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Journal: Merry Christmas! 1

Journal by mcgrew

For the first time in nine years I got to see my youngest daughter on Christmas; this is the first Christmas in nine years she didn't have to work. Great Christmas present!

And the second to last pre-publication copies came Christmas eve eve. I finished going through it this morning, and the book itself is ready. What wasn't was the cover; I fixed it and ordered another copy, so Mars, Ho! should be online in a couple of weeks.

Comment: Re:Hypocrites (Score 1) 435

by shutdown -p now (#48673099) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

And the proof or evidence that this will happen is where?

In the fact that it happened in every other communist country to date that has underwent a similar process.

Are we so naive that we trust their government and corrupt to do what we think they should for the good of the people?

No, but I trust their government to be pragmatic. It's easier to rule over fed people than it is to rule over hungry people. And when there's a fresh new revenue stream, and not even crumbs from it get to the people, the latter get restless, and restlessness leads to riots. Any smart and successful dictator knows that. Judging by how long the Castros have been going, they're not deficient on both counts. So yes, they will share. Not much, perhaps, but even a little helps.

All of Europe has been in free trade with Cuba. By your logic, if it were to really help, it would already have.

And it did help, of course. If everyone would embargo Cuba, it would be as much of a shithole as DPRK is. But it's not.

Comment: Re:Hypocrites (Score 1) 435

by shutdown -p now (#48668749) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

False. Your confusion lies in the fact that you believe this will do good for the Cuban people, as if somehow magically a place with no free market and a government that has historically given it's people dirt will all of a sudden benefit from these relations. This money will go to the Cuban communist regime, not the people that are suffering that need it. That is where there is truly no logic and severely detached from reality.

Even if 1% of that money gets to the people (and, pragmatically speaking, more of it will for sure), then they are going to be better off.

More importantly, if it prompts economic reforms along the lines of what most other communist countries did - the closest example here probably being Vietnam - the people are going to be vastly better off even if the authoritarian political system remains in place.

Either way, while we can only guess what will happen without sanctions, we know full well what happens with the sanctions: absolutely nothing. So what exactly is their purpose then?

Also, even if it was for revenge, would you really blame someone who feels that way?

Blame them for feeling that way, no (well, it depends on who they were before Castro; if it's one of Batista's cronies, or the members of the top ruling elite supporting him, I'd say they can suck it and go cry in a corner; I have no sympathy for people robbing others under gunpoint when they get robbed themselves in a similar fashion). But I will blame them for letting that emotion guide their political decisions, and especially for pushing the same onto others.

Oh, as for my comfy chair. I was born in a communist country. Don't try that "you rich American asshole can't understand" on me.

Comment: Re:The Drive used to have "Deep Tracks" (Score 1) 7

by mcgrew (#48666529) Attached to: A mild rant

FM is now an analog/digital mix. They broadcast the analog channel with two digital channels piggybacked on the signal. They don't call it digital, they call it "High Def".

And if they're too broke to pay the fees, they must have trouble selling ads. KSHE has no problem, but they're probably the most popular station in St Louis.

Comment: Re:Other art forms that contain music (Score 1) 621

by mcgrew (#48666499) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

I certainly agree that copyright lengths are way too long, and that the extreme lengths hinder creative expression. I ran across it with Random Scribblings; I had to change Dork Side of the Moon, reducing the lyrics of the two songs to "fair use" snippets, since I can find no way to contact Roger Waters for usage permission. That album is four decades old and should not be under copyright.

You are right, copyright is supposed to encourage creators so their work will belong to everyone after the copyright lapses. How is anyone supposed to get Hendrix or Cocker to perform again?

It does add challenges to creativity.

Comment: Re:The Drive used to have "Deep Tracks" (Score 1) 7

by mcgrew (#48659623) Attached to: A mild rant

Interesting article, but a bit suspect. I think probably the difference between "Deep Tracks and KSHE is that "deep tracks" is a secondary stream similar to KSHE2; you need a digital radio to pick it up, and KSHE (which is listened to world-wide) is the main feed, and KSHE2 isn't streamed. Your link says "A great deal of care went into the "Deep Tracks' station, making it one of highest quality rock stations in America. the music was locally programmed and carefully selected. DJs were used to give greater insight into songs and deliver a better listening experience. Most recently, the DJs used were local rock radio veterans Seaver and Byrd"; no different than tonight's show on KSHE.

Tonight you can hear Journey - Departure, Joe Walsh - So What, Steve Miller Band - Book of Dreams, Def Leppard - Hysteria, Blind Faith's only album, and Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here. They play the whole album uncut and uninterrupted without a disk jockey talking over the music.

Oops; that was last night, being retired I lose track of what day it is. They haven't announced next week's yet.

So I suspect "deep tracks" is in trouble not for the format, but for streaming their second channel. Also, the RIAA and ASCAP collect higher fees from streaming than broadcasting, making that article look even more suspicious.

Comment: Re:But an unborn baby is not a person. Riiiiiight. (Score 1) 183

by shutdown -p now (#48655469) Attached to: Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

You yourself talked about "until they reach 18 years of age"; abortion is clearly but one aspect of this, and arguably not the biggest one by far (there are far more children who are born, but have their rights limited until they are of age, than aborted fetuses).

I didn't want to touch on abortion for the simple reason that it's vastly more complicated - there's the issue of when you start considering a fetus a person (it is obvious to any rational person that a fertilized egg or an embryo is not a person in any meaningful way, while a pre-birth fetus is; but where do you draw the line in between?). There's also the sticking issue of the fetus, regarding of any rights it may have as a person, potentially infringing on its mother's rights to her body. Reconciling those two rights is not obvious.

In any case, none of this has anything to do with this particular case.

Comment: Re:Waste (Score 4, Insightful) 169

Makes you wonder what kind of good could have been done or how many lives could have been saved with that $70 million.

It's not like he's throwing bills into a fire. That money goes back into the economy which is good for everybody, and its recipients are still free to spend it on whatever good deeds they want.

Comment: Re:Am I missing something? (Score 2) 225

by shutdown -p now (#48655159) Attached to: GCHQ Warns It Is Losing Track of Serious Criminals

The fact that pretty much the entire pro-gun cohort is rallying behind the cops regardless of what they do

This is not true, actually. The hardline conservatives are into cop worship, but libertarians are pretty strong in pro-gun movement as well, and they are generally not a fans of police militarization and excessive use of force.

Comment: Re:But an unborn baby is not a person. Riiiiiight. (Score 1) 183

by shutdown -p now (#48655133) Attached to: Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

Nobody has to take care of the orangutan for it to exercise this right. But for a baby to exercise its right to freedom, it has to be nurtured for around 18 years or so, and that's much too inconvenient.

Assuming that you're referring to actual babies that have been born, then they still have human rights that their parents or legal guardians can't deny them. For example, you can't lock up your kid in a cage, even though other more reasonable limits on the freedom of movement are allowed. Generally speaking, it's okay so long as it's in their interest. Similarly, in this story, they're not letting the orangutan go where it wants, but admitting that the current arrangement is definitely not in its interest.

Comment: Re:An interesting point is (Score 2) 183

by shutdown -p now (#48655057) Attached to: Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

If these creatures get legal self identity, then are they also legally required to obey our laws?

I thought about it as well, but now I think there might be precedent for a kind of a special status there. Think about those uncontacted Amazonian tribes - they're definitely considered human, and if you were to kill one of them you'd be charged with murder, but I'm pretty sure that those tribes don't know or care about e.g. Brazilian laws, and they are not actually enforced against them. I do wonder how they word that in law, though.

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