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"Since the first test version of The Hub appeared in 2006, more than 500 pieces of media content—videos, audio clips, slide shows—have been uploaded to it. Since December 2007, the results have been open to the general public. ... The site was created by Witness, a Brooklyn-based group founded by the globe-trotting pop star Peter Gabriel in 1992. Conceived in the wake of the Rodney King beating, the group initially focused on getting camcorders into the hands of human rights activists around the world. The goal, in Gabriel’s phrase, was to create a network of 'Little Brothers and Little Sisters' to keep an eye on Big Brother’s thugs."
"The Pirate Bay (TPB), the seemingly unsinkable torrent site, has launched a new service called BayWords that aims to provide users with censorship-free blog hosting at no cost. The site is powered by WordPress and supports standard features like comments and CAPTCHAs."
"The initiation of force and fraud is considered by libertarians to be wrong. I don’t know that anyone could sift through all these loans and authoritatively determine how many were actually fraudulent: but it seems to me that in a larger context, the housing bubble was itself a fraud that sucked in many individuals. Some didn’t know better; others did but their greed got the better of them, perhaps. The federal government and the banking/finance industry created the environment to allow this to happen, not bothering to think about the consequences when the market turned."
"Google supported the open access because it would let consumers use any wireless device or software on the system as long as it doesn't harm the network. That would benefit Google, which is ramping up its Android open source mobile platform. Established wireless interests are none too excited by that prospect, because it could break their stranglehold on how consumers use cellphones."
"The trailer for my upcoming film GENERATION RX is now online at YouTube. Please view it and send me your thoughts! "
"The legal fiasco was partly attributable to familiar themes of racism and overly aggressive prosecution. But the Colomb story is mostly about the war on drugs. It shows how the absurd incentives created by the unaccountable use of shady drug informants by police and prosecutors can quickly make innocent people look very guilty."
"This whole sad episode [Yearning for Zion ranch] demonstrates something very disturbing about modern American life: The police, even on the state level, have been thoroughly militarized, to the point where the recently gutted Posse Comitatus Act is even more irrelevant than some of us might have suspected: What relief is it, after all, to have the military isolated from domestic policing, if the domestic police have virtually become a military force?"
"If tax-hungry politicians get their way, the days of ordering items over the Internet and not paying sales tax may become just a fond memory."
"During the Reagan administration, the government mandated the taking and reporting of urine samples to test for drug usage. At the time, I raised the question: what impact might it have on this program to have each one of us mail a small bottle of our urine to the White House every day, so as to satisfy the curiosity of the president?"
"April 15th is one of the saddest days of the year. It’s not as if good citizens everywhere aren’t taking it up the tailpipe the other 364 days a year, but this bad boy really shouldn’t pass without somebody doing something. April 15th is the day your taxes are due, my fellow Americans, and taxes are the grease in the wheels of the state, keeping it in perpetual, forward motion, growing like a snowball, ensuring the death, incarceration and subjugation of millions more."
"Statists use 'consensus science' as a premise because it supports their use of 'consensus' based on State doctrine. The intelligentsia has always been a prime target for State takeover. Of course, in the old days, they used to kill the lot of ‘em and put new ones in place. Nowadays, we don’t kill people so much, unless they’re the wrong color. Either way, the role of the intelligentsia has always been to justify and rationalize the crimes of the ruling class to the people."
"Ask yourself: how do I obey the State...and do I need to do so? Break down your specific acts of obedience and question each one of them...."
"In a bid to become less dependent on supermarkets, the residents of Martin are working together to become as self-sufficient as possible."
"Even if the victims had possessed permits to carry a gun, Virginia Tech forbade them to have that means of self-defense while on campus. This ensured that only the killer (who, of course, violated the 'gun-free zone' policy just as he violated the laws against murder) and uniformed police would have guns. Obviously the university could not afford to station officers in every lecture hall. Yet nothing less would substitute for the victims themselves having had the power to stop the massacre."
"Ubuntu is based on Debian, which enjoys wide developer support. Having a vibrant distribution such as Debian as Ubuntu's underpinning has resulted in a very stable and feature-rich distribution. Raw Debian has a reputation as being a bit geek-centric, and although it makes a good effort to be easy to use, it still can be a challenge to install for nontechnical users. Ubuntu has put padding on a lot of Debian's sharp corners, without removing any of the power of the underlying distribution."
"When the GSA, the organization that influences the purchasing for the rest of the U.S. federal government, buys heavily into open source, you know it's time for the rest of the government to do so, as well."
"The war in Iraq was lost before the first shot was fired. The conflict never had the support of the American people and Iraq never posed a threat to US national security. The whole rationale for the war was based on lies; it was a coup orchestrated by elites and the media to carry out a far-right agenda. Now the mission has failed, but no one wants to admit their mistakes by withdrawing; so the butchery continues unabated."
"President George W. Bush’s comment to ABC News – that he approved discussions that his top aides held about harsh interrogation techniques – adds credence to claims from senior FBI agents in Iraq in 2004 that Bush had signed an Executive Order approving the use of military dogs, sleep deprivation and other tactics to intimidate Iraqi detainees."
"[M]arkets of all shapes and sizes control the manufacture of goods, services, and capital. These markets work spontaneously under well-understood rules, but without human manipulation, to direct resources into their most economical channels. For the government to upset this stable arrangement by sanctioning its monetary agency to intervene in private securities markets is not only destabilizing, it also provides a dangerous precedent that may lead to all kinds of future monetary catastrophes."
"Jim Rogers was his usual outspoken self when interviewed on Bloomberg’s Morning Call. Breathing fire from the start he stated his disdain for the Fed’s supposed ’strong dollar policy’ ('Do you even bother reporting that anymore?')...."
"Why does this matter? What's wrong with electing competent but rootless people to public office? Because just as one cannot love the 'human race' before one loves particular human beings, neither can one love 'the world' unless he first achieves a deep understanding of his own little piece of that world. America is not, as the neoconservatives like to say, an idea: it is a place, or rather the sum of a thousand and one little, individuated places, each with its own history and accent and stories. A politician who understands this will act in ways that protect and preserve these real places. A rootless politico will babble on about 'the homeland'--a creepily totalitarian phrase that, pre-Bush, was not applied to our country."
"While nearly all politicians shade the truth now and then, some utterly disdain the truth, a category that includes George W. Bush and increasingly Hillary Clinton, as she made clear again in Wednesday night’s debate on the strange topic of Vietnam-era Weather Underground leader William Ayers."
"Obama said that as president he would indeed ask his new Attorney General and his deputies to 'immediately review the information that's already there' and determine if an inquiry is warranted -- but he also tread carefully on the issue, in line with his reputation for seeking to bridge the partisan divide. He worried that such a probe could be spun as 'a partisan witch hunt.' However, he said that equation changes if there was willful criminality, because 'nobody is above the law'."
"Look at McCain’s final sentence: 'No one can be president of the United States that supports projects such as these.' What’s he talking about? Presidents and presidential candidates have always supported petty spending projects that were little more than favors to one or another constituency. What’s new about that?"
"Law professor Yochai Benkler explains how collaborative projects like Wikipedia and Linux represent the next stage of human organization."
"Linux was chosen for Android, he said, because it has a proven driver model, supports numerous architectures, and has been proven to be sufficiently robust and secure for adoption in embedded contexts. The library stack includes other open source components such as the SQLite database system, the WebKit HTML rendering framework, and the FreeType font rendering engine."
"Researchers are studying American alligator blood as a potential source for powerful new antibiotics. Apparently, proteins in the blood can kill E. coli, herpes simplex, and the nasty methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Apparently, many reptiles and amphibians have some of these powerful proteins flowing through their blood."
"Tidal power has a number of advantages over other renewables. For one thing, it's predictable. Computer simulations can calculate the amount of electricity that can be generated from tides decades in advance. Besides being predictable, tides are also constant, unlike wind or solar."
"Since the true level of unemployment would upset voters in crucial swing states, the government simply eliminates whole categories of people from the statistical workforce so they don't show up as unemployed. To make GDP look better Washington 'imputes' (i.e. makes up) new income sources and credits them to homeowners and others. When the money supply starts growing to fast to effectively hide, the Fed just stops reporting measures like M3. And the lies, like our accumulated debts, keep getting bigger."
"The current U.S. financial crisis follows the classic Fed pattern. In 2002 then governor Bernanke set off a warning siren that deflation was threatening the U.S. economy. He convinced his Fed colleagues of the danger. ... In the face of possible deflation, the Fed panicked. By July 2003 the Fed funds rate was at a record low of 1%, where it stayed for a year. This set off the mother of all modern liquidity cycles, and, as members of the Austrian school anticipated, the credit boom ended badly."
"As economists have asked: if smart, highly paid Wall Street investment bankers with huge financial positions on the line failed to foresee the risk to which subprime mortgages exposed them, how can one expect a regulatory agency to do so? And, what steps will the central bank take to 'stabilize' markets, if it does perceive a threat? Will it continue to bail out institutions who run into financial trouble? The prospect of being rescued by taxpayers encourages risk-taking. So, transforming the Fed into a market-stability watchdog may create more market instability — not less."
"I'm amused at how much the business community used to carp about onerous environmental and occupational-safety laws and regulations, but with Sarbanes-Oxley all the complaining is mostly private grumbling. It has the same hands-off status as child-porn laws. Nobody seems to know how to attack Sarbanes-Oxley without sounding like an Enron booster, an apologist for bad business or an out-and-out criminal."
"Once rooted in a basic distrust of coercive government and a determination to cut back its burgeoning size and cost, conservatism has been stood on its head: the faux 'conservatism' of the post-9/11 era has embraced the surveillance state and presided over the wildest orgy of government spending since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society."
"The most popular idea in the world is freedom: 'the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints.' But if this is true, how come it keeps slipping away? In a word, government. The more government there is, the less freedom we have. And government grows best when it engages in war. "
"It is an astounding phenomenon. Bush is the most widely despised president in modern times. The war he launched on false pretenses against Iraq is deeply unpopular, and is plainly bankrupting the country. His economic policies have plunged millions into ruin, want and insecurity. The opposition political party controls the Congress -- a bastion they could have used as a bully pulpit to rally the public and as a battering ram to bring down an openly criminal, shamelessly unconstitutional, dangerous, illegitimate regime. And yet....nothing happens."
"Yoo's assertion that Congress has no right to pass laws that impinge on the president's claim to a broad interpretation of his role as commander-in-chief violates the core of the constitutional system of checks and balances, and for which the United States regularly criticizes despots in foreign countries."
"The government of the 1990s was supposed to be the 'good government' that liberals never cease to remind us we can have, once again, as soon as the White House is ridden of the Bush family. But George W. Bush didn’t conduct the massacre at Waco. And even if Bill Clinton’s wife blessedly loses the election, Barack Obama gives no guarantee that he will respect the fundamental rights of Americans any better than his predecessors."
"Crude oil, rice, Gold, the Euro, wheat, emerging market bonds, copper...anything that's not stamped with the all-seeing eye of the Dollar looks a great bet once again. The Federal Reserve has seen to that, driving the real returns paid to cash down towards a three-decade low."
"In 1913, Congress created the Federal Reserve System to provide the United States with an 'elastic' money supply. The Fed does this by controlling the volume of money and setting interest rates. In other words, the Fed controls inflation only in that it has the ability to cause inflation. Believing that the Fed is necessary to control inflation is very much like thinking that criminals are necessary so that they can control crime rates."
"He was a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he came up with the scientific concept that small effects lead to big changes, something that was explained in a simple example known as the 'butterfly effect.' He explained how something as minuscule as a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil changes the constantly moving atmosphere in ways that could later trigger tornadoes in Texas."
"One battle rarely wins or loses a war, at least in the moment. Gettysburg crippled Lee’s army in 1863, but the Confederates fought on until 1865. Stalingrad broke the back of the German 6th Army, but it would be two-and-a-half years before the Russians took Berlin. War – particularly the modern variety – is a complex mixture of tactics, technology, and politics."
"This repeated allegation during the congressional hearings and the firing of Admiral William Fallon as commander-in-chief of U.S. forces in the Middle East, who was an opponent of any attack on Iran, should again raise worries to war-weary Americans about a cowboy attack on Iran before the Bush administration leaves office."
"Why should these militias stand down? If events both recent and not-so-recent are any indication, the political decision by parties opposed to the US occupation to give up their arms only means that the occupiers and their client forces can attack them with even greater impunity. In other words, if they give up their guns, the political resistance faces the very real possibility of both figurative and literal obliteration."
"I learned that nothing is black or white. A person’s being on the other side of the counter did not mean that he even had an answer to my question; and if I couldn’t understand what he was saying or I didn’t agree with his answer, I could always ask to see his supervisor. "
"The super boom is over. Our houses are going down. And the value of our labor and our stocks - which have held fairly steady - are being marked down by inflation. We are not becoming a Third World country…but we are becoming a poorer one…with a labor force that is less and less overpriced each year. Seems like a good time to retire. But forget the Winnebago - with gasoline at $3.36 a gallon, who can afford to cruise around on the wide-open spaces?"
"The latest developer release of the GNU Image Manipulation Program, better known as simply GIMP, features a redesigned interface and some exciting, long-awaited new features. GIMP is a free, open source alternative to Adobe Photoshop. While GIMP has failed to make serious inroads among graphics professions — for whom Photoshop is less a program than a full-fledged platform — for the casual user GIMP offers many of Photoshop’s features for free."
"A promising new cancer treatment that may one day replace radiation and chemotherapy is edging closer to human trials. Kanzius RF therapy attaches microscopic nanoparticles to cancer cells and then 'cooks' tumors inside the body with harmless radio waves."
"When it comes to improving the experience of searching the Web for music and other entertainment content, technology has mostly come up short. Despite a plethora of specially designed search engines, it's still not easy to find material that appeals to you. Certainly, few search engines, if any, provide better results than Google."
"Dollhouse will be about 'identity, self-determination' and the fact that 'free will is both a blessing and a pain in the ass,' says creator Joss Whedon, who helped revolutionize science fiction with his space western Firefly."
"Charlie's friends return to bring him on another magical adventure!" [Sequels rarely match the original. You decide.]
"You know, people say the world changes all the time, and yet human nature remains the same. You know, good stories are going to be good stories and people are going to see them. I don't think people go to the movies because of what's going on in the world, you know, they go usually to escape what's going on in the world, and that always remains the same."
"Lavinia, the second wife of Virgil's fictional Aeneas, was nothing more than a handful of lines scattered through the tale of the Trojan hero's swashbuckling years in Italy in the eighth century B.C. Blonde, blushing Lavinia, daughter of a king, was destined to marry Aeneas, and she did. End of story. For Ms. Le Guin, it was just the beginning."
"Jon takes President Bush's dire warnings about Iraq and creates a new game for people who hate parties."
"The decision by all 301,139,947 U.S. citizens to talk about something else is expected to last the more than six months leading up to the presidential election on Nov. 4. During that time, the nation has agreed to supplant all lively debates and impassioned arguments about politics with topics such as movies, music, summertime, and, in some rare cases, personal matters like family, relationships, and feelings."
"In the 'dance mix' version of the above, I add these terrific poly-rhythmic Latin percussion tracks to give it that 'dance beat' quality, and with the sound of The Mogambo in the background, laughing and teasingly asking 'Got gold?', and then laughing, laughing, laughing some more."
"Stephen leaves his mark on Philadelphia's National Constitution Center."
"You can link the historic surge in gold prices starting mid-August 2007 to many apparently disparate things. Pick the right link and you might be able to tell whether it’s worth you buying or holding gold today. One such link is the price of money, as decided by the U.S. Federal Reserve."
"[H]ow will we use the vast amount of new philanthropic resources that will be created in the next fifty years? My instincts tell me that Wikipedia, open source and peer-production may hold part of the answer. The world of the commons has used openness, participation and community to create real and (hopefully) lasting public goods." [Provocative]
"Government makes itself the uninvited and unwanted co-owner whenever it taxes, regulates, and prohibits. The specific forms of taxation, regulation, and prohibition are myriad. The important fact is that any form of government interventionism, by its very nature, entails a forced separation of ownership and effective control."
"While everyone rants about the last mile, how about worrying about the first foot? Yes, it's nice to have a 10-Mbps connection, especially when you hit a site that can deliver as fast as you can receive. It pops."
"Picture this, if you will: Porn star Jenna Jameson is in a movie playing a stripper who reads Nietzsche, becomes a zombie, and, armed with her new theory of undead power, eventually kills somebody by shooting pool balls out of her superstrong zombie pussy."
"So I flip to Schedule D of the tax booklet, and of course, referencing all the accompanying tables and worksheets, I am immediately as confused as always, and I suddenly remember precisely why I hate the members of the U.S. Congress who have saddled us with such an embarrassment as the U.S. Tax Code, and how I am waaAAAaaay behind on sending these losers and halfwit scumbags their fair share of vicious hate mail."
"In celebration of 420 coming up (4/20) I thought this was apropos...."
"So what's the lesson here? There is none."
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