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Comment Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (Score 5, Interesting) 114

What I don't get is why there is an FCC ruling forbidding telcos from being able to bill the government for modifications to their equipment to comply with the law?!?!? So it basically comes down to an unfunded mandate probably passed down to the very customers the government is spying on.

Comment Re:UI Designers Suck (Score 0) 237

I currently have an HP Envy M7 laptop with a multi-touch touch screen. It can recognize 10 finger touch gestures... Never use it! Besides despising touch screens in general, multi-touch just adds to the annoyance. Further, multi-touch will still make you have to look at it to ensure you selected the right control. Ooops! I touched it with 3 fingers instead of 2 and now it is adjusting the temperature instead of the radio.

Just stick with knobs / fixed buttons please. All this silly touch screen shit is pure distraction and another expensive part when it breaks.

Comment Re:wait what? (Score 1) 618

You need to re-read that link you provided. It blasts both the EPA & OSHA but not nearly as much as the WVDEP. The problems at EPA & OSHA can be partially attributed to cutbacks in federal spending and leaving vacant positions unfilled. It is tough for 1 inspector to fully inspect 7 states worth of industries.

Also, this spill, unlike the others, wasn't required to be inspected due to loopholes the industry saw was in place in state law. That is the trick of the feds. If a law is more restrictive in a state than federal law then the feds have to abide by the strictest interpretation of the law. WV's law in many ways is more strict than federal. The problem is the state lacks the will to follow it as was pointed out in that article.

Comment Re:wait what? (Score 1) 618

So you are saying that the generation today can fuck up the environment for generations to come??? That what happens in West Virginia is going to stay in West Virginia? That is what you are advocating. The condemnation of future generations isn't for this generation to decide all in the name of the all mighty dollar. It is short sighted, arrogant to the max and down right wrong. When the future of the state is at risk due to that shortsightedness, it is up to the feds to provide the will that is lacking in the states. If for no other reason than to keep it from spreading to surrounding states like this spill did. That is why you need the feds to step in.

And reacting in 2014, the next election cycle, does nothing for the people who were affected by this spill now. The damage is done not only to WV but to KY, OH, VA and everyone else down stream. What about their say in it?

Comment Re:wait what? (Score 1) 618

Ah... Local Government can NEVER be swayed...

Here, let me help you...


In West Virginia, the vigor with which agencies seek to protect human health and the environment is impacted by actions and statements by state leaders. In recent years, their tone has been clear - too much regulation and too much involvement by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Any serious recognition of the link between protecting a healthy, diversified economy appears lost in these statements.

Leaders have made numerous public statements to the effect, for example, in a 2012 press release announcing that the state is moving forward with its lawsuit against USEPA, Governor Tomblin is quoted das stating:

"This lawsuit is about the rights of our state to regulate itself within the scope of the existing federal and state laws. The EPA has overstepped its bounds, taken that right away and we're fighting to get it back." (Office of the Governor, 2012).

The Attorney General commented on West Virginia's lawsuit against USEPA for its enforcement of the Clean Water Act against a coal mine:

"At its essence, this lawsuit is about jobs in West Virginia and elsewhere... But this case is about more than coal mining. It's about the ability of states such as West Virginia to be able to engage and promote economic development, highway construction, and other needed investments without fearing a federal agency will step in years later and halt the project. That is why we strongly support Mingo Logan Caol Co's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court." (Office of the Attorney General, 2013).

In 2009, before a subcommittee of the United States Senate Committee on Environmenta & {Public Works, the [West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection] WVDEP Cabinet Secretary turned the role of the agency upside-down, stating that the "greater concern" for WVDEP is not protecting human health and the environment, but limiting regulation:

"Coal production is the leading revenue generator in West Virginia, and many in the State are concerned about losing the oppertunities for future economic developemtn associated with mountaintop mining. The greater concern for the Department of Environmental Protection, however, as protector of the State's wate resources, is the unintended consequences of the Environmental Protection Agency's recent actions that have the potential to significantly limit all types of mining." (Huffman, 2009)

When confronted by protestors asking Governor Tomblin to better prepare for a decline in coal production in West Virginia, he chose not to meet with the protestors and, instead, issued a statement via his communications director:

"Governor Tomblin has been clear, as have several federal judges, on the overreaching demands of the [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency] from this administration... Governor Tomblin's primary focus has always been job creation... Governor Tomblin believes strongly that West Virginia coal and natural gas play a critical role in energy independence - and he will continue to fight for those industires and the jobs they create." (Ward, 2012)

It is within this context that the Freedom Industires spill must be understood - elected officials, agency heads, and members of the Legislature have made it clear that protecting human health and the environment will take a back seat to supporting lax regulation of industry.

So don't tell me that local politics is better than federal. It is far easier to sway local politics when corporations threaten the politicians that they will "lose jobs!" if they are regulated at all much less the little regulation the feds have now.

Comment Re:wait what? (Score 5, Informative) 618

Maybe all these dick-cheeses that are trying to hamstring the EPA should spend a couple weeks in Charleston, WV during the height of the chemical spill. Maybe we should ship them all the bottled water from the Elk River for their enjoyment.

Sorry for the snark but having lived through this ongoing drama and having to bird bath for a week using bottled water because these asshats prefer money over health is getting to me.

Comment Re:Dangerous... (Score 2) 399

Shit-can lousy teachers and you *will* see better educated kids. So obvious.

Or no teachers at all since it really doesn't pay to be a teacher in that rotten environment. There already is a teacher shortage across the country. So you don't mind having to ship your kids 30-40 miles because the school you were sending them to had to close due to no teachers right? Don't think it can happen? Here in my state they consolidated 7 schools because of that.

Comment Re: One and the same (Score 1) 441

You see that excuse every time a repeal of the college to the popular vote is put forward. Although that may (emphasis on MAY) be true, what we have now is candidates catering to those states with high electoral votes ignoring those small states none the less. SO I don't see where it would be any different.

Comment Re:If 10 parties have 10% of the vote each (Score 4, Informative) 441

It's much more difficult to sack the US President, so difficult in fact that it's never happened and we've had some pretty bad presidents.

Actually, that is untrue. Nixon would have been convicted in the Senate had he not resigned. It was a count of the votes that convinced him to give up the ghost and protect what was left of the dignity of the office. Many forget that Vice President Agnew was forced to resign as well as had criminal charges filed against him. Again, he would have also been impeached and convicted had he not taken the plea deal.

To bring this back on topic...

It was Nixon's Watergate scandal that was the result of a whistle blower, (deep throat) that alerted the American public to the illegal dealings in the oval office. Without whistle blowers, the illegal activities of those in power would go unchecked much like it is today.

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