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Comment Re:Who watches the watchers? (Score 1) 583

And the President is supposed to act as a check ... NOT to keep Americans "safe"! So nobody is doing their damn job except the watchers ....

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United States Constitution, Article II, Section 2, Clause 1

Well he takes an oath of office - I'm sure it's in there somewhere, let's see...

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the poor people and women and all the minorities and cripples and people in poor health that need decent health care and feed and clothe them and be really nice and not talk mean to anyone except the bad oil companies and those evil Wall Streeters (unless I put them in my cabinet)”

Yep, you're right!

Comment Re:Who watches the watchers? (Score 1) 583

This lesson was sent home with a friend. He went to a company site for a couple months, and to ensure the battery didn't die on his car, he disconnected it.

When he came back, he found that the car would not start, even with the battery at full charge. Apparently, BMWs force you to go to the dealer to have the car computer reprogrammed if the battery dies, so the computer "knows" the stats on the battery.

NSA is the least of our worries. At least they (tm) have done some good security hardening with SELinux and MAC/MIC policies.

I've don't think I've ever seen such a tortured justification for overbearing government action in my life. Are you taking lessons from NPR or something? If you buy a car like that from a company, you're the idiot for doing business with them. Getting screwed by the NSA doesn't mean you were stupid enough to give them your money, it just means you live in the United States.

Comment Re:Constitutional Convention (Score 1) 583

You seem to think that emails, phone logs, and all manner of web data are "papers and effects", whereas no US court has ever held such a thing.

Not quite true. While a recent federal court in South Carolina denied a suit against a prosecutor for accessing email without a proper warrant (the SCOTUS declined to review it), cases in California and the Sixth District Court clearly upheld 4th Amendment protections for email - even when stored full-time on an ISP's servers. So right now, it kind of depends on where you live whether your email is considered private, but it's clearly false that "no US court has ever held such a thing" - several have, including Federal Appeals courts.

Comment Re:NIMBY (Score 3, Informative) 293

Those concerned about wind turbines spoiling the view tend to be climate change deniers.

Interesting assertion. That would be a surprise to people like the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and Walter Cronkite, vocal opponents of wind farms near their homes. Joe Kennedy has written much in support of wind farms, but oppose them near his own home.

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

Carlos Slim.

It's funny that you think that Mexican markets are "unregulated", or that Slim is "left alone" by government rather than having a lot of control over it. In fact, he is a major player in funding the Mexican senate. And, much of his wealth comes from the Mexican telephone company, which was owned and run by the government until he "bought" it from them. So that's not an example of unregulated markets leading to wealth, but an example of modern fascism.

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

The claim from the OP was:

We have had unregulated markets before, this is not new. They have always resulting in absolute concentration of wealth at the cost of the liberty, health and safety of the common man.

When I asked for an example, you suggested "the 1920s and 1930s in American history". Leave aside that the markets were not unregulated, although there was a lot less regulation than we have recently. There was some concentration of wealth, but far from absolute. It did not result in loss of liberty of common man, they have less liberty today. And labor unions rose to counter them, it was not solved by regulation. Now you're just claiming that it would have resulted in revolution. That's an entirely different argument. Oppression often leads to revolution. Why is it different that oppression of factory workers leads to revolution than oppression by government leads to revolution.

So there is no example of unregulated markets leading to absolute concentration of wealth. There is competition and push-back from the labor force to counter it, and those work.

I give you the example of China. For years their labor force was treated as slaves, and the people were oppressed by the government there. The people attempted to rebel in both cases. When they protested the government, they were run over by tanks and nothing changed. By recently as they challenge the corporate factories, wages are rising, conditions are improving, and their actions are forcing the corporations to change. So it's clear to me that government oppression kills people and is never stopped without massive violence, while corporate oppression is a temporary condition with many peaceful ways of stopping.

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

Then what is the rate you personally would be willing to pay? You've declared somewhere between 33% and 50% to be too high. What's not too high?

Just as wrong-headed a question. Taxes in the US are not voluntary, even though I've heard politicians make the claim that it is, obstinately and with a straight face. I can tell you that the value I get from the taxes I pay, in innumerable forms and constantly increasing, is significantly less than I get from my money anywhere else. I've been robbed more than once and no one was caught and nothing recovered, transportation around here is horrible even though I pay at the pump and tolls all over the place, and I've never been even responded to when I file complaints. To add insult to injury, the IRS has claimed my mother-in-law's life insurance was unreported income, sent me a bill I could not pay, refused to acknowledge receipt of any correspondence I sent them in response, and I eventually lost my house. The bank got a sweet deal because they got credit for writing off some debt, and the IRS forced me to claim my losses as income!

How much do you think is fair to pay supporting to keep these tyrannical bureaucrats in power?

Your "all or nothing" straw men are getting really tedious. I never said all problems are caused by government intervention, and yet many are. If you think all government solutions are correct and efficient and helpful to the people they claim they are going to help, then you are really very ignorant of the actual workings of governments. I say render unto Ceasar, but these days you can't make a move or a plan or plant a garden or travel from one place to another without prostrating yourself before some office or other and beg for permission first. Unless you're one of the rulers, I guess.

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

I'm sure I can find some reason why you can't have a vegetable patch too, if I try hard enough.

So you can take away every property right I try to exercise, and all that it requires is for you to "try hard enough" to find some justification? Well, to me, that makes you a tyrant, just like people passing and enforcing laws like this one and doing crap like this, and that's why I participate in local government: to fight tyranny, and oppose busybodies that sit around in little tin pot committees deciding what to do with other peoples' property.

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

Technically, what the 16th amendment legalized was taxation "without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration." That the amendment specified "income" is more window dressing than substance.

Right, I think that's what I said. The 1895 decision stated that taxing income from property was direct and must be apportioned. The problem is that if they passed a tax on wages that excluded any taxes on other kinds of income it would be political suicide.

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

Actually, it's less than 50, but your numbers don't list that. And I'm not sure why you think number of employees or amount of payroll has anything to do with productivity - big companies are slow, and grow and shrink very slowly, while small ones can fail quickly, or grow extremely fast when they are successful. Still, even with your numbers, the small companies (less than 100, since you don't list 50), employ more people than the large ones - 171,672,003 compared to 127,838,635.

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