Saturday, August 10, 2013

Use the Crosswalk, Deer

The infamous Deer Lady:

"ORIGINAL - Please Move The Deer Crossing Sign. HILARIOUS STUPIDITY. Must Hear!!"

And a follow-up:

"Please Move Deer Crossing Part 2!!!"

According to Snopes, this is a true story.  And she's not the only one to have this misconception!

"Deer Crossing"

Friday, August 9, 2013

Obama can't even follow his own law. Surprised?

From the Wall Street Journal:
"Congress's ObamaCare Exemption"

I'm shocked, SHOCKED.  (That's sarcasm, by the way.)  Obama can't allow ObamaCare to function as the law was passed.  Again.

It shows that Obama and the Democrats have no respect for the rule of law nor any understanding of the law that they passed.  I used to think that they were simply to stupid to understand the impact of the law.  But it turns out that they don't understand the law itself, or the simply don't care.  I'm not sure which is worse.
The Affordable Care Act requires Members of Congress and their staffs to participate in its insurance exchanges, in order to gain first-hand experience with what they're about to impose on their constituents.
Harry Reid revised the Grassley amendment when he rammed through his infamous ObamaCare bill that no one had read for a vote on Christmas eve. But he neglected to include language about what would happen to the premium contributions that the government makes for its employees. Whether it was intentional or not, the fairest reading of the statute as written is that if Democrats thought somebody earning $174,000 didn't deserve an exchange subsidy, then this person doesn't get a subsidy merely because he happens to work in Congress.
But the statute means that about 11,000 Members and Congressional staff will lose the generous coverage they now have as part of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Instead they will get the lower-quality, low-choice "Medicaid Plus" of the exchanges. The Members—annual salary: $174,000—and their better paid aides also wouldn't qualify for ObamaCare subsidies. That means they could be exposed to thousands of dollars a year in out-of-pocket insurance costs.
Oh, the horror.  Having to live the same rules they impose on the rest of us.
And now the White House is suspending the law to create a double standard. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that runs federal benefits will release regulatory details this week, but leaks to the press suggest that Congress will receive extra payments based on the FEHBP defined-contribution formula, which covers about 75% of the cost of the average insurance plan. For 2013, that's about $4,900 for individuals and $10,000 for families.
This latest White House night at the improv is also illegal. OPM has no authority to pay for insurance plans that lack FEHBP contracts, nor does the Affordable Care Act permit either exchange contributions or a unilateral bump in congressional pay in return for less overall compensation. Those things require appropriations bills passed by Congress and signed by the President.
So the White House is once again rewriting the law unilaterally, much as it did by suspending ObamaCare's employer mandate for a year. For this White House, the law it wrote is a mere suggestion.
The lesson for Americans is that Democrats who passed ObamaCare didn't even understand what they were doing to themselves, much less to everyone else. But you can bet Democrats will never extend to ordinary Americans the same fixes that they are now claiming for themselves. The real class divide in President Obama's America is between the political class and everyone else.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

George Orwell was right.

I don't know any other way to react to this story other than to say that George Orwell was right.

From the Wall Street Journal:
"FBI Taps Hacker Tactics to Spy on Suspects" by Jennifer Valentino-DeVries and Danny Yadron
Federal agencies have largely kept quiet about these capabilities, but court documents and interviews with people involved in the programs provide new details about the hacking tools, including spyware delivered to computers and phones through email or Web links—techniques more commonly associated with attacks by criminals.
The FBI develops some hacking tools internally and purchases others from the private sector. With such technology, the bureau can remotely activate the microphones in phones running Google Inc.'s GOOG -0.49% Android software to record conversations, one former U.S. official said. It can do the same to microphones in laptops without the user knowing, the person said. Google declined to comment. 
Since at least 2005, the FBI has been using "web bugs" that can gather a computer's Internet address, lists of programs running and other data, according to documents disclosed in 2011. The FBI used that type of tool in 2007 to trace a person who was eventually convicted of emailing bomb threats in Washington state, for example.
The bureau has controls to ensure only "relevant data" are scooped up, the person said. A screening team goes through all of the data pulled from the hack to determine what is relevant, then hands off that material to the case team and stops working on the case.
Heh, you believe them, right?!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What Google Knows About You

Check out this provocative article from
"What Google Knows About You"

And this article from the Wall Street Journal:
"64,019 Searches: A Dark Journey Into My Google History" by Tom Gara

Here's the link to your Google dashboard (you may need to sign in).  It's worth taking a look at.

This is scary in one sense, I admit.  But I see a difference between what Google does and what our federal government does (more on this tomorrow).  Your interactions on the web are voluntary.  Google tells you that it's tracking you.  And Google tells you what information it has about you.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Use the Force, Harry!

Love this meme, from  The title sums it up well.

"How to offend four groups of geeks with one photo"

Monday, August 5, 2013

Color Blind

I saw a really interesting column by Ann Coulter the other day.  Worth thinking about when you hear about how racist we are as a country.

From Jewish World Review:
"Unsung black people" by Ann Coulter

Coulter's basic question is: Why don't you ever hear about those people who demonstrate true color blindness when their words don't match the narrative that the leftist media and so-called "black leaders" want to push?  It's a question worth pondering.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Quote of the Day - You're Mad, Bonkers!

I had this quote in an post about A2A (A2A 2010 (and 2009 and 2008, since I didn't have a blog then), Tuesday, October 5, 2010) but I decided it needed and deserved its own post.

"You're mad, bonkers ... but I'll tell you a secret: All the best people are." - Alice's father, to Alice, in Tim Burton's film Alice in Wonderland.

As you, my seven readers*, know, half the reason I even write this blog is so I can find stuff that was, and remains, interesting to me. I was looking for this quote the other day, to show it to someone who I met who appeared to be completely crazy in the absolute best possible sense.  But I couldn't find it on a casual search on my phone.  So here it is!

* estimated readership