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Strange visitor from another planet, able to leap tall buildings built at 1/72 scale.

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  • May 15th, 2015 @ 4:40pm


    It's useless to discuss TPP or other trade deals without being familiar with the people doing the moving and shaking, and presenting their claims that TPP will protect the environment or labor rights. Labor? OH, RIGHT- it's the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the ALEC and right-to-work supporters, telling me that TPP will be good for labor. USTR Michael Froman (techdirt; 5/6/13) says it won't interfere with U.S. financial regulations. OH, RIGHT, it's former chief of staff to deregulation champion Robert Rubin, Citicorp exec, chief operating officer of Citi Alternative Investments, Michael Froman that's telling me this.

    This calls to mind one of the very basic principles on which our government was founded: MAKE BIG THINGS HARD TO DO. Go to war, amend the constitution, stuff like that. You want me to agree to "Fast Track" something that would likely span the terms of numerous presidents, encompass 40% of global trade, maybe impact a shitload of domestic law? Umm, no. Please, I invite you to kindly STFU.

  • Apr 22nd, 2015 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Dyson Spheres

    Keep in mind one key indicator of intelligence is the ability to make predictions about the future and then modify structures and behaviors for optimal performance.

    We have Congress; an excellent argument for the count of known intelligent species in the universe to still be ZERO.

  • Apr 21st, 2015 @ 8:11pm

    Dyson Spheres

    From the linked article-

    "The basic idea is that all technological civilizations require ever greater sources of energy."

    How typical of humankind's lack of imagination. It assumes that intelligent life would remain in the same needy organic form it was in when it crawled out of some warm puddle. Resource dependence and the fear of scarcity are at the heart of all your potentially extinction-level conflicts and activities, so it should be obvious that any life worthy of the title "intelligent" re-engineers itself to be less dependent, and more robust and adaptable.

    The Midichlorians are shaking their little heads about all you ponderous meatbags; trust me.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: You can't spell Liberals without L.I.A.R.S

    This is fun. Anagram for libertarian is talibrainer.
    I really enjoyed 2nd grade.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 10:58am

    Re: treason

    "when does this equate to treason?"

    Anytime your definition of treason does not come from Vladimir Putin, and your equation does not contain imaginary values.

  • Mar 24th, 2015 @ 8:04pm

    Re: Re: Luntz Label

    The collateral damage we're talking about here is the crippling of people's ability to find and share information. From the viewpoint of profitability, the AAs have no incentive to distinguish between stopping piracy of their stuff, and, whoops, so sorry, shutting down the means by which people can access and spend money on competing property. It's all profitable, baby. Fewer choices in a reduced marketplace means every dollar in search of entertainment and other information stands a better chance of winding up in their pockets. The MPAA even provides a list* of "safe" places to access legal content, with no need for consumers to risk venturing out onto that scary, scary web. (*No link. Screw 'em.)

    While China's motives are probably more ideological and less financial than the AAs', they're still allies in wreaking havoc on the net and free speech. As far as the copyright industrialists not intending the damage that will result from their actions, I don't buy it. They're evil, not stupid.

  • Mar 24th, 2015 @ 12:23pm

    Luntz Label

    the copyright industry doesn't seem to care in the slightest about collateral damage from its quixotic effort to stop piracy, . .

    I cringe when I see statements like this that seem to accept the copyright industry's stated intentions as genuine. When collateral damage equals suppression of competition, it's a feature of their strategy. Seriously- the word "Piracy" is merely a Frank Luntz-esque hook the MPAA and cohorts can hang their hat on as they work to enhance market share by any and all means. And their strategy is not "quixotic" when any tilt of the market means profit.

  • Mar 7th, 2015 @ 9:24am


    ". . sue the US govt for strengthening IP, . ."

    Cool. But continuing along that train of thought, how about the possibility of the US government being sued by multiple parties- for making laws stronger, making laws weaker, and keeping laws the same. And losing every which way.

    Hey, I guess this means our modern free-for-all global marketplace operates just as efficiently as the natural world after all. No part of a dead carcass will go to waste; too bad that carcass had been a living, breathing democratic society.

  • Mar 3rd, 2015 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Timing...

    My theory is that he's a puppet made of wood, hoping to become a real boy someday. But instead of his nose growing longer whenever he lies, he just gets another coat of shellac.

  • Mar 3rd, 2015 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Debate? No, debate's not possible, not when there's so little common ground in our understanding of history, sociology, and economics.

    We could start with a little history, maybe. Look at how the free ungoverned new world residents were suddenly not-free, when Christopher Columbus' heavily armed free enterprise practitioners came ashore. So what is meant by "freedom," and for whom? We could examine the nightmare socialist nations of Scandinavia and compare standards of living there with Somalia's, where freedom reigns. We could try to unpack your "free market in India has solved poverty" claim, by working our way through several centuries of history related to that populist Ghandi (Boooo!) who helped free India from the oppressive British government (Yaaay!) which led to millions dying as Muslims and Hindus separated into Pakistan and India (Booo!) after which India formed a more stable government (Boooo!) which laid the social and regulatory framework on which business depends today. (Booo! Yaaay! I think, . . . ) Then of course delve into how a century of progress in technology independent of events in India makes your arithmetic of government and free market just a tad simplistic. But I'll leave it at that. You can stay in your corner rocking to your libertarian mantra if that's what makes you happy.

  • Mar 3rd, 2015 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    We need a 4th comment rating button; "delusional." I'd really look forward to Sundays and finding out who's the winner of the week.

  • Mar 3rd, 2015 @ 2:59am


    The New York Times Editorial yesterday was downright creepy. No mention at all of ISDS, and fast track as a way to make TPP better. An utterly dishonest bit of spin.

  • Mar 3rd, 2015 @ 2:40am


    I'm of course addressing EconProf, who's argumentation format is typical of cult members and libertarians alike (OK, so that's redundant.) Simply lay on the baloney so fast and so thick that no one's going to bother picking the train wreck apart in order to respond in detail. Maoist communists, Title II proponents, and populists everywhere are all the same. Yep, sure. Poverty's solved. Check. Regulation always corrupts. Okeedokee. Like the laws of physics are to physicists. Geez, we're stoned now.

  • Mar 2nd, 2015 @ 8:47pm

    (untitled comment)

    Stay where you are, make yourself comfortable. Medical help is on the way.

  • Mar 2nd, 2015 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re:

    ". . . people playing 'is not, is too'"

    You know how we can tell it's all Kabuki? We don't see fist fights breaking out like in the Ukrainian or Turkish parliaments. If our elected reps actually BELIEVED their crap, we'd see them overdose on BS once in a while and clobber some lying sack. God knows there's enough bull flying about. (I got your snowball right here, Inhofe.)

    At least these guys' hearts are in it-


  • Feb 28th, 2015 @ 1:32pm


    If you haven't worked up enough rage yet to rush out and stock up on torches and pitchforks (hurry while supplies last) then go beyond just looking at what the U.S. doesn't have; look at what's going on elsewhere. Try Googling "Broadband Delivery UK" or "Superfast Broadband Programme."

    It seems they're working hard in the UK to extend high speed broadband (24 Mbps+) to nearly every friggin' homestead, no matter how rural.

    Department for Culture, Media & Sport- The Superfast (Rural) Broadband Programme: update (PDF)
    North Yorkshire ramps up its superfast broadband programme
    Superfast broadband programme aims to get us all better connected
    Hampshire set to reach 95% of premises with high speed broadband

    The situation may be more nuanced than what I see from my personal surfing (of course it is) but it looks like the citizens, telecoms and government in the UK are working reasonably well together to get it done. But what really kills me were the things that did not turn up in my research to any noticeable degree- ALEC-like obstruction, lobbyists and politicians crying that socialism is killing puppies, telecom propaganda insisting that all you citizen/serfs should just be patient, and that the free market fairy and/or Google fiber will be along to save you any day now.

    Last year I stumbled on the website of a project in the UK, B4RN (Broadband for the Rural North) a non-profit social enterprise set up to organize local citizens and resources to build out fiber to homes in rural communities where British Telecom and Virgin are unable to do so profitably. From the B4RN site- "The aim is to build a community-owned gigabit Fibre To The Home (FTTH) network in the scarcely populated, deeply rural uplands of Lancashire in the north west of England utilising the skills, time, energy and ingenuity of the local residents and businesses."

    Here's an excerpt from B4RN's Business Plan (pdf)-

    B4RN’s purpose is to undertake the supply, installation and operation of a full FTTH network providing a fibre link directly into every property in its service area. It works on a parish by parish basis and aims to deliver both technical excellence and 100% inclusivity within those targeted parishes. No exclusions because a property is too far away or too difficult to reach – it will be available to everyone. This is world class broadband offering 1Gbs (1000 megabits a second) service speeds and will jump our rural community from the slow lane to the leading edge of technology and keep it there for decades to come.

    Wouldn't it be great to have some such community based non-profits on the loose in West Virginia, working in partnership and getting serious support from both the Federal government and telecoms? Oh, right, U.S. telecom profits are sacred, and that sort of thing is either banned or discouraged here, thanks to ALEC and others. Maybe we'll catch up to the Brits in a few decades, once the legal challenges to our latest FCC regs finally get through our court system.

  • Feb 27th, 2015 @ 10:54pm

    (untitled comment)

    In short, damned if you do, damned if you don't. This is the justice system, ladies and gentlemen. The DOJ gets to seize and keep all your money, and merely asking for access to it to fight to show your innocence is used as a reason to allow the DOJ to keep it.

    Sweet! This means no more of this "we can't criminally prosecute anybody, it'd be too hard" nonsense, DOJ can just clean out the rats nests of conspirators at Bank of America, HSBC, JP Morgan-Chase. I can't wait to read tomorrow's papers, . . .

  • Feb 27th, 2015 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Educating on how the Internet Works

    Yup, air-tight logic that you can't make ships out of steel, 'cuz steel sinks.

    Fascinating. (RIP, Leonard N.)

  • Feb 27th, 2015 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    We're not there yet, not quite. We still have some vestiges of governmental authority that our oligarchs are crying hot tears over. Russia, on the other hand, seems to have arrived. About the only difference between them and 16th century Sienna is that the modern Russian serfs have cell phones.

  • Feb 27th, 2015 @ 11:03am


    Careful now, that's the card holding up the magnificently constructed house of Libertarian thought. If the power government wields doesn't just magically disappear when the government goes away, then what? Oh right, Papal armies, warlords, chaos of Italian city-state warfare, and all the history of the middle ages, cited in the Federalist Papers as reason for why a strong central government is essential.

    Think Goldmad Sacks wouldn't assemble an army of mercenaries if they could? Let's completely de-fang the federal government and find out.

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