Chuck Hagel: Damaged Goods?

Chuck Hagel

The Week perfectly summarizes the GOP’s rationale behind the great Chuck Hagel freakout:

Hagel, a former GOP senator, won by the narrowest margin of any defense secretary since the job was created in 1947, raising concerns even among his supporters that he would emerge as a wounded leader as he takes over a Pentagon facing deep budget cuts scheduled to take effect on Friday. “He has had to renounce every contrarian view that endeared him to the president in the first place,” one Republican senate aide said.

Related: Speaking of damaged goods, Dave Weigel looks at how Rand Paul’s point position on the Chuck Hagel filibuster has soured Paul’s standing with daddy’s influential paleo-libertarian constituency (who kinda sorta like Hagel).

France 24: Digital pollution? Data centers, planned obsolescence, recycling materials (VIDEO)

Environment Digital pollution

High-tech = high consumption. France 24’s Environment explores the environmental impact of contemporary digital culture, from energy consumption at data centres to ‘planned obsolescence’ and efforts to recycle dead hardware. Check it out after the jump: Continue reading

Ethics in Exile

Silly Prince George Citizen, holding a staff writer  to account for generously liberating other writers’ work:

To our shock and dismay, multiple incidents of plagiarism were uncovered from work over the last number of months. The staff member plagiarized various online new publications, while writing opinion pieces that appeared in this space. Entire paragraphs were copied and then blended into articles, removing a word here and there, or adding a clause to link certain phrases, but leaving the words of the original writer all or mostly intact, without attribution to the original writer or publication.

As of Tuesday morning, that news staff member is no longer employed at this newspaper.

As Sixth Estate modestly notes:

I can think of a much more important paper than the Citizen which showed us that when a minor charge like serial plagiarism comes along, there’s certainly no need to fire anyone as long as the writer in question says it was inadvertent and is willing to print a vaguely worded apology.

Not to name any names or anything.

Margaret Wemte

Cough.

The War Comes Home

Harper EI house calls

900ftJesus has some important questions for the Privacy Commissioner re: the new Harpercon plan to randomly audit EI clients for *gasp* fraud, via taxpayer-subsidized bureaucratic fishing expeditions (House calls? REALLY?):

What information are federal employees told to gather through house visits?

How is this information gathered? (silent observation, questions, questioning and/or observing people other than the client at the home?

What information is included on any reports given to HRDC?

What is the format of this information?

To what use is this information put? How is the information applied?

What privacy rating is assigned to this information?

Who has access to this information?

Where, how, and for how long is this information stored?

What training have employees who gather the information, and employees who have access to it received in privacy issues and security issues?

What information is given to the clients prior to a visit and during a visit concerning information that will be gathered?

What privacy considerations are specifically given to non-EI claimants sharing the home being visited?

Make no mistake: the Harper government is trying to do to EI recipients what its ideological predecessors, the Harris Reformatories, did to welfare recipients in Ontario in the 90s: demonize based on demonstrative appeals to self-aggrandizing Ford Nation assumptions about freeloaders (who, btw, were not, in fact, committing fraud willy-nilly back in the day, unless one contorts meaning into Gordian knots). Of course, EI != welfare. As 900ftJesus notes, “EI recipients are clients [emph. mine]. They have paid their insurance premiums and are clients, making insurance claims.”

Which is of course the overall point of the egregious Harpercon house call exercise: to dramatically shift Canadian perceptions on how we frame and view EI, until the lines between client and recipient (ie, leech) have been sufficiently blurred.

Around the Internets

Late-night flotsam and jetsam:

Original Sin

Obama Is Wrong: Gerrymandering Isn’t to Blame for the GOP Fever

Has Obama Kept His Open-Government Pledge?

Neocons vs. Realists Is So 2008

Foucault’s Boomerang: The New Military Urbanism

Throwing Light on the Dark Side of Dorner’s Rampage

At Least 20 CIA Prisoners Still Missing

We’re All Terrorists Now

No, don’t skip the drone debate

The Art of Infinite War

Drone Wars: Tactics in Search of a Strategy

Keeping Drones in Context

Saudi Money Shaping U.S. Research

The girls are not alright

Suicide by self-immolation a rising trend in France

The Bulgarian Turn

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