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Comment Re:Just leave (Score 3) 594

It's not interfering with someone's private life unless they opt to work for a union shop... Unions are a collective of people freely associating and negotiating a contract with a private entity which stipulates that all new hires must be amenable to joining the union. Sounds pretty free-market libertarian to me. If enough union members are pissed about mandatory membership, that's probably a sign the union isn't functioning properly. In that case, the union members themselves can then vote to disband or to not require membership. But in an otherwise normal union, removing mandatory membership from the contract turns the situation into a tragedy of the commons dilemma, wherein people will avoid paying dues while still enjoying the protections that a union affords. That is, until the union shrivels and dies.

The 'interference' comes in the form of the government meddling with contracts between otherwise private and freely associated entities, and weakening the tools that one party has at its disposal.

Comment Re:Pardon Manning and Snowden (Score 3, Interesting) 384

I don't think there should be an issue of using "Bradley" in news reports in the proper context, just so people are aware of who we are talking about. When she was arrested, she was still known as Bradley Manning, and most people probably remember a "Bradley" Manning in the news, but maybe not a Chelsea. So, for example, a news report I think could read as follows without causing offense:

"Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, had her sentence commuted by President Obama today after...."

I guess I think it is about intent in using the old name. It is just an old name, and using it to simply clarify who we are talking about shouldn't be a problem anymore than a woman who recently got married being referred to as "Mrs. Alice Jones, nee Smith" should. But I can see how deliberately using the old name instead of the new one is indeed very offensive, as it shows a lack of respect for the choices a grown adult makes. But I am a straight white male, who doesn't really know anybody in the trans community. If I am off-base and any trans person or advocate is reading and wants to fill me in on how the community really feels about this, I am all ears.

In any case, I really don't understand or agree with this commutation. Snowden has a better case if you ask me, and I wouldn't likely support that one either. Manning leaked a tremendous amount of classified info for no apparent purpose. The exposure of the journalist's deaths was only a small part of what was leaked. Manning, in my opinion, is someone who simply should not have had a security clearance.

Comment Re: Hmm (Score 1) 1028

Oh for the want of modpoints....

Ballot access laws suck terribly in a few states, but a well-organized group with a charasmatic candidate should still be able to do it in all 50 every time. I have also wondered why I never see nearly as many Green/Libertarian/Other candidates for representative, senator, state offices, or even city councilors. If you really want to grow a party, that's the place to start. After winning a few more minor elections, people will see your guys in office and not immediately assume "wasted vote" if they see your party name. It also will allow you to groom your own candidates in a more constructive way, and eventually allow for more competent candidates at teh top of the ticket. You don't grow a new party by randomly winning the presidency and holding no other major offices.

Comment Re:Democrat misinformation (Score 0) 181

Right, but as soon as he walks out of that embassy, the US will charge him with espionage and ask for extradition, regardless of the rape charges. That's why he's hiding out in an embassy from a country with no extradition treaty with the US. Not to dodge the rape charge, but to avoid being dragged before a US court. I imagine he'll stay there until he gets some guarantee from the US not to charge him. He won't get that, and he'll spend a significant portion of his life cooped up in the Ecuadorian embassy for as long as they'll have him, and probably prison after that.

Comment Re:Democrat misinformation (Score 1) 181

I suppose that is true to a certain extent. However, I don't think removing malware, or at least isolating it from the original email and providing it separately and with warning for those interested enough to dig into it is really "editing". More of just making sure they protect their own audience.

I also disagree with things like releasing the names of known homosexuals when that information could put their life in danger. Redacting to protect a life seems like a bright enough editorial line that can be drawn without losing sight of their core mission.

But then again, I also think that some things are secret for a reason, and thus don't support wikileak's mission at all.

Comment Re: The house always wins (Score 1) 843

It is a show of good faith. I'd agree that release of tax returns is kind of an arbitrary litmus test for trustworthiness, but it's one that presidential candidates have adhered to for quite some time now. I honestly don't give two hoots how much he paid in taxes, or what his net worth appears to be, as long as everything he did appears to be legal. I can't blame him for taking advantage of existing loopholes, anymore than I can blame myself for every valid deduction and credit that I take. I made the same type of argument when Romney hemmed and hawed about this for awhile.

He has every right to keep them to himself, I don't deny it. Releasing his taxes could make him vulnerable, either by embarrassing him, or reducing his leverage with an ongoing audit by giving the IRS 1000s of extra CPAs to pore over them for free. I fully expect that releasing his returns would damage him in some way. But it's SOP for presidential candidates to do this, and doing so helps a candidate demonstrate they are more interested in the job of governing than they are about their own stake. He has never once shown any willingness to defer his own interests in the name transparency or the public good, and for this reason alone (along with a whole host of others in his case) I cannot support him.

As an aside, even if he didn't release this year's tax returns due to the audit, he could still try and show good faith by showing several of his most recent accepted tax returns. They aren't all under audit.

Comment Re:Whoopty Doo (Score 1) 843

To be fair, Johnson did name someone in Peres, and the interviewer disallowed that answer and asked for a current head-of-state office-holder. I think it threw him off being rebuffed like that. To be clear, I'm not a Johnson supporter, and he definitely should have been able to name somebody.

The whole thing then made Jill Stein look like an even bigger moron when she doubled down by giving three answers that the interviewer had specifically disallowed.

Agree that this is all a big part of why third party candidates don't get any traction. They are generally way out of their league, have kooky niche ideas, or both.

Comment Re:VIP is not Clinton (Score 1) 459

True, but that doesn't mean that Obama didn't send her an email, or vice-versa.

This is all speculation, at best. I really hate the subject of Hillary's emails, because I do not, and never will know the truth. It was certainly dumb of her to have a private server, but that much appears to not be criminal in and of itself.

Beyond that, the mere fact that classified info was on her server also isn't enough. I can think of a thousand reason why that could certainly be a crime, possibly even with malicious intent. There are also a thousand reasons why it might not be, depending on hundreds of variables that I simply don't have information on. The FBI had better info than me, and chose not to prosecute, so I am content to leave it at that. Otherwise, it's like worrying about an undetected asteroid hitting earth or a supervolcano erupting or the like. It's not totally unfounded, but there's all of jack bupkis you can really do about it. You'll just drive yourself crazy and forever be known as the doomsday nut.

Comment Re:Two types of laws (Score 1) 459

Well, yeah. Knowing a gun is loaded and firing at someone (unless self-defense) is grounds for Murder 1, or at least Murder 2, and you'd likely face 20 years to life in prison. Not knowing the gun was loaded and accidentally shooting someone would more likely be prosecuted as some level of criminally negligent manslaughter, depending on how the definitions are worded in your jurisdiction and what exactly happened. In that case, you'd probably face no more than 10 years. Intent plays a pretty major role when a death is involved.

Comment Re:Too little too late (Score 1) 64

I've been listening to Pandora for years for free, no subscription. I'd say I regularly listen to it anywhere between 4-10 hours a week, and I sometimes go months without hearing an ad.

So, serious question: What do other people hear? Are there lots of ads? Is this a regional thing? Or maybe a city/rural area thing, where cities get ads and rural areas get ad-free Pandora for free? Or is it just that some people find even one targeted ad a month an unacceptable intrusion?

Comment Re:cloud services: dumb idea (Score 1) 66

Sure, I'd agree with that.

I mostly use Dropbox as an extra external backup, which is conveniently also easy to share with others without having to host anything myself. Certainly not as mission critical primary storage, or for sensitive documents. Mine is mostly full of family pictures and videos that we all share with each other. Nothing business related, and nothing that would be potentially compromising if it were to be lost and/or stolen.

Whatever your usage, and however trivial the website is, you cannot go wrong with strong passwords, rotated occasionally, and non-repeated across various sites.

Comment Re:News for nerds, how? (Score 1) 406

Depends on how old the loans are, actually. Nowadays the federal government is the originator and servicer of all student loans. I am not sure if they bought older loans off the books of other originators or not.

Not sure how the details of the forgiveness aspect works for these cases, but I doubt the gov't is asking any servicers of government backed student loans to take a loss.

This option for forgiveness in the case of disablement was actually already available, but I guess it was a huge bureaucratic headache to actually get it done if you applied for it. Thus it was almost never used. Apparently what they have done is streamline the process to make it much easier, and send out notices to those eligible. Hardly an earth-shattering change.

Lastly, the government loans out money to students, and takes payments with interest in return. It does not cost the taxpayers a dime, as the government actually makes money on the loans it issues. In this case, the 'taxpayers' being burdened are the students actively paying their debt, as the interest could be construed as a tax going into federal coffers. So you have students paying back loans, and subsidizing the forgiveness of loans for some.

There's a broader point to be made about whether the debt should be forgiven based on how disabled someone actually is. Disability fraud is a big thing, and this might make it bigger. Also, I've met blind, deaf, wheelchair-bound, and one-armed people at all levels of academia. So there is at least some question as to whether your disability actually inhibits you from performing in your chosen career. Lose function of an arm and a leg due to a stroke? That concert pianist job you had is probably gone for good. But a computer programmer might be more or less unaffected. It would have to be on a case-by-case basis to get it right. But that more nuanced discussion is not what you brought up at all.

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