State of the Union: Whither Afghanistan?

Tonight the President will address the nation in his second state of the nation. It’s unclear if he’ll say anything about Afghanistan, he’d be wise not to. Equally, given the President is prone to tackling sacred cows, maybe he should. President Trump sent more troops and in his words America would stay until the “war is won”.  While not as notorious as Vietnam, Afghanistan is Americas longest war, all Presidents from Roosevelt are complicit. America had been involved  in/with Afghanistan from 1946 until the late 1970’s, as the Americans left, the Soviets arrived. We are now negotiating with the Taliban, … Continue reading State of the Union: Whither Afghanistan?

15-Seconds of fame from Facebooks 15-years.

Marketplace recently tweeted asking how social media had changed or impacted your life. Of course I had a response. They emailed today to ask if I’d record a voicemail, and used a segment of it in todays show for a segment called: “thefacebook.com” went live 15-years ago today. A lot has changed since then. We asked you about how social media changed your life — for better or for worse. Here were some of your answers: https://t.co/baStpKvQJn pic.twitter.com/WM8z6BCf9i — Marketplace (@Marketplace) February 4, 2019 In addition to what went on the show, what I also said was: I had a … Continue reading 15-Seconds of fame from Facebooks 15-years.

Elements – Earth, Wind and Fire on Soul!

Since finishing the book, and this blog post about Maurice White, I’ve been digging through some of my other archives. I found an amazing live performance from the groundbreaking WNET show Soul! broadcast on January 10th, 1973. The accompanying video, the shows are available via pbs.org in some regions, and via WNET Thirteen, if you can access them. A low res version of which can be seen below via Youtube, is perhaps remarkable for a number of reasons. It documents a group in the midst of change. The original Earth, Wind and Fire had recorded two albums for Warner Brothers, … Continue reading Elements – Earth, Wind and Fire on Soul!

Earth, Wind and Fire; life and guidance

Over the year-end I read the Maurice White, Herb Powell penned autobiography, “My Life With Earth, Wind & Fire”. It was both an interesting read, and revelatory. While my early teens were heavily influenced by David Bowie, my late teens and in some respects the rest of my life was heavily influenced by the sound, and especially the mystical guidance that seemed to be coming from the group, led by it’s founder and bandleader, Maurice White. White’s spiritual approach gave endorsement to my own uncomfortableness with my Christian upbringing and doubt that a single “God” existed. I never met White, … Continue reading Earth, Wind and Fire; life and guidance

“Socialism” vs. “capitalism”: what left and right get wrong about the debate

This is a great read, and completely on the “money”. I grew up in “social” aka council housing or, as they call in America, the “projects”. I’ve worked in Moscow, East Berlin, Romania and China; I’ve been to all the countries in the Middle East with the exception of Libya; Israel twice, none of them have socialism but I’d rather not live there. The UK even with added “free” Healthcare, a Labor government, at it’s most extreme, the UK never had socialism. Any discussion of Healthcare or public “welfare” in the USA descends into an argument about socialism within 90-seconds. … Continue reading “Socialism” vs. “capitalism”: what left and right get wrong about the debate

Missing the point of Healthcare costs

We managed to get Health Insurance sorted out for my wife and daughter, without falling into the trap of me getting covered by an ACA policy, which would put me in jeopardy of violating the “public charge” agreement I accepted when applying for my green card. I’m self-insuring for another year aka uninsurance. Today I took my daughter to the dentist, she needed two baby teeth pulled to make way for her adult teeth. The insurance didn’t verify when they put it in. So I paid by card. In a subsequent phone call we went through the process of how … Continue reading Missing the point of Healthcare costs

An Apple a day keeps the Doctor Employed.

CNBC has an interesting article about the number, and quality of Doctors they employ.  I’ve no idea what’s going on an Apple, for a number of reasons, I’ve never bought a single product of theirs. However, given their deep pockets and ability to play a strategically long-game, I for one would be surprised if this isn’t significantly more than just about the watch and apps that can diagnose conditions based on data in collects. Here are my thoughts, in the form tweets to @charlesarthur original tweet and link to his daily Startup link list overflow. The Apple thing is an interesting … Continue reading An Apple a day keeps the Doctor Employed.

Look & See – Rural America

I’ve written a number of harsh posts about those living in rural America, mostly based off the perception that is pushed by the Republican party, that is, rural Americans don’t understand, and resent urban Americans. That rural Americans are the god-fearing, backbone of America and urban and city dwellers are welfare dependents, and worse still, socialists. Certainly, the Republican party continue to push this agenda today, dividing sub-urban and rural communities from the cities. As shown here, rural Americans claiming benefits has sky rocketed between ’96 and 2015; increasingly, the programs getting cut, adversely hit rural America harder, as rural … Continue reading Look & See – Rural America

Your infrequent reminder, Facebook is evil

They figured out how do you tweak people’s vanities and their passions and their susceptibilities and their desires in order to keep them on the site. Source: The Central Question Behind Facebook: ‘What Does Mark Zuckerberg Believe In?’ : NPR If you have not heard it, the above NPR Fresh Air interview by Dave Davies with Evan Osnos, a New Yorker Staff writer is well worth the listen. Since that interview, we’ve had two more announcements of significance from Facebook. October 11th, the evil empire announced that they’d disabled some 66 accounts or what Facebook described as: dozens of accounts … Continue reading Your infrequent reminder, Facebook is evil