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Comment Re:Chattel slavery is so passé (Score 1, Troll) 21

Broad-spectrum legal reform is the kind of issue that seems blatantly obvious to even the most casual observer.
And yet the number of Congresscritters of any strip running on the idea is. . .um. . .wait a sec. . .let's look at Libertarians. . .
Unfortunately, all the power is draining into DC, where the money can be printed at will, thus giving a us positive feedback loop.

Comment Re:No it makes no sense at all (Score 1) 702

...most of these guys are backed by people will millions in the bank.

"Millions" isn't so much money that any cost becomes irrelevant. "Billions" is closer, but no amount of money will buy more time. Those 100 extra preparation hours could be the time when an informant reveals the plot to the CIA, or that could be the time another aspect of the plot to develop problems.

...there is no point at which you stop and say "awww screw this, it's not worth the hassle"

But there is a point at which you say "This plan is too risky, and has too many ways to fail. Let's try something else."

Comment Re:Nothing unusual (Score 1) 39

So the whole being sat down like a child thing is basically to stop people who don't know what they're doing ending up with mountains of debt _by mistake_, it's not to stop people intentionally cooking the books.

I think this is exactly right. The lenders are not doing credit reviews for the purpose of stopping crime. They're checking for the purpose of minimizing their own risk. Sure, there's a risk that a loan applicant is going to do something criminal that results in the lender losing their money, but there is a much greater risk that an otherwise-honest individual is simply unable to manage their own finances.

Then, of course, there's the cost/benefit analysis of the investigation itself. If criminal fraud is rare, it may not be worth the cost to investigate every applicant deeply enough to find the crime.

I'm not ambitious enough to do the calculations myself, but I would expect to find that the most profitable course of action is to do a cursory examination of individual applicants, and just to consider intentional fraud to be a part of the cost of doing business.

Comment Re:No it makes no sense at all (Score 1) 702

...other than XRay the damn thing, which is what the TSA does anyway do they not?

Yes, they do, and the agents know what an unmodified phone or laptop looks like. They're usually not just a small circuit with most of the case filled with some unidentified material.

Only the most idiotic of plots would be foiled by this.

Well, yes, but only the most idiotic of plots would be foiled by any single measure. All together, the detection measures simply raise the cost of planning a non-idiotic plot. Now, a successful terrorist must spend an extra $100 on parts and 100 hours on hardware modifications, while still spending the time and money to jump through every other hurdle in the way.

Sure, a sufficiently-competent entity can get through every security measure, but the point is to raise the difficulty high enough that the attack isn't worth the hassle. That sentiment applies to every aspect of security, not just airplanes.

Comment Re: does it mean anything though? (Score 1, Troll) 123

One thing we know is that absence of regulation == total chaos.
Just ask a bureaucrat.
Furthermore, we know that people are stupid, and absolutely incapable of operating above caveman level without kindly bureaucrats.
In summary, ensuring Total Regulation is a basic national security requirement.

Comment Re:How about (Score 1, Troll) 385

That deserves some sort of Chomsky Award for nearly meaning something, then breaking into a Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
No, subsidies and taxes are not like a classical R-C control network; you're oversimplifying like a madman to equate them to a negative feedback loop, i.e., something that stabilizes. To the extent the analogy helps at all, taxes and subsidies are more of a positive loop, feeding corruption, destabilizing.

doing ourselves through conscious collective action

Would you recommend a wall of Pet Rocks, or a vast Ouija Board to implement this?

Comment Re: The 4th of December? (Score 1) 340

1761: england declares slavery not legal (in england). 1766: the slave owning colonies break away from the freedom loving ones (which become canada) before the idea spreads. Truth.

Vermont's state constitution forbids slavery and was adopted in 1777.

Several other rebel colonies declared themselves free even before independence was formally gained.

During the Revolutionary War, Britain transported slaves of loyalists to other British colonies. (The slaves were not emancipated.)

There was a British court decision in 1763, but it was not binding overall, seems to have been pretty widely ignored by other British courts at the time, and the matter would not be settled in the British Empire for several more decades.

You also managed to get both dates wrong. Nice going.

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