Alphonse Jackson, an impoverished American in Brooklyn, N.Y., says he almost cried when he heard the Trump administration announcement this morning the War on Poverty, after some 50 years, has been won.
“I honestly thought I’d be poor forever,” said Jackson, 59. “This is one of those moments, like, ‘Where were you when Bobby Kennedy was shot?’ at least for me.”
Under the White House announcement, the War on Poverty is “largely over and a success” thanks to billions of dollars in federal assistance that have been given to poor Americans through a number of welfare programs, including Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Supplemental Income Assistance, which has reduced poverty 90 percent since the late 1960s.
The White House Council of Economic Advisors is quoted in the report saying governmental assistance has led to “a substantial reduction in material hardship” among Americans, creating an opportunity for the federal government to start rolling back federal welfare funding.
Lemont Black, 62, a machinist who says he hasn’t worked since 1987, said he couldn’t be more happy about the news. “I don’t think it changes much for me, since I got a heart condition,” he said. “But I got nieces and nephews and I was afraid they’d live poor like me. They’re gonna have cars now and things like that, I think, which is good. I’ve always had to take the bus. I’m still gonna take the bus today. I’m used to it.”
For Verda Park, 74, of Savannah, Ga., the news is bittersweet. “I got dirt thrown on me when I went on those poverty marches in 1965, 1966,” she said. “I still remember the look in the eyes of some of them folk when they cursed me out. I feel like I’ve been rich for a long time. The younger generation, though. I don’t want them to get ideas and airs about how nice their TV is or how expensive the food is that they eat. They need to remember where they come from and appreciate how hard we fought so they could have spending money in their pocket today.”
Park said she hopes the news doesn’t mean her daughter is going on an expensive trip or something like that, because they were planning to take the bus to Wal-Mart to look for shoes for the kids. “I love my daughter but I know how she can be,” Park said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if she went and bought tickets to England or Paris or some place like that so she could spend her money. The War on Poverty may have been won, but kids still have a lot to learn.”
This is a work of satire. It is a fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos: pd and cc. Creative Commons and public domain. Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
America’s foremost car enthusiast magazine, Car and Driver, is now called Car, the publisher announced. “The world is rapidly moving toward a driverless future, and Car is leading the trend as it always has when it was Car and Driver,” says Addie Elterman, the magazine’s editor. Elterman says the magazine will have the same exciting content only the focus will be on things that don’t have anything to do with driving a car. “Are your seats comfortable? Is there plenty of onboard entertainment? We want to make sure our readers are prepared for the driverless future and remain the trendsetters,” Elterman says. More.
Twitter, the iconic microblogging platform that’s become central to communication today, has started counseling to address mounting anxiety from always having to “play the bad guy,” as it puts it, when President Donald Trump fires his top staff. “You laugh and say, ‘Don’t shoot the messenger,’ but I’m just a little blue bird and there are a lot of angry men with guns in this country,” says Twitter, which sat down for an exclusive interview with The Nattering Nabobs this morning. Twitter said it was excited and proud at first that it was playing such a central role in the presidency of Donald Trump, who has said his use of Twitter was key to his election victory. But after it became clear he was relying on Twitter to do all of his firings for him . . . More.
Traditional taxicab companies are trying to persuade riders to leave Uber and Lyft and return to good old-fashioned cab companies because people can use them without having to reveal their location and destination to companies that sell that data on the web. “When you take a cab, no one has to know where you were when you got picked up and where you were when you got dropped off,” said Sayed Abdullah, a driver with Yellow Cab in Washington, D.C. “You get in the cab, you tell the driver to go to a club on M Street, and who’s going to know?” Vladimir Kovakovich, an independent cab driver in Chicago, said people are flocking to his cab because they know they can go anywhere in the city without a single bit of personal data getting out on the dark web. “I can tell you that, if you’re doing something you don’t want others to know, you can’t beat hailing a cab and putting cash in the driver’s hand,” he said. “Plus, we offer TV in the backseat. More.
Tech Companies Looking to Replace More Simple, Effective Tools with Complicated, Expensive Smart Technology That Never Works
HouzSecure, a Silicon Valley start-up that made a splash last year with release of its smart door opener, says it’s launching other products that never work, are hard to program, and increase the chances people’s account numbers will be sold to criminal enterprises around the world. “Our smart door opener showed people, while they’re at work or on vacation, the freedom of having their home security system hacked by someone in Poland and their data sold to someone in Russia,” HouzSecure CEO Hunter Duncan said. “What we want to do now is take other overly simplistic and reliable household devices, like doorstops, and replace them with smart technology that no one will know how to use a week after it’s installed and unintentionally acts like a beacon to hackers around the world to come in and make a grab for your personal information.” More.
Kinko Bot®, the Japanese company that’s hoping to mass market the first sex robot, says its product is the long-sought solution to the plague of sexual harassment. “With all the scandals coming to light, it’s never been more clear that we need something like our sex robot to fill the need of men to have sex with beautiful women without having to go through all the boring preliminaries like taking women out to dinner, buying them flowers, and promising to marry them,” said Daisuki Nakamura, CEO of Kinko Bot®. Nakamura said his company’s line of robots are programmed to accept whatever approach men take to get women into bed, even if that approach would be considered harassment by a non-robot woman. “Inappropriate touching? Lewd remarks? It doesn’t matter,” said Nakamura. “Whatever approach is comfortable to you as the owner of one of our sex bots will be acceptable, because she is programmed not to be judgmental or even have a preference for how she likes to have sex. Frankly, she doesn’t even care if you’re not attractive or don’t make a lot of money.” More.
A mjority of Americans say they have enough time to look at their phones and stuff for five or six hours a day but not for the seven or eight hours a day that they’d like, and driverless cars could solve that problem for them, a poll shows. “I have friends who make comments and stuff on Twitter that I don’t like to miss when I’m making a left turn or a right turn,” says April Barnett, a manicurist in Tucson, Ariz. She says she’d like to have her car do more driving so she can keep up with her friends when she’s behind the wheel. “Like last week, my friend Ashleigh posted a video of her eating cake with her boyfriend at a restaurant and it came to me, like, when I was parking or something. I could have liked it right away but I couldn’t because, you know, the car’s not going to park itself.” More.
Carmakers in Detroit, Japan, Germany, and elsewhere are competing fiercely to offer cars and trucks that have the most irritating, annoying, and distracting lights possible. “Thanks to new LED technology, we’re able to annoy and distract people in a way that we never could before, and that’s really a game-changer for this industry,” says Rolf Anthonssen, chairman of Volvo Personvagnar AB, the Swedish car making giant based in Gothenburg. Since about 2010, carmakers have been turning to LED technology for headlights and tail lights because of the technology’s versatility and efficiency. LED technology uses light emitting diodes that require little energy to power on and off. Because of that efficiency, automakers can make lights twice as bright as traditional incandescent bulbs, and at less cost. More.
Facebook annouced today that it has been the subject of a fake news story that it is banning fake news stories after it was accused of allowing fake news stories to tilt the presidential election to Donald Trump. “We are not banning fake news stories, despite what you might have read in a fake news story on Facebook, and we have no plans to ban fake news stories,” said Mark Zuckerberg, the chief of the popular social media site. Zuckerberg called it “questionable” that the widespread sharing of fake news on Facebook had any affect on the election outcome, and it’s for that reason there will be no policy change to ban fake news. “Does fake news get shared on facebook?” Zuckerman said. “Of course. It’s impossible to stop. But we do not believe that fake news on our site had anything to do with the election of Donald Trump.” More.
In a move that’s sure to make to make it harder for Donald Trump to get his election message out, Twitter has suspended the account of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for including banned hate speech in his tweets. “We take our responsibilities to foster respectful dialogue seriously,” Twitter Chief Enforcement Officer David Hearns says in a statement the company released this morning. “This was not a decision we made lightly, but we stand by our policy and did what we felt we had to under the circumstances.” Under the company’s hate-speech policy, accounts are suspended 60 days for tweets that . . . . More.
Google has launched a service to step in and write your emails for you since it knows what you’re writing about anyway and can do a better job at it. “Having us write your emails is just another way for you to spend more time doing what you like to do and are good at and leaving to us the drudgery of spelling out words and connecting them in sentences in ways that make sense,” says Janna Learner, head of the new service, called Google Ghost Writer, or Google Ghost for short. The service uses the same algorithm the company uses to match ads to the subject matter in your emails. “We’re already tailoring ads to what you’re writing about, so this is just the next logical evolution in that mutually beneficial relationship,” says Learner. “If you’re writing an email about, say, a job you’d like to apply for, imagine how much help our service can be in making sure you say the right things.” More.
Manufacturers and technology companies have failed to blanket the living environment with blinking lights and bleeping noises even though they’ve had the capability to do so for many years, the world says. Until enough blinking lights and bleeping noises fill all living spaces at all times, there will be operations and processes that won’t be sufficiently signaled for people the world over to be sufficiently signaled about every process and operation. “As hard as it is to believe, it’s possible today to go from your home to your car without being signaled by a blinking light or a bleeping noise alerting you to an operation or process that has occurred and that could affect you,” says the world. “Has the newspaper arrived at your doorstep? Have your sprinklers been turned on to water your grass? These are the kinds of processes and operations today that remain un-signaled with a blinking light or bleeping noise. More.
When John and Lucy Wong had Angie three months ago, nothing was too good for her. Now their daughter is the first on her block to have a carriage with a built-in TV, so she can watch educational and other programming even when she’s out enjoying a stroll with mom or dad. “Why just have her watch TV when she’s in her crib?” says Lucy, 24, a marketing assistant with a financial services company in Atlanta. “Going outside for walks is the perfect time to have her watch TV, too.” Although pediatricians generally discourage screen time for children before they reach two years old, parents like the Wongs say such advice doesn’t apply to them. “That’s for people who just throw their child in front of the TV for babysitting,” says Wong. “We don’t do that. We’re always educating our daughter. More.
Trent Sanders says he had no idea the world was filled with other people like him until someone pointed it out after he had been driving around town with music blasting out of his car. “It was like a light went off in my head,” says Sanders, 25. “I was just driving around like I always do and while I was sitting at a stop light this guy pulled up next to me, rolled down his window, and yelled, ‘Other people live in this world, asshole! Not everyone wants to listen to your f**ing music!’ Then the light turned green and he peeled off. And I just sat there, stunned.” Sanders says he just automatically assumed he was the only person in the world, which is why he thought it was perfectly okay for him to blast his music while he drives around. “Did I know other people were driving around, too, some trying to listen to their own music? I confess, I did not.” More.