Continuing the cavalcade of answers from Ask Me Anything!, so that I can be well-rested by the time the August edition rolls around!
Roger’s final questions:
Your solution to the immigration problem.
Are we in a “post-racial society,” yet, and if not, what will it take?
The US can kill Americans abroad if they are “terrorists”; your thoughts.
The copyright law in my lifetime has expanded the effective date tremendously in my lifetime. Does this distress you?
Are you concerned about MPAA/RIAA copyright overreach legislation such as SOPA?
Well…huh. In all honesty, I haven’t thought much about the immigration ‘problem’, from a policy standpoint. That said, I’m not even sure what the immigration ‘problem’ even is. Do we have too many people trying to come to America? Frankly, I have a hard time seeing how that’s a bad thing. My general view — and again, I have not thought this out in any great detail and don’t have any expertise to offer — is that we should be making it easier, rather than harder, for the peoples of the world who wish to come here to do so, that they might live here, learn here, work here, establish their families here, and add to the next generation here. And I have a very hard time seeing anti-immigration arguments as anything other than “GAHHH more brown people wanna live by me!”, which is not something I generally endorse.
Are we ‘post-racial’? No. Not even close, I’m sad to say. What will it take? I hate this thought, but I generally think it might take another bunch of centuries of human evolution in order to squash the “fear of the other” that is at the heart of racism.
Killing American citizens abroad if they’re ‘terrorists’: this is a really tough one, but generally, I tend to fall on the side of ensuring that due process is granted in as many cases as humanly possible. Realistically, there will be times when our soldiers abroad are in combat against someone who may have once been an American citizen but who is now fighting for an enemy. But I think what Roger’s getting at here is: If such a person isn’t in actual combat but we know they’re sipping coffee in some cafe someplace, should we be sending assassins in to shoot them? Again, I think no, but again, I think realistically, that’s what’s likely to happen. But in general I’m very fearful of what the War on Terror hath wrought, in terms of Presidential power (this is, by far, my main area of disappointment with President Obama) and in terms of due process in this country. Plus — and this is all I’ll say about this — but it strikes me as odd that one person fails to blow up a plane with a shoe bomb and we all have to take off our shoes at the airports, but mass shooting after mass shooting happens in our country, and we don’t do a thing about it.
And copyright law is a train wreck that will continue to unfold. I have no doubt that next time Mickey Mouse is getting close to entering the public domain, Disney will buy another member of Congress (last time it was Sonny Bono) and get the legislation passed to make it another twenty years of copyright. As for MPAA/RIAA overreach, that stuff really pisses me off. Let’s cripple the Internet because of a problem that will never be eradicated, and which I frankly refuse to believe is a problem in the first place. Those industries can tell me all they want how much money they’re losing, but I’m not believing for one second the numbers given to me by an industry that tries to claim that Titanic lost money. Whatever.
OK, just a few left, I think! We’ll finish up this week, for realz!
Thanks! I'm also been disappointed with Obama over his overreach.
" but it strikes me as odd that one person fails to blow up a plane with a shoe bomb and we all have to take off our shoes at the airports, but mass shooting after mass shooting happens in our country, and we don't do a thing about it."
I think in one instance we successfully implement a solution that is purely theatrical and without effect, and in the other instance we successfully avoid the same.
Scotty: I agree on the first, but as you might expect, not so much on the second!