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Comment Re:It doesn't matter matter who did it (Score 1) 144

I guess that I was being kind of unfair to George W. Bush - national guard duty may be mostly part time, but it is still military service. He and Clinton both had family connections that would have made sure that they never served in Vietnam. On second thought, Bush's method of dropping out of the draft pool (enlisting in the national guard) was much more gallant than Clinton's (hiding at Oxford University in England).

I'll re-phrase my statement to say that only one top military commander in the US in the last 22 years and counting has had any military experience.

Comment Re:It doesn't matter matter who did it (Score 1) 144

No straw man intended...

Just a thought that I had. I totally agree with your sentiment about the competence of the people involved. I have just noticed over the years that experience doesn't seem to mean as much as it used to (in industry, as well). It's the old, "it's not what you know, it's who you know" thing being practiced literally.

Comment Re:It doesn't matter matter who did it (Score 1) 144

Look, you wouldn't a guy without experience running warships in charge of the Navy would you? Would you put someone with no experience flying airplanes in charge of the air force?

The current commander-in-chief of the US military was a community organizer.

The previous one joined the Texas air national guard to avoid being drafted.

The one before that went to college in England to be deferred from the draft.

The one before that actually enlisted in the navy following the attack on Pearl Harbor to fight for his country. He served as an aviator for the duration of the war.

The one before that served in the army, as an officer, before and through WWII.

From this point, all of them back to Truman had a military background. FDR served as secretary of the navy in WWI.

For 22 years and counting, the top military commander in the US has had no real military experience (not even peacetime duty)...

Comment Re:Only on some... (Score 1) 155

And if you add 'https://' to the front of the url, the certificate is invalid. It looks like it's the default certificate for their hosting service, but who knows? It would be the one to fake - how many government sites are hosted on the same service?

www.nhtsa.gov uses an invalid security certificate.

The certificate is only valid for the following names: *.akamaihd.net , *.akamaihd-staging.net , a248.e.akamai.net , *.akamaized.net , *.akamaized-staging.net

(Error code: ssl_error_bad_cert_domain)

Comment Re:Convenience vs. Security (Score 1) 119

48. I guess I used an out-dated term! Of course, I have direct deposit, and we can access our pay stubs through our portal to ADP. They are PDF files that look exactly like they did when we received paper ones each week, years ago. They keep 3 years' worth of them (and W-2's) online for the employees to access directly. Older ones have to be requested via a rep. We get W-2's mailed to us, but that's it. Everything else is available online. We also schedule PTO and vacation days online through the portal.

The point of my original post was that we have the convenience of not needing to enter our W-2 information (or even have the document in hand), at the expense of a security hole that can be exploited if someone has the right information, which is just run-of-the-mill personal identification information that we all give to many institutions, some of which have been or will be breached.

Comment Convenience vs. Security (Score 2) 119

I've been using H&R Block's TaxCut software for years, and in the last couple of years or so, I noticed a new option to retrieve your W-2 information for you. Since most companies use a payroll service, the software can actually find and retrieve your W-2 information and fill it in for you. I didn't even have to know who my employer's payroll service is, which is stupid for them not to require - it's on every check stub. I don't remember if it did any authentication offhand (it was a year ago!). If, through ID theft, someone has your name, SSN, etc., they could easily fill this information in on a bogus return they are filing. Then, as mentioned in another post, no attempt is made to verify that the bank account the refund is being deposited in actually belongs to the taxpayer. On second thought, I guess the ID thief could just open an account in your name to receive the refund in.

Comment Were they hacked? (Score 2) 114

Given law enforcement's inability and unwillingness to investigate any online crime, combined with the complete lack of government regulation or even recognition as a legal tender, what is stopping the exchange operators from simply stealing the bitcoins and then saying they were hacked?

"Sorry, we got hacked and all your coins are gone. It was probably criminals in Russia / North Korea / Elbonia. Look! They covered their tracks so well, they made it look like the attack came from the Starbucks across town. We lost all our money, too, so we're shutting down and filing bankruptcy. Better luck next time."

Is there any way to track the stolen coins and void them? I wouldn't think people would steal them if they couldn't spend / cash them...

Comment Re:All of them (Score 1) 119

My thought, exactly. However, it will be difficult to do when we have a voter turnout of 36.3%.

When the polling places are empty, and the line is several blocks long at the 'Pawn Stars' store, we are seriously fucked. This picture was taken on election day, 2012, a presidential election. It was posted by Ross Miller, the Nevada candidate for attorney general.

Comment Re:We should have done this decades ago (Score 2) 75

Not all of us are 'proud to be American' this last decade or so.

For the record, I've never personally profited from any of our government's shenanigans, nor have I ever worked a defense-related or government-generated job. Like most people that I know, I have gained nothing from the government's imperialistic activities except more disdain for them.

I have actually communicated directly with my congressman and both of my senators in person and via email numerous times about the subject of making so many surplus weapons and selling them to those countries (or anyone, for that matter). I included the remote self-destruct idea in the event of them being used on a tyrant's own people, or against us or any of our allies. It was like talking to a rock (three of them, actually). Apparently, a big sack of money always wins...

My lifestyle is actually based on designing and manufacturing medical research and surgical/pharmaceutical products which actually benefit people worldwide. The products I design and make are used in genetic research, blood collection and component separation, heart pumps, stent systems, many laproscopic surgery products, and hundreds of various drugs. While the corporations that I work with are in some ways corporate douchebags, much like the 'defense' contractors, they at least contribute to the well-being of the people of the world in the end. How many lives did your work save today? :-)

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