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Comment: Re:Taxi licenses are crazy expensive (Score 1) 318 318

You miss the point, the state is the one guaranteeing the limited monopoly.

When did the State ever guarantee that they would maintain the medallion program and/or refrain from issuing new medallions? Scarcity of medallions is hardly a natural right, and laws instituting artificial scarcity are subject to change. If anyone over-payed for a medallion under the false assumption that the current state of artificial scarcity was guaranteed to last they have no one but themselves to blame. The only compensation owed here is to those who were unjustly prohibited from operating taxis due to the State's medallion requirements.

So you're arguing against regulatory stability?

I'm not claiming they shouldn't leave the medallion system, but I don't think they should simply wipe out the medallions as an asset.

Comment: Re:Taxi licenses are crazy expensive (Score 1) 318 318

Medallion owners bought the medallions with the understanding that they were buying into a limited monopoly.

..and I bought stock in oil reserves with the understanding that I was buying into a limited monopoly. Then Saudi Arabia started dumping oil on the market. Should the government make me whole again, too?

No one ever pledged that OPEC would keep withholding stock.

It seems that you are the victim of a common misconception: That the State is the one selling the medallions that cost so much. Wrong, ignorant fuck.

You miss the point, the state is the one guaranteeing the limited monopoly. One of the things that makes free markets work is that when you give your word you generally keep it (or do your best). That's what gives people the stability to do think like invest in assets like medallions.

Why do you seem to think governments should abandon their obligation to the Taxi drivers without any attempt at recourse?

Comment: Re:Taxi licenses are crazy expensive (Score 3, Insightful) 318 318

It's their own fucking faults. They lobby to make sure this is the system that's in place to prevent competition from companies like Uber. They got the laws they paid for, it's the people who bought the first wave of licenses/medallions whatever that made bank, now everyone else has to deal with it.

An upstart breaking that system is exactly what real business needs.

Medallion owners bought the medallions with the understanding that they were buying into a limited monopoly.

I'm not opposed to changing this agreement, in fact I encourage it, but if you're going to do so you need to compensate who bought the medallions.

Comment: Re:Roberts admits to being wrong (Score 1) 591 591

But we know the actual intent of the lawmakers. They said so themselves before it became an issue: Their intent was to only subsidize state exchanges, not the federal exchange.

Seems to me that you are in a deep bit of stretch to both defend the lawmakers AND the courts in order to preserve a bullshit law. Dont move the goalpost again.

Really? Show me a single instance of one of the legislators stating the intent was only to subsidize state exchanges.

Comment: Re:Zero respect for SCOTUS (Score 1) 1074 1074

Recently, SCOTUS handed down an opinion on the ACA that basically said "the actual words in the legislation don't matter ... it's all about the intent." The Court's official opinion was authored by Chief Justice Roberts. (Read Scalia's dissent starting at p.21... it's spot-on.)

Which is correct. When the words in the legislation are ambiguous then what matters is the intent of the legislators. And there's no reason to believe the legislators believed states on the federal exchange shouldn't get the subsidies (note to the obvious response, even if Gruber wrote that section and had that intent he was not a legislator).

In their opinion on gay marriage, Roberts issues a dissenting opinion with the following quote:

Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be.

The internal inconsistencies of the SCOTUS are appalling.

And they have the power to say what it is when the current form violates the constitution, as does the ban on gay marriage.

You're also talking about two very different aspects of what the supreme court does.

In the ACA ruling the court was interpreting the implementation of a law that was passed.

In the Gay Marriage ruling they were deciding if a law was constitutional.

Comment: Re:How is this news for nerds? (Score 1) 1074 1074

Explain the continued ban on polygamous marriage.

A ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional because a ban serves no good purpose, hence the fake studies on the welfare of children and the doom & gloom scenarios about the collapse of the family trying to invent a purpose so they could justify a ban.

But polygamous marriages are very widely one man with multiple women. They create a destabilizing gender imbalance in those communities leading to young unmarried men being excluded and they create domestic situations where women have very little power and are subject to abuse.

While there are some rare instances where polygamous marriages would be fine there are plenty of good reasons for the government to ban the practice and that makes it constitutional.

Comment: Re:Roberts admits to being wrong (Score 1) 591 591

The text is essentially a hunk of code describing how to execute the law.

The controversial section is a bug.

Do you think the courts should faithfully execute the buggy code, crashing part of the country in the process, or do you think they should fix or ignore the bug and allow the law to execute successfully?

Well, according to one of the law's architects, it was a Feature, not a Bug: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34rttqLh12U&feature=youtu.be

What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this. (via NB

So to answer your question: Yes.

As opposed to everyone else, drafters and non-drafters, who for several years thought the law did what the government was doing and the court prescribed?

Gruber was important, but he didn't single handedly determine the intent for the law, he might not have even been involved with writing that specific section. It could just be he noticed the wording at some later date and attached what he thought to be a politically convenient interpretation and backstory. If anyone determined the intent it would be the POTUS and Congress and they were never ambiguous about its intent.

Comment: Re:Roberts admits to being wrong (Score 2) 591 591

availability of the credits is required to "avoid the type of calamitous result

In other words, the majority's decision was based not on the law itself, but on its effects and/or would-be effects.

that Congress plainly meant to avoid

Not one Congressman has read the law in full — not before it was passed, not after. It is too long and too complicated.

Though it is acceptable for courts to turn to legislative intent sometimes, that's specifically reserved to cases, where the laws language is unclear.

That was not the case here — as written, the law clearly only allows subsidies for residents of those states, that have set up "health exchanges" of their own. Whether that was the intent of the law-makers or not is irrelevant. The court's decision is wrong.

The text is essentially a hunk of code describing how to execute the law.

The controversial section is a bug.

Do you think the courts should faithfully execute the buggy code, crashing part of the country in the process, or do you think they should fix or ignore the bug and allow the law to execute successfully?

Comment: Re:Love the idea (Score 1) 163 163

Add to it the fact that it will probably not work - to those using it as "medicine" it's only the real deal or nothing. Unless you are able to flood the market entirely and use "an offer you can't refuse" deals with so much fake stuff that it's impossible for the poachers to sell their stuff.

The people smuggling the horns aren't exactly the most ethical businessmen. If you can sell them a fake horn for half the price they'll keep the profit, pass it on as real to the consumer, and the poachers might not be able to compete.

There will still be a few "legitimate" supply chains making sure they're getting the real deal, but it could put a lot of poachers out of business.

Comment: Re:So? (Score 1) 180 180

Putin has invented a new military strategy: Implausible denyability.

Basically this. I feel like it's basically meant to help supporters when defending their positions. Putin's supporters basically claim a) Russia isn't really doing anything in Ukraine, b) even if they are it's justified since the West started it.

Instead of jumping right to "b" opponents need to get past "a" and actually get the Putin supporter to admit Russia is even involved. It just puts another layer of BS that needs to be dispelled before you can debate Russia's actions directly.

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 1) 105 105

I have it at on good information that it stopped being cool at user ID 535826.

My first thought is this looks like it's going to be one of those threads where people with progressively lower UIDs start posting.

My second thought is how sad it is that I'm able to participate with a UID over 500k

Comment: Who's in charge? (Score 1) 323 323

My understanding is that Linus is still very much the head of the Linux kernel as a project, so what happens to the project management after he's gone? Greg Kroah-Hartman might be a great right hand man but I don't know if he has the political standing or history to step in as the benevolent dictator of a project critical to multiple multi-billion dollar companies.

Do they put in place a Debian-like foundation, or something like Eclipse.org where it's essentially directed by the major distributions.

Maybe there's a succession plan in place already but this strikes me as a major question that needs to be addressed.

Comment: Re:Excellent. Now how about High Fructose Corn Syr (Score 1) 851 851

One could argue HFCS is worse than transfat and it is used everywhere. Come on, get on a roll, FDA!

One could, but one could also argue that HFCS isn't any different than regular sugar, the difference with Trans Fat is there's a scientific consensus around one view.

The FDA shouldn't be banning things just because a few researchers and journalists have started thinking it's bad, if they'd have banned butter a long time ago and we'd all be eating margarine.

Comment: Translation (Score 1) 173 173

Somewhat unusually for a new app, the bulk of it is built in the venerable C++ language, because the main guys on the team were big C++ fans who found a way to justify their preference.

Not saying it was the wrong choice, particularly for the team in question, but I'm betting if you hand the project to another team you come up with a different language.

Also interesting is it sounds like they're using an automatic code generator to translate some of the stuff from C++ to Java to run on android, maybe it will work seamlessly but that extra layer always makes me nervous.

The early bird who catches the worm works for someone who comes in late and owns the worm farm. -- Travis McGee