Current News from The Looking Glass:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Doubleplusgood CNN

Thanks to Red Ice for this via: John D. Sutter and the folks at CNN...

War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength.

Editor's Note: This is part of a CNN series called ""End of Privacy." Watch CNN today from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET for more "End of Privacy" stories. And please join the conversation on Twitter by replying to @cnntech or following #endofprivacy.

(CNN) -- The opening passage from George Orwell's "1984" depicts a guy hustling up a stairwell that's plastered with giant posters of a man's face staring at him.

"It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move," Orwell writes in the classic dystopian novel. "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran."

These days, Big Brother doesn't need to do much snooping. We just tell him what we're up to. We tweet, check in on Foursquare, use digital payment systems and generally live so publicly that spying loses at least some degree of utility.

Meanwhile, we're quickly expanding the systems we've built to monitor ourselves and our environments. We connect our power consumption to the internet via "smart meters," we let Google's cameras map our streets and we use wireless gadgets to transmit vital signs to doctors.

All of that may sound horrifying. But as old notions of privacy evaporate, some benefits of a shared and monitored life become clearer. All this data has the potential to make our cities more efficient, encourage social connectedness and even aid in response to major disasters, such as earthquakes.

Here's a look at 10 ways constant monitoring and all-the-time online sharing can improve modern life. If you find this contrarian view to be downright Orwellian, let us know in the comments section.

1. Monitored city systems

In 2009, researchers from MIT's SENSEable City Lab tacked wireless GPS monitors onto paper coffee cups, aluminum cans and bottles of dish soap. Then they tossed that stuff in the garbage and sat back to watch what happened.

Some of the trash traveled more than 1,000 miles before landing in a final resting place. They hope that kind of info can help cities and trash management companies do their work more efficiently.

2. Health monitors

Chronic heart diseases, Alzheimer's and diabetes require constant monitoring, but doctor's visits only come about so often. Cue a new generation of wireless heath monitors that let people transmit data about their blood-sugar levels, weight and heart rate to doctors without leaving home.

Some older people have taken this idea a step further still, installing networks of sensors in their homes so someone will know if they break from the routine. If an older woman hasn't opened her refrigerator in several hours, for example, an automatic alarm might send text messages to her kids so they can check to make sure she's eating regularly.

3. Disaster response

In the aftermath of January's earthquake in Haiti, volunteers all over the world scoured the internet for information about the damage.

Public tweets -- some tagged with data about where they were sent -- as well as text messages and photos from Haiti were put on a living, updating map. This info was used by emergency responders who were trying to get aid to the places where it was needed most.

4. Bored on Tuesday

Location-based social networks aren't the most widely used services in the tech world. By the measure of one survey, only about 4 percent of internet users connect with friends on Foursquare, Gowalla, SCVNGR and the like.

But for people who blab their real-world locations on these networks, social connections can emerge. Foursquare users, for example, can look at their smartphones to see where all of their friends have "checked in" most recently. If a friend is at your neighborhood bar on a random weeknight, you might just drop in to say hello.

5. Traffic maps

Once upon a time, people got traffic reports from radio DJs who spewed off the latest car crashes, usually only taking into account the major interstates. Now, a real-time traffic layer on Google Maps shows users a block-by-block view of where the backups are.

Magic? Not quite. Google relies on drivers to share anonymous information about where they are. It then takes that data, in aggregate, and figures out how quickly cars are moving on various roads and then creates a map of the flow.

6. Smart grid

Right now, most of us don't know much about our home electricity consumption. Bills go up in the summer for air conditioning and down in the winter. That's about it. But the U.S. government is in the process of deploying a smart electricity grid, which will take information about home energy use and translate it into money-saving energy tips.

One software company, called OPOWER, takes data from the smart grid and spits out home energy use reports that compare one person's energy use to that of their neighbors, on average. This data helps OPOWER's users save, on average, 2% to 3% on their energy bills.

7. Free stuff

There's often a trade-off between privacy and free services. Products such as Gmail are free because they target users with ads. Similarly, people who are willing to "check in" on smartphone apps to their favorite stores can get deals. Foursquare "mayors" -- the people who visit one location more times than anyone else -- often are eligible for free stuff. And SCVNGR app users complete check-in-based challenges that can earn them free merchandise or food.

8. Monitoring earthquakes

We can't accurately predict them, but some researchers say we could respond to earthquakes more quickly if we turned huge networks of laptop and desktop computers into seismic monitors.

In a pilot project from Stanford University and the University of California, Riverside, researchers linked up at least 1,400 computers to do just that. Sensors -- either inside computer hard drives or attached to office desks -- send readings to a central database that processes them in aggregate.

9. Looking for content you'll "like"

The Web is so big that it can seem infinite and daunting. But by sharing the content you "like" on the internet with Facebook friends, you help them find websites, stories and videos they otherwise would have missed. Increasingly, these public preferences are visible to your Facebook friends both on and off If you're logged into Facebook, now, for instance, you can see if any of your Facebook friends have "recommended" this article.

10. Environmental sensors

We're not the only ones who can be watched. Plenty of environmental scientists are interested in using tiny sensors, sometimes called "smart dust," to monitor nature and get a better understanding of how it works.

Sensors in California's redwood forests, for example, have taught scientists at the University of California at Berkeley about how these giant trees take in water through fog. And researchers at Intel Labs have developed a prototype smartphone that, when uploading information to the internet, including a person's location, could be used to track air quality readings in major metro areas.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cthulhu Sighting!

This rather intriguing story from the wonderful folks over at io9:

The Reverend Ichabod Wiswall (1637-1700) is a historical footnote. When he's remembered, it's for giving the first funeral sermon in America, in Duxbury, Massachusetts. So why is there a Lovecraftian cephalopod on his gravestone?

Wiswall was responsible, with the Reverend Increase Mather, for persuading Queen Mary to create the 1692 charter which united the colonies of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay into the Province of Massachusetts Bay, which became the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Wiswall served the town of Duxbury as a minister for 24 years and is buried in Duxbury in the Myles Standish Burial Ground, supposedly the oldest continually maintained cemetery in the United States.

The winged skull atop the gravestone is not unusual for pre-1750 gravestones, which had a range of meaning-laden symbols on them, from arrows (symbolic of martyrdom) to scallops (symbolic of resurrection). But the cephalopod, which might be anything from a cuttlefish to a squid, is seemingly unique-a search of the literature turned up no record of a pre-1750 gravestone with any version of a cephalopod on it.

It's fitting that Wiswall's gravestone has a touch of weirdness. According to the record books of Plymouth Colony, there were two Ichabod Wiswalls alive in 1667, the second Ichabod marrying Remember Wiswall that year-but the second Ichabod Wiswall disappears from the historical record after that, an oddity for the record-obsessed Puritans. The Myles Standish Burial Ground was abandoned in 1789 under mysterious circumstances-1789 of course being the year of George Washington's first inauguration as well as the year that the French Revolution began-and was "reclaimed" only in 1887. Standish himself, the military advisor to the Plymouth Colony and a man of particular brutality, seems to have rested unquietly in the Burial Ground: the initial location of his burial site was unknown, and it took three separate exhumations to conclusively discover where he lay. The center of the Burial Ground was occupied by two pyramids, although pyramids as grave markers only became common in the 19th century.

Nor is Duxbury free of its own oddities. Duxbury does not feature in any of Lovecraft's fiction; "Arkham" is based on Salem, "Innsmouth" is based on a combination of Ipswich and Gloucester, and "Dunwich" is based on Athol. But Duxbury was no stranger to sea serpents, even in Wiswall's day. The English writer John Josselyn's An Account of Two Voyages to New-England (1674) described the 1639 sighting of a sea serpent off Cape Anne, north of Duxbury, which sparked a rash of sea-serpent sightings along the Massachusetts coast, including Duxbury. And in 1857 Henry Thoreau wrote in his journal that Daniel Webster had seen a sea-serpent off the coast of Duxbury.

So it makes a kind of sense for a Lovecraftian cephalopod to appear on the Reverend Wiswall's gravestone. The only question remaining is, is Wiswall dead in his grave, or does he merely wait there, dreaming?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Off the Court

Manu Ginobili has started something with the UFO sighting he reported outside the Spurs’ hotel in Santa Monica, Ca, back on Dec. 1.

Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan related his own encounter — not that close, but definitely unexplainable — with an object in the sky he couldn’t identify.

It happened when McMillan was a youngster growing up in Raleigh, N.C., in the 1970s.

[I too saw something which I recalled many years later and think to have maybe been a UFO. This was in the 1970's, and in Raleigh, NC. as well...]

“I was playing football with friends, and on the way home, behind the library I saw something that looked a little strange to me as a kid,” McMillan said before Sunday’s game between the Spurs and Blazers. “It was just starting to get dark, and on my way home, walking behind the library, I just saw something that didn’t look right

“I’m not saying a UFO. I just saw something that, for me, was, well, I don’t know what I saw. “I never really said anything about it, or made a fuss about it, but it was weird to me.”

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New World Airport throws a bone,0,5366148.story

"When asked why the Masons were allowed to bury artifacts in an international airport, Chasansky replied, "I wasn't there for the discussion about why that happened, but that happens in a lot of buildings because the tradition of the Masons is --as people who make buildings."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Angels & Demons

Sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church are proof that that "the Devil is at work inside the Vatican", according to the Holy See's chief exorcist.

Father Gabriele Amorth, 85, who has been the Vatican's chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as "cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon".

He added: "When one speaks of 'the smoke of Satan' [a phrase coined by Pope Paul VI in 1972] in the holy rooms, it is all true – including these latest stories of violence and pedophilia."

He claimed that another example of satanic behavior was the Vatican "cover-up" over the deaths in 1998 of Alois Estermann, the then commander of the Swiss Guard, his wife and Corporal Cedric Tornay, a Swiss Guard, who were all found shot dead. "They covered up everything immediately," he said. "Here one sees the rot".

A remarkably swift Vatican investigation concluded that Corporal Tornay had shot the commander and his wife and then turned his gun on himself after being passed over for a medal. However Tornay's relatives have challenged this. There have been unconfirmed reports of a homosexual background to the tragedy and the involvement of a fourth person who was never identified.

Father Amorth, who has just published Memoirs of an Exorcist, a series of interviews with the Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti, said that the attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II in 1981 had been the work of the Devil, as had an incident last Christmas when a mentally disturbed woman threw herself at Pope Benedict XVI at the start of Midnight Mass, pulling him to the ground.

Father José Antonio Fortea Cucurull, a Rome-based exorcist, said that Father Amorth had "gone well beyond the evidence" in claiming that Satan had infiltrated the Vatican corridors.

"Cardinals might be better or worse, but all have upright intentions and seek the glory of God," he said. Some Vatican officials were more pious than others, "but from there to affirm that some cardinals are members of satanic sects is an unacceptable distance."

Father Amorth told La Repubblica that the devil was "pure spirit, invisible. But he manifests himself with blasphemies and afflictions in the person he possesses. He can remain hidden, or speak in different languages, transform himself or appear to be agreeable. At times he makes fun of me."

He said it sometimes took six or seven of his assistants to to hold down a possessed person. Those possessed often yelled and screamed and spat out nails or pieces of glass, which he kept in a bag. "Anything can come out of their mouths – finger-length pieces of iron, but also rose petals."

He said that hoped every diocese would eventually have a resident exorcist. Under Church Canon Law any priest can perform exorcisms, but in practice they are carried out by a chosen few trained in the rites.

Father Amorth was ordained in 1954 and became an official exorcist in 1986. In the past he has suggested that Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were possessed by the Devil. He was among Vatican officials who warned that J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels made a "false distinction between black and white magic".

He approves, however, of the 1973 film The Exorcist, which although "exaggerated" offered a "substantially exact" picture of possession.

In 2001 he objected to the introduction of a new version of the exorcism rite, complaining that it dropped centuries-old prayers and was "a blunt sword" about which exorcists themselves had not been consulted. The Vatican said later that he and other exorcists could continue to use the old ritual.

He is the president of honour of the Association of Exorcists.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Waking Up the Hard Way

The suicide manifesto of Joseph Andrew Stack, who flew a plane into an office building in Austin, Texas today...he was apparently disillusioned with the U.S. tax system, and the "system" in general.

If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, “Why did this have to happen?” The simple truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time. The writing process, started many months ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that there isn’t enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken. Needless to say, this rant could fill volumes with example after example if I would let it. I find the process of writing it frustrating, tedious, and probably pointless… especially given my gross inability to gracefully articulate my thoughts in light of the storm raging in my head. Exactly what is therapeutic about that I’m not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

We are all taught as children that without laws there would be no society, only anarchy. Sadly, starting at early ages we in this country have been brainwashed to believe that, in return for our dedication and service, our government stands for justice for all. We are further brainwashed to believe that there is freedom in this place, and that we should be ready to lay our lives down for the noble principals represented by its founding fathers. Remember? One of these was “no taxation without representation”. I have spent the total years of my adulthood unlearning that crap from only a few years of my childhood. These days anyone who really stands up for that principal is promptly labeled a “crackpot”, traitor and worse.

While very few working people would say they haven’t had their fair share of taxes (as can I), in my lifetime I can say with a great degree of certainty that there has never been a politician cast a vote on any matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind. Nor, for that matter, are they the least bit interested in me or anything I have to say.

Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours? Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. Yet, the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”. It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.

And justice? You’ve got to be kidding!

How can any rational individual explain that white elephant conundrum in the middle of our tax system and, indeed, our entire legal system? Here we have a system that is, by far, too complicated for the brightest of the master scholars to understand. Yet, it mercilessly “holds accountable” its victims, claiming that they’re responsible for fully complying with laws not even the experts understand. The law “requires” a signature on the bottom of a tax filing; yet no one can say truthfully that they understand what they are signing; if that’s not “duress” than what is. If this is not the measure of a totalitarian regime, nothing is.

How did I get here?

My introduction to the real American nightmare starts back in the early ‘80s. Unfortunately after more than 16 years of school, somewhere along the line I picked up the absurd, pompous notion that I could read and understand plain English. Some friends introduced me to a group of people who were having ‘tax code’ readings and discussions. In particular, zeroed in on a section relating to the wonderful “exemptions” that make institutions like the vulgar, corrupt Catholic Church so incredibly wealthy. We carefully studied the law (with the help of some of the “best”, high-paid, experienced tax lawyers in the business), and then began to do exactly what the “big boys” were doing (except that we weren’t steeling from our congregation or lying to the government about our massive profits in the name of God). We took a great deal of care to make it all visible, following all of the rules, exactly the way the law said it was to be done.

The intent of this exercise and our efforts was to bring about a much-needed re-evaluation of the laws that allow the monsters of organized religion to make such a mockery of people who earn an honest living. However, this is where I learned that there are two “interpretations” for every law; one for the very rich, and one for the rest of us… Oh, and the monsters are the very ones making and enforcing the laws; the inquisition is still alive and well today in this country.

That little lesson in patriotism cost me $40,000+, 10 years of my life, and set my retirement plans back to 0. It made me realize for the first time that I live in a country with an ideology that is based on a total and complete lie. It also made me realize, not only how naive I had been, but also the incredible stupidity of the American public; that they buy, hook, line, and sinker, the crap about their “freedom”… and that they continue to do so with eyes closed in the face of overwhelming evidence and all that keeps happening in front of them.

Before even having to make a shaky recovery from the sting of the first lesson on what justice really means in this country (around 1984 after making my way through engineering school and still another five years of “paying my dues”), I felt I finally had to take a chance of launching my dream of becoming an independent engineer.

On the subjects of engineers and dreams of independence, I should digress somewhat to say that I’m sure that I inherited the fascination for creative problem solving from my father. I realized this at a very young age.

The significance of independence, however, came much later during my early years of college; at the age of 18 or 19 when I was living on my own as student in an apartment in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. My neighbor was an elderly retired woman (80+ seemed ancient to me at that age) who was the widowed wife of a retired steel worker. Her husband had worked all his life in the steel mills of central Pennsylvania with promises from big business and the union that, for his 30 years of service, he would have a pension and medical care to look forward to in his retirement. Instead he was one of the thousands who got nothing because the incompetent mill management and corrupt union (not to mention the government) raided their pension funds and stole their retirement. All she had was social security to live on.

In retrospect, the situation was laughable because here I was living on peanut butter and bread (or Ritz crackers when I could afford to splurge) for months at a time. When I got to know this poor figure and heard her story I felt worse for her plight than for my own (I, after all, I thought I had everything to in front of me). I was genuinely appalled at one point, as we exchanged stories and commiserated with each other over our situations, when she in her grandmotherly fashion tried to convince me that I would be “healthier” eating cat food (like her) rather than trying to get all my substance from peanut butter and bread. I couldn’t quite go there, but the impression was made. I decided that I didn’t trust big business to take care of me, and that I would take responsibility for my own future and myself.

Return to the early ‘80s, and here I was off to a terrifying start as a ‘wet-behind-the-ears’ contract software engineer… and two years later, thanks to the fine backroom, midnight effort by the sleazy executives of Arthur Andersen (the very same folks who later brought us Enron and other such calamities) and an equally sleazy New York Senator (Patrick Moynihan), we saw the passage of 1986 tax reform act with its section 1706.

For you who are unfamiliar, here is the core text of the IRS Section 1706, defining the treatment of workers (such as contract engineers) for tax purposes. Visit this link for a conference committee report ( regarding the intended interpretation of Section 1706 and the relevant parts of Section 530, as amended. For information on how these laws affect technical services workers and their clients, read our discussion here (


(a) IN GENERAL - Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:

(d) EXCEPTION. - This section shall not apply in the case of an individual who pursuant to an arrangement between the taxpayer and another person, provides services for such other person as an engineer, designer, drafter, computer programmer, systems analyst, or other similarly skilled worker engaged in a similar line of work.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE. - The amendment made by this section shall apply to remuneration paid and services rendered after December 31, 1986.


· “another person” is the client in the traditional job-shop relationship.

· “taxpayer” is the recruiter, broker, agency, or job shop.

· “individual”, “employee”, or “worker” is you.

Admittedly, you need to read the treatment to understand what it is saying but it’s not very complicated. The bottom line is that they may as well have put my name right in the text of section (d). Moreover, they could only have been more blunt if they would have came out and directly declared me a criminal and non-citizen slave. Twenty years later, I still can’t believe my eyes.

During 1987, I spent close to $5000 of my ‘pocket change’, and at least 1000 hours of my time writing, printing, and mailing to any senator, congressman, governor, or slug that might listen; none did, and they universally treated me as if I was wasting their time. I spent countless hours on the L.A. freeways driving to meetings and any and all of the disorganized professional groups who were attempting to mount a campaign against this atrocity. This, only to discover that our efforts were being easily derailed by a few moles from the brokers who were just beginning to enjoy the windfall from the new declaration of their “freedom”. Oh, and don’t forget, for all of the time I was spending on this, I was loosing income that I couldn’t bill clients.

After months of struggling it had clearly gotten to be a futile exercise. The best we could get for all of our trouble is a pronouncement from an IRS mouthpiece that they weren’t going to enforce that provision (read harass engineers and scientists). This immediately proved to be a lie, and the mere existence of the regulation began to have its impact on my bottom line; this, of course, was the intended effect.

Again, rewind my retirement plans back to 0 and shift them into idle. If I had any sense, I clearly should have left abandoned engineering and never looked back.

Instead I got busy working 100-hour workweeks. Then came the L.A. depression of the early 1990s. Our leaders decided that they didn’t need the all of those extra Air Force bases they had in Southern California, so they were closed; just like that. The result was economic devastation in the region that rivaled the widely publicized Texas S&L fiasco. However, because the government caused it, no one gave a shit about all of the young families who lost their homes or street after street of boarded up houses abandoned to the wealthy loan companies who received government funds to “shore up” their windfall. Again, I lost my retirement.

Years later, after weathering a divorce and the constant struggle trying to build some momentum with my business, I find myself once again beginning to finally pick up some speed. Then came the .COM bust and the 911 nightmare. Our leaders decided that all aircraft were grounded for what seemed like an eternity; and long after that, ‘special’ facilities like San Francisco were on security alert for months. This made access to my customers prohibitively expensive. Ironically, after what they had done the Government came to the aid of the airlines with billions of our tax dollars … as usual they left me to rot and die while they bailed out their rich, incompetent cronies WITH MY MONEY! After these events, there went my business but not quite yet all of my retirement and savings.

By this time, I’m thinking that it might be good for a change. Bye to California, I’ll try Austin for a while. So I moved, only to find out that this is a place with a highly inflated sense of self-importance and where damn little real engineering work is done. I’ve never experienced such a hard time finding work. The rates are 1/3 of what I was earning before the crash, because pay rates here are fixed by the three or four large companies in the area who are in collusion to drive down prices and wages… and this happens because the justice department is all on the take and doesn’t give a fuck about serving anyone or anything but themselves and their rich buddies.

To survive, I was forced to cannibalize my savings and retirement, the last of which was a small IRA. This came in a year with mammoth expenses and not a single dollar of income. I filed no return that year thinking that because I didn’t have any income there was no need. The sleazy government decided that they disagreed. But they didn’t notify me in time for me to launch a legal objection so when I attempted to get a protest filed with the court I was told I was no longer entitled to due process because the time to file ran out. Bend over for another $10,000 helping of justice.

So now we come to the present. After my experience with the CPA world, following the business crash I swore that I’d never enter another accountant’s office again. But here I am with a new marriage and a boatload of undocumented income, not to mention an expensive new business asset, a piano, which I had no idea how to handle. After considerable thought I decided that it would be irresponsible NOT to get professional help; a very big mistake.

When we received the forms back I was very optimistic that they were in order. I had taken all of the years information to Bill Ross, and he came back with results very similar to what I was expecting. Except that he had neglected to include the contents of Sheryl’s unreported income; $12,700 worth of it. To make matters worse, Ross knew all along this was missing and I didn’t have a clue until he pointed it out in the middle of the audit. By that time it had become brutally evident that he was representing himself and not me.

This left me stuck in the middle of this disaster trying to defend transactions that have no relationship to anything tax-related (at least the tax-related transactions were poorly documented). Things I never knew anything about and things my wife had no clue would ever matter to anyone. The end result is… well, just look around.

I remember reading about the stock market crash before the “great” depression and how there were wealthy bankers and businessmen jumping out of windows when they realized they screwed up and lost everything. Isn’t it ironic how far we’ve come in 60 years in this country that they now know how to fix that little economic problem; they just steal from the middle class (who doesn’t have any say in it, elections are a joke) to cover their asses and it’s “business-as-usual”. Now when the wealthy fuck up, the poor get to die for the mistakes… isn’t that a clever, tidy solution.

As government agencies go, the FAA is often justifiably referred to as a tombstone agency, though they are hardly alone. The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this criticism rings equally true for all of the government. Nothing changes unless there is a body count (unless it is in the interest of the wealthy sows at the government trough). In a government full of hypocrites from top to bottom, life is as cheap as their lies and their self-serving laws.

I know I’m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand. It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isn’t limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants. I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after. But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change. I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at “big brother” while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual won’t continue; I have just had enough.

I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be white washed and ignored that the American zombies wake up and revolt; it will take nothing less. I would only hope that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard, knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and their mindless minions for what they are. Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasn’t so, but violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer. The cruel joke is that the really big chunks of shit at the top have known this all along and have been laughing, at and using this awareness against, fools like me all along.

I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

Joe Stack (1956-2010)


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Holiness is a Warm Gun...

U.S. Military Weapons Inscribed With Secret 'Jesus' Bible Codes

Pentagon Supplier for Rifle Sights Says It Has 'Always' Added New Testament References

Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the United States military by a Michigan company, an ABC News investigation has found.

The sights are used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the training of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers. The maker of the sights, Trijicon, has a $660 million multi-year contract to provide up to 800,000 sights to the Marine Corps, and additional contracts to provide sights to the U.S. Army.

U.S. military rules specifically prohibit the proselytizing of any religion in Iraq or Afghanistan and were drawn up in order to prevent criticism that the U.S. was embarked on a religious "Crusade" in its war against al Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents.

One of the citations on the gun sights, 2COR4:6, is an apparent reference to Second Corinthians 4:6 of the New Testament, which reads: "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

Other references include citations from the books of Revelation, Matthew and John dealing with Jesus as "the light of the world." John 8:12, referred to on the gun sights as JN8:12, reads, "Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Trijicon confirmed to that it adds the biblical codes to the sights sold to the U.S. military. Tom Munson, director of sales and marketing for Trijicon, which is based in Wixom, Michigan, said the inscriptions "have always been there" and said there was nothing wrong or illegal with adding them. Munson said the issue was being raised by a group that is "not Christian." The company has said the practice began under its founder, Glyn Bindon, a devout Christian from South Africa who was killed in a 2003 plane crash.

The company's vision is described on its Web site: "Guided by our values, we endeavor to have our products used wherever precision aiming solutions are required to protect individual freedom."

"We believe that America is great when its people are good," says the Web site. "This goodness has been based on Biblical standards throughout our history, and we will strive to follow those morals."

Spokespeople for the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps both said their services were unaware of the biblical markings. They said officials were discussing what steps, if any, to take in the wake of the report. It is not known how many Trijicon sights are currently in use by the U.S. military.

The biblical references appear in the same type font and size as the model numbers on the company's Advanced Combat Optical Guides, called the ACOG.

A photo on a Department of Defense Web site shows Iraqi soldiers being trained by U.S. troops with a rifle equipped with the bible-coded sights.

"It's wrong, it violates the Constitution, it violates a number of federal laws," said Michael "Mikey" Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group that seeks to preserve the separation of church and state in the military.

"It allows the Mujahedeen, the Taliban, al Qaeda and the insurrectionists and jihadists to claim they're being shot by Jesus rifles," he said.

Weinstein, an attorney and former Air Force officer, said many members of his group who currently serve in the military have complained about the markings on the sights. He also claims they've told him that commanders have referred to weapons with the sights as "spiritually transformed firearm[s] of Jesus Christ."

He said coded biblical inscriptions play into the hands of "those who are calling this a Crusade."

According to a government contracting watchdog group,, Trijicon had more than $100 million in government contracts in fiscal year 2008. The Michigan company won a $33 million Pentagon contract in July, 2009 for a new machine gun optic, according to Defense Industry Daily. The company's earnings from the U.S. military jumped significantly after 2005, when it won a $660 million long-term contract to supply the Marine Corps with sights.

"This is probably the best example of violation of the separation of church and state in this country," said Weinstein. "It's literally pushing fundamentalist Christianity at the point of a gun against the people that we're fighting. We're emboldening an enemy."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pan Awakened?

A sheep gave birth to a dead lamb with a human-like face. The calf was born in a village not far from the city of Izmir, Turkey.

Erhan Elibol, a vet, performed Cesarean section on the animal to take the calf out, but was horrified to see that the features of the calf’s snout bore a striking resemblance to a human face.

“I’ve seen mutations with cows and sheep before. I’ve seen a one-eyed calf, a two-headed calf, a five-legged calf. But when I saw this youngster I could not believe my eyes. His mother could not deliver him so I had to help the animal,” the 29-year-old veterinary said.

The lamb’s head had human features on – the eyes, the nose and the mouth – only the ears were those of a sheep.

Veterinaries said that the rare mutation most likely occurred as a result of improper mutation since the fodder for the lamb’s mother was abundant with vitamin A, reports.

A goat from Zimbabwe gave birth to a similar youngster in September 2009. The mutant baby born with a human-like head stayed alive for several hours until the frightened village residents killed him.

The governor of the province where the ugly goat was born said that the little goat was the fruit of unnatural relationship between the female goat and a man.

"This incident is very shocking. It is my first time to see such an evil thing. It is really embarrassing," he reportedly said. "The head belongs to a man while the body is that of a goat. This is evident that an adult human being was responsible. Evil powers caused this person to lose self control. We often hear cases of human beings who commit bestiality but this is the first time for such an act to produce a product with human features," he added.

The mutant creature was hairless. Local residents said that even dogs were afraid to approach the bizarre animal.

The locals burnt the body of the little goat, and biologists had no chance to study the rare mutation.