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Comment: Re:No guilt for you (Score 1) 219

by Ramze (#49603889) Attached to: Native Hawaiian Panel Withdraws Support For World's Largest Telescope

Wow, that was a lot of hogwash. lol.

When you are born into a country, you must obey that country's laws. Welcome to the planet Earth. I didn't choose to have the legal drinking age set for me at 21 in SC... but it is... and it was when I was born. Not just myself, but EVERYONE's right to self-determination is removed when you live in a country with laws - you are restricted by those laws, right or wrong. The Hawaiians born today are Americans by birth - and if they're of Hawaiian ancestry, they have additional rights to live on the Hawaiian Homelands if they choose. They even get minority status grants and such.

The ancient Hawaiian society is a myth - by the time the USA took over, the islands were heavily populated by foreigners and even the kingdom which was only around for a short time was built by subjugating tribes itself!

As for your hilarious argument about stealing from families generations ago, MY FAMILY had its houses BURNED during the Civil War - because we helped slaves escape to the north. Exactly whom should I call to get the large plantation houses rebuilt that society apparently OWES me?!?! No one! But then, I didn't buy those lands or build those houses in the first place, so who is anyone to say that simply because my ancestors owned something that was taken away from them that I am somehow the grieved party?

Also, take note that while you seem to imply that Americans are proud of our rebellion, yet deny others the same rebellion -- we also put down our own rebellious states in our Civil War. Personally, I believe the USA should have some legislative process for succession - not because I necessarily support any particular succession, but because there should at least be a process for it. Say if Hawaii were to decide to succeed and become an independent country or join the British Commonwealth. There should be a process of ratifying that succession peacefully.

I would never imply that the USA is perfect - or even that it is right in many of the international politics it plays. I'm just a realist. We can't turn back the clock and we can't bow to pressure from "natives" just because their ancestors were there first. If two people are born in Hawaii - one of European descent and another of native descent, why should the one of native descent have any greater say in such issues? They're both Americans! You know, democracy is one person, one vote -- we don't weight the votes by ancestry.

Comment: Re:No guilt for you (Score 1) 219

by Ramze (#49603837) Attached to: Native Hawaiian Panel Withdraws Support For World's Largest Telescope

I hear spam is much more popular than the poi there, but It could be a myth as I haven't seen any polling data to back it up - just anecdotal evidence. haha.

I have no issues with people protesting. I've had friends that got extra credit in their humanities studies for protesting, though so I find such uninformed student protests dubious.

I don't mean to imply that there is no sense of injustice with the US occupation of the island, but I see it as historical fact, not something we can turn back the clock on. Same with the Native Americans - terrible track record with wars (including biological warfare) and breaking peace treaties, trail of tears, etc. etc. But, their small consolation is the reservations and today, many of my friends are 1/4 or 1/8th of Native American descent. "Pure" native american populations have been declining for a long time and more of them identify as Americans rather than members of their native tribes. What's done is done, and it's too late for the Natives to have a say in who builds what on what mountaintop that someone else owns.

That's why I say the religious route is a good argument. The mountain should have been protected as part of the agreement to make the Hawaiian Homelands if it's sacred... but still, no one would stand for someone destroying Jerusalem or Mecca - even if the destroyers rightfully owned the land. I'm sure there's a way to lobby for protected status if it's that important.

Heck, I think Hawaii is gorgeous and maybe we shouldn't built giant telescopes on pretty mountains anyway ;-) I'm sure the locals could make a zoning ordinance to scrap the construction easily.

I just don't think the simple fact that they're of native descent should hold much weight in the decision. I mean, who cares who their parents and grandparents were - they're Americans living in Hawaii now and if they choose to live a traditional Hawaiian lifestyle, they can live on the reservations... er... "homelands."

The Hawaiian Kingdom folks in particular are a bit nutty and want to "end the US occupation" of Hawaii. I have a hard time taking them seriously - especially since they're hypocritical in thinking that because the kingdom usurped other tribal lands and conquered the islands that they're the true stewards of Hawaii and not the USA which, in turn, usurped them.

Comment: Re:No guilt for you (Score 1) 219

by Ramze (#49603737) Attached to: Native Hawaiian Panel Withdraws Support For World's Largest Telescope

Actually, I've known about the "reservations" on Hawaii for decades. Interesting how you're an anonymous coward that presumes to know me and what I know.

The luau wasn't a hotel one... geez... I don't think the hotel had the space for it anyway. Never claimed to be an expert on Hawaii btw - but at least I've visited and taken an interest unlike most armchair pundits.

Comment: Re:No guilt for you (Score 2) 219

by Ramze (#49602317) Attached to: Native Hawaiian Panel Withdraws Support For World's Largest Telescope

1893 was 122 years ago. I sympathize with the actual natives living at the time, but they aren't alive anymore. Six "generations" later, I don't think anyone is entitled to reparations. There is an unspoken statute of limitations on this sort of thing. Not a single disgruntled Hawaiian today was born knowing anything other than living with the reality of the rule of the USA - same as any other citizen born in the USA. Why should their ancestry or DNA give them any privilege?

Did you know that my native South Carolina was once a British colony? Seems the demographics shifted a bit over time and the rebels stole her away to form the USA.... then she broke off that yoke to form a Confederacy with many other states... and was attacked by the USA and again re-absorbed into the union.

Should I as a native South Carolinian get reparations for not being part of the British Commonwealth? or the Confederacy? Nonsense.

I believe the Hawaiian Homelands is sufficient restitution.

Let's not forget that the Kingdom of Hawaii was forged from bloodshed, war, and usurping land itself from OTHER natives on various islands -- and it was a rather short-lived kingdom that lasted less than 100 years. Seems odd to opine for the bad old days of bloody island warfare and subjugation that spanned less time than the state of Hawaii has existed. Throughout the history of the world, countries have come and go. Hawaii was taken over by an internal rebellion - granted, mostly consisting of settled foreigners... but, still -- they lived there, so I can't fault them for fighting to become a state.

I've visited the lovely land of Hawaii. Beautiful place... the luau I attended was fantastic. I was served poi. Disgusting stuff that makes paper mache paste sound delicious (though the other food was quite good). The native serving the poi said "yeah, this is the nasty stuff we used to eat before foreigners visited the island. POI -- I assume it was named for the sound you make when you spit it out of your mouth.. poi poi poi."

But, I digress. I see all this Kingdom of Hawaii stuff as merely delusional fantasies of people's ancestral rights to govern themselves rather than appease the country they actually live within. I think the religious desecration angle is a more convincing argument if they truly believe the land is sacred.

Comment: Re:It's finally time (Score 1) 314

by Ramze (#49584121) Attached to: Feds Say It's Time To Cut Back On Fluoride In Drinking Water

Ah, I should clarify - I did not mean to imply most of the budget isspent on the military, but most of the DEBT Americans owe went towards the military - specifically IRAQ and Afghanistan wars alone are estimated to be around 3 or 4 trillion... plus the interest on that debt, and of course, yearly military spending (not that I don't think our military is important, but we do spend more than all other nations on Earth combined... and our Navy alone is larger than the next 7 largest Naval fleets combined.)

Comment: Re:It's finally time (Score 1) 314

by Ramze (#49583751) Attached to: Feds Say It's Time To Cut Back On Fluoride In Drinking Water

um... no.

You are ALREADY paying for everyone using health care that cannot pay for it themselves. Most ERs cannot refuse anyone - even if they just have the sniffles. Hospitals have gone bankrupt because of this. You are paying through medicare/medicaid and through higher insurance premiums and medical fees... because so many never pay, but do recehive service. People who even have insurance have gone bankrupt because of medical fees - it's the leading cause of bankruptcy in the USA!

Different systems for different situations. I don't know about where you live, but many places have non-profit, government utilities that generate electricity. It's not single-payer because people pay what they use. Insurance does not and has never worked that way. Everyone pays in and it pays out only to those that need it when they need it in the amount they need it. Obviously it would be regulated to avoid abuse, but no one is going to break their bones just because - hey, they can get them re-set and in a cast for free! Woot!

Your comparison of government run electricity single payer and government run health insurance single payer makes zero sense.

You also fail to take into account that because we don't subsidize basic health care, people who have no insurance tend to have conditions that could have been treatable with a simple cheap checkup, but due to neglect their conditions festered and became expensive to treat -- ended up in the Emergency room and boom -- their huge bill became your bill b/c they can't pay. I'd rather our tax dollars pay for everyone to have regular teeth cleaning than to use them to pay for expensive oral surgeries and teeth removal, for instance.

Please work on your logic skills - they are lacking, you coward

Comment: Re:It's finally time (Score 1) 314

by Ramze (#49583657) Attached to: Feds Say It's Time To Cut Back On Fluoride In Drinking Water

FedEX and UPS have zero desire to take over the envelope business. You're clueless as to how inexpensive it is to send a letter from Hawaii to Florida via US Mail. Try that via FedEx - even put it in a box first...

The US Mail has a duty to deliver to each and every address for the cost of a stamp - and visit each and every address multiple times per week to not only deliver, but pick up mail. Good luck convincing any corporation that it would be a profitable business plan to compete in that market even if it were allowed.

Comment: Re:It's finally time (Score 1) 314

by Ramze (#49583647) Attached to: Feds Say It's Time To Cut Back On Fluoride In Drinking Water

I won't argue with you on the Medicaid/Medicare issue - my uncle tells me all the time the grief the govt gives him - but, his issue isn't the dollar amount so much as the regulations for the coding and paperwork. They have very specific forms that do not correspond well to usual medical coding and billing, and if not completed perfectly, they don't get paid at ALL.

There can NEVER be a FREE market for health care... it's inherently impossible. If you have a life-threatening situation like a heart attack, you must be sent by ambulance to usually the nearest facility and be worked on by the available physician and surgeon. You are in one physical location, and your health care options are tied to that location/region. Each region can only operate so many full health service options like hospitals. This inherently lends itself to a monopoly or oligopoly situation. Insurance COULD, in theory, be a free market, but it is not currently. There are laws preventing the insurance companies from selling nation-wide insurance plans and compete with one another more directly. I am not opposed to that idea, but why bother? We could simply have a federal insurance that says basic care is covered by taxes (who cares if you pay insurers directly or through your taxes? It's still money paid from tax payers to health care workers - and you pay anyway for basic health care for uninsured as most hospitals MUST treat all emergency medical issues whether people can pay or not. That comes out of your pocket from govt subsidies and higher insurance premiums and medical costs anyway)

Everything else in your post regarding good doctors is a fearmongering myth. The doctors I know are good doctors because they love helping people and saving lives, not because of the income. Some even work for doctors without borders and do charity mission work. If you want to help doctors out, help them refinance their student loans - or better yet, subsidize them!

Comment: Re:It's finally time (Score 1) 314

by Ramze (#49583623) Attached to: Feds Say It's Time To Cut Back On Fluoride In Drinking Water

I have lived in multiple states - NC, SC, and TN. I was in and out of the DMV in no time flat each time I moved. Don't know where you live, but maybe your state should invest more in their DMV if you have issues.

I've found TN to be particularly efficient. They have an electronic queue in Knoxville, TN branches, full staff, and no wait times.

Comment: Re:It's finally time (Score 4, Informative) 314

by Ramze (#49569761) Attached to: Feds Say It's Time To Cut Back On Fluoride In Drinking Water

That is such a naive post, I don't know where to begin. I guess I'll bypass the "government doesn't do anything well" BS (firefighters, US Mail, EMS services, public water/sewer systems, uncountable other examples prove you wrong)... But, apparently, every industrialized country other than the USA either has free healthcare or a hybrid system like Australia with a combination of free care plus private.

Let's move on to this mythical health "market" you mention. Markets require competition to work. Most areas only have one or two hospitals within the geographic region which can provide most health care services. That's not a free market... it's a monopoly or oligopoly. Monopolies and Oligopolies require government oversight because they tend to abuse their power. Granted, the Dentistry market is far more competitive than say, thoracic surgery.

Still, Insurance isn't a market either. It's also an oligopoly situation where you have to have one of the major carriers to have health providers ACCEPT the coverage you have -- and picking an insurance carrier may give you perks with one hospital or other health care provider, but none with another, so this also limits your market choices. Health care providers are not required to accept your insurance.

So, let's talk about pricing - you won't find it listed most places. It's complex... it's deceitful - intentionally. If you have no insurance, you have one price. If you have insurance, it's another price. Then, when billed, you pay a different amount and the insurance company pays the rest -- but not actually. You see, the insurance company negotiates the prices. Say you have a bill for $100K. You pay $5K, the insurance company pays $45K, and the rest just goes unpaid, yet considered to be paid in full. Another individual who has no insurance gets the bill for the full amount - OR if the physician knows in advance you have no insurance will sometimes negotiate a different price - sometimes much lower than what they'd have gotten from the insurance company.

Doctors HATE the insurance companies. They have to hire lots of staff for medical coding to report correctly to insurance companies, fight with them over the billing, and often get paid late -if at all. Doctors also have high malpractice insurance bills and high medical school loan bills. Many other countries don't have these issues -- they even send their doctors to medical school for next to nothing - imagine that! It drives the cost of being a doctor down, increases supply of doctors and drives the costs of medical care down along with it.

The USA medical system is a mess. I'm not a doctor myself, but I have many family and friends in the medical field. They would LOVE a single payer system to simplify everything. They could have less staff because there's no need to deal with multiple insurance companies, less confusion on pricing, and more customers as everyone is covered. Government health insurance doesn't have to be government run healthcare - just insurance. Why have thousands of companies complicating everything when one agency could give you insurance right out of your paycheck with your taxes (just like a company benefit would), and you're insured everywhere for everything except cosmetic surgeries beyond dental. But, I digress.

I'm not sure what dental plans you're concerned about. Most don't cover things like crowns and Hollywood veneers. Most cover regular checkups and fillings - maybe braces for kids if you pay extra. That's not a huge burden on the USA economy... not with 15 Trillion in debt - mostly spent on the military.

Comment: Re:Progressive Fix 101 (Score 1) 622

by Ramze (#49536027) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs

The trouble with all these different metrics is that it really comes down to "How much extra will I pay if I get the gas guzzler that allows me to comfortably use the vehicle for its intended purpose over a more fuel efficient vehicle."

MPG doesn't tell the whole story... even difference in MPG doesn't - even a percent difference doesn't. One needs to know whether another vehicle could perform the necessary tasks, and if so, if the total cost of ownership is higher for one than the other - sale price, gas, maintenance costs, etc.... and to know the monthly gas, that would depend on driving habits.

For your vehicle which currently averages 17 MPG, you are correct that an average minivan from 2014 would get a combined 20 MPG to 24 MPG depending on the make/model. So, a minivan would be between 3 and 7 mpg better. That's between 18% and 41% improvement over your vehicle. Granted, for your purposes and income level, that's probably not a big deal. For someone commuting hours a day, maybe that percentage improvement would matter - maybe not.

I think it's far too simplistic to compare MPG. My father has a Jeep - it's a gas guzzler... but, he uses it mostly for long family trips and puts a carrier on top and/or hauls stuff behind, so it's economical in that it fits more stuff and people - otherwise, we'd be using 2 or 3 cars that each got better MPG individually, but not if we're using all 2 or 3 rather than 1 Jeep.

Comment: Re:OS updates still depend on this stuff? (Score 1) 179

by Ramze (#49456021) Attached to: Google Lollipop Bricking Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Devices

I am right there with ya, brother. I have a flip phone. My tablet was my way of testing out this mobile nonsense. Eh, it's a cheap toy that has worked out rather well for me, though.

The problem with mobiles is they have to flash the OS onto the device and rather than a standard x64 chip, there's bloody dozens of processors and configurations to support. Basically, it's the whole embedded OS market that's the issue. Give it another decade when they've settled on some standard architectures and storage media for the OS and maybe - maybe they'll work like your Ubuntu setup. There are already variations on vanilla Android out there and even FirefoxOS and others. It's still a new market. People will figure out they want control over their devices rather than buying new ones every couple years and just taking whatever setup comes with them.

Comment: Re:Cutting edge journalism (Score 2) 179

by Ramze (#49456007) Attached to: Google Lollipop Bricking Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Devices

Man, those RAZRs were awesome. I'm actually looking for something similar now for my father who is just now learning to text - he has a flip phone now and a slide-out keyboard would be best. It's getting more difficult to find one that doesn't require a data plan. Verizon charges for data based on the type of phone - doesn't matter if you actually intend to use the data or not :-/

Comment: Re:Cutting edge journalism (Score 3, Informative) 179

by Ramze (#49451843) Attached to: Google Lollipop Bricking Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Devices

Ah. No worries. In your defense, Google has not been very good about advertising this unique aspect of the Nexus line of products. Other than Apple, it's not exactly the norm for how devices are updated either. Still, it's unique in that, apparently, Google is pushing some of the support to the hardware manufacturers instead of handling it themselves (though I could be mistaken). I find this disheartening as it's Google's flagship name and I believe Google should handle any issues unless there's a hardware malfunction rather than a software glitch - possibly caused by Google's update.

Basically, Google chooses a specific manufacturer and works with them to develop a model that has its requirements, labels the product a "Nexus" , then supports the OS directly. They even sell Nexus items straight from Google rather than through a carrier. Nexus phones can typically switch carriers as long as the phone supports the proper tech and frequencies - same for the tablets. My Nexus 7 is made by ASUS, but I knew buying it that I'd be supported by Google - which is why I got it instead of a similar ASUS tablet with a standard USB port (Nexus products are notorious for not having expansion ports - Google thinks you should use them and the cloud for everything). I'd rather have the assurance that my hardware will be supported by the latest Android (so many manufacturers sell you a device, then don't bother updating it) than to have a few extra features.

I could be wrong, but last I checked, Nexus 5 had the proper tech to run on Verizon's network, but Verizon won't approve it - I suspect because the don't like that it's not locked down. They already hate that the iPhone doesn't have their bloatware and artificial restrictions.

But, yeah, if you see the name Nexus, that's Google's flagship product line and they'll update it first and directly while all other Android devices will take you months to get an update - if ever.

If Machiavelli were a hacker, he'd have worked for the CSSG. -- Phil Lapsley