Who Said It?
Who Said It?
A) Thomas Jefferson
B) Thomas Paine
C) Mel, the cook from Alice
D) Ronald Reagan
Sergio Garcia said he felt "invincible" when he was crowned queen of the Fairfax High School dance at the on Saturday.
Days before the dance, Garcia told fellow students that he was "not your typical prom queen candidate. There's more to me than meets the eye." He's a transformer!
He also promised that he would be wearing a suit on prom night, but "don't be fooled: Deep down, I am a queen." We know Sergio, we know.
And he made good of that promise Saturday, wearing a gray tuxedo topped off with the prized tiara. It clashed. At least he didn't go in drag. God knows someone would have had the same dress on and then Sergio would have had to choke a bitch and... well * whew * thank goodness that didn't happen.
Although many students were supportive of Garcia's run, others were upset and didn't understand why Garcia chose to run for prom queen. No doubt Heather Chandler, Regina George, and Carrie White are pissssed....
"I'm not really happy about that," said 17-year-old Juan Espinoza. "He should've run for prom king."Juan is obviously a gay basher and needs to be re-educated for his intolerance.
The 12% rise in red ink in 2008 stems from an explosion of federal borrowing, plus an aging population driving up the costs of Medicare and Social Security. Thanks baby boomers!
That's the biggest leap in the long-term burden on taxpayers since a Medicare prescription drug benefit was added in 2003. That's all George Bush trying to get Jeb's state.... and it worked by the skin of his teeth.
The latest increase raises federal obligations to a record $546,668 per household in 2008. Even USA TODAY did an analysis of it. Where do you think I snagged that graphic?
So what? Well, that's quadruple what the average U.S. household owes for all mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other debt combined.
"We have a huge implicit mortgage on every household in America — except, unlike a real mortgage, it's not backed up by a house," says David Walker, former U.S. comptroller general, the government's top auditor. In other words, you don't have anything to show for it.
The group, considered a sect in France, has faced prosecution and difficulties in registering its activities in many countries. (here's that full story)
Second 'poor Xenu' story, in a rather extraordinary effort to crack down on the Church of Scientology's obsessive policing of its online public image, Wikipedia has banned all IP addresses owned or affiliated with Scientology from making edits to entries on its website.
"The muzzling of Scientology IPs marks the first time Wikipedia has officially barred edits from such a high-profile organization for allegedly pushing its own agenda on the site.
According to evidence turned up by admins in this long-running Wikiland court case, multiple editors have been "openly editing [Scientology-related articles] from Church of Scientology equipment and apparently coordinating their activities." Leaning on the famed WikiScanner, countless news stories have discussed the editing of Scientology articles from Scientology IPs, and some site admins are concerned this is "damaging Wikipedia's reputation for neutrality."
The article goes on to explain how the Church Of Scientology operates their little internet spin operation, thanks to testimony provided by a former insider turned informant.
A former member of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs - a department officially responsible "for directing and coordinating all legal matters affecting the Church" - says the Office has organized massive efforts to remove Scientology-related materials and criticism from the web.
"The guys I worked with posted every day all day," Tory Christman tells The Reg. "It was like a machine. I worked with someone who used five separate computers, five separate anonymous identities...to refute any facts from the internet about the Church of Scientology."
This is all fine and good but sooner or later the Scientologists will learn out that all they need to do is send over Leah Remini or Jenna Elfman to give Jimmy Wales a handjob and all of this will go away. Surely they'd take one for the Xenu team.
Or they could just go to the Apple Store and use their computers. Whatever works, right?
Wikipedia Bans Scientology [The Register]Now, all of you making edits of really crappy bands - and inserting your own jokes... take heed. The Wiki's are watching, and they could ban you!
Shortly after the end of the war, retailing analyst Victor Lebow expressed the solution: “Our enormously productive economy … demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption…. we need things consumed, burned up, replaced, and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate.” So if you want to blame or thank just one person, there's your guy.
President Eisenhower’s council of economic advisors chairman stated: “The American economy’s ultimate purpose is to produce more consumer goods.” Not better health care, education, housing, transportation, or recreation or less poverty and hunger, but providing more stuff to consumers.
Hey! Isn't that Target's Mission Statement?
When goods are well-made and durable, eventually markets are saturated. An endless market is created by introducing rapid obsolescence (clothes, cars, computers, gadgets, paper cups, condoms...). And with disposability, where an article is used once and thrown away, the market will never be saturated. Ta-dah!
Consumer goods aren’t created by the economy out of thin air though. They come from resources, and when they are used up, they will be returned to the Earth as garbage. It takes energy to extract, process, manufacture, and transport products, while air, water, and soil can be wasted or polluted at many points in the life cycle of the product. In other words, what we consume has direct effects on nature and our surroundings - a.k.a. the environment.
And then there are social and "spiritual" costs. Allen Kanner and Mary Gomes write in The All-Consuming Self: “The purchase of a new product, especially a ‘big ticket’ item such as a car or computer, typically produces an immediate surge of pleasure and achievement and often confers status and recognition upon the owner. Yet as the novelty wears off, the emptiness threatens to return. The standard consumer solution is to focus on the next promising purchase.” Kind of like sex? My last beer?
Ultimately, it goes beyond pleasure or status; acquiring stuff becomes an unquenchable demand. Paul Wachtel writes in The Poverty of Affluence: “Having more and newer things each year has become not just something we want but something we need. The idea of more, ever-increasing wealth, has become the center of our identity and our security, and we are caught up by it as the addict is by his drugs.”
Much of what we purchase is not essential for our survival or even basic human comfort but is based on impulse, novelty, a momentary desire. And there is a hidden price that we, nature, and future generations will pay for it too.
When consumption becomes the very reason economies exist, we never ask “how much is enough?”, “why do we need all this stuff?”, and “are we any happier?” Our personal consumer choices have ecological, social, and psychological consequences.
So what we've got here is way - way beyond just buying stuff. It's become part of the American psychological imbalance. Even the best hippie granola muncher is pining to buy an iPod to play some obscure Grateful Dead show in 1982 and an ironic new Che Guevara/Cookie Monster shirt on threadless.com. Apparently to up the immediate 'happy' time, if even for a half an hour, we need more stuff. While it seems this would be a great time to re-examine some of our deeply held notions of consumerism and what got us into the Great Recession... perhaps we should also consider the other psychological factors that influence our unsustainable lifestyles. I don't think we can handle just going cold turkey on this one, but maybe it's time to have some group therapy on this one?
Just a thought. Feel free to weigh in on the issue.
"I know I could give him a check," Burris said. "Myself."
But in the same call, Burris tells Robert Blagojevich he is concerned he and Rod Blagojevich will "catch hell."
"And if I do get appointed that means I bought it," Burris said.
"And, and God knows number one, I, I wanna help Rod," Burris says later in the call. "Number two, I also wanna, you know, hope I get a consideration to get that appointment."
"And however that goes, ah, it would dictate, ah, you know how the press treats it," he said.
"Understand," Rob Blagojevich answered.
"'Cause man, I, I will be, you know we both would be profiled," Burris continued. "And we don't need that."
A federal judge on Tuesday gave prosecutors permission to turn over the recorded conversation to the Senate Ethics Committee, which has launched a review of Burris's conduct prior to his appointment by Blagojevich. The Smoke Monster already asked, but Burris kind of lied to ole' Smokie.
Burris did not specifically mention offering Blagojevich a check in affidavits he filed in Springfield in connection with hearings on Blagojevich's impeachment. On a "good will" tour around the state in February, Burris addressed a conversation he had with Blagojevich's brother, Robert, during the fall timeframe.
"So some time shortly after Obama was elected, the brother called," Burris said then. "And now in the meantime, I'd talked to some people about trying to see if we could put a fundraiser on. Nobody was -- they said we aren't giving money to the governor. And I said, 'OK, you know, I can't tell them what to do with their money.'
"So when the [governor's] brother called me back, I said, 'Well, look Rob ... I can't raise any money from my friends. I said, maybe my partner and I, you can talk this over and see, could we go to some other people that we might be able to talk to that would help us out if we give -- because we give a fundraiser in the law office, nobody going to show up. We'll probably have a thousand dollars for you or something to that effect.'"
Read the order allowing the government to turn over Burris' recorded conversation HERE.
Read the government motion and transcript of the secretly recorded phone call HERE.
No word if the nuclear device that was detonated at the bottom of Starved Rock will place the castaways into a new 'alternate' or new timeline yet - or if they'll have the memories of the island. Since the producers used the same technique in the Star Trek reboot, I think it's safe to assume that the people that were 'touched' by Governor Quinn will now be on the Ajira flight - like they were supposed to be... all along. Except for Juliet. Governor Quinn never touched her, and if she never remembers meeting James, then her wish will have been fullfilled.
For President Obama that moment came in the middle of a round of golf at Ft. Belvoir in Virginia.
Now watch this drive.
Labels: Memorial Day
Senators also passed a municipal package that would let cities and towns boost taxes on meals and lodging .
“We were very sensitive to that and tried to look at the least harmful place to go,” said Senate President Therese Murray, who argued the sales tax - boosted from 5 percent to 6.25 percent - has exemptions on necessities such as food and clothing.
The sales tax vote, approved by a veto-proof 29-to-10 margin, came after senators moved quickly to lift the sales tax exemption on alcohol in package stores, which they hope will bring in $80 million more a year for substance abuse treatment. Rigghhhhhttttt....
The speedy approval of the booze tax prompted a loud outcry from several Republicans who said they never got a chance to debate the question on the Senate floor.
“To put another tax on working people in the commonwealth of Massachusetts on top of everything else we’re doing today sends the wrong message,” said Sen. Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth).
The sales tax has already been approved in the House, but Gov. Deval Patrick has vowed to veto the increase if additional reforms aren’t passed.You know what I find very strange - these are the great great grandsons that started a war because they didn't want to pay British taxes.
Key legislative "leaders" contemplated hiking the state's tax on beer by 2.6 cents per six pack for the first time in a decade to help underwrite a proposed multibillion-dollar statewide construction program. [Because nothing makes more sense to fund a road with more beer taxes, right?]
Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) confirmed talk of a beer tax, which would be part of a trio of liquor tax increases under consideration. Taxes of 13 cents per bottle of wine and 80 cents per bottle of hard liquor have been on the table.
"The beer people feel left out so we're considering adding them," Cullerton quipped.If I weren't angry enough before, and then I read Cullerton's cute little slight.
Yesterday Michelle Obama giving a commencement speech at the University of California, Merced’s graduation ceremony. Of course, there were the obligatory brief self-bio that every commencement speech-writer inserts about his or her own life, and Michelle Obama was no different. She talked about where she came from, and what she has achieved. And she encouraged those who will become successful in their careers to “give back” to society. This coming from the family who gave less than 5% of their income over the past ten years to charitable giving, but who has no problem raising taxes on the wealthy in the name of “public good.”
Michelle Obama is an idiot. I’m sorry, I’m being mean. She’s not really an idiot, she’s probably just ignorant, can’t make basic observations about U.S. society and culture, or ignores what is strikingly obvious in most instances because her bias against the wealthy and successful blinds her to what actually goes on in an economy.
Her first assumption is that when somebody becomes successful in America, it is at somebody else’s “expense.” Unfortunately, Michelle, we live in a society primarily based upon freedom of choice (something I believe she touts with regards to some topics such as abortion, but not others). That means that if somebody wants to be successful by acquiring other people’s money (legally), they must offer something in return (it’s why you say “thank you” to the owner of the coffee shop as he says the same back to you when you buy a cup of coffee). If I want what you have (sounds kinda greedy, doesn’t it?), I have to provide you something in return (perhaps the best way to handle the notion of greed in society). If you don’t like what I want to provide you, I can’t have your money. In general, this is how things work legally. It’s how our legal structure is setup.
So when these successful businesspersons provide great things for society such as home construction, cabinet manufacturing, automobiles, quilts, or even family counseling, they are engaging in trade—both parties inherently become wealthier. If that were not true, the trade wouldn’t take place (why would I trade something that I believe would make me “poorer”?). The only instance this doesn’t take place is through coercive methods; anytime one is coerced to do something he wouldn’t do voluntarily, there is not a “mutual gain.”
Michelle Obama believes that “giving back” is not voluntary generous giving (though she may accept this). What Michelle is doing is subtle: get young minds to believe that (1) what they are doing is not in and of itself a service to society, therefore (2) “giving back” means later being okay with some of your markers of success (i.e., money) to be taken from you in the name of “public service” (with or without the voluntary giving piece). If I were trying to get society to be okay with coercive generosity, I’d say this is a great way to redefine taxation into some quasi-voluntary activity.
The Obamas may believe that private charity can have positive impacts upon society. They may also believe in businesspersons who are generous and do not take advantage of “the little guy,” and therefore provide something good for society. So along those lines, Michelle’s admonitions are acceptable. But knowing where she comes from, her advice is at best laughable and at worst hypocritical. But they act as if they believe that the government is the source of all (at least most) good in society, and that top-down planning of an economy and society is the best way to achieve nirvana in this life.
Feel free to visit Doug @ An Unquiet Voice on the link
Not-for-profit, activist organization seeks THREE freelance videographers with their own video camera & tripod for taping of presentations at upcoming Socialism 2009 conference in June. Professionals or budding professionals. [You mean students?]
$200 per day*
CAMERA REQUIREMENTS: [Professional $10K cameras listed]
LOCATION: Wyndham Hotel
(* Socialism 2009 is an advocate of unions and union rates-of-pay. However, as a non-profit, our budget is super tight, and 3 shooters over 3 days adds up. Can you work with us on this?)
No, I can't 'work with you on this'. If I weren't so lazy, I'd look up the Wyndham Hotel to see if it IS a Union hall. That would be funny.
Human brains are finely tuned belief engines. Millions of years of evolution [or 6,000, depending on your Board of Education] have honed our grey stuffs to spot causation in the world and form beliefs about what makes cause and effect. It helps us survive when we notice that certain events always follow other events. Such knowledge helps us reliably find food, mates, shelter and conspiracy theories. But our brains are taking efficient shortcuts. We filter out and ignore failures and remember and reinforce successes. And most of the time this works. But beliefs formed in this way can lead to mistakes. Pressing the button may well be a false conclusion drawn from past experience because of a failure to spot hidden causes and alternatives to the obvious. Maybe it really is just the elevator closing the door without intervention?
This all is related to the illusion of control psychological effect studied by Ellen Langer and others, where people are shown to believe they have some control over things they clearly don’t: in most cases, a button does afford us control, and we would rationally expect it to, and if we’re used to it not doing anything, we either no longer bother pressing it, or we still press it every time “on the off-chance that one of these days it’ll work”.
By now you should be wondering why even install the close door button if it doesn’t work?
There are a few options:
But thinking about this more generally: how often are deceptive buttons/controls/options – deliberate false affordance – used strategically in interaction design? Are there any examples of products (other than, say, children’s toys) deliberately designed with fake controls to make the user feel in charge even though he/she isn’t?
Perhaps, oh, voting? Just a thought?