Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA and Pipa

I normally wouldn't talk politics but every now and then an issue comes up that I have a strong reaction too.  SOPA and Pipa both fall into that category.  I see both as a pathetic attempt by big business to keep things the way they are and not to change.  Piracy has always been a problem and always will be but don't go crying to congress because you aren't willing to change your ways.  What has the movie or the music industry really done to make their products readily available? Not much really.  Still paying the same prices as before regardless of the format.  Correct me if I am wrong but how can any company justify the same prices for digital vs. hard copy.  Not sure what the price would be for them for 1gig of movie but I'm thinking it is still less then to burn the movie to a dvd (extra cost for the menus), create cover art, and package it. My real objection to the laws is that it would give a business the right to suppress you if they cry "copyright infringement". My response: "No one has the right to take my 1st amendment away!  No One!"  So being the good civic voting person that I am; I decided to let my Congressmen know how I feel about these 2 pieces of trash.

I strongly encourage everyone to email,snail mail, or call your respective Congresspeople and tell them a "yes" vote on these measures means a "no" vote on re-elcection from you.  Just remember when writing to have clear ideas and be respectful.  A well written argument is more persuasive.  If you need an example, here's what I wrote to them:

Honorable Congressperson,

            I am writing you to express my disapproval of H.R.3261 - Stop Online Piracy Act and S.968 - PROTECT IP Act of 2011.   A vote on your part on any of these measures means a vote of no-confidence and no support from me.  My voice and opinions are important to me.   It is my civic duty to let my thoughts be known.  Both measures would infringe upon my right to free speech.  Under these measures I feel that I would be unfairly prosecuted and targeted for stating an opinion if some business deems that I have “infringed” on their copyright in any form.  No company has the power under the Constitution to curtail my protected right to free speech, and you as a member of Congress do not have the authority to grant such power.  It is a power expressly denied to you under the first amendment which states “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”.  The tenants of both bills will do considerably harm to the first amendment.  Many supporters of the bills have stated that similar legislation has been implemented in China, a country notorious for its civil rights violation and its lack of freedoms.  I, for one, do not wish to see this country emulate China in any form or fashion.

As for the businesses supporting these bills, what have they done?  From where I sit they have done little to embrace technological advance to enhance their industries.  They are stuck in the past.  Their profits are decline for a multitude of reasons, just not copyright infringement, to include a poor economy and the stubbornness on the industries part to change.  Last time I looked when someone is unemployed they have no discretion income to attend a movie or buy a music cd. As of this letter unemployment is at 8.5%, with that I see very few people being able to comfortable afford to enjoy movies and/or music.

In closing, Thomas Jefferson once said “The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.”  Please, send a strong message to big corporate business that the 1st amendment of the Constitution is not for sale just so they can have bigger profits. If you do feel the need to vote in favor of these legislations, please, understand that in my eyes it has undone any good you may have done in the past or the future.  I will not offer any support to your re-election campaigns if you so chose to seek another term and I will not vote for you.  I maybe just one voice but this one voice will speak out against you.



P.S. Please, do not respond with platitudes. Actions speak louder then words.

Here's how to contact any US elected official:

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. "
Thomas Jefferson

Update:  I decided to write  the editor of our local paper.  This issue is too important to leave any stone unturned so I'm using every avenue available to get the word out.  What I wrote:

Dear Editor,
            I am writing today to talk about 2 disturbing bills currently before the US House and the US Senate, H.R.3261 - Stop Online Piracy Act and S.968 - PROTECT IP Act of 2011.  On paper both appear to help solve the problem of online piracy, however, the broad definitions would result in a stifling of ideas on the internet.  Under the definitions, one could conceivable see that an individual would no loner be allowed to post pictures of the latest family vacation to Disney World for fear of copyright infringement.  That is how broad these laws are.  I urge everyone to educate themselves about these bills and contact Congress if you do not agree with them.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Godzilla Has Not Destroyed Tokyo.... Yet

First week of the year is now over and so far so good on the goals.  The weight lose has been the easiest so far since I actually started that goal right after Christmas.  The biggest shock has been how well I am handling a self imposed month of no chocolate. By no chocolate, I mean no chocolate. No candy bars, no chocolate flavored ice cream, no chocolate cake,  no brownies, no hot coco, etc.  Since chocolate is the go to food when I'm stressed it really is surprising that I have caused someone bodily harm by now.

Now why the self imposed month you ask?  Multiple reasons really.  First, I've done it before while the doctors where determining that my gallbladder had sent out a two weeks notice that it was quitting and wanted to be relocated ASAP.  Second, in moderation chocolate is good, however, since I eat it when stressed I have been going slightly overboard in the moderation department so it is time to cut back and treat it properly. Third, is a philosophical pursuit, give up something you enjoy for a month and see how not having it has impacted your life.

Just to let you know there are only 50 Mondays left in 2012.  Here's hoping they are declared illegal before the end of the year.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
Winston Churchill

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, New Beginning

Starting something with the New Year can be cliche but sometimes it just a convenient starting point.  My reasoning behind starting a blog is somewhat simple: Tell the universe and anyone who's watching what's on my mind.  Not whining per say just rambling thoughts that get stuck in the head and won't leave. 

Now those of you who may stumble upon this blog some day may wonder about the title.  It is a tad bit odd for a blog.  I've been a MMO gamer for the best part of the last decade and always seem to gravitate towards one class (ie, play style), that of the ranger. Now this isn't the ranger that first pops into your head if you have no familiarity with MMOS.  Think Robin Hood and his superior skill with bow and arrow and you have what a ranger is in any MMO.  In general, it is a very easy class to learn and as such has garnered something of a unique reputation.  Simply put if you play a ranger you will be picked on, mostly for dying a lot.  As I have said it is an easy class to learn but not as easy to master.  To master the class means to garner respect from your fellow players.  In my opinion, playing a ranger gives a glimpse into living.  You learn something, master it, encountering obstacles and nay says along the way but in the end you enjoy what you are doing. To summarize, "Roll a Ranger" means to embrace life to its fullest and enjoy the journey with the full knowledge that along the way there will be challenges and hardships that you will overcome.

Alright done with the sappy stuff. 

Next on the agenda. What I plan for the coming year. This is the part to be afraid, very afraid.  I've planned a few goals for the coming year.  Nothing exotic like go climb Mt. Everest just simple obtainable goals.
  • Obtain level -5 lbs. in 6 weeks  (will be updated in 6 weeks increments) 
  • 31 day countdown with no chocolate (this is the "be afraid" part)
  • Trek across the land in pursuit of a new job
  • Finish "that" crazy quilt project a month ahead of schedule (once I get a a schedule that is)