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Comment Re:There is no expectation of privacy (Score 1) 515

About two weeks ago a motorcyclist with a helmet cam was arrested when he posted a traffic stop on youtube. The cop had pulled a gun on the citizen w/o identifying himself AS a cop (he was plain clothes), and then the Police Bureau arrested the man after the Chief saw the video online. It seems Maryland is turning into a tyranny.

The motorcyclist was Anthony Graber, and the incident happened in March. Charges against him were DROPPED on Sep 27th.

The fact that they brought charges against him at all is ludicrous though. Why should there be charges against someone for six months for posting a video taken in a public place?

Comment Re:This is why the Dems lost the House (Score 1) 828

If Obama wanted an easy out he could have had it - the courts were about to throw DADT out the window, and his administration begged them not to. If he just stood back and did nothing the policy would be gone today.

The cynical side of me thinks that DADT is kept around so that the D's can keep campaigning on it, just like how abortion was kept around so that the R's could keep campaigning on that. If politicians actually cared about these kinds of issues you'd see them do something about - there have been plenty of times in the last decade where one party controlled the white house and both houses of congress, and that applies to either party.

The military wanted it to be done by Congress rather than the courts, so that's how they were trying to do it.

These are sideline issues to politicians - useful for drumming up supporters on election day, but nothing they really care about.

Sideline issue or not, it was something that he campaigned on, so I suppose it's good that he was trying to deliver on it. Guess now that it's done, it won't be an issue for him next election.

Comment Re:Sound great. (Score 1) 828

Then you have to abide by professional rules of conduct, like not calling your underlings "bitches", "Niggers", or "fags". at least, once they get out of boot camp.

You have to admit, vocabulary like "that's gay" is far more common among straight men than "you nigger" is among non-black men. Kids grow up calling things gay, they don't grow up calling each other niggers. It's a different part of our culture and treating it the same as racial issues doesn't make sense.

It wasn't back when black men were first allowed to serve. Back then gay didn't mean what it does now, and nigger was in common usage. The sooner the term "gay" as a derogatory term for practically anything leaves common usage, the better.

I don't support hazing and all that, gay or straight. I'm talking about speech issues and specifically what people might say on their down time amongst themselves.

Over time our military is becoming more and more rigid with respect to restrictions on soldiers' behavior. That's undeniable. Whether this is just another minor step on the ladder or a major one with plenty of unforeseen consequences remains to be seen.

All of which you could say about integration of blacks or women into the military as well. I don't see how it's any different at all. Yeah, a lot of people had a problem with it. Doesn't matter. They're there to do a job, and some of the most important things those kids that join up need to learn are discipline and respect. No, it's not ok to behave in a juvenile way or use juvenile and offensive language regarding your peers. No, it's not ok to disrespect people because they're different. Kids that do that stuff need some education, and the military is probably the right place for it if they're like that already. If that's being "rigid", then I'm all for it.

Comment Re:Can we get a category? (Score 2) 312

This reminds me of one thing: Why are posts tagged? Can we include posts based on tags? Exclude posts based on tags? I never actually realized why we have them, but posts keep getting tagged. *shrug*

If we can exclude posts on tags, I'm pretty sure filtering out everything "wikileaks" would work here.

I think the tags are mainly used for searching right now. Would be nice if you could use them for filtering as well. As for me, I don't bother to filter anything, as it's simple enough to just skip over posts I'm not interested in. Some people have difficulty with that.

Comment Re:Excellent! (Score 1) 217

Braid (the leading title this year) is supposedly good. It has won awards for its gameplay. The first time I came across Braid was at last year's Penny Arcade Expo in Boston and the person talking about it had good things to say.

I liked the gameplay of Braid. The story was cringe-worthy though. Sounded like something written by a 16 year-old.

Comment Re:Millitary inteligence (Score 1) 372

No, its not Executive Order 13526 Section 1.1(4)(c) Classified information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information.

Unauthorized disclosure is one thing. It seems like being published by the NY Times and several other major international newspapers is something else altogether. You'd kinda think there might be some distinction made.

Comment Re:Surprise move? (Score 1) 1505

There was a lot of support for a single-payer system within the Democrats. The problem is that there was no support within the Republican party, and they were able to scare the Democrats into dropping the issue with the threat of calling them Socialists and comparing them to Stalin and such. Of course they continue to do that anyway, so basically the Democrats are just pussies that refuse to stand up for anything and actually fight for it. Hell, the speech the other day is the only time I've heard Obama sound even remotely passionate about anything. Unfortunately he was being passionate about giving in to the demands of the Republicans even when the Democrats had the high moral ground. If you can't win in that situation, you just aren't going to win, period. It's a little bizarre to have a Democratic Congress and President essentially carrying out the Republican agenda, but here we are...

So, essentially, we're screwed even if one of the two parties actually has a good idea because they care more about politics than doing what they believe needs to be done.

And, that's why I'm clueless as to why people so passionately support either party. It's not like they actually believe enough in what they say to do anything about it... even when they have all the votes they need.

They're both power hungry hypocrites...

I'm clueless about that too. I'm an independent. I'm suspicious of both sides because we have a political system that is funded by special interests, and an election system that is rigged to try to make it as difficult as possible for anyone who is not a member of one of the two major parties to even get on the ballot, let alone get elected. It's a system that does everything possible to preserve the status quo, and ensures that the status quo is controlled by those with the money to fund the campaigns.

Comment Re:Surprise move? (Score 1) 1505

It's not a tax it's a penalty, it has only been called a tax since the question of constitutionality for a penalty was raised.

What it's called has no bearing on how it's implemented. If it's implemented as a tax, then it's a tax.

The law in question does not benefit insurance companies more than anyone else, in fact for any length of time longer than about 3 months (less in most cases) does it become cost effective for an individual to purchase health insurance not offered through an employer or similar program. In other words under this law the most cost effective way to handle health insurance is to only purchase it when you're costing the insurance companies more than you pay them. I believe the reason Kucinich changed his mind and voted for this is that it was explained to him that it would result in the destruction of the health insurance companies.

Right, it will result in the destruction of insurance companies. That must be why they got on board with it and supported the passage of the bill! It all makes sense now! Really, you need to explain yourself a bit here I think. The insurance industry got almost everything they asked for in the bill. I agree that the taxes may be set too low, but they are also going to become tied to the CPI after 2016, and aren't even implemented until 2014. I don't think the insurance companies are going to be hurt by this, especially with all the gouging they're doing right now. They apparently didn't think so either. There's plenty of time to tweak the rates, and I'm sure those won't be the only adjustments made to the law.

Once this law is repealed in full, we can finally start talking about health care reform for the first time. And no, this law was not better than what we had before it.

I guess you must have missed all the other times we've talked about it over the past several decades. This is all new to you. Hell, Eisenhower was trying to get universal health care established back in the fifties. Hell, this plan is essentially just an implementation of the Republican plan from the 90s.

Comment Re:Surprise move? (Score 1) 1505

Well, the democrats expressly didn't want to call it a tax, though, because they didn't want to be seen as increasing taxes. So, due to the semantics and mechanisms that trigger the payment, it is essentially a fine. That's the entire basis that enabled the judge to rule as he did. If they'd called it a tax, forced everyone to pay it, but give you a credit if you had insurance, it would have passed the test. But, political posturing stopped that from happening.

And, we ended up with a system that benefits the insurances companies, period. No one else benefits from the bill. Sure, they'll talk about pre-existing conditions being covered. But, they don't tell you what you're going to have to pay the insurance companies for one of those policies. And, we both know that it's not going to be the same as someone without a pre-existing condition.

Nothing the government has done in health care in the past 30 years has truly benefitted anyone but insurance companies. So much so that, the default position now is that insurance=healthcare. Until we get big insurance out of the picture, we'll never have affordable healthcare. Unfortunately, the democrats as well as the republicans won't dream of doing that. It would cost them too much in campaign dollars.

There was a lot of support for a single-payer system within the Democrats. The problem is that there was no support within the Republican party, and they were able to scare the Democrats into dropping the issue with the threat of calling them Socialists and comparing them to Stalin and such. Of course they continue to do that anyway, so basically the Democrats are just pussies that refuse to stand up for anything and actually fight for it. Hell, the speech the other day is the only time I've heard Obama sound even remotely passionate about anything. Unfortunately he was being passionate about giving in to the demands of the Republicans even when the Democrats had the high moral ground. If you can't win in that situation, you just aren't going to win, period. It's a little bizarre to have a Democratic Congress and President essentially carrying out the Republican agenda, but here we are...

Comment Re:Surprise move? (Score 1) 1505

You forgot the part about the government taxing you for INactivity, I make money they tax me, pretty simple. I could not make any money and they would not be able to tax me. Obamacare seeks to "tax" for inactivity. And of course remember this was never a tax according to the soon to be one termer during debate, until it was passed then oh yeah right it is a tax, but I digress.

The point made earlier which you refused to respond to legitimately is if the government can tax inactivity they can do anything they like. There is really no longer any freedom here only subjects beholden to the white house throne's decision of how it is best to run a life. You didn't go get a checkup yearly? You owe us 10,000 dollars, you didn't buy a electric car? You owe us 10,000 dollars, ad infinitum.

And btw, all those white house decision makers are immune to these laws themselves of course.

Instituting a tax to pay for health care is a legitimate government function. If you provide sufficient health care insurance for yourself, then you don't have to pay the tax because you're doing your part toward the goal of the tax already. It's really not that hard to understand.

Comment Re:Surprise move? (Score 1) 1505

Really I'll be one of the first 'tax' victims of this. It's much easier t pay the $750 or whatever amount it is 'fine' for not having insurance than the $615/month 'fine' to have insurance... In fact the later is downright insane (i was just quoted it today to btw).

Btw having been uninsured and needing to simply visit the doctor, I can tell you you absolutely cannot get out of paying it... They will literally hunt you down and try to try to extract money from your corpse if they need to. In fact I'm still paying on it 4 years later...Oh and unlike the couple hundred (form bills in the same period ~$230 with insurance) for a normal visit if you aren't insured it becomes over $1400... To see a doctor. You'll note that meant I paid 7 times that rate for an insured person.

The later case was when I ran my own 1 person business and wasn't making enough to pay the then $412/month for private health insurance... Especially when a roof, electricity, and a phone were required for me to ever make money and so had to come out of the first part of whatever I made. Their was never $412/month left over for insurance.

The first case is me now, 1 year into unemployment after I left my own business and went back to work.... And then was discarded as being 'to expensive' while making 1/5th what anyone who fired me makes... Which of course means no insurance... again. Lucky I haven't needed any in the last year. But I got news for them, I don't make enough $612/month while on unemployment. Heck I get about $612 per 2 weeks... In that money I have to pay rent, maintain a phone, electricity, food on the table, and being in IT a working PC is kinda required to keep the skills sharp... For whenever the powers that be decide to start hiring IT in my area again.

Most of the measures in the bill haven't taken effect yet, and won't until 2014. Until then, insurance companies are free to gouge away, and they are taking full advantage of it. Once we have the exchanges in place, there will at least be options, as well as subsidies for those who can't afford those options. Additionally, I still hold out some hope that if prices don't come down enough, that we will institute a public option that will have both lower overhead costs (like Medicare's ~2%) and be available at a more affordable price. If Democrats hadn't completely ducked the single-payer debate altogether, we might have gotten there a lot quicker. They were deathly afraid of the insurance industry though. I think they'll see where that got them when the industry starts attacking them again in the wake of this ruling. You can't negotiate with them, and they don't have the best interests of their customers as a priority. Their priority is profit, which means getting and keeping as many healthy people as possible and getting rid of as many sick people as possible. That's not the kind of health care system we should be supporting.

Comment Re:Surprise move? (Score 1) 1505

Why is this a federal tax, and not a state tax, then? Does the federal government dispatch ambulances to crash scenes? Im not really clear what the necessity for federal involvement on this is.

Doing it at the federal level ensures a much larger risk pool, which leads to greater resiliancy for the whole system, and is the only real way to provide for people with pre-existing conditions who can't buy health insurance at all right now. We need everyone in the system because there's no way to continue providing even emergency health care for all without paying for it. It makes no sense to just pay for horrendously expensive emergency care if we can get preventative and routine care for people as well, which will help prevent so many from having to resort to emergency care in the first place.

Comment Re:Surprise move? (Score 1) 1505

No, it's forcing you to pay a tax...you can avoid paying this tax by purchasing health care coverage for yourself.

What you say is true, in the same way that it is true that you can avoid being raped by having sex with your would-be rapist.

The point is that for every tax that currently exists, you can avoid the tax by refraining from the taxed activity. Generally, the amount you are taxed is related in some way to the amount you engage in that activity, as well. Even the closest analogue, requiring people to have auto insurance, works that that way: you could elect not to drive yourself. Many feel that even that goes too far.

The only activity you could refrain from, if you wanted to avoid the health care tax, would be breathing.

Yes, and you could make the same claim about income taxes. You could avoid income tax by not having any income, but it's still not practical. There are some things that require taxation to support, and health care is one of those things. We've had our experiment with private insurance and it has been a failure that has lead us to our current situation. Something very different needs to be done. The health care law is not what I believe is the best way to go, and I don't believe that most Democrats thought it was either, but since they don't operate as a solid block like the Republicans, they can't pass things like that even when they have a supermajority, especially when it's a supermajority that can't survive even a single defection. Ultimately it's still better than where we're at now, and I hope it will be improved over time.

Comment Re:The Categorical Imperative (Score 1) 1505

That's not how it works. The argument is that an action is immoral if universalizing it would have disastrous effects. Yes I understand that the categorical imperative does not invalidate homosexuality, but that question you asked was "how does being unable to reproduce make homosexuality wrong". Indeed, if it did result in an inability to reproduce it would be immoral according to the categorical imperative.

Ok, but I'm asking for a reason why homosexuality is wrong, not some hypothetical situation in which it could be construed as wrong due to an imperative that we don't apply as a measure of morality in our culture anyway.

Comment Re:Surprise move? (Score 1) 1505

What's depressing is that you guys seem to have ended up with the worst of all possible health systems. the expense, the inefficiency and the overall terribleness of a private system combined with the expense, the inefficiency and the overall terribleness of a public system.

Avoiding the advantages of either and getting the disadvantages of both.

That's just how our Congress rolls!

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