Sunday, August 31, 2008
If your favorite part of the movie Braveheart was when William Wallace was cut open, yelling out the word FREEDOM before the townsfolk...you might be a freedom lover.
If you feel a special affinity to animals such as eagles, porcupines, or wolves...you might be a freedom lover.
If your chest warms when you hear the song Free Bird by Lynard Skynard...you might be a freedom lover.
If you enjoy being the first one off the lift after a night of fresh powder at the slopes...you might be a freedom lover.
If you think force should only be used in a defensive capacity...you might be a freedom lover.
If you think Neo did the right thing by taking the red pill in the movie The Matrix...you might be a freedom lover.
If you think it would have been alright if he later wished he had taken the blue pill instead...you might be a freedom lover.
If you like to do things your way but don't expect everyone else to have to do the same...you 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 same...you 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 answers...you might be a freedom lover.
If you think freedom is about choice...you might be a freedom lover.
If you think it's a free country, or at least that it should be...you might be a freedom lover.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
"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
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
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.