“The question is, can we walk and chew gum at the same time?” and the answer is, probably, so long as you don't ask us to figure out any fractions while we're doing it. We suck at math is the story.
"Are you a cab driver?" "No" "Do you have a room here?" "Yes" Questions posed in the foyer of my new York hotel. #travellingwhileblack
— Gary Younge (@garyyounge) May 3, 2012
Guardian (and Nation) columnist Gary Younge has been in America for a few years now; he currently lives in Chicago, and is staying at the Soho Grand Hotel in New York City.
• "We don't know a lot about how the government spies on us, but we know some things. We know the FBI has issued tens of thousands of ultra-secret National Security Letters to collect all sorts of data on people—we believe on millions of people—and has been abusing them to spy on cloud-computer users. We know it can collect a wide array of personal data from the Internet without a warrant. We also know that the FBI has been intercepting cell-phone data, all but voice content, for the past 20 years without a warrant, and can use the microphone on some powered-off cell phones as a room bug—presumably only with [...]
"He said there had been 50 other similar incidents across the country that day." —That's the most striking sentence in this account of being detained by Homeland Security on a plane on Sunday, written by a woman who sat next to two Indian dudes who needed to pee. According to one FBI officer, at least 50 flights had passengers who saw something stupid and said something stupid, so some Americans got handcuffed and detained. We only even hear about a few of them.
A British woman says her co-genderists on this side of the pond are happier and healthier because they drink less alcohol, which sounds a lot like a challenge to me. Ladies, will you stand up for America?
I have been avoiding discussing the bizarre story out of Lincoln, Nebraska, where a woman said her home was broken into by three masked men and slurs were carved on her. That is because stories where people carve things into people generally turn out to be… well, Ashley Todd, never forget! Right now, local police are saying strange things like "it was too early to tell whether the attack was a hoax." So, I do not know anything and I have no opinion.