In the not too distant future people will have to assume that they are on someone’s camera most of the time whenever they step outside their home. Neighbors and business’ will have security cameras operating either wired or wireless to pop up who’s at the door. Traffic cameras will become ubiquitous, and the day of the drones is upon us as well.
What laws and regulations do we need to protect privacy? Where can drones fly, are you subject to peeping tom provisions if your front door camera can also see through the windows across the street? What are expectations of privacy if you are in your yard? There’s a lot to weed through in the coming years.
Drones are relatively rare in U.S. airspace, but that could soon change.Last year, Congress mandated that the Federal Aviation Administration create a plan for the safe integration of unmanned aerial vehicles into the national airspace. Those regulations should be complete by 2015, and the agency expects a commercial boom — as many as 30,000 drones airborne in the U.S. by 2020. But public fears about police spying could stall the technologically advanced industry eager to be unleashed.
Experts say that before the tiny aircraft — outfitted with technology to surreptitiously track, sense and explore — are launched to do the work of science and industry, the government must make sure there are privacy safeguards in
The University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010 was part of Vortex2, with more than 100 scientists studying tornadoes. An armada of unmanned craft carrying observation gear surrounded supercell thunderstorms and the tornadoes they spawned. (Courtesy of the University of Colorado)
“If we don’t fix the privacy problems for civil liberties, we’ll never realize the benefits from drones,” said Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington who specializes in robotics and privacy. “Folks will be afraid and object.”
Some Colorado police departments are already using the technology to aid in their work, but top brass in Denver say they’ll stay away until privacy issues are resolved.
Denver police announced the incident took place Friday afternoon when someone fired a shot through a window of Obama’s campaign office in the city, AP reported on Thursday.
Campaign workers were inside the office at the time of the shooting, according to a police spokesperson, though no one was injured. A large panel of glass at the office was, however, shattered by the shooting.
Denver has particularly high natural radioactivity. It comes primarily from radioactive radon gas, emitted from tiny concentrations of uranium found in local granite. If you live there, you get, on average, an extra dose of .3 rem of radiation per year (on top of the .62 rem that the average American absorbs annually from various sources). A rem is the unit of measure used to gauge radiation damage to human tissue.
The International Commission on Radiological Protection recommends evacuation of a locality whenever the excess radiation dose exceeds .1 rem per year. But that’s one-third of what I call the “Denver dose.” Applied strictly, the ICRP standard would seem to require the immediate evacuation of Denver.
It is worth noting that, despite its high radiation levels, Denver generally has a lower cancer rate than the rest of the United States. Some scientists interpret this as evidence that low levels of radiation induce cancer resistance; I think it is more likely that lifestyle differences account for the disparity.
Now consider the most famous victim of the March 2011 tsunami in Japan: the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Two workers at the reactor were killed by the tsunami, which is believed to have been 50 feet high at the site.
But over the following weeks and months, the fear grew that the ultimate victims of this damaged nuke would number in the thousands or tens of thousands. The “hot spots” in Japan that frightened many people showed radiation at the level of .1 rem, a number quite small compared with the average excess dose that people happily live with in Denver.
What explains the disparity? Why this enormous difference in what is considered an acceptable level of exposure to radiation?
In hindsight, it is hard to resist the conclusion that the policies enacted in the wake of the disaster in Japan—particularly the long-term evacuation of large areas and the virtual termination of the Japanese nuclear power industry—were expressions of panic. I would go further and suggest that these well-intended measures did far more harm than good, not least in limiting the prospects of a source of energy that is safe, abundant and (as compared with its rivals) relatively benign for the environmental health of our planet.
If you are exposed to a dose of 100 rem or more, you will get sick right away from radiation illness. You know what that’s like from people who have had radiation therapy: nausea, loss of hair, a general feeling of weakness. In the Fukushima accident, nobody got a dose this big; workers were restricted in their hours of exposure to try to make sure that none received a dose greater than 25 rem (although some exceeded this level). At a larger dose—250 to 350 rem—the symptoms become life-threatening. Essential enzymes are damaged, and your chance of dying (if untreated) is 50%.
Nevertheless, even a small number of rem can trigger an eventual cancer. A dose of 25 rem causes no radiation illness, but it gives you a 1% chance of getting cancer—in addition to the 20% chance you already have from “natural” causes.
The wingnuts and bigots are spewing in the comment thread for this video.
President Barack Obama dashed to Colorado on Sunday to meet with families of those gunned down in a movie theater and to hear from state and local officials about the shooting that left 12 people dead and dozens more injured. (July 22)
A graduate student’s attack in a sold-out theater near Denver showing the new Batman movie, in which 12 people were killed early Friday, was the culmination of two months of meticulous planning that included a potentially deadly booby trap left in the suspect’s home for investigators, authorities said.
Fifty-eight other people were injured, many of them seriously, in the shootings shortly after midnight at the Century 16 Movie Theaters complex in Aurora, Colo. Earlier reports had said 59 people were injured, but police revised that number at a news conference Friday night. All but a small handful of the injured had been shot, Police Chief Dan Oates said.
Thirty people remained in area hospitals Friday night, 11 of them in critical condition, after a carefully orchestrated attack in which the suspect, identified as James Eagan Holmes, 24, bought all of his weapons and ammunition legally beginning in May.
A growing number of cities across the United States are making it harder to be homeless.
Philadelphia recently banned outdoor feeding of people in city parks. Denver has begun enforcing a ban on eating and sleeping on property without permission. And this month, lawmakers in Ashland, Ore., will consider strengthening the town’s ban on camping and making noise in public.
And the list goes on: Atlanta, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, Oklahoma City and more than 50 other cities have previously adopted some kind of anti-camping or anti-food-sharing laws, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.
The ordinances are pitting city officials against homeless advocates. City leaders say they want to improve the lives of homeless people and ensure public safety, while supporters of the homeless argue that such regulations criminalize homelessness and make it harder to live on the nation’s streets.
A last-ditch effort by Colorado’s governor to give gay couples in the state rights similar to married couples failed Monday after Republicans rejected the proposal during a special legislative session.
An overflow crowd listens as House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino, sponsor of the Civil Unions bill, testifies before the House State Affairs Committee at the state Capitol in Denver on Monday.
Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper had said the special session was needed to address a “fundamental question of fairness and civil rights.”
The bill’s demise was expected by Democrats, who have begun using the issue as a rallying cry to topple Republicans in the November elections. Republicans assigned the bill to House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, which was likely to reject it. The panel voted 5-4 along party lines to kill the measure.
“The gay community is being used as a political pawn,” said Republican Rep. Don Coram, whose son is gay. Coram voted against the measure.
Rep. Mark Ferrandino, the Democrats’ leader in the House and gay lawmaker co-sponsoring civil unions, sounded a note of optimism before the committee hearing, even as he braced for the bill’s rejection.
I’m getting ready to go all bleeding-heart, drum circle, kumbaya, hopey-changey liberal here, so if you can’t stomach it…well, you’ve been warned.
A few hours ago Randall created a page about about a white supremacist who, along with an accomplice, shot to death a Senegalese immigrant named Oumar Dia as he sat at a bus stop waiting for his ride home from work. It was a random, brutal, race-based hate crime. Mr. Dia was guilty of nothing but having a skin color these murderous cretins despised. They also shot and paralyzed a female witness at the scene.
At the end of the article was a link to the video below, telling the story of how people responded to this senseless killing with a spontaneous outpouring of heartfelt kindness. Those acts built a bridge of ongoing friendship between the people of Denver & the residents of Mr. Dia’s tiny village in Senegal, and opened doors of understanding & mutual respect between two vastly different cultures, doors that people on both sides perhaps weren’t aware could exist.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.
These are the things that restore my faith in humanity when I begin to feel that all the negativity & evil in the world is winning. They demonstrate that when we refuse to answer hate with hate, we help each other move up the ladder of social/spiritual evolution a step, and that benefits everyone. Let those who choose to harden their hearts with malice & contempt for their fellow human beings rot in the putrid darkness of their ignorance—the rest of us have much hard work to do.
The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.
—Middle Eastern Proverb
Today, the Denver Post is reporting that six Denver city council members have signed a letter in opposition to paid sick leave for Denver residents. They now join Mayor Michael Hancock (D-Denver) and Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO) in opposing paid sick leave for those employed in the City and County of Denver.
The United States is one of the few “rich nations” that does not mandate paid sick leave. In light of recents calls and legislation regarding health care reform city councils’, the mayor and the governor’s opposition flies in the face of logic as you will later see.
Six Denver City Council members signed a letter opposing Initiative 300 and another one says she is against it, making a majority of the council who are not supporting the paid sick-leave initiative that Denver voters will see on the Nov. 1 ballot.
Council members Chris Herndon, Albus Brooks, Mary Beth Susman, Charlie Brown, Peggy Lehmann and Jeanne Robb signed the letter that was released today by opponents of the initiative, saying ‘Initiative 300 has a number of flaws in the way it was written, and based on the legal and budgetary analysis by the city, we cannot support it.’
Jeanne Faatz, the only council member who is a registered Republican, said she is vehemently opposed to the initiative but never ‘joins campaigns.’
Council President Chris Nevitt, who did not sign the letter, said he has not decided whether he will support or oppose the issue.
Opponents, who include Mayor Michael Hancock and Gov. John Hickenlooper, say the initiative places undue hardship on small businesses and particularly would negatively affect city government. An analysis said that it would cost the City and County of Denver about $700,000 to comply with the ordinance.
Proponents of the measure call it a public health issue, saying that more than 100,000 Denver employees – or 40 percent of all workers and 72 percent of all food service workers – have no paid sick days at their workplaces. “They are forced to go to work sick rather than risk losing wages or even their job and that puts everyone’s health at risk,” according to the website, Campaign for a Healthy Denver.
Opposing this propistion is a group called “Keep Denver Competitive”. This site is run by a political consulting group called CRL Associates. The CEO to said group is Maria Garcia Berry who is the wife of former Colorado State House Speaker and Republican Chuck Berry. A quick search at the FEC reveals that Mrs. Berry as a Republican donor. Two examples being:
DENVER, CO 80202
DEMINT, JAMES W
VIA TEAM DEMINT
08/10/2009 250.00 29020352367
BERRY, MARIA G MRS.
DENVER, CO 80202
CRL ASSOCIATES INC./CEO
BUSH, GEORGE W
VIA BUSH-CHENEY ‘04 (PRIMARY) INC
08/19/2003 2000.00 23992050945
DeMint of course being the political idol of the Tea Party.
Now, let’s look at what the impact has been on a similar law that was passed in the San Francisco:
A survey of employers and employees after the first four years of mandatory paid sick leave gives the policy high marks, saying most employers support the new benefit and that it is rarely misused.
By Daniel B. Wood, Staff writer / February 11, 2011
When San Francisco four years ago became the first city in the country to require employers to offer paid sick leave to their employees, it was considered controversial because of the host of unknowns that came alongside: Would employees abuse the privilege? Would it cost too much for businesses? What unintended consequences would show up?
‘The US is one of the few rich nations that doesn’t mandate any form of paid sick leave, she says, with about 40 percent of workers lacking coverage.’ — Daniel B. Wood, CS Monitor
Now, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research has released a survey of how the policy has worked for the first four years, during which city employers added 59,000 employees – 17 percent of the city’s work force – to the rolls of those receiving that benefit. The results released Thursday, generally favorable according to analysts, are important for where the idea might go elsewhere in the country and as background in the national debate over health-care policy.
A lot of small business owners were really freaked out when this first went into effect, especially smaller retail stores and restaurants…I don’t hear too many griping about it any longer’ — Sam Mogannam, owner of Bi-Rite Market
The study of 727 employers and 1,194 employees found that two-thirds of employers support the law. It found that it is rare for employees to misuse paid sick days and that workers tend to save them for emergency use and thus end up using far fewer than the maximum allowed.
Health care reform bill 101: what the bill means to you
‘This report is the first empirical research on the effects of these policies, and that’s why it’s really important and could have a very decisive impact on efforts to promote similar policies on the municipal, state, and federal levels,’ says Nancy Folbre, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts.
The US is one of the few rich nations that doesn’t mandate any form of paid sick leave, she says, with about 40 percent of workers lacking coverage. For part time, civilian, and low-wage workers, the percentage of those with the benefit is even lower, less then 33 percent, while about 90 percent of public-sector workers are covered.
As you can see, mandatory paid sick leave works. Why the majority of city council, the mayor and the governor have decided to oppose this is either a case of ignorance on the San Francisco results or pandering to big business interests in Denver.
Learn more about Maria Garcia Berry and the workings of CRL Associates at Big Boss Lady — CRL knows how to buy friends and influence people.
Unpaid sick leave leads many people with no choice but to go to work sick and possibly with communicable disease. Many of which can lead to influenza outbreaks or worse, pandemics. The cost savings to society should be obvious however it is lost upon many in city council and Mayor Hancock and Governor Hickenlooper. This is putting profits over public health and almost in line with anti-vaccination movement. However, in this case, it is greed and big business that’s leading the charge. Don’t let the “small business burden” meme fool you. This is about big Denver corporations trying to save a dollar.
Lack of access to paid sick leave is a serious issue that affects the health and well-being of everyone who lives, works, and visits in Seattle. Without access to paid leave, workers in restaurants, grocery stores, daycares, health facilities and offices throughout the city make the decision whether to go to work or send their child to school sick – or lose a day’s pay.
Absent a law requiring the provision of paid sick leave, the majority of employers in restaurants and a portion of firms spread across all industries will continue not offering employees sick days, or significantly limiting access. Workers earning lower wages and their children are most directly affected by current practices, but the health and economic vitality of the whole community is negatively affected.
Fortunately, replicable models of successful paid sick day ordinances are available from other cities. Utilizing these successful models from around the country, Seattle can join the growing national movement to adopt a minimum standard of paid sick days.
Paid sick leave works.