James Gandolfini, RIP.
James Gandolfini, RIP.
posted by gyma
The above-the-fold story in this morning's Denver Post was about the couple who died in the Black Forest wildfire near Colorado Springs. It took a long time for the sheriff to release their names because they wanted to confirm their identities before doing so.
It appears the reason they died was because the man of the couple was a gun enthusiast who had a shit load of ammunition stored at the house. A friend told the paper he was packing it up, along with some propane tanks, because of his concern for the firefighters.
Now, he lived through last summer's devasting Waldo Canyon fire so he and his wife must have had a conversation about what they'd do in a similar situation. Perhaps loading up the ammo was part of that discussion, but my question is why would you keep so much ammo in your house that it took literally hours to load into your vehicle?
Why not rent a small storage unit in town to store the bulk of it and only keep at the house what you could load up in 10 minutes?
New poll confirms:
According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted this week, the overwhelming majority of Americans admitted they would actually be fairly interested in having a magnetic, forceful dictator oversee and control all aspects of American society.
Citing the relative simplicity of the citizen’s role in a totalitarian state, the U.S. populace said it could definitely see itself supporting a decisive, iron-willed demagogue, with citizens agreeing that the idea of entrusting all political, economic, social, and military decisions to a single bold despot actually sounded “pretty good” to them.
posted by gyma
I have too much chaos in my life at the moment -- my current job goes to part-time next week and disappears completely by the end of the year, so I've been looking for a new job while working on the house/yard in case the *new* job is in another state, AND prepping for interviews which takes an inordinate amount of time. I have an interview next week via Skype, so now I have to download that and figure out how to use it before the interview. (Which also means removing the covering from my computer's "peephole"!) As an aside, do interviewers know how unflattering you look via Skype?!
The last thing I need is to figure out another newsreader. The ominous messages I'm getting from Google warning me that GR disappears on July 1st are freaking me out.
Is Feedly it? They've just rolled out a new version today so I suppose I should be grateful I haven't spent too much time trying to figure it out.
posted by gyma
For your edification, here's some art, titled Kaputt, by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. If you find yourself in Basel, Switzerland before October 6, 2013, stop in at Foundation Beyeler and see for yourself!
If Switzerland isn't on your horizon, then you can watch others viewing this piece of art.
Here's a tidbit about the company at the center of the recent NSA spying revelations:
Company filings show that 99% of Booz Allen's revenue comes from various levels of the federal government[.]
Any private concern that derives 99% of its revenue from the government should be nationalized. It might not reduce abuses but it would likely result in less money being taken from our pockets and put into the pockets of the undeserving wealthy.
Which is precisely why the company will never be nationalized.
[Via David Sirota.]
Those cheating, unAmerican Democrats are at it again! Oh, wait:
In December of 2011 Newt Gingrich needed 10,000 signatures to get his name on the Virginia presidential primary ballot. Adam Ward, 28, collected more than 11,000 signatures according to prosecutors. More than 4,000 signatures could not be verified by investigators.
Tuesday night, Ward pleaded guilty to 36 counts of voter fraud and perjury in Augusta Circuit Court.
[Via TPM Livewire.]
Friends on the left, Gov. Bobby "What's a Volcano?" Jindal tells you what you believe:
Because the left wants: The government to explode; to pay everyone; to hire everyone; they believe that money grows on trees; the earth is flat; the industrial age, factory-style government is a cool new thing; debts don’t have to be repaid; people of faith are ignorant and uneducated; unborn babies don’t matter; pornography is fine; traditional marriage is discriminatory; 32 oz. sodas are evil; red meat should be rationed; rich people are evil unless they are from Hollywood or are liberal Democrats; the Israelis are unreasonable; trans-fat must be stopped; kids trapped in failing schools should be patient; wild weather is a new thing; moral standards are passé; government run health care is high quality; the IRS should violate our constitutional rights; reporters should be spied on; Benghazi was handled well; the Second Amendment is outdated; and the First one has some problems too.
Don't try to deny it, Godless Communist scum!
Obama sure picked a winner:
President Obama’s nominee to head the Federal Communications Commission told a Senate committee on Tuesday that his experience as the leader of lobbying groups for the cable television and cellphone industries had convinced him that the agency needs to promote competition over regulation.
The police commissioner of New York City, Ray Kelly, voices his opinion on the NSA's spying program:
“I don’t think it ever should have been made secret.” Unsurprisingly, Kelly believes that the public will happily give up some privacy in the name of safety. “I think the American public can accept the fact if you tell them that every time you pick up the phone it’s going to be recorded and it goes to the government,” Kelly says. “I think the public can understand that. I see no reason why that program was placed in the secret category.”
If Markus Wolf were alive he'd been insanely jealous of the tools we've developed in this country to spy on and, should someone deem it necessary, suppress our own people.
We tend to think of authoritarian and totalitarian societies as being filled with people who live in fear 24/7/365 but here's the dirty little secret: the vast majority of people in such societies adjust to their circumstances and have little to worry about from the authorities. (There are, of course, exceptions, but they tend to prove the rule.)
You would think that anyone who lends or invests money would understand that they might take a loss or lose it all. Them's the breaks, after all. Happily for our financial betters that isn't the case. At some point we decided that lending and investing should be as risk-free as is humanly possible and the "haircut", as they so delightfully call it, should fall on those least responsible for whatever went wrong and least able the withstand it.
If this isn't what makes These United States so great I don't know what is.
Say hello to Michael Burgess, Representative from the Great State of Tejas, who has advised his fellow representatives to observe a sonogram of a 15-week "baby". What might they see? Rep. Burgess informs them:
They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to believe that they could feel pain?
Rep. Burgess is an OB/GYN.
posted by gyma
Validation! Spork and I aren't crazy for covering up our computer "peepholes":
You know those people who put tape over their laptop’s webcam to keep digital peeping toms at bay? They’re not crazy.Disabling Flash might also help, but then you'd get all those "Oh, Snap" messages.
A new proof of concept is making the rounds today that demonstrates how a hacker can snap pics off your webcam, right through the browser, with no consent required.
Shorter Fred Hiatt, editor, Daily Kaplan crayon-scribble page: If progressives don't dismantle government programs that help the less fortunate with a progressive president in the White House, conservatives will dismantle those government programs that help the less fortunate with a conservative president in the White House.
Down in Ol' Virginny:
Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) and his wife, Maureen, have used taxpayer money for a range of small personal items they should have paid for themselves under state policy, according to spending records.
The McDonnells have billed the state for body wash, sunscreen, dog vitamins and a digestive system “detox cleanse,” the records show. They also have used state employees to run personal errands for their adult children. In the middle of a workday, for example, a staffer retrieved Rachel McDonnell’s newly hemmed pants at a tailoring shop nine miles from the governor’s mansion. Another time, a state worker was dispatched to a dry cleaner 20 miles away to pick up a storage box for Cailin McDonnell’s wedding dress.
About six months into the governor’s term, the official who oversees mansion spending told the McDonnells that they should not have charged taxpayers for a number of expenses, including deodorant, shoe repairs and dry-cleaning their children’s clothing. The official asked the McDonnells to pay the state back more than $300, which they did, and also gave them a refresher on what the state will and won’t provide for occupants of the governor’s mansion.
Well then, at least he learned his lesson.
But since that time, state records show that the McDonnells have continued to let taxpayers pick up the tab for numerous personal items, including vitamins, nasal spray and sleep-inducing elixirs.
Conservatives, always looking out for the taxpayer.
Perhaps backing into another war:
So when Mr. Obama agreed this week for the first time to send small arms and ammunition to Syrian rebel forces, he had to be almost dragged into the decision at a time when critics, some advisers and even Bill Clinton were pressing for more action. Coming so late into the conflict, Mr. Obama expressed no confidence it would change the outcome, but privately expressed hope it might buy time to bring about a negotiated settlement.
There are precisely zero good outcomes in Syria and probably zero least-bad outcomes.
Sayeth the legend in his own mind:
What Snowden did was very damaging at one level because there are a lot of things a democracy can do to protect itself, as long as they're genuinely secret. And people will tolerate it as long as it's genuinely secret.
Before too long everyone disliked by the Powers That Be will simply be called terrorists. It will clarify matters and make business decisions that much easier.
Listening to voices:
The poll also finds that 71 percent of Hill staffers found meetings with CEOs and top executives useful to do their jobs, while only 45 percent said the same about meetings with labor leaders.
In addition, 64 percent of Hill staffers said that meeting with corporate lobbyists was a helpful activity in formulating policy, while only 45 percent reported that meeting with labor lobbyists was useful.
Here's the best part:
The poll comes amid rising complaints from the private sector that Capitol Hill doesn’t understand or appreciate business.
Self-awareness, it is a foreign concept.
posted by gyma
I heard Obama on my TV the other day reassuring the country that nobody's listening in on your telephone calls. Whew! That sure makes me feel better.
Except when it doesn't.
Watch this explanation from yesterday's Democracy Now! program and you'll understand why the collection of metadata is such a problem.