On May 24 the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released the “Your Better Life Index,” a customizable tool to rank countries around the world according to your personal standards of living. While several other similar ‘happiness indexes’ exist to evaluate countries beyond their GDP, this is the first one based on personal preference.

Soon after North Korea released its own world happiness index. Personal preferences are also heavily reflected in this ranking—that is, the preferences of whichever loyal government official threw the list together.

The top five are as follows:
1: China (100 pts)
2: North Korea (98 pts)
3: Cuba (93 pts)
4: Iran (88 pts)
5: Venezuela (85 pts)

Surprisingly, North Korea had the humility to concede the throne to China, albeit by quite a narrow margin.

It is unclear what the basis is for the point system, though given the ranking we can likely infer that it’s a mix of government censorship and degree to which the dictator abhors the West. Incidentally, South Korea ranked in at #152 with 18 points, and the mighty USA fell dead last at #203 with a whopping 3 points.

Of course, North Korea isn’t going to put itself at #2 out of 203 countries without valid reason: “Our country provides free housing, all necessary supplies for daily life including food and clothing, and free medical care. And, since the people are provided with work by the government, there is no fear of unemployment.”

Ah, yes. North Korea: a land of abundant food, equality down to the thread, government-provided housing and sweeping health care.

This ranking was published just in time to overlap with Kim Jong-il’s visit to China, so perhaps North Korea put itself at #2 as a sign of deference. However, a measly two point lead on a nonsensical list will probably only serve to put off the Chinese, and once again make North Korea look like a stubborn child begging for attention in a room full of busy adults.
Source: 捜房網, 捜房網 (Chinese)


How do we become a collectivist nation?   We must face a tremendous crisis that "forces" the government to step in and take over.   A Great Depression gave FDR the excuse to grow the government tremendously without having any positive effect on the economy.  It took a world war to get the factories humming, put lots of women to work and also trim down the number of potential workers so that the debt-driven burgeoning economy would have jobs for the surviving soldiers.   FDR's programs did nothing but harm.   WWII helped jumpstart the American economy and, at that time, Truman and Eisenhower should have determined to balance the Federal budget and torn down much of the big government infrastructure erected by Roosevelt.   But, alas, that didn't happen.  So here we are:

A Few Numbers Portending the End of the American Dream

"By Michael Fumento

  • $38 billion: The amount to be cut from this year's federal budget, with much hooping and hollering by Congress and which Pres. Obama declared "painful."
  • $1.5 trillion: This year's projected deficit.
  • 2.5 percent: The fraction of the projected deficit that cut reduces.
  • $36 billion: Monthly interest on national debt this fiscal year (March 2010 through March 2011).
  • $139 billion: Monthly increase in national debt from March 2010 to March 2011.

Yes, we basically paid a month's interest.

We are a spendaholic people who feel entitled; which is why fully half of the budget goes to entitlements. We will not pay for that which we buy, and are greatly offended at the suggestion that we should. We will not change.

An effort to propagandize our way out of the Great Depression - the FIRST one -

Nero fiddled. We play Angry Birds, collect from Facebook "friends" we never heard of, and tweet about our latest bowel movements. Pathological narcissism has become the norm, and we have become a nation of electronic addicts like something out of Brave New World.

Says one of the few who really gets it, Cong. Michael Grimm Michael Grimm (R.-NY), "We're in a financial crisis. If we don't have massive cuts, we will lose the American dream for future generations."

It's lost already. Time to reread The Grapes of Wrath on your ebook, Apple, or Droid - or read it for the first time. It's going to be hell.

April 10, 2011 05:33 PM

Facebook – self appointed arbiter of “free speech” – tells Tea Party no more organizing

"In what is an astonishing development, Mark Zuckerberg’s social media sensation, Facebook, has been slowly and quietly clamping down on the use of the site for political purposes. Kellen Giuda, an architect who started the NY Tea Party, has a column today in The Daily Caller to expose the Facebook hypocrisy, and to announce an alternative social medium to replace the FB void after a series of policy and site changes that are designed to limit the scope of use of Facebook related to political purposes.

What makes an American entrepreneur’s blood run cold is the quote from Facebook’s Adam Conner to the Wall Street Journal last month:
Meanwhile, Facebook is talking with potential Chinese partners about entering the huge China market, where the government has been cracking down on dissidents. That crackdown has come in response to the uprisings shaking authoritarian Middle Eastern regimes, movements that have used U.S.-based social-media sites like Facebook and Twitter as organizing tools.

“Maybe we will block content in some countries, but not others,” Adam Conner, a Facebook lobbyist, told the Journal. “We are occasionally held in uncomfortable positions because now we’re allowing too much, maybe, free speech in countries that haven’t experienced it before,” he said.

“Right now we’re studying and learning about China but have made no decisions about if, or how, we will approach it,” said Debbie Frost, Facebook’s director of international communications.
It’s chilling enough that a social medium that has played such a high profile role in political interaction decides that one country is “experienced” enough to be allowed free speech, and another isn’t. But considering Facebook’s attitude towards the Tea Party, this begs the question of Mr. Conner… just what part of America, and our founding based on free speech, requires nanny censorship by a self appointed arbiter?

Facebook isn’t foolish enough to outright lay on political censorship. As Guida points out, it’s been a series of steps that unmistakenly is aimed at political use of the medium. And he further suggests that the overt ties to liberal political beliefs may play a large part in thwarting Tea Party organization.
The company has changed the way Facebook’s group, newsfeed and event features work, and it has restricted the ability of users to communicate with people (via messages and wall posts) who are outside of their real-life social networks.

What’s more, it’s become clear that Facebook itself is dominated by liberals:
•98% of political donations from Facebook employees went to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.

•Chris Hughes, one of Facebook’s co-founders, headed up Barack Obama’s successful website during the 2008 campaign. In 2009, he was featured on the cover of Fast Company magazine as “The kid who made Obama president: how Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes unleashed Barack’s base — and changed politics and marketing forever.”
•Facebook’s former attorney for privacy issues, Chris Kelly, ran for attorney general of California in 2010 on a far-left platform.

Many Americans and Tea Party organizers are waking up to this liberal culture at Facebook, which was on display at the recent Facebook townhall where Barack Obama and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg fawned over each other.
And speaking of this new a’political philosphy, if Facebook is so all fired dedicated to free speech and staying away from politics, why the heck are they interviewing the POTUS on political issues, and livestreaming it on Facebook anyway?

And what happens to all those Congressional owned Facebook accounts? Aren’t they entirely political in nature? Or is it only “organizing” they seem to oppose?

What becomes more ironic about FB’s attempted control and tiptoe away from politics is the very political nature of both the company, and of Conner himself… who is one of Facebook’s lobbyists on staff. It was only last week that Facebook hired on two more lobbyists, both Republicans, to complement their two Democrat lobbyists, for more influence in Washington. Perhaps they see the writing on the wall for 2012, and an era that is likely to usher in even more conservatives to what has been an unhealthy Democrat balance for too many years.
Facebook now has four registered lobbyists. The new Republican hires join Democrats Tim Sparapani and Adam Conner. Facebook has 12 staffers in its Washington office, including administrative support.

“At Facebook, we’re committed to explaining how our service works; the important actions we take to protect the more than 500 million people who use our service; and the value of innovation to our economy,” spokesman Andrew Noyes said in a statement. “This work occurs daily in Washington, at the state level, and with policymakers around the world.”

The company spent $230,000 lobbying in the first quarter, according to a recent filing with the House clerk’s office.
Apparently the company is allowed to be political for their benefit, but they do not wish to offer that same freedom of content use to their subscribers…

Conner himself has anything but an a’political career.
Prior to Facebook, Adam was the Director of Online Communications for Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Chairwoman of the Rules Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. He previously served as the Deputy Director of Online Communications for Forward Together, the presidential exploratory committee for former Virginia Governor Mark Warner. Adam holds a bachelor’s degree in political communication from the George Washington University.
Additionally, it was Egypt’s Wael Ghonim, Google’s ME marketing guru and anonymous Facebook administrator, who is credited with driving the Egyptian “Arab Spring”.
Ghonim thought Facebook could be the ideal revolutionary tool in Egypt’s suffocating police state. “Once you are a fan, whatever we publish gets on your wall,” he wrote. “So the government has NO way to block it later. Unless they block Facebook completely.”
I wonder if Ghonim ever envisioned that it would not be a government that blocks content, but the Facebook execs themselves.

The hypocrisy of such back door censorship flies in the face of the Facebook executives actions themselves during that event, where it was reported they “..took unusual steps to protect the identity of protest leaders during the Egypt uprising.”Apparently, it is their policy to monitor, meddle and control with the content sniffs of politics. Or is this their idea of a self-imposed “fairness doctrine”?

Granted, Giuda’s own Daily Caller column is a blatant advertisement for his attempt at a political “Facebook” alternative, Freedom Torch. But considering how firmly entrenched FB is in today culture, and it’s now famous association with what many consider a political success for organizing both the US Tea Party movement and rebellions overseas, it’s going to have a serious uphill climb in replacing the vast audience Facebook has already captured.

Paraphrasing Dr. Johnny Fever’s infamous line in the old WKRP sitcom, “when you move the mission, you need to remember to tell the drunks”.There’s the potential that a lot of communication with political activists could be lost. It’s difficult to drive traffic for a political organizing cause to another social medium when the originating medium is making it difficult to convey that message to begin with.

Or is that Facebook’s intention?"

Dear readers, you should seriously work to inform yourself about the way government is working in this country today.   We have an administration in Washington that is determined to grow government and bring about a socialist state.   As the useless and costly TARPs failed, the administration has blocked American companies from taking gas and oil and coal resources out of the ground and using them to power our economy.   They are blocking atomic energy plants.   They continue to profess allegiance to a concept, Anthropic Global Warming, even though we now know it was built on lies, gamed charts and graphs and deliberate changes made to meterological reporting stations to artificially raise reported temperatures.   If you doubt this, just research a little bit:
I do hope that you decide to send emails and letters and faxes and phone calls to your legislators in Washington holding them personally accountable for the state of the economy and the kowtowing to Barack Obama's collectivist idealogy!   You should set up a howl of protest against the ludicrous energy policies of this present administration and the growth of government that is only challenged by the rise of cost of living driven by skyrocketing energy costs.  Then perhaps you should thank any of your local legislators who have made Indiana a balanced budget state when other states are facing bankruptcy.   

PS - Thank you, Indiana State Senator Sue Landske!   Thanks also to Governor Daniels and the House and Senate members who did NOT run away to Illinois to live off of lobbyists rather than legislate.   Thanks for staying the course and balancing the budget!

Think on the idealogy of the candidates you vote in, even into local offices.   Today's County Commissioner could be tomorrow's candidate for Congress.   The State Senator you elect this time may well run for Governor a few years later.  If you are voting for a third party candidate you are throwing your vote away.   What good does it do to make a protest vote?  Do you think that the powers that be give a hoot?  They laugh at protest votes!   Vote for the candidate that repudiates Big Government if you can or against the candidate that associates himself with the present administration.    Because Barack Obama's kind of change takes away all hope!
Hat tip to Tom Semesky!