Saturday, February 28, 2009

Is Even YouTube Safe?

Whoa, wait I can't watch this because...?

The above link is a personal account of an American, living here in the US, was unable to view a YouTube, video on a news feed he subscribes to, Because It Was Unavailable In His Country.

Wow, just wow. In the recent following an intense discussion with a TA for my classes I have become increasingly aware of censorship in the major media networks. Thus, now I spend hours online reading news printed in other countries as well as my own. I told myself, "Well, at least I have the internet. It's the last democratic medium." Apparently, I was wrong.

This is also not the first case where I've heard of YouTube censoring material. I will note however, those cases I discovered by reading local newspapers. And in this particular case on CNN, the Church of Scientology was sueing YouTube for libal and discrimination because of some videos that were hosted YouTube that contained anti-Scientologist material that were posted by an independent party, unaffliated with YouTube. It should be noted that this party, name ungiven, was a particular group active in spreading "unfavorable" literature about the Church. Because of the pending letigation, YouTube removed the videos and apologized.

I remember thinking, wow, that's unconstituitional. I can't believe YouTube didn't just say, "Sorry, Charlie. Ever heard of the first ammendment?" But, I also kinda shrugged it off, because it was cheaper than going to court. How unbelievably outrageous! When did I get so complacent? Talk about naive, thinking that, "Oh, okay. They did because of court costs." But it did not even occur to me that it was possible that the government could do the same thing, and we just wouldn't hear about it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Brief Blurb About EU

It's not all roses in the EU. New dissents arise as EU seems to evolve more into a superstate and less of an international economic trade organization.

EU Makes Proposal to German Bakers

I'm honestly quite baffled by this. When did the EU gain the power to regulate food products of member countries? We're talking about sovereign nations with their own heads of state, military, and different political systems. The recent outcry is heard most loudly from German bakers who oppose the EU interference and overregulation that would require a change in the salt content in their famous heavy brown loaves.

The Black Forest, a German restaurant in my hometown, was immensely popular and drew crowds to the downtown area because of its famous brown loaves of bread. It was unbelievably exciting to go there as child because it was new and different, and this from a girl who grew up with the diversity of good ole Cajun cooking. I just find it disappointing that in the actual country, because of EU regulations we are going to see the recipe for German baked goods changed. I just can't stop scratching my head as to how this can happen. Having grown up in the 'melting pot' with very little national culture and unity, I envied Europe. All of the countries on that continent had different currencies, various languages, vast histories, different architectural styles. It seems like it's all starting to dissolve into the background.

Various Links to Articles and Videos

Conspiracy Files: 9/11 - The Third Tower
Was the 9/11 Commission a government conspiracy as was the case with the Warren Commission? This is something that I would definitely like to explore further. We cannot allow a government that can lie to us and get away with it to exist. Our Founding Fathers would turn over in their graves if we allow such violations of our freedom and rights that they fought so hard to establish and keep. If such atrocities have occurred we must seek prosecution of the guilty with as much vigor as we would in cases involving international war criminals.

It is my sincerest hope that 9/11 was not the result of conspiracy. I don't wish to live in such a world. Asking these questions is vital to make sure that such a world does not exist or can exist. We have a civic responsibility to make sure our government continues to serve us and not itself, which sometimes requires asking hard and offensive questions. By asking such questions if we discover that it is the case that September 11th occurred exactly how it was reported, then we can rest assured that our government can be trusted and we know that justice was properly sought. To take the road less traveled upon is a lonely avenue and requires a brave endeavor, but it is a road that someone must take to ensure that we live in a world where truth ranks supreme and is always delivered. The truth is a natural right and as not only citizens, but also humans we are owed that right.

Big Brother Wants to Tax by the Mile

There's been a long push towards greener energy and more efficient cars. The unexpected downside? Less revenue generated by the gas tax. Oops, small oversight on that one. Instead of just a proposed increase of the gas tax, if necessary, the most popular solution was to begin taxation by the mile. Wow, talk about a violation of a right to privacy. The kind of technology necessary to monitor motorists by the mile would also be able to report where and when we drive. Cameras at stop lights where already considered invasive by many, and now there's a proposal to go further.

Oregon has already had a voluntary pilot test of this program, Massachusetts and Colorado already have similar proposals and legislation in the works. As long as we are still using gasoline, even if we are consuming less, I have to wonder why just raising the gas tax wasn't proposed. Seems to be the much simpler course of action and less expensive, technology to track mileage won't come cheap. It was just an idea, legislators say. It's good that they're trying to think ahead about how to compensate for the loss of revenue for road and highway construction caused by more efficient cars, but we must let them know that this is not the way, and that we as Americans oppose such a tax and consider it unconstitutional.