… Read the rest
The debate over the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records has reached a critical point after a federal appeals court last week ruled the practice illegal, dramatically raising the stakes for pending Congressional legislation that would fully or partially reinstate the program. An army of pundits promptly took to television screens, with many of them brushing off concerns about the surveillance.
The talking heads have been backstopping the NSA’s mass surveillance more or less continuously since it was revealed. They spoke out to support the agency when NSA contractor Edward Snowden released details of its programs in 2013, and they’ve kept up their advocacy ever since — on television news shows, newspaper op-ed pages, online and at Congressional hearings. But it’s often unclear just how financially cozy these pundits are with the surveillance state they defend, since they’re typically identified with titles that give no clues about their conflicts of interest.
Tag Archives | Economics
I wake before my alarm today, relaxed.
And this time, it’s a good “OM”! My last shift, I was way busy with a bunch of locals (in-town runs). But the real red meat was a ride I took to Redwood City. That’s meter and a half!
(If the ride takes you more than 15 miles from San Francisco’s City Hall, MTA rules sees the driver charging meter and a half. The logic being that the driver and passenger should split the gas and time down due to the return trip.)
Anyway, I walked away with $285! Tony Jr. was working check-out at the bullet-proof glass in the afternoon, and there’s a new deal where drivers can pay gate (cab rental) out of their day’s Cabulous take. Needless to say, Tony Jr. was pretty impressed after he saw that I still had around $210 set to hit my bank account (via direct deposit) AFTER paying gate!… Read the rest
I awake groggy from the weekend. And I want to call in sick. (ZzZzzzzzZZzzz.)
Ugh! I should work! (ZzzZZZzzz.)
Besides, the road might be a good distraction from my mental state. (ZZzzZZzzz.)
Okay! Okay! I’ll get up!
It’s a (now) rare foggy day in ‘ol San Francisco. I’m slogging up through the Citizen’s Cab lot and headed towards the office.
As I near, Sammy – the new office guy who’s taken over Kojak’s morning shift, passes me. He’s leaving the office with some new West African driver. They’re heading out to the lot … with a jump starter.
Note: Kojak has been moved to the afternoon office shift for some unknown reason. (Unknown to me, anyway.) This is how the cab biz works. Drivers, office workers; one day ya see ‘em. And the next, they’re gone.
Aaron Dames writes for Divided Core.
We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.
— Carl Sagan
As the 100th anniversary of World War I rolls around, dignitaries and diplomats are commemorating the costly victories and tragic losses of that brutal and gaseous four-year melee which resulted in the deaths of somewhere between ten to sixteen million people. World War I set the stage for its horrific sequel, World War II, which showcased another four years of agonizing mayhem, replicated genocides, and the creation of a Hell on Earth. Millions of people died on battlefields, in death camps, and of disease, starvation, and lack of sanitation in galactic pits of unfathomable misery and suffering. World War II then set the stage for the Cold War, in which the United States, the Soviet Union, and eventually other jingoistic nuclear powers, held humanity hostage through aggressive threats of apocalyptic war.… Read the rest
Umair Haque via Medium:
… Read the rest
Our economy doesn’t make stuff anymore. So what does it make?
My good friend Mara has not one but two graduate degrees. From fine, storied universities. Surprise, surprise: the only “job” she was able to find was at a retail store.
Hey—it’s only minimum wage, but at least she’s working, right? And at a major-league, blue-chip company, An American icon; an institution; a name every man, woman, and child in this country knows; an historic company that rings of the American Dream the world over, besides. Surely, if nothing else, it’s a start.
Perhaps you’re right. Maybe it isn’t the start she always dreamed of…but at least it is one. If so…then awaits her at the finish?
What is Mara’s job like? Her sales figures are monitored…by the microsecond. By hidden cameras and mics. They listen to her every word; they capture her every movement; that track and stalk her as if she were an animal; or a prisoner; or both.
Artist and storyteller Hal Hefner has created a gorgeous series of poster style art pieces called “Consume” inspired by the 1988 John Carpenter film “They Live,” which, as each commercial break passes, seems to be more of a prescient (and depressingly accurate) warning of the totalitarian conformist consumer dystopia to come, much in the vein of “Network” or “1984,” than some mere sci-fi, space, alien slugfest starring wrestling legend Rowdy Roddy Piper and a host of everyman character actors.
Channeling pop culture icons, ad campaigns that have been scratched into the surface of all of our brains by endless repetition, the aforementioned alien overlords and graffiti artist gone good Shepard Fairey’s iconic Obama poster, Hefner has given us each a pair of those special sunglasses that we can’t just take off and ignore anymore.
Static Hopelessness or Hope and Change we can actually Believe in?
BUY MORE STUFF. BE HAPPY.… Read the rest
Spanish artist Luis Quiles has a dark, disturbing vision of modern life, consumerism, social media and sexuality…but what’s easily the most shocking aspect of his bleak, erotically charged portrayal of our apathetic, narcissistic social decay is that it really isn’t that shocking at all to a culture numbed down by constant, instant corporate gratification. Swipe to the left:
There are many ways to take a stand when it comes to various social issues.
Luis Quiles, a Spanish artist… [who] does this by drawing pretty controversial cartoons, has spent the last few years creating hundreds of powerful drawings, showing a disturbingly accurate vision of our world.
And while most of his work can be rather disturbing, it’s also very eye-opening.Slaving to social media, child trafficking, dirty politics.
The following…images might make you feel kind of dirty, but they will also definitely make you think.
In a consolidation that will birth the fifth largest food company in the world, H.J. Heinz Company announced on Wednesday its plan to purchase Kraft Foods.
The mega-merger, which was engineered by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathway and the Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital, brings under one roof products ranging from the ubiquitous Heinz Ketchup and Kraft Mac n’ Cheese to the companies’ other brands including: Oscar Mayer lunch meats, Planters nuts, Bagel Bites, Maxwell House Coffee, Jell-O, Kraft Singles, Ore-Ida potato products, Weight Watchers brand frozen dinners, and Kool-Aid.
The expected annual revenue of Kraft Heinz Co. is expected to be about $28 billion.
The Associated Press reports that the $40 billion buyout reflects pressures facing packaged food makers as consumers are increasingly interested in purchasing less processed food.
Via KC Star:
Missouri woman pleads guilty to assaulting doorbell pranksters.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield woman could get a 10-year prison sentencing for threatening boys who rang her doorbell and ran away.
Prosecutors say 32-year-old Ashley Crossland pleaded guilty on Feb. 17 to burglary, assault and unlawful use of a weapon after becoming angry because of a January 2014 prank.
A probable cause statement says Crossland tried to run one boy down with her van and punched another three times while holding a knife to his chest.
The Springfield News-Leader reports she was also charged with going to the home where the boys were having a sleepover and illegally entering the home.
… Read the rest
One of the boys reportedly told police that Crossland came out of her home and began yelling at them as they ran away after they rang her doorbell. The boy said that after he turned a corner, he saw a van “driving crazy.”
Probable cause documents said the van tried to run the boy over, and backed him up against a fence.
Zaid Jilani Via Alternet:
… Read the rest
Why Did Ted Cruz Refuse to Disclose How Much His Wife—a VP at Goldman Sachs—Makes?
Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz has announced his intention to run for the presidency. He is widely expected to tap into the Tea Party base of the Republican party and posit himself as anti-establishment – in this case, an establishment that is too weak-kneed and too willing to compromise with the Democrats.
But a curious statement on Cruz’s financial disclosure shows that he may not be so opposed to the establishment he rails against. See, Cruz’s wife is a vice president at Goldman Sachs, the megabank so close to the powers in Washington that it is often jokingly referred to as “Government Sachs.” Because spousal income is shared, it is required for Members of Congress to list their spouse’s employement if it gives them over $1,000. They are not required to list the exact income their spouse receives, but they are certainly allowed to if they are willing to be that transparent.