Life is like
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Not all gift cards are redeemed,
which can be for a multitude of reasons.
Common reasons may include loss of the card,
time decay (expiration and fees),
personal uninterest in the store
that the card is accepted, complex
rules of redemption, and the attempt
of the recipient to save money for the giver.
It has been estimated that perhaps
10% of cards are not redeemed,
amounting to a gain for retailers
of about $8 billion in the US in 2006.
Gift cards may seem attractive but
they are just another marketing device
designed to drain you of your cash,
you are giving your money away
for free when you choose gift cards.
$$$$!!!! 8 Billion !!!!$$$$
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
January 17, 1961 (excerpt)
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
Dallas Texas, November 22, 1963
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
1. An unprincipled, deceitful, and unreliable person; a scoundrel or rascal.
2. A wandering beggar; a vagrant.
3. A vicious and solitary animal, especially an elephant that has separated itself from its herd.
4. An organism, especially a plant, that shows an undesirable variation from a standard.
1. Vicious and solitary. Used of an animal, especially an elephant.
2. Large, destructive, and anomalous or unpredictable: a rogue wave; a rogue tornado.
3. Operating outside normal or desirable controls: "How could a single rogue trader bring down an otherwise profitable and well-regarded institution?" (Saul Hansell).
v. rogued, rogu·ing, rogues
1. To defraud.
2. To remove (diseased or abnormal specimens) from a group of plants of the same variety.
I checked dictionaries from several publishers, and found they more or less agreed in their definitions. The lone exception I found in the Unabridged Concise True American Dictionary, Murdoch Mifflin, Inc., New York-London-Melbourne published last week which gives
1. a mischievously refreshing conservative
2. an innovative advocate of traditional values
3. one who is playfully responsive to corporate stewardship
Abra fucking cadabra.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, with solids gradually being introduced around this age when signs of readiness are shown. Supplemented breastfeeding is recommended until at least age two, as long as mother and child wish.
The Nestlé boycott is a boycott launched on July 4, 1977, in the United States against the Swiss based Nestlé corporation. It was prompted by concern about the company's marketing of breast milk substitutes (infant formula), particularly in less economically developed countries, which campaigners claim contributes to the unnecessary death and suffering of babies, largely among the poor.
In order to sell more of its infant formula in third world countries, Nestle would hire women with no special training and dress them up as nurses to give out free samples of Nestle formula. The free samples lasted long enough for the mother's breast milk to dry up from lack of use. Then mothers would be forced to purchase the formula but, being poor, they would often mix the formula with unsanitary water or "stretch" the amount of formula by diluting it with more water than recommended. The result was that babies starved all over the Third World while Nestle made huge profits from this predatory marketing strategy.
Groups such as the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), and Save the Children claim that the promotion of infant formula over breast-feeding has led to health problems and deaths among infants in less economically developed countries. There are three problems that are said to arise when poor mothers in Third World countries switch to formula:
Formula must normally be mixed with water, which is often contaminated in poor countries, leading to disease in vulnerable infants. Because of the high illiteracy rates in developing nations many mothers are not aware of the sanitation methods needed in the preparation of bottles. Even mothers that can understand the sanitation required do not have the means to perform it. UNICEF estimates that a non-breastfed child living in disease-ridden and unhygienic conditions is between six and 25 times more likely to die of diarrhea and four times more likely to die of pneumonia than a breastfed child.
Many poor mothers use less formula powder than is necessary, in order to make a container of formula last longer. As a result, some infants receive inadequate nutrition from weak solutions of formula.
Breast milk has many natural benefits lacking in formula. Nutrients and antibodies are passed to the baby while hormones are released into the mother's body. Breast-fed babies are protected, in varying degrees, from a number of illnesses, including diarrhea, bacterial meningitis, gastroenteritis, ear infection, and respiratory infection. Breast milk contains the right amount of the nutrients that are essential for neuronal (brain and nerve) development. The bond between baby and mother can be strengthened during breastfeeding. Frequent and exclusive breastfeeding can also delay the return of fertility, which can help women in developing countries to space their births. The World Health Organization recommends that, in the majority of cases, babies should be exclusively breast fed for the first six months.
Advocacy groups and charities have accused Nestlé of unethical methods of promoting infant formula over breast-milk to poor mothers in third world countries. For example, IBFAN claim that Nestlé supports the distribution of free powdered formula samples to hospitals and maternity wards; after leaving the hospital, the formula is no longer free, but because the supplementation has interfered with lactation the family must continue to buy the formula. IBFAN also allege that Nestlé uses "humanitarian aid" to create markets, does not label its products in a language appropriate to the country where they are sold, and offers gifts and sponsorship to influence health workers to promote its products. Nestlé denies these allegations.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
You are not content with
polluting your planet
Now you have made your
outer space a junk yard too
Within the vast debris field
there are tens of millions of
small fragments and an estimated
19,000 at 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) or heavier
The Kessler Syndrome will soon render
space exploration, and even the use of
satellites, infeasible for many generations
Friday, November 13, 2009
What's new pussycat? Woah, Woah
What's new pussycat? Woah, Woah
I've got flowers
And lots of hours
To spend with you.
So go and powder your cute little pussycat nose!
I love you
Yes, I do!
You and your pussycat nose!
What's new pussycat? Woah, Woah
What's new pussycat? Woah, Woah
You're so thrilling
And I'm so willing
To care for you.
So go and make up your cute little pussycat face!
I love you
Yes, I do!
You and your pussycat face!
What's new pussycat? Woah, Woah
What's new pussycat? Woah, Woah
And if my wishes
Can all come true
I'll soon be kissing your sweet little pussycat lips!
I love you
Yes, I do!
You and your pussycat lips!
You and your pussycat eyes!
You and your pussycat nose!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Whether one is religious or not, there is much symbolic power in the concepts and language used by the Church (indeed a plurality of churches as splits inevitably developed to cater for divergent views.) For the present writer, religious language is purely metaphor. For him the Bible is a superb compendium of stories rich in metaphor and indeed meaning. He has long left behind any trace at all of literalism in religious or biblical matters. However, he still respects all religions and those that espouse them provided they do not seek to thrust their views down the throats of others or indeed harm others by following misguided beliefs.
There is not a little psychology in the Scriptures and in the traditional teaching promulgated and promoted by the various churches and organised religions. Whether one is religious or not, one can access this wisdom through looking at and contemplating what religious categories sought to represent metaphorically. To cut to the chase here, the category of sins called The Seven Deadly Sins represents a deep insight into human psychology. Even if you are not convinced that such a concept as sin exists you could recast them as The Seven Deadly Desires. For me they represent a deep insight into human psychology.
One of my favourite contemporary philosophers is John Gray who quite simply believes that we overestimated the importance of humankind's place in the universe or in the scheme of things. He prefers to call us "human animals" rather than "human beings" as he feels this latter term is loaded with presuppositions and indeed prejudices. Of course, we are a special kind of animal - a human animal, but an animal nonetheless. We are heir to many animal instincts and desires. These for the erudite Sigmund Freud, the founder of Psychoanalysis, make up that part of the human psyche which he referred to as the "Id" which for him was literally a cesspit of desires.
Above The Seven Deadly Sins or The Seven Deadly Vices by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of
every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest
thereof thou shalt surely die.
The Temptation of Adam and
Expulsion from the Garden of Eden
pulpit of state
stirring the shimmering
caldron of fear,
a tsunami of emotions
assaulting the senses.
War grinds on
poking desperate holes in
the fabric of reason.
Humans stand astride
the abyss of the damned
and plunge without reluctance
into the chaos of their own making.
War shreds humanity
under the staggering weight
of bountiful corpses
discharged from the living
in a torrent of metal and fire.
Cycles of endless violence and
falling upon the sharpened spikes
War glorifies pointless death
upon the altar of
the unrelenting darkness
I mourn for all the pointless death,
for the gravestones piled high upon
the beleaguered hearts of all the mothers
who have wept over the ashes
of their vanquished children.
Wars’ hollow victories
give succor to the void
and offer the promise
of future grief upon the bones of
I mourn for needless suffering,
for the compendium of horrors,
for the blood and sinews of the
armies of victims who
fall to the earth so thoroughly broken.
War is carnage
unredeemed by the rhetoric of
shallow righteousness or
the politics of punishment and retribution.
I long for a time when peace is
no longer a sentiment
reserved for the prophets,
not just a word used on
not simply a sweet turn of phrase
laced within the rhetoric of
the politics of deception,
but a way of being
within the substance of humanity.
These highly technical devices require a complex infrastructure involving satellites and GPS and communications channels able to handle staggering amounts of information Images from a drone can be relayed instantly to a laptop with the ground unit, a command center located miles away, and to imagery analysts thousands of miles away. They are products of the technological age.
Currently there are over 1200 UAVs within the staggering U.S. military arsenal (in one estimation the US military budget – 607 billion dollars – represents forty-one percent of the world total and higher than the combined expenditures of the remaining nine countries in the top ten). These devices can deliver lethal weapons of mass destruction to targets from instructions sent from a laptop half a world away. The command and control procedures for these weapons have been compared to playing video games.
UAVs are not simply a technological breakthrough; they represent a new concept in the very idea of warfare. The death and destruction that is the obvious outcome of war can be sanitized, for the carnage that is unleashed by these robotic killing machines can be viewed dispassionately from great distances on LCD monitors. Those who produce mayhem and death can accomplish this through keystrokes and are “spared” the unwholesome prospect of seeing the results of their labor – the blood and bones and shattered skulls and viscera, the stench of death and the anguish of mothers over the death of their children. These technicians, who take their orders from the military strategists who project military power, can go home from a day of work without having to come to grips with the stark reality of what they do. The act of destroying life and creating suffering without feeling any emotional or ethical repercussions is, in my mind, the essence of evil.
Warfare of this nature foretells an ominous trend in the future prospects for mankind. War made easier and less costly for those who possess the economic power to devise and produce such weapons will make the prospect for a peaceful world even more remote than it currently is.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
In 1967, Greek physicist Paul Santorini, a Manhattan Project scientist, publicly stated that a 1947 Greek government investigation that he headed into the European Ghost rockets of 1946 quickly concluded that they were not missiles. Santorini claimed the investigation was then quashed by military officials from the U.S., who knew them to be extraterrestrial, because there was no defense against the advanced technology and they feared widespread panic should the results become public.
A 1948 Top Secret USAF Europe document states that Swedish Air Intelligence informed them that at least some of their investigators into the ghost rockets and flying saucers concluded they had extraterrestrial origins: "...Flying saucers have been reported by so many sources and from such a variety of places that we are convinced that they cannot be disregarded and must be explained on some basis which is perhaps slightly beyond the scope of our present intelligence thinking. When officers of this Directorate recently visited the Swedish Air Intelligence Service... their answer was that some reliable and fully technically qualified people have reached the conclusion that 'these phenomena are obviously the result of a high technical skill which cannot be credited to any presently known culture on earth.' They are therefore assuming that these objects originate from some previously unknown or unidentified technology, possibly outside the earth."
In 1948, the USAF's Project Sign wrote a Top Secret Estimate of the Situation, concluding that the ETH (extraterrestrial hypothesis) was the most likely explanation for the most perplexing unexplained cases. The study was ordered destroyed by USAF chief of staff General Hoyt Vandenberg, citing lack of proof. Knowledge of the existence of the Estimate has come from insiders who said they read a surviving copy, including later USAF Project Blue Book head Edward J. Ruppelt and astronomer and USAF consultant Dr. J. Allen Hynek.
West Germany, in conjunction with other European countries, conducted a secret study from 1951 to 1954, also concluding that UFOs were extraterrestrial. This study was revealed by German rocketry pioneer Hermann Oberth, who headed the study and who also made many public statements supporting the ETH in succeeding years. At the study's conclusion in 1954, Oberth declared, "These objects (UFOs) are conceived and directed by intelligent beings of a very high order. They do not originate in our solar system, perhaps not in our galaxy." Soon afterwards, in an article in The American Weekly, October 24, 1954, Oberth wrote "It is my thesis that flying saucers are real and that they are space ships from another solar system. I think that they possibly are manned by intelligent observers who are members of a race that may have been investigating our earth for centuries..."
During the height of the flying saucer "flap" of July 1952, including highly publicized radar/visual and jet intercepts over Washington, D.C., the FBI was informed by the Air Force Directorate of Intelligence that they thought the "flying saucers" were either "optical illusions or atmospheric phenomena" but then added that, "some Military officials are seriously considering the possibility of interplanetary ships."
The CIA started their own internal scientific review the following day. Some CIA scientists were also seriously considering the ETH. An early memo from August was very skeptical, but also added, "...as long as a series of reports remains 'unexplainable' (interplanetary aspects and alien origin not being thoroughly excluded from consideration) caution requires that intelligence continue coverage of the subject." A report from later that month was similarly skeptical but nevertheless concluded "...sightings of UFOs reported at Los Alamos and Oak Ridge, at a time when the background radiation count had risen inexplicably. Here we run out of even 'blue yonder' explanations that might be tenable, and we still are left with numbers of incredible reports from credible observers." A December 1952 memo from the Assistant CIA Director of Scientific Intelligence (O/SI) was much more urgent: "...the reports of incidents convince us that there is something going on that must have immediate attention. Sightings of unexplained objects at great altitudes and traveling at highs speeds in the vicinity of U.S. defense installation are of such nature that they are not attributable to natural phenomena or known types of aerial vehicles." Some of the memos also made it clear that CIA interest in the subject was not to be made public, partly in fear of possible public panic.
The CIA organized the January 1953 Robertson Panel of scientists to debunk the data collected by the Air Force's Project Blue Book. This included an engineering analysis of UFO maneuvers by Blue Book (including a motion picture film analysis by Naval scientists) that had concluded UFOs were under intelligent control and likely extraterrestrial.
Extraterrestrial "believers" within Project Blue Book included Major Dewey Fournet, in charge of the engineering analysis of UFO motion, who later became a board member on the civilian UFO organization NICAP. Blue Book director Edward J. Ruppelt privately commented on other firm "pro-UFO" members in the USAF investigations, including some Pentagon generals, such as Charles P. Cabell, USAF Chief of Air Intelligence, who angry at the inaction and debunkery of Project Grudge, dissolved it in 1951, established Project Blue Book in its place, and made Ruppelt director. In 1953, Cabell became deputy director of the CIA. Another defector from the official Air Force party line was consultant Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who started out as a staunch skeptic. After 20 years of investigation, he changed positions and generally supported the ETH. He became the most publicly known UFO advocate scientist in the 1970s and 1980s.
The first CIA Director, Vice Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, stated in a signed statement to Congress, also reported in the New York Times, February 28, 1960, "It is time for the truth to be brought out... Behind the scenes high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about the UFOs. However, through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense... I urge immediate Congressional action to reduce the dangers from secrecy about unidentified flying objects." In 1962, in his letter of resignation from NICAP, he told director Donald Keyhoe, "I know the UFOs are not U.S. or Soviet devices. All we can do now is wait for some actions by the UFOs."
Although the 1968 Condon Report came to a negative conclusion (written by Condon), it is known that many members of the study strongly disagreed with Condon's methods and biases. Most quit the project in disgust or were fired for insubordination. A few became ETH supporters. Perhaps the best known example is Dr. David Saunders, who in his 1968 book UFOs? Yes lambasted Condon for extreme bias and ignoring or misrepresenting critical evidence. Saunders wrote, "It is clear... that the sightings have been going on for too long to explain in terms of straightforward terrestrial intelligence. It's in this sense that ETI (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) stands as the 'least implausible' explanation of 'real UFOs'."
In 1999, the private French COMETA report (written primarily by military defense analysts) stated the conclusion regarding UFO phenomena, that a "single hypothesis sufficiently takes into account the facts and, for the most part, only calls for present-day science. It is the hypothesis of extraterrestrial visitors." The report noted issues with formulating the extraterrestrial hypothesis, likening its study to the study of meteorites, but concluded that although it was far from the best scientific hypothesis, "strong presumptions exist in its favour". The report also concludes that the studies it presents "demonstrate the almost certain physical reality of completely unknown flying objects with remarkable flight performances and noiselessness, apparently operated by intelligent [beings] … Secret craft definitely of early origins (drones, stealth aircraft, etc.) can only explain a minority of cases. If we go back far enough in time, we clearly perceive the limits of this explanation."
Jean-Jacques Velasco, the head of the official French UFO investigation SEPRA, wrote a book in 2005 saying that 14% of the 5800 cases studied by SEPRA were utterly inexplicable and extraterrestrial in origin. Yves Sillard, the head of the new official French UFO investigation GEIPAN and former head of the French space agency CNES, echoes Velasco's comments and adds the U.S. is guilty of covering up this information. Again, this isn't the official public posture of SEPRA, CNES, or the French government. (CNES recently placed their 5800 case files on the Internet starting March 2007.)
Physicist Bernard Haisch on his "ufoskeptic" website presents a number of counterarguments to those of Hynek. Haisch argues he is convinced something is going on and that modern theories of physics and cosmology might support extraterrestrial or even interdimensional origins for UFOs.
In a 1969 report to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the late American physicist James E. McDonald summarized his reasons for not dismissing the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis:
"Present evidence surely does not amount to incontrovertible proof of the extraterrestrial hypothesis. What I find scientifically dismaying is that, while a large body of UFO evidence now seems to point in no other direction than the extraterrestrial hypothesis, the profoundly important implications of that possibility are going unconsidered by the scientific community because this entire problem has been imputed to be little more than a nonsense matter unworthy of serious scientific attention."
The Universe is a big place...
...the mathematical possibility that other
intelligent space faring life forms exist is
...I think we are not alone.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Yesterday, in Breckenridge Colorado, 72 percent of voters in early returns voted to make up to 1 ounce of marijuana legal for adults over 21. The measure is largely symbolic — pot possession is still against state law — but supporters said they wanted to send a message to local law enforcement to stop busting small-time pot smokers.
"We believe this a signal to the state of Colorado and the nation as a whole," said Sean McAllister, a Breckenridge lawyer who pushed the decriminalization measure. McAllister said the vote shows people want to skip medical marijuana and legalize pot for everyone. They're saying, We've seen this drug war, and it has failed.
A few other cities, including Seattle and Oakland, have laws that make marijuana possession a low priority for police. A dozen states, including Colorado, have decriminalized possession of small amounts but still issue fines. Denver approved a similar decriminalization in 2005. (usatoday.com)
Last September the Alaska Supreme Court upheld a previous ruling that allows adults aged 21 and older to use and possess up to four ounces of marijuana in the privacy of their homes, and not just for medical use.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has called for an open debate on legalizing and taxing marijuana. A recent Field Poll showed that 56 percent of Californians support taxing and regulating marijuana as a way to address the state's fiscal crisis.
James P. Gray, a retired Orange County Superior Court judge, applauded Schwarzenegger's openness. "Once people allow themselves to discuss the issue of treating marijuana like alcohol, the result is pre-ordained. Today marijuana is fully available for anyone that wants it, expressly including our children, so why not regulate and control it, and tax it as well? That will reduce the violence in its distribution, and bring in needed revenue for government," Gray, now a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, told the Huffington Post.
Lobbying is the most parasitic behavior we could pay for / approve of.
Isn't it responsible for the economic misuse of values?
Corporate interests have proven to be the death of public options / freedoms.
We can prove that this has become a revolt and declare citizen's arrest against revolting practices, in law, in medicine, in deceptive journalism / advertising, etc.
Honest representatives feel knowing better (than what is) is the only hope / investment.
Money is the monarch that must be replaced with three branches of economy that support healthy balance and education by removing penalizing debt from a more enlightened credit.
Let the production (for profit) interests remain the gamblers on a separated track as they become as obsolete as The Fed.
Please let the Service Era and Information Age evolve from The Indus-trial Revolution to a non-profit family of philanthropists by forming a National Trust from the figuring of those who believe there is a deficit.
The money? is lost? by creating? a debt/credit? for the future? to pay??? Fertilizer!!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Military expenditure in market exchange rate dollar terms.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
USDA forecast the largest U.S. corn yield in history for the 2009/10 marketing year. Corn production is forecast at 13.0 billion bushels. For all this food potential, this corn will be used to fatten cattle and make high fructose corn syrup to sweeten our soda pop and snacks.