Posts Tagged with "freedom"

Happy Birthday, America!

July 4th, 2007 at 9:51 am by Mark
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     Today’s our country’s most important historic holiday, Independence Day, July 4th.  It commemorates the signing of our Declaration of Independence, the document which began the American Revolution and outlined, in no uncertain terms, that our “colony” would revolt from tyranny and come into it’s own.
     Last year, I wrote about the history of fireworks during the celebration, mostly because I kept hearing people complain about them.  It amazes me how people can forget history and sentiment so easily…

     Fireworks are beautiful, large and loud.  A proud display can give even those with the hardest hearts a smile, and a small display makes us wish for more.
     They’re also one of my favorite things to take photos of — freehand, without a tripod.

Copyright © 2003 Mark Steel, All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2003 Mark Steel, All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2004 Mark Steel, All Rights Reserved

     Last year’s complaint has this year been replaced by, “Why do we have cookouts and drink beer?”

     For the very same reason I enjoy taking photos of fireworks.  For the same reason we can drive over to a secluded place and set off a massive display.  For the same we complain about “our loss of Freedoms” so much…
     The reason is simple:

     Because we can.

     As Americans, we take for granted what’s missing most everywhere else.  Like it’s been said a million times, “With Freedom comes great responsibility.”  As long as we can continue to act responsibly, we’ll never lose that.

     Happy Birthday, America!

Politics and Purple Haze

June 9th, 2007 at 1:38 am by Mark
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     Now, Diva’s last blog, “Skank of the Week: Paris Hilton” was funny to me.  Most rational, thinking people think she’s a bit … well … Useless.  I mean, really, what makes her a celebrity?  Why the Hell should anyone care, one iota, about her life in the least?
     Apparently, it’s because she’s rich, and totally enjoys making an ass herself, her family, exploiting the silver spoon, etc. etc. etc.  She’s a train wreck waiting to happen, a poster child for “Rich Bitch.”
     Everyone hates her.

     Free Speech comes to mind…

     We’re just past Memorial Day.  I didn’t blog, because I was busy living my life, being an idiot and having a good time.
     If I had blogged, I would’ve reminded people about all of the people who had died to make this a Free country.  Those are people who made an extreme sacrifice, whether they lived or died, that were dedicated to furthering our Freedom, or the Freedom of a given nation.  They’re people of conviction and character, who stood up and took action while others sat on their haunches waiting for the next episode of blah-blah-blah.

     I also would’ve reminded people about the ideals that those heroes stood for in defense of Freedom in this country.
     I’ve lived in a few other countries, some at others’ suggestions, and found out that Americans, as a whole, take those Freedoms for granted.

     You have the right to be offended.  You have the right to change the channel.  You have the right to read another blog.  You have the right to hate our politicians.  You have the right to vote.  You have the right to marriage.  You have the right to divorce.  You have the right to rant about them on a blog.  You have the right to free yourself of toxic people.  You have the right to file a restraining order against an abuser.
     So long as you’re obeying some pretty loose concepts of law and trying to be a decent person, you can do pretty much anything you want.  Nobody’s telling us what to do — we make our own choices, we lead our own lives, and there’s no Government standing over us to tell us what to read, what to think, what to express.
     That makes us unique in the world.  As much as people “complain” about the “loss of our freedom,” I’d have to say — go live somewhere else for a while, then get back to me.

     So it strikes me as funny, with all of those rights, how some people seem to feel think that they have the right not to be offended — how they might “sue” a blog for a derogatory comment which reveled no personal information whatsoever.  How they might file a gag order on a legal case to prevent it from being talked about, no matter how heinously ridiculous the case might be.  How they might file a “stalking” charge because someone put up a link to a video they didn’t like.

     Hippies ate a lot of Acid, pretending to be activists for Free Speech.

     So … What, uh … Changed?

     Remember Perry Caravello, the guy who’s so Internet savvy he couldn’t even spell “youtube” — or get Johnny Knoxville name right — in a lawsuit?  This is to people like him.  It’s also to “celebrities” who might garner attention via research, and thus benefit, from a sarcastic diatribe…

     G’night, kids.

     God bless.

Tip: Zacque Hitchcock, who found these two perfect examples of video

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Real News

May 10th, 2007 at 4:20 pm by Zacque
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I was sitting here reading the paper.  Yes, the actual thing, news print on paper that was at one point not post-mortem.  Hmm…  That I believe is a very good description for the newspapers of today.  They’ve softened up just like the rest of the media.  They are slowly becoming pussified, one story at a time.

Well for years, we’ve known the newspaper in Maryville, TN isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.  More importantly, it wasn’t worth the thirty-five cents it once cost to buy it.  The Daily Times remains too biased and never important news.  I suppose it will be forever cursed with the fact that Maryville and Alcoa are small towns.  For the most part, it is similar to the Knoxville News Sentinel, syndication of larger papers or the Associated Press.  Leaving no room really, for what happens down the road or in your own back yard (OMG, since that is what a newspaper is supposed to do.)

The final straw that made me decide that this pussification is now far too widespread happened when I read this post about the Oakland Tribune

This paper is moving to start a revolution.  Trying to start a protest for Pete’s sake, all because their civil liberties are being taken away.  This by the way is exactly what they asked for.  George Carlin tried you warn, “you people” about that years ago.  The government, in order to give you the illusion of safety will no doubt, sacrifice a little of your freedom to make you feel safe.

So by all means, send in books that will really change things…  It will send a message…  That all the people involved are major asshats.  I mean do these people think that anyone on Capitol Hill besides maybe Nancy Pelosi is going give a rat’s rear-end?  Much less, would they take the time to read George Orwell’s 1984 again?

The only thing decent out of the whole argument is to try to change the Patriot Act.  It isn’t terrible though, besides the fact, it takes away a few more liberties that I like.  However, one small amendment would be nice…  Give us our copyrights back.  Most places don’t care if it was taken on base or not.  I for one would like any images I record of military items and/or personnel to be mine.  All though I know that this stipulation is already made, there is a complete and total lack of enforcement.  Oh well, I guess that is the problem with many laws… a lack of enforcement (isn’t there a law in place about people with stupid ideas and motivation to start protests which make no since and limiting thier breeding habits?  If they are into limiting civil liberties why not add that?)

This has been Zacque Hitchcock for the Critic’s Corner. 

Voting Shouldn’t Be Rewarded

November 7th, 2006 at 2:35 pm by Mark
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     From several sources, I heard about some educators giving extra credit for students who went out and voted.  I cannot understand why anyone would be so shallow, especially given their position as educators.  To me, it makes a farce of the entire process.
     The fact that we can vote, that we can have our say in electing our government, is one of our core Freedoms in this country.
     Regardless of the outcome of an election, voting is the reward!


     Another thing that’s getting on my nerves are these people who can go on and on about how things are being done, how things are running, how they could do better.
     “And did you vote?” I’d ask.
     “Then shut the Hell up.  Voting is what ensures our right to representation, so you gave up your right to complain when you didn’t take five minutes to go cast your ballot.”


     I’ve never been one for party politics, always voting for individual candidates and their stances on issues rather than taking a party-stance and voting down one side or the other.  But this go-round, the choice was clear.  One side had issues and resolutions, and the other side had nothing to do but bitch and complain.
     It was too fitting, as I left the polling area, to hear the “Emperor’s March” theme from Star Wars, and the voice of Vader saying, “Your journey to the Dark Side is now complete!”

     I was definitely relieved when I finally saw that the guy next to me was carrying a portable DVD player…