Friday, 27 December 2013

In Passing

The NSA surveillance controversy explained in one sentence and two links

Working ‘‘as designed’’  Dept
Glenn Reynolds (of course!):
They can’t find terrorists by data-trawling, but if they’ve identified someone in advance, like, say, a political enemy, they can easily find dirt on them.

Posted by: Old Grouch in In Passing at 16:42:02 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Monday, 16 December 2013

In Passing

The perfect Progressive program

Glenn Reynolds:

Ethanol makes food more expensive, hurts engines, and is bad for the environment.  It’s liquid pork.
Well, that’s four for four...

Not to mention more government-telling-people-what-to-do, and more bureaucrats employed to tell them.  No wonder the ‘‘progressives’’ love it!

(Glenn’s post links a Washington Examiner story about how ‘‘senators on both sides of the aisle are pushing measures that would whack the corn ethanol portion of federal biofuel blending targets’’.  Um-huh.  And if you believe it is anything other than posturing, let me tell you about my bridge-buying company that’s in need of some investors.  Cash only, please.)

Posted by: Old Grouch in In Passing at 16:50:09 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Friday, 13 December 2013

In Passing

Too much information?

The Register:

I guess the NSA must have gotten behind on their reading.

Posted by: Old Grouch in In Passing at 16:51:18 GMT | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Saturday, 07 December 2013

In Passing


Seventy-two years ago, we got mousetrapped[1] into a war to save civilization.  After a certain amount of fumbling[2] (and with a lot of help from the folks who’d got there first), 1365 days later[3] it was Mission Accomplished.  The future was bright, and the sky was... well, not ‘‘the limit’’ anymore, but the Edge of a New Frontier.

Sixty-eight years after, and...

We don’t have an Orbital Hilton or a tourist lodge on the moon and Pan-Am can’t run you up there on a shuttle -- in fact, they’re struggling to make the trains run on time while NASA astronauts have to bum a lift from the Russians.  But our .gov can bigawd tune in every cel-phone call, walkie-talkie and baby monitor everywhere, and read everyone’s e-mail and web-browsing history to boot.  China plans to put a missile base on the Moon and this country’s space program is all about listening at keyholes and peering in windows.
And that’s exactly what the midget-minds in Washington intended.

How far we’ve come!


Posted by: Old Grouch in In Passing at 17:29:46 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Friday, 06 December 2013

In Passing

ObamaCare: If you like your volunteer fire department...

Where there’s Smoke  Dept
Scranton Times-Tribune:
The International Association of Fire Chiefs has asked the Internal Revenue Service... to clarify if current IRS treatment of volunteer firefighters as employees means their hose companies or towns must offer health insurance coverage or pay a penalty if they don’t.
‘‘It could be a huge deal,’’ said U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta [R-PA]..., who is seeking clarification from the IRS.  ‘‘In Pennsylvania, 97 percent of fire departments are fully or mostly volunteer firefighters.  It’s the fourth highest amount in the country.’’
The health care reform law, known officially as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act..., requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer health insurance...[or] pay fines.

The requirement is complicated by differing interpretations about the status of volunteer firefighters within the federal government.  The Department of Labor... classifies most volunteers as non-employees, but the IRS considers all volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel to be employees of their departments.
...The problem could be even more complicated if the IRS counts volunteer hose companies as one department in towns with more than one hose company, or as part of a town’s workforce.  Definitions like that could bump the total numbers beyond the 50-employee threshold and require offering coverage that towns or hose companies cannot afford...
And those ‘‘unintended consequences’’ just keep on coming!

(Via: Ace’s Friday Morning News Dump)

Posted by: Old Grouch in In Passing at 21:53:59 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Thursday, 05 December 2013

In Passing

...and Don’t You Forget It!

The Party of Envy  Dept
‘‘[Liberals'] money is the reward for a lifetime of hard work.  Your money was gotten by ripping off poor people, so it needs to be redistributed.’’ - ‘‘srlucado,’’ commenting at Instapundit

Posted by: Old Grouch in In Passing at 17:59:23 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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In Passing

Latest: If you want your hospital, you *can’t* keep your hospital.

ObamaCare Follies  Dept
Walter Russell Mead:
The article goes on to list every insurance company that offers plans in the Washington exchange as well as the hospitals that are in-network for those companies.  Pivoting off of that list, Steve Roth points out that two of Washington’s biggest insurers—Primera and Lifewise— don’t have any of the state’s four top specialty hospitals in their networks.  If you want the best cancer, trauma, ER, or pediatric care, and your plan is with one of the two biggest carriers in your state, you’re out of luck.
And here I was told that ObamaCare was supposed to get rid of all the ‘‘junk plans’’...!

(Dang, fooled again!)

Of couse the номенклату́ра- starting with the Senate Majority Leader’s buddies- get exempted from dealing with this shit.

Posted by: Old Grouch in In Passing at 17:25:45 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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