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During one of his testimonies before a Congressional committee he even talked about the future being something like the Star Trek holodeck. His clichés and commentary was that of a 18 year-old blogger who just got their first Macintosh. And his sketchy background was disconcerting. It included a 1997 bust for stealing shirts from JC Penny’s and the later bust of his former staff by the FBI at the DC office during a bribery investigation… So what have we got so far from this person? Well, for starters, we are looking at the Recovery.org website that will cost the taxpayers around $18 million. This news was released recently. What websites costs $18 million? –“Is US CIO Vivek Kundra a Phony?” by John C. Dvorak, Dvorak Uncensored
Followup: …After a few phone calls I was able to verify that Kundra did receive a Master’s degree in Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland University College in 2001. That seems to conform with his official bio, where it states he “holds a MS in Information Technology from the University of Maryland.” –“The Facts On Kundra’s College Records,” Gautham Nagesh, NextGov.com
Followup: According to the spokesperson, the doubts might have arisen from the fact that Kundra went to University of Maryland’s University College instead of College Park. Those are two different colleges within the University of Maryland system. “If you are going to make such charges, make sure you call us and take the time to educate yourself,” said the spokesperson. “It is a lie.” –“Dvorak Raises Doubts About U.S. CIO Kundra. White House Calls the Report ‘Highly Inaccurate’ & ‘a Lie.’ Kundra Speaks up,” Om Malik, GigaOm
Obviously, there are plenty militantly hawkish young Jews. (Max Blumenthal captured some of the most offensive of them in his notorious video earlier this summer, which featured drunk American college students in Jerusalem spewing racist invective against Obama. YouTube later censored it, though its sequel is still available). Statistically, though, such ideology is on the decline. Younger Jews, says Steven M. Cohen, one of the leading sociologists of American Jewry, “are less engaged with Israel over all, and when they’re engaged with Israel, it’s not necessarily as much in the realm of political defense as it was maybe for their parents.” Cohen was a co-author, with Ari Y. Kelman, of a 2007 study which found that, among non-Orthodox Jews under 35, only 54 percent are “comfortable with the idea of a Jewish state,” compared to over 80 percent of those 65 and older. Younger Jews are significantly less likely to self-identity as either Zionist or pro-Israel. There are many reasons for this alienation, but part of it is that “the politics of Israel don’t always sit so well with younger, especially left-of-center, Jews,” Cohen says. –“Same As It Ever Was? The pro-Israel lobby, long seen as an immutable part of American politics, may be headed toward obsolescence,” Michelle Goldberg, The American Prospect
So Barack Obama is facing the fight of his life (another one) as he attempts to reform the US healthcare system. The “special interests” – doctors, healthcare companies-– don’t like it. The “birthers”-– crazy types who hope to prove he is not American-– smell blood. The danger, says the Investor’s Business Daily, is that he borrows too much from the UK. “The controlling of medical costs in countries such as Britain through rationing, and the health consequences thereof, are legendary. The stories of people dying on a waiting list or being denied altogether read like a horror script… People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the UK, where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.” We say his life is far from worthless, as they do at Addenbrooke’s hospital, Cambridge, where Professor Hawking, who has motor neurone disease, was treated for chest problems in April. As indeed does he. “I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for the NHS,” he told us. “I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.” Something here is worthless. And it’s not him. –“Diary: Who cares if Professor Stephen Hawking lives or dies. Actually, we all do,” Hugh Muir, The Guardian
More from Claire Gutierrez:
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Number of people stopped and frisked by the NYPD in 2011 for “furtive movements”:
The faces of Lego people were growing angrier.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature