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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

moeinvt Excellent idea (839 comments)

Repeal the corporate income tax and personal income tax in favor of a consumption tax. Now, before you can say "that will hurt the poor" check out

http://fairtax.org/

Under this system, you get a tax "prebate" so that a poor person would still pay zero net tax over the course of the year. The consumption tax that they would pay on spending their meager income gets refunded before they pay it.

Think about it. Whether you're producing electronics or growing potatoes, work is the most productive activity in the economy. Consumption is the least productive. Furthermore, the ridiculously complicated tax code is where politicians love to include handouts to favored constituents. With the fair tax, the complexity disappears.

about 2 months ago
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DARPA Technology Could Uncover Counterfeit Microchips

moeinvt Re:Define "counterfeit" (35 comments)

That's a very good question, but DARPA actually did define "counterfeit" in the SHIELD RFP. It was a very broad and very verbose definition that covered used and other sub-standard parts.

about 3 months ago
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DARPA Technology Could Uncover Counterfeit Microchips

moeinvt Re:There are easier ways to discover them... (35 comments)

Their broad definition of "counterfeit" includes the cheap knockoffs that might be functionally equivalent but substandard.

about 3 months ago
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Comcast Executives Appear To Share Cozy Relationships With Regulators

moeinvt Re:Stupid Americans (63 comments)

Exactly.

I think the most glaring example is in the area of financial regulators. The U.S. federal government has the SEC, OTS, CFTC, FDIC, OCC and a financial crimes unit of the FBI.
Yet they FAILED to prevent the 2007 financial crisis and have FAILED to investigate and prosecute any of the big financial institutions for criminal activity? That undoubtedly demonstrates complicity or incompetence, but AFAIK, nobody in these agencies has been fired or reprimanded for their negligence/complicity.
Rather than investigating WTF is wrong with all of these agencies and ferreting out the corrupt and incompetent, government's solution is to create a NEW regulatory agency. Add the CFPB to the above list!

Yes, the Americans who believe big government serves to protect us little people from the big bad corporations are either stupid or extremely misguided. All the new laws and regulations are meaningless when the regulatory agencies refuse to enforce them. Why spend billions of dollars paying these people to NOT do their jobs? If we fired them all, we'd get the same outcome for lower cost.

about 6 months ago
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Comcast Executives Appear To Share Cozy Relationships With Regulators

moeinvt Telecoms among top lobbying spenders(opensecrets) (63 comments)

The big telecoms are perennially in the top 20 companies/organizations in terms of annual lobbying expenditure. In 2012 for example:

https://www.opensecrets.org/lo...

#10 AT&T $17,460,000
#15 Verizon $15,220,000
#16 Comcast $14,750,000

Imagine what they dump into PACs and campaign contributions? How many regulators are past or future execs in these companies?

about 6 months ago
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Study: People Would Rather Be Shocked Than Be Alone With Their Thoughts

moeinvt Re:Buddhist meditation... (333 comments)

The concept of the "mind monkey" has been around for centuries in Buddhism. i.e. the mind sort of naturally jumps around like a monkey. When I took a yoga class that included meditation, the instructor said that you need to give your mind something to do. That's why you focus on your breathing. He said to let your thoughts come and go but treat them as if you were an outside observer and return your focus to your breath.
The constant flow of information we have today absolutely must affect out psychology. Maybe our minds jump around even more? I think the goal of meditation remains the same.

about 6 months ago
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Study: People Would Rather Be Shocked Than Be Alone With Their Thoughts

moeinvt Re:Curious (333 comments)

I think that's precisely what I'd be do as well. I wouldn't be able to resist experimenting with the only electrical device in the room. At least once anyway.

about 6 months ago
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Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

moeinvt Re:Google Can And Should Be Blamed (243 comments)

The whole problem with corporations is that government grants them privilege without responsibility.

By shielding the executives from any personal civil responsibility by the nature of corporate law, AND shielding them from any criminal responsibility by failure to prosecute clear instances of criminal activity, the incentives become completely warped.

I agree that boycott is a good tool, but rich corporate execs should have to follow the same laws as the rest of us. We should also reform some of the limited civil liability provisions of corporate law and/or attach extra legal responsibilities in exchange for the legal privileges.

about 8 months ago
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Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

moeinvt Re:fucked up (243 comments)

The government wrote the laws stating that execs are required to act in the best interests of their shareholder. I don't know why people get so angry at corporations behaving exactly how we should expect them to.

Nor do I understand why people who incessantly complain about corporations don't work on reforming corporate law. There is no reason why the legal privileges that come from incorporation cannot be balanced with a set of legal responsibilities. Right now however, their only responsibility is a single-minded focus on the bottom line.

about 8 months ago
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Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

moeinvt Re:Cameras replace mirrors? IF YOU'RE RETARDED may (496 comments)

The motors and defrosters can fail, but the mirror can still be adjusted and cleaned by hand. Once the camera fails, you're blind. Seems like a camera would be equally if not more vulnerable to ice buildup and more delicate to clean. For winter drivers, they cameras will also need to withstand months of being splattered with salt (or whatever other chemicals are used) and sand. I think I'll take my chances with the mirror.

The fact that we have differences of opinion is all the more reason for the government to butt out and let the manufacturers and consumers decide.

about 9 months ago
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Environmental Report Raises Pressure On Obama To Approve Keystone Pipeline

moeinvt Forget so-called "Global Warming" for a minute (301 comments)

The Keystone XL pipeline will be carrying nasty chemicals over a distance of some 2000 miles. It will be crossing areas of pristine wilderness, wetlands, countless rivers and streams and freshwater aquifers that serve as drinking water supplies.
Look at the recent episode in West Virginia. There is no possible way for the Keystone XL operators to guarantee that there will be 0 leaks, especially as the thing ages. What if 100,000 barrels of tar-sands crap spills into a body of water? Is there any amount of money that could compensate for the potential damages?
Global warming is BS, but there are plenty of good reasons NOT to build the pipeline.
I figured that Obama would cave in during his second term. Notice that he didn't have the guts to make a firm decision before the election.

about a year ago
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Anti-Polygraph Instructor Who Was Targeted By Feds Goes Public

moeinvt Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (197 comments)

On what basis do you conclude that organic food is not about health? Look carefully at who conducted and funded any study which makes such claims. Then, look at exactly what they are asserting.

I've seen a study which analyzed the nutritional content of organic food vs. other food. i.e. vitamin and mineral content, and the conclusion was that there was no difference. However, the study did not take into account pesticide residue or any other harmful contents in the non-organic food.

about a year ago
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Man Shot To Death For Texting During Movie

moeinvt Re:Right so! (1431 comments)

If you seriously subscribe to that interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, then, by direct implication, the 1st Amendment applies only to word of mouth, the quill pen and the printing press. Also by implication, the 4th amendment would apply only to printed or hand written "papers".

Looking at the # of firearms-related deaths and assuming you can save those lives through gun bans is naive. People will find alternate means of committing suicide(leading cause of firearms-related deaths). Murderers will find other means to kill. Criminal gangs (a major source of gun violence) will ignore gun bans entirely.
Furthermore, you would leave the population completely vulnerable to armed criminals. That's not about saving lives, it's merely swapping one set of victims for another.

about a year ago
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NSA Still Funded To Spy On US Phone Records

moeinvt Edward Snowden... (362 comments)

In one of Snowden's early public statements he said that one of his primary motivations was to inform the people of what the government was doing so that we could have a public discussion about it.

Does anyone think this vote would have happened without his actions?

In addition, ACLU has filed a new lawsuit against the NSA. An earlier lawsuit had been shot down on the grounds that they didn't have legal standing to sue because nobody could prove that they had been directly affected. Of course the proof could only come from government which refused to provide it. Now that we know more about what the NSA is doing, e.g. collecting data on ALL Verizon customers, the government might finally have to argue their case before a court and try to convince people that their actions are consistent with The Constitution.

Cheers to Edward Snowden, William Binney and alll of the other whistleblowers who have risked so much to reveal government malfeasance.

about a year ago
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Fifteen Years After Autism Panic, a Plague of Measles Erupts

moeinvt Informed personal choice (668 comments)

I was all for vaccinations until my state government decided that the government schools were going to administer them and that it was going to be mandatory.

If people want to believe or disbelieve the autism link and make an informed choice with their doctor, so be it. I draw the line when the plan is for schools to be sticking needles into kids' arms.

about a year ago
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DNI Office Asks Why People Trust Facebook More Than the Government

moeinvt Re:We are the enemy of state (273 comments)

They've already used their extreme powers of fighting "terrorism" to go after the extreme wing of the environmental movement. Acts which, 20 years ago, would have been prosecuted as vandalism or arson are now "terrorism" because of political ideology.

I think they've taken this so far that anyone with libertarian or even conservative leaning ideology who wishes to make the government smaller could be considered a "terrorist". After all, if you want to cut the size of the federal government by 60%, are you not a "threat" to them? DHS and the CTC have already published documents about the "threat" of right wing extremists.

about a year ago
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Spanish Chatbot Hunts For Pedophiles

moeinvt Re:What could go wrong? (186 comments)

FYI, in Florida v. Jardines, the SCOTUS ruled that having a dog sniff around the outside of a house is an illegal search i.e. the dog's opinion cannot be treated as "probable cause" and cannot be used as evidence for the purpose of getting a search warrant.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/11-564

Unfortunately, in Kentucky v. King they ruled that if the cops smell weed and, after announcing their presence, hear sounds of you "destroying evidence", they can kick down your door.

about a year and a half ago
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Orson Scott Card Pleads 'Tolerance' For Ender's Game Movie

moeinvt Re:Typical misunderstanding of free speech (1448 comments)

Wrong. If there are "consequences" to the exercise of free speech then we, as a society, don't really have freedom of speech.

The fact that we have attempted to prohibit government from imposing these consequences is laudable. It's unfortunate that we don't embrace the same idea in a cultural sense.

about a year and a half ago
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Orson Scott Card Pleads 'Tolerance' For Ender's Game Movie

moeinvt Good excuse to go see it (1448 comments)

I'm not a huge fan of OSC, but now I'm going to go see the film just to express my support for the idea that people shouldn't be financially persecuted for having unpopular opinions.

about a year and a half ago
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Foxconn's Robot Workforce Now 20,000 Strong

moeinvt Re:Productivity is a good thing, jobs are not... (213 comments)

You might be interested in a book called "Progress and Poverty".

The fact that we've had such gains in productivity, especially from the Industrial Revolution to the present, but have also had a perpetual underclass of poor and homeless is rather perplexing.

The book is a theory attempting to explain the conundrum and some suggested public policy measures to address it. In brief, the author suggests that resource monopoly is the fundamental cause of unequal wealth distribution and therefore resources should be the focus of tax policy.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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State Department Demands Takedown of Printable Gun Schematics.

moeinvt moeinvt writes  |  about a year and a half ago

moeinvt (851793) writes "In the latest episode of the 3D-printed gun saga, Forbes reports that the U.S. Department of State has demanded that the plans and blueprints for the 3D-printed gun components be immediately "removed from public access". In a letter sent to Cody Wilson, the feds claim that the plans must be reviewed and approved by the "Directorate of Defense Trade Controls" (DDTC) to ensure that making them publicly available does not violate the "International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)" rules. Full text of the letter published in the Forbes article."
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