No Rest for (the Wife of) the Wicked

Trustee sues Madoff’s wife over ‘life of splendor’ – Yahoo! Finance

I said as much a while back, and it seems as if one of the trustees of Madoff’s victims seems to agree.

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Time to End Corporate Cell Phone Monopolies

Apple Stuck Apologizing For AT&T Yet Again With A $30 iTunes Credit

Naturally, this pisses me off because it will ultimately hurt the bottom line of my Apple stock, and because it means that I will be stuck with the same lousy AT&T service for some time.

The local phone company has no authority to dictate which phones I can and cannot use. Wireless communication companies should not have this authority, either.

Cruising in a Houseboat

Amsterdam Tests Residential 1Gbps Fiber – While city muni-fiber operation delivers fiber to the house boat… – dslreports.com.

On some level, it’s infuriating to know that houseboats in Amsterdam get better internet bandwidth than the most luxurious penthouse in Manhattan or San Francisco.

Effects of Smog on Pregnancy

L.A. Traffic Causing Premature Births: Study: Discovery News.

The number of studies linking the poor air quality to pulmonary problems and generally poor health are numerous. Now, a new study shows that smog adversely affects pregnancies. Yet, somehow, one cannot believe that this will effect any more action in a populace long since drowned in utter apathy.

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The Spoils of Crime

Ruth Madoff forfeits asset claims, left with $2.5 million | Reuters

$2.5 million is not a bad take at all for suffering through decades of lavish living at the clients’ expense. One wonders why someone how has absolutely no bargaining power vis a vis the prosecution of a confessed criminal is granted such a healthy settlement when a huge number of the defrauded clients are left with absolutely nothing.

The soup thickens, indeed.

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End of Education in California?

BBC NEWS | Americas | California ‘to scrap textbooks’

This doesn’t mean that California school children won’t be educated. The ones with computers and an internet connection will manage. The ones who cannot afford the technology required for electronic textbooks will make Arnold Schwarzenegger sound educated.

This economic slump has an infinite upside for Schwarzenegger.

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Time Marches Forward, but Does not Heal

5 found dead near the 405 in Long Beach | Los Angeles Times

The story is dated, but timeless. The acts described in it are unforgettable, yet frequently forgotten. As of this writing, the crime remains unsolved, and the motive remains the subject of speculation. In as much, one is left with the impression that these unforgivable acts are somehow condoned or tolerated.

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First in Capitalism, Last in Broadband

BBC NEWS | Technology | Broadband World: Mapping the global picture

Extolling the virtues of a “pure and unadulterated capitalism” has always been in vogue in the United States, and it has never changed the fact the country is lagging in many critical measures of quality of life, chief among them life expectancy and infant mortality.

Now we can add broadband speed to the list, though broadband speed is hardly a measure of quality of life. It is a damn nice measure of excess, that one characteristic for which the USA is best known.

It’s nice to know to know that monopoly power is still worshipped in the United States  for the excess power and wealth it concentrates in the hands of the few. Who cares that monopoly power never delivers better service at a lower price, innovation (Microsoft still doesn’t get the iPod), improvements in infrastructure, or a functioning marketplace?

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Fear of Truth

Congressional computers continue to be used to vandalize Wikipedia – Wikinews, the free news source.

It is entirely not surprising that the Congressional IP addresses belonging to those who “vandalize” Wikipedia and Wikinews belong disproportionately to Republicans. The Republicans are surpassed in their opposition to reality only by the red Chinese and the communist Cubans. Even Hugo Chavez has greater tolerance of the truth. (Which is not to say that he is tolerant of the truth.)

As if propaganda outlets like CNN, Fox “News”, network news, Rush Limbaugh and his coterie of “conservative pundits” weren’t enough, Republicans seem to feel the need to tamper with an open medium that meticulously documents the source of every minute datum entered into it.

Whether the motivation for these attempts at averting truth arises from fear or malice, the scenario bodes ill for the party of Lincoln.

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The Soup Thickens

BBC NEWS | Americas | Gay marriage row at Miss USA show

You know you live in the primordial soup when a ditzy beauty queen objects to the offense that a gay gossip queen serving as a judge may have have felt at her objection to homosexuality and to gay marriage.

Should gay men be judging heterosexual female beauty pageants? Does being a gossip columnist qualify one as a judge of beauty?If yes, would this mean that American standards in beauty have been elevated, or that the “gay mafia” is exerting its influence. Should a decidedly naive beauty be disqualified from being queen for being a bigot? If yes, would this constitute an elevation of American beauty standards?

Within this primitive confusion lies the incontrovertible assertion that the Miss America Pageant represents absolutely nothing. No other fact can possibly account for the Pageant’s pathetic grasps for publicity.

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