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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Washington state, for half my life
Home country: USA
Current location: SW Alabama. for the rest of my life
Member since: Wed Feb 27, 2008, 02:09 PM
Number of posts: 59,763

About Me

Long time political activist, working to tint my lil "Mayberry" more blue. Collector of strays of various species and minds.

Journal Archives

Wouldn't if be great if more heads of state were like this one?

Meet José Mujica. He may look like your average farmer or grandfather, but he is anything but.
This man is globally known as the world’s “poorest President” because he lives a life of humility… all while leading the country of Uruguay.
As a man who truly cares about his people, he doesn’t take an obscene amount of money to just act as a politician.
He donates about 90% of his $12,000 monthly salary to charities that benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs.

more here, with pics, info.

Ray Kelly, NY Police Comm. gets his reward.

Remember Ray Kelly?
He of the tear gas spraying of Occupy members?
he of the infamous "stop and frisk" policy in NYC?
He whose strong arm tactics has caused the NYC Police millions of $$$ in settling lawsuits?

his reward:
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly To Join Council On Foreign Relations
Outgoing New York City Police Department commissioner Ray Kelly will join the Council on Foreign Relations in January as a distinguished visiting fellow, the organization announced Monday.
Kelly will focus on national security issues including counterterrorism and cybersecurity, according to CFR's statement.

The outgoing commissioner is also slated to hit the speaking circuit once he leaves his post at the end of the month. He'll be replaced by Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's pick, former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton.

(links to TPM)

Ally Bank To Pay $98 Million For Charging Higher Interest To Non-White Borrowers

This shit is STILL going on.
But with a twist...

Earlier today, the Justice Dept. and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced the largest auto loan discrimination settlement in U.S. history with the news that Ally Bank has agreed to pay $98 million, including $80 million in refunds to settle allegations that it has been charging higher interest rates to minority borrowers of car loans.

Ally provides what are known as “indirect” auto loans to consumers, meaning it provides auto dealerships with loans at a set, risk-based interest rate and then allows the dealerships to add on a “dealer markup,” which can then be split between the dealership and Ally.
..........Ally violated the law by charging African-American, Hispanic, and Asian and Pacific Islander borrowers higher dealer markups for their auto loans than similarly-situated non-Hispanic white borrowers.
In total, some 235,000 borrowers paid higher interest rates than they should have.


Not everything you buy is actually yours to keep.-Amazon blocks videos already bought by customers.

Disney has decided to pull access to several purchased Christmas videos from Amazon during the holiday season, as the movie studio wants its TV-channel to have the content exclusively.
Affected customers have seen their videos disappear from their online libraries, showing once again that not everything you buy is actually yours to keep.

Disney’s decision to make certain Christmas videos unavailable on Amazon is because they want people to tune in to their TV channel instead. This ban is not limited to new customers and includes those who already purchased the videos.

One of the affected customers of Disney’s restrictive policy is Bill, who informed BoingBoing that the Christmas themed ‘Disney Prep & Landing’ he bought for his kids last year had been pulled from his library.

“Amazon has explained to me that Disney can pull their content at any time and ‘at this time they’ve pulled that show for exclusivity on their own channel.’ In other words, Amazon sold me a Christmas special my kids can’t watch during the run up to Christmas,” Bill notes.
“It’ll be available in July though!” he adds.


Another reason the cloud concept is not good.

AT&T wants to know: how much would you pay for a little online privacy?

`What's one piece of your privacy worth? About a dollar a day, suggests telecom giant AT&T.

The company's latest internet service offering in Austin, Texas comes in two flavors.
The company might as well call them the "some privacy" and "no privacy" services.
The cheaper version gives customers a discount in return for being targeted more intrusively than ever by user-specific advertising.

This is a long article, well worth the read.
I was esp. struck by THIS:
On a per-app basis, wrote Scott Savage and Donald M Waldman, users were "willing to make a one-time payment for each app
of $2.28 to conceal their browser history,
$4.05 to conceal their list of contacts,
$1.19 to conceal their location,
$1.75 to conceal their phone's identification number,
and $3.58 to conceal the contents of their text messages.
The consumer is also willing to pay $2.12 to eliminate advertising".

And the more experienced a user was with the technology, the more he or she was willing to pay – strongly suggesting that educated technology users don't like what's being done to them.


David Simon: 'There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show'

The creator of The Wire, David Simon, delivered an impromptu speech about the divide between rich and poor in America at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney, and how capitalism has lost sight of its social compact.

America is a country that is now utterly divided when it comes to its society, its economy, its politics. There are definitely two Americas.
I live in one, on one block in Baltimore that is part of the viable America, the America that is connected to its own economy, where there is a plausible future for the people born into it. About 20 blocks away is another America entirely. It's astonishing how little we have to do with each other, and yet we are living in such proximity.

There's no barbed wire around West Baltimore or around East Baltimore, around Pimlico, the areas in my city that have been utterly divorced from the American experience that I know. But there might as well be.
We've somehow managed to march on to two separate futures and I think you're seeing this more and more in the west. I don't think it's unique to America.


David Simon, creator of The Wire, and of Treme, know whereof he speaks.

Until now, I had not heard of The Festival of Dangerous Ideas.
Here is a link to it for further reading:

[font style=color:#FF0000;]there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there?[/font]

detailed account of what went wrong with Healthcare web site.

I gotta admit I am rather stunned at some of the obvious errors in communication, testing of the site.

The urgent race to fix the website — now playing out behind the locked glass doors of the closely guarded war room in Columbia, Md. — has exposed a deeply dysfunctional relationship between the Department of Health and Human Services and its technology contractors, and tensions between the White House chief of staff and senior health department officials.



[font style=color:#FF0000;]there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there?[/font]

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