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Comment Re:Do damage to Bitcoin's reputation??? (Score 1) 185

"The only reason people don't invest in US currency"

WTF?!?! USD$ paper money and all U.S. Treasuries (bills, note and bonds) are the same thing - obligations of the U.S. government that are freely tradeable in economic markets. There is $13 trillion in US federal debt held by the public, which is another way of saying that people invested $13 Trillion in paper obligations denominated in US Dollars, issued and backed by the U.S. federal government - i.e. US currency. An additional $1.4 trillion exists in paper money and coins, which people willingly receive in exchange for value delivered - i.e. wealth invested in US Dollars

In addition, there is $4 trillion notional traded daily in foreign currency exchange markets, a good chunk of which has US Dollars involved as the underlying reference asset in one form or another.

And finally, virtually all of the $18 trillion annual US Gross Domestic Product (2015) are financial exchanges that are denominated in US dollars. Every time I receive my wages paid in USD instead of goods, services, Euros or gold, I am investing my labor in US Dollars.

tl;dr: you're incorrect - lots of people invest lots of money/wealth in US Dollars every single day.

Comment Net Present Value (Score 2) 265

The net present value of annual payments of $531.36 over 58 years, at a discount rate of 3%, is $14,958.

Meaning if you set aside $15,000 today in an account earning 3%, you'd have enough money to make those 58 annual payments of $531.36. Per your scenario, the actual cost of the tax increase is about $15,000 per household (consisting of more than one taxpayer on average)

And if Dougherty's property tax millage rate is fully amortizing the bond, then those payments aren't for 58 years, but for the life of the bond, which is probably 30 years. In which case the NPV drops to $10,727 per household.

Not sure where you're getting $369,826 per taxpayer from.

Comment Self-insure (Score 1) 204

"However, the cost for insurance will simply be added on top of the contract, so the tax payer pays for it either way. In fact, with insurance, the tax payer will pay more on average than without insurance."

Exactly, and this is a good reason to NOT pay a third party for insurance.

Insurance exists for infrequent casualty events that you do not have the balance sheet or liquidity to manage on your own, so you contract out for someone to provide you that balance sheet / liquidity, at a cost to you. For Property & Casualty insurance, the underwriter is certainly NOT looking to pay more claims that they collect in premiums (although they might pay up to 95+% of premiums as claims; they make most of their income on investing the float), and thus the average policy holder pays more in premiums than their mere risk alone would indicate.

In this case, the government should either demand a discount from SpaceX in order to absorb the risk of launch loss, or require an indemnity from SpaceX to cover the cost of recreating (some of) the payload, or somewhere in between. But both SpaceX and the US Government have deep enough pockets that they do not need to assistance of a third party to manage the resulting cash flow, at a net cost to them both. Launch losses are a cost of doing business - pricing + negotiating power can shift those financial risks between the parties as needed, but self-insure the launch to keep as much money as possible from leaking outside the tent to third parties.

Comment Re:Non-profit revenue streams (Score 1) 531

Mozilla (as of their 2013 financial report) had $250 million in net assets, and during the year received $306 million in 'royalties' and spent $295 million ($200mm on software development, $45mm on branding/marketing, and $30mm on general admin).

The Wikimedia Foundation (as of their 2014 financial report) had $54 million in net assets, and during the year received $50 million in donations/support and spent $46 million ($20mm on salaries, $20 mm on other, $5 mm on grants/awards. Only $3mm spent on hosting and service expenses).

There is no reason that these entities require that kind of cash flow, and need to spend that much money. Non-profit =/= money spent efficiently or effectively, and the people running these entities have managed to get themselves a very sweet deal by controlling what should in all rights be a community-led structure, and dipping their greedy snout in the stream of cash flow.

For those reasons alone, I refuse to support either of them. It is greed and control writ large.


Comment Re:It's about money. (Score 1) 289

Constitutionally, States are a separate legal political entity than the federal government, with their own constitutional perogatives that the federal government can't abrogate. The federal republic is made up of independent States.

Conversely, municipalities are creations of the State, don't have their own independence from the State, exist at the pleasure of the State, and the State can legislate what municipalities can and cannot do (or even whether they exist). The State is not made up of independent municipalities.

Comment Re:A company has a right to track its equipmet (Score 1) 776

Comment Re:Warrant not required to seize phone. (Score 1) 509

But the key is "exigency of the circumstances", and how reasonable their belief is that the evidence is under threat of being destroyed. Evidence in the custody of someone likely to destroy that evidence is much different that evidence in the custody of the someone likely to preserve that evidence, and the law recognizes this.

If law enforcement believes that you recorded evidence of a crime and are likely to delete that evidence, then they do have the right to seize the recording device to preserve the evidence, for a limited time, while they timely get a search warrant.

But when you have recorded police misconduct, have protested against that misconduct, and even state that you are going to publicize the recording of the misconduct, I would argue the police DO NOT have a have a belief that such evidence is going to be deleted, and so do not have "exigent circumstances" as a reason for seizing the recording device while they get a warrant. Get a warrant first, then seize and search the recording device.

Lengthy discussion can be found in the DOJ's paper on the public's right to record law enforcement activities: http://static.photographyisnot...

Comment The Martian (book) - Andy W (Score 1) 137

Just a plug for a book I just finished, a great read about a near-future manned Mars mission that goes wrong and strands an astronaut on the surface - fast-paced, lots of technical details, sometimes funny. I couldn't put it down.

The Martian, by Andy Weir.

Comment Re:Christian Theocracy (Score 1) 1168

There is a fundamental difference between personal choices in marriage and the rules for engaging in commerce. Commercial activity is simply different than choices in your personal capacity.

Discriminate in your your personal capacity all you want. Don't date outside your race, don't associate with people you think are icky, don't marry someone you don't like for any reason in the world. [But if you deeply love someone for a host of reasons but don't want to marry them for the sole reason that they are black, then yes, you are a bigot.]

But if you want a license to engage in certain occupations, sell certain products, incorporate, deduct business expenses, use public roads in the pursuit of profits, or otherwise economically engage with society as a business, then society can establish rules for doing so. And they will - history is not on your side.

Comment Re:Christian Theocracy (Score 1) 1168

"It's what I said at the beginning, sexual preference is not a protected class."

Not yet, but it's going to be within a generation, because just like race and gender, it is an immutable charateristic of a person who didn't choose it, and over time society is realizing the wrongness of such fear and animosity of them.

"we do not have a right to not be discriminated against" Wrong, there are laws that prevent such discrimination in certain cases and against certain classes that society has deemed need to be protected, and those laws change as society does. What is currently legal is not my point, nor my question to the grandparent commenter. It's a question of what SHOULD BE legally allowed (without reference to a historical text written by men).

From what you've written it seems like, absent a legal prohibition against doing so, you personally would be OK with refusing to provide service to a black man or an hispanic woman simply because of who they are. If so, nothing further need be said - you've shown your true colors.

Comment Re:Read The Bill (Score 2) 1168

You are incorrect. The Federal RFRA and most state RFRAs do just that - generally require the government to enact laws in a manner least-restrictive to religious considerations.

However, the Indiana bill has two additional provisions: "First, the Indiana law explicitly allows any for-profit business to assert a right to "the free exercise of religion" (and not just individuals)...Second, the Indiana statute explicitly makes a business's "free exercise" right a defense against a private lawsuit by another person, rather than simply against actions brought by government." (Source:

This means EXACTLY that a restaurant would now have a strong legal defense against a private lawsuit if the owners decide they don't want to serve gay people. It is NOT limited to making sure the government enacts laws in a least-restrictive-to-religion way.

Fine, pass it, and after enough old conservative white people have died and such blatant bigotry is made illegal in the same way that refusal to serve black people was made illegal, then the Indiana RFRA will be by law unable to be used to defend this bigoted hysteria. But those two viewpoints are on the same side of history, and will suffer the same fate.

N.B. And from the looks of it, the Alabama bill you reference has the second part - it isn't just applicable to how AL enacts legislation, it is applicable to all lawsuits whether the government is party to them or not.

Comment Re:Christian Theocracy (Score 4, Insightful) 1168

"In no way should a Christian business owner be forced to do something that violates his conscience....Civil rights in no way trump religious rights"

Do you believe that business owner should have the legal ability to refuse service to a black/hispanic/asian person, or a woman?

If not, what is it about homosexuality (an immutable characteristic) that is different than race or gender?

If so, why are you an bigot?

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"