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Comment: Re:The wealthy don't matter (Score 2) 87

by Mo Bedda (#41597345) Attached to: Greenhouse Emissions Drop Less During Economic Downturn Than Expected
Yes, it seems fairly systematic. When talking about the budget, they emphasize the amount of spending on Social Security and Medicare, but when talking about taxes, they shift to the percentage of income taxes paid by the top of the scale, ignoring the fact that Social Security and Medicare are funded almost entirely via payroll tax and not income tax.

I find the "they-pay-nothing" argument pretty disgusting given the fact that the bulk of the working poor are probably paying a higher rate than the likes of Mitt Romney.

Comment: Re:This will be really interesting (Score 2) 245

by Mo Bedda (#40401825) Attached to: Bev Harris of Black Box Voting Releases Accenture's Voting Software
I don't know what you find reputable, but here are a couple. The USA Today story cites the New York Times as the original source.

As much as I recall, the quote itself was never disputed, just denial of any sinister intent. The fact that the guy gave $100k to the Bush campaign and sent out fund raising letters for them would seem in line with that.

Comment: Re:I love it (Score 1) 837

by Mo Bedda (#33119798) Attached to: WikiLeaks 'a Clear and Present Danger,' Says WaPo
Perhaps you can explain, why exactly would the release of details about American prisoner abuse cause an increase in factional tension within Iraq? Particularly when that abuse had been rumored/known within Iraq, and wasn't particularly abusive based on standards set by Saddam. Also, the photos in question were released in early 2004, not particularly closely tied to either the hand over of power or the rise in sectarian violence.

I would suggest that the near civil war in Iraq had a number of contributing factors, the prisoner abuse photos not among them. First, the decision to send in too few forces to control the country initially lead to general chaos and anarchy. Second, the disbanding of the Iraqi army more or less ensured that said chaos would continue and that any new Iraqi government would be unable to secure the country. Third, the policy of de-baathification further weakened the government by removing most/all experienced government officials and strengthened sectarian divisions. Put that on top of the existing sectarian tensions left from the Saddam era, and the outcome was fairly predictable.

If you want to place blame for the countless lives lost and protracted military involvement, I suggest you look to the policy makers who time and again overruled the advice of experienced military and diplomatic officials; or perhaps to the American people, who were too busy waving the flag, supporting the troops, and playing partisan politics to notice that our war effort was being directed by a bunch of people out of think tanks and the executive offices of military contractors. The prisoner abuse was largely a symptom of the same problem. And the reporters, generally had little control over or impact on any of it.

Comment: Re:He should continue doing useful work... (Score 1) 177

by Mo Bedda (#32868166) Attached to: The Hobby of Energy Secretary Steven Chu
Have any reference or citation to back up the validity of your statement? I did find an unsupported statement on Wikipedia making the same claim, but skimming the Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977, and reading President Carter's statement upon signing it, it doesn't sound like freeing us from dependence on foreign oil was a major focus. If DOE had been "formed to attempt to free us from dependence on foreign oil", I would think the subject would be raised more prominently by one or the other.

Comment: Re:Green... EPIC FAILURE (Score 1) 356

by Mo Bedda (#31159846) Attached to: "Green" Ice Resurfacing Machines Fail In Vancouver
If you are actually concerned or surprised by the mods, I suggest you focus on being more accurate/truthful in your statements.

For example: Anyone saying that man puts more CO2 into the air than volcanoes or the ocean is lying to your face.

Now from the source you cite: modern volcanic activity releases only 130 to 230 teragrams (0.13-0.23 gigatonnes or 145 million to 255 million short tons) of carbon dioxide each year,[9] which is less than 1% of the amount released by human activities

So, is your source lying? If you had stuck with the accurate statement "Nature itself is responsible for 95% of the CO2 emissions, and humans get to claim responsibility for 5%" you would have been better off.

Comment: Re:I am shocked! (Score 1) 670

by Mo Bedda (#30239450) Attached to: Obama Wants Computer Privacy Ruling Overturned
So you give US civilian rights to someone who isn't a US citizen and has never been here?

Well, generally if you are to believe the U.S. Declaration of Independence rights are endowed by the Creator and not by the State or by citizenship. Likewise, the U.S. Constitution generally refers to the rights of people or persons, not citizens. So, generally it is people like the GP who founded the United States on the principle of human rights not U.S. civilian rights.

Comment: Re:Comments (Score 1) 383

by Mo Bedda (#30076888) Attached to: Your Opinion Counts At CNN — But Should It?
do you think if I donate him $5000 I can get out of paying my taxes?

Since the donations are for the Treasury, my guess is yes as long as your tax bill is less that $5000.
But it looks like my guess is wrong, it is probably handled like other gifts. An account for accepting gifts to the U.S. Treasury was established in 1843. So much for an email suggestion I guess.

Comment: Re:Not to disclose the request (Score 2, Informative) 244

by Mo Bedda (#30054354) Attached to: Justice Dept. Asked For Broad Swath of IndyMedia's Visitor Records
Sure, Obama was sworn in on January 20. AG Holder was confirmed on February 2.

Rather than political finger pointing, I find it more interesting that U.S. Attorney Morrison has been with the DOJ for 17 years. Sadly, this is probably more indicative of how the DOJ does business than who was in the White House the day the subpoena issued.

Comment: Re:RETAIL spying... (Score 1) 244

by Mo Bedda (#30054280) Attached to: Justice Dept. Asked For Broad Swath of IndyMedia's Visitor Records
Only the calls with one of the ends outside America [mit.edu] were ever "spied" on.

And we'll just have to take the NSA's word on that I guess.

While the legality of the program limits how the information is used, everything I have read leads me to the conclusion that they have "wholesale" access to the information. The article you link to suggests that that is what the NSA wanted/asked for. The details that have leaked about how the system is constructed support the conclusion that they got what they asked for. You are just choosing the believe the Government's story on what they are doing.

Calling it "wholesale" isn't flamebait. From a technological perspective it sounds like an accurate description of the level of access they have.

Comment: Re:That's change I can believe in (Score 1) 244

by Mo Bedda (#30053848) Attached to: Justice Dept. Asked For Broad Swath of IndyMedia's Visitor Records
For the sake of accuracy, I do not believe that criminal charges were ever filed against Bill Richardson. It would appear that a year long investigation did not provide enough evidence to get a grand jury to indict him. While there are political fingers pointing in both directions, I would think that if they had the evidence, they could have gotten an indictment before Obama even took office.

While I agree that the handling of the New Black Panther case looks political, it was a civil case not a criminal one.

Comment: Re:Woo-hoo - (Score 1) 456

by Mo Bedda (#29366719) Attached to: China Considering Cuts In Rare-Earth Metal Exports
Dude, what are you talking about? Who is "we"? Last I knew, Sony was a Japanese company. Is "we" referring to Japan?

I remembered this story from 2003 about the U.S. more or less outsourcing missile guidance systems to China. Given that we are letting the Chinese buy and relocate our manufacturing capacity there, and given the amount of computer products we ship there to be "recycled"; I have a hard time believing there are any significant trade restrictions with China. Perhaps you can supply some references? How does Lenovo manage to manufacture Thinkpads and PCs without a steady supply of Intel CPUs?

The story I recall regarding Playstation "supercomputers" involved them being imported into Iraq pre-invasion.

Comment: Re:Shooting themselves in the foot (Score 3, Insightful) 349

by Mo Bedda (#29342421) Attached to: Placebos Are Getting More Effective
You might want to double check your copy of the Constitution. Congress clearly has the power to regulate interstate commerce. So, as long as your ads and products are crossing state lines, the federal government can regulate. Since television and radio transmissions tend to ignore state boundaries, they get regulated by the FCC.

Granted the commerce clause has been pushed to rather ridiculous limits, but corporations have had no small part in pushing it in that direction. They would much rather have one set of regulations to deal with than 50.

Everyone can be taught to sculpt: Michelangelo would have had to be taught how not to. So it is with the great programmers.

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