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Software Wars, the Movie

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Some of Elena Kagan's Writings

Here is a tutorial (not the easiest thing to read) of her views.
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/kagan-argued-government-redistribution-speech

Does anything in it stand out as possibly scary?

  • Focusing on government motives. She argues that campaign finance laws are good because she divines that their motives were good. “They were just trying to stem the ‘excess’ flow of money into politics!” The problem was the unintended consequences. But as long as she thinks she finds people with good motives, even total idiots, what they are doing is fine.
  • Inciting others to commit harm is not allowed, but legislation banning flag-burning is legal because she is sure it will never incite others to commit harm.
  • If there is an overabundance of an idea, “action disfavoring that idea [would] un-skew public discourse.” “As there are too many right wingers on Talk Radio, so we should un-skew the number of them.”
  • Restrictions should focus on whether the person’s ideas are causing “public harm”. Harm is surely very narrowly defined.
  • Government should treat all people creating public harm equally. “If we are going to round up one-right winger, we should be fair and round up them all.”

Using this sample of her writings, are you convinced yet that she is worthy of being on the Supreme Court?

E-mail to ubuntu-devel

Here we are 5+ years in, and these basic problems still exist.

The problem is Mark doesn’t see the point of doing work in Debian, because if he did, then why should he have created Ubuntu? Mark thinks contributing to Debian makes as much sense as contributing to Red Hat: nice in some ideal world, but not worth investing in. Do you think he talked to Dell or the Amazon cloud folks about supporting Ubuntu and Debian?

Either:
Work doesn’t go into Debian, which is bad for Debian,
Or work is done in Debian in which case Ubuntu has little reason to exist.

Update: It looks like the Ubuntu people are going to put their stuff into Debian. That is good to hear. So we’re going from the first scenario to the second — which is an improvement.

Hello,

Ubuntu is developing more and more software of its own and often Debian
reintegrates the software but later on. I wonder why you are not
integrating new software immediately in Debian:
– you would benefit from the feedback of the debian community sooner
and avoid some packaging churn later on [1]
– even when you have constraint of integration with other software in
debian and that you’re blocked, you can have a ubuntu-specific packaging
thanks to the dpkg-vendor framework and still share the source package
between both distributions
– you would have some explicit responsibility in maintaining the software
that you create

[1] I’m referring to http://bugs.debian.org/571929 for desktopcouch, the
initial packaging is sub-optimal and the upstream developers (all
@canonical.com) have been asked for their feedback and insight on the
reasons of some dependencies but they have never responded… this
sucks hard. It would be nice if this small fingerpointing would lead
to someone reacting…

Cheers,

Raphaƫl Hertzog

How to print from your iPad

Neurotic robot with music

I added music to the neurotic robot. Do you like it better?

Why the Healthcare bill sux

I just wrote this to a friend in facebook and thought I’d post it here. He wanted to know what I didn’t like most about the healthcare bill:


It is so hard to say what I don’t like most because it is a big bill but also because I am upset about the process. This bill was rammed through the Congress. The only bipartisanship was with the opposition. A Republican in the liberal state of Mass won Ted Kennedy’s seat and yet still they kept pushing this through in spite of this and other the messages from the electorate. This bill has been a part of the debate for a year, and yet it has been firmly rejected by the American people.

It was sold on a pile of lies.

Barack Obama said as a Senator that the 60-vote requirement is the biggest reason for having the two separate legislative bodies. The Senate is where legislation like a hot tea, goes to cool down. It was always understand that bad government laws can very easily make any situation worse. Yet as prez, he doesn’t care the Senate anymore and has endorsed the 51-vote reconciliation process. “Nobody cares about the process”, he tell us. “people without insurance are dying every day.” As if he’s going to stop death. He’s supposed to be a constitutional law processor.

We are told this bill will decrease the deficit — as if a program like this can ever do that. This was negotiated between special interests in secret, as if they have all the answers. As the process went on, the legislation got worse. If a worker showed up to your house, and every day he worked he made it worse, you’d surely fire him.

We are told we can keep our doctor and insurance, but the bill says that insurance now needs to be approved by DC. My catastrophic insurance will be outlawed — they want everyone on full-service plans. This bill also doesn’t fix the tax equalization issue that your employer gets a tax deduction for healthcare, but you don’t. This has caused people to tie healthcare to employment, which is very bad.

So it is as much what is not in the bill as what is in it.

But anyway, as to what it contains. The US already has programs to help the poor and the elderly. This bill doesn’t even attempt to shore them up or reform or improve them. It actually makes those programs in even more fiscal trouble. Every American is putting money into these programs. We can talk about giving people things, but if the money isn’t there, it is just a promise. These entitlements always end up costing more than the estimates. By now they should know better!

The biggest issue is that it doesn’t push towards healthcare as more of a free market. Why can everyone afford cellphones today? Not because the government stepped in. The problem with healthcare is the “third-party payee” system. If you want going to the doctor to be like visting Apple, removing all the regulations. That, plus tort reform, buying insurance across state lines, and a few other things would totally change things.

Price and cost controls and regulations stifle progress in the free market. That is the old economic thinking in that they don’t consider the unintended consequences of their stuff. If the US government got into the software business as a way to alleviate the problem with Microsoft’s anti-competitive behavior, would you think that was a good remedy?

It also took a very long time to make this bill happen because it was so terrible that many Democrats didn’t like it and so they had weeks of back room deals. Obama should have scrapped the bill in January. We could have passed something smaller and better by now. They are arrogant.

The good news is that Obama is the best community organizer the Republicans have ever had. They now know what they stand for — basically the opposite of what Obama is doing. Even McCain understands how tax cuts can decrease unemployment. Obama believes the ends justify the means, and is clueless. This is a terrible combination. He was educated by white liberals in Columbia and Harvard so his skin color plays zero part in my analysis. Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes were white people, but so were Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan. I believe that half of America would be a better president — polls show that a majority would not have pushed through this healthcare bill.

William Buckley wrote this in 1963: “I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston telephone directory than by the 2,000 members of the Harvard faculty.” If the Republican party had nominated a constitutional law professor, and a resume that would fit on the back of his driver’s license, he would have gotten hammered.

This is a funny video about the h/c law.

Behind the scenes, the people who created this new law have in mind the idea that in the long-term the best way to save money on healthcare is to push the “scarce” resources towards the young people. It is like them looking at the high price of cellphones 20 years ago and deciding that the best thing the government should do is to step in and redistribute them to the “productive” people.

And in their anger, they lash out at their critics. Sarah Palin gets criticized for months for bringing up death panels, when we all know that every healthcare system has limits today, and this legislation has it.

Every alleged misbehavior by someone angry at DC today gets amplified in the media. Congressmen who wanted to vote “no” on healthcare reform get harassed, but the only stories we ever hear about are of the angry electorate calling up those who voted “yes”. This follows their “tea-partiers are evil” storyline. The establishment doesn’t care about any threats to those who are not following along with their agenda. They want those who don’t follow along to have it difficult.

A wheelchair-stricken black man gets beaten up by big SEIU men, but we only ever hear about the racist tea-baggers — that sliver of Americans that oppose Obama’s policies and constitutes half of the electorate.

Many Democrats cheer Obama’s “achievement”. They have absolutely no idea what they are cheering for.