Tuesday, December 27, 2011

occupy your home

Living By Default
Read this by James Suroweiki in the Dec. 19 New Yorker about the recent bankruptcy of American Airlines.  His argument is that why is that action considered a smart business choice for a company and a shameful failure by a homeowner.

Attributions and more information:

we petition the obama administration to:
Place a moratorium on ALL foreclosures of mortgages made to individual homeowners belonging to the bottom 99%.
Don’t bail out banks and financial institutions, help individuals, real people like us who need real help and a second chance. These icons of Wall Street are as evil as Mr. Potter in "It’s a Wonderful Life" when he doesn’t return the Baileys' misplaced money. They buy mortgages issued to homeowners by other banks, seemingly with intent to foreclose whether or not they are ruining people’s lives.
Stop ALL banks and financial institutions from foreclosing on people. Place a moratorium on ALL foreclosures of mortgages made to individual home-owners for their primary residences, effective immediately! SHOW THAT YOU CARE about ALL people, not just those with money and influence.
Then let us know how we can help you rebuild this country from the ground up, while keeping our homes.
Created: Dec 03, 2011
Issues: Consumer Protections, Economy, Housing


Will being homeless make it easier for them to find jobs?

*Though a large-scale review of faulty foreclosures sounds like good news, many consumer advocates fear that the process will prove ineffective, in part because the banks were allowed to nominate their own auditors.
More than four million Americans who have lost their homes to foreclosure potentially qualify for a free, independent review of their cases

But if mistakes are found, it's not clear what remedies are available.

Bob Scheer:

And the really big problem is that 65 million American mortgages are represented by a computer program in Reston, Va., called the MERS program, which is owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the top banks. And so when you go into court, you’re really up against a robo-banker, you’re up against a computer system. And that’s why the courts all over the country are throwing cases out, and that’s why 50 attorneys general, Republicans and Democrats, in the states are objecting to the process. We have an amazing crisis now in American homeownership because we turned it over to a computer.


The disastrous disarray in the housing industry is a direct result of decisions taken during the deregulation frenzy of the Clinton presidency when the securitization of mortgage and other debts was removed from any regulatory supervision. Instead of mortgages being between customers and banks and then being properly recorded by local government agencies, they became poker chips in the Wall Street casino. Tens of millions of home mortgages were recklessly issued with scant reference to their true values and bundled into securities to be sold on the unregulated derivatives market. But in order for there to be sufficient fluidity in the rapid-fire swapping of stock bundles of individual homes, those mortgages had to be unhinged from the valid legal restraints that had governed their issuance throughout most of human history.

October 13, 2010

MERS was the result of a partnership formed back during the Clinton years between Fannie Mae, an ostensibly government-sponsored agency that morphed into a very much for-profit mega-Wall Street hustler, and Countrywide, the largest and most rapacious of the private mortgage marketers. The scam of computerized credit approval and mortgage certification they came up with was subsequently embraced by Freddie Mac, the other huge housing agency, and the leading Wall Street banks joined in the feeding frenzy. MERS owners now include Wells Fargo, AIG, GMAC, Citigroup, HSBC, the two housing agencies and Bank of America. But the courts are increasingly challenging MERS claims to the right of foreclosure since this whole racket, which bypasses the power of counties to register property ownership, was never authorized in the law.

The disastrous disarray in the housing industry is a direct result of decisions taken during the deregulation frenzy of the Clinton presidency when the securitization of mortgage and other debts was removed from any regulatory supervision. Instead of mortgages being between customers and banks and then being properly recorded by local government agencies, they became poker chips in the Wall Street casino. Tens of millions of home mortgages were recklessly issued with scant reference to their true values and bundled into securities to be sold on the unregulated derivatives market. But in order for there to be sufficient fluidity in the rapid-fire swapping of stock bundles of individual homes, those mortgages had to be unhinged from the valid legal restraints that had governed their issuance throughout most of human history.

To engage in the recklessness of turning people’s homes—their castles and nest eggs—into playthings of Wall Street market hustlers, or securitization of the assets, as it was termed, homeownership record-keeping had to be mangled beyond recognition. Throughout the preceding centuries of this nation’s history, the origination of housing loans was between the homebuyer and a lender, both of whom expected to be connected through decades of payments. Until the nuttiness that began in the 1990s when homes became ciphers in a marketable security, the verification of homeownership was a straightforward transaction dutifully recorded by local county governments. If the house was sold, the physical records were changed and available for all to see.

But that didn’t suit the newfangled collateralized debt obligations based on collections of mortgages to be cut in tranches as to their expected risk and sold as securities in an unregulated futures market. To facilitate the scam, the records of homeownership came to be largely maintained without the traditional local paper trail in a new computerized national database. The ensuing difficulty in tracing such ownership is now at the heart of the courts’ objections and the compelling argument for a government-enforced national moratorium on home foreclosures to provide sufficient time to sort this mess out.

Read the full article at:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/invasion_of_the_rob... /



see below for more videos:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

make money on the internet

How many have you seen?  Here's another:
"are you getting left behind"
I find these particularly offensive given that one of the huge problems we have is that people expect to make big bucks sitting on their butts at their computers.

Are people too stupid to realize that this is a complete ponzi scheme.  The guy is selling software that does nothing of real value.  It's just moving bits around, and taking money from suckers.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

the other side

There always is one, but this I have not seen until today.  So much for the social contract:

Growth of a civilization depends on the individual taking ownership of his/her own life and not depending on the collective state.
The individuals of this movement will create a world of liberty; a world in which we are sovereign over our own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others. Respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world. Force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity actually be realized. It is every person’s right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and the diversity that freedom brings should be welcome by all. The world the movement seeks to encourage is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own way, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.
With your help we can and will develop this movement and try to awaken the people around the globe about the Philosophy of Liberty & Self-Ownership. True Peace, Freedom & Prosperity is available to those that choose to accept it. Join us ~ JC

Part of the message seems to be that the Occupy movement is  awatee of time and effort.

Team (19)

James CoxMike ShanklinDavid ShirkValerie RumerClayton GeePeter EmborskyBill WurstBlake ImesonAnok KropotkinJames Oliver DeckardJaime ShermanChris FreemanNiki StaehleKiska ZillaJackson MacIntosh StrongRaina LorringVictor ProssPaul Zimmerman

occupy one minute

occupy one minute v001 is now up on Youtube.
Below is the title page shown at the end, it did not compress well.

 Below are context, attribution,and notes for all quotes, bolded:

 vanity fair


Joseph E. Stiglitz:

Some people look at income inequality and shrug their shoulders. So what if this person gains and that person loses? What matters, they argue, is not how the pie is divided but the size of the pie. That argument is fundamentally wrong. An economy in which most citizens are doing worse year after year—an economy like America’s—is not likely to do well over the long haul. There are several reasons for this.

First, growing inequality is the flip side of something else: shrinking opportunity. Whenever we diminish equality of opportunity, it means that we are not using some of our most valuable assets—our people—in the most productive way possible. Second, many of the distortions that lead to inequality—such as those associated with monopoly power and preferential tax treatment for special interests—undermine the efficiency of the economy. This new inequality goes on to create new distortions, undermining efficiency even further. To give just one example, far too many of our most talented young people, seeing the astronomical rewards, have gone into finance rather than into fields that would lead to a more productive and healthy economy.

Third, and perhaps most important, a modern economy requires “collective action”—it needs government to invest in infrastructure, education, and technology. The United States and the world have benefited greatly from government-sponsored research that led to the Internet, to advances in public health, and so on. But America has long suffered from an under-investment in infrastructure (look at the condition of our highways and bridges, our railroads and airports), in basic research, and in education at all levels. Further cutbacks in these areas lie ahead.
None of this should come as a surprise—it is simply what happens when a society’s wealth distribution becomes lopsided. The more divided a society becomes in terms of wealth, the more reluctant the wealthy become to spend money on common needs. The rich don’t need to rely on government for parks or education or medical care or personal security—they can buy all these things for themselves. In the process, they become more distant from ordinary people, losing whatever empathy they may once have had. They also worry about strong government—one that could use its powers to adjust the balance, take some of their wealth, and invest it for the common good. The top 1 percent may complain about the kind of government we have in America, but in truth they like it just fine: too gridlocked to re-distribute, too divided to do anything but lower taxes.

But one big part of the reason we have so much inequality is that the top 1 percent want it that way. The most obvious example involves tax policy. Lowering tax rates on capital gains, which is how the rich receive a large portion of their income, has given the wealthiest Americans close to a free ride. Monopolies and near monopolies have always been a source of economic power—from John D. Rockefeller at the beginning of the last century to Bill Gates at the end. Lax enforcement of anti-trust laws, especially during Republican administrations, has been a godsend to the top 1 percent. Much of today’s inequality is due to manipulation of the financial system, enabled by changes in the rules that have been bought and paid for by the financial industry itself—one of its best investments ever. The government lent money to financial institutions at close to 0 percent interest and provided generous bailouts on favorable terms when all else failed. Regulators turned a blind eye to a lack of transparency and to conflicts of interest.
When you look at the sheer volume of wealth controlled by the top 1 percent in this country, it’s tempting to see our growing inequality as a quintessentially American achievement—we started way behind the pack, but now we’re doing inequality on a world-class level. And it looks as if we’ll be building on this achievement for years to come, because what made it possible is self-reinforcing. Wealth begets power, which begets more wealth. During the savings-and-loan scandal of the 1980s—a scandal whose dimensions, by today’s standards, seem almost quaint—the banker Charles Keating was asked by a congressional committee whether the $1.5 million he had spread among a few key elected officials could actually buy influence. “I certainly hope so,” he replied. The Supreme Court, in its recent Citizens United case, has enshrined the right of corporations to buy government, by removing limitations on campaign spending. The personal and the political are today in perfect alignment. Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent. When pharmaceutical companies receive a trillion-dollar gift—through legislation prohibiting the government, the largest buyer of drugs, from bargaining over price—it should not come as cause for wonder. It should not make jaws drop that a tax bill cannot emerge from Congress unless big tax cuts are put in place for the wealthy. Given the power of the top 1 percent, this is the way you would expect the system to work.

America’s inequality distorts our society in every conceivable way. There is, for one thing, a well-documented lifestyle effect—people outside the top 1 percent increasingly live beyond their means. Trickle-down economics may be a chimera, but trickle-down behaviorism is very real. Inequality massively distorts our foreign policy. The top 1 percent rarely serve in the military—the reality is that the “all-volunteer” army does not pay enough to attract their sons and daughters, and patriotism goes only so far. Plus, the wealthiest class feels no pinch from higher taxes when the nation goes to war: borrowed money will pay for all that. Foreign policy, by definition, is about the balancing of national interests and national resources. With the top 1 percent in charge, and paying no price, the notion of balance and restraint goes out the window. There is no limit to the adventures we can undertake; corporations and contractors stand only to gain. The rules of economic globalization are likewise designed to benefit the rich: they encourage competition among countries for business, which drives down taxes on corporations, weakens health and environmental protections, and undermines what used to be viewed as the “core” labor rights, which include the right to collective bargaining. Imagine what the world might look like if the rules were designed instead to encourage competition among countries for workers. Governments would compete in providing economic security, low taxes on ordinary wage earners, good education, and a clean environment—things workers care about. But the top 1 percent don’t need to care.
r, more accurately, they think they don’t. Of all the costs imposed on our society by the top 1 percent, perhaps the greatest is this: the erosion of our sense of identity, in which fair play, equality of opportunity, and a sense of community are so important. America has long prided itself on being a fair society, where everyone has an equal chance of getting ahead, but the statistics suggest otherwise: the chances of a poor citizen, or even a middle-class citizen, making it to the top in America are smaller than in many countries of Europe. The cards are stacked against them. It is this sense of an unjust system without opportunity that has given rise to the conflagrations in the Middle East: rising food prices and growing and persistent youth unemployment simply served as kindling. With youth unemployment in America at around 20 percent (and in some locations, and among some socio-demographic groups, at twice that); with one out of six Americans desiring a full-time job not able to get one; with one out of seven Americans on food stamps (and about the same number suffering from “food insecurity”)—given all this, there is ample evidence that something has blocked the vaunted “trickling down” from the top 1 percent to everyone else. All of this is having the predictable effect of creating alienation—voter turnout among those in their 20s in the last election stood at 21 percent, comparable to the unemployment rate.

In recent weeks we have watched people taking to the streets by the millions to protest political, economic, and social conditions in the oppressive societies they inhabit. Governments have been toppled in Egypt and Tunisia. Protests have erupted in Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain. The ruling families elsewhere in the region look on nervously from their air-conditioned penthouses—will they be next? They are right to worry. These are societies where a minuscule fraction of the population—less than 1 percent—controls the lion’s share of the wealth; where wealth is a main determinant of power; where entrenched corruption of one sort or another is a way of life; and where the wealthiest often stand actively in the way of policies that would improve life for people in general.
As we gaze out at the popular fervor in the streets, one question to ask ourselves is this: When will it come to America? In important ways, our own country has become like one of these distant, troubled places.
Alexis de Tocqueville once described what he saw as a chief part of the peculiar genius of American society—something he called “self-interest properly understood.” The last two words were the key. Everyone possesses self-interest in a narrow sense: I want what’s good for me right now! Self-interest “properly understood” is different. It means appreciating that paying attention to everyone else’s self-interest—in other words, the common welfare—is in fact a precondition for one’s own ultimate well-being. Tocqueville was not suggesting that there was anything noble or idealistic about this outlook—in fact, he was suggesting the opposite. It was a mark of American pragmatism. Those canny Americans understood a basic fact: looking out for the other guy isn’t just good for the soul—it’s good for business.

The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.


1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings. (Source: Exxon Mobil's 2009 shareholder report filed with the SEC here.)

2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion. (Source: Forbes.com here, ProPublica here and Treasury here.)

3) General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States over the past five years and, thanks to clever use of loopholes, paid no taxes.(Source: Citizens for Tax Justice here and The New York Times here. Note: despite rumors to the contrary, the Times has stood by its story.)

Howard Loveless

Although the American dream
is alive and well for the wealthiest 1% of Americans, unfortunately, if
you are in the other 99%, the deck has never been more stacked against
you. America has always been a country where you can go from being middle class to upper class, but right now class mobility has all but collapsed. It is this discrepancy that feeds the fever of the 99%. So who are the 99%? It might be easier to tell you who the 99% are not:
The Richest 1% Owns 40% of the Nation's Wealth. Just 25 years ago the
top 1% owned 33% of national wealth. The bottom 80% now owns only 7%.
The Richest 1% of Americans Take Home 24% of National Income. In 1976
they took home just 9% -- yes, their share of the national income pool
has nearly tripled in three decades. Has yours? The Top 1% Own
Half of the Country's Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds: The bottom 50% of
Americans own only 0.5% of these investments. The Top 1% of Americans Have Only 5% of the Nation's Personal Debt. The bottom 90% have 73% of total debt. The Top 1% Are Taking In More of the Nation's Income Than at Any Other Time Since the 1920s. Does all this mean that the 99% of us have merely been "slackers" these past 3 decades? I don't believe that is the case at all. The 1% has worked diligently these past 30 years, using their power and influence to change the rules of the game. They've managed to pay the politicians to get their taxes lowered.

*They've changed trade laws so that they can move their manufacturing
facilities off shore, to use child labor, without environmental or
safety rules, to import their goods back here. They've paid DC
to change finance rules, allowing them to use stock market gambling
tools that were outlawed after the great depression, and the repeal of
those rules led directly to THIS depression.

*They've convinced
Washington to give them billions to cover the losses, and then used
those billions to give themselves bonuses, rewards for having
successfully duped the public once again. Their antics so
crippled the economy that even more jobs were lost, housing values
crumbled and retirement funds tanked; all of which contributed to
widening the gap between the haves and have nots even more.
Now, we know that life isn't always fair, but when we sat down at this
card table, we assumed we'd have an even chance at winning the game.
When we discovered that the folks that invited us to participate in
this game had kept all the face cards to themselves, well, you can
imagine our anger! If you still don't know who the 99% are, I don't think you've been paying attention.

For instance, in years when the top marginal rate was more than 90 percent, the average annual growth in total payroll employment was 2 percent. In years when the top marginal rate was 35 percent or less — which it is now — employment grew by an average of just 0.4 percent.
*In fact, if you ranked each year since 1950 by overall job growth, the top five years would all boast marginal tax rates at 70 percent or higher. The top 10 years would share marginal tax rates at 50 percent or higher. The two worst years, on the other hand, were 2008 and 2009, when the top marginal tax rate was 35 percent. In the 13 years that the top marginal tax rate has been at its current level or lower, only one year even cracks the top 20 in overall job creation.



The Bush Years Were a Lost Decade

Just saw this, courtesy Chris Harvey:
17-year old says it all

Leonard Cohen weighs in

Saturday, December 3, 2011

luxury goods

So the market for luxury goods continues apace.  Don't think that will solve our economic issues, though.  Remember that ting that makes them luxuries is scarceness.  That would mean a limited Number of people involved in their production.  Thus the premium for artisinal products, for example.  

Friday, December 2, 2011


this is really interesting.  I thought Apple was the good guys.
So what;s with the can't find the abortion clinic thing?

gated communities

I was listening to an interview on NPR yesterday with a guy whose dad is one of the richest guys in Rissia.  He lives in a gated community, which is quite common.  Do we want that?  Should police and fire be privatized?  Should the wealthy just hang out in their wealthy gated neighborhoods, and people (the 99%), just come and go to do work, like Palestinians going through checkpoints in Israel?  Is that what we want?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My hero Russell Simmons

On the last Bill Maher show, he railed against spending on the arts, even though his panel disagreed strongly.  Russell Simmons's views are much more like my own.  This is what we are fighting for, the good things of life.

branding owd

I was recently made aware of the origins of the OWS brand, which started with the Kalle Lasn of Adbusters.  There is an excellent piece on him in the New Yorker also.  Today's Morning Joe had Russell Simmons on, one of my personal heroes, talking about this very subject.  I had to tune out to start this, but his point seems to be that revolutions evolve, and expecting leaders and clear doctrines to emerge immediately is unrealistic.  art education

Sunday, November 27, 2011

faces of cars

Watching a PBS Indy Lens film about car design.  Made me think of a poem I remember reading as a kid, I think in "A gift of Watermelon Pickle".  It was about aliens who came to this planet and reported back that the inhabitants had 4 wheels and transparent bodies that enable them to see the innards (brains).
Check out IDEO.

Friday, November 18, 2011

don't collapse on teaneck


I hosted a “Day of Action” rally yesterday in my suburban New Jersey town. I was asked by many why I did it, and quickly discovered I could not answer that in one sentence. So here is why.

We have now gotten used to seeing the crowds of mostly young people in Zuccotti Park and other locations. Especially during the prolonged encampment, they were looking a little scruffy (or worse). The confrontations with police were to be expected. I went downtown a couple of weeks after it started, mostly out of curiosity, although I supported the effort.    For the most part, the people who made up the crowd looked remarkably like the people going in and out of the office buildings (except not wearing suits).

I am one of the other 99%. I am not a joiner (except professional organizations). My family has a comfortable life. We are regular people, neither rich nor poor. We have lived by the rules. My wife and I are college graduates and have each worked since we were teenagers. We have a nice house with a mortgage and two children who attended public schools and are now in college, thanks to scholarships and loans. We raised them with decent “American” values based in large part on those of our Judeo-Christian tradition, and although they attended religious school they respect the beliefs and tolerate the outlooks of others.

We met in New York City in our twenties. We married and had children when we knew we could afford to raise them properly. We held good jobs in Manhattan and commuted by bus because it was cheaper and, we felt, an easy way to lower our carbon footprint, as they say now. We taught them the value of education and that with rights go responsibilities. We enjoyed the cultural life of the city and the natural beauties of the outdoors. We chose to live in a town with a diverse population so that they would be better prepared for living in the “global village”. But they knew people who lived all over the country, and considered their choices of home as valid for them as ours for us. So we are some of the lucky ones.

Many of the people I met yesterday had also considered themselves lucky, but believed they too had earned their places in society. But now they are facing unemployment, foreclosures, or worse. Those who are my age are worried that the world their children are entering is filled with such meanness of spirit and greed that they will have little opportunity to live successful, fulfilling lives, or even just be able to pay the rent. As much as we love them, we really don’t think they should be living in our basements forever.

I grew up in Massachusetts, one of five kids. My parents were teachers, and our friends were families of teachers, tradesmen, and people who worked at the plant (General Electric). We knew some lawyers, doctors, and businessmen who were wealthier, but other than while working for the landscaper who cut Jack Welch’s lawn, I had no contact with the “captains of industry”. But even the oligarchy seemed to have some sense of noblesse oblige. Our parks, our public buildings, our social service agencies, all bore the
marks of smart investment of public monies, in addition to the gifts of those who had benefitted from the free market and the sense of possibility in this country, which the less fortunate were, and still are, going off to war to defend. Those in public office considered it an honor, and took the role of “public servant” seriously. Of course, our hero was JFK, and we all believed in his famous words, “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”. Where did we go wrong?

I do not expect, or want, to go back to the America of the past. It had plenty of problems. But I find it offensive, and clearly unsustainable, that the people at the very top take more and more, failing to admit that their greed means that fewer and fewer Americans will have the kinds of opportunities the 1% were able to parlay into fortunes. While our young people die on battlefields to feed the oil-hungry machine, and many more languish in prison for offenses that are not even crimes in much of the world, our nation of idea people loses the resources to improve the lives of all. If we put these people to work on scientific advancements and new technologies, we could end our need to chase fossil fuels. And clearly if these resources could be used to rebuild and repair our infrastructure, we would be a far more attractive place to do business in the global marketplace.

Government is supposed to provide public services that are not profit- centered. To think that all of these services can be privatized assumes that the profit motive is central to the human spirit and of the utmost importance, which is pretty sad, and found nowhere in our Constitution. This is just common sense. The 1% should all be reminded that people of the 99% will be the ones caring for them in hospitals, and likely at home, at the ends of their lives.

What has happened to the idea of the “social contract”? We, the other 99%, believe that all of us rely on one another for our basic needs as well as our desires, and our way forward should be based on each of us re-affirming that commitment.

Bruce Gionet    Teaneck, NJ    November 18, 2011   

Friday, November 11, 2011

privacy is dead

Everyone on Facebook should listen to this speech at MIT by Mark Dery -- just the first 40 mins or so, after that it is another author, not relevant.  You can listen on your ipod, your virtual friends won't know;)

You know I am a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell, and found Jeff Jarvis's book "WWGD" fascinating and valuable, although I agree with the speaker that his desire to share every detail of his cancer online is disturbing.

Memorable quotes (memes), with links to others' takes on these:
"To Facebook you are not a client you are the product"
privacy is dead
privacy is dead -- start at 03:15

Thursday, November 3, 2011

new normal

does anyone read this?
Notice how as things fall apart, it just gets even slower...
Heard on NPR today about this guy anderson, got blown up.  IEDh idden in curb.  lost piece of right hand, left hand.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

our garage sale

garage sale teaneck:
Find <a href="http://www.yardsalesearch.com/">garage sales</a>
             in <a href="http://www.yardsalesearch.com/garage-sales-teaneck-nj.html">Teaneck, NJ</a>.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

occupy wall street

this pretty much says it all in under 05:00:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

facebook is evil

Not really.  However, if people got together in person as much as they do online, they would be amazed at the depth of feelings provided by non-verbal communication.  It's like when people have long phone conversations just prior to meeting in-person.  Why?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

no more refuge in NYC

Today the MTA rolls out cellphone service in the subway.  Not on the trains, and a few stations at a time.  So no more excuses if you miss a call.  And despite the obvious technological barriers, how long until I have to listen to the guy next to me yammer on with his buddy about the Jets during that nice long quiet stretch on the A between 59th and 124th?

See the Times City Room chief's comment

Monday, September 26, 2011

apple is testing my patience

This is NOT a Apple-bashing rant.  But I have to complain, and hope someone hears me.  I became a dedicated Mac user and Apple supporter because their products just WORK.  But I am getting tired of buying things and being unhappy.   I wish I could afford an iPhone but I just can't.  I keep buying cell phones and then discovering they do not sync with iCal and Address Book.  I can't keep this up.  I had a Motorola Razr that synced fine, but had to buy a new phone. I tried a Nokia and then a Samsung, and neither work.  Then someone told me today that the iPhone does not always sync perfectly either.  Maybe that should make me feel better, but it just makes me sad.  I have had trouble with all three  MacBook Pros I have owned, too.What happened to the great Apple philosophy of making it fun to use computers?  Please don't tell me to go back to Windows.  I use Windows also and have many frustrations, but got used to them because of the generally accepted view that MS just sucks, so live with it.  Apple was supposed to be better than that.

Ferrin Gallery - Contemporary Ceramics, Sculpture, Paintings and Photography

Ferrin Gallery - Contemporary Ceramics, Sculpture, Paintings and Photography

pitttsfield a travel destination

I am always happy to see my hometown on the map :)
From Sunday's New york Times Travel Section

how-to guide

Check this out.  Business Week came out with its "first annual how-to guide".  Although I am not really a Bloomberg kind of guy, there is a lot of value in here.  Don Rumsfeld talks about running a meeting, including tidbits like how to deal with people who only state the obvious (toss them out).  This one on criticism is really valuable I think.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The post-currency economy

I am a huge advocate of the general shift into the 21st century post-currency barter economy.

Just came upon this introduction to "bitcoins".
I don't honestly know if a different currency solves  our economic problems.  I am more inclined to the dental-work-for-homegrown-vegetables type barter.  But...
This is what our friends at MIT say.  It actually explains it in a clearer way so financially-impaired idiots like me can get it.  I am interested in what people think.

solving the infrastructure problem

It's easy.  We don't need to fix the roads.  Just buy yourself a really smart, expensive car, you can drive around the problems:
audi a6 commercial

Friday, September 23, 2011


So privacy is pretty much over I guess.  Everything is tracked.  It is 1984 all over again.  except, see below:

be seen or not seen

those with the best resources get a head start

just as if you were right there

how many entertainers do we need?

Why are we ignoring the basics?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

the witch is dead

Death of Bin Laden:
The body should be strung up at Ground Zero so all New Yorkers can spit on it, or otherwise pay their respects.