Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Criminy, Your Honor!

The Camel's Nose

"Privacy schmivacy!"
I was going to write about the Nevada GOP Caucuses today, but when I got up this morning the political news was a particularly depressing blend of toxic stupidity, so that will just have to wait.

Meanwhile, we're living in the Golden Age of privacy violations, and there isn't a day that goes by without more fuel being added to that particular dumpster fire.

There was a story published today about a decision by a Federal judge in California, Kimberly J. Mueller, which ordered the release of private information affecting more than
10 million schoolkids to two advocacy groups who want to go on a fishing expedition.

There are so many things wrong with this decision that it is impossible to list them all (does the judge not understand that the REAL reason the advocacy groups want the information is to fuel further lawsuits against school districts?), so for today I'll just repeat something I have said many, many times: ANY government entity which promises to keep your personal information private is LYING TO YOU. Period.

All it took for those kids' data to be ordered surrendered is for the people who wanted the data to find a halfwit in a black robe (hardly in short supply on the Federal bench, sadly). Decisions like this are just the camel's nose, of course, paving the way for far worse abuses down the road.

It has been awhile since I've given out one of these, but it is well-deserved in this case:

"That seems a trifle harsh, don't you think?"

No, I don't...privacy is a big deal to me, and folks like Judge Mueller are doing their best to eradicate it...did I mention the part about the laughable "safeguards" that will supposedly be used? What a joke...

Just As Well

World's best candy bar

During Lent I don't allow myself treats like candy bars, so the news today that Mars Candy Company issued a recall affecting its namesake product, among others, doesn't affect me right now.

World's second-best candy bar

Of course, if there are any post-Easter shortages of Mars bars related to the recall, I can just increase my intake of Milky Way Midnights (what they used to call the Forever Yours). That one was always my mom's favorite, and I think of her every time I have one.

Take the Hint, Kid

From the delightful comic strip Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, which you should read every day, as I do.

Until Next Time...

On February 23, 1952, Brad Ernest Whitford was born in Winchester, Massachusetts
(a suburb of Boston). He graduated from high school in 1970 (a year ahead of my graduation in Kansas City), and attended the Berklee College of Music before dropping out to pursue his interest in being in a rock band.

After knocking around for a bit with several bands that went nowhere, in 1971 he became rhythm guitarist for the band Aerosmith. Except for a brief three-year hiatus
in the early '80s, Brad has been with Aerosmith ever since, and has been a significant contributor to their multi-platinum, Grammy-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career.

In addition to his work with Aerosmith, Brad has also appeared as a guest star in a variety of other projects, as you might expect from someone who made Guitar World magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

One of those guest appearances came in 2012, when Brad joined
my hero Joe Bonamassa on Joe's Driving Towards the Daylight album. Brad played guitar on seven of the album's eleven songs.

Today's send-off is the official video of the album's title track, which features both Brad and his 17-year-old son Harrison joining Joe. Happy birthday, Brad!

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