New Years Eve Tips

Do plan ahead for transportation.

You're a moron if you assume you can just call a cab on New Year's Eve.
Ever try? Wait time is usually four hours. Which means you'll be
walking home in the cold. Happy 2011!

Don't chase the dragon.
This is not a reference to drugs. What we mean is this: don't hop from
party to party looking for the best one. What are you expecting anyway?
Just stick to one spot and decide to have a good time. You have the

Do think about your feet. Ladies, if you strap
on a pair of impossible stilettos, we expect you to wear them all
night. No one wants to see your bare feet on a party floor with confetti
and cigarette butts stuck to the bottom (ew). We say go for something
more practical. Or bring a pair of backup flats.

Don't be the girl who cries.
There's always one of these at every NYE party. If your 2010 sucked and
you think you might get emotional about it, stay home and cry by
yourself because we don't want to see that shit.

Do dress weather appropriate.
So the low for NYE in Phoenix is 29 freakin' degrees.

Don't send the mass "Happy New Year's!" text.
Annoying! Are you trying to be sincere? Because sending sentiments
through this most impersonal mode of communication is just pathetic.
Plus, we all know it's a mass text and that makes us feel even less
special than no text at all.

Do prepare your body. During
New Year's Eve day, there are many things you must do: drink lots of
water, take your vitamins, eat three full meals, and take your birth
control pill.

Read the entire list of tips (and more) here [http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/]


Best Money Tips to Handle Life's Speed Bumps

These are five tips to help with some of life's, bumpier, challenges.

  1. Being apathetic
    So many people have seemingly given up on ever having the life they want. Life truly wears them down and out and there is nothing but a shell of a person left. This is unbelievably sad but all too common. These folks are just going through the motions of life without any real direction, passion, or interest. Don't be this person; there is always room for change.

  2. Being ordinary
    The world needs more leaders, out of the box thinkers, action seekers, risk takers, and passionate people. What the world does not need is another average Joe living paycheck to paycheck. Stand out, be different, create something great, do something inspiring, just try something.

  3. No direction
    With no goals or dreams, how can we expect to achieve anything significant? We can't. Dream big and get big results. Dream small and get small results. Don't dream at all and get nothing.

  4. Not having passion for something
    When someone can find their real passion in life, that should be a momentousness event for them. Many people will go through their whole life without ever realizing what it is that gets their heart pumping, mind racing, and juices flowing. If you are someone who has found a true passion, live it every day, for that's why we are all here.

  5. Being selfish
    Giving something of yourself without the desire for anything in return is one of the most beautiful things in the world. Our society has taught us a "what do I get out of this" mentality which is breeding a generation of 'takers'. What we need more of is people who truly understand the power behind selflessness. It really has the power to change the world for the better.

For five more tips check out: [dumblittleman.com]


Are you not entertained?

This jungle where dreams are made of.
There's nothing you can't do.
Your streets inspire you.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>March to Keep Fear Alive

The Surprising Realities Behind What Motivates Us

If we understand what motivates us, as people, as human beings, we can achieve a great many things.

The following video presents some interesting research about human motivation. Check it out:

If you like the video, check out Lifehacker [http://lifehacker.com/] and DeFoore's Goodfinding newsletter [http://defoore.com/currentnewsletter.htm]


The Boss Brings a Rifle To Work

This Boss Brings a Rifle to Work

Workers will hand petition in on January 11.

Sign the petition today!

We've written to you before about the unbearable situation workers face at WA's Ruby Ridge dairy. The dairy is being sued for violation of Washington wage and hour laws, unlawful discharge by firing 1/3 of the workforce and even assault. The workers who haven't yet been fired are afraid they're next.

Owner Dick Bengen often carries a rifle with him on his large dairy farm. To Dick Bengen, that rifle is his anti-union rifle that he uses to scare the workers into line. Mr. Bengen made a point of explaining the special purpose of this rifle to Miguel Cuevas, when he told him, "This rifle is for those people with the union."

Workers, members of the faith community and most recently, thousands of UFW supporters, contacted Northwest Farm Credit Services, the bank that loaned $13 million to Ruby Ridge. They demand the bank use its influence to resolve the issues at the dairy. The bank's mortgage language specifically prohibits illegal behavior such as the workers say is happening at Ruby Ridge.

The bank continues to ignore our calls. According to Margarito Martinez, who was fired from Ruby Ridge for supporting the union and fighting for his rights, "When workers and supporters tried to reach out to the bank to intervene in this matter, they turned us down, saying they did not want to be involved."

On January 11, right after the Christmas holidays, Ruby Ridge workers and their supporters will gather in front of the bank's headquarters. They will demand that the bank enforce their lending language.

We know that not everyone can join the workers in Spokane, WA, but you and your friends and family can join virtually by signing the petition that we'll present to the bank that day.

Sign the Petition!
Click Here:


Kettling Wikileaks

The Anonymous web protests are the Internet equivalent of a mass demonstration. It's a mistake to call them hacking (playful cleverness) or cracking (security breaking). The LOIC program that protesters use is prepackaged, so no cleverness is needed to run it, and it does not break any computer's security. The protesters have not tried to take control of Amazon's web site, or extract any data from MasterCard. They enter through the site's front door, and it can't cope with so many visitors.

Calling these protests "DDOS attacks" is misleading too. A DDOS attack properly speaking is done with thousands of "zombie" computers. Someone broke the security of those computers (often with a virus) and took remote control of them, then rigged them up as a "botnet" to do in unison whatever he directs (in this case, to overload a server). By contrast, the Anonymous protesters have generally directed their own computers to support the protest.

The proper comparison is with the crowds that descended last week on Topshop stores. They didn't break into the stores or take any goods from them, but they sure caused a nuisance for the owner, who also "advises" the UK government — presumably to let him continue extracting money without paying tax.

I wouldn't like it one bit if my store (supposing I had one) were the target of a large protest. Amazon and MasterCard don't like it either, and their clients were annoyed. Those who hoped to buy at Topshop on the day of the protest may have been annoyed too.

The Internet cannot function if web sites are frequently blocked by crowds, just as a city cannot function if its streets are constantly full of protests. But before you support a crackdown on Internet protests, consider what they are protesting: in the Internet, users have no rights. As the Wikileaks case has demonstrated, what we do in the Internet, we do on sufferance.

In the physical world, we have the right to print and sell books. Anyone trying to stop us would need to go to court. That right is weak in the UK (consider superinjunctions), but at least it exists. However, to set up a web site we need the cooperation of a domain name company, an ISP, and often a hosting company, any of which can be pressured to cut us off.

In the US, no law explicitly requires this precarity. Rather, it is embodied in contracts that we have allowed those companies to establish as normal. It is as if we all lived in rented rooms and landlords could evict anyone at a moment's notice.

Reading too is done on sufferance. In the physical world, you can buy a book anonymously with cash. Once you own it, you are free to give, lend, or sell it to someone else. You are also free to keep it. However, in the virtual world, "e-book readers" have digital handcuffs to stop you from giving, lending or selling a book, as well as licenses to forbid that. In 2009, Amazon used a back door in its e-book reader to remotely delete thousands of copies of 1984, by George Orwell. The Ministry of Truth has been privatized.

In the physical world, we have the right to pay money and to receive money — even anonymously. On the Internet, we can receive money only with the approval of organizations such as PayPal and MasterCard, and the security state tracks payments moment by moment. Punishment-on-accusation laws such as the Digital Economy Act extend this pattern of precarity to Internet connectivity.

What you do in your own computer is also controlled by others, with nonfree software. Microsoft and Apple systems implement digital handcuffs — features specifically designed to restrict users. Continued use of a program or feature is precarious too: Apple put a back door in the iPhone to remotely delete installed applications. A back door observed in Windows enables Microsoft to install software changes without asking permission.

I started the free software movement to replace user-controlling nonfree software with freedom-respecting free software. With free software, we can at least control what software does in our own computers. The LOIC program used for Anonymous protests is free software; in particular, users can read its source code and change it, so it cannot impose malicious features as Windows and MacOS can.

The US state today is a nexus of power for corporate interests. Since it must pretend to serve the people, it fears the truth may leak. Hence its parallel campaigns against Wikileaks: to crush it through the precarity of the Internet and to formally limit freedom of the press.

Disconnecting WikiLeaks is comparable to besieging protesters in a London square. Preemptive police attacks provoke reaction; then they use the small wrongs of an angry people to distract from the giant wrongs of the state. Thus, the UK arrested the protester who swung from a flag, but not the man (presumably a cop) who cracked a student's skull. Likewise, states seek to imprison the Anonymous protesters rather than official torturers and murderers. The day when our governments prosecute war criminals and tell us the truth, Internet crowd control may be our most pressing remaining problem. I will rejoice if I see that day.

Copyright 2010 Richard Stallman — Released under the Creative Commons Attribution Noderivs License.

[From: http://www.defectivebydesign.org/wikileaks]


10 Tax Tips to help reduce your tax burden

Here are some tips that you may be able to implement before the end of the year to help you save some money.

  1. Max out your retirement accounts — and consider a conversion

  2. You can stuff extra money into your 401(k) and take the deduction until December 31. For IRAs, you have until April 15. However, given what I said about tax rates going up, you may want to take the deduction next year.

  3. Spend your FSA balances

  4. If you have money in a Flexible Spending Account for health care or day care, use it now or lose it. Also, as of January 1, over-the-counter medication is no longer eligible for FSA reimbursement, so buy it now. Now is also the time to submit your paperwork for next year’s FSA. Oh, and don’t forget that summer camp is often deductible.

  5. Make a 1099/W-2 checklist

  6. This saves me a lot of tax worries every year. If you’re self-employed and get 1099-MISCs, or have money at a number of banks and brokerages, or worked several jobs this year, you need to collect a pile of paperwork before you can file the 1040. Make a list now and check it off in February as the paperwork arrives. No more of that “oh crap, I thought I was going to get my taxes done today but I’m short a 1099” feeling.

If you thought these were good tips, check out the entire list of suggestions from Mint.com here (10 Things You Can Do Now To Pay Less Taxes For 2010 — Or Beyond)


Journaling to enhance body mind wellness

I'm short for time so, please watch the video, you may appreciate it.


Gladiator School

Thanks to @flailingmaster for telling me about this.

From the Associated Press via the Huffington Post:
The surveillance video from the overhead cameras shows Hanni Elabed being beaten by a fellow inmate in an Idaho prison, managing to bang on a prison guard station window, pleading for help. Behind the glass, correctional officers look on, but no one intervenes when Elabed is knocked unconscious.

No one steps into the cellblock when the attacker sits down to rest, and no one stops him when he resumes the beating.

Videos of the attack obtained by The Associated Press show officers watching the beating for several minutes. The footage is a key piece of evidence for critics who claim the privately run Idaho Correctional Center uses inmate-on-inmate violence to force prisoners to snitch on their cellmates or risk being moved to extremely violent units.

Lawsuits from inmates contend the company that runs the prison, the Corrections Corporation of America, denies prisoners medical treatment as a way of covering up the assaults. They have dubbed the Idaho lockup "gladiator school" because it is so violent.

The AP initially sought a copy of the videos from state court, but Idaho 4th District Judge Patrick Owen denied that request. The AP decided to publish the videos after a person familiar with the case verified their authenticity.

And now, the video


The lighter side to police brutality

What happens when a fun loving collegiate mascot starts playfully chucking snowballs at a football game?
Police make an arrest. There is nothing brutal about this; police (apparently) handled it appropriately.

New York Times:
Cincinnati’s Bearcat mascot was cited for disorderly conduct after reportedly throwing snowballs and pushing a security guard during Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh. Heavy snow covered the field and stands, and students were warned to stop throwing snowballs. After the mascot, who was not identified, was detained and cited, a backup Bearcat took his place in the second half.

And now, a video of the "incident"