25 July 2014

HOMELESS TO VOWEL MOVEMENTS…

0715 by Jeff Hess

This is my exercise in shoveling out the blogpile…

25 July 2014

DO NOT DOUBT THAT LAKE ERIE IS IN DANGER…

0645 by Jeff Hess

Reader Fred O’Neill alerted me to this Mother Jones story:

On the morning of June 28, a fire broke out at a Halliburton fracking site in Monroe County, Ohio. As flames engulfed the area, trucks began exploding and thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals spilled into a tributary of the Ohio River, which supplies drinking water for millions of residents. More than 70,000 fish died. Nevertheless, it took five days for the Environmental Protection Agency and its Ohio counterpart to get a full list of the chemicals polluting the waterway. “We knew there was something toxic in the water,” says an environmental official who was on the scene. “But we had no way of assessing whether it was a threat to human health or how best to protect the public.”

This episode highlights a glaring gap in fracking safety standards. In Ohio, as in most other states, fracking companies are allowed to withhold some information about the chemical stew they pump into the ground to break up rocks and release trapped natural gas. The oil and gas industry and its allies at the American Legislative exchange Council (ALEC), a pro-business outfit that has played a major role in shaping fracking regulation, argue that the formulas are trade secrets that merit protection. But environmental groups say the lack of transparency makes it difficult to track fracking-related drinking water contamination and can hobble the government response to emergencies, such as the Halliburton spill in Ohio.

According to a preliminary EPA inquiry, more than 25,000 gallons of chemicals, diesel fuel, and other compounds were released during the accident, which began with a ruptured hydraulic line spraying flammable liquid on hot equipment. The flames later engulfed 20 trucks, triggering some 30 explosions that rained shrapnel over the site and hampered firefighting efforts.

Mariah Blake writing in Halliburton Fracking Spill Mystery: What Chemicals Polluted an Ohio Waterway?

25 July 2014

RULE NO. 23: BRAND NAMES AREN’T FOODS…

0600 by Jeff Hess

Rule No. 23 – It’s Not Food if It’s Called the Same Name in Every Language (Think Big Mac, Cheetos or Pringles.)

From Food Rules, an eater’s manual by Michael Pollan

Previously…

Found in my electronic chapbook. See also Eating Mindfully by Jan Chozen Bey.

25 July 2014

NOT THE MARIETTA TIMES

0500 by Jeff Hess

TODAY’S MARIETTA TIMES FRONT PAGE

Today’s headlines include:

Local News

Tight Turns
A new date for the county fair?
Lawrence kids must relocate
Flatbed’s load hits bridge in Belpre
Memorial Bridge to close for repairs

Top Headlines Poll: Do you make online purchases?

What’s going on here

Previously

24 July 2014

ALWAYS WORKS FOR ME…

1109 by Jeff Hess

non sequitur 140724

24 July 2014

FICTION TO OCCUPY THE TRUTH…

0715 by Jeff Hess

This is my exercise in shoveling out the blogpile…

24 July 2014

READING THIS COULD GET YOU WATCHLISTED…

0646 by Jeff Hess

watchlist cover 140724

The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place “entire categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.

Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux writing in The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist for The//Intercept.

24 July 2014

RULE NO. 22: DRIVE-THROUGHS HAVE NO FOOD…

0600 by Jeff Hess

Rule No. 22 – It’s Not Food if It Arrived Through the Window of Your Car.

From Food Rules, an eater’s manual by Michael Pollan

Previously…

Found in my electronic chapbook. See also Eating Mindfully by Jan Chozen Bey.

24 July 2014

THE DEBATE INSIDE ISRAEL…

0538 by Jeff Hess

The Israeli Broadcasting Authority has banned a radio advertisement from a human rights organisation which listed the names of some of the scores of children killed in Gaza since the conflict began 17 days ago.

B’Tselem’s appeal against the decision was rejected on Wednesday. It intends to petition Israel’s supreme court on Sunday in an effort to get the ban overturned.

The IBA said the ad’s content was “politically controversial”. The broadcast refers to child deaths in Gaza and reads out some of the victims’ names.

In its appeal, B’Tselem demanded to know what was controversial about the item. “Is it controversial that the children [aren't] alive? That they’re children? That those are their names? These are facts that we wish to bring to the public’s knowledge.”

In a statement, the human rights group said: “So far more than 600 people have been killed in bombings in Gaza, more than 150 of them children. But apart from a brief report on the number of fatalities, the Israeli media refrains from covering them.” By Thursday morning, the death toll in Gaza had exceeded 700.

B’Tselem went on: “IBA says broadcasting the children’s names is politically controversial. But refusing to do so is in itself a far-reaching statement – it says the huge price being paid by civilians in Gaza, many of them children, must be censored.”

Harriet Sherwood writing in Israel bans radio advert listing names of children killed in Gaza for The Guardian.

That the internal debate over government actions in Israel is more heated than that outside of Israel is under reported. The current government of Israel no more represents the feelings of the Israelis than does President Barack Hussein Obama’s continuation of the Bush Obama Security Scheme does those of Americans.

24 July 2014

FATHER TED LIVES…!

0521 by Jeff Hess

father ted 140724
Feck, any Ted Head, like me, will get the reference.

24 July 2014

NOT THE MARIETTA TIMES

0500 by Jeff Hess

TODAY’S MARIETTA TIMES FRONT PAGE

Today’s headlines include:

Local News

Taxes generated by visitors on the rise in 2014
MMH blood bank to close
Harmar Days delights many
Around Town
Comic Con returns to Marietta

Top Headlines Poll: Do you make online purchases?

What’s going on here

Previously

24 July 2014

THE OPRAH SNOWDEN EFFECT…

0429 by Jeff Hess

In the mid-’90s, Oprah Winfrey added a book-club component to her show that sought out new and interesting authors for her viewers to read and then share. Far beyond any selection by any book-of-the-month, being chosen by Oprah sent book sales into orbit. The Oprah Effect quickly became the Holy Grail for publishers until, after an author declined selection, Oprah switched to classics.

Now, it appears, in the world of privacy and computer security, a nod from Edward Snowden is gold.

This morning I found the email below waiting in my inbox.

FR: SpiderOak Team
TO: Jeff Hess
RE: Edward Snowden’s effect on SpiderOak

Hello Jeff,

Welcome! We are excited to have you part of SpiderOak’s ‘Zero-Knowledge’ community. As more and more people become aware of our approach to user privacy and its implications for our digital lives, we can’t help but feel we are creating more than a business. We are actually creating a movement.

As it turns out, many people were listening when Edward Snowden mentioned SpiderOak. As a result, we’re seeing the highest rate of signups in our history. This has caused a dramatic increase in server load and customer inquiries. It’s been all hands on deck, around the clock to deliver the kind of service and response we feel is appropriate for such an occasion. By way of managing expectation, we plan to be fully adjusted within the week.

Currently, our customer support email response time is about 48-72 hours. Our storage network is running slower than normal and we are increasing capacity over the next few days.

We are sorry for any inconvenience or trouble you may have, but we are grateful for your patience, understanding, and support.

We look forward to providing you the best SpiderOak experience possible.

With ‘Zero-Knowledge’,
Your SpiderOak Team

I am one of those readers who kicked DropBox to the curb when I learned that the company had added Condoleezza Rice to its board. How stupid was that? I signed up with SpiderOak as soon as I read the story.

I do wonder if Dropbox will take any action to recover its lost market share.

23 July 2014

STOP FUCKING AROUND TO OVEN DIALS…

0715 by Jeff Hess

This is my exercise in shoveling out the blogpile…

23 July 2014

RULE NO. 21: FARM GROWN, NOT MAN MADE…

0600 by Jeff Hess

Rule No. 21 – If It Came From A Plant, Eat It; If It Was Made in a Plant, Don’t.

From Food Rules, an eater’s manual by Michael Pollan

Previously…

Found in my electronic chapbook. See also Eating Mindfully by Jan Chozen Bey.

23 July 2014

NOT THE MARIETTA TIMES

0500 by Jeff Hess

TODAY’S MARIETTA TIMES FRONT PAGE

Today’s headlines include:

Local News

Summer snags
Judge grants early prison release
Prison time for violent crime
Teens experience forest work
Real world problems formulated for new curriculum

Top Headlines Poll: Do you make online purchases?

What’s going on here

Previously

22 July 2014

AVOIDING THE PROBLEMS WITH BOYCOTTS…

1651 by Jeff Hess

freak brothers small
Boycotts are always problematic, but they can be effective.

Putting our money behind our personal convictions helped to bring down South Africa’s apartheid regime. But when does joining a consumer boycott of products or services produced by a specific company or originating in a given region of the world make sense?

It’s a question that seems to arise more and more frequently, involving a growing number of products. Even before the latest flareup of fighting in Gaza, some friends chastised others for buying Israeli-grown fruit and Pink Floyd rocker Roger Waters slammed Scarlett Johansson for appearing in ads for SodaStream, which makes its carbonation devices on the West Bank. (The storm of criticism cost Johansson her role as a humanitarian ambassador for Oxfam.)

Suzanne McGee blogging for The Guardian in Top tips for making your consumer boycott effective.

To achieve the most effectiveness, McGee recommends:

  1. Be Focused
  2. Pick a big issue – and choose your target carefully
  3. Be vigilant and attentive and
  4. Be patient

As someone who still has his Shell “Discredit” card from the ’80s, I could not agree more with McGee’s fourth point.

Then there’s my personal little take, The Little Walmart Toothpaste Buycottt, now nearing its 9th anniversary.

22 July 2014

FICTION AWARDS TO GOVERNMENT MAKEOVER…

0715 by Jeff Hess

This is my exercise in shoveling out the blogpile…

22 July 2014

RULE NO. 20: NO SURGICAL-THEATRE FOODS…

0600 by Jeff Hess

Rule No. 20 – Don’t Ingest Foods Made in Places Where Everyone Is Required to Wear a Surgical Cap.

From Food Rules, an eater’s manual by Michael Pollan

Previously…

Found in my electronic chapbook. See also Eating Mindfully by Jan Chozen Bey.

22 July 2014

NOT THE MARIETTA TIMES

0500 by Jeff Hess

TODAY’S MARIETTA TIMES FRONT PAGE

Today’s headlines include:

Local News

Farming troubles
Heroin dealers could face homicide charge
Harmar streets reopen to traffic
Plane crash victims include Vienna man, his daughter
Farmers market adds food pantry booth

Top Headlines Poll: Should heroin dealers in overdose cases be charged with homicide?

What’s going on here

Previously…Not The Marietta Times, Not The (Sunday) Marietta Times, Marietta Ohio, Parkersburg News And Sentinel, Marietta A.M.

21 July 2014

WHICH STATE, WHICH COMMUNITY, BENEFITS?

0933 by Jeff Hess

times online sales tax 140721
I’m all for collecting the sales taxes from online sales, but the sticking point is not who pays the tax, but rather which states (and ultimately which communities) benefit from collecting the tax.

Consider this scenario: I live in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, which collects an 8 percent sales tax on all non-food purchases. I have a credit card issued by my bank in Wilmington, Delaware, that I used to purchase a new fishing rod while I am vacationing in Colorado for a fishing trip that I am going to take in Montana. I use my Delaware bank credit card to order the fishing rod from a company in California and have it shipped to a friend’s house in Wyoming where I will stop on my way to Montana.

Now, which state—Ohio, Delaware, Colorado, California, Wyoming or Montana—gets to collect the tax? Until we establish some kind of digital/Internet home, we won’t be able to successfully tax cyberspace.

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