Saturday, May 3, 2014

SAR #14123

Imagine how contentious US public discussions would be if one of our political parties represented the people.

Veils: The Constitution is a funny thing, it is (or was) an agreement between the government and the people. No longer, for quite some time ago the government figured out that they could buy that which they could not steal. If, say for example, the government were prohibited from doing this or that without a warrant but the end result of the prohibited actions were commercially available the government could buy it - or obtain it. Point being, the government doesn't have to track you 24/7 - various companies already do that. The government just uses the data. Making a fine distinction between an oppressive police state that monitors all of its citizens 24/7 and a free and democratic nation that monitors all of its citizens 24/7 with the (seldom unwilling) help of commercial entities. And promises not to prosecute the commercial firms from doing what the government wants them to do.

Clarity: It's fine to wring your hands in despair over the last quarter's GDP growth - or lack thereof. But why pick on this one, when we have six years of puny growth to pick from?

Getting A Job: Over 288,000 new jobs were created last month, while over 850,000 left the job market altogether, joining the 92 million Americans who are no longer in the workforce. Who's winning?

Sour Note: While the Colorado Symphony prepares for its first "Classical Cannabis" concert - encouraging patrons to toke up at performance - the DEA launched a series of raids on legal marijuana dispensaries in Denver, cutting open safes, seizing cash and cannabis and carting stuff away in a U-Haul trailer. "No additional information will be made available," said the US Attorney in charge of the persecution. Prosecution. 
Including You: The government must have "reasonable suspicion" that an individual is engaged in conduct "related to" terrorist activities before that person can be placed in the Terrorist Screening Database - from which the No-Fly list is drawn. Unless the government secretly decides that "reasonable suspicion" isn't needed in your case.

Birth Rights: Only eight countries have experienced an increase in childbirth-related deaths in the last decade. The US is one of them. Since 1990, maternal mortality dropped 3.1% in the world's developed nations and 1.3% globally, but increased 1.7% in the US. Most maternal deaths are preventable. Last year American mothers died in childbirth at twice the rate they did under Canada's single-payer health system and three times the rate under the UK's National Health System. Because profits...

Quoted: "Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last..." Stephen Hawking. Creating some human intelligence first might not be a bad idea.

The Parting Shot:

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