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Messages - I_Kicked_Kennedy

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« on: July 17, 2013, 01:19:02 am »
Meatloaf is looking a little haggard these days.

Meat Loaf: "Mrfm-mumarph-furfumrble"
Sound Guy: "God damn it! It's our last microphone! STOP EATING THE MICS!"

Apple Talk / Re: Goal: Nut punch Goliath to death.
« on: July 17, 2013, 01:12:10 am »
Pixie, I was actually discussing your point with an executive friend (Fortune 500 company, but it's more a tech company)...

He pointed out that even if you have voting influence as a shareholder, the influence is limited to approving executive appointments, salary and compensation, and other board members. Just like "democracy", you can elect people who seem to be on the same page as you, but when they're put in those positions their decisions are influenced more by a) Primary stock holders (in this case, the Walton family), and b) being stockholders themselves, as much of their compensation is stock options. So, they'd want to keep the Waltons happy first, and foremost, and they'd want their stock/paycheck to be high in February/March (When they sell their stock after filing their taxes) and lower in October/November, when they slowly start buying back and extending their options so they can write it off.

Simply, shareholders don't get to directly decide how much to pay workers and, you could say, they don't have a lot of influence, even indirectly.

Another thing that was brought up is the perceived image of WalMart is to certain, conservative types. Though you and I know how much WalMart hurts the working man, and the small American communities, they don't see it that way. The comparison was made to Garth Brooks. Even if Garth charges $260 for his next concert, southerners and country fans will make sure every one sells out. Same with Toby Keith. Once you are perceived to be a "good ol' boy," the cognitive dissonance never registers. There could be a document posted on Fox News that says "Walton family likes punching unborn babies in the neck", and they'd shrug their shoulders and say "Well, it's the only place for 30 miles, and besides, Rick is the manager over their, so they can't be all bad."


Remember Garth Brooks and Toby Keith? Once public figures hit a certain level of success (in the eyes of southerners/conservative minded folk), it's next to impossible to fall out of favor with them. BUT... the opposite holds true. Once you have done something that irks their "values", you might as well consider yourself blacklisted south of the Mason Dixon line. Example: Dixie Chicks. Once one of the band members said "George Bush isn't a real Texan and we're ashamed of him" or whatever it was... people lost their shit.

How could we paint WalMart to be liberal? What sort of campaign, outlining a company that breaks with "Amurrica" would get these people to turn on it as they did with the Dixie Chicks? Not actual examples of how Walmart truly fucks the small town communities in the ass (that evidence is out there for everyone to see), but what policies or practices would these people consider un-American if it were to be highlighted?

Apple Talk / Re: Goal: Nut punch Goliath to death.
« on: July 13, 2013, 02:01:14 pm »
if this thread is still about taking down wal-mart - would it be possible to buy enough shares of wal-mart stock to railroad shareholder's meetings and set wal-mart on a path to demise?  if so, could a large group of investors have a single voice at shareholder's meetings?

it seems that the internet could be a tool for large groups of investors to take over publicly traded companies

Wait a minute... Wait a minute... Wait a minute...

What if we formed an LLC called "Shoppers and Associates, LLC."  I'm remembering a strategy in The Art of War, which basically suggests turning an army's biggest asset into a liability. What we do is approach the associates and the shoppers of WalMart (which are in a magnitude of millions, if you recall) and ask for $1. We pool a million dollars or so into WalMart stock. We now have voting rights as a shareholder, and when the dividends pay out, we buy more stock. We have no intention of making a profit, rather, we're just insuring we are a major shareholder so we can raise a ruckus. They call them "activist shareholders." We're technically not a union, just a unified collective in the post-union era. Plus, if we're only asking the associates for a one-time $1 fee, we aren't charging dues.

I realize there's holes in this idea, but if this got the idea ball rolling...

Apple Talk / Re: Goal: Nut punch Goliath to death.
« on: July 12, 2013, 08:04:31 pm »
Part of the push from growth increased around 1999 because of the expansion of electronic trading. I don't remember the name of the type of application, but there are hedge funds with software that buys when a stock's movement and beta changes in a certain fashion, and dumps it if it acts a certain way. It's called High Frequency Trading, or Algorithmic Trading, and it nearly caused the stock market to crash in 2010:

The answer, in my opinion, would be to have a tax on each trade, or a fee on each trade that is done within a certain period of time from when it was originally purchased.

But then I would be accused of hating capitalism and threatened with deportation.

If I knew anything about algorithms, I'd say this would be one way to knock WalMart down a peg or two, but I don't, so... Crap.

Apple Talk / Re: Goal: Nut punch Goliath to death.
« on: July 12, 2013, 04:14:55 am »
To be fair, the violence and nastiness was started by the business magnates and the robber barons (see Pinkterons). You could say it became a matter of survival. Could have been worse. Ask Russia/USSR/Russia.

Ok... Bringing us back now.

Creative ideas, people. I don't care if they're shitty. Just help my brain get going.

[Unrelated side note: If you have to brush your teeth and drink Chardonnay in the same night, do it in the opposite order I did this evening. Blah...]


Took me almost 9 years.

Apple Talk / Re: Goal: Nut punch Goliath to death.
« on: July 12, 2013, 03:44:07 am »
I'm in awe.

"In awe" in both ways. I'm amazed and startled (and turned on, sorta... Like the part of my brain that gets turned on when my wife threatens to beat me within an inch of my life for leaving the dome light on again, resulting in her being late for work)

Apple Talk / Re: Goal: Nut punch Goliath to death.
« on: July 12, 2013, 01:56:23 am »
I really want to hope you're right, but my fear is that part of the reason KMart collapsed is because another company, using the same formula but to an even more sadistic degree, knocked it off the top of the ladder.

Apple Talk / Goal: Nut punch Goliath to death.
« on: July 12, 2013, 01:37:14 am »
Since everything I've posted here starts with a meandering backstory, I'll instead post my intentions first, then fill you in.

Simply, I would like PD'ers to brainstorm ways that Wal-Mart can be taken down. Any idea, no matter how off the wall it is. I want to see this through, I want to end that company, and I want nothing more than every Walton to hang themselves when they discover they are only two bankruptcies away from standing in a soup line.

Backstory (the following has a degree of artistic license, as to make it easier to stomach):
I've been at a lull in my professional life. I haven't been able to get motivated, and I haven't completed anything remotely presentable to publishers in a long time. I've since returned to my other job full time. It was a moderate paying part-time that I held onto so I could provide health insurance for the wife and kids. I've just felt completely shitty, and I know it's because I can't just get myself to get my shit together.

After having a long conversation with a former colleague who invited me to his massive house, last night (his most recent textbook making obscene amounts of money), we got on the topic of Life and quantum physics. He's a science guru, and he's one of those who is too polite to tell me I'm drunk and talking out of my ass. Thanks to my state of mind, I kept shifting the conversation to how my current state applies to whatever specific theme we were touching on, because I'm a dick like that. He's a good enough guy that he humored me in this regard, even though it was probably the last thing he wanted to discuss. He pointed out that I've had some success in my past, but every time it's usually followed by a period of languidness until I reach the point where my situation is severe, then I usually turn it around to get another little taste of success. He said that Tolstoy did something similar (or maybe it was Dostoyevski... I can't remember, nor be bothered to Google it), in which he would publish a novel that would earn him considerable amounts of money, only to then gamble himself into debt, forcing him to write another great work. For that author, he said, it was the only way he could achieve the level of clarity and focus necessary to get to that creative state... to have his very livelihood hinging upon his next work. My friend's suggestion was that I was in the same boat, but for me, it was slightly different, because for me it was a matter of getting so bored with my life, I have to find something inspiring and challenging to get to the next "mountaintop."

His suggestion was to find something seemingly impossible to defeat. He then asked what angers me more than anything in the world, and I said "the mighty exploiting the weak and desperate." So, we thought of some situations that particularly disgusted me, and the first one I mentioned was child sex slaves. After some discussion, we decided that I would most likely get myself killed, so it'd be better if I pursued something in which the opposition would be less eager to shoot me in the head. I then mentioned something awful my wife's friend just went through... employment at Wal-Mart. My wife's friend is a very caring and wonderful person, but she isn't very smart, and she has had the most unlucky life of anyone I've ever met. Without getting into her life story (trust me, it would make you want to douse yourself in gas, then nuke the planet), she went to work for them because she was in a shitty situation where her husband had just died of leukemia, leaving her with three wonderful children (4, 7, and 9), a trailer they were still paying for, tens of thousands of dollars in medical debt from her now dead husband's treatment (we tried to get her to divorce him so the debt would die with him, but she said she couldn't do it because "[She] made a promise to God that, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer..."etc), and her previous employer fired her after 10+ years of dedicated service (she had to schedule the funeral for the evening because they wouldn't give her the day off, I shit you not) after she asked for a raise to help her in this situation.

So, the only job she was able to find was Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart wouldn't schedule around picking up or taking care of the kids, so my wife and her sister were taking care of them, and sometimes she wouldn't even get to see them for 5 minutes to kiss them goodnight. But then she started seeing them more because when she hit 6 months, they cut her down so she was working 27 hours a week (Wal-Mart considers 28 hours "full time" to receive health benefits, I guess). Only, when I say "working 27 hours", I mean "scheduled for 27 hours" because almost every day they told her to punch out before going back for another hour or two to "zone out", which doesn't mean what you and I think it means. To "zone" something means clean it up and fix the merchandise displays in that area. So, she worked 50-60 hour weeks at $8.25/hr (minimum where I'm at), but only getting paid for 40 of it, for six months. And desperately clinging to the hope that if she manages to make it to 6 months, she can finally get health insurance and stop living in fear that her kids may get sick or go to the hospital. However, then Wal-Mart not only didn't qualify her for health insurance, they were cutting her hours to the point where she has "borrowed" money from us, so she can eat (they've been without power for almost a month), and providing her with information on how to get Medicaire and WIC. As if it wasn't fucked up already, she came to my house crying uncontrollably. Wal-Mart fired her. They said it was because she was "failing to be a team player." While she sat in my kitchen, crying and shaking, saying over and over again "What am I going to do?!", I contacted a friend who has a son working there part-time this summer to see what the hell happened. He knew exactly why she got fired: she was in the break room and when one of the older women was asking about her husband's funeral, she mentioned that one of his old union pals (from the candy factory he worked at until it closed back in 2003 or 2004) placed their union patch in the casket with him during Last Respects. I guess a few minutes after that, one of the managers was asking everybody where she was, and soon after she was walked out. I asked her if she remembered that conversation, and she nodded. I didn't have the heart to tell her that's most likely the reason she got fired.

So, after everything she's endured, Wal-Mart fired her because her dead husband was in a Union a decade ago. Or, because she wasn't a team player, if you want to believe they're story.

After explaining to my friend that we're considering letting her move in with our family, since she doesn't have any money, they're losing the trailer, and we've been practically feeding them since (unemployment only pays 60% of what you were earning before, so thanks to those 27 hour weeks, she's getting a whopping $106 a week to support she and her three kids, and no Cobra because she didn't have insurance, so fuck her, right?), he told me that my next task is to take down Wal-Mart.* I said "Ah, so David versus Goliath." And his reply was "You don't even have a slingshot, and Wal-Mart is the largest employer and retail outfit in the world, so it's more like Lazarus versus Jericho."

Wal-Mart and their proprietors are the scum of the earth (the people working there have my sympathies), and if they were a country, they would be the 25th richest country in the world. An evil regime and a force that must be not only stopped, but dismantled, and shit upon. Please help me think of creative ways that I could do that.

*My friend gave me a very large sum of money to help her out. She wouldn't take it, at first, but I told her that if she didn't, my friend would be heartbroken.

Apple Talk / Re: Women's Work.
« on: July 12, 2013, 12:18:15 am »
I want to have her baby.


Whatever. We'll figure out something. Frencesca, if you're reading this... call me.

« on: July 05, 2013, 04:45:53 am »
Friend of mine took this pic yesterday flying into Portland:

This is what coming home looks like.

If that's taken outside a passenger window... nice.

If that's the windshield... jesusfuckingCHRISTTURNTURNTURRRRN!!!

So, Cain, knowing what you just reminded me, and the news that the NSA was tapping the shit out of the EU, what's to say this whole spiderweb isn't just some massive data mining tool for the financial juggernaut to stack the deck and count cards?

What if its not about security (both domestic and internstional) but rather, a manner to extract a massive amount of economic insight and heavily influence the flow of capital? If you were to imagine a method implemented by a super secret hedge fund of plutocrats, what would it be?

I am fairly sure that is where all this is headed...only more along the lines of the law constricting the "legitimate" scope of inquiry to account for why all this information doesn't simply sit in one giant, vast database.

If you look at the future strategic forecasting by the UK and USA, you'll notice it tends to preoccupy itself with a few key topics:

- resource scarcity
- urbanization
- destabilizing influence of social networks formed online
- the possibility of radical alliances between the newly urbanized working and university educated but underemployed middle classes to challenge the existing status quo

And furthermore, these issues will act in tandem, on a regional basis.

How do you deal with international problems?  You come up with an international regime.  How do you deal with an uprising?  You subvert, intimidate and brutalise the opposition via the security services.  How do you deal with an international uprising?  Well...

Yeah, but there's two major factors that leave my opinions in limbo:

1) China
2) The secondary sociological effects of a security apparatus

In reference to the first factor, let's pretend China wants to take over the US's status as World Heavyweight Champion, and they've been dipping their fingers into our IT systems. Wouldn't it be in their benefit to spill the entire deal in one messy heap of "Oh fuck" to totally destabilize the security apparatus's hold on the world consciousness? And wouldn't there be a preemptive "Hey the Chinese are doing these shitty things..." disclosure to world media outlets to offset this? We know each group has the goods on the other. What's stopping them from sending the respective populous of the other into full blown revolution? Or do you think secretly they're pals? But if that we're the case, Snowden would be in the basement of some dungeon in East China, right now.

Regarding the second one, using Stalin and the Stasi as a precedent, the NSA and CIA have to know that any bare wire in the self-espionage only emboldens and legitimizes anti-establishmentism in the eyes of the populous. Wouldn't they aim for something lower-key, instead of something as massive as this... Ie. plausible deniability? I find it hard to believe that when thy designed this, no one raised their hand and said "shit, at this scale, even with the most thorough safeguards, this will eventually become known. Logistically, it would be impossible for it not to. Maybe, at the least, we should use blood oath FreeMasons and Elite pedigree instead of well-paid third party contractors, or something...?"

Now, I'm not trying to introduce another tangent in this, but I had an interesting idea while I was jerking off today:

Remember when the MPAA rolled out some torrent seeds of one of their major blockbuster films, and they used it to track and later prosecute the people who downloaded and shared these items? Let's take this PRISM program, consider the metaphor of an actual prism, and pretend for a moment that the parties behind this are 10x as evil as we feared...

What is a prism? Well, light comes in one side, and it is split into its colors on the other. So, what we picture them as doing is taking information from all different areas (colors) and constructing a database out of it (pulling it into one bank). But a prism goes in the opposite direction. What if they're taking all of this info, and categorizing us into different banks; realms of concern. Remember looking up how to make hash that time when you were wondering what the heck your college roommate was smoking? Well, you're in the narcotics category. Remember downloading that weird porn from Taiwan? Well, you're in "fucked up dude" category. Remember downloading the Anarchist Cookbook? That's right, you're now a potential terrorist.

All the while, they keep passing confusing laws that turn pretty much any abnormal Internet act into a crime. A while ago, they passed the Federal Analog Act, which criminalizes substances that could theoretically be used to manufacture certain scheduled compounds, or non-scheduled material that could potentially have similar effects as those compounds, if they are used outside of their intended method.  In other words, if you purchase Morning Glory seeds for your grandmother, and earlier that day you were on Bluedot or something, they could say "Yep, it's apparent he wanted to get LSA out of 'em. We know that a few days earlier he bought Zippo fluid."

Let's also look at something else...

The Bureau ran the service for two weeks while attempting to identify more than 5,000 customers, according to a Seattle FBI agent's statements to the court. Court records indicate the site continued to distribute child pornography online while under FBI control; the Seattle-based special agent, a specialist in online crimes against children, detailed the investigation earlier this month in a statement to the court.

Yeah. So let's consider how many of those porn sites out there disseminate obscene amounts of, well, obscene material for free. Why are some of these sites giving away so much free porn? There's no reason to actually get a subscription. Do you think they're making it all back in ads?

What if a number of those items feature underage girls who look over 18. Like the iTunes agreement, are you going to the trouble of checking the age documentation of each video you stream? Well, guess what....? You're now on a list. You start getting ideas about organizing a political party, or protesting Monsanto, or whatever, and several men in dark sunglasses show up at your door.

Man 1: "Hello, IKK. You are going to be an informant for us, now."
Me: "I don't wanna."
Man 2: "See these video links? You downloaded underage pornography, and you know this will result in the loss of your job, marriage, children, and you'll be outcast from society to the point where suicide is the only option. Unless, of course, you give us a reason to look the other way...."

Maybe even not to that level. How 'bout...

Man 1: "Rmemeber when Cain posted that RAR of all those books? Well, the publishing company has the lawsuit ready in the holster, and they will hit you up for tens of thousands of dollars you don't have. Or, you know, you could play ball..."

Even with the Stasi, it was admitted they made no effort to quietly persecute. Why? Half of their operational intent was to make you fear being monitored, whether you were, or not. What was one of the reasons why so very few Stasi members were prosecuted after the fall of the GDR? Well, they were in powerful positions of the judiciary and government, and in many situations, bringing charges against them are abandoned because it would require the introduction of the collected intelligence as evidence. Perhaps the intelligence was an extramarital affair with someone embarrassing...

What should scare the shit out of people is the fact that with data as extensive as this, whether you are a criminal, or you truly aren't and have made every effort to follow the straight and narrow, it is assured that something in your digital past could be used for nefarious purposes by an unethical power. Think about how many people have been out on death row by an overzealous police detective, and even with DNA exonerating them, how many are still in prison? Plus, are you keeping thorough logs of your activity and data? So, when they take you to court, they could manufacture evidence, and what do you have to counter their claims? Character witnesses? Bah!

But this is why people like me fully intend to eventually bury our heads in the sand and hope it either goes away, or someone else fixes it for us. I have kids and a mortgage to worry about, and I don't want to be thrown in prison before the next season of House of Cards, thankyouverymuch.

In my opinion, nothing will happen to Snowden physically. The MO of the perceived "men in the smoky room" collective prefer to off people before they disclose things. In this case, it's already out there. After the fact, the modus operandi is to discredit or dilute the whistleblower's public persona. I'm sure it won't be long before a major new organization is, like "OMG, Snowden used to masturbate to puppies being thrown off cliffs onto acid-covered boulders!!"

Which leads me to a crazy thought...

Let's look at something here: The PRISM project aimed to get the major telecoms and internet companies to give them all sorts of data. We know who uses that stuff, and who doesn't. The people that use it are MASSIVE numbers of citizens in many different countries, including our own. The people that don't: actual terrorists, and major criminals. We've suspected, and in some cases, known that the NSA/FBI/CIA/DOJ had their microscopes on this information. Anyone with half a brain and a desire to do bad things or shake up the establishment was already taking every step to keep their communications off the radar and as far away from these things as possible. But "off the radar" means "out of view of 99% of the public."

Maybe the aim was to prevent citizens of various countries, as well as the US, from organizing on a grand scale. Maybe they intended Snowden to leak this, so people shy away from using far reaching technology to get their message out. It's a way of turning on the light to keep us out of the kitchen. Yes, this will drive people further into the recesses of less adopted technology or encrypted methods, but at the same time, it makes it harder for these people to reach the less technologically astute who use these technologies. It's to prevent the shakers from inciting the larger segments of the population who obtain their information passively, so they can continue to be exploited by those with oversight and influence in the major communication areas.

I acknowledge I'm going way out there with this idea, but who knows... thoughts?

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