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"To wait for one of those larger waves to come by is to waste some amount of one’s life, just to be one in the vast blob of lemmings rushing to the sea. Why run the risk of getting carried somewhere that may not be the best place for you?"
"At a time when pundits and politicians of all stripes endorse securing the border between the United States and Mexico, reason.tv travels south to see what's really going on—and what the human and monetary costs are of amping up border patrols."
"Lisa Schirch is a propagator of peace, a scholar at Eastern Mennonite University who teaches students methods of preventing violent conflict. Now Schirch is working to instruct members of Congress in the methods for building peace."
"Though Judge Michaela Murphy explicitly instructed the jury to set aside their feelings about the war and only deliberate on the evidence presented during the trial, she did allow jurors to consider whether or not the defendants believed that they had the 'license and privilege' to consciously choose to break Maine law because they thought international law was being violated. The jurors decided unanimously that the protesters did, in fact, believe they had that right."
"Now the chickens are coming home to roost. A system that cannot exist without continuous borrowing will fail when the cost of borrowing simply becomes too high. When we hear officials of the Federal Reserve itself warning of the possibility of a recession, look out!"
"His energy is much more expensive. His food is more expensive. His house is going down in price. He can't borrow as he used to. He has to cut back, we keep saying; he has no choice. And when he cuts back, the United States has to go into a slump. And here we agree with Warren Buffett; it will be longer and deeper than most people think. We agree with George Soros too; the slump will result in a 'noticeable decline in living standards' for most Americans."
"It could have been even worse -- much, much worse. There were snipers targeting the YFZ property when the Child-Snatchers attacked. It's a matter of God's grace that none of the parents and children therein met the fate of Vicki and Sammy Weaver. If such a tragedy had ensued, Flora Jessop -- who has a longstanding relationship with Texas law enforcement -- would likely have been among the first to insist that the bloodshed was entirely the fault of the FLDS and their leaders."
"Being as familiar as I am with the whole supply/demand thing because it is the only thing I think I actually kind of sorta understand, I think I can safely say that the demand for people's old stuff has to be down ... as the supply rises, making prices fall...."
"At the end of the day ... the whole game finally comes down to power relations among individuals. Constitutions, legislatures, parliaments and all such are merely facades to create an aura of legitimacy. This comports with my personal experience across a span of years and roles in society...."
"At Zakat, government is the enemy, an oppressive force that stomps on people's rights and locks others in poverty. The institute claims to offer a way to opt out of its control. Those at Zakat identify themselves as part of the Moorish Sovereign Nation, a loose collection of individuals who consider government illegitimate and who claim to constitute their own borderless nation of sovereign citizens."
"A meme that can get the individual to sacrifice himself for the good of the meme’s propagation will survive better than a meme that cannot invoke such a level of self-harm: as long as people are too indoctrinated to realize that they are in fact harming themselves for no good reason except a meme’s propagation, which is a very futile reason to live indeed."
"Why should anyone be shocked 'anywhere at any time' at the mention of violence in politics? Summed up, the election game is merely a battle among gangsters to decide who controls the power of the most vicious, amoral institution created by man--the state! "
"I was invited to address this assembly. I talked about Smart Mobs in relation to the public sphere—the realm of citizen discourse that undergirds democracy."
"Cisco's open sourcing of Etch probably has less to do with any corporate love for open source than with a realization that the most viable way to take on an incumbent in an established software market is with open source. Open source enables a company to potentially disarm competing technologies through a bottom-up infiltration of the market."
"New 'EcoGIR' suits from Bagir ... are made in part from recycled PET plastic bottles. They're also machine washable, which is sort of awesome, too."
"Formally launched last May, Sapphire said Wednesday that it has hired Brian Goodall, who led a team of engineers responsible for a cross-Atlantic flight that used algae-based fuel earlier this year. Sapphire's 'green crude' has been certified with a 91-octane rating, but the company disclosed few details about its technology. "
"This is the most vital point: this is not a matter of mere historical interest. This is not about how the media operated five years ago during an aberrational time in our history. This is about how they functioned then and how they function now. ... As people like Jessica Yellin, Katie Couric, Phil Donahue and Scott McClellan are making clear, these media outlets are controlled propaganda arms of the Government, of the political establishment generally."
"[T]his debate should and could become one of the main issues that need to be addressed during the presidential campaign this year."
"The Bush administration has arrogated powers to itself that the British people even refused to grant King George III at the time of the Revolutionary War, an eminent political scientist says."
"Metal Storm's weapons fire bullets electronically, instead of with firing pins and primer. The ammunition is stacked, rather than mechanically reloaded. And the only moving parts in the weapon are the ammunition itself. Which means the weapon can fire at a rate of thousands of rounds per minute -- maybe even up to a million, theoretically."
"What is Obama’s attraction to big business? Precisely the same as Robert Kennedy’s. By offering a “new”, young and apparently progressive face of the Democratic Party — with the bonus of being a member of the black elite — he can blunt and divert real opposition. That was Colin Powell’s role as Bush’s secretary of state. An Obama victory will bring intense pressure on the US anti-war and social justice movements to accept a Democratic administration for all its faults. If that happens, domestic resistance to rapacious America will fall silent."
"It has been suggested that it is hypocritical of President Bush to implicitly attack Barack Obama for his outrageous suggestion that the United States should actually talk to its adversaries. The President likened efforts to negotiate with “terrorists and radicals” to attempts made to appease Adolf Hitler prior to World War II. Yet even his administration has negotiated with North Korea, Iran, and Syria, all of which are on the U.S. list of states that sponsor terrorism."
"The danger we face now is that the ideals of libertarianism will be polluted and twisted just as was the formerly honorable term and tradition of 'liberalism,' at the hands of the progressive/socialists of a century ago. But this can be avoided. The solution to this problem is to get the Party to give up the name 'Libertarian.' I think this can be done via a two-pronged approach...."
"To say that politics makes people stupid may be painting with too broad a brush, although there's plenty of evidence of politically induced stupidity committed by people who really ought to know better. I have sometimes posited that going into government at almost any level automatically causes one to lose 50 IQ points."
"Shortages cannot persist in a free marketplace because higher prices prompt consumers to economize on their purchases and producers both to expand existing supplies and to search for cheaper substitutes. ... Other than refraining from interfering, no public policy is needed to ensure that the private sector responds to price spikes. As a matter of fact, government has been part of the problem. Aggressive promotion of ethanol and other alternative energy sources is partly to blame for the recent run-up in food prices."
"By distilling religious belief into a genetic predisposition to pass along unverifiable information, the program predicts that religion will flourish. However, religion only takes hold if non-believers help believers out – perhaps because they are impressed by their devotion."
"One of a slew of DIY gardening currents, such as permaculture (design of highly sustainable ecosystems), urban homesteading, composting and free fruit movement, guerrilla gardening is a response to dwindling green space, limited land and suspicions about food sources, say experts. It's also part of a time-honored American tradition of gardening public spaces."
"If VIA's idea takes off, it could help add more juice to the already-humming market for ultra portables. That market, which had long foundered on the impractical aspirations of a tiny minority of mobility-obsessed hardware geeks, took off in earnest last year with the success of the Eee PC, Asus' $400, Linux-based ultra portable."
"When the dictates of government officials replace the price system, the result can appear to be passably presentable. The schools existed. The teachers taught. The buildings stood. But the earthquake came, and the illusion was revealed at the expense of so many lives. These are lives stolen by socialist central planning."
"The net result is that not only is this self-serving, world-wide spider's web of "investment professional" cretins tying up everyone's money for up to 30 years or more, at yields that are at record lows, so that for the rest of your life you are derisively known around the office as 'old buy-at-the-top', but they are also guaranteeing that you will suffer a huge, huge net loss as the market price of your debt goes down as interest rates rise!"
"If the world must pay gray men in gray suits to decide the price of overnight loans, then shooting for low inflation (or rather, strong money) would seem a good target to set. What better than raising rates, and crimping new credit, every time inflation starts gobbling up the value of savings and income?"
"The Fed, along with the Treasury Department, has for years had an inflationary policy that has caused the value of the dollar to plummet relative to other currencies. Were it not for this devaluation of the dollar, oil prices would likely be 40 percent lower--as they are for those on the Euro. Why not call a free-market economist to the stand and ask how much more expensive Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, and Henry Paulson have made our gasoline?"
"A country is not one concrete thing. It’s many things, and frankly, not all of them are lovable. One’s country is one’s home and perhaps birthplace. Nothing wrong having a fondness for those things. A country is also its people. But can anyone love all the American people? I can think of quite a few that I don’t love. "
"Thanks to mudshark for making this awesome music video for my song about the war pushers and profiteers."
"It actually makes sense even for an anti-government libertarian to celebrate Memorial Day. It is a day for remembering all the pointless wars fought by the State only to have people killed."
"Ever since the 1950s, with the rise of America's modern military-industrial complex, high-level U.S. officials and military men have moved between the government and private sectors. But what we have today with the intelligence business is something far more systemic: senior officials leaving their national security and counterterrorism jobs for positions where they are basically doing the same jobs they once held at the CIA, the NSA and other agencies -- but for double or triple the salary, and for profit."
"Courageous men and women have died. And most thought they were defending liberty and America. But only rarely have America's wars had anything to do with the nation's defense, let alone the promotion of liberty, here or abroad. ... The passing of another Memorial Day should lead to serious reflection. But not just on the heroic sacrifices upon which politicians routinely dwell. Americans should ponder the lies and deceptions used to justify most of America's wars."
"Sealed for a quarter century after her death, the newly published diaries of Catholic social activist Dorothy Day reveal the inner life of a woman who charted a radically different course through much of the 20th century."
"Although I often watched Harvey on the old Carol Burnett show, I remember him best as Hedley Lamarr, the 'villain'” in Mel Brooks’ classic comedy Blazing Saddles...."
"White-clad detainees – bent, submissive, with hands bound – were thrown down prone, jammed side by side, on the edge of a long trench. South Korean military and national policemen then stepped up behind, pointed their rifles at the backs of their heads and fired. The bodies were tipped into the trench."
"A fighter pilot would never cut the throat of an innocent woman or child. However, the same pilot drops bombs into enemy territory to kill enemy personnel, knowing he may also kill innocent civilians. The luxury of a large distance between the bullet or a bomb used to kill suspected enemies in Iraq is a luxury many of our soldiers do not have."
"Wars in an imperialist democracy cannot simply be dictated by executive fiat, they require the consent of highly motivated masses who will make the human and material sacrifices. Imperialist leaders have to create a visible and highly charged emotional sense of injustice and righteousness to secure national cohesion and overcome the natural opposition to early death, destruction and disruption of civilian life and to the brutal regimentation that goes with submission to absolutist rule by the military."
"Few Americans would argue that the United States, under attack by Japan, should be forbidden from considering Japanese ancestry combined with evidence of misbehavior -- to identify potential targets for further investigation. But the Roosevelt administration did not combine nationality with evidence of misbehavior. Japanese ancestry was the sole criterion; and incarceration, not investigation, was the resultant government act."
"The reason I say that post-traumatic stress is embarrassing is that it is. A man gets home from the war, and he wants to forget about what he saw and what he did, but he can’t. Many veterans want to avoid being around those close to them because they don’t want their loved ones to know that they are having problems."
"Samsung is slated to begin commercial production of the SSD by year's end, with customer samples available in September. A 1.8-inch version of the 256GB SSD is expected to be available in the fourth quarter...."
"An argument that regularly gets put forward in support of a bullish stock market outlook is that there is a lot of 'cash on sidelines', the implication being that there is a lot of money waiting to move into the stock market."
"The cost of insuring against default on the bonds of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and other big banks and brokerages has surged over the last two weeks, threatening to reach the stress levels seen before the Bear Stearns debacle. Spreads on inter-bank Libor and Euribor rates in Europe are back near record levels."
"Instead of pumping up the bubble it wanted…the Fed pumped up a bubble with a chip on its shoulder. A higher oil price doesn't have the same agreeable effects as a higher house price."
"[P]eople also started buying from farmer's markets, buying milk, meat, eggs and produce straight from nearby farmers. This was fresher and healthier than processed food. They realized they were better off if the profits stayed within the community than if they went to big corporations far away."
"San Francisco is a city where jazz can feel at home, where it actually belongs. You can find good musicians in Washington, where I spent too many years, But Washington is a city with the soul of a filing cabinet and, though the audiences are sophisticated, there is an artificiality to the music scene. It is as if a social director had decided that one week we will have a Jazz Experience, and next week it will be Mexican Night and we will make piñatas. San Fran is a grown-up city, and to me its sound is jazz. In Washington it’s the hum of a paper shredder destroying evidence."
Very cool for Astaire and modern dance fans.
"Much of the plot setup and some of the dialogue in Martin Scorsese’s excellent 1985 film After Hours—a significant portion of the movie’s first 30 minutes, in fact—were brazenly lifted from 'Lies,' a 1982 NPR Playhouse monologue by Joe Frank, the great L.A.-based radio artist who’s gotten a lot of love here on Panopticist."
"Liquid Launch is a new energy drink that doesn't have one of the ingredients in rocket fuel -- it has every ingredient in rocket fuel."
"Obama has also worked on increasing the speed with which he can strike the pose. Advisers say that it is critical for him to be able to quickly and seamlessly transition into the looking-off-into-the-future pose at any moment, especially during applause breaks in his speeches, while being photographed from low angles, and whenever there is a large American flag waving gently behind him."
"The president said that he thought the chances of his someday reading Mr. McClellan’s book were 'zero,' adding, 'If I didn’t read the Iraq Study Group’s report, I really don’t think I’m about to read Scott McClellan’s little book'."
"Scouts say Scraps is the best donkey basketball player they have seen in years, but some are concerned he’s not mature enough for the big time."
"Even though there is still some disagreement among Americans about whether the U.S. government should have entered World War II, there is an almost unanimous belief that the Nazis were bad guys. Imagine, then, that Germans had a day in which they indiscriminately honored their soldiers for every war in which the German government fought. (Fortunately, they don't.) Would Owens say that that was just fine? Or would he insist on judging the cause in which they fought before deciding to honor their loss? I honestly don't know. The answer matters."
"I try to show my students why people have found Plato and Karl Marx -- both of whom I regard as totalitarians -- compelling. But when I get to the end of 'The Communist Manifesto,' I'm usually asking things like this: 'Marx says that all means of communication should be centralized in the hands of the state. Anyone see any problems with that?' What I'm trying to point out is that even as I try to be neutral (well, even if I did try to be neutral), my personal opinions affect every aspect of what I do...."
"Video of the Keynote, given by Google vice president Vic Gondotra, is available on YouTube [and embedded in this article]. The Android walkthrough by Google engineering director Steve Horowitz starts at 21:07."
"As the solid foundation of your True Mogambo Enlightenment (TME), you have the fact that not once in the 4,000-year history of man and money has this 'fiat money' crap NOT led to total ruination. Not once. Not even close."
"In a libertarian society everything would be different. If free enterprise ran the operation as a business they’d change its name to Traveler’s Services of America and start running ads...."
"There is a number ... at which greed overcomes fear, and rationality goes out the window. ... 'Last year the price of gold hit $700 an ounce and I thought it was going to take off, but it really didn't happen,' says Mr Herschbach, an amateur prospector for more than 30 years and owner of the Alaska Mining and Diving shop in Anchorage. But when it broke $1,000 earlier this year...."
"Dramatic photographs of previously unfound Amazon Indians have highlighted the precariousness of the few remaining 'lost' tribes and the dangers they face from contact with outsiders."
"Microsoft's biggest fear must be the Googles of the world: Companies that fund open-source development without the need to sell that software directly. Microsoft knows how to compete in selling software. It still has no clue how to use free software to create more free software, while offering proprietary services on top of that software. It still believes it has to build everything itself."
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