THE PEN IS MIGHTIER (An Index Card Novel)

Munitions are defined as military supplies such as weapons and ammunition. The government of the United States and many other countries classified cryptology as munitions for many years. Those policies were relaxed in the 1990s, due to the rise of the Internet, which made the policies impossible to enforce.


The fat old white guy had a funny idea. He was tired of his email being like a post card. And, he had no confidence that ANY commercially available product was trustworthy. So being a crotchety old fart, he decided to reinvent the wheel.

During the “great” World Wars (i.e., One, Two, Cold, Semi-cold, Semi-sweet) — don’t forget there are lots of them — poverty, drugs, cigarette smoking — spies used One Time Pads as unbreakable ciphers. Now possession of a one time pad was a “red flag”. As well as sending the message itself was fraught with danger.

The fat old white guy found an algorithm for generating random text. Twenty six scrabble tiles. He sit while he was watching TV and during the commercials he’d draw a letter, transcribe it, return the tile to the bag, and shake. Could do as many as five letters per commercials. He watched a lot of TV and the commercials were very long.

Soon he self-published “My First Code Book”. With instructions. Write your message out, copy the one time pad key, “add” the letters, mod 26 if needed, and shazam you had your secret message. He wrote some blog posts about it. One was picked up by USA today. Instant hit. He was soon hard at work picking tiles for his subsequent volumes.


In China, a student found an odd message of a web site.

PAGE 120





So did the secret police.

But the student went to University, and heard about a funny fellow in the USA making a fortune selling “code books”. While he couldn’t buy the book, he could download a copy on to a Bit Torrent site.

The secret police did NOT hear about that wrinkle!

Sure enough he found the “code book”, and looked up Page 120.

It started:

bbiwy owytl xgwgc soshw hbxsu

ikfbt ubqzg shtlw nfofv vuorh

gudfr guyuu xwjzm amcjv nghzd

pfgql fobxm nloii vqimn hstdx

jscjo xvhsu ibvdv wxfkd pmyrg

He didn’t have a lot of instructions, but he had lots of time.


About a week later, he’d figured it out. He had to subtract to decrypt.

thepe oplew hopro fitfr omago

vernm entpr ogram aremo remot

ivate dtosu pport ittha nyoua

retoo ppose it

He was entranced.

He began writing his true feelings about liberty and posting them from internet cafes. He’d share his pages with his friends. Then he began to see others doing the same.


The secret police were at a loss as to how to stop this “virus”. Comments on blog posts were inciting people to think. Communications was unfettered. They even found stenography in a picture of the Chairman. Nothing like an obscenity in a picture.


“My First Code Book” made the New York Times bestseller list.

Governments around the world were banning it.

Chairman Mao’s “Little Red Book” became a global best seller.

People realized that any book can be a code book.

Privacy was liberating.

# # # # #

NJ: Pepuls Republik of Nu Jerzee


Is Illinois the most corrupt state?
44 ARRESTS? | Based on FBI resources, late-night TV, Illinois has no rivals
July 27, 2009
BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter nkorecki@suntimes.com

*** begin quote ***

Hey, back off, New Jersey.

Just as Illinois basks in the shameful glow of its most-corrupt reputation, the Garden State wants to one-up us.

Sure, we’ve had two consecutive governors, an army of alderman and a posse of political fund-raisers under indictment — not to mention two current members of Congress facing ethics inquiries.

But in New Jersey last week, 44 people, including three mayors, two state lawmakers and a slew of rabbis were rounded up in a corruption scheme replete with allegations of organ sales, $97,000 stuffed into a cereal box and plenty of good, old-fashioned bribes.

There were so many arrestees, the FBI had to herd them onto a bus.

Well, New Jersey may be trying to outshine us, but if the sleaze factor is gauged by FBI resources, Chicago isn’t slipping.

{Extraneous Deleted}

*** end quote ***

Let’s go NJ we can be number one at something.


Pepuls Republik of Nu Jerzee

# # # # #

MONEY: A global central bank would be a disaster


Daily Bell Archive
Issue 360 • Sunday, July 26, 2009
“The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.” – Ayn Rand
Peter Schiff explains why he was right about free-markets, why Art Laffer was wrong and whether he will run for Senate

*** begin quote ***

Daily Bell: Where do you think this central banking approach to economic development is headed? Do you think it will eventually succeed as a global force – generating a global central bank, etc?

Peter Schiff: I think that in the end, central bankers controlling fiat money will prove to be an unworkable and inherently flawed system. Despite the apparent distinction, central bankers are politicians who are more concerned about rosy economic statistics than they are about sound currency. This can only lead to devalued currencies, which sooner or later becomes a major issue. A global central bank would be a disaster.

*** end quote ***

It would truly signal the end of the American Empire.

Without the status of the world’s reserve currency, an awful lot of dollar would start looking for a home! They’d come to our shores looking for something to buy. Price inflation would be inevitable. Anything that could be boxed up and shipped home would be bid up. One can see whole productive factories being packed up and shipped lock, stock, and barrel. Labor is cheaper elsewhere. The USA wages would drop like a rock.

We’d suddenly know what it is like to be the tail on someone else’s dog.

# # # # #

GUNS: The ultimate tool for varmints


82-year-old shoots, kills robber; 3 women charged
July 23, 2009 12:01:00 AM
By JON MILTIMORE / News Herald Writer

*** begin quote ***

BRISTOL — Octavious Barnes died Sunday still clutching the $1,100 he took from an 82-year-old bar owner before he was shot.

Now, three Blountstown women accused of helping Barnes, 24, face murder charges in connection to his death.

*** end quote ***

That’s a ZERO recidivism rate!

# # # # #

INITIALISMS: TANSTAARTHC — There ain’t no such thing as a right to health care


There ain’t no such thing as a right to health care

by F. Paul Wilson

*** begin quote ***

On a desert island, you still have the right to free speech. And freedom of religion. And freedom of sexual expression. You also have the freedom to smoke or inject whatever available substances you care to.

You do not have the right to three squares a day because there are no farmers to provide them; you do, however, have a right to grow or forage whatever you can. You don’t have a right to a roof over your head because no carpenters live on the island, but you do have a right to erect one.

And you don’t have a right to health care because doctors and nurses and drugstores don’t exist on the island.

No point in belaboring this. Genuine human rights do not require the participation of anyone outside the individual. Anything that does require the aid or intervention of another party is something else. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s not a human right.

*** end quote ***

The author correctly ids the corruption in our language and our thinking.

If you have a positive right, who pays for it?

That is the crux of the issue!

# # # # #

RANT: Who pays the 800$ next year?


Stimulus Funds Give Texas Teachers a Raise Texas teachers will get $800 raises thanks to stimulus funds
Updated 11:30 AM CDT, Sat, Jul 25, 2009

*** begin quote ***

Teachers across the state of Texas will soon get raises, thanks to $2 billion in stimulus funds approved by the Department of Education.

Texas teachers are expected to receive a minimum raise of $800.

*** end quote ***

Stimulus my ass!

I wuz, we wuz, robbed!

Bet those teachers are all members of the teacher’s union!

This is a payoff to Democratic voters.

And in case the dumb shumck politicians, skipped economics, what will they do next year. All these raises will have to be paid for next year by who? Give yourself a gold star if you answered “the taxpayers of Texas”!

It’s an unfunded mandate.

Just like the minimum wage increase is an increase for government workers and union members.


How stupid can you be?

# # # # #

RANT: Obama-care for the old = suicide or murder


Government Health Care Trade-Offs: Death or Treatment?
Posted by Doug Bandow

*** begin quote ***

Uwe Reinhardt has made the argument that health care rationing is health care rationing. It’s inevitable, so there’s no big deal about the government exerting more control. I argued earlier that this ignores the question 0f who is doing the rationing, us or the government? Since resources are finite but desires are infinite, we all engage in “rationing” in most every aspect of our lives. But we do so based on our needs, wants, wishes, and dreams, not those of politicians or bureaucrats.

*** end quote ***

… all for the common good!

Why do I think that the politicians will get a different “health care plan”?

And, could this be a way to quicken the collection of death taxes?


# # # # #

SERVICE: Warranty Elephant; sounds like a good idea


Welcome to Warranty Elephant .com, a unique website designed to organize your warranty information on all purchased goods. Your warranty information will be stored for free on our secure server and will be listed by date of warranty expiration. An easy click on the item will allow you to obtain all valid warranty information on that product, including handy telephone numbers and your product’s serial number.

In addition, you can even upload a copy of your warranty itself and your invoice, so that you don’t have to search through stacks of paper to try and find the documents needed to exercise your warranty rights.

We will send you reminder emails at 3 months, 1 month and 1 week before your warranty expires. This will remind you to check your item and ensure it is in good working order. If it is not, you will have all the information needed, right in front you, to arrange for warranty service. You will never again spend money to purchase a warranty on an item only to have it break down and not be able to remember whether the warranty has expired or if you had even purchased the warranty in the first place.

# – # – #

Seems like a good idea to me.
Warranties, especially extended ones, seem worthless.
Maybe an organized approach would change that opinion.
I view stuff I buy as a “used car”. Caveat emptor.
Maybe saving this information might make it easier to return stuff.
# # # # #

GOVEROTRAGEOUS: The Gooferment has its thumb on the scale


Obstructing and Manipulating
by Bill Sardi

*** begin quote ***

Bernanke Caught Swapping Currencies

On the same day Barofsky was briefing Congress on his 250-page report, a film clip on YouTube showed Congressman Alan Grayson grilling the Federal Reserve’s Ben Bernanke, who admitted to swapping $500 billion of US funds to central bankers in Europe in one day (this represents 25% of what the US collects in taxes in an entire year), in what appears to have been an attempt to alter the value of the US dollar and to influence the price of oil and the value of stocks.

*** end quote ***

What that means is that, to the Average Joe , the markets are being manipulated.

What that means is that eventually one big ugly chicken is going to come home to roost.

What that means is that sooner or later the truth will come out.

We wuz robbed.

And the elite did it.

So recognize the thieves in DC and vote them ALL out.

# # # # #

POLITICAL: Too many trends in the wrong direction


Has Obama’s luck run out?
Posted: July 23, 2009 10:30 pm Eastern
Pat Buchanan

*** begin quote ***

Obama is approaching such a moment of truth.

The universal health insurance plans being advanced all appear too complex, costly and non-credible to pass both houses. The cap-and-trade carbon emissions bill, with its huge costs to be passed on to U.S. producers and consumers, as China opts out, seems an act of national masochism.

The $787 billion stimulus bill has done zip to stimulate the economy. Less than 10 percent of the money has gone out the door, which makes one wonder why it was called a stimulus package. Unemployment is at 9.5 percent, well above what the Obamaites predicted, and rising.

As worrisome is the situation in Afghanistan. The United States has 66,000 troops in country or on the way, as our NATO allies look for the exit ramp. We are seven and a half years in and the Afghan army is not remotely capable of defending the nation or regime.

*** end quote ***

While I’m not a Buchanan-ite, one has to recognize he is a perceptive political analyst.

Bill “it’s the economy, stupid” Clinton had a Waterloo with health care. Obama seems to be heading the same way.

Ron Paul, the only true peace candidate in the last election, was laughed at for the “first thing coming home”.

Everyone can say what they want, but we are heading in the wrong direction.

# # # # #



Wahhabism is a sect attributed to Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab.

# – # – #

Allie Ahmed Ackbar was the perfect agent. Born of a Saudi intellectual and a Scandinavian woman, he looked like a Nordic skier. Raised as a Wahhabi, he learned about all the terrible things that had been done to his people. He was determined to get revenge.

# – # – #

It was a morality play. Allie hired an actress and three children. All nordic looking. They spoke no English. They were told that it was a pilot for an American TV show. All were very smart, diligent about learning their lines, and focused on giving an Oscar winning performance. This could be their big break.

In practice, the ‘wife’ was concerned, the middle girl could cry an ocean on command, the oldest boy would look fearfully stoic, and the youngest boy could appear to fight back tears. The stage was set.

Greed would spread the tainted money. Infecting all who touched it. Incubation. Launch the flu.

# – # – #

The fat old white man loved McD’s. His weekly diet treat was to go for a big mac. His svelte beautiful spouse would carefully cut it in quarters. And, give him a single quarter. He also got 22 french fries. He would dutifully and longingly throw the rest away. As he savored his meal in ecstasy, he was watching the hustle and bustle in the counter area. Maybe some day, he’d retire and work at McD’s. Free food. Sigh, and he’d be 800 pounds.

Over by the ATM, a man with a family was working the ATM. Obviously, things weren’t going well. The situation was deteriorating. He couldn’t recognize the language, but he could read the faces. The crying girl tugged at him. He was ready to “help” when his wife said MYOB. He contented himself with some cell phone pics.

The upset family marched out of the restaurant. The mother dragging the crying girl; the father with both boys by the hand marching to their doom. Or so it appeared. He was such a romantic. Now that they were gone, he went over to the ATM. It displayed “Do you want a receipt?” and he poked yes. With that the machine spit out a receipt and a wad of money. He was about grab it and realized he had special sauce all over his hand. He grabbed the money with a napkin.

Looking around for the family, they were no where in sight. He returned to the table where his wife said: “You can never mind you own business. Now what are you going to do?” “Well, it’s not mine and they must need it.” With that he called the cops. Not 911. But the regular number.

The cop looked at the money on the table still partially covered by the saucy napkin. Heard the story. Looked at the ATM and smelled a rat. He’d used that ATM and it looked different. It had a different dispenser. And, why wouldn’t the family have called the manager? He bagged the money as evidence. And, called for the detectives. This just didn’t smell right.

# – # – #

Back at their airport hotel, Allie’s comrades did some throat slitting. So as not to leave loose ends. He felt no compunction. These were just tools. Sheep to be slaughtered. He was actually doing them a favor. Their genes would permit the pandemic flu to kill them. Horribly. He was being merciful.

The crew went to the airport. They were all on different flights back to Saudi Arabia. They meet again at the mosque tomorrow to survey the collapse of the Great Satan. Taken down by their greed. Contaminated money.

Passport control is a interesting place. It’s evolved over the years. It’s a human man trap. As Allie passed thru passport control, he saw a grainy photo taped by the inspector’s workstation. It was a family by an ATM. The plexiglass partitions snapped into place. The inspector’s face was grim. He could hear excited men yelling at him “Keep Your Hands Where We Can See Them”.

# – # – #

The fat old white man modestly declined any publicity. He didn’t understand all the attention. He didn’t do anything special. He did what any McD lover would do. But he did accept the McD’s lifetime card for free Big Mac’s. His wife sill cut them in quarters giving him only one. Now he didn’t feel so bad about throwing away the excess.

# # # # #

TECHNOLOGY: You have to expect failure


*** begin quote ***

Your session ID for this incident is 29038665.

Time Details

07/22/2009 11:35:33AM System: “Thanks for choosing chat for your technical support needs. A chat agent will be with you shortly. Just so you know, you can also visit our website at support.dell.com to get technical help.”

{Extraneous Deleted}

07/22/2009 12:44:21PM Agent (Sup_Karanpreet_116303): “That is fine. In case you get any issues again you can call at 1-800-624-9896 and can leave a voice mail on my extension 5880012 and we will get back to you in maximum 24 hours.”

If you require further assistance, please visit us at support.dell.com

Like, in what universe does that make sense? What makes it a good idea to let me, an unqualified 20 year old girl, take apart my computer and replace the hard drive?? wtf. No.

I lost my summer log too :( everything that had happened, all my reactions and thoughts and feelings…gone. I’m pretty distraught. Luckily, I saved my story because I sent it to Shannon!! Thank heavens for small favors…

*** end quote ***

Support, warranties, extended warranties, and implied promises … all worthless!

Hopefully, my fellow alum will muddle through.

Carbonite, Apple Time Machine, usb drives.

# # # # #

Hello fellow alum:

Sorry to hear of your problems. It’s happened to me; then I got “religion” about backups. If you’re like me, the budget for “fixing” is zero. (There are expensive recovery services. I actually used one for a corporate desktop. Cost 650$ and took 3 days — door to door.)

I have some suggestions.

Regardless of your technical expertise, and your location, I think you might be able to do your own investigation and possibly recovery.

Before you wig out. My other suggestion is to find some personal help from your local nerd herd. Geeks always love to help beautiful women. :-)

If you can get your hands on a Linux “Live CD” (I can certainly send you one), you can try to boot from it. If it boots, you have a window of opportunity to save your data. The Live CD will allow you to actually copy the files to a USB thumb drive.

If the hard disk is truly crashed, there will be nothing you can do. But, it is worth taking a look.

Going forward, now that you’ve been inducted into the “Church of Always Backing Up”, you need to have some backup. Worst thing is to have it happen again.

Carbonite, (Not Mozy), will give you a small free online backup without anythought. Apple’s Time Machine is the gold standard for unattended unthinking backup. Many of the USB drives for Windoze have the same capability.

Hope this helps,

# # # # #


3-Channel Super J3 Piper Cub EP RTF Radio Remote Controlled RC Plane 1/10 Scale Electric Powered


The Shumer hit. It was the long expected pandemic. Not swine. Anthrax.

Some zealot aimed at the Jews and hit the world. It doesn’t take long for a pandemic to circle the globe. And, they say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Besides, who in their right mind would open Pandora’s Box. A box provided by the combined weapons labs of the US and the USSR.


In his county, they were hit hard. The die off was close to 80%. Strangers were no longer welcome. Travelers were shot on sight. They were lucky to have so many Mormons and Amish in the county. Between the two, they’d have a functioning nucleus of society. IF they could keep from being infected.

That’s where he came in. Fat old white guy with an odd ball hobby and a tin foil hat. The tin foil hat had him prepared for any one of a number of scenarios. Most had him, and his extended family, retiring to their basement 1950’s fall out shelter for some number of days. He’d taught himself how to can from Backwoods Home magazine. Survival foods for years. It wasn’t a spacious retreat. But when the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse are out for a ride, anything is bearable.


The Sheriff, the new one, not the dead old one, looked him up when it became obvious there was activity at his place. The Sheriff had a posse. But trying to cover the county was a hopeless task. Despite that they didn’t have a lot of access roads (they were a poor farming county), and despite the Golden Horde never really materialized (thanks to a quick death), the posse was stretched too thin. Wouldn’t be long until there was an oversight.

As the Sheriff rode up to the gate, he was met by the fat old white guy. “You stand out here all day and night?”, the Sheriff asked. “No! Spotted you coming.” “How?” “My birds.” “Birds?” “Sure, wanna see?” “Yes I do.” With that the fat old white guy picked up a box and did something. The Sheriff heard the buzz as a high speed thing whizzed over his head. “It’s not a Predator. But it’s close. It has eyes and fangs.” “How would you like to be a deputy?”


The County Air Force was in full operation. There were 3 operators on duty at any one time. One operator could keep 15 birds in the air. It took 15 minutes to land one, take off a replacement, and have it set to circle its patrol area. One operator kept watching the bank of 15 monitors. One operator was in charge of refueling. They’d change every hour. Work a six hour shift and be relieved. It was the posse.

A rapid response team was ready to back them up. But weren’t often needed. If trouble was spotted, an strafing run would usually discourage the intruders.


One side benefit was that the community’s hunters didn’t waste a lot of time tracking deer. A drone could lead them directly to their prey. Most of the hunters really didn’t appreciate the “help” if they missed the shot. A quick pass from the sky would fix their aim. It wasn’t even sporting. Like fish in a barrel.

# # # # #

RANT: Mayo Clinic doesn’t like Obama-care aka Clinton-care


Mayo Clinic calls House plan bad medicine

Obama loses support on reform

By Christina Bellantoni (Contact) and Jennifer Haberkorn (Contact)

Originally published 04:45 a.m., July 21, 2009, updated 01:39 p.m., July 21, 2009

*** begin quote ***

A world-renowned clinic that President Obama held up as an example of good medicine said Monday that the American people would be “losers” under the House’s health care proposal, joining the growing chorus of critics the Obama administration is trying to fend off as the debate intensifies from Capitol Hill to Main Street.

*** end quote ***

How many people need to tell the American People that this is a disaster for them to wake up and call their congress critters on the carpet. And it’s not a “red” one they should be on.

# # # # #

NATIONAL: WalMart plays “politics”


Friday, July 03, 2009
It’s the economy (of scale), stupid!

*** begin quote ***

Wal-Mart is playing this masterfully: Cutting the legs from beneath its existing competitors, aborting its would-be competitors in the womb … and getting cookies and milk for “corporate social responsibility” in the process!

Nothing new under the sun, of course — from anti-trust to utilities to you name it, “big business” has always been the moving force behind the “progressive” initiatives supposedly intended to bring it to its knees. Big Government and Big Business are symbiotes.

*** end quote ***

Another form of “regulatory capture”?

# # # # #

NJ: Dirty politicians isn’t news imho

*** begin quote ***

News Alert from The Wall Street Journal

FBI agents made dozens of arrests in northern New Jersey, including the mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus, in what is being described as a major international money-laundering probe. A news conference is scheduled for noon at the U.S. Attorneys Office in Newark.

*** end quote ***

Arresting Jerzee politicians; that’s news?

It’s old news and a function of government. Feather your own nest, reward your friends, and punish your enemies!

When the people want to change the system, they can!

Bring out the tar and feathers. Ostracize the “bad guys”.

Change the system to eliminate the ability to profit from “service”.

Eliminate government pensions and salaries. Term limits strictly enforced.

LONG prison terms for corruption! Stripping the families of ill-gotten gains.
# # # # #

WRITING: NO GOOD DEED (An Index Card Novel)

“Remember the end of WW2 when the Nazis put their children into the field. A lot of GIs, who couldn’t envision a little kid being deadly accurate with a rifle, didn’t come home.”
    — CHURCH 10●19●62 Chapter 62


His team was on patrol. The LT was in back, Top was in front, Jimmy from “Hicksville” somewhere was his buddy. They came upon a Raghead Boy beating a puppy with a stick. No ROE for this. Jimmy took the pup; I administered a boot butt. And we moved on.


Months later, one night, evening really, the dog went nuts. Jimmy was up; I was dozing our hole. “The kid’s in the wire. Coming for his dog?”, he whispered. ROE was to waste him. Jimmy was still from “Hicksville”. The Raghead Boy made it in; as did his unseen friends. Suicide bombers. Carnage. What was left of Jimmy went to “Hicksville” for burial. No one made it but me. LT, Top, the the team, even the dog. All wasted. I got hit; shrapnel and some pieces of the Raghead Boy. Maybe even his friends.

Really, they should have killed me. They did kill me. Just was taking a while to die.


Back in the world. Partial D. Paid for room and booze. Even some weed. Family mostly didn’t understand. Unks and Unks in law who’d been to the “Republic of” did. Just drifting. Trying to save the unsavable. Why me?


One night, drifting, found an “urban yute”. Beating a puppy with a stick.

I flashed.

Saved the puppy. Beat the kid with the same stick. His momma was watching and called the cops.


I was convicted of misdemeanor assault by virtue of diminished capacity. Quietly shipped to a VA hospital for whatever. Doing an indeterminate stretch of at least 15. No big deal. Just waiting to join my team.

Year later, I heard that the “urban yute” had done a home invasion robbery. With some friends. Tied up the family. Got the goods. His friends left; he didn’t. Stopped to rape the kids, made the parents watch, then beat them all to death with a stick. He got juvee until he was 21.

Guess I was “Jimmy”. I should have killed both “Raghead” boys. What could they have done? Given mey 30. Sent me to my patrol. No good deed ….

# # # # #

CORRUPTION: The SEC is “captured”


SEC Favors Special Interests in New Corporate Elections Rule
Posted by Mark A. Calabria

*** begin quote ***

Yesterday, the SEC repealed a long-standing rule which allowed brokers to vote shares on behalf of their investors, unless they obtained written directions from each individual investors. While investors have long been able to direct the voting of their shares, many do not take the time to. In these cases, the brokers vote those shares, after all they are the agents of the investors and are hired to act on their behalf.

The direct effect of the rule will be to reduce the voting weight of retail investors, as represented by their brokers. In voting against the rule, SEC Commissioner Kathy Casey raised the point that the rule would skew voting toward large institutional investors and away from little retail investors.

*** and ***

Then one should not be too surprised to see pension funds be allowed to cast their “uninstructed” votes while brokers cannot. The largest pension funds manage the retirement of unionized state and local employees, often with the fund management itself representing the interests of the unions. We witnessed this same favoring of union interests over the common good in the auto bailouts.

The rule once again illustrates that the new bosses in Washington are busy rewarding their allies at the expense of everyone else.

*** end quote ***

I’m shocked — “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” Captain Renault in Casablanca — that there is politics going on in regulation. Ever heard of “regulatory capture” or as a normal human being would call it: “The inmates are running the asylum”!

The SEC did so well in the Made-Off scandal. Never did reimpose the uptick rule. Never did figure out the “ratings agency” problem.

But they can sure pay off contributors fast!

# # # # #

TECHNOLOGY: Data Portability


Power.com Countersues Facebook Over Data Portability
by Jason Kincaid on July 9, 2009

*** begin quote ***

The Data Portability wars just got a little more interesting. Power.com, the service that lets users aggregate their social networks into a single hub, is countersuing Facebook for restricting users’ ability to export and move their own data. The company is claiming that Facebook is unlawfully withholding the data that users own (as stated in Facebook’s own ToS), and is stifling competition by refusing to allow third party services like Power.com to access the data, among other things. This should be fun.

*** and ***

It’s an analogy that has been drawn since the data portability movement began, and while it may make sense, there’s no guarantee the courts will view phone numbers and a user’s social network data in the same light.

*** and ***

The idea that users aren’t allowed to input their username and passwords into other services is particularly hypocritical, as that’s exactly what Facebook invites you to do to import contacts from services like Gmail and Yahoo Mail.

Facebook can point to its efforts with Facebook Connect, which lets you log in with your Facebook username at third party sites and import some select data from your profile, as evidence of its openness. But this isn’t true data portability, it’s just a new walled garden — third parties are generally only allowed to cache your data, which means that you’re still tethered to Facebook.

*** end quote ***

Data portability is the issue.


It’s MY data.


# # # # #

GOLDBUG: Myths, Misunderstandings, and Outright Lies


Myths, Misunderstandings, and Outright Lies

# – # – #

Well worth reading BEFORE buying or selling anything gold, silver, or other “valuable stuff”.

As a veteran “gold bug”, I knew this stuff, but it’s well written refresher.

It’s long, but let me summarize: If you see it on TV or hear it on radio, be afraid. Be very afraid!

If Wall Street is a casino, then a lot of the gold dealers are just fraudsters.

Fore warned is fore armed.

Now can I interest you in Nigerian Gold Shares?

# # # # #

POLITICAL: Subsidies and tariffs disclosurer!


Your Handout to Agri-Business
07/09/2009 10:31 AM
John Stossel

*** begin quote ***

The Atlantic’s James Gibney has this suggestion:

Every product whose ingredients benefit from a subsidy should include the following language on the label:

“This product has been subsidized by the U.S. government at taxpayer expense. For more information, please visit usda.gov.”

And every product that benefits from tariff protection should have the following language on the label:

“This product is protected from foreign competition by U.S. import tariffs. Its price is higher as a result. For more information, please visit usitc.gov.”

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I LOVE it!

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GOVEROTRAGEOUS: Brainwashing future voters


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Public schools are filled with eager, fresh-faced youngsters, and prisons contain many rough-looking adults with uninviting personalities. But put aside that difference, writes Steve Chapman, and you find some important similarities between the two places—government-run facilities where individuals are held for a specific number of years without their consent, at the mercy of their custodians. So it was a mild surprise last week to learn from the Supreme Court there are some abridgments of freedom and invasions of privacy inflicted on children that the justices will not tolerate.

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And, why does a freedom loving America permit the gooferment to brainwash future voters?

Notice where Obama sends his children for their education.

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TECHNOLOGY: Kindle and its ilk too pricy for me


Kindle 2 price plunge signals e-book reader competition
by Melissa J. Perenson, PC World

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Amazon quietly lowered the price on its Kindle 2 e-book reader Wednesday. That didn’t take long: The Kindle 2 became available only about five months ago. And the price cut is a significant one: Amazon cropped $60 off the top price of its second-generation e-book reader, which now carries a more reasonable price tag of $299.

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I’d suspect that before I leap on any bandwagon it has to be under 100$. (Minimize my buyer’s remorse.) And, I don’t like wht I’ve been reading about the price fixing on Kindle Books. (That is that despite near zero cost, everything is 10$.) Add to that DRM and you have to rebuy if you need to redownload too many times. (Not my idea of a good user experience!) Argh! So, I’m not in the ebook market yet.

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