Sunday, May 15, 2016

Cuban 'Authenticity'

For those who say they're going to forego the disaster tourism schtick now that Cuba is open - here's something to consider.

When a location is short of something, price signals leave that area and the profit motive encourages entrepreneurs to bring the missing good/service to reduce/eliminate that scarcity.

Cuba has a scarcity of prosperity. That's why things are so cheap. The more tourists flock to Cuba, the more prosperity they'll sell the Cubans, reducing that scarcity. Prices will then rise, making Cuba less attractive for tourism, in pace with the increasing prosperity of Cubans.

The best thing we could do for the Cubans is to flock down there and gawk at their 'authenticity'.
Suck it up and obey the price signals.

Friday, March 04, 2016

What are these legal 'professionals' doing?

The original document.

[quote]Apple has not advanced a single argument to indicating [sic] why the identification and prosecution of any outstanding coconspirators, or to detect and eliminate cyber security threats to San Bernardino County's infrastructure introduced by its product and concealed by its operating system, and Apple's refusal to assist in acquiring that information, is not a compelling governmental interest.[/quote]

You know what?  He's right.

Apple has not advanced a single argument addressing all those issues.

They've only advanced several arguments addressing *one of them* - and that is that compelling Apple to assist in acquiring that information does not pass Strict Scrutiny because

1.  The government does not have a compelling government interest in Apple writing new code.

And if you don't accept that

2.  The order is not 'narrowly tailored' to achieve that goal without being overbroad.

And if you don't accept that

3.  Its not the least restrictive means to achieve their goal - which is, I remind you, *not to decrypt the phone* but to prosecute a case against a bunch of people who are already dead. 

The phone decryption is just part of that investigation, a *tiny* part of that investigation.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Cruz Joins Trump in Promising Expulsion of 12 Million Illegal Aliens

Don't forget the on-demand-ID laws, criminal checkpoints, facial recognition scanners, RFID scanners, and internal passports.

Until and unless a candidate is willing to own up to the above - he's simply not serious about tackling the 'illegal' problem, no matter what his rhetoric.

Not even Trump is willing to go that far and that should be pointed out to any of your friends/associates who support him/Cruz for his anti-illegal immigration stance.  Tell them that until he's willing to do the above he's simply not serious about the issue and is just pandering to them to get their votes and will dump them the minute he's elected.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Just Teach Them Not To Rape.

Absent the threat of crime in the first place, walking down an alley with $100 bills sticking out of your pocket wouldn't be negligent at all.

Victims of crime run the gamut from genuinely not their fault (ie, you took all reasonable precautions) to 'you were totally asking for it' (ie, walking down the street in a miniskirt with no underwear screaming c'mon fuck me to random passerby) - the takeaway here is that your victimization *can be your fault*. But that doesn't excuse your victimizer, lessen the severity of what they did, nor does it mean *you deserved it*.

That's an important distinction. There's a world of difference between 'its your fault but you didn't deserve that to happen to you' and 'you didn't deserve that to happen to you so its not your fault'.

The former acknowledges the state of the world as it is and points to potential options to remedy the wrong and prevent it from happening again while the latter removes all impetus for you to do so.

Monday, August 17, 2015

. . . deputy director Kumar Kibble said it costs $12,500 to deport an individual undocumented immigrant.

Yeah, but 2/3 of that cost is for all that 'due process' bullshit.
Its pretty simple to do this cost effectively. Simply go out to the places all them illegals hang out and work at and round people up. Make them provide prof of citizenship. If they ain't got it, put 'em in a van and drive 'em to the closest border town in Mexico. Don't matter if'n they're from Cuba or Puerto Rico or one of them terrorist state none either. Illegal is illegal.
Sheriff Arpaio figured this out years ago.

Look, the only way we're going to end the scourge of 'undocumented immigration' is by instituting a nation-wide *mandatory* ID - producible on demand.
Also, we need to get rid of this 'no checkpoints' thinking. We are exposed to too much danger from drugs, crime, and terrorism to not give police this very reasonable investigatory tool.
especially when, with modern technology, you can RFID the ID and place automated checkpoints that do facial recognition while scanning for RFID passes and matching them up. This is all leveraging the power of capital without having to increase the number of police on the payroll.
I also think that internal travel permits should be implemented. There is absolutely no reason why emmigrants from one state should be allowed to freely take the jobs of citizens in other state. This just drives down wages and is, really, setting up a race to the bottom.

Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan Would Cost $200 Billion.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Why doesn't Gotham kill the Joker?

Here’s the deal.

The Joker has been captured by Batman, and then turned over and imprisoned by the ‘authorities’.

Its pretty obvious that Gotham has a death penalty.

So, instead of asking why *Batman* doesn’t execute the Joker, we should ask why *the state* is unwilling to use the ultimate sanction against The Joker when they’ve been willing to do so against lesser criminals.

The Joker’s insane, sure – but that’s not how an insanity defense works. To work a successful insanity plea you have to show that the defendant is incapable of *understanding the import of his crimes*. The Joker is fully aware of what he does, that its considered ‘wrong’, and he’s completely mentally competent enough to understand what’s happening in the trial and the consequences of his actions.

There is no way in hell that The Joker (in the real world) stays in Arkham for longer than it is necessary for a psychologist to interview him and declare him competent (not *sane*, just competent) to stand trial.

*During* the trial, The Joker can bring up insanity as an affirmative defense of his actions – but that’s an uphill battle and still hinges on him not, at the time of commission, understanding the import of what he was doing.

If the state was doing the job the taxpayers *pay* it to do, The Joker situation would have been resolved decades ago.

Really, given Gotham’s poor follow-up to Batman rounding up the criminals that the police don’t have the capability to apprehend, he should just figure that Gothamites simply don’t care enough about their own safety and freedom to be worth defending.

He should simply walk away – but he’s more than a little insane himself.

Monday, June 29, 2015

paris taxi drivers rioting gets *Uber* execs arrested.

I can guarantee that almost none of those drivers paid for a medallion.
The *company* they drive for likely did (and owns the medallion).
But what they're really fighting is the fact that Uber is not required t(and refuse to) set fees according to what French regulators think taxi fees should be. Meaning that Uber drivers don't charge what taxi drivers charge and the taxi drivers, in addition to raking in huge fees (due to this government price setting) also pay out huge costs (because the medallion owner eats most of what the taxi driver makes).
So, *right now*, the taxi drivers are in a bind - they still have these large up-front operating costs, but Uber is cutting into their income by offering a better service (cheaper and/or better *service*) which the taxi drivers *legally* can't do.
The real solution would be for the taxi drivers to quit and drive for Uber (or start their own ride-share programme) - but they'd rather have the status quo. The devil you know and all that.
When facing a competitor with an unregulated business model, no one *ever* has asked that they be de-regulated, only that the competitor be regulated just as hard.