JDLambert's Techdirt Profile


About JDLambert

JDLambert's Comments comment rss

  • Jan 07, 2017 @ 06:51am

    Who pays for a universal income?

    I have a practical doubt about a universal income: Who pays for it?
    A sales tax? The people receiving the UI are who pay the sales tax.
    A business tax? It gets added to the retail price of goods & services and the people receiving the UI are who pay the business tax.
    I don't think of any source of revenue to fund these UI payments that does not ultimately come from the people receiving the UI, with an administrative overhead for moving it from one pocket to the other.

  • Jul 09, 2015 @ 10:17am

    There already is an encryption solution for law enforcement

    If law enforcement want to get unencrypted versions of what's been encrypted, all they have to do is get a warrant and then get the private keys. This solution already exists. They could even get a warrant that would let them sneak into a suspect's home or office and install spyware. The fact that the suspects would feel protected by their encryption would encourage them to feel free in discussing their evil plans, if any.

  • Feb 17, 2015 @ 03:17pm


    Based on the title, I expected this to be primarily about why we should not trust the CIA, but I did not even notice that topic being mentioned, although the NSA was frequently mentioned.

  • Sep 03, 2014 @ 11:25am

    Establishing a base for a wiki fraud?

    Perhaps Ayyadurai is trying to establish 3rd party references to mount an assault on the Wikipedia entry for "email."

  • Aug 25, 2014 @ 08:06am

    Re: Critique on article from Reddit

    Rebuttal to critique
    forestveggie on Reddit:

    Extracted from the Conclusion (marquette.edu): "the tasks of governing and regulating the police ... information is a precondition for achieving these tasks, and federal data collection tailored to governing and regulating the police is a necessary component of that information. As of yet, the agencies responsible for that data collection do not recognize—much less fulfill—this mission."

  • Aug 25, 2014 @ 07:43am

    Critique on article from Reddit

    Terribly researched article.
    The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) does provide police excessive force data. http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=dcdetail&iid=251
    Granted, the data is published every 3 years, and not annually as the statute mandates. Still, this is far from ignoring the law for "20 years" as the article suggests.
    Here's a (better) recent scholarly article on the issue: http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/mulr/vol96/iss4/8
    The TL;DR is that police excessive force data is insufficient because the collection methods are limited, federal agencies have inadequate incentive to produce information and have internal structural issues and limited funding.

  • Jul 27, 2014 @ 07:41am

    One more reddit AMA

  • Jul 15, 2014 @ 12:54pm


    "Most transparent President in history."

    History started in 2009.

  • May 09, 2014 @ 02:20pm

    Good news

    This is good news for my patent application on humans walking upright.

  • Mar 12, 2014 @ 07:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Contradiction

    ""Local dealership laws allow them to collect more taxes" and "job creation" are not my arguments."


    "However, one of those two purposes is a substantial purpose, that of enriching the State coffers."

    No, it does not serve these purposes. (more) Taxes can be collected from the manufacturer directly so this does nothing to serve the purpose of enriching state coffers.

    "There is also an additional purpose of maintaining jobs."

    So, you didn't make this argument?

    You seem to confuse supporting statements with arguments, and you are treating two different statements as the same. I am trying to make one argument with several supporting statements. Again, my argument is that the premise of the original opinion is incorrect that if a State-level politician votes to support maintenance of new car dealership monopolies it must reflect corruption.

    To make my case all I need to do is show that such a politician might have one or more motivation other than personal gain.

    To show such possible alternative motivation I point out that, as it says in the original article, the established dealerships enrich the State coffers. That is not the same as claiming that the tax revenue from the existing dealerships would be "more" than it would be without such monopolies. That is not what I said. I have not said anything in these comments about what I believe regarding the economics or finances involved, because that is not what the title and main thrust of the original article is about. I have been addressing the corruption claim, not the economics.

    To further show such possible alternative motivation I pointed out an issue that the original article did not address, that of maintaining jobs. It was meant as an a priori truth, not as a topic for disagreement. I think it should be obvious that the existing dealerships provide many jobs. That is a simple fact. I said nothing about what policies would provide the most jobs or best jobs or any other characteristic. I cited the fact that dealerships provide jobs as a possible alternative motivation for a politician that might support the dealership monopolies instead of being bribed for personal gain. My statement about jobs is not my argument, it is a simple statement in support of my argument regarding corruption.

    Since you or some other Anonymous Coward keep returning to the economics aspects of the context, which I have not addressed at all, rather than focusing on the issue of corruption, I will now state a summary that I personally support maximum commercial competition because I believe that is how to best serve the entire public. Since that is not what the original article is about, I will not discuss the secondary issues of economics or finances any further in these comments.

  • Mar 12, 2014 @ 04:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Contradiction

    "I have read all the attempted rebuttals to my comments to this point in time, and they all fail to recognize my point, let alone address it."

    Not true. Your "local dealership laws allow them to collect more taxes" has been rebutted. They can just tax the manufacturer more. So that's a nonsense argument.

    Your "job creation" argument has also been rebutted because it essentially results to passing these laws to serve as an alternate welfare system.

    Wrong. "Local dealership laws allow them to collect more taxes" and "job creation" are not my arguments. They are someone's arguments, but not mine. I do not assert them as true, I assert that others assert them as true.

    At least you are the first to actually address my actual argument, but I disagree with your apparent definition of a corrupt politician. What you describe is what I would term an incompetent politician or possibly an uncaring politician. Here is the Wikipedia definition of political corruption: "Political corruption is the abuse of public power, office, or resources by elected government officials for personal gain, e.g. by extortion, soliciting or offering bribes. It can also take the form of office holders maintaining themselves in office by purchasing votes by enacting laws which use taxpayers' money."

    I am arguing that a politician can vote, even foolishly, without doing it for personal gain.

  • Mar 12, 2014 @ 02:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Contradiction

    I have read all the attempted rebuttals to my comments to this point in time, and they all fail to recognize my point, let alone address it.

    The original article's focus is on political corruption and asserts that State-level voting to maintain new car dealership monopolies is directly correlated to corruption. That is what I am disputing, and no one has offered anything to correct my position.

    My comments are not intended to support or oppose new car dealership monopolies, because that is not the issue I am addressing. "Rebuttals" that imagine I am arguing for such laws are meaningless because I have not made any such argument.

    There are reasons why State-level politicians can vote for maintaining new car dealership monopolies that do not involve direct or indirect bribery, therefore the premise of the original article is incorrect.

    Concerning a politician's character, it does not matter if the non-bribery reasons of the politicians are factually correct or incorrect if the politicians believe they are correct. If the politician votes for what they think is in the public's best interest, they are not corrupt, even if they are incorrect about what is in the public's best interest.

  • Mar 12, 2014 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Contradiction

    The main contradiction I am trying to point out is that "no purpose of than" lists two purposes as if those purposes are insignificant and therefore any local political support of dealerships must imply corruption. However, one of those two purposes is a substantial purpose, that of enriching the State coffers. There is also an additional purpose of maintaining jobs. These valid purposes disprove the implication that local political support of dealership laws proves political corruption.

    For example, if NJ politicians were to vote to remove dealership monopolies, NJ would have fewer jobs and less revenue, according to the original post above. Why would a NJ politician want to reduce local jobs and local tax revenue? If they reduce tax revenue, they have to charge higher taxes elsewhere or provide their citizens with fewer services. What will happen to local politicians who cause fewer jobs, an increase in taxes, or reduced services? They are likely to not be reelected. So local politicians might vote to support dealerships even if dealerships did not contribute to their campaigns, simply because they do not want to lose the jobs and tax revenue for their State.

    I assert that maintaining jobs within a State and enriching State tax coffers are both valid reasons for such laws.

    I am not saying there are not disadvantages to such laws or that I would support such laws despite their disadvantages, such as possible lower car prices. I am saying that supporting such laws does not require or prove political corruption.

  • Mar 12, 2014 @ 09:39am


    "There is basically no valid reason for such laws. They serve no purpose other than to enrich local car dealership owners and state tax coffers at the expense of everyone else -- especially the public."

    This seems like a silly argument to me. The taxes on the dealerships enrich the State coffers, without which, the public would need to be taxed by some other means to make up the shortfall or State services would have to be reduced to the public by an equal amount.

    The public in States with car manufacturing might benefit but the public in States without car manufacturing would suffer. Does not the current system more evenly distribute the tax revenues between States?

  • Aug 24, 2011 @ 05:51am

    Source of fear

    >So I have to wonder where this fear comes from?

    I suspect he's afraid of ebook-based royalties because he earns so much from paper-based royalties, and he may not consider how hard it is for new authors to break in to the big paper publishing companies, and how most of those who do get published by large publishers still don't make much money at it. The advance fee is the only revenue many authors ever see from the large publishers, which is quite small for non-famous authors.

  • Apr 13, 2011 @ 10:05am


    Mike, in case your initial question wasn't purely rhetorical, here's my take on it.

    It's not simply a matter of politicians trying to prevent others from enjoying what they themselves enjoy. It's that there are people who want to hold themselves to a high standard and discover they can't do it by themselves. In the case of "porn", a person may disapprove of it and want to refrain from looking at it themselves, but the temptation turns out to be stronger than their willpower. These folks need external controls to make up for their insufficient self-control.

    When these folks hold political office, I suspect many of them rationalize this way: Porn is bad/wrong, therefore it should be prohibited.

    The fact that they disapprove of it, publicly or privately, has nothing to do with their own lack self-control.

    From this perspective, their political position not elitism or hypocritical, it's just poor reasoning based on personal values. The problem isn't their personal values, it's their poor reasoning on civil governance.

  • Apr 06, 2011 @ 12:49pm

    Get rid of all crime laws?

    >"another unintended consequence is that it could increase false accusations of bribery"

    Doesn't every criminal law have the possibility of increasing false accusations?

  • Apr 04, 2011 @ 06:18pm

    Idiots vs. Liars

    They say they have to have tens of millions of dollars or they have to shut down the servers? It would take a few thousand dollars to keep the servers running for years, as is. Anyone who suggests otherwise is an idiot or a liar.

  • Mar 01, 2011 @ 01:52pm

    Best Spanish language training is free.

    I have free use of RosettaStone via my employer, and it has it strengths, but I actually find this free web site better: http://www.spanishdict.com. SpanishDict only supports Spanish, but it does a great job!

  • Dec 10, 2010 @ 05:44am

    Wrong department...

    It's not overreacting because it's not reacting. And it's not targeting the last leak because such rules have been in place as long as there have been disk burners and flash drives. There are many regulations to control sensitive data, including efforts to ensure only trustworthy people ever have access. Controls will never be perfect, so we have multiple layers of protection, not to eliminate risk, but to reduce it. And lots of places with sensitive data allow flash drives and disk burners under very specific conditions, which usually include that they never leave secure areas of the building in which they're used.

More comments from JDLambert >>