PearlY 4 days, 12 hours ago on Letter - Real names should be used on U-B website posts

Here's a partial list of the information available online starting only with a person's name and county of residence:


Home address;

Name and birthdate of all other adult residents of that address as of 2012;

Ownership of home address;

Other real estate owned;

For all real estate owned: tax-assessed value and property tax, square footage of home and acreage, property sketch and pictures, numbers of bedrooms and baths, purchase price and when and from whom purchased; building permits issued; land classification (ag, open, forest); whether a senior exemption is claimed based on low income.

Debt owed on owned property (starting amount of mortgage and whom it's owed to); Usually, home telephone number;

Names of neighbors;

What the person's signature looks like;

Criminal history, including traffic offenses;

Civil litigation history, including divorces, collections, etc.

If divorced (for some of this you might have to go to a courthouse):
    terms of property division, sometimes including bank and brokerage account numbers;
    children's names, ages, child support ordered, and income it was based on;
    alimony ordered;
    often, detailed descriptions of debt, sometimes including credit card numbers;
    if a contentious divorce, often enormous  numbers of details of your personal life;
    if an old divorce (more than 10-15 years ago, Social Security numbers of couple AND their children.

Bankruptcy history and if there was one, full details of all debt, assets, employment and income;

Boats owned;

Often, cars owned if amounts are owed on them (this might cost a nominal fee to the searcher);

Businesses owned, including formation date, formation type, registered agent, co-owners;

Various kinds of government subsidies received (farm subsidies, for instance).

Often, employer, occupation, business location, educational background, club memberships, marathon racing times,

And, of course, Letters to the Editor written.


PearlY 4 days, 13 hours ago on Letter - Dare to say no to Wa-Hi bond

You probably missed it, but I asked you before where this "32 kids per class" comes from, when the ratio of kids to certificated teachers based on the numbers posted on the District's website is closer to 16. Where do you get the 32-student classroom size?


PearlY 1 week ago on Letter - Today is Equal Pay Day

If every difference in pay between co-workers is presumptively grounds for a lawsuit, forcing employers to prove in court that it was NOT based on gender, most rational people would demand a considerably higher reward for investing in a business, since the risks would be higher. This necessarily reduces the capital available for economic growth. If women are in fact less privileged in the job market, lower economic growth will disproportionately harm them.

And frankly, though I'm a woman myself and have hired mostly women in my business life and paid good wages, I'd be less inclined to do so, not more so, when it subjects me to the risk that every single decision I might make about compensation, benefits or job conditions could be second-guessed in a lawsuit if some woman employee gets annoyed with me. Business decisions should not be subject to jury review unless there's some evidence to start with that there was discriminatory intent on the part of the employer.

This legislation is actually bad for women in the job market, but politicians no longer care about that.


PearlY 1 week ago on Letter - Facts, psuedo facts and Initiative 594

Mr. D'Agostino says: "A major contributing factor to irresponsible gun ownership is the gun show loophole. . . ."
But is that a fact, or is it a myth, or as you say, a pseudo fact?

Where is the factual evidence that "irresponsible gun ownership" stems from gun shows?
As I think back over the various high-profile shooting incidents of the last few years, I can't recall a single one where the firearm(s) used were acquired by the shooter at a gun show from a private seller. Can you point to any?
In fact, can you point to ANY shootings, high profile or otherwise, where the firearm was acquired by the shooter from a private seller at a gun show? Much less enough of such incidents to make gun shows a "major contributor" to irresponsible gun ownership?

I really doubt that you can.

(I emphasize "by the shooter from a private seller" because even at gun shows if you buy from a licensed dealer you must go through a background check, and even people who pass background checks sometimes illegally acquire guns for third parties or have them stolen, which is hardly the fault of the gun show.)

I also have to wonder at your description of a gun show as somewhere where absolutely anyone can buy firearms - minors included. At least in Washington the WAC gun shows do not allow minors to make purchases. For that matter, they don't allow non-members to make any private purchases or sales, or members to make them to people who have not passed an NICS records check. If you check out their website, you'll find their internal regulations are quite strict.


PearlY 1 week, 1 day ago on Letter - Windmills turning aren’t necessarily generating

Well, I'm not Mr. Thorn, and here's an "anti-windmill" post: They're ugly as sin, and the only way they'll contribute appreciably to our energy needs is if they visually pollute every natural vista in our State. Funny how people who freak out about visually polluting ANWR (where only the caribou will see it) have no problem despoiling the natural beauty millions depend on to refresh their souls.


PearlY 1 week, 5 days ago on Letter - Putin brings to light God-spoken principals

Of course not. Any more than drunk drivers are altruistically encouraging people to wear seat belts. But while we try to get more drunk drivers off the road, and more bullies off the school yard, why ignore the fact that seat belts are a partial defense to drunk drivers, and a thick skin is an even better defense against bullies?


PearlY 1 week, 5 days ago on Letter - Why are property taxes going up so much?

We have one certificated teacher for every 18 students in Wi-Hi (not counting the 8 administrators who are probably certificated as well). Why are class sizes 30+?


PearlY 1 week, 5 days ago on Letter - This economic recovery isn’t real

As long as "other people's money" keeps flowing, we can count on at least a feeble economic recovery.

Take a look at the 29 jobs listings here on the U-B, for jobs within 10 miles of our zip code.

Eleven are for government agencies or entities that derive most or all of their money from direct government subsidies. Eleven more are for entities that depend heavily on indirect government subsidies like Medicaid, Medicare and aid to higher education. Only seven are from purely private employers.

How sustainable is an economy that requires government to subsidize more than 75% of the jobs out there?


PearlY 1 week, 6 days ago on Letter - Putin brings to light God-spoken principals

I'm with you on the harm of "preventing loving couples from marrying, curtailing rights to inheritance or hospital visitations, etc."

But causing others to feel undeserved shame? No. That cannot be laid at the door of anyone who expresses a critical or negative view of someone else or someone else's behavior.

We all ultimately are responsible for the care and nurturance of our own self-image, and have no business demanding that others shut up lest we be offended. Even our schools in recent years seem determined to cultivate hypersensitivity and emotional fragility, instead of resilience and the thick skin that would better serve our children as they mature.

Do you really see a "slow death of overt racism"? Legally, yes, Jim Crow is gone, but among individuals it sometimes seems to me that racism is more deep-seated, bitter, and intractable now that it was when I was younger. "Underground" is where sunlight and fresh air can't go to disinfect and dissipate.


PearlY 1 week, 6 days ago on Letter - Real names should be used on U-B website posts

Dan, today we have a very good example of what the risks are of putting your name to your ideas.

The CEO and co-founder of Mozilla (developers of Firefox) has been forced out of his job and his company because eight years ago he made a $1000 political contribution to an organization opposing gay marriage. Forget that eight years ago was about six years before even Barack Obama's ideas on gay marriage had "evolved" to the "correct" position. There are plenty of folks out there, including some who have commented here, who think anyone who engages in such thought crimes is, in George Orwell's Newspeak, doubleplusungood, and should immediately be rendered unemployable. How long before permanent unemployment is inadequate and thought criminals are forcibly re-educated? I'd like to think it couldn't happen in this country, but the fact is, it can happen anywhere.

As far as the importance of this issue, I think you underestimate it. Our society is currently engaged in a largely ignored struggle between those who uphold the concept of freedom in thought and expression and those who would silence any view they oppose, in every way they can. One way they can is by forcing people to choose between their livelihoods and their ideas.