Workers can place no confidence in AFSCME and the other city unions. Far from leading any struggle against Orr and the bankruptcy court, the unions are allied with the big business politicians in the Democratic Party who, no less than Snyder and the Republicans, insist that workers pay for a financial crisis they did not create. Al Garrett, Ed McNeil and the other union executives have backed the Grand Bargain conspiracy in exchange for control of a half-billion dollar VEBA slush fund.
The answer, Alexander said in an interview Monday, is a new technology, based on a patented and “unique” approach to detecting malicious hackers and cyber-intruders that the retired Army general said he has invented, along with his business partners at IronNet Cybersecurity Inc., the company he co-founded after leaving the government and retiring from military service in March. But the technology is also directly informed by the years of experience Alexander has had tracking hackers, and the insights he gained from classified operations as the director of the NSA, which give him a rare competitive advantage over the many firms competing for a share of the cybersecurity market.
William Calcraft (1800–1879) was the most famous English hangman of the 19th century. One of the most prolific British executioners of all time, it is estimated that he carried out 450 executions during his 45-year career. A cobbler by trade, Calcraft was initially recruited to flog juvenile offenders after meeting the City of London’s hangman, John Foxton, while selling meat pies near Newgate Prison. He succeeded Foxton, but his controversial use of the short-drop method of hanging, in which the victims were strangled rather than had their vertebrae broken by the fall when the trapdoor on the gallows was released, caused some to consider him incompetent. Many took several minutes to die, and to hasten their deaths Calcraft sometimes pulled on their legs, or even climbed on their shoulders in an attempt to break their necks. Calcraft’s antics may have been intended to entertain the crowds of more than 30,000 that sometimes attended his executions before a change in the law in 1868 meant that executions could only take place in prisons.
Though a private citizen, Nader shepherded more bills through Congress than all but a handful of American presidents. […] Washington’s rapid responseaffirmed Nader’s belief that people provided with critical facts will demand change and that sooner than one might expect politicians, however listless or corrupt, will give it to them. This faith in the power of ideas and of public opinion — in the educability of people and thus in the viability of democracy — distinguishes Nader from much of what remains of the American left. […] In his contempt for oligarchs of any vintage and rejection of the economic and political democratization myths of the new technology Nader seemed an anachronism. […] The Democrats’ job is to challenge the status quo; when they don’t do it, nothing they say sounds sincere. Nader’s words resonate because they’re rooted in a populist tradition and connected to a populist vision. Democratic rhetoric rings hollow because it’s no longer rooted in any tradition or connected to any vision.
the reason people remember that specious 10% claim is because it accurately reflects how most of us feel, personally, about our own intelligence—we’re sure we’re not using it fully because we’re too damn lazy and weak-willed and badly trained and distracted and boozy and pathetic and never really exerted ourselves like we knew we should’ve.
Part of why George excites me is because I’m curious about him. He’s the only person whose life I’ve been interested in for a long time.

Cummins writes:

‘Books, for Spector, were the “deathless weapons of progress” by which prisoners could be “paroled into the custody of their better selves … by feeding on hallowed thoughts.” And, “The hermitage of a small, dank cell,” Spector wrote, “if provided with books, can yield a rich harvest of sheer delight and practical values.”’

Depending on the state, the average cost of full-time care for one infant in a center ranges from 7 percent to about 19 percent of the state median income for a married couple with children.

To figure out which theory is true, the easiest thing to do is answer the question: are impoverished people the same people every year or different ones? The individual theory predicts that they are the same people (and further that they need paternalist intervention to get their act together). The structural theory predicts that they are different people (and further that we need to alter the economic structure to make things better).

As all of the commentators linked above mentioned, longitudinal surveys show that impoverished people are not the same people every year. The last SIPP (three-year longitudinal survey done by the Census) had around one-third of Americans finding themselves in episodic poverty at some point in the three years, but just 3.5% finding themselves in episodic poverty for all three years. The PSID data show that around 4 in 10 adults experience an entire year of poverty between age 25 and 60. If you count kids, the number of people who experience at least one year of poverty rockets even higher of course.

We were particularly outraged when we saw the Congress and the IRS finally start paying attention to privacy issues, but only in the context of a few dozen political operatives while ignoring privacy breaches that affect hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren, veterans, homeowner associations, fraternal organizations, local fire departments, and community volunteers. […] The people that should care the most are the ones that have been ignoring the situation. Distribution of protected information by federal employees is a crime under 26 USC 6103. As the IRS well knows, indviduals could sue the IRS for $1,000 per viewing. Think about that. There are over 100,000 SSNs we’ve discovered in this database, we know that at least 9 customers purchase the database. Instead of organizing a $1 billion lawsuit against the government, we’ve spent two years building a better system and trying to help the government fix their systems.
Makers of the London double decker bus prove that they weren’t a tipping hazard (1933). (via Twitter / HistorySlide: Makers of the London double …)

Makers of the London double decker bus prove that they weren’t a tipping hazard (1933). (via Twitter / HistorySlide: Makers of the London double …)

Nielsen’s Top 20 Young Adult books in 2014, via Publishers Weekly

Nielsen’s Top 20 Young Adult books in 2014, via Publishers Weekly

“Changes Racial Features: Young Japanese Wins American Bride by Resort to Plastic Surgery,” the New York Times announced, in 1926, of a man named Shima Kito who fell in love with a white woman named Mildred. She agreed to marry him only after he “cut the eye corners so that the slant eye so characteristic of the Japanese race was gone. He lowered the skin and flesh of the nose so that the upturned trait disappeared, and he tightened the pendulous lower lip.” Then he changed his name to William White and got engaged to Mildred.