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Comment Credit where credit is due (Score 1) 437

While getting 20,000 to sign to commit is a big thing by itself, a credit needs to be given where credit is due:

A credit for committing to pack your stuff and to move to the sparsely populated cold state. That is something.

While 20,000 voters will not change the elections in a state where 700K to 900K people vote, few things need to be taken to the account:
        - FSP is not a political organization and it will not endorse any of the candidates. However it has been my observation that most of the free staters are libertarian leaning or would vote for Bernie Sanders.
        - 20,000 is not the end. It is meant to be a beginning. A judgmentally selected, trigger point and future inflows will be encouraged.
        - Local politics: Education of the jurors. Challenging unnecessary and outdated laws is the current
        - Free staters are disproportionately more active in politics. Not only they vote, but, also, get elected and their share is much larger than general population.

Comment Systemic debt is created by design (Score 1) 285

Trying to fix the broken process by setting fundraising site is comparable to the ransom collection by the pirates of the seas, figuratively speaking. Slashdot article mentioned this arrangement because this site collected $2,315 on average per person. Clearly, the concept was executed by the layer of society, who believes in Obamacare, basic income, and free healthcare. Money are collected by the people who have a network anyway. For people without the network this website is not a big help.

As far as strangers involved: eventually the demand will dwarf all the anonymous donors...

It is a common knowledge, that pricing of uninsured patient services is outrageous and is inflated, like 10 to 20 times inflated, on what the reasonable or "Medicaid" rates are.

Writing off those billions is merely an accounting trick, that achieves the following goals:

1. Allows keeping price lists in obscurity and for different arrangement there is a different price. NB: same person, but with different insurance card or no card at all will be getting different rates. Which tells a lot what exactly is driving the process. Bottom line, every hospital is keeping full price pricelist which is used when people who, ordinarily, can afford the least, get medical services. This price list is public, and, historically, has also been used to confuse the competitors (of course everyone knows multiple pricelists today).

2. Writing off the debts allows for the hospital to operate in a loss. Reality is that those original billings are not based on a reasonable cost, as such writing off of the losses (for provisions for noncollectable debts) is also not a real economic loss. There are some hospitals in lower socio-economic areas who start believing this accounting and economic model, by admitting a lot of non-paying customers and not having robust finance division. Those hospitals usually go bankrupt or verge on it. Again, incurring accounting losses is an outcome of management decisions on how to price, how to sell and up sell medical services and mix them with private insurance billings. All of this done in order to get coveted financial statements demonstrating poor state of affairs and financial loss, claiming non-profit status (yet paying exorbitant salaries to certain people in healthcare industry) and making money to the pharmaceutical companies and other suppliers.

The only solution to reducing the prices is complete deregulation and liberalization of the industry. In deregulated market, such fundraisers sites would be valuable if not indispensable tool. ...Will not happen in my lifetime.

Comment Moon landing (Score 1) 303

I do not think that any sane person questions landing itself. The world, including arch-competitors Soviets, were monitoring and spying the process. Moreover, the landing vehicle at the first landing location has been photographed. You can't fake the fact of that kind of magnitude.

However there is a reasonable suspicion that the footage of the landing is .... well... a bit of a stretch, and those pesky conspiracy theorists brought dozens of details that did not make sense. Lastly, there is this Stanley Kubrick confession on being the producer of the footage:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Perhaps the moon landing was real, however the famous video footage was made here at earth.

In nowadays these type sharp-eyed people post their analysis under the "Movie mistakes".

Comment Cure for Cancer (Score 1) 303

Proof of concept for the cure of cancer has been patented more than 30 years ago, in 1983.

While many of the readers here are techies, I am bringing your attention to the Cabilly patents https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... that are key to some of the existing effective FDA approved cancer medications (with the combo treatment cost of $250K or so). If you do not believe, please spend some time researching or ask your friend patent lawyer of biochemistry scientist to comment on Cabilly patents.

Bottom line is that cure for cancer has been discovered before 1983 (the patent date). This is not the only patent, but one of the key inventions that gave the beginning to the current modern cure cancers. Due to the patent restrictions as well as business competitive restrictions, patent owners were not that willing to license and the license fees were very high. This is one of the patents, and typical cancer drug has hundreds of patents (unlike small molecule medications)

Not only the patents. FDA has requirements, bureaucratic and administrative documentation requirement burden, that can only be met by only the largest pharmaceutical companies.

For all practical purposes, cancer drugs were discovered a long time ago, and real working prototypes are usually available about ten years before FDA approval.

As far as conspiracy.... The wording "suppressed" is kooky , because pharma companies are in business to make money by innovating and helping patients, and, as such, do not suppress money making technologies.

From the common man prospective, however, the conspiracy theory is 100% correct, assuming we do not nitpick wording but look into the essence, namely that the cure was available, but not really available due to the administrative burden. All for the protection of the dying cancer patients. Some very connected patients did get the treatment before everyone else.

Do not blame pharmaceutical companies on this one...

Comment Easiest money ever made (Score 1) 255

Just put a web camera towards projection screen and set to detect and record motion movement.

If there are no changes, no exceptions, no hidden "frames", to this incredibly dull movie, motion movement recorder will have zero footage to review.

$600 per hour and 10 hour movie? Hell, I would be more than happy to take view the movie and sleep at the same time. Or clean the house.

Comment Perhaps Mr Luntz was putting the questions (Score 1) 464

It is all how you formulate the question.

Same person asked two questions about so called "smart" technology will give two very different answers. I have to assume that that was the case.

The real test is actual use of so called smart guns. Reality is there are lot of guns that are smart, meaning there is electronic component in those: anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets and even larger weapons.

Reality is that no army in the world is not using smart weapons, because guns are made to be as simple as possible and as reliable as possible.

Long story short: if someone wants a smart technology she should get a safe box with the finger print reader to lock all the guns.

Comment It is all about the spin in the question (Score 5, Insightful) 500

There is approximately one billion of passengers in United States, an approximate number which includes domestic, international and private aviation helicopters and planes.

Let's crunch some numbers: 2,700 handguns were discovered for one billion boardings equals to approximately one gun per 370,000 passengers.

Let's take into the prospective:

On average, statistically, in this country there is 1.1 weapon per every person. We do not break down by the type of gun or passenger, but three forgetful citizens out of one million is a really really low number.

Here are some sobering conclusions:

1. None of the passengers had intention of using the weapon. Why? Because nobody used. Because if they wanted to they would have.
2. Even if there would be no TSA, the safety would not deteriorate or decrease. Metal detectors manned by the private screeners could detect all the forgotten weapons. More: currently cockpit doors are locked as such, a handgun inside the plane is pretty much useless. Yes: you can shoot a hole or kill a passenger or two, but the rest of passengers will tear you apart.

So it all boils down to how the question is presented:

" Why so many guns were brought to the airport".

The real questions should have been following:

Question: "In a country with 400 million guns only less than 3,000 guns are brought to the airport. All of the owners meant to leave the gun in a checked in bag? Is existence, the cost, and the false sense of security of TSA justified?"

The real answer: "No. One segment fee of $5.60 is an evidence of mind boggling waste and incompetence. This $5.60 will only increase in the future. TSA should be disbanded and handling of the security should be up to the airports and the carriers".

 

Comment Compromise is possible, in a way (Score 1) 345

In Boolean algebra, there are two values 1 and 0. Same with encryption: data is either encrypted or not encrypted.

As such if Boolean algebra could be changed, by law, to have values other than 1 and 0, the the same principle can be applied to encryption. Customers can be told that data is encrypted, but for certain other unwanted parties data is not encrypted.

Comment Perhaps taxes? (Score 2) 729

Americans work so much, on average, not because they are greedy or because the want to work.

They work because there is so many who do not work so hard. Those who do not work so hard are, as a rule, fueled by the taxpayer collected money. It has already been proven, without any doubt, that, on average, governmental job pays way way more than private job.

Have you heard about NJ cops making $100K or $150K? Yes, I agree, that $100K is not that much money, however it needs to be taken into account that cops need to work 20 years and then they get taxpayer funded pension and medical benefits. I am not trying to bash cops, or single them out. If US GAAP rules are used (meaning US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles are used), which means that expenses need to be accrued when incurred, such jobs would need to be accounted as costing not $100K, but $200K, for defined benefits (pension, medical) need to accrue at the same time. It is not even the largest issue. The larger issue is entitlement culture and "social" payments to the population which traditionally keeps voting for politicians who keep promising more freebies and benefits only if you vote for them.

One and only one conclusion comes to my mind: The taxation level. Some might say that those socialist Europeans pay more taxes, however there are some very important differences. For example, in Europe, as a rule, schools are funded from federal budget. In US schools are funded from property taxation, except for low income areas which, logically, cannot afford their schools and get funded from the state or federal funds. This leads to de-facto segregation in United States by school districts, that nobody likes to talk, yet everybody knows. Low income areas have few meaningful jobs, which leads to many non-working Americans living here. Higher income areas do have high property taxes which automatically do add additional hours for higher living standards need to be maintained with additional work.

The truth is that current taxation system is the primary driver of the human behavior. Some people will continue working to death and other part of population will keep continuing voting for the status quo that allows more tax benefits, irrespective of the economic class of the voter, be it Dianne Feinstein's husband ingenuity winning profitable real estate business related contracts, whether it will be teacher's, police or FDA "scientist"'s benefits, or generationally unemployed welfare receivers.

That is taxes, baby!

Comment There is a saying in Russia (Score 1) 122

There is a saying in Russia, which says that Russians do not give away Russians.

This is a cliche statement, which reflects the mentality of how some of the Russians are taught and trained themselves to believe of anyting non Russian related. Here is the caricature of Russian mentality which summarizes how they want to view you: https://www.facebook.com/photo...

Jokes aside, in United States if somebody would want some law enforcement to give away their informers, we would say: screw you.

Comment Re:Time to buy the Popcorn Franchise (Score 1) 388

But that is the beginning. Start with Barber license.

Then perhaps stop regulating Marijuana. As we have agreed, I would not use it, but who am I to deny others to smoke what they want.

Then, perhaps, drinking age. Then make other licenses optional: Real Estate agent license, for example. Allow people to choose whether to work with licensed agent, or unlicensed. There are many more regulations to consider...

Comment Re:Time to buy the Popcorn Franchise (Score 2) 388

Would it surprise you, that car insurance is not required. Or wearing seatbelts in NH?

How getting a haircut at barber is any more dangerous than driving the car?

This machine probably already had enough influence to not convict at least one marijuana smoker in the court of law. Marijuana is still illegal in NH, but in the eyes of public opinion, Marijuana should be decriminalized (72% support) and 60% support legalization. I am predicting that Marijuana will be the next thing.

Personally, I do not think that Marijuana is a good thing for most of the people, however you can bet that in 2016 this will be one of the topics on NH agenda.

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