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    Wednesday, February 20, 2008

    Jaw Dropping 401(k) Surprise


    WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that individual participants in the most common type of retirement plan can sue under a pension protection law to recover their losses.

    The unanimous decision has implications for 50 million workers with $2.7 trillion invested in 401(k) retirement plans.

    James LaRue of Southlake, Texas, said the value of his stock market holdings plunged $150,000 when administrators at his retirement plan failed to follow his instructions to switch to safer investments.

    The issue in the LaRue case was whether the Employee Retirement Income Security Act permits an individual account holder to sue plan administrators for breaching their fiduciary duties.


    I... am amazed.

    I'm going to have to think about this and get back to you.  I'm so stunned that the Supreme Court actually ruled in favor of an individual over plan administrators, I might have to change my worldview.

    Thursday, February 07, 2008

    Larry Liston Is Shockingly Stupid

    I have some bad news for you, unmarried teen parents.  One of your legislators has judged you, and found you... slutty.

    Republican Representative Larry Liston of Colorado Springs complained yesterday that society condones premarital sex and there's no longer a sense of shame in unmarried teens having children.

    "In my parents' day and age, they were sent away, they were shunned, they were called what they are. There was at least a sense of shame," Liston said of unmarried teen parents. "There's no sense of shame today. Society condones it. . . . I think it's wrong. They're sluts. And I don't mean just the women. I mean the men, too."

    You can thank CW2 in Denver
    Wait, though, it gets better.

    Liston later told The Colorado Springs Gazette later he could have chosen his words better but believes many people feel the way he does.

    You know, it's a relief to know that the belief that many people feel the way that he does somehow makes his word choice acceptable for the teenage audience.  "Lots of people think the way that I do.  Therefore, what I think must be right."

    Perhaps Mr. Liston is a teenager himself? 


    How unfortunate.

    Wednesday, February 06, 2008

    No, You Can't Have My DNA. My DNA. Not Yours

    Yet another idea that seems like a good idea at first glance, but is a terrible idea in practice.

    From Diego Olmos-Alcalde, charged a decade after the murder of Susannah Chase in Boulder, to Tim Masters, released after a decade in prison for a murder he apparently did not commit, to Friday's announcement of the apprehension of two suspects, one for a 1976 murder and another for rapes dating to 2004, examples abound of the importance of human DNA in criminal investigation.

    So it's hard to argue with Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey or dismiss his call for legislation authorizing law enforcement in Colorado to collect DNA from crime suspects when they are booked rather than waiting until after they are convicted of a felony.

    Viva the Rocky Mountain News.

    Under no circumstances should a person that's simply booked for a crime be forced to fork over their DNA.  Frankly, they aren't guilty.  If, and only IF, a person wants to give over their DNA, they can, but that is a choice.  But forced to?  No way.  This is an awful idea.  Why?

    1.  This encourages police to arrest anyone and everyone for anything.
    2.  The person is only accused, and not convicted, of a crime and is being subjected of the most private of their property being seized by government.
    3.  People who are not criminals will have their DNA on file with government agencies. 
    4.  Unanswered is where DNA records will be stored or kept, or the privacy (meaning non-sale) of the DNA records provided.

    This is an overreaction to high profile cases where DNA played a major part.  Ah, fear: the most wonderful of motivators.

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