Daily Archives: October 20, 2012

License Plate Frame Foils Irksome Traffic-Light Cameras

Traffic-light tickets have ticked off a gazillion drivers, some of whom have had to fork over $500 for running a light. Now there’s a way for you to throw a monkey wrench into that money-making machine.

http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2012/10/new-gadget-helps-foil-irksome-red-light-cameras/

Britain’s High-Tech Thought Police

What country has just sentenced a man to eight months in prison for wearing an anti-police t-shirt, and another man to three months in prison for telling an “abhorrent” joke on Facebook? Iran, perhaps? China? No, it’s Britain.

Something has gone horribly wrong in Britain in recent years. The birthplace of John Milton (“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience”), and John Stuart Mill (“Every man who says frankly and fully what he thinks is so far doing a public service”), has become a cesspit of censoriousness.

The frequency with which the police and legal system now throw into jail anyone judged to have committed a “speech crime” is alarming.

On October 11, Barry Thew, a 39-year-old man from Manchester, was sentenced to eight months in jail—eight months!—for the crime of wearing a t-shirt that said, “One less pig — perfect justice”.

http://reason.com/archives/2012/10/17/britains-high-tech-thought-police

Welfare spending jumps 32% during Obama’s presidency

Federal welfare spending has grown by 32 percent over the past four years, fattened by President Obama’s stimulus spending and swelled by a growing number of Americans whose recession-depleted incomes now qualify them for public assistance, according to numbers released Thursday.

Federal spending on more than 80 low-income assistance programs reached $746 billion in 2011, and state spending on those programs brought the total to $1.03 trillion, according to figures from the Congressional Research Service and the Senate Budget Committee.

That makes welfare the single biggest chunk of federal spending — topping Social Security and basic defense spending.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee who requested the Congressional Research Service report, said the numbers underscore a fundamental shift in welfare, which he said has moved from being a Band-Aid and toward a more permanent crutch.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/oct/18/welfare-spending-jumps-32-percent-four-years/

America’s Schools: Breeding Grounds for Compliant Citizens

Once looked to as the starting place for imparting principles of freedom and democracy to future generations, America’s classrooms are becoming little more than breeding grounds for compliant citizens. The moment young people walk into school, they increasingly find themselves under constant surveillance: they are photographed, fingerprinted, scanned, x-rayed, sniffed and snooped on. Between metal detectors at the entrances, drug-sniffing dogs in the hallways and surveillance cameras in the classrooms and elsewhere, many of America’s schools look more like prisons than learning facilities.

Add to this the epidemic of arresting schoolchildren and treating them as if they are dangerous criminals, and you have the makings of a perfect citizenry for our emerging police state—one that can be easily cowed, controlled, and directed. Now comes the latest development in the sad deconstruction of our schools: “smart” identification cards containing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that allow school officials to track every step students take. So small that they are barely detectable to the human eye, RFID tags produce a radio signal by which the wearer’s precise movements can be constantly monitored.

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/americas_schools_breeding_grounds_for_compliant_citizens

The Future Of Gold, Oil, And The Dollar

The ability of reflationary policy to mute the worst risks of debt deflation has been a source of enormous frustration for stock market bears ever since the 2008 collapse. Accordingly, let’s first take a look at three key markets, gold, oil, and the dollar, which have already had a chance to respond to QE3.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-10-16/guest-post-future-gold-oil-and-dollar

Here’s Everything We Know About IFA, The iPhone Tracking Technology In Apple’s iOS 6

Although Apple allows users to limit ad tracking within its new operating system, iOS 6 — here’s an easy how-to — we still don’t know a lot about what advertisers can see and do with the new Identifier for Advertisers (IFA or IDFA)

Here’s a guide to everything that’s currently known about IFA.

Bye Bye UDID

Prior to iOS 6, Apple products used Unique Device Identifiers (UDID) to allow advertisers to track users’ habits and preferences. Basically, apps would sell UDIDs to advertisers.

http://www.businessinsider.com/everything-we-know-about-ifa-and-tracking-in-apples-ios-6-2012-10

Shut up and play nice: How the Western world is limiting free speech

While most people still enjoy considerable freedom of expression, this right, once a near-absolute, has become less defined and less dependable for those espousing controversial social, political or religious views. The decline of free speech has come not from any single blow but rather from thousands of paper cuts of well-intentioned exceptions designed to maintain social harmony.

In the face of the violence that frequently results from anti-religious expression, some world leaders seem to be losing their patience with free speech. After a video called “Innocence of Muslims” appeared on YouTube and sparked violent protests in several Muslim nations last month, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that “when some people use this freedom of expression to provoke or humiliate some others’ values and beliefs, then this cannot be protected.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-four-arguments-the-western-world-uses-to-limit-free-speech/2012/10/12/e0573bd4-116d-11e2-a16b-2c110031514a_story.html

55 Facts About The Debt And U.S. Government Finances That Every American Voter Should Know

The future of the United States of America is being systematically destroyed by our politicians, but unfortunately most Americans don’t really grasp exactly what is happening.  30 years ago, our national debt had just crossed the one trillion dollar mark.  Just recently, it crossed the 16 trillion dollar mark.  Prior to every election, politicians from both parties swear up and down that they will do something about our exploding debt, but it never happens.  Once again this year, our politicians are making all kinds of grand promises about getting U.S. government finances under control.  But they are also promising all kinds of new plans and programs which are going to cost a lot more money on top of what we are already spending.  For the average American, all of this can be incredibly confusing.  That is why I have put together a list of facts about the debt and U.S. government finances below.  These are things that every voter should know.  The federal government is stealing more than a trillion dollars a year from our children and our grandchildren, and they are spending that money in some of the most foolish ways that you could ever imagine.  We have accumulated the largest mountain of debt in the history of the world, but our politicians just can’t help themselves – they appear to be absolutely addicted to spending money.  If we continue on the path that we are currently on, our entire financial system and our entire economy will be destroyed by all of this debt.  Time is running out and urgent action is needed to address this crisis. (Read More….)

The Last Days Of America? 25 Signs Of Extreme Social Decay

Are we on the verge of societal collapse?  Many of the greatest empires throughout world history were not conquered by outside forces.  Rather, they crumbled inwardly as extreme social decay set in.  There have been many that have compared the last days of the Roman Empire to what America is going through right now.  In the decades following World War II, the United States was the most powerful and the most prosperous nation on the entire planet, but now things are rapidly changing.  There are literally thousands of signs that our society is collapsing all around us.  All you have to do to see this is turn on a television or pick up a newspaper.  I spend a lot of time discussing our nightmarish economic and political headaches in this column, but the truth is that our problems go much deeper than that.  Even if a major miracle happened and we got the “right person” into the White House, the Federal Reserve was shut down, our 16 trillion dollar national debt was paid off, our trade deficit went to zero, a solution was found for the quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble and the “too big to fail” banks were broken up, we would still be facing a national crisis of unprecedented magnitude.  The cold, hard reality of the matter is that America has become an absolute cesspool of filth and corruption, and the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is rapidly disappearing.  Until we get our hearts right, there is not much hope for the future of this once great nation. (Read More….)