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Comment Why we need Distributism more than ever (Score 2) 60

The only economic system the West hasn't tried on a serious level is Distributism and sadly, Distributism is the only system that answers this economic problem of having a faustian bargain of monopolies or government control. When a business has to operate on that dichotomy, society turns over the work to a non-profit corporation that manages the infrastructure as a social good, works fairly with the private sector and is sufficiently powerful to resist undue political pressure.

If that sounds almost feudal, well it is influenced by the old feudal system. Under Distributism, such a corporation would not be state owned. It would be the equivalent of a feudal lord with a letter patent granting rights and authority to operate. That means Congress could still act and force its hand, but it would take Congress acting with a serious majority and mandate.

Comment As long as it is vaccines qua vaccines, that's ok (Score 4, Interesting) 549

When you say we can't trust any vaccines, that's not a sound professional opinion. However, when you jump into attacking people who don't want to get Gardasil (which is far less safe than most vaccines) or Anthrax (many military veterans have had serious problems with it) because we can trust the Polio and MMR vaccines you're even worse than the anti-vaxxers. Know why? Because all it takes to disprove an anti-vaxxer is show the real harm that the core vaccines that are battle-tested prevent. Some science popularizing elitist wingnut who borrows from the legitimacy of those vaccines to hound people who don't accept that vaccines as a category are safe (because no medicine as a category, is categorically safe) is directly tying the reputation of proven medicine to unproven medicine.

Comment Why we keep raising the amount... (Score 2) 204

Most stores have maximum numbers of cards you can apply in a transaction. It's usually about 5-6. They set themselves up to be seen as white collar criminals. All they had to say was "we bought these a while ago on various gift card sites like and got them like 10-15% off, we're off to best buy to blow them on video games." Chances are good that the guy with the warrant would have been booked and the other guy let go. Cops were looking for a reasonable explanation for why they had such an unusual number of gift cards and they chose a reason that they couldn't back up.

And let's be realistic here, even as opponents of civil asset forfeiture. If you just bought 143 gift cards and didn't have a receipt or even a single activation slip for one of them, that looks pretty damn suspicious. Let's say the average balance was $25 on face value. Who buys $3,575 of gift cards at Walmart, spread over that many cards and doesn't have even the activation slips so they can go back to customer service when inevitably one of them wasn't activated correctly in such a large transaction?

Comment And what destroyed that argument was... (Score 2, Insightful) 313

Banning people like those in the list. Regardless of what you think about them, Nero was one of the most followed accounts on Twitter. Robert Stacey McCain and Instapundit are also huge names outside of Twitter with tons of followers both on Twitter and on their blogs. None of them, including Milo/Nero, were actually blocked for actions that most people doing a due diligence examination of the value of Twitter's user base would find acceptable.

Nero was blocked for "harassing" Leslie Jones. Actually, his followers were. Meanwhile if you're the right group you can also dox and call for the rape and murder of teenage girls who say the wrong thing to you on Twitter and get away with it if you're one of Twitter's favored groups.

You're so full of shit it's unreal. Literally the only people who pretend that Twitter hasn't turned into a SJW shithole that even attacks mainstream liberals are SJWs.

Comment The most outrageous aspect (Score 3, Interesting) 104

Is that there are at least a few examples of employees reporting to very senior leaders what happened and facing a targeted campaign of reprisal intended to ensure they could not work in that industry again (by revoking certification).

We need a white collar crime equivalent of Felony Murder while we're at it. If someone suffers financial loss as a consequence (foreseeable or not) of your criminal conduct, you are held liable as though you intended to cause it. Level of intent doesn't matter anymore once you reach legitimate felony intent.

Comment Here's one way... (Score 1) 813

Put all FICA on employees onto the employee if they're American citizens. Otherwise the foreign national not only pays the full rate, but the employer pays the original employer portion on top of that (so about 150% FICA total). Contracts would be subject to a FICA excise tax of 2-3x the ordinary FICA rate with no limit on the value of the contract.

Comment The grocery stores need to wake up (Score 1) 68

They should have already been experimenting with this sort of thing, even setting aside a large refrigerator to store perishables. Best part is, they'd be entirely justified in setting a 1 hour waiting period before your food is restocked and you get dinged with a restocking fee of 10%. I'm surprised that higher end brands like Whole Foods and Wegmans haven't done this. They are precisely the sort of stores my wife would trust to pick meat and produce for her as opposed to most of the mid to lower end brands.

Comment Collaborators in the US (Score 1) 212

Indian media reports said 70 percent of the scam's proceeds were retained by the suspects in India, while the rest was paid to collaborators in the U.S.

We need a simple rule for such cases:

1. You will be asset stripped between the fines and restitution to the victims.
2. You and your spouse will be blacklisted from government aid and charities funded by government aid (on penalty of imprisonment for the aid workers).
3. If you commit any additional crime to rebuild what you lost, you will serve a bare minimum of twice whatever the maximum ordinary sentence is.
4. If #3 involves the use of felony violence, finish them with capital punishment on principle.

White collar crime is pretty much always a crime of the worst social parasitism, not desperation. It can and should be stamped out with the least compassion the system can muster.

Comment Well congratulations, Marissa (Score 5, Insightful) 77

You were worried that a mandatory password reset would drive users away. This is what happens when you insist on violently forcing the cat back into the back. All you end up with is a torn bag, cat that is seeing red and people questioning your judgment.

Here are a few ideas...

1. Instead of buying Tumblr, you should have bought DropBox and made it Yahoo's answer to Google Drive. Keep the APIs open, keep the engineering team. Tell them do what you do best and let us know how the rest of Yahoo can help you.
2. Go nuts on turning Yahoo email into something better than GMail.
3. Build a system around Flickr to make it really easy for photographers to monetize their work.
4. Go the Netflix route of hiring people with movie and TV experience to create original content with real budgets.

I mean FFS, it would have been safer for her to spend $100M buying the rights to Firefly and relaunching a few seasons than some of the garbage she's pulled.

Comment And he is correct (Score 3, Insightful) 294

Because generically-implemented software is an 'idea' insufficiently linked to any defining physical structure other than a standard computer, it is a precursor to technology rather than technology itself."

At this point there is very little novel invention that can be done with only a standard computer. Let's say Theranos created a really slick USB device that lets a user do a blood test from their computer (stop laughing, it could happen). 90% of the cool stuff that is patent-worthy is going to be in the device and the software that actually drives the device. The part that interfaces with the OS and UI is the boring part.

Comment And as crazy as that seems (Score 4, Insightful) 163

It's just a more blunt version of what the American left is pushing under the guise of punishing "harassment" and "triggering" language. Exhibit A, the behavior of Twitter where constantly referencing a left wing user is considered punishable speech, but doxxing and threatening the "right" teenage girl with rape and murder will never land you in trouble.

And that's just social media. Students are getting expelled from universities left and right for simply expressing their opinions. Many of them, in the context of classroom discussions.

What Indonesia is doing is just a more open and raw version of that. They have no culture of freedom of speech. Our culture is collapsing because of all of the pedants and obnoxious creeps who feel the need to constantly interject "the first amendment does not protect you from private consequences" (thanks for the clarification poindexter). Because a culture of free speech cannot survive such minimalism. It is only a matter of time before people demand that the political and legal systems conform to the popular understanding and culture surrounding the limits of speech.

Comment Problem is they're different (Score 4, Informative) 106

Google is a general purpose search engine. I can pretty much guarantee you that if CraigsList decided to deliberately (as in by policy) open sections for transacting in hard drugs, child sex and such that they would get pounded into the ground about as ferociously by federal law enforcement. It is a matter of intent. Google takes reasonable steps to allow people to remove infringing and illegal activity. This site is based primarily on facilitating that.

Comment One thing you can blame on our government (Score 0) 88

Since about 2007, we have been doing almost nothing but poke the Russians with a sharp stick in our foreign policy. The fact is, we need normalized and warm relations with Russia to fight this sort of crime. If the Russians could actually trust us on most things and know that we aren't trying to press them against the wall, you might see deep collaboration between their national law enforcement agencies and ours on this issue.

This is one of the many reasons I will be voting for Trump over Clinton. The neocons hate Trump because Trump is skeptical of antagonizing Russia and continuing the GWoT (at least to the Bush and Obama extent). Clinton is not only a vote for the status quo, but one of turning the dial up a notch. If she wins, I will not be surprised if by the end of her term she makes things so bad that the Russian government hates us so openly and fiercely that Putin is giving medals to the most prolific hackers.

Comment It's the reporting (Score 5, Insightful) 215

A relative of mine was freaked out about this because pundits made it sound like these countries would be in a position to dictate policy over how we run our slice of the Internet. When I explained how the Internet works and how the US has absolutely no obligation to ever follow their dictates, even going so far as to fork the DNS system if absolutely necessary to keep them from controlling our slice of the Internet the reaction was "then... what's the big deal?"

  It seems a lot of people angry about this don't understand that the federal government has precisely no legal obligation to give a flying fuck what other governments think about our domestic internet policies. So if we want to let the NSA steal all of North Korea's secrets and drop leaflets in North Korea showing installation instructions for TOR and how to get to the NSA's cloud hosted wikileaks clone for the juiciest data the DPKR doesn't want its people to know, the rest of the world can't do anything to stop us--just like they can't right now.

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