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Comment Re:Fuck religion. (Score 1) 903

The catholic church wants to be able to deny coverage to their "secular" employees on the religious grounds.

Wrong - specific coverages are denied, and for obvious reasons. Employers can pick and choose what they will and will not provide to their employees, as is their right. Nobody as a "right" to free contraception.

Employers are required to provide coverage under the ACA. It is a requirement not an option so they don't get to choose what they provide, end of story. In the future they will be required to provide coverage for abortions. Tough noogies.

Religion is a control freak thing and becoming a priest is a great way to get your rocks off telling other people what to do based on some tendentious reading of the history of a guy who never existed.

The catholic church can not dictate how an employee can spend their pay check and they shouldn't be able to dictate what health care options the employee uses.

No one is stopping those employees from purchasing their own health insurance, or from refusing to join in their employer's insurance plan. No one is stopping those employees from buying their own damned pills or rubbers - considering that both are cheap enough, I fail to see what you're so agitated about.

Nobody requires the Catholic church to run a business taking public money to provide social services. I would prefer that they stopped and the services were provided by secular organizations. Getting the church out of adoption policy was a good thing. I look forward to their other social programs shutting down. There is no shortage of secular organizations doing the same work without tying the effort to a religious recruitment drive.

Comment Re:Fuck religion. (Score 2) 903

I think pretty much every employer would prefer not to be involved in health care. It is a stupid system. But the reason that it was necessary is that insurance does not work when the insurer knows the individual risks. The individual insurance market began to collapse in the 1980s.

The only way to save the insurance model is with a mutual mandate, insurers have to be mandated to cover everyone who applies, including those with pre-existing conditions and individuals have to be mandated to buy insurance. Which is what the ACA does for the individual market.

Employer based coverage worked because the pools were big enough to spread the risk. But they only worked for employers with a large enough number of employees. Which was a huge drag on the economy. People could only work for a high risk startup if it was adequately funded enough to provide full benefits or if the employees had insurance through their spouses.

The only way to get the ACA passed though was if people who already had insurance were assured that they wouldn't lose it. Many people have subsidized insurance built into their employment package and would lose substantially if that happened. Which is why the ACA has big tax penalties for employers who drop coverage and requires the coverage to meet certain minimum standards.

The idea that employers have a right to impose their religious beliefs on their employees should make anyone who actually believes in freedom of religion puke. But the republican party has a feudal view of society in which employees are mere serfs to their employers. I think it will hurt them in 2014 and 2016 though because women really don't wan't little Ricky Santorum getting his rocks off by controlling their access to fertility control.

Comment Re:Fuck religion. (Score 1) 903

Since the Democrats held the House, Senate and White House when the ACA passed, gerrymandering was not an issue. The filibuster was an issue because the Republicans were corruptly preventing Al Franken taking his seat.

The Republicans are the party complaining about the ACA and they only hold the house and that only due to gerrymandering. So they don't have the ability to change the law because they don't have a democratic mandate despite holding one house of Congress.

The filibuster is gone now so it won't be an issue in future. While the rules have not been changed for legislation or SCOTUS appointments, there is no doubt that they will be if either party ever gets control of the house, senate and WH. Since the democrats are close to being the only party that can win the WH under the current electoral college arrangement, that means any change would come from the Democrats. But the forcing function here was the Republican's threat of the nuclear option under Bush. Once the threat was made, the end of the filibuster was inevitable.

Comment Re:Fuck religion. (Score 1) 903

Nobody is saying that the Republican's didn't have the right to obstruct

What they don't have the right to do is to obstruct the bill and every attempt to make technical amendments and then complain that there wasn't time to debate it properly or protest about problems the Democrats have tried to fix.

The US has universal healthcare no, so seven million people will get healthcare. Boo-fucking-hoo republicans. Your mental masturbation sessions will not be quite so sweet today when you can no longer enjoy the fact that millions of poor people will die early because your party denied them care.

Having derided the ACA as 'Obamacare' you have now ensured that one of the main pillars of the US welfare state will be named after a Black man who was elected President. A permanent reminder that the Southern Strategy of pandering to racism and bigotry failed.

There is only one way to avoid that outcome being permanent and that is to allow Hilary to replace Obamacare with the much simpler public option that would also be cheaper.

Comment Re: Fuck religion. (Score 1) 903

Yeah, it stopped that civil rights bill, can't have black men voting, next thing you know it a black man will be President.

Republicans don't believe in democracy, they try to 'win' elections by stopping black people voting to this day. And they arrange to have the broken voting machines in Democratic precincts.

Congress had more than enough time to debate the ACA. The Republicans were never interested in discussing the implementation and they still aren't interested.

In this particular case there should be no religious exception whatsoever. There should be a super tax on the Catholic church and the money go to pay for free abortions.

Comment Re:Unequal treatment (Score 1) 243

You clearly don't understand the US civil forfeiture laws then. Yes they can and yes they do.

There are certainly corrupt uses of the civil forfeiture laws but this is not one of them. The coins were seized from a rig operating a market for illegal drugs.

There are cases where the cops have performed seizures on no evidence at all and no indictment.

Comment Re:Seize (Score 2) 243

I suspect the bitcoins in question were 'live' on the servers during the raid.

Running a marketplace means that the servers have to be able to move money about. So the servers have to have access to keys for spending to perform some operations. So the keys have to be accessible to the machine just like pretty much every web server with SSL has a private key that is effectively unencrypted. Sure it might be encrypted under a password but the password is no the same machine.

If he has $30m on the live systems I suspect he had even more stashed away offline. Begging for his money back is probably more of a ploy to try to throw the investigators off the chase for the rest of his cash.

The problem he is gonna have is that he is facing a 20-40 year jail term without parole. So the chance that he will be able to actually cash out his wallets before the bitcoin bubble bursts is essentially zero.

The fed have been shutting these schemes down continuously. Bitcoin is merely the latest incarnation of the old 'gold backed currency' that has been running for 15 years. The feds let them run for three years on average before they shut them down.

And before folk explain why bitcoin is different, all the previous schemes claimed to be different as well. And they all claimed to be beyond the reach of the law.

Comment Re:We did it wrong, let's do it wronger still. (Score 1) 80

The problem with ID based encryption is revocation. If someone loses their key the best you can do is to tell people that it is bad. And any mechanism that could tell you the key status could be used for key binding.

So the only applications where it really works is in low level device type schemes where the crypto is installed during manufacture.

Comment Re:End of certificates, please? (Score 2) 80

The CA model was never designed to do more than support Internet commerce. It was designed to be secure enough to exchange credit card information.

CAs are not useless against defending against intelligence services, they are only vulnerable to being suborned by a limited number of such agencies, the ones that they have plant in. And any defection is visible on the Internet. Hence the use of schemes such as Comodo CertSentry and Google's Certificate Transparency which are designed to prevent covert subornation of a CA by making the results of the attack visible.

One of the many reasons security is hard is that you have to defend against all the attacks, not just one particular one that someone is obsessing about. Nobody has proposed a replacement for the CA model that works as well within the existing constraints.

Peter Eckersley proposed a scheme 'Sovereign Keys' that solves the hard problems of PKI by pretending that the system administrator will never ever make a mistake. Moxie's 'Convergence' is three years old now and we are still waiting for an actual written specification. The problem with Convergence is that it depends on a notary infrastructure that doesn't have a business model. So it is hard to see how the world of commerce is going to be keen on moving to an infrastructure that we know will have scaling issues.

The CA model isn't prefect but it is the only part of the Internet security apparatus that fails rarely enough for the failures to still be news. McAfee fails to spot viruses on an hourly basis. There are serious security fixes for Windows, OSX and Linux every single month. Those don't make the news because they aren't news any more.

The market for the proposals that are 'stronger' is essentially the same as the constituency that use PGP every day and use Tor and keep their money in BitCoin. It is not a negligible constituency but the people who are in it have to spend about a quarter of their waking moments managing their security.

Web of Trust isn't perfect either. Choosing between the two is pointless because neither meets every need that the other meets. So instead of having the argument over which one to pick we should work on ways that let people use both in a seamless connected fashion.

Comment Re:I understand most of the acronyms but (Score 1) 80

Comment Re:no you just have lots and lots of stabbings and (Score 0, Troll) 894

Newtown took place in the heart of gun-nut country, not the inner cities.

The number of gun deaths in rural America are way higher than in Europe.

The typical gun murder is of a family member. Those happen just as often in rural America, in fact they are rather more frequent because guns are easier to come by.

Comment Re:police arive within 'minutes' (Score 2, Insightful) 894

Most countries that regulate guns also regulate sales of ammonium nitrate fertilizers which is by far the next most popular tool for mass murder.

The US does not regulate ammonium nitrate particularly well which is why that factory in Texas was located next to two schools and the likely perpetrator could not even be prosecuted for the murders despite having made two pipe bombs.

Very few firearms deaths are caused by career criminals. The vast majority are suicides and accidental shootings. Making guns illegal would practically eliminate those causes of death. Only criminals would have guns to leave round the house for the kids to use.

The UK does not have idiotic mandatory sentences for low level drug possession or peddling. But carry a firearm during a crime and you get ten years almost automatically. Fire the gun and its fifteen. Anyone involved in the crime kills someone and its a whole life sentence.

Its just a hobby, you folk don't have the right to cause 50,000 deaths a year for your hobby. Moreover I don't think the general public is impressed by the NRA attempting to save their hobby at all costs by attempting to persuade the politicians to ban video games instead.

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