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Zorro's Journal
Zorro's Journal
September 6, 2019

Why the coming recession could force the Federal Reserve to swap greenbacks for digital dollars

The Federal Reserve has never been more famous than it is today. It drew praise, and ire, for its handling of the financial crisis a decade ago, and the extraordinary measures it took subsequently to stimulate the U.S. economy have made it an important driver of financial markets. Meanwhile, President Trump has made its chairman, Jerome Powell, a household name by frequently criticizing the central bank’s policies in interviews and on Twitter.

And now, a movement has been brewing among economists, financial-services professionals and central bankers to encourage a rethinking of the technology of currency — those paper notes we carry in our wallets — with an eye toward issuing a digital currency. Some argue that could give central banks the tools necessary to break free of chronic disinflation and persistently low or negative interest rates, while giving Americans a risk-free means to transact in a world where digital commerce comprises a growing share of the economy.

“The debate isn’t about whether we need [a digital currency],” Michael Bordo, an economist at Rutgers University and a fellow at the Hoover Institution, a public policy think tank at Stanford University, told MarketWatch. “It’s about how you do it.”

Americans today already use digital currency for most of their purchases. In 2018, they used physical dollars for only 26% of transactions, versus 62% with digital currency, which includes credit cards, debit cards and bank transfers, according to the Fed.


September 6, 2019

Delta Air Lines will use facial recognition cameras at LAX boarding gates

Source: LA Times

Delta Air Lines will begin using facial recognition technology at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, installing cameras to identify passengers at one boarding gate, with plans to add more.

The move by the Atlanta-based carrier comes as a coalition of progressive groups, including Greenpeace, MoveOn and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, called for a federal ban of the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement agencies.

Critics of the technology say the images collected by the cameras can be stored and used to violate the privacy of innocent people, and that the technology is more likely to misidentify women and people of color than white men.

A spokeswoman for the coalition said the groups also oppose the use of the technology by airlines.

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2019-09-05/delta-air-lines-will-use-facial-recognition-cameras-at-lax-boarding-gates

And so it begins.

I suspect within 20 years this technology will be so pervasive that your every public move will be tracked.

It's already becoming a reality in China.
September 5, 2019

Democratic Rep. Susan Davis says she won't seek reelection in 2020

Source: Washington Post

Democratic Rep. Susan A. Davis, who has represented her Southern California district since 2001, announced Wednesday that she would not seek reelection in 2020.

Davis, 75, is the fourth Democratic House member to decide to resign or run for a different office, joining 15 Republicans who have decided to leave Congress.

In a letter to her constituents, Davis did not say why she was leaving but expressed a desire to live and work in San Diego after 20 years of commuting cross-country. She wrote that she had “struggled to make this very difficult decision.”

“This is tough for me. There are always compelling issues and challenges that have encouraged me to pursue each new election cycle,” Davis wrote. “Most touching has been the appeals to stay on and go yet another round with the hope that I would always be your representative. It doesn’t get any better than that!”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/democratic-rep-susan-davis-says-she-wont-seek-reelection-in-2020/2019/09/04/7e53e5fe-cf57-11e9-b29b-a528dc82154a_story.html

Her district is very solidly blue, so don't think it has much of a chance to flip.
September 4, 2019

Americans Shocked by Spectacle of Legislative Body Taking Action

LONDON (The Borowitz Report)—Americans were shocked on Tuesday by the spectacle of a legislative body appearing to take action.

Across the U.S., television viewers watched with mouths agape at startling images of legislators seemingly intent on performing their constitutional duties.

Adding to Americans’ sense of astonishment, the legislators showed evidence of putting their country before party in an effort to rein in the actions of a reckless leader who had not garnered the majority of his nation’s votes.

Even more baffling to U.S. viewers, the legislators were furious that the leader had reduced the number of days that they had to show up to do their jobs.

Harland Dorrinson, who watched the bizarre proceedings on television at a bar in Pittsburgh, was “totally perplexed” by what he saw.

“From what I could tell, the legislators were providing oversight over the executive branch in order to protect their country from disaster,” he said. “It was so weird.”


September 4, 2019

Porsche just unveiled a huge threat to Tesla's high-end electric crown

It took awhile — years, in fact — but Porsche on Wednesday marked “the start of a new era” by finally introducing the hotly anticipated production version of the all-electric concept that wowed the crowd at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Dubbed the Taycan, the new sedan, building in Zuffenhausen, Germany, with a base price topping $150,000, takes aim at the Tesla TSLA, +0.09% Model S. Deliveries will start before the year end.

“We promised a true Porsche for the age of electromobility — a fascinating sports car that not only excites in terms of its technology and driving dynamics, but also sparks a passion in people all over the world, just like its legendary predecessors have done,” Porsched board member Michael Steiner said ina press release. “Now we are delivering on this promise.”

Speed-wise, the numbers are staggering. The Turbo S version of the Taycan, which carries a price tag approaching $200,000, accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds, with a range said to be up to 257 miles. Top speed comes in at 161 mph.


September 3, 2019

UAW authorizes strike; union targets General Motors first in contract talks

Source: Detroit Free Press

The UAW will seek to negotiate a contract with General Motors this fall as a template for talks with Detroit's two other automakers, setting up a confrontation with a company that has angered workers with plans to idle four U.S. factories.

UAW leadership made the decision, spokesman Brian Rothenberg said.

Factory workers have said they feel angry and mistreated by the company since GM's announcement of plant reductions in November.

“Mary Barra said from the outset of these talks that we will stand up (together) as we tackle a changing industry. We are ready to stand strong for our future,” UAW President Gary Jones said in a statement released at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Read more: https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/general-motors/2019/09/03/uaw-strike-gm/2086091001/

September 3, 2019

Conversion therapy crusader has something to say: He's gay

A South Carolina man who founded one of the nation's biggest conversion therapy ministries has something to say: he's gay.

The Post and Courier reports Hope for Wholeness founder McKrae Game came out of the closet this summer, nearly two years after he was fired from the faith-based conversion therapy program. He's now trying to come to terms with the harm he inflicted when he was advocating for religious efforts to change a person's sexuality.

“Conversion therapy is not just a lie, but it’s very harmful,” Game told The Post and Courier. “Because it’s false advertising.”

The 51-year-old also is trying to find his place in a community he's assailed for at least 20 years. Game is one of several former movement leaders who have left the pulpits of heterosexuality, come out as LGBTQ and condemned conversion therapy as a dangerous and misleading practice.


September 3, 2019

Trump insists meteorologists are wrong and he is right to say Dorian could have hit Alabama

Donald Trump has insisted he is right - and meteorologists are wrong - over his repeated claim Hurricane Dorian could strike parts of Alabama.

Forecasters, including the government’s own National Weather Service, were forced to correct the US president after he warned in a tweet on Sunday morning that Alabama would “most likely” be hit by the record-breaking tropical storm, which is currently devastating the Bahamas.

“Alabama will NOT see any impacts from Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east,” the NWS tweeted.

Three other states – Florida, South Carolina and Georgia – are all ordering part or full evacuations of their coastal areas and North Carolina has declared a state of emergency, but there are no evacuation orders in place in Alabama.


September 3, 2019

Americans Envious That Tiffany Trump Never Hears from Dad

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Millions of Americans envy Tiffany Trump for never hearing from her father, a new poll reveals.

According to the poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, Tiffany Trump’s unique placement beyond the reach of her father’s voice has made her the most envied woman in America.

Although Donald Trump took the extraordinary step of emitting the word “Tiffany” in remarks to reporters last week, the rarity of that utterance only served to remind Americans of just how fortunate Tiffany was to be off her father’s radar.

“In all our years of polling, it’s highly unusual to find one person so universally envied,” Davis Logsdon, who supervised the poll, said. “People in virtually every demographic group ‘strongly agreed’ with the statement, ‘God, I wish I were Tiffany Trump.’ ”

The poll finds Tiffany Trump sitting atop a list of the most envied women in America, well ahead of Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and MacKenzie Bezos, who has a net worth of thirty-five billion dollars.


September 3, 2019

A vegan woman sued her neighbors for barbecuing in their backyard: 'It's deliberate'

A vegan woman has filed a suit against her neighbors in the Australian supreme court after complaining about the smell of meat and fish emanating from their barbecues.

Cilla Carden took her case to the Supreme Court of Western Australia, citing her neighbors' barbecuing, smoking and children playing basketball, among other complaints, reported Australia's Nine.

Carden accused her neighbors of intentionally setting up these nuisances.

"It's deliberate," she told Nine. "All I can smell is fish. I can't enjoy my backyard."


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Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 48
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