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Comment: Re:Nicatoids and bees (Score 1) 32

by bill_mcgonigle (#47718435) Attached to: China Pulls Plug On Genetically Modified Rice and Corn

That is the reason.

Not every GMO contains nicatoids (engineers would know that). There are still some kids in China who could use yellow rice, and they definitely could export it to their neighbors.

Monsanto deserves a firey death for setting back non-psychopathic GMO's by 30 years or more.

Comment: Re:Off topic (Score 1) 32

by bill_mcgonigle (#47718421) Attached to: China Pulls Plug On Genetically Modified Rice and Corn

I don't want to be another complainer, but this site is begging me to stop visiting. I am not very happy.

There's a town nearby that is behaving similar to Slashdot '14. They have a tax shortfall, so they raise taxes, and people move out. This creates a tax shortfall so, GOTO 1.

The property values have literally fallen in half in the past decade, while other area towns' properties have maintained or slightly increased, and there are many abandoned properties now (with associated problems).

Slashdot will seemingly keep increasing the "revenue enhancers" until everybody has moved out. At that point, I guess they declare victory and go home.

Comment: Re:Too subjective to be useful. (Score 1) 230

by CRCulver (#47716543) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

I would like to see a real breakdown by...

I don't think that would be worth the effort. One sees enough cyclists in the winter, and the city has its own methods for judging use, that society generally considers biking a reasonable method of transportation even in winter and appreciate that the major bike routes are kept clear of ice and snow all winter long. Those who don't enjoy cycling, or prefer not to cycle in winter, can take public transportation.

... deaths in traffic

Helsinki bike lanes are separated from car traffic.

Comment: Re:Finns still love their cars though (Score 1) 230

by CRCulver (#47715907) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

As I have pointed out elsewhere here, in the Helsinki metropolitan area people tend to own cars to get themselves and their children out to their second homes in the country (owning a summer home is a popular Finnish tradition), but they wouldn't actually drive the cars into the city: the cost of parking in Helsinki is horrendous, and petrol isn't cheap either.

Comment: Re:Another blow to Uber (Score 1) 230

by CRCulver (#47715899) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

Why would anyone use a taxi to get around Helsinki?

Never been around Rautatientori late at night? When you have been drinking heavily with friends and want to get back home, but you are too drunk to walk, 1) it might be a shorter distance to the taxi stand than to the night buses, 2) the taxi drops you right at your door, you don't have to stumble home from the bus stop.

But yeah, only after some crazy nightlife have I ever used a taxi, and the same goes for every other young person I know. I have no idea why they would be used during daytime.

Helsingin Sanomat did report a couple of years ago that some people were operating illegal taxis. Maybe they were cheap enough that a group of people would find it preferable to split the cost of one of those than use public transportation to some obscure spot.

Comment: Re:which turns transport into a monopoly... (Score 2) 230

by CRCulver (#47715575) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

the EBT cards

That's not exclusively a city thing. Rural poverty in the US is extremely high. Much of my extended family back in the middle of nowhere Alabama has been on food stamps. Your welcome to go up to one of said relatives and tell them that thanks to being country-dwellers, they can eat the best steak around, I'm sure they'd love to hear about their supposed wealth of options when they can hardly buy enough food (crap food, the same as any metropolitan area in the US) to feed their families.

If someone starts doing that in a small town... very quickly everyone will simply know who you are and what you do. It doesn't work. The sort of criminal you get in small towns tends to be drifters... traveling criminals.

Besides the aforementioned backwater that marks the southernmost extent of Appalachia, I have extensively travelled in rural areas across Europe, Africa and Asia. Crime is a concern in many places -- you might not get mugged, but you can get burgled, or your telephone might stop working because someone cut down the copper lines so they could sell the copper inside. And it often can't be blamed on a drifter, but instead it's a member of the community that everyone knows. Many travellers can tell you of having e.g. a camera or notebook stolen in a village, and when the theft is reported, a group of the villagers simply walks you by the houses of the usual suspects to get your stuff back, because they know these people regularly steal.

You would be surprised how far meth addiction has spread in rural areas globally, from the Caucasus to Madagascar, and alcoholism has often been prevalent in some countries, and all that leads to much of the same crime anywhere.

Those same people would probably be a lot happier in small towns where they could at least feel like they are a part of a community rather then just a number in a machine.

As I've mentioned elsewhere here, it's important to look at the motivations of the population in question and not be so presumptuous as to speak for them. In the Finnish context, young people overwhelmingly want to move to the cities. You can talk all you want about citydwellers being just "a number in a machine", but they won't have any of it. I daresay the same applies for many places in the US. Everyone is not you.

Comment: Re:which turns transport into a monopoly... (Score 1) 230

by CRCulver (#47715375) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

As to congressman... you have a parliament... in the context of this discussion is there a relevant distinction?

Entirely. Political horsetrading works quite differently in Finland than in your depiction of the US. People living in the country do not just want lower taxes and nothing else. There is wide support for state funding of physical and cultural infrastructure even among rural people; they want a lot of the same things you can find in cities, and building these things with state subsidies has proven to a help against depopulation of rural areas (though it may not be enough to stop all the young people from leaving). There simply isn't the same "red state"/libertarian versus "blue state"/redistributionist divide here that you suggest is true of American society.

As to runways, finland might be similar to Alaska in the US. They deal with that situation with sea planes and ski planes.

The north of Finland gets enough visitors seasonly that there has been a push to build better airports, not least from the local people whose income is heavily boosted by these tourists.

Comment: Re:This is ridiculous. (Score 2) 123

by bill_mcgonigle (#47715275) Attached to: Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

If you want to get all strict-constructionist on this matter though, planes, cars, buses, and rail didn't even exist when the Constitution was written, so one could argue that there's no Constitutional protection when travelling by anything beyond horseback, carriage, or walking.

No you cannot argue that. The Constitution says nothing about technology and everything about how humans behave.

Then there's the other side, where airlines were allowed to be in charge of their own security, letting "the market" set the balance, but then nineteen men decided to kill about 3500 men, women, and children one day, and our society realized that it wasn't gonna work to let the airlines be in charge of security.

That strategy ceased to be effective at 9:03AM on 9/11/2001 over a field in Shanksville, PA. And you know who figured that out? Ordinary Americans, doing the security calculus themselves, where the government had completely failed to protect them, despite having many opportunities to do so.

To be double-sure the airlines all secured their cockpit doors. That risk no longer exists, which is why the TSA has never caught a terrorist. They do violate the human rights of Americans all day, every day. In an effort to stop the terrorists, they have become the terrorists, all because they consciously choose to violate the highest law of the land.

Comment: Re:a matter of scale (Score 1) 230

by CRCulver (#47715247) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

I can commute farther in the state of California than the entire nation of Finland.

The maximum distance in Finland from north to south is 1,157 km. While it might be possible to commute on a regular basis in California, I doubt that a meaningful proportion of Americans would consider that particularly desirable. While perhaps not embracing public transportation, they'd probably want to be based in a suburb nearer to the commuting destination in questions where they would drive.

Comment: Re:This is ridiculous. (Score 1) 123

by bill_mcgonigle (#47715195) Attached to: Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

I'm not sure voluntarily going on a plane is the government violating your right to privacy.

Be sure.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated

Your houses have privacy, and so do your papers, and so do your effects, and so does your person. You do not need to keep all your things, including your body, in your house to keep your privacy. Traveling is *expected* behavior of people - it does not remove your civil rights.

Well, in theory. The Bill of Rights only says what the Government may do and not do - if it behaves otherwise it's behaving illegally, but so what? Complain and get violated some more. Just don't fool yourself into thinking the Constitution is more than a relic of a long-lost Republic. If you don't care about rule-of-law, then just go about your business and submit to virtual strip searches. Just don't act surprised when a right you do care about is violated.

Try `stty 0' -- it works much better.