‘Facebook can’t be trusted’

New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner John Edwards (@jce_pc), was interviewed this morning on NPR by Rachel Martin. Edwards criticized Facebook after last month’s attacks on two mosques in Christchurch were live-streamed on Facebook. It was a refreshing interview with a politician who doesn’t have all the answers, and knows it’s not his job to come up with them. He is also not beholden to big tech financing, as a New Zealand politician. Equally Edwards was clear where the blame and responsibility lay. The whole interview is well worth listening to, but Edwards rightly pointed out we have a platform that has … Continue reading ‘Facebook can’t be trusted’

Stock buybacks rule – Tax breaks enable

As predicted, not by the tweeter in chief, but by almost anyone who understands big companies and executive, stock buybacks hit an all time high in 2018 and are likely to be higher again in 2019. This is a big deal, companies that buyback their stock, are reducing the number of shares available on the market. That generally means the share price goes up. Share prices are often one of the main ways executives are measured, their bonuses are usually dependant on the share price. Also, because the price of each share goes up, it makes it harder for lower … Continue reading Stock buybacks rule – Tax breaks enable

Opinion | How Much Will Americans Sacrifice for Good Health Care? – The New York Times

Sadly, this New York Times Editorial op-ed is factually wrong in a material way that I had to write a letter. I also ripped into Dan Gorenstein on twitter(1) for linking to the article and “guessing” he didn’t think Americans would tolerate #MedicareForAll. Here is the text I sent to the Times, who knows if they will publish it. My track record of getting corrections to editorial op-eds published is close to zero. It’s like they don’t want to be wrong. The editorial board seems both confused, and factually inaccurate when it comes to how insurance works in government funded, … Continue reading Opinion | How Much Will Americans Sacrifice for Good Health Care? – The New York Times

British Concentration Camps: A Response to Jacob Rees-Mogg | The Gladstone Diaries

On a BBC politics, current affairs program, Question time last week had another of it’s heavily #brexit based episodes. This one featured UK Government and Conservative prig, William Rees-Mogg. Mogg is infamous for his lowkey, I’m holier than thou, silver spoon accent. He makes statements with such supposed authority you’d be hard pressed to doubt there were 12 commandments. This time in a pseudo-educated way, he prognosticated over William Churchill and took other members of the panel to task, “from the comfort of 2019”. “You’ve got to understand the history”. Turns out, as often, Moggs dictats were, as they frequently … Continue reading British Concentration Camps: A Response to Jacob Rees-Mogg | The Gladstone Diaries

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?

America and Syria – the backstory

President Trump has decided, unilaterally apparently, to pull all America troops out of Syria, both surprising his Chiefs of Staff and allies. The American story with Syria is intertwined with almost everything the west has done in the Middle East since the end of the 2nd World War.  American was the prime enabler of the Assad family rise to to power, and as everything post war seemed to be, all about fighting the rise of Communism and installing “democracy”. Syria gained its independence in 1946 and in 1948 engaged in the Arab-Israeli war. Later in 1949, the Americans were party, … Continue reading America and Syria – the backstory

Protect Colorado – Give me a break! (Yes on 112)

When we ride our bikes north and east of Boulder you can see the gas and oil pipelines an extraction points at regular intervals. But it’s nothing like Texas. Very, Very few oil derricks, certainly in and around Erie, CO there are a number of fracking pad sites, you can see them clearly from Colorado State Highway 52, in places. But there is nothing like the density I expected given the prominence of the Oil and Gas industry in the state politics. Even when you drive out through north east Colorado, wells yes, but still surrounded by massive areas of … Continue reading Protect Colorado – Give me a break! (Yes on 112)

Amazon’s $15 Minimum Wage Won’t Change How Americans See Work – Bloomberg

n 2017, the real median household income in the U.S. was $61,372, which is roughly what two earners with full-time jobs making $15 an hour would make. I remain totally confused about class as a term to classify people in America. This article is a prime example. While overall this is good news, if $15-per hour helps the middle class, how little do you have to earn to be working class? And why is that term never used? As far as I’m aware the amazon deal doesn’t include health insurance, which effectively means before taxes, you’ll have to work for … Continue reading Amazon’s $15 Minimum Wage Won’t Change How Americans See Work – Bloomberg

Maternity medical crisis

As we approach this year’s open enrollment period for health insurance, I continue to be shocked and disappointed about almost everything I learn about the US Healthcare system. Before I return to notes about my own experiences and my own health, maternity care is another healthcare topic that doesn’t often get discussed, as the average American prepares to pay more than $10,348, per person, per year on healthcare. While many argue about the definition of single payer, and if it would lead to socialism (and what that is?), the inefficiency, mistakes, cost and just outright expense of what should be … Continue reading Maternity medical crisis

Legislating hacking/data exposure responses

I don’t know enough about the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) but at least on basic reading it seems inadequate in meaningful individual action requirements and legislation that benefits the actual user/person whose information has been exposed. I’ve been signed up for haveibeenpwned an excellent website by Troy Hunt. You enter your email, and it tells you what breaches your personal information has been found in. I was going to say “if any”. But of course your data will be there, especially after breaches like the River City Media (RCM) “spammer gate” where 1.4 billion peoples’ email accounts, … Continue reading Legislating hacking/data exposure responses