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Comment: Re:Isn't prop 13 irrelevant to buyers? (Score 1) 335

by JesseMcDonald (#46771733) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

How is it not so good for buyers? It seems buyers would be paying taxes based on a current assessment with or without prop 13? In other words prop 13 seems irrelevant to that initial assessment and tax rate, that it only affects increases not the initial rate.

It's bad if you consider that the tax burden is distributed unevenly. New buyers pay a larger fraction of the tax, yet receive the same share of city services as long-time owners of similar properties. The rate has to be set higher to make up for the shortfall from the undervalued properties. Let's say the city needs 5% of the current market value of all the properties to meet its budget. If half those properties are undervalued by 50% for tax purposes, the tax rate has to be set at 6.7% instead of 5%, which means new buyers are paying a third more than they would if all the property taxes were based on current market value.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1263

by camperdave (#46770261) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

To the contrary- it is very clear: "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

If the amendment simply read "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.", then we wouldn't be having this conversation. The fact that you have to take a phrase out of context to make your argument is an indication that the amendment is vague. The ambiguity lies in the "...".

Comment: Re:Recording laws (Score 1) 714

Recording a conversation without the consent of the other party even for the purpose of providing evidence requires a warrant, under the first amendment and the laws governing free speech. While I understand the intentions and agree that attempting to resolve it by providing clear evidence is reasonable, the simple truth is that under US law recording conversations is prohibited without the oversight of a judge who can determine whether or not it is an appropriate exception to the right of free speech.

You're making it sound like all-party consent laws exist throughout the entire US. Only twelve states require all-party consent: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington. In the other 38 it's perfectly legal to record the conversation as long as you are a party to it. This isn't anywhere close to a first amendment or free speech issue. Your right to speak freely does not imply a right to make others forget what you said or prevent them from testifying about it—and the only relevant difference between a recording made in person and one's own memory is that the recording is a more reliable form of evidence, which is all to the good.

It's the all-party consent states, like this one, which are being unreasonable here. So long as the person speaking is aware that you can hear them, they have no reasonable expectation of privacy from you and you ought to be perfectly free to record what they say.

Comment: Re:Um... (Score 4, Insightful) 80

by camperdave (#46731837) Attached to: Wi-Fi Problems Dog Apple-Samsung Trial

Courthouses are often large old buildings with a lot of marble pillars, marble floors, and immovable walls. This may be why they used Wifi... It's just not feasible to drill a hole through 3 feet of marble to run Cat5.

... and yet they have power. So how did they do that... extension cords running all around the joint?

"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum." --Arthur C. Clarke