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Archive for December, 2012|Monthly archive page

Defective By Design

In Nerds only on December 31, 2012 at 10:58 am

The Free Software Foundation has a campaign going on called Defective by Design.  Its a protest against Digital Rights Management.  They claim that DRM takes the right of ownership away from the consumer and controls how consumers use their property.  The classic case of DRM abuse when Amazon Kindle arbitrarily deleted all copies of George Orwell’s 1984 from all Kindles in the USA.

Its all part of a push by ‘rights holders’ to restrict the ownership of media you may buy.  So in effect you rent media from media corporations, you never can actually own it.  Its a creepy brave new world where ‘rights holders’ seek neurotically to control the distribution of all media by disrespecting and badgering their customers.  Of course this attempt to control all media is failing badly.  DRM can and is being bypassed every day but doing so is ‘illegal’ due to the increasingly invasive copywrong laws.

 

Copyright Math Absurdities

In Nerds only, Polytricks on December 30, 2012 at 9:20 am

The MPAA claims that it lost $58 billion to ‘copyright theft’.  Unsurprisingly this huge number is complete bullshit.  Part of a pattern of deceit and outright lies to provide cover for their outrageously punitive lawsuits against hapless downloaders.  Here is Rob Reid hilariously demolishing their propaganda.

If the ‘Entertainment Corporations’ had their way public libraries would get shut down because library patrons were reading books without paying for them first.  Doctors offices would face thousands of dollars of fines for allowing waiting patients to read magazines that they (gasp) hadn’t paid for.

The whole ‘industry’ hates the internet because it cannot control it.  Funny how corporations proudly bellow-out how technical innovation is the cornerstone of their success .. until.. the internet comes along and threatens their imaginary ‘profits’.. pffttt!!…

In Memoriam: Hunter Stockton Thompson

In Polytricks on December 29, 2012 at 9:00 am

Its been seven years since Hunter S. Thompson died.  I still feel bad about it.  Its not that he obviously had a lot more to write about.  Its also about the strange circumstances of his death.  He allegedly shot himself in the head with a  .45 calibre semi-automatic handgun but his son in the next room ‘mistook’ the gunshot for the sound of a book falling, and “continued with their activities for a few minutes before checking on him.”

What?  How do you miss the sound of a .45 being fired in the next room?

Hunter Thompson died a month after George Bush’s second inauguration.  Hunter of course had nothing good to say about George Bush, in fact he said that he would have rather voted for Nixon rather than Bush.  In his last published essay he said.. ““every GOP administration since 1952 has let the military-industrial complex loot the Treasury and plunge the nation into debt on the excuse of a wartime economic emergency… ”

Americans really needed him for that last Bush term in office.  Were they robbed?

FBI considers Occupy Movement a terrorist threat

In Polytricks on December 28, 2012 at 9:02 am

Despite their repeatedly stated non-violent stance, the FBI thinks of Occupy as a terrorist threat.  Kinda tells you all you need to know about the national security state thinking these days.  Even constitutionally protected protest is viewed as ‘terrorism’.  And what about all the resources put into spying on the Occupy movement?  Wouldn’t that be taking resources away from finding ‘real’ terrorists?

Turns out that the FBI was warning the Wall St. Stock Exchange a month before the Occupy movement even took place.  This shows that lawful civil movements are under surveillance on behalf of corporate interests.  It also shows that the national security state clearly sees its job as protecting banksters and corporate crooks from the legitimate outrage of the defrauded citizenry.

Interesting to note that thousands of Occupy protesters have been arrested, beaten up, jailed and traumatized while almost none of the banksters and corporate thieves have even been indicted let alone prosecuted for their theft on a grand scale.  Then there is the issue of the suspiciously coordinated police shut-down of all Occupy protest sites….

This is a classic example of lost opportunity.  A State could take heed of non-violent protest as a timely heads-up to bring justice to a badly corrupt government.  But instead governments invariably use violence and repression leading inevitably to violent resistance.  So who are the real ‘terrorists’ then?

 

 

European weather forecast models predicted Hurricane Sandy first

In Weather on December 27, 2012 at 8:13 am

While the US weather models were predicting Hurricane Sandy was going to move out to sea the European model showed a bullseye on New York.  This happened because the Europeans have more accurate forecast models.  They have the funding and larger computers.  Another crucial factor affecting accuracy of the forecast models is delays in launching a new pole to pole weather satellite. The ECMWF predicted the storm would hit New York 8 days before it did.

The ECMWF (European model) is considered the gold standard in weather forecasting but its proprietary and expensive.  The US model (GFS) is lagging badly behind other national weather prediction models.  With the anticipated increase in destructive weather ‘events’ nobody can afford to fall behind in this area.  Here is a humorous video about weather prediction models.. ;o)

 

 

Climate change is estimated to cost the world economy $1.2 trillion annually

In Polytricks, Weather on December 26, 2012 at 10:28 am

This large fact should help the climate change deniers re-evaluate their objections to passing treaties and laws to drastically reduce CO2 emissions.  Insurance corporations are suffering huge losses.  Insurance claims have doubled each decade since 1980.  So in order to save their industry it seems reasonable to predict that the cost of insuring climate change will become prohibitive quite soon.  In other words oil corporations fighting climate change regulation are guaranteeing that individuals will pay all the real costs of climate change.

Insurance corporations make detailed risk assessments.  They have to.  They know that climate change is real and they have mostly got out of flood insurance because of the risks involved leaving it to governments to bear the brunt of these increasing costs.  So the next time you hear a climate change denying corporate talking head blathering on about the ‘costs’ of dealing with climate change remember that this means that tax payers are going to foot all the bills.

Classic corporate scam, privatize the profits and socialize the costs.  But in the end the tax payer will be on the hook for such great losses that social funding will collapse.  So really our civil society is at risk due to government and corporate intransigence over climate change.

 

 

Bethlehem 2012, no room left in the inn

In Polytricks on December 25, 2012 at 10:32 am

Busy Xmas season in Bethlehem this year and there are literally no rooms left for visitors.  This is a big change from previous years when Christmas was cancelled because of armed conflict.  This year there are lots of pilgrims from around the world although those from Palestine find it harder to get to Bethlehem than those from the West.

There are a lot of Middle Eastern Christians.  They make up 10 percent of Egypt, Jordan and Syria, and 22 percent of Lebanon. Even in Israel, they are 2 percent of the population.  Palestinian Christians used to be 12 percent of the population.  I wonder how they view their fellow Christians in the West.

 

 

Lance Armstrong sued again

In Polytricks on December 24, 2012 at 10:08 am

Lance Armstrong is getting sued again, this time by the Sunday Times.  Before you feel sorry for him remember that he sued the Sunday Times for libel 8 years ago and won a half million dollar settlement.  Since then he has been found guilty of running “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”

But this isn’t the only organization that Lance sued to keep his cheating secret.  He also sued insurance company SCA Promotions when it withheld $5 million in ‘performance bonus’ due to the ever increasing doping scandal swirling around him.  Now SCA Promotions is suing him to get that money back.

Lance Armstrong is not a nice guy.  He bullied and threatened anyone who didn’t buy into his lies and cheating.  Now he is known as “the worst cheat in the world of sport“, (he is also been called a cynic and hypocrite.)

I never liked him because he seemed to typify the dark side of the American psyche.  Being friends with George Bush just made him look worse.  But what makes Lance Armstrong the most un-likeable is the way he is defiantly unrepentant despite overwhelming evidence of his deceit.

Now all these lawsuits may cost him a few million bucks but his fortune is made and intact despite losing his cancer foundation and corporate sponsors.  He may get sued but I doubt if he will be charged with perjury. George Carlin saw right through him, so I will let him have the last word.. ;o)

Remembering the 176 children murdered by US Drones

In Polytricks on December 23, 2012 at 7:38 am

The horrifying murder of  20 children in Newtown, Connecticut shocked the world and will perhaps even bring about changes in US gun laws.  But the murder of 176 children in Pakistan and Yemen by US drones elicits very little comment or outrage in the West.  In Pakistan it is a huge issue producing fury and deep resentment but that also is ignored in the West.

The Drone War continues its slaughter of innocents.  Some may be offended by the comparison but isn’t the deliberate murder of just one child a heinous crime?

This drone execution policy is clearly a war crime.  It violates almost every international and national law governing Habeas corpus and human rights.  No war has been declared against Pakistan so under what rules does the  USG act as judge, jury and executioner?

Drone attacks have been documented to attack wedding parties in the hopes of killing ‘terrorist suspects’.  Then the following funerals are also targeted to harvest ‘additional suspects’.  This drone policy has destroyed America’s credibility in the war on terror.

Nobody is safe on this planet if this kind of arbitrary drone warfare becomes the norm.

Drug War very successful for elites

In Polytricks on December 22, 2012 at 11:46 am

Interesting article in Asia Times Online about how well the War on Drugs is working out for the ruling elite.   The raw fact is that the War on Drugs is making some corporations very, very rich.  So the waste of billions of tax payer dollars and tens of thousands of lives is ‘worth it’ for the ruling elite.  The real profits of the drug trade end up in the hands of crooked banksters .

Drug profits are also helping the banksters get very, very rich.  Recently HSBC was fined $2 billion for laundering drug money.   The corporate media spins drug money laundering as “lapses”, pathetically understating their crucial role enabling the War on Drugs.  Simply put, drug cartels would be totally undermined if they couldn’t find a place to launder their cash.  So Banksters are a crucial part of making the War on Drugs so successful for elites.

The above AToL article makes the point that the War on Drugs is also a class war.  What class of people are being killed?  What class of people are getting rich?  As I posted before, Mexico and Columbia, two countries where waging the War on Drugs is bringing in billions of US tax payer money, just happen to have lots of oil.  Creating a nasty, violent drug/class war helps distracting the people while you steal their oil.  Here is George Carlin’s suggestions to stop drug money laundering in the US…  ;o)

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