Recently in End of the World Category

Facebook is putting ads into your posts

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I just noticed today that Facebook has started replacing the preview text in user-posted links with ads. Earlier today I posted thisScreen Shot 2012-10-09 at 8.24.02 AM.png

Now, check out the actual page I linked to - - notice that the words in the preview text never appear in the article. In fact, the article is pretty critical of Zynga, and changing out the preview text really changes the meaning of the post to someone glancing at it in their Facebook feed.

Of course, this link was just to an article about a sucky game company, so who really ends up caring that much. But, what if it had been a link to some kind of political article, or a news article about an oil spill. Imagine that the opposing party or the company responsible for the spill purchased the keywords needed on facebook and replaced the preview text with their own spin on the topic? All of the sudden, you can start really changing what people see, since I am guessing a lot more people see the previews than click through to the article. Not only that, but the view in the little text preview will be taken by the casual viewer as the view of the poster of the link, so your friend's perception of you can become skewed by advertisers.

I assume that pretty soon Facebook will introduce a "new" service that will make it go back to working the old way...for $7.00 a post.

UR Doing It Wrong

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The Vogue article discussed in this Freakonomics blog post nicely sums up everything that is wrong with our culture.

Why Is This Person Allowed to Be on The TV?

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The level of discourse in this country continues to astound me. Some people really are much, much stupider than I ever dared believe.



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I've got a gut feeling that these people have wasted six years, hundreds of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives and we are not any safer than we were before.

Of course, we are not really in that much more danger either - your chances of getting killed by a terrorist are still effectively zero.

You Will Smell and Feel a Lot of Things

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Someone has scanned in and posted a 1943 War and Navy Department guide to Iraq for soldiers that were serving there in World War II. It is fascinating reading both for itself and in comparison to the 2003 version for the current war, which was apparently written by an illiterate.

Someone really should have read the old version before we went to war - on page four it mentions that Iraqis are among the worlds most skilled guerrilla fighters in the world, while page five points out the foolishness of trying to go into a country and change the inhabitants. If only we had known!

It's really a fascinating read.

An Open Call for Fascism

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Today the Wall Street Journal is carrying an opinion piece by Professor Harvey Mansfield (author of last year's homoerotic, misogynistic screed "Manliness") that argues that the president should be above the law when it is convenient for him to be so.

I really wish that I could link to it, but it's behind a paywall, so you will have to find a copy yourself. A few choice quotes include:

"Much present-day thinking puts civil liberties and the rule of law to the fore and forgets to consider emergencies when liberties are dangerous and law does not apply. "

"A free government should show its respect for freedom even when it has to take it away."

If this was just a lone nutjob it would not be troubling. However, what Mansfield isdoing is simply laying out the case for a "strong Executive" that has been the foundation of the Bush administration. And he is doing it on the opinion page of the freaking Wall Street Journal, which more than implies that the conservative establishment approves of and encourages this kind of anti-american thinking.

Looking at today's news all I see are articles about the Newscorp buyout offer of the Wall Street Journal with lots of handwringing about the impact of having such an influential paper become part of the Fox News empire. Apparently people are blind to the fact that it's already publishing this modern Joseph Goebbels. (Oh dammit, here I had this great, thoughtful article and I had to go and spoil it by bringing up Nazis. Crap.)

Oh well. Thank god that I am a white male. I'll be fine until they come for the athiests and people who don't think gays should be killed.

Oh My God.

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So, Rush...let's be clear. You are not allowed to talk about anyone, ever again. You are not a moral compass. You are a fat, stupid, pill-popping whoremonger who, like the whitehouse, stands on a soapbox and pretends to be moral because it's making you over a billion (to afford the dominican sex resorts.) You are also a traitor to your country and an felon (as you have admitted to smuggling and violating the embargo against our 45 year old enemy Cuba, to satisfy your non-drug and non-prostitute related personal vices).

Shut the fuck up!

You are not just a bad man; I hesitate to say it, but you are worse than Hitler (21st item down).

What an (apparently less than well functioning- see above about the viagra), DICK you are.

I wonder how many young republicans were inspired by the Micheal J Fox character in that 80's sitcom, and not a word of thanks for that.

Section 9 - Limits on Congress

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"The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus* shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."

*Habeas Corpus
habeas corpus n. Law A writ issued to bring a party before a court to prevent unlawful restraint. [

The basic premise behind habeas corpus is that you cannot be held against your will without just cause. To put it another way, you cannot be jailed if there are no charges against you. If you are being held, and you demand it, the courts must issue a writ or habeas corpus, which forces those holding you to answer as to why. If there is no good or compelling reason, the court must set you free. It is important to note that of all the civil liberties we take for granted today as a part of the Bill of Rights, the importance of habeas corpus is illustrated by the fact that it was the sole liberty thought important enough to be included in the original text of the Constitution.

As of yesterday, the terrorists won. And they did it with the assistance of the Republicans who pushed to allow torture and unrestricted detention and the Democrats who have cravenly allowed it to happen. We officially live in a police state now. All our rights mean nothing now that anyone can be held indefinately without cause or recourse. Even though the law passed yesterday may be found unconstitutional (you did read that excerpt from section nine of said document above that explicitly says so, right? Did I miss a rebellion or invasion somewhere?) the very fact that our elected officals would even attempt to blithely and permanently throw away the only right written into the actual Constitution itself shows that our nation's core has rotted away.

Go back to watching TV and consuming. Nothing to see here.

Pro-Life, Unless You're A Woman

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I really cannot explain how angry and disgusted I am with the religious right. Their latest crime against humanity (well, at least the female portion) involves the HPV vaccines that that are coming out. HPV is responsible for gential warts and, more criticallycervical cancer, which kills 4000 women in the U.S. each year (and affects 500,000), and 270,000 around the world, mostly in the third world. The vaccine, which is 100% effective against the two most common strains of the virus would vastly reduce these numbers.

The vaccine, which consists of a six-month, three shot course costing a little over 300 dollars, is best administered to girls between the ages of 9 and 12, since it can only prevent getting the virus, not cure it once infected.

The religious right (including Focus on the Family, Family Research Council) are lobbying against having this vaccine a routinely administered. Why? Well, because by preventing a girl from getting a potentially fatal sexually tranmitted disease we would be sending a message tath promiscuity is okay, and encouraging them to have sex.

These people are, of course, completely nuts. When you got your Tetnus vacinne did you think of that as a free pass to run around in empty lots full of rusty nails? Probably not, but hey, if you did end up in a lot full of rusty nails, and happened to get one in you foot, wasn't it great that you were vaccinated? People are going to occasionally have unprotected, premarital sex, often they will regret it. Making the punishment for doing so death by cancer seems a little harsh to me.

Hey! Here's a nutty idea - what about instead of sticking our heads in the ground and pretending that abstinance only education works (it doesn't, every study shows that), why don't we provide kids with real factual information about the risks of unprotected sex, the importance of prophylactics, and provide any vaccination safety net that we can.

Oh wait - that's right. They only care about children before they are born. If you want to have your daughter to die from cervical cancer because you didn't get her vaccinated and didn't teach her how to use a condom, I suppose that's your business, but for god's sake, keep your "moral" beliefs out of medicine.

Just A Reminder...

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...that today is The Day of The Beast!

Please take a moment to reflect on everything that Satan has done for you, and to greet everyone you meet by throwing the goat.

Whatever you do though, don't go see the new Omen remake.

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