I have no place in trying to make the decision affecting hundreds, thousands, or millions of people. There’s no way that I would ever run for a political office in my lifetime because that lifestyle is just not for me. However, I’m convinced that I must cast my vote to determine who will help me make these decisions for my future.

It’s just a day way before the polls open to every registered citizen in the United States. We are supposed to vote for the right person for the job, and once again it just seems that both candidates don’t completely fit my ideal candidate for the job. I remember back in 2000 when a lot of people were saying “lesser of two evils”, and I definitely felt like that. I never was a big fan of President Bush but Al Gore wouldn’t have made much of a president either.

Here I am, once again, trying to figure out which bubble to fill in for this year’s rodeo show they call the election. Neither candidate really has convinced me that he is better than the other, but I think the best way for me to say what I think is to say a few words about some of the issues.

Iraq – Had the intelligence not made such a massive mistake, the war in Iraq might have started differently or not at all. Had the UN inspectors had time to do their job thoroughly, there might have been more diplomacy rather than a preemptive attack. If only the world community had agreed more on what to do with Iraq, the fight might have been much easier. Despite, our troops are overseas and many are dying for our country. I wish Bush had handled Iraq differently but I support the troops and their efforts. They are not fighting in vain. Saddam Hussein probably was not an immediate threat to the US but letting him sit there in control wouldn’t have helped anything.

Homeland Security – Is the US safer since we developed a Department for Homeland Security? I can’t prove it but I can say that there haven’t been any major terrorist attacks since 9/11. Is America safer? I don’t feel completely safe but I do feel safer than I did right after 9/11. I think that looking back pre-9/11, I’ve heard some people say they felt safer especially during the Clinton administration. I think that was just an illusion.

Economy – I am more of a conservative with money and I like the trickle down theory, though it always seems that when corporations and small businesses (et al) are given tax cuts, the money wasn’t always used to create new jobs. And that directly affects me. I don’t blame the horrible economy on Bush especially when it was failing at the end of the Clinton era. This economy isn’t great but I guess it’s better than after 9/11, though I’m still having trouble finding any jobs and I have a bachelor’s degree. Bush really has over-spent (no vetoes on any spending bills??) and now the deficit is around 7 trillion? I can’t even grasp that amount of money.

Education – Our schools could be much, much better. I’m not really a fan of vouchers either. And, I think that the whole education system needs reforming. There are teachers I had in public school that I can’t remember learning or retaining anything. My junior year of high school, instead of education, we watched “The Santa Clause” for our junior final (although, I never complain). But, this is the kind of act that explains why I made three Ds my sophomore year of high school. Yeah, three 74s in one year. I was really upset at one of those because I really did try hard. But, English was usually my worst subject.

Abortion – I am against abortion except in extreme cases like rape. I think most abortion cases are the result of irresponsible people.

Stem Cell – I really want stem cell research. I know it’s not an absolutely sure thing for cures, but the potentials that it holds are absolutely amazing. I wish the embryonic cell research wasn’t such a moral issue because it’s obviously the best choice for this research.

I’m certainly not publicly endorsing anyone specifically and I think you should vote for whomever you want. I wish we had a better alternative and look forward to the day when there’s not just a two man race. The only message I want to put out there is for you to go vote.

Sometimes, holding on to one’s old traditions and ideas can hinder progression. This seems to be the philosophy of one Hilary Rosen and her cronies in the RIAA. Keep producing masses of tasteless music, continue to gouge prices to the consumer, and prevent any form of artistic expression from pirating or “ripping off” an artist. Well, it seems Hilary might have finally seen some light.

It’s obvious that she doesn’t completely agree with what Larry Lessig has established through the nonprofit Creative Commons program, but it’s amazing to note how she now believes it’s a good step in a right direction! In fact, one of the most logical arguments in favor of reform for sampling music was spoken from her mouth! (or written by her pen)

“Think about your kids. After they get bored downloading all the music they can find, they’re going to discover the power… to remix the culture they’ve collected. These activities will become second nature to the iGeneration and could well represent the next great digital revolution.”

May I just stand up and applaud?! I am only 25, but if I knew then what I know now, I think my addiction would only increase by the hour because of how much power this knowledge can give someone. Kids are restless, they tend to do what they want anyway. Thus, taking samples of music and adding some more bass and rhythm or composing an orchestra to back up an awesome ballad… the options are endless! The courts should not hinder this creativity as it’s not a detraction from an artist’s work. Sampling music is one of so many areas which copyright laws hinder, thus impeding the inevitable evolution of music.

Although I don’t agree with a lot of other statements that Hilary makes, it seems she is starting to come to her senses. It’s just too bad that the RIAA as an organization doesn’t realize that they’re living in the last millennium. Suing college kids for using the Kazaa software is backwards progression and is completely based upon greed from corporate pigs. The positive aspect about this litigation is that it seems to be losing its steam in the public eye, or rather it seems that less people care anymore and the news media outlets just aren’t giving it any light. Stop the madness, people!