by Benjamin J. Kirby
Okay, first of all, I hope you come back again in a few minutes to follow along with something new. I mentioned it yesterday, and I think you're going to like it.
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According to a recent study released by non-profit Anxiety UK, over half of the social media users polled said Facebook, Twitter and other networking sites had changed their lives -- and 51 percent of those said it's not been for the better.
Forty-five percent of responders said they feel "worried or uncomfortable" when email and Facebook are inaccessible, while 60 percent of respondents stated "they felt the need to switch off" their phones and computers to secure a full-fledged break from technology. In other words, it's not being on social networks that makes people anxious. It's being away from them.
Interesting that it is not the social networking per se that makes us anxious -- it's being disconnected from them. I think that speaks to the fact that of the more than 900 million Facebook users out there, 488 access their Facebook pages via mobile device.
That number's only going to go up.
So don't be anxious, America. Online social networks, aren't scary. After all, "[t]he advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty." That's a quote from James Madison.
I saw it on Facebook.
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There is a fascinating story in the Washington Post about a former CIA officer who is in a world of trouble over in Italy for allegedly participating in something eerily, creepily called extraordinary rendition.
Of course, it's less about the rendition that took place -- an Egyptian cleric named Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, suspected of planning a bombing in Italy, was literally pulled off the streets, thrown into a van, driven to an American Air Force Base, and flown, against his will, to Egypt where he was brutally tortured. The piece is much more about a (presumed) CIA officer who has, by her account, been effectively abandoned by her country.
Convicted in an Italian court of kidnapping, she is now a wanted fugitive. This poses a number of problems for a person with family all over the globe.
I am fascinated and horrified by the practice of extraordinary rendition. The idea that anyone can be taken by a foreign government in any country is almost unimaginable. What it says to me is that the folks spying for us and fighting our wars for us don't think our forms of justice can do the job. And so we outsource justice, such as electrocuting a man's testicles can be labeled "justice."
Anyway, something doesn't ring right with me in this story. This former officer, Sabrina De Sousa, doesn't seem high-level enough (according to the story; who really knows if she was or not). The issue is whether she should have been given diplomatic immunity by our own State Department. She wasn't.
The reasons why will likely stay a mystery for a long, long time.
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No that anyone is listening to what Newt Gingrich has to say, but he figures the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act was "probably healthy for the country."
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Quick question: what was your last job? Do you remember when you left? What year? What month? Even what day?
And if you don't, do you have a resume or maybe a LinkedIn account that shows you?
For me and you, it's not that hard. It's not even that big a deal.
For Mitt Romney, apparently it's virtually impossible to know when he actually left Bain Capital. Was it 2002? Was it 1999?
Mitt Romney either lied in federal filings that show he worked at Bain Capital through 2002 and could be guilty of a felony, or has lied to the American people in saying he left the company in 1999, the Obama campaign is arguing in light of news reports on the firm’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Could we just take a quick moment to remember the years 1999 to 2002? We had one of the most contentious presidential election years on record. We had the terrorist attacks of September 11. We had the millennium celebration. We had the Olympics in Salt Lake City, which Romney managed -- indeed, that was supposed to be the whole reason he left Bain to begin with.
Look, this is a big deal, not because there are "millions of dollars of attack ads by the Obama campaign are hanging in the balance," as Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post haphazzardly dismisses. It's because, as Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter says, “Either Mitt Romney, through his own words and his own signature, was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony. Or he was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people to avoid responsibility for some of the consequences of his investments.” And that includes layoffs and the outsourcing of American jobs.
The defense of the other side seems to be, Romney could still be an owner of Bain, but not a day-to-day manager!
To which I say... really? Really?
No one is the "owner" of anything without having a vested interest in how that thing is managed. Period. Any idiot -- including a third-rate blogger with only governmental and non-profit experience under his belt -- knows that.
This is a pretty tight box for Romney and his team, and there is no attractive "out" for them, because no matter what they say, it's going to reinforce the Obama position that Romney is an out-of-touch gajillionaire (which is what I suspect hacks off people like Kessler; they see it as a fundamental unfairness, which is itself unfair. After all, it wasn't the Obama Campaign that put Mitt to work at Bain Capital.).
And if you care, mine is February 2007 when I left the American Association of Kidney Patients.
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Don't forget: come back in a little bit for something new on the blog.
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It's almost Friday.