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Comment Re:Only one way (Score 2) 235


In politics, there are no perfect answers. It is a question of compromise, and plotting the what seems to be the best path towards ideals from the numerous paths available.

While the "libertarian" argument against BI seems to consist of mostly taxes are theft (unless they support things I support) and an over-reliance on the government, which leads to increased government power.

For BI, if everyone is essentially getting the same, that reduces government power, as they lose the authority to pick winners and losers from the public trust. Can't pander to certain groups for increased benefits (such is commonly done with the elderly). Can't promise any increases unless it goes to everyone. That is a very libertarian argument at reducing the influence of government (plus getting rid of entire agencies that oversee the various programs. You've just reduced the size of government tremendously).

With regards to taxation, while overall taxes will probably increase, since the bulk of taxes goes directly to the population, that leaves little room for government largesse in terms of subsidies, pet programs, and other attempts to curry favor. The money simply isn't there.

I invite libertarians to look carefully at cost/benefit of BI in terms of overall goals, and especially means to achieve those goals through other means (it's not like libertarianism has caught fire with the public at large). If there is a better way forward, I'd certainly like to hear it.

Comment Re:IANAL, but... (Score 1) 796

If it did, the courts would be guilty of cruel and unusual punishment (misdemeanors don't usually come with an indefinite jail term).

The whole thing is ludicrous as the state is essentially compelling you to offer up evidence against yourself. It's not even a question of evidence tampering, but merely a suspicion that the contents of the hard drive contain evidence, and the legal authority to make you say "uncle".

Perhaps the hard drives contain a list of people he's killed. Perhaps they contain records of gambling receipts. Perhaps it details every furry convention he's been to. Whatever. He has numerous reasons not to divulge to contents of the HDs which have nothing to do with the case, so the whole thing seems like a fishing expedition.

The fact that they are sitting on him instead of going forward with the case suggests the case is weak.

The police are in physical custody of the hard drives. The terms of the warrant are complete. Just because the contents contain a digital cypher instead of an analogue one, it seems we throw every other aspect of legal rulings out the window. They might as well claim he is the Zodiac Killer as well since he is refusing to offer the key to those messages as well.

Comment Re:Soros (Score 3, Funny) 110

Dude, you know the drill!

First you have to do a 5 paragraph screed about the evils of money in politics with subtle hints that the Koch Bros are in league with Satan (or big oil. Same difference really).

Then you do at least 7 posts of how Republicans are out to eat babies, rape your grandmother, and cheat at softball.

And then you mention Soros as a half-assed et tu and mention the CCX in passing before the popcorn starts.

Comment Re:Harsh laws... (Score 1) 293

You cannot text and keep your eyes on the road.

"The researchers, from the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) found the average parent takes their eyes off the road for three minutes and 22 seconds during a 16-minute trip.

I know you've been working on your comprehension skills, but there is still room for improvement.

Oh, and the headline reads: Children more distracting than mobile phones.

Comment Re:Harsh laws... (Score 1, Interesting) 293

And you should work on your understanding of the word draconian and the idea of apt punishment.

As it is, I've already seen drinking and driving go from a reasonable justification to get impaired drivers off the road to an ever increasing escalation of moral signaling that hasn't noticeably reduced the number of drinking and driving accidents, but has been a fucking goldmine for concerned citizens to keep upping the ante with legal limits and punishments and government involvement. You'd think offering free taxi service to and from any bar would be cheaper than locking people up, and would actually reduce the number of incidences, but no, instead we get people puffing out their chests and demanding even more stringent laws when their first round has been an absolute failure. Explain to me again how making texting and driving a felony actually reduces the number of instances? You can't because it is an idiotic way to approach this after the fact, when you are better served looking at prevention through better driver training and licensing requirements.

Not to mention I don't see how texting and driving is more of a distraction than having some screaming toddler in the back, making the drive home after a horrendous double shift, or infotainment systems in cars. Shouldn't these be felonies too? Why so selective in your pretentious march to keep the roads safe?

Comment Re:So is he wrong? (Score 1) 866

If you are making an unsubstantiated claim that minimum rents follow welfare, then yes, pretty damn ignorant.

You might note that "median" by necessity also must include the "minimum" in its formulation, and especially for the 1980s onward when there was welfare reform and benefits decreased, and there was the S and L Crisis which tanked property values; yet rents still increased. Why? You mean to tell me that the upper bounds were sufficiently high enough to increase the median through a major banking crisis, even though the minimum should have fallen dramatically by your narrative?


You might travel a bit and see that there are several more ghost towns throughout than areas awaiting renewal. Properties abandoned by their owners, where even squatters fear to tread. It would seem collecting even some money is better than collecting no money, but if even welfare recipients turn their noses at them, what then?

In short, your explanations fall short of observed reality.

Comment Re:So is he wrong? (Score 1) 866

Really now? Has there been a 25% increase in welfare since the 1980s? Please show your work.

So how do you account for the average increase if welfare sets the minimum rent?

By my estimation all rents are set by supply and demand. There is no minimum rent. Numerous buildings go vacant and become dilapidated because there isn't even enough interest for someone to live there as a caretaker or squatter, and prevent the building from being demolished. Not to mention all rents have to compete with sleeping under a bridge or jail at a minimum. Welfare has nothing to do with it.

What an ignorant argument.

Comment Re:Drafted into Congress (Score 1) 1116

More, I'm looking at how citizen juries help to reduce corruption. They tend to have limited functions, and mostly just do oversight to make sure nothing shady is taking place.

I actually like the idea of essentially no screening whatsoever.

It sets a society's priorities when the crazy guy in the street could possibly be a member of congress, and in its own way, complimentary to BI.

Comment Re:Government benefit / government rules (Score 1) 1116

This is a feature, not a bug. I would anticipate several of the wealthy not being able to take a year off for service, which again diffuses power.

Again, in my fairy world of unicorn kisses, people would be paid whatever is the median income for a year's service.

Of course people are always free to decline, but at least for the poor, making the median wage for a year would be a step up, most others wouldn't notice a difference, but I can't fathom many CEOs serving.

Comment Re:Government benefit / government rules (Score 1) 1116

Actually, this is a pretty easy fix as well.

Pegging it to GDP means it is self-correcting for most abuses. Changing the tax code to something like a Land Value Tax (completely voluntary for the most part ) eliminates most of the favor trading with the tax code (and eliminates tax havens as well) and simplifies collection.

And, if we're wishing for unicorns, creating a third house of congress that is chosen completely at random from each state (in my mind's eye, I see them as only being able to debate and vote on laws) keeps in check the power brokers.

Ideally, you should anticipate corruption and design your systems around that. Markets work better than central planning. Simple systems are easier to detect and correct abuse than complex ones, and diffusing political power keeps power abuses in check.

Comment Re:Intent and Arrest (Score 4, Insightful) 92

Misses the point.

The intent isn't to get pedophiles off the street, but effectively ban all porn. You had the same MO in the 80s with Judith Reisman claiming Playboy facilitated child abuse by having underage looking models, and shoots that simulated underage girls (because your standard 12 year old has 34DD breasts)..

I mean after this report why would anyone visit any porn site, knowing full well there was a possibility of child porn there unless that's what they were looking for? You can't even report it without an admission of a crime.

Even in the days before the internet, child porn stings were incredibly dubious (really, read the history. The vast majority of child porn was produced by the US government for sting operations), but any sense of due process is just covering for child molesters. Where there is smoke there must be fire.

The real problem is that while decency laws are localized, the web is not, and what may be perfectly legal in one jurisdiction is worthy of hanging in another. This sets the stage for The Great Firewall, and ultimately shutting down all porn sites, just in case.

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