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I am a dedicated and ambitious aspiring freelance journalist, blogger, and writer. My main asset is my international background - I was born in Germany, then moved to France, and proceeded to grow up in China - and the cultural open-mindedness inherent to such a life story. I specialize in opinion pieces, but am also well-versed in travel/event reporting, and writing general news stories. I blog regularly on my two pages, and have contributed to multiple online publications, including Gonzo Today, a web page dedicated to Hunter S. Thompson's "gonzo" journalism and his legacy. If you have any writing needs, I am the right person to talk to! I will be able to match the tone and style you desire, will work overtime to make you happy, and will deliver high quality content. You can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn as "Mark Linnhoefer", and on Twitter as "@markalinnhoefer". For work proposals please feel free to use the contact form on either of my blogs!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Food For Thought #2

Firstly, seeing as I have not received any feedback whatsoever, I'll just leave the SoundCloud Widget on here for now, simply because it does not seem to be disturbing anyone and I personally like having some minor form of promotion for my music on here as well.

Secondly, it's the end of the month, so this is the last post for November, meaning that I had to make it a "Food For Thought", seeing as you should always finish a month being a little wiser than when it started in my humble opinion, and this is the perfect way to do so.

So, thirdly, have you ever thought about the role the government should play and the duties it should perform compared to the role it actually plays and the actions it actually takes. I believe that there is a huge discrepancy between them, and believe it to be a bad one. "Democracy" means that the people should be governed by the people, that we, as the people, should be protected by the government and its organs, and that it should serve us. Do we see anything like that?
Well, to some extent, yes. We are all eligible to vote, we have the right of human dignity, supposedly complete freedom of speech, and the authorities can not arbitrarily make decisions. At least on paper we have all of these rights and freedoms. But if we truly do, why is it that people that do not pose a threat to society, that have at best committed victim-less crimes, are put together in a confined space with murderers, rapists, and other violent, bad human beings? Why is it that as soon as something is declared a "matter of national security" basic human rights are being overthrown, people just disappear, and privacy is suddenly of no concern? How is it that a state within the state in form of secret services is being allowed without anyone seeming to mind? What is the exact amount of innocents that have been kept in Guantanamo Bay for decades, tortured and degraded?
These atrocities are not something that happens far away, somewhere in the Middle East. These atrocities are not the drug-induced fantasy of some cooked up conspiracy theorists. These atrocities have often been confirmed, and we were told that "no one knew" or that it would be "dealt with" and promised that these atrocities would be stopped forever. But, what surprise, a few months later we have the next big scandalous discovery, and the same thing repeats itself.
And, the ironic, and sad, thing about it is that a lot of the criminal, a lot of mafia, even a lot of terrorist markets and funds are essentially being protected by the government. How you ask? Quite simply by the prohibition of mind-altering substances. Remember when alcohol was forbidden in the early 30's? The reason it was re-legalized rather quickly was that the ban resulted in a violent, mafia-controlled black market that quickly spiraled out of the governments control.
Now imagine letting such a market grow over decades, giving it the right nutrients in form of trying to force abstinence on citizens and suppress their free choices; imagine this market to be the exclusive source for substances that lots of people enjoy, or in some cases even need medicinally, and further imagine this market to be protected by laws that forbid the customers to purchase their goods elsewhere whilst not regulating the existing vendors, thereby preventing the possibility of education, safety, quality and protecting minors, essentially allowing easy access to possibly laced, and therefore deadly substances to everybody.
A dystopian fantasy you may think, but, alas, unfortunate reality it is. Above-mentioned problems are all effects of the international regulations for narcotics, and could be solved or at least lessened by regulating the existing market and thereby pulling out the rug from under the mafia and other criminals, essentially stealing their customers. And the funds that are nowadays being wasted on ineffective police work could be spent on prevention, education and rehabilitation.
Of course I am not saying that by doing so all the crime and violence in the world would stop, people will always find some stupid-ass reason to bash each other's heads in, but it would definitely be a first step towards a more peaceful planet. I mean, who does the government even think they are, telling people what they can and can not put into their bodies? Our 'protectors'? Then why am I allowed to poison myself with ethanol and nicotine whilst eating rat poison? All perfectly legal. It just does not make sense. At all.
Furthermore, I believe that by just saying "no, that's bad, you are not allowed to do that", mind-altering substances become even more attractive, especially to teenagers, because the things that are forbidden and taboo are always the most fun during puberty, we've all been there and know this to be true, so why give them the incentive and ban those substances even for adults?
I do not believe that to have any logical basis. I know that the actual decision of making alcohol and cigarettes legal whilst prohibiting everything else was made arbitrarily with close to no scientific evidence to support these decisions.
And, again, the government is supposed to protect and serve the people, and it is pretty much doing the exact opposite by allowing an existing market to be controlled by thugs and gangs.

So this was today's "Food For Thought", a tad more controversial than the first one in my opinion, but an important topic nevertheless, so tell me what you have to say to that? Do you feel like I feel? Do you see what I see? Can you no longer sit by as your government strips away more and more freedom? Do you feel like the world, and humanity, is heading down a dark path?
Or do you think differently? Do you think I am misinterpreting or misjudging? Do you have a different proposal altogether of how to address above-mentioned issues?
Please feel free to use the comment section to share your thoughts :)

This essentially concludes today's "Food For Thought", following are the usual YouTube links to, as usually, good music:

Juventa feat. Erica Curran - Move Into The Light (Koven Remix)
-> not the best song of the genre, definitely one of the weaker ones compared to those in my other posts, but still a good song, and it somehow conveys this struggle for freedom to me in a way I can't quite put my finger on, so it has to be here, and it's far from terrible, still very worth listening to!

Sido feat. Genetikk & Marsimoto - Maskerade
-> very new German rap by the artist that actually introduced me to the entire genre, it was because of his music that I even started getting into the whole Hip Hop thing, so he is a big idol for me, I'm a huge fan, and this is a song from his newest Album called "30-11-80", and had to be put here because it is fucking awesome.

Dub FX - Fly With Me
-> Dub FX is fucking amazing, making all of his songs with nothing but the sounds he can make with his mouth (and a pedal to record and loop everything obviously); his music is deep, relaxing and quite psychedelic, with somewhat of an "out-of-this-world feeling", really, really great artist!!

Alt-J - Fitzpleasure
-> I actually discovered this song through a T-Mobile commercial a few months ago, and it's just such a trippy song that I had to include it, especially in this post. I have no idea what genre this is, I have no clue what the bands other songs are like, I just know that I like this song, so I'm sharing it with all of you.

Green Day - Holiday
-> well, besides from representing freedom and rebellion, this song has been with me during the best times of my life, and I have always loved it, so, no matter how popular it is by now, no matter how "sell-out" and "mainstream" Green Day may be to some, I love this fucking song!!

Bob Marley - Redemption Song
-> Bob had to be in this blog at some point, and where better to put him than below a post concerning itself with freedom, which is a big factor in Marley's songs and life, and this particular song definitely fits perfectly. One Love!!

Lowkey - Obama Nation
-> talking about freedom, equality and the role of the government, America is of course always the best negative example to give for these three topics, and Lowkey here expresses everything that is wrong with that country of extremes founded by a genocide better than I possibly could, so just listen to the song!! Oh and of course huge props to lowkey for speaking up, and for being a pretty great rapper!!

Well, the "Food For Thought" turned out to be rather depressing once again, but, well, that is the input I get from the world, and, contrary to what math teachers will have you believe, a double negative does not make a positive if you catch my drift. Anyway, I hope that some of you can relate to the topic, that it was an enjoyable reading experience for all of you, and, of course, that you liked today's selection of songs!

Peace!

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I have a thick skin, so go ahead if you feel like criticizing, but if you keep going on and on about details of carnal relations you claim to have had with my mother your comment will be removed.
I guess what I'm saying is that you can express your opinion, just try to do so in a constructive or at least moderately respectful manner, otherwise the comment section is just going to go to shit and I'll be forced to close it, seeing as I will definitely not be moderating it if unwanted/spam/bullshit comments keep coming...
If you can not behave, the possibility of commenting here will disappear, that's as simple as it is.