Facebook busted for bigoted adverts

❝ The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said it’s charging Facebook Inc. with allegedly violating the Fair Housing Act by restricting who can view housing-related ads.

❝ “Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. “Using a computer to limit a person’s housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone’s face.”

The social network allowed those advertising housing to exclude people it classified as parents; non-American-born; non-Christian; interested in accessibility and Hispanic culture; as well as other group’s deemed protected classes, according to HUD.

Facebook responded by saying, “Gee-whiz. We’re trying to reduce the bigotry in our ads. We’re just too busy counting our money to catch up with stuff like that.”

OK. That really isn’t what they said; but, it might as well be. Self-pitying whining about cost and time constraints from a company that rolls in money faster than they can stack it into boxcars ain’t cutting much ice with the few honorable folks remaining in federal government.

Streaming soon: Disney+

If you read the post just below this cartoon/post, you know how I feel about movies. Movies and sport, 4K and what TV-watching we do in our extended family on Lot 4.

I wrote that piece because this cartoon was emailed to me by one of our regular followers. And I certainly accept that Bob Iger and Disney have the talent pool and sufficient geedus to capture as much of our allotted electronic entertainment time as anyone else in the business. Gobbling up Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and adding that to existing goodies like Pixar and Marvel and ESPN ain’t easy-peasy. I expect the talent pool at Disney will come through to meet the standards set by Iger.

And as I said in the preceding post — “Storytelling will play as big a part as cost, no doubt. But, the storytelling is how it always starts. A great deal on crap television is not what we’re looking for.”

Streaming soon: AppleTV+


Click to runDailyMotion

We cut the cable cord [well, satellite box cord] a couple of years ago. AppleTV had been a consistent, productive adjunctive device providing some of my favorite movies – and 4K was coming. We’ve experimented with a couple of streaming services, now, and I don’t mind admitting that to date cost is prime. Yes, “Prime” is another important word in our extended household.

Quality delivered for a certain cost is more important than quality alone. Our wee compound is entirely populated by retirees. Politicians who would screw over social security or Medicare or Obamacare should only dare enter our driveway in an armored vehicle. Budgets for retirees always end up being a life-or-death discussion.

Right now, AppleTV is primarily a delivery system. Damned good, for example – when we actually catch a live 4K feed of, say, a Euro or British football match. Exceptional, satisfying, mind-grabbing when it’s episode after episode of a murder mystery with Detective Bosch stalking the villain. Yeah, the commercials are right.

We’ll decide about AppleTV+ — the streaming service — after we try it. Storytelling will play as big a part as cost, no doubt. But, the storytelling is how it always starts. A great deal on crap television is not what we’re looking for.

Celebrate!

Yesterday morning, just before dawn, Helen woke first. Rolled over and said, “Happy Lunaversary!” She got me.

Since the day of our marriage over 25 years ago, we always celebrate our lunaversary. Even if it’s just that first minute of waking, one of us will remind the other that this is the day over hundreds of months ago that we stood with friends and family to be together in love.

So, yes, it’s the best kind of game that reinforces memories and good times and tough times – and the growing together we have experienced. Learning and sharing.

I think Ziggy Marley says it pretty well.

Reporter spent 3 years undercover to expose the NRA, right wing in Oz

❝ As part of Al Jazeera’s elaborate infiltration of the United States’ gun lobby, I assumed the role of a gun advocate, pretending to campaign for a repeal of Australia’s rigid, gun control laws, and pretending that I wanted more firearms in the hands of Australian citizens.

In fact, I disagree with all of those things. I believe the gun lobby’s efforts to conceal the truth, which concerns public safety and constitutional rights, should be brought to light.

❝ That is why I chose to take part in this undercover investigation…

❝ …I’d never worn a hidden camera or claimed to love guns. In fact, I’d only fired a gun a few times on a friend’s farm. I didn’t know a Glock from Luger and I’d never seen an assault rifle.

That didn’t matter, Peter Charley said. He was looking for someone with the ability to “work a room” and knowledge of people, business and finance. I would be trained thoroughly in the journalistic requirements, as well as the handling of guns.

❝ So, I was in.

RTFA. I’ve known folks who performed similar tasks for the civil rights movement…including one brave young man who infiltrated the KKK. Dangerous is the minimal description of the job.

OxyContin makers avoid televised courtroom trial — Settle out of court for $270 million.


Click to enlargeJustin Lane/EPA

❝ Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, and its owners, the Sackler family, agreed to pay $270 million to avoid going to a state court trial over the company’s role in the opioid addiction epidemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans over the past two decades.

❝ The payment, negotiated to settle a case brought by the state of Oklahoma, was far larger than two previous settlements Purdue Pharma had reached with other states. It could jolt other settlement talks with the company, including those in a consolidated collection of 1600 cases overseen by a federal judge in Cleveland.

❝ “Purdue appears to have concluded that it was less risky to settle the Oklahoma case than have the allegations publicly aired against it during a televised trial and face exposure to what could have been an astronomical jury verdict,” said Abbe R. Gluck, a professor at Yale Law School who directs the Solomon Center for Health Policy and Law.

Lock ’em up and throw away the key!

The Symbiosis of Stupid


Dumb and DumberEthan Miller/Getty

❝ The Symbiosis of Stupid between Donald Trump, American president, and the Fox News Channel has come to define our era in a way that rivals The Death of Shame. Now that pretty much every organization the president has ever run is under investigation—from the already shuttered Trump Foundation and Trump University, to the Trump campaign, the Trump inaugural committee, the Trump transition, and the Trump Organization—he has begun to sink deeper and deeper into the infotainment vortex. He has correctly identified that maintaining his grip on political power may be the best way to keep himself out of the slammer, as a sitting president cannot, according to current Justice Department doctrine, be indicted.

❝ He has also correctly ascertained that part of his strategy for maintaining that power must be to maximize the diameter of The Bubble. The president must rope as many people as possible into the void of Fox News and talk radio, where he is one of the great presidents ever—many people are saying the best, except maybe Abraham Lincoln—and all opposition to him is based in petty grievances from Liberal Snowflakes in The Fake News Media. He has, for years now, tuned into cable news for between four and eight hours a day. It is his primary source for information. More recently, he has taken to echo-tweeting whatever they say on Fox & Friends or Hannity, spreading The Gospel According to Meatheads to his nearly 60 million followers on the Tweet Machine.

RTFA for detailed analysis of the relationship between the quasi-fascist in the White House and his Goebbels equivalent.

Morgan Freeman Turns His Mississippi Ranch Into Honeybee Sanctuary

❝ Morgan Freeman has long been known for having a voice of gold, using his clout and vocal talents for such worthy causes as environmental conservationist group One Earth. But it has also become apparent that the beloved actor also has a heart of gold–especially now that he has devoted his ranch to helping save honeybees.

The 81-year old actor took up beekeeping on his 124-acre Mississippi ranch as a simple hobby in 2014, largely in reaction to the mass die-offs that were occurring and continue to this day.

❝ “There is a concerted effort for bringing bees back onto the planet … We do not realize that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation … I have a lot of flowering things, and I have a gardener too.”

“As she takes care of the bees too, all she does is figure out, ‘OK, what would they like to have?’ so we have got acres and acres of clover, and we have some planting stuff like lavender, I have got like, maybe 140 magnolia trees, big blossoms.”

❝ While Freeman’s efforts may not be enough on their own to turn back the tide of adverse factors facing bees, his example is an inspiring signal that people are beginning to grow more conscious of the winged pollinators’ importance to humanity.

An example to us all.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia