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16726  General Politics / Economics / Re: Favorite Economic System on: January 27, 2010, 11:57:53 pm
Tell that to all those people paying for downloads at iTunes and similar sites, and for e-books to put on their Kindle to read.  While file sharing has affected copyright holders, it isn't going to kill off copyright.  What it has done is severely weaken the role of publishers as the gatekeepers for what is heard, viewed, and read.  Hence, people are less willing to pay the a premium for performing that gatekeeper role, possibly to the point that the concept of a publisher will become irrelevant.  However, publishers are not a necessary component of intellectual property.

And as I've said before, the rise of three-dimensional printing is going to kill all of that. When you can produce, in your own home, virtually every invention that has yet been invented, and the only thing stopping you is the State - the Federal government, to which you, Federalist, are nominally opposed - then you will change your tune in rapid succession.

A pipe dream for the foreseeable future except in those situations where products cannot take advantage of the lower costs of mass production of identical items.  The problem with your IP-free utopia is that it kills economic incentives to distribute new ideas.  (Yes there are other incentives besides money, but IP doesn't prevent them from incenting, so no IP means fewer incentives to distribute new ideas.) Patents and copyright, provided that their terms are not excessive, spur innovation.

16727  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Dave's Redistricting App on: January 25, 2010, 11:48:32 pm
I'm not certain those gerrymanders would pass scrutiny.  They not only have to make monstrous black majority districts, they make monstrous white-majority districts.  I'm going to see if I can make a more reasonable gerrymander.
16728  General Politics / Economics / Re: Favorite Economic System on: January 25, 2010, 11:42:41 pm
That said, while we do need intellectual property reform, we definitely don't need to discard the whole system.

I don't see what use there is in keeping it at all. The Internet is quickly rendering the very concept of intellectual property irrelevant.

Tell that to all those people paying for downloads at iTunes and similar sites, and for e-books to put on their Kindle to read.  While file sharing has affected copyright holders, it isn't going to kill off copyright.  What it has done is severely weaken the role of publishers as the gatekeepers for what is heard, viewed, and read.  Hence, people are less willing to pay the a premium for performing that gatekeeper role, possibly to the point that the concept of a publisher will become irrelevant.  However, publishers are not a necessary component of intellectual property.
16729  General Discussion / Alternative History / Re: What if Germany atacked the USSR in Spring 1941 instead of waiting until Summer? on: January 25, 2010, 04:33:11 pm
McClellan gets a bum rap.

To begin with, in '61 and '62 had the Confederates taken Washington, they would have won the war, as it would have crumpled Northern support and brought about foreign recognition of the Confederacy.  That meant that he couldn't afford to risk its loss, and he had to appease politicians who understood that fact, but not necessarily the art of war.

Secondly, he believed in the overestimates of Confederate strength his "intelligence" service gave him.  Had he had accurate intelligence, McClellan would not have been as timorous as he had been.  If the Peninsular Campaign had been waged with more vigor, he would have captured Richmond n 1862.  (That isn't to say that he could have ended the war in 1862, as I agree with you there that the war would have continued another year or two, but it would have been unlikely to have continued into 1865.

For one thing, had Richmond fallen in 1862, the Confederate threat to Washington would be gone.  The men and material devoted to defending that static position would have been freed up two years earlier.
16730  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: Greek Gods Survivor - round 21 - come & vote in our TOP 3 ! on: January 25, 2010, 04:07:22 pm
Hephaestus
16731  General Politics / Economics / Re: Favorite Economic System on: January 25, 2010, 04:01:44 pm
Certainly not. Simply be completely repealing all copyright law (all inventions immediately become public domain) [...]

It would be interesting if patent law and copyright law had equivalent terms.  I wonder how much support there would be for our current overlengthy copyright periods if patents were also life of the inventor plus 75 years (or 95 years for corporations) instead of 20 years.

That said, while we do need intellectual property reform, we definitely don't need to discard the whole system.

16732  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Chemical Ali hanged on: January 25, 2010, 03:41:29 pm
It would have been more appropriate had a gas chamber been used than a hangman's noose in this case.
16733  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Dave's Redistricting App on: January 25, 2010, 02:36:44 pm
The maps on the link I showed were better. BTW, you can always gerrymander if necessary. In addition, if one of those districts stops having a black majority in 2020 or beyond, then policymakers can always dismantle the district at a later date.

First off, what link?  You mentioned a link, but there was no link.  Second, my point was mainly that a barely majority-minority district crafted based on the 2010 data might well have one or more of the five election cycles of its lifetime when it was not actually majority-minority.
16734  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Who has been the most "right-wing" US President in the last 100 years? on: January 24, 2010, 11:36:31 am
A lot of potential candidates depending on what one considers to be the most important feathers of the right-wing.  I'll toss Wilson's name into the ring.
16735  General Discussion / Alternative History / Re: What if Germany atacked the USSR in Spring 1941 instead of waiting until Summer? on: January 24, 2010, 11:30:55 am
War is not about seizing capitals, at least not in a total war situation.  In 1861, '62, '63 the Union made Richmond the objective... which is why they consistently failed.

While not wishing to hijack this thread into a Civil War thread, there were plenty of non-political reasons to wish to take Richmond.  It had the largest industrial complex in the South.   Had the Peninsular Campaign to take Richmond succeeded in 1862, but the Confederates retained control of Tennessee in 1862, the war would have ended sooner.  The South's problem was it could not afford any loss of territory or the productive capacity that accompanied it.

Also, in '61, '62, and early '63 the Civil War was not yet a total war for the North.
16736  General Discussion / History / Re: World War One Question on: January 24, 2010, 12:12:21 am
While the declaration of a zone off the British coast where unresticted submarine warfare would be engaged in was a violation of the generally recognized rules of war antebellum, the Germans were not the first to endanger innocent neutral shipping in contravention of those rules.  The British were when they mined the international waters of the North Sea in 1914 in their attempt to cut off ships traveling to Germany.  Under the rules of war antebellum, mining was permissible only in German territorial waters, but the British did not dare to send minelayers that close to the German ports and coast, as improved coastal artillery meant they would be sunk if they ventured that close.

The United States in general, and Wilson in particular, despite the propaganda that was put out, was never neutral after the first month or so.  Wilson favored a Anglo-French victory from that start, preferably one that came after they needed to ask the United States to intervene to end it, though to be fair, he hoped diplomatic intervention would be sufficient.  We only committed fighting men once it became clear that the Entente Powers would lose if we did not.

There are some realpolitik arguments that can be made that an Anglo-French victory was preferable to a German victory for the United States, but Wilson dared not enunciate them as he was a fluke President who won in a fluke election.

Edited for formatting
16737  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Dave's Redistricting App on: January 23, 2010, 11:39:59 pm
That's really squeaking by with those SC maps, muon. It won't take much of a difference between estimate and reality for those maps to be impossible.

Also your second map has CD 6 and 7 reversed, since I imagine that the GOP wouldn't be so petty as to make Clyburn change his stationary.

Also if population inflows resume after an economic recovery what you have as CD 6 in both maps would definitely not be majority black by 2020 and might well be majority white by then.
16738  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Dave's Redistricting App on: January 23, 2010, 03:01:38 pm
If SC gets seven seats, the Justice Department will likely demand a second black-majority seat. Thus the Republican legislature will likely turn Spratt's district into a black-majority one in addition to keeping Clyburn's black-majority. This will allow the GOP to strengthen its hold on the remaning five seats.

I don't believe it's possible to create two majority-minority districts in South Carolina.  If it is, it would be a most hellacious gerrymander.
16739  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Do you consider social issues when you vote? on: January 22, 2010, 11:28:03 pm
Right now in American politics, a politician is far likelier to get their fiscal or foreign policy into effect than their social policy.  For example, there's not much point in deciding who to vote for in any race other than President or U.S. Senator based on their views on abortion, and even then you'd have to be very concerned about who gets nominated and confirmed to the Supreme Court to pace an emphasis on that position over other issues that come up far more frequently.
16740  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Should Congress have a mandatory retirement age? on: January 22, 2010, 07:51:31 pm
No, but also no special elections if they die in office (except for Senate which can be held at the next general election).

If the public wants to choose someone who is sick enough to die in office or chooses to not complete their term, that's their tough luck.  Just think, Obama wouldn't be in the fix he is in now if Teddy had resigned in time for a special election to be held in 2008.
16741  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Who will be the next FDR-Reagan-Obama figure for both parties? on: January 22, 2010, 07:15:36 pm
While it is too soon to tell, even a one-term Obama could be a defining figure for the Democrats, tho I doubt it.  Heck, the zero-term Bryan was a transformative figure for the Democrats that saw the Democrats be transformed from being the more conservative of the two parties to being the more populist of the two.
16742  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: Greek Gods Survivor - round 20 - come & vote in our TOP 4 ! on: January 22, 2010, 05:35:54 pm
Poseidon
16743  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: Greek Gods Survivor - round 19 - come & vote in our TOP 5 ! on: January 22, 2010, 04:39:54 pm
Eros
16744  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Dave's Redistricting App on: January 22, 2010, 04:37:26 pm
Here's a stab at redistricting SC into 7 districts.



Probably not the real district boundaries as there is a good chance this would put two Representatives in the same district, and I didn't try to gerrymander it into a potential 6 GOP/1 Dem map.

The 6th District remains majority black (53-41) which probably would pass VRA scrutiny, but it could be made blacker and thereby make neighboring seats safer for the GOP by splitting up even more counties than this does.  A 61-34 black majority contiguous district is constructable with no split precincts if you want a really ugly gerrymander.



16745  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The floodgates, they have been opened. on: January 22, 2010, 01:39:08 pm
First off, the New York Times falls under the "freedom of the press" clause in the First Amendment.  Exxon and Pfzier do not apply.

How so?  What exactly is "the press"?  If Exxon or Pfizer chooses to express views on a subject using the mass media, how does that materially differ from what the New York Times Company does?
16746  General Discussion / Alternative History / Re: What if Germany atacked the USSR in Spring 1941 instead of waiting until Summer? on: January 22, 2010, 12:54:29 am
Don't forget the fact that the Soviets used  (and the the former Soviet states continue to use) a rail gauge different from Europe, which contributed to Germans not getting to Moscow before winter.  Even if Barbarossa started on time, whether the Germans could reach Moscow before winter is not certain, and there would have been no blitz from Moscow in the Winter.  Instead the likely result would have been the equivalent of the Battle of Stalingrad taking place in Moscow a year earlier.
16747  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission on: January 22, 2010, 12:00:24 am
I'm not yet familiar enough with campaign finance law to form an opinion of the decision or the ramifications of the decision, but I do hope that Congress passes a law so that political speech by corporations is subject to the same rules as those by political individuals.

As a quick example, if Goldman Sachs wants to run an ad for Candidate X, the ad should have to include Lloyd Blankfein saying, "I am Lloyd Bankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, and I approve this message."

Part IV of Kennedy's opinion, which was supported 8-1, addressed that issue and corporations do have disclosure requirements.  Thomas, who dissented from that part of Kennedy's opinion, also prefers uniformity in treatment, but with everyone allowed to be anonymous.
16748  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: 2000 Election Question on: January 21, 2010, 11:55:07 pm
The most pertinent Federal law concerning 2000 is 3 USC Sec. 5.

If the statewide recount could have been completed prior to December 12, and the Supreme Court found that it was in accordance with Florida election law as of November 7, then the results of the recount would have been final.

A disputed election that went into the House and Senate to decide would have required that the recount have gone past December 12 and that Gore have won the recount.

Even then there is no joy in Mudville for those hoping for a Bush/Lieberman pairing.  3 USC Sec. 15 calls for the two houses to concurrently decide which slate to accept, and if the two cannot agree, then the one certified by the governor is to be considered correct.  A disputed slate of electors cannot result in one house choosing a Democrat and the other choosing a Republican.

That likely contributed to Gore's decision to abandon the effort after December 12.  Even if he had managed to get a second slate of Florida electors sent to Washington after the safe harbor date, he had no hope with a Republican controlled House and a Republican governor of it being accepted by Congress.
16749  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission on: January 21, 2010, 10:01:55 pm
(Wikipedia article)

(decision)

I'm in agreement with this decision. There's no reason to bar political speech just because it is paid speech or who the speaker is, yet the voters should be aware who is paying. Thomas' hyperlibertarian dissent to Part IV of Kennedy's opinion is to be expected, yet ignores that there are remedies for threats to life and limb because of one's political views.
16750  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: What happens if the first amendment is repealed? on: January 21, 2010, 08:07:29 pm
If the ninth amendment is not also repealed, I can't see where there should be much difference.  However, if the first were repealed, courts might not be willing to offend the tyranny of the majority to do so.
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