Posts Tagged ‘sniping’

The Court of Just Opinion

Author: Fred Grenvile

It is a fact that the USSC* (not SCOTUS, I’m sick of the play on POTUS) is empowered to Interpret laws, common law and statutes in light of the US Constitution. (NOT the other way round btw. No power exists to interpret the constitution in light of law or case law.) But can we just dispense with the ludicrous perception that the findings of the court, or ANY court, are truth or justice? They are the opinions derived from interpreting the facts in light of personal bias and law. Truth is an objective reality like fact, and can only be approached not completely ascertained. People make mistakes and courts–juries, judges, and justices–are people. They are people with power and the bias of authority that makes them difficult or impossible to challenge. But challenged or not, they can be wrong.

We need these institutions. Without them we’d have the chaos of an unregulated democracy, because even an anarchy will resolve into absolute rule by the majority and suppression of the minority, indifference to the individual, and influence peddling by the privileged, beautiful, or charismatic. (If it sounds like I’m antidemocratic, you are spot on. The purpose of Good Government is to protect the minority against abuse by the majority and protect the individual from all collectives INCLUDING the minority.) But the point is, while these institutions serve our best interest, only an Idjit would mistake their findings for truth rather than expediency.

* This is just a one time usage. USSC is properly the United States Service Code which the body of statutes, broken into numerical sections called Titles, we commonly refer to as Federal Law.

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The biggest motivators in the new sport of shooting mass killings, is media attention. Not the fact the tragedies are covered but the salacious way in which the shooter is notorized and his psychology is made such an amateur study. The role of a free press is to inform objectively and allow a well educated public to apply critical reason, make informed opinions, and coerce their legislators and executives to comply with the majority opinion.
 
When the press turns these incidents into media events and attempts to sway public opinion, they are no longer free press but editorial. There is no effective difference between a headline news reader who takes a biased perspective (yellow journalist) and a shock jock like Hannidy or Limbaugh. Their speech is protected under the same Bill of Rights they are denigrating.
 
However, it is dishonest and potentially criminal to purport it to be objective news coverage. That is no different from the much touted “Russian Influence” in the American political process. I’m far more concerned about Canadian and Anglo influence. IT’s far easier for the English and Anglo Canadians to masquerade as American citizns and act to pervert the political process in the US. IF Russians helping Trump with dirt on Hillary is criminal, then Canadian PACs advertising in favor of gun-laws or Barack Obama or (yes) Hillary is just as criminal for precisely the same reasons.
 
Leftist nuts and dictators are the only groups historically to have blamed violence on the prevalence of weapons rather than the prevalence of bad actors. Leftists need a disarmed public so that their extremist politics can be enforced on an unwilling populace. Dictators of the feudal, monarchical, fascist, or plutocratic need a disarmed public in order to enforce unwelcome rule on the . . . Hey! That’s the same reason!
 
Go figure.

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This Is Just a Middle-Aged Man Dressed as a Japanese Schoolgirl.

Now honestly. I have so many disparate responses that it’s hard to put it into words. I see a man in A Sailor Moon suit and I have to ask, is this a fetish or a hobby. The immediate response is to assume fetish, at least if you have grown up in the United Oper States of America during the lifetime of the Millennials. The immediate response is to assume he has some diabolical labyrinth of tunnels and cells where he keeps little Sailor Girls sewing skirts for him and darning his socks.

But what of middle aged Americans dressing as Darth Vader, or a random Airship Pirate and going off to comic con. The comparison is obvious but is it that they are as pathetic as him? Or is it that He’s as pathetic as they. But then there are the UoS or British Civil War reenactors. Where is the value in pointing muzzle loaders at one another and firing puffs of smoke while everyone lies down for a nap in fancy 17th century dress.

Ah but not all renactors are playing to a script! What about the Society for Cruddy Accoutrements? They really hit one another, and then there are the jousters and the ones who use live steel, albeit blunted, usually. Now those guys are for real so it’s not crazy right? Except didn’t some guy get killed in the utility tunnels under UC Berkeley back in the ’70s playing Chainmail the original LARP form of D&D? Oh wait we’ve come full circle haven’t we.

Like I said it just makes my head spin. Have a nice lunch and read a book.

 

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Big Publishers DRMing us to death

Author: Fred Grenvile

As a writer, rights to my work are important. Anyone who copies my work and doesn’t pay me for it literally takes away from my ability to care for elderly parents as well as myself. Writing is hard work. So is practicing long hours with musical instruments, or painting, drawing singing, etc. Hard work, harder in some cases than selling rainforest kitch, flipping burgers or building electronics.

On the other hand the spread of facisim in the west has brought about an unholy union between big content producers and government that is choking the life out of the freedom of the consumer. DRM and digital media restrictions are making it criminal to own and use your own copy of an artist’s work. With paper, canvas and vinyl, we allowed artists and producers to create “licenses” to content, but the media was property. If I bought a book, the words belonged to the author or his assigns (publishers heirs etc.); the paper, ink and binding was mine. I owned the book, the copy. If I wanted to share it with a friend I handed it to him and he read it. Libraries exist for the sole purpose of collecting books and lending them for the use of patrons, whether on site or off.

With digital, paperless, initiatives we have a problem. Can I own the electrons on a flash card? Is it possible? And if I send it to a friend he has it, but I still have it too. I’ve been accused of an intense grasp of the obvious. But the obvious seems to have escaped the legislators, producers and consumer public. The obvious is that DRM or Cloud storage infringe on the consumers rights as they have existed for just as long a tradition as those of the copyholder. DRM cannot be allowed to be a means of simply removing the ability of the consumer to loan or sell his media. This is a one-sided draconian approach that infringes on the majority rights in order to protect the minority. Unequal protection. For Americans at least, a huge no-no.

This case, a conflict between a programmer and Silicon Valley powerhouse Facebook ®, is a clear case of big business content producers attempting to circumvent the like a book doctrine and force the consumer to relinquish traditional rights to control, manipulate and warehouse their privately owned media. A quick review will probably leave most readers ambivalent at best.

The issue will continue to be a matter of struggle as we try to figure out how to insure media control “like a book” while preventing piracy. A start, would be for consumers to have the good grace to “just say no” to Pirate Bay.

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