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  • davidfetter commented on the blog post How the Government Wants You to Get Drunk and High

    2014-11-10 19:50:42View | Delete

    Did you not read the article to find out why that’s not a neutral tax?

  • davidfetter commented on the blog post How the Government Wants You to Get Drunk and High

    2014-11-10 15:22:28View | Delete

    Are you under the misapprehension that either coffee or cheeseburgers, or anything else, for that manner, is taxed in a neutral manner? If there’s evidence that anything is–or could be–taxed in a neutral manner, I have yet to see the first piece.

  • davidfetter commented on the blog post How the Government Wants You to Get Drunk and High

    2014-11-10 09:29:29View | Delete

    I confess to some puzzlement over your assumption that there could be a neutral tax policy on anything whatsoever. Do you have an example of such a thing?

  • davidfetter commented on the blog post “Um…yeah”

    2014-09-22 06:55:45View | Delete

    If you imagine that it’s possible not to spy on our current friends, you have fundamentally misunderstood what spying is for, and that’s been bloody obvious since Sun Zi’s “The Art of War,” a text at least 2500 years old.

    There are plenty of legitimate criticisms of the CIA and of other intelligence agencies in the US, but “they spy on people who are ostensibly our friends,” is not among them.

  • davidfetter commented on the blog post Not Quite Off Topic: Switch to Linux/Ubuntu

    2014-01-02 19:21:41View | Delete

    The trick is not to “thwart” the folks at NSA. The trick is to make mass surveillance very expensive, which is pretty straight-forward to do with Linux/*BSD and much trickier with proprietary systems. If they want you personally, you’re up against those PhDs, the full weight of the law, etc., and you will lose.

  • davidfetter commented on the blog post I Bit the Bullet and Installed Ubuntu

    2013-11-28 20:34:53View | Delete

    Re: GPG, with utmost respect, I suggest doing something a lot simpler,
    technologically speaking, which is to create a threat model
    which is quantitative wherever possible. Once you have built it, then
    and only then think about what you might do to mitigate the
    high-damage threats. You’ll need to keep this model updated, so you
    can either do this on a schedule, or on a per-incident basis, or both.

    You’ll get shocking amounts of Cargo
    advice about crypto and security (you can tell it’s Cargo
    cult at best if the person talking to you confuses the two), so start with a short,
    simple checklist:

    - Is what’s being described to you a plausible threat?
    - Does this thing you’re being recommend to do plausibly mitigate it?
    - Does the mitigation actually work in the sense of paying more than it costs you?

  • Ah, yes, the “both sides” lie, especially tasty combined with the purity trolling. Johnson wasn’t pure enough, so we got Nixon. Carter wasn’t pure enough, and we got Reagan and Bush 41. Clinton and Gore weren’t pure enough, so the Supreme Court got a chance to give it to Bush 43, and would you know, they did.

    Each time you purity trolls threw your tantrum successfully, it got worse and worse for anybody who wasn’t wealthy in the sense of owning yachts. It may well be too late for the original poster, but it’s not too late for the country.

  • Excuse me, but by what idiocy would you imagine that property–or any other–rights are, or even ought to be, 100% inviolable? Property is a power relationship among people mediated through things. You can lose property in a lot of different and perfectly legitimate ways. Then there’s the history end of this, which introduces, you know, facts. Nowhere and never has any government ever treated property rights (or any others) as 100% inviolable.

  • With utmost respect, it wasn’t “badly made” alcohol that killed people during Prohibition. It was the fact that it was adulterated with whatever happened to be cheaper, just as cocaine is today, with the difference that things you can bulk up alcohol with are generally quite poisonous, whereas the fillers for cocaine or other powder drugs are generally pretty inert.

  • davidfetter commented on the blog post Post-DOMA Questions, College Student Edition

    2013-06-29 10:49:30View | Delete

    With utmost respect, I disagree. The current way to peel back all these idiotic state things–at least until we get a Supreme Court willing to do its job–is to go to those states and sue the living hell out of anyone violating settled law. As of the ruling on DOMA, marriage equality is settled law.

  • Well stated. Growing up in poverty in this country, whether you’re in an urban or a rural area, is a great recipe for acquiring PTSD. So is being a woman, or (perceived to be) LGBT, or…

  • That your personal vision of utopia was not immediately achieved is not the same thing as “both sides are equally bad,” nor is it an excuse for you to sit on your lazy ass and whine about how everything’s all terrible and we should all just kill ourselves rather than working for real change with people not every jot and tittle of whose current views we agree with.

    What you’re counseling here is despair, and it’s not only counter-factual, but dumb.

  • davidfetter commented on the diary post Obama‚Äôs Second Inaugural Address by masaccio.

    2013-01-22 05:36:17View | Delete

    Your actual other choice in the election was Willardbot. If you want the President to act more along the lines of how you want him to act, gather into large groups and make sure he gets that message. Sitting on the sidelines and whining about how this isn’t Utopia just makes you look bad.

  • With utmost respect, as an Oakland resident, I’d rather see that money wasted on the arena, and I do mean wasted, than spent to further the aims of the West Oakland Riders and their ilk. At least blowing it on football won’t get young black and brown men extra-judicially executed.

  • Did neither of bother to read the National Popular Vote site? It’s not a Constitutional change. It’s just an inter-state compact, and a good number of states are a part of it.

    I know it’s tempting to be lazy and call every positive change hopeless, but in the end, it’s just not as much fun as going out there and making good things happen.

  • davidfetter commented on the blog post Republican Jim DeMint Is Leaving the Senate

    2012-12-06 09:02:48View | Delete

    Let’s fund really crazy teabaggers in the primary! It worked brilliantly for Claire McCaskill in Missouri.

  • davidfetter commented on the blog post California Nabs 2/3 Majority as Voter Universe Changes

    2012-11-07 13:16:10View | Delete

    That was indeed the enabling (and as we can see, persistent) lie. A law capping (or deferring) real estate taxes on owner-occupied residential property would have been ample for that purpose, but that was never really the purpose.

    If the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers’ Association has given a flying fuck about the impoverished elderly since 1978, they have hidden it well.

  • davidfetter commented on the blog post California Nabs 2/3 Majority as Voter Universe Changes

    2012-11-07 13:02:47View | Delete

    It wasn’t Obama who refused. It was Ben Nelson and his ilk. Please not to assume that Democrats nation-wide are in lock-step, as Republicans are forced to be.

  • So your standard is 100% agreement on every public statement someone has made? Great! Would you care to name someone who meets that standard?

  • davidfetter commented on the blog post Kansas About To Become 40% More Hellholish

    2012-07-19 05:28:01View | Delete

    With all due respect, politics is exactly how we can prevent “planetary extinction,” as you term it.

    To be more realistic, what we’re threatening with our mucking around isn’t planetary extinction, but the drastic reduction in our population. This has happened before.

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