" is will need some definition, like gambling (which has already been addressed).

Also, China is a sovereign nation. When our irresponsibility makes them rich, that doesn't mean they are cheating or taking advantage of us. If we don't want what they have to offer, stop buying it from them and go elsewhere. That is what market is all about. Now while this may sound a bit harsh, nobody forced us to become so dependent on foreign oil. We did that all on our own. Now, if we can't live without buying a certain amount, while that makes them lots of money, that doesn't mean it is all their fault.

So as I started with, this isn't about cheating the system through loop holes, over regulation or deregulation, it is about BAD regulation written by people that would like to control their industry, and congressmen too gullible or compromising, or down right stupid to help their proposals become law instead of doing their job.

And the reason that happens is a much bigger issue that I am not going to go into. I will say, however, we need to take some responsibility for electing these idiots. And as I have mentioned before, in any system with which you are not informed, you are a slave. It is also that ignorance that makes traditional democracy such a failure, because individuals are so easily scared and manipulated. Look at prop 8, drug war, IP war, war on terrorism. In this way, they are all the same.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Great conversation on "fun with unix"

Anyway, here was my little fun non destructive trick. :)

while true; do
for i in $(w | grep -e pts -e tty[1-6] | awk '{print $2}'); do
sleep .1s;
echo -en "\x1B[$(($RANDOM % 8 + 30))m" > /dev/$i;
done 2>/dev/null

For some odd reason, I could not get this to work properly backgrounded, ctrl-z or otherwise. it would just kill it. Any suggestion would be appreciated.

I call it "Give everyone a really gay day!"

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

California voters rule "God Hates Fags"

So I got to talk to a friend last night that gave me some comfort in the bureaucracy of the issue. Key points:

Scenario #1
1. Governor Schwarzenegger said regarding prop 22 that he supported equal rights, but that as governor he had to support the will of the people BUT that he would leave it to the courts to decide.
2. If that means he is going to stand by the decision of the California supreme court, he can let the issue sit for 30 days, after which not being signed would automatically be vetoed.
3. The state senate is not in session. The senate could over turn his veto with a 66% majority... if they were in session.
4. Prop 8 dies

Scenario #2
1. Governor Schwarzenegger "respects the will of the [majority of] the [voting] people", signs the bill, leaving it to the Supreme court to possibly decide.
2. Five constitutional amendments have been proposed, which would require a 75% majority of the people, AFTER it gets the approval of some high majority of the senate and house each (one 66%, the other 75%. This has all but been completely been burned, never going to happen... so we can hope.
3. The supreme court has refused to hear any issue on gay marriage because they believe the issue has already been resolved. Gay marriage ban is CLEARLY unconstitutional under the 14th amendment equal protection clause.
4. Now with 30+ states with gay marriage bans, and particularly California banning gay marriage, The supreme court will have to hear the issue and make their final ruling.
5. And in case it needs to be said: there were some strong compilations with people that voted yes on 8. Sadly if black, but also the poorer the person, and the less educated you were, the more likely the person was to vote yes on 8. Asian and Hispanic were tied, white people voted no, as well as educated and middle to upper class voted no. So for an extra point, where do most supreme court justices typically fall in that demographic?

Separate issue:

prop 8 still has to be interpreted, so despite all the lies spewed by the churches to successfully sway the poor and uneducated, there is a little lie that got through from the no on 8 side. Married gay couples will not loose their marriage licenses, otherwise it is de facto segregation. The licenses were lawfully obtained at a time when it was legal. there is nothing in prop 8 that makes this retroactive, not to mention the courts get to interpret the law... a court that has already decided on the issue. The language may be "very clear", but the implications are still completly open to interpretation.

Further, until the bill is signed into law, it is still legal. Therefore anyone planning to get married may consider moving their plans up to ASAP.

Scenario #3
Civil Unions are brought up to date to be equal to 'marriage', and marriage is abolished as being a clear violation of separation of church and state, as well as equal protection, effectivly making prop 8 irrelevant. This could happen either in California, but there is a decent chance this is what would happen in the supreme court.

I'd like to see this issue resolved sooner... you know, like today like I expected. But as history has shown, the harder you try to oppress people for a longer period of time, the blow back when they are finally unwilling to put up with it has larger and larger implications as time goes by.

It is more than simply not over, one can say that this has really just begun.

To anyone else that cared about the California propositions, this is how things split according to LA Times:
Propositions Precincts reporting: ~95.0%
  • 1A: High-speed rail Yes 52.2% No 47.8%
  • 2: Farm animals Yes 63.2% No 36.8%
  • 3: Children’s hospitals Yes 54.7% No 45.3%
  • 4: Abortion notification Yes 47.6% No 52.4%
  • 5: Drug offenses Yes 40.2% No 59.8%
  • 6: Criminal justice Yes 30.5% No 69.5%
  • 7: Renewable energy Yes 35.1% No 64.9%
  • 8: Gay marriage ban Yes 52.0% No 48.0%
  • 9: Victims’ rights Yes 53.2% No 46.8%
  • 10: Alternative fuels Yes 40.1% No 59.9%
  • 11: Redistricting Yes 50.5% No 49.5%
  • 12: Loans for veterans Yes 63.4% No 36.6%

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Happy Election Day!!

I am enjoying election day. The only upsetting thing is the people I know with VERY strong opinions on a number of issues, and to be fair share my opinion on most of the propositions, but are not voting. I fear too many people that might share my opinions will not vote, while the minority (like yes on 8 people) will vote in record numbers.

Anyway, there was a great discussion, and a lot of people brought up some interesting questions I enjoyed covering. Anyway, here they are.


Are we over regulating business or not enough?

People talk about free market like as if it is an anything goes. If that was true, why was "Wealth of Nations" and "The Theory of Money and Credit" such massive works?

Free market theory theory of economics, IMHO, isn't about what the government shouldn't do, it is about what it CAN'T do given the nature of an economy. The government can be a normal competitor, and one with BIG money, but it can't make bad businesses successful. Money doesn't create wealth, no matter how much you give away. We can redistribute wealth, and that costs money. Doing useful work is the only thing that improves the 'wealth of a nation'.

Sure, people are greedy, but people are driven by greed to do really great things. Greed can always lead to corruption, but what? Somehow our politicians are above that? What country have you been living in? At least greedy businessmen have something to loose. I think the most important thing we can do set high standards and educate people. And the balance? Employees are greedy, and nothing is more greedy than a consumer.

I don't get this whole "how much regulation is enough?". No amount of the wrong regulation is going to work. We need to look at what types of regulations can and can not work. Price fixing DOES NOT WORK. Taxes need to be product and revenue neutral. Regulations need to be equal, but the government needs to know its place. Mises says that one of the few roles of government that it can play that are different than any other large consumer is the handling of broken contracts. In particular, when someone provides goods, services, or money today to get goods, services, or money in the future, and one of those parties fails to meet their obligation, then the government can intervene to see that the failing party is treated fairly in the liquidation of it's assets as appropriate. That is why this bailout thing is such a nightmare! Businesses that have proven not worthy of survival, for many different reasons, need to die. The government needs to ensure that those businesses are liquidated in a fair manner. Instead, they are being propped up? Why?!?

Now I know that isn't all that is happening. Anyone can buy these loans, and if the government wants to get into that business, then they can be an equal player, but buying any loan under its fair market value makes little sense.

The place where there can be a problem is when government tried to drive the market in a direction it doesn't want to go. I think a great example of this is the drug war. We spend tons of money, for a number of different reason to artificially reduce the supply of certain drugs deemed unsafe. What happens? price goes up. That isn't regulation, that is just manipulation. Regulation would be oversight into ensuring drugs were made cleanly and that customers knew what they were getting. Government could give oversight to certification programs that have various standards, just like the FDA, BBB, HUD, and such. If someone is brewing drugs in their bathtub, they should be shut down for the fire hazard. If a place has quality equipment that is well maintained, doctors, clean needles, safe rooms, and counseling services, not only should they get an A+ like the health department does for restaurants, but nobody is going to buy from the drug dealer on the street corner. And I thought this was all about keeping people safe. It has worked in European countries that have adopted this, and I think Canada has a similar program, and that was exactly the result. Also, a good number of people cleaned up, not to mention drug crime virtually disappeared. How can we keep saying that the type of regulation we have today is working when the number one cause of accidental death in this country is from overdose prescription drugs?

Free market says the best players win that give the customer what they want with quality and at a low price. Government has the power to encourage the best business, and that is the type of regulation we need. We can also use a lot of it. But the current ideology in regulation is fundamentally and it has been proven for a very long time that it CAN'T work, and it is those types of regulations that need to be eliminated.

What I see by both sides is blaming bad regulations as PROOF of too little regulation by liberals, and too much regulation by conservatives. There are tons of books on this stuff, not just by Mises and Smith, but too often it really looks like Congress is just guessing at what would work. Why not back off, study the market, and then see where they can find the competitive advantage. Personally, I think if the government likes what a company is doing, they should buy the product, not mess with how much money they aren't going to take away from them.

This is in part why I think Fair Tax makes sense. It was the result of a large, quality study. The government needs taxes, not to mention the government supports this great country where the market exists. I like the way the Ferangi in Star Trek see the market, as a large river that must carefully be navigated. Regulating taxes is like building a damn. A consumption tax puts the damn as far down stream as possible, and in just one place where everyone knows. What we have right now is water polution. When it comes to supply and demand, income taxes just discourage income, which manifests itself in some very bizzare ways. Same with payroll taxes, estate taxes, corporate taxes, and other things. We have this crazy mess of nets in this "river", and rightfully so businesses have to traverse it; a businesses ability to navigate the river directly coorilates to competitive advantage. And when somebody wins, they call it a loop hole.

Pull out the unnecessary nets. The market place is difficult enough to figure out without all these artifical barriers. Tax consumption in a fair way as Fair Tax proposes (Personally, I think the prebate would eliminate a need for welfare, but maybe that's just me), and in any place where the market fails, jump in there and compete, and stop just handing out monopolies to the highest bidder that meets some kind of short sighted goal. The market is rough, and every time the government tries to do something unnatural, trying to tame something that can't be tamed, it just keeps resulting in a cascading effect of "unintended consequences".


Did the GOP change McCain?

McCain hasn't changed at all. I think knowing him, Palin was the perfect pick. The issue was that McCain was the perfect pick to put up against Hillary. The PROBLEM is that McCain didn't change his strategy. An over simplification of the issue was that Hillary would have come off as an unrealistic leftist, while McCain made off as the conservative / left moderate. The problem (for him) is honestly Obama's change thing. He wants to revolutionize socialism (what some have called democratic socialism). McCain's plan of attack didn't anticipate this at all, and not knowing how to deal with it, he has defaulted to sticking with a failed game plan OR he is being consistent. Either way, we are now forced to decided between a democrat, and a socialist.

And only one is seen as a traitor to their party.

Republicans have not stood on a conservative platform in over 20 years, and conservatives that loved their party are jumping ship. Republicans on their conservative platform saw the advantage of pandering to the religious right. The problem is that they ended up selling out and letting their constituents take over so far as to sell out on their conservative beliefs.

I consider myself a conservative, and do republicans, but my democrat friends say I am an extreme libertarian. I had hope and belief that Republicans had conservatism as the fore front of their policy, but the constant compromising and this neo-conservative nightmare has become "do whatever sounds nice for the people that support us".

Some people like this. Obviously, otherwise why would the Republicans have adopted it? They just under estimated the number of people that are conservative because it is the best thing for the country, not their self serving interests. There are people that love Palin, and there are Republicans that see McCain's move to the left as a positive, encouraging bipartisanship.

And I think it would have been enough for a win against Hillary. It was just the wrong strategy against Obama when it comes to getting the majority of electorates. I do not fault McCain for sticking to what he believes in, if you can at least believe for a moment that he did that. I think the fault lies more with the GOP. I know many people would say this is crazy, but I think the reason Ron Paul was not supported by the GOP is because he is hated by the media / entertainment industry. The GOP be that it couldn't beat the media at that game. Ron Paul ran on a platform of change. dramatic change back to logic and traditional conservatism that believes in a rational science of politics. I think with the back of the GOP, and unfortunately the religious right that would never have voted for Obama, HIS conservative platform of change, getting the Republican party to what it stood for, and had MAJOR victories throughout the 60's, 70's, and 80's would have brought hope to people that we can get back to what worked, within an enlightened vision, versus this radically untested democratic socialist platform of Obama's. The media would have been forced to back off and cover the election in the way it could to get ratings. McCain's coverage is proof that the media doesn't go light on any candidate it doesn't support, and McCain got hit harder than has been seen in a long time. McCain's actual weaknesses didn't help either.

I really think Paul could have stood up to the heat, and I really wish there could have been a real debate between Obama and Paul rather than that monkey dance we were made to endure. IMHO, the reason McCain could not hit any of Obama's weaknesses was because on his important faults, McCain is virtually the same person. I seriously wish some of those weaknesses could have been addressed by a real, experienced, and lovable conservative.

To anyone that follows business stuff, the GOP was to the entertainment industry what Rubbermaid was to Walmart; a disposable asset that could be manipulated in their favor. And to (certain) music lovers, the only chance they had was what happened between ICP and Disney. ICP may not have done as well, as they could have.. but they are doing a whole lot better than Rubbermaid.

The GOP didn't know when to quit, so their voters did instead.


Why Palin was a good pick for McCain

1) She was/is the highest rated governor in the Country.

2) Alaska joined the Union for its oil reserves, and Palin strongly believes that this country needs energy independence (despite any reasons / understanding or how closely she may have had business with oil companies).

3) She is not a Washington insider / new face

4) She is a role model for women that take the same position as her on women's issues, not to mention she is a very positive example of a person that takes that kind of position

And as I mentioned earlier, all together, I think the pair / plan would have beat Hillary. It is just senseless against Obama. The GOP picked the perfect weapon, for the wrong type of target.

McCain sold the "I am not Bush" plan. Palin is the "I am not Hillary" plan. In addition to being the complete opposite of Hillary with respect to the issues mentioned above, Palin is a more likable person (remember polls saying in 2000 that Bush was the candidate voters would most like to sit with and have a beer? I meant something), and 5) she is really hot.

Hillary never would have had a chance.


When did Obama break?

When do you think it happened?

I think it happened in the last few weeks before the primary. Hillary's hate. McCain's hate. I think Obama saw this as something that was only going to help him, but really sad that he could not have had a real fight debating technical issues.

He is great at the "Hope" "Change" speeches that get all the idiots drooling over him, but he also really has the ability to get down to specific details and argue their merits and set out a clear vision such as his "A Call to Renewal" podcast from 2002.

I said it to myself around the primary that Obama was a great gift, and the best we could really wish for to lead this country... but we don't deserve him, and our petty BS is going to break a really great man. I know this is just what some really hate hearing, but he reminds me of John Coffey from The Green Mile; he was this miracle given to us that by our greed and hate we would destroy for our own selfish, petty reasons.

Now is he broken? Maybe. Could he just need some rest and recover soon after today?

I have Hope.

On a separate note, I hated him a LOT up till recently for supporting the bail out, and further for supporting the PRO-IP Act. But going to give him a chance, and hope it plays out well, like Lessig or Patry being given the position of Internet Czar. Preferably Patry cause I know there is already a position of Internet Advisor Obama has made for Lessig in his cabinet.


United States Naval Academy is nothing to scoff at

While I am not a McCain fan AT ALL, and while it is sad that neither Palin or McCain have ANY higher education, and both Biden and Obama have great educational achievements, it is worth keeping in mind that McCain did graduate at the bottom of his class from the United States Naval Academy, which for any of you who are not military buffs, is about the most prestigious, not to mention most difficult, training facility in the world. It would be little different than criticizing an athlete for getting nearly last place in the Olympics. Yeah, it is nearly last, but it is the MF'n Olympics. Or bottom of your class from MIT, Harvard, or Stanford

I don't think it is really something that can be used to criticize his experience. The disgusting mess of this war? Now that is certainly something well worth using against him... I just think it is a separate issue from his academic achievements.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Great people inspired by great people

One of the early things I loved about Obama was his fight for open government. He was the first state senator to have a podcast telling the people he represented what he was doing for them, or at least what was going on.

So I feel lucky to have stumbled upon one of hid podcasts from 2002, being cited by another man I have a lot of respect for, Linux Torvalds.

Some quick citations:
Linus Torvalds talk about Richard Stallman, GPL and Obama on digg pointing to
Black & White By Linux Torvalds detailing how his 17 year commitment to Linux has come from what he loves, not what he hates, arguing that GPLv3 and RMS build on the later. Linus cites a speech of Barack Obama, A Call to Renewal, where he argues for people to see the good in religious and non-religious faith rather than divisions which are really so few when it comes to our desire to find truth, even if it doesn't always feel that way.

RMS is an odd guy, but I see him an iconic. He is that totally weird crazy guy talking about a different better world, completely uncompromising. I watched a video of him criticizing the OLPC where he was ranting about how it was filled with proprietary software that he couldn't remove, but the parts that were removable, he did. Now this may seem odd, cause many know the OS is is Linux based. So what is he talking about? The device firmware. He was upset that there were components in the computer that he wasn't allowed to know how they work. I laughed, but at the same time I understood. He is just the Jerry Farwell of the F/OSS world. As far as GPLv3 is concerned, I think it is a highly defensible position in a world where F/OSS is threatened in many ways. Sometimes it is just really hard to not hate what can be an alternative to what you love. My original switch to Linux was out of hate for the problems I was having with Windows, and was looking for an alternative. I had already done the Mac thing... and there is no reson to rehash that. In the 1 year and 10 months I have been windows free, I feel inspired by every problem I encounter, and accomplished with each solution I find and can share with others. Battling DRM on the other hand, or flat out buggy code, versus under developed code, just make me cynical and depressed. I have since come to LOVE Linux... but I still have a hard time escaping hate toward windows each and every time someone describes a problem that is a fault of its design and methodology or such. This has also come from no longer trying to sell Linux or Ubuntu, and focusing more on free software.

So I am amazed at both these men for their ability to find the message of love to oppose the messages of hate. Obama and Torvalds have had some heavy hitters, people very uncompromising in their position. Something that each of them iterate is that it isn't about converting the radicals, or getting people not to listen to them, it is about providing a better alternative that can inspire people to get involved.

I can't do either of these men any justice, and I would encourage everybody to read Torvalds article, and the transcript of Obama's podcast from 2002. But thinking about their words, I think this is what I find amazing in Lawrence Lessig's speeches. He talks about all the harm done in the world, with respect to culture, but with all of his focus on the simple changes we could implement to make this world a more amazing place.

Obama talks about how we can regress to citing dogma from scripture, but we can do the same thing with our law. We can't just point to law or the bible and say that is all we need. In any debate you need to get to the heart of the argument. I am sad to say that the "Yes on 8" people have put more effort into that. I think as far as pure debating goes, the yes's won, if only because the no on 8 people find the issue so simple with regard to equal rights and freedom what else is there really to say?

It can't just be obvious, or there wouldn't be an opposition. We live in a day where women have the right to vote in the United States, but how do you think Susan B. Anthony was able to argue on behalf of women in a world where there was nothing to compare it to. She had to fight that civil rights movement alone with the people that stood by her. Issues like slavery were not as obvious as we are taught in schools today; that was a major social reconstruction.

There is a lot more I want to say, but this has already gone way off topic, but I will say this: It has given me the hope back that I needed to support Barack Obama and stand by him. I am hurt by some things that I disagree with him on, but this Call to Renewal and his infomercial before he world series tells me we need this type of thinker, and kind of person that has spent more tie talking with families and real Americans than I ever have.

I don't know why he has supported some of the things he has supported, as I have mentioned, but I will trust that he will listen to the people, that that he has made informed decisions, even if not alwas the perfect one. More importantly, I think he keeps a very open mind, at least as open as I hope I can be, or that others would judge me by.

So here on November 3, here is -1 undecided voter. It is my hope that every undecided voter is undecided for the purpose of due diligence right up to the last moment, allowing our minds to be as open to possibilities as we can hope for our future.