Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Brian Solis has an interesting piece on the rapid evolution of Twitter

2010 will be forever commemorated as the year Twitter matured from a cool but undecided teenager into a more confident and assertive young adult. While there’s still much room to mature and develop, Twitter’s new direction is crystallizing. With a new look, Dick Costolo as the new CEO, and an oversold newadvertising platform, Twitter is growing into something not yet fully identifiable, but formidable nonetheless.

How Twitter is Changing: A new study reveals Twitter’s new direction

I have been impressed by Twitter's agility. I have also often had trouble finding a use for Twitter. But I now think Twitter will probably be remembered for the fact that all the features came from the users. While Microsoft, Google, and even Facebook have to spend time and effort thinking of what users might want and then building it, Twitter allows users to create themselves.

Twitter fully embraced user centered creation in a way few other firms were able to before. I suspect this bottom up creativity, also evident in YouTube and Wikipedia, will continue to become the norm. Future companies will need to be able to allow its users, staff, and people the freedom to do what they want.

This will require a change in mind set for a lot of firms, but the benefits are clear. I hear a lot of people talking about using SharePoint 2010 to create a Facebook-like solution, but I wonder if they should be thinking of a Twitter like solution?

Considering that one of the main motivations for using so much high tech to make Avatar was to defeat pirates, this is bad news for the studio

BBC News - Avatar is 'most pirated film of 2010':


"Sci-fi epic Avatar was the most pirated film of 2010, according to data released by a file-sharing blog.

James Cameron's blockbuster was downloaded 16.6m times on one file-sharing site alone, TorrentFreak said.

Second on the list was comic book action film Kick-Ass, with 11.4m downloads, followed by Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception with 9.7m."

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Th Media is the Assange, how the egos of Internet endangering news

Right now the main global stories I am looking at are epidemic in Haiti, protests in the Ivory Coast, and open conflict in Korea. These events pose extreme dangers to many people's lives, and the situation in Korea could also have major knock an impacts to the global economy and global peace.

So what is my favorite UK newspaper covering on the World News section? Well what ever comes out of Wikileaks. The Guardian has given over the main section of its Global news coverage on its web page to Wikileaks. The Wikileaks story, where Assange is now, what he is wearing, if he likes to use condoms, and the most recent leak, no matter how banal, is now the dominate story of Guardian.

In short, the Guardian has become more interested in the story about how the story was created, than the story. The Media is now the Assange. The Guardian has moved over key events off the front page because, as the layout above shows, they are trying to promote the Wikileaks scoop.

So items like Korea and Ivory Coast can't find space on the limited front page. There is the need for most popular stories and paid ad space, so the giving Wikileaks the centre of the page means that stories as pointless as "Cuba censored the movie Sicko" "Berlusconi is vain", "Leaders in Afica are corrupt" takes the center stage. Not because they are important, but because they are part of the event of Wikileaks that Guardian is trying to sell.

Assanges personality itsef has become the main item of interest and his trials and tribulations allow the Guardian to convert World News in to a Gossip column, concentrating reporting efforts on the story of one very photogenic man rather than what is happening.
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Waltons Mountain Re-Runs, thins I didn't catch as a kid

Picture showing the largest out house ever filmed

Here are some major things about the Waltons I didn't catch as a kid, but were obvious seeing a rerun as an adult:
  1. The father had a 1970s disco hair cut more at home on the set of Star Wars than Depression era south.
  2. Though it is suppose to be set in the South nobody has a southern accent
  3. Mary Ellen is gay
  4. How come a town with a movie theater and small down town didn't have a newspaper until a high school student started one?
  5. Grandma wears support bras, that probably were not available to elderly rural southern women during the depression
  6. They run a saw mill out of the house, but you never see trucks of lumber coming in our out, and you don't see any saw dust
  7. Grandpa was a total asshole bore and would have probably been lynched in rural south
  8. John Boy is bisexual
  9. Were they able to get away with everyone having red hair because the crackers that went in for this show would not have had color TV at first?
  10. The Brady Bunch came out six years before, but should the Waltons it be seen as a fascist reaction to it?
  11. The shows are the memories of John Boy, yet John Boy left the show in 1977, so for the years there was no John Boy whose memories is the narrator describing?
  12. How come in a house with 11 people living in it and 3 generations, is it still possible for quest appearances to have long lines without anyone interrupting?
  13. If they can't afford shoes, how come they can afford money for gasoline, allow the high school boys to use a car, and go to movies?
  14. John Sr was to have fought in World War I, which would have meant he would have had R&R in Paris, and yet he is still such a backwards ass hillbilly.
  15. Why was Dukes of Hazard the first show to realistically depict how Southerns spoke
  16. The guy who was rapped in the film Deliverance plays the good natured local blacksmith in the Waltons. Does this mean that the audience didn't see both movies, because how could anyone hold both images in their mind?
  17. How come three generations ranging from small children to old people all go to bed at precisely the same time every night?
  18. Did anyone ever really fall for this show?
  19. If they are a poor southern family during the Depression where did they get the money for so much white pain and tooth paste?
  20. Why didn't the Walton kids release a music album.
  21. Is it surprising that Wikipedia has very little information about the show?
  22. The show has nothing to do with the 1930s at all. The show is entirely and only a response to issues of the 1970s, to such an extent that the few programs I have seen recently don't even seem to make any today. It is interesting the John Walton is to have died in 1969, just before the 1970s started because if he had lived in to the 1970s it would have caused some kind of time paradox.
  23. Is the lack of racial tension between blacks and whites just naive or is it deeply insulting?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Communist don't do Wikipedia

Wikipedia is probably the most triumphet anarchic communist accomplishment in history. From the start of the project its editors were very radical in their opposition to central planning, hierarchy control, profit and state support.

So EcuRed, Cuba's alternative web site will be an intersting case study. So far the results are pretty obvious, State Communism seems to have way more problems than free communism.
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Allan tossed on his ass

BBC News - Microsoft's Paul Allen sees lawsuit thrown out

Paul Allen

For some time conspiracy theorists on the web made Paul Allen out to be some kind of hero. A popular myth was that Gates had him poisoned with intention to kill him in order to take over Microsoft, which at the time was a tiny company.

Allen is an impressive figure in the history of development. Without his early work Microsoft would likely never have risen to the dominate position it is now trying to defend. It is sad to see the older Allen make an ass out of himself in this way. Woz just made a fool of himself on Dancing with the Stars.

Fascist ideas starting to break the edges of established neo-liberal Economist?

Vertical farming: Three views of the vertical farm | The Economist: "Sirs;
The Economist , of late, is reminding me of the old saw, ' Nero fiddled while Rome burned'. However, I think that is very apropos. The world is overpopulated and it has reached crisis proportions. Changing ecosystems,climate and economies. It must be addressed and yet The Economist and it's staff have nothing better to do than insult countries like Japan for having ' negative demographics', chide Western countries ( especially the USA ) for not taking in enough immigrants even though it is destroying both social fabric and economy, and then publish ' feel good ' articles on vertical farming. Do you really think that will do anything?

"How ironic it will be if , in 50 years or so , Japan is doing quite well and we are all living in Sao Paulo. I guess it won't matter to the staff of the Economist because , as educated people , they won't be living in the favelas of London or Los Angeles.

"Sincerely, Duanor"

Pretty Scary, but the economic elites of the English speaking world have been caught utterly unprepared for the economic and social failures of the last 10 years, and the danger of fascism becoming the ideology of revolution is high given that anti-Capitalist debate is utterly censored out of English mass market media.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Very interesting article by one of the major innovators of Blogs Winer

Reagan's imagery might have worked when we lived on a mostly unexplored planet, without computers, and our complex computer-managed systems. If you didn't like having neighbors, you could just pick up and go somewhere and be by yourself, rugged and individual, and get some peace and freedom. If that world ever existed, and I wonder if it really did, it sure doesn't exist today. Not if you want your kids to go to school, and get proper health care, and get on the Internet and listen to your iPod, etc etc. Sure it sounds nice in a commercial, but you're not actually going to do it, even if you could, and you probably (almost certainly) can't.
Scripting News: Our civilization doesn't scale

Brilliant article on modern society by one of the people who made it.

The Facebook Movie: its shit

Since there is no character development in Social Network, no drama and no human interest, the film becomes a post-modernist obsession with the babble of Internet jargon as it takes the place of our reality around us. I found the experience of the film deeply painful and could not sit through it.

Zuckerburg is some nightmare out of Star Trek, from one of the episodes when the super efficient technology nerds is taken over by some evil force and uses his or her mental powers to do pure evil.

Perhaps the most disturbing side of the film is how structured by American prejudice it is. Hell in a film set among computer nerds in Harvard they even manage to make a black male seem threatening in one section. The film is full of fit children of wealth who are actually clueless and incapable, utter dorks obsessed with sex but unable to relate to women, Jews as super nerds, Asian sex dolls, bitchy Jewish co-eds at BU, hell the entire film is a flow of stereotypes and insults.

And how the films tries to make you interested is perhaps the most pathetic. Did the writer think simply because the maker of Napster and the maker of Facebook are rich I would really care when the maker of Napster first saw the Facebook page?

Worst scene in the film? Hard to say having walked out? The lame Jewish Frat party and the fact that Zuckerburg (who I know had friends in that frat) was ashamed to go (I don't think Zuckerburg is a self hating Jew), the china doll blowjob scene with Asian "students" who look like Thai prostitutes that Zuckerburg meets at a Bill Gates talk, how about the fact that every figure in the film is an disgusting, greedy stereotype, usually a racial or gender stereotype.

Its not so much that the film is false, but because it is ugly, it shows how much the Internet has act made much of our life ugly, turned us in to passive jargon spilling shit heads. Yes that is the worst part of the film. Well if the director had intended that it might be cool, but its clear the director is playing the audience like the Internet tries to play us, thinking we will find these people cool simply because we now know they are rich.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

China must loan money to the west

However, the CSJ, citing a (Chinese) government investigation, says adequate repayments are being made on only 24% of the debt owed by these local government financing vehicles.

And about half of the total loans went to projects run by local authority investment vehicles that are now unable to fully meet their repayments.

These must now be covered by the local governments or with collateral.

And the final 26% of cash may never be repaid.

This is where money went to projects that failed to meet official regulations, faced "serious default risk", or was embezzled, the CSJ report said.

BBC News - Loans to China local authorities 'at risk'

Let me make this perfectly clear, there is no danger at all of the US or EU government in the near term not being able to borrow money from China or other Asian countries until the Private sector can start borrowing again.

Firstly let me make it clear what is behind "sovereign debt". The United States and much of Europe is utterly dependent on debt. This is how the economy works. With the labour movement destroyed in the 1980s real wages have dropped for almost 2 generations. This has been particularly bad in the past 10 years. To keep the "Capitalist" system going working have been given access to easy money to extend their consuming beyond their wages. This is entirely underpinned by rises in housing prices.

But this money in consumption was going to Asia, where people actually do save, and probably save too much. So a kind of relationship relationship between the East and West developed, with underpaid US and EU workers spending their income and borrowing money to buy goods, and the people who make those goods than investing more and more money in the US. Like it or not this pointless circulation of money is all that Capitalism every was or ever will be. It is the full and total nature of Capitalism. Capitalism as a concept is not in the Bible (though Slavery is) or in the US Constitution (where Slavery was also). Capitalism is no moral system, and it has no fixed outcomes, no magic to the market. Capitalism is simply the rapid movement of money from person to person, institution to institution.

If this flow does not work Capitalism does not work. If the players are States or Companies or Charities makes no difference, as long as circulation of money and goods happens the system continues. Is it long term sustainable? Probably not. Is it short term transformable? Definitely no.

The crisis of a few years ago was due to the collapse of the banks which had done precisely what markets always do, they boomed and busted. Anyone who has any questions about this any longer is simply an idiot. Markets are unstable not stable. Some Right Wingers say "well that was not a real free market" is simply playing word games with real people's lives.

When the collapse came the Government of the world had to step in to insure the system simply did not fall in on itself. For the most part they were highly effective. The world so a collapse of the global banking system and yet there were no runs on banks, no collapses of major currencies, and unemployment rose but remained at bad recession levels. Again the current level of borrowing is not sustainable, but it is also not sustainable to keep some one in the emergency room for 20 years. Sometimes crisis situations require massive government debt.

Now some people who for purely ideological reasons want to see government pulled back. Essentially they are saying pull the plug and see what happens. These groups can be broken in to different groups depending on the degree to which they have lost touch with reality. The vast majority are "Post-Soviet Male Syndrome", they simply can not accept that the system of Reagan and Thacher didn't work forever and God would let Capitalism enter crisis. This is the basis for sudden voter demands that government spending be cut,, as long as it is not spending that touches them.

But there are some reasoned positions that play with the fact that this is unsustainable. True the governments of the West can not go on living like this. But the first thing that should tick you off about the its "unsustainable" crowd is that they have just learned this argument. They were not making it about the housing boom 5 years ago in the US and they find it hard to make about the environment. When I hear someone who will say the entire thing, pre-crash and post-crash is unsustainable and we need to learn to live with less I have to say I agree. But that is not what we are hearing.

What we are hearing is that government debt is unsustainable and nothing else. No comments about regulation of banks, market complexity, changed global conditions, or even the climate.

Well actually in response to this the answer is fairly simple: Where else is China going to put its money? It won't invest it in the "free market" right now because the private sector is too weak. It won't invest it in its own local governments because they are too risky. They might buy gold but Asian government like investing in governments, and the best governments to invest in are in the US and the EU.

Really both nations have a advantage they should fully embrace: democracy and the rule of law. These two factors, which are mostly absent in the developing world make US-EU government debt a very attractive option for Asian investors, actually in a time of risk the best investment they have. Asian banks are sitting on trillions of dollars and Euros. They have no where else to safely invest that kind of money right now and they have no interest in watching those currencies lose their value.

There is a risk of our governments becoming to indebted to Asia, but essentially the private sector already did that and any forced movement from public to private right now would just make that situation worse. We would be borrowing money from Asia to drive our economy at higher interest rates and lets be fully honest, in the end the tax payers will have to cover it in the end.

Better to continue the current levels of debt as the economies in the West continue weak growth. The current situation of weak growth is far better than the utter collapse of 2008-2009, a collapse that a US tax cut did nothing to prevent I recall. When the private sector has gotten its debt worked out a bit better than the process of reducing public sector spending can be considered.

Though I don't really think we should be looking at saving via cuts to the public sector. Like it or not the age of actual Socialism is here. The present world economy is underpinned by China's state managed economy. Older populations in the West grow more and more dependent on state pensions and state health care. We are entering a more normal period after a friend flirtation with radical free markets, and that period is over.

A key case to watch will be the UK. The current Conservative government has, for some strange reason, decided to act as if the IMF had inflicted huge austerity on it. Probably because the rich in the UK are treating the rest of the nation the way the rich nations treat poor nations in the IMF. The UK shows that the global condition is repeated again and again at local levels. London's relationship to Manchester is the same as to India. I think that actually the UK economy will not only face 2 years of low growth, even recession, and massive job loss, but at the end of it nothing will be accomplished. Tax revenues will be further down because of the loss of jobs and the cut back of consumer spending, and it the end the UK economy will have a smaller public sector what it destroyed its private sector under Thacher. Under the Tory and New Labour governments the Private Sector became the service sector, which produced few good jobs. Only public sector spending is keeping millions of British out of total poverty. The process of destruction of most of England will continue and go faster but at the end a UK with less public services and spending and a strong pound is not going to attract investment in to factories and other businesses that make jobs, since the pound will be too strong and consumer spending too low.

BBC News - Schwarzenegger drops in on David Cameron

BBC News - Schwarzenegger drops in on David Cameron

Best Quote, that Schwarzenegger was going to help Cameron "terminate" the debt.

Despite Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's promises to reduce California's indebtedness, the state's debt has nearly tripled during the seven years he has been governor.

In fact the numbers of countries that have effectively managed to control debt are few. Most notable was Bill Clinton, who did it in the United States during the 1990s. Key factors that made it possible for Clinton were 1. that the economy was growing, 2. that he was a Democrat and not locked in to "Free Market" ideas of the GOP that tax cuts would result in budget surpluses. 3. Also very key to Clinton's success was that he didn't make this a main issues. People were a bit surprised by Clinton's attention to the debt and during his entire term the GOP attacked him as a big spender. This gave him the screen to implemented policies needed without overly concerning the public about potential loss of benefits.

Cameron has none of Clinton's political skills and is probably utterly unsuited for the task. The comment Cameron made is almost a Bushism, for it wrote the political cartoons itself. An image of the Terminator coming to No 10 to help deal with benefits, a relentless mindless killing machine created by big business that has an immoral obsession with destruction of human life. Cameron again is carried away with the PR moment and failed to see the big picture. He had a conservative visit him who had not only been unable to deal with debt but that seen it explode over the 8 years of his term. California is in reality facing the situations that Cameron scares the British public with might happen in the UK. And yet he is calling on him to help "terminate" the debt making reference to a film in which Schwarzeneggar played a threat to human existence. It was very much like Bush Crusade, when the full slowness of a ruler in a crisis situation was obvious.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why Liberal Democracies have Federal Deficits


"Do you want your representative in Congress to fight for more government spending in your congressional district, in order to create jobs; or do you want your representative to fight to cut government spending, even if it means fewer jobs in your district?"

Fight for
more spending
Fight to
cut spending

9/22 - 10/3/10


So 18% more people want more money spending in their districts than cuts. If you want to get elected its better to try and bring home the bacon rather than try to cut spending. But asked about the entire nation:

"In general, would you rather have the federal government provide more services, even if it costs more in taxes, OR, the federal government cost less in taxes, but provide fewer services?" Options rotated

More services,
more in taxes
Fewer services,
less in taxes

9/22 - 10/3/10


So suddenly 8% who want more spent in their district change their opinions.

And that is the problem, this unprincipled 8% are enough to throw the entire election system in chaos. They want both more spending and less spending, as long as they get more spending and the nation as a whole gets less spending. If you can ration voting by race, gender or social class you can keep this 8% happy. White people or males can get more benefits and spending while the entire nation has to carry cuts.

The problem is that this is no longer possible, the Tea Party is probably a final breath of a long movement since the 1960 to hold power in the White Male heartland. But over time there are going to be too many different groups all able to vote to win elections by taking from the all and giving to the few.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

BBC - Stephanomics: A Tale of Two Borrowers

As it happens, governments can't go bankrupt - they can only default on their debt. But I'm not just being pedantic. The facts are that on the eve of the election, the UK still had an uncontested triple-AAA credit rating, and the market was demanding an interest rate of just 3.9% to lend the government money, compared to 3.7% for US bonds and 3.1% for Germany. (That UK rate might have been higher had investors not been expecting a Tory victory, but the average yield for the previous 12 months was about the same.) Whatever you think about the fiscal mess that the coalition inherited, these are not the characteristics of a country on the "brink" of bankruptcy or default.

BBC - Stephanomics: A Tale of Two Borrowers

Don't tell a Brit, they all seem to think the government is about to fold.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

BBC News - Tim Berners-Lee calls for free internet worldwide

BBC News - Tim Berners-Lee calls for free internet worldwide

The inventor of the Web has called for everyone to have access to his creation for free.

BBC News - Twitter's first revamp in four years is major overhaul

Twitter has undergone its first major facelift which aims to provide a rich multi-media experience for its 160 million users.

BBC News - Twitter's first revamp in four years is major overhaul

Mobile: The Next Frontier for Enterprise Content Management

Vendors have traditionally taken a heavy-handed approach to the "management" part of ECM, locking down content and dictating its movement through highly structured workflows. This made sense in the client-server paradigm, where security meant keeping information and collaboration within the firewall.

Mobile: The Next Frontier for Enterprise Content Management

I have to disagree, this kind of approach almost never made sense. Central control of information is impossible on various levels. Firstly not central system can cover all the information needs that are likely to arise of users and therefore becomes a block as often as a help. Also users will not allow themselves to be centrally controlled like this, and they either simply don't do their work because there are too many hurdles, or they find ways to get the information and contact they need around the control of the organisations.

It is my opinion models need to support creative users not program human seen as nothing more than fleshy robots. Information work, at least at its higher ends, will always require creativity and responding to uncertainty and to win business in today's climate you need to provide the grounding for agility and flexibility without surrendering to chaos at almost all levels.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Is 'Twilight' altering teen minds? - Health - Behavior -

Is 'Twilight' altering teen minds? - Health - Behavior -

It's a potentially sucky situation. The vampire craze in teen literature – exemplified by the "Twilight" book series – could be affecting the dynamic workings of the teenage brain in ways scientists don't yet understand.

"We don't know exactly how literature affects the brain, but we know that it does," said Maria Nikolajeva, a Cambridge University professor of literature. "Some new findings have identified spots in the brain that respond to literature and art."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tensions flare in NYC after 9/11 ceremonies - U.S. news - 9/11: Nine Years Later -

"Stop bending down to them. Stop placating them. No special treatment," said Alice Lemos, 58, speaking of Muslims and holding a small American flag on a stick. "This isn't about religion. This is about rubbing our faces in their victory over us."

Tensions flare in NYC after 9/11 ceremonies - U.S. news - 9/11: Nine Years Later -

Alice Lemos said it all. Americans on the Right have essentially been ignoring the war in Iraq for 6 years now. Since the surge the story has gone off TV. In the absence of news many Americans imagined the war had turned some kind of corner and that the objects of making Iraq a democratic Capitalist state were being accomplished. These objectives were pasted on to the war after WMD were not found and the government in exile was rejected, and the true deeper objective of somehow righting 9/11 could never be meet. Nothing short of the utter destruction of subjugation of all Muslims would placate many of these people.

This is the first 9/11 where it is no longer possible for many to image that the United States is on the road to triumph of any kind in Iraq. Just as at the end of Vietnam America is facing the task of masking a clear and obvious defeat. The objects of finding WMD was not meet because the intelligence was wrong. After over 7 years in Iraq the Americans live a nation full of terrorism, a government in chaos, a democratic system that does not work, and a collapsed economy. Yet America is still leaving because the combined efforts of different Iraqi groups has effectively liberated their country from total American domination.

2010 is the year when the defeat of Iraq has sunk in to the thick skulls of the die hard Bush supporters who have now for the Tea Party. The Tea Party is the first large neo-fascist organisation to for in the United States since the KKK. Its recent move from opposing health care to first targeting Mexicans who might try to flee the hell of Mexican poverty to come to America to work for jobs no Americans want at wages no Americans can live on. After targeting Mexicans and getting full GOP support the Tea Party has now taken aim at Muslims. The desire is to drive Islam out of the United States.

Fascist parties, we now know for sure, form out of Capitalist societies under intense strain and change. They generally take some imagined affront to national and racial dignity as a core issue. They begin always with claims of the restoration of nation dignity and pride. They make appeals to Nation, Religion, hard work, and law and they always cluster around a specific racial group and racial identity. They become obsessed with the past, looking to hero so long dead they are easy to lie about.

Glenn Beck is probably the key agent in the transformation of defeat after the utter failure of George W. Bush in to a active fascist party in the United States. His hijacking of Martin Luther King Day can be seen as a Nuremberg Rally for the Tea Party. When the groups broke up and went home they found that there was no way they could or would apply their ideology to helping their community. With the private sector still devastated from 2005-2008 collapse of housing and banking they can't just build their business more. Their are no private sector opportunities in this economy just as there were none in the depression. They can talk Capitalism but they can't act Capitalism. Nor do they have the time or money to do charity work they claim will make health care reform needless. The Global Right can talk charity but its policies of free market reforms and restricting workers rights have given people very little time to give to charity.

So what does the Tea Party member take in his home in the rural south have to express his frustration. Well it is obvious not a big lead from depicting Obama as a monkey to depicting the Mexican family down the street of Muslim family in the next community as a monkey, and that is precisely what has happened. In the face of defeat in Iraq and defeat on health care the last generation to be dominated by White Conservatives in the United States has re-embraced the fascism of their youth. The issue has gone so far that it is now common to read Americans who hold that the Constitution does not now apply to Muslim citizens.

What will happen? This community is getting old, in about 10 years enough will likely die off that they will not matter. But medical technology is improving all the time, and we may be facing a negative consequence in our politics of the benefits of longer life, with more neo-fascist movements able to get support of people who mentality is 50 years out of date. This group has already pushed the war in Iraq, so there is little hope for the future with them.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Did Happy Days really jump the shark when it jumped the shark? Maybe Not

First Person: In defense of the 'Happy Days' ' 'Jump the Shark' episode -

"Which brings us to the question: Was the 'Hollywood 3' episode of 'Happy Days' deserving of its fate?

No, it wasn't. All successful shows eventually start to decline, but this was not 'Happy Days'' time. Consider: It was the 91st episode and the fifth season. If this was really the beginning of a downward spiral, why did the show stay on the air for six more seasons and shoot an additional 164 episodes? Why did we rank among the Top 25 in five of those six seasons?"

"Happy Days"

Monday, September 06, 2010

The War Within WikiLeaks - Newsweek

The War Within WikiLeaks - Newsweek: "As frontman for, Julian Assange, the floppy-haired Australian computer hacker, has become an internationally celebrated advocate for would-be whistle-blowers. But now that Swedish prosecutors have reopened a rape investigation of Assange and continue an inquiry into allegations that he was involved in 'sexual coercion and sexual molestation'--all of which he denies--some fellow WikiLeaks activists are considering asking him to step down from his role as the group's public face, or ousting him if he won't leave voluntarily.


Thursday, September 02, 2010

BBC News - William Hague 'has Cameron's full support' over rumours

BBC News - William Hague 'has Cameron's full support' over rumours: "She said Mr Cameron, who is on paternity leave, was not making any new statement on the issue but had given the foreign secretary his full backing throughout."

In other words the Prime Minister, who is in the middle of the most radical transformation of British society in modern history would come her and explain who Hague is not a fudge packer it himself, only he is away on prolonged leave at the moment.

WikiLeaks 'Insurance' File: Julian Assange's Group Posts Huge Encrypted File To Web

WikiLeaks 'Insurance' File: Julian Assange's Group Posts Huge Encrypted File To Web: "LONDON — Online whistle-blower WikiLeaks has posted a huge encrypted file named 'Insurance' to its website, sparking speculation that those behind the organization may be prepared to release more classified information if authorities interfere with them.

At 1.4 gigabytes, the file is 20 times larger than the batch of 77,000 secret U.S. military documents about Afghanistan that WikiLeaks dumped onto the Web last month, and cryptographers say that the file is virtually impossible to crack – unless WikiLeaks releases the key used to encode the material.

'There's no way that anyone has any chance of figuring out what's in there,' Paul Kocher, president of US-based Cryptography Research, said Thursday."

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Daily Swarm - Ping, Apple's New Social Network, Is Homophobic; Censors Lady Gaga's Pro-Gay Messages...

The Daily Swarm - Ping, Apple's New Social Network, Is Homophobic; Censors Lady Gaga's Pro-Gay Messages...: "The new iTunes social network Ping will let you connect directly with your favorite artists, but Apple’s promotional image for the new feature conveniently omits a string of Tweets from Lady Gaga’s timeline in which she protests anti-gay marriage legislation Proposition 8.

It’s a little thing, but given the controversies Apple has faced around app store censorship, and the direct-to-audience promise of both Twitter (and presumably Ping), it certainly seems notable. Apparently the company wanted to have its cake and eat it too when it came to one of the world’s most famous, and outspoken, musical artists."

Is every Tory a faggot?

BBC News - William Hague's adviser Christopher Myers resigns: "William Hague's special adviser has resigned over 'untrue and malicious' allegations made against him, the Foreign Secretary has said.

Mr Hague said suggestions Christopher Myers' appointment was due to an improper relationship between them were 'utterly false'.

In a statement, he also denied his marriage to wife Ffion was in trouble.

He revealed they have suffered multiple miscarriages and are still grieving the loss of a pregnancy this summer."

The UK biggest social issue you hear nothing abuot.

Alcohol related hospital admissions soar - Home News, UK - The Independent: "Hospital admissions due to alcohol have risen by 825 a day in five years to almost a million, researchers found today.

There were 945,469 admissions to hospital for alcohol-related harm in England in 2008/09, they said."

If each one of those admissions cost the nation a total 10,000 pounds combined losses and costs (which strikes me as rational) the UK has an expense of 10 billion in costs total related to alcohol just in England over just 2 years.

And what is being proposed by the new or former governments to do anything about this? Well almost nothing. Alcohol related health problems is not a big vote getter.

Monday, August 30, 2010

BBC News - Bittersweet memories of life in Iraq during invasion

BBC News - Bittersweet memories of life in Iraq during invasion
troops graphic

BBC News - Bittersweet memories of life in Iraq during invasion

BBC News - Bittersweet memories of life in Iraq during invasion: "'For me and my friends, [under Saddam] we were really more free. Because we could go out any time we wanted, listen to any type of music that we wanted.'

Today, he says, he no longer feels free and secure wearing his heavy metal clothes in public, or indeed going openly to certain parts of the city.

'Now you cannot go wherever you want, because you are afraid. Before, the situation was secure."

Yours truly....

Trying to hold down some Tibetan food despite altitude sickness, shortly after the 2010 Leh floods.

Photo by Gail Orenstein
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Stock market analysis: Are we set for an 'equities bloodbath'? | This is Money

Stock market analysis: Are we set for an 'equities bloodbath'? | This is Money: "The Soci�t�G�n�rale analyst said: 'Equity investors are in for a rude shock. The global economy is sliding back into recession and they are still not even aware that these events will trigger another leg down in valuations, the third major bear market since the equity valuation bubble burst.'

Edwards claims the economic data is increasingly pointing to a double-dip recession and that presently there is too much optimism among investors: 'So far the equity market has shrugged off much of the weaker data that abounds, and has not joined the bond market in a perceptive move."

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life

Monday, August 23, 2010

BBC News - Alien hunters 'should look for artificial intelligence'

BBC News - Alien hunters 'should look for artificial intelligence': "A senior astronomer has said that the hunt for alien life should take into account alien 'sentient machines'.

Seti, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, has until now sought radio signals from worlds like Earth.

But Seti astronomer Seth Shostak argues that the time between aliens developing radio technology and artificial intelligence (AI) would be short.

Writing in Acta Astronautica, he says that the odds favour detecting such alien AI rather than 'biological' life.

Many involved in Seti have long argued that nature may have solved the problem of life using different designs or chemicals, suggesting extraterrestrials would not only not look like us, but that they would not at a biological level even work like us."

BBC News - India sets Blackberry monitoring deadline

BBC News - India sets Blackberry monitoring deadline: "India has sent formal notices to the country's mobile operators telling them they must have equipment to monitor Blackberry services by 31 August.

The move will increase pressure on Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM) to allow Indian security agencies access to encrypted messages.

Tata Teleservices told BBC News that the letter said it must 'ensure that Legal Intervention (LI) capability is put in place' by the end of the month."

BBC News - Who cares about Pakistan?

BBC News - Who cares about Pakistan?: "Dr Marie Lall says: 'British Prime Minister David Cameron's comments in India [when he said Islamabad promoted the export of terror] did not help.'"

A legacy begins to emerge of inhumanity, cruelty, and arrogance to match George W. Bush.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stocks advance on upbeat news from Europe - Business - Stocks & economy -

Stocks advance on upbeat news from Europe - Business - Stocks & economy -

"European regulators, who issued the results of what are called 'stress tests' on the banks, said Friday that only a handful would struggle if the continent's economy weakens. That helped send the Dow Jones industrial average up more than 100 points, which gave the index a two-day gain of more than 300."

Not with a storm but a whimper the sovereign debt crisis comes to a slow, silent end. A media creation to assure to make money off Europe by exploiting Greece and to support Tory policies in the UK, yet another sudden turn in the weird ride of modern Capitalism.

Are Europe's banks really so secure? Who knows. No one knows and no one can know because there is nothing to know. Modern finance is a chaotic game dependent on utterly imperfect information. The free market of billionaires desperate for 20% return has turned the global economy in to a casino.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

BBC News - What might the UK economy be like in future?

BBC News - What might the UK economy be like in future?

Graph showing the proportion of national outcome provided by 3 sectors

UK future, according to this study, will see much worse public services and an economy far more dominated by business services and finance. In short, the Tory is more of the same, just much harder

Time travel theory avoids grandfather paradox

Time travel theory avoids grandfather paradox: "( -- The possibility of going back in time only to kill your ancestors and prevent your own birth has posed a serious problem for potential time travelers, not even considering the technical details of building a time machine. But a new theory proposed by physicists at MIT suggests that this grandfather paradox could be avoided by using quantum teleportation and 'post-selecting' what a time traveler could and could not do. So while murdering one’s relatives is unfortunately possible in the present time, such actions would be strictly forbidden if you were to try them during a trip to the past."

P-CTC time travel

How the Feds shook hands with an internet pedophile • The Register

How the Feds shook hands with an internet pedophile • The Register:

"As former moderators for an internet relay channel dedicated to hacking, Francine Campbell and Sterlin Ward have seen some of the net's darker quarters. But nothing prepared them for their group's encounter with an internet pedophile who called himself Digerati."

BBC News - David Cameron criticised over World War II history slip

BBC News - David Cameron criticised over World War II history slip:

"'We were the junior partner in 1940 when we were fighting the Nazis.'"

" Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour."

Winston Churchill 18 June 1940

Well the Empire is long gone, and these men in a thousand years will know more British history than the current TORY PM

Friday, June 18, 2010

Under the Tories there is no such thing as a good Government program, unless it benefits the City

BBC News - Free swims for children and over-60s in England axed: "Consultants Pricewaterhouse Coopers were asked to examine the swimming scheme to see if it had increased the number of swimmers and the 'health and consequent economic benefits'.

Their report said in the first year of the scheme 261 local authorities applied for the programme most of which had offered free swims to children and the over-60s but 64 of which concentrated on the over-60s.

The analysis showed that more youngsters took up the offer than over-60s. It also shows that the scheme encouraged more paying swimmers to take part - for example adults accompanying children.

About 138,000 extra paying customers went swimming in the first year of the scheme.

It also said that over-60s who took part increased their swimming sessions so the number reaching the government-recommended average of 30 minutes exercise a day went up from 66.2% of those surveyed to 78.4%."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bloody Sunday, U2 was right

BBC News - Key findings: "The Saville Report into the events of Bloody Sunday in Londonderry on 30 January 1972 has been published. The inquiry set out to answer a number of key questions:

Were those killed and injured all unarmed and innocent civilians?
'None of the casualties shot by soldiers of Support Company was armed with a firearm or (with the probable exception of Gerald Donaghey) a bomb of any description. None was posing any threat of causing death or serious injury. In no case was any warning given before soldiers opened fire.

'None of the casualties was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or indeed was doing anything else that could on any view justify their shooting.'"

BBC News - US experiment hints at 'multiple God particles'

BBC News - US experiment hints at 'multiple God particles': "There may be multiple versions of the elusive 'God particle' - or Higgs boson - according to a new study.

Finding the Higgs is the primary aim of the �6bn ($10bn) Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment near Geneva.

But recent results from the LHC's US rival suggest physicists could be hunting five particles, not one.

The data may point to new laws of physics beyond the current accepted theory - known as the Standard Model.

The Higgs boson's nickname comes from its importance to the Standard Model; it is the sub-atomic particle which explains why all other particles have mass.

However, despite decades trying, no-one, so far, has detected it.

The idea of multiple Higgs bosons is supported by results gathered by the DZero experiment at the Tevatron particle accelerator, operated by Fermilab in Illinois, US."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The conflict of Bondage

The conflict of Bondage

One striking feature of Second Life sexual place space the the role that bondage, fetish and sadomasochistic role play.  One might ask why these emerges to prominently in a virtual reality mediated set of sexual exchanges.

An obvious answer would be that the nature of exchanges of sexual acts and messages reflects the nature of exchange taking place in the space itself.   The global internet can be seen making all identity and exchange as a commodity.  The impersonal outsourced nature of internet network exchanges is reflected in the fetish nature of Second Life sexual exchanges. 

Bondage sexuality with its fetish of roles and clothing reveal the relationships of power, gender, and commodity that govern Late Capitalist economy.  One could say that bondage RP visualizes the dominate nature of social relationships.  This could be seen as a process of making this network more attractive, but at base the monopoly of Late Capitalist consumerist ideology itself can account for its appearance within the sexuality of virtual exchanges.

But there is another side to the relationship of Late Capitalism to the tribes of virtual sadomasochists.  Second Life BDSM play is often fused with a entire setting that stresses the medieval or ancient.  Bondage play is imagined taking place in a context castles, aristocrats, slave markets, and landed estates.  It is also interesting that feudal and ancient social practices are mixed.  Landed castles are also the scenes of massive Romanian like slave. The past is combined, but it is all united by being pre-Capitalist.  This provides the strange scenes of feudal castles full of small advertisements for animations and clothing. 

This leads to the observation of a contradition: that "players" in sexual games in Second Life both embrace a radically Capitalist framework for construcing their sexuality at the same time as imagining a context that pre-dates Capitalism and promises a return to forms or exchange that predate Industry, Globalisation and trade.

This conflict between structures made possible only by the Global Late Capitalist system and nostalgia for an imagined pre-Capitalist purity run through Second Life.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The election everyone may have lost

BREAKING NEWS Police have been called to some polling stations to move on people who wanted to vote but couldn't because they were still queuing outside at 10pm. In the Manchester Withington constituency, about 200 people were turned away. A spokesman for the returning officer for Manchester said: "The law states that the doors to polling stations must be closed at 10pm exactly, and no-one may be issued with a ballot paper after 10pm." From the BBC
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But, if the postal voting comes in for Lib Dems...

But if the strange estimate that Lib Dems will lose seats turns out to be wrong and the early postal voting when the Lib Dems were actually in the lead comes out to be true, the entire balance of power easily shifts.

Then again if Conservatives do just a tiny bit better they may be able to form a government, but statements by Cameron indicate that he does not see that.
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Current Project of 2010 Hung Parliament

Exit polls indicate an outcome like the one above. Lib Dems do much of nothing and Labour is second party. Conservative should be able to form a minority government, but this result seems set to not please anyone. Everyone will be disappointed with it. Labour will loss almost 100 seats, Lib Dems will not make an impact and Conservatives who were so far ahead will not even have a majority.

Perhaps this is democracy. But democracy seems to be more and more the voters saying, collectively, they want nothing with running the nation.
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Op-Ed Columnist - Welcome to Confederate History Month -

What is known is that the nearly all-white G.O.P. is so traumatized by race it has now morphed into a bizarre paragon of both liberal and conservative racial political correctness. For irrefutable proof, look no further than the peculiar case of its chairman, Steele, whose reckless spending and incompetence would cost him his job at any other professional organization, let alone a political operation during an election year. Steele has job security only because he is the sole black man in a white party hierarchy. That hierarchy is as fearful of crossing him as it is of calling out the extreme Obama haters in its ranks.
Op-Ed Columnist - Welcome to Confederate History Month -
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hallucinogens Have Doctors Tuning In Again -

Hallucinogens Have Doctors Tuning In Again -
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Mikulski offers mild rebuke of DNC fundraising - POLITICO Live -

Mikulski offers mild rebuke of DNC fundraising - POLITICO Live - "'Edging on the crowd, edging on the mob, I think we’re now over the edge,' she said. 'Let's stop rewarding outrageous and bizarre behavior.'
Mikulski expressed particular concern at how the threats and alleged attacks on lawmakers were playing overseas. 'It has a serious effect when people around the world look at us. We’re really cheapening and denigrating ourselves,' she said."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

BBC News - Greece rescue hope sends euro and stocks higher

BBC News - Greece rescue hope sends euro and stocks higher: "The euro has jumped and stock markets have risen on reports that eurozone leaders have agreed the details of a plan to rescue debt-ridden Greece.
Leaders had finally agreed an interest rate at which to lend money to Greece, should it be needed, the reports said.
As a result, the euro gained more than 1 cent on the dollar, to $1.3466, while the Athens stock exchange rose 3.4%.
This was despite the fact that leading ratings agency Fitch downgraded Greek government debt earlier on Friday.
Other leading European markets also gained ground, with the UK's FTSE 100 index up 1%, Germany's Dax gaining 1.3% and France's Cac 40 rising 1.8%.
The in US, the main Dow Jones index briefly breached 11,000 points for the first time in 18 months, before closing up 0.6% at 10,997.
The euro also rose slightly against the pound, to 87.630 pence."

Friday, April 09, 2010

The Associated Press: Calif. man cries at hearing in Pelosi threats case

The Associ

SAN FRANCISCO — A man accused of threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in phone calls cried Thursday during a court appearance where a magistrate initially refused his request to be released to a halfway house.

Gregory Lee Giusti, 48, of San Francisco looked disheveled in a gray T-shirt and khakis as he appeared for the first time before Magistrate Judge Bernard Zimmerman.

"Some of these threats are very serious," Zimmerman said before denying Giusti's request to be released to the halfway house. He said Giusti may suffer from bipolar disorder and should be receiving treatment.

The magistrate, however, told the U.S. attorney's office to interview Giusti further to determine if he was mentally competent enough to be released to a halfway house or if he should continue to be detained.

A detention hearing was scheduled for Monday.

Giusti is charged with making obscene, threatening or harassing phone calls to a member of Congress.

In the new world of Tea Party, if there is not a video of somethng it did not happen,

Sunday, April 04, 2010

BBC - dot.Rory: Does the blogosphere matter?

BBC - dot.Rory: Does the blogosphere matter?: "At every political party, no doubt, the high command is wondering nervously whether a few mis-spoken words on a blog could knock a whole campaign off course. But here's a question: is anybody actually listening?

I called a man at Nielsen Netratings, which compiles statistics on UK web audiences, and asked him to run his ruler over the political blogs. After having a look at the likes of and he warned that, with unique user figures well below 50,000, they were really too small to measure with any accuracy (see update below)."

Note: Blog numbers for this blog have dropped through the floor since we started blogging more about the UK election. Literally, no one cares, no one wants to talk about it and no one likes any of the candidates running. Its a sad year for a great nation. That still does not mean Cameron is not the British Bush, which he is, its just there is little national energy for any of the leaders. No matter what outcome I suspect the next parliament will be very week and a new election will be in the coming years, I could be wrong but that is my feeling from trying to talk to people.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cuts would be limited in 2010 - Cameron | Reuters

Another policy of the hour brought to you by the Tories. On the good side (or bad side) its now kind of impossible to tell any policy difference between them, but it seem possible that in the closing weeks the Tories are going to try and become the party on the Left, after Cameron claimed territory Right of Thacher last year. Well by the time I send press it will have all changed anyways.

Cuts would be limited in 2010 - Cameron | Reuters: "LONDON (Reuters) - Conservative leader David Cameron said on Sunday there would be a limit to what the party could do this year to tackle the country's deficit if it wins the upcoming election."

Treated Different than Tea Party

Notice how protesters on the left are treated very differently than Tea Party? Why is it that certain Americans have so much more freedom of speech and protest than others?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Labour 'more trusted on economy since Budget', poll shows - Telegraph

Labour 'more trusted on economy since Budget', poll shows - Telegraph:

"The poll showed Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling have overturned David Cameron and George Osborne's lead on economic issues.
Mr Brown and Mr Darling were backed by 33 per cent of voters on the economy; Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne were supported by 27 per cent."

RNC rejects joint 'civility' statement - Andy Barr -

RNC rejects joint 'civility' statement - Andy Barr -

Various members of the DNC — including Chairman Tim Kaine, Executive Director Jen O’Malley Dillon and Communications Director Brad Woodhouse — contacted their respective RNC counterparts this week in hopes of getting RNC Chairman Michael Steele to co-sign a document with Kaine that, in part, called for “elected officials of both parties to set an example of the civility we want to see in our citizenry.”

“We also call on all Americans to respect differences of opinion, to refrain from inappropriate forms of intimidation, to reject violence and vandalism, and to scale back rhetoric that might reasonably be misinterpreted by those prone to such behavior,” read the proposed joint statement, which came at the end of a week which saw acts of vandalism and threats of violence directed at members of Congress from both parties, but mostly aimed at Democrats who voted “yes” on the health care bill.

Republicans see the statement as an attempt to force them to either reject the statement — allowing Democrats to say the RNC finds the incidents acceptable — or to sign on to something that the DNC would later wield against them.

Read more:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Reclusive Russian maths genius rejects $1m prize | TopNews United Kingdom

Reclusive Russian maths genius rejects $1m prize TopNews United Kingdom: "A low-profile Russian mathematician has refused a $1 million prize, which he won for solving a century-old ‘Poincare Conjecture’.

Forty-three year old Grigory Perelman turned down the prize from America’s Clay Mathematic Institute and said he would rather live penniless cockroach-infected tiny apartment.

The theoretical problem ‘Poincare Conjecture’ had baffled experts since it was put forward in 1904.

The problem was so difficult that it took mathematicians around four years just to check whether it was right or wrong."

“Hung UK Parliament” a Likely Outcome: Polls | TopNews United Kingdom

“Hung UK Parliament” a Likely Outcome: Polls TopNews United Kingdom: "Results of two opinion polls released on Sunday show that the most likely outcome of the forthcoming British election is a hung parliament. People think that no party will win an overall majority in the upcoming elections, the survey suggests.
According to an ICM poll carried out for the News of the World, the Conservatives went down three points to 38%, ahead of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's ruling Labour Party, which went up one point to 32%."

Labour ahead of Conservatives on the economy. No, really – Telegraph Blogs

Labour ahead of Conservatives on the economy. No, really – Telegraph Blogs:

"These days, opinion polls seem ten a penny, but some still have the power to cause genuine ripples in the pond. I think one of those has been published today. This ComRes poll for the BBC shows that 33 per cent of voters back Labour on the economy and 27 per cent support the Conservatives"

UK Conservative Party Lead Falls To 2 Points Over Labour -Poll

UK Conservative Party Lead Falls To 2 Points Over Labour -Poll:

"LONDON -(Dow Jones)- The U.K. opposition Conservative Party saw its lead over the governing Labour Party slip to two points in the latest YouGov poll commissioned by the Sun newspaper.
The poll, published late Wednesday, showed the Conservatives with 36% of support, Labour with 34% and the smaller opposition party, the Liberal Democrats, with 17%."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The photograph that defined the class divide | Society | The Guardian

The photograph that defined the class divide | Society | The Guardian
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Inside the GOP strategy

I imagine it went something like this:

Republican 1 "Hey, though we lost the election lets get our most radical and charged supporters to engage in massive protests, with lots of signs, and pump them up with anger and hatred so that images of them protesting full of rage will be all over the news"

Republican 2 "Well in the 1960s people on the Left did that and it didn't work out too well for them. In fact for decades we got benefit from tying all Democrats to such protests"

Republican 1 "Yah but those were Jews, N*ggers, and F@gg0ts"



"FLASH: Ann Coulter Ottawa speech shut down... 2000 protesters surrounding building with rocks and sticks -- pulled fire alarm in building. Cops shut it down! Blogs calling for Coulter to be hurt. MPs were banned from going, Coulter denounced by an MP in the Parliement."

Wow, well what goes around comes around I guess. To think of mobs of people, full of anger and hate, treating a person, trying to stop them from engaging in democratic process and impose an outcome.

Shame shame shame isn't it.

But hey, in Canada maybe they call themselves some stupid name like "tea parties" and see themselves as heros.

Obama, Democrats Begin Reaping Political Benefits Of Reform

Obama, Democrats Begin Reaping Political Benefits Of Reform:

"According to a Gallup/USA Today poll conducted the day after health care legislation passed the House of Representatives, 49 percent of the respondents think the passage of reform is a 'good thing,' compared to the 40 percent who think it is bad. The numbers are a welcome relief for a party and a presidency that had been bleeding popular support over the course of the past six months."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

BBC News - David Cameron's wife Samantha pregnant

BBC News - David Cameron's wife Samantha pregnant:

"Samantha is expecting a baby in September, a Conservative spokesman has said."

Now that is desperate. "Don't think we should keep it between us until after the election" "no baby the peasants love a pregnant chick" Do wonder who the dad is?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Healthcare vote: Barack Obama passes US health reform by narrow margin | World news |

But here's the thing. Community hasn't succeeded very often in American politics, but when it has, it's tended to work better than advertised. Social Security and Medicare (universal coverage for senior citizens) are very popular. Once changes like these are made, well, it takes a while, but most people tend to like them. And maybe that's the real reason Republicans are so unhinged right now.
Healthcare vote: Barack Obama passes US health reform by narrow margin | World news |
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

British Airways strike threat: US union weighs into cabin crew dispute | Business | The Guardian

British Airways strike threat: US union weighs into cabin crew dispute | Business | The Guardian
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Followers of Sadr Emerge Stronger After Iraq Elections -

The followers of Moktada al-Sadr, a radical cleric who led the Shiite insurgency against the American occupation, have emerged as Iraq’s equivalent of Lazarus in elections last week, defying ritual predictions of their demise and now threatening to realign the nation’s balance of power.

Their apparent success in the March 7 vote for Parliament — perhaps second only to the followers of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki as the largest Shiite bloc — underscores a striking trend in Iraqi politics: a collapse in support for many former exiles who collaborated with the United States after the 2003 invasion.
Followers of Sadr Emerge Stronger After Iraq Elections -
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Payback Time - Avalanche of Maturing Junk Bonds Looms for Markets -

Payback Time - Avalanche of Maturing Junk Bonds Looms for Markets -
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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Obesity: The killer combination of salt, fat and sugar | David A Kessler | Life and style | The Guardian

But it was thinking creatively about how to attract more consumers that led Starbucks to the Frappuccino, the venture capitalist told me. Although its stores were crowded early in the day, by afternoon "they were so empty you could roll a bowling ball through them". The creation of a rich, sweet and comforting milkshake-like concoction utterly transformed the business. A Starbucks Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino comes with whipped cream and 18 teaspoons of sugar: all in all, this "drink" contains more calories than a personal-size pepperoni pizza, and more sweetness than six scoops of ice-cream. By encouraging us to consider any occasion for food an opportunity for pleasure and reward, the industry invites us to indulge a lot more often.
Obesity: The killer combination of salt, fat and sugar | David A Kessler | Life and style | The Guardian
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Texas Conservatives Win Vote on Textbook Standards -

“We are adding balance,” said Dr. Don McLeroy, the leader of the conservative faction on the board, after the vote. “History has already been skewed. Academia is skewed too far to the left.”
Texas Conservatives Win Vote on Textbook Standards -
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Vast F.C.C. Plan Would Bring Net to More in U.S. -

Vast F.C.C. Plan Would Bring Net to More in U.S. -
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

The amazing true story of Zeitoun | World news | The Guardian

Abdulrahman Zeitoun is the real-life hero of Dave Eggers's new book. In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina he paddled from house to house in a canoe, offering help to his neighbours. For his trouble, he was arrested as a suspected terrorist

The amazing true story of Zeitoun | World news | The Guardian
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Lehman Brothers Hid Borrowing, Examiner Says -

Lehman Brothers Hid Borrowing, Examiner Says -
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Kucinich Confirms His Opposition To Dems' Health Care Reform Plan--Even If He's The Deciding Vote (VIDEO) | TPMDC

"This bill represents a giveaway to the insurance industry," Kucinich told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell. "$70 billion a year, and no guarantees of any control over premiums, forcing people to buy private insurance...I'm sorry, I just don't see that this bill is the solution."

What an ass!! People who vote for Kucinich are a lot like Nader voters, in fact, they're generally the same people. Sacrificing any progress in the name of a fictional total progress that never comes in large part because they reliably block the first step every time some more practical person comes along and tries to take it.

Kucinich Confirms His Opposition To Dems' Health Care Reform Plan--Even If He's The Deciding Vote (VIDEO) | TPMDC
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Revisiting The 2004 Democratic Presidential Field | The New Republic

At the time, I was disappointed that Kerry prevailed. And it's certainly true that Kerry lacked the communications skills to be a presidential nominee. But compared to that field, he was a giant. He's the only candidate you can imagine actually serving as president without bringing about some enormous disaster. And he's handled himself pretty well since losing the race. Indeed, the only other 2004 candidate who's actually raised his stature among Democrats is Sharpton.
Revisiting The 2004 Democratic Presidential Field | The New Republic
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