Oh, look, finally a ‘social app’ for the rest of us:
… It’s called Cloak, and it’s an “antisocial network” that uses social check-ins and other geo-location information to help you avoid people you’d, well, rather not see.
Here’s how the app works. After downloading Cloak for the first time, you can connect it with Foursquare and Instagram (with more networks to come soon). Cloak then plots where your Foursquare and Instagram contacts are, according to their most recent check-ins. You can casually check the map, or — for exes, chatty neighbors and other undesirables — “flag” them to receive an alert when they pass within a preset radius.
The app is the work of programmer/”creative” Brian Moore and former Buzzfeed creative director Chris Baker. Baker, in particular, seems to specialize in vaguely misanthropic apps…
Apart from meditating upon the lost joys of privacy, what’s on the agenda for the day?
Good Morning, Everyone :)
It’s Election Day Here. If it is where you are too, please get out and vote!
Did we really need this app?
On March 18th, 2014, President Barack Obama will award 24 Army veterans the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.
These veterans will receive the Medal of Honor in recognition of their valor during major combat operations in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
Each of these Soldiers’ bravery was previously recognized by award of the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest military award; that award will be upgraded to the Medal of Honor in recognition of their gallantry, intrepidity and heroism above and beyond the call of duty.
In 2002, Congress, through the Defense Authorization Act, called for a review of Jewish American and Hispanic American veteran war records from WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, to ensure those deserving the Medal of Honor were not denied because of prejudice. During the review, records of several Soldiers of neither Jewish nor Hispanic descent were also found to display criteria worthy of the Medal of Honor. The 2002 Act was amended to allow these Soldiers to be honored with the upgrade – in addition to the Jewish and Hispanic American Soldiers.
@rikyrah: Good Morning! It’s cold and dreary here. I could use some sunshine.
Raven, if you are around, update me on the Dawg’s that were arrested. Were they starters?
Greetings from sunny (I presume; I’m inside a building in an office with no windows) South Florida. Back to work after a day out and finding that stuff still piles up on my desk whether I’m here or not.
Gearing up for a week of spring break which includes a trip to Kansas for the 33rd William Inge Festival and then back home for a reading of one of my plays on Miami Beach on March 30. Y’all come.
We had a storm blow through last night. The wind was howling at around 4 AM so loudly that it woke me up. Still windy and cloudy just now when I shuttled the spawn to school. Many branches and fronds down in the roads.
After reading “Band Of Brothers” I read Dick Winters autobiography. I know Ambrose had a tendency to put telling a good story over honest history but I was stunned at the ramblings of Captain Winters. It became painfully obvious that Captain Sobol’s first sin, the one that led to the animosity and undermining was that he was a Jew. It sounded like that was unforgivable. I have no idea if he would have made a good leader or not but I believe he never had a chance. I think the prejudice of the time went well beyond denying medals. This review is a small step toward making amends to some and it is past time it was done.
I smell a lawsuit.
You’re going from Florida to Kansas for spring break?
It’s like a pie filter for real life.
@Baud: Yeah. They scheduled the Inge Festival in March this year instead of late April, so off I go; it’s my 23rd trip there. Besides, every week is spring break in Florida, right?
North Dakota tries to woo workers for empty jobs
March 17, 2014 6:12 PM ET
By By JAMES MacPHERSON
North Dakota officials are sending a plea to people across the country: We need you.
The state’s unprecedented oil bonanza has made it the economic darling of the nation — boasting a sturdy economy, a state government budget surplus, and its highest population ever, as swarms of people have migrated to North Dakota. But it hasn’t been enough, officials say, citing some 25,000 more jobs than takers in all industries in the state.
Hoping to woo workers to fill those jobs, Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley and the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation on Monday unveiled a “Find the Good Life in North Dakota” campaign at the state Capitol in Bismarck.
“These are exciting times in our state,” said Wrigley, who called the lack of an adequate workforce one of “the challenges of prosperity.”
The $800,000 campaign is being paid for equally by tax-supported state funds and a donation by Hess Corp., a New York based oil company. The campaign will rely on media advertising and a state website that is expected to be running in May. Specific details of the campaign have yet to be released.
Officials said in a statement that the campaign will focus on career opportunities in North Dakota and promoting the state as “a great place to live, work and raise a family.” It will target states with “chronic unemployment” and will attempt to lure skilled workers of various occupations, from engineering to nursing. The effort also will target military veterans, and those who will soon leave the armed services, officials said.
What’s the Inge Festival?
About North Dakota,
Maddow did a segment this week about how companies are dumping nuclear waste all over North Dakota..on Indian Reservations, Foreclosed buildings, Abandoned places in the middle of nowhere. Just dumping the nuclear waste.
Also, heads-up for anyone who has Roku: Drive-In Classics app! OMG, an endless supply of movies that are so horrible they’re wonderful! I’ve been using it to cope with insomnia. Saw the granddaddy of all bad movies, “Plan 9 from Outer Space,” and “Werewolves on Wheels” (yes, biker werewolves!), “The Atomic Man,” etc. Free of charge — you just have to endure commercials like the good old days.
Booman called Obama the best president in his lifetime. I’ll have to stop by later and read the comments. Should be fun.
Just a few years ago it looked like lights out for ND, the lack of anything to do had resulted in a population density lower than it had been during the pioneer period. It will be interesting to see what happens when the gas plays out. They have not been much into forward-looking community building necessary to use their recent boom to build a future so I expect a bust cycle. But who knows, maybe they will use their new found wealth to build a foundation to grow from.
Come to North Dakota for the jobs. Stay for the third arm.
You have to admit – there isn’t a whole lot of competition unless you’re old enough to remember the LBJ administration (which I don’t think Booman is). If not, then it comes down to whether or not you think that Obama’s done better than Clinton. And I strongly suspect that people who are in the “Clinton” camp right now will, 10 years down the road, look fondly back at the Obama administration as a golden age for Democrats, and not at all like the awful sell-out of a Democrat they have in the Oval Office in 2024 – whoever she or he might be.
(And anyone who wants to make the case for Carter being better than either Clinton or Obama probably doesn’t remember the Carter administration. Or that liberals hated him enough to actually primary him in 1980. Good times, good times…)
@Baud: Yeah, Booman’s got an anti-Obama, leftier-than-thou contingent, but they can hardly be surprised by that comment. Booman is consistently pro-Obama.
I’m not happy with everything he’s done and not done, but I’d say Obama is the best president we’ve had in my lifetime too. Admittedly, that’s not a very high hurdle to clear. LBJ might have edged Mr. Obama if not for Vietnam, but that’s a pretty big fucking IF right there…
@NonyNony: I don’t remember the LBJ administration but I count it because I was alive during it. I’m not sure whether or not Booman was.
@NonyNony: @Betty Cracker:
Each time I read a bit American history, it’s clear that most of our presidents have kind of sucked.
@Baud: A celebration of the life and works of playwright William Inge (“Picnic,” “Come Back, Little Sheba,” “Bus Stop,” “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs,” plus the Oscar-winning screenplay for “Splendor in the Grass”). In my years of attendance — since 1991 — I’ve met Edward Albee, Arthur Miller, Neil Simon, Stephen Sondheim, Wendy Wasserstein, David Henry Hwang, Marsha Norman, and a lot of other theatre people. It all happens in Independence, Kansas, the small town in southeast Kansas 70 miles north of Tulsa, where Inge was born and raised. For me it’s like a family reunion with people I like, and it’s the rare time when I get to put on my secret identity as a playwright and theatre scholar for real.
Sounds grand. And remember, what happens in Independence stays in Independence. ;-)
As you are no doubt aware, partly that’s the nature of the job: making difficult choices (sometimes known as doing the dirty work); finding compromises with opponents (sometimes sociopathic ones); dealing with the unique issues of the day; etc. It’s not easy (is it even sensible?) to filter all that out and then rank people on some (putative) underlying scale of goodness.
@Baud: Part of that may be the selection process, particularly in the modern era. You almost have to be a narcissistic monster or in the grip of some other frightening pathology (daddy issues seem most common) to even want to be president.
As far as it is possible to know such things, Obama seems like one of the better human beings to have held the office, at least since I’ve been following politics. He doesn’t always do the right thing, in my opinion, but his instincts are mostly good.
While flipping through the XM stations yesterday, I thought I was listening to POTUS on 124. The guest was talking about Bush 1, and how he squandered the goodwill he had. The guy kept saying “also, too” when continuing a thought. He said it multiple times.
“Wow, that sounds like something Sarah Palin would say.” I said to myself.
I looked down to see who the guest was, and I was on 125, the “Patriot” *cough* channel. I changed it.
I truly did not realize “also, too” was in the wingnut lexicon. I thought it was just everyone making fun of Palin.
When I’m ruler of the world, all radios will have button presets that don’t let you get a channel, or it gets skipped when you hit “Scan”. I would add XM 125 to that list.
It’s similar to an arms race:
When simply avoiding the use of “social media” is unthinkable, that’s when Cloak happens: it becomes a “need.”
Next will come another “social media” app that “enables” Cloak users to find each other so they can get together and commiserate re the awfulness of being tracked.
Maddow has been all over this story.
NC regulators shielded Duke’s coal ash pollution
By MICHAEL BIESECKER and MITCH WEISS
— Feb. 9, 2014 1:43 PM EST
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Over the last year, environmental groups have tried three times to use the federal Clean Water Act to force Duke Energy to clear out leaky coal ash dumps like the one that ruptured last week, spewing enough toxic sludge into a North Carolina river to fill 73 Olympic-sized pools.
Each time, they say, their efforts have been stymied — by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The state agency has blocked the citizen lawsuits by intervening at the last minute to assert its own authority under the federal act to take enforcement action. After negotiating with Duke, the state proposed settlements where the nation’s largest electricity provider pays modest fines but is under no requirement to actually clean up its coal ash ponds.
Clean water advocates have long complained that state regulators are too cozy with the polluters they regulate. But they say that coordination and cooperation has become even more overt since the January 2013 inauguration of Gov. Pat McCrory, a pro-business Republican who worked at Duke Energy for 28 years.
Do you ever suspect that Obama was given a Peace Prize as a pre-emptive measure?
@Betty Cracker: If not for 58,000 dead Americans and 3 million dead Vietnamese. Pretty goddamn big “if not for”.
Just One More Canuck
@Betty Cracker: Surf Nazis Must Die! – Neo nazi surf punks in a post-apocalyptic future!
@raven: What’s up with the Dawgs? The AJC article wasn’t clear and I’m not sure what theft by deception means.
@raven: Yep. My mom’s brother was there toward the ugly end of it. Came back a different person, so they say. My sister went to Vietnam on vacation a couple of years ago and was surprised they call it the “American War” there! (She hadn’t thought it through, obviously…)
I don’t “check in” at places using Four Square, Instagram, or any other means. If someone wants to avoid me, they need to do it the old fashioned way: by slinking away quietly if they think they see me. This app is another version of Cole’s “I hate happy people” post. Ostentatious misanthropy.
@JPL: That’s the silly ass Georgia law based on Brit Common Law (some lawyer here can explain it) They have theft by taking, theft by conversion and all kinds of silly shit like that. The news say it was Athletic Association stuff, maybe jerseys?
Part of the challenge of being President is that the real world is full of choices that range from disaster to least harm and that is assuming you can get past the constraints of Congressional gridlock or UN security council maneuvering. I like to ask people how they would have voted on social security if they had been a senator during the enactment process. To get the vote out of the Senate, FDR had to let the Southern Dems on the finance committee write it such that it excluded all the blahs and browns and women like my grandmother who worked as domestic help. It was absolutely a deeply flawed and unjust piece of legislation. There were articles then calling FDR a “sell out”. And yet, we gloss over all of that now because social security is much improved and an incredibly important part of our social safety net. If I had a nickel every time someone wished that Obama were more like FDR during discussions of health care reform. They probably would have been mad at FDR during the social security legislative process and wishing FDR were more like Lincoln.
We are incredibly fortunate to have Obama. I have a neighbor who is in his late 80s and was a classmate of RFK. He is always telling me that we don’t appreciate what a good president we have in Obama saying that he is the best in his lifetime.
LBJ left office in January of 1969. The war continued until 1974. He certainly deserves his share of the blame, but not all of those deaths are on his head.
@Betty Cracker: I met these young ladies from Orlando last summer when they were touring. They lived in Hanoi for a couple of years and their perspective is that no one gives a shit anymore. Good Graeff Check out their song Vietnam and then watch Hold Me Fast which was filmed in Hanoi.
@Elmo: Tell someone else. I don’t give a fuck.
A Humble Lurker
‘Manos: hands of fate’ says hi. Although while Plan 9 can at least be laughed at, Manos may be in the ‘too bad to even get derisive enjoyment out of it’ camp.
I guess it depends on whether you looking for the best worst movie or just the worst movie.
Whoah, that was hostile. I certainly didn’t mean to offend you – just wanted to loop Dick Nixon in for his share of the blame. It’s true whether you give a fuck or not.
But again, wasn’t my purpose to offend or upset you. Peace.
@Elmo: Nothing to do with you at all, I hate both of those motherfuckers with the heat of a thousand suns. It’s personal.
eta I’m sort of familiar with history.
@MomSense: Then there were the internment camps under FDR and Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, etc. “There is none righteous, no, not one.”
Not one of us. I wish we placed more value in learning history–not the cleaned up mythological version of our history that we get unless we are impelled to dig deeper. Seems like we would make different choices and have better perspective if we did.
Understood. Thanks for the reply.
It’s theft under false premises, and not only in Georgia. Here’s a typical definition (this one’s from Pennsylvania, 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3922):
Here is a statute in Maine, here another in Kentucky.
You can imagine other kinds of theft — e.g., burglary — where the thief does not (have to) deceive, or even interact with, the victim.
@Elmo: For some of us it — war — is an extremely difficult subject, very difficult to think about privately never mind discuss, and never mind discussing it casually. You handled it well. Thanks.
@raven: You’re welcome. I had no idea what the story was so I looked:
If they did it, there’s no question it’s “theft by deception.”
TooManyJens, are you out there? (Or anyone else in IL-13) I am really struggling over whether to vote for Ann Callis or George Gollin.
I am not crazy about Ann Callis, she seems too conservative to me, but I know she is who the DCCC wants. But I didn’t like their candidate last year and voted for Gill.
I am really not impressed by George Gollin’s ad where he totally took Ann Callis out of context, but I have a physicist friend who knows him personally and he really respects Gollin.
Then I got a phone call last night from Alan Grayson, which reinforced my concerns about Ann Callis not being progressive enough.
Hoping if you’re out there you might be able to say something that would help. I know I’m just one vote, but I also know that IL-13 is one of the house districts on the red-to-blue list, so if Callis is who they think it will take to beat the republican, that would be enough for me.
Which explains why we are not taught it (history).
@Cervantes: Yea, I’m even less rational on that subject than normal.
Howard Beale IV
@Central Planning: The nice thing about XM is they architected their radios real good-when the XM side makes channel changes, only the number changes on the radio-you don’t need to touch your presest; everything else stays the same. The Sirius folks, OTOH get screwed on every channel realignment.
Anyone else watch Crisis on NBC?
@rikyrah: Yea, we watched it on demand last night.
Carter was scapegoated by all the insiders to a jaw-dropping degree, but he was light years better than any Democrats since.
His crime was that he was actually picked by regular people instead of the usual insiders. For that one election cycle our process of picking the Democratic nominee was actually legitimate and reflected the true will of regular people, solar panels on the White House and all.
Shame on all of us for letting the usual insiders take that away from us.
Job hunting, as per usual. I may check out ND just in case. But I’m not cool with being stuck in a red state with acres of toxic waste.
@Betty Cracker: I was working on a book about Maryland in the Civil War. I would have suspended Habeas Corpus, too! Unless I could have suspended time long enough to return the capital to Philadelphia, New York, or York, PA.
@raven: I just read the update on the charges against the UGA football players and there is no choice but let them go. How stupid can they be..really.
@Baud: I think BooMan is right.
@raven: I loved that! I would pay money to see that aired on TV.
@someofparts: I guess it depends on how you define “better.” Carter seems like a good man as far as being a human being goes, but was he an effective leader? Did he get anything lasting and important done? He was right about many things — the urgent need to address the energy crisis, for one — but fat lot of good it did him, or the country.
You can argue that he was a victim of history (oil shocks, high inflation, Middle East turmoil, etc.), and I wouldn’t say you’re wrong, but isn’t the measure of greatness a president’s capacity to overcome the worst challenges and the most vociferous and unprincipled opposition? If so, I have a hard time seeing how anyone ranks Carter over Obama.
Interestingly, it was Carter who started the privatization and deregulation trend even though we tend to credit Reagan with doing that.
What’s on the agenda today?
None of your damn business. And stay the F**K off my lawn!
Oh sorry. The wife and I went to town and picked up some nice flowers and flower boxes for the balcony.