Yes, I agree. While there are plenty of instances where people do things that they know are not in the best interest of anybody except themselves, and it's valid to express an emotional reaction to that, doing so is not actually making an argument. It's a fancy form of an ad-hom.
And in terms of arguing against the actions of policies of others, it's unnecessary. It's sufficient to point out what is wrong with what they're saying or doing and leaving the motivations for those actions out of it.
Re: Re: Re: Re: You have no idea what this "Sovereignty" thing is, right?
"Most corporations are not Walmart. My wife and I own a corporation - it employs 11 people including ourselves. The vast majority of corporations are like that. And anybody with $500 can form their own."
That's correct. I have had several such corporations like that myself. However, those kinds of corporations are horses of a different color and are affected by things like TPP in the same way that individual people are.
This is why I try to be careful to be specific and say "multinational" or "major" corporations.
People in power have had this attitude for as long as there have been people in power. They (like almost everyone) think of themselves as good guys whose every action is justified. This is how abuse begins and continues.
This is also why it's important to severely restrict and monitor what law enforcement is able to do. While cops will always view those restrictions as unnecessary and preventing them from doing their jobs (because they view themselves as Good Guys who are always right), the fact is that the restrictions are necessary in order to protect the citizenry from the cops.
History (even US history) is rife with examples of what happens when you loosen those restrictions. It's never pretty.
That Fortune 50 corporations are willing to waste their money of fancy conference tables is one thing, but the government should not be doing it. Spending big bucks just to look impressive is idiocy.
But then, I'm a believer in the "chandelier rule". The more money a company spends to impress people, the less trustworthy that company is. There are exceptions, but in my experience it tends to hold true.
It depends. Trademark is less restrictive than copyright. There are many ways you can legally use something trademarked by someone else for your own stuff.
For example, trademarks only apply to specific product categories. If I trademark my logo for a kind of cereal, that does not prevent someone else from using the same logo for sporting goods. This is a general rule -- there are complexities like "trademark dilution" than can turn such use into an infringement. As with most legal things, what is actually allowed or not can be pretty uncertain.
"Why don't we just punish those hypothetical bad things when they actually if and when they come to pass?"
Generally, a lot of the bad things aren't hypothetical at all -- they've been done. But there's also the underlying issue of corruption. Given the outrageous amount of influence these corporations have over our government, once they start engaging in unacceptable behavior it becomes almost impossible to make it stop.
Honestly, these sorts of solutions are far from ideal and have numerous problems. But our choice seems to be between these flawed solutions or allowing the rot to continue. Ideally, the thing to do is to fix the corruption problem -- but it's hard to see a path forward on that task that would be effective within the lifetime of myself, my children, or my grandchildren. In the meantime, we need to settle for flawed, stopgap solutions.
"But I don't really understand why you think it's slimy?"
Because it's inherently dishonest. Instead of doing it the aboveboard way (discounting the cost of specific services), it's doing it the backhanded way (effectively raising the cost to everyone not using the specific services).
In this way, they can extract money from the people who aren't using their precious services to subsidize those who are. That's slimy.
Strong encryption was never outlawed. What was outlawed was the exporting of strong encryption, not its development, possession, or use. Strong encryption has been in use on the internet from before the internet was open to the public.
BTW, the effect of the export ban was that the US was no longer where the strong crypto work was being done. If you developed it in the US you couldn't export it, but if you developed it outside the US then you could import it -- so most crypto work moved to other nations. This is an often overlooked point of how those laws weakened US security.
I thought it was about minimizing the feelings of guilt on the part of the executioners. Since (in theory) nobody can tell which of them actually killed the person, everybody gets whatever plausible deniability they need to sleep at night.
"Some people are bona fide killers and will kill anyone for any reason or none at all. "
Agreed. However, the reason I think the death penalty needs to go away has nothing to do with that. I think the death penalty needs to go away because people get put to death for crimes they didn't commit. Even one single innocent person being wrongfully put to death is murder, and that's enough to warrant doing away with the system unless it can be made perfect.
Which it can't. Errors are inevitable (and, in the US, aren't terribly rare). As long as that's the reality, then the punishments being given should be reversible, so the errors can be corrected if they're discovered later.
If the justice system never wrongfully convicted people, then I would be fine with the death penalty because I think that putting someone to death is less cruel than locking them up for the rest of their life.