Sure. Same as a suitcase of cash. However, if the government ever finds you transferred bitcoins or cash that were legally frozen, you're in deep trouble. At least cash they can't trace back to a suitcase and prove you owned the suitcase. Do it with bitcoins and there's a permanent audit trail if they can ever show that wallet was yours.
Oddly enough, the GOP house only balanced the budget with a Democrat in the Oval Office. Since 1980, Republican presidents have spent money like crazy, claiming that deficits didn't really matter. Clinton got the budget balanced, and Obama has done some good work on reducing the deficit.
And any politician who tries to push through a cancellation of Social Security is effectively dead for all political purposes. If the government wants to give me all the money back collected for me, accounting for inflation and reasonable investment rates (I estimate my first FICA contributions should be multiplied by 10, for example), I'll be fine with not collecting.
It's not politically possible to collect money for a specific purpose over a working career, for a program that will range from important to crucial to most people, and then say it isn't an obligation and end it.
We're a two-income household where each income is somewhat below the FICA cap. Last return I looked at, we were paying more than 24% to the Feds.
A pyramid scheme is one in which people who get in early get the latecomers' money, and there are winners and losers. It can't go on indefinitely. Fractional reserve banking is a stable system in which somebody can get essentially the same benefits coming in early or late.
Patents still are a good idea - in some fields, and where the laws are properly enforced.
Fortunately, slide to unlock isn't patented, and hence is not a BS patent.
Sure Apple is the problem? I'm sure Apple's competitors would agree with you.
We have a patent system with a lot of problems. We also have sort of a gentleman's agreement among the major companies which alleviates a lot of the problems for them, which Apple is violating.
I'm not at all confident that such a gentleman's agreement is good for anybody besides those already dominant in the industry. Such agreements tend to reduce competition and suppress new entrants.
Instead, Apple uses the system as it is, rather than through the old-boy network, and it gets ugly. The ugliness was always under the surface, and could show itself to people outside the network. If this makes Congress go for some reasonable patent reform, it's a good deal.
Apple was (I'm not completely sure now about "is") very, very good at making things easy to use. There was nothing new about putting a web browser on a phone. The really new thing about Mobile Safari was that it didn't suck. It isn't just marketing.
Oddly enough, the grid of icons on my Android tablet looks very much like the grid of icons on my iPhone. You'd think that wasn't patentable or something.
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The plane went down over water, so it's possible that there were survivors using flotation devices. I don't know one way or another, and we won't know until we find the plane. By now, they're probably all dead, if there were any. It might well have been possible to rescue them given prompt information, or maybe not.
The situation is a lot less certain than you seem to think.
The Japanese were aware that the Hiroshima bomb was an atomic bomb, and what it could do. There had been a couple of Japanese nuclear programs (one Army, one Navy), and Japan did not lack good scientists. However, they concluded that refinement of U-235 was a very long process, and didn't expect the US to have another for a year. The Nagasaki bomb, which used plutonium instead of uranium, proved that the US could have many more bombs.
There is no conclusive proof of what the Japanese were going to do, but it doesn't look encouraging.
See "Downfall", by Richard Frank, for a good account of Japanese (lack of) decision-making and what the US knew. Japan asked Stalin to serve as a mediator, but never could come up with a proposal to pass on. The Liaison Council was deadlocked. Japanese strategy all along had been to make the US pay bitterly for every advance in order to discourage them, and fighting on the home islands was consistent with that policy.
Then the nukes were dropped. The Emperor at that time took unconstitutional action and called for surrender. The Council agreed, although people still worried about what some of them would do, particularly Anami, Minister of War and the most hard-line. He committed suicide that night without explaining himself.
The Emperor prepared a broadcast about the surrender, citing the nukes and other developments not necessarily to Japan's advantage (a definite understatement). In the night after the recording and before the intended broadcast, some Japanese attacked the Imperial Palace, hoping to do a coup d'etat including destroying the recording, in order not to surrender. See "Japan's Longest Day" for details.
So, given the defeat of Japan all over the Pacific and much of Asia, the utter devastation of the Japanese economy, and the nukes, it took Imperial action to cause the surrender, nobody was sure the top authorities would allow it, and there was an attempt to overthrow the government to avoid surrender. This leaves me very doubtful of Japanese surrender in any reasonable time under other circumstances.
We might also ask what would have happened in other places without a Japanese surrender. The Japanese had killed roughly 100K-200K per month in their campaigns, and three months of that would have killed more people than the nukes did. I'm rather annoyed at the complete lack of consideration of Chinese and Indochinese lives in this debate.
In the meantime, the US had been supplying the Japanese with oil and iron, that they needed to support their war machine so they could continue to commit atrocities in China. Japan attacked the US because the US cut off that supply, not because of hostile diplomatic notes.