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Did Chicago Lose Olympic Bid Due To US Passport Control?

squarooticus Re:Thank you, border patrol (1040 comments)

Not sure why this was modded "funny": it should have been modded "insightful".

more than 5 years ago
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Judge Says Boston Student's Laptop Was Seized Illegally

squarooticus Re:Is he gonna get compensated? (190 comments)

Compensation for what? In the modern Western world, quaint notions of property rights and due process have been deprecated in favor of civil forfeiture, eminent domain for transfer to other private parties, stare decisis, and political connections.

You can't really own property anymore so much as lease it from the government for a yearly fee. (If you disagree with this viewpoint, try not paying your property taxes: then you'll find out who the real owner is.) Therefore, since the government owns all your stuff anyway, they have no need to compensate you for damages, since the government only damaged their own stuff.

</snark>

more than 5 years ago
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Maddog's New Hampshire "Unix" Plate Turns 20

squarooticus Re:Most don't understand the license plate motto (212 comments)

In particular, the thing that I like better in Mass. is the new Marijuana laws. It is one of the few states in the union that doesn't put you in jail for possession of a plant. This could change of course :-(

I think NH is much more likely to decriminalize marijuana sometime in the near future than MA is to *ever* decriminalize legal gun possession (snark), or lower its taxes, or repeal the zoning laws that make it so expensive to live near the wealthy people who elect the zoning boards.

Besides, I am willing to assert without evidence that tens of thousands of NH residents smoke up on a regular basis without anyone knowing. It isn't the best situation because of course it would be better if the state recognized an individual's right to engage in *any* peaceful behavior, but as a practical matter you can already exercise your right to love you, Mary-jane...

More importantly, there is actually a non-trivial percentage of people in NH who understand and believe in liberty: the same simply isn't true of MA, partly because NH is so close and attracts them.

more than 5 years ago
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Maddog's New Hampshire "Unix" Plate Turns 20

squarooticus Re:Most don't understand the license plate motto (212 comments)

I would like more specifics, though I'm not going to be a tool asking you.

In MA:

(1) Gun laws are ridiculous. Not worst in the nation IMO, but certainly in the bottom five. You want that Kimber .45 that is fully parts-interchangeable with the Para 1911? Sorry; those aren't approved for sale here! You want to remove that front sight from your Bushmaster and replace it with an aftermarket gas block with a flip-up front sight? Sorry; you have a pinned muzzle brake, because for some reason threaded muzzles are too dangerous! Dumbasses.

(2) Housing is way too expensive, mostly because of local zoning ordinances that restrict the density of housing. I'd love to live within a walk or a 10-15 minute T ride from where I work, for instance, but I'm not going to pay $500K for a 1400 square foot condo: it just ain't gonna happen. And there's no reason for it to be that way except for the artificial scarcity of housing within the Cambridge/Somerville/Boston/Arlington city limits.

(3) Local government is openly corrupt. Virtually every politically-connected demographicâ"the unions, the politicians, cops, large corporations, and many of the rich local property ownersâ"colludes to transfer wealth from everyone else to themselves. Taxes don't primarily go toward public goods and common services. My total tax burden is roughly 50% than it would be were I living in NH, and yet the roads in MA (for instance) are absolute shite. I've already had to replace one $500 rim from striking a huge pothole at night this year. While it's perfectly rational that things would work this way under a democracy, there's no excuse for it when there's so much waste, fraud, and pork to remove from the budget.

(4) 12% short term capital gains tax. OMFG. That alone cost me a huge amount of money over the past two years.

That's just what I can think of off the top of my head.

The downsides to NH from friends seem to be (a) the state-owned liquor stores have a generally poor selection, though they can order what you want; (b) getting zoning approval for houses outside of established neighborhoods is a PITA because they require you to upgrade the road if it isn't class V or better; (c) property taxes are generally higher than in MA. In return, they get a part-time legislature; generally more responsive local government; less local- and state-level corruption; less sprawl and more natural areas; better roads; and lower overall taxes.

more than 5 years ago
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Maddog's New Hampshire "Unix" Plate Turns 20

squarooticus Re:Most don't understand the license plate motto (212 comments)

As a long time MA resident, I find it's still better than MA... do you not agree? If you disagree, I'm honestly curious to know why.

more than 5 years ago
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Your Commuting Costs By Car Vs. Train?

squarooticus Re:I did the commuter rail thing (1137 comments)

The GP has a unique requirement:

Have car at my disposal for errands or to go to hockey after work

Often, bringing a large and smelly hockey bag onto the subway is considered rude to other passengers.

FYP. :-)

And renting a locker at his local rink (if they even make this option available) would further add to the cost.

They don't, and even if they did, I play at different rinks. Keeping my equipment at work would be an option if I didn't have 10:30 games or Sunday games near my house. Buying two sets of equipment is potentially a solution to that, but there's only so far down the road of the absurd that I'm willing to go.

No sir, public transportation is not as convenient as cars. When your trunk serves as a personal storage locker... it make carrying stuff that doesn't fit in a small backpack more attractive to have a car.

QFT.

more than 5 years ago
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Your Commuting Costs By Car Vs. Train?

squarooticus I did the commuter rail thing (1137 comments)

And it didn't work for me. Here's the comparison:

Driving:
35 minutes door to door
$200/mo for parking + $100/mo for gas @ $2.50/gallon = $300/mo
Have car at my disposal for errands or to go to hockey after work
Can leave whenever I'm done, and have freedom to stay after work with friends

Commuter rail:
1:05 door to door
$80/mo for parking at the commuter rail station (2 miles away) + $150/mo for the commuter rail pass = $230/mo
No car after work, which means I have to go home first to do things, wasting even more time
Have to leave at particular times: if I miss the 7:30 train, for instance, it's 90 minutes until the next one

I need a car in either case because there's no zipcar anywhere near where I live and I need a car to perform errands and to cart myself to/from hockey. So I'm not factoring the cost of the car itself into either, though there is an additional penalty on driving for added wear and tear on the car.

So commuter rail is slightly less expensive in dollars per commute, but that doesn't come anywhere close to compensating me for the wasted time and lack of convenience.

I'll drive, thank you.

more than 5 years ago
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UK Government To Monitor All Internet Use

squarooticus Re:You know, these stories don't shock me anymore. (446 comments)

And the Labour Party seems happy to let it happen.

Fixed that for you. I know lots of people in the UK that are aghast at what's happening.

The people get the government they deserve.

more than 5 years ago
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Time Warner Transfer Caps May Inspire Fair-Price Legislation

squarooticus Dumb (382 comments)

This is a great idea: instead of allowing a bandwidth provider to charge more for a higher tier of service, government restricts everyone to the same tier, which makes it unprofitable for the provider to make available unlimited or high-limit pipes.

To all of you screaming about tiered pricing, let me give you a lesson from realityland, i.e., from someone who actually works in the industry: bandwidth costs money (somewhere on the order of $10/mbps/month for tier 2-3 providers) so if you intend to use lots of it you better be prepared to pay for it. That means if you want to max out your 30 mbps cable modem connection, you had better be prepared to pay at least $300/month just to cover the provider's costs.

more than 5 years ago
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Star Trek Premiere Gets Standing Ovation, Surprise Showing In Austin

squarooticus Reset! (437 comments)

Star Trek is in terrible need of a reset, like many comic book heroes have undergone multiple times over the decades. I hope this movie represents a clean break with the old universe; I mean, I loved half the Trek films, TNG, and DS9 as much as the next guy, but to preserve the essence of Trek they need to come up with character-driven stories that aren't bound by limitations in the history of the original universe.

more than 5 years ago
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Ad Block Plus Filter Maintainer "rick752" Dies At 56

squarooticus Re:Condolences, and thanks (385 comments)

Sorry, but no: it's my client, and I can view the content any way I wish. If they don't want people viewing the content in non-standard viewers, they can try to lock it down to DRM'ed clients; that said, heretofore attempts to restrict content to DRM'ed clients have generally failed.

Using open standards and allowing open access is one of the prices you pay for making content that people actually want to view.

more than 5 years ago
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Ad Block Plus Filter Maintainer "rick752" Dies At 56

squarooticus Re:Condolences, and thanks (385 comments)

stealing revenue

Representing content on the client I own in the way I choose to view it is not stealing. Stop asserting that it is.

more than 5 years ago
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Ad Block Plus Filter Maintainer "rick752" Dies At 56

squarooticus Condolences, and thanks (385 comments)

Unlike most of you blood-sucking parasites, Rick did something that enriched the lives and enhanced the productivity of millions of people every day. Most of you are nothing but a waste of bits: fuck you.

Rick: I'm sorry I didn't know you, but to say that I appreciated your work would be a massive understatement. Virtually single-handedly, you made the web usable by eliminating the distractions and allowing the content to shine through. RIP.

more than 5 years ago
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Universal Broadband Plan Calls For $44 Billion

squarooticus Re:dont feed that bullsh@t to us (414 comments)

I think you probably should stop assuming that everyone opposed to government regulation is in favor of corporatism/mercantilism/fascism. In fact, most of us recognize that government regulations themselves are bought and paid for by incumbent large corporations to create barriers to competition, and those barriers to competition are responsible for the ability of said large corporations to commit abuses with impunity.

more than 5 years ago
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Circuit City Files For Bankruptcy

squarooticus Re:USE UP YOUR GIFT CARDS! (574 comments)

Why pay with your own money when you can pay with the bank's money?

Always pay with credit cards for this reason. If you don't receive the merchandise, the bank is at a loss, not you.

And note that this same logic does not apply to debit cards, where you are out the money until the bank decides to refund it. I said "credit card" for a reason.

more than 6 years ago
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Circuit City Files For Bankruptcy

squarooticus Here's a better idea: DON'T GIVE GIFT CARDS (574 comments)

Give FRN's instead, or spend some time with the person and take them shopping.

Gift cards remind me of that Simpsons episode where the family goes to Itchy and Scratchy Land: Homer exchanges $900 for "Itchy and Scratchy Bucks", which turn out not to be accepted anywhere. Why convert dollars into something that has the same buying power but only in one store and only while that retailer remains solvent?

more than 6 years ago
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Australian Government Ignoring Problems With Proposed Filters

squarooticus If anyone thinks this is about child porn... (292 comments)

If anyone thinks this is about child porn, they are simply fooling themselves. This is about control. The governments of the world want the serfs to know who their masters are and what their place in society is. The easiest way to do that---as China has found out---is to limit the information coming into the country to that which is approved by the government.

This is nothing new: Australia is simply following an ages-old script. The difference between then and now is that you think you have control because you live in a democracy. Let me assure you that democracy and liberty are two entirely different things, and often are at odds. Please see Hoppe's Democracy: The God that Failed and Hayek's The Road to Serfdom for more detail.

The best reaction you can have to this is to encourage yourself and others (especially your own children) to differentiate respect for others' rights from respect for artificial "law", and to show the latter none while deferring to it only enough to keep from attracting too much attention. Defy all rules that have nothing to do with protecting the rights of others, and you are a free man; obey them, and you are a slave.

more than 6 years ago
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Facebook Finds Grass Greener In Ireland

squarooticus The people get the government they deserve (287 comments)

When you want a government that regulates and taxes everything into submission, is it any surprise that business moves to places with fewer regulations and taxes? Good on Facebook: I hope more business moves away from the US, as that appears to be the only remaining hope for US citizens to demand smaller government.

more than 6 years ago
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'Super Steel' Sought For Fusion Reactors

squarooticus Re:If it doesn't work... (421 comments)

If those beams were significantly superior

Strength is not the only consideration: cost is a large part of it. And steel costs way, way less than timber for equivalent strength.

more than 6 years ago

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