Cleveland: Keeping Christmas at Home
Ramona: The War on Happy Holidays
Richard Day: Cold in Minnesota, and in the Hearts of Men
Unconcern about all the privacy scandals often wraps around "yeah, but it doesn't really affect you, theoretically these things could happen but in real life..."
I made one of those comments out with a friend on 9/10 2001, something about the wisdom of the American people pulling back from too much hysteria.
So here's Texas jailing a teen for violent-sounding (but fairly obvious joking) Facebook comments - now in his 5th month in jail awaiting trial, bail at $500K, charges up to 8 years in jail. Even if he's found innocent, he's served 5 months for a joke. [Read more]
[copied in from a comment for further discussion re: the NSA]
We can skip the word "evil" and just take examples of what citizens might want to know.
While apparently the post office has been scanning envelopes a long time, the use of OCR means they have a huge searchable database of From, To and Date. The recent improvements in data analytics & Big Data means it's trivial to compile that into categories - especially if you link it to Facebook and collected phone metadata - who your friends are, where you work, where you bank, who you call, what organizations you're involved with. Depending on who's sending you mail, they can figure out if you're having credit problems, health issues, seeing a psychiatrist, getting a divorce. [Read more]
There's been considerable schadenfreude over Patrick Byrne's claims about naked short selling crashing his company Overstock, amongst which includes circular arguments that his company did poorly so he must be a hack, and the gleeful contention by Goldman Sachs et al that naked short selling didn't actually exist (despite massive fails to deliver exceeding outstanding shares). Claims that were echoed by some (one) here.
2 from the Atlantic's James Fallows:
Jerry Brown pursues the "it's not all about me" path and even takes the most important issues direct to the people.
Other unsolvable issues, he just leaves off the table. [Read more]
[touched off by article on epi-markers & homosexuality]
I'm excited about progress in science on a number of levels, and figure our understanding of matters will be vastly different in 20-30 years based on evolving tools & theories.
Politically I think it poses problems as well - we base our policies on traditional understanding of issues and traditional approaches. First suggestion in the economic crunch was a jobs program 1930's style combined with tax cuts 1980's style. Economics & finance has moved on, but our policy makers haven't. [Read more]
[response to other threads got too long]
You obliquely point out a big issue - people don't have any real ideas for creating mass jobs in the black community, aside from back to government.
In the 50's I believe (via Buckminster Fuller), Brazil was intent on modernizing, with some wanting to emulate the US with its railroads, despite the existence then of airplanes more suitable for Brazil's vast distances and thick jungles.
People don't shop in black Walmarts because 1) I don't think they much exist, and 2) the white one is much cheaper. (At one point, Walmart had about 13% of all imports from China). [Read more]
Who woulda guessed - holes in Obamacare permitting double digit health care increases?
Sitting here contemplating the future as I was told I can't predict, and that those premonitions of 2016 are ageist and sexist.
Will Hugo Chavez die before his inauguration 6 days away? Well, he's had an amazing journey, and he's only 58, so it would be wrong of me to predict. Just because he had cancer & 4 major operations in the last 2 years and is now clinging on in a respirator after severe lung infection - well, who knows? [Read more]
It's a thought that occurred to me numerous times, and would seem to be obvious, but Hillary would be 69 by election day 2016.
While Reagan was elected at 69, he was an outlier, and had spent much of his life in casual living, including an age when running from President wasn't so grueling. William Henry Harrison was 2nd at 68, and the rest go from 65 on down. Oh, did I mention Reagan's Alzheimers was covered up at the time? The press isn't so obliging these days (especially not to Democrats)
With a recent brain clot and a prospect of 2 years of heavy campaigning, followed by presumably 8 years as president? Hardly. [Read more]