Thursday, July 29, 2004

Eschaton, a godlike AI?

Gee, now that Atrios has revealed himself as Duncan Black, will he change the name of Eschaton?
From the book, The Iron Sunrise , by Charles Stross:

The next minute, a godlike AI has bootstrapped itself into existence out of the world's computer systems, arbitrarily teleported 9 billion people to various worlds scattered across the galaxy and throughout time, and left the Earth in shambles. In the wake of its departure for points unknown, the deity—Eschaton—has left cornucopia machines, immortality drugs and a host of other technological gifts.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Interview with Yoshi Tsurumi, Bush’s professor from Harvard Business School.

July 16, 2004 Air America Radio, Majority Report Radio

Seder: Exactly. So now tell us. You had him as a student right? In business school.

Tsurumi: Yes. From the fall of 1973 to the spring 1974. I taught him Microeconomics, international business and industrial policies.

S: So you had him for multiple classes?

T: No. Just the whole year long classes which combined these three key elements of the policy decisions.

S: Alright, let’s start with something simple. How was his attendance?

T: Well attendance was not that bad. But his attention span was very short.

S: Very short.

T: And either he was clowning in class or if he’s called on (I often do that) he makes all kinds of flippant statements. Very shallow. Most of all those flippant statements are nonsensical. But often he revealed his strong biases against the medical, Medicare, social security anything the United States has built up since the Great Depression.

S: Now let me ask you this, I know you told us before, but I’d like you to say again. Now how is it that you remember that you had George Bush? I mean you must have had hundreds of thousands of, probably thousands of students in your career.

T: Yes. In thirty years you always remember the two kinds of students. One is really good. The other is a George Bush kind. Terrible. Intellectually very shallow. But more importantly immature, but lacking the sense of responsibility, compassion, always indulging in denials when he is called on in his lies. And lies came very easily to him.

S: What kind of lies would he tell?

T: Lots of times the students, just the eh. For example. One statement that he made still stuck with me. We were discussing how the United States Government should help the lower income group or people on the fixed pension to adjust themselves to the high energy costs during the oil crisis, to bring in the fairness into the US economic policies. And he raised the issues and he said, “People are poor because they are lazy.” Those are the lies. And he goes into ranting and all kinds of things that there are no racial discriminations in the United States because at the times the civil rights movement was still smoldering.

Entire text here. Link Listen here.

July 16, 2004 Air America Radio Majority Report Radio

Sam Seder: S
Janeane Garofalo: G
Yoshi Tsurumi, T:

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Fall TV schedule in Iraq

"Who wants to marry an insurgent?"

"Ahmed Millionaire"

CSI: Baghdad

My favorite Mullah

Mohammad's most wanted

Buffy the Terrorist Slayer

Gomer Pyle Jr., USMC,
(This time it's personal!)

Have RPG, Will Travel

I Dream of Jihad

The Lone Army Ranger

Men Behaving Badly: The Abu Ghraib story

My Mother, the Tank

Burka Junction

Survivor: Fallujah 

Touched by an Ally

From Mena at Eschaton:
Everybody Loves Ahmed
the Al Hazmi Factor
That 80's War
Amputation Tonight
Munitions Roadshow
um, Just Shoot Me
and of course, Big Brother

From Brent
My Mullah, The Car

Let's Make a Hostage Deal  (Let's Make a Deal for Hostages)

What's My Weapon?

Wait Til Your Mullah Gets Home!

My Three Hostages

and my personal favorite 
Bowling for Dinars

Inspired by Bill Clinton's speech

And when we were running low on beer and it
looked like there was no beer to be found in the
fridge, George W. Bush said, 'Send me.'

When we didn't have enough tramps and sluts
for the frat party and there was only
one girl for the brothers, George W. Bush said, 'Send me.'

And in the future when he has created
an unnecessary war, a war that was poorly planned
and inadequately manned, George W. Bush said, 'Send Rumsfield.'

Saturday, July 24, 2004

I'm waiting for this great shirt


You can get your own at Designs on the White House   Order the silk screened version, they are sure to last longer.

Community Action that works!

My work on stopping corporate graffitti, worked! Here is the letter I sent to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Here is the article that ran on July 24, 2004.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

If caught or killed the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your existance.

Cue Mission Impossible music.  Story from Gretchen Peters Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor 
..three Americans accused of torturing Afghans in a private jail went on trial Wednesday insisting their counterterrorism mission had support from the Pentagon.

The US military has denied any ties to Jonathan K. Idema, who was arrested along with Brett Bennett and Edward Caraballo on July 5 when Afghan security forces raided the Kabul compound where they held eight prisoners.

Mr. Idema claimed he was working with the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, a relatively new position established by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in the lead-up to the Iraq war. 

Maybe he just THOUGHT he was working for Rumsfeld!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Childish humor that made me laugh

Monday, July 19, 2004

Silicon Valley study:: "Don't bother to oppose outsourcing, workers. You're screwed."

No use opposing offshoring
I first spotted this "it's inevitable, just accept it" attitude toward offshoring in PC magazine. There is a concerted effort to get people to think that there is no government solution to help with the devastation caused by rampant outsourcing and unrestrained "free trade". 
Notice the narrative theme of this study. The goal is to persuade individuals or groups of individuals from doing anything rash, specifically -- demanding some relief from the government or requirements that business follow even minimum guidelines when moving jobs offshore or out of the country.  If government wants to get involved it suggests that it should fund more high level education (no surprise with Standford as a funder of the study).  

The study said legislation designed to slow or stop offshoring would ultimately hurt the region. "This is a train that's long left the station," Ciacchella said. "If we restrict companies from being able to use a tool that's really required for playing at a global level, they're going to lose the game, and that's a loss for everybody."

Think about who is selling this study, what is their agenda?

First you have to ask:
1) Who sponsored the study?
Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network, the Bay Area Economic Forum and the Stanford Project on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
2) Who pays their bills and funded the study?
Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network--Top investors:
HP, Sun, Therma (mechanical engineering) The James Irvine Foundation
Corporations that benefit from outsourcing, companies that most likely won't easily have their work out sourced and a foundation that funds higher-education.  Note: the Irving Foundation started as a tax dodge and recently the CEO was caught benefiting himself first.) 
You say, "But a  union was involved!" Sure, the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association, Bay Area Chapter. They are a fourth tier partner and not likely to worry too much about outsourcing.  Is there any software developers union? Technical support calls union? Manufacturer workers union? Nope.
But with SMACCNA's involvement they can say they are a " public-private partnership of business, government, university, labor and community leaders."  
Bay Area Economic Forum

  • Fleishman Hillard (PR firm, they'll promote whoever has the bucks, corporate shills) 
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (They provide national security so think they are safe)
  • McKinsey & Company (sleazy consulting firm. Former biggest client? Enron.)
  • NASA Ames Research Center (see Lawrence Livermore)
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company  (behind the disastrous de-regulation of energy, need I say more)

    Stanford Project on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship:
    Lead by the Herbert Hoover Professor of Public and Private Management Emeritus, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.   (You remember, the conservative Hoover Foundation)

3) Who will be hurt, who will win based on the conclusion of the study? 
  -- Areas of Bay Area job erosion: manufacturing, back-office and product enhancement.
-- Areas of Bay Area job growth:
    high-level research, strategic marketing, global business and headquarters-management.

What a surprise. You have a study commissioned by business and hirer education and the results are, "Don't restrict business and spend more money on higher education."  The jobs of the people outsourcing jobs are safe! Only those poor suckers who aren't part of the outsourcing plan are in trouble.

There will be no equivalent study from the point of view of the workers. The media will not cover the individuals until there are so many they finally can't ignore.  How many lives will be ruined as companies chase cheap labor around the globe?

Because of the organizations like the WTO, corporations have been granted unprecedented powers to sue the government in closed trade courts anytime laws designed to protect workers or the environment are deemed to infringe on corporate "rights."

Look at what ten years of NAFTA has done to American's

This embracing of outsourcing and unrestricted free trade as a matter of unexamined policy is simply wrong. People need to educate themselves. We can't stand on the sidelines and accept this.  We don't have to accept growing outsourcing as inevitable.

As Dennis Kucinich said:

We need a new start. We must begin from scratch with decent, bilaterally negotiated trade agreements between this country and each other country we trade with, agreements that are based from the start on the needs of people and communities.

Support Michael Moore in Vegas? Get Fired.

Vegas Casino Boots Singer Linda Ronstadt
How many Ronstadt songs and lyrics can we apply to the Bush Admin?
George W. Bush: You're No Good.
Have you found those WMDs? It Doesn't Matter Anymore.
You are nothing but a Desperado.
I've been made blue
I've been lied to
Bush in 2004? That'll be the day.

Getting a blog is sooo 5 minutes ago

I used to be bleeding edge, but I coagulated.