June 12, 2013
Re "Trying to clear out the 'patent trolls,'" Column, June 9 The way federal law is carried out now, patents may be acquired for any one of three purposes: - To manufacture and market the invention. - To collect money from anyone else using the invention. - To keep the invention off the market. The last can happen when the invention threatens some entity's place in the market. The patent might be acquired at an offer-he-can't-refuse price, and then promptly put in the deep freeze.
May 29, 2013
Re "Good news on health costs," Editorial, May 24 Yes, it will be very, very good news when these state health insurance exchanges give individuals and small groups the buying power of large employers and other big groups within the insurance game. However, as the editorial points out, we still have to overcome a new kind of moral hazard: "The rest will have to be convinced that it's worth paying $1,360 or more next year instead of facing a $95 tax penalty. " That penalty is going to increase at a fast clip over a few years, but the reluctance of the currently healthy to buy coverage also can be overcome by imposing a $10,000 to $15,000 late entry fee for those who sign up only when they need it, and not before.
May 18, 2013
Re "The gift of a great dog," Opinion, May 16 A year ago I too thought that I'd had that one great dog, that canine soul mate never to be found again. My 13-year-old shepherd had passed away, and I was heartbroken. I couldn't even consider getting another dog for months, as I knew it would not be fair to a new dog to constantly fall short in comparison. After six months, one day when I least expected it, a 6-year-old rescued shepherd came into my family's life. We love him passionately, and now he has become the best dog ever.
May 18, 2013
Re "Go ahead, ask for a raise," Opinion, May 14 Barbara Garson's argument rests on the claim that from 1971 to 2007, worker productivity soared while inflation-adjusted worker well-being barely budged. This premise is faulty. Garson uses wages rather than total compensation (which has grown far faster), dramatically understating workers' real "pay" growth. Further, the index used to deflate wages substantially over-adjusts for inflation compared to productivity measures, creating a huge measurement bias.
May 16, 2013
Re "Journalists' records secretly collected," May 14 With any right there are associated responsibilities and restrictions. The 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms - well, not if you are a convicted felon or criminally insane. The 1st Amendment prohibits abridging the freedom of the press. I assume that does not include publishing my Social Security number or my IRA account number and password. The Associated Press' reporting of the details of a foiled terrorist plot to bring down an aircraft is not holding the government accountable.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 15, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Dynamics have shifted dramatically in California's Capitol since Gov. Jerry Brown returned two years ago - both fiscal and political dynamics. The two are intertwined. And Brown is the beneficiary. In short, because the state's fiscal health is being restored - in no small part because of Brown - he is in a much stronger position to deal with the Legislature. Essentially, the governor now needs the Legislature much less than it needs him. Brown referred to this ground-shifting in a comment toward the end of his budget news conference Tuesday.