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  • Jul 24th, 2016 @ 2:53pm

    (untitled comment)

    However bad the President may be, the damage done would be less had Congress a approach to their jobs than:

    Step 1: Get elected. (And re-elected)
    Step 2:
    Step 3: Profit!!

    (Maintaining the perfect void of Step 2 inevitably requires all Congresscritters to delegate any actual legislating or decisionmaking to the executive branch and/or lobbyists retained by well-heeled industries. Then the only exceptions are hysterical legislative overreactions to media-driven moral panics and tit-for-tat patronage deals.)

  • Jun 30th, 2016 @ 11:36am

    Re: Of course, they're going to charge...

    Possibly, but this seems, like a lot of cases, to be companies' representatives responding to a clear "Heah's how we-all do bidness roun' heah." message. An employee, in such an environment, pressured by a boss who plainly states he doesn't care about "how they-all do bidness down theah" but wants results and a corrupt potential customer, will usually go along to get along.

    We hypocritically prosecute businessmen for doing business in ways that are accepted overseas but don't seem to be bothered when it involves gov't procurement procedures, military contract bidding or "please just shovel the money into these dumptrucks" union demands.

    It just seems sleazier when the scale is smaller and somehow more acceptable when the bid/contract/procurement specs are hundreds of pages.

  • Jun 30th, 2016 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Malmstroem...

    I'd say presenting EU-free governance for Britain as "nothing", as you have done here, is more than a little disingenuous. Does Britain suddenly have no way to govern itself? Has Brexit left the UK with nothing in the way of governance?

    I'm going to have to pull out my dusty old copy of Wikipedia Brittanica here, but I'm pretty sure Britain governed itself prior to EU membership, and should be able to scuffle along after.

    As for immigration, there seem to be mutually exclusive realities. It is as if you have two friends at work who are next door neighbors.
    Neighbor A says:
    "We invited some black couples over for dinner and my neighbors were quite upset. Never knew they were so racist!"
    Neighbor B says:
    "My neighbor says he's throwing a party, but it appears to be a permanent open house! When I complained about things stolen from my property, people camping in my yard and his "guests" trying to ogle my wife and daughter when they shower, he accused us of being 'inhospitable' and 'racist' and said there was nothing we could do about it!"

    Not sure 'reality' is getting a clear presentation in either story there. But there's obviously a large number of citizens who felt "Shut up, hater." was an inadequate response to their concerns. The Brexit vote shouldn't have been a surprise, even to those who were certain Lindsey Lohan's support would help them carry the day. Maybe she should have supported before the vote.

  • Jun 30th, 2016 @ 7:39am



    When did TD switch over to the top-down corporatist side? Is it the result of blindly following some narrative-"These same people are wrong on A, B and C, so I must oppose position D which they support"?? Or the knee-jerk obeisance to the "Our strength is in our diversity" mantra and it's unspoken clause " every circumstance, without exception and any questioning this is racist"

    I've always been very suspicious when someone presents a position to me that, it is claimed, is correct beyond criticism, analysis or thought. Doesn't seem to bother you, I guess.

    Likewise, to present this dispute as if only the Brexit side used wild hyperbole and unquestioning hatred of "the other" must mean you approve of the knee jerk, sky-is-falling,"maybe we really don't like democracy" post-vote hysteria coming from the Remain camp.

    Wow. I've always respected TechDirt, but this is just head-shakingly sad...

  • Jun 28th, 2016 @ 12:59am

    Re: Nobody is arguing

    Shill gives shill high shill rating. Noted.

    IF the only way to break down a bought-and-paid-for scam is to circumvent the sleazebags in local government who've been selling out their own constituents for decades, so fucking be it. No apologies.

    I only wish the Uber/Lyft approach could be as effective at the fed level.

  • Jun 28th, 2016 @ 12:48am

    Re: Re:

    ^ This. Exactly this.

    And the red herring of purse-clutching alarm over "surge pricing" (otherwise known as'supply and demand') is misplaced, since it serves most effectively as the organic component of the software. Imagine: people freely choosing when and where to work, 'magically' and promptly responding to riders' needs!

    But fuck that. Why suffer the indignities of freedom and choice when we can have city council grifters and union bosses decide these things for us? Why should we listen to satisfied customers and drivers, or take into account public safety when there's an incumbent, entrenched business doing a lousy job to be shaken down?

  • Jun 28th, 2016 @ 12:27am


    You lying sack of shit.

    Although I suppose I really shouldn't say that, since you've taken a page from the proggy playbook and carefully made sure your post was completely fact-free.

    Does that evil "surge pricing" ever, EVER rise to even HALF the nice, steady ripoff pricing of the cabs??

    Yeah, I really love to participate (as the victi...err...'customer') in transactions where the person serving me is incentivized to rip me off in any way he can. That's just swell. Great alternative.

    Also, subtract from your apologia for the downtrodden cabbies the middle eastern gentleman who glared at my un-burka'd, tipsy friend for the entire duration of what she swears was her LAST cab ride ever. Bit of a microaggression there, eh wot? She's lucky he didn't blow up at her over the absence of a gratuity. so to speak.

    So make it 899 carefully vetted, professional "service providers" on the cabbie side.

  • Jun 28th, 2016 @ 12:00am


    I had a rider (Uber) from Austin, little artist gal, who told me the police were actually SUPPORTING the laws killing off the ride-share services, because of the revenue from DUI fines!!

    I found this shocking. I said, "Tha fuck? Putting the lives of the people they're supposed to be "serving and protecting' at risk just for money? Hell, even I'm not that cynical!"

    She said "It's Texas, man. You can't be too cynical."

    She said the restrictive laws were passed with a grand total of 8% of registered voters actually voting for them. Turnout was something like 17%.

    Hope they have a better turnout for the "Texit" Referendum, eh?

  • Jun 15th, 2016 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re: They might have a small point if....

    ^ THIS. Many times over, this. Q: Why is this happening? A: Lawyers wanna get paid.

    The explanation here of "simple, first-level self-interest" satisfies both Occam's and Hanlon's Razors and has considerable explanatory and predictive power.The layer of legalistic complexities found in such filings is just for show. The more counterintuitive the case, the more byzantine the filigree of legalese it will be coated with.

    (This explanation suffices in many other circumstances with much more subtle cause/effect linkages.)

  • May 9th, 2016 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Holy Streisand effect Batman.

    No, people DON'T say "private companies are better at everything".

    People say "free markets are the best way to allocate resources and reward enterprise", but that's nothing at all like what we are seeing in this instance or in the United States in general.

    Thought I'd point that out in case you actually gave a shit about, you know, the truth and all. Which I strongly suspect you don't.

  • May 9th, 2016 @ 8:28am


    Do you have a bot posting things now? Or have you just stopped caring if your posts are relevant in any way to the story to which they're appended?

  • May 8th, 2016 @ 12:09pm

    Re: It could be a planted loop.

    Well, they are using it for fishing, it seems.

    Also, dammit, I received an internet forum death threat in an argument about the proper golf grip, just to note how devalued the currency of violent invective has become in such venues.

  • May 2nd, 2016 @ 7:14pm


    Haaahah!! Yeah, copyright apologists frequently resort to that last refuge of a scoundrel: The Rules. Rules to be obeyed, because, "whatever slippery piratey arguments pirates make, they are the law."

    It makes the shills really uncomfortable to have to face the reality that the law is not a permanent monolith. Their voices get really high when someone suggests that copyright, especially as now constituted/distorted, is clearly NOT a law of nature.

    On the fine day when changes to copyright that benefit both artists and consumers are implemented (now, how does anybody lose in that situation?), I'm sure the people employed as "copyright advocates" will just graciously accept the "Whatever you think, that's the law." argument. Right??

  • May 2nd, 2016 @ 6:19pm


    Fake news is fake. Untrue. Non-facts and non-events reported as actual facts and actual events. People need to put some effort towards determining the truth, rather than just jumping to believe or dismiss reports (as in a Snopes contributor writing an automatically skeptical article dismissing the Emory U Trump Chalk Hysteria.)

    Whereas claims of harassment often have a subjective element. By their assessment of what constitutes abusive, violent or "damaging" speech some people demonstrate such a rare delicacy and finely-honed moral sensibility that I (or others) have to insist they need to own their own emotional reactions. This subjectivity can also be weaponized for internet arguments and utilized in bad faith ("Only a white male cis shitlord would deliberately cause pain to member of an abused, excluded disenfranchised group! You nust want all Xs to die!")

    FB may have their responses a little backwards. Then again their response prioritization may reflect the degree or likelihood of legal responsibility (and the potential cost thereof)

  • Apr 21st, 2016 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes, we'll lead the world in labor-saving technology for the citizen surveillance and national oppression industries!!

    We're number 1!!! We're number 1!!! We're...wait...won't this lead to massive unemployment among the "jackbooted thug", "enhanced coercive interrogation expert" and "truncheon-wielding pedestrian guide" demographics??

    Hmmm...with a minimum of retraining, we can expect to see some strict adherence to mall littering regulations, eh? And a serious upgrade in the enforcement competence of theater ushers. The Invisible Hand resolves such problems, only now it'll grab you by the throat and ask if you've expressed any anti-government sentiments recently.

  • Apr 15th, 2016 @ 12:36am


    Amen. This is why I always oppose granting the government more powers, or greater regulatory scope: it just gives them more shit to sell off. (then when the FCC does good, it throws my whole model off!)

    Then again, this is also why, much as I hate so-called 'progressives' (not sorry, they hated me first), the Republican party presents a wholly unacceptable alternative.

    The parties, along with a gutless, cooperative press, allow the plutocratic class to filter "acceptable" candidates. In some countries, ones we routinely mock, the military acts as such a filter. I don't see our situation as much better.

    Therefore Trump. And, to a certain extent, Bernie. Because people who want to improve the country, people who just want to preserve what's good about the country, people who just don't want to get screwed over any more...all feel totally betrayed by the parties. And the parties, aided by the press, respond to these expressions of outrage and betrayal with "wedge issues" and "culture war".

  • Apr 14th, 2016 @ 10:53pm

    Re: Panama Papers?

    Mossack Fonseca deals/dealt with companies that actually HAVE money, big money. Usually weapon, drug, humn trafficking, corruption and scam money, but real money nonetheless.

    Petty scammers who have to target people whose wealth is below the "enough money to hire a lawyer" threshold, even if they do it in volume, may be a level or two below making MFs' client list.

    BTW, Hillary's tight with a lot of people who are in the first category. A true test of whether we actually have a real Fourth Estate that maintains any pretense of integrity. Or not.

  • Apr 14th, 2016 @ 1:11am

    (untitled comment)

    I'm pretty sure Randy heard "Stairway to Heaven". He never sued.

    When the result of a law is "ghoulish money-grabs by lawyers to benefit people who have created nothing", it's safe to conclude the law is bad. I was kind of looking for a characterization of such law more sophisticated than just "bad", but no, that's about exactly right.

    Yeah, it would be good if the members of Led Zep were to come down on the side of the angels regarding copyright law, but as we all know, it's all about the big IP aggregators getting richer, not the artists.

    And even that "benefit" is secondary to the apparent primary goal of the law here, which is more litigation, because the lawyers on both sides "win".

    Benefit to society, as was actually mentioned in the way long ago??? A very distant third or fourth consideration.

  • Apr 14th, 2016 @ 12:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's very good, and if the case for concern about 'climate change', specifically AGW (I learned it was Anthropogenic Global Warming), were always made in such a manner, you'd see a lot fewer people expressing doubts about the motives of the doomsayers.

    BUT. When people make their case with hyperbole and exaggeration, ad hominem attacks and insults, it's noticeable. How can ALL changes in climate be bad? How can more rain, anywhere, always be bad, and less rain, anywhere, also always be bad?? How can all extreme weather be blamed on AGW? People actually remember that we've always had extreme weather, and over-reporting does not make it, in reality, worse. And NAMING every bit of bad weather! What's that supposed to prove?? And noting the increased DOLLAR COST of severe weather events as support for "action to prevent climate change!"? WTF? It's like a damn marketing campaign...and that's how it appears to people who come away skeptical, myself included.

    Most amazingly, people are falling all over themselves to trust the good will and competence of the UN and the US government to deal with this poorly-defined problem. W.T.F???

    One crisis in the natural world that I do find alarming is the apparent depletion of our national reserves of cynicism. Scary indeed.

  • Apr 13th, 2016 @ 11:16pm

    Re: Re: Really?

    Well, it's always good to see a sincere effort to expound on the realistic prospects regarding climate change.

    And you were doing very well until you got to the part about "population is booming", which is absolutely not true and appears to be just a very dated piece of received "wisdom". It's an OLD "end of the world" panic scenario, (like Erlich's "absolutely unavoidable, billions of deaths due to starvation" and "The coming Ice Age"), but birth rates are falling in most parts of the world, in many places to below replacement level, except for those areas where women are still treated as property and breeding machines.

    If SOME PEOPLE would get their hypocritical heads out of their progressive asses and help the women in said countries achieve equality in education, law and reproductive rights, the population problem would be "solved". There would still be more people than a lot of elitists would like, and I'll admit I have some ideas for dramatic population reduction myself, but we could dump the simplistic "just follow this curve, you'll see we're headed for 100,000,000,000 people! Unsustainable!" hysteria once and for all.

    This may be yet another example of facts being subordinated to "The Narrative", but I thought your explanation was more well-intentioned and truth-oriented than that.

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