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+ - IRS: give us machine-readable tax formulas

Submitted by johndoe42
johndoe42 (179131) writes "Now that tax day is almost over, it's time to ask the IRS to make it less painful. All of the commercial tax software is awful, overpriced, and incompatible with everything else. Some people have tried to do better: OpenTaxSolver and a rather large Excel spreadsheet are tedious manual translations of the IRS's forms. I'm sure that many programmers would try to make much friendlier tax software if they didn't have to deal with translating all of the IRS instructions. Let's petition the IRS to publish computerized formulas so that this can happen."

Comment: Re:Force her out! (Score 1) 313

by mi (#46762215) Attached to: Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

Please stop misquoting Orwel, he was talking about war not about abusing prisoners.

First of all, whoever Orwel was talking about, I did not "misquote" him — the quote is perfectly accurate.

As for who he was talking about — you are attempting to make a distinction without difference. The idea remains the same — you can abjure waterboarding as "stooping low" all you want, but you are only able to do that, because others are waterboarding your enemies on your behalf.

Hope you're feeling all snug and cozy under your blanket of US exceptionalism.

Yes, thank you, the only drawback of the US exceptionalism is the nasty butthurt it is causing among citizens of lesser countries...

Christopher Hitchens changed his tune afterwards.

I'm sure, Mr. Hitchens, whoever he is, did not like it — by all descriptions, it feels horrible. It does not change the facts I stated: waterboarding works by fear, rather than pain. That sets it aside from "torture".

It may still be "bad", or even "outside any civilized standard", but that's not what I was saying: it is not torture.

Your opinion in the matter is completely irrelevant

Why, thank you, why didn't you say so from the beginning? Until now I labored under assumption, that I'm facing a good faith opponent...

That you happily put yourself there

Happily? Where did you get the "happily" part? Of course, I'm very much unhappy, that we — the US — had to apply the questionable procedures to the captured enemies in order to save ourselves from actions of their still-at-large comrades. But we had to — broken spirits of the handful of bona-fide terrorists aren't worth the lives of Americans, civilians or otherwise, and I'm glad, the Bush Administration had "the minerals" to act as it did.

makes my point in highlighting how far the US has fallen.

You are displaying a fantastic naivette, if you believe, the US — like all others — have not used this and similar methods in the past. That we are now more open about it, rather than being "shocked, shocked, waterboarding is going on here", is a good sign.

Comment: Re:"use of force" (Score 3, Insightful) 303

by mi (#46756211) Attached to: Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

what was breaking Kosovo from Serbia than? "use of out-of-this-world-force"?

Kosovo was torn away from Serbia to become independent — not to be annexed by one of the powers doing the tearing away. That's the major difference.

NATO fucked up when it broke sovereign state by use of ... flowers?

NATO intervened in Yugoslavia after the Belgrade regime committed serious crimes against humanity — and only after the UN-forces demonstrably failed to end the abuses. Now Russian propaganda keeps repeating the same accusations against Ukraine's current government — except Russia is obviously lying.

But, no doubt, Putin will thank you for this rhetorical cover. He needs every sympathizer (or even a neutral) in the West he get...

Comment: Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (Score 4, Informative) 303

by mi (#46756157) Attached to: Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

Kosovo comes to mind

Kosovo did not vote to join the US — nor any of the others, whose military was occupying the land.

Finally, would the British Empire accept a referendum by residents of it's colonies in the new world

As a matter of fact, India left the British empire without war. Look up Ghandi...

Those sorts of things are not achieved by throwing roses at your enemies.

We'll never know, what roses (or stones) Crimeans would've thrown at Kyiv on their own — had it been so clear-cut, Russia would not have had the need to occupy the peninsula before the referendum — nor would they have had the need to shut off Ukrainian TV rebroadcasts over it, replacing them with Putin's lying propaganda.

What we do know is that the fraudulent vote took place under the guns of the occupiers.

Comment: Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (Score 1) 303

by mi (#46756101) Attached to: Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

And yes I think if Texas voted to join Mexico the USA would accept it.

American Constitution does not provide for territories leaving the Union. At the least, it would require a Constitutional Amendment. Interestingly, Ukrainian law does provide for such border-changes — they can happen by nationa-wide referendum...

I can't imagine the USA holding millions of people and hundreds of square miles of territory by force.

You have a very limited imagination then.

Now try imagining Russia letting Kurils Islands go... However hard you may try, you'll see only the same reaction, Russia has shown to Chechnya's vote for independence 20 years ago. We know, how that played out, don't we?

Comment: Re:is this seriously (Score 4, Insightful) 303

by mi (#46755957) Attached to: Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

in due time all websites will list it under Russia.

Only the Russian websites will do so. The rest will list it as "Ukrainian territory under Russian occupation". Unwieldy, perhaps, but reflecting the truth.

Or, as they keep saying about Jerusalem, it will go something like this: "Annexed by Russia in a move not recognized internationally."

Comment: Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (Score 4, Insightful) 303

by mi (#46755931) Attached to: Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

Russia annexed the province by use of force. Any and all counter-arguments like "but they voted" are meaningless: first, the voting took place under the "gentle" guidance of Russian military. Then, even if you think, it is legitimate for a referendum on whether to join a foreign power to take place while under occupation by that same power, the vote was fraudulent. For example, in Sevastopol the number of people showing up for vote was 123% of the eligible voters.

And, finally, even without the above two arguments, would Russia accept a referendum by residents of the Kuril Island, for example, on breaking away from the Motherland and joining Japan? Would the US accept the results of Southern California (or Southern Texas) voting to break away and join Mexico?

Neither would, of course. The Crimean referendum is a joke. A sad joke perpetrated by Russia-the-bully on Ukraine weakened by internal strife and years of mismanagement (to which Russia heartily contributed just for this purpose, BTW).

+ - Bio-engineered Vaginas Grown From Patients' Own Cells->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome is a genetic condition in which girls are born either without a vagina, or with one that's underdeveloped. While there are ways of addressing the situation, they're not without their drawbacks. Now, however, four young women have shown great success with implanted vaginal organs that were grown from their own cells."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Force her out! (Score 0) 313

by mi (#46752975) Attached to: Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

Some of the nastier conflicts saw their share of atrocities, but there was never an attempt to redefine and legalize torture.

And how do you know, that there was not? Because foreign democracies aren't as open as ours?

But, for the umpteenth + first time: waterboarding is not torture. Torture works via pain. Waterboarding causes not pain, but fear. Calling it "psychological torture" does not make it "torture" any more, than a guinea pig is a pig.

Stooping low is bad

Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.George Orwel

Comment: Re:I think this is bullshit (Score 1) 1746

by mi (#46749769) Attached to: Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

Yeah, I see that argument a lot. I am a heterosexual man in a 28 year marriage in which we have not, and never intended, to "produce children".

So by your logic, my marriage is no better than that of two men.

Yes, indeed, your "marriage" is a fraud — had you honestly declared your intentions to whoever issued you the marriage-license, they would not (or should not) have issued one to you.

You are, of course, entitled to love, cherish, and have sex with whoever you please, but for the rest of the society to consider your union as something particularly noteworthy and privileged (such as marriage), simply living together and having sex is not enough. If the State has any legitimate reasons to recognize unions, instead of simply considering the union-members individually before the law, the unions must be producing children.

Go read about the origins of marriage

No, why don't you present the points you wish to argue, rather than send me collecting them for you?

which is more like slavery and men's property rights

That may be (or has been) the contract between the partners. Our argument here is about the society's recognition of the partnerships — whether or not to bestow the respect and the legal privileges traditionally granted to children-producing unions to all other cohabitating couples (and why not groups, BTW? or will that come later?) having (or having had at some point) sex?

Comment: Re:So, copying is stealing after all? (Score 1) 126

by mi (#46749287) Attached to: Photo Web Site Offers a Wall of Shame For Image Thieves

But, see, I am not trying to do business as the owner of said file copy and profit therein.

A distinction without difference to the point I was making. You copied a file created by someone else. That someone else's own copy is still in place and just the same, therefor, the prevailing logic went, your copying can not be called "theft". What you do with the copy your created after you created it (enjoy it yourself, show to others, attempt to profit) is completely irrelevant to whether your act is eligible for the sordid title...

Now, I had always held the opinion, that if the 10 Commandments were the same sort of "living and breathing document" that certain folks would like our Constitution to be, the Scripture would've by now included an injunction against such file copying together with the more general "Though Shall Not Steal". Unfortunately, mine was not the prevailing opinion — not around here. Not since the Napster infamy — until now, when, suddenly, the majority is realizing, the victims of such thefts can be perfectly relatable humans.

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