Archive for November 17th, 2011

Payday Lenders rule in Texas

| November 17, 2011 | Reply
Payday Lenders rule in Texas

Here’s one way that deregulation has worked in Texas:

Large corporations that operate payday lenders, many of them based in Texas, have been steady contributors to Perry’s political campaigns over the last decade, donating upwards of $200,000, according to Texas campaign finance disclosure statements. In 2004, Perry appointed William J. White, a senior executive of one of the nation’s largest payday lending corporations, Cash America International, to a seat on the Texas Finance Commission, which is tasked in part with protecting the state’s consumers. Two years ago, the governor elevated White to the chairmanship of that body.

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Eighteenth-Century Occupy Protesters

| November 17, 2011 | 3 Replies

Here is a group of Eighteenth-Century Occupy Protesters:

[Image by Erich Vieth, a derivative work based on John Trumbull's painting, "Declaration of Independence"]

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Finding Jesus

| November 17, 2011 | Reply
Finding Jesus

You’ll never know where Jesus will next turn up. Here’s a few more places where Jesus has been spotted. And there’s lots more where that came from. He even shows up on potato chips.

There’s also a lot of other people’s faces showing up in surprising places.

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LRO cameras capture Apollo landing sites in great detail

| November 17, 2011 | Reply
LRO cameras capture Apollo landing sites in great detail

Check out these stunning images captured by the LRO cameras in 2010.

I felt great pride when I viewed these images. Seeing them brought back some of the emotions I felt back in 1969 when the U.S. sent astronauts to the moon.

If our country ever turned its attention from villainizing and attacking entire countries and cultures, maybe we could get back to serious space exploration, as well as other cutting edge science.

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The dangers of “Protect-IP” in a nutshell

| November 17, 2011 | 3 Replies
The dangers of “Protect-IP” in a nutshell

Protect-IP is an abysmal idea. No one likes it except for well-monied content providers. It would, if construed broadly by the courts, hinder the ability of ordinary folks to organize in order to promote higher profits for the entertainment industry, which already has plenty of ways to protect its IP. This is too high a price to pay.

PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

How flawed are the approaches now being considered by Congress? Consider these reasons.

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Twitter required to hand over data in Wikileaks investigation

| November 17, 2011 | Reply
Twitter required to hand over data in Wikileaks investigation

This, from EFF:

A district court judge in Virginia ruled against online privacy today, allowing U.S federal investigators to collect private records of three Twitter users as part of its investigation related to Wikileaks. The judge also blocked the users’ attempt to discover whether other Internet companies have been ordered to turn their data over to the government.

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Sizing up the Occupy movement and the para-military government response

| November 17, 2011 | 3 Replies
Sizing up the Occupy movement and the para-military government response

Glenn Greenwald describes the status of the Occupy movement, both the hope for continued vitality and the disturbing para-military response by our government.

The reason the U.S. has para-militarized its police forces is precisely to control this type of domestic unrest, and it’s simply impossible to imagine its not being deployed in full against a growing protest movement aimed at grossly and corruptly unequal resource distribution. As Madeleine Albright said when arguing for U.S. military intervention in the Balkans: “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” That’s obviously how governors, big-city Mayors and Police Chiefs feel about the stockpiles of assault rifles, SWAT gear, hi-tech helicopters, and the coming-soon drone technology lavished on them in the wake of the post/9-11 Security State explosion, to say nothing of the enormous federal law enforcement apparatus that, more than anything else, resembles a standing army which is increasingly directed inward.

For those who want to help the protesters through the winter, Greenwald suggest that FireDogLake has done an excellent job of raising money to by cold weather clothing and gear for the protesters. If you would like to pitch in, visit FDL.

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