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Comment: Hmmm... (Score 1) 409

This one doesn't pass the smell test for me. If there wasn't something fishy going on it sure looks like there was. Why would she not only choose to use a private email account but not even have an official government email address during that four year period?

Not only that but "no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act". I suspect that "no actions" is really 'we were told expressly by Ms. Clinton not to back up any of her email messages'. Everything that passes through State department servers should be backed up routinely. How can it be that for four years none of her emails were backed up anywhere?

This whole thing reminds me of the recent IRS scandal where email backups were suddenly just gone and nobody knows why.

Hillary has a long string of "things that make you go hmmmm...", all the way back to when Slick Willy was in the White House. This is just the most recent example. Politics aside, she is just a person that appears to be slippery and dishonest. What Bill has, that she never will, is a likability that allows some to look past imperfections. She is not to be trusted and will not get my vote.

Comment: Complete and utter BS... (Score 1) 220

by erp_consultant (#49080275) Attached to: Obama Says He's 'A Strong Believer In Strong Encryption'

"The first time that an attack takes place in which it turns out that we had a lead and we couldn't follow up on it, the public's going to demand answers" - The first time? How many times has this already happened and no action was taken.

Benghazi - The government had plenty of intel on the impending attack and yet did nothing. People died as a result of this inaction.

9/11 - Again, plenty of advance warning and no action.

Mortgage meltdown/Lehman Brothers collapse - Nobody died here but The Fed, in concert with the Federal government, precipitated the mortgage meltdown by insisting on keeping interest rates artificially low and fueling risky sub prime loans. The government pressured the Fed to keep the rates low. The Fed, which is charged with regulating banking activity, stood by and allowed banks to engage in risky activity (CDO's, etc).

BP oil spill - Government inspectors failed to uncover the substandard materials and workmanship that led to the spill - despite numerous inspections.

The common thread here is that the government had the information and yet failed to take the proper action. Why should we believe that allowing back doors to encryption will yield a different result?

Comment: Re:Alcohol is the single biggest problem we face.. (Score 1) 305

by erp_consultant (#49047911) Attached to: Alcohol's Evaporating Health Benefits

"I think you are throwing the word 'toxic' around a bit too lightly" - Well, perhaps. It's just how I interpret it.

"We are complicated creatures, and to pretend that we aren't is almost certainly going to be disastrous." - Indeed.

We can agree to disagree. I will commend you on staying civil and not resorting to personal attacks, as so often happens.

Comment: Re:Alcohol is the single biggest problem we face.. (Score 1) 305

by erp_consultant (#49041923) Attached to: Alcohol's Evaporating Health Benefits

"The available data seems to suggest that moderate alcohol usage is healthier than abstaining completely." - And it appears that many of those studies were funded by the beer and wine industry. So it's not exactly objective.

I just challenge the assertion that alcohol is healthy in any amount. It is toxic to the human liver and I don't see how ingesting something toxic is healthy. The risks far outweigh the benefits, and the benefit claims are dubious at best.

"What is and isn't good for your health is very much contextual. Rat poison (warfarin) has medical usage as an anti-coagulant, but it obviously isn't something for a typical person to be downing on a Tuesday afternoon." - You are correct about warfarin but if alcohol were beneficial would physicians not be prescribing it for medicinal use? If someone were omega-3 deficient would a doctor suggest that they drink more red wine? Not likely. Although you might get very small amounts of omega-3 from wine it's far better to get it from food or vitamins.

All I'm saying is that whatever perceived benefits received from alcohol can be attained in greater quantities in other ways without any of the proven risks of alcohol intake.

Comment: Re:Correlation is not Causation (Cliche) (Score 1) 305

by erp_consultant (#49032447) Attached to: Alcohol's Evaporating Health Benefits

Or people like me that simply gave it up. Not because I had a problem with alcohol but because, for me, the downside outweighed the benefits. The more I read about it the more convinced I became that alcohol was simply bad for my body. I exercise regularly and I eat healthy foods. Why spoil all that by introducing toxins into my body?

Quite honestly, the biggest adjustment has been social. A lot of my friends drink. Some of my former friends stopped hanging out with me when they heard that I don't drink. So be it.

Comment: Alcohol is the single biggest problem we face.... (Score 2) 305

by erp_consultant (#49031603) Attached to: Alcohol's Evaporating Health Benefits

And I say this knowing that most people use alcohol in moderation (1-2 drinks per day). But I also know that alcohol is a massive problem in society. Have a read at this --> http://ncadd.org/index.php/in-...

If you include deaths from drunk driving then alcohol is the single biggest killer in the United States - ahead of tobacco and all other illicit drugs (cocaine, heroin, etc.) combined. Not to mention assaults, etc. that are often fueled at least in part by alcohol.

The notion that alcohol has health benefits is complete bunk. Red wine is probably the only one that can even make a case for it, although the amount of anti oxidants present in wine are minuscule at best. Certainly nowhere near that amounts that you would find in dark berry fruits such as cranberries and blueberries.

So what of the negative effects? Have a read --> http://www.webmd.com/mental-he...

Alcohol is toxic to human liver cells. If you have 1-2 drinks a day then the amount of toxins are negligible. More than that and there is a good chance that eventually you will develop cirrhosis of the liver. Or cardiovascular disease. Or certain types of cancer.

I'm not saying that we should ban alcohol or that everyone should stop drinking. It's your body - do with it as you will. But I simply cannot accept the premise that alcohol is "healthy" in any way.

Comment: Re:Times Change (Score 1) 331

by erp_consultant (#48982839) Attached to: Massive Layoff Underway At IBM

'Leadership' and 'Inspiration' - Hard to believe but these people actually believe this shit. They look the same, dress the same, think the same, act the same.

What is sad is that we are living in a society that increasingly not only tolerates sociopathic behaviour - it rewards it. Look at that Ginny bitch. She is going to stand up in front of the IBM shareholders and pronounce how all these layoffs are going to increase profits and whatnot. Meanwhile, thousands of people are out of a job. Real people with families and mortgages. You think she gives a shit? Not on your life.

Cold hearted bitch. Hope she burns in hell.

Comment: Re:Times Change (Score 1) 331

by erp_consultant (#48979983) Attached to: Massive Layoff Underway At IBM

Don't have enough work to do? And who's fault is that? Management. They are the ones that are supposed to be setting the strategy and gauging what the future trends are and all that.

Seems to me that if the workers don't have anything to do it's because their bosses made the wrong call on what products or services are going to be in demand. Maybe it's the bosses that should go.

Comment: Re:Tsk. And they wonder where employee loyalty wen (Score 1) 331

by erp_consultant (#48979839) Attached to: Massive Layoff Underway At IBM

If done right....are the operative words. The problem is that it rarely is, at least in my experience. Sad to say but it often comes down to who is buddies with the boss and has little to do with under performance.

Once upon a time, way back in the day, I used to work for a consulting company that shall remain nameless. For two straight years I was a top performer (or so I was told). I brought in a lot of revenue for them. The project I was on ended - through no fault of mine - and I find myself "on the bench" i.e. between projects and not bringing in any revenue. Three weeks later, me and a lot of other people get laid off. Were we under performers? Hardly. But we were not bringing in any revenue right at that moment. So we were deemed expendable.

And that's the problem. Management does not have time to evaluate thousands of employees so they take the quick way out. Little or no thought is given to the long term. This isn't necessarily your bosses fault. Your bosses boss is leaning on him to make a decision and he doesn't have much to work with.

Comment: Everyone misses the boat... (Score 1) 458

by erp_consultant (#48951419) Attached to: How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft

Throughout the history of personal computing the landscape is littered with companies that have missed the boat. Back in the 70's IBM had built a very successful business selling big iron to huge companies. Personal computers? Those are for hobbyists, thought they. So along comes Microsoft, who did see how important personal computers were going to be and struck a very lucrative deal to license the operating system (DOS then, Windows now).

Fast forward to the 2000's and along comes Apple with this little gadget called the iPod. Apple didn't invent the portable music player. Lots of them were already on the market and they all had one thing in common - they sucked. All Apple did was come up with a slick interface and an easy way to synchronize your music from your laptop to the iPod (iTunes). Then came the iPhone and the iPad. Both devices extended on the slick interface and offered superior vertical integration between devices and OSX.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is twiddling it's collective thumbs. They completely missed out on the music player/smartphone/tablet revolution. Sure, they have products in all those areas but market share remains in the single digits. Now they are playing catchup to everyone else.

Around the same time, Google seizes on the void left in Search. Microsoft could have had this market too but let it slip.

Finally comes Facebook and the whole "Social internet" thing. Google was perfectly positioned to control this market but, once again, big company misses boat.

So it seems to me that all of this is just part of the evolution of business. Someone comes along with a clever idea and quickly grows into this massive company. Then they rest on their laurels and miss the next big thing. Big companies are good at making money - at milking the corporate cash cow. Not so good at real innovation.

Comment: Re:Salary versus cost of living in each city (Score 2) 136

by erp_consultant (#48892569) Attached to: By the Numbers: The Highest-Paying States For Tech Professionals

Ahh yes, the debate reignites :-)

First off, you are absolutely right. Making 125K a year in Silicon Valley isn't worth a hill of beans if you have to pay 5K a month for a nice apartment. Or maybe even not so nice.

I did some work recently at Stanford University - right smack dab in the middle of all that. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn...all of them right there. I had a heck of a time finding a hotel that didn't cost a fortune. For a while I stayed in San Jose and did the commute. It was about a 15 mile commute. Some days it would take over an hour each way.

So I switched my strategy and found a small motel in Redwood City - a 3 mile commute. Every morning I would drive through Atherton on the way there. Nice big homes on about an acre lot. The sort of thing you might see in a nice suburb of Dallas or Atlanta. One day I got curious and went to Realtor.com to look up the house prices in Atherton. You can't touch anything there for less than 10 million.

Now I realize that Atherton is the priciest zip code in the USA and the homes are very nice but holly shit! Well, it turns out that everything in the SF Bay Area is overpriced. Even dumpy little apartments are a few thousand a month. It was a real eye opener.

Where I live - a state that borders California - I could buy one of those Atherton McMansions for about 1 million, maybe 2. Not that I really want one, but just for comparison sake. You can buy a nice new house in a good neighborhood with good schools for less than 400K. Less than that if you go to the suburbs. On a 30 year mortgage that is less than 2K per month. In Menlo Park that would get you an 800 sq ft apartment. Maybe. It's actually probably more than that.

Bottom line - I like northern California. I've worked there many times over the years. But there is no way in hell that I'm going to live there.

Comment: Re:Congress is the real problem here (Score 1) 253

by erp_consultant (#48875465) Attached to: IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts

"Why is the tax code so convoluted that there is an entire industry devoted to following the code?" - Good question. A lot of it has to do with lobby groups who seem to have their hands in every piece of legislation. Some of it is just general government mindset. They love to congratulate themselves for passing more regulations.

"If you are going to give people money, give people money directly, and not via the IRS" - Couldn't agree with you more. It is far more efficient and less expensive to give the money directly than to funnel it through some government black hole and hope it comes out the other side. But it's not going to happen. Why? Because government (both parties by the way) wants to attach money to votes. Simple as that.

This country is drowning in rules and regulations - and it's not just the tax code. Ask someone trying to run a small business. If you are an attorney or an accountant it's great. Keep you in business. For everyone else? Not so good.

Committees have become so important nowadays that subcommittees have to be appointed to do the work.