20091227

Little Caesars ventures into mobile coupons, unsuccesfully

Little Caesars made an attempt at a pretty cool $3.99 promotion this weekend to coincide with their bowl game sponsorship. Unfortunately their execution was lacking in the, shall we say, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing department.

Little Caesars offered mobile coupons, the kind where you show your phone with the coupon displayed to the cashier and they say, "Oh it looks like you have a mobile coupon, great, I'll apply that to your order."

This would've worked great except that the staff were trained to accept only coupons that are printed on paper.

Here is the screen grab of the Little Caesars home page. Note the little mobile phone on the bottom left.



Look at the url for the mobile coupon.



Look at the url for the coupon that is intended to be printed.

If you were negatively affected by this please let Little Caesar know, and twitter it: @littlecaesars

20091226

Heaven to return souls for re judging

Heaven made a mistake and allowed those doomed to burn in hell into heaven. Thankfully heaven officials took quick action and corrected the mistake. More by the Onion's Doyle Redland

20091225

Church Canceled Due to Lack of god

Doyle Redland tells us why a church canceled its weekly services.
Where will churchgoers go now for their lovely singing?

20091216

The Universe in a Nutshell

What is the universe and how can we possible hope to understand such an infinite thing?

Books like The Universe in a Nutshell help to answer those questions. The universe is big and there is lots to learn about it. Start learning by reading the Stephen Hawking book.

Check it out at your local library or download the audiobook at thePirateBay.

20091212

The MPAA wants to control our TV

The MPAA is pressuring the FCC for the authority to cripple recording devices using so-called "Selectable Output Control" (SOC).

Basically, SOC would enable Hollywood to actually shut off the video outputs on your cable box, DVR, or other recording device when particular movies or shows come on. When the movie's over, the outputs might turn back on. Your devices would dance to Hollywood's tune.

Most cable boxes and DVRs already include Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and operate using proprietary software -- both of which we need to work to eliminate. But just because many of these devices already use DRM, that doesn't mean we should let Hollywood and the FCC keep adding more. This new form of control would take even more freedom away from people using those devices, would restrict people using free software like MythTV to watch broadcasts and record them, and would set a dangerous precedent elevating Hollywood's desires over the public's freedom.

Learn more by visiting the Defective by Design Website.

20091211

US Military kills anything that moves in Afghanistan

From the World Can't Wait

It's inescapable to much of the world. Barack Obama is expanding troops going into the 8 years of US occupation of Afghanistan, and expanding a largely secret, ongoing CIA war of killing by robot drones in Pakistan. The debate among the deciders on Afghanistan offers two terrible options: expanding the ground troops by at least tens of thousands, or relying more on unmanned drones and special forces assassination ops.

Tuesday, we held a banner saying "US Out of Iraq & Afghanistan! The World Can't Wait!" as hundreds of people gathered across from where President Obama was to speak about health care in NYC. There were a many more supporters of health care reform than opponents of the wars, but the general public was coming up to us. I met a Special Forces sergeant who just returned from Afghanistan, and said, "I want to tell you what we did, but I can't talk about this. We did things to human beings you shouldn't ever do....the military is killing civilians, just killing people there. I don't know how to feel...I feel so messed up..."

We have to go out more widely than ever and help people know what to do, and even more importantly, how to look at why the US is doing what it's doing to be an unchallengeable empire, and not for "democracy." See Larry Everest's piece this week reprinted from Revolution, Behind the "Debate" Over Afghanistan: Suffering, Death, and the Needs of Empire.

Daniel Ellsberg spoke Saturday in San Francisco, and said something arresting, which he said I may quote: "I don't believe there is a single official in the Pentagon or CIA or in Afghanistan who believes that 40,000 more US troops or 80,000 more US troops would be enough to bring anything that could be called success in any sense. If Obama starts on this path of open-ended war -- as LBJ did in July, 1965 -- 40-80,000 troops would be only a first installment, with the limit at any time over the next decade set only by what can be made available. The Taliban will be growing stronger concurrently, whatever the body count."

There was a story in the USA Today on demoralization among the 10th Mountain Division, which has taken heavy casualties in Afghanistan recently. Joe Urgo, who was a leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, responds to the story in Colonel to Troops: I'm Lying to You:

"In response to this potentially dangerous situation, the commander of the unit, Col David Haight, wrote a letter to the Third Brigade on Oct 12. The Colonel starts his letter addressed:" To All Spartans", {a bloody warrior society in ancient Sparta that held slaves} and goes on to praise "the tremendous sacrifice of all......and it is appreciated." When he gets around to explaining the US military's mission in the region, it is full of "imperialist speak," the language of a condescending, invader bully that portrays the people as helpless pawns that the mighty US had to go in and save from the enemy - the Taliban and Al Quaeda.

Haight says Afghanistan has a "culture of corruption that runs deep in this society." Included in this charade is the phrase "execute projects to build economic and infrastructure capacity and increase the quality of life for the Afghans and create jobs." I think the majority of jobs that have been created are for the folks burying all the tens of thousands of civilians the US has killed on the ground and from the drones bombing mass gatherings of Afghan like wedding parties."

Jane Mayer asks in her New Yorker piece "The Predator War," why Congress investigated the Bush administrations' use of predator drones, but a widening effort by both the military and the CIA goes virtually unnoticed, and implicitly supported? One chilling paragraph, "The Air Force's fleet has grown from some fifty drones in 2001 to nearly two hundred; the CIA. will not divulge how many drones it operates. The government plans to commission hundreds more, including new generations of tiny 'nano' drones, which can fly after their prey like a killer bee through an open window."

This may be how the US occupation of Afghanistan/Pakistan is continued under President Obama. One of the poorest countries of the world, crisscrossed by the highest tech weapons the imperialist world has produced, all in our name. Unless we stop it!


Take action and visit The World Can't Wait.

20091210

Women's perspective of the US Occupation of Afghanistan

How can the US military save Afghan women, when 1 in 3 of its own female members are raped by their fellow soldiers and Marines?

Debra Sweet was in Times Square in October 2009 as Sandra Lee, her voice shaking, and with great courage, told what she's gone through since being raped in Iraq in 2004. She is an Army staff sergeant, and the attacker was a fellow soldier. She spent years not knowing what to do, and wanting to die, but somehow found her voice and spoke publicly about the attack for the first time that day.

Her story is much more common than the military admits. Veterans for Peace today launched a week of events to raise the issue, quoting a former soldier, "There are only three things the guys let you be if you're a girl in the military - a bitch, a ho, or a dyke."

Rape Awareness Week

Elaine Brower wrote, "Sexual assault and rape of women and men in the US military increased so dramatically during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that in 2005 then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld formed a task force on sexual assault; however, the task force did not meet until 2008. Nearly one-third of a nationwide sample of women veterans who sought health care through the Veterans Administration said they experienced rape or attempted rape during their service. Of that group, 37 percent said they were raped multiple times and 14 percent reported they were gang-raped. The Department of Defense has been reluctant to release statistics on sexual assault of men in the military, but anecdotal evidence indicates that the statistics are alarmingly high. Over the past 10 years, more than 700 US Army Recruiters have been accused of sexual misconduct or rape. Sixty years of US military studies and task forces since women began entering the military in larger numbers have not lessened the incidents of assault and rape."

Military Rape Awareness

One can't talk about the rape of American soldiers without looking at the war crimes perpetrated on Iraqi and Afghan women in the course of these occupations. Veterans report that pornography is encouraged in the war zone; women are de-humanized.There's speculation that the photographs of detainee abuse the Obama administration now refused to release are of rapes. The rest of the world knows this; it's the American people who are largely blind to this. To glimpse the reality of US rape in Iraq...and it's gruesome...look at these photos, which may be among those suppressed by Obama.

Remember that George Bush, and Laura, Hilary Clinton and feminist leaders sold the invasion of Afghanistan to the world as a mission to "save" the women of Afghanistan from the Taliban and the burka. I heard Zoya, from the Revolutionary Association of Afghan Women, speak last week. She said that under the Americans, Afghanistan is a "free country...a free country for rapists, opium runners, warlords and foreign troops." She spoke bitterly of the Taliban years, but said that Hamid Karzai's government has notorious warlord ministers he pardoned for notorious rapes. "In the past few years, only some cosmetic changes have been made regarding women's rights," Zoya said, critiquing eight years of occupation by U.S. and NATO troops. "The burka is not any more in the papers, in the law, but because there is so much insecurity, so much rape and violence, many women still wear the burka."

PBS showed a piece called Obama's War on the fighting in Afghanistan. As I write, I'm watching US troops meeting with Afghan men twice their age, in a culture they don't begin, or try to understand, trying to instruct them in how to "cooperate" in stopping the Taliban.

Learn more about this topic and other war related information at the World Can't Wait.

20091209

A Brief History of Time

I've just finished reading A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking and found it to be most entertaining and enlightening.

This is a good book for people to read to have a better understanding of the origins of the universe. This is a no nonsense approach made easy to understand for the non specialized scientific population.

Look for it at your local library or download the audio book torrent file at thePirateBay.

20091208

Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall, not good enough for Texas

Tell Texas not to remove Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall from school books

There is an education war going on in Texas that you need to know about and get involved with. The TX State Board of Education is currently preparing to adopt new social studies curriculum standards. These standards have major national implications as Texas is such a major purchaser of textbooks and their state’s required curriculum drives the content of textbooks produced nationwide.

Please read the following and then take action and forward this to as many friends as possible.

The TX State Board of Education has hired 6 "experts" to determine what will be in the books their schools use. Some of these "experts" are arguing that the state’s social studies and history textbooks are giving "too much attention" to some of the most prominent civil rights leaders in US History, namely Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall.

David Barton, one of these "experts," claimed Cesar Chavez "lacks the stature, impact and overall contributions of so many others." Another of these "experts" evangelical minister Peter Marshall said, "To have Cesar Chavez listed next to Ben Franklin"--as in the current standards--"is ludicrous." He went on to say Chávez is not a role model who "ought to be held up to our children as someone worthy of emulation."

The same "expert" wants to eliminate Thurgood Marshall, a prominent Civil Rights leader who argued the landmark case that resulted in school desegregation and was the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court justice. He wrote that the late justice is "not a strong enough example" of an important historical figure to be presented to Texas students.

Board members and their appointees have complained about an "over representation of minorities" in the current social studies standards. This is ironic in light of the changing demographics of our country. Sadly, Latino and African-American children have the highest drop-out rates in the country. It’s essential to ensure schools are providing students with role models and historical figures whose experiences reflect their own.

We must be concerned when the contributions of Cesar Chávez, Thurgood Marshall and other individuals who have contributed so much to the landscape of American democracy are cast aside and ridiculed. We should welcome the inclusion of all Americans who have helped to make this nation great.

It is horrific to discover that the TX State Board of Education has allowed these panelists to use our children's social studies curriculum as a platform for their political agendas. Please take action today to stop this travesty from going forward. Send your e-mail to the Chair of the Texas Board of Education Gail Lowe (R).

Take Action Now by clicking here.

20091207

Why does the US poison its children?

Deadly pesticide endosulfan banned in the European Union and 20 nations, but in the United States the EPA allows its continued use.

The UFW and a broad coalition of farm worker, public health, and environmental groups just filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop the continued use of the hazardous pesticide endosulfan. Science clearly shows that the use of this chemical puts the health of exposed farm workers and children in agricultural communities at risk.

Endosulfan is part of the same family of chemicals as DDT, which the EPA banned in 1972. It is persistent in the environment and can be found in regions far from where it was applied. The EPA’s own analysis confirmed that the pesticide poses severe risks to humans and only minimal benefits to growers. Approximately 1.38 million pounds of endosulfan were used annually in the United States as of 2002--the most recent year for which national usage data are available from the EPA.

Earlier this year, more than 13,000 Americans concerned about these health and environmental risks signed a petition urging the EPA to discontinue endosulfan use. In addition more than 100 environmental and public health groups recently sent a letter to EPA’s Administrator Stephen Johnson and more than 50 international scientists, medical doctors, nurses, and other health professionals have urged the EPA to take action. To date the EPA has not responded.

Take action now.

20091206

What are you proud of?

Looking back on your life what things instill a sense of pride in your life?

Graduating from college?
Being the lead in a play?
Painting an acclaimed portrait?
Having children?
Pursuing your life's work?
Doing good?
Buying lots of stuff?

Whatever it is that makes you proud to introduce yourself to people keep in mind the accomplishments of others.

Research shows that people that live for a higher purpose, like providing service to others, have a higher sense of life satisfaction and are happier than those that live for themselves.

Consider the life of Dan Phillips, builder. This is a man that is very good at what he does. He builds affordable housing out of construction waste.

Learn more about Dan by watching the video below and by visiting his blog.

video

20091205

Find the good in your life

How do you approach your day? What is your philosophy on life? What do you expect from the things you "cannot" control?

This got me thinking about how I approach life and I want to share that with you in the form of the following text from Dr. DeFoore's Goodfinding Newsletter:
You're a lot more in charge than you know! Here are the three steps we all use, either consciously or subconsciously, to literally create our own world:

1. We all have a theory. Hang out with anyone long enough, and they'll tell you their theory about life, people, etc., whether they realize it or not.
2. We all like to be right! It's part of human nature. So, guess what...
3. We look for evidence to support our theory. There it is...that's the part where we create our worlds.

So, here's how it works: 1) You think lots of good things are going to happen. 2) You really want to be right about that! 3) You use that magnificent brain of yours to find evidence to support your theory, and presto! Good things happen! It's that "looking for evidence" part that is so powerful. What's your theory? What do you think about your health, aging, life, other people and the planet? Whatever it is, make it good, because you'll probably find evidence to show that you're right!

By the way, one of the best tricks of the optimism and Goodfinding trade is setting your sites high--like the star of this video.




Click here to sign up to receive the Goodfinding Newsletter by email.

20091204

Mobile service with a cause

This is the text from an email I received:

Join the mobile phone company that's fighting to protect a woman's right to choose.

Have you ever thought about whether your mobile phone company supports right-wing politicians? You might be surprised at the answer.

Not only was AT&T a two-time maximum contributor to George W. Bush, it supported right-wing extremists like Senators Inhofe and Coburn. Verizon Wireless has been a steady contributor to the Blue Dog Democrats — whose so-called "centrist" approach threatens the public option in health care reform — since 2002.

So why keep sending money to a company like that every month? Especially when you can switch to CREDO Mobile and get:*

* Contract buyout credit up to $200
* 10% off your monthly service fee for 24 months
* Number portability: keep your current mobile number
* No contract for 30 days**
* Automatic donations to progressive nonprofits at no extra cost to you

CREDO Mobile is the one and only progressive phone company, and Planned Parenthood's largest corporate donor. And that means we fight for the causes you believe in, like real healthcare reform, reproductive rights, peace, and the environment.

Since 1985, CREDO members have generated $63 million for groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America, Doctors Without Borders, Planned Parenthood and Earthjustice. With automatic donations from CREDO Mobile members, groups like these can fight for the causes you believe in.

CREDO also offers everything you expect from a first-rate mobile phone company, including award-winning customer service, nationwide coverage on the all-digital Sprint® network† (reaching over 280 million people), and a wide variety of phones and plans to suit your needs.

So take a look at your last phone bill, and ask yourself: is your phone company supporting your progressive values? Think about it. Then think about CREDO Mobile.

Call 866.513.8670 to join now.
(Mention special offer code 300875.)
Offer expires December 21, 2009.


This is a good alternative to the mainstream service providers and the network is run by Sprint.
Amnesty International at one point had a similar promotion but I wasn't able to find it while posting this.