Friday, July 10, 2009

My Life of Brian

We careen through life so swiftly...

...that we don't know if 55 is the new 70 or the new 45...

... sometimes we just need to stop and laugh and smile and dance and sing.

Come on everyone. No one's looking. No one will hear. Sing with me on my birthday...

My name is Brian and I approved this ad.

(h/t for video - my friend, Kevin.)

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

You're not listening to me...

... Sarah Palin told Andrea Mitchel today during an NBC Nightly News interview at Bristol Bay. The Palin family was out on the water commercial salmon fishing while the media tried to figure out why Sarah was stepping down as governor of Alaska.

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

The media just doesn't get it, they can't understand giving up a powerful well paying job in favor of saving the state millions of dollars in legal fees and protecting her family from media and Democrat crude attacks, especially the unconscionable attacks, jabs, and snipes directed at the infant, Trig, born with Down Syndrome.

Leaving office early gives the time, opportunity, and freedom to fight back against her accusers and help other Republican candidates running for the House and Senate in 2010. According to a Pew poll, Palin is leading in approval ratings among her party with 73% Fav/17% Unfav.

Atlas Shrugs has the numbers and writes, "Clear thinking Americans see what is happening... Sarah Palin sees it, too. Smart, sharp, patriotic, she best represents the majority of Americans... We want Palin... We need her. She knows it. She is heeding our call. Is she a hack like Obama and going to campaign on the taxpayers' dime, as he did as a junior senator when he ran for President? No. Extraordinary? Yes. But so is integrity, ethics and decency. The left is calling her a "quitter". Just the opposite, my friends. Just a fighter, a winner. And she is getting into the fight..."

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Copyright Laws v. Freedom

Every direction we turn now days, whether in the real world or the virtual, Big Brother, Big Sister, or the Nanny is there to scold us or scare the living daylights out of us. Such is the case with copyright laws. Now, I generally agree with copyright laws because authors and artists have a right to make a living and their stock-n-trade is by it's very nature ephemeral especially if the work is on the Internet.

But when an author, a public official no less, writes an article concerning the threat copyright laws pose to our freedom that is published by a well respected on-line magazine, specifically The Financial Times (which also has a right to make money with exclusive material), and that magazine then places copyright restrictions upon that work decrying copyright law restrictions, well, it just cries out for copyright violation.

Copyright laws are a threat to our online freedom
By Christian Engström

Published: July 7 2009 18:10 Last updated: July 7 2009 18:10

If you search for Elvis Presley in Wikipedia, you will find a lot of text and a few pictures that have been cleared for distribution. But you will find no music and no film clips, due to copyright restrictions. What we think of as our common cultural heritage is not “ours” at all.

On MySpace and YouTube, creative people post audio and video remixes for others to enjoy, until they are replaced by take-down notices handed out by big film and record companies. Technology opens up possibilities; copyright law shuts them down.

This was never the intent. Copyright was meant to encourage culture, not restrict it. This is reason enough for reform. But the current regime has even more damaging effects. In order to uphold copyright laws, governments are beginning to restrict our right to communicate with each other in private, without being monitored.

File-sharing occurs whenever one individual sends a file to another. The only way to even try to limit this process is to monitor all communication between ordinary people. Despite the crackdown on Napster, Kazaa and other peer-to-peer services over the past decade, the volume of file-sharing has grown exponentially. Even if the authorities closed down all other possibilities, people could still send copyrighted files as attachments to e-mails or through private networks. If people start doing that, should we give the government the right to monitor all mail and all encrypted networks? Whenever there are ways of communicating in private, they will be used to share copyrighted material. If you want to stop people doing this, you must remove the right to communicate in private. There is no other option. Society has to make a choice.

The world is at a crossroads. The internet and new information technologies are so powerful that no matter what we do, society will change. But the direction has not been decided.

The technology could be used to create a Big Brother society beyond our nightmares, where governments and corporations monitor every detail of our lives. In the former East Germany, the government needed tens of thousands of employees to keep track of the citizens using typewriters, pencils and index cards. Today a computer can do the same thing a million times faster, at the push of a button. There are many politicians who want to push that button.

The same technology could instead be used to create a society that embraces spontaneity, collaboration and diversity. Where the citizens are no longer passive consumers being fed information and culture through one-way media, but are instead active participants collaborating on a journey into the future.

The internet it still in its infancy, but already we see fantastic things appearing as if by magic. Take Linux, the free computer operating system, or Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Witness the participatory culture of MySpace and YouTube, or the growth of the Pirate Bay, which makes the world’s culture easily available to anybody with an internet connection. But where technology opens up new possibilities, our intellectual property laws do their best to restrict them. Linux is held back by patents, the rest of the examples by copyright.

The public increasingly recognises the need for reform. That was why Piratpartiet – the Pirate party – won 7.1 per cent of the popular vote in Sweden in the European Union elections. This gave us a seat in the European parliament for the first time.

Our manifesto is to reform copyright laws and gradually abolish the patent system. We oppose mass surveillance and censorship on the net, as in the rest of society. We want to make the EU more democratic and transparent. This is our entire platform.

We intend to devote all our time and energy to protecting the fundamental civil liberties on the net and elsewhere. Seven per cent of Swedish voters agreed with us that it makes sense to put other political differences aside in order to ensure this.

Political decisions taken over the next five years are likely to set the course we take into the information society, and will affect the lives of millions for many years into the future. Will we let our fears lead us towards a dystopian Big Brother state, or will we have the courage and wisdom to choose an exciting future in a free and open society?

The information revolution is happening here and now. It is up to us to decide what future we want.

The writer is the Pirate party’s member of the European parliament

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

I "have the courage and wisdom to choose an exciting future in a free and open society."

Okay, maybe not the wisdom, but I'm not the cowardly lion either. So sue me.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Iran Election Invalid Qum Clerics Declare

Cracks in the Iranian body politik keeps gettin bigger. A group of Shi'ite clerics from the Assembly of Qum Seminary have declared invalid the presidential vote last month. The reelection of Ahmadinijad has provoked demonstrations and strikes by opposition groups while spurring violent and deadly reprisal attacks by government supporters.

From Reuters:

A pro-reform Iranian clerical group said on Sunday the outcome of last month's presidential vote was "invalid," even though Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has upheld the result.

In a sign of a deepening rift among Shi'ite clerics, the Assembly of Qom Seminary Scholars and Researchers also called for the release of Iranians arrested in protests after the hardline president was declared winner of the June 12 vote.

"Other candidates' complaints and strong evidence of vote-rigging were ignored ... peaceful protests by Iranians were violently oppressed ... dozens of Iranians were killed and hundreds were illegally arrested," said a statement published on the Assembly's website. "The outcome is invalid."

Qom is Iran's center of Shi'ite learning, about 80 miles south of Tehran. The assembly has little political influence but its statement is a significant act of defiance since Qom is the power base of the clerical establishment.

These clerics may be powerless, but they must also be a pain in the neck for their bosses on the Supreme Council.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.