Thursday, October 30, 2008

Palin vs. Chavez

Imagine - a place where the state levies no taxes on individuals, but instead taxes oil companies a significant amount, and uses those revenues to support the government's own functions, and even to provide significant benefits worth hundreds or thousands of dollars to each citizen.

Is this Hugo Chavez's Venezeula? Or Sarah Palin's Alaska?

idea from:

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Nuclear waste piling up at U.S. hospitals - Health care-

Nuclear waste piling up at U.S. hospitals - Health care-

Tubes, capsules and pellets of used radioactive material are piling up in the basements and locked closets of hospitals and research installations around the country, stoking fears they could get lost or, worse, stolen by terrorists and turned into dirty bombs.

Ahmadinejad accepts Israel's right to exist | Comment is free |

Peter Tatchell: Ahmadinejad accepts Israel's right to exist | Comment is free |

The Iranian president has said he would accept a two-state solution if the Palestinians agree. So where are the headlines?

Friday, September 26, 2008

privatizing profits, socializing losses - glenn beck @ cnn

Commentary: Financial meltdown is an absolute disaster -

So now that we're here, what do we do? I am massively conflicted about this bailout program. The idea of government stepping in to bail out international banks that were reckless with their own business literally makes my stomach churn. We are privatizing gains and socializing losses.

nuked - daily mail

ALEX BRUMMER: Nuked! Why our children will pay a heavy price for the scandalously short-sighted sale of our nuclear industry | Mail Online:

The very idea that we should trust the future of nuclear power, one of Britain's most strategic industries, to an overseas company is extraordinary enough.

But what makes the £12.5 billion takeover of nuclear generator British Energy by Electricite de France (EDF) even more outrageous is that the buyer is 85 per cent owned by the French state.

In effect, this country is placing control over its energy needs in the hands of a foreign-owned enterprise...

Israel asked US for green light to bomb nuclear sites in Iran

Israel asked US for green light to bomb nuclear sites in Iran:

Israel gave serious thought this spring to launching a military strike on Iran's nuclear sites but was told by President George W Bush that he would not support it and did not expect to revise that view for the rest of his presidency, senior European diplomatic sources have told the Guardian.

US ‘will lose financial superpower status’ / World - US ‘will lose financial superpower status’:

The US will lose its status as the superpower of the world financial system. This world will become multi polar with the emergence of stronger, better capitalised centres in Asia and Europe, Mr Steinbrück told the German parliament. The world will never be the same again.

Obama camp: McCain's 'stunt'

Ben Smith's Blog: Obama camp: McCain's 'stunt' -

the only thing McCain really wants suspended is the American people’s disbelief. In fact, he’s been in full campaign mode the entire time.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Travelers' Laptops May Be Detained At Border (

Travelers' Laptops May Be Detained At Border (
Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed.

Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

'The policies . . . are truly alarming,' said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), who is probing the government's border search practices. He said he intends to introduce legislation soon that would require reasonable suspicion for border searches, as well as prohibit profiling on race, religion or national origin.

ebay and paypal sellers, watch out, the IRS is coming !

Essentially, the bill requires Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, PayPal, Amazon, Google Checkpoint, and virtually every other "electronic payment system" to track, aggregate, and report information on nearly every electronic transaction to the IRS. They must report:

  • The gross amount of payment card and third-party network transactions and
  • The name, address, and taxpayer identification number of the participating merchant

However, the bill gives these systems more than two years to gear up for these requirements--mandatory reporting won't come into effect until 2011.

Asset Protection BLOG - Mark Nestmann: Housing Bailout Bill: Say Goodbye to Untaxed Internet Transactions

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Possible new channels for Sirius XM Radio

Sirius XM radio will soon be adding a total of 12 new channels on each platform. Six that will be awarded to non-profits who wish to provide NCE (non-commercial, educational) informational programming, and another six that will be awarded to Qualified Entities (small businesses, preferably women and/or minority owned).

My thoughts on who would make good use of such channels:
1. A Native American public radio station/network such as Native Voice One or AIROS. (This one could potentially qualify as minority owned, as well. But Native Americans deserve to have a voice on satellite radio, either way.)
2. A good eclectic public music station such as KEXP or The Current.
3. A quality Christian CHR station that would clearly not overlap with either The Message or Spirit. Perhaps a group like Radio U, WAY FM (Nashville/Nationwide), WaY FM (Michigan), or Radio Y.
4. An alternative point of view station/network such as Pacifica or perhaps Free Speech TV, if they wanted to also offer a Free Speech Radio, or even Link TV might offer Link Radio.

Minority / Female Owned:
1. BTNC (Black Television News Channel) should really put together a radio station (even it's primarily an audio simulcast of their TV channel. This would offer a new voice and source for news from a different perspective.
2. Given their extensive experience owning radio stations, Univision might be a good source for a new channel or two. I'm not sure whether the minority/female block of six channels will be limited to one to a customer, as the non-profit channels will surely be. Nonetheless, Univision could probably do well programming a station with mostly music and some news breaks, funded by national advertising.
3. The Word Network - they used to be on Sirius, and I'm sure they would jump at the chance to get back onto Sirius XM radio.

Any other ideas? Please feel free to leave comments.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

energy / survival = what is coming ?

My Way News - Energy fears looming, new survivalists prepare:
Convinced the planet's oil supply is dwindling and the world's economies are heading for a crash, some people around the country are moving onto homesteads, learning to live off their land, conserving fuel and, in some cases, stocking up on guns they expect to use to defend themselves and their supplies from desperate crowds of people who didn't prepare.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

high-fat diet = better for epilepsy ?

BBC NEWS | Health | Diet treatment call for epilepsy:
A special high-fat diet helps to control fits in children with epilepsy, a UK trial suggests.

The number of seizures fell by a third in children on the 'ketogenic' diet, where previously they had suffered fits every day despite medication.

time to start stockpiling

R.O.I. -
I don't want to alarm anybody, but maybe it's time for Americans to start stockpiling food.

No, this is not a drill.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

24th amendment, anyone?

The forgotten constitutional amendment about voting rights. - By Bruce Ackerman and Jennifer Nou - Slate Magazine:
Indiana's law insists on a photo ID to vote, which in turn requires documents, like a birth certificate or passport, that verify identity. Getting these papers costs voters money as well as time and effort. This leads to the question the court failed to ask: Does the extra expense violate the absolute ban on all 'taxes' imposed by the 24th Amendment?

Friday, May 02, 2008

war landscape ... oil exploitation ... america ?

In Wyoming, the Dark Side of America’s Thirst for Energy - New York Times: many Americans, the people in Teton County — which includes Jackson — do not understand what it takes to feed the country’s seemingly insatiable demand for energy.

“Most people don’t know what goes on in an oil field,” she said. “It’s a war landscape. Those boys are out there 24 hours, even when it’s 50 below and the wind is blowing sideways.”

europeans suffering as much as americans

For Europe’s Middle-Class, Stagnant Wages Stunt Lifestyle - New York Times:
LES ULIS, France — When their local bakery in this town south of Paris raised the price of a baguette for the third time in six months, Anne-Laure Renard and Guy Talpot bought a bread maker. When gasoline became their biggest single expense, they sold one of their two cars.

Friday, April 25, 2008

tell P&G it's okay

AFA ActionAlert - Procter & Gamble promotes explicit open-mouth homosexual kissing
My letter:
Dear Mr. Lafley,

I am very concerned that the American Family Association has nothing better to do than harass Procter & Gamble. I would suggest that P&G continue making the best As The World Turns show possible instead of catering to a very narrow conservative agenda. Most Americans, including me, aren't offended by a relatively chaste kiss, compared to what straight couples get away with doing on soap operas.

Johnathan Grant

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

food prices skyrocket

Food Costs Rising Fastest in 17 Years: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance:
Wonder Bagels, in Jersey City, N.J., posted a letter from its wheat supplier, A. Oliveri & Sons, saying the recent situation was unprecedented.
'The major mills across the country are using words like 'rationing' and 'shortages' if things continue,' it said. 'We will sweat out the summer together, hoping there will be some flour left to purchase at any price.'

wholesale inflation hits the stratosphere

Wholesale inflation is now at a 13.2% annualized rate!

Wholesale prices soared in March: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance:
Inflation at the wholesale level soared in March at nearly triple the rate that had been forecast as energy prices kept rising and food costs posted a much bigger jump than anticipated.
The Labor Department reported Tuesday that wholesale prices rose by 1.1 percent last month, the largest increase since a 2.6 percent rise last November. The November gain in the Producer Price Index was the biggest one-month jump in 33 years.

prescription rx drug costs soar for sicker patients

Co-Payments for Expensive Drugs Soar - New York Times:
But the new system sticks seriously ill people with huge bills, said James Robinson, a health economist at the University of California, Berkeley. “It is very unfortunate social policy,” Dr. Robinson said. “The more the sick person pays, the less the healthy person pays.”
Traditionally, the idea of insurance was to spread the costs of paying for the sick.
“This is an erosion of the traditional concept of insurance,” Mr. Mendelson said. “Those beneficiaries who bear the burden of illness are also bearing the burden of cost.”

chinese no longer means cheap

Is the era of cheap Chinese products over? - By Alexandra Harney - Slate Magazine
... A perfect storm has hit China's manufacturers. So far this year, the renminbi has been appreciating at a 16 percent annualized rate. And prices for raw materials, which account for 60 percent to 70 percent of manufacturers' costs, are soaring.

sub-prime mortgage fallout?

Try this - prime borrowers who can't pay it back!
Why the next mortgage crisis may be worse. - By Mark Gimein - Slate Magazine

Sunday, April 13, 2008

rx wait times explained

Why it really takes so long for a pharmacist to count out a few pills.
The Joy of Tech comic... laughter is the best tech support.

food prices moving up, up, up

BBC NEWS | Business | IMF head gives food price warning: "The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that hundreds of thousands of people will face starvation if food prices keep rising.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn said that social unrest from continuing food price inflation could cause conflict."

food costs on the rise

Food stamps are a continuing reminder of widespread poverty - Americas, World - The Independent

the next great depression

USA 2008: The Great Depression - Americas, World - The Independent

a hands on approach

Heart group urges hands-only CPR in emergencies | Health | Reuters

hilarious pranks

An all around great site -
McDonalds Menu Prank

state supported religious schools in minnesota?

See more here:
Wednesday: Wall of silence broken at state's Muslim public school

Monday, March 10, 2008

WB coming back, sort of...

Personally, I'd like to see them offer The WB as a digital subchannel. Program it with Headline News' Morning Express in the AM, and Showbiz Tonight at 11 PM. Middays, rerun Jenny Jones, and any other 90s talk shows they can license cheaply, then run "Best of The WB" in afternoons and prime time. On weekends, run Kids' WB from 6 AM - 12 Noon, then fill the remainder with Best of The WB.

The premise would be that you can target "baby boomers" with something like Retro Television Network, but the new The WB would target a younger age group, that wants to see the shows they watched as a teen.

WB coming back, sort of...