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[mises] Chile: Socialism, Dictatorship, and Liberalism
Topic: Business 3:12 pm EST, Jan 14, 2005

One might even say that Chile has become a nation of shopkeepers—a phrase once derisively used by foreign observers to describe the British. Throughout the 1990's, and today, under the current administration of "socialist" Ricardo Lagos, Chile has furiously been attempting to secure free trade agreements with every country it can from New Zealand to South Korea to the United States. Free trade, low debt, low taxes, and relatively laissez-faire economics are at the heart of the ongoing economic expansion in Chile. Long a practical and trade-minded people, the Chileans are now enjoying the fastest growing economy in Latin America, and are considered an increasingly good investment choice by the world financial community. And, as some have said, it is well on its way to becoming a first-world nation.

[mises] Chile: Socialism, Dictatorship, and Liberalism

[ron paul] Government IDs and Identity Theft
Topic: Current Events 2:57 pm EST, Jan 14, 2005

Mr. Speaker, today I introduce the Identity Theft Prevention Act. This act protects the American people from government-mandated uniform identifiers that facilitate private crime as well as the abuse of liberty. The major provision of the Identity Theft Prevention Act halts the practice of using the Social Security number as an identifier by requiring the Social Security Administration to issue all Americans new Social Security numbers within five years after the enactment of the bill. These new numbers will be the sole legal property of the recipient, and the Social Security administration shall be forbidden to divulge the numbers for any purposes not related to Social Security administration. Social Security numbers issued before implementation of this bill shall no longer be considered valid federal identifiers. Of course, the Social Security Administration shall be able to use an individual's original Social Security number to ensure efficient administration of the Social Security system.

[ron paul] Government IDs and Identity Theft

The New York Times - Reactions: New Fight Over Controlling Punishments Is Widely Seen
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:53 pm EST, Jan 14, 2005

This is an important, and infuriating issue.

] "The Supreme Court's decision to place this extraordinary
] power to sentence a person solely in the hands of a
] single federal judge - who is accountable to no one -
] flies in the face of the clear will of Congress," Mr.
] Feeney said in a statement.

1. In general, we have a problem, and we won't talk about it because its extremely unpopular to do so. The problem is that our democratically elected government is selected based on the whims of a fully and readily manipulated populace. More then half the people in this country think Sadam Hussien was connected with Al'Q. Do we think their opinions about crime are any more informed?

The "I'm gunna get tough on crime" story gets votes, and it is played entirely for marketing reasons. It has absolutely no relationship to a reasonable, considered view about how to actually lower crime rates. I'm not interested in having important matters of policy be constantly dominated by "what sells."

Congressmen refer to their democratic legitimacy because they can't refer to the credibility of their policies. Congress is a constant slew of bad ideas. I'd prefer to have certain questions be more isolated from the political process, particularly when lives are at stake.

2. Federal judges are certainly accountable for their decisions, which are vetted by several levels of hierarchy. People don't get to be federal justices because they fell out of bed this morning and figured they'd get into law.

3. No one knows more about the specifics of an individual case then the people who are handling it. Different cases have different specific circumstances and should result in different sentences.

] "We are disappointed that the decision made the guidelines
] advisory in nature," Assistant Attorney General Christopher
] A. Wray said in a statement. "District courts are still
] required to consult the federal sentencing guidelines, and
] any sentence may be appealed by either defense counsel or
] prosecutors on the grounds that it is unreasonable. To the
] extent that the guidelines are now advisory, however, the
] risk increases that sentences across the country will become
] wildly inconsistent."

I'd accuse Christopher Wray of intentionally lying, but thats what politicians do, isn't it?

What you want is consistency of standards. Two people who commit the same crime in the same circumstances should get the same sentence. You want to avoid favoritism or situations where different judges have wildly different approaches.

Wray isn't offering consistency of standards. He is offering consistency of results. Thats not the same thing. He offers one while complaining about the lack of the other. Consistency of result is unfair, because two people who commit the same crime in wildly different circumstances get the same sentence. Congressmen cannot fairly apply a blanket rule that impacts every case in the country.

Congressmen, as previously pointed out, don't even have experience with the subject matter. They are making their rules base on political fads and not based on a knowledge of how to address real problems.

If their is a problem with inconsistency of standards among judges it ought to be addressed by looking at the decision making process involved in sentencing and the selection process for judges rather then by creating a system that could as easily be operated by a computer as by a human.

As usual, you're not going to see that, because that would be reasonable. This isn't about reason. Its about power.

The New York Times - Reactions: New Fight Over Controlling Punishments Is Widely Seen

RE: eBay puts the SQUEEZE on sellers - HUGE fee increases
Topic: Business 2:12 pm EST, Jan 14, 2005

skullaria wrote:
] Huge fee increases have eBay sellers in a tizzy! Many are
] planning on quitting altogether, and lots are closing stores.
] Still others are looking for a decent place to migrate - among
] eBay's competition is,,
], and
] This will translate to higher prices for buyers.

Of course, times like this demand a return to to get yer angst out.

RE: eBay puts the SQUEEZE on sellers - HUGE fee increases

securityfocus - Netizens eye Web-enabled surveillance cams
Topic: Technology 10:44 am EST, Jan 14, 2005

Blogs and message forums buzzed this week with the discovery that a pair of simple Google searches permits access to well over 1,000 unprotected surveillance cameras around the world -- apparently without their owners' knowledge.

securityfocus - Netizens eye Web-enabled surveillance cams

RE: DeKalb County Schools must remove evolution stickers...
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:51 pm EST, Jan 13, 2005

] I, for one, think the stickers are silly, but mostly harmless.
] It is a theory. It's a really fucking good one and
] probably true, but I don't think it harms all that much.
] Possibly it causes less harm than the expenditure of money to
] defend against the lawsuit. Likewise, I'm not sure I agree
] with the camp that the church and state doctrine is violated
] every time anything secular touches on matters of faith. I
] think the far left can take this fight too far, honestly.

The sticker is not a big deal, if the sticker is applied evenly to all scientific theories. Science has always been about the direction the balance of the evidence exists for, and in this case that'e evolution.

If, however, you have this sticker that says evolution is just a theory and not a fact (which is completely accurate) for evolution, but not for say string theory then it seems to me that one might come to the conclusion that the science supporting string theory is a lot more solid than the science supporting evolution, because of the existance of the sticker. This, I think, is quite harmful. So apply the sticker equally, or don't apply it at all.

I don't think you can call the people concerned with seperation of church and state leftists universally. Non-authoritarians would probably be a better description, as many libertarians who tend to be on the right on most issues are opposed to this sort of stuff. One can even make a very sound argument that the aclu is the best friend the church ever had, in terms of protecting it from the corrupting influences of government.

RE: DeKalb County Schools must remove evolution stickers...

Justices Scalia & Breyer Discussion on International Law Impact
Topic: Current Events 6:32 pm EST, Jan 13, 2005

This is a very interesting discussion about whether foreign court decisions should impact american law. It's pretty long, though.

Justices Scalia & Breyer Discussion on International Law Impact

Slashdot - Hacker penetrates T-Mobile systems
Topic: Technology 12:10 pm EST, Jan 12, 2005

A sophisticated computer hacker had access to servers at wireless giant T-Mobile for at least a year, which he used to monitor U.S. Secret Service e-mail, obtain customers' passwords and Social Security numbers, and download candid photos taken by Sidekick users, including Hollywood celebrities, SecurityFocus has learned.

Slashdot - Hacker penetrates T-Mobile systems

Mappr! Where It's At.
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:58 am EST, Jan 12, 2005

At Hope I had a conversation with some folks about having a real time location based image server so that people who where near newsy events could take camera phone pictures and you could quickly find relevant pics based on their location and timeframe. This website is a very close approximation of what I was considering. Nice.

I would prefer if they did the whole planet though.

Mappr! Where It's At.

Topic: Science 4:00 pm EST, Jan 11, 2005

] Metallic rods about 500 times smaller than the width of a
] human hair have been turned into tiny "propellers" by a
] Canadian research team.

] Their motion is driven by addition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to
] the solution in which they are contained.

] A reaction at the free ends liberates gas bubbles to provide
] thrust, turning the rods at a near constant speed.

] Only when the supply of hydrogen peroxide fuel is exhausted do the
] rods stop spinning.


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