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Comment: Re:So sad :( (Score 1) 117

by kqs (#49494581) Attached to: UK Company Wants To Deliver Parcels Through Underground Tunnels

Well, it was a really fucking stupid idea (tm) to privatise the Royal Mail. Even the Republicans haven't been big enough dumbasses to privatise the USPS.

To be fair, the USPS is specified in the constitution as a government-run institution, so it would take some very creative legislation.

And in some ways I wish they had made it a private company. Right now, due to the republicans, the USPS receives no federal money, but must pre-pay pension funds for decades in advance.

But yeah, I want a government-run postal service. I want a service that will be there for everyone, not just people in big cities, or rich people, or whatever subset "makes shareholders more money".

Comment: Re:Don't fix what ain't broke (Score 1) 184

VA hospitals are much, much cheaper than "normal hospitals" (and for most physical injuries, have similar results). Are you willing to accept a massive tax hike to allow vets to get treatment in a normal hospital? Even if you are, most of your neighbors are not.

And TFA is about how the EMR in "normal hospitals", all bought from free-market companies, is horrible and can cause secondary health problems. The VA's EMR is actually very good, works well and has fewer problems than the commercial ones, cost a LOT less to develop and deploy, and scales much further.

So no, your fix for the VA is likely to make the problems worse, not better.

Comment: Re:Don't fix what ain't broke (Score 1) 184

The VA has many problems, but is also wonderful in some areas.

Their care for physical injuries and their EMR are both good. Their EMR, in particular, is fantastic, especially compared to much of the expensive commercial crap that most hospitals use.

Their care for mental injuries and their scheduling and administration are pitiful. Some of that is because the government refuses to fund them enough, but there are plenty of other issues there.

But none of the issues are exclusive to government-run health care. Any place where you have more people who need care than resources to care for them, whether the resources come from the government, industry, or charities. Blaming it entirely on the government just encourages solutions worse than the initial problems.

Comment: Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 1) 349

by kqs (#49374279) Attached to: Sign Up At irs.gov Before Crooks Do It For You

The high rates in the US were after the wars (50s-70s). Cold war, perhaps.

And sure, mobility and communication was far more difficult then. Many things have changed besides just the taxes. I'm just saying that if someone says "X causes Y" and the quick evidence says "the relationship, without adjustments, looks kinda like the opposite" then you need something stronger than faith and religious fervor to make your case. Thus, "citation needed".

Comment: Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 1) 349

by kqs (#49374055) Attached to: Sign Up At irs.gov Before Crooks Do It For You

So say what you mean. When someone says one thing but then says "no, actually I mean this rather different thing" we accuse them of "spin" if they are a politician and "lying" if they are anyone else.

Also, how would the new IRS differ? What policies of the current IRS do you think should be changed? Because it seems to me that as long as someone has to enforce tax collection, they have to look much like the current IRS.

Comment: Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 1) 349

by kqs (#49373927) Attached to: Sign Up At irs.gov Before Crooks Do It For You

Citation needed. I hear this a lot but never seem to hear any evidence of it.

The US used to have a maximum tax rate of over 90%, but fewer millionaires left the country than now when the tax rates are historically very low.

I'm rather happy that those who make more (including me, though I'm nowhere near rich) pay a higher percentage than those who make less. Another percent tax on me will not change much, though I may go out to eat less or have fewer options on my new motorcycle. Another percent on people living near me will mean that they will have trouble eating or paying for healthcare or heating.

Comment: Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 2) 349

by kqs (#49373833) Attached to: Sign Up At irs.gov Before Crooks Do It For You

Not to worry. I don't own anything; my house and cars are owned by KqsCo and leased to me for a nominal fee. And since they are business expenses for the company...

If you assume that there is any plan which cannot be gamed, you don't have enough imagination.

I'm fine with a combination of income, sales, business and property taxes. You may be able to avoid one of them, but avoiding all of them at the same time may be more expensive than paying the damn taxes.

Comment: Re:We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service (Score 1) 1168

by kqs (#49373347) Attached to: Apple's Tim Cook Calls Out "Religious Freedom" Laws As Discriminatory

As far as I know, you can put whatever sign you want in your window, but you generally cannot refuse service if the only reason is that someone is in a protected class. So you can refuse service to anyone if they are drunk, barefoot, tall, or wearing white after labor day, etc, but not because they are muslim, african-american, or female. LGTB folks are not a protected class in Indiana, so this bill gives you a defense if you discriminate against them for any reason whatsoever.

Comment: Re:This is about being accepted - nothing more (Score 1) 1168

by kqs (#49373221) Attached to: Apple's Tim Cook Calls Out "Religious Freedom" Laws As Discriminatory

that's all just a legally palatable cover for their real motivation: Feeling normal.

Well, that, and they'd kinda like to not be fired from their job because they are gay, beaten (sometimes to death) because they are gay, not be able to adopt because they are gay, be able to inherit from their life partner and be able to make and-of-life decisions for their life partner, etc, etc, etc. But sure. feeling normal is way more important than all that.

Comment: Re:What difference does it make? (TM) (Score 4, Interesting) 609

by kqs (#49233745) Attached to: Clinton Regrets, But Defends, Use of Family Email Server

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... , though in that case the email was hosted by the Republican National Committee.

I'm generally a Clinton supporter, and I'm really unhappy with the email thing. But it is the same as has been done before and will be done again.

Not to worry though, I'm sure that we'll have EVEN MORE investigations into this than we had into Benghazi, with the exact same results.

Comment: Re: Project "Spartan"? (Score 2, Informative) 166

by kqs (#49143147) Attached to: Microsoft's Goals For Their New Web Rendering Engine

In history, the Spartans were the despotic enemies of democracy who constantly tried to defeat Athens. They could have stopped the Persians at the sea crossing, but delayed because they had a religious festival and finally sent a tiny troop to Thermopylae (too little too late). Those troops did acquit themselves well, but Greece would have been overrun if the Athenians hadn't brought up their army and crushed the Persians.

So yeah, an appropriate name for Microsoft (and for people who know movies but not history).

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe

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