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TGIF – March 23, 2018

March 23, 2018

Time to look at Obama?

It’s just really wonderful how often President Trump gets slammed for doing and saying exactly the same things his predecessor did, as happened when he made the same diplomatic call to Putin that Obama did, using almost exactly the same wording.

Strangely, other than these comparisons, the right still takes the same “hands-off Obama” approach they did when he was in office.

There’s no such deference when it comes to Trump.

Everyone from left to right seems to delight in trashing #45. Presumably because he’s not “presidential” enough for them, they don’t feel they have to treat him with the normal courtesies afforded the office, if not the man.

Maybe it’s time to point out #44’s shortcomings and misbehaviors with the same needles that are jabbed at President Trump. For instance, why does #44 exclude the press from his meetings with world leaders, as he did in New Zealand, France, China and India?

One thing is for sure…it isn’t likely to be just about his Obama Foundation.

 Can Facebook afford to protect you?

When Mark Zuckerberg debuted Facebook, everyone said “Oh isn’t this a cute idea?”  However, when it came time to take it public, the question was “How will it make money for investors?”

Facebook’s whole revenue strategy hinges on your data. It makes money by selling you. There is no way anyone would pay enough for a subscription to Facebook to satisfy its investors.

If you are OK with that, then you have to accept the risks along with the rewards, and avail yourself of such protections as are available to protect yourself.

Not that any of these platforms make that easy.  The last time FB updated it’s privacy policy, it was 22 pages long. SO, most of us either ignore it, or look at the list of changes and then click on “I agree.”

This includes policies on data mining, which is defined by Business News Daily as “…the analysis of raw data to try to find useful patterns and trends,” in the words of Business News Daily.

Data mining follows you to and through all of your various screens, from desktop to tablet to laptop to smartphone for instance. It notes what ads or sites you click on and then targets the same kind of advertising to all of your gadgets.

It also can harvest contact information for anyone you interact with on Facebook.

For instance if you check on prices for a dishwasher, pretty soon you are getting ads for dishwashers every time you or your “friends” open a webpage.

No matter what Facebook’s founder says, your data will always be vulnerable to exploitation as long as advertisers support it and Facebook makes money from it.

Keep that in mind as Mr. Zuckerberg flounders around trying to tell you that he can protect you. He can censor you, but total protection and privacy on his platform (and others) is a myth.
Why are we still hiding criminal acts by minors?

Back on March 13, there was a bomb threat called in to the Jackson Hole WY Middle School.

Yesterday, a minor was reportedly arrested for making that threat, which punishable by up to three years in prison just for calling in the threat. Oh yeah, and it’s also a Federal crime.

No bomb was found at the school, but that’s not the point.

In view of the Austin bombings, making a bomb threat is kind of a big deal, and yet no one in Jackson knows who this teen-aged reprobate is yet, because the person is a minor.

Same thing in Casper, WY, where a student was arrested for making the same sorts of threats as did Nikolas Cruz. Again, as a minor, he or she is not identified.

It’s time to stop protecting these dewy-cheeked little darlings from the consequences of their actions.

The argument against doing that is that they “Don’t realize the seriousness of their behavior, and they might be ostracized if we give out their names.” and that’s probably true, since most threats are reported to be hoaxes.

Obviously we aren’t talking about publicizing it when some grade schooler pinches a candy bar.

Going public with the names would have to be reserved for certain predetermined serious offenses performed by a kid old enough to actually carry out a threat.

But does that mean we should ignore those offenses, just because the kid was 14 or 16 instead of 18? Or should we make an issue out of it a few times?

If you are these juveniles’ neighbor, do you want to know who is making threats or acting out violently,  just in case it turns out not to be a prank?

These are the kind of questions you are not going to see on a sign in the million student anti-gun marches, but it’s certainly one you should be asking your state legislators.


From → op-ed

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