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Isn’t that special

Could we be clear here? Wisconsin wasn’t running a budget deficit here until Scott Walker decided to cut business taxes. And when the state says they won’t have the money to administer the food stamp program without outsourcing (in defiance of federal regulations), what they’re really saying is that they don’t want to raise taxes to pay for it.

That God Wisconsin has such a Christian governor. Otherwise, poor people would really be worried!

Vacation

I thought this was interesting — they blame us for not having more vacation because they somehow think we like work better than leisure:

Most U.S. companies, of course, do provide vacation as a way to attract and retain workers.

But the fear of layoffs and the ever-faster pace of work mean many Americans are reluctant to be absent from the office — anxious that they might look like they’re not committed to their job. Or they worry they won’t be able to cope with the backlog of work waiting for them after a vacation.

Then, there’s the way we work.

Working more makes Americans happier than Europeans, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Happiness Studies. That may be because Americans believe more than Europeans do that hard work is associated with success, wrote Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn, the study’s author and an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Dallas.
“Americans maximize their… [happiness] by working, and Europeans maximize their [happiness] through leisure,” he found.

So despite research documenting the health and productivity benefits of taking time off, a long vacation can be undesirable, scary, unrealistic or just plain impossible for many U.S. workers.

Fukushima

Out of control, scientist says….

Here comes my baby

The Tremeloes do Cat Stevens:

Tornado season

We haven’t even hit the worst part of the season yet.

Whenever you’re on my mind

Marshall Crenshaw:

Heroin

Kenn Kweder:

Anonymous

Has hacked the U.S. Chamber of Commerce site:

Online mischief makers Anonymous are set to launch a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on the website of the US Chamber of Commerce later today, in retaliation for the organisation’s support for the draft PROTECT IP Act.

The ‘hacktivist’ collective announced it would launch the DDoS attack at 20:00 Eastern Standard Time.

If passed, the ‘Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property’ Act – ‘PROTECT IP’, for short – will allow US Justice Department officials to force ISPs and search engines to block access to web sites it believes to be infringing US copyright laws, and would require other companies such as advertising network providers and payment processors to cease doing business with them.

In order to obtain a preliminary court order that the site is ‘dedicated to infringing activities’, the Justice Department must show that a web site is directed at US consumers and harms holders of US intellectual property.

The draft legislation has the backing of both sides of the US political spectrum, and US government sources say the bill has already gathered a lot of support among legislators – chiefly due to the lobbying activities of groups representing rights holders and big business, including the MPAA, Viacom, Mastercard, Sony and Disney.

The US Chamber of Commerce is being targeted for its outspoken support for the bill, which critics accuse of having disastrous implications for freedom of speech and the open exchange of information online.

Anonymous isn’t the only group actively resisting the draconian legislations; within the corporate world, Google has stated it will go on fighting the bill even if it is passed. Speaking in London on 18th May, Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said:

“If there is a law that requires DNS [domain name systems, the protocol that allows users to connect to Web sites], to do x, and it’s passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president of the United States, and we disagree with it, then we would still fight it… If it’s a request, the answer is we wouldn’t do it; if it’s a discussion, we wouldn’t do it.”

“Times are changing,” says hacking hive-mind Anonymous, which accuses industries such as Hollywood – which the group says will still make billions regardless of what gets distributed on the Internet – of doing everything in its power to maintain the status quo, “moulding legislation to increase profits rather than protect civil liberties.”

Ominous

Some unpleasant-looking clouds forming. Looks like another storm…

Helping Joplin

Here’s some info:

Collecting monetary donations is the best way to help Joplin, according to Polk County Emergency Management Director Rick Lewis. After last night’s tornado that damaged or destroyed about 30 percent of the southwest Missouri town, several area organizations and churches are collecting money, food and supplies.

“With money, they can feed people or do whatever they need to do,” Lewis said. “If [people] don’t know where to send donations, they can send them through [Polk County Emergency Management] to PO Box 181, Bolivar MO 65613, marked Joplin.”

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