Guy Fawkes Night 2011

Tonight it is the 5th of November – Guy Fawkes’ night the 406th – and celebrations of this event are becoming more and more lively particularly in the UK.

Sign of the time?


Hover over the image below (and click it if you like)

Guy Fawkes Night


“…Remember, remember the Fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I know of no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot…”


images wikimedia

end of post


DMR 1941 – 2011, RIP

image Dennis MacAlistair RitchieAt the age of 70 on 12-Oct-2011 tech giant and Turing award winner Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie, co-creator of Unix and C has passed away.

RIP, our thanks will always be with you. Very few things that today hundreds of million people use on their computers everyday would have been possible or here without your work.



#include <stdlib.h>
int main(void)
{
printf(“Goodbye, Dennis\n”);
return 0;
}


…His pointer has been cast to void *


image wikimedia

end of post


USA: Cutting GAO budgets a guaranteed way to waste even more

image handshake THB Almost every western country is currently developing or has implemented plans to reduce administrative overheads and cost of government services. Often this happened by just reducing service levels and extent instead of looking for ways to spend the government money more wisely.

Sometimes such blunt tactics shed a light on the true intentions behind some of these “cost cuttings” – quick & dirty fixes, reduce social benefits and put even more pressure and fear into the majority of citizens.

Cost cuttings are seen across all areas of government services not stopping even with closing hospitals, fire services or massive cuts with other essential services.

A “Golden Calf” like the DoD budget that does not even pass an financial audit or pet projects of congress men are often excluded from such reviews. The worst of such projects, the notorious KBR LOGCAP contract to supply logistics to U.S. troops in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is (even publicly) known to be awash in fraud and waste. And with budgets now beyond USD 40 billion on this project alone one could expect finding savings of a few hundred million dollars to be an easy morning exercise.

But some congress men seem to have other ideas of saving government money.

They would instead like to cut the budgets of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to an extend that it most likely will hamper their current and future work. Anyone familiar with government blocking tactics might easily see what really could be behind that – no more finding of “real” waste across government programs.

GAO – a 90-year-old federal agency – that so far has returned USD 87 for every dollar invested, is recommending around USD 50 billion in savings every year and writes over 1,000 reports to Congress annually. About 80 percent of its recommendations over the past five years have been instituted (at least on paper). GAO has an annual budget of about USD 500 million – nothing compared to the savings generated and to other government agencies.

It would not be the first time that some in the U.S. government or even in international organizations within their walled gardens of lobbyism, notorious overspending, fraud and waste in their pet programs are seeing GAO as a big threat to their or their buddies coffers. Suggesting GAO budget cuts might on top of that be also driven by the hope that it diverts such activity away from them.

While anyone who has at least a basic understanding of management or how to efficiently use entrusted funds would in times like these substantially increase the budgets of an successful organization like GAO, those objecting such a proven and most likely successful move should demonstrate their true intentions by stopping to shield other programs off any scrutiny or budget cuts.

Others might go a step further asking if America can still afford to fight two wars it can not win, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the death toll rising to thousands of service men. And for every dead service (wo)man their families and communities are also affected. But when current budget cuts continue maybe soon each weapon fired, each grenade thrown in those wars might not kill that many insurgents but more Americans at home who lack food and health services due to the massive waste of billions within / surrounding those military programs and the lack of funds remaining for essential services at home.

Further reading:
More on the planned GAO budget cuts at Truthout.com. They are asking their readers to email Senator Nelson (link corrected) and tell them to restore the GAO cuts and invest in oversight instead of waste.

end of post


USA: Elizabeth Warren at the Democrats in Massachusetts

image Elizabeth Warren Elizabeth Warren at the first debate of Democrats in Massachusetts:


“…Everyone has to follow the law. That has to be the story in place. But no one understands better what the frustration is right now.

The people on Wall Street broke this country, and they did it one lousy mortgage at a time. It happened more than three years ago, and there is still no basic accountability, and there has been no real effort to fix it…”

The last weeks you could experience first hand how right she is on Wall Street, that the only people politicians and police are applying the law to are the protesters on the street and not those in the buildings who’s crimes have affected millions of Americans and continue to destroy lives.

video of (part) speech by Elizabeth Warren






Life: We are the 99 percent

This is not about right versus left … about the poor versus the rich … It’s about right versus wrong. When people are loosing their homes, their pensions or their jobs having worked whole lives often multiple jobs at the same time while those very few who profit from the current “business climate” often have never really worked all their life, breaking and bending the law left, right and back, not paying or paying nearly no taxes while those who have nearly nothing pay most, something is substantially wrong and must change very quickly before the overall situation explodes. But this is maybe what some of those few “really” want besides bringing back fascism and slavery…


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 05

We are tired, overworked, and FED-UP. We are the 99%

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 19

I work 60+ hours/week. The head of My Company makes my entire yearly salary every 2 weeks. I’m the 99%

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 20

My parents both DIED of cancer and in debt before they could even think of retiring. Dad was 70. Mom was 65. They were the 99%. (And I am too)

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 1

I am 53 years old and have worked since I was 13. I have lost 2 401Ks and a pension. I lost my home in 2007 due to mortgage fraud. I am ONE paycheck away from homelessness. I pay more in taxes than GE, Exxon and Bank of America combined. My plan for retirement is WORK UNTIL I DIE. I AM THE 99%. I VOTE!

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 4

In 2010, JP Morgan Chase made $17.4 BILLION in profits, but paid ZERO taxes. I am the 99% who think corporate GREED is EVIL.

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 3

I am 51 yrs. old. I have no retirement, no home. I care for my 75 y.o. mother on the same pay I earned 10 years ago.My home was foreclosed. My retirement was used while I was unemployed for 14 months.
I am the 99%
I am fed up.

#occupywallst
Occupywallst.org

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 8

I have a master’s degree from a top university and $75,000 in student loan debt. I have applied to jobs all over the country but I can’t even get an interview. My mom lost her job in 2010 and hasn’t been able to find anything since. I don’t know what we will do when her unemployment runs out. I’ve given up all hope in having a future.
I am the 99%!

occupywallst.org

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 2

I was arrested and held for 10 hours for standing on a bridge the NYPD told me to walk on to. I AM THE 99%
Occupywallst.org

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 9

When you’re young, you’re told you can be anything. I’m sick of being fed lies. I graduated with a BA in 2009 and have been searching for a job ever since. My generation is lost, depressed, in debt, struggling. We are taking unpaid internships and temporary contracts with no health insurance out of desperation. We will forever be living in our parents’ house. I don’t want to be a millionaire, I just want stability. I don’t want to have to worry everyday. I wish someone had warned me that this was what life would be. What happened to our country?
I am the 99%

occupywallst.org

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 6

I am a college professor, teaching our future generations. But like more than 50% of all college professors, I’m an Adjunct ‘contractor’. This means I can be fired for any reason; this means I receive no paid vacation; this means I receive no health insurance; this means I receive no sick days; this means I receive no retirement; this means I receive no unemployment; this means I pay double Social Security taxes!

And I am paid little better than minimum wage.

I too am the 99%.
occupywallst.org

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 14

I graduated high school with honors in the top 5% of my class. I attend a top-ranked university, seeking two degrees. I’m only halfway done with college, and I have a 3.65 GPA and $25,924 in debt.

I’m currently taking 17 credits. I work 20 hours a week. I volunteer at an after school program for underprivileged kids in a poor neighborhood.

I live with my older sister, and she pays way more than half the rent. She pays for our internet, electricity, and cell phone bills.

My single mother works two jobs. She took at a $10,000 loan to help pay for my education, but she hasn’t been able to pay any of it back. She pays for my health insurance.

My father can’t cosign for me because he’s still paying back his own student loans. He recently missed three weeks of work due to illness, had emergency heart surgery, and can’t afford his bills. He pays for my car insurance.

Last year I lived on campus and earned minimum wage. After paying atrociously high rent, I barely had enough money to buy food. My boyfriend invited me over to dinner every night so I wouldn’t have to buy groceries.

I’m dependent on everyone else.

I’m one of the lucky ones.

All I want is a good job and a well-earned degree, a family, a wonderful husband and kids, but I don’t want to raise children in a world like this.

I’m terrified for my future.

I am the 99%.
occupywallst.org
occupymn.org

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 7

All I want is a roof over my head, food on the table, and the dignity of an honest paycheck. Is that asking too much? I am the 99%

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 11

I stayed in school in hopes that the economy would rebound. IT DIDN’T.

With my family too broke to help pay, I took out loans.

SEVEN years;
TWO degrees;
$60,000 of debt;
and NO job prospects later…

I am the 99%

#occupytogether
#occupywallst

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 12

My wife and I live in different cities because we can’t find jobs in the same one.

The job that laid me off would only take me back if I took a pay cut and a demotion.

I can’t look for more work because I can’t pay for daycare for our kids.

I am, we are the 99 Percent.
occupywallst.org

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 15

  • 61 years old
  • No health care
  • No savings
  • No pension

I am the 99 percent.

Occupy Wall Street

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 16

I have done awful things to make my mortgage payments…including selling my body.

But I am no longer willing to sacrifice my remaining shreds of dignity on the altar of a faceless institution that gave me an ill-advised loan to begin with.

Are you guys really THAT greedy?

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 13

I am 22 years old. No job. No welfare. No unemployment. Unpaid medical bills. I can hardly afford clothes and shoes.
ALL I WANT IS MY AMERICAN DREAM
I am the 99%
occupywallst.org

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 10

I am a 32 year old Cancer Patient who works in a factory to pay for my Meds.
I am the 99%
occupywallst.org

If the disease doesn’t kill you the treatment will.

(image source tumblr)


Click on the image below for the link

We are the 99 Percent poster 18

I bought my house on a ‘fixed rate’ mortgage.
My payments go up every 6 months because of adjustments in interest & escrow payments.
I’m afraid that I won’t be able to afford my home soon
I AM THE 99%

occupywallst.org

(image source tumblr)


I am aged, old + frail.
I worked and paid taxes all my adult life.
Now, I have to choose between medicine and food.
It feels like a very slow death.

I AM THE 99%


Quote of the day: Politicians and Diapers

image Diaper Rolls Politicians are like diapers – you should change them from time to time – …and for the same reasons.

unknown

image via Flickr by AForestFrolic





end of post