The phone call came early in the afternoon. My wife’s mom calling from 10,000 kilometres away. An article in the paper. “I thought you should know.” And her cry, of grief and pain and anguish and horror and infinite sadness, as I rushed downstairs to catch her. Continue reading
The United States gave up universal conscription in 1973. The Draft, as we all knew it, had been in effect since 1948, when President Truman and Congress re-introduced it. It was the main source of troops during the Vietnam conflict, which also ended up killing it. But I’ve always believed the main problem with the draft was the Vietnam War itself, not the principle. And this is true even though I was drafted as potential fodder for that colossal waste of people and resources. And I believe it’s time to bring the draft back—and it’s not just for reasons of giving young men and women something to do in economic hard times, although that’s a side benefit. The US military should not be a social engineering project, although it becomes one occasionally as a by-product of more direct concerns. In any event, there are more compelling arguments for bringing back the draft, arguments that I think go to the heart of whether America will survive as one nation, or will continue to fracture along the seismic fault lines that are becoming all too evident. We need to get rid of the all-volunteer army.
File this one under WTF?!
According to a CNNMoney article, Facebook is suing Teachbook for “a slew of crimes including federal trademark dilution, trademark infringement and unfair competition.” And this isn’t the first time that Facebook, presently the second most visited website in the world according to Alexa, has sued a startup for trademark infringement over the use of “book.” According to the article, travel site TripTrace used to be called “PlaceBook” until Facebook threatened them with a lawsuit.
This has been done before, with Apple recently losing a lawsuit in Australia that the DOPi (iPod spelled backward) laptop bag didn’t infringe on Apple’s iPod trademark. And if you ever needed evidence that Apple has made overreaching a habit, The Onion claimed in 2006 that Apple had planned to trademark the pronoun “I” – and it still sounds plausible. Facebook seems to have copied Apple’s playbook.