Tuesday, December 10, 2013

This Week: Spend Better, Trippin', Brazil News & Snowden Watch


High Speed Levitating Trains.  Yeah!

 Sounds great, right? Not so fast Gilligan.

They are building one in Japan. It's super fast, super cool, probably clean-ish energy.
I don't know exactly, but the cost is very high and it's budget is spiraling out of control as we speak.

They could conceivably not even finish the thing.
Imagine the fraud and political manipulations that have gone on and that will need to, to make this happen.

Another project doomed to be obsolete before it's even finished.

Maybe have another look at this idea, would 'ya fellas?
Read the story here:




The UN's drug enforcement agency doesn't like Uruguay's plans to legalize marijuana.

They claim they weren't informed (they seem to be aware now though) lamenting that no one from the ROU has attended any recent INBC meetings, according to a statement from president Raymond Yans.
The new law would “would go against that which is established in the 1961 convention regarding narcotics, which was adopted by 186 countries, including Uruguay” says Yans.
Do 'ya think it might be time to uh, update the International Narcotics Control Board's table of drug guidelines? Even wonks like this should be able to recognize that the old Maryjane has few public health repercussions especially compared to the legal drugs out there.
The report warns against "potential effects on dependency" I  bet they'll be no dependency issues when states gain the public support to legalize and then tax said 'narcotics'.
These guys are grasping at 50 year old straws.
Meanwhile Uruguay breaks the mold and makes history as the 'First World' looks on dumbly.
Weekly Report has the story.

Uruguay is just ahead of the curve here. 
Now it appears that former US officials are ready to go from enforcers to enablers. Yeah.
Here's a story about a former DEA agent who is putting together a company to advise and invest in companies that trade in, you guessed it - weed.
Of course it's a private-equity investment group or whatever. Like most business thinking these days it makes nothing, but will talk, spend and shuffle money around so the rich and connected can become more so.
At least they've caught a whiff of what's already cooking.












The riots have subsided for now, but the mood is far from tranquil.  According to an in depth look at he mood in Brazil by ESPN. Yeah, I know, but read the piece, it's significant. This last movement; sparked by a bus fare increase scheme to help pay for the World Cup. People were out in mass during the WC pre-games (Federation Cup) and it got messy. 

Are there more and more 'tinder kegs' out there or is it my imagination? Read this piece and have a look at the future. It's dark.


Our Hero

Edward Snowden, the reluctant messiah. What ever he is (and he is something different to everyone). 
he's in a tight spot, make no mistake.
Whatever you may think you know, the bald fact is that he leaked the biggest embarrassment of Uncle Sam in a good long while and with it the horrific if not somewhat expected news that governments lie, cheat us and spy on us and then lie about that, at his very great peril, no less. 
I'm following whatever I can about this bell-weather margin call on humanity. What are we anyway?
New Yorker blogger John Cassidy gives a good sum up why he's the person of the year or some crap.
Person of the Year, oye vey. It's good that people are still writing about this, but the slavish devotion to failed institutions and misplaced loyalties sickens me a bit.
Why does every writer have to praise the glory of the empire while only meekly criticizing it. They all lament the turn from upstanding world leader as if it just happened. Hardly anyone is thumping their forehead and realizing this has been happening all along and we willingly (although unknowingly) assist the whole way.
Ambition, success, growth. To what end friends, to what end?

That's all for this edition. Opinions welcome.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Uruguay Weed Watch

This just in.

Officials report that pharmacies in Uruguay will not be distributing legalized marijuana when the new law is put into effect. That's a relief as far as I'm concerned.
All of the models for distributing pot so far have sounded like they are being conceived by people who have never bought or even smoked the stuff.
Here's what legalized weed will not do;

  • Curb the use or spread of Cocaine and it's evil stepsister, pasta base.
  • Encourage people who don't smoke to start.
  • Render the population stupefied most of the time.
  • Increase the drug trade.
  • Discourage uppity 'first world' countries to shun the R.O.U.
There is a whole lot of good that can come of laws that are more in concert with how people actually live and regard smoking MaryJane. They are:
  • Home growers and cooperatives could take a large enough market share to drive the cartels to greener pastures.
  • Like prostitution (legal here) it would further demystify and thereby likely lower the chances of kids being desperate to try it.\
  • Other countries may be emboldened to make similar laws which could be the beginning of a landslide of common sense.
  • Once weed comes out of the shadows and is no longer associated with drugs like heroine, it might be easier to fund research for the many other possible uses.
The world is changing and fast. The time to see things as they really are and take some positive action is now.
I have a grave feeling next year is gonna be a doosie.
Here's the story.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Don't give up

A beautiful future.

Why not?   

If you find the current spate of OUR-FUTURE-GONE-WRONG narratives kind of depressing, I found someone with a different angle.

If it's not Zombies, Evil Robots or our Cyber-Selves wreaking havoc, the planet itself has gone haywire; Mother Earth finally having had just enough from her smartest inhabitants.

It's a plausible theme, seeing as how we are destroying our own environment and wildly can't stop! Check this Motherboard story about Alex McKay's book "The World We Made" which looks forward to 2050.  It could give a brother hope.

The World We Made: Alex McKay's Story from 2050

If nothing else it names the climate disaster genre 'cli-fi', which is pretty funny.

The Higher the Fewer 

Legalization of The Devil's Lettuce here in the Southern Cone is still up in the air, so to speak.
There's been much written, but with few specifics of how the new laws will work. My guess is no one knows.
Sure, drips and drabs come to light every so often to us 'on the verge' of knowing something. The latest news is that a gram will cost around $100 pesos (US $5.00).
I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't worked out for a few years. Even if it is people may just gravitate back to familiar ways.
Seeing as how this is all under the control of our faithful servants in government I'm confident nothing less than a clusterfuck will result.

It's a mess, but at least we've begun discussing it. A long-overdue problem that most nations haven't even started talking about.

Snowden Watch:

In case you haven't been keeping up our hero is enjoying the hospitality of Russia at the present. This may or may not turn out to be a kind fate, but it certainly works for the time being and it sure beat the hell out of his rapidly diminishing options.
The rest of us carry on; either blithely unaware of any such wrinkles in the smooth fabric that is life or victims of our overlords last desperate attempts to control EVERYTHING.
I have some related material dutifully submitted to those of us in the latter category as Edward Snowden attempts to lay low, punished, persecuted and maligned for doing what only one in several million of us would be even willing to do.

Read this.......

Britain defends detaining the partner of Edward Snowden journalist



James Howard Kunstler is a torrent of bad news you need to hear. I hardily recommend his rants as required reading, with a dose of salt please. He's on a roll, but possibly rolling nowhere except to his next book. You be the judge.
This excerpt is from a recent piece and mentions Snowden. It gives a good glimpse of JHK. Think you can handle it?

The diminishing returns of computer technology applied to intelligence gathering are that it produces more mountains of data than any team of professionals can make sense of, and it prompts said professionals to make mischief with the information that is easiest to sort out: the financial records of ordinary citizens. Nothing will create political resistance more surely than messing with people’s money. The NSA apparatus is now a self-reinforcing monster that will strive for ever more control ineffectively, creating a debris path of ever more embarrassment and resentment. A lone true patriot like Snowden does more to oppose this monster than all the “freedom” and “liberty” spouting, flag-lapel-pin-wearing cowards in either political party.

Thanks for keeping up.
Peace bitches.

links: James Howard Kunstler

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Prisons, profits and public funds.

I haven't rooted this much for the inmates since The Shawshank Redemption. The taxpayers are really getting the hard shower too. Every time there is waste we all pay. Some must be locked up, it's unavoidable. Something stinks about this though.
Let's list the obvious possible abuses;
  1. Privatizing prisons could give incentive to lock people up more often and for less reason.
  2. Crime is a hot button issue and people want to believe in the law and feel safe. Therefor criticism of the system might collide directly with concern for the aforementioned law & safety thing.
  3. Corporate rules (talk about an oxymoron) have never been weaker (and less enforced). Who thinks running a corporate prison system that runs afoul of laws and rights, but that's highly profitable is a good idea?
Here's a nifty info graphic with some good points to help you get your mind right.

Profiting Off Prisoners

Apparently what we have here is a lack of communication.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


The World is a Vampire

If you contend that no one has made any sense out of what is clearly a world gone mad, I have your man. Not all the answers by a far site, but it's a good start.
This idea that there is much and more wrong with the world is as old as the world, but I don't think I'm going too far out on a ledge to say that many people feel like something something big is going to happen.

Maybe soon too.

I recommend here a piece about the coming collapse and how 'funny' it is that we are all just letting it happen. It's lengthy, so if the average fb comment has your mind wandering mid-way through you shouldn't bother.
Well written, specific with verifiable facts. You can choose to dismiss the sources as corrupt, biased or outright lies, (all three if you like) but it's hard to deny the state of things. And it's getting harder every day.
The focus on exactly what constitutes sanity is not exactly new either, but talking about it and spreading it one person at a time until the tipping point is reached sounds actually attainable.

This series by Tyler Durden recommended from Dangerous Dave Ellis who follows zerohedge.com.
The first installment of this series (here) . Scroll down for the links proper.

A World of Pain

Even with a world of information at our hands, the combined wisdom of the daytime soap/talk show mavens, the millions of self-help books sold or even that knot in your stomach when we see (or participate in) the corporal punishment of a child or youth, still many people rely heavily on the vicious cycle of punishment-shame-guilt-repeat with nothing  more substantial backing it up other than "worked for my folks, works for me".
Someone who's studied this stuff connects it with a world out of control. 

The roots of Violence.

According to Alice Miller, violence has its the roots in the fact that children are beaten all over the world, especially during their first years of life, when their brains become structured. She said that the damage caused by this practice is devastating, but unfortunately hardly noticed by society. She argued that as children are forbidden to defend themselves against the violence inflicted on them, they must suppress the natural reactions like rage and fear, and they discharge these strong emotions later as adults against their own children or whole peoples: "child abuse like beating and humiliating not only produces unhappy and confused children, not only destructive teenagers and abusive parents, but thus also a confused, irrationally functioning society." Miller stated that only through becoming aware of this dynamic can we break the chain of violence.

It's a bit tough to agree on improving something that not enough people will admit is wrong in the first place. When you are hard wired to accept whatever treatment you got as 'good enough' because it came from your family/life support, just taking a peek at another way to view it can be very scary.
Information on this important topic is available here and elswhere.
We progress by sharing with one person at a time.

A World at War

1. Privates

Pvt. Chelsea 'Gertrude' Manning (Gertrude is my addition and why not?) was sentenced to 35 years in Levinworth for being the first well publicized whistle-blower to take it all the way.
That sounded bad. It's not an easy topic to deal with straight laced. Damn.
This dude, er broad is committed. I am awed.
Who knows how much time it'll mean, but any is too much of course.
I get it that stealing, even from stealers, even if the stuff is illicit or illegal (stolen even ) is a crime. The message is clear: If the gatekeepers catch you tampering with their shit, they slap you. Hard.
My sympathies and my solidarity are with the friends, the supporters and with Ms. Manning.
You go private.

2. Syria-slee?

Amerika says the Syrian gov't. gassed it's people and the US must strike them down. It must.
World reacts skeptically to this assertion.
Opposition to this latest war gambit grows.
US says limited strikes may do it.
Obama asks congress to decide. Nothing happens (It's Congress, duh).
I think these guys will get their war one way or another.

3. It's tiresome to read yet another batch of geopolitical bellyaching, but there's so much wrong and so little interest I feel I must point out a thing or two. I do drone on don't I?

Thanks for reading


Monday, July 22, 2013

Beautify me

Saints 2, Science 0

This is at least a week old, but just in case you hadn't heard.
While I am personally charmed by the myriad of rules and regulations contained within Catholicism, I must be fair and paint those guys with the same brush everyone else gets.
In this story  from MercoPress, the new Pope decides two other Popes are to get sainthood, including John Paul II (from just a few years ago).
Kind of quick don't you think?
These things have traditionally taken years, centuries I imagine, in past cases.
I would think it is easier these days, with all the technology and such to er, verify the required miracles.
I always assumed they attempted to asses and vote on cases from ancient history precisely because nobody had much proof of anything other than what they were saying.
But no, now this previously rare vestige is being handed out as easily as some silly science or literary prize.
"I heard one was a kind of card trick"
Read up on one of my favorite religions (voted most conflicting rules and most confusing rules two centuries in a row ! - Heaven and Hell Magazine )

What we appear to have is an ever increasing level of absurdity in religious belief that gives cover to everyone. There's always some crazier, more extreme group than the one you're in. "Please, whatever you do, don't lump me in with those people."That nearly universal human characteristic of admitting to be a part of it while also saying you are apart from it.

You are your thing.

I know, you think you have a 'get out of hell free' card, so if the rest don't make it, well you warned us right?
Not cool and BTW not true.
No soul searching necessary just cut out the fantasy stuff and do good, as much as possible.
Pretty simple.

What do we do now?

Well that's what the State Dept. must have been muttering once they learned that Orange County California Sheriff's Dept. prosecutors were preparing to bring a case against a Saudi Arabian princess who had a slave, oh I mean servant, eh maid, yeah a maid escape the house and take a bus to find freedom and some while she and her family were staying in Irvine, Ca.
This story from The Los Angelis Times is sad and a bit hillarious.
I imagine the top brass are pretty cozy with those particular A-rabs, with as much secrecy as possible of course. Now the forces of the US justice system were about to collide with the 'special relationship' that exists between the world's biggest oil producer and it's best customer.
Disaster averted, phew!
The Saudi Arabian Consulate posted the 5 million dollar bail. I'm sure the princes and the rest of her property were whisked away to the safety of their nearest villa. Hopefully in a country that doesn't forget who's paying the bills around here, sheesh!
Try to read up on this foul and GROWING trend in crime and entitlement.
Still thinking to vacation in Dubai?
You will loose 1 child for every hour I spend here, do you hear me?

I call those rednecks in Irvine righteous dudes. And brave!                                                                It looks like it might have been a hassle to arrest this broad, check out her eyes.

Now that's inappropriate!

So this guy, sends some pictures of his 'package' to a woman he wants to impress? It doesn't work, but does get him kicked out of congress. Now he's running for Mayor of New York and not doing too badly either. No judgement, just reporting the facts.
How you like me now?

Read about this latest failure of the main stream press (New York Times in this case) to inform and educate the populace from one of our heroes, Greg Palast Investigative Reporter.

You-all have a good day.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"I object"

 Read No Evil

You can read what I say you can read.
Just in case I'm called upon to co-council Bradley Manning at his trial, that's what I'll lead with;
"I object!"
Then something like "this whole court is out of order". I'll probably be screaming "you can't handle the truth" as they drag me out.
Don't let's forget a hero of the Free-the-Information era. Read this Motherboard story and join your energy to your indignation.

Down Low Dead

We are fortunate here in the Southern Cone, downloading torrent files is the norm. Without making a case against the Mega Music Corps that have ripped off consumers repeatedly, people simply don't have $25 bucks for a plastic disc with music on it. It's widely agreed that if prices had been or even become reasonable and more of the money would go to the artist, we'd pay for music. Many of us consider it indispensable. But alas, the music is out of the bag. There will be no putting the toothpaste back in the tube. Here's a cute image to help with your guilt.


Remember Bernie Madoff? I know, the people that lost big with this guy deserved to, but the bigger story is that people are still trying to 'alert' the US Federal Government to various illegal schemes, fraud and waste and are astonished that no one cares. Imagine!
News Flash: Those guys are usually running the scams.
What flim-flamery they're not directly in charge of is either sanctioned or ignored. Keep those wheels turning. Until they fall off I suppose.

It's heart warming to see people becoming aware....as they go broke. Snif.
Here's the story from NPR.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Boom Chica Boom

Money in the bank

Let's have another good read on modern banking practices, corporate behavior and the atmosphere in which they thrive. Big surprise, this story is critical of 'Merica.
I hope you find this and related stories not as an insult, but another step toward understanding the mess we're all in.
The only bank you need.
Don't skip the comments, for me they are usually as good as the featured article.
I agree with the "everybody goes on strike" guy.

Snowden Watch 

Well this is getting good. Mighty Amerika is flexing it's muscle again. Actually it's pitiful flailing, the death throws of dying super power, but I digress. Our hero is stilled holed up in a Soviet airport as far as we know and Captain Amerika grows ever more desperate trying to catch hold of the little snitch.
A neighbor of ours, Evo Morales (president of Boliva) was headed back home from what was apparently a fact finding visit to Snowden, had his plane diverted after France and Portugal denied his plane passage over their sovereign soil. Hmm, let's see how that's explained.
UNASUR has called a special meeting for South American leaders to discuss the matter.
Every person can seek asylum. The US says he's wanted on charges, he needs to face those first. Some of the wimpier countries are saying the same; as a fugative he can't ask for asylum. Aside from the sticky problem that you need be in the country that you are asking asylum from. Plus Tio Sam has revoked his passport, not nice.
They're doing their level best to bring this guy to heel, but we can find the collective will stop them. Read Snowden's statement, weigh the facts and block out the chest thumping indignation from a country that is in the middle of being exposed for spying on just about everybody.

The Truth

If you're wondering how we stay so positive (Uruguay is a frustrating place to live, just like where you are), despite the seemingly unstoppable progression of decay made all the worse by the cranking of the machine to 11 (thanks Spinal Tap)- "full power, our technology and wealth will pull us out of this!". Wonder no more.
We know the truth.
(OK, full disclosure: I'm not all sure I understand this full and have not read the book, but I WILL)
The Present is a rambling and repetitive wake up call to anyone listening. It at once chides us, abandons the likely masses who will ignore this, yet still unceasingly rallies toward an understanding that will help friend and foe alike. We all benefit because there will be no more 'us' and 'them' to begin with.
Read this without fail or delay.
I'm not messing around.
Afterwards you'll have more questions than answers, but somehow you'll think that's just right.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

What's next?

General Malaise

This is a quote from a U.S. Civil War commander fed up with some bozo he had to serve under. The story is here if you like that sort of thing.

"You have played the part of a damned scoundrel, and are a coward, and if you were any part of a man I would slap your jaws and force you to resent it. You may as well not issue any orders to me, for I will not obey them. . . I say to you that if you ever again try to interfere with me or cross my path it will be at the peril of your life."

In other news

Which social media site do you hate most and why?

"I think I’d have to go with Facebook. The details are too numerous to list here, but my general view is that it’s a den of superficiality and petty narcissism that acts as a massive black hole for time and attention – which to me are the two most valuable resources a person has."         Scott Garner

I think Scott said it well enough there. Please try to keep that in mind.

In keeping with the general a theme here I humbly submit a post on Edward Snowden.

Seems it's well known what he's in hot water for, but it's hard to judge just what people know.
What you hear depends on where you are to a large degree, and we all kind of believe what can fit in our head, so to speak.
We are all connected

"The purpose of whistle-blowing is to expose secret and wrongful acts by those in power in order to enable reform. A key purpose of journalism is to provide an adversarial check on those who wield the greatest power by shining a light on what they do in the dark, and informing the public about those acts. Both purposes have been significantly advanced by the revelations thus far."  
Glenn Greenwald - The Guardian
Here are some stories to bulk up your information store:

Keep your minds pliable folks; how many guys have to get 'in trouble' for exposing all the misdeeds of  governments or individuals before we demand they are ushered up to the public mic to speak? 
If and that's a big if, if there's a chance anything can change and I'm not saying I think it can, I believe a big first step is for everyone to insist upon honesty. Transparency in government: at a minimum!
The more difficult steps that have to do with a universal respect for one another and the planet, losing this love of money (that has completely captured our attention) can come later.
Think about it, the whistleblowers are attacked, villified and hardly anyone is talking about what's being revealed and why it needs to be in the first place. Then it's a small step from exposing some misdeeds to exposing a rigged system. OMG, help my whole world is tumbling down around me!

The chance to work this out in a good way is now. Do things looks "out of control" to you?
If it's not attended to by everyone and I mean everyone (think: Gary Oldman in The Professional) things are likely to continue heating up.


Next Post: Brazil is on Fire

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Banks for nothing

More malfeasance from the twisted reality of The Banksters. In a story from Reuters, your worst fears about bank practices are confirmed.
I've always wondered where that paperwork went to...


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Love in our Time

Here's a good one.

The Catholic Church is working hard. 

Working hard to keep the laws lenient toward sex offenders.
After all the (misguided) trust they've squandered, all the denials, all the back-peddling, the lawsuits and finally all the reparations, they're still doing their best to slam the cashiers cage shut.
This article is a nice reminder of just how they do that: hire PR firms to lobby against laws that protect children, punish those responsible or in this case, limiting the time that victims can come forward to press charges.
Read this.
Still keepin' the faith?

This article was viewed on Reddit.com

Props to Reddit

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

That's just the fear talking

Says Gomez, something we hear a lot of around here.

Here is some compelling testimony that's pretty hard to ignore. Do check this out.

From director Chris Smith (American Movie) this 2009 documentary called Collapse is yet another "I told you so" or "the sky is falling" depending on your take on the shit storm that is this modern world.  

If not every purported fact, definitely it's message is closer to reality than the average CNN story.

My kook-o-meter definitely went off during this film, but usually the nuttier the story, the better the chance of it being something real.

Of course by the slim chance anyone reading this is still in the everything-is-fine camp, they might choose another, loopier category.

The film is a focused interview with Michael Ruppert who tells a riveting story of how he apparently predicted our most recent financial crisis in his newsletter 'From the Wilderness'.

Peak oil is the center of his we-are-doomed treatise although he doesn't have much good to say about the intelligence agencies (US or otherwise), the Federal Reserve or the Oligarchs who rule the world either.
Hey, who does?

Ruppert was a police officer in another life has turned independent reporter and talks us through crises after crises in economics, energy, and the environment. Par-tay!

What to take away from his 'knowing' what was going to happen could spawn another series of documentaries. I say bring it. People have had a sense of the rigged game we're in since the
strong wrested power from the weak ages ago.

Right on Michael. Now what?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

And now this...

If you're not too distracted by the bombs, you might want to check in on the fight-for-control-of-the- internet. Dah-dan-dan.
Yes, 'legislators' are still working tirelessly toward finding a 'solution' to 'help protect us' from hackers and other unspecified threats.
Here's a story on the continued efforts to pass CISPA with some interesting facts about the busy bees working to make it law.
In case my quote marks didn't make it perfectly clear, the US Congress and all those with a vested interest are using INTERNET SECURITY as cover for a host of schemes. Lots of money to be made and make no mistake, the potential for the free flow of information via the internet is the greatest threat to the ruling powers since people started to read.
Tell a friend.
....and remember, safety never takes a holiday!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Eat your Veggies

Uruguay Government Says Don't Smoke Pot -- Better To Eat It Instead - All News Is Global |

We're not making the progress had hoped, but still some people are trying to do something.
Here's a blurb on where it stands at the moment. I like the idea about eating it. Hmmm?


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Get to Steppin'

It's the time of year here in Uruguay to start all the drumming and marching.
La Llamadas (pronounced JA-MA-DAS ) is the Carnev├ól-esq parade, replete with competing groups of drums, dancers and a wide range of colorful performers. I've posted my experience at this event and I'm glad I went. It's a genuine part of life here; understand things of this nature and you have some chance of relating to life here.

However, I have had enough of it. I never liked parades much and it's all just too excited, really.

over heated?
The weather has cooled a lot since Thursday, the first of the two nights of Llamadas. It was soooo hot, I felt bad for anyone trying to get anything done in that weather. I know we suffered plenty at CS.
I feel bad for the dancing girls of that festival anyway. All the shaking, all that smiling, my god. Even with enthusiasm for what your're doing, 4 hours of being all jazzed up in that heat seems too much to ask of anyone.

This past Friday's weather forecast called for a big storm. Seriously, it was code orange or something. The thing did pass, although early that morning and it was intense. It blew in quickly preceded by quick successions of lightening flashes. Then big rain drops, slow at first, turning into a wild driving rainstorm. Then as suddenly as it began, it was over.

As is this post. Thanks for tagging along.