The Egyptian military seems to be siding with the people. Yay!

If my understanding is accurate, the US has given a lot of funding to the Egyptian government in general, but the military in specific. The military, unlike the entirely separate police force, is actually respected by the general populous. While the police has clearly been a beneficiary of US support, it is unclear to me how much of that is direct rather than as a byproduct of general support for the government.

In any case, while the US official response first favored Mubarak and was shortly followed by blatant back-peddling, I am hoping this makes us look less bad and lends weight to our current almost censure of Mubarak.
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estro: (eid)
( Jan. 28th, 2011 09:01 am)
...is crashing or not working at all on all browsers on both my Mac and the Ubuntu box. This is making following the Al Jazeera live feed of the protests in Egypt impossible.

Also, (as noted by [livejournal.com profile] dymaxion in conversttion last night) I think this counts as huge fail on our part: the tear gas canisters being fired at protestors are clearly marked "Made in the USA".
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But, in the mean time: The Bike Agenda is a nefarious plot to give the UN control!

By way of [livejournal.com profile] ubermensch who has been pointing me at some of the best of the crazy of late.

(Also, in more excellent news, while the stay sucks, I am very happy about the ruling to overturn Prop 8.)
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After the Civil War a Constitutional Amendment was added to ensure that former slaves were not denied the right to citizenship by declaring any person born in the US to be a US Citizen.

Apparently large numbers of Republican lawmakers are currently taking issue with such a egalitarian fix. They claim 14th amendment was made for, and really should only apply to those dark skinned folks who were brought here against their will and had kids. Different dark skinned folks, those who parents came over the border and either stayed past the expiration of their papers or never had those papers, shouldn't get that right. Clearly their parents came here with the with only the nefarious purpose having children that we have to support.*

Maybe this actually is about economics rather than racism, but I certainly don't believe it.

(No, I haven't figured how they reconcile "Drop and Leave" with earlier cries of "They steal our jobs!".)
Let us say we agree with the premise that, if an officer has a suspicion that someone is criminally present in this country due to a bunch of 'reasonable' criteria like race and je ne sias qua intuition, the officer may accost said person and require said suspicions to be disproven on pain of arrest and deportation.

Since we agree with this, clearly it is also reasonable that officers should also demand proof of immediate good behavior from anyone who might look like they fit the profile of a crazy white right wing revolutionary (who, by the way, seem far more likely to shoot at police officers than an illegal immigrant).

I think we need to demand that the federal government protect us from those criminals! I mean, it is okay if a few innocent tea-baggers have a bad day in this process, think of the security of the rest of us!
I am angry that several businesses in my neighborhood have been boarded up since last Friday. The ones that aren't all have Oscar Grant posters prominently displayed such that it feels less a sign of solidarity and support and more a tribute to a protection racket.

Despite that (though perhaps because of), I find myself in stitches over this site http://isoaklandburning.com/ (by way of [livejournal.com profile] cardboard_dream)

(For non-locals. A black man who was on his stomach in the process of being arrested on New Years of 2009 was shot in the back by the white arresting officer. This was witnessed by an entire train full of people and caught on video. An originally peaceful protest a week later turned into a riot with broken windows and burning cars (later easily believable rumors suggests that the turn to rioting was instigated by a group of predominantly white anarchists.) The officer in question is now on trial in Southern California with an entirely white jury without any black jurists. A verdict was expected Friday, then Tuesday, now possibly today.)
A new study links chocolate and depression, though chocolate habits may be self medication rather than causal.

A prominent feature of my kitchen:
kitchenshelves.JPG
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Amnesty International states that the U.S. government and Gulf Coast states have consistently violated the human rights of hurricane victims since Hurricane Katrina killed about 1,800 people and caused widespread devastation after striking in August 2005.

I don't think this is the only place the US is failing on human rights for its citizens, but it is certainly pretty blatant. I really hope Amnesty International's statement makes Americans think more about institutionalized raciscm, though I am not holding my breath.
Let me see if I understand this. Folks with greater savvy please correct me.

The difference in cost to AT&T (and the other companies) from the health care reform bill is because they are losing tax exemption on money the government has given them to defray the cost of Medicare.

Because the government is no longer not taxing them on money they didn't spend, they are potentially going to have decrease the coverage they give to their retired employees.

If I have this correctly: any bets on how long it is going to take one of the big name right-wing pundits to claim that this socialist health care reform is actually depriving the hard-working elderly of their health coverage while completely ignoring that the equally socialist medicare and how much he government is already funding it is at the crux of the problem.
For those who don't follow the news:

Yes, we are still in a war over in there in that hot, dusty, dry place. Since 2003 there have been 5,341 US military fatalities in Afghanistan and Iraq. (CNN gives a higher number). I failed to to find a good number for the number of Iraqis and Afghanis killed. Even the numbers for those who died by violence varies from under 100,000 to over a million, and those numbers don't take into account deaths due to things disease and lack of medical care caused by the destruction.

Iraq just had a presidential election, votes are still being counted. There have been a few accusations of fraud but the UN has seen no sign of it.

Happier and in the states: Obama is proposing to overhaul No Child Left Behind. While I am excited by this, given that it includes an actual increase in federal education spending I can't imagine it won't get the same bullshit treatment by Congress that health care has been. <snark>"Oh noes, this might actually be successful and good for the country which would make our party look bad, can't have that!" (Also, it is being proposed by a black dude of all horrific and scary things)</snark>

While not nationally noteworthy, apparently, I have been following the news about sick and dying brown pelicans. It isn't just a problem in California. Seeing pelicans puts me in a better mood. In flight they are such graceful birds, out of flight.... not so much. The belly-flop thrashing production that is a water landing almost always has me laughing.
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In reference to my previous post:

One of the objections to scenario three is that running visual analysis and storing it in a computer rather than in human wetware is outside the range of normal and thus should be explicitly acknowledged. I don't know about that as, once a technology starts showing up in mall infrastructure, it ceases to be all that exotic.

From Saturday's San Jose Mercury News (forwarded to me by a coworker who spotted it on the front page): New digital signs target people by age and gender

We already have been inured to security camera's everywhere such that folks are no longer affronted being recorded just in case they do something illicit*. We expect data tracking on our cards at the local supermarket. Soon we will be surprised when advertisements don't change when we pass them**.

For all the big-brother worries, or claims of a lack of human connection, I am not so sure that we aren't on a path where even local indie cafe-goers expect our barista's to have at least the basic knowledge of our cafe names and order preferences after a visit or two.

*Yes, I know most of the value of a security camera's is to deter thieves rather than catch them, but I am not sure that the populace at large realized that.

** I am already sufficiently annoyed by most advertisements, I can't imagine how extra irksome it will be to have things targeted at my assumed demographic before the recognition systems get good enough that I will be getting mostly ads for things like hiking gear, leathermens, and hair products.****

****I have been running kinda to the shaggy side of late.
After all, if Facebook were a country, it would be the world's third most populated, behind China and India.

It is pretty clear that early claims that Facebook would go the way of Friendster, Tribe, etc. were in error. Mind you, this doesn't mean I am going to finally set up an account (as, as far as i can tell, there still is no real content over there), but it is still kinda impressive.
After all, if Facebook were a country, it would be the world's third most populated, behind China and India.

It is pretty clear that early claims that Facebook would go the way of Friendster, Tribe, etc. were in error. Mind you, this doesn't mean I am going to finally set up an account (as, as far as i can tell, there still is no real content over there), but it is still kinda impressive.
estro: little blue imp (Default)
( Nov. 7th, 2009 11:55 am)
Today on my way to work I passed a line of people waiting for the H1N1 vaccine.

It was at least 4 blocks long.

After the overhyping of SARS (and every flu-season since then) I am inclined to disbelieve the media about health news. While I know H1N1 is particularly brutal in that it is more likely to take out children and people in their prime rather than the elderly, it is still unclear to me where in the risk matrix the swine flu actually falls.

Thoughts? Useful cites?
estro: little blue imp (Default)
( Nov. 7th, 2009 11:55 am)
Today on my way to work I passed a line of people waiting for the H1N1 vaccine.

It was at least 4 blocks long.

After the overhyping of SARS (and every flu-season since then) I am inclined to disbelieve the media about health news. While I know H1N1 is particularly brutal in that it is more likely to take out children and people in their prime rather than the elderly, it is still unclear to me where in the risk matrix the swine flu actually falls.

Thoughts? Useful cites?
New Boss is not the same as the Old Boss.

Old regime policy. New regime:Obama has promised to sign this into law

And while I am not entirely happy with the upholding Bush policy about the polar bears, but this is is reassuring.
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New Boss is not the same as the Old Boss.

Old regime policy. New regime:Obama has promised to sign this into law

And while I am not entirely happy with the upholding Bush policy about the polar bears, but this is is reassuring.
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Comments, please, on your takes of the industries and how they served people before and after deregulation:

The American Telecommunications Company (for you young ones, Ma Bell used to be strictly reigned by the FCC)

Energy companies in California (partial deregulation) and Texas (total deregulation except for a few counties).

Any other notable instances that I am missing?
Comments, please, on your takes of the industries and how they served people before and after deregulation:

The American Telecommunications Company (for you young ones, Ma Bell used to be strictly reigned by the FCC)

Energy companies in California (partial deregulation) and Texas (total deregulation except for a few counties).

Any other notable instances that I am missing?
.

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