How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia
by Moshin Hamid
[Hardcover] 228 pages
Lantana Call No. F Ham
What a strange, funny, jaw-dropping read this book was. It’s a story of a young South Asian man in twelve acts doubling satirically as a self-help book.
The twelve acts or parts sum it all up far better than anything I could write here in this review. Some of these should sound familiar:
One: Move to the City
Two: Get an Education
Three: Don’t Fall in Love
Four: Avoid Idealists
Five: Learn from a Master
By the story’s end, simple beginnings have become complex lives (only perhaps to end suddenly).
Moreover, use of 2nd person narration (where the man/narrator addresses readers as “you,”) renders the views of events ironic and somewhat impersonal, and yet other times unexpectedly peculiarly funny or touching. At times it seems as if the “you” the narrator refers to is really himself.
Certainly, the man’s story allows readers a view of individuals who are swept along by modernity in a part of the world many of us may know less about.
By Tom Shirley
[Hardcover] 288 pages
Lantana Call No: Fla 363.68 Shi
South Floridians…who remembers when water stretched everywhere we looked or stepped, in the savannahs of sawgrass, as well as hammock islands of pine, palm, mahogany, and cypress, brimming with life?
Or remembers beautiful intra-coastal lagoons of lush mangrove and the fresh or sweet waters Miami, Loxahatchee, and St. Lucie rivers?
Or remembers the rollicking life of Hialeah, the poachers of Homestead, and the famous Opa-Locka airport?
Tom Shirley remembers, of course. He recalls much of it for us with gusto in his memoir of his service in the Florida Game and Fresh Water Commission, from the 1950′s into the 1980′s.
With South Florida’s urban sprawl and the Everglades in retreat, it is impossible to know of the drained wetland and coastal shelf we actually live on, its shifting boundaries with the natural world, as well as the dangers and challenges it once posed, as the Seminoles and glades people once did or perhaps still do.
While working his own businesses and while in service with the Commission, Shirley was one of several pioneering men to re-design and improve on Glenn Curtiss’s famous Scooter airboat and recreational vehicles, first introduced to Florida in the 1920′s. These airboats and RV’s enabled modern travel into one of the last unknown areas of the United States.
Shirley and fellow patrol officers spent thousands of hours tracking, chasing down, and arresting armed and dangerous poachers and monkey fisherman, rescuing wildlife including distressed and stranded deer and ornery alligators. When not out in the glades, he also traveled widely — including trips with his family to the Amazon.
Readers also learn of Shirley’s efforts for the restoration of the Everglades. (See his website, Evergladesrestorationfear.org).
See also the Sept. 6, 2012, article in the Tampa Bay Times article by Terry Tomalins, “A man for wilder times.”
Last night’s Friends of the Lantana Public Library’s first Quarter Auction at the Lantana Recreation Center was a great success, with plenty of laughter, food, prizes, bids, bargain purchases, and donations. Mayor Dave Stewart started the Auction and Friends President Teresa Wilhelm presided as Auctioneer, with assistance. Library Director Sid Patchett was also in attendance.
*Table raffles and bids for luxury items were priced at no more than a dollar — yeahh!
*Local businesses garnered new customers — awesome!
*The Friends and the Library received renewed support — cool!
*Friends, family, and associates reconnected — nice!
Doors opened at 6pm sharp. After paying the modest admission fee, the public stopped by vendor tables and displays to view, purchase, and enter raffles for wares or merchandise. The latter included designer handbags, jewellry, clothes, shoes, delicious snacks, cookware and gourmet foods, thermal lunch totes, spa items, glassbottle creations and lighting, natural/handmade scented candles, as well as healthy teas, coffees, and luxury cosmetics.
Thanks to the vendors and volunteers who came out last night — their names will be listed as they become available. Also, of course, a warm thanks to our supporting public. The biggest cheer goes to Teresa Wilhelm for organizing the Auction. Another will take place in July — mark your social calendar. Be sure to bring your $, family, and friends!
The Filter Bubble:
What the internet is hiding from you
By Eli Pariser
[Hardcover], 293 pages
Call No.: 004.67 Par
The Net Delusion: The Dark Side Of Internet Freedom
By Evgeny Morozov
[Hardcover], 432 pages
Call No.: 303.4834 Mor
Eli Pariser is a well known activist and a founder of Moveon.org, a liberal leftwing political action committee (PAC). In The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You, Pariser briefly explains how he became aware of the “invisible algorithmic editing” and filtering of his personal search results using Google and his Facebook newsfeed. How will such editing, filtering, and personalization likely hinder what we as informed people need to see, Pariser asks. Are we, the users, even aware of how our “information diets” are not balanced but instead are based on our own keystrokes and wants, tracked by the internet, and fed back to us? Pariser claims we largely aren’t.
I had never understood how personalized search results are actually based on induction — on many of our previous searches, as well as a multitude of other factors, including our IP addresses/locations, of course.
Watch Pariser’s TED Talk in March of 2011 to promote his book and then check the book out at Lantana Public Library. Evgeny Morozov also writes a thoughtful review of Pariser’s book, as well, titled “Your Facts,” on the New York Times website, June 10, 2011.
Morozov’s The Net Delusion: The Dark Side Of Internet Freedom analyzes internet freedom in recent history and criticizes recent political attempts to reinvent it as a new form of the Cold War.
Morozov criticizes the Western media’s claims that Twitter, along with widely available gadgets and internet connectivity and foreign support, helped to coordinate the Iranian June 2009 election protests by the Green Movement. Citing credible sources, Morozov reveals that U.S. State Department requests to Twitter to delay its scheduled maintenance of its website minimally helped the protests; Iran had proportionately fewer Twitter users actually in Iran, and Twitter feeds were probably not needed to inform Tehran residents of street protests.
Indeed, Morozov is critical of the Google Doctrine – best expressed by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in January 2010 as the optimism that internet freedom is essential to fighting authoritarian governments. Morozov observes that the three activities of Orwellian-style authoritarianism – propaganda, censorship, and surveillance – are not ultimately overturned by the 24 hour information news cycle, social networking, or the high speeds offered by internet. Undemocratic governments persist, not rendered illegitimate either: extreme nationalism, economic prosperity, and other developments may used by such governments to rationalize their actions.
Morozov isn’t entirely pessimistic, however. He prescribes cyberrealism, in the form of decentralized regional policies, non-technological solutions to political problems, and recognition that the internet doesn’t automatically bring democracy.
These are must-reads for anyone who wants to understand other perspectives on the internet!
Coming to one of the 50 states you reside in – affordable health care insurance? Retail medical services?
Here’s wishing everyone a safe, healthy new year in 2013. Are you any better informed on what the new health law/Affordable Health Care Act will bring? Perhaps like myself, you may have questions like these:
*Where is there affordable health insurance as a part-time/un(der) employed worker, who does not expect to be eligible to receive it via his/her employer or expect to continue to coverage via their ex-employer?
Depending on your individual situation/income, you may wish to seek…
a) Medicaid for yourself and/or family members
(See Fla Dept. of Health Care or Fla. Department of Children/Families
b) Medicare (if 65 yrs and over)
b)Palm Beach Health Care District Insurance
(See http://www.pbchd.com/centers/healthcenters.html, Vitahealth.org)
c) Other private medical insurance
*What will be some likely pros, cons, or costs of having to purchase insurance versus paying a tax penalty beginning in 2014?
Individuals need to weigh or compare how much they’ll be likely to spend in health insurance coverage against what they may have to pay in federal income tax.
As I understand it, beginning in the federal tax year 2014 an uninsured person will have to pay the greater of a penalty/flat rate per person or a percentage of one’s taxable income. That rate will be phased in/stepped up and eventually capped each year to the national average cost for purchasing a health insurance plan. (By 2016 the flat rate will be the greater of $695 for each adult person without medical insurance. Thereafter, the penalty will be indexed/linked to the rate of inflation. There will also be various exemptions from having to pay the penalty, however.)
See Devin Dwyer’s “Health Care Law Mandate ‘Tax’: How Much Is It?” at ABC News, June 28, 2012.
*How will uninsured Floridians be able to purchase health insurance if the state of Florida will not set up a health exchange for them, as required by the Act?
This is one question there may be no answer for at this time.
I have found little mention on the Federal government setting up a Florida health exchange in the absence of the state of Florida doing so. More information on the creation of the health exchange will likely be available in the spring.
Meanwhile, I’ve been coming across other interesting news stories, such as retail pharmacy chain CVS and retail giant Walmart expanding to offer health clinics in their stores:
Bruce Japsen, New York Times, “More Health Clinics Pop Up Inside Retailers,” January 9, 2012.
You may also wish check the following websites periodically:
The Advisory Board’s ACA’s Medicaid expansion website at http://www.advisory.com/Daily-Briefing/2012/11/09/MedicaidMap
Are you wondering where Florida stands on expansion of Medicaid compared to other states? The Advisory Board has a current Medicaid Expansion map. The Advisory Board is “a global research, technology, and consulting firm partnering with 150,000 leaders in 3,700+ organizations across health care and higher education.”
AHCA/Florida Agency for Health Care Administration at http://www.fdhc.state.fl.us/#aa
This agency administers the State of Florida’s Medicaid program for 3 million Floridians and 41 health clinics. It also offers current news and alerts on health care provisions and changes. On the site you can search for a facility near you.
HealthCare.gov at http://www.healthcare.gov/index.html
This is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website for the new Patient and Affordable Health Care Act. On the site, you can search for private medical insurance in your state, find out basic information on insurers and understanding insurance coverage, learn more about how the new health care law will impact you, comparing providers (in terms of coverage, physicians, home health agencies and nursing homes, as well as dialysis facilities. There is also a news section on prevention and wellness.
Internal Revenue Service Information on Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Affordable-Care-Act-Tax-Provisions
On this portion of the IRS website, there is a list of proposed/issued Affordable Care Act provisions that will impact taxpayers. This page is continuously updated. One particular provision individual uninsured adult Americans should watch is the Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit.
The Congressional Budget Office’s information on Payments of Penalties for Being Uninsured Under the Affordable Care Act at http://cbo.gov/publication/43628
The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation estimate about 30 million non-senior Americans will be uninsured in 2016, but many of them will not likely be affected by the tax penalty. For more on this, please see the CBO report and also the short April 22, 2010 statement below at