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Comment: Re:Mixed reaction (Score 1) 328 328

Make it $200/month net, rather than gross?

In Australia, the law is that you aren't considered a commercial taxi service if you only accept money for the cost of the fuel, but you may be considered one if you accept additional money for your time. So even if you gave someone a lift all the way from Cooktown to Perth, and it cost you $600 in fuel and they gave you $600, you'd be in the clear.

Comment: Re:How? (Score 1) 125 125

You seem to be under a misapprehension that the government cares about obtaining a few dollars from "mom and pop" online businesses in any way, shape or form, when the summary mentions the major targets are multi-million-dollar corporations like Steam and Netflix?

As to how, surely given a minute or two you could come up with at least an inkling of possible ways to check compliance? And perhaps it's possible that the people whose job it is to come up with such methods might devote rather more than a minute or two to the task?

Comment: Re:It's the same old lies from these H1B advocates (Score 1) 612 612

It's "sustainable" only in the sense that a given population of a species can "sustain" a certain population of parasites. That doesn't make it a sustainable ethos for the species itself to indulge in.

> Feel free to disprove that by donating deveral hundred dollars to Nepali relief efforts. Or any international relief effort for that matter.

If GP went and did exactly that, would you (a) admit you were wrong, or (b) change the goalposts?

Comment: Re:Dark And Stormy Night. (Score 1) 110 110

Well, later in the second paragraph there may be a homage: "He pulled out his phone and blogged the event, moving his stiff thumbs (for he was high on a mountain and the air was as cold as it was clear) as fast as he could to secure the claim to himself."

Comment: Re:And why would that be? (Score 1) 218 218

Indeed, and further, I'm trying to understand how "religious and talk stations are exempt" is supposed to be reconciled with "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". E.g. per the majority decision by the Supreme Court in Everson v. Board of Education (1947):

The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion to another ... in the words of Jefferson, the [First Amendment] clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and State' ... That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.

Seriously, how does a specific exemption for religious stations pass Constitutional muster? How are "Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)" not in violation of their oath of office by introducing this bill?

Comment: Re: Saudi Arabia, etc. (Score 1) 653 653

"legal contract between God and them"

There is no such thing. Legal contracts are instruments enforceable via secular government; in the event of a breach, just how is it do you plan to compel the Almighty to appear before the court, let alone execute any punitive measures?

Please do not conflate spiritual activities performed by individuals with secular activities performed by businesses.

No, Im asking why there is a double standard whereby you can "ethically" refuse to patronize a business whose beliefs you disagree with, but they cannot ethically refuse to service you.

You are again conflating individuals with businesses. There is no double standard. A business has no beliefs to exercise because it is a legal fiction, an abstraction given existence by the state rather than by the Almighty. (unless you're claiming that businesses have souls? that they can go to heaven?)

And before you say, "what if the staff personally wish to refuse service", I point out that what they do in their own time is their decision. The state is not forcing them to work for the business. If they want to only make wedding cakes for straights, then they can quit and do that voluntarily without invoking the aegis of government.

Put bluntly, if you kick someone out of your commercial establishment solely because you disagree with their spiritual choices, you are violating their civil rights.

Comment: Re:"Policy construct we've been given" (Score 1) 212 212

Key allies? You mean 51st states.

When the US government placed Realpolitik above its Constitutional principles, "ally" ceased to mean "friend".

So keep in mind that Snowden didn't screw America's friends; the US government did that much earlier and what's left of it hasn't stopped yet.

Comment: Re:WWJD? (Score 1) 1168 1168

My point is that "free exercise" cuts both ways. You say you should be free not to sell cakes to gays. Gays say they should be free to buy cakes from any cake shop. You want Congress to pass a law that says someone's freedom is more important than someone else's freedom. You want a class system. Congress is constitutionally forbidden to do that, and with good reasons.

The laws of the United States are (supposed to be) founded firmly on a strong and high wall of separation between the Church and the State. If you want to do _business_ in the United States, you're (supposed) to do it with everyone equal under the law.

Otherwise you end up with your temple full of money changers.

"Poor man... he was like an employee to me." -- The police commisioner on "Sledge Hammer" laments the death of his bodyguard