Jacob Porter I have found nothing privacy-related that concerns me about with this project. Yes, if you have a knee-jerk Facebook-steals-all-data mentality you would think the State of Washington's plan was problematic. However, no one is indicating that Facebook will be able to access voters' data. I think your juxtaposition of the voter registration app with the Senate subcommittee hearing is interesting. However, seeing as how the facial recognition technology and are substantially different in terms of privacy, I think it makes the voter registration app look worse than it should.
Jacob Porter I think you and I are in agreement that this is too early to proclaim the eminence of private industry in aerospace. But do you agree that the way aerospace contracts (and other advanced technology ones, including those related to the military) can sometimes become bloated and be changed at the whims of the companies that are given the contracts?
Jacob Porter Good question. As we all know, even advanced countries and multi-billion dollar corporations cannot manage to keep their information safe all the time. So, by the very nature of data being on the web, there are risks. But I do not think this initiative poses additional ones. 1. The data that is required to be transmitted from a user's computer to the state's database is already transmitted with MyVote and has been since 2008. 13 states have online registration. Non-online registration states store their information electronically, anyway. 2. Even though this service operates under the aegis of facebook, the data transmitted is not accessible to facebook. So says the State of Washington, Gizmodo, Chicago Tribune, and more.
Jacob Porter New York Public Library does not require a photo ID. Read: http://www.nypl.org/help/library-card/terms-conditions Not everyone drives all the time. 18% of Philadelphia isn't in the PennDOT database. 9.2% of Pennsylvania isn't in the database.
Jacob Porter It is reasonable to require ID in order to vote. Help America Vote Act required just that. It struck a happy medium between making elections safe and making them accessible. Documents such as utility bills are acceptable forms of ID with HAVA, which applies to all states. States like PA went beyond that by requiring certain types of photo ID. Voter impersonation is not a problem yet states are requiring people to jump through hoops at taxpayers' expense in order to do an essential civic task. Libraries do not have nearly as strict of requirements for ID as the PA voter ID law. None of your three examples are important democratic activities. They also often require a fee. Don't base voting requirements off other requirements.
Jacob Porter I said that voters should not have to jump through hoops. Did you read my comment? Voting should be a simple procedure without undue barriers. Voter registration forms can be mailed to anyone in the world from anyone. They can also be downloaded by anyone. So, yes, pets are able to 'get' a voter registration form but that is not something that voter ID laws or purging stops. LOOK, a voter registration form is publicly available! If I give it to a dog the election will be ruined: http://www.longdistancevoter.org/files/voter_forms/Texas_voterreg.pdf Voter impersonation is what we should worry about. There is virtually no evidence of that. Hence, this is a solution in search of a problem. That is a waste of our time and wealth.
Jacob Porter Eliminating the dead is the only disenfranchisement being worked on? Florida's voter purges were wildly inaccurate and put the burden of proof if citizenship on registered voters. 18% of Philadelphia doesn't have a PennDOT ID. It is indefensible to make some voters jump through numerous hoops to vote--especially when those hoops require extra time and money--when other people can vote without jumping through those hoops. Doing that is like making poll taxes or literacy tests. Voter impersonation is not even a problem. This country needs more of its citizens voting, not less.
Jacob Porter I am a Texan but am 100% alarmed by this. Even by Texas standards, this recent stance of the Republican Party of Texas is notable. Can't say it is completely out of the blue, though. (Because it is obviously out of the red--just look at an electoral map of the state.) You point out the heavy-handedness that Texas Republicans have had recently in limiting education in our state. Right now Texas is riding its oil money (as it has for quite some time) and its pro-business financial environment. This may sustain itself for awhile longer but I just do not know where the GOP agenda in Texas is going to get the state in the long term. As a Millennial, the trajectory is troubling.
Jacob Porter Wow, that is an illuminating piece. Will all of the numbers still be the same if the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented? Particularly the $300,000 figure, is that going to be valid even in an Obamacare system i.e., when I am an older person?
Jacob Porter Hopefully she will help more people feel closer to the Mexican presidency. During this election cycle in particular, many people were disenchanted with the Mexican government and civil society. However, Angélica Rivera does come with some baggage. She used to be a news anchor and soap opera star for Televisa, a television station with whose executives Nieto is accused of having a cozy, unfair relationship. Some may believe that the president's famous wife only adds to the disconnect between him and the common people--the 132nd person. http://latindispatch.com/2012/06/22/mexico-yo-soy-132-movement-seeks-to-influence-presidential-elections/
Jacob Porter The transition per se will not be swift, at least not by American standards. He won't take power until December 1. Hopefully Mexican will be okay with the fact that he received less than 40% of the vote. For what it's worth, this style of democracy is not new to them so maybe they are accustomed to it.
Jacob Porter The people of Sudan are probably emboldened by the people of South Sudan, who exercised their right to popular self governance by breaking away from Sudan last July. I wonder if South Sudan will instigate anti-government activity in Sudan, since the two countries are basically at each others throats.
Jacob Porter They may still use stealth while in the United States and may bribe US police instead of fighting them, but they wouldn't have to do that in Mexico because producing, packaging, and shipping drugs (in Mexico) would be legal! And once the drugs cross the border it's not longer the Mexican police's duty to deal with them. In fact, it would be the police's duty to protect those law-abiding drug production factories on Mexican soil.
Jacob Porter Since Peña Nieto is the likely winner of tonight's election, it is worth noting a shift he will likely take on the drug war. Although for the most part he will keep up the effort, he will not focus so much on drug trafficking as he will on the crime IN mexico. I read that to mean more focus on crime in cities and less on drugs that may be crossing the border. If you look at Mexico city's policies, you see this focus on inner-city crime (Peña Nieto was governor of the state that holds Mexico City from 2005-2011): http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/06/29/mexico_s_bright_light?page=full Hopefully Mexico will not relax their drug trafficking enforcement too much. The US will have to pick up any slack that Mexico drops.
Jacob Porter Giving the victory to the plurality winner is indeed problematic. In 2000, 52.1% of people voted AGAINST Bush. And that is often cited that as an example of democracy failing. Imagine if 60+% of the population voted against a president and he or she still won!
Jacob Porter I agree, legalizing drugs (especially soft drugs) would put pressure on the US to legalize them as well so as to quell the drugs that would be illegally spilling over the borders. Consider this: Drug cartels establish posts along the border where drugs are produced, packaged, and shipped. The posts have helicopters, dune buggies, digging machines, and speed boats. They begin massive operations shipping drugs into the United States. As the pushers arrive in the States, they are sometimes caught by police and, sometimes, attack the police. Don't you think bombing Mexican businesses on Mexican soil to destroy the posts is a likely action the government might take. With drones, perhaps. That could mean war with Mexico. Neither side wants that.
Jacob Porter Strategically I am with you on changing drug policy. I wouldn't go so far as to legalize all drugs but that is beside the point. Since Mexico does not exist in a vacuum--it shares 2,000 miles of border with the US and about 5800 miles of coastline--how do you see Mexican legalization of drug(s) affecting the United States? Personally, I think the two sides will need to more or less work in tandem on ending the drug war rather than one doing it before the other. To me, the most obvious effect of Mexico ending its drug war is, not the end of drug trafficking crimes, but empowering cartels to execute another illegal activity: taking their vast, easily-procurable supply of drugs from Mexico to the United States. That would get very ugly.
Jacob Porter Especially in light of Republicans' general support for the ACAs provisons, I think it is safe to say ObamaCare has become a straw man at which the GOP can bark loudly without the obligation of having to provide any bite. Knowing that what happens on July 9 in the House will amount to nothing, it will be interesting to see how House Democrats running in conservative districts vote on repealing ObamaCare. On one hand, these Dems want to distance themselves from Obama (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77920.html) . This would be an easy way to do it without a policy consequence. On the other hand, such splintering could make the entire party look bad.
Jacob Porter I know that so much in the world, especially when science is involves, can get very complicated. I think you are showing a side of the coin about exercise that is often overlooked. That is, it is not a silver bullet and cannot be the only thing one does to lose weight. But on the other hand, you may be making it a bit more complicated than it should be. Calories in, calories out. As you mention, regular exercise may result in weight loss. If people put weight back on, it is because they do not have a proper diet. Based on that last line of thought, can't one say "exercise can reduce obesity, but subsequently poor eating can put it back on"?
Jacob Porter If anyone is having doubts about the distinct partisan advantage that this law creates, consider the words of the Pennsylvania House Republican leader Mike Turzai: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87NN5sdqNt8