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Comment: Re: Simple answer... (Score 1) 462

by kilfarsnar (#48634851) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

Inhaling any smoke into your lungs can cause damage and long term health problems. Chronic cough, emphysema, and even lung cancer are all possible outcomes of smoking pot. it also raises your blood pressure and your heart rate, similar to smoking tobacco.

only the ignorant or misinformed deny it has any ill health effects. its not that different from smoking tobacco.

Pot smoke has not been shown to cause cancer or emphysema. Even if there are other health effects, I'm not sure how we are helping people by putting them in jail for doing it. The message seems to be, "Don't do this harmful thing, or we'll do this other harmful thing to you."

Comment: Re:So if I've got this right... (Score 1) 440

by kilfarsnar (#48609753) Attached to: Federal Court Nixes Weeks of Warrantless Video Surveillance

A cop bought a video camera to catch an illegal alien unloading a firearm at bottles on his own porch, among other things...catches the guy, along with a significant drug operation no less...and the court "nixes weeks of warrantless video surveillance" is a GOOD THING? You'll notice they aren't nixing the YEARS of warrantless surveillance that every citizen of the U.S. has been under, nor the YEARS of collusion with friendly nations to extend that surveillance program to every citizen, worldwide. No, they're nixing the one bit of fucking video that might actually have been worth recording in the fucking first place. Footage of a criminal, committing a crime. How novel.

The EFF logo for this story was perfect, "extremely fucking foolish" was the first thought that came to mind.

The police can't violate people's rights in pursuit of law breakers. The ends don't justify the means.

Comment: Re: Go California! (Score 2, Insightful) 139

by kilfarsnar (#48572635) Attached to: California Sues Uber Over Practices

Consumers are terrible at protecting themselves. "Quality Products / Services" takes third place in terms of things that get a business to the top, after "Excellent PR Control / Advertising" and "Ruthless Business Practices". If you want to see what happens when you reduce consumer protections and monitoring, look to the third world where companies put melamine in their food to artificially inflate the protein count and fake baby formula with little to no nutritional value gets passed off as legit.

Yeah, but what about Comcast? They're the most hated company in the country. They screw their customers and no one wants to do business with them. So everyone exercised their power as consumers and sued Comcast or simply took their business elsewhere. Eventually Comcast went out of business because they provided such terrible service.

Isn't that how it happened?

Comment: Re: Go California! (Score 4, Interesting) 139

by kilfarsnar (#48572605) Attached to: California Sues Uber Over Practices

What planet are you on? Or are you too young to remember how consumers got screwed before consumer protection laws. Yeah feel free to stop using the service after you get killed because your Uber driver was drunk. And it just isn't the passenger there are also other drivers who may be killed or maimed by an unqualified Uber driver. It's not just all about you. And try suing if you get hosed. You will find punishing Uber nigh impossible.

People, and free-market Libertarians in particular, have this idea that if there is a problem between two parties, one can just sue the other and it'll get worked out. They don't seem to realize that a lawsuit is a huge pain in the ass for everyone involved (except the lawyers), and is also very expensive. Lawsuits are out of reach for most people simply because of the cost. It's just not realistic.

For more insight, I would point you to Fletcher Reede in "Liar Liar", when his car is damaged by a tow company:

"You know what I'm going to do about this? Nothing! Because if I take it to small claims court, it will just drain 8 hours out of my life and you probably won't show up and even if I got the judgment you'd just stiff me anyway; so what I am going to do is piss and moan like an impotent jerk, and then bend over and take it up the tailpipe!"

Comment: Re:Puts the lie (Score 1) 398

by kilfarsnar (#48555669) Attached to: Displaced IT Workers Being Silenced

Yes, it's called competition. If someone is willing to do your job cheaper than you are, then they'll get hired and you won't. It's just like: if someone will sell me a copy of "War and Peace" for $30, and someone else for $5, then I will buy the cheaper one, not the more expensive one.

You have to provide enough value to make someone WANT to employ you at that price. Otherwise, yes, someone else can undercut your price.

Actually, it's not like that at all. As I said, experience has a value. What that value is, is up to interpretation of course. But no two people are alike, so it's not just like two copies of the same book. Besides, the labor market is about more than just supply and demand. As the AC below said, there would be plenty of people willing to do a CEO's job for less than he is doing it for. But for some reason there is not a race to the bottom for the salaries of top management.

Comment: Puts the lie (Score 2) 398

by kilfarsnar (#48547509) Attached to: Displaced IT Workers Being Silenced

The article puts the lie to the idea that these H-1B workers are filling jobs that there are no good American candidates for. The article, and one linked in it, talk about existing workers training their H-1B replacements. So, there are manifestly American workers who can do these jobs. They are doing them right now! The article also says they are often older workers being replaced. You know what that means; these older workers are highly compensated. As usual it's about the bottom line, with humans as resources to be exploited.

Comment: Re:You can pry my wallet from my... (Score 1) 375

by kilfarsnar (#48506325) Attached to: The Cashless Society? It's Already Coming

Back some time ago a bunch of merchants won a lawsuit challenging Visa/Mastercard rules, and as a result merchants are now allowed to charge people more for using a credit card instead of paying cash.. Well guess what, I have yet to encounter one single merchant doing that. They have no choice. Once again, good old fashioned competition. If they charge more for using a credit card, they will lose business to competitors who don't.

Near me there is a gas station that charges fully 10 cents less per gallon if the buyer uses cash. Their credit card price is competitive with other stations in the area. So it shows just how much the consumer ends up paying for using credit cards.

Credit also pushes up prices in general, since you can buy higher priced items if you can pay them off over time. If people had to actually save up the cash to make large purchases it would delay the purchases and put downward pressure on prices.

Comment: Re:Economic system (Score 1) 652

by kilfarsnar (#48469951) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

At base, all I'm saying is that the US government can create enough money to get it done. The companies or industries affected would not have to worry about the cost if the government were to fill the gap. They had plenty of money to bail out Wall Street, but don't seem to have the same will when it comes to dealing with climate change. Maybe it's the imminence of the threat, as you say.

As a larger point, I'm glad we are discussing money as a means of control. Most people don't understand it as such, but that's what it is. Our monetary system is a debt-fueled societal control mechanism. The question of course is who is doing the controlling and to what end. Since money is central to all this (and everything else) I would like to see it used more for the public good, and less for private gain. That's why I said we need a new paradigm; one that emphasizes the public good, not profit. Because the need for profit is preventing us from doing what is necessary.

You can call me a socialist utopian, and you'd probably be right. I'm not saying that my idea of how things should be has any chance of coming about. But I do think it's necessary for our survival. Focusing on private gain and immediate self-interest, which is the incentive in our economic system, is inadequate to tackling such a large and inter-dependent problem as climate change. It is not set up for concerted action. But we will cling to it because of powerful interests and a lack of imagination. We are circling the drain, and it is of our own choosing.

Comment: Re:Duh ... (Score 1) 219

by kilfarsnar (#48469731) Attached to: Hacker Threatened With 44 Felony Charges Escapes With Misdemeanor

Ten years ago I would have said you were a crank. Five years ago I would have ignored the comment. But this country has gone seriously down hill over the past decade and a half.

Corporate fraud and malfeasance is a major issue. Even things corporations do legally should be of paramount concern to the people of the US. There needs to be a disassembly (not continued over-regulation, which are two completely separate things) of the finance structure in the US, starting with the repeal of GLBA and the reinstatement of Glass-Steigel.

10 years ago, I knew the system was fucked. But it's nice that the general consensus is coming around to agree with me, more or less. It reminds me of when everyone else finally realized what a terrible president Gorge W. Bush was, or that the NSA really is spying on them.

The problems go deeper than you probably know; deep enough that you would again consider me a crank if I told you. The fraud and regulatory capture are only the beginning. Where it gets really interesting is where the corporate and financial bigwigs get together with the intelligence agencies and start spying and manipulating. They are driving world events with deception and propaganda, and doing things most would consider to be impossible.

Comment: Re:Economic system (Score 1) 652

by kilfarsnar (#48466811) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

What's the alternative motivation besides profit? How do you get some people to do what you want without paying them?

Fear won't work. People can just decide not to be afraid. And, since doomsday predictions have always been wrong, they would be wise not to fear the end you're warning them about. Altruism won't work either.

People focus on profit/money because its a clear way to motivate others. Everything else is just salesmanship, putting a gun to someone's head, or asking "pretty please".

I would think saving the planet would be motivation enough. But if nothing else, I think the US government should fund and subsidize the shift to a new energy infrastructure, through research grants, tax incentives, etc. It's clear that the need for profit is holding us back from making the changes we need to make. So take the profit out of the equation.

In a larger scope, it is interesting to me that profit is the only way we can think of to motivate people. It's as if we weren't creative beings at heart. Absent the profit motive, I think people would create and build things out of necessity, creativity, or a desire to make life better for oneself and others. Profit is actually a poor motivator because a well-done job or quality product is only a by product of a desire for profit. If a profit can be made with shoddy work or an inferior product, that's just as well; because the motivation is profit, not doing a good job.

The US government has shown that it will come up with large amounts of money when properly motivated. We need a Manhattan Project for climate change, since the private sector has shown itself incapable of the task. Government is more free to act precisely because it doesn't have to make a profit. It is not constrained in that way. It can, and does, print as much money as it needs.

Comment: Re:Deliberate (Score 1) 652

by kilfarsnar (#48461607) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Get all the experts into the same room and lock the door..

That's not how free, democratic societies make policy.

Ah, so we should put all the people with the most money in a room, lock the door, and let them do whatever is in their best interest. Isn't that how free, democratic societies make policy these days? ;-)

Loan-department manager: "There isn't any fine print. At these interest rates, we don't need it."