Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2003, 02:04 PM
Number of posts: 74,702
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2003, 02:04 PM
Number of posts: 74,702
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Well, up here it's more like April than June, which is fine by me. We had 4 inches of snow in April, so getting some of Spring, however tardy, is welcome.
But as to the rarity of June days, how about this weekend? We have Friday the 13th, Saturday is Flag Day, and Sunday is Father's Day. Talk about cramming it in!
So, what shall we brood upon? That remains to be seen!
Posted by Demeter | Fri Jun 13, 2014, 07:00 PM (79 replies)
1. We saw an example of the court orders that authorize the NSA to collect virtually every phone call record in the United States—that’s who you call, who calls you, when, for how long, and sometimes where.
2. We saw NSA Powerpoint slides documenting how the NSA conducts “upstream” collection, gathering intelligence information directly from the infrastructure of telecommunications providers.Prsim/Upstream slide
3. The NSA has created a “content dragnet” by asserting that it can intercept not only communications where a target is a party to a communication but also communications “about a target, even if the target isn’t a party to the communication.”
4. The NSA has confirmed that it is searching data collected under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act to access American’s communications without a warrant, in what Senator Ron Wyden called the "back door search loophole."
5. Although the NSA has repeatedly stated it does not target Americans, its own documents show that searches of data collected under Section 702 are designed simply to determine with 51 percent confidence a target’s “foreignness.’”
6. If the NSA does not determine a target’s foreignness, it will not stop spying on that target. Instead the NSA will presume that target to be foreign unless they “can be positively identified as a United States person.”
7. A leaked internal NSA audit detailed 2,776 violations of rules or court orders in just a one-year period.
8. Hackers at the NSA target sysadmins, regardless of the fact that these sysadmins themselves may be completely innocent of any wrongdoing...
MUCH, MUCH MORE
Posted by Demeter | Fri Jun 13, 2014, 09:00 AM (0 replies)
So what if it's only 6 AM?
Posted by Demeter | Fri Jun 13, 2014, 06:11 AM (1 replies)
Southern states are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more. After more than five years of watching their cities and towns suffer foreclosure and mortgage abuse from the biggest firms on Wall Street, rigged Libor swaps impoverishing local governments, and massive stock losses to municipal workers’ pensions, the South is rising up and suing Wall Street over its latest fleecing scheme – high frequency trading.
And before anyone starts to chuckle about the chances of Southern lawyers outfoxing the mega Wall Street law firms in their own stomping ground in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, you should know this one salient detail: one of the key Southern lawyers involved is Michael Lewis. That’s not bestselling author Michael Lewis; that’s Big Tobacco Cartel suing and winning lawyer Michael Lewis who mightily assisted in bringing the tobacco cartel out of the shadows and changed the health of a Nation forever.
Even more problematic for Wall Street and its hideously shrewd lawyers is that one of the smartest programming brains in U.S. markets, Eric Hunsader, is cooperating with the Southern lawyers...Why is Hunsader who runs a successful data business involving himself in what is likely to be the biggest legal free-for-all of the century? Andrew Smith of the Guardian shares this with us:
“When Hunsader’s finance friends pointed out that nobody was driving busloads of children over cliffs, he would grab their wallet and remove a $20 bill, then hand the wallet back. ‘Does anyone in the world really care what just happened there?’ he would ask. ‘It makes no difference to anyone but you, and even then not much. It’s just that in a civilised society, we don’t tolerate that. Civilisation breaks down when people don’t follow the rules, because nobody can trust anybody else.’ ”
Posted by Demeter | Thu Jun 12, 2014, 11:15 PM (0 replies)
The revelation that Edward Snowden has epilepsy, and was able to assist via his robotic alter ego a fellow epileptic, has confounded those who saw him as a criminal, devil incarnate...Demeter
...The email the NSA disclosed showed Snowden asked a fairly simple legal question arising from an NSA training session that outlined various legal authorities, from the US Constitution on down.
"I'm not entirely certain, but this does not seem correct, as it seems to imply Executive Orders have the same precedence as law," Snowden wrote, citing a hierarchy of governing authorities referenced during the training. "My understanding is that E.O.s may be superseded by federal statute, but E.O.s may not override statute. Am I incorrect in this? Between E.O.s and laws, which have precedence?"
"Hello Ed," came the reply from an NSA lawyer. "Executive orders . . . have the 'force and effect of law.' That said, you are correct that E.O.s cannot override a statute."
What the Email Means
Based on the NSA training he was given, Snowden was questioning which carries more weight within the NSA - an actual law passed by Congress, or an order from the president (an E.O., or executive order). The answer was a bit curvy, saying that absent a specific law to the contrary, an order from the president has the force of a law.
By way of a trite illustration, if Congress passed a law requiring Snowden to eat tuna every day for lunch in the NSA canteen, he'd have to do that, even if the president ordered him to have the tomato soup instead. However, absent a law specifically telling him what to eat, the president's order meant he would have to eat soup. Of course, if Congress did not even know of the president's order, it could not pass a law countering it...
A NICE BIT OF LEGAL SOPHISTRY FROM OUR REAL ENEMIES...
Posted by Demeter | Thu Jun 12, 2014, 10:09 PM (0 replies)
This excerpt is from the second essay his book “The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius”
...What this war (WWII) has demonstrated is that private capitalism – that is, an economic system in which land, factories, mines and transport are owned privately and operated solely for profit – does not work. It cannot deliver the goods. This fact had been known to millions of people for years past, but nothing ever came of it, because there was no real urge from below to alter the system, and those at the top had trained themselves to be impenetrably stupid on just this point. Argument and propaganda got one nowhere. The lords of property simply sat on their bottoms and proclaimed that all was for the best. Hitler's conquest of Europe, however, was a physical debunking of capitalism. War, for all its evil, is at any rate an unanswerable test of strength, like a try-your-grip machine. Great strength returns the penny, and there is no way of faking the result... on the fields of Norway and of Flanders...Once and for all it was proved that a planned economy is stronger than a planless one. But it is necessary here to give some kind of definition to those much-abused words, Socialism and Fascism.
Socialism is usually defined as ‘common ownership of the means of production’. Crudely: the State, representing the whole nation, owns everything, and everyone is a State employee. This does not mean that people are stripped of private possessions such as clothes and furniture, but it does mean that all productive goods, such as land, mines, ships and machinery, are the property of the State. The State is the sole large-scale producer. It is not certain that Socialism is in all ways superior to capitalism, but it is certain that, unlike capitalism, it can solve the problems of production and consumption. At normal times a capitalist economy can never consume all that it produces, so that there is always a wasted surplus (wheat burned in furnaces, herrings dumped back into the sea etc. etc.) and always unemployment. In time of war, on the other hand, it has difficulty in producing all that it needs, because nothing is produced unless someone sees his way to making a profit out of it.
In a Socialist economy these problems do not exist. The State simply calculates what goods will be needed and does its best to produce them. Production is only limited by the amount of labour and raw materials. Money, for internal purposes, ceases to be a mysterious all-powerful thing and becomes a sort of coupon or ration-ticket, issued in sufficient quantities to buy up such consumption goods as may be available at the moment.
However, it has become clear in the last few years that ‘common ownership of the means of production’ is not in itself a sufficient definition of Socialism. One must also add the following: approximate equality of incomes (it need be no more than approximate), political democracy, and abolition of all hereditary privilege, especially in education. These are simply the necessary safeguards against the reappearance of a class-system. Centralized ownership has very little meaning unless the mass of the people are living roughly upon an equal level, and have some kind of control over the government. ‘The State’ may come to mean no more than a self-elected political party, and oligarchy and privilege can return, based on power rather than on money.
But what then is Fascism?
Fascism, at any rate the German version, is a form of capitalism that borrows from Socialism just such features as will make it efficient for war purposes. Internally, Germany has a good deal in common with a Socialist state. Ownership has never been abolished, there are still capitalists and workers, and – this is the important point, and the real reason why rich men all over the world tend to sympathize with Fascism – generally speaking the same people are capitalists and the same people workers as before the Nazi revolution. But at the same time the State, which is simply the Nazi Party, is in control of everything. It controls investment, raw materials, rates of interest, working hours, wages. The factory owner still owns his factory, but he is for practical purposes reduced to the status of a manager. Everyone is in effect a State employee, though the salaries vary very greatly. The mere efficiency of such a system, the elimination of waste and obstruction, is obvious. In seven years it has built up the most powerful war machine the world has ever seen.
But the idea underlying Fascism is irreconcilably different from that which underlies Socialism. Socialism aims, ultimately, at a world-state of free and equal human beings. It takes the equality of human rights for granted. Nazism assumes just the opposite. The driving force behind the Nazi movement is the belief in human inequality, the superiority of Germans to all other races, the right of Germany to rule the world. Outside the German Reich it does not recognize any obligations. Eminent Nazi professors have ‘proved’ over and over again that only nordic man is fully human, have even mooted the idea that non-nordic peoples (such as ourselves) can interbreed with gorillas! Therefore, while a species of war-Socialism exists within the German state, its attitude towards conquered nations is frankly that of an exploiter. The function of the Czechs, Poles, French, etc. is simply to produce such goods as Germany may need, and get in return just as little as will keep them from open rebellion. If we are conquered, our job will probably be to manufacture weapons for Hitler's forthcoming wars with Russia and America. The Nazis aim, in effect, at setting up a kind of caste system, with four main castes corresponding rather closely to those of the Hindu religion. At the top comes the Nazi party, second come the mass of the German people, third come the conquered European populations. Fourth and last are to come the coloured peoples, the ‘semi-apes’ as Hitler calls them, who are to be reduced quite openly to slavery...
Posted by Demeter | Thu Jun 12, 2014, 10:01 PM (0 replies)
FOR ALL OF US SEARCHERS, BUT ESPECIALLY OUR HOST, THE DIVINE MISS T.
...80 percent of employees report job dissatisfaction. Do you fit in this category? Here are 8 signs that you've chosen the wrong job or career.
1. You Daydream About Doing Something Else
Do you ever catch yourself daydreaming about a different job or career? Do you oftentimes sit back and wonder what life would be like had you changed your major in college and chosen a different career path? Thinking about this on occasion and then laughing about it later is one thing, but if you think about this often and find yourself upset afterwards you may have chosen the wrong job or career.
2. Your Resume' Downplays Your Accomplishments
When you accomplish things in life you enjoy, you typically brag and boast. You may even embellish the truth to make it sound like what you've accomplished is more noteworthy than it actually is. If you've done the complete opposite on your resume' in regards to your current job position, this is a sign that you may have chosen the wrong job or career.
3. You're Depressed
Depression can be caused by numerous factors. Job related dissatisfaction can be one of them. You should seek the advice of a medical expert to diagnose you with depression if you feel that your job is contributing to your depression. One sign to look for is a compare and contrast of your outlook on life and your attitude prior to your job and the rate at which this has been negatively impacted throughout the course of your job.
4. Problems at Home
Many people who report severe job dissatisfaction also report an unstable household. They feel disconnected with their spouse/significant other and they lose interest in their children and their children's activities.
5. Promotions and Raises No Longer Excite You
A job promotion and a raise is typically the quintessential sign of job success. It's what most people strive for. However, people who are highly dissatisfied with their job or career only see a promotion and a raise as more responsibility and stress.
6. You'd Rather Be Anywhere Else But Here
Does the thought, "I'd rather be anyplace but here right now," frequently cross your mind? If you could imagine enjoying your least favorite activity over being at your job, you may have chosen the wrong job or career.
7. You Make a Big Deal About Everything
Are you that person in meetings that see's the glass as half empty in every scenario? Are you constantly finding a reason why everything about your job is wrong? Perhaps you even think the high-pitched tone of the office admin is causing a serious disturbance in your ability to enjoy and perform your job properly. If so, you may have chosen the wrong job or career.
8. You're Always Looking for a New Job
Last but not least, the biggest tell tale sign that you've chosen the wrong job or career is if you find yourself frequently updating your resume' and browsing job posting sites. Shockingly, most people who go through these motions don't actually take the action and apply for new jobs. Just the endorphin rush of going through the motions makes people feel like they've taken control. This immediately makes them feel better. If you've reached this point and you truly feel like you've chosen the wrong job and there's nothing you can do to change your perspective, today may be the day to actually take action and apply for some of the jobs you're simply browsing.
Michael Price is an entrepreneur and author of What Next? The Millennial's Guide To Surviving and Thriving in the Real World. An advocate of ideas for radical change, he has received critical acclaim for his lessons in education, career, entrepreneurship and personal finance.
IN MY OWN LIFE, MY FIRST FORAY INTO ADULTHOOD....IT WASN'T THE WORK, BUT THE WORKING CONDITIONS THAT MADE ME ILL. AFTER TRYING MULTIPLE VARIATIONS ON THE THEME, I DECIDED IT WASN'T TO BE. I COULDN'T MOLD MYSELF INTO A DILBERT.
Posted by Demeter | Wed Jun 11, 2014, 07:17 AM (1 replies)
... the committee for a citizen's audit on the public debt issued a 30-page report on French public debt, its origins and evolution in the past decades. The report was written by a group of experts in public finances under the coordination of Michel Husson, one of France's finest critical economists. Its conclusion is straightforward: 60% of French public debt is illegitimate....If it were shown that public debts were somehow illegitimate, that citizens had a right to demand a moratorium – and even the cancellation of part of these debts – the political implications would be huge. It is hard to think of an event that would transform social life as profoundly and rapidly as the emancipation of societies from the constraints of debt. And yet this is precisely what the French report aims to do.
The audit is part of a wider movement of popular debt audits in more than 18 countries. Ecuador and Brazil have had theirs, the former at the initiative of Rafael Correa's government, the latter organised by civil society. European social movements have also put in place debt audits, especially in countries harder hit by the sovereign debt crisis, such as Greece and Spain. In Tunisia, the post-revolutionary government declared the debt taken out during Ben Ali's dictatorship an "odious" debt: one that served to enrich the clique in power, rather than improving the living conditions of the people.
The report on French debt contains several key findings. Primarily, the rise in the state's debt in the past decades cannot be explained by an increase in public spending. The neoliberal argument in favour of austerity policies claims that debt is due to unreasonable public spending levels; that societies in general, and popular classes in particular, live above their means. This is plain false. In the past 30 years, from 1978 to 2012 more precisely, French public spending has in fact decreased by two GDP points. What, then, explains the rise in public debt? First, a fall in the tax revenues of the state. Massive tax reductions for the wealthy and big corporations have been carried out since 1980. In line with the neoliberal mantra, the purpose of these reductions was to favour investment and employment. Well, unemployment is at its highest today, whereas tax revenues have decreased by five points of GDP.
The second factor is the increase in interest rates, especially in the 1990s. This increase favoured creditors and speculators, to the detriment of debtors. Instead of borrowing on financial markets at prohibitive interest rates, had the state financed itself by appealing to household savings and banks, and borrowed at historically normal rates, the public debt would be inferior to current levels by 29 GDP points.
Tax reductions for the wealthy and interest rates increases are political decisions. What the audit shows is that public deficits do not just grow naturally out of the normal course of social life. They are deliberately inflicted on society by the dominant classes, to legitimise austerity policies that will allow the transfer of value from the working classes to the wealthy ones.
MORE AT LINK: WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO FIX THIS INEQUITY--A MUST READ!
Posted by Demeter | Tue Jun 10, 2014, 10:30 PM (0 replies)
New silent wind turbine could generate half of a homes electric needs, says company The Archimedes
A Dutch company called The Archimedes has developed a small, highly efficient, and silent rooftop wind energy generator called the Liam1, which it claims could generate half the power a typical house would need, and which they say would be ideal for combining with solar rooftop PV panels.
The company states that the Liam F1 turbine could generate 1,500 kWh of energy at wind speeds of 5m/s, enough to cover half of an average household's energy use. ... When used in combination with rooftop solar panels, a house could run off grid. "When there is wind you use the energy produced by the wind turbine; when the sun is shining you use the solar cells to produce the energy," The Archimedes CEO Richard Ruijtenbeek said.
The Liam's blades are shaped like a Nautilus shell. The design allows it to point into the wind to capture the most amount of energy, while also producing very little sound. The inventor of the turbine Marinus Mieremet says that the power output is 80 percent of the theoretical maximum energy that could be harnessed from the wind.
“Generally speaking, there is a difference in pressure in front and behind of the rotor blades of a windmill. However, this is not the case with the Liam F1. The difference in pressure is created by the spatial figure in the spiral blade. This results in a much better performance. Even when the wind is blowing at an angle of 60 degrees into the rotor, it will start to spin. We do not require expensive software: because of its conical shape, the wind turbine yaws itself automatically into the optimal wind direction. Just like a wind vane. And because the wind turbine encounters minimal resistance, he is virtually silent," said Mieremet.
The Archimedes is now working on an even smaller turbine that could fit on top of lamposts, boats, and smaller applications.
With the announcement today of the EPA's proposed new standards for reducing carbon emissions, we have all the more reason to look to renewable energy options to supply our energy needs.
Posted by Demeter | Sun Jun 8, 2014, 09:36 AM (0 replies)
INTERACTIVE INCOME VS CAPITAL SPENDING GRAPH AT LINK....
YOU ARE GOING TO WIND UP WORKING IN A GAS STATION. CAPITALISM IS DYING, AMERICANS.
LOTS OF CHARTS AND TROUBLING CONCLUSIONS....
Posted by Demeter | Sat Jun 7, 2014, 08:49 PM (0 replies)