Saturday, June 19, 2021
The last few weeks a lot of things little news snippets have cropped up. Nothing has been such a story of magnitude that it prompted immediate desire to mention on the site. Although many have been noteworthy but just not in such a way that made quick to publish.
So in no particular order we present some random snippets of various headlines or topics that piqued our interest enough to read a bit deeper into the articles after skimming headlines. Or it made us sit a bit longer in the car and turn up the volume to hear what the hub bub was all about.
In a surprise relatively unexpected silent piece of legislation, the Juneteenth holiday passed through the United States legislative branches relatively unchallenged this week and was signed into law around Thursday around 3:30pm much to the appreciation of many who had been celebrating the day as the emancipation of slaves and final vestiges of the Civil War era came to an end. Almost 2 years after Lincoln had declared that all slaves were to be freed, the news had not reached all parts of the United States since mass communication and social media and modern technology wasn’t around obviously. As Union troops pressed on west they finally came to the town of Galveston, TX where many slaves had still not known about the official end of the Civil War’s Northern success and when the proclamation was made it brought jubilation among many.
Fast forward to today when many people began to realize continuous social unjustices and with BLM, MeToo and other movements several companies and states across the country had already known about the holiday although not at a large national level. The previous president #45 had tried to bring about attention to the holiday but it was finally formalized at the national level as a federal holiday called a “National Independence Day” with president #46. All said, many companies had already been letting employees take the time off to celebrate the holiday and it finally came to fruition and in line with other areas of the country when progressive thinkers helped push the movement to make this a holiday forward. Much to the joy of many fed employees they also enjoy the long weekend as 3 days off since Juneteenth was the official holiday this year but since it fell on a Saturday it was observed on the Friday a day early per OPM guidance. This was quite spectacular given the short amount of time from enactment to turn around in modifying payroll and time for employees. Although not all companies in non-gov sectors took the day off perhaps in the future there will be more people and companies doing so in the years to come. Many state employees went ahead and were able to take day and time off luckily.
The goal of the holiday partly also was to spur a discussion. Unfortunately a lot of history has been white-washed or hidden, ugly parts painted over and blemishes erased from what happened to Native Americans, to Japanese internment during Pearl Harbor, to other treatment of people from things like Salem to other points in history. History is often written by the victors of war or the people that are the majority, while minorities even during voting get silenced. And it’s not just racial minorities, but there’s a trend to create a cancel culture or politi-shame people with differing unpopular opinions just because you don’t have the social stature, money, or clout to defend / fight back your views. It’s a fine balancing act. Voting has always been a tool but also a measured tool to voice opinions with a war competing between idealist good and selfish whims.
Education in public about these hidden parts of history to promote an ideal nationalistic view point of pride can be bittersweet as they hide from the youth with budding innocence, but also prevent them from learning about the black, white, and often gray, browns, red and multi/ diverse points of history. Sacrificing of historical accuracy for a rosy picture produces Pollyannas, Maria Rainers, Mary Poppins viewpoints but jaded, cynical “Eddie Morgan Blake” and Matrix “Cypher” attitudes once the bitter pill of reality is revealed. Perhaps that is why education is often dumbed down to prevent the population and its masses from being too “woke”.
2) Kentucky vaccination lotteries
In a much welcome change, Kentucky is mimicking its brother state of Ohio after the initial inspiration of Ohio’s governor to rev up the vaccination rate efforts of its population since survey data has shown many parts of the country falling in the race to vaccinate against Covid before other variants take hold. There has been a rise in India and the UK and unfortunately a resurgence while medical supplies are running low and concurrently CPU shortages and other supply chain issues still in many parts of the world. Apparently as more people get vaccinated it’s not unheard of that rate of vaccination will drop steadily as the hope is to create a part herd immunity and get people with antibodies into the system to prevent spread of disease. A lot of fear of people is due to misinformation, and disinformation and possibly fear of needles. They hear of side effects and don’t think disease can happen to them or haven’t seen the evidence of disease with their own eyes. So Kentucky seeing how well Ohio’s campaign to vaccinate worked, decided to do a similar effort. Rates of Ohio vaccination were boosted temporarily as those on the borderline decision-making wise went ahead and vaccinated before the lottery drawings while those that weren’t going to vaccinate no matter what or were going to wait longer just didn’t it regardless. It’s similar to the psychology game theory where people play out cost benefits of monetary awards and the downsides in their head. The incentive in this case was that people that got some vaccination in time to qualify to a million dollar lottery payout opportunity went and did it, while others felt the cost was too high either due to fear or just other factors. We searched the bordering Tristate location of Indiana and found the governor there has decided at this time not to create a similar lottery out of the conviction that people will basically what they want to do regardless of a large incentive. And that the ultimate incentive is that perhaps people will realize that their health and others is more important regardless of a timed push or monetary reward and that good health is a timeless thing. Whatever happens, only time will tell what holds for this little psychological / social experiment that’s going.
3) Internet outages / BTC/ and Anom etc
- A few days ago a lot of news came out related to internet related items.
First airlines, banking, trading platforms experienced internet outages. This includes Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and Commonwealth Bank of Australia. You can find out more about this with a quick net search.
- Also El Salvador came into the news when it made BTC legal tender. A search online and you could see that April 2017 Japan had already made it currency and a legal payment method. So it would be interesting to see more financial education as to what this means. But from a search it sounds like legal tender means it would make the payment on par with a USD which is what El Salvador used most often for currency. While Japan could use Yen as a payment method and BTC someone could insist that a person pay with a different payment method. See mises dot org and legal payments and legal tender.
- A global sting caught several people using a supposed anonymous messaging platform that was actually run by fed investigators. A headline from Irish Times read that it was like WhatsApp by run secretly by fed crime investigators. The phone was advertised to be a secure platform but had a backdoor and server that copied messages unencrypted to investigator’s servers. See techexplore for more about 5 eyes and the attempt to undermine trust in encrypted services. See also restoreprivacy dot com.
- More hacking. You saw what happened to colonial pipeline breaches and the increase in gas prices and then you also heard about the meat packing of JBS where they ended up paying $11 million for ransomware. Apparently there is ongoing cyberwarfare and a tit for tat. Encryption and privacy will be a big thing in the upcoming years.
4) Odd news: lower intestinal breathing
The last piece of news is odd news and really a strange piece of physiology, almost comic if you extrapolate it. The closest safe-for-work thing we found about it was an article entitled “Mammalian enteral ventilation ameliorates respiratory failure”. Basically it was a Japanese study that found that studies were done during this Covid time when lot of ventilators were needed and supplies were low. Some scientists too a page from certain aquatic organisms that could breath with their intestines, in this case lower intestines… which in humans translates to… well let’s just say where the sun don’t shine. So perhaps one day you might be able to breath and survive just a bit longer with oxygenation pumped in the same place where you sit down.