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[EVERYTHING] Arya definitely takes after her father.

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[EVERYTHING] Arya definitely takes after her father.
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Submitted July 24, 2017 at 07:11AM by mattymca
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uvayankee
28 days ago
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New Jersey
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On That GOP Health Care Bill, and Tax Breaks

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First, my initial thoughts, as rendered on Twitter.

Now, let me talk a little bit more about the part where I say “rich people don’t miss their taxes,” since I think there are people who may be reasonably skeptical about this. Warning: I’m going to talk about my money. Then I’m going to talk about other people’s money.

To begin: I pay taxes on a quarterly basis, because I’m self-employed and the IRS, alas not entirely unreasonably, questions whether self-employed people will keep track of their money for a full year in order to pay off one big tax bill. So every quarter, I pay taxes. And in each of those quarterly tax payments, I pay in taxes roughly what I grossed (and definitely more than I netted) in income from the entire four-and-half years of my first job out of college, working for a newspaper. Add up my yearly tax bill, and it’s close to what I grossed my first ten years of being a professional writer — and there was never a time in there I didn’t do okay; it was a solid continuous progression up the middle-class income ladder.

So these days, whenever I see how much I pay in taxes annually, my first thought is always something like HOLY CRAP that’s a lot of money. I could totally use that! As someone who grew up poor and has worked his way steadily up the income ladder, it’s a freakin’ huge amount in terms of the raw dollars.

And then I pay my taxes and I discover that anything I would have used that ridiculous wad of tax money for, I still have enough in my net income for. I literally cannot think of a thing I want — or need — that my post-tax income can’t handle. Because as it happens, even with federal, state and local taxes, my tax burden is reasonable. I don’t pay taxes in 1980, when the highest marginal federal income tax rate was 70%; I pay taxes in 2017, where top federal tax bracket maxes out at just under 40%. With state and local taxes, I have to break a sweat to have a total top marginal tax rate of 50% — and my real world taxes indebtedness doesn’t come anywhere near half my income, because of how marginal tax rates work and because like lots of people in my position I have a very smart accountant who finds me lots of deductions.

So even with literally the full (pre-deduction) tax burden someone in Ohio can pay — we max out all the marginal rates — there is more than enough left over for pretty much anything that we want to do, individually, as a couple or as a family. We save a lot, invest a bunch, and thus take that money out of the short-term income pool we use for bills, household spending and, uh, “consumer activity,” and we’re still just fine, thanks. I suppose it’s possible that we could spend so much of our post-tax income that we’re left with little or nothing and thus would wish we had some of the money that we paid in taxes back into our hands, but speaking from experience, this takes effort, and some willful stupidity about your money. Yes, I’m looking at you, Nick Cage and Johnny Depp. But if you’re not the sort of person who spends $30,000 a month on wine, you’re probably going to be fine.

We do just fine. The other people I know who have similar or better incomes than we have also do just fine. The ones I know with substantially better incomes than we have are also doing just fine. No one at my income level or better actively misses the money they spend on taxes, because they’re still rich after they pay taxes.

Would I like to pay less in taxes? When I look at the raw number of dollars I send to the IRS, sure. When I think about the actual impact on my day-to-day life having that money would make, versus the actual and positive impact on the day-to-day life of millions of other people, when people like me pay our taxes? Nope. I have certain (in more than one sense of that word) opinions about how those taxes I pay in should be used, and whether they are being used effectively, and whether I’m getting value for what I pay, to be sure. Those are different issues, however.

Cratering health care for millions in the United States (and crippling Medicaid in the bargain) in order to give people like me a tax cut means that we are taking something from people who need it, often desperately, to give something to people who don’t need it and may not even notice it in any substantial way. In the House version of this legislation, you have to make more than $200k to get any tax benefit from it; people with incomes between $200k and $500k a year would get a tax break of $510 on average. $510 is not a lot to get in return for asking millions of other Americans to be potentially priced out of health coverage, have lifetime insurance caps reinstituted, be denied for pre-existing conditions, get sicker and die earlier. And the roughly 95% of Americans who don’t make $200,000 a year won’t even get that.

Rich people don’t need any more tax cuts. They’re doing just fine. They will continue to do just fine. And no, their tax burden isn’t onerous. Trust me, I know. I live that tax burden daily. It doesn’t hurt. What does hurt is knowing that people I know and care for will likely die sooner and sicker than they should just so someone like me gets back a few more dollars they won’t notice. Don’t come at me with “but the rich earned those dollars.” Dude, I earned my dollars, too. I earned them in a country that helped me get where I am in part through taxes. I earned them understanding that getting rich came with an obligation to the society I live in and benefit from, an obligation discharged, in part, by paying a perfectly reasonable amount of taxes.

The motto of the United States is not, in fact, “Fuck you, I got mine.” It was, and should have remained, “E Pluribus Unum” — out of many, one. We’re all Americans. We all deserve the blessings this country can provide. This one is willing to pay his taxes for the benefit of the many.


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uvayankee
57 days ago
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New Jersey
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57 days ago
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3 public comments
jeterhere
52 days ago
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Well put, another good American ...
Kennewick, WA
kemayo
57 days ago
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"The motto of the United States is not, in fact, “Fuck you, I got mine.”"
St Louis, MO
acdha
58 days ago
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Not for the first time, I wonder how much of this goes back to the country being run by a lot of old people who never internalized that the tax situation has changed dramatically since the 1970s, not to mention the costs of things like healthcare, housing, and education.
Washington, DC

The Favor Pt 2

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The Favor Pt 2

Do you like to read in Chronological order? Here is the Index

Did you read Part 1?

 

$Selben: Me! Further along in in my IT career as a Tier 3 technician, at $EvenBiggerCo.

$Lanys: $Selbens IT manager - she is a bit on the evil side, which isn’t always a bad thing. (Yes Lanys T’Vyl from EverQuest)

$Whispers: Tier 1 technician at $EvenBiggerCo, an IT Co-worker. He’s normally pretty quiet but works hard.

$VP: Yet another nameless VIP type person, rank doesn’t matter to $Selben most all of them are the same.

$Manager: Location manager from another company.

$Drowning: Local IT guy who normally does house calls for non-corporate accounts, a bit over his head.

 

Day Four

 

The network itself was no longer in tatters, the majority of the rack was re-cabled and well routed - excess old equipment was removed and generally it had been cleaned up. Now $Selben sat perched on top of a five foot tall ladder, balancing a keyboard on his lap while going over a printed out binder full of logins, password and allegedly server configuration information… In front of him was a monitor resting atop a several thousand dollar server… To his left was trusty $Whispers who was wiping sweat from his brow after recently replacing the last of the dated wireless access points with new ones. $Selben grunted in annoyance as another attempt to launch one of the multiple VM’s (Virtual machines) failed. A knock at the door as $Drowning entered the room with $Manager.

 

$Manager: Alright boys, here is $Drowning! He’s our own I.T. guru!

Into the room stepped a classical local I.T. (Not that I look down on non-corporate I.T. but he was wearing a T-Shirt that had a half naked anime girl on it… Not that $Selben diddn’t likely have the same shirt at home… But put on a Polo at least!)

$Whispers whispers something then leaves the room, it was a pretty tight fit.

$Selben: Okay… I’ll get right to it, did you set this server up?

$Drowning: I sure did!

$Selben: Great, I’m trying to get into the main…

$Drowning: What screen is that? (He points at the screen hooked up to the server)

$Selben: Screen? (Looks up at the $VM-console) That is the actual server…

$Drowning: No its not, here let me show you!

$Drowning pulls out his laptop, which has some explicit hentai stickers on the back. He then struggles to connect to the Wifi… $Selben helps him get connected to the new Wifi which by the way had the exact same login and password as before… Something else he had setup previously… He then launches $VirtualSoftware and connects to the only running terminal server.

$Drowning: Psh, its all running - why did you have me come down?

$Manager: Oh great, thanks so much $Drowning!..

$Drowning: Yea no problem, I wont bill you for the tri…

$Selben: HOLD UP!

Both of them lose their jovial smiles and look up at $Selben atop the ladder.

$Selben: What about these FIVE other VM’s and also their software cannot connect to the data drive. Which I am assuming is housed on one of these other Virtual boxes.

$Drowning: I uh what? - Erm, how about you show me what you mean. You aren’t exactly explaining it very well. (Trying to make himself look smart in front of $Manager)

$Selben: I’m not sure how to dumb it down any more. There should be a total of Six servers potentially running, I only see one up - how many should be running?

$Drowning: Uhm one duh - there’s only one server! (He chuckles and shakes his head at $Manager who eagerly nods noticing the only box on the rack)

$Selben’s eye begins to twitch without control.

$Selben: Inside this single MAGICAL box is the potential for HUNDREDS of virtual mini versions of itself, it was previously setup for at least six… Currently only one is running. Did you or did you not actually set this equipment up?

$Drowning: Ohhh… No I did not setup the equipment, but I setup the server.

 

The discussion went back and forth like this for almost an hour, $Selbens leg began to cramp up from being on the ladder so he climbed down and ended up drawing a diagram on a white board explaining to $Manager and apparently $Drowning how a virtual machine worked. At one point something came up asking about how RAID drives worked…

 

$Manager: So… The drive for $SharedData is actually on one of the other five “virtual servers” is that right?

$Selben: Correct!

$Drowning: Oh well maybe it was on one of the drives we replaced.

$Selben: Replaced?…

$Drowning: The server was running out of space…

$Selben: The active virtual machine?

$Drowning: Erm yea, the “active virtual machine” - So I got new drives and upgraded them. They only had little 256gig laptop drives so I got them 512 SSD’s instead!

$Selben: I… You… (Jaw literally drops)

$Whispers: Are you F$#*ing serious?

$Drowning: Excuse me?!

$Manager: There is no need for foul language!

$Selben is a bit shocked by whispers swearing but more so by the pure stupidity of $Drowning.

$Selben: $Drowning… Do you still have the old drives…

$Drowning: Well… I no.

$Selben: What did you do with them…

$Drowning: I threw them out… They wouldn't work in a normal machine.

$Selben: You can leave now.

$Drowning: But we still have a…

$Manager: But wont he be able to assist you with…

$Selben: His assistance is not required, please…

$Drowning left, as soon as he was out the door $Selben turned to $Manager.

$Selben: Your data may be completely unrecoverable - you may need to seek legal action against $Drowning, what he did was completely incompetent - he may have well set your server on fire. We will try to save anything we can, but it is likely all gone.

$Manager went pale and fell back into his seat.

$Manager: Can’t you do something?! I’m calling Lanys!

$Selben: Okay.

 

After $Selben heard the heated call between $Lanys and $Manager end, he pulled out his phone waiting around 30 seconds for it to ring. He spoke with $Lanys and re-explained the situation, $Drowning had no idea what he was working with and had replaced the server array with commercial grade SSD drives. None of the data had been backed up and he had “gotten rid of” the old drives since they “Had no other purpose”. $Lanys actually being in her realm of attacking vendors (She really knows how to make someone else beg for mercy) said she would get as much accomplished as possible and that $Selben would try to recover anything possible with what he had available. (Which $Selben made clear was not very much at all) - After a few hours of digging through any and all physical media - he had pulled the server down and removed each drive - some of the older drives were still in the server, very little data was recoverable. They called it a night and headed back to the hotel, $Manager was sitting at his desk with a bottle of some sort of alcoholic beverage - he said his thanks for the efforts.

 

The next morning $Selben received a call from $Lanys - through one means or another her threats had dug deep. She had terrified $Drowning enough for him to go to the local dump and search for the drives… I’m not sure I made that clear - that womans words from a thousand miles away drove enough terror into this poor man that he drove to the DUMP and dug through trash to find hard-drives… No doubt legal threats along with who knows what else… Regardless she had good news - the drives had been recovered!

 

Back in the office $Whispers and $Selben looked through the cardboard box filled with drives… Some dripping with water and other substances… Unsurprisingly $Drowning only dropped off the drives and took off like a bat out of hell. After one look at the state of the drives - likely they had gotten a bit of rain on them and exposed to the elements - they packed them all up and contacted the recovery service they often used for extreme physical media recovery. They did not bother trying to plug any of them in, the risk of causing more damage was not worth seeing if there was any data to recover. With their work done, $Selben and $Whispers booked a flight back home after discussing the situation with $Manager, $Lanys and $VP along with several other unknowns - it was agreed there was nothing more that could be done with them on site.

 

Wrapped up

 

$Selben remained in the loop for getting everything settled - a small portion of the data was completely unrecoverable - but the most critical information was able to be saved. The bill for getting that much data recovered shot past $145,000 when the numbers were presented to $Manager apparently he didn’t even flinch and said ‘Do it.’ - $Selben went back on site to install new drives and assist with getting the database back on-line but only took about a day, and he flew back home that night. $Drowning was never heard from again, apparently $Manager did not want to take legal action since $Drowning was engaged to $Managers daughter… Hence him landing this "easy job" with zero real I.T. experience in the first place.



Submitted June 19, 2017 at 05:17PM by Selben
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uvayankee
62 days ago
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Headphone craziness

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Headphone craziness

I wanted to pass this experience along to other Nexus 5X users and see if anyone else had a similar one:

In March 2016, I made this post but was never able to figure out what exactly was wrong with my device. I started using wired headphones with inline microphones instead, and everything worked for the most part.

About every 2-4 months, though, when I'd be out for a run exceeding 5 miles, something would start turning down the volume on my phone, rather rapidly at times. Even after I unplugged my headphones and plugged them back in, it would persist, but not if I changed headphones. My best guess is that sweat was getting into the mic and causing shorts that sent volume down commands (no volume button on the headphones).

This past weekend, I ran in a half-marathon. Before I left, I again tried a pair of stereo headphones to potentially take as backups, to no avail. During the race, the volume thing happened again. On my way home, I had mis-placed my headphones in my bag, and my girlfriend offered me hers (regular stereo). I told her they wouldn't work, but she told me to try, and they worked. When I got home, all of my random sets of stereo headphones worked with my 5X again.

Any thoughts on why this happened would be welcome, if only so I can attempt to avoid such insanity again. Or am I actually warming up to the idea of USB-C only headphone jacks?

TLDR: stereo headphones stopped working, volume got janky on longer runs, stereo headphones started working 15 months later.



Submitted June 12, 2017 at 10:41AM by uvayankee
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uvayankee
70 days ago
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My mom's "99"

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My mom's "99"
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Submitted May 24, 2017 at 09:36PM by udon-know-mie
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uvayankee
88 days ago
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@scottjohnson Scott I think you may need this story for an upcoming TMS: https://t.co/fyCnndF2R0

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May 13, 2017 at 12:00PM
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uvayankee
100 days ago
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New Jersey
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