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Topic: Society 10:21 am EDT, Oct 22, 2008

Yes, a whole blog...

I was waiting for this, thank you interweb-tubes! I can be America and so can you!


Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1 - Army News, opinions, editorials, news from Iraq, photos, reports - Army Times
Topic: Current Events 9:09 pm EDT, Sep 30, 2008

The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North...

...this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

This has the conspiracy theorists a twitter. On the eve of a major presidential election and in the midst of a financial crisis, a U.S. Army Infantry Division has, for the first time in U.S. history, been assigned to a permanent domestic deployment without a mission to respond to a specific disaster or crisis. They're here, you know, just in case.

I don't own nearly enough fireams :(. Time to stock up!

Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1 - Army News, opinions, editorials, news from Iraq, photos, reports - Army Times

Fury at $2.5bn bonus for Lehman's New York staff - Business News, Business - The Independent
Topic: Business 10:47 am EDT, Sep 23, 2008

Up to 10,000 staff at the New York office of the bankrupt investment bank Lehman Brothers will share a bonus pool set aside for them that is worth $2.5bn (£1.4bn), Barclays Bank, which is buying the business, confirmed last night.

Excuse me?! You're a bank that just FAILED and, dodging your bankruptcy responsibilities, you've managed to set aside $2.5 BILLION for BONUSES to the people who presided over your FAILURE?

If anyone wants to know why Main Street is pissed off at Wall Street, look no further than this. This is Wall Street saying, "Fuck you!" in giant letters, to Main Street. Main Street is not amused.

I've been a complete failure at work for years now. Do you think I can snag some bonus pool money? That'd be great!

Fury at $2.5bn bonus for Lehman's New York staff - Business News, Business - The Independent

YouTube - Freestlye Rap Battle: Translated
Topic: Arts 1:48 pm EDT, Sep 12, 2008


A scientist translating a freestyle rap battle.

This is completely killing me.

YouTube - Freestlye Rap Battle: Translated

Biden is a 'Moderate' on Crime Issues? | Stop the Drug War (DRCNet)
Topic: Society 12:21 pm EDT, Sep  5, 2008

Joe Biden is not a "moderate" when it comes to crime issues. His hard-line authoritarian record speaks for itself, runs out of breath, and then speaks for itself some more....

I can only assume this profound mischaracterization of Biden's record was arrived at through the tired assumption that democrats are "soft" on crime, republicans are "tough," and therefore "moderates" are democrats who support harsh laws. Joe Biden is exactly the reason such stereotypes should be avoided by responsible journalists.

My thoughts no the subject are a bit awkward, but I believe Biden's record is meaningless at this point. It feels to me that he is just being used as a pawn for the Obama campaign to cash in on the 'hard on crime' / 'hard on _____' crowd. Thoughts?

P.S. Basically I think i just described modern day politics.

Biden is a 'Moderate' on Crime Issues? | Stop the Drug War (DRCNet)

Daily Show on Republican hypocrisy - Boing Boing
Topic: Society 12:17 pm EDT, Sep  5, 2008

The Daily Show has a segment with video clips of Dick Morris, Karl Rove, Bill O'Reilly, and others complaining about the media's unfair treatment of Sarah Palin, along with earlier video clips of these folks dishing out the same garbage about others...

Basically this could be summed up with 2 phrases:

1) I ate your chocolate squirrel

2) I love lamp

Daily Show on Republican hypocrisy - Boing Boing

The Energy Challenge - Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid’s Limits - Series -
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:09 am EDT, Aug 28, 2008

When the builders of the Maple Ridge Wind farm spent $320 million to put nearly 200 wind turbines in upstate New York, the idea was to get paid for producing electricity. But at times, regional electric lines have been so congested that Maple Ridge has been forced to shut down even with a brisk wind blowing.

That is a symptom of a broad national problem. Expansive dreams about renewable energy, like Al Gore’s hope of replacing all fossil fuels in a decade, are bumping up against the reality of a power grid that cannot handle the new demands.

The dirty secret of clean energy is that while generating it is getting easier, moving it to market is not.

Good article, and something I wasn't actually aware of before reading.

The Energy Challenge - Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid’s Limits - Series -

A Hidden Toll on Employment - Cut to Part Time -
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:07 pm EDT, Aug  1, 2008

For the last decade, Ron Temple has loaded and unloaded bags for United Airlines in Denver, earning more than $20 an hour, plus generous health and flight benefits. On July 6, as management grappled with the rising cost of fuel, Mr. Temple and 150 other people in Denver were offered an unpalatable set of options: they could transfer to another city, go on furlough without pay and hope to be rehired, or stay on at reduced hours.

Mr. Temple and his wife say they cannot envision living outside Colorado, and they probably could not sell their house. Similar homes are now selling for about $180,000, while they owe the bank $203,000.

So Mr. Temple took the third option. He reluctantly traded in his old shift — 3 p.m. to midnight — for a shorter stint from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. He gave up benefits like paid lunches and overtime. His take-home pay shrunk to $570 every two weeks from about $1,350, he said.

Mr. Temple’s wife, Ali, works as an aide at a cancer clinic, bringing home nearly $1,000 every two weeks, he said. But collectively, they earn less than half of what they did.

Suddenly, they are having trouble making their $1,753 monthly mortgage payment, he said. They are relying on credit cards to pay the bills, running up balances of $2,700 so far. Gone are their dinners at the Outback Steakhouse. Mr. Temple recently bought cheap, generic groceries from a church that sells them to people in need.

The problem is that their debt-to-income ratio before the cutback was already nearly 40% on just their mortgage alone. It should be 40% for all monthly "debts", including other debts, groceries, utilities, eating out, car payments, etc, making their financial situation precarious even before the cutback.

-janelane, homeowner

I see your story, and raise you a:

I think the best quote is "They also cut monthly expenses by pawning a diamond ring and selling camera equipment he owed money on. And he's looking for someone to take over his $550 monthly payment on a gray BMW 335i he leased last April."

This is all so silly. These people lived WAY beyond their means, and now that everything isn't ideal, they're totally fucked. Honestly, the only thing I spend more money on than I should is bar tabs. I think people need to think a bit more before they rationalize buying their new car, house, etc, etc,etc.

A Hidden Toll on Employment - Cut to Part Time -

Pittsburgh: 1941 | Shorpy :: History in HD
Topic: Arts 3:31 pm EDT, Jul 10, 2008

June 1941. "Rain. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania."

I recognize the church. Really great. I'd like to get this framed and put in my ass...i mean my apt.

Pittsburgh: 1941 | Shorpy :: History in HD

N.Y. attorney general forces ISPs to curb Usenet access | The Iconoclast - politics, law, and technology - CNET
Topic: Society 8:28 am EDT, Jun 11, 2008

Time Warner Cable said it will cease to offer customers access to any Usenet newsgroups, a decision that will affect customers nationwide. Sprint said it would no longer offer any of the tens of thousands of alt.* Usenet newsgroups. Verizon's plan is to eliminate some "fairly broad newsgroup areas."

This has to be the largest act of government coerced censorship in United States history. Granted, many of these newsgroups are still available via web interfaces like Google Groups, but the precedent set here is worse than the result. It is inevitable that if allowed to stand other content and protocols will be added to this regime. It is worth noting that the ISPs weren't required to block all of these newsgroups, just filter them with a government hash list. A hash list that would have inevitably expanded to include other verboten content that the government recommends that communications services "voluntarily" censor. Its likely that is not a business these ISPs wish to be in.

More here and here.

I have a feeling that June 10th, 2008 may replace February 8th, 1996 as the most infamous day in the history of the Internet.

As a professional child pornographer, I find this to be alarming to say the least. The term 'lolita teen wonder fishfuck' will never mature into the spring flower that it had the potential to be...

N.Y. attorney general forces ISPs to curb Usenet access | The Iconoclast - politics, law, and technology - CNET

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