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Comment Charitable crime-fighting (Score 1) 309

"$450 billion ($1,800 per resident) per year from 1987–1990."

Yeah, and the next sentence explains that figure as: "These losses included $18 billion in medical and mental health care spending, $87 billion in other tangible costs, and $345 billion in pain, suffering, and reduced quality of life."

Different ways to count it can result in vastly different numbers — depending on what one wishes to demonstrate, ha-ha... The point remains, though, the cost of crime, however you count it, is still below the "commie socialist programs" that serviscope_minor attempted to justify.

And, the "war on poverty" isn't solely about reducing crime

Of course, it is not! Moreover, I argue, that it is not about reducing crime at all. It is about genuine compassion for some and the ability to spread the wealth around for others. That "spreading" of the wealth of captive taxpayers is pure unadulterated tyranny, of course, and the folks advocating it usually have a vast conflict of interest.

The overhead of charities ranges from 15% to as much as 70% — with government's operations being on the greater side of it. It is an incredibly lucrative and powerful position to be in control of spending even $1 billion, even if a mere $150 million of it are yours to dispense on the "overhead". With $800 billion per year you can find words, sponsor poems, finance movies and other artworks, and even find a smooth talking nincompoop, who will sincerely protect your trough, while denouncing opponents as greedy and egoistic bastards...

Comment Re: Presumption of innocence (Score 1) 497

Thank you for the compliment, however foul-mouthed, but... With that freedom to endanger oneself, comes the responsibility to pay for one's own healthcare and/or disability. Pay for it, or beg other people's charity — with Pauper's Oath, etc. — but not vote to force others to pay for one's follies.

I sure hope, you are just as prepared to agree with this...

Comment Libertarianism 101 (Score 1) 309

Among those laws was the 1979 Department of Education Organization Act that established that entity.

Yep. As I said: a mission creep. Government looking, what else it can do...

The rules are simple. If (what seems like) a problem:

  • does not endanger the nation's very survival;
  • can be solved by private entities — commercial or charitable;

then the government must not touch it.

For the government to violate this principle is tyranny — taxpayer's money is confiscated to pay for things, he would not have paid for voluntarily.

And, like all other tyrannies, it is also inefficient. Your own example of public education is an ongoing disaster: per-pupil costs of public schools have quadrupled since the 1960-ies (inflation-adjusted), but 70% of the 8th-graders still can not be said to be "proficient" in reading.

Space-exploration is fascinating — leave it to Musk, Bezos, and Branson. They spend their own monies on it...

Comment Scale it... (Score 1) 266

Who really cares if I can get a loop to run in 800ns instead of 1500ns

Indeed. A human being can not even perceive a difference between 1 millisecond and 1 microsecond.

But, repeated a million times, the former turns into 15 minutes, whereas the latter is still merely a second. Food for thought...

Comment Re:Conversely... (Score 1) 242

If I don't own it, then my use is dependent on the whims of others.

Well, the "whims" are all spelled-out for you and known before you pay for it, maybe it is not so bad...

But, if anything is not to your satisfaction, you still have the option of buying an older, unencumbered, shovel.

On the other hand, if the EFF has their way, my option of using the hypothetical "smart-shovel" without owning it may not exist... Because the EFF knows better, what's good for me...

I wish, they stuck to fighting government's overreach. Fighting manufacturers of the proverbial "nice things" simply makes fewer of the nice things available.

Comment Re:Conversely... (Score 1) 242

Patents are also why we can own^H^H^H use nice things.

There, fixed that for you.

Is that distinction making a difference, though? As long as I can use a shovel, do I care, whether I own it?

If the manufacturer offers me a shovel, that can dig on its own, on the condition I do not attempt to disassemble it, am I not better off than I was without the option?

Comment Presumption of innocence (Score 1) 497

This should be illegal unless someone can prove that the hacked firmware is safe.

You got the wrong country. It shall be legal, until someone can prove it is unsafe. And not just unsafe, but substantially unsafer than the original.

And even then free citizens of a free country should be free to endanger themselves however they wish — be it with alcohol, firearms, drugs, or "unapproved" farm equipment.

All that said, I suspect, John Deere are privately happy with the situation — they get to sell more tractors this way. Thanks to this "Ukrainian firmware", you can buy them with or without the warranty — a choice, no doubt, made illegal (or very costly) by earlier regulatory and/or legal rulings. Such as this one.

Comment It is just a decent thing to do (Score 4, Informative) 41

to assure brand owners that the online retailer is an ally rather than a threat

Yeah... How about "because it is the right thing to do"?

The fakes do not benefit the buyer, who is being lied to. They don't benefit the designer, who spends effort and money to create the designs, which are then copied (stolen) by the fake-makers.

If a marketplace is not fighting fakes, it gets flooded with them to the exclusion of the real brands...

Comment Re:Making NASA Great Again (Score 1) 309

So, you *do* want things.

I want the nation to continue to exist. Without military and police it will not exist, therefore, military and police are necessary. Moreover, there can not, unfortunately, be a competition among different groups of armed people, so they must be under a single command — this is why I'm willing to hold my nose and accept the government doing both.

Space exploration is not required for a nation to exist. Nor are social programs. If, heaven forfend, all of the six thousand homeless of San Francisco die tomorrow, the city will not be any worse off. Moreover, provision of these folks with food and shelter can be accomplished by competing charities. Therefore, it must not be done by the government. A clear cut rule, easy to apply and understand.

So if a commie socialist program reduces more crime per dollar spent than spending it on police, you'd be in favour of that? I suspect not.

Your suspicion is correct — because socialist programs do not reduce "more crime per dollar". Not at all. The total cost of crime in the US is about $200 bln/year. The annual cost of the "War on Poverty" meanwhile costs four times that — only a tiny fraction of that stemming from the above-mentioned military.

So, if we eliminate the "War on Poverty" altogether — thus saving about $750 billion/year — and the crime so much as doubles we'd still be saving about $350 bln a year. But, of course, it will not double — because it didn't half, under Lyndon Jonson, who saddled us with this burden — so the actual savings will be much greater.

No, help for the poor can not be justified by efficiency of crime-fighting — indeed, it never was the justification. The government's benevolent and omniscient saints — including the current President — have always appealed to the taxpayers' compassion and charity. Sentiments, that are not compatible with monies being confiscated at gun-point, which is how the taxes are collected.

but now it has no government so free market pixes

Thanks to its Socialist past, it has no law and order either — which are required for a free market to do its magic.

But, so long as we are giving each other relocation advice, maybe, it is you, who should consider moving? North Korea — the worker's paradise — provides its happy citizens with free everything and has a wonderful space-exploration program too. And the glorious Rays of Chuch'e shine on everyone!

Comment Re:Making NASA Great Again (Score -1, Troll) 309

if you want things you need to capitulate to what others want too

There you go begging the question again... I do not want "things" — except the defense from external enemies and internal criminals. These are the responsibilities of the government according to the Constitution since day one. Everything else — help for the poor, public education, retirement savings, mortgages, space exploration (except where militarily useful) — is mission creep.

The country can not survive without defense and maintaining law-and-order. Everything else is unnecessary and should therefor be done by non-government entities.

Otherwise why don't you go move to Somalia?

This bullshit meme really ought to stop. Somalia's current squalor is due to its past Socialism — your beloved Venezuela is to join the same sorry club soon. No doubt, the same morons currently claiming Somalia to be a "Libertarian paradise" will soon start spreading the same lie about Venezuela...

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Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson