Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Piracy Is Not Theft

I found this today on The Pirate Bay Blog. While it's not really an argument against the copyright laws that blight our world, It does provide an excellent, memorable explanation of copyright vs. theft. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What is wrong with us?

Today I found this post which covers some of our society's most serious ills with a simple question. What will the people of the future think when they look back at us?

Will they be astounded by the huge epidemic of fat people throughout our country? Probably not. Life will just become easier in the future and the number of overweight people will only increase. Why should we work out? It isn't necessary to our continued existence. Being fat isn't subject to ridicule or prejudice (obesity seems to be pretty much accepted these days). It's easy to be fat. The only solution I expect is constant surgeries or drugs to keep the weight down.

Police oversight is something that is absolutely necessary to avoid the level of brutality and corruption we have now. Even in more rural areas where police brutality was never as prevalent, it is becoming commonplace for the police to become militarized. All in the name of bigger budgets and even bigger budgets. These militarized police tend to forget their jobs of "Protect and Serve" and fall into a mindset of "Intimidate and Harass". They don't see themselves as part of the society anymore; they see themselves as keepers of the society, as parents watching over their n'er-do-well children. This is obvious in states where they uphold the illegality of recording a police officer often under the guise of wire-tapping laws. The police are felt to be above the laws they uphold.

And the drug war. So much has been said about this and yet, so many agree with the policies of criminalizing drug users. We have created a criminal class out of law-abiding citizens. Most offenders have never been convicted of anything besides possession. Our prisons are overflowing; we let murderers walk after a minimal sentence just to make room for that guy growing weed in his closet. Crime is the business of our courts and business is great. We should all be fighting to put some sense back into our courts.

Will our grandchildren look back at us and be surprised by our obvious faults or will they look back and not even imagine that it could be any other way?  These issues need to be fixed now or they will just keep growing and soon it will be "just the way it is".

Saturday, October 9, 2010

New Blog!!!

Just got back from three weeks in France. It was pretty amazing. I'd never been there before, and it was exactly what I thought it would be like and at the same time it wasn't even close.

I spent the first few days in Paris taking in the city and trying to get close to the experience of life as a Parisian. I've always preferred living as closely as possible to the locals as opposed to staying separate and only getting my glimpses through the tourist traps and foreigner-filled cafes. A tourist never really gets to enjoy himself thoroughly. You should live where the locals live, eat where they eat, go where they would go. Just take your time to walk around the city for a few hours without any aim at all. Those hours will be well spent.

After a bit in Paris, I journeyed down to Marseilles and was amazed all over again by this beautiful coastal region that was nothing like the urban sprawl of Paris. The Marseilles region is a marvelous series of towns spread throughout the mountainous coastline, and even being the second largest population center of France, it feels so much more rural than it is. The weather was great; the days were hot, the nights cool, and even the rain was ever so refreshing (what little there was). It was an entirely different experience from Paris and well worth the money to travel down there.

When I left Marseilles, I returned to Paris for a couple of days before heading up to Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and finally east to Berlin before making my return flight to JFK. All were fantastic places and each showed the diversity of Europe that is rarely seen so obviously in the states. In a future post, I'll give my thoughts on Amsterdam in particular. It truly is a holy land for smokers.
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