Thursday, April 30, 2009

Foxtons in court fight over 'unfair' contracts - Home News, UK - The Independent

Foxtons in court fight over 'unfair' contracts - Home News, UK - The Independent
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Maggie and me: By those who love her (and those who didn't) - UK Politics, UK - The Independent

Maggie and me: By those who love her (and those who didn't) - UK Politics, UK - The Independent
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Battle of the Berlusconis: Italy's first couple at war over 'harem' - Europe, World - The Independent

Ho much longer, in this age of serious climate, economic, social and geo-political instability, will we in the west persist with celebrity politics. Italy has almost run itself into the ground and has long been talked of as the Sick Man of Europe, all during the time when Berlusconi, in or out of office, has held a stranglehold on the country. France has Sarkozy; Britain is obsessed with Brown's inability to be slick.

Battle of the Berlusconis: Italy's first couple at war over 'harem' - Europe, World - The Independent
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Consumer poll boosts hopes for recovery | Business | The Guardian

Consumer poll boosts hopes for recovery | Business | The Guardian
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Economy Shrinks at Fastest Rate Since 1950s - NYTimes.com

Economy Shrinks at Fastest Rate Since 1950s - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Michael Tomasky: Arlen Specter joins Obama and the Democratic party | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Michael Tomasky: Arlen Specter joins Obama and the Democratic party | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter switches party to become Democrat | World news | guardian.co.uk

Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter switches party to become Democrat | World news | guardian.co.uk
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Swedish ISPs Obstruct New Anti-Piracy Legislation | TorrentFreak

Swedish ISPs Obstruct New Anti-Piracy Legislation | TorrentFreak
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Tories increase lead to 19 per cent as Labour suffer in wake of Budget - UK Politics, UK - The Independent

A huge majority of people want to know more about Tory policies; by 79 to 14 per cent, they want Mr Cameron to be clearer about what he would do about the economy if he were prime minister. The view is not confined to people who do not intend to vote Tory; some 82 per cent of Tory supporters want to know more, as do 84 per cent of Labour supporters and 83 per cent of Liberal Democrat supporters.
Tories increase lead to 19 per cent as Labour suffer in wake of Budget - UK Politics, UK - The Independent
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Polish pianist stops show with anti-US tirade | Music | The Guardian

"Get your hands off my country," Zimerman told the stunned crowd in a denunciation of US plans to install a missile defence shield on Polish soil. Some people cheered, others yelled at him to shut up and keep playing. A few dozen walked out, some of them shouting obscenities.

"Yes," Zimerman responded with derision, "some people when they hear the word military start marching."
Polish pianist stops show with anti-US tirade | Music | The Guardian
Blogged with the Flock Browser

US admits responsibility for emissions to bring big polluters together | Environment | guardian.co.uk

US admits responsibility for emissions to bring big polluters together | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Monday, April 27, 2009

.: United States Senator Susan M. Collins :: Press Room :.

After meeting with Mr. Obama, Sen. Collins expressed concern about a number of spending provisions, including $780 million for pandemic-flu preparedness. "I have no doubt that the president is willing to negotiate in good faith, that he wants to have a bipartisan bill," Sen. Collins said.
The modern GOP: wrong about everything.

.: United States Senator Susan M. Collins :: Press Room :.
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Franz Kafka - Letter to His Father

http://www.kafka-franz.com/KAFKA-letter.htm
Blogged with the Flock Browser

GOP Know-Nothings Fought Pandemic Preparedness

GOP Know-Nothings Fought Pandemic Preparedness
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Paul Flynn on Dalston E8, now the coolest place in Britain | UK news | The Guardian

Paul Flynn on Dalston E8, now the coolest place in Britain | UK news | The Guardian
Blogged with the Flock Browser

More Atheists Shout It From the Rooftops - NYTimes.com

More Atheists Shout It From the Rooftops - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

As Economic Turmoil Mounts, So Do Attacks on Hungary’s Gypsies - NYTimes.com

As Economic Turmoil Mounts, So Do Attacks on Hungary’s Gypsies - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ben Sherwood: Swine Flu Survival: Three Simple Ways to Protect Yourself

Ben Sherwood: Swine Flu Survival: Three Simple Ways to Protect Yourself
Blogged with the Flock Browser

How Did Bush and Cheney Get Things Wrong? Let me Count the Ways

The publication of torture memoranda this week was accompanied by the usual braying of Dick Cheney. Why exactly he objected to the publication of these memos is unclear if you take him at his word. He claims they released secret information damaging to US security. That's ridiculous, of course, since almost all the torture techniques discussed in them were made public at least 3 years ago.

A second point he made is more telling: that the memos presented the torture policies in their worst light and failed to show the ways in which these policies provided benefit. In fact, there appears to be little evidence they provided any benefit at all. People around the interrogation of Abu Zubaydh, the guy who turned in Khaled Sheik Mohammed, the 9/11 planner, said that all the good information that came from him came before he was tortured, using techniques organisations such as the FBI use all the time to get information out of common criminals.

More importantly, we are finally getting a debate about torture. If it really is beneficial, then let us see the benefits, let us see what cost we had to pay to get those benefits. And let us weigh it. Personally, I am against torture no matter what. I don't believe the 24 secenario ever comes up. How often will we be in a situation where we actually know an attack is about to happen and that we have a person who could supply us with the one piece of information we need to stop that attack?

Voices are coming back from the field every day presenting opposing views to this. for example, here. Here is a quote from a Major in the US Army who has been involved in interrogations of various terrorist suspects:

"The reason why foreign fighters joined al-Qa'ida in Iraq was overwhelmingly because of abuses at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and not Islamic ideology," says Major Matthew Alexander, who personally conducted 300 interrogations of prisoners in Iraq. It was the team led by Major Alexander [a named assumed for security reasons] that obtained the information that led to the US military being able to locate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of al-Qa'ida in Iraq. Zarqawi was then killed by bombs dropped by two US aircraft on the farm where he was hiding outside Baghdad on 7 June 2006. Major Alexander said that he learnt where Zarqawi was during a six-hour interrogation of a prisoner with whom he established relations of trust.

Hard to argue that torture works, even if you can get over the moral hurdles.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Watching all three family guy chicken fights at once

 
Posted by Picasa


Using the great invention in human communication history, the Internet, to its full potential.

Op-Ed Columnist - The Banality of Bush White House Evil - NYTimes.com

The report found that Maj. Paul Burney, a United States Army psychiatrist assigned to interrogations in Guantánamo Bay that summer of 2002, told Army investigators of another White House imperative: “A large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq and we were not being successful.” As higher-ups got more “frustrated” at the inability to prove this connection, the major said, “there was more and more pressure to resort to measures” that might produce that intelligence.

In other words, the ticking time bomb was not another potential Qaeda attack on America but the Bush administration’s ticking timetable for selling a war in Iraq; it wanted to pressure Congress to pass a war resolution before the 2002 midterm elections. Bybee’s memo was written the week after the then-secret (and subsequently leaked) “Downing Street memo,” in which the head of British intelligence informed Tony Blair that the Bush White House was so determined to go to war in Iraq that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” A month after Bybee’s memo, on Sept. 8, 2002, Cheney would make his infamous appearance on “Meet the Press,” hyping both Saddam’s W.M.D.s and the “number of contacts over the years” between Al Qaeda and Iraq. If only 9/11 could somehow be pinned on Iraq, the case for war would be a slamdunk.
Op-Ed Columnist - The Banality of Bush White House Evil - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

After a Pause, Wall Street Pay Bounces Back - NYTimes.com

After a Pause, Wall Street Pay Bounces Back - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

At the Polls, Icelanders Punish Conservatives - NYTimes.com

At the Polls, Icelanders Punish Conservatives - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ha ha



"Just over an hour since the special election for New York's open congressional seat ended with Democrat Scott Murphy victorious, the Democratic National Committee is up with a web ad hanging the loss squarely on the neck of RNC Chairman Michael Steele."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/24/dnc-hangs-ny20-victory-ar_n_191240.html

What a clown this Steele is.

Bad music? It's all in the jeans | Music | guardian.co.uk

Can't be arsed to dress properly usually means can't be arsed to write music properly, which is why indie is awash with denim. From now on, it's leather, gold lamé and leopard-print trousers

Bad music? It's all in the jeans | Music | guardian.co.uk
Blogged with the Flock Browser

The Rightwingoverse (Comics)

The Rightwingoverse (Comics)
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Why Everybody Lost The Pirate Bay Trial | TorrentFreak

Why Everybody Lost The Pirate Bay Trial | TorrentFreak
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Betting scam is 'just the tip of a match-fixing iceberg' - News & Comment, Football - The Independent

Betting scam is 'just the tip of a match-fixing iceberg' - News & Comment, Football - The Independent
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Erwin James: The real me | Society | The Guardian

For the past nine years the Guardian has run regular columns and articles by a convicted murderer identified only as Erwin James. Here he talks for the first time about his real identity, his life before, during and after the 20 years he spent in jail - and why he told lies about his time in the French Foreign Legion.
Erwin James: The real me | Society | The Guardian
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Industry Ignored Its Scientists on Climate - NYTimes.com

Industry Ignored Its Scientists on Climate - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Boris Johnson: Routemasters may never be built | Tory Troll

Boris Johnson: Routemasters may never be built | Tory Troll
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Faked Evidence of “Gay Conversion”? - TierneyLab Blog - NYTimes.com

Faked Evidence of “Gay Conversion”? - TierneyLab Blog - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

The Madman of London



What the English have not learned from Bush.

US ramps up cybersecurity focus

The White House should take direct control of US cybersecurity, the woman tipped to be President Obama's net security Czar has said.

Melissa Hathaway told a conference in San Francisco that the net had not been built with safety in mind.

She has just completed a review of cybersecurity for the President.

"This poses one of the most serious challenges of the 21st Century. Cyber space won't be secured overnight on the basis of one good plan," she said.

"We need an agreed way forward based on common understanding and acceptance of the problem.

Family Guy Chicken Fights



Fight 1



Fight 2



Fight 3



And a very stupid parody

Family Guy pot song



Family Guy pot song: lyrics only of a bag of weed.

Saint George day, and who would know?-

Saint George day has come and likely 90% have no idea and many more have no interest. The Telegraph.co.uk, no precisely a Left wing web site, explains why:

St George taps into no such Zeitgeist, and there is no great commercial interest in it. If today celebrates nationhood, it doesn't stand a chance. Welsh and Scottish Nonconformists are no devotees of saints, but they confidently embrace a culture. Belonging to a culture, however, means knowing what to do without having to refer to a manual. No one tells us we must eat turkey at Christmas or cut a cake at a wedding. Such tacit conventions come and go. Once, everyone knew what to do with a hat; now you find men coming into church and forgetting they have a cap on.

England retains rituals: toast and marmalade, cricket and football, dog-walking and admiration of the Queen. But St George has had his day.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherhowse/5202511/St-Georges-Day-You-cant-breathe-life-into-fossils.html

This has not come from lack of trying. Boris Johnson, the great source of most of what is half baked in London these days, seemed to be driving for the BNP vote when he decided to spend government money and time on a holiday that most people in London have no idea even exists.

It is rather sad that given the problems facing London's mayor (if he is facing them is an open question) the joker in charge is spending time and effort on a holiday that has long been lost and from which little was ever known.

But this would be just another joke of Boris the Insane if it did not show more of the deep problems facing Britain as it struggles in to the 21st Century. No one is going to celebrate this new holiday and it will be significant money wasted, but in the new hostility of Britain having the day is an essential right wing response to the very existence of British identities that are not English. Boris is punishing gays and Irish for having the need to express their identities in a positive way, and he is playing to the pathetic White English need to feel that somehow they are the victims of the British boom since World War II. Somehow if you are English, drunk, and didn't try hard at school or work this all makes sense.

Sadly this same Mayor has recently ended a tolerance festival to which 100,000 people attended last year. Tolerance seems to be less in need than St. George, if anyone can tell you what that is.

Adrian Hamilton: Walking out on Ahmadinejad was just plain childish - Adrian Hamilton, Commentators - The Independent

Just how you can accuse a man of anti-Semitisim when you haven't stayed to hear him talk is one of those questions which the Foreign Office no doubt trains its diplomats to explain. But what basically was our representative trying to say here? That any mention of the word Israel is barred from international discussions? That the mere mention of it is enough to have the Western governments combine to still it? In fact, Ahmadinejad's speech was not anti-Semitic, not in the strict sense of the word. Nowhere in his speech did he mention his oft-quoted suggestion that Israel be expunged from the map of the world. At no point did he mention the word "Jews", only "Zionists", and then specifically in an Israeli context. Nor did he repeat his infamous Holocaust denials, although he did reportedly refer to it slightingly as "ambiguous" in its evidence.

Instead, he launched the time-honoured Middle Eastern accusation that Israel was an alien country imposed on the local population by the West, out of its own guilt for the genocide; that it was supported by a Zionist take-over of Western politics and that it pursued racist policies towards the Palestinians. Now you may find these calls offensive or far-fetched (if there is a Zionist world conspiracy, it is making a singularly bad job of it) but it is pretty much the standard view in the Muslim world. Western support of Israel is seen as a conspiracy, and it is not just prejudice. There are now books by Western academics arguing that the pro-Israeli lobby wields an influence in the US out of all proportion to its numbers. If the Western walkout in Geneva did nothing else, it rather proved the point.
Adrian Hamilton: Walking out on Ahmadinejad was just plain childish - Adrian Hamilton, Commentators - The Independent
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Taliban Seize Vital Pakistan Area Closer to the Capital - NYTimes.com

Taliban Seize Vital Pakistan Area Closer to the Capital - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

NYT: Origins of 'torture' tactics overlooked - The New York Times- msnbc.com

By Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti
updated 2:34 a.m. ET April 22, 2009

WASHINGTON - The program began with Central Intelligence Agency leaders in the grip of an alluring idea: They could get tough in terrorist interrogations without risking legal trouble by adopting a set of methods used on Americans during military training. How could that be torture?

In a series of high-level meetings in 2002, without a single dissent from cabinet members or lawmakers, the United States for the first time officially embraced the brutal methods of interrogation it had always condemned.

This extraordinary consensus was possible, an examination by The New York Times shows, largely because no one involved — not the top two C.I.A. officials who were pushing the program, not the senior aides to President George W. Bush , not the leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees — investigated the gruesome origins of the techniques they were approving with little debate.

According to several former top officials involved in the discussions seven years ago, they did not know that the military training program, called SERE, for Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, had been created decades earlier to give American pilots and soldiers a sample of the torture methods used by Communists in the Korean War, methods that had wrung false confessions from Americans.

Even George J. Tenet , the C.I.A. director who insisted that the agency had thoroughly researched its proposal and pressed it on other officials, did not examine the history of the most shocking method, the near-drowning technique known as waterboarding .

'Perfect storm of ignorance'
The top officials he briefed did not learn that waterboarding had been prosecuted by the United States in war-crimes trials after World War II and was a well-documented favorite of despotic governments since the Spanish Inquisition; one waterboard used under Pol Pot was even on display at the genocide museum in Cambodia
.

Twitter with your brain

Twitter with your brain - Cosmic Log - msnbc.com

Twitter with your brain - Cosmic Log - msnbc.com

Twitter with your brain - Cosmic Log - msnbc.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Monday, April 20, 2009

Crispin Black: Give Obama credit over torture memos | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

By publishing the whole grisly and ludicrous legal edifice used by the previous administration to justify torture Obama has struck a blow for civilisation, responsibility and efficiency. By keeping the possibility of high-level prosecutions open, at least for now, Obama is handing out a large number of sleepless nights to a large number of very senior former officials, including his predecessor in the Oval Office. This is establishing "accountability for the past" in spades. Maybe in the end that is all the constraints of the real world will allow him to do. If only someone had the guts to do the same here in the UK. As the principal architect of the UK's disastrous and shameful role in supporting the US policy of torture, Tony Blair, continues to preen himself on the world stage amassing millions of pounds in the process and apparently sleeping well at night we can only look on at Obama's actions and attitudes with admiration and envy.
Crispin Black: Give Obama credit over torture memos | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's attack on Israel triggers walkout at UN racism conference | World news | The Guardian

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's attack on Israel triggers walkout at UN racism conference | World news | The Guardian
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Oracle Agrees to Acquire Sun Microsystems - NYTimes.com

Oracle Agrees to Acquire Sun Microsystems - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Family Guy's Pot Song



YouTube - MOV00636
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Crash author JG Ballard, 'a giant on the world literary scene', dies aged 78 | Books | guardian.co.uk

Crash author JG Ballard, 'a giant on the world literary scene', dies aged 78 | Books | guardian.co.uk
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Colbert Coalition's Anti-Gay Marriage Ad (VIDEO)

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Colbert Coalition's Anti-Gay Marriage Ad
colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorNASA Name Contest




The Colbert Coalition's Anti-Gay Marriage Ad (VIDEO)
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Boehner Cites Cow Farts To Downplay Global Warming (VIDEO)

Boehner replied: "The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know when they do what they do you've got more carbon dioxide."
Boehner Cites Cow Farts To Downplay Global Warming (VIDEO)
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Revealed: the inbreeding that ruined the Hapsburgs - Science, News - The Independent

Revealed: the inbreeding that ruined the Hapsburgs - Science, News - The Independent
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Microbes that 'breathe iron' are found in Antarctic - Science, News - The Independent

Microbes that 'breathe iron' are found in Antarctic - Science, News - The Independent
Blogged with the Flock Browser

The <i>IoS</i> Happy List 2009 - the 100 - This Britain, UK - The Independent

The IoS Happy List 2009 - the 100 - This Britain, UK - The Independent
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Gorbachev, Shultz find Reykjavik revived in Rome

Reagan was unyielding on his other dream, of a space-based defense system that would shield America from any rogue state's missile attack. The Russians, meanwhile, were unswayed from their conviction that such a scheme was meant to give their old Cold War foes a permanent military advantage.

"We came very close. We were ready to sign an agreement in principle," Gorbachev told the AP, sitting beneath the lofty, lush murals of Raphael's 16th-century Villa Madama, site of the Italian government's conference dinner Thursday.

But "we regarded this" _ Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative _ "as an attempt to weaponize outer space. We saw that that was a real danger."
SDI, Regan's Star Wars fantasy, did not end the Cold War, it extended it.

Gorbachev, Shultz find Reykjavik revived in Rome
Blogged with the Flock Browser

The Green Issue - Why Isn’t the Brain Green? - NYTimes.com

You might ask the decision scientists, as I eventually did, if they aren’t overcomplicating matters. Doesn’t a low-carbon world really just mean phasing out coal and other fossil fuels in favor of clean-energy technologies, domestic regulations and international treaties? None of them disagreed. Some smiled patiently. But all of them wondered if I had underestimated the countless group and individual decisions that must precede any widespread support for such technologies or policies. “Let’s start with the fact that climate change is anthropogenic,” Weber told me one morning in her Columbia office. “More or less, people have agreed on that. That means it’s caused by human behavior. That’s not to say that engineering solutions aren’t important. But if it’s caused by human behavior, then the solution probably also lies in changing human behavior.”
The Green Issue - Why Isn’t the Brain Green? - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The jousting accident that turned Henry VIII into a tyrant - This Britain, UK - The Independent

But the jousting accident may have affected his whole personality, the experts suggest. "We posit that his jousting accident of 1536 provides the explanation for his personality change from sporty, promising, generous young prince, to cruel, paranoid and vicious tyrant," Lucy Worsley says. "From that date the turnover of the wives really speeds up, and people begin to talk about him in quite a new and negative way. "After the accident he was unconscious for two hours; even five minutes of unconsciousness is considered to be a major trauma today." Henry may have suffered a brain injury, Dr Worsley says. "Damage to the frontal lobe of the brain can perfectly well result in personality change."

What is beyond doubt is that the end of his jousting combined with his leg ulcers to restrict his movement and Henry, who had a large appetite anyway, began to put on weight rapidly. The programme reconstructs his diet, suggesting he may have eaten up to 13 dishes a day, the majority comprising meat such as lamb, chicken, beef, game, rabbit, and a variety of birds like peacock and swan, and he may have drunk 10 pints of ale a day as well as wine, as water was unsafe.

Henry, the programme says, "became a comfort-eating paranoid recluse – a 28 stone man-mountain."
The jousting accident that turned Henry VIII into a tyrant - This Britain, UK - The Independent
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Bush officials defend physical abuse described in secret memos released by Barack Obama | World news | guardian.co.uk

Hayden and Mukasey, in a jointly written piece in the Wall Street Journal today, declared there was no need to release the memos. "Disclosure of the techniques is likely to be met by faux outrage and is perfectly packaged for media consumption. It will also incur the utter contempt of our enemies.

"Somehow, it seems unlikely that the people who beheaded Nicholas Berg [the US businessman who was killed in Iraq] and Daniel Pearl [the US journalist killed in Pakistan], and have tortured and slain other American captives, are likely to be shamed into giving up violence by the news that the US will no longer interrupt that sleep cycle of captured terrorists even to help elicit intelligence that could save the lives of its citizens."
Bush officials defend physical abuse described in secret memos released by Barack Obama | World news | guardian.co.uk
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Oliver Burkeman on the future of US Republican party | World news | The Guardian

Oliver Burkeman on the future of US Republican party | World news | The Guardian
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Divisions Arose on Rough Tactics for Qaeda Figure - NYTimes.com

[I]nterviews with current and former government officials who have direct or indirect knowledge of the Abu Zubaydah interrogation suggest that the United States began the waterboarding, labeled as illegal torture by top Obama administration officials, based on a profound misunderstanding of its captive.
Reading this, I think the administration wanted torture as much for its own sake as for any perceived benefit to be had from it, e.g. better intelligence. They may have convinced themselves on some level it served as a deterrent or maybe even got better information, but mainly it seems it was just something they regarded, for whatever reasons, as an essential government power. Interesting to contrast their attitude towards torture with their attitude towards taxation.

Divisions Arose on Rough Tactics for Qaeda Figure - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Friday, April 17, 2009

Obama Seeks High-Speed Rail System for U.S. - NYTimes.com

Obama Seeks High-Speed Rail System for U.S. - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Pirate Bay Operators Convicted in File-Sharing Trial - WSJ.com

True to Pirate Bay's philosophy of free information, one of the defendants, Mr. Sunde, posted the verdict on the Internet using Twitter a few hours before it was read out by a judge in Stockholm district court. In addition to the jail sentence, the four men were ordered to pay 31 million kronor ($3.6 million) in damages to artists whose work was distributed through the site, Mr. Kennedy said.

Mr. Sunde later appeared in an online video message and held up a sign saying "I owe you 31 million Swedish (kronor)" with "J/K," or just kidding, at the bottom.

"I think that's as close as they're going to get to any money from us," he said.
Pirate Bay Operators Convicted in File-Sharing Trial - WSJ.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Andrew Cherwenka: Changing the Face of Media: Kutcher vs CNN

"The old guard has passed and the new guard is here. And the new guard likes to ding dong ditch people just for fun." - Ashton Kutcher in his victory speech after beating CNN to the million follower mark.
Andrew Cherwenka: Changing the Face of Media: Kutcher vs CNN
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Irving Kristol’s Long, Strange Trip: Interesting Times: Online Only: The New Yorker

Eventually, Kristol’s quest for a source of transcendent values in modern society leads him to champion the Christian right, which he calls “the very core of an emerging American conservatism,” and talk-radio populism, which he calls “the ‘last, best hope’ of contemporary conservatism.” If this is a strange destination for an intellectually distinguished Jewish alumnus of Alcove No. 1, it shows what can happen when a brilliant mind settles on merely partisan political answers to philosophical questions. It suggests that political victory can be just as debilitating as political defeat. And it brings to its present end the story of how intellectual conservatism rose and fell.
Irving Kristol’s Long, Strange Trip: Interesting Times: Online Only: The New Yorker
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Nicolas Sarkozy's opinion of fellow leaders: Dim, callow, irrelevant | World news | The Guardian

The most important thing in democratic politics, Sarkozy is said to have declared, is to be savvy enough to cling on to power. Praising his Italian counterpart - no stranger to the occasional gaffe himself - Sarkozy reportedly said: "The important thing in democracy is to be re-elected. Look at [Silvio] Berlusconi. He has been re-elected three times."

There you have it: modern (perhaps I should say post-modern) politics in a nutshell. It's more important to get re-elected than to pass good policies.

Nicolas Sarkozy's opinion of fellow leaders: Dim, callow, irrelevant | World news | The Guardian
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Taliban Exploit Class Rifts to Gain Ground in Pakistan - NYTimes.com



Thus Bush administration focused entirely on ideology to explain the Taliban and Al Qaeda. While that matters for a few, Bin Laden for example, the real issue is poverty and inequality. These provide vast numbers of disenfranchised people with nothing to lose by backing a group which promises better conditions.

Taliban Exploit Class Rifts to Gain Ground in Pakistan - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

If Judge Posner believes this, the world really has changed. - By Eliot Spitzer - Slate Magazine

CEO compensation cuts to the ability of our corporate governance system to function. In a genuine marketplace, nothing should be easier than a board, assisted by compensation consultants, a bevy of lawyers, and, of course, shareholders, setting the salary of one person. Yet this simple task is now deemed by one of the most articulate defenders of the free market to be beyond the competence of the market.
If Judge Posner believes this, the world really has changed. - By Eliot Spitzer - Slate Magazine
Blogged with the Flock Browser

If Judge Posner believes this, the world really has changed. - By Eliot Spitzer - Slate Magazine

CEO compensation cuts to the ability of our corporate governance system to function. In a genuine marketplace, nothing should be easier than a board, assisted by compensation consultants, a bevy of lawyers, and, of course, shareholders, setting the salary of one person. Yet this simple task is now deemed by one of the most articulate defenders of the free market to be beyond the competence of the market.
If Judge Posner believes this, the world really has changed. - By Eliot Spitzer - Slate Magazine
Blogged with the Flock Browser

If Judge Posner believes this, the world really has changed. - By Eliot Spitzer - Slate Magazine

CEO compensation cuts to the ability of our corporate governance system to function. In a genuine marketplace, nothing should be easier than a board, assisted by compensation consultants, a bevy of lawyers, and, of course, shareholders, setting the salary of one person. Yet this simple task is now deemed by one of the most articulate defenders of the free market to be beyond the competence of the market.
If Judge Posner believes this, the world really has changed. - By Eliot Spitzer - Slate Magazine
Blogged with the Flock Browser

BBC NEWS | Africa | Piracy symptom of bigger problem

BBC NEWS | Africa | Piracy symptom of bigger problem
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Robert Fisk: How can you trust the cowardly BBC? - Robert Fisk, Commentators - The Independent

Robert Fisk: How can you trust the cowardly BBC? - Robert Fisk, Commentators - The Independent
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Deal by Deal, China Expands Its Influence in Latin America - NYTimes.com

Deal by Deal, China Expands Its Influence in Latin America - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

There is no Left left

The Left has left. Just when we need some Left none is left, there is no Left left. We are left with a Left that has left.

Post-modernists sometimes like to joke the the Left is simply Virtual, since '68, more interested in acting out the theatre of power than gaining power.

Certainly the current crisis would seem like a wonderful opportunity for a New Left to rise up and current some of our assumptions about Free Trade and Money. I have been waiting for them, even thinking about joining them. But I have given up. I am left with no Left hope left.

Lets start were the Left, the American Hippie Left left politics, or where the Left left the Left.

In 2000 a pretty obvious simple political situation emerged in America. On one had you had Al Gore. Al Gore has since e won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work to raise awareness on Global Warming. He is probably the most important environmentalist in the world right now. This humble brilliant man wanted to help America move in to the 21st Century. Was he perfect, no but he was the most left wing man to run for President and almost win in a long time, he was way left of Obama who seems more comfortable with bankers than environmentalists.

Against him the fascist party of the United States seems to have searched out the toilets of humanity and produce a monster: an Americas Hitler. George W. Bush was EVERYTHING the Left knew it hated. Remember this was after Brecht and the history of the Nazis, everyone who knew anything about 20th Century history knows Hitler rose because the Communists refused to work with other parties.

So faced with the rise of the most radical Right Wing nut America has ever produced for President what did the American Left do? If simply left. It voted for a Nader and gave the election to Bush. The American left elected Bush, and since they didn't agree with his ideology that are even more responsible for everything he did than any republican.

So now that we face a massive financial crisis what voices do we hear from the left? Nothing. The debate is over how much to stimulate industry, how much to grow the IMF, how much spending should the government do mostly in bail outs.

Its all Keynes vs. Hayek and right now the center is winning against the Right, as it should given the nature of the crisis. But the Left is utterly silent, confused, lost, and frankly no longer existing.

It is probably time to change the terms. In America and Europe there are people who elect to turn the right to vote and participate in to a kind of reality TV. They are to be taken as seriously as Jade Goody, no matter how seriously they take themselves.

The Left is just a game, a place to feel good about yourself, but when an opportunity for power comes along? Forget it.

Taliban execute eloping young lovers in Afghanistan | World news | The Guardian

Taliban execute eloping young lovers in Afghanistan | World news | The Guardian
Blogged with the Flock Browser

U.S. Stymied as Guns Flow to Mexican Cartels - NYTimes.com

U.S. Stymied as Guns Flow to Mexican Cartels - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Does Google Really Control The News?

Does Google Really Control The News?
Blogged with the Flock Browser

BBC NEWS | Business | Cut in VAT 'boosts retail sales' or Why the Tories are getting pissed off about emails

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) says that the cut, which took effect on 1 December 2008, has led to £2.1bn of extra sales.The centre says the growth in retail spending is "remarkable".

It argues that the temporary cut of 2.5%, which expires in January 2010, should be extended for six months.
BBC NEWS | Business | Cut in VAT 'boosts retail sales'




As the UK economy weathers the worst of the economic downturn we can expect that Cameron's Tories are going to have to hunt new issues. A few weeks ago this VAT cut was dismissed by the Shadow Cabinet as a pointless waist of time. The reality is that if the Tories had been in power during this economy the UK would have entered a depression.
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Crisis Reshaping Wall St. as Stars Begin to Scatter - NYTimes.com

“After 10 years, I did not see a future for myself,” said Mr. Jung, 42, who quit to parlay his sales expertise into a career at Aladdin Capital, a small but rising investment firm run by others who had also left some of the most venerable names in finance.
Crisis Reshaping Wall St. as Stars Begin to Scatter - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Germaine Greer on the making of Margaret Thatcher | Politics | The Guardian

Thatcher thought that she and Reagan overthrew the Soviet Union, but the fact is that, like old Labour, it simply fell apart. The Thatcher phenomenon was only made possible by the weakness and indecisiveness of the opposition. It is justice of the most poetic kind that Thatcher's is now the evil empire and Thatcherism a dirty word.
Germaine Greer on the making of Margaret Thatcher | Politics | The Guardian
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Second Life strives for a second wind | The Social - CNET News

Second Life strives for a second wind | The Social - CNET News
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Philosopher John Gray: 'We're not facing our problems. We've got Prozac politics' - World Politics, World - The Independent

"But the actual response, I think, and this is partly to do with the way democracy works and the way the mass-media works, is to avoid confronting these admittedly intractable problems, because there is actually underlying despair. It's Prozac politics. If you say actually, possibly, we're past the tipping point for preventing a two-degree change. That's despair: 'I can't get out of bed. I'll get drunk. I just can't take it.' So it's a very fragile mental resilience we've got here."

But in the Netherlands, they're giving some land back to the sea, they're giving some land that was farmed back to nature, they're building on stilts, they're creating wildlife passageways – they're responding. Intelligently. To my mind that's inspiring. Just take the emerging consensus of scientists and respond."

Realism is a necessary condition of serious politics and serious policy-making. And realism isn't popular. Because what many people are looking for in politics – including green politics at the moment, is a meaning for their lives. If you say to people: 'We can't move to a world in which we don't have either nuclear or fossil fuels. That's impossible,' they will say, 'That's not impossible, not if we all want it.' But many countries don't want it. Russia's not going to do it. Venezuela's not going to do it. Iran's not going to do it. Their wealth and power depend upon fossil fuel. 'Well, we can do it,' they'll say.

Philosopher John Gray: 'We're not facing our problems. We've got Prozac politics' - World Politics, World - The Independent
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Obama's top economic adviser: 'free-fall' ending

WASHINGTON (AP) - The economy's steep plunge appears to be ending, a top presidential adviser said Thursday, but he refused to predict how high the unemployment rate will rise before a sustainable recovery begins.
Obama's top economic adviser: 'free-fall' ending
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Americans warming to Socialism or cooling to Capitalism?

Only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism.
Rasmussen Reports™: The Most Comprehensive Public Opinion Data Anywhere

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 20% disagree and say socialism is better. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure which is better.

Adults under 30 are essentially evenly divided: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism, and 30% are undecided. Thirty-somethings are a bit more supportive of the free-enterprise approach with 49% for capitalism and 26% for socialism. Adults over 40 strongly favor capitalism, and just 13% of those older Americans believe socialism is better.

Investors by a 5-to-1 margin choose capitalism. As for those who do not invest, 40% say capitalism is better while 25% prefer socialism.

There is a partisan gap as well. Republicans - by an 11-to-1 margin - favor capitalism. Democrats are much more closely divided: Just 39% say capitalism is better while 30% prefer socialism. As for those not affiliated with either major political party, 48% say capitalism is best, and 21% opt for socialism.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls.) Rasmussen Reports updates also available on Twitter.

The question posed by Rasmussen Reports did not define either capitalism or socialism

It is interesting to compare the new results to an earlier survey in which 70% of Americans prefer a free-market economy. The fact that a “free-market economy” attracts substantially more support than “capitalism” may suggest some skepticism about whether capitalism in the United States today relies on free markets.

Other survey data supports that notion. Rather than seeing large corporations as committed to free markets, two-out-of-three Americans believe that big government and big business often work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors.

Fifteen percent (15%) of Americans say they prefer a government-managed economy, similar to the 20% support for socialism. Just 14% believe the federal government would do a better job running auto companies, and even fewer believe government would do a better job running financial firms.

Most Americans today hold views that can generally be defined as populist while only seven percent (7%) share the elitist views of the Political Class.


Blogged with the Flock Browser

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Hill Blog» Blog Archive » America’s New Marijuana Zeitgeist

American’s support for marijuana law reform is fast approaching a tipping point — a scenario made all that more remarkable when one considers that the federal government has spent nearly seven decades propagandizing against it. Mainstream America is coming to terms with marijuana, and growing more and more dissatisfied with our nation’s failing pot policies. Writes Klein: “Obviously, marijuana can be abused. But the costs of criminalization have proved to be enormous, perhaps unsustainable. Would legalization be any worse?”
The Hill Blog» Blog Archive » America’s New Marijuana Zeitgeist
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Republican Caller Tells Limbaugh: "You're A Brainwashed Nazi" (AUDIO)

Republican Caller Tells Limbaugh: "You're A Brainwashed Nazi" (AUDIO)
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Steve Bell on G20 police assault on Ian Tomlinson | UK news | The Guardian

Steve Bell on G20 police assault on Ian Tomlinson | UK news | The Guardian
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Aftershocks disrupt rescue efforts in Italy as search for survivors continues | World news | The Guardian

Meanwhile, the Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, created fresh controversy yesterday after declaring that people made homeless by Monday's earthquake should think of themselves as being on a "camping weekend".
Aftershocks disrupt rescue efforts in Italy as search for survivors continues | World news | The Guardian
Blogged with the Flock Browser

G20 death: Met police officer breaks cover | UK news | The Guardian

G20 death: Met police officer breaks cover | UK news | The Guardian
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Abroad - Poland Searches Its Own Soul and Its History of Anti-Semitism - NYTimes.com

Abroad - Poland Searches Its Own Soul and Its History of Anti-Semitism - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

David Bowe sings the Doors sings Brecht



Why do Capitalists sing slower than Communists?

The most disturbing film ever made



In our age of easy sex, a film that claims to show the end of sexuality is the most radical possible film.

MM kicks the doors ass in stealing tunes from Communist German composers!!!!!



Many American musicians do Brecht songs, most famous Mack the Nice or Mac Tonight or what ever, but they always make them slower. Capitalism is Communism moving real slow?

Continuing the theme of German weird music that is still cool....




Nina Hagen, if they had won WWII they would have had to sing in their own language, though I imagine the grandchildren of the Nazi Victorious would have still created Techno.

Did you know Jim Morrison from Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht

Monday, April 06, 2009

A £1bn nuclear white elephant - Green Living, Environment - The Independent

A £1bn nuclear white elephant - Green Living, Environment - The Independent
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Legalisation of drugs could save UK £14bn, says study | Society | The Guardian

Legalisation of drugs could save UK £14bn, says study | Society | The Guardian
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Poll Finds New Optimism on Economy Since Inauguration - NYTimes.com

For all that, the number of people who said they thought the country was headed in the right direction jumped from 15 percent in mid-January, just before Mr. Obama took office, to 39 percent today, while the number who said it was headed in the wrong direction dropped to 53 percent from 79 percent. That is the highest percentage of Americans who said the country was headed in the right direction since 42 percent said so in February 2005, the second month of President George W. Bush’s second term.

Since before Bush's second term, less than 50% of the country thought the place was going in the right direction. That's a stark reminder of how totally he failed.

Poll Finds New Optimism on Economy Since Inauguration - NYTimes.com
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Take Off: Increased Income Instability | TNR

Over the last generation, income instability grew faster among college-educated Americans than among those with just a high school degree. (And, no, it is not driven by the increase in the number of working married women who leave the workforce for short periods to have or raise children--the rise in income volatility has occurred among single workers as well as two-earner couples.)

When we first started sounding alarms over these findings, critics countered that they simply reflected a risk/reward trade-off. Sure, people were taking on more income instability, but the return was higher wages and incomes. But who can believe that now? Increased income insecurity has occurred alongside slow (or no) income growth for all but the richest of Americans--among the well-educated as well as the poorly educated. In that same period, middle-class incomes barely grew at all, and what little growth did occur came only because families were putting in more hours of work. And what did they get in return? Less predictable paychecks, less comprehensive health insurance, less secure retirement savings, all adding up to family finances perched on the brink. The risk-reward trade-off looks more like a risk-reward rip-off.
Take Off
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Geithner: The "Crude Reality" Is Unemployment Could Rise As Economy Starts Recovering

Appearing on CBS's "Face the Nation," Timothy Geithner would not say whether he believed the unemployment rate would go as high as ten percent -- it now stands at 8.5 percent. But he did note that the history of recovery dictates that employment numbers lag behind other indicators of growth.
Geithner: The "Crude Reality" Is Unemployment Could Rise As Economy Starts Recovering
Blogged with the Flock Browser

BBC NEWS | Politics | Social network sites 'monitored'

Social networking sites like Facebook could be monitored by the UK government under proposals to make them keep details of users' contacts.
BBC NEWS | Politics | Social network sites 'monitored'
Blogged with the Flock Browser

DSI look



Coolest little tool for a long time
Blogged with the Flock Browser