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Monday miscellany

  • Housing. It’s double-dipping. Anybody here surprised?
  • “Tax Hikes and the 2011 Economic Collapse.” Arthur Laffer says the illusory recovery of 2010 will go blooey on January 1.
  • Bounty hunter offers Colton Harris-Moore $50,000 to surrender. Don’t fall for it, Colt.
  • The secret wars expand. “Special Operations commanders have also become a far more regular presence at the White House than they were under George W. Bush’s administration … ‘We have a lot more access,’ a second military official said. ‘They are talking publicly much less but they are acting more. They are willing to get aggressive much more quickly.'”
  • Forget the RIAA and MPAA. A law firm has now figured out how to make P2P filesharing lawsuits downright easy and automated. Eew.
  • Has anybody read this book? Handbook for Rebels and Outlaws by Mark Mirabello. Seems a very odd book for a college professor to write. But then, he sounds like quite an odd professor. If you’ve read it, let me know in the comments section what you think about it.
  • Had to laugh when I read the reference to my late, great publisher “Loom Panics” in one of the reviews on that book’s Amazon page. Everybody thinks the name Loompanics Unlimited came from looming and panicking; the stuff they published certainly supported that assumption. But — straight from the horse’s mouth (that is, Mike Hoy, founder and publisher) — the company name was actually a play on the word “lampoon.” Mike’s first product was an index to the National Lampoon. Thus “lampoonics.” Thus “loompanics.”
  • Back when I was freelancing in the corporate world, my heart would sink if anybody on a project started talking about the importance of “teamwork.” It’s not that I Didn’t Play Well With Others. I did. It’s that the people most likely to talk about “teamwork” were the ones least likely to practice it. What they really meant — invariably — was, “I demand that everybody do everything exactly my way, or else. I can ride roughshod over you. And I will. Cheerfully. But if you so much as disagree with me, you’re not only wrong. You’re disloyal and you’re selfishly harming every other person here.” I never could get along with one of those people. Never did. But I don’t doubt that they sincerely believed the crap they were peddling. I think Obama is very much like that when he talks about non-partisanship. I don’t think his talk of “non-partisanship” is mere political BS. He sincerely believes it. He meets with Republicans, but his only goal is to get them behind his own agenda. When that doesn’t work, they’re “partisan.” But he’s not. He’s simply right and reasonable. Anyone who can’t see that is a selfish obstructionist. Similarly, how often has Obama said, or implied, that if he merely communicated something better — his gawdawful health-care bill, for instance — everyone would automatically get behind it? Like the “teamwork” tyrants, the very concept of different points of view is off his radar. Small, narrow man. No different than George W. Bush nattering on about “freedom” while taking freedom away. But pathetic.


  1. Joe
    Joe June 7, 2010 1:12 pm

    Eew. Filesharing will continue as long as media files remains “hack-able.”

    What protected the original media industry (film & records) was the capital investment necessary to duplicate and distribute copies to bootleg customers. Most people of the age of film and recordings couldn’t afford even an 8mm film of an entire movie, or owned a record lathe or press.

    Even this has now been largely superceded by under the table digital copies and copyright infringers who bring portable cameras into theatres. And once removed from Internet based P2P filesharing sources, the copyright owners have no power, lawyers notwithstanding.

    Now, with digital media, the mechanism to copy and even distribute is as close as your PC (or MAC) combined with a little brain power. And irregardless of the encription or digital lock, someone will find a key that fits the door.

    And locks only keep the honest people out. If you want to really keep out the copycats and keep your media income whole, you have to come up with a system with more advanced “technical hurdles.”

    And even that is perilous, as is evidenced by Ipods, Kindle, and what else?

    A recent article on NPR (not my favorite news source) discussed the problems to the media industry that continue with P2P file sharing. One of the copyright infringers indicated with some hubris that “information WANTS to be free.”

    Well, the information is probably neutral about the whole thing, but the MAJORITY of the rest of us seem to want it to be free.

    So free it will become.

    I’m glad I’m not a performer who relies on sales of my media to support my lifestyle.


  2. (another) Joe
    (another) Joe June 7, 2010 3:19 pm

    Hi Claire,

    Have you taken a “Look Inside” the Handbook for Rebels and Outlaws in Amazon? It’s a 320-page A-Z compendium of terms related to “freedom” (per the Introduction), followed by a 48-page bibliography. Not something that makes for entertaining reading.

    BTW, the link to the “odd professor” appears to be broken.


  3. Claire
    Claire June 7, 2010 3:47 pm

    (another) Joe. Thanks for the catch! Link should be fixed now. I haven’t done the “Look Inside” because that function doesn’t work on the browser I usually use with the settings I have. If nobody else has any comments on that book from their own experience, I may do some browser-fiddling and see what I can see.

    The author has definitely got some other provocative titles, too.

  4. (another) Joe
    (another) Joe June 7, 2010 3:56 pm

    Do you have Javascript disabled? In that case, you may want to take a look at the NoScript plugin for Firefox (

  5. Winston
    Winston June 7, 2010 4:32 pm

    Thanks for the link to that Mark Mirabello book.
    I was planning on ordering his other 2 (The Cannibal Within and The Odin Brotherhood) next time I put in a big amazon order (whever that will be), I don’t know how I overlooked that one but I’ll deffinately get it too, it looks right up my alley.
    Moreso considering the books in the “also bought” tab: everything from survivalism and make-your-own Submacine gun to the works of LaVey and those OMFG SECRET NAZI SUPERSCIENCE books. Real .gov watch list type of stuff…especially that first book that’s on there! ;]

  6. Claire
    Claire June 7, 2010 6:22 pm

    (another) Joe, I already use NoScript. And AdBlockPlus. And several other Firefox plugins. Some sites work great when I simply opt to allow Javascript or pop-ups or whatever. But a few sites … nothing works, no matter how many permissions I give. I do have an alternate browser (Opera) for those sites. But I don’t particularly like or trust it. So unless I have a real need, I just ignore some functions — like Amazon’s Look Inside.

  7. Claire
    Claire June 7, 2010 6:26 pm

    “Real .gov watch list type of stuff…especially that first book that’s on there! ;]”

    Yep. Dangerously subversive literature. Me, of course, now I’d never have anything to do with books like that … 😉

  8. Ragnar
    Ragnar June 8, 2010 9:07 am

    I have read “The Odin Brotherhood” and being of Viking decent, I liked it (a lot of people would be really offended by it for sure). I ordered the “Handbook for Rebels and Outlaws” a couple weeks ago but got sidetracked by some crazy lady who put me on to the Karl Hess autobiography 🙂

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