Sunday, February 10, 2013

Post Gun Ban: Crime Increases in Australia

Good Day Mate!

My name is Karlis Ozols and I’m a police officer in New South Wales in Australia. After a tragic school shooting in the mid 1990’s our Labour (read socialist) government undertook a massive gun confiscation program. First they “asked” for our guns, then a few years later, they sent armed federal police to knock on the doors of known gun owners and take their firearms.They needed federal police, because they knew our local and provincial police would never take away ordinary law abiding citizens’ God given rights.

By depriving ordinary Australians of their Second Amendment rights they would ensure their socialist policies could be pushed on the Australian public who could no longer fight back. Since then, the socialists have limited all our rights. Our Internet is censored, so you won’t see many REAL Aussies tell you the truth. But since the confiscation, crime is up 688% here in NSW. Murder with handguns is higher than your Washington D.C., Rape is up 384%, and the government has re-classified the definition of “home invasion” so they don’t have to show the real figures which are really up by 1231% since before the ban. A former workmate of mine, Ed Chenel managed to get a letter out before they fired him and removed his internet connection.

And now the Australian Federal Police (AFP) are having local police turn in OUR weapons. They need a monopoly on power. Just like in the UK, we will be unarmed and unable to protect our citizens. The only people to own firearms now are government thugs and common criminals.

Don’t let your socialist president do the same. Take heed of Niemöller’s warning: “First they came for the gun owners, but I was not a gun owner”.

Cheers from down under mate,


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Five ways the mainstream media tipped the scales in favor of Obama | Fox News

Five ways the mainstream media tipped the scales in favor of Obama | Fox News

1. The Media’s Biased Gaffe Patrol Hammered Romney.......

Here Fox "News" cites Media Research Center analysis as proof. Oddly enough, a quick visit to the link to see what this is all about shows what you might have guessed: Fox's source is biased. The MRC is funded by right wing idealogues and ExxonMobil (hey, they fund Mystery on PBS too? what's that all about.) The link has a banner ad for contributors to get a "Don't Believe the Liberal Media" bumper sticker- how "unbiased" is that Fox "News?" The "Media Research Center" only attacks what they feel as liberal bias in the media. Guess Fox "News" couldn't find an independent source to point to liberal bias?

2. Pounding Romney With Partisan Fact Checking.......
Again Fox "News" cites admitedly biased sources including the MRC that has no credibility. This Fox "News" piece has no links to the actual fact checking websites that also have lambasted Obama when he was "less than totally honest." Fox is stuck in their own bubble, the one that allowed them to believe their side was going to win, perhaps in a landslide. If Fox "News" and their viewers would look at other less biased sites once in a while, they would be well served. as well as other news outlets like the Washington Post clearly make attempts to be unbiased referees. Fox "News" could learn something from them.

3. Those Biased Debate Moderators.......
The first debate was called by most everybody left, right and center to have been in Romney's favor. Oddly enough, what was that initial comment by Romney about defunding PBS? If Obama really were an old school liberal Commie like right wing nuts say he is, it would be like Obama coming to the second moderator and saying: "I don't believe in free markets, when I'm president I'll nationalize your TV network and you will be looking for another job." Strange way to start out a debate. Fortunately the left isn't nearly as nuts on the whole as the right.

4. The Benghazi Blackout.......
Really, how much do we need to hear about Benghazi? (please note Fox "News" links with the openly biased MRC here again)

5. Burying the Bad Economy.......
Here Fox "News" cites one neutral source, but oddly enough, unlike the MRC, they don't give a link. They point to a study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. Perhaps Fox is afraid some of their readers might go on to read some other actual facts?!

President Obama, where are the tears for those you lead? | Fox News

President Obama, where are the tears for those you lead? | Fox News

After the Right's bubble burst on election evening, they have all their panties in a twist. Here a Fox "News" commentator listing all the other reasons the newly elected President O'Bama should be tearing up. Worth noting that they undoubtedly would be calling Obama a sissy if he did cry rather than lauding him. Interestingly Alice Stewart who wrote the Fox Stewart unsurprisingly worked for the Romney campaign and has a hard time accepting her and her party's defeat.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bucket List Ads on Face Book

You know those "bucket list" ads that pop up in Facebook? I saw the photo for San Francisco and thought, hmmmm.... that doesn't look like anything I've ever seen there. Guess what: it's not San Francisco but back a couple thousand miles away in Michigan (thanks to Tineye reverse image search: .) When I clicked on the Berkeley version, I traced the background image to a stock photo of Regina Canada (

After clicking on some of the links with photos that had nothing to do with the city they advertise, they turn out to be a "groupon" sort of service. That's to say as far as I could see they had no bucket list if you go through the trouble of registering and giving up your email. Turns out this is a company based out of the UK,called  Living Social. They probably never have heard of some of the cities that they advertise, let alone know what they look like. Oddly enough, they didn't even have content for Berkeley when I clicked on that link. Kinda strange to advertise for a market for which they had no content.

As a photographer specializing in localized content this is pretty distressing. In addition to all the cheap stock photography out there, it looks like even huge companies don't care if their local content is authentic. And perhaps customers are unaware or don't care. Or even that being deceptive increases their business: I clicked on the image because I wanted to know where in San Francisco it was: and it wasn't. Made me look!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Foreign Beer Economics

Recently I noticed a very strange trend: beer from poorer countries often costs substantially more than beer from highly developed countries now. Why this is I haven't the faintest Idea. I don't believe for a minute that Mexican factory workers are getting overpaid. But how is it that Germany's number one import, Becks, costs substantially less than Mexico's Corona beer? Mind you, I don't mean that one is better than the other. Full disclosure, I do prefer Becks, but that's not what this post is about.

However Mexico is a poor nation where workers earn on average a few dollars a day. Germany has one of the most developed welfare systems and economies and commands some of the highest wages in the world. Germany has also had a so called Purity Law for beer that forbids the use of some of the cheaper ingredients used in Mexico (as well as the US and many other countries.)

When perusing the beers at Costco, there was also a Chinese beer that I didn't recognize. It's fun to try new things, and I thought, it's Chinese, it must be cheap- again, wages in China are even lower than Mexico. When I found the price I was genuinely surprised to see that it too was much more than Becks or several other high wage country beers.

To follow Bill Maher's playbook: New Rule....beers from countries where you can't drink the water must be cheaper than from those where you can!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

CHASE: Is it really that hard to cash a check?

So finally!!! I got paid for a photo used in the National Geographic book Food Journeys of a Lifetime, after over a year of waiting and lots of rigimorol. The check, (or cheque as they spell it back in Jolly Olde Englande,) was for a whooping $105 US Dollars. I emphasize US Dollars because when my bank, the same bank, was called  Washington Mutual they couldn't cash checks in foreign currencies. So when the publisher, Toucan Books, asked me how I wanted payment, I chose the check in US Dollars.

My old bank WAMU has been bought out by Chase Manhattan. And recently they installed these spiffy new ATM machines that read your checks. Unfortunately, the spiffy new ATM, repeatedly spat out my "cheque." Oddly enough there wasn't an option to deposit a check the ATM didn't recognize, it would just keep spitting it out and saying unreadable, despite the nicely printed text all over. So I went in and "queued up" to see a teller (I'm having fun with the Englishisms!)

After about an half hour of this young man trying, and phoning what sounded like a similar corporate labyrinth that we lowly customers must traverse, the teller stated without much confidence, that if the amount was for less than US$300 they can't cash it. Or perhaps they might, he said, but the fees would be so much as to only leave me with a few dollars. He really didn't sound too sure. And he said that they don't usually deal with this sort of thing. 

This took place about a 20 minute drive from San Francisco's Financial District. Well, Chase Manhattan, the world's seventh largest bank, and the third largest bank in these United States is apparently unable to cash checks drawn on foreign banks. Even in US Dollars if the amount is for less than $300. If the check was for less than $300 but drawn on the British bank HSBC (which happens to be the eighth largest bank in the USA for that matter. No wonder our country and our banks seem like such a basket case. Our citizens typically can't speak any foreign languages, at least those of us who've been here for more than a couple generations. And it would seem the same with our banks. They can't read a cheque if it's written in British English!

So, I tried to be polite to the poor teller who spent the half an hour of his day trying to figure out why he can't cash my cheque. But I hopped in the car and headed off to another bank we use for our savings, First Community Bank, a small bank based in Santa Rosa that has a branch in our local Nob Hill. This little tiny bank managed to check with their head office and take care of my cheque in about five minutes. So much for the big banks!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Since When is a Corporation a Citizen?

What the BLEEEEEEP is wrong with the Supreme Court?!

Right wing nuts get their panties in a bunch whenever laws don't hold to the most literal interpretation of the Constitution. Well, so long as it serves their purpose (somehow everybody seems to quote the Right to Bear Arms bit and seldom do you hear the Well Regulated Militia....) And the folks who wrote that owned slaves, established the much dreaded among right wingers US Postal Service and all sorts of other stuff.

In any case why on earth should a corporation enjoy the same rights as a citizen? Of course we all know big money rules over democracy in reality. But admitting it makes our country sound like some third world, bribery ridden fiefdom.

Owners of corporations of course have been free to donate their own money forever. So why can't corporations vote? And why can't foreigners donate to political campaigns, yet the US government, corporations, and individuals are free to donate to foreign campaigns?