DIRTY MONEY AND FILTHY ABUSE

*Warning: Very Cynical Post Alert*

One of the hardest parts of this Great Recession isn’t just the job losses, the building stress on the Middle Class in the West, or even the subterranean, reptilian depths some pundits will sink to in an effort to generate ratings (thus fending off the advertising crisis… seriously, is there any sector left that isn’t in a ‘crisis’ now?).

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No, the hardest part is how, in spite of all the pain the Middle Class and below must absorb during this time, those who actually screwed us are getting away with it. Not only are average Americans footing the bill for an elite subculture’s mistakes, but those who made this monumental Ponzi scheme happen are getting more powerful because of it. And even this guy, try as he might, can’t stop all this from happening, because if he really lets this phony economy of ours run its course and self-immolate like it should, the consequences for him and the American public would be infinitely worse than the current reality.

You have every right and incentive to be angry. It’s almost literary in scale the injustice and misery being forced on average Americans now. And you wonder why Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are being touted as the future of news? Because you — yes you, the unemployed labourer now back with your parents because your bank foreclosed on your house in a south Floridian, overdeveloped condo park, along with millions of your fellow unemployed folks — have every right to be deeply and unapologetically cynical now about democracy in America. Justice? Fairness? I mean, that never really existed in Western democracies before this Great Recession, but at least there was some visual/tactile pretense of it existing.

Now, it’s out in the open: government is helpless to protect you from abuses of power. Thanks globalization!

So on that happy note…

* Last.FM is now going to be charging for access to people not living in Germany, the U.K. or the U.S. Guess that means us Canadians are just going to abandon it then (see Pandora).
* China’s getting mighty uppity now about YouTube. Ah, The Great Firewall of China at work.
* SmartPhones are apparently the new communication tool of choice for criminals (well, at least the BlackBerry which runs its own messaging services) in Canada. Funny how what started as a business tool eventually ended up becoming a tool for crime too (just the natural evolution of things in a lot of areas).

ALL OBAMA, ALL THE TIME

Apologies for the lack of posts the past few days; it’s been a bit crazy at work and I’ve been occupied with a few other tasks. In the spirit of renewal that is 2009, I’ve been working out now five days a week and significantly changed my diet. I’m thinner now than I’ve been since Queen’s.

I know I’ve said on this blog before about losing weight – it only gets harder as you get older to stick with it and to make it happen in its entirety. That being said, it’s kind of important for this to work this time. There’s too much at stake for it not to.

Anyway, enough about me. In the post-Inauguration glow, it’s quite honestly All Obama, All The Time now on every MSM outlet everywhere. Even Anderson Cooper seems to have fallen in love with Obama and his family. Some noteworthy stories today:
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* It’s pretty cool that President Obama is a tech-savvy President, for he really made excellent use of his web site and social networking tools during his election run. Now he gets to keep his BlackBerry, which is likely armed to the teeth with encryption and security features us ordinary folks will never, ever get our hands on.
* The Inauguration featured the highest level of online video consumption ever. Looks like it may be time for Akamai to increase capacity, no?
* Obama’s using the Web to pledge openness and accountability in government. He’s posting legislation online for feedback from the public and the White House’s URL has been given a snazzy new look. So, um, wouldn’t suppose the Prime Minister here might consider this? Oh wait, that’s *never* going to happen.

MICROSOFT: It’s not easy these days going onto news sites and seeing non-stop bad news about the economy (although the non-stop negativity isn’t reversing the situation either, IMO). Still, when Microsoft – the lone voice of the PC-Is-Rad Mantra – is cutting 5,000 jobs because of the economic woes in the U.S., all you can do is just shake your head and do some deep breathing. I’m not sure what else will change this trend, save for Obama’s economic stimulus package (which will take at least six months to work its way into the system to encourage credit flowing again).