Alexander The Great

December 13, 2008

Astounding Republican Paranoia

Filed under: Ethics,Modern Life — alexanderthegreatest @ 11:07 pm
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Here’s a disturbing comment left on TED

A Hall – October 22 2008

WAKE UP AND SEE THE LIES PEOPLE!
Please do more than passively read, watch and consume what the government funded ‘scientists’ and ‘climate specialists’ ideas, such as David Keith are espousing here, just look a little further if you really want to know the truth, because this, i beleive is certainly not it.
This message, or mistruth about climate change is part of a massively and intentional orchestrated fear campaign to make us believe that global warming is really happening. Yes we are harming our environment, yes this is a terrible thing that needs to change.
BUT the ‘facts’ presented here and in so many other talks, films, doumentaries and books is not proven to be so, if we look back a little further – say further back than the last few hundred years for example.

Look at the works of Loehle and McCulloch if you like. There is proven and solid scientific evidence that while we are indeed in the midst of a rise in temperatures, this is a cycle, which the earth has undergone many times before.

It is much more convenient however, to ignore this truth (which is there to be found if you just research a little), and lap up the spin doctoring lies that climate change is going to be the end of the world. As another post said, weren’t we being told in the 70’s that we were going into an iceage?!

This so called issue, along with many other falicies such as terrorism,world war III, financial collapse fo the western economies are all part of a giant cover to make us all so fearful that we beg the governements and the corporations that control them to do something – anything – to make it better.

Lets not be sheep – do some reading, research and thinking for yourself, check where the information is coming from, who is writing it and what their other possible interests may be. We need to look further abroad and see what the reality of our world is.Only with truth and knowledge can we have power and the opportunity to do something about what we do not agree with!

November 28, 2008

Republicans Are In Trouble

Filed under: Modern Life — alexanderthegreatest @ 11:16 pm
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WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Republican Party has hit a new low.

Just 34 percent of Americans in a Gallup Poll released Thursday say they have a favorable view of the party, down 40 percent from a month ago, before the election.

What’s worse: 61 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party.

According to Gallup, that unfavorable rating is the highest the polling organization has recorded for the GOP since the measure was established in 1992.

The poll of national adults was conducted on November 13-16 with a three percent margin of error.

The numbers are slightly up from a CNN poll released last week that indicated a 54 percent unfavorable rating for Republicans. Only 38 percent of those polled had a favorable rating for the party.

Meanwhile, Democrats continue to bask in the glow of President-elect Barack Obama’s historic victory on November 4. The Gallup poll suggests that 55 percent of Americans hold a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party, with 39 percent saying they have an unfavorable view. Those numbers are mostly unchanged from a mid-October survey.

As the debate rages within GOP ranks over where to take the party, the poll might offer some guidance.

Most Republicans — 59 percent — want the party to become more conservative, according to the poll. Another 28 percent want it to remain about the same ideologically, while only 12 percent would prefer to see the Republican Party become less conservative.

Independents are split on whether the party should track left or right: 35 percent of independent voters say the GOP should become more conservative, and 35 percent say less conservative.

November 20, 2008

The Economy is So Bad – We’re All Nigerians?

Filed under: Modern Life — alexanderthegreatest @ 10:32 pm
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Jon Stewart made the joke that our economy has tanked so badly under Bush’s stewardship, that Americans are now writing emails to Nigerians, asking for help smuggling the funds.  (“Don’t fall for it!  It’s a trick.”)

Truth is sometimes almost as strange as fiction.  This is an email that made it somehow through the spam detector

Hello, My name is Jean Malik, employed to work in Iraq as a language translator. I am attached to 1st BN, 68th Amour Reg, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry as an interpreter. As you aware, we were being attacked everyday by insurgents through hostile fire and car bombs. SOURCE OF FUNDS: In April 2003, I and some other crew members in my team discovered $650M USD in Saddam Hussein’s palace. In the process of cross-checking the funds, I and my unit head managed to move away a total sum of US$12 Million dollars cash out of the $650MUSD, mostly 100-dollar bills and was quickly flown out of the war zone as a military cargo. The cargo was later disguised and declared as personal military effects before it was flown to Europe where it is now deposited in an undisclosed FINANCE, SECURITY & TRUST COMPANY. You can as well click on the site below for more details about the source of the funds. The site will give you a bit of idea of our operation and how I came about the fund though the security & finance company where the cash consignments are deposited is not aware of all this information. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2988455.stm Unfortunately, my colleagues lost their dear life through hostile fire from the wicked Iraqi insurgents. I therefore seek your! partnership in claiming and receiving the cash consignments from the finance and security firm where the cash consignments are deposited for safety for possible investments on viable businesses of mutual beneficial interest. I will take 60% while you are going to be entitled to 40% for your participation and assistance. I wish to inform you also that it is my fervent wish to leave the United Kingdom as soon as we successfully and smoothly conclude the transaction. Upon your response, I will send you the full details of the Security & Trust Company in whose custody the funds are lodged as well as the modalities of claiming and receiving the cash consignments. But you must assure me and demonstrate it that you can be trusted as I need your unwavering assurances. I am presently in the United Kingdom where I am presently receiving treatment due to injuries sustained after our convoy came under heavy fire in a suburb area of Baghdad. Please reconfirm your full names, address an! d direct phone number immediately so that I can submit the inf! ormation to the finance firm where the cash consignments are deposited for change/transfer of ownership in your favour to enable you claim and receive the funds. I promise you that there is no risk on both sides as far as you follow my instructions and take my advice. The transaction will be concluded under a legitimate arrangement. Respectfully yours, Malik

(Notice the decent grammar, unusual word choices, and downright bizarre use of exclamation marks?)

November 17, 2008

Is Scraping Data Wrong?

Filed under: Ethics,Modern Life — alexanderthegreatest @ 9:23 pm
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In 1492, the Old and New Worlds clashed in a very dramatic way. Volumes have been written about what followed, so I won’t cover this here. A similar, if less vital, clash is happening today. You’ve heard about California’s “water wars,” but you may not have heard of the scraper wars.

For better or worse (and I’d say it’s for the better), the world wide web is an open technology. This is partly true in the sense that Apache’s code can be downloaded and modified, but the real sense this is true, is the one in which a client makes a request to the server, and the server sends down a response. It’s true that login prompts, captcha forms, and payment walls abound, but this is far from the default. It’s difficult (or at least cumbersome) to program a web server to refuse to serve a client. Prejudice is not the nature of the web.

People with something to say, get on their soap box and say it. This becomes available to the world by default. It’s assumed that this will be consumed by a target market (some restricted demographic of humans using web browsers), but all computers have the ability to make HTTP calls, and do as they will with the replies they find. And therein lies the problem.

You may have found this site through Google’s web search – if not, surely you’ve found another this way. Google uses a “robot”, a wanderer, a spider that crawls the web, copying down what it finds, indexing it for search. Many people object that this violates copyright law, although both the searcher and the found benefit from the arrangement, so nobody complains (apart from book authors) about Google. When others do the same thing, though, people assume nefarious trickery. At best, it might be spam, but, this typically seems to mean plagiarism where a person steal’s someone else’s informational work to profit from cheap advertisements.

Mashups, though, are the definition of “web 2.0”. Ouseful discovered how to use Google Spreadsheets to translate “foreign” HTML to RSS, and then Yahoo for geocoding. Arachnode is an open source (for SQL Server and C#!) home scraping platform. Whether people like it or not, the ability to make use of this great federated data store we call the web is being brought down to the lowly masses. Democracy over data is the future, and it’s in everybody’s best interest to learn to deal with it. (Like the Census.)

November 4, 2008

End of the Dark Ages

Filed under: Americana,Modern Life — alexanderthegreatest @ 11:40 pm
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We won! And, by we, I mean the American people, and the people of the world. America has said no to torture, disastrous economic policy, cronyism (“Heck of a job Brownie“), wars of choice, and fear tactics.

The biggest landslide of a generation is historic in many ways, least of which might be Obama’s skin. Swing states have swung. Red is vanishing from the map. Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada gave a collective shout of “enough!” Missouri may yet tip – at this writing, it’s too close to call. Results are similar in Congressional and gubernatorial races.

Americans have handed down a mandate – stop this Reign of Error!

Hope is spreading over the world like a sunrise.

NICOLAS SARKOZY, FRENCH PRESIDENT

“With the world in turmoil and doubt, the American people, faithful to the values that have always defined America’s identity, have expressed with force their faith in progress and the future.

“At a time when we must face huge challenges together, your election has raised enormous hope in France, in Europe and beyond. France and Europe … will find a new energy to work with America to persevere peace and world prosperity.”

STEPHEN HARPER, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER

“I look forward to meeting with the President-elect so that we can continue to strengthen the special bond that exists between Canada and the United States.

“In the weeks and months ahead Canadian officials and diplomats will be working closely with members of President-elect Obama’s transition team. Ministers in our government look forward to building a strong working relationship with their counterparts in a new Obama cabinet.”

HELEN CLARK, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER

“The New Zealand Government very much looks forward to working with the new Obama administration.

“Senator Obama will be taking office at a critical juncture. There are many pressing challenges facing the international community, including the global financial crisis and global warming. We look forward to working closely with President-elect Obama and his team to address these challenges.”

PAKISTANI EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON

“President (Asif Ali) Zardari expressed the hope that Pakistan-U.S. relations will be enhanced under the new American leadership that received a popular mandate in Tuesday’s poll.”

Landslide Victory

Landslide Victory!

September 25, 2008

Bush’s $700 Billion Bailout

Filed under: Modern Life — alexanderthegreatest @ 6:29 pm
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Last night, George W Bush gave an address, trying to justify to the American public why their tax money should be given to Wall Street. Distilled to its essence, the speech went like this

Normally, my first instinct would be to trust the market to fix this. But that’s what got us into this recession in the first place. So, instead, we’re going to give communism a try.

At least the conservatives like calling this type of policy communism. It’s actually kleptocracy. The difference is small in recent history – in both cases, we have state run insurance companies, etc. AIG is our Gazprom.

The difference is that we’re pulling $700 billion (plus $300 billion in recent bailouts) out of the pockets of small business owners, to bail their large competition out. That isn’t collective ownership, it’s an upwards flowing money pit.

Crisis of Trust – On Main Street

After the same imminent death scare tactics were used to justify the war in Iraq (they have WMD and “the smoking gun as a mushroom cloud” turned into “Saddam was a very bad man”), many Americans are having a hard time believing that the only way to prevent a total collapse of the entire financial system, is to give Henry Paulson a no questions asked blank check for $700,000,000,000.00 with no oversight as to how it’s spent.

We all have a shared interest in the banking system continuing to work. The vast majority of us have no interest in whether any particular bank fails or not. In fact, according to the conservative, free market rhetoric, we have a Darwinian interest in market forces killing off the weak and inefficient. The current administration refuses to discuss other options, however, using the threat of immediate but not very specific destruction to justify this massive transfer of wealth.

We’re being asked to “just trust me” while Bush explained the recession as having been caused by America having too much money.

Republican Communism

Republican Communism

September 10, 2008

Journalistic Fraud at Fox News

Filed under: Ethics,Modern Life — alexanderthegreatest @ 10:00 pm
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Fox, who’s joke line is “Fair and Balanced”, has been caught with their pants down. People have been making deceptive (to put it mildly) edits to Wikipedia, to remove facts, and to add non facts, from IP addresses owned and managed exclusively by the Fox division of News Corp.

Fortunately, Wikipedia keeps a history of every edit to every page, so fox’s white washing is a matter of public record. Have a look for yourself, at the before and after comparisons.

An entire section (titled Allegations of Journalistic Fraud) was removed from the Carl Cameron article. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?diff=prev&oldid=66427703 The section lists out instances where Cameron invented quotes and attributed them to people who did not say such things, and even describes events that never happened. (Jayson Blair, anyone?) The IP in question is 12.167.224.228, which has made about 500 edits, all of them painting Fox News in a unrealistically better light, or smearing Fox’s obsession targets.

The article on Al Franken adds and attributes a made up quote to Mr Franken, and adds non factual descriptions in violation of WP’s “encyclopedic” and neutrality criteria. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?diff=prev&oldid=25221039 Same IP.

In an article on Keith Olbermann, Fox staff removed references to Bill O’Reilly’s sexual harassment legal problems. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Keith_Olbermann&diff=prev&oldid=25368834 This is one of many propaganda edits to prevent (lazy) Wikipedia users from knowing the truth.

In the Shepard Smith (host of “FOX Report With Shepard Smith”), a Fox agent removed a link to Shepard Smith’s mug shot. Our reporter was arrested for aggrevated battery in Florida. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Shepard_Smith&diff=prev&oldid=25291538

The list goes on and on. The entire “Controversy” section was blanked out by Fox, under the story “Brian Wilson (Fox News Correspondant)”. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Brian_Wilson_(Fox_News_correspondent)&diff=prev&oldid=30231919 This identical change was made by several IP addresses.

Fox News has always practiced censorship on its own TV channel, but it’s moved on to censor information from a public encyclopedia as well.

August 9, 2008

Woman Shoots Herself While Trying To Kill Mice

Filed under: Americana,Modern Life — alexanderthegreatest @ 10:43 am
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CBS Reports

Timeline Jul 8, 2008 9:39 am US/Pacific
Woman Shoots Herself While Trying To Kill Mice

POTTER VALLEY (AP) ― A Mendocino County woman who was trying to kill mice in her trailer with a gun ended up shooting herself and another person.

The mice escaped the shooting unharmed.

Stupid people shouldn’t have guns. Or hospital maybe access?

I’ll bet you anything she votes Republican, and probably doesn’t think John McCain is conservative enough.

Stewie Griffin, of Family Guy fame, commented “The same thing happened to me when I used some C4 to kill a bee once.”

July 21, 2008

What Does This Look Like?

Filed under: Humor,Modern Life,Science — alexanderthegreatest @ 10:19 pm
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Clades of the Christian Church

A clade is a branch (from the Greek).  Modern usage has this depict branches in a tree, and cladistics is the taxonomy of the tree of life.  Here is the source of the paradigm the chart above fits into

Phylogenetic tree of life

The tree of life

The circle is merely to conserve space – no metaphysics necessary. Notice how at the 5th and 6th level branchings, we se the beginnings of the pattern in the first chart, the one of Christian history?

Am I the only one who appreciates this irony?

Here’s a similar view of Linux distros – notice the children of Ubuntu

Linux

The idea is quite useful, because most things in our world fit into some type of hiercharchy, which lends itself to being shown as a tree. I’m a Christian myself, but I find it very amusing that Christian church history itself can be described by a series of 2 way forks – a perfect cladogram.

June 19, 2008

Bus Story

Filed under: Humor,Modern Life — alexanderthegreatest @ 10:07 pm
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There’s this woman who takes my bus in the mornings, gets on at the train station downtown. She’s about the size of John Candy, Santa Claus, and the Buddha, put together. Every time she gets on the bus, this woman barks “I need a seat!” and people scurry away like cockroaches being shot at. She needs two seats; if only one becomes available, the person in the second one gets squished against the hand rail, or just pushed off the seat if there’s no armrest. I’ve been that person before – you literally get shoved until this thing is pressing into your side and you need to pull yourself up by the bar.

So, this adult with Down’s syndrome gets on the bus a stop later. Bus pulls in, and the guy tries to hurl himself on like a handicapped version of Superman. Only, someone is coming off, so he stops, backs up to clear a space, then tries it again, but people are still getting out. A third time, nope!, then he finally manages to board. Dude has a giant smile plastered across his face, like “I made it!” He sits down across from Bertha, Destroyer of Worlds, who’s sipping on a jamba juice. Dude starts asking her about it. Keeps circling back to “that’s full of calories,” how many are there, smaller is better, all kinds of stuff, then he tells her he has a calorie counting book if she’d like it–

Right when homegirl started getting royally offended, is when we made it to my stop.

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