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Comments

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The U.S. minimum wage should be

jimmy_dean Re:Get rid of it. (1106 comments)

And what if your friends are broke too and your church is made up of other people who are also broke? This is hardly hypothetical: If you go into poor neighborhoods, you'll find churches that can barely afford to keep their lights on, and in some cases pastors who do the job on a volunteer basis. Also, how much better is "Work or belong to a church or die" versus "Work or die"? How about if the only available source of charity was a local mosque, and they said that they'd only help you if you converted to Islam, are you still happy with this solution?

Another way of thinking about it: Why is it that 15-year-old girls in Indonesia are willing to work in sweatshops for $0.34 per hour making Nike sneakers 15 hours a day? Do you seriously think that those girls are doing that because they have other viable options?

So nowhere did I say that things are perfect. However, I do believe that forced "charity" is evil. If governments were truly able to target just people like in your more rare hypothetical situation, I would have less of a problem with that. But it's not how things happen; instead, things get so entrenched because the people that keep voting for systems, such as minimum wage increases and gross welfare systems, are the same people who pay zero taxes! Why wouldn't they want to keep this system going so that they have to work very little or not at all? Second, it's easy just to assume that because a government "does something" versus leaving things up to truly caring individuals, entities and communities that things are getting better for these people. I submit, and there's plenty of studies to back me on this, that governments make it worse when they do more than just a little to help people. They create a crony, perpetual system that keeps the poor in more bondage to a broken system than if they were stuck in your sweatshop example. I challenge you to name a government program that's truly helped people without hurting anybody else. There are very few, if any. Governments transfer pain, they never make everybody better off at the same time.

about a year and a half ago
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British Farmers Growing Their Own Internet Service

jimmy_dean Re:Or... (178 comments)

Right on! :) Yay for cronies!

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should We Have the Option of Treating Google Like a Utility?

jimmy_dean Re:AT&T (238 comments)

How much you would be willing to pay AT&T to ensure they did not give your information to the NSA?

For the analogy-impaired: Google and Facebook might be happy to sell you "privacy", but they're still not going to say "no" when the feds come knocking.

Yes exactly. I could (almost) care less about which other private entities a company like Google or AT&T sell access to my data only because what they do with that data is limited. What I do fear though is these companies bending so easily to when governments come knocking, demanding data. Governments have the power (they have the big guns) to put you in prison or to completely ruin your life and these types of things have gotten this out of control thanks to the U.S. government scaring people about terrorism. It's been a perfect storm really, we'll hand over all of our liberties in order to get "security." Well we've gotten neither now as we've given up our liberties and we really aren't any safer, plus we have the annoying and expensive Department of Homeland Security and an overreaching TSA. Bush started it, Obama continues to expand it.

about a year and a half ago
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The U.S. minimum wage should be

jimmy_dean Re:Get rid of it. (1106 comments)

That's wrong, there's a 3rd option. It's called having friends and being part of an organization, like a church, that will openly love and support you. Someone can choose to be prideful and not ask for help from things like this, but that's their choice. Forcing me through taxation to support someone is not charity, it's evil. The moral high ground rests in me choosing to help someone, or being available for someone to come and ask for my support for their hard financial and/or emotional times.

about a year and a half ago
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The U.S. minimum wage should be

jimmy_dean Re:Get rid of it. (1106 comments)

That's really overly simplistic. Poverty is a complex issue, and having a minimum wage versus not is not going to solve poverty. The point that proponents of minimum wage never stop to ask is their basic assumption, that minimum wage actually does help people to make enough to not be pragmatically poor. However, most of the evidence suggests (no it's not black and white) that in fact, minimum wage doesn't actually solve this problem. It seems intuitive that it would, but it's far from being intuitive. Here's a thought experiment. If we could solve people being poor by simply legislating a wage floor, then why not raise the wage to $100 an hour. If it's as simple as that, then everyone could instantly be rich! Why not $1000 an hour? Yes poverty is a problem and no, not everyone can be rich in this far from perfect world. The law of scarcity (the basis for all of economics) is that there is not enough to go around of anything in this world, and the best way to allocate that for almost everything is in a free market. When a government tries to impose artificial price floors or ceilings, it's the same as a basic law of Physics, shortages result. Governments, individuals, companies, everybody, are all subject to this basic law of the universe. Legislating minimum wage does not rewrite this law of economics.

So then ask yourself, if you're not for a $100 or $1000 an hour minimum wage, why is that so obviously wrong to you whereas $7.25 isn't as obvious to you? Don't let the emotion of poor people suffering on the streets cloud your judgement. We can help poor people in many ways, we're just discussing whether minimum wage actually does that, instead of only intending to do that but making people worse off.

about a year and a half ago
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France Plans 20-Billion Euro National Broadband Plan

jimmy_dean Re:Cool! (178 comments)

Wait what!? Stop that! You're making too much sense!

about a year and a half ago
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France Plans 20-Billion Euro National Broadband Plan

jimmy_dean Re:[NOT]Cool! (178 comments)

Then most of the world is communism...
The government builds roads and all manner of other infrastructure for the benefit of all the people.
Many things are simply not economically viable to do in a capitalist system, so they would never get done at all without government intervention.

Two things, your last statement about things never getting done without government is easy to say, very difficult to prove.

Second, our crumbling and dangerous and non-innovative roads in the US seem to bend more rims on potholes and keep car repair shops in business than they do to help anybody. :)

about a year and a half ago
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Richard Stallman's Solution To 'Too Big To Fail'

jimmy_dean Re:I have a better idea... (649 comments)

Cool, another internet homespun philosopher who's been educated in the University Of Life and don't need no fancy economics professor to tell him what o'clock it is when the cows need milking.

Yeah, because you know me so well! What would I do without someone like you to put me in my box?

about a year and a half ago
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Richard Stallman's Solution To 'Too Big To Fail'

jimmy_dean Re:I have a better idea... (649 comments)

That's what they wanted you to think, but really, can you prove that? That's a huge conjecture. And even if it was true, I don't like the current state of the economy nor all of the power the government has usurped from productive citizens. All the government did was to make the hangover temporarily go away by drinking more alcohol. You don't cure a hangover that way. You endure the pain, and you don't get wasted in the future.

about a year and a half ago
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Richard Stallman's Solution To 'Too Big To Fail'

jimmy_dean Re:I have a better idea... (649 comments)

Bingo! It's a plain and simple solution, and it works! What I want to know is, what rules can we put in place to automatically shrink the size of government when it gets too big to fail?

about a year and a half ago
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FCC Proposal Would Cover the US With Public Wi-Fi

jimmy_dean Re:how is this different from other utilities (299 comments)

I live up in Canada. My car insurance, electrical power, natural gas, water, and waste treatment are all provided as government-owned (that is to say, owned by *me*) utilies. Our rates are lower than the private rates in nearby provinces.

I'm currently charged exorbitant amounts of money for internet access by a private ISP (the local cable company). I would *love* for the city to take over last-mile Internet connectivity, and then a bunch of independent ISPs could offer different packages for upstream connectivity. As it stands you have two choices for Internet access, the phone company or the cable company.

The "low" rate is what you might be billed by "your" utilities, but what are the true prices of such service? Could such utilities survive without the local government subsidizing them with tax money? So if you took away the tax money, you'd better believe the price would be higher directly to you. Second, if government-owned things are such a silver bullet, why not nationalize everything. Then you would completely control everything! If you think that's absurd, then how would you propose what should be nationalized (or owned by local governments) and what should be private? How can you truly know how efficient and effective your government agencies are? There's really no such thing.

about a year and a half ago
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FCC Proposal Would Cover the US With Public Wi-Fi

jimmy_dean Re:Cue the (299 comments)

Good citations, you really convinced me that "competition" has failed. So then lets insert the government to do it, because they never fail! /sarcasm

about a year and a half ago
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FCC Proposal Would Cover the US With Public Wi-Fi

jimmy_dean Re:Cue the (299 comments)

the Sausage Master is right.

Wow, someone actually agrees with me on /. That's like a first. :)

about a year and a half ago
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FCC Proposal Would Cover the US With Public Wi-Fi

jimmy_dean Re:Cue the (299 comments)

I agree. Not only is it a luxury item that is important, but it's too important for the government to control. Can you imagine the security implications and headaches a network like this would have? There are so many technical, economic and legal unintended consequences to this, it's not even funny. If the government might do anything (and even here I'm skeptical), they should help make sure that the current private means of getting on the 'net remain competitive and sooner than later, cheap Internet in many different forms will be ubiquitous without the unintended consequences that only a government can create.

I predict this will also be a new avenue for the US federal government to regulate the Internet into oblivion. This is a setup for a massive new power grab.

about a year and a half ago
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Futuristic Highway Will Glow In the Dark For Icy Conditions

jimmy_dean Re:Very little incentive to innovate (174 comments)

Yes of course road quality varies, and who knows exactly why some jurisdictions have much better roads than others. It's definitely not as simple as "the voters to want it." In an ideal world, that would be true. But like I replied to another comment, there are all kinds of things standing in the way of true representation like that such as corruption, lobbying, lust for power, the legislators personally disagreeing, etc.

Take a look at this from economist Walter Block, it's pretty good: The privatization of roads

about 2 years ago
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Futuristic Highway Will Glow In the Dark For Icy Conditions

jimmy_dean Re:Very little incentive to innovate (174 comments)

"I would say a government has more incentive than any private entity in maintaining roads. What incentive would a private contractor have in maintining it right? If it gets paid a fixed rate for "operation" then the more skimping on quality means more profit."

I wasn't necessarily comparing to private road operators, but you clearly don't understand the concept of competition. Of course a company who would have zero other competition would be horrible at road maintenance (just like the government operator). But that scenario does not and would not exist. If private road operators were able to properly pay for and acquire the right of way to build new parallel roads, people could choose the best route to get somewhere. So of course it's a bit more complex than that, but you get my point. Also, different modes of transportation provide incentives to maintain the roads well by private entities. This is not true of a government. If people prefer the local trains because the roads have too many potholes and feel dangerous, it won't just go fix the roads. There are so many political wills to take into account, plus lobbying, labor unions, regulations, and the personal feelings of the legislators. It's much simpler and more straightforward for a private company compared to a government.

about 2 years ago
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Futuristic Highway Will Glow In the Dark For Icy Conditions

jimmy_dean Very little incentive to innovate (174 comments)

I'm not trying to insert a discussion of the pros and cons of the government making and maintaining roads, but simply trying to state that governments have very little, if any, incentive to improve roads, improve the safety of roads or use new innovative techniques. It usually takes a crisis before new things get implemented. Under normal circumstances they have very little incentive to continually raise the bar and wow the user (all of us) of the roads.

about 2 years ago
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David Cameron 'Orders New Curbs On Internet Porn'

jimmy_dean Nanny (345 comments)

For those who are generally ok with the government knowing best for them, how can you justify your position with something like this? It clearly is something so egregious, so ridiculous, so out-of-bounds! Honestly, how is this about protecting people at all and not about special interests, money and more power? I find people who trust their government officials to do the "right thing" for the "greater good" to be really naive. The best kind of government is the one that does the minimal. Protects justice by providing a judicial system to resolve conflicts after the fact, a defense force that protects the borders and does not get involved in offensive wars or peace missions (unless invited by allies), and highly federal (meaning localized, not nationalized) police forces. This is the only way to keep things like this ridiculous new power grab from happening. But even then, I'm pessimistic that such a government wouldn't still grow into the tyrannical behemoths that we have today in the "free" world. How can anyone defend such power grabs?

about 2 years ago
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Google Threatens French Media Ban

jimmy_dean Re:careful what you wish for (419 comments)

> I just summarized it and provided a link.

You make it sound so simple. If you think you can do that better, do it. And get those ten thousand bucks yourself.

Google is doing something that _no one else in the world is able to do half as well as them_. I think they deserve their money for that. The "simple summary work" that you point out is way more complex than you make it sound.

So no, you are not entitled to a piece of that simply because you wrote an article.

Completely agree. Well said. It's easy to say something is easy and straightforward after the fact, but what Google has done and continues to do is nothing short of amazing.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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GNOME Journal November Issue

jimmy_dean jimmy_dean writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jimmy_dean writes "The GNOME Journal team is pleased to announce Issue 17 of the GNOME Journal, Women In Open Source.

This is our first ever issue with a unified theme and all articles were written by women in the open source community. The idea and execution of this issue was created by the GNOME Women community.

The following articles are in this issue:

Telepathy, Empathy and Mission Control 5 in GNOME 2.28
Telepathy Overview
The Un-Scary Screwdriver
Where are they now? The Participants of the 2006 Women's Summer Outreach Program
Easy Breezy Beautiful GNOME Shell
GNOME desktop testing automation and how to use Mago
Epiphany from a — not so experienced — user perspective
An Interview with Leslie Hawthorn"

Link to Original Source
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jimmy_dean jimmy_dean writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jimmy_dean writes "Here's an interview with the man who is behind most of the spiffy icons in GNOME, Jakub Steiner. Follow this interview to a discussion of the Tango project as well as other interesting tidbits from the Inkscape and Open Clipart project with Andreas Nilsson."

Journals

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