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Mayday Anti-PAC On Its Second Round of Funding

LostInTaiwan Re:May Day???? (247 comments)

That's very adolescent of of you to dismiss someone else's idea as adolescent rant while offering nothing of substance except support for status quo. Our system is broken. In addition to our military industrial complex, we also have a prison industrial complex, public sector union mafia, and the new kid on the block, private school public student loan pyramid scheme.

I heard Lawrence Lessig's keynote at SCALE 12X and he sounded like a pragmatic guy. During the typical after talk Q&A session when idealogical can lean a bit to the extremes, politely he kept to his believes and reminded everyone that our system is corrupt, not necessarily the politicians and that we've came a long way since the days where congressmen have safes in their capital office for the random bags of money that just appears.

I am fairly cynical of our entire political process, however I have donated to the Mayday's first round of funding and now I am contemplating selling some of my treasured 2A relics to help fund the second round. As much as I cling to my 2A relics, it's an illusion of power that keep us fat and lazy, sitting comfortably in our homes looking for that next purchase. At least Lessig is doing something to reform our corrupt and inept political system, that far more than anything accomplished with 2A relics in modern time.

I don't know if he will be successful or not, but at least he has a history of advancing our civl liberty causes and MAYDAY, despite the long odds, is one of the better ideas available today.

about 4 months ago
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Lessig Launches a Super PAC To End All Super PACs

LostInTaiwan Re:elections are bought (465 comments)

Guns make you fat and lazy. Just look at the NRA. Decades of advocating the protection of 2A as a mean to protect our collective freedom, yet we have two administration worth of torture, rendition, mass surveillance, and drone strikes, while the NRA grew old and fat. Still yelling the same old crap while our guns rust away in the safe.

Anyway, I donated my half case worth the 62gr .223. If this works, I'm selling my AR/HK/Sigs. If it takes money to buy our freedom back, rather than with guns, so be it!

I hear Lessig's keynote during SCALE 12X. More importantly, I heard his answer during the pubic Q&A. He seems like a pragmatic, hard working guys who lives in the real world.

about 5 months ago
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Million Jars of Peanut Butter Dumped In New Mexico Landfill

LostInTaiwan convergence of wealth, lawyers, and arrogance (440 comments)

Dumping $2.6 million worth of editable food when there are people starving is shocking to most of us. Yet, this is a reflection of our current law suit happy society.

Most of us has very little to loose and most food banks has very little to loose so our local food bank gladly take in our donated food items and we happily go on with our lives do what we can for people who are starving, one canned food at a time. Also, I've volunteered at the local food banks and base on what I've seen, Costco peanut butter is probably an upgrade to the various expired high fructose laden supermarket rejects.

Life is very different for our newly anointed fellow big corporate beings. In their billion dollar world, with their million dollar lawyers, somewhere, somehow, the meaning of starving people became irrelevant. After all, corporations do not understand the physical pain of starvation.

about 6 months ago
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Senator Accuses CIA of Snooping On Intelligence Committee Computers

LostInTaiwan Re:Sure, I'm the idiot (242 comments)

You too? I thought I'm the only idiot in the room. . . .

about 7 months ago
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Google Sells Motorola Mobility To Lenovo For $2.91 Billion

LostInTaiwan Lenovo again? (172 comments)

Lenovo again? First you took my Thinkpad now my Moto X.

I guess the "Don't be Evil" Google is long dead. The principled stand of exiting from the Chinese market, followed by assembling the Moto X in the US, then selling Motorola to Lenovo? ? ? WTF, Google.

about 8 months ago
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Chinese Search Giant Baidu Launches International Sites

LostInTaiwan Re:Question U.S. censorship? (38 comments)

Yes, US is guilty of everything you listed. We can talk about all the past and present failed US policies. We can openly criticize the policies. For those of us who live in the US, we can even openly organize to remove the politicians in questions. That is the difference between democratic nations and authoritarian countries.

Like the old saying, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." US has certainly slipped but it is still far ahead of China is terms of basic civil rights for all.

about 8 months ago
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200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove

LostInTaiwan Re:Everyone creates arbitrary lines (628 comments)

Um, Veganism is about minimizing cruelty and suffering. Vegetarianism is just a form of diet. I know plenty of vegetarian with leather handbags and leather upholstered car interiors.

I do eat meat but I am a bit uncomfortable with the whole classifying living things into how complex they are according to human definitions. It goes without saying, life is essential to every living being regardless of their CNS complexity. Just because something doesn't feel what humans perceive to "pain" does not mean that they do not feel "pain." Everyday we learn something new about our environment and our fellow Earth cohabitants. The old thinking that crustaceans do not feel pain is being dispelled by new research data.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is There a Good Device Holster?

LostInTaiwan cargo pants (296 comments)

I usually store my nexus 7 into the thigh pockets of my cargo pants. It's fairly secure, especially in pockets large enough to button up. Fairly inexpensive and unobtrusive. The weight of the nexus 7 is held very close to the body so I really don't feel the extra mass, unlike putting it in a oversize jacket pocket.

about a year ago
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Revealed: How the UK Spied On Its G20 Allies At London Summits

LostInTaiwan Was a Hero, now a Traitor (262 comments)

Snowden was a hero for exposing domestic spying of American by NSA. However, by disclosing US spying on foreign governments, Snowden has crossed the line.

Disclosing anything related to foreign affairs short of atrocities that involve the lost of innocent lives is treasonous. By claiming US hacking of foreign networks and now the disclosure on UK spying, Snowden is hurting his own credibility as a whistleblower which will damage the current push to hold NSA accountable for domestic spying.

 

about a year ago
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Chinese Intellectual Property Acquisition Tactics Exposed

LostInTaiwan Re:Like college and grad school (398 comments)

Whatever fault and atrocity US may have committed, anyone in the world is free to criticize and any US resident is free to discuss and lobby for change. The same cannot be said for China and that is fundamental difference between China and the rest of the free world.

I disagree strong with the Patriot Act, the use of torture and the Iraq War, but even I know that those actions pale in comparison to the tens of millions if not hundred of millions of Chinese that perished in the last 50 years due to the ineptness of an authoritarian regime.

While China certainly has achieve spectacular economic growth in the last 50 years, but I would argue that the US civil rights movement that continues today has far more importance than avoiding starvation.

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft Kills Office Anti-Piracy Program

LostInTaiwan Re:Any bets... (233 comments)

I am kind of the IT person in a small company with about 20 users and I switched everyone over to OpenOffice 4 or 5 years ago and we have never looked back. OO has certainly came a long way since we started using it. There's a few access programs we use to run reports that I haven't been able to convert to postgresql, but I only need on copy of MS office running on the W2K server and that pretty much solved our report generation.

With the money we saved from using open office and the various linux email/web/sql servers, I managed to upgrade everyone to dual 20" screen desktops. The hylafax fax server I installed almost 10 years ago is still running today. Nothing MS made ever lasted that long, because like it or not you're forced to upgrade every few years.

BTW, I stay away from any external web based application because we simply do not have enough bandwidth to handle the traffic volume. As much as I like gmail, it's a lot faster to send a 3mb email attachment to an email server on the dmz. We're still limited by the T1 bandwidth, but at least I am free to do other tasks instead of waiting for the attachment to upload.

more than 3 years ago
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Conservative Textbook Curriculum Passes Final Vote In Texas

LostInTaiwan Don't touch Thomas (895 comments)

Reducing the role of Thomas Jefferson? Why? He's one of my favorite founding father. The person who writes so eloquently about freedom and dares to question the validity of God by cutting and pasting his own version of the bible. Yet, he still chooses to keep slave and may have even father children with slaves. To me, Thomas Jefferson personifies the constant struggle we all have between liberty and financial reality.

Our society is best served when we base our laws and actions on our collective logic and reason. What ever flaws DOE or any other government bureaucracy has is infinitely better than having our laws decided base on a illogical text supposedly written by God but in reality is written by men masquerading as God. The social conservative can't win their arguments base on science or logic so now they are trying to subvert our nation with politics staring with our children. I am ashamed to be a registered Republican. Damn, when they said small fiscally responsible government I didn't know the plan was to save money by moving city hall to the local christian churches and hand everyone a bible as an all purpose first aid kit, universal text book, and life's decision maker. . . . .

more than 4 years ago
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One Year Later, USPS Looks Into Gamefly Complaint

LostInTaiwan Re:predictable (183 comments)

I was on the privatization wagon until GWB started to "privatize" our armed forces

GWB didn't privatize the armed forces. Contractors were used to fill the roles that DoD lacked the manpower to fill because of the post Cold War draw down of the American military. The proper thing to do would have been to institute a military draft to provide DoD with the required manpower. The downside to this is that we'd have to justify our foreign policy to the American people and nobody on either side of the aisle wants to do that....

I lean toward the draft. Let the politicians justify their decision to the American people and we should all get a chance to shoulder the responsibility of our country going to war beside shopping at the local air conditioned malls. Put everyone on reserve status.

I don't care for the private contractors because I don't see why Blackwater should be paid a premium to do what normal American solders do everyday and I don't see why Haliburton should make a profit for doing what normal American solders used to do.

FedEx/UPS on the other hand discriminate base on your shipping volume and profitability.

Why is this a bad thing? If you mail one package a year and ask them to come to your location to pick it up it doubtless costs them more than someone who regularly mails packages.

That depends on if you view postal service as a public service or private service. I view it as a public service and as a public service it should treat everyone roughly the same. Image if you are a farmer in rural American and has to pay "market" price every time you want send in your utility payment.

Or, imaging waiting in that long postal office line only to have people walk in and constantly cut in front of you because they are the "volume" shippers

There is a reason why USPS looses money year after year

Above market wages?

I am fairly cheap so I think most government workers are overpaid, including the USPS. But I think USPS looses money because they are a public service and cannot discriminate against the rural population.

Sometimes the special FedEx/UPS surcharges cost more then USPS's parcel rate for rural areas.

However, where else can you mail something for $0.44 to anywhere in the US

Why is that a good thing? If I walk into my post office and "mail" something to a PO box contained within that same post office it ought to cost less than mailing something to Alaska or Hawaii.

The good thing is that they treat everyone roughly the same.

more than 4 years ago
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One Year Later, USPS Looks Into Gamefly Complaint

LostInTaiwan Re:predictable (183 comments)

I was on the privatization wagon until GWB started to "privatize" our armed forces and now BHO wants to "privatize" our space exploration. I love the USPS/FedEx/UPS comparison. The good thing about USPS is that they usually don't care who you are or how much you ship, you pretty much get the same overall treatment depending on the mood of their staff. FedEx/UPS on the other hand discriminate base on your shipping volume and profitability.

There is a reason why USPS looses money year after year, beside the typical government bureaucracy. However, where else can you mail something for $0.44 to anywhere in the US with no additional charge for Saturday delivery.

more than 4 years ago
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China Debuts the World's Fastest Train

LostInTaiwan Re:Big Picture: this is no surprise at all (491 comments)

In our pursuit of ever cheaper crap most of us forgot that freedom is not free. . . . C'mon people. . . wake up!

China is not Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, or even Singapore. It's not a free and democratic country and the last 10 years proved that we don't have a snowball chance in hell of either luring China toward democracy or contain China's brand of authoritarian capitalism. Combine our insatiable desire for imports and China's currency manipulation and we created our current financial meltdown. Sadly, the extraordinary efforts we made to save our economy ultimately benefited our biggest creditor, China. More bullet trains for China.

So here we are facing a downward financial and technological spiral and instead of looking to Germany or Japan for inspiration, our politicians want to frame every single political debate around religion or what they think the bible says. . . sad. . damn sad. .

more than 4 years ago
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Iran Tries To Pacify Protesters With Lord of The Rings Marathon

LostInTaiwan Re:The Grotesquely Ugly Truth (419 comments)

Cultures are different. Vietnamese culture and Iranian culture are different. The Iranians bear 100% of the blame for the existence of a tyrannical government in Iran. We should condemn Iranian culture and its people.

I don't think the Vietnamese government was elected, either democratically or through vote rigging. You are confusing economic progress with democratic progress. In terms of advancing democratic ideas, given what we've seen in the last weeks, Iran is far ahead of the pacified Vietnamese population.

Since you are assigning blame on a percentage basis and I don't know your lifestyle, so it'll have to be a self assessment, how much blame do you deserve for buying and using products that originated from places ruled by tyrannical government?

more than 5 years ago
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China Starts/Stops Blocking Google

LostInTaiwan Re:Local Laws (142 comments)

Free trade with nations that are not free is call exploitation. It's collusion between an authoritarian government exploiting its silenced population and the merchants exploiting the ignorance of their consumers. Authoritarian governments rule by force and it's naive to think that there will not be a corresponding rise in military prowess with every net inflow of economic dollar, yet we continues to feed countries like China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia as if freedom is indeed free. One day, we are all going to wake up and find ourselves jobless and in debt to some of the nastiest government in the world. What are we doing to do then? They've already caught up to us economically and technologically. Their citizens had all been taught, with help of modern censorship, to believe that we're all a bunch of lazy arrogant bums that deserves whatever is coming to us as deem necessary by their governments. But, that's way way down the line in an uncertain future so who cares right?

At the end, the executives are the only ones who benefits from trading with authoritarian regimes. The executives are the only ones making continuous withdraw from the company coffer via salaries and bonuses while the shareholders play the musical chairs in the stock market. It amazes me to see nationally known companies using chapter 11 filing as if it's part of a normal business plan, never mind that the stockholder's equity are wiped out in such reorganization. The executives don't cares because they know their salaries are guaranteed and there's an endless pool of suckers being drawn into the stock market everyday, either willingly through direct investment or unwillingly through retirement plans.

Come to think of it, is capitalism compatible with democracy? . . . i wonder. I think so. It's what I've been taught it's ingrained in my psyche. But. . . how come it doesn't seem as true anymore.

more than 5 years ago
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China Starts/Stops Blocking Google

LostInTaiwan Re:Local Laws (142 comments)

The analogy to censorship in China will be "What problem? There is no problem to sort out by anyone." Please stop comparing democratic societies to that of China. No government is perfect and even democratic countries can make some very lousy decisions, just take a look at the history of the US. However, the difference is that in democratic societies we can freely voice opposing views without censorship, and even that is not 100% true all the time. Time and time again we have to challenge our own government in the courts to protect free speech. These are the things are are missing with China's censorship. US and most of Europe will not be where they are today had our government imposed the type of censorship being practiced by the Chinese government. Unchecked censorship and economic/military growth produce complacent and content citizens who are ignorant of death camps in their own backyards.

more than 5 years ago
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Middle-School Strip Search Ruled Unconstitutional

LostInTaiwan Re:And the "!" in the 8 to 1 is... (528 comments)

We went from Thurgood Marshall to Clarence Thomas. This is what happens when we nominate people on the basis of their skin color.

more than 5 years ago
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Chinese Social Websites Go Under "Maintenance"

LostInTaiwan Re:You are confusing facts with attitudes. (84 comments)

Regardless of whether the "middle class" Chinese don't know, or don't know the details, or simply don't care is debatable. There really is nothing we can do about people's mentality. However, like I've mentioned before, if the Chinese government wants to indiscriminately censor all material related to the Tienanmen Square massacre, we use China's own censors to sent Chinese people a message.

Sure you can argue what kind of message will a blank screen send, probably not much but at least it will serve as an involuntary "net" holiday for the Chinese internet users on June 4th. Whether they want to ask "why" internet goes blank on June 4th is entire up to them but that's something we, on the outside, can do with very little cost.

I really don't have problem with any type of government or religion as long if dissenting views are allowed. Like you've mentioned, we all interpret "facts" differently, however, as we've seen in the last few year, a consensus on the "facts" leading up to the Iraq war is forming and no matter how Cheney spins his story, more and more people are starting to doubt his version of the "facts" and I consider myself to be a more hawkish Republican. None of this will be possible if people do not have the option of dissent and free press.

more than 5 years ago

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