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Comment Re:Don't underestimate the amount of work involved (Score 1) 103

I'm not sure I agree with all you've indicated. If I'm an employee for a Federal Agency, doing my job and not at a senate confirmation level then my information should be redacted in FOIA. If there's criminal issues, the DOJ and Judicial process has ways of extracting that. The current Judicial Watch lawsuits are showing how that works. Are agencies deliberately blocking FOIA? I think in a lot of cases, yes especially when it deals with some high profile political issues, IRS, State Dept. but that's why we have a process and courts. As far as information the gov't is collecting on us, there is a political process to address that. It's called an election.
If people in this country don't like how things are being run they have the ballot box and SCOTUS has affirmed in numerous cases that certain decisions are political and that requires the people to elect representatives who do what the people want. Does that work? Not in practice when almost 80% of congress is re-elected every election. That's where the corruption comes in, the obstruction, the pay to play, the runaway spending, legislation getting passed w/o reading it. FOIA wasn't meant to be a cure all for people sitting on their asses and not voting and holding elected officials accountable.

As for the FBI, shit who cares? The DHS has my fingerprints & my background and that's so I can fly on an airplane. Does it violate 4th amendment? I'd say yes but SCOTUS has said "we're good with it" the laws haven't changed and until then we're all getting tracked one way or another because "terrorists"
 

Comment Don't underestimate the amount of work involved (Score 3, Interesting) 103

"Simple FOIA Request?" There's no such thing.

I've worked with a few Federal agencies and watched how much time is spent on FOIA requests. It takes a lot of effort to get some of the data together and along with the approval process, i.e., "Will this compromise any ongoing operations? Does it need redaction based on PII and other rules? Where is the data?" Then there's the approval of the response which always has to be reviewed by Lawyers, discussed in triplicate and then dispatched to the requester. Some agencies have huge departments just dedicated to handling FOIA requests and even with that I've seen them impact day to day operations where front line management has to deal with data collection and validation as well.

To a point, FOIA is a great law and I think it's definitely opened up the inner workings of gov't. A lot of this would go away if the gov't was more transparent to begin with especially in matters not dealing in PII/4th amendment issues (Tax Returns for individuals) or national security. I do think some FOIA requests are fishing expeditions and in all cases the costs should be paid for by the requester. It's also not applied uniformly across all agencies and while the National Park Service may respond quickly, the DoD or DOJ may take years or in the case of the IRS or State Department might get derailed altogether.

Comment Congress playing with train set (Score 4, Insightful) 115

This is why you set goals and let the scientists & engineers figure it out. When Apollo was built we didn't have Congress constantly dictating to NASA how it should be built, where it should be built or making design decisions. Fast forward to the 21st Century, we have endless committees getting nowhere with a constant tug of war on where components should be built and by whom.We've laid off the core of NASA who knew how to make the shuttle work and yes, regrettably we've had to spend tax dollars on busy work to keep ATK and others from going out of business.

In the meantime, ISS manned missions will be handled by the Russians who are our sometimes on again/off again friends. Now, because of these relationship issues, do any of us believe that the costs of doing business with the Russians won't significantly increase over the next few years? The ISS will be shuttered before it's end of life in 2024, another multi-billion dollar boondoggle that now the US can't fully support yet we provided most of the funding for. Bravo!

After billions spent on Orion/SLS, we still have no way to get our astronauts into LEO much less beyond. Didn't we win the race to the moon?

Comment We've known this for years (Score 4, Insightful) 352

We've known for a long time, at least in my recollection since the '70s, that daylight savings time didn't do much other than cause problems. Since our Nation really isn't based on agricultural production anymore maybe it's time we just give it up. I'm sure the farmers, chickens and local schools can get it sorted out okay.

Comment Re:Need more up to date statistics (Score 1) 295

My point was, that the companies screaming the loudest are Facebook, Google and Microsoft. I agree that H1-Bs drives down the costs by introducing unqualified diploma mill replacements. I make a pretty good living un-fucking projects where a team of unqualified H1-Bs and their counterparts in Asia have done the million monkey march to developing a system. Contrary to popular belief the works of Shakespeare are not produced by this model and you wind up paying more in the end.

Comment Need more up to date statistics (Score 2) 295

But when the majority of H1-Bs requests in 2015 coming from Infosys, Tata, Wipro, Accenture, IBM & Deloitte I fail to see how any company like Google and Microsoft are benefiting from H1-Bs which still seems strange since they're leadership is the one lobbying loudest in congress for them. Especially since they've all been yelling for Coding Schools and STEM education at the same time.

Import the cheapest labor possible, it's 80%+ from India, and they're disposable. The American Dream.

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