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Comment: Re:They deserve praise (Score 1) 132

by Jesrad (#47964271) Attached to: The Raid-Proof Hosting Technology Behind 'The Pirate Bay'

Very bad examples here. In both cases of pharma and music, the up-front costs are vastly inflated because of the existence of "intellectual property" laws. This is a basic mechanism: your costs adjust up by the amount of guaranteed income, in the absence of any additional marginal wealth production. Or to put it another way: actual value you produce eventually adjusts down to the amount of value you need to convince other people to pay you. The amount you do not need to convince them to pay, trades for nothing. That's why monopoly rents even exist in the first place: laziness.

Comment: What Microsoft could do (Score 3, Insightful) 210

by Jesrad (#47889273) Attached to: Turning the Tables On "Phone Tech Support" Scammers

One thing Microsoft could do easily and cheaply, which would eventually end this "Calling you from Windows and you have a virus" scam, is to have a short mention about this being a scam on the front page of their website. A single sentence would suffice.

When you get called by the indian call center employee, who for most of them believe they are working for a legitimate business, mention how the caller is NOT really affiliated with Microsoft because their website say it's a scam. "See for yourself !" and hang up.

The actual pirates can probably not do the mass phone call themselves and still rack up enough money, which is why they hire call centres to do it for them, and why they also take precautions to show them some pretense of legitimacy. If the call centres stop working with them they'll go away.

Comment: (Score 4, Informative) 538

by Jesrad (#47880383) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Please. Fascism is NOT a form of socialism. It's incompatible with marxist doctrine, through and through. Rather it's the fabled "third way" that is neither free-market nor communism. People who conflate fascism with socialism are just as wrong as those who conflate it with capitalism.

Comment: (Score 4, Interesting) 538

by Jesrad (#47880265) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

one was a free market fundamentalist: Pinochet

Repeating a lie often enough does not make it true.

Pinochet was resistant to free market, through most of 1974 his own style of handling economic problems left in the wake of Allende meant putting the army in charge of alleviating penuries through requisitions, rationning and distribution, and it was a complete failure. Chile kept printing money just like under Allende, leading to 300% inflation in 1974 and 1975.

If Pinochet was, as you put it, a "free-market fundamentalist", then explain why did oil and copper industries remain state-owned all through his regime, and why did the fishing and forestry industries remain syndicate-run (CORFO) ? Why did he keep in place many programs of subsidies ? Why did he have several failing corporations bailed out (like the Osorno bank) ? Why did his constitution of 1980 keep copper resources as irrevocably public property ? Why was the Peso pegged to the USD, chinese-style, in the early 80s (leading to a monetary crisis and recession), instead of maintaining a free-floating exchange rate like Friedman advocated in his speeches and books ?

Oh, right: that's because Pinochet was NOT a free-market advocate. He was not even right-wing either - his wife was a senator in the Radical Party, an ally of Allende's Unidad Popular, and he was a close collaborator of Allende until the coup d'état. Instead, his pragmatism at least let him put people who mostly were free-market enthusiasts in charge of some of his government's economic policies. He, himself, had no such convictions, he was just an autoritarian voluntarist. But I guess that makes for an insufficiently romantic narrative to convince you.

Sergio de Castro Spikula was one such free-market enthusiast in Pinochet's government, and he had to bitterly fight (there even was one incident with a gun) with other members, like General Gustavo Leigh, Admiral José Toribio (president of the government's economic committee), or Raul Saez (the man who was responsible for planning the economy of Chile in the Junta), in order to get the reforms done.

Comment: Re:Slow on the take (Score 1) 441

by Jesrad (#47815235) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

Committing a guy for writing a book is many things, but it ain't fascism.

You're right, of course, and I should have made clear that is not what I was saying in the first place. What I wish to convey is that the USA abide by all eight core tenets of classical fascism, as detailed by John T. Flynn, and have done so for a long time. Abuses of police power, attorney power and executive power as seen in the article (and others) are but an inevitable consequence of the first two tenets.

Comment: Re:Slow on the take (Score 2) 441

by Jesrad (#47807349) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

Well, there is a word that defines accurately what is happening here, but because this word has been slowly stripped of its rich meaning and turned into an empty slur, most people have stopped using it appropriately, instead merely employing it as a slur. For shame, really, because its attached historical lessons are desperately needed these days.

You scratch my tape, and I'll scratch yours.