In this issue...A Reaction to: "Argentine Judge Says Four IBM Execs Are Wanted as Suspects, Not Witnesses" (TiM GW Bulletin 98/5-2, 5/06/98):
n Shut Down Big Business Scams
France:n Appalling Working Conditions in Thailand A Reaction to: "Murder on Wall Street" (TiM GW Bulletin 98/5-6, 5/09/98):
Some Reactions to: Bill Gates, NYT and "Spam" (TiM GW Bulletin 98/5-5, 5/08/98):
Some Reactions to: "Death Merchants - 81; Taxpayers - 19" (TiM GW Bulletin 98/5-2, 5/01/98); also published as "Rekindling NATO to fuel Cold War," a Washington Times column, May 17, 1998:
U.S.: SHUT DOWN BIG BUSINESS SCAMS
PHOENIX - Do you remember the one (story), quite a few years back, in which the big "Electric" companies: General Electric, Northern Electric, Western Electric, etc., had the "Bidding by the Phase of the Moon" scam running? They bilked the government out of hundreds of billions of dollars and then to make it appear as though government 'of the people, for the people, by the people' - was still in place and functioning, they had one of their people - 'blow the whistle'. The peoples government then stepped in to 'prove themselves'.
After bilking the people of billions of bucks, not one of those criminals got to swing on a rope. The companies were fined a few million bucks, and, if I recall correctly, not one of those people went to jail.
It is impossible to fine one of those huge (corporate) monopolies which the government supports. Yet the majority of the people, in their ignorance of the proper role of government, sit back in their easy chairs in front of the controlled media, clapping their flippers like a bunch of trained seals, actually feeling that justice has been served and doing their civic duty.
Meanwhile, back at monopoly headquarters, the planners and schemers are adjusting the prices of wiring, stoves, motors and all the rest - just to recover the 'fines' - another cheerful donation by the overburdened and subservient taxpayers. The latter get it coming and going, and they do not know it is happening.
I just think that some of these things that have been going on for so many years should not be forgotten, (or) else these criminals will be able to continue to pull off such stunts with impunity.
More people need to learn that those who are elected to office are entitled to do not one whit more than those who stay at home to earn a living. If the people can't cheat, steal, counterfeit or do any other illegal act, so it should be for those individuals who are elected to serve their people. Socialists such as (Newt) Gingrich - infiltrators of the Republican Party - should be subject to recall. It is deceptions such as this which lead to revolutions and loss of innocent lives.
Clifford H. Hume
FRANCE:APPALLING WORKING CONDITIONS IN THAILAND
PARIS, France - I just spent a few days in Bangkok (Thailand) meeting with NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), a union and garment workers. I came back (to Paris, France) absolutely appalled by the working conditions and wages. Salaries have hardly increased since last year, though inflation rate is high. Average monthly salary was below one night's stay at my Novotel hotel - without breakfast. And one-day's salary could buy a beer!
For a worker to rent a room, costs half his salary. Therefore, they have to share it at four or five per room. When I asked the workers what was their priority wish, they all mentioned the working conditions: the roof of the factory is leaking; in the rainy season they cannot sit down to eat; toilets are flooded; air conditioning is very old and fans inadequate. On top of that, the (Mattel) factory is next door to a slaughterhouse, and the smell is horrible. All this is happening for a corporation that is bragging about its code of conduct.
My conclusions :
M-C.H. (this reader requested to be identified by initials only)
U.S.:WALL STREET JOURNAL'S CENSORHIP IS AN OUTRAGE
MASSACHUSETTS - It is an outrage that such a blatant act of censorship can occur in America. The media, with all its bias has proven again that it isopposed to a free and open debate on important issues. The Founding Fathers made sure the government could not suppress free speech and debate. Tragically, the media decides what it will report and what it will suppress. In the case of the Balkans, the consequences could be disastrous. The media minimizes info about Albanians killing Serbs, while maximizing Albanian propaganda.
Going through the Greek news recently, I saw a report that shows the terrorist "Kosovo Liberation Army" now getting support from the Chechen and Afghan terrorists. Apparently, the American media having recovered from it's love affair with the Bosnian Muslims has embraced Albania and is determined to hide any unpleasant facts about Kosovo' s Albanians.
The Clinton administration has just sent its enforcer, Richard Holbrooke to the Balkans. Meanwhile, the Contact Group threatens to impose sanctions [it did it last week; TiM Ed.] on Serbia, although Russia [and Japan - TiM Ed.] opposed them. The State Department spokesman continues with the official line about hoping to prevent a regional war while, in effect, doing everything possible to bring about a war.
Ignorance may lead to a disaster if war does spread. It is frustrating.
U.S.:SPAM THE COMPUGEEKS!!!!!!
WASHINGTON (state) - R.C. Snyder sent us a very cryptic response:
"Spam the Compugeeks!!!!!!!"
U.S.:STOP MICROSOFT'S WEEKLY "SPAM"
MASSACHUSETTS - I had to read this one twice. That is because at least once a week, Microsoft "spams" my company. We have e-mailed them politely, and not so politely, to stop. We have told their telemarketers that until "spamming" stops, we won't give them the time of day (well, we wouldn't anyway, but...) So...
U.S.:BEWARE OF BILL'S (GATES) SCHEMES
WASHINGTON (state) - I live in Washington state near the headquarters of Microsoft, so I am very aware of Bill Gates' political role.
Remember his first silly book? Much or all of the profit was donated to the National Education Association/ NEA. That gave us a clue, a few years ago, about the direction he was taking in politics.
Microsoft is very involved in education. Yes, all students will have to log on to the Internet daily in order to succeed in school. Don't you wonder where that idea came from??????
There is no validated data suggesting that the use of computers in schools will improve learning. Well, Microsoft and others in the computer industry have cranked out some supporting evidence. Guess who benefits by putting computers in the classroom. Consider the cost to move schools in this direction. There is a plan in this state and in others to supply ALL students with personal laptops [starting in targeted school districts]. Figure that into the local education budget!!!!!
Consider, too, the propensity for damage to property (especially at the hands of students) and the fact of computer obsolescence. Students will be frustrated if they have to use the old, slow computers and I don't blame them. Education-technology dollars will be a geometrically growing demand from the public coffers.
Recently I sat in a high-priced seminar [as a non-paying reporter] discussing the future of the global market. One session featured the education liaison from Microsoft. She came to explain what they were doing in the classroom to restructure education...AND it was pathetic!
The video she ran showed a child reading a computer screen OUT LOUD. If the student failed to guess at a word, the computer would supply the word. It didn't break down the word into components to help the child gain a skill -- no this would be phonics and the NEA doesn't approve of phonics! The computer simply delivered the word so the student could continue reading. It was a painful and labored activity to watch. Was the child really learning anything? Would you enjoy reading a book on the computer screen? Not I!
I have a little experience in teaching reading. Viewing this so-called state-of-the-art learning experience horrified me. Not only was the child being trained to be computer-dependent for his/her reading skills, but the whole concept of reading was being distorted.
Reading, for the most part, is a silent activity; aiming for speed and comprehension. I understood at that moment that Microsoft is way out of its league trying to link their technology to education. What they are doing will make for a whole generation of dysfunctional readers.
Technology dollars for education? The hype is coming from the alliance of the computer industry, the NEA and the Clinton Administration. This is GOALS 2000. The computer is central to the success of GOALS 2000. One of the circulating PR slogans is A COMPUTER FOR EVERY STUDENT. The curriculum will be pre-programmed, politically correct, electronically monitored, and federally-controlled.
Microsoft is a partner to this social engineering.
U.S.:LIVE BY MONOPOLY; DIE BY MONOPOLY
CALIFORNIA - Bill Gates is a perfect example of "live by the monopoly, die by the monopoly". Instead of championing individual computing power, which was the foundation of the personal computer movement, he sold his soul to the devil of America's corporate cartels. As a result, the PC business has suffered for 15 years with mediocre software and hardware, and watched far better technologies marginalized by the "Wintel" juggernaut. Now Gates must suffer at the hands of the cartel's political minions, for some transgression which remains mysterious. Perhaps he insulted some third-generation globalist at a cocktail party?
Exactly why Bill Gates has been singled out for "anti-trust" action may never be known. Although his tactics are monopolistic, they are no worse, and in many ways much tamer, than the abuses we see in the energy, banking, transportation, and government sectors of the economy. I suspect it's a case of "new money" versus "old money", and the persecution is ironic considering Gates' slavish devotion to all of the globalist mantras of "free" trade and corporate bigness.
U.S.:ARE THE "BANKSTERS" GANGING UP ON BILL GATES?
PHOENIX - Well, you were pretty hard on Mr. Gates, thus you may take comfort in that the banking cartel that runs the executive branch and enough of Congress that counts (since the ratification of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913 and as further consolidated by FDR's banking holiday emergency proclamation in March 1933), is having the screws put to him. The justice department under this anti-trust ruse is their attack dog.
Why? Because more than anything else the genuine monopolist of the super-banking cartel fear Mr. Gates' upstart Microsoft -- that through Internet transaction technology it might invade (and eventually wrest control) of important new technology developments and trends in their industry.
Ever since the banking cartel got their government sanctioned and protected monopoly power to be the exclusive issuer of credit (and therefore money itself, being that our money is now entirely fiat), they have jealously and ruthlessly guarded and further consolidated their turf. Essentially they are just a very powerful and sophisticated criminal syndicate. Gates hasn't the foggiest of what he is really tangling with. He thinks he's battling the govt. over this anti-trust thing, whereas the real trust -- Congressman Lindbergh's banking trust -- is having Mr. Gates and company taken down a few notches by their servant henchmen in the executive branch of the so-called US government.
If Gates would have just stuck to messing with Internet browsers, (had) not started getting into on-line transaction systems for banking, investments, airline reservations, Internet commerce, etc., then he'd not be under the federal assault he is right now. Poor Mr. Gates. He's learning what it is like to be singled out for special treatment at the hands of these quasi-govt./banking mobsters.
(Of) 'course Mr. Gates is not a sympathetic figure. So when the "banksters" succeed in crushing him back down, there will probably be a lot of rejoicing to see the richest man get sucker punched. But the "banksters" have always been superb masters at deflecting any blame away from themselves as being the true sinister culprits behind everything bad that goes on in our country. They can mount any merger they care to, or rescue any large cartel bank member that floundered itself away in bad loans -- all at taxpayer expense, and nary a word is raised against them.
Guys like you rant and rave at dudes such as Bill Gates, who on balance has done far more economically for the average American. Whereas the banking cartel now has each American taxpayer (and generations of unborn taxpayers to come) on the hook for over $5 trillion in debt. Debt that they had the exclusive privilege to issue from their cartel of private banks that make up the private stockholders of the Federal Reserve System central bank scam. People are ignorant and they are duped (the two go hand-in-hand, of course). They rant and rave about all the wrong things or the things that are not near as pivotal to their fate and lives as is the near century long on-going banking cartel scam. The real war is the war over the future of money. And that is why the federal government is out to get Mr. Gates at the bidding of their masters -- the banking cartel.
I've read some of your stuff from time to time and find it interesting and provoking. I probably don't always agree completely with the editorial position you come from on some things. But likely I agree with you on more things than I disagree.
Any large powerful corporation needs to be kept under scrutiny, true. Yet when the media is by and large bought and paid for by the banking cartel, who is going to keep them under scrutiny on behalf of the public? Mr. Gates indeed has his MSNBC and Slate magazine, but the cartel has pretty much everything else. The media Mr. Gates controls is a pimple by comparison. The banking cartel's control of media is such that if any journalist strayed off the plantation and tried to write anything too probing and investigative of them and their history, the journalist would soon find himself without a job and probably his/her life made miserable (and who knows -- perhaps even worse). Just look at the poor sob that did the expose story on the CIA - drug connection for the San Jose Mercury. Same thing would be done if one probed money and banking in this country in a serious and truthful manner in any of the wide audience mainstream media outlets.
I'd just urge we first concentrate on defeating the banking carte, and then go after the other lesser concerns as mop-up operations. Strangely, as much as one might be wary of Mr. Gates, it might be that his company could (or will) be an instrument of opposition against the cartel. The "enemy of my enemy is my friend" strategy. Microsoft is the only serious potential competitor the super-banking cartel has going up against it. They are afraid that control of the money of the 21st century might get wrested away from them and their exclusive iron fist clenched strangle hold. Disrupting that strangle-hold would be to the public good.
R.V. (full name withheld by this reader's request)
TiM Ed: An interesting thought: "Banksters" vs. Gates. The "enemy of my enemy is my friend"-strategy makes sense. But it has to be balanced with the "the devil you know is better than the one you don't"-consideration. Why would we not try to get rid of all "devils," including the monopolists, like Gates?
Meanwhile, why not rejoice and let the "devils" fight each other? They'll have less time and money to strangle the rest of us. Bob Dj.
U.S.: A "MAC" USER LASHES OUT AT GATES
ALASKA - Being a Mac user, I have a real dislike for the Corporate Puke, Bill Gates. If you have anything else on this slime ball, I'd really appreciate it. Can we keep the government hoaxes off the Net, too?
TiM Ed: Apropos the latter reader's comment, let's move on to the Internet censorship attempts by some people, including the Internet Service Providers... Bob Dj.
U.S.: AN ISP WHO WANTS TO PLAY GOD ON THE INTERNET...
PHOENIX - I definitely see that a few misconceptions that need to be clarified. First, the Internet is not FREE, as some seem to think. As an ISP, I pay a premium $$$ for a pipe into the net which is based on the volume of traffic that goes through it. My clients, who access that net for browsing and e-mail, pay a monthly fee based on reasonable/average use of that bandwidth. If my subscribers need to send out massive e-mails to their list subscribers, they pay an addition fee for bulk e-mails. This allows me to pay for the additional bandwidth to support their bulk e-mails.
What does an ISP do to stop SPAMMERS?
First, I write a quick script and check all the incoming mail logs to see how many e-mails you have sent through my pipe in a 48 hour period. If you meet my definition of a "spammer", then EVERYTHING you send through my service will be bounced right back to you. For as long as I want.
By the way, this is what is called a "BOZO Filter".
Next, your name will be added to a very long list, which all ISPs use to keep track of SPAMMERS. Many ISPs will also restrict you from sending e-mail to their subscribers.
In addition, the ISP service the you presently use will be notified that you have been identified as a SPAMMER. A reputable ISP will research your e-mail activity, and usually give you a warning if they see irresponsible behavior. Then it is up to them to decided if you can continue using their service.
Keep in mind, all those e-mails you send out that are being bounced back to you are also burning your ISP's bandwidth.
The bottom line here is to e-mail your ISP and ask them what they define SPAMMING as. We all know what we can responsibly support through our pipe. ISPs such as AOL are more tolerant, in that they can afford to be. But the customers pay the price in both speed and mail boxes filled with junk. Small regionally based ISPs, like myself, have an obligation to our customers to provide them with a reasonable quality service.
Bill Gates is correct in that we need to keep SPAMMERs off of the net. The government does not pay for/control the Internet, you and I do, and that is why it works so well. We work together, as an ISP, I provide you with a responsibly priced service because your act responsibly in your usage.
Once someone starts making demands for "freebies" because it is their "right" to do so, then we will be not be any better than our present Government Welfare system. Hmmm.....and is that what YOU want?
Renee S. Farkas
... AND TiM's CASE FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH
PHOENIX - Thanks for your feedback, Mr. Farkas. Your arguments make perfect sense from the efficiency standpoint. So did those of the Soviet and the Nazi censors. But there are other issues at play, too.
It so happens that when an ISP takes it upon itself to play God and decide what is "spam" and what isn't, he is violating its customers' right of free speech, a natural right, but also one which happens to be constitutionally guaranteed in this country. And such a freedom was the very essence which has attracted millions of people to the Internet by contrast from the controlled establishment media. Even the USPS would never dream of deciding for me what mail I should receive, as long as proper postage is affixed. Yet, you do it and you even boast about it and how other ISPs are doing it, too.
The Internet providers who continue to act in such a short-sighted way will be cutting off their own noses to spite themselves. For, soon enough, they'll be left without customers. Just like the Soviets store shelves ended up empty.
And even within the efficiency arguments, I for one, would prefer to pay for NOT to have my mail censored - if it needs be. But it doesn't. After all, there are e-mail filters available so you can get rid of unwanted e-mail without having to read it. Or with just a single keystroke, I can get rid of an unwanted message. Which is what I do all the time. So I don't go complaining and ranting and raving as some people do. Because that's not an EFFICIENT way of dealing with a problem. It's an emotional one.
Which suggests that a person who reacts that way may be annoyed with a message's content, not the fact that it was unsolicited. What if some altruist, for example, sent an unsolicited message inviting the first 10 responders to a free, all-expense-paid, trip around the world? Would your customers also bitch about that. I would guess not. Yet, if you decided that THAT sender had exceeded your "spam" criteria, you'd cut him off - by your own admission. And deprive your customers of such an opportunity. Did they give you the right to do it? If not, who did?
If I want God to decide something for me, I go to church. Or just pray and hope that He will hear me and guide me. But when I pay for my access to the Internet, I expect unrestricted and uncontrolled access, not some ISP masquerading as God. Now that's unsolicited intrusion far worse than someone promoting their product or an idea (which is what marketing is all about).
I don't know if you make it a practice to tell our customers about how you're abridging their rights and censoring their service BEFORE they sign up with you. If you don't, you're engaging in unethical and deceitful practices (what else is new in this country...). If you do, you must have a pretty small customer base - only people with holes in their heads would sign up knowing full well you'll be censoring their mail.
Last January, we did a survey of the TiM readers. 88% of the respondents said the Internet should remain free and unregulated. 77% said that if there is a conflict between right to privacy (or other issues, such as ISP efficiency arguments, as in your case) and the right of free speech, the right of free speech should prevail.
I would like to run your comment and my response in the next TiM Readers' Forum. I am sure that many of our readers would be stunned to find out what ISPs are up to, as I was when reading your subject e-mail. If the ISPs are ganging up on their customers, maybe the customers can gang up on the ISPs. Guess who's got the advantage at least in numbers? It's a free market, after all, isn't it?
Thanks for your feedback. It was truly enlightening. And here I thought that the AOL or IBM were the bad guys... Bob Dj.
TiM Ed. - P.S. We asked the above correspondent if he preferred to be identified in full, or just by the initials. He never responded. So we figured he didn't care either way. Bob Dj.
U.S.: EXCUSE ME, BUT WHAT IS "SPAM?"
PHOENIX - What is "Spam"? Is it an acronym for something? I'm behind the times on this one... Thanks.
A U.S. state
U.S.:ESTABLISHMENT MEDIA VS. MICROSOFT, GATES?
SAN JOSE, California - Have you been watching the fireworks surrounding WebTV? A grass-roots multi-level marketing company called FutureNet was recently attacked by the FTC for alleged marketing abuses, and was shut down until it complied with FTC orders. What's significant is that FutureNet is Microsoft's main MLM marketer for WebTV.
A friend of mine has joined FutureNet and tells me all sorts of stories about the establishment media being apoplectic about WebTV replacing "trustworthy" network reporting with Internet "conspiracy" reporting. In particular, the good people at ABC are regularly attacking WebTV and its Internet subversion of "normal" television reporting.
My friend says the WebTVs are selling briskly and that kids who formerly spent countless hours watching the "boob tube" now spend most of their time on the Internet.
TiM Ed. So it looks like more than just the "banksters" among the establishment organizations, as another reader put it, are ganging up on Microsoft/Gates. The media seem to be doing it, too. And as of Monday (May 18), add also the federal government - the "banksters'" and Big Business' proxies. That's when the Justice Department, along attorneys general of a number of states, are expected to file a massive antitrust case against Microsoft.
Guess there are at least two lessons Microsoft/Bill Gates failed to learn from IBM, which fought off three major federal antitrust cases between 1932 and 1982. First, if you're breaking the law, keep your head down, and above all - don't shout! Second, hire a bunch of former government officials and/or lawyers for your Board. The latter lesson was evidently not lost on Netscape, Microsoft's browser foe, which recently added Judge Bork to its legal team. Bob Dj.
U.S.: NATO SHOULD BE DISBANDED
FLORIDA - Just what we need ,To spend a few more billion down a rat hole! NATO should be disbanded not made bigger! ALL US TROOPS should be garrisoned on US soil.
WE DON'T NEED an election; we need a 2nd American revolution back to our original constitution.
Dr. J.W., USAF (ret.)
FloridaU.S.: A SHARPLY-HONED TRUTH DAGGER
DALLAS, Texas - This article was a tremendously excellent piece of "melding" of factual information and quotations into a VERY sharply-honed dagger of TRUTH that any sane far-seeing individual can weld in the much needed battle against the "military industrial complex!" IF they only would!
Keep it up, Bob, and soon even the ordinary man in the street is going to pay heed to your words of warning!
Dr. Gene Vedder
TexasU.S.: A REAL HUMDINGER!
WASHINGTON, DC - This was a real humdinger!
E.P., media editor
Also, check out other TiM READERS' FORUMS... April 1998, May 1998, Part I, May 1998, Part II, June 1998, July 1998, August 1998, September 1998, October 1998, November 1998, December 1998, Part I, December 1998, Part II