Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Most lethal sniper in the world?

You know something's terribly wrong when a person's idea of "being a man" is killing people & justifying it by calling them the "enemy".


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ask not what the Internet...

Ask not what the Internet...: via Dave Winer

On Twitter, with its 140-character limit, there's little focus to the discussion about the new filitering they just announced. Here are some of my comments, in bullet form, hopefully to add some more substance to the discussion..

Education: Focus

The Hindu : Cities / Bangalore : ‘Education should not be about finding the right answer':

Will anyone heed this?

Claims Pakistan knew of bin Laden

Claims Pakistan knew of bin Laden:

Of course, its the US's hawks doing this claim.
Same could be said of the US..& the same question as Panetta does be asked of his own & his leaders actions: "what the hell's going on here?"

What will you do when the US comes for you?

What will you do when the US comes for you?:

Folks all over the world are impacted by the ridiculous actions & inactions of the US, in more ways than one.
Now, all your data.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hear hear

Corporations are not people.

The war hawks are hawking...

EuroMillions winners plan to buy new carpet with £41m jackpot

EuroMillions winners plan to buy new carpet with £41m jackpot:

Gareth and Catherine Bull, from Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, won £40,627,241 with lucky dip ticket

A self-employed builder and his wife who won a lottery jackpot of nearly £41m plan to splash out on an executive box at Manchester United – and a new carpet.

Gareth and Catherine Bull banked £40,627,241 after matching the numbers from a lucky dip ticket on the EuroMillions draw on 20 January.

Mr Bull, 40, bought the ticket on a whim after he was unable to start work one day because it was raining.

The couple, from Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, said they wanted to take their two sons to Disneyland, Florida, but the most pressing matter on 35-year-old Mrs Bull's mind was the carpet on their landing.

Explaining how she would spend the jackpot, she told a press conference at Nottingham's Eastwood Hall: "I did say a carpet for my landing because it's terrible. Nobody's allowed upstairs.

"It bothers me. I get to the top of the stairs every day and I'm like: 'I hate that carpet.'"

Mrs Bull said of the moment they realised they had won: "You're rubbing your eyes, you're looking at the numbers and you're trying to comprehend things. Thinking it must be four million maybe and they've got the dots and the dashes in the wrong places – there's got to be some pence somewhere."

They said they put the win to the back of their minds at first because they had to take their sons, aged nine and 10, to a football match, had a children's sleepover planned and had friends coming round in the evening.

Mr Bull, who works with a team of two or three other builders, said they did not plan to leave Mansfield or buy a glamorous mansion.

"All of this has happened at a crazy fast speed since Saturday and it is hard to keep up," he said. "We have our dream home which we built from scratch and it is impossible to think about what we are going to do next yet.

"We have only told a few people so far so it will be exciting to sit down together as a family and work out plans for the future."

Mr Bull said he would like splash out on a box at Old Trafford to watch Manchester United. His wife, who works in health insurance, said she might go back to work. "I'll go out of my mind at home," she said.

guardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions More Feeds

Shooting one's foot stuck in oil..

What exactly are they trying to do here?
This is what I see.
Iran has no nuclear weapons. Iran has oil
The West in an oil guzzler.
The West needs all the oil it can get.  One way or the other.
Saudi, UAE, Iraq, Libya. Nigeria. Check.

Iran. Venezuela... hmmm.

the US imposes sanctions & says we don't need your oil.
The All-lies nod their heads & wag their tails & say ditto.
Europe is a financial basket case. So is US.
Jobs being lost every day.
No sign of recovery in sight.

Great way to shoot yourself in the foot. Go All-lies!

Japan, China, Russia, Brazil & India have agreed with Iran to settle their oil bill in their own currencies, rather than the Humpty-Dumpty US Dollar.

Australia, another subservient spineless All-lie, who doesn't realise (or maybe doesn't care) that its mineral resources will soon run out.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

oh these poor G-suckers...


Poor things, they must be having it really hard

Two uses of an ancient plant, banned arbitrarily!

Governments everywhere run a tax-payer funded pro-bono machinery to keep pharma companies in business..

I don't see the logic: natural chemicals that work on the natural human body are bad. Artificially created chemicals that have devastating consequences on the human body are good.

Up in smoke: cannabis worth $7.5m destroyed after raids:

What the government doesn't tell you about cannabis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis
What the plant really is:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp
What the US government (through the USDA produced movie) said during WWII:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp_for_Victory;

What the government tells you now:
Funnily, the government also thinks it's perfectly legal for companies to sell tobacco & junk food & fizzy drinks (a few of the other items also known to have serious effects on health). 

PS: I have not, & do not, use any drug, pharmaceutical or natural. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

& the blood sucking vermin continue their leeching...

on Reflection..

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Sam Moran suddenly no longer yellow Wiggle

I know at least one little girl who won't care about the why, but will be happy there will be a Greg in the Wiggles..
Sam Moran suddenly no longer yellow Wiggle: [via smh.com.au]

too little too late Zuckerberg

Sounds suspiciously like PR to me.
Other than the one page ad in the NYT in November, no news from facebook or Zuckerberg until well after the blackout was underway on Wednesday.


SOPA / PIPA 101 for newbies -via Gigaom

If you have just clued into the hotly raging debate over the Stop Online Piracy Act or the Protect Intellectual Property Act, thanks to a variety of popular sites replacing their content with anti-SOPA/PIPA messages, your first reflex may to be shout, “I love the Internet, thus I hate SOPA and PIPA.” But there’s plenty more to learn about these complex and controversial bills. Here’s your quick guide to the proposed pieces of legislation and a one-stop shop to resources that can help you learn more.

What are SOPA and PIPA in general?

SOPA stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act, which was introduced in the House in October, and sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith. A copy of it can be found here. PIPA is the Senate version of the same bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and others, some of whom have begun distancing themselves from the legislation. The bills aim to halt the spread of pirated content on the web by several means, which originally included taking the names of offending sites from the DNS directory — the address book for the Internet. So far, SOPA sponsor Rep. Smith said he would remove the DNS provisions from the bill, while PIPA sponsor Leahy said he would hold hearings on the issue. The bills also seek to force payments processors to halt money flowing to pages that host potentially pirated content. More detailed information can be found here.

Why is everyone so upset?

While the stated intent behind SOPA is to halt the spread of pirated goods and content from bad actors, the way the bills are written the punishments associated don’t match the crimes. Having pirated content appear on a site, even without the knowledge or action by the site’s owner, can lead to a site being shut down without the owner having a chance to defend itself. It also threatens content hosting sites by cutting off their money flow if they are deemed to be hosting an infringer, until they can otherwise prove they are exempt from the infringement claims. Basically it turns the American idea of innocent until proven guilty to guilty until proven innocent. For more takes on this see a publisher’s commentsa venture capitalist’s and a cloud entrepreneur’s take.

What is the argument for these bills?

The argument made by those in support of the bills is that intellectual property theft is out of hand and is expedited by the web. Current controls such as the Digital Millenium Copyright Act do not offer a big enough stick to stop bad actors from sharing and spreading priated content and goods. Additionally there is an argument that counterfeiting goods not only results in losses to their original manufacturer, but in the case of food, drugs and even watches, can cause potential harm or inconvenience to the buyer if they are unaware of the subterfuge. Finally, there is an argument that the web is freaking out over the bills for no reason.

Where can I learn more?

For discussions of SOPA, check out this article from my colleague Mathew Ingram, this one offering a historical perspective from Ars Technica, or this fact sheet from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. You could also read the bill.
For the information on PIPA, read this article, this Reddit analysis, or the bill itself.

SOPAr away...

If you're still living under a rock, while using the internet for all your daily interactions,

SOPA, PIPA are, quite simply, efforts by the big media content firms, who show no sense of remorse when gouging consumers the world over, using the ruse that they provide artists a safe return on their works, to continue with their doomed business model. These laws will have the intended? consequence that they will destroy the internet as you use it now.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Let the Defendant, Mr. Obama, rise

Obama sued by Chris Hedges over NDAA

of course, the other cretin who started this mess, the defence contractor who was the erstwhile VPoTUS is roaming free.

Occupy 4 Jobs

More ignored news...

Again, it takes foreign press to cover this protest rally.

Ignore everything that has Occupy written before it as "pseudo-activism".

BCCI: Billionaire Control Cricket in India

An honest appraisal of the serious cancer gnawing away at the national sport of India.

BCCI: Billionaires Control Cricket in India

Real what??

The fascination with the idea that higher GDP = better standard of living masks the harsh reality for the vast majority of the denominator: average national output doesn't translate to  "real" incomes for the bulk of the people. 

Don't believe me? Ask the vast majority of the people in China or India if due to their increased output, their real "incomes" have gone up by ~50% or ~35% in the last 5 years. 

The Gospel According to the NYT

An unbelievable question in the NYTimes - Should the Times be a Truth Vigilante?

I'm amazed that Arthur S. Brisbane even had to ask this question: "Do you want us to cross-check "facts" that are claimed as truth by various figures in the public space?"

But then again, knowing the crap that's hoisted on its 'readership', by this & most other mainstream media, it's no surprise, is it?

Check out the comments to this Oped.. scathing in the least...Also leaves me to wonder, if so many people are so disillusioned with mainstream media (myself included), why do we still read/ follow the garbage they spew out???

Monday, January 16, 2012

The best credit card..

.. is the one you don't have..

Flimsily categorised as "financial advice", this advertisement for credit cards will probably be bought into by quite a large (financially) illiterate populace.


Foxy Fox Mur(derous)-doch

Ironic, considering he's using Twitter to make his point..

He seems intent to protect his flailing empire from inevitable (nothing wrong with this), & take every last vestige of internet freedom with it (everything wrong with this).


Friday, January 13, 2012

on Responsibility

And the fox said to the little prince: men have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author and aviator (1900-1945) 

Chronicles of the Third Reich

Watched an episode of "Chronicle of the Third Reich" on SBS this evening.

Could very easily replace Germany of the 1930's USofA - & the viewer would get a fairly identical repetition of history.  The protagonists might be different, but the story (political, economic & social) remains nearly identical.

Satire: Grover Norquist's Affairs with Taxes

Grover Norquist: 'I Engaged In A Week-Long Drug-Fueled Orgy With Corporate Income Taxes'
Another story in the "what's that again?" category

Man Charged With Sex With North Carolina Neighbor's Dog

Sex with an animal is offensive to one's sensibilities. Also, per law of that land, "Crime against Nature is a felony".

Oil spills, Whale Hunting, & other destruction of Nature, apparently don't fall in that category.

Aussie Soldiers

As if ever I doubted it, we live in a strange world.
Where it's okay for the government to order its men to shoot & kill another human.
But it's not okay to drink without permission.

Diggers caught drinking sent back to Afghanistan [via abc.net.au]

Thursday, January 12, 2012

on Liberation

“Liberation, I guess, is everybody getting what they think they want, without knowing the whole truth. Or in other words, liberation finally amounts to being free from things we don't like in order to be enslaved by things we approve of.” 
― Robert FulghumAll I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Australians Personal Debt Bomb

Heading on the same path that its "strategic partner" or Lord & Master, the US is leading.

Credit Card Debt Swells to $50b ($36b of that is interest!!)


Agents accused over mistreatment of British detainees like Binyam Mohamed who ended up in Guantánamo Bay
Illegal detention, torture, injustice, & denial are a hallmark of the powers that be, behind the mask of goodness & liberty.

This sickening video of US Marines, urinating on dead Afghan men is another demonstration of the perverse "justice" that the US & it's All-Lies seem intent on distributing to anyone who's unwilling to toe their corporatist agenda.

Learn to Code

No, this isn't a resolution based on an arbitrary point in time.

It is the antipodal of a resolution that was made many many moons ago, when I was a student  at school. It was a resolution firmly based in ignorance, that I'd never need to learn about/ to use computers, forget to code. It was 1992, & computers then probably cost the school a fortune. There were fewer than 2 places which had computers - those big machines which needed a home in a frigid room (a difficult venture considering power supply of about 8 hours a day, with arbitrary power cuts by the powers-that-be). I was one of two idiots (as I see the decision now) who refused to have anything to do with those beastly machines, or to get into the cold, hallowed chambers where those machines & their juice-supplying brethren  were grandly housed!

For over 9 years after that, I had very little to do with computers (why would I when they looked something like this ugly beast??), save a boneheaded decision to type del* in DOS at the behest of some learned companion on a prized possession of a pompous-ass rich-dad brat  [another story best forgotten, several lessons very well learnt].

Story made short, my re-vocation in accounting & finance made it absolutely imperative to learn to locate the power-on switch on the wretched x386 (no mean feat for me, made horribly worse that I would usually be the one to open up the office), get familiar with MS Excel (the glue that holds most firms together, despite claims by more sophisticated applications to be otherwise), patch up a network, connect & install printers, build & rebuild computers (Good heavens, how do I open this box???), install accounting applications, then other applications, train people less familiar than I was to use computers (found out that such a breed does exist! I was one too!!!) etc etc etc.

I looked on enviously as colleagues, friends etc did magic with their programming skills, finishing work quicker & having enough time to have a beer/ coffee/ smoke, while my longhand way of working meant I had no time for any of those vices - or a life outside of those long hours at work.

I've been teaching myself some VBA programming, getting help from some of the best in the Excel VBA business ( MVP's all.. Dick Kusleika, ChandooJohn Walkenbach, Debra Dalgleish, Bill Jelen, Mike Alexander, Jon Peltier via their books/ websites/ blogs/ podcasts etc) for a couple of years now, hacking/ copy-pasting together enough code to allow me to hasten the delivery of the reports-that-no-one-needs-or-reads-but-must-be-on-my-desk-in-20-minutes & get out of the cell (pun intended) of work in time to see the sunset or walk on the beach or to play with my kids.

When Fred Wilson posted this on his site as his New Year's resolution, I jumped at the opportunity to learn another languages, just to keep the grey cells grey; registered for this course, & am on my way to confound the daylights out of me. But I'm making some progress, or so I think.

Program or be programmed.
I choose the former.
Good luck to me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

FAIR Blog » Blog Archive » Pentagon Investigates Pentagon Pundits Scandal

FAIR Blog » Blog Archive » Pentagon Investigates Pentagon Pundits Scandal:

I am the judge, the jury, the accused & the victim. Justice is always served. Bravo!

Pope Benedict XVI appeals for end to discrimination against Christians

Sure Pops, let's forget the last 2000 years of persecution by the Church against non-Christians...
Why not call instead for an end to ALL discrimination??

Pope Benedict XVI appeals for end to discrimination against Christians:

Pontiff uses Vatican reception for diplomats to highlight attacks on Christians, citing recent killings in Nigeria and Pakistan

Pope Benedict XVI has made a fervent appeal for religious tolerance and an end to discrimination against Christians, two weeks after the lethal Christmas Day bombing of a church in Nigeria.

More sex please we're Christians: Texas pastor plans church rooftop bed-in

More sex please we're Christians: Texas pastor plans church rooftop bed-in:
No comments

Zimbabwe outlaws sale of used knickers

Zimbabwe outlaws sale of used knickers:
A grey market for used knickers will flourish then, won't it?
On a more serious note, however, the West's vested interests do not exist in Mugabe's Zimbabwe, so it collectively turns a blind eye to the human rights violations there.

& the local propaganda machine spews this  editorial.

Pope Benedict XVI: Gay Marriage A Threat To 'Future Of Humanity'

Pope Benedict XVI: Gay Marriage A Threat To 'Future Of Humanity':

Not so long ago, it was the man-made Church that was THE threat to the future of Humanity.

Maybe the Holy See sees that not??

Talk is cheap

Huntsman wants to bring trust into politics

New-clear Iran..

Iran not building nuclear weapons - acknowledges Panetta

Monday, January 9, 2012

Obama launches Bureau of Counterterrorism | Campaign 2012 | Washington Examiner

& now, welcome to the US' own official terrorism wing..
(as if they didn't have enough already..., you know all those fancy Three Letter Acronym departments they've already got... Shee Eye Ae, Eff Bee Eye, Dee Hech Ess, Tea Ess Ae.... )

Didn't Obama win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009?? Ah, I know, it was in anticipation of his peaceful efforts to set up World War III !!

Obama launches Bureau of Counterterrorism | Campaign 2012 | Washington Examiner:

The behemoths who control what your news is..

Who Owns the Media???

If you have been under the impression that your favourite newspapers provides true, fair, balanced etc news.. get your head examined... (after you read this)...

No wonder they want SOPA passed through!!!

More heavy-handed US tactics..

US economic threat to Spain 

The information that Wikileaks leaked shed more light on the corruption behind the "security" facade, & probably is the reason for the vendetta sought against Assange.. lock him up in the hope no others will follow his lead.. 

In a leaked letter sent to Spain’s outgoing President, the US ambassador to the country warned that as punishment for not passing a SOPA-style file-sharing site blocking law, Spain risked being put on a United States trade blacklist . Inclusion would have left Spain open to a range of “retaliatory options” but already the US was working with the incoming government to reach its goals.

on the payroll...

A top executive for the military contractor worked with lobbyists for Bahrain to publish Washington Post's Op-Ed defending the regime

On Gitmo..

Terry Carrico, Ex-Guantánamo Prison Commander, Says Facility Should Close

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Penalty? Let's just change the venue

With deep pockets, you can afford to contradict yourself, move the fight to wherever you think you have a better chance of getting your way & disregard everything else.


Ecuador court upholds $18bn penalty against Chevron

If you need support, look overseas

Britain, France, Spain, ...all have laws supporting a dying business model of the entertainment industry  that are pushed through an ignorant political leadership.

Just the support the USA needs to push through SOPA????

How Spain’s version of SOPA is setting the web on fire

A thesis from prison - Arun Ferreira

Incarcerated for 4.5 years on the allegation of being a "Naxalite", Arun Ferreira was released from prison on Wednesday. He invested the time he was in prison to gain a post-graduate diploma in human rights, & this is a link to his thesis.

A worthwhile read, & food for thought.

A thesis from Prison - Arun Ferreira


What did he just say?? [via Reuters]

Twas okay when I did it, with some little support from those guys who call themselves Nutto- "If there's no security, there will be no law, no development and no elections," he said. "People are taking the law into their own hands."

Britain and US to scale down military capability due to debt crisis

IOW, "We're broke, living on borrowed time, & these smashing toys are bleeding us faster than ever"

Britain and US to scale down military capability due to debt crisis:

UK defence secretary to say global economic slump is 'greatest strategic threat to future security' of transatlantic allies

Britain and the US, close allies who are both victims of the debt crisis, will today agree to scale down their military capability and back away from the kind of armed intervention they have enthusiastically supported in recent decades.

That will be the clear message from the first meeting between Philip Hammond, the UK's new defence secretary, and Leon Panetta, his opposite number in the Pentagon, officials say. The Washington meeting will also be the first opportunity for Hammond to confront the US over particular British concerns, notably the availability and soaring cost of the US-made joint strike fighters destined for Britain's new aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales.

Dear Photograph: The pictures that travel in time [via The Guardian]

Dear Photograph: The pictures that travel in time:

Dear Photograph started off as a nice nostalgic blog with six pictures of old family snaps lined up in their original setting. Then it went viral

Last May, Taylor Jones was sitting with his family in Ontario when his mother pulled out an old photo album. Among the hundreds of shots was one of Jones's younger brother at his third birthday party. "He was sitting in front of his Winnie-the-Pooh birthday cake," Jones recalls. "It was weird – because my brother was there, in the exact spot he was sitting in in the photograph."

Jones grabbed his camera and took a shot of the old photograph lined up to match its original location. He posted it and six others on a blog. Within days, the blog, which he later named Dear Photograph, had gone viral. Today, eight months on, Dear Photograph has had 10m hits, and been named one of Time magazine's 10 best sites. It now gets 20,000 hits a day.

The success has enabled Jones to leave his job in Ontario with RIM, makers of BlackBerrys, where he worked as a social media specialist. He recently spent time in LA, finishing a book inspired by Dear Photograph that will feature stories to go with some shots. He has also met film and TV executives to discuss projects based on the site such as a screenplay a friend wrote about using photographs to travel into the past.

Like the resurgence of Super 8 and the rebirth of the Polaroid instant camera, the success of Dear Photograph has its roots in our nostalgia for pre-digital technology: there is a crudeness to holding a picture in one hand and photographing it with the other, yet the final image has a potency that cannot be bestowed by Photoshop.

The site receives around 20 entries a day but only one is uploaded. "The photo is usually chosen depending on [what's] going on around the world," says Jones. During the holiday season, he adds, they might "post holiday photos, but it sometimes depends just on how I'm feeling. If I'm feeling great, I'm going to post a fun photo."

Scrolling through the 200 or so images currently on the site, it quickly becomes clear how much resonance the accompanying texts provide. The big themes are longing and regret. Time and again, a photograph will radiate a sadness about what has been lost: children missing their parents, parents missing their childhood.

"It's hard to see the magic through grownup glasses," runs one entry, with a shot of children in Halloween costumes. Another shows two children standing in a field of long grass, the present-day shot revealing that it has been shorn. "How I long for the days of make-believe adventures in the forest," reads the caption. "Now it's just a lawn that needs mowing." The power comes from what's been lost in the space between the old photo and the new. A proud mother holds her baby son in front of a white clapboard house. "It's nice to know that we loved each other once upon a time," reads the text.

The basic concept behind Dear Photograph is not, Jones acknowledges, all that original: sleeveface.com, (2) Irina Werning's Back to the Future series, and Ze Frank's Young Me, Now Me have explored similar territory, often revealing the passage of time by replicating old photographs using the subjects as they are today. But Jones's innovation was to allow the space to seem to talk to the photograph.

There is an irony, Jones admits, in a 22-year-old creating a site so themed around nostalgia for a vanished past. "It is a little crazy," he says, "but seeing all these photographs, and reading the stories, has given me a perspective on life. My parents are still around and I have grown a lot closer to them." Jones has resisted taking advertising, which could have made him a substantial sum; the book deal with HarperCollins has allowed him to remain financially stable. "The website is for the photographs," he says. "I don't want anything that takes the focus away from them."

on Moral Consciousness

To be capable of embarrassment is the beginning of moral consciousness. Honor grows from qualms. -John Leonard, critic (1939-2008)

No longer a crisis of confidence.. [via Guardian.co.uk]

Fresh credit crunch fears as banks park record €453bn cash with ECB: -Jill Treanor

• Move suggests banks afraid to lend to each other
• Italy's UniCredit spooks markets with cash call

The Dogs of War.. Climate War

More evidence (as if it's still required) that the US Government is now a Government "Of the Corporations, By the Corporations & For the Corporations".

The Dogs of War... Climate War.. [via New Yorker]

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Obama Signs Defense Bill Despite 'Serious Reservations'

The beginning of a not-so-happy 2012 for Americans..
Is America turning slowly but steadily into the Germany of the 1930's???

Obama Signs Defense Bill Despite 'Serious Reservations': "I want to clarify that my administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens," Obama wrote. "Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My administration will interpret section 1021 [of the bill] in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law."