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Comment: Re:No. I disagree. (Score 1) 156

by ScentCone (#49387675) Attached to: Tatooine Youth Suspected In Terrorist Attack

just because they aren't fighting for -YOUR- concept of freedom, doesn't mean they aren't fighting for freedom

Which is exactly why I cited examples where any rational person couldn't get it wrong. Nobody who is fighting for the power to take away other people's freedoms (say, of speech, assembly, religion, etc) is fighting for freedom. It's possible to objectively look at two different fights, and see where one is actually about freedom, and the other is about gaining power to deny freedom.

Your knowledge of the revolution and the governance of England is also rather lacking.

The governance of England (not to let it off the hook there, even so) was not the same as England's governance of the colonies. Don't tell me to learn more about it when you paint with a brush so broad you miss out on that reality. The Americans were fighting to be free of how England was ruling the colonies. Even if you consider the then-state-of-affairs in England to have been the model of freedom (plainly not true), the colonists did not enjoy the same liberties or representation.

That's not to sugar-coat the man Che became and his eventual ruthlessness.

"Became?" He started out that way, and didn't stop. He was no champion of a constitutional democracy. Didn't seek one, and didn't act to establish one. What he and dictators like Castro found to dislike about the regimes against which they rebelled has nothing to do with their vision for a totalitarian communist paradise. They set out to achieve what the Castros have been using violent oppression of their own people to preserve ever since.

If they were ever about freedom, they wouldn't need to lock people away or simply kill them for speaking their minds.

Comment: Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 1) 321

by Obfuscant (#49387619) Attached to: Sign Up At Before Crooks Do It For You

You don't audit individuals for that.

Of course you don't do that, today. There is no global sales tax. When there is one, you don't think that the federal government would audit those who are responsible for paying it?

I'll repeat: Income to Sales tax was only given as an extreme example of how, in the face of changing tax law, the IRS would end up becoming a vastly different agency even if you didn't change anything else.

And I don't consider a simple change from collecting income taxes to collecting a global sales tax to be "vastly different". Collect the taxes and go after those who don't pay what they owe. Same idea no matter which kind of tax it is.

1. 'Poor enough' doesn't matter, seeing as how in the schemes I've read about Bill Gates is poor enough to get it.

Right. The 99% would stand for a direct cash handout to Bill Gates to help him pay his global sales taxes. I don't know what system you've read about, but when a handout is intended to help cover the tax liability of the poor, you don't also give it to the rich. They don't need it.

The only reason states don't do it now is because it would be a nightmare to manage. They mitigate the regressive nature by making some things tax free. If you're handing out free money to cover that at the federal level, then expect that there will some things you buy that will have no state sales tax but will have federal. And then the great situation where you pay no state sales tax at all but are stuck with a new global one.

2. 'Really even exist/Not Dead/Etc...' - Doesn't require digging into a person's financials, just that you have a pulse.

Someone shows up at your door looking for your pulse. First you have to prove who you are. Then they'll take your pulse. Then they'll check your income to make sure you qualify for the handout. One step at a time... and it is still a federal agency that is responsible for auditing the paperwork filed by individuals in support of tax payments. Just like the IRS now.

As a volunteer tax preparer, I'd say only about half of them are, other than the whole 'have to have enough income to actually have enough tax to refund'.

As a volunteer tax preparer, you should know about the tax rebates that don't get added on to any refund, and are not a refund themselves because there was no tax paid to be refunded.

You should also know how hidden a lot of the loopholes are. If you don't, you can't do a good job for your clients. Make the "free cash" handouts explicit and you'll see the reaction.

The idea behind the prebate is that it becomes sort of a BIG - 'Basic Guaranteed Income' - EVERYBODY gets it,

That is not the idea at all. It is intended to cover the fact that a global sales tax will be incredibly regressive and that the people who can afford it least will be impacted by it the most. Therefore, give them a rebate. That requires proving you deserve it. And that requires proof of lack of income.

If you try proposing a "basic guaranteed income" by giving Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and Ted Turner and all the other millionaires a handout, you'll be laughed off the podium, and rightly so.

If you are seriously suggesting such a scheme, then you seriously need to consider the impacts and the way you structure it so you aren't taken for a loon. "Everyone in the country gets free money from the government" makes you sound like the nutcase trying to sell the book.

Comment: Re:Outrageous! (Score 1) 202

there is no requirement for a pilots liscence. you are totally off base

Yes, there is. The only way you can get a section 333 waiver is if you are a licensed pilot. Period. Here's the existing process:

Their currently proposed rule changes contemplate a simpler grade of permit, but still make no provision for BLOS flight. You'd still need to pass an FAA operator's test, and pay to sit and re-take it every year. The proposed rules also require each and every aircraft to be registered - something that makes flying continually changing prototypes off the work bench a near impossibility.

I'm not "totally off base," I'm aware of the actual situation. You're just engaged in wishful thinking, or making excuses for the administration, and hoping nobody will do any fact checking.

Comment: Re:No. I disagree. (Score 2) 156

by ScentCone (#49387483) Attached to: Tatooine Youth Suspected In Terrorist Attack

You really want to make the case that America of all countries has clean hands and a clean conscience in this dirty enterprise called war?

Do you mean that when a huge undertaking involving actual, you know, human beings taking action in opposition to a monstrously violent totalitarian regime sometimes involves some of those human beings doing assholish things ... that therefore the side that's acting to prevent oppressive totalitarianism is wrong to fight it? You'd rather allow groups like ISIS, or people like Stalin, or fun outfits like the Khmer Rouge to just carry on being brutal across the board as part of their purpose and policy than risk deploying against them on the off chance that not every action taken to oppose them, by everyone involved in the fight, will pass your purity test? Better to let the house burn down than to risk having anyone involved in trying to put out the fire be a jerk, I guess.

There is still hatred towards the Japanese over what they did

Right. Because that's what they (the country of Japan) set out to do. Cruelty and torture and rape weren't the actions of a few idiots/asshats in the Japanese army, those things were the stated tactics, the official policy, from the top down. That wasn't assholishness by abberration, and prosecuted (a la the WV guards at Abu Ghraib), that was marching orders. Your need to confuse the difference between that, and things like what Japan systematically did in China, shows you to be either completely misguided, or simply trolling. The latter, most likely.

Comment: Re:Maybe because the movies were not that good? (Score 1) 292

by operagost (#49387177) Attached to: Why More 'Star Wars' Actors Don't Become Stars
OK, your post is trolling a little bit. But there's a reason Harrison Ford told Lucas, "George, you can type this shit, but you can't say it!" The stories are good, but the scriptwriting is uneven at best. That's why people thought Portman couldn't act. Other than, "So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause," her lines were pedestrian and forgettable.

Comment: Not happy. (Score 1) 32

by operagost (#49387053) Attached to: Angry Boss Phishing Emails Prompt Fraudulent Wire Transfers

Come on, where are the copies of these phishing emails? That's the fun part. I'd love to see what kind of process gets people to wire funds without so much as a phone call for confirmation.

- Unsigned emails,
- From an external domain that kinda looks legit (this won't even work with Exchange and Outlook; they will always know it's from a foreign system and notify the recipient),
- Probably with unspecified urgency, without reference to procedure, and no means of tracking the request

Yeah, if a simple phish beat your process, you should find a new career.

Comment: Re:No. I disagree. (Score 1) 156

by ScentCone (#49386495) Attached to: Tatooine Youth Suspected In Terrorist Attack
When the people who actually drag school teachers out of their classroom to shoot them in the head for teaching girls publish videos of doing so online to show how serious they are about it, you can claim "land grab" and "it's all fake" to your heart's content, but you'll know you're lying, just like the rest of us will know you're lying.

And here in the US, we are told that women are denied the chance at education

Who's "we" and who is doing the telling? There are more women in college then there are men. So, basically you're just blathering.

we are a Christian nation

They "land grabbing" revolutionaries you're complaining about fought, among other things, to tear down the form of government under which they were living ... one that DID establish a government-backed single religion. They were so opposed to that, in the form of the constitution's first amendment, they baked freedom from that ever happening again right into the nation's chartering document. Not that you've probably ever read it or anything.

Comment: Re:No. I disagree. (Score 5, Interesting) 156

by ScentCone (#49386253) Attached to: Tatooine Youth Suspected In Terrorist Attack

I remember when Red Dawn came out (the first one) that we discussed the differnce between freedom fighters and terrorists. The answer was history.

No, the answer is: look at what they're actually fighting for. "Freedom fighters" who fight for the opportunity to deny women the right to go to school, or to set up a regime where people who aren't willing to claim faithfulness to one single state religion are not freedom fighters. It really is that simple. US revolutionaries fought to be free from what was essentially a military dictatorship (the monarchy) that didn't provide some rather important freedom-related features (like those we see protected in our constitution). When freedom fighters are fighting for actual freedoms, then that's what they are. When "freedom fighters" are fighting to institute totalitarian rule (like, say, Che Guevara and company did) they're not freedom fighters at all. The Taliban aren't fighting for freedom, they're fighting to set up a ruthless medieval theocracy. Doesn't matter what they call themselves, it's what they do.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 109

by Obfuscant (#49382339) Attached to: SCOTUS: GPS Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure

Well, for starters, civil forfeiture is about your non-living stuff, and the 4th Amendment applies to YOU, a living being with enumerable rights.

Under that argument, it is not unreasonable search for the police to enter your home whenever they wish. After all, your home is non-living stuff and the fourth amendment applies only to you.

I think taking things from a living being with enumerable rights counts as a violation of 1) due process (since there has been no due process at all), 2) the fourth amendment right to be secure in one's person AND property, and 3) the concept of innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

When your car is seized after you are arrested for DUII, you have not yet been convicted of that crime, and by taking physical property of considerable value you have effectively levied a fine for just being accused of a crime. In theory it is confiscating the means of committing a crime, but nobody has been proven to have committed a crime yet. It certainly is nothing like the concept of bail, which is intended to compel those who are charged but not confined to show up for trial.

Any use of civil forfeiture that occurs BEFORE any finding of guilt is simply a gross violation of the Constitution. That SCOTUS does not stop the practice is insane.

Comment: Re:Outrageous! (Score 3, Informative) 202

But testing? Perfectly legal right now.

Sure, perfectly legal if you make all of your drone research team run out and get a pilot's license, and then file flight plans for every single test. You know, if you take a quadcopter out into the parking lot and hover it ten feet off the ground to test a delivery mechanism, you need an FAA licensed pilot and a filed flight plan for all 30 seconds that will take. Sounds like a really great environment in which to conduct thousands of man hours of testing, huh?

And no, there is no provision in the FAA rules for Amazon to test a single flight where the vehicle goes out of line of site of the hands-on operator. The entire premise of what they're researching is prohibited, barring a waiver that they've only issued to an operator in rural Alaska inspecting pipelines while using existing, military-class equipment.

Comment: Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 1) 321

by Obfuscant (#49381105) Attached to: Sign Up At Before Crooks Do It For You

No it doesn't. The only way to get rich is to save. The incentive to save still far exceeds the incentive to spend.

If I have a savings account with $200k in it and I can manage to put $10k a year into it, what incentive do I have to keep that account? Put in $10k, take out $10.5k to pay taxes. Let's say I have a great interest rate of 1% on that account. I wind up with $1.5k more money in that account after putting $10k in. (Those are round numbers for argument only, so don't waste our time insulting me for not calculating things to the penny.)

My best option is to withdraw all my savings and store it in the backyard. That way the government doesn't know I have it and I immediately save at least $10k a year just in taxes. Add the $10k I put in with it and I'll have a full $210k, or $8.5 thousand dollars more than if the money was in the bank. Yeah, I'm "saving", but only because I'm hiding the money.

Other people would figure this out. The rich people you hate so much have lawyers and accountants who will run the numbers and tell them to pull their cash out of the banks, too. Do you not realize what a mass exodus of money from the banking system means? Interest rates on loans will skyrocket as the money supply dries up.

If you merely keep an IRA as tax free, effectively the middle class starts to save,

IRAs are already "tax free", and if the middle class isn't dumping money into them now to reduce their income tax burden, then they aren't going to be dumping money into them when the gurps owning-stuff tax kicks in. They MAY transfer other money in their accounts to the IRA to legally keep from paying taxes on it (so no change in the savings), but most likely there will be limits to IRA contributions (like there are now) and they'll just take their money out of the bank to protect it.

Don't try claiming that IRAs won't have contribution limits. If they don't, then you've just created yet another legal loophole to avoid taxes. If you try to keep people from dumping all their money into a "gurps-IRA" to keep from paying taxes on it, you'll have to do something like mandate that money that goes in cannot be taken out until the owner reaches a certain age. That will disincentivize the gurps-IRA since people need to know they can get to their money in an emergency.

And why save at all, if the government is simply going to start taking 5% of whatever you save away from you every year you have it? You have no clue as to human nature.

The key thing is this is a simple tax structure that soaks the wealthy,

You first claimed that taxing what people own doesn't screw anyone, and you called me stupid for pointing out how many people it would actually screw. Now you admit that you proposed the idea precisely because it screws the rich. But it also screws EVERYONE who owns anything -- rich, poor, middle class. Having the government come take 5% of everything you own away from you every year cannot help but screw everyone who has stuff. I'm not part of the 1% and even I am smart enough to know how this would destroy my retirement savings and home ownership possibilities. That you continue to claim this would be a good system, well, I dunno. Your hatred for successful people is blinding you to the facts.

Here's another fact: taxing people on what they own means that the car that the poor person needs to own to get to work will be costing him 5% of the value every year just in federal ownership taxes. You don't think that screws him, but that 5% ($1k on a $20k car) may be the difference between food and hunger for him. Of course, if he can't afford the taxes, he shouldn't buy the car.

In other words it reduces the gap between the wealthy and the poor,

Yes, we understand the concept of forced wealth redistribution using the tax system as a bludgeon on the people who have any wealth at all.

Comment: Outrageous! (Score 1, Informative) 202

There's only one way to punish Amazon for taking this activity outside of the US. We must find a way, since they have a business presence in the US, to add a larger regulatory and tax burden onto them until they submit, and return this activity, which we won't let them do anyway, to US soil. At which point of course we will not reduce that new tax or regulatory burden, but that'll show 'em anyway.

Way to go, Executive Branch.

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.