The Attack on Big Government and the Remaking of American Liberalism By Paul Sabin – NYT Book Review

Aug. 10, 2021

PUBLIC CITIZENS
The Attack on Big Government and the Remaking of American Liberalism

By Paul Sabin

“When you’re a household name for 56 years, you acquire more than one reputation. Ralph Nader has three.

Nader first came to public attention in 1965 when he published “Unsafe at Any Speed,” a best seller that said auto companies were building dangerous cars. That’s Nader the consumer advocate. Nader leveraged his fame into a network of nonprofit government watchdog groups staffed by idealistic young “Nader’s Raiders” recruited from top universities. That’s Nader the public citizen. In 2000, having concluded the two major parties were really “one corporate party wearing two heads and different makeup,” Nader waged a third-party presidential bid and took enough Florida votes away from Al Gore to cost him the election. That’s Nader the spoiler, still reviled by many liberals for making George W. Bush president.

It’s past time to put this grievance to rest. Gore’s defeat (by a mere 537 Florida votes) was so narrow that it can be attributed to any stray breeze. Paul Sabin, a professor of history at Yale, suggests in “Public Citizens” that if you want to blame a Democratic debacle on Nader, consider President Jimmy Carter’s defeat in 1980, even though Nader wasn’t a candidate that year.

“Public Citizens” is an elegantly argued and meticulously documented attempt to place Nader within the liberal tradition. Sabin’s thesis is that Nader the public citizen was a principal architect of the adversarial liberalism that succeeded New Deal liberalism. Birthed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, adversarial liberalism was defeated in 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan, whose antigovernment message (Sabin argues) acquired legitimacy partly through Nader’s spirited attacks on the federal government. “It was as if liberals took a bicycle apart to fix it,” Sabin writes, “but never quite figured out how to get it running properly again.” “

Gail Collins | The Robocall Rebellion – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

Let’s find something fun to talk about.

Really, we need a little break. The top topics for civic discussion right now are the pandemic, climate change and collapsing infrastructure. It’s summer, but baseball games keep getting postponed when somebody tests positive for the coronavirus. Broadway is all but closed. There’s nothing much on TV except the Olympics, and the Olympics are kind of depressing.

So let’s complain about … robocalls!

Among the nonlethal problems currently facing the nation, robocalling looms large just for raw irritation. Really large. According to the call-blocking company YouMail, Americans got about 4.4 billion robocalls in June — seriously. This is up from a mere four billion in May.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
This subject always makes me angry. How about passing a bill, that phone companies have to pay 10% of their gross profits every year, if they don’t stop these calls to the public. Gail wrote, ““They used grammatical gymnastics to create an opening for Americans to be bombarded with unwanted calls on their cellphones,” complained Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts in a phone interview. Markey, who’s one of Congress’s anti-robocall crusaders, expects to come up with a bipartisan bill to undo what the court has done. Even in an era when Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on whether to hold a hearing about the assault on the nation’s Capitol, they’re pretty much in accord on robocall reform.” Shame on the Supreme Court. They are acting like they have been bribed. I pray that Senator Markey is successful, in fixing this most annoying and dangerous abuse of the phone system in the US.
David Lindsay Jr is a writer and author who blogs at InconvenientNews.Net

How Do You Stop Robocalls? – The New York Times

“The calls look vaguely familiar, as if they could be coming from a neighbor’s phone. Sometimes they’re ominous warnings about your Social Security number. A friendly voice pretends to be concerned about the warranty on a car you don’t have.

Americans get millions of illegal robocalls every month, despite attempts by the telecommunications industry and government agencies to stop them.

The latest effort by the Federal Communications Commission — the government agency that regulates communications — to cut down on the calls uses a technology called Stir/Shaken, which went into effect on June 30. While it has nothing to do with James Bond and martinis, it is meant to add to the arsenal of defenses against “bad guys” who trick people.

Here’s how it works.” . . .

How Amazon Crushes Unions – The New York Times

“RICHMOND, Va. — Five years ago, Amazon was compelled to post a “notice to employees” on the break-room walls of a warehouse in east-central Virginia.

The notice was printed simply, in just two colors, and crammed with words. But for any worker who bothered to look closely, it was a remarkable declaration. Amazon listed 22 forms of behavior it said it would disavow, each beginning in capital letters: “WE WILL NOT.”

“We will not threaten you with the loss of your job” if you are a union supporter, Amazon wrote, according to a photo of the notice reviewed by The New York Times. “We will not interrogate you” about the union or “engage in surveillance of you” while you participate in union activities. “We will not threaten you with unspecified reprisals” because you are a union supporter. We will not threaten to “get” union supporters.”

Amazon posted the list after the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers accused it of doing those very things during a two-year-long push to unionize 30 facilities technicians at the warehouse in Chester, just south of Richmond. While Amazon did not admit to violations of labor laws, the company promised in a settlement with federal regulators to tell workers that it would rigorously obey the rules in the future.

The Man Who Turned Credit-Card Points Into an Empire – The New York Times

By Jamie Lauren KeilesJan. 5, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETListen to This ArticleAudio Recording by AudmListen 49:48To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.They came to Dubrovnik by cruise ship or Ryanair — members of a new hypermobile class of tourist, who traveled for cheap and didn’t stay long. They’d seen its walled Old Town on “Game of Thrones,” and they wanted to be there themselves, so they went. Venice, Barcelona, certain beaches in Thailand — these places had all faced their own “overtouristing” problems, but even by this standard, Dubrovnik was extreme. On busy days, tourists could outnumber permanent Old Town residents about 6 to 1. With a main thoroughfare less than a thousand feet long, this pressure on the city’s charm was overwhelming. By 2017, tourism had so overburdened the Old Town that UNESCO was threatening to revoke its World Heritage status. Mayor Mato Frankovic set out to save his city by sabotage, capping passage through the gates at 4,000 daily visitors and functionally banning new restaurants. Nevertheless, the tourists kept coming.But then, around March 2020, they stopped. After the Diamond Princess debacle, no more cruise ships appeared in the port. Airplanes were grounded, then took flight again — ending an age of quick and easy travel and ushering in a new, slower one. Pandemic travel was arduous and impeded by knotty, sometimes contradictory governmental guidelines. To travel under these conditions required an unhinged urge to take flight and a bureaucrat’s eye for parsing fine print. Brian Kelly, the founder of a website called The Points Guy, had both — plus a few million unused frequent-flier miles. This was how, on Saturday, Aug. 7, he found himself heading from New York to Dubrovnik, to see the walled city with nobody there.

Is Charging Your Phone All Day Really That Bad? – The New York Times

By 

Mr. Guy is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter, a product recommendation site owned by The New York Times Company.

“If you’re unsure whether there’s a “right” way to charge your phone — or whether charging it too long, too often or too fast can damage the battery — you’re not alone. I’m a senior staff writer at Wirecutter, and I’ve been writing about phones and tech since 2011. Before that, I was an iPhone sales specialist at an Apple Store. Even with that experience under my belt, it has never been totally clear to me whether being careful about how often I recharge my phone actually extends the life of the battery enough to make a difference, or if it’s just another hassle in a world with far too many of them.

Some people just plug their phones into a charger (or toss them onto a wireless charging pad) whenever power is available. Others fastidiously keep their batteries between 40 percent and 80 percent, never allowing a full charge, guided by the belief that a battery will last longer as a result. Personally, I keep my iPhone on a Qi wireless charger on my desk all day while I’m at work, and I juice it up overnight, as well.

After speaking with battery researchers and the reuse experts at iFixit, reviewing studies on phone replacement trends and analyzing some user data from Wirecutter staffers, we’ve found that although micromanaging your phone’s battery is likely to extend its life to a small degree, the results might not be worth the inconvenience in the long run.

Charging your battery causes its performance to degrade over time, no matter how you do it. Smartphones are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which work by moving charge carriers (in this case, lithium ions) from one electrode to another. The ions move in one direction when charging and in the other when discharging.”

EWG Skin Deep® | Ratings for All Softsoap Products

Showing 77 Softsoap Products

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SOFTSOAP

Earth Blends Moisturizing Liquid Hand Soap, Pomegranate & Plum

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Coconut Butter Body Scrub

Data: Limited


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Aquarium Hand Soap

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Milk & Golden Honey Moisturizing Hand Soap

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Hand Soap, Coconut & Warm Ginger

Source: EWG Skin Deep® | Ratings for All Softsoap Products

Opinion | Privacy Cannot Be a Casualty of the Coronavirus – The New York Times

By The Editorial BoardThe editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values. It is separate from the newsroom.April 7, 20207Credit…Illustration by Michael Houtz; photograph by Getty ImagesMillions of Americans, sheltering in their homes from the coronavirus, have turned to communications platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts and Facebook Messenger in order to work or stay connected to friends and family. Free and easy to use, the services are gobbling up record numbers of new users.But there’s a saying in Silicon Valley: If the product is free, you are the product.This is not business as usual, though. Americans aren’t willingly surrendering their online identities during this pandemic — many are being compelled to do so by their schools, family or work. Just as a swath of manufacturers are switching their production lines to ventilator and mask production for the greater good, corporations that normally view every new registered user as a data point to exploit need to take a pause on profiting from online data harvesting.For those fortunate enough to have laptops and reliable broadband internet at home, it is not sufficient to simply update privacy policies or customer agreements. Americans need a guarantee that conversations held over video chat won’t be data collection events.The videoconferencing company Zoom has been a standout brand of the pandemic, in part because its daily user numbers ballooned to 200 million in March from 10 million last year, making it one of the few buoyant stocks amid the recent sell-off.

How To Buy The Right Bed Sheets: Sateen Vs. Percale Vs. Linen www.forbes.com Aug 28, 2019 … Instead, focus on the fabric. Look for sheets made of Combed or extra-long staple Egyptian or Pima (or American-made Supima) cotton …

How To Buy The Right Bed Sheets: Sateen VsPercale Vs. Linen
http://www.forbes.com
Aug 28, 2019  Instead, focus on the fabric. Look for sheets made of Combed or extra-long staple Egyptian or Pima (or American-made Supima) cotton …

 

 

Source: percale vs egyptian cotton sheets – Zenya.com – Search The Web Web Search

Opinion | Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy – By Stuart A. Thompson and Charlie Warzel – The New York Times

EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY, everywhere on the planet, dozens of companies — largely unregulated, little scrutinized — are logging the movements of tens of millions of people with mobile phones and storing the information in gigantic data files. The Times Privacy Project obtained one such file, by far the largest and most sensitive ever to be reviewed by journalists. It holds more than 50 billion location pings from the phones of more than 12 million Americans as they moved through several major cities, including Washington, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Each piece of information in this file represents the precise location of a single smartphone over a period of several months in 2016 and 2017. The data was provided to Times Opinion by sources who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to share it and could face severe penalties for doing so. The sources of the information said they had grown alarmed about how it might be abused and urgently wanted to inform the public and lawmakers.

After spending months sifting through the data, tracking the movements of people across the country and speaking with dozens of data companies, technologists, lawyers and academics who study this field, we feel the same sense of alarm. In the cities that the data file covers, it tracks people from nearly every neighborhood and block, whether they live in mobile homes in Alexandria, Va., or luxury towers in Manhattan.

One search turned up more than a dozen people visiting the Playboy Mansion, some overnight. Without much effort we spotted visitors to the estates of Johnny Depp, Tiger Woods and Arnold Schwarzenegger, connecting the devices’ owners to the residences indefinitely.

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
Great report, “horrible, but great,” to quote Olivander, the wand seller, in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter #1. I have a great thirst for more specifics on: 1. As an iphone user, if I use google maps, allowing my location, am I screwed. Am I condemned to their resalable bulletin board of movement, or am I protected. Can I use directions from here to there and still have privacy?
And 2. which apps are to blame, including which functions on them, and what are the trade offs. 3. What legislation is needed to give us a modicum of privacy? thank you for this horrible, but magnificent report.
(David blogs at InconvenientNews.net.)