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Comment Re:Yes it is a straw man argument (Score 1) 1140

Have you ever heard of iTunes, Netflix, or any of the cheap media streaming options we have today? These businesses are perfect examples of incentivizing bad behavior by making legal alternatives dirt cheap. I knew a guy more than a decade ago who torrented stuff non-stop so he'd always have something new to watch, play, or listen to. The last I talked with him he hadn't fired up a torrent client in years, because even with the risk of being held responsible for his copyright violations being infinitesimal, it was just easier to subscribe to some streaming services and buy games on Steam during sales.

When peoples lives rely on them having an income they will frequently commit crime to sustain their income. Our current system encourages crime in several ways. First, the safety nets are positive feedback systems that make poverty something to be escaped from. Second, we criminalize victim less behaviors. Third, once branded a criminal, for any type of crime, you are cut off from most if not all of the safety nets.

UBI is about creating a better, more effective, social safety net that should actually improve the economic and mental health of our system. While it might cost more than the current array of systems it should be more efficient and less prone to abuse.

Comment Re:Money the Fantasy (Score 1) 1140

It sounds more like communism to me than socialism. Under communism everything belongs to everyone and everyone gets the same quantity and quality. Socialism is where the state, or people, own the means of production and provide the output to the people. In many cases because humans are bad at being fair and impartial the state will become corrupt and end up in some kind of totalitarian state that tries to maintain the facade of adhering to socialism/communism to stay in power.

I think that even if we had the ability to seize all of the countries resources and distribute them equally among the population we would rapidly end up back where we are today. That is because as humans we are just bad at estimating real risk, and when that is compounded with a poor education and various forms of magical thinking people will rapidly over extend their means while others shrewdly rake it in. We might end up with different individuals in the different economic strata but I think it'd sort out to look much like today.

UBI is different from the above in that it doesn't propose to take all of the resources and redistribute them, and it doesn't require seizing the means of production. So we shouldn't see the huge upheaval that you would expect under a complete change to communism or socialism. And I think a huge part of its success or failure would rely on the size of the distribution. The distribution would need to be enough that you don't end up with people spending it wisely but still starving or freezing to death. But small enough that it doesn't encourage more than a very small group of people to become full time couch potatoes. The way the payments are distributed would also be important because if it's paid to all citizens it might encourage the materialization of the currently mythical welfare queen. Although you don't want to discourage families from having children either because you want the population to be pretty stable with slight increase or decrease, drastic swings one way or the other are very disruptive. Then there is the question of whether or not the payments should take into account regional variations in the cost of living, the presumption being that people would relocate to wherever they felt their benefit would be the most advantageous. Personally I feel that there shouldn't be any regional variations, hopefully encouraging people to relocate and spread out a bit from the coasts. Anyways I'm for a UBI, but even I can see how there are any number of pitfalls that could sink the whole thing in no time, I think it's worth trying but I'm not very confident in our political leaders capabilities to implement it.

Comment Re:YOU HAVE TO GO BACK (Score 1) 278

We managed to make enemies in basically all camps there. We enriched whichever assholes were in charge at the time. We helped other power tripping assholes into power. The enemies of those assholes logically now view us as the enemy. Then whenever we stopped supporting the assholes in charge they came to view us as enemies. Even the nations and groups that we didn't outright take a collective shit on though have come to dislike, if not hate us, for perpetually meddling in the affairs of their neighbors and destabilizing the entire region.

At this point even if we completely vacated the region we'll have issues with terrorism here for decades. Because an exit like that will make even more enemies. And it's not like the region will prosper immediately and we'll continue to be blamed for all that ills them for years to come.

Comment Re:Is it April 1st again already? (Score 1) 195

As a kid I was too broke to have a collection of games. I borrowed from friends and rented occasionally. The console its self was pretty sketchy as I bought it used from a family that had used the hell out of it. In the mid 2k's I bought a very nice used NES and a few games, but ended up leaving them with an ex. This looks like a very good value for the money especially since it's new hardware.

Comment Re:Thanks for the concise summary (Score 3, Informative) 187

The statute of limitations isn't an escape clause for law breakers, it is meant as a means to prevent prosecutors from delaying prosecution unreasonably or using it as a kind of blackmail. It basically says, you knew about this for X amount of time and couldn't be bothered to do anything about it so the court can't take you seriously. In many cases the clock doesn't start ticking on the statute until someone is aware the crime was committed.

Comment Re:PC gaming is not hard (Score 1) 729

I honestly feel like $1000 is going overboard. Monitors seem to be lasting a very long time these days. Cases can be good for decades, if not forever. Optical drives, USB ports, Hard Drives/SSDs, and memory card readers all last for a very long time. It seems like the only thing I've had to replace is mobo, CPU, RAM, and GFX card when I want new shiny. The only bits that seem to actually fail and need replacement are mice, keyboards, and power supplies.

CPUs haven't been advancing much in the last few years and I've only ever had one mobo burn out on me. It seems like most of the time a change of mobo and CPU for me is driven by a desire for a new GFX card, which has some new fangled interface. You can frequently find some bargain deal on a not quite top of the line mobo and CPU for under $150. Buy some new RAM if your old stuff won't work in the new mobo for $100 or less. Buy the current $200 mid level GFX card. Then re-use everything else from your old PC that ain't broke.

So every 18 to 36 months you get a new GFX card to stay at the leading edge of what you can play. Then when your mobo or CPU fails, or your new GFX card won't fit, you buy a new mobo and CPU combo. So every 18 to 36 months you spend $200 for a new card, and can likely sell your old one for a bit of cash. And every 4.5 to 6 years you buy a new mobo,CPU, and probably RAM for $250. And you just replace the other bits and bobs if and when they break.

Comment Re:Environmental impacts? (Score 1) 321

All that sciency stuff is great but some might postulate that living without certain things like bacon is no way to live. Similarly we as a society might live a little longer if we just burned what is left of our due process rights.

Joking aside I have worked with some vegans who would occasionally cook stuff for the office and I have to say it is very possible to eat some amazing food without eating animals or their products. I'm not interested in pursuing such a lifestyle myself, but I could easily see substituting some meaty meals with vegan fair. You aren't likely to ever see me giving up bacon, sausage, BBQ, steaks, and various other luxury servings. But I could see giving up more pedestrian stuff like meatloaf, fast food burgers, shepherds pie, and stuff like that.

Comment Re:Remember that (Score 1) 393

Say what? I was just pointing out my quibbles with your statement that most combat happens at ranges greater than 100 yards.

Assault Rifle isn't really a properly defined term. My hippy friends would define it as any rifle that looks scary like the ones from the movies. My military friends would say it's a rifle/carbine with a pistol grip, shoulder stock, large capacity magazine compatible, and most importantly selective fire modes. Seeing as how the selective fire variety are the combat weapon of choice for every military I've heard of since the 1970's, I guess that they are important for modern combat. What's your point?

Comment Re:option for surrender (Score 1) 983

This is basically what I was thinking. However I would expect it'd still be very simple to rig a flashbang or teargas canister to the bot. I would expect that this thing has an armature of some sort. All they needed to do would be attach the device to the armature, and tie a string from the pin to the body of the bot. When the bot is getting close enough you move the armature so that it pulls the pin as the bot continues to close distance.

Comment Re:100+ emails classified when they arrived on ser (Score 1) 289

Intent is of varying importance depending on the crime, just like you said. Intent is not very relevant in the case of Hilary and the email fiasco because the law she broke has specific elements for both negligence and willful intent. What the FBI director claimed is that historically they don't charge people under the negligence element, but only for willful violations.

The problem with that line of reasoning is that if it had been applied universally no one would ever be charged with a crime because at some point someone has to be the first to be charged under any given statute. Simply because the director of the FBI thinks no has ever been charged with negligently breaking this law doesn't mean someone doing so shouldn't be charged. How does this affect any new laws that might be passed in the future, does the director think they're unenforceable because there is no precedent of prosecutions?

Comment Re:And there it is, apologist for murderers. .. (Score 1) 393

If by "under control" you mean handcuffed and stuffed in a cruiser, then yes, they didn't have him under control. In reality they had him pinned on the ground with their four free hands versus his possibly one free hand. At that point Sterling would have to be the Hulk to draw his firearm and manage to actually point it at anyone. The officers unnecessarily and unjustifiably escalated the violence by drawing their own firearms and shooting him.

What the officers should have done is continued to sit on him, preventing him from being able to draw his weapon. The second officer should have then cuffed the controlled arm, and used the leverage of the cuff for a compliance hold, or transitioned Sterling to his back, from which point you can then cuff the other arm.

Comment Re:karma's a bitch (Score 2) 393

The police did not at that point need to escalate the situation. They were in a ground struggle with the two of them on top. Sterlings left arm was completely immobilized and pinned by the officers legs. That left the officer physically on top of him with two free hands to deal with the other arm. At that point it should be impossible for Sterling to draw his firearm let alone actually point it at anyone. All they had to do at that point was continue to restrain Sterling, instead they jumped up the escalation and shot him multiple times. Sterling never did actually get his firearm out as evidenced by the store clerk witnessing the police later removing it from his pocket.

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