DOJ files antitrust suit against Google

And it’s about damned time. I can’t tell you what their ad monopolies have done to strangle online sites:

Happy birthday to me!

A Birthday Cake for Susie!::From MyNamePix on Pinterest and at  www.mynamepix.com | Cake, Birthday cake, Happy b day

I lost a lot of money lately — some overtime I hoped would go on forever. (It didn’t.) I had a freelance thing lined up that cancelled at the last minute. Oh, and lately a lot of longtime donors stopped their monthly donations. (I’m not mad, most of them donated for a really long time, and I’m grateful to have had their support.)

The business I told you about is growing slowly, but I’m just barely covering expenses. No actual profit yet.

It’s kind of a perfect storm, and just to top it all off, I have to get my car inspected soon. So if any of you want to chip in for my birthday, boy, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!

To donate, click here.

So I signed this letter

Photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash

And all hell broke loose. Apparently I am a wealthy, privileged, and powerful public intellectual (hah!) who is plotting against BLM and trans people — pretty much proving the point of the letter. (Guilt by association!)

In case you’re interested, the specific reason I signed is a clause that’s included in most book contracts now that allows a publisher to cancel a book contract in cases of public condemnation — i.e. Twitter mobs. Not actual crimes, but social media. Sigh:

Donor drive

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

My hours at the other blog were cut recently and now another part-time deal, one I’ve had for ten years, was just canceled. Whew.

I am working like hell to get my new business up and running, but it’s slower than expected. Making progress, but now I have no room to breathe.

If you can afford to make a one-time or a monthly donation until I hit my stride, it would be a huge help. (Click here.) The minute I start making money, I will cancel your contribution. Thanks!

 

 

 

Cassandra says

I’m on email lists with activists, journalists and other “elites” (as Republicans would call them). Mostly, they are very nice, smart people. But after all these years, their limited and persistent world view still surprises me, and I find myself going back to the old-time blogs to cleanse the mental palate. Because what bloggers have been doing for 15+ years is pointing out the failings of the media regarding the issues of the day, and the media are still more concerned about their own feelings than anything else. They hate self-criticism.

I’m not saying that to be mean; I’m frustrated, and trying to describe the problem.

For instance: The fact that the New York Times has neither retracted nor apologized for the egregious coverage of Hillary Clinton, But Her Emails, Clinton Cash, and the Comey investigation, and their last-minute absolving of Trump’s Russia connection, shows me they are, like any other information, to be taken with salt.  A lot of salt! To the media people, the Times is — I wouldn’t say above reproach, exactly, but they are reluctant to acknowledge the ongoing systemic problems and bad incentives.

More than 10 years ago, I was part of a group of bloggers and journalists who worked to put on a conference at Penn meant to prepare journalists for the new online world. I was taken aback once I learned just how large the grudge journalists held against us, and how they were not listening to the useful advice we gave. What they resent the most on some primal level (this is my theory, anyway) is that bloggers are in the habit of saying what we really think, and most of them can’t. Not if they want to keep their jobs. They have to color within the lines.

Also, our instincts have been right a lot more often than theirs. Which of course makes them even more resentful (if they think about the dirty fucking hippies at all these days).

We were right, but so was Cassandra, and no one ever believed her. And what’s their beef? I don’t see many journalists begging readers for money to fix their cars.

Ah, well. Grass is greener, etc.

You don’t have to delete Facebook, but you should make your account secure

Your Facebook account is spraying your personal info onto the internet like a hose. Here’s how to stop it. Facebook Apps There are probably too many third-party apps accessing your Facebook data. Facebook Right now is a pretty complicated time to be one of Facebook’s roughly 2 billion active users. Continue reading “You don’t have to delete Facebook, but you should make your account secure”

Why was Cambridge Analytica testing Trump slogans in 2014?

Inghilterra vuole indagare negli uffici di Cambridge Analytica

This was a fascinating look at Cambridge Analytica via former employee Christopher Wylie, who spoke at length with CNN’s Don Lemon last night. (Watch the full interview here.) He said very soon after he left, Alexander Nix was planning to meet with Corey Lewandowski, “before Trump announced he’s running and when they were still working for… Continue reading “Why was Cambridge Analytica testing Trump slogans in 2014?”

Woo? Who?

community-acupuncture

I was driving home from the community acupuncture clinic yesterday and was thinking about all the people who insist it doesn’t work — that it’s all “woo,” which is the derisive term for any alternative form of “non-scientific” treatment. (Remind me to tell you about the placebo effect in knee surgery.)

And I think it’s funny, because I do have very high sales resistance. Not only would I not spend one red cent on something that doesn’t work, I don’t think I even have the attention span for a placebo effect. I go, get a treatment. If it works, fine. If it doesn’t, I don’t think about it. The nice thing about acupuncture is, if it’s going to help your pain, it works right away.

Because it’s community acupuncture, it’s cheap. Everyone gets treated in the same room, and it’s sliding scale. That means I can actually afford to get treatment. (And when I was out of work, my acupuncturist treated me for free.)

Same thing with chiropractic, which some people continue to insist is quackery.

Now, some chiropractors are quacks. They tell you they can treat anything, they push expensive supplements. But the idea that manipulating your spine can make you function better? Hell, yes.

I have a lot of ergonomic problems. In addition to sitting at a desk 12 hours a day, I can only read with my left eye. So my head is always turned to one side, and that causes all kinds of recurring problems with my shoulder and neck. When my arms start to feel numb, I have a pinched nerve in my neck, or my hip hurts from sitting twisted like a pretzel all day, I go to the chiro. (He also treated me for free when I couldn’t afford it. When was the last time a “regular” doctor did that? When I broke my ankle, and had to deal with all the biomechanical disasters that arose out of my misdiagnosis, my chiro got me walking without pain again.)

And my hands? Oy. Between typing and using the mouse, I have pains galore. I used to reinforce them with elastic tape, and that worked for a couple of years — until I developed a latex allergy.

I am very grateful for acupuncture and chiropractic. I don’t know how I’d function without them. To hear it called “woo” seems ignorant, and insulting.

Help… again

So many of you kindly helped me out recently with my medical expenses. Guess what? Now there are even more, because it turns out that my 2018 Obamacare policy went from a $750 deductible to… $2500. So I owe an extra $600.

And just to keep it interesting, my radiator kept losing water and overheating. Turns out the water pump in my car is going, almost gone. My mechanic will fix it for the cost of the parts ($300) and let me pay off the balance, but I have to come up with the parts money by the weekend.

I worked some extra hours and can cover part of it, but it will be very tight. If you can help again, I’d appreciate it. Thanks!

P.S. I’m starting a business because I’m so sick of being broke, but it will take a few months to get it up and running. I swear, all I want is to never have to ask anyone for money ever again.