Monthly Archives: January 2011

Obama talks plenty but says nothing

Tuesday’s State of the Union address confirms that the president of the United States is a boring blatherskite. The nation will survive, but it’s bad news for them and us, given the key U.S. role in preserving order and liberty in the world and the enduring appeal of his vacuous sort of style to progressives.

The speech was awful in several dimensions starting with a painful failed laugh line about oil company prosperity (the White House transcript obsequiously indicated “laughter” that their video, also available online, makes clear did not happen). You’d think someone in the White House would know what members of Congress find funny.

Or patronizing; if anyone doesn’t need an undergraduate lecture on the virtues of public discussion it’s them. I realize the president wasn’t really talking to Congress. He was trying to go over their heads to the American people … who just handed House Democrats the largest midterm defeat since 1938 and gave Republicans the biggest gain in state legislative seats ever. Continue reading

Online we lose our decency/pants

Did we lose our minds, and our pants, when we went online? I have to ask because of a news story about a guy who used women’s Facebook profiles to hijack their e-mail accounts, retrieve the nude photos they’d sent of themselves, and humiliate or blackmail them. Yes. I said nude photos.

MSNBC says in nine months this wretch hijacked the accounts of hundreds of women and wound up with “more than 170 files of explicit photographs stolen from e-mail accounts he had hijacked.” Remember, he wasn’t able to target known senders of nude pictures. His victims were just foolish enough to list on Facebook the personal details you’d need to answer typical “Forgot your password?” questions about your mother’s maiden name, favourite food etc. And hundreds of them had self-published porn pictures sitting around in their Sent Items folders.

Can someone tell me what is going on? In the pre-Internet era, how many women were sending out nude Polaroids of themselves? And at least back then it was laborious to create copies. The Internet seems to affect people the way that T-shirt says tequila does: First you think you’re invulnerable, then you think you’re invisible. Why? Continue reading