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Everything posted by bascule

  1. There's a huge difference between "controlling the border" and "let's build a fence!" I think Penn & Teller did an excellent job of demonstrating how building a fence does not control the border. It's a classic case of "I have a rock that keeps tigers away." A fence is an expensive and easily circumvented barrier. Building a fence is pointless unless it works, and it doesn't. Perhaps you'd care to explain the huge population of illegal immigrants in our country then? Or perhaps you think if just we built a little bit more fence the problem would be solved... Sometimes it happens. Other times the fences are circumvented. Just as an example: http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/systems/mexico-wall.htm Tunnel passages across an international border into the United States have become a real problem. There are 40 such tunnels that have been discovered since 9/11, and the great bulk of them are on the southern border. Large-scale smuggling of drugs, weapons, and immigrants takes place today through these tunnels. One tunnel running from San Diego to Tijuana was marked by inordinate sophistication. It was a half mile long. It went 60 to 80 feet deep, 8 feet tall. It had a concrete floor. It was wired for electricity. It had drainage. At one end, 300 pounds of marijuana were found, and at the other end, 300 pounds of marijuana. What was interesting is that the California entry into the tunnel was a very modern warehouse, a huge warehouse compartmented but empty and kept empty for a year. In one office there was a hatch in the floor. It looked much like the hatch which Saddam had secreted himself in. But lifting that hatch disclosed a very sophisticated tunnel. It went under other buildings all the way across the double fence into Mexico and up in Mexico in a building as well. Yes, let's just keep throwing good money after bad, because perhaps everything will magically work eventually, even though there's no evidence that's actually the case. I have seen zero evidence that border fences are effective at preventing illegal immigration, any more so than preventing me from taking more than 3oz of hair gel onto an airplane prevents terrorism. But hey, I guess you think that magical rock really will keep tigers away.
  2. Define "actually create something"... When Apple, which now has the #2 highest market cap in America, "creates" the iPad, and then sends its design off to Foxconn in China for production, who is doing the actual "creating", Apple or Foxconn? If you ask me China is doing the brunt work, and Apple is doing the "actual creating" In that regard, jobs that "actually create something" are some of the highest paid in America. Menial labor, not so much...
  3. And private dining clubs fit the model of a private club. I'm certainly not trying to extend that to all types of establishments, like say, motels. But restaurants were the main one under discussion, and that's certainly one that fits the private club model. If you want to run a motel, then yeah, that's not really something that fits with the private club model. Well unfortunately, individuals have to interact, at which point you have to compromise as to their rights. A common example is "my rights begin where your fist ends". Because property usage is regulated by the government. Why is it you can't open a business on property zoned residential? Is city planning too draconian? You're clearly something of an absolutist. I've seen you recognize the need to compromise in the past. This is one such case.
  4. It looks as if Katla might be about to erupt
  5. Yes: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1026080/ Among other things they also argue that immigration, both legal and illegal, is good, and that illegal immigrants are more hard working, success-oriented, and less likely to commit crimes than your average American citizen.
  6. Perhaps I'm misreading your tone, but you have seemed to previously been arguing that private clubs aren't exempt from the Civil Rights Act, when, in fact, they are. Have I denied that anywhere? I've specifically called it out as a private, members-only club. If I was unclear before, I hope the ACLU's interpretation clears things up. Which has been one of the points I've consistently been trying to make all along and you've been largely ignoring. Yes, you can't start the "we hate black people" club and have the only criterion for membership be "not black". However that doesn't mean you can't start a members only private club and invite whomever you wish into it. I have been consistently saying that over and over and I guess you've been ignoring me. Instead you keep pasting verbage that applies specifically to restaurants intended to service the general public. It's a compromise between the freedoms of the customers and the freedoms of the business owners. I guess in ParanoiA world, there's no consumer rights. The rights of business owners trump all.
  7. No, you're way wrong, and you're still completely ignoring the section on private clubs. I'm just going to jump straight to the ACLU on this and let them explain it to you: http://www.aclupa.org/pressroom/whenisaprivateclubnotapriv.htm In order to be exempt from the civil rights laws, a "private" club must truly reserve its facilities for members, and must have genuinely exclusive membership criteria – a club that will admit anyone who is not African American does not qualify. Courts deciding whether a club is “private” in this sense will consider the history and purpose of the club (including whether it was created to circumvent desegregation), the club advertises for members, it is directly controlled by its members and operated solely for their benefit, and the club is operated for profit. So there you go... if you create a private club, and have membership criteria which makes it truly exclusive (i.e. not everyone from the public can get a membership, not everyone who's not a black person can get membership, etc.) then yes, you can open a private club, and you will be exempt from the Civil Rights Act. Some very easy ways to run a club in this manner: have all members of the club vote on all new members. Then the membership requirement is that the existing club members approve of the new member. The members of the club are free to use whatever criteria they want in their vote. And yes, it can be a for-profit private dining club, i.e. a "restaurant"
  8. Do you mean the gold standard? If so, there isn't enough gold in the world to back all of the US currency presently in circulation.
  9. It won't really matter until there aren't any more wide open fields. And even then the fences are mostly for show, because, as Penn & Teller demonstrated, they are easily circumvented with a little bit of muscle and know how. They demonstrated how the standard construction methods used on sections of the fence (ironically enough I believe in Arizona) could easily be circumvented with little more than a crowbar.
  10. I think it's silly. Penn & Teller covered the rather ironic subject of of border fences being constructed by illegal immigrants (oops!). They also showed how easily border fences are circumvented. The border is too large to patrol effectively and building more fences does not keep illegals from crossing. That's not to say that we should just throw our hands up in the air and give up on border security entirely, just that I think we're seriously running into diminishing returns when it comes to enhancing border security. Conservatives want to dump more and more money into more border patrols and more fences with virtually no guarantees that such measures will actually cut down on illegal border crossings. Did I mention that we have an enormous national debt right now, and conservatives say we should spend less? Apparently that philosophy doesn't apply to border security.
  11. Everything else aside, billions of dollars for "their equipment" came from the government's Universal Service Fund, and they are still yet to deliver on the promise of "Broadband For All". I guess you just completely don't get it whatsoever. You think because it's their equipment that gives them the right to manipulate my traffic. The traffic belongs to me, not them. It is my intellectual property. They are merely providing a common carrier service for my traffic. Would you tolerate it if a parcel company accidentally lost one of your belongings and didn't do anything to reimburse you for it? It's their delivery system and their equipment after all! They should get carte blanche to do whatever they want with it. Right? Even if it loses or damages your property. No, that's not how common carriers work. Your property doesn't become theirs because it enters their service. It's still your property and they don't have the right to mutilate or destroy it.
  12. Sorry ParanoiA, you get one of these: From the Civil Rights Act: The provisions of this title shall not apply to a private club or other establishment not in fact open to the public So I guess it's you who "clearly (doesn't) understand the Civil Rights Act", sorry. Yes, by definition, businesses which serve the general public are public! I'm curious, did you deliberately omit the verbage about private clubs from the section you copy pasted (it was right down there a few lines later after it finished defining what public establishments mean), or did you just not notice it?
  13. The real issue is that ISPs claim to be providers of access to a network. When we think of the telephone network, it'd be appalling if a particular phone company blocked access to certain numbers. Imagine if a particular company blocked calls to a particular political party's voter hotlines. We have recent case history of Comcast blocking access to content distributed via the BitTorrent protocol by deliberately forging traffic. Can you imagine if the phone company forged phone calls, calling you repeatedly from the number of a particular political party's campaign hotline, in an attempt to get you to vote for the opposite party? The FCC is simply arguing that the Internet is as essential a service as the telephone system and deserves some form of government protection to ensure everyone has free access to it. The ISPs/telcos are spinning this as some form of Internet censorship, when really, what they're trying to preserve is their right to censor certain cost prohibitive parts of the Internet from the customers by deliberately blocking or forging traffic. Net neutrality is really a no brainer to me, but unfortunately, the industry is out in force against it, filling the debate full of fear, uncertainty, and doubt, as illustrated by the powerpoint slide I linked earlier.
  14. And as a libertarian, I'm sad that isolated ventilation systems and or isolated outdoor smoking areas weren't an equitable compromise. But perhaps I'm in a state where city law originally imposed the isolated ventilation system policy, which was fine, then state law took that away and implemented a mandatory no indoor smoking period, regardless of how the ventilation system was configured.
  15. 73 Democrats signed a letter urging the FCC to drop net neutrality Boooooo!
  16. It would appear that the DOJ has launched their suit. It centers around Apple's veritable monopoly on online music sales, and not anything to do with speculation it was about the Apple App Store: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/26/technology/26apple.html
  17. I was not aware there was ever an incident involving Boy Scouts and minority discrimination (except perhaps before the Civil Rights movement) That said, Boy Scouts of America continues to actively discriminate against gays. And of course BSA is a heavily religious organization and there have been incidents of them discriminating against agnostics/atheists. An entire Wikipedia article on the subject of Boy Scouts of America controversies lists nothing in regard to race: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Scouts_of_America_membership_controversies
  18. And we're back to the semantics of "public" versus "private" which Rand Paul himself was colluding all over the place, and contradicting himself. In this context public does not mean: - The government - A publically traded corporation It means: - An establishment which serves the general public. Several examples were quoted by ParanoiA in the blurb he pasted from the Civil Rights Act. As opposed to: - A private, members-only club The government can't force a private, members-only club to grant membership to anyone, and such clubs can set whatever membership criteria they want. They are free to deny entry to whoever they desire. If you want to start a restaurant/business and don't like the Civil Rights Act, simply make your business a private club, and then you are free to control exactly who your customers are and still have complete control over your property. That's all it takes.
  19. bascule


    I see it as a government failure to regulate. I'm guessing you see the government failure here in a different light. Large conglomerate financial companies like Goldman Sachs and CitiGroup should NOT be allowed to trade in CDOs
  20. What? It's explicitly called out in the very law you supposedly linked to refute me. Private organizations are not subject to those provisions.
  21. Well, oddly enough, I just posted a thread on the national debt surpassing $13 trillion. Not sure where you're getting your 40% figure from. It's way off. The debt was $10.7 trillion when Bush left office and has increased $2.3 trillion under Obama, meaning the debt has increased approximately 21% under Obama.
  22. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Politics/national-debt-soars-past-13-trillion/story?id=10748382 The National Debt has just surpassed $13,000,000,000,000, up from $10.7 trillion when Bush left office, increasing some $2.3 trillion under Obama. For comparison, the debt increased $4.97 trillion under Bush's 8 years in office. The national debt is simply out of control and I really have no suggestions at this point. It seems at this point America will have an incomprehensibly large national debt for quite some time. Personally I think the government should sue Wall Street financials who defrauded the entire country in order to recoup the TARP money the financials lined their pockets with. And I'm not talking about the money they "paid back". I'm talking about the money organizations like Goldman Sachs earned through the fraudulent sale of CDOs (something the government is going after them for already), assets which wound up in the hands of other financials we had to bail out.
  23. Nobody's "forcing" them to use that property that way. They want to run a public business, so they get a license from the government to do so, and accept the provisions of getting that license. If they don't want to run a public business, they're free to run a private club on their property and do whatever the hell they want. Don't want black people in your private club? Nobody's forcing you to give membership to anyone. You, the owner of the club, get to decide who's allowed membership. This is exactly the private/public dichotomy Ron Paul purports to speak about, and a great compromise between the freedoms of patrons of public establishments and the rights of business owners. If you run a public business the freedoms of the public take precedence, and if you run a private business the freedoms of the business owner take precedence. For some reason though, even people like Rand Paul have it in their head that the rights of the business owner should always trump the rights of the customer, even though he pays lip service to the public/private dichotomy.
  24. Yes, PAYGO is about having a means of financing spending in normal, everyday bills that Congress passes, something the Republicans weren't doing under Bush, as they spent large amounts of money while at the same time cutting taxes with no plan for how they were going to pay for anything, adding trillions to the national debt. And of course, the old PAYGO legislation lapsed under their watch. Emergency spending is specifically exempted. But perhaps you feel Obama is abusing "emergency" spending for non-emergencies. Even if that were the case, it still has nothing to do with PAYGO, unless you're accusing Obama of creating artificial emergencies for the specific purpose of circumventing PAYGO.
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