May 30, 2007
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. Lies and Cheats, Causes More Deaths to Increase Profits
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. agreed to plead guilty and pay a $1 million criminal fine for lying to the federal government about a patent deal involving its blood thinner Plavix, the Department of Justice said on Wednesday. The department said that illegal actions by Bristol-Myers "threatened to reduce competition for the drug Plavix that could have reduced the cost of blood-thinning drugs sold to heart attack, stroke and other patients." Bristol-Myers agreed to plead guilty to two violations of the federal False Statements Act, the government noted. The deal reached with the antitrust division of the DOJ resolved a previously disclosed criminal investigation regarding the proposed settlement between Bristol-Myers and its product partner, Sanofi-Aventis, Apotex Inc., and Apotex Corp.
May 27, 2007
Mitsy the Puppie Goes Pee
Right before bed I brushed my teeth. I took step back and wound up in dog piss. Earlier today, in another episode of pee on Aaron's feet, the dog peed on the floor and I walked through it. I asked my girlfriend if it was water or piss. She said "it is pee. this is perfect." She then asked me what I was doing when I went to change my socks.
May 22, 2007
The Happiest Days of My Life...
The last couple have been right at the top. Even when stuff goes wrong (like my knee hurting in the morning) I was still able to jog. And yesterday I had gross blisters on my foot and still went for a 4 or 5 mile hike in the woods with my fiance. She is a bit sick (she got that from me) but she is still so strong and full of life. Her mom and dad also came over and surprised us today.
In spite of feeling like I live in a fairy tale land it all seems sustainable too. How sweet is that?
May 21, 2007
How to Overthrow a Country
With the intention of ousting an undesirable regime, the U.S. government dedicates itself to strengthening and uniting opposition to the government. This includes funding opposition political parties, and creating non-governmental organizations dedicated to toppling the regime in power. On top of this, the U.S. might contract political consultants and polling agencies to help their favored candidate win at the ballot box. But in the event they cannot win the election, fake polls cast doubt on the official electoral results, and the opposition claims fraud. Massive protests and media attention put pressure on the regime to step down, or to give in to opposition demands. 
As implausible as it might sound, it was exactly this strategy that toppled Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia in 2000. After the war in Kosovo and NATO bombing had failed to produce regime change, the United States worked to strengthen Milosevic’s internal opponents by uniting them behind one candidate, Vojislav Kostunica, and pumping about $40 million into his election campaign.  U.S.-funded NGO’s and electoral consultants helped create a propaganda campaign surrounding the elections, and worked behind the scenes to help organize mass resistance to the Milosevic regime.  U.S.-trained “election helpers” were deployed around the country on election day to monitor results. The U.S. even provided young activists with thousands of cans of spray paint and campaign stickers to cover the country with anti-Milosevic slogans. 
According to official results of the first round elections neither candidate had won a majority of the vote, and so it would require a second round run-off. But U.S. consultants published their own “exit polls” giving Kostunica a huge victory and Milosevic refused to recognize them.  The opposition claimed fraud and U.S.-backed groups staged acts of non-violent resistance to put pressure on the government. Armed groups stormed the Federal Assembly and the state television headquarters.  Massive protests and rebellion forced Milosevic to step down. There would be no second round election, and Washington’s candidate Vojislav Kostunica took power. The strategy had worked.
While the heavily scrutinized touch-screen voting machines seemed to produce results in which the registered Democrat/Republican ratios largely matched the Kerry/Bush vote, in Florida's counties using results from optically scanned paper ballots - fed into a central tabulator PC and thus vulnerable to hacking – the results seem to contain substantial anomalies.
In Baker County, for example, with 12,887 registered voters, 69.3% of them Democrats and 24.3% of them Republicans, the vote was only 2,180 for Kerry and 7,738 for Bush, the opposite of what is seen everywhere else in the country where registered Democrats largely voted for Kerry.
Speaking of statistics, perhaps the juiciest analytical morsel comes from Steven F. Freeman, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania, who thoroughly examined discrepancies between reported results and exit poll data, with particular emphasis on the crucial states of Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Specifically, Ohio's reported results gave Bush a 6.7% premium over exit polls in 2004, Florida gave him an extra 5%, and Pennsylvania boosted him by 6.5%.
Freeman calculates the combined statistical probability of these three discrepancies occurring in 2004, is one in 250 million. In 10 of the 11 so-called "battleground" states, he observes, "the tallied margin differs from the predicted margin, and in every one, the shift favors Bush."
But what are exit polls, and how accurate are they? Basically, they ask people leaving a polling area how they voted. And, as for precision, even Republican consultant Dick Morris gives them high marks. "Exit polls are almost never wrong," he wrote in a November 2004 article. "So reliable are the surveys that actually tap voters as they leave the polling places, that they are used as guides to the relative honesty of elections in Third World countries."
Note, too, that exit poll discrepancies in Ukraine's run-off leadership election of Nov. 21, 2004, similar in magnitude to Bush's three sixes in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, were enough within days to bring hundreds of thousands of protestors into the streets of Kiev.
The exit poll data for Freeman's own analysis of the 2004 election came from the National Election Pool, a consortium of major television networks and the Associated Press, and are collected by two respected polling firms, Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International. Freeman notes that in Germany, where it takes a week or more to tally an election, the German people nevertheless know the results the night the polls close "because the news media's exit polls, for two generations, have never been more than a tenth of a percent off."
It is cheaper, faster, and more profitable to change public perception and doctor the results than to give people what they want...if you were an amoral business or politician why wouldn't you invest in voter fraud?
May 20, 2007
How it is
I used to be quite unhappy because I let people walk on me.
After a few years of telling people what I thought I finally became happy.
That may make it easy for some people to hate me, but that is just the way it is.
Life is too short to be dishonest with yourself or your friends.
May 19, 2007
People Follow the Example You Set
It's pretty bad when the leader of the world bank is corrupt. What kind of example does that set for the rest of the business world?
I don't think leaders are getting any more corrupt. I just think that marketing is getting better at manipulating people in the short term, and increased worldwide communications is catching much more of the manipulation in the longterm. It is easy to get cynical if you forget the increased communications part...but when you think of that it adds a level of hope that is delightful.
May 12, 2007
free online gift certificate coupons & discounts
in store credits for crap...
nothing says I don't love you like a gift certificate
if I know you enough to love you then I should know something you want
be it a gift, an experience, or a story
you think you see it all
but there it is again
play the track and hit repeat
listen closely, you hear what you see
share this with a friend
watch it spread
what does it mean
listen closely, you hear what you see
May 9, 2007
As You Once Were
challenged by money
seeking hope, value, and publicity
driven for profit
changed by money
May 7, 2007
Consuming Mindless Consumption
From the NYT
Consumer spending in the United States, which is still on the rise, accounts for an astonishing 20 percent of the global economy. ...
Consumer spending hasn’t fallen for a single quarter since the fourth quarter of 1991. And while there are factors affecting domestic consumer spending — higher interest rates, lower housing prices, higher gas prices — the indefatigable American spenders show few signs of letting up.
And while they mindlessly consume, robots are being trained to trade the companies they buy from:
Quants seek to strip human emotions such as fear and greed out of investing. Today, their brand of computer-guided trading has reached levels undreamed of a decade ago. A third of all U.S. stock trades in 2006 were driven by automatic programs, or algorithms, according to Boston-based consulting firm Aite Group LLC. By 2010, that figure will reach 50 percent, according to Aite.
And while the hedge funds are betting with bots, Buffet wants up to 4 people to take his place, and thinks the price of a CEO is rarely too much if they perform:
"Compensation sins are generally of minor importance compared to the sin of having someone mediocre running a huge company," Buffett said.
Links snagged from my favorite investment blog.
May 6, 2007
So one time I kissed my girlfriend at a restaurant. A security guard came up and said that wasn't allowed, claiming this was a family restaurant.
Yesterday another girl totally lost it when my girlfriend and I were kissing at a little bistro. She said Jesus rent a room and other stuff like that. As we ignored her she got louder and violent sounding. She tried saying that it was wrong to kiss in front of her kid who was nearby...but when she was saying it was wrong her kid never noticed us until AFTER she started yelling, and then the kid saw her mom yelling violently and smoking.
If you are worried about setting an example for a kid, is it worse to have the kid surrounded with love or hate? I guess asking these sorts of questions are what makes me and my girlfriend so abnormal...in a good way :)
Jews For Peace
Today I went to the farmers market and saw some bizarre Jews for peace people spreading their message of hate and intolerance. One guy has Israel on the map forever sign, while the next one is holding their flag next to a US one, and the next has a Israel for Peace sign.
If something is created out of brute force, violence, and murder, and is maintained by the same, how can you say you support it and peace? What a joke.
So I walked behind the people, and while I was walking past them I told my girlfriend "while I was in the Army I killed 14 Muslims, for peace." Some of them turned their heads and looked at me. I wonder if any of them realized that my comment was no less absurd than their signs.