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outlier_lynn: (Default)
Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 08:52 am
I hate Google Chrome. There are many reasons mostly having to do with the user interface. The top reason, though, is that I can't customize the interface to fit my habits. The damn thing, like Apple's products, insists that I use it Google's way. I use it, though. I have two browsers open all the time on my desktop. One is a tabbed set of on-line documentation for all the things I use every day at work. Chrome works for that because I never ask it for anything else. I may stop, though, as a new candidate for the documentation viewer is available.

I hate Firefox. At least I hate Firefox from around version 25. While it is still more or less easily customizable, Mozilla is moving more and more toward the "use it our way" mentality. I thoroughly despise the "modern" icon-only user interface that the entire development world seems to have a incestuous hard-on for. That said, Firefox might become my choice for the documentation tabs.

Then I need a new browser for general Internet use. The candidate is a forked version of an older Firefox called Pale Moon. It was forked prior to the left turn Mozilla made with the UI. The Firefox plugins and addons I use work in Pale Moon. And the interface is usable. I had to massage opensuse a bit to get the plugins to work (linked the libs to a directory Pale Moon liked. Then a bit of this and that to adjust the UI to my liking. And I'm a happy camper again.

I worry, though, that updates to my favorite addons are going to break, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

And while we are at it, what is it with tabs on the very top above the tool bars rather than immediately above the view port. If the browser were a filing cabinet, the tabs would be sticking out the top rather than at the top of drawer. First Chrome then Firefox did that. The tool bars are common to all tabs and should not be between the tab and the tab's contents. It is just evil.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
Thursday, May 8th, 2014 07:21 am
I sometimes stop in at a local coffee house to get a bagel. This morning the young woman accidentally closed the register before getting my change from the drawer. That cleared the transaction. She asked me to do the math. My bill was $6.55. I gave her $7.00. She couldn't figure out how much to give back.

She has a high school diploma.

In related news, I read a summary of a longitudinal study conducted jointly be three universities. The study followed American kids from kindergarten through high school. All the children were native English speakers. The study was looking for the reasons for performance differences by ethnicity. Here is what it boiled down to: Asian kids applied themselves more than whites who applied themselves more than Hispanics who applied themselves more than Blacks.

Tied that data to other studies and we have added another 50 pounds of paper to the stack of "Why our schools continue to fail."

I know, we need more of "All Children Left Behind."
outlier_lynn: (Default)
Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 07:29 am
The best part of the the 2nd Presidential Debate was when the moderator called Romney on a lie.

The worst part is that half the country believes Romney/Ryan have any love for "high wage jobs." To be more accurate, many of the people supporting the Romney/Ryan are doing so for reasons other than economic. They are convinced that the Democrats are godless people who are hell bent on corrupting their children. Still, There seem to be some combination of three attributes that drive Republican voters: The compulsive need to control everything; bone deep ignorance; and, a highly charged fear of the unknown future. The first attribute describes the national power brokers and the local self-appointed patriarchs (mostly religious leaders).

Well, I'm not surprised that the election is close. Hell, Dubya was elected (more or less) and reelected (more or less) and will likely go down in history as one of the worst presidents to date.

What I can't understand is why Obama isn't talking about the failure that Supply Side Economics is. Why in the world are the Democrats letting Romney/Ryan get away with saying that cutting taxes allows companies to high more people. Companies higher more people when they have a need, not when they have more money. Demand drives job creation. And only demand.

In the Great Depression, there were plenty of goods on the shelves. The businesses that didn't go broke in the bust were still producing. Unemployment was high, but MOST people had jobs. And most people were NOT SPENDING MONEY. Demand was low. No new workers needed. And, for some reason, Obama never mentions that it took 10 years and WWII to dig out of that.

He also refuses to mention that in a global economy, our recovery is linked to the world economy. We are growing very slowly because the rest of the world is slowing down. The fact that we are growing at is quite a surprise to me! And he doesn't really talk about the root financial issue: Crooked bankers. And it doesn't matter if we talk about investment bankers or the bankers that loan money for houses and cars. It is a giant game of manipulation for the highest short term profit. And it always has been.

And then there is gasoline. The president missed an opportunity last night. He should have laid the blame for gasoline prices exactly where it belonged. The commodities speculators and refiners. We are being manipulated and we have been manipulated since the heyday of Standard Oil. There really is no competition in the oil industry.

Bah. Or, more the point, baaaaaaa.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
Thursday, August 9th, 2012 08:29 am
According to Rogers Telecommunications, the content of their ads is covered by Canadian free speech guarantees even when the content is not factually true. And they are using that to defend against a possible $10MCD fine.

Story here

The implications, if they win on that point, staggers the mind. And not just for Canada, but for the US as well. Any opportunity to redefine the popular understanding of "free speech" will move into the legal world given enough time. Advertisers and political operatives already walk a thin line between merely "misleading" and outright lies.

As far as I am concerned, we define free speech to broadly in the US. It is difficult to take action against hate speech if it is delivered by a politician or in the name of religion. Even if that hate speech can be shown to contribute to a violent act by a listener.

If Rogers wins, it will be even more difficult to pursue criminal or civil action against liars. Lying as a tactic for profit or power is a prime skill for most of the richest and most powerful people in the world. Psychopaths have no problem looking you right in the eye and lying about anything and everything.

This defense must not be allowed to get traction. Really, Rogers? Really.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
Friday, August 3rd, 2012 05:21 pm
We have had cbeyond as our internet/phone provider for five years. Until a couple of weeks ago, they gave us a pri circuit that fed our own aging pbx. I have been looking for a reason to dump it. It is old, I have very limited control over it and it is a disaster waiting to happen.

I was thinking I would set up buy the necessary cards from digium and run asterisk locally. Just get cbeyond to give me a sip line. They made us a deal for increased internet bandwidth ( from 2 to 3 T-1) plus a hosted asterisk pbx that I would have a great deal of control over. All for $300 a month.

We talked it over and decided to go for it.

We have been on the hosted pbx for a week. It is a fucking disaster. It is asterisk with freepbx on top. We bought the phones they suggested and told them what the initial configuration should be. We changed as part our move to the new office. It took twice as long as the longest time they said and the phones did not work as we asked.

I have been messing with the damn web config tool for a week. And it still does not perform correctly. I have been on the phone with tech support, but they don't know crap about this pbx. Cbeyond bought aretta but their support people are groping along with me for solutions.

One basic routing is to change the call routing when we open in the morning and change it back when we close. I set up a test with a number we don't use and it worked fine. The real numbers however are flaky as hell. For the last two days, it put us into night mode at 2pm instead of 5pm. I think it's a timezone issue. The damn system comes with extensible "feature codes" that allow you to type "*something" to affect the phone status. Logging into or out of the ACD queue, for instance. Doesn't work as advertized. Further, there is no indication whether a phone is logged in or not. What a fucking joke.

I was on the phone for 90 minutes with tier 2 and 3 tech support yesterday. They messed with this and that, remotely reprogrammed one of the phones, found a few work arounds for some issues. And today, it is all crap again.

Well. the old system is sitting in the back room. I think I'm going to hang it on the wall and tell cbeyond what they can do with their hosted pbx.

it might be time to look for a new provider for everything. They have fumbled the ball on every possession in the transition to the new phones and in the move from the old office to here.

And they have changed their trouble ticket system. You log into their sight and get a goddamn interactive flash presentation of your trouble tickets. I can't fucking read the tiny ass print they decided to use and I can't re-size it. What kind of fucking anti-ADA is that! (Trustwave has this same issue.)

Really, guys. Really?
outlier_lynn: (Default)
Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 08:05 am
I've been reading reddit. Mostly /r/polyamory, /r/bisexual and /r/atheism.

/r/polyamory is filled with "give me tips" and "how can I deal" and people who are confusing swinging with poly. General poly 101 stuff over and over and over. /r/Atheism has lots of religion bashing and any thought that religion is the excuse not the cause of trouble in the world falls on deaf ears. Okay. I like bashing religion, too.

But /r/bisexual is a sideshow fun house of sloppy sentence construction, inappropriate word choices and angst. Post after post of the same crap. One of my favorite bits of crap is the "I accidentally came out to ...." These are the best. In the subject, it's an accident, but in the body it's not. In the body it's just coming out to someone. Might be in the heat of an argument or coming out for the first time to someone you thought you were already out to. But, really people, none of it is a accident. Take some fucking responsibility for what comes out of your mouth.

Another thing that crops up is some flavor of "Which label should I use?" I've given up on this one. The responses are predictably the same. it might as well be an bot post with bot responses. And the bis are still whining some version of "nobody like me, everybody hates me; I'm going to eat some worms." I get it, though. The group you want to belong to doesn't want you as a member. Find a different group, for pity's sake.

A recent post had a very misplaced modifier. These are often very funny. I like word play. But just how many clowns in a row can a person watch?
outlier_lynn: (Default)
Monday, July 16th, 2012 10:33 am
I notice very recently that firefox stop showing me printers in the print dialog. A bit of sleuthing and I discover that my firefox "upgraded" itself from my ver. 13 64 bit to a 13.0.1 32 bit. Everything worked fine except that it was not happy with the libraries that were used to deal with printers.

Everyone who had similar problems (all the way back to firefox 3) solved the problem by installed the 32 bit libs. To hell with that! I wanted a 64 bit firefox.

And that took some more looking around. If you just use the download button for firefox, it doesn't even bother to check for the bit size, it just hands back 32 bit. Sigh.

With each new version, it is less usable in general and more hassle. The have crossed the knew in the curve. I know had firefox more than I had google chrome.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
Monday, July 9th, 2012 04:11 pm
Well, hell. That's the end of my trying to use archiveopteryx. I've spent a week working out the kinks in the configuration of postfix and archiveopteryx only to find that they don't play with each other all that nicely. I really like the idea of storing email in postgresql which what archiveopteryx is good at.

But to do that, I have to tell postfix to "relay" mail to it over either smtp or lmtp. And all that is fine, too. Except that if I set the mailbox_transport configuration to do that, postfix immediately stops rejecting unlisted recipients. As far as postfix is concerned it is just a mail relay. Okay, I can live with that, too.

But archiveopteryx does not doesn't reject, it bounces, mail for unknown recipients. And that I can't live with. I want mail to unknowns to simple fall into the bit bucket. I am not interested in becoming just another great backsplatter server for spammers to use.

I suppose I could try and modify archiveopteryx source. Hell, I'll go have a look anyway. But, damn that is the hard way.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
Monday, July 9th, 2012 02:21 pm
To Whom it may concern,

When you call customer support with a problem, it is in you best interest NOT TO LIE about the symptoms you are experiences.

Thank you,
outlier_lynn: (Default)
Monday, July 9th, 2012 07:33 am
People have raved about the HBO series, Game of Thrones so we cued up the series at Net Flix. Watched episodes 1 and 2 this weekend, won't be watching the rest. The story has plenty of intrigue and magic and so forth, but I am sick to death of make believe worlds in which women are evil, brainless, sex objects or property.

Let's see, we have the queen and her son. The former evil, the later evil and stupid. We have the "rightful heir" who is evil, stupid, and arrogant to a fault. His sister who has been sold to the barbarian for an army. We have the older sister from the north is all a flutter of the stupid son of the queen. And the youngest daughter from the north is plays the part of a warrior son. And the whores. And the obsessed and worried mother.

And we have the men. WAR, we want WAR and power and sex and money and property. And we want to join secret warrior clubs because we are a bastard son.

This show seems to be a teenage boys wet dream. But it is BORING and predictable. With a couple of minor exceptions (for the shock value), everything was telegraphed is dreadfully obvious ways. And the sex scenes are pathetic. I mean, if one has had sex, one would not be able to suspend disbelief.

I suppose if we really had story line set in a world in which the difference between the sexes was almost entirely which one gave birth, it would be so different that people would not be able to identify with the characters. Too bad, but can we at at least stop giving young men these kinds of role models?
outlier_lynn: (Default)
Friday, June 29th, 2012 07:17 am
The Citizen's United Supreme Court decision was possibly the worst decision in the history of the court. A serious stretch of logic that was strained nearly to the breaking point. It is unclear what can be done about that one. A Constitutional Amendment would fix the problem, but the 1% will surely kill any chance of it. It looks like we are stuck with a bought and paid for government controlled by a psychopaths.

And now, we have a bad decision from the left. The Affordable Care Act isn't going to do much to deal with the health care in the US. Insurance companies will quickly adjust to the new landscape and collect fat premiums for very weak coverage. And big hospital chains will maybe see fewer write offs. A hard fought piece of legislation that will not substantially improve health care for the middle class and poor.

I had great health care that is starting to fail. My primary care facility is a well equipped clinic. They have pods of clinicians (can remember what they are really called) with one doctor and 3 or 4 nurse practitioners. i think this is a good model as long as you purse the incompetent and the clinic isn't doing that part. Stacey has been seen by three of them for a sinus infection that has been going on for five months. And they are saying things like "The antibiotics are having a placebo affect" when she gets almost well by the end of the course. The problem is this: The NP are not being supervised closely enough. And partly that is because at least one of the 2 or 3 doctors at the clinic is a out and out quack with no understanding (or care, for that matter) about drug interactions.

Really. Nothing in the last year has done anything but reinforce my opinion that people are stupid, lazy, irrational, and incompetent. Just look at the sheep willing to vote in the Republican slaughter house.

outlier_lynn: (Default)
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 07:39 am
Okay, it started two weeks ago. But last night, I watched live TV and noticed all the Black Friday ads. Stores opening at midnight with teasers. Wallmart is rolling out their teasers throughout the day to entice a much faster ebb and flow.

I really dislike November and December.

This week has been an interesting NPR/KBPS week for Thanksgiving related stories. They are making an attempt to divorce the holiday from religion. Most of the stories are cooking related for the "traditional" feast with little or not mention of "giving thanks". A few stories featured non-Christian cultures. One of those was a Navajo story in which the Navajo interviewed spoke about daily thanks giving to their Gods.

There are plenty of rationals about giving thanks to family and friends and so forth, but Thanksgiving is a Christian/religious holiday.

I think one of my upsets about this time of year is the smugness of the Christians who claim this part of the year as theirs. There isn't much room for non-believers in the US anytime, but this time of the year, there is even less.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
Tuesday, October 18th, 2011 07:41 am
It is possible -- maybe even probable -- that journalist have always been mostly ignorant gits. It does seem that way now. And it is not all the fault of corporate interference with the news. Sometimes it is a flashy display of sheer stupidity.

This morning, on KPBS radio, a local story was reported as "Mount Solidad Cross supporters were again told to remove the cross from public land." The only factual piece of that headline was Mount Solidad Cross. The facts of the story were never revealed in the news bit at all. Here's what really happened. The fate of the cross rests on the outcome of a series of appeals. State courts and now federal courts have ordered it removed. What happened yesterday was this: A 3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit, who had previously ruled against a procedural motion on the appeal brought by the cross supporters, ruled against a request to have the motion heard by the full court.

In other words, there really wasn't a story here at all. No story, so KPBS made something up that sounded important and delivered in in an inflammatory way with their incompetent morning "host."

This is not an isolated incident. Every morning there is at least one story that is so badly reported that the facts are completely wrong or there are no facts delivered at all.

And they wonder why I stopped giving money to my local Public Broadcasting station.

An NPR story this morning talked about Cain an his flat tax proposal. They aired a one sentence Bachmann quote as a "tax lawyer's response." Her sentence was a mixed metaphor that contained no information. Guys, that is NOT news.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
Thursday, October 6th, 2011 08:02 am
This morning, on my way to work, I passed a new, $70 luxury sedan with a perfect symbol of irony on the trunk near the license plate. A silver-colored representation of a fish with a cross where the eye would be.

The 2000 year history of the religion named for the character in the four Gospels has almost nothing to do with the reported teachings of this character.

Oh, there are small pockets of Christians who, more or less, follow in the philosophical footsteps of their charismatic cult leader; i.e. the Brethren, Quakers, and Amish to name a few. Mostly, though, Christians are products of their greater society.

One of the many translations of Matthew 19:24 reads, "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” I am confident that the driver of that sedan is convinced that his place in Heaven is secure.

And Matthew 19:29, "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life." Does this not describe clearly a cult? For 2,000 years, the cult of Christianity has grown in wealth and power. Its history is one of terrible violence, war, and general intolerance.

It has little to do with the values preached by its original leader.

There many examples. I am reminded almost daily of the oppressive nature of most religions and, particularly, Christianity.

This morning it was a rich man claiming for himself the earliest symbol of the Christian church.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 08:04 am
Patents and copyrights had a reasonable beginning. The intention was simple and clear. Someone who spent time and money developing a device or writing their masterpiece is given a reasonable amount of time to profit from their imagination and sweat. That is a good idea. And it was always a person; a real human being was the inventor or writer.

Over time, the congress and the courts have extended the length of time the inventor or writer is protected and changed the nature of the "person" to include corporations and foundations.

Patents, especially, are not longer protecting the inventor. In many cases, the human inventor gets nothing. An invention conceived on company time (and sometimes non-company time) is owned by the company even though the inventor's name is on the patent. It is possible to get a patent then bury the device. Something useful is held, purposely, off the market until its usefulness is overcome by advances in science or technology. The invention is withheld because it would diminish the value of other goods produced by the company.

Many great technological advances in the computer industry fell into a deep hole because a competing, but less great, bit of hardware/software/protocol needed protection. Some large company buys up a small company in order to kill off a better product.

Worse than all this, we have created a niche market of sorts; a protection racket backed by the three branches of government in the US and becoming entrenched in international law. We have created patent trolls. A business model based on extortion. Right now Microsoft is claiming that it owns some patents that the Linux/Gnu operating system violates. It is using this claim and its billions of dollars in the litigation war chest to extort money from smaller companies. Companies that have decided it is cheaper to pay the extortion than to fight it.

It is time. Past time. We need some serious reform in the US Patent Office. I think it is going to be past time for a long time to come.

We can no longer pretend that the US government (and all "developed world" governments) are agencies acting in the public good. It has always been the case that wealth controls the government, but capitalism concentrates wealth. Fewer and fewer people hold any real power.

The "voting public" is fed a constant stream of lies, half-truths, and enthusiasm. Then they vote -- against their self-interest.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
Friday, May 27th, 2011 08:34 am
I read a LA Times story headlined " Judge strikes down Wisconsin's anti-union law."

The article gives short shrift to the story opting to fill the column inches with loose background information. The average reader of that article isn't going to understand a damn thing about the judge's decision. The Judge did merits of the law, but rather the manner in which it was passed.

And that points directly to a concern I've had about America's schools. Somewhere around the 2nd or 3rd grade, we go right off the rails.

In the beginning we teach skills like reading and simple arithmetic. Then we start in on facts. And that is the end of education in America. Grades 4-12 are mostly a waste of time. Still some skills, but mostly crap. Really good teachers find a way to put skill building into their classes, but most teachers don't because they aren't well educated either.

And we don't teach what is important. It is important to know how our governance systems work. It is important to understand the criminal and civil justice system and appellate system work. It is important to be able to read a decision from an appeals court or the Supreme Court and understand it. It directly affects our liberties. Nothing has a more lasting effect in American freedoms than SCOTUS decisions.

The law has a profound effect on every single American and we teach rarely teach anything about it in most schools through college. It is a sad state of affairs.

It can not change, though. It is not in the interest of the political parties and those who control them to have an educated electorate. How could the tea party exist if Americans understood America? It could not.

We don't teach our children how to discern fact and fiction (opinion). We don't teach how to tell when rhetoric is empty and when it isn't.

Americans are woefully ignorant about those things that are vitally important but don't involve immediate response. It is pitifully low-brain existence.

Wake up and smell the manipulations, lies, deceits. Learn to spot malefactors. Learn to tell stupid from ignorant.


outlier_lynn: (Default)
Friday, April 22nd, 2011 08:06 am
Let me start this with a disclaimer. I am an atheist. I tried several times in my youth to be a Christian, but I failed to find anything remotely believable in the Bible. And, further, on my scale of "quality of the human being standing in front of me," expressing a belief causes the person to lose points. The number of points lost depends on the level on insistence that I need to hear the Word. And it does not matter what word. If you try to convince me that I need to drink you particular flavor of Kool-Aid, your point total will drop rapidly.

This morning (the Christian Good Friday), NPR ran a story of Christians in Jerusalem retracing the Biblical route taken by the Biblical Jesus on his Biblical way to the Biblical crucifixion. In their account, however, the only "fact" in doubt was the exact route. Does not matter than in all the study done in the region, there is not one shred of evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was real and lots of evidence that suggests the stories told in Mathew, Mark, Luke and John could not have happened as reported even in the earliest known versions of those writings.

A whopping percentage of human beings above the age of 20 (I draw the line there, because folks less than 20 will believe anything if enough of their friends do) are religious. The "actual" number is hard to pin down. :) In the last 10 years, the global number has polled between 60 and 90 percent. I'd be willing to split the difference for now. Call it 75%. The definition of "religious" for those polls seems to be belief in supernatural forces or beings or both.

There have been a number of studies that strongly suggest that part of the human brain is wired to establish cause and effect reasons for everything with magic as the default option. As a reason, magic lends itself to the creation of structured beliefs. If we offer up a sacrifice to the rain god at the right time in the right way and the rain god is not displeased with us for something, the rain god will provide for a bumper crop this year. Our study of the brain -- in terms of how and why we think what we think -- is so new a field that we can't say very much "for sure." My belief is that this view of why human beings have religion is an elegant answer.

Last night, I wanted to kill some time so I thought I'd watch the not-much-science Science Channel. Lo! Filled with Old Testament pseudo-science. I watched about 2 minutes of Exodus. The makers of that show knew their audience. Not even a hint that the basic story of Moses might be myth. They did, though, throw some hind-sight explanations in to show how some of the details might be shaky. How about this detail: There is not one shred of evidence that Egypt ever had a large population of Hebrew slaves. The evidence is leaning heavily against the the entire Moses story.

How about this one: In all the geological studies conducted in the last 150 years, there has been no evidence of a mass flood. Sorry, Noah. Not only was your Ark too small, but there was no water to float it on!. Good thing, cause you didn't have the technology of "2012" available to you.

Human being long for cause and effect explanations and when reason doesn't provide one (quickly enough), superstition arises. And then, when reason does provide a suitable answer to one of life's eternal questions, the established superstition is still clung to like a life-preserver made of dung.

So, on days like this, when I am inundated with Christian folklore, I feel far less than charitable to the True Believers of what ever myth happens to be the current fashion of their bit of world geography.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 09:24 am
Americans are a bit STUPID about privacy.

1. We don't want the government to know anything about us. But the government does know, but we have made it nearly impossible for various agencies to share any of that information. That means there are dozens of databases with your "private" information. It is very expensive to maintain all those databases and the likelihood of errors is dramatically increased. Whose privacy are we protecting that way?

2. We don't want our public record data available to just anyone! (This is my favorite bit of insanity). Those records are called "public" precisely because the data contained is NOT private. It should be absolutely public and easily accessed. One does not and should not need a permissible purpose for accessing any public record.

3. We live in a society where screening tenants is accepted, but the idea of screening a landlord is a serious breach of privacy.

4. We worry about government surveillance and dismiss private surveillance. You are being watched 24 hours a day by people who want to sell you something. The government makes mistakes with their surveillance from time to time, but they (mostly) need approval before they can track your habits. There are more or less no such constraints on marketers. But we don't hear a huge outcry about that invasion of privacy (except from the geek world).

We are upside down with our privacy concerns. The more we are trying to keep secret, the more likely the black hats win. We end up protecting their identities while they go about their nefarious business. We are concerned with protecting that which is not worth protecting and not protecting the information that is worth protecting. Why?

Well, that would be the black hats, of course. They are getting their message out to misdirect our concerns to keep themselves hidden. That has two benefits for them. They are hidden, obviously, but it also makes the government the bad guy, so any kind of regulation is slow to happen or ineffective.

"There's burglars in the bedroom while your fiddlin' in the parlor."

I want a national id card. I want a number for every single citizen that does nothing but identify them. I want that card to have a magnetic strip. Use that card to identify yourself for the purposes of using a credit card (or any other legal transaction) and the other party can swipe that ID and have a picture of you show up from the national database. Positive ID. Every time. All the time.

I want a government run, national public record database that is easily accessible by anyone for any reason. (Some data, under certain circumstances, could be suppressed by court order.)

I want a government run, national criminal and financial databases that can be accessed under certain conditions by those with permissible uses. I want the person who is the subject of the record to have free access at any time at all. And I want response error correction available. I want every inquiry to be listed with who, when and why. I want every contribution (creditor submissions, for instance) to be fully disclosed to the subject of the record. No more Big Three credit bureaus.

I want any contribution (direct or otherwise) to any political campaign to be included in a public database. And I want it to have a serious "chilling affect." I want the power brokers in the country to be fully in the open. I want everyone to notice that they have strings be able to see who is pulling them.

I want every elected official (and their top staff) to have their work related calendars publicly accessible. I want to know who my elected officials are meeting with by name and who they are representing. And if that person is a lobbyist, I want that listed also.

We are so concerned with keeping private that which isn't really a secret at all, that we hand a great amount of power over to those who lurk in those shadows. We are being led around by the nose while believing that we are the masters of our universes.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
Monday, April 19th, 2010 09:50 am
Years ago, when I wrote checks to pay bills, I tried electronic bill pay through the bank I used. I didn't like it. It was more time consuming then writing a check. Apparently, it is easier now. Stacey uses it for all our bills and the company bills.

Easier, maybe. Reliable? Not with Wells Fargo Bank. Turns out that Wells Fargo has been converting our requests into paper checks for EVERY business vendor we pay. And screwing it up nearly every month for one vendor or another.

If the bank has a "relationship" with that vendor, they will do an electronic transfer. But it has to be an exact match of the vendor name and address on file with the name and address we give the bank. So, it seems that Wells Fargo has a relationship with American Express but not with the address printed on the bill. We called Wells Fargo and asked for an AE address that would work. They can't (won't?) tell us. We have to try new addresses one and a time to see if that month's bill went by electron or postal service.

What a crock. We keep threatening to leave Wells Fargo. I have yet to figure out why we haven't.

At one time (30 years ago), I really liked Wells Fargo. That was then, this is now.