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Comment: Nothing is good enough for you people (Score 1) 256

by Karmashock (#48210131) Attached to: Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

Any nice thing happens and some asshat comes along to say "but we won't all have it at the same time instantly!"... Seriously?

Can you just be happy someone has something nice? And eventually it will get around to everyone. It is better that someone has something then that no one has it. This envy based value system is really getting old.

Comment: Re:Dear Canada.... (Score 1) 493

by cold fjord (#48208617) Attached to: Shooting At Canadian Parliament

"It's time to deal with radical Islamist extremists."

That sentence could be simplified to:

"It's time to deal with extremists."

Simplicity is beauty. And tends to get at the core of the problem.

Simplicity can be beauty when you haven't gone too far in simplifying the object of considertaion, removing so much that essential information is lost. That is what you did. You obscured the actual problem rather than clarifying it.

Comment: Re:More changes I don't want ... (Score 1) 157

by ganjadude (#48206935) Attached to: Google Announces Inbox, a New Take On Email Organization
google always throws out 100 half baked ideas, and hopefully one or 2 of them end uop being decent. sometimes its annoying when I find one I like that gets discontinued (igoogle home page for example) but if you make 100 things that suck and 2 that are awesome, thats still 2 more awesome things that didnt exist before. they have the money and talent so let um!

Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 1) 391

by Karmashock (#48205525) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

As to facing your accuser... lets say I own a shop and it has a camera in it... and someone breaks into my shop and use the video from the camera to convict them.

The video is evidence... your accuser is the government.

As to discretion, i have a problem with this as well because it means the police officer can decide what is illegal or not on a case by case basis. That is not his right. The legislature has the right to decide what is and is not legal. The courts have the duty to decide who is actually guilty. And the executive's job is merely to write the tickets.

Discretion on balance creates problems because it papers over problems with bad laws. Congress or city councils would be pressured to fix bad laws if those laws were actually applied as written.

Making matters worse, police sometimes apply the letter of the law and sometimes not. They are held to no standard as to when they do or do not do this. They can choose on a whim what to do. And that is a kind of tyranny.

Do I prefer police officers? yes. Because they're expensive and can't be everywhere. So they are inefficient for many kinds of enforcement. I like that as a check against tyranny.

If the cameras were only used properly, I wouldn't have a problem with them.

I think one of the bigger issues with traffic citations is that they are a revenue stream for cities. They shouldn't be. An alternative should be offered instead of giving the city money. Community service or something. Most people will just pay the money. But if the city gets silly with the fees, then you can just do some community service for 10 hours or something and be done with it.

That would lower the incentive for the government to effectively raise taxes by increasing enforcement for petty traffic violations.

Comment: Re:I see what they wanted to do here... (Score 1) 316

by Karmashock (#48204483) Attached to: Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic

I understand the purpose.

However, in a democracy where everyone can vote... you run into problems when taxation does not equal representation.

By having different tax rates for people that are wealthier... while at the same time not increasing their influence over government relatively... you create a situation where one faction can vote themselves something at someone else's expense and the system is unable to balance the interests.

That is the problem with progressive taxes. They do not come with corresponding influence for those that pay more.

If you are prepared to reduce the influence of those that pay less or increase the influence of those that pay more... then go for it. Otherwise, progressive taxes should be avoided.

Further note that I am referring to tax RATES. If I make a million dollars and I pay a rate of 10 percent then I'm going to pay a lot more money then someone that makes 1000 dollars and also pays 10 percent. However, note that the rates are the same. That is fine. The problem comes about when the guy making a million pays a rate of 70 percent and the guy making a 1000 pays a rate of negative 900 percent. And yet they both have the same influence over the political process when they go to the ballot box.

Now you might say the rich man might get more influence buy donating to politicians. This is true. However that comes as an expense ON TOP of his taxes. He doesn't just get that. He has to pay even more money just to get the influence he should have gotten simply by paying those progressive taxes.

Now look, I don't want rich people to have that much influence. I like the idea of one person one vote.

But the price of that is that we all have to pay the same rate. Another option might be limiting what people on subsidies can vote on. I know... it sounds terrible but it might be fair. If society is basically feeding you, housing you, etc... then do you have a right to tell the rest of society how it must do it? I don't see that you do. At that point you are a dependent of the state not unlike being a child taken care of by a parent. And children don't get to vote.

+ - Tom Coburn slams International Space Station, other NASA programs as wasteful->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, has released his 2014 “Wastebook” of what he regards as wasteful spending. Tucked inside the examples of monkey gambling studies and Swedish massages for rabbits, are several NASA programs the senator finds off-putting.

One example is a full-throated attack against the International Space Station, a facility that was started by President Ronald Reagan and has been in full operation for the past several years. “ISS is one of the greatest achievements in manned spaceflight. It is also the ‘single most expensive object ever created.’ And some scientists question if the space station’s out of this world costs can continue to be justified.” Coburn strongly implies that the ISS be immediately scrapped, and the money spent on what he regards as more productive research."

Link to Original Source

+ - 6,000 Year Old Temple Unearthed in Ukraine

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A massive archaeological dig of an ancient Ukrainian village first begun in 2009 has yielded a discovery that I sort of hope ends up inspiring a video game: a massive, scary-sounding temple. From the article: "Inside the temple, archaeologists found the remains of eight clay platforms, which may have been used as altars, the finds suggested. A platform on the upper floor contains "numerous burnt bones of lamb, associated with sacrifice," write Burdo and Videiko, of the Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The floors and walls of all five rooms on the upper floor were "decorated by red paint, which created [a] ceremonial atmosphere."
Maybe this is what Putin has been after."

Comment: I see what they wanted to do here... (Score 1) 316

by Karmashock (#48203679) Attached to: Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic

They did it wrong clearly.

The idea is that a certain amount of the economy is flowing through the internet and the government feels it has a right a fraction of that just as they claim from everything.

I can get that far.

Then I get what they did by charging by bandwidth. This is an attempt to make the tax progressive so that small users pay very little and big users pay a lot. I get that too.

The problem with this idea is that the amount of traffic is accelerating and the tax isn't reasonable if everyone's internet speed goes up by a factor of ten or something.

A more reasonable tax would be a per user tax on the ISPs. I'm quite sure they already have those... so... increase them I guess if they want more. That gets us to a tax that should bring in decent revenue without limiting people to lower bandwidth.

How to make that progressive?... I guess you could say anyone with low income could file for relief from that tax... or you could just have bandwidth tiers. Every company has tiers... this is the 3mb tier, this is the 7 mb tier... all the way up to 200 mb or something. Have the tax associated with given tiers be reset yearly or something so it can keep pace.

That or just dont' have a progressive tax... progressive taxes are stupid.

Comment: Re: Politics (Score 1) 375

You don't seem to have a good grasp of the American political spectrum. Just for clarity, yes the US really does have genuine Marxist / Leninist / Trotskyist / Maoist flavored communist parties. Bernie Sanders is a self-described socialist that caucuses with the Democrats, and is well to the left. There aren't a lot of moderate Democrats anymore since they have largely been driven from the party by the "progressives." There is no shortage of liberal or "progressive" Democrats, including actual communists that want to hold office in their lifetime. You can see Van Jones for an example of that. If the Republicans look "bat shit insane" to you it probably means you are well into loony left territory yourself since the Republicans are a liberal-right to center-right party committed to democracy, civil rights, and free enterprise.

"Life, loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it." -- Marvin the paranoid android