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‘Palestinian Genocide is Permissible’ Claims Israeli Writer

Posted on August 2nd, 2014 at 0:03 by John Sinteur in category: batshitinsane, Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)

[Quote]:

A Jewish blogger has advocated genocide as a “permissible” way to achieve the goal of a sustainable peace in Israel.

Yochanan Gordon, who is from New York, posted on the Times of Israel an op-ed entitled “When Genocide is Permissible” in which he argues that the only way to deal with Hamas is using an extreme measure of punishment.

“We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people,” he wrote. “If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?”

“He who forgets the past is doomed to repeat it.”


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Bank-robbin’ in Brooklyn

Posted on August 1st, 2014 at 22:40 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Everything is upside down. Your life is sold to serve an economy that does not serve your life.


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Don Buchla’s 1973 Music Easel

Posted on August 1st, 2014 at 22:20 by John Sinteur in category: awesome

[Quote]:

Charles Cohen is a master synthesizer improviser who has been a central figure in Philadelphia/East Coast experimental, avant-garde, and improvisational scene for the past 40 years. He is one of the few living artists to own and have mastered Don Buchla’s 1973 Music Easel, a rare, performance-oriented portable synth made from two modules of the Buchla 200 series.

Cohen will host a workshop illuminating both his unique creative philosophy and musical practice. He will also present the new re-issue of the original Buchla Music Easel system, produced in close consultation with Don Buchla himself.

The workshop will culminate in a collaborative jam session, during which participants are invited to use their own analogue equipment, as well as the equipment found at Schneidersladen, famous with audiophiles world-wide for its expansive selection of weird and wonderful sound generating devices.


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The ‘do-nothing’ Congress isn’t even good at doing nothing anymore

Posted on August 1st, 2014 at 21:15 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

In other words, Congress is so intransigent that it isn’t even naming post offices at the rate it used to.

Then again, that’s probably what some folks would call progress.


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The federal government’s own statistics show that marijuana is safer than alcohol

Posted on August 1st, 2014 at 21:10 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Opponents of marijuana legalization return to one particular number over and over in their arguments: the number of emergency room visits involving marijuana. This ONDCP fact sheet breathlessly reports that “mentions of marijuana use in emergency room visits have risen 176 percent since 1994, surpassing those of heroin.” The Drug Enforcement Administration’s “Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse,” a 41-page tour-de-force of decontextualized factoids, reports that marijuana was involved in nearly half a million E.R. visits in 2011, second only to cocaine.

The problem, of course, is that these numbers are meaningless without knowing how many people are using those drugs to start with. When you consider that there are approximately 70 times more marijuana users than heroin users in the United States, it makes sense that more of the former are going to the hospital than the latter.

Since the government doesn’t provide these comparisons in a meaningful way, I’ve done it myself below.


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Pope Francis meets sex abuse victims, vows zero tolerance

Posted on August 1st, 2014 at 18:49 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News

[ July 07, 2014]:

Pope Francis held his first meeting with victims of clerical sex abuse on Monday, pledging to carry forward the fight against the scandals that have rocked Catholicism for more than a decade.

“I commit myself not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not,” the pontiff said.

Francis also pledged that any bishop who fails in his responsibility to protect minors “will be held accountable.”

Today it became obvious that Francis was just spouting bullshit:

[Quote]:

The Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis says he won’t resign despite criticism over the archdiocese’s handling of sexual abuse claims involving priests.

Archbishop John Nienstedt made his comments in in a column that will appear in Thursday’s archdiocese newspaper, The Catholic Spirit. He says he’s bound to stay in office as long as Pope Francis wants.


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Jon Jandai – Life is easy. Why do we make it so hard?

Posted on August 1st, 2014 at 17:15 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Microsoft ordered by U.S. judge to submit customer’s emails from abroad

Posted on August 1st, 2014 at 10:06 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft

[Quote]:

Microsoft Corp must turn over a customer’s emails and other account information stored in a data center in Ireland to the U.S. government, a judge ruled on Thursday, in a case that has drawn concern from privacy groups and major technology companies.

Microsoft and other U.S. companies had challenged the warrant, arguing it improperly extended the authority of federal prosecutors to seize customer information held in foreign countries.

Following a two-hour court hearing in New York, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska said a search warrant approved by a federal magistrate judge required the company to hand over any data it controlled, regardless of where it was stored.

“It is a question of control, not a question of the location of that information,” Preska said.

So Microsoft can break US law by not handing them over, or European privacy laws by handing them over. Seems like this may be the end of off-shore data centers for US companies…


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Comments:

  1. This decision is on hold, pending appeal. In any case, the law of unintended consequences is certainly in action here!

Spaceship!

Posted on July 31st, 2014 at 16:41 by John Sinteur in category: awesome


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Comments:

  1. He had more fun building it, than his kids have had playing with it! :-)
    Very neat!

That’s a long time to wait for your luggage.

Posted on July 31st, 2014 at 12:26 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

rVqFh5t


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Comments:

  1. Bet it’s not a record, though … :)

Cartoons

Posted on July 31st, 2014 at 10:42 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon


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Why are conservatives afraid of Neil deGrasse Tyson?

Posted on July 30th, 2014 at 22:02 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

“You’re a scientist, and a black one, who’s smarter than [conservatives] are,” Maher quipped.

The line got laughs, but it’s worth remembering that Tyson served the George W. Bush administration as a member of the Commission on Moon, Mars and Beyond in 2004. Conservatives have no problem harnessing Tyson’s intellect.

No, the danger Tyson brings to the political structure, as he gains an increasingly large foothold in the popular culture, is the threat of an informed populace.

“When you’re scientifically literate, the world looks different to you,” Tyson wrote in 2011. “It’s a particular way of questioning what you see and hear. When empowered by this state of mind, objective realities matter. These are the truths of the world that exist outside of whatever your belief system tells you.”

That may not sound radical, but the promise of a large, nerdy, young voting block that subscribes to Tyson’s sentiment is a threat to the political status quo — certainly Republicans, but Democrats as well.


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Comments:

  1. By that logic, the Americans would never have gone to the moon.

    There was an article recently about Republicans understanding climate science (and knowing global warming to be true) but not accepting it because it didn’t fit with their religious/political beliefs. Cognitive dissonance, head in the sand.

    Have you read Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality? (Caution: huge fanfic that’s not yet finished.) I wish J.K. R. had written that story and gotten the same popularity with it… then we’d have oodles of kids excited about science and rational thinking.

  2. Yes, I’m on the notification list for new episodes…

  3. @Desiato: Yes, it’s irrational. US conservatives are not actually conservative at all. You know the ideology of keeping government small and out of our faces? What will happen during climate diasters? Governments will get more power.

Boeing CEO sorry for ‘cowering’ workers remark

Posted on July 30th, 2014 at 21:58 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)

[Quote]:

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney has apologized for saying the aerospace giant’s employees were “cowering” during his tenure, a comment one union official called “a new low” in the company’s relationship with workers.

McNerney made the remark during a Wednesday call with analysts, when he was asked if he is thinking about retiring after he turns 65 next month. McNerney said he won’t retire because “the heart will still be beating, the employees will still be cowering,” The Seattle Times reported.

In an apology sent companywide on Friday, McNerney said the comment made during a call about the company’s quarterly results was a “joke gone bad.”

More like honesty gone bad, I think. Unsuccessful sociopaths end in prison. Successful sociopaths end up as CEOs.


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Comments:

  1. Um…perhaps it was meant seriously but listening to the recording, it sounded more like an ironic remark. Poor taste, but the “analysts” are notorious for encouraging abuse.

Russia wants Apple, SAP to cooperate against foreign spying

Posted on July 30th, 2014 at 21:56 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

Russia has proposed that Apple Inc and SAP hand the government access to their source code to make sure their widely used products are not tools for spying on state institutions.

Riiiight…


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Fear of Ebola Breeds a Terror of Physicians

Posted on July 30th, 2014 at 21:07 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Health workers here say they are now battling two enemies: the unprecedented Ebola epidemic, which has killed more than 660 people in four countries since it was first detected in March, and fear, which has produced growing hostility toward outside help. On Friday alone, health authorities in Guinea confirmed 14 new cases of the disease.

Workers and officials, blamed by panicked populations for spreading the virus, have been threatened with knives, stones and machetes, their vehicles sometimes surrounded by hostile mobs. Log barriers across narrow dirt roads block medical teams from reaching villages where the virus is suspected. Sick and dead villagers, cut off from help, are infecting others.

“This is very unusual, that we are not trusted,” said Marc Poncin, the emergency coordinator in Guinea for Doctors Without Borders, the main group fighting the disease here. “We’re not stopping the epidemic.”

Efforts to monitor it are grinding to a halt because of “intimidation,” he said. People appear to have more confidence in witch doctors.


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“This is why white people are so healthy”

Posted on July 30th, 2014 at 17:22 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Deforestation, child labour, underpaid farmers: in the countries where it’s grown, cocoa isn’t really synonymous with social well-being. Whilst chocolate giants such as Mars, Mondelez or Nestle have never been doing so well, the cocoa industry is failing both socially and environmentally. The food multinationals are trying to react by announcing a shift towards ‘responsible’ cocoa, with a number of fair trade certifiers offering them customised labels. But for Mars and others, these moves are primarily a way to secure and optimize their supply chain.


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Unconfirmed Reports of Video of the Iraq Mass Executions by ISIS

Posted on July 30th, 2014 at 14:32 by John Sinteur in category: batshitinsane, Pastafarian News

[Quote]:

According to the video description, the place of the incident was “Tikrit” in Iraq, according to a video description, and describe themselves as Rafidis, which include Shiites, Iranians, Alawites ….. an imprecise term.

According to a Twitter Video Description the largest massacre of Shiites in Tikrit.

It is not known if it this video relates to the first massacre in Tikrit ago more than a month, or if they have committed more massacres.

The full length video of 36 minutes can be seen here, with the executions in the last 5 minutes.


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App Rot

Posted on July 29th, 2014 at 18:08 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

Apple’s App Store design is a big part of the problem. The dominance and prominence of “top lists” stratifies the top 0.02% so far above everyone else that the entire ecosystem is encouraged to design for a theoretical top-list placement that, by definition, won’t happen to 99.98% of them. Top lists reward apps that get people to download them, regardless of quality or long-term use, so that’s what most developers optimize for. Profits at the top are so massive that the promise alone attracts vast floods of spam, sleaziness, clones, and ripoffs.

Quality, sustainability, and updates are almost irrelevant to App Store success and usually aren’t rewarded as much as we think they should be, and that’s mostly the fault of Apple’s lazy reliance on top lists instead of more editorial selections and better search.

The best thing Apple could do to increase the quality of apps is remove every top list from the App Store.


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Florida Republicans Are Taking Secret Trips On Big Sugar And No One Will Talk About It

Posted on July 29th, 2014 at 12:36 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) once called the political contributions that flow from the powerful sugar industry to politicians “disgusting.”

But a Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald investigation published last week found that Scott, along with several other prominent Florida Republicans over the past three years, have traveled to a hunting lodge in Texas owned by industry giant U.S. Sugar. The lodge is located at King Ranch, one of the largest ranches in Texas and itself a stakeholder in several sugar-related businesses.

Other politicians who made the trips included former U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, now Florida’s commissioner of agriculture, as well as past and potential future state speakers of the House. The resources for the trips were not given to the candidates individually, but rather to the Republican Party of Florida.

In 2006, the state passed a law that forbids politicians from accepting freebies like travel and food. However, donors can still make those types of donations to political parties if the gift serves a “campaign purpose.” The hunting trips were classified as fundraising events.


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He was burnt to death with magnifying glass for your sins

Posted on July 28th, 2014 at 17:13 by John Sinteur in category: batshitinsane, Pastafarian News

MeLK6AQ


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10 most corrupt states in America

Posted on July 28th, 2014 at 9:46 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

The researchers studied more than 25,000 convictions of public officials for violation of federal corruption laws between 1976 and 2008 as well as patterns in state spending to develop a corruption index that estimates the most and least corrupt states in the union. Based on this method, the the most corrupt states are:

1. Mississippi

2. Louisiana

3. Tennessee

4. Illinois

5. Pennsylvania

6. Alabama

7. Alaska

8. South Dakota

9. Kentucky

10. Florida

That these places landed on the list isn’t exactly surprising. Illinois, which has gain notoriety for its high-profile corruption cases in recent years, is paired with states like Mississippi and Louisiana, which are some of the least economically developed in the country. The researchers also found that for 9 out of the 10 of the most corrupt states, overall state spending was higher than in less corrupt states (South Dakota was the only exception). Attacking corruption, the researchers argue, could be a good way to bring down state spending without hurting services that people need.

Researchers also found that spending in these states was different than their less corrupt counterparts. According to the report, “states with higher levels of corruption are likely to favor construction, salaries, borrowing, correction, and police protection at the expense of social sectors such as education, health and hospitals.”

The paper explains that construction spending, especially on big infrastructure projects, is particularly susceptible to corruption because the quality of large, nonstandard projects are difficult for the public to gauge, while the industry is dominated by a few monopolistic firms. Corrupt states also tend to, for obvious reasons, simply have more and better paid public servants, including police and correctional officers. The researchers argue that the need for correctional officers is greater in corrupt places too because “the overall extent of corruption will be higher in states with higher numbers of convictions of public officials.”


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Comments:

  1. Noticeably absent: New York, New Jersey, California, and Texas

    Why would they base the study on convictions? I would think the most corruption occurs in places where there are no convictions or very few.

Doctors Bow In Reverence To Cancer Victim Who Donated Organs ‘To Be A Great Kid’

Posted on July 28th, 2014 at 9:40 by John Sinteur in category: awesome, Great Picture

Qli92HD

[Quote]:

Liang was diagnosed with the tumor at the age of 9, just after he moved to Shenzhen to join his brother and sister, and to attend primary school, Shanghai Daily reports. One day, Liang felt dizzy and the next day had trouble walking, so his sister took him to a hospital where he learned he had a brain tumor.

Before passing away on June 6, Liang told his mother, Li Qun, that he wanted to donate his organs.

“There are many people doing great things in the world,” he said according to China Daily. “They are great, and I want to be a great kid too.”


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Witches declare war on Boko Haram

Posted on July 28th, 2014 at 9:07 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News

[Quote]:

Worried by the socio-economic challenges facing the country, especially the nation’s state of insecurity, witches and wizards in the country recently held an emergency meeting at Afuze, Edo State

Making this revelation in an exclusive interview with Saturday Sun in Lagos on Wednesday, leader and spokesman, Witches and Wizards Association of Nigeria, (WITZAN), Dr. Okhue Iboi said the emergency meeting held by his members was not only aimed at discussing the various challenges confronting the nation but also to chart a way forward.

“Witches and Wizards in Nigeria are deeply worried by what is going on in the country especially Boko Haram insurgency. As stakeholders in the Nigerian project, we can no longer afford to fold our hands while the nation burns. Enough is enough”, he declared.

While saying that the Boko Haram issue was one of the key issues discussed at their meeting, Iboi said it was witches and wizards from Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states that urged the association to convene the emergency meeting.


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The NSA’s New Partner in Spying: Saudi Arabia’s Brutal State Police

Posted on July 27th, 2014 at 20:38 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

The National Security Agency last year significantly expanded its cooperative relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Interior, one of the world’s most repressive and abusive government agencies. An April 2013 top secret memo provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden details the agency’s plans “to provide direct analytic and technical support” to the Saudis on “internal security” matters.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior—referred to in the document as MOI— has been condemned for years as one of the most brutal human rights violators in the world. In 2013, the U.S. State Department reported that “Ministry of Interior officials sometimes subjected prisoners and detainees to torture and other physical abuse,” specifically mentioning a 2011 episode in which MOI agents allegedly “poured an antiseptic cleaning liquid down [the] throat” of one human rights activist. The report also notes the MOI’s use of invasive surveillance targeted at political and religious dissidents.

But as the State Department publicly catalogued those very abuses, the NSA worked to provide increased surveillance assistance to the ministry that perpetrated them. The move is part of the Obama Administration’s increasingly close ties with the Saudi regime; beyond the new cooperation with the MOI, the memo describes “a period of rejuvenation” for the NSA’s relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Defense.


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Comments:

  1. Too many guys in white bed sheets for my taste.

NSA and Germany

Posted on July 27th, 2014 at 20:34 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

After the judges at the NSA investigation comission of the german parliament noted that most of the foreign intelligence program of the BND is against the constitution, the german government now answered that

http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/021/1802128.pdf

1)The german government has noted the opinion of the german judges.
2) Everything what the BND does is legal and justified.
3) in general the german government only wants to act after the investigation comission has finished, (which could, however, take some years)…..

Furthermore the german government was asked what was in the letter that it had send to the US, asking questions on the criminal activities that the US government suspects Edward Snowden has done. (Note that interpol does exclude political crimes as a reason for extradition)

https://netzpolitik.org/2014/informationsfreiheits-ablehnung-des-tages-antwort-der-usa-wird-beeinflusst-wenn-frage-oeffentlich-wird/

The german government answered, that not even these questions can be published, because

1) this would perhaps modify the answers of the US government
2) decisions on extradition requests from other governments regularly contain an assessment of the juridical standards of the state that requests the extraditions. The letter sent to the US government is used with respect to this assessment. If the questions would become public, it could affect the cooperation of germany with the united states on extraditions…

In other words:

If this letter would become publicly known it would show the US as a government of low juridical standards and they fear Germany could never extradite anyone to the United States….


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Feds drop Cancer Society’s charitable status after determining organization is politically biased against cancer

Posted on July 27th, 2014 at 20:18 by John Sinteur in category: batshitinsane

[Quote]:

The federal government has removed the Canadian Cancer Society’s charitable status after an CRA audit revealed the organization was conducting political activities with a strong prejudice against cancer.

“The Cancer Society has made a concerted political effort against all forms of cancer,” said Minister of Revenue Kerry-Lynne Findlay. “Radical and ideological members of the Society have demanded everyone to stop smoking, using asbestos in construction and even had the nerve to remind everyone to wear sunscreen. Clearly, this does not meet the definition of a charity.”

The audit stated that 98% of the activities that the Canadian Cancer Society since 1938 has been politically slanted against malignancy, while tens of thousands of volunteers have canvassed neighbourhoods spreading their own negative opinions on cancer and raising money to fight it.

“There was also an extensive anti-cancer research network worth billions of taxpayer dollars that pay scientists who oppose cancer,” Findlay stated with a complete look of disgust on her face.

The auditors pointed out that “preventing cancer” is not allowed, but “relieving cancer” is charitable as long as no one knows about it.

[Quote]:

The Canada Revenue Agency has told a well-known charity that it can no longer try to prevent poverty around the world if it wants to keep its charitable status for tax purposes. It can only alleviate poverty — because preventing poverty might benefit people who are not already poor.


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Comments:

  1. “When I fed the poor they called me a Saint. When I asked why the poor were hungry, they called me a communist.”

  2. I don’t understand why this has the “batshitinsane” category. You do realize this is from a satire site, right? I like a couple of their other headlines:

    Comic-con fans eager to discover what they’ll spend next 12 months bitching about
    One weird trick to summoning Cthulhu, dread lord of R’yleh
    New app locates hottest nearby places to curl up and die

  3. @Mudak: It’s fair comment though. The CRA _is_ investigating PEN. And a bunch of environmental charities, because, you know, terrorism.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/tom-henheffer/canada-charities-audit_b_5620754.html

    http://www.vancouverobserver.com/news/flaherty-cites-terrorism-when-asked-why-cra-auditing-environmental-charities

“I see you’re using the clever ‘not moving’ ploy…”

Posted on July 27th, 2014 at 19:18 by John Sinteur in category: News


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  1. John, you are a day late – yesterday was Caturday! :-)

The most important battle you’ve probably never heard of

Posted on July 27th, 2014 at 18:38 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

“Bouvines is the most important battle in English history that no-one has ever heard of,” says John France, professor emeritus in medieval history at Swansea University.

“Without Bouvines there is no Magna Carta, and all the British and American law that stems from that. It’s a muddy field, the armies are small, but everything depends on the struggle. It’s one of the climactic moments of European history.”

[..]

Only three clauses are still valid – the one guaranteeing the liberties of the English Church; the clause confirming the privileges of the city of London and other towns; and the clause that states that no free man shall be imprisoned without the lawful judgement of his equals

Unfortunately, the UK now has arbitrary detention without trial, so what remains are the liberties of the Church, and if you interpret “the city of London” in the modern, financial way, well…..


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How the F-35 boondoggle shows that deficit hawkery is a sham

Posted on July 27th, 2014 at 1:28 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Yesterday in Fort Worth, officials from the Pentagon, Lockheed Martin, and the Australian government gathered to celebrate the fact that two F-35 fighter jets bound for our ally down under were rolling off the assembly line. The news about this plane over the last few years has largely been buried on the inside pages of newspapers, but if you’d been following it you know that it has been one of the most remarkable boondoggles we’ve ever seen, not only the most expensive weapons system in history, but one that has been plagued by one disastrous problem after another (the latest of which came last month when an F-35 caught fire when taking off and the whole fleet of them were grounded).

The remarkable lack of interest in figuring out how things could have gone so wrong with this plane, especially from people who claim to be so desperately concerned about runaway government spending, tells you something about what a sham deficit hawkery really is.


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The Evidence Is In: Patent Trolls Do Hurt Innovation

Posted on July 26th, 2014 at 13:55 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News

Quote from here

There were six times as many patent lawsuits last year than in the 1980s. The number of firms sued by patent trolls grew nine-fold over the last decade; now a majority of patent lawsuits are filed by trolls…

The economic burden of today’s patent lawsuits is, in fact, historically unprecedented. Research shows that patent trolls cost defendant firms $29 billion per year in direct out-of-pocket costs; in aggregate, patent litigation destroys over $60 billion in firm wealth each year. While mean damages in a patent lawsuit ran around $50,000 (in today’s dollars) at the time the telegraph, mean damages today run about $21 million. Even taking into account the much larger size of the economy today, the economic impact of patent litigation today is an order of magnitude larger than it was in the age of the telegraph.

Where’s the pesticide?


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