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"Current dogma holds that citizens have a duty to defer to any order issued by an armed individual dressed in a State-issued costume. This includes permitting ourselves to be restrained, arrested, and incarcerated without just cause, on the assumption that the same State that stole our liberty will agree not to take any more of it when the matter is examined in court. Without a right to resist, we have a duty to submit. And submission to unlawful police violence too frequently results in injury, sexual assault, and death."
"Mozilla's long-term goal, said Blizzard, is to 'make sure the web remains a viable platform.' He spoke about some of the emerging changes in the Internet ecosystem and expressed concern about new technologies like Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe AIR, which he describes as proprietary stacks that threaten to displace open standards. Mozilla aims to guard the web against potential vendor lock-in by delivering truly vendor-neutral technologies that are accessible to all web users and developers."
"Perhaps with more debate revolving around the question of how we, the antiwar majority, are effectively marginalized, we can move forward. But to do so we all have to suspend some of our ideological certainties and stereotypes of the other and concede that there are more things in heaven and earth than we have dreamed of--or at least embraced in our theories. "
"Paul has astutely realized that the republic’s founding principles have never been more relevant to today’s world. No matter what the outcome of the 2008 election, Paul’s participation in the campaign and its debates has been a huge plus in highlighting the long-forgotten founders’ policies of limited government and military restraint...."
"I can diagnose the issue in political, demographic, and ideological terms; I describe the insidious influence of federal subsidies, regulations, and blackmail (in the form of litigation, consent decrees, and the like)...."
"American Samoa's delegate to the U.S. Congress ... has asked the Department of Homeland Security to begin an investigation into death of 14-day-old Michael Tony Futi last Friday. The baby had been flown to Honolulu for emergency heart surgery. He died while detained inside a customs' room at the Honolulu airport with his mother and a nurse."
"In what must be one of the few fun-filled functions in the otherwise beastly boring lives of bureaucrats, undercover operatives try to sneak weaponry through airport checkpoints to test how good Transportation Security Administration screeners are at finding guns, bombs, and knives. At half a dozen airports around the country, TSA employees were so uncharacteristically successful that it naturally triggered an investigation to see if they were cheating on their tests. Sure enough, the wand-wavers had been tipped off by their buddies that the fun-filled functionaries were coming. People were shocked. Who knew that the TSA was supposed to find guns, bombs, and knives?"
"This intricate and ornate series of interrelationships between and among various private and public powers has grown and metastasized over more than one hundred years. It will not be dislodged overnight. It will not be altered except by a deliberate and painful process of de-linking, which would require several decades at the very least. But history tells us that, once a corporatist system has reached an advanced stage such as that which now prevails in the United States, it will only be changed by a major disruption and, more probably, by a series of disruptions: financial weakening and possibly collapse, and/or a major war or series of wars, and/or natural catastrophe, and/or...use your imagination to fill in other possible factors."
"What we have currently are not markets, but pseudo-markets: they should be accurately called capitalist hierarchies of power. The most severe difference is that these trade hierarchies are regulated, not by voluntarily-chosen rules, but by the 'law' of the State, which tells us what we can and cannot buy, what we can and cannot own, and favours big corporations against consumers and small businesses. The current economic landscape looks nothing like a real market."
"Morality and ethics is about individuals, not politics. If the Religious Right would imprison the homosexual, that must be vigorously opposed and condemned. But if the Secular Left would imprison the critic of homosexuality, that must be also be opposed and condemned with equal vehemence."
"Freedom is ours for the taking; it will come through non-violent non-cooperation; not through the political process. The political process, such as voting, only strengthens the twisted root of tyranny. Refusing to participate in the political process takes away the deception governments exist by consent; that’s hacking away at the root and is the only thing that brings us closer to a free, voluntary society."
"Freedom cannot be experienced by groups, classes, or populations; it can only be experienced by individuals. The more power and authority the state proclaims for itself, the more it takes away from the individual. And as efforts progress and succeed that expand the regressive loss of individual human freedoms to continually increase the power of the state, the more the resultant tyranny will be felt by individuals, groups, classes and populations."
"Unschooling. Some call it a counter-culture, but others just call it natural learning. It’s an offshoot of homeschooling coined by educational philosopher John Holt, but it varies from traditional homeschooling in the sense that there is no curriculum. None. No math, no English, no science, no history. You just live. ... This is shocking to most Americans who have attended school their entire lives. But for those who practice unschooling, it’s not that crazy. The idea is that people have a natural curiosity and can learn from living, and this is what will fill up children’s days."
"After 10 years of activity, the foundation has reached many [unbelievable] goals, and it has a great future ahead. To celebrate the moment, Federico Biancuzzi interviewed the two founders, Bruce Perens and Eric Raymond, Brian Behlendorf (a member of the first Board of Directors, the others were Ian Murdock, Russ Nelson, and Chip Salzenberg), and Michael Tiemann, the current President."
"IT departments do most of the services around open source, rather than third-party consulting companies."
"While there's nothing new per se in sharing code, the practice easily out-dates both the free-software and open-source labels. By giving the practice an intellectual framework, Raymond and Perens made it possible for businesses and users, rather than just programmers, to come to grips with its concepts. I would argue that this alone is at least as responsible for open source becoming an essential part of today's software world as the work of any open-source developer. Indeed, it has extended it beyond just software to any field of intellectual endeavor. For example, the Creative Commons has freed writers, scientists, artists, and educators to open up their work for the use of others."
"Given the performance of our ruling class, and given the nearly complete indifference of the American public to slaughter abroad and the destruction of liberty at home -- many Americans may not approve of either, but what do they do about it? Nothing -- one would have to conclude that we do not deserve to be saved, even if we could be.”
"Desperate for troops, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is trying to scare Europeans with the threat of 'international terrorism,' but Europeans know that the best way to bring terrorism to Europe is to send troops to fight Muslims for the Americans. Whether Gates will get the German and French soldiers that he so desperately needs depends on whether the U.S. can give the German and French leaders, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, enough billions of dollars to divide among their parties to embolden them to override public opinion and send their soldiers to die for U.S. and Israeli hegemony in the Middle East."
"If things proceed on the course now set by the Bush Administration and its shortsighted collaborators, and the national surveillance state is achieved in short order, then future generations looking back and tracing the destruction of the grand design of our Constitution may settle on yesterday, February 12, 2008, as the date of the decisive breach."
"Why would sane people willingly go to one of the numerous FEMA camps that exist across the U.S.? Answer: Because they are starving, have lost their homes, have no employment prospects, and literally have nowhere else to go."
"[T]hey're flocking to John McCain's presidential bid, which seems to have escaped any opprobrium on account of his pro-war position simply because the mainstream media have resumed their love affair with the conductor of the 'Straight Talk Express.' And so have the neocons: Heilbrunn refers to McCain as 'the neocons' hero,' as well he ought to be. He is, after all, the perfect exemplar of militarism, American-style. ... Like vampires risen from the dead each night, these creatures who shun the light and feast on pain and suffering, are refreshed and ready to take wing again."
"McCain has sanctimoniously insisted he’s only trying to take corruption out of politics — as though that were possible — but in fact he and his allies in this cause are mainly concerned with protecting incumbents from 'negative' advertising. The floor debate in the Senate made that abundantly clear."
"America needs another option, a candidate who would make a better President than McCain, Clinton, or Obama. And who, if he doesn't win, would draw more votes away from McCain than from the Democrat, assuring McCain's defeat. If Paul isn't the one to do it, Bob Barr is. "
"[L]isten for the Death Wail Of The Mogambo (DWOTM) reverberating, who howls into the night, 'Ah-oooooooooooo!', conveying to man and beast alike that we are freaking doomed by inflation in prices, which history has shown to be similar to being a bit-player in a low-budget jungle B-movie who accidentally steps into quicksand at the beginning of the movie, not long after the credits have stopped rolling. You instinctively know, without being told or given any clues, and despite the best efforts of everybody else in the movie, that the poor bastard is going down and out. That is probably why Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi never spends any time around here, as the haunting sound of my DWOTM is bad enough...."
"Free trade doesn’t reduce employment, but rearranges it to more efficient applications, just as economic competition across town, across the state, or across the country causes some jobs to supplant others. This process is natural and healthy, not sinister or harmful. Yes, as counterintuitive or perverse as it may seem, a healthy economy is one that destroys jobs—by replacing them with new jobs. Just as a healthy human body undergoes a constant process of renewal by shedding dead cells and replacing them with living cells, so a healthy economy is one in which more-efficient providers of goods and services displace less-efficient providers. "
"Unfortunately, the opportunity-cost concept — that the relevant cost of any choice is the highest-valued alternative foregone — may be simple to understand, but it can be difficult to apply the principle consistently in the complex 'real world'."
"The process of natural selection can act on human culture as well as on genes, a new study finds. Scientists at Stanford University have shown for the first time that cultural traits affecting survival and reproduction evolve at a different rate than other cultural attributes. Speeded or slowed rates of evolution typically indicate the action of natural selection in analyses of the human genome." [I don't agree with all the opinions expressed in this piece, but thought it interesting anyway.]
"R.E.M. might have goofy lyrics at times ('you're drifting off to sleep with your teeth in your mouth') but it has broken interesting new ground with its decision to open-source 11 videos for a new song from its new album. R.E.M. will be releasing the videos under the Artistic License, appropriately enough."
"Throughout the 1990s, especially after a now-discredited Federal Reserve Bank of Boston propaganda study, banks were hounded by federal regulators to end 'discrimination' against people with either poor or no credit ratings. In practice this meant that banks were threatened into giving loans to people regardless of their ability to pay them back. The lending standards that have been an essential part of banking practice from time immemorial were repealed. Now the same banks are under fire for having granted mortgages to those who can least afford them, even as Washington again considers legislation that would mandate that banks take on less risk in the future."
"See, your cost of living can’t possibly keep rising now that Europe and the United States are plunging into a credit-led slowdown. Inflation is dead, killed by the slump. The value of money is going to stop sliding, even as interest rates fall. Says who? Says just about everyone."
"The world's financial authorities are alarmed by the danger of a global slowdown. They're fighting it by making money and credit easier to get. Speculators are encouraged to borrow - especially now that they can get money at rates scarcely above the rate of consumer price inflation. After the Fed's latest rate cuts, its key-lending rate is below the inflation level. ... But what can borrowers do with the money?"
"Fewer than 1 percent of the nation's 170,000 gas stations sell E85, and the Department of Energy says converting a gas station fuel storage tank to E85 costs $4,000. Requiring half of the nation's 170,000 gas stations to install just one E85 pump apiece would cost $340 million. Who's going to pay that tab, and how?"
"The evidence for the rise of this new class – and its exponentially increasing power – is all around us. U.S. arms exports have hit a new high. Since 9/11, the United States has stood astride the global arms market and shows no signs of slacking off. In 2006, Washington wrapped up the biggest number of new arms deals, to the tune of some $16.9 billion, over 40 percent of the worldwide total. Russia came in second, with a mere $8.7 billion. More than half of the global arms deliveries were made by the U.S. ... In effect, the military-industrial complex lives very much like a vampire, draining the life's blood from the productive sector and reducing the availability of capital investment where it's really needed."
"The United States accounts for more than half of the world's total military spending. America spends nearly 10 times as much on its armed forces as the second-highest military budget in the world. More than half of the federal government's discretionary spending ($625 billion dollars in 2007) is devoted to the armed forces. In real dollars, U.S. military spending has nearly doubled over the last decade. The U.S. military currently maintains more than 800 overseas bases, in more than 130 countries. We have more than a quarter of a million uniformed troops stationed outside the United States (this figure doesn't count support personnel and military dependents). Would Washington be happy to discover that, 220 years after he became our first president, the sun never sets on the American empire? I suspect he would be appalled."
"I bring this up not because I, as a gun-nut, gold-bug, paranoid lunatic have spent a fortune on weapons but yet am STILL outgunned by the local police and the U.S. military, all thanks to the government's capriciously arbitrary, unwritten 'rule' that citizens cannot own nuclear weapons for 'home defense', but because President Bush has unveiled his new budget, which is a whopping $3.1 trillion, has $400 billion of deficits from the get-go, and sports some big increases in its purchases of military ordnance."
"Operation Enduring Freedom has brought neither peace nor prosperity; just occupation. Seven years have passed and Afghanistan is still ruled by warlords and drug-merchants. Nothing has improved. The country is in shambles and the government is a fraud. The humiliation of foreign occupation persists while the killing goes on with no end in sight."
"How much government-run schooling would a youth of today be told he needs before he could contemplate making $100,000 a year as a surveyor -- a job which has not changed except to get substantially easier, what with hand-held computers, GPS scanners and laser range-finders? Sixteen years, at least -- 18, more likely. George Washington attended school for two years."
"You might be surprised to know that the laws against 'child labor' do not date from the 18th century. Indeed, the national law against child labor didn't pass until the Great Depression — in 1938, with the Fair Labor Standards Act. It was the same law that gave us a minimum wage and defined what constitutes full-time and part-time work. It was a handy way to raise wages and lower the unemployment rate: simply define whole sectors of the potential workforce as unemployable."
"In the late 19th Century, Samuel Bush moved to Ohio from Orange, New Jersey, where he had attended the nearby Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken. He made the first big move in his manufacturing career as an engineer with Buckeye Steel Castings Company, which produced gun barrels and railroad parts. Samuel Bush became a confidante of the company’s president, Frank Rockefeller, a brother of the enormously wealthy and powerful John D. Rockefeller, who owned Standard Oil. Another participant in Buckeye Steel was railroad baron E.H. Harriman."
"1847: Thomas Alva Edison is born. Edison is front and center in the pantheon of prolific inventor-entrepreneur-opportunists. Alone or jointly, he held 1,093 patents, a record unlikely to be approached, let alone surpassed."
"You read about Iraq and Afghanistan vets needing psychological help after their return home, but they never explain what that help entails. Young men or women needing help with their war experiences, and the stress those experiences can cause, will spend years, decades, maybe the rest of their lives trying to get back to normal."
"By forcing repeat combat assignments to Iraq and Afghanistan – and by winking at torture and indiscriminate killings – George W. Bush is degrading the reputation of the U.S. military, turning enlisted soldiers and intelligence officers into murderers and sadists. ... Never has Bush acknowledged that the abusive treatment of detainees – or the killing of unarmed Iraqis and Afghanis – are a natural result of his aggressive war strategies, nor that he is the one primarily responsible for dragging the worldwide reputation of the U.S. military and intelligence services into the gutter."
"We’re talking about ground-, sea-, air- and even space-based weapons that could destroy the satellites of other nations. We’re talking about space-based weapons that, in theory, could pulverize earthly targets. And we’re talking about 'space power options' that—in Pentagon-ese—could give the United States 'full spectrum dominance' in space."
"The war thus deepened existing animosity towards America and reinforced the mandate of international jihad. Indeed, according to MIPT data, acts of jihadist terrorism on Western citizens and interests outside of Afghanistan and Iraq have risen by 25 percent since the invasion—a statistic that provides compelling evidence for correlation between America’s heedless interventionism and the recent boom in global terrorism."
"In 1957 Doktor Zhivago, Pasternak's only novel - except for the earlier 'novel in verse', Spektorsky (1926) - first appeared in an Italian translation and has been acclaimed by some critics as a successful attempt at combining lyrical-descriptive and epic-dramatic styles."
"With the advent of sound Hale played leads in a few films, but soon settled down into a career as one of the busiest character actors in the business."
"When television became the new hot medium, he decided to try his hand in it. 'I suppose I needed money,' he remembered. 'I met Patty Duke one day at lunch. So I produced The Patty Duke Show, and I did something nobody else in TV ever did. For seven years, I wrote almost every single episode of the series.' He also wrote for the series Hart to Hart and Nancy. Most famously he wrote the series I Dream of Jeannie, which he also created and produced, which lasted for five seasons from 1965-1970."
"Gabor played the lovably silly Lisa Douglas on Green Acres, a 1965-70 sitcom about city sophisticates who move to the country."
"The site [The Hub] was created by Witness, a Brooklyn-based group founded by the pop star Peter Gabriel in 1992. Conceived in the wake of the Rodney King beating, the group first focused on getting cameras into the hands of human rights groups around the world and then on training them in the most effective ways to use those tools—creating, in Gabriel's phrase, a network of 'Little Brothers and Little Sisters' to keep an eye on Big Brother's agents. Now Witness wants to move that community of camera-wielding activists online."
"It has been common for centuries to see in Macbeth the story of a man obsessed with ambition—whose craving for power proves his own unmaking. That is certainly so. But the work is more nuanced. It has a very strong focus on a question which is now center stage for many Americans: what can a ruler do in the interests of state security? Are all tools on the table, including the ones from 'the dark side,' as Dick Cheney would say?"
"Bowden boldly and bluntly yanks the blindfold from our eyes in a manic stream-of-consciousness style to reveal the jalopy most of us bought in place of a life. He reveals this deception through a few anecdotes about people he had met while being a journalist, in addition to personal stories of his own, acting as clues to the discovery of the emptiness where some meaningful soul should be. Most of the people had one thing in common; their lives and lifestyles were mostly a result of government actions."
"With Jumper opening today and everyone abuzz about teleportation, it seemed like the perfect time to remind everyone of another movie about teleportation: Tron. The device that zaps Jeff Bridges into the video-game world is actually built to teleport matter from one place to another."
"-- Hello? -- Doug, my man, is that you? Glad I caught you, buddy! You’ve had your voicemail on the past few days. Hillary and I have been worried sick. -- I told you to stop calling me."
"Donnie's four day hold-up at the airport makes for some heavy duty Photoshop diversion. " [video w/audio]
“Websites like Match.com allow sad, lonely women all over the country to invite pain and rejection into their lives with just a few clicks of the mouse.” [video w/audio]
Animated flash cartoon [video w/audio]
"The source of Naomi Klein's confusion is her one-dimensional political model. For her, it's socialism versus capitalism. She holds an unstated assumption throughout the book that a strong invasive state is necessary and desirable. In her one-dimensional model, consideration of liberty and authority is omitted. In her view, authority is a done deal; what matters now is only how you use the ring of power - for good (socialism) or evil (capitalism)."
"Howard Rheingold talks about the coming world of collaboration, participatory media and collective action -- and how Wikipedia is really an outgrowth of our natural human instinct to work as a group. As he points out, humans have been banding together to work collectively since our days of hunting mastodons." [video w/audio]
"If Microsoft were to come back to Yahoo with a sweetened bid nearer to $50 billion and a guaranteed $1 billion termination fee if for any reason the deal should be blocked or fall through, I'm guessing Yahoo would respond much more favorably. It's up to Microsoft now to prove its intentions. There is good reason to believe, however, that Microsoft's intentions are anything but good. Redmond's real goal may be simply to poach people from Yahoo, and this deal could help them do just that."
"In After War, Coyne demonstrates convincingly that national reconstruction seldom succeeds, and he presents the essential economic concepts and principles that allow us to understand why it usually fails, especially in the countries that seem most in need of it. The book is clearly written in precise, straightforward prose. The tone is scholarly, disinterested, and devoid of polemics."
"Why is Valentine’s Day named after St. Valentine? And who was this guy?"
"I'm not sure I understand any of it, but I am sure that none of this means anything good, as the economic system with which we have saddled ourselves is not the good kind of 'saddled', like when you are on your hands and knees as your wife rides you around the bedroom, whacking you on the butt with a riding crop and shouting...."
"There is no doubt in my mind that the Illinois shooter's history of taking psychiatric medications was the primary cause of his violent behavior. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that if every single shooter in recent memory was treated with psych meds, and if those same psych meds are well known to cause violent thoughts and suicidal behavior, it's fairly obvious that the chemicals are the most likely cause of the behavioral problems. It's also worth noting that before children were prescribed such medications in America, school shootings were virtually unheard of. It was only after psychiatric medicine started targeting young people with mind-altering medications that we witnessed this explosion in violence."
"It will go like this: As Microsoft buys Yahoo!, it will announce a great future with no near-term changes. That will be a lie. ... Within six months, Microsoft will announce a re-org of Yahoo! along Microsoft lines and fire half of the Yahoo! staff or offer them jobs in Redmond (or someplace else, like Podunk). Once the two companies have a similar structure, the Yahoo! departments will be absorbed into the Microsoft blob, with 90 percent of the Yahoo! people being subordinate to Microsoft overlords who will tell them what to do. Most will quit within a year or two. Somehow Microsoft will manage to make 1 plus 1 equal 1.5, with the other 0.5 somehow gravitating to Google."
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