Monthly Archives: January 2011 – Hefty price tag for healthy diets

The less junk in your food the more it costs. I never understood that.


Internet Data Retention law will help catch criminals, Justice Dept. tells U.S. Congress

Beyond all: Our right to free speech is our greatest right even when we don’t like someone else’s version.

If Only We Had Kept The Gold(en) Rule

There are those among us who remember when dollars were backed by gold. Gold is still going strong. Dollars? Not so much.

Amplify’d from

As far as we know, only one American vice president ever made a contribution to public life worth remembering. That was Charles Dawes, vice president under Calvin Coolidge.

Mr. Dawes was a Chicago banker who was also a songwriter. He wrote the tune for what became a popular song – “It’s All In the Game.”

Oh… And he also won the Nobel Prize for coming up with a plan – the Dawes Plan – for ending the reparations arguments following WWI. As with so many Nobel Prizes, the committee probably acted too hastily. The Dawes Plan never worked.

Dawes operated in a different world. The US dollar was still as good as gold. And any money that wasn’t backed by gold was suspect. Said Dawes after composing his song:

Now it’s not so simple. Banks no longer issue their own notes. Now, we all use dollars. But what are the dollars worth? Are they going to be the cause of tears and suffering?

Houses are Americans’ most important asset. And the average house is down about 25% since 2006. But that’s in terms of dollars. In terms of gold, the loss is over 60%.

Hey, it’s a Great Correction. After such a big run-up in housing prices in the bubble years, what would you expect? Housing prices are bound to run down.

But look what has happened in terms of real money. The average US household has lost about 70% of its purchasing power.

You’re probably thinking: “Who cares what happens in terms of gold? Gold is in a bull market…it’s fickle…it could go up…it could go down. So what?”

The point is, gold is real money. It is not a fiction. It is worth as much today as it was when Charles Dawes was humming tunes. And gold is telling us that the average US family is getting poorer.

The average lumpenconsumer might not be able to tell the difference. But gold knows. And gold tells.



Automation and the Fourth Amendment-Can Machines Be Considered Humans?

I send an email to my attorney. Technically it goes through a third party: My email provider. Third party communications are not given privacy protection under the 4th Amendment.


A powerful example of how the values espoused in the Constitution are running smack dab into the quantum leaps in technology.

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The Supreme Court has held that an individual relinquishes any Fourth Amendment interest in information that he or she voluntarily discloses to a third party. Known as the “Third Party Doctrine,” this controversial rule is increasingly problematic in an age where a large proportion of personal communications and transactions are carried out over the Internet. Internet users expose virtually all of the information they generate online—e-mails, web-surfing histories, search terms, and more—to online service providers. As such, many scholars have assumed that Internet information will be unprotected by the Fourth Amendment.

Yet the information disclosed to these online third parties is generally not exposed to human beings at all; rather, it is processed entirely by automated equipment. Neither courts nor scholars have squarely addressed whether disclosure to these automated third parties is sufficient to eliminate Fourth Amendment protection. However, courts have, without discussing the issue, already begun to treat automated Internet systems as the equivalent of human beings.

This Article explores these implications, challenging existing privacy market theories and conceptions of user behavior, and proposing a new model of Fourth Amendment privacy on the Internet.