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Posts by asinclair

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  • More than 60 percent of Windows users would switch to Mac for more privacy

    08/04/2016 5:45:19 PM PDT · 19 of 70
    asinclair to Swordmaker
    I've been showing Linux Mint with the MATE desktop to hard-core Windows users. This is especially true with those users with Windows XP hardware -- Mint can be installed while preserving their Windows environment.

    Then there was the Dell laptop with Windows 10 (upgraded from 8) that I just picked up at a yard sale -- and Mint on that puppy looks and feels good. That laptop had UEFI, and the Mint install went in very smoothly...and I can still load Windows 10 when I want to hurt myself.

  • Pelosi Claims Government Created the iPhone, Not Steve Jobs or Apple

    06/09/2016 12:10:42 PM PDT · 59 of 71
    asinclair to Sub-Driver
    Actually, if you really, really look into who did the ENGINEERING for the components used in the iPhone and other smartphones, you need to look at Bell Labs, a NGO dedicated to providing good telephone service in its first 80 years of life.. Both iOS and Android OS can trace part of their ancestry to Unix, a Bell Labs skunks work project. As for government, the government itself didn't ENGINEER the inventions, private industry did, under contract with DARPA and the four branches of the Armed Forces. Not to mention all the fallout from NASA and its contracting to NGOs for Mercury/Gemini/Apollo and the Space Shuttle.

    Basic research? Look to the network of universities and their associated National Laboratories -- more NGOs who moved technology forward.

  • (Vanity) Is HRC eligible under the 22nd Amendment?

    05/15/2016 6:13:52 PM PDT · 1 of 36
  • Which presidential candidate will do the least harm?

    03/09/2016 8:09:15 AM PST · 16 of 74
    asinclair to napscoordinator
    He has a knack for knowing how to win.

    I can see how Donald Trump, if he goes all the way, could be like a dog chasing cars. One day the dog catches one. Puzzled look on his face: "NOW what do I do with it?"

  • Which presidential candidate will do the least harm?

    03/09/2016 8:02:26 AM PST · 15 of 74
    asinclair to Vigilanteman
    The key to the Presidency is who the office-holder picks to advise him/her, and the alliances s/he forges with Congress.

    With Clinton, we already know the type of people she will surround herself with, and who she will talk and listen to in the House and Senate. There is a lot of precedent to examine.

    But what about Trump? Frankly, we don't know much about who he will bring to the White House. We do know, though, that in the past he has surrounded himself with people who, by their results, show they get jobs done in the building trades when they are allowed to. How will he pick his advisers, Cabinet, and consultants?

    Donald Trump never served in the military. That puts him at a severe disadvantage as Commander In Chief. (Hillary didn't serve, either. Neither did Obama.) Trump would need to select a military adviser who knows the Armed Forces inside and out That puts our safety in the hands of an unelected person...but what else is new?

    We know what's in store for the country if Hillery is elected. Da Trump is a murky read. Do you go with the devil you know, or the potential devil you don't know? That is the question.

    The tie-breaker may be the Supreme Court, and the nominee thereto. With Hillary, we get a liberal, or worse, judge. With Donald, who knows?

    This is one tough election year. And it will affect downballot results.

  • Nevada Democrats Screw Military Voters

    02/18/2016 8:29:01 AM PST · 14 of 17
    asinclair to C19fan
    This is 2016. The age of Internet, of Skype. Instead of having to phone in using POTS (plain ol’ telephone service) the military people should be able to use an Internet connection via Skype to participate in the caucus. This has several advantages for our servicemen and -women: they don't have to locate a commercial phone; they don't have to stand there for hours at said commercial phone; and the Skype call can also carry video.
  • Former House Oversight chairman: 'FBI director would like to indict Clinton and Abedin'

    01/29/2016 11:19:42 AM PST · 34 of 49
    asinclair to blueunicorn6
    So, Hillary Clinton had easy access to a secret e-mail system. Why didn't she use it?

    From what I understand, she didn't have a secure Blackberry like her boss. To read secure e-mail, she would have to be physically be at a secured terminal (protected by TEMPEST), which would have interfered with her speech schedule. Not to mention leaving an electronic paper trail.

  • Editorial: Opposition to gun buyback program is indefensible (barf alert)

    10/21/2015 6:46:47 AM PDT · 6 of 25
    asinclair to rellimpank

    Just how many guns are turned in by government employees, particularly employees who are not policemen, armed services, FBI, or Marshal Service?

  • Volkswagen Emissions Probe Zeroes In on Two Engineers

    10/05/2015 5:55:33 AM PDT · 23 of 52
    asinclair to Cowboy Bob
    The governments keep raising the bar for pollution and mileage. It is past the point of being unrealistic.

    Already saw an article stating that "this will be the death of diesel, and Europe will have to move to electric/hybrid, like Japan did."

  • EXCLUSIVE: Hillary's email firm was run from a loft apartment with its servers in the BATHROOM,

    08/18/2015 7:32:57 AM PDT · 48 of 91
    asinclair to Hojczyk
    I have to take exception to the insinuation that the server was physically insecure. We know nothing about the circumstances surrounding the operation. Did Platte River have technical people on-site 24/7 monitoring the equipment? Many server room operations don't -- but this is a small company using a residential building where employees lived in the same building, fer cry eye. Also, I notice in the picture that the particular apartment that was being used as the "server room" had *no* markings other than the apartment number -- that's lots of points for physical security.

    As for when the server was in Clinton's house, if the Secret Service was co-located in the house, that speaks for good physical security, too.

    Yes, physical security is important, but you have to look at the entire attack surface presented to the world. With not a lot of effort, one can reduce that surface to a very small footprint.

    Part of the analysis of the attack surface would include which operating system was running on the server box, and the number of services the box exposes to the Internet. The more services, the more opportunity for successful penetrations. Not to mention updating the software regularly to close security holes.

    If I was doing an investigation, I would concentrate more on network security at the two locations. Did they have a NAT (Network Address Translation) box acting as a cut-out to the mail server? (If you don't have direct access to a server, you have a hell of a time breaking into it.) How about intrusion detection and mitigation? Did the company sell co-located servers, which would allow an outsider access to the inside network? What network protection was provided at Clinton's house -- not too many people would have security appliances in a private residence. Do YOU have a Cisco ASA (Adaptive Security Appliance) stuck somewhere in your home?

    I would suspect the FBI either knows this, or hires professional security consultants who do.

    Something to consider: hard disks are VERY EASY to swap. What if, before presenting the server box, someone swapped the old hard drive with a freshly wiped $135 (Office Depot price) drive, and further did a fresh install of software? Hard to read out data that never resided on the hard drive, no matter how many layers of magnetic recording you delve into. And how would you tell the difference between that fresh drive that has been wiped, and a used drive that has been wiped?

    Yes, I've done system and network administration at a Web hosting company. Not in a bathroom closet, but in a storefront. The server room was behind substantial walls and used biometric locks. And its own alarm system.

    Did I mention that I have my own mail server in the kitchen? Unlike the Clinton server, it's Linux based, and it sits behind NAT (another Linux box, no services running, acting as my firewall for my home network) so that it's not openly accessible to attackers in the world.

    Time to prepare some more popcorn as this farce plays out.

  • Income Inequality, are Dems serious?

    05/03/2015 8:51:00 AM PDT · 1 of 13
    Democrats talk a good line: "We [Democrats] need to fix income inequality in this county." Yet what are the solutions Democrats propose? Wage and price controls (minimum and maximum wages, rent controls, unions), income guarantees, more public spending (on education, "resources for children", health care), and changes in tax law ("soak the rich", mine inheritance transfers, close down corporate loopholes and deductions).

    So, what is missing from all these proposals? The workers themselves. Where is the link between the workers' efforts and their remuneration? Most of these solutions interject government in some way between the people with money and the people without money, and with little regard for how each worker contributes to the bottom line of the company. Indeed, too many of the current "solutions" (think unemployment payments and food stamps) encourage people to not work to their maximum potential.

    For income inequality to be brought under control, the focus needs to be on all the workers -- the people who make profits happen -- and not just on management...or government. That's not to say that exiting participants of the bonus pool don't have an effect on profits, but the remuneration may far exceed the contribution to the bottom line. Incentives need to extend further downward.

    In publicly-traded companies, encouraging employee ownership participation is one way to reduce the inequality. Profits are distributed to shareholders, whether they be institutions, mutual funds, or employee-held stock. In a company I once worked for, they had an employee stock-purchase plan that offered stock to all employees at a reduced price, and provided for payroll deduction to buy stock. But it wasn't all about the dividends; employees were kept abreast of the shift in stock price, and managers let employees know how their activities affect it. It provided focus, it did.

    Private companies have the option of paying bonuses to all employees per a formula, but there is no requirement for a company to do so. In this case, some companies need an incentive to share the profits. Bonus payouts are tax deductible. Increase the deduction over and beyond the dollars-and-cents, and the program becomes more attractive to the owners. So my suggestion is to change the tax code to encourage profit-sharing, but instead of having the government collect and re-distribute money, Congress provides a tax credit for an all-employee bonus and/or profit-sharing program over and above the regular deduction.

    There are two good reasons to do this. First, it directly rewards the working employee who contributes to the success, and the profit, of the company. Second, it will cost less to implement, because the administration of the plan rests with the company, and not the IRS or other government bureaucracy. Third, the economy as a whole benefits because profit-sharing money paid directly to the employee is more likely to be spent, not saved. Or invested in college savings funds.

  • Seattle minimum wage increase takes effect and eating out gets more expensive

    04/04/2015 11:54:32 AM PDT · 43 of 70
    asinclair to tanuki
    Ms Kshama Sawant, how much per hour does a Seattle City Councilwoman make? $15/hour?
  • Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery calls veteran 'enemy' during marijuana debate

    04/01/2015 7:50:41 AM PDT · 26 of 104
    asinclair to DiogenesLamp
    dangerous chemical threats, of which Marijuana constitutes one of the lesser ones

    Have you looked at the history behind the current stance on marijuana? Can you point to any studies showing the harmful effects of marijuana, or its active ingredients?

    The original laws, before the Civil War, required labeling Cannabis as a "poison". Indeed, up to the 20th Century, the issue was about labeling, not prohibition.

    Things didn't start to get tense until -- wait for it -- there were an influx of Mexicans. Reportedly, many Mexicans smoked marijuana to relax after working in the fields. Before the Great Depression, there still weren't any prohibitions. After the Great Depression, there was a slew of actions, including the establishment of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930. There were lots of claims by the head of the FBN, which resulted in the various States adopting laws to regulate Cannabis.

    The Federal government used to look more kindly to Marijuana, with the passing of the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937. Further, The Department of Agriculture and the US Army encouraged farmers to cultivate hemp between 1942 and 1945 (not for smoking or THC extraction).

    For further reading: the Lagurdia Commission of 1944.

    Then SCOTUS lent its paw, declaring the Marijuana Tax Act to be unconstitutional, in 1969. Oops.

    Bottom line: the eventual prohibition was based on questionable studies -- bad science. Not surprising, as most of the arguments against the weed were emotional, not considered thought.

    (Disclosure: I am not a user of marijuana myself, and don't anticipate a need to become a user.)

  • Indiana Lawmakers Admit “No Gays” Signs Will be Allowed

    03/31/2015 11:08:08 AM PDT · 29 of 55
    asinclair to EveningStar

    So, what is their reaction to a “No Guns” sign in shop windows?

  • The H-1B Visa

    03/29/2015 8:37:18 AM PDT · 31 of 39
    asinclair to Kaslin
    Along with the idea that 50 percent of the employees can't be H1B, how about a requirement that an equal ratio of vice presidents, department heads, managers, and supervisors be H1B employees as exists at the lower levels. What's sauce for the goose...

    And while we are at it, how about CEOs and CFOs being H1B hired by the board of directors. Isn't there a shortage of [cheap] top management?

  • Benghazi committee officially requests Clinton surrender her email server

    03/20/2015 12:10:54 PM PDT · 9 of 69
    asinclair to rdl6989
    To what purpose would such a seizure of the Clinton private server do? When the "private" e-mails are deleted, those sectors are reclaimed and can be written over. Spam can, and would, do that. Ditto any logs, so the "metadata" would be gone by now. And to make things worse, there is free software that will perform a "DOD-grade" erase on all free space on the drive, so that even the NSA would have difficulty recovering the data.

    If a third party were to do a full security audit on the box, that only says what is true now, not over the entire time the server was running.

    About the only useful thing that could come out of this is that same security audit could check for malware -- we wouldn't know when it was injected, but at least it could confirm or bust Clinton's claim about whether the server was compromised or not.

    SUMMARY: too little too late.

  • Why Won't Congress and Obama Tackle Healthcare Tort Reform?

    03/18/2015 7:33:47 AM PDT · 1 of 27
    One of the drivers in overall health care costs is the threat of a "deep pockets" lawsuit when health outcomes are less than perfect. The cost of that litigation appears in every single charge for medical procedures, medical equipment, prescription drugs, among other services.

    When asked, Senator Harry Reid said that he did not want to shut out poor people from suing the doctors and hospitals when things go wrong. He pushed back on limits to the right to sue, even as costs continue to skyrocket, and when costs go up, so do insurance premiums, both for the patient and for the doctors (malpractice insurance). And that last expense is passed right back to the patients and their insurance companies. In other words, a potential spiral of increased health care costs because of the legal system.

    There are cases where it's appropriate to sue a doctor who is less than competent, a nurse who is less than antiseptic, an orderly who drops patients on the floor, a hospital that had infrastructure problems that kill people. I'm not saying to do away with lawsuits; let's limit the court activity to those instances where its appropriate. Eliminate the lawsuits where "Aunt May died, and I'm going to sue you for that" when the health care people did nothing wrong.

    My proposal is a simple one. The medical societies already publish, for their members, a set of Best Practices for medical procedures and operations. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a 501(c)(3) organization, oversees the establishment of Standards in a number of professions and disciplines. I would suggest that ANSI form a department for medicine, qualify Standards Developers in the medical profession (American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, and others), and have those group codify Best Practices as American National Standards.

    The Standards Provider provides, as part of its application to become a Standards Provider, define how the provider will operate. In virtually every single case, ANSI requires that the provide open the process of developing standards to anyone interested in participating. That means that doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, politicans, and the general public can weigh in on the deliberations. I leave it to ANSI and the providers to develop rules that make sense.

    Once we have National Standards codified in a regular way, Congress can then require that any lawsuit against a medical practitioner, institution, or vendor is restricted to where the responding party has gone outside the National Standards. This will prevent the was of dueling experts that prevails in some malpractice cases -- those decisions will already have been debated and reconciled during the Standards making process. (And for the health care providers, the Standards provide a concrete framework within which to operate, which takes some of the guesswork out of practicing medicine...and could save lives.)

    Because the insurance companies are part of the process, they would use the Standards to determine what procedures they would cover. This would remove a lot of the arbitrary denials and partial payments because the insurance company doesn't want to cover some parts, or some procedures.

    Another outcome is that "defensive" prescribing of tests would be reduced. When I had my heart attack, the attending physicial racked up a large number of tests that, when I asked, were not medically necessary but were driven by the opinions in past lawsuits -- the doc was covering his ass, not aiding the patient. Oh, and the hospital mandated some of those added tests, because it had been burned in the past, too. "Do it, or lose your admitting privs." Interestingly, some of those defensive tests were mandated by the malpractice insurance company...tests that were denied coverage by the patient's insurance company.

    The implementation of this plan would have an interesting side effect: the cost of the lawsuits themselves would go down. What would be blocked is the pages and pages of medical mumbo-jumbo as the experts try to point-counterpoint on the witness stand. The witnesses would be limited to where the accused party strayed from Best Practice. A shorter, easier-to-understand trial, which makes the jury's job easier. And that further drops the cost of litigation, which drops the cost of malpractice insurance. Moreover, findings of violations of Best Practices can be presented to the various quality committies in hospitals and larger practices, so that bad doctors can be weeded, saving lives and unnecessary injury.

    What about research? There are already rules of Best Practice in performing medical studies, including review of animal trials before human trials can be performed. That process can result in a Proposed Standard, passed by the appropriate Standards Provider group, to provide the necessary paperwork to define the framework for performing the trials. Yes, this is an added step to the researcher's process of human trials, but the protection to the researcher makes it worth it. Indeed, by reducing the legal exposure, it saves money for the researcher. BONUS: the research protocol can provide the basis for an American National Standard if it is proven to be effective -- much of the development would already have been done in preparing the research proposal.

    Mr. Reid, I feel this plan addresses your concern about locking out the less advantaged from the legal system. Because the scope of the proceeding is limited to showing where Best Practices were not followed, justice goes faster and smoother. My father died in a hospital because of cross-infection. A lawyer approached my family immediately after the funeral, asking if we wanted to sue. We had already talked with hospital administration about what happened, and had decided not to take any action. That lawyer said we could win "a lot of money". Is that right?

    The plan I proposed here is not complete, and could be completely off base. But I would like to see it considered. My attempts to have this plan considered back when Obamacare was a-bornin' failed miserably. Perhaps now is the time to consider this minor change to what was, and still is, a medical cost driver. And it's worth considering, regardless of how the Supreme Court rules in June.

  • Gun control: could the idea be applied to votor fraud?

    03/15/2015 3:23:16 PM PDT · 9 of 9
    asinclair to rellimpank
    I well can imagine the comments from the left when you tried to say that identification for voter registration should be at least as equal to that to purchase firearms.

    The issue here is that the undocumented people can't buy firearms, yet I don't hear the liberals talking about any violation of the Second Amendment. That suits the liberal passion for safety over freedom; liberals tend to say "if you remove all guns, you will remove all gun violence." (Let's not get into the question about disarming law enforcement, even though police have been killing people of color for some time now, in larger number than they have been killing white people.)

    Disarm the citizenry, that's fine, even though the criminal element will always find a source for firearms. Disenfranchise the non-citizens (dead, illegal, felon, serial voters) is a whole 'nuther issue.

  • Gun control: could the idea be applied to votor fraud?

    03/15/2015 8:13:18 AM PDT · 1 of 9
    Stare decisis, "to stand by things decided", is a very powerful concept in United States legal system. The idea is that past legal decisions can be referenced in a current dispute to make a case for a particular viewpoint. So let's see if we can use this principle to help stamp out voter fraud.

    The liberals have been very vocal that background checks for buying firearms does not violate the Second Amendment of the Constitution. "We need background checks to keep gun out of the hands of criminals." Some are wanting the background-check requirement extended to gun shows and private transactions.

    So, if background checks past Constitutional muster for guns, how about requiring background checks to register to vote? The whole process just got cheaper with the implementation of Real-ID for drivers licenses. (I just got mine.) As for blocking felons, the same databases used for guns could be used for voters, too.

    What does this stop? Casting multiple ballots by virtue of living in two or more States. Voting by non-citizens. Voting by felons, where restricted. Voting by underage children.

  • Seattle restaurants going dark as $15 an hour minimum wage goes into effect

    03/14/2015 8:04:57 AM PDT · 75 of 157
    asinclair to afraidfortherepublic
    The free market will adjust. It has to. And I think that the liberals are not going to like it very much.

    When I visited my grandmother in Winston-Salem decades ago, I remember when she took me out for dinner one night with some of her friends. The restaurant? As I recall, it was called "S & W". You walk in, pick up a tray, and go down the serving line, selecting your options. At the end, a cashier would tote up what was on your tray and that was what you paid. (No tip jar, as I recall.)

    Fast-forward a few decades: a night out with friends in Mountain View, CA, was at a place called "Togo's": you ordered your custom submarine sandwich, then played 20 questions with the additions. At the end of the line, your sandwich went one way while your money went another. Drinks? The soda fountain is right behind you, sir. Plus, you bussed your own table.

    There is a reason our institutions have cafeteria lines: it's cheaper to operate. Schools for all ages, nursing homes, hospital cafeterias, even company lunchrooms. Soon, that's what will be left. Sit-down restaurants will fade as the new mininum-wage mania spreads across this great land of ours.

    I predict one thing: as restaurants turn to "the food line" there will be a growth in delivery services: not everyone likes to cook, and having the food come to you may be worth some money. Instead of just Chinese and pizza, soon you may be able to order a steak dinner to be delivered. Already, many of the better restaurants are doing a brisk "take-out" business. Some will go exclusively that way.

  • If Hillary Clinton Signed Form OF-109, She Committed A Felony

    03/13/2015 8:59:58 AM PDT · 36 of 44
    asinclair to raptor22

    Obama could always pardon Ms. Clinton.

  • Hillary Clinton could face jail time as email scandal sparks legal challenges

    03/11/2015 7:56:36 PM PDT · 34 of 48
    asinclair to Greysard
    This would mean that neither the President, nor his aides, nor anyone else in the Cabinet ever emailed Hillary Clinton in her official capacity. Because it would be quite obvious to them that her email address is not on the .gov server, and everyone got trained on this issue.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but your major premise assumes a minor premise false to fact. Some e-mail clients will *not* show the full electronic address in the "From:" and "To:" fields of a composed e-mail when the address is in their address book. Ditto for received e-mail.

    So they may have seen "HR Clinton" as the address, without seeing the electronic version.

  • One Of Hillary’s Secret, Illegal E-Mail Addresses Is

    03/08/2015 9:05:28 AM PDT · 29 of 34
    asinclair to afraidfortherepublic
    Do you run your own e-mail server? I do. (I used to be a mailserver admin, so I know the ropes.) One advantage of running your own server is that you can create as many electronic mailboxes as you want. In that way, you can automatically sort incoming mail by endpoint into folders/directories, so that you can skip the manual sorting step. Companies do something similar when they rent a block of post office boxes: let the postal workers do the sorting for you. Saves time, saves money.

    What is the advantage of doing this? Well, if you assign a unique mailbox to the companies you deal with, you will find out quickly who is selling your e-mail address -- and you can kill that account without having to deal with the spam. I assign unique mailboxes to the companies and people to whom I consult, so their traffic is automatically segregated from the rest of the stream. This is particularly important to me for receiving automatic alarms; a bell rings when mail comes into the monitoring accounts.

    By using alias addresses, I have have fifty e-mail endpoints go into a single mailbox, and then my client can shuffle the mail to unique folders. Those are the more casual contacts, where I don't need to segregate outgoing mail as well as incoming mail. A time saver.

    Another advantage of having your own mail server is that when you delete a mail account, it's GONE. (You do have to run a scrubber to wipe out data on unallocated disk space, if your paranoid, but that's easy.) Logs can have short "age out" times so that even the metadata captured by a mail server will disappear. What you do on your personal computer or laptop with the mail is another story.

    Let me disabuse you of a notion: mail servers don't necessarily store mail. They capture incoming mail, and depending on the mail client used by the recipient, the mail is deleted once successfully downloaded to the client. (I'm referring to POP3-based mail service, for the technically inclined.) Web mail and IMAP mail server is a different story -- those are used by people who want to handle their mail on multiple computers, including the computers at the library, FedEx Office, work, home, laptop, whatever.

    In the case of IMAP/Webmail, deleting the account on the server deletes the mail queue(s), so the disk space is available for re-use. As I said before, one can run a program that wipes out data in all unused space, so everything is really, really gone, even beyond the reach of the FBI or NSA if one is paranoid enough.

    (Personally, I don't bother with the cleaning step. I get enough spam that it eats through the disk partition holding mail fast enough.)

  • What Happened to the Net Neutrality Rules?

    03/08/2015 8:38:44 AM PDT · 21 of 30
    asinclair to CptnObvious
    The process is that before anything can be published, the Commissioners need to finish dealing with conflicts in the rules, and staff has to finish the editorial work. Then the entire package is published in the Federal Register. Sixty days after publication, absent any court actions to the contrary, the rules will take effect.

    And there will be further actions before the FCC, and before the Courts. Count on it. This little war is far from over. Too many sacred cows are being gored for The Big Boys to ignore it. Also, there is huge push-back from the technical community about the unintended consequences from portions of the new ruling.

  • Kochs and Unions

    02/25/2015 6:56:40 AM PST · 3 of 7
    asinclair to Kaslin
    "If you want more of something, subsidize it. If you want less of something, tax it."

    I propose a 12-percent national sales tax on all purchases of political campaign material. media ad buys, and room/hall rentals, to be collected by, and not limited to, newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, printers, button-makers, sign makers, hat makers, sound-truck rentals, bus rentals, limo rentals, airlines, and hotels.

    Individual candidates may file for refunds on such sales tax at the rate of one dollar for each eligible voter in the voting district of the office for which the candidate is running. Such a refund shall not exceed 12 percent of the total cost of buying campaign products/service.

    Organizations campaigning for specific ballot measures may also apply for the refund at the same rate based on the voter population affected by the measures. Again, such a refund shall not exceed 12 percent of the total cost of buying campaign products/service.

    PACs, political parties, and contributors that are not candidates in the district where spending is done are not eligible for this refund, at any level.

    (I'm not married to the tax rate or to the one-dollar reimbursement, we can negotiate reasonable per-voter costs to run a campaign.)

    Democrats should love this idea: has there ever been a tax they don't like?

  • When One [Obamacare] Penalty Is Enough (NYT alert)

    02/19/2015 7:45:46 AM PST · 5 of 24
    asinclair to reaganaut1
    I never did understand why there needed to be an “enrollment period” anyway. In the private sector, your insurance status can change in any given month, not just during a couple of specific months. I could lose my job outside of the enrollment period, and not have any way to get “affordable” insurance using the Exchange. (That leaves only COBRA, which is not cheap at all.) So I enroll in November; my penalty would be for some numbers of months where I was not covered. That's not the law, but it's a sight more “right” and “moral” than what we currently have.
  • Rush Limbaugh : Tuesday 2015-02-17 : Rush confusing Texas Judge ruling between Amnesty & ObamaCare ?

    02/17/2015 10:03:23 AM PST · 14 of 18
    asinclair to Patton@Bastogne
    I didn't hear Rush this morning, but I did read as much of the opinion text as was available in the first 50 pages (all I could find). Obamacare was mentioned in the ruling as part of the analysis of Plaintiffs' standing to bring the case. Specifically, the fact that DACA winners can get jobs with US companies and not be counted toward the 50-employee threshold, and the reasonable expectation that DAPA winners will do likewise, make DACA/DAPA employees more desirable than citizen employees.

    So the ruling doesn't affect Obamacare, but the exemptions to Obamacare affect the plaintiffs' standing.

  • McConnell: Court ruling on immigration bolsters GOP bill to defund executive actions

    02/17/2015 9:55:02 AM PST · 12 of 22
    asinclair to cotton1706
    OK, everyone, stop and think a little. We have a court that has issued a temporary restraining order against the Executive. So let's say that the Senate is able to get past the procedural hurdle of getting the House DHS bill onto the floor, proceed with debate, and it passes in substantially the same form as it was enrolled from the House.

    Win the battle, lose the war.

    Once the Executive is blocked from implementing DAPA, then all the standing of Texas disappears. That knocks the pins from underneath the DAPA court case. It's mooted.

    Why is that bad? Because the Executive wants to expand DACA. Without the precedent of DAPA being blocked, the process of reining in DACA becomes that much harder.

    I'm an independent. I have nothing against immigration per se. What I'm against is giving rewards to lawbreakers, to people so selfish or impatient that they refuse to follow the rules that are designed to allow for an orderly process of immigration.

    We are a country of immigrants. The vast majority of us can trace their ancestry to other parts of the world. (English/German/Danish in my case). I welcome people who want to make a life here in the United States, to raise and nurture a family here, and who are willing to go through the process to make it so. To obey the laws of their newly-adopted country.

  • 50 Shades of Cultural Poison

    02/13/2015 8:48:31 AM PST · 31 of 60
    asinclair to Kaslin
    I really don't believe some of you. Frothing at something you have never seen. Even if you read the book (I haven't) Hollywood has a long and "distinguished" history of "getting it wrong" when adapting a book to the screen. (I'm looking at YOU, Dune. I'm looking at YOU, Ender's Game.)

    Have you seen the reviews? Drudge featured a link to "the best of the worst", and it was an insightful read into the dumbing down of a book by Hollywood to appease the Masters of the Movie Rating System. Indeed, I remember seeing a piece describing that the French are saying "ho-hum".

    If y'all really need to get your exercise by jumping to conclusions, I won't stop you. I won't go see Fifty Shades of Grey because by all indications it's not a good movie. Period.

  • Rwanda: Guns Have No Place in Homes

    02/10/2015 11:54:47 AM PST · 13 of 58
    asinclair to rktman
    If there's one thing that has caused pain and suffering the world over, it is a gun.

    I can't agree with you more. Especially when the gun is in the hands of people who want what is yours and feel justified in using a gun to make you hand it over. Which, here in the United States, is why so many departments of government have purchased an insane number of arms and ammo. "We're from the government, and we are here to help you.

    (The correct sentence would be "We're from the government, and we are here to help ourselves.)

  • Palin says she’s ‘seriously interested’ in 2016 campaign

    01/24/2015 7:46:56 AM PST · 21 of 123
    asinclair to stuck_in_new_orleans
    She has no chance. She's a joke

    Consider this: he has experience as an executive, which is more than you can say about the current pResident, and some of the other people who make every appearance of running in the 2016 Presidential elections. I would absolutely love it if it came down to candidates measured by executive experience, instead of having people apply single-issue litmus tests to the views of the candidates. We need someone who knows how to run the Executive branch of government, who knows how to obey the laws of the land, who knows how to improve our image with the rest of the world.

    Not holding my breath.

  • Growing the Economy Is the Focus as Republicans Take Leadership

    01/15/2015 7:33:41 AM PST · 18 of 20
    asinclair to RedStateGuyTrappedinCT
    Now that the politicians have bankrupted [Social Security], seniors are told the problem is their fault.

    When all the "adjustments" started in the 70s, I was just entering the job market. All through the first decade, I was told that Social Security, coupled with the pensions from the people I worked for, will take care of me during my retirement. It became clear over the decades that Social Security would not be there for me when I retired. And those pensions? Gone, poof. At one point, I tried starting a business, and it didn't pan out -- so there went my savings.

    So I went from job to job, trying to earn enough to save up for my later years. Ended up living paycheck to paycheck because the businesses I worked for didn't earn enough to increase my take-home. Oh, my gross increased at a nice pace...but not enough to keep up with inflation and all the new taxes and tax increases. Funny how the "tax cuts" didn't make much of a positive dent in my take-home pay. And it was only last year that I became eligible to participate in a 401(k) plan.

    The last time I talked with a "wealth adviser" he showed me a chart, based on my pay over the decades, to show what would have happened if the money I paid to FICA would have instead been invested in a proper retirement fund: I would be a millionaire now, with enough capital in the pot to earn enough income to live until the day I die. What do I face now? "Income" that won't pay the rent, let alone food and medical and especially those insane ObamaCare premiums. Rob from the "rich" and give to the "poor"? Don't make me laugh!

    So, the plan? Work until they carry me out feet first. I wish our congressmen would reply on Social Security for their pensions -- if they did, they would fix the problems. Ditto if they had to buy their health insurance on an Exchange.

    As for the 40-plus percent who are on some form of government assistance? What have the politicians done to implement that good Christian story: "Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day; teach the man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime." The War on Poverty has been fought with taxpayer money that does the former instead of the latter. And the pages and pages of crap in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) just makes it all that much harder to put the good citizens to useful and paying work, so they can stop needing handouts.

    And consider that the current plans to "reform" immigration will flood the job market in every single niche...except CEOs, bureaucrats and law-makers. No job pressure there! Just pressure on middle-class STEM jobs, and lower-end craft jobs, so the majority and minorities already here will need more of that giveaway money.

  • New diet guidelines might reflect environment cost

    01/02/2015 5:20:26 PM PST · 29 of 35
    asinclair to jacquej
    Try to find a transcription of the A Prairie Home Companion program that featured Diet Squad -- that's my litmus test for when food control hits a peak.
  • Republicans are winning the fiscal fight

    12/18/2014 7:08:02 AM PST · 5 of 7
    asinclair to Fester Chugabrew
    For every law passed let two be repealed. For every tax instilled, let another tax expire and ten regulations be nullified.

    For every page added to the United States Code, sunset two pages. For every page added to the United States Code, remove four pages. For each topic of law, consolidate all statutes into one harmonious set.

  • Three Things We Learned From The CRomnibus

    12/16/2014 7:39:09 AM PST · 10 of 27
    asinclair to CodeToad
    ...but they can tell you sports scores and pop culture TV happenings.

    And that's the problem. "Truth" is so depressing that people of all stripes avoid it -- especially when they feel they can't do anything about it all. Instead, they focus on dreams, fun and happiness, which brings joy to their hearts.

    Sports can be fun even when your team loses, because you can carp about the players that made the mistakes. (Ever think why so many New Yorkers were Mets fans back in 1962-8? Or why the term "Monday morning quarterback" came to be?)

    Is it mature? No. But after so much doom and gloom, you want to just shut the negative out. Remember that this is just as true in politics as in other parts of life. Look at the love people have of scandals. They don't talk about the false employment numbers around the water cooler, they talk about who got caught with their fingers in the cookie jar.

  • Fox News May Disappear from Dish

    12/16/2014 7:02:43 AM PST · 45 of 87
    asinclair to MortMan

    Owned and operated, a technical term for a TV station that is owned by the network, and not an independent affiliate.

  • NLRB issues rule to speed up union organizing

    12/12/2014 8:47:46 AM PST · 7 of 30
    asinclair to Olog-hai
    If the employees' mail address and phone numbers were provided on an opt-in basis, I would be far, far happier. My mailbox is full of so much crud now that a union-forming campaign would just stuff the mailbox even more than it is now. (I hate election season for this reason -- and the US Post Office turns a deaf ear to complaints that "my mailbox is too small for the traffic", with their answer being "well, just empty your mailbox every single day and toss what you don't want." Right.)

    Of course, that is exactly what the unions don't want. They want unfettered access. And all that "unfettered" implies.

  • The Trayvon Martin Case Foreshadowed An Increase in Police Homicides of Minorities

    12/07/2014 12:20:31 AM PST · 11 of 42
    asinclair to 2ndDivisionVet
    The fact that prosecutors did not corroborate Wilson’s testimony against physical evidence supports the grand jury was convened to appease public outcry with no intention of ever taking this officer to trial.

    As I recall in the MSM reports, the grand jury was not empaneled specifically to process the Wilson/Brown case, it was empaneled to review all cases brought before it. They just happen to catch this one, and had their term of service extended to be able to complete they case they caught.

    I also recall reading in the MSM that blood evidence inside Officer Wilson's car shows Brown's blood, and also show evidence of bullet damage indicating that the gun was indeed discharged inside the vehicle. (Don't recall if any residue was collected inside the car.) Why would Mr. Brown have his hand where it could be creased in the manner it was, and the resulting blood spray be inside?

    Is there a problem? I believe there is. There is enough to discuss without bring up points that are false to fact. No matter how much the speaker would like to wish away the inconvenient facts.

  • Recording of Mariah Carey's sour notes at Rockefeller Center tree show is blamed on angry workers

    12/05/2014 7:28:20 PM PST · 17 of 32
    asinclair to rockrr
    Yes, they do use auto-tune live. Sometimes with unfortunate side-effects that do not reflect well on the performer. In a studio, you have much better side-pickup control. In a live setting, anything can happen.
  • Performance Evaluations

    12/04/2014 7:41:53 PM PST · 9 of 33
    asinclair to killermosquito
    A performance review is not a popularity contest, or a zero-sum game. A competent HR department, in concert with each manager, will define for each job position the objective metrics against which each employee is measured. In the yearly evaluation, what I'm used to seeing is this scoring: 4=above and beyond, 3=meets the objective, 2=meets the objective most of the time, 1=needs work, 0=unsatisfactory.

    The final score is the average of all metrics. Some metrics may be weighted more heavily than others, depending on the needs and requirements of the particular job.

    There should be no "wiggle room" in the evaluation -- the intent is to accurately measure how the employee is performing, and identify what areas need improvement. If an employee falls below a specific red line, it's grounds for probation; fail probation and s/he's fired for cause.

    The problem is finding competent HR people, willing to work with the managers to set REASONABLE expectations and goals. Some companies like to "go with the gut" -- usually with disastrous results. IF you are in one of those companies, may God have mercy on your soul.

  • Congress’ Present Duty to Call a Convention. (Part V)

    11/29/2014 10:15:46 AM PST · 18 of 27
    asinclair to Jacquerie
    I used to be in favor of a Balanced Budget Amendment, but now I'm not so sure that's a good idea. Not with our current debt position. Any attempt to change the fiscal arrangement of the United States of America will have such a negative result that I don't think the Union would survive a half century longer -- perhaps a decade longer.

    The idea I do like -- no Constitutional amendment required -- is to take a number of the "safety-net" social programs and turn the money back to the States in the form of block grants. The States in turn can mold those programs to the requirements, and capabilities, of the States which are already in place. This would apply to all of the programs: "food stamps", Section 8 housing, school lunches. Don't forget Obamacare subsidies.

    Another change not requiring a Constituional amendment: turning the establishment and maintenance of military bases to the State militias and State National Guards, keeping the Pentagon as a "clearinghouse" and "adviser" to the States -- we have much of this in place already, so it's just a matter of finishing the job.

    Then the tough nut: having the IRS outsource tax collection to the revenue collection departments of each State. Yes, this would cause hardship in those States that currently don't impose an income tax on its citizens, but they do have such a department for the taxes that ARE collected. That's the first step: the IRS would still be a rule-making body for Federal tax law, but enforcement would move closer to the people.

    What Constitutional amendments do I favor? Limit statutes, and the creation and passage thereof, to single subjects. Others have mentioned the elimination of law exemptions for legislators and their staff -- citizens have equal responsibilities and duties. How about term limits for bureaucrats? That might do away with some of the empire-building we see in Washington.

  • Peter H. Schuck: Yes, Congress can impeach Obama

    11/27/2014 6:47:12 PM PST · 8 of 41
    asinclair to VerySadAmerican
    When did the president get the right to decide which laws to enforce?

    I don't know if you were around during the Nixon administration, but the Congress didn't like it when the then-President didn't spend the money appropriated by said Congress. See for a description of impounding funds. In passing The Impoundment Control Act of 1974, Congress said that the President didn't have the choice to decide what laws he wanted to enforce, in the form of controlling spending.

    Let's see what happens when the current Congress is reminded of this little piece of history.

  • Two NYT Reporters Posted Darren Wilson’s Home Address. Look Here To See THEIR Home Addresses

    11/26/2014 2:32:52 PM PST · 43 of 67
    asinclair to Kevin in California
    What if the information about Officer Wilson's home address is false? What if the FBI or other agency is executing a sting operation? (Not likely, but something to think about.)
  • Giving up: 40% women, 28% men, 39% youth don't want a job

    11/14/2014 7:38:27 AM PST · 19 of 57
    asinclair to george76
    What is missing from the article is how the people not willing to work manage to survive? How many are living in their parents' basements? How many are getting unemployment benefits? Disability? Other government handouts?

    The next set of questions is how many of these people are working in the gray market? The black market? Organized crime? Gangs?

  • "Mistakes Were Made"

    10/23/2014 7:57:59 AM PDT · 17 of 24
    asinclair to buffaloguy
    I have been a bit worried about this as we go to software driven voting machines.

    I'm not worried about software-driven voting machines, I'm worried about machine-tampering, particularly with touch-screen machines with *NO* paper audit. As for going with a paper ballot, I'm not sure that is all that secure, either, given the accusation of ballot-box stuffing and voting thrown-out ballots in mail-in systems.

    What I would like to explore is the use of a paper system in which you use your computer (or company computer, or school computer, or library computer) to prepare a printed ballot, and then take that ballot to the polling collecting place. The design of the ballot is that it's human-readable using OCR typeface, so that the voter can proof his/her ballot before taking it to the voting place and depositing it in an electronic ballot box. Couple that with voter ID paid for by a tax on campaign contributions, and you have something.

  • Tesla Wants to Put 'Gigafactory' Battery Plant in Nevada

    09/04/2014 9:31:02 AM PDT · 29 of 39
    asinclair to minnesota_bound
    There is quite a bit of geothermal power already being generated in the Reno area, with additional geothermal sites surveyed. East of Reno, there is plenty of desert onto which to put solar farms, particularly designs that don't burn up birds. (NV Energy has been building solar power in Northern Nevada since they were Sierra Nevada Power.)

    Apple, who is "next door", has expressed its desire to expand solar, so they and Tesla could cooperate on building additional capacity nearby.

  • "Emergency Regulations": NY's Latest Attempt to Suppress Free Speech

    09/01/2014 12:42:33 PM PDT · 9 of 15
    asinclair to jazusamo
    You need to look deeper to see just how this hurts everyone. Consider how one would challenge the regulation in court. First, you would have to run afoul of the regulation and be fined $1000. Then you would have to file a court suit, with all the fees involved with filing and getting the services of an attorney. Then you have to go through the lengthy process of making your case to the judge and jury. And, even then, there is no guarantee that you will prevail.

    The people who have come forward to seek redress for the IRS targeting against conservative NPO wannabees are learning, painfully, how the process of seeking justice can be a life-changing event. Review the testimony before Congress on just how painful the process can be. Pay particular attention to acts of retaliation...

    Of course, that presupposes you get "caught", and the Board (who makes up this Board?) decides you are guilty of speaking out of turn. The first appeal filed by a person nailed by the regulations should require full discovery of the process used for element identification, that small task of applying the letter of the regulations to infractions, both those that "pass muster" and those that draw a fine. No clear identification? Then the law/regulation is flawed. Ah, yes, how do you show a law/regulation is being applied without bias? What if this board has a Lois Lerner wannabe?

    Oh, yes, I don't live in the State of New York, and have no "nexus" there, so I'm not facing the $1000 find with this post. New Yorkers may want to ponder that fact.

  • Simple Solution To Corporate Inversions: Cut Tax Rates

    08/28/2014 5:43:34 PM PDT · 8 of 10
    asinclair to jazusamo
    I respectfully submit that just about everyone has blinders on with regards to the federal taxing of corporations. People appear to believe that corporate tax payments come from "somewhere", when in reality those payments come out of your pockets, my pockets, everyone's pockets who buy what the corporations sell. That is the cruel fact of the debate that no one mentions.

    So what the tax-and-spend boosters are doing is hiding the real tax rate you pay in your State, and in your country, by burying some of the taxes in the levys against the corporations. Hey, how to pull in more money without ballooning the bottom line on voter's 1040.

    But wait! The hidden-tax scam is backfiring. The Big Spender, and his bankers, are complaining that corporations are taking that tax money collected "under the table" and shipping it out of the country, instead of bloating the government coffers. The "forum shopping" that corporations use are not available to the rank and file -- we don't have the ability to have a "tax home" in another country. All that revenue that are not seen as taxes by the voters are taking a hike across the pond. The magician's trick went sour.

    My remedy is simple: taxes should be paid only by people. Shareholders pay taxes on the money they receive from corporations. Shareholders pay taxes on the profits earned by the corporations, on a per-share basis. Corporations no longer have to hide the taxes they pay into the prices they charge. Let the Democrats repeal Citizen's United -- that would give even more reason to stop taxing "non-people". No free speech, no taxation.

    In order for my proposal to be revenue neutral, though, individual tax rates would have to rise to capture the same revenue that the corporate tax rate currently contributes. Such a tax increase would be offset by the taxes not built into the cost of goods and services.

    Why this will never happen: it makes tax increases transparent to the voters -- they can see the rise in taxes. No more sleight of hand.

  • House Committee: DOJ Lawyers Have ‘Conflict of Interest’ In IRS Case

    08/26/2014 8:54:43 AM PDT · 12 of 15
    asinclair to PGalt
    Dismantle the IRS

    I respectfully submit that the IRS is not the problem. The problem is the laws passed by Congress, the regulations created to implement those laws, and the court cases that interpret the laws and regulations against sets of facts. When you have a solid set of laws, regulations, and interpretations, then the IRS ceases to be the bogeyman.


    08/21/2014 8:08:06 PM PDT · 17 of 87
    asinclair to MeshugeMikey
    Reid is one of my senators. After seeing some of his comments about how "I'm trying to fight for the middle class", I wrote him. My question: what have you done in the Senate to encourage people to be able to work, to reduce the Tax Code by JUST ONE PAGE, to get able-bodied citizens out of their parents' basements?


    So, seeing that our President is about to make it even harder for those youthful citizens with crushing student loans -- and NO EMPLOYMENT -- to find jobs to pay off the student loans, I weep.