Sunday, January 8, 2012

Is Twitter censoring Occupy Wall Street?

In an era of political upheaval and economic turmoil why does Twitter tell us that "Bieber" is a trending topic? Twitter execs say it is all about the algorithm.
Organizers of political movements that use the private social network to spread their message and grow their cause are increasingly suspicious that their "hashtags" are being left out of Twitter trends.
Trending topics is one way Twitter informs users what is being discussed right now on the social network. But the widely used hashtags #ows and #occupywallstreet used in many Tweets about Occupy Wall Street have rarely pushed the topic to the coveted Trending list. The same was true for #wikileaks when the organization released oodles of confidential and diplomatic cables not intended for public consumption.
Tarleton Gillespie of Microsoft Research writes on the Social Media Collective blog:
It (Twitter) engages in traditional censorship: for example, a Twitter engineer acknowledges here that Trends excludes profanity, something that's obvious from the relatively circuitous path that prurient attempts to push dirty words onto the Trends list must take. Twitter will remove tweets that constitute specific threats of violence, copyright or trademark violations, impersonation of others, revelations of others' private information, or spam. (Twitter has even been criticized for not removing some terms from Trends, as in this user's complaint that #reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend was permitted to appear.)
But censorship, the company says, isn't what's happening with Occupy Wall Street.
Gillespie explains:

Wikileaks may not have trended when people expected it to because it had before; because the discussion of #wikileaks grew too slowly and consistently over time to have spiked enough to draw the algorithm's attention; because the bulk of messages were retweets; or because the users tweeting about Wikileaks were already densely interconnected. When Twitter changed their algorithm significantly in May 2010 (though, undoubtedly, it has been tweaked in less noticeable ways before and after), they announced the change in their blog, explained why it was made - and even apologized directly to Justin Bieber, whose position in the Trends list would be diminished by the change. In response to charges of censorship, they have explained why they believe Trends should privilege terms that spike, terms that exceed single clusters of interconnected users, new content over retweets, new terms over already trending ones. Critics gather anecdotal evidence and conduct thorough statistical analysis, using available online tools that track the raw popularity of words in a vastly more exhaustive and catholic way than Twitter does, or at least is willing to make available to its users. The algorithms that define what is "trending" or what is "hot" or what is "most popular" are not simple measures, they are carefully designed to capture something the site providers want to capture, and to weed out the inevitable "mistakes" a simple calculation would make.

VIDEO: Romney Spars With Occupy Protester

An Occupy protester was the first questioner Mitt Romney called at his town hall-meeting Wednesday in Manchester, N.H., and the two engaged in a back-and-forth on economic policies.
"Would you reverse corporate-centric economic policies?" asked Mark Provost, who identified himself with Occupy Boston and Occupy New Hampshire.
Romney patiently waited him out, then began responding until Provost interjected. See video for their exchange.
New Hampshire voters trying to catch presidential campaign stops ahead of Tuesday's primary may hear more from Occupy protesters. An offshoot of Occupy Wall Street has formed a protest arm, Occupy the New Hampshire Primary, which will hold events this weekend in the state.
In Iowa, Occupy outbursts and conduct led to arrests.
About this column: Your guide to all things involving and surrounding New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Keiser Report: Spiral of debt towards the paranormal (E233)

December Payroll Jobs Report

The following report is based on the work of statistician John Williams of
Today’s (Friday, January 6) payroll jobs report of 200,000 new jobs in December is overstated by at least 82,000 jobs. As approximately 130,000 new jobs are needed each month to stay even with population growth, the December job figures actually indicate that the US economy fell another 12,000 jobs behind.
Forty-two thousand of the reported jobs are the result of a glitch in the BLS seasonal adjustment model that produces a false jump in December “couriers and messengers” jobs.
Forty thousand of the jobs result from the “birth/death” model that BLS uses to estimate the net effect of unreported jobs lost from business closures and jobs gained from new start-ups. The model is structured to represent normal times. During the bottom bouncing of this protracted downturn, the model over-estimates new jobs from start-ups and under-estimates job losses from business failures.
The official unemployment rates (U3 and U6) no longer measure all of the unemployed. The Clinton administration ceased counting as unemployed workers who had given up looking for a job for one year or longer. No discouraged workers are included in the widely reported U3 measure. The U6 measure includes workers who have been discouraged for less than one year.
In other words, the longer an economy is in the doldrums, the less the official unemployment rates are reliable measures of the extent of unemployment. The unemployment rate in December as measured by U3 is 8.5%; as measured by U6 which includes short-term discouraged workers (less than one year) is 15.2%. John Williams’ measure which includes the long-term unemployed is 22.4%.
In other words, the real unemployment rate is 2.6 times the widely reported U3 rate, which is the rate emphasized by policymakers and the financial press.

"US Dollar slippery slope to economic collapse.mp4

U.S. Government Lying About Inflation and Jobs Market

Fubar and Rebar of the Spine and Mind

You Might not Feel it but Your Children Will

Zoutube censors, and shafts view counts and more

The Failure of the Euro

(warein.holgado / flickr)
The euro should now be recognized as an experiment that failed. This failure, which has come after just over a dozen years since the euro was introduced, in 1999, was not an accident or the result of bureaucratic mismanagement but rather the inevitable consequence of imposing a single currency on a very heterogeneous group of countries. The adverse economic consequences of the euro include the sovereign debt crises in several European countries, the fragile condition of major European banks, high levels of unemployment across the eurozone, and the large trade deficits that now plague most eurozone countries.
The political goal of creating a harmonious Europe has also failed. France and Germany have dictated painful austerity measures in Greece and Italy as a condition of their financial help, and Paris and Berlin have clashed over the role of the European Central Bank (ECB) and over how the burden of financial assistance will be shared.
The initial impetus that led to the European Monetary Union and the euro was political, not economic. European politicians reasoned that the use of a common currency would instill in their publics a greater sense of belonging to a European community and that the shift of responsibility for monetary policy from national capitals to a single central bank in Frankfurt would signal a shift of political power.
The primary political motive for increased European integration was, and may still be, to enhance Europe's role in world affairs. In 1956, just after the United States forced France and the United Kingdom to withdraw their forces from the Suez Canal, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer told a French politician that individual European states would never be leading global powers, but "there remains to them only one way of playing a decisive role in the world; that is to unite to make Europe. . . . Europe will be your revenge." One year later, the Treaty of Rome launched the Common Market.

Usurious Usurpation

The sucking up of wealth goes ever higher up the ladder.
It is not just the poorest 80% paying interest to the richest 10%.
Of the richest 10%, those gaining from the interest wealth transfer, the poorest 8% pay more than they gain from interest to the first 1%. And within the 1% the poorest 0.8% pay the richest 0.1%.
We know of the calculation that if the Rothschilds owned $50 billion in 1850 and made 5% per year on that, they would have $150 Trillion now.
Since it was widely reckoned that they controlled half the world’s economy at the time of the First World War, that sounds about right.
What Government on Earth can compare to such a power base? Is it fair to say Government is the problem, when it is so totally dominated?
Government is a problem.
The Money Power is the problem.
And it rules through Usury.
What does it matter to explain that we pay interest because of the fact that the lender can’t use the money while we do?
Of course the loan shark will have a good explanation why we should go along.
The World’s poorest 80% pay between 5 and 10 Trillion per year to the richest 10%.
In the face of that fact only one question remains: what are we going to do about it?
I will give you interest free credit if you will give me the same.
We’ll call it Mutual Credit.

David Swanson: "Unemployment numbers are phony numbers"

7 Ways to Really Take the Ax to Wall Street

AlterNet / By Les Leopold

As we’ve learned the hard way, the core of our modern capitalist economy is finance, and finance is run entirely by a few large Wall Street firms. But here’s the ultimate irony: while modern capitalism depends on Wall Street, Wall Street no longer depends on capitalist principles. In finance a new system has emerged that makes a mockery of the idea that entrepreneurs should be rewarded for their successes and suffer losses when they fail.

Capitalist Values Vanish from Wall Street

This week we are reminded again that the ideals of capitalism are a joke on Wall Street, as the heads of the largest Wall Street banks earn enormous incomes while the values of their banks plummet. “According to data from Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove, the heads of major banking groups including JPMorganChase (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Bank of America (BAC) are out-earning their employees and shareholders even as shares of bank stocks as a group lost about 26 percent [in 2011].” (Ron Haruni, “Big Bank CEOs Walk Away with Big Bucks in 2011”)

The big boys are raking it in again even while the economy suffers through the highest sustained level of unemployment since the Great Depression. More to the point, these very bank executives were complicit up to their eyeballs in helping to crash the economy in the first place! Chase CEO Jamie Dimon hauled in $41.9 million in 2011 while its bank stock lost roughly 23 percent of its value. Lloyd “I’m doing God’s work” Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, walked off with $22 million while his bank lost more than 46 percent of its value.

But, at this point, why should we be surprised? Before the crash, the heads of too-big-to-fail banks made billions in packaging, selling and then betting against toxic mortgage-backed securities that directly puffed up the housing bubble. When they couldn’t escape the crash they helped to foster, they went down on their knees begging for government help. At the same time they publicly claimed all was well, while privately taking in more than $7 trillion in secret government loans. And then after sucking up all these enormous bailouts, they used these nearly interest-free government loans to buy up other banks and lobby to prevent rules that might constrain their gambling activities. Meanwhile, they paid not a dime in personal restitution for killing 8 million jobs in a matter of months, most of which have not returned.

Financial Plutocracy is Real

That’s not capitalism. Rather, it’s the very definition of a plutocracy. These banks and those who run them are living off the rest of us and have no intention, ever, of suffering through the ups and downs of capitalist rewards and losses. When you run the casino, it’s always payday for the house.

We’ve got a choice. Either we learn to live under their thumbs or we do something dramatic about it. The porous Frank-Dodd bill has no chance of ending the plutocracy. Instead, we’re going to need some bold thinking and even bolder, more massive mobilizations a la Occupy Wall Street. But first, we need to have a better notion of what the democratizing of Wall Street might look like.

How to Really Overhaul Wall Street

I put this question to Marshall Auerback, global portfolio strategist for Madison Street Partners, a Denver-based fund management group, and a fellow for the Economists for Peace and Security (and an AlterNet contributor). With those titles, he should have an insider's grasp on what needs to be done. In fact, Brother Auerback is more than willing to take an axe to Wall Street as we know it. Here’s his brilliant wish list:

1. Banks should only be allowed to lend directly to borrowers and then service and keep those loans on their own balance sheets. There is no further public purpose served by selling loans or other financial assets to third parties, but there are substantial real costs to government regarding the regulation and supervision of those activities. Goodbye CDOs, synthetic CDOs and the slew of profitable but dangerous financial casino games banks so love.

2. Banks should not be allowed to have subsidiaries of any kind. No public purpose is served by allowing bank to hold any assets "off balance sheet." A bank should be a bank and not a hodgepodge of hidden accounts designed to fool investors, build up leverage and gamble away with impunity.

3. Banks should not be allowed to accept financial assets as collateral for loans. No public purpose is served by financial leverage. This should put an end to highly leveraged, Ponzi-like financing schemes that have become commonplace within the banking community

4. Banks should not be allowed to lend off shore. No public purpose is served by allowing any banks to lend for foreign purposes. The Cayman Islands should be a resort for people, not bank slush funds.

5. Banks should not be allowed to buy (or sell) credit default insurance. Credit default swaps are financial insurance on bonds that might go bust – think Greece. Auerback wants to eliminate banks from this highly profitable game. Banks that rely on government insurance to protect depositors have no business playing in the markets that buy and sell risk.

6. Banks should not be allowed to engage in proprietary trading or any profit-making ventures beyond basic lending. Unfortunately, the big banks are addicted to proprietary trading. That’s because the big money comes from trading for their own accounts – which is the plushest of all their casinos. MF Global, under Jon Corzine’s reckless leadership, was so addicted to proprietary trading that it seems to have used its clients' money as a piggy bank to cover its losses. More regulation will never end these games. But what would work is Auerback’s call for simply banning any and all proprietary trading by banks.

(Hot off the wire: Reuters reports that in the last days before MF Global went under, it sold hundreds of millions in assets to Goldman Sachs, the investment bank that Corzine once headed. But apparently, MF Global did not receive payment from Goldman Sachs, when the transaction was cleared through JPMorgan Chase. We don’t know as yet which bank pocketed that money. But this transaction might help explain what happened to the missing client money.)

7. Abandon “too-big-to-fail” and “systemically important” doctrine in favor of a “too-big-to-save” and “systemically dangerous” approach. They should be broken up, so that they are not "too big to fail." Guarantee the deposits and punish the shareholders. Break the power of finance once and for all. Amen!

Even if you don’t agree with every point, you’ve got to admit that Auerback pushes us to think really big, and rightfully so. After all we’re talking about how to save democracy from the plutocratic rule of elite financiers.

When I wrote The Looting of America in 2009, I was naïve. I thought the crash had so scared the political and economic establishment, that massive financial reforms would be the order of the day, just as in the Great Depression. I didn’t expect Wall Street to so quickly buy up both political parties for a song and get back to the lucrative business of financial gambling as if nothing much had happened at all. (And then they even have the nerve to shift the national conversation to how the rest of us should pay for the debts run up due to the crash they caused!)

But back then, I did cover my bets just a little. I had a feeling that we might live to see yet another crash because we would do far too little to end Wall Street’s rule:

Let’s hope we won’t throw away much of our children’s inheritance because we did not have the courage to do the obvious: Take over the failing major banks, dramatically trim their astronomical salaries, control their hazardous financial engineering and run the damn things for the good of us all…..

If, by the time you read these words we have avoided a full-scale depression, we should consider ourselves more fortunate than wise. Or as Bob Dylan lamented:

“An’ here I sit so patiently

Waiting to find out what price

You have to pay to get out of

Going through all these things twice.”

(And under the rules of real capitalism, it cost me $250 to use these lines from “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again.”)
Les Leopold is the executive director of the Labor Institute and Public Health Institute in New York, and author of The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity—and What We Can Do About It (Chelsea Green, 2009).

Illinois Lottery Winners Get Stiffed When State Checks Don’t Cash

CHICAGO (CBS) — Eighty-five Illinois Lottery winners last week probably thought they were lucky — until they tried to cash in their winnings, that is.
Their checks, totaling $159,000 in lottery winnings, were no good.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports

Two days after Christmas, Maureen Furio of Lake Zurich bought an instant scratch-off ticket and won $1000. The next day, she got a check from the lottery.
“I deposited it the same day and went ahead and paid some extra Christmas bills,” Furio says. “And Jan. 3, it bounced.”
“Not bounced … returned,” says Mike Lang, spokesman for the Illinois Lottery. He says lottery officials failed to key in the required security verification on the checks issued on Dec. 28.
“We apologize for the inconvenience that these players have incurred,” Lang says.
Lang says Furio and the 84 other winners who tried to get their winnings but couldn’t can re-submit the checks. He says the state lottery will reimburse them for any bank fees.

You Might not Feel it but Your Children Will.

Dog Poet Transmitting.......

May your noses always be cold and wet.

Where have we been; fast asleep in the belly of the beast, drunk on the digestive juices of Wall Street monsters, Israeli, vampire siphon machines; suck you up like a McDonald's milkshake baby. If you can't handle the stink, stay out of the cistern. The banker bully boys came here from Clockwork Orange, multitasking with motorcycle boots and attendant orgasms. These are the real cartels; the insatiable military and the corporate hounds, the government Sandusky kids and the bloodstained clowns from the Rothschild breakfast table, who keep making the rounds while confirming the kill. You may not feel it but your children will. You may not feel it but your children will.

All over the planet the migration has begun, as the elementals go into action and climb out of their sleeping beds. Nature is throwing off her chains and seething with rage at a handful of punks in three piece suits and the vast army of stupid and indifferent that made their job easy; that sat on the sidelines or carried the freight and abused friends and family with smoldering hate; yeah, that's just Love suppressed. Thank god for allopathic, symptomatic compounds that make it possible to conceal what we are really feeling, to hide it under fronts of resentment and futile anger at those closest to us, while our cowardice and appetites put paid to the license granted to our oppressors.

Indifference to sunlight does not mute or alter its disinfectant quality. It's going to slip in to your dark, migraine evasive, bedrooms and find you anyway. Ask yourself why your head hurts in the first place. If you don't turn your attention to the source of what is assaulting you, it has nowhere to go except to turn back upon yourself or those closest to you. If you can't control your own mind, you can't control your behavior. That makes you an uninformed servant of your own distress, at the hands of those who get high being employed at it.

If you don't care who leads you then you probably don't care where you wind up, or simply have lost the capacity to add two and two, which, according to natural law, results in the arrival of a two by four, just to let you know that the cosmos can still count. The hand of the cosmos is Nature in action and if you don't pay attention she'll put you in traction. It's not personal, it's the business of the system that orders the degree of presence and performance that determines the itinerary. “Good evening, I'll be your elevator operator; going down, or would you prefer to see a menu”? You can think of your life as a Chinese restaurant; no substitutions. I know you were all about the concept of infinite choice. That's how you got all that technology, gadgets and things that keep your mind off the approaching transition. It's a old story. It's happened before. Things just got out of hand and then were no more.

The news isn't good. Good news doesn't sell. What did you expect besides resident Hell? On Wal-mart, on Blackheart, Monsanto and Blitzen, on Vatican, Dupont and Kentucky Fried Chicken, the season is here, the spirit is missing. Meanwhile... meanwhile, it's all about where it's okay to put your dick. It's all about celebrating the things that make you sick. It's all about control and regimentation. It's all reaction and the right to maim and kill. You may not feel it but your children will.

How did it get like this? How did life become such a drag? Who shot up the hamster with amphetamine? Who poisoned the well? Who did it in Palestine? Who's doing it now? Who got together with the worst of us to come down on our heads? Who put creed against creed and color against color? Who's making the money from the carnage and ruin? Who's selling you fear about people you don't even know? Who did what got blamed on the people we bombed? Who put a boogeyman under your bed? Who made crime so attractive and armed the cartels? Who made ordinary folk into dysfunctional trolls? Who made the cops mean? Who corrupted the priests? Who made one big cluster-fuck nightmare from Round-Up and Ready Whip? Who taught you false history? Who created the river of darkness that runs under the ship of state? Who created god from a toilet and taught you to worship it? Flush once for a wake-up and twice for a hair from the bad dog that bit you and you're almost there. You're almost there. You probably don't feel it but your children don't care.

Nothing is what it seems. The reality of the misidentified is actually an expression of two interfacing spirals that have created a temporary 'no man's land' between them. Think of an enduring period of false dawn or transformative dusk, a place where you can see shapes in movement but cannot accurately or even generically identify them. This is a time of strange magnetisms, accompanied by the usual labels, no longer being meaningful. In former times, people and things behaved according to the definitions they operated under. A conservative was usually a conservative and a liberal a liberal. This is no longer the case. As for the magnetisms, new attractive forces are presenting themselves and people are behaving under compulsions contrary to their basic nature; being overwhelmed by forces and conditions whose power comes about due to one's sense of self having deteriorated to the point that they no longer know who they are.

Voluntary and cooperative change assure a ready identification in transition. Forced and uncooperative change results in a partial or total destruction of the cognitive self in terms of their capacity to recognize the states into which they are being transported. Imagine Rick Santorum on acid in an Indian temple; not a bad thing actually, provided he never goes back to being who he was and I don't even care if he can remember but... I digress.

People are all focused on external events and are missing the activation of the resonance of an entirely new atmosphere of being. People are paranoid about what's coming and unaware of who it is that it might happen to. People are finding that the need of their appetites increase, in advance of the arrival of a time in which they can no longer satisfy them. This accounts for one of the spirals. “Your job, should you choose to accept it”, is to figure out what's going on in the other spiral. “Remember, if you or any of your team are captured, we will disavow any knowledge of” your not having cared enough to become invisible to the suck holes, seeking to swallow you up in an entropic slumber; not everyone gets to be, or wants to be-come a fly trapped in amber but we do have a larger list of candidates than in previous years.

The whole thing is about fear and uncertainty. It paralyzes you. It turns you into a deer in the headlights. You've made the men in the shadows powerful because your fear is the Viagra that inspires their abuse. You won't collect and congregate with your fellows, so they will pick you off one by one and put you in jumpsuits with single digit numbers on them. You seem incapable of stepping away from the levers and buttons of your own destruction. The last thing you will see is your fingerprint holographically shimmering over the words, “Fuck me, I'm a fool” on the press panel you thought was going to open the door to some brothel in your head. Everyone gets challenged about whether they care about what happens to the people around them. It's set up that way.

Everyone is worried what the devil's going to think. . You don't want to piss him off and make him angry. The result of that is even worse than you think. Meanwhile you want to stay away from that crazy guy who's talking to himself. Just because you've been deaf for the last twenty years you think he's all alone. Just like it is in the Six Kinds of Shit Amusement Park of usual life, it's not what you know, it's who you know and true light casts no shadows nor entertains them at his house. . You want to be afraid of someone who hates you? You think your fear is some kind of a way out? Is that how it worked out on the playground? Did it get you into Yale? Sure some are born to serve the darkness and they got certain schools for that but... if you're not 'chosen' for it they will sniff you out. One needs to understand how the darkness operates in order to command what lives in the deep. Were you put here to be a dung beetle just so you could climb to the top of the heap? You have to know what you actually are. Good or evil is not the point. Self identification is the point.

All these people going the wrong way have created a tailwind and a slipstream. Are you a Volkswagen behind a double lorry? Are you a high born creation going in reverse? First you must overcome fear. Then you have to walk in the empty lands. Then you have to make a connection or you will die by your own hand. It's all suicide after all. It's okay to be the bad guy if that IS what you ARE but if you're not Old Scratch can smell you and he'll tell his people what's going on. That's what you get for trying to fit in when you could be long gone. Better tend to that itch and use it like a generator on a bicycle at night. If you're not in movement you can use it to turn on the lights in your head.

Yes, there's been point and motive all through this poor address. . You can't say these things directly, it's peripheral at best. You can accommodate your injury till you can't even feel a thing. This is how it gets for people who hurt others once their sensitivity is dead. The sins of the initiator send their children into time and they all show up together further down the line.

End Transmission.......