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Comment: Re:Who'll spit on my burger?! (Score 2) 870

by BarefootClown (#46580267) Attached to: Job Automation and the Minimum Wage Debate

So...production increased at a rate greater than cost increased?

Yeah, it's not about actual dollars spent. It's about marginal cost: cost per unit of production. Put differently, the company increased in output more than it increased its spending; that means it's now a bigger company, in terms of market saturation, and has a greater profit, both in absolute terms and likely a greater profit margin as well.

Comment: Rule of Law (Score 5, Interesting) 519

by BarefootClown (#46423821) Attached to: Massachusetts Court Says 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal

This is a good thing for anybody who believes in the rule of law. Laws should be written to clearly put those governed on notice as to what behavior is prohibited. Pervy or not, if the photographer was within the actual letter of the law, he shouldn't be be held criminally liable for doing something which was not prohibited. The solution is not to "interpret" the law to extend beyond its text; the solution is to fix the bad law.

If laws can be "interpreted" to go beyond their plain meanings, then it becomes difficult for those subject to them to figure out what is prohibited. Not only is it patently unfair to hold someone accountable for an action that wasn't listed as prohibited, there is a strong constitutional precedent for holding it "void for vagueness." See, e.g., Connally v. General Construction Co., 269 U.S. 385, 391 (1926):

[T]he terms of a penal statute [...] must be sufficiently explicit to inform those who are subject to it what conduct on their part will render them liable to its penalties and a statute which either forbids or requires the doing of an act in terms so vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application violates the first essential of due process of law.

Comment: Re:We are ALL Temporary employees (Score 1) 287

by BarefootClown (#46154883) Attached to: Layoffs At Now-Private Dell May Hit Over 15,000 Staffers

I don't know whether this move by Dell is the equivalent of liposuction or maiming, but I suspect the latter. They've gone to all the trouble of screening and training these 15,000 people, and now they're going to throw that all away. If this is part of a plan to change their areas of business, why not spin off those sections of the company instead of destroy them? Or are they saying their hiring and planning decisions really were that poor and corrupt, and now they have to clean house?

Dell has been buying a lot of other companies lately. That tends to create substantial redundancy. Additionally, if the market is shrinking, a smaller sales force is appropriate.

Comment: Re:Good idea... (Score 1) 81

by BarefootClown (#45716307) Attached to: The Case For a Global, Compulsory Bug Bounty

What will happen is that companies will spawn off sub-contractors which do all the coding and are completely offshore entities.

For example, foocorp spawns off ABC Coders. ABC Coders just does business in one country, selling and maintaining its codebase to foocorp. Foocorp is just a customer, so if a government demands a bug bounty, they would have to go upstream to ABC Coders, and since ABC Coders does not do international business, they can give other nations the middle finger when it comes to their regulations.

If ABC is offshore, and sells to foocorp, then isn't that "international business" kind of by definition?

Comment: Re:Wrong use of money these days (Score 1) 356

by BarefootClown (#45716253) Attached to: GM's CEO Rejects Repaying Feds for Bailout Losses

While they lost money on the face of it, the economy gained value, likely in excess of the $10B loss.

Debatable. Had GM gone through a proper bankruptcy, the profitable assets could have been put to more productive use in an entity run competently. We've lost the value of that opportunity. However, nobody sees that because the loss is diffused over the entire economy, as compared to a loss that would have been felt acutely by the employees who would lose their jobs in Detroit (despite the jobs that would have been gained in, say, Atlanta). One has a face now; the other doesn't, so we get bailouts instead of housecleaning.

Comment: Re:Sensational Summary Session? (Score 1) 897

by BarefootClown (#39343557) Attached to: How To Crash the US Justice System: Demand a Trial

Gee, an officer replied to a DV call of a man beating his wife, comes in and sees a woman with a black eye and a dude that smells of whiskey* -- do we really need a jury to decide that one?

Depends. Did he really beat her, or was she filing a false report to get even with him for coming home drunk again after going home with the blonde at the bar?

How do you know? Seems like we need a trial to figure it out. Fortunately, the Constitution protects the accused's right to have one.

Comment: Re:Tea Party is the mix you seek. (Score 1) 639

by BarefootClown (#38475760) Attached to: In the simplistic left/right divide, I'd call myself

I'm fiscally conservative and socially liberal too [in fact I think a lot of people would be, if they took the time to think about it], but I don't think the Tea Party is a good fit. Sure, they call themselves fiscally conservative, but then they scream "keep your hands off my Medicare!" in the next breath. They're really more the "I got mine so fuck you" party.

The real tragedy that's going on here is that the Libertarians and Greens aren't capitalizing on the Tea Party and Occupy movements (respectively), and then forming a coalition.

I'll agree in part and disagree in part. I'm an informal (deliberate-lowercase) tea partier myself; I've many friends who count themselves the same. To a man, we all want to simply be left the hell alone, and are perfectly willing (nay, eager!) to give up Medicare, Social Security, etc., though we would prefer to keep the premiums we pay for those services and save/invest them for our future needs.

The media doesn't interview us, though.

The tea party is a marvelously robust and dynamic crowd, sharing many values with the occupy (again deliberate) crowd. The media and the political class like to quantize the people into easily-defined camps; as the great-grandparent poster noted, it's a multivariate problem even after simplification. You're right in complaining that the Libertarians and Greens aren't capitalizing on the movements (not respectively, as there's a fair degree of overlap), but the real problem is that the Republicans are co-opting the Tea Party (deliberate caps) movement (and, to a lesser degree, the Democrats are co-opting the Occupy movement).

The fundamental problem is--again, as GGP poster said--the reduction to a Boolean variable. Reality doesn't fit neatly into black-and-white, but black-and-white is the easiest thing for people to understand. Black or white; is or isn't; with us or against us. It's Duckspeak in its purest form. The real problem is that thinking is hard. I've known people who will spend ten hours a day doing backbreaking physical labor in the heat of an Oklahoma summer's day, but if you try to spend two minutes engaging them in thought, they give up. Thinking is harder than just about anything else man has conceived. I don't discount myself: I can run two miles and feel energized, but after a day of hard work at my terminal, sitting in a comfortable chair in an air-conditioned office, I'm ready for a beer and a good night's sleep.

I seem to be drifting. To return to the point: the real issue is that the system propagates the black-and-white myth, when reality recognizes not only shades of gray, but an entire spectrum of color. Try getting the media to report on that; there's talk of the Fairness Doctrine--try getting the babbling class to recognize that "fairness" required not one opposing commentator, but hundreds, if not thousands, all differing subtly, and most with at least some degree of validity.

Comment: Re:What the hell is wrong with this country? (Score 2) 416

by BarefootClown (#37881216) Attached to: Weaponizable Police UAV Now Operational In Texas

The majority may not be active thugs, but they are at the very least silent enablers. Look at what happened to NYPD's Adrian Schoolcraft: he secretly recorded roll call, exposing police corruption. After he let the public know the truth, several officers--including supervisory officers--concocted stories to arrest him and forcibly commit him to psychiatric care.

To the best of my knowledge, not a single one stepped up and said "hey, he's telling the truth."

Enablers, the lot of them, and that puts them squarely on the side of the wrongdoers, more interested in their positions and their paycheques than in the safety and well-being of the citizens they are sworn to serve and protect.

Comment: Re:Great, TFS is a troll (Score 1) 232

by BarefootClown (#37864546) Attached to: Redbox Raises Its Prices To $1.20 Per Day

Redbox OTOH, now that it has banished most of the Blockbuster and all the Hollywood video stores, seems to be taking advantage of the situation. There is no acknowledgement that some customers might have trouble with the extra cents and have to cut back.

$DEITY forfend! Somebody might have to cut back from six movie rentals per week to five! Next thing you know, Redbox will be making its clients sell their children at discount prices just to heat their cardboard boxes!

Perspective. Get some.

Comment: Re:Commerce -- Seriously? What about the constitio (Score 2, Insightful) 2247

by BarefootClown (#37776874) Attached to: Ron Paul Suggests Axing 5 U.S. Federal Departments (and Budgets)

Ahem. "The Congress shall have Power To..." is authority, not a mandate. The Congress can choose not to exercise its power in a given area if it wishes. In fact, in some circumstances, the fact that Congress has chosen not to legislate may itself be considered a form of regulation, and not subject to further regulation by the states.

Comment: Re:Nice (Score 2) 2247

by BarefootClown (#37776802) Attached to: Ron Paul Suggests Axing 5 U.S. Federal Departments (and Budgets)

We landed men on the moon a decade before the Department of Education was created. It's not that education isn't necessary, its that it doesn't have to be managed at the Federal level. Do you really think our education system is substantially better than it was in the fifties and sixties, and that the improvement is a result of Federal action?

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson