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Comment: Re:Elections are Popularity Contests (Score 3) 71

by erikkemperman (#48416217) Attached to: How Facebook Is Influencing Who Will Win the Next Election

Not sure I'd agree that nobody cares about policy. But "rightfully so"? Because different faces, or parties for that matter, tend to pursue similar policies? It seems to me that that is a good reason that people /should/ care... And try to improve on that sorry state of affairs.

Problem is that there is whole show about (relatively) minor differences of opinion and these are greatly exaggerated, creating the illusion of real choice. Whereas the various "faces" somehow wind up agreeing with one another on exactly those policies that the people they supposedly represent do not favour.

A two-party system is in practice much more like a single-party system (ie not democratic) than it is like multi-party systems where coalition and compromises are required to achieve majorities.

Comment: Re:uh, no? (Score 1, Interesting) 339

by erikkemperman (#48396599) Attached to: Alleged Satellite Photo Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17

He clearly suggested "Both sides are dishonest" and yet you somehow read that as pro-Russian. That says more about your bias than his, it seems to me.

I abhor Putin and have done for about as long as I've known about the bastard. Doesn't mean I'm blind to Nato's meddling in Ukraine, which cablegate (among other tidbits) proved was going on for years and cost billions.

I'm curious how US woul respond if Russia spent billions undermining a pro-US government in, say, Mexico and after they'd accomplish regime change in favour of hand picked anti-US government presumed to level harsh economic sanctions against the US for troop movements on their own soil, say Texas.

Because, until very recently, that is about the size of it from the Russian perspective.

Now of course, to the surprise of absolutely no one at all, Putin's domestic strongman persona leaves him little choice but to retroactively prove the accusers right.

Comment: Re:Oh yippie (Score 1) 123

by erikkemperman (#48101651) Attached to: US Remains Top Country For Global Workers

Take a look at his comments.. I don't think I've ever seen anyone so consistently moderated -1. Personally I think he's on some kind of long term false-flag crusade to discredit conservatives. But, if you like this sort of thing, there are some real gems in there:

As for Jesus, I hope the Koch brothers will help bring Him to California, forcibly if necessary.

Comment: Re:Does that mean they'll get to vote? (Score 1) 385

by erikkemperman (#48100935) Attached to: Chimpanzee "Personhood" Is Back In Court

What you have just described is the sole and singular reason corporations were formed in the first place. That is to limit the risk to an investor to the amount of money they have put into it. ie the value of the stocks they hold.

No, limited liability is a rather newer invention than incorporation. Only by about a millennium and a half.

Comment: Re:Well yeah (Score 1, Insightful) 123

by erikkemperman (#48100887) Attached to: US Remains Top Country For Global Workers

Wait, is this still about their refusal to support, much less join, the invasion of Iraq? Because they felt the reasons given were lies? Even though the U.S. threatened that when the time came for it spend Iraqi money on "reconstruction" they would exclusively source from fellow warmongers?

I'm not sure how you could've possibly missed this -- but it turned out they were right.

Comment: Re:Everyone should just say "interesting" (Score 1) 295

by erikkemperman (#48089937) Attached to: NASA Study: Ocean Abyss Has Not Warmed

Having missed that story, it seems to center around a calculation of needed energy if the whole planet displayed circa-2010 American consumption within two decades. That is, as far as I can tell at a glance, without accounting for improved efficiency of power generation, storage, distribution, and use.

Setting aside the question of whether the rest of the planet actually aspires to US consumption patterns (which I think are widely perceived as unnecessarily wasteful) the submission you linked to says

Economists and energy experts shy away from issues of equity and morality, but climate change and environmental justice are inseparable: It's impossible to talk intelligently about climate without discussing how to distribute limited energy resources.

Which seems reasonable to me. Certainly such considerations do not in any way shape or form proscribe some kind of return to the bronze age.

But yes, in cases where the wants of a few are at odds with the needs of many, I would argue the latter should prevail. Especially if it turns out that the few are disproportionately responsible for causing the problem.

Comment: Re:Everyone should just say "interesting" (Score 3, Informative) 295

by erikkemperman (#48089747) Attached to: NASA Study: Ocean Abyss Has Not Warmed

Except that the "throw away Western civilization" is only ever thrown out there by the "do nothing" crowd as a caricature of progressive proposals. That said, there is ample precedence for the concept of you break it you pay for it, so some wealth redistribution is going to be a factor in most reasonable strategies.

Comment: Re:Everyone should just say "interesting" (Score 2) 295

by erikkemperman (#48089733) Attached to: NASA Study: Ocean Abyss Has Not Warmed

I appreciate the effort, but it is pointless I'm afraid. I'm assuming that these folks actually mean well, in the sense that they genuinely believe that 97% of climate scientists are involved in some harebrained conspiracy ("green is the new red"). My point is that once that idea is firmly lodged into someone's mind, no amount of links to actual science is going to change their opinion. If anything, it'll just reaffirm it.

Comment: Re:Leader quotation bingo (Score 3, Informative) 264

Of course. But when people who have literally led governments or armed forces can still maintain that position, any appeal to blind trust by an authoritarian government must surely demand a healthy degree of scepticism.

On the other hand, people who've been actually in charge of government and military units know better than most why "blind trust" is the only kind they can appeal to. They know the real reasons for these measures, and why the public must not.

Comment: Re:I'm looking now (Score 1) 134

by erikkemperman (#47735213) Attached to: Finding an ISIS Training Camp Using Google Earth

What lead to a change in the Iraqi government was that Maliki refused to allow US troops to stay permanently. Word is the successor comes pre-agreed on that issue.

Meanwhile IS is the enemy in Iraq but somehow we're not supposed to notice that they are our allies in Syria. Who would have thought that they might use the same weapons we gave them in A suddenly in B?

And since they are additionally quite heavily funded mostly from Saudi Arabia, which is basically the most brutal theocratic dictatorship on the planet, not to mention our favorite client state in the region, killing IS supply lines really should just be a matter of saying the word.

If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong. -- Norm Schryer