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Comment: Re:Robots... (Score 1) 272

by HiThere (#46827283) Attached to: Skilled Manual Labor Critical To US STEM Dominance

Sorry, but that's not it. Insurance requirements have caused almost all schools (at least locally) to totally eliminate both wood and metal shop.

It wasn't that the students didn't want the classes (even if they didn't want that as a job), it was that the classes were cancelled, and the shops ripped out of the schools.

Comment: Re:LOL ... (Score 1) 272

by HiThere (#46827149) Attached to: Skilled Manual Labor Critical To US STEM Dominance

In a just society lawyers would have an honorable place. That, of course, doesn't say much about the ones currently existing.

Actually, even advertising has a worthwhile place in a society. Their place is ensuring that accurate information about what is being sold is available. Somehow that doesn't match what the job currently entails...except sometimes.

Comment: Re:next thing you know, police will have helicopte (Score 1) 188

by HiThere (#46811107) Attached to: Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied On a Whole City

Not helicopters. They are too expensive. Quadcopter drones possibly. Or areostats. Or blimps. There are lots of choices, each has its advantages and disadvantages. But a robot eye-in-the-sky doesn't need to be very big or support a lot of weight...or be very expensive.

I don't like it, but expect it to happen.

Comment: Re:No answer will be given (Score 2) 307

FWIW, I'm not greatly in favor of Obamacare. I don't know how much to blame him for the implementation, but it's horribly flawed. Mainly because he didn't cut out the insurance companies, but also because he gave the drug companies a sweet deal. Also because it STILL isn't universal coverage.

Basic medical coverage should be a universal coverage. Insurance should be for coverage for exceptionals cases. It's true that drawing that line is not a straightforwards matter, but it should at least cover vaccines, clinic visits, emergency room coverage, yearly physicals. After that it starts getting questionable. I would probably side with universal coverage for more services, but I can understand that it's not a clear line. Which perscription drugs should be covered? Which non-perscription drugs? Etc.

My general feeling is that universal coverage should be available for debilitating problems, but not necessarily for fatal problems or cosmetic problems. Perhaps those should be extra cost options (i.e., insurance). Basic long term health care should be covered, but that doesn't include extras that aren't medically necessary. So some level of amenities should be either from savings or from insurance. Etc.

P.S.: When your health insurance raises its rate on you, do you automatically believe the reason they give? Can you check to determine that it's true? To me it usually seems that they are lying, or at best only telling a partial truth. This is true even when I feel that the actual amount of raise is reasonable. Perhaps the total number of proven lies from government and from corporate spokesmen just makes me doubt anything they say, but it does call their honor, integrity, and trustworthiness into doubt. This is slightly unfair as those making the statement (to the extent that it can be determined) aren't the same as those who have been proven to be lying. But they share so many of the same characteristics...

Comment: Re:the power of the internet .... (Score 1) 88

by HiThere (#46808765) Attached to: General Mills Retracts "No Right to Sue" EULA Clause

I complained about the license to our company lawyer, and his response was "They have not legal basis to enforce it". I switched away from MS as my only defense. Later, for a similar reason, but introduced more sneakily, I also switched away from Apple. (They introduced new language in a "mandatory security upgrade".)

As at first Linux didn't have a decent word processor, this made things difficult. (My choices were AbiWord, HTML, or Tex...UGH! I generally used HTML.) Fortunately StarOffice soon became available...and evolved into OpenOffice. But music score editors are still a bit primitive. I can use Frescobaldi, etc., but my wife refuses to learn, so she uses MusicScore and emits Lilypond with I reformat in Frescobaldi. And even that isn't up to Finale or Sibelius.

Comment: Re:Lawyers (Score 1) 88

by HiThere (#46808639) Attached to: General Mills Retracts "No Right to Sue" EULA Clause

YES. Management never, or rarely, reads legal documents.

P.S.: This does not absolve management of responsibility. The lawyers are acting as their agent, so they are responsible for what is done in their name. This is also true for the Board of Directors, and for the corporation itself. They are all guilty, to approximately the same degree. Unfortunately, were this to lead to a legal suit it would be only the stockholders in the corporation that paid. This is an incredible mis-alignment of responsibility. Those who don't know about the misdeed are (essentially) the only ones that pay.

Comment: Re:Joke about lawyers (Score 1) 88

by HiThere (#46808553) Attached to: General Mills Retracts "No Right to Sue" EULA Clause

I believe it was judge Learned Hand who said they could neither be put in prison nor commit treason. And in a strict sense he was correct, but the members of the board of directors and the top management could be put in prison as the legal representatives of the corporation. And I feel that if the coporation commits negligent homocide, then they *should* be so imprisoned. And they could be called felons for the rest of their lives, and forbidden the right to vote or to own arms (unless other felons also have those rights). And "own" should be extended to mean either in person or by proxy. I.e., nobody should be allowed those right when acting as their agent.

Comment: Re:Corporate death penalty? (Score 1) 88

by HiThere (#46808507) Attached to: General Mills Retracts "No Right to Sue" EULA Clause

Okay, I have often heard this call for a corporate death penalty. However, how do you envision this would work? Despite the twisted perspective of the courts, corporations are nothing more than the real, human people who own them and work for them

The board of directors and top management.

On a more serious note, a coproate death penalty means the dissolution of the corporate charter and dispersal of its assets to creditors, and then, if any are left, to stockholders. I do feel that this is insufficient, and some extremely harsh penalty should be imposed on the members of the Board of Directors and on the top management of the corporation, but that is not, strictly speaking, within the jurisdiction of the "corporate death penalty".

Comment: Re:Is it even legal for a judge to sign a warrant. (Score 1) 168

by HiThere (#46808329) Attached to: Peoria Mayor Sends Police To Track Down Twitter Parodist

What evidence would you expect to find?

You are right, that I don't have anything in the way of good evidence. I have only the evidence of judges making decisions the are flagrantly illegal, and which are to the benefit of local politicians. And since I'm not a lawyer, my idea of "flagrantly illegal" doesn't carry much weight.

So lets just consider the MS anti-trust case, where the first judge found against MS, was quoted by a journalist as saying things that weren't complimentary to MS *after he had pronounced judgement* and was then removed from the case and replaced by a different judge who gave MS only nominal penalties, which were actually even to their advantage.

I'm sure it was purely coincidence that between the first judge's ruling and the appointment of the second judge, MS began making large political donations.

Comment: Re:Canada does not have free speech (Score 1) 168

by HiThere (#46808249) Attached to: Peoria Mayor Sends Police To Track Down Twitter Parodist

The Pentagon Papers was 30 years ago. The government has changed what it claims to be allowed to do in that period. E.g., it has "suspended" Habeus Corpus. And it has instituted a system where "law enforcement" officers are allowed to profit by confiscating the property of people on accusation of a crime without waiting for conviction.

You can claim that "national security letters are just used to investigate", but since those very letters usually forbid the recipient from revealing what they demant, this cannot be proven. To say that they are only used in this way can only be based on what the government claims they are used for, and it has repeatedly lied.

Comment: Re:What can you do? (Score 1) 397

by HiThere (#46796173) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

I think you're wrong. Both sides go in for regulation, regardless of their rhetoric. (Cicero originally formalized rhetoric as a way of lying in a convincing manner, and taught it in a school for Roman politicians.)

They do tend to regulate different things, but neither side ever seems to undo the other sides regulations, no matter how adversely they may affect the citizenry. After all, they need something to vilify their opponents about.

There has been a little distress selling on the stock exchange. -- Thomas W. Lamont, October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday)