Shock and Awe: The Obama Administration Luckily Dodges Pot Question From Former Law Enforcement



The Obama administration's position on drugs can be summed up in this comment:

Our past three presidents have admitted to using marijuana. (Our past two have even admitted to using cocaine.) Can you imagine how different Barack Obama's life would have been had he been busted for marijuana (or even worse - cocaine)? Would he be Barry the ex-con working at McDonalds? I certainly don't think he would have had near the opportunities he has had if he had been arrested for possession. Based on personal experience, he surely realizes that marijuana use is not harmful or destructive and that prohibition disproportionally affects minorities and can severely harm someone's future. However, he metaphorically sticks his fingers in his ears and continues the same failed drug policies that have ruined the lives of so many American youth. It is absurd.

It comes from the LEAP blog post about the inevitable deflection of a top-awarded question posed by a former LAPD deputy chief:

WASHINGTON, DC -- Today YouTube ignored a question advocating marijuana legalization from a retired LAPD deputy chief of police that won twice as many votes as any other video question in the White House's "Your Interview with the President" competition on the Google-owned site. They did, however, find the time to get the president on record about late night snacking, singing and dancing, celebrating wedding anniversaries and playing tennis.

Well I'm really glad we have our priorities straight in this country.

In case you missed it, the question is here. It remains unanswered by the Obama administration. Keep that in mind come November if you seriously still support these fools.

Whose Government Social Media Bot Did I Trigger?



This weekend, my logs were absolutely slaughtered by three different IP addresses belonging to "PSINet," which I've traced before to Cyveillance activity (Cyveillance is the preferred tracking provider of Goldman Sachs and the NY Fed at least, as far as I can tell from my logs).

My suspicions were confirmed by a Whois search:
Looking up 38.105.71.50 at rwhois.cogentco.com.

Using 0 day old cached answer (or, you can get fresh results).
Hiding E-mail address (you can get results with the E-mail address).

%rwhois V-1.5:0010b0:00 rwhois.cogentco.com
38.105.71.50
network:ID:NET4-2669470019
network:Network-Name:NET4-2669470019
network:IP-Network:38.105.71.0/25
network:Postal-Code:22209
network:Country:US
network:State:VA
network:City:Arlington
network:Street-Address:1555 Wilson Blvd, Suite 406
network:Org-Name:Cyveillance Inc.
network:Tech-Contact:ZC108-ARIN
network:Updated:2010-07-09 18:51:19
network:Updated-by:Michael Callender

Listen, you fuckers, I don't know what you want or why you crawled 1/3 of my site over the weekend but if you have a question, why don't you ask?

Yup, there's a convenient Cyveillance office just up the way from me in government-infested Arlington, VA.

Has the Cyveillance bot molesterbated your logs?
It is belived that Cyveillancebot crawls the Web looking to mine information about the current Web zeitgeist for corporations, as well as searching for copyrighted materials and brands and logos that may be misappropriated. The bot, according to the Cyveillance Web site and other sources, is part of a suite of technologies that feeds to a human analyst. The technology was called NetSapien in the 1999-2000 timeframe, though Cyveillance' Web site uses other terms in 2003.

Cyveillancebot uses IP addresses in the range of 63.148.99.224 - 63.148.99.255, and may use others (but unconfirmed). Here's a list of other 'media enforcer' bots, servers et al.

Cyveillancebot ignores robot.txt, as far as anyone can tell. Cyveillancebot spoofs its identity, naming itself various flavors of Windows browsers:

63.148.99.232 - - [02/May/2003:13:01:37 -0700] "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.05; Windows NT 3.51)"
63.148.99.232 - - [02/May/2003:13:01:37 -0700] "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.05; Windows NT 5.0)"
63.148.99.232 - - [02/May/2003:13:01:58 -0700] "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.05; Windows NT 3.51)"
63.148.99.232 - - [02/May/2003:13:01:58 -0700] "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.05; Windows NT 3.51)"
63.148.99.232 - - [02/May/2003:13:02:57 -0700] "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.05; Windows NT 4.0)"

Whether this is code changing the ID at frequent intervals, or, say, a number of machines behind a common firewall is unknown. Cyveillancebot sometimes shows the same ID for all accesses over a given time period.

Cyveillancebot is a bit unusual for a bot in that it includes the referrer line (Googlebot doesn't), but this may be part of the ploy to look like a browser in access logs.

Cyveillancebot doesn't, however, download graphics files, java or other page components. It does seem to download other types of binary files (perhaps it is looking for illegal mp3s etc.).

Cyveillancebot seems to operate in 2 modes. In mode 1, it comes in on a link and reads a single spage. In mode 2, it downloads every page in a directory or even a whole web site as fast as it can. The mode 2 behavior is notoriously bad, and can amount to a DOS attack consuming all available bandwidth.

The bot is also reported to get stuck in query loops on database-driven sites and is reported to have brought at least one server down. No one knows why this behavior is allowed to continue: the parameters and practices for good behavior are well understood. Whether this is incompetence, indifference or, perhaps, an (curious) example of music industry 'punitive' technology, is unknown.
I have seen numerous Cyveillance bots in Santa Clara, CA (another notorious "data center") but never this many in Washington DC at once. I mean they spent the entire weekend up my ass. And I wasn't the only one.

Beware 38.105.**!! Those fuckers don't play around.

Who is paying these fools to prowl incendiary websites when they can't even manage to hide their IP addresses when they assrape your logs?

TLP: For $1 Million, the Ashtrays Better Be Cleaned Out

obama car
Looking for a new car? Into politics? Like to do a little speculating with your money? The 2005 Chrysler 300C that Barack Obama drove when he was an Illinois lawmaker and then U.S. senator is for sale on eBay. Starting bid is $1 million.

You know this is going to be a tough sell, even with only 20,000 miles. Conservatives will think it makes only left turns and liberals are going to think it pulls too far to the right.

For-Profit DeVry Blames New Regulations For a 90% Drop In Net Income

 graphic via Colorlines

Oh man, it sucks being a blood sucking for-profit "university" in the business of cranking out graduates with no real job prospects and lots of debt, doesn't it?

DeVry said last Thursday that its net income dropped by 90 percent in its fiscal second quarter due to recent Department of Education regulations put in place last summer.

For the quarter ending December 31st, DeVry earned a measly $9 million (13 cents per share) compared to $89 million ($1.25 per share) a year previous.

DeVry's Cohort Default Rate (CDR) hit 10.1 in 2009, forcing it out of exempt status as far as the Department of Education is concerned. As we all know, it's hard to pay back those outrageous student loans if you have no job with which to pay them. DeVry must maintain a consecutive three-year term of below 10% default to regain its exempt status, and will be on a short Federal Stafford loan leash until that occurs.

According to MarketWatch, DeVry's board raised the annual dividend 25% last November and authorized a share buyback valued at $100 million, or about 4% of the company's market value at the time. Chief Executive Daniel Hamburger said the moves reflected the company's strong financial position and belief in its long-term opportunities.

Apparently, DeVry tried to laugh off its depressing Q2, blaming it on deteriorating economic conditions and rising unemployment. Now, JDA is the first one to insist economic conditions are deteriorating but really?! That's the problem, DeVry? I heard unemployment had actually improved a tad, did I read that wrong?

Pro tip: "life" can teach you more than a for-profit school for 100% less than said for-profit school if you do it right. 

Disclosure: I do not own nor do I intend to EVER buy any shares of DV. I did, in a previous life, work for a private company in direct competition with a unit of DeVry but have long since cut ties with said private company and maintain no material interest in the success or failure of its competitors.

WCV on Why Gold Is Greater Than Straw



I loved this post of WCV's so much I just had to share it with you all.

On Wednesday, the central planners at the Federal Reserve announced that they will continue distorting the markets by manipulating interest rates to near-zero at least through 2014.

Gold took off like a rocket, rising more than $50 intraday. 


Stocks, the object of Ben Bernanke's obsession, didn't keep up, rising only one percent and then fading the next day.



There is a stunning amount of ignorance and misinformation about gold among the public, the financial press, and economists. Remember when banker Richard Wiggins trashed gold at $1200 in Barron's? And witness the ignorance in the comments here, including from economist Barkley Rosser, about gold being in a bubble in 2010 at $1200. Personal finance guru Dave Ramsey, who is otherwise generally outstanding, has been telling people to dump gold for years, including here in October 2009 with gold at $1000.

For the remainder, please head to WC Varones. Like immediately. If you don't, don't say we didn't try to tell you this repeatedly. Don't say you never knew. Don't say you thought we were joking. We will only repeat ourselves so many times before we give up, grab our gold and get the hell out of here.

Does Obama Have the Guts To Respond to This Former LAPD Deputy Chief on Marijuana?


Note: In case you didn't already know (you should be able to figure it out), JDA fully supports legalization of marijuana in the United States (tax it, idiots!) and stands behind the efforts of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition to bring law enforcement experience and sensibility to the nonsense that is the "war on drugs" in this country. If there ever was a legitimate war, it has failed. Meanwhile, more Americans are on soul-sucking anti-depressants than ever but that's totally legal. Sure, makes sense.

Tomorrow, President Obama will answer "a handful" of top-voted questions submitted through whitehouse.gov. Something tells me this question will not make the list, even though "the people" voted it up and it comes from an American citizen who spent his life protecting and serving the people of Los Angeles.

From LEAP:
A question advocating marijuana legalization from a retired LAPD deputy chief of police won twice as many votes as any other video question in the White House's "Your Interview with the President" competition on YouTube this weekend. President Obama is slated to answer some of the top-voted questions on Monday.

The marijuana question, submitted by Stephen Downing, a board member for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), is as follows: "Mr. President, my name is Stephen Downing, and I'm a retired deputy chief of police from the Los Angeles Police Department. From my 20 years of experience I have come to see our country’s drug policies as a failure and a complete waste of criminal justice resources. According to the Gallup Poll, the number of Americans who support legalizing and regulating marijuana now outnumbers those who support continuing prohibition. What do you say to this growing voter constituency that wants more changes to drug policy than you have delivered in your first term?"


The Gallup poll to which Downing refers can be found here.

Thank you, Mr Downing, for your service to your community and for asking the tough questions.

Your move, Mr President.

TLP: Justices Remind Police To Follow Rules Before Snooping

gps tracker
For anyone who saw U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's "detention" by TSA agents after he declined to follow pre-flight screening procedures as a sign of out-of-control law enforcement, relax. Looks like they just asked him to have a seat. And then he got on another plane.

I happen to know law enforcement. In fact, my sketchy ass has been stopped twice in recent weeks by police — only one of those times was I in the company of SSSS-listed Jr Deputy Accountant, so don't blame her — and both times, I was allowed to proceed unimpeded with only verbal "warnings" about whatever questionable behavior the officers might have presumed to observe.

As much as I enjoy it when the subject is me, those are small incidents. The real good news about how police can and can't behave comes from the U.S. Supreme Court.

NYT:
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled unanimously that the police violated the Constitution when they placed a Global Positioning System tracking device on a suspect’s car and monitored its movements for 28 days.

A set of overlapping opinions in the case collectively suggested that a majority of the justices are prepared to apply broad privacy principles to bring the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches into the digital age, when law enforcement officials can gather extensive information without ever entering an individual’s home or vehicle.

Walter Dellinger, a lawyer for the defendant in the case and a former acting United States solicitor general, said the decision was “a signal event in Fourth Amendment history.”

“Law enforcement is now on notice,” Mr. Dellinger said, “that almost any use of GPS electronic surveillance of a citizen’s movement will be legally questionable unless a warrant is obtained in advance.”

An overlapping array of justices were divided on the rationale for the decision, with the majority saying the problem was the placement of the device on private property.

But five justices also discussed their discomfort with the government’s use of or access to various modern technologies, including video surveillance in public places, automatic toll collection systems on highways, devices that allow motorists to signal for roadside assistance, location data from cellphone towers and records kept by online merchants.
That doesn't mean we'll necessarily be free of having our bits scanned and groped before we get on airplanes — even if the devices that do that are examples of "modern technology" — but it's a good sign and a welcome reinforcement of the importance of separation of powers in the government.

The court's ruling doesn't seem to impact personal use of surveillance technology, only that by law enforcement. As the Times reported in an enterprising follow-up: "Tens of thousands of Americans are already doing just that, with little oversight, for purposes as seemingly benign as tracking an elderly parent with dementia or a risky teenage driver, or as legally and ethically charged as spying on a spouse or an employee — or for outright criminal stalking."

Feel better?

Bank Fail Friday Update: 1/20 and 1/27



Three years ago, a collective of concerned citizens (myself, a community banker and the editor of a major credit publication) coined the Twitter hashtag #BankFailFriday. BankFailFriday.org arrived shortly thereafter and while we have sometimes found it difficult to balance our personal lives and many projects to give BankFailFriday the TLC it deserves, we still feel the same sense of responsibility we did then. Sure the FDIC press releases are freely available to anyone who cares but as far as we know, no one else has tried to aggregate them in real time almost every Friday since 2008 for distribution on Twitter.

But it's been quiet on the bank failure front lately. Real quiet. For a minute there, I thought maybe the crisis was really over (I should know better than to think that way)... but alas, Bank Fail Friday rages on. Here's a recap:

January 27, 2012
Patriot Bank Minnesota of Forest Lake, MN As of September 30, 2011, Patriot Bank Minnesota had approximately $111.3 million in total assets and $108.3 million in total deposits. In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, First Resource Bank agreed to purchase essentially all of the assets. The FDIC and First Resource Bank entered into a loss-share transaction on $79.4 million of Patriot Bank Minnesota's assets. The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $32.6 million.

BankEast of Knoxville, TN As of September 30, 2011, BankEast had approximately $272.6 million in total assets and $268.8 million in total deposits. In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, U.S. Bank National Association agreed to purchase essentially all of the assets. The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $75.6 million.

Tennessee Commerce Bank of Franklin, TN As of September 30, 2011, Tennessee Commerce Bank had approximately $1.185 billion in total assets and $1.156 billion in total deposits. The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $416.8 million. NOTE: Tennessee Commerce Bank was the first FDIC-insured institution failed in the state since 2002.

First Guaranty Bank and Trust Company of Jacksonville, FL
As of September 30, 2011, First Guaranty Bank and Trust Company of Jacksonville had approximately $377.9 million in total assets and $349.5 million in total deposits. The FDIC and CenterState Bank of Florida, National Association entered into a loss-share transaction on $292.9 million of First Guaranty Bank and Trust Company of Jacksonville's assets. CenterState Bank of Florida, National Association will share in the losses on the asset pools covered under the loss-share agreement. The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $82.0 million.

January 20, 2012
American Eagle Savings Bank, Boothwyn, PA Closed by the Office of the Comptroller the Currency, FDIC appointed as receiver. As of September 30, 2011, American Eagle Savings Bank had approximately $19.6 million in total assets and $17.7 million in total deposits. The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $3.2 million. 

The First State Bank, Stockbridge, GA As of September 30, 2011, The First State Bank had approximately $536.9 million in total assets and $527.5 million in total deposits. The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $216.2 million.

Central Florida State Bank, Belleview, FL As of September 30, 2011, Central Florida State Bank had approximately $79.1 million in total assets and $77.7 million in total deposits. The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $24.4 million.

See you out on the frontlines, kids! Oh and for more bank failure fun, check out this awesome chart of failures by month and state going back to 2008. As most of us already know, Georgia is leading the pack with 75, with Florida pulling a close second at 60. Congrats!

CMKM Money Payout Promise Emails Read Like Nigerian Prince Spam



Can anyone seriously still believe this at this point? I can't believe it's been over a year since I came across the crazy story of CMKM. What I can believe is that "shareholders" still haven't seen a dime and the story just keeps getting weirder.

Here's the latest on the ongoing CMKM joke. It might be paid in Iraqi Dinars but hey, it's money:

Saturday, December 31, 2011 CMKM Payouts Status By A. Hodges Hodges and Associates – 12/31/11

My associate Dennis Smith recently advised that I would have some information for all on this date. Let me start by conveying to all my very best wishes for a happy and joyous holiday season. The coming year will, IMHO, bring life-changing conclusion to this extremely arduous journey we have been forced to endure.

Although you may not be happy with what has been going on, I can assure you that there was simply no other way to accomplish what will become the new foundation of this great country, and establish the agenda for its rebirth in form and fashion as originally set forth in the US Constitution. … Read More Link on Right
_ As I have previously stated, we have confronted, with added pressure from the “lien-holders,” the vilest, most contemptible, well financed forces for evil on the planet – and we have won! I know, some eleven months later, that must seem to have been an idle boast.

However, it merely reflects the mighty struggle that has been raging in the shadows.

While I had hoped to be able to advise you this afternoon that we had finally achieved Economic Receipt, which in turn would authorize release and delivery of the CMKM pay-outs, I cannot do so at this moment.

Having said that, please remember my prior advice regarding the Iraqi Dinar re-valuation, which has been much anticipated and discussed. Funding of the IQD re-val is part of the World Global Settlement scheme; and release of the re-val will essentially be coincident with release and distribution of all WGS program pay-outs.

I am very pleased to be able to report that not only is Iraq now a sovereign country, but will have an internationally recognized and tradable currency by January 1, 2012. This indicates to me that distribution of the CMKM pay-outs is truly imminent – with-in hours/days.

Again, I wish each of you happiness and joy at this seasonal juncture. Please keep in mind that most of this information is not “legal” by definition, not directly related to our Federal Court action and certainly not something I originally ‘signed on’ to accomplish. In the event that additional delays are encountered, I believe they will be de minimus in both time and substance. We have in fact won the war and proof of that is forthcoming.

I ask that you read and consider carefully the entire contents of this letter, prior to adding your own interpretations, prognostications and conclusions hereon, or any similar interpretations, prognostications or conclusions offered to you by others.

Accordingly, and please note that the following is repetitious, and is meant to be: I am very pleased to be able to report that not only is Iraq now a sovereign country, but will have an internationally recognized and tradable currency by January 1, 2012. This indicates to me that distribution of the CMKM pay-outs is truly imminent – within hours/days.

Sincerely,

A. Clifton Hodges (CSBN 046803) HODGES AND ASSOCIATES 4 East Holly Street, Suite 202 Pasadena, CA 91103-3900

What the fuck does Iraq have to do with a "business" registered in the United States? Is there also a SUM OF 150000000000$ US DOLLARS waiting in some bank account that half the Nigerian royal family would like to unload on CMKM "shareholders"?

But hey, the "packages" of "money" are just waiting around in some UPS warehouse, right? Right?!

The CMKM Diamonds Facebook page has been pretty darn quiet but the forums are still buzzing with wild rumors, complaints, conjecture and basic disgust for the entire clusterfuck.

I hope this means "shareholders" have accepted the truth and will auction their bazillions of stock (if they actually have any paper proof of such, which I doubt many of them do) on Ebay for collectors of modern-day fraud items. Sorry, folks.

Here's How Stupid Those Geniuses at the FOMC Are



Did you hear? The Fed is going to keep rates as low as possible at least until 2014. I know, I know, it was the news of the week, surely.

Anyone with half a brain in their head (yours truly included - though I think I'm running at 3/4 a brain on my good days) knew that at some point this year, the FOMC would throw out a strong signal reaffirming for the 100th time that they are all about free money for as long as they can manage it. Without it, the whole Ponzi will crumble. You know that. I know that. Bernanke knows that. Obama knows that. As WC Varones has so astutely pointed out time after time, there's no way out but devaluation.

Here's the funny part. Those idiots over there at the Fed (and by idiots, I mean the Board of Governors and Reserve Bank Presidents - no offense to the two presidents I actually don't loathe) actually believe they can continue pumping out cheap money to the world while somehow not only maintaining but IMPROVING inflation (remember: those of us who use and are paid in dollars want that number as low as possible while Fed assholes want that number to be higher so the government can pay back their obligations but not so high that the unwashed masses revolt). Yes, there's a chart that proves it (dark blue line is the central tendency of projections while the light blue is the full range of projections):

LOL! Does anyone else see how ridiculous this is? PCE inflation exploded in 2011 and yet will somehow magically plunge despite no real policy change on the part of the Fed? I'm no economist so maybe I'm too stupid to understand how that works, could someone please explain it to me? I'll be waiting. No, for real, I'm sitting right down the street from the Board in my DC condo, my door is open whenever the Fed is ready to talk.

These fools can't even make their fake number look reasonable and think somehow it will resolve itself without any real effort on their part to keep it in check? Someone let me know how this turns out... oh wait, I'll know.

Who Accidentally Sent This Coke to the UN?




Weird ass shit.

Via USA Today:

A New York Police Department spokesman says a shipment containing 16 kilograms of cocaine has been seized at the U.N.'s mail intake center.

Paul Browne, NYPD's chief spokesman, said Thursday the drug was in a white bag that raised suspicions because it was stamped with what looked like a poorly concocted version of the U.N. logo.

He says there was no name or address on the shipment sent from Mexico City through Cincinnati.

Browne says U.N. security officials called the NYPD and Drug Enforcement Administration, which confirmed the substance inside the shipment intercepted Jan. 16 was cocaine.

Someone could have also snorted it or licked it to find out if it was real. Just sayin.

Congressional Cowards Abandon SOPA/PIPA... For Now

It's the Internet, stupid, you can't take us.
Plus the cats are on our side (why do you think I have 3?)

Hey, listen to me and listen good. NEVER FORGET. Never forget the assholes in Washington who wanted to build a Great Wall of America across the Internet. Never forget the proposed Cybersecurity Act of 2009. NEVER EVER WHATEVER YOU DO, don't you dare forget. That's all I ask.

Ding dong, the witch is dead (for now):

After getting panned on the Web, Hollywood’s blockbuster anti-piracy bill imploded like a box-office bomb this week — and Washington realized the Internet’s “series of tubes” now may have more clout than the vaunted motion picture and music industries.

By the time Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called a time of death on the PROTECT IP Act on Friday, it already had been trampled by a stampede of one-time supporters anxious to distance themselves from the political threat of a Web-driven uprising against the bill. Lying alongside it: The House’s Stop Online Piracy Act.

Here is a convenient list of 60 companies that supported SOPA (remember these names, people):

List of Supporters: H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act
60 Plus Association
ABC
Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP)
American Bankers Association (ABA)
American Federation of Musicians (AFM)
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
Americans for Tax Reform
Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States
Association of American Publishers (AAP)
Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies
Association of Talent Agents (ATA)
Beachbody, LLC
BMI
BMG Chrysalis
Building and Construction Trades Department
Capitol Records Nashville
CBS
Cengage Learning
Christian Music Trade Association
Church Music Publishers’ Association
Coalition Against Online Video Piracy (CAOVP)
Comcast/NBCUniversal
Concerned Women for America (CWA)
Congressional Fire Services Institute
Copyhype
Copyright Alliance
Coty, Inc.
Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB)
Council of State Governments
Country Music Association
Country Music Television
Creative America
Deluxe
Directors Guild of America (DGA)
Disney Publishing Worldwide, Inc.
Elsevier
EMI Christian Music Group
EMI Music Publishing
Entertainment Software Association (ESA)
ESPN
Estée Lauder Companies
Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)
Gospel Music Association
Graphic Artists Guild
Hachette Book Group
HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide, Inc.
Hyperion
Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA)
International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE)
International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC)
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)
International Trademark Association (INTA)
International Union of Police Associations
L’Oreal
Lost Highway Records
Macmillan
Major County Sheriffs
Major League Baseball
Majority City Chiefs
Marvel Entertainment, LLC
MasterCard Worldwide
MCA Records
McGraw-Hill Education
Mercury Nashville
Minor League Baseball (MiLB)
Minority Media & Telecom Council (MMTC)
Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)
Moving Picture Technicians
MPA – The Association of Magazine Media
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators
National Association of State Chief Information Officers
National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA)
National Center for Victims of Crime
National Crime Justice Association
National District Attorneys Association
National Domestic Preparedness Coalition
National Football League
National Governors Association, Economic Development and Commerce Committee
National League of Cities
National Narcotics Offers’ Associations’ Coalition
National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA)
National Songwriters Association
National Troopers Coalition
News Corporation
Pearson Education
Penguin Group (USA), Inc.
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
Pfizer, Inc.
Provident Music Group
Random House
Raulet Property Partners
Republic Nashville
Revlon
Scholastic, Inc.
Screen Actors Guild (SAG)
Showdog Universal Music
Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Nashville
State International Development Organization (SIDO)
The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO)
The Perseus Books Groups
The United States Conference of Mayors
Tiffany & Co.
Time Warner
True Religion Brand Jeans
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)
UMG Publishing Group Nashville
United States Chamber of Commerce
United States Olympic Committee
United States Tennis Association
Universal Music
Universal Music Publishing Group
Viacom
Visa Inc.
W.W. Norton & Company
Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, L.P.
Warner Music Group
Warner Music Nashville
Wolters Kluewer Health
Word Entertainment

Of course, the dickheads lobbying to gain control over the Internet at large would rather they weren't called "supporters," and demanded a correction and explanation from the Judiciary Committee. “The listing of the law firms was a mistake made at the staff level of the committee,” the committee said in a statement to POLITICO. “Once we were made aware of the mistake, we immediately removed the list of supporters from the website and revised the document. Our staff has been in contact with several of the firms and made them aware of our efforts to remedy the mistake.”

As of last time I checked, the Judiciary Committee had an updated list of SOPA "supporters" free of these law firms' names. Sorry, my name didn't show up as a supporter, how exactly did these firms end up there if they didn't - in one way or another - support SOPA? Nice work, you Judiciary Committee morons, you revealed the scam!

Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and Howard Berman (D-Calif.) should ALL be out of a job come November, period.

Especially Lamar Smith, who is a moronic copyright thief in his own right.

Vice tracked down a pre-SOPA view of Smith's website and discovered that the asshole was using a non-credited, STOLEN image lifted from photographer DJ Schulte:


Here's the original (credit, obviously, goes to DJ Schulte, who has licensed his work under a Creative Commons license, so all Lamar's dumbass team had to do was throw the dude a credit - WAS IT THAT FUCKING HARD, LAMAR?):


The cowardly pricks have retreated for now thanks to the overwhelming response by the Internet. Not any one of us or some of us or certain ones of us, just "the Internet." There will be no taking credit (there will be giving it, however, because what assholes like Lamar don't get is that we, as the Internet, do shit like that for each other), there will be no celebrating. It isn't over.

I'm a threat for writing this. You are a threat for reading it. The Internet is a threat for breaking through the bureaucratic bullshit and offering FREE knowledge to every American. Not Sallie Mae loans and failed hood colleges but real knowledge; and the fruit of the Tree of Life has taught us that the (capital G) government has but one goal: self preservation. It is not the Government's job to do anything for you, it is its job to keep you suppressed enough to continue feeding it and stupid enough not to figure out what its real job is.

The Internet is a direct threat to the Government's single mandate. It has nothing to do with copyright violators or even the chickenshit movie companies delusional enough to think movie downloading is eating into its profits when it's really SHITTY ASS MOVIES. It's that we are all a threat for disseminating this information amongst ourselves freely, openly, politely and often, 24 hours a day. No longer are we tethered to the Government-controlled media (remember when CNN used to show news?), and are instead allowed to roam free and share as much information as we like to anyone who wants it. It isn't always correct, a lot of it is opinion and some (OK, a lot) is LOLcats but it is a constant conversation the world is having with itself and that scares the shit out of the Government. Not just ours, everywhere.

I hope we, the Internet, have effectively made our point. We will not stand for it. We know what the Government is trying and we aren't going to sit here quietly and allow them to do it. This is not China, it's the United States of America (in case anyone forgot). I'm sorry a bunch of assholes we pay to represent us in Washington think it's OK to fuck us like this and we're too stupid to notice but we're not going to take it.

Get it yet? They will be back. And we'll be ready.

Here is some recommended reading: Green Czar Resigns, Creepy White House Internet Tactics Still Creepy

The Answer To Everything Is "The Government"



I was completely with this person until they insisted "the government should fix this," at which point I no longer felt bad for the poor bastard.

Your Emails: Sallie Mae Servicing - Loanshark/Beyond Predatory Lender

My loans are consolidated with Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae has added per a recent conversation with one of their customer service reps $15,000 in interest to my student loans in approximately in a 7 year period. I recently started paying on my loans on Sallie Mae's graduated plan. I have a due date for the 28th of the month, but because I pay Sallie Mae earlier than that date I am told I am being charged additional interest on my account. Further, Sallie Mae are showing my loans in my credit file as if I owe two loans instead of one. They are not showing all the original lenders as paid in full even though Sallie Mae was suppose to pay off those original lenders they have listed them as if the information on those lenders are not available and they don't know their phone numbers or the balances, which is impossible since Sallie Mae is the one that paid all those initial lenders off in full. In one of my credit files Sallie Mae is listed on all my loans and have taken the original lender off. In another credit file Sallie Mae show me owing them $58,000 and $66,000 when I have only one consolidated loan with Sallie Mae. Students need to get together and protest and March until our government stop this insane abuse of student loan practices by lenders.

Sallie Mae has not reported my monthly payments to the credit agencies. I have not as of today received a requested written statement from Sallie Mae of my account. Sallie' Mae's customer service told me I had to have either a coupon book or a statement, but I could not have both. While I am paying Sallie Mae the agreed on payments on my loan and before my due date. Sallie Mae tells me the interest on my loans a increasing because I pay earlier than the due date via mail.

The interest on these loans are more than the entire initial loan and near impossible to pay because of the huge amount of interest, which Sallie Mae says accrues daily

The consequences of these loans were never explained properly when taken out. Lenders like Sallie Mae are taking advantage of t he poor, the uninformed, and those simply wanting to better themselves by pushing these bloodsucking loans on to unsuspecting students when the bulk of these students will end up with nothing but degrees in fields where there are no jobs to be had and a loan it will take them the rest of their life to payoff working in jobs slightly paying more than minimum wage.

The interest on all student loans should be frozen for at least 5 years to give students an opportunity to bring down the principle on these loans. The Government should allow students to discharge the interest on these student loans in bankruptcy since the lenders are collecting more than their fair share of interest. The Government should allow lenders to charge only a flat rate of interest on student loans and not compound the interest daily. .

What else should the Government (capital G) do? Pay those loans off? Give you a house when you graduate as a present? Buy you a car? Feed you?

How about the person signing up for the loan should understand the terms and not take a loan if they don't understand what they are getting themselves into? Why is this Government (capital G)'s job?

TLP: In Case You Didn't Already Think Glenn Beck Was Irrelevant

beck tourette's
Whatever it was Glenn Beck went off to do when he left his rant room over at Fox News Channel must not be working out so well. Witness this cry (sorry, not literally) for attention.

Huffington Post:
Glenn Beck harshly criticized GOP candidate Ron Paul Wednesday night, when the talk show host appeared on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News show.

Beck was referring to Paul's answers on foreign policy during Monday night's Republican primary debate. Beck told O'Reilly that Paul really needed to "shhh, shhh, on foreign policy." Beck said that Paul should keep his points to himself, and sounded "a little like Osama Bin Laden at times."

"It's not America's fault," Beck told O'Reilly. "Have we played a role in making things worse?...Yeah, I think we have...but it's not America's fault, and I don't think Ron gets that."

O'Reilly agreed with the latter part of Beck's statement and said, "No he doesn't get it, and he hasn't ever gotten it, and he never will get it, so we're going to discount him."
Ron Paul as Bin Laden? Huh. Beck's off-script; he usually goosesteps Hitler (or your generic beer-hall variety Nazis) out for this sort of thing.

Can we go back to ignoring him now?

Federal Reserve Asshats Rub Themselves Raw For Their Work While the Economy Crumbles

taken by my BlackBerry at 6 in the morning

The New York Times has confirmed what most of us already knew. 6 years ago, top Fed officials were busy rubbing themselves for a job well done as the economy was on the brink of collapse. Who thought then that we would be where we are now?

Well a lot of people did. I didn't read Financial Armageddon until 2008 when the brink had long been crossed but Panzner wasn't the only one who saw this coming. Unfortunately, the people who saw this coming were not in a position to stop it. Those who were spent their time congratulating themselves when they should have been addressing the situation for what it was - a clusterfuck waiting to happen.

NYT:

As the housing bubble entered its waning hours in 2006, top Federal Reserve officials marveled at the desperate antics of home builders seeking to lure buyers.

The officials laughed about the cars that builders were offering as signing bonuses, and about efforts to make empty homes look occupied. They joked about one builder who said that inventory was “rising through the roof.”

Our favorite son-of-an-elite-dickhead Timmy Geithner was busy stroking Greenspan's balls just before the shit hit the proverbial fan:

“We think the fundamentals of the expansion going forward still look good,” Timothy F. Geithner, then president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, told his colleagues when they gathered in Washington in December 2006.

Some officials, including Susan Bies, a Fed governor, suggested that a housing downturn actually could bolster the economy by redirecting money to other kinds of investments.

And there was general acclaim for Alan Greenspan, who stepped down as chairman at the beginning of the year, for presiding over one of the longest economic expansions in the nation’s history. Mr. Geithner suggested that Mr. Greenspan’s greatness still was not fully appreciated, an opinion now held by a much smaller number of people.

The NYT goes on to trash above son-of-an-elite-dickhead and the rest of the crew charged with fixing and/or manipulating our economy, a task that is apparently too hard for us, as a country, to understand so we essentially hire these morons to do it for us:

The transcripts of the 2006 meetings, released after a standard five-year delay, clearly show some of the nation’s pre-eminent economic minds did not fully understand the basic mechanics of the economy that they were charged with shepherding. The problem was not a lack of information; it was a lack of comprehension, born in part of their deep confidence in economic forecasting models that turned out to be broken.

NOW. If you aren't outraged yet, kindly fuck off.

Of course no one wants to read the entirety of these statements but here's a tidbit that reveals how lame, awkward and completely disconnected these fools are:

MR. FERGUSON. Thank you very much. I will do what is right. [Laughter] Let me open the floor now for nominations for a Chairman and a Vice Chairman of this Committee.
CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN. For the day.
MR. FERGUSON. Now, you’ll see what happens. [Laughter] Don’t presume anything. Governor Kohn.
MR. KOHN. I move that the Committee elect Alan Greenspan as its Chairman to serve for the remainder of today and Timothy Geithner as its Vice Chairman to serve until the election of a successor at the first regularly scheduled meeting of 2007.
MR. FERGUSON. Thank you very much. Is there a second?
PARTICIPANT. Second.
MR. FERGUSON. Fine. Is there any discussion? Is there any objection? Hearing none, it
is unanimous. Congratulations. [Laughter] Before democracy moves too quickly, [laughter] we also have to move to plan for the election of a new Chairman. So let me, again, turn to Governor Kohn.

Jesus. Is it really some kind of joke? These assholes are about to get punched in the face with the worst crisis any of them have ever seen (including that Bernanke jackass with the fetish for the Great Depression) and they're giggling amongst themselves about what a chore the job is.

Or here is a statement from then Boston Fed President Cathy Minehan (the wife of former Fed vice chairman/NY Fed president and current Goldman Sachs partner and managing director E. Gerald Corrigan - shock!), from the June 28-29, 2006 meeting:

MS. MINEHAN. It’s impossible to see these things beforehand, but everyone is nervous about the idea of crowded trades—what havoc they could cause. Clearly, Iceland saw a bit of it.

It’s probably too much to ask to gain a sense of what could possibly be a problem here, other than that we need to be conscious that problems could be out there.

OH! Let's talk about Iceland while we're talking about Federal Reserve asshats who couldn't buy a clue if they had a printing press in their basement to print up a $1 bill to purchase one. Wasn't the year these transcripts come from - 2006 - the same year that former Fed governor and perpetual banking asshole consultant Frederic Mishkin wrote his "Financial Stability In Iceland" paper that he later rewrote on his resume to "Financial INStability In Iceland"? Just asking.

The comforting part? They look forward to determining how many of our dollars will buy how much stuff about as much as most people look forward to a root canal. Their words, not mine.

MR. KOHN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I distributed a memo earlier this week, a report from our communication with you about how you would like to proceed going forward. The main thing I’d like to do is hear whether there’s any reaction to that report. Very tentatively, our idea was to cover goals, broad strategies, and philosophy in August. A number of people thought it would be a good idea to start with that. It might provide a framework for further consideration. Then we would move on to the numerical definition of price stability in our two-day meeting in October, which Debbie will talk about in a few minutes. Most people wanted to start with the numerical definition of price stability, both because it would influence a lot of what else would happen and because it reflects on the discussion we’ve just been having. It’s relevant to the way we approach our monetary policy right now and in the immediate future. It will certainly influence some of the discussion we have about what the announcement should say. So a number of reasons were given for starting with that, and we proposed to do it at the October meeting. Does anybody have any reactions? Cathy.
MS. MINEHAN. I certainly think that at the August discussion we need to settle on the policy, the underlying goals, and all of that. I, for one, am looking forward to an October discussion of inflation targeting about as much as I would be looking forward to a root canal. [Laughter] I would be happy to put it off for a standard two-day meeting in January. I know I’m in a minority on this one, but I just wanted to register how much I’m looking forward to this. [Laughter]

FUCK, I know, it's really hard to decide how deep you're going to financially assrape us that quarter, Cathy, I'm so grateful you suffered through that for our sake. I don't even want to think about how much $1 got me in 2006 compared to now.

Check out the explanation then NY Fed Markets head Dino Kos - who bailed in 2006 just before the whole thing blew up - gives for the explosion of exotic credit instruments, which were big in 2006 if you don't recall:

CHAIRMAN BERNANKE. Governor Bies.
MS. BIES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dino, regarding the last graph you showed, leveraged-loan growth, especially in the share held outside banks, has been happening even though, as you show, high-yield bond issuance really has been running in a fairly normal range. What is making these loan deals so much more attractive to investors?
MR. KOS. The cynic in me would say that a lot of money has been allocated into the credit space. A lot of money has gone into things like credit-default and credit-derivative products. Investors want exposure to credit to enhance yield. They are getting that exposure more and more through derivatives. You need supply to feed those structures, and so, as it were, demand to some degree is creating the supply. That’s one version of events. A second version is that the covenants are easier to negotiate and somewhat easier in general or less stringent than what you might get in the bond market. Third, it might just be cheaper to go out and structure these types of borrowings with a small group of lenders as opposed to going out and actually marketing a bond issue.

Vomit.

2006 is the tip of the iceberg, people, wait until next year when we get to see 2007.

TLP: You Should See What It Looks Like From Over Here

dirty googling
So, there's nothing not to like about blogging here at JDA. The hours are great, I get to write about almost anything I want to, we visit exotic places and the beatings are just right. I counted on a lot of that when I took the job, but one thing I didn't expect was the fun of poking around behind the scenes.

Everyone who has put politics and the Internet together in the last few years knows that Santorum is much more than a guy who thinks he can be president. And, really, Rick Santorum knows all this and still does things to perpetuate it. And of course, he's not the only one.

Roll Call:
Congressional staffers control the content on Members’ websites. They control Members’ Facebook and Twitter accounts. They can even manage Internet search results by buying ads and using search engine optimization techniques.

But Hill staffers can’t control what people wonder about their bosses.

The latest trend in helpful Web search technologies is quietly causing headaches for Members of Congress and those who manage their reputations. Search engines such as Google now offer suggested search terms that appear in a drop-down menu as users begin typing.

Those search terms, formulated partly based on what other users are searching, often serve up all kinds of negative associations about Members of Congress — from keeping gaffes alive to raising sexual questions — and there’s not much politicians can do about it.

Look no further than Rep. Alcee Hastings, who was impeached by the House in 1988 and removed from his job as a U.S. district judge in Florida after being charged with bribery and perjury. Though he was later cleared of charges and is now a respected voice on human rights issues, someone typing his name into Google today might think the Florida Democrat had been impeached again.
Believe me, people who go online looking for information about politicians don't need suggestions. What some of them clearly need is help. A random look at some of the search terms that have brought Googlers to Jr Deputy Accountant:
Rick Perry sexy, John Edwards hair, Ron Paul hipster (coulda been JDA), Chris Christie naked, sexy Sarah Palin (promise this was not me), Ron Paul newsletters "hate whitey", Al Gore carbon credits company, Why Ron Paul is good (this must have been WCV), Ron Paul sexy (oh, wait, maybe this was WCV), nailin Palin, Mormon underwear
And it goes on, constantly, in the most entertaining way. People want to know what they want to know.

But if you're asking the Internet, "how much meat does Mrs. Wang need?" then this may not be the place for you. On the other hand, if the sentiment is, "hey motherfucker fuck you," then you really ought to bookmark us.

How Is That Fed "Social Espionage" Program Working Out?




Remember the Fed Internet stalker campaign?

The Federal Reserve is planning on monitoring what you say about it on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

As first reported on Zero Hedge, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is soliciting proposals from developers for a "Social Listening Platform" that will monitor "the primary social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums and YouTube."

The Fed also states the "Social Listening Platform" to "Handle crisis situations, "Continuously monitor conversations," "Identify and reach out to key bloggers and influencers," and that the software "be able to aggregate data from various media outlets such as: CNN, WSJ, Factiva etc."

The Fed is requesting that all information is provided in real-time and that "sentiment analysis" be a central feature of the developed software.

In other words, the Fed wants anything said about it on a social platform to be categorized as "positive, negative or neutral."

With or without software, they've been doing this. I know (and anyone else with access to their logs knows) that they casually stalk the conversation. Don't call it monitoring, the Board won't admit to as much.

Though the Fed Twitter accounts can appear robotic and clinical at times, actual people are behind them. People who click on links and pass them around and discuss them. Fuck, I don't need complicated monitoring software to tell me that. How much made up money was the Fed willing to pay for such a program?

If the right handful of people know where to look, they can monitor the conversation. Hell, I will save the Fed a bazillion dollars and tell them for free: sentiment is not good. People are hella mad at y'all.

I suspect at some point the NY Fed contracted Cyveillance to do some of their monitoring (not confirmed, just a strong suspicion based on traffic patterns), who have also likely been hired by Goldman Sachs to do their Internet crawling. It makes me feel dirty just to think about.

So how is that working out for the Fed these days? Got someone on board to pump out this awesome diagnostic tool? Buncha nerds ready to decode the World Wide Internets for the big scary Fed?

Homeland Security does it, why wouldn't the Fed?

I Dedicate This To You, Ben Bernanke



If you want my love baby, put something down on it.


"I know y'all know what I'm talkin about..."

Old Ass San Franciscans Terrorize the Bernal Heights Bank of America



DAMN. See, this is what I miss about San Francisco. They don't do that in DC. I live in the very worst part of DC and not a single one of my neighbors is out occupying the Bank of America, although there is a van that sells football jerseys there if you need some of those. In the summer, dudes sell cold water where Indian Head meets S Capitol. In the street. That's how they occupy in SE.

They work. God forbid people work in SE. It's much too easy to generalize and say entire populations across whole cities just don't give a fuck or want to try but if my neighbors aren't working, they are working if you get me.

In San Francisco people hustled too but it was way more destructive thanks to the obvious wealth gap in that town.

Anyway, some old ass San Franciscans got sick of this bullshit and stormed a Bernal Heights Bank of America.

From the SF Weekly:

KCBS reports that a small group of senior citizens between the ages of 69 and 82 successfully shut down a Bank of America in Bernal Heights on Thursday with nothing more than walkers and oxygen tanks. That's right: No shouting, chanting, tear gas, or window-smashing.

The group, which dubbed itself "Wild Old Women" set up camp right outside the BofA, holding signs in what they were calling "a run on the bank."

While the protesters said they had no intention (or oxygen) of storming the bank, as occupiers in other communities have done, officials at Bank of America shut the doors and locked them as they spotted the slow-moving group make its way to the front of the bank.

I saw some crazy shit in my San Francisco days. Dudes with full on beard and leg bush in the bar. People on stilts. A guy in an Obama mask smoking weed. Old people shutting down a BofA? No, I don't think I caught that one.

The commenters at SF Weekly get into whether this was actually Bernal Heights but I've been in DC long enough not to care about SF neighborhood semantics.

That's why I say SE and not Congress Heights or whatever flavor du jour my hood is this week as realtors (and I've busted the Washington Post doing it too) are pump and dumping it as up and coming.

Don't up and come this neighborhood, please. PLEASE. I need my parking spot.

Washingtonian Suggests Broke European Nations Should Sell Their DC Embassies For Much-Needed Cash



I admit I've neglected my last 4 issues of Washingtonian. And in January's, I didn't really care for the Best of H Street because I rarely go there. In SE, you have a few options; Oxon Hill, Alexandria or maybe out in the Maryland burbs near work. I could have paid twice as much for half what I have to live near H Street but I picked better hardwood floors and a parking spot over a cramped NE address just to say I had one. Why pay that much to live in a warzone not much better than my own (no judgments for those who prefer that and can afford it but I basically write for a living, I don't know what you want me to do)? The great thing about "dangerous" old SE is that no one wants to gentrify here (excluding the comfortable areas directly around 295), so I don't also have to deal with impending Whole Foods on top of sketchy behavior. Suck it, DC hipsters falling over each other for NE addresses, I saw that happen in SF in 2000 and it didn't end well. Not to perpetuate stereotypes that certain quadrants are worse than others since SE also includes Capitol Hill (if you ask me, the most violent place in the entire country) but I think we know to which SE and NE I'm referring when I use the term warzone.

Anyway, except for the riveting Capital Comment article on Obama with a beard, the standout in the latest magazine was "For Sale: Want Our Embassy?"

Mary Clare Glover lists the Ireland, Greece, Spain and Italy embassies in Washington at assessed and market value. Ireland could potentially make $12 million for giving up its Mass Ave NW embassy which, coincidentally, was built in 1924 for Federal Reserve Board member Frederic Delano.

Greece has a whole compound on Embassy Row that could net them $30 million - at the way this city's property value is going, Greece might actually be smart to hang onto that for awhile.

They could turn it into a Whole Foods!

While we're on the subject of Capital Comment, please don't miss this 21-year-old Corcoran student's representation of her Arlington-to-Georgetown commute, which sounds a lot like my SE-to-Columbia nightmare, just a little nicer because it isn't as long as mine.

It's obviously all a warzone if you ask me. Except DC just hasn't figured out yet that the money isn't real. See also: the $3.4 billion DHS compound that isn't even finished.

I'll be hanging out over here in the "safe" part of town when that realization hits, thanks.

NY Times 99%ers Revolt Against Their Captors



That's pretty bad ass if you ask me:

The spirit of Occupy Wall Street has entered the hallowed halls of The New York Times. Not because the paper is covering OWS, mind you. Rather, an uprising has arisen within the paper itself.

The reason for the uprising: while The Times is demanding that rank-and-file employees make sacrifices for the financial health of the paper – sacrifices that include pension freezes and the scaling back of health savings plans for foreign correspondents and staff working overseas – the paper is simultaneously granting outgoing CEO Janet Robinson a $15 million golden parachute. (Note: while $10.9 million come from pension benefits, Robinson has access to the funds immediately – ahead of schedule – despite being 61.)

Oh, and how much is the paper expected to save from the sacrifice of its 99% staff? According to Kyle Smith of Forbes, approximately $9 million, or just over half the amount being granted to a single executive who completely failed during a tenure that saw the paper's stock price drop from $40 to $8 in seven years.

via Daily Kos

Read the Times' protesters' manifesto to Arthur Sulzberger Jr. here.

It's worth republishing:
December 23, 2011

Dear Arthur:

We, the Guild leadership and many reporters, editors, account managers and other Times employees, Guild members and otherwise, are writing to express profound dismay at several recent developments.

Our foreign citizen employees in overseas bureaus have just had their pensions frozen with only a week’s warning. Some of these people have risked their lives so that we can do our jobs. A couple have even lost them. Many have spent their entire careers at the Times -- indeed, some have letters from your father explaining the pension system -- and deserve better treatment.

At the same time, your negotiators have demanded a freeze of our pension plan and an end to our independent health insurance.

We ask you to withdraw these demands so that negotiations on a new contract can proceed fruitfully and expeditiously. We also urge you to reconsider the decision to eliminate the pensions of the foreign employees.

We have worked long and hard for this company and have given up pay to keep it solvent. Some of us have risked our lives for it. You have eloquently recognized and paid moving tribute to our work and devotion. The deep disconnect between those words and the demands of your negotiators have given rise to a sense of betrayal.

One of our colleagues in senior management recently announced her retirement from the paper, which is reported to include a very generous severance and retirement package, including full pension benefits.

All of us who work at the Times deserve to have a secured retirement; this should not be a privilege cynically reserved to senior management. We strongly urge you to keep faith with your words and our shared mission of putting out the best newspaper in the world.

"The best newspaper" in the world might have been a bit dramatic but you get the point.

TLP: You Might Want To Order That Without Dressing

credit: Urban Dictionary, if you dare

Thanks to WC Varones, I've got Rick Santorum on the brain. Which is never a good thing. But this sounds even worse.

HuffPost:
The Boone Pizza Ranch named their chicken salad after Rick Santorum on Monday after the staff asked him to try their signature dish and he said he liked it.

"A lot of people ask about the economy and the threat of Iran and about military aid and maybe about social issues, whether it be abortion rights or something else. I don't care about those things, I care about what you think about my damn salad," said Keith Prange, assistant manager and the maker of the salad.

"He tells everybody about his salads," another employee chimed in.

Prange said he is a Democrat, but just wanted to ask if Santorum liked the salad, which is made from scratch here from a recipe he invented. He told Santorum that if he liked it, they would name the salad after the former Pennsylvania senator.
Clearly, the Google hasn't made it everywhere in Iowa yet.