Thursday, May 30, 2002

'Global Capitalism' Foes Overwhelmed by Counter-Demonstrators\\Nation\\archive\\200205\\NAT20020529c.html

By Marc Morano Senior Staff Writer
May 29, 2002

Dallas ( - Anti-corporate protesters at ExxonMobil Corporation's annual shareholder meeting in Dallas Wednesday packed up and left after finding themselves outnumbered by free market demonstrators.

The anti-corporate protesters began arguing among themselves about how best to deal with the large number of free market demonstrators carrying banners such as "Yankee Rent a Mob Go Home," "Capitalism Rocks" and "Greenpeace Hates America." They quickly decided to pack up and leave.

"I think we rattled them. They're packing up their bags and they're leaving," stated Niger Innis of the Congress on Racial Equality, one of the free market groups conducting a counter-demonstration. "Victory is sweet," he added.

After determining that their message was not being heard over the free market promoters, Scott Crow of the group United People Resisting Oppression & Racism (UPROR) decided to call it a day. With a chant of "Gone for now, but never forever," a woman in a "Proud to be a Bohemian" t-shirt retreated and other anti corporate protesters began to leave.

"The [anti-corporate] protesters are anti-American and anti-democracy, they are not just anti-ExxonMobil," stated Peggy Venable, the Texas State Director for the free market group Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE.) "They had anarchist training seminars this past weekend," she added.

Venable said the ExxonMobil protesters are "shipped in from elsewhere," while her group is from Texas. "We're people that work for a living," she said.

Other counter-demonstrators shared the same view. "We don't want environmentalists dictating the way we live," said Jose Muniz. "They want to reestablish socialism, which is what died in Russia. They want to shove it down our throats."

Carol Jones of the Texas branch of CSE carried a sign that read "Hitler Held Mock Trials Too," referring to Tuesday night's mock trial of ExxonMobil in which anti-corporate demonstrators ruled the corporate giant "guilty" for "crimes against humanity" and ordered the company's charter revoked.

The free marketers also held up signs saying the following: "Greens Suck," "Mother Nature Guilty of Climate Change," "Get Back in Your SUV & Drive Home," "Choose Capitalism Over Eco-Socialism," "Stop Global Whining," "Oil Employs, Anarchy Destroys," "No Poor Man Passes Out Jobs," "How Much Does Castro Pay You?" and "Greens are Red at Heart."

One ExxonMobil opponent, who would only give his first name, created a stir when he blamed the U.S. for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"I understand why [terrorists] did it. America has oppressed the rest of the world for 200 years or even before that when they took the land from the Native Americans and killed them, poisoned them and ran them off their land," Luigi shouted over jeers from the counter-demonstration.

Luigi also explained that "global capitalism is destroying the environment and it's destroying the earth. It's destroying the quality of life for everybody other than the upper crusts who are reaping the benefits."

Socialism is the Answer

Luigi believes America must alter its economic system and convert to socialism.

"America is so deeply ingrained in the capitalist ideal. The greed that comes from the attraction of money is what I have a problem with," he said.

Another anti-ExxonMobil protester agreed, telling, "Corporate profits can't continue to kill people." Tim Harris said "global capitalism" helps "to keep people brainwashed and working for [the wealthy] as long as they possibly can."

Scott Crow, a protest leader, said they were there to "ensure an end to human rights violations across the world" and to hold "corporations accountable."

ExxonMobil chairman Lee Raymond told that he was unfazed by the protesters. "We operate in over 200 countries around the world and for some reason that is bad," Raymond explained. He said ExxonMobil is a good corporate citizen throughout the world, hiring citizens from the countries in which it operates to satisfy 95 percent of its labor needs.

"If that is what they mean by globalization, then frankly everybody should support it," Raymond said.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Here is the capitalism / socialism thread I have been posting on lately, these are only my responses to comments... Matus


Rolo, you still havent told us how, exactly, to quantify 'hard work'

"I stated that those who believe Bill Gates is entitled to earn as much as 120 million Americans should be the ones explaining THEIR idea of "hard work". "

Providing a product or service to people who willingly choose to buy them. Obviously enough people find value in Bill Gates' products that this value has been attatched to what he has brought to these people. If you think that system is wrong, present another one. How about the government deciding the 'worth' of something, instead of the people who want that something, because that is what you are implying, and that is a centralized economy, the foundation of communism. Are you telling me that I cant pay bill gates what I want for his product? What if 100 million people all think his product was worth a dollar, who are you to say that it is not, or that it is wrong for them to think it is worth a dollar? Why is your opinion of what Bill gates product is worth to THEM more valid than their own opinion, what are you, the thought police?

So what do you think 'hard work' is? Calories expended? A product or service provided to people who choose it? Only things that make Rolo rich?



"... I am starting to have a problem with my trips to the developing -- or, in the case of Cuba, the undeveloping -- world, a problem with the perfume of misery, with the way sadism is imposed by the luck of nations. "

"What role do you think the U.S. economic embargo plays on Cuba's problems? "

Significant, Im sure, but no where near the effect that Castro centralized economy has on the populace. Thats why the vast majority are so poor. Have you ever heard of a socialistic / communist state where the majority of the populace WASNT dirt poor?

"And exactly how would a change to a capitalist economy help the MAJORITY of Cubans? "

Do you think a capitalist economy has helped the majority of americans? Are standard of living, caloric consumption, free time, art, poetry, music (ya know, the things that make living and being human worthwhile) and life expectancy all increasing in the US. They have all expanded exponentially since capitalism has made more and more products available at a lower cost to more and more people. The median wealth of post-industrialized democratic capitalist nations rises faster than any other form of government in recorded history. The same will happen in cuba, and the rest of the world. For starters, they may be _allowed_ to own a computer again.

"Do you think we should ask five per cent of the population to volunteer to exploit the other ninety five per cent, as it happened before the revolution?"

No, I dont think that. Next silly question?



Objectively the standard of living is better for all individuals in democratic capatilist societies then communist dictatorships.

"Do capitalist dictatorships, like the Batista one in Cuba to the service of U.S. interests, count with your blessings? "

They are better than communist / socialist dictatorships, since market economies exist to make the standard of living better for the populace. However, since they are not democratic they are much more likely to be despotic, which invites corruption in the government, which is the true cause of the problems.

"What was the poverty, prostitution and literacy rate before 1959, when Castro came into power? "

I dont know, what was it? Do your own footwork to your arguments.

Corrupt despotic and communist nations have been responsible for the death of about 170 million people this century.

"Where did those figures come from? Did you just make them up? "

No, unlike you I do not make wild unsubstantiated claims. I invite you or interested readers to check out The Freedom Democide and War home page at

If you are concerned about the credibility, check out the authors credibility section

An excerpt..."What you will read on this web site will be astounding and shocking. You will read that democracies do not make war on other democracies and rarely engage in lesser violence against each other. You also will read that the more a nation is democratically free, the less severe its foreign and internal political violence. Moreover, you will read that somewhere around 170,000,000 people have been murdered by their own governments, aside from war, and that the more democratic a nation the less it murders its own people. As if this were not enough, you will also read that democratic freedom promotes wealth and prosperity. Finally, you will read that our basic foreign policy should be to promote democratic freedom around the world. In short, you will read that were the world to become wholly democratic, then to the best of our knowledge war would be completely eliminated for the human species, lesser political violence, genocide, and mass murder would be minimized, famine eliminated, and poverty and inequality would be sharply reduced. "

Some quick figures

Cambodia Khmer Rouge - 2.5 - 3 million
Hitler - 6 million
Soviet Union - 10 million
China - 30 million

Those number are the numbers of murders.

How many mass murders have democracies taken place in of their own citizens? This is not a matter of subjectivity in any way shape or form, the median life expenctancy, caloric intake, health care, newborn survival rates, income, etc. etc. etc. are better in the US and probably all post industrialized capitalist democracies


Either make a statement or don't; give us something we can sink our teeth into.


How many mass murders have democracies taken place in of their own citizens? This is not a matter of subjectivity in any way shape or form, the median life expenctancy, caloric intake, health care, newborn survival rates, income, etc. etc. etc. are better in the US and all post industrialized capitalist democracies.

"I have never been to Cuba, but my mother-in-law goes almost every year and find it to be a beautiful place with many wonderful, happy people."

She is obviously visiting the few areas that the government allows people to regularly visit openly,

"And these nasty commies probably have armed militia pointing their guns at people and holding their children hostage to make those people look happy for the benefit of tourists. "

No, most likely being a reasonable person concerned for her well being, wolfgirl's mother in law probably doesnt venture into the rest of the poor crime plagued nation.

where do these 'weatlhy' people come from if the nation is communist?

"You were the one who make the statement that there were wealthy people in Cuba and now WE are supposed to defend YOUR argument? "

It was a rhetorical question, the implication is that if a nation is a true marxist communism there should not a disparity of wealth at all. If there is, then it is a testament that not only is the government not abiding by its principles (surprising in a communist nation I know /sarcasm) but it is allowing small percentage to get rich while preventing the rest through coercive force from acquiring wealth. While Stalin was starving millions in the Soviet union he was throwing lavish parties and living it up in expense western produced vehicles and goods. If you read the Salon article I posted, youll see the journalist comments where there were only a few occupations that the government allowed people to take place in to acquire wealth, and only a certain group of people were allowed to acquire wealth.



Providing a product or service to people who willingly choose to buy them.

"Check up the meaning of the word "monopoly" and see if you can fit it in that sentence. "

Pretty pathetic skirting of the issue Rolo. So, how about someone other than Bill Gates who has not been accused of monopolistic practicies? You still cant bother to answer the question, probably because you lack any reasonable alternative and your objections are routed in a mere disdain for people who have more money than you. So Bob Smith owns a company and sells a product, as a dozen other people do. 1 million joe averages each think that product is worth to them $10. No Bob smith has 10 million dollars. Who are YOU to say that product was not worth $10 to those million people? (Answer, a communist dictator) Who are YOU to say that they can not place whatever value they want on a product or service (Answer, a communist dicator) Im still waiting for "Rolo's theory of economic equality" Id be curious to see exactly how this theory will differ from Marxist communism. Maybe Rolo aspires to take over a country, enslave its population, and slaughter the millions of dissidents? Are you the next Pol Pot?


- -------------------------

"Have you ever visited Haiti or Bolivia?

There is no "despotic communist" regime in those countries; how do you explain their abject poverty? "

Haiti - Economy - overview: About 80% of the population lives in abject poverty. Nearly 70% of all Haitians depend on the agriculture sector, which consists mainly of small-scale subsistence farming and employs about two-thirds of the economically active work force. The country has experienced little job creation since the former President PREVAL took office in February 1996, although the informal economy is growing. One of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has been plagued by political violence for most of its history. Over three decades of dictatorship followed by military rule ended in 1990 when Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE was elected president.

So Haiti was a dictatorship for 30 years, think that has anything to do with its current economic status?

Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon BOLIVAR, broke away from Spanish rule in 1825; much of its subsequent history has consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups and counter-coups. Comparatively democratic civilian rule was established in the 1980s, but leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and drug production. Current goals include attracting foreign investment, strengthening the educational system, continuing the privatization program, and waging an anti-corruption campaign.
Economy - overview: Bolivia, long one of the poorest and least developed Latin American countries, has made considerable progress toward the development of a market-oriented economy. Successes under President SANCHEZ DE LOZADA (1993-97) included the signing of a free trade agreement with Mexico and joining the Southern Cone Common Market (Mercosur), as well as the privatization of the state airline, telephone company, railroad, electric power company, and oil company. His successor, Hugo BANZER Suarez has tried to further improve the country's investment climate with an anticorruption campaign.

So, in both Bolivia and Haiti, decades of corrupt despotic governments finally overturned recently with democratic ones (though still corrupt) associated with an increase in standard of living for the populace. Must be the fault of the current <10 years of capitalist practices (avg between the two) and not the 50 years of corrupt despotic governments huh? Sorry, democratic capitalism doesnt solve poverty fast enough for you. Maybe you could move in and use "Rolo's economic centralism theory" and take over the country, and subject them to further poverty for a few more decades.

"I haven't been to Sweden but I have heard and read very good things about that country. "

Like what?

Sweden and the Myth of Benevolent Socialism
by David Dieteman

Excerpts since you probably have ADD when it comes to learning your ideas are incorrect...

"For starters, unlike the godless state to which American leftists aspire, Lutheranism is the state-supported religion of Sweden. (Despite this fact, less than 10 per cent of Swedes regularly attend church)."

"According to a Swiss federal government statistical comparison of Switzerland and Sweden, the percentage of Swedish unmarried pregnancies in 1996 was 54% percent – roughly equal to the black community in the United States...the state gives incentives to unwed mothers in the form of social benefits, with predictable results"

"From 1934 to 1974, 62,000 Swedes were sterilized as part of a national program grounded in the science of racial biology and carried out by officials who believed they were helping to build a progressive, enlightened welfare state..."

"As the Irish Times and Agence-France Presse reported on April 7, 1998, a Swedish Television documentary reveals that Sweden lobotomized perhaps 4500 "undesirables," in some cases without the consent of their families: In part, the benevolent socialist government of Sweden hoped to discover whether "lobotomies could cure alcoholics and criminals."

"As Ludwig von Mises writes in The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, it is capitalism – based upon individual liberty and private property – which has materially advanced human life from mud huts and horrific infant mortality rates to the comfort in which much of the world lives today."

US Per Capita GDP - The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $36,200

Sweden Per Capita GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $22,200 (2000 est.)

So Swedens GDP per capita is about 1/2 that of the US? Socialist paradise? Go ahead and move there if you like it so much.

Feel free to check out - HAITI: The Challenges of Poverty Reduction

from -

I am still waiting for that socialist communist paradise from Rolo's theory of economic inequality which he no doubt thought of after fifteen minutes deep contemplation.



Let's forget about how well he does it, but isn't it wonderful how Rolo manages to address only those questions that he wants to?
Oh, geez!

"There is a compliment in there somewhere; you are embarrassing me."

Its only because its quite obvious that Rolo has a general feeling that it is wrong that bill gates makes so much money and he doesnt. Though he cant explain exactly why that is wrong nor can he present any reasonable alternative to people paying for products and services they like. Nor can he back up any of his claims with any sort of evidence. e.g. "I heard sweden is nice" He most likely suffers from some accute form of idealogical bias, corporations are evil, governments are nice, people should be helped by governments. (note - I did not see any postings on Rummels site on mass murder that showed Ford, Microsoft, or Exxon slaughtering millions of people, one wonders why people place so much faith in governments but disdain corporations....)


Thursday, May 23, 2002

Here is a good example of liberal bias in this washing post article regarding the 'user fee' bill. Basically tax money is used at the FDA to test and approve drugs, as with man government run programs, the drug testing is takeing too long (up to 7 years in some cases) Pharmacuetical companies met with the FDA and agreed that the Pharamcuetical companies would contribute some to the FDA to help pay for and expidate the testing. The first thing this 'news' report has to say is that this is "making the agency increasingly dependent on the businesses that it regulates" Dependant how? The implication is left open that since the money is comeing from the pharmacuetical companies, they are dicating what is happening. In fact the opposite is true, the FDA can use the money as it sees fit, the pharmacuetical companies have no say over the use of the money. Two mutually exclusive interpretations are open here 1) the FDA is more dependant on the companies it regulates of 2) the service the FDA is providing is being paid for by the organization which benefits most from that service instead of the tax payer. As long as reasonable restrictions are set in place to elimate fraud then option 2 seems a much more reasonable position, and it is indeed how the original 'user fee' bill was orchaestrated. The article does at least acknowledge the benfits the user fee "The FDA user-fee program is a decade old, and agency leaders say that funds from drugmakers have allowed the agency to review applications more promptly and efficiently, and with the same intense scrutiny as before. The result, they say, is that new drugs get to patients more quickly and more than half of the world's new drugs are launched first in the United States" but retors health advocates say the user fees are "encouraging the agency to move too quickly when it reviews new drug applications and without enough attention to safety. Nine drugs approved in the past 10 years were later withdrawn because of deadly side effects" No mention is made that the rate of drug submission and approval has more than doubled (saving lives, since the longer a drug takes to come out the more people die waiting for that drug) and that the rate of drugs withdrawn because of 'deadly side effects' did NOT increase. The same percentage of drugs were withdrawn after the user fees were introduced as before they were present, however twice as many were approved. I critical piece of information left out of the argument. The author than proceeds to quote two democrats, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) citing "potential unintended consequences" as a cause for concern and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) who said "There's no doubt in my mind that bigger and bigger [user fees] harm the credibility of the agency." Of course, reality exists independantly from belief, and no matter how much Bart Stupak believes this to be the case, it does not make it any more likely to be the truth. Let the evidence speak for itself. Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Policy Research for Women & Families, a public interest group in Washington, reports the author said "Patient and consumer groups are really not getting a chance to weigh in properly." Odd, considering patients and consumer groups are the ones most benefiting, since the drugs are just as safe but are coming out twice as fast. The only Repuclican mentioned was W.J. "Billy" Tauzin (R-La.)since republicans would be more likely to present the case that more money in the FDA means more drugs and faster approval and should be paid for by the pharmacuetical companies that earn the high profits it seems odd that two democrats were quoted but no republicans were, Tauzin was only noted because he suggested adding the bill to the current bioterrorism bill to expidite its signing into law. Absolutely no mention is made of the critical counter argument that empirically, more drugs are being produced at less cost to the taxpayer in less time that are just as safe. Instead the article seems to leave the implication open that evil greedy pharmacuetical companies are trying to take control of the FDA and get deadly drugs out on the market.

Bill to boost industry fees that fund FDA
Washington Post
Congress is moving quickly to substantially expand the program
through which companies pay large fees to the Food and Drug
Administration to review their new drug applications. Critics
say that industry funding undermines FDA credibility and
independence. (05/23/02)

from -

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

"an Isreali Scientist has genetically engineered a chicken without any feathers; its slated to cause a storm in the poultry business" -

Now if they could just grow the chickens without heads, removing the costly, inneficient, and inhumane process of raising and slaughtering the animals, then we would all be better off. More abudant, less expensive food, and animal rights activists wont have much to protest about (let alone kill politicians over) if meat is grown in nutrient rich vats, after all, they would only be eating cells then...

Of course, it'll be labeled as 'playing god' 'unnatural' 'frankenmeat' or whatever else, which will delay the process further and cause more unessacary suffering of animals and people.

If we dont play god, who will? God lets thousands of people suffer and die everyday, science and people have done more to save lives than any god every has. Our 'Natural' lives have, until recently (thanks to human endeavors of science and technology) been horribly short, painful and menial.


Monday, May 13, 2002

Good news on the wire at today, a research team at St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago have discovered the chemical signal that stems cells in rats require to trick them into becoming specific neurons or brain cells. The treatment cured the rats of thier parkinsons systems. What a wonderfull time to be alive, as more of the chemical signatures are identified more cells will be regenerated from stem cells. Coupled with the ability to regenerate telemore chains, regular injuections of stem cells cloned from your own cells may lead to virtual immortality. Theres a lot of places to go, things to see, and stories to hear. A whole universe awaits out there.

See -

Fujitsu has introduced a new technology called "current perpendicular to plane" The advances on the current magentic based storage mechanisms are expected to allow up to 300GB per square inch of data storage. This advance, as the article notes, is expected to counter the anticipated slow down due to technological limitations expected in data storage capacacity. Much as Kurzweill argues that moore's law expands through multiple technologies, Hard drive and data storage technology will most likely due the same. Its no doubt, though, that technology naysayers were decrying 'the end of hard drive advance' or some such nonsense as they witnessed a temporary slow down in the growth curve and projected it out indefinately.

See - "Want a whopping 170GB Hard Drive?"

Clustering and load balancing moves to online gaming

See -

Thursday, May 09, 2002

A fellow member of the extropian list, Harvey, posted this good bank of information about cookies. Enjoy...

A cookie can be used to store any data, not just logins. Even when they
are used for logins, they are the equivalent of a login and password.
Storing a cookie is the equivalent of stealing your password and writing
it down for later use. This is dangerous. The cookie system is
extremely flawed, such that most websites can read cookies they
shouldn't read. That is, they can get your login and password for other
sites. I have personally hack-tested many online banks that had cookie
flaws where I could get other people's money! This is not a theoretical
issue. This is my professional career, and I make money by doing this
stuff. Cookies are extremely unsafe and should not be used to store
sensitive data such as logins.

Besides the insecurity of logins, cookies are also used by spammers and
spyware to monitor users without their knowledge. Every cookies is
storing information about you. Why does the newspaper need to record a
semi-permanent record about what you read? Why does an advertiser
upload more information about you than you download about their
product? Why do remote companies and users think they have a right to
record my actions and store the log on my computer for their future use?

I run Opera as my browser. I have it set to accept all cookies and then
delete them upon exit. This means that I have to manually type my login
data every time, because it is not kept on my harddrive. It also means
that they let me in and think their cookies are working, but later they
can't get the information they tried to record. This scheme lets sites
"require" cookies, while satisfy my desire not to store them.
Here is a small write up I did for the extropian mailing list on the Eye and modifying it. I plan to do a more in depth article on it in the future, correlating it with the evolution of the eye.

> Some corner of my memory says that optimizations for night vision
> or color vision, respectively, run actually counter to each other,
> so I expect some serious engineering difficulty there.

"As I remember from having to dissect a cow eye in a color theory class,
color is detected using cones and grayscale is perceived through the rods.
I know that cones require more available light to function, thus the rods
are responsible for our night vision. If we could somehow (genetically?)
increase the sensitivity of our cones we could improve both night and color
vision at the same time."

As I understand it, the cones in a retina are tuned to pick up the frequency of a photon more so then intensity of the light. A rod, for example, is a stack of folded receptors formed into a cylinder. between the folds is a protein which, at its base energy, is folded in a particular manner and does not fit into any of the receptors in the rod. However, if a photon of sufficient energy hits it the protein unfolds and re-folds in a different manner with a high energy level, this new folded form now fits into the receptor of the rod and triggers a nerve to conduct a polarity reversal down the length of the nerve. The protein, having lost its energy in the form of the polarity reversal traveling down the nerve, un-folds and refolds into the lower energy level position where it does not fit into a receptor. This folding / unfolding can occur about 60 times per second. As a photon travels through the various stacks in the rod, the longer the rod the more likely it is to hit a protein and send a signal down the nerve. Some animals cheat and make the rod appear longer by having a reflective coating at the base of it, which means the photon has to travel through the stack, reflect and travel back through the entire stack again, making it twice as likely to hit a protein. Not all of the photons do though, and some escape back out of the eye. This is why some animals eyes, such as cats, shine when you point a light on them at night. Cats have extraordinarily good night vision, as do many other animals. This is mainly because they have far fewer cones and are much less tuned to pick up the frequency of light but are much more likely to pick up any particular photon because they contain more rods. Rods appeared before cones in evolutionary history, and were probably formed as a variation on cones, when certain proteins respond to particular frequencies more frequently than other frequencies of light, and then fit into particular receptors more frequently, the nerve signals started to become associated with particular frequencies. Human eyes have a greater concentration of cones toward to fovea and a greater concentration of rods as you move away from the center of the eye.

You could increase the chances of a rod picking up a photon by making it longer and / or adding a reflective surface at the back. I think the same would apply to cones as well, and we might be able to determine colors better in low light.

As an aside, you often hear that many animals see in black and white, or a little less accurately, shades of gray. Since colors we perceive are arbitrary labels that are associated with particular frequencies of light, animals that have few or no cones may have brains that associate 'colors' with intensities of light (or comparitively as we would see them, shades of gray). So they may very well see in color, but they don't actually see color.