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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