Friday, March 25, 2011

General Electric Pays Negative Taxes

This makes me supremely mad. According to the New York Times, while the rest of us schmucks give an absurd amount in taxes every year, which go towards subsidies for profitable companies like General Electric, G.E. actually gets paid from the government and avoids taxes completely. How does G.E. reward America for this generosity? By shifting the majority of the G.E. workforce overseas.

Thanks to the administration of George W. Bush (and the blind-eye congress under Obama), corporate tax law was changed to create loopholes that companies like G.E. could use to avoid taxes. Not only that, the loopholes work only if companies fire Americans and hire Europeans instead. We were just too busy being scared about terrorism to notice. Wonder why we're losing jobs to other countries? Look no further.

Ironically, it was Ronald Reagan, Republican prophet, who closed the loophole to begin with. But these days, with both the Democratic and Republican parties comfortably in corporate America's pocket, awarding companies rights beyond those of ordinary people has become the norm.

I'm sure our founding fathers would be proud.

The Republican party line says that corporations should be given free reign because their output and profits benefit the nation. But due to the loopholes, G.E.'s output and profits aren't benefiting the nation-- they're staying overseas. Instead of merely allowing a corporation to retain most of its profits, we're actually providing a financial incentive to abandon America.

We're paying G.E. billions of dollars to leave us.

Does that sound like good policy??

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Major League Jew Attempts A Comeback

Jewish ballplayer, and former New York Met David Newhan is attempting a comeback after a scary neck injury.

Mazel Tov, David! I could use a few more Jewish utility men on this year's Major League Jews fantasy team (coming soon).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The World's Last Unsecured Password

I want to apologize to all my family and friends (and assorted random contacts) for spamming them this week. My email was hacked. More specifically, my AOL email was hacked.

Yes, I can hear you laughing. AOL email??? What is this, 1998?

I moved onto Gmail a lifetime ago, but I still kept my AOL account around for the purposes of signing up for things. Everyone these days asks for your email address, and I didn't want my Gmail inbox stuffed with "Special Offers" and "Membership Information." My AOL account, therefore, became a haven for junk.

It was also very vulnerable.

Back when I created the account, sometime around 1996, people's awareness of internet security wasn't high. In 1996, celebrities accounts hadn't yet been hacked for nude photos and spam emails were still written using complete English sentences. When AOL prompted me to create a password, it didn't insist it be 8 characters long, including a capital letter, a number and a special character. It just asked for a password.

So I typed one in. Benf. Short for Ben Folds Five, a band I liked a lot in 1996.

According to mathematics, 456,976 guesses is all it would take to crack my password. From 1996-2011, it had gone uncracked. 15 years. But apparently, someone did it. I'm very careful not to click spam links, so I'm pretty sure I didn't give a spammer that way in. It was just a matter of time before my pathetic password fell victim to someone who undoubtedly looks nothing like Angelina Jolie from the movie "Hackers."

So R.I.P., last unsecured password in the world. You were a relic of a bygone era, when the internet was a much more innocent place. I'll miss how quick and easy it was to type you in, and how easy you were to remember. I'll remember you always.

Benf. 1996-2011

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