Monday, July 28, 2008

What's the Matter with Tennessee?

According to a news story from the American News Project, the top one-tenth of one-percent, 14,000 families, of the population of the U.S. own 22 percent of the wealth in America. The bottom 90 percent, 133,000,000 families, hold 4 percent of the wealth.

Tax rates for the wealthy are lower than for low-income citizens. A janitor in the Chevron building in San Francisco most likely pays a higher proportion of his/her income in taxes than does the CEO.

The U.S. is cheated out of an estimated 100 billion dollars each year in tax funds through illegal off-shore holdings of the super rich..

According to this same story, the U.S. is the most stratified, economically lop-sided, developed nation in the world.

When politicians wave their arms in Sacramento or D.C. claiming the budget cannot accommodate maintenance of state parks or photocopy machines for colleges, or funds to assist the disabled, think again. There's never a problem finding money to invade the countries of brown people in the Middle East, and never a tax cut for the super rich that looks bad. What astonishes me is that such egregiously unjust tax policies are promoted with directness: Trickle-down economics means just that. The economic policies of the U.S. during the past 30 years has been based on making the rich, richer, permitting them to hire more maids and more computer consultants like me. Increased concentration of wealth in a tiny minority of U.S. citizens has been the open policy of Congress.

The model corporate economy is for 100 people to have 300 million maids, gardeners, and tutors for their kids. Some of us can work at Wal-Mart. All other jobs are out-sourced to India.

I attended a book-signing event for the latest from Barbara Ehrenreich. This Land is Their Land. In her inimitable low-key style, she discussed the unreported divide between the haves and the have-nots. After her presentation, the couple of hundred people in the audience expressed two principle thoughts. 1) Will Obama be our hero? and 2) What should we do?

The audience was silent, except for one wheel-chair bound person who, in apparent angry desperation, shouted out a plea to take to the streets. A pregnant pause ensued, as if a common understanding washed over the group. Are we left with any choices of action between the two extremes of doing nothing and tearing down the system? Are we so politically bereft of effective popular action?

A room filled with several hundred citizens sat in silence as Barbara Ehrenriech was asked what we should do. She, in all her wisdom, deferred refusing to provide "The Answer."

I left the event uneasy. The event lacked "closure" as they say. The crowd left with serious matters of social and economic injustice unresolved, and more poignantly, with a sense of profound powerlessness.

We are told by the corporate media, from national TV networks to the local newspaper, that people do not want to hear in-depth reporting on "bad news." Whether about broke schools or the absence of universal health care, it's non-news. The reason why people don't pay attention to such topics isn't discussed. We live in a fake democracy where we punch a chad once every four years, but few things the people want are ever realized. Disenfranchised by fake elections between fake candidates offering fake "leadership."

What the country needs is more Barbara Ehrenreichs who refuse to tell the people what to do, and more "leaders" who don't lead, but follow the will of the people. The epiphany rolls out of Ehrenreich's book event: We're a nation of corporate servants. "We, the people" are here to be told what to do, whether in the workplace or in the "politicalplace." Our lives are as drones. We are so disconnected from power that a room of several hundred people sat mostly in silence, waiting to be told what to do, because the U.S. is run by and for corporations. The people are marginal bits to be defined as consumers.

We are a nation of consumers. A consumer is a passive element of the economy, not a person, or even a citizen of the state. We consume. That is our defined role in the economy as shoppers at Wal-Mart, and as shoppers on election day. As in all capitalist markets, the goal is to sell us all a bill of goods. We are told what to do in the workplace, and that worldview is extended to the political sphere as well.

If we lived in a functional democracy, at the end of Barbara Ehrenreich's book talk, the crowd would have told her what they wanted, and exactly how they were going to get it. This is scary. We're living in a fake democracy. Is it no surprise that Hollywood has gone to rule Sacramento and D. C.? The land of entertainment and illusions feels right at home with the land of power and politics.

Voting alone does not a democracy make. We are living an illusion of democracy. Fake.

Waiting for instructions. The medium is the message. The vast, passive, American TV wasteland--the drug of choice--anesthetizes and betrays the human spirit. TV is the opiate of the people. We are waiting for instructions from 'Our Leaders." The Power Elite externally suppresses the popular will, which is then internalized through mass media. They don't need to use the military to suppress the will of the people in the U.S.. We have internalized helplessness. We have no power. To reconcile this with our own will, we rationalize impotence as respectability.We are a respectably castrated culture of shoppers, and we know it.

Waiting for instructions: Instructions from without today, but the repressed always returns to challenge illegitimate power. The great challenge for the progressive movement is to bring insight first, then the action becomes functional and accurately vectorized. When the betrayal of the cultural daddy and mommy (Our Leaders) remains repressed, we remain dysfunctional, fearful, and focus much energy on displacement.

Thoughts of persecution do not constitute paranoia when persecution is real. The challenge is to understand that the persecutors are not only here at home--not in Iraq or Afghanistan--but shooting the messenger provides no relief. Until we find the path to removing the repressed truths of our cultural abuse at the hands of our own cultural parents, then consequence is diffuse anger, alternating with compulsive behavior such as shopping. Tragically, the dysfunctional democracy is punctuated by the occasional inappropriately displaced outbursts of repressed anger such as the recent shooting spree in Tennessee.

"It appears that what brought him to this horrible event was his lack of being able to obtain a job, his frustration over that and his stated hatred of the liberal movement,"

What's the matter with Tennessee? What's the Matter with Kansas? What's the matter with America?

Thus, we witness a tragedy of misdirected anger coupled with the impotence of the common people. What happened was not an anomaly, but rather was a symptom of the disease of a fake democracy, of disenfranchisement of the millions.

Waiting for instructions? Or taking matters into our own hands? We cannot accomplish this without coming to terms with the reality that cultural Daddy and Mommy are screwing us over. This is such a deeply painful and shocking reality that blaming the poor people of Iraq or Afghanistan, or even the American Left, is less painful. Sadly, one unemployed man deemed it psychologically less painful to shoot the messengers, than to face the screwing-over he was getting from Washington. Inappropriately displaced anger is part and parcel of the economically abused citizen.

When cultural Daddy and Mommy are screwing us, something has to give. Admitting such painful truths to consciousness requires courage and supportive trust. Isn't it far less painful to blame the Iraqis? Blame the liberals? Blame the communists? Yet, such displacement, such deflection from the truth yields rigid mental compartmentalization and distortion of reality: fascism not freedom.

The power elite, the big corporations and the wealthiest who run them, don't want us to be able to connect the dots. They pour vast sums into distractions such as football and fashion, while delivering a hefty dose of fear. Fear of the dangerous "Other" deflects examination of betrayal in the home. If Homeland Security had any reality-based function it would investigate the corruption of Congress. this is as true of abusive nuclear families, as it is true of abusive nuclear nations. While daddy is screwing daughter, the family is lectured about loyalty. Loyalty is to the abusive nuclear family as is patriotism is to the abusive nuclear nation.

Don't count on any resolutions from Washington, Obama or not. Political and economic abuses are never resolved by the power elite themselves. Political repression is always leaky. The return of the culturally repressed is a certainty.

Without democratic institutions which function to express and actuate the will of the people, we are left in silence, waiting for instructions, as were the people attending Barbara Ehrenreich's book talk. Otherwise, we go off half-cocked, knowing only that we are being abused, knowing we are infused with anger, but tragically misdirect our rage.

Another path can be forged. The government promotes two political resolutions: 1) shopping more and 2) killing more (Iraqis). Discovering a more just and effective path toward conflict resolution requires the clarity of insight: understanding. It's not enough to be angry, and silence while "waiting for instructions" does not satisfy the repressed.

So, what is the way out? Barbara Ehrenreich was exemplary as she cultivates a culture less on lecturing leaders, more on mutual ministrations of the people.

In individual psychotherapy, a time comes when the therapist suddenly falls silent. To empower the abused, the verbal articulation of the repressed abuses must come from the abused. Consequently, the abused rescue themselves from the abuser. What we need as a nation of abused citizens is the likes of Ehrenreich. Truth-tellers on the cultural road.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

USA OS 2.27

Would we do well to think of the Constitution of the United States as an operating system?

Apple OS 8.51 was one of the best things that ever came out of Cupertino. Mac OS 8.51, ahhhh, I remember it well, but it's dead and gone. Good OS, but good riddance. We've moved on.

USA OS version 2.1: nickname Eagle, 1791 (version 1.0, Articles of Confederation, nickname Turkey; was quickly ungraded)

The US Constitution is just another arbitrary and temporary operating system. Looking back with reverence on every word uttered during the late 1700's can be ossifying. How best to learn from whence we came? Let us remember with a shameful wince of a time when only landed adult males (gentry) could vote, women could not (were as children to be seen and not heard), and with dubious thanks to James Wilson and Roger Sherman African-Americans were three-fifths of a person (only for counting purposes). Native Americans were not even on the political map (US was busy exterminating them).

The history of the United States, among other things, is a history of the progressive movements. Progress is real, real slow, measured by the meter stick of a human lifetime. Nevertheless, dismantling the abuse of power creeps inexorably. Where do we go from here? USA OS 2.28? 2.29? As we continue to patch the bugs in a constitutional operating system that is arguably in need of a new core, when do we move on?

Are we ready for constitutional amendments to prohibit corporations for profit, to include the right to free health care for all citizens, and a provision for 17 years of free education for all, or perhaps nationalization of the energy sector? Could we find our way to nonprofit news media?

When will we be ready to scrap 2.0, and move on? Beyond suffrage. Where do we go from here? When will the people of the United States of America adopt a new operating system, USA OS 3.0? It will happen. The only unknown is when.

With greater precision, I can state that Mac OS 10.6, nicknamed Snow Leopard, is due the middle of 2009.

(Coming Soon: Was George Washington a Terrorist?)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dark Knight of the Soul: Deconstructing NeoCon Con Jobs

Corporate Media Headline
Obama: Afghanistan Is Central Front in War on Terrorism

There is no such thing as a War on Terrorism. It doesn't exist and could not exist. It's sheer nonsense intended to frighten the public with meaningless propaganda. Nonsense.

The citizens of the US suffered the crimes of September 11, 2001 where a couple of dozen criminals killed people and destroyed property. Two matters come to the fore: Why did they do this? What should be done about it?

The Why I won't address today, except to say that when a group of people are so angry that they resort to violence to express their feelings, understanding why they did it is imperative. They had reasons, far too complex to go into today, but the matter has been addressed most succinctly by Chalmers Johnson in his prophetic book Blowback, as well as more recent works in his US foreign policy trilogy. Basically, if the US foreign policy is to act as if we own the world, other people will eventually have something to say about it. This is poignantly the case for those of whom we have handed out guns and ammo. The CIA handed out guns and ammo to Bin Laden and associates. As if a modern Shakespearean tragedy, events took corporeal substance: what goes around, comes around. Blowback.

Now, as for what we should do about it, Howard Zinn has cogently summarized an effective, rational, non-hysterical outline for response. If I may try to paraphrase, work with the international community to find the criminals, then bring them to justic. This means working with the leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and neighboring countries to find and bring to a court of law the perpetrators. Nothing new here in this approach, but it's too boring to sell advertising on CNN. Can you see the headlines now? Instead of "Let's Roll!" or "Shock and Awe Campaign" it's more like, "US government officials form alliance with Mid-East countries to apprehend Bin Laden." Boring, Very boring. Selling Chevy Cobalts on CNN with that kind of news lead is a hard sell.

To the great detriment of the world, what sells TV ads and what is moral, and just, and rational, and civil, doesn't mix.

We're stuck, folks. We're stuck with a profoundly corrupt politico-economic system in the US that thrives on lies and hysteria. When confronted with questions about how CNN has managed the so-called War on Terror, Wolf Blitzer replied, "CNN is a business," without blinking an eye or a single facial tic that would have represented the macabre irony. CNN is a business. What we all need to do, we powerless TV watchers, is understand what that means, and understand why that statement fell dead to the floor without the obvious followup.

What does it mean that CNN is a business? It means that we could safely assert that CNN made vast sums of money functioning as a cheerleader for war, far more than if CNN has chosen to function as "boring" journalists seeking the truth. Therein lies the rub. The vast sums of money have so corrupted the TV and newspaper corporations that a TV celebrity, Wolf Blitzer, can stare into a camera and state the plain truth that money is what makes the world go 'round--not truth, or justice. Wolf Blitzer surely can't be wrong.

There is no such thing as a War on Terrorism. This is a propaganda term dreamed up in the Reagan administration to justify US military atrocities committed in Central America. It worked so well as a propaganda tool, that it was brought back into service by Dubya and friends, many of whom are retreads from the Reagan era.

Recent Headline:
6 civilians killed in Afghan attack on fuel truck
Quote from the Associated Press story: "Insurgents regularly attack supply convoys for the U.S.-led coalition and NATO troops in Afghanistan. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in insurgency-related violence this year."

More Nonsense: There is no such thing as insurgents in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

The so-called "U.S.-led coalition and NATO troops" is a falsehood. The truth of the matter is that what other troops are there have been acquired through US coercion. The reason the UN is not in charge of any forces in the region is because the international community, outside of a few countries bullied by the US government, is appalled by the US invasion in the region. There is no international consensus supporting the US invasion.

What the Bush administration, and the corporate media call insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq, are freedom fighters acting to rid their respective countries of the US invasionary forces. Bush directed the US military to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. Both countries are central to US corporate control of oil and oil pipelines in the region. The reason no one has found Bin Laden yet is because he's not the mission target. US troops will not leave until control over oil and oil pipelines have been secured for US corporations to exploit. Pure nonsense. If Luxembourg ordered troops to invade the US, anyone in the US resisting the invasion by Luxembourg would be called freedom-fighters.

Watch the words. Words used by powerful interests which are associated with feelings of deep fear should be scrutinized. Do you believe everything you read, and hear, and "see?" Think for yourself. Consider that 98 percent of the US population is controlled by the 2 percent with the money and the power. They own the media lock, stock, and barrel. They use the media to put us under a barrel of fear so they can maintain economic control, not just of the US, but of the world.

Unlearning the vast volume of propaganda that spews out 24.7/365 from corporate TV is a job for a lifetime. We are encapsulated from birth in the glowing ever-present TV tube. The most empowering act I have ever committed is to quit watching TV and newspaper "news." It's pure propaganda. TV and newspapers are in service to wealth and power. This should be taught in the fourth grade, but instead, takes a lifetime to escape.

There is no greater joy than speaking truth to power. If I never have another computer system client, I will rest easy. The single most important, and shocking, discovery for an American is that he or she is not a consumer.

We are not consumers, and we are not corporate drones. And we need not assume the roles of fools, even in the face of massive, pervasive propaganda. If you so choose. The trick is to recognize that we are not alone. US foreign policy really is criminal, but isn't concocted by the people. We, the people, have almost no power in a political system that offers the lie. The Big Lie of Western Democracy...that we are effectively powerless. When people recognize that they are powerless in the presence of persistent lies and abuse, the people go into states of unreality in an effort to protect the integrity of the inner self...

When the self, and the cultural equivalent of self, is under continuous, unrelenting attack, the self and the Self go underground. Cultural PTSD as in Klein's Shock Doctrine. We are witnessing the abuse, neglect, and abandonment of the American body politic by the mass media, the White House, and Congress (yes, Mr. Obama, too).

The movie Dark Knight grossed a record 6o million dollars in 24 hours last Friday. This tragic irony should not escape us now, for we are observing the unconscious collusion between fantasy and reality. The return of the repressed. For we have entered a very dark cultural night, indeed... Never, ever, take the banal for the benign.

The way out of any "dark night of the soul" is to speak truth to power.

Yes, the price is very high. I have already lost clients and will surely lose more, but there is no path to personal "integrity" in the sense of feeling whole after decades of fragmentation through propaganda, without paying a price. Nothing good comes for free. The rich and the powerful know this, and work hard to 1) frighten us, 2) convince us we are alone, and 3) coerce through the false attribution of "unpatriotic" for anyone who can see that the emperor wears no clothes. The price for a cup of truth is ostracism from state and corporate power, yet do not lose sight of the fact that the power we witness is illegitimate. Resist the lure of false respectability.

No cultural candy for you; bad boy for talking back to Big Daddy.

...but we should leave that one for perhaps another day...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Invisbile War

You won't hear about the invisible war on the TV tube.

Iraq War, Afghanistan War, and the fearful but fictitious War on Terror are distractions worthy of a new chapter in 1984.

The Domestic Economic War.

The war on the American public is pernicious yet conspicuously invisible to the media. Globalization, deregulation, union-busting, privatization, and the absence of a single-payer national heath care service are fodder for the Domestic Economic War.

Where is the American universal health care system? Why doesn't it exist? Every major economically-advanced "western" nation has it. Great Britain, Canada, continental western Europe--they've all got it. Germany instituted universal health care in the 1880's. Great Britain created their own national system in 1948.

The inefficiencies and injustices of private, for-profit heath care are legion and need not be enumerated here. America has a "Pay or Die" health care system resting on the notion that corporate profits are above all else, the principal goal of medicine. The public good be damned, and of course, the rich pay for health care while the poor pay with their lives.

The US no longer has any sense of the public good or individual rights. The Declaration of Independence speaks of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The right to life isn't consistent with marketplace medicine.

There is a place in human society for the market and a place in human society for the rejection of the market. Where production of ball-point pens is market-driven, and where medicine is a human right guaranteed to all.

The reason the US does not have universal health care is because private insurance carriers and private hospitals have enormous political clout. The public health be damned, corporations wield vast corrupting influence on national government policies. Sick? Screw you. In the US, corporate profits will not be compromised for the public good.

We have one vastly corrupt political system. Not just government, but the two major political parties are profoundly corrupt.

The media are part-and-parcel of the corruption. American media are owned by giant corporations. Giant corporations function in service to their own self-interest. Corporate media do not produce news; they produce corporate propaganda. The real news is what you do not read or watch on TV. The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was reserved to the white, male, landed-gentry in the US Constitution. We've made progress. Slavery was abolished and women can vote, for example. Currently, the right to life is limited to the rich, and Congress. When is the next phase of citizen enfranchisement? Universal health care. Medicare for all.

The Domestic Economic War on the American Public.

Monday, July 14, 2008

MobileMe: Long-awaited Sync Services

Apple's new MobileMe replaces DotMac. "New and improved" is accurate, exhibited by sync services that work for email, contacts, and calendars.

Sync crucial information across multiple Macs, and of course, your iPhone.

Yet, no Safari bookmark syncing! This one is a mystery. For now, will do the job for both Safari and Firefox. A extension is available for Firefox specifically.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Obama Tosses Integrity, Caves In to Corporations

Barack Obama breaks commitment to filibuster warrantless spying bill.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Maud Barlow and Ge Yun on the Global Water Crisis

From Making Contact on KPFA Free Speech Radio: July 11, 2008

Maud Barlow, a Canadian by residence, but a world leader by action, promoting sustainable and just water management. Maude Barlow will never show up on any corporate media list as an "icon." (see post yesterday).

Listen to an interview with Maud Barlow--Direct MP3 Audio Stream

Canadian Maude Barlow is leader in the global struggle for water justice.

Ge Yun from China brings a sensitivity and aesthetic to water resource management not imitated in the West.

Original source from KPFA

NetNewsWire for the iPhone 3G

It's out. iPhone 3G.

How best to feed news to the new iPhone? NetNewsWire

NetNewsWire offers user-customization of news feeds, whereas other iPhone news applications such as Mobile News are limited to specific news sources.

NetNewsWire review.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

MailTags for Apple Mail

Add keywords to individual e-mails. Sort. Search. iCal integration.
MailTags is one powerful e-mail tool for the busy home office.

Congress Answers Call from Telecoms

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Do the People Matter?

Do the people matter? Do the people even know that they don't matter? Do the people know that the people are marginalized as passive bystanders?

Thirteen years of state propaganda (K-12) generates a numb population, a deliberate and calculated unconsciousness.

Without understanding history, humans are highly susceptible to propaganda: the empty slogans and icons of patriotism and fear. Disconnected from our own inner voice of truth, we are susceptible to illusions. Disenfranchised from our own, intimate, personal, self-valuation, we accept political abuse and abandonment.

The American people have been abandoned and abused by a political system that serves the wealthy and the imperialists. Somnambulists. Driven by 24/7 corporate TV that speaks of nothing but what we should not only buy, but desire.

The insidiousness of capturing the populace with "consumerism" and instilling acceptance of corporate serfdom, becomes apparent only with a "little help from our friends."

Resist respectability, or what passes for respectability. The greatest difficulty is understanding that even though everyone else at the party is drunk on their ass, that setting, and worldview, is not okay: it's collectively self-destructive. Government, and public education, is deleterious to our personal well-being, like living in a perpetual frat party, drunk on distractions of consumerism, celebrities, and sports. Drunk on the oblivion of what the government does not tell us, and what the press does not seek, and missing the essential political history that the schools do not teach.

As Bill Moyers extolled recently, "What you don't know can kill you." We don't know that we don't know. That is the greatest danger. We are purposefully trained by corporate media, from birth, to live in a socially-atomized, isolated, bubble of exploitation, shame, and fear. Exploited labor. Inoculated with shame and fear for raising a voice of higher expectations.

This country is rolling in dough. The US is the richest large country, ever. The rich have their own private swimming pools, private libraries, private health care, private transportation, and private colleges. They don't need public facilities, and therefore, the government doesn't provide them to the 90 percent of the population who want them. Public school financing based on local property taxation provides rich kids, with rich schools, and poor kids with poor schools. Lest we forget, twenty bucks to get into Yosemite keeps out some of the riff-raff there, too.

This country is run by, and for the rich. Anything they can get privately, is something we don't get publicly. Most roads are still public because the rich drive on them.

While teaching at Sacramento State University last year, students were informed by the state that tuition fees would be increased due to "state budget constraints." When I mentioned this to a group of students, they remained silent. They have been indoctrinated into the corporate feudal system. Instead of instilling joy of learning and pride of achievements, students now are driven by fear.
College education is now more accurately described as "job training." Fearful of the future, students do not want to take courses that are not directly related to "getting a job." Fearful of the costs of education, students do not want to take courses that are not directly related to a degree concretely related to specific business slot: Worries are focused on excelling at Excel, not excelling at English literature, or world history. Education is a pastime of the rich who, unlike the masses, have the wherewithal and leisure to explore more.

In a recent online piece by the TV program 60 Minutes they asked the question, "Who most deserves to be called an American icon?" The prospective list:
Not a single "statesperson," intellectual, or leader of a popular movement appeared. One astronaut, two movie stars, three athletes, one corporate tycoon, and one puppet. Why is this so? Because icons require public exposure, and the "public" media is tightly controlled by a tiny fraction of the population with sufficient wealth to control who gets on the glowing screen. The search for the American icon is reduced to a banality because real people connected to the real world who otherwise might appear on such a list, such as Cindy Sheehan, challenge corporate power and corporate control. More importantly, people who are engaged in the world around them and do not act as if they are either stupid or powerless, are profoundly dangerous. Banality promulgates distraction from the realities of life, and reinforces the belief in powerlessness.

Never, ever, take banality for benign. The media is the opiate of the people.

I fear for the future of the nation because students fear poverty, individuation, collective meaning, and nonconformity. Corporations fear that the public will one day catch on to the scam.

We are living amidst the shrewdest con job in history; the greatest scam of all time.

Jesse Jackson on Barack Obama

"Talking down to Black people...want to cut his nuts off." ~Jesse Jackson

Wi-Fi Radios Reviewed

Need one of these?

This review is easy. Got a Mac? Don't need a separate Internet radio: none. Superfluous.

With your Macintosh computer and an AirPort Express, the Mac can stream Internet radio to your home stereo system via iTunes.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Continuing with socially-responsible technical consulting, I recommend exploring membership in the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

EFF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting citizens' rights with respect to Internet and telephone communications, electronic surveillance and other related concerns.

The scandalous, corrupt telecom immunity sections of FISA passed the US Senate today. The EFF telecom immunity information page can be accessed here.

Costco Computer Peripherals

Costco now has good buys on an HP printer, a battery backup, and surge suppressors. Keep in mind that Costco items come and go quickly,.

HP Officejet Pro L 7555 All-In-One Printer. Upon checking the HP website, this model appears to be a close-out. The price of about $130 (after rebate) is worth the consideration for budget-conscious home offices.

APC Back-UPS ES 8 Outlet 550VA
. Battery back-up device for protecting your computer data during sudden power outages. A must-have device, in my opinion. for busy home-offices. Keep working through a brief power outage without data loss or OS corruption due to sudden computer crash caused by loss of electrical power. At $40, the price is about $20 lower than what I have seen for this item elsewhere. Yes, this UPS is compatible with the Infrant ReadyNAS network attached storage. Highly recommended.

Two-pack of surge suppressors for $20. Another office must-have device. Plug all electronic home-office devices into either a UPS or a surge suppressor, but not both.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Biofuels Driving Up World Food Prices Says World Bank

UK Guardian news: An unpublished World Bank report leaked to the newspaper asserts that world food prices have been driven up by biofuels. The US government has pushed biofuels on the third world and currently offers federal subsidies to US farmers for biofuel production. Tsk, tsk.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Aussies Are a Gas

Wave the Flag:

If you are not yet convinced of the profound corruption of the US government, check out a story that broke Sunday in Australia.

The topic? According to the report, during the early 1960's the US military pressured the Australian government to allow the US to drop chemical weapons (highly-toxic nerve gas) on Australian military personnel in a lowland tropical rainforest. The proposal included a plan for the Australian and US governments to lie to the Australian people regarding the nature of this nerve-gas test.

Little doubt seems to exist that such a test would not only have endangered the lives of Australian citizens, and damaged fragile rainforest, but the proposed secret test would have been a violation of international law:

The secret test
The secret test

(Click on Link: Australian news video begins after a commercial advert)

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