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Comment: Re:Helping the poor (Score 1) 312

... due to the simple fact that homeless want to live in the manner they do because it is easier or even a relief for them, having said that when you see what they go thru and how they try to live it in fact not easy at all.

How does the second part of that sentence not make you reconsider your assertion in the first?

I think you are right that might possibly be a very small fraction who actually do prefer the "vagabond" lifestyle, despite the obvious and many hardships. But to make a blanket statement that *all* homeless are in that situation as a matter of choice seems wildly inaccurate to me.

As to your analog about criminals, isn't it also quite likely that recidivism is largely due to the many bariers to any chance of building up a normal life post-incarceration, which is to say after formally having done their time?

Comment: Re:blame Washington (Score 2) 114

Your pretenses of open-mindedness really don't matter here (and likely wouldn't hold up if people actually started demanding your bicycle).

I wasn't aware that lack of chauvinism counted toward open-mindedness. At any rate, believe it or not, I was hardly pretending. More likely there's been a misunderstanding, why would anyone demand my bicycle?

There are simply several things inconsistent and self-defeating with your position.

Odd, in this context I can't remember having taken much of a position, other than a general remark that it is occasionally possible to fix a headache short of decapitation.

Unless you mean my attempt at answering to your "why don't you mind your own business" question -- which is a legitimate one, of course, even when put a bit abrasively.

Finally, beyond misunderstanding or actually different opinions, I'm not sure why you would doubt my sincerity in expressing mine. Why all those "pretend" and "claim to" ?

So start using your brain and stop advocating policies and supporting politicians that bring about exactly what you claim to dislike.

Well sorry for being thick, I suppose, but what policies or politicians did you imagine me having supported in these posts?

Comment: Re:blame Washington (Score 1) 114

You probably believe you have very effectively stung my national pride, or something. I'll get back to you when I have one. The only thing I could possibly take offense on, which is our country being "too politically ignorant" to make decisions for itself, but I'm just not sure what even means.

Really: why don't you stop giving advice to Americans and worry about your own country and continent? Between Wilders and the EU, it seems to me you have more than enough on your plate.

No argument there, we have enough on our plate (though the influence of Wilders, thankfully, seems to be finally diminishing somewhat).

I understand that my "advice" (really it's not even that, just anecdotal observations) is unsolicited and some would consider it unwanted, while others still seem to make a point of doing the exact opposite merely because "an outsider" made some suggestion.

The difference is, though, that I as a Dutchman am affected by some US policies, much more so than the other way around, obviously. If Dutch policies were somehow affecting you in the US, I am quite sure you would soon learn more about my country than you apparently know now, and no doubt some well-intentioned "advice" will be headed the other way.

Comment: Re:blame Washington (Score 1) 114

Washington has set the rules such that companies need to spend vast amounts on lobbying; if they don't, they go out of business, either killed by regulators or torn apart by their competitors using rigged rules in Washington. I'm sure Google is still "disdainful" of how this works, but it doesn't have a choice about whether to participate.

That sounds about right.

The way to get companies to spend less money in Washington is to take power away from Washington: fewer laws, fewer regulations, lower federal taxes, less federal spending. But, of course, some of the most vocal critics of lobbying promote just the kinds of policies that lead to the necessity for lobbying.problems.

So you're arguing that the only way to reduce lobbying in Washington is to, well, reduce Washington entirely. I honestly don't know if it's too late, given Citizens United and McCutcheon, but it's probably wise to double check. Wouldn't want to throw away the child with the bathwater, as we say in Dutch. I think the English equivalent might be curing the disease by killing the patient.

Comment: Re:Hero ? (Score 1) 236

There are recalls all the time on products through honest mistakes people make. Should we call out each of these people individually?

But what has happened here is they did NOT initiate a recall, though they knew enough about the problem to redesign the part. I have no idea how likely or unlikely it is that the named engineers were responsible for that, or even for not assigning a new part number, as opposed to their managers.

If the latter turn out to be culpable, the names of the engineers should be seen in headlines once more, to clear their reputations.

Comment: Re:changing part without changing number is common (Score 1) 236

I'd say that a part that doesn't lead to lethal accidents, as opposed to a part that sometimes does, constitutes a "significant change", no matter if the difference small. In this case, it actually seems to have been a fairly large change. They should have not only changed the number of the part, but made sure that cars in the wild with the old one got word, and probably should have been recalled immediately.

This is also why the question asked in TFS is the wrong one:

The next time your mail goes down, should we know the name of the guy whose code flaw may have caused that?"

To be comparable with the case at hand, it should've read something like "the next time you receive a swath of similar bug reports of crashing systems and don't put out a timely fix, or even just an advisory, while at the same time you know what the problem is and do have a fix which you apply to new installations... should we know the name ...?"
Hell yes.

Comment: Re:I need electricity. I need it for my dreams. (Score 1) 214

"So it does not require one to be a full blown Marxist"

So just a mostly Marxist?

Or not a Marxist at all, even. That was kind of my point, sometimes similar conclusions follow from different, unrelated arguments.

Case in point, some of the most straightforward approaches to combatting effects of AGW happen to (partially) resonate with classic left wing ideals.

This does not mean (as some seem to believe, not you per se) that climate scientists are agents of some kind of International Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids.

Wealth redistribution,

Sort of. More precisely, a global strategy for a global problem, which given the inequities amounts to same.

blaming the West

We break it, we pay for it. Not exclusively, of course. China, India, Russia, Brazil, and so on.

and are you advocating that skeptics not be able to voice an opinion?

Certainly not, I said nothing of the sort. Voice your opinion loudly, I applaud it. And having a minority opinion doesn't prove you wrong. Only statistically less likely to be right, natch.

But to call the mainstream theories "radical" is simply incorrect, which is what I meant to point out.

Comment: Re:I need electricity. I need it for my dreams. (Score 1) 214

Simply compare the policy initiates advocated by the AGW camp with those advocated by the radical environmentalists and other "Green" parties.

You will see they are mostly aligned.

Well, yes, they share a common ideal to minimize our footprint, sure. To consider all of them similarly "radical" though would be a mistake I believe. For one thing the AGW camp, as you call it, is as close as we've got to scientific consensus, a majority opinion. To be "radical" in the climate change debate is to be skeptic.

The fact that poor nations would likely suffer the most from the possible consequences of more or less drastic changes is partly due to geography, and partly because they lack the means to deploy countermeasures.

Also, there are a lot of them.

Developed nations are disproportionally to blame for the problems, at least inasmuch the AGW contention that pollution is a major factor is accurate.

So it does not require one to be a full blown Marxist, it seems to me, to come up with proposals for action that amount, in some ways, to a kind of wealth distribution.

Even though I am somewhat leftist myself, I think this unfortunate. We'd have an easier time getting stuff done if the skeptics were unable to bring up the canard of "green is the new red", along with those who have vested interests in maintaining status quo for reasons that have nothing to a with either climate science or political persuasions.

Comment: Re:I need electricity. I need it for my dreams. (Score 1) 214

Well, I suppose you wouldn't have asked me that if you didn't consider yourself an exception to this theory. Not sure how well it translates, but we have a dutch saying which has it that "the exception confirms the rule".

I wish there were more of you -- or were you arguing that actually there are a lot more than I had guessed? That would be welcome news to me, but from where I am standing that is not readily apparent.

Comment: Re:I need electricity. I need it for my dreams. (Score 3, Insightful) 214

Ask all those leftwingnuts at Harvard how they intend to run the university without electricity.... ...or are they now finally ready to embrace nuclear power?

Because obviously only left leaning folks believe we might have to do something about reducing carbon emissions.

It's fascinating how this issue has been successfully been turned into a partisan one. How is it that I'd have decent odds at guessing someone's position on climate change by asking about their opinion, say, on obamacare, abortion, the second amendment? It seems to me a situation almost unique to the US.

You really could use a couple more parties, because it seems highly unlikely that every individual agrees with one of only two parties in almost every issue. It's almost as if a lot of people don't actually consider their own position, but think of themselves as red or blue and adopt all those opinions wholesale.

Comment: Re:The sheer volume! (Score 1) 137

by erikkemperman (#46715443) Attached to: Cuba: US Using New Weapon Against Us -- Spam

True, though Chinese telecom becoming widely available is a recent thing, certainly relative to the decades of sanctions. Also, if a western trade delegation were to put the pressure on, they might decide the most profitable way forward would be to not supply Cuba. I'm not saying this is happening in this instance, but that kind of thing has definitely happened in the past.

Comment: Re:Corporations are not people (Score 1) 139

You got that right. The amounts hardly matter. A case where the bribes ran well into the hundreds of millions was simply dismissed altogether in the UK (because it would inconvenience the Saudis, who threatened to take their business elsewhere when pressed on this issue) and ended with a slap on the wrist (relative to the sheer scale of the crimes) in the US.


Comment: Re:The sheer volume! (Score 4, Interesting) 137

by erikkemperman (#46713955) Attached to: Cuba: US Using New Weapon Against Us -- Spam

Yeah, so their cellular networks are not quite as advanced as much of the rest of the world. How did you expect them to keep up, given that economic sanctions prohibit most producers of relevant hard- and software from trading with Cuba? Given the circumstances they have to chose their battles, I guess. It is a miracle how they managed to build up one of the most advanced healthcare systems in Latin America.

By the way, there was a really fascinating AP story about a related US attempt to disrupt this sovereign nation: USAID covertly set up a fake twitter service, complete with shell companies, executives recruited on false pretexts, and so on. It reads like a bad spy novel, until you realize how sad it is that this counts as "development". If these were my taxdollars at work, I'd go see about that pitchfork.

Comment: Re:Mirror image (Score 5, Interesting) 639

Well, you wrote "a film depicting the truth", unqualified. The qualification of Muhammad as a sex-mad warlord is, on both counts, not something that is readily apparent from scripture, or recorded historical accounts.

The alleged pedophilia is, it seems to me, a selective application of modern mores onto ancient history. If we did the same to Christendom or Judaism or basically basically any other -ism, I expect we'd find that in those circles back then it was (also) pretty regular practice to consider women adults (in the sense of ready for sexual relations) after their first menstruation.

Likewise, there is no shortage of violence and brutal killings in the history of Christianity and Judaism. And similar to Islam, there continue to be extremist, violent and racist, fringes to those religions to this day.

At any rate, the makers of IoM are not scholars and have no authority to make any claims in these matters.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long