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Comment: Re:Consent of the Governed (Score 1) 120

by wierd_w (#48443979) Attached to: Judge Unseals 500+ Stingray Records

The pedant's pedant antecedant was to see the point, but fail to read it.

Since your pedantry has you all tied up in knots, let me break down what others are so desperately trying to get you to realize.

1) Yes, The people casting the votes for legislation are indeed the elected officials. HOWEVER, the laws being voted on are often NOT PENNED BY THESE PEOPLE. Instead, they are often first penned as proposals by interest groups, which then get run through an approvals and support process, and get folded into larger bills, which then eventually get voted on. This is known as a "Christmas Tree Bill"

2) While anyone may theoretically petitiion congress, many studies have been conducted which indicate that congressional members (used generically for both house and senate) do not give any weight at all to such petitions, and give all their attention to the lobbyists that show up with suitcases full of money, minivans full of hookers, and dumptrucks full of blow.

These things are the elephant in the room my friend. It has been fucking PROVEN that the popular vote and popular issue created interest groups have practically no power to influence US policy, and yet you cling to the "VOTE!, IT'S THE WAY!" statement.

Somebody here is being delusional, and it isnt the people you are arguing with.

Comment: Re:I bet Infosys and Tata are dancing in the stree (Score 1) 178

Do you ever wonder if your lack of critical thinking skills has led you to internalize Republican nonsense?

Even a whiff of critical thinking skills would allow anyone to see that Obama's purely political stunt is the only nonsense in question. If he gave a crap about the illegal immigrants he wants to "bring out of the shadows," he'd have wave the same magic wand months ago, or years ago. But he knew that it would wreck his party's chances of hanging onto legislative power. But - to his shock, no doubt - his party got completely spanked in the election. So he's done what he just did entirely to poison the well for the upcoming election. That is all.

Comment: Re:I bet Infosys and Tata are dancing in the stree (Score 1) 178

And, given his dislike for America

I've seen this from various nutballs like yourself and I'm curious. Why do you think he ran for President? Because he was actively trying to sabotage the country? With what motive?

He answered this question on August 6, 2008 in Elkhart, Indiana during the 2008 campaign, when he was asked the question by a 7 year old girl, and couldn't deflect her into talking about oil prices. He said: “America is , uh, is no longer, uh what it could be, what it once was. And I say to myself, I don’t want that future for my children.”

He failed to indicate what date "what it once was" applied to.

Here's the youtube link:

I would say that he's been about as successful at this as he has been in keeping his campaign promises to get us out of the two foreign wars, start no new foreign wars, and close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, which he promised to do in the first 90 days of his presidency. In other words, not very successful.

Not that anyone is actually keeping score, but...

Other campaign promises not kept:

- end tax deductions for companies that offshore
- Introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill in my first year in office
- No signing statements to nullify instructions from Congress
- No family making less than $250K will see "any form of tax increase" (ACA, we're looking at you...)
- term limit the DNI (Director National Intelligence)
- call for and support a human mission to the moon by 2020
- tax deduction for artists
- tax incentive for new farmers
- windfall profits tax on oil comanies (we could use this one about right now...)
- limit subsidies for agribusiness
- antimonopoly laws strengthened to favor independent farmers
- Scholarships to recruit new teachers
- Restrict warrantless wiretaps
- public option for the National Health Insurance Exchange
- Restore superfund so polluters have to pay to clean up their messes
- Same sex adoption equality (still state by state, and not in most states)
- require companies to disclose personal information breaches
- ban racial profiling by federal agencies
- roll back earmarks to 1994 levels
- national catastrophe insurance reserve for things like a future Katrina
- allow bankruptcy judges to modify mortgage terms (sister is losing her house over this one)
- work with Russia to step down nuclear defense postures (har har - that's working out)
- double federal funding for cancer research
- strengthen ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act)
- low carbon fuel standard
- require 25% reneable by 2025 (guess it was based on Solyndra not being a scam)
- reinstate special envoy for the Americas
- global fissile materials production for weapons treaty
- global education fund to offer alternatives to jihadi schools
- international group to aid Iraqi refugees, including providing $2B in funding
- help resolve the Cyprus situation
- Sign Freedom Of Choice Act
- penalty free "hardship withdrawls" from retirement accounts
- annual "State of the Word" address
- all new vehicles to support flex-fuels by 2012
- health care reform to be negotiated in public, on CSPAN
- cap and trade system for carbon emissions to reduce global warming
- use revenue from above to support clean energy, environmental restoration (hard to do if there's no system, isn't it?)
- call for congressional leader consulting group on national security, and consult with them prior to major military action
- reduce the number of federal middle managers
- increase supply of affordable housing (Hi, San Francisco! Allow buildings over 4 stories without a zoning variance yet?)
- UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- pay for national service plan without increasing deficit
- Increase federal minimum wage to $9.50/hour
- reduce veterans benefits claims backlog
- allow import of prescription drugs from e.g. Canada
- double IAEA budget so it's no longer understaffed
- double spending on foreign aid
- double the Peace Corps
- create Federal Autism Spectrum Disorder czar position
- require "plug-in" fleet at White House within one year of being elected
- half of all federal fleet purchases plug-in hybrids or all electric by 2012
- ratify the CTBT (comprehensive test ban treaty)
- double federal funding for Charter School Program (guess this was before the Atlanta scandal?)
- double funding for after school programs
- forbid bonuses to executives of companies declaring bankruptcy
- expand FMLA to cover domestic violence and sexual assault
- White house Privacy and Civil Liberties Board to get subpoena power
- end income tax for seniors earning $25K (, anyone?)
- require employers to give 7 paid sick days per year
- cut typical family health insurance premium by up to $2.5K/year

Comment: Re:Does it calculate the Fibbonaci sequence faster (Score 1) 233

by tlambert (#48436143) Attached to: Does Being First Still Matter In America?

Most of the interesting problems are no longer "embarrassingly parallel". All the rest of them, if we care about getting them solved faster, we'll throw hardware at them to the degree we care about getting the result faster.

You yeard it here first! Predicting the weather is no longer interesting.

Predicting the weather is interesting, it's just substantially less interesting than it used to be back when all we had was The Farmer's Almanac. The incremental value in funding a much larger supercomputer *now*, rather than having you slowly expand an existing one over time, and as budget allows, is fairly negligible.

Can you point to a paper where a new, much faster system (one that requires putting the U.S. back in the "#1 super computer" position) is needed?

How about you find out who the top 5 systems are, and run that model on their systems instead, to see whether it's going to be sufficiently better than the current system to merit investing in the equipment in a U.S. facility, because it will have that much value to have a U.S. facility dedicated to the task?

Comment: Re:wont last (Score 1) 268

The main reason for doing it with mattresses is that it lets brick and mortar stores compete with online and makes price comparisons hard. I looked at some mattresses in a shop, where I could try lying on them, and then tried to check the price online and see if the local store was competitive (I'd accept some premium for being able to try it, but not an extra 100% markup). Not only could I not find the same model online, I couldn't find it in other brick and mortar stores either. I've no idea whether the two that were priced differently were the same, or just nearly the same.

Comment: Re:Can other students sue this group? (Score 1) 199

by Firethorn (#48432405) Attached to: Harvard Students Move Fossil Fuel Stock Fight To Court

If you want to influence the direction of a company, you would want to own as much of its stock as possible, not get rid of it. If you are extremely wealthy, you can just buy all of the company's shares and have total control over its direction.

Bingo. A 'responsible' party owning 10% of Exxon could be the difference between Exxon having executives who are mustache-twirling villains and having a responsible board that has the company investing heavily into renewable technology to position itself for the inevitable decline of oil.

Comment: Re:Sell everything (Score 1) 199

by Firethorn (#48432399) Attached to: Harvard Students Move Fossil Fuel Stock Fight To Court

Oil isn't just used for fuel, it's a lubricant.

If we're not using it as a fuel, there's plenty of organic sources that can rather easily provide for our lubrication needs. Thermal depolymerization, for example, generates what's effectively an extremely pure light sweet crude. The processes used to make synthetic oils don't need to use fossil oil as a feedstock.

It's a bit like worrying about people getting enough drinking water when they're living in a city in the desert and thus dying of thirst. It's not the people we have to worry about so much - drinking is near the bottom of the list for municipal water. You use more washing hands. Obtaining enough water for people to keep their clothes washed is a much bigger problem in such a case. Drinking water is such a small usage that we could truck it in if we had to.

Comment: Re:So you want people living in caves? YOU GO FIRS (Score 0) 199

by Firethorn (#48432391) Attached to: Harvard Students Move Fossil Fuel Stock Fight To Court

You want people swear off coal and oil right now when it makes up over 85% of the total power generated in this country? That's basically asking them to go back to living in caves. To having their kids die of preventable diseases. To going hungry if their crops fail or hunting sucks.

We don't have to. Let's say we pass a few reforms. Things like house the homeless($10k annually vs $40k to leave them on the street), reform sentences and prisons(1/2 the prison sentence AND less likely to come back?), and healthcare. The already spends 90% of what it would take to provide single-payer UHC if we were paying the median for industrialized nations. The individual states more than pick up the remaining 10%. We currently spend ~$6.7k vs $2.9k. So fixing this ONE problem would enable states to put more money towards other important things without going into debt, help with the federal deficit, AND dump about a grand more into every family's pocket a month.

What does $3k a year, per person, pay for? A hell of a lot of solar panels and other sources of renewable power. We can improve our lives in a lot of other ways.

Comment: Re:But but but (Score 1) 199

by Firethorn (#48432371) Attached to: Harvard Students Move Fossil Fuel Stock Fight To Court

The tuition is ~$40k. Sure, they give scholarships based on need etc, but Harvard charges tuition because they can.

Unless you're the child of a multi-millionaire you're not going to be paying full rate for Harvard. Due to the continuing endowments and such they don't technically have to charge a cent to anybody. Yale as well.

Matter of fact, I think my state college should at least start on the same. Encourage all the graduates to donate their tuition at some point in their lives. Perhaps in their wills. Once you reach about 20 times the annual tuition costs interest in safe investments alone should keep costs controlled.

Comment: Re: Not quite true (Score 1) 302

by Zeinfeld (#48430745) Attached to: UK Hotel Adds Hefty Charge For Bad Reviews Online

Whether the term is enforceable or not is debatable and almost certain to be rendered moot. Unlike US Republicans, UK Conservatives do actually believe in the rule of law and honest business practices (sort of). There isn't any party who believes that screwing the consumer is a constitutional right. There will be a bill passed.

A rather more direct question is whether the hotelier was entitled to collect the charge under the credit card agreement. And that is unambiguous, he isn't. A credit card merchant cannot use a charge card to recover a disputed charge. It does not matter what the purported contract term was or if it is enforceable. The credit card agreements are designed to prevent cardholders from dishonest merchants. So the consumer will get their refund and the hotelier will find themselves facing a 30 quid chargeback fee.

The only option for the hotelier to recover would be to take the matter to court. The most he could win is the hundred pounds, if he lost he would likely be out the legal costs which could be a couple of thousand. Small claims courts don't usually award costs but they might well do so in this case. Judges tend to detest bullies.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie