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Comment: Re:Tolls? (Score 1) 837 837

by Ottawakismet (#49737795) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax
The deeper problem is that gas taxes don't cover all the costs of the roads, policing, new roads, maintenance, accidents, etc... As it is, roads are effectively subsidized by the general taxpayer. This kind of tariffing will still increase public transportation use. If car registration fees were much higher, and (indexed to the cost of your car) it might be a more progressive way to tariff road use. I believe both income taxes and gas taxes (and car registration fees) should go up, but thats a more complex issue.

Comment: Re:Now Germany! (Score 1) 100 100

by Ottawakismet (#49736495) Attached to: US Levels Espionage Charges Against 6 Chinese Nationals
Germany is a laggard in NATO, that fails to spend what is needed. Germany is still a consumer of security, not a provider of it. NATO troops have had to defend Germany for decades, and US troops are still present in Germany. Germany is the most unreliable country in NATO, look at how cowardly they behaved in Afghanistan. It was appalling! Over the Ukraine, Germany covers its eyes and pretends it cannot see what is going on, and tries to appease Russia The airforce is essentially grounded "Only one of its four submarines is operational. Only 70 out of its 180 GTK Boxer tanks are fit for deployment. Just seven of the German navy’s fleet of 43 helicopters are currently flightworthy." http://www.theguardian.com/wor... Canada has a more reliable military then that, despite spending much less money.

Comment: what we now know (Score 1) 529 529

by Ottawakismet (#48220449) Attached to: Shooting At Canadian Parliament
It is clear that the Rideau Centre shooting never happened... also there was only one shooter, not two. But the RCMP kept the city on lockdown for a day, a school system kept in shelter-in-place, and everyone told to keep indoors, away from windows. It was a lot of excessive panic, and the RCMP failed to recognize the number of shooters. The PM was quiet all day, then gave a speech in the evening with a red/white tie, in front of two flags. The very next day the gov't tried to introduce new security legislation. Total waste of money, and clearly hosing down the security services with money for 6 years has not made them any more competent. It isn't a case of terrorism or Islamic radicalism - this guy was not part of the "Muslim Community". It seems clear he was schizophrenic and unconnected to anybody.Why are we considering a response at all? There are shootings everyday. Its terrible a soldier was shot, but wives, children and innocent men get murdered every day. This is hardly a serious event, even in Canadian history. Canada lost more to terrorism at the Air India incident and at 9/11. I don't know if Canadians will swallow the need for greater powers for the RCMP, who are totally incompetent.

Comment: Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 398 398

by Ottawakismet (#47271103) Attached to: Why China Is Worried About Japan's Plutonium Stocks
Yeah, its outrageous China is trying to say Japan is the one militarizing. China's military budget goes up more than 10% a year. Japan's is steady and increased by 0.3% hardware spending on 5 years. Who is threatening their neighbours exactly? China is always looking for a stick to beat Japan with

Comment: Re:A matter of priorities (Score 1) 280 280

Absolutely. It is not realistic to expect that fusion is going to magically be a simple cheap fusion source. Its more complex to control then fission, and we could not efficiently exploit all the heat that would be released. We already waste most of the heat produced in nuclear (or fossil fuel) thermal plants, so fusion would produce a lot more wasted heat then fission. I've always been perplexed by people who have thought fusion is so fantastic - we already have a super energy dense fuel that we can safely exploit - nuclear fission. Fusion seem more dangerous, hard to control and not necessarily that much better.

Comment: Re:The quotes were awesome (Score 1) 89 89

by Ottawakismet (#46816401) Attached to: <em>Civilization: Beyond Earth</em> Announced
I really wanted to like Gal Civ 2, but it was lacking in fun factor and soul. The combat was terrible, the economy boring. On paper it looked like a great game, but was unfortunately, a nearly unplayable failure. Endless Space is way better. Alpha Centauri had maybe the best quotes of any Civ (or any game ever)

Comment: Re:Alpha Centauri 2 (Score 1) 89 89

by Ottawakismet (#46816369) Attached to: <em>Civilization: Beyond Earth</em> Announced
Alpha Centauri gave you a number of ways to win, non-militarily, and there was quite a lot to do without focusing on the military. If you played the Peacekeeper faction, and / or built the wonder to double your votes, and colonized the seas like a madman you could win diplomatically. I'd say a minority of my games were won militarily. Economically the least often, because you had to wait forever to win with money. All multiplayer games are always won only militarily. Humans won't give you the time to win any other way. I played Call to Power, and it was interesting, and a good game, but I would still put Civilization IV, Alpha Centauri and Master of Orion II ahead of it.

Comment: Re:Mick up is kinda like beta.slashdot.com (Score 1) 298 298

by Ottawakismet (#46585447) Attached to: Iran Builds Mock-up of Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier
Iran actually spends less on their military (as a share of GDP) then their neighbours (and obviously) more than the USA, They never start wars. They had indigenous democracy not imposed on them by anyone (until the CIA overthrew the democratic government and put in a monarchy) Iran has been invaded by the USSR, Britain, and most recently Iraq. They may make a lot of noise about Israel, but its just posturing. Iran has never participated in any wars with Israel. When Iran wants to hurt another country, they support their dissidents with money and weapons, they have not gone to war. They support Hezbollah, Assad, and Iraqi Shiites, (and other Shiites) but they are remarkable peaceful in a dangerous neighbourhood. Their nuclear enrichment program was very suspect, but its likely to go the way of Taiwans, Swedens, Argentina's or Iraq's, not: Pakistan or DPRK

Comment: Re:Allow Russians to vote with their feet (Score 1) 878 878

on the wikipedia page on the Crimean referendum, there is a pile of pro-Russian voices who are whitewashing the whole affair, claiming the monitors were valid though they were totally biased. Material I put up about the sketchy background of the monitors got repeatedly taken down. Some are Communist Party members, or Russian advocates. It seems clear that Moscow allowed in only a group of voices who would certify their sham referendum. The page does not say how the OSCE monitors were shot at by Pro-Russian militias, and tries to say the whole referendum was super legitimate.

Comment: Re:Allow Russians to vote with their feet (Score 1) 878 878

Yes, and the lesson of the Anschluss was that it emboldened Hitler to pursue the Sudetenland. Putin may take the lesson that he has a free hand to deal with the 'near abroad', the former Soviet Republics, at least the non NATO-members. The message was less focused on the West, and more at Astana, Tashkent, Tblisi, Bishkek etc... It is Moldova who is most immediately threatened, as Transdinistria wants a Crimea-style referendum to join Russia. They like Crimea already have Russian troops there since Soviet times, that the Russians have never quite gotten around to withdrawing. (never withdraw from territory if you don't have to was Stalin's thinking)

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers

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