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Comment Re:How much is an AG these days? (Score 1) 241 241

But corporations are not people.

See my post, above, pointing out that corporations are groups of people, with all the rights guaranteed to people, who don't lose those rights just because they're acting together for a common purpose.

The legal system DOES, in some situations, treat corporations as pseudo-people. But that's just a convenient way to interact with the corporation's members/stockholders/what-have-you when they're acting together to advance the common purpose that the corporation was chartered to handle.

Comment Re:How much is an AG these days? (Score 2) 241 241

fuck off you right-wing scum.

In the immortal words of Red Skelton and Mel Blank: "He don't know me very well, do he?"

corporations aren't people.

Au contraire: Though they DO exhibit most of the characteristics of independent lifeforms, corporations are GROUPS of people, working together for a defined purpose. This is true whether they're businesses, schools, labor unions, churches, political parties, special-interest group, or whatever.

I assume we're agreed that people working together as a corporation shouldn't have any extra rights beyond the pooled rights of the individual members. But should these people LOSE any of their rights, just because they're working together?

Should spokesmen for a corporation with ten thousand stockholders, when speaking on issues related to the corporation's purpose, interaction with laws, and its stockholders' interests, have any less access to the ear of a legislator than the ten thousand stockholders themselves? A corporate lobbyist is just a representative of those ten thousand people when they're acting on this particular common interest.

The legal system treats corporations as pseudo-people because it's a convenient way to interact with the people making up the corporation when they're acting as a group.

Comment Chicago written large. (Score -1, Offtopic) 241 241

I wish I could be shocked at this behavior but this is standard operating procedure in America. The government has long been owned by the corporations, stuff like this just removes all doubt.

In the executive branch this has also changed - and not for the better - recently.

One of the biggest political machines in the US is that of Chicago. Chicago is utterly corrupt. But it's also the "City that Works" (according to one of its slogans), because ANYBODY can bribe the relevant officials, for sums that are within reach. The result is not pretty (and never has been). But it is thoroughly entrenched. How it operates is well known throughout the region.

Obama is a typical Chicago machine politician, as are his associates. Those of us familiar with Chicago's politics warned that, should he be elected, the likely result would be the Federal Government's executive branch would be run like Chicago's political machine.

And that's exactly what has happened. The Congress, with its slow turnover, is still largely in the pocket of the same corporate interests as before - but the Executive Branch changes more rapidly and is currently being run on Chicago's political-machine model, top to bottom. (It's usually largely in the hands of organized crime, and has been since the Nixon-Kennedy election - which was substantially a battle between two Mafia "families".)

If you wonder at the odd foreign policies (or lack thereof) of the current regime and their blatant extra-legal use of government agencies to suppress political enemies and promote the interests of arbitrary groups with no obvious ideological connection between them, try thinking of it as a corrupt big-city political machine and see if it makes more sense.

Comment Re:How much is an AG these days? (Score 5, Insightful) 241 241

Passing laws which make lobbying a criminal offence would seem to be a good start ...

It would also be unconstitutional.

The Right to Petition IS the right of lobbying, and is constitutionally protected. (That's why anti-lobbying laws keep getting struck down when challenged.)

In the US it's part of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging ... the right of the people ... to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." You'll also find it in Article 44 of the EU's Charter of Human Rights, Germany's 1949 Fundamental Law, England's Bill of Rights of 1689, Petition of Right of 1628, and Magna Carta (1215).

It's a fundamental part of Western Law: ANYBODY gets to ask their legislature to adjust the law to make it better for them (if they can get the legislators' attention) and not be penalized for doing so.

It's also a REALLY BAD IDEA to try to interfere with this fundamental right (and also with the fundamental right to support the political candidates of one's choice). The big money / big power people can always find ways to influence and finance the politicians of their choice. The only thing such laws do is make it harder on the "big mass of little guys". So they institutionalize elite-class favoritism and corruption, rather than retard it.

If you want to attack corruption the place to do it is the selection of the officials: Elections, and exposure of malfeasance to the electorate.

Comment In particular - at LEAST as much more ... (Score 2) 132 132

My attitude on the whole H1B visa thing is that you need to require that they pay them... lets say 20 percent more than the going rate for domestic labor of the same kind.

In particular, employers of H1Bs are not required to contribute to SOME of the social programs they aren't eleigble for. Part of any H1B reform should be a requirement that they pay them at LEAST as much more as the difference in government fees saves them. Otherwise there is a strong financial incentive to use H1Bs in preference to citizens.

(An additional complication is that the employers often put the H1Bs to work on things above their official job title and its resulting pay scale.)

Comment Re:Effective cataract eye drops are already availa (Score 4, Informative) 63 63

N-acetyl carnosine drops have been used with good success for a while. Bought them for my grandmother in law. Over the course of a couple of years it halted and mostly reversed her developing cataracts. Can get them from multiple sources.

Good information - especially while we're waiting for this stuff to become available.

I note, though, that:
  - This newly-identified material substantially clears cataracts in six days while N-acetyl carnosine takes four months for significant improvement to show.
  - This newly-identintified material appears to be what the eye normally uses in a specific mechanism to prevent/repair cataracts, while N-acetyl carnosine appears to have more generic antioxidant and chelation properties. (It's a modification of carnosine to a form which can penetrate the tissues of the eye and is converted back to carnosine within them. Carnosine is great for retarding several ageing mechanisms but it looks more like a generic helper than a specific repair-mechanism component or trigger for cataracts.)
  - The discovery of this new stuff occurred by identifying what was missing in people with a genetic early-cataract problem. If this is necessary for cataract prevention/repair and its production declines (but doesn't fully stop) with age, N-acetyl carnosine might not work for people who don't make it at all.

So though N-acetyl carnosine looks good, this looks great and specific. (And I don't see any reason to stop the former even if taking the latter. Unless some specific interaction issue shows up I'd expect them to work well together.)

Comment Re:Not the crime its the coverup (Score 1) 421 421

She didn't destroy anything that Congress asked for. She deleted personal emails, which were not covered by the subpoena.

Did you actually READ TFA before you posted that?

Hint: Email exchanges have (at least) two ends. They've found the other end of a number of email exchanges where Hillary DIDN'T produce her end for Congress, some of which were not just State Department business but which, in retrospect, SHOULD have been classified (and are now).

But that was her (original) story and you're sticking to it, right?

Comment Re:YHBT. YHL. HAND. (Score 1) 421 421

Oh, and explain to me again why this is on /. ? I thought this site was about tech and tech-related news.

Because it relates to criminal penalties for mishandling email servers and classified information in email form?

Sounds like "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters" to me.

Comment Tubes ... MMMMmmmm... (Score 1) 421 421

Even assuming that most of the elected officials have less of a clue than the average citizen ("It's a series of tubes!"), ...

As a network professional who has done substantial architectural work on high-end networking products, where we used the term of art "pipes", I don't fault Ted Stevens, a non-techie, for instead saying "tubes" (when moderately-accurately describing the downside of naive network neutrality "treat all packets identically, regardless of type of service" prescriptions).

I may take issue with OTHER aspects of his argument. But I consider ongoing ridicule for using "tubes" in place of "pipes" to be a cheap shot (even if it IS funny).

Comment Re:But... (Score 1) 421 421

But ... What difference does it make?

What difference does it make if you convict a murderer or let him go. Convicting him doesn't bring the victim back to life. (And people DO use this argument ...)

Answer: Laws deter illegal behavior by applying penalties to those who break them, in the hope that at least some people will, as a result, decide not to break them when it would otherwise be in their interest to do so. So if someone high-profile breaks the law and gets away with it (thus also establishing a precedent making it very hard to prosecute anyone ELSE who breaks the law in the same way), the law becomes just old words on paper, rather than an effective prohibition.

Bill's escape from significant consequences in his little adventure effectively gutted the enforcement of some sexual harassment laws. If it turns out Hillary actually broke a law that was in force at the time, in a deliberate and flagrant way, and gets away with no substantial penalty, the same will happen to the laws on how to handle classified information.

Comment The electorate speaks. (Score 1) 421 421

The quoted law would probably be found not applicable for public, IE elected, office by reason of unconstitutionality. ... The intent is that you can't just DQ your opponents from public office with targeted laws ...


If the electorate wants a (known at the time of the election) felon to hold the office, that's their prerogative.

Comment But will SHE be penalized for the coverup? (Score 1) 421 421

Scooter Libby was convicted on two counts of perjury, one count of obstruction, and one count of making false statements. ...

Hillary will likely get the same: no conviction for anything to do with missing emails.

But will she get penalized for the coverup, as Scooter Libby was? Wiping, rather than producing, the system disk sure looks like "one count of obstruction". (For perjury and false statements we'll have to wait for the mill to grind some more, but the TFA says it doesn't look good for her right now on those, either.)

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."