Saturday, March 26, 2011

President Reagan INCREASED taxes

As it turns out Ronald Reagan- the conservative community's demi-god, actually increased taxes on GE by over 30%. Crazy- huh?
As it has evolved, the company has used, and in some cases pioneered, aggressive strategies to lower its tax bill. In the mid-1980s, President Ronald Reagan overhauled the tax system after learning that G.E. — a company for which he had once worked as a commercial pitchman — was among dozens of corporations that had used accounting gamesmanship to avoid paying any taxes.

“I didn’t realize things had gotten that far out of line,” Mr. Reagan told the Treasury secretary, Donald T. Regan, according to Mr. Regan’s 1988 memoir. The president supported a change that closed loopholes and required G.E. to pay a far higher effective rate, up to 32.5 percent.
-NY Times

Sunday, February 27, 2011


I don't do voicemail. I just don't. It takes effort and texts are easier. I'm lazy, not going to lie. In fact- I get angry when people leave voicemails. Unless they're super funny. Also- I had a whole laundry list of reasons why voice mail sucks but I didn't write it down last night so now all I've got is that I'm lazy. Believe me, though- I have valid reasons. Voicemail sucks. True story.

Why bother wasting it on bread?

funny graphs - Put The Bread DOWN
see more Funny Graphs


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Privacy and the Modern World

"The police department is hitting a fly with a sledgehammer," said Steven Banks, attorney in chief of the city's Legal Aid Society. "There's been an extensive legislative debate in New York state in which the legislature only permits the police department to collect DNA evidence in certain kinds of cases. So it's incumbent upon the police department not to find a whole new technology and then forge ahead without any legislative authority."

A fly with a sledgehammer? Hardly. And Iris scans are not DNA samples. I've collected Iris scans, other than being a pain because you have to make sure you are the right distance away from their face, it's just a picture of their face with measurements applied to the information in the image.
Governments and corporations intend to use facial recognition software to track the public and to eliminate privacy, he said, noting that automatically identifying people in public in the U.S., when they are not suspected of a crime, could be a violation of constitutional rights.

So what they're saying here is that looking at people in public and knowing who they are is somehow not only illegal but in violation of constitutional rights. I mean, I understand that a computer is more efficient than an individual, but ultimately: it's the same thing. I mean, this isn't even something that I can't do myself like DNA evidence and iris scans, this is just letting the computer do something that anyone can do for themselves.

"Once the incident happened, we were able to immediately notify the 128 flights in the air, as well as airports on the ground domestically, internationally, our law enforcement partners, other allies, institute immediate safe procedures to make sure that this could not happen on other flights and that people were watching out for it on other flights, even as we focused on what went wrong prior to this one," Napolitano added Monday.

...The Transportation Security Administration invoked a "one hour rule" after the thwarted attack, which prohibited passengers on international U.S.-bound flights from leaving their seats during the last hour of a flight, sources said.
-2009.12.28 Air Travel Security Under Review,

I'm just not sure what to make of this one. I mean- 'a one hour rule'? Come on- what was this guy's intent? he wanted to detonate in the air and kill everyone on board. And he wasn't successful- the ONLY part of the security system that worked was the onboard, passengers taking it into their own hands. We won't see the long term hijackings that we saw in the seventies and eighties because of 9/11. Americans on aircraft won't allow themselves to be used like they were that day. Flight 93 and the response to the Christmas day bomber was evidence of that. Prior to 9/11 people had no idea that they would use the planes as missiles. Now they do. So anything that we're doing should focus on preventing the long lines in airports to avoid presenting a good target to any would be terrorists. The reason we've built up this ridiculous security apparatus for the air travel industry is because of the repercussions of the long term hijackings of the seventies and eighties. Since that's not going to happen anymore, we need to focus our efforts elsewhere. The reason that aircraft presented such a good target was their isolation and their ability to control a large number of passengers with limited manpower. That advantage has gone away and aircraft now present just as good a target as any other group of people.
One passenger on same plane as AbdulMutallab told CNN's "Larry King Live" that the security checks at Schiphol were not as stringent as those she is used to in the United States.

"We walked through and did not have to take our shoes off," said Wisconsin native Richelle Keepman. "Also, my mother had a water bottle in her bag that she'd completely forgotten about. And it went right through and we didn't realize it until we were on the plane."
2009.12.30 Dutch use full body scans,

And this is why stupid policies, like forcing us to take off our shoes, will not go away. Because once it takes force, you can't be the one to do away with it because when something unrelated happens you get reamed out for not doing whatever ridiculousness your predecessor came up with. So there's that. I'll leave you with a link to something about Isreal's take on airport security Isrealification of Airports

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Love canada

Love Canada. True story. They have huge bear heads on their buildings.
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Saw that one movie

Yup. It was a movie. And I saw it. It wasn't great, but it was entertaining. Thought provoking? Some might say. It made me think- but there's very little that doesn't make me think. What sort of thoughts? I'm not sure. In this case, about movie making and the relationship between actions and character. It's a movie about bank robbers and the drama surrounding that lifestyle. I feel like Boston is the new Philadelphia. I refer you to The Departed, Mystic River and the Fighter. The second set of movies really just includes the Rocky movies and Philadelphia (Tom Hanks and Denzel). So me saying Boston is the new Philadelphia is really just me saying, 'I have weird thoughts about movies'.
So what did I think about while watching this movie? First- about movies. This movie is basically a far-fetched action movie masquerading as a heist film with an oddly hollow romantic aspect. I remember reading about how romantic movies in the last ten years have failed to develop relationships. There's no real reason why the romantic leads are together, it just sort of happens because they're the romantic leads in a movie and everyone knows that they're going to be romantic together. I should probably watch some older movies in the 'golden age' of romantic movies. I should give a shout out to A. Molina and Lark for putting on Gone With The Wind, but I didn't actually watch it. I mostly just thought about how that would fit into my plan to assess the difference between 'golden age' romance and modern romance vis a vis the relationship between movie romance and real romance. So- props for watching good old Scarlett and Rhett and reminding me of the 'dearth of fleshed out romances in modern cinema'. Can't remember who wrote about that, but I do remember it bothered me. So anyways. The Town. What should I say about it? I feel like there's some expectation that we all should have something substantive and amazing to say about everything. I'm not sure where it comes from, but it's the source of all these people taking notes in church that they'll never read and all these self important blogs(including this one) and the cluttered book stores full of eight million books about nothing or how to do eight million things in a hundred different ways. I was listening to NPR's Fresh Air today, and that Supreme Court Justice who was on Larry King Live was talking about his book. I remember one of the blurbs from Larry King- 'More Americans know the names of the three stooges than three supreme court justices.' You think? The three stooges' names haven't ever changed and there are only three of them. At my last count(wikipedia's last count) Elena Kagan is justice number 112. What are you trying to prove by saying that more Americans know the names of the three stooges (there's actually four, Wikipedia just told me)? It's obvious and completely irrelevant. Nevertheless, there it is on the scroll at the bottom of the screen for us all to ooh and ahh about. It'd ridiculous.

Ridiculous. 2 Years ahead of my time and what does it get me?

I just had to share this video. My favorite part has to be the bicycles. One of the rappers is pressing one towards the end. It really just confuses me, to be honest. I fully expected some hipsters to start playing bike polo or something, but it never happened. Oh well.

Friday, September 03, 2010

An Interesting Life:

Having passed through the gateway into the second quarter of my life (albeit two years ago) I take the time to review the last quarter of a century as seen through my eyes. Mind you, this introspective piece is actually inspired by a recent comment to the effect that I am an awful story teller. While this is a title that has plagued me for most of my life- I had not heard it for quite some time. The shock which this reintroduction of old themes presented caused me to question the origin of my particular brand of storytelling, which some might call lame but that I refer to as awesome. I've narrowed it down to three possibilities. One- I've led a drab, dull life full of fake stories. I went to war, only it was a fake war. I went on a 'blind date' only it was a fake date. I do 'extreme' sports only I'm not quite on 'the level'. I got hypothermia only it was just 'moderate' and not severe. I've got scars, but they're from lame things like holding onto a hog for castration, close encounters with house cats, and an unfortunate trip to Deer Valley. I'm not necessarily complaining, I'm just offering it up as a possible explanation for my paltry story telling ability: I simply don't have any good stories. This explanation doesn't really satisfy, however. The second possibility is that I just have an awful, quirky memory and I can't remember the right details to remain relevant to my story telling audience. The third option is that I'm just oblivious and I don't remember the details because I never processed them in the first place. I'm just naturally slow and so the fast paced events that should be a good story go unnoticed, whereas the lame, slow events get recycled over and over again.
At any rate, I needed to write something down and see if anyone has something to say about it. It being either my life or my story telling ability. My head's spinning, there's been a lot going on lately. Just trying to wrap my head around it and drive on.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Childhood. Awesome. Let's go throw rocks at trains.

Mac and Charlie are like the best parts about being a kid. Complete cluelessness about the way the real world works and complete focus on AWESOMENESS. They're pretty much homosexual- which is pretty wierd. But not enough to not make me laugh all the time completely out loud at pretty much everything they say. This post basically has no purpose in life, it's just a random smattering of words. Just like everything else on the internet...