Saturday, November 15, 2008

so: trusting liars is bad for you. (i think we used to know this.)


kucinich questions the treasury


hey [redacted],

don't mind me, i just saw this yahoo news/associated press/super-mainstream news story now (sat morn) and know it's an obsessive topic for many despite the fact that so few really find out more about it. (we love guessing and getting it right more than learning and getting it right, which may be caused by tons of stupid game shows and more.) the time on the article suggests a late friday afternoon posting so it was likely missed by most, feel free to pass it on to whomever you'd like since it's (too damn) short and may be of interest, the link and article are printed below.

like many, many, many others on earth (i know many of them) a lot of this stuff is old news to me. frankly the next four years are easily predictable based on numerous independent and cross-references reports and admissions that are publicly available but unfortunately rare.

it's cool (sort of), but regardless i'm doing fantastic as usual and walking around a free man constantly having productive fun. yesterday was no different as i went out drinking with co-workers (for the first time in god knows how long in normalville) and doing that life-of-the-party crap i've always got stashed in my back pocket just in case i'm at a party.

it's amazing, people think knowing stuff makes you paranoid. but that makes no sense when we all know that not knowing stuff makes you paranoid. if you know it then it is what it is and you understand it. so there's nothing to be paranoid about.

so: knowing more stuff is like having a better map of the world, which makes traveling through it every day easier.

it's also amazing how people who know they're being lied to have absolutely no desire to figure out ways to get closer to the truth, or to even try. i mean, you can't get to god-level omniscient truth, but you can certainly get closer than knowingly going with the lies, especially when anyone that would lie to you that much and that carefully is obviously messing with you in other ways to push an agenda and those ways could mess you up.

so: trusting liars is bad for you. (i think we used to know this.)

it's also amazing how people want to be victims of the same stuff screwing up other people too, which kind of looks to me like seeing a family member drinking spoiled milk from the fridge and almost throwing up, then sighing and deciding to drink the same milk that you could see making someone else sick. as far as i'm concerned just because there's victims everywhere doesn't mean i have to be one, similar to the idea of people saying if the food is crap then they'll buy organic.

(which also sucks as a whole since it's prejudiced against the poor who have to eat regular poison food and it also normalizes us eating it when or if we soon can't afford organic with the crappy economy, but whatever, my point is to at least try to save your ass from being victimized by crap like tv, magazines, isolating and retarding self-help and self-obsession scams, pop-culture values, health risks, the stock market ponzi-scheme, inflated marketing ploys related to making certain things being "hot" at certain times with no eye on history or the future or explanation therein, plus other nonsense you can clearly see messing many of us, our families, friends and kids up in a systemic and mysteriously neverending fashion. i mean, if all this crap is such a big deal and it's so obvious and we all know it, then how come it's never stopped?)

so: when you see someone else doing something stupid, don't be stupid enough to do it too. (i think we used to know this.)

oh well, recent limited, substantive and positive interactions with a wonderful variety of people (get the best of them, give the best of me, make better use of our time, blah-blah-blah...) have produced the same old problems, namely that once people want to spend time with you once they get a little bit and they get a little sad when they can't, or when i don't have it to give, which is one of the reasons i don't have a phone.

no worries, i have problems and solutions. it again braggin' when you swaggin' and i weren't braggin' to get my swag, but the bottom line is hindsight is 20/20 and that's what i'm using to look at yesterday.

anyway, regardless of my being too-interested by boring things instead of living a boring-ass life until something interesting happens, i've still got work to do which involves traditional and quick means of communication and think my roommate and i are settling on getting a landline soon, i'll let you know the number when we have it. meanwhile, i'm still thoughtful, (com)passionate and detailed on email as the last of a trying breed.

peace, bk


Canada home sales drop to lowest level since 2002

Fri Nov 14, 4:24 PM

OTTAWA (AFP) - Canadian home sales dropped in October to their lowest levels since July 2002, as buyers feared a global recession, according to statistics released Friday by the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Seasonally adjusted residential sales numbered 32,048 units in October 2008, the association said in a statement.

This was down 14 percent from sales levels recorded in September, and the largest month-over-month decline in sales activity since June 1994, it said.

"Many home buyers across Canada battened down the hatches in October as they were concerned with dire headlines about stock market volatility and a global economic downturn," said the group's chief economist, Gregory Klump.

The average house price meanwhile fell to 281,133 Canadian dollars, or 9.9 percent below where it stood a year earlier.

The association represents more than 98,000 real estate dealers in Canada.


here's a new and old example preceded by some stupid fun that was just on the same main page as the canadian homes article that i always see when i sign out (the link was video-only so here's what reuters popped-up based on it)...

World's best bottoms

(01:25) Report

Oct. 31 - Two winners are awarded the hotly-contested title of the "world's most beautiful bottom".

Fake TV News Widespread and Undisclosed

Center for Media and Democracy
November 14, 2008

WASHINGTON The Center for Media Democracy and Free Press today exposed an epidemic of fake news infiltrating local television broadcasts across country. At a press conference in Washington with FCC Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein, the groups called for a crackdown on stations that present corporate-sponsored videos as genuine news to an unsuspecting audience.

CMD, which unveiled the results of a 10-month investigation, found scores of local stations slipping commercial “video news releases,” or VNRs, into their regular news programming. The new multimedia report released today includes footage of 36 separate VNRs and their broadcast as “news” by TV stations and networks nationwide, including those in the nation’s biggest markets.

The full report — “Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed” — is now available complete with VNR and TV station video footage at

“It’s shocking to see how product placement moves secretly unfiltered from the boardroom to the newsroom and then straight into our living rooms,” said Diane Farsetta, a senior researcher at CMD and co-author of the report. “Local TV broadcasts — the most popular news source in the United States — frequently air VNRs without fact-checking, conducting their own reporting, or disclosing that the footage has been provided and sponsored by big corporations.”

Investigators captured 77 television stations actively disguising sponsored content from companies including General Motors, Intel, Pfizer and Capital One to make it look like their own reporting. More than one-third of the time, stations aired fake news stories in their entirety as their own reporting.

Despite repeated claims from broadcasters that they do not air VNRs as news, the new report reveals just the tip of the iceberg. Instances of fake TV news documented by CMD likely represent less than 1 percent of VNRs distributed to local newsrooms since June 2005. Fraudulent news reports have likely been aired on hundreds of more local newscasts in the past year.

“The president of the Radio-Television News Directors Association, Barbara Cochran, called fake news ‘kind of like the Loch Ness Monster. Everyone talks about it, but not many people have actually seen it,’ ” said John Stauber, executive director of CMD. “This report drops a big nest of squirming Nessies in the laps of TV journalists. Fake TV news is the worst plagiarism scandal in American journalism, and it must be stopped by labeling all VNRs on screen so viewers can tell if its news or fake news.”

Approximately 80 percent of the stations snared in the investigation are owned by large conglomerates. The list of the worst offenders includes Clear Channel, News Corp./Fox Television, Viacom/CBS, Tribune Co. and Sinclair Broadcast Group - whose Oklahoma City affiliate was caught airing VNRs on six separate occasions.

“The evidence suggests a strong connection between media consolidation and the broadcast of deceptive, pre-packaged propaganda,” said Timothy Karr, campaign director of Free Press. “When all station owners care about is profit margins, fake news can prove irresistible. After all, VNRs are free. Reporting news that’s meaningful to local communities isn’t. And without decisive government action, the fake news problem will only get worse.”

In conjunction with the report, Free Press launched — urging the public to contact the FCC and demand “No Fake News.”

Free Press and CMD also filed a formal complaint with the FCC, seeking a thorough investigation “to help restore the public trust in the integrity of local news.” The public interest groups want all VNRs be accompanied by a continuous, frame-by-frame visual notifications and verbal announcements disclosing their sources. They also recommended broadcasters be required to file monthly public reports detailing their use of government or corporate-sponsored material. The FCC complaint is available at


Tuesday, February 14, 2006; Page A13

How much is good press worth?

To the Bush administration, about $1.6 billion.

That's how much seven federal departments spent from 2003 through the second quarter of 2005 on 343 contracts with public relations firms, advertising agencies, media organizations and individuals, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

The 154-page report provides the most comprehensive look to date at the scope of federal spending in an area that generated substantial controversy last year. Congressional Democrats asked the GAO to look into federal public relations contracts last spring at the height of the furor over government-sponsored prepackaged news and journalism-for-sale.

Armstrong Williams, the conservative commentator, had been unmasked as a paid administration promoter who received $186,000 from the Education Department to speak favorably about President Bush's No Child Left Behind law in broadcast appearances.

Around the same time, a spat erupted between the GAO and the White House over whether the government's practice of feeding TV stations prepackaged, ready-to-air news stories that touted administration policies (but did not disclose the government as the source) amounted to "covert propaganda." The GAO said that it did. The administration disagreed, saying spreading information about federal programs is part of the agencies' mission, and that the burden of disclosure falls on the TV stations.

Congress sided with the GAO. Lawmakers inserted a provision into an annual spending bill requiring federal agencies to include "a clear notification" within the text or audio of a prepackaged news story that it was prepared or paid for by the government.

The new report reveals that federal public relations spending goes far beyond "video news releases." The contracts covered the waterfront, from a $6.3 million agreement to help the Department of Homeland Security educate Americans about how to respond to terrorist attacks; to a $647,350 contract to assist the Transportation Security Administration in producing video news releases and media tours on the subject of airport security procedures; to a $6,600 contract to train managers at the Bureau of Reclamation in dealing with the media.

"Careful oversight of this spending is essential given the track record of the Bush administration, which has used taxpayer dollars to fund covert propaganda within the United States," Rep. Henry A. Waxman (Calif.), ranking Democrat of the House Government Reform Committee, said in a statement yesterday.

-- Christopher Lee




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