"But the root of all these evils is the love of money, and there are some who have desired it and have erred from the faith and have brought themselves many miniseries
I didn't know they had TV back in Timothy's time.
The Unions negotiate all of this through free market Capitalism.
Uhhh, there's nothing free market or capitalism about USPS and unions of quasi-governmental workers. There's nothing free market about laws that prohibit companies from firing striking workers.
Government (and quasi-government, the USPS is effectively a government agency) employee unions have a unique position in that the "business" can't choose to go out of business and go elsewhere. So it's forced to capitulate to any demand, however unreasonable, that is not illegal and that the union is unwilling to budge on. Government employee unions are a bad idea for this reason.
There's another issue- moral hazard. When management of a private company make concessions during union bargaining, they are directly responsible (to their board and the marketplace) for paying the consequences of making those decisions. Politicians and government managers have much less accountability for making decisions that are not in the government's interest- managers are often shielded by law from retaliation (like firing for incompetence), and elections are often long away and often unions funnel more money to candidates who favor them in lawmaking and negotiations. So there's not much incentive to be adversarial in government employee union negotiations.
The initial investigation by the university was a whitewash, amounting to "they said they didn't do anything wrong". Look in my history for my comments on that. The NSF report (I just read the summary) seems pretty professional and thorough, but it "exonerates" Mann against a charge that no one seems to have made, i.e. that he falsified data. I have not read any such claim anywhwere credible (and in fact the NSF report explains at the beginning that their investigation was self-generated, not based on external complaints anyway, so I guess NSF just decided to look into it on their own).
Most of the NSF report basically sums up as "NSF didn't fund his research so our standards don't apply". The whole problem with Mann and with Hadley CRU is not that they falsified any data, but (1) that their methods were incredibly biased towards the outcome they wanted (support for AGW), and (2) that a small amount of research by a small number of individuals was used to try to change public policy, out of proportion with the weight of the evidence, coupled with the clear intent to suppress conflicting studies and voices.
I have no qualms with the NSF report. However it doesn't address my concerns with Mann or Hadley CRU.
Engineers don't apprentice. I don't understand this.
Engineers do apprentice; it's a requirement of licensure. Usually licensure requires several of years of practice under a licensed engineer, in addition to degree requirements and testing.
We realized long ago that individual and/or private firefighting services were not in the best interests of the public.
This is incorrect.
In the past we found undesirable behavior with private fire fighting organizations. This does NOT lead to the necessary conclusion that fire fighting MUST be a government provided service. It just means that we need mechanisms, legal or otherwise, to prevent bad behavior. There were also good aspects to private fire fighters.
For example, I personally like the idea of two fire fighting companies racing to my house as fast as they can, because only the first one on scene gets paid by the insurance company. This incentivizes timely response and placement of many fire stations in order to minimize distance.
In the Tennessee case, I think that the right thing to have done would have been to put out the fire and then send the guy a bill for the cost of putting the fire out. Not out of kindness, but just to avoid bad PR. In an area with high building density then there must be a fire response, and this model would work there as well. Already some cities charge you if you have a traffic accident and knock down a light pole, for instance.
I just don't think government is particularly good at anything, and I don't think that de jure monopolies result in the best outcomes.
RFID toll tokens have already been successfully used to prove location and travel:
I mean, if you don't want anybody to find this stuff when you're dead, why bother collecting it when you're alive?
That was my first thought as well. If you don't want people to ever see something, then don't ever record it in the first place, and for god's sake, don't record it on the web using equipment that belongs to your boss.
There have been court rulings (and probably will be more in the future) that allow bosses to monitor your communications on equipment that belongs to them. So just stay away from that.
Also, the internet never forgets- if you don't want something visible in the future, then you better keep it off the web now.
Crypto degrades over time as processing power and mathematical research improve, so it doesn't make sense to say " uses with , just use that". Who knows? The day after you die they might break the product implementation or the crypto algorithm or come up with a way to try the entire universe of key space in O(1), so encrypting something but leaving it lying around is not a safe thing to do.
Better to never create the information if you don't ever want anyone to see it. Keep it in your head. There are lots of mnemonic tricks for remembering things that you want to recall later.