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Quote of the Day
Oct 29th, 2014 by Ken Hagler

News is something somebody doesn’t want printed; all else is advertising.

Unknown, possibly William Randolph Hearst

Google Fiber Coming
Oct 24th, 2014 by Ken Hagler

Google Fiber announces Austin sign-up dates and first neighborhoods to get service. Google Fiber announced Wednesday that Austinites will be able to sign up for the service in early December. For now, only neighborhoods south and southeast of Lady Bird Lake are included in the service area.

According to information provided by Google, the neighborhoods in the sign-up zone include areas south of the lake, north of William Cannon Drive, west of I-35 and east of Mopac. Not included are Zilker Park, the Barton Creek Greenbelt and Sunset Valley. [CultureMap Austin]

This is good news, as I live on the north side of this area. I’ll definitely be signing up as soon as possible.

Quote of the Day
Oct 23rd, 2014 by Ken Hagler

Could you not just let me enjoy this moment of not knowing something? It really happens so rarely.

The Doctor

A useful term
Oct 21st, 2014 by Ken Hagler

I learned a useful term related to my job:

A schrödinbug (named after Erwin Schrödinger and his thought experiment) is a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

I’ve run into a few of those at work.

Quote of the Day
Oct 21st, 2014 by Ken Hagler

I kept Austin weird
Now I’m on probation

Sign on the corner of Congress and Riverside in Austin

Better late than never
Oct 14th, 2014 by Ken Hagler

How a ’50s-Era New York Knife Law Has Landed Thousands in Jail [The Village Voice]

It seems the mainstream media is finally noticing that the legal system in New York City has been imprisoning huge numbers of law abiding people for carrying ordinary, and perfectly legal, pocket knives. Naturally poor minorities are hardest hit by this, given their status as the NYPD’s preferred victims. This has been pretty well known by people who pay attention and don’t rely on the mainstream media for years now.

No surprise, unfortunately
Oct 9th, 2014 by Ken Hagler

Georgia Grand Jury Rejects Criminal Charges Against Drug Warriors Who Burned and Mutilated a Toddler [Hit & Run]

When I was a kid we heard stories about how people in the Soviet Union lived in fear of a midnight knock on the door, and I just couldn’t understand what that was like. Today, I remember those stories and am amazed by how polite and restrained those Russian cops were compared to American cops.

They’re secretive for a reason
Oct 5th, 2014 by Ken Hagler

The Sane Case for Auditing the Fed. What is it about the Fed that inspires such solidarity among its critics? Ever since its creation during the Woodrow Wilson era, it’s been a favorite target of everyone from right-wing conspiracists who fear the Fed is simply another cog in an international Jewish banking conspiracy to left-wing populists who see it as both a cause and effect of globalized capital. Because it controls the money supply of the planet’s biggest economy and because it operates so opaquely, it’s an obvious place to project all sorts of anxieties about large, impersonal forces beyond our reach that sharply affect, if not actually control, virtually all aspects of our daily lives.

But one needn’t wade into the fever swamps of conspiracy to see the Fed as an inherently problematic institution. The central bank is explicitly tasked with the fundamentally incompatible duties of conducting stable monetary policy, promoting full employment, acting as a lender of last resort, and regulating the banks it works with. Good luck with all that. Also, while it’s technically independent, the federal government exerts massive political pressure on the Fed and appoints its chair and board of governors.

[…]

Reid hasn’t explained exactly why he won’t allow a vote on the bill, which has 30 co-sponsors. He’s keeping his reasons secret, which means that the Fed’s secrets are safe for at least a little while longer. And that trust in government will keep shrinking, just like the value of a dollar has over the life of the Federal Reserve. [The Daily Beast]

That drop in the value of the dollar is the main reason the Federal Reserve exists–it’s the organization responsible for looting the savings of people who use dollars though inflation. The government naturally wants to hide that. Consider the link at the end of the quoted section of the article: it shows an “inflation calculator” which, by default, shows that an item bought for $20 in 1913 would cost $480.51 in 2014. However, it uses the US government’s “Consumer Price Index,” a statistic specifically intended to hide the real rate of inflation.

Fortunately, it’s easy to find out how much $20 in 1913 is really worth today. In 1913, a US $20 coin had .9675 troy ounces of gold. That’s worth $1,147.07 today–which means that the US government, through the Federal Reserve, has stolen well over twice the amount that they’re willing to admit to through inflation. It’s hardly surprising they don’t want too much scrutiny.

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