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Comments

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Was the Early Universe 2 Dimensional Spacetime?

VShael Re:Not that crazy... (309 comments)

"You can actually stick the Empire State Building into a 1" n-dimensional cube, as long as n is sufficiently large (I think around 225 million should do it... :-) )."

Well that's the first sensible explanation of a Tardis' interior architecture that I've ever heard. Thanks.

more than 2 years ago
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Utah To Teach USA is a Republic, Not a Democracy

VShael Re:Democracy is... (1277 comments)

Actually, sheep generally vastly outnumber the wolves. Sheep being the poor, lower to middle classes. Wolves being the Corporations and the wealthy.

Democracy is the wealthy 1% and the middle/low 99% deciding what's a fair share of the tax burden.

Since that clearly doesn't happen, no, it's not a Democracy.

more than 3 years ago
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US Gov't Mistakenly Shuts Down 84,000 Sites

VShael Re:WHOAH Nelly (296 comments)

But the DHS only used terrorism as a reason for its creation.

The truth is that terrorism is such a very very minor ACTUAL threat, it could never justify the creation of such an agency.

So obviously, they have to use it elsewhere.

If only people would remember this sort of thing, everytime the government demands extraordinary powers to combat terrorism/pedophiles etc... It will always be used elsewhere.

more than 3 years ago
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Lawmaker Reintroduces WikiLeaks Prosecution Bill

VShael And they want to use the new law retroactively? (389 comments)

Gee, I wonder if anyone could use the SHIELD Act to prosecute Karl Rove or someone for leaking Valerie Plames CIA cover.

Oh that's right. It's not a crime when Republicans do it.

more than 3 years ago
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Aboriginal Sundial Pre-Dates Stonehenge

VShael Being older than Stonehenge isn't that big a deal. (145 comments)

It's famous, but it's hardly a yardstick for antiquity.

Newgrange in Ireland is older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

But 10,000 years old? The Aborigines seem to have them all well and truly beaten.

more than 3 years ago
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Third of Content On Popular BT Portals Are Fake

VShael Re:I sincerly hope (255 comments)

Actually, even on The Pirate Bay, a fake torrent can get listed with thousands of seeders.

The thing is, the company the MPAA are outsourcing this pirate hunt to, aren't the brightest.

They'll create torrents for Iron Man 3, or The Walking Dead episode 1x07 or something.

And they'll create a dozen torrents with thousands of seeders each, in under 10 minutes.

It's really really not difficult to avoid fakes.

And yeah, anyone who downloads software from a Torrent site, is asking to be owned.

more than 3 years ago
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Terrorists Bomb Moscow Airport

VShael Re:Bad choice of words (640 comments)

"You and I didn't have a say in it at all"

Sure you did. In 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010.
But as normal, you all picked Dems or Republicans, so nothing changed.

more than 3 years ago
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I'd rather WikiLeaks concentrate on leaks about ...

VShael Re:Political corruption, per se (312 comments)

It's a Gordian knot of a problem.

And should be solved accordingly.

more than 3 years ago
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Running Your Own Ghost Investigation?

VShael Re:Creeping Mysticism (810 comments)

As a society, we're reverting back to superstition and ignorance.

Oh please. Something like 90% of Americans still believe in God for pities sake. And I highly doubt that the slashdot readership is entirely immune to that particular superstition either.

The enlightenment was over 200 years ago. It never really took off in America.

more than 3 years ago
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The Continued Censorship of Huckleberry Finn

VShael Neil Gaiman said it best. (1073 comments)

I could go into the text and replace Nigger with Klingon. It might be funny, but it won't be Mark Twain.

more than 3 years ago
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Doctor Marries Doctor's Daughter, TARDIS Explodes

VShael Re:Honeymoon (326 comments)

You should be aware that "Redneck" is a racist and culturalist epithet on a par with "The N word"

Oh really?? I must have missed those large tracts of American history 101, where they told us about the war to free the Rednecks, the Jim-Bob Crow laws, and the Redneck-only drinking fountains....

more than 3 years ago
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First-Sale Doctrine Lost Overseas

VShael Re:That's Not What The Article Says (775 comments)

This is the point where, as a people, globally, we just need to stand up and kill the top 3% of the people running the planet that have these stupid ideas.

The sheep and cattle have never risen up to slay the farmer.

The sheepdog ensures that they stay in a pack, easily led.
Any sheep that gets ideas, is nipped by the dog.
If it still gets ideas, it is torn to pieces by the dog.

more than 3 years ago
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Today's WikiLeaks News

VShael Re:Bradley Manning (312 comments)

Heck, Oliver North committed treason, and there were plenty of people who wanted him to be PRESIDENT.

more than 3 years ago
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Researchers Use Wireless To Study How Flu Spreads

VShael Unless they told people there was an "outbreak" (64 comments)

then why would anyone take extra precautions?

This only models a viral outbreak which is both unannounced, and virtually symptomless.

more than 3 years ago
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Amazon Taking Down Erotica, Removing From Kindles

VShael This is only the first step. The next, is scarier. (641 comments)

That's when Amazon takes it upon themselves to update books on your Kindle, without your knowledge.

They'll probably sell it as a feature, first. Science text books for college, for example. Every year, we'll upgrade your copy to the latest version, etc...

But one day, it will be "Those historical facts no longer represent the current thinking of the administration. So remove those historical facts from this text book, and replace them with these approved-facts."

more than 3 years ago
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Doubling of CO2 Not So Tragic After All?

VShael Re:Mod parent up! (747 comments)

Just because London is colder, doesn't mean the globe is getting colder.

London is colder, because the Jet Stream is not as powerful as it once was, and is now being overshadowed by the effects of Siberian winds coming in from the East, instead of warm air coming from the far far south west all across the Atlantic.

If the Gulf Stream stops completely, or changes direction (both of which are possible from global climate change) then London and its surroundings will lose their main source of mild winters.

more than 3 years ago
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Pentagon Papers Ellsberg Supports Wikileaks

VShael Re:What?! (464 comments)

Yes, even though you might *think* the mainstream media is treating wikileaks as a leading story, the fact that you hadn't even heard of this child-sex purchasing story, should show you how badly the mainstream media is doing its supposed job. (Their actual job, on the other hand, protecting the rich and powerful, they do reasonably well.)

more than 3 years ago
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Kentucky Announces Creationism Theme Park

VShael Re:Separation of church and state principle... (648 comments)

You are free to practice your religion because you are free *from* being coerced by other religions. Otherwise, you are forcing a religion onto people who don't believe.

Just out of curiosity, but isn't that what parents do, all the time?

more than 3 years ago
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Why Money Doesn't Motivate File-Sharers

VShael Re:Information wants to be free. (633 comments)

Anything which speeds the US down the road to a more obvious Fascist/Police state (because there are those who would argue they're already there), is possibly a good thing in the long term, as it should speed up the civilian uprising which will bring about its downfall.

If it doesn't happen soon, it could be argued that technology will progress to the point where any civilian uprising will be impossible. And then Fascism can arrive safely, and be here to stay.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Did someone attempt to buy the British Government?

VShael VShael writes  |  about 4 years ago

VShael (62735) writes "Charles Stross (sometimes contributor to The Guardian newspaper) has reported on a bizarre statement made in the UK's House of Lords by Lord James of Blackheath. Not a viral marketing tool for some new conspiracy thriller, and not a Nigerian 419 scam (so please, leave the jokes out of the comments), apparently some mysterious Foundation which wishes to remain unnamed has been conducting secret talks with high members of the government in order to invest untold billions in to the UK economy. But there's a catch.
Also mentioned in The Guardian, here"

Link to Original Source
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New method for creating Flu vaccine - use cows.

VShael VShael writes  |  more than 5 years ago

VShael (62735) writes "For those who don't like needles, we may soon have an alternative to the annual flu jab.

Immuron, an Australian company, has two anti-diarrhoea products on the market already, and they are soon to add a third. All three products are based on bovine anti-bodies, produced in cow's milk after the animals have been inoculated with a virus.

It is expected that the spray, called Flubody, will be launched within 18 months, according to Oren Fuerst, spokesman for Immuron, the Australian company developing it. Scientists at Immuron say Flubody acts immediately and could even stop the disease in its tracks.

"It is applied directly to the respiratory mucosa (the lining of the respiratory tract), where it can prevent infection of cells by the virus. And, perhaps more importantly, it can stop an active infection from spreading from cell to cell, thereby stopping the progress of disease," according to Fuerst.

This process is 100 times cheaper than current vaccine production methods that involve cloned and highly purified monoclonal antibodies, he says.

A single 50 microgram dose reduced the level of infection a hundredfold compared to untreated mice. But a 1,000 microgram dose completely cleared the virus in all animals treated, he indicates."

Link to Original Source
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Irish GSM providers to track users web usage

VShael VShael writes  |  about 6 years ago

VShael writes "(Disclaimer : I'm both Irish and work for the EU Commission)

The head of the Irish police force has requested that Irish cell phone providers (Vodaphone, 02, Meteor, 3) retain detailed information on the web pages that people view over their handheld devices.

This information would be held over for "possible future criminal investigations", but would be gathered without a warrant, probable cause, or without the citizen being suspected of a crime.

This request goes way beyond the European Union's data retention directive, which never included retention of web-based email.

Representatives of Vodafone, O2 and 3 discussed the letter at a meeting with Mr Davis (6th November 2008) and questioned the legal basis under which they could retain this data. It is their understanding that the content of calls or e-mails, or details on webpages browsed, are excluded from the EU directive. As such, any retention or disclosure of that information would be a violation of existing EU data protection legislation."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Joe Stacks suicide note, as the FBI are already removing copies from the web

VShael VShael writes  |  more than 4 years ago

If youâ(TM)re reading this, youâ(TM)re no doubt asking yourself, âoeWhy did this have to happen?â The simple truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time. The writing process, started many months ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that there isnâ(TM)t enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken. Needless to say, this rant could fill volumes with example after example if I would let it. I find the process of writing it frustrating, tedious, and probably pointless⦠especially given my gross inability to gracefully articulate my thoughts in light of the storm raging in my head. Exactly what is therapeutic about that Iâ(TM)m not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

We are all taught as children that without laws there would be no society, only anarchy. Sadly, starting at early ages we in this country have been brainwashed to believe that, in return for our dedication and service, our government stands for justice for all. We are further brainwashed to believe that there is freedom in this place, and that we should be ready to lay our lives down for the noble principals represented by its founding fathers. Remember? One of these was âoeno taxation without representationâ. I have spent the total years of my adulthood unlearning that crap from only a few years of my childhood. These days anyone who really stands up for that principal is promptly labeled a âoecrackpotâ, traitor and worse.

While very few working people would say they havenâ(TM)t had their fair share of taxes (as can I), in my lifetime I can say with a great degree of certainty that there has never been a politician cast a vote on any matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind. Nor, for that matter, are they the least bit interested in me or anything I have to say.

Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when itâ(TM)s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours? Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this countryâ(TM)s leaders donâ(TM)t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. Yet, the political âoerepresentativesâ (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the âoeterrible health care problemâ. Itâ(TM)s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people donâ(TM)t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.

And justice? Youâ(TM)ve got to be kidding!

How can any rational individual explain that white elephant conundrum in the middle of our tax system and, indeed, our entire legal system? Here we have a system that is, by far, too complicated for the brightest of the master scholars to understand. Yet, it mercilessly âoeholds accountableâ its victims, claiming that theyâ(TM)re responsible for fully complying with laws not even the experts understand. The law âoerequiresâ a signature on the bottom of a tax filing; yet no one can say truthfully that they understand what they are signing; if thatâ(TM)s not âoeduressâ than what is. If this is not the measure of a totalitarian regime, nothing is.

How did I get here?

My introduction to the real American nightmare starts back in the early â80s. Unfortunately after more than 16 years of school, somewhere along the line I picked up the absurd, pompous notion that I could read and understand plain English. Some friends introduced me to a group of people who were having âtax codeâ(TM) readings and discussions. In particular, zeroed in on a section relating to the wonderful âoeexemptionsâ that make institutions like the vulgar, corrupt Catholic Church so incredibly wealthy. We carefully studied the law (with the help of some of the âoebestâ, high-paid, experienced tax lawyers in the business), and then began to do exactly what the âoebig boysâ were doing (except that we werenâ(TM)t steeling from our congregation or lying to the government about our massive profits in the name of God). We took a great deal of care to make it all visible, following all of the rules, exactly the way the law said it was to be done.

The intent of this exercise and our efforts was to bring about a much-needed re-evaluation of the laws that allow the monsters of organized religion to make such a mockery of people who earn an honest living. However, this is where I learned that there are two âoeinterpretationsâ for every law; one for the very rich, and one for the rest of us⦠Oh, and the monsters are the very ones making and enforcing the laws; the inquisition is still alive and well today in this country.

That little lesson in patriotism cost me $40,000+, 10 years of my life, and set my retirement plans back to 0. It made me realize for the first time that I live in a country with an ideology that is based on a total and complete lie. It also made me realize, not only how naive I had been, but also the incredible stupidity of the American public; that they buy, hook, line, and sinker, the crap about their âoefreedomâ⦠and that they continue to do so with eyes closed in the face of overwhelming evidence and all that keeps happening in front of them.

Before even having to make a shaky recovery from the sting of the first lesson on what justice really means in this country (around 1984 after making my way through engineering school and still another five years of âoepaying my duesâ), I felt I finally had to take a chance of launching my dream of becoming an independent engineer.

On the subjects of engineers and dreams of independence, I should digress somewhat to say that Iâ(TM)m sure that I inherited the fascination for creative problem solving from my father. I realized this at a very young age.

The significance of independence, however, came much later during my early years of college; at the age of 18 or 19 when I was living on my own as student in an apartment in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. My neighbor was an elderly retired woman (80+ seemed ancient to me at that age) who was the widowed wife of a retired steel worker. Her husband had worked all his life in the steel mills of central Pennsylvania with promises from big business and the union that, for his 30 years of service, he would have a pension and medical care to look forward to in his retirement. Instead he was one of the thousands who got nothing because the incompetent mill management and corrupt union (not to mention the government) raided their pension funds and stole their retirement. All she had was social security to live on.

In retrospect, the situation was laughable because here I was living on peanut butter and bread (or Ritz crackers when I could afford to splurge) for months at a time. When I got to know this poor figure and heard her story I felt worse for her plight than for my own (I, after all, I thought I had everything to in front of me). I was genuinely appalled at one point, as we exchanged stories and commiserated with each other over our situations, when she in her grandmotherly fashion tried to convince me that I would be âoehealthierâ eating cat food (like her) rather than trying to get all my substance from peanut butter and bread. I couldnâ(TM)t quite go there, but the impression was made. I decided that I didnâ(TM)t trust big business to take care of me, and that I would take responsibility for my own future and myself.

Return to the early â80s, and here I was off to a terrifying start as a âwet-behind-the-earsâ(TM) contract software engineer... and two years later, thanks to the fine backroom, midnight effort by the sleazy executives of Arthur Andersen (the very same folks who later brought us Enron and other such calamities) and an equally sleazy New York Senator (Patrick Moynihan), we saw the passage of 1986 tax reform act with its section 1706.

For you who are unfamiliar, here is the core text of the IRS Section 1706, defining the treatment of workers (such as contract engineers) for tax purposes. Visit this link for a conference committee report (http://www.synergistech.com/1706.shtml#ConferenceCommitteeReport) regarding the intended interpretation of Section 1706 and the relevant parts of Section 530, as amended. For information on how these laws affect technical services workers and their clients, read our discussion here (http://www.synergistech.com/ic-taxlaw.shtml).

SEC. 1706. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN TECHNICAL PERSONNEL.

(a) IN GENERAL - Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:

(d) EXCEPTION. - This section shall not apply in the case of an individual who pursuant to an arrangement between the taxpayer and another person, provides services for such other person as an engineer, designer, drafter, computer programmer, systems analyst, or other similarly skilled worker engaged in a similar line of work.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE. - The amendment made by this section shall apply to remuneration paid and services rendered after December 31, 1986.

Note:

 "another person" is the client in the traditional job-shop relationship.

 "taxpayer" is the recruiter, broker, agency, or job shop.

 "individual", "employee", or "worker" is you.

Admittedly, you need to read the treatment to understand what it is saying but itâ(TM)s not very complicated. The bottom line is that they may as well have put my name right in the text of section (d). Moreover, they could only have been more blunt if they would have came out and directly declared me a criminal and non-citizen slave. Twenty years later, I still canâ(TM)t believe my eyes.

During 1987, I spent close to $5000 of my âpocket changeâ(TM), and at least 1000 hours of my time writing, printing, and mailing to any senator, congressman, governor, or slug that might listen; none did, and they universally treated me as if I was wasting their time. I spent countless hours on the L.A. freeways driving to meetings and any and all of the disorganized professional groups who were attempting to mount a campaign against this atrocity. This, only to discover that our efforts were being easily derailed by a few moles from the brokers who were just beginning to enjoy the windfall from the new declaration of their âoefreedomâ. Oh, and donâ(TM)t forget, for all of the time I was spending on this, I was loosing income that I couldnâ(TM)t bill clients.

After months of struggling it had clearly gotten to be a futile exercise. The best we could get for all of our trouble is a pronouncement from an IRS mouthpiece that they werenâ(TM)t going to enforce that provision (read harass engineers and scientists). This immediately proved to be a lie, and the mere existence of the regulation began to have its impact on my bottom line; this, of course, was the intended effect.

Again, rewind my retirement plans back to 0 and shift them into idle. If I had any sense, I clearly should have left abandoned engineering and never looked back.

Instead I got busy working 100-hour workweeks. Then came the L.A. depression of the early 1990s. Our leaders decided that they didnâ(TM)t need the all of those extra Air Force bases they had in Southern California, so they were closed; just like that. The result was economic devastation in the region that rivaled the widely publicized Texas S&L fiasco. However, because the government caused it, no one gave a shit about all of the young families who lost their homes or street after street of boarded up houses abandoned to the wealthy loan companies who received government funds to âoeshore upâ their windfall. Again, I lost my retirement.

Years later, after weathering a divorce and the constant struggle trying to build some momentum with my business, I find myself once again beginning to finally pick up some speed. Then came the .COM bust and the 911 nightmare. Our leaders decided that all aircraft were grounded for what seemed like an eternity; and long after that, âspecialâ(TM) facilities like San Francisco were on security alert for months. This made access to my customers prohibitively expensive. Ironically, after what they had done the Government came to the aid of the airlines with billions of our tax dollars ⦠as usual they left me to rot and die while they bailed out their rich, incompetent cronies WITH MY MONEY! After these events, there went my business but not quite yet all of my retirement and savings.

By this time, Iâ(TM)m thinking that it might be good for a change. Bye to California, Iâ(TM)ll try Austin for a while. So I moved, only to find out that this is a place with a highly inflated sense of self-importance and where damn little real engineering work is done. Iâ(TM)ve never experienced such a hard time finding work. The rates are 1/3 of what I was earning before the crash, because pay rates here are fixed by the three or four large companies in the area who are in collusion to drive down prices and wages⦠and this happens because the justice department is all on the take and doesnâ(TM)t give a fuck about serving anyone or anything but themselves and their rich buddies.

To survive, I was forced to cannibalize my savings and retirement, the last of which was a small IRA. This came in a year with mammoth expenses and not a single dollar of income. I filed no return that year thinking that because I didnâ(TM)t have any income there was no need. The sleazy government decided that they disagreed. But they didnâ(TM)t notify me in time for me to launch a legal objection so when I attempted to get a protest filed with the court I was told I was no longer entitled to due process because the time to file ran out. Bend over for another $10,000 helping of justice.

So now we come to the present. After my experience with the CPA world, following the business crash I swore that Iâ(TM)d never enter another accountantâ(TM)s office again. But here I am with a new marriage and a boatload of undocumented income, not to mention an expensive new business asset, a piano, which I had no idea how to handle. After considerable thought I decided that it would be irresponsible NOT to get professional help; a very big mistake.

When we received the forms back I was very optimistic that they were in order. I had taken all of the years information to Bill Ross, and he came back with results very similar to what I was expecting. Except that he had neglected to include the contents of Sherylâ(TM)s unreported income; $12,700 worth of it. To make matters worse, Ross knew all along this was missing and I didnâ(TM)t have a clue until he pointed it out in the middle of the audit. By that time it had become brutally evident that he was representing himself and not me.

This left me stuck in the middle of this disaster trying to defend transactions that have no relationship to anything tax-related (at least the tax-related transactions were poorly documented). Things I never knew anything about and things my wife had no clue would ever matter to anyone. The end result is⦠well, just look around.

I remember reading about the stock market crash before the âoegreatâ depression and how there were wealthy bankers and businessmen jumping out of windows when they realized they screwed up and lost everything. Isnâ(TM)t it ironic how far weâ(TM)ve come in 60 years in this country that they now know how to fix that little economic problem; they just steal from the middle class (who doesnâ(TM)t have any say in it, elections are a joke) to cover their asses and itâ(TM)s âoebusiness-as-usualâ. Now when the wealthy fuck up, the poor get to die for the mistakes⦠isnâ(TM)t that a clever, tidy solution.

As government agencies go, the FAA is often justifiably referred to as a tombstone agency, though they are hardly alone. The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this criticism rings equally true for all of the government. Nothing changes unless there is a body count (unless it is in the interest of the wealthy sows at the government trough). In a government full of hypocrites from top to bottom, life is as cheap as their lies and their self-serving laws.

I know Iâ(TM)m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand. It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isnâ(TM)t limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants. I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after. But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change. I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at âoebig brotherâ while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual wonâ(TM)t continue; I have just had enough.

I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be white washed and ignored that the American zombies wake up and revolt; it will take nothing less. I would only hope that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard, knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and their mindless minions for what they are. Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasnâ(TM)t so, but violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer. The cruel joke is that the really big chunks of shit at the top have known this all along and have been laughing, at and using this awareness against, fools like me all along.

I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, letâ(TM)s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

Joe Stack (1956-2010)

02/18/2010

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