Monday, January 16, 2012

Poll: Disapproval of Congress Hits New High

But those same 84% are still going to vote to keep their member of Congress office. How many times do we allow them to fool us. Stop voting to reelect these people if you think they are failing you. Things won't get any better until we say - ENOUGH:

A record 84 percent of Americans say they disapprove of the way the Congress is doing its job compared with just 13 percent who approve of how things are going, according to a Washington Post/ABC News public opinion poll published on Monday.

The disapproval rating for Congress inched up two percentage points since October and reflects a year of lows for Congress that ended in a battle over a temporary extension of the payroll tax cuts for 160 million Americans.

[...]The 84 percent disapproval rate is the highest for Congress in nearly 40 years of polling. The previous high was last October, when 82 percent of poll respondents said they disapproved of the way lawmakers on Capitol Hill were doing their jobs.
Source: Reuters

US honors MLK with service — and more Occupy protests

Occupy Wall Street is in the tradition of the civil rights movement led by MLKjr in the 1960s. And it is OWS that is laying the foundation for revolution in America last seen with the destruction of Jim Crow in the South:

Americans honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday with a traditional day of service as well as a new wave of protests by Occupy Wall Street to promote causes of economic justice.

Across the nation, hundreds of formal events were planned for the federal holiday to celebrate the slain leader's birthday and legacy, from prayer services to parades to performances.

But it was the first time the annual King holiday has been held since the Occupy Wall Street movement reignited debate about social inequality and poverty. The protesters have targeted investment banks, noting the government bailed out Wall Street while many Americans still struggle with joblessness and housing foreclosures.

Not long before he was murdered in 1968, King was organizing a Poor People's Campaign as the next phase in the civil rights movement.

"Occupy Wall Street continues Martin Luther King's quest for economic justice through nonviolent action," the protest movement said in a statement.
Full article

Hackers Attack Israeli Stock Exchange In Escalating Mideast Cyber-Throwdown

Cyberterror is the next 9-11 waiting to happen. And the U.S. government is not preparing us. Not even the militarily prepared Israelis can stop it. There is already cyberwar going on. And if something isn't done we'll be hit just as we were at Pearl Harbor or on 9-11:

The websites of Israel's stock exchange and national airline were hit by hack attacks today after weekend threats from the pro-Palestinian hacker 0xOmar. It's the latest volley in the escalating hacker-on-hacker pissing-match currently drenching the Middle East in leaked credit card information.

Today's attacks weren't very impressive; they briefly took down the websites of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and El Al Airlines, but didn't impact service in either cases. Still, they've captured headlines because of their place in the ongoing 'cyberwar' being waged between two groups of teen hackers on either side of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

This all started started in early January, when a hacker claiming to be a 19-year-old Saudi going by the name 0xOmar leaked about 15,000 Israeli credit cards and claimed to have a million more. Besides his burning hatred of Israel, he seemed like a pretty normal teenage geek in our chat with him, with a penchant for Xbox and web design.
Full article

Scientists Uncover The Mathematics Of Serial Killers

Let's hope it leads to actual results in fighting crime:

Andrei Chikatilo, “The Butcher of Rostov,” was one of the most prolific serial killers in modern history. Between 1978 and 1990 in the Ukraine, he committed at least 52 murders before he was caught, tried and executed. The pattern of his murders, though, was irregular. There were long periods of no activity, interrupted by several murders within a short period of time.

Hoping to gain insight into serial killings to prevent similar murders, his pattern of behavior was examined by Mikhail Simkin and Vwani Roychowdhury at UCLA. They’ve published a paper on ArXiv with their preliminary results.

What the authors used as the basis of their analysis was the hypothesis that “similar to epileptic seizures, the psychotic affects, causing a serial killer to commit murder, arise from simultaneous firing of large number of neurons in the brain.” Accordingly, they based their model on neuronal firing – the fact that, once a neuron fires, there’s a refractory period that has to pass before it can fire again. When it does fire, it can trigger other neurons to fire if they’re ready to. As you can imagine, though, those firings aren’t always in sync. So what the authors suggest is that there must be a threshold – that is, when a certain number of neurons fire, the serial killer becomes driven by an overwhelming urge to kill.
Full article

Fox News: ‘You Can Pee on Me All You Want, Don’t Shoot Me”

This is typical FOX. Justify any behavior in the most profane manner if it furthers the right wing agenda:

The party of “ideas” has come to this: The Republican Party’s publicity arm Fox News had Brad Stine on this morning’s edition of Fox and Friends to justify Marines peeing on dead “Taliban.” After he got through explaining that liberals are coming from a position of idiocracy based in feminine values of putting too much emphasis on feelings, he explained that guys will be guys and under pressure, they pee on people.

Summing this up, he said, “You can pee on me all you want, don’t shoot me.”

Video: A nation remembers Martin Luther King

Can an Economy Still grow with Serious Debt?

The answer is - no. We are drowning in debt. That crowds out the necessary government investment in infrastructure that is necessary for a economy to grow:

Currently, there seems to be a positive correlation between current account balances and economic growth. Countries with big deficits like Greece, Spain and Britain are performing really bad, while surplus countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany and Sweden are performing really good. And China with its large surplus are outperforming India with its deficit.

Al Sharpton To Protest Michigan Emergency Takeover Law

Sharpton honors the memory of MLKjr. by fighting against tyranny in Michigan:

The Rev. Al Sharpton and others say they plan a demonstration outside the gated community where Republican Gov. Rick Snyder lives to protest what they say is a racially biased law that makes it easier for Michigan to take over financially struggling communities and school districts.

The protest is scheduled on Martin Luther King Day at Snyder's home in Washtenaw County's Superior Township, near Ann Arbor. The protesters plan to march Monday afternoon to a gatehouse outside the private subdivision that includes the governor's home.

Sharpton and U.S. Rep. John Conyers talked about the protest Sunday at a news at a Detroit church.

Congress Returning, Eyeing New Fees And Budget Cuts To Pay For Payroll Tax Cut Extension


Republicans would cut federal employee benefits. President Barack Obama would raise fees for airline passengers and eliminate Saturday mail delivery. Democrats in Congress would charge employers higher premiums for federal pension guarantees.

As Congress returns from a three-week holiday break, those are a few of the ideas for how to pay for extending an average $20-a-week Social Security payroll tax cut through the end of 2012 without adding to the government's long-term debt.