Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Lileks takes on the peace protesters.
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The power of the internet. Someone who was interviewed by Lott has come forward and Lott has made his tax returns available showing the money spent on research. The guy investigating all this seems convinced. the guy attacking Lott (who defended Bellesiles to the very end) claims that it doesn't matter if he actually did the survey. He lied. He lied. He lied about something somewhere, he just must have.
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I was listening to Ted Kennedy on NPR tonight and I got chills. It was like listening to Joseph Goebbels. Not in content but in style.
My jaw dropped when I heard:
"The sudden emergence and escalation of the crisis with North Korea is the result of a U.S. foreign policy that was AWOL on that issue for the first 21 months of the Bush Administration. Then the Administration lurched into an unsustainable over-reaction when it initially refused even to talk unless the North Koreans backed down. Even as our ally South Korea sought to engage the North, the U.S. rebuffed any dialogue at all, leading to an embarrassing deterioration in our relations with South Korea.
What a contrast with the previous Administration, when peace was a consistent priority in our foreign policy and there was a clear understanding of the complex challenge on the Korean peninsula. I have great respect for Governor Bill Richardson, but it is ridiculous that North Korean envoys had to travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico to find someone in America to talk to."
The 1994 Agreed Framework was the treaty that Clinton and Carter worked out.
"Both sides commit not to nuclearize the Korean peninsula. The United States must "provide formal assurances" not to threaten or use nuclear weapons against North Korea. Pyongyang is required to "consistently take steps" to implement the 1991 North-South Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
"North Korea must come into "full compliance" with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards when a "significant portion of the [light-water reactor] project is completed, but before delivery of key nuclear components." Full compliance includes taking all steps deemed necessary by the IAEA to determine the extent to which North Korea diverted material for weapons use in the past, including giving inspectors access to all nuclear facilities in the country. The CIA estimates that Pyongyang has not accounted for 1-2 nuclear weapons worth of plutonium from the Yongbyon reactor."
“That North Korea remain a party to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty."
The DPRK was pursuing a separate enrichment facility as part of a nuclear weapons program all along. Not just within the last 21 months. They were violating the treaty all along. They were never in compliance with the treaty. The perfect fucking treaty that was a “diplomatic solution” to the crisis wasn’t a solution at all. They kept pursuing nuclear weapons and we gave them fuel oil and food aid, and in doing so helped keep one of the must brutal barbaric regimes on earth in power.
Ted Kennedy serves on the Senate Committee on Armed Services. He knows all of this.
Froggi: If you ever vote for him I will be forced to disown you.
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Eeeeeh. Very creepy.
What we've got here is an economic problem. An artist produces a product that people want. Currently, the only legal way to obtain that product is to pay a high price for a CD that includes several products that the buyer doesn't want. The consumer pays 18$ for one or two songs. The profit that the artist makes from the product is roughly 6-12% of the price. The rest goes to an industry that the consumers feel exploited by. The industry currently has a monopoly on legal distribution. They're scared to death of this new distribution mechanism because it renders them irrelevant. They have enough money, influence and control to do their best to try and kill off this new avenue of distribution.
They not only want to eliminate all illegal access of their product, they want to be able to prevent all unauthorized use of their products as well. This is an important distinction. Fair use needs to be clearly defined by the courts and understood by the public. The implications of "authorized" and "unauthorized" use need to be explained. It is legal to make a copy of a CD for your car or onto your iPod. It is considered fair use. It may not be "authorized" and the manufacturers of the CD may make it impossible to do so. Consumers may and should refuse to buy products with those strings attached. Artists should divorce themselves from the parasitic industry.
Property rights (including intellectual property,) spring from a social contract. When "theft" reaches this level of prevalence we are teetering on the edge of some very dangerous territory. I believe that most people want to be honest. Give them a realistic option. Allow people to purchase unrestricted use of individual songs from the artists for 1$. The internet makes that possible. The artists should make tons of money. 18 songs and all profit. Of course most people won't buy all 18 songs, so the quality should improve as people could truly buy what they want. Stop charging 500$ for Office. When the computer and the software needed to make it functional cost the same amount of money, consumers will rebel. In any normal economic model the supplier would respond by finding a way to lower the price, or competitors would. We know Microsoft's business practices. The music industry can’t figure out why their sales are down. It’s not all file sharing and it’s not all the economy. They’ve alienated their customers and they’re doing their best to make it worse by treating all the remaining customers like criminals.
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