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Chris Wellens
On my journey through life, I arrived at Neo-Platonist, Physical Monist, after starting out as a Catholic.
On my journey through life, I arrived at Neo-Platonist, Physical Monist, after starting out as a Catholic.


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Some stout to go with your In-N-Out burger?

Seven Stills Brewery announced a new beer: In-N-Stout.

Here is the hilarious cease and desist letter from In-N-Out Burger.
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With the on-going discussions of businesses getting involved in running the government and government services, I was thinking ...

what would happen if Google ran the California DMV?

#1 It would be available, online 24x7. There would be no humans involved, thus no human customer support.
#2 If you did not have a computer you could use an Internet kiosk, available in Mountain View only.
#3 When you used the Internet Kiosk, it would know all about you as you walked in and you would see ads customized for you.
#4 If you were registering a car, it would all be done electronically by the car dealer or private party.
#5 The ownership record of the car would be recorded in the block chain. To view it, you would need a Google login with two factor authentication.
#6 The driving test would be done by having you select the correct CAPTCHA images, after several were presented to you.

What do you think?
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Should UC Santa Cruz become UC Lodi?

Last week, 77% of Santa Cruz, California voters approved “Measure U”. Measure U establishes the City’s official policy as opposing UC Santa Cruz enrollment growth beyond the current cap of 19,500 students.

UC Santa Cruz is not popular with Santa Cruz residents. For 77% of the community to oppose the expansion plan, it is clear there will be significant efforts to stop it.

So what is “the Plan”?

The UC Santa Cruz plan is to expand enrollment by an additional 10,000 students in 2020. As California’s population grows, and more students become eligible, the burden of taking those top students is shared by the nine UC campuses.


The University of California has a mandate to accept the top 12.5% of California high school applicants.

The only problem is that the city of Santa Cruz has a housing market that is far beyond competitive, with some of the highest rental rates and lowest vacancy rates in the United States. According to the student newspaper, 47% of the students live off campus.

Thus, the City of Santa Cruz is running up against some real barriers to expansion, such as ingress and egress to the campus, housing availability...

So far, no one has proposed a solution to meeting the needs of incoming college students and physical/geographical capacity.

Until now.

Let’s move the campus to a city that would welcome, appreciate, and cherish the advantages of having a university nearby. That city is Lodi, California -- @CityOfLodi Lodi is about 121 miles Northeast of Santa Cruz. Lodi has about the same population as Santa Cruz, but it has no major universities. Lodians would welcome a major university!

The facilities left behind on the UC Santa Cruz campus would be sold to various commercial companies who would gladly move in and generate a substantial tax base.

Everybody wins.

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Would love to know if there's a way to help this unfortunate man; it seems the judicial system simply failed him.
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How I conclude that Amazon employs no Jews ...

Alexa! Play Passover music.

Response: I couldn't find any Passover songs.

Alexa! Play Hebrew music.

Response: I couldn't find any Hebrew songs.

Alexa! Play Jewish music.

Response: I couldn't find any Jewish songs.

Alexa! Play Klezmer music.

Response: I couldn't find any Klezmer songs.

Alexa! Play Dayenu

Response: Playing "Christmas Day in Your Heart" by Mike Boyhau.

Alexa! Play Easter music.

Response: Here's a playlist for Easter music: Gospel Easter, from Amazon Music.
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The lead personal technology writer for the NYTimes fails to mention Google+ as an alternative to Facebook!! What is wrong with Brian X. Chen?
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The "rich get richer" thanks to the a few things that were snuck into the bill to keep the government open. This just arrived from our health insurance benefits company:

January 23, 2018

“Cadillac Tax” and Health Insurance Industry Fee Delayed in Spending Bill
President Trump signed into law a short-term spending bill to reopen and fund the federal government through Feb 8, 2019. Attached to the bill are delays or suspensions of three taxes under the ACA and a six-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (“CHIP”).

The “Cadillac Tax,” the Affordable Care Act’s 40% excise tax on high-cost employer sponsored health coverage, is delayed two additional years, with a new effective date of January 1, 2022. The Health Insurance Industry Fee is suspended for one year (2019) and the Medical Device Tax is suspended for two years (2018 – 2019).

Cadillac Tax
The Cadillac Tax imposes a 40% excise tax on coverage in excess of certain annual premium thresholds. When enacted with a 2018 effective date, the thresholds were $10,200 for self only coverage and $27,500 for family coverage. The thresholds will be updated prior to the new January 1, 2022 effective date.

Health Insurance Industry Fee (a.k.a. Health Insurer Tax “HIT”)
The short-term spending bill also suspends the Health Insurance Industry Fee for 2019. This fee was effective in 2014 and only affects insured health plans. It was previously suspended for 2017, but was back in effect for 2018.

Medical Device Tax
Suspended for 2016 and 2017, the 2.3% excise tax of U.S. Medical device revenues restarted on January 1, 2018, but will now remain suspended until the end of 2019.
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Hey Governor Brown:

Call a summit of all California city building inspectors! Before the loss of dwellings from the latest natural disasters, the state already had a severe housing shortage. Demonstrate some leadership and use this opportunity to encourage changes to the local building codes to fast track important changes:

* Require telephone and electrical lines be relocated to underground conduits.
* Require micro-grids for solar power to increase self-sufficiency.
* Require construction and installation of culverts and storm drains
* Build underground water storage facilities and reservoirs to capture storm water (the drought will be back)
* No new building in canyons prone to wild fires that are difficult for fire fighters to reach.
* Require 30' defensive perimeter of fire resistant plants or gravel around dwellings.
*Outlaw wood shake roofs

Ask the city building authorities for their suggestions and input. Do the right things at the State level to shepherd their recommendations.

And ... do not say things like "California has 40 million people and is prone to wild fires and mudslides... what do you expect?"

We expect a lot more from you. You have an obligation to lead and safeguard those 40 million people. Start now.

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