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Comment Re:At this point... (Score 1) 1128

I'm sorry but you're incorrect. McCain won because the was not Huckabee, not Romney, and not Giuliani candidate. That and because of the wide-open field he won many primaries with significantly less than 50% of the vote. If the Democrats were doing that, don't you think they'd choose a unelectable far-right conservative rather than the most moderate of the entire Republican field?

The Democratic race was much more compact and it went on for awhile because of the likes of Republicans voting in Democrats' primaries. I'm not going to do the google searches for you, but it's all there for you to see.

And if you really think that Barack Obama is a Marxist, I suggest you look at the platforms of even the conservative parties of Europe. Obama is very much a centrist by today's American standards, but pretty far right by European standards, and even pretty far right by recent historical standards. He's objectively to the right of Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford.

Comment Re:Unethical! (Score 1) 1128

It's also a felony in some jurisdictions.

In Ohio you can change your party affiliation when you choose a ballot, but if you make a different choice as compared to your last election, you have a to sign a statement that you truly do support the principles of the party whose ballot you're taking...under penalty of election falsification -- a 5th degree felony. Granted it never gets prosecuted because it's really hard to tell if someone had a change of heart or not, but it's still illegal to lie as to your motives.

Comment Re:Holodeck (Score 1) 633

You've missed regulation of the replicators. We'd extend copyright and such to "replicator instructions".

We see this already with the RIAA/MPAA attempting to buy laws in order to prop up their business model. The same would occur with the laws only being bought by the companies who make physical objects. Replicators would be made artificially scarce so that economics would work like it always had before such destructive technology was discovered.

Comment Re:Libre Formats? (Score 1) 98


To prove that Vorbis or Theora or VP8 (aka WebM) is actually unrestricted would require an exhaustive search of every patent to determine if any of those technologies might possibly infringe. That is to say you have to prove a negative, which is incredibly hard under most circumstances.

Comment Re:Free speech? (Score 1) 467

You're exactly right. The reasoning is correct, but no one can make a sane argument that Congress has the power to ban the possession of marijuana that was never bought or sold, nor passed a state line is subject to the commerce clause, but doesn't have the power to require citizens to purchase a particular good or service.

Comment Re:Free speech? (Score 4, Insightful) 467

You silly guy. The Supreme Court figured out that all these years we really didn't need an amendment to prohibit alcohol sales. Congress had the right to do that under the commerce clause all along! In fact, Congress has the right to do just about anything they want under the commerce clause.

In fact, if it wasn't for the 18th (and later, 21st Amendments) Congress would have probably set the drinking age at 21 based on commerce clause powers a long time ago. Unfortunately for them the 21st spells out that this right is reserved to the states -- but only for alcohol. A congressional ban on tobacco would be fully in line with current jurisprudence.

Comment Re:Read/Watch the Actual Republican Message (Score 2) 760

Ok, so we eliminate some questionable grants that the NSF hands out and reduce the deficit by something on the order of .000001%. Great.

Look, I don't have any problem with trying to eliminate earmarks or funding for the Department of Silly Walks, but pretending this is anything more than a principled stand against waste is foolhardy. We're not going to eliminate the deficit by nibbling around the edges. We're going to need pretty heavy cuts across the board and tax increases for everybody. That's the way the math works out.

Comment Re:Would you prefer a completely clueless jury the (Score 2) 558

Consider the "Exclusionary rule". It's intended as a deterrent to keep cops from presenting evidence illegally obtained. But to enforce this rule you must have tight control over what the jury knows. But we already have a deterrent for when people break the law. Prosecute the cops who broke the law to obtain evidence and you no longer need the exclusionary rule, and so you no longer need to control what the jury knows. So you have better behaved cops, and better informed juries. It's a win for everyone.

There is a small problem if you do it that way. What happens when police routinely gather evidence illegally to nab someone and juries routinely let the police off the hook by way of jury nullification? Do you really think that the cop who barged into a suspect's house without a warrant and found loads of kiddie porn on the premises would be punished for that action by the jury? What world do you live in? The only way that would work is if we got rid of jury trial for police misconduct like that.

It's sad to say but the 4th amendment isn't really all that popular. People never hear how it protects them from the heavy hand of the state, but they hear frequently about how it allows criminals to get off on a technicality.

Comment Re:adding: (Score 1) 775

That's an interesting idea you've got there.

Let's say that Costco tried to become an authorized distributor of Omega watches. Omega would certainly demand that anything they bought not be imported into the US or there'd be some sort of price control, etc. They could file suit against Costco for breach of contract if Costco sold them stateside.

But if Costco got the watches from an authorized distributor and imported and sold them, I don't think the Supremes could rule on copyright infringement.

Comment Something similar happened to me (Score 1) 354

I was really hard up for a job and took one out of town. I ended up moving from Sandusky, OH to Columbus, OH for the job.

Corporate laid everyone off in that office within 3 months of me starting. I found out after the fact that after I had been offered the job by the local HR folks and signed a lease on an apartment, corporate was going to renege on the deal because they knew at that time they would be laying everyone off. Apparently that was legally questionable, so they hired me anyway.

Luckily I had a better job lined up by my last day. The rest is history.

Comment Re:Well, duh, it's when Medicare kicks in! (Score 1) 521

There is no law requiring doctors to accept Medicare or Medicaid. They can refuse to take either. Refusing Medicare eliminates a whole host of regulations that doctors must abide by.

And if the doctor feels that Medicare reimbursement rates are not high enough, they can refuse benefit assignment and bill the patient the full amount allowed under the Medicare Fee Schedule.

It seems to me that if your doctor friends are rational, utility-maximizing actors they are only accepting Medicare patients if such patients are profitable.

Comment Re:Well, duh, it's when Medicare kicks in! (Score 1) 521

That is a very good critique, however it actually cuts against the idea of less government intervention.

The VA is vertically integrated, which is why it is so incredibly efficient. They work of a managed care model, which is really the only other way to do health care/insurance other than fee-for-service. The British NHS is just like the VA and the NHS is among the most efficient socialized health care systems in the world.

Managed care has its own problems that are different from fee-for-service. There is no magic bullet; there are only trade-offs.

Quite frankly, I'm for some sort of socialized catastrophic-only coverage. Something close to our current HDHP+HSA system with a sliding deductible based on income would be great. I'd expect a public option available without any subsidy. Private insurers could offer coverage under that system similar to how Medigap plans do now.

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In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982