Archive for June, 2014

Cell Phones: Supreme Court Celebrates “Terrorism-Free Month” With Unanimous Proclamation On Privacy (June 30, 2014)

Posted in Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Constitution, Supreme Court, Technology, Terrorism-Free Month - June on June 30, 2014 by

. . .

L          “At core, the Supreme Court really confessed that all nine of them in fact have cell phones, too.”

M          “Thank goodness that the Founding Fathers anticipated the emergence of cell phones.  That seems to be what animated Scalia, Alito and Thomas.”

. . .

L          “If, pray tell, a cop detained a Justice of the Supreme Court, the computer check of the vehicle license plate or a quick review of his or her Supreme Court identification card would summon an immediate apology from the police for the delay and inconvenience.”

M          “A cop would see the Supreme Court parking sticker on the bumper and arrest his or her activities.”

L          “Supreme Court Justices are immune from prosecution.”

M          “Yet their kids have cell phones and may not be afforded the same immunity.”

. . .

L          “Roberts’ opinion is an insightful commentary on the ubiquity of the cell phone and its pervasiveness in our lives.  The ‘smarty pants phones’ are the repositories of our mind and soul.”

M          “The kids in particular are transfixed by these fixtures that could be affixed to them with pop rivets.”

. . .

M          “You could craft a novel using just cell phone records and, for good measure, credit and debit card statements.  Grocery receipts, book purchases and movie rentals are a telescope and microscope into one’s internal hard drive.  The reader would need to participate actively in reading between the lines, discerning the interstices and supplementing the silences, yet the effort would be rewarded.”

L          “I stumbled on my January, 2011 credit card statement and relived the previous month just reviewing line item entries.  Who, what, when, where and, with some imagination, why.”

M          “There are no secrets today.”

. . .

L          “The Court and public officials should error, if it is an error, on the side of privacy.”

M          “A warrant really is not much to ask.”

L          “Nine to nothing is something.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Get a warrant, please.

Justice Roberts knows more about cell phone telephony than your honor student . . . or your dog.

Unemployment Insurance = Welfare 2.0 (June 23, 2014)

Posted in Federal Reserve, Insurance, Journalism, Military, Newspapers, Pensions, Personal Story, Press/Media, Unemployment, War, Welfare, Work on June 23, 2014 by

. . .

E          “They are not coming back.”

U          “And they keep coming.”

. . .

E          “After the War, he moved the family westward from the homestead bequeathed to his older brother to a community with no friends and no connections and moved upward from one manufacturing job to another and then retired as a floor manager.  He put food on the table and kids through college.  He said that all the companies he worked for have gone out of business or moved overseas.  Most of the pension funds were dissipated or disappeared.”

U          “Those returning from the current wars are not finding opportunities.  Those who stayed have not found opportunities.”

E          “Years ago, some guys worked at a service station checking the tires and washing the windows and graduated to a mechanics job for life.  Now there is no service and far fewer mechanics positions.”

U          “Yesterday’s grease monkey with a G.E.D. is today’s barista with a B.A.”

. . .

E          “Many of the jobs are undertaken by a robot that may never craft an inspiring poem or participate in a parent-teacher conference, yet it produces a consistently high quality product very efficiently.”

U          “A company can use the robots to fine-tune the built-in obsolescence.  The product can be designed and manufactured to fail ten minutes after the limited warranty expires.  And robots are not the most efficient consumers of their own products.”

. . .

E          “The Federal Reserve is untethered by the Constitution, Congress or common sense except for a mandate in the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act to address unemployment in its decision-making.  The Fed has knowingly pursued decisions that do nothing to promote employment and do much to transfer wealth to the wealthy.”

U          “The Republicans respond with the obscene lie that a reduction in the capital gains rate will reduce unemployment.  The Press almost always gives them a pass.”

. . .

E          “Unemployment insurance originally covered thirteen weeks and then twenty-six weeks and then up to seventy-three weeks in many jurisdictions.  Some are calling for further extensions of unemployment insurance.”

U          “The insurance is becoming a tenuous version of ‘Welfare 2.0.’”

. . .

E          “What happens when thoughtful people realize that the jobs are never coming back.”

U          “The unemployed are categorized under the ‘U6 Unemployment’ category and forgotten.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Get a job


Iraq: Right On Track (June 16, 2014)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Journalism, Newspapers, Peace Prize Nobel, Press/Media, Song Reference, Syria, Terrorism on June 16, 2014 by

. . .

1          “Iraq is the slow-moving car crash that has been careening into the ditch for over two dozen years.”

2          “The nightmare does not go away even when the sun returns.  The nightmare has not been on the horizon for years because it was no longer novel or sexy.”

1          “Now it is returning to our screens and the Neo-Con propaganda machine is flooding the conventional media with misinformation.  The Truth is a casualty again.”

2          “The Press was at its zenith in 1973 during Watergate and at its nadir in 2003 during the cheerleading up to the unwarranted war.”

. . .

2          “The Bush Administration undertook an unprovoked and illegal attack on Iraq in March of 2003 at the urging of the Neo-Cons.”

1          “And ‘Another three trillion down the drain’ turned out to be painfully prescient.  And then Stiglitz provided the footnotes.”

2          “Three trillion dollars was a conservative estimate.”

. . .

1          “The ‘Surge’ in Iraq was nothing more than short-term bribes to local war lords that was doomed to fail when the funds ran out.  The funds ran out and the scheme ceased.  The few additional troops were nothing more than paymasters and traffic cops.”

2          “Every five years, the Nobel and Pulitzer people should give a special award for Truth.  That fact is lost in the fog.  A second surge is just as futile.”

. . .

1          “The Neo-Cons are back on the warpath and urging a second surge.  Someone with one of the conventional media outlets should investigate how many of the Neo-Cons’ sons or daughters have enlisted in the last dozen years.”

2          “The Neo-Cons themselves are cowards, draft dodgers and chicken hawks.  And they are too busy investing in war stocks.”

1          “The Neo-Cons or some conventional media mouth pieces?”

. . .

[Some citizens are interested in presenting eco-nomics as a counterpoise to e-con-omics.

Bumper stickers of the week:

Gods don’t kill people.  People with Gods kill people.

“Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics, And the Catholics hate the Protestants . . . .”  Tom Lehrer, “National Brotherhood Week.”  “Oh, the Sunnis hate the . . . .”

“Iraq” is Arabic for “Vietnam.”

American Foreign Policy: Amoral or Immoral? (June 9, 2014)

Posted in Foreign Policy, Genius, Hypocrisy, Middle East, On [Traits/Characteristics] on June 9, 2014 by

. . .

1          “Makes you wonder why America threatens to blow up the world when Russia moves into territory within its sphere of influence and then finances additional West Bank settlements without hesitation.”

. . .

2          “The test for genocide turns on whether those in power in America like the people being killed and whether the killers threaten or advance America’s economic interests.”

1          “Makes you wonder why America’s policy toward East Congo is shaped largely by Western bankers.”

. . .

2          “If there is no morality, then too many American foreign policies are amoral.  If there is some moral underpinning, then too many American foreign policies are immoral.”

1          “No wonder why so many in the world are skeptical of American intentions and actions and often respond irascibly.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

“Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.” Albert Einstein

Too often in America today, what passes for genius is eleven percent flash and eighty-nine percent fluff.

June – Celebrate Terrorism-Free Month (June 2, 2014)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Constitution, First Amendment, Journalism, Newspapers, Press/Media, Race, Sports, Terrorism, Voting on June 2, 2014 by

. . .

1          “We need to celebrate one Terrorism-Free Month a year.  June is a fitting time.”

2          “And it is a short month.  If it does not work, we can go back to being terrorized 24/7/365 without missing a beating.”

1          “If a month is too much commitment, perhaps we could celebrate Terrorism-Free Day every leap year.  For old time’s sake”

2          “For old timers who remember a different time.  If we are always terrorized, we are always too crippled to think clearly and to act purposefully.”

1          “We are forced always to be afraid of our shadow, even in the dark.”

2          “Especially in the dark.”

. . .

1          During the hiatus from terror, the Fourth Amendment should be adopted in all the land.  And the Third Amendment that protects against quartering troops in one’s home should also quarantine the government from entering one’s home, taking one’s data and invading one’s privacy. 

. . .

1          “However, the fear and terror is deep and rational and debilitating.  Too many folks are afraid of losing a job and too many are afraid of never getting another one, too many are afraid of not receiving health care, too many are afraid of not having a pension, too many are afraid of losing the house, too many are afraid of the future.”

2          “Too many are afraid of the present in this age of induced fear and uncertainty.”

1          “With good reason.”

. . .

[A nod to the Tewaaraton recipients and the awards committee.]

[The Supremes are still setting the political agenda. and]

[Challenging economic serfdom in a Blue State city.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Happy Terrorism-Free Month

Terrorism is so overrated.

The only thing we have to fear is fear and a whole bunch of other uncertainties.