THE LOOTING WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES

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Posted on 2nd September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by Jesse

“A man must always live by his work, and his wages must at least be sufficient to maintain him.” - Adam Smith

“The issue isn’t just jobs. Even slaves had jobs. The issue is wages.” - Jim Hightower

Some analysts are confusing higher wages with monetary stimulus. Nothing could be further from the truth, at least in the real world of today.

Monetary stimulus is what the Federal Reserve does, that is, increasing the money supply by expanding the monetary base. It is a non-organic growth of money.

I think it is a well-noted and oft-remarked upon feature that the monetary stimulus that the Fed is providing is being given directly and almost exclusive to the Banks, in order to shore up their damaged balance sheets and provide them an artificial stream of profits.

And of that stimulus, the bulk of it seems to be finding its way into financial speculation and a new bubble in paper assets, and the acquisition of more companies to build even greater monopolies.

Wage increases, that are not merely a secondary effect of a general monetary inflation, are indeed not useful, except that the workers at least keep pace with the rate of price inflation. But I don’t think that this is what anyone is recommending who talks about higher wages. The Fed is not an actor on that stage.

The currently imbalanced and distorted financial system is taking the lion’s share of all new growth, and continues to do so as it has been doing for the past twenty years. This cannot last.

When consumers purchase things, they must either use cash or credit. And to obtain the cash they can work more hours, or have more family members working. To obtain more credit, they can mortgage their house, and increase their debts.

We have seen the explosion of a consumer credit bubble in housing debt, facilitated and engineered by historic levels of financial fraud by the very Banks who are now taking their subsidies of monetary stimulus from the Fed. It happened almost six years ago, but the economy remains in ‘the new noe-feudal normal.’

At some point the long abused consumer says ‘enough’ and cuts back their purchasing to the barest of essentials. And the economy grows stagnant at home, which gives the moneyed interests a strong incentive to seek captive markets overseas. And so a new round of neo-colonialism is born. Which in turn creates its own sets of problems, lies, and economic distortions.

The data indicates that we are now, at long last, finally at that point.

And corporate profit margins are at new highs.

And the one percent has never been richer, or had more influence with the political class.

How much is enough for them? When will they be content? With them it is with wealth as it is with power.

‘Wir haben keine Hemmungen, und einen großen Magen.’

I think that the solution is rather obvious. We have been here before.

“After many requests on my part the Congress passed a Fair Labor Standards Act, what we call the Wages and Hours Bill. That Act –applying to products in interstate commerce — ends child labor, sets a floor below wages, and a ceiling over hours of labor.

Except perhaps for the Social Security Act, it is the most far-reaching, the most far-sighted program for the benefit of workers ever adopted here or in any other country. Without question it starts us toward a better standard of living and increases purchasing power to buy the products of farm and factory.

Do not let any calamity-howling executive with an income of $1,000.00 a day, who has been turning his employees over to the Government relief rolls in order to preserve his company’s undistributed reserves, tell you — using his stockholders’ money to pay the postage for his personal opinions — tell you that a wage of $11.00 a week is going to have a disastrous effect on all American industry.

Fortunately for business as a whole, and therefore for the Nation, that type of executive is a rarity with whom most business executives most heartily disagree…

Some of my opponents and some of my associates have considered that I have a mistakenly sentimental judgment as to the tenacity of purpose and the general level of intelligence of the American people.

I am still convinced that the American people, since 1932, continue to insist on two requisites of private enterprise, and the relationship of Government to it. The first is a complete honesty, a complete honesty at the top in looking after the use of other people’s money, and in apportioning and paying individual and corporate taxes (according to) in accordance with ability to pay. And the second is sincere respect for the need of all people who are at the bottom, all people at the bottom who need to get work — and through work to get a (really) fair share of the good things of life, and a chance to save and a chance to rise.

After the election of 1936 I was told, and the Congress was told, by an increasing number of politically — and worldly– wise people that I should coast along, enjoy an easy Presidency for four years, and not take the Democratic platform too seriously. They told me that people were getting weary of reform through political effort and would no longer oppose that small minority which, in spite of its own disastrous leadership in 1929, is always eager to resume its control over the Government of the United States.

Never in our lifetime has such a concerted campaign of defeatism been thrown at the heads of the President and the Senators and Congressmen as in the case of this Seventy-Fifth Congress. Never before have we had so many Copperheads among us — and you will remember that it was the Copperheads who, in the days of the Civil War, the War between the States, tried their best to make President Lincoln and his Congress give up the fight in the middle of the fight, to let the Nation remain split in two and return to peace — yes, peace at any price.

This Congress has ended on the side of the people. My faith in the American people — and their faith in themselves — have been justified. I congratulate the Congress and the leadership thereof and I congratulate the American people on their own staying power…

You will remember that from March 4, 1933 down to date, not a single week has passed without a cry from the opposition, a small opposition, a cry ‘to do something, to say something, to restore confidence.’ There is a very articulate group of people in this country, with plenty of ability to procure publicity for their views, who have consistently refused to cooperate with the mass of the people, whether things were going well or going badly, on the ground that they required more concessions to their point of view before they would admit having what they called “confidence.”

These people demanded ‘restoration of confidence’ when the banks were closed — and demanded it again when the banks were reopened.

They demanded ‘restoration of confidence’ when hungry people were thronging (the) our streets — and demanded it again now when the hungry people were fed and put to work.

They demanded ‘restoration of confidence’ when droughts hit the country — and demanded it again now when our fields are laden with bounteous yields and excessive crops.

They demanded ‘restoration of confidence’ last year when the automobile industry was running three shifts day and night, turning out more cars than the country could buy — and they are demanding it again this year when the industry is trying to get rid of an automobile surplus and has shut down its factories as a result.

But, my friends, it is my belief that many of these people who have been crying aloud for ‘confidence’ are beginning today to realize that that hand has been overplayed…”

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fireside Chat June 24, 1937

Although they rarely mention it in the history books, it is ironic that around this time the moneyed interests and neo-cons of Roosevelt’s day were fomenting a domestic revolution, and investing heavily in European fascists whom they hoped would be obedient gangsters for crony capitalism.

 

I Didn’t Believe the IRS Anyway

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Posted on 2nd September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

I Didn’t Believe the IRS Anyway

By Dennis Miller

Lois Lerner’s emails are back from the dead—sort of. The former IRS official’s BlackBerry, however, is still long gone. The IRS intentionally destroyed it in June 2012 (after congressional staffers interviewed Lerner about the IRS targeting conservative groups) as the Deputy Assistant Chief Counsel acknowledged in a recent sworn declaration.

We’ve all met someone we just don’t trust but don’t know why. There’s often a pretty good reason to feel that way.

Has someone ever made an insincere attempt to flatter you? Their words might be complimentary, but their body language, tone, and/or context let you know the compliment is phony. Does this guy really think I’m that stupid?

So, up goes your trust wall. If he’ll lie about this, he’ll lie about anything.

The IRS debacle is a prime example of why we build trust walls. The emails Congress requested had (supposedly) been deleted when several hard drives crashed. I asked my colleague Alex Daley (our in-house technology guru) what the probability was of that happening. Here’s what he had to say:

Everyone who ever owned a computer knows that hard drives are finicky beasts. In fact, Google uses a LOT of hard drives and so they have published all kinds of research on their failure rates. The gist: there’s about a 1 in 36 chance a hard drive fails in any given month. The math says then that if the IRS was practicing good data center management practices—we have to assume, however silly it might seem, that the agency responsible for holding the most personal information on American citizens outside the NSA is following best practices—then the chance of seven hard drives failing at the same time and wiping out the data on them is about 1 in 78 billion.

How rare is that? The odds of winning the Florida Lottery are roughly 1 in 23 million. So it’s 340 times more unlikely than you winning a state lottery. The odds of winning the Powerball are 1 in 175 million; for Mega Millions, the odds are 1 in 259 million.

Of course, we give the IRS too much credit. The risk of hard drives failing increases with age, and we suspect the IRS, like much of the government, isn’t spending a lot of time rotating hard drives. The odds also increase if you keep all the drives in one place, using old-fashioned persistence techniques. Then a fire, flood, electrical issues, or any other number of problems could easily wipe out the whole lot at once.

At one point there seemed to be only one plausible explanation for allowing so much data to disappear: negligence.

Turns out, however, the data weren’t even gone. As Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton last week:

Department of Justice attorneys for the Internal Revenue Service told Judicial Watch on Friday [August 22] that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search. The DOJ attorneys also acknowledged that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is investigating this back-up system. ….

There are no “missing” Lois Lerner emails—nor missing emails of any of the other top IRS or other government officials whose emails seem to be disappearing at increasingly alarming rate. All the focus on missing hard drives has been a diversion.

It sure seems clear why so many Americans feel put down. Does the government really think we’ re that stupid? Maybe. I look at it this way: I suppose it’s possible a dog can eat your homework. It’s still a lousy excuse that no one will believe. It’s no wonder politicians rank so low on our trust scale.

Whom Can You Trust?

The IRS is in our lives, period. If you live here in the US or you’re a US citizen living abroad, you can’t sever the relationship. Here’s the upside, though: for the most part you can choose to conduct your private affairs with trustworthy people.

One of the most common emails I receive is from readers looking for a trustworthy broker or financial advisor. Most come with sad tales: they had to fire their advisor because something felt fishy. Maybe they’d been directed to overly risky investments or high-fee mutual funds. Some couldn’t pinpoint their advisor’s exact offense but just knew in their gut something was amiss.

We should all expect the people we pay to help manage our money to put our interests ahead of their own. One reader said that paying fees to an advisor to put his money into high-fee investments made it almost impossible to end up with the growth he needed. He clearly wasn’t getting the service he deserved and had good reason to look elsewhere.

The Female Brain Detects Deception Best

I recently finished reading The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine, M.D. Dr. Brizendine shares quite a bit of scientific evidence to support the existence of female intuition. In brief, women score higher on tests for reading nonverbal communications and on average have more receptors for those cues than their male counterparts.

That explains why my youngest daughter recently fired an attorney. I was quite proud. She explained, “I got tired of feeling like I was being talked down to!” When I asked her to elaborate, she felt he thought she was stupid and should blindly follow his advice without question. She was picking up on the little things that might seem trivial but cause our subconscious mind to take notice.

At one point in my career, I sought advice from a top public speaker. (Maybe I wanted to be more like my daughters.) This speaker had an uncanny ability to “read, sense, and feel” his audience. He did this mostly through nonverbal clues and suggested I read Body Language by Julius Fast to help my subconscious mind tune in to nonverbal cues.

I read the book and learned that much of it was based on works like ‪Kinesics and Context: Essays on Body Motion Communication by ‪Ray L. Birdwhistell. So I read those books too and worked to sharpen my subconscious mind’s nonverbal recognition skills. Perhaps that also helped me picked up on the suspect explanations coming from the IRS. It’s certainly helped me trust my gut when deciding whether or not to do business with someone.

An attorney, stockbroker, money manager, or certified financial planner can have a great track record and all the requisite credentials you could ask for. That’s not enough. If he or she makes you uncomfortable but you aren’t sure why, don’t ignore your instincts. Switching course and hiring someone new can be an expensive headache, but it can save you over the long run.

For weekly, no-nonsense tips on protecting your bottom line and living rich at any age, sign up here to receive my free missive, Miller’s Money Weekly directly in your inbox each and every Thursday.

The article I Didn’t Believe the IRS Anyway was originally published at millersmoney.com.

STAYING CALM IS NOT AN OPTION

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Posted on 2nd September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

The Morning After: What Happens When A Government Destroys Its Currency

 

Submitted by Simon Black via Sovereign Man blog,

Imagine this scene:

“Everyone in the country was in shock. People’s net worth had devalued more than 53% overnight.”

 

“The value in savings accounts dropped in half and neither merchants nor consumers knew how to react because they had never been through something like it before…”

This is how an American business executive described living through Mexico’s devaluation of the peso exactly 38 years ago on September 1, 1976.

Looking back, it was so obvious.

Mexico had a mounting debt, destructive policies, and a woefully unsustainable fixed exchange rate with the US dollar. All the writing was on the wall.

But most people ignored the warning signs and kept their money in pesos.

Mexican President Luis Echevarria even went out on the radio to reassure people that the currency was safe.

Finally, under intense fiscal pressure, the government reached its breaking point. And on August 31, 1976, they made the decision to devalue the peso.

People woke up the next morning on September 1st to a 50%+ decline.

Coincidentally today is also the 75th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Poland, the event that ultimately dragged the world into war.

Germany had already invaded Austria and Czechoslovakia in the months before.

By May 1939 Hitler had stated very plainly, “the decision remains to attack Poland at the first opportunity.”

Even a week before the invasion, Hitler told his military commanders, “I have prepared . . . my ‘Death’s Head’ formations with orders to kill without pity or mercy all men, women, and children of Polish descent or language.”

Germany had 60 divisions massed on the Polish border ready to invade.

Yet people in Poland were told to keep calm, remain in place, and have confidence in their leaders.

Finally, on August 30, the Polish government ordered a partial mobilization to meet the German threat.

Needless to say, it was too little, too late. Germany invaded only hours later.

This is a familiar story that repeats across history. Despite obvious warning signs, people almost universally allow themselves to ignore reality.

It’s human nature to want to believe that everything is going to be OK. And when our political leaders whisper soothing words of hope and optimism, we take the bait.

Looking back, it was plain as day that Mexico was going to devalue the peso. Everything about the economy and currency was totally unsustainable. Deep down people knew it.

Similarly, it was plain as day that Hitler was going to decimate Poland. And people knew it.

Yet millions allowed their confidence to be misplaced in leaders who assured them that everything was OK.

Are we so different today?

The raw numbers tell us that most banks in Europe are insolvent. Bank in the US are dangerously illiquid.

 

Most western governments are bankrupt. Pension and social security funds are insolvent.

 

Financial markets are at precarious valuations. And the dollar is beginning to unravel as the dominant reserve currency.

These are data-driven assertions. And my guess is, deep down, your instincts are also telling you that something is seriously wrong with the system.

Yet we’re all told to keep calm by our leaders. There’s nothing to see here, nothing to worry about.

Looking back, it’s all going to seem so obvious. If a major, global currency crisis hits within the next 12-months, people will think, “duh, how did I not see that coming?”

Unfortunately by then it will be too late.

It takes only a little foresight and planning to insulate yourself from an event that can have disastrous consequences.

If you knew the Mexican peso was at an unsustainable level, why would anyone continue to hold pesos?

Similarly, if all the objective data suggests that the dollar is in store for an epic decline… and that the entire world is on a path to shift away from the dollar, why in the world would any rational person base his entire life savings in dollars?

It takes little effort to actually do something about it. Hold stronger currencies overseas. Own real assets. Move your retirement account abroad where your bankrupt government can’t steal it.

These are common sense steps, just like putting on a seatbelt when you get into a car.

The time to act is now. Why play Russian roulette when the odds are clearly in favor of the house?

Don’t try to time it. Nobody has a crystal ball. It’s irrelevant whether the trend unfolds over weeks, months, or years. It’s pretty clear where this is all headed.

MSM JOURNALISM OR PROPAGANDA?

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Posted on 2nd September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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This chick keeps being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Does journalism actually exist anymore or is it just propaganda and lies?

Hat tip Boston Bob

TWO CANARIES IN THE CONSUMER COAL MINE

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Posted on 2nd September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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First we have good old Darden Restaurants, purveyor of processed slop to the obese endless bread stick addicted middle class. They pre-announced that they will lose $20 million this quarter. It seems the problem was not just their recently shit canned Red Lobster division. If there really has been excellent job growth as we have been told by Obama and the MSM, why does traffic continue to plunge at the formerly popular Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse? All those great jobs must translate into wage increases and disposable income. Right? The results of this middle class dining chain, along with the continued decline in McDonalds sales are a canary in the coal mine. The middle class has run out of disposable income and is no longer disposing of something it doesn’t have.

Look at the numbers in those charts. Look at how much lower the traffic is than total sales, particularly for Longhorn. Do you know what that means? Longhorn is a steakhouse. Beef prices are at all-time highs. These restaurants are jacking up prices big time. So not only has the middle class run out of disposable income, but real inflation in the real world is raging.

I had never heard of Conn’s until this morning. They are evidently a Texas based retailer with 86 stores selling appliances, furniture and electronics. They have been growing rapidly and opening stores at a healthy clip. They grew their sales by an amazing 29% over last year, with an 11% increase in same store sales. Wow!!! They must be a real sales juggernaut. Well not quite. Their stock dropped 29% this morning.

You see they are another canary in the coal mine of how hard goods retailers and car companies have generated fantastic sales in the last couple years. Subprime and 0% interest debt peddled at prodigious rates to anyone that can breath and scratch an X on a loan document can really juice the top line for awhile. But guess what? The ignorant masses with no jobs actually have to make the payments for it to work out in the end.

It seems Conn’s has generated all of their fabulous sales with 0% deferred plans made to questionable credit worthy customers. Their portfolio of credit receivables grew by 40% while sales grew by 29%. It seems when you make loans to people incapable of paying you back, they eventually default. The delinquency rate is soaring on their $1.2 billion portfolio. Bye Bye profits.

This is the same sale strategy used by the big automakers over the last two years. Those fantastic sales have been a fraud. The bad debt avalanche has just begun. You need income to eat out and you need income to make the debt payments on those 52 inch HDTVs. The middle class is tapped out and more debt will not cure what ails them. The canary is dead.

 

Darden Announces Expected Fiscal First Quarter Results

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Darden Restaurants, Inc. DRI, +1.61% today reported that it expects diluted net loss per share from continuing operations for its fiscal first quarter ended August 24, 2014 to be approximately 13 to 15 cents.

Darden also reported that preliminary U.S. same-restaurant sales for the fiscal first quarter by month for Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse were as follows:

Olive Garden June July August
Same-Restaurant Sales -1.0% -4.2% 0.8%
Same-Restaurant Traffic -0.9% -4.3% -2.3%

 

LongHorn Steakhouse June July August
Same-Restaurant Sales 3.3% 1.5% 3.2%
Same-Restaurant Traffic -1.1% -1.6% 0.2%

 

Conn’s, Inc. Reports Second-Quarter Fiscal 2015 Financial Results

THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Sep 02, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Conn’s, Inc. CONN, -28.62% a specialty retailer of furniture, mattresses, home appliances, consumer electronics and provider of consumer credit, today announced its financial results for the second quarter ended July 31, 2014.

Credit segment operating income declined $7.7 million to an operating loss of $0.2 million;
• The percentage of the customer portfolio balance 60+ days delinquent increased 70 basis points sequentially to 8.7% as of July 31, 2014;
• Credit segment provision for bad debts on an annualized basis was 13.9% of the average outstanding portfolio balance in the current quarter and 11.1% on an annualized basis for the first six months of fiscal 2015;
• Diluted earnings was $0.48 per share, compared to $0.52 per share in the prior year;
• Adjusted diluted earnings was $0.50 per share, compared to $0.52 per share a year ago; and
• Full-year fiscal 2015 guidance was updated to a range of $2.80 to $3.00 adjusted earnings per diluted share. The new full-year guidance reflects primarily the impact of higher expected provision for bad debts and the issuance of $250 million in 7.25% senior unsecured notes in July 2014.

“Overall results were not satisfactory. Our credit operations ran into unexpected headwinds, resulting in portfolio performance deterioration. Despite tighter underwriting, lower early-stage delinquency and improved collections staffing and execution, delinquency unexpectedly deteriorated across all credit quality levels, customer groups, product categories, geographic regions and years of origination. Tighter underwriting and better collections execution did not offset deterioration in our customer’s ability to resolve delinquency.

“Delinquency rates improved through May and increased modestly in June, consistent with typical seasonal trends. However, over sixty-day delinquency rates unexpectedly deteriorated a combined 90 basis points in July and August. We now expect future 60-plus day delinquency to increase to levels above our historical highs in the third and fourth quarter of fiscal 2015. Early stage delinquency remains lower than historical averages through August.

“We have made additional minor changes to tighten underwriting in August. Over time, more of the total portfolio will have been originated under the tighter underwriting policies implemented in late fiscal 2014 and early fiscal 2015. Declining sales of electronics as a percentage of total sales, slower expected originations growth and an expected reduction in the percentage of originations to new customers should also benefit future portfolio performance. Longer term, we believe the changes necessary to optimize portfolio performance are in place, although we may not return to credit loss rates of prior years.

“In response to higher delinquency, we are reducing the level of no-interest programs and raising the interest rates in some markets to increase portfolio yield.

iNARCISSISTS & iMORONS DESERVE WHAT THEY GET

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Posted on 2nd September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Poor AWD. He died one month too soon. Evidently, according to the radio station I was listening to on the way to work this morning, the 50 or so nude pictures of Kate Upton taken from her iCloud account and released on the internet leave nothing to the imagination. Even the women on the radio show seemed to be impressed by her hooters. AWD would have had field day on this thread. 

I do not feel sorry in the least for Kate or Jennifer. Who takes nude pictures of themselves in this day and age and doesn’t think they will somehow become public? Haven’t these idiots been paying attention? I guess Kate and Jennifer were too busy with their fantastic careers to pay attention to the Edward Snowden revelations. Everything you do, say, text, or record digitally is being accessed by someone. It’s that simple. Don’t be an iIdiot. Either that, or these narcissistic starlets actually want these pictures in the public realm because it generates more publicity for their “important careers” pretending to be someone relevant in this superficial society.

The extreme narcissism of the morons in this country is breathtaking to behold. Facebook, instagram, twitter and selfies are a reflection of a degraded society of ignorant, egotistical, moronic, shallow, narcissistic, self involved tools. I don’t care where you are checking in from. I don’t care what you are eating. I don’t care what your dinner looks like. I don’t care what you think about Kim Kardashian learning pole dancing. I don’t care that you are going to buy a new car with a 7 year loan and are worried about the car payments. I don’t care about your new tattoo. I don’t fucking care about you.  #Idontcare.

I have a suspicion Stucky is going to have some more problems with sticky computer keys.

Via Washington Post

4chan: The ‘shock post’ site that hosted the private Jennifer Lawrence photos

For all its cultural relevance, it’s possible you’ve never heard of 4chan. It’s not much to look at. Just a few pixels blinking on a page like something out of “Duck Hunt.”

The outdated design, however, belies its influence. Called one the “darkest corners of the Web” by a New York Times writer and the “ninth circle of Hell,” 4chan twins the irreverent with the abhorrent, birthing wildly popular memes such as Lolcats while simultaneously hosting some of the most prurient content on the Internet.

Its army of anonymous users anointed founder Christopher Poole Time Magazine’s Most Influential Person of 2009 by manipulating the poll. It gamed Google Trends, forcing a racial slur to its No. 1 spot. And one of its users, which number more than 7 million, was once investigated for spilling the contents of Sarah Palin’s e-mail.

But this weekend 4chan shot into headlines like never before. On Sunday evening, one or many 4chan users dumped what appeared to be a trove of private, nude photographs of numerous celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton. The exact provenance of the images remains murky, like almost everything involving 4chan, which deploys fleets of anonymous users who vie for site supremacy by one-upping each other with outrageous material.

The trove of celebrity pictures was about as outrageous as it gets, perhaps the most intrusive, intimate pictures ever circulated publicly of celebrities. They quickly spilled to Reddit, where thousands purveyed it under the handle of “the Fappening” — “fap” means to masturbate — before the news reached Buzzfeed and the rest of the viral media gang.

Now, following 24 hours of hot coverage, the feds are involved. “This is a flagrant violation of privacy,” a Lawrence spokesman said in a statement reported by Reuters. “The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”

The FBI said it is “addressing the matter,” calling the leak an “unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals.”

But exactly what makes 4chan unique may complicate the investigation into what party or parties were behind the leak. 4chan users operate with complete anonymity, which Poole said contributes to creativity. It also means, however, that users are free to post the profane, the hurtful, the evil. “They get rowdy — it’s like a bar without alcohol,” Willard Ling, one longtime user told the Wall Street Journal in 2008. “It’s like that psychological concept of deindividualization — when groups of people become less aware of their own responsibility.”

Nowhere among 4chan’s vast collection of message boards is this more apparent than in a section known as “/b/,” called the “darkest corner of the searchable Web.” It’s where the Jennifer Lawrence photographs first materialized, which were apparently hawked for bitcoin. And it’s also where more users are reportedly trying to ignite a viral hashtag #leakforJLaw, which encourages people to post nude selfies of themselves to support the celebrity.

/b/ is a realm pervaded by something called “shock posts” —  graphic scenes of violence or sex. A realm where “completely anonymous — no login, no username — people try to shock, entertain and coax free porn from one another,” wrote Gawker’s Nick Douglas. He said it’s otherwise known as the “a–hole of the internet.”According to an MIT paper published by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, /b/ operates under a very different set of mores than most of society. Its “lack of identity makes traditional reputation systems unworkable,” the paper stated. “Second, instead of archiving conversations, /b/ deletes them when newer content arrives — often within minutes — which leads to a chaotic, fast-paced experience.” It makes “complete anonymity and content deletion the norm.”

It’s bound by few rules. According to Wired, the few include: “Do not talk about /b/,” Do NOT talk about /b/,” and “there is always more f—– up s— than what you just saw.”

The message board was the first created under the banner of 4chan, and Poole says it’s self-perpetuating and self-governing. “Ultimately, the power lies in the community to dictate its own standards,” he told the New York Times in 2008. “All we do is provide a general framework.”

QUOTES OF THE DAY

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Posted on 2nd September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.”
― Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome

“If you would know who controls you see who you may not criticise.”
― Tacitus

“They have plundered the world, stripping naked the land in their hunger… they are driven by greed, if their enemy be rich; by ambition, if poor… They ravage, they slaughter, they seize by false pretenses, and all of this they hail as the construction of empire. And when in their wake nothing remains but a desert, they call that peace.”
― Tacitus, The Agricola and the Germania

“The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.”
― Tacitus

“Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty.”
― Tacitus

“It is the rare fortune of these days that one may think what one likes and say what one thinks.”
― Tacitus, Histories of Tacitus

“It is a principle of nature to hate those whom you have injured.”
― Tacitus

“Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity.”
― Tacitus, Annals

 

A LITTLE GOOD IN EVERYONE

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Posted on 2nd September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Via Cagle Post