Friday the 13th

EGR valve cleaning turnin into a big job. Lol
So I just put a couple of freelance writing checks into the bank, hoping to finally get caught up on the back taxes — and the “check engine” light came on. The auto shop said it was the EGR valve (part of the emissions control). So I drove to my mechanic’s to find out how much it would cost to fix it, and also to see why my A/C still isn’t working that well.

The mechanic claims the AC compressor needs both hoses replaced (about $400) and probably $300 for the valve. (He says the diaphragm is bad.)

I miss having the kind of mechanic who says, “Let me take it out and clean it first to see if I can get it to work.” This guy isn’t it, so I have to go get a second opinion somewhere else.

The Wire

wire

Don’t worry, I’m sure we can trust them all to do the right thing:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods, the Associated Press has learned.

Citing security reasons, the U.S. has intervened in routine state public records cases and criminal trials regarding use of the technology. This has resulted in police departments withholding materials or heavily censoring documents in rare instances when they disclose any about the purchase and use of such powerful surveillance equipment.

Federal involvement in local open records proceedings is unusual. It comes at a time when President Barack Obama has said he welcomes a debate on government surveillance and called for more transparency about spying in the wake of disclosures about classified federal surveillance programs.

One well-known type of this surveillance equipment is known as a Stingray, an innovative way for law enforcement to track cellphones used by suspects and gather evidence. The equipment tricks cellphones into identifying their owners’ account information and transmitting data to police as if it were a phone company’s tower. That allows police to obtain cellphone information without having to ask for help from service providers, such as Verizon or AT&T, and can locate a phone without the user even making a call or sending a text message.

But without more details about how the technology works and under what circumstances it’s used, it’s unclear whether the technology might violate a person’s constitution rights or whether it’s a good investment of taxpayer dollars.

Interviews, court records and public-records requests show the Obama administration is asking agencies to withhold common information about the equipment, such as how the technology is used and how to turn it on. That pushback has come in the form of FBI affidavits and consultation in local criminal cases.

Hobby Lobby Fires Employee For Divorcing Husband

The Daily Currant…

Hobby Lobby fired an employee yesterday for divorcing her husband without company approval.

33-year old Jennifer Silverton of Scottsdale, Ariz., spent seven years as a cashier at the arts and crafts retail giant and was promoted to assistant manager just two weeks ago.

However, her employment was abruptly terminated for reasons of “moral laxity” after upper management learned she had divorced her husband two months ago after six years of marriage.

“My ex-husband Brad has a severe drinking problem,” she explained to the Scottsdale Times. “I tried very hard to make our marriage work, but towards the end he became increasingly violent. After my daughter was born,  I decided that I just couldn’t be in that kind of environment anymore.

“I never expected filing for divorce would affect my job. But here I am. Unemployed. They told me it was for religious reasons, whatever that means. I just hope I can find something soon. I’m already late on my rent this month.”

“My ex-husband Brad has a severe drinking problem,” she explained to the Scottsdale Times. “I tried very hard to make our marriage work, but towards the end he became increasingly violent. After my daughter was born,  I decided that I just couldn’t be in that kind of environment anymore.

“I never expected filing for divorce would affect my job. But here I am. Unemployed. They told me it was for religious reasons, whatever that means. I just hope I can find something soon. I’m already late on my rent this month.”

…“But unfortunately this fornicator refused to take the Christian path. Why should we be forced to employ some hussy who bounces around from one man to the next? Maybe if she had performed her wifely duties properly, her husband wouldn’t have needed to drink so much.

”Look, the Bible doesn’t even specifically mention contraception. But Luke 16:18 tells us that divorce is as bad as adultery, which is in the Ten Commandments. That’s why we had to let her go. We couldn’t let her rotten moral core corrupt all the other employees.”

Sharing productivity gains? Don’t make me laugh

Most people I know who were lucky enough to get raises got only one or two percent:

NEW YORK (AP) — If you hope to get a raise that finally feels like one, it helps to work in the right industry.

Pay for all kinds of workers should be rising by this point in the economy’s recovery. But five years after the Great Recession officially ended, raises remain sharply uneven across industries and, as a whole, have barely kept up with prices. Overall pay has been rising about 2 percent a year, roughly equal to inflation.

The best raises have gone to workers with specialized skills in a few booming industries — energy, transportation, health care, technology. Those in retail or government have been less fortunate.

“If you’re in an in-demand field, with the right skill set, the chance of getting a raise is much higher,” says Katie Bardaro, an economist at PayScale, a pay-tracking firm.

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