I can’t tell you what’s going to happen to his blockbuster complaint about the president’s behavior, but I can tell you that the whistle-blower’s college writing instructor would be very proud of him.
As a writing instructor myself for 20 years, I look at the complaint and see a model of clear writing that offers important lessons for aspiring writers. Here are a few:
The whistle-blower gets right to the point.
We know right away what his purpose is and why we should care. He wastes no time on background or pleasantries before stating that he is writing to report “an ‘urgent’ concern.” And then he immediately states it:
“In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.“
2019.09.11 / Robert Vinet / Comments Off on Chaos is being normalised by Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, and Vladimir Putin. And it’s all part of a larger destructive plan.
An atmosphere of weariness is descending on the mass of people. They were already weary of Brexit and are now getting weary of endless headlines about a constitutional crisis that never seems to end.
In the 1930s, the psychologist Erich Fromm noted that the ideal conditions for the rise of dictators and autocrats was a “state of inner tiredness and resignation”, which he attributed to the pace of life in stressed, industrialised societies.
Among the German working class, Fromm observed “a deep feeling of resignation, of disbelief in their leaders, of doubt about the value of any kind of political organization and political activity … deep within themselves many had given up any hope in the effectiveness of political action”.
2019.09.11 / Robert Vinet / Comments Off on John Bolton was either ousted or quit as the US National Security Adviser. Like the White House, he leaves behind a legacy of chaos, dysfunction, and no meaningful accomplishments
The turnover at the White House continues. It’s chaos over there. Who’s left? How many vacancies are there?
2019.09.10 / Robert Vinet / Comments Off on NRA sues the City of San Francisco after city labels it a domestic terrorist organization
The National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Monday against San Francisco after the city passed a resolution declaring the gun rights group a “domestic terrorist organization.”
2019.09.10 / Robert Vinet / Comments Off on Republican Senator Kerry Roberts of Springfield, Tennessee calls for the elimination of higher education, calls it a ‘liberal breeding ground’
What grade did he complete?
A Republican Tennessee lawmaker says he supports getting rid of higher education because he argues it would cut off the “liberal breeding ground.”
Sen. Kerry Roberts of Springfield called for eliminating higher education while speaking about attending a recent abortion legislative hearing on his conservative radio talk show on Sept. 2.
Roberts specifically called out one activist who testified in favor of protecting abortion rights. He asserted without evidence that the woman’s beliefs were a “product of higher education” and claimed that getting rid of higher education would “save America.”
2019.09.09 / Robert Vinet / Comments Off on The new ‘Volfefe Index’ attempts to measure Trump Tweets impact on market
JPMorgan created the “Volfefe Index” — a reference to Trump’s viral 2017 “covfefe” tweet which remains unexplained — in an attempt to measure how Trump’s tweets impact volatility in U.S. interest rates.
Out of about 4,000 non-retweets occurring during market hours from 2018 to the present, only 146 moved the market.
Most of Trump’s tweets come around noon to 2:00 pm, with a 1:00 pm tweet roughly three times as likely to arrive at any other hour of the afternoon or evening, according to J.P. Morgan’s report.
Trump’s 3:00 am tweets are also more common than 3:00 pm tweets, which can be a nuisance for U.S. rates markets, since overnight market depth tends to be thin.Trump is presumably asleep from 5:00 am to 10:00 am, according to the report, since there’s a lull in tweeting activity during that time.
2019.09.09 / Robert Vinet / Comments Off on Some #asshat with a gun has killed 42 wild burros on public lands in California’s Mojave Desert
“We are deeply disturbed by this wanton crime and the senseless slaying of our nation’s wild burros,” Kitty Block, president of the Humane Society, said in a statement. “Anyone who is capable of this level of violence must be held accountable.”
BLM authorities agree.
“The cruelty involved in shooting these burros and leaving them to die warrants prosecution to the fullest extent of the law,” BLM’s deputy director for policy and programs, William Perry Pendley, said in a statement Wednesday. “We thank the animal welfare groups for adding their voices to those organizations who value these iconic symbols of the West.”
The BLM has teamed with conservation and animal welfare organizations to offer a reward leading to the capture of the shooter. As of now, that reward stands at $58,000. “With the increasing reward now on the table, we’re confident that someone will come forward with actionable information soon,” Pendley said.
2019.09.07 / Robert Vinet / Comments Off on DMVs are selling your private driver information to thousands of businesses and raking in millions, and you can’t do anything about it
When you give your name and address to the Departments of Motor Vehicles in exchange for a driver’s license, many of those DMVs in the USA are selling your personal information to thousands of businesses. Some have made tens of millions of dollars a year selling your data.
When asked how much the Wisconsin DMV made from selling driver records, a spokesperson wrote in an email “Per these 2018 DMV Facts and Figures, $17,140,914 was collected in FY18 for driver abstract fees.” Examining that document shows that Wisconsin’s revenue for selling driver records has shot up dramatically since 2015, when the sale drew in $1.1 million. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles made $77 million in 2017 by selling data, a local outlet found.
Documents explicitly note that the purpose of selling this data is to bring in revenue.
But there are both real world privacy and security concerns.
“The selling of personally identifying information to third parties is broadly a privacy issue for all and specifically a safety issue for survivors of abuse, including domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking,” Erica Olsen, director of Safety Net at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, told Motherboard in an email. “For survivors, their safety may depend on their ability to keep this type of information private.”
And, not only is this somehow all legal, there is no obvious way for you to opt out or control who has access to your personal information!