Saturday, August 28, 2010


By Kenneth Howard Smith,
(IFS) SDCOG News-Gazette

LIMON CO (IFS) - It's just a matter of time that Myspace will only be used by musicians, as it continues to lose 20,000 subscribers a week.  The lure of Myspace in the early days was just a social networking site, then came the music industry that really makes Myspace the great digital recording label designed by the earlier poineer J-Bird Records that invented the digital online recording label concept.

When its comes to the art of social networking, Facebook is adding news users and former Myspace members at approximately 1,000,000 new subscribers per week worldwide.  This not so suttle expandion by Facebook is causing Rupert Murdock alot of heart burn, as the Fox News subsidairy continues to crash and burn.

One could blame it on the practices of Mr. Murdock's News Corporation's parent company and Fox News producers that has lead to it's loosing ground and causing users to abandon their accounts and go to someone else that is not so political with their hands and fingers in everything from degrading the president - to it's partners with Arabic sheiks.

At the present rate of subscriptions, Mysapce will only be a recording label for new music, other then that, it's useless as a networking site.

Google's GMail to Video

By Kenneth Howard Smith,
(IFS) SDCOG News-Gazette

LIMON CO (IFS) - Skype is going to take a large hit when Google's GMail goes to Video in the next few months.  Google's telephone service that has been operating for the past several years teaming with the video conferencing features will put Google over the top and drive Skype to the back seat of the online video/telephone services.  What the future will bring for both Google and Skype is only speculation, but the videoing-phone writing is on the wall with Skype being pushed to the side lines.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

RIAA Urges Piracy Crackdown In Google-Verizon Net Neutrality Deal

21 August, 2010,
by ITProPortal Staff

Following open criticism from industry experts, law makers, privacy authorities, and government watchdogs, Google and Verizon's net neutrality plan has found some support.

Almost every music trade group in the US has urged Google to come up with clauses against suspected pirates and child pornography on the web, tech news site Cnet has reported.

In a letter written to Google chief Eric Schmidt, music organisations, including the American Association of Independent Music, the American Federation of Musicians, the Recording Industry Association of America, SESAC, Sound Exchange, and The Recording Academy, have shown interest in Google-Verizon Net Neutrality plan.

The plan is a composition of concepts proposed by both Verizon and Google over the future of the internet in the US.

“The Internet has become a crucial part of the music discovery process and a central platform for commerce. Our ability to invest in and create the next generation of music is grounded on crafting policies that respect intellectual property," the groups wrote in the joint letter.

Read more:

The Fintons

LIMON CO (IFS) – It’s a great thing when you donate your time to giving a little sunshine to the lives of our seniors who are shut-ins and something just forgotten, as most of them are just “warehoused” in these nursing homes. Chaya and Kenny Finton have dedicated their lives to singing and playing for these wonderful poineers that have given so much and who now needs a little entertainment and appreciation in this fast paced world of ours.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pat Condell on the Ground Zero Mosque

Pat Condell on the Ground Zero Mosque

On 7/4/2010 9:55 AM, REGINALD GRAVES wrote:

Each day as I grow a little older; I truly question our leadership, ALL of them seemed to have the wrong ideas, but basically it comes back to MONEY, they can be bought as sold as easy as you purchase a Coke, on about the same frequency!

I must say that the major fault of this is our own fellow AMERICANS, they have lost their collective balls, by allowing idiots to frighthen them, weapons of mass destruction, Patriot Act so they can listen into our calls, read our emails. Did anyone take note when they told Bill Gates to hand over all his emails, the worlds richest guy, good or bad guy, could not stop them. I shuddered at that moment, Freedom is dead! Now look at us, We are cancelling Fourth of July Celebrations. Sorry, but to me that is THE MOST IMPORTANT HOLIDAY, PERIOD!!!!!!! THE DECLARATION OF OUR INDEPENDENCE ceremony has been put out. And we seem to have forgotten that only a few years ago, we were told all our bridges and roads are failing, Minnesota, and yet we march on, NO ONE has even marched or staged some form of organization, except for the Latino's about the Flag. We have become a nation of knotheads and well wishers. We are telling our Cops that they cost us too much, jackass, the price of freedom is always high. Fire Teachers, yeah, so that the next generation of Americans will know even less than this group. Stop for a minute and compare the education you received to that of your son or daughter. What do they know? If you know more than them, remember they have the internet, we did not, we had to read a thing called a book. First thing you can do is absolutely, without fail, no bullshit, is to email this to your elected representative and tell THEM NO ONLY NO, BUT HELL NO. I will email you my letter, I am not going to sit on my ass and say, Oh Well.

And while I'm on my soap box, BP. First, if you see a friend going to BP, ask the to stop going there. Yeah the local BP guys will get laid off, but should be be held prisoner for them when we know that there are GOING TO BE LAYOFFS IN ALL SECTORS BECAUSE OF THE SPILL. I could care less if BP goes absolutely broke. Since I have never used BP, we should try to Be American and Buy American, that's the reason there is an Olds, GMC, Caddy sitting in my yard. So what your Whatchumacallit has GreenSync and pushbutton start, we need to support our own industry, BECAUSE they sold more Buicks in China last year than in AMERICA, I challenge you to prove me wrong on that point, and the point is that China can manufacture and sell a million Buicks without exporting one car, Remember, 4.5 BILLION OF THEM WANT A CAR!!! We need to tell our leadership that this is wrong. I mean right a email just as you have taken the time to write this one to me. I got your back, I WILL TELL PARKER GRIFFITH I AM PISSED ABOUT THIS, AND RICHARD SHELBY AND JEFF SESSIONS. I also always hit YOUR Black Lady Of Politic's. If you don't know your reps name, then you are part of the damn promblem. Git off your duff and shake his cage. When I lived in Cali, You bet Leon Pinetta saw my dumbass with a list of HRs that I liked or did not like. I need some help out here shaking cages. Email me what you wrote so I can use it on these grits here.

By the way, Sessions and Shelby are Republicans, so I'm reaching across the aisle, as usual.

Dear Senator Sessions – I have recently viewed a video that I find troubling and outrageous at the same moment.

That WE Americans would allow A Mosque anywhere near Ground Zero, is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE AND REPREHENSIBLE. I can guarantee that any Politician that supports such an initiative, I personally and I believe all freedom loving citizens and my Fellow Veterans, who have not only the same emotions as our Fellow Americans, but we have actually closed and defeated a member of a foreign nation, we will be absolutely vivid with anger that everything that stands for America is defeated by this building. Listen to what this man says, let’s not totally theosophical, their religion is not about personal freedoms, they subjugate women to a lessor status, the Koran, makes references speaks of Infidels and Pureness and violence for none compliance to its tenets. We have all seen what they stand for, some of us have even been in their countries and there is ONLY one US OF A! The American dream is getting tarnished with all our overt ignorance of the dangers that are STILL out there. Some of us KNOW and knew that the Russian never stopped spying on us. OPSEC. But a lot of us have forgotten and the egregious part is THEY ARE THE ONE TASKED WITH OUR SECURITY!! Fund all the CyberIntell solutions that make Sense; We have allowed something or someone to jeopardize the operations of our Predator Fleet last year, how do you know that they can’t be jammed when necessary, NOW is not the time to demonstrate this capability, but we must be vigilant. Do you think that upon an invasion, shutting down our electric grids will not be paramount?? Take a look around DC, and imagine what a mess that could be if NOT an airliner came, but more than one aircraft? Four interceptors were protecting us back then, HOW many are there now. I know that you can’t give the number, OPSEC, but have we got better at this????

Someone continually yells, Look the Goodyear Blimp on us. We look up and all hell breaks loose on the ground. For some strange and arcane reason, I do not see the Mexicans as a Threat in the same manner that most do, and should do. How many Mexicans have we caught trying to harm our way of life, carrying suicide bombs into our shopping centers, how many have been caught spying on us. Yes, they are a situation, but we need to marshal our resources. In fact, why can’t we let an individual that serves for a honorable tour of duty in any military force, automatically earn their citizenship. Heck, they will have done more for their COUNTRY than a lot of NATIVE AMERICANS (NOT Indians). And IF they are ordered into harms way, to protect American Values and Ideals, I think they should go into combat as an AMERICAN, period!! If you can dodge bullets for America, then you damn sure are an American!!

Bill Wynne

CW3, US ARMY, Retired

I hold all these things near and dear to me. Have they ever even thought about building cars such as OURS any where else????? No Way Jose. There's America, and then there's Second Place

Google targeting Apple iPad with Chrome tablet?

August 18, 2010 - 7:07 P.M.

Google targeting Apple iPad with Chrome tablet?
by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

TAGS:Android, Apple, Google, HTC, iPad, Linux, tablet, Verizon

IT TOPICS:Devices, Emerging Technology, Hardware, Laptops & Netbooks, Linux & Unix, Management, Mobile, Operating Systems

Google Android was always going to be the heart of many Linux-based iPad like devices. That's no news. But, what is new and news is that Google and Verizon appear to be working together to create a Chrome operating system based tablet.

According to the first report, from The Download Squad, HTC is building the Chrome OS tablet. The device will be sold in partnership with Verizon starting on November 26th. That date is already engraved in every retailer's heart as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and usually the biggest shopping day of the year.
After those nuggets of news, everything else that's been written about the Google Chrome tablet has been pure speculation. That said, I can believe this core of the story. Google already worked with HTC to deliver the one of first Android smartphones: the now for developers only Nexus One.

On the carrier side, everyone who pays any attention to telephone company business buddy relationships knows that Verizon and Google have been working closely together since the announcement of their Net Neutrality plan. So, sure, the business relationships to make a Chrome tablet a reality are in place.
Besides, I think Google wants to jump-start the Android/Chrome tablet market. The very first Android tablets, like the Augsen GenTouch78, have been less than impressive. Just the very hint that Google may be making an iPad competitor already has buzz going.

That last part may also be important in its own right. Lately, Apple and Google have been getting along like cats and dogs I think Google would be very, very, one more time with feeling, very happy to put a spanner in Apple's hopes for an iPad Christmas.

I'd say the odds are good we'll see a Chrome tablet under some of our holidays trees at year's end. What do you think?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Why GOP Rep. Bob Inglis is looking for a new job

Why GOP Rep. Bob Inglis is looking for a new job.
Tue Aug. 3, 2010 3:00 AM PDT
It was the middle of a tough primary contest, and Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) had convened a small meeting with donors who had contributed thousands of dollars to his previous campaigns. But this year, as Inglis faced a challenge from tea party-backed Republican candidates claiming Inglis wasn't sufficiently conservative, these donors hadn't ponied up. Inglis' task: Get them back on the team. "They were upset with me," Inglis recalls. "They are all Glenn Beck watchers." About 90 minutes into the meeting, as he remembers it, "They say, 'Bob, what don't you get? Barack Obama is a socialist, communist Marxist who wants to destroy the American economy so he can take over as dictator. Health care is part of that. And he wants to open up the Mexican border and turn [the US] into a Muslim nation.'" Inglis didn't know how to respond.
As he tells this story, the veteran lawmaker is sitting in his congressional office, which he will have to vacate in a few months. On June 22, he was defeated in the primary runoff by Spartanburg County 7th Circuit Solicitor Trey Gowdy, who had assailed Inglis for supposedly straying from his conservative roots, pointing to his vote for the bank bailout and against George W. Bush's surge in Iraq. Inglis, who served six years in Congress during the 1990s as a conservative firebrand before being reelected to the House in 2004, had also ticked off right-wingers in the state's 4th Congressional District by urging tea-party activists to "turn Glenn Beck off" and by calling on Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) to apologize for shouting "You lie!" at Obama during the president's State of the Union address. For this, Inglis, who boasts (literally) a 93 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, received the wrath of the tea party, losing to Gowdy 71 to 29 percent. In the weeks since, Inglis has criticized Republican House leaders for acquiescing to a poisonous, tea party-driven "demagoguery" that he believes will undermine the GOP's long-term credibility. And he's freely recounting his frustrating interactions with tea party types, while noting that Republican leaders are pushing rhetoric tainted with racism, that conservative activists are dabbling in anti-Semitic conspiracy theory nonsense, and that Sarah Palin celebrates ignorance.
The week after that meeting with his past funders—whom he failed to bring back into the fold—Inglis asked House Republican leader John Boehner what he would have told this group of Obama-bashers. Inglis recalls what happened:
[Boehner] said, "I would have told them that it's not quite that bad. We disagree with him on the issues." I said, "Hold on Boehner, that doesn't work. Let me tell you, I tried that and it did not work." I said [to Boehner], "If you're going to lead these people and the fearful stampede to the cliff that they're heading to, you have to turn around and say over your shoulder, 'Hey, you don't know the half of it.'"
In other words, feed and fuel the anger and paranoia of the right.

During his primary campaign, Inglis repeatedly encountered enraged conservatives whom he couldn't—or wouldn't—satisfy. Shortly before the runoff primary election, Inglis met with about a dozen tea party activists at the modest ranch-style home of one of them. Here's what took place:

I sat down, and they said on the back of your Social Security card, there's a number. That number indicates the bank that bought you when you were born based on a projection of your life's earnings, and you are collateral. We are all collateral for the banks. I have this look like, "What the heck are you talking about?" I'm trying to hide that look and look clueless. I figured clueless was better than argumentative. So they said, "You don't know this?! You are a member of Congress, and you don't know this?!" And I said, "Please forgive me. I'm just ignorant of these things." And then of course, it turned into something about the Federal Reserve and the Bilderbergers and all that stuff. And now you have the feeling of anti-Semitism here coming in, mixing in. Wow.
Later, Inglis mentioned this meeting to another House member: "He said, 'You mean you sat there for more than 10 minutes?' I said, 'Well, I had to. We were between primary and runoff.' I had a two-week runoff. Oh my goodness. How do you..." Inglis trails off, shaking his head.
While he was campaigning, Inglis says, tea party activists and conservative voters kept pushing him to describe Obama as a "socialist." But, he says, "It's a dangerous strategy to build conservatism on information and policies that are not credible...This guy is no socialist." He continues:
The word is designed to have emotional charge to it. Throughout my primary, there were people insisting that I use the word. They would ask me if he was a socialist, and I would always find some other word. I'd say, "President Obama wants a very large government that I don't think will work and that spends too much and it's inefficient and it compromises freedom and it's not the way we want to go." They would listen for the word, wait to see if I used the s-word, and when I didn't, you could see the disappointment.
Why not give these voters what they wanted? Inglis says he wasn't willing to lie:
I refused to use the word because I have this view that the Ninth Commandment must mean something. I remember one year Bill Clinton—the guy I was out to get [when serving on the House judiciary committee in the 1990s]—at the National Prayer Breakfast said something that was one of the most profound things I've ever heard from anybody at a gathering like that. He said, "The most violated commandment in Washington, DC"—everybody leaned in; do tell, Mr. President—"is, 'Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.'" I thought, "He's right. That is the most violated commandment in Washington." For me to go around saying that Barack Obama is a socialist is a violation of the Ninth Commandment. He is a liberal fellow. I'm conservative. We disagree...But I don't need to call him a socialist, and I hurt the country by doing so. The country has to come together to find a solution to these challenges or else we go over the cliff.

Inglis found that ideological extremism is not only the realm of the tea party; it also has infected the official circles of his Republican Party. In early 2009, he attended a meeting of the GOP's Greenville County executive committee. At the time, Republicans were feeling discouraged. Obama was in the White House; the Democrats had enlarged their majorities in the House and Senate. The GOP seemed to be in tatters. But Inglis had what he considered good news. He put up a slide he had first seen at a GOP retreat. It was based on exit polling conducted during the November 2008 election. The slide, according to Inglis, showed that when American voters were asked to place themselves on an ideological spectrum—1 being liberal, 10 being conservative—the average ended up at about 5.6. The voters placed House Republicans at about 6.5 and House Democrats at about 4.3. Inglis told his fellow Republicans, "This is great news," explaining it meant that the GOP was still closer to the American public than the Democrats. The key, he said, was for the party to keep to the right, without driving off the road.
Inglis was met, he says with "stony" faces: "There's a short story by Shirley Jackson, 'The Lottery.'" The tale describes a town where the residents stone a neighbor who is chosen randomly. "That's what the crowd looked like. I got home that night and said to my wife, 'You can't believe how they looked back at me.' It was really frightening." The next speaker, he recalls, said, "'On Bob's ideological spectrum up there, I'm a 10,' and the crowd went wild. That was what I was dealing with."
Inglis acknowledges he's intimately familiar with extreme politics. He was part of the GOP gang that went after Clinton and impeached him for the Lewinsky affair:
I hated Bill Clinton. I wanted to destroy him. Then I had six years out [after leaving Congress in 1999] to look back on that, and now I would confess it as a sin. It is just wrong to want to destroy another human being and to spend so much time and effort trying to destroy Bill Clinton—some of it with really suspect information. We went on and on about Whitewater. We had talked about the strange things about Vince Foster's death. The drug dealing at Mena airport. So in the six years I was out, I looked back and realized, "Oh what a waste."
When he returned to the House in 2005, Inglis, though still a conservative, was more focused on policy solutions than ideological battle. After Obama entered the White House, Inglis worked up a piece of campaign literature—in the form of a cardboard coaster that flipped open—that noted that Republicans should collaborate (not compromise) with Democrats to produce workable policies. "America's looking for solutions, not wedges," it read. He met with almost every member of the House Republican caucus to make his pitch: "What we needed to be is the adults who say absolutely we will work with [the new president]."
Instead, he remarks, his party turned toward demagoguery. Inglis lists the examples: falsely claiming Obama's health care overhaul included "death panels," raising questions about Obama's birthplace, calling the president a socialist, and maintaining that the Community Reinvestment Act was a major factor of the financial meltdown. "CRA," Inglis says, "has been around for decades. How could it suddenly create this problem? You see how that has other things worked into it?" Racism? "Yes," Inglis says.
As an example of both the GOP pandering to right-wing voters and conservative talk show hosts undercutting sensible policymaking, Inglis points to climate change. Fossil fuels, he notes, get a free ride because they're "negative externalities"—that is, pollution and the effects of climate change—"are not recognized" in the market. Sitting in front of a wall-sized poster touting clean technology centers in South Carolina, Inglis says that conservatives "should be the ones screaming. This is a conservative concept: accountability. This is biblical law: you cannot do on your property what harms your neighbor's property." Which is why he supports placing a price on carbon—and forcing polluters to cover it.
Asked why conservatives and Republicans have demonized the issue of climate change and clean energy, Inglis replies, "I wish I knew; then maybe I wouldn't have lost my election." He points out that some conservatives believe that any issue affecting the Earth is "the province of God and will not be affected by human activity. If you talk about the challenge of sustainability of the Earth's systems, it's an affront to that theological view."
Inglis voted against the cap-and-trade climate legislation, believing it would create a new tax, lead to a "hopelessly complicated" trading scheme for carbon, and harm American manufacturing by handing China and India a competitive edge on energy costs. Instead, he proposed a revenue-neutral tax swap: Payroll taxes would be reduced, and the amount of that reduction would be applied as a tax on carbon dioxide emissions—mainly hitting coal plants and natural gas facilities. (This tax would be removed from exported goods and imposed on imported products—thus neutralizing any competitive advantage for China, India, and other manufacturing nations.)
Here was a conservative market-based plan. Did it receive any interest from House GOP leaders? Inglis shakes his head: "It's the t-word." Tax. He adds, "It's so contrary to the rhetoric we've got out there, to what Beck, Limbaugh, and others are saying."
For Inglis, this is the crux of the dilemma: Republican members of Congress know "deep down" that they need to deliver conservative solutions like his tax swap. Yet, he adds, "We're being driven as herd by these hot microphones—which are like flame throwers—that are causing people to run with fear and panic, and Republican members of Congress are afraid of being run over by that stampeding crowd." Inglis says that it's hard for Republicans in Congress to "summon the courage" to say no to Beck, Limbaugh, and the tea party wing. "When we start just delivering rhetoric and more misinformation...we're failing the conservative movement," he says. "We're failing the country." Yet, he notes, Boehner and House minority whip Eric Cantor have one primary strategic calculation: Play to the tea party crowd. "It's a dangerous strategy," he contends, "to build conservatism on information and policies that are not credible."
Asked if there are any 2012 GOP contenders who can lead the party in a more credible direction, Inglis points to Rob Portman, a former House member who was President George W. Bush's budget director. But Portman is now running for Senate in Ohio. He's not 2012 material. What about Sarah Palin? Inglis pauses for a moment: "I think that there are people who seem to think that ignorance is strength." And he says of her: "If I choose to remain ignorant and uninformed and encourage people to follow me while I celebrate my lack of information," that's not responsible.
After winning six congressional elections since 1992, Inglis is now a politician without a party, a policy maven without a movement. And in a few months, he will be without his present job. He has no specific plan yet for his future. He mentions looking for "private sector opportunities" in a sustainable energy field—or an academic or think tank position. Becoming a lobbyist is another option he has started to mull.
Inglis is a casualty of the tea party-ization of the Republican Party. Given the decisive vote against him in June, it's clear he was wiped out by a political wave that he could do little to thwart. "Emotionally, I should be all right with this," he says. And when he thinks about what lies ahead for his party and GOP House leaders, he can't help but chuckle. With Boehner and others chasing after the tea party, he says, "that's going to be the dog that catches the car." He quickly adds: "And the Democrats, if they go into the minority, are going to have an enjoyable couple of years watching that dog deal with the car it's caught."

Glenn Beck: Obama's America is like 'Planet of the Apes'

LIMON CO (IFS) - I feel sorry for Mr Glenn Beck.  You have to stupe so low into the slime to generate a few viewers for your show?  Don Imus did the same thing, and lost his show for a couple of months.  But Beck is still on the air.  Why?  Money!!  For the love of good old "green energy" that keeps Beck and people like him of the edge of hate.  Russ Lambaugh and his "kind" are just a couple of race baiters that are out to get ratings.  What if no one listened to them?

Glenn Beck: Obama's America is like 'Planet of the Apes'

By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Aug 9th 2010 11:33AM

It appears that Glenn Beck enjoys the idea of comparing black people to monkeys. Beck's latest rant featured him comparing President Barack Obama's America to "the damn 'Planet of the Apes.'" Beck made these comments in response to the president's statements against the AFL-CIO.Beck seems to feel that the support of strong union pensions in the presence of a high-unemployment rate doesn't make any sense. His alleged confusion about Obama's actions forms the basis of Beck's comparison to 'Planet of the Apes,' where a man is pushed in to another segment of time/space to find that apes run the world and humans are their pets.

"Special interest! What planet have I landed on? Did I slip through a worm hole in the middle of the night and this looks like America? It's like the damn 'Planet of the Apes.' Nothing makes sense! The guy who's helped destroy all these pensions, Andy Stern, he is now on the financial oversight committee. Is this who we want to take advice from?

"The unions who have collapsed all of the businesses, who have collapsed all of their pensions, they are bankrupting everything they touch and we go to them and we say, yes, tell me, what should we do? It's like any marital tips from Tiger Woods."

I was once tempted to take Glenn Beck seriously, but now I just see him as a cute little monkey himself who seems to live off of attention. Making one outrageous statement after another is his way of keeping his ratings high, so that Fox will pay him more money. Perhaps his scheme is working, since I am writing about him right now.

While Beck's outrageous words (it was no accident that he compared Obama to an ape, which is highly offensive to black people) may gain him attention right now, he must also realize that he loses credibility with each ridiculous statement. I personally find myself less and less shocked by anything he says, and I hardly consider him to be a serious political figure.

Additionally, his ironic comparison of Obama's America to "Planet of the Apes" is interesting in that it seems to imply that he feels our nation has (as in the movie) shifted roles, where the apes are running the world and the humans are being subjected to their abuses.

Beck reflects the sentiments of many white Americans, who believe that a nation being run by black people is going to turn into a zoo.

With regard to the meat of Beck's disagreement with Obama's support of the AFL-CIO, his reaction is natural. Republicans tend to be pro-business, typically at the expense of working Americans.

Labor unions reduce corporate profits by demanding that rank and file Americans get their share of company revenue. Such a fight is important in light of the fact that undermining labor unions, business de-regulation and irresponsible globalization is part of the reason that the wage of the American worker has remained stagnant for the last decade.

The bottom line is this: Obama is right to support labor unions, since they need additional help. Beck is right to get angry over Obama's support for workers, since Beck's constituents have little incentive to back the idea of wage increases for working Americans (some say that this is why the Republicans have always turned a blind eye to cheap labor via illegal immigration).

What always confuses me, however, is how the Republican Party is able to recruit working class people who vote for interests that directly conflict with their own. While Beck and other Republicans reel in the poor on issues like guns, gay marriage and affirmative action, they are ultimately focused solely on keeping their pockets full at our expense. That's why they will never appreciate labor unions.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ousted HP CEO settles with accuser

AP source: Ousted HP CEO settles with accuser
By JORDAN ROBERTSON (AP) – 1 hour ago

SAN FRANCISCO — Ousted Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Mark Hurd has settled allegations of sexual harassment lodged against him by a female contract worker for HP, a person with intimate knowledge of the case told The Associated Press late Saturday.
The harassment accusations set off a chain of events that led to the discovery of allegedly falsified expense reports about Hurd's meetings with the woman and culminated in Hurd's stunning resignation this week that left a hole in the world's largest technology company.
The person familiar with the case told the AP that Hurd agreed to pay the woman, but this person wouldn't reveal the size of the payment. The settlement was between Hurd and his accuser and did not involve a payment from HP, this person said.
This person requested anonymity because of not being authorized to speak publicly about the issue.
The deal was reached Thursday, a day before Hurd's resignation.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on the settlement.
Hurd engineered a stunning turnaround of the Silicon Valley stalwart before his ouster.
Under Hurd, HP has spent more than $20 billion on acquisitions to transform itself from a computer and printer maker dependent on ink sales for profits to a well-rounded seller of hardware and lucrative business services. HP's market value nearly doubled during his five years.
The company is suddenly leaderless as it stands at a turning point to integrate some of those acquisitions, the most recent of which was the purchase of smart phone maker Palm Inc. for $1.4 billion in June.
Hurd was forced to resign Friday after HP's board of directors said Hurd falsified expenses to hide numerous private dinners with a woman who was paid up to $5,000 per event to greet people and make introductions among executives attending HP events that she helped organize.
The expenses were scrutinized when the woman recently accused Hurd of sexual harassment. The nature of the complaint could not be learned. Hurd and a lawyer representing the woman, whose identity could not be learned, all said the relationship was not sexual.
Hurd insists they were legitimate business expenses. Hurd doesn't know the total value of expenses being disputed or have a full accounting of them, the person briefed on the situation said.
Hurd's departure leaves it to find another leader to keep HP on the course he mapped out.
HP's stock fell nearly 10 percent to $41.85 in after-hours trading, when the news was released after the close of markets Friday.
The company has a deep bench in management and the stock drop was reactive and doesn't reflect the company's prospects, an analyst said.
"I don't view his departure as catastrophic," said Dinesh Moorjani, an analyst with Gleacher & Co. "The strategy is working fine. The level of uncertainty for me is relatively low just given the circumstances. This wasn't a one-man company."
Hurd, who spent 25 years at ATM maker NCR Corp. before coming to HP in April 2005, became a Wall Street darling. The $13.9 billion acquisition of Electronic Data Systems made HP a major player in technology services, challenging archrival IBM Corp.
HP also now offers computer networking, helped by the $2.7 billion takeover of 3Com Corp., racheting up the rivalry with Cisco Systems Inc. The Palm acquisition catapulted the company into the fast-growing smart phone business.
The additions also broadened the pool of people who could replace Hurd. It's a deep bench, and internal candidates could have an edge, given that Hurd and predecessor Carly Fiorina — who got the boot in 2005 over concern about her management style and her decision to buy Compaq Computer — both came from outside HP.
Inside candidates could include Todd Bradley, who oversees personal computers and mobile devices at HP; Vyomesh Joshi, who leads the printer division; Ann Livermore, in charge of servers, services, software and storage; and Shane Robison, leader of HP's corporate strategy and marketing. Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak, now interim CEO, took herself out of the running for the permanent job.
In recent weeks, Hurd had started talks for a three-year contract that could have been worth $100 million, the person close to the case said. Those went off track when the woman accused him and HP of sexual harassment, this person said.
The company determined Hurd didn't violate its sexual harassment policy but broke its rules of conduct.
The woman's lawyer, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, declined to describe the harassment. Allred would not identify her client or make her available for an interview.
Hurd will get about $28 million in cash and stock just to walk away. The person said Hurd realized he could no longer lead HP in part because at least two board members were convinced he had had a sexual relationship with the woman and was trying to cover it up.
Hurd is accused of listing other people as his dinner partners on expense reports when he'd been out with the woman. HP also claimed Hurd arranged for her to be paid for work she didn't do.
There was only one instance in which that occurred, the person close to the case said, but it was for an event that was canceled at the last minute and the woman's contract required that she would be paid unless an event was canceled 30 days in advance.
Hurd says the errors in the reports may have been entered unwittingly by an assistant, according to the person close to the case. Hurd hasn't gotten a full accounting from HP of the expenses he is alleged to have falsified or a total, though he has agreed to refund the company, this person said.
This person said Hurd met the woman, who is in her 40s, when interviewing her in 2007 for a job greeting and introducing executives at corporate events that she also helped organize.
They talked at a luxury hotel and met for a second time in Denver when she was flown in for a final interview at an HP event Hurd was attending, according to this person. Hurd approved the hire then, the person said.
Hurd and the woman often shared dinner after events she was hired for, said the person, who described the relationship as an acquaintance that became friendly.
Hurd's ouster is the third in five years at HP's top echelon. First was Fiorina's in 2005, then former Chairwoman Patricia Dunn was ousted in 2006 amid a boardroom spying scandal that involved spying on reporters' and directors' phone records to suss out the source of leaks to the media.
"It says they're off track in some fundamental way," said Stephen Diamond, associate professor at Santa Clara University School of Law and an expert on business law.
"The first thing is, they have to find the right kind of CEO," he added. "And I think what that CEO needs to do is come in and say, 'How many board members were here during the last two scandals? If you were, please resign now."
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 7, 2010




    Ruby Ridge cabin, aerial view (AP)
    Ruby Ridge cabin, aerial view (AP)
    In August of 1992 Americans tensely watched as events began to unfold on a remote ridge in Northern Idaho, involving a white separatist family and the FBI. Eleven days after it had begun, a 14-year-old boy, a 42-year-old mother, a federal marshal, and one yellow Labrador retriever had all been shot dead.
    The incident ultimately led to one of the most intensive and controversial investigations in recent history. The FBI faced widespread resentment and Attorney General Janet Reno established a Justice Department task force to investigate what had happened. National debates on the case were said to have fueled anti-government sentiments, which eventually played a role in the Waco, Oklahoma City, and the Freemen conflict. Timothy McVeigh's bombing of the government building in Oklahoma City is said to be at least partially motivated by revenge for what happened at Ruby Ridge.
    Prior to the incident, the Weaver family had moved to the remote mountaintop to escape what they viewed as a sinful world. Randy Weaver lived with his wife and four children in a cabin he himself built on Ruby Ridge, just 40 miles south of the Canadian border. The cabin had no electricity or running water. According to friends, the Weavers simply wanted to be left alone as they awaited Armageddon. While many may have viewed their intent as unusual, it appeared to be quite harmless to most who knew them.
    Almost a decade later many questions remain: What went wrong at Ruby Ridge? Why did over 400 members of the FBI, military and local law enforcement converge on the mountain? Why did so many have to die? These and similar such questions are not easily answered, however; some answers may lay hidden within the details provided.

    Blog Archive