October 20th, 2003

fashionable

(no subject)

Army's message to its troops: "Solicit prostitutes? No problem. Get knocked up so you can go home early? Sure. Just don't fall in love with the enemy."

There is no doubt that these soldiers are married... so why aren't they being given the same rights to communicate with their wives as any other soldier in the military? Why are they being threatened with imprisonment? Why is the military trying to keep these couples apart?

The scary thing is that on an online poll, roughly 50% think this is ok. I'm glad that they didn't play these same games with my parents, when my father -- a US soldier in Europe shortly after WWII -- married my mother.

"Oh, but that's different. She was from Britain, and Britain was on *OUR* side..."

Uh huh. But if she was from Germany, would that have mattered? Something tells me this has a more to do with religion, skin color, and politics than anything else... and none of these things should be a boundary to a couple getting married.

If a soldier leaves his post to get married... fine. Punish him for that if you really must. But when you prevent a soldier from speaking to his wife and threaten his marriage, you've stepped over the line.

"What God has joined together, let no man tear asunder..." etc.
fashionable

Some call it harmony... I call it theft.

Interesting article about how the US is using trade deals to force other countries to "harmonize" their copyright laws so that they correspond with the US laws.

Of course, this amounts to a robbery of the public domain, because if countries like Australia (who are currently negotiating with the US on a trade agreement) agree to "harmonize" their copyright laws at whatever the existing standard is (which is currently life of the creator + 70 years), not only will the US be able to lord their creative and scientific works over the Australians for longer, Australians will also have free access to their own culture and inventions taken from them as well.

I wonder whether the people of Australia will have much of a chance at a public discussion about what they will be giving up before its too late. Something tells me though that the US won't have to change their laws to accomodate the Australians, however.

All I can say is that if US copyright law was so damn good, you'd think there wouldn't be millions of Americans who are pissed off and doing their best to get our bought-and-paid-for politicians to change it. Do us all a favor... don't drink the Kool-Aid!