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Ignorance vs. Intelligence (Gay Terrorists Like Music Too)

Ignorance and intelligence spar in the news every day, and today is definitely no different.

The Guardian: ‘There is no war on terror’Fighting for intelligence is the Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the Crown Prosecution Service, Sir Ken Macdonald who said yesterday that “there is no such thing as a War on Terror” and called for a “culture of legislative restraint”.

He’s no doubt going to be in trouble for this statement – which is in direct contradiction with what the Prime Minister says on a seemingly daily basis – however I applaud him for saying this, as it is a brave remark to make and one of the first intellectual comments to come from a high-profile legal figure in the UK on this matter.

It was at this point that I wanted to quote from the article, and Sir Ken Macdonald himself, but came across a problem… choosing these quotes is too difficult a task, as the vast majority of the article is well argued and Macdonald is an intelligent man who knows his subject matter intricately.

Those in government realise that the upkeep of a just and democratic country is difficult; but Macdonald realises that one way to falter and to undermine the whole ideal of democracy, is to ignore and bend the rules of laws made to uphold such a society.

BBC: ‘Church gay rights opt-out opposed’Reeling from that assault, ignorance comes fighting back when you start reading about the recent furore regarding the Equality Act. For those who don’t know, this act bans discrimination on the basis of sexual-orientation in a similar way to rules on race, sex and age discrimination.

One facet of this act is that adoption agencies are now required to place children with homosexual couples, causing problems for devout Catholic agencies that are claiming this is incompatible with their faith. As such, these agencies are requesting an opt-out clause in the act – a clause which is being opposed by government ministers and, likely, the PM too.

What’s the problem here? The Catholic Church refusing to acknowledge a new law requiring them to place children with homosexual couples, or that this country necessitates a law making sexual-orientation discrimination a crime? I think we know which one is the actual issue here.

I’m equally as worried at the possibility of an incompatible homosexual couple being placed with a child in order to fulfil a government quota as I am about a similar, but compatible, couple being turned away and a child being adopted by a straight couple who are totally incompatible because the child’s parents or adoption agency are Catholic. Where is the trade-off in this dilemma?

The solution to all discrimination isn’t to bring in laws to ban it, as if anything this causes further discrimination that is just suppressed instead. To really tackle the problem of discrimination on race, sexual-orientation, sex, and age, this society’s mindset must be altered. This will take generations and will not be easy but we must start now.

Laws may solve part of the problem, but to attack the core of bigotry and prejudice, more research must be undertaken and tolerance taught to our children.

The Register: ‘Apple DRM illegal in Norway: Ombudsman’Recovering from that onslaught, intelligence delivers the knock-out blow when we discover that Apple’s digital rights management (DRM) lock on its iPod and its iTunes software is illegal, according to the Norwegian Ombudsman – a government appointed position created to act in the interests of consumers.

For those who do not know, Apple’s DRM – FairPlay – is, put simply, the method Apple uses to keep control over the music you legally purchase from its iTunes store. The music files downloaded are encoded with data that allows you to only play these files on an iPod and on up to five different computers. Bought a Microsoft Zune or a Creative Zen MP3 player recently? Sorry, but you can’t listen to your iTunes bought music there! Realised that iTunes is a horrendous way to store your music and want to employ a different method to simply play and store your music? I’m afraid that’s not possible either, unless you burn a CD of your music and then rip this straight back onto your computer or go and buy your music from another source.

Essentially, in Norway this is now illegal and both Germany and France are following suit – a law suit. (Sorry!)

“It doesn’t get any clearer than this. Fairplay is an illegal lock-in technology whose main purpose is to lock the consumers to the total package provided by Apple by blocking interoperability, [ … ] for all practical purposes this means that iTunes Music Store is trying to kill off one the most important building blocks in a well functioning digital society, interoperability, in order to boost its own profits.”

“iTunes Music Store must remove its illegal lock-in technology or appear in court.”

The Guardian: ‘There is no war on terror’
BBC: ‘Church gay rights opt-out opposed’
The Register: ‘Apple DRM illegal in Norway: Ombudsman’