Archive for January 22nd, 2010

This news outlet ran a straight press release about the new license plate scanning that makes the whole arrangement sound just dandy. If you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about. Right?

Today, January 21, 2010, the Ontario Provincial Police North East Region introduced its Automatic Licence Plate Recognition Project patrol vehicle – one of three such vehicles in the province. The Automatic Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) vehicle is a fully marked black and white cruiser and is equipped with the latest in Automatic Licence Plate Recognition equipment. The ALPR vehicle is based in North Bay and patrols North East Region highways.

Read more at Soonews.com.

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The floodgates of the wholesale purchase of Congress by corporations have been thrown wide open. This will be remembered as the day when all pretenses of the U.S. government being a government of the people were totally abandoned.

WASHINGTON — Overruling two important precedents about the First Amendment rights of corporations, a bitterly divided Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.

The 5-to-4 decision was a vindication, the majority said, of the First Amendment’s most basic free speech principle — that the government has no business regulating political speech. The dissenters said that allowing corporate money to flood the political marketplace would corrupt democracy.

The ruling represented a sharp doctrinal shift, and it will have major political and practical consequences. Specialists in campaign finance law said they expected the decision to reshape the way elections were conducted. Though the decision does not directly address them, its logic also applies to the labor unions that are often at political odds with big business.

Read more at The New York Times.

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Even if the long-term unemployed don’t forget their skills, there’s a good chance their skills will no longer be relevant when the “recovery” comes.

As highlighted by The Economist, only 400,000 more Americans were employed in 2009 vs. 1999 despite the fact that the population had grown by 30 million. Yet it gets worse — Not only has unemployment skyrocketed, but long-term unemployment has skyrocketed even higher. (Shown in the chart.)

The Economist: “Long-term unemployment is what will make this economic downturn inordinately tough for many Americans to bear. Regardless of what headline U.S. GDP data may do, many of the people represented by the spike below will experience a multi-year personal economic downturn regardless.”

Of course, it’s worth asking whether the skills they forget will even be valuable by the time things turn around.

Read more at Businessinsider.com.

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