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Comment Re: no thanks (Score 1) 351

https://sites.duke.edu/tcths/f...

Citation provided.

Sorry the bias is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what you think, because,contrary to what every rightwinger believe -corporate media is biased towards the corporate friendly party. The mainstream media is all rightwing biased. Fox's difference is that they are pro-CRAZY biased the others are not, they are just conservative biased. Old style conservative, like Reagan/Eisenhower conservative... whose policies of course would be labelled "extreme leftwing socialism" by the likes of you today.

Comment Re:tracking (Score 1) 332

>Well I got mugged by three guys last May and defended myself successfully. Drunk bogan morons don't need an excuse to start a fight.

Drunk people are not, exactly, an example of a mugging. I got mugged some 17 years ago - and that consisted of a stab-first-and-take-valuables-of-his-bleeding-body approach. Kind of hard to defend yourself after a person just walking past you on the street suddenly stuck a knife in your ribs.

>The world isn't a safe place
That's a stupid response to an argument I didn't make. I merely said we can make it SAFER.

>You should teach your daughter that so she is strong enough to defend herself when the time comes.
Fine, that does NOT mean that it is NOT stupid to do things that endanger yourself more - like carrying cash. The very BEST defense is not being a target.

> Exchanging freedom for safety
There is no loss of freedom involved. Just a change in how I carry my money. If it's wrong to use technology to reduce our risk of being crime victims then you should get rid of any guns you may own. If you can use a gun to make yourself feel safer, I can use a smartphone for the same purpose. Neither affects how free we are in any way (contrary to what gun-nuts think - owning a gun does not make you freer nor is it 'freedom' to own one).

>I've been assisting someone who has had their identity stolen. He lost his house, $800,000 and was accused and tried of fraud despite the evidence available to say that he was just a naive old person being preyed upon.
And that is terrible. But it's still better than dead.

>You haven't lived until you've had a body cavity search at every airport you go to.
A ridiculous theater that does nothing to improve safety and thus is clearly not a good idea. On the other hand, not carrying cash, is PROVEN to reduce your risk of certain violent crimes - and thus is a good idea. My behavior, my ability to do the things I want to do, my capacity to live as I want to live is entirely unaffected. Government is not intruding in my behavior in any way, shape or form - I am merely making myself a less attractive target to desperate or evil people with deadly weapons.

>being raped in gaol after loosing everything you worked for all your life is not a good option either.
That's pretty damn terrible... but it's better than dead.

>A change which promotes state based terrorism is worse than both of those things, IMHO.
You've shown zero evidence whatsoever of this being true. Real state based terrorism has never happened in the USA. No, not even under Obama. State based terrorism by the US government tend to happen in other countries. It's what was done in Iraq. It's what was done in Nicaragua. It's what was done in Panama and Brazil.
But in America ? Never happened. The risk in America is that you'll be killed by corporate terrorists after republican 'freedom lovers' finish getting rid of every law that stands between them and getting paid to kill you. Whether they get killed in cash or via an electronic payment system is really not going to make any difference. It doesn't matter if you can track the payment for a murder when the murder is no longer a crime.

Comment Re:tracking (Score 1) 332

What's more likely to affect my daughter this year ? The government knowing I bought her, her first trycicle or her dad getting killed by a mugger for his cash ?

The biggest advantage of going cashless is not convenience, it's SAFETY. Muggings have been dropping as cash use has declined because the reward for the risk is reduced. Cash is instantly spendable, cards run a real risk of being reported and cancelled before you can get the money out, cellphones you need to sell to get money.
Nothing is more immediately valuable to a mugger than cash. Now of course, as muggings have declined - identity theft and similar crimes have gone up - because the money is now in computers, it makes more sense to rob the computers than to risk your life in person mugging somebody. At least there's no risk he turns out to be a black-ops trained marine vet who breaks your arm in four places.
But this is actually an improvement - because while you lose money in EITHER an identity theft or a mugging - the former probably won't get you killed or in hospital.
A change which forces a reduction in violent crime is a positive change - even if it comes with an uptick in white-collar crime.

Comment Re:tracking (Score 4, Insightful) 332

>Free markets are where bread sits in lines waiting for me. The alternative is me waiting in lines for bread.

The real difference between those two scenarios is just that in your 'free market' a helluva lot of people can't get bread at all.

There is then more bread than people who CAN get it, and hence it sits and wait.

This is, obviously, great for you - being one of the few who can get bread - but it sucks for the people who can't.

Of course the OTHER thing it does it so perpetually increase the number of people who can't - so more and more bread goes to fewer and fewer people. We often refer to this effect by the shorthand name "rising inequality' - perhaps you've heard of it ?

But your BIGGEST mistake of all is thinking those are the only options. This is not an either-or question. Nothing that involves human beings is ever THAT simple. It's not a choice between "laizes faire capitalism" and "USSR style communism" -there are literally THOUSANDS of other ways we could organise the distribution of resources (which is all an economy is - a system to distribute resources). So while you feel the advantages of liazes-faire capitalism outweigh the problems (but only because none of the really BIG problems happen to you personally), a great many people do not and the argument that it's better than the downsides of Soviet Style communism is complete bullshit - because we don't need to choose EITHER.
Are you seriously so closed-minded that you are convinced, among the thousands of other possible ways we can organise this activity - not ONE of them may offer better pro/con ratios than the one you love ?

Because I am. None of them can... for every resource, service and product. But for every resource, service or product there is a way to organise it that would be better than EITHER laizes-faire capitalism OR soviet-style communism - in THIS location. In another town - another one will work better for the same product. And somewhere in the world, there is one product which, in one town, will work best with laizes-faire capitalism and somewhere out there is one product which, in one town, will work best with soviet-style communism. But for all the millions of other products in the millions of other towns the best answer will be NEITHER of those.

Indeed it's impossible to predict what the best answer will be. The only way to discover it is to experiment with all of them - in every town and for every product- and record the results. The only way to get an economy with minimum downsides and maximum benefits - is to have an economy that's created by the scientific method, experiment, test, improve - and consider all answers to be local to the specific parameters of the experiment. Just because in bummsville Idaho the best way to distribute apples turned out to be "plant an apple tree on every street corner and let everybody pick when they want" doesn't mean it's true for oranges in bummsville idaho and doesn't mean it's true for apples in New York.

Comment Re: no thanks (Score 2, Insightful) 351

This seems intuitively right, but doesn't quite gel with statistics. According to the FBI - the vast majority of terrorists are rightwing Christian-Nationalists (like the trump-lover who shot up Canada a month ago, or the guy in the recent NY attack).

But they get very little publicity - far less than Islamic terrorists do (indeed so MUCH less that most people refuse to believe there are actually more of them and they strike more often). Hell when they do make the news - we go to great lengths to avoid using the word 'terrorist' for them (as if there is any doubt that Dylan Roof was a terrorist).
Yet DESPITE getting less publicity, not getting credited as 'terrorists' and the public being in denial of their existence - they remain the biggest threat we face.

Now, of course, that still doesn't justify panicky over-reaction. It doesn't make it smart to break crucial encryption or give backdoors to governments. Terrorism remains a minor risk - even if you add all the worst examples together - you'd save far more lives if you can get rid of drunk drivers. I'd much rather see the more draconian-minded politicians focus on penalizing those guys to hell. As far as I'm concerned- everybody KNOWS the risks of drunk driving so if you're caught driving drunk you should be charged with attempted murder. That's what you did - you tried to kill innocent people.
Or maybe getting serious about enforcing safety regulations on corporations. If CEOs can't kill people their profit margines would, admittedly, be a lot lower -but you'd save thousands more lives per year than you would even if you could completely eradicate terrorism.

So yes - it makes sense ot see terorism in perspective and plan responses according to how small a problem it really is. But don't imagine that lack of publicity and credit will end it either. It's just that it's such a small problem that trying to end it isn't actually worth the cost in freedom.

Comment Re: What is and isn't a human right (Score 1) 164

>North Carolina allows amending the birth certificate of a post-op trans person born in North Carolina [cnn.com].

Well that's great if you are post-op and was born there... but that's one very risky, very expensive op - so a great many trans people do not get the option to go for it, and even those that do not until later in life. According to Google only 33% of trans people have undergone any surgery at all - and only 14% went whole-hog sex-change. Lets be generous and assume the NC bill would apply for partial gender confirmation surgeries (like breast enhancements only) - that only one-third who have the option, but now it's further narrowed by the requirement that you be born in the state - which is will reduce the number of eligible folks (all adults - the people harmed the least by these laws). Sure, if you're from another state it may be possible (depending which state) to get that state to alter it but that would likely require an expensive trip back to a place you no longer live -and may not have lived for decades. So even if we are generous and assume less than full sex-changes would qualify - we're probably only talking about say 20% of the people affected having an out. That's probably still being too generous - that 33% was a national figure - I'm willing to wager that in a conservative community like NC the figure is significantly lower (not least because access to doctors willing to do it is harder) - and most of that 33% are living in liberal cities on the coast.

If it's the 14% who had a full sex change... well that reduces the number of people who have this option to what ? Maybe 5% ?

Comment Re: What is and isn't a human right (Score 1) 164

All that said though - my use of the example wasn't really intended to trigger a debate about which side is right here (I did state clearly which side I'm on but that's it) - I was merely using it as one of many examples where cities and states have had differing views on a topic and I think it's overreach for the state to force the city to change, especially since conservative/liberal attitudes very frequently get bordered by city-lines. Cities have a tendency to attract and foster liberal attitudes.

Right now, the federal government has not done it's job and determined if it is, in fact, a human right for people to be a gender other than the one commonly associated with their sex (to my mind - it's impossible to deny that without also denying basic freedom of expression and freedom of thought) - so in the meantime, at least allow citizens to decide for themselves, even if states and cities disagree on the outcome - it would be better than having states take away the few cities where government is NOT being obsessed with people's genitals.

I'll never understand how 'small government' republicans who always talk about keeping government out of people's lives are so happy to invite it into people's pants.

Comment Re: What is and isn't a human right (Score 1) 164

>Every licensed driver, as a valid driver's license is a proxy for a birth certificate for this purpose.

That's fewer people than you think, and not all trans people are old enough to have one, and a drivers license can be changed if you legally change sex. They chose 'birth certificate' on purpose - exactly because, unlike a drivers license, it cannot be changed.

>Many of these bills exempt a single-digit-year-old child accompanied by his or her parent of the opposite sex
Not all of them though - but at least some of them must have heard this common complaint I guess. That said - these bills remain a nightmare for enforcement anyway. There's already been a bunch of people who were falsely accused of using a bathroom not matching their biological sex - by people who just thought they didn't look feminine/masculine enough to be a women/man. The irony is that trans people try very hard to be indistinguishable - it's the only way to survive - and frankly a trans-women will usually present and appear more feminine than average - which means a great many women look less feminine than a trans-women does (and vice versa).

The biggest clencher of all of course... is that the people who write these bills always forget about trans-men, and seem oblivious to the fact that they just sent a bunch of ultra-masculine, muscled 6-foot-four dudes with beards into the ladies room because they happen to have a vulva.

And of course, most of them never think to add an exclusion for intersex people -if your genitals are ambiguous, you don't get to pee at all ?

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