Wednesday, January 11, 2012

  • From Boing Boing, today:

    The Constitution does not grant us rights. The rights exist independently of the paper they are written on. The 9th amendment makes this clear: rights exist that are not explicitly stated, and the explictly stated rights do not preclude the existence of other rights that we deem we have."The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

    I understand, somewhat, that they were clearing up confusion on the power of the Federal Government, and that the Courts have restricted the meaning of the amendment to such things. But, screw Scalia and the other Federalist apparatchiks - the thought it expresses is clear and is true. You have a right to privacy. It is a human right not to be watched like a turtle in an aquarium. To think that two hundred twenty-something years ago some men in wigs needed to write it down explicitly so we can be free from perpetual surveillance is ludicrous. A woman has a right to not get pregnant, and peering into Madison's mindset on the matter is irrelevant. Corporations aren't even mentioned in the Constitution, yet those immortal rulers of our world have far more rights than any human being. If those can claim new undocumented rights, then so do we.
  • CatbellerCollapse
    Let me put it better: a woman has a right to NOT be held down by cops to force her to become pregnant, which, ultimately, is what making birth control illegal really means. If you disobey the law, people will come and hold you down and drag you away, and if you try to escape, they will kill you, eventually, if you try too hard. A woman has a right to not have laws enacted to specifically target and torture her, just because a lot of people really really want to do it.
  • Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    I joined Google+ today with high hopes of networking without Facebook's we-own-you approach to our privacy. But now, Google is demanding we use our real names as usernames.


    Turns out that Israel has been mining social networking sites like Facebook to find pro-Palestinian activists' real names - and used that information to make (?how?) other countries refuse to let the activists leave for Israel.

    Also, during the Syrian and Egyptian uprisings, some people who used social networking tools without using Tor or VPN got themselves tortured and murdered by their governments' security goons.

    It's nice that most of you, white, well-off and well-established, foresee a life where no one will ever care what you say enough to attack you. But most of the world isn't like that. And frankly, neither is the UK, USA, Canada or Australia. You are safe and happy because you don't offend anyone who will come for you: governments, Scientology, anti-abortionist loonies, etc.

    Try openly commenting about the Moonies or Scientology sometime, something that really makes them hurt. See why privacy and it's brother, secrecy, need to exist. The Supreme Court once upheld a right - anonymous pamphleting. The decision mentions that without the ability to speak anonymously to power without repercussion, the right to free speech is meaningless. And do note that the corporations or the loons or the cults or the government won't be handing out their addresses and phone numbers to you when they attack. Power gets to be anonymous and secret when they move on you. You should demand at least the abilty to speak anonymously. We used phones for over 125+ years without sharing our personal files with who we spoke; we never had to give it up to use the internet. We were just forced to do it.

    Friday, February 04, 2011

    Corporations are government-created entities, and exist as legal fictions at our convenience, not theirs. Their job is whatever we tell them it is. Their own theory is that they exist to make profit; nicely self-serving. They exist so that a group can perform actions without exposing individuals in the group to liability. Beyond that, they made the rest up. If they are becoming a pain, we could 1) regulate them or 2) dissolve them. Yessssss. We can unmake what favors we grant. Corporations are not independent life forms divorced from their makers. They are your pet dogs, and it's time you all start remembering that you are the masters, not the hounds. Corporations used to have regulated life spans and could be and were unmade when their purposes were done. They can be again. Immortal my ass.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    Our US national phone companies didn't feel the need to track and log the phone calls of their customers for over one hundred and twenty-five years, and civilization and phone company infrastructure survived unscathed.

    As for the need to track for purposes of managing bandwidth; expand the bandwidth so that it is not necessary. The present situation, managed artificial scarcity, exists to maximize profits and provide an excuse for governments to enforce surveillance on a scale never imagined by Orwell in his darkest nightmares or Stalin's maddest dreams. There is enormous profit in the current system being used to buy up content providers and competitors, instead of expanding the current capacity so that everyone can eat all they wish. You don't become a billionaire by providing vital communications bandwidth; you become a billionaire by throttling bandwidth to maximize profits. Regulate the profits and force them to expand their bandwidth to necessary levels.

    If we allow this nonsensical excuse, bandwidth will never expand to the level we need, prices will go up, providers will "manage" us to an inch of our lives, and government/corporate power will monitor our every move until the day we die, and they will never, ever go away.

    Sunday, May 02, 2010

    The fossil-fuel energy economy will be far more damaging than any nuclear plant breakdown. Greens didn't understand the safety factors on American nuke plants, and discounted the immense potential for planetary breakdown if we didn't stop using fossil fuels.

    Now we have Chernobyl in the Gulf of Mexico. This is a Phillip Wylie disaster novel. Drill, baby, drill.

    Obama, you Neville Chamberlin-wannabe bipartisan neo-conservative dolt, you became part of it when you "compromised" with the oil barons and gave them off-shore drilling as a gift. Now, you own it.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    The proper name for this maybe-willbe Apple tablet should be the iBook.

    Apple does hold the trademark, after all. And it is an iBook.

    Monday, March 23, 2009

    Posted on Digg, re: Un-American: Have you listened to the right-wing media?

    I never really call the conservatives, except when I'm being ironic. They are right-wing. *I* am conservative.

    I believe in the Constitution, which mandates separation of Church and State. I believe that the government doesn't have the right to suspend the document.

    I believe that corporations are creatures of the government, granted existence through our grace and exist for the betterment of the country collectively, and when they go off the rails, should be disbanded for breach of the contract by which they are tolerated.

    I believe that corporations do not have superpowers that government do not have, and that government cannot use them to bypass laws on surveillance, for example.

    I believe that for the most part, we pay the bills as we go. That means no tax cuts if the bills aren't paid. That means no borrowing to pretend there are no bills. A little deficit spending during bad times is utterly necessary, as capitalism is not perfect. But deficit spending during good times to pretend and pander that taxes don't need to be paid? No.

    I believe that the Secret Service, the CIA, and all the little hunter-killer secret squads the right love so much should be brought back under government control.

    I believe in a public good that overrides immediate private gain. I have a lot of good company in that belief.

    I believe that destroying other countries for economic gain is a losing proposition that costs us skyscrapers in the short run and pariah hood and bankruptcy in the long run.

    I believe that what a person does to his brain chemistry is his business, and that the consequences of that experimentation belong to him as well. I do not believe that the armed forces and police exist to force us to be the perfect humans that some want us to be - and that those "some" are some of the worst liars and hypocrites in that regard.

    I believe that those who want to go to war against other countries for no damned reason but power/money should be forced to spend their own damned lives and their children's as well, or forfeit the right to vote for such invasions. You want the oil, go shoot them yourselves, or shut up.

    That a start. That's conservative. The right are just... radicals. Disconnected, spoiled and false-to-fact.
    Twitter is an original idea? Um, no.

    Twitter users: you've rediscovered the AOL chatroom experience, circa 1993. Congrats. Yeah, it was and is fun.

    But it ain't original.
    Is Twitter the Vengeance of the Popular Kids' Lunch Table?

    Seriously. The tech world has long been dominated by loner geeks: those who wouldn't be dating the cheerleader from the Popular Table in the school lunchroom.

    I'm listening to Leo LaPorte's TWIT podcast, just downloaded fresh this morning. And Twitter, as they mention, has consumed the tech world. And Twitter is nothing but a popularity contest, and rewards and enriches the Kool Kids, with little regard to their actual abilities in tech. I could name names - Keeevvvvinn... Alexxxx....

    TWIT has become a millionaires' club, full of 1) Young 2) Attractive people from wealthy/upper middle class backgrounds who behold endless vistas of opportunity before them. This is well and good, as such always are on top. But Twitter is supercharging the Kool Kids, while the tech duds who have always made this wonderful new world are becoming hangers-on, fans, recipients of restraining orders metaphorically who aren't invited to the tech table.

    And yes, they were once the only occupants of that table. But like all other human endeavors, the business is being overwhelmed by celebrity and beauty and priviledge. Such is life.
    Noticing here that the Apple stock didn't get trounced after the iPhone 3.0 announcement. Perhaps Apple's puzzling decision to stop announcing new products on a predictable semi-annual schedule and instead pop them out randomly with almost no notice to anyone has screwed up the stock-shorting geniuses' timing. About damned time.
    The Wall Street Journal says that Netflix stock is overvalued, despite the fact they are taking over the video market and have future revenues of Apple-like levels stretching out before them.

    Someone has decided it is time to short the stock and suck the profits out of its marrow. The Real Stock Market is about to fleece current shareholders of yet another excellent company. Get a cat food casserole recipe book, kids, your Uncle Wall Street's about to steal your future again.

    Tuesday, March 17, 2009

    Apple is about to release iPhone 3.0 in an hour. Gentleman, start shorting the stocks! Whee!

    Cramer actual admits talking Apple stock prices up and then immediately selling short and talking the price down again. He said it was easy to do an very profitable as well.

    I said some time back that Apple announcements always caused a major shortselling spree. I keep taking a bath on this, while the stockbrokers make bank.

    Stewart is right. There are two stock markets, one for the 401K suckers, and the real one that only big boys play in.

    Thursday, March 12, 2009

    Now it is possible, with lithium titanate or lithium iron phosphate batteries, to charge a car's battery pack in minutes. However, people are pointing out that it would take a 180 KW pipe to charge the car. Not available. Fail, say they.

    Think a little. What you need is a sidewalk or garage capacitor/battery array that charges slowly and constantly off a 120 or 240 volt pipe from the grid or your solar array. When you want to charge the car, plug 'er into the sidewalk/garage battery/capacitor, and then blow all that power into the car in ten minutes.

    Monday, March 09, 2009

    The Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper died today.

    Comedy Central should form a news team, hell, a news network, around its Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert core group. Comedians of the "left" seem to be much more informed then the "middle" wing of the various mainstream news media.

    Stewart understands that he needs the news networks to actually provide him some news to work with. But that seems less probable as the few outfits left coalesce into a few rightwing corporate news organizations.

    The liberals need to move. We need more newsrooms, with clearsighted reporters and a lack of "balance".

    Tuesday, March 03, 2009

    What? - no one has noticed that Rush Limbaugh is running for president?

    Friday, February 06, 2009

    Fire Sale!

    I hear the talking Democratic heads on Rachel Madow carefully pointing out that the Republicans should remember that so much depends on what they do right now - depression or recession, loss or win.

    Damn. I must point out what they surely know but cannot say - but should.

    If the economy tanks, if we enter a Greater Depression, those who hold wealth - and Republicans represent them - will be in a position unmatched in human history to buy up the planet's assets at depressed prices, as the deflation cycle finally ignites later this year. If we collapse, they will buy us. And in ten, twenty years, they will have used their newly-purchased positions as lairds of all to redirect civilization into something they enjoy, a true corporatocracy. And they will be wealthy beyond any conception most can summon today. We will see trillionaires. We will see gods. And they will live for over a century, as they will be able to purchase future bio-tech to keep them alive long after we wish they would simply die already.

    This is not a game. Watch what the banks are doing with all that cash they demanded and received under Bush. They are not lending it out - they are buying rival banks at depressed prices. Watch that trend intensify, and watch other wealthy actors move to copy them.

    Sure they want new tax cuts for capital gains and corporations. The more money to buy us out, the better. And we'd have given them the money to do it with.

    Wednesday, February 04, 2009

    Friday, January 23, 2009

    So Obama frees the stem cell lines for research today.

    A ban Bush put in place to save baby souls.

    And remember this well: he took a week off to think about this subject before issuing the ban. Went on a retreat, listened to "spiritual leaders" about the subject. What didn't he do that very special week?

    I'll give you a hint: he didn't read a report called "Bin Laden determined to strike within the United States", which was presented to him for action. He told the CIA rep, "Okay, you covered your ass." Literally said that. On the record.

    He saved the garbage-bound embryonic souls, tho, and that was more important, if, of course, were you religiously insane.

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    If George Bush has left the White House already, who the hell is the President at the moment? Is he phoning it in?

    Friday, January 09, 2009

    Paper vs. electronic ballots

    I can't stress enough: Franken could win this election because the voters, through their election process, could count the actual ballots, on actual solid really real pieces of paper.

    If an electronic system was in place, no recount would be possible, as the ballots would be unexaminable and totals only available through the kindness of private companies. Franken would have lost, been robbed, had electronic voting machines been used, and Coleman would have won, as did so many Republicans have done in the past eight years, through the use of magical mystery machines.

    Thursday, January 08, 2009

    It struck me, in the few minutes of one of the Obama/McCain debates last year, that Obama would be a Republican in the America I grew up in. I remarked that he was just another Republican, in my rude fashion, to my couchmates at the time.

    So today, Firedog lake diarist DeanBaker reports that Obman is thinking of "restructuring" Social Security and Medicare to bring it in line with our national debt. In other words, he's long bought into the myth that Social Security and Medicare is bankrupt.

    Recall that the Social Security trust fund was supercharged with increased taxes in the early Eighties for the sole purpose of being fully capable of handling the Baby Boomers in the 21st century. And that the fund was stolen - "borrowed" - in 1985 by Reagan and a compliant Congress to assuage the deficit and increasing national debt brought on by the supply-side tax cuts that have crippled us and the world.

    The "restructuring, as DeanBaker reminds us, is a robbery of the trust fund's IOU's, a default on repayment on the loans made to the Greed is Gooders of the Eighties. Even tho it was long shown that the SS killers' arguments were based on incredibly manipulated data - see Krugman for details - Obama has bought into the rightist screed. We have another Republican, ladies and germs.

    Friday, January 02, 2009

    Here it is, a new Watchmen trailer, now with extra Rorschach!

    Sunday, December 21, 2008

    Gentle Reader, Al Franken looks like he will win the recount of the votes for the seat of Senator from Minnesota.

    This will be because, Albert Gore take note, he did not give in and concede the election to look like a statesman to the opposition party, which does not give a damn about such things.

    And, this is the most important thing: the votes were on paper. Paper can be reexamined. Computers produce whatever they are told to produce by a programmer.

    A recount of paper votes, a candidate who learned the lessons of e-voting in 2000 along with the rest of the sane, and a media that did not give Coleman the win no matter how much he whined, all these factors gave the real winner the office.

    Wednesday, December 17, 2008

    Well, Children, it looks like OPEC is getting its act together and will cut oil production to raise prices.

    This is the final hammer, the trigger of Depression II. If inflation kicks back on, and no reason why not, that's the Reagonomic apocalypse. Credit collapse combined with rising prices. Damn.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    Shoe throwing Iraqi jounalist Muntathar is being tortured

    According to this Iraqi's blog, shoe-hurling journalist Muntathar is being beaten, and his colleagues were arrested and stripped. American media not covering the story, as far as I can see.

    read more | digg story

    Non-union Toyota factory cuts production, says sales down

    Toyota has announced that it has halted the start of construction of Priuses in their new, non-union 300 million dollar factory in Blue Springs, Mississippi. No word if their low, non-union labor costs have crippled their efforts to compete in the world market. Should we let them go bankrupt to eliminate their expensive non-union labor force?

    read more | digg story

    Muntadhar al-Zaidi, thrower of the shoe, was tortured. Digg it here.

    Damn, it's hard to learn HTML and blogging on the fly.

    Wednesday, November 26, 2008

    Originally posted on on Wednesday, November 26, 2008.

    Why CNN Struggles to Cover The Economic Panic

    November 26, 2008 8:06am

    I feel like a man who has spent seven years in a bomb shelter, who is now opening the hatch into a new, strange world.

    I haven't watched TV or flown on a plane since the year 2000. I stopped listening to radio in 2001 when a favorite Sunday morning radio piece on NPR was shrilly, angrily calling anyone who questioned Bush's war on Iraq a traitor. And that was the LIBERAL. I knew my country had gone insane.

    Point: I am in a world of people who can't process data.

    At least America, some of them, are figuring out that there is no "terrorist" threat that requires our complete and utter devotion and treasury.

    While America was looking for box cutters like a vampire counting beans, I watched the debt climb into Death's country. I watched the tax cuts and the insane military spending drive us into China's newly moneyed arms. I watched a Forever War making many rich and bankrupting the nation.

    I watched the housing bubble and cried havoc. I warned people that it would burst and take out all the "wealth" that we thought we had made since 2000.

    I saw the derivative market grow; I heard Buffet warn us that it would destroy us. Where were my people? Watching Iraq being destroyed in yet another Friedmanite takeover of a foreign market.

    I didn't know about the re-re-re-leveraged mortgage debt, but I should have guessed, watching my mortgage change hands so many times.

    This wasn't a surprise, this depression. Not only have we made our castle of money on a hill of derivatives sand, but we happily sent our industry overseas while giving the finger to the unions. Pension funds were outright stolen to fund corporations to overwhelming approval. Bankruptcy was made almost impossible for a normal human to use. All it took was a match. And the oil companies and the traders that finance them lit the match.

    We watched in puzzlement as oil and commodity prices, set by casinos, when into the danger range. We watched jobs disappear, and almost no one connected the next dot, which was a wave of default and foreclosure. The match lit the can of gasoline.

    Financial engineers had packaged mortgage debt and sold it as AAA rated investments to the entire world, and everyone made out like bandits. But the insurance company, AIG, which was Too Big To Fail, was unregulated and did not have to actually have the ability to cover losses if a wave of foreclosures hit. The gasoline can started the neighborhood on fire.

    Everyone assumed bubbles go on forever. For the Smartest Men in the Room, who got out early and are now posed to buy our country for pennies on the dollar, this has been a raging success. You all are not processing this: this is Disaster Capitalism. They made a fortune, and now the disaster they made is the opportunity to buy us cheaply. And here's what is making people so surprised and puzzled: they are being gifted with 8 trillion of our money,with no strings, to buy us up with. Truly, it is good to be Milton Friedman's Chicago Boys. After Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Indonesia, Poland, China and Russia, the United States of America is now similarly poised in shock, waiting for the Brick, the book the free-marketers used so many times in other countries, to be opened and used against us. We're about to be Russianized, kids. Shock them until they're dazed and uncomprehending, then hit them with "reforms" too fast to follow until that perfect market is achieved, and half the country - actually, more - is made destitute and invisible.

    At least, that's how it usually went. Here's hoping Obama doesn't listen to the Chicago School Boys, as so many did before.

    Originally posted on, Tuesday, November 25, 2008.

    Hey. Sorry, but this IS all about political bullshit, as one of you put it.

    This is not a random crisis which no one could foretell. We have numbers and we have causes, and they do correlate.

    The root cause is ideological. After the financial collapses of 1871 and 1929, it became apparent that the financial markets could not be allowed to do whatever they liked, devil take the hindmost. Regulations were passed. The usual suspects screamed communism, and spent a dreary half century demonizing those who created the regulated market.

    Milton Friedman, creator Chicago School of economics, created the era of super-capitalism, the unregulated (as much as they could) bubble economies.

    His boy, one Ronald Reagan, cut taxes, killed social spending, deregulated the markets as much as possible, increased military spending, and ran up the debt like a drunken sailor. Good times for those who made out like bandits. Savings and Loans companies were the first explosion of the unregulated market. Taxpayers bailed them out.

    Clinton came in, cut spending, increased the taxes back to saner levels, pulled the economy out of the tailspin, and actually started to pay down the debt. Largest expansion of an economy in world history. Also, he was a free-marketer, and started deregulating trade, tho not so much the financial markets.

    Bush enters, and out-Reagans Reagan by simply installing the foxes in all the regulatory henhouses. The actual laws passed under Clinton and Bush are irrelevant, as they were not enforced, so not pertinent to the discussion of blame. The financial markets learned to leverage debt with unsecured insurance, and became rich. The "money" made was leveraged and re-leveraged in a dizzying spiral; derivatives went from a seven trillion dollar pile in 1999 to over seventy trillion in 2008. This money was all bits and bytes, cross-hatched financial cats-cradles made of imagined wealth based on the housing bubble.

    All bubbles end. But the Fed, under Ayn Rand boy, kept lowering the rates to keep a hot housing market that should have cooled in 2003 going until 2006. The economy had no growth in the uh-ohs but for the money "made" in rising home values. A guinea pig that could read the newpaper on the bottom of his cage could predict what would happen next.

    The price of oil spiked, because of the wonderful new game that commodity players learned through the example of Enron; choke supply, don't build refineries, and prices go up.

    The economy constricted, and home prices finally slowed and then started to collapse. No money, no purchases, supply and demand. SOMEthing had to burst the bubble.

    Big bit: 2005, Congress makes it all but impossible for consumers to go bankrupt. Uh-ohhhh....

    So, the poorest or more unlucky - usually health care costs cause bankruptcy - started to default. This was inevitable, and NOT the product of laziness or greed or stupidity. In a gas leak, the weakest respiratory systems die first. That's all. When the bubble breaks, the weak go first.

    The collapse that we are gloriously observing had to happen at some time. The house of cards, the vaporous pile of "cash" that was leveraged into every aspect of out lives, did not really exist except on the books of con men.

    Those con men, having merged their businesses without government constraint for decades, were so large that their falls would collapse the world's economy. So we are now pledged to pay them - directly! - with no strings - almost eight thousand billion dollars right now, more than all the wars, land purchases, foreign aid and NASA budgets combined in all our history. And that's just the start. The businessmen who ruthlessly gamed an unregulated market are now literally being handed the keys to our treasury and all our future wealth as a token to assuage their failure. And still no regulation.

    And key: the supply-side tax cuts were supposed to enable those who had wealth to create industry and jobs for all. This did not happen. They exported jobs to countries employing, practically, slave labor, killed retail by consolidating into superstores, stole the pension funds, killed the unions, slashed wages and health care, and told those who gave warning to grow up and learn a new trade. The money made in the economy was not invested in jobs, but in new forms of wealth. Our standard of living drops.

    This was all ideology and politics. The neo-cons, the deregulators, the tax cutters, those who demanded that the government spend itself to literal death are winning. Our country will be sold, is being sold, for pennies on the dollar. We've been conned.

    You are not witnessing a failure of ideology, but a triumph of planning. They are charging us top dollar to execute ourselves.

    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Market. That would be my phrase: just getting that point out there. Crain's Chicago Business, a Chicago paper, claims in a front page story that the Chicago School of economics is now in the doghouse due to the ongoing rain of financial wreckage falling around our ears. Damn it, Obama, you'd better not bring in some of that dross when you bring in the Hyde Park brain trust to DC.
    Well, that election went well. Yes, I wasn't there, but damn, didn't Lieberman pull the same damned stunt again? He's now, or may be, the 60th vote to kill a fillibuster, so they are letting him sit on his chairmanship where he will no doubt still block all investigations into the Bush administration, while exercising "bipartisanship" by letting a thousand Whitewaters bloom against Obama.

    Al Franken is closing the gap in the recount for the Minnesota Senator race. If the trend continues, Al may just win.

    Friday, October 03, 2008

    ALL RIGHT! I tend to not post for a while.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    For the record, today I coined the neologism "hippyphone" on Slashdot. Just to let y'all know, that was mine.

    A hippyphone is a wifi, meshed, encrypted, free phone system, distributed against the collective cell phone (read: government's) companies most strenuous objections. Should run on open bands, but no doubt would be crushed under boots wielding a battering ram almost immediately.

    Tuesday, March 04, 2008

    On today (Moses was high on drugs, Israeli researcher says), someone posted about Mohamed the prophet:

    He didn't need drugs he had pre-pubescent girls and boys for pleasure instead.

    I posted:

    Unlike the Bible?

    For each sequential near-genocidal attack on peaceful Semitic city-states, God commands the Israelis to kill all the men but keep the hot women and young girls for slavery (wink-wink) so as to bear strong Israeli children through rape.

    Um, Lot has guests at his home who he knows to be angels, tho he pretends not to know this. A crowd shows up, demanding he toss the strangers to them for fun and death. Lot, no fool he, curries favor with the LORD and the angels by offering up his weeping virginal girl children to the crowd for mass rape and probably death. As a reward, the LORD lets him get out of town before the LORD murders everyone in a firestorm. Stupid woman looks back, of course, and gets what's coming to her -- horrifying unworldly death. Lot, you see, is a Godly man.

    Um, for disobeying the LORD, Eve and every woman who will ever live must give birth in pain, IE her easy-exit vagina became one inch in diameter, incapable of passing the melon-sized baby head. God doesn't like women much. I assume Caesarean sections are an afront to the LORD.

    Lemme see, how many rapes and tricks to get women into his bed did King David pull? I recall him sending his son off to die to nail his daughter-in-law. And do you think all of Solomon's wives were 21 and over? Sleeping with prepubescents was common up until VERY recently.

    Lemme see, didn't Noah's or Abraham's daughters get him drunk to knock themselves up with him while he was passed out? Bible stories are fun.

    Lemme see more: Jesus the God or Prophet at the end of days will send every non-believer into the fiery pit to burn forever and ever time without end - Revelations. I assume all the Muslims, including little boys and girls, will be burning there too, which will probably hurt more than sex.

    And this you believe is superior to Islam? BOTH BOOKS are rife with rape, child sex and horror. All you really need to take away from both books is: don't hurt people. don't murder. don't steal. don't lie. And you don't need a book or a fiery pit to believe that.

    All the rest is just priests, prophets and kings demanding money, power, and tail, all pretending to be the voice of the LORD.

    Friday, February 29, 2008

    Yahweh of the Old Testament runs his human gerbils in a giant Stanford/Milgram experiment. ALL arguments are from authority and cannot be denied. Abraham sacrificing his son with blade and fire - a test of how far the "teacher" (of Abraham's son) will go if ordered to do so. (This story is basic and older than the Hebrews, having shown up in tablets from Ebla that predate Israel by a thousand years). Morality is obedience, obedience is morality.

    Yahweh orders his people to kill for him, rape for him, dash the heads of little children for him -- love is earned through complete and utter obedience to the words of the priests as the voice of Yahweh, and the result of refusing his orders is conflagration, flood, torture, mass death, on and on. As time went on, the commandments became more detailed and sillier, far more than the original 10/12/18. There are volumes devoted to how much detailed obedience is expected from the gerbils, down to shaving and no doubt toenail maintenance. The Lord thy God is an anal God.

    Yahweh is also only concerned with Abraham's selected descendants. Everyone else in the world is a gerbil pellet, suitable for consumption or mulching, depending on Yahweh's current mood. (The LORD is [cranky] today).
    If you really want to make an atheistic movie, make the Bible. No interpretations, just what's in the Bible. The god-mandated rapes and child killing, the incest and wars for property, the abject lack of any moral vision other than obedience to the authority of the priests and prophets and occasionally a king or two, all informing us as to what god wants. And we can leave Jesua bin Josef out of it; he barely exists as a voice. And he believed wholeheartedly in the complete canon of his holy books, blood-soaked genocidal god and all, so he doesn't get a pass from me. And of course, never leave out Revelations, where Jesua the Demigod tosses people who don't believe in him into a blast furnace of eternal torture for ever and ever. There are army torture manuals with kinder instructions than that hellish book.
    Don't have a pony to back in the Obama/Clinton match-up. In my thoughts, I'd imagined them agreeing that the runner-up would be asked to be Vice-President.

    That was before it turned out that the Clintons were members of the Klan all along. Imagine my surprise, as Bill had lost the governorship of Arkansas once to the white supremacist backlash to his civil rights beliefs as governor. And Richard Mellon Scaife used Arkansas as a fertile cesspool to drag up all sorts of liars to smear the President for eight long years, all based on the state's inhabitants' seething hatred for the "nigger-lover" Clinton.

    But Obama is now up by 7 points because Bill Clinton posited that blacks would tend to vote for Obama. He and his wife were smeared as racists by Clinton-hating Demos -- lookin' at you, Buzzflash and Huffingtonpost -- and Hillary lost her lead decisively.

    Fun fact for today: Obama lectured African Americans to turn off their TV, take care of their kids and raise their grades by, among other things, not feeding them Popeye's Chicken for breakfast. Okay, the last bit was about feeding them right, but it sounded cooler to conflate getting fat to getting good grades.

    I'm waiting for Buzzflash and Huffingtonpost to call out Obama for his blatant stereotyping of African-Americans and his secret racism that caused him to make such vile comments. Can you IMAGINE the cable networks and Huffingtonpost .com reacting to Senator or President Clinton if either had said anything remotely like that to a predominately black audience? Holy Mother of Chuthulu!

    BTW: Buzzflash dude? You invited us to get lost if we thought your Clinton hatred was distorting your reporting. I have taken you up on your offer. I'd like that donation back, as well. I don't donate to political hitmen. I'd like news, please.

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008

    Someone is making a shitload of money shorting Apple stock today. Stock has gone down about 20 percent in a few hours -- this is intentional. Brokers will make piles shorting, then buying the stock at bargain prices. They are having a party. Meanwhile, old fashioned conservative investors are being wrecked. And this for a company making records sales...

    Wednesday, May 09, 2007

    Says here that next week VOIP calls from major providers must be made tappable by good ol' Homeland Security. Seig heil and all that.

    Um, guys? Word from an old techie? We don't need Skype to make a VOIP call. We were making VOIP calls before some enterprising businessman decided to hook it up to the main phone system.

    Anyone can use some easy to find software and make a PC to PC VOIP call without bothering Skype. And here's the kicker: you can encrypt the communications.

    So who the hell are they trying to listen to? Can you name one -- ONE -- terrorist (what is that, anyway?) that uses the internet to do anything sneaky?

    The "enemy" doesn't use VOIP. We the people do. They want to listen in on us, on peace protestors and Democrats, oh my.

    Wednesday, April 18, 2007

    Guns can't be controlled. How exactly would we do it? House to house searches, Iraq style? How many people would we be willing to put in prison for non-compliance? Does anyone think that Americans with guns are going to give them up because a law is passed? Are we willing for Prohibition III, the biggest and most futile of them all? What happens when fifty million or so people decide the law is wrong and resist -- some of them willing to fight? The tradition of owning weapons is seared into the culture. There is no way to oppose it without physical confrontation with the population of the U.S. Haven't we had enough stupid wars against our own people to "protect" them from some evil we believe they shouldn't embrace?

    Coming soon will be homemade lasers, Faraday cannon, railguns... we can't stop people from having or making weapons. All we can do is make sure the penalties are high for using them.

    As for the insane or the mentally sick, we will always have them. A lone kid can take out dozens with a sword if he's clever. Easy to make as well. They are successful because no one can anticipate madness at any moment -- no matter how many metal detectors, pat-downs, dog searches you throw at humans, a determined killer will always find a way. No one can anticipate every methodology. A new one will be invented as soon as one is deterred.

    And we only think this is some new phenomenon because we can't do web or Lexis searches on the 19th century. You all don't seriously believe no farmboy went to school one day in 1845 and killed all his classmates? This has happened before and will again. What we really need to do is stop giving these psychopaths media coverage. THAT is the new factor in the would-be murderer's world - he knows that he will be on the news instantly, and be famous as long as a clip of file footage on YouTube or whatever exists. We've made them celebrities. We've given their psychoses grand scale.

    Sunday, April 15, 2007

    Today, I experienced my first bandwidth throttling by my ISP.

    Randomly: ISPs claim that they cannot provide the service at the speeds we contract for. This would be called "breach of contract", except, of course, we have no contract, not one that previous eras would recognize. An ISP contract says, in so many words, that you contract to give them money, and per terms, cannot change the contract. However, they reserve the right to alter the contract at any time. Therefore, you, as a customer, have all the rights of a telephone pole. They can change the service terms, raise the price, alter your service, allow Homeland Security to monitor, and you can go pay them, or cancel and pay an enormous fee for the privilege. This is not how business is run in a "free market". The market is only free for them.

    They claim costs have risen. I know for a fact they contract out the labor to what are really day workers with no benefits, people just this side of janitorial labor. Labor costs are down since 1990, when I last yakked about this. The ISPs in general seem to have billions to buy each other, so apparently they aren't broke.

    Equipment costs are high, but are they high in proportion to the growth in the customer base and revenue? If not, perhaps we need more competition in the equipment industry, because Cisco is gouging. Free market seems to have failed there.

    In 1992 and 1993, lumber prices jumped 300% or so overnight. During the Bush and Reagan administrations, corporate buyouts and mergers of local lumber companies created a de facto polyopoly that had the power to jack board feet prices. They blamed Clinton. In 1996, a congressional investigation of the collusion to fix prices was shut forcefully down by the Contract on America crew. At this date, the WTO has sanctioned the US over a dozen times for refusing to permit Canadians to import lumber at lower cost to consumers than our thieves are charging. We now build furniture out of steel; we build our walls from steel and cover it with chalk and paper boards. There is no shortage of wood in Canada, but somehow we can't buy it at costs that threaten the men who cornered the commodity and distribution markets.

    In 1996, the ISPs of the US demanded and received billions in tax cuts specifically to roll out fiber-to-the-home to prevent just this "bottleneck" in available bandwidth. That money was directed to profit, and was stolen, in plain language. They were paid to build high speed networks from federal taxes, and they ran away with the money. Now they lecture us about the costs of running underbuilt networks and the need to raise prices and throttle bandwidth.

    In 1990, we were happily speculating that we would build our own ethernet-based local community ISPs with gigabit speeds to the home. The equipment was relatively cheap then: cards and routers and old PCs could do the switching, and we would buy T1s or T3s to access the broader network. Wireless was an even bigger possibility. Wouldn't even have to run wires! Now we have PCs the size of matchbooks that can act as routers. Cheaper, faster, better.

    Some actually went and did it; then towns themselves started to build their own ISPs. And the ISPs sued. Now it's pretty much impossible to build a cheap community net, because it would be "unfair" to the businesses who wouldn't be able to compete. Communists, they were called. The free market religion explicitly killed all real competition. And under Bush, there is no one to stop them, especially not the FCC, loaded with the very people they are supposed to be regulating.

    Remember also that ISPs are exempted from responsibility for content on their networks because they are a common carrier, like a phone company or a mail service. If they are actively monitoring, throttling and blocking communications based on their profit needs, they are not a common carrier. Certain legal protections are not valid for non-common carriers, freedom from lawsuits about copyright infringement the biggest.

    As I warned eight years ago, the company that builds plumbing should not own the water going through. It has led to the situation in which the ISPs are jealously watching their users, trying to determine if they are using the Internet to host servers. HEY! the Internet is designed to be a web of servers! It can't work as designed if businessmen are shutting off the water if they think they see we are pumping our own water (content) at cheaper prices.

    The pipes are NOT theirs. Number one, they create monopoly status rather quickly, so granting them that eliminates competition and raises prices. Two, they were given billions in 1996 to pay for the networks, whether they built them as agreed or not. Three, they are given rights of way by communities and are expected to provide service at reasonable prices, not whatever they can get away with. Four, cable and phone companies got their start by being granted monopolies in whatever cities they built. They were hardly businessmen taking their chances. They were handed the profits on a platter for decades.

    There is no shortage of bandwidth. There is a concerted non-effort not to build pipe after they were paid to do so. A lot of pipe was built,fiber optic pipe, that stayed dark because they deemed it uneconomical to light it up. Said they overbuilt, and no one needed the glass after all. They stole the money we gave them to fiber our homes. They are classically creating an artificial shortage, exactly the way Enron's "geniuses" did in California with electricity. They are playing commodity broker games, jacking prices by simply not doing what their business dictates they should: increase capacity. It's win-win for them: refuse to build capacity and price per byte transmitted goes up... High demand? Kill the supply, price goes up.

    And now it's pretty much illegal for Bob Smith to set up a wireless community network and provide megabits for dollars a month. That's competition for you: buy a lawyer, no more competition.

    Internet capacity is not all that expensive. We could build wireless mesh networks, coupled with ethernet land lines, and maybe someday use LED or laser light to provide backbones on community line-of-sight networks. We don't need them. The big boys are using the eight year loss of signal from the regulators to brainwash da publick into thinking that the way they provide pipe is the only way it can be.

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    And he was the definitive Bright.
    Just realized: Isaac Asimov was the first blogger. He detailed his life in every essay and article he wrote, each eight-hour workday of his life. We've thousands of his posts. He was a early PC adopter, using his TRS-80; we never would have pried his fingers off of his PC today, had he not been removed from our lives. He would have loved blogging. I wonder what the would have said, these past seven years.

    Monday, April 09, 2007

    Well, I didn't know this! I am a Bright.

    Houston, we have a word! The world is moved with a single word. If you create a word, you can create a universe.

    I am not an atheist; the term is loaded with presuppositions of a binary choice that is obviously false, given the number of religions in the world. Agnostic is a word I used frequently, but Dr. Dawkins has convinced me that some things are knowable to be false, or at least so unsupportable as to be labeled false until someone comes up with better evidence, or indeed any evidence at all.

    We are the Brights!

    Sunday, April 08, 2007

    People who truly believe in an eternal hell never imagine themselves in it. Hell is for other people. It's designed for other people.

    Wednesday, November 22, 2006

    Posted on Huffingtonpost. com today:

    Not believing in a religion is not a belief.

    Everyone is an atheist, by the definition given. Do you believe in Krishna? No? You're an atheist. Thor? Atheist. Ishtar? Souless you are.

    The implication here is that God exists, and to not believe is in itself an act of faith, therefore a religion itself.

    This shouldn't even be a debate. Atheism is a term loaded with assumptions. The problem is sematic -- most problems with humans are semantic in origin.

    Faith is the belief in something without proof. I'll give you that I have faith in the rights of man as stated by Jefferson. I know there is no rational basis for it. But it is a faith necessitated by a need for humane structure for society, not a need to believe that a superhuman told me to believe so.

    Faith is not the same as religion. Religion is a belief in beings that by definition are always outside the sphere of reason and evidence. Being or beings. Agents, projections of the id onto the universe. And it always seems to boil down to holy writ and forced impression on children to carry the line forward.
    Two racist black men walk into this night club, see, and scream down the comedian with prejudiced epithets, calling him a cracker and a white boy, interrupting his professional work and infuriating the comic.

    The comic cuts loose with a Pryoresque tirade, returning their own racism with matching fire. Apparently he was funny. Took them down.

    But his career is in ruins, and the racists who should have been tossed from the club become heroes and victims.

    Would a black comedian have been disgraced using the same words? No? Racism, in the raw. Soooo. You are a racist has-been only if you're pale? Where is the condemnation of the racists who spewed forth their hatred in the nightclub? Are they unemployable now? Who exactly are the racists in this situation? Why is making fun of the asshats who were doing their reverse-KKK, using the "nigger" word, such a horror?

    Tarantino was right. The word "nigger" needs to lose its voltage. I hear the word dozens of times a day -- if blacks want the word to die, they should start thinking about not using it themselves.

    And blacks have their own words for whites with the same voltage as "nigger". It's just not talked about, because that would be racist.

    Racist, the term, does not mean "disrepectful to blacks". It means to demean or discriminate against another because of their "race", whatever that means, as the term has no meaning in science. Skin color, then.

    Why is this a national story while thousands die in our occupation of Iraq? Too easy and fun to cover, I guess. Cheap advertising dollars for your show, no heavy lifting or thinking involved. Gets you brownie points.

    Monday, November 20, 2006

    Definition of a police state: when the police stop being our protectors, and start being our prison guards.

    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Ted Rall at the Smirking Chimp is saying in his article today entitled "Our Long National Nightmare Has Just Begun: Like Cornered Rats, GOP Losers More Dangerous Than Ever", what I've been thinking since last January:
    In January 2006 HomeSec awarded a $385 million contract to Kellogg, Brown and Root, the subsidiary of Halliburton Co., to build "temporary detention and processing capabilities"--internment camps--"in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs."
    Let me add, that quote was from Halliburton's main web page back in January.

    Let's say it. The concentration camps are being built, the laws are in place to grab us, and the National Guard has been placed under Bush's control. We've a war coming up, a civil war between the PNACers and the United States of America.

    Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    Senate nominally Democratic, but will be a Republican majority in a pinch.

    And, the author begins to order his thoughts about "conspiracies" and misunderstood e-voting dangers

    Looks like my option (1) from yesterday came true: a Democratic majority Senate only with Lieberman cooperating, or if he turns traitor, Cheney will break the tie votes in Bush's favor. The Democrats really haven't taken control of the Senate: Lieberman has. And he's itching for some payback. Lieberman will decide who sits on any the Supreme Court seat that comes open, for instance.

    I'll have some words later on the idea that the voting machine conspiracy theory has been proven wrong. For one, I hate the term "conspiracy theory". The idea that a worldwide communist movement which secretly moved to destroy American freedom existed in the 1900's was the ultimate -- and dead wrong -- conspiracy theory, yet it is accepted as gospel by nearly every person in the U.S. Tweaking a few voter cards or mangling the totals in a Windows server box which counts up voter totals from cards isn't that big a deal. One person could do it, so by definition it wouldn't be a conspiracy.

    More later.