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Kenneth Campbell
If your dreams do not scare you they are not big enough.
If your dreams do not scare you they are not big enough.

Kenneth's posts

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Tonight, the DNC chair has called on all employees of the Democratic National Committee to resign. Here are my thoughts:

The DNC chair has largely been absent for the past few weeks as the Republican Party worked to shred the Affordable Care Act and rip millions of Americans away from their health insurance. I think that it was wise for the chair to distance himself from media as the Congress began deliberations so as not to fuel the fire and add to the over-politicization of the issue - but, the DNC chair should have been on every news network hailing Democrats' resistance and success in killing the bill. And, today, in the first big news we hear from the chair -- he's effectively firing everybody. Then, he sent out a fundraising email, seeking donations to the party. This seems pretty inconsiderate - especially coming from the former US secretary of Labor.

Historically, a newly elected DNC chair will seek to dismiss some of the top political "appointees" of the incumbent chair -- not all of them.

Many of the DNC staffers aren't from Washington, DC. They are young men and women from across the country, who have uprooted their lives to move to Washignton to help the party fight against bigotry, hate and intolerance they witness on the other side. These professionals sacrifice a lot to work at the DNC -- many of whom are from modest backgrounds, seeking only a modest living and an opportunity to make a difference. They aren't earning copious amounts of money, either. More often than not, they are earning salaries comparable to congressional staffers: meager salaries that just barely pay the bills and rent (meanwhile many consultants often get the big bucks). I respect the chair's right to build the best staff possible to help, but this could've been carried out a lot better. I know it's easy to sit back and judge, but I am so disappointed by this action.

Working in politics isn't easy and it is a heavy sacrifice -- one that many people can't afford to make. The chair has spent the past several years earning more than $100k/year working for the federal government with great benefits -- most of the people he's dismissed haven't been afforded that privilege. Nevertheless, if they don't have a plan in place, I hope the chair takes every effort to help craft a plan that helps these folks get new jobs and back on their feet.

There is nothing progressive or transparent about the charter school system that has plagued NYC, led largely by Eva Moskowitz -- a deplorable and manipulative politician, who has put her network and personal wealth ahead of New York City's most vulnerable kids and families.

Moskowitz has over-politicized education in New York, creating a coalition of individuals and corporations against Mayor Bill de Blasio and other politicians who oppose her.

She claims to fight for "high quality" education and has demanded that NYC pay rent for her school buildings. Meanwhile:
- Moskowitz pulls students from her network out of schools for days to attend political rallies
- Rents buses to transport kids and her staff across NY for rallies
- Rents expensive facilities to rally for more $$
- Uses money to influence media and political conversation
- Lacks transparency and administers questionable practices in her network - including questionable admissions practices and disciplinary procedures

In the words of President Donald J. Trump, "Sad!" #NYC

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What is the psychological drama of Diffusion of Responsibility?

Memories stir of growing up with a single working mother after my father died. She was sometimes late with our mortgage payment, and we didn't have an answering machine on which the banker could leave threatening and scary messages. Nor was there email, or a cell phone through which to send her relentless reminder texts, when she was driving to and from her job with the American Red Cross, or getting milk at Thatcher's Dairy.

Instead we'd get a knock on the door from the banker in person. My mother knew who the business-suited visitor was without even asking (sometimes he'd even be wearing a hat) and she'd politely listen to his report that she was late on her payment, which was drawn on a hand-written check, instead of drafted from her account like mortgage payments are these days, and I'd watch her look downward when asked when it could be expected - Mrs. Minoli do you think you could drop that check by the bank in person rather than sending it through the mail? You know, to save time. We don't want to have to penalize you, but if too much time goes by...well, this has happened several times this year and, well, I'm just trying to prevent you from being penalized.

And my mother would explain that our expenses were a little more than expected that month - there'd been a leak in the roof after the Spring rains that needed to be repaired, or the furnace wasn't working, or the wall heater in the breakfast room had blown a motor, or the car needed a new alternator or a new tire and I'm sorry, I know I'm late, but I'm doing the best I can, and could you please just bear with me a few more days, please?

And the banker would look at the ground, as though trying to figure out how to ignore the reality of her life, of our lives, of what she'd just told him, and he'd resort to repeating the facts about the mortgage agreement she'd signed and the due date and the penalty and what could happen if she was late again, all of which served not to change the reality of our lives a mote, but only to make it worse, underscoring the difference between the life of the man knocking on the door with his nice suit and hat and his freshly shined shoes.

And I'd stare at the shine on his shoes and think they must've been brand new, right out of the box, laced up onto his feet for just this sort of house call to a single mother struggling to pay her bills and raising three children by herself. The crispness of a banker's suit and the shine of his shoes a kind of armor against the oozing emotional reality of our lives, against financial circumstances he was sure would never happen to him.

These men never offered any sort of comfort or encouragement or help to my mother. They'd see me sitting at the dining room table, or on the living room rug (where I often sat in the sun as it poured through the window) and I could feel the energy they had to burn up to avoid looking at me, to avoid looking into a little girl's eyes to see the fear she'd go to sleep with at night, to avoid having to contemplate the fragility of life without a financial safety net.

And I knew poor people weren't bankers. A banker's life was the life of a person who had money, who knew money, who moved piles of it from one place to another, who spoke to a person who had it differently than they spoke to a person without it, like my mother.

And after a few days when my mother got paid and could finesse her late payment she'd ask me to go with her to the bank. We'd get in the car shod with a set of tires ones of which was almost always bald (I never saw the shine of a new tire, my mother always bought retreads) and drive up to the corner of Osuna and 4th Street where the bank was and she'd ask me to go inside, where the tellers were all women and the bankers who sat at their clean desks looking like they had nothing to do were all men and she'd hand one of them her mortgage check.

Years later I came to understand that they only reason my mother would ask me to go with her to the bank when she had to pay a bill in person was that my presence provided my mother a little armor of her own. With a child in tow she hoped to find a sliver of a fissure of a crack into the hearts of people who thought she'd done something to deserve losing her husband, she'd done something to deserve not being born with money to shelter her fall.

Paul Ryan, who suffered his own childhood sorrows, grew up hating people like himself, and dreamed of a grown up life making other people feel as horrible as he no doubt felt. But, instead of building a career helping other people like his mother, he has spent his life pretending he's not like them.

"By his own account, in college he used to hang out with his friends and drink beer while sharing his dreams of cutting Medicaid. When Ryan was 15 years old, his father died from an alcoholism related heart attack. Ryan and his family then received his father’s Social Security survivor’s benefits. Ryan used that money to attend college.This was not the only money that Paul Ryan received from the federal government. His family built its wealth from receiving government contracts."

I'm sure Paul Ryan has never read Plato's Apology and therefore isn't familiar with the phrase from that text, "An unexamined life is not worth living."

For had he taken the time to examine his own life, and the sorrow it caused him as a kid, and to understand that he was helped by the government of the United States of America, which helps many families like his, like my mother's when I was growing up, perhaps he might have devoted his career to helping people rather than hurting them.

Paul Ryan got his comeuppance this week. I hope he takes a moment, not to figure out how to come out swinging against people who are in need, but perhaps to examine what his true purpose in life ought to be. Because he can change it...if he wants to.

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Trump's Healthcare Failure Was Only A Short-Term Win for Those Who Need It

The Republican Party didn't reject the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act because they had a better idea to help Americans; they rejected it because it didn't go far enough to leave people without health care they need.

It's important to remember that those who opposed the repeal, said that they could have supported it if it removed funding for community health centers, insurance programs for seniors and low income older men and women, preventative care and treatment, and health insurance for children. They supported the removal of these programs on principal alone -- despite the fact that cutting these programs would have saved very little money, if any at all, in the long-term forecast.

Their failure to repeal Obamacare was only a short-term win for those people who really need it. The problem remains, however, that the Affordable Care Act does actually need some finer-tuning. (This has been acknowledged by Republicans and Democrats, alike.) By Republicans committing to leave the ACA alone -- is, indeed a good thing in the short-term -- their goal, as they have said, is to watch it burn. Now, while the ACA "burning" is highly unlikely, Republicans could have worked with Democrats to produce a fine-tuning bill to reduce burden of paperwork on doctors, make insurance companies more accountable to consumers (hey, the ACA keeps health care in the private sector, so insurance companies should be grateful for that), introduce new proposals and funding that reduce state costs in health care, and reduce prescription drug costs. President Trump has expressed great interests in reducing costs of prescription drugs, so it seems a shame to let that go without trying while American consumers are direct beneficiaries of rising drug costs.

There are legitimate cost-savings programs Congress can pursue to help lower cost of medical treatment in the US and they are abdicating their responsibility, while committing to watch the ACA "explode" and millions of lives be wrecked. That isn't patriotic, that is the work of the devil.

Republicans' abdication of their responsibilities means 1 of 2 things:
(1) the ACA will continue to gain popularity (it is more popular now than President Trump and the Congress);
(2) the ACA will continue to gain popularity, but rising healthcare costs and stagnant wage growth and a stagnant economy will challenge it -- making it yet another major political issue in years to come.
OR the Republicans can propose a bill to repeal the ACA in 2018 as they're expected to lose the majority.

At the end of the day, the people who need a strong ACA aren't imaginary figures, they're each of us, including the 20+ million people who have become covered. The fight for equity and making sure people get the health care they need continues!

Photo: Chicago Sun-Times

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Welcome to America, where the Republican Party -- the so-called party of freedom -- calls prescription drugs, pregnancy, going to the ER or medical services for children unnecessary health benefits.

If President Trump agrees to cut the following "benefits" -- the GOP has signaled that it will pass his #TrumpCare bill tomorrow and repeal former President Obama's #AffordableCareAct. Sad day for America, indeed.

h/t Vox's Kay Steiger

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STOP the #TrumpCare Vote NOW - call Congress now to save the #ACA

Congress will vote tomorrow whether it will repeal President Obama's #ACA and replace it with Donald Trump's #TrumpCare. Reports show that, if it is passed, over ten years, 24 million Americans will become uninsured.

Trump's proposal fails if 21 or 22 Republicans refuse to support it. Polls show that 26 Republicans are likely to vote against it.

Call Congress now and tell them to save ObamaCare and vote against #TrumpCare tomorrow. (202) 224-3121

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Beware this Android App: 360 Mobile Security

Flagging for other Android device users. I was searching for a helpful spyware/antivirus app and battery saver for my device. I used this app for a while, but wish I hadn't. The latest Android update to Nougat includes some great built-in battery saving mechanisms, so I'll likely be relying on that in future.

Here are my thoughts on the app and why you should avoid it:
- honestly, the reviews in the +Google Play store do not seem legit; Google should look into it, especially if this developer is stealing data and/or scamming users
- this is an antivirus and battery saving app that sends unwanted notifications daily and uses data and more battery power than some of the apps it force closes
- unwanted notifications galore: despite setting notifications off/limited, this app sends notifications at least 3 times/day; at least 1 notification asking you to sample its offline battery saver (which displays ads when the phone is locked or charging)
- permissions: this app requests a lot of unnecessary permissions. This should be a flag to any user

Upon further inspection, I learned that the app developer has been accused of leaving devices (both mobile and computer) susceptible to hacking by foreign counterparts. The reviews on Google Play store do not appear to be 100% genuine. I would implore fellow Android users to beware and be safe. 

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As forecast: President Donald Trump now has the lowest approval rating of any president this early into their term.
Only 37% of Americans approve of President Trump's job thus far

As the president's approval rating falls, so does the Republican Party's. As the number grows closer to 30%, it becomes tragically dangerous.

Not surprising, considering many Americans who voted GOP are realizing their candidates are voting in direct opposition to their own interests. In the week ahead, the US Justice Department is expected to disprove President Trump's baseless allegations against wiretaps, re-confirm and reaffirm intelligence that Russia interfered in the US election with support from Trump associates, and the president is expected to lose even more support on his abominable #Trumpcare bill.

#Politics Photo: Bloomberg/Gallup

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Re-sharing with my comment:
I can't help but think that we'll have a practical solution to curb recognition in due time. As it personally impacts more people in influential positions, I'm sure there'll be greater push back.

The photo you attached to this also reminds me of the privacy restrictions of our own photos we upload and share online. I think that the two issues are related and hope that the public discusses them more than we do now, especially as we see more youth and children using online tech. Some serious risks out there --- companies are actively "monitoring" children's growth from birth. Literally. (From baby's first picture, baby's first bday, so-on. And, uploaders, likely parents, are granting permission to tech companies to own+store the photos.)
It's time to face the ugly reality of face recognition

(Read my column: )

The public is understandably hazy about the privacy and security risks of biometrics. Everybody knows biological features can be used to identify people. Police have been using fingerprints for decades, for example.

Technology has enabled a large number of new biometric identification systems that use fingerprints, iris scans, wrist vein scans, voice recognition and face recognition. But when it comes to the potential for privacy invasion, however, these various approaches are not equal.

Face recognition is 100 times more dangerous than all the others.

Here's why:

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