dksm: (Do Not Approve this Message)
Hillary Clinton is defeated by a WIDE margin....

I would like those 3 minutes and my ear drums back now please Senator. 
dksm: (Default)
Wow, I really don't know if I should even say anything about all this stuff going down at LJ because a) I'm not really a part of the fandoms that are affected on LJ and so some of the facts are a little hazy for me and b) I really don't have a clear cut position on the matter, I can see both sides of the issue.  But I couldn't resist because I'm a big constitutional/civil rights geek. 

I guess the biggest problem with the whole thing that I see is that both sides are looking at the issue in a very black and white manner when this issue is anything but black and white.  Ask any member of Congress who has tried to legislate on the matter, ask any member of the Supreme Court who has issued a ruling on the matter, ask constitutional scholars and one can give you an exact set rule on what is and is not.  This becomes an even bigger issue when talking about art and fiction.. And then there is the whole debate on private vs. public domains when you are talking about the internet.  It is one fat big mess.  When Congress has tried to tackle this issue all these same problems cropped up for them as well.  And EVERYONE needs to acknowledge that (especially LJ) before proceeding.  You can't be all like "anything illegal under US law" without acknowleging that US law is very very vague and self-contradictory on the matter.  Plus, hey maybe you should cite what US and California law you are talking about when dealing with an issue. 

The vague thing comes into play with the most recent issues with LJ. Because what is and is not consider child pornography is an issue and what is and is not considered an adult having sex with a minor is an issue.  Because where do you draw the line. IS the line drawn based upon fandom or is it based upon real life?  If is is against LJ TOS and therefore, according to LJ, US law to publish art depicting fandom characters in a sexual act because it may be construed as child pornography well then what about the nude pictures that were publicly released of said real life actor from a play when he was underage?  Does LJ consider those pictures to be child pornography as well?  And also, now that both real life people depicted in the fandom graphic art are legal adults, do you base the whole "adult having sex with a minor" off of real life (both adults) or off of fthe ages they depict in that fandom (not)?  And no I do not advocate for child pornography in any way.  Neither did the Supreme Court justices who struck down indecency and pornography laws.  It is when you get into vague areas (like the one above) that questions arise. 

I'm not even going to attempt to talk about all the other issues that have been brought to the forefront by this whole thing because frankly I'm not sure who's side I stand on in some issues, even the one above I see merits to both sides of the arguement.  I think the biggest thing for a lot of people is that as much as something may squick us out does that mean that we shouldn't try to protect it because if we don't something may infringe upon our rights and things that don't squick us out?  Yes, there are clear cut areas that should definitely be banned.  I do not think that anyone standing up against LJ in this matter would have a problem with LJ banning real depictions of rape or of child pedphilia.  But when you have vague areas of law, that is where at the very least the vagueness of those laws should be acknowledged. 

The one thing that irks me and this is totally politically snobby of me is the whole "I have the right to free speech and expression" argument.  Because hey you do have the right to say thing or draw things or write things.  It is when you publish them that those rights change.  They change based upon where you are and in what manner you publish them. Your intentions  come into play.  Whether you are in a public or a private forum (and no I do not mean forum as in message board) come into play.  The first amendment is NOT a free pass to do what ever you want where ever you want.  Google free speech and supreme court to learn a little bit about that. 

Okay yeah, legal rant finished. 
dksm: (Life is messy)
I first read about this issue on the Dave Matthews Band fansite, right after the April Radio City Music Hall show. Dave had told a story about an article he read in "The Nation" about an Iraq War veteran, Jonathan Town, who had been injured in the line of duty and upon his return from Iraq was discharged after being diagnosed with a pre-existing personality disorder which in reality was more likely a result of his injury in Iraq. The soldier was one of thousands of soldiers who are being diagnosed with pre-existing personality disorders AFTER they have served in Iraq (after they had gone through psychological screening to be combat ready), when in reality their conditions are due to either being injured or suffering from PTSD. These soldiers are discharged and lose their medical benefits and in many cases are required to REPAY part of their enlistment bonuses (which can be in thousands of dollars).

The fact that this was happening was shocking. One reason given for the possibility for this happening is if the soldiers were diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, then the military would be liable for their medical care for this problem for as long as needed. In other words...they are trying to save some money. Some people from found the soldier's contact info and sent him some money but there are thousands of soldiers just like him. The Dave Matthews Band started a petition online that they plan to send to the Secretary of Defense about the issue. Some Senators got together and sent a letter to the SoD about the issue.

I just think it is an issue that everyone should be aware of. No matter your beliefs about the Iraq war, everyone should be affected and moved by what is happening to these soldiers. Bob Woodward did a piece on the subject last night on Nightline. He even interviewed Dave Matthews for the piece. As, Dave mentions, Jonathan Town's case was later reversed and he received benefits from the military...other soldiers are not as lucky. Here is Dave's Interview....

Please sign DMB's petition and let your friends know about this issue.

Meanwhile, on a completely shallow note...the new Radio City Music Hall DVD, which is previewed in Dave's Interview (unintentionally) looks amazing.
dksm: (Sam)
Declaration of Independence
[Adopted in Congress 4 July 1776]
The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. β€” Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

dksm: (GW)
What the fuck?


P.S. Issiah Washington? See the above as well. Seriously, when Patrick and TR decide to find you and give you the ass kicking you deserve, I volunteer to hold you down.
dksm: (GW)
There are a handful of Republicans that I respect...I disagree with them immensely but I respect them as people and political actors. There are only two Republicans that I both respect and actually like: Chuck Hagel, Senator from Nebraska, and the Senior Senator from Indiana, Richard Lugar. Now I do not like Senator Lugar just because he's one of my Senators, I like his environmental policy, I like his practicality and reasonableness. I like how he doesn't just follow the crowd (i.e. all the other Republicans). He thinks for himself and is not afraid to agree with the Democrats or to disagree with the Republicans (this is the same reason I like Hagel). Seeing as he is level headed and reasonable, he is mostly ignored by pundits and the news media in favor of stronger partisans who like to yell. But he made waves yesterday when he called on the President to rethink his foreign policy in Iraq (and as the ranking Republican and former chairperson of the Foreign Relations Committee he makes a pretty big wave). When Richard Lugar breaks ranks, heads turn. He isn't the Ted Kennedy of the Republican party, he's pretty low-key and quiet.

His critique of the current strategy is calculated and precise. He takes aim at strategy not intent: "The administration and Congress must suspend what has become almost knee-jerk political combat over Iraq. Those who offer constructive criticism of the surge strategy are not defeatists, any more than those who warn against a precipitous withdrawal are militarists.”

He is opening a dialog, is one which is desperately needed, I think. It is time to put partisanship and egos aside and it is time for everyone to come to the table with ideas on how to remove the US from this situation. It is time to stop placing blame and recrimination and move towards a common goal. Yes, the war sucks, yes I am angry that it started in the first place, yes it is in violation of a lot that I believe in. But we are there and we've been there for 4 years and now is the time to focus on how to get out of there and not why we got there. Now is the time to figure out how to leave behind a stable state rather than debate over if the war is just. No matter your opinion on the war, the reality is that it exists. And more people need to follow Senator Lugar's example and follow reason about how to get out of the situation.

P.S. Please note that when I say there are only a handful of Republicans I like and respect, I"m speaking in terms of Republicans in government. I do not hate or dislike, etc many people I meet in everyday life. I have friends and family who are Republicans and whom I like, respect and even love.
dksm: (GW)
How ya doin'? Could you do us a favor and run for President as an Independent? We would love a repeat of 1992. Also, we want to wipe that stupid smile of of Gulliani's face and we think this would help. Thanks in advance!



dksm: (Default)

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