Land of the "Free"
Baltimore Police are being accused of planting evidence on a suspect who was incarcerated for several months on drug charges. Whether the Department released the footage, or it was revealed against their wishes, I am not certain. What the video shows are three officers behind a building and one of them puts the drugs into a trash can. Then they exit to the front of the property, where he turns his body-cam on, unaware that the camera is always “on,” but only saves video starting from 30 seconds before the button is pushed. Then he walks back and “discovers” the evidence in the trash, which is public domain and not subject to a search warrant, and resulted in the suspect’s arrest.
I have served in the military, worked in lethal environments and jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. Nothing has ever scared me as much as meeting my girlfriend’s son Gabriel. We had only been together a few weeks, and conventional wisdom said that meeting him so soon was a bad idea. To me, establishing a relationship only to find that I was not ready to be a parent would be devastating. I was reeling from a divorce and the loss of my career in the Navy. I decided that this fear, like any other, would have to be faced. That is what my parents taught me, and now, four happy years later, it is what I am teaching “The Wee Lad”.
Okay, so I will be the guy who asks the common-sense question about wealth and taxes: If they “hurt the rich” the way that the Occupy Movement says they would, why are all of these wealthy people supporting the party hiking taxes the most? The thing that no one tells you about taxes is that the super-wealthy “one-percenters” love them. They protect their investment by making it that much harder for us, the average person, to cut into their slice of the pie. The best part is that they get the assistance of the Federal Government, who will send armed men to your door and haul you off to jail. Just as King George III viewed taxes as a way to keep his wealth ahead of that of his subjects, the wealthiest political party in the world, the Democrats, protect the wealthy with taxes and overly complex tax codes.
The Grand Difference Engine
I wanted to respond to an article that I read here on Vocal. The Consciousness Paradox, by Justin James Gignac, is a great article asking whether or not life is simply a chemical reaction, or something new to the universe altogether. More specifically, is intelligence simply an illusion created by the vast processing power of the brain? If you have read any of my philosophical meanderings, you probably picked up this theme. It has interested me ever since reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? My own philosophy is that life and intelligence are the result of necessity.
Weed vs Alcohol Effects
I just wanted to put down some thoughts about the differences between being high and being drunk. I am not a medical professional, or a biologist, so this is just amateur philosophy in layman’s terms. Basically, the personality, or what makes you who you are, is a combination of a conscious mind known as the “Ego” and the subconscious mind, the “Id.” Alcohol seems to affect the Ego and alters inhibition and psychology. THC, however, acts on the Id, and puts your focus on your conscious and logical thought. This is why some folds, like me, wax philosophical when we smoke and ask questions we normally wouldn’t.
The best part about being a nerd is the childlike excitement at what tomorrow might bring. Along with this comes an eye for questions that we will have to answer as societies and as a species. The work of Philip K. Dick was laden with ideas about artificial intelligence and the post-modern idea of reality itself. This is the genre I refer to as Sci-Phi, as in Science-Philosophy, which is literature addressing the sociological and human impact of changing technology. It may not be set far in the future, and it may not have many dense scientific concepts to puzzle over. That isn’t because of ignorance. It is a result of the focus being on the human aspect of life in the future.
Land of the Lotus Eaters
Yesterday I had the opportunity to help my brother with his booth at the Chalice 2017 Hash Festival. I have heard a lot about the weed business, but it was pretty much background noise. I took the first chance I got to get a few clones and that has been it. I haven’t bothered with a card, because I didn’t smoke until California decriminalized possession. This came back to haunt me, but my day was saved by seeing and meeting the awesome people in the community.
I know, I know. You’re probably picturing some country whack-job in flannel in front of a pile of MRE’s and ammunition. Well, that is a bullshit image that the media paints of Libertarianism the same way they painted Bernie supporters as entitled whiny brats. We are not Republicans in any sense of the word. Nor do we support racism, religious ideology, or legislated morality. The only thing that we even remotely agree with Republicans on is cutting spending, but for much different reasons. We are also not anarchists. At least not all of us. The phrase is “Minarchism,” which is the idea of only having a government big enough to provide the rights and structure allowed by our Constitution. So, here is a break-down of what I believe, and why in the hopes that even if you don’t agree you can see where I am coming from.
One thing that I can’t stand is how we seem to have lost even the illusion of “customer service” with such an important industry as Air Travel. Over the years the process became more miserable, and the space became more crowded. Somewhere along the way, we became cattle that could pay their own way. I recently traveled from San Diego to North Carolina with my girlfriend, Gigi and the Wee Lad. As things fell apart en route, Southwest Airlines made no moves to help the passengers with contingencies. Our trip ended with me keeping watch over a sleeping nine-year-old and his mother, in a strange airport.
The Pick Up
This story is my homage to the Netflix series Black Mirror. If you haven’t seen it yet, let me take a minute to warn you: It will change the way you think about everything. It’s a fantastic look at the possibilities and issues in the near future. From the surreal devotion to our social media standing, so much that it drives you crazy, to killer cyber-bees used to target internet bullies. If you enjoy this, you should definitely check out the show.
Neutrality or Neutrali-tarianism?
The Problem The conversation about Net Neutrality seems like a simple one: Proponents say that without it, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will run amok and adopt unfair practices to keep ahead of their competitors. This would be a horrible miscarriage of justice… if we only had a single ISP for the geographical region. It could even be used to stifle freedom of speech…except that new networks also have deep pockets and they keep a keen eye on their viewership. In fact, it should be a problem by now. The internet providers have had decades to institute these practices that proponents of formalized Net Neutrality. So, if there were a profit in it, wouldn’t they steer things in a way that benefits them?
The Way Forward
"Is too much humanity bad for people, or is too much people bad for humanity?" -Walt Kelly They brought Carl into a dark room, with a single point of light, whose origin was impossible to distinguish. A desk and chair were the only things that he could see. They hadn’t said much to anyone from the group, except to point out facilities they would need. Two of the little ones had been hurried away for medical treatment due to exposure.