Open Thread for Wednesday, August 17, 2016

It doesn’t look good for me having time to blog much today — and the day’s half over — so I’ll go ahead and start an Open Thread, with some possible topics. Talk amongst yourselves:

  1. Trump shakes up campaign, demotes top adviser — Basically, the message from here on out is “Let Trump be Trump.” Which I suppose is excellent news for those of us who think it’s fine that he be himself, as long as he isn’t also president. Jennifer Rubin has a pretty good take on it. She says it’s time for Republicans to cut their losses and concentrate on down-ballot.
  2. Sweeping fed indictment targets SC ‘Irish Travelers’ — Yeah, that’s why I posted the clip above from “Snatch.” The feds allege that the folks in Murphy Village have gone way beyond selling shoddy caravans.
  3. SC tax agency can’t sue private companies over penny tax, judge rules — I don’t know all the ins and outs of this, but my gut is that I hate to see the courts preventing DOR from trying to inject some accountability. I mean, if they legally can’t, they can’t. I just hate to see it.
  4. Release of Code Raises Fears That N.S.A. Was Hacked — Great. First Snowden, now this.

That’s all I’m seeing in a quick sweep over the news. Maybe y’all can suggest something better.

snatch

26 thoughts on “Open Thread for Wednesday, August 17, 2016

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    DOR may not be able to sue *private companies*–but that might not be all she wrote on oversight. As the story says, the judge ruled DOR may pursue the municipal organizations that collect the tax and approve disbursements of the tax.

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      By the way, the geniuses working on driverless cars are thinking of them first to replace cabbies and Uber drivers.

      Great. My son is an Uber driver, as a second job to bring in additional needed income.

      So instead of liberating people like me from the burden of having to drive, their first thought is to take away the jobs of people who need them…

      Reply
      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        All kinds of people are Uber drivers. For awhile, my daughter the attorney did it. She and my son earned money to go visit my youngest daughter in Thailand that way.

        But plenty of people do it to eat.

        That’s the world we live in — instead of thinking, “How can I make the world a better place?,” inventors think, “How can I make money (by taking it from other people — in this case, the cab and Uber drivers)?”

        Reply
        1. Adam Smith

          By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it.

          Reply
          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Of course, I’m not just worried about the drivers, here. I’m being selfish as well.

            I want a driverless car. Not the kind of driverless car that is coming in the near future, but the kind they’ll have a century or two from now. I have enough trouble getting an uninterrupted wifi signal to watch a movie all the way through on Netflix; I’m not about to trust my life to A.I. and the data grid within my lifetime. Think about it: How many times has Google Maps told you to do something stupid? Or how many times were you in a situation in which you had really been counting on the availability of wifi, and it’s just not working?

            I want a driverless car because I know no one’s going to build me a subway system that will get me anyone I need to go in Columbia.

            You know what I’d settle for? Enough money to have a full-time chauffeur. Actually, no — that’s not good enough. Chauffeur-driven cars still have to stop and go too much. They still have to deal with traffic.

            I want my subway…

            Reply
            1. Tex

              A subway so you can ride it the three miles to work? Unless they’re going to build it out to Lexington I’d never use it.

              Reply
              1. Mark Stewart

                You could ride the bus in to Cola. Oh wait, no you can’t; Lexington doesn’t want a bus coming within 3 miles of their fair town.

                Some problem about complexity and issues or something, they say. Was fun to reply “I think there’s some confusion, did you mean complexion issues?”

                There will be buses rolling across the Lake Murray dam and up 378 long before there are AI cars available to purchase; or any kind of rail transit in Cola.

                Reply
                1. Claus

                  That sounds like fun, get up an hour early, have to switch buses three times to get to work then do the same on the way home. Or I could just drive to work.

            2. Bryan Caskey

              “I have enough trouble getting an uninterrupted wifi signal to watch a movie all the way through on Netflix; I’m not about to trust my life to A.I. and the data grid within my lifetime. Think about it: How many times has Google Maps told you to do something stupid? Or how many times were you in a situation in which you had really been counting on the availability of wifi, and it’s just not working?”

              This is essentially the point that people make when pointing out the flaws in “Smart-gun” technology. When you’re faced with a situation where you actually need to fire your sidearm in a life or death situation, do you really want to be reliant on the electronics to not go all ahoo?

              Reply
        2. Doug Ross

          Skills that can be replaced by technology are not skills. Do you also feel bad for the taxi drivers who have been replaced by Uber drivers? How about all the factory workers who might assemble driverless cars? Did you weep for the guy who owned the patent for Whiteout when typewriters became obsolete?

          Here’s a case where someone has five years or more to prepare for the change. MIght be a good opportunity to learn how to repair or sell driverless cars.

          Reply
          1. Doug Ross

            As someone who has spent the past 20 years riding in cabs around the country, I greatly appreciate the impact Uber has had on the ride experience. Aside from the drivers speaking English and being able to carry on a conversation, Uber has forced cab drivers to play catch up – to stop pretending the credit card reader is broken so I have to pay in cash, or driving the long way to a location to increase the fare, or having smelly cabs (and drivers). But it’s too late. My Uber rides in Pittsburgh cost 2/3 the cost of a cab. And my coworkers and I have polled the Uber drivers for their favorite restaurants and had two winners so far: an Ethiopian restaurant with live jazz music and an Argentinian hole in the wall where I got FIVE different cuts of steak on plate.

            Reply
      2. Kathryn Fenner

        Über users are people who don’t have cars and people who do have cars but don’t wish to drive them. People don’t have cars because they are disabled and can never drive, cannot afford the capital outlay or live somewhere where they pretty much don’t need a car. Only the first of those would choose a self-driving car over an Über. People who do have cars but don’t wish to drive them would use a self-driving car if they were intoxicated or otherwise incapacitated, but not if they needed a ride to the airport, say, for a long trip.

        Reply
      1. Doug Ross

        That photo doesn’t even register on the “Maybe?” meter. It looks like a crease.

        I think it is a legitimate question to wonder about Hillary’s general health and her ability to handle the stress of the Presidency. She doesn’t exactly come across as someone who moves around very much. Let’s not forget the questions Democrats subtly asked about John McCain’s health.

        Reply
  2. Doug Ross

    Tim Kaine in 2005:

    “Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), who may face [state Attorney General Jerry] Kilgore in the 2005 governor’s race, likened the matter to the sexual scandal of President Bill Clinton and White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky, saying, “If the allegations are true, he ought to resign.”
    “Somebody in public life shouldn’t behave that way toward women,” Kaine said.

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      And he was right.

      I like to say we were the first paper in the country to insist Bill should resign. But we were tied with at least the Orlando Sentinel, and possibly others.

      It was the morning after he admitted he’d been lying to us all along…

      Reply
  3. Tex

    Aetna out in SC, GA and other states.

    Aetna said it has lost $430 million on Obamacare customers since early 2014. And while the company may be shutting down this line of business in South Carolina and in other states for other specific reasons, experts say it’s clear insurance companies are losing money on the Affordable Care Act.

    http://www.postandcourier.com/20160817/160819490/reason-for-aetna-marketplace-exit-may-be-related-to-blocked-merger-report-says

    Reply
  4. Burl Burlingame

    As I recall, Hillary Clinton spent something like eight hours being grilled by those Benghazi-crazed House members, and barely broke a sweat. Trump cannot handle a two-hour debate in which he is the star.

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      You mean she put in a full day’s work like the rest of us? 50% of the “grilling” was grandstanding by Congressmen on both sides, It doesn’t take a lot of energy to say “I don’t recall” and “It’s in the past, move on”.

      Reply
    2. Claus

      She barely broke a sweat, because she doesn’t care and knows nothing will happen to her. There is no concern when there is no penalty, it turns out to be nothing more than a debate. Besides, “At this point, what difference does it make?”.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *