Archive for the 'Crime' Category

I Want a New Drug

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

When Huey Lewis released that catchy song back in 1984, people didn’t take him seriously. I think it’s time to take a long hard look at the idea. The United States Government professes to be in the middle of a War on Drugs. The enemies in this war are drugs that cause citizens to act in ways that have a negative impact on society and, by extension, the government.

Some drugs are considered allies. Caffeine is a drug and I can only imagine that it gets to sit in on strategy sessions at the White House. I have a favorite anecdote that involves the King of England shutting down coffee houses for a while back in the 1700s. The stimulating effect of this drug was making people think a lot and they were meeting in the places where it was prepared and discussing a lot of ideas that ran counter to the interests of the King. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think people gather together in crack houses to share revolutionary ideas.

Caffeine catalyzed the industrial revolution. I feel like we need some other kind of revolution at this point and maybe part of the process could be help with a new drug of choice for society. I don’t know what it should do and I don’t know how it would do it. It just seems to me that the people who ruin themselves and their surroundings because of a drug are using the wrong one.

People Don’t Forget

Monday, January 12th, 2009

While I was reading some online information about how American clothing labels get their stuff manufactured in Chinese sweatshops I started noticing something. All the sites that I was visiting looked very dated. This issue was a cause du jour several years ago . An undated PBS web page linked to a very impressive chart showing the wages and conditions at various factories as well as what fashion house they were working for. That chart had a date at the bottom, it was made in 1998.

The lack of freshness of the info is best illustrated by the fact that one of the main targets for criticism was Kathy Lee Gifford. For all I know she could be working in a sweatshop by now. When I googled a few factory names, I saw the dated information being paraphrased or quoted in blogs from this century. The manufacturing industry of China is huge, I am not even going to pretend to know whether the situation is better or worse today. I am pretty sure that things are not exactly the same as they were in 1998.

The thing that bothers me about this situation is that companies that respond to criticism by cleaning up their acts deserve to have the positive changes acknowledged. It seems like having ten year old facts used against them would be a disincentive.

On the bright side, hopefully new corporations understand that unethical practices can result in decades worth of negative word of mouth.

This is What it Sounds Like…

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

…When Prince complains.

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I wanted to listen to an acoustic cover of Purple Rain on YouTube today. I found out that Prince and his record company have silenced all the videos (or forced the uploaders to silence them).

One resourceful guy who had produced an instructional video on how to play the song simply put an off-site link to his audio in the description.

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Over the last few years, many musical artists have reacted to the copyright infringing reality in different ways. Radiohead let people pay whatever they wanted for their recent release. Metallica sued Napster and also some universities.

Some artists that are not in the mainstream have tried adding personal extras to albums that are purchased legally.

If you NEED to listen to a Prince song, you can do a keyword search and then sort your results by the date added. Prince has to sleep sometime.