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Comment: Re:Capitalist logic (Score 2) 389 389

If the owner of the park (the city government perhaps) were charging admission or otherwise benefiting commercially from the performance of the music, then yes they would have to pay the license fee.

You mean like if they charged property taxes or sales taxes to maintain the park?


Comment: Re:It's all they do (Score 1) 226 226

As opposed to SuperPACs coordinating election campaigns....

Do you like having Republicans gerrymandering voting districts? Because if you don't then you won't like it when they do the same thing to campaign finance.



Comment: Re:Reddit, like Digg, is eating itself... (Score 2) 474 474

It's pretty rare for factually-incorrect information to get upvoted or factually-correct information buried...I get very frustrated watching completely factual information get downvoted or subreddits banned because it doesn't fit users' or moderators' view of the world.

I never down-mod factually incorrect information because it can still be interesting or informative or funny. It can still spawn discussion. Or, hell, I could be wrong. Maybe some things that I'm absolutely certain can't be facts actually are. I'm a staunch conservative, and I have yet to down-mod any liberal post on Slashdot. I'm a Christian, and I have yet to down-mod any atheist or other-religious post here, either. The thing is, I only get five moderator points when I get them, and the moderation instructions say to concentrate on up-modding, so I do. My memory isn't perfect, so it's possible I've never down-modded anything at all, but if I were to down-mod something it would only be first-post-, or penis-bird-type posts. I know how disappointed I get when I post one of my strongly-held opinions and I get down-modded troll. A strongly held opinion cannot be a troll. By definition. The only step I'll take in that direction is to meta-moderate as underrated posts that I deem to have been buried by group think. And I promise I'll try to do that as often with posts I disagree with as I do with posts I agree with. Knowing me as well as I do, I suspect I'll fail in achieving that, but at least I'm trying.


Comment: Re:At the cost of the tax payer (Score 2, Informative) 226 226

The economists love to say that trade is great for everyone.

You are correct. Economists do love to say that trade is great for everyone. The reason that economists love to say that trade is great for everyone is because it's true, and economists love to say true things. (Exception: exporters who face stiffer competition from foreign suppliers.)

But they assume that all parties have an equal amount of advantages and disadvantages.

What! Nothing could be further from the truth! Economists would never say that because they love avoiding saying untrue things.

There is this illusion of comparative advantage.

Illusion! It's a mathematical near-certainty. The only way that two countries could have no comparative advantage would be if the productivity of First Country divided by the productivity of Second Country were the same ratio for every product that either of them makes.

But at least with the US we are making trade deals for the sole purpose of businesses lowering their costs to boost profits and make their shareholders richer and their CEOs even richer; while we little people lose opportunities and jobs and stagnant wages.

We do make trade deals so that businesses can lower their costs, but that's not the sole purpose. It's also so that consumers can buy things at lower prices. People do lose opportunities and jobs when they are employed at making things that can be made more cheaply elsewhere, but they gain jobs when they are employed at making things that can be made more cheaply here. The neat thing about comparative advantage is that the latter must exist.

Protectionism? Absolutely not!

Protectionism? Ubiquitous! Exactly how much can be found here

What we need is a business environment like Germany's where government, business and labor all work together for society's overall prosperity.

What you need to do is give me all of your money and all of your possessions and, for a nominal fee that I'll determine at my sole discretion, I'll make sure that it's used to best effect.

In the US, labor needs much more power (unions) and business needs to be taken down a few notches.

What we need is for the government to have far less power. If they had, there there would be no incentives for business to lobby them for exclusive advantages for themselves. What we need is for labor to have exactly as much power as businesses. If businesses can't have a monopoly on goods, then labor shouldn't have a monopoly on services.


Comment: Re:Six Weeks (Score 3, Insightful) 82 82

We've, in my opinion, moved into an era where knowledge and research that has no practical application equates to something that's not worth all that much. Capitalism seems to be the dominant (economic) system that drives modern research and I hate it. If there is no concrete monetary profit from a venture then good luck pursuing an avenue of research that does not yield a "return on investment".

I understand your concern, but I think you're looking at things wrongly. I'm having a little trouble putting it into words, but maybe it'll help if you look at things this way. Imagine a world in which everyone was doing research that had no immediate benefits, or any expected return for the next two or three score years. You'd starve to death. People eat immediate food, and go to immediate doctors, and live in immediate houses, and wear immediate clothes. The inescapable conclusion is that only a fraction of people can be employed in that kind of research. The way that we, as an economic system, reach an equilibrium on the amount of that kind of research is by not over-stimulating it by excessive investment in it.

Or if you can't sympathize with that explanation, then let me ask this question. If avenues of research with no return are so important, then why are you demanding a high salary and large raises?


Comment: Re:Not unusual. (Score 1) 308 308

So one can't ever delete videos? How about text files? Or pictures that I painted in MS Paint for fun but having no intrinsic value? Or icons/user pictures that I haven't used in 10 years and will not use again?

You can delete videos. And text files. And pictures you painted in MS Paint. And pictures that you haven't used in 10 years. Unless you know of a lawsuit or an investigation, or can reasonably be expected to know one is coming. If that happens then you have to be really, really careful. You have to be careful because if the plaintiff or prosecutor can establish to the jury's or court's satisfaction that you did it for the purpose of obstructing justice, then you can face serious consequences. It should go without saying, but if you don't delete anything, then it's less likely that the plaintiff or prosecutor can establish that. They could still establish that, because it's possible to establish false claims in court, but it's less likely. If you do delete something in the face of a lawsuit or investigation then you better be sure that the prosecutor or plaintiff can't establish that you did it to obstruct justice. If you do delete something that wasn't for the purpose of obstructing justice then the plaintiff or prosecutor could still establish it to the jury's or court's satisfaction. That's because it's possible to establish false claims in court. But it's less likely.

The safest thing is not to be involved in investigations or lawsuits. The next-safest thing is not to reasonably expect one is coming. The next-safest thing is not to delete things. The next-safest thing it not to delete things for the purpose of obstructing justice. The next-safest thing is not to delete things probably for the purpose of obstructing justice. The next safest thing is not to live in a world with other people in it.


Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.

Comment: Re:Not unusual. (Score 3, Informative) 308 308

Browser history is temporary data by design, it is not a "record". Even continuing to browse will erase it over time.

It is a record. If you know of a lawsuit or investigation, or can reasonably be expected to know one is coming, you have to retain those records. If you delete them for the purpose of obstructing the lawsuit or investigation, and if the plaintiff or prosecutor can establish that to the jury's or court's satisfaction, then you can be convicted of a crime.


Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. I advise you not to treat this as legal advice. That, too, was not legal advice.

Comment: Not unusual. (Score 4, Informative) 308 308

one aspect of the actions he took should probably concern anyone who has crossed paths online or in real life with subject of law enforcement scrutiny, and subsequently cleared their browser history.

Once you learn of an investigation or a law suit, or can be reasonably expected to know one is coming, it's incumbent upon you to save all records. This is well established, and has been in existence for quite some time. It's not something new with browser history. With browser history, though, it's going to be slightly tougher to prove that it was for the purpose of obstructing the investigation, rather than his normal course of activity. His erasure of videos will help law enforcement prove that, though.


Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. Neither is this disclaimer. Neither is the disclaimer of the disclaimer ad nauseam.

Comment: Re:STFU Obama, you're a fucking traitor!! (Score 1) 389 389

Congress shall pass NO LAW...

I'm pretty sure that the Constitution of the United States doesn't say that. After all, the entire first article creates the congress and gives it the power to legislate. If the constitution then took all legislative power away then congress would be a useless bunch of ninnies...Well, I'm pretty sure it doesn't say that.

ie - the patriot act is unconstitutional - has been since day 1.

Why do you say that?

Anyone involved with passing the law, signing the law, and performing duties under said law are traitors to this country, and are guilty of treason.

No. Treason is defined in the constitution. It's: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. There's no way to stretch legislating, signing, or performing duties under the Patriot Act into that.

Since they all seem to consider this "a time of war" against terrorism, there's only one penalty for treason.

There are any number of penalties for treason. The congress gets to decide what the punishment is, so it's whatever they decide. The relevant section of the Constitution is: The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.

Get your asses up against the wall, and pass out the smokes and blindfolds. We'll fix the national debt by selling raffle tickets to be drawn for members of the firing squads.

You'll need a lot of luck getting a law like that one passed.


Comment: Re:Well there's the problem... (Score 3, Informative) 201 201

Same way here, and it's for a very good reason. Let's take NY, Imagine NYC with twice as many taxi's on the road. It happened and it made it extremely hard for emergency vehicles and anyone who wasn't a tax, or really just wanted to go anywhere. So they implemented a medallion system to limit the number of cabs on the road. See it's not a conspiracy involving the "taxi lobby", in fact it's to protect us from them.

That would be an interesting story if it were true; it's not. The medallion system was not instituted because of traffic congestion. Rather it was instituted because the growth of taxis during the depression resulted in more taxis than passengers. Taxi drivers began working longer hours, and there was public concern about the mechanical integrity and maintenance of the taxis. The first proposed taxi monopoly didn't go into effect because the mayor was accused of taking a bribe from the largest taxi company. Strangely, a lack of maintenance is more associated with monopoly than it is with competition, and it's entirely feasible that La Guardia, the mayor who finally instituted a taxi monopoly, was merely not caught accepting his bribe.


Comment: Re:Stupid reasoning. (Score 1) 1094 1094

You have no idea if I support government expenditures or not.

Yes I do. You revealed it when you described a 20% increase as "only."

I'm just pointing out that your figures are flawed,

I suppose by, "your figures are flawed," you mean the figures are accurate. Your argument was not with the figures, but with the interpretation.

and since you are loosing that argument

Not to be pedantic, but that word should be "losing." Well, okay. To be pedantic. More to the point, I am not losing the argument. The original point was made by tompaulco. I am Loyal Opposition. We are not one and the same. So, if anyone were losing the argument it would be him, which it's not.

It's clear you lost,

I know some people believe that if you say something enough times then it must be true. Clearly you are one of those.

you know you lost and you are trying to shift the target by claiming I'm a statist.

I have shifted nothing. You objected to tompaulco's selection of basis year, so fine. I described the entire period of the twentieth century. Was that enough to show that federal spending has increased enormously? If not, then say why not. If it was, then admit it. Don't try to argue that I'm trying to change the discussion to whether or not you're a statist, which you admitted by describing a 20% increase in picayune terms. The argument is whether federal spending has increased, which I have proven through the use of Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics. Now, if I have committed some error in that, then feel free to show me. Don't argue whether I have enough evidence to conclude you're a statist.


Comment: Re:Stupid reasoning. (Score 1) 1094 1094

Why don't you compare 1975 with 2015 instead?

Largely because it misses the point. Consider federal spending as a percentage of GDP between 1900 and 1917. For the entire period, federal spending hovered around 3%. Spending as a percentage of GDP leaped upward during WW1, reaching 23% at one point. It fell off after the war, but not to the prior levels. For the first decade after the war levels were at about 6%, rising to 9% for the second decade. (This period includes tompaulco's base year.) Spending as a percentage of GDP leaped upward again during WW2, reaching 45% at one point. It fell off again after the war, but not to prior levels, again. Since WW2 federal spending as a percentage of GDP has hovered around 17%. If we choose the base year you prefer, 1975, then we've disregarded three leaps in spending levels, not including the war years. tompaulco's point is that if the federal government was able to function with 3% of GDP in the first two decades of the twentieth century, why can't they function with those levels today?

The answer is not shifting burden from the states, because state levels of spending as a percentage of GDP have also increased during those years, just not as fast.

In this case government collection is up only 20% over the last forty years.

I can imagine some time in the future when federal spending is 98% of GDP. Statists, such as yourself, will be touting that spending has only increased by 2% over the previous four decades, and celebrating their restraint.


"There is such a fine line between genius and stupidity." - David St. Hubbins, "Spinal Tap"