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Comment: Re:No problem! (Score 1) 163

by ffflala (#46697659) Attached to: It's Time To Plug the Loopholes In Pipeline Regulation
Before you continue to proclaim your guess that "California is overregulated," you should at the very least familiarize yourself on a simple & cursory basis with California regulations (as well as federal regulations.) For some reason you seem to need to insist that "California regulations" are the reason that this pipeline broke and contaminated a neighborhood. Here are a few questions that should illustrate why your position seems to miss the mark.

Are building codes responsible for construction failures due to faulty maintenance? Are automobile regulations responsible for most fatal car accidents? Are health industry regulations responsible for adult-onset diabetes?

Next time you're about to press your 'overregulation is responsible' button, ask yourself: "Have I actually bothered to even take five minutes to look over these regulations?" If the answer to that is 'no', then you'll probably be able to make a more convincing argument if you take the time and effort to change that answer to 'yes.'

Comment: Re:No problem! (Score 1) 163

by ffflala (#46680311) Attached to: It's Time To Plug the Loopholes In Pipeline Regulation
Are you no longer maintaining that California state has overregulated the petroleum industry? Or are you just personally offended that someone pointed out that your guess was uninformed and wrong?

Are you seriously arguing that the quality of regulation should be judged by its length?

You guessed --wrongly-- that California has 'over-regulated' petroleum safety. I pointed out the minimal number of California regulations pertaining to petroleum safety. There's been nothing about 'length', line count, or word count of said regulations until you brought it up. Sounds like you didn't bother to actually look up any of the regs until someone bothered to correct you.

Well, by your count that's one line, except that one line just embeds an entire set of other regulations.

General Industrial Safety Orders are safety rules that apply to myriad industries --things like wear helmets and protective gear on-site. Cross-referencing more general regs is analogous to the concept of shared libraries.

Comment: Re:No problem! (Score 0, Troll) 163

by ffflala (#46678741) Attached to: It's Time To Plug the Loopholes In Pipeline Regulation
Have you ever actually looked up a single California state regulation? CCR Title 8, Division 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter 14 "Petroleum Safety Orders -- Drilling and Precaution" is comprised of a "whopping" 56 articles. http://www.dir.ca.gov/title8/sub14.html. Most of those articles are comprised of 1 to 3 sections (sections are the individual 'regulations'.)

Given how specific the equipment and services related to petroleum safety will necessarily be, that's... well it's actually not much regulation, AT ALL. Yet thanks to the tireless efforts of talking heads to plant into your head that (1) there are just too darn many regulations covering everything to the point that businesses can't operate, darnit, and (2) California is particularly over-regulated, you are part of millions of folks who simply guess, assume, and believe that over-regulation is actually a real thing, a real thing that is a problem.

First off, your guess is inaccurate. Secondly: even if overregulation *were* an actual, real, not-being-made-up problem, seems like some additional paper pushing is less grave a price to pay than putting up with negligent industrial accidents that destroy neighborhoods, either through toxic exposure, explosions, or both.

Comment: Re:Won't do any good. (Score 1) 264

by ffflala (#46489833) Attached to: Cameras On Cops: Coming To a Town Near You
Apparently there is an increasing trend of the intersection of steroid workout junkies and cop culture. I think it would go a long way to addressing some current trends in overly aggressive cop abuse if there were similar, national prohibitions against active duty officers using performance-enhancing substances, with rules and testing schemes similar to those used in various sports.

Basically my vote for the problem cops goes to the 'roid rage cops.

Comment: Re:HEY (Score 1) 268

by ffflala (#46443267) Attached to: It's True: Some People Just Don't Like Music

Most animals aren't doing anything you can reasonably call music if you want the words "music", "communication", and "language" to have any distinction. Your example of a whale using music to communicate is anthropormorphization.

I generally agree with your comments here, as far as my not-a-linguist training goes. I am a lifelong musician however, and there is one thing I've repeatedly experienced that does indeed seem to me like "animal music." Specifically, when I've played instruments in a certain pitch range (generally on the higher end), I have had birds come along and... this might sound crazy.. but they have started learning bits of my songs, and singing them back to me. IOW I've witnessed birds pick up and repeat some of my hooks. I'm not sure if they've been trying to communicate, and/or if they think that I'm trying to communicate with them. But goddamn, it has really felt to me like the birds are just joining in on and/or are trying to learn what they think is a good tune. And since there is video out there of what appears to be animals using expressive arts --dance (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJOZp2ZftCw,) and painting self-portraits () -- it seems reasonable to think that other animal brains might also indeed be capable of the kind of artistic expression & intent that distinguishes "music" from the kind of "communication" one has a spoken language.

Comment: Re:I really have a hard time (Score 1) 341

by ffflala (#45903755) Attached to: The Quiet Fury of Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
The US ballot continues to have more than just two parties. Jill Stein's campaign platform was surprisingly sane, nonwarmongery, and about as close as any 3d party has come in a while. She raised I think ~$400k and got ~469k popular votes in the election. For comparison Romney & Obama raised ~$2bn and got ~125m votes. So Stein's dollar spent-per-vote ratio seems to be a little over an order of magnitude of the establishment candidates.

It's a strange phenomenon. US voters actually *do* have at least the occasional choice to vote for a sane candidate who is neither D nor R, and appears to be both intelligent and sane. But turn up the campaign noise level enough and so far it appears you can block such candidates from sufficient branding, commercialized, marketed awareness to make them effectively invisible to 1 in about 500 voters.

I do like that suggestion

Comment: Re:Paging Cold Fjord (Score 4, Interesting) 108

by ffflala (#45901293) Attached to: Mystery of FBI Documents Posted To US Press In 1971 Solved
Agent provocateurs are fascinating to observe in person. There is a bit of an art to the practice of crowd manipulation that is similar to high-energy music concerts. Some of the tactics they use can indeed be used by other groups.

The most obvious candidates will be those who basically shout themselves to the top of whatever scrim of noisy riffraff that they're in. I've personally never seen one then try to instigate violence or property damage. But I have seen instances where they will then use this borderline-criminal hostility to stir up anger between groups. This is basically a divide and disperse approach that pits the multiple groups involved in protests against each other, stoking factionalism between groups, even inventing imaginary rivalries. This not only weakens the crowd at its epicenter of a protest, but serves the secondary purpose of making that epicenter seem so uncomfortably volatile that a large part of the crowd --unaffiliated people, or the more-curious-than-passionate-- will basically disperse just to get away from what appears to be a bunch of loud, arguing, possibly intimidating assholes.

Comment: Re:I really have a hard time (Score 1) 341

by ffflala (#45901115) Attached to: The Quiet Fury of Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
I think that's a fair representation. Despite the ambiguity of the Afghanistan bullet point, I found the first two to be convincing arguments for not wasting so much goddamn money on two simultaneous big wars, the biggest of which had (IMO, I don't want to debate this point just letting you know my perspective) weak to intentionally fraudulent justifications in the first place.

By comparison, McCain*** seemed almost cavalier about spreading our projection even thinner and wasting even *more* money with big military plans for ba-ba-ba,bomb-bomb-Iran. And we *still* hadn't increased taxes to support our then-current military expenditures. That the failure of that logic --to simultaneously wage two expensive wars on foreign soil while lowering taxes-- escaped so very many of my fellow voters still baffles me to this day. And miraculously McCain managed to come up with an even worse idea to add to *that*.

*** The criticism of McCain's platform is not meant to imply that there have been a dearth of subsequent failures of the Obama administration then yet to come.

Comment: Re:Theft (Score 1) 1010

by ffflala (#45605579) Attached to: EV Owner Arrested Over 5 Cents Worth of Electricity From School's Outlet
I get to take a piss in city hall, though. And if I'm waiting for my SO to take a piss, I can grab a drink of water. These things are as open as this outlet. The school could have easily blocked it with a simple lock to make the "don't plug in here!" absolutely clear. They could have even wrapped a goddamn paperclip around a flimsy hinge and I bet this dude would not have plugged in for it.

Comment: Re:Theft (Score 1) 1010

by ffflala (#45600875) Attached to: EV Owner Arrested Over 5 Cents Worth of Electricity From School's Outlet
There is a fair question of ownership here. This was a public school, not a private random stranger's house. Public schools are supported by taxes. The guy arrested was local, and has certainly paid more than a nickel in taxes to support the school. Some of his taxes might have gone to pay the school's electric bill.

Shouldn't the public be able to make use of something they have paid for?

Comment: Re:Wrong Objective (Score 1) 192

by ffflala (#45563813) Attached to: AI Reality Check In Online Dating

This assumes that the goal of the dating site is to find you a mate. It isn't. The goal is to get you to pay as much as possible in subscription fees, or view as many ads as possible so they can make money.

I'm sure that approach will continue to work for a long time, but I think the big players have learned to be a bit more subtle about it by now. Match certainly uses the model you describe (or had last time I bothered to look), but I don't believe they've brought that approach to OKC since the buyout. I think instead that they've found value in offering premium services (pay to subscribe and you can browse anonymously, get better details about who is looking for you, increase the frequency your profile is suggested as a match), and permitting purchasing these for others.

It appeals to both natural human insecurity (scoping people out anonymously) and power dynamics (sad hopeless match buying a month's account for hopeless crush in hopes of currying favor.)

Comment: Re:Why subsidize? (Score 1) 1030

by ffflala (#45557557) Attached to: A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

I myself, as a conservative, when President Obama was elected said that "at least he'll get rid of that damn Patriot Act."

This indicates that you probably didn't listen objectively to your partisan opponent... like most of us do (I don't wish to single you out.) A similar comment I've heard from many, many self identified GOP supporters would be something to the effect of how bitterly disappointed Obama supporters must be that we're still in Afghanistan, for example. And I have heard it even from a few self-identified liberals. The problem is, Candidate Obama's position was to wind down *Iraq* so we could focus on Afghanistan.

Similarly, Candidate Obama's position on the Patriot Act was certainly not that he'd 'get rid of the damn thing.' So what you are doing here is creating a false expectation of action, then blaming partisan opposition for "failing" to meet that expectation. Had you actually *listened* to Candidate Obama, you would not have been surprised. There are broken campaign promises you can point to (such as enemy noncombatant policy), but the Patriot Act sure ain't one of 'em.

"Life sucks, but it's better than the alternative." -- Peter da Silva

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