16 June 2010

Reading ~ as in “Print is Dead” ~ and those damn glasses I have to wear.

I remember the time…I was a young 39 then, working in Portland, Oregon doing a project on some computers and part of this idiotic task was to obtain the serial number of any PC I worked on. These were IBM PCs of the 300PLish generation. They looked a lot like this: (first attempt at inserting an image. Drumroll please….)

Notice in the bottom right corner, the evil people at IBM have emblazoned some tiny tiny letters, barely visible. This is the machine type and serial number that I had to lift from each machine I worked on. Well one dreary winter morning in Portland, I got under the desk to get this info, and much the my worst fears, Presbyopia had set it. I could not get close enough to the label to see it clearly, and if I moved away, it was too dark. I should have seen it in the tea leaves the night before…reading glasses were in my near future.

Prior to that morning, where the harsh reality of impending old age setting in was never in my mind, I was an avid reader. Anything in print was fair game, from the back of a cereal box in the morning, to 4 sections of the daily fishwrap, to any book at night. But for some reason, the idea that I needed to wear fucking glasses now just put the brakes on my reading anything. Strange yes, you don’t have to tell me. Even to this day, friends I knew in the past worlds of the 80s and 90s will start to ask me about books I read. I have that blank stare. “Print is dead,” will be my reply. I guess to my “credit,” and I say this in a very self-serving way, I do a fair amount of reading on the internets. Maybe not novel reading, but enough bullshit stories to fill this feeble mind. I just never opened a book again.

Lately there have been a few people I have hung around who read. Books. Novels. Once I threw out the obligatory museum jokes, I got to thinking about it. There was always something special about letting an author lead you around their little world between the covers (as does with a director in a movie, but that is a later topic). Last summer I found some books on CD, and in my long summer weekend drives to the netherworlds of Kansas and Oklahoma, I listened to a few good books. It wasn’t a satisfactory replacement, but it was much better than listening to the right wing radio stations that saturate the dial in those backward places. Evolution? Haha not here pal. But again, reading a book, I got to thinking about it.

There is a silly commercial about the Amazon Kindle. And Sony has a nice reader…and the iPad may have a real function. I wonder if those would count as books. I am getting closer and closer. I have reading glasses that make me look like an old man (probably something to do with the grey hair too) but I’m starting to just accept it. I have to use them to read a bloody menu anymore for crying out loud. Old age has crept up on me. Old habits…always. I see a book in my future.

I’ll be sure to post a book review if I ever get that far. Print is dead. E-Ink, that is some cool shit. And let’s not talk about Pixel Qi…

Filed under:La Voz del Norte — la voz @ 1:15 am
15 June 2010

S.B. 1070. Sometimes you wonder. Other times you are sure…

OK Arizona. Nothing like letting yourselves be puppets on a string. The puppeteer? GOP activist Kris Kobach. Why would this Kansas resident and former aide to John “I lost to a dead guy” Ashcroft really care about the immigration issues in Arizona? Other than helping his own personal run up the GOP ladder, Mr. K. Kobach doesn’t give a red rat’s rectum about the folks in Arizona. If he did, his first swipe at the “problem” might be to go after those who knowingly hire illegal workers, and secondly go after those who unknowingly hire illegal workers. After those problems are settled, going after the workers themselves would be much easier. So why does a seemingly bright fellow looking to have a bright future in the republican party go after the worker first? In this case, the answer is brutally simple.

The republicans find themselves in a precarious position. They are pretty much out of issues. The issues that the GOP really stand for amount to this: The rich get richer. Tax breaks for the wealthy. Everything else is fluff. End of story. As long as they have the presidency, they can pretty much control the message. Terror this. Tax and spend that. And in the end they convince the people on the short end that if they give themselves more of our money, they will give it back to us. Trickle down, right? You give us tax breaks. We will provide jobs. What we didn’t hear was “We will provide jobs to Chinese and Indian workers at a fraction of what you make, so they will take the jobs and we will keep the money too.” So to them it is fair, the rich no longer pay their share, the cost of things are still there, but the money now comes from where?

I always have to give props to the republicans. They know how voters work (and they know how to rig elections when all else fails). Back in the late 80s I was intrigued and appalled reading about focus groups and how these right wing think tanks were testing visceral reactions of voters to certain words, phrases and visuals. They learned what makes white America act and react. The revolving gate ad from the Bush I/Dukakis race is a prime example. You have a steady stream of prisoners walking into a revolving gate at a prison, all with their heads down, but then one prisoner looks up at the camera. Which one? The African-American of course. An advert made to send chills down the spines of white America. “Vote for Bush. He will keep those guys in prison where they belong.” FF >> 2010. The issues are beating the boys now. What can we do? The new menace…the Mexican! They aren’t white, and through the onslaught of propaganda, the influx of illegals is the main reason why a white guy in Atlanta can’t get a job. Nevermind that he dropped out of high school and drinks Miller for breakfast. The incessant drum beat is that those sneaky dark-skinned folks are the cause of all my troubles. If we could only kick them out….

Therefore I ask…Why don’t they go after the employers? If the jobs aren’t there, the people won’t come looking for them. Well, the rules for this all changed back in the 80s, and everything pretty much went into the toilet in the late 90s and early oughts. The borders were opened, and blatant disregard followed. Businesses of any size could save money by paying a guy $3/hr. cash for what they paid an American worker $8. The influx of laborers drove down the wages of regular workers. Why pay a guy $18/hour to tape drywall when some guy will do it for $9? Why pay a janitorial worker $14 when a guy will do it for $4? Employers are under no heat for doing this. It is seemingly encouraged by the lack of oversight and lack of penalties for being caught. Why hire legal workers when illegals will work for pennies on the dollar? The assault on the American worker continues.

In the end, why bring this bill now? Arizona passed LAWA a couple of years ago. Along with Federal law, SB1070 is redundant. Here’s why. KKobach is running for office. He wants to be a big player in the GOP. He knows that this kind of bill is what the party needs to get out the vote. White America responds to this kind of shit like Pavlov’s dogs to a bell. The GOP’s goal of giving everything to the rich can only survive if enough poor people can be hoodwinked into voting republican. The issues like this one, a bill creating racial tensions is a bonanza for the GOP. No one cares that from 1995-2006, the GOP ran the show and did nothing for securing the borders. Just now they talk tough? Why? From 1995-2006 they passed every bill they wanted, man, tax cuts a plenty for their rich cronies. But now, they lost control. Hmmm, to get back in charge they need more wedge issues. Enter stage south.

They passed laws for mandatory fines and jail time for drug offenders. Dealer or user, didn’t matter. Do the same for immigration. If they made a mandatory fine like say…$250,000 for hiring one illegal worker, people might take pause. And I mean mandatory for everyone. Mandatory fines for the Big Box Hardware store hiring a janitorial crew and mandatory fines for a small time lawn-mowing contractor hiring 2 guys to cut grass. $250,000 per worker. Get caught having an undocumented person working for you? $250,000 fine. Get caught working without proper legal documentation? $250,000 fine. And like drugs, make the fines mandatory. No questions, no appeals.

Or you could do like Arizona. Give the police the right to hassle non-white looking people. They should change the Z in Arizona to a swastika. You can’t spell “Arizona” without “Nazi.”

Filed under:La Voz del Norte — la voz @ 0:26 am
14 June 2010

Travus T. Hipp and the Rawhide Reality Revue

Back in the later part of the 80s, I took up residence in northern Nevada (not Del Norte of today) and there was a little local radio station in this town, KPTL I believe were its call letters. Yes on first thought it seemed it would be the halleluah network (Praise the Lord), but instead it was a nice mix of oldies. They had some contests that kept my cashflow going, but in the afternoons the KPTL airwaves had a 3 hour talk show..maybe 2, it is hard to remember a lot of things from that era…and the host was a remarkable character, Travus T. Hipp. Having spent most of my life in the big city, there were all manners of talk radio. Sports talk when I was growing up consisted of Bud Furillo and Superfan. I used to call them when I was a kid haha. I think I was 10 or 11 calling a late talk show asking how many points Jerry West scored in Atlanta. Crazy. Later in my young teens, my mom used to listen to AM News talk in the car. How unbelievably boring…I digress.

FF ==> 1990. America, unbeknownst to most Americans at the time, was in the 11th year of what should be called the Corporate World War. We kind of fought with Iran…mostly some guys decided to be treasonable and negotiate the holding of some Americans until they could put the cabal in place. We had attacked Grenada to…what? Rescue some college students from graduation? We were subverting democratic processes in Central America to preserve democracy, pretty much playing both sides against the middle all over the place. In the mid 80s, ex-CIA op and Panamaniac Manuel Noriega was interviewed by Rolling Stone Mag, and made the accurate but not really visionary proclamation that he had VP Bush “by the balls,” when talking the about cocaine trade and Panama. A couple years later, Bush did his fool best to silence Noriega and ended up killing 4000+ Panamanians…just not the one he was after. In 1990, the seeds were being sown for an incursion into Iraq. We had a respite in the 90s with Clinton, but when he was mired in the Scaife/Starr cabal, the war machine kicked into gear again in Bosnia and Somalia. Once the Supreme Court appointed the idiot son into the Office, he brought the Nixon/Ford/Reagan/Bush administration flunkies back into power. There would be no stopping them this time. Iraq, Afghanistan. We had a brief time of peace in the mid 90s, but when you think about it, we have been consistently at war since Reagan took over.

Coup d’etat. Rule 1: Control the media.

In the mid 80s, the Drugster, one portly fellow named Limbaugh, was taking hold all over America with his right-wing nation-wide propaganda show. The rules of radio had changed. The Reagan administration had fought to remove the restrictions limiting ownership of media outlets. It became easier for a large corporation to own dozens and dozens of outlets and provide the same programming. Removal of the Fairness Doctrine removed the balance. No longer would an opposing point of view be required. Corporations could inundate the market with a single message. They did. They do. But in Northern Nevada, there was Travus T. Hipp.

Travus was a character befitting of an old Western town like Carson City. He lived high atop the Comstock in Virginia City. He had a very pleasant air about him. He was a survivor of the 60s, and if I recall, was involved in some of the big musical names of the time. I remember him talking about the Dead and Janis Joplin, and we talked about music on the air in the times that I called his show. I even remember having a long talk about one Lee Atwater, a republican operative who at the time was in his days of repentance for all the bullshit he pulled in his life. Atwater was about as evil a coot as there was, but dude could play a mean guitar. Digression 2. Travus was a very open minded host. He tended to see things in a liberal way, which was good considering the blitzkrieg of reactionary radio that was taking place at the time. Listening to his show was always interesting and entertaining. A voice of reason amid the onslaught of right wing propaganda that was taking over. A voice of the people against the machine.

I have to say I listened often, called occasionally and pretty much enjoyed the afternoons listening to this show. I was even doing my part patronizing the sponsors so the show could go on. I can’t remember what caused the Rawhide Reality Revue to go off the air in Carson. Seems so long ago. One day last week I just happened to be thinking about the times of how radio has gone. I was looking around for memories I reckon, and I that name flashed through my skull. I searched around and found that thankfully Travus T. Hipp is not gone. He still puts out a regular opinion piece on KPIG radio out of Northern California. If you want to check him out, go to KPIG.COM and on the right hand side, lo and behold, there is a link to Travus and his commentaries. He’s a good guy.

Now once upon a time an old man told me a fable…

Filed under:La Voz del Norte — la voz @ 12:02 pm
13 June 2010

USC and the NCAA

I guess it was hammer time for the NCAA. It seems that the Southeastern Conference and ESPN have joined forces to dominate college football. ESPN has anointed the winner of the SEC as the best team in college ball, and up until last season, an argument could always be made that the team from the West Coast, the hated Coast, was the best team in football at the end of the season. In 2008, there was little doubt. In 2007, the team that won had no business playing in the game. In 2006, it took a monumental upset to keep the Trojans out of the big game. In 2004, 2003 and 2002, the best team at the end of the season was that little private school from LA. A thorn in the side of the establishment…

Sometime after the season of 2004, a relation of a certain player seemed to get involved in some nefarious dealings with a casino somewhere in the distance. From all appearances, he was able to get his debts settled by coming to an arrangement using his relationship to a certain player as a sort of collateral. The arrangement failed, and one of the alleged money-givers wanted payback. This alleged money-giver seems to have spent the better part of his days as a ward of the State in which he lives, getting 3 squares a day, a warm bed and cable tv. The money-givers’ word was what the NCAA seems to base their entire case. The word of a multifelon vs. the corroborated testimony of people with nothing to gain (see: THE DUDE). The NCAA chose to drop the hammer.

Word is USC will appeal the findings, and argue that the penalties don’t fit the crime. La Voz de la Razon tends to agree with the school. Other universities have been caught red-handed with boosters directly paying kids, with boosters paying high school coaches to steer the high school talent to their universities. Oklahoma, for instance, had kids working for a booster’s car-lot and the kids were filing time cards for working on the days of games…away games. BRILLIANT. None of their penalties come close to what was handed to USC, and the only money that passed hands in the USC issue seems to have been trying to entice a member of the team to leave. Maybe that is a more heinous crime than paying kids to attend and play for a school.

For the Trojans, to quote Jake Taylor from “Major League,” “Well then I guess there’s only one thing left to do. Win the whole fucking thing.” It looks like the talent is there, and hopefully the strength to rise above can come forth. The powers that be may well be against you, but some of us are behind you 100%. Fight On!

Filed under:La Voz del Norte — la voz @ 5:42 am
12 June 2010

복수 – Vengeance

I’m stuck at work on a cold and rainy Saturday here in the mountains of the north. The weather is a brisk 5* C outdoors. Inside I am on the 2nd movie of PARK Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy, “Oldboy,” and am taking a breather waiting for some popcorn. I have seen a few movies by this director, and I must say I am VERY impressed. For those of yous on this side of the water, and are up to some graphic violence nestled in a very touching subtitled story, the first movie in the trilogy, “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance,” is a great bit of entertainment. It isn’t for everyone…it does have its moments of graphic violence, but man it is a good movie. PARK Chan-wook has done some great work. Notables: “Thirst,” “JSA,” and “I’m a Cyborg But That’s OK.”

Back to the movie. See “U” tomorrow.

Filed under:La Voz del Norte — la voz @ 23:23 pm
11 June 2010

W – What a wonderful world it would be without 531 U.S. 98 (2000).

I still remember that night, and reading on the internets that somehow Fox News had received a call saying that the exit polls in Florida were mistaken and that Bush, not Gore, was really the winner. The major, and legitimate, news agencies used the same exit polling criteria as the always had in the past. Never before had they been mistaken. But this one dark night in the year 2000, November the 7th, inexplicably, all the networks got it wrong, yet some anonymous caller to fox news somehow knew that W could overcome the exit polls and win in the not so great state of Florida.

Even though I am not just the voice of the North but the voice of Reason in my spare time, I do admittedly have a few interesting character flaws. The most annoying is the need for things to make sense. And while some people can make sense of some things, for some reason I get mired in trying to find what would cause a person or persons to perform an action that on the surface makes no sense, or how would someone or something arrive at a seemingly odd conclusion. As THE DUDE so aptly stated, “It’s like what Lenin said… you look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh…” “I am the walrus.” “You know what I’m trying to say…” “I am the walrus.” “Shut the fuck up, Donny! V.I. Lenin. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov!” When present with an odd circumstance, to find the answer you have to decide, “What is the motivation?”

Back to 2000-11-07 and the exit polls. Statistical models used in exit polling for decades correctly pronounced Gore the winner in Florida. What happened? How did some caller know more than these exit pollsters? When I look at the resultant issues, one that jumped out at me was the issue of the chad. Having around punch cards and pre-scored punch cards, I was amazed to hear that there was a discussion about “dimpled chads.” In my experience, it was IMPOSSIBLE to put enough pressure on pre-scored card stock with a voting stylus to leave a dimple without popping the chad. IMPOSSIBLE. So how would someone do such a thing? Simple. If you put card stock on a table and press hard with a stylus, you can dimple the hell out of one, but if there is nothing behind the chad, it will pop. If a hole in the voting booth is blocked, the normal pressure used to pop the card would result in a dimple. If there are 20 voting booths in a precinct, and only one of them has a blocked port, upwards of 5% of the vote can be manipulated. We will always remember the charade of the county workers looking at the dimpled chads in the Gore box. Some talking heads were referring to one of the pictures as “Karnac,” and how these workers were “trying to divine the will of the voter.” They made a joke out of this, and yet no one asked the simple fucking question, “How in the hell you can put a dimple on pre-scored card stock?” End result: voters coming out of the polling place, when asked by exit pollsters would have said they voted for Gore. Upwards of 5% of these voters, the ones using a booth with a blocked port, left a dimpled chad on their ballot which never got counted. 5%. Enough for the exit pollsters to give the nod to Gore. Combine this with the West Palm Beach issue of a confusing ballot alignment (which gave a stunned Pat Buchanan a outlandish amount of votes in a county where he never campaigned nor would have expected so many votes), and again, when leaving the polls, people responded that they voted for Gore, and those votes were never properly counted. This is how exit polls get it wrong.

Now the question: How would someone know that the exit polls were wrong? How would someone know enough to make the call to fox news and tell them to wait…?? The million dollar question. As THE DUDE said, “It’s like what Lenin said… you look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh…” Someone knew the dice were loaded. If someone is asked who they voted for AFTER voting, the answer would have been 100% accurate. Except that night in Florida.

Will the country ever recover? Gore may not have been the best choice, but there is no way in hell he would done as much damage as the W administration.

Filed under:La Voz de la Razon — la voz @ 22:55 pm
10 June 2010

X – Me in Los Angeles in 1980…

Music used to be the world. Now it is just a continent or 2. I look back at my misguided youth and can pinpoint a few events that could very easily be considered “life-changing.” Grade school’s soundtrack was played on 93 KHJ, one time known as “Boss Radio,” and by the early 70s we little 13 year olds listened to the Top 30 hits like “Brandy,” “Bennie and the Jets,” some hip stuff by the Hues Corporation and some bad ass guitar induced pop by the Isley Brothers. Mixed into this lot were some good old drop the clothes Soul…Barry White, Billy Paul (Me and Mrs. Jones), The Stylistics. Mmhmmm some mighty fine pickin and a singin. And then sometime in the spring of 1975 somewhere in Southern California…well 8:00pm, Wednesday March 12, 1975 at Long Beach Arena, this 8th grade kid went to see a little band known as Led Zeppelin. They started with Rock and Roll and right into Sick Again. Then came Over the Hills and Far Away, In My Time of Dying, and by the time they rang out The Song Remains the Same (started twice due to a guitar patch cord failure), something changed in this kid’s life. My my hey hey. It was here to stay.

Now most of my friends suddenly became teenyboppers. Here was the top 3 songs of that week: 3: LOVIN’ YOU – MINNIE RIPERTON 2: LADY MARMALADE – LABELLE 1: MY EYES ADORED YOU – FRANKIE VALLI. How could you ever take that shit seriously again after having spent 3 plus hours listening to Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham at their best blasting through that smoky arena? You couldn’t. I couldn’t. Only dweebs wanted to hear Olivia Neutron Bomb singing about Being Mellow or Leo Effing Sayer singing about anything. The world had changed.

Onward thru the Fog! as the label once said… Next stop, 1977ish. By now most of me old mates had caught up and put away their childish AM radio for the powerpop tunes that came across the FM stalwarts of KMET (whoo-ya) and KLOS. Paraquat Kelly and Jim Ladd played some tunes and bongs were passed about…everyone was groovin. Zeppelin, Sabbath, Rush, Neil Young, Queen, The Stones, fucking Boston, Aerosmith, Foreigner, Kiss, Bowie, Journey…these were high fucking times man. Powerpop in its Prime. Almost everyone I knew was gettin high and blasting 94.7 or 95.5 on the Eff Em Dial. Life.Was.Great! So then I meet a young lady who talked me in to going to yet another concert…this one at the Hated Grounds of UCLA in Westwood. Some free concert by a stairway and some band I had never heard of. It wouldn’t be the first or the last concert I went to on a whim. This band had a funny name, a goofy singer, a friggin girl playing the bass. They played this song I will never forget, “Take Me to the River.” They were so much different than any of the crap we were listening to on the LA FM Titans KMET or KLOS. Now most of my friends suddenly became burnouts. Who the hell wanted to listen to The Eagles sing about some whacked out hotel or Foreigner with their stupid rhymes. I mean who gives a shit if it is urgent or not? There were Psycho Killers afoot. New Wave was here to stay…

New Wave, I hate to say, wasn’t a hit with many of the folkies I knew, but it was the good stuff. Next stop, 1980. FM 106.7 KROQ in Pasa-Dena played some awesome stuff and there was an even better station out of Long Beach, Rock n Rhythm KNAC that had the grandest library of any station.Ever. Cool DJs, easy access via phone. I could call in and request nearly any song I wanted, and within minutes it would be on the air. New Wave Greats like Suburban Lawns, T-Heads, Devo, Elvis Costello, Blondie, B-52s, Pretenders, Boingo, Missing Persons…these were great times man. New Wave at its absolute best! I was converting people to the New Wave movement of KROQ, roq of the 80s and 105.5 KNAC. Then along comes another young lady who talked me into going to yet another concert…this one at a place called the “Whisky-a-Go-Go” up on Sunset. As we drive toward the place I see on the marquee “Ray Manzarek” and I think to myself that this will be some Doors revival. Not all bad but what they hell. My companion was kinda cute. Hehe. Entering the club I notice a much different crowd than I was used to hanging with. Mixed in among the few “normal” people were a whole lotta punks. LA Punks. Not quite the likes of which one would see at New Wave Thursdays at El Paso Cantina. There was a forgettable opening act, I think…and as the speed rush starts to kick in, onto the stage comes this remarkable 4 piece band simply known as “X.” Exene and John Doe just flying. Billy Zoom playing an amazing guitar with his feet planted in concrete. DJ Bonebrake pounding the drums. Unforgettable music. My friends, the burnouts, still listened to the e v e r s o s l o w r o c k b a n d s. The bands I had once admired were now a bunch of fucking boring old guys. They played with no energy. They played with no soul. Punk had LIFE.

The 80s raged on. I look at the Punk and New Wave standouts from the like 80-83 and think that this was the best musical time ever. Some of the British Invasion bands from the 60s now made perfect sense. The Who, respect, were the original punk band. The Mods…damn they were good. I saw them play just a couple of nights before I saw X. The Who was great, even with the recent passing of Keith Moon. Kenny Jones did a stellar job. But they weren’t life changing. X was. Punk became a way of life, a style, and a culture all its own. The few years following that night in 1980 were littered with countless nights at the Hollywood clubs listening to all manner of bands, some great, some not so. The Motels, The Bang!s (soon to be known as the Bangles), Boingo, Fear, Black Flag, Missing Persons, Circle Jerks, Suicidal Tendencies, Josie Cotton, Martha and the Muffins, Pearl Harbor and the Explosions…the list was amazing. I even found time to see some big shows in 1980…The Eagles, Rush, Fleetwood Mac at the Bowl, Heart at the Forum, Pink Floyd doing The Wall. So many others…all great shows in a fucking badass time in music.

A couple years later, 1982 in San Bernardino, I fell in love with Annabella Lwin. She didn’t know it. Maybe that story will unfold on another day. To bed for me now. Fade out…

Filed under:La Voz del Norte — la voz @ 10:48 am
9 June 2010

Yahoo to Yandex…Search engines. How did we survive without them?

A dozen or so years ago, some fledgling search engines became the rage on the internets. Yahoo! offered all kinds of seemingly cool things…free email, chatrooms, messenger all from a pretty cool interface. Many people, your humble typist included, made Yahoo! our home page. And why not? I could get my mail, read a few news service stories, search to my heart’s discontent, and do it all from a nice tidy interface. Life.Was.Good.

All descendants of Archie ~ WebCrawler, Inktomi, AltaVista, Magellan, Infoseek, Northern Light, Excite ~ crawled the growing Web and indexed the sites so foolish users like me could find almost anything we wanted, and many things we didn’t. Yahoo! offered a full web portal and it was cool. Ask Jeeves was pretty cool too, as was DogPile.

A few years later I started dabbling in creating websites and always noticed the lack of my sites showing up on these searches. I added keywords, metatags, various kinds of crap to try to get my stuffs to show up. I remember when my first website was a front page listing. Yes! I had arrove. Then along came Google.

Google was cool. It still kinda is. I’ll get to that later. It brought along an algorithm-based weighted search which dumped my pages to the depths of the search, and that’s not their fault. They also brought in advertising, and those who participated seemed to get higher listings. Imagine that. They serve up something like 82% of all searches on the internets. They also have a nice new feature called “Web History.” Web History. From Google:

With Web History, you’ll be able to:
View and manage your web activity.
You know that great web site you saw online and now can’t find? From now on, you can. With Web History, you can view and search across the full text of the pages you’ve visited, including Google searches, web pages, images, videos and news stories. You can also manage your web activity and remove items from your web history at any time.

Get the search results most relevant to you.
Web History helps deliver more personalized search results based on the things you’ve searched for on Google and the sites you’ve visited. You might not notice a big impact on your search results early on, but they should steadily improve over time the more you use Web History.

Follow interesting trends in your web activity.
Which sites do you visit frequently? How many searches did you do between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.? Web History can tell you about these and other interesting trends in your web activity.

I’m not sure I am so comfortable with letting Google store my browsing history. I don’t do many illicit things any more, but having this kind of information stored means the chances of it being seen by anyone becomes greater. Imagine going to a job interview, and the interrogator can pull up the last 50 websites you visited. Hmmm. Hope they like porn.

The other issue I am having is the loaded responses from the search. Google, Yahoo!, et al., are major players in the new Corporate Government of America. Controlling the media has been rule #1 in a overthrow, and since the 80s we have seen a massive corruption of the media as we once knew it. The Internets are the last frontier of free ideas. Now when one corporate partner controls 82% of internets searches, it is pretty easy for them to manipulate the answers to show what they want to show us. At first it was ad based. Now, who knows? I do see a lot of right-wing blogs listed whenever I search for old news stories. And Yahoo!…they want to be a big player in delivering news. Everything with a slant.

I found a new search engine. It is called “Yandex.com.” From Russia with love.

Filed under:La Voz del Norte — la voz @ 0:00 am
8 June 2010

The first subject? Something starting with Z. Zoloft and the Tube.

When did it start? I seem to recall something called the “Council on Competitiveness,” headed by the then VP and dunce James Danforth Quayle back in the early 90s. The goal was to eliminate governmental regulations on “certain” industries. President George Herbert Walker Bush (father of the idiotboy President W) issued a regulatory moratorium. Genius move. The energy industries were immediate beneficiaries, as the removal of rules regarding environmental wastes, etc., allowed for them to once again spew their crap into the atmosphere. If I remember correctly, a state had 7 days to complain about the newly formed cloud of crap spewing from the local coal plant or else the new emissions level would become the standard. Seen your mountains lately? This is part of the reason why… Digressing, another HUGE beneficiary was Pharma. Back then they were just Pharma. Now they are Big Phucking Pharma.

Part of the whole Quayle Competitiveness debacle was the “fast track approval” of drugs. Chemical compounds (drugs) that the FDA would have never approved were getting rubber stamp with little or no regard to side effects. Zoloft, my Z word of choice, is an alleged treatment for severe depression and obsessive–compulsive, panic, and social anxiety disorders. Zoloft’s usefulness has often been in question – “modest to minimal,” said the FDA – but the side effects have not. Does the greatly increased risk of suicide justify the use? Do the increased violent tendencies in kids taking the medication seem worth the benefit? Hardly. But 29 million plus Americans are prescribed Zoloft and its generics. 10% of our fellow citizens…

To the tube part of this. In 1997 the FDA legalized the advertising of drugs on the Telly. The United States is the only industrialized nation that allows this. Crazy huh? I spoke to a doctor in the early part of the 2000s and she said that the advertisements were possible the worst thing that could happen. Suddenly, people could self-diagnose in 30 seconds. Overactive bladder? Restless leg syndrome? No worries. Pfizer has the drug for you! Bad cholesterol? Good cholesterol? We’ll fixitol! Never mind the list of side effects either… Got a limp dick? No worries. 30 seconds and you’ll be fixed, and be even better if you can avoid the liver or kidney damage, heart attack or stroke. A 4 hour hard on, though rare, will require immediate medical attention. You’re old lady will be a little sore too.

We gave them free reign to do things without restrictions, somehow drinking the punch that if the world of the rich gets better, it will improve the world for us poor. We should be running out of punch soon, because the only things getting better are the lives of the rich. Drugs cost more and more, and Big Phucking Pharma’s profits are at records every quarter. Energy costs more and more, and the energy companies report record profits every quarter. And for us at the bottom waiting for that trickle, what do we get? Liver damage because we wanted a boner. Brown skies because we stopped watching what these bastards throw into the sky at night.

We were better off as a people with heavy regulations. The companies made money before the regulations were lifted. The people on top still make bundles. But at the bottom, our quality of life suffers. The air sucks, but thank god the coal companies can pass their savings on to us in lower electricity bills, right? I mean, mine might get lower some day. Our health care sucks, and the prices are outrageous, but thank god Big Pharma can pass their wealth on to us in the form of lower drug costs. It could happen. Bring back the regulations. As a society, we were far better off with them.

Filed under:La Voz del Norte — la voz @ 0:52 am
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