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Comment: Re:You think? (Score 1) 374

So, to be clear, if Obama got on TV and announced that no taxes would need to be paid on corporate or personal income from renewable energy sales, you would NOT consider that a form of subsidy? And he would get no resistance from the right, because it would just be "taking less of someone's money"?

No, that would be a subsidy, if it wasn't applied to all businesses equally. My point was that some people claim a tax cut, usually in the form of a rate cut, is "the same thing as spending." E.g., if a tax cut is expected to reduce revenues by $100 million, they will say it's the same as the government spending $100 million. It's not, for various reasons too off-topic to go into.

Comment: Re:You think? (Score 1) 374

Today on /. we find out who doesn't know the difference between subsidies, tax deductions, tax breaks, and taxes.

You'd have a mod point if I had one right now. You could have added "spending," because I've seen people argue that tax cuts (i.e. taking less of someone's money) is the same thing as more government spending.

Comment: Re:Great... Instead of CO2 we get CO (Score 1) 133

Only by increasing the forest footprint of the world, or causing massive algae blooms in the oceans can you really sequester CO2 in vegetation.

I imagine some sort of GMO supertree that grows as fast as bamboo, for carbon sequestration and a cheap building material.

Comment: Re: Good? (Score 1) 273

Yeah, because the private companies that benefit from this had nothing to do with it, right? It's all the government's fault and only the government's fault.

You are missing the point. When legislators decide to regulate buying and selling, the first things bought are legislators. Taxi cartels are prime examples of this.

Comment: Re:Good? (Score 3, Informative) 273

I live in San Francisco and you won't be getting a ride from the cabbies who are hypothetically required to take you. Dispatch will accept the call, but no one will ever show up.

Very true. I once tried to get a cab from one part of downtown to another, in the middle of a workday. No cab ever showed up. I've heard they don't want to miss out on a more lucrative run to the airport.

Comment: Re:Anyone else remember... (Score 5, Informative) 126

by PapayaSF (#47329891) Attached to: Google Demos Modular Phone That (Almost) Actually Works

Exactly. That's why a modular PCs were never created. There's no way you can get high performance when the user can pick their own RAM, CPU, motherboard, video card, hard drives, etc.

Oh, wait.

Size matters. Desktop PCs are easy to make modular (unless you want an iMac). Laptops are harder, and besides removable batteries, only a few had any modular components (like a DVD drive swappable for an extra battery). Phones are much more space-constrained. Every millimeter counts, and modularity takes up quite a bit of space at that scale, because each part needs to be enclosed, securely attach to the others, etc.

In short, a modular phone is possible, but the trade-offs will be severe, and you'll be able to pick one or two things (e.g. speed, battery life, extra features, small size, etc.) but not all at the same time. And the prices won't be good, because manufacturer(s) will lose economies of scale: it'll be hard to compete with Apple and Samsung making millions and tens of millions of identical units.

Comment: Re:They hate our freedom (Score 2) 404

by PapayaSF (#47308853) Attached to: San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

It occurs to me that knowing where a parking space is available would reduce time spent driving around, itself reducing pollution, excess expenditure on additional fuel, the clogging of streets, and other issues associated with tons of traffic driving in circles throughout the city.

Ah, but you are being logical and not ecological. It has been official policy in SF for years to "get people out of their cars" by any means. This includes intentionally removing parking places (more, more), and even preventing new construction from having more than one parking space per unit.

Comment: Re:Good! (Score 1) 619

by PapayaSF (#47276499) Attached to: 2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

If you make travel by road artificially cheap (which it is - at least 1/3 of road budgets come from general taxation) then people will drive more rather than looking for public transit alternatives.

Your point is pretty much self-refuting, because public transit is heavily subsidized, perhaps even more than automobiles are.

Comment: Re:Good! (Score 1) 619

by PapayaSF (#47276463) Attached to: 2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

Of course, I'm sure we could afford to pave all of our roads with gold, have diamond-studded bike lanes, and solid titanium sidewalks if we didn't spend half our budget on wars, but hey, I'm not holding my breath.

We don't come anywhere close to spending "half our budget on wars." The military (plus veterans' benefits) only accounts for about 22% of total federal spending.

Comment: Re:Sad thing about this is (Score 1) 347

by PapayaSF (#47255205) Attached to: Congressman Asks NSA To Provide Metadata For "Lost" IRS Emails

To answer your question about which category under 501(c) the Tea Party should have applied for; the answer is none of them. By the wording of the original law, political organizations should not be getting any 501(c) designations.

I'm sorry, but this is beside the point. If there are going to be 501(c)(4)s, the IRS has to judge them fairly, and they weren't. Maybe you think the AARP, the NRA, the League of Conservation Voters, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund, and all the rest should be taxed like for-profit corporations, but under the interpretation of the law that has existed for decades, they aren't. And if you are going to change that, don't change it for one political view, and not for the others.

Comment: Re:Nice Synergy (Score 1) 347

by PapayaSF (#47255123) Attached to: Congressman Asks NSA To Provide Metadata For "Lost" IRS Emails

I am not downplaying the importance of the NSA scandal, but the IRS scandal is, in a way, worse. While the NSA violated the right of masses of Americans, it is (as far as we know) an "equal opportunity" violation of rights. But the IRS scandal is about using the machinery of government for partisan advantage. That is hugely dangerous in a way different, and arguably worse.

Comment: Re:Sad thing about this is (Score 1, Insightful) 347

by PapayaSF (#47252085) Attached to: Congressman Asks NSA To Provide Metadata For "Lost" IRS Emails

It's amazing how many people think that the IRS was seeking to prevent the Tea Party from getting tax exempt status; that was never the issue, their tax exempt status was never in doubt. The issue was they were applying for 501(c)(4) status which is reserved for social welfare groups like civic leagues and volunteer fire departments. Social welfare groups are allowed to engage in political activity but it cannot be their primary activity. Wondering why the Tea Party wanted that 501(c)(4) designation? Such groups do not have to reveal who is donating money to them. There has been a large run up in the number of groups applying for the 501(c)(4) designation.

Nonsense. What section of the code should they have applied for? 501(3)(c)s have strict limits on participation in politics. 501(c)(5) and 501(c)(6) are even worse fits.

If Obama's campaign organization can become a 501(c)(4) and now serve has a propaganda and lobbying arm for Democrats, including running the Presidential Twitter feed, how is it that groups that want to educate people about the Constitution are somehow too political? Or you seriously going to argue that Organizing For America qualifies, but hundreds of Tea Party groups do not? Give it up, dude. This is a genuine scandal of Nixonian proportions.

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