Archive for the 'Politics' Category
This is a must watch.
War Made Easy reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose 50 years of government spin and media collusion that has dragged our country into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq. With remarkable archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, the documentary exposes how presidential administrations of both parties have relied on a combination of deception and media complicity to sell one war after another to the American people.
Giving special attention to parallels between Vietnam and Iraq, War Made Easy sets government spin and media collusion from the present alongside virtually identical patterns from the past, guided by Solomon’s meticulous research and tough-minded analysis. Rare footage of political leaders and journalists from the past includes Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and news correspondents Walter Cronkite and Morley Safer.
Many consumers aren’t really privy to what goes on behind the scenes when people use credit cards.
Well, let me tell you, it’s not pretty. Virtually any time you use your card — regardless of whether it’s a credit card or a debit card that you’re using like a credit card — the merchant gets hit with a substantial fee. There is usually a fee made up of a flat, per transaction fee on the order of $.25 to $35, plus a portion of the transaction, which can be as high as 7% in some cases. (Usually it’s closer to one or two percent, however.)
It’s extremely unlikely that Obama’s campaign is not subject to these fees. So, if someone were to, for example, visit Obama’s donation page, and make a “donation” of one cent, it would actually cost the Obama campaign something like twenty-five cents.
According to their website, each individual is allowed to donate a total of $5,000 per election cycle. (That’s $2,500 for the primary, and $2,500 for the general election.) So, for example, if one were to write a script that “donates” $5,000, one cent at a time, it would result in a net loss of $125,000 for the Obama campaign.
I haven’t done it… I’m just sayin’…
I have no idea how I stumbled upon this, but I found it very interesting.
For the sake of context, Encyclopedia Dramatica is, without question, one of the top five least-sane websites on the Internet, in terms of its content. Figuring out exactly what it is, and why, is an exercise that I will leave to you.
Anyway, this is the blog post I found. It’s by Joseph Evers, the founder of ED.
For those unaware, Encyclopedia Dramatica has been in a lot of trouble in Australia lately. First ED was placed on the ACMA blacklist, a “secret” list of websites to be censored throughout Australia in their upcoming internet filter. After this list was leaked to the public, we all laughed about how we were put on a blacklist with “Wikipedia entries, euthanasia sites, websites of fringe religions, Christian sites, and even the websites of a tour operator and a Queensland dentist“. Meanwhile, Australia Communications Minister Stephen Conroy called for the arrests of Australians publishing the list.
So here’s the deal. This is an initial investigation into charging me, personally, with the violation of Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act. While I act in complete compliance with both the civil and criminal codes of the United States of America, and am assured the right of free speech according to our Constitution (which, if not the greatest political document in the entire history of law, is certainly on the top five) I can personally be jailed and fined for the violation of this law. Check out the court precedent they cite, Dow Jones & Co Inc v Gutnick, where a United States paper had to pay 580k for publishing an article about a globalized company headquartered in Australia and its CEO whilst completely in compliance with United States civil precedence. This isn’t a far-fetched legal theory, they have used it before. Welcome to the one world government, folks. Is this what you wanted? Is this what you had in mind? Cause this is what you’re gettin’.
Encyclopedia Dramatica will never be censored in any way. We will keep publishing this content and our Australian users will be able to view it up until the point that your God-forsaken government blocks it with their soon-to-be-implemented secret list of banned material. ACMA’s child pornography blacklist is only one half child pornography. The rest is religious and political speech. You really want Soviet-style communism as your future? I know some people that had to escape from the GDR. Many of your children will be in that position. The house of cards is about to come down, and they’re making sure your mouths are taped shut first. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
My counsel has advised me that I can never under any circumstances visit my family in Sydney again, nor otherwise make any appearances on Australian soil. Here’s to the hidden cost of freedom.
Scary. I’ve only been to ED a few times in my life, but their content has nothing to do with the issue at hand. I applaud Joseph for refusing to censor his wiki site, and I find this trend of global cooperation among pro-censorship bureaucracies incredibly chilling.
If you follow CNN, you’re almost certainly already aware that, due to a shortage of IP addresses, “the internet might stop working.”
I just wanted to take a moment to make three quick points:
1) The Internet is not going to stop working when we run out of IP addresses. In fact, that whole idea is incomprehensibly dumb.
2) There are PLENTY of IP addresses!!
Okay, get this… There are fewer than 300 million internet users in the world. There are over 4 BILLION IPv4 addresses.
Get it? There are plenty of addresses. The problem is not the number of addresses. The problem is that the crackheads assigning them don’t care whether or not they end up being utilized. What an incredible (and expensive) waste.
3) There is a very simple solution to this that doesn’t involve spending billions of dollars on forcing the world to move to IPv6 before it’s ready:
ARIN should just start reclaiming unused IP blocks.
It’s that simple. It really is.
Ping each IP address, and if there’s no response, check a few ports.
Use that data to create a utilization metric for each IP block.
If the IP block is underutilized, or not used at all, simply recover part or all of the IP block for someone else to use.
That’s it. That’s all that has to be done.
People are idiots.
So here’s the Plain English version of what’s going on, as I understand it.
What You Should Already Know
Everybody knows that the US Government is running a HUGE deficit — like $1.8 trillion so far this year — way more than the average human can fathom. I think it’s also safe to assume that everybody understands that this money is borrowed from other governments, like China, Japan, Brazil, the UK, etc.
So, obviously, the US government has to pay interest on this money that it borrows. It makes these payments by borrowing more money, which results in more interest payments for which even more money must be borrowed, and so on. The cycle continues as the debt increases exponentially.
What You May Already Know
This works fine as long as other countries continue to have an appetite for US debt. However, if they were to decide not to continue buying more and more US debt, the US Treasury would not longer to be able to afford to service its debt and would have to default. Total chaos would ensue, like you can’t imagine. Many banks would be rendered insolvent overnight, mutual funds and ETF’s would be wiped out, corporate and individual savings would be depleted, tons of governments — both foreign and domestic — would instantly go bankrupt, and the $100 trillion T-Bond futures market would be crushed.
But, that will never happen, because this is America, and the rest of the world will always want more and more and more of our debt, no matter how much we create. It’s a risk-free investment, after all!
What Just Happened
So, long story short, it turns out that last week the Treasury started having trouble unloading some of that freshly-created debt. Actually, they couldn’t sell about half of it. But not to worry — Bernanke’s crew quietly stepped in, printed $14 billion out of thin air, and used it to buy up all those bonds nobody else wanted.
That’s an easy quick fix, because most people probably won’t even learn about what happened, but it should send off alarm bells for anyone who has any interaction with the US economy.
See… if nobody wants to buy the US treasury’s debt, they basically have two options: They can default on the debt, which I described above, OR, since the government can print its own money, they can print money like crazy to continue financing their madness.
The latter is what seems to be going on right now. The problem with this is that as they create more new money, the existing money — the cash that’s in your wallet and bank accounts — loses value. Since your money is less valuable, it takes more of it to buy the same stuff. In other words, prices go up. Economists call this “price inflation” for obvious reasons.
All modern governments do this to some degree. This is why prices gradually go up over time. It’s basically a hidden tax.
However, the more the US government inflates the money supply to finance their deficit spending, the faster the US Dollar will lose its value. If this continues, the US economy could enter into a state of hyperinflation, and virtually all of the value of the USD could be wiped out.
This is nothing unprecedented. The US did it back in the 1860′s, Germany did it in the 1920′s, China did it in the 1940′s, Israel did it in the 80′s, and Zimbabwe is doing it today. These are just a few of many, many examples.
I guess the biggest difference is that everyone in the US seems to think it can’t happen here, but apparently it’s starting to slowly unfold.
Stefan Molyneux does a fantastic job of explaining exactly why. It all boils down to the government-enforced monopoly that is the AMA. This is a must watch for anyone who has any interest in the current health care debate.
If you get all of your news from media outlets in the US, you're totally missing out. Podcast clients like Miro make it not only possible, but very easy, and very convenient, to get on-demand news from around the world. You pick and choose your content sources, and episodes just download automatically. I see content every day that I would never, ever see from the US media. One example from just a few minutes ago is this two-part interview between Josh Rushing and Michael Mullen about the US military strategy in Afghanistan. Just ask yourself while you watch: "Would anyone in the American mainstream media ever dare ask questions like this?" I will list the RSS URLs of some of my content picks in case you're interested in checking it out for yourself:
- Al Jazeera English
- Feed URL
- Nationality: Qatari
- Description: One of the three largest English-language news channels worldwide. It's a 24-hour English-language news and current affairs TV channel headquartered in Doha, Qatar.
- Russia Today
- Feed URL
- Nationality: Russian
- Description: Also known as RT, is a globally broadcast English-language news channel from Russia, and the first all-digital Russian TV channel.
- Press TV
- Feed URL
- Nationality: Iranian
- Description: An English language international television news channel, based in Tehran. It has 26 international correspondents and more than 500 staff around the world.
These are just three out of about thirty content sources that I receive video from daily. If you have one that you feel should be listed here, let me know. Or, if you want to see my list of Technology or Libertarian content sources, let me know.
If you watched Ron Paul’s opening statement and discussion with Bernanke regarding the definition of inflation, I’d encourage you to check out Alan Grayson’s and Bill Posey’s follow-up questions: