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Obama hits Romney with withering mockery as he makes case for reelection

Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 23:56 by John Sinteur in category: News


In his speech, Obama — without naming Romney — went out of his way to ridicule his justifications for opposing the auto-bailout and his current dissembling about how he got it right. Here’s the key segment:

A key line: “I keep on hearing these same folks talk about values all the time. You want to talk about values? Hard work: That’s a value. Looking out for one another: That’s a value. The idea that we’re all in it together and I’m my brother’s and sister’s keeper: That’s a value.”

This is what the 2012 election is going to be about. And the GOP right now is in deep do do. They’re actively hoping for the country to collapse so they can rule the ruins.

Never a winning strategy.

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The Future After the End of the Economy

Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 21:36 by John Sinteur in category: News


But economists are not people of wisdom, and I do not even consider them scientists. They are more like priests, denouncing the bad behavior of society, asking you to repent for your debts, threatening inflation and misery for your sins, worshipping the dogmas of growth and competition.

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  1. This reminds me of Ravi Batra’s “The Great Depression of 1990”. Personally (and as a disclaimer, Ravi is an old friend of mine since the 1970’s) I think he was only off by a couple of decades! Our political system is sophisticated enough to delay the inevitable for a considerable period. If it hadn’t been, then I think that Ravi would have been spot on!

  2. A reader just sent me:

    Here is a link to the Wikipedia article about my friend Ravi Batra:

    His book, “The Great Depression of 1990”, published in 1987, was a
    NYTimes best seller. Some of what he was saying then, is relevant now.
    To wit:
    “His books center around the main thesis that financial capitalism
    breeds excessive inequality and political corruption which inevitably
    succumbs to financial crisis and economic depression.” – sound

  3. ..and eventually succumbs to repression by the well fed swine that have the greatest interest in the survival of the status quo.

Right versus pragmatic

Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 21:33 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


We often try to fight problems by yelling at them instead of accepting the reality of what people do, from controversial national legislation to passive-aggressive office signs. Such efforts usually fail, often with a lot of collateral damage, much like Prohibition and the ongoing “war” on “drugs”.

And, more recently (and with much less human damage), media piracy.

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Samsung: ‘We’re not doing very well in the tablet market’

Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 20:52 by John Sinteur in category: News


Samsung Electronics admitted that its attempt to breach the tablet market has largely been a flop, with one executive offering a sobering summary of its performance.

“Honestly, we’re not doing very well in the tablet market,” Hankil Yoon, a product strategy executive for Samsung, said today during a media roundtable here.

That’s about as frank a statement as it gets from any executive at the Mobile World Congress trade show this week.

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Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 18:17 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News

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  1. That’s pretty much what I want to do when I see a bunch of Catholic priests or nuns in public!


Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 16:37 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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Ultrasounds before abortions

Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 9:46 by John Sinteur in category: News


The chairman of the Alabama Senate Health Committee said he doesn’t see a conflict of interest between his support for a bill that would require physicians to perform ultrasounds on women seeking abortions and his company, which sells the type of equipment the bill would require.

Don’t worry, Sen. Greg Reed, R-Jasper, we see it.

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  1. As long as he’s in charge, there will be no conflict with his interests. You can’t deny there’s a certain logic to that.

  2. Let’s get this straight – is he proposing that the government should pay for such ultrasound tests?

    If so, it’s socialized medicine; what’s to stop a poor woman getting a free ultrasound by pretending to want an abortion?

    If not, this proposal allows the government to decide how a person spends her healthcare dollars. That’s socialism, surely?

    I really cannot believe some of this stupidity.

Mitt Romney couldn’t have remembered Detroit milestone: he wasn’t born

Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 9:34 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2012


When Mitt Romney regaled a Michigan audience this week with childhood memories of a landmark moment in Detroit history, it was a rare instance of emotional candour.

And, perhaps, an even rarer example of time travel.

Romney recalled he was “probably 4 or something like that” the day of the Golden Jubilee, when three-quarters of a million people gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American automobile.

“My dad had a job being the grandmaster. They painted Woodward Ave. with gold paint,” Romney told a rapt Tea Party audience in the village of Milford Thursday night, reliving a moment of American industrial glory.

The Golden Jubilee described so vividly by Romney was indeed an epic moment in automotive lore. The parade included one of the last public appearances by an elderly Henry Ford.

And it took place June 1, 1946 — fully nine months before Romney was born.

Unless he’s lying about his birthday… we need to see his birth certificate!

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Guy Gets Bogus YouTube Copyright Claim… On Birds Singing In The Background

Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 0:01 by Paul Jay in category: News


A whole bunch of folks have been sending in this Slashdot story about a guy who had one of his videos “claimed” via ContentID on YouTube due to a purpoted match with content that Rumblefish claims to hold the copyright on. We actually saw this post early on, because it links to an old Techdirt post about questionable Rumblefish takedowns. In this case, the guy says that there was no music in the video, but that Rumblefish said that the birds singing in the background violated its copyright:

“I make nature videos for my YouTube channel, generally in remote wilderness away from any possible source of music. And I purposely avoid using a soundtrack in my videos because of all the horror stories I hear about Rumblefish filing claims against public domain music. But when uploading my latest video, YouTubeinformed me that I was using Rumblefish’s copyrighted content, and so ads would be placed on my video, with the proceeds going to said company. This baffled me. I disputed their claim with YouTube’s system — and Rumblefish refuted my dispute, and asserted that: ‘All content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content: Entity: rumblefish; Content Type: Musical Composition.’ So I asked some questions, and it appears that the birds singing in the background of my video are Rumblefish’s exclusive intellectual property.”

While it’s still not fully clear what happened, the idea of claiming copyright on birds singing is actually not an entirely new concept (though, yes, it is ridiculous). In 2010, we wrote aboutApple getting sued buy a guy, Martyn Stewart, who had recorded a bunch of bird sounds. Someone else had used those sounds in an app called iBird. As I said then, I’m not sure that there really is much “copyright” to claim over recording birds, but even if someone wants to make an argument that recording birds is copyrightable, it’s pretty clear that the guy in the story above was just recording his own sounds — not using someone’s “copyright”-covered bird songs…

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  1. This reminds me to a phrase found in a enjoyable german future story written in 2003, ranging until 2050.

    2020… Die Anwälte der Ton und Schall Industrie-Gemeinschaft machen Jagd auf Park- und Waldbesitzer, die in ihren Anwesen das illegale Singen von Vögeln dulden.

    You will find the whole story here: http://www.ioff.de/showthread.php?s=&threadid=54844&perpage=15&pagenumber=1

  2. Let’s record and copyright many phrases commonly used in IP court cases and then deny lawyers licenses to use them.