“On Tuesday, the Supreme Court invented a rule that will often allow police officers to arrest people in retaliation for disfavored speech without liability.”
“There is no evidence that Congress wanted the statute to be interpreted like this.”
“By enabling police officers to target viewpoints they dislike with near impunity, the decision could be catastrophic for protesters and the press. The justices, meanwhile, didn’t even try to ground their decision in the text or history of the statute they were interpreting. Instead, the court was surprisingly frank about its rationale: The justices simply don’t want police officers to have to defend themselves in court against these types of allegations.”
For restaurants, minimum wage hikes usually mean higher menu prices and fewer employee hours, according to a survey released Wednesday.
The restaurant industry employs a large portion of minimum wage workers. It’s no surprise that 83% of survey respondents affected by minimum wage hikes reported that their labor costs rose at least 3%.
Twenty-three percent responded to minimum wage hikes by not making any changes to their business.
But the majority did. The most popular response — from 71% of operators — was to raise menu prices. Nearly half reworked their food and beverage options to reduce costs.
Some operators responded to the minimum wage increases by cutting costs, with 64% saying they reduced employee hours, and 43 percent saying they eliminated jobs.
Outside the restaurant industry, companies like Bank of America and Target have been hiking internal minimum wages to attract and retain employees in a tight labor market. Similarly, 87% of survey respondents affected by minimum wage hikes said that they increased wages for workers who made more than the minimum wage.
One of the world’s greatest privacy invaders just had his privacy invaded
Amazon, the company that has made Bezos the planet’s richest human being, is a critical partner for the U.S. Government in building an ever-more invasive, militarized and sprawling surveillance state. Indeed, one of the largest components of Amazon’s business, and thus one of the most important sources of Bezos’ vast wealth and power, is working with the Pentagon and the NSA to empower the U.S. Government with more potent and more sophisticated weapons, including surveillance weapons.
In December, 2017, Amazon boasted that it had perfected new face-recognition software for crowds, which it called Rekognition. It explained that the product is intended, in large part, for use by governments and police forces around the world. The ACLU quickly warned that the product is “dangerous” and that Amazon “is actively helping governments deploy it.”
“Powered by artificial intelligence,” wrote the ACLU, “Rekognition can identify, track, and analyze people in real time and recognize up to 100 people in a single image. It can quickly scan information it collects against databases featuring tens of millions of faces.” The group warned: “Amazon’s Rekognition raises profound civil liberties and civil rights concerns.” In a separate advisory, the ACLU said of this face-recognition software that Amazon’s “marketing materials read like a user manual for the type of authoritarian surveillance you can currently see in China…”
‘For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules, according to internal records and interviews…
Facebook “allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages…”
The findings—which run counter to the conventional wisdom that gun control saves lives—have received almost no media attention.
“A joint study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of California at Davis Violence Prevention Research Program found that California’s much-touted mandated background checks had no impact on gun deaths, and researchers are puzzled as to why.
Despite the dismal record of gun control, expect the media and “experts” to use a repertoire of self-justifications rather than modify their beliefs—regardless of what the evidence shows…”
Lawrence Lessig: “When voters rank their first, second and third-choice candidates, the winner is broadly acceptable.”
“Maine is not the only jurisdiction in America to use ranked-choice voting. It is just the first where it has mattered in a federal election. We should follow its example. There is plenty of time to carry its idea to the 2020 election and give all of us a system less prone to the vicious attacks, and more guaranteed to select candidates supported by at least a majority in every state…”
Yes, the paying members of the TSA’s Pre✓ program will be the first to “enhance” their “travel experience” by feeding their faces into a database the TSA controls, using tech prone to erroneous conclusions. Other travelers won’t be able to opt out of biometric screening, however. They’ll just be subject to the non-enhanced travel experience where TSA and CBP officers ask a long series of invasive questions and infer suspicious behavior on the part of travelers who bypass the biometric kiosks.
It’s true that traveling in the US has always been a “papers, please” experience. But prior to the 9/11 attacks, this simply meant presenting a ticket before boarding. Now, it’s everything about everybody, no matter how useless this information is 99.9% of the time. Rather than move towards smarter screening methods, the TSA has decided to subject everyone to the same level of screening with the same arbitrary rules stemming from airborne attacks the TSA failed to prevent.
The TSA pitches this as a paperless airport, but it’s really just another way for the government to compile a massive database of identifying info and of citizens’ movements. The DHS likes to talk about its 96% accuracy target, but has released no information about actual accuracy in test runs, so concerns about false positives/negatives aren’t going away anytime soon.
The government has responded in the worst way to terrorist attacks in the US. It has made freedom of movement a hassle — one that diminishes Constitutional protections and turns every traveler into a potential suspect.
According to an article in the National Post the Five Eyes intelligence network is demanding tech companies provide a back-door into all electronic devices.
“Canada joined its intelligence allies recently in demanding that technology companies co-operate with law enforcement agencies in allowing access to encrypted communications.”
Five Yyes (FVEY) is an intelligence alliance including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are parties to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.
Although similar requests for co-operation have been made in the past, that “is the most aggressive call we’ve seen,” said Tamir Israel, a lawyer at the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic.
The big change, according to Israel, is that governments are now saying “fix it for us or we will fix it for you.” That’s led to concerns among privacy experts that the government will try to legislate a requirement for tech companies to build backdoors for law enforcement.
Letting multi-national intelligence agencies have access to every electronic device can and will be abused.
Giving law enforcement access to electronic devices is a bad idea
“Whether we love him or hate him, we should be aware that Columbus set in motion a series of interchanges that will affect us more than we’ll ever know…”
There is likely no public secular holiday more controversial than Columbus Day. Since the observance first began to be celebrated in the nineteenth century it has been opposed by a diverse rage of groups, from the Ku Klux Klan to the American Indian Movement to the National Council of Churches…
While we may downplay the individual achievements of Columbus, we should acknowledge he launched one of most significant events in the history of the world: the Columbian Exchange…
The next time you drive past one of those road signs with a digital readout showing how fast you’re going, don’t simply assume it’s there to remind you not to speed. It may actually be capturing your license plate data.
According to recently released US federal contracting data, the Drug Enforcement Administration will be expanding the footprint of its nationwide surveillance network with the purchase of “multiple” trailer-mounted speed displays “to be retrofitted as mobile LPR [License Plate Reader] platforms.” The DEA is buying them from RU2 Systems Inc., a private Mesa, Arizona company. How much it’s spending on the signs has been redacted…
“A federal government program to promote gender equality in Afghanistan and help women find employment is costing taxpayers over $200 million but has only found jobs for 55 women.”
‘The USAID program, Promoting Gender Equity in National Priority Programs, or Promote, is a five-year $216 million effort. USAID has spent $89.7 million in three years but “has not demonstrated whether the program has made progress” toward its goals…’
“A 2017 goal of the program was to help 420 women find new or better employment, enroll 1,968 women in the internship program, and have 900 program graduates. By halfway through the year, Promote had only found new or better employment for 39 women, or 9.2 percent of its goal.”