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Archive of Articles in the "Privacy" Category

Delta Wave Crests

[ Posted Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021 – 16:59 UTC ]

America may have just turned the corner in the fight against the Delta mutation of the COVID-19 viral pandemic. This is good news, obviously, if the trend continues. It could mean a return to at least the normalcy of the beginning of the summer, which would be a welcome relief to all. And it could signal that the next variant which hits us (whatever Greek letter it happens to have) will be less destructive. And that's really good news for all.

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Some Recall Reflections

[ Posted Wednesday, September 15th, 2021 – 17:17 UTC ]

California Governor Gavin Newsom emerged victorious from his recall election last night, chalking up a rather stunning margin: with 71 percent of the vote counted, "No" on the recall was beating "Yes" by a whopping 28 points (64 percent to 36 percent). Not quite 2-to-1, but close. Since it was a special recall election held at an odd time, it garnered more than the normal amount of media and political interest nationwide -- especially after a poll a few months ago seemed to suggest that the race was somehow neck-and-neck. Obviously, it wasn't. Newsom may in fact beat the margin of victory he managed in his last election. Whatever the final numbers turn out to be, though, it's hard not to use the word "landslide" to describe the outcome.

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It's Not A Vaccine Mandate, It's A Testing Mandate

[ Posted Monday, September 13th, 2021 – 15:36 UTC ]

Republicans, as they are wont to do, have been falsely framing President Joe Biden's order to medium-to-large businesses last week as a "vaccine mandate" or "vaccination mandate." House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy even tweeted it out in all caps yesterday: "NO VACCINE MANDATES." On the Sunday morning political chat shows, this framing was presented by other Republicans with little or no pushback from either the hosts or even the Democratic guests. But it is false. It is highly misleading. What Biden ordered for the private sector was not a vaccine mandate. It was a testing mandate. Nobody's going to get fired for not getting vaccinated -- but people could get fired for refusing to submit to weekly testing. That's a big difference. Republicans are trying to obscure this reality by framing it as a "getting fired for refusing a vaccine" issue. And so far, at least on television, this seems to be working for them.

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Friday Talking Points -- Democrats Should Lean In To Biden's New Pandemic Mandates

[ Posted Friday, September 10th, 2021 – 17:04 UTC ]

This week, President Joe Biden picked a political fight. Or, more accurately, he got up off the sidelines and engaged in a political fight that had already begun, by strongly opposing Republican politicians fighting against basic public health safety measures under the fake guise of "freedom." Biden stood squarely for science and safety, while Republicans are left to fight for recklessness and death. That is precisely how the matter should be framed politically, and so far it looks like Biden is doing a fairly good job of presenting this dichotomy to the public. He's even taking the fight directly to all the GOP governors who are sounding increasingly unhinged about the basic concepts of public health and safety.

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California About To Make Universal Mail-In Voting Permanent

[ Posted Wednesday, September 8th, 2021 – 14:26 UTC ]

As I write this, there is less than a week to go before the votes in California's gubernatorial recall election will be counted. But, just as I predicted a few weeks ago, it now seems like a sure bet that Governor Gavin Newsom is going to beat the recall pretty handily. As I wrote back then, a few odd outlier polls had caused somewhat of a frenzy in the chattering classes of the inside-the-Beltway punditocracy, who all concluded that Newsom was in trouble and a Republican could win the recall. I didn't buy it. Not for a minute.

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Friday Talking Points -- Supreme Court Shows Its True Colors

[ Posted Friday, September 3rd, 2021 – 16:47 UTC ]

This week began with conservatives and liberals upset because the women of Afghanistan will now lose their freedoms under a tyrannical extremist government. It ended with liberals upset that the women of Texas have now lost freedoms under a tyrannical extremist government. Conservatives were notably silent, which is understandable since they were the ones instituting this unconstitutional denial of rights from the women of the Lone Star State.

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Roe On Life Support

[ Posted Thursday, September 2nd, 2021 – 15:50 UTC ]

The anti-abortion movement finally got what it wanted all along: a pliant Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade. It took them a long time and a lot of effort to accomplish this -- this movement truly started in the Reagan years with the self-titled "Moral Majority," after all -- but they've finally reached the end of the road. Maybe this will finally get Democrats to pay a little more attention to the importance of Supreme Court picks when voting in presidential races, because the rightwingers have known this for decades now. And it has finally paid off for them.

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Nice Telecom You Got Here -- Be A Shame If Anything Happened To It

[ Posted Wednesday, September 1st, 2021 – 15:23 UTC ]

The lead Republican in the House of Representatives just channelled his inner mob thug. Publicly. This is what the party has sunk to, folks. Overt threats of retaliation, should Republicans take back control of the chamber.

Kevin McCarthy recently responded in an awfully threatening manner to the news that the House January 6th Select Committee has asked dozens of telecommunications companies to preserve some specific records which might pertain to the insurrection and riot at the U.S. Capitol. There is nothing unusual in such a request -- again, all the companies are being asked to do at this point is to make sure any pertinent data does not get erased. That's it. Entirely legal, and perhaps a precursor to the committee issuing subpoenas for any or all of these records. Which would also be perfectly legal, under federal law. In fact, the subpoenas would be an exercise of federal law.

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Friday Talking Points -- A Grim Week

[ Posted Friday, August 27th, 2021 – 17:09 UTC ]

This was never going to be a good week for President Joe Biden. The ongoing crisis in Afghanistan pretty much guaranteed that. But although the week started out with signs of optimism -- more and more people being airlifted out of Kabul, to top 100,000 by week's end -- it ended in disaster. A suicide bomber exploded his vest right at the gate to the airport, which killed at least 13 American servicemembers and over 100 Afghans (as of this writing the official death toll for Afghans had hit 169). So while this week could have been perhaps tense but slightly optimistic, by week's end that was no longer possible. It was disastrous; there's just no other way to put it. One grim way to measure it is Biden has now made his first addition to the number he always carries around with him in his jacket pocket -- the number of fallen U.S. servicemembers from both Iraq and Afghanistan.

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The Return Of Doomscrolling

[ Posted Thursday, August 19th, 2021 – 16:53 UTC ]

I haven't written about the progress of the pandemic data for a while, so I thought it was time to take a close look at the fourth wave. Mostly because one thing the Delta mutation of the COVID-19 virus has brought back (at least for me) is "doomscrolling" -- checking in on a daily basis to see what the numbers are and what the data show. It's not exactly a pleasant picture, but there are glimmers of hope here and there, at least.

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