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Comment: Re:Visas, or Green Cards? (Score 1) 343

by shutdown -p now (#48678383) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

What you and a lot of other people don't understand is that for many of us, H1B visas are the only viable path to a green card. US immigration policy is rather ridiculous in that respect in that it doesn't have a properly designed, dedicated skilled immigration track, the way e.g. Canada, Australia or New Zealand do. So in practice that role is subsumed by the "dual-intent" H1B, where you come into the country on that as a "temp worker", and then get your employer to sponsor you for a green card.

Thus, H1B has two kinds of people lumped together into it: the true temp workers, usually paid low wages, and kicked out as soon as their visa expires; and people who are trying to actually immigrate and using it as a stepping stone. In most other countries, the two pools are separated much earlier on.

Comment: Re:why not have an impact in their own countries? (Score 1) 343

by shutdown -p now (#48678359) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

Why not stay in whatever country they currently reside and try to have an impact there?

As an H1-B from Russia, let me give you the answer:

Because I get paid waaaay more in US (even accounting for cost of living and cost of property). Because this is a more stable and prospering society with crime levels several times less. Because I can actually get into politics here on any level from local to national without risking my neck.

Basically, because the grass is greener on this side of the fence.

Comment: Re:Wrong assumption (Score 1) 343

by shutdown -p now (#48678349) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

TFS assumes that all great programmers actually want to live in the US.

It doesn't. It assumes that there is a sufficient number of great programmers who don't want to live where they currently live, and for whom a country like US that is easy for them to move into and that would offer great career opportunities would be very attractive. That is certainly true for pretty much anyone from a third world shithole somewhere in Africa or Asia, and even for many from relatively well off middle class families in Eastern Europe or Latin America.

Now it's true that US is not the only one offering this deal. The main players in the market today are US, Canada and Australia. Of these, US is the hardest to immigrate to and has the most associated red tape and the least clarity; Canada is arguably the easiest. OTOH, US generally offers the best career prospects, and the highest quality of life in terms of how much to earn vs cost of living, so it's still the #1 destination for skilled immigration.

Comment: Re:Mod parent up. (Score 1) 343

by shutdown -p now (#48678323) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

If company X wants to hire the top 20 programmers in India then they can do that. And those programmers can work from home (in India).

They can, and do. But when that happens, people start complaining about how those programmers working in India (and hence being paid proportionally to the cost of living there) undercut them. And they also pay their taxes in India, and spend that money there, thereby subsidizing Indian economy. So from your perspective, it's better that those same people are employed in US - where they have to contend with the cost of living here (and demand the appropriate wage), pay income and property taxes here, and spend their earned money here.

Unless, that is, you're one of the people who are complaining about the "curry stench".

Comment: Re:Statehood for England (Score 1) 350

by shutdown -p now (#48674725) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

Don't forget that states themselves can initiate an amendment (through convention). Then you basically just need 3/4 of the states - first to submit the amendment, and then to ratify it.

Here's a fun fact: because of the disparity in state size and population, it's actually possible for the Constitution to be amended with less than 50% of electorate in favor, so long as they are all in smaller states (if you take the list of states and sort by population, you'll see that the top 1/4 adds up to more than 50%).

Comment: Re:Tree of liberty (Score 1) 350

by shutdown -p now (#48674709) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

The constitution (hence the name) legislates the rights of the government versus its citizens and the rights of the citizens versus the government


And any law enacted that restricts citizens' speech (whether it is directed against government, or other citizens, or something else entirely), is enacted by the government. By Congress, specifically.

And the Constitution specifically prohibits the government to enact such laws.

Seriously, you're arguing against the literal meaning of the amendment. Even ignoring the centuries of precedence on the subject (which convincingly say that you're wrong - have a look at Brandenburg v. Ohio), even just the text itself makes it blatantly clear: Congress shall make no law. Don't embarrass yourself.

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:But an unborn baby is not a person. Riiiiiight. (Score 1) 185

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: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) 185

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) 185

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.