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Comment: Re:I weep for my country (Score 1) 201

by drsmithy (#49739561) Attached to: Australian Law Could Criminalize the Teaching of Encryption

Every non-aboriginal inhabitant of Australia is an immigrant.

Complete bullshit, as it seems you well understand:

Even the aboriginals are fairly recent arrivals if your perspective is wide enough.

I don't understand the racist hate.

No racist hate here, simply someone who thinks immigration should be controlled and targeted in the best interests of the country.

However, successive Australian Governments for a decade or more have been running record immigration rates - mostly under the guise of "skilled immigration" and associated hangers-on - with the twin primary objectives of suppressing wages and maintaining the property bubble. Simultaneously, they have been demonising the weakest and most helpless fleeing for their lives, who account for a rounding error in our immigrant intake.

Unsurprisingly, this systemic view of people as cogs in the machine to be used and discarded on demand has led to a similar culture amongst employers, most recently exposed by the exploitation and abuse of short-term holiday visa holders (usually "backpackers") by the farming industry.

As usual, the Greens have the right idea. Knock down the skilled immigrant intake substantially and increase the humanitarian intake. The footsoldiers of economic immigration can go somewhere else, we should only be importing the best and brightest through our skilled immigration plans, maximising the national interest, and using the rest of our "quota" to help as many people threatened by starvation, torture and death as possible.

When even the dodgy headline unemployment rates are running at 5%+ (real unemployment into the teens), the idea we need to be importing even more people to fight for fewer jobs is just flat out insulting - but the political right seem to believe they've reached the endgame and they're not even trying for a facade of propriety or governance in the national interest any more.

Comment: Re:Threatens security (Score 3, Interesting) 95

by afidel (#49738561) Attached to: Do Russian Uranium Deals Threaten World Supply Security?

Exactly, just last week I was reading about a proposed Canadian mine that was vetoed by the native council, not due to environmental concerns, but because of uncertainty over environmental impact in the future because current and projected prices didn't actually support opening the mine in the near term but the company looking for approval was looking for a 50 year lease on the land. If Russia ties up a lot of the world supply and shuts down mines they own then the price will rise and mines like that one will come online, it's not like they're going to take over so much of the world supply that we'll be shutting down reactors due to lack of fuel. The real fear I'm sure is that Westinghouse and GE and their suppliers will have to pay more for yellowcake in order to produce their overpriced fuel rods.

Comment: Re:Arbitrary appendages? (Score 2) 49

Well that was my point about having very plastic brains. I'm not a neuroscientist, and I don't know how much details like (I have specifically four major appendages to control; two arms, two legs) are baked into the brain from day 0, vs. being just one of the configurations to which a very young brain can adapt.

You missed the point, I think.

The bionic foot in the article doesn't receive signals directly from the brain. It receives signals as they arrive at existing muscles. So we're talking about a brain that has already been wired naturally to control normally-grown muscles, and hijacking that message to also actuate motors. To use this process for additional limbs, you'd have to have a person who had grown those limbs to begin with.

Comment: Re:Government Intrusion (Score 4, Interesting) 803

by afidel (#49735965) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Since it's primarily weight per axle that determines the wear caused on the roads, and the point of the tax is to maintain roads, it seems logical that heavier vehicles, whether they be SUV's or big sedans like the Tesla, should be charged more. It's not like a Leaf is particularly heavy (it's basically the same weight as the similarly sized Chevy Cruze).

Comment: Re:Let me tell you about mine. (Score 1) 164

by swillden (#49723379) Attached to: I spent Mother's Day this year ...

I wish you all the best, and hope your mom really does figure out that if you're the most important thing in her life, she's really doing it wrong.

I do have sympathy for her; I'm sure that like my daughter her choices aren't wholly under her own control, and that as hellish as it is to live with her, it's got to be a thousand times worse to be her. But that doesn't change the fact that close contact with someone like that wears on you in ways that you don't even realize until they're gone. My family is still recovering from the unbelievable tension and stress she put on all of us until she moved out. I didn't even realize until she was gone how irrationally snappish and defensive her brothers had gotten, but now I see it because they're finally unclenching their jaws. Me, too.

Your mother is mentally ill, and she needs help. But until she decides that, and decides that she needs to get help to change, or until she bottoms out in some way that legally removes all choice from her, it won't happen. Having compassion for her suffering is good... as long as you don't get sucked in, and that's really hard. I don't think I could bring myself to cut ties, but maybe it would be best. Nobody can tell you what's right, and odds are that whatever you do will bring some misery. It's balancing on razors and job #1 is not getting cut any more than you can avoid :-/

Comment: Re:And OP is retarded. (Score 1) 334

by afidel (#49721345) Attached to: Stock Market Valuation Exceeds Its Components' Actual Value

That something should be relatively rare, easily verified, have low carrying costs (i.e. doesn't rust or rot), and be somewhat portable. Gold and silver fit the bill,

So does the greenback, and in the modern world it's used a hell of a lot more extensively than gold or silver. Unless the fed goes full retard and starts printing physical bills at a rate significantly greater than inflation (would be basically impossible to do with the current infrastructure) that's not going to change.

Comment: Re:cover everything with mirrors (Score 1) 184

by afidel (#49719607) Attached to: Navy's New Laser Weapon: Hype Or Reality?

to shoot down hundreds of incoming warheads, plus ten thousand dummy balloons.

I don't think anyone is realistically planning to use an ABM system against China or Russia, it's much more likely to be used against the one or two missile boats that North Korea or Iran manage to outfit with a handful of missiles.

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