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Cut the crap, America.

Bruce Jenner is biologically a man.  He may think he's a woman trapped in a man's body, he may enjoy presenting himself as a woman, he may have gender identity issues and he has every right to dress, alter his body or behave as he wishes -- right up to and until he deceives someone else who is harmed as a consequence.  It is at that point, however, that Jenner crosses a line that deserves no respect or deference from anyone.

That act, in my view, marks him as a hedonistic bastard -- a social monster.

Songwriter and actress Thompson was married to the former Olympic champion from 1981 to 1984, after his split with his first wife Chrystie Crownover. Together, they had two children, Brandon and Brody.

...

Thompson wrote that she didn’t know about Jenner’s gender dysphoria until years after they married, and admitted that she would not have married him had she known.

So it appears that he knew before they were married and he concealed that fact from her.

Now Thompson has also said that she's "grateful that she didn't know", but that's the benefit of hindsight which is always 20/20 and further, it is colored by emotion that has nothing to do with the underlying deceitful act.  In short outcome does not excuse the act, and but for that act there is no way to know what was foregone had you not had that deceit perpetrated against you.

In other words it's all fine and well to be grateful for (as an example in this case) the two children that Thompson had as a result of that marriage; but for the marriage those two kids would not exist. The problem is that if that deceitful act had not occurred there is no way for anyone to know who Thompson might have met and married instead, or whether that outcome would have been even more incredible.  For this reason the predicate act remains monstrous as one cannot weigh that which did not happen as a consequence of options foreclosed upon as a consequence of the deceptive act.

That one has a gender "dysphoria" is not shameful or problematic.  We're all free men and women, and if we choose to change that by manner of dress, action or surgery so be it, provided we pay for the expense of same, if any, through the fruits of our labors.

This becomes a matter of character, however, if you have such an issue, are aware of it and intentionally conceal it from romantic partners to the point that you entangle them in your personal psychological mess without their consent, say much less those who you bring into this world without any ability to consent.

In my opinion it takes a special brand of monster to do something like that, and those who "celebrate" or "support" someone that has chosen to intentionally deceive others while fully aware of their gender identity (and/or sexual preference) issues deserves no deference or respect at all.

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Has the balloon gone up yet?

Really folks, when does it go up if it hasn't by now?  The latest is this little ditty:

An Arkansas lawyer representing current and former police officers in a contentious whistle-blower lawsuit is crying foul after finding three distinct pieces of malware on an external hard drive supplied by police department officials.

The attorney is suing the department on behalf of three officers who, it is alleged, were illegally investigated after reporting wage-and-hour violations along with wrongful terminations.

In response to his (lawful) discovery request the cop shop apparently loaded three pieces of malware on the drive they gave him with the responsive documents -- a password logger, a program allowing them to load additional software on the attorney's machine in the future and two separate back doors to allow access to his computer from outside.

Since these were placed on a directory that did not exist when the disk was provided to the cop shop it is essentially impossible that they were on the drive before he gave it to the police for them to copy their responsive documents to.

It appears, in other words, that in response to a lawsuit and lawful discovery demand the cops attempted to take control of the suing attorney's computer and steal his passwords, an act that is functionally identical to breaking into his office and stealing his files.

This is not a "police department", if in fact it did such things.  It is nothing other than a lawless band of criminals who attempted to commit breaking and entering along with intentionally corrupting the judicial process, a further crime.

This for all intents and purposes, assuming the allegations are correct, mob action exactly as the Mafia would undertake in days gone by (undertaken by modern means using technology instead of Guido and his infamous baseball bat to the legs.)

Forensics on this would be amusing, given that it should be trivially easy to discover exactly who put the files on the disk, from where and when, unless that evidence has been tampered within inside the department, in which case the audit logs will have been modified or deleted (and that's obvious too if it happened.)

When do you reach the point that you stand up, America, instead of continuing with your head in the sand bleating about how "it can't happen to me" and that "<insert favorite target> must have deserved it"?

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I have to admit this is a pretty impressive tax return.... and belies a simple question: Why would anyone "donate" to such a "charity"?

$144 million in direct contributions and grants; $149 million in total revenue (2013 numbers); of that $8.9 million went to grants paid (that is, about 5.9% of the funds that came in went to charitable causes.)

The rest was either "absorbed" (that is, the "charity" still has it) or was paid out in things like executive compensation.

You might be interested in knowing that the "charity" had 35 employees with reportable compensation (that is, over $100,000) and their top five combined had $2.6 million in direct (that is, cash) compensation and another $278,000 in benefits for approximately $3 million -- or 1/3rd of all spending on "charitable causes".  On a grossed-up basis the charity spent $21.8 million on salaries and wages or approaching three times what it spent on "charity."

In fact this "charity" spent as much on travel ($8.4 million) and more on conferences and similar confabs ($9.2 million) as it did on actual grants for charitable purposes.

What is this "charity"?

Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clintons so-called "charity" that was operating while Hillary was Secretary of State and continues to operate today.

Again, if you were not trying to buy influence of some sort exactly why would you donate to a so-called "charity" that only spends 5.9% of the money received on actual charitable programs?

Go ahead folks, tell me what possible motivation someone who is rich might have in "giving" to such a foundation when virtually none of your money is going to go to actual relief causes such as feeding poor people and helping disaster victims.

Oh by the way, that's not really much of a one-off either.  In 2012 (the previous tax year) the ratio of spending on charitable programs to "contributions" was just under 15%.

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It has been 10 years now, more or less, that I have run with a hybrid infrastructure for email.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

I have "two worlds" in which I live when it comes to email -- mobile and not.  "Not" encompasses desktop and laptop type machines; real computers.  I have an utterly enormous store of emails, going literally back to the 1980s, in hundreds upon hundreds of folders.  I file things away and archive everything else on a calendar basis.  Yeah, it's a big hunk of data.  Yeah, I may never look at 98% of it ever again.  But for that 2% given how cheap disk is these days, and that I can store it encrypted at rest having access to it is very, very nice.

Well, phones don't get along with that paradigm very well.  Among other things the amount of data involved that they can potentially get to, and their rather foolish decisions on how to keep indices (or whether to at all!) along with limited storage capacity means that trying to point one of these things at a mail store like that is asking to blow it up.

Further, even when they allegedly comply with "open standards" like IMAP or sorta-open ones like Exchange, mobile devices often don't implement it correctly (e.g. "Delete" means "file in Trash", not DESTROY), and there's enormous risk involved in allowing a client that you do not trust 100% to have access to that big store of data -- if it gets hosed you're in a heaping lot of trouble.

So for the last decade all my incoming email has been "forked", with a copy going to a special "phone" account.  It's transparent to everyone on the outside but it means that I have to delete or file the emails twice, basically -- with the phone copy just being thrown away when I'm done with it.  I've lived with this because the alternative -- losing something I cannot afford to lose -- is simply not acceptable.

Through the years various devices have improved on multi-device access to contact and calendar databases, although I refuse to give any of that data to Google and similar -- I insist on running it on my own infrastructure for obvious reasons.  The capability to have a "one data store, many clients, all transparently able" has existed for that information for quite some time -- but not for email, at least not reliably.

Needless to say this is somewhat of a pain in the ass.  Start writing an email on your desktop and have it in "Drafts"?  Can't get it on the mobile, since it's not the same mail store.  Or the other way around.  Want to look up a sent email from "the other side"?  Can't do that either.

Today, this has ended.

Today, I have one device -- my BlackBerry Passport -- that has passed my testing to be trusted without the fork, which means I now have access to everything from everywhere, "deleted" emails don't really get deleted (they get filed instead as they should) and the archives, including what I send, get archived as they should too.

Yes, there are a few compromises. I have had to move some of my very old archive folders out of my primary working space, as there are still things that aren't done right with IMAP (for example); "Delete" still, to BB10, means delete rather than "move to Trash" or even better, move to a hierarchy of Archive folders by year or year and month.  Desktop clients have known how to do this for a long time and it's well past the point where mobile ones should know how as well.  As a result to maintain both compatibility and safety of my data I must implement and use a somewhat-cobbled together combination on the back end.

But BlackBerry is the first phone manufactuer that has made a device that can be put to work in this fashion and thus can be trusted not to trash your archives -- and incoming email.

Android's various incantations do not and Apple does not.

BlackBerry does.

Now maybe none of this matters to you, and in fact if you live in a world where you don't really care all that much about your email and the history it generates, along with the resource that provides to you when you need to go look something up -- this is something you shrug at.

But I live in a world where data that I want to keep has to be kept, and only intentional destruction should ever destroy it.

I've been testing the various releases available and 10.3.1 meets the requirements.  I assume 10.3.2 will as well, but the point here that bears noting is that 10.3.1 is in common and public release now.

Yes, you do need to know how to set it up and use it properly, but if you do -- the true unified view is now yours without exception.

Simply put, I'm impressed.

It's not quite 100%, but it's close enough -- and the remaining issues can be worked around.

BlackBerry folks.  Yes, there is a reason they're still around and there are still things their handsets do that nobody else does well, or even at all.

This is one of them.

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From JP Moron "Asset Management":

J.P. Morgan Asset Management says the average 65-year-old last year paid $4,400 in premiums for Part B (outpatient services), Part D (prescription drugs), Medigap supplemental coverage, out-of-pocket expenses, vision and dental services. Those costs will rise at an annual rate of 6.1 percent over the next 20 years, to $17,000 at age 85, the company forecasts.

No it won't, for the simple reason that as an average most seniors simply don't have $17,000 a year to spend on this; that would be either nearly all or factually all of their income.

In fact:

HealthView does an annual calculation of the portion of annual Social Security income that will be consumed by health care expenses for an average couple (retiring at 66 with a $25,000 benefit). The expense tally includes Medicare Part B and D premiums, dental insurance premiums, and out-of-pocket costs, including copays, hearing and vision expenses. The firm estimates that health care expense will consume 67 percent of Social Security income for someone retiring this year, and that the figure will rise to 83 percent by the time that person is 85 years old.

In other words Social Security, effectively, funds the medical monopoly scam and little else.

To those in that much-vaunted "senior voting block" I say this: You either put a stop to this scam, not by increasing benefits and screaming about "cuts" as the AARP and Democrats constantly try to chide you, but rather by locking up the hospital administrators, physicians and drug companies who are committing acts daily that in any other line of business would land them on the wrong end of felony charges and decades in prison for violating various consumer protection laws along with the Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman acts or you are screwed -- period.

That is the only solution - collapse the cost of medical care by forcing the collapse of the monopolistic behavior that is supposed to be against the law in any "industry."

If you don't unless you're quite-well off the odds are that going to be eating cat food -- or worse -- irrespective of how much screaming about Social Security you do.

There is exactly one way out of this trap -- no more, no less.  It is to collapse the cost of this outrageous rip-off by approximately 80%, which incidentally is exactly where the cost in other advanced nations such as Japan, where this behavior is not tolerated, suggests it will go.

You either act on this issue while you still can or you will be impoverished by it.

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