Monday, August 29, 2011

If Rupert Murdoch hadn't been born

It's a Soaraway Life

Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie do a "If Rupert Murdoch hadn't been born" skit. Reminds me of Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas.

Yes indeed, these psychopaths cause so much death and destruction all in the name of money and power and control. What's the point? Welcome to Bizarro World.

[Youtube] If Rupert Murdoch hadn't been born

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Al Jazeera English: American Freedom and an Iraqi Train Driver

America brought freedom to Iraq at a barrel of a gun. Let's visit Iraq and see what an Iraqi train driver describes as destruction of his country and life.

Another excellent report from Al Jazeera English, this time from filmmakers Rashed Radwan and Carmen Marques!

The Green (money) Train indeed keeps chugging along eating everything in its path...

[Youtube] Look at Iraq through a train driver's eyes

Money: Why so important?

I've always wondered how much is enough. What does one do once they reach a certain bank account value? Unfortunately, most people cannot imagine anything useful to do with their time once they reach a threshold where they are free from any burdens.

Here's a study that shows materialism buys security. It comes down to materials vs. love. Which is available and sought after more? It may explain why some people (excluding psychopaths) behave the way they do.

[Youtube] Materialism buys security?

It's not a good sign when the rich have made their wealth through unsavory means. Hence the hiding. Polite theft at its finest. The cannot end well for the rest of society.

I say pull out of the stock market. P Sainath calls it the Misery Index. The higher it goes the worse off most everyone is. It only produces powerful corporations, corruption, and inequity.

[Youtube] Al Jazeera English's Fault Lines - The Affluent - 08-01-2011

Al Jazeera English: Chilean Miners, Bahrain the Revolution is not dead, and Vitorrio Arigoni

Al Jazeera English has three good reports / documentaries.

The first is on the lives of the Chilean Miners post-rescue. Their lives are just as bad as before. I've always said people that work a job should have a dignified livelihood. There's one scene where a billionare who made money off the copper mines flies in to give $10,000 to each of the miners' families. So that's where all the money went. And I bet he worked so hard it was worth a billion! And so were the other investors!

[Youtube] Chilean Miners post-rescue

The second is on Bahrain where the people demanded change only to get crushed by the Saudi Arabian military. nevertheless, the flame is not extinguished as every night there's a shout on top of roofs at night for the longing of freedom. The US military stands idly by lending its support to the Bahraini King. If only the Bahraini King defied the US would there be rebels with guns as in Libya (sarcasm)...

[Youtube] Bahrain revolution down but not out

And thirdly, a look at Vittorio Arrigoni's life. He was shot dead in April 2011 by the Israel / a Salafi group for trying to bring peace to the region. What a world!

"A winner is a dreamer who never gives up" --Vitorrio Arigoni

[Youtube] A look at Vittorio Arrigoni

Max Keiser: Michael Hudson AND Catherine Austin Fitts

Navigating The Matrix, Max Keiser, Michael Hudson, and Catherine Austin Fitts light the way...

Two excellent episodes!

[Youtube] Max Keiser: Michael Hudson 08-19-2011

[Youtube] Max Keiser: Catherine Austin Fitts 08-23-2011

Should I even bother posting these anymore has everybody already watched them?

P Sainath: Dissecting the Propaganda


Government, Politicians, Mainstream News Media, Heads of Corporations, Trade Organizations, Banks... What they say and what they do are two different things. Perception does not fit reality. Guru P. Sainath debunks them all.

There's two sets of speeches. The second set is harder to hear but is quite interesting.

[Youtube] P Sainath at University of Texas, Austin Part 1/5

Rest of the parts here.

[Youtube] P Sainath: Paid News - Part 1/many

Rest of the parts here.

Extra: Lagaan song Mitwa - Behind the scenes

The making of sausage. here's a look at the studio recording of Lagaan's Mitwa song. And remember A.R. Rahman? He's the one that wrote that now popular song from Slumdog Millionare. I've always called Slumdog Millionare a mediocre film as there's better Indian movies and song out there. I think this song has much more depth. It's just much better!

[Youtube] The making of Lagaan song Mitwa
Another one where no embedding allowed!

Hopes and Dreams

Hopes.. Dreams.. What is it that makes up the imagination and soul of a person? With a twinkle in the eye, tell a tale of what is to be and that which should happen. They open up possibilities and their reach are limitless. Where will one's hopes and dreams take him/her tomorrow? Will they conclude with a smile? Without hopes and dreams, one is only a zombie.

Here are some Indian music videos from the movies Lagaan and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.

First watch the captions from the song Mitwa from the movie Lagaan. It contain a better version of the lyrics. The actual video from the movie is included next. Then finish with
Mitwa from Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.

[Youtube] Mitwa song from Lagaan with the better Lyrics (turn on subtitles and don't cry!)

[Youtube] Mitwa from the movie Lagaan

Here's the other video. Just a word of caution. This video has a great message, but it's circumstance isn't the finest. It shows two couples breaking up and finding each other. But that's not why I want to show the video. The tune and lyrics are why. I'm sure the song writer didn't intend his song to be used by Bollywood as such but here it is anyways.

Here's the synopsis by someone that posted a comment:
"Dev (Shahrukh) is married to Riya (Preity), but is unhappy in this relationship and is always in a bad mood. Maya (Rani) and Rishi (Abhishek) are also a married couple, but maya is also unhappy because she dont love her husband. when Maya and Dev met, a lovestory begins..."

[Youtube] Mitwa from Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
Sorry no embedding

Friday, August 26, 2011

Basmati Revolution?


LOL! Ya right! The police are there to protect the corrupt class.

India is having it's own little revolt-lite against corruption. Lots of people are showing up in the streets to demand reform. The catalyst? Anna Hazare, who is on his 6th+ day of a hunger strike. The demand is that legislation called the Jan Lokpal Bill be passed in order to curb corruption.

[Youube] Prime Minister hides in his bunker whilst the King's Men shooo away constituents

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fukushima: The coverup

When you need to government to give you necessary information for your safety and well being, what do they do? Purposely cover-up and hide the pertinent information and pretend like nothing has happened. In doing so, the government endangers the lives on thousands of people.

Realtime simulations on computers systems already in place for a nuclear disaster like Fukushima spat out information that foretold where the radiation would spew out. Whatever the case, the Japanese government put up a road block to any useful dissemination of evacuation information. let this be a lesson not to trust or rely on the government for anything in case of an emergency.

[Article] Fukushima's early coverup

The simulation reminds me of Katrina where Ivor van Heerden ran simulations at Louisiana State University which correctly predicted the outcome of a category 5 storm. Based on post analysis, he started pointing fingers at the culprits. He was fired for it.

[Article] Ivor Van Heerden predicted Katrina
[Article] Ivor Van Heerden fired for pointing fingers

And FEMA also had run a simulation called Pam which had also predicted disaster. Actions plans from this simulation were not adhered to. But if a tax break is needed, that won't take long to pass.

[Article] FEMA's Pam Simulation Foretold Katrina Disaster

Matt Taibbi: SEC destroys record files and Wall Street doesn't go to jail

So the SEC cover-ups the fraud schemes of high finance? I suspect it's all departments in government. The government officials go through a revolving door and use the government job as a resume builder. They then move back into the private sector where the companies they played patty caked with hire them with a nice high salary payoff. It's good old fashioned bribery in disguise.

As as mentioned before, the higher up ones goes in an organization, the more corrupt it gets. Unfortunately, the people at the bottom have to follow the commands from the top. Therein lies the rub.

[Youtube] Matt Taibbi on why Wall Street isn't in jail

{Article] Matt Taibbi uncovers the SEC coverup via shredding documents

Jobs - Where did they go?

Jobs are like money. It doesn't just disappear. It had to go somewhere. Let me tell you about my personal experiences in the IT job sector...

I've been unemployed on and off for a good part of the 2000s decade. It was so easy to be working in the late 1990s. But I suspect at that time, the multinationals and the big companies already had a 10 year plan to insource and outsource. So why hire someone and train them? The companies do not want to invest in someone they won't be hiring in 10 years! In the late 1990s I was looking for good job experience. It was a catch 22. No one seemed like they wanted to bring onboard and train. Anyways, over time I figured out that fulltime positions were not secure and that contracting would be just as volatile yet more profitable. This is what I do now. I really find it funny when a company looks at my resume and tells me they want someone who has been working long term with a company for many many years. They don't want someone leaving after hiring them. Then I remember they said early on in the interview that they have the open position to fill because they just had a layoff.

Anyways here's what I saw at various places. When I was a contractor at IndyMac Bank in late 2007 (this was right before they went bust were taken over by the FDIC), I saw 80% of the cubicles empty. And a lot of the back office jobs were filled were by H1s. They were hired by (I forget the exact name now) ?Conversant?. So it's cheaper to pay $300-$500 a month to H1Bs, fly them over, pay for food and living expenses then hire someone from here. The reason given for H1B sponsorship? There are a lack of qualified candidates with the relevant skills. So Indymac Bank couldn't find people to fill back office jobs?

A couple of years ago, I was interviewing for a nonprofit government funded mortgage help customer relations company. I walk through a room with almost all H1B filled IT positions.

More recently, early this year, I was interviewing for work. I was given a tour of the areas. And what do I see? In the IT room see a bunch of H1Bs. I see at least half the department was H1B.

I don't mind jobs being outsourced, but insourcing is a big no-no. There's a lot of unemployed people! Plus most, if not all, these companies are breaking the law. The law states you must pay the same wage to an H1B candidate as a local candidate.

Anyways, the worst part about all this... I see people in IT (some unemployed) that are not offended by this practice. They keep voting for the same politicians!

Part of this has to do with coddling the rich. Buying into their propaganda is foolish and dangerous. Here's a good article on that.

[Article] Crooks and Liars - The Job Creator Myth

Furthermore, here's an article by Crooks and Liars on Microsoft crying uncle over unable to fill jobs with qualified candidates. What they mean by qualified is working long hours for pennies for the dollar without any complaints. By the way, why would they have periodic layoffs if the job applicants are in short supply?

{Article] Crooks and Liars - Microsoft wants to hire more H1Bs

Reading through the comments I noted the ones that were insightful.

"...have been for 25 years. MS does nothing in this country to help this country. Since the H1Bs were allowed in my wages have gone stagnant whereas they were rising before. Now it gets harder every year to be able to afford new systems, software upgrades, new software purchases, books, classes, travel, etc. to stay on top of the ever changing market.

Before the goverment hands out any more H1Bs, MS should be required to bring all support centers back to the US. They should offer free training to the support people who wish to move up into programming and beyond. This will solve the 2 problems. First problem of calling MS support and trying to speak to someone in India. If "excellent communication skills" are required then that requirement should apply to people who work in other countries too. Second problem, training for needs of the company from within.

I would favor tax benefits to companies who provide low cost (deeply discounted) software to IT professionals trying like hell to keep up with the new technology. Upgrades should be free to IT people.

MS should become more involved in US universities. If they are not graduating students with the skills needed then they need to work to change that here in the US.

MS should be required to pay each H1B a salary that is higher than the current wage for a US citizen in that position. If the person they are bringing in truly has badly needed skills then pay for those skills. This would probably kill the H1B program since MS is primarily trying exploit H1Bs. In addition they should pay a tax equal that persons salary to improve education and training in this country.

Last, let's be very clear here. Foreign citizens education is subsidized by their goverments. Here the student is exploited and left with heavy loans to pay off. They can work for "shit in a bucket" while Americans cannot. That is not fair trade, it's exploitation."

Here's another one:
"I'm old enough to recall all the pro-biz propaganda in the media in the 1970's about how if we'd just remove the 'dead hand' of government regulations off of the backs of Big Biz, we'd have paradise through greater efficiency, lower costs, etc. 'Laffer Curves', and all that crap. Well, we gave the businessmen what they wanted, and almost from the get-go we got monstrosities like the S & L debacle...for which we are STILL paying for. And plenty of off-shoring, which cost me my job in the 1990's. So, whenever I hear these three-piece suits mouthing off about how much more we have to give up in order to achieve their version of paradise, I recall what they've done already; their rapaciousness knows no bounds."

And another one:
"I worked in San Jose and the surrounding area for 40 years, and there was not a single day, in 40 years that Microshaft didn't bitch about not enough folks to fill the jobs they had so they had to go overseas.. It was a LIE back over those 40 years and it's a LIE today. The meme from Microsoft senior counsel Brad Smith is COMPLETE hogwash and the words he spoke, even to Congress, has not changed one word since the early 70's.

It's as clear today as it was in 1975-ish time frame - Microshaft and other large, hi-tech firms in the US DISCRIMINATE INTENTIONALLY against Americans and others over 40 - always. Anything else you hear is a LIE. I've even seen folks in the Valley with jobs but thinking about moving on, intentionally staying away from Microshaft because they knew what kind of discrimination Gates and Bomber practiced and didn't even entertain talking to Microsoft about moving over.... Microshaft didn't get a slice of US talent because that talent DIDN'T WANT TO TALK TO Microshaft....

The whole lack of talent is mostly of Microshaft's own doing. Don't let them get away with more years of LIES and more discrimination..."

One more, it's succinct:
"...then hire some good people and train them ffs"

Ok, I lied, one more:
"I work this industry. I've been an IT worker for the last 20 years of my life and this is just flat out lies.

The talent is here in America. The problem is that if MS starts hiring American again then their offshored worker contracts start to get more expensive because there are cost incentives in the contracts for continued growth.

Also speaking as a recipient of the outsourced product, (Outsource firms send the results of their work to my team for eventual product issue resolution.) I can say with 100% certainty that the product is inferior compared to the product I received from American workers.

No I am not prejudiced. If the product I received was better I wouldn't complain. Unfortunately, it isn't."

Assured Destruction of the planet

On the Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox, Dr. Michio Kaku speaks about the 100 / 1000 year natural occurrences. He speaks of sunspots and the possibility of worldwide power grid failure which can lead to disasters such as Fukushima. So thinking about it, I've come to the conclusion that we're going to destroy this livable planet by worshiping the Money God by supporting psychopathic leaders and their ideas for short term profits. Katrina, BP oil spill, Fukushima.. The list will grow in numbers and magnitude until we have made inhabiting the Earth sub-optimal.

[MP3] Cindy Sheehan interviews Dr. Michio Kaku 08-21-2011

AAAND THIS ONE'S NOT TO BE MISSED! Here's a documentary on nuclear engineers going about collecting soil samples for measuring nuclear contamination. On their way they meet people whose lands and livelihoods have been taken away from them so that a few businessmen and those working in the nuclear industry can keep their jobs.

[Youtube] NHK World documentary special on Fukushima

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Shehla Masood, Indian Activist, is dead

I used to chat online with Shehla Masood about India's corruption. I would provide her links to videos and to this blog to better inform her about the system and its internal mechanisms. She opened up a facebook group at She was a dedicated activist fighting corruption and wrongs in India.

Needless to say it's a shock when something happens hits home, right within the sphere of your consciousnesses. Today, i am sad to announce that I found out that Shehla Masood has been assassinated. The greedy coward psychopaths were responsible for it. They tried to declare it a suicide but people are not buying it.

This assassination comes at a time when the Indian public is up and arms about corruption. The Indian government has detained an anti-corruption activist by the name of Anna Hazare. The public is marching on the streets demanding his release and reformation of the system.

Here are a few posts I made on the facebook group wall today:
"I used to chat with and email Shehla about her activism. I didn't know much about her but I used to get the updates from this group in my email. One person can make a difference but it's dangerous when only one person is rowing against the current. It makes them an easy and vulnerable target. Activists, there is a something to learn here. Do not sacrifice yourself for a public that is uncaring and unsupportive of the causes Shehla and activists like her fight for. Like Egypt, when and if people are ready to correct things, they will correct. The best way to defeat the enemy is by educating the masses by exposing and pointing out the crimes. The Egyptians first had to educate themselves first to know what they were fighting exactly. They then had to act as as a mass. People are so stubborn, they don't do anything until the worst of circumstances are upon them. My deepest condolences to the Shehla's family and thank you Shehla for being such a wonderful human being."

"To show solidarity, each individual in India should open a new RTI case in her memory, just as Shehla had done. Or join the organizations she joined to save the wildlife,etc and go protest (as an activist) on her behalf just once. Show strength not weakness."

"People, get together and continue to work of Shehla Masood. Follow up on her RTI requests to their end. Show the dastardly crooks that they cannot stop what's been started. They have to fear us more than we fear them."

RTI = Right To Information. The government must produce public documents when request of information is filed.

[Link] Shehla Masood's last tweets

[Youtube] News covers Shehla Masood's assassination

[Youtube] Latest news coverage of Shehla Masood

[Youtube] Dr. Binayak Sen's moment of silence for Shehla Masood

Sunday, August 07, 2011

P Sainath: Bought off Media

P. Sainath interviews with Newsclick on the topic of Indian news media's conflicts of interest, which are of course, applicable to any neww media around the world.

[Youtube] P. Sainath examines why the news media is biased

US Downgrade - 08-05-2011

Oh and btw, that US Treasury bond downgrade to AA+.. That was expected. Was it really a surprise?

Now here's my thoughts...

The banks and insiders are blackmailing the government into giving them more. That "more" could be a greater piece of the budget, tax breaks, decriminalization, policy enactments, more bailout, foreign wars, etc. Whatever it is, it is just a rouse to tank the economy and stock market to scare them into producing a policy to the insiders' benefit.

All the while, the people of the Republic let it happen. Here's a great blog post from Vincenzo on the IrvineHousingBlog that I have been saving up:

Alexander Tyler was a 18th century historian/economist who wrote “The Cycle of Democracy” in 1778.

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred years.

These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage.”

China's The New South China Mall, The World's Largest Mall that never was

Dateline: Ding Dong, Don Juan, Dongguan, China

And then we have the ghost malls... EconCat88 braves Chinese security to bring us first hand, jaw dropping, eye candy horror footage of The New South China Mall, which, at the present, is a ghost mall. Built in 2005, it is self dubbed "The World's Largest Mall". Alas, it is a relict of the credit bubble of the Go-Go 2000s. Things that make you go WOAHHHHHH.

Why does the government build stuff that will never get utilized? Isn't it a crime when there's poor people in China that could use some of that money? What I suspect is the construction of buildings that will be left vacant is deliberate. The Chinese government has way too much money and needs to dispose of it. If they give this money to poor people, it will create demand for goods which will create inflation. So in order to control inflation they have to not allow that money into circulation. And what better way to throw money into the fireplace AND increase the GDP numbers at the same time than to blow it on unoccupied store malls and whole ghost towns? The corrupt class (construction firms, bankers, government officials) get their money who blow it on gambling, real estate, and the stock market. And then it's time to tear the ghost buildings down....

I'll post the first part in the series and then links for the rest.

[Youtube] Chinese New South China Ghost Mall - Part 1/7

The rest:
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Chinese Street Vendors

EconCat88 films brings us footage from the "shopping streets" of Kunming, China.

Just a few notes here. If the stores in buildings can't compete with vendors on the street that doesn't mean you should get rid of the street vendors. That just means the street vendors are the more efficient business model. If the stret vendors are declared unlawful and cleared out all that really means is people have to pay more in stores in buildings. So why the are building stores there? Primarily to feed money to the rentiers and esablished status quo. They got to have their cut! Rents aren't cheap! How much of the money you spend on goods actually goes to the actual price of a good? How much of the money that's spent at a restaurant actually goes towards the food? Do you really think the food vendors at Disneyland that make much from a $10 hamburger? Does most of that go to Disneyland?

Furthermore, instead of building empty malls, they could've built areas for the small guys to hawk their wares.

I remember in India, they've outlawed street vendors during the day because they compete with the establishment. Why outlaw capitalism and competition? If street vending is the more efficient and effective model, why keep people from benefitting from it? And the food WAS better through a street vendor. I saw him make it right in font of the cart. And it's so much cheaper. And the money will go a longer way for him than a restaurant in a building. There's the money will go towards rent, utilities, taxes, his house mortgage (which goes to the bankers), his car payment, and other establishment rentiers.

[Youtube] Street vendors

P Sainath: Food revolutions and neoliberalism fallout - May 2011

P Sainath gives a speech at University of Texas, Austin, May 2011. He goes through the lies the media perpetrates and the failure of neoliberalism. Remember, Indians are infatuated with the rapid GDP increase which suggests an almost perfect economic model.

In a land where McDonalds is considered high class, sit down eat out, poverty is rising. It's a tale of two classes and a propagandized middle class caught in between. What I can't understand is how people can still believe the mass media post 2008. The proof is in the pudding right before everyone eyes, an elephant in the room.

"India Shining" forgot about the majority of the poor people... Their incomes are decreasing. Their costs are going up. Starvation is on the rise. Who's out there to care?

So the recent revolutions were food price hike bsaed. It's really sad how much else people put up with before there is an uprising. What about all the other things wrong in the world? Do most people just go about their day and put up with the injustices. It's easy to dismiss if they don't don't effect one's self personally.

[Youtube] P Sainath: Food uprising and failed neoliberalism - May 2011 - Part 1/5

The rest is here:
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A Common Enemy - Self Interest

Ahhhh!! Protests in the streets of Israel... High prices creating misery and dispair for everyone. But people only pop out into the streets when they're affected. Forget about ideals, morals, and justice for other people.

There is a common enemy. It's class warfare. The haves vs the have nots. Power vs the powerless. The policymakers vs he policy supporters. The enemy is same for everyone. Yet what stands in the way everywhere? That's right. Self interest. Let things go into the crapper. Then wonder what happened? All along people have been warning of events that are now taking place. They are often ignored and ridiculed. Then the party drink bowl runs low. People come out into the streets to demand more.

High real estate prices. High food prices. PROTEST! It's all simple economics. Your leaders and elites run an apartheid program. People benefit off apartheid. That's something to talk about later (euphemism to not talk about it at all). It's all too inconvenient. It's ll too lobotomatic.

High food prices brought about the Arab Spring. Now it's Israel's turn. It's all about human rights and dignity after all. Everyone wants it and needs it.

[Youtube] Israeli's selfish high prices protest

[Youtube] Israeli's high cost of living protest