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Facebook UnlikeSo many people ask me to “like” them on Facebook. When I am asked this I cringe… I just “don’t do Facebook.”

I know many feel it’s a great social platform and they use it to communicate their businesses and social networking causes… After all, statistics show that Facebook is the largest online social networking site.

I used to use Facebook, at least for a couple of years, but I bailed out, haven’t looked back and I really don’t regret it.

The reason why I don’t like Facebook (and subsequently dumped it) was due to a multitude of reasons…

One: People, close to you, get carried away, there’s too much drama and color. They tell everything – what they ate, what their kid did in the toilet, where they are going, they engage in colorful online disagreements, etc. I really don’t care to know what they are doing all the time or want to be part of the negativity in their lives. I know some people love that stuff – I don’t.

Two: I enjoyed, initially, hooking up with people that I hadn’t seen in ages, like people from high school; it was kinda cool. Then, I started to realize after a time, I really wasn’t friends with them in school – I didn’t really know them then and I don’t really know them now – it was all so false. Seemed people were grappling for NUMBERS – how many people followed them. So, I guess, the second thing I didn’t like was all the falseness and there seemed an abundance of it – from everyone!

Three: I began to realize how much PERSONAL information was being pumped into Facebook and I read stories and articles about how government agencies (and other undesirables) were using Facebook as a data mining site. That didn’t sit well with me and I certainly didn’t want to be part of the party. That actually sealed my decision to abort…

But, maybe it was also due to age…

I’m not afraid to admit it!small facesmall face

Some more Facebook statistics shows that the average Facebook user is between the ages of 35-44 years of age and I left 44 in the dust some time ago…

Anyways, nowadays, when I tell people I “don’t do Facebook” it’s like a social faux pas…

People act shocked or dismayed; they plead with me to reconsider; they delete me on other social platforms. Over Facebook! Get REAL!!

I’ve lost friends, both virtual and real, because I “don’t do Facebook.” I find that totally unbelievable…

But I really don’t care. I don’t like Facebook and even though I politely tell them so, they don’t know how to graciously accept it.

So I ask, as apparently I do not know how…

How does one politely tell someone that you “don’t do Facebook“?

And, even more so, how does one do so, so that the other person does not go off in a huff, personally offended as it is, just because you don’t?

It’s a mystery to me but, obviously, people take their Facebook very seriously…

Seductive Facebook

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pcwscreensavI often sit on my back porch, weather permitting, and watch the overhead night sky.

What I look for, in particular, are these rapidly moving lights that look like stars, but are not stars and are not planes and are not satellites. I call them flying stars.

I know they are not planes because planes have distinctive lights and do not fly that high.

I know they are not satellites because I use a satellite map and satellites are never in the area that I see these flying stars.

And I know they are not stars because, well, stars don’t really fly.

Unfortunately, I don’t see them all the time.

Some nights I might see one or other nights, a few. Many nights, none at all.

Sometimes they are really faint and other times they are quite bright.

Regardless, they fascinate me because I believe they are not of this world.

They move too fast and are too high up in the atmosphere.

If they are terrestrial-based then there are quite a few secrets being kept from us.

Their paths are never quite straight though they tend to go from east to west or north to south.

Sometimes they just stop… And then suddenly, start moving again.

I find them totally fascinating and practically break my neck watching them.

And I wonder what they really are…

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toothpasteMany people typically go to the store and purchase toothpaste to brush their teeth. They do this because their dentist, and their parents, have told them that this is what they should do to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Well, they are all wrong! I started questioning this as I read different articles and studies and you should do same…

Almost all toothpastes now contain fluoride, which is a product chemically created in labs. Fluoride was initially pushed on the public over 60 years ago, with shoddy testing and clever marketing, by ALCOA (Aluminum Company of America) as a way to make money on an aluminum WASTE byproduct.

We have always been told, and it has been advertised, that fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay but recent studies have found that fluoride in toothpaste can lead to poisoning, tooth deformities, rashes, and elevated glucose and insulin levels.

Gerard F. Judd, Ph.D., a researcher and chemist in the fluoride industry, wrote books and letters advising people that fluoride was a “severe biological poison” and that glycerin in toothpaste sticks to teeth and does not allow teeth to properly re-enamelize.

Typical corporate misguidance! UGH!

Well, YOU can do something about it! Empowerment, YEAH!

First, STOP BUYING TOOTHPASTE! Second, make your own healthier alternative! It is simple, fairly cheap and only takes a few minutes of your time to make!

Here’s the shopping list:

Coconut oil – refined if you do not like the taste, unrefined if you do

Baking soda

Hydrogen peroxide

Oil – peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, whatever – as long as it is for human consumption and you like the taste

Some people add Stevia (I do not)

All told, initially, you’ll spend upwards of $15 US dollars but all the products will last for at least a year OR more.

~~~~~~

coconut toothpaste

Basic recipe

Get an adequate size mixing bowl, measuring spoons and wire whisk and/or spoon

Measure and mix equal amounts of baking soda to coconut oil (I’ll leave the amounts to you depending on the size of container you will store the finished product in)

Add a SPLASH of hydrogen peroxide (You do not want to go crazy with the hydro peroxide! You want enough to get the whitening power but not enough to strip your teeth)

Add drops of your flavoring to taste (I mean to your taste. I taste mine as I go. Sometimes I add more; sometimes less. I actually dip my finger in the mixture and TASTE it)

Make sure it is thoroughly blended and then scoop it and store it in an airtight container.

If you make a big batch for the family give each member their OWN container. You’ll be dipping your toothbrush in that container so  you can see the need…

~~~~~~

Why coconut oil? Because it has been shown to stop tooth decay. And I’ll provide a PERSONAL example of PROOF.

I had a tooth, number 7, that showed decay and was scheduled for root canal work. Fortunately a year went by before the root canal work was scheduled.

During that time I had been religiously brushing my teeth with my coconut oil-based toothpaste PLUS had been consuming coconut oil in various ways.

I finally went to the endodonist for a scheduled root canal appointment; they took x-rays.

The doctor was AMAZED that the decay in tooth number 7 had COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED. She commented that she had never seen that before.

I remarked that it was probably because I did not use toothpaste and she asked me to explain.

I told her about my coconut oil-based toothpaste and how I felt that it healed the decay; she CONCURRED!

She stated that she was aware of the healing properties of coconut oil and agreed that it LIKELY cleared up the decay in the tooth.

WOW! How about that! That’s as real as it gets!

Before I started on my coconut oil-based toothpaste I discussed it with my dentist. She had no problem with me using it and stated, at that time, that she felt it was a HEALTHIER ALTERNATIVE to toothpaste.

At a follow-up appointment with the dentist, she confided in me that she had been doing more reading on coconut oil and had even been swishing the oil in her mouth (oil pulling) and how it made her mouth feel fresher and her teeth cleaner.

She also stated she had personal concerns about fluoride but she felt that, because of her profession, she needed to keep her opinions to herself…

So what do you think so far? Ready to ditch that poison you have been spreading on your toothbrush every day??

There’s plenty of information on the health benefits of coconut oil to be found on the Internet. There are also plenty of websites that offer recipes on coconut oil-based toothpastes so do some exploring…

Now EMPOWER YOURSELF!

Toss that poison in the trash and don’t look back!

Your teeth and gums will thank you for it!

teeth

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I think it is important that we continue to draw attention to Wikileaks and the fact that U.S. and Icelandic governments have been spying on their activities.

Why should we continue to draw attention to them? Because Wikileaks, a non-profit organization, provides the world with documents, videos, and other releases of information that demonstrate and show us the corrupt activities occurring around the world everyday by the very officials we are supposed to trust.

These same officials have incited violence and created terrorism where those things did not exist before. They intimidate and terrorize the poor to pilfer their resources, and hire mercenary armies to kill and maim the innocent. They use weapons of mass destruction. These “officials” are the true scum of the earth and they serve in the military, hold political office, and work in commercial businesses.

I will continue to support Wikileaks and I hope that you will too. The information that their group makes available to the world is important and helps in the crusade against injustice, at the very least.

So as Vice-Presiden Biden would say, “This is a big fucking deal” so jump off the apathy wagon and listen up. It’s time to spread the word about Wikileaks and let the world know that there are a couple of countries who are acting like big fat godfathers by sending their fucking “hit men” out to harass and threaten them.

EDITORIAL:U.S. must stop spying on WikiLeaks

Fri Mar 26 08:44:46 UTC 2010

Over the last few years, WikiLeaks has been the subject of hostile acts by security organizations. In the developing world, these range from the appalling assassination of two related human rights lawyers in Nairobi last March (an armed attack on my compound there in 2007 is still unattributed) to an unsuccessful mass attack by Chinese computers on our servers in Stockholm, after we published photos of murders in Tibet. In the West this has ranged from the overt, the head of Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the BND, threatening to prosecute us unless we removed a report on CIA activity in Kosovo, to the covert, to an ambush by a “James Bond” character in a Luxembourg car park, an event that ended with a mere “we think it would be in your interest to…”.

Developing world violence aside, we’ve become used to the level of security service interest in us and have established procedures to ignore that interest.

But the increase in surveillance activities this last month, in a time when we are barely publishing due to fundraising, are excessive. Some of the new interest is related to a film exposing a U.S. massacre we will release at the U.S. National Press Club on April 5.

The spying includes attempted covert following, photographing, filming and the overt detention & questioning of a WikiLeaks’ volunteer in Iceland on Monday night.

I, and others were in Iceland to advise Icelandic parliamentarians on the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, a new package of laws designed to protect investigative journalists and internet services from spying and censorship. As such, the spying has an extra poignancy.

The possible triggers:

  • our ongoing work on a classified film revealing civilian casualties occurring under the command of the U.S, general, David Petraeus.
  • our release of a classified 32 page US intelligence report on how to fatally marginalize WikiLeaks (expose our sources, destroy our reputation for integrity, hack us).
  • our release of a classified cable from the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik reporting on contact between the U.S. and the U.K. over billions of euros in claimed loan guarantees.
  • pending releases related to the collapse of the Icelandic banks and Icelandic “oligarchs”.

We have discovered half a dozen attempts at covert surveillance in Reykjavik both by native English speakers and Icelanders. On the occasions where these individuals were approached, they ran away. One had marked police equipment and the license plates for another suspicious vehicle track back to the Icelandic private VIP bodyguard firm Terr. What does that mean? We don’t know. But as you will see, other events are clear.

U.S. sources told Icelandic state media’s deputy head of news, that the State Department was aggressively investigating a leak from the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik. I was seen at a private U.S Embassy party at the Ambassador’s residence, late last year and it is known I had contact with Embassy staff, after.

On Thursday March 18, 2010, I took the 2.15 PM flight out of Reykjavik to Copenhagen–on the way to speak at the SKUP investigative journalism conference in Norway. After receiving a tip, we obtained airline records for the flight concerned. Two individuals, recorded as brandishing diplomatic credentials checked in for my flight at 12:03 and 12:06 under the name of “US State Department”. The two are not recorded as having any luggage.

Iceland doesn’t have a separate security service. It folds its intelligence function into its police forces, leading to an uneasy overlap of policing and intelligence functions and values.

On Monday 22, March, at approximately 8.30pm, a WikiLeaks volunteer, a minor, was detained by Icelandic police on a wholly insignificant matter. Police then took the opportunity to hold the youth over night, without charge–a highly unusual act in Iceland. The next day, during the course of interrogation, the volunteer was shown covert photos of me outside the Reykjavik restaurant “Icelandic Fish & Chips”, where a WikiLeaks production meeting took place on Wednesday March 17–the day before individuals operating under the name of the U.S. State Department boarded my flight to Copenhagen.

Our production meeting used a discreet, closed, backroom, because we were working on the analysis of a classified U.S. military video showing civilian kills by U.S. pilots. During the interrogation, a specific reference was made by police to the video—which could not have been understood from that day’s exterior surveillance alone. Another specific reference was made to “important”, but unnamed Icelandic figures. References were also made to the names of two senior journalists at the production meeting.

Who are the Icelandic security services loyal to in their values? The new government of April 2009, the old pro-Iraq war government of the Independence party, or perhaps to their personal relationships with peers from another country who have them on a permanent intelligence information drip?

Only a few years ago, Icelandic airspace was used for CIA rendition flights. Why did the CIA think that this was acceptable? In a classified U.S. profile on the former Icelandic Ambassador to the United States, obtained by WikiLeaks, the Ambassador is praised for helping to quell publicity of the CIA’s activities.

Often when a bold new government arises, bureaucratic institutions remain loyal to the old regime and it can take time to change the guard. Former regime loyalists must be discovered, dissuaded and removed. But for the security services, that first vital step, discovery, is awry. Congenitally scared of the light, such services hide their activities; if it is not known what security services are doing, then it is surely impossible to know who they are doing it for.

Our plans to release the video on April 5 proceed.

We have asked relevant authorities in the Unites States and Iceland to explain. If these countries are to be treated as legitimate states, they need to start obeying the rule of law. Now.

—Julian Assange (editor@wikileaks.org)

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From WOAI/San Antonio

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — In the California where Joe Stack started out as a fresh-from-college software engineer, fighting the tax man was, quite literally, a religion.

Back in the 1970s and ’80s, California was not just the center of the “silicon revolution.” The Golden State was also a teeming hive of anti-government activity, much of it aimed at the federal income tax code and the agency that enforced it — the Internal Revenue Service.

Tax protesters and self-styled patriots railed against exemptions granted to religious organizations, the Catholic Church in particular. They formed their own “churches” and invited others to join.

“It sounds like he went down that same path,” said Dennis Riness, who did time in federal prison for running a church-styled tax shelter. “And ran into the same brick wall.”

Riness and most others gave up the fight. It seems Joe Stack could not, unable to let go of his hatred for a system that he felt enslaved him. After two decades of financial setbacks and professional disappointments, facing an audit in a down economy, Stack decided to strike back.

In an angry letter that rambles on for 3,000 words, the 53-year-old Stack set out his grievances, attributing his failures to everything from the dot-com bust to the “911 nightmare.” He traced the beginnings of his problems with the government back 24 years and an obscure change in the Internal Revenue Code affecting software professionals.

“It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isn’t limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants,” Stack wrote. “I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after. But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure (sic) nothing will change.”

He posted his manifesto on the Web site of his business last Thursday morning. A short time later, his house 20 minutes north of the Texas Capitol was ablaze. He was behind the controls of his single-engine Piper PA-28: “Going southbound, sir,” he radioed the airport tower. “Have a great day.”

Impact with the black-glass office building that houses offices of the IRS came moments later. Miraculously, the crash that consumed Stack killed only one other victim — Vernon Hunter, 68, a Vietnam veteran and father of six who worked for nearly 30 years at the IRS. Ken Hunter said if Stack had come in and talked to his father, he would have done his best to help.

“My dad didn’t write the tax law,” he said. “Nobody in that building wrote the tax law.”

But Stack wasn’t looking for help. Like Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, he hoped his suicidal flight would become “a catalyst” for fundamental change, said JJ MacNab, who has studied tax protesters for a decade.

“McVeigh wasn’t willing to die,” said MacNab, a Maryland-based insurance analyst. “This guy was.”

___

There’s no doubt that Andrew Joseph Stack III had his share of misery.

He told his daughter he was an orphan at age 4, when both his parents died in an auto accident, and was separated from his two brothers and sister, spending at least part of his childhood in a Catholic orphanage.

Eventually, he and little brother Harry were shipped off to the Milton Hershey School, an institution for orphaned boys founded by the Pennsylvania chocolate magnate and his wife. In college, Stack went through stints during which he survived on peanut butter and bread — “or Ritz crackers when I could afford to splurge.”

Yet he also had advantages that others did not.

At Hershey, where he was known as Andy, Stack had it better than most of his schoolmates. Because he was in glee club and lived in one of the “musical homes,” he was exempt from working the morning milkings in the school dairy barns, said former classmate Mike Macchioni.

And, like all Hershey students, Stack would have left the school in 1974 with a suitcase filled with new clothes, $100 in cash and the promise of financial help for college, Macchioni said. He attended Harrisburg Area Community College from 1975-77 but did not graduate, said school spokesman Patrick M. Early.

Brilliant by all accounts, hot-tempered by some, Stack headed for California in the early 1980s to make his fortune in computers. It was then, he wrote, that he got his “introduction to the real American nightmare.”

In 1985, Stack incorporated Prowess Engineering Inc. in Corona, Calif. Papers list Stack as chief executive and financial officer, and wife first Ginger as secretary and co-director.

Around this time, the budding entrepreneur had developed some kind of beef with the IRS. According to his suicide letter, some friends introduced Stack to “a group of people who were having ‘tax code’ readings and discussions.”

In those days, they weren’t hard to find.

Groups such as Your Heritage Protection Association and the Church of Christ, led by disbarred attorney William Drexler, were holding forth to packed rooms, preaching the gospel of hard currency and the unconstitutionality of the tax code.

“We carefully studied the law (with the help of some of the ‘best’, high-paid, experienced tax lawyers in the business),” Stack wrote, “and then began to do exactly what the ‘big boys’ were doing (except that we weren’t steeling (sic) from our congregation or lying to the government about our massive profits in the name of God).”

That passage rings familiar to Riness. In 1978, he and partner Michael S. McGinnis founded the tax-protest group “TEA, an Association of Twentieth Century Patriots” — which claimed up to 4,000 members. The pair joined up with the Universal Life Church in Modesto, Calif., and formed their own denomination, the Church of Universal Harmony, selling church charters for up to $1,500 apiece.

MacNab is convinced after reading his manifesto that Stack likely started his own “home church.” He wrote that he and his friends were very careful to “make it all visible, following all of the rules, exactly the way the law said it was to be done.”

“The intent of this exercise and our efforts was to bring about a much-needed re-evaluation of the laws that allow the monsters of organized religion to make such a mockery of people who earn an honest living,” Stack wrote.

Riness said that’s exactly what he was hoping to achieve with the Church of Universal Harmony: “I thought that the worst thing that would happen is that if we got so big and others got big, the code would change and they would take away tax breaks to churches,” he said.

Both men would learn that wasn’t the worst possible outcome.

According to Stack’s letter, this “little lesson in patriotism cost me $40,000+, 10 years of my life, and set my retirement plans back to 0.” Riness lost more than just money. In 1986, he pleaded guilty in federal court to tax fraud. That October, he was sentenced to 13 months in prison, fined $5,000 and ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service.

Something else happened in 1986 that would gnaw at Stack for the rest of his life. Section 1706 of the federal tax code was changed in a way that essentially forced technology consultants — designers, programmers, systems analysts or, like Stack, software engineers — to be classified as employees rather than as self-employed workers, depriving them of certain tax deductions.

“(T)hey could only have been more blunt if they would have came out and directly declared me a criminal and non-citizen slave,” Stack wrote.

Stack dedicated himself to the “campaign against this atrocity.” By his own account, he spent nearly $5,000 and “at least 1000 hours of my time writing, printing, and mailing to any senator, congressman, governor, or slug that might listen; none did, and they universally treated me as if I was wasting their time.”

Stack’s first documented run-in with revenue officials appears to have come in 1994, when he failed to file a state tax return. The California Franchise Tax Board eventually suspended Prowess in 2000.

In 1995, Stack started Software Systems Service Corp. in Lincoln, Calif. But that company, too, was suspended in 2004 because Stack failed to pay $1,153 in state taxes, board spokeswoman Denise Azimi said.

In March 1998, Ginger Stack filed for divorce. The following year, just two months after the divorce was finalized, she filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing IRS liabilities totaling nearly $126,000. Although much of that debt was from 1993, when the couple were still married, Joe Stack was not included in the filing.

Despite his financial ups and downs, Stack did well enough to indulge his interest in flying. He obtained his first pilot’s license in 1994 and had owned a costly Velocity Elite XL-RG plane in addition to the Piper.

But he complained that most of his business dried up after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks — when “Government came to the aid of the airlines with billions of our tax dollars” and “left me to rot and die while they bailed out their rich, incompetent cronies WITH MY MONEY!”

He decided to relocate to Texas, airplane mechanic Dave Page recalls, because he liked the Lone Star State’s “tax structure.”

___

Stack landed in Austin, the state’s capital city and a hotbed of technology companies. In 2003, he started a company called Embedded Art that he described as a “small independent software house, specializing in process control and automation.”

But Stack found Austin a place “with a highly inflated sense of self-importance and where damn little real engineering work is done. I’ve never experienced such a hard time finding work.”

Friends said they saw no signs of that simmering rage. A bass guitarist and an above-average keyboard player, Stack blended right into Austin’s rich music scene. He teamed up with other musicians to form Last Straw, a jazz-blues-rock ensemble. Lead singer Simone Wensink thinks Stack might even have been the one who came up with the band’s now-ironic name.

“I felt like totally safe with this man,” said Wensink, who once flew in Stack’s plane to New Mexico.

In May 2007, with nearly $225,000 in bank loans, Stack bought a two-story, 2,500-square-foot brick house in a tree-shaded Austin subdivision. Two months later, he married the former Sheryl Housh, a piano instructor with a daughter from a previous marriage.

His anger, however, continued to build. Court records indicate he was employed as recently as last year as a software engineer for DAC International, an Austin-based aerospace engineering, manufacturing and marketing firm. As part of a corporate bankruptcy filing, Stack submitted claims for $1,238 he said he was owed in back pay from March 2009 and accrued vacation time.

He claims to have started his letter “many months ago” as a kind of “therapy,” but reached a tipping point last week.

Police say Sheryl Stack took her 12-year-old daughter to a hotel Wednesday night following an argument with her husband. The family’s accountant confirmed Saturday that the Stacks were in the midst of an audit for reportedly failing to report income.

“I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different,” Stack wrote. “I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.”

___

Associated Press writers Jim Vertuno in Austin, Danny Robbins in Dallas, Juliet Williams in Sacramento, Calif., and Ian MacDougall in Oslo, Norway, contributed to this report.

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By Anthony Fenton

VANCOUVER, Canada, Feb 19, 2010 (IPS) – Critics are concerned that private military contractors are positioning themselves at the centre of an emerging “shock doctrine” for earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Next month, a prominent umbrella organisation for private military and logistic corporations, the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA), is co-organising a “Haiti summit” which aims to bring together “leading officials” for “private consultations with attending contractors and investors” in Miami, Florida.

HAITI: Private Contractors ‘Like Vultures Coming to Grab the Loot’ – IPS ipsnews.net

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