Sunday, August 31, 2008

...You Might be a Freedom Lover

If you enjoy running butt naked down a might be a freedom lover.

If your favorite part of the movie Braveheart was when William Wallace was cut open, yelling out the word FREEDOM before the might be a freedom lover.

If you feel a special affinity to animals such as eagles, porcupines, or might be a freedom lover.

If your chest warms when you hear the song Free Bird by Lynard might be a freedom lover.

If you enjoy being the first one off the lift after a night of fresh powder at the might be a freedom lover.

If you think force should only be used in a defensive might be a freedom lover.

If you think Neo did the right thing by taking the red pill in the movie The might be a freedom lover.

If you think it would have been alright if he later wished he had taken the blue pill might be a freedom lover.

If you like to do things your way but don't expect everyone else to have to do the might be a freedom lover.

If you think it's okay for everyone else to do things their way so long as they don't expect you to do the might be a freedom lover.

If you think we should stop acting as if we know all the answers when we don't even know all the questions, much less all the might be a freedom lover.

If you think freedom is about might be a freedom lover.

If you think it's a free country, or at least that it should might be a freedom lover.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Buying America

There's an interesting website called Behind the Buyouts that claims foreign governments are teaming up with powerful, private buyout firms to buy significant stakes in major American companies who are responsible for American defense and energy.

I will admit that I have not taken the time to read through this website. However, I have heard of similar actions before (remember the port buyout controversy of Bush?) and I can say that such a thing can be of concern, mostly because of the ambiguity of it all.
For example, we are in an age of globalization and free markets, which on one hand can be a good thing. Globalization allows individuals to no longer be dependent on a nation. Of course, globalization also has a habit of simultaneously making a nation dependent on the world.
Without trying to make this a post about globalization, let me say that we often promote globalization, for right or wrong (right and wrong, in my opinion), and that any foreign entity buying up American companies is not something we should be concerned with, just as there are plenty of American companies doing the same thing in other nations. That's the free market, gone global.
On the other hand, it seems a bit snarky if we are talking about foreign governments, not just foreign companies, that are involved in buying out American companies, particularly when we are talking about industries involving defense and energy.
If such a thing is actually occurring, should the American people have a right to know that foreign governments are involved in the American buyouts that foreign companies are conducting?
I would say yes. After all, we are not talking about Budweiser that was recently sold to a foreign company, because that company's government was not a partner of the sale and beer is not the same thing as national defense and energy.
Should such sales even be allowed? I would have to say no, if the company is involved in something that could affect national security. I'm all for little government involvement in private business, but when we are talking about private business that involves products of national security, we need to at least take a second look, I think. After all, we do not see such government involvement in sales of companies such as Budweiser, yet they might exist in products dealing with national security? That seems like more than coincidence to me.
If such sales are taking place, with foreign government involvement, it might be beneficial to be very leery. After all, I once heard someone say that hostile nations need not attack us to destroy us. All they have to do is buy us out. Once they own us, they can destroy us at will.
If there was ever a case for buying American, this would be it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another Quote I like

"If you want to be free, there is but one way; it is to guarantee an equally full measure of liberty to all your neighbors. There is no other." ~ Carl Shurz

What I think is important to remember here are two things:

1. Guaranteeing liberty for your neighbor means not forcing something other than liberty on your neighbor and it also means not forcing liberty itself on your neighbor. It means using no force against your neighbor, period, except in defense.

2. When all your neighbors exercise the same freedom you have, it does not mean they will choose the same way of life or even the same form of government as you.

...And that's okay.

Anything else is not liberty or freedom.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The 2008 Parade of Nations

If there is one thing I loved about the 2008 Olympic ceremony, it was the Parade of Nations. For those who are unfamiliar, the Parade of Nations is when each and every nation participating in the Olympics enters the arena with each of its athletes and "parades" around the arena.

Each group of athletes is dressed in clothing that often represents the culture of that nation. And each group puts forth the flag of their nation in the very front of their group.

Before the parade takes place, a "show" is provided by the host country and this year's was awesome. China did a fantastic job of creating some effects like no other Olympics before with lots of visualization and symbolism.

But, the Parade of Nations, in my opinion, takes the cake.

Here we live in a world where there is political conflict, physical conflict, and ideological conflict everyday and, in fact, all of which is taking place as the Parade of Nations itself takes place. Yet, despite any of the conflict going on in the world among nations, the Parade of Nations at the Olympics goes on with peaceful co-existence, among all nations present.

All politics were cast aside. All conflicts cast aside. Only nations represented by seemingly proud citizens existed. And though some received more applause then others, none were booed. Each were treated with the same basic level of respect. Each were equal in that they represented a different culture and a different preference of choice for different parts of the same world.

There was a nation that did not allow woman to participate. There was a nation that provided health care for its citizens. There was a nation that only allowed woman who were related to those who ran the nation. There was a nation that did not allow gun ownership by its citizens. There was a nation that did allow gun ownership by its citizens.

There was a nation linked to terrorism. There was a nation that believed in free speech. There was a nation that did not believe in free speech. There was a nation that taxed it's citizens very heavily. There was a nation that did not tax it's citizens very heavily. There was a nation ruled by a queen. There was a nation ruled by a democracy. There was a nation ruled by a republic. There was a nation ruled by a military dictatorship.

...And much more.

Yet, they were all there at the same time, simultaneously, in harmony, representing the multitudes of differences we have around the world and the multitudes of choices we make, however good or bad any of us thinks those choices are.

They - the Parade of Nations - displayed an existence of multiple differences and how all of those differences can exist at once.

Because of this, the Parade of Nations, for all its intents and purposes, is an example of freedom. If it were a country, it would be a free country.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Win for Internet Freedom

A big win took place for internet freedom yesterday that you can read all about here.

Apparently, Comcast was sending fake signals during file-sharing that gave the appearance of certain files being unable to be shared. Some smart guy figured this out, brought it to light, and Comcast denied it (of course). The FCC conducted an investigation and low-and-behold, found out that Comcast was full of shit (big surprise).

Chairman Martin of the FCC compared this deception of Comcast to that of the Postal Service opening up your mail, deciding what they did and didn't want to deliver, and then returning that which they decided not to deliver back to you stamped "return to sender; address unknown".

Just because the Post Office controls the mail system, do they have the right to do such a thing? I might argue that they do not, simply because the Postal Service is owned by everyone, paid for through taxation, whereas Comcast is a private business with the right to do as they please.

However, what Comcast was choosing to do affected more than their business. Their actions affected the space known as the Internet and no single entity owns the Internet.

It is a space owned by whomever owns the countless and limitless number of servers throughout the world that keep the Internet running and each of those owners only owns those servers that are theirs, any of which can easily be replaced by the existence of a new server brought online by anyone else in the world at any time, thereby keeping the Internet free of ownership by any one entity. It is essentially a free "land" and it should remain that way.

Telecom companies might be the gatekeeper and, as such, should be free to decide how much it costs to get through the gate and even whether or not they want to provide access to the gate. But, once they choose to provide access to the gate and the price has been paid to enter, what exists beyond that gate is not theirs to manipulate.

Keeping that which is beyond the gate non-manipulated is the basis for Net Neutrality and it is the bases of freedom. I hope we keep it that way.

Now if we could just get the FCC to loosen their grip on so much of the radio wave spectrum, we'd be all set! But that's another battle to come.