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Comment: Re:well (Score 2) 557

by tomkost (#46933225) Attached to: Actual Results of Crimean Secession Vote Leaked
If anyone wanted to know how Crimean's felt about joining Russian Federation, they only had to google it. This poll from May 2013 shows the results and in fact, the percetnage of people supporting joining the Russian Federation has gone down since 2011 despite rough political and economic turns since then. Since the poll was done without the presence of occupying forces, I'm quite sure it's more valid.

Comment: Re:Surprised? (Score 1) 149

by tomkost (#46817759) Attached to: VK CEO Fired, Says Company Under Kremlin Control
Hence my use of the phrase "modern day". My belief is that power/and money were less concentrated here in the US in the past. Certainly the oligarchs in the US are more brazen and open about it. Is the US more fair and open than Russia and other systems. Possibly but not the extent it used to be. I suggest that the size and strength of the middle class is the best indicator of health and fairness.

I still believe US is the best place to live all things considered, but we need to change course a bit or it won't stay that way for future generations.

Comment: Re:Rich, white hypocrites? Say it aint so!!! (Score 1) 317

by tomkost (#46326359) Attached to: Exxon Mobile CEO Sues To Stop Fracking Near His Texas Ranch
So wrong. Teachers do have unions here in Texas and they do have pensions too. Not that they don't deserve them. My point is that if a union scored a big pension deal and we, the tax payers, could not afford to pay it, we via our elected officials should have the unilateral right to reduce it. We should NOT be forced to pay for it if it turns out later it can't be afforded. The pension should be cut or let it run out of money. Further taxes can not be a mandatory part of the picture is what I'm advocating.

This is why pensions are not necessarily a good idea in the first place. The idea that someone can guarantee you a certain payment level in the future is somewhat speculative to say the least.

This is just one example, there are literally 1000s of others.

Comment: Re:Rich, white hypocrites? Say it aint so!!! (Score 4, Insightful) 317

by tomkost (#46324845) Attached to: Exxon Mobile CEO Sues To Stop Fracking Near His Texas Ranch
As a Libertarian, I can say that many of us are completely fine with Unions. People should be free to form groups to achieve common objectives. I do struggle somewhat with unions for public servant though. The reason being is that it's easier for them to be granted their wishes because their pensions and stuff are backed by the full faith and credit of the US or State government. If a company agrees to a certain pension, and then can't afford it later. It has options to either renegotiate the costs or go out of biz. That last option not being generally available or certainly much less desirable to government, means that future generation have to pay for poor choices of the past. The Unions btw, should be able to use their power and finances to influence elections, just as other large companies and groups are currently doing. None of this should be allowed. I'm much against Citizens United. The elections and the government are for the people. These larger groups can agree what they interested in promoting, but the actual funds should come from private citizens.

Comment: Re:Forgone conclusion? (Score 4, Insightful) 47

by tomkost (#46288731) Attached to: BREIN Gives Up on Dutch Pirate Bay Blockade
The fact of the matter is people believe they are entitled to take whatever they want without having to deal with the DRM, bundling of content, and other crappy service models of GREEDY record companies who earn nearly ALL the money from the recording sales. There, I fixed that for you.

The artists only make money from touring. Studies have shown that copying does not impact music sales.

Comment: Re:Seems overblown issue (Score 1) 445

by tomkost (#46222043) Attached to: FBI: $10,000 Reward For Info On Anyone Who Points a Laser At an Aircraft
I never said it's not a problem, you said that. I'm merely stating it should be pretty easy to catch these idiots due to the distances involved. Passing harsher laws probably won't stop the issue. What if the planes had a detector that could report the angle and direction of the beam relative to the plane's GPS coordinates? Should be easy to have police respond when the area of the offense is known within a very small radius.

Comment: Seems overblown issue (Score 1) 445

by tomkost (#46220217) Attached to: FBI: $10,000 Reward For Info On Anyone Who Points a Laser At an Aircraft
According to wikipedia it's only a real danger when the aircraft are on final approach and below 4000ft. In this case, the person with the laser should know better and it should be easier to find them. Even kids can imagine it's not good to blind or distract the pilot when they are trying to land. When the plane is cruising at 30k feet, I doubt this is even visible much less a problem.

Comment: Re:Fruit of the poison tree (Score 1) 266

IANAL, but if the government had some classified evidence, and then they recreated it with illegitimate traffic stops, then the classified evidence itself is exculpatory because it would show that the government used evidence that violates your 4th amendment rights to then create evidence that is probably based on a traffic stop where there is no legitimate probable cause. So the whole thing is some kind of paradox where the government believes their actions allow them to hide the classified intelligence, but those actions actually should require them to disclose it. It's all rather Machiavellian to say the least.

Comment: Non News (Score 4, Interesting) 127

by tomkost (#46149563) Attached to: Now Published: Study Showing Pirate Bay Blockade Has No Effect
it doesn't take a study to know that you can't block these activities. When you have mirrors in multiple countries it's nearly impossible to shut them all down. Even then there can be backups that are not online, so the service can be recovered and restarted easily. But that won't stop the controlling financial interests like R$AA, MP$$ and others from continuing to bang their heads, buy off politicians, and rattle the chains.

Comment: Re:When it's out of your control (Score 1) 174

This is spot on, and the way that this can happen is we need first need the government to re-recognize the right to privacy. Then we can define what controls we want to have on privacy. EG, I own my info, no one else can share if without my express permission. I can demand those who I have given my info delete it when the transaction or relationship is over. There must be harsh financial penalties for breaking these laws. $10k/non compliance incident and $100K + actual damages for theft or fraud using private data.

I like work; it fascinates me; I can sit and look at it for hours.