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Comment: Most people don't object to public breast feeding (Score -1) 350

by MikeRT (#48379467) Attached to: Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

What they object to is a woman pulling out a large, engorged breast in plain view of everyone and then shrieking "stop sexualizing me." Breasts are intrinsically sexual. That they have an equal intrinsic role in child rearing is beside the point that if a woman with decent or great breasts bares the public, for whatever reason, many won't like that.

Call it a double standard, but then women either get away with legally prohibited sexual acts or get them plead down far more often than men do. The "privilege" on sex issues before the law is overwhelmingly in favor of women.

Comment: The federal government is a lost cause (Score 2) 224

by MikeRT (#48344741) Attached to: Mayday PAC Goes 2 For 8

For now, at least. Too many votes in the same geographic region are required to win one paltry seat. This is why reform must target state legislative positions more than federal positions. If a third party won enough seats in a state to block a majority from the Democrats or Republicans, it would open the door to forcing the hands of the establishment in unprecedented ways. If they could hold onto that, it'd probably be a matter of time before they send either their own candidate to the governorship or attorney general or get a Democrat or Republican who meets their approval. And why does that matter? Because the states have tremendous law enforcement power and may of the more serious problems facing this country are matters of putting the right people in prison, not passing new laws.

Comment: Don't walk on eggshells (Score 5, Insightful) 441

by MikeRT (#48316533) Attached to: The Other Side of Diversity In Tech

I'm still trying to figure out what my comment about Joan -- white Joan -- had anything to do with Kelly. Yes, I walked on egg shells around Kelly from then on.

It's called solipsism. You can't really negotiate with a solipsistic person since even abstractions that obviously are intended to show them things about others invariably, in their minds, come back to them.

Word of advice, though, from experience in dealing with these types of people. The best defense is to make it clear you are a hard target. By hard I mean, you will defend yourself and make it costly even if they nominally win the fight. No one wants to suffer at best a pyrrhic victory.

Comment: Irony (Score 4, Insightful) 441

by MikeRT (#48316281) Attached to: The Other Side of Diversity In Tech

I laughed at their terribly racist and sexist jokes

I've lived and worked in the South my entire life and worked on teams that were overwhelmingly white. I've never heard coworkers make "terribly racist and sexist jokes" at work. What this leads me to believe is that either her West Coast or New England coworkers were much more inclined toward racism and sexism (a possibility, since New England is actually more racist than much of the South today) or she was indirectly proving why they felt the need to walk on egg shells around her (the habit of certain people to find racism and sexism where it doesn't exist).

Much of her argument comes down to the fact that she wants to work with people who look and act like her, not like me. That's fine, but let's call it what it is. She prefers her own and in white people that's called "racism" by the left. But as we know from the left's vanguard, minorities cannot be racist since you have to have power to be racist and minorities allegedly have no power.

Comment: News flash: there aren't many in the pipeline (Score 2) 123

by MikeRT (#48300477) Attached to: Amazon Releases (Not Many) Details On Its Workforce Demographics

Google, Facebook, etc. need to just come out and say it: there are simply not that many blacks and Hispanics getting the basic credentials required to even sit for the interview. Demanding "diversity" then is literally demanding a lowering of standards to the point that people who would never be hired there can have a shot. There's no other way to read the demand. It's magical thinking at best and at worst, resembles the sort of logic that in Africa lead to confiscating white-owned farms and giving them to black Africans who had no clue how to run a farm.

Comment: The police and health care are not the same (Score 1) 739

by MikeRT (#48277001) Attached to: Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

Most developed countries recognize that health care is analogous to public security, not policing. The difference there is that you have an army of private, for-profit actors (like private security) and a public basic service. We expect companies to provide their own security, for example, because they have the wealth to do so and it lowers the cost on the general public. It is not acceptable to say "increase the police force 200% because Walmart and Target won't hire security staff to monitor such a large store full time." For the same reason, it's unacceptable to burden the public health care system with the middle and upper class when they have the wealth to pay private doctors.

This is a good example of why Social Security and Medicare are failing. They aren't means tested. You can have a fat pension and $2m in assets and still get the same maximum social security check as someone who was a skilled construction worker and entered old age with little more than a home and a small savings account to hopefully pass onto the kids. Should they both be entitled to these programs? Absolutely not.

Comment: You shouldn't need insurance for most things (Score 4, Interesting) 739

by MikeRT (#48276649) Attached to: Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

For most visits, you should be paying in cash. A doctor's visit should not require a full time staffer processing insurance paperwork just for a visit and a prescription or two. Heck, even most basic hospital operations (like lab work, fixing broken bones and such) should be payable in cash by anyone who has been mildly responsible with their savings and paychecks.

Price gouging, fraud and EMTALA are the main culprits. My favorite example of price gouging here is a snake anti-venom that costs $100 to make and is sold to patients in hospitals for as much as $30k. If the state is going to prosecute people who charge a 100%-200% markup for a generator after a hurricane, what possible excuse do they not have to prosecute people for a 3000% markup on a drug that is absolutely necessary to the patient's immediate survival? Fraud? How about the trending practice of having one doctor in network and one out of network so that the in-network partner can use the out of network partner to deceptively rape the assets of the patient? Or drive by doctoring at hospitals?

This is a target-rich environment for massive law enforcement clean up. Enforcing the laws combined with efforts to increase access to medical school and some other subsidies on the supply side would force the market to act like a real market, not a state-protected industry.

Comment: Not inherently unreasonable (Score 1) 165

by MikeRT (#48211807) Attached to: Proposed Penalty For UK Hackers Who "Damage National Security": Life

If you attack an industrial system at a utility and make a bunch of people sick or die, even if it was "unintentional" you should get life. Why? You had no damn business being there. Even if you're an aspie with boundless curiosity, there has to be a consequence for breaking into sensitive systems and inflicting real, measurable harm to the public.

Though of course we know that's not how this will probably be used.

Comment: Uh yeah, no (Score 1) 83

by MikeRT (#48175865) Attached to: NSA CTO Patrick Dowd Moonlighting For Private Security Firm

Of all of the things to be pissed about in DC, this isn't one of them IMO. This isn't the revolving door between regulator and the regulated industry. This is just some high level guy in government moonlighting in a mostly unrelated industry to make some coin on the side. This should be no more offensive to most than a GS14 or GS15 technical staffer taking out a contract with a big corporation on the side to make some extra bucks.

One thing the people crucifying Alexander and his company seem to forget is that if he's actually parlaying his background at the NSA into making the banks better at security, then that's a net gain for the American people. Be pissed all you want about what he did in the past, but the fact is for all we know he's also advising his clients on how to become more "NSA-proof" on the down low. I would be very surprised if he a bank offered him a lot of lucre to make them harder for intelligence services to breach that he'd suddenly turn that down and go squealing to Fort Meade now that his paycheck comes from the private sector.

Comment: Adultery is not private and consent is irrelevant (Score 1) 304

by MikeRT (#48157549) Attached to: Technology Heats Up the Adultery Arms Race

Marriage is the state's business and most people strongly believe that. If they didn't, they'd support the abolition of all of the legal rules pertaining to it including presumptive paternity, alimony and child support. Marriage also forms the basis of most families since the history of recorded civilization which means marriage is the vehicle by which society is regenerated. To say there is no state interest there is laughable. What you do to your marriage may typically be of minimal interest to the state or none, but a serious breach like adultery is not.

But even setting that aside, you have no right to "give consent" to someone other than your spouse. You swore away that right once you got married. No, you don't "own your spouse" but you and your spouse pledged mutual fidelity in a politically and legally important, state-sanctioned relationship. Don't like that? That's cool, just live as an unmarried couple.

Comment: And people are surprised why? (Score 4, Interesting) 304

by MikeRT (#48152159) Attached to: Technology Heats Up the Adultery Arms Race

This was perfectly predictable when those who said "adultery is a private, consensual matter" won the argument and adultery effectively became a dead letter crime and tort. If adultery were reasonably enforced on those with licensed marriages, it would create a much greater argument for regulating these apps.

See funny thing is most people don't regard marriage as something where good behavior is strictly optional. When you take away recourse to the courts on the worse forms of betrayal in a state-recognized relationship, people are bound to take private action.

Comment: Won't help (Score 1) 314

I've heard that the people who are scared the most about the SnapChat "hack" aren't the sexters, but financial industry people who thought it would be a great way to do backroom deals outside the prying eyes of regulators. They use perfectly legal and innocuous transfers to move money, buy assets, etc. The real meaning is held elsewhere.

You know what it's a lot like? How the drug trade uses code language, bank transfers, etc. In other words, these methods are effectively useless at making strategic victories against criminal activity.

At the national level, the police should be expected to operate strategically, not tactically. Take child exploitation. As an American, I don't want the FBI busting some high school sophomore who took a topless pic in her school's locker room, I want them investigating multinational conspiracies to exploit children. What's the point of even having such a high level agency if it often acts at the same level as a municipal police force?

Leave the crooks who use big bills to hide deals to the locals.

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.