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Comment Consumer ignorance (Score 1) 431

It's beyond me in this day and age of ubiquitous information available at one's fingertips that anyone can walk into a dealership and NOT know what they want to buy (or at least have it narrowed down to one or two models and/or trim levels). You should do all your research BEFORE going to the dealership. The only point of going to the dealership should be to actually drive the car and confirm or refute what you already know about it.

Dealerships HATE informed customers because it basically removes the need for a salesperson. I don't WANT some smelly guy in a bad suit trying to tell me what I want. I already KNOW what I want. The only reason I'm even there is because I can't order one from the factory directly. I have my financing worked out with my credit union before I set foot in his doorway. The salesperson's total interaction with me ought to be "Here is a filled-out build sheet for the car I want along with all options I would like. Here is the price I'm willing to pay which ensures a modest profit for you and your dealership. I will not negotiate one penny above and beyond that, nor do I want to be sold on additional options or extras I have not already specified. Please locate the car in your database. If you have one on the lot that matches it, I'll take it today. If not, please have it delivered here and let me know when it arrives. Thank you. Goodbye."

Why in the hell can't we just ORDER these things from the factory??? Oh, dealerships have local politicians blocking that sort of thing. Land of the free, home of the brave-but-not-so-brave-that-we-want-actual-competition.

Comment Who knows? (Score 1) 21

There are too many variables to predict one way or another.

People making minimum wage who get raises usually don't spend the extra money on more stuff. They try to pay their bills on time. Or purchase the same essential items, but at a slightly higher quality.

That is, steak one day a week instead of hamburger. That doesn't necessarily increase any jobs anywhere at all.

It is also possible they buy more stuff, but where are the extra (if any) jobs created? If they're buying cheap crap imported from China, are the extra jobs made in China?

If they buy extra fast food, that probably won't lead to more jobs as very few of those places are working at capacity to begin with so won't need to hire more to accommodate a small increase in volume. It can be absorbed by the current workforce.

More and more fast food places are automating as opposed hiring more workers. They're getting drink robots, fry robots, ordering kiosks, etc.

This is the equivalent of the Republican "if you lower the State taxes, business will increase and more jobs will be created".

Yes, that will happen, if and only if, taxes are the largest impediment to business in a State and all the other basic needs are met. By other needs I mean infrastructure, qualified workforce, etc.

In most cases, as the State of Kansas is finding out the hard way, taxes aren't the big reason business isn't moving there. There are several other factors that need to come into play. And by cutting the taxes too much, they lost the revenue needed to pay for the infrastructure and educational institutions needed to also attract and support businesses.

In short, it MIGHT work but there are so many other variables in play that there is no way to tell.

Comment Re:Government interference with markets (Score 1) 21

Good. We absolutely do not want many of the natural outcomes, such as company towns, 18-hour work days and enslaving wage levels.

The natural, unregulated market leads to a power imbalance that only grows greater as the company increases in size.

By "we", I mean society. Government regulation is almost reactionary. That is they react after the system gets too far outside acceptable bounds. We started this country with minimal government intervention in the markets and have steadily increased as the shit hits the fan from time to time.

Sometimes they go to far, sometimes not far enough -- but to your statement of "...having government tamper with the market always leads to perverse outcomes, always" I say "good".

Comment Re:This is only true (Score 2) 361

When what's legal and what's sustainable for the society are not aligned, there are likely one of two results: 1) Law is changed to be more sustainable or 2) the society suffers.

But hey, more power to those who can screw over everyone else for their tax free money!

If what the company is doing is not sustainable, the company will fail, as it should. If what society is doing is unsustainable, it will fail, as it should. It's called capitalism and if you leave it alone, you'd be surprised at how good it works.

What would you propose? We block companies from doing these kinds of inversions? They'd just transfer their entire operation overseas and then the US would see zero percent of that income. There are any number of other countries that would LOVE to have them, as is evidenced by their lower tax rates and success in luring said companies.

The stupidity is the assumption you can somehow control these companies, or punish them for their actions. Controlling them is impossible so long as there are other places to do business. Punishing them does nothing but punish those who consume their products or services. Putting them out of business adds to unemployment. Banning their products or services from the US market would damage consumers *and* employees. You know...employees...those people who work hard every day to take home a paycheck to their families. Not everyone at a corporation is Scrooge McDuck burning hundred dollar bills to warm their gold-plated mansion.

No, the answer is to lower our corporate tax burdens and win this business back to US shores and the US tax system. It doesn't take a genius to realize that 15% of something is better than 26% of nothing.

Comment Re:Fork (Cinepaint & Krita for HDR) (Score 1) 351

Cinepaint forked a number of years ago -- it's main purpose was to support 32bit per channel color (needed by the film industry). I don't use it now because it doesn't compile on Ubuntu based distributions -- which I now use for my desktops.

Krita is what I use now -- even though it's explicit orientation is to digital painting than image editing, it still works quite well for image editing, and supports HDR images. HDR imaging has been important for me since I moved to digital photography. Modern DSLR's produce HDR raw images, so downgrading to 8 bit before manipulating an image can be rather counter-productive, and requires annoying work-arounds to take advantage of the available dynamic range in GIMP.

Comment Re:How do I explain it? (Score 2) 259

You know your definition with "ancestors...for centuries" describes just about every European-descended person in North America short of the few with family lines back to before the American Revolution, right?

The whole point of having a path to becoming a citizen (any country) is flushed down the toilet with your post.

Speaking about the U.S., until you amend the Constitution -- too fucking bad. That is the system we have and your whining about it is counterproductive.

Comment Re:Heinlein quote. (Score 1) 378

I hate to sound obtuse or unimaginative, but I'm wondering WHY anyone would want to colonize the Kuiper Belt? Other than scientific curiosity -- which is best served by robot probes -- what's to be gained by living there that you can't accomplish elsewhere in our solar system for much less cost and risk?

I can think of only two immediate reasons: those desiring the ultimate in autonomy and those fleeing population pressure. The former would be pretty extreme and would somewhat depend upon the latter happening first. The latter would have to be extreme indeed to the point where all the reasonably-habitable areas inside Pluto's orbit are already filled up, probably requiring hundreds of billions if not trillions of human beings assuming high population densities in, on, and orbiting every available planetary body and moon in the solar system.

Of course there's always the "because it's there" option for adrenaline junkies, but again you'd have to deplete all the other slightly-less-extreme objectives within the solar system before you'd need to hit the Kuiper Belt. And the expense involve would be beyond the reach of even the most intrepid adrenaline junkie.

Comment Re:Why (Score 2) 965

You need to read up more. Yes, that is *EXACTLY* what a lot of these idiots think, that one terror attack is going to collapse a country.

They live in such a bubble they can't believe the rest of the world doesn't see things exactly like they do.

Take a look at how many nutcases are arrested for shootings in the U.S. who were "trying to start a race war" -- as if one shooting is going to start civil war.

That asshole in Norway was trying to trigger a war against Muslims in Western Europe.

How many "preppers" are there in the U.S. that believe the West is going to collapse into ruin any day now. All it will take is just the right spark to start the race/culture/religious/civil war.

Comment Logistics (Score 1) 7

I'll start with the easy one: anchor babies. You'll need to amend the Constitution to fix this. Get back to me when that is done.

Second, we handle immigration violation like we handle other law breakers -- as you said. The amount of effort that goes in to pursuing, capturing, transporting and trying a lawbreaker is proportionate to their crime. This is why there are extradition hearings when a person gets arrested in one State for a warrant from another State. Frequently, depending on the cost and severity of the crime, the originating State chooses to not pursue extradition. Yes, the person is then released.

Spending inordinate amounts of effort to locate, detain, TRY, CONVICT and deport people for only the crime of being in the Country without permission goes against out basic system of justice.

Yes, TRY and CONVICT. You know, like with OTHER LAWS. Immigration courts handle these cases, and there are a limited number. And no, it isn't as simple as "no papers? bye bye". There are several aspects of immigration law and exemptions that have to be considered and properly handled.

And, of course, there is housing these people while they are waiting their day in court. And our Constitutional rights to a speedy trial -- so you can't just hold them for years while things work through the system.

Let's not forget that adding more courts would mean the Senate having to APPROVE MORE FEDERAL JUDGES, which they have steadfastly refused to do -- even those they say would pass on a 100-0 vote. Just because, you know, Obama.

So, like EVERY OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY IN THE WORLD, they choose where to focus their efforts based on the limited resources they have. Illegals who commit OTHER CRIMES are given top priority over people who are simply here without permission.

So the bloviating buffoons on the stage who are screaming for Operation Wetback II are wholly ignorant of the rule of law, our Constitution and what the job is they are running for.

You are actually advocating for EXACTLY what Republicans accuse President Obama of doing -- only ten times worse!

Comment Update (Score 1) 1

A quick update. The CUPS driver included with Ubuntu (1.3-8) didn't work. It did everything except print. All I would get is a blank label advance.

Downloading the official LPR driver and CUPS Wrapper .deb packages from Brother did the trick. It doesn't matter that they're 32-bit, they worked fine.

Now my little QL-500 prints address labels like a champ (again)!

P.S. -- The free TrueType OCR-A and OCR-B fonts are good to use if you want to make life just a tad easier on your Post Office.

Comment Predictions for a Not So Far Future (Score 1) 171

Considering that there will be asteroid mining in future, which I believe to be feasible, and that it will basically be prospected by autonomous systems (rovers or robots) I can predict a lawless situation, where group of space pirates, commanding space drones that will disable or destroy regular established company's equipment.

No law from UN nor USA will be able to legislate where there is no law enforcement.

The easiest way to figure the cost of living is to take your income and add ten percent.