Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Don't make overfishing in the US worse--Make sure to eat the right fish in your area with this chart.

So, make sure to only eat the right fish for the area of the US you live and try not to think about the fact that "every single fish tested from 291 freshwater streams across the United States was found to be contaminated with mercury."




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Check out pics of @siskita singing at the recent Big Gay Sing event in NYC

Click the above link for the rest of the pics!

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Obama to open offshore drilling, delivering change in the form of our opinion of him. #wtfObama

Obama to Open Offshore Areas to Oil Drilling for First Time

Luke Sharrett/The New York Times

President Obama, with an F-18 “Green Hornet” that will run partly on bio fuel, during his speech on energy security on Wednesday at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is proposing to open vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it for the first time, officials said Tuesday.


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NYC subway riders group posts clever fare-hike protest poster--MTA worries riders will think there is a WTF line

OMG, MTA Annoyed at WFP's "WTF?" Posters

The MTA is not too happy about some recent satirical posters created by the Working Families Party. The posters mock the MTA's service posters with messages like "OMFG: $100/month fares, Services Slashed" and "Service Nightmare: All Day, Every Day." The Daily News reports that transit officials are calling them "offensive, improper or in bad taste," and are worried that riders may confuse them for real service alerts. Because everyone knows about the never ending construction on the WTF lines.

To learn more about the poster check out this page on the website. Or do what I did, visit and sign the petition to put pressure on King Mike to deliver on the promise he was apparently dumb enough to make during his campaign for a third term: fix the MTA.

Mike made his bed and it's up to New Yorkers to pressure him to sleep in it.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It was the early 21st century... No longer could man travel to the moon ...or provide continuous reliable Internet service. Damn you, Earthlink/Time-Warner!!!

Yep, still no Internet at home and only email on my mobile so no way to read everyone's @ replies of worry about where I've been! ;) I just wish I could remember what I did with myself before the Internet... Oh yeah, Pay for porn. I remember now...

What a scary time!

Look at it! My Blu-Ray player keeps rubbing it in!

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Time/warner cable's been flaky all day & now won't let us watch The IT Crowd on streaming Netflix. IRONY!

Yes, our modem's plugged in, yes we tried restarting it...

@siskita's now on with Earthlink support and our CSR, "Shaun," sounds suspiciously like he's from Mumbai... >_

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Note Book: Most advanced quality, Gives best writing features

Is that an unfinished haiku or something?

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Obama's not bringing change--A must read: The war on WikiLeaks and why it matters - Glenn Greenwald -

The war on WikiLeaks and why it matters

BBC's "The Culture Show"
Julian Assange, editor of WikiLeaks.

A newly leaked CIA report prepared earlier this month (.pdf) analyzes how the U.S. Government can best manipulate public opinion in Germany and France -- in order to ensure that those countries continue to fight in Afghanistan.  The Report celebrates the fact that the governments of those two nations continue to fight the war in defiance of overwhelming public opinion which opposes it -- so much for all the recent veneration of "consent of the governed" -- and it notes that this is possible due to lack of interest among their citizenry:   "Public Apathy Enables Leaders to Ignore Voters," proclaims the title of one section. 


via, but I found it at first.

Or do you like the idea that the USG is coming up with ways to manipulate the people of OTHER COUNTRIES into doing what we want??

And "Public Apathy Enables Leaders to Ignore Voters," huh? Dude--if there's one thing that the Bush years taught me it's that you can be as loud as you want and leaders can ignore you anyway--as Obama and pals are now, as George W. Bush did before.

This is kind of amazing--the CIA is talking about using Big Brother tactics on the people of other countries. Don't forget that we're still pretty sure they're still tapping our own phone lines. All that happened when Obama took over was it all got more subtle. That's always been what the Dems did better than the Repubs--like I said back in March of 2003--the Bush Admin was incapable of subtlety and it was a sign of things to come. The thing is, we know a lot of bad things are still happening under the Dems, just more quietly.

In a time like this, we need

We need more sites like -- is one--but what others do what they do?


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What to do with all those Hummers (and other SUVs) after gas gets too expensive to buy... via ttp://

Ah, good stuff!!

I feel bad for the horses, though, as SUVs are not known for their lightness in weight. :(

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Holy shit: Dozens killed in two subways blasts in Moscow--positive thoughts for the victims, their families and survivors...

Geh... I'm against all terrorism, but something about subway riders getting hurt hits me close to home (obviously).

But that's not all--now we're supposed to believe, the the Chechens did this? Or maybe Georgians?  Give me a break.  This smells like a false flag to me.  Maybe I'm just too paranoid, but come on, the country is still run by Putin, isn't it?  When you feel you're losing control, give them something to be afraid of and voila.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pic of Nikola Tesla Corner, NYC. Hands up, who knows who Tesla was?

Guy practically invents modern electricity and all he gets is a corner? Sheesh...

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Friday, March 26, 2010

USG seems to be using Shock Doctrine tactics to (not) reform Wall Street (This one's for Naomi Klein!)

Yesterday, Democracy Now reported on how the USG's new focus, now that HCR has gone through, will be reforming Wall Street. Robert Johnson, former economist at the Senate Banking Committee and the Senate Budget Committee and current director of the Economic Policy Initiative at the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, said the following in an interview:

As we approach the election, elected officials know the American people are enraged, particularly about the question of “too big to fail”—large institutions that aren’t subject to the same rules as everyone else. At the same time, they need money for their reelection in this money-gushed politics system that we have. So we’re engaged in a Kabuki theater right now, hoping the material is too complex for the American people to understand, declaring victory, and yet basically encoding into law current practices of the banks.


Every one of your listeners should ask the question, given this legislation, if the President, House and Senate pass it, will we be in a place where AIG couldn’t have happened, Lehman Brothers couldn’t have happened, Bear Stearns couldn’t have happened, and, more importantly, nine, ten percent unemployment caused by the banking crisis couldn’t have happened? I argue this bill does very little, and even Gary Gensler, who’s probably the strongest element of the administration at the CFTC, argued yesterday at the Chamber of Commerce that it does not do the job, the end-user loopholes in derivatives regulation, which is, to my mind, the San Andreas Fault of the financial system.

I'm in the middle of reading Naomi Klein's book "The Shock Doctrine" which details tactics that allow very bad "reforms" to occur in the wake of very bad disasters. The idea is that while the locals are all distracted or confused thanks to a recent natural or man-made disaster, lobbyists and legislators push through very bad bills that put the citizens in a worse situation than they were in before.

A good example of this is how, after 911, the Patriot Act was shoved through before we even knew that it compromised a lot of our rights.

And here comes Johnson, above, saying "...we’re engaged in a Kabuki theater right now, hoping the material is too complex for the American people to understand, declaring victory, and yet basically encoding into law current practices of the banks."

This is the almost precisely the definition Naomi Klein uses in the her book, "The Shock Doctrine." What's our recent disaster? The financial crisis, of course, and we are the bewildered locals, reeling from said disaster, trusting our leaders when they tell us "we're fixing things!"

The really frustrating thing is that this tactic almost always works because we humans are hardwired to trust authority figures--especially when we "regress" during a disaster, as Naomi Klein's book shows us.

If you haven't read "The Shock Doctrine" you should.

Check out the rest of the transcript of the Democracy Now story on the USG's Wall Street "reforms" or watch the video of the segment. You can also listen to the segment, streamed over the 'net, too.

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Island in the Bay of Bengal has been claimed by Climate Change via and

Reported yesterday by

Island in Bay of Bengal Disappears Under Rising Sea

A tiny island in the Bay of Bengal has disappeared underneath rising sea levels. The uninhabited island had been the source of dispute between India and Bangladesh for nearly three decades. Sugata Hazra, an oceanographer at the School of Oceanographic Studies in Calcutta, said, “What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming.”

Reported March 24, 2010 on

India-Bangladesh dispute is moot after island sinks

Climate change appears to have resolved a dispute that gunboats never could: An island midway between India and Bangladesh that became a flash point for military threats in the 1980s is submerged under the rising seas.
By Mark Magnier
Los Angeles Times

The island began shrinking in the 1990s, part of an 81-square-mile reduction in landmass witnessed in the Bay of Bengal's Sunderbans mud flats during the past 40 years, Hazra said. An additional 27 square miles have been lost to erosion, he added.

During the 1990s, the island was about 6.6 feet above sea level, part of a low-lying delta extremely vulnerable to rising seas.


Bangladesh, a low-lying delta nation of 150 million people, is one of the countries worst-affected by climate change. A U.N. panel predicted that 17 percent of Bangladesh will disappear by 2050, displacing 20 million people, if water levels rise by 3.3 feet, as some predict.

This not only points out some fun evidence of how Climate Change is real and changing our planet, but also points out that combining the effects of Climate Change with other processes, like erosion, could mean even more destruction to landmasses around the world.

Regardless, let's hope this story gets lots of play as it's just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

Oh and proverbial icebergs don't melt.

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Enjoyable End of the Week pics: our older cat, Ecks, having a bath.

Not quite the wet rat look but still pretty goofy lookin!

Aw, Ecks is meowing like he's upset! Why could that be?

Seriously, usually his meows are pretty quiet and almost polite. But in the tub his voice came from a place deep in his throat--deep down, where discontentment lives!

But he got over it and is clean and happy now. :)

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

New study: 1/3 of Americans rely on libraries for internet access (libraries are important, kids!) via @nypl

One-Third Of Americans Caught In The Library 'Web'

About 77 million Americans use the free computers and internet offered at public libraries for everything from job hunts to small business services to homework help, according to a new study released on March 25.

The survey emphasizes the importance of free tech services at systems like the New York Public Library, which currently offers internet on over 3,600 machines at its locations across Manhattan, The Bronx and Staten Island.


It sounds like libraries aren't the dusty, quiet, lonely places we assume they are. Hit up that NYPL link for more pro-library propaganda from the New York Public Library (dirty commie/socialist bastards!).

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POTENTIALLY HUGE: Caltech-led team provides proof they can "turn off" cancer at the source via nanoparticles


Caltech-led Team Provides Proof in Humans of RNA Interference Using Targeted Nanoparticles
Researchers unveil scientific results from siRNA Phase I clinical trial in cancer patients

PASADENA, Calif.—A California Institute of Technology (Caltech)-led team of researchers and clinicians has published the first proof that a targeted nanoparticle—used as an experimental therapeutic and injected directly into a patient’s bloodstream—can traffic into tumors, deliver double-stranded small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), and turn off an important cancer gene using a mechanism known as RNA interference (RNAi). Moreover, the team provided the first demonstration that this new type of therapy, infused into the bloodstream, can make its way to human tumors in a dose-dependent fashion—i.e., a higher number of nanoparticles sent into the body leads to a higher number of nanoparticles in the tumor cells.

These results, published in the March 21 advance online edition of the journal Nature, demonstrate the feasibility of using both nanoparticles and RNAi-based therapeutics in patients, and open the door for future "game-changing" therapeutics that attack cancer and other diseases at the genetic level, says Mark Davis, the Warren and Katharine Schlinger Professor of Chemical Engineering at Caltech, and the research team’s leader.


Essentially what this means is that it seems completely possible to literally turn the off-switch for cancer genes.

This is potentially HUGE. Should I even try to find any mainstream news sources who covered this story?

Posted via web from thepete's posterous Is the U.S. Government Spying on a Tiny Secret-Sharing Website? (I say: It's, of course they are!) is a website legendary in certain circles for posting documents people want hidden from the world. The Pentagon is not a fan. Now, Wikileaks is accusing the U.S. of spying on its editors.

Tonight, Wikileaks tweeted that it was "currently under an aggressive US and Icelandic surveillance operation," and provided a few creepy details:

Hit up the Gawker link for more completely creepy Tweets from @wikileaks or just hit up and support them if you can.

This is the face of "the press" from here on out, folks. Indy non-profits taking on the task of exposing the true behavior of governments, banks, corporations, etc. The age of for-profit news being an effective way to stay informed is pretty much over, sadly.

Thanks be to for posting on this story.

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...censorship had become more than a human rights issue and was hurting profit for foreign companies...OH NOES!

Google Calls for Action on Web Limits
Published: March 24, 2010

A top Google executive on Wednesday called for rules to put pressure on governments that filter the Internet, saying the practice was hindering international trade.


Alan Davidson, director of public policy for Google, told a joint Congressional panel that the United States should consider withholding development aid for countries that restrict certain Web sites. He said censorship had become more than a human rights issue and was hurting profit for foreign companies that rely on the Internet to reach customers.

Well, if it's more important than human rights!

Wait... what the HELL could be more important than human rights???

What the hell is up with humanity???

"Well, it's a shame that the free flow of information is being stifled in some countries, but--wait, WHAT? It's messing with our PROFITS? END CENSORSHIP NOW!!"


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Cool thing of the week: Prototyping Custom Lego Bricks through (but really you can affordably prototype all sorts of stuff!

Left to right (or back to front, however you prefer):
• official LEGO brick: injection molded ABS.
• "Transparent Detail": Objet printed Acrylic-based photopolymer - see the process here.
• "White Strong & Flexible": Selective-Laser-Sintered Nylon 11 - see the process here.
• "Alumide" (same as WSF but with aluminum powder mixed in to the powder).

These were printed via Shapeways from a 3D model I drew in Solidworks. I have a few ideas I might draw up and order prototypes for and I wanted to sample some materials, and what better physical test than a standard Lego brick?

via Don Solo's flickr

Aw, man--this is so COOL. can 3D print any digital 3D model you give them as long as the finished object is under 19x15x7inches (depending on the material you choose). The coolest thing about this service is that you can even get a model done in *stainless steel*. Of course, the draw back to all of this is that it's not cheap--but considering how easy it is to do, it's got to be the cheapest way to go for prototyping individual models.

In case you're curious, Flickr-user Don Solo says the cheapest one to produce in the pic above was the white one which priced in at $5.22. Yeah, he's not going to be building too many models with his own Lego pieces any time soon.

Still, if you look at, you can see the immense potential. You can even set up a shop, like at Cafepress. This might be a great way for custom toy artists to get some attention if they're just starting out or even build up a small audience to prove there's a market for a toy design.

I really want to try them out--I just need to learn how to do 3D modeling now!

Damn... something else to add to the task list already as long as my arm!!

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Amusing pic: Fast Food contains so many preservatives it won't rot via

Wow. This is why I eat anything from McDonalds once a year *at most*.

To think how many parents feed themselves and their kids with this crap. When I was a kid, it was a treat, but by the time I was an adult, the price and convenience made it an every day option. Finally, I got healthy and have been almost completely McDonald's-free since 2003.

Hit up that link for some other interesting tidbits and a link to a article about this.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ATTENTION WOMEN: In case you didn't know, Abortion Changes You (TM) (according to this subway ad)

Offensive much?

Clearly aimed at the "whores" and "sluts" who take the subway all the time and think abortions are like getting a haircut, this ad does more damage to the anti-choice movement than it helps their cause.

Treating women as though they are all children, incapable of thinking for themselves does not endear them to your cause. And putting an ad like this in a subway makes you look kinda racist. Also putting a "TM" after your "slogan" seems REALLY lame--you're supposed to be saving lives not worried about competing anti-abortion movements who might lift your trademarked slogan.

Also nice is how the fine print on the ad informs us that the woman shown in the ad is, in fact, a model. As in, she's not really a woman who had an abortion as the over all ad suggests. Way to destroy any message you were trying to send.

Well done, anti-choice people! Free speech is nice and all but it helps if you, first, try not to undermine your own message by misleading people, and second, understand your audience a bit better.

Just my ¥2, as always...

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At Best Buy the other day, wondering if most folks know "2012" is NOT a sequel to "2001" or "2010".

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Arundhati Roy on Democracy Now yesterday spoke of India's war on its indigenous people and a LOT more.

Among many things the writer and activist talks about, I was the most educated by what she said about the oppression of the indigenous people of India. I didn't even know there were indigenous people in India.

But here's an excerpt from the transcript of yesterday's edition of Democracy Now:

ANJALI KAMAT: [...] What is this war that India is waging against some of the poorest people, people known as tribals, indigenous people, Adivasis? Who are the Maoists? What’s happening there? And how did you get there?

ARUNDHATI ROY: Well, it’s been going on for a while, but basically, you know, I mean, there is a connection. If you look at Afghanistan, Waziristan, you know, the northeast states of India and this whole mineral belt that goes from West Bengal through Jharkhand through Orissa to Chhattisgarh, what’s called the Red Corridor in India, you know, it’s interesting that the entire thing is a tribal uprising. In Afghanistan, obviously, it’s taken the form of a radical Islamist uprising. And here, it’s a radical left uprising. But the attack is the same. It’s a corporate attack, you know, on these people. The resistance has taken different forms.

But in India, this thing known as the Red Corridor, if you look at a map of India, the tribal people, the forests, the minerals and the Maoists are all stacked on top of each other.


Bold/emphasis added by me.

"...if you look at a map of India, the tribal people, the forests, the minerals and the Maoists are all stacked on top of each other."

Kind of says it all, doesn't it? Just like Peru, just like Sudan--am I forgetting any other place indigenous peoples are getting knocked off their land for the resources underneath it?

But hit up that link--Roy is a brilliant woman and has a lot to say about India, the world and also the "sham" of democracy.

Yeah, heavy stuff...

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If you missed it yesterday, here's a video from 3/21/2003 featuring my calm rant re: the just-started Iraq war

I posted this yesterday but thought it was worth pointing out again in case anyone missed it yesterday. Here's the description that goes with the video:

Seven years ago yesterday (as I type this, anyway), on March 21, 2003, I posted this video on my old blog at It contains a very calm rant, pointing out a few concerns I had about invading another country unprovoked. Before Abu Ghraib, before the non-existent WMD, before Falujah, before Blackwater, I felt that America was acting like it knew best and that it new better than everyone else (which would go on to work out SO well!). I also accused it of violating the UN Charter ( This was an opinion then UN SecGen Kofi Annan would go onto express as well (

Ah well, too bad the video was posted way back in 2003 before watching videos online was a big thing.

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@siskita sings LIVE w/@MarqueeFive **3/24/2010** 8pm at the Iguana!! AND it's her birthday! JOIN US!

From a March 10, 2010 post at

Two weeks from today is my Birthday! And what better way to celebrate my life than by singing with four other AMAZING people: Vanessa Parvin, Mick Bleyer, Adam West Hemming and Julie Reyburn. Together, we're MARQUEE FIVE! Come celebrate with me at the Wednesday Night at the Iguana open mic/musical variety show!

March 24th - 8PM

After a successful run of our show "We Can Make It: The Songs of Kander & Ebb" and before our last performance of this show on April 15th, catch Marquee Five singing handful of NEW songs! And come with your sheet music and sing as well if you want to.

240 W. 54th St (between 7th and 8th)

Call for reservations: (212) 765-5454

“Wednesday Night At The Iguana”.
$12 cover, CASH, no minimum! for more information.

If you are in NYC tomorrow, join us! But call for reservations! (We have a feeling it'll be packed!)

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Never before has the government mandated that its citizens pay directly to private corporations...-Jane Hamsher

FDL Statement on the Passage of the Health Care Bill
By: Jane Hamsher Monday March 22, 2010 9:10 am

The country turned an important corner last night when Congress affirmed the moral imperative of providing quality health care to more Americans and passed the President’s sweeping health insurance reform bill. It is to President Obama’s credit that he was willing to commit his office to such a challenge when others before him had failed.

But this is not health care reform, and the task of providing health care that Americans can afford is still before us. Too much was sacrificed to corporate interests in the sausage-making process. Rather than address the fundamental flaws in our health care system, we applied a giant band-aid. This health care bill does not come close to doing all that needs to be done to meet the needs of our citizens and our businesses as we retool our economy for the 21st century.

There are many good and praise-worthy things in this health care bill: help for those with pre-existing conditions, guaranteed coverage for children, money for community health centers, and expansion of Medicaid and SCHIP. But there is also cause for serious concern. Never before has the government mandated that its citizens pay directly to private corporations almost as much as they do in federal taxes, especially when those corporations have been granted unregulated monopolies.


But it is a national shame that a Democratic President who pledged the repeal of the Hyde Amendment would proudly issue an executive order affirming it. How far we’ve come since 2007, when Barack Obama swore that his first act in office would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act.

And finally, most of all, we hope that members of both parties find the courage to stand up to the corporate lobbyists who dominated this process–because if left unchecked, their pernicious influence will continue to infect every aspect of our government to the detriment of its citizens. We who are voters must clearly communicate in November that we will accept nothing less because the fight cannot end until we as a nation decide to take on the corporate interests that are corrupting our political institutions and strangling their ability to provide affordable healthcare to everyone.

The problem is that voting doesn't do any good. The media will be paid by the lobbyists to control the message so we'll vote the "right" people into office so that this can all continue. Democracy doesn't work when the voters are so ill informed that they don't have a clue that they are often voting against their own best interests. This seems to have happened to those of us who voted for Obama.

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Federal Reserve Loses Secrecy Suit, May Have to Prove Just How Accountable it Is (hint: not at all)

The Federal Reserve lost an appeal March 19 in a bid to keep hidden the details of its estimated $2 trillion in bailouts to bankers around the world, prompting celebration among anti-Fed campaigners and promises of a continued fight from the banking cartel.

A lower court ruled in August last year that the central bank must release the information under a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Bloomberg media empire. But the Fed refused. Bloomberg had argued that the public had a right to know what was going on since U.S. taxpayers were “involuntary investors.”

“When an unprecedented amount of taxpayer dollars were lent to financial institutions in unprecedented ways and the Federal Reserve refused to make public any of the details of its extraordinary lending, Bloomberg News asked the court why U.S. citizens don’t have the right to know,” said Bloomberg editor-in-chief Mathew Winkler after the lower court’s ruling. “We’re gratified the court is defending the public’s right to know what is being done in the public interest.”

Don't worry, they're appealing and they'll likely win because they're the Fed and they're not really accountable to anyone. Sure, on paper there is Congressional oversight, but would you trust Congress to oversee something as confusing (well, it shouldn't be, but it is) as our monetary system? (They've done SUCH a good job so far!)

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Send Political Cartoonist (and I guess he's a writer, too) Ted Rall Back to Afghanistan to Get the Real Story

Click that link above and to donate some cash that will help send this guy back to Afghanistan. Please.

If you don't like his stuff, think of it as putting him in harms way!

If you do like his stuff (as I do) think of it as supporting independent news--the single most important thing you could possibly do with your money right now.

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Nitsuh Abebe throws kudos at Star Trek for the recent passing of the health care bill and NOT in the way you think...

unsung heroes of healthcare reform, #8,129,123

I can not explain how happy this post makes me.


This morning, for reasons that are PERSONAL and MINE,* I wound up watching “I, Borg,” the 1992 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in which the crew picks up a wounded Borg and nurses him back to health. Also they name him Hugh, he becomes friends with Geordi, and over the course of several colloquys about humans, individuality, and friendship, he learns to use the word “I” and concludes that “resistance is … not futile?”

(So it’s basically just another example of a hostile race being exposed to Levar Burton and deciding that he seems like a super-nice guy, and why do we dislike them, again?)

But consider the following chain of events:

  1. The deprogramming of Hugh from collective Borg to individual “I,” in this episode, sets the precedent for the 1997 introduction of Seven of Nine, the ex-Borg crew member on Star Trek: Voyager.
  2. The 1997 casting of Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine surely changed the course of her 1999 divorce from Illinois politician Jack Ryan.
  3. In 2004, Jack Ryan sought to replace retiring Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald, and won the Republican primary, but withdrew from the race after details of his divorce were made public, including a bunch of stuff about maybe trying to pressure his wife into swinging or public S&M. “We did go to one avant-garde nightclub in Paris,” he said, “which was more than either one of us felt comfortable with.” (When in doubt, blame the arts and the French; they’re just freaky like that.)
  4. His withdrawal left one Barack Obama running basically unopposed, except by Alan Keyes (who doesn’t count because c’mon, Alan Keyes).
  5. You can take it from there.

So, after the fashion of the butterfly that flaps its wings and causes a hurricane on the other side of the globe, I — as someone who looks forward to one day purchasing fuller health coverage on a standardized exchange — would like to say KUDOS TO YOU, HUGH THE ADOLESCENT BORG WHO LEARNED TO SAY “I,” for your hand in this historic reform.

* Cable marathon, DVR, laziness

I'm totally behind this interpretation of history. Of course, I'd take it back even further and blame the BBC. See, the Borg were just a rip-off of a species of aliens that appeared in a couple eps of the show "Blake's 7." So, at the very least we can blame the creator of the Daleks (and "Blake's 7"), Terry Nation, if not the entire remnants of the British Empire.

Just sayin'...

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Two Buzzes are better than one.

Buzz Lightyear Toy Returns From Space To A Hero’s Welcome At Disney World

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - OCTOBER 02: In this handout photo provided by Disney, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin poses Oct. 2, 2009 at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. with the 12-inch-tall Buzz Lightyear toy that spent 15 months in space onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Aldrin and the space ranger toy were joined Oct. 2, 2009 by ISS Expedition 18 astronaut Michael Fincke in a celebratory ‘homecoming’ parade in front of thousands of guests at the Walt Disney World theme park. Disney Parks and NASA sent the Buzz Lightyear toy into space in 2008 as part of an educational initiative to encourage students to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The toy returned to earth Sept. 11, 2009 aboard Space Shuttle Discovery STS-128
via and

What's even better is that this post is crossposting to my Google Buzz. So I've buzzed about Buzz and Buzz on Buzz.


I'm so funny.

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Amazing video from 1968 explaining how keywords (tags) work by one of the inventors of the mouse. via

If you're at all a nerd or geek or just find the history of technology interesting hit up that link to above--surrounding this video is a really cool essay on the history of the hyperlink. Amazing to think that a lot of this stuff was thought about way back in the 30s by one of the fathers of the atom bomb (Lamberta leaves that little tidbit out of his history, sadly).

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1935 had Twitter, but no easy way to play "Mafia Wars". No wonder it took 70 years for Tweeting to take off.

Robot Messenger Displays Person-to-Person Notes In Public

TO AID persons who wish to make or cancel appointments or inform friends of their whereabouts, a robot message carrier has been introduced in London, England.

Known as the “notificator,” the new machine is installed in streets, stores, railroad stations or other public places where individuals may leave messages for friends.

The user walks up on a small platform in front of the machine, writes a brief message on a continuous strip of paper and drops a coin in the slot. The inscription moves up behind a glass panel where it remains in public view for at least two hours so that the person for whom it is intended may have sufficient time to observe the note at the appointed place. The machine is similar in appearance to a candy-vending device.

That appeared in the August 1935 issue of "Modern Mechanix" magazine. Pretty cool.

I wonder if one of these is still laying around somebody's garage in the UK someplace. I'd love to see one in person. I have a fascination for retro-tech. Especially failed retro-tech.

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Wall of Lego (via Makes me miss building. MUST FIND SOME TIME

Over the years Daily Lego has been a nice thing to try, but never stays daily for long and weekly is too easy to forget :(

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Membraneless (is that a word?) water desalination system simplifies process of creating drinkable water from salt water.

This is pretty awesome--I get excited any time I hear/read about new breakthroughs in drinkable-water-making technology.

 Link to this post:

1:28 pm Kurt Starnes: Membraneless Water Desalination System [MIT News]

According to the article, this method also removes many contaminants, viruses and bacteria at the same time.

One of the leading desalination methods, called reverse osmosis, uses membranes that filter out the salt, but these require strong pumps to maintain the high pressure needed to push the water through the membrane, and are subject to fouling and blockage of the pores in the membrane by salt and contaminants. The new system separates salts and microbes from the water by electrostatically repelling them away from the ion-selective membrane in the system — so the flowing water never needs to pass through a membrane. That should eliminate the need for high pressure and the problems of fouling, the researchers say.

 See, the world is running out of big supplies of drinkable water.  There's plenty of water around, we're just polluting it or using it up as drinking water or for other things like farming or manufacturing.  So, the idea of turning the oceans into giant reservoirs of drinkable water is a good one, but taking the salt out of salt water is an expensive process.  Simplifying it is a linch pin that will allow desalination to become economically viable.

Don't forget, if we can't afford it, we can't do it.  Well, unless it's war and stuff. ;P

PS on a total sidenote, this is a test post sent using Google Buzz's "email" feature. I'm sending it through my Posterous blog (like I do with almost all of my posts) which will cross post to Tumblr and then end up everywhere else I like it to be (I hope).

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Hope for those of us that think the USG mandating health insurance is a bad thing.


The article cites "experts" who say the legal challenges to the hcr bill will go nowhere thanks to the mandate being couched in terms of taxation (you know those "tax and spend Democrats!" old stereotypes die hard). Funny--the NYtimes is also reporting that this bill isn't popular with most Americans which, to me, seems to make this an instance of... SAY IT WITH ME: Taxation Without Representation!

That's right, technically we have representation, but since when do politicians do what the people want? Everyone knows, after that SCOTUS decision, that corporations buy and sell legislation like candy. This bill passing is evidence that the health insurance lobby must have given buckets of cash out to politicians. Why else would the USG think forcing people who can't afford insurance to buy it anyway was a good idea?

They could be idiots, I guess.

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Google: the enemy of all governments! Seems they exposed a secret SAS base in the UK on Google Maps.

Not only does China hate Google for ceasing it's censorship (!) but the UKG is mad they've included a secret SAS base on Google Maps. My favorite part is how it's apparently even labled on the map as "British SAS". :)

I think the first target in the next war will be Google.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

OK, so #HCR is pretty much done--let's get back to the economy (the *reason* so many people have no insurance)

Via Bob Herbert's March 19, 2010 op-ed at

A Ruinous Meltdown
Published: March 19, 2010

A story that is not getting nearly enough attention is the ruinous fiscal meltdown occurring in state after state, all across the country.

Taxes are being raised. Draconian cuts in services are being made. Public employees are being fired. The tissue-thin national economic recovery is being undermined. And in many cases, the most vulnerable populations — the sick, the elderly, the young and the poor — are getting badly hurt.


In the first two months of this year, state and local governments across the U.S. cut 45,000 jobs. Additional layoffs are expected as states move ahead with their budgets for fiscal 2011. Increasingly these budgets, instead of helping people, are hurting them, undermining the quality of their lives, depriving them of educational opportunities, preventing them from accessing desperately needed medical care, and so on.


All states have been rocked by the Great Recession. And most have tried to cope with a reasonable mix of budget cuts and tax increases, or other revenue-raising measures. Those that rely too heavily on cuts are making guaranteed investments in human misery.

Speaking of the poor, here's a cutting from a March 19, 2010 article at reporting on the homeless population of New York City rising dramatically since last year:

Number of People Living on New York Streets Soars

Published: March 19, 2010

The Bloomberg administration said Friday that the number of people living on New York’s streets and subways soared 34 percent in a year, signaling a setback in one of the city’s most intractable problems.

Appearing both startled and dismayed by the sharp increase, a year after a significant drop, administration officials attributed it to the recession, noting that city shelters for families and single adults had been inundated.

So when you hear anyone in a "leadership" role talking about how the recession is over or that things are getting better, don't believe the hype. That's all it is--like pleasant music played for the frog who is enjoying a bath that is slowly being brought to a boil.

MAN, I am having a hard time being subtle today!! :)

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Cameras Track Shoppers--not to combat shoplifting, but to learn how to sell you more stuff (b/c no one's ever rich enough!)

In Bid to Sway Sales, Cameras Track Shoppers

At a mall, a father emerged from a store dragging his unruly young son by the scruff of the neck, as if he were the family cat. The man had no idea his parenting skills were being immortalized.

At an office supply store, a mother decided to get an item from a high shelf by balancing her small child on her shoulders, unaware that she, too, was being recorded.

These scenes may seem like random shopping bloopers, but they are meaningful to stores that are striving to engineer a better experience for the consumer, and ultimately, higher sales for themselves. Such clips, retailers say, can help them find solutions to problems in their stores — by installing seating and activity areas to mollify children, for instance, or by lowering shelves so merchandise is within easy reach.

Privacy advocates, though, are troubled by the array of video cameras, motion detectors and other sensors monitoring the nation’s shopping aisles.

Many stores and the consultants they hire are using the gear not to catch shoplifters but to analyze and to manipulate consumer behavior. And while taping shoppers is legal, critics say it is unethical to observe people as if they were lab rats.

"Unethical to observe people as if they were lab rats," do ya think?

But when do ethics stop corporations from doing what they want? Paying pennies to a 14 year-old Asian girl who lives in the factory she works in (or in slums, nearby) to make clothes for Americans isn't ethical either. But hey, anything to make more money, right? Exploit whomever, where ever, to get what ever you need to make more money.

Although, to be honest, I like the idea of that brunette in the pic above watching me. ;P (you know, while we're being morally questionable...)

Sorry, I'm feeling VERY heavy handed today....

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This is a long shot, but: Native American? Consider becoming a bone marrow donor.

Native Teen Needs Hard to Find Bone Marrow Donor
by Doug George-Kanentiio

Taylor Matt was an energetic teenager who had endured chemotherapy at age 12 and was entering her senior year at Cazenovia High School where she planned to carry on playing field lacrosse while studying hard for college and perhaps becoming a nurse like her mom Debra. She was also a role model for her younger sister Jessie and much admired student to her many friends.


Taylor was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) one of several forms of the disease and unusual since it normally effects older people. It is marked by fatigue, swelling of the gums, anemia, bleeding, bruising and shallow, labored breathing. The white blood cells explode in number and consume the red, leaving the body prone to infections. Chemotherapy works in most cases, as it did for Taylor five years ago. The doctors were successful in restoring Taylor's health and were optimistic that after five years she would be liberated from the cancer.

Last August, while working at the New York State Fair, Taylor collapsed. When she was examined at the hospital the doctors found that the leukemia had returned. Since then Taylor has been in the Golisano Children's wing at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse,NY but now she must have a bone marrow donor is she is to survive.

There are over 7,000,000 people registered as bone marrow donors which, under normal circumstances, would be good news for Taylor since she is young and athletic. But Taylor comes from a family which has not only Onondaga but German and Irish roots which makes the donor process more complicated. She has been told she needs a Native American donor ( or one of mixed Caucasian-Native ancestry) exclusive of her immediate family. Since less than 2% of all donors are Native the chances of locating that perfect match is difficult.

Natives have not had much success battling leukemia. Not only do most reservation dwelling Natives have limited access to health services but only 20% of those who need bone marrow transplants actually find a matching donor.


For more information about leukemia or to arrange a donor drive contact: ; or call Paula Miller at the William Pomeroy Foundation at 315-476-300 ext.2576.

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The world's only immortal animal (well, that we know of)

The turritopsis nutricula species of jellyfish may be the only animal in the world to have truly discovered the fountain of youth.

Since it is capable of cycling from a mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage and back again, there may be no natural limit to its life span. Scientists say the hydrozoan jellyfish is the only known animal that can repeatedly turn back the hands of time and revert to its polyp state (its first stage of life).

The key lies in a process called transdifferentiation, where one type of cell is transformed into another type of cell. Some animals can undergo limited transdifferentiation and regenerate organs, such as salamanders, which can regrow limbs. Turritopsi nutricula, on the other hand, can regenerate its entire body over and over again. Researchers are studying the jellyfish to discover how it is able to reverse its aging process.

Hit up the link above for more on this fascinating creature.

Not to get preachy, but isn't learning FUN? I like to do it every day!

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Hm, is the HCR bill Christian enough to pass? Or is there a better way for Glenn Beck to make a reasonable point?

The fact is, the health care bill is preeminently geared toward one objective—providing healing for the marginalized and the poor, people for whom our current system often denies the possibility of healing altogether. The question Jesus asked of those who thought that healing on the Sabbath was an affront to God is the very question we should now pose for Beck and Congressman King: “I ask you, is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” That was Jesus’ way of affirming what Beck wants to deny—that the biblical God is always the God of justice for the poor. We can only conclude that whatever Beck’s “Christian America” may be, it is hardly very Christian.

YES. Let's all debate about how "Christian" the HCR bill is. Yes, because framing HCR in terms of a 2000 year-old invisible, intangible, super-powered, demi-god is really going to help balance things out.

Nah--instead, let's argue how just the bill is. We don't need Jesus to teach about fairness anymore, do we? We're adults--we can handle the concept outside of a superheroic, "magical" context--so, let's see, the HCR bill requires everyone, even the poor, to pay for health care insurance.

How does this help the poor? You remember the poor, the folks that can't find work or don't have the education to get work? You remember work, it's that thing that pays you some money but pulls some out to pay for taxes AND HEALTH INSURANCE? HEEEEEY, why not just get poor people JOBS?!?!


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It's true: coffee solves everything!!

I'm drinking some right now!

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...about that health care bill that just passed the US House 219 to 212...FORCING us to buy counts as reform?

7 votes passes a law to give loads of folks more affordable health care insurance. Thanks, Republicans! I can really tell you care about Americans! 

On the flip side, since it's mandatory for ALL of us to get health care insurance, the insurance industry should be ecstatic about this.  They're gonna make BUCKETS OF CASH off of this!  Of course

Can't believe they couldn't buy off some Republican votes, though.  Seems like the Republicans could have made themselves look good to the other side AND take bribes--I MEAN--take kickbacks--I MEAN--take "campaign contributions" from lobbyists. I guess we know which party is in the back pocket of the insurance lobby! :\

Also, from what I heard, this thing won't even kick in until 2014, so the 45,000 people per year that will die due to a lack of affordable healthcare every year will still die in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.  

Hm, do the math and I think that works out to way too many damn people dying because the American government doesn't really give a shit about it's people.  Why else would it all but ignore something like cancer and focus heavily on fighting terrorism?  Which do you think kills more Americans, hmmm?

I'm soooo glad our "leaders" rushed this through so fast, compromising away single-payer and the public option along the way.

I can't WAIT to be forced to buy into an industry that will profit off of my sickness.

Seriously, we're going to get forced into it. Here's a cutting from a March 19, 2010 article at

Are there penalties if you don't buy insurance?
If you ignore this mandate and don’t get health insurance, you’ll have to pay a tax penalty to the federal government, beginning in 2014. This fine starts fairly small, but by the time it is fully phased in, in 2016, it is substantial.

An insurance-less person would have to pony up whichever is greater: $695 for each uninsured family member, up to a maximum of $2,085; or 2.5 percent of household income.

There are exceptions. Certain people with religious objections would not have to get health insurance. Nor would American Indians, illegal immigrants, or people in prison.

Yeah, pretty tasty, huh? 


Sorry, Apple! You know I *would* buy an iPad, but...

All right, I wouldn't buy an iPad, but this is down right shitty, man.  Take this out of the salaries of the employed, man.  I'll be happy to pay into it when I have a job, but when I don't, what am I supposed to do? Sell my blood to pay for health insurance?  What about all the homeless people? What about all the people on the edge of homelessness who barely keep the rent paid?

And why is it that the money for war is magically conjured from nowhere, but the money for health care COMES FROM OUR POCKETS???*

And OK, so if I have a religious objection I can get out of getting health insurance--what if I have a *moral* objection? Like, not thinking it's right to pay into a system that allows for-profit companies get rich off of people's suffering?  Where's the public option?

And in the end, I still don't understand why America is the only 1st World country that makes its citizens pay for health care.  

This isn't the land of the free--this is the land of the god damned expensive!

Sure glad I voted for that liberal guy who's supposed to just give crap away.

That IS what "liberal" means, right?


There better be some serious cheap-ass insurance out there, because I do not what to help some dickweed in a Mercedes pay for gas.

On a side note--WHY DOES NANCY PELOSI ALLOW HERSELF TO MAKE SUCH FACES??  IS SHE AN IDIOT?  Seriously: HOW can I avoid imagining a maniacal laugh coming from her gaping maw in that pic from

*Yes, I know nothing is really free and that even though the USG, essentially, just printed more money to pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq those wars are really being paid for with the value of the American dollar dropping through the floor, thus making it come out of our pockets anyway, BUT STILL.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Orgy in Orbit: A space station that'll put out for any passing rocket ship. HAWT.

Is it wrong that this pic makes me feel funny... down there?


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Caught this cool sho of the Hotel New Yorker while walking around 34th today

Today was one of those days I was really glad to live in New York City. What a cool shot! classic Big Apple.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

On my way to a videography gig at a club down in the 20s--yay money!

I'm seriously considering spending some of my take on a new pair of cans. These crappy Apple earbuds fall out when I chew. :(

Ugh... told me to take the 1 train but it's local the whole way down. Slooooow. The only advantage is that it goes above ground for a while, which is how you're reading this now :)

Ha! My iPod shuffle just started playing the soundtrack to "The Warriors." Something very appropriate about that happening while taking the subway downtown :) (see the movie if you don't know what I mean.)

All right, enough random musings from me. Hope you're having a good Saturday!

Posted via email from thepete's posterous interviews founder of Turns out, the site makes almost no money :(

One on One: Christopher Poole, Founder of 4chan



How many users does 4chan have?
We started with 20 users, now we’re the largest active forum in the United States with 8.2 million unique visitors every month, and 600 million page loads per month. People are on the site are on for an average of 19 minutes at a time and look at 30 pages each. On top of that, we’re currently getting 800,000 new posts a day.

So do you make any money from the site?
Technically yes. Functionally no. The site is technically profitable, we do a little more than break even, but no-one is taking a paycheck.

You keep saying “we.” How many people work on the site?
The site doesn’t have any employees. I have a part-time developer in Georgia, and I also have 30 volunteer moderators. So technically there aren’t any employees receiving a paycheck, including me.

So how do you make money?
The site breaks even and I do some odd jobs.

Read the rest of the short but interesting interview at

I find it both fascinating and depressing that a site as successful as 4chan doesn't make the kid more money. He's basically got no employees to pay but I guess the high traffic eats up whatever money he sees. 4chan's a cool site and he deserves to get paid for it. I enjoy 4chan quite a bit when I visit it, so I don't know why I'm suggesting this, but maybe he needs more ads? Or... a fee? O_O

And FYI, I visit 4chan for the papercraft, not for the porn. I use Flickr for porn. ;P

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Friday, March 19, 2010

YouTube Founder says "Steal it!" in email connected to Viacom's copyright lawsuit....


Viacom and YouTube are amidst a battle over copyrighted material, and the two media giants are currently going head-to-head in the courtroom. The network claims the online site posted their content without permission; their $1 billion lawsuit was filed in 2007, and the Post reports that some damning emails were revealed in court this week.

Viacom declares that “piracy (was) central to YouTube’s economic business model,” and, well, maybe it was? Emails from 2005 between co-founders Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim aren't painting them in the best light. In regards to certain copyrighted videos, Chen simply said, "steal it! We have to keep in mind that we need to attract traffic. How much traffic will we get from personal videos?”



YouTube claims they were in compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, taking down copyrighted videos when alerted. The founders also say that if Viacom wins, YouTube and sites like it will become extinct.

As much as I think it's ridiculous for Viacom to sue for thousands and thousands of free little commercials for their products being loosed on the Internets, I do kinda hope they win--but only if the YT founders are right and that sites like YouTube will go away.

Why do I want this? Because I feel like YouTube, and sites like it, that don't do revenue sharing with *all* of their content providers is completely unfair. If they can't afford to pay everyone AND keep the site up, then it should go away. It's called market economics.

The fact of the matter is that Google IS making money off of other folks clips, whether they are Viacom's or not and just like I can take my clips off of YouTube, Viacom should have the right to do the same. If YouTube can't survive because of that, then why should it?

Wondering where you'll put your videos if YouTube and its clones are disappeared by the law? Do what I did for *years* and PAY for your own hosting. Grow up, kids! Sheesh...

Just my ¥2, as always...

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E.E. Cummings: "To be nobody but yourself in a world that's doing its best to make you somebody else...

"To be nobody but yourself in a world that's doing it's best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest batle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting."
-E.E. Cummings.

Yeah, but what if you're really tired of fighting?

I love advice like this because it sounds so perfect and true in soundbite form without any context or instructions on how to apply it to your every day life. I mean seriously--I look at quotes like this and wonder if the guy who said it had everything handed to him or if he was the biggest sado-masochistic bastard who ever walked the Earth.

"I feel like enjoying the pain of others--let me craft a brilliantly inspirational soundbite that will oversimplify all of life's problems and convince people that it *is* possible to be yourself in a society that forces you to be like everyone else! It'll be a riot! Well, assuming you like to watch people suffer!"

Did I say I "love" advice like this? Sorry, I meant "hate."

Love, hate, so easy to get those two confused...

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dinner from Tuesday night--ate at a Koream place down by NYU

All I remember was that it was a lot of food and damn tasty. Some sort of spicy pork. Delicious!

Posted via email from thepete's posterous Everybody in. Nobody Out.

Who We Are

  • Single Payer Action is a national non-profit.
  • Founded by activists.
  • For the American people.
  • Seeking to implement a single payer health insurance system in the United States.
  • Medicare for all.
  • In our lifetimes.
  • What Is Single Payer?

  • Right now we have many hundreds of payers.
  • They are called insurance corporations.
  • We would get rid of them.
  • And replace them with a single payer.
  • Instead of paying premiums to private for profit insurance companies like Aetna, CIGNA, and Wellpoint, we would all pool our money into one public insurance pool.
  • We would be paying the same or less than we are paying now.
  • Save $400 billion a year in administrative overhead, waste and profits.
  • Use that money to insure everyone -- cradle to grave.
  • You get an insurance card.
  • And it gets you into to see any doctor or any hospital.
  • Anywhere in the country.
  • No bills. No co-pays. No deductibles.
  • No more bankruptcies from medical bills.
  • No more 120Americans dead a day due to lack of health insurance (according to an Institute of Medicine report.)
  • As Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine puts it, single payer is not only the best health care reform, it's the only health care reform that will both control costs and cover everyone.
  • Single payer.
  • Everybody in.
  • Nobody out.
  • What We Don't Do

  • We don't do coalitions with front groups.
  • We don't do inside the beltway politics.
  • We will never compromise on single payer.
  • What We Want

  • Single payer.
  • Simple.
  • Direct.
  • Everybody in.
  • Nobody out.
  • What We Do

  • We do direct action.
  • Face to face with the health insurance industry.
  • In front of the home office of your member of Congress.
  • In front of your member of Congress, wherever he or she may be.
  • Until we get single payer.
  • Why We Do What We Do

  • We are sick that 45,000 Americans die every year from lack of health insurance.
  • We are sick of health insurance companies jacking up premiums while their health insurance company CEOs make out like bandits.
  • We are sick of high deductibles, co-pays, and the in-network, out-of-network Rube Goldberg system we live under.
  • from the "About Us" page at (bold added above by me)

    Every other 1st world country has some sort of universal health care system. Everyone gets covered everywhere but here in the US. 45,000 Americans die a year due to lack of affordable health care. That's over 100 per day.

    Forcing everyone to have health care doesn't make health care affordable, it puts people in debt. We need reform, but taking away our choice is not reform in the right direction.

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