Archive for August, 2010

Copyright nation

Although I support copyrights in theory, we seem to have gone off the deep end with them in today’s world. Apparently about sixty websites owned by various newspapers and professional blogs have sent a law office called Righthaven, LLC to sue any blogger who takes snippets from their articles and re-posts them, even if the blogger provides attribution with a link to the original material.

Another copyright troll is looking to sue you for the offense of quoting from and linking to their websites. . . . Righthaven, LLC is suing bloggers who are clearly using material within the bounds of Fair Use.  It’s a bullying tactic – sue for a huge amount, and settle for a few thousand, because that’s cheaper than going to court even if you win. 

And lest you think, Well, Drew, perhaps they are being obnoxious about asserting their right, but they still have the right to assert, I am not sure that they do have such a right. Specifically, although I unfortunately never got to take a class in copyright law, as far as I understand it you are generally supposed to nicely ask the offenders to take down your material before you sue them. Apparently, some of the defendants are at least making that argument (among others) and giving Righthaven a run for its money.

The defense attorneys and some defendants without attorneys are making complex legal arguments about whether the Nevada court has jurisdiction over the out-of-state defendants, whether Righthaven itself has standing to sue and whether Righthaven failed to follow the law in filing no-warning lawsuits rather than first sending requests or takedown orders to the infringing websites.

Jackasses in glass houses shouldn’t be throwing stones. Bullying tactics deserve bullying penalties. I think some Rule 11 sanctions against that prosecuting attorney may be in order.

At least one of the lawsuits is about a website that posted four paragraphs (out of an article with thirty-four paragraphs). I have written previously about some idiot who sued over a chord progression, and you actually hear about “artists” making these mockable arguments fairly frequently these days. More recently, some of my friends on Facebook were discussing a proposed law that would prohibit people from “stealing” dress designs (The topic came up because evidently some producers had chosen to mimic Chelsea Clinton’s wedding dress). You can’t steal an idea; you can only commit fraud in pretending that the idea is in fact yours, or you can undermine the system we have established for incentivizing creativity — but neither of those is the same as stealing. I even get annoyed when I hear Mark Levin whine on the radio about how lesser talkshow hosts copy his ideas after he broadcasts them; I just think to myself, You should get over yourself and be happy that you are so influential!

But anyway, garbage like I have described above is what causes the nuttier posters at Mises.org to argue for abolishing copyrights. I don’t agree with them that we should abolish copyrights, but something probably does need to be done about the matter — particularly with our attitudes. I understand that we need to offer incentives to producers, but this idea that we are all out producing truly original brilliant thoughts is itself a bit narcissistic, and the idea that we need the government to stop anyone else from benefiting from our thought processes is absurd.

One commenter (“minamitek”) on a separate article summed up my thoughts about the matter fairly adequately:

Remember the good old days when capitalism was all about making stuff and selling it to buyers, instead of just using protectionist laws to sue non-buyers?
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Hugo Chavez must die

From Business Investors Daily, H/T Wintery Knight:

The silent protest at Monday night’s Miss Universe Pageant in Las Vegas was invisible to nearly everyone — except Venezuelans. . . . . Fernandez waved her flag for the same reason Americans waved theirs after 9/11 — to convey resolution amid distress. Her flag had seven stars, significant because Chavez had arbitrarily added an eighth, making any use of a difficult-to-find seven-star banner an act of defiance.

Fernandez’s countrymen went wild with joy on bulletin boards and Facebook, showing just how worried they are about their country.

This chick Stefanía Fernandez sort of reminds me of that politically defiant woman in the new Sylvester Stallone movie The Expendables. And to think that I actually criticized the movie to my friends for having such an “unrealistic” female character… I suppose maybe I was wrong.

I like this photograph because you can see the somewhat subtle hint of anger on the girl’s face, around her mouth. Meanwhile, if there’s a faint smile there at all, it seems to be a contemptuous one — making it fairly clear that the primary intention of her gesture is to say “You can go to hell” to her country’s dictator, Hugo Chavez.

That said, I agree with her. The leftist Hugo Chavez needs to be killed. I cannot understand why those cowardly fools used to mock Pat Robertson for bringing up that possibility. We kill all kinds of Al Qaeda fanatics all the time, so let’s not pretend like there is anything wrong with destroying these wicked souls. In fact, I think all Republicans need to make the death of Hugo Chavez part of their national foreign policy platform.

1 Samuel 15:32-33

 Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites.”
      Agag came to him confidently, thinking, Surely the bitterness of death is past.

 But Samuel said,
       “As your sword has made women childless,
       so will your mother be childless among women.”
      And Samuel put Agag to death before the LORD at Gilgal.

For that matter, I don’t even particularly care whether it’s the United States government that does the killing or someone else. Why does our government always have to accomplish everything in the world? Obama seems to be practically buddies with the guy so I hardly expect Obama to order anyone to do the job. Therefore, someone else needs to knock Chavez off.

Are we not allowed to say this stuff anymore? Am I promoting crime? Hugo Chavez is the one promoting crime.

Quick, what’s the murder capital of the world: Kabul? Juarez? Try Caracas, Venezuela, a city whose dictator, Hugo Chavez, has made murder a means of extending his control. . . . .Ever since Chavez became president in 1999, Venezuelan cities have become hellholes in which murder rates have more than quadrupled. At 233 per 100,000, or one murder every 90 minutes, the rate in Caracas now tops that of every war zone in the world, according to an official National Statistics Institute study released Wednesday.

Hugo Chavez must die. If no one else gets around to it any time soon, I have always said that if I get some incurable disease, my last dying act needs to be eliminating one of these worthless foreign tyrants from the face of the earth. And statistically, it’s only a matter of time before I (or any other particular person) comes down with something incurable, right? But it would be a lot easier if the United States government would save us a lot of pain and trouble and just eradicate this creep using their professionals.

Significant sign of a depraved society

It is a sign of a wicked and doomed society when ordinary citizens cannot bear to hear about the faults of their would-be masters.

“I think the voters have figured out that no matter how much money some guy spends, just because he’s wealthy and can run ads that slam the other guy doesn’t make him the right person to govern Florida,” said state Attorney General Bill McCollum, who is locked in a bruising Republican gubernatorial campaign against Scott.

Scott has spent almost $39 million of his own money on the campaign and for months has blanketed the state with his commercials, most attacking McCollum.

Danielle Foster, a businesswoman and mother from Tallahassee, said she was turned off by the negative tone of the race, though still cast her ballot on Tuesday.

We try not to watch as much television anymore because it’s so negative,” she said.

I hear this lame complaint by all kinds of people, and I am absolutely sick of it. Yes, let us all be positive all the time about everything. But then, I want to know why this woman is so negative about the political ads. She doesn’t sound very positive to me! Rather, she seems perfectly willing to vote against a politician who violates her code of ethics. It just turns out that her only ethic is to avoid running negative ads.

There is, of course, a sin that encompasses some negative ads (not all!). It is the sin of “lying.” But that doesn’t make negativity itself wrong; it just makes dishonesty wrong. In fact, positive ads can be plenty dishonest, too. These idiot voters today just don’t want to take the trouble of judging between right and wrong, and so they make judgmentalism their only supposed sin.

If a politician is corrupt, I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT. And I want to vote him out — at the very least.

Women’s hair

While I have been discussing the topic of women in recent posts, another, related matter has recently come to my attention. I don’t see why women get short hair. Women, if you want to get all the finest, strongest, smartest, and most manly men to notice you, here is my advice:  Do not make your hair short.

A pop song and its music video are what made this matter urgent enough to warrant a blog post. Specifically, there is this pretty good pop song out right now called “Bulletproof.” Unfortunately, I made the mistake of watching the music video on Youtube, and now the song is permanently ruined for me. I just cannot get the hideous entity from this video out of my mind whenever I hear the music begin to play on the radio. It really is a shame. Warning:  Do NOT watch this video if you enjoy the song “Bulletproof,” or if you think you might ever want to.

Not overly long ago, my little sister suggested that she might cut her hair short, but I instantly warned her that if she did, she would look like a lesbian. Fortunately, she ultimately made the right decision, and as a result she still looks good.

Admittedly, there are a few instances where semi-short hair can still look decent. For example, consider the vampire Alice from Twilight:

Nonetheless, there are several reasons why this objection fails. First of all, her hair is not entirely short, but still retains some longness. Secondly, she is a vampire, and thus she is supposed to look a little weird. Thirdly, even if we found an exception here, it would not negate the rule that short hair for girls is generally bad.

Chloe from Smallville might seem like another counterexample at first, but as with Alice, her hair still retains some measure of longness.

Additionally, I get the idea from watching the show that Chloe is actually supposed to be somewhat unattractive, because Clark Kent is in love with a different girl. Finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, when examining the matter further we actually find that both girls in fact look at least slightly better with longer hair:

These last pictures tend to prove that these women are not exceptions to the rule, but rather are simply outliers. It would be like if Rambo walked around wearing a pink dress and people still thought he looked masculine, that would not prove the point that some men look better in pink dresses. Hence, both these counterexamples essentially fail in their entirety.

Thus, we can ultimately see that this short hair craze among today’s women is certifiably insane. With these various examples, I think I have proven conclusively that women should never have short hair — except perhaps in extenuating circumstances, such as if they are vampires.

Hope for society’s morals

I think it’s interesting how many people have come out to criticize the new movie Eat, Pray, Love. The criticisms have generally been the same — the movie unjustly glorifies a woman who leaves her husband and who gets into wacko Eastern religion. For example, the New York Post (H/T Wintery Knight) attacked the movie as follows:

The biggest problem . . . is that the female protagonist is a selfish woman trying to find personal enlightenment and happiness apart from the God of the Bible. Sadly, she jumps from man to man. Even worse, she eventually finds spiritual darkness in the false religion of Hinduism and pantheism, the belief that everyone is god or has a piece of god inside herself.

The editorial also specifically mentions the divorce issue:

She also comes to believe she has to forgive herself, not apologize to the people she’s harmed, especially her former husband, who seems to be a decent, sincere man. (emphasis added)

Additionally, my friend Kevin just sent me a separate review (spoilers and vulgarity within link) that identified the same basic concerns:

Gilbert [the main character] is a shallow, self-indulgent, and arrogant woman. This person is not going on a journey of self-discovery . . . . This person is abandoning her life. Instead of confronting her problems, instead of working through them, or processing whatever it is that makes her so inexplicably unhappy, she abandons them. And she abandons a husband who — at least as he’s characterized in the movie — is loving, charming, and more than adequate because she needs some more . . . “me time.”

. . . .

And for what? So she can find herself? Or so she can find a better man? It’s hard to tell from the movie, because this woman is as shallow, self-indulgent and arrogant at the end of the movie as she is in the beginning . . . . [T]he best I can gather from the film is that all she learned along her journey of self-discovery is that she can eat more pasta, speak better Italian, and meditate, which is to say: Spend more time with herself, because God knows why anyone else would want to spend time with her.

. . . .

#*&$ you, and your Buddhist Ayn Rand bull$&@# philosophy.

I hear Christian writers (e.g., The Thinking Housewife) make these sorts of arguments all the time, but it seems unusual to see such bitter criticism from secular publications. I find that second review particularly hope-inspiring, because given the coarse language used all over that website, it is clear that the writing is not geared toward a churchy audience. Hence, we find some evidence in film reviews like these that even the regular, secular society is getting fed up with the matriarchal divorce culture and the New Agey religious garbage that have so corroded our republic.

Comparative grammatical confusion

One grammatical issue that kinda bugs me is when people state that action B is “[x] times [more/less of something] than” action A. For example, a person might say that Vehicle B is moving “three times faster” than Vehicle A. What the speaker actually means is that the second vehicle is moving at three times the speed of the first vehicle. For example, one horsedrawn carriage might be traveling at five miles per hour while a bicycle might be traveling at three times that speed, meaning 15 miles per hour. Thus, the communicator should have used the phraseology “three times as fast.” But unfortunately, the speaker clearly took no effort to articulate his message accurately, so he wound up implying that the bicycle was actually going four times the speed of the slower vehicle (i.e., twenty miles per hour).

If you play your music “one time louder” than I play my music, that obviously does not mean you are playing the music at the same volume. Rather, if you are playing “one time louder” than me, that must mean you are actually be playing twice as loudly. Hence, “two times louder” would mean three times as loudly, and “three times louder” would mean four times as loudly. The same goes for vehicular speed, and the same principle applies for any comparative adverb or adjective.

And don’t even get me started about phrases like “three times slower.” What in the world could that possibly mean? If an object was moving one time (100%) slower, that would presumably mean that the object was not moving slowly, but was in fact stopped altogether! So if something is three times slower, is the object moving at negative speed? (And unless you are referring to vectors, which describe direction, then negative speed is obviously impossible.) If a guest lecturer speaks “two times slower” than your professor normally talks, doesn’t that mean that he is speaking at a negative rate and that his lecture never ends??

Anyway, the instance that recently brought this matter to my attention was the claim that Justin Bieber’s songs sound better when they are “slowed down 800%.” I don’t think the communicator actually means that we should play Bieber’s songs backwards, so I imagine the song is actually slowed down 89% — down to one ninth its normal speed. But who knows exactly what the person means. He is in fact correct about one thing, though:  Justin Bieber does sound better this way.

Another destructive aspect of promiscuity

There is an interesting discussion at The Thinking Housewife regarding the economics of promiscuity and marriage. Specifically, a man has commented that although he used to be socially conservative, he eventually became disillusioned with his principles after seeing the sexual immorality of others — and the implications of that immorality on his own marital prospects:

As I’ve intimated before I grew up in very conservative Christian environs, and was fully invested in that life until my mid-twenties. Over the course of time I saw church-going girls from solid, middle-class familes having children by young males from outside that environment. Of course these men, to stretch the term, were entirely unsuitable for either fatherhood or husbandry, so the girls ended up raising their children in their parents’ homes, often with no child support. I realized, as would any man with an IQ above room temperature, that each instance of this occurrance meant that one man out there in society would not get married, unless he consented to raise a stranger’s child.

Men clearly have an aversion to this.

When I have addressed this problem to older conservative Christians I have meet met with complete indifference, if not ridicule. Basically, “buck up, soldier, now fight the culture war”.

I find his point about single moms’ impact on the mating market rather interesting. Whereas you would normally expect social immorality to corrupt both sexes about equally — such that the balance of the marriagible individuals remained relatively undisturbed, even if the virtuous people were fewer in number — here this man is pointing out that women are actually taking themselves out of the market altogether. He is, of course, correct that most men will stay away from single mothers. Thus, what we basically have is a situation similar to China, where there are no longer enough women to go around!

Obviously, this problem does not excuse any individual man for failing to find some babe to marry through his individual efforts. But as a sociological phenomenon, the trend will surely be destructive.

What we can also see from this analysis is the classic truth that men have a significant interest in helping safeguard the moral purity of women. And when we see men getting excited about the possibility of promiscuity, we can automatically know that they are fools. Marriage is a remnant of the patriarchal system, and one that men are foolish to undermine merely for short-term pleasure.


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