Thursday, January 21, 2010

One Nation of Corportations, for Corporations and by Corporations

Well the legacy of the Bush years continues to haunt our country. Now the Supreme Court has ruled essentially that corporations can pour as much money as they want into the political arena.

This opens the flood gates for political contributions that will shape the laws of this country in unprecedented ways. If you thought companies ran the country before, just wait!

The whole thing stems from a ruling that gave corporations the same rights as individuals. According to Bush ideologue, Chief Justice John Roberts, "The text and purpose of the First Amendment point in the same direction: Congress may not prohibit political speech, even if the speaker is a corporation...."

Now the saying that we have the best government money can buy will no longer be just a cynical jab, it will be the truth. God save America.

More Terror Panic - Is it a Bomb, No It's Tefillin!

OK this is just silly, but I suspect it reflects the growing xenophobia that has infected our citizenship.

On a US Air flight a Jewish teenager was reciting a prayer and practicing the orthodox ritual of "wrapping Tefillin". The ritual which is practiced by many orthodox Jews involves a literal enactment of a Torah verse that states, "And you shall bind them as a sign upon your arm, and they shall be a forefrontlet between your eyes.".

Leather straps are wrapped around the arms and forehead to attach small boxes with scripture verses inside. It is a beautiful process but strange to some, therefore it MUST BE TERRORISM!

The teenager was escorted off the plane by law enforcement officers. Sheesh! If a fundamentalist Christian was speaking in tongues would they be arrested as well? Good God folks, caution is one thing but just downright ignorance is another. As long as we remain so domned jumpy the terrorists have won. We are terrorized! Get it?

Morgan Stanley Execs Try to Drain the Company Dry

Morgan Stanley suffered a really bad year last year. The firm lost money, the first time in it's 74 year history. You'd think things would be tight there, but not for the high paid executives. They set aside $14.4 billion for salaries and bonuses. Needless to say, this has the folks in Washington fuming. It should have the shareholders in Morgan Stanley fuming as well.

I guess these guys are not content with being extremely rich, they feel the need to be super-rich. Somehow, all these obscene salaries and bonuses make me not so much envious as sick to my stomach.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Simpsons in Stained Glass!

Just found this in the Telegraph. An artist in England, Joseph Cavalieri produced a series of amazing works based on the long-running animated series. Check them out.

Martin Luther King - Dreams and Action

Dr. King did not just have a dream, he was a man of action and contrary to what many think, the speech on the National Mall during the March on Washington was not all about hopes and dreams, it was about injustice and what must be done to right the wrongs.

Here is a very little quoted passage from that great speech:

"In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt"

Now imagine if you will that he had substituted the acronym LGBT for "Negro". In reality, I believe Dr. King wanted freedom and justice for ALL people. Some may remember that one of the men who organized the march back in 1963 was Bayard Rustin, a black gay man.

Where are the leaders like Dr. King and Bayard Rustin today?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

IE6 Source of Chinese Hack Attacks?

Microsoft products have long been seen as Swiss cheese by the hacker world. This was made abundantly clear this week when the Chinese hacker attacks on US companies found a nice convenient entry point in Microsoft IE6. According to BetaNews IE6 was given the official thumbs down from the German government who told its citizens they should stop using the popular browser. Further smoking guns come from McAfee's blog which specifically enumerates the vulnerability in the browser.

Should you stop using IE6? No, stop using any Microsoft browser. Their security issues are ongoing and there seems to be a systemic weakness in their products. Opera. Chrome, Safari and my favorite FireFox have much better security records.