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Archive of Articles in the "Privacy" Category

On Wisconsin

[ Posted Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 – 16:37 UTC ]

In the admittedly sophomoric fashion of headline creation, today we do not cheer: "On, Wisconsin!", but rather approach the state from the point of dealing with a tricky subject to address, in the style of: "On The Subject Of...". The reasons are pretty obvious (not to... ahem... badger the point), since the primary election they're holding today simply should not have been held right now, seeing as how we're all still in the depths of a medical crisis which demands as stringent social distancing as possible. But Republicans have successfully demanded that people risk death to cast a ballot, so (sadly) here we are.

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Time For Some Republican-Shaming

[ Posted Monday, April 6th, 2020 – 16:39 UTC ]

Suddenly, it's all out in the open. A fight which Republicans have been waging (and mostly winning) in the background for the past two or three decades is about to move to the center ring of American politics. Because of the stance Republicans have taken, they've now painted themselves into a corner -- and by doing so have given the Democrats an enormous political gift. It remains to be seen if the Democrats realize how politically potent an issue this could be, if properly handled. They could always blow the opportunity, of course. But if they start banging the drum now, they can either cause the Republicans to back down (out of shame) or pay a political price in November, up and down the ballot. Because the issue really is that potent. Here is the nutshell version: "Republicans don't want you to vote. Democrats want everyone to safely and securely have their vote counted."

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Friday Talking Points -- Down The Memory Hole

[ Posted Friday, April 3rd, 2020 – 18:15 UTC ]

From time to time, we occasionally use the word "Orwellian" in our writing, usually to describe some governmental action or individual who seems to have stepped straight out of George Orwell's classic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Today, this term seems more appropriate than perhaps any other time we've ever been moved to use it. You be the judge. Here is the original text from the novel, explaining the protagonist Winston Smith's use of "memory holes" at the Ministry of Truth:

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Americans Rediscover Shared Sacrifice

[ Posted Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 – 17:16 UTC ]

Americans are newly discovering their ability for shared sacrifice in the name of the good of all. Now, this isn't universal -- disasters tend to bring out both the best and the worst in us, it seems -- but it is pretty close to universal in the areas hardest hit. Life has changed, in major ways. Daily routines have been obliterated. We all have to protect ourselves and in doing so protect each other as well. This has meant radical changes in the way we interact with each other which will likely be with us for months, if not years. What I find interesting is that we're shouldering the burdens -- so far -- about as well as can be expected.

I'm not talking about the politicians and the other people in charge of the response -- for once, this isn't a political column. I'm talking instead about average people and how they've been reacting and changing as a result of the pandemic. Because America just hasn't seen this sort of widespread change in attitude for a very long time -- perhaps since World War II.

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Why Is California Doing So Well?

[ Posted Monday, March 30th, 2020 – 16:53 UTC ]

It might sound like a strange question, coming from a Californian, but I do have to wonder why California seems to be doing so well in fighting off the coronavirus pandemic, compared to other states. If this is a real difference, it would behoove others to study why we've been so successful, but there is another possibility -- that we just haven't realized how hard we've been hit yet. Either way, the question of why we're doing so well would seem to be an important one to answer.

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Friday Talking Points -- We're Number One (Hundred Thousand)!

[ Posted Friday, March 27th, 2020 – 18:12 UTC ]

We're number one! Well... number one hundred thousand and climbing, at any rate....

Yesterday, the United States of America took the lead on the world stage, but not in a good way. We're now the most-infected nation on the planet, and are now the number one epicenter of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Today, the number of cases in this country surpassed 100,000 -- a grim milestone indeed. We still have a ways to go before we are the country with the most deaths from the disease, but at the rate we're going that won't be long either.

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Don't Forget The Lag Time

[ Posted Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 – 16:32 UTC ]

Tracking the spread of the coronavirus is tough to do on a real-time basis because of several inherent instabilities in the data, and also because of the built-in lag time. We'd all do well to remember this in the next few weeks, when considering when lifting all the social distancing restrictions. President Trump is already leading the charge to get the country back to normal, so this pressure is obviously only going to grow.

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Friday Talking Points -- 19,382 And Counting

[ Posted Friday, March 20th, 2020 – 17:17 UTC ]

We're kidding, of course. Neither of these stories -- which, in normal times would have been covered extensively by the media -- even caused a blip on the radar this week. Because the nation is gripped in the midst of a viral pandemic and we've got the Keystone Kops running the response. Which, admittedly, is a much bigger story to focus on.

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Democrats Should Demand Universal Mail-In Voting In Next Must-Pass Bill

[ Posted Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 – 16:51 UTC ]

The coronavirus outbreak is going to change the fabric of American life in many ways. "Social distancing" is just one of them; one which might last a lot longer than anyone now fully realizes. The coronavirus could be successfully fought this spring, and could be brought under some semblance of control by summer -- but then still come raging back next fall, even worse than before. That's precisely what happened with the Spanish Flu, one hundred years ago. Everyone thought it was over, but in fact the worst was yet to come. This is a very real danger, even though most people haven't even begun to focus on it yet.

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Friday Talking Points -- The Weird Turn Pro

[ Posted Friday, March 13th, 2020 – 16:54 UTC ]

In a surreal bit of coincidence this week, America saw a simultaneous broadcast of President Trump stumbling and lying his way through a primetime Oval Office address, while on another channel former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin danced around in a frilly pink bear costume while rapping "Baby Got Back," which contains the memorable line: "I like big butts and I cannot lie...." Signs of the impending apocalypse? You be the judge. What flashed through our mind was the old quote from Hunter S. Thompson: "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." Or, as we might put it (with a fake Sarah Palin accent): "How's that 'stable genius' stuff workin' out for ya now?"

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