So simple, and so true.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
So simple, and so true.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
This man served in the United States military. He did a tour in Iraq, and a tour in Afghanistan. He has a video series called Why Not to Join the Military, and he really knows what he is talking about:
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Drugs are absolutely pwning the war on drugs. Recently, Mexico had a 20 year old woman become police chief of a border town because nobody else wanted the job, and now we have this:
The entire police force in a small Mexican town abruptly resigned Tuesday after its new headquarters was viciously attacked by suspected drug cartel gunmen.
All 14 police officers in Los Ramones, a rural town in northern Mexico, fled the force in terror after gunmen fired more than 1,000 bullets and flung six grenades at their headquarters on Monday night.
No one was injured in the attack. Mayor Santos Salinas Garza told local media that the officers resigned because of the incident.
The gunmen’s 20-minute shooting spree destroyed six police vehicles and left the white and orange police station pocked with bullet holes, the Financial Times reported.
The station had been inaugurated just three days earlier.
The attack was the second in less than a week against police forces in Nuevo Leon. Last week, thugs threw two grenades at police in Sabinas Hidalgo, according to newspaper Noroeste.
Los Ramones is in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, which has been a war zone of turf violence between two of the country’s fiercest drug gangs, the Zetas and the Gulf cartel.
Police have blamed members of both cartels for attacks on several police stations throughout the area. Several mayors in the region have been assassinated.
Mexico’s municipal police forces often quit out of fear after being attacked by cartels.
About 90% of forces have less than 100 officers, and 61% of cops earn less than $322 a month, according to the Finanical Times.
Mexico’s intelligence chief said this summer that nearly 30,000 people have died in drug related crimes since 2006.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I'm all in favor of organized labor in theory, but the unions that exist today are the opposite of organized labor. It's great to see The Daily Show investigate them.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
The Inspector General of Columbia, a devout Catholic and lover of all things statist, has accidentally admitted a bit too much about the current power and belief structures prevalent in today's society:
"For 200 years the Colombian people have endured repression, hunger, injustice and violence, only because of their solid faith that once in heaven everything will be alright. Without this loyalty to God and His one and only representative on earth, the Church, Colombians may not be able to put up with what they are made to endure (and demand change)," Ordoñez wrote to Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin.
The sad part is that he considers this to be a bad thing.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
And so America has become the very monster it fought two hundred years ago:
The affable British scholar tried to keep it light. He used a stage whisper to tell the Aspen Institute audience, “I know you’re not comfortable with the word ‘empire,’ especially just after the Fourth of July, but you are the Redcoats now.”
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Jon Stewart gives Barack Obama a well-deserved skewering. And I just love the Lord of the Rings reference.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The Hopeless, changeless Obama administration got some poor torture victim's court case dismissed. Color me unsurprised:
Which I guess means we’ve officially become a country that finds protecting those who commit torture more important than justice for those who were tortured.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Someone recently filed a motion to change the Seal of the State of Washington into an image of a tapeworm in a three-piece suit surrounded by the words, "Committed to sucking the life blood out of each and every taxpayer."
I, for one, welcome our new tapeworm overlords.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I have heard many times that voting is not really a right, but a privilege bestowed upon us by our good benefactors. They warn that you may lose the privilege to vote if you commit a crime, or are not a citizen, or any number of other reasons. They warn that if you are eligible to vote, you should do so, or else some day that privilege may be gone.
Well now some gauleiter at the Brookings Institute named William Galston wants to force this privilege down our throats. Vote, he says, or pay a fine! Well at least that's the way he wants it to be. He seems to think that the US should model it's voting system after Australia's, where eligible voters who don't exercise their voting "privilege" get fined. Incidentally, Australia has one of the highest "Mickey Mouse" vote rates in the world (A Mickey Mouse vote is where you make a nonsensical vote, like writing in the name Mickey Mouse).
I think that if the US were to enact compulsory voting, then it is only reasonable (both morally and logically) to also enact a rule that says that if less than 100% of eligible voters cast a ballot, then the results of that vote are null and void. The door should swing both ways.
Of course, that would not be an ideal solution. An ideal solution would be to eliminate all democratic mechanisms altogether and banish voting to the realm of tyrants and pitchfork mobs.
Let's take a look at how retarded and backwards the Brookings Institute's thinking is on the matter:
The Brookings Institution scholar is among those who are dismayed at the turnout in this country. Those in the wide middle of the spectrum are the ones who abstain from voting, and Galston thinks that's not good. Get more people in the process by making it easier to vote through things like liberalized absentee voting.
Dismayed at the turnout? Dismayed that not everyone agrees with your notions of mob rule? Dismayed that not everyone's beliefs match your own, especially if that belief is apathy? Shouldn't one's difference of opinion be respected, rather than overridden through forced participation?
What Galston is doing is "counting the hits and ignoring the misses." He is too blind to see that a non-vote is a rejection of the system. It is, in a way, a vote of no confidence, or of apathy, or of disengagement. The non-vote is, in reality, the most powerful "vote" in a democracy. But of course, the Brookings Institute is blinded by their democratic fanboyism. They cannot conceive that non-participation in democratic mechanisms could ever be legitimate, or ever have a meaningful message behind it, or even be the moral thing to do. Nothing could so effectively take away the power of one's voice than by forcing that person to cast a vote in a democracy. It is forcing one's consent to the system. More important than the candidate(s) to be voted on is whether or not one consents to the system at all. To paraphrase Spooner, you are no less a slave just because you get to vote for a new master every couple of years.
And if you want some really delicious irony, read this part where Galston, who is advocating forced democracy, argues against a specific instance of popular opposition to his idea:
But, as Robert pointed out, an ABC News poll indicated that 72 percent of Americans are opposed to compulsory voting. Isn't this a non-starter?
Galston conceded that it could be tough but added that perceptions change. Just look at the public's turnaround on "don't ask, don't tell," he said.
And if you didn't notice, Galston also implicitly conceded the mercurial and ever-shifting beliefs of the majority. Hey I'm for social maturation and evolution of ideas as much as the next guy, but given that the only constant of popular opinion is that it always changes, why should we be trying to force popular opinions into policy and law? What is moral today is immoral tomorrow, and vice-versa, all through popular dictate? No thanks.
By forcing everyone to vote, everyone will be forced to play the game; to consent to the overall system. Mandatory voting is a sure-fire way to maintain the status quo, preserve the current power structure, and eliminate any real chance of change whatsoever.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
We have terrorism in the streets and homes of the USA. Watch the black clothed terrorists in this video break into a family home, murder the canine, and kidnap the peaceful man. You can hear the terror in the voices of the family members. You can see the robotic way in which the heavily armed terrorists complete their mission, blinded by a false ideology and an evil moral code.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Does this count as "single payer"?
WHEN her baby died soon after delivery, Gulbahor Zavidova, 28, a poor farmer’s wife, longed to be pregnant again. After months of trying she and her husband visited a doctor who told her she could never have another child because she had been sterilised.
The procedure had been performed immediately after she gave birth, by doctors who did not ask her consent. On learning she could not bear children, her husband left her.
“Not a day passes without me crying,” she said. “I was outraged when I found out what they had done. How could they do such a horrible thing without asking me?”
According to human rights groups, tens of thousands of young women like Zavidova have been sterilised without their consent in the authoritarian former Soviet state of Uzbekistan.
Uzbek sources say the measure was ordered by Islam Karimov, the president, who has ruled with an iron fist for 20 years. The policy is aimed at keeping down the country’s poor population — with 28m people, it is Central Asia’s most densely populated state.
Activists say mass sterilisation began in 2003, but was eased after two years following an outcry. It is said to have restarted in February this year, when the health ministry ordered doctors to recommend sterilisation as an “effective contraceptive”. Critics claim every doctor was told to persuade “at least two women” a month to have the procedure. Doctors who failed faced reprisals and fines.
“We estimate that since February, about 5,000 women have been sterilised without consent,” said a local human rights campaigner who fears detention if she is named.
In many cases, doctors opt for delivery by caesarean section and then perform a sterilisation without telling the woman. Widespread rumours of the practice have resulted in women opting for home births to avoid the risk.
Doctors visited Hidojat Muminova, a 26-year-old cotton picker, at home several months ago. They told the mother of two she should visit a local hospital for a check-up, at which she was diagnosed with a potentially fatal cyst in her fallopian tubes.
“They scared me into believing I needed an urgent operation,” she said. “I was surprised as I’d never had any pain but I was worried and agreed to the surgery. When it was over they told me they’d performed a sterilisation. I could not stop crying. They tricked me and treated me like an animal.”
Another victim, Mahmuda Usupova, 30, said doctors had sterilised her after she gave birth to her third child by caesarean several months ago. She learnt she could no longer have children during a visit to her gynaecologist.
Uzbek authorities deny that sterilisations are carried out without consent, but a report by the United Nations Committee Against Torture reported a “large number” of cases three years ago. According to the UN, Uzbekistan’s fertility rate has fallen from 4.4 babies per woman to 2.5 since Karimov came to power.
Under the 72-year-old Karimov, Uzbekistan has become highly repressive. Opponents have been jailed, tortured and killed. Two critics of the regime, who were accused of being Islamic militants, were scalded to death after boiling water was poured over them.
Hundreds of civilians died when the police and army fired indiscriminately into a large crowd of protesters in Andijan in 2005. The Sunday Times has been denied entry to Uzbekistan ever since because its coverage is considered “unfriendly”.
The sterilisation programme has been relaunched despite efforts by Karimov’s two daughters to improve the lives of Uzbek women and children. Lola, 31, the president’s younger daughter, is a Unesco ambassador and head of a children’s charity.
Her sister Gulnara, 38, who was recently appointed ambassador to Spain, supports a number of charities. Known as “the princess of Uzbeks”, she is a Harvard graduate, martial arts expert and jewellery designer.
Under the name GooGoosha — apparently her father’s pet name for her — she has released pop videos. Her parties in Moscow, where she lived until recently, attracted members of the elite.
The women’s health days advertised on her website provide free access to medical specialists from Israel for women suffering “diseases related to reproductive functions”.
The Uzbek embassy in Moscow insisted that all sterilisations were carried out at the patient’s request and after the woman’s husband had been told of the consequences.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Personally, I think if a fed gets paid even one penny, it is too much. Anyway, here is the Washington Examiner:
For decades, public sector unions have peddled the fantasy that government employees were paid less than their counterparts in the private sector. In fact, the pay disparity is the other way around. Government workers, especially at the federal level, make salaries that are scandalously higher than those paid to private sector workers. And let's not forget private sector workers not only have to be sufficiently productive to earn their paychecks, they also must pay the taxes that support the more generous jobs in the public sector.
Data compiled by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis reveals the extent of the pay gap between federal and private workers. As of 2008, the average federal salary was $119,982, compared with $59,909 for the average private sector employee. In other words, the average federal bureaucrat makes twice as much as the average working taxpayer. Add the value of benefits like health care and pensions, and the gap grows even bigger. The average federal employee's benefits add $40,785 to his annual total compensation, whereas the average working taxpayer's benefits increase his total compensation by only $9,881. In other words, federal workers are paid on average salaries that are twice as generous as those in the private sector, and they receive benefits that are four times greater.
The situation is the same when state and local government compensation data is compared with that of the private sector. As the Cato Institute's Chris Edwards notes in the current issue of the Cato Journal, "The public sector pay advantage is most pronounced in benefits. Bureau of Economic Analysis data show that average compensation in the private sector was $59,909 in 2008, including $50,028 in wages and $9,881 in benefits. Average compensation in the public sector was $67,812, including $52,051 in wages and $15,761 in benefits." Those figures likely underestimate the true gap on the benefits side because the typical government employee gets a guaranteed defined benefit pension under very generous terms, while the private sector norm is a 401(K) defined contribution plan that is subject to the ups and downs of the economy.
With the federal deficit and national debt heading into the stratosphere, taxpayers can no longer afford to support such lucrative government compensation. Public sector pay and benefits at all levels should be reduced to make it comparable to the wages and benefits earned by the average working taxpayer. The first politician to propose a five-year plan for this purpose is likely to be cheered mightily by taxpayers.
And if you want some anecdotal evidence, look no further than the comments section of the article. Here is a comment that was "liked" by 20 people:
Jim 19 hours ago in reply to Capt Renault
20 people liked this.
As a retired Fed who did manpower management and organizational structure analysis, I can tell you that Feds are way overpayed compared to thier civilian counterparts. And that has been the case for a long time, at least 20 plus years. I had that argument regularly over the years.
But it is funny, they all believe they are payed poorly. I am now in private industry and when I hear my old compatriots talk about how much they would be making if they moved to private industry, I have to laugh. What is even funnier is when they actually do move and then they remember the days when they didn't have to work as hard and they got payed more. Its a shock to their system.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Even soldiers are human. I really like this letter, because it shows that even the cogs can wake up and repent. The evil is not in the people, it is in the system. I wonder if the Iraqis will ever be able to forgive the Americans for what they have done?
AN OPEN LETTER OF RECONCILIATION & RESPONSIBILITY TO THE IRAQI PEOPLE
From Current and Former Members of the U.S. Military
Peace be with you.
To all of those who were injured or lost loved ones during the July 2007 Baghdad shootings depicted in the “Collateral Murder” Wikileaks video:
We write to you, your family, and your community with awareness that our words and actions can never restore your losses.
We are both soldiers who occupied your neighborhood for 14 months. Ethan McCord pulled your daughter and son from the van, and when doing so, saw the faces of his own children back home. Josh Stieber was in the same company but was not there that day, though he contributed to the your pain, and the pain of your community on many other occasions.
There is no bringing back all that was lost. What we seek is to learn from our mistakes and do everything we can to tell others of our experiences and how the people of the United States need to realize we have done and are doing to you and the people of your country. We humbly ask you what we can do to begin to repair the damage we caused.
We have been speaking to whoever will listen, telling them that what was shown in the Wikileaks video only begins to depict the suffering we have created. From our own experiences, and the experiences of other veterans we have talked to, we know that the acts depicted in this video are everyday occurrences of this war: this is the nature of how U.S.-led wars are carried out in this region.
We acknowledge our part in the deaths and injuries of your loved ones as we tell Americans what we were trained to do and what we carried out in the name of "god and country". The soldier in the video said that your husband shouldn't have brought your children to battle, but we are acknowledging our responsibility for bringing the battle to your neighborhood, and to your family. We did unto you what we would not want done to us.
More and more Americans are taking responsibility for what was done in our name. Though we have acted with cold hearts far too many times, we have not forgotten our actions towards you. Our heavy hearts still hold hope that we can restore inside our country the acknowledgment of your humanity, that we were taught to deny.
Our government may ignore you, concerned more with its public image. It has also ignored many veterans who have returned physically injured or mentally troubled by what they saw and did in your country. But the time is long overdue that we say that the value of our nation's leaders no longer represent us. Our secretary of defense may say the U.S. won't lose its reputation over this, but we stand and say that our reputation's importance pales in comparison to our common humanity.
We have asked our fellow veterans and service-members, as well as civilians both in the United States and abroad, to sign in support of this letter, and to offer their names as a testimony to our common humanity, to distance ourselves from the destructive policies of our nation's leaders, and to extend our hands to you.
With such pain, friendship might be too much to ask. Please accept our apology, our sorrow, our care, and our dedication to change from the inside out. We are doing what we can to speak out against the wars and military policies responsible for what happened to you and your loved ones. Our hearts are open to hearing how we can take any steps to support you through the pain that we have caused.
Solemnly and Sincerely,
Josh Stieber, former specialist, U.S. Army
Ethan McCord, former specialist, U.S. Army
Monday, April 19, 2010
So why don't we have a nationwide vote on whether or not to just get rid of government altogether? Ironically, being an anarchist, I myself would abstain from voting even on this issue.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nearly 80 percent of Americans say they do not trust the government to do what is right, expressing the highest level of distrust in Washington in half a century, according to a public opinion survey.
Only 22 percent of Americans say they trust the government "just about always" or "most of the time," according to the Pew Research Center survey released on Sunday.
Americans' trust in the federal government has been on a steady decline from a high of 73 percent during the Eisenhower administration in 1958, when the "trust" question was first posed in a national survey, the research center said.
Economic uncertainty, a highly partisan environment and overwhelming discontent with Congress and elected officials were all factors contributing to the current wave of public distrust, the report said.
The long, bitter debate over the healthcare law that President Barack Obama signed last month made negative feeling about government, particularly Congress, even worse, according to the report based on a series of surveys of some 5,000 people.
About 25 percent had a favorable opinion of Congress, the lowest in 25 years of surveying, and less than half (40 percent) said the Obama administration was doing an excellent or good job, Pew said.
Americans were found to be more frustrated than angry, with 56 percent expressing frustration with the federal government, compared with 21 percent who said they were angry.
Forty-three percent of Republicans, 50 percent of independents who lean Republican and 57 percent of those who agree with the Tea Party movement said the government presents a major threat to their personal freedom.
That compares with 18 percent of Democrats, 21 percent of independents who lean Democratic and 9 percent of those who disagree with the Tea Party movement.
The main survey of 2,505 adults was conducted March 11-21. Three other surveys of about 1,000 adults each were conducted March 18-21, April 1-5 and April 8-11. The margin of sampling error for the surveys is plus or minus 4 percentage points.
(Reporting by Joanne Allen, Editing by Vicki Allen)
Monday, April 5, 2010
An informative discussion about Wikileaks.
My favorite part in the video is at about the 6:00 mark, where the host asks Glenn Greenwald if Wikileaks is a threat to national security. Glenn replies beautifully by saying that government secrecy itself is the true threat to national security.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I know Google is a gigantic, pro-state corporation, but this is a very anarchistic move on their part. They are basically rebelling against China.
China has said Google's move to stop censoring search results is "totally wrong" and accused it of breaking a promise made when it launched in China.
The US giant is redirecting users in mainland China to its unrestricted Hong Kong site, although Chinese firewalls mean results still come back censored.
Beijing said the decision should not affect ties with Washington.
Google threatened to leave the Chinese market completely this year after cyber attacks were traced back to China.
Google's move effectively to shut its mainland Chinese search service, google.cn, is a major blow to China's international image, the BBC's Damian Grammaticas reports from Beijing.
It means one of the world's most prominent corporations is saying it is no longer willing to co-operate in China's censorship of the internet, our correspondent says.
In Beijing, some passers-by laid flowers outside Google's offices to thank the company for standing up for its principles.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Check out this high res satellite image of Davis Monthan air force base and its incredibly enormous "boneyard" of old decomissioned warplanes.
Now I'm a big airplane fanatic, and even I can see that this is incredibly wasteful. There are thousands of airplanes in this image, just collecting dust, in various states of disrepair. 99% of these airframes were never actually used for anything useful, unless you count their countless training missions and practice "exercises." No actual relevant tasks for virtually any of these planes. No bombs dropped, no lives saved. Just wasted fuel, metal, time, and money.
What a ridiculous waste.
Monday, March 8, 2010
I can taste the change. I'm swimming in change. Oh thank God we got rid of Bush! This Obama guy is a total opposite from that bloodthirsty, warmongering hick.
With his decision to boost defense spending, President Obama is continuing the process of re-inflating the Pentagon that began in late 1998 — fully three years before the 9/11 attacks on America. The FY 2011 budget marks a milestone, however: The inflation-adjusted rise in spending since 1998 will probably exceed 100 percent in real terms by the end of the fiscal year. Taking the new budget into account, the Defense Department has been granted about $7.2 trillion since 1998, when the post-Cold War decline in defense spending ended.
The rise in spending since 1998 is unprecedented over a 48-year period. In real percentage terms, it’s as large as the Kennedy-Johnson surge (43 percent) and the Reagan increases (57 percent) combined. Whether one looks at the entire Pentagon budget or just that part not related to the wars, current spending is above the peak years of the Vietnam War era and the Reagan years. And it’s set to remain there. Looking forward, the Obama administration plans to spend more on the Pentagon over the next eight years than any administration since World War II.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Darren Pollard gets verbally aggressive with some pigs. He displays a bad attitude, and is impolite. But when gangsters intrude into your yard and try to intimidate you, do they not deserve a bit of a harsh verbal correcting? Wouldn't you still protest even if the intruders weren't jackbooted racketeers?
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
The Italian government really has a firm grasp of the age of the intertubes, doesn't it?
New rules to be introduced by government decree will require people who upload videos onto the Internet to obtain authorization from the Communications Ministry similar to that required by television broadcasters, drastically reducing freedom to communicate over the Web, opposition lawmakers have warned.
"Italy joins the club of the censors, together with China, Iran and North Korea," said Gentiloni's party colleague Vincenzo Vita.
Here is insult added to injury:
The decree did not intend to restrict freedom of information "or the possibility of expressing one's ideas and opinions through blogs and social networks," Romani told the ANSA news agency.
I love how government officials, when speaking of restrictions on freedom of the people, always insist that "It was never intended to restrict the people," or some such nonsense. I love how they insist that government actions have unintended consequences and act as if this supposed lack of intent somehow makes it okay. Do they really think that gross incompetence instead of deliberate malice excuses the whole thing and makes it okay? Well, apparently they are right because most of the world today is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, and almost nobody can help but to suck government dick and toss government salad all day long.
I pray that the Italian people wake up, and resist this "government decree" en masse, and all of them start uploading multiple videos to every hosting site in existence. And they should dissolve the Communications Ministry in its entirety.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Today I met with the Department of Homeland Security, for a little song and dance.
They made me jump through hoops, ride a unicycle, and dance a jig. Having deemed my performance to be satisfactory, the Department of Homeland Security gave me a cookie.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
This is how smart they are:
And the only difference with the new president is that he has a better teleprompter system. But even then, it can still fail once in a while:
Obama's Home Teleprompter Malfunctions During Family Dinner