Archive for October, 2007

What The Fuck is wrong with Facebook?

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

It started three days ago with an email:

You uploaded a profile picture that violates our Terms of Use, and this picture has been removed. Among other things, photos containing nudity, drug use, or other obscene content are not allowed, nor are photos that attack an individual or group. Continued misuse of Facebook’s features could result in your account being disabled.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can visit our FAQ page at http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=33.

So, the Facebook profile image I’ve been using for years now has suddenly become obscene. Does it contain nudity, drug use, or other obscene content? Is it an attack on an individual or group? Well, you can decide for yourself:
My Facebook profile image

I read over Facebook’s terms and couldn’t find anything that the image violates, but Facebook is clearly private property. So, I emailed them to ask how I was violating their terms. This is the response I got:

Hi Chris,

A photo that you uploaded has been removed for violating
Facebook’s Terms of Use. Photos containing nudity, drug use,
or other obscene content are not allowed, nor are photos that
depict violence or that attack an individual or group.
Unfortunately, for technical reasons, we are unable to provide
further information about the removed photo.

In order to prevent this from happening in the future, please
refrain from posting photos of this kind and remove any that
still exist on the site. For more information on conduct
prohibited by Facebook, please read our Terms of Use, which
can be accessed by clicking on the “terms” link at the bottom of
any Facebook page.

Thanks for your understanding,

Avery

And my response:

Avery,

I read the terms in their entirety. My profile contained no nudity,
drug use, or other obscene content is not allowed, nor did it depict
violence or that attack an individual or group. It was deleted
anyway. How can I know whether or not my current profile is
acceptable if my old one didn’t violate the terms but was deleted
anyway?

Thanks in advance,
Chris

And theirs:

Hi Chris,

A Facebook administrator looks into each report thoroughly in
order to decide the appropriate course of action. If no violation
of our Terms of Use has occurred, then no warning will be sent.
If a violation has occurred, then a warning or more severe
actions are taken. Unfortunately, for technical and security
reasons, we are unable to provide details regarding the removed
content. We apologize for any inconvenience but we will not be
able to provide you any further information regarding the
removed photo. Please review our Terms of Use for further
information.

Thanks for your understanding,

Avery
Customer Support Representative

Okay, so there’s no way to know why I can’t use the image, but for whatever reason I can’t.

So, my Facebook profile now lacks an image, but I’m still getting warnings! At least it’s a new one this time:

Please Read This!
Warning! Your account could be disabled.

Your behavior indicates that you may be in violation of Facebook’s Terms of Use. Continued misuse of Facebook’s features could result in your account being disabled. If you have any questions or concerns, you can visit our FAQ page here.

What the fuck, Facebook? What gives? What could I possibly be doing to violate your god forsaken terms?

Can anyone shed some light on this?

The New “Terrorist Buster” Logo

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

CIA Terrorist Buster
Haha, look! Someone photoshopped together a little Terrorist Buster logo, clearly inspired by the Ghostbuster logo of the 80′s…

Oh wait, THIS IS AN OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT LOGO.

Yes, that’s right – courtesy of the CIA and your hard-earned tax-dollars, I present the new Counterterrorism Logo. This is not a joke. This is not a test. What you are looking at is real. Well, it’s really what the government produced, at least.

By the way, the file name for the image – “busterspin” – is theirs, not mine.

Die Swimming in Iraq

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

During my time in Raleigh, NC this week, I’ve had access to more than the basic 70-channels I have at home. Among the additional channels is Current TV, a station composed almost entirely of user-submitted content and podcasts from the web. All they seem to do is run random homemade news clips with commercials in between. This one, in particular, caught my eye:

Cocaine is having a better year than the Dow Jones industrial average

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Says Jonathan Berr:

People who are opposed to the legalization of drugs should consider the following: cocaine is having a better year than the stock market. This fun fact courtesy of WallStreetFighter paints a very grim picture of the War on Drugs. Addicts are paying more for less-pure Bolivian marching powder. From January through June, the average price per gram of domestic cocaine purchases rose 24% from $95.89 to $118.70, while purity fell. Retail (involving 10 grams or more) prices rose 15% while “mid-level” wholesale prices surged 33% and wholesale (1 kilogram or more) prices jumped 11%.

Unlike most products, cocaine really does sell itself as does pornography. Lots of people — mostly really bad people — are getting rich off drugs. Why shouldn’t the federal government? Researcher Jon Gettman estimates that the government loses $31.1 billion in taxes because of the prohibition against marijuana, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. You can bet that the figures would be similar for cocaine.

Imagine how much money Uncle Sam could reap if he taxed cocaine or marijuana? What does the War on Drugs cost? Hundreds of millions? That money could be used to fund a real war on drugs — treating addicts whose lives have been destroyed.

Click here for the original article.

Regardless of how you feel about the government taxing drugs like Cocaine, it’s a fact that making them illegal doesn’t make them go away. What it does, however, is create black markets with no legal means of arbitration. How do you enforce contracts without a legal means of arbitration? With violence, of course. It’s simple. If I’m your dealer and I lend (or “front”) you drugs at a certain interest rate, the only way to make sure you pay me back by threatening violence. That is, you know that if you don’t somehow pay me back, I’ll physically harm you or a family member. Drug laws cause violence and inspire organized crime.

Before heroin was illegal, a bunch of people bought it from pharmacies and went home and got high. “Gang epidemics” and drive-by shootings are the creation of the Drug War.

Drug laws are designed to fight natural economic laws that can’t be stopped. It’s no less absurd than trying to legislate against any other natural law, including gravity. Imagine a politician promoting a War on Gravity because thousands die each year from falling off of ladders. No matter how much money the federal government pours into rocket boosters for the elderly, gravity obviously isn’t going to go away. It would be a total waste of money. Why do we view legislation that is supposed to fight other natural laws as being any less absurd?

America’s Progress Since 1908

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. Wake up people! Vote Ron Paul for a return to prosperity!

Accounts Receivable Tax

Building Permit Tax

CDL license Tax

Cigarette Tax

Corporate Income Tax

Dog License Tax

Excise Taxes

Federal Income Tax

Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)

Fishing License Tax

Food License Tax

Fuel Permit Tax

Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)

Gross Receipts Tax

Hunting License Tax

Inheritance Tax

Inventory Tax

IRS Interest Charges

IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)

Liquor Tax

Luxury Taxes

Marriage License Tax

Medicare Tax

Personal Property Tax

Property Tax

Real Estate Tax

Service Charge Tax

Social Security Tax

Road Usage Tax

Sales Tax

Recreational Vehicle Tax

School Tax

State Income Tax

State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)

Telephone Federal Excise Tax

Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax

Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes

Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax

Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax

Telephone State and Local Taxes

Telephone Usage Charge Tax

Utility Taxes

Vehicle License Registration Tax

Vehicle Sales Tax

Watercraft Registration Tax

Well Permit Tax

Workers Compensation Tax

Ron Paul Wins AL Straw Poll By Landslide, Again!

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

For some reason, news of landslide victories for Ron Paul doesn’t get old for me. This time, I’ve had the privilege of observing the action in person. Today’s straw poll is being held in Jefferson County, Alabama! The results are as follows:

Ron Paul – 115 (58%)
Fred Thompson – 31 (16%)
Rudy Giuliani – 18 (9%)
Mitt Romney – 16 (8%)
Mike Huckabee – 8 (4%)
Duncan Hunter – 5 (3%)
John McCain – 3 (2%)
Cort – 1 (1%)
Sam Brownback – 1 (1%)
Undecided – 1 (1%)

New Car Sensor System Simulates Birds-Eye View

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

“Remember when you had to turn around in your seat to parallel park? Ok, maybe you still do, but if you drive a Nissan, those days may soon be behind you. The company’s ‘Around View Monitor system’ displays a virtual bird’s-eye view of the car and what’s around it. Video from four small video cameras with wide-angle lenses — two mounted on the underside of the wing mirrors, one at the front under the grill and one at the rear under the license plate — is displayed on the navigation system monitor so that it appears to be a view from above the car and sonar sensors at each corner of the vehicle provide an audible warning when it is coming close to an object or person. And as if that weren’t enough… the system also projects the car’s future course based on the current direction of the wheels.”
Read the article or Posted in Cool Links, Technology | No Comments »

1000 Independent Groups for Ron Paul

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

There are now over 1000 independent groups of people around the country and around the world who have formed for the sake of supporting Ron Paul. These groups consist of 53,448 people in 793 different cities in 22 countries, and the numbers are growing fast. To date there have been 8,619 events in which people around the world have met to promote Ron Paul as a candidate for the presidency of the United States. Truly remarkable.

Mike Gravel says no world government = “Bad Thinking”

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

“To think that we… that the world can survive without some form of global governance… it’s bad thinking.”
“The problem is that the world is not mature enough to handle a world government today, and that’s the direction we need to go in rather than go back in the other direction which is anarchy and junk.”

I’m speechless.

UPDATE: Amusingly, Alex Jones has copied my post on PrisonPlanet.com which caused the video to become so popular that the original user took it down in fear of it making Gravel look horrible.

My Counsin Hung Out With Hugh Grant

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

A huge uproar of media attention followed after my cousin and a few of her friends hung out with Hugh Grant this weekend. This whole thing cracks me up… Cecilia Hoffman (my cousin) apparently met Hugh Grant at a pub and hung out with him and a few of her friends for a little while… pictures were taken, Cecilia posted them on Facebook, and suddenly the UK media went berserk over it, spinning Hugh as a dirty old man and Cecilia as the Catholic school girl he was flirting with.

Hugh Grant and Cecilia Hoffman

There are now over 43 articles about it in tabloids and newspapers around the world.