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Sarah Palin's image already appears on the newer nickels.

calendar   Tuesday - May 02, 2006

Banana Republic Theft

In our own backyard, the thieves are gathering together under Fidel Castro’s guidance to put the squeeze on gas and oil. Morales was elected President on a promise to nationalize the natural gas in Bolivia and now he’s delivering on that promise. Fortunately, the US doesn’t have a big natural gas interest in Bolivia so it probably won’t affect us much in the long run. However, it’s one more domino falling in the South American commie plot of Fidel ...

Bolivian President Seizes Gas Industry
Troops Deployed In Move to Block Foreign Influence
Tuesday, May 2, 2006

CARACAS, Venezuela (WASHINGTON POST)—Bolivian President Evo Morales seized control of the country’s natural gas industry Monday, sending soldiers to occupy fields that he contends private companies have plundered for years.

Morales said that unless foreign energy firms agreed to give Bolivia’s state oil company oversight of production and a majority of their revenue generated in Bolivia, the government would evict them from the fields.

“The time has come, the awaited day, a historic day in which Bolivia retakes absolute control of our natural resources,” Morales said during a televised speech from a gas field near the country’s southern border. “The looting by foreign companies has ended.”

Morales’s announcement was expected, but his deployment of troops to gas fields was a strong statement in a region where governments are moving to block outside influence, particularly from the United States, and exert more control over the energy industry. Venezuela recently voided drilling contracts with private companies at 32 oil fields, demanding new contracts that give the state oil company a 60 percent stake. Ecuador is finalizing a law that could limit excessive profits by foreign crude producers.

The developments in Bolivia were not expected to affect the U.S. energy market. Even in Bolivia, analysts played down the importance of the troop deployment, but they acknowledged the message Morales was trying to send.

We know what message he’s trying to send: they’re greedy and they want all the money while outside companies invest in equipment and drilling new wells.

Monday’s announcement coincided with May Day workers’ celebrations throughout the country. Morales had been under political pressure to announce the plan, which his backers consider a key to the success of his administration. He has said he plans to use increased state revenue from the takeover to fund social programs in South America’s poorest country.

Invest in social programs? My aching butt! How much do you want to bet that those “social programs” turn out to be new military hardware and a grand new palace for El Presidente? So who’s going to get hurt by all this?

Even though it recently reached oil independence, Brazil is the country that leans most heavily on Bolivia for natural gas. In the 1990s, the Brazilian government reinforced the country’s hydroelectric power grid with plants fueled by natural gas, and many of Brazil’s automobiles run on natural gas. About half of Brazil’s natural gas needs—520 million cubic feet daily—are supplied by Bolivia via a 2,000-mile pipeline financed mostly by Petrobras. In 2003, Petrobras discovered gas deposits within Brazil that some experts say could significantly ease demand, but tapping that gas could prove costly and difficult.

You guessed it. Brazil recently weaned itself off of foreign oil with an agressive energy plan (which we would do well to learn from) but now the Castro/OPEC conspiracy has Brazil over a barrel again. Now you know how international dirty games are played. Stay tuned for more. This will get much worse before it gets better. What will these tinpot dictators around the world do when the oil and gas run out? I’m sure they’ll find some other method of international blackmail so they can stay in the game.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 05/02/2006 at 11:20 AM   
Filed Under: • Corruption and GreedInternational •  
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calendar   Thursday - April 27, 2006

Full Circle

How many of you remember the last time OPEC had us over a barrel? I remember it all too well. At the time, I was working as a field electronics technician for Altec and my territory covered Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and half of Kentucky. I was on 24/7 emergency call and had to do a lot of driving to respond to emergencies with electronic equipment in hospitals, theatres, schools and government offices. I remember all too well the long lines, service stations closed and even a good deal of price gouging (that was later punished). Life was hell if you had to drive anywhere. I had no choice.

What have we (and our politicians) learned in the 33 years since then? Not a damn thing, it seems. We’ve come full circle. Our vehicles get no better gas mileage even though engines are more efficient because of all the anti-pollution devices snaking their way under the hood. Have we opened up new drilling in the US? Not a chance. Have we built new refineries? Nope. Have we built more nuclear power plants to reduce dependence on oil? Not on your life. No, the environmental freaks have silently managed to keep us in the same position we were in back in those evil days - over a barrel.

Our politicians aren’t helping one danged bit either. The Democrats want to raise taxes on the oil companies and the Republicans want to send all of us a $100 rebate check. Who do they think they’re kidding? This is an election year and they want our vote. If we have the technology to send men to the moon and roving scientific gizmos to Mars, why can’t we come up with a viable alternative to gasoline? At least drill for more oil in Alaska or wherever so we can ride this out while we do develop the technology that will enable us to thumb our noses at the Arabs and the Hugo Chavez’ of the world.

If we don’t do something we’ll just keep going in circles, round and round, lurching from one oil crisis to another at the whim of madmen. Just remember - people who drive around in circles never get anywhere other than back where they started from. That’s not pro-gress. It’s con-gress ...

imageimageThe 1973 Oil Crisis

The 1973 oil crisis began in earnest on October 17, 1973, when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC, consisting of the Arab members of OPEC plus Egypt and Syria) announced, as a result of the ongoing Yom Kippur War, that they would no longer ship petroleum to nations that had supported Israel in its conflict with Syria and Egypt (i.e., to the United States and its allies in Western Europe).

About the same time, OPEC members agreed to use their leverage over the world price-setting mechanism for oil in order to quadruple world oil prices, after attempts at negotiation with the “Seven Sisters” earlier in the month failed miserably. Due to the dependence of the industrialized world on OPEC oil, these price increases were dramatically inflationary to the economies of the targeted countries, while at the same time suppressive of economic activity.

At the height of the crisis in the United States, drivers of vehicles with odd numbered license plates were allowed to purchase gasoline only on odd-numbered days of the month, while drivers with even-numbers were limited to even-numbered days.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 04/27/2006 at 01:23 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsCorruption and Greed •  
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calendar   Wednesday - April 26, 2006

Levee Suit

I’m surprised it took nearly eight months before somebody got around to this. Our lawyers must be falling down on the job if it takes them this long to smell a lucrative lawsuit. My guess is the people were happy as long as FEMA money was flowing in but now that it’s drying up, it’s time to go to court. That’s the Amercian way, isn’t it?

Corps of Engineers Sued Over Katrina
April 25, 2006, 11:55 PM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP)—Five people whose homes were flooded during Hurricane Katrina sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday, accusing the agency of ignoring repeated warnings that a navigation channel it built would turn into a “hurricane highway.”

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New Orleans and several prominent trial lawyers from Louisiana, Florida and California are backing it.

“Today, my friends, the second battle of New Orleans has begun,” said Pierce O’Donnell, a Los Angeles lawyer, at a news conference outside federal court.

At issue is a 76-mile shipping channel built in the early 1960s as a short-cut to New Orleans. For years, environmentalists and others have blasted the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet because it has eroded enormous tracts of wetlands and increased the threat of flooding.

- More on this at NEWSDAY ...


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Posted by Ronald Reagan's Ghost   United States  on 04/26/2006 at 11:45 AM   
Filed Under: • Corruption and GreedJudges-Courts-Lawyers •  
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calendar   Sunday - April 23, 2006

Gas Pains

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Get the lowdown on prices in your area at GasBuddy.com. I just got back from feeding my Dodge RAM pick-em-up a full tank. Price at the pump $3.08, here in Eastern Pennsylvania. My beast has a 34-gallon tank. It took just over 32 gallons to satisfy it. Damage to my credit card: $99.32. Price gouging? Surely not.


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Posted by Ronald Reagan's Ghost   United States  on 04/23/2006 at 02:13 PM   
Filed Under: • Corruption and Greed •  
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calendar   Sunday - March 26, 2006

Discount Dukes

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Brian AdcockThe Scotland on Sunday


Blair Gave Honours For Loans

LONDON (TIMES)—A millionaire businessman has lifted the lid on how Labour is concealing money given by wealthy backers who are then nominated for peerages. Labour has raised up to £10m from donors but has hidden the payments because they were made as loans, which do not have to be declared. Three of the donors were put forward for peerages by Tony Blair last autumn.

The confidential loan arrangements have been revealed by Chai Patel, chief executive of the Priory healthcare group and a party supporter who has donated £100,000 to Labour. He discloses today that he was asked by a senior Labour fundraiser to provide an unsecured loan even though he was prepared to give a donation.

Within weeks of agreeing to the £1.5m loan, he was told he had been nominated by Blair for a peerage. He was advised by Labour officials that he did not have to disclose the loan. If he had given the money as a donation, it would have had to be declared to the Electoral Commission and published, so exposing Labour to a potential cash-for-honours controversy.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Patel said “there is clearly a history here and a reality of peerages for fundraising. The public has a right to be sceptical.” Patel, 51, said he might have been prepared to convert the loan into a donation at a later date, which means it would not be publicised until long after he had been awarded an honour. Labour introduced the loans scheme last year amid mounting criticism of party supporters being handed honours, including knighthoods and peerages, after giving donations.

- Read more about purchasing pereages at The Times ...

Tsk, tsk, Tony, Tony, Tony. Selling peerages for “loans” to the Labour Party? In America, we don’t do such tawdry things. No, over here we just sell an overnight stay in the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House to political donors. Maybe you chaps can work out a similar deal for #10 Downing, eh wot?

Here’s the full list of most of those who have stayed in the Lincoln Bedroom since President Bill Clinton took office, courtesy of The Associated Press. Some of the interesting names on the list are singer Barbra Streisand, catalogue retailer Lillian Vernon, playwright Neil Simon, film director and producer Steven Spielberg, former Chrysler chairman Lee Iaccoca, the Rev. Billy Graham, Apple Computer co-founder Steven Jobs, nutrition guru Dean Ornish, and, not least, actress Jane Fonda and her husband, CNN honcho Ted Turner.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 03/26/2006 at 05:28 PM   
Filed Under: • EUro-peonsCorruption and GreedPolitics •  
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calendar   Friday - March 10, 2006

Quote Of The Day

How can anybody say, with a straight face, “a billion just isn’t what it used to be”? It looks like all that outsourcing has helped India, which now has more billionaires than Japan. The Walton family totalled $75 billion. Wal-Mart had a good year. The Russians must have finally figured out capitalism - they’re now richer than the Arabs. In related news, I finally saved enough to buy a full tank of gas.

Forbes Reports Billionaire Boom
March 10, 2006
(BBC)

A worldwide economic boom has yielded a record number of dollar billionaires in the past year, according to Forbes. Their number rose by 15% to 793 with India taking the lead in Asia and new Russians lining up to fill the gap left by jailed Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Microsoft’s Bill Gates tops the list for the 12th year running, with a net worth of $50bn (£29bn).

The combined net worth of the 793 is $2.6 trillion and US billionaires account for just under half the amount. “A billion just isn’t what it used to be,” said Luisa Kroll, Forbes magazine’s associate editor, revealing the 20th annual list in New York.

According to the 2006 list:

* the youngest billionaire is a Lebanese woman, 22-year-old Hind Hariri, who inherited $1.4bn from her assassinated father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri

* India’s 23 billionaires have a combined net worth of $99bn, surpassing former Asian leader Japan’s 27 billionaires with their total worth of $67bn

* Russia’s 33 billionaires now have a combined wealth of $172bn, based largely on oil and gas prices, compared to a total of $68bn for oil-rich Saudi Arabia’s 11 billionaires.

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 03/10/2006 at 09:47 AM   
Filed Under: • Corruption and Greed •  
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calendar   Wednesday - March 01, 2006

CBS Is Sirius-ly Ticked At Stern

CBS is suing Howard Stern for fraud. In one corner we have a network that defrauded the entire American people with Rathergate and in the other corner we have a sleaze-mongering potato-head. Have you ever wished our courts could just lock up both parties in a lawsuit and throw away the key? This almost tops Anna Nicole Smith’s goldigging at the Supreme Court today.

Andy Warhol was wrong. Not everyone deserves fifteen minutes. Tick-tick-tick-tick ....

imageimageCBS Sues Stern For Fraud
Says radio personality used CBS airtime for his own financial benefit;
Stern counters that former boss has ‘vendetta.’

February 28, 2006: 5:33 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN)

CBS Radio says that Howard Stern was acting behind its back in his final months with the company, and intends to demonstrate that in court. In a suit filed Tuesday, the broadcaster alleges that Stern signed a secret agreement with Sirius Satellite Radio (Research) that would give him a payment of Sirius stocks worth over $200 million in January 2006 if he met subscriber targets.

CBS says Stern promoted Sirius in his final months with the company, in violation of his contract with the company. The lawsuit also says that Stern is keeping audio recordings that belong to CBS, a breach of contract. Stern responded by saying that CBS chief Les Moonves is pursuing a personal vendetta against him because the network’s radio fortunes have plunged since he left to join satellite radio.

“I’m offended. I really do think this is a personal vendetta. Les has had it in for me for a long time. I don’t deserve it,” Stern told a news conference. The New York Post reported the lawsuit would seek $500 million from Stern. The complaint was filed with the New York Supreme Court. The hugely popular Stern shocked the broadcasting world in October 2004 when he signed a five-year deal with Sirius reportedly valued at $500 million. In January, he began broadcasting on Sirius, where his locker room humor fills two entire channels.

He broadcast for CBS Radio until days before his switch and relentlessly spoke of that move as it neared. Stern was replaced by former Van Halen rock group lead singer David Lee Roth, whose ratings have paled in comparison, according to media reports. “They’re floundering,” Stern said, adding that talk of a suit was meant as a distraction from CBS Radio’s problems.

Stern said he had a meeting with Moonves and CBS Radio chief executive Joel Hollander about three weeks ago to discuss their complaints. “I said, ‘Les, what’s going on?”’ said Stern. “He said it’s nothing personal, it’s just business. But ... it is personal.” Stern’s move to Sirius, touted more than a year in advance, was seen as a bold bid by the fledgling satellite radio business to attract some of his millions of fans as paying subscribers.

Stern said his move garnered much media attention and CBS added to it, booking him for appearances on its news magazine show “60 Minutes” and “Late Show with David Letterman.” “I made them millions of dollars. If I was hurting them why did they keep me on the air for 14 months?” Stern said. “How can you have it both ways?”

He said he asked Moonves why he did not pull him off the air. “Les said, ‘I knew I could sue you later,”’ Stern said. Shares of CBS fell 1.3 percent on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday.

CBS shares fell on the stock market yesterday? Sirius shares took a nosedive a few weeks ago, not long after Stern went on air. Poetic justice at work, perhaps?


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 03/01/2006 at 11:40 AM   
Filed Under: • Corruption and GreedInsanityJudges-Courts-Lawyers •  
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calendar   Monday - February 27, 2006

End Of The Line

After ten years, more lawyers than you can count and one expensive trial after another, the Drama Of Greed comes to a close tomorrow. The rich ol’ sugar daddy kicked the bucket ten years ago and the battle between the Big Boobied Bimbo and the Old Boob’s Brat finally ends. Who will get the money and who will get the shaft? Place yer bets, ladies and gentlemen. The Supremes will wrap up this monetary quagmire tomorrow. Stay tuned ....

imageimageAnna Nicole Smith Drama Nears Its Supreme Finale
Feb. 27, 2006 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON (AZ CENTRAL)

The decade-long saga of former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith, her late tycoon husband, his adult son and a multimillion-dollar inheritance will be argued at the Supreme Court on Tuesday. What otherwise would be a dreary probate dispute testing federal and state court jurisdiction has drawn international tabloid interest because of Smith, an exotic dancer turned 1993 Playmate of the Year and reality-TV star.

“She is planning to attend,” says Smith’s lawyer, Kent Richland of Los Angeles. Despite the fodder for comedians, the case offers the justices a chance to resolve a difficult question of the scope of federal judges’ authority in certain probate cases.

Typically, state courts have jurisdiction over probate matters, but federal courts can have authority when a dispute involves large sums of money and parties from different states. Over the decades, federal judges have ceded some of that authority to local courts for matters involving wills and estates. The question for the Supreme Court is when federal judges can intervene in such disputes.

Smith married Texas oilman Howard Marshall in 1994 after meeting him at an adult club where she was a dancer. She was 26. He was 89. (She is referred to in the court filings by her real name, Vickie Lynn Marshall.) Howard Marshall died in August 1995, 14 months after their wedding. According to his widow’s legal papers, Marshall’s assets had been held in a trust that designated his son, Pierce, the primary beneficiary.

After Howard met Smith, he created a separate trust for her benefit, the filing said. Smith asserts that Pierce “suppressed or destroyed” the documents related to assets designated for her. In his appeal on behalf of Smith, Richland urges the high court to rule that any exemption from federal jurisdiction for probate matters is narrow and never covers bankruptcy-related cases.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 02/27/2006 at 06:11 PM   
Filed Under: • Corruption and Greed •  
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calendar   Thursday - February 09, 2006

Candid Camera

Everybody’s out to make a buck. Especially if you live in dirt poor Appalachia coal-mining country. But where does one draw the line? I have a sad feeling that in the story below there have been bad feelings between the guy’s wife and his brother for a long time. There’s always a story within the story. Is that why we have lawyers and courts? Was it worth $800? Why would any news service expect a dirt-poor resident of this region to have a phone? Enquiring minds want to know ....

Sago Mine Survivor’s Wife Sues His Brother
February 8, 2006, 4:31 PM EST
GRAFTON, W.Va. (AP)

The wife of Sago Mine survivor Randal McCloy Jr. is suing her brother-in-law for taking pictures of her comatose husband and selling them to the National Enquirer. Anna McCloy’s lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Matthew McCloy, the supermarket tabloid and its parent, American Media Inc.

The family has said Matthew McCloy was paid $800 for a photograph that appeared in the National Enquirer last month of Randal McCloy on life-support at a West Virginia hospital. McCloy was one of 13 miners caught in a Jan. 2 explosion at the Sago Mine. One miner was killed by the blast, and 11 others died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

No telephone listing for Matthew McCloy could be found. American Media said it did nothing illegal in publishing the photo and the accompanying story.

“Matthew McCloy’s intent in cooperating with the story was to call attention to the very serious issue of mine safety—a view fully supported by The National Enquirer. No one intended to do anything to harm Randal McCloy,” spokeswoman Barrie Gordon said.

The lawsuit, filed in state court last week, replaces a suit filed against the tabloid last month in federal court.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 02/09/2006 at 11:34 AM   
Filed Under: • Corruption and GreedJudges-Courts-Lawyers •  
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calendar   Monday - January 30, 2006

Greed In Los Angeles

C’mon! Get real! Los Angeles is upset over nude cartoon characters in a video game? Are we talking about THE Los Angeles? Porn capitol of the world? Home of more adult filmakers than any place on Earth? The city with more hookers than almost anywhere in the US? The town where cocaine and booze are the two basic food groups?

This is utterly unbelievable! This sounds more like a shakedown than anything else. How can a city attorney stand up and shake his finger at a video game maker who he claims is indulging in “greed and deception” while filing a lawsuit to blatantly and openly grab part of their profits? How do these people sleep at night ... ?

imageimageCity Of LA Sues Over Game Porn
(SMARTHOUSE)

The City of Los Angeles has sued Take-Two Entertainment, the makers of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas for hiding pornographic material in a game and is requesting that the company give up part of its profits from the game. Mid last year gamers discovered they could unlock the porn hidden in the game. At the time, the company insisted that hackers had created and inserted the material into the game, however investigations initiated by U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton and the Federal Trade Commission found that the company itself had created the porn.

The discovery prompted the Entertainment Software Ratings Board to change the rating of the game from Mature to Adults Only, effectively keeping the game out of most retail outlets. The legal action is just the latest problem for Take-Two, which sold 30 million copies of its wildly popular video game series Grand Theft Auto, but has recently lost sales, profits, and investor confidence from a debacle over hidden sexually explicit content. Shares in the Company recently dropped 14 percent. The drawn-out saga became the political issue for explicit content in video games and drew battle lines between concerned parents and politicians on one side, and the video game industry on the other.

Now, L.A. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo has announced that he is asking that the company hand over a portion of the profits from the game.He said “Greed and deception are part of the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas story - and in that respect its publishers are not much different from the characters in their story. Businesses have an obligation to truthfully disclose the content of their products, whether in the food we eat or the entertainment we consume.”

Losing the legal game could mean lost profits for Take-Two, which already lost millions over the incident. The company was forced to remove the mature-rated game from retailer’s shelves and replace it with “Adult Only” packaging. And most retailers won’t stock AO-rated games on shelves, so Take-Two lost even more sales. Earlier in the week the company announced fiscal 2005 year earnings that slashed year profits almost in half: to $37.5 million from $65.4 million the prior year.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/30/2006 at 02:58 PM   
Filed Under: • Corruption and GreedOutrageous •  
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calendar   Friday - January 27, 2006

No More Free Drugs

As if the new drug prescription program for Medicare patients wasn’t complicated enough, now most major drugmakers are discontinuing their discounted prescription plans. Memo to old people: it’s cheaper to just die ...

Drugmakers to Cut Off Some Free Prescriptions
Friday, January 27, 2006
(WASHINGTON POST)

Several of the nation’s largest drug manufacturers say they will no longer provide free or discounted medications to low-income elderly and disabled patients because they should be covered by the new Medicare drug benefit. But for about 1 million Americans with serious illnesses such as AIDS and cancer—patients who last year relied on the pharmaceutical industry’s giveaways—that means Medicare coverage could cost them more than $3,600 this year.

Hardest hit will be patients such as James Hayes. Suffering from AIDS, the 45-year-old North Carolina man takes an average of 10 drugs each month at a cost of $3,700. In recent years, he has relied on several drug company patient assistance programs for his lifesaving medications. Because he is on disability, receiving $1,900 a month, Hayes qualifies for the new Medicare drug benefit.

But in the past few weeks, drugmakers such as GlaxoSmithKline have sent Hayes and others letters saying that as of Jan. 1, anyone eligible for Medicare would be dropped from its program. The cheapest Medicare drug plan he can find is expected to cost him $6,000 out of pocket. “I can’t afford that. I am struggling to make ends meet right now without going into bankruptcy,” he said yesterday. “I’m scared I’m going to have to go off of my drugs.”

Less than four weeks after the drug benefit went into effect, some of the neediest seniors have found themselves worse off. Although the new program, projected to cost $700 billion in the first 10 years, was intended to shield retirees from burdensome drug costs, several quirks in the law have had the opposite effect for some. “These are individuals who did have something before; they had patient assistance programs,” said John Coburn, senior policy analyst for the Chicago-based Health & Disability Advocates. “We are seeing the unintended consequences of this law.”

Drugmakers blamed the Bush administration for issuing a legal opinion that suggests companies could run afoul of anti-kickback laws if they provide free drugs to Medicare beneficiaries. That guidance, from the Health and Human Services Inspector General’s office, warned that providing free medicine to someone enrolled in a Medicare plan could be viewed as an effort to keep the patient on that particular product, rather than a generic or cheaper version sold by a competitor.

Administration officials, already racing to fix other glitches in the new drug program, yesterday pointed the finger back at drugmakers, saying there are a variety of legal ways to assist low-income patients. If a drug company’s patient assistance program ends, “that’s the manufacturer’s decision,” said Mark McClellan, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He said drugmakers could continue their patient assistance programs as long as they remain separate from Medicare or contribute money to charities that help poor patients.

- More on this here...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/27/2006 at 12:29 PM   
Filed Under: • Corruption and GreedPolitics •  
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calendar   Wednesday - January 25, 2006

Of Dogs And Men

Ancient Chinese Proverb: “If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.” Start scratching, Google ...

imageimageGoogle Agrees to Censor Results in China
January 25, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)

Online search engine leader Google Inc. has agreed to censor its results in China, adhering to the country’s free-speech restrictions in return for better access in the Internet’s fastest growing market. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company planned to roll out a new version of its search engine bearing China’s Web suffix “.cn,” on Wednesday. A Chinese-language version of Google’s search engine has previously been available through the company’s dot-com address in the United States.

By creating a unique address for China, Google hopes to make its search engine more widely available and easier to use in the world’s most populous country. Because of government barriers set up to suppress information, Google’s China users previously have been blocked from using the search engine or encountered lengthy delays in response time.

The service troubles have frustrated many Chinese users, hobbling Google’s efforts to expand its market share in a country that expected to emerge as an Internet gold mine over the next decade. China already has more than 100 million Web surfers and the audience is expected to swell substantially _ an alluring prospect for Google as it tries to boost its already rapidly rising profits.

Baidu.com Inc., a Beijing-based company in which Google owns a 2.6 percent stake, currently runs China’s most popular search engine. But a recent Keynote Systems survey of China’s Internet preferences concluded that Baidu remains vulnerable to challenges from Google and Yahoo Inc. To obtain the Chinese license, Google agreed to omit Web content that the country’s government finds objectionable. Google will base its censorship decisons on guidance provided by Chinese government officials.

Although China has loosened some of its controls in recent years, some topics, such as Taiwan’s independence and 1989’s Tiananmen Square massacre, remain forbidden subjects. Google officials characterized the censorship concessions in China as an excruciating decision for a company that adopted “don’t be evil” as a motto. But management believes it’s a worthwhile sacrifice. “We firmly believe, with our culture of innovation, Google can make meaningful and positive contributions to the already impressive pace of development in China,” said Andrew McLaughlin, Google’s senior policy counsel.

- More ChiCom Sucking-Up By Google Here ...


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Posted by
The Skipper   United States  on 01/25/2006 at 11:12 AM   
Filed Under: • Corruption and GreedOppression •  
Comments (11) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

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GNU Terry Pratchett


Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
free counters