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Comment Re:A better idea (Score 1) 284

Maybe change it so the H-1B visas are awarded based on annual salary?

In other words, issue the visas for the jobs that will pay the most. My guess is a transparent market like that would quickly get rid of wage disparities (though how to combat the lobbying effort+money that supports the status quo is the next obvious question).

Submission + - How Outsourcing Companies Are Gaming the Visa System (

shakah writes: Pretty straightforward summary of how the H-1B Visa system is working in the United States. Particularly interesting for me was this clarification on the argument that "VISA holders have to make prevailing wages, so they won't depress wages":

Under federal rules, employers like TCS, Infosys and Wipro that have large numbers of H-1B workers in the United States are required to declare that they will not displace American workers. But the companies are exempt from that requirement if the H-1B workers are paid at least $60,000 a year. H-1B workers at outsourcing firms often receive wages at or slightly above $60,000, below what skilled American technology professionals tend to earn, so those firms can offer services to American companies at a lower cost, undercutting American workers.

Comment Re:Inside my HD there are two very important files (Score 1) 1009

This case is about mortgage fraud, not terrorism. Different rules.

Not sure what the context of this thread is at this point, actually, but my point (if any) is that the "rule of law" has been superseded by a hard-to-pin-down power ceded to the President:

But, to take your argument, what's to stop a President from somehow deciding that your mortgage fraud "substantially supported al-Qaeda"? Remember, there's no judicial review, no jury review, no recourse to habeas corpus, etc, just whatever the President wants to do, for as long as he wants to do it.

I'm really not paranoid, but to respond to that along the lines of "well, I trust that they'll never do that (to me?)" is to admit that the "government of laws, not men" is a thing of the past.

Comment Re:Inside my HD there are two very important files (Score 2, Informative) 1009

If they want to detain me, they can use whatever excuse to detain me.

No, they can't.

Well, the hazy area that's been with us over the past 10 years or so has been clarified (in case you missed it):

The justice system may not be perfect, but however much people here bleat about the Western world being run by the SS, it isn't. We have the rule of law...

That "National Defense Authorization Act" establishes (to parody is a "government of men, not of laws", insofar as a single person (POTUS) can now indefinitely detain any person for any length of time, without review.

Comment Re:Overloaded? (Score 1) 300

There are regulations for this, something along the lines of requiring one 9-1-1 trunk per 5k lines. Seems wildly low, but (as you alluded to) the PSAPs can only handle so many calls, and in the case of a major event a lot of calls would be redundant anyway (e.g. all neighbors on a block calling to report the same fire at a nearby house).

Comment Re:Let's get this straight (Score 2) 122

Point taken -- how about:

I put a bunch of things in my driveway (think "free" garage sale) along with a sign that says "please take whatever you want". I mistakenly include sexually graphic pictures of my wife in the stuff I've put on display. You find them and take pictures of them with your smartphone, then show them to your friends -- should I be able to charge you with theft (or some other crime?) because you should have known that I didn't intend to give those away?"

Comment Re:Let's get this straight (Score 0) 122

In other words I left my front door unlocked, this doesn't give you the right to go in and snoop around and take my stuff, you CAN however report to me and the newspaper that my door is unlocked.

Isn't the analogy more "If I put a bunch of things in my driveway (think "free" garage sale) along with a sign that said "please take whatever you want", but mistakenly put some of my wife's cherished possessions on display, should I be able to charge you with theft for taking my wife's things?"

Comment Re:Also as a practical matter (Score 1) 1155

You more-or-less have it, but the key is that you can't be compelled to provide witness/evidence against yourself when your liberty is at jeopardy (not sure of the exact legal phrasing).

This leads to situations where a defendant can invoke the Fifth Amendment and not testify to a particular issue at trial, but if he/she is given immunity from prosecution (in one form or another) can be compelled to testify to the same issue (with further refusals to testify met by an open-ended contempt of court charge).

Comment Re:Interesting criminal justice system in the US (Score 1) 149

in the US we have something called the rule of law and due process. that means if the law says you can't get kicked out just because someone thinks you did something bad, you have to be convicted after a trial.

Are you sure about that?

We all know about the recent case of the Canadian man who was suspected of terrorist connections, detained in New York, sent to Syria--through a rendition agreement--tortured, only to find out later it was all a case of mistaken identity and poor information...

Submission + - Patents for Recipes, a.k.a "Therapeutic Foods"? (

shakah writes: Looks like patent absurdity has spread to recipes (oh, I'm sorry, "therapeutic food" (cough, cough)) — "What is Plumpy’nut? Sound it out, and you get the idea: it’s an edible paste made of peanuts, packed with calories and vitamins, that is specially formulated to renourish starving children. Since its widespread introduction five years ago, it has been credited with significantly lowering mortality rates during famines in Africa."

Comment Re:New Trial? Whatever Happened to Due Process? (Score 1) 280

I've wondered about this myself and have asked a lawyer about it, my understanding is that (as stated on the Wiki page below) the Fifth Amendment only applies to criminal cases (not civil, hence allowing a civil case after criminal case, e.g. O.J. Simpson). Even in criminal cases, again my understanding is that the limitation only applies to a particular sovereign (?), i.e. you could be found not guilty of a crime in state court, but still stand trial for that in federal court. Further, re trying the same civil case over-and-over, my understanding is that anyone can sue anyone, but it does have to pass a few hurdles before actually getting tried (e.g. you probably have to get a lawyer to agree that the case has merit, then have to get a court to accept it along the same lines and agree to run the trial -- my guess is that at some point the court could refuse to accept it, perhaps even penalizing the petitioner with a monetary fine of some sort?).

The wiki page on double jeopardy.

In 1750 Issac Newton became discouraged when he fell up a flight of stairs.