The Weiner Effect: Is Photography a Crime?

Is photography a crime?  There is a keen website dedicated to answering that question when it comes to recording the public activities of the police — Photography is Not a Crime! — and we need more sites like that one dedicated to freedom and transparency.

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Ag-Gags Punish the Recording of the Circle of Death

Do you know there’s a move afoot to make it illegal for good people to make video recordings of the deeds of bad people breaking the law by hurting farm animals?

On one covert video, farm workers illegally burn the ankles of Tennessee walking horses with chemicals. Another captures workers in Wyoming punching and kicking pigs and flinging piglets into the air. And at one of the country’s largest egg suppliers, a video shows hens caged alongside rotting bird corpses, while workers burn and snap off the beaks of young chicks.

Each video — all shot in the last two years by undercover animal rights activists — drew a swift response: Federal prosecutors in Tennessee charged the horse trainer and other workers, who have pleaded guilty, with violating the Horse Protection Act. Local authorities in Wyoming charged nine farm employees with cruelty to animals. And the egg supplier, which operates in Iowa and other states, lost one of its biggest customers, McDonald’s, which said the video played a part in its decision.

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An Open Letter to Google Glasses Pioneers: Prepare to Be Punched in the Eye!

Hi there, Google Glasses Pioneer!

This is an open letter warning you to put down your Google Glasses if you care about the health of your eyes and the prosperity of your soul.  Those glasses are going to cost you a lot more than $1,500.00USD because your face is going to pay the price for prying into the public, everyday, lives of those all around you.  Nobody will trust you.  Everyone will suspect you are recording their every move — even if you are not — but because you can!  Be thankful for universal Obamacare — because you are going to need it with the rising year.  This is not a call for violence against you; this is a call out that violence will be waged against you.

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Against Instagram and Other Filtering Agents

I do not like image filtering services like Instagram and their ilk, because the purpose of those services is to change reality and alter in situ facts.  Why bother preserving in image if you don’t want it saved and displayed with the highest possible, non-filtered, quality?  I recently mentioned my concern in the comments flow for this article:

Here’s what I don’t get about services like Instagram — we always want better cameras with higher megapixel counts and clearer optics — and then many of us “dumb down” those crisp and beautiful images with predefined filters from services like Instagram.  Why?  If you are preserving a moment in history — why are you coloring that moment, and inherently changing it, to look like a 1970’s Polaroid?  Why are you losing all the magnificence of the original shot that your camera is able to create?

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Gregg Allman's Low Country Blues Review

Gregg Allman is one of my favorite performers.  He’s lived a rough and hardy life and every bump and bruise pulses from his fingers and thrives in his voice.  Gregg’s latest solo album — Low Country Blues — is available today, and I can tell you right now, this is my favorite Blues album of the young year, and I can’t imagine any other Blues effort beating this collection of music for the next decade.  Yes, it’s just that good.

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Sean Costello: The Wailing Willow

Sean Costello was a Wailing Willow.  He started playing a professional Blues guitar at age 14 and by 2008 he was dead of an overdose on the eve of his 29th birthday.  On 10/10/10 in Atlanta, Georgia, there is a fundraiser — in Sean’s name — to help raise money for continued research into the depression and bipolarism that killed him.

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Tom Jones and the Burning Gospel Blues

Tom Jones turned 70 years old in June and he’s still making great, memorable, music.  Tom’s latest album — “Praise & Blame” — is an incredibly stunning Gospel Blues tribute to those who founded that American mainstream stable long before him and who then later mainly foundered in anonymity after him.

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