Monday, February 28, 2005

Identity Theft and Credit

I've been doing a lot of research into *identity theft*.

My question is the following:
Q: How can I assure my identity is not stolen? What measures will hide my credit and identity information?

The only answer I have found is the following:
A: Not currently possible, due to the profiteering motivations of credit lending institutions which have lobbied the government to their will. It is up to the people to lobby the government to their will, and stop fraud opportunities. If you present yourself in a position to be stolen, you will be. It is currently impossible to remove yourself from a position of potential abuse. (Unless you live in California - see below)

However, I did find this
http://www.fightidentitytheft.com/legislation_california_sb168.html
California alone has the capability to freeze your credit. If I lived in California, this is the first and only thing I would do - freeze my credit.

For obvious reasons (see: profiteering motivations) this is not inherent into the laws of the nation, but will be soon, from what I can tell.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Socially Responsible Investing

As I am maturing so are my fiscal capabilities. I am inherently against war profiteering, investing in environmental destruction, alcohol and tobacco, etc. therefore where *should* I invest?

A first step would be Pax World investment, which prides itself in being one of the founders of socially responsible investment.

Another website, The Social Investment forum, aggregates socially responsible investment companies and allows you to view some basic information and attributes about various socially responsible investment companies.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Joe Strummer's Vote

An interview with Joe Strummer, former member of the Clash

Q: You've always shown a lot of interest in politics
in your lyrics. What's your political outlook
nowadays?

JS: OK, here's my new manifesto. I'm gonna pull out of
my pocket one vote. (takes out a dollar). 'He's gotta
dollar bill out of his pocket!' What I like to say to
anyone who could care to listen to me is that this is
our only vote. I'm saying that because we got democrat
votes and we voted in this guy two years ago (Tony
Blair) and he's become... what he was not supposed to
be. We can't get rid of him. Maybe we got a fifteen
year run with this guy. What can we do? Fold our tents
on the field. We'll lose the battle but not the war.

So it occured to me that since my real vote is
useless, null and void, therefore we ain't gonna start
runnin' down the street burnin' and a-lootin' either
'cause our ass is gonna get canned. So that leaves the
only vote anybody's got, this dollar bill. All I'm
trying to say is, when I wanna buy a record, I'm gonna
take my dollar bill and go to some corner guy with his
weird, kooky little shop. I'm not giving this to
Virgin Megastore. The same when I'm going to buy some
clothes- I ain't gonna go to Gap no more. I wanna go
to Ditsy Louie's Junk Clothing Box. I'm using my vote
here, this dollar bill is my vote. I'm not gonna go to
a fast food joint. I'm going to go to a place where
people own it, where the owner is standing behind the
bar, picking his teeth.

This is my new philosophy. Use your vote, your dollar
bill is your vote. It's time we stopped giving it in
the bucket-loads to these giants corporations. They're
not to be trusted with that amount of money. They're
only gonna bland us out, robot us out. They're gonna
crush us and pulverize us. All they want is our money.
They'd rather that we just sat on the pavement, saying
nothing and giving them dollar bills. That's what they
want to world to be while they have their cocaine and
champagne. The dollar bill is your only vote. That's
my new vibe.

http://www.buyblue.org/

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Ten steps to war - The road to controlling a state

10 easy steps to create an enemy and start a war:
-------------------------------------------------

First step: Create the enemy. Sometimes this will be done for you.

Second step: Be sure the enemy you have chosen is nothing like you. Find obvious differences like race, language, religion, dietary habits, fashion. Emphasize that their soldiers are not doing a job, they are heartless murderers who enjoy killing!

Third step: Once these differences are established continue to reinforce them with all disseminated information.

Fourth step: Have the media broadcast only the ruling party's information. This can be done through state run media. Remember, in times of conflict all for-profit media repeats the ruling party's information. Therefore all for-profit media becomes state-run.

Fifth step: show this enemy in actions that seem strange, militant, or different. Always portray the enemy as non-human, evil, a killing machine.

Sixth step: Eliminate opposition to the ruling party. Create an "Us versus Them" mentality. Leave no room for opinions in between. One that does not support all actions of the ruling party should be considered a traitor.

Seventh step: Use nationalistic and/or religious symbols and rhetoric to define all actions. This can be achieved by slogans such as "freedom loving people versus those who hate freedom." This can also be achieved by the use of flags.

Eighth step: Align all actions with the dominant deity.
It is very effective to use terms like, "It is god's will" or "god bless our nation."

Ninth step: Design propaganda to show that your soldiers have feelings, hopes, families, and loved ones. Make it clear that your soldiers are doing a duty; they do not want or like to kill.

Tenth step: Create and atmosphere of fear, and instability and then offer the ruling party as the only solutions to comfort the public's fears. Remembering the fear of the unknown is always the strongest fear.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Bankrupt

It occurred to me that if my mother gets injured, a series of events may occur:

1. Cannot work, and loses her job
2. Cannot pay bills, and defaults on mortgage
3. Loses her house and becomes bankrupt

If there is no coverage for a particular injury or illness, a person will most likely not be able to pay very much in medical bills while paying other bills. In this case, the person will either lose their job and/or become bankrupt.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Bill McCarthy

She's a witch! Burn her!
Just ask Bill Gates

Q: "In recent years, there's been a lot of people clamoring to reform and restrict intellectual-property rights. It started out with just a few people, but now there are a bunch of advocates saying, 'We've got to look at patents, we've got to look at copyrights.' What's driving this, and do you think intellectual-property laws need to be reformed?

A: "No, I'd say that of the world's economies, there's more that believe in intellectual property today than ever. There are fewer communists in the world today than there were. There are some new modern-day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers under various guises. They don't think that those incentives should exist.

And this debate will always be there. I'd be the first to say that the patent system can always be tuned--including the U.S. patent system. There are some goals to cap some reform elements. But the idea that the United States has led in creating companies, creating jobs, because we've had the best intellectual-property system--there's no doubt about that in my mind, and when people say they want to be the most competitive economy, they've got to have the incentive system. Intellectual property is the incentive system for the products of the future."

full interview