Aug 302007
 

In the past I’ve pretty much avoided watching Big Brother. Not because I hate reality TV, but because it requires too much of a commitment. Three hours a week? Split over three days? Come on already! Does no one in America have a life? Well, this summer I didn’t have one either, so I joined in the fun. It’s been fascinating and I find myself strategizing, cheering and booing right along with the masses.

But then tonight… with less then 3 weeks left until the winner is declared, on Live Eviction Night, my local CBS affiliate preempted Big Brother 8 in order to show some ridiculous pre-season football game! Say what? Why is tape-delayed football (with zero impact on anything) more important than a Live reality show I’ve already committed something like 30 hours (plus random internet time) keeping up with?!? Aaarrrrgggghhhhh!!!!!!

Luckily, the internet came to my rescue. Right on the official CBS BB8 message boards I was able to find a link to a site that was streaming their local feed over the net for all to see. I love the internet :mrgreen:


Aug 302007
 
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Major General Smedley Butler was, at the time of his death in 1940, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. In 1934 Butler testified before the Congressional McCormack-Dickstein Committee, claiming that the American Liberty League was the primary means of funding a plot to overthrow FDR. The main backers were supposedly the Du Pont family, as well as leaders of U.S. Steel, General Motors, Standard Oil, Chase National Bank, and the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. A July 2007 BBC documentary claims Prescott Bush, father and grandfather to the 41st and 43rd US Presidents respectively, was also connected to the plot. Is it any wonder then, that the current President Bush has done so much to further the military-industrial complex?But General Butler was better known at the time for his anti-interventionist book, War Is a Racket: The Anti-War Classic by America’s Most Decorated General, Two Other Anti=Interventionist Tracts, and Photographs from the Horror of It.

I just recently came across a speech General Butler gave in 1933 in which he said, in part-

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

While the sentiment is not exactly startling to me today, the fact that even military men have been openly declaring such thoughts for more than 35 years now came as a bit of a shock. How is it that I am constantly surprised at the lengths American’s will go to bury their heads in the sand. More than 200 years ago, another General, George Washington, warned against against political factions and foreign alliances in his farewell address. Less than 50 years ago, yet another General and outgoing President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, made the term “military-industrial” complex famous-

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

A few days ago none other than Rolling Stone came out with an article warning of the same thing-

Operation Iraqi Freedom, it turns out, was never a war against Saddam ­Hussein’s Iraq. It was an invasion of the federal budget, and no occupying force in history has ever been this efficient. George W. Bush’s war in the Mesopotamian desert was an experiment of sorts, a crude first take at his vision of a fully privatized American government. In Iraq the lines between essential government services and for-profit enterprises have been blurred to the point of absurdity — to the point where wounded soldiers have to pay retail prices for fresh underwear, where modern-day chattel are imported from the Third World at slave wages to peel the potatoes we once assigned to grunts in KP, where private companies are guaranteed huge profits no matter how badly they fuck things up.

Despite their poor use of the phrase “a fully privatized American government” (they later make some great points about the funds actually being taken from the lowly taxpayers) is there any chance that American’s will finally listen? I mean, this story was found within the same covers as such hard hitting expose’s as the members of Maroon 5’s heated battle over where their second album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long, should fall in the sonic spectrum between polished R&B and the chaos of energetic rock and the compelling details of M.I.A.’s childhood crackhead neighbors. Even the most addled American has to take notice now, don’t they?

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Aug 302007
 

If you’re reading this, and you use Mike Filsaime’s Blog Burner any chance you can help me out? I registered all the wya back on August 8th and still can’t even get the confirmation link to work. Whenever I click over to it I just get a white page with the message: “Can not connect to cPanel“. I can see that other people are using it, though I can’t tell when they registered. I sent ’em an email but received no reply. Honestly, at this point I don’t even recall what it was about the site that made me want to sign up in the first place. But at this point I must continue. I must get it. Why? Because I can’t.

Aug 302007
 

If you’re reading this then you clearly own a computer and have an ISP to provide an internet connection. But do you own an iPhone, iPod, GPS, Playstation or Nintendo? How about a toaster, dishwasher or microwave? If you do, I’ll bet you have an opinion, good or bad, on each of these things as well. Would you like to make $20 in the next few days just for writing up those opinions? Then read on.

SharedReviews.com is a new site, currently in Beta, dedicated to making everyone’s shopping experience, both online and off, easier and more rewarding. They’ll do this by sharing the experiences real people, like you, had with pretty much any product or service that peole are willing to write about. Of course, they’re not going to just ask you to share your experiences and receive nothing in return. They’re willing to pay you to review your cell phone, DVDs, books, credit cards, home mortgage, or video game console. Reviews don’t need to be positive (or negative), they just need to be honest accounts of your experience with a product or service. You don’t even need to still own or use it! Some of the most useful reviews to people are the ones explaining what not to purchase.

Sure, there are plenty of places on the internet that you can review products: Amazon.com built one of the largest companies in the world on the backs of user reviews. The internet movie database, IMDB.com, couldn’t exist without user reviews, and eBay thrives due to it’s feedback system which is essentially a mini-review. But none of those multi-billion dollar companies actually share any of their profits with the people writing those reviews. There are even websites like Epinions, Ciao and Dooyoo that will pay you a few cents (maybe) for your reviews that manage to fight their way to the top of the heap. But you’ll never know how much you’re going to earn on those reviews until well after they’re written.

The latest twist in the online review market is being paid to blog about products and companies through services like PayPerPost, ReviewMe, and the dozens of similar services that have popped up in the last year. Of course, to take advantage of these services you not only have to have your own blog, but specific traffic levels, not to mention good Google PageRank and Alexa scores. Even then you’re limited to how many reviews you can write, the topics to write about, and even the content of your posts in many cases. You’ve also got to ensure that you have enough non-sponsored posts to keep your blog from looking like a pure advertising channel.

SharedReviews bypasses all of these problems. You can write a review on just about anything you want. Greeting cards? Check. Chocolate? Check. Toys, sporting goods, lawn care equipment, whatever you own. Just take a quick look around you and imagine all of the things about which you could share your experiences. I did mention that they’d pay you for your efforts, didn’t I? Well, during their beta they will pay you a $10 flat fee for every 5 reviews you write. Once they go into full launch mode you’ll also earn residual revenue for the life of the site on reviews you’ve written in the form of an advertising revenue share. There is no limit to the number of reviews you can write per day, week or year. Though there is a $100 cap on the beta earnings per person there is no cap on the long term earnings of your reviews.

Aug 302007
 

I know that as a lover of Freedom I really shouldn’t be rooting for any evil empire, but this is just way too cool. The folx over at Enwikopedia are starting off their new site with a bang by offering one lucky promoter a free 2GB Darth Vader Mimobot USB Flash Drive! Forget about that little R2D2 Mimobot we talked about previously. Enwikopedia knows where the true power lies and they’re willing to share it with you just for promoting them in your blog. What could be better then that?

By now, you’re probably wondering what, exactly Enwikopedia is. Once I stopped giggling I was as well. Essentially, they’re the anti-wikipedia. They’re a “paid encyclopedia”. That’s right, not a “pay to use” encyclopedia, or a free encyclopedia, but a “pay for inclusion” encyclopedia. An intriguing idea to say the least and I wish them all the luck in their endeavors, while wishing myself the luck in their little Vader contest.