Crash Test Dummies

May 11, 2011

The Indian Air Force is about to spend $10 billion on new fighter planes. That’s a lot of employment and corporate profit for whoever wins the bid. They have now disqualified both US proposals, one from Boeing and the other from Lockheed, leaving two European planemakers in the contest.

Now, I don’t have a great deal of interest in these kinds of deals but my attention was caught by this particular paragraph:

“The two European fighters are generally seen as aerodynamically superior, having outperformed both US-made aircraft in tests under the adverse climatic conditions in which they might have to be used, particularly in the high altitudes and low temperatures of northern Kashmir. Experts suggest that the American planes are technologically ten years behind the European ones.

How can that be? How can that be? Don’t the US military-industrial complex get half a trillion dollars each and every year? And they are ten years behind? At least ten Maddof-sized scams are being pulled on the US taxpayer each and every year by these corporations and their bureaucratic brothers.

The true inefficiency of the US state-capitalist system is about equal to the inefficiency of the former-USSR state-capitalist system. We are seeing the warping effect this has on the economy all around us, with massive systemic failures in health care, industrial manufacturing, unemployment, budget deficits and bubbles of every kind. What the hell would happen to the American economy if peace broke out? The War on Terrorism, the War on Drugs, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, etc: these are all vital inputs that drive the machine and the corporations.

And none of this is new; many people have understood this for a long time.  The term “peace dividend” was even floated in the early 1990s after the Ruskies threw in the towel.  But now, two decades later, we find the US ever deeper in the mire.  It is hard to know how to unravel the socialist-style dependence the rest of the US economy has on these unsustainable levels of defense spending. In the end, it is hard to see anything other than a true crash.

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Reason #203 To Avoid Facebook

May 11, 2011

Even if Facebook was not the charming front-end to a massive corporate/government conspiracy to tap into and control your very thoughts (which it is) it would still be important to avoid Facebook because of their incompetent security.

Yet again this week we have a story about “leakage” of important personal data from Facebook to third parties:

Symantec has discovered that in certain cases, Facebook IFRAME applications inadvertently leaked access tokens to third parties like advertisers or analytic platforms. We estimate that as of April 2011, close to 100,000 applications were enabling this leakage. We estimate that over the years, hundreds of thousands of applications may have inadvertently leaked millions of access tokens to third parties.

This is scary stuff; and the fact that most people simply ignore it is even more scary.

Avoid Facebook, folks, and live a longer happier life without the Man peering over your shoulder all day.

Previous reasons to avoid Facebook.