January, 2016 archive
The Snaring Economy 0
Evgeny Morozov reveals the dirty little secret behind Uber and its snaring compatriots. A nugget; do please follow the link for the rest:
Uber’s game plan is simple: it wants to drive the rates so low as to increase demand – by luring some of the customers who would otherwise have used their own car or public transport. And to do that, it is willing to burn a lot of cash, while rapidly expanding into adjacent industries, from food to package delivery.
To put it bluntly: the reason why Uber has so much cash is because, well, governments no longer do. Instead, this money is parked in the offshore accounts of Silicon Valley and Wall Street firms. Look at Apple, which has recently announced that it sits on $200bn of potentially taxable overseas cash, or Facebook, which has just posted record profits of $3.69bn for 2015.
Welcome to the corporacracy.
Patently Offensive 0
Read this, then follow the link to join the EFF, the one over there, on the sidebar.
Cowboy Cosplay, Reprise 0
In the Ashland, Oregon, Daily Tidings, a fine little paper with great writers, Jeffrey Gillespie explains that it’s all about the main chance. A snippet (emphasis added):
The remaining gang of five armed men have vowed to “fight on” under new management, despite a televised request from Bundy, through his attorney, that the vigilantes stand down. Federal officials continue to negotiate with the stragglers. A spokesman for that group has stated that, while they remain armed, they are peaceful.
The logic of that statement is a microcosm of the rationale of the right-wing libertarian mindset that has pervaded this ill-conceived and badly executed mission, undertaken to draw attention to the apparent violated rights of ranchers and farmers when they elect to unilaterally privatize government property. In the case of Mr. Bundy and company, the actions they took were sparked by a combination of anti-government ideology and private rapacity.
Do read the rest, in which the author points out, though some would claim otherwise, the Bundy Bund is diametrically different from Occupy and #BlackLivesMatter, as the Bundy Bund is ultimately all about personal gain through theft of public (that is, yours, my, and our) property.
Facebook Frolics 0
In case you are not aware of it, you can indeed have a
very nice much better online life without Facebook and other social leeches media.
Stray Thought, Election Dept. 0
How Stuff Works, Playing Trump Dept. (Updated, Kicked to the Top, Again, All Over Again Once More) 0
PoliticalProf tries to explain the rise of Trumpery.
Read it. (Warning: It does not bode well for the polity.)
Part Four, added Tuesday.
Part Five, added Thursday.
Part Six and Last, added Saturday.
Cowboy Cosplay 0
Buried in a larger story about how the court told the members of the Bundy Bund currently in custody, “No, you don’t get to walk away, Rene,” is this bit (emphasis added):
Four holdouts continued to occupy the refuge in the snowy high country near Burns, and they posted a YouTube video Friday demanding pardons for everyone involved in the occupation.
A speaker believed to be David Fry said he asked the FBI whether it was possible to “get out of here without charges,” but “they keep saying that’s not possible.”
I think that this expectation–that they are somehow exempt from consequences for theft and terrorism–conveys much about the bubble that these folks have built for themselves.
The Candidates Debate 0
Shorter Dick Polman: Lies and lying liars.
“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0
Be polite at the parking lot.
The shooting was reported around 6:40 p.m. at Flemings Steakhouse in the 1200 block of Lake Woodlands Drive near The Woodlands Mall.
A witness said the man shot himself in the leg while trying to hide his handgun.
“I was the one who parked his car,” the witness said. “It was an accident. He was trying to hide his handgun (to or from a glove box) because somebody can touch it. He was doing that and he shot himself. He was bleeding bad, he lost a lot of blood.”
This guns everywhere thing is working out so very nicely, is it not?
Toy Story 0
Ronnie Polaneczky suggests that, in additional to Barbie’s new contours, additional updates are indicated.
Louisa May Alcott:
Suffer the Children 0
Just mean for the sake of mean . . . .
Via Raw Story.
Droning On 0
Boys and their toys . . . .
(UK–ed) Aviation investigators on Friday released details of the four confirmed near-misses, but pilots warned that these may be the tip of the iceberg.
The UK Airprox Board investigated seven incidents last month involving drones, four of which were classified as being in the most serious bracket.
So far, a total of 30 incidents involving drones and manned aircraft from 2015 have been confirmed, compared to just six in 2014.
Christian Schneider, a “conservative” columnist for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, wonders what went wrong. Here’s part of his lament:
But it’s also possible that us eggheads, sitting behind our glowing screens philosophizing about voter behavior, stopped actually going out and talking to real voters. Just as modern technology allows members of each party to live in their own virtual reality — a conservative can now go the entire day without reading or hearing a dissenting viewpoint — that same technology can cause internecine fractures within parties themselves.
For instance, a conservative who listens to talk show radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin or Sean Hannity likely has a far different assessment of the Republican Party than those who curl up with copies of National Review or the Weekly Standard, or even my regular column. While ostensibly working for the same goals, these groups might not even recognize each other if they walked by each other on the street.
Missing from his tua culpa is any recognition that his vaunted Republican intelligentsia has been complicit in rationalizing Republican lies, such as trickle-on economoics and the Great and Glorious Patriot Lie for Irag, and Republican bigotry, such as the right-wing culture war, mass incarceration, and the war on
black and brown people drugs.
The difference between the “conservative intelligentsia” and Rush Limbaugh is a difference in style only.
Genteel venality is still venality.