Posts Tagged ‘big corporations’

So I am on the market after getting my masters.  I’ve posted my resume to Dice and Monster and a couple others.  Monster gets the most unsolicited calls.  I’m finding that recruiters are an odd lot.  There are some who are pleasant, though to a man (or woman) they’ve never heard of NLP or computational linguistics and have no idea how to help me (with the exception of the one or two recruiters I’ve contacted for NLP jobs).  For the most part, they seem to not even read my resume.  Oh, you have Java skills?  How about this Java grunt job that only requires a bachelor’s degree? Waste of time.  The best are the ones who contact me in broken English with a multitude of typos.  Yeah, right.

I have been told that with my CMU degree, I should be looking exclusively at the big corporations:  Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo, etc.  If I do my time there, I can get a job anywhere and have a good career.  That’s true, I’m sure.  Something about startups is really attractive to me, though, so I’ve been looking at a lot of them.  What if the only job I can get at a Googlosoftazonahoo is not NLP-related?  Everything is so rushed.  I have a September 1st exit date for CMU and I want to be in the city of my chosen job by then.  Add lease problems.  The problem is my decision to abandon academia didn’t come at the right time:  back in the winter.  I am, however, more confident than ever that it was the right decision.

There is a fine line between conspiracy theory and reasonable deduction. Most would agree it is insane to believe that a group of elite men have existed since before the founding of the United States with the purpose of ruling the world from secret. Most would agree that it is insane to believe that 9/11 was staged by people in the US government. But there are all these little coincidences out there that hint at something deeper going on. When we place them all side by side it seems almost reasonable to believe in the conspiracy theory, but the problem is that we have access to a limited set of the data. If we sampled from the distribution of coincidences again, we might come to a completely different conclusion. This is part of the difference between believing in a conspiracy theory and coming to a reasonable conclusion from the facts.

So consider these “coincidences” [source]:

  • The owner of MSNBC and NBC is General Electric, who also owns Raytheon
  • Raytheon is a defense contractor
  • General Electric has a vested stake in Yucca Mountain
  • GE and its affiliates have contributed to the main democratic contenders (Clinton, Obama, Edwards)
  • GE and its affiliate employees have individually contributed nearly $70,000 to those candidates
  • NBC has consistently excluded Kucinich from presidential debates
  • Kucinich opposes the War in Iraq and opening Yucca Mountain

In the latest presidential debate, NBC stated its criteria for selecting candidates was being ranked in the top four. Since Bill Richardson exited the race, much to my pleasure, Kucinich was now in the top four. NBC extended him an invitation only to rescind it two days later. Kucinich sued on violation of contract and won. NBC appealed and Kucinich lost. NBC claimed their first amendment rights were infringed by being forced to include Kucinich. Corporations have first amendment rights?

So is it right to conclude from these series of “coincidences” that NBC and its corporate masters have conspired to affect the election by removing from consideration candidates who would not be financially beneficial to them? Or is it a reasonable deduction to conclude from the facts that GE has a vested interest in making sure candidates who will support their goals are given media attention, which translates directly into votes? If you will not agree with that, then surely you must agree that by excluding Kucinich, they materially affect the distribution of votes in the election.

Dennis Kucinich is not afraid to say the thing many people are wondering. Is Bush freakin nuts? Does he really think World War III is going to break out if Iran gains the knowledge of how to make nuclear weapons? Who are the sides? The middle east versus the rest of the world? Oh and North Korea. Plus a couple countries in Africa so embroiled in their own civil wars, they’d be lucky to send 100 men to fight off this giant.

CNN’s political ticker has this:

“I’ve told people that, if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon,” Bush said at a news conference earlier this month.

The Democratic presidential candidate later said he does not consider questioning the Bush’s mental health inappropriate, according [to] the Inquirer’s Web site. [emphasis mine]

I’m about 99.9999% sure that any nuclear weapon Iran acquired would be used for one purpose and one purpose only: deterrence. What Bush is actually saying here is “if you’re interested in avoiding a US invasion of your country, it seems like you ought to be interested in getting a nuclear weapon.” He really can’t see the connection between posturing to overthrow a government and that government’s desire to acquire a nuke to prevent that? This version of diplomacy is like the battered wife who kills her husband in order to escape. Only this husband thinks the wife is going to get a gun and is trying to kill her first.

As usual, Kucinich is the only one brave enough to speak out against this looming evil. The rest are off scrambling around in the dirt for the pennies tossed at them by the corporate patrons. Pelosi can barely look up long enough from the feast of pork-in-a-barrel to notice.

On a side note, I like the CNN editor’s rendering of the bolded sentence above. That’s a direct quote as of 10:00am Eastern time.

I received this email today from Dennis Kucinich’s election campaign (below the jump). It’s a quick poll where you choose your top 3 candidates (democratic) for president if you had to vote today. So I voted Kucinich, Gravel, and Edwards. The (optional) reason I gave was that Dennis is the only principled candidate and is neither a warhawk nor a corporate stooge. The only thing wrong with him is that he’s not good for advertising revenue and so mainstream media outlets ignore him completely. Considering the massive load of dung that constitutes 99.9% of NBC, ABC, and CBS, 100% of CNN and 110% of Fox’s news coverage, this probably isn’t such a bad thing. It should give people pause, at least, if the media allowed them to think for themselves for 8 seconds.

And we all know that ain’t gunna happen.

Anyhow, please Kucinich a hand and vote for him in that poll.


I think it’s only a matter of time before a giant ecological disaster kills multiple millions of people in China. Just recently, the third largest lake in China has become overwhelmed by toxic cyanobacteria. The two million residents of the area surrounding Lake Tai can no longer rely on their main source of water due to industrial and human waste. With the cavalier attitude of Chinese regional officials towards environmental concerns, things can get out of hand fast. Growing industrialism that relies on keeping costs to a minimum will resort to anything — be that setting wages and conditions equivalent to slave labor or dumping deadly chemicals directly into drinking water.

My brother-in-law recently visited Taiwan for his company, unknowingly helping them outsource his factory (unknowing, since they lied to him). While there, the plant officials wanted to dump a variety of wastes into a nearby water supply. Among the chemicals they were planning to dump (and thereby avoid the cost of doing the right thing) was cadmium, which is a known carcinogen and can cause a variety of health problems including kidney failure and softening of the bones. A mass cadmium exposure in Japan led to a condition called itai-itai disease (“ouch-ouch” disease), so named for the screams of pain by its victims. My brother-in-law, an all around excellent chap, went over the heads of a number of people attempting to do this coverup to the plant heads and challenged them on this, threatening to report it otherwise. They gave in and now who knows how many people’s lives were saved or are better because of his actions. Taiwan supposedly has strict environmental restrictions and yet something like this might have still been able to happen.

Switch to China where such restrictions exist only if they are politically expedient. Environmentalists are considered threats to the state and are imprisoned. The New York Times has a long piece today on Wu Lihong, an environmentalist who challenged the Chinese government to clean up Lake Tai. He was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison on a series of trumped up charges. So as pollution steadily increases in China, voices of dissent are silenced and progress towards a catastrophe never before seen may continue.


I forgot to post the link to the NY Times article.  Also, the cyanobacteria contamination occurred back in May.

I keep feeling the need to write about the battle of the media-darling corporate stooge warhawks. Everyday I see something about fundraising by this candidate or that (and by this I mean Clinton and by that I mean Obama). And everyday I am troubled. When I start to write about it, my thoughts on the subject lack cohesiveness.

Clinton had someone fundraising for her who turned about to be a fugitive of justice, wanted for grand theft. Norman Hsu used a fundraising tactic called bundling, which combines the contributions of many different donors to give it more weight. What does more weight mean?

Today Clinton’s blog is reporting that she raised $27 million for the third quarter, beating Obama in both gross money raised and number of new donors. Yesterday, the NY Times was going on about Obama’s link to a group of black entrepreneurs who supported him back in Illinois. They bailed his campaign out of hot water and he saw that their agenda got pushed in the state legislature. But it looks like their agenda wasn’t all bad (I certainly don’t know enough details to make that assessment), since he was working to remove some racial inequities they were facing. Or is that he was opening up opportunities? Again I was troubled, by his seeming willingness to take a buck and then turn those dollars into actual legislation.

John Edwards’ campaign sent an email a while back pointing the finger at Hillary over her fundraising practices. She hosted a dinner in DC where several congress people were in attendance. Cost of admission to this event was $2000 per plate, as is typical of these woo-the-rich-people functions (a mainstay of Republicans). So it seems she was trading quasi-political influence (here, look at all these Congressmen and women I can connect you too if you support me) for support. Washington business as usual.

Meanwhile principled men like Dennis Kucinich are struggling to raise dollars, because despite seeming to match the actual beliefs of voters much more closely, they haven’t been tapped by the big corporations and their media mouthpieces as electable. Doesn’t it bother people that the candidates the media has branded as electable are the only ones getting attention?

Affect on certain landmarks with a one meter rise in sea level

If sea levels rise one meter, we could see a lot of stuff disappear beneath the waves, including Wall Street. Maybe then corporations and certain politicians would listen to reason. A bunch of historical landmarks would be affected as well, including Jamestown.

Poor West Virginia. They have it really bad. Every county in that state has a sign saying “a certified business location”. I always wondered just what the bloody hell that was supposed to mean. They are outright begging people to put a business there. I was amazed to see the unemployment rate is really low, though, at 3.8% (low — by comparison to other states, that is). That’s down from around 7% in 1997. Also, they have a tough time with their public image. I think the rest of the country, when they even remember that this state exists, pretty much considers it to be full of poor, uneducated and inbred mountain-people [see this post re: how I feel about that sentiment]. While passing through WV once, my wife Donna heard this snippet on a radio station:

“WXXX. Giving you permission to bitchslap the next person who calls it Western Virginia.”

They have been doing mountaintop removal mining in WV for years.  This type of mining essentially destroys the top of a mountain in order to extract coal quickly and more cheaply.  The results are that tons of dirt get deposited in the valleys and harmful byproducts get into the water.  In Google Earth/Maps, sometimes it can be hard to tell what you’re looking at in the satellite imagery. If you look at West Virginia, where there should be mountaintops are barren wastelands. Images at, an activist group dedicated to ending mountaintop removal mining, seem to confirm that what we are seeing in Google Earth are indeed images of the aftermath of mountaintop removal mining.

To add insult to injury, the Bush Administration is about to issue new regulations to increase the amount of mountaintop removal mining. So more mountains will be raped clean, dumping tons of sediment and the byproducts of the mining process in the valleys. So West Virginia’s best natural resource (beauty) will be destroyed in exchange for its dirtiest (coal). Sure it will give West Virginians jobs, though not as many as conventional coal mining would. And of course, when the coal is gone, and it will be gone eventually, there will be no jobs left anyway. A better option, though not as profitable for big business, would be to offer free training to West Virginians so they can change industries. No solution is easy, but if the Bush administration gets their way, it will leave West Virginia in about the same state as Nauru.


My friend John (the Wrathful Dove) pointed me to a great article today about Barack Obama, who is turning into quite the warhawk. This comes as no surprise. All of the mainstream candidates are clones of W with a different set of pretty noises to placate one special interest or another (be those the religious right, gays, fiscal conservatives, pro-abortion, wev). War is a business and big business backs all of the mainstream candidates. By pocketing them all, they ensure a win-win.


Xtreme Weather

Posted: 7 August 2007 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Extreme Weather Making History — Discovery News

Of course this comes as no surprise and years like this one are probably going to become the norm. I’m actually kind of hoping for the weather system to do some crazy flipflop and plunge us into an ice age. That’ll show those big corporations and the evil politicians who support them!

There are so many well-meaning conservatives around here who just assume global warming is only presented as a moral issue for political reasons.

(courtesy of the ever-awesome