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Comment Re:Long-term damage from the Bush Admin (Score 1) 176

I see where you're coming from, but I think your thoughts need to be taken just a little further. It's not that conservatives (me being one, for full disclosure) inherently favor corporations. It's that we generally feel that free enterprise is a good thing and that when corporations are allowed to thrive, they create wealth which creates jobs which, in turn, makes life better for the individual (and obviously for the higher-ups in the corporations, probably to a much higher degree). That's an over-simplification, and it's not utopian, but I personally believe free enterprise is the best foundation. I don't believe in propping up corporations for their own sake, just in giving businesses the freedom to operate, unburdened from needless regulation and taxation (note that I didn't say *no* regulation or taxation), for our sake as well as theirs.

On the other hand, it's not that liberals inherently favor the government. It's that they tend to believe that the government is the primary tool that makes things better for the individual, by restraining the Monopoly guy from getting rich off his/her exploitation, by promoting justice, and by evening the playing field between the little guy and the powerful business entities (i.e. via promotion of things like labor unions and heavy regulation). The problem that I see with that philosophy is that it makes the government bigger, more suffocating, and definitely more menacing than the big businesses for which they have general disdain.

Like you, I hated the Kelo decision, but I actually agreed with the Citizens United decision. The reasoning is that things like corporations and other organizations are simply groups of people who come together for a common purpose. That purpose might be to make profit, or it might be to further some social or political agenda. Corporations and organizations don't exist for their own benefit. They exist for the benefit of the individuals of that have a stake in them. And as such, I believe it is not constitutional to squelch the voices of these individuals, just because they've come together in a group in an organized fashion, and because they tend to have more money, and thus a louder voice.

I know it kind of feels wrong, but it's not much different from 10,000 people picketing outside of some building. They come together for some unified purpose to amplify their individual voices into one large one (sort of). We rightfully recognize that peaceful assembly as a right of that group because it's a right of each individual. So, the same hold true for people that are even more organized and who focus their voice in a different direction. That holds true be it for the NRA or Citizens United, or for labor unions, or for Exxon, or for any other groups like that.

I'm not saying there aren't improvements that can/should be made in how these entities communicate their desires to our elected officials and how our elected officials act upon that pressure. But we have to be very careful about letting them have their voice because that one collective voice is really the voice of many individuals, which is protected by the First Amendment.

Comment Re:Counter to federal laws? (Score 1) 377

I would go along with this logic if the airlines were not private companies (ignoring previous government bailouts that have happened for a moment), where the TSA has inserted itself into the middle.

Think about it: this is no different than if the TSA was patting people down as they walk into Walmart. Obviously, causing a plane crash has the potential for disaster, but so does bombing a shopping center. Or a refinery. Is the TSA checking people going in and out of those, or do the companies employ their own security, if needed? I'm betting it's the latter in just about all other cases.

As a consumer, if I feel like I need airlines to offer security, I will tell them about it and then I will refuse to fly on airlines that do not meet my standard. It's not my interest or in the interest of the airlines to have lax security because crashes cost a lot of money and lead to some really bad public opinion (isn't that why ValuJet changed its name?).

I don't have an issue with pat-downs done at airports as much as I have a problem with a third, uninvolved party having inserted itself in the middle to perform the "service". Consumers should have choices. If they don't want to be patted down, and some airline doesn't want to pay for the security, then they should be free to seek each other out and do business - at their own risk (risk of death or injury for the traveler, risk of huge financial liability for the airline).

The choice should belong to the parties involved, not to the TSA.

Comment Re:Who? (Score 1) 580

The issue at hand is not whether or not I think he's guilty (which, by the way, you apparently inferred from my words because I intentionally did not address it). The issue at hand is whether someone deserves a fair trial before they are condemned by a private entity's personal opinion, and the answer is "no". And I never condemned anyone that questioned my judgment. I merely stated the fact that PayPal is not required to wait for a trial before forming an opinion and acting upon it. If they're acting illegally, then that's another story.

And yes, it's fine for people to refuse to do business with PayPal because of things like this. I don't understand the sarcastic-sounding question at the end. Would you expect me to have disagreed with that?

Comment Re:Who? (Score 2, Insightful) 580

I don't owe Bradley Manning a fair trial because I'm not a government entity. He is entitled to a fair trial before government punishment is meted out, period. I'm entitled to form an opinion of him based on available knowledge and I'm also free to decide to not associate with him in any way whether or not that opinion is based on fact or conjecture. PayPal is afforded the exact same rights that I am. They don't owe him anything and they certainly aren't forced to wait for government trials to conclude before they form an opinion of someone and act upon it, so long as they aren't violating traditional discriminatory statutes and the like.

Comment Re:AGAIN, Sony? (Score 1) 491

If ONLY someone had their original Fat PS3 box

I had one up until a couple of months ago. Then it died so I blasted it with a double-barreled shotgun. The mangled carcass is still sitting on the back seat of my SUV in a hefty bag. True story.

Comment Could be a decent idea (Score 3, Insightful) 224

Privacy concerns aside, it seems like a good thing if the save files are *mirrored* online. I could see the benefit of wanting to load up my game elsewhere or having them saved in the cloud when my PS3 takes a dive into the crapper (which happened to me recently). However, I would be extraordinarily pissed if I couldn't play a certain game if my internet connection flaked out or if the servers are down or something like that.

Comment Re:Yay... (Score 5, Insightful) 125

Yes, it surely makes no sense to grow as much as possible when the opportunity presents itself because it's going to all come undone at some point. We might as well hide under our beds instead of going to work. Hell, I know the work I'm doing now is going to be a useless piece of shit in a decade, so why bother?

Comment Smart Businesses (Score 1) 244

Smart businesses figure out what customers want, need, or can use that those businesses can provide and they give it to them. Not-as-smart businesses decide for customers what they should have and provide it to them, and then are satisfied with the more limited customer base that comes along with that philosophy.

Comment Re:If indeed, truly sad news (Score 1) 547

That could be true, but in my experience, Best Buy has had a pretty huge selection of movies and TV shows in their DVD/Blu-ray section. The prices are pretty high, but I'm still surprised they would be making such a sudden, radical change, as opposed to letting the movie section just wither away over a period of time.

I have noticed that all Best Buys do not seem to have been created equal. Some are tiny, little dumps with stuff crammed in and without great selection. My local one is actually huge and has a big selection of music, movies, etc. I don't know where the store I mentioned above falls, but it very well could have been one of the little dumpy ones.

Comment Re:If indeed, truly sad news (Score 1) 547

This story is second-hand so I don't have any further information or explanation, but this very week, my brother walked into a Best Buy in northern New Jersey looking for one of the seasons of Entourage on Blu-ray and, according to him, they were in the process of literally removing half of their stock of movies/TV on physical media. My brother asked one of the workers what was going on, and the worker told him that everything is moving toward streaming/downloads now so they're reducing their supply of physical media.

I wish I had more information on this, but I don't. Could be one store. Could be a national thing (I haven't seen it in my local Best Buy). The point being that at least one store of a huge national/international retailer disagrees with your prediction, to the point of drastically lowering their supply of physical media. Either they're just responding to a big decrease in demand, they know something we don't, or both.

Comment Re:Give him a Nobel Prize (Score 1) 628

Obviously not. But you can't have it both ways. Either there is secret information or there isn't. Once we agree there is a single piece of information that should be kept secret, then we're forced to give someone the power to make that decision.

My only point in bringing up technical specs is to show that most clear thinking individuals will agree that there is some information that should be secret. Therefore, we have to work within the system to protect that information. I'm not comfortable with the probability that 260,000 pages of diplomatic cables and the like contain nothing but political embarrassment and scandal.

And no, I don't trust politicians one bit. But I also know that if I released the classified information that I have access to, politicians wouldn't likely be the ones to pay the price either. Everone is in such a hurry to expose politicians for what we already know they are and they don't even stop to think what the unintended consequnces of releasing that much classified information could be.

Upsetting the apple cart isn't going to stop the problem. There needs to be classified information and if people don't like the gatekeepers of that information, then they had damn well better start electing some better ones. The big government people out there are reaping what they've sown for the last hundred years.

Comment Re:Give him a Nobel Prize (Score 1) 628

Ah, yes, because wars are fought and won by grunts with rifles. I suppose there's nothing vital about keeping radar tracking capabilities classified. And why on earth should we care if bad guys know what's in our missile uplinks and downlinks? Why don't we just fill everyone in on how we combat jamming? While we're at it, let's tell them all the capabilities of our ships, land-based weapons platforms, and so on. There's nothing there that could come back to bite us.

You know, to be honest with you, politically, I have serious libertarian leanings and I'm not sure we should even have a standing army, and I'm definitely sure we shouldn't have troops stationed in a hundred and some odd countries around the world. But to sit here and act like we should just think military capability isn't something that should be safeguarded is simply asinine.

There are an awful lot of people in this world that would kill us tomorrow if they had our capability instead of their own. That's not terror fear-mongering, it's a fact. Some would argue that it would be us reaping what we've sown. Maybe that's true, but if you think I'm going to help you find out, you're nuts.

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