First it Was Cell Phones, Now This?

 

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U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement [Link to NY Times article]

Cell phones are tracked, Internet usage is tracked, Cars are tracked, now we find out Snail Mail is tracked…  These must be some unbelievably big databases and data centers to store this kind of information.

Guess it’s time for me to pull the shades, break out the frequency counter, and start looking for the bugs around the house…  I have nothing to hide & this still scares the hell out of me!  Anyone have a cabin in the woods they’re looking to sell?

Happy “Independence” Day everyone!

The Impossible “Literacy” Test Louisiana Used to Give Black Voters

I read this in Slate the other day & it’s been really hard to forget…

Back in the early 60’s this test (PDF FILE) was given to anyone in Louisiana that could not prove at least a 5th grade education and wanted to vote.  Test takers had 10 minutes to complete the test and ONE wrong answer would result in an immediate failure of the test.

Take a look at the test & let me know how you think YOU would do!

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Original Slate Article Here

No Saturday Mail delivery? Fine by me!

Postal-truck-crash

Earlier this week the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced it would stop Saturday mail delivery in August and that’s just fine by me.  I say cut it down to 2-3 days a week.

I go to my mailbox a few times a week and it’s full of advertising inserts, credit card offers and stuff I never even look at.  I pay my bills online and I rarely, if ever, send any kind of written correspondence, and I’m sure I’m not alone.  As a matter of fact, I hate all of the waste generated by direct mail marketing.  I didn’t ask for this stuff but I have to take care of getting rid of it…

The USPS is supposed to be able to pay for itself with the fees it charges to use its service but after being “forced” to take a HUGE loan to pre-fund its union pension program it’s become under water to a tune of $15-billion.  Yet another example of how unions are not good for business anymore (that’s another post all together).

So far I have not read a lot of complaints about the USPS decision.  I think it’s just a sign of the times and probably not the first reduction of service we’ll see in our lifetime.

Ghost Towns of China

This is really amazing.  I just heard about this today and it’s almost unbelievable that China would spend this much time and money to build these HUGE cities and just abandon them…

Ghost towns of China: Satellite images show cities lying completely deserted

The ghost towns of China: Amazing satellite images show cities meant to be home to millions lying deserted

These amazing satellite images show sprawling cities built in remote parts of China that have been left completely abandoned, sometimes years after their construction.

Elaborate public buildings and open spaces are completely unused, with the exception of a few government vehicles near communist authority offices.

Some estimates put the number of empty homes at as many as 64 million, with up to 20 new cities being built every year in the country’s vast swathes of free land.

The photographs have emerged as a Chinese government think tank warns that the country’s real estate bubble is getting worse, with property prices in major cities overvalued by as much as 70 per cent. [MORE]