I tend to gravitate towards world news in my updates, primarily because most else I read seems to be of little value to more than a select few, is gossip, or is the media making news (through emotional play-by-plays on issues where only the outcome is actually relevant). Here are a few stories I think may actually have a remote chance of affecting your life. More importantly, knowing about them might enable you to take responsive or preventative action.
Fallout continues from the NSA leaks perpetrated by Edward Snowden (still a man with no country). I intend to write a longer post on this in the near future, but for now a brief overview (US News):
- The Pentagon and Congress agree the leaks are”likely to have lethal consequences” for our troops (and undoubtedly human intelligence sources worldwide)
- Numerous leaders of allied countries are now mistrustful after learning they may have been surveilled
- Information technology companies worldwide are hesitant to cooperate with the government
- Outrage is growing among US citizens that the mass collection of meta-data without discretion or warrants is too close to ‘big-brother’ for comfort.
The Supreme Court issued a stay on gay marriages in Utah Monday. In December a District court judge ruled the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional (US News). Utah will not recognize the estimated 1300 same-sex marriages performed between Dec. 20 and Jan 6. but Attorney General Eric Holder has said the federal government will.
HealthCare.gov has supposedly (finally) overcome ludicrous issues that plagued it’s initial rollout. Experts say only about 24% of eligible adults even visited the site by the end of December. In case you didn’t know, the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) was a sweeping federal healthcare reform bill passed in March of 2010. It has been a source of great dissent between political parties. Regardless of opinion, it is the law and you need to know about it or you could get slapped with fees for not having health insurance starting this year (HealthCare.gov).
Colorado and Washington both legalized the use of recreational marijuana in 2013 and the shops will all be open by February. There are mixed opinions about this across the country, and although the current federal administration has said it won’t challenge state laws, it is still a felony…officially. Most importantly, if you live in Alaska, Oregon, Arizona, D.C., or California you should get educated on this issue because similar propositions are supposedly coming your way in 2014. (BusinessWeek, WashingtonPost, MotleyFool)
Oh yeah, and to summarize about 90% of what the 24×7 news channels (all of them, I’m not biased in my disdain) have reported in the last year: in-fighting and partisan trashing both continue abundantly in D.C. and nationwide 😉