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Of course one schedules a big announcement at an opportune time to divert attention from everything else. Suddenly not turning in tax returns is old. “Why you bringing up that shit for, you creepy old loser?” Suddenly, Bain Capital’s fortunes made at the expense of working class heroes, is like last years Mason Jar-d green beans…..

But, did you know, (and it will get lost today for sure), did you know that NOT SINCE EISENHOWER, HAS THE STOCK MARKET EVER PERFORMED AS WELL AS IT HAS THIS PAST TERM OF PRESIDENT OBAMA?
Not during the Republican years of Richard Nixon
Not during the Republican years of Gerald Ford
Not during the Republican years of Ronald Reagan….
Not during the Republican years of George HW. Bush….
Not during the Republican years of George W. Bush……

HAVE WE EVER HAD A STOCK MARKET PERFORM THIS WELL!!!!!!

(ok, ok, in order just to be considered fair here…)

Not during the Democratic years of John F. Kennedy…
Not during the Democratic years of Lyndon Baines Johnson….
Not during the glorious years of Jimmy Carter….
Not during the most amazing years in American History, of William Jefferson Clinton……

HAS THE STOCK MAREKET PERFORMED AS WELL AS IT HAS UNDER THE TERM LED BY OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATS IN THE SENATE……

Not since Eisenhower…

Let that sink in….. Not since Eisenhower…..

If this were the Philadelphia Eagles and we’d had three back to back Superbowl wins…..we’d be jumping up and down for joy… These results are absolutely awesome. Obama/Biden is really the best team we have seen in our lifetimes…..

Of course, you would never know it if all you listened to, was the Dallas Cowboy’s …..

You see guys…. That’s America today…. And you are listening only to the Dallas Cowboy’s Network……

So if you want to see all the good news that got buried by today’s Ryan grabbing headlines…… and it is definately worth it, I have a link for you here……..

Look through the collection and tell me, does Romney’s choice really matter? REALLY?

America gets up in arms when it’s privacy issues are at stake. How dare you know that about me! However when someone slips through our net and blows up a building or car, they exclaim, how did you not catch him in time?

Soon to be announced if not already out there, is our nation’s now no longer classified Trap Wire System. In the reports of its inception this package was held up as the ultimate surveillance tool. Cameras across the country would capture data from cities, highways, tolls, parks, public arenas, and everywhere else there is a camera, encrypt the data, then send it to a central point where it gets incorporated with all other data already compiled on every citizen. That data including public on line events such as dating services, chat rooms, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, as well as corporate files, employee rosters, and the vast cesspool of corporate data gleaned each and every time you use your credit card.

On every adult citizen, a computer can spit out a file of facts that even that citizen doesn’t know… The computing power is unparalleled. You are sitting at the stoplight, and for no reason a camera goes off, you think weird, no one tripped it. and instantly your face has been identified, your file pulled, and a program knows you buy Colgate toothpaste 39% of the time. And it knows you are on Zoloft. Your credit score is 593. And you are cheating on your spouse of 27 years with a 19 year old who gets something from Victoria Secret every month…..

A song comes on the radio and your mind jumps to it and you go on never thinking of that random event again…….

Of course there is the other side of the story. You pull up to the light right beside the dufus mentioned above. The same thing happens. You wonder too. Your picture triggers an alarm because your image was last seen in the lower Philippines having been traced there from Manila before paying for the boarding of a private boat off Gov. Lim Ave, then going dark 18 months ago. The alarm is because you were once an acquaintance on the third level of a Detroit sheik who propagated militancy. The file shows you worked with explosives on construction sites, you were terminated at one time being blamed for some missing C4. You denied you had anything to do with it. The camera notes that your car is low in back, and alerts other cameras on the route your are traveling that you will soon be entering their view. Your facebook page shows you liked Iran and support Assad of Syria. Your high school psychological profile says you were quiet and brooding. Your license plate is registered to a car reportedly at the gas station on Rt.273 undergoing lengthy repairs. You are unmarried. You don’t date, and your credit card has a large cash balance, yet you spend very little and that is only on food, gas, and a furnished apartment in Christiana Meadows. As you drive by a transponder, your new phone signal gets captured, and all your calls are now being pulled up. You spoke with a person of high interest, 2 times this morning, for a length of one minute each. Your visage is updated to all local cameras and all transportation portals, and put at the top of each face recognition program. Someone is dispatched to scout your apartment.

You see. That is the dilemma. We enjoy our safety, and abhor our loss of privacy.

If you haven’t noticed already, on your emails sometimes you have these buried within the routing: Abraxas and the others you see will say, Stratfor…. Bloggers are very used to seeing these on a rather regular basis. They are everywhere across the net.

One thing noticeable during the Olympics was that the Brits live this way all the time. They are used to it and prefer the cameras and intrusive software over a coordinated attack on their trains. And no one can blame them. But what the Brits have, and we don’t, is a set of rules regarding this capturing of information. If someone violates this code as did Murdoch, then the ramifications are severe; perhaps bringing down an entire corporate empire. The CEO, Vice President, and quite a few others all charged with illegal actions.

And that is the lesson we need to take. Accept the surveillance but know that if anyone, anyone breaks the code of privacy… you are going to be filthy rich for the rest of your entire life at their or their employer’s expense…. For if that is truly the case, going back to the original story up top, if you got busted for your too hot to fail 19 year old lover, and lost your spouse, for $83 million, you really wouldn’t mind too much… My bet? You would see it as a blessing in disguise. And if you still loved your spouse, don’t worry. When you are worth $83 million, she won’t go far.

This has to become the future of surveillance. Here is why.

I’ll use Facebook as an example. I can always tell when one a friend has to hand over their password to their employer. Whereas they used to be so lively, responsive, and fun, they suddenly stop posting anything showing their personality. Their presence on line becomes reduced to “look at my kid”; “here is my dog”. Whereas you used to be able to talk to them about their spouse, their parents, how they were feeling, how they liked their job, how they were doing in the lover department, how their head was, what hopes and dreams they possessed, how drunk they got, suddenly their presence is as chilled as someone passing Checkpoint Charlie in the 60’s. There is a rigidity that they must conform to. There is a corporate mentality that they must express, and most deal with it by staying silent.

That is not what America is about. America is about freedom, about life…. about liberty….. and about the pursuit of happiness…… What once was open air on the internet is now poisoned with carbon particles, so much so that it is hard to breathe.

We can’t lose our nation’s fun-loving identity. And we can’t stop protecting ourselves by our newer and newer technology. So, what we can do (and we can easily do this), is not to constrain the surveillance, but penalize any misuse of the data that gets captured.

And make the punitive damages so huge, so grand, so big, that American citizens will actually enjoy having their privacy breached when it comes time for the judge to make the monetary judgment. Which means we need to rethink all things private, and that includes the intrusiveness of the press into private lives…

I’m always saddened when someone suffers because of something got out of control on their social media, and everyone gangs up on line, saying, “well, you shouldn’t have put it on the internet.”

Really? REALLY? A person should never have a light moment with an acquaintance, one of those few joyous moments we as people treasure forever, because someone they don’t know, someone they never met, might hack into their account, and spread it across the world?

That is ridiculous. The internet IS us. If we want a fun moment, we have the right to exercise it.. Back when I was growing up, laws were passed and on the books to control the positions that went on within the bedroom. That has fortunately faded away into being ridiculous. The same needs to happen on the internet. And the easiest way, the simplest way, is to have huge, gigantic fines, ones that are so big they will bankrupt anyone, and everyone who breaches another’s privacy.

So what if some entity knows you use Colgate 39% of the time. If no one else ever knows that they know it, as far as impacting anything in the real world, their knowledge of that minutia, doesn’t matter.

We need to start the process. We first announce the problem; we offer a solution; we educate the public; we elect responsible legislators, we pressure responsible legislators, we get legislation signed, and then, we relax and really enjoy the rest of our lives.

It is past time that our personal privacy be now given a price tag that is equal to what it is worth. Something in the range of tens of millions comes to mind….. Hell, you can get $90 million for spilling hot coffee in your lap…..

Delaware Senator Chris Coons has a chance to do something good tomorrow.

Tomorrow with him there, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider a bill S.285 by Senator Levin, of Michigan, to allow this man to say in this country.

Victor Sopuruchi Chukwueke has an amazing story to tell. And he loves to tell it to anyone who will listen.

Victor was a victim of tumors. In his homeland of Nigeria, he was told there was nothing that could be done. He continued anyway. A nun arranged for him to come to the US and work for a plastic surgeon and receive a free operation.

All accounts describe him as an uplifting speaker, one who causes us to look harshly at ourselves and ponder why we’ve let our minuscule traumas, set us back from our own dreams. Victor wants to be a surgeon. He is scheduled next year to begin medical school at Wayne State University.

That dream, once again is in jeopardy. For somewhere along the way, Victor didn’t file to continue his VISA. It expired, and he is an illegal alien. Michigan Senator Carl Levin put a request back in the 209th Congress, it wasn’t acted upon. He did it again on the 210th. And again in the 211th. And now in the 212th Congress.

Senate Bill 285 seeks to deem him to have been lawfully admitted to, and remained in, the United States, and shall be eligible for adjustment of status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence under section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1255) upon filing an application for such adjustment of status.

This bill was filed, February 3, 2011. It has had 16 months, and 10 days of just sitting in that committee’s drawer… Delaware’s Senator will cast the pivotal vote tomorrow….

At his commencement address Victor said this….

“Things happen in life to all of us. What matters most is how we respond. We can get sad and give up. Or we can rise up and face the challenges. Over the past few years I was forced to make a decision: should I consider myself a victim and abandon my dream? Or should I work hard to reach my goals? If I had considered myself a victim, I would not be here today.”

“I say to you, strive to be all you can be in your life. My presence here today shows that anything is possible.”

America needs this positivity now, more than ever. Let’s hope some of the positivity sinks into at least those Senators blessed with hearing this amazing tale….

This one is a no-brainer… He must be reinstated……

Chris: don’t even think of shuffling out early after discussion of S-250 Justice for All Reauthorization Ac  in order to make the Law of the Sea Hearing, scheduled at the same time!!! 10:00 tomorrow.

Good luck today, Victor!

 

It is funny, … often the most profound statements are in an aside that the author slipped into the article…..

From the New York Times……

“He helped devise a strategy that called for his coalition to line up a strong array of legislative sponsors and supporters behind two similar laws — the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House, and the Protect I.P. Act in the Senate — and then to move them through the Congress quickly before possible opposition from tech companies could coalesce.”

Translated: how can we trick Congress into passing this law before the American People find out….

Wouldn’t it be nice if campaign contributions could ONLY come from individual donors who were actually human?

Nothing…….

If someone downloads a Hollywood movie or television series…. is that a loss of profit for a Movie studio?

They would like you to think so…

But most people download movies because they do not have the money to otherwise spend.

Therefore, they would never buy that product …. If it were not available, they would just do without…..

Today, everyone has access to a computer. There is no market for movies copyied on CD and sold on the black market. There is no money in downloaded movies. They are worthless entities…

What the availability of downloaded movies actually do, is to effectively market that product.

How often have you been in a group of strangers with time to kill and get stuck searching cable for a movie?

Do you trust the reviews, obviously slanted so you pick their product, or do you listen to other people and pick one that they have seen and say is good?

You know that answer.

One day soon it will be proven. The reason profits of movies studios and the entertainment industries are up, is because of the ability to “globally” upload movies on the internet…. More people now (or did) have access to “Hollywood” across this globe than ever before… Theoretically, even if one out of ten viewers later buys the product after testing it, that is a boon for movie moguls. Don’t ever think anyone in the Third World will buy without first testing.

Without such glowing reviews from our peers, when it comes to fluffy entertainment, …. we will prefer to spend our hard money on more worthwhile causes.

As a concerned citizen, I am beginning to accept that a boycott of Hollywood until charges against MegaUpload are dismissed … is exactly the precise action that is needed…..

After all, “Hollywood Jobs are at stake.”…..

Here is a quick list of the Motion Picture/Recording Industry campaign money spread around… It will be interesting to see how each person votes to censor our internet, when all is said and done…….

Senator Tom Carper: $24,950
Senator Chris Coons: $ 2,200
Rep. John Carney: $ 2,500

Fact is the recording industry is selling less CD’s than back in 2004.
Since that time frame, pirates have been steaming music on line…
Therefore pirates have cost the recording industry lots of dollars….

But, wait, back up a minute…….

Fact is the recording industry is selling fewer cassettes than back in 1990. Since that time frame, CD’s have been selling like hotcakes. Therefore CD’s have cost the cassette industry lots of dollars…..

But, wait, back up two minutes……

Fact is, the recording industry is selling fewer 8 tracks than back in 1970. Since that time frame, cassettes, have been selling like hotcakes. Therefore cassettes have cost the 8 track industry lots of dollars……

But, wait, back up three minutes……

Fact is, the recording industry is selling fewer vinyl records than back in 1960. Since that time frame, 8 tracks, have been selling like hotcakes… Therefore 8 tracks have cost the vinyl records lots of dollars…..

But, wait, back up four minutes…..

Fact is , the vaudeville industry is having far fewer performances than back in the 1920’s…. Since that time frame, vinyl records have been selling like hotcakes… not to mention movies in movie houses, radio shows on radio… Therefore new advances in technology, have cost human being performers jobs and revenue…..

Such is life…

Fact is, (back up the time line to today) CD sales are down because most young people in America no longer own a CD player…

Music is not physical… it is digital….

Evidence to support this theory can come from comparing profits from Germany’s musical industry to America’s musical industry.

In Germany physical CDs are still very popular, with digital sales representing less than 25% of all music ‘units’ sold. In the U.S. on the other hand, digital outsells physical with 70% of all sales.
If the theory that the shift towards digital music is negatively impacting revenues holds up, then the German record labels should do much better. Indeed, between 2004 and 2008 the net revenue (in dollars) of the U.S record companies fell more than 30%, compared to less than 5% in Germany.

Incidentally, piracy if far more rampant in Germany than in the US….

Bottom line, is recording executives have to blames some boogey man.. They are blaming piracy for their own ineptness….

Let’s shut down record executives first, before shutting down the worlds free source of information……. Seriously, why should the entire world suffer for a douchebag?

Imagine if the United States in its formative years, decreed all trade in the newly formed United States of America would be hereby be done in barter, so that the Barbary Pirates off Tripoli, could not make any money? Like what would they do with confiscated knickerbockers?

Just as ridiculous, SOPA is…..

Today Republican sponsors petitioned Senate Majority Harry Reid to slow down the PIPA, the Senate’s version of SOPA which acts to stop on-line piracy issues…

Most Americans are unfamiliar with the content of these to bills. Upon learning exactly what the consequences are, they are outraged….

Those antagonistic to this bill can be classified as nerds. Those in favor of this bill can be classified as boss hogs.. Ron Paul has expressed outrage over the liberties being stripped by these bills…

Here is what they do. In an effort to stop on line piracy, they force internet providers to block IP addresses, to forward all information to the FBI including personal credit card data, and force searchs to go black, meaning nothing found…

It is already out of hand. Just looking for a version of Martin Luther Kings Speech on YouTube to play during a church service tomorrow, that prophetic one outlining his own demise, since last April, a large majority of them had been blocked by EMI…. “pulled at the request of EMI for potential Copyright Infringement…” was all that YouTube put up…….

A church service. Martin Luther King’s last speech… Shut down for EMI’s greed… “They violated copyright laws and did not get permission to air that piece, which is against the law… ” Who took that video? We don’t know, but someone did. and someone bought the company that bought the company that bought the company that bought the company that first aired that clip they got for free……

What is a young person in India, or China, who is questioning the valued of democracy, of protest, going to think when they try to tap into our vast historical archive, and get….. “Blocked at the Request of EMI”

This is wrong. It is wrong. It is wrong…

Any interference or protection of the internet will have similar consequences… The internet is a resource… Blocking the internet will have the same chilling effect of East Germany blocking civilian conversation by planting human spies among its population….

If you are an entertainment company, you make your money at the theater, selling your CD’s to Walmart, and selling the rights to television… That’s it…

Imagine not being able to view “It’s A Wonderful Life” in India, China, or Burma, because you had to cough up one dollar, a weeks salary? Now, imagine the usefulness that would be to our democracy, if anyone, everyone on the planet could see that movie in its entirety? Imagine how anyone could sympathize with Iran, over US, after seeing us as the George Baileys, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Mr. Potter?

Here’s the point of the internet; and it’s the same point as realized by our founding fathers over the rights of free speech….
The minimal pittance that society gains in monetary value from selling one or two extra clips over the internet, is dwarfed by the amount of good will, proper business practices, and ability to communicate freely, honestly, and without incrimination for what you say…. We get much more benefit from the spread of ideas, which spawn new ideas, than we will ever get from selling that idea in public to one or two people….

Intellectual property has it’s place. And EMI is exactly the same person that tried to get legislation passed to ban VCR’s.. you remember those antique devices that let a person record a television show they would have missed because they had to work? This is the same group that tried to ban MP3 players because they allowed someone to listen to songs off the internet?

Neither one caused the demise of the Entertainment Industry. The entertainment industry will always be around.. SOPA and PIPA will not cause one more job to be filled by their passage.. All they do, is possibly force one or two more people with extra cash they don’t need to spend on the necessities of life, to buy that product when it gets thrown in the $5 bin at Walmart…. Meaning: if your movie sucks, no one is going to pay for it…

Bottom line: in today’s society, if you want something done, have the geeks and nerds do it.. It will get done right, it will get done at light speed, and it will be enforced…

Doing it the wrong way, to support a business that is flakey at the top, does not translate well into votes…..

Which is why, 6 Republicans want Reid to open up the floor for arguments on PIPA so these problems can come to light… What problems? I’ll let the Republicans tell you in their own words……

As you know, on May 26. 2011. the Senate Judiciary- Committee favorably reported the bill by voice vote. Prior to committee action, some members expressed substantive concerns about the bill, and there was a commitment to resolve them prior to floor consideration. That resolution has not yet occurred.

Since the mark-up, we have increasingly heard from a large number of constituents and other stakeholders with vocal concerns about possible unintended consequences of the proposed legislation, including breaches in cybersecurity, damaging the integrity of the Internet, costly and burdensome litigation, and dilution of First Amendment rights. Moreover, in light of potential cybersecurity implications, we believe hearing from the Administration and relevant agencies is imperative, As always, our current fiscal crisis demands we carefully consider legislation that would cost taxpayers up to $48 million according to the Congressional Budget Office, These are serious issues that must be considered in an informed, deliberative and responsible manner. This underscores the need to resolve as many outstanding concerns as possible prior to proceeding to floor consideration.

Furthermore, we want to ensure that S. 968 will be afforded full and fair consideration on the Senate floor. It is important that the bill be fully debated and amendments not limited. We would like a firm commitment that once the Senate considers S. 968, the amendment process will be open, with senators being able to offer their amendments without the filling of the amendment tree, and that cloture will not be prematurely filed on the bin.

They cost you too…

The drop in payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2% results in a savings of about $1000 a year to every wage earner.

(If truth were widely known, that tax cut is actually a bad idea. It hemorrhages a dying social security fund, requiring the eventual death of the program or an expensive emergency last ditch surgery in the future.)

But it is hard not to give a $1000 present to every voter. Even if it only comes out as $19 dollars and change each week… But, still again, if your electric bill is $198 and you only have $189 in your account, that additional amount is, well, a lifesaver…..

But, Republicans in the House, even after Republicans in the Senate voted passage, overwhelmingly voted….. not to vote on the measure…

They didn’t vote against it… THEY VOTED NOT TO VOTE ON IT……
(speculation is that they lacked the votes to keep it from passing)..

So, how does that relate to you?

House Republicans (read Tea Party) just voted NOT TO VOTE on whether or not you will be losing an extra $20 a month out of your next paycheck.

Imagine what this is doing to payroll clerks around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to family budgets around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to businesses who rely on consumer spending around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to businesses heavily involved in the financial sector, around this country?

So what would normally happen?

Normally a group that can’t find agreement, acknowledges the sad fact, and long before the deadline, announces that they failed to reach agreement and that things would continue as they were on a temporary basis, to unfortunately allow for more time to solve differences.

But NOOOOOOOOOOOO, …. WE ARE STUCK WITH A TEA PARTY THAT FUCKS THINGS UP.

Instead, we have a vote not-to-vote, then get all sorts of very lame excuses from those who are delaying, none of which apply to the real problem that Social Security is doomed unless drastic action gets taken (higher rates, not lower), and we get nothing….

The tax cut will expire…

It is like sequestering a jury in a room, where everyone after much fact-covering argument has agreed to a judgment, except for one person who’s been bought off. And nothing, nothing, logic, emotional appeal, bullying, snuggling up to, befriending, produces any change. And you go years, every working day, to the same court house, the same jury room, they same chair at the same table, hear the same arguments, hoping against all odds, that today, he will see the light and switch. You go the next day.

That is today’s Congress. Held hostage by Tea Party Republicans who live in a dream world untouched by the reality of living under $185,000 a year. Like that bought-out juror, every day, they hold up progress with the unjustified belief that, if they wait long enough, the other 11 jurors will give up and sway over to the sole juror’s way….

Two things can happen… 1) return to the public and announce a hung jury, and do a complete retrial.. or 2) sneak up to that one juror, put a gun to his head, say nothing, pull the trigger, clean up the mess, dispose of the body, then go out to the public and announce what the 11 of you have decided…..

One is the nice way, sanctioned to due process of law. The other is the American Way.

It’s time to initiate the kavipsian policy of expression or what is otherwise known as “Show Us How You Really Feel”… Who knows? It could become the next great movement? The next time someone you know (or don’t), says anything about how millionaires should keep their tax cuts and the poor should pay, nod your head in agreement, smile a little bit, then hit them as hard as you can in their mouth, I mean as hard as you can! Put them flat on the ground holding their jaw… Then loudly say, “Don’t every talk that stupid way to me again!” Who knows, if 99% or all 303,930,000 would respond that way to our fellow congressional delegates, and the other 3.9 million of their like who advocate such madness, we might actually get the very progress we need, not because of intimidation, but because such policy is right….

For those who argue expression of violence is un-American, I’ll remind them that tonight, is John Wayne Night on AMC: view it!… I argue that such action is VERY American and perhaps it has been the lack of such spontaneous expressions of frustration from working American people, that has caused the logjam where nothing gets done because of one holdout, who thinks he can sway the world to his opinion and face no consequences… ….

Practice now, by punching brick walls.


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……