Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Deeply-Religious Pirate Crew

Incongruences make me laugh.

Check this out. A group of Somali Pirates hijacked a ship loaded to the hilt with weapons while they were fasting for Ramadan and have now entered negotiations for the return of the ship for a ransom of $5 million, but the talks were recessed for the celebration of the Holy feast of Eid il'Fitur, the official end of the fasting season.


Somali Pirates
Thievary during the Fast
Thievary of Weapons during the Fast
Pirate Negotiations
Ransom for a hijacked ship
Oh, and this is the best part, the pirates really want a large sum of money, but they have to wait until they are done loading the deck of the ship with fresh fruits, vegetables and livestock to be sacraficed for the Feast before they can collect it.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Welcome to the Real World America.

Writer and Blogger for Skirt! magazine , Rhi B. posted a warning to great America about the consequences of not persuing a bailout. Great thoughts and I appreciate her industry insights thoroughly.

The reality is, however, that Democrat or Repubican, rich or even poor, everyone has reeped the ill-deserved rewards that you described so eloquently in her post. Even myself - a recent graduate in debt to my ears with no assets and a job that doesn't pay me enough to live without the support of my parents. I benefited through the my parents and the overspending I was entitled by the preditory lending of credit card companies (financial pimps who really started this thing even though no one is looking at that).

We have all ridden high on the bubble of unpaid debts, credit cards and loans. And now that the bills are in collections, everyone is looking at who should shoulder the burden. We all share responsibility for this debt.

BUT, the bailout does nothing to solve the problem, it merely delays the inevitable... like finding a debt consilidation service for the obnoxiously rich.

And whether we take our medicine now like good little kids by, as Rhi said, "tightening our belts" and not living lavish lifestyles that are grossly beyond our means, or we proceed with the bailout and pass on the debt to future generations, the fallout will surely come sometime.

By going forward with the bailout, the government will, in essence, be rewarding corporate greed - paying off the corporations who, according to Rhi, the politicians are in bed with for running their businesses into the ground. There will be resignations and rediculously large severence packages, and once again, the rich get richer. Count on it... Any deal that is overseen by the same people who caused the problem in the first place is sure to benefit the overseers even more.

This package stands as the first step in the socialization of the American economy. It will further shrink the middle class (without the tax exemptions that the wealthy in this country enjoy, they will be the ones to shoulder the burden once again)... so they got screwed in the consumer market, and now they look to be screwed in the investment market as well as banks continue to claim they cannot lend and interest rates plummet even further.

As it stands today, the investment market is actually functioning rather normally. Yes, it tanked today. But not at an irrepairable level. This is certainly not the Crash of 1929.

Personally, I say give the American middle-class the right to do what they do best: Stay resilient, be creative and entreprenuerial in their spending, work hard and preserve the market themselves through continual investment made with legitimate funds rather than lies and stated-incomes. This is the only way to preserve the American middle-class and our way of life.

Welcome to the real world America: We must suffer the consequences for the people to prevail.

(Read more)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bailout: Why not buy my bad debt too?

Last I heard, the American dollar is only worth 97 cents.

Now, Congress wants the Department of Treasury to spend $700 billion to buy a bunch of mortgages that never should have been lent in the first place as a bailout.

This is like a bad marriage on the horizon. A wealthy woman with a spending problem wants to marry a man with a gambling problem. Sounds like a formula for disaster to me.

The result of this deal: more inflation, lower interest rates, and more financial suffering for the middle class. The richer get richer, and the poorer get poorer. Oh, and by the way, they have built into the legislation that the $700 billion will be repaid to the Treasury. Who do you think is going to get that bill?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Inquiring minds want to know

How do you keep from getting bitter in the face of an injustice that you aren't supposed to know anything about?

How do you start a publication without any moral, financial, or professional support?

How do you chase your dreams when the bills continue to pile up on your desk?

How do you let go of an ex- who texts you "good morning" and "good night" everyday?

How do you say you don't care when they end up in the hospital sick?

How do you walk away when you are the only person who cares that Lupus is not a form cancer?

How do you not say "I told you so," when you told her so?

How do you tell your best friend that she is being completely selfish without being completely selfish?

How do you balance your checkbook these days? Seriously.

How do you find happiness in the midst of the mass exodus of joys in life?

How do you strengthen your abs with a broken back?

How do you apply for grants to make a documentary about Iraqi refugees without losing your steady gig?

How do you tell your mother that you won't write press releases for her organization?

How do you look her into her teary eyes and tell her that you won't do it on principle?

How do you make baklava?

How do you hide your tears when the one you thought you were building your life with betrays you?

How do you make someone who has watched you stumble through life's trials and tribulations, failing at every turn only to rise up and try once more, see your success? How do you garner their respect?

How do you stop seeking it?

How do you say, "Bite me" in Arabic?

How do you tell your first love that you are still in love with them?

How do you get medical treatment when the insurance company won't send your medical card?

How do you explain to your attorney that you really have been living in pain and sucking it up while you waited for that card?

How do you pelt police officers with balloons filled with bleach and call yourself a "non-violent, anti-war protestor"?

And, for crying out loud, how do you solve a Rubix cube?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hide My Mini Feed Google!

Bothered by your Mini Feed being all open and exposed today on Facebook? Blame Google.

AP Internet Writer
NEW YORK (AP) - Google Inc's online communities have little traction in the United States, but the search leader continues to seek a spot in the social-networking hierarchy.
First, it must contend with Facebook, the No. 2 online hangout behind MySpace.
Days after Google unveiled Friend Connect, which lets the sites of musicians, political campaigns and others incorporate profile data from several social networks, Facebook began to block the program.
Although Google was taking advantage of the same tools that Facebook made available free to other outside developers, Facebook said Google was violating Facebooks restrictions on data sharing. The two sides remain in a stalemate.
Google, whose Orkut social network has tens of millions of users in Brazil, tried to reach further into social networking with the November unveiling of a consortium called OpenSocial, which lets developers write applications for use on multiple social networks. News Corp.'s MySpace has joined, but Facebook hasn't.
This month, Google unveiled Friend Connect, which promises to pool profile data from Facebook, Google Talk, Orkut, LinkedIn, Plaxo and hi5, though not MySpace. The profile information gets incorporated into other sites [--] a political campaign, for instance, can build communities of supporters by tapping existing networks [--] with Google serving as the intermediary.
Facebook quickly objected, citing privacy concerns. Normally dealing with other companies one on one, Facebook can block a service it feels violates its rules. With Google as the intermediary, Facebook lost that leverage, so it decided to block Friend Connect entirely.
In a blog posting, Facebook developer Charlie Cheever said Google's Friend Connect "redistributes user information from Facebook to other developers without users' knowledge, which doesn't respect the privacy standards our users have come to expect."
Google responded, acknowledging it passes along data. But it said sharing is limited to links for profile photos of users and friends who have expressly consented to sharing with that particular site. The user's name and numeric ID on Facebook are replaced with Google's own identifiers, Google said in a company blog post.
Google also said it purges Facebook data from its systems every 30 minutes, more frequently than the 24 hours required by Facebook.
Facebook has run into privacy challenges before, most recently when it unveiled a marketing tool called "Beacon" that tracked purchases Facebook members made on other Web sites and sent alerts to their Facebook friends about the transactions.
But Rachel Happe, research manager at IDC, said the dispute is ultimately about control rather than privacy. She said Google's Friend Connect starts to eat into other peoples value proposition, which is why you saw Facebook object to it."

Facebook is reworking its security systems to protect its users from Google's web crawler, so be patient. The invasion of your privacy will soon cease, and your status updates, relationship status updates, personal pictures and wall postings will no longer be posted in all over the Web.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bear eats trainer on film? Only in Hollywood

Rocky the bear, a 700-pound grizzly, was called the best trained in the business. So much so that he responded to cues during a "wrestling match" with Will Farrel in "Semi Pro."
But something must of aggrevated him on Tuesday when he reportedly killed his handler during a video shoot at a training facility near Los Angeles.

Steve Miller, 39, was one of three handlers working with Rocky when the five-year-old bear bit him in the neck and killed him. The other two handlers sedated the bear with pepper spray and were unharmed.

Some are calling for euthanisation, while others are arguing that there is not enough evidence to show that the bear poses a significant threat. There has never been an incident with Rocky prior to Tuesday's attack, and investigators would not say what caused him to attack Miller.

But as every good Hollywood saga goes, cameras were in place when the attack occured for the taping of a training video. The Sheriff's Department would not comment on whether or not they were actually rolling, but according to Reuters, investigators will review the footage if they were.

Perhaps Predators in Action, the facility where Rocky was housed and where the attack occured, wants to protect the bear from vicious paparazzi and spare him the embarrassment of publicaly revealing his mental breakdown. I understand they are hoping to move him to a facility with Lindsey Lohan to make sure he doesn't turn to the bottle to mask his frustration with his life.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lest we forget

Summer is approaching. And with the rise in temperatures, there is always a surge in crime across the country, a surge in gas prices and the inevitable lack of concern. Our collective interest in news through the summer months tends to decline in America as we are progressively more distracted by beaches, sun tans, vacation and day care for the kids. Stories that were once topped the news hour are tossed to the back of the broadcast behind catchy pieces like shark attacks or kidnappings. And at a time when the media has been giving less attention to the war in Iraq, there is a fear that it will disappear.

But we cannot forget the war that our country is fighting.

According to a Pew Research study, Americans are starved for more news on Iraq. Quality news, that is, with context and validity. The media is meeting only a fraction of demand. Through June 2007, the study showed that Iraq was at the top of the list of interest, with 28 percent of Americans following the story closely. But the media only gave 9 percent of its coverage to it. We have failed.

Today, with gas prices soaring, a presidential campaign making history before our eyes and an economic recession settling in, it is easy to see how a war being fought 6 thousand miles away can take a back seat. But the fact that the story did not receive its due over the past year brings reason to the lack of understanding across the nation about the effect the war has on all three of these leading stories.

$2 billion per week is being spent in Iraq.
OPEC nations will not supply the US.
Our army is sitting on top of one of the largest oil wells in the world, but nothing is coming out of it - not legally anyway.
While we attempt to stabilize another country and rebuild the infrastructure we destroyed, a war is raging in the streets of our own country stroked by a failing economy and harsh realities o poverty. We are losing that war.
All of the hope and change that presidential hopefuls are spewing links back directly to the Middle East. And its more than rhetorical. As a country we have come to view Iraq as a philosophical problem.

Don't forget, people are dying.

Just today, a bomb was set off in Baghdad killing 60 people. Sixty people.
Virginia Tech was on the top of our news broadcasts for a month after the "massacre" occured on April 16, 2007. Memorial services continued through the football season into October. Plenty of time was given to grieve. Not to discount the tragedy of it all, but only 32 lives were lost on that day. Twice that many were lost in Baghdad in one incident. There will be others. There will be no time to mourn.

So as we proceed through the mundane drudgery of making ends meet and throwing together a couple bucks to fill up our gas tanks and head to the next party, remember the gift we have in stability. Remember the sacrafice that our soldiers are making with more than just their lives, but their mental stability when the return home. And remember, although the media may not be reminding us everyday of the tragedy in the Middle East, it rages on. Be grateful. Be mindful. Be educated.

The face America's War, courtesy of the Associated Press and the brave men and women who serve us and continually inform us: