Who Could’ve Predicted This?

THEN

Arguing its case in federal court, AT&T assured the judge that its acquisition of Time Warner would, contrary to what the Justice Department’s anti-trust suit claimed, magically bring more competition to the industry and result in lower prices for its DirecTV customers.

NOW

DirecTV is raising prices $5.00 per month. “To continue delivering the best possible streaming experience for both new and existing customers, we’re bringing the cost of this service in line with the market,” AT&T said in a statement explaining their concept of more competition.

Oh, yeah and… (from the Los Angeles Times) “The announcement comes days after an industry analyst said AT&T had quietly increased an ‘administrative fee’ on its wireless customer bills in a recent move that could generate almost $1 billion a year in additional income. The analyst speculated that some of the fee could be intended to cover the costs of the Time Warner merger.”

U.S. Opposes Mother’s Milk

At a gathering of the World Health Assembly under the auspices of the United Nations, Ecuador was to introduce an innocuous resolution supporting breast feeding as a sensible alternative to manufactured baby formula. The resolution stated that research shows mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should discourage inaccurate or misleading marketing of non-breast milk alternatives.
The United States would not have it. With the current administration firmly aligned with behemoth corporations, including the $70 billion baby-food market, American representatives wanted language removed that called on governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding.” They also wanted removed a section that exhorted government policymakers to limit promotion of food products that many experts say can have harmful effects on young children.
When Ecuador did not comply, the U.S. threatened trade sanctions and withdrawal of military aid. Ecuador gave in. In the end, Russia trumped the U.S. by formally introducing the resolution in lieu of Ecuador. The U.S. dropped its demand for alterations, and gave Russia the opportunity to be the good guy and declare it was a matter of principle. “We feel that it is wrong when a big country tries to push around some very small countries, especially on an issue that is really important for the rest of the world,” said a Russian delegate.
Read the entire story in the failing New York Times.

On a lighter note…

Independence Week in the Neighborhood

Staying close to home during the extended holiday…

Aerial tram maintenance. Finished the job in only three weeks.
Tram cars wait patiently.
Putting it back together.

 

Protesters at Immigration & Customs Enforcement building face off with Homeland Security police.
ICE protest transitioning to homeless encampment? Inventory on adjacent Tesla sales lot disappeared for a week, but has returned. Demonstrators/squatters are not a danger to expensive automobiles?

 

Finding a quiet home on the river.
A nice place to raise a family… if only they wouldn’t shit on the pedestrian pathway.

 

31st annual Waterfront Blues Festival
Sunny afternoon at Waterfront Park.
The Mavericks tearing the proverbial house down.
Sun sets on music fans.

Celebrating Independence

(Originally published 2016.)Liberty4th-of-july

John Adams declared that July 2, the date the Second Continental Congress voted to declare the thirteen colonies independent from Great Britain, would be celebrated “…with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” The written Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4. Continue reading Celebrating Independence

Weekend in Portlandia

 

Good in the Hood

26th annual Good in the Neighborhood Multi-Cultural Music & Food Festival, celebrating (non-gentrified) inner north and northeast Portland.

 

World Naked Bike Ride

“a protest against driving and fossil fuel abuse, a rolling party, and a demonstration of the unifying power of bicycles”

And illustrating that some people should not be naked in public.

 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protest

8:00 am Sunday – protesters still asleep.

 

Milk Carton Boat Races

A half-gallon milk carton will float four pounds.

Boat building and navigating skills vary.

 

And non-milk-carton boat traffic on the river…

Alexa, Can You Hear Me?

Do you have a gnawing feeling that Amazon does not have enough of your personal information? That you are sometimes in a dead zone where Amazon – or Google or Facebook – is not tracking you? Not to worry: the on-line behemoth is moving toward their goal of recording everything you say or do. The latest step: “Alexa for Hospitality.” Now they can monitor you not only in your home, but also while you’re in a hotel room with the door locked and bolted.

Of course, Amazon’s monitoring device is asleep until you awaken it with “Alexa.” The cynical among us ask how Alexa knows you want it if it’s not listening. Amazon assures us that it is not keeping any information that you don’t want it to have. And if you can’t trust Amazon…

Oops-

Amazon’s Echo device recorded a Portland family’s private conversation and then sent the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle.