Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Could 'Sideshow' Paul Win GOP Race?

Here he comes. Ron Paul, is scaring the bejesus out of the Republic establishment. Newt Gingrich says he wouldn't even vote for Ron Paul if he turned out to be the Republican nominee.

Some have called Paul's base of supporters a bunch of kooks. But, the following quote comes to mind when hearing that:
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
That may or may not have been said by Gandhi, but it does describe what seems to be happening with Paul.

Byron York / Washington Examiner:
'Mischief' voters push Paul to front of GOP race -- Ron Paul is surging in the Republican presidential race. Just not among Republicans.

The Texas congressman is leading some polls in Iowa and is in a tie for second in New Hampshire. A candidacy once dismissed as sideshow is now being taken very seriously; the front page of Monday's Des Moines Register featured a huge spread under the headline "COULD RON PAUL WIN?"

Given Paul's views on the Fed, the gold standard and social issues, not to mention his isolationist foreign policy, the polls have left some politicos wondering whether Republican voters have somehow swerved off the rails...
B. Daniel Blatt / GayPatriot:   Could Ron Paul win Iowa?
Kevinliptak / CNN:
Gingrich wouldn't vote for Ron Paul  — (CNN) - Newt Gingrich said Tuesday he wouldn't vote for Ron Paul if the Texas congressman won the 2012 GOP nomination. — Speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Gingrich slammed Paul as out of line with mainstream Republican viewpoints, including his stance on Israel, Iran, and September 11.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch

The poster writes: "Here is a video of my monitor being 'delivered'. The sad part is that I was home at the time with the front door wide open. All he would have had to do was ring the bell on the gate. Now I have to return my monitor since it is broken."

NY Post:
FedEx guy tosses computer monitor over gate --
A worker for the shipping giant was caught on tape delivering a computer monitor in the worst way possible -- by tossing it over a fence...

FedEx this afternoon copped to the shocking delivery.

“This is an irresponsible act and it will not be tolerated,” said FedEx spokeswoman Shea Leordeanu.

This careless deliveryman will be disciplined, but the company rep didn’t say whether he’d be fired.

“He will be worked with according to our disciplinary policies,” Leordeanu said.

This computer-dropping delivery was made in Southern California and the company promised to make good with the ripped-off owner.

“We saw the video and quite frankly were shocked,” Leordeanu added.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Obama v. Ron Paul = A Good Debate

Here's an interesting view on how to make the Presidential election a real debate about America's future. Democrats should vote for Ron Paul in the primaries.

Washington's Blog:
Democrats: Here’s How to Force President Obama to Debate Endless War, Indefinite Detention, SOPA and Other Assaults on Our Freedom, and Reining in the Out-of-Control Federal Reserve

Banks Got Bailed Out … We Got Sold Out

We voted for Obama because we wanted change.

We voted for Obama because he promised to end Bush’s perpetual wars, clean up the mess which Bush’s financial tzars made, and restore the freedom and liberty which Bush attacked...

Forget Partisan Politics: Demand a Real Debate

Forget what you’ve been taught … the mainstream Democrats and mainstream Republicans are virtually identical on all core matters. Obama, Gingrich, Romney and the whole sorry lot are for more war, for further crackdowns on our Constitutional liberties, and for giving the Federal Reserve all of the unchecked power that it wants.

Don’t fall for the old divide-and-conquer trick.

Whatever you may think of Ron Paul, he has consistently championed three core American for three decades. Paul has consistently argued for the following three positions which Americans overwhelmingly favor:
  • Stop the never-ending, open-ended, goalpost-moving wars
  • Restore our liberties, and stop the march towards martial law, indefinite detention idiocy, and the crack down on the Internet
  • Rein in or abolish the Federal Reserve
None of the other Republican (or Democratic) candidates support these positions, the mainstream Republican party hates Paul, and the mainstream media has done everything it can to try to squelch debate on these issues.

Unless Paul wins the nomination, the debate will involve a pro-war, anti-liberty, pro-Bernanke Republican versus Obama … in other words, a non-debate on the issues Americans care about.

How to Guarantee a Real Debate

Even if you intend to vote for Obama in 2012, you want him to have to answer debate questions on these issues … and you want the mainstream media to have to discuss them.

How can you do this?

Initially, Obama has the Democratic party nomination locked up. So Democratic primaries are not an issue.

So register as a Republican for one-year only to – as Huffington Post notes – ensure that Ron Paul gets the GOP nomination...
BlueRepublican.org: state-by-state instructions to register Republican (just for a year) to ensure Ron Paul's nomination.

Progressives Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, and Howard Stern Support Ron Paul

Some in the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) economic camp also think a debate over Ron Paul's Austrian economic philosophy and gold standard ideas would be good. They certainly expect that Paul's ideas will in the end be cast into the kooky bin. Should they be careful what they wish for?

Tom Hickey / Mike Norman Economics:
Ron Paul Leads in Iowa --
This is actually good in that it will force a vetting of Ron Paul's ideas, including his Austrian economics. This should getting interesting, since until now the traditional media have paid scant attention to him in spite of his credible showing...

I am happy to see Paul getting attention is because I think that the country needs to have it out over Austrian economics. Too many people are falling for simplistic arguments, unaware that voting for imposed fiscal and financial austerity would be disastrous for them.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bully Boys in Brussels Building Europrison

Nigel Farage calls out the bully boy bureaucrats in Brussels, who are building a europrison. Farage wants the United Kingdom to say out of this europrison.

The blame game continues in Europe over who is responsible for the high-level split over a new EU fiscal agreement. UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage believes it is time for the British to decide whether they want to stay in the EU.

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, who slapped a firm "no" on the deal, said it lacked sufficient financial safeguards for the UK...

The myth that the UK can be in Europe but not run by Europe has died after the Friday (December 9, 2011) vote over the fiscal deal, Nigel Farage claimed.
“We now find ourselves in a position where we are outvoted by 26 to 1. We are in a hopeless minority and yet we still have 75 per cent of our laws that run the United Kingdom made in these institutions,” said the politician. “Cameron’s not wishing to do this has now opened up the real debate in the UK about our European future.”
Farage warns the UK against an “economic prison” similar to the one now faced by the Greek people, whose lives are now falling under the control of their creditors: the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank...
via RT.com

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Militarization of American Police

Ever since Ronald Reagan in 1981 helped draw up the Military Cooperation With Law Enforcement Act, quickly passed by a very cooperative congress, effectively circumventing the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by codifying military cooperation with law enforcement, the military has been encouraged to give any and all law enforcement agencies unfettered access to all military resources, training and hardware included. The military equipment was designed to be used by American fighting forces in combat with “the enemy,” but since a law was passed in 1994, the Pentagon has been able to donate all surplus war materiel to America’s police departments. The National Journal has compiled a number of statistics showing that in the first three years after the 1994 law came into effect, the “Department of Offense” stocked police departments with 3800 M-16 assault rifles, 2185 M-14’s, 73 grenade launchers, and 112 armored personnel carriers, as well as untold number of bayonets, tanks, helicopters, and even some airplanes. Regardless who will be in power in the future, the militarization of the police will continue. After all, who wants to appear as being soft on crime?
Washington's Blog:
The Militarization of American Police – and Shredding of Our Constitutional Rights – Started At Least 30 Years Ago --
Journalists from across the spectrum have documented the militarization of police forces in the United States, including, CNN, Huffington Post, the Cato Institute, Forbes, the New York Times, Daily Kos, Esquire, The Atlantic, Salon and many others..

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Secret Bailouts, Crony Capitalism, and Greedy Bastard$

If you read the steady drip, drip, drip of information coming out about the secret Wall Street bailouts by the Federal Reserve and the rotten corruption of U.S. officials like former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson it's easy to take the side of the #OccupyWallStreet movement.

Wall Street is infested with a rotten nest of crooks.

Secret Fed Loans Gave U.S. Banks Undisclosed $13B  —  The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret.  Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.  —  The Fed didn't tell anyone which banks …

Steve Randy Waldman / interfluidity:
Yes, Virginia. The banks really were bailed out --
After assuming the banking system’s downside risk, the US government engineered a wide variety of favorable circumstances that helped banks “earn” their way back to quasi-health. The government provided famous and obvious transfers like paying unwinding AIG swaps at 100¢ on the dollar. It forced short-term yields to zero and created an environment in which medium-term interest rates would be capped for several years, granting banks a near-risk-free arbitrage for a while. It emitted trillions in excess reserves on which it continues to pay interest. It forewent investigations and prosecutions that by law it should actively pursue, and settled what enforcement it could not avoid for token fees. Then there are the things conspiracy theorists and cranks like me suspect but cannot prove...
Hank Paulson tipped off his Wall Street buddies first about the pending takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Isn't this the definition of insider trading? Of crony capitalism? Why isn't this a criminal abuse of power?

Richard Teitelbaum / Bloomberg:
How Paulson Gave Hedge Funds Advance Word  —  Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson stepped off the elevator into the Third Avenue offices of hedge fund Eton Park Capital Management LP in Manhattan.  It was July 21, 2008, and market fears were mounting.  Four months earlier …

On the morning of July 21, before the Eton Park meeting, Paulson had spoken to New York Times reporters and editors, according to his Treasury Department schedule. A Times article the next day said the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency were inspecting Fannie and Freddie’s books and cited Paulson as saying he expected their examination would give a signal of confidence to the markets.

A Different Message

At the Eton Park meeting, he sent a different message, according to a fund manager who attended. Over sandwiches and pasta salad, he delivered that information to a group of men capable of profiting from any disclosure.

Around the conference room table were a dozen or so hedge- fund managers and other Wall Street executives -- at least five of them alumni of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), of which Paulson was chief executive officer and chairman from 1999 to 2006...
Michael Shedlock / Mish's Global Economic …:   Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Tipped Off Prominent Hedge Funds Regarding Fannie Mae While Telling …
Lisa Du / Business Insider:   You Won't Believe What Hank Paulson Revealed To Hedge Funders Right Before The Height Of The Financial Crisis
AngryBear: Hank Paulson and Some Animals Are More Equal than Others
Hank Paulson Tipped Off The Goldman-Led "Plunge Protection Team" About Fannie Bankruptcy 7 Weeks In Advance --
Today, BusinessWeek's Michael Serrill and Jonathan Neumann have released a blockbuster report based on a FOIA response by the Treasury, which proves that in America rules are only for little people, that this country has been a banana republic for years, that Animal Farm was spot on, and gives excruciating detail of how Hank Paulson tipped off a select group of Goldman diaspora hedge fund managers about the eventual failure of Fannie and Freddie 7 weeks ahead of this information becoming public knowledge. The report basically is a summary of a meeting that took place at the offices of Eton Mindich's Eton Park headquarters on July 21, 2008, 7 days after his famous '“If you have a bazooka, and people know you have it, you're not likely to take it out," speech and 7 weeks before both GSEs effectively filed for bankruptcy and were put into conservatorship...
Judge finally says enough and blocks crony deal between SEC and Citigroup.

Current TV:
Matt Taibbi on Judge Rakoff’s decision to reject the SEC’s latest settlement with Citigroup
Keith and “Countdown” contributor Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone discuss the remarkable decision by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff to reject a $285 million settlement between Citigroup and the Securities and Exchange Commission for misleading investors. Taibbi points out that banks take punitive settlements in stride, saying, “They recognize that every now and then they’re going to get dragged into court, they’re going to have to give a little bit of money to somebody, and then they get to walk away and keep doing it.”

John Cassidy / NewYorker.com:
Why Judge Rakoff Was Right to Block the Citigroup Settlement
The current system has incentives to create corrupt Greedy Bastard$.

Greedy Bastards: How We Can Stop Corporate Communists, Banksters, and Other Vampires from Sucking America Dry by Dylan Ratigan

William K. Black / New Economic Perspectives:
"Greedy Bastards": A Review of Dylan Ratigan's Views on the Financial Crisis --
As Ratigan demonstrates, our most elite financial CEOs typically created and maintained grotesquely perverse incentive structures that encouraged their officers and employees as well as “independent” professionals to act criminally in a manner that harmed customers, the public, and shareholders – but made the controlling officers wealthy...

Second, cheating is dominant because finance CEOs create such intensely perverse incentives that fraud becomes endemic...

Rep. Alan Grayson (former Democrat/Florida) asks in a Congressional hearing if anyone is minding the store at the Federal Reserve? The answer is no. The Federal Reserve and their crony banker pals have an open license to create and distribute money for their own enrichment.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Monetary Mamma Jamma

Here is one very interesting take on the economy that actually incorporates a few concepts from Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). When rappers start rapping about bailouts, IOU's, credit, and debt it's because we are in one big monetary mamma jamma.

The economy explained by Tay Zonday: Mama Economy

Are you confused about the Economy?
Well have no fear!
I'm going to explain the American Economy right now!
The dollar? Just think of it like a promise from the government,
but the value of the dollar has to be there to be relevant...
The value of the dollar comes from China and Iran,
When they put their cash reserves in a U.S. dollar plan,
They buy treasury bonds from the Federal Reserve,
We say "we owe you extra money cause you gave us some of yours,
That's a big part of the national debt,
All the interest that we haven't paid to China quite yet,
And a hundred other countries cause we're such a good investment,
The whole world gives us money we say "hey we'll pay you interest!"
This is how money is created from air...
Bank Bailouts? Federal Budgets? Money isn't really there,
It's an I.O.U. -- Remember, dollars are a promise?
When you borrow from a bank it's not from other depositors,
The money for your loan gets created on-the-spot,
Then they put it in your name, gamble on your life and body,
But if you lose your job then you were a bad bet,
If a million lose their jobs then we have a recession,
Here's the dirty secret: your labor's too expensive,
Wall Street wants you spending money but the never want to pay you,
In your life cash and credit -- they are very different things,
But your credit's someone else's cash once it leaves your name,
This is why money is debt and your debt is good for Wall Street prosperity,
And economic growth since the 1970's,
Is consumers gettin' credit without wages increasing,
So when they talk about the housing crisis,
They never say "we need to lower housing prices,"
"We need better devices to afford high prices,"
Meaning higher debt / lower interest,
Cause you're underpaid to begin with,
That's the cycle we're in,
We don't understand so all we can do is question,

Mama economy make me understand,
All the numbers,
Why daddy's on a welfare plan,
Turnin' thirty forty fifty,
Gotta move in with my parents,
And the stocks go up,
But the jobs disappear,

Mama economy make me understand,
All the numbers,
Why daddy's on a welfare plan,
Turnin' thirty forty fifty,
Gotta move in with my parents,
And the stocks go up,
But the jobs disappear,

Because wages barely grew for ... forty years,
When you buy stuff they delay the cost of ownership,
You can't afford it so they make it to depend on,
Endless small transactions which is like renting,
You pay more for printer ink than you do for gold,
And more for bottled water than you do for oil,
Razor blades are made to oxidate,
So you're forever in debt to them -- just to shave,
It's a type of socialism called "market socialism."
The best-designed product meets a need and doesn't last,
We subsidize waste with landfills and holidays like earth day,
Teachin' kids -- "Recycle Please!"
But kids don't learn in school we live one worldview --
Neoliberal economics in all their politics,
They don't ask why corporations are human citizens,
Or why grandma pays more taxes cause she lacks stock dividends,
Or why private bankers print the public money,
Or why democracy is broken cause their leaders won't be cutting,
Loopholes or subsidies for constituent industries,
Putting legislative bodies in a deep freeze,
So the Ph.D.'s and the G.E.D.'s cry with Ayn Rand down at the temp agency,
Sayin' "We believed in meritocracy..."
"But there's more to the story -- Answer me!"

Mama economy make me understand,
All the numbers,
Why daddy's on a welfare plan,
Turnin' thirty forty fifty,
Gotta move in with my parents,
And the stocks go up,
But the jobs disappear,

Mama economy make me understand,
All the numbers,
Why daddy's on a welfare plan,
Turnin' thirty forty fifty,
Gotta move in with my parents,
And the stocks go up,
But the jobs disappear,

Mama economy make me understand,
All the numbers,
Why daddy's on a welfare plan,
Turnin' thirty forty fifty,
Gotta move in with my parents,
And the stocks go up,
But the jobs disappear.
Violin: Lindsey 'Stomp' Stirling
Other stuff: Tay Zonday

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Assassins of European Democracy

Once again Nigel Farage of the United Kingdom's Independent Party (UKIP) calls out the faceless bureaucrats of the European Union who want to subvert democracy and who have installed their own puppet governments in Greece and Italy.


Van Rompuy is no longer the quiet assassin of European democracy

What gives you the right to dictate to the Italian people? ...

TJN: Euro Cabal Works to Crush Democracy

Monday, November 14, 2011

Euro Cabal Works to Crush Democracy

The developments coming out of Europe show that democracy is systematically being destroyed by a cabal of mostly unelected European bureaucrats. This cabal is working to preserve the cozy banking relationships and status quo that are the foundation of a Europe that is dominated by a rotting system of crony capitalism.

Two democratically elected governments have been toppled by this Euro cabal in the last week.

The Greek government headed by former Prime Minister George Papandreou was terminated when Papandreou stepped down on November 10th under pressure from cabal enablers. A provisional coalition government was formed with the task of taking Greece out of the major political crisis caused by the country's debt crisis. The real purpose of this new government is to protect the euro banking interests. In fact, the new government of national unity is headed by former European Central Bank vice-president Lucas Papademos. So the bankers now have their own man at the helm of the Greek government. It was in effect a bloodless coup d'état.

In Italy, Silvio Berlusconi was pressured to resign as Prime Minister on November 8th after the bond markets started dumping Italian sovereign bonds and driving up Italy's cost of borrowing money. The banker owned cabal acted quickly and paved the way for former European Commission insider and Goldman Sachs advisor Mario Monti to be named as the new Italian Prime Minister on Sunday, November 13th.

Mild mannered economist and banker pawn Mario Monti, the new leader of Italy, is a free market assassin. When he was head of the European Commission for Competition back in 2001 he blocked an attempt by two U.S. companies, GE and Honeywell, to merge. Their combination would have formed a more formidable U.S. competitor to the European manufacturers of aircraft systems. This crony capitalist bureaucrat humbled GE's CEO Jack Welch and sent him off into retirement as a loser under the new rules of a Europe run for the benefit of the power elite. He also took anti-trust legal action against Microsoft and shook them down for a $613 million fine. After leaving his EU post he became an international adviser to Goldman Sachs. No one is Europe has ever voted for Monti. Monti's career is an example of how Europe is now run by faceless bureaucrats, who are enablers of crony capitalism and pawns of the bankers.

Here is a round-up of some various voices discussing the power of this sinister Euro cabal.

Australian economist Bill Michell:
Europe – the fierce urgency of tomorrow --

[On Thursday] the European Union put out its – European Economic Forecast – Autumn 2011 – which categorically demonstrates that after 3 years of crisis and one grand plan after another the leadership is failing. Some of the leadership tokens – the Greek and Italian prime ministers have been pushed aside – but not by the people – rather by the cabal that rules Europe. The situation will worsen while this lot hold the power...

The triumph was that the cabal captured governments completely and so now our so-called elected officials do the bidding for small elites and use public funds to lie to us about there being no alternative.

So who is in the cabal in Europe? ...

The cabal is a tight ideological unit that has shown a total disregard for the damage its policy positions are causing.
The UK Guardian’s Larry Elliot summarized it nicely:
The emergence of the Frankfurt Group has turned back the democratic clock --
Electorates are being bypassed as increasing austerity pushes Europe's weaker countries into an economic death spiral

The real decisions in Europe are now taken by the Frankfurt Group, an unelected cabal made of up eight people: Lagarde; Merkel; Sarkozy; Mario Draghi, the new president of the ECB; José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission; Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the Eurogroup; Herman van Rompuy, the president of the European Council; and Olli Rehn, Europe’s economic and monetary affairs commissioner.

This group, which is accountable to no one, calls the shots in Europe. The cabal decides whether Greece should be allowed to hold a referendum and if and when Athens should get the next tranche of its bailout cash. What matters to this group is what the financial markets think not what voters might want. To the extent that governments had any power, it has been removed and placed in the hands of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF. It is as if the democratic clock has been turned back to the days when France was ruled by the Bourbons.
Marshall Auerback / New Economic Perspectives:
A Financial Coup d'etat in the Making? --
It is said that the European Union is a remarkably inefficient organization in terms of organizing economic rescue packages, but when it comes to subverting democracy, they are as ruthless and efficient as a well-oiled crime syndicate.

Consider the following: in the space of less than 2 weeks, the eurocrats have managed to eliminate two troublesome elected leaders, whose actions dared to interfere with their broader objectives of finalizing the “European Project” – a project which, to put it bluntly, is looking more and more like a financial coup d’etat...

How have we come to this pass within the EU? It is hard to point to one person. We have seen this vast project moved along by a handful of unelected bureaucrats for several decades or more. Jacques Delors was a truly seminal figure, but he did not act alone. The whole of the European project has been increasingly driven by these unelected tenured eurocrats, who have rotated in and out of various positions within the EU's governing structures and spent a few years' getting the requisite private sector training at a place like Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan...
UK Independent Party Leader Nigel Farage at 2011 Germany anti-EU - pro Democracy Rally

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Democracy Means You Must Fight the Police State

The brutality and intimidation that has been directed against the #OccupyWallStreet movement demonstrates that democracy and personal freedom are once again on a slippery slope in this country. The police state must be fought every day if you want to preserve democracy.

If you don't keep up the pressure for democratic control, you lose it. It's use it or lose it. And that is something people find hard to understand. There is never a final victory for democracy. It's always a struggle, in every generation. And you have to take up the cause time, and time, and time again. — Tony Benn
Jeff Berwick / SafeHaven.com:
The US Is Fast Becoming a Third World Police State --

Big ideas that changed the world: Democracy

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fallon & Timberlake: The History of Rap

Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake did an epic Part 3 of their History of Rap medley on Friday night's (10/28/11) Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show. It was a monster medley that might be the best of their three Rap collaborations.

Part 1 was performed on Wednesday, September 29, 2010, and Part 2 was performed on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. Both Parts 1 and 2 were very popular. The videos and song lists from those two shows are included below. This is some fine entertainment, that should not be reserved for only the late-nighters.

Here is the full set list from Part 3, with links to the original on YouTube:
  1. Run-DMC – “King of Rock”
  2. LL Cool J – “Mama Said Knock You Out”
  3. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – “Parents Just Don’t Understand”
  4. De La Soul – “Me, Myself and I”
  5. JJ Fad – “Supersonic”
  6. Sir Mix-a-Lot – “Baby Got Back”
  7. Young MC – “Bust a Move”
  8. House of Pain – “Jumparound”
  9. Ice Cube – “It Was a Good Day”
  10. Coolio – “Gangsta’s Paradise”
  11. Fugees – “Killing Me Softly”
  12. Beastie Boys – “Sabotage”
  13. Jay-Z – “I Just Wanna Love You (Give It 2 Me)”
  14. OutKast – “Ms. Jackson”
  15. Snoop Dogg – “Drop It Like It’s Hot”
  16. Kanye West – “Stronger”
  17. Nicki Minaj – “Super Bass”
  18. Naughty By Nature – “Hip Hop Hooray”

alternate link for part 3
History of Rap - Part 1

Set list for Part 1:
  1. Sugar Hill Gang – "Rapper's Delight"
  2. Run DMC – "Peter Piper"
  3. Beastie Boy – "Paul Revere"
  4. A Tribe Called Quest – "Award Tour"
  5. Digital Underground – "Humpty Dance"
  6. Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg – "Ain't Nutt'N But G Thang"
  7. Tupac – "California Love"
  8. The Notorious B.I.G – "Juicy"
  9. The Roots – "The Seed (2.0)"
  10. Eminem – "My Name Is (Slim Shady)"
  11. Missy Elliot – "Work It"
  12. Soulja Boy – "Crank That (Soulja Boy)"
  13. T.I. – "Live Your Life"
  14. Kanye West – "Golddigger"
  15. Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' – "Empire State Of Mind"
History of Rap - Part 2

Set list for Part 2:
  1. 1:29 Kurtis Blow – The Breaks
  2. 1:38 Grandmaster Flash – The Message
  3. 1:49 N.W.A. – Express Yourself
  4. 1:58 Public Enemy – Bring the Noise
  5. 2:02 Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock – It Takes 2
  6. 2:19 Salt and Pepa – Push It
  7. 2:34 Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby
  8. 2:44 Black Sheep – The Choice is Yours
  9. 2:53 Cypress Hill – Insane in the Membrane
  10. 3:03 DJ Kool – Let Me Clear My Throat
  11. 3:20 DMX – Party Up (Up in Here)
  12. 3:29 Nelly – Hot in Here
  13. 3:44 50 Cent – In Da Club
  14. 4:01 Outkast – Hey Ya
  15. 4:15 Lil Wayne – A Milli
  16. 4:21 DJ Khaled – All I Do Is Win
  17. 4:33 Cali Swag District – Teach Me How To Dougie
  18. 4:49 Rick Ross – B.M.F.
  19. 5:11 Biz Markie – Just a Friend

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wikileaks Fights Financial Blockade

Wikileaks is temporarily suspending publishing operations while it tries to raise money.


We are forced to temporarily suspend publishing whilst we secure our economic survival. For almost a year we have been fighting an unlawful financial blockade. We cannot allow giant US finance companies to decide how the whole world votes with its pocket. Our battles are costly. We need your support to fight back...

WikiLeaks has published the biggest leaks in journalistic history. This has triggered aggressive retaliation from powerful groups. Since 7th December 2010 an arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade has been imposed by Bank of America, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union. The attack has destroyed 95% of our revenue. The blockade came into force within ten days of the launch of Cablegate as part of a concerted US-based, political attack that included vitriol by senior right wing politicians, including assassination calls against WikiLeaks staff. The blockade is outside of any accountable, public process. It is without democratic oversight or transparency. The US government itself found that there were no lawful grounds to add WikiLeaks to a US financial blockade. But the blockade of WikiLeaks by politicized US finance companies continues regardless.


Christopher Hope / Telegraph:
WikiLeaks' money woes brings end to leak of secrets  —  WikiLeaks is to stop publishing state secrets because it is running out of money, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.  —  The whistleblowing website set up by Julian Assange said that it is temporarily suspending publication of leaks to fight a “blockade” by credit card companies...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Student Debt is Crushing Young Adults

The Student Debt Clock is currently $948+ billion and counting. Student debt is now greater than credit card debt. Student debt is also twice as large as the infamous Greek national debt of $470 billion that now has everyone in a minor panic.

Student debt is crushing a generation of Americans, who are losing faith in their future. Here is one young lady's take on the situation.

Franchesca Leigh Ramsey / franchesca.net:

I'm a 27 year old graduate of Miami International University of Art and Design with a BFA in Graphic Design... In June 2009 I moved to New York City to pursue my dreams of working in entertainment and broaden my design horizons. I now work as a freelance graphic designer and social media/ marketing consultant, while also blogging and making YouTube videos. It’s a lot of work, but I love every minute of it...

:( ... I have over $100k of student loan debt and my combined monthly payments are about $1k. I’m afraid I’ll never pay it all off and won’t be able to afford to start a family someday. It scares the hell out of me.

After seeing Beyoncé’s “Countdown” video Thursday night I couldn’t sleep. Thus this video was born. If your student loans give you the blues like mine do, feel free to share :)

Beyoncé “Countdown” Parody: Student Loan Countdown
"Oh, should I stand out on Wall Street?
would that even help me?
Not sure what I should do. Barack are you listening?
Oh, can I get a forebearance?
No help from my parents
I'm doing this on my own
Sallie Mae I can't pay off my student loans."

via: digg

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

12 Lessons from Steve Jobs

Guy Kawasaki survived working for Steve Jobs twice. At Silicon Valley Bank's CEO Summit on October 6, 2011, Guy shared lessons learned from one of the great entrepreneurs of the 21st century.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Privacy for Protesters and People

The Vibe smart phone application is now being used to protect the privacy of protesters at the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in New York City.

The demonstrators are logically making this move in response to the New York City Police Department's newly formed unit that is looking for wrongdoing on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter.

NYPD is now following fast in the footsteps of authoritarian regimes like Egypt, Syria, and China that want to keep a lid on social unrest that might be aided by social media. You can bet that besides looking for "wrongdoing" the NYPD is also looking for intelligence and information on what the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are planning.

NYPD will then know where to deploy their pepper-sraying Detective Inspector Antony (Tony Baloney) Bologna, so he can blast the punks and loudmouths. This police tactic falls in the category of the best defense against demonstrators is a good offense.

All of this monitoring of the people falls in the category of the slow erosion of personal privacy and rights by a government that is doing everything in its power to keep an eye on everyone. Have no doubt about it, you are being watched.

Anjali Mullany / NY Daily News:
Privacy for the people: Wall Street protesters use social media app Vibe to communicate anonymously --
 A people’s revolution? There's an app to help with that.

A leaderless group of "Occupy Wall Street" protesters living in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park are using a smartphone app to communicate with each another – anonymously.

The “Vibe” app allows users to post tweet-like messages to other users' mobile phones without revealing their identities, as no registration is required.

Users can decide how long their “vibes” will exist - 15 minutes, an hour, a day, seven days, or forever. After the selected time is up, the message disappears...
Of course, the bankers are all for the closer monitoring of people and are happy to finance police efforts in that direction.

J.P. Morgan Chase "donates" $4.6 Million to NYPD --
The money will pay for 1,000 new patrol car laptops, as well as security monitoring software in the NYPD's main data center...
What is exactly is security monitoring software you might ask. It is something that scours the internet for information on everyone and then tries to correlate that info so they can figure what kind of person you are. It probably means something like this TLOxp program, which knows more about you than you would like.

Bloomberg Business:
You Can Run, But It's Hard to Hide from TLO -- A data-fusion pioneer’s latest company collects info about individuals...
TLOxp offers trillions of records on individuals and businesses from about 100,000 sources of data. Lawyers, fraud investigators, debt collectors, and others use the system to find a person’s employers, co-workers, education history, mobile-phone numbers, liens, car titles, and more. Even scraps of data can lead to an information trove. Feed TLOxp an age range, a first name, and a few Zip Codes, for instance, and it’ll spit out a list of people that fit all the attributes. It also grabs the public information posted on social-media sites like Facebook...

The bottom line: TLO has trillions of records about individuals and businesses. Its search capabilities may make privacy advocates uneasy.

Glenn Greenwald / Salon.com:
What’s behind the scorn for the Wall Street protests? --
Does anyone really not know what the basic message is of this protest: that Wall Street is oozing corruption and criminality and its unrestrained political power—in the form of crony capitalism and ownership of political institutions—is destroying financial security for everyone else?
Occupy Wall Street --
According to Adbusters, a primary protest organizer, the central demand of the protest is that President Barack Obama "ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington."
USA Today:
700 arrested on Brooklyn Bridge after protest

England riots and social media; what’s app?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wealth: How to protect it and how to lose it

Here are a couple of headlines regarding wealth that are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Who had the better system for protecting their wealth?

Bold Brazilian Bank Heist

Thieves pulled off a huge bank robbery on Saturday, August 27th, in São Paulo, Brazil, when they broke into 138 private safes belonging to at least 120 wealthy clients of Banco Itaú, Latin America’s largest bank. The heist took place in one of São Paulo's most highly secured buildings, which is on Paulista Avenue, in the heart of the city's financial district in Brazil's biggest metropolis. This was like robbing a big U.S. bank in New York's Times Square.

Banco Itaú, São Paulo, Brazil

The Mystery Behind Brazil's Biggest Jewelery Heist --
... the thieves left with cash, luxury watches, gold bars, sapphires, emeralds, rubies and diamonds. Loads of diamonds. According to the most optimistic estimates, the total amount of valuables taken was about R$ 100 million ($58.5 million). Little of the loot was insured...

For a bank, a huge robbery like the one in this case can somehow be compared to a plane crash for an airliner. Some 40 managers at the bank were ordered to put aside their daily tasks and devote to personally inform clients that their precious goods had been stolen. Many have had to be medicated after receiving the news...
Armed gang carry out £40 million bank heist --
An armed gang posing as maintenance workers have carried out an audacious bank robbery reminiscent of a Hollywood heist film in Brazil, seizing cash, jewellery and watches valued at around £40m...

Police reportedly believe it is highly likely that some of the gang were also involved in the country's biggest ever bank robbery in 2005 in the northern city of Fortaleza, in which the robbers escaped with 164m reais in cash...
Telegraph: Five audacious bank robberies in history
Cell Phone Safety Deposit

Six time zones and 5700 miles away from São Paulo, in Kenya, Africa, the poor people there have embraced using cell phones to keep their money safe. These poor folks can't afford banks and certainly not safety deposit boxes. So they have learned that storing their money on a cell phone is safer than hiding it in the house or in the grain bin.

The banks are certainly not happy with this new technology that keeps potential customers away. Will JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America's biggest competitor in ten years be Verizon?

The big banks in this country are reportedly going to start adding a $5 per month debit card service fee. If this happens, then poor people in this country will have a strong incentive to move over to a good cheap cell phone money transfer system, like the Kenyans.

More than 14 million Kenyans have a phone-transfer account

Bloomberg Business:
In Kenya, Keeping Cash Safe on a Cell Phone --
Moses Githua has no steady work. He pulls in money from odd jobs, tucking away what he can each month. Githua, who lives in Nairobi, is what development researchers call “unbanked”: He lacks access to a traditional banking system...

It’s not that poor people lack the will to save, Maurer says. They lack the tools. Local banks charge fees that discourage saving small amounts. Keep it in a jar or under the bed, and it becomes attractive to thieves or relatives in need. Instead, Githua, 33, found another way to manage his cash: He uses his account with M-PESA, a service that lets people transfer money with their mobile phones. Githua doesn’t use it that way, though. He loads up his account and lets it sit in his “digital wallet” until he’s ready to use it. This simple trick keeps his savings beyond the reach of thieves. “There was and is micro-finance,” says Maurer, but “what of the people who are too poor to become entrepreneurs, what do they need? A safe, secure place to store what little money they have.” Kenya’s example shows that a $20 mobile phone may be secure enough. By 2012, 1.7 billion of the unbanked poor worldwide will have one...
M-Pesa -- M-PESA (M for mobile, pesa is Swahili for money) is the product name of a mobile-phone based money transfer service for Safaricom, which is a Vodafone affiliate. It was entirely developed by Kenyans and was initially sponsored by the UK-based Dept. for International Development (DFID) in 2003–2007.

M-PESA runs as an application coded right into the SIM cards of users’ mobile phones.

New York City Cops Beat Down and Pepper Spray Peaceful Wall Street Protesters

Update: Jon Stewart hoses down "Tony Boloney" the rogue pepper-spraying New York cop.

Stewart did the out-of-control cop one better. He brought in ex-"Law & Order SVU" star Christopher Meloni to impersonate Bologna and his rogue, pepper-spraying ways in what's sure to be the next hit TV crime drama, "The Vigilogna."

HuffPo: Jon Stewart Spoofs Anthony Bologna...
Must Watch:

Shameful and disgusting.

via: Washington's Blog
The pepper spray attacks by Detective Inspector Antony (Tony Baloney) Bologna on defenseless women are reportedly under investigation.

Detective Inspector Antony (Tony Baloney) Bologna pepper spraying peaceful protesters


Charlie GrapskiFollow / Daily Kos:
Bologna's Second Attack with Pepper Spray  —  Gradually the exploits of Detective Inspector Anthony (Tony Baloney) Bologna have eeked their way even into the mainstream media.  It has become well known that he engages, in violation of policy, in an O.C. (Pepper) Spray attack on four defenseless women without provocation.
Anthony (Tony Baloney) Bologna has a history of attacking demonstrators.

Resist the New World Order:
Occupy Wall Street: 'Pepper-spray' officer named in Bush protest claim -- Anthony Bologna, NYPD officer accused of pepper-spray incident, is accused of civil rights violations at the time of the 2004 Republican national convention protests...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kent Sorensen on Liquid Flouride Thorium Reactors

A liquid flouride thorium reactor, also called a molten salt reactor, is safer and more efficient than the pressurized water reactors we are using now. If we want to avoid more Fukishima's then this is the way to go.

Mike Norman Economics:

Here is a video by Thorium Nuclear "crusader" Kirk Sorensen on the intriguing aspects of that potential global energy source. It is a long video (1:37:00) but is well worth the time. The first few minutes (8 or so) of the video are summary cuts of the formal presentation so you can watch that and it may whet your appetite for knowledge. Many peripheral issues come up such as the Fukishima nuclear melt down, general safety designs, Chernobyl, climate change, atmospheric carbon, water desalinization, effects of radiation on our bodies and of course politics...

Below is a schematic of a LFTR (Liquid fluoride thorium reactor) or Molten Salt Reactor. Salt stays in liquid over a wide range of temperature (1000° degrees) versus only 100°C for water. Molten Salt reactors would also run at a low pressure. The bottomline is that using salt and eliminating pressurized water in a reactor makes them much safer.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

1 World Trade Center Grows Tall

One World Trade Center, formerly Freedom Tower, is going up at the rate of one story a week. It is now over 1000 feet tall, on it's way to 1776 feet. The Port Authority of NY and NJ has a website (WTCprogress) that follows the progress.

One World Trade Center is now the tallest building in Lower Manhattan at 1,000 feet above street level, surpassing 40 Wall Street, which was built in 1930. Steel for the building has risen to the 80th floor.


The guy who wanted to kill the new World Trade Center is now developing it.

Real estate developer Douglas Durst in front of One World Trade Center, July 2011

Andrew Rice / Bloomberg Busineesweek:
The Saving of Ground Zero --
To the degree that it’s possible for a 102-story building to take a city by surprise, One World Trade Center snuck up on the New York skyline. For years the project, conceived in the throes of tragedy, has been debated, negotiated, renamed, redrawn, hailed as a beacon, and maligned as a boondoggle. It wasn’t until recently, though, that it presented itself as an immutable fact, beginning to replace the void above Ground Zero with steel and reflective glass. Designed to commemorate lost life and recapture lost revenue, the half-completed skyscraper is both a nationalistic statement—it was formerly known as the “Freedom Tower”—and the centerpiece of a speculative real estate project.

From his headquarters high above 42nd Street, about three miles to the north, real estate developer Douglas Durst has been keeping watch over One World Trade’s rise. “I think it’s going to be quite spectacular,” he says one sultry July afternoon, sitting in a room decorated with photographs of his forbears in the family real estate company. Looking south over the majestic spread of Manhattan, One World Trade was wrapped in midsummer haze, and the air was thick with irony. If anyone in power had listened to Durst years ago, the vastly expensive tower would not exist...
Daniel Libeskind: The Return Of Ground Zero's Master Planner

National Geographic:
One World Trade Center: Virtual View From the Top

Wall Street Journal:
After the Fall, World Trade Center Rises as Memorial and Workplace

The Telegraph:
9/11 anniversary: A tour around the new World Trade Center tower

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Steve Jobs: America's Greatest Failure

Lots of interest in decoding what made Steve Job successful, since he announced he was stepping down as Apple CEO.

Nick Schulz's take is especially interesting. He says it was the string of failures that eventually forged the successful Steve Jobs.

Nick Schulz /AEI.org:
Steve Jobs: America's Greatest Failure -- Glory is sometimes born of catastrophe...

All those successes were made possible by failure after failure after failure and the lessons learned from those failures.

There's a moral here for a Washington culture that fears failure too much. In today's Washington, large banks aren't permitted to fail; nor are large auto firms. Next up will be too-big-to-fail hospital systems. Steve Jobs is a reminder that failure is a good and necessary thing. And that sometimes the greatest glories are born of catastrophe.
The following quote also comes to mind:
Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell... — Frank Borman

A very interesting video series about the career of Steve Jobs.

The Passion of the Jobs - Chapter 1

The Passion of the Jobs - Chapter 2

The Passion of the Jobs - Chapter 3

The Passion of the Jobs - Chapter 4

The Passion of the Jobs - Chapter 5

The Passion of the Jobs - Chapter 6

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Warning: "Uncle Sam" AKA the Rogue Highwayman is on the lose

Uncle Sam also known as the U.S. Government has become a thief

The U.S. Government is out of control. The U.S. Government, AKA "Uncle Sam" or the "Rogue Highwayman," is now robbing random citizens, who stumble on its broad pothole riddled bureaucratic boulevard. That once beautiful boulevard was known as Constitution Avenue. It has now become a dangerous and rundown toll road.

The Fifth Amendment states that “No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Sadly, this dear Constitutional right has been ambushed by bureaucratic assassins, who have shot and killed it, and buried it in an unmarked grave beside the road.

Due process and the presumption of innocence have also waylaid by these government raiders.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on how the government now harbors a criminal enterprise in an article entitled, Federal Asset Seizures Rise, Netting Innocent With Guilty (subscription required).

That was followed up by a Wall Street Journal blog post: DOJ’s Expanding Power to Seize Assets Sparks Concerns. In this article Nathan Koppel writes:
The statistics are jarring.

There are now nearly 400 federal laws that empower the federal government to seize assets from convicted criminals as well as those never charged with crimes, a near-doubling of asset-seizure laws since the 1990s.

And last year, law enforcement seized more than $2.5 billion, a haul that has more than doubled over the last five years.

The Wall Street Journal cites these figures as a part of a deep dive today into the world of asset forfeiture, a federal power that critics on the left (the ACLU) and right (the Heritage Foundation) regard as a growing threat to innocent people...
Simon Black of the Sovereign Man blog also sounds the alarm:
According to Justice Department statistics, the total value of confiscated property exceeded $2.5 billion in 2010, more than double from five years ago. The average take per case? $166,000… and the vast majority of cases were non-criminal.

It’s truly staggering to think about how much can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye, all without any judicial oversight or right to a hearing.

The reason could be anything. Maybe you violated some arcane, meaningless regulation among the hundreds of thousands of pages of US Code (ignorance of the law is NOT an excuse!). Maybe you were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe they had no real reason at all other than mere suspicion.

One minute you have money, the next you’re completely locked out of your wealth and livelihood. They force YOU to prove to them that you aren’t guilty, but they take away any means you had to defend yourself.

Look, this is the new reality in America. The entire country has become a nation of criminals– there isn’t a single man, woman, or child alive who is not in violation of some obscure regulation or cannot be ‘suspected’ of wrongdoing.

This is really just a form of cannibalism– a government feeding on its own citizens...
Who can possibly stop these bureaucratic crooks, who hide in plain sight? Mr. Black's advice is to bail on the United States:
I’ve long advocated for an internationalization strategy: diversifying various assets and interests overseas so that no one single government has total control over your livelihood.

Store your gold in Switzerland. Open a bank account in Hong Kong. Register your company in the BVI. Establish a ‘backup’ residency in Chile. Expand your business in Brazil. Get a better job in Singapore. Obtain a second passport in Malta. Open a brokerage account in the Cayman Islands...
If you can't defend against the kleptocracy then Mr. Black's advice is simple: cut and run. You really have to hope it doesn't come to that. But, who can stand up to this growing army of faceless thieves?

More discussion:
Zero Hedge: Guest Post: US Government Asset Seizures On The Rise
Independent.org: As Government Revenues Fall, Asset Seizures Double
FreeRepublic: ...Big Government Tyranny Alert

Wall Street Journal:  
As Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Are Ensnared --
Eddie Leroy Anderson of Craigmont, Idaho, is a retired logger, a former science teacher and now a federal criminal thanks to his arrowhead-collecting hobby...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fed Secretly Loaned $1.2 Trillion to Bailout Wall Street

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely...
Lord Acton
The following Bloomberg story is shocking, because it shows the absolute and secret power of the Federal Reserve and Ben Bernanke to do whatever they want to. The Congress, the President, and the American public have no control over the Fed. It can slip $1.2 trillion through secret financial cracks to whoever it wants. These secret liquidity lifelines from the Fed saved the jobs of tens of thousands of Wall Street bankers. Bankers who had spawned the very crisis they needed saving from. They should at least send a Christmas card to Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve for a very long time.

For example, at the same time Morgan Stanley was saying that it had "strong capital and liquidity positions" (at the end of September 2008) it was secretly borrowing over $107 billion from the Fed to keep the company from following Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy.

All these revelations beg the question: if the Fed could secretly lend $1.2 trillion to save hundreds of banks and financial institutions, why did they not lend a fraction of that at the beginning to save Lehman Brothers? That smaller action would have avoided the subsequent financial blood bath. The Fed is supposed to be the overseer of the financial markets, couldn't they see the dire consequences of letting Lehman fall?

This cabal of secret banker lords at the Federal Reserve will have to be toppled just like Muammar Gaddafi is being toppled today in Libya.

Bradley Keoun and Phil Kuntz / Bloomberg:
Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2T in Loans -- 
Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. were the reigning champions of finance in 2006 as home prices peaked, leading the 10 biggest U.S. banks and brokerage firms to their best year ever with $104 billion of profits.

By 2008, the housing market’s collapse forced those companies to take more than six times as much, $669 billion, in emergency loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The loans dwarfed the $160 billion in public bailouts the top 10 got from the U.S. Treasury, yet until now the full amounts have remained secret...

Data gleaned from 29,346 pages of documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and from other Fed databases of more than 21,000 transactions make clear for the first time how deeply the world’s largest banks depended on the U.S. central bank to stave off cash shortfalls. Even as the firms asserted in news releases or earnings calls that they had ample cash, they drew Fed funding in secret, avoiding the stigma of weakness....
Two weeks after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s bankruptcy triggered a global credit crisis, Morgan Stanley countered concerns that it might be next to go by announcing it had 'strong capital and liquidity positions.'
Morgan Stanley, along with Citigroup Inc., and Bank of America Corp., were the biggest borrowers under seven Fed emergency-lending programs. The three banks' combined $298.2 billion in hidden Fed loans was triple what they received in publicly disclosed bailouts from the U.S. Treasury.
The Fed’s Secret Liquidity Lifelines

Visualizing What $1.2 Trillion In Secret Fed Bailouts To The Banking Kleptocracy Looks Like

Joe Coscarelli / New York Magazine:
Wall Street Secretly Borrowed $1.2 Trillion From the Fed

Phil Villarreal / The Consumerist: 

John Hinderaker / Power Line:   

Reliapundit / THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS:  

Tdog / The Talking Dog:  
Captain Renault / Man Are We Screwed: 

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