In 2006, it’ll be a whole lot harder to cheat on your taxes, even accidentally. In fact, you’ll also have to field calls from the government over odd deposits that you make, e.g. a deposit at an odd time of the month, or a cash deposit, or a deposit made from a foreign bank, etc. That’s because, thanks to the PATRIOT act, banks are spending billions on highly sophisticated, government-mandated anti-money laundering (AML) software that will track every last transaction of every last customer in order to build up individual customer profiles and look for “suspicious” activity. And when they find some suspicious activity, they’re going to want an explanation out of you, regardless of whether or not you fit any sort of terrorist profile.
A new government study indicates that being moderately “fat” can actually be good for your health. Apparently, the cultural norms for “normal” weight are too low, and many more Americans die from being too thin (33.7K) than too fat (25.8K). Only problem is that in “recent years, the government has spent millions of dollars fighting obesity and publicizing the message that two out of three American adults are overweight or obese, and at higher risk for heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.”
I wonder – could the screwed up dietary habits and body weight expectations of Americans be linked to decades of government propaganda? It’s popular to blame Hollywood and fast food for these problems, but these things have been around far longer than our dietary problems, and today’s commercially-produced foods are actually healthier than ever before.
Unlikely most security systems, this one runs down criminals with uh, smoke and lights. And now it’s going to be used to patrol RFID-tagged Japanese school kids. There’s probably a witty comment I should add about hall monitors, cops patrolling U.S. schools and/or the influence of anime, but I can’t think of it right now.
Speaking of automating menial jobs, I used a self-checkout terminal for the first time in Wall Mart of all places. The minimum wage will soon add two more victims to the list of obsolete jobs that began with elevator operators and movie ushers: the checkout clerk and grocery bagger.
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When he was 9 years old, Carl Murphy, now 18, was trespassing at a warehouse near Liverpool, England,
and fell through the roof of the building. He fell 40 feet and suffered a massive skull fracture, so he sued the building’s owner, claiming that if the site had a better security fence to keep him out, he wouldn’t have been injured. The court bought it: he was awarded 567,000 pounds (US$1.06 million). “After all I’ve been through, I feel I really deserve this money,” Murphy says. “The papers just call me a yob and a thug because I’ve been done for robbery and assault but those were just silly stupid little things, like.” He plans to spend his cash on a “flash car” and “a big house so I have a place to live with me mum when she gets out of jail.”
There’s a thread on one of my favorite Heinlein stories, “The Door into Summer” at the 4aynrandfans forum. I’m currently reading Henlein’s first book, For Us, the Living – highly recommended for hardcore Henlein fans.
Closeness to nature, deep religious faith, a renewal of chastity and modesty, communal economies, and uncritical open-mindedness. No, I am not referring to popular ideas of our society, but to the middle ages, and the dominant influence that Christianity played therein. It’s important to be aware of not just the advantages of living in a civilized liberal society, but of the alternative – and the ideas behind it.
John at TexasBestGrok points out the hypocrisy of supporting the “sanctity of marriage” while denying Michael Schiavo the power to speak on behalf of his wife.
OK, ok, I really don’t give a damn about the Schiavo charade, I just wanted to plug TexasBestGrok, whose author is a fellow Texan who shares my love of Heinlein, science fiction, scifi babes, flying, and capitalism. Hmm, maybe not such a coincidence afterall?