Saturday, July 31, 2010

Catty's Corner: The Beef Stew

Gerald Celente: Unemployment Rate Is Likely To Climb.

AIPAC lapdog says "Kick the Palestinians out"

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

Cornbread, The Evil Defeated!

Cornbread, that golden yellow cornbready stuff. How I love it! I used to make my own cornbread with the recipe off the box of cornmeal, whipping together flour and shortening, baking powder and cornmeal, but cutting way down on or eliminating the sugar, to make it less sweet.

However, I do enjoy way too much the sweet stuff that is moist and may as well be called a corn cake as cornbread.

I was wandering through Trader Joe's, picking up a few things for my new caveman lifestyle, looking to get a salad or two (found a great Cobb salad with uncured bacon, chicken breast, olives, blue cheese, cherry tomatoes, hard-boiled egg and naturally, lettuce-it was good, but a little on the expensive side) for my lunch at work, and some kiefer (plain, though they have strawberry, too, which I was forced to try once when they ran out of the plain, and it was pretty good, but I want to avoid sugar as much as possible, so I don't buy it if plain is available) which had disappeared from the store the last time I was there so I crossed my fingers that the little refrigerated case that held it (and that had been taken over by yogurt on my previous visit) would contain it once again, and I found to my great joy that it did!

But then I went down the bread section, and what do I see but a delicious looking round cornbread, made, it appears, with lots of sugar. It was only about 5 or 6 inches across, and my first thought was to put it in my basket and have it with some chili when I got home. The I looked at the nutrition information. The tiny cornbread had eight servings! Eight? Where do they come up with these serving sizes? Half of the cornbread I had in my basket was less than the "serving" you'd get at your local fried chicken palace. I guess it's so they can claim one serving only has 170 calories. In the store I quickly calculated the total for eight servings and came up with a sum of 1360! Add a can of chili to that and eat it and you've probably just committed suicide without realizing it.

Still, I kept that cornbread in my cart for a while longer and I stalled trying to rationalize purchasing it. I won't eat anything all day tomorrow was my first thought (never works), then I came up with I'll only eat one serving (and thus only an additional 170 calories...manageable, right?) but quickly realized that would only lead to just one more little piece syndrome.

I quietly walked back to the bread shelves and put my moist, sweet golden cornbread back.

Someday, little cornbread, we may meet again, like when I've just come off a hunger strike.

Israel Cracks Down on Dissent

Blog of the Moment: Workforced

Companies have the upper hand over job applicants because there are more people than there are positions to fill. Such are the laws of supply and demand that companies demand you supply them with hours of your time before they will let you anywhere near a job offer.

Aptitude tests are the first hurdle in the calisthenic catastrophe that is the hiring process. As my uncle used to say: “If you can’t put a person into boxes they’re not worth knowing.” He’s in jail now.

Most aptitude tests today are online, which defeats the point. Even a nincompoop can ask someone else to take the test for them. I remember doing very badly during an online aptitude test so I yanked the internet cable out of the computer. A quick email later to claim a connection failure and I had a second chance. How very sneaky! Do you think I got any bonus points for lateral thinking?


Friday, July 30, 2010

Why a Double Dip Is Coming

As earnings season continues and one company after another beats expectations, the economic numbers are continuing to come in below estimates. The data and indicators are increasingly painting a picture of an economy that is falling apart

8 More Reasons Why a Double Dip Is Coming

Geraled Celente on KCAA Vince Daniels

Cookie Monsters

Hidden inside Ashley Hayes-Beaty's computer, a tiny file helps gather personal details about her, all to be put up for sale for a tenth of a penny.

The file consists of a single code— 4c812db292272995e5416a323e79bd37—that secretly identifies her as a 26-year-old female in Nashville, Tenn.

The code knows that her favorite movies include "The Princess Bride," "50 First Dates" and "10 Things I Hate About You." It knows she enjoys the "Sex and the City" series. It knows she browses entertainment news and likes to take quizzes.

"Well, I like to think I have some mystery left to me, but apparently not!" Ms. Hayes-Beaty said when told what that snippet of code reveals about her. "The profile is eerily correct."

Ms. Hayes-Beaty is being monitored by Lotame Solutions Inc., a New York company that uses sophisticated software called a "beacon" to capture what people are typing on a website—their comments on movies, say, or their interest in parenting and pregnancy. Lotame packages that data into profiles about individuals, without determining a person's name, and sells the profiles to companies seeking customers. Ms. Hayes-Beaty's tastes can be sold wholesale (a batch of movie lovers is $1 per thousand) or customized (26-year-old Southern fans of "50 First Dates").

"We can segment it all the way down to one person," says Eric Porres, Lotame's chief marketing officer.

One of the fastest-growing businesses on the Internet, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found, is the business of spying on Internet users.-The Web's New Gold Mine: Your Secrets

Massive Fireworks Experiment

Dinosaurs: The Post

Q. What did dinosaurs use to make their hot dogs?

A. Jurassic pork!

Q:  What do you call a dinosaur that smashes everything in its path?

A:  Tyrannosaurus wrecks !

Q:  What do you call Tyrannosaurus rex when it wears a cowboy hat and boots ?
A:  Tyrannosaurus tex!

Which Dinosaur Are You?

T. Rex or Raptor? (hoodie, that is).

Oil or Nothing?

Despite apocalyptic coverage, oily pelicans, and President Obama's description of the BP spill as "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced," Time's Michael Grunwald contends that the Gulf spill isn't anywhere near as bad as the public has been led to believe. Grunwald, whom Mike Allen praises as "on the speed-dial of all enviro flacks," acknowledges that even though the Gulf spill is the biggest in U.S. history, and even though we can't say for sure what the long-term effects will be, the numbers on the ground haven't justified the hype.

Has Damage to the Gulf Been Overstated?

Congressional Budget Office: Growing budget deficits will cause debt to rise to unsupportable levels

Over the past few years, U.S. government debt held by the public has grown rapidly—to the point that, compared with the total output of the economy, it is now higher than it has ever been except during the period around World War II. The recent increase in debt has been the result of three sets of factors: an imbalance between federal revenues and spending that predates the recession and the recent turmoil in financial markets, sharply lower revenues and elevated spending that derive directly from those economic conditions, and the costs of various federal policies implemented in response to the conditions.

Further increases in federal debt relative to the nation’s output (gross domestic product, or GDP) almost certainly lie ahead if current policies remain in place. The aging of the population and rising costs for health care will push federal spending, measured as a percentage of GDP, well above the levels experienced in recent decades. Unless policymakers restrain the growth of spending, increase revenues significantly as a share of GDP, or adopt some combination of those two approaches, growing budget deficits will cause debt to rise to unsupportable levels.


Wheelchair Cat

Tricks of Prescription Drug and Antidepressant Studies

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America Fooled: The Truth About Antidepressants, Antipsychotics And How We've Been Deceived

Exploding Wildfires Threaten Los Angeles

Our family having lost two homes to wildfires, I know the fear, the uncertainty and the danger that these fires can bring. You never can rely on public officials either, you have to make your own best judgment. One time there was a brush fire nearby, and my sister rushed out to my mom's house to start packing the cars. My mom thought she was overreacting, and she was...that time.

A few years later fire destroyed that same house, and Mom lost not only nearly all the contents, but also irreplaceable items like photos, videos and important papers. She tried to save what she could, but the fire rushed over the hill and up the creek too swiftly to really have time to do anything but flee.

Musicians Are Better Than Non-musicians!

I knew it all the time. I've been composing music in the shower for a long while (and I actually wrote some songs that were better than anything by Led Zeppelin). Too bad I never recorded any of them for posterity. But since playing music seems to be key, I'm going to have break out the old bongo drums (where did I see them last?)...

Northwestern University scientists have pulled together a review of research into what music -- specifically, learning to play music -- does to humans. The result shows music training does far more than allow us to entertain ourselves and others by playing an instrument or singing. Instead, it actually changes our brains.


The bottom line to all these studies: musical training has a profound impact on other skills including speech and language, memory and attention, and even the ability to convey emotions vocally.

Music benefits the brain, research reveals

Look on the Bright Side!

At the least, if you lose your job and home under Obama's destruction of the economy, you'll be helping to save the planet!

When Humans Ruled The Earth

When Humans Ruled the Earth from Stephen Ong on Vimeo.

Obama Worse Than Bush

The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual's Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation.

The administration wants to add just four words -- "electronic communication transactional records" -- to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge's approval. Government lawyers say this category of information includes the addresses to which an Internet user sends e-mail; the times and dates e-mail was sent and received; and possibly a user's browser history.-White House proposal would ease FBI access to records of Internet activity

Ron Paul: Why Do They Want To Kill Us?

Scumbag Warmonger Gates Attacks WikiLeaks

Robert Gates has accused the website of putting allied troops in danger by leaking more than 90,000 classified military documents.

No, Mr. Secretary, they've put your elitist, ruling class, militarily-industrial complex, war in danger, and that's a very good thing!

And as for the allied troops, maybe they need to be in danger considering some of the things they've done:

A good number of the incident reports are those that detail civilian casualties, which don’t seem to have been reported by our own “embedded journalists”: the title of this one, “Five in car, including toddler, machine-gunned by patrol,” is typical of what the reader has in store. Here’s another: “Special forces wound two, kill six, including young girl, plus donkey and chickens.” There are hundreds of such reports, detailing slaughters both horrifying (“56 civilians killed in NATO bombing”) and pathetic (“Practice shell kills child and 10 sheep, injures shepherd”).-Bradley Manning’s Gift

Wrong About the War in Iraq

Stephen Littau: I Was Wrong About the War in Iraq

It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly when I began to realize the invasion and subsequent occupation Iraq to be a mistake. When weapons hunters failed to find the WMD in the first couple of years after the invasion, my thinking was that perhaps the “preemption” approach was wrongheaded but because the troops were already there, the damage had already been done. I believed that because American foreign policy lead to the chaos that followed the invasion, it was the duty of our government to clean up the mess (i.e. the “you broke it, you bought it” argument). I further believed that if coalition troops pulled out of Iraq “the Islamofascists will follow us home” unless the Iraqi government was stable enough to handle the violence itself.

The truth of the matter is my reasoning was clouded by fear.


The first thing that has changed in my thinking is the fear factor. The whole purpose of terrorism is to cause people to be terrorized. When we overreact and do such things as pass the Patriot Act, surrender liberties we otherwise would not, or send troops to fight undeclared wars against countries that might have WMD and may directly or indirectly use these weapons against the U.S. or her allies, the terrorist act has accomplished its intended goal.

The second big change is my understanding of contemporary history. My thinking was that America’s military might would be enough to transform the Middle East from a region of oppression to a region of freedom. These were people yearning to be free. All that needed to happen was for the despots to be deposed, the people liberated, and our world would be more peaceful as a result.

In the Point post “A Case for Non-Intervention,” Brad correctly pointed out the flaws of this logic of fatal conceit: that man can shape the world around him according to his wishes.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Louisiana Business Owner Prays Just to 'Hang On'

I've always wanted to own a snow cone and sandwich shop myself...or better yet, an ice cream and hot dog shop, and if a combination hot dog, ice cream license is too difficult to obtain, a saloon and whore house would suit me just fine.

Obama says economy in "turnaround mode"

Reflecting on 20 months of crises that have plagued his administration, President Barack Obama has said that he is gratified that the depressed American economy is in turnaround mode, and praised the inspiration he draws from American people for doing his job.

Obama says gratified that US economy is turning around for the better

Gerald Celente: This Is Not Recovery

Walter Block, Double Agent?

From Francois Tremblay

Suppose that there is a starvation situation, and the parent of the four year old child (who is not an adult) does not have enough money to keep him alive. A wealthy NAMBLA man offers this parent enough money to keep him and his family alive – if he will consent to his having sex with the child. We assume, further, that this is the only way to preserve the life of this four year old boy. Would it be criminal child abuse for the parent to accept this offer?

Not on libertarian grounds. For surely it is better for the child to be a live victim of sexual abuse rather than unsullied and dead. Rather, it is the parent who consents to the death of his child, when he could have kept him alive by such extreme measures, who is the real abuser.
-Walter Block

Crude Awakening - Oil in Oysters

Preparing for Hyper-Inflation

"We (collectively) are poised at a heart-stopping moment in economic times. On the one extreme side, the world is on the edge of massive deflation and depression. At the other extreme ... hyperinflation. My view is: Both these extremes are possible. Certainly deflation is, on balance, in play today and gaining ground as money supply is actually declining! Hyperinflation seems impossible when there is not much inflation in most economies. But ... hyperinflation is a monetary event, not an economic one, and will happen on an overnight basis, not via a general uptrend in inflation data."


Schultz added this late comment: "Meantime, as I write, gold is holding very near its high, as most stock markets are bungee jumping. This implies the unexpected hyper is pending, because if it were exclusively deflation ahead, gold action would be less buoyant.'-Bearish Schultz says hyperinflation may happen suddenly

The World’s First Pirate ISP

The Swedish Pirate Party, who are at the forefront of anti-copyright lobbying in Sweden, are planning to shake up the country’s ISP market. After taking over the supply of bandwidth to The Pirate Bay, Piratpartiet will now partner in the launch of Pirate ISP, a new broadband service that will offer anonymity to customers and provide financial support to the Party.

To defend the rights of BitTorrent users worldwide, the Swedish Pirate Party volunteered to provide bandwidth to The Pirate Bay after previous hosts got into legal trouble in May. At the beginning of July, the Pirate Party surprised again. Not only would they be The Pirate Bay’s new host, but they would use Parliamentary immunity to run the site from inside the Swedish Parliament.

Now the Party have made another interesting announcement. Together with technology partners, they will enter the broadband market with Pirate ISP, a new service designed to deliver consumer Internet in line with the Pirate Party’s ideals.

Gustav Nipe, student of economics, long-standing Pirate Party member and CEO of Pirate ISP told TorrentFreak that Pirate ISP is based on the hacker ontology. “If you see something and you think it’s broken you build a patch and fix it. With that as a reference point we are launching an ISP. This is one way to tackle the big brother society.”

“The Pirate ISP is needed in different ways. One is to compete with other ISPs, let them fight more for our internet. If they don’t behave there will always be someone else taking their share,” Nipe added.

Aside from the competition angle, Gustav Nipe told TorrentFreak that the Pirate ISP will maximize privacy for all its customers. Operated by ViaEuropa – the company behind the iPredator anonymity service – Pirate ISP users will remain anonymous.

World’s First Pirate ISP Launches In Sweden

h/t A Division by Zer0

The "No Lame Duck" Petition

Rumors are swirling in Washington, D.C. about a potential “Lame Duck” session that could be held right after the November elections and before the new Congress is sworn-in. If liberals are thrown out of power in Congress this election cycle, the pressure will be that much greater and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will pull out all the stops as a last gasp to enact their socialist agenda. Specifically, the far left will be doing whatever they can to:

1. Pass the Cap and Trade Energy Tax Hike!
2. Slap American Taxpayers with another “Stimulus” Bailout Scheme!
3. Pile on More Tax Hikes to Fund their Socialist Agenda!

No Lame Duck

Economic Dark Age About to Descend

We are ruled by a political class that lacks ethics, integrity, and ability. We are lied to daily. We are not in an economic recovery. The financial crisis is not over. The reality is that the economy and financial system are in worse trouble today than they were two years ago.


When things erupt, the government will not care for your family. You will be "collateral damage," just as you were in the original bailouts. Main Street got job losses and massive debt; the power elite bailed themselves out with your money.

The current situation is especially dangerous because the ruling class is cornered. The economy has been pushed into a grave as a result of elitists spending money they didn't have, making promises they couldn't keep, and expanding government into areas where it does not belong. After fifty-plus years of abuse, the golden goose is on its deathbed. It is so laced with toxic debt, regulations, and cynicism that a normal cure is impossible.


History written a century from now will likely label the twentieth century as "The Myth of Government." Historians are unlikely to understand how and why citizens allowed themselves to be preyed upon by a ruling class.

Repent -- The End Is Near

The Electricity Thief

Hey, times are hard! Lost your job? No roof over your head? Just squat in an abandoned house and steal electricity from your neighbors!

Memphis Police said Wednesday a man powered a vacant home for up to three years using electricity he stole from his neighbor.

A big television set was visible through an ajar rear door at an abandoned house on Hugenot in Orange Mound where James Williams, 62, was arrested Wednesday morning.

Man arrested for stealing electricity from neighbors

Three years does seem like a long time to get away with something like that. Then again, Congress and state and local public "servants" have being getting away with thievery for decades. James Williams should have looked into the much more lucrative route of holding public office.

Would You Like to Thank Someone?

It seems like believers are always thanking God for just about everything. I even hear it at work: "I'm just so thankful, praise you, Jesus!". Is this just some natural human need to be grateful to someone or something for being alive? Because people are thanking God for the mostly unmiraculous; it doesn't take anything out of the ordinary to create the response. The everyday, the mundane (even finding a close parking spot at the mall), is good enough to cause some people to shout out thank yous to a deity.

Does this describe you? If not, why don't you thank God more often (if you believe in God, that is)? Do you wait for something worth thanking "him" for? Or are you more like one of my old landladies, Miss Silva, who once berated her tenants for things like saying grace. "I've got no need," she would say, "to mumble over my food. God knows you're thankful, and if he don't he ain't God, and there's no need to say anything to him."

Miss Silva spent most of her time watering her yard and watching her "stories" (soap operas) on her battered old television set. She seemed happy enough with her life, and she didn't want for money, so why didn't we ever hear "Praise Jesus" coming out of her mouth?

If you're don't believe, do you ever feel like thanking someone? Do atheists feel the same urge to shout the equivalent of "Praise Jesus!" to someone or something?

How about you? Are you thankful right now for Skeptical Eye? Are you grateful to Nikkolas Jakson for bringing this extraordinary blog to you on a daily basis? Shouldn't you be on your knees right this minute pouring your heart out in gratitude?

I have a suggestion. If you are an atheist or agnostic, why don't you direct all that suppressed worship and praise to me, and not just about this blog, but about everything. Go on, it's okay. Just say "Thank you, Nikkolas, praise you Nikkolas, Dear Nikkolas, you've given me so much!"

Now, don't you feel better?

Iraq's Missing Billions

The US defense department is unable to account for billions meant for Iraq's reconstruction. The Pentagon has blamed poor record-keeping and lax oversight.

A Toxic Legacy

Tele meaning far and phonos meaning sound

Modern Marvels : The Telephone (The History Channel)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Obamacare's Bewildering Complexity

Four months after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously declared “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it,” a congressional panel has released the first chart illustrating the 2,801 page health care law President Obama signed into law in March.

Developed by the Joint Economic Committee minority, led by U.S Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas and Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, the detailed organization chart displays a bewildering array of new government agencies, regulations and mandates.

In addition to capturing the massive expansion of government and the overwhelming complexity of new regulations and taxes, the chart portrays:

* $569 billion in higher taxes;
* $529 billion in cuts to Medicare;
* swelling of the ranks of Medicaid by 16 million;
* 17 major insurance mandates; and
* the creation of two new bureaucracies with powers to impose future rationing: the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the Independent Payments Advisory Board.

Brady admits committee analysts could not fit the entire health care bill on one chart. “This portrays only about one-third of the complexity of the final bill. It’s actually worse than this.”


When Stimulus Does Not Stimulate

The problem is getting runaway. It's becoming a pure Ponzi scheme. It's very nonlinear: You need more and more debt just to stay where you are. And what broke [convicted financier Bernard] Madoff is going to break governments. They need to find new suckers all the time. And unfortunately the world has run out of suckers.-Nassim Taleb

He [Niall Ferguson] identifies Krugman as a Keynesian who fails to understand that fiscal deficits change people's expectations. They figure out what has been done to them by Keynesian politicians. Then they figure out what is going to happen to their futures.

According to a recent poll published in the FT, 45 per cent of Americans "think it likely that their government will be unable to meet its financial commitments within 10 years." Surveys of business and consumer confidence paint a similar picture of mounting anxiety.

He believes that we are fast approaching the end game. What is needed is a change of policies that restores private-sector confidence. While he did not say so here, he thinks the West is running out of time to adopt such new policies.-Economic Warnings From Two Respected Analysts

The Mainstream Media Will Save Us!

These two CNN pro-state shills (Kyra Phillips and John Roberts) discuss the Internet's "wild west" Dark Side (Ooooh Scary!) "all the time". And no wonder they do, because the freedom of the Internet threatens the very foundations of the State that supports the Statist media that has provided such shills with such a good living for so long. No mention of the "dark side" of the regime "news" organizations, though, like spreading the State's lies about the need for an attack and invasion of Iraq (that led to the death of tens of thousands of civilians).

And Kyra sure is a supporter of the State and all its glorious wars of "liberation". As Glenn Greenwald writes:

...this is the same Kyra Phillips responsible for one of the more disgusting television moments of the last decade. In April, 2003, she interviewed the doctor treating Ali Abbas, a 12-year-old Iraqi boy who had just lost 15 relatives, including his father, pregnant mother and three siblings, as well as both of his arms, in an errant American missile strike on the Baghdad suburb where he lived. While this child had burns all over his body, some of them infected, putting him in constant pain, Phillips asked his doctor this question:

Doctor, does he understand why this war took place? Has he talked about Operation Iraqi Freedom and the meaning? Does he understand it?

As Joan Walsh put it at the time: Phillips asked this "question" after the doctor explained that Ali said he hopes no other "children in the war will suffer like what he suffered"; "Phillips seemed shocked by Ali's apparent inability to understand we were only trying to help him."

As Greenwald also points out, the two CNN anchors are concerned about the anonymity the Internet provides, even though the case in question (Shirley Sherrod) didn't involve an anonymous blogger at all. He also amusingly shows the hypocrisy of the media's highly paid professional "journalists" when it comes to "anonymity", as so much of their "reporting" is the spreading of rumors and opinions from "anonymous sources".-CNN anchors attack the scourge of anonymity

In the video below, Andrew Keene (Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing our Culture), is featured, praising the Mainstream Media for coming "to the rescue" to straighten it all out.

On bloggers, Kyra Phillips then said "something is going to have to be done legally. . . . these people have to be held accountable, they're a bunch of cowards." Yes, "legally", so we get the Mainstream Media's friend and supporter the State involved.

“How about all these bloggers that blog anonymously. They say rotten things about people and they're actually given credibility, which is crazy”.-Kyra Phillips

Phillips and Roberts then talk about a “gatekeeper” (it should be the media, surprise!). Roberts thinks people should “put their name to it” when they make statements about others. Of course, the Mainstream Media doesn't force their anonymous sources to "put their name to it" when they report what those sources say about others.

From Greenwald again The catty, harmful insults in the 2004 campaign that John Kerry "looks French" and John Edwards is the "Breck Girl" were introduced to the public by The New York Times' Adam Nagourney, quoting an anonymous Bush aide.

Yes, it's "crazy" to give credibility to bloggers, but not journalists like former National Public Radio producer Sarah Spitz, who said of Rush Limbaugh that she would "Laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out" while watching him die and that she "never knew I had this much hate in me. But he deserves it."

I guess we can trust her and other mainstream media figures to give us honest, objective reporting, unlike the world of bloggers where, in the words of Roberts "anyone's enemy can take something nasty and post it".

Video via LRC Blog

Interview with Industrial Designer Stefano Marchetto

Very interesting interview by e-Talian (our friend The Commentator) with Stefano Marchetto.

Interview With sTrike And Smooth Concept Designer Stefano Marchetto

Inflation: What You See and What You Don't See

Go Ahead, Make My Day!

Some asswipe from Germany stopped following Skeptical Eye today. I don't mind when people stop following this blog, but as I usually return the favor and follow them (if they have a blog of their own) most followers here also have me as a follower. Sometimes I've followed them first and then they follow in return (thank you to you all!) but more often they've followed first and I've reciprocated. In the blogging world it just seems like good manners, and I still find things of interest in what may seem like very mundane blogs (such as this one) so when you insult me by deciding Skeptical Eye ain't worthy of your following, I don't hesitate; I retaliate, tit for tat, and stop following you!

The same goes for assholes, like this former contributor (and fake anarchist) who stop linking here even when we've still got their blog on our blogrolls, even when they've received new and permanent readers because of this blog. I "unlink" them and remove them from the rolls. That doesn't mean that sites and blogs linked here have to link to Skeptical Eye (the overwhelming majority do not) but it does mean that if you do link and I've returned the favor by including you here, if you stop linking, again, I'll retaliate.

So go ahead, it doesn't bother me at all, it actually makes my day!

Is Israel a Rogue State?

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

Anti-state is Pro-liberty

Pro-liberty and anti-state are opposite sides of the same coin.

Why? The state engages in taxation, and these levies by their very nature are coercive. It doesn’t matter if government provides services in return for these taxes. Suppose I come at you with a gun, and threaten to shoot you unless you give me half of all your money. You’re an argumentative sort, and you say, “But, wait a second, this is a felony! Don’t you realize what you’re
doing? You’re committing a crime.” My reply, “Oh, sorry, I forgot. I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll give you some services. Here is a paper clip.” Big deal.

The point is not that the government gives us services. The question is, is it a voluntary trade? It is anything but, as shown by the fact that if you don’t pay your taxes, you go to the hoosegow.
-Walter Block

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gerald Celente: Taxpayer Fleeced for Unwinnable Afghan War

Rush Limbaugh, Neocon Supporter of Mass Murder

Hand Me a Paper Towel

I hate those air hand dryers in public restrooms. I never use them unless there in no other option, and most people seem to agree with me based on my unscientific study of others using the public restroom at a local Walmart. In this restroom the choice of air blower or paper towels is offered, and I never see anyone using the dryer. When your hands are really wet (can they be a little wet? or is that like being a little pregnant?) who wants to wait around for air to dry them. It is supposed to be hot air, but I've noticed that most of the air dryers I've tried recently aren't blowing out anything even approaching barely warm.

Anyway, I haven't seen too many restrooms offering both drying methods, though it certainly is democratic of those that do.

So I stop for gas, and I then decide some Chicken Mcnuggets are in order, so I go through the drive-thru and order them. Then, realizing I simply have to use the restroom, I park and walk inside to use the facilities. As I was washing my hands I noticed right away that there were no towels, only one of those gosh darned air dryers. I went over to it and made the attempt to get my hands dry, but it was just air blowing out, not hot at all, and I stood there for more than a minute with my hands not yet completely dry. Just then one of the employees comes in, and I decide to leave with my hands still wet. It made me think that maybe some of the employees may not go to the trouble of washing their hands in spite of their training on the matter, because they're not gonna want to stand there for a couple minutes to get their hands dry. Which makes air dryers in public restrooms inside restaurants a public health menace.

The restaurant management may want to save money by not having to buy paper towels anymore, or maybe they succumbed to politically correct environmentalist b.s., but either way, I got news for them; Take this food and shove it, I ain't eating here no more!

Oregon Is In Deep Budget Trouble

Interesting story about yet another state in trouble, this time Oregon. The details prove that the lunatics are running the government asylum.

Oregon government stands at the edge of a financial chasm as precarious as any in its 151-year history, hemmed in by the global recession, questionable spending decisions and a budget-draining combo of skyrocketing expenses and sluggish growth.

Consider this sobering fact: State expenses, including payroll, health and retirement benefits, and debt payments, are slated to rise by nearly $4 billion over the next two years -- a 26 percent jump. During the same period, however, revenues to pay those expenses are expected to increase by a little less than $2 billion, or about 14 percent -- and that assumes a return to a robust economy.

Oregon simply can't keep up.

Oregon budget stands at precarious crossroad

Monday, July 26, 2010

Music Monday: Music

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

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WikiLeaks vs White House: Who's Twisting the Truth?

Is YouTube Becoming Mediocre?

Yeah, it's getting so bad that people who make videos aren't even bothering to put a shirt on anymore. As for what's new, well, a long time ago there was this guy who pointed out that there is nothing new under the Sun...

5,200 Restaurants Close

More than 5,200 restaurants closed in the U.S. this spring, dropping the total number in operation by 1 percent...Research firm: 5,200 restaurants closed in the U.S. this spring

This is good news if you're a human being in Fatland, AKA America, but bad news if you're in the restaurant business. If people eat at home instead of out, they'll generally save money, and if they are careful shoppers, eat healthier meals as well. But restaurants closing in large numbers is just another sign of how phony the "recovery" is that is being touted by the State and its lapdog media whores.

Still, fast food places are probably the most immune to closure, because they're convenient (and so many Americans are now lazy slobs who don't know how to cook to save their lives) and many have cheapo dollar menus. Now I'm gonna take a break to go get me a couple of Sausage Egg McMuffins (they're still on sale, I think).

Wikileaks: Evidence of War Crimes in Afghanistan

I would post the link to the Wikileaks Afghan War Diary page, but the site must be overwhelmed with traffic right now, so I'll do it later.

The online whistle-blower WikiLeaks posted some 91,000 U.S. military records of six years of the war, including unreported incidents of Afghan civilian killings and covert operations against Taliban figures.

Imagine a 20-hour Work Week

Ever wonder why we’re still working 40 hours per week? As if that’s some sort of magic equilibrium between labor/leisure that has just organically emerged over the centuries? It’s insanity, really. And evidence that we aren’t free to choose.


I do not believe for a second, that given all of the technological advances in the last 200 years, a majority of people in the developed world would continue to work 40 hours a week, if they had any say in the matter whatsoever. Imagine a 20-hour work week. Imagine creativity unleashed. Imagine what would happen to progress and productivity, if only people were actually rewarded for the work that they do.

Proof You Are Being Exploited

Ayn Rand: The Majority Has Never Been Given A Choice

...because both parties favor big government (in one form or another).

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

Atlas Shrugged

Vision of the Coming Revolution

Did Jack Chick team up with Glenn Beck on this one?

The Poor Revolutionist

Bumped Off By A Fatty

Southwest "Obese" Airlines booted a woman off a flight to accommodate a late arrival who required two seats:

The Sacramento woman, a frequent-flying sales rep, was stunned.

"It didn't seem right that I should have to leave to accommodate someone who had only paid for one seat," she tells us. (She has asked to remain anonymous for fear some may regard her as insensitive.)

She's even more miffed because she says Southwest personnel berated her when she questioned the decision to boot her from the plane.

Read more:

Yes, anonymous woman, it is insensitive to be upset when you're forced off a plane that you paid to be on, but that's the way the crapitalist system works. Next time just buy three seats and you won't have to worry about being inconvenienced when Southwest tells you to go take a flying leap..."Ha ha...I've got an extra seat, Southwest!" Of course, that won't work if a super fatty shows up.

The Plastiki

The Plastiki, which contains 12,500 recycled bottles, arrives in Sydney after crossing the Pacific.

I knew I should have been saving all those empty plastic bottles instead of throwing them out. I could have had my own fleet of yachts by now.

Build Your Own Boat (Dover Books on Woodworking & Carving)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mama and the Kids: At the Zoo

Well, it took me a bit of time, but I has finally got some paper to write up what happened all the times with me and my brothers and sisters and our Mama, who was always looking out for us and telling ever one else to got to find themself a hot spot in hell.

One day we went to the zoo, and there being so many of us, Mama snuck some of us in over the fence by the porcupine exhibit. I'd a rather gone over into the skunk's place or even the rattly snakes, but Mama said no one would suspect anyone would try it in a poky place like that, but she did give me her cane to fight off the sticky critters if need be.

I didn't see none of them things no where so I jest get the kids in free and went to meet Mama over by the elephants. Mama, she said she like them big things cause they was the only ones at the zoo bigger and fatter than she was. Mama was large and she knowed it, that for sure! We all laughed a bit, then Mama broke out the big bag of peanuts she had somewheres under her dress and started giving 'em to the elephants. That's when the trouble started when a man in uniform come up and told Mama to stop it and he pointed at some writing what I didn't know what it said counting I'm not the best at reading, but Mama later told me it was wrote on there Don't Feed the Animals.

The man got kinda angry and all when Mama told him to got to hell and kept on a feeding the elephants.

That's when the man got on some kinda radio or something and talked into it and it made some funny noises back at him. Mama told the man the elephants loved her peanuts and she'd a got them straight from Jimmy Carter and if a that kinda Presidential endorsement weren't good 'nuff for him then she didn't know what would ever be.

The man then tried to take Mama's bag o peanuts away from her by grabbing for it, which was a mistake on his parts, cause Mama socked him in the jaw and then grabbed him by the shirt collar and tossed him into there with the elephants and then one of the big 'un come over and stamped on the poor guys head, but Mama tolds me not to be too sorry for him, seeing hows he wanted to deny them elephants a little pleasure like eating some peanuts. Mama also said how come if he was a looking out for them elephants, they was all chained up in a little place like that? Mama said it was all a farce and we shouldn't never trust nobody in a uniforms and I seed how she must be right.

Well, after that we high tailed it outta there and stopped at the mall on the ways home for some ice cream cones. Mama said some day we'd even be able to have ice cream cones with some ice cream in 'em, but the plain cones was good 'nuff for nows and least ways we could pretend they had ice cream in 'em. Mama said hers was rockety road or something and laughed away as she licked at nothing.

Then Mama got a funny look on her face. She sit down and stared at all the people going by. Some of us asked her what was going on, and Mama said she was still at the zoo looking at the animals.

We didn't know what she meant then Mama said them there people was the real dangerous animals and they was all in cages but didn't knows it. I thought about it later that night and I knowed Mama was right about that.

Jaguar Inflation

The Sunday Jesus: God Is Jesus, Jesus Is God

Jehovah's Witnesses would dispute the idea that Jesus was or could be God, and so would I.

Thank you, Dr.Zakir Naik, for clearing that up. I understood every word you said and after hearing you speak I think this issue is settled for all time!

More Secrets, More Surveillance, Less Security

Ron Paul discusses the insanely bloated bureaucratic nightmare known as the "intelligence" community.

Small Firms, Mass Layoffs

Ben "spend like there's no tomorrow" Bernanke said the other day that a "double dip" recession was unlikely. "That's good news" replied one of the fools asking the questions. But as has been pointed out numerous times recently, the "recovery", such as it is, is artificial, any "growth" being mostly the temporary result of government "stimulus", from last years attempt to revive auto sales with "Cash for Clunkers" to the housing tax credit and expansion of employment through the hiring of temporary census workers and all the other useless spending throwing our money down the rat hole (did you know that when a single person reaches an income of $34,000 they fall into a 25% Federal tax bracket (soon to be 28%)? When you add Social Security taxes and state and local taxes in to the mix, it's a wonder any of us have any money left over to live on (and you though slavery was abolished in this country...Hahaha!)

Anyway, old Nick J. (that's me) thinks it's all gonna come home to roost soon. I heard on the radio driving to work that the unemployment rate went down slightly, then the announcer said that was due to "discouraged" workers being removed from the statistics because they've stopped looking for jobs, another example of the basic dishonesty of all government. One thing I was wondering is, how those workers are no longer considered unemployed, I mean, if they were recently removed from the number of unemployed, when did they stop hoping to find a job and when did their unemployment benefits run out? Aren't they extending those benefits to infinity? If you're receiving unemployment benefits, you're still unemployed, right? And a discouraged worker is defined as someone who was looking for work in the past 12 months but has given up the search, believing no jobs are available to them, so when did theses new "discouraged" (who are no longer considered among the unemployed) first lose their jobs?

"Isn't it interesting that if you stopped looking for a job, you evaporate as a jobless person and are just not counted. It's what government does: Downplay disasters and amplify success."- Gerald Celente

In any event, there are some new people to add tho the rolls, as more firms engaged in mass layoffs in June;

... it doesn't hit the April spike, but it does rise above the number of firms that had mass layoffs in February and March. This could imply that relatively smaller businesses are reducing their workforces.


If this is the case, then a labor market recovery will be even that more difficult. Most job growth comes from smaller firms. If many are still laying people off, then this confirms a very slow decline for the unemployment rate.

...John Williams, founder of Shadow Government Statistics, says when accounting for the long-term unemployed, the jobless rate runs up to as much as 22% currently. Williams's newsletter, which analyzes flaws in government economic data, points out that such a rate isn't that far from the 25% it hit during the Great Depression.-source.

Disassembly Instructions for America

When somthing falls apart before your eyes look to how it was built to gain insight into its failure.. This is the potential case with the United States. We have Mexico pressing into territory that was ceded to the United States in 1848, Language and individual flows of people represent an unstoppable tide. The most disaster prone area of the country was ceded in 1819. The people in this Louisiana Alabama Texas Panhandle Florida area are sick of the federal government forcing failure on the region. This weakens the glue holding that region to the country.. Not mentioned in other places but the time lapse map was the independent states of Vermont and the Republic of Texas. Both states are still fiercely independent. Focusing money into Washington and New York hastens any potential for domestic destabilization. Of course, insolvency could be the trigger for collapse... We could however have a false flag war or terror event in an attempt to glue the country into place. Any withdrawal from Iraq or Afghanistan could be an economic trigger to failure.

Kevin Carson: “Free Market Capitalism” is an Oxymoron

It’s pretty much standard for the chattering classes — both liberal and conservative — to refer to something called “our free market system,” also known as “free market capitalism.” To the extent that the right-wingers at Fox and CNBC or on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal advocate some purer form of “free markets” in contrast to the existing economy, what they mean is essentially the present model of corporate capitalism without the regulatory or welfare state.

But the form taken by the existing capitalist system that we live under owes precious little to free markets. From its beginnings in the late Middle Ages, it has been shaped by massive and ceaseless intervention and enforcement of privilege — much of it breathtakingly brutal — by the state. To adapt a phrase from Orwell, the past has been a boot stamping on a human face.

The state played a central role in creating the defining characteristic of capitalism as we know it: the wage system. Had free markets been allowed to develop peacefully, with the peasant majorities remaining in control of their land and with free access to the means of subsistence, labor markets would likely have taken a much different form. Employers would have had to compete with the possibility of self-employment, available to the vast majority of the population. But thanks to Enclosures and similar land expropriations over a period of several centuries, the majority of the population was turned into a landless proletariat totally dependant on wage labor for its subsistence.

As if this weren’t enough, the British state imposed totalitarian social controls on the working class in the early days of the Industrial Revolution to reduce the bargaining power of labor. The Laws of Settlement, for example, acted as a sort of internal passport system, forbidding workers to leave their parish of birth in search of better terms of employment without permission. The Poor Law authorities then came to the rescue of employers in the underpopulated industrial North, by auctioning off laborers — cheaply — from the parish workhouses of London.

Over a period of several centuries the European powers brought most of the Earth under their subjection and imposed similar land expropriations and social controls on the peoples of the Third World, and looted the mineral resources and raw materials of most of the world.

A wide range of thinkers, from the free market anarchist Lysander Spooner to the Marxist Immanuel Wallerstein, have pointed out historic capitalism’s continuities with feudalism. Capitalism, as a historic system of political economy, was really just an outgrowth of feudalism with markets grafted in and allowed to operate in the interstices to a limited extent.

The state also played a central role in the rise of corporate capitalism from the late 19th century on. The railroad land grants created a single national market in the U.S., externalizing the costs of long-distance distribution on the taxpayer, and led to industrial firms and markets far larger than would otherwise have existed. Patent law and assorted regulations passed during the Progressive Era served to cartelize markets under the control of a handful of oligopoly firms.

In the twentieth century, the state played a growing role in absorbing the surplus output of overbuilt industry or guaranteeing an overseas market for it. The leading industrial sectors were state creations: the automobile-highway complex, civil aviation, the miliitary-industrial complex and outgrowths like miniaturized electronics and industrial automation.

The neoliberal economy of the past twenty years is overwhelmingly dependent on the draconian enforcement of “intellectual property” law. The dominant sectors in the corporate global economy — software, entertainment, biotech, pharma, agribusiness, electronics — are all almost entirely dependent for their profits either on “intellectual property” or direct subsidies from the state. The central function of the U.S. national security state since WWII has been to make the world safe for corporate power through the overthrow of unfriendly governments.

Both the statist right and the statist left, for their own reasons, equate the “free market” to corporate capitalism, and promote the myth that corporate capitalism as we know it is what would naturally have emerged from a free market absent state intervention to prevent it. The statist right want to defend the legitimacy of big business, and the statist left want to make you think you need them to defend you against big business.

But the exact opposite is true. Big business has been a creature of the state from the beginning. And genuinely free markets would operate as dynamite at the foundations of corporate power.

And that’s exactly what those of us on the free market left want to do.

“Free Market Capitalism” is an Oxymoron

Center for a Stateless Society Research Associate Kevin Carson is a contemporary mutualist author and individualist anarchist.

Odessa a Hub for the Sex Slave Industry

Hundreds of thousands come to Odessa during the high tourist season. Yet for many this harbor is a point of no return, as it is from here that most sex slaves are trafficked to other countries.

Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery

Unacceptable Behavior and The Drug of the Nation

Michael Mock confesses "I don't watch television":

I don't know what a Kardashian is. (Judging by the magazines in the checkout line, it's a species of dark-haired, bosomy woman whose only purpose is to provide a vicarious social life for bored housewives. Do they actually do anything, or are they another example of the Paris Hilton school of being famous because they're famous?) The Gosselins? If it wasn't for checkout line magazines, I wouldn't even know they existed. American Idol? I know, vaguely, about one guy - because he played at the local music festival. He got booted off the show right after he made his appearance. Adam Somebody-or-other, I think.

Why Is Fluoride Added To Tap Water?

Links: Fluoride damages reproductive system of rats:

Molecular Mechanisms of Fluoride Toxicity:

Genotoxic effects of sodium fluoride:

Fluoride increases lead concentrations in blood:

Fluoride and hair loss:

Reproductive and developmental toxicity:

Dr. Mercola and Dr. Paul Connett Discuss Fluoride

Trained as a chemist, specializing in environmental chemistry, Dr. Paul Connett is known throughout the world as a leader in the movement against water fluoridation because of his knowledge base.

He is truly dedicated to the cause of ending water fluoridation, and heads up an organization called the Fluoride Action Network or that contains a wealth of information.

In addition, his book, The Case Against Fluoride, is scheduled for release in late September, but is available for pre-order.

In this timely and important book, Connett and his two co-authors, Beck and Micklem, take a new look at the science behind water fluoridation and argue that just because the medical establishment endorses a public health measure, that doesn't mean it's safe.

In the case of water fluoridation, the chemicals used to fluoridate the water that more than 180 million people drink each day are not pharmaceutical grade, but rather hazardous waste products of the phosphate fertilizer industry; it is illegal to dump these into rivers and lakes or release the parent gases into the atmosphere.

In addition, water fluoridation is a prime example of one of the worst medical practices possible – forced medication with no control over the dose or who gets it.

Amazingly, the United States is only one of eight countries in the entire developed world that fluoridates more than 50 percent of its water supply. (The other seven are: Australia, Colombia, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore.)

In Europe, Ireland is the only country that fluoridates more than 50 percent of its drinking water, and England fluoridates 10 percent.

Most of mainland Europe is not fluoridated, and yet, according to World Health Organization data, their teeth are just as good, if not better than Americans'.

One of the central challenges in this debate is that the United States claim to have one of the most advanced scientific countries in the world, yet we're still engaging in a practice that is questionable at best, and extremely harmful at worst.-Dr. Joseph Mercola

Warning: This Daily Habit is Damaging Your Bones, Brain, Kidneys, and Thyroid
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