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Old Blog Posts March 10, 2006

Subject Imagine Hollywood as this monster that eats human flesh and craps celluloid
Posted Date: March 10, 2006 – Friday – 6:30 AM
“WASHINGTON (Hollywood Reporter) – A pair of apparent Ryan Adams fans ran afoul of a new law making it a crime to publish songs before their release to the general public when they made portions of the singer’s latest album available on a Web site frequented by his fans, federal authorities said Thursday.”

“if convicted on all counts, the defendants each face a potential of 11 years in prison.”

Full article is available here.

That’s right, Hollywood, putting your biggest fans in jail is exactly the magic bullet you need to stop piracy!

Let’s put this potential 11 year sentence in context. We don’t have average sentencing yet, as this is a brand new law, but let’s assume they’ll get somewhere between 6 and 10 years, which translates into between 66 and 120 months. Here are some statistics I dredged up (from 1992):

Type of offense sentence
All violent 89 months
Homicide 149
Rape 117
Kidnaping 104
Robbery 95
Sexual assault 72
Assault 61
Other 60

So, right up there with lots of violent crimes. Notice that robbery gets more time then assault! Makes one think about what we value most, eh?

The new law being enforced here is the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act I guess it passed because it has the word “Family”* in it, so it must be a great law, right?

It’s sad that this terrible law is going to ruin these guy’s lives. It’s more than sad, the fat cat artists that support this horrible system….but I shouldn’t say anything more.

* Incidentally, the bill only uses the word “family” once (outside of the name), which is to make sure family living rooms are not considered a “motion picture exhibition facility”. Nice of them to care…

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Subject $8,200,000,000,000.00 and counting
Posted Date: March 7, 2006 – Tuesday – 10:21 AM
“Treasury Secretary John Snow notified Congress on Monday that the administration has now taken “all prudent and legal actions,” including tapping certain government retirement funds, to keep from hitting the $8.2 trillion national debt limit.

In a letter to Congress, Snow urged lawmakers to pass a new debt ceiling immediately to avoid the nation’s first-ever default on its obligations.” Link to full article here.

8.2 trillion…that’s a big number. For example if we divide this number by 295 million (the current US population), that works out to a debt of $27,800 PER PERSON!

From the article: “Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., said last week that under President Bush the total of the deficits has increased by $3 trillion, a 40 percent increase from where the national debt _ the total of previous deficits _ stood when Bush took office in January 2001.”

So, 40 percent of $27,800 is $11,120; the amount of debt aquired per person since Bush took office.

You know, I remember a time when Republicans were fiscally conservative. I was able to relate, being economically conservative and socially liberal. This has definitely changed, though; no other president has every increased the deficit by even close to this amount.

Here is an interesting site on the federal budget. Per this site, the agencies that spent the most are Health and Human Services, Department of Defense, and the Treasury. Why is the Treasury spending so much? It’s this thing called “interest”, and it’s a bitch!

This is got to stop sometime; but the big question is “when?”.

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Subject Kids Build Soybean-Fueled Car
Posted Date: March 1, 2006 – Wednesday – 8:11 AM
This is pretty amazing. Some high school kids built a CAR that goes from 1 to 60 in 4 seconds AND gets 57 mpg! That is pretty amazing. If some kids could build this, what about GM or Dodge? My Neon gets about 30 mpg, and it takes probably 10 seconds to accelarate to 60. With gas well over 2 bucks a gallon I would sure save some money.

But it gets even more amazing, because this damn thing doesn’t even run on gas; it runs on soybean fuel! Now, this is incredibly amazing. They have a car that gets better mileage and outperforms virtually all cars in production right now. High school kids. Think about it.

Again I ask, what about Volkswagen or Ford? It seems like they could build a car like this quite easily, so why haven’t they? I’ll give these kid’s teacher the last word.

“We made this work,” says Hauger. “We’re not geniuses. So why aren’t they doing it?”
Kosi thinks he knows why. The answer, he says, is the big oil companies.
“They’re making billions upon billions of dollars,” he says. “And when this car sells, that’ll go down to low billions upon billions.”
End Quote:

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Subject Richard Dawkins on Religion
Posted Date: February 24, 2006 – Friday – 10:19 AM
Not being one to go against trend, I’m continuing my religion and science posts.

Here are a couple of interesting articles by Richard Dawkins, of “The Selfish Gene” fame. I’ve read this book (as have millions, it was a bestseller), and it’s great. Dawkin’s talks about very complex things in laymans terms, and does a good job of it. Anyone who doesn’t understand evolution should at the very least read this book, at the very least so that you can validly debate against it (instead of spouting off about “coming from monkeys” and “survival of the fittest”). As an aside, I highly recommend Origins of Order for the scientifically minded. This is a difficult book, but eye opening.

Anyway, here are some links.
Religion’s Guided Missiles. Posted right after 9/11.

Interview with Dawkins. Very outspoken about the dangers of fundamentalism.

Is Science a Religion. A valid question, and he does a good job of answering it. Summary, Bad science and Religion are very similar, as they are both based on faith instead of evidence. Good Science and Religion are quite different, as true science is based only on evidence.

The Root of all Evil?. This looks interesting; I’m going to get a torrent of this as soon as I can.

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Subject Heliocentricity Part II
Posted Date: February 22, 2006 – Wednesday – 8:17 AM
The link provided in my initial post is now broken. Not only that, but the article is now not listed on the site at all. I wonder what happened?

There is a blurb here that references Heliocentricity, but it basically copes out and says the view is valid, and that the opposite view is valid as well. It goes further to say that the scientific evidence is a “wash” between the two views.

OMFreakinG! These are the same people saying that there is no evidence to support evolution. But their views on Heliocentricity quite clearly shows that they are less interested in true science then in supporting their dogma.

Go figure, eh?

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