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Comment: Re:Level playing field (Score 1) 705

by Ghengis Khak (#35804382) Attached to: Senator Wants to Tax Internet Shopping

Care to advance an argument instead of an unsubstantiated claim? Call me pedantic.

Brick and mortar shops tend to have higher out-the-door prices because, among other reasons, there is often a sales tax attached to the purchase. Amazon doesn't. The playing field is leveled in this respect when the tax burden attached to the Amazon purchase is the same as for the B&M shop. This could be at a rate of zero, the current tax rate, something in between, or something greater.

I will then go on to speculate that he is arguing that money in the individual consumer's hands does far more to produce wealth because it is likely to be spent on something that individual actually wants than when it is funneled through the tax system (overhead) and subsequently given out for some boondoggle/bailout/subsidy/war/etc.

Comment: Re:Better to keep work life and home life separate (Score 1) 369

by Ghengis Khak (#35631648) Attached to: Using the Open Records Law To Intimidate Critics

Professor Cronon did just that. It's not his personal correspondence that's at stake here.

His problem with the request is twofold: 1. It was clearly done in retaliation for his writing about the American Legislative Exchange Council, since what the request is looking for is information that could be taken out of context to portray him as a left-wing nutcase on the payroll of the unions that are opposing Scott Walker. He's not at all keen on attempts to create a chilling effect on free speech.

2. Much of his professional correspondence is expected to be confidential, such as conversations with students, working with colleagues on peer reviews of not-yet-published material, or work on the boards of professional organizations he belongs to. If he were working for a private company, he'd have confidentiality and trade secret laws to help protect that stuff.

I don't disagree with (1), but (2) is probably a non-issue since apparently the request is only for communications relating to particular subjects. FTFA:

Copies of all emails into and out of Prof. William Cronon’s state email account from January 1, 2011 to present which reference any of the following terms: Republican, Scott Walker, recall, collective bargaining, AFSCME, WEAC, rally, union, Alberta Darling, Randy Hopper, Dan Kapanke, Rob Cowles, Scott Fitzgerald, Sheila Harsdorf, Luther Olsen, Glenn Grothman, Mary Lazich, Jeff Fitzgerald, Marty Beil, or Mary Bell.

Comment: Re:Nothing New Here... (Score 1) 369

by Ghengis Khak (#35631436) Attached to: Using the Open Records Law To Intimidate Critics

But conservatives dominate the mass media, so the socalled effort by dems to demand fairness is nothing but more right wing BS

Look at , say, Charlie Rose: as R Nader recently posted on www.commondreams.org, a majority of Rose's guests are right of center corporate spokespeople.

Look at , say, the N Y Times: it acted as a cheerleader in the lies leading up to the Iraq ware (I think lies is an accurate word here)

Look at how, say the leaders of BofAmerica, Goldman or Citi are portrayed in the media: are they protrayed as crimminals, who ran vast fradulent enterprises (yes, crimminally negligent loan practices) or are they portrayed, say by Obama, as people deserving of their salarys ?

The truth is that radical conservatives, backed by a handfull of ultra wealthy people (Kochs, Murdoch) dominate nearly everything in this country except universitys and unions; thats why the right is so bent on destroying tenure and collective bargining - it is the one area that is still outside their control.

And I think "radical conservative" is fair, because, by definition, something that is to the right of what a majority of people in this country think is rightwing; say the union thing in WI; a majority of Americans are opposed; if this were not driven by Koch like money, it would never have got as far as it has

Or to follow identical logic except attacking the other side, the entire media is left wing because the NYT (left wing) is a war-cheering bunch of corporate shills and so is Charle Rose. See what I did there?

Corporatism/cronyism, as you (unintentionally?) do a good job of pointing out, is common to both sides of the political coin. Don't worry about that though, its all the Other Team's fault. Also, just go ahead and ignore the fact that George Soros (basically the Koch brothers of the left) pours money into opposing causes like moveon.org (backing a lot of the pro-union stuff in WI) and the huffington post.

Comment: Re:Sounds like a headache (Score 1) 1306

by Ghengis Khak (#35616876) Attached to: US Contemplating 'Vehicle Miles Traveled' Tax

I kinda get what you are feeling, but in reality, the government DOES want people getting what they want. The happiest people are the easiest to control and manage. This is true in prison as it is true in society. "No way" all you like, but happy people don't protest, don't demonstrate, don't riot and certainly don't attempt to oust their leaders from office.

Absolute nonsense. If people being happy happens to coincide with whatever goals the government people have they are probably willing to let it be, but as soon as those two concepts come into conflict they have no problem shitting all over us. Examples - TSA, bank bailouts, Patriot Act, drug war to name just a few.

Holding onto their power is the only thing those in power care about. Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan, Alexander Haig, summed it up nicely when he said "Let them march all they want, as long as they continue to pay their taxes."

Comment: Re:Multitaksking (Score 1) 348

by Ghengis Khak (#35592662) Attached to: Senators To Apple: Pull iPhone DUI-Check Alerts

One would hope that Senators would refrain from publicizing personal opinions that might lead to inappropriate legislation. When they are described as $Senator_x rather than $Inconsequential_Person_x their opinions carry additional weight as public figures. Sucks to be them in some senses, but they do lose the opportunity to be 'private' citizens.

I wouldn't assume that everything a politician says has the weight of his office behind it. For example, if Harry Reid mentions to his family over dinner that he doesn't like soccer, that shouldn't (and probably wouldn't) be taken to mean that he has any policy goals in mind relating to soccer. However in the case at hand, the fact that these four Senators got together and wrote a letter (probably on some official Congressional letterhead, though I don't know for sure) and probably publicized the letter indicates to me that this opinion is their "official" one.

Comment: Re:Traffic Situation (Score 1) 348

by Ghengis Khak (#35590784) Attached to: Senators To Apple: Pull iPhone DUI-Check Alerts

Unfortunately, the religious right who makes a habit of spitting on the constitution, want to make not drunk driving illegal, but drinking illegal. They want these checkpoint to infringe on the legal activity of law abiding citizens. They think that everyone should be forced, even at gunpoint, to follow all the social norms they believe are correct.

Nice. Just pin everything on the people you disagree with despite what TFA says:

Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Tom Udall (D-NM) asked Scott Forstall, the head of Apple's iPhone software group, to pull an unspecified number of apps from the company's App Store. The senators also made similar requests of Google's CEO Eric Schmidt and Research in Motion's (RIM) co-CEOs, James Balsillie and Michael Lazaridis.

Oppression is bipartisan, but in this case it is the Blue Team at work.

Comment: Re:Multitaksking (Score 1) 348

by Ghengis Khak (#35589554) Attached to: Senators To Apple: Pull iPhone DUI-Check Alerts

Personally, I have no problems with the Senators calling for this app to be removed, as long as they do not threaten to pass some law about it. The existence of this app is no business of the Federal Government. If the Senators want to express their personal opinion that this app is a bad idea, that is their right.

I guess I agree that, in principle, a senator is just like any other person and has the right to speak their mind about whatever they want. But on the other hand, they are not like any other person because they seem to generally feel like they have the right (the obligation even!) and means to interfere in other people's lives by enacting some kind of policy to give force to their ideas. It is what they do.

Given all this, I'd say that the prospect of the federal government at least trying to insert itself into this situation is likely.

Comment: Re:Did you really expect anyhting else? (Score 1) 285

by Ghengis Khak (#35539416) Attached to: How Is Obama Doing On Open Government?

To play devil's advocate for a moment on the health thing, what did you expect was going to happen?

I thought he would implement the exact plan he argues against in this Democratic Party primary debate with Clinton. Why? Because it is the most straightforward way to transfer wealth directly from the poor/middle classes into the hands of insurance companies and because he is a corporate shill.

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller

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