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Comment Re:The article should use "ridiculous" 0 times. (Score 1) 292 292

I did scraping before (and note that we aren't talking about screenscraping here, but rather website scraping) - I once wrote a scraper that presented an entire online forum as a newsgroup. Based on my experience with that, and on the layout of the RCW website, scraping this particular thing is absolutely trivial.

I agree that we shouldn't have to do that. I'm just saying that I find it doubtful that they do it to extract money from people, because I just don't see that working well when it's so easily scraped. If someone were to hire me to do that, it'd probably take me something like a few hours, and I wouldn't ask more than $200 for such a job.

Comment Re:The article should use "ridiculous" 0 times. (Score 1) 292 292

All I can say is that I regularly look up RCWs pertaining to different things where I have doubts or am just curious about it, and so far I haven't found any trouble finding the relevant bits.

From a lawyer's perspective, perhaps this all is still missing crucial bits. If providing, say, a single-page HTML download would be immensely useful, then sure, they should do it (especially as they already likely have some kind of script along these lines, as you do have a single-HTML option for individual chapters).

Comment Re:Where in the US Constitution..... (Score 1) 560 560

So far, all the people responding to my example have overlooked one crucial word in it: "force". Does Finland merely provide incentive for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Or do they actively force people into such a lifestyle. That's the main distinction here.

Comment Re:The article should use "ridiculous" 0 times. (Score 1) 292 292

Um, the search is by keyword also (click on the "Search RCWs" link to see the full UI). And PDFs are refreshed once per year because paper publication of the complete thing is also once per year, it's not like they're deliberately slowing things down.

Comment Re:The article should use "ridiculous" 0 times. (Score 1) 292 292

Here's a better example, then - Revised Code of Washington:

Most recent version is searchable online HTML. It, and all the previous editions, are also available as downloadable PDFs, exactly as they are published on paper. All of these are free.

Comment Re:Where in the US Constitution..... (Score 1) 560 560

Let me rephrase that. It could be used as a justification of such a law, yes. My point is that it doesn't have to be, and we're better off not doing that because that would have undesirable legal side effects down the line.

"General well-being of the people" is a very vague notion that can be used as a justification for too many things, most of which you probably wouldn't like at all. Of specific note is that it doesn't require any outside actor - they could just as well limit your own activities that are potentially harmful to yourself, even statistically speaking (i.e. not harmful to you personally, but universally banning them would prevent enough people from exercising them in a harmful way that it would improve "general well-being"

It's far better to go with some more concrete justifications, such as specific measurable harm that is inflicted by the actor to other parties. It's not exactly hard to do with pollutants, either, because the emissions are measurable, and so are their effects. It's still collective harm, since it's pretty hard to quantify the individual damage you get from e.g. AGW (though still possible in some cases, and I'd love to see the polluters pay compensation and damages specifically to people they hurt whenever we can trace it), but then at least it's about harm, not some nebulous "it could be better that way".

Comment Re:Or let us keep our hard-earned money (Score 1) 560 560

Well, why are we punishing people who earn money through hard work? Why is sweat-of-the-brow taxed higher than rent?

As long as you have one rate set higher than the other, you can make that argument either way. Why not set a single flat rate on all kinds of income? Isn't it only fair?

Comment Re:Or let us keep our hard-earned money (Score 1) 560 560

I'm fine with that, so long as said flat tax also extends to capital gains. We could even just take the present budget, measure the current taxation income, and work out a flat tax rate for personal+corporate+capital, and see what it'd need to be to maintain the same level of it. I'm pretty certain that the end result would end up way better for the 99%. Which is exactly why such a thing would never pass in DC.

Comment Re:Where in the US Constitution..... (Score 3, Interesting) 560 560

It has everything to do with the general well-being of the populace. "Life" is referenced a few times in the constitution.

You might want to be careful with that line of thinking. For example, forcing you to exercise would also measurably lengthen your life; do you want the government to be able to mandate such a thing?

Comment Re:Ironic (Score 1) 295 295

No respect for the American judicial system, you mean? That's quite different from society as a whole. I think if you ask random people whether they believe that the judicial system in question genuinely represents them, you might find that distinction to be quite visible.

"Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love." -- Albert Einstein