2007/10/31

The Mile High Club Ain't What It Used To Be

Poverty Barn and Ice Station Tango have the goods on Singapore Airlines' sex ban. ;-)

2007/10/27

'Jumbo Got Jets' @ Left in Aboite

My homage to the maiden commercial flight of the A380, rapped to the tune of Sir-mix-alot's Baby Got Back:

I like big jets and I can not lie
You other flyers can't deny...


...check out the rest at Left in Aboite!

2007/10/26

Anybody Notice How Britney Spears...

...looks more and more like a favorite Adam's Family character?

Check it out at Instant Native.

October 26th - Today FranIAm, Tomorrow...

2007/10/25

October 25th - What's Kvatch up to today?

2007/10/24

October 24th - Where in the 'sphere is Kvatch today?

After all the kind words, and many many offers to guest post, I've relented and decided to go the route of the 'journeyman blogger'. So in the coming months you'll see my stuff spread around the blogsphere, but I'll always have a link here.

And where is Kvatch today? Blogging about that ass-wipe Glenn Beck at The Unruly Mob.

2007/10/15

Kvatch Kalls It Kwits

Or... "The hardest post I'll every write."

Blogging is something you start to give voice to your thoughts. You develop a style, a shtick, a readership, and if you're lucky like me fall in with a great circle of like-minded people. But make no mistake, blogging is an addiction and one that is harder to break than you might think.

This last week, I've found that my heart just isn't in it anymore. So I think that it's time to head for rehab, time to pull the plug--ironic considering that we're heading into a season that will be just packed with blog fodder. But...before I go, I want to thank all of you who've read, commented, contributed, or trolled this little piece of web real estate. You've sustained me in hard times.

[kvatch, kvatch]

2007/10/12

The Economics of Instability

George Bush can try to explain it away by calling it a "skills gap". He can point to spectacular gains in the financial markets as a sign of economic health. But the gap between rich and poor continues to expand. It's wider now than at any time in the last century, and the sharpest increases have occurred since Bush took office in 2000. Recent IRS stats reprinted in the Wall Street Journal tell the tale:
  • The wealthiest 1% of Americans enjoyed a 2.1% increase in their share of all income between 2004 and 2005
  • The bottom 50% of all wage earners saw a .6% drop in their share of all income during that same period
  • By 2005, the median US income had fallen to $30,881 in inflation adjusted dollars
  • For the same period, the income level of the 99th percentile of wage earners increased 3% to $364,657
And if you think that this situation is going to change anytime in the near future, think again! Your representatives at the Federal level disproportionately fall into that top 1%, with half of all Senators and a sizable chunk of representatives boasting net worth in the millions. So...who do you think they represent?

Sadly, this is the formula for political and economic instability. As Americans scale back consumption and productivity drops--the foundations of spectacular corporate gains--the only alternative for continued migration of income from the "have-nots" to the "haves" will be 1) Increasingly regressive taxation and 2) Increased indebtedness for all but the super-rich.

Unfortunately for our nation, policies like these pave the way for bloody revolutions.

2007/10/09

Silence Will Soon Be Your Only Defense Against The Recording Industry

"This is what can happen if you don’t settle."

RIAA Attorney, Richard Gabriels commenting on the $220,000 judgment levied against a Minnesota woman who was found liable for sharing 24 songs on the Internet

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song. Making 'a copy' of a purchased song is just a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy'."

Sony/BMG Head of Litigation, Jennifer Pariser in her testimony.

Not wanting to argue the merits of the case, this is a chilling pair of statements from the Recording Industry Association of America. First, they indicate that the RIAA's position on litigation is: Merits, truth, and probable cause be damned. If we come after you, you better f*cking settle, or we will destroy you. Second, Ms. Pariser's statement is a good indicator of who the RIAA will be after next: Individuals who copy their own music for personal enjoyment.

Did you get that? If you rip the CDs you've purchased--MUSIC YOU OWN--the RIAA says you are infringing on their copyrights. Put that music on your iPod...you're infringing. Buy something from iTunes and listen to it on more than one device...you're infringing! And exactly how damaging could that be? Well taking my own music collection as an example--and let me add that I NEVER download music--we have:

800+ CDs
Approximately 9000 tracks of music
All 9000 tracks ripped and stored on my personal music server
All 9000 tracks backed up to portable drives (in case my server crashes)
At any one time, approximately 50%, 4500 tracks, on a portable device of some kind

So...approximately 22,500 copies of music tracks that I own and that would, according to the RIAA's definition, infringe on their copyrights. Now...using the scale of the judgment imposed in Capitol Records, et al v. Jammie Thomas (at say... 1/10 of the so-called "damage" per track), we have 22,500 tracks at $925 per track. Thus, the RIAA could justify suing me for: $20,812,500

It's time consumers faced facts. Recording industry companies are predators. They are bent on destroying fair use and willing to change the definition copyright infringement in order to do it. They are willing to go after the innocent to achieve their goals (many RIAA cases have been thrown out for lack of evidence). And they are willing to threaten individuals with judgments so outrageous that the only sane alternative, regardless of guilt or innocence, is to settle.

Given these facts, silence--in other words the refusal to purchase any recording whose copyright is held and administered by the RIAA--will soon be one's only defense.

2007/10/08

When You Think Doughnuts, Think Voodoo

Back from a week's vacation in Oregon.
Pictures will go up on my personal site.
Email me if you're interested in a peek.

Still dreaming of doughnuts in Portland.
And where does one find that most AWE-
some
of pastries? Why Voodoo, of course!