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Comment BS summary (Score 3, Informative) 397

The linked article can't be read if an adblocker is active.

The current state of the law:

Employees who refuse to participate in an employer wellness program can be charged up to 50% more for employer-provided health insurance.

If genetic testing is part of the wellness program then employees have to voluntarily authorize the genetic test. If an employee participates in the wellness program but declines included genetic testing then they can't be penalized with the higher insurance premiums.

The new state of the law, if this bill passes:

Employees who refuse genetic testing that is part of a wellness program can be considered non-participants in the wellness program and be charged the higher insurance premiums.

The comment in the summary that the new bill would "...let employers see that genetic and other health information." is the current state of the law as it relates to wellness programs (Work wellness programs put employee privacy at risk). There is nothing in the new bill that suddenly decreases patient/employee privacy.

"Mandatory" wellness programs, themselves, were controversial and lacked privacy protections when the Democrats insisted everyone participate. They're no less controversial today as the Republicans expand those wellness programs with additional components.

Comment Re:Want to Fix This? (Score 2) 114

The Fair Tax isn't fair to everyone. It's really only helpful to those with income. In my case, for example, while I'm "retired" I don't actually get a pension. My retirement consists of a bank account full of the savings I accumulated over years of working. All that cash is what's left over after I paid income taxes on my earnings. That money I have was taxed on the way into my savings accounts.

If a Fair Tax comes along then all savers like me will be taxed again when our money reverses direction and leaves our savings accounts. Then again, what else should I expect. Savers have been indirectly taxed to hell and back through monetary policies.

Comment Re:My public school system is great (Score 1) 386

I paid plenty of property tax under the prop 13 scheme and my taxes definitely went up significantly. They went up enough for us to decide to leave California.

While the base assessment stays constant to the purchase price of the house, the voters increase property taxes by adding parcel fees. Parcel fees are taxes and require a 2/3 super-majority in order to pass. Including the parcel fees, which are collected with the base property tax, I saw my property tax increase well over 80% in the 10 years I owned a home in San Mateo county - just south of San Francisco.

The final straw for us was a parcel fee to "improve the schools." Those over the age of 65 were exempt from the parcel fee but were able to vote for it; the ultimate example of voting to tax someone else. Of course, California being what it is, two years later the expansion of the tax to those previously exempt was lifted. That parcel fee for "improving the schools," by the way, including significant landscaping contracts as part of a beautification project for the city.

This oft-repeated claim that Prop 13 limits government revenue holds no water. It would be difficult to argue that it even slows down, significantly, the rate of increase of government revenue. It simply forces the government to divide the population into groups who will vote to tax the other groups.

Comment Re:"Fact" Checkers (Score 3, Interesting) 415

Forbes has a pretty good article covering Politifact's issues related to their truthiness judging.

In 2008, Politifact rated as True Obama's claim that if you like your plan you can keep it. The Forbes article notes that the author of that truth-o-meter article didn't check with any health-care skeptics.

In 2009, Politifact changed their rating for the claim to 1/2 true.

In 2013, Politifact labeled it the "lie of the year."

Politifact's 2008 rating was "widely repeated by pro-Obama reporters and pundits, and had a meaningful impact on the outcome of the election."

So, was Politifact's wrong analysis of Obama's 2008 claims "fake news?"

Were they lying or just being too lazy.

When they judge Trump's claim that Obama was the founder of ISIS in the literal sense but don't rate Hillary's comment that Trump is a recruiting sergeant for ISIS at all, either literally or metaphorically, then yes, I'll claim that Politifact is lying or at least intentionally distorting the truth.

Facebook absolutely has the right to determine what gets posted on their site and people have the right to use their product or not. The government on the other hand has no business promoting censorship of anything, including fake news. Fake news isn't new and people have a personal responsibility to explore the "truthiness" of what they read, hear and see.

Comment Re:vote trump or lose your guns with just 911 (Score 1) 277

Already happened

Secretary Clinton thinks the Heller case was decided incorrectly and implied she would appoint justices to correct that mistake. The only question decided in Heller was whether the 2nd amendment protected the right to keep an operational handgun in the home for purposes of self-defense.

Comment Re:To be fair... (Score 1) 277

First, you can't ignore the preamble to the Bill of Rights which states that the bill of rights is a list restrictions on the government. The list of rights is not a grant of rights to individuals or an empowerment of any level of government. That's why you have language such as "shall not be infringed," or "shall pass no law."

There's a very good article that discuses the history of the 2nd amendment and why it's worded the way it is at English history is quite informative on the 2nd amendment and the definition of a militia because English history was the history of the founders of the country and the authors of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This document also goes over the 10 of 13 colonies that suggested wording related to the 2nd amendment regarding it as an individual right. None of the remaining three colonies provided any suggestion on the wording.

It's interesting that you choose 1876 as the start of your period to discuss the Supreme Court's opinion regarding the 2nd amendment. That promotes ignoring the 1875 United States v. Cruikshank ruling that specifically stated that the right to keep and bear arms would exist even without the 2nd amendment. They ruled in 1875 that the 2nd amendment was a prohibition on the government from infringing on that right. More specifically, that case also addressed individuals having that right infringed.

One of the reasons you may not see many cases regarding the 2nd amendment related to individuals is that gun control is a fairly modern mechanism designed to completely disarm the population. The law over turned in Heller wasn't passed until 1976. Can you point to another, earlier law that completely banned the ownership of handguns in the home that was challenged in court?

Comment Re:The real issue (Score 1) 195

They're not entirely contracts of adhesion in the way you seem to mean. While entry to the association is non-negotiable; accept the contract or don't live here, the members of the association have the ability to change the rules of their association whenever they collectively wish to do so.

Your example of a non-negotiable contract of adhesion seems to imply that the HOA is one side of a contractual relationship with which one can never negotiate. The reality is that it is an organization to which property members become members and, as members, can make changes to the rules of the association; or re-negotiate the contract. Some terms can be changed with simple majority votes, some changes with super majority votes and some with unanimous votes.

A contract of adhesion isn't necessarily bad and one whose terms can be changed by the members is certainly better than one that can't be negotiated or changed such as a shrink-wrap software license.

Comment Re:Because there's no advantage (Score 4, Informative) 206

I use an Apple watch and it's a lot more convenient. I double tap the button and wave it over the reader and I'm done.

Using my phone would also be easier - I'd remove it from my back pocket and double tap the home button and wave it over the reader.

For my credit card - I remove the wallet from my pocket, remove the credit card and then figure out if it's swipe or insert for the chip. If it's insert then I have to wait for the network to complete the transaction before removing the card and re-inserting it back into the wallet.

There's no PIN for me to enter for any of the transactions. Signing requirements vary depending on the size of the transaction, the merchant and the card type.

So, sorting on convenience and time spent for the various options: watch, phone, credit card.

Comment Re:FB should did it (Score 1) 447


Had she been alone in that apartment you might be correct. There was a five year old child in that apartment.

Let's go with your proposal to wait it out. She then decides there's no other way out other than to kill herself and she doesn't want her child to live in her interpretation of a screwed up world so she kills the child before offing herself.

Wouldn't you be asking why the cops didn't forcibly enter that apartment and prevent her from kill her child?

Comment Re: FB should did it (Score 1) 447

I'm not sure why you think a knife isn't a lethal threat.

Knife attack training video

I agree that just because someone has a knife doesn't mean they're a threat, just as someone having a gun isn't necessarily a threat just because of the gun. Someone on their feet behaving in a threatening manner with a knife is most certainly a lethal threat, though.

Comment Re:Fuck ALL those assholes! (Score 1) 660

It wasn't just the Democrats that tried to prevent people on the "lists" from being able to buy firearms. Cornyn also introduced a bill preventing anyone on the list, or had been on the list within the past 5 years, from buying a firearm. His bill satisfied the NRA and the ACLU's concerns by requiring the government to prove to a judge within 72 hours why the person should be permanently barred from purchasing. Harry Reid didn't like that the bill was supported by the NRA and Joe Manchin didn't like the due-process requirement. It, too, failed on a party line vote.

There were 4 gun-control measures brought for a vote, 2 by the Democrats and 2 by the Republicans; all failed along party lines.

"Not all Democrats are for a complete ban on guns..." While this statement is true, there are enough Democrats in positions of leadership that want to ban some sets of guns that, taken in aggregate, represents pretty much a ban on the most useful and popular guns. "Australian-style gun control," popular with both Clinton and Obama, is a ban on semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. "Assault weapon" bans are a ban on the most popular rifle in the country.

By the way, there's significantly less regulation on operating a vehicle than in operating a firearm (treat guns like cars). There's also a lot more paperwork involved in buying a firearm than in getting a hunting license, at least for the states in which I hunt.

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