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Comment: Re:Failed state policies (Score 1) 406

by gstoddart (#48628457) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

Please explain to the childish hamster brain why all the cars in Cuba were built during the Bautista administration.

It is not true that all the cars in Cuba were built during the Batista administration. It is true that all of the American cars predate the embargo.

But the Russian, Chinese and Korean cars which are all over the place? Not so much.

Again, do you know anything about Cuba?

Are you really going to make the claim that Cubans are better off now than they were during the Batista days?

As a matter of fact, I am ... Batista was overthrown in 1959, and in the last 55 years a lot of incremental changes have happened in Cuba.

Do attribute that all to the glory of communism? Not really. Do I personally know numerous Cubans with educations, access to health care, and insights into their society who have talked to me about what life has been like over the last several decades and how it has changed? As a matter of fact, yes.

Under Batista, pretty much everything in Cuba was to benefit a ruling wealthy, and American businesses which were mostly ran by the US mafia. Everyone else pretty much got nothing at all. This wasn't some noble democracy with freedoms which was overthrown.

Back in power, Batista suspended the 1940 Constitution and revoked most political liberties, including the right to strike. He then aligned with the wealthiest landowners who owned the largest sugar plantations, and presided over a stagnating economy that widened the gap between rich and poor Cubans.[5] Batista's increasingly corrupt and repressive government then began to systematically profit from the exploitation of Cuba's commercial interests, by negotiating lucrative relationships with the American mafia, who controlled the drug, gambling, and prostitution businesses in Havana, and with large multinational American corporations that had invested considerable amounts of money in Cuba.[5][6] To quell the growing discontent amongst the populace--which was subsequently displayed through frequent student riots and demonstrations--Batista established tighter censorship of the media, while also utilizing his anti-Communist secret police to carry out wide-scale violence, torture and public executions; ultimately killing anywhere from 1,000 to 20,000 people.

Batista was a thug and a crook operating under the approval of America, so don't paint yourselves as the white knights here.

Cuba is much more complex and nuanced than your ridiculously reductionist view of it.

You seem to indicate you think it is OK to just take foreign property in your response.

Tell you what, if you ever find yourself as a small nation in which most property has been bought by foreign entities, and you essentially have no rights so you can make money for foreign owners ... you decide if nationalization is a viable option.

Nobody said "go to any country you want and seize their stuff" -- that's what America was talking about with Iraqi oil in 2003 and the notion that stupid war would be paid for with oil revenues.

But when that foreign country essentially occupies yours and you have nothing? Well, if you think making yourself a serf in favor of foreign property ownership is a good choice, that's up to you.

Me, I would be inclined to think "fuck that".

So, please, when you know something about the topic, chime in. In the mean time, you're just another clueless idiot who doesn't know a damned thing about it.

Comment: Re:Going back (Score 1) 275

by gstoddart (#48628109) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

You know, the "mean spiritedness" comes down to people rolling their eyes and thinking this story boils down to "Waaah, I took the wrong degree, and now I can't find a cool job, how do I get into the profession I didn't get a degree in?". Because that's exactly what I thought when I saw this.

Slashdot isn't your guidance counselor, or your parent. Slashdot certainly isn't even your friend. Slashdot is the collective snark and bile of thousands of people across the interwebs with questionable social skills.

Do you want us to offer him a warm cup of tea and see how he feels about his bad career choice? Do you think that will change anything?

I'm sorry, but if you want warm and fuzzy ... you're in the wrong place. We mostly do caustic and bitter, with a side of "take responsibility for your own actions".

An English major who finds himself outside of the STEM field? Well, that's not exactly surprising to anybody, is it?

Comment: Re:Not completely useless, but... (Score 1) 63

by gstoddart (#48627467) Attached to: After 40 Years As a Double Amputee, Man Gains Two Bionic Arms

1) He cannot break an egg with this level of dexterity

Bah, breaking eggs is easy, and requires very little dexterity. ;-)

Keeping the yolk intact and not getting egg everywhere? A lot of people with two arms haven't mastered that yet. :)

And, really, if the man has been without arms for 40 years ... I'm pretty sure any additional independence is very welcome.

Comment: Re:Damn (Score 1) 63

by gstoddart (#48627143) Attached to: After 40 Years As a Double Amputee, Man Gains Two Bionic Arms

Nothing like a reminder that you live in the future. []

Hmmm ... is that the now future, the later future, or the past future (which could be now)?

The now future when you typed that is in the past, so it's the past future. Now the now future is an ever changing thing, and isn't the same now future as when I started typing this.

The future future we haven't gotten to, but we will, eventually.

So, I'd say we live in the present, which in the future will be the past. The future now will have a future future, but that's not now, that's later.

Are you sure we live in the future? Seems as soon as you finish the thought it's already in the past, even though it seemed like like now.

This all gets very complicated. If the future is now, but that now is already in the past ... isn't the future the future past?

Now, I think in the future, you will look back on your past and wonder if you ever want to say we live in the future. Because by the time you said it it's already in the past, so therefore we're never actually in the future ... in the future we will be, but since then it's now we'll never actually get there.

Comment: Re:This is so cool. (Score 1) 63

by gstoddart (#48626869) Attached to: After 40 Years As a Double Amputee, Man Gains Two Bionic Arms

I lived long enough to see cyber limbs. Now to make them specialized for specific tasks, and have quick release mechanisms.

No, you're doing it wrong.

They should dynamically reconfigure. Switch from a hand to a ratchet, become scissors, turn into a hammer or a clamp, or just the big bashing fist.

All with super cool sound effects.

Suddenly the amputee is the cool guy at the party, and the women are whispering about what else it can turn into.

Comment: Re:What better way (Score 2) 500

by gstoddart (#48625891) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

To implement an agenda of draconian regulation than use the "Sony Crisis" as an excuse.

So, you're saying this is a false flag operation by the shadow government to instill more fear in people, and to allow the passing of additional laws which expands their power and further justifies their abuse of the law and our rights?

I like your ideas, and would like to subscribe to your news letter.

The really scary thing is no matter how paranoid the scenario you come up with these days, reality might be trying even harder. What was batshit crazy stuff a decade ago is pretty much commonplace now after Snowden told us about it.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

--Hunter S. Thompson

Comment: Re:signal blocking (Score 1) 105

by gstoddart (#48624809) Attached to: RFID-Blocking Blazer and Jeans Could Stop Wireless Identity Theft

If the wireless cards don't have ample protection against copying of information and forging then the platform design is flawed.

Of course it's flawed. It's been flawed since it was introduced. This was introduced by credit/debit companies to make it more convenient so people would use it more so they'd collect more fees.

The first time I saw one I thought it was dangerous and idiotic. I largely still do because it's un-authenticated. Sadly, pretty much every card comes with it now.

When will people understand ... companies who create these products don't give a damn about security, they care about getting people to use shiny new baubles. Security comes much later after it's been hacked.

We know all this. We discuss it every time this topic comes up. It's well traveled stuff around here.

But, dude, you're missing the big picture here ... freakin' tinfoil pants. How awesome is that? I mean, now we can have an entire fashion line of tinfoil clothing so we can go out and look normal.

That styling cap I'm wearing? Yeah, it looks like a hipster fashion statement, 'cuz that's how I roll. Inside? Tinfoil hat bitches.

No more strange looks when I go grocery shopping. Now, all of your paranoid needs can be met while still remaining fashionable and discrete ... which has the added benefit of remaining inconspicuous so they Aliens don't even notice you.

Hmmm ... what's that van parked outside my house for?

Sentient plasmoids are a gas.