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So even though Oracle was selected as “technology partner” for TikTok, the US government will be banning both TikTok and WeChat from American app stores.

Which just… makes the security situation even worse. From the article:

For a policy that is nominally based on protecting national security and the data of American users, this is one of the most counterproductive moves imaginable, considering that the most basic of all security advice is to “keep your apps updated,” because developers often issue updates that fix security holes. By banning TikTok from the app store, it will be impossible for users to update their app, meaning any existing vulnerabilities discovered by ByteDance between now and November will continue to persist for Americans and Americans only.

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Came across this anonymous blog post about the general narcissistic attitude of certain parts of America right now:

Here is the internal narrative that dictates this state of affairs: “I am the only thing that matters; what I want is the only thing that it is valid to want; what you want is so unimportant that is is not worth discussing. I see you, but I am not convinced that you exist in any significant way, except as a potential blocker to what I want. This is your only real importance. Your assertion of personhood is irritating to me, because it gets in the way of what I want. Which is more money, more power, more self-gratification, at any cost, by any means necessary. The end always justifies the means, and if this means your end, that means nothing to me. My rights trump your rights, always, molehills to mountains no matter. I am not open to discussion of my position. I will become angry if you attempt to discuss this with me, then if you persist, I will kill you, because you are getting in the way of what I want. How dare you disagree with me.”

And:

Internal narrative #2: “I do not recognize that I am part of a society, even though I am wholly dependent on society for my continued existence. My actions, whatever they may be, are justified, because they are what I want. To shed any residual guilt I may have, I will deny evidence as conspiracy. I am, by design, so poorly educated that this does not trouble me at all. So I will not wear a mask in public, and I will not socially distance, because to do so inconveniences me, and I do not want to be inconvenienced, and what I want is the only thing that matters.”

Selfishness in its purest form.

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Again, things are bad:

Federal law enforcement officers have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least July 14. Personal accounts and multiple videos posted online show the officers driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation of why they are being arrested, and driving off.

The tactic appears to be another escalation in federal force deployed on Portland city streets, as federal officials and President Donald Trump have said they plan to “quell” nightly protests outside the federal courthouse and Multnomah County Justice Center that have lasted for more than six weeks.

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From Slate:

The ongoing protests following the killing of George Floyd were caught up in violence again on Saturday, as police all over the country tear-gassed protesters, drove vehicles through crowds, opened fire with nonlethal rounds on journalists or people on their own property, and in at least one instance, pushed over an elderly man who was walking away with a cane. Here are some of the ways law enforcement officers escalated the national unrest.

This is exactly what I’ve been seeing unfold on Twitter over the past few days. The original protesters of the killing of George Floyd don’t seem to be the ones out of control here.

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America’s Racial Contract

The implied terms of the racial contract are visible everywhere for those willing to see them. A 12-year-old with a toy gun is a dangerous threat who must be met with lethal force; armed militias drawing beads on federal agents are heroes of liberty. Struggling white farmers in Iowa taking billions in federal assistance are hardworking Americans down on their luck; struggling single parents in cities using food stamps are welfare queens. Black Americans struggling in the cocaine epidemic are a “bio-underclass” created by a pathological culture; white Americans struggling with opioid addiction are a national tragedy. Poor European immigrants who flocked to an America with virtually no immigration restrictions came “the right way”; poor Central American immigrants evading a baroque and unforgiving system are gang members and terrorists.

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From an article on America’s inability to build:

The question, then, is why don’t we build? What’s stopping us? Here’s my answer: The institutions through which Americans build have become biased against action rather than toward it. They’ve become, in political scientist Francis Fukuyama’s term, “vetocracies,” in which too many actors have veto rights over what gets built. That’s true in the federal government. It’s true in state and local governments. It’s even true in the private sector.

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