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Fri, 30 Sep 2022
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The FCC and the pillaging of the web

© Unknown
Large ISP's in bed with the FCC? You betcha!

Seething below the surface of citizens' outrage at the FCC proposal to create a tiered, pay-to-play internet structure lays a story people know so well, it could be encoded in our DNA.

The rich and powerful are stealing the commons of the people.

Comcast, Verizon and other telecom giants are the new Lairds of the Highlands, the Marie Antoinettes, the Robber Barons of the 1890s. The Commons are no longer large tracks of land or public grazing grounds or local self-governance - those have already been stolen. The Commons under assault is the internet.

As with every achievement of humanity, individual sectors of the populace try to take credit and ownership of the internet, saying, "I created this" or "I provide the infrastructure for your access." This is akin to saying, "I built the Empire State Building" instead of "thousands of hardworking, impoverished Americans poured the concrete and scaled the steel trusses; countless educators and inventors passed the knowledge of engineering to the designers; and the banks financed the construction with funds from war profiteering that was made on the bloodshed of millions."


Indiana turns the tables on brutish police and makes it legal to shoot cops in cases of self defense and unlawful trespass

© unknown
Finally some rational legislation is passed concerning 'public servants' unlawfully entering another person's property.

All too often, we see examples of cops breaking into the wrong house and shooting the family dog, or worse, killing a member of the family.

Well, Indiana has taken action to "recognize the unique character of a citizen's home and to ensure that a citizen feels secure in his or her own home against unlawful intrusion by another individual or a public servant."

Eye 1

Big Brother in healthcare: Hospitals use credit card data to create patient profiles

magnifying glass
© unknown
The article below is a great example of the unforeseen dangers of creating gigantic bureaucratic systems into which hundreds of millions of people are forced into involuntarily, i.e., Obamacare.

The moment you create a national system of healthcare is the moment everybody suddenly has this so-called "health responsibility" to everyone else. Which is fascistic and the opposite of freedom. Again, I don't have an issue with human beings voluntarily organizing into whatever kind of systems they want. This brings me back to this idea that we need to move more toward city-states and decentralization as a means of human organization. If the people of Boulder for example want to have a city-wide healthcare system they devise, great. Let the people decide. If you don't want to live under that, you can easily move to another city that does it differently. This idea that one healthcare system should be in place for a gigantic, culturally diverse land of 315 million people is childish, inefficient and, for lack of a better word, stupid.

Comment: Our privacy and civil liberties continue to erode under the guise of protecting our health and safety. Eventually, we won't even be able to pass wind without Big Brother knowing about it.


Civil unrest is rising everywhere: 'This won't end pretty' sez economist

© blog.gmfus.org
The greatest problem we have is misinformation. People simply do not comprehend why and how the economic policies of the post-war era are imploding. This whole agenda of socialism has sold a Utopian idea that the State is there for the people yet it is run by lawyers following their own self-interest. The pensions created for those in government drive the cost of government up exponentially with time. The political forces blame the rich and this merely creates a class warfare with no resolution for the future. Even confiscating all the wealth of the so-called rich will not sustain the system. Consequently, we just have to crash and burn and start all over again.

The Guardian reported that some 50,000 people marched in London to protest against austerity. They cried: "Who is really responsible for the mess this country is in? Is it the Polish fruit pickers or the Nigerian nurses? Or is it the bankers who plunged it into economic disaster - or the tax avoiders? It is selective anger."

The exploitation by the bankers has been really a disaster. They have been their own worst enemy and in the end, they have become the symbol that inspires class warfare if not revolution. They are not the representatives of those who produce jobs. They are merely those who wanted to trade with other people's money for free. When they win, it is their's, but any losses are passed to the taxpayers. Bankers should be bankers - not hedge fund managers who keep 100% of the profits using other people's savings.

Heart - Black

73-year-old Vietnam vet fired for giving corn muffin to homeless man

© Rawstory
A 73-year-old Florida man was fired from his job at Cracker Barrel earlier this week after he gave a corn muffin to a man who looked homeless.

Vietnam veteran Joe Koblenzer had worked as a greeter at Cracker Barrel for three years before he was fired for handing a man who "looked a little needy" the muffin.

The unidentified man came through the door and "asked [if] I had any mayonnaise and some tartar sauce," Koblenzer said. "He said he was going to cook a fish."

"I got it for him. As I walked out I put a corn muffin in" the same bag. Shortly thereafter, the restaurant's general manager called him into his office and said he was fired.

The restaurant released a statement claiming that the general manager fired him because he was a serial offender.

"During the time he was employed, he violated the Company's policies regarding consuming food without paying or giving away free food, on five separate occasions," the statement read. "Mr. Koblenzer received multiple counselings and written warnings reminding him about the company's polices and the consequences associated with violating them. On the fifth occasion, again per Company policy, Mr. Koblenzer was terminated."

Comment: Corporate greed means profits from the sale of food really are more important than a human being having a meal. If you don't agree, you're fired!

Cities all over America are becoming extremely cruel to the homeless

Feeding The Homeless Banned In Major Cities All Over America

Heart - Black

Murdered for love: Pakistani couple's throats slit for marrying without family consent

© Reuters/Athar Hussain
A young couple in Pakistan were tied up and had their throats slit by the girl's parents after they married for love, police said on Saturday.

The 31-year old man and the 17-year old girl got married on June 18 in the Punjabi village of Satrah in eastern Pakistan's Punjabi district, without the consent of their families.

The girl's family was embarrassed by the marriage of their daughter, Muafia Hussein, to a man from a less important tribe, police said, according to Reuters.

The girl's mother and father then decided to lure the couple to their house late on Thursday evening with the promise that they would give the marriage a family blessing.

"When the couple reached there, they tied them with ropes. He [the girl's father] cut their throats," said local police official Rana Zashid.

The family has been arrested, but that is no guarantee that they will receive justice.

Pakistani law means that even if a woman's killer is convicted, her family is able to formally forgive the murderer. This means that families are able to nominate a family member to do the killing and then formally forgive them.

Comment: 'Honor' killing? Talk about paramoralism!

Black Cat

Surprise! Facebook manipulated users' emotions as part of psychological experiment - study

© AFP Photo / Leon Neal
The father reportedly told a police officer that he published the photograph of the child's bruised face on his Facebook page 'pour s'amuser' (for a laugh).
Facebook conducted a psychological experiment on its users by manipulating their emotions without their knowledge, a new study reveals.

Researchers toyed with the feelings of 689,003 randomly selected English-speaking Facebook users by changing the contents of their news feed, according to a paper published in the June edition of the journal 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists' (PNAS).

During a week-long period in January 2012, researchers staged two parallel experiments, reducing the number of positive or negative updates in each user's news feed.


'The walking dead' left behind - Silicon Valley's culture of failure

silicon valley
© Image Broker / Rex Features
Shikhar Ghosh, a Harvard lecturer, says venture capitalists 'bury their dead very quietly'.
Though tech startups rely on origin myths and mantras like 'Fail fast, fail often,' the psychic toll of unrelenting failure simmers just beneath the exuberance

It is probably Silicon Valley's most striking mantra: "Fail fast, fail often." It is recited at technology conferences, pinned to company walls, bandied in conversation.

Failure is not only invoked but celebrated. Entrepreneurs give speeches detailing their misfires. Academics laud the virtue of making mistakes. FailCon, a conference about "embracing failure", launched in San Francisco in 2009 and is now an annual event, with technology hubs in Barcelona, Tokyo, Porto Alegre and elsewhere hosting their own versions.

While the rest of the world recoils at failure, in other words, technology's dynamic innovators enshrine it as a rite of passage en route to success.

But what about those tech entrepreneurs who lose - and keep on losing? What about those who start one company after another, refine pitches, tweak products, pivot strategies, reinvent themselves ... and never succeed? What about the angst masked behind upbeat facades?

Silicon Valley is increasingly asking such questions, even as the tech boom rewards some startups with billion-dollar valuations, sprinkling stardust on founders who talk of changing the world.

"It's frustrating if you're trying and trying and all you read about is how much money Airbnb and Uber are making," said Johnny Chin, 28, who endured three startup flops but is hopeful for his fourth attempt. "The way startups are portrayed, everything seems an overnight success, but that's a disconnect from reality. There can be a psychic toll."

It has never been easier or cheaper to launch a company in the hothouse of ambition, money and software that stretches from San Francisco to Cupertino, Mountain View, Menlo Park and San Jose.

In 2012 the number of seed investment deals in US tech reportedly more than tripled, to 1,700, from three years earlier. Investment bankers are quitting Wall Street for Silicon Valley, lured by hopes of a cooler and more creative way to get rich.

Most startups fail. However many entrepreneurs still overestimate the chances of success - and the cost of failure.


Electricity goes out across much of Venezuela

A power plant failure knocked out electricity across a big swath of Venezuela on Friday, darkening the lights at a nationally televised presidential ceremony and forcing a suspension of subway and train services around the country

The outage affected at least 14 of the South American country's 23 states and caused several hours of traffic snarls and darkened homes and offices in the capital, Caracas.

A power plant that supplies electricity to Venezuela's central and western regions failed in early afternoon, Electricity Minister Jesse Chacon said. Electricity was mostly restored in Caracas by nightfall, but remained out in other parts of the country, where power failures are more common.


Another pedophile in the pulpit: Illinois minister accused of molesting boy for 6 years

© Rawstory
Pedophile Rev. John Hays
A Chicago-area minister was arrested Thursday on charges of molesting a boy for six years, beginning when the boy was eight years old.

According to the Chicago Tribune, 57-year-old Rev. John Hays was taken into custody by Chicago police and charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Hays is the director of congregations life of the First Presbyterian Church of River Forest.

Chicago Police Department spokesperson Officer Ana Pacheco said that Hays is accused of molesting the boy from February 2003 to February of 2009, beginning when the boy was eight. Hays' accuser, now 19, filed charges against the minister in May.

The victim was reportedly a friend of Hays' family and a congregant at his church. He told authorities that Hays repeatedly molested him in the minister's residence, which is located down the street from where the boy grew up.

Comment: Pedophilia is a rampant epidemic in religious organizations. From Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders, Who They Are, How They Operate, and How We Can Protect Ourselves and Our Children by Dr. Anna Salter:
"One molester, who himself was a minister, said: 'I considered church people easy to fool ... they have the trust that comes from being Christians ... They tend to be better folks all around. And they seem to want to believe in the good that exists in all people. And because of that, you can easily convince, with or without convincing words.'

In interviewing victims in the growing number of cases involving priests, I have been surprised - although I should not have been - by how deeply religious many of the victims' families were. I have never before grasped that it was the most religious families who were thrilled to have a priest take an interest in their children, who wanted their children to be altar boys, who could not believe that a priest would do anything so wrong.

The growing crisis in the Catholic Church just underlines the fact that offenders can recognize ideal settings for child molesters even if the rest of us can't. In truth, a deeply religious and trusting group of people, plus the requirement of celibacy (an ideal cover for any man who has no sexual interest in adults), plus a hierarchy that doesn't report complaints to the police and simply moves the offender on to new and fresh territory with new potential victims, is the ideal setting for pedophiles."
See also: SOTT Talk Radio: Predators Among Us - Interview With Dr. Anna Salter