WELL, TAXPAYERS ARE PAYING: Federal Agencies Spend Millions On First-Class Flights. “Premium travel reports from 14 federal agencies documenting the flights show these agencies alone spent an estimated $8.7 million on 1,903 upgraded flights in those two years. That was about $6.4 million more than the same coach and government-rate flights would have cost.”
March 4, 2014
AN ARMY A DIPLOMATIC CORPS OF DAVIDS: Louise Mensch vs Russia – the Twitter row. Frankly, she’s doing better than the U.S. State Department.
Now, see, if they cared about their carbon footprint they’d be moving all their manufacturing to the United States.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: How to Keep Your Kegerator Foam-Free. I’ve thought of putting one in, but I figure if I had one, it would come with 20 pounds of beer gut.
AND YET WITH ALL THE SPYING, THEY COULDN’T STOP THE TSARNAEVS AND THE RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE WAS A SURPRISE: ACLU Report On Metadata Details Law Enforcement Abuse, Shows There’s No Clear Cutoff Between Content And Data.
APPARENTLY, I’M NOT OLD ENOUGH, THEN: Ronan Farrow: The Young Man Only Old People Like; Young Blue Eyes fails to bring young viewers to MSNBC. I look at him and I’m all backpfeifengesicht.
WELL, THIS SUCKS, AND WILL CAUSE ME TO LEAVE KEURIG, I EXPECT: Keurig’s next generation of coffee machines will have DRM lockdown: Green Mountain fixates on controlling the coffee pod market.
Keurig is setting itself up to attempt a type of coffee “DRM” on the pods used in its coffee-making machines, according to a report from Techdirt. Keurig’s next-gen machines would be unable to interact with third-party coffee pods, thus locking customers into buying only the Keurig-branded K-cups or those of approved partners.
That’s just lame and tacky.
WHY WE SHOULD BE ENCOURAGING U.S. COMMERCIAL SPACE COMPANIES: Michael Belfiore: What Happens If Russia Refuses to Fly U.S. Astronauts?
ASIA PIVOT? NOT SO MUCH: “Right now, the pivot is being looked at again, because candidly it can’t happen.”
PAUL RAHE: Could China Be Planning Something? “Putin’s invasion of the Crimea reportedly caught the White House, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the State Department off guard. It is a good time to ask, ‘What else might be in the pipeline?’” I gotta say, all that NSA snooping doesn’t seem to be doing much to give us a headsup.
#GREENFAIL: Titans of EU Industry: Green Follies Are Killing Us:
Europe’s dogged pursuit of a solar- and wind-powered future has jacked up energy prices for households and industry alike. For families, it has meant higher monthly power bills—a tax felt most keenly by the poor. For businesses, it has even farther-reaching implications. As the EUobserver reports, more than a hundred leaders of European industry are warning that these rising costs are threatening the EU’s economic recovery. . . .
This isn’t just a matter of lower-than-expected GDP growth for EU member states. Europe has staked out a position as a global leader in green initiatives, so for many of these CEOs the recent rise in electricity prices is only the beginning. Overall, the costs of doing business in Europe are edging toward the unworkable. For multinationals, healthier energy and regulatory environments are beckoning. In particular, the shale boom has made the United States an especially attractive home for energy-intensive industry.
Europe is beginning to feel the pains of its policy of placing the environment before the economy. This is a shame, because the two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. America is an excellent example of a healthier balance: by embracing shale gas, it has been able to wean itself somewhat off of coal, both reducing emissions and bringing prices down. Europe has plenty of shale itself, if it would only embrace it.
Doing so would also weaken Putin, and Arab petro-states. Greens would oppose it — but that’s because they don’t want you to be rich and happy. Much less independent.
MICKEY KAUS ON VW’S PRO-UNION THREATS: “If management made that kind of threat to keep out a union, there’d be trouble with the feds. Can it be an ‘unfair labor practice’ for management to threaten retaliation if its workers don’t unionize?” Well, certainly not under this administration.
SLATE: Why Obama Got Russia Wrong (and Romney Got It Right). “So you see the politics—they reveal Obama as the player of a cheap trick.”
Do tell. And do remember the lefty, and general media (but I repeat myself) mockery with which his statement was greeted.
Related, also from TNR: Enough With the Cliches Already: Obama’s vapid rhetoric on Russia is accomplishing nothing.
UPDATE: Forget the Bush picture. It’s come to this:
BYRON YORK: Should government force businesses to hire felons? Obama nominee Debo Adegbile says yes. The Dem approach is to normalize felon status with regard to jobs and voting. I think, instead, that we should have fewer felonies.
IRS SCANDAL UPDATE: The IRS Tries To Stifle Internal Dissent. “It’s a naked attempt by those holding the reins of political power to censor their opponents’ political speech and quash their political activity.”
This columnist is keenly interested in the U.S. Supreme Court, but we’ve never had much of an opinion on the oft-debated question of whether the court should videotape or televise its oral arguments. Had you pressed us, we’d probably have acknowledged a vague aversion to the idea, but we wouldn’t have been able to formulate a clear argument to back it up.
Last week something happened that crystallized our opposition. On Wednesday the court was hearing arguments in a case called Octane Fitness v. Icon Health and Fitness. The parties are litigating a patent dispute in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; the question before the high court, as summarized by ScotusBlog.com, is “whether the Federal Circuit’s promulgation of a rigid and exclusive two-part test for determining whether a case is ‘exceptional’ . . . improperly appropriates a district court’s discretionary authority.”
It’s the sort of case assured of making no headlines outside of specialty publications. But the proceedings were interrupted when a spectator, Noah Kai Newkirk, rose and allegedly delivered a “harangue or oration” in violation of federal law. (He entered a not-guilty plea Thursday.)
In the alleged harangue, Newkirk denounced the court’s 2010 free-speech ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and demanded that the justices rule in favor of the government in the pending case of McCutcheon v. FEC, which challenges certain statutory limits on campaign contributions.
“Newkirk is a member of a group called 99Rise, which says on its website, www.99rise.org, that its aim is to ‘get big money out of American politics,’ ” Reuters reports. The “longtime progressive activist” told the wire service that “99Rise was formed by a small group of people in Los Angeles who were inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protests.”
Newkirk’s disruption was illicitly captured on video, apparently by a confederate who had smuggled a camera past court security.
Like streakers at football games, you get more if you televise ‘em.
I DUNNO, BUT WE’RE SEEING AN AWFUL LOT OF INTOLERANCE FROM THE LEFT: Michael Barone: How far can society tolerate intolerance?
OH, LOOK, SOMEONE’S SHOUTING “RACISM!” THAT’S NEW. Green group accuses GOP of ‘environmental racism.’ That’s rich coming from a movement made up of lily-white one-percenters.
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: How Hard Will We Be on the Post-Obama President? I predict that, if he’s a Republican, the Dems will focus on things they ignored utterly in Obama.
CREATING AN INCENTIVE FOR RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE: “Islamic extremists” put a price on your head? That means you can’t give a speech in this American government building.
I keep noting that our feckless political class will come to regret the incentive system they’re creating. And they keep creating it.
NATIONAL REVIEW: The IRS Is The Problem.
The IRS has willfully and intentionally misled Congress and the American people about the scope and nature of its actions targeting political opponents of the Obama administration and congressional Democrats. Former administrator Lois Lerner in particular undeniably lied to Congress after staging a “spontaneous” disclosure of IRS misdeeds with the assistance of a longtime tax lobbyist. Holly Paz, who ludicrously attempted to convince investigators that the IRS’s flagging of the words “tea party” was simply a brand-name for political activity — like using “Kleenex” for “tissue,” she said — has just been promoted to the position of special assistant to the director of the IRS, with a “technical guidance” portfolio.
No rule change from the IRS — nor Representative Camp’s well-intentioned but wholly inadequate reforms, which amount to a list of minor no-nos such as inquiring about an audit target’s political or religious beliefs — is going to change the fact that the agency is full of highly partisan bureaucrats with a political agenda of their own and an inclination to abuse such police powers as are entrusted to them.
True. Abolish governmental immunity and make them personally liable for damages for misconduct.
March 3, 2014
COWARDS AND TOOLS. MOSTLY TOOLS. Where’s their nerve? Today’s comics mock poop, not the powerful.
RELATIONSHIPS: Hypergamy, Cars, and Phone Numbers. “In a carefully controlled experiment (Guéguen and Lamy 2012) researchers tested the idea of how important status is to women. They placed men in expensive cars and instructed them to approach women and ask for their phone numbers. Then they had the men do the same thing in medium- and low-status cars.”
BRET STEPHENS: Anatomy Of A Feckless Presidency: Gone are the days when the American president was capable of articulating the American interest. You have to believe in it, to be able to articulate it.
Plus: “Mr. Putin’s Russia is a petro-oligarchy whose survival depends on high oil prices and privileged access to the West for the politically connected elite. Raise interest rates, investigate the finances of Mr. Putin’s inner circle, impose travel bans on Putin’s cronies and broaden the scope of the Magnitsky Act, and we’ll see just how resilient the Moscow regime really is.” Start coastal drilling and oil exports. And if the NSA doesn’t know where Putin’s offshore money is parked, it should be abolished.
#GREENFAIL: Report: DC’s green-approved buildings using more energy. “The results are measured in EUI’s, a unit that relates a building’s energy consumption to its size; the higher the number, the more energy is expended by a smaller building. Take the Green Building Council’s Washington headquarters. Replete with the group’s top green-energy accolade, the platinum LEED certification, the USGBC’s main base comes in at 236 EUI. The average EUI for uncertified buildings in the capital? Just 199.”
USA TODAY: “Perhaps the most surprising thing about Russia’s weekend invasion of Crimea is that the U.S. and its allies were caught so flat-footed, groping for a response that didn’t look weak and ineffectual.”
Um, at this point, is that really surprising?
FASTER, PLEASE: Membrane that can keep your heart pumping forever and possibly prevent heart attacks. “Scientists have created an external membrane using a 3-D printer than can keep a heart beating virtually forever. The thin membrane is elastic, designed to stretch over a heart like a glove, and is outfitted with tiny electrodes that monitor cardiac function – it was first demonstrated as a proof of concept on a rabbit heart.” Like I said, faster, please.
PERHAPS THEY COULD START BY ENDING THE CONSTANT RACIAL AND GENDER-BASED ATTACKS AND PUT-DOWNS: Democrats Try Wooing Ones Who Got Away: White Men.
WHOLE FOODS’ BIGGEST WEAKNESS: “The problem with Whole Foods is their regular customers. They are, across the board, across the country, useless, ignorant, and miserable. They’re worse than miserable, they’re angry. They are quite literally the opposite of every Whole Foods employee I’ve ever encountered. Walk through any store any time of day—but especially 530pm on a weekday or Saturday afternoon during football season—and invariably you will encounter a sneering, disdainful horde of hipster Zombies and entitled 1%ers.”
PLANS? Inside Obama’s Plans to Squeeze Russia. Josh Rogin’s story light on actual plans for a squeeze, long on excuses for not having any plans.
NEW FRONTIERS IN THE SECOND AMENDMENT: Here’s video from this weekend’s Tennessee Law Review symposium.
Wifi in aircraft, hobbled in the past by slow speeds, could soon take off as new technology enables passengers to surf the web as if they were in a coffee shop, Internet executives say.
More airlines are rolling out new and improved services thanks to satellite technology, industry leaders said at the recent Singapore Airshow, with the public increasingly demanding wifi on planes.
US-based Honeywell Aerospace and Gogo, which supply inflight connectivity systems to airlines, are collaborating with satellite giant Inmarsat to implement the “first global high-speed broadband for the skies” dubbed the Global Xpress (GX) Aviation network.
Briand Greer, president of Honeywell Aerospace Asia Pacific, said inflight wifi could generate $2.8 billion for the company alone over the next 20 years.
He estimates that around seven to eight percent of airlines currently offer wireless connection, but says this number is expected to grow to 25 percent by 2018.
After years of being bogged down by weak demand due to poor signal quality, inflight wifi can now enable download speeds of up to 50 megabits per second, Greer said.
“How we describe it is it will be like you are sitting at Starbucks with your smartphone, your computer and your iPad,” Greer told reporters.
That’s good. The current product is so-so at best.
SLOW LEARNERS. SOME OF US NOTICED THIS A LONG TIME AGO: Washington Post editorial: “President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy.”
Ann Althouse notices that they’re still not facing up to facts.
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Putin Invades Crimea: Obama Hardest Hit? The foundations of Obama’s foreign policy have taken a serious beating over the weekend, with his desire to see a nuclear-free world perhaps one of the biggest casualties.
If I’m the Poles, the lesson I’d take is that if Ukraine had kept its nukes, this wouldn’t be happening, and if I want to be safe, I should get hold of some nukes myself. If I were Lithuania, even more so.
Related: Disappointed Syrians Warn Ukrainians Not To Seek U.S. Help: “Do not develop strategies that are based on any assumption that the U.S. or EU will demonstrate assertive leadership to deter Russian aggression.”
Remember when I said that a Jimmy Carter rerun was a best-case scenario? Yeah, well, that’s pretty much off the table now anyway.
MOLLY BALL: Colorado Senate Race: Definitive Proof Republicans Are Getting Their Act Together; Representative Cory Gardner’s candidacy shows that Democrats could be losing their biggest electoral advantage: GOP disarray.
Gardner is a rising star in the GOP whose candidacy gives the party its best shot at unseating the Democratic incumbent, Senator Mark Udall. But perhaps more significant, it’s proof Republicans are reasserting control over the chaotic primaries that have been the party’s Achilles heel in recent years.
At the same time as Gardner entered the race, two others who had been running, Ken Buck and Amy Stephens, indicated they would drop out of it. Buck, a hard-core social conservative, was previously seen as the frontrunner, but now says he will run for Gardner’s seat in Congress instead. Stephens announced Thursday she was dropping out and endorsing Gardner. Though a state senator named Owen Hill remains in the primary, Republicans appear to have made a backroom deal to virtually clear the field for Gardner.
That’s the kind of backroom deal has repeatedly eluded the GOP since 2010, when the Tea Party revolted at party leaders’ attempts to handpick the most electable candidate for the general election. Right-wing bloggers and grassroots activists were incensed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s efforts to get moderates like Mike Castle, in Delaware, and Charlie Crist, in Florida, through GOP primaries. They rallied on behalf of candidates they considered more conservative, like Christine O’Donnell (of “I am not a witch” fame) and Marco Rubio. In cases like Rubio’s, this worked out fine; in cases like O’Donnell’s, not so much.
Of course, O’Donnell’s campaign imploded in part because of rampant law-breaking by the IRS.
Before running, O’Donnell had heard that if she chose to run in 2010 for the U.S. Senate against former Delaware governor Mike Castle, the IRS and others would “F— with her head,” in the words of a top Delaware political insider.
In short order, someone accessed O’Donnell’s tax return information containing private financial details. A U.S. Treasury agent informed O’Donnell that a Delaware state employee may have accessed her tax information and improperly used it. After an inquiry by Senator Chuck Grassley, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration confirmed that unidentified persons, presumably IRS employees, had gained improper access to multiple individuals’ tax information. This indicates more than what President Obama would call a “smidgen of corruption.”
The IRS then wrongly attached an $11,744 tax lien to a property O’Donnell no longer owned, and political opponents speciously used the after-the-fact lien to damage O’Donnell’s standing and manufacture a tax scandal just as she launched her Senate campaign. . . . It was bad enough that the IRS would target O’Donnell with a politically motivated audit, an illegitimate lien and the public release of her private financial information. Worse than that, the misconduct in this matter inappropriately affected the outcome of a U.S. Senate election. Now, worst of all, the IRS is successfully thwarting efforts to find and prosecute illegal conduct within the agency.
So, you know, some of that “disarray” was the result of illegal dirty tricks by a corrupt bureaucracy. Just reminding people of that . . . .
BEST WAY TO KEEP PUTIN IN HIS PLACE, IF PEOPLE REALLY CARE: U.S. Moves Toward Atlantic Oil Exploration, Stirring Debate Over Sea Life. Luckily for Putin, he’s got the Greens on his side, even as they conveniently overlook the environmental aspects of the Russian oil business.
AT AMAZON, deals on new Luxury Watches.
OOPS: Russian Stocks Crash As Central Bank Scrambles, Hikes Rates Most Since 1998 Default. “European and U.S. leaders have threatened sanctions against Russia, creating risks that economic growth will stall, demand for the country’s assets will dry up and a selloff in the currency will deepen. ‘There is a risk of international backlash against Russia at a time when the economy faces an increasing need for foreign capital inflows… This uncertainty risks a further escalation in domestic capital outflow.’”
President Barack Obama’s nomination of Debo P. Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has unleashed a decades-old racial feud centered on the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal that threatens to cross partisan lines and give credence to Senate Republican worries that more controversial nominees will be confirmed since Democrats eased the process last year.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on cloture on the Adegbile nomination Monday evening. Adegbile, senior counsel for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., previously worked for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which helped commute the death sentence of Abu-Jamal, a black nationalist who was convicted and sentenced to death in 1982 for the murder of white Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.
Senate Democrats control 55 votes in the Senate and only need 51 to clear the hurdle. But it is likely to be close, as one of their own, Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania announced Friday he would oppose the nomination, and several Democrats up for re-election in swing or conservative states might think twice about wading into the hornets’ nest that surrounds Abu-Jamal.
The case goes back to a dark period in Philadelphia history, when the MOVE group of black separatists clashed frequently with the Philadelphia political and law enforcement community. The case bounced around the appeals process for years, with the backdrop of continued violence between MOVE, which Abu-Jamal was affiliated with, and the predominantly white police force. The feud reached a nadir in 1985, when police allowed a MOVE compound in West Philadelphia to burn in a confrontation, and the conflagration went on to consume several city blocks. That incident is the topic of a recent documentary by Jason Osder, “Let the Fire Burn,” which has renewed interest in the conflict and stories behind it, such as Abu-Jamal’s case.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, said now that Democrats don’t need Republicans to cut off debate on most nominations, “More extreme judicial nominees, more extreme executive branch nominees” will be the consequence “when you don’t have to reach across the aisle.”
Expect plenty of race-baiting.
ANGELO CODEVILLA: There Will Be Blood: Our Own. “Something like that has happened before. A hundred years ago Theodore Roosevelt had warned Americans that, if we wanted peace in the Pacific, we should either withdraw from the Philippines or build a navy that Japan must respect. We did neither. Instead, US policy consisted of sonorous moral commitments to peace and good order, coupled with an increasingly hollow military: the unbridled tongue and the unready hand. The American people paid the price in blood.”
RICHARD FERNANDEZ: “The capitals of Europe have gone from complacency to a near panic in the last 72 hours, not simply over the crisis in the Ukraine but in the growing awareness that for at least the last half decade they’ve been standing on a trapdoor. At least president Obama, the leader of the Free World, has.”
WE NEED A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO INVESTIGATE: White House Counsel Robert Bauer Behind IRS Assault On Tea Party?
The constant mischief of the progressive left is hurting the nation’s morale. There are few areas of national life left in which they are not busy, and few in which they’re not making it worse. There are always more regulations, fees and fiats, always more cultural pressure and insistence.
The president brags he has a pen and a phone. He uses the former to sign executive orders. It is not clear why he mentioned the latter since he rarely attempts to bring legislators over to his side. Who exactly is he calling? The most hopeful thing he’s done is signal this week what he’ll be up to after he leaves. He will work with young minority men. Good. He is a figure of inspiration to them, and they need and deserve encouragement. This also leaves us understanding for the first time the true purpose of his so far unsuccessful presidency: to launch a meaningful postpresidency. I’m glad that’s clear.
But to American morale. Here one refers to recent polling data. Gallup in December had 72% of those polled saying big government is a bigger threat to the future than big business and big labor—a record high. This may be connected to ObamaCare, an analyst ventured. Rasmussen this week had only 32% of those polled saying the country is headed in the right direction, with 61% saying we’re on the wrong track. Both numbers fluctuate, but the right track is down two points since this time last year and the wrong track up three. Gallup also had only 39% of respondents saying they saw America in a positive position, with less than half thinking it will be better in five years.
None of these numbers are new, exactly, as they reflect long-term trends. But they never lose their power to startle. The persistent blues, the lack of faith, the bet that things won’t get better—it just doesn’t sound like America. . . . People feel beset because they are. All these things are pieces of a larger, bullying ineptitude. And people know, they are aware.
Conservatives sometimes feel exhausted from trying to fight back on a million fronts. A leftist might say: “Yes, that’s the plan.”
But the left too is damaged. They look hollowed out and incoherent. Their victories, removed of meaning, are only the triumphs of small aggressions.
If you don’t like it, don’t put up with it.
THE HILL: US moves to isolate Russia from ‘community of civilized nations.’ If the Euros are serious, they’ll push fracking. If we’re serious, we’ll push offshore drilling, and end the ban on exports. My prediction: They’re not, and we’re not.
And what did Lerner do that impelled her to take the Fifth, and who pressured her to do that?
INTELLIGENCE FAILURE: Ex- CIA Chief: Why We Keep Getting Putin Wrong. Note that Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney both seem to have figured him out, only to have been mocked by the press as old-fashioned cold warriors. Like, you know, Putin. . . .
THE GERMAN WORD IS GLEICHSCHALTUNG:
If you don’t recognize my description of the bill, then you probably followed the press coverage, which was mendacious and hysterical — evincing no familiarity with the legal issues, and endlessly parroting the line that the bill would institute “Jim Crow” for gays. (Never mind that in Arizona it’s currently legal to discriminate based on sexual orientation — and mass discrimination isn’t exactly breaking out.) Allegedly sensible centrists compared the bill’s supporters to segregationist politicians, liberals invoked the Bob Jones precedent to dismiss religious-liberty concerns, and Republican politicians behaved as though the law had been written by David Duke.
What makes this response particularly instructive is that such bills have been seen, in the past, as a way for religious conservatives to negotiate surrender — to accept same-sex marriage’s inevitability while carving out protections for dissent. But now, apparently, the official line is that you bigots don’t get to negotiate anymore.
Which has a certain bracing logic. If your only goal is ensuring that support for traditional marriage diminishes as rapidly as possible, applying constant pressure to religious individuals and institutions will probably do the job. Already, my fellow Christians are divided over these issues, and we’ll be more divided the more pressure we face. The conjugal, male-female view of marriage is too theologically rooted to disappear, but its remaining adherents can be marginalized, set against one other, and encouraged to conform.
When weak, the left preaches tolerance. When strong, conformity. But it has shown itself ready to cave over a few beheadings, which makes me wonder if people have thought this whole thing through. As a mild-mannered law professor who was supporting gay marriage when Barack Obama was still a “bigot” on the issue, I won’t be the one sawing off heads. But people tend to emulate what works, and the evidence of the past decade or so is that violence in support of one’s religious views wins, while “negotiation” does not.
March 2, 2014
MORE SMART DIPLOMACYTM ON IRAN: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew Tells Unmoved AIPAC Crowd that Sanctions Relief Just Gives Iran ‘a Small Taste.’
K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Calling Arne Duncan: National Democrats are silent as Bill de Blasio kills charter schools. I’m beginning to think that the Democrats don’t really care whether poor minority kids get decent educations.
BILL STRAUB: ‘We Need to Quit Acting So Freaking Defeated’: Dems Plot Blue Creep in Deep South. Easy. The way you turn states from red to purple is to make blue states so intolerable that a lot of people flee them for red states. Then those voters stupidly vote for the same disastrous policies in their new homes. So Andrew Cuomo, Martin O’Malley and Jerry Brown are already executing the plan. . . .
I THINK WE NEED AN EXCESS ENDOWMENTS TAX: Universities engage in “endowment hoarding.”
A downturn in the endowment equivalent to a 10% reduction of a university’s budget leads to a 4.9% reduction in the number of tenure-system faculty during the following year relative to similar universities that did not experience shocks to their endowment funds.
A shrinking endowment also results in cuts made to support employees such as secretaries, but found no similar effect on the numbers of adjunct faculty or administrators. All this suggests that that endowments are being used to keep administrators’ jobs safe during economic downturns rather than as means to preserve academic quality of the institution. More broadly, one has to ask what the point of university endowments is if there is such an emphasis on growth—rather than protecting the institutions they were created to benefit. The inability of universities to cut administrative staff when endowments are shrinking is also troubling.
At some point, you’ve hoarded enough money.
DISAPPOINTMENT WITH THE 21ST CENTURY: Today’s Apps Are Turning Us Into Sociopaths.
First, some quick background on how BroApp works: It not only sends scheduled texts, but comes preloaded with 12 messages to help users get started. The developers also took steps to conceal the automation going on behind the scenes; in places designated “no bro zones,” the app is automatically disabled. (After all, the jig is up if your girlfriend received an automatic text from you while you’re at her place.) The app even has a rating system that lowers the risk of the same message being sent too frequently.
Despite the fact that the app currently advertises the core benefit of spending “more time with the bros”, it included other scenarios in the initially testing according to the developers: “A girl who used it to message her boyfriend.” Someone who “used it to message her Mum a few times a week.” But let’s put aside the many gender implications for a moment. There’s certainly much to discuss there, and by no means do I want to dismiss the fact that this type of thing exacerbates power differentials and perpetuates the problem of sexism in the tech industry.
21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Want To Plan A Threesome? There’s An App For That!
UPDATE: I’ve disabled this link because a reader said there was a trojan on the site. It was YourTango, which should be safe, but better safe than sorry.