Thursday, July 24, 2014

SAR #14203

Naiveté does not make the world a better place.

Encore: Pro-Russia Ukrainian rebels have now brought down two Ukrainian fighter jets. Two out of three ain't bad.

The American Way: While cutting pensions and laying off teachers, cash-strapped US cities and states continue to subsidize professional sports stadiums for rich franchise owners. Viva capitalism!

Preventing Prevention: Studies have repeatedly shown that “programs such as Scared Straight increase delinquency relative to doing nothing at all to similar youths.” In other words they don't work. But they pander to our hopeful fantasies that they do, so we keep digging the hole deeper.

Graduation Pre-requisites: The NRA is proposing that all high schoolers be required to pass “shooting tests” before they are allowed to graduate. It is part of the NRA drive to create “gun-required zones” throughout the country. All paid for with taxpayer money.

Freedom 2.0: The US does not have debtor's prisons. You cannot be sent to jail just because you are hopelessly in debt to some predatory Wall Street banksters. You can, however, be sent to jail for contempt of court if you fail to comply with a judge's orders. Such as when the judge orders you to forgo eating and such in order to pay your debt to Wall Street. Results' the same, but you should feel so much better about it as you sit in jail, not earning any money and knowing you'll be right back in jail within a few days of getting out because – surprise, surprise - you don't have any money...

Now It Can Be Told: It's the Smart Phone, stupid. It rats you out. Apple put security backdoors in 600 million iPhones and iPads but, Apple says, it's not big deal. It just lets the government gather all the stuff you do. No biggie.

Freedom From Speech: A would-be Southwest Airlines passenger – one of their A-list passengers who get priority boarding – was invited to board early, but was not allowed to bring his two children with him. Words were exchanged. He tweeted his displeasure with the treatment. He was told he could not board the plane if he did not delete his tweet about the agent's rudeness. He was then tossed off the flight. Rudely.

Asked & Answered: How many cars are sold in the US each year? About 15 million. How many has GM recalled for defects this year? About 30 million. How can you tell if your car has been recalled? Walk around to the back and check the logo; if it was made by GM in the last decade, it probably has been recalled. At least once.

Privileged Communication: Given the progress law enforcement has made of late in co-opting your cell phone to track you and to intercept your private communications, it should come to no great surprise to learn that they will intercept the emails you send your lawyer from jail. Fifth Amendment? You have no expectation of privacy any more, anywhere.

Conditions: Either (a) the US is playing both sides in a number of Middle Eastern conflicts, or (b) we simply have no idea which way is up.

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