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Comment Re:Before everyone piles on (Score 4, Informative) 48

This isn't a tax cheat, at least not with respect to the U.S. The only reason the IRS tried to cash in on this is because the U.S. is almost unique in the world in taxing income that its citizens/corporations make abroad. If you're a U.S. citizen and you live full-time in (say) Canada and work and earn money there, and have nothing to do with the U.S. other than having a piece of paper saying you're a U.S. citizen, the IRS still expects you to pay U.S. taxes. The U.S. has negotiated tax treaties with some countries to offset the most egregious forms of double taxation - taxes on earned income (wages) in one country can be applied as a credit for taxes in the other. So I didn't have to pay U.S. taxes on my wages since I'd already paid Canadian taxes on it (the Canadian taxes were the higher of the two). But I had to pay both U.S. and Canadian taxes on interest on my Canadian bank account, even though I was living in Canada, the money in the account was only from my Canadian job, and the money never left Canada nor entered the U.S. If I'd bought a house in Canada and made money when I sold it because it appreciated in value, the IRS would expect a cut of that.

Nearly all other countries tax based on location. If you earn money in the country, they tax it. If you earn money outside the country, it's not their concern. Even if this is a tax cheat, it really has nothing to do with the IRS, other than being a money grab simply because nonsensical U.S. law allows them to do it. The profit in Luxembourg came from Amazon's European operations. If Luxembourg or the EU wants to sue Amazon over this, then that's their legitimate right. But it has nothing to do with the U.S. nor the IRS.

Comment Re:Expect Russia to take advantage (Score 1) 91

Putin doesn't care in the slightest about public opinion. Being feared and hated by the world is as good as being respected in his book.

Fear is a kind of respect. Not the best kind, but still better than no respect in the realm of international politics. But that fear comes from respect. If Putin comes off as an incompetent schmuck then people will stop fearing him so much. But ruthless and competent is something to fear.

Trump, on the other hand, has the biggest gun in the room in his hands, so even his incompetence is scary.

Comment Re:Conflict of interest (Score 1) 176

But then the police here think they need Tanks, M16A4 fully automatic weapons, drones, bombers, orbital strike platforms......

When in reality, 90% of the police can barely handle a small caliber pistol safely, and they are so poorly trained they are not much better than a roaming gang of thugs.

Comment Re:Conflict of interest (Score 3, Insightful) 176

easy solution, raise the taxes. if your taxes are not high enough to pay for Fire,Police and road maintenance then you should absolutely pay more.
If your taxes are not being used for that but instead, holiday decorations, more pay for someone to choose to buy more decorations then it's time to start voting for officials more wisely.

Yes, Yes, I know the irony of an American saying to vote more wisely to another country.... I'm not happy with our Toddler in Chief, but then he is not much different than the ones we have in congress and local government all over here. Recently in my home town we had one of the commissioners demand that a law be passed so that anyone in government can not be criticized or go to jail.

It seems that we either elect very evil people, or stupid ones that have never read the constitution. From my experience, it's the latter, only the dumb want to be in political office.

Comment Re:Digital Rights? (Score 1) 218

OK, but with the gaming examples you're talking about (a) a DRM system that was obviously broken and (b) DRM applied to something where you bought a permanent copy. I have much less sympathy for the content provider in those situations, and if they wind up having to refund a lot of people's money because they shipped a broken product then I still won't have much sympathy for them.

The opposite side is when you have DRM protecting a service like PPV or Netflix where you know you're not buying a permanent copy, and most people will just fire up the player and enjoy the show without ever knowing the DRM is even there. In that case, the DRM is transparent to legitimate viewers, but some form of protection is reasonable to prevent casual infringement.

As I've said throughout, there has to be a balance. DRM that breaks stuff is bad, and people who supply broken products should make good on the damage to their customers. But DRM also makes it practical to follow new and useful business models that can benefit everyone involved.

Comment Re:very few new movies worth seeing (Score 1) 212

I blame the low-brow entirely formulaic dross that Hollywood continues to churn out.

I don't think that logic works. That would make sense if we were talking about older audiences who have basically seen all these movies before. But the young people who haven't already been exposed to all the plots and archetypes might still want to go see them.

I am not interested in movies (I watch few of them even at home) because they are all the same old shit I've seen before. Most of them are literally just remakes of the same old films, often with the same old title. A new director with essentially the same script. Why would I want to see that? At least make some different books into movies.

Hollywood is going down the toilet. They are still huge so it will take a long time unless LA falls into the ocean, but I've been keeping my fingers crossed for that one for a long time and it still hasn't happened. They will be able to hang on with superhero movies for a while yet, but their dominance is shaking.

Comment Re:Generation Z leans to the political right. (Score 1) 212

You know there's a solution to that, right, you limp-wristed pansy leftist piece of shit?

There is, but you're not going to like it. It entails you discovering that leftists own guns too.

I predict that if we actually do get carry reciprocity, your kind is going to make this discovery in a most unpleasant fashion.

Comment Re:The industry is stupid (Score 1) 212

Since the eighties, the game is played that if sales go down, raise prices to "keep a steady cash flow".

It's called whatever the market will bear, and it's a basic tenet of capitalism. If you charge too much eventually people find an alternative, or they die or riot or something, so charging the maximum amount you can while maintaining a kind of stasis is the universal goal. It's not setting the highest price people will pay today, it's setting the highest price they will pay today and then come back and give you more money tomorrow.

I don't know if the price points now are optimal, but a lot of the people priced out of going to the movies probably aren't profitable customers anyway. They sneak in snacks instead of buying them, and the snacks are where the big profit comes from while the ticket price generally covers little more than the film itself.

Comment Re:Content that you control. Very satisfying. (Score 1) 212

I think the difference is her ability to control the action. Sitting back and dumbly drinking in whatever spews forth from the screen is one form of entertainment. But if you can control what is going on, even very simple content can be very satisfying.

My lady has an aversion to video games but even she can acknowledge that many movies would make a whole lot more sense as a game. Most action movies fall into this category. Sitting and watching that stuff is still thrilling, but it's nothing compared to actually controlling the experience.

Comment In fact Ram is so shit it needs a double reply (Score 1) 212

The last time anyone should have bought a Dodge truck without a diesel was in the seventies, back when their engines were better than everyone else's. (They just were. Y'all can argue if you want, but you'll be wrong.) Through the eighties and up until a few years ago, the reason to buy a Dodge pickup was to get a Cummins straight six, which is a better-built engine than literally any of its contemporary competition. But today Cummins is building V engines and you can get one in a Nissan. Nissan is at least ten times more competent than Chrysler (Dodge trucks) and at least a hundred times more competent than Fiat (Dodge vans.)

Comment Re:What a letdown... (Score 1) 205

If you think that it wasn't being torn in half well before Trump, think more.

Sure, it was. Only gradually. This is all-at-once. It's not necessary to rip off the bandage. You soak it a little, and then it comes right off.

The bottom line is that there is a lot of bipartisan support for policies that screw us all

Trump is substantively different, and if you can't see that, I have to wonder if you're spending your free time ironing your brown shirt.

Comment Re:Conflict of interest (Score 5, Interesting) 176

I've maintained that fines, tickets, and penalties (for traffic citations, violations of regulations, punitive damages from court cases, etc) should go into an escrow fund. On April 15 when everyone files their income taxes, divide the amount in the escrow fund by the number of tax returns filed (doubled for married filing jointly). That amount becomes a credit on each tax return. So basically all the money the government has collected as fines and penalties is distributed evenly to all taxpayers. That money was collected as compensation for crimes against society, and this way it gets distributed back to society.

Comment Re:Tractor investors, not breakers. (Score 1) 494

300SD were eurotaxis. They were built for a market that puts a million miles on a vehicle, but doesn't get emotional about keeping it going past its economic life.

300SDs were extremely popular in the USA. That's why there are still so many of them running around in spite of the fact that the body is expensive to maintain. It's only relatively recently that most parts became relatively affordable, via eBay. You used to have to just pay exorbitant prices at dealers. But those parts you can't get are a serious problem. The "Febi-Bilstein" ignition lock I had to buy for my 300SD feels like garbage. I have a distinct feeling it is actually neither Febi nor Bilstein, but it's what is available.

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