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Comment: Re:Comprehension fail. Green: Give Wheeler more po (Score 1) 198

It's government that enforces the cable monopolies. They are called franchises, and it's the government saying only one company can run service to a given neighborhood. An EXCELLENT example of government doing harm.

I got the impression you were making the argument about the federal government specifically. Sometimes the federal/state government increases liberty by getting rid of a federal/state regulation. Sometimes abolishing a regulation leads to less liberty.

Neither I nor the Green Party believes government never does harm. I am certainly not claiming that federal, state, or local governments are free of corruption.

The core of the argument is that 1) government is not inherently bad and 2) we can substantially improve the quality of our government through 3) changes in electoral rules, campaign financing, and the revolving door. When a large voting bloc stops believing 1 and 2, we're basically doomed. I'd much rather argue over the best #3 and how to get them implemented.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 198

Key part of your quote:

The quality of drinking water in the United States remains universally high, however. Even though pipes and mains are frequently more than 100 years old and in need of replacement, outbreaks of disease attributable to drinking water are rare.

Universally high quality drinking water? That's "remarkably well". Yes, infrastructure needs work because nobody is willing to spend the money to do it. But, as of today, nearly everyone has potable water.

Comment: Re:Comprehension fail. Green: Give Wheeler more po (Score 1) 198

I'm sorry, but you are misinterpreting or misrepresenting Greens, at least in this paragraph:

It's pretty clear, isn't it, that they are for more government - WAY more government. In fact, the preamble of their platform says they seek to refute the idea "that government is intrinsically undesirable and destructive of liberty". They think more federal government leads to more liberty. How cute.

The entire point of that line is that governments are not always bad, and they can lead to liberty. The rest of the platform is basically saying "we need all of these things to have a good government again".

I'd call the notion that government never leads to more liberty "cute", but it's ugly and overly cynical. Let me give you a few examples of the federal government creating more liberty:
* abolishment of slavery (Civil War will give you a lot of fun arguing points, I'm sure, but still true)
* abolishment of Jim Crow laws
* child labor laws
* Roe v Wade (trollbait, but millions of Americans have been grateful for this liberty)
* hopefully someday, breaking cable's blockade of good internet (I don't have the liberty to have fiber because a municipal official made a deal with a donor?)

I'm not a Green, but I'm with them on this. And I think any sane person should be. Government is not always bad.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 1) 608

by bhiestand (#47426051) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Hell, take things "programmed" in Excel for that matter. I've seen people use 3 columns to do things which could've been written in 1 operation especially when it comes to adding percentages to a value (they'll calculate 4%, then add it's outcome to the source value to get a +4% and then hide the other 2 columns instead of just doing 104%). That will take them 2 hours to complete.

I agree with your point. But to be fair, I have seen 'geniuses' use one formula to do things which could have been written in 50 columns. There are advantages to breaking up the formula and "showing your work" in hidden columns. I hate trying to debug or change formulas with a thousand parentheses. Now if we can only get people to make their excel formulas readable and then start documenting...

Comment: Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (Score 1) 415

by bhiestand (#47410201) Attached to: Police Using Dogs To Sniff Out Computer Memory

Yeah, it's kind of sad how very few places will tolerate anyone who truly cares (rather than pretends to care while supporting policies infringe upon free speech rights) about free speech.

Freedom? You want the "free speech right" of a rapist to trump a rape victim's freedom to decide whether or not to be be in an adult video.

It's possible you're not trolling, but it's absolutely ridiculous that anyone would mod you up. So much for #NotAllMen and all those "slashdot isn't misogynist!" comments...

Comment: Re:You think? (Score 1) 385

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.

I am glad we agree on the first point. I may have missed some of the context of your post, and I often get the impression that some on slashdot would not agree that targeted rate cuts are a subsidy.

On the latter, I suspect we disagree somewhat. But we don't have to argue that point. Over the last 14 years, I have seen an ugly cycle of: 1) cut taxes disproportionately for the wealthy and corporations; 2) increase defense spending; 3) cite new deficits as justification for cutting entitlements by an amount dwarfed by 1 and 2; 4) propose new tax cuts. The claim that "tax cuts [always] pay for themselves" concerns me greatly.

Comment: Re:You think? (Score 1) 385

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.

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"?

Comment: Re:This is dumb (Score 1) 192

by bhiestand (#47364073) Attached to: An Army Medal For Coding In Perl

I know it's broad, as are the definitions of combat zones. However, I think that's more reflective of America's extreme involvement across the globe, and doesn't necessarily diminish the value of a legitimate medal.

Now, the paperpushers who get bronze stars for their heroic hiring of contractors and writing of contracts...

Comment: Re:This is dumb (Score 1) 192

by bhiestand (#47342519) Attached to: An Army Medal For Coding In Perl

The National Defense Service Medal [wikipedia.org] is automatically handed out to everyone that enlists.

I'd expect you to at least know the meaning of the first medal you got. Everyone currently in the military has it, yes, but that's not automatic or even upon enlisting. It's only during a time of war. I think that should be recognized.

Comment: Re:People pay for music? (Score 1) 364

by bhiestand (#47274957) Attached to: Google: Indie Musicians Must Join Streaming Service Or Be Removed

We don't know how many times the driver in the cars have had to intervene to prevent an accident, do we?

No, but do you know how many (minor, major, and fatal) collisions there are per mile driven?

I know there are around 2 fatalities per 100m miles driven, but I can't find rates for minor and major accidents. I suspect the vast majority of collisions are non-fatal, so a human driver probably has good odds of being in a collision by 700k.

Do you have any evidence that self-driving cars are unsafe, or that human intervention has been necessary?

Comment: Re:People pay for music? (Score 1) 364

by bhiestand (#47263771) Attached to: Google: Indie Musicians Must Join Streaming Service Or Be Removed

And... so? None of this will happen until self-driving cars are in fact the safer alternative. At which point, great. Since when do you get to endanger others because you think it's fun?

Afraid I'll get a woosh for this, but I'll respond...

As I understand it, they already are safer. Thus far, no moving violations and no accidents (to my knowledge). Google's car was in an accident while it was being manually driven. Google is touting 700,000+ accident-free miles now.

Comment: Re:Because... (Score 1) 325

by bhiestand (#47196841) Attached to: Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

That may be true for philosophy and ethics, but not as much for political science. There's a decent-sized job market in campaign work, government (esp. urban planning), and security. Security isn't academia per se, but it is borderline since a lot of the work is at think tanks and similar institutions. I'd also argue it's a useful background for business, and multinationals seem to recognize that value.

I believe these are the main reasons Political Science tends to be at the top of the salary rankings for social sciences, along with Urban Planning and International Relations, which often fall under the P.S. department or major.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz

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