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A clip from Bill Maher's show of May 25: video w/audio.
"Snappy hipster commercials aside, Apple is in business to make money, just like everyone else. We've been saying for years that there's more money to be made without DRM than with it, and a few very large players are finally coming to agree. It's a nice coincidence that DRM-free is also better for the public and our country as well."
"There are, in life, many natural opportunities for realization and adjustments to one’s operating paradigm. Problems arise when we choose to let other people be responsible for us. It may seem like the easy way out, for instance, to entertain the thought of government providing for your golden years. However, no one is as interested in your well being as you are, and no one is as interested in their own well being as is a bureaucrat."
"While Amish communities are generally seen as anti-technology, it is more accurate to say that they embrace only those technologies that are consistent with their agrarian lifestyle. Solar power has gained acceptance among them as a way to power their limited electrical needs while staying off the grid."
"The lack of justification for the legal distinction between crack and cocaine powder is especially troubling when you consider the racially skewed impact of the sentencing gap. Crack offenders in the federal system are overwhelmingly black, while cocaine powder offenders are mostly white or Hispanic."
"It’s amusing that conservatives think illegals are covered by the law but not by the Constitution. Talk about having it both ways. The Constitution and Bill of Rights do not distinguish between citizens and noncitizens. Besides, there is no obligation to obey an immoral law."
"Rogers, a 54-year-old regional sales manager for Georgia-Pacific, was sleeping under the stars when a large dog suddenly vaulted over a wooden fence and sank its teeth into his left arm. Shocked and disoriented in the darkness, and not wearing his eyeglasses, Rogers struggled desperately to free himself from the dog, to no avail."
"[T]hose who once promised to get government off the backs of the people, who swore an oath against its intrusion into our lives, now gleefully use it to poke, prod, peer and interfere in the most private aspects of our existence. The reasoning -- 'rationalization' would be a better word -- is always that someone has transgressed morality."
"I want to make some things clear. I am definitely not against people who co-opt the elections, and Ron Paul's campaign, to propagate ideals of freedom. Those people are doing good work. We should definitely co-opt the rare good elements within the political process whenever possible. Also, if voting was a legal obligation, and not voting incurred heavy penalties, then I would be the first to say that voting or not voting should be left to one's conscience, until the movement has grown enough to be able to disengage from the State. But this is not the case! On the contrary, not voting costs you absolutely nothing. "
"The number one, central, ubiquitous problem of our time and all time is the state. Whenever a criminal band manages to bamboozle the public that it alone should be granted the legal right to aggress on others, there is a problem that needs to be uprooted. The struggle for freedom is precisely this and no other."
"Today, most people believe the state needs to provide law enforcement and that nongovernment alternatives would be unfair or ineffective. But the historical record in England, as well as in ancient Ireland and ancient Iceland, shows nongovernment law enforcement agencies existed for hundreds of years. Modern America need not turn back the clock to adopt the system of England's long-ago past, but we might consider how today's government monopoly could be replaced or supplemented by private institutions and mechanisms. "
"Agorists understand that government is merely banditry under guise of law. It serves as a mechanism for the unjust transfer of wealth from the productive class to a parasitic elite, the political class that consists not merely of high government officials but also nominal members of the private sector whose wealth derives from state intervention in the market — subsidies and related state-backed market distortions. ... I mean that toward the pinnacle of the state capitalist pyramid we find those for whom capital itself is their business and state backed cartelism/monopolism their method — the biggest banks, financial services companies and investment groups."
"In those heady days of Hendrix and Haight-Ashbury, 'hippie communes' dotted the hills around the south and eastern edges of Algonquin Park as people in the back-to-the-land movement discovered the area had lots of cheap land to get back to. The hardscrabble farms homesteaded by the Madawaska and Bonnechere Valleys' Polish and Irish settlers were being sold off at low prices as their descendants moved to town. ... [S]ome of the flower children of the '60s are feeling vindicated by a growing concern about the very things they rebelled against: rampant consumerism, waste and environmental degradation. At a time that has seen An Inconvenient Truth capture an Oscar, and the U.S. get bogged down in another foreign war, the idea of finding a better way to live has found new currency."
"Iraq has already been effectively divided into autonomous areas, and Sunni insurgents and Kurdish and Shi’ite militias are governing those regions. What is needed is to have all Iraqi groups agree to this decentralized arrangement and adjust the boundaries."
"In my treatment of decentralized production technology, I've occasionally touched on the issue of 'desktop manufacturing.' That's actually a catchall term for two different major phenomena, with the emphasis probably on the latter: small-scale manufacturing using multiple-purpose machinery, and what's variously called 'layered manufacturing' or '3-D printing'."
"A frequent argument against secession is: What about the tax money that the rest of the country has invested in the would-be secessionist region for infrastructure, education, security, etc.? … Suppose this argument is a good one. Then by the same logic it should be justifiable to forbid individuals to leave the country. ... Now some countries have indeed had just such a policy – the Soviet Union, for example. But nowadays hardly anyone, including opponents of secession, is willing to embrace the idea of forbidding emigration."
"Something is wrong with the United States. I think most of us have noticed it. There is a mortal rot in the country, made manifest by many little rots that are hard to integrate mentally yet are, I think, somehow related. The change is grave, accelerating, probably irreversible, and fascinating. Things are not as they were. ... Americans really are good folk. The government isn’t. It’s the gravest problem we face, both internationally and domestically."
"In short, Bush may now declare himself absolute ruler at any moment and Congress can like it or lump it. Naturally, this act of betrayal is of so little importance and consequence, the corporate media believes you are better served knowing Justin Timberlake is in love."
"What needs to be pointed out is that the procedures that broke down Padilla’s mental equilibrium weren’t dreamed up by his jailers in South Carolina. According to Alfred McCoy in a new book called A Question of Torture, they are the result of decades and billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded research."
"For more than a century, collectivist social engineers have extolled the merits of home visitations by State-assigned social workers as a way of circumventing parental authority and establishing a proprietary claim on children. The most notorious recent examples – on this side of the Atlantic, in any case – are Hillary Clinton and Janet Reno, the latter demonstrating her solicitude for children by immolating more than a dozen of them at Mt. Carmel and sending stormtroopers to seize another from his Miami relatives at gunpoint."
"The times, they are a changin' – and the signs are all around us. The American people are sick unto death of the Iraq war, and this growing dissatisfaction with American foreign policy spans the political spectrum: it isn't just the Left that is singing 'we ain't marchin' anymore,' it's moderates and even conservatives."
"Let's be blunt. Giuliani was either lying, or he hasn't cracked a book in six years. The 'blowback' theory isn't some fringe idea common only to crazy Sept. 11 conspiracy theorists. It doesn't suggest that we 'deserved' the Sept. 11 attacks, nor does it suggest we shouldn't have retaliated against the people who waged them."
"In the aftermath of 9/11, Giuliani showed one face -- the face of the superior moralizer who commands support -- to the American public. He showed quite another -- the face of the corrupt power-seeker with no compunctions against sacrificing the lives, welfare and honor of his 'troops' to his personal political interests -- to those whom he presumed to 'lead'."
"Of course, I don’t think Giuliani is dumb. I just think he knew what he was doing. Accusing Ron Paul of saying we 'invited' September 11th was a sly way of accusing him of saying we deserved it—which, itself, was a sly way of letting our corrupt, bumbling federal government off the hook. The truth is, no country deserves a hit like 9/11. And just because our foreign policy set the stage for those attacks doesn’t mean they were justified or that the terrorists were good guys. All it means is we have nothing to gain and everything to lose wasting precious time, money, and resources in a region of mentally unbalanced people. "
"The story of reforestation in the Sahel holds important lessons for preserving ecological quality in the developing world. The shift toward local ownership of resources creates incentives for farmers to adapt their practices to be ecologically sustainable."
"Unlike the more popular MP3 and AAC audio formats, Ogg Vorbis is free of licensing and patent restrictions, so anyone can code up a software player or hack together an Ogg-enabled hardware device without paying a fee to patent owners. The FSF, one of the most powerful and vocal organizations in the open-source movement, is also hosting a mailing list and a web-media campaign at PlayOgg.org to generate discussion of the Ogg formats."
"One study found that users of pirated software sufficiently influenced — by word-of-mouth communication — eighty percent of the software's prospects to buy the legal product and another described several scenarios in which piracy can help increase the sales of legal products."
"From Edmund Burke, the Anglo-Irish philosopher and politician considered the father of conservative thinking, to Ronald Reagan, who had no qualms with the word 'amnesty' when millions of immigrants were legalized under his watch in 1986, conservatives have understood that spontaneous social interactions and institutions are what make nations healthy, prosperous and peaceful."
"The so-called guest-worker program, part of the controversial new compromise immigration bill now before Congress, sums up everything that is wrong in how many people think about immigration. On one side are those who want to keep foreigners out of the country on grounds that they will compete against American workers without providing offsetting benefits to the U.S. economy. On the other are those who want to admit some magic number of the right kind of foreign workers because it will benefit the U.S. economy."
"Does anyone think migrant workers paid less than minimum wage are going to be able to cough up $5000? And if they could or couldn’t, would it matter? Because, we already know where this will end - with some border patrolmen hand-in-glove with criminals who will run a racket on it; with a whole industry of racketeers built on that, as there already is on fake documentation; with the innocent in trouble and the guilty off the hook. "
"It is not that most of the commuting culture is what you call ‘essential’ transportation. It is just that this is the energy-intensive existence we have created for ourselves. It was great when oil was cheap, although not sustainable. And now that oil is expensive, we have to ask if we have to change our cultural expectations. If not, we are about to have some very big problems."
"The simple truth is that no one is forced to trade with China. As Bo Xilai, the minister of commerce, noted in responding to U.S. protectionist threats, 'If they [American businesses] could not make money doing business with China, they would not have been doing it.' Daniel Griswold, director of Cato's Center for Trade Policy Studies, estimates that annual net job losses in the United States due to imports from China 'account for only about 1 percent of overall job displacement.' Yet industries that feel the pain of those losses will find it expedient to lobby for protection at the expense of American consumers."
"The connection between the factory that makes a weapons system and the community where that weapon 'does its duty' is invariably missing-in-action, as are the relationships among the companies making the weapons and the generals (on-duty and retired) and politicians making the deals, or raking in their own cut of the profits for themselves and/or their constituencies. In other words, our most successful (and most deadly) export remains our most invisible one."
"The 9/11 terrorist attacks also generated the 'war on terror,' which in turn has given us ever-increasing budgets for the military-industrial complex, out-of-control federal spending that debauches the currency, omnipotent power to the CIA, an endless stream of color-coded fear-mongering, warrantless monitoring of telephone calls and emails, torture, kidnapping and rendition, secret overseas prison camps, indefinite detention, cancellation of habeas corpus, military tribunals, 'enemy combatants,' and ever-increasing infringements on civil liberty."
"They are lying -- lying deliberately -- lying brazenly and cynically, as in McConnell's case. They are lying because their causes are evil and cannot be spoken of openly: aggressive war for loot and domination; the callous rape and despoiling of their own nation for the profit and power of their wealthy cronies; the construction of a global gulag of secret prisons, eternal captives, carefully refined and officially approved torture; the deliberate, systematic destruction of the Constitutional system of government in favor of arbitrary, militarized tyranny; the deliberate, systematic sowing of division and rancor and hatred and fear among the people, to keep them disunited, weak, scattered, unable to resist the depredations of a small, criminal elite. If these be your gods, then of course you must lie to do them service."
"He has not been accused of attempting to harm anyone in the United States. Instead, Padilla is alleged to have been part of a North American support cell for a group of radical Islamic jihadists that ostensibly underwrote and provided recruits for terrorist activities in Kosovo, Chechnya and Somalia. ... Think about this for a moment. The United States participates in a military campaign, but if an American sends money to a cooperating militia - an armed group fighting against the genocide of the donor's religious brethren - he can face life in prison. That's the U.S. posture."
[Peter Coyote from part 4] "I am still proud to say that I'm an anarchist. It's a viable political, decentralized system. I don't see much evidence that huge nationalized, centralized states, under either communism or capitalism, work very well for the majority of their citizens."
Part 1 - 1967: The stuff that myths are made of;
Part 2 - Goodbye innocence, hello hippies!
Part 3 - The party gets out of hand;
Part 4 - Just a season, but it lives on.
This four part series comes together at this central site:
"They were born between 1925 and 1945. I like this group, as my parents and most of my uncles and aunts were born in this era. As a generation, they don't get much press, though they were the subject of a 1951 Time cover story that called them the Silent Generation. A premature description, to say the least. "
"Luke is unhappy to be stuck on Tatooine. But he tells Biggs that he can't leave; his uncle needs him for the harvest. This is where Biggs warns that the galaxy is on the road to serfdom: 'What good's all your uncle's work if the Empire takes it over? You know they've already started to nationalize commerce in the central systems? It won't be long before your uncle is just a tenant, slaving for the greater glory of the Empire'."
"Paw admired folks who got up early, and my uncles used to joke that Paw would praise a man who got up early even to steal something. Paw almost never went to church, but he was deeply religious and could recite lots of Scripture from memory. He was superstitious, like a lot of mountain folks, and he lived by the 'signs'. Paw’s politics consisted mainly in cussing every time anyone mentioned Franklin Roosevelt."
"Ron Paul has always believed that foreign and domestic policy should be conducted according to the same principles. Government should be restrained from intervening at home or abroad because its actions fail to achieve their stated aims, create more harm than good, shrink the liberty of the people, and violate rights."
"Ironically enough, in this clampdown – with the usual heavy 'collateral damage' – Bush finds himself shoulder to shoulder with Hizbollah, who have applauded the military action. Once again, we see that all these ideological and religious labels don't matter at all to the leaders of the Terror War; the only thing that matters are the temporary expedients of power."
"If you tell us to make the world safe for democracy we will take you seriously and by god and by Christ we will make it so. We will use the guns you force upon us we will use them to defend our very lives and the menace to our lives does not lie on the other side of a nomansland that was set apart without our consent it lies within our own boundaries here and now we have seen it and we know it."
"Treaty proclaims that an attack on one member is an attack on all. That means the United States is obligated to defend every member -- no matter how small, how militarily and economically insignificant, or how strategically exposed that member might be. And even worse, those obligations go on forever. Therein lies the danger. True, in the near term, there's little risk of a clash with Russia. Its military is in no condition to challenge the United States -- even in its own backyard. And although tensions between Washington and Moscow have risen in the past few years, Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be more of a calculating opportunist than a reckless gambler. "
"Wagner's musical style is often considered the epitome of classical music's Romantic period, due to its unprecedented exploration of emotional expression. He introduced new ideas in harmony and musical form, including extreme chromaticism. "
"With such idols as Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra, Rosemary may not have guessed that she would be friends with both of them and work with them later in her career."
"Robert Moog, a graduate student in physics at Cornell University, published a magazine article explaining how to build a theremin, offering do-it-yourself kits for $49.95. Orders poured in, and Moog sold 1,000 that year. ... The windfall enabled a career that helped bring electronic music out of the realm of novelty acts and university labs. A decade after the first RCA machine, Moog introduced the first widely adopted electronic instrument -- the synthesizer that bears his name."
"1972 proved to be a banner year for Paul after winning the male lead opposite Cicely Tyson in the touching classic film Sounder (1972). His towering performance as a sharecropper who is imprisoned and tortured for stealing a ham for his impoverished family earned him an Oscar nomination for 'Best Actor'...."
Antiwar / science fantasy stars Michael Sacks, Valerie Perrine, Ron Leibman, Sharon Gans, Eugene Roche; screenplay by Stephen Geller adapted from Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, directed by George Roy Hill. “Billy’s mental associations take him to life events out of synchronization with the normal flow of time. ... I suppose that makes the film sound difficult to follow.... Actually, instead of difficulty, the opposite occurs as [the filmmakers] engage the viewer in the construction of Billy’s life.”
"My previous article – suggesting a number of anti-war films to be watched over the Memorial Day weekend – generated more responses than most of my previous articles. Most of those who e-mailed me had one or two movies of their own to supplement my list. I also realized – after the article appeared – that I had inadvertently omitted two of my favorite anti-war films."
"Women's work, Carty said, because women were needed to steady men who might be inclined to panic. In front of women, they wouldn't dare. And it was young boy's work because ... well, who else would get a thrill from delving into old, collapsing tunnels, having no idea where, or if, they'll surface? The same kind of people who think it's amusing to try to reach the railroad crossing before the freighttrain. Boys."
"Wiesler, brilliantly portrayed by Ulrich Mühe, is drawn into the surveillance of playwright Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch) and his actress lover Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck).... What follows is a compelling, suspenseful and ultimately satisfying character study about small but powerful victories under an oppressive regime."
"Dr. Stephen knows that the skull is just an extraneous bone, like wisdom teeth and the appendix bone."
"A new bill would require any woman seeking an abortion to obtain the consent of her fetus."
"Aasif Mandvi gives a breakdown of the new immigration bill's point system."
"In a surprising refutation of the conventional wisdom on opinion entitlement, a study conducted by the University of Chicago's School for Behavioral Science concluded that more than one-third of the U.S. population is neither entitled nor qualified to have opinions."
"Americans are never going to subcontract decisions about what to put in their bodies, or their kids’ bodies, to experts in white coats. To think otherwise underestimates the cultural power of food. Still, what goes for religion goes for organic: if its view of the world is accurate, it should have nothing to fear from science.... Pushing for elimination of farm subsidies, in other words, is less sexy than driving to a rural farm–or reading a brilliantly lyric writer–but it might provide more bang for the environmental buck."
"Societies which do not have an objective and commonly understood methodology for determining truth and falsehood, good and evil, inevitably have to end up substituting authority for virtue. Statism leads to war, science leads to conferences. If, to educate children in what they should and should not do, parents have to end up invoking authority rather than objective values, then the best that they can do is to teach their children to be obedient, not to be moral. To conform, not to think. To bully or be bullied, but not to approach others as equals."
"I should have written 'one could not even see a 1 part per million bump in the smoothly rising curve.' Even though such transitory influences as day and night or seasonal variations in photosynthesis cause clearly visible swings in the curve, the 30 percent drop between 1929 and 1932 caused not a ripple. Empirical scientific evidence that the human contribution is in fact less than a fart in a hurricane, as Dr. Hertzberg says."
"The film shows that those who claim to be pursuing the public good are often hypocrites, secretly pursuing their own private good behind a façade of respectability and, in fact, stifling the entrepreneurial activity that is the only real source of progress."
"The planet is damaged more by political agendas than by carbon emissions. Governments let industry pollute our drinking water with rocket fuel and our food with hormones and genetically modified pesticides. Those are real crises that can be averted. But we can't stop the earth's temperate zones from getting a little warmer. Some scientists believe we're still recovering from the last Ice Age 15,000 years ago. It's certainly possible; the tundra of Russia was at one point a savannah. Thinking we can stop the climate with legislation and petitions is as foolish as thinking we can dim the sun."
Are humans a destructive virus infecting the earth, or are we innovators living more healthy lives on a cleaner planet?
"I don't have a single favorite 'music video babe' but Stevie Nicks would be in any set of my favorites. Both her singing and her look from the heyday of Fleetwood Mac, as well as her solo career, make her a lasting image in any collection of mine showing off 'female pulchritude' or talent."
"Some commentators have speculated this was all part of a fiendishly clever plan to get the open sorcerors to carry Microsoft's flag on the anti-patent legislation. Imagine Steve Ballmer as a Bond villain [that's easy], wearing a monocle and stroking a white cat. ('Do you expect me to balk?' 'No, Mr. Torvalds, I expect you to comply!') I think that's giving Microsoft far too much credit. (Remember, these are the same people who came up with Clippy.) I think we're looking at a massive, sprawling organization that's not fully in control of all its parts. "
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