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Monday, October 15, 2018

OTP 2018 October 15: The shift in focus from sport to politics

Since I’m hinting at it, here’s my shameless plug: if you can sit through four hours of football and its stoppage time, you can’t justify calling baseball boring. October belongs to America’s pastime. I feel that this whole landscape will look different a decade from now, with football at the lower half of the totem pole.

My opinion isn’t entirely biased. This issue with politics bleeding into the discussion is a serious crutch for an otherwise praised NFL, and until that’s no longer a factor, people are going to shift away. The NBA waters are nice these days too, I’m hearing.

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 15, 2018 at 08:26 AM | 1522 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, politics

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   1001. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:35 AM (#5770158)
In what way are Americans over-regulated and Canadians just right?


I've lived in this country as an adult for many decades. I've been a small business owner, a user of healthcare, gone to higher education, built a house, took out loans, and went fishing among other things. Outside of municipalities with their revenue shakedown for alcohol awareness I haven't been inconvenienced in the slightest by regulation and I've done quite well.

I have experience developing and opening businesses in Central & South America. I have some experience doing the same in Canada (the land of everything has to be in French and English, thank you for the added cost) and Eastern Asia. Those areas make you jump through hoops to open a business. Some are worse than others.
   1002. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5770165)
I think the only Americans that think America is over regulated are Americans that have not experienced life in countries that are distinctly under regulated. Go spend some time in countries like Paraguay and you'll be kissing the bureaucrats in America when you return.


Depends on what we're talking about. Is America under or over regulated with respect to say, building codes? Yes/no. If we're talking about safety standards and the like, no. There's a reason earthquakes in other countries level entire sub-blocks and kill thousands, while in America you might get the occasional free way overpass collapse. Regulation, good. But then you have #### like height and density limits for suburban areas, and requirements to build parking lots for every business, etc. Regulation, bad.

Generally speaking, not being Libertopian Somalia is a good thing, though.
   1003. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5770166)
A few Q3 fundraising discrepancies for the House midterms:

NY-27:
D challenger Nate McMurray $460,000 --- R incumbent Chris Collins $6,210
(but he'll be given a longer number in prison-- GOP donors are presumably saving their money for the 2019 special election)

KS-3:
D challenger Sharice Davids $2,261,000 --- R incumbent Kevin Yoder $466,000
(Toto, I don't think he's going to represent Kansas anymore)

CA-48:
D challenger Harley Rouda $2,753,000 --- R incumbent Dana Rohrabacher $263,000
(however, $263,000 is more than 17 million in rubles)

AZ-6:
D challenger Anita Malik $148,000 --- R incumbent David Schweikert $0
(this guy's probably going to win anyway, but $0 is too funny not to list)
   1004. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5770171)
Jamal Khassogi's final column....

I was recently online looking at the 2018 “Freedom in the World” report published by Freedom House and came to a grave realization. There is only one country in the Arab world that has been classified as “free.” That nation is Tunisia. Jordan, Morocco and Kuwait come second, with a classification of “partly free.” The rest of the countries in the Arab world are classified as “not free.”

As a result, Arabs living in these countries are either uninformed or misinformed. They are unable to adequately address, much less publicly discuss, matters that affect the region and their day-to-day lives. A state-run narrative dominates the public psyche, and while many do not believe it, a large majority of the population falls victim to this false narrative. Sadly, this situation is unlikely to change.

* * *

My dear friend, the prominent Saudi writer Saleh al-Shehi, wrote one of the most famous columns ever published in the Saudi press. He unfortunately is now serving an unwarranted five-year prison sentence for supposed comments contrary to the Saudi establishment. The Egyptian government’s seizure of the entire print run of a newspaper, al-Masry al Youm, did not enrage or provoke a reaction from colleagues. These actions no longer carry the consequence of a backlash from the international community. Instead, these actions may trigger condemnation quickly followed by silence.

* * *
There are a few oases that continue to embody the spirit of the Arab Spring. Qatar’s government continues to support international news coverage, in contrast to its neighbors’ efforts to uphold the control of information to support the “old Arab order.” Even in Tunisia and Kuwait, where the press is considered at least “partly free,” the media focuses on domestic issues but not issues faced by the greater Arab world. They are hesitant to provide a platform for journalists from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Yemen. Even Lebanon, the Arab world’s crown jewel when it comes to press freedom, has fallen victim to the polarization and influence of pro-Iran Hezbollah.

The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power. During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe, which grew over the years into a critical institution, played an important role in fostering and sustaining the hope of freedom. Arabs need something similar. In 1967, the New York Times and The Post took joint ownership of the International Herald Tribune newspaper, which went on to become a platform for voices from around the world.

* * *
The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices. We suffer from poverty, mismanagement and poor education. Through the creation of an independent international forum, isolated from the influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda, ordinary people in the Arab world would be able to address the structural problems their societies face.


You can see why he was chopped up into pieces... such a fiery radical....
   1005. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5770173)
Even just the America is covered in stop signs, Britain is covered in yield signs, is like, visceral in how it reflects.


America is covered in street signs period. It is truly unbelievable how many street signs there are, and about 90% of them unnecessary. On US-1 in Key Largo near my home, there are about 100 street signs per mile! A good many of them are "End bike lane" and "Start bike lane" every single time the bike lane which runs alongside US 1 is interrupted by a side street, which in some places occurs every 100 feet. Oh, and next to every "start bike lane" sign is a 'No motorized vehicles allowed" sign. Street signs which reproduce the information contained in the symbology on the road is another pet peeve "Do not pass/Pass with care" , "Lanes merge", and other redundant signs just clutter up the landscape.

I recently went to Costa Rica, and did a lot of driving there. The relative dearth of road signs was a breath of fresh air, and everyone got to where they needed to go, safely.
   1006. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:50 AM (#5770174)
But then you have #### like height and density limits for suburban areas, and requirements to build parking lots for every business, etc. Regulation, bad.

I would say yes/no on this and it really depends on your perspective. There absolutely should be a requirement to build a parking lot for your business out in the burbs. I don't really see an issue with height and density limits either out in the suburbs and this is coming from someone who tried to develop a condominium project out in the suburbs and got stymied by the height and view restrictions. Now I don't think any rule or regulation should be set in stone-never to be revisited ever again. But as long as there is a process for creating and changing regulations and some thought and care is put in to creating them I'm generally not going to think they are evil.
   1007. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5770178)
There absolutely should be a requirement to build a parking lot for your business out in the burbs.

Why?
   1008. manchestermets Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:53 AM (#5770181)
Obviously not; for example, we expect libertarians to evaluate things correctly and liberals to do so incorrectly.

[Rest of empty platitudes snippped.]


No, don't edit yourself, post the whole thing.


No, the problem is that the last question doesn't have any right answers.


I'll bite then. David, ideally, how should major social or political changes be achieved?
   1009. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5770187)
America isn't over regulated. This isn't Gilliam's Brazil or Orwell's 1984
The defining feature of Orwell’s vision was totalitarianism, not overregulation. I will concede that the US is not the former, but that has no bearing on the discussion, which is regarding the latter issue. And the U.S. is terribly overregulated.

I am speaking in absolute terms, not relative terms, so "Paraguay, #######\" is not a valid rebuttal. But that having been said, I don't know why McCoy thinks that Paraguay is some sort of libertarian paradise. Here's one good indicator of the level of regulation in a country. (It's only issue among many, to be sure. And it's one where the U.S. scores very well -- though of course the score varies widely by jurisdiction within the U.S.) Paraguay is significantly worse than the U.S.

Occupational licensing would be another area. (I don't have ready information about Paraguay for that one.) Almost 1/3 of U.S. workers who require permission from the government to work in their chosen field. And while you might think that doctors and lawyers should be heavily regulated, occupational licensing goes far beyond that, but purely arbitrarily. (There are more than 1,000 different occupations licensed, but I believe less than 100 that are regulated in every state.) Barbers, pet groomers, florists, interior designers, used bookstore owners, coffin sellers, home entertainment installers... the list goes on. And to be clear, the licensing I'm discussing does not merely consist of fill-out-a-form-and-pay-your-$50; it is routinely accompanied by onerous educational requirements. Hundreds or even thousands of hours -- i.e., years -- of instruction, and not just for doctors/lawyers, but for jobs like barber. And "good moral character" requirements, so that convicted felons are barred from the jobs.

How long does it take to start a construction project? How many permits from how many different agencies (federal, state, and local) are required?
   1010. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5770190)
Recent suspicions of Bredesen's demise in Tennessee might have been premature -

Two new polls say that the race remains in play -

A Vanderbilt poll has Bredesen up 44-43; while Reuters/Ipsos has Blackburn up 47-44.

The only caveat is that both polls are oddly RV - at this point, everyone else is using LV.... That said, I think there are a lot of indications that LV/turnout might be very tough to model this cycle (see Virginia last year).
   1011. BDC Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5770193)
America is covered in stop signs, Britain is covered in yield signs

America is covered in street signs period


I've driven in Germany somewhat in recent years, and I can remember just one stop sign, near my Bavarian in-laws, usefully enough placed at a T-junction out in the middle of the country. Part of it is just the nature of the road net, of course. In place of the American section grid you get in Germany lots of roundabouts and merges, and the principle of yielding to traffic coming from the right unless you see the yellow diamond. Which you almost always do, making the principle rather hard to remember.

But of course, all across Europe, the most useful of all signs, the downward-pointing white arrow on blue that tells you "Go Here." With all the signage in the US, you think we'd have adopted that one, but we still go with "nine lanes of traffic here and good luck seeing the tiny curb that divides them."

   1012. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5770194)
I recently went to Costa Rica, and did a lot of driving there. The relative dearth of road signs was a breath of fresh air, and everyone got to where they needed to go, safely.

Humans aren't good at probability. Costa Ricans are more likely to die in a car than Americans by something like 40%.
   1013. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5770195)
Why?

If you want to go to a grocery store and there is no parking lot where can you park? On someone's grass? Out on the street?
   1014. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5770197)
I don't think Paraguay is a libertarian paradise.
   1015. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5770198)
If you want to go to a grocery store and there is no parking lot where can you park? On someone's grass? Out on the street?


Sounds like a problem the grocery store might want to tackle itself, by deciding how many parking spaces to include. They'll lose business if they don't have enough spaces.
   1016. BrianBrianson Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5770199)
Canada might be an unfair comparison since I'd have an easier time as a citizen, but as say, an immigrant to the UK, and an immigrant to the US, which is more fair

Immigrating to the UK, I filled out one application (with the UKBA), and paid one fee, and everything was done, sorted. I suppose I did have to register with my dentist & surgery, but these were standard one page where do you live and such that everyone does.

Immigrating to the US, I filled out one application with the Department of State (I had to go in for an interview/photoing/fingerprint, but that was true in the UK as well). Then, I had to register with the Department of Homeland Security. Then, I had to get my visa re-processed when I actually entered the US. Then, I had to apply for a social security number. Last part was worse for my wife, who had to apply for a social security number, get a letter saying she'd been rejected, then apply again to get a non-working one.

In the UK, I mailed them my driver's licence, they mailed me a UK one. In the US, I had to start from scratch - which in my state, means a written test to get a learner's permit. Then, I had to get a physical. I spent about 2 hours trying to figure out if there was anywhere I could use my health insurance before I gave up and found some strip mall clinic that specialises in that sort of thing. Then the driving test. Goes worse for my wife, who has to apply for a driving licence, get rejected ... if I'm remembering right she sends that letter to Homeland Security, who then send her some other letter so she can apply for a driver's licence. Rinse and repeat every year.

I haven't used any healthcare beyond the physical for my driver's licence, but my wife's invested the time to figure out how to navigate it, since she's diabetic and can't choose to just go without. I follow the details less, but just about every time we get insulin it requires multiple trips to the pharmacy, which would've been a single trip to the chemists. Without any paperwork - now I think I have three healthcare ID cards in my pocket, versus 0 in the UK (albeit, one in Canada).

And yes, Stop signs vs. Yields, walking down the sidewalk drinking a beer.

Paying taxes (although Canada screws that up to - if I were an immigrant there, I'm not sure whether I'd have to pay a professional, as I'm pretty much forced to here) - the UK trounces both here quite easily.

Now, it's probably true that it's not always obvious where it's regulation, versus where it's bureaucracy created by lawsuit aversion - though my inclination is to blame the latter on the former.
   1017. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5770201)
I recently went to Costa Rica, and did a lot of driving there. The relative dearth of road signs was a breath of fresh air, and everyone got to where they needed to go, safely.

Humans aren't good at probability. Costa Ricans are more likely to die in a car than Americans by something like 40%.


Can't speak to Costa Rica - but vacationed in Mexico a few years back and stayed in an out-of-the-way little town near some Mexican friends... It was great to get a bit off the standard resort track - they took us around some really awesome little towns and sights, but man... The drive to some of them - particularly in the interior of the country? 2 lane roads that are more like 1.5 lanes, paved (and in surprising good condition, but I guess the lack of freeze cycles helps) but winding as #### with a ton of blind curves and everyone just blasts along at ~60 mph (or technically, ~100 kph). Never been so white knuckle in a car ride in my life.
   1018. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5770202)

Sounds like a problem the grocery store might want to tackle itself, by deciding how many parking spaces to include. They'll lose business if they don't have enough spaces.


And in the meantime what about the rest of the town/city/county? Why shouldn't a municipality just resolve the issue so that cars aren't blocking your driveway, or on your grass, or taking up several lanes of traffic, or having people wander around out in traffic with bags of groceries?

Should towns build more lanes of traffic so people can park on the streets instead? Where is that money coming from? Taxes? Fees?
   1019. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:10 AM (#5770207)
I am pro-parking spot requirements.

I suppose I cannot speak to the suburbs, except to say Why? Why suburbs? - but finding parking (and especially non-garage parking) is one of the my biggest beefs with urban living. I avoid driving as much as possible, but in instances where I must, I truly detest spending 20 minutes looking around for a spot.
   1020. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5770208)
Can't speak to Costa Rica - but vacationed in Mexico a few years back The drive to some of them - particularly in the interior of the country? 2 lane roads that are more like 1.5 lanes, paved (and in surprising good condition, but I guess the lack of freeze cycles helps) but winding as #### with a ton of blind curves and everyone just blasts along at ~60 mph (or technically, ~100 kph). Never been so white knuckle in a car ride in my life.


And Mexico is like Switzerland compared to places like India and Cambodia. I've never been to Africa, but one can only guess.

I'm not much for reality tv but once I happened on a special edition of Ice Road Truckers where they put the truck drivers in India, driving from New Dehli up into the mountains. Most of the drivers - and remember that the entire premise of the show is how hardcore these guys are - quit in less than a day.
   1021. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5770209)
Immigration issues aren't really an issue of over-regulation but an issue of entering a country which is somewhat hostile and fearful of foreigners.
   1022. BDC Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:12 AM (#5770211)
winding as #### with a ton of blind curves and everyone just blasts along at ~60 mph (or technically, ~100 kph). Never been so white knuckle in a car ride in my life


Sounds a little like West Virginia. I was at a conference north of Wheeling last year and thought each day of driving would be my last. I figured I was just a wimp and the locals dealt with it perfectly well, but on the last day of the conference our host was making an airport run and hit a truck head-on. Airbag deployed and he walked away but his car was demolished.
   1023. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5770214)
I am pro-parking spot requirements.

I suppose I cannot speak to the suburbs, except to say Why? Why suburbs? - but finding parking (and especially non-garage parking) is one of the my biggest beefs with urban living. I avoid driving as much as possible, but in instances where I must, I truly detest spending 20 minutes looking around for a spot.


Obviously it depends on the urban area and how dense it is and or how dense it wants to be. If you're talking about DC or Boston, areas with extremely limited space, historical issues, and mass transit I don't see any need for a law that says you must absolutely have X amount of parking spaces. Imagine trying to open a little coffee shop in some first floor row home and the city regulator telling you you need to buy the house next you and knock it down to make 4 parking spaces. You wouldn't be able to open a business.

I think a good chunk of cities would be better off jacking up the price of their metered street parking and getting more cars off the road and more people into mass transit vehicles.
   1024. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5770215)

I'll bite then. David, ideally, how should major social or political changes be achieved?
Well, lumping together "social" and "political" ruins the question, because the answers are entirely different. By definition, political changes are going to come through government. (I'm not clear on what distinction the question was drawing between "grass-roots organizing" and "elections, legislation, and popular lobbying," though.) But social changes should be achieved by suasion. (My answer to the question was "grass-roots organizing," because that was the only option that didn't definitionally include force. For socialists it seems to do so -- the grass-roots organizing is for the purpose of getting laws passed -- but that's not inherent; that's just their spin on it.) And of course I think most changes should fall on the social rather than political side. But the question is also bad because it presupposes that changes should be collective rather than individual.
   1025. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:17 AM (#5770218)
I remember reading in my Lonely Planet guide to Turkey that Islamic fatalism ("inshallah") helps feed into the state of mind that inspires drivers to pass on a blind curve and such. If Allah wants me to get to my destination faster, it will be fine, and if He wants me to die in head-on collision, that's ok too. But they drive like that elsewhere, too.

In India I found the driving so insanely dangerous that it was actually impossible to process. It was like watching a video game. It felt unreal. Especially when you're clinging to the roof of a bus.
   1026. BDC Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5770220)
And as to parking lots … we've been dealing with this problem in downtown Arlington. It's both city and suburb, and there is no public transit. So one big hindrance to downtown development has been the tendency to surround every business or office building with several acres of parking, making it so that you can't walk around from one to another very easily. At long last the city built a central garage and deliberately designed our new public library without a parking lot, which is really radical. People are still a bit nonplussed, but if the city is every to become a habitable space that people want to come to, there has to be some provision for parking-and-walking instead of driving from one building to another (which also means many times more parking spots than are needed).

Fort Worth has solved this problem by putting up peripheral garages and steadily building over old downtown parking lots, turning them into pedestrian spaces. The lots are contracted for by the city, which pays for them to be free nights and weekends, which has been great for downtown businesses. But there's constant pressure to get some revenue out of the garages, since they're used so heavily. A bit of a paradox, because if they start charging for parking a lot fewer people will come downtown, and the businesses will fail, too.
   1027. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5770221)
Sounds a little like West Virginia. I was at a conference north of Wheeling last year and thought each day of driving would be my last. I figured I was just a wimp and the locals dealt with it perfectly well, but on the last day of the conference our host was making an airport run and hit a truck head-on. Airbag deployed and he walked away but his car was demolished.


That's the thing!

I mentioned my trepidation - as if it wasn't obvious enough - and asked our host if there were many accidents and the reply was "Oh yeah, absolutely. Lots of bad ones."... as he accelerates around another blind curve, in a manner that had there been another oncoming vehicle, reality could have answered the question for him. "Lots of people drive poorly," as he passes a slower vehicle right before yet another curve.

   1028. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5770222)

Why?

If you want to go to a grocery store and there is no parking lot where can you park? On someone's grass? Out on the street?
Um, at the other store that provides such a necessary amenity for its customers? You don't think that businesses have the inherent business incentive to make it feasible for their customers to shop there?
   1029. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5770224)
Georgia is definitely a let's keep the signage down to a minimum, let's not maintain them, and hey who cares if we create blind intersections kind of state.

It seems this state has a distinct lack of regulation when it comes to putting obstructions in the way of drivers' vision. There just seems to be a ton of intersections here where you have to kind of creep out slowly and pray to god someone isn't barreling down on you because someone has a tree growing right on the curb or there is a fence to the curb or the subdivision some kind of berm built up right up to the curb.
   1030. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5770228)
Um, at the other store that provides such a necessary amenity for its customers? You don't think that businesses have the inherent business incentive to make it feasible for their customers to shop there?

Again, (well, I know the answer already) why would a town just leave it up to chance?
   1031. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5770231)
Why shouldn't a municipality just resolve the issue so that cars aren't blocking your driveway, or on your grass,
Because municipalities can only adopt one-size-fits-all regulations that don't address the needs of a specific business or location. (And if cars are blocking my driveway or parked on my lawn to shop at a nearby business, their owners will not be driving them away at all, so that problem won't recur.)
   1032. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:26 AM (#5770232)

I suppose I cannot speak to the suburbs, except to say Why? Why suburbs?
Because cities suck.
   1033. BrianBrianson Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5770235)
Immigration issues aren't really an issue of over-regulation but an issue of entering a country which is somewhat hostile and fearful of foreigners.


Oh, yes, 'cause the Brexiteers are lovingly embrace foreigners.

It's an easier thing to do a straight, fair comparison. Obviously being an immigrant makes a lot of things more bureaucracy heavy. So it's not really fair to compare, except where it's the same. Still

But all kinds of things are more paperwork and more bureaucracy in the US than the UK. Paying income tax, getting healthcare, having a beer, driving a car, crossing the street ... on and on and on.
   1034. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5770236)

Immigration issues aren't really an issue of over-regulation but an issue of entering a country which is somewhat hostile and fearful of foreigners.
No, they are an issue of overregulation. Pretty much all regulations are about fear (and greed), but the motive behind them isn't the point. It's still regulation. Making it easy to cross the border (and/or to immigrate) or hard is a set of regulatory choices.
   1035. JL72 Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5770238)
I am pro-parking spot requirements.


I am as well. But we have activists here in my town that want fewer parking spots for the new elementary school being built to encourage people to walk and use mass transit. Sounds great in theory except that most of the teachers and staff live at least a 30 minute drive away. Encouraging them to use mass transit is stupid.
   1036. manchestermets Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5770239)
Immigrating to the UK, I filled out one application (with the UKBA), and paid one fee, and everything was done, sorted.


How long ago was this? Going by conversations I've had with immigrant friends (mostly Americans and Australians) it's a lot more onerous and expensive now - certainly, there are fees at every turn. Although they are mostly people coming here planning to live here indefinitely - iirc you came here specifically to study, right? And even then, there have been efforts made in recent years to make life more difficult for overseas students. Because who wants all these foreigners coming and spending tens of thousands of pounds here, right? There has also been an extension in the immigration-related administration required by people dealing with immigrants - it's no longer just potential employers who have to check your eligibility to work, eligibility to be in the country has to be checked by anyone renting accommodation to you, by banks before letting you open an account, and plenty of others.

That's not to mention the actual mistreatment of people with an absolute right to be here.

And yes, Stop signs vs. Yields, walking down the sidewalk drinking a beer.


That one's been made harder too. "Public order zones" or something like that springing up all over the place.


Still, it's interesting that you feel less regulated as an individual in the UK than in the US - according to the headbangers, Brexit will allow us to cast off the yoke of over-regulation, and be just like the US. *sigh*
   1037. BDC Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5770242)
This is a mere impression, but I have a sense that the typical British warning sign (for, say, people out walking) is something like WATCH FOR CARS, while the typical American sign is something like VEHICULAR TRAFFIC IN MOTION AHEAD. Which always seems odd because Americans are supposed to be so direct in their language. But I reckon it's really so that you don't sue if you get hit by a truck when you were watching for cars.
   1038. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5770243)
   1039. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5770244)
But all kinds of things are more paperwork and more bureaucracy in the US than the UK. Paying income tax, getting healthcare, having a beer, driving a car, crossing the street ... on and on and on.

In regards to immigrants or natural born citizens? Paying income tax is extremely easy in America for most Americans. In terms of crossing a street unless you're trying to cross a highway it is extremely easy as well. I got a license at 16 to drive and that was about the most time I've spent at the DMV. I move around a lot so I'll have to go in and get a new license but after that everything is done online and doesn't take a lot of time. Having a beer at 5am on a Sunday at a bar is a no go in a lot of states but at that point we're basically kicking pebbles not pushing boulders.
   1040. dlf Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:36 AM (#5770246)
America is covered in street signs period.


I frequently jog (v-e-r-y slowly) on a greenway that is partially paved and partially built up wooden bridge over swampy areas. There are signs for "boardwalk begins" and "boardwalk ends" each time you go on/off the paved areas. Sometimes these are less than 20' apart. And its not like there is a dearth of visual cues that you are about to be on wood vs. concrete.

And Mexico is like Switzerland compared to places like India and Cambodia. I've never been to Africa, but one can only guess.


I've spent a lot of time in southern India, but only once worked up the nerve to drive. It was 0.01% because those colonial fools drove on the wrong side, about 1% because road conditions themselves weren't up to what I was used to, and 98.99% because of the fellow drivers and their apparent lack of interest in remaining alive.
   1041. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5770248)
   1042. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:38 AM (#5770249)
How long does it take to start a construction project? How many permits from how many different agencies (federal, state, and local) are required?

I dunno, but took only 11 months for Ruth to build the original Yankee Stadium from start to finish.

And no fair saying that that was 95 years ago.
   1043. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:39 AM (#5770251)

A big real estate services company successfully sued a janitor earning $18 an hour, to enforce a non-compete agreement and stop them taking a job somewhere else
I don't have a FT subscription so I can't read the story, but I doubt that it is being accurately relayed to us. There is virtually no place in the U.S. that would do any such thing. (Unless "successfully sued," as it sometimes does, means that the suit was filed and the plaintiff won because the defendant defaulted.)
   1044. JL72 Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5770252)
I frequently jog (v-e-r-y slowly) on a greenway that is partially paved and partially built up wooden bridge over swampy areas. There are signs for "boardwalk begins" and "boardwalk ends" each time you go on/off the paved areas. Sometimes these are less than 20' apart. And its not like there is a dearth of visual cues that you are about to be on wood vs. concrete.


Sadly, an area where frivolous litigation (and insurers) have caused folks to take a better "safe than sorry" approach. I recall doing some very simple climbing in Germany, and the lack of any signs was refreshing (and note worthy to my then 10 year old daughter). They seemed to assume that I should be smart enough to realize that bad things would happen if I fell.
   1045. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:41 AM (#5770253)
re 1041

In the UK no less!

I believe she was in management and was not strictly speaking a janitor.
   1046. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5770254)

In the UK no less!
Ah. Well, I can't speak to that.
I believe she was in management and was not strictly speaking a janitor.
But I suspected something like that.
   1047. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5770256)
   1048. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:46 AM (#5770257)
Many years ago I worked for a somewhat crazy lady that made us all sign noncompete clauses as well as clauses that said we would not use the recipes that were developed at that place. I signed it but I didn't think much would happen had I worked for someone else in that town and I have had no issue using recipes that were used there since then.
   1049. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:47 AM (#5770258)
Follow the money...

The F.B.I. and special counsel Robert Mueller are investigating meetings between N.R.A. officials and powerful Russian operatives, trying to determine if those contacts had anything to do with the gun group spending $30 million to help elect Donald Trump—triple what it invested on behalf of Mitt Romney in 2012. The use of foreign money in American political campaigns is illegal. One encounter of particular interest to investigators is between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian banker at an N.R.A. dinner.

The Russian wooing of N.R.A. executives goes back to at least 2011, when that same banker and politician, Alexander Torshin, befriended David Keene, who was then president of the gun-rights organization. Torshin soon became a “life member,” attending the N.R.A.’s annual conventions and introducing comrades to other gun-group officials. In 2015, Torshin welcomed an N.R.A. delegation to Moscow that included Keene and Joe Gregory, then head of the “Ring of Freedom” program, which is reserved for top donors to the N.R.A. Among the other hosts were Dmitry Rogozin, who until last month was the deputy prime minister overseeing Russia’s defense industry, and Sergei Rudov, head of the Saint Basil the Great Charitable Foundation, one of Russia’s wealthiest philanthropies.


always follow the money...

A Russian billionaire who orchestrated the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting formed a new American shell company a month beforehand with an accountant who has had clients accused of money laundering and embezzlement.

The billionaire, Aras Agalarov, created the US company anonymously while preparing to move almost $20m into the country during the time of the presidential election campaign, according to interviews and corporate filings.

* * *
BuzzFeed News reported last month that Agalarov moved $19.5m from an offshore investment vehicle to a US bank account 11 days after the meeting. The transfer was reportedly flagged to US Treasury officials as suspicious. The Delaware company used the same name, Silver Valley Consulting, as the offshore vehicle.

On the day of the money transfer, Trump fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, leaving his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, in charge. Manafort, who has extensive business links to the former Soviet Union, is now cooperating with Mueller after having been convicted of financial crimes.
   1050. BrianBrianson Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:47 AM (#5770259)
How long ago was this? Going by conversations I've had with immigrant friends (mostly Americans and Australians) it's a lot more onerous and expensive now - certainly, there are fees at every turn. Although they are mostly people coming here planning to live here indefinitely - iirc you came here specifically to study, right?


It was 2012, and I was there to work, so I was on a Tier II general visa (I did a postdoc there). When we renewed our visas in 2015, it was more expensive (but the paperwork was still a single, catchall form you mailed in).
   1051. dlf Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:52 AM (#5770272)
I don't have a FT subscription so I can't read the story, but I doubt that it is being accurately relayed to us. There is virtually no place in the U.S. that would do any such thing. (Unless "successfully sued," as it sometimes does, means that the suit was filed and the plaintiff won because the defendant defaulted.)


This is from LinkedIn so I'm not sure what would be needed to view it, but it is a funny (for an attorney) demand letter related to a non-compete for a similar role. Link. Short version is that David is right that, if the employee pushes back, it is very unlikely that the non-compete is enforced. But by adding it to the boilerplate that folks sign on day one of employment, there will be a lot of folks fooled into believing it does apply to them.
   1052. manchestermets Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5770274)
re 1041

In the UK no less!


No. In New Hampshire, but a UK firm. The first two paragraphs of the story:


Last year, Sonia Mercado took an $18 an hour cleaning job with Cushman & Wakefield in New Hampshire. When she left to work for a rival company, the $3.4bn real estate services giant sued her for breaking a non-compete agreement.

The UK-based multinational sued Ms Mercado, who was a “janitorial supervisor”, in September in federal court in Boston. Cushman’s lawyers argued it would be “irreparably harmed, the extent of which cannot be readily calculated”, if the non-compete agreement were not enforced.


I don't know the legal rights and wrongs, but for this kind of job to be subject to a non-compete agreement (she's going to take C&W's proprietary vacuum cleaning methods with her?) is clearly bullshit.
   1053. BrianBrianson Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:54 AM (#5770275)
In regards to immigrants or natural born citizens? Paying income tax is extremely easy in America for most Americans.


Either way. 95% of people living in Britain spend less than 10 picoseconds a year on paying income tax. (And hell, I'd probably also call including sales tax in pricing less bureaucracy)

In terms of crossing a street unless you're trying to cross a highway it is extremely easy as well.


No, it's basically illegal everywhere. It's not usually enforced, but say, every day when I cross the street with my son to go to the park, I'm breaking the law. It just takes an officer who doesn't like the cut of my jib to make it a fine.


Having a beer at 5am on a Sunday at a bar is a no go in a lot of states but at that point we're basically kicking pebbles not pushing boulders.


Having a beer in the park (at least where I live) is illegal. Having a beer on my front porch is illegal. Giving your thirteen year old a sip of beer - illegal. Some of these vary by state, I do live in a harsher one for booze.
   1054. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:55 AM (#5770276)
Sadly, an area where frivolous litigation (and insurers) have caused folks to take a better "safe than sorry" approach.

I walk to our local bank once or twice a week to deposit a check (and for the exercise), and no matter what time of day (between 9 and 5) I almost never see any other pedestrians trying to cross the University Blvd. artery just north of Connecticut Avenue, which is easy to do because there's a natural pause to the northbound traffic that lasts over a minute when the light changes down the road, and the southbound traffic is stopped by a light about 80% of the full light cycle. Mr. Muckle and his seeing eye dog could cross at that point with no further assistance.

And then about two years ago some moron decided to put a full red/green signal by the crosswalk, which means that even though maybe one pedestrian every 20 minutes needs to cross that easily crossed artery, and even though it's easy to cross without any signal, the northbound traffic grinds to a halt and backs up about 50 to 100 yards every few minutes, just to satisfy some bureaucrat's idea of perfect safety.

And no, there were no recorded pedestrian fatalities at that intersection before (or after) the installation of that superfluous signal.
   1055. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5770281)

This is from LinkedIn so I'm not sure what would be needed to view it, but it is a funny (for an attorney) demand letter related to a non-compete for a similar role. Link. Short version is that David is right that, if the employee pushes back, it is very unlikely that the non-compete is enforced. But by adding it to the boilerplate that folks sign on day one of employment, there will be a lot of folks fooled into believing it does apply to them.
In my experience, it's less about fooling employees -- who don't bother to read the things they sign anyway -- than it is about intimidating competitors. The way it works is, when company Y wants to hire Person A from Company X, Company X sends a threatening cease and desist letter to Company Y. And then Company Y says, "Hmm. We could hire Person A and risk a lawsuit -- or we could hire Person B, and not have to worry about it."
   1056. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5770286)
Either way. 95% of people living in Britain spend less than 10 picoseconds a year on paying income tax.

I get an email from my work with my W2. I forward that email to my accountant who then hands it over to the government. Now I guess there is that layer there but I could also just import the W2 to Turbotax and hit submit as well.
   1057. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5770288)
The UK-based multinational sued Ms Mercado, who was a “janitorial supervisor”, in September in federal court in Boston.
If they sued in September of this year, then the original claim that they won is an obvious falsehood; cases don't move like that.
I don't know the legal rights and wrongs, but for this kind of job to be subject to a non-compete agreement (she's going to take C&W's proprietary vacuum cleaning methods with her?) is clearly bullshit.
It's probably not an issue of trade secrets; it's probably an issue of the company not wanting to lose contracts to competitors. (Which doesn't mean it's enforceable; I'm just talking about the underlying motive.)
   1058. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5770292)
I believe in this situation the company used the non-compete clause because they want to make it harder for a competing business to take their contract for services a way. I believe this company lost the contract for a building that the woman worked in and she decided to go work for the new contractor. The old company didn't like that and sued.
   1059. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:07 PM (#5770297)
I was able to get to the article at the FT by googling it. The case is not over, nobody has won yet, and the woman is being funded by the competing company that took the contract away from the original contractor. Apparently she was a supervisor but she did in fact clean office space as well.

It looks like the two competing companies have some bad blood as the new contractor had poached execs and managers from the other company and settled a lawsuit over it for 2 million dollars.
   1060. manchestermets Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:08 PM (#5770298)
It's probably not an issue of trade secrets; it's probably an issue of the company not wanting to lose contracts to competitors. (Which doesn't mean it's enforceable; I'm just talking about the underlying motive.)


As in the employee moves, and the client has a good relationship with the employee so they follow them? I guess, but I'd still call bullshit on it because a) I'm pretty sure a jantorial supervisor changing isn't going to trigger that and b) So what? That doesn't override the employee's right to get a better job in my view.

Again, I'm not qualified to comment on the legal aspects.
   1061. JL72 Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:21 PM (#5770313)
But by adding it to the boilerplate that folks sign on day one of employment, there will be a lot of folks fooled into believing it does apply to them.


Or folks that can't afford a lawyer to help them contest it.
   1062. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:21 PM (#5770314)
This is from LinkedIn so I'm not sure what would be needed to view it, but it is a funny (for an attorney) demand letter related to a non-compete for a similar role. Link. Short version is that David is right that, if the employee pushes back, it is very unlikely that the non-compete is enforced. But by adding it to the boilerplate that folks sign on day one of employment, there will be a lot of folks fooled into believing it does apply to them.


Isn't that - in and of itself - a problem or at least a concern?

Free legal assistance in such cases isn't growing on trees, so how is such an employee easily able to push back?

Completely unrelated - except in the broader sense - but a friend of mine used to be a relatively successful "mommy blogger", mostly writing about parenting issues and the like, published a few freelance pieces in some dead tree publications, etc... in any case, she had a decent following. Never blogged about political issues much, but on one particular occasion - this was probably 8-10 years ago - a large petroleum company was in the news for dumping in Lake Michigan, so she wrote a post about it. Nothing really inflammatory or whatnot, but certainly a pointed "shame shame" post... which resulted in a demand letter from Big & Scary LLC to take the post down. Now, she's fairly affluent - not rich, but combined with her husband, your typical 6 figure suburbanite couple, college educated, etc. Also, of course, no shortage of attorneys in our circle of friends - where the dominant opinion was that it was just a bluff and probably wouldn't go any further if she didn't. She did ultimately contact and talk to the ACLU, but the most immediate help they could provide were some attorneys who might be willing to defend her pro bono if it came to that. In the end? She just deleted the post because even though the chances were slim any of the threatened repercussions would come to pass and even though there was a chance she might have gotten representation gratis... who wants to fight that fight if you're just an everyday person without a legal vanguard on retainer?

   1063. dlf Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:31 PM (#5770322)
If they sued in September of this year, then the original claim that they won is an obvious falsehood; cases don't move like that.


The reporting isn't clear and I'm not going to waste more time digging into it, but they either got a TRO or preliminary injunction.

Isn't that - in and of itself - a problem or at least a concern?

Free legal assistance in such cases isn't growing on trees, so how is such an employee easily able to push back?


The link in 1051 is from a law firm that does this with the expectation that, under Florida law, they will end up getting fees from the former employer.

But yes, large companies threatening to sue to get something even when they don't have a legal leg to stand on can be very problematic. The SLAPP suit issue is real and significant. And to bring this back to politics, is something that our President often did in his prior roles.
   1064. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5770326)

But yes, large companies threatening to sue to get something even when they don't have a legal leg to stand on can be very problematic. The SLAPP suit issue is real and significant. And to bring this back to politics, is something that our President often did in his prior roles.
Yes. Indeed, in at least one case (his suit against Timothy O'Brien, who wrote a book saying that Trump was a hundred millionaire rather than a billionaire) he admitted that he did it just to harass the guy, that he didn't think he could win. (Which he didn't.) But very few states have good strong anti-SLAPP laws. (Though they would not apply to this non-compete suit anyway, which is not a speech-related suit. You need to abandon the American Rule and adopt loser pays to deal with that situation.)
   1065. dlf Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5770329)
Last year we hired someone who worked in a mid to low level managerial position at another company in our industry. During the interviewing process we asked that he provide any non-compete or similar agreements he was subject to. He said there weren't any. He starts and, in his first few days, is reaching out to former client contacts. About a week later, I get a call from external counsel for his former employer. Turns out he was under a non-compete that was broad enough that, if fully enforced, would have prevented him from working anywhere in the industry. After a couple of short calls and cordial emails, we resolved it by ensuring that for one year we would not solicit or accept work from the limited subset of companies with which he had any involvement while working at his prior employer, a very stripped down non-compete from what he had signed.
   1066. BrianBrianson Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5770333)
I get an email from my work with my W2. I forward that email to my accountant who then hands it over to the government. Now I guess there is that layer there but I could also just import the W2 to Turbotax and hit submit as well.


Sure, but this is far more work than you'd have to do in the UK, and almost certainly you had to do a lot of setup work in the first place. My first year in the US, I spent just shy of two hours at H&R Block, plus the time beforehand I spent accumulating and tracking various forms, which is then 2-3 more hours than I spent on it when I lived in the UK. It's not insufferable, but it's only purpose is to enrich tax accountants, by forcing people to hire them to navigate unnecessary bureaucracy and regulation.
   1067. BDC Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5770334)
I like to imagine non-compete agreements in academia. Like, if I got a job at a different college, for the next year I couldn't teach any of the books I had taught at my old one.
   1068. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5770335)
If the F&B industry we will routinely encounter sales rep with non-compete clauses and we'll usually know down to the day when it is up because that will be the day we see them again. We'll have a guy go from Sysco to US Foods and he won't be able to visit his old accounts for a year and of course on day 365 he'll show up and try to get your business.
   1069. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:48 PM (#5770337)
In an effort to fight negative press about Khashoggi's disappearance, Saudi accounts have been promoting a nonsensical video by Thomas Wictor, a YouTube conspiracy theorist who wears a strainer on his head and believes in QAnon.


So a guy with the intellectual capacity of Donald Trump, then.
   1070. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5770338)

Sure, but this is far more work than you'd have to do in the UK, and almost certainly you had to do a lot of setup work in the first place. My first year in the US, I spent just shy of two hours at H&R Block, plus the time beforehand I spent accumulating and tracking various forms, which is then 2-3 more hours than I spent on it when I lived in the UK. It's not insufferable, but it's only purpose is to enrich tax accountants, by forcing people to hire them to navigate unnecessary bureaucracy and regulation.


Back in the day I used a 1040EZ. Manually filled it out. It took like 3 minutes.
   1071. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5770339)
Non-competes are generally bullshit.
   1072. BrianBrianson Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:01 PM (#5770345)
Back in the day I used a 1040EZ. Manually filled it out. It took like 3 minutes.


It's still unnecessary paperwork. And, unsurprising, over-regularation and over-bureaucracyfication are death by a thousand cuts - each individual bit is usually justified because it's individually not a huge burden. But why spend three minutes (plus, no doubt, mailing it and such), when you could spend zero?
   1073. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5770351)
The link in 1051 is from a law firm that does this with the expectation that, under Florida law, they will end up getting fees from the former employer.

But yes, large companies threatening to sue to get something even when they don't have a legal leg to stand on can be very problematic. The SLAPP suit issue is real and significant. And to bring this back to politics, is something that our President often did in his prior roles.


Given that I just completed our own annual ethics and employment training - not to mention, we sell almost exclusively to corporations and firms, so the individual consumer market isn't our bailiwick - I probably need to be careful how I say this :-)... but it's not like there isn't a ton of literature all over the web on the idea...

We - like everyone else in our industry - have done a lot of work with predictive analytics, machine learning, and AI applications... in our case, it's mostly content classification, relationships, 'deeper' shepherdizing, etc. I've seen some relatively neat presentations from startups that have attempted to do things like brief models and applicability on certain matters of law before certain judges - but only neat on the surface, because to the extent I "get it" - the time and money to properly set up and calibrate and yield any valuable insight still probably exceeds that required from a competent attorney and tossing an associate into the research library...

Anyway, though, one thing that surprises me is that some philanthropic bazillionaire doesn't just toss a few million dollars to any of the various places such an individual might go to for assistance on such matters... SLAPP suits, ACLU types issues, various legal defense philanthropies on various matters.

The use of such stuff - AI, predictive analytics, etc - hasn't quite reached the point where I think I see a commercially viable use... but for issue-focused groups? Especially those looking for test cases and the like? I think there would absolutely be some value in automated systems to do a first pass analysis - at minimum, just to provide some free advice to those seeking it, but beyond that - just to attach limited resources towards best instances.

In a commercial environment - beyond some ground level/foundational investment everyone has to do and is doing just to make sure you don't get left behind - it's not all that viable... The ramp to see a ROI is just too far off... but again, for a philanthropist just looking for a good place to toss a few million, solely with the expectation of "giving back" or helping Joe Sixpack in a real way?

Nowadays, all you need is a smart phone to let someone scan in something like a cease & desist (or an employment agreement or whatever). Building the data set for the purpose wouldn't be cheap or free - but again, if you're not trying to actually turn a profit? Especially just within a certain niche? Certainly within budget. Hiring someone to do the data modeling. Create the necessary feeds/crawlers (setting aside PACER's BS lockdown criteria and how to get around it). Build - or just license - some of the solutions out there? Build - or buy - certain legal constructs you'd need...

For a couple million - probably less? I think it would be entirely possible to build a free and open resource that both individuals and various ACLU-type organizations would get a lot of positive value out of.

   1074. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5770357)

In an effort to fight negative press about Khashoggi's disappearance, Saudi accounts have been promoting a nonsensical video by Thomas Wictor, a YouTube conspiracy theorist who wears a strainer on his head and believes in QAnon.
For some reason, one of the people I follow on Twitter (an old friend) is a big fan of Wictor and always retweets the guy's stuff. I'm pretty sure my friend is being serious rather than ironic when he does so. In any case he -- Wictor, not my friend -- is a total nut. I'm pretty sure the guy is an undiagnosed schizophrenic. He posts thirty tweet long tweet storms explaining the "real" story behind news events; he's convinced that the whole Russiagate investigation is actually a strategy by Trump and Sessions to get Hillary. Or something.
   1075. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5770359)
1074 he’s convinced the whole Russiagate investigation is actually a strategy by Trump and Sessions to get Hillary. Or something.


Yep, that’s the guiding theory behind QAnon.
   1076. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5770360)

If you want to go to a grocery store and there is no parking lot where can you park? On someone's grass? Out on the street?

Why would someone build a grocery store without parking in the first place if the only way to get there was by driving? Have you actually seen this happen?

And if you reduce the amount of required parking, then you can build other things (like residential buildings) close enough to the grocery store and people might actually walk there rather than driving in the first place. If you require every grocery store to have a moat of parking around it, that other development is less likely.
   1077. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5770361)
Over regulation isn't a problem at all IMO (or it's incredibly far down the list) but I'm curious as to why the #### I have to get another ID to fly INTRA US starting in 2021. WTF man. I just heard this ad on the radio the other day that the Washington state driver's license will no longer even get you on a a domestic flight.

Dude I hate paperwork and I'm a middle class person with plenty of means to go get it done. I can imagine that poors will be hurt and frustrated by this new rule.

Why? Why is this a thing? Like, I just paid over $100 to get a Washington License two years ago. I guess I could just finally get around to renewing my passport, although I'm sure that will be a hassle as well. Actually this is motivating me to get it done so I can consider Costa Rica this winter as well as Hawaii. Thanks Government!
   1078. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5770362)
I can't compare across nations, but I own and run my own business (S Corp) and am the sole employee and yes I end up doing way too much dumb paperwork. Dealing with the State of Minnesota is roughly a million times easier than dealing with the Federal Government. Seriously.

Every form I file, every action I take, every payment I make which has to be done on a state and federal level it takes me so very much less time and effort to deal with the state. Plus things actually make sense and are written in something approximating English (so not like the Federal nonsense at all).

I actually mentioned that a while back in a social situation and a friend of a friend perked up when I said that. She was on the team that worked on the MN Dept. of Revenue and she says they worked really hard making it as easy as possible and was pretty happy to get my feedback. I just want her and her team to go work for Uncle Sam, because man it is like night and day.
   1079. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5770364)
Pope Francis Wearing a Rainbow Cross? It Isn’t What You Think

Ha, thank God—did a double-take at first!
   1080. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5770365)

Over regulation isn't a problem at all IMO (or it's incredibly far down the list) but I'm curious as to why the #### I have to get another ID to fly INTRA US starting in 2021. WTF man. I just heard this ad on the radio the other day that the Washington state driver's license will no longer even get you on a a domestic flight.
Yep. REAL ID. In NJ we're going to have to deal with that by next year. It's a 9/11 thing, as if the problem on that day was people passing themselves off as someone else rather than people flying planes into buildings.
   1081. BDC Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5770366)
US Passports are pretty easy to renew – easier than you'd figure, given all the current paranoia over positive ID. If you get a Passport Card along with the book passport, you can use the card to fly domestically and to drive into and back from Canada. It's a good deal.
   1082. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:18 PM (#5770367)
US Passports are pretty easy to renew – easier than you'd figure, given all the current paranoia over positive ID. If you get a Passport Card along with the book passport, you can use the card to fly domestically and to drive into and out of Canada. It's a good deal.


thanks for the confidence boost and info.
   1083. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:18 PM (#5770368)

you can use the card to fly domestically and to drive into and out of Canada. It's a good deal.
Except for the part about having to go to Canada.
   1084. GregD Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:20 PM (#5770369)
I like to imagine non-compete agreements in academia. Like, if I got a job at a different college, for the next year I couldn't teach any of the books I had taught at my old one.
I have heard of universities claiming they own the syllabi professors use. I can't imagine how one would enforce that. But I have seen some petty deans whom I wouldn't put it past
   1085. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5770371)
US Passports are pretty easy to renew – easier than you'd figure, given all the current paranoia over positive ID. If you get a Passport Card along with the book passport, you can use the card to fly domestically and to drive into and back from Canada. It's a good deal.


Meh, IDK... just renewed mine last week and it was a bigger PIA than I'd have liked (and more expensive than I'd have liked).

Paying to get the specially sized and backgrounded photo? Come on... it ought to be possible to do this with a friggin selfi and submit it electronically.

Having to actually mail in the form - I do like being able to just fill it in online - but why can't I submit it electronically?

Plus, $110 (well, $170 in my case because I waited too long and got concerned about doing the standard 4-6 week processing round trip) seems awfully friggin pricey.
   1086. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5770375)
Why would someone build a grocery store without parking in the first place if the only way to get there was by driving? Have you actually seen this happen?

No because currently you wouldn't be allowed to do it.


And if you reduce the amount of required parking, then you can build other things (like residential buildings) close enough to the grocery store and people might actually walk there rather than driving in the first place. If you require every grocery store to have a moat of parking around it, that other development is less likely.


There are a lot of ways to build parking spaces. "A moat" is but just one way.
   1087. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5770377)
I literally don't have to think about my taxes or filing them for about 99.9999% of my life. I get an email with my W2, I get several emails from my investment accounts, and then I forward them all off and then get a check a couple of weeks later. I could file it myself and the whole process now that I'm no longer 24 would take me about 10 minutes to complete. In the annals of horrible drudgery it does not make the list for me. I spend more time thinking about getting gas on a weekly basis than I do about my tax filings.
   1088. PepTech Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5770379)
But I have seen some petty deans whom I wouldn't put it past
I'd forgotten how annoying some college profs can be - my son's freshman year he took a guitar class. He had to miss a Friday for a family event and checked with the prof the day before to see about missing anything. The prof said he hadn't decided about any assignments yet, maybe, maybe not. My son checked the online page on Sunday, nothing. Monday there was a "listening test" which he had no chance at, not knowing what to prepare for, and went to he prof's office to see what the heck, there was nothing online. Five minutes later the prof amended the online page to reflect the assignment.

He goes back to the prof to see what can be done, and the guy says he can't allow any makeups, but for 50% credit my son could attend the prof's performance at some local club and write up a two-page critique. Yeah, right. He dropped the class.
   1089. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5770382)
A lot of the pain in the arse of regulation is simply that we're dealing with antiquated systems. If every system and department could be run off 2018 technology a lot of the grousing would vanish.
   1090. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5770386)
Humans aren't good at probability. Costa Ricans are more likely to die in a car than Americans by something like 40%.


And that has little to do with a lack of "begin bike lane/End bike lane " sign pairings every 200 feet.
   1091. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5770388)
On the heels of yesterday's good news for Democrats with 538's governor races -

Politico weighs in with their own good news race ratings...
   1092. Howie Menckel Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5770389)
I just signed my first non-compete this year, as part of a two-year contract. It looks like a waste of paper, frankly, but it makes me feel a little badass anyway.
:)
   1093. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:36 PM (#5770393)
Or perhaps a lack of signage might help explain some of the higher death rates.
   1094. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:38 PM (#5770395)
I think when I was asked to sign the non compete I asked am I going to get paid to waive my right to work? I think I got back a blank stare on that one and I said something like never mind this is unenforceable anyway.
   1095. PepTech Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:42 PM (#5770398)
Paying to get the specially sized and backgrounded photo?
Doesn't Costco do this for like $5? Big deal.

The "no-smile" requirement is intriguing.
   1096. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5770399)
I recall doing some very simple climbing in Germany, and the lack of any signs was refreshing (and note worthy to my then 10 year old daughter). They seemed to assume that I should be smart enough to realize that bad things would happen if I fell.


Well yeah, Germans are 40% more likely to die in a climbing accident than Americans.
   1097. GregD Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5770402)
I'd forgotten how annoying some college profs can be - my son's freshman year he took a guitar class. He had to miss a Friday for a family event and checked with the prof the day before to see about missing anything. The prof said he hadn't decided about any assignments yet, maybe, maybe not. My son checked the online page on Sunday, nothing. Monday there was a "listening test" which he had no chance at, not knowing what to prepare for, and went to he prof's office to see what the heck, there was nothing online. Five minutes later the prof amended the online page to reflect the assignment.

He goes back to the prof to see what can be done, and the guy says he can't allow any makeups, but for 50% credit my son could attend the prof's performance at some local club and write up a two-page critique. Yeah, right. He dropped the class.
That is super shitty. And that is a case where a petty Dean should bring the hammer down
   1098. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5770405)
Doesn't Costco do this for like $5? Big deal.

The "no-smile" requirement is intriguing.


I think I got mine done at a local CVS or something like that.
   1099. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:52 PM (#5770406)
US Passports are pretty easy to renew


Except you have to mail them in for re-newal (or drive to a passport office, which isn't very convenient for a lot of us). Takes 3-4 weeks to get it back, and in the meantime, if you have to fly somewhere at last notice, you're screwed.
   1100. BrianBrianson Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:55 PM (#5770409)
A lot of the pain in the arse of regulation is simply that we're dealing with antiquated systems. If every system and department could be run off 2018 technology a lot of the grousing would vanish.


No doubt it'll be 2018 soon enough
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