The NSA Continues to Damage America

This is the kind of argument that even an idiot neocon can understand.

The Chinese government is reviewing whether domestic banks’ reliance on high-end servers from International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) compromises the nation’s financial security, people familiar with the matter said, in an escalation of the dispute with the U.S. over spying claims.

Government agencies, including the People’s Bank of China and the Ministry of Finance, are asking banks to remove the IBM servers and replace them with a local brand as part of a trial program, said the four people, who asked not to be identified because the review hasn’t been made public.

The review comes a week after American prosecutors indicted five Chinese military officers for allegedly hacking into the computers of U.S. companies and stealing secrets, while former contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations last June of a National Security Agency spying program already hurt U.S. technology sales in China. Last week, China’s government said it will vet technology companies operating in the country, while the Financial Times reported May 25 that China ordered state-owned companies to cut ties with U.S. consulting firms.

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2 weeks till a getaway

Off to Rome and Sorrento again, again with brother- and sister-in-law. This time we’ll stay here and here: , for the 5th time.,A,A|A,A&in=2014-6-6&out=2014-6-10&coupon= for the 2nd time. The best area in Rome, walking distance to the ancient sites. Reasonable price as well…


Villagio’s are great. Prefab bungalows with full kitchens, for a relative pittance. This one’s basically built in a fruit grove, tons of flowers and not a sound from a car, Close to the train to visit Pompeii, Naples, etc., with a great pizzeria, a supermarket, and a culinary school within 20 meters. Nothing luxurious, but highly recommended.


I’m often asked if I miss the states. Sorry folks, I don’t. 5 days of culture and natural beauty for a pittance, only 2 hours away. Compared to living in L.A. or NYC – and 2 weeks vacation if I could dare to take them…


Fuck it. I made more money in the US but lived FAAAAAAAAR worse.

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The truth about privatization

You know, that neolib mantra – keep the gubmint out…


I’ve long railed against privatization based on theory, but this article puts things into a reality-based perspective:


It seems that I’d overlooked the corruption angle about privatization, and limited my criticism to the false comparison of “flabby bureaucracy” vs. the inherent flabbiness fostered by the profit margin. Obviously it goes a lot further.

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