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Comment Free market at work (Score 1) 213

Why, what's wrong with that? It points out what is so very wrong with government regulation. The "regulation" in this case being that pesky freedom of speech most people have to adhere to. If we just got rid of the government, then the free market can sort out everything - just like Apple is doing. Then we'll be in free market heaven, won't we?

Comment Re:If WE THE PEOPLE are in control of our destiny (Score 1) 495

>> Without legal protection, some services of this nature would be unprofitable,
>> and thus there would be no Netflix.

Yes... because Netflix, whose stock price is up at least 4-fold over the last 2 years, and raking in record profits quarter on quarter, is clearly having trouble under the current setup.

Comment Re:Limited number of simultaneous connections? (Score 1) 495

Bingo. Gmail already shows multiple IPs to you today if you're logged in in different places, so it's not as though it's hard to track. Trivial technical solution, rather than the massive hammer of legislation. Why bother trying to get a state to pass a law? And why Tennessee, of all places? It's almost as though someone's trying to set a precedent for something...

Comment Re:So how do you feel about eminent domain? (Score 1) 356

>> You confuse property by right with property by government fiat.

There is, in essence, no such thing as property by right. All property "rights" are conferred by common social agreement - i.e. by government declaration of one sort or another. There can be no other essential right, as otherwise I'll just come along with my bigger gun and take "your" property - gee, guess it wasn't yours after all.

This is easily demonstrated by dissecting your own statement, which consists of two axioms: that I can own property either a) if I got ownership rights transitively from someone else that previously owned it (through legitimate means), or if I created it myself.

>> A person acquires property by right either by honest agreement with its previous owner (purchase or trade or gift)...

This defines the ability to own property in terms of the ability of the prior person to own it - but unless there's an "original" owner at the end of that chain, that's a reductio ad absurdum fallacy. Who "originally" owned the property? Where did *his* rights derive from? There is also the question of where the "legitimate means" of transfer are defined (also by government/social contract), but let's overlook that.

>> ...or by creating that property.

Since the original thread was about property taxes - essentially land taxes - I'll restrict this to land. Nobody involved here ever originally created any of the land on earth. Therefore, this axiom is 100% false and inapplicable; which means the other axiom fails as well, since there was no original owner of any land. Therefore, there are no such property rights, QED.

The only way out of this fallacy is if we as a group *decide* that at a particular point in time, we are going to establish land rights by fiat. That is exactly what the social contract and government enshrinement of property rights do. Establishment of original ownership allows for establishment of the "legitimate means" of transfer of those rights, which are also defined by our social contract. Without that social contract, there are no property rights. None.

In the UN Declaration of Human Rights, there is a flat declaration of the human right to own property. Signatories and other agreeing parties agree that that right exists; go to a country that does not buy into the UN Declaration (the middle of Somalia, somewhere) and I guarantee you, no matter who you pay for what, no matter what "moral" grounds you may think you have, you have no property rights whatsoever.

But if you buy into that portion of the social contract - that governments can establish and grant property rights - then you must buy into the rest as well. You can't simply pick and choose whether you're participating with the rest of us or not. If you don't want to be a part of the common social contract, then you're welcome to leave, head for some Pacific island or remote strip of Antarctica, and try to make your claim. When the Chinese navy arrives to kick your ass out, maybe they'll buy your spiel about inherent moral property rights more than I do. Good luck with that. In the meantime, land property within the US falls under the guidelines of our system of laws and common agreements, and short of leaving, you don't get to opt out.

Comment Re:Oohh.. (Score 1) 415

Au contraire.


Congress has impeached Federal judges numerous times, and has certainly impeached a sitting Supreme Court justice as well, though in the incident I'm thinking of (Jefferson vs. Samuel Chase), the judge was only impeached, not convicted.

Comment Re:Until costs go down... (Score 3, Informative) 529

>> The Obama administration, for example, both has engineered a ban of incandescent lightbulbs
>> and a ludicrous increase in the required gas mileage for auto manufacturers via CAFE.

Sigh... The Obama administration had nothing to do with the ban.


Signed into law by George Bush. If yer gonna tell lies about Obama, at least do 5 seconds of research.

Comment Re:AI Winter (Score 1) 674

Several review articles have mentioned that category titles were deliberately given very low weight in Watson's algorithms, because they can be so tricky. Hence, it didn't pay much attention to the need for a U.S. City.

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