Chinese policemen are being asked to change their uniforms -- their last change was in 1999. :)
I've been experimenting with doing a fantasy BLOG for my Nationstates nation. Hopefully it'll help me get momentum to restart my other sci-fi BLOG on Livejournal. When I have a few more entries on it, I'll provide a pointer. I increasingly think that, especially as I get older, building good habits becomes increasingly important to getting done what one wants done. Bad tendencies, like slumping, eventually become habits that are very difficult to change. Fortunately, BLOGging has kept me in the habit of regularly writing down my thoughts. Habits can be constraining too -- they're like the bones within us. To enable is to restrict. This is part of a growing criticism I'm feeling as I re-read Satre's Search for a Method -- Satre's notion of personal existential freedom is, to me, empty and based on misunderstanding. Creativity, which I believe he counts among what it is to be free, is born of the world and experience -- it is combining the experiences and ideas one has and builds in unorthodox ways. Satre's freedom is emptiness and nonexistence, as unappealing as infinite void. To live is to have experiences, to enact praxis, and to alter oneself accordingly. A philosopher or just a deep thinker may do the latter more than most people, but it is in a sense universal to experience as a sane being. I suspect that Satre's notion of free will is not present out of philosophical well-foundedness, but rather out of necessity for the (bad) arguments he makes towards his flavour of liberalism. Free will and its lack or presence does not have any moral implications. It should be just as possible to do what we do with or without it. An inherent free will of humanity, even if we were to accept it, should not tell us what type of government to have, or how to live our lives.
This would be amusing if it wern't so scary -- congressman Tancredo has suggested bombing Mecca in response to future terrorist attacks. According to Wikipedia, he's considerably more right-wing than BushJr, and has had angry discussions with BushJr's posse on immigration. Scary. Nuking Mecca seems like a very good way to provoke a very large world religious war. Such a thing, were it to happen, would certainly leave American liberals in a very difficult situation, as it would be opening a box on something that would be nearly impossible to put back away. At best, I'd sell everything and flee as quickly as possible to Europe (or Canada, if Europe were not open for some reason). Fortunately, people like him don't get elected (I hope).
Unlike some right-wing websites I've stumbled across recently, I think the loss of most inhibitions that society has is a positive thing -- sexual, racial, and other problems are likely to fall away as we become more tolerant. The same trend, which needs to be split off from this branch, also includes lack of any moral values at all, an increasingly commercial society, and lack of disturbation by violence. There's more than one kind of hedonism, some good for society, some bad.