Serious people are using the events of Paris to whine about how The Authorities don’t have enough authority to suspend your right to have a completely private conversation on your cell phone. Their excuse is that Bad Guys might be having conversations about doing Bad Things — a concept that should stink to high heaven of Pre-Crime. The Authorities want to make it impossible for your phone to be completely secure, in the name of catching Bad Guys, never mind that history shows it doesn’t work that way.
I have said this before but let me say it again: A back door that Good Guys can use is a back door Bad Guys can use. It’s a back door that can be used to empty your bank account, steal your identity, stalk you, obtain information useful for blackmail and/or extortion, or otherwise make your life miserable.
Oh, and a couple of last words: Secretary Kerry says there were 12 “problematic” people out of 785,000 Syrian refugees, and that sounds like good odds to me (I wonder how many criminals you’d find if you investigated 785,000 random Americans); and I too will stop using variants of ISIS in favor of the more accurate Daesh, for they do indeed sow discord; and some of my online friends have pointed out that the White House didn’t turn into the Bleu, Blanche, et Rouge house? Please note CONGRESS in the picture above and stop making up things to be upset about.
So, recently the State of Nevada passed a law allowing vouchers for parents to send their Special Snowflakes to private school on the public’s money. I have long been opposed to school vouchers for several reasons and if you’re curious, you can read about them here and here.
But it turns out that the Nevada law has a catch: to get the money, the child must be enrolled in a public or charter school for at least 100 days. Does anybody happen to remember how long a typical school year is? It averages 180 days.
So yeah, if you honestly give it an shot and the local public school isn’t working for your kid, the State of Nevada will help you out, but they’re not going to subsidize sending your Precious Darling to Las Vegas Day School or Bishop Gorman. You want the State’s money? You play by the State’s rules.
For the longest time, it seemed like the only person truly trying to bring attention to the flaming bag of feces on America’s doorstep known as the Trans Pacific Partnership was DaveJohnson. Thank [deity] he’s so tenacious. Well, now he’s getting some traction. Here’s from today’s New York Times:
Under the accord, still under negotiation but nearing completion, companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations.
Let me translate that for you: a company doesn’t like a law. They can sue the city/county/state that made the law in a UN Tribunal! While the feds or a state might have the funds to fight that, your city or county is effectively bullied into compliance with corporate demands. Say goodbye to environmental regulations, fracking bans, efforts to curb corporate abuses. Kneel before your corporate overlords!
Yeah, I’m not a fan of the NYT’s 10-hits-per-month thing either. But I’m glad that a Serious News Source is pointing out reality.
In Closing: not sure how many of us have the patience to make rice this way; zombies and you; “His life story is so ridiculous that if they made a movie about it, nobody would believe it is true”; while I don’t agree with all of it, I have to admit that it works (and would work so much better with a public option!); one meeelion people have “get out of the security line free” cards (that’s one out of every 320 people in our nation, the rest of us better bathe and watch how we yawn!); the Supreme Court had to say “um yeah, you should follow the law.”
The incident in Paris is already being used as an excuse to take away what little privacy (and other rights) remain in the world, despite the fact that privacy is a necessary feature of security. In the meantime, bulk data will continue to be collected by both the government and various corporations (who of course, can sell that information to the government without anybody having technically violated the 4th or 5th Amendments). Nor is the NSA the only agency collecting information; the DEA is doing it too. Are they at least sharing nicely, or are We The Taxpayers paying to collect all this stuff twice?
Now, don’t forget for one minute that the President is proposing laws that crack down on “hackers”. Those laws would make a dizzying array of normal and sometimes necessary activities illegal. That’s on top of the undead CISPA cyber”security” bill. Oh yeah, and that nasty old TPP that would make corporate rights more important that national rights.
Do you think you have more good habits or bad habits?
I thought about going a little zen on this question and simply saying “yes.” I have good habits, I have bad habits, I don’t know that I ever bothered comparing the two. I suppose I’d like to think I have more good than bad, and there are people who might disagree.
Sorry, not the best post. But hey, yesterday you got a good rant!
Have you ever tried to break a habit and failed? What made it so difficult to break?
Ok, this is a weird one. I’m still not quite over this habit: I have a hard time passing up things that are cheap or free.
I’ve got dozens of books on my Kindle that I don’t know when I’ll have time to read them, but they were free! I’ve got canned food in my pantry that I only have because it was on sale — and theoretically I’ll use it eventually. I’ve been known to buy clothes that fit but aren’t really my style because they were so inexpensive.
Why is this a hard habit to break? Well, because it’s easy to think I’m being thrifty. In the case of free ebooks, it doesn’t actually cost me anything. In the case of food, well, I guess I’m well prepared for an emergency. In short, one person’s bad habit is another’s good habit.
Here CNN, let me fix that headline for you. You see, you’ve got it as “Tense Ferguson awaits grand jury ruling; mayor says authorities prepared“. What you meant to say was “Mayor says authorities ready to rumble.” Let’s just face it, there’s going to be trouble. The fact that the cops look like an occupying army is in fact an incitement. And let’s also just face it, the authorities are preparing to put down a popular uprising because they know damn well that the grand jury will rubber stamp the idea that cops only shoot Very Bad People, even when the Very Bad thing they are doing is just walking down the street.
In Closing:dark matter; no kidding, a thing that flies in the air falls under FAA jurisdiction; modernslavery; and that’s why this happened; and finally, best headline you’re likely to see today.
It’s the Food: It turns out that people do pay attention to nutrition labels. That’s a good thing, because soon and very soon obesity will overtake tobacco as the #1 killer of Americans. Have some truth in comic form.
Zombies!!: Well sure, they aren’t allowed to try and collect it, but they can still claim you owe it!
Act Two is Coming to Ferguson: The grand jury will speak soon. And it looks like the police are prepared for anything that happens… by which I mean that they are heavily armed in a manner that is itself inflammatory.
On Privacy, not Piracy: Americans are aware of how little privacy they may have.
A few last election items: Yeah, voters are disappointed in Democrats. Yeah Republicans simply “lost less.” And yeah, anybody who wants to win in 2016 better pay attention to how things are going for normal Americans.
And Finally: It would appear that I am the one person in America that does not give a single **** about Kim Kardashian’s ass.