Drugs and Terrorists, Porn and Pirates

When you hear these four magic words, think; am I about to be emotionally manipulated here? Is someone perhaps going to use my visceral reaction to these terms to push something past me that I would never usually consider? Because probably, yes.

Drugs

This is the good old standby for the US government. Justification for a war and astounding disregard for human rights in Colombia, the invasion of Panama and removal  of their own ex-CIA, ex-puppet leader, and now apparently, there is an insurgency in Mexico and Central America* to be dealt with. Besides the wars, there is regular interference in the domestic policies of foreign governments , environmental terrorism, and of course, a huge amount of money that goes to the MIC. All of this to save the US from drugs, because drugs may kill some people, if they choose to use them? No, of course not. That would be silly. We all know the US government and military have no problem with drug dealers.

What would the US really do, if it wanted to stop the flow of drugs in their country? Well, first, far more regulation of the pharmaceutical industry and medical community, then regulate the fast food industry to stop them from lacing the food with additives and sugars … oh, sorry, you mean illegal drugs? Well, first, let’s study why exactly people are becoming addicted to illegal drugs (see previous sentence). Then legalize the drugs so they can be properly regulated and the people addicted to them can receive counselling and recovery help. Far cheaper and easier than maintaining huge military systems to kill millions of people … to stop drug trafficking … which might otherwise kill somebody.

Terrorists

Ok, so to combat drugs we attack everyone in the Americas, to stage a military occupation of the entire Middle East we will be looking for terrorists, got that?

To prevent terrorists, I recommend that governments and the MIC stop terrorizing people.  No, really.

Porn

This one is so awful, it’s a wonder they didn’t think of it first. Perhaps there was a time when the MIC wouldn’t dare go this low? If so, those days are gone, as countries like Australia and copyright enforcement agencies rush to use the torturing of small children to push their agenda for a police state. But does anyone believe these  are the people standing up against child porn?

It is hard to imagine anything more horrible than child pornography. And it’s hard to imagine anything less effective than “filtering” it. Countries that claim to be blocking thousands of child porn sites don’t think perhaps their time would be better spent shutting them down? A firewall protecting one country from viewing images over the internet is a completely ineffective way of stopping child porn from being produced or viewed in that country. It needs to be stopped internationally, not have little jumping hurdles put up at various national fences.

This is a case where the internet really needs to police itself, in conjunction with effective and completely independent, international law enforcement, which does not answer to any government or other policing unit, and who are no less afraid of arresting generals than they are of anyone else.  To do this without invading personal internet privacy would require an organization that has no other motive for collecting information on private individuals, not a government with myriad enemies they would like to bring down and myriad other agendas.

The best protection against child porn is, of course, to leave it where all can find it, not just the poor demented souls that want to. If it’s there, and we have an effective agency to report it to, we can clean it up ourselves. We are legion.

Pirates

In the case of the Somali pirates, no one said it better than K’Naan. But I meant the people currently being hunted for copyright infringement. This is another relatively new one, and it appeals to the public by calling on their sense of fair play, in wanting to ensure that their favourite creative person gets paid.

In reality, a lot of our favourite creative people are indy artists, youtube performers, self published e-book writers, bloggers (cough), and buskers. Are they getting paid? Sometimes, if we like them and they ask. Or if they manage to scrounge some sort of endorsement that will pay them based on views. This system is becoming more and more common, and it is a very workable concept. Many waiters survive almost completely on tips that are enforced mostly by the honour system. If this concept became more mainstream, who would lose out? The artists would be paid, and as a bonus, would be in much closer contact with their audiences. Everyone would have equal access to information, education, and entertainment and be able to choose from a huge variety of material. The popular artists would actually be the most popular artists, chosen by the people who listen to them. The only people to be cut out of this picture are the ones that are no longer actually doing anything, the ‘industry’.

Under the enforcement system suggested, the creative people would not be paid more, because of course, all of this enforcement will cost money. The few who are paid at all will remain selected by corporations, not the audiences. The lawyer buying copyright to newspaper content, will not help the blogger whose one post was stolen by a newspaper (especially since they could prove no loss of income). And apparently the laws being enforced against hackers are not to be followed by the prosecuting organizations. The anti-piracy laws are there to protect those who can afford to hire lawyers, not the average creative person.

Meanwhile, anti-piracy laws are enabling governments and corporations to invade personal privacy and harass individuals and organizations they disagree with. The future of this trend will provide almost limitless potential for a police state, under the name of copyright enforcement.

To prevent piracy, we need new copyright law. We won’t steal it if it’s free. Obviously, people who create need to survive, and there are many ways to make that happen without providing an excuse for a global police state.

* Off topic, but I love how the Obama-Clinton team declare war on major continental areas now instead of fooling around with just one country at a time. So much more efficient. And they don’t have to learn geography.

This article was originally published on the GeorgieBC Blog at https://georgiebc.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/drugs-and-terrorists-porn-and-pirates/ published by Heather Marsh

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