Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bureaucratic Insanity is Yours to Enjoy

“Taking the chance of making a complete fool of himself—and, sometimes, doing so—is the first demand that is made upon any real critic: he must stick his neck out just as the artist does, if he is to be of any real use to art.”
~ Randall Jarrell, “The Age of Criticism”

From Roger Parloff at Fortune, a slideshow of 30 of the top Donald Trump lawsuits and legal threats.Earlier, and generally

Stalin's henchmen. Vile murderers and treacherous cowards, they were also a musical bunch. They could have made a competent chamber ensemble... Cold River Memories 

Bureaucratic Insanity is Yours to Enjoy Club Orlov 

Are public bureaucracies really a fount of innovation? Not really, despite vogue for new Marianna Mazzucato book The Entrepreneurial State [Alberto Mingardi, EconLog]

Bernie’s greatest legacy: Suddenly, it’s OK to question capitalism! Salon

Dwain Downing, an attorney in Arlington, Texas, says he is suing a Mansfield diner that ran out of soup at 2 p.m. during a Saturday lunch special. The server and on-site manager told Downing that while he didn’t have to order the sandwich, two sides, and soup special at all if the lack of soup made it unattractive to him, the restaurant’s policy was not to discount the $7.95 price or offer a third side dish as a substitute. “Downing demands $2.25 – the cost of an additional side at Our Place – plus $250 in legal fees.” Why didn’t he handle it through an online review, calling the owner on the phone or simply not coming back? “‘I’m a lawyer,’ Downing said Friday by phone. ‘And lawyers write letters.'” [Marc Ramirez, Dallas Morning News]

Overhearing and repeating the wrong sort of evidence can land a parrot in a witness-protection program [Laurel Braitman, Digg]

College Life Before Facebook American Conservative 

Wood ducks links
Who dares speak freely in an election year?

When it comes to the great stagnation, don’t blame the engineers.  A very good post with lots of detail; I say fear the services

Grocery chain sued over dog bite: “Richard Spring claims Whole Foods did not do enough to protect him from the dog, which was leashed to a ‘tie-up’ station provided by the grocery chain.” [KATU]

A billionaire is willing to bring back public access to Martins Beach — for a price Los Angeles Times

How License-Plate Readers Have Helped Police and Lenders Target the Poor Atlantic  

"The sad truth is that the majority of people are speaking from a position of ignorance on this. They should stop being so sanctimonious and spend a year in banking to understand what the job actually entails and why it needs to incentivise so hard - yes, the pay is large, but to think that every banker sits at their desk thinking of new ways to rob the poor is asinine in the extreme. Every industry has unethical staff (see VW for just one) and 99.9% of us are normal, hard working people and pretty sick of being cast in with a few bad eggs."
By Dead Cat Bounce on US finance professionals face fresh pay crackdown

Psychologists Who Designed the CIA Torture Program Can Be Sued by Victims, Federal Judge Rules Alternet  

Big Food in health drive to keep share Financial Times. Problem is consumers know Corporate America’s “healthy food” falls short of what health-conscious types deem acceptable. They’ve seen them buy small producers with good products and degrade them. But making mass market foods less unhealthy is a step in the right direction.  

The millionaires leave cities, build fortresses failed evolution 

Stateline: “Cities and states have long had hotlines for reporting misuse of government resources. But mobile apps bring a new level of sophistication. They allow people to submit photos and videos in support of their claims; and in some cases auditors can use the app to respond and ask for follow-up information, all while maintaining a tipster’s anonymity. Sixty-four percent of American adults now carry a smartphone, according to a reportfrom the Pew Research Center. (The Pew Charitable Trusts funds both the Pew Research Center and Stateline.) Because reporting waste, fraud and abuse through an app is so easy, people are more inclined to do so, auditors say.”

EU Files New Antitrust Charges Against Google Over Android Apps NPR

Ruined Chernobyl nuclear plant will remain a threat for 3,000 years McClatchy

“In the early days of the Chernobyl disaster [April 1986], many still had faith in the Communist Party, but by late ’88, delusions about the Soviets were long gone. Fear of reprisals had receded with the deaths of strongmen Leonid Brezhnev and Yuri Andropov (known as the Butcher of Budapest after the 1956 Hungarian uprising). So when rumors started swirling about Communist officials evacuating their children while denying the opportunity to parents who wanted to do the same, the mood in Chernivitz grew mutinous. Parents ignored orders to stay put, and within weeks, the town emptied…”

Facial Recognition Service Becomes a Weapon Against Russian Porn ActressesGlobal Voices (guurst). Given that tons of people have been working on facial recognition technology for well over a decade, the industrial-surveillance complex has to have technology of similar capabilities. The fact that is hasn’t been released in the wild (yet) would lead on to think that the Humint types was to keep it as much under their control as possible. Separately, this is enough to make me consider wearing fake eyebrows and a fake nose on a regular basis.

HOW BADLY DID THE U. MASS SOCIAL-JUSTICE-WARRIOR PROTESTS BACKFIRE?So badly that people are talking about it in Australia