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Comment: Re:Waiting for Republicans to come in and defend t (Score 4, Interesting) 316

by 517714 (#48838439) Attached to: Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture

True enough, and in this case he probably will have earned it.

On the face of it, it sounds like a good move. If applied evenly, and without ulterior motives, I am unabashedly for this one and will give credit where it is due. The administration isn't calling for a change in the law here (and neither are any Republicans) which might indicate they wanted a restoration of our rights. That means they simply want to use this law to further their agenda. I suspect the status quo would be better than what they plan.

The current administration is choosing not to enforce some existing laws, notably immigration, and wants to preclude other entities from enforcing those same laws - I don't believe any reasonable person would dispute that statement. There is little they can do currently about Joe Arapaio enforcing Federal Laws, except choose not to prosecute the cases.

I expect at least two abuses to be in the works:

It will be used as a tool to increase Federal presence/control/"cooperation" in local law enforcement through funding controls/incentives/inducements. We all know how well that has worked out in Education. It will mean more shared data about us being available to the Federal Government.

Currently the Federal Government cannot directly compel states to enforce federal regulations because of the10th Amendment. This will be used as an end run around that, since the Commerce Clause has never worked very well in compelling the states in law enforcement (drinking age being a notable exception). Laws such as the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act which had enforcement provisions that were ruled unconstitutional will get their enforcement at the state level because of this type of financial leveraging. It will be used selectively to punish those localities that are not compliant with the wishes of the Federal Government in some regard, and reward those that are aligned with the administration's agendas. Expect Chicago, DC and NYC to be rewarded for their gun controls and Maricopa County, AZ to be punished for its enforcement of immigration laws. Expect the reverse under the next Republican President.

This is a bad law that we need to have repealed, and not made worse by politically selective application.

Comment: Re:And we're surprised why? (Score 1) 392

the point I was replying to was the contention that you could avoid a corporation which misbehaved, but not government.

I made no such broad statement. I didn't say we could avoid a corporation that misbehaved or that government couldn't behave properly, only that government hadn't behaved properly in those cases.

It is interesting that you think UPMC is led by people who behave badly, yet you want their services, and you seem to give a pass to Highmark which makes much more money. Highmark has already demonstrated in central PA that it does not treat other hospitals on an equal basis with its own. Highmark has higher deductibles and copays for Geisinger Health System, and would undoubtedly do the same with UPMC. One of the factors that contributed to the bankruptcy of West Penn Allegheny was Highmark's reduced payment scales to it, so Highmark hasn't demonstrated any concern for sustained healthcare availability in the region, nobody else would buy WPA because they would have to deal with Highmark on its terms and suffer a similar fate. UPMC simply chose not to be the victim back in 2009 or after the WPA acquisition. You were disadvantaged by Highmark.

Comment: Re:And we're surprised why? (Score 3, Interesting) 392

Wow, yourself. You presented a plausible scenario with essentially no information, it is less than anecdotal evidence, indistinguishable from fantasy. With a city and the parties identified, it actually becomes meaningful and verifiable (or disprovable).

I didn't say government should be involved in any dispute between companies, so where do you come off claiming I advocate its involvement in all such disputes? You're trying to paint me as being extreme, and I may be, but on the other side from that you accuse me of being.

You paint UPMC as the villain, but I do not accept your contention. I think you've been watching too many Highmark commercials that have been attacking UPMC. What I see is two companies which are each involved in activities they should have been barred from by state (not federal) regulators. UPMC has been a healthcare provider for a long time, in 1998 it was allowed to offer healthcare insurance, Highmark has been a healthcare insurer for a long time and last year purchased West Penn Allegheny (which had sued both Highmark and UPMC for acting together to stifle hospital competition) to became a healthcare provider. I see two governmental agencies, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department and the Division of Acute and Ambulatory Care, failing to represent the interests of the people of Pennsylvania by failing to prevent the obvious conflict of interest involved in allowing integrated delivery system providers (particularly in companies which already dominated one aspect of that system). The solution is for government to take actions to eliminate its need for further involvement, and the state went the other way, reminiscent of our" too big to fail" banks.

You portray UPMC as the bully using its position to dominate the market for healthcare when Highmark is a much bigger company in both revenues and profits that dominates the region in providing health insurance, which purchased the plaintiff in the antitrust suit against it to kill the suit, and is in the catbird seat as it has the revenue up front and can direct business to itself for its customers who would have little choice while UPMC can merely cut off its nose to spite its face by not accepting Highmark insurance thereby turning away business, I hardly think that is the abusive position you suggest. It was not the local government that dealt with the mess, it was the Pennsylvania Insurance Department which should have prevented the issue 26 years ago.

Comment: Re:And we're surprised why? (Score 0) 392

by 517714 (#47956491) Attached to: Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Rollout
Please name, "my city", "one company", and "another company", or it didn't happen. If you think being able to vote for the people and policies in government is worthwhile, why does your city have the problems you have described? Those problems exist because politicians see those problems as opportunities and solutions. When a city grants a monopoly, they can put whatever requirements they like on those ISP's, but they don't. Ever.

Comment: Re:Already solved? (Score 1) 32

by 517714 (#47370419) Attached to: Hierarchical Membrane For Cleaning Up Oil Spills
Technically, yes, there are solutions. Politically, no, the Federal Government would not allow BP to deploy booms and skimmers that, being under foreign registries, might not be unionized. In hindsight, BP should have used them and appealed to Congress, the courts, and the American people for relief from the Executive Department's overreach.

Comment: Re:Same lie, two people, different outcome (Score 1) 560

by 517714 (#47327999) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data
You said the data is on the tape, therefore it isn't lost . You said you deleted the unneeded data, therefore you didn't lose it, you disposed of it. I see nothing accidental in your actions - or those of the IRS. The part about your whole life may be true nonetheless.

Comment: Great Timing (Score 1) 216

by 517714 (#47249569) Attached to: US Agency Aims To Regulate Map Aids In Vehicles

They waited until the competition was (largely) eliminated by smartphone apps, and Google and Apple were finally in a position to start monetizing the service again (you used to pay for navigation hardware and/or programs) so we will undoubtedly see worsening map quality since there won't be enough revenue for those greedy sumbitches once the regulations are slathered on.

Call your congress critter and tell him to think long and hard before voting for this act.

To the systems programmer, users and applications serve only to provide a test load.