Submitted by Rob Williams on Thu, 08/30/2007 – 10:06am.

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Maul Man says – So, Jason Bourne’s world is, in fact, the tip of the iceberg. From “Wired” magazine, courtesy of the ACME newswire. FOIA still lives – for now.

The FBI has quietly built a sophisticated, point-and-click surveillance system that performs instant wiretaps on almost any communications device, according to nearly a thousand pages of restricted documents newly released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The surveillance system, called DCSNet, for Digital Collection System Network, connects FBI wiretapping rooms to switches controlled by traditional land-line operators, internet-telephony providers and cellular companies. It is far more intricately woven into the nation’s telecom infrastructure than observers suspected.

It’s a “comprehensive wiretap system that intercepts wire-line phones, cellular phones, SMS and push-to-talk systems,” says Steven Bellovin, a Columbia University computer science professor and longtime surveillance expert.

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Makes it just a little too easy!

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TECH SERVICE: Monster’s Security Breach Larger

Monster’s Security Breach Larger than Thought
August 29, 2007 — 10:56 PM PDT — by Kristen Nicole

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The 1.3 million individuals whose data, including financial information, was stolen from Monster’s database may be larger than initially reported.

During the investigation regarding the theft, it was discovered that the website had been previously hacked. The exact number is still unknown, but could reportedly be in the millions. Monster has indicated that users should assume their information has been taken. As this wasn’t an isolated incident, the illegal activity has been impossible to pinpoint. Monster has lost between 200 and 300 job seekers and some employers’ accounts due to the issue.

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Like I said. Lot of blame there.

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MONEY: getting screwed since 1913 by a monopoly

September 1, 2007
Robin Good
The Federal Reserve: Is Monetary Power Being Replaced By Private Economic Global Interests?

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In the present world financial system turmoil generated by the collapse for “sub-prime” mortgage bonds, the US Federal Reserve System functions, as it always does, with private meetings and telephone conferences with the great financial houses, deciding in apparent secrecy whether to increase the money supply and government lending to financial houses or whether to raise or reduce interest rates.


I am certainly not an expert at these matters but if I have to look and report at what mainstream media does not report about, while inviting each one of us to question and research in greater depth all such issues, this looks definitely like something on which we should all ask some more and better questions.


Should the US, reconsider the makeup and makeup of the Federal Reserve System so that it can serve the people of the United States in a meaningful and fully transparent fashion?

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I love it when someone “discovers” that they (we) have been getting screwed since 1913 by a monopoly.

The monied elite and the politicians have conspired to “monopolize” “money”. The monied elite gets the license to print money and do fractional reserve banking. The politicians get all the money they want to spend with having to raise taxes. (The inflation tax is a silent killer to savings.)

We could consult the Constitution for what it says about the Federal Reserve.

At the very least, we could follow the example of Andrew Jackson and end the “federal reserve cartel”. Ron Paul is just the fellow to do it.

When you are in a hole, stop digging!

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RANT: Betting on talkers

Unnamed players allege corruption in professional tennis
Aug 30 10:31 AM US/Eastern

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Match-fixing, some of which is linked to internet gambling, is not uncommon in professional tennis, according to a damaging report in L’Equipe on Thursday.

Two elite players made the claims, under anonymity, in an interview with the French sports daily claiming they have witnessed matches being “thrown” and that they had personally been offered bribes.

The allegations come in the wake of the controversy surrounding Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko, who is the subject of an ATP enquiry.

Davydenko recenty pulled out a match injured on the same day that large sums of money had been bet on his defeat to Argentina’s Martin Vassallo Arguello.

Betfair, an internet gambling website, refused to pay out on Davydenko’s defeat. Seven million dollars in wagers, 10 times more than normal for such a match, swung to Arguello even after Davydenko won the first set.

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I think I blogged here about the dangers of betting on anything that can talk!

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FUN: while it lasted

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New Jersey’s winning ticket was sold at Blitz’s Villas Market in the southern town of Villas, said state Lottery spokesman Dominick DeMarco.

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OH well, the dream was fun while it lasted.

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Categories FUN

TECHNOLOGY: More from the Ebenezer Scrooge School of Overseer Management

>Network World’s Security Strategies Newsletter, 08/28/07
>Hacker tips published in Wall Street Journal
>By M. E. Kabay
>On July 30, Vauhini Vara published an article in the _Wall Street Journal_ entitled, “Ten Things Your IT Department Won’t Tell You.”
>The author explains that office
>workers like to use corporate-supplied equipment to “keep up with our lives. … …

Don’t forget that corporations are INTENTIONALLY blurring the lines between work / play / home. As an IT executive, I have seen:
* The corporate honchos with different sets of rules for themselves and the serfs.
* IT troops are expected to answer “problems” at all hours of the day or night. And, then turn to in the morning on time as if nothing happened.
* Projects scheduled with a “forced march” ethic in human resources. AND
* The deliberate planning of “human resources” to avoid payment of overtime and giving comp time.
So let’s not kid around that people are just goofing off all the time, watching YouTube, and playing online poker. Work has to get done. And it does get done. If you are going to fudge the margins, then you can’t get all uppity when the letter of some policy or standard is not met.

If I’m waiting for a phone conference call to assemble and begin, usually because some required honcho is “late”, don’t scream like Mayor Bloomberg if there’s a solitaire screen up. If I’m working on a holiday weekend installing a new IT system and don’t get anything other than maybe “thanks” or keep getting my regular paycheck, don’t gripe when the “big” football game is on one of the monitors or everyone’s watching a movie while the big update is ruining. At least on Wall Street, when they make absurd demands, they pay obscene bonuses.

The AFL/CIO is dumb not trying to unionize the IT workers. It’s the new sweat shop. I am astonished that some one hasn’t sued about these type of issues already.

>her “safety” measures for violating appropriate-use policies include this advice for attempting to wipe audit trails:
> “Clear your private data as often as possible.
>Better yet, don’t use your work computer to do anything you wouldn’t want your boss to know about.”

I agree that one should have your own ethical standards. A good Nun once told me that my standard should be “don’t do anything you would want to have to tell your Mother”. Works for me.


Let’s not imbue Acceptable Use Policies as if they come down from some Olympic mountain.

For example, once upon a time, there was a corporate policy not to use AOL IM. (Why I have no idea? Pinging someone to join a conference call may tell some hacker … what?) But the corporate IT group (aka the shills for Microsoft) had no solution. Yet the executives used AOLIM, and wanted their people to use it. It was efficient. Talk about mixed messages. But piously, they made people sign annual acceptances of the corporate policies. Like Stossel says “gimme a break”. In my past executive coaching practice, as well as my stints as an ITA/BPR consultant, I counseled against sending mixed messages. People, like little children, learn by watching carefully what you do. Not what you say.

>I invite readers to read Vara’s article for themselves and then to join me in a short series of columns
>as I analyze her work from an ethical standpoint.

Having been brought up in the Ebenezer Scrooge school of employee training, where the motto was “You pretend to pay me; I’ll pretend to work”, I suggest that it’s time for everyone to grow up.

The world has changed.

Unlike KMart, there’s no Blue Light to turn on. No PA system over which we can make the announcement. No clap of thunder or bolt of lightening to get everyone’s attention. Nor any formal demarcation point, like when the calendar changes. We can’t afford to play silly games. In the global competitive environment, we need to develop our thinking.

So for example, just like I don’t expect my employer to buy me my pens, I buy my own technology. Sure I’ll use theirs for their stuff if they insist. (Mine’s better.) But, if your trash is not working, you can’t hold me accountable for the “shortfall”. Can’t have it both ways. If you want me to do 24×7 support or some other outrageous demand, then it’s OK for me to use my home computer, policies be darned, for which you don’t pay. That’s OK, but heaven forbid I answer an email from work? (Note: My personal information NEVER goes near their hardware.) Now I realize I’m a little bit of an odd ball. I’ve been a consultant, and in my own business several times. But I can see the hypocrisy in some “policies”.

New times require new rules.

It’s about generating value. Some of that value belongs to the employer and some I am allowed to retain. It’s a team sport. I need them and they need me. 50/50.

(Actually the company needs the employees more. Some wag once said “Each night, all of our intellectual capital walks out the door.” I had an old boss who use to extend that with “It’s my job to make you want to come back.” With the aging of the work force, that’s even more true today than it was then.)

Leadership and management must forget the lessons of Ebenezer Scrooge and Frederick Winslow Taylor. You manage things and lead people. Throw all the policy manuals out the window. Lead people. Teach them why you should NOT put corporate secrets into email unencrypted or waste time when your supposed to be earning value for the team. Deploy tools that make it unnecessary to “bend” rules. Share the monetary value such that unpaid OT or unreasonable demands aren’t made. Hold leadership accountable for their decisions and policies.

This line of inquiry is based on an old paradigm and is coming from the meme of “unwilling worker”. In today’s new world, the new team-shared meme must be that there is value produced which is shared by all who produced it.

We have to evolve our memes because there are a lots of very smart very hungry people in India and China that are going to eat us for breakfast if we stay stuck in “Detroit thinking” with respect to the roles of employer and employee.

In my not so humble opinion, I believe that these large corporations are going to self-destruct. The new meme will be small team size agile organizations, that can do a better job of delivering and sharing value, while “outsourcing” all non-core competency functions (i.e., HR, finance, IT). The economies of scale that allowed the IBMs, AT&Ts, GMs, and such to evolve and flourish are no longer there.

Small ‘n’ agile will outperform big ‘n’ bureaucratic every time.

And, don’t get me started on the “gooferment”.


P.S.: I hope that’s the type of input your were looking for. My current employer is very enlightened and doesn’t have these problems that I know of.

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LIBERTY: Here we have more “theater”!

Judge Sends Duke Prosecutor to Jail
Sep 1, 5:18 AM (ET)

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Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III could have sentenced Nifong, who had already been stripped of his law license and had resigned from office, to as many as 30 days in jail and given him a fine as high as $500. Instead, he opted for a largely symbolic punishment – the public humiliation of sending a prosecutor to jail – that he said would help protect the integrity of the justice system.

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“protect the integrity” … … you have to be kidding me!

Once again the true nature of the criminal gang masquerading as the “gooferment” shows its true colors. Close ranks. CYA. Protect the “system”.

Here we have more “theater”!

Note the story goes out on Friday night of a three day week end where it is sure to be ignored.

Three young men’s lives are ruined. Their families emotionally tortured. And, the treasure expended in their defense.

Sorry, it’s a slap on the wrist. And, the system is fundamentally flawed.

The Grand Jury system doesn’t protect the accused. That’s its one purpose. Despite what you see on Law & Order, there’s truth in the old canard that “a prosecutor can get a ham sandwich indicted”. We need to rework the system. The prosecutor has an unlimited budget to overwhelm all but the rich. And, if you are acquitted, the prosecutor bears — in most cases — no punishment.

No the gooferment courts are part of that illusion of legitimacy. It’s just gooferment bureaucrats in costumes putting on a show and protecting other gooferment bureaucrats.


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LIBERTY: government’s dereliction of its first basic function,_black_victims&ns=WalterEWilliams&dt=08/22/2007&page=2

Liberal Views, Black Victims
By Walter E. Williams
Wednesday, August 22, 2007


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So here’s the question: Should black people accept government’s dereliction of its first basic function, that of providing protection? My answer is no. One of our basic rights is the right to defend oneself against predators. If the government can’t or won’t protect people, people have a right to protect themselves.

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Even if the gooferment could or would protect people, the people have the right to defend themselves.

Interesting. I’ve been quibbling with the great Professor more and more.

I think the formulation of a “right” is interesting process.

(1) To own myself, I acknowledge that all men own themselves.

(2) Thus, everyone owns their past and their future. (If I own myself but not my past and / or my future, then what do I own?)

(3) Rights are basically negatives. Right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

(4) If one man’s rights are infringed, everyone’s rights are infringed. (alone we are weak; together we are dominant.)

(5) I have rights that are “inalienable”. You can’t take them; I can’t give them away.

(6) I can fail to fight for my rights and you can infringe upon them.

(7) If you delegate, that representative can exercise no more rights than you had to delegate.

So, rights are recognized as inalienable but must be defended to “have” them.

Heck, yes, like Jack Nicolson said in A Few Good Men:

Col. Jessep: Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

I too don’t care what the gooferment thinks it’s entitled to. I don’t care what anyone thinks they are entitled too. I especially don’t care what some gang in fancy suits thinks they are entitled to.

I suggest that when push comes to shove over rights, we’ll both have to pick up a rifle and defend each other’s rights. Or “they” will pick us off one by one.

I would say that victims of crime have ONLY themselves to blame for not defending their rights. I’ll stand with them.

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RANT: 194,901 New Jersey residents moved

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Did You Know?

* From 2000–2005 194,901 New Jersey residents moved to other states.

* Since 1965, New Jersey’s state government debt has increased almost 500%.

* From 2000–2004 New Jersey’s government spending grew 13% faster than its economy.

* New Jersey ranked as the least friendly state environment for entrepreneurship in 2006.

* Had New Jersey grown at the national average of 14.5% since 2000, the state’s economy would be almost $20 billion larger. That’s $2,300 per person!

* From 2000–2005 state and local government jobs increased by 52,544 while 4,000 private jobs were lost.

* Between the years 2000–2004 New Jersey had the 8th lowest growth in average wage per job.

* 49% of New Jersey adults say they expect to be no better off financially, or even worse off, next year.

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That’s all I can say!

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RANT: Upturned Palm

A World of Eloquence in an Upturned Palm
Published: August 28, 2007

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ATLANTA — The chimpanzees, after spotting the humans at the corner of their compound, came over to us with their arms outstretched and their palms turned upward. This was the chimps’ way of asking for a banana — and a lot more, as researchers here at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center have discovered.

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Seems like panhandling is a paradigm hard coded in our genes. Maybe that’s why my taxes are so high?

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