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Comment Re:Good old fashioned crisis management... (Score 1) 272

If you keep saying something, however impossible, eventually you'll get some people to believe you:
they strongly expect you to be shouted down if you're a liar.

This worked for Rob Ford (the druggie mayor of Toronto), and for two, maybe three, countries' rulers during WWII. So if you're a liar, don't stop lying! Redouble your efforts!

Comment The True Problem With Commercial Space (Score 1) 330

As the person credited for the first law commercializing space launch services (credited by the law's sponsor, Ron Packard during his introduction of my Congressional testimony on space commercialization) there truly _is_ a problem with privatized space and it is a capital market failure.

This capital market failure systemically suppresses technology investment and it derives from something that should be obvious to anyone in venture finance:

Economic activity is taxed rather than liquidation value of net assets.

A venture financier, or angle, or anyone else who takes dollars out of a bank account and puts it into a high risk venture, is rendering their capital illiquid. If you cease taxing economic activity (income, capital gains, sales, value added, inheritance, gifts, etc.) and instead tax only the liquidation value of net assets, for all practical purposes high risk investments cease being taxed.

This is why, the year after I testified before Congress on the initial legislative direction for companies like SpaceX, I wrote a white paper titled "A Net Asset Tax Based On The Net Present Value Calculation and Market Democracy" wherein I proposed a shift away from centralized government provision of technology development and, at the same time, a shift away from politically biased government delivery of social goods (ie: the welfare state), by taxing net assets at the rate of interest on the national debt and distributing tax revenues as an unconditional citizen's dividend. Later I clarified the assessment mechanism to be liquidation value as well as some of the further aspects of government to be privatized.

Its obvious why so-called "liberals" don't want this since by-passing the welfare state without regard to any politically defined criteria other than citizenship, it would gut their political base.

Conservatives, in particular neo-libertarians of the Austrian School, on the other hand, have much to answer for here. A net asset tax, so assessed, is a big step toward the anarchocapitalism of the American school of libertarian thought exemplified by Lysander Spooner in his definition of "legitimate government" as "a mutual insurance company". Protecting property rights is according to the American school of libertarian philosophy (as contrasted with the Austrian school), the primary role of government and it is entirely legitimate to charge for that service just as it is legitimate for a property insurance company to charge a premium that is approximately proportional to the value of the property being underwritten. Moreover, it is entirely legitimate for any company to pay dividends and a mutual company would pay dividends to its members -- members who, quite reasonably, could be called on for service in times of emergency such as war and could, therefore, quite reasonably be assigned one share and exactly one share each.

Indeed, I view it as a moral responsibility for men like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg -- particularly as beneficiaries of network externalities aka network effects that could not exist in the absence of government protection of those monopolistic property rights -- to at the very least lend their vocal, if not material, support to such a capital reform.

It would be smart for risk investors like Elon Musk to do so.

Comment Spiffy, like credit-cards (Score 2) 27

My credit-card supplier will issue single-use or otherwise restricted numbers, to use with "untrustworthy vendors". This allows a similar functionality: with the vendor I can be OscarTheSuspiciousGrouch and use a card number that is limited to legitimate stuff.

In both cases I can credibly demonstrate I'm really "Oscar"

Comment Electing a New People is Treason (Score 1) 485

In the US We the People are sovereign. Dissolving The People and electing a new one is treason. It doesn't matter if that is accomplished by throwing the "old" people into gas ovens or simply rendering the conscientious portion of the middle class effectively incapable of responsible replacement reproduction -- if you do either by commission or omission from a position of public trust and authority, it is an act of treason.

To go from there to saying "Oh, gee, we're suffering a demographic collapse so let's import lots of immigrants to replace The People." you are making those immigrants accomplices to genocide.

Either treason or genocide are hanging offences and the vast majority of the US Federal Government officials are guilty.

Comment NYT Owner Married Into Lebanese Warlord Mafia (Score 0) 259

"Carlos Slim’s Late Wife Was a Member of the Most Bloodthirsty Lebanese Warlord Clan"

Mrs. Slim was a Gemayel on her mother’s side. The name “Gemayel” brings back memories...
After visiting the Berlin Olympics in 1936, Pierre Gemayel founded Lebanon’s fascist-oriented, pro-Western Phalange Party...
Sheik Pierre’s son Bashir Gemayel was the most ferocious Christian warlord of Lebanon’s civil war that began in 1975. (Above is Geraldo Rivera’s 1982 interview with Bashir.) It should be kept in mind that much of Bashir’s violence was devoted less to fighting Muslims than to making the Gemayels supreme over the other Christian warlord clans, such as the Chamouns.

Carlos Slim bought the New York Times on the strength of his corrupt relations with the Mexican government that gave him monopoly on cell phone communications in that country.

Comment Re:It only makes it worse... (Score 1) 85

I think we're in violent agreement (;-))

Like you, I expect that cost-averse vendors will be reluctant to add anything pricey to the board. I was thinking of an independent radio chipset that could be locked down separately form the general-purpose processor, you were thinking of DRM. I understand this is what some cell phones have, and that there is a push toward getting rid of the extra expense...

Comment Slashdot says the author doesn't exist (Score 2) 85 says "The user you requested does not exist, no matter how much you wish this might be the case."

Vint Cerf, on the other hand, definitely exists, and his and Dave Taht's submission to the FCC pointed out that the problem existed, no matter how much you wish this might not be the case.

Comment It only makes it worse... (Score 2) 85

Regrettably, routers are designed to be extremely cheap, and have only one cpu and OS. Specific vendors (as noted in the IETF submission) have publicly claimed that the FCC rules require them to prevent any modification to the device, and lock it down.

IMHO, that gives them "forced obsolescence", and sales at full list price for newer models with bug-fixes.

Comment Re:Not all H1B positions are equal (Score 1) 331

It never ceases to amaze me how guys like you refuse to go back where you came from to set up shop in an environment where not only will you have all of the amazing talent you need, but you will be getting it at cut rate prices and benefitting your people where they live rather than sending them abroad to create hatred of your country of origin.

PLEASE, do everyone a favor:


No problem is so formidable that you can't just walk away from it. -- C. Schulz