Greedy people suck.
If you are greedy & you are reading this, you suck.
shallow thoughts from Jason Sjobeck
Oregon seems to be leading in the green movement as five of its cities were named in the top 25 most green cities in the nation and two of its cities were the top two. Country Magazine has published an index of cities that analyzed hundreds of cities on key points, such as official energy policies, green power, green buildings, and the availability of fresh, locally grown food.
Here is the top 379 green cities in America!
See also the Oregon Business Journal article.
Exxon just made the largest profit in the history of history, $36B, at the same time the country, and the world, was in teh midst of suffering from Katrina & other storms, and Iraq, and other crises, and all at the same time they have not paid a single cent to the Valdez disaster victims. What? ..... can't they afford it? Didnt they loose that case in a court of law? Don't thehy think they owe it?
Tell me, please, exactly how could you sleep at night if you worked for Exxon?
Read more at www.sierraclub.org/tv/e...
Read at www.nytimes.com/2006/01...
From: Cory Doctorow
Posted At: Sunday, 2005 November 06 22:35
Posted To: Technology
Conversation: Boing Boing
Subject: PATRIOT Act secret-superwarrants use is up 10,000 percent
Cory Doctorow: The dread PATRIOT Act created many new powers for law-enforcement, including the ability to secure the prized super-warrants called National Security Letters without judicial oversight. In the time since PATRIOT was passed, their use by the FBI has increased by 10,000 percent. Each of these warrants can be used to invade the lives of many Americans, and none of them are being issued with a judge's oversight after presentation of evidence justifying these intrusions into the lives of private individuals. These warrants are issued on a copper's say-so, without the due process that are the hallmarks of democracy.
How far can one FSA go? Well, last year, they were used to secure the records of every single guest in every hotel in Las Vegas over a four-day period: 250,000 people (the investigation was inconclusive). The use of NSLs is common, but us hearing about them is rare: NSLs come with gag-orders that prohibit those who receive them from discussing them.Issued by FBI field supervisors, national security letters do not need the imprimatur of a prosecutor, grand jury or judge. They receive no review after the fact by the Justice Department or Congress. The executive branch maintains only statistics, which are incomplete and confined to classified reports. The Bush administration defeated legislation and a lawsuit to require a public accounting, and has offered no example in which the use of a national security letter helped disrupt a terrorist plot.Link (via Deep Links)
The burgeoning use of national security letters coincides with an unannounced decision to deposit all the information they yield into government data banks -- and to share those private records widely, in the federal government and beyond. In late 2003, the Bush administration reversed a long-standing policy requiring agents to destroy their files on innocent American citizens, companies and residents when investigations closed. Late last month, President Bush signed Executive Order 13388, expanding access to those files for "state, local and tribal" governments and for "appropriate private sector entities," which are not defined...
A national security letter cannot be used to authorize eavesdropping or to read the contents of e-mail. But it does permit investigators to trace revealing paths through the private affairs of a modern digital citizen. The records it yields describe where a person makes and spends money, with whom he lives and lived before, how much he gambles, what he buys online, what he pawns and borrows, where he travels, how he invests, what he searches for and reads on the Web, and who telephones or e-mails him at home and at work.
Cory Doctorow: Wal-Mart called the police on a high-school student who brought in a pic of a homemade anti-George Bush poster for photo-finishing. The Secret Service went to the kid's high-school and confiscated the poster.
Jarvis had assigned her senior civics and economics class "to take photographs to illustrate their rights in the Bill of Rights," she says. One student "had taken a photo of George Bush out of a magazine and tacked the picture to a wall with a red thumb tack through his head. Then he made a thumb's-down sign with his own hand next to the President's picture, and he had a photo taken of that, and he pasted it on a poster..."
An employee in that Wal-Mart photo department called the Kitty Hawk police on the student. And the Kitty Hawk police turned the matter over to the Secret Service. On Tuesday, September 20, the Secret Service came to Currituck High.
"At 1:35, the student came to me and told me that the Secret Service had taken his poster," Jarvis says. "I didn't believe him at first. But they had come into my room when I wasn't there and had taken his poster, which was in a stack with all the others."
Cory Doctorow: Tracy sez, "StudentsforOrwell.org collects and documents the steady progress the U.S. government has been making towards acheiving Ingsoc's three major ideals: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength, put forth in George Orwell's prophetic 1984.
"One entry under 'War is Peace': 'According to the Bush administration, the Duelfer report which conclusively showed that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq actually justifies the war in Iraq.' "If that's not doublethink, I don't know what is!" Link (Thanks, Tracy!)
Posted At: Thursday, 2005 September 15 10:49
Posted To: Technology
Subject: NASA Plan to Return to the Moon
sjoeboo writes "NASA briefed senior White House officials Wednesday on its plan to spend $100 billion during the next 12 years building the spacecraft and rockets it needs to put humans back on the Moon by 2018. The U.S. space agency now expects to roll out its lunar exploration plan to key Congressional committees on Friday and to the broader public through a news conference on Monday."
| Sunday, September 4, 2005|
Most E-Mailed Articles
|Past 24 Hours | Past 7 Days|
Updated every 15 minutes
| 1. OPINION | September 3, 2005|
Op-Ed Columnist: United States of Shame
By MAUREEN DOWD
W. drove his budget-cutting Chevy to the levee, and it wasn't dry. Bye, bye, American lives.
| 2. OPINION | September 4, 2005|
Op-Ed Columnist: Falluja Floods the Superdome
By FRANK RICH
The failures of 9/11 come home to roost.
| 3. OPINION | September 4, 2005|
Op-Ed Columnist: The Bursting Point
By DAVID BROOKS
Hurricane Katrina means that the political culture, already sour and bloody-minded in many quarters, will shift.
| 4. OPINION | September 4, 2005|
Op-Ed Contributor: Do You Know What It Means to Lose New Orleans?
By ANNE RICE
Why a city we were happy to visit was slow to get help.
| 5. OPINION | September 2, 2005|
Op-Ed Columnist: A Can't-Do Government
By PAUL KRUGMAN
America, once famous for its can-do attitude, now has a can't-do government that makes excuses instead of doing its job.
From: Mark Frauenfelder
Posted At: Wednesday, 2005 August 24 17:35
Posted To: Technology
Conversation: Boing Boing
Subject: Traffic ticket update: we won!
(Click on thumbnail for enlargement) I'm very happy to report that the traffic ticket my wife got last year was dismissed. (Read all about the lousy circumstances surrounding the ticket here.)
I thank the folks at Ticket Assassin for helping me beat this ticket. I paid $25 for the TicketAssassin Shareware, "an arsenal of forms, examples and guidelines assembled to help you fight your ticket via Trial By Written Declaration, a process you can do entirely by mail. This collection includes specific court documents needed to contest your case, dozens of examples, and comprehensive, easy-to-follow directions and guidelines for their proper use."
The TicketAssassin folks also answered my emailed questions about the specifics of the ticket.
And it worked! The ticket was dismissed and the check I sent for $190 is being returned.
Trial By Written Declaration is the best way to fight a ticket. I am thrilled with TicketAssassin!
artemis67 writes "Politicians and automakers say a car that can both reduce greenhouse gases and free America from its reliance on foreign oil is years or even decades away. Ron Gremban says such a car is parked in his garage. It looks like a typical Toyota Prius hybrid, but in the trunk sits an 80-miles-per-gallon secret -- a stack of 18 brick-sized batteries that boosts the car's high mileage with an extra electrical charge so it can burn even less fuel. Gremban, an electrical engineer and committed environmentalist, spent several months and $3,000 tinkering with his car."
Xeni Jardin: Recently on Boing Boing, I posted an item from Declan McCullagh's politech list about a Montana judge's ruling that it's okay for police to rummage through your garbage for incriminating evidence -- even without a search warrant or court order. Declan has posted a number of updates to politech, including this reader comment:I think someone could come up with a business plan around this: truly private garbage collection. You don't put the trash out at the corner, but contract with the garbage collector to pick up the garbage in your yard, with some sort of contract that the garbage is still yours until properly incinerated, and the collector would dispose of it in a way that guarantees privacy - incineration.Politech followup items:
I suspect this garbage company could charge a pretty penny. After all, just because people are disposing of something (because it has outlived its usefulness or is taking up too much space) doesn't mean they want it ending up in the hands of others who wish them harm. -- Bryan Murley
Mark Frauenfelder: In April, foldedspace published ultra-condensed summaries of several books on becoming financially independent. This is a good idea. Most of these kinds of books can be condensed to a couple of hundred words. Of course, that doesn't do any good to the authors, because you can't make a book out of 200 words.7 Money Mantras for a Richer Life by Michelle Singletary is a recent all-purpose financial book. I was ready to dismiss it for the absolute stupidity of mantra number one (stupidity in its phrasing, not in its advice), but after reading the book, I have to admit its advice is solid. It features: ?Link
Mantra #1: "If it's on your ass, it's not an asset." If you can wear it, it's not an investment. Also, something is riding your ass (such as a high house payment), it's not an asset.?
Mantra #2: "Is this a need or a want?" This is a question Kris has been trying to get me to ask myself for years.?
Mantra #3: "Sweat the small stuff." Do worry about the small expenses; they add up.?
Mantra #4: "Cash is better than credit." There is almost no reason to carry a credit card.?
Mantra #5: "Keep it simple." With money, avoid anything that seems complicated. If you don't understand it, avoid it. You'll probably lose money.?
Mantra #6: "Priorities lead to prosperity." Determine what's important to you, and pursue that with your time and money.?
Mantra #7: "Enough is enough." Don't overconsume. Recognize when you have fulfilled your needs and your wants.
From: Mark Frauenfelder
Posted At: Monday, 2005 June 13 11:07
Posted To: Technology
Subject: "Freedom Fries" Jones wants US troops to come home
Mark Frauenfelder: Republican Congressman Walter Jones, who led the important battle to rename french fries and french toast "freedom fries" and "freedom toast" in the Capitol's cafeteria, says he's going to introduce a bill to start bringing US troops home from Iraq.
"I just feel that the reason of going in for weapons of mass destruction, the ability of the Iraqis to make a nuclear weapon, that's all been proven that it was never there," Jones said on ABC. Link
From: Cory Doctorow
Posted At: Wednesday, 2005 June 08 00:36
Posted To: Technology
Subject: ChoicePoint and Acxiom are 100% inaccurate: study
Cory Doctorow: Data-brokers like ChoicePoint and Acxiom suck so bad that in a recent Privacy Activism study, they were found to have inaccuracies in one hundred percent of the reports in the sample, including incorrectly identifying subjects' sex and even incorrectly describing several participants as officers of companies. As Schneier points out, this kind of study is nearly impossible to undertake, "[Privacy Activism] had to find companies who were doing background checks on employees anyway, and who felt that participating in this study with PrivacyActivism was important. Then those companies asked their employees if they wanted to anonymously participate in the study."Although outside of the specific data that was the focus of the study, several other inaccuracies reported by the participants are worth mentioning:Link
* 100% of participants had at least one phone number omitted in reports from ChoicePoint.
* Three different participants were incorrectly reported as "officers of corporations" in the ChoicePoint reports.
* One participant's ChoicePoint report had several of her ex-husband's addresses listed under her name
* One participant's Acxiom report had an incorrect gender
jangobongo writes "Does intelligent life exist anywhere besides Earth? Are regular churchgoers less likely to believe life has evolved on other planets? Do more Democrats or Republicans believe in extraterrestrials? And if alien life makes contact, what should we do? These questions were asked on a poll released last week that shows that two-thirds of Americans do believe that life exists on other planets, and of that group, 90% say if we receive a message from another planet we should reply. The poll was commissioned by the SETI Institute and the National Geographic Channel."
America by the numbers
by Michael Ventura
• The United States is 49th in the world in literacy (the New York Times, Dec. 12, 2004).
• The United States ranked 28th out of 40 countries in mathematical literacy (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).
• Twenty percent of Americans think the sun orbits the earth. Seventeen percent believe the earth revolves around the sun once a day (The Week, Jan. 7, 2005).
• "The International Adult Literacy Survey...found that Americans with less than nine years of education 'score worse than virtually all of the other countries'" (Jeremy Rifkin's superbly documented book The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream, p.78).
• Our workers are so ignorant and lack so many basic skills that American businesses spend $30 billion a year on remedial training (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).
• "The European Union leads the U.S. in...the number of science and engineering graduates; public research and development (R&D) expenditures; and new capital raised" (The European Dream, p.70).
• "Europe surpassed the United States in the mid-1990s as the largest producer of scientific literature" (The European Dream, p.70).
• Nevertheless, Congress cut funds to the National Science Foundation. The agency will issue 1,000 fewer research grants this year (NYT, Dec. 21, 2004).
• Foreign applications to U.S. grad schools declined 28 percent last year. Foreign student enrollment on all levels fell for the first time in three decades, but increased greatly in Europe and China. Last year Chinese grad-school graduates in the U.S. dropped 56 percent, Indians 51 percent, South Koreans 28 percent (NYT, Dec. 21, 2004).
• The World Health Organization "ranked the countries of the world in terms of overall health performance, and the U.S. [was]...37th." In the fairness of health care, we're 54th. "The irony is that the United States spends more per capita for health care than any other nation in the world" (The European Dream, pp.79-80).
• "The U.S. and South Africa are the only two developed countries in the world that do not provide health care for all their citizens" (The European Dream, p.80). Excuse me, but since when is South Africa a "developed" country?
• Lack of health insurance coverage causes 18,000 unnecessary American deaths a year. (That's six times the number of people killed on 9/11.) (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005.)
• "U.S. childhood poverty now ranks 22nd, or second to last, among the developed nations. Only Mexico scores lower" (The European Dream, p.81). Been to Mexico lately? Does it look "developed" to you? Yet it's the only "developed" country to score lower in childhood poverty.
• Twelve million American families--more than 10 percent of all U.S. households--"continue to struggle, and not always successfully, to feed themselves." Families that "had members who actually went hungry at some point last year" numbered 3.9 million (NYT, Nov. 22, 2004).
• The United States is 41st in the world in infant mortality. Cuba scores higher (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005).
• Women are 70 percent more likely to die in childbirth in America than in Europe (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005).
• The leading cause of death of pregnant women in this country is murder (CNN, Dec. 14, 2004).
• "Of the 20 most developed countries in the world, the U.S. was dead last in the growth rate of total compensation to its workforce in the 1980s.... In the 1990s, the U.S. average compensation growth rate grew only slightly, at an annual rate of about 0.1 percent" (The European Dream, p.39). Yet Americans work longer hours per year than any other industrialized country, and get less vacation time.
• "Sixty-one of the 140 biggest companies on the Global Fortune 500 rankings are European, while only 50 are U.S. companies" (The European Dream, p.66). "In a recent survey of the world's 50 best companies, conducted by Global Finance, all but one were European" (The European Dream, p.69).
• "Fourteen of the 20 largest commercial banks in the world today are European.... In the chemical industry, the European company BASF is the world's leader, and three of the top six players are European. In engineering and construction, three of the top five companies are European.... The two others are Japanese. Not a single American engineering and construction company is included among the world's top nine competitors. In food and consumer products, Nestlé and Unilever, two European giants, rank first and second, respectively, in the world. In the food and drugstore retail trade, two European companies...are first and second, and European companies make up five of the top ten. Only four U.S. companies are on the list" (The European Dream, p.68).
• The United States has lost 1.3 million jobs to China in the last decade (CNN, Jan. 12, 2005).
• U.S. employers eliminated 1 million jobs in 2004 (The Week, Jan. 14, 2005).
• Three million six hundred thousand Americans ran out of unemployment insurance last year; 1.8 million--one in five--unemployed workers are jobless for more than six months (NYT, Jan. 9, 2005).
• Japan, China, Taiwan, and South Korea hold 40 percent of our government debt. (That's why we talk nice to them.) "By helping keep mortgage rates from rising, China has come to play an enormous and little-noticed role in sustaining the American housing boom" (NYT, Dec. 4, 2004). Read that twice. We owe our housing boom to China, because they want us to keep buying all that stuff they manufacture.
• Sometime in the next 10 years Brazil will probably pass the U.S. as the world's largest agricultural producer. Brazil is now the world's largest exporter of chickens, orange juice, sugar, coffee, and tobacco. Last year, Brazil passed the U.S. as the world's largest beef producer. (Hear that, you poor deluded cowboys?) As a result, while we bear record trade deficits, Brazil boasts a $30 billion trade surplus (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).
• As of last June, the U.S. imported more food than it exported (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).
• Bush: 62,027,582 votes. Kerry: 59,026,003 votes. Number of eligible voters who didn't show up: 79,279,000 (NYT, Dec. 26, 2004). That's more than a third. Way more. If more than a third of Iraqis don't show for their election, no country in the world will think that election legitimate.
• One-third of all U.S. children are born out of wedlock. One-half of all U.S. children will live in a one-parent house (CNN, Dec. 10, 2004).
• "Americans are now spending more money on gambling than on movies, videos, DVDs, music, and books combined" (The European Dream, p.28).
• "Nearly one out of four Americans [believe] that using violence to get what they want is acceptable" (The European Dream, p.32).
• Forty-three percent of Americans think torture is sometimes justified, according to a PEW Poll (Associated Press, Aug. 19, 2004).
• "Nearly 900,000 children were abused or neglected in 2002, the last year for which such data are available" (USA Today, Dec. 21, 2004).
• "The International Association of Chiefs of Police said that cuts by the [Bush] administration in federal aid to local police agencies have left the nation more vulnerable than ever" (USA Today, Nov. 17, 2004).
The USA is No. 1 in weaponry, consumer spending, debt, and delusion.
Reprinted from the Austin Chronicle.
· Vol 26 · Issue 1264 · PUBLISHED 2/23/2005