Sunday, January 31, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

WHY IS HAITI SO POOR?

2 votes


While Pat Robertson and his loyal 700 club viewers seem to think it's because of Haiti’s devilish past (his curse comment) A comment that was based on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion led by Boukman Dutty at Bois Caiman, where the slaves allegedly made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French. This history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed.”

Cursed? Really? Well maybe they're right but — not so much by Magical Satan Powers, but by its real-world vehicle of terror: Debt. So who helped cause this debt so we can get to the bottom of this curse? Well the ultimate causes of Haiti's misery are human not demon. They are rooted in greed and power. Both the international community and Haiti's rulers have continuously assured the destruction of Haiti's colonial wealth and the creation and continuance of her misery.

Examples:

“….[T]o avoid a contagion of ideas, President Jefferson got Congress to enact legislation to ban from the U.S. all African slaves who had witnessed the Haitian Revolution or who had made a stopover in Haiti.'

The British, French and Spanish were all at war with each other over Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti) and out of nowhere a black army of ex-slaves arose and successfully beat them all. Many powerful people in Europe and the Americas, including slaveholders in the American South, eyed these events with extreme alarm. Africans were suppose to be inferior and the slaves of Europeans. The reality of black ex-slaves fighting and winning against the three world powers and gaining their own independence crushed that myth in pieces. Europeans didn't want this reality to spread like wildfire to the minds of people living in European colonies worldwide, so the British, French and Spanish stop fighting amongst each other and focused on crushing Haiti. To set an example to other nations out there who dare fight for their own independence and freedom from White domination.

In 1805, the U.S. instituted restrictions on trade with Haiti.” By the end of the year, Congress banned trade with Haiti, joining the French and Spanish boycotts. These embargos crippled the Haitian economy, and helped prevent the new black nation from making a success of its independence.

http://tinyurl.com/raabcollection

In 1825, France, with warships at the ready, demanded Haiti “compensate” France for its loss of a slave colony. In exchange for French recognition of Haiti as a sovereign republic, France demanded reparations of 150 million francs, in gold. (modern equivalent of $21 billion). For Haiti, this debt did not signify the beginning of freedom, but the end of hope. Even after it was reduced to 60m francs in the 1830s, it was still far more than the war-ravaged country could afford. Haiti was the only country in which the ex-slaves themselves were expected to pay a foreign government for their liberty. By 1900, it was spending 80% of its national budget on repayments. In order to manage the original reparations, further loans were taken out — mostly from the United States, Germany and France.

Instead of developing its potential, this deformed state produced a parade of nefarious leaders, most of whom gave up the insurmountable task of trying to fix the country and looted it instead. In 1947, Haiti finally paid off the original reparations, plus interest. Doing so left it destitute, corrupt, disastrously lacking in investment and politically volatile. Haiti was trapped in a downward spiral, from which it is still impossible to escape. It remains hopelessly in debt to this day. Ever since, Haiti has been a punching bag.

Haiti, once called The Jewel of the Antilles, was the richest colony in the entire world. Economists estimate that in the 1750s Haiti provided as much as 50% of the Gross National Product of France. The French imported sugar, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, cotton, the dye indigo and other exotic products. In France they were refined, packaged and sold all over Europe. Incredible fortunes were made from this tiny colony on the island of Hispaniola.

How could Haiti have once been the source of such wealth and today be the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere? How could this land that was once so productive today be semi-barren? How did "The Jewel of the Antilles" become the Caribbean’s hell-hole?" Answer: Because Africans were in power, not Europeans..How could they trade with or make the people who defeated them rich? These people were just a large source of free labor a couple of years, decades, ect,. ago, now they have to pay them, huh? Yeah right LOL. That would imply they are equal with Europeans and if they do succeed it puts in the mind of other darkies worldwide (European colonies) that you can defeat whites and succeed as a nation.

http://www.haitiaction.net/News/JD/9_28_3.html

http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/misctopic/leftover/whypoor.htm

http://haitiforever.com/windowsonhaiti/amer-haiti.shtml


Makes me think of South Africa, how all of Europe and America traded with and backed the white oppressive government but after blacks rose to power shit changed.

Mayorquimby's take on the cost of living in New Jersey

Had an argument with the parents who stomp up and down that everything is fine and I'm wrong blah blah blah. One is on social and the stepfather is both on social AND gets a chunky pension. Here's the e-mail I sent them:

Quote:
This is what it costs one person living alone to survive in NJ in 2010 (minimum) - assuming you OWN a house outright (no mortgage):

$4,000 - property taxes
$1,500 - home owner's insurance
$4,000 - oil heat or $1,000 if gas
$500 - cooking gas
$800 - electricity
$3,500 - train-fare to work - that's WITH monthly discount pass (Jersey costs a ****LOAD - about $20 a day)
$3,000 - food
$1,200 - car insurance
$1,200 - gas and servicing/registration for car
$7,500 - misc. personal expenses (beer with friends, vacation, gym membership, Masonic Lodge dues, clothes, softball, flowers for girlfriend, wine, cigars/cigarettes, Mars bars, video games, dvd's, movie tix, Yanks tix etc.)
$1,000 - cable tv/internet
$750 - cellphone
$5,000 - IRA contributions
$1,500 - Dentist/medical ****
$1,000 - misc.

GRAND TOTAL: $33,000 - $37,000 AFTER TAX OUTLAY (depending on your heating system) and that includes ZERO INTEREST on debt, car loans, credit cards, no medical emergencies, surgeries, no saving for a wedding ring or college for your kids, alimony, major home repairs, new bathroom, kitchen cabinets, carpet, flooring, repair for your ukulele, a NEW CAR (since the old one will break eventually) etc. so you really should throw another $5K on top at LEAST.

That means - a single person needs to make about $70K or more just to SURVIVE WITH A PAID OFF HOUSE!!!! The avg. household income in the US (that's mostly TWO incomes) is what - $50K BEFORE TAXES?

And ALL of this assumes cost of living (price of oil, food etc.) will remain stable or go down. Let me know if I missed anything. I'm sure I did.


Bernanke's solution to this insane problem is to - borrow money at interest so we can MAINTAIN unsustainably high prices so we can enjoy exponentially more compounding debt interest which will reduce our collective purchasing power?????!!!!!

If this guy isn't the biggest, most colossal failure of an intellect I have ever witnessed I don't know what or who is.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Your next Federal election has been looted by The Supreme Court!

Keith Olbermann - SPECIAL COMMENT - PART 1 of 2 - SCOTUS Decision - Jan 21, 2010 8_48 PM.mp4 YT Link 1

Keith Olbermann - SPECIAL COMMENT - PART 2 of 2 - SCOTUS Decision - Jan 21, 2010 8_48 PM.mp4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UMHXTXvWSA

Starship-Nothing´s Gonna Stop Us Now

Music Video 1985

 

They can spend all the money they want. And if they can spend all the money they want — sooner, rather than later — they will implant the legislators of their choice in every office from President to head of the Visiting Nurse Service.

And if senators and congressmen and governors and mayors and councilmen and everyone in between are entirely beholden to the corporations for election and re-election to office soon they will erase whatever checks there might still exist to just slow down the ability of corporations to decide the laws.

It is almost literally true that any political science fiction nightmare you can now dream up, no matter whether you are conservative or liberal, it is now legal. Because the people who can make it legal, can now be entirely bought and sold, no actual citizens required in the campaign-fund-raising process.

And the entirely bought and sold politicians, can change any laws. And any legal defense you can structure now, can be undone by the politicians who will be bought and sold into office this November, or two years from now.

And any legal defense which honest politicians can somehow wedge up against them this November, or two years from now, can be undone by the next even larger set of politicians who will be bought and sold into office in 2014, or 2016, or 2018.



Right now, you can prostitute all of the politicians some of the time, and prostitute some of the politicians all the time, but you cannot prostitute all the politicians all the time. Thanks to Chief Justice Roberts this has now changed.


And now let's contemplate what that perfectly symmetrical, money-driven world might look like. Be prepared, first, for laws criminalizing or at least neutering unions. In today's Court Decision, they are the weaker of the non-human sisters unfettered by the Court. So, like in ancient Rome or medieval England, they will necessarily be strangled by the stronger sibling, the corporations, so they pose no further threat to the Corporations' total control of our political system.

Be prepared, then, for the reduction of taxes for the wealth, and for the corporations, and the elimination of the social safety nets for everybody else, because money spent on the poor means less money left for the corporations.

Be prepared, then, for wars sold as the "new products" which Andy Card once described them as, year-after-year, as if they were new Fox Reality Shows, because Military Industrial Complex Corporations are still corporations. Be prepared, then, for the ban on same-sex marriage, ..ion, on evolution, on separation of church and state. The most politically agitated group of citizens left are the evangelicals, throw them some red meat to feed their holier-than-thou rationalizations, and they won't care what else you do to this corporate nation.

Be prepared, then, for racial and religious profiling, because you've got to blame somebody for all the reductions in domestic spending and civil liberties, just to make sure the agitators against the United Corporate States of America are kept unheard.

Be prepared for those poor dumb manipulated bastards, the Tea Partiers, to have a glorious few years as the front men as the corporations that bankroll them slowly unroll their total control of our political system. And then be prepared to watch them be banished, maybe outlawed, when a few of the brighter ones suddenly realize that the corporations have made them the Judas Goats of American Freedom.

And be prepared, then, for the bank reforms that President Obama has just this day vowed to enable, to be rolled back by his successor purchased by the banks, with the money President Bush gave them his successor, presumably President Palin, because if you need a friendly face of fascism, you might as well get one that can wink, and if you need a tool of whichever large industries buy her first, you might as well get somebody who lives up to that word "tool."

Be prepared for the little changes, too. If there are any small towns left to take-over, Wal-Mart can now soften them up with carpet advertising for their Wal-Mart town council candidates, brought to you by Wal-Mart.

Be prepared for the Richard Mellon Scaifes to drop such inefficiencies as vanity newspapers and simply buy and install their own city governments in the Pittsburghs. Be prepared for the personally wealthy men like John Kerry to become the paupers of the Senate, or the ones like Mike Bloomberg not even surviving the primary against Halliburton's choice for Mayor of New York City.

Be prepared for the end of what you're watching now. I don't just mean me, or this program, or this network. I mean all the independent news organizations, and the propagandists like Fox for that matter, because Fox inflames people against the state, and after today's ruling, the corporations will only need a few more years of inflaming people, before the message suddenly shifts to "everything's great."

Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh don't even realize it: today, John Roberts just cut their throats too. So, with critics silenced or bought off, and even the town assessor who lives next door to you elected to office with campaign funds 99.9 percent drawn from corporate coffers — what are you going to do about it? The Internet!

The Internet? Ask them about the Internet in China. Kiss net neutrality goodbye. Kiss whatever right to privacy you think you currently have, goodbye. And anyway, what are you going to complain about, if you don't even know it happened? In the new world unveiled this morning by John Roberts, who stops Rupert Murdoch from buying the Associated Press?

This decision, which in mythology would rank somewhere between "The Bottomless Pit" and "The Opening Of Pandora's Box," got next to no coverage in the right-wing media today, almost nothing in the middle, and a lot less than necessary on the left.

The right wing won't even tell their constituents that they are being sold into bondage alongside the rest of us. And why should they? For them, the start of this will be wonderful.

The Republicans, Conservatives, Joe Liebermans, and Tea Partiers are in the front aisle at the political prostitution store. They are specially discounted old favorites for their Corporate Masters. Like the first years of irreversible climate change, for the conservatives the previously cold winter will grow delightfully warm. Only later will it be hot. Then unbearable. Then flames.

And the conservatives will burn with the rest of us. And they'll never know it happened. So, what are you going to do about it? Turn to free speech advocates? These were the free speech advocates! The lawyer for that Humunculous who filed this suit, Dave Bossie, is Floyd Abrams.

Floyd Abrams, who has spent his life defending American freedoms, especially freedom of speech. Apparently this life was spent this way in order to guarantee that when it really counted, he could help the corporations destroy free speech.

His argument, translated from self-satisfied legal jargon, is that as a function of the First Amendment, you must allow for the raping and pillaging of the First Amendment, by people who can buy the First Amendment.

He will go down in the history books as the Quisling of freedom of speech in this country. That is if the corporations who now buy the school boards which decide which history books get printed, approve. If there are still history books. So, what are you going to do about it?

Russ Feingold told me today there might yet be ways to work around this, to restrict corporate governance, and how corporations make and spend their money. I pointed out that any such legislation, even if it somehow sneaked past the last U.S. Senate not funded by a generous gift from the Chubb Group would eventually wind up in front of a Supreme Court, and whether or not John Roberts is still at its head would be irrelevant.

The next nine men and women on the Supreme Court will get there not because of their judgement nor even their politics. They will get there because they were appointed by purchased presidents and confirmed by purchased Senators.

This is what John Roberts did today. This is a Supreme Court-sanctioned murder of what little actual Democracy is left in this Democracy. It is government of the people by the corporations for the corporations. It is the Dark Ages. It is our Dred Scott. I would suggest a revolution but a revolution against the corporations? The corporations that make all the guns and the bullets?

Maybe it won't be this bad. Maybe the corporations legally defined as human beings, but without the pesky occasional human attributes of conscience and compassion maybe when handed the only keys to the electoral machine, they will simply not re-design America in their own corporate image.

But let me leave you with this final question: After today who's going to stop them?

K.O.
***********************************************************************
Supreme Court overturns ban on direct corporate spending on elections

In a 5-4 decision that strikes down a 1907 law, the justices say the 1st Amendment gives corporations, just like individuals, a right to spend their own money on political ads for federal candidates.

By David G. Savage

9:28 AM PST, January 21, 2010

Reporting from Washington

The Supreme Court today overturned a century-old restriction on corporations using their money to sway federal elections and ruled that companies have a free-speech right to spend as much as they wish to persuade voters to elect or defeat candidates for Congress and the White House.

In a 5-4 decision, the court's conservative bloc said corporations have the same 1st Amendment rights as individuals and, for that reason, the government may not stop corporations from spending freely to influence the outcome of federal elections.

The decision is probably the most sweeping and consequential handed down under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. And the outcome may well have an immediate impact on this year's mid-term elections to Congress.

Until now, corporations and unions have been barred from spending their own treasury funds on broadcast ads or billboards that urge the election or defeat of a federal candidate. This restriction dates back to 1907, when President Theodore Roosevelt called on Congress to forbid corporations, railroads and national banks from using their money in federal election campaigns. After World War II, Congress extended this ban to labor unions.

In today's decision, the high court struck down that restriction and said the 1st Amendment gives corporations, just like individuals, a right to spend their own money on political ads.

"The 1st Amendment does not permit Congress to make these categorical distinctions based on the corporate identity of the speaker and the content of the political speech," said Justice Anthony M. Kennedy for the court.

Two significant prohibitions on corporations were left standing. Corporations, and presumably unions, cannot give money directly to the campaigns of federal candidates. These "contribution" restrictions were not challenged in the case decided today. And secondly, the court affirmed current federal rules which require the sponsors of political ads to disclose who paid for them.

Most election-law expert have predicted a court decision freeing corporations will send millions of extra dollars flooding into this fall's contests for Congress. And they predict Republicans will be the main beneficiaries.

Today's decision was supported by five justices who were Republican nominees. They include Kennedy and Roberts along with Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.

The dissenters included the three Democratic appointees: Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. They joined a dissent written by 89-year old Justice John Paul Stevens. Speaking from the bench, he called today's decision "a radical change in the law ... that dramatically enhances the role of corporations and unions -- and the narrow interests they represent -- in determining who will hold public office."

The decision today, though long forecast, displayed a deep division of opinion on the court about the meaning of the 1st Amendment and freedom of speech. The majority said the Constitution broadly protected discussion and debate on politics, regardless of who was paying for the speech. Roberts said he was not prepared to "embrace a theory of the 1st Amendment that would allow censorship not only of television and radio broadcasts, but of pamphlets, posters, the Internet and virtually any other medium that corporations and unions might find useful in expressing their views on matters of public concern."

But Stevens and the dissenters said the majority was ignoring the long-understood rule that the government could limit election money from corporations, unions and others, such as foreign governments. "Under today's decision, multinational corporations controlled by foreign governments" would have the same rights as Americans to spend money to tilt U.S. elections. "Corporations are not human beings. They can't vote and can't run for office," Stevens said, and should be subject to restrictions under the election laws.

Today's opinion dealt only with corporations, but its logic would suggest that unions will also have the same right in the future to spend unions funds on ad campaigns for federal candidates.

david.savage@latimes.com

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

Monday, January 18, 2010

BgirL5 - Lindsay and friend Lora, summer of 1999, age 10, Idaho, Montana




South Park Humiliation at School explained
Gingers Have Souls - CopperCab 1-14-10
RT: bravesgirl5 "Gingers have souls. I'm a christian. You don't know me!"

Me: (Can we talk about the 3 hours of radio airplay I have to endure before I can't talk to you?)




Jenzatron - Working Girl




papertimelady

And they call me... the Jackal.
I miss home: http://lipsarevenom.tumblr.com/post/339009107/kapi-yay-aah-london
RT: disasterpastor45 - Random profile - Casey




From Hayley Williams of Paramore, 1-18-10
I Leggoed Hannah
Paramore.net


Dems look at bypassing Senate health care vote

Dems look at bypassing Senate health care vote

By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press Writer Charles Babington, Associated Press Writer – 2 hrs 20 mins ago


BOSTON – A panicky White House and Democratic allies scrambled Sunday for a plan to salvage their hard-fought health care package in case a Republican wins Tuesday's Senate race in Massachusetts, which would enable the GOP to block further Senate action.

The likeliest scenario would require persuading House Democrats to accept a bill the Senate passed last month, despite their objections to several parts.

Aides worked frantically Sunday amid fears that Republican Scott Brown will defeat Democrat Martha Coakley in the special election to fill the late Edward M. Kennedy's seat. A Brown win would give the GOP 41 Senate votes, enough to filibuster and block final passage of the House-Senate compromise on health care now being crafted.

House Democrats, especially liberals, viewed those compromises as vital because they view the Senate-passed version as doing too little to help working families. Under the Senate bill, 94 percent of Americans would be covered, compared to 96 precent in the House version. The House plan would increase taxes on millionaires while the Senate plan would tax so-called Cadillac, high-cost health insurance plans enjoyed by many corporate executives as well as some union members.

The House passed its own version last year, and members assumed it would be reconciled with the Senate bill and then sent back to both chambers for final approval by the narrowest of margins.

A GOP win in Massachusetts on Tuesday would likely kill that plan, because Republicans could block Senate action on the reconciled bill.

The newly discussed fallback would require House Democrats to swallow hard and approve the Senate-passed bill without changes. President Barack Obama could sign it into law without another Senate vote needed.

House leaders presumably would urge the Senate to make some changes later under a complex plan requiring only a simple majority, but it's unclear whether that could happen.

The plan is highly problematic. House liberals already are bristling over changes the Senate forced upon them earlier, and some may conclude that no bill is better than the Senate bill. Meanwhile, some moderate Democrats may abandon the health bill altogether after seeing a Republican win Kennedy's seat in strongly Democratic Massachusetts.

Republican activists openly scoffed at the notion of Democrats passing the highly contentious health package after a GOP takeover of Kennedy's Senate seat. But some Democrats said failure to pass a health bill will cripple their ability to tell voters this November that they accomplished anything with their control of the House, Senate and White House.

"The simplest way is the House route," a White House aide said Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity because Democrats have not conceded the race to Brown.

If Coakley wins, final passage of a House-Senate compromise is not guaranteed but seems likely.

But even as Obama campaigned for Coakley in Boston Sunday, top aides furiously weighed options if she loses. They include:

_Acting before Brown is sworn in. Congressional and White House negoatiators could try to reconcile the House and Senate bills quickly and pass them before Brown takes office. A firestorm of criticism would follow, but some Democrats say it would be better than having no bill.

_Seeking a Republican to cast the crucial 60th Senate vote. Some Democrats hope Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, might do this, but others seriously doubt it.

_Start over and pass a new, scaled back health bill using a complicated process that requires a simple majority of 51 Senate votes. Several Senate aides said this was unlikely.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly ruled out a House vote on the Senate's version, and privately, officials have raised concerns about asking the rank and file to vote on legislation containing provisions that might prove problematic in the midterm elections.

As an example, the Senate-passed measure exempts self-insured insurance plans from many of the steps Democrats say are essential to curb insurance industry abuses. By one estimate, as many as 100 million individuals are covered under such plans.

It was unclear how the negotiators at the White House in recent days have resolved that issue.

Additionally, House Democrats in last week's talks pushed for additional subsidies for lower-income individuals and families who would be required to buy insurance under the measure that cleared the Senate. Several Democrats familiar with the talks said Obama had agreed with this point of view, and changes had been made accordingly.

___

Associated Press writers David Espo and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.

Videos I watched after Will Smith's bad time in 1981 San Francisco - The Pursuit Of Destitution











Wildbirds & Peacedrums - There Is No Light from Leaf Label on Vimeo.





Seattle - just like S.F. only different

Seattle - just like S.F. only different

Sunday, January 17, 2010
Coming into the city from the airport, around a corner, Seattle sort of bursts into view: the tall white Smith Tower, 42 stories high and 95 years old, a symbol of old Seattle; the Space Needle, once the symbol of the city's future; and the Columbia Center, as tall as the sky and as black as midnight, a symbol of what Seattle has become.

It's always startling for a San Franciscan to go to Seattle, as we did last weekend. It's like running into a distant relative, someone who looks like you but has his own separate life. A doppelganger.

Seattle looks like San Francisco - the beautiful blue Elliott Bay, the white ferryboats, the mountains in the distance. Seattle has seven hills, and before big-time tourism arrived, the town even had cable cars. There's a Skid Road, a Chinatown (called the International District), even a subway these days. The downtown is crowded and vibrant. There are preachers and music in the streets. There is also a bit of civic smugness, a feeling that the place is very, very special.

The late Emmett Watson, a columnist in Seattle for more than 50 years, put it this way: "A man I admire once said that he had a simple test for examining the worth of a city. He wrote 'it is whether, no matter how many times I have been there, I still feel a glow of excitement on the moment of arrival.' I cannot speak for anyone else in thinking of Seattle this way, but whenever I leave it for any period of time, the glow is always there when I return. It is a beautiful city, unbelievably blessed by nature."

It is pleasant to go there and easy to imagine being in a nicer San Francisco. The people are more polite, and there are fewer beggars. San Franciscans notice that immediately.

The Pike Place Market is a wonder - a combination of San Francisco's old Crystal Palace Market and the new Ferry Building. It is a fish market, a vegetable market, a spice market, a place to eat oysters, drink beer, watch people and admire the view. It is enough to make a San Franciscan weep. If we had a place like that we tore it down.

That almost happened in Seattle, when civic boosters wanted to replace the Pike Market, which they said was the home of rats and winos, with a Disneyfied version of what it had been.

It stirred up a latent nativism in Seattle, a rebellion against fast-buck artists, shady developers and apostles of Progress with a capital "P." Watson himself railed in print against a booster outfit called Greater Seattle Inc. His answer was something he named "Lesser Seattle" and he crusaded against outsiders, mostly expatriate New Yorkers and Californians. He founded a mythical organization called Keep the Bastards Out. He meant us.

But Seattle people are too polite to be rude to visitors, and they actually seem to like to give directions to strangers.

So we looked at the Space Needle and the monorail, those two 20th century monuments to the 21st century. "Wow," said the Sailor Girl, my companion in these adventures. "We used to think that by the 21st century, we'd all live in colonies on the moon."

No such luck. Instead, the Space Needle and the monorail look oddly dated, like long sideburns and bell-bottom pants.

But Seattle isn't all old stuff: it's where grunge music comes from, and Starbucks, and Nordstrom and Boeing.

A young city: Everybody on the street seems to be 25 years old. Still, Seattle seems to be a little different, a little slower. Maybe because it's up in the Northwest corner of America, distant from the places we think of as important.

So Seattle is like San Francisco - but not really - like the guy who looks just like you, but is different.



Carl Nolte's Native Son column appears every Sunday.
This article appeared on page A - 2 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kristina Horner pics - intergalacticstock / Lariat backglass

Kristina Horner - italktosnakes Daily Booth #166, #167 Candid picture from today's shoot.

I was singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart". xD

KristinaHorner
*looks around sheepishly* I may have posted some new stock? http://bit.ly/8Et1sI Leave me comments on it if you like it. :)

RT: disasterpastor - Breakheart Pass (1976) w/ Charles Bronson in The Old West just started on TCMHD


















































posted on January 6, 2009 - below



































Lariat - Sept. 1969
 



February 13, 2008 

August 20, 2007
 
Kristina's brother - April 12, 2007
What a sneak - April 10, 2007

 
Bright Idea - February 25, 2007

 


Secret Agent - Sept. 18, 2006


































Happy birthday, brother (17th)! Check the
pokemon balloon I got him. 1-23-2010


































Bullet Wound 1-30-10  Twitpic


































italktosnakes Daily Booth, #172






















owlssayhooot 8pm ET 2-4-10

Hard artichokes rarely keep. Norwegian elephants, Singapore sleeps.

El Nino to strike California HARD this week!

Issued by The National Weather Service
San Diego, CA
1:49 pm PST, Sat., Jan. 16, 2010

... BIG CHANGES IN THE WEATHER NEXT WEEK...

A SERIES OF STORMS WILL BRING PERIODS OF LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN AND STRONG WINDS NEXT WEEK WITH SNOW AT THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS.

THE FIRST STORM WILL ARRIVE MONDAY AND BRING RAIN... POSSIBLY HEAVY BY MONDAY EVENING. THE SNOW LEVEL WILL BE HIGH MONDAY... AROUND 7000 FEET... SO SNOW WILL BE RESTRICTED TO RESORT LEVELS. STRONG GUSTY WINDS WILL OCCUR LATE MONDAY INTO MONDAY NIGHT. SUBSEQUENT STORMS WILL IMPACT THE AREA TUESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY AND BRING MORE RAIN... HEAVY AT TIMES.

THIS ALL WEEK LONG EVENT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO GENERATE RAINFALL OF 5 TO 8 INCHES NEAR THE COAST... AND 15 TO LOCALLY 25 INCHES ON THE COASTAL MOUNTAIN SLOPES. EVEN THE DESERT LOCATIONS ARE LIKELY TO RECEIVE BETWEEN 2 AND 4 INCHES OF RAIN.

SNOW LEVELS WILL MOSTLY FLUCTUATE BETWEEN 5500 AND 7000 FEET WHICH WOULD CONFINE HEAVY SNOW ACCUMULATIONS TO THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS IN THE SAN BERNARDINO AND SAN JACINTO MOUNTAINS. AROUND 4 FEET OF SNOWFALL IS POSSIBLE AT THE HEAVIEST LOCATIONS.

WITH THE RAINFALL AMOUNTS EXPECTED... THERE IS HIGH LIKELIHOOD OF FLASH FLOODING... ALONG WITH MUD AND DEBRIS FLOWS... ESPECIALLY IN AND BELOW RECENTLY BURNED AREAS. THERE COULD ALSO BE ROCK SLIDES ALONG MOUNTAIN HIGHWAYS... MAKING TRAVEL IMPASSABLE AT TIMES. THE THREAT OF FLOODING WILL BE HIGHEST DURING THE SECOND HALF OF THE WEEK AS THE SOIL BECOMES MORE SATURATED.

WITH THE HEAVY SNOW FALL AMOUNTS EXCEPTED... THERE IS A POSSIBILITY OF AVALANCHES FOR AREAS LOCATED BELOW THE STEEPER SLOPES OF THE HIGHER SAN BERNARDINO AND SAN JACINTO MOUNTAINS.

THE STRENGTH OF THE JET STREAM DRIVING THESE STORMS IS OVER 200 MPH AND THE STORMS THEMSELVES WILL BE MOVING RAPIDLY ONSHORE IN QUICK SUCCESSION.

AS A RESULT THERE ARE LIKELY TO BE STRONG WINDS THROUGH MUCH OF NEXT WEEK. OVER THE COASTAL WATERS GALE FORCE OR HIGHER WINDS ARE EXPECTED. OVER LAND... DAMAGING WINDS ARE LIKELY TO PRECEDE THE ARRIVAL OF EACH STORM. WIND GUSTS BETWEEN 40 AND 60 MPH ARE POSSIBLE FOR THE COASTS AND VALLEYS... WHILE THE MOUNTAINS AND DESERTS MAY HAVE GUSTS 60 MPH OR HIGHER.

PEOPLE SHOULD STAY UPDATED WITH THE LATEST FORECASTS.

The FBI Sucks at Photoshop

The FBI Sucks at Photoshop [PIC]


The FBI this week released a “digitally-altered” image showing what Osama Bin Laden possibly looks like now he’s older.

While the FBI claims to have used “cutting edge” technology to create the image, a Spanish politician has noticed that the poster is a modified version of his campaign photo — he now finds his face in America’s most wanted list.

While on the surface it’s an amusing misstep by intelligence agencies, Gaspar Llamazares, the former leader of Spain’s United Left coalition, calls the move “shameless”. His safety is at risk, he told the BBC, and he no longer feels able to travel to America now his likeness is on a wanted poster: “Bin Laden’s safety is not threatened by this but mine certainly is”, Llamazares said.

Photo links at article

Left, Bin Laden in 1998; middle, the FBI image; right, Gaspar Llamazares

The FBI is quoted admitting to the error, saying that the artist found the photo on the web and didn’t know it was of a Spanish politician:

When producing age-progressed photographs, forensic artists typically select features from a database of stock reference photographs to create the new image…it appears that in this instance the forensic artist was unable to find suitable features among the reference photographs and obtained those features, in part, from a photograph he found on the internet.

The forensic artist was not aware of the identity of the individual depicted in the photograph. The similarities between the photos were unintentional and inadvertent.

We don’t think it matters that the man in question was a notable politician: using photos from an image search to create a most wanted poster is surely putting the subject at risk, is it not?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

ALL CAPS Band / Oceanic Six / Luke Conard, January 15-16, 2010









RT: KristinaHorner I am dating an insane person


Ke$ha - Tik Tok - Kesha SPOOF!!!! iJu$tine














DB 156 ijustine - monster









Conan O'Brien, NBC Settlement -- No Trash Talk

Posted Jan 16th 2010 4:22PM by TMZ Staff

Conan O'BrienConan O'Brien can get a whole lot of money from NBC as a parting gift, but there will be strings attached -- not the least of which ... Conan cannot trash the network.

Sources tell us NBC wants a liquidated damages clause if Conan says anything disparaging about the network once he leaves. Essentially that means there is a clause in the contract that says Conan will automatically pay a predetermined amount of money if he says bad things about NBC.

And, as we have previously reported, NBC will demand that Conan
not take another hosting job for a certain period of time.

Sources say NBC will be paying Conan a hefty sum, but that will be offset by any amount Conan makes for his next hosting gig. So if Conan makes a deal with FOX, NBC can reduce the amount it pays Conan by the amount FOX forks over.

FYI -- we've learned Conan's existing contract already has an offset clause in the event he leaves NBC and takes another job.

Bottom line -- Conan won't be taking NBC to the cleaners.

Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2010/01/16/conan-obrien-nbc-settlement-tonight-show-jay-leno/#ixzz0coVOBPR9

Jay Leno's video statement on The Tonight Show back in 2004
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RT: reedalexander Aloha :D





Ariana Grande - click to super enlarge


RT: stevie_ryan When I'm super rich I'm going to buy a robot that scratches my back & the inside of my arm all day long.


RT: bravesgirl5 Walked past @pink while hiking today. I got a little excited. Now they're filming an MTV commercial w.all mtv stars outside our house!




TCA Press Tour: 'iCarly' meets 'Victorious'? Nickelodeon says it will happen
January 15, 2010 | 11:46 am

Victorious_3 Get ready for the tween mother lode.

Dan Schneider, creator of Nickelodeon's hit comedy "iCarly" and the upcoming performing arts high school series "Victorious," said a crossover event is in the offing.

"Both casts are very excited about that possibility, so now it's up to me to come up with something good," he said.

The last time Miranda Cosgrove, who plays Carly, and "Victorious" star Victoria Justice went head to head -- in the boxing ring for the "iCarly" special event "iFight Shelby Marx" -- a big 8 million viewers showed up.

"Victorious" centers on a girl who's talent for singing is discovered by chance, landing her a spot among the diverse group of kids who attend Hollywood Arts, a performing arts high school. Just don't compare it to "Hannah Montana."

"'Victorious' isn't about being famous," Justice said. "The goal isn't to become the next Britney. The kids who go to the school go because they love to sing" or act or be creative.

"Our show is also angst-free, by the way," said Nickelodeon head of programming Margie Cohen.

In other "iCarly" news, Nickelodeon also announced that Cosgrove will release her first solo album this April.

"Victorious" premieres March 27.

-- Denise Martin













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Stevie Ryan Low Riding - click to enlarge
New Light Kit, 1-16-10
















Simul-Sync - EXTREMELY SLOW-ACTION japanese in pantyhose

Not sure there weren't heavy tranqulizers involved...

X-Rated Link


Here's some audio to play once while watching a bunch of lazy-ass video at the link above. (Right-click on X-Rated Link and Open link in New Tab, Simul-Start for best effect, or start audio first and start X-video with sound off within 2 seconds)









Photo below from Meekakitty's twitter, 10pm-ish 1-16-10


















From Dan Warp's twitter, 10pm-ish EST 1-16-10
Talking with @MirandaBuzz. LOL... oh, if you guys only knew how funny she REALLY is. :)



RT: jillhanner 8pm-ish, 1-16-10 Heading to a vegetarian Japanese restaurant where you have to take off your shoes! Hope no one steals mine!!

Obama tells banks: `We want our money back'

Obama tells banks: `We want our money back'

Thursday, January 14, 2010
(01-14) 14:19 PST WASHINGTON (AP) --
President Barack Obama told banks Thursday they should pay a new tax to recoup the cost of bailing out foundering firms at the height of the financial crisis. "We want our money back," he said.
In a brief appearance with advisers at the White House, Obama branded the latest round of bank bonuses as "obscene." But he said his goal was to prevent such excesses in the future, not to punish banks for past behavior.

The tax, which would require congressional approval, would last at least 10 years and generate about $90 billion over the decade, according to administration estimates. "If these companies are in good enough shape to afford massive bonuses, they are surely in good enough shape to afford paying back every penny to taxpayers," Obama said.

Advisers believe the administration can make an argument that banks should tap their bonus pools for the fee instead of passing the cost on to consumers.

The president's tone was emphatic and populist, capitalizing on public antipathy toward Wall Street. With the sharp words, he also tried to deflect some of the growing skepticism aimed at his own economic policies as unemployment stubbornly hovers around 10 percent.

The proposed 0.15 percent tax on the liabilities of large financial institutions would apply only to those companies with assets of more than $50 billion — a group estimated at about 50. Administration officials estimate that 60 percent of the revenue would come from the 10 biggest ones.

They would have to pay up even though many did not accept any taxpayer assistance and most that did have repaid the infusions.

Obama said big banks had acted irresponsibility, taken reckless risk for short-term profits and plunged into a crisis of their own making. He cast the struggle ahead as one between the finance industry and average people.

"We are already hearing a hue and cry from Wall Street, suggesting that this proposed fee is not only unwelcome but unfair, that by some twisted logic, it is more appropriate for the American people to bear the cost of the bailout rather than the industry that benefited from it, even though these executives are out there giving themselves huge bonuses," Obama said.

He renewed his call for a regulatory overhaul of the industry and scolded bankers for opposing the tighter oversight in legislation moving through Congress.

"What I'd say to these executives is this: Instead of setting a phalanx of lobbyists to fight this proposal or employing an army of lawyers and accountants to help evade the fee, I'd suggest you might want to consider simply meeting your responsibility," Obama said.

At issue is the net cost of the fund initiated by the Bush administration to help financial institutions get rid of soured assets. The $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) has expanded to help auto companies and homeowners.

Insurer American International Group, the largest beneficiary at nearly $70 billion, would have to pay the tax. But General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC, whose $66 billion in government loans are not expected to be repaid fully, would not.

Administration officials said financial institutions were both a significant cause of the crisis and chief beneficiaries of the rescue efforts, should bear the brunt of the cost.
Bankers did not hide their objections.

"Politics have overtaken the economics," said Scott Talbott, the chief lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable, a group representing large Wall Street institutions. "This is a punitive tax on companies that repaid TARP in full or never took TARP."

Even before details came out, Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co., said: "Using tax policy to punish people is a bad idea."

Obama is trying to accelerate terms that require the president to seek a way to recoup unrecovered money in 2013, five years after the law was enacted.

So far, the Treasury has given $247 billion to more than 700 banks. Of that, $162 billion has been repaid and banks have paid an additional $11 billion in interest and dividends.

In Congress, Democrats embraced Obama's proposal while Republicans rejected it.
"I think it is entirely reasonable to say that the industry that, A, caused these problems more than any other and, B, benefited from the activity, should be contributing," said Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

But GOP Rep. Scott Garrett of New Jersey, who's on Frank's committee, called it a "job-killing initiatives that will further cripple the economy by increasing fees passed on to consumers and small businesses, while reducing consumer credit."
___
On the Net:
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp: www.fdic.gov/
Financial Services Roundtable: www.fsround.org/
Troubled Asset Relief Program: www.financialstability.gov/
House Financial Services Committee: financialservices.house.gov/
Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission: www.fcic.gov
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/01/11/national/w130855S18.DTL

SF- Bay Bridge Toll to increase to $6 during peak hours

Preliminary OK given to raise bridge tolls

Thursday, January 14, 2010
(01-13) 13:55 PST Oakland -- A package of toll increases that won initial approval Wednesday would, for the first time, charge carpools to cross state-owned bridges and levy higher tolls for drivers who use the Bay Bridge during its busiest hours.
The toll increases, designed to raise about $160 million a year, are needed to pay for $750 million in seismic strengthening for the Antioch and Dumbarton bridges, and to make up for declining bridge traffic and toll revenue.
The plan, approved by a committee of the Bay Area Toll Authority, would:
-- Impose congestion-based tolls on the Bay Bridge, with drivers traveling from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. paying $6. The higher fee is supposed to discourage drivers from traveling during the busiest times. Officials estimate traffic during peak hours would decline by 23 percent. Drivers traveling outside peak commute hours would pay $4. Weekend tolls would be $5. The toll is now $4 at all times.
-- Charge carpoolers their first-ever tolls - $2.50 - on all bridges.
-- Raise tolls on all state bridges but the Bay Bridge to $5 - a $1 increase.
The Golden Gate Bridge, which is owned and operated by an independent district, is not affected by the changes. It charges a $6 cash toll with a $1 discount for FasTrak users.
The toll increases must be voted on by the full authority board on Jan. 27. For car drivers and carpoolers, the new tolls would take effect July 1. For truckers, who face increases of nearly 300 percent, tolls would be delayed for one year and then phased in.
Toll hikes have been discussed for months and debated at numerous public hearings, but Wednesday was the first time officials voted on the proposal. They made one change to their staff's recommendation - voting to delay the toll increase for trucks and other multiple-axle vehicles until July 2011, then to charge only half of the increase until July 2012.
Truckers and industry representatives argued at the meeting that they've been slammed by the economy, which has driven down business and rates, as well as by air-quality regulations that have required the installation of costly equipment. They said they need time to renegotiate contracts to cover the increased costs.
"When you increase bridge tolls," said Jeff Becker, of the Bay Cities Dump Truck Association, you take money right out of the pockets of these (truck) owner-drivers."
The committee also heard from recreational vehicle drivers, who don't want larger RVs to be charged as if they were trucks, and from bicyclists, who want revenues from the toll increases steered toward construction of a combined bicycle and maintenance lane on the west span of the Bay Bridge. The new eastern span, scheduled to open in 2013, will have a bike lane from Oakland to Treasure Island.
But neither of those requests got any support from the committee. Steve Heminger, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, said that tolls are collected by a system that counts axles, and that it would be too difficult to change that system. He also said state law permits the toll authority to increase fees only to cover operating and other existing expenses and for seismic safety.
No carpoolers spoke against the new fee, but Berkeley Mayor and toll authority member Tom Bates, who has opposed tolls for carpools, suggested they be reduced to $2. That motion failed, with only Bates and San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly supporting the plan. Bates argued that it would cause less disruption to the East Bay's informal casual carpool system.
"My concern is the 50 cents," he said. "I'm not wild about any charge, but if it went to $2, when someone picks you up, you give them a dollar. It seems much easier."

Toll hikes

If approved later this month, the new fees would be:
$5 All state bridges except the Bay Bridge.
$2.50 Carpools, all bridges.
$6 Bay Bridge during peak commute hours ($4 nonpeak and $5 on weekends).
E-mail Michael Cabanatuan at mcabanatuan@sfchronicle.com.
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/01/14/MNIT1BHO8F.DTL
This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Tintin copyrights go to war against Tintin fans

Tintin copyrights go to war against Tintin fans

The British lawyer who married the widow of Tintin creator Hergé has successfully sued Bob Garcia ("a detective novelist, jazz musician and Tintin aficionado") for £35,000 for printing five short essays in appreciation of Tintin, two of which were illustrated with brief clips from the comic. The essays were distributed for free on a non-profit basis, and the two pamphlets with Tintin illustrations were printed about 500 times each.
Nick Rodwell, the plaintiff, was accused by Garcia of "a ruthless drive to kill off their harmless and not-for-profit passion in his bid to keep exclusive control of the Tintin brand."
Britain's "fair dealing" offers less protection to fans and scholars than does the US's "fair use" (itself a complicated doctrine). Combined with a litigious copyright owner, it's a recipe for disaster when it comes to free speech, scholarship, and fan activity.
Hundreds of Tintin fans have already backed Mr Garcia, who on Thursday called for a boycott of the film and claimed that many supporters were heeding his demand. More than 500 people have joined his page on the Facebook website which expresses "anger and disgust" over the issue. More supporters have also backed his cause on other websites.

Mr Garcia said: "We have nothing against Mr Spielberg even if there is a boycott threat against his film ... but are asking him to intervene in favour of not just me but all people who are being prevented from sharing their passion for Tintin..."


Stéphane Steeman, who ran the Hergé Friendship Club for 25 years, has just released a book in which he castigates Mr Rodwell for trying to kill off his organisation, called The Escalation.
He recounts how Mr Rodwell in his blog implies that two Belgian journalists criticised him because they could not pass on their passion for Tintin to their children as they were autistic.
Pierre Assouline, Hergé's French biographer, wrote that he "knows only too well" the "methods" of Mr Rodwell with his "victims".

Tintin film boycott threat over row with Hergé widow's British husband (Thanks, Will!)

In New York, Universal Sues Grooveshark Over Oldies...

January 11, 2010

In New York, Universal Sues Grooveshark Over Oldies...



Courthouse News Service:
MANHATTANUMG Recordings claims an Internet site is ripping it off by distributing Golden Oldie music from UMG‘s catalogue for free, and using the mass copyright violations to attract advertising dollars to its site. UMG seeks punitive damages from Escape Media Group, which does business as Grooveshark.com.
UMG claims Grooveshark violates copyright by providing “free access to UMG‘s pre-1972 recordings,” which includes ” some of the most popular and successful recording artists of the 20th Century,” including Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Cat Stevens, the Jackson Five and the Who.
It claims that Grooveshark “uses the lure of free access” to increase traffic on its Web site, which in turn drives its advertising dollars.
According to the complaint in New York County Court, Grooveshark stores UMG‘s “copyrighted sound recordings on its own servers… and then distribute(es) copies of those recordings to the users.”
Grooveshark not only refuses to pay UMG a license fee, it has even “boasted” about targeting “the very segment of users that are bringing the labels to their knees with illegal downloading,” according to the complaint.
UMG wants an accounting, an injunction and punitive damages for unfair competition and copyright violations. It is represented by Andrew Bart with Jenner & Block.


Digital Music News:
Grooveshark settled a major lawsuit involving EMI Group in October of last year. That development ostensibly paved the way for similar settlements with other majors, though another filing – this time from Universal Music Group – surfaced over the weekend. The state-based complaint, filed with the the Supreme Court of the State of New York (County of New York), specifically involves pre-1972 works controlled by UMG Recordings. The suit names Grooveshark owner Escape Media, based in Gainesville, Florida.
The pre-1972 catalog spans Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, The Carpenters, The Who, and Marvin Gaye, among others.
This is not a federal action, though a broader legal campaign could be underway. “UMG seeks redress in this litigation only for Pre-1972 Recordings,” the New York filing states. “Pre-1972 Recordings are subject to protection exclusively under state law (including the law of the State of New York) and are not subject to or governed by the federal Copyright Act.”


Courts to rule on fan-created music videos

Courts to rule on fan-created music videos

Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:10pm EST
LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - More than a decade after the launch of Napster, the recording industry's complicated legal relationship with Web-savvy music fans seems no closer to resolution. But a number of cases winding their way through the courts may bring a bit of clarity in 2010 to one particularly fuzzy area of the law: fan-created online videos that contain music.
The major labels have all worked out deals with YouTube to split ad revenue with the site after a user uploads a music video. But considering that labels don't issue explicit licenses to users and YouTube continues to warn against uploading copyrighted material, it isn't clear whether the labels actually want fans to upload their music in the first place. Meanwhile, other copyright owners who don't have deals with YouTube, such as Viacom and music publisher Bourne, are still pursuing copyright infringement suits against the video-sharing giant.

The latest action taken by a major label against a video-sharing site -- and a key case to watch in the new year -- were suits filed in December by EMI Music imprints Capitol, Caroline and Virgin and EMI Music Publishing against Vimeo.com, a division of online media conglomerate IAC. EMI charges that the site infringes on its copyrights by allegedly encouraging users to upload videos containing professionally produced music. The EMI suit also focuses on "lip dubs" (a phrase EMI says was coined by Vimeo), homemade videos that feature fans lip-synching to professional recordings, including many from the major labels.

EMI's suit will likely revolve around two legal issues. First, are video-sharing sites -- which organize, categorize and profit from user-uploaded copyrighted content -- liable for copyright infringement? While the Digital Millennium Copyright Act includes "safe harbor" provisions for sites that promptly remove videos upon receipt of takedown notices from content owners, copyright owners claim that the DMCA, enacted years before video-sharing sites even existed, was never intended to protect sites that built businesses around rampant, unlicensed use of others' intellectual property, especially when they encourage users to upload copyrighted content. (EMI also alleges that Vimeo itself uploaded videos containing its music, activity that isn't covered by DMCA safe harbors.)

FEW PRECEDENTS

There is surprisingly little case law on this topic. In September, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled against Universal Music Group in its infringement suit against Veoh.com, saying the video-sharing site was protected by the DMCA. But that case isn't binding on a New York federal court, and UMG is appealing. And in a case involving peer-to-peer site isoHunt, a U.S. District Court judge ruled in December that safe harbors are simply unavailable to sites that "induce" infringement.

The other major legal question in the EMI suit is whether lip dubs and similar mash-ups of amateur and professional content are infringing. Copyright reform activists argue that they're examples of fair use tolerated under copyright law as an accommodation to noncommercial, transformative creativity. Of course EMI will point out that, whatever the motivation of the amateur lib-dubber, Vimeo is anything but "noncommercial."
Sources familiar with the labels' thinking on the issue acknowledge these videos' promotional value, but they also note that other video-sharing sites like YouTube have struck deals with the labels and dismiss the notion that copyright owners should forgo a revenue stream simply because it also promotes their artists.

Elsewhere, Stephanie Lenz is still battling UMG over its takedown of a video she had uploaded to YouTube of her toddler son dancing to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy." Lenz wants damages for the removal of a video she considers an obvious fair use; UMG maintains it acted in good faith to protect its copyright. And Don Henley's suit against U.S. Senate candidate Chuck DeVore (R-Calif.) over the use of "The Boys of Summer" and "All She Wants to Do Is Dance" in "parody" political videos is moving forward in federal court in Santa Ana, Calif.

U.S. courts have yet to provide clear guidance regarding the legality of pairing copyrighted music with amateur video and then broadcasting it to the world. That may finally change in 2010.

(Ben Sheffner is a copyright attorney who has represented movie studios, TV networks and record labels and now works as in the NBC Universal Television Group, which is 20 percent owned by Vivendi, the parent of Universal Music Group. He is the author of the Copyrights & Campaigns blog, copyrightsandcampaigns.blogspot.com.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Marijuana Smoking Etiquette

Marijuana Smoking Etiquette

Fri, Oct 16, 2009
marijuana-smoking-etiquetteAre you new to cannabis use? Learn the marijuana smoking etiquette that applies to a worldwide culture.
1. The person who rolls the joint (no matter whose weed it is) gets to spark up the joint and get first hit.
2. If someone rolls a nice joint, it’s good to give the person a complement on his rolling skills.
3. If someone starts bogarting the bowl and starts using the excuse that it’s okay for him to Bogart it since it’s his weed; this is definitely not cool. The punishment depends on the quality of the weed and how much he put in. (if it was real crappy and he was real cheap with it, then you bug on the person and rag on him).
4. If someone is too palsy to light the bowl (due to being too stoned or the person is just a retard) then they must relinquish control of the lighter to someone more able to get it lit. This does NOT mean the person who lights gets free hits… this privilege tends to get abused (”hey lemme light it for you.”)
5. If someone is so much of a palsy that they blow INTO the pipe/joint and blow all the shit on the floor, this person must be ragged on and the person can’t smoke on the next round (unless it was his stuff)
6. If you smoke with someone in your house, you should let him or her eat some munchies you may have lying around… don’t be cheap with your food, if you have any.
7. If someone who’s smoked asks for a sip of your soda, you must give him some, (cotton mouth is not fun).
8. Converse of #7: if you ask for a sip, don’t take a large gulp.
9. If smoking from a joint, never put the whole thing in your mouth and get it all sopping wet. It is disgusting and it messes up the joint.
10. If you’re smoking from a bong and there is not enough in the bowl for a whole other hit, you should save the smoke in the chamber for the next person. (Don’t let go of the rushhold or ‘carb’ and take it all yourself)
11. Never bogart
12. Never bitch about someone else’s weed being no good. If you don’t like it don’t smoke it!
13. If a friend gets you high sometime in the future you need to get that friend high
14. Thou shall not turn down a smoke. Ever!
15. Phrased in the form of a narrative: My buddy and I are sitting around smoking the weed that I just scored. After flaming-up, and taking a few moderate puffs, I pass it on. The sounds that follow can only be described as vacuum-like. After a couple of huge, lung-busting tokes, the guy passes back the remnants of something that could have, at some point, been a joint. If it’s not completely “canoed”, then it’s absolutely soaked. I not so subtly drop that old Cheech & Chong line “Hey man, can I wring it out for you?” He just looks at me.
16. I have noticed the following: After smoking-up, the odd “crass-monkey” some people will actually eat the stained, disgusting roach. This must be because they want that “extra bit” of oil, resin, or whatever is left on the paper. This situation can be compared to the patron of a good restaurant picking up his “as good as empty” plate and licking off the remaining morsels of food. Sure he got that little pool of gravy, but was it really worth it?
17. If you buy weed from a friend or a friend of a friend, it is polite to roll a joint, (a small one, if you wish) and smoke with the person who sells you the stuff.
18. It is very impolite to hand someone an empty bowl, without notifying that person of its possible cashed-ness. A proper warning would be ‘Here ya go. I think it might be cashed.
19. The person who fills the bowl is given the opportunity to take the first hit. It doesn’t matter whose weed it is.
20. Always remember to thank a person who has gotten you high. I know it sounds silly, but I know people who never say thanks and it gets a little annoying.
21. The person who brought the bud picks the music.
22. When using a bong, DON’T blow out the ashes, unless that’s what the “homeowner” does.
23. NEVER go to someone’s house EXPECTING him or her to catch you a buzz. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule…
24. If you spill the bong, clean it up! (And don’t forget to put water back in!)
25. When the roach gets too small, if someone has a problem with it, it is common courtesy here to put the roach in a bowl and finish it that way. That way the people who don’t mind burning their fingers don’t get it all.
26. Thou shall not roll pinners.
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The first step to legalize marijuana in California could happen Tuesday.

Lawmakers will vote on Assembly Bill 390 -- legislation to tax and regulate marijuana. The assembly's Public Safety Committee is expected to vote after a hearing that begins at 9 a.m. hearing.

The bill, authored by San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, would essentially treat pot the same way alcohol is treated under the law and would allow adults over 21 to possess, smoke and grow marijuana.

The law would also call for a fee of $50 per ounce sold and would help fund drug eradication and awareness programs. It could help pull California out of debt, supporters say, raising up to $990 million from the fees.

This is the first time in U.S. history any state legislative body has ever considered repealing marijuana prohibition, which has been in place since 1913.

Link to Ticker Forum