Just suppose that your medical providers can sell data about your medical treatments and procedures as long as it’s stripped of identifying information.
I honestly don’t know, but just suppose that data includes the date, time, and place of those treatments.
That goes into the database (I don’t know, now– is it possible they tag you with an identifier so a data-purchaser would know, say, every time patient 14552 had gone in again? That would make this process SO much easier).
Now suppose your cell phone was always along for the ride, and your locations were logged, always. So, it goes into the database that you were at the various places that patient 14552 got medical treatment.
Or your log onto those handy wireless systems hospitals have now and check your email. And maybe someone used your credit card at the hospital, or something else of that sort. Into the database, that goes.
And the whole point of Plantir’s business, and Prism, is to connect all of these dots, and say: Here’s this person, and here’s what they are up to, all the time. Look– we can even say he’s the person who had these medical treatments! Oh, and here’s what they do on Facebook, and search in Google.
We all know this is true. Is there any expectation of privacy left about any of this? So where does that leave our Fourth Amendment rights? Does this mean that the people with the big bucks will be able to learn everything about anything, while the rest of us stumble along as if nothing had changed?
Hearing this bit from an NPR story this morning…
And on government surveillance of Americans, Obama said, Americans volunteer a lot of this information daily.
“You’ve got private companies that have a lot more data and and a lot more details about emails and phone calls than the federal government does,” he said.
… it dawned on my what is likely occurring. As Obama noted, “you’ve got private companies that have a lot more data” and they “volunteer a lot of this information”. Translation? Verizon & etc. are selling the data. After all, isn’t selling accumulated data a central part of the business plan of a lot of entities like Facebook and Google?
This is capitalism at work.
It would probably yield interesting results to analyze the various denials from private companies to figure out what is really happening– e.g. when, say, Google denies the government has a back door into their computers allowing direct access to their data. Does that also deny that, say, a private company like Palantir has direct access as a part of a “private” contract with Verizon and a government contract to mine the data? And when Palantir denies that the Prism program it leases to hedge funds and the like the NSA PRISM program, how do we read that denial in light of Palantir’s refusal to comment when asked whether Palantir had ever worked on the NSA PRISM program?
The term “non-denial-denial” from the Watergate era is useful here.
Another bit of history that came to mind was the moment during the Bush II administration when Adm. Poindexter was put in charge of a project called “Total Information Awareness.” As a result of the shitstorm that followed, TIA was “defunded,” its name was changed, Poindexter (who was toxic) was dropped from leading it, and it (or pieces of it) quietly continued…
It’s all much easier if we don’t talk about it.
As Andrew Sullivan notes, David Foster Wallace’s words from 2007 come to mind, once again:
In the absence of such a conversation, can we trust our elected leaders to value and protect the American idea as they act to secure the homeland? What are the effects on the American idea of Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Patriot Acts I and II, warrantless surveillance, Executive Order 13233, corporate contractors performing military functions, the Military Commissions Act, NSPD 51, etc., etc.? Assume for a moment that some of these measures really have helped make our persons and property safer—are they worth it? Where and when was the public debate on whether they’re worth it? Was there no such debate because we’re not capable of having or demanding one? Why not? Have we actually become so selfish and scared that we don’t even want to consider whether some things trump safety? What kind of future does that augur?
So this bugging-the-entire-internet thing is going to kinda crush Obama’s credibility when he complains to Chinese President Xi Jinping about Chinese hacking, isn’t it?
Roseanne Cash (@rosannecash2h ) put up on Twitter:
Went to Mercury Lounge tonite. I have seen the future of music & the name of the band is St. Paul & the Broken Bones. http://stpaulandthebrokenbones.bandcamp.com
She’s paraphrasing Jon Landau from an early and famous review of a Bruce Springteen show,* which is pretty high praise indeed. I sought out the band on youtube, and then bought the four songs available at the link quoted.
It’s been a long time since I’ve heard blue-eyed soul this good, and when I did, it was the likes of Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham. Also high praise indeed. Here’s some youtube.
Ok, guys: When are you coming to Oxford? We’re just a little ways up the road.
*hello, Chico. It’s interesting that Cash’s language (“I have seen the future…“) is what I remember, but Landau’s original (“I saw rock and roll future and its name is…”) is not as well-phrased. Apparently Roseanne Cash and I are improving the quote in retrospect.
So reports WTVA in Memphis, I learn on Facebook:
Memphis, Tenn. (WTVA) – Malco Theatres has acquired the closed 10-screen movie theatre and outdoor amphitheater in the Oxford Commons development at the corner of Sisk Avenue and Highway 7 in Oxford.
Malco will also acquire adjacent property from Kenlan Development Company in order to double the size of the building, converting it to a family entertainment center.
This will include the theatre and amphitheater, a 26-lane bowling center with a boutique bowling area, a bar and restaurant, birthday party and event rooms, and a redemption game area featuring a laser maze and bumper cars.
The theatre will be remodeled with all new rocking chair seats, upgraded sound systems, and new state-of-the-art digital projection.
The additional screens in the market will allow Malco to offer a wide range of independent, foreign, and smaller films that it was not previously able to show in Oxford.
Also, the digital projection systems will enable Malco to show concerts, operas, livetheatre, and sporting events.
The theatre portion of the project will open by Labor Day.
When completed next year, the total theatre/bowling/family entertainment center will employ approximately 100 people.
This will be Malco’s second Family Entertainment Center, joining the recently opened Premier Lanes and Family Entertainment Center in Gonzales, LA.
Three alderman had no opponents– Democrats Preston Taylor, Janice Antonow, and Ulysses Howell, and Republican Jason Bailey.
Contested races were Pat Patterson (D, Incumbent) versus Todd Wade (R, football) for mayor, Jay Hughes (D) versus incumbent Ney Williams (R) in Ward 1, which is Northeast Oxford, and Robyn Tannehill (D) vs. longtime alderman E.O. Oliver (R) in Ward 2, in Southeast Oxford. On the mayoral race, I thought certainly that Pat Patterson’s deep roots in the community would prevail.
Oliver had survived many challenges but not this time, and Hughes won for a Democratic sweep, leaving only Bailey (not challenged) as a Republican on Oxford’s Board of Alderman.
Here’s unofficial results from the city website. This, particularly the mayoral result, is a big victory (not the first one) for local folks over attempts at a statewide level to mess with local politics.
George G. Patterson – 2122
Todd Wade – 1220
Ney Williams – 450
J.P. “Jay” Hughes, Jr.- 485
Ernest “E. O.” Oliver – 216
Robyn Tannehill – 664
Janice Antonow – 351
Ulysses “Coach” Howell – 201
Preston E. Taylor – 142
Jason Bailey – 526
John F. Morgan – 2675
Update: Here’s the Compliant against Judge Edith Jones. In addition to raising issues from her talk at the University of Pennsylvania, it raises the time she told her Fifth Circuit colleague Judge James Dennis to shut up. The exhibits aren’t included with the PDF i posted, but if you want to here the minute-plus exchange between Judges Jones and Dennis, it’s here. The tape is better than any transcript would be.
The Austin Chronicle is reporting an ethics complaint filed against Fifth Circuit judge Edith Jones for remarks at a University of Pennsylvania School of Law talk billed as “Federal Death Penalty Review with Judge Edith Jones.”
Those who are familiar with the topic probably thought on reading the title: Well, that’s going to be a short talk.”
The Chronicle writes:
A complaint filed today by several civil rights groups, including one funded entirely by the government of Mexico, alleges that federal Judge Edith Jones has violated her duty to be impartial and damaged the public’s confidence in the judiciary, in statements she made in a public lecture – including that blacks and Hispanics are more violent.
Indeed, Jones also said that a death sentence provides a public service by allowing an inmate to “make peace with God.”
Jones, who sits on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals – based in New Orleans, its jurisdiction includes Texas – made numerous offensive and biased comments during a February lecture at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, according to the complaint filed pursuant to the federal Judicial Conduct and Disability Act. The complaint, filed by the Texas Civil Rights Project, Austin NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens(LULAC), and the Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program (among others) alleges that during her talk – billed as “Federal Death Penalty Review with Judge Edith Jones (5th Cir.)” – Jones violated a number of canons of the code of conduct for federal judges.
Continue reading Ethics complaint filed against Fifth Circuit Judge Edith Jones
In the “Elvis-imitator” ricin case, James Dutshke has been indicted for framing Elvis imitator Paul Kevin Curtis and for sending ricin-laden letters to the President, Senator Wicker, and Justice Court Judge Holland.
The indictment charts that Dutschke devised a scheme to retaliate against Paul Kevin Curtis by framing him for crimes that included producing a biological toxin, mailing a threatening communication to the President, and to another person, that he sued the internet to research the production of ricin, that he acquired castor beans (using eBay and PayPall) to produce ricin, and bought gloves, grinders, and masks to accomplish that. He mailed letters to the President, a Senator, and a Justice COurt judge, using language and signatures that made it appear Paul Kevin Curtis was responsible. He took measures to conceal what he did, and made false statements about all of this to federal law enforcement.
This all resulted in a five
four count indictment, for developing or stockpiling a biological or toxic agent (ricin), mailing a letter with a threat to bodily harm the president, mailing a letter to bodily harm another person (Senator Wicker), and yet another (Justice Court Judge Holland), and that, doing so, he devised a sham or artifice to make it appear that someone else– Paul Kevin Curtis– had mailed the letters.
Here’s a puzzlement: The indictment seems to allege that Dutshke made false statements to federal law enforcement but yet does not indict him for that. What’s up with that? My experience has always been that the false statement indictment was a slam dunk that produced certain convictions (hello, Judge DeLaughter). So why isn’t that part of the charges?
Here’s the indictment
The New York Times Sunday Travel section has a regular feature, “36 Hours In….” where a writer describes a 36 hour trip to a place, what to do and where to eat, followed by some possibilities about where to stay. This weekend, they’re going to Jackson, and here’s what they propose:
The Eudora Welty house and a walk around the Belhaven neighborhood
A visit to the Capitol building
Eating at Parlor Market
Stop by Hal and Mal’s
Eating at the Big Apple Inn
A visit to the Jackson Farmer’s Market at the fairgrounds
To Fondren for Sneaky Beans, Morning Bell Records and Studios, Brent’s Drugs, Fondren Corner, and Babalu
Eating at Walker’s Drive-In
Stop by Underground 119
Eating at Two Sister’s Kitchen
Before going back to the Vicksburg campaign (it was a siege at this point 150 years ago, and the pace slows down, although there are moments of great drama) I want to quote another bit of Grant’s Memoirs, this from the close of his successful campaign through Chattanooga, which more-or-less followed Vicksburg, and was Grant’s last round in the West before becoming leader of the entire forces in battle and moving his command to Virginia.
He is writing here about trouble between Generals Bragg and Longstreet, who were facing the Union forces at Chattanooga. If I’m remembering correctly, one of the reasons Grant knew Longstreet so well at West Point was that they were roommates for a time.
It was known that Mr. Jefferson Davis had visited Bragg on Missionary Ridge a short time before my reaching Chattanooga. It was reported and believed that he had come out to reconcile a serious difference between Bragg and Longstreet, and finding this difficult to do, planned the campaign against Knoxville, to be conducted by the latter general. I had known both Bragg and Longstreet before the war, the latter very well. We had been three years at West Point together, and, after my graduation, for a time in the same regiment. Then we served together in the Mexican War. I had known Bragg in Mexico, and met him occasionally subsequently. I could well understand how there might be an irreconcilable difference between them.
Bragg was a remarkably intelligent and well-informed man, professionally and otherwise. He was also thoroughly upright. But he was possessed of an irascible temper, and was naturally disputatious. A man of the highest moral character and the most correct habits, yet in the old army he was in frequent trouble. As a subordinate he was always on the lookout to catch his commanding officer infringing his prerogatives; as a post commander he was equally vigilant to detect the slightest neglect, even of the most trivial order.
I have heard in the old army an anecdote very characteristic of Bragg. On one occasion, when stationed at a post of several companies commanded by a field officer, he was himself commanding one of the companies and at the same time acting as post quartermaster and commissary. He was first lieutenant at the time, but his captain was detached on other duty. As commander of the company he made a requisition upon the quartermaster—himself—for something he wanted. As quartermaster he declined to fill the requisition, and endorsed on the back of it his reasons for so doing. As company commander he responded to this, urging that his requisition called for nothing but what he was entitled to, and that it was the duty of the quartermaster to fill it. As quartermaster he still persisted that he was right. In this condition of affairs Bragg referred the whole matter to the commanding officer of the post. The latter, when he saw the nature of the matter referred, exclaimed: “My God, Mr. Bragg, you have quarrelled with every officer in the army, and now you are quarrelling with yourself!”
Longstreet was an entirely different man. He was brave, honest, intelligent, a very capable soldier, subordinate to his superiors, just and kind to his subordinates, but jealous of his own rights, which he had the courage to maintain. He was never on the lookout to detect a slight, but saw one as soon as anybody when intentionally given.
It may be that Longstreet was not sent to Knoxville for the reason stated, but because Mr. Davis had an exalted opinion of his own military genius, and thought he saw a chance of “killing two birds with one stone.” On several occasions during the war he came to the relief of the Union army by means of his superior military genius.
I speak advisedly when I saw Mr. Davis prided himself on his military capacity. He says so himself, virtually, in his answer to the notice of his nomination to the Confederate presidency. Some of his generals have said so in their writings since the downfall of the Confederacy.