Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Homelessness a Choice

I just saw an article on the website of the City of Ft. Worth that stated that the "Homeless Czar" of the United States was coming to that city. It went on to say that Mayor Mike Moncrief would express his concerns over the "homelessness crisis" there. There are 4,000 people living on the streets of Ft. Worth.

I have seen interviews with some of the homeless, and they indicate that they have a great deal of freedom that they wouldn't want to give up for a permanent address. With our government at all levels taxing us to distraction, funding a war across the planet, and wasting money right and left, sometimes I sympathize with those we usually consider "less fortunate".

I once saw a documentary about a homeless man. The film crew arranged for him to "find" $100,000, then followed him as he spent it all in about six months, and once again moved in under a bridge. He "didn't want nobody telling [him] what to do."

Well, maybe the government can supply housing to some of them who want it, but they won't eliminate the phenomenon. And we'll have another government program to waste our money. On the other hand, if there wasn't so much government control over our lives, we would all find a place to sleep, and no one would worry about it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Digital Millenium Copyright Act - Public Enemy No. 2

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998 was the second worst piece of legislation in recent memory. It sold all the public's rights to use and modify ideas over to large media companies, and made it possible for companies such as Disney and the large recording companies to use technology to prevent their own customers from exercising the rights which we still retain. If a computer professional writes software to overcome these barriers to fair use, they are breaking the law to enforce a right. How does this make sense?

We've had the infamous DMCA for 9 years now, and there are a host of unintended consequences. Congress, in buying a bill of goods from Hollywood and the Recording Industry of America, passed the DMCA based on lies, and the results are disastrous. You really must read this article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I'll Take Liberty, Thanks

I heard recently that someone famous once said, "I believe that democracy is the best form for government to take, too bad it's never been tried." I don't know if I agree with that assessment. Truly democratic government would have the whole populace voting on every law and regulation, which would not only be very cumbersome, but would not guarantee good laws. Any individual's vote or opinion is heavily influenced by the news media, and "He who owns the media decides what is put in it."

So we have this "representative" form of government, and the rule of law. I really don't care if we have a democracy. I really don't care if the majority rules. My only desire is for freedom and liberty. I want the Bill of Rights to be effective, and enforced. The second amendment says that "Congress shall make no law abridging the right to keep and bear arms," yet we have over 200 Federal laws doing just that. That amendment was written so that we could protect ourselves from tyranny, in a day when any man with a rifle was just as effective as any soldier, but we lost parity with the military many, many years ago. The second amendment supports all the others.

The first amendment is supposed to guarantee free speech, but the so-called "fairness doctrine" passed a few years ago was a gag order for any American who wanted to speak out about elections, unless they were in a "camp" or in the "media". Many of our media protection laws don't apply to bloggers unless you follow a bunch of guidelines and act much like the traditional media.

The fourth amendment is supposed to protect us from "unlawful search and seizure", but now the government is spying on us all, and AT&T, who is breaking the law in collusion with this administration, may never be brought to justice, because of the political powers that be.

The Patriot Act is the worst trashing of the Bill of Rights ever enacted, yet was largely unopposed. The Department of Homeland Security is a dangerous amalgam of many smaller agencies, and cannot do what it was created for. The events of 9-11-2001, while tragic, were not as devastating to this country as they are made out to be, and 6 years later, we are not any safer. We are actually less secure, because our army is stretched to the breaking point. The *Government* cannot protect us all. As Ben Franklin once said, "Those who would give up liberty to purchase a little safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." See Neither Liberty Nor Safety, by Robert Higgs.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Old barn

I've always been drawn to old buildings, because of the textures on them.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Early gesture drawing

All the instruction I had before doing this was "Try to get the overall shape, don't take your eyes off the subject, and don't erase!"