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Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 1) 439

by Shakrai (#47566549) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

That's a valid point but you kind of missed the bigger picture. With my history and health status they shouldn't be on the hook for more than $300-$500 annually. That's the cost of an annual physical and standard blood/urine lab work. All it took was one incident to largely wipe out their earnings on me and in this case the costs really weren't inflated all that much. Despite what the other poster thinks, the immunoglobulin really is that expensive. It has a very short shelf life, production is a bitch, and there's little economy of scale because it's so rarely needed. Socialized medicine won't fix any of that....

Comment: Re:Slippery Slope (Score 1) 183

You think that people are looking for a 100% technical perfect solution that satisfies every nerd desire ever.

But non-geeks don't think like that, and politicians especially not. They live in an analog world. Where adding "murder = crime" to the lawbook does not remove all murders the same way that adding "deny from" to a firewall ruleset kills all packets from that source. They understand that their solutions are approximations and are full of holes.

To someone who understands the world as non-digital, filtering by source IP is perfectly fine even if he knows that VPNs exist. Because he also knows that 99% of the users don't use VPNs.

And especially for Google: They already do a lot of ad-related stuff based on your geolocation, so there's no technical reason why they can't show you the filtered or the unfiltered list based on that.

Comment: Re:Institutional hypocrisy (Score 2) 183

Oh, I'm sure believing that WWI and WWII happened because of irrational hatred is a comforting thought to Germans, but it's not true.

You're such a git. If you really think that Germany alone caused WW1, you've been spoon-fed too much propaganda. Yes, Germany started WW1, totally true. But at that time, half of Europe was waiting for an opportunity to kick this or that neighbours ass, which is largely why everyone jumped at the chance to have a war. At any other time in Europe's history, the assassination of some successor of some second-rate country would've barely made front-page news, let alone cause any diplomatic trouble.

And you illustrate that many Germans still hold the same kinds of beliefs.

"git" is not a strong enough word for you, but I can't think of a better one right now. Maybe you could try history and actual arguments instead of ad hominem attacks. And if you insist on attacking people you don't even know, you could try to at least make it somewhat funny or interesting instead of just boring and stupid.

Germans were motivated by the strong conviction that their culture, economy, and system of government was superior, in particular to the Anglo Saxon model, and that they had a moral duty to spread it across Europe.

France and England barely avoided a war between themselves in 1904 and forged an alliance that Russia joined in 1907. You could have heard about it in history class if you hadn't been asleep, it was called the Entente and if you open your mouth to talk about WW1 and you forget to mention the Entente, you prove to everyone with some education that you're an idiot.

Together with everyones colonialism and increasing tensions due to colonial wars and growing military everywhere you got a complex diplomatic situation with several secret pacts (Italia and France, 1902, for example) that creates a situation that even serious historians call a powder keg and that they largely agree would have blown up sooner or later.

You attempt to simplify complex history to one source and one reason and one actor is typical of american movies where you always need a hero and a villain to tell the story, but it very, very rarely is appropriate to real life.

Comment: Re:So much unnecessary trouble (Score 1) 564

by Tom (#47564477) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

separates private and business life more strongly?

Yes. Most people don't care very much what their friends do as a job, and rarely know more about it than their profession. In reverse, they don't care about private life of people they work with.

Just two examples: When I talk to Russians, they are astonished that people would bring their wife or husbands to business events at all, while here in Germany it is normal that some business events explicitly tell that you can bring your significant other, if you want. Russians say "wtf?" if I tell them about things like "bring your kid to work" days.

About Putin: There was a portrait about him in a german magazine recently, listing his divorce, his fondness of hunting and ice hockey and a couple other things. For me there's nothing special about such a portrait of a politician. Russian reaction: "wtf it's his private life, why do they care?"

Just yesterday the Hague ruled against Russia to the tune of $50bn because Putin and his cronies did exactly this to Khodorkovsky with no regard to the shareholders that invested honestly ending up also as victims of their personal vendetta:

You don't even begin to understand what the difference between private life and business is.

Comment: AdBlock Edge (Score 1) 279

by Tom (#47563985) Attached to: Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?

Due to the questionable new owners of ABP, I've since changed to Edge.

Basically, the moment people tell you that there's such a thing as "acceptable advertisement" and that anyone except you, yourself can decide which it is, you know they've sold out. It's shorthand for "we will allow advertisement that pays us to let it through".

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 5, Insightful) 439

by Shakrai (#47562169) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Yes, since the bills would be covered by insurance.

After the deductibles and co-pays. I have a "platinum" plan through my employer; better insurance than anyone else I know and the co-pays still total up to a considerable amount. No deductibles for in-network on my plan, which makes me extremely fortunate. As a single guy I can afford the co-pays even with my modest salary but I can see how quickly they would bankrupt someone with a family, particularly if said family had one or more members with a chronic illness.

Incidentally, I was just exposed to rabies a few months ago:

Strike One: The only place to get the immunoglobulin is the ER, because it's very expensive (>$4,500) and has a short shelf-life. ER co-pay: $150
Strike Two: There's a set schedule for the vaccine, Days 0, 3, 7, and 14. You can get the vaccine from your primary, in theory, but of course my primary has a months long waiting list because we're driving PCPs out of business. Bottom line, I can't get appointments with them for Days 3 or 7, so that's two more trips to the ER. Additional co-pay total: $300
Strike Three: New York State ostensibly has a fund to pay for out of pocket expenses related to rabies exposures, but they only reimburse for the rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin. Since the ER decided to give me a tetanus shot on Day 0 NYS won't reimburse me, even though my out of pocket would have been $150 with or without this extra shot. Hooray for bureaucracy!

Totaling all this up, that stupid bat that found its way into my apartment has personally cost me $465 ($450 of ER co-pays, $15 of PCP co-pay) while my insurance company is on the hook for close to $7,000. My annual premium is about $6,000. So this one incident wiped out every penny they made on me and then some. I'm an otherwise healthy 32 year old marathon runner that ought to be subsidizing those who are less fortunate. Now imagine a family of four that were all exposed to the same scenario I was.....

Comment: Re:So much unnecessary trouble (Score 1) 564

by Tom (#47551643) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

It sounds like you've been won over by the facade of corrupt spending and wealth in touristy areas

You assume I was a tourist. I wasn't.

Russia is a huge country - the biggest on earth, in fact - and of course there are large differences between the various areas. I was in St. Petersburg as I said. It's probably one of the richer areas.

People don't love Putin because he's improved the country, they love him because like all dictators he's a master of propaganda and populism, or did you think all those photoshoots and the massive military parades each year and the nationalist rhetoric over Crimea were all just for his own personal scrapbook?

Russians don't care as much as we do. They separate private and business life a lot more strongly, from what I gather. Of course there's a lot of propaganda involved as well.

But you totally ignored that main argument I made. That no matter what you see Russia as today, compared to the very recent past it has improved dramatically, and those improvements started with Putin taking office. Whether its true or not, a lot of people see a connection.

Comment: Re:Institutional hypocrisy (Score 1) 183

You see, the scenario you outline isn't all that different from what happened at the beginning of the 20th century.

Except for two world wars, a totally changed global economical and political environment and, oh yes, the EU itself.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Europe was a mess of countries all out for blood, with century-old hatreds and politicians just waiting for an opportunity to start a war. Which is kind of exactly what happened just a few years into the 20th century.

Yeah... it would be absolutely the same... keep dreaming.

Comment: Re:Institutional hypocrisy (Score 1) 183

I agree with your main point, btw.

However, both on paper and from real-world experience, I dare to say that the judicative is the least troubled arm.

In most of Europe, the legislative and executive are pretty much identical and that bothers me to no end. Parliament passes laws and parliament elects the executive, and all the executives (ministers, etc.) are also members of parliament. These two arms are not seperated at all. The USA has the better system there, even though it is still imperfect in that the same parties exist in both.

If I were to re-write the political rules, I'd seperate the arms completely and make a law that political parties can be active in either the executive or the legistlative election processes, but not in both and any attempt to do so leads to immediate dissolution of the party in question with all assets seized and distributed to the poor.

Comment: Re:So much unnecessary trouble (Score 1) 564

by Tom (#47547949) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

If Putin were to back down and support a peaceful resolution whose outcome might not satisfy Russian nationalists, he could find himself out of power.

Highly unlikely. Putin is beloved by the majority of russians, because under his government economy and internal security have improved dramatically. Most russians remember the 1990s when people were shot in the streets regularily, the way you only see in some old movies about when the Mafia ruled in some US cities. Compared to that time, they live in paradise now, and many attribute this change to Putin. Don't expect him to be out of power anytime soon. As for the russian elite, a lot of them own their fortune to this change. Never mistake criticism for opposition. Especially among politicians and the rich, it is fairly common to complain loudly about someone and still support them when it matters, because all the complaining and seeming hostility is simply an attempt to move them on certain topics.

Comment: Re:So much unnecessary trouble (Score 1) 564

by Tom (#47547927) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

The last thing Putin wants is a country with a lot of relatives of Russians getting the EU treatment and finding out how nice it is to be out of their largely lawless, virtual dictatorship of a state.

You should update your propaganda-driven beliefs. I've got a russian girlfriend and I've been to Russia myself. At least for where I was (St. Petersburg), it looks much like any european city, except more beautiful (but that's a St. Petersburg special, they made very sure to keep all the old palaces and buildings in shape).

Crime was horrible in the 1990s, my girlfriend says, but here's why most russians actually love Putin: Since he became the top dog, things have been continuously improving. Crime is low, economy is good, of course nothing is perfect, but compared to previous times, they're pretty great.

From what I've seen in daily life, I don't see anything that would make them jealous of a random EU member country. Supermarkets are full of basically the same products I can buy here, everyone has a car, public transport is better than in some european cities, the streets are in good condition and clean, I felt safe both at day and at night.

Of course Putin doesn't want Ukraine to join the EU. But that they will all be able to suddenly buy bananas and thus run away from communism is 1990s stuff and long since outdated.

Surprise your boss. Get to work on time.