Re: Weasels vs. transparancy / traffic cameras

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Tue May 23 2000 - 06:28:26 MDT

Charlie Stross wrote:
> On Mon, May 22, 2000 at 01:03:25PM -0400, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> > >
> > > Ahem: if we play this game, I'll have to cite the CIA's fun activities
> > > in the 1960's and 1970's. Or Oliver North's little escapades. Clue: the
> > > "next dissident group" is _already_ planting bombs -- it's nothing to
> > > do with the Irish issue and everything to do with militant animal rights
> > > protestors blowing up meat packing warehouses.
> >
> > Ollie and the CIA never, to my knowledge killed anyone, up until the present
> > administration, who was an american citizen, with the sole exception of a few americans
> > who were assisting communist insurgents in central America, and they got offed by CIA
> > clients, not by the CIA itself. By definition, foreign communist geurillas are open
> > season. Nobody in the White House ever ordered anyone to off an American, a market
> > contrast to the practices of the Intelligence Section over there...
> I thought you were a libertarian, Mike. Where is all this defensive
> hyperpatriotism coming from? The CIA is allowed to off communist
> insurgents by way of its clients, but the British government (a US
> client state) isn't allowed to off its own communist insurgents (the
> avowedly-Marxist pIRA) because they don't have the holy indulgence of
> the US state department?

As I said, we haven't offed Marxists here since Julius and Ethel
Rosenberg. American Marxists are free to live. I'm not being patriotic,
I'm being anti-communist. There is a difference.

> People are human beings, Michael, whether or not they're citizens of
> the United States. Either you concede that governments -- your own or
> others -- have the right to kill them, or you don't. Personally, I don't
> think state violence is a good thing under _any_ circumstances; there
> may be mitigating conditions (such as, it's intended to prevent worse
> violence -- i.e., self-defense), but that still doesn't make it _good_.
> In fact, advocacy of state violence strikes me as being downright
> un-extropian. (Snark, snark.)

I don't advocate it. I encourage commie hunting by anyone who wants to
participate. It should be open season as far as I'm concerned. Why
should government get all the fun?

> > &28,000 equals, at a current exchange rate of 1 to 1.48, an income of $41,440.00.
> > Assuming you are single, you have an initial deduction of $5700.00. Thus your taxable
> > income is $35,740.00. With no other deductions or writoffs, your tax would be the
> > following:
> Wrong. That's the tax I pay on income _above_ 28K. On income _below_ 28K
> the rate is 25%. There's a marginal rate of 10% on the first couple of
> thousand, and a tax-free allowance of about 4.8K. On that first $41,440
> of income (US figures) I pay roughly $7000 in tax (don't have the UK IR
> tables to hand, can't be arsed calculating 'em by hand); this compares with
> the $8200 you'd pay, if single, in the US, going by the IRS table you
> cited.

I already posted the amounts I'd pay, which are decidely lower than your
claims. I notice you snipped those amounts from the post to hide this
fact. That is dishonest.

> Why are you so convinced that the USA is automatically and in every
> way better than anywhere else on the planet? It's just another goddamn
> country, and the rest of us don't all live in holes in the ground,
> subsisting off hand-outs and cast-offs.
> (If the USA was a substantially better place to live -- combination of
> money, standard of living, and all the rest -- I'd emigrate; I speak
> the language, I've got highly employable skills, and unlike you I'm
> not incredibly attached to my country. But as far as I can calculate,
> the degree to which my life would improve is highly questionable, and
> I'd lose a fair bit, too. Some of us _like_ having five weeks a year of
> paid vacation -- never mind sick leave -- as normal working conditions,
> and not having to worry about medical insurance or burglars with guns.)

I take as much or as little vacation as I want. I'm not incredibly
attached to my country, and I resent your accusations of my being
hyperpatriotic. If I found a country that was more free than living here
in New Hampshire, I'd move in a minute. (and as previously stated, we
have five times fewer burglars than you do... how bout that?)

> :
> > > These days, the UK is approximately 7% non-white. Yeah, that's lilly
> > > white compared to the US. It is, however, a major departure from the
> > > historical record.
> >
> > True. I have asserted that the relatively low homicide rates over there are
> > specifically because you don't have anywhere near the number of minorities as we do, as
> > most homicide is minority on minority crime here. Its got nothing to do with guns,
> > while the lack of guns is specifically why your property crime rate is so high...
> Fairly predictably, the lack of firearms hasn't stopped gangsters getting
> their hands on them; there's a really nasty little turf war between a
> bunch of thugs from Manchester and their neighbours in Leeds right now
> (kneecappings, bodies found in car boots, that sort of thing).
> However, among petty criminals the issue is different. Anyone who goes
> housebreaking in the US is by definition fearless, and probably armed
> -- they know what they're likely to get. (This makes tackling a burglar
> extremely dangerous, but on the other hand, your chances of being burgled
> are relatively low.)
> The perpetrators of burglary in the UK are different, because the risk
> is lower. You get opportunist criminals (teenagers and drug users) who
> try to sneak through a window and steal a VCR or a handbag. If confronted
> they will run like hell and not fight back. Even if they're caught, the
> severity of punishment will depend on whether they threatened the home-
> owner -- armed robbery can land you a life sentence, whereas housebreaking
> can't (unless you turn it into armed robbery by waving a gun around at
> the almost-certainly-unarmed occupants).

Most burglars are of that sort here as well, and they are typically
minorities burgling other minorities in minority neighborhoods. So long
as you don't mind living in communities with few minorities, your
chances of being criminalized are extremely low, less even, than the UK.

> What this means is, comparison of burglary rates between the USA and UK
> are damn near invalidated because of the different conditions that apply.

Why? Because they actually look worse for you, so you have to dismiss

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