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Comment: Re:The DHS Is On The Case (Score 1) 207

No the process should be augmented by the district attorney's office who has the resources to protect the public.

Or, alternately, the resources to railroad members of the public into prison cells at the behest of politically connected corporate leaders.

No, The appropriate response is if for the government to appoint a lawyer to advocate for the parent in court. Just the same way the district attorney advocates for victims of crime.

The district attorney doesn't advocate for victims of crime. The district attorney is an advocate for the state prosecuting people accused of committing crimes. That's a critical distinction when you consider that the victims often have little or no say in whether or how the accused is charged and tried.

Comment: Re: The Double Standard (Score 1) 207

Nobody stole the movie. The studio still has it. What someone did was copy the movie without the permission of the copyright holder, thereby committing copyright infringement, which is a civil matter. Or at least it would be if our government weren't the enforcement wing of its benevolent corporate benefactors.

Comment: Re:ADA?? (Score 1) 61

by Loki_1929 (#47598719) Attached to: San Francisco Airport Testing Beacon System For Blind Travelers

Yes, as I stated, if you have enough money, you can escape the NHS. I would argue that more people would get better care if they weren't being taxed so heavily to pay for the NHS, particularly if they aren't using it ("double payers"). The existence of a private system pinpoints a painful but obvious truth: that the NHS and systems like it are not the panacea of healthcare they're often hailed as being. For those who would otherwise have nothing available, systems like the NHS provide a safety net that ensures they get at least some level of care, eventually. For everyone else, it can mean long lines, denied care, and other challenges.

US health outcome numbers are skewed by a variety of factors such as gang violence, drug problems, a high rate of imprisonment, a higher percentage of rural communities where access to the latest and greatest healthcare tools isn't readily available, the fact that many low income individuals under 65 don't have regular access to medical care, overuse of defensive medicine, and a number of other things. It's the same sort of challenges you find when comparing any stats between very different countries. If you control for those differences, you'll find that some of the best care on Earth is available in the US, but it's an imperfect system.

Our system leaves some people without access to much care. The NHS leaves some people on a waiting list for years on end and drives others to head to other parts of Europe, India, Malaysia, and even the US for care. Each system has its issues; nobody has completely figured out healthcare just yet. The only way to realistically do so is to so cold and uncaring that even an economist might feel a twinge of moral concern. Nobody wants to pull the plug on grandma, and that's just step one to making a system that can provide a reasonable level of care to all. Step two is kids.

Comment: Re:CLEAN, SAFE, (Score 1) 343

The UK has immense areas available for offshore wind.

Except they keep shutting them down because they're always finding some bird (red-throated diver being the latest) or other wildlife that might be affected by them. The ones that actually do manage to get built are often shut down temporarily due to storm activity.

Comment: Non-technical solutions (Score 1) 61

by Loki_1929 (#47597775) Attached to: San Francisco Airport Testing Beacon System For Blind Travelers

This really seems like an over-hyped, massively expensive technical solution to a problem that could easily be fixed with some volunteer organizations providing guides on an as-needed basis. Here's a thought: require all public high school students to provide X number of hours (start with 200) of public service as a requirement for graduation. Do something similar with college students receiving Federal student aid. Oh look, suddenly volunteers everywhere! And these volunteers can actually adapt to the needs of individuals and don't cost a fortune to implement, update, and maintain!

Comment: Re:ADA?? (Score 0) 61

by Loki_1929 (#47597761) Attached to: San Francisco Airport Testing Beacon System For Blind Travelers

In light of this understanding, it does make me wonder why your country doesn't have a National Health Service favoured by many civilized countries.

My guess is because we don't like paying vastly higher taxes, waiting in seemingly endless (up to two years for an operation during certain periods) lines for care (well, unless you're rich of course, in which case you don't bother with the public system in countries like the UK or Canada), being denied newer and better treatments because a committee decided against it (here coverage is determined by the insurance company and you can choose your insurance provider and plan based on your specific needs, such as necessary coverage for specific medications), facing a "post code lottery" where your quality of care depends on what side of an imaginary line you live on, higher heart disease mortality (36% higher in the UK over the US, which is bad considering how much we abuse our hearts over here), not being able to find a doctor or dentist at all (70% of dentists in Quebec opt out of the public system), and on and on and on.

The system we have is imperfect, but it has clear benefits over the ones in Canada and the UK. I've never waited more than a week to have anything treated and I almost always get treatment the same day or the next day for any issue I have. Of the two operations I've had, one was scheduled on my schedule - I picked the date and time to fit well with my work schedule about a week after it was determined to be necessary - and the other was on an emergency basis where my doctor met me at the hospital and had me on the operating table within about 30 minutes. Any testing I need can be done same-day. A quick glance at my doctor's availability (that office has a mobile app for scheduling appointments) shows I could have a 15 or 30 minute appointment with her tomorrow or up to 45 minutes the day after.

I'm not rich; I work for a living. Yet I don't wait for anything. I don't wait to be seen by a doctor. I don't wait to get any testing I need. I don't wait to get any procedures I need. I don't wait for medications. It all happens on my schedule and as quickly as I'd like it. I pay $15 to see the doctor and $50 if I end up in the hospital for something serious. Anything paid out of pocket gets taken care of with untaxed money, meaning it's at a huge discount to me. And it isn't just me (nor is it just about me); everyone I know who has a job has great healthcare coverage. Is it a perfect system? No. Does every single person have perfect access to outstanding care? No. But we're improving all the time and it isn't (at least as of yet) coming at everyone else's expense.

To me, it's an argument of most people getting great care versus everyone getting mediocre to poor care (see also: the VA medical system). Quite similar to the classic market system argument of capitalism versus socialism. You can either give everyone the chance to get rich (with some ending up poor and most somewhere in the middle) or ensure everyone is equally poor. If the people in the UK, Canada, France, etc are happy with their system, great! I don't begrudge their happiness. However, I don't think the benefits of moving to such systems outweigh the drawbacks in the minds of most Americans. Rather than pretend either system is perfect, I think it best to recognize that each has its pros and cons and that the priorities and sensibilities of the people in a given country drive their decisions on how to achieve the greatest good.

Comment: Re:The DHS Is On The Case (Score 2) 207

So when an artist creates something they can be copied by any big business that wants to. The individual has no recourse because the large company will just bury them in lawyers. So in effect you are saying that anyone who does not have the resources to defend their copyrights have no copyrights.

I'm saying that civil suits are the appropriate response to copyright infringement. If big companies can bury individuals with armies of lawyers such that nobody can defend themselves and their rights in court against big companies, then that's an issue with the court system; not anything specific to copyright law. If the court system is not doing its job and is effectively a place where whoever has the most money wins, that should be corrected. The process should not simply be replaced by SWAT teams.

Let's assume the same thing happens in custody cases: that whoever has the most money always wins. Is the appropriate response to then simply have government agents arbitrarily decide who should have the kid(s) and send armed agents crashing through the doors and windows of the home of the one who didn't get picked? We should have fair courts where righteousness trumps legal trickery. If we don't, that's the problem we should solve.

Comment: Re:The Double Standard (Score 2) 207

Theft: the act of stealing; specifically : the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it
Copyright infringement: the use of works protected by copyright law without permission, infringing certain exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected work, or to make derivative works.

A copyright owner has the right to control how their protected works are reproduced and distributed. When that right is violated, a civil suit is an appropriate response. When someone steals your car, a criminal investigation by government authorities is an appropriate response. In this case, theft of the movie would entail someone (or a group of someones) taking the only available copies from their rightful owner such that the original owner no longer had access.

It may not seem like an important distinction from where you're sitting, but it's important in that we shouldn't have SWAT teams busting down teenagers' doors because they shared a movie on the Internet.

Comment: Re:The DHS Is On The Case (Score 4, Insightful) 207

Theft of intellectual property should be a criminal matter.

Copyright infringement should be a civil matter. Since This article is talking about a movie being copied and shared (copyright infringement), it should be strictly a civil matter. Of course, the government being the enforcement wing of large companies, the full weight and force of the Federal government will extend its infinite reach across the globe to annihilate anyone who so much as thinks about infringing on the absolute rights of the government's benevolent benefactors.

Comment: Re:Change management fail (Score 1) 162

by Loki_1929 (#47579977) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded

Sounds like your IT has been outsourced to India, who as a culture, literally does not know how to say "no".

It takes two to fail to communicate. You should not be asking questions that require a direct "yes or no" answer. In many cultures, that is considered rude.

So they lie because their culture tells them to and it's my fault for not identifying that they're lying and taking careful steps to help them not lie?

Sorry, but that's absurd. If one's culture does not allow one to perform one's job correctly, one needs to either find a new culture or find a new job.

Comment: Re:So! The game is rigged! (Score 1) 570

by Loki_1929 (#47572593) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

I don't pay interest on my credit cards and they pay me cash back. I use the reward points and cash back for free vacations. I financed my last car at below the rate of inflation. Adjusted for inflation, the bank paid *me* for the privilege of buying me a car.

It isn't a scam; it's a game. And rule number 1 is understand basic mathematics.

You can bring any calculator you like to the midterm, as long as it doesn't dim the lights when you turn it on. -- Hepler, Systems Design 182

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