Quick Roundup 159

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Save Internet Radio

Even more so than with beer, I spent a significant part of my life basically doing without something that most others take for granted: popular music. And, as with beer, I did so thanks to the fact that the market was awash in mediocrity due in big part to government controls over an industry.

I simply could not and did not voluntarily listen to the radio or do much to seek out music I liked -- where would I look? -- until I reached college. My underlying premise was something along the lines of, "If this is music, I can certainly do without more of it." So that's what I did.

Eventually, I made friends with people who introduced me to better music and, through tapes and CDs, have developed my own musical tastes, but slowly over time since listening to music is something I do primarily as I drive.

I do not listen to Dismuke radio or any other Internet outlet, but being aware of the vast array of musical choices available on the Internet and after having received an iPod as a gift from my wife recently, I was looking forward to using Internet downloads to further explore good popular music. And now it seems that big government and its fans in the government-entrenched media, not content to have denied me of enjoyment in my youth, are intent on thwarting my ability to choose what I listen to for enjoyment until the day I die.

Through Myrhaf and Blair, I have learned that a partnership between FM radio and the RIAA is attempting to change the royalty structure of music distributed over the Internet in what amounts to an effort to drive the new Internet radio sector out of business. Just as I recall what AM radio was like before the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, so I recall what a musical desert a world without viable alternatives to FM radio is.

To learn more about this and what you can do about it, see also Dismuke's remarks on the subject at his site and in the comments at the Myrhaf post (linked above), and follow the link he suggests.

The Gory Details

Paul Hsieh, in a comment to my earlier post on Marxist indoctrination of school children in Seattle, nicely summarizes and and provides a link to a more in-depth account, written by the "teachers" themselves. My reaction, in part was:

So these kids are allowed to play their own unsupervised zero-sum game for awhile, which will necessarily include some good (e.g., ownership) premises and some bad ([e.g.,] "public use" entitles one to pull). There is no productivity because this is not really capitalism and these are just kids, so it gets nasty.

And then the socialist teachers jump into the fray after the destruction, blaming all the ugliness not on the lack of supervision of the kids, but on whatever capitalistic premises they had. They come up with one inane game after the other, interlarding them with "instruction" on "social justice", and teasing the children with the prospect of at least getting to do something semi-fun again -- the Legos.

And[,to top it all off, they] have the nerve to wax sanctimonious about "power"!
Yeah. I still like that a day later.

The Latest Stupid "Argument" for Socialized Medicine

An article, "Would You Privatize Defense", in Slate, takes a function of government so obviously legitimate only a Libertarian could dispute it and a common, but completely wrong premise, to make an "argument" to socialize medicine that I just know significant numbers of people will fall for.

The premise? That governments exist to "protect lives" from all threats (vice from the threat of other men initiating force, such as -- oh, I don't know -- people who wish to enslave a certain vital class of citizen). Hell. Let's just socialize everything and make Timothy Noah a street sweeper, since he seems more intellectually suited for that task anyway. Clean streets protect lives, after all.

A Navy "Vomit Beam"?

It strikes me as amusing that the United States Navy is interested in developing a vomit beam (HT: Paul Hsieh) given the -- um -- type of "laser" we've had in our arsenal for quite some time already!

-- CAV


Galileo Blogs said...

The vomit beam is similar to another futuristic weapon I saw demonstrated on TV, a directional sound cannon. It is so precise that it can blast the eardrums of a person standing a hundred feet away and someone 20 feet to his right will hear nearly nothing.

Interestingly, as man's technology advances, even warfare becomes less bloody. Just 60+ years ago, it became practical with a couple nuclear bombs to defeat an enemy without having to risk millions of lives by invading them (e.g.: Japan in World War II). Now with the new vomit weapon and sound blaster, the enemy can be mowed down without even killing him.

Contrast this advances with the bloody hand-to-hand fighting of ancient times or even the machine gun warfare of World War I and the still-quite-bloody warfare of World War II.

Even enemies of America benefit from our technological advances, since we won't need to kill as many of them in self-defense.

Of course, that assumes we have a rational self-defense. Instead, we wait for them to attack us, and then we piecemeal fight them in tangential regions Vietnam-style, with the result that many of our soldiers needlessly die.

I hope the vomit beam and sound cannon are deployed, not as a "kinder, gentler" weapon of half-way semi-defense, but as a weapon proudly used for rational defense.


On a side note, these weapons have a creepy aspect when thought of in the hands of a dictatorship. They would be an incredibly effective method of pacifying mobs of protestors... Let's hope we keep them out of the hands of the Chinese, Russians and sundry other dictatorships and semi-dictatorships around the world.

Gus Van Horn said...

Your last remark is, alas, what came to my mind as I though about that a little more.

And consider our current war. Making this enemy puke a little isn't really going to help us very much, is it?

While such a weapon would certainly have its uses, it does seem better suited to breaking the will of a bunch of recalcitrant "proles" than it does to the job protecting the lives of rational individuals.