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Comment: Re:Barely credible (Score 0) 283

by Arker (#47545991) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine
Russia is certainly a bit authoritarian, but they dont tolerate outright neo-nazis.

Whereas the Ukrainian putsch relies heavily on two overtly neo-nazi parties. Their members hold several cabinet posts including security and defense. Their names are Svoboda and Right Sector, you can look them up yourself.

Comment: Re:Slippery Slope (Score 1) 152

"The choices are unelected leaders, elected leaders or no leaders. "

That's not actually an exhaustive list to start with, and even if it were it still conceals differences. Perhaps it does not matter so much exactly how the 'leaders' are chosen, but instead their competence, loyalty, and relationship with the law? Perhaps even more important than their personal properties are the properties of the office itself, as Lord Acton observed?

The kings were filthy thugs, but they never dreamed of being able to visit the sort of horror on their 'subjects' that modern states have visited on their supposed citizens, in e.g. Nazi Germany, the USSR, Turkey, and many other places over the last 200 years. They simply did not have that kind of power.

Comment: Re:What's your point? (Score 1) 15

by Arker (#47541043) Attached to: Practical socialism
"By bulk are you referring to the number of people in the political system, or something else? "

The number of people whose livelihoods depend on taxation, if that is what you mean by 'in the political system,' would be one good proxy for bulk. Another would be the percentage of GDP spent by government, either directly or indirectly (through mandates for example.)

"If instead the argument is that government is trying to help too many people (ie the country is so large that government from a federal level is impossible and should be abandoned), I don't necessarily disagree."

That's a whole different barrel of worms, and not what I was saying at all. Power is the problem, power itself. It's essentially the same creature whether it is the local strongman and busybody or the national ones, except that the national level can obviously arrange for larger disasters. Devolving power from the national to the local level may be worthwhile, but it's not an end-all. Local tyrannies are still tyrannies.

A subsidiary problem is government trying to follow heart-wrenching but utterly inchoate missions like 'help people' btw. Government programs are easy to institute but damn near impossible to shut down, so if you have any interest at all in stopping it somewhere short of complete totalitarianism you really must come up with much more specific, well-defined, and suitable missions. Like 'provide a court and law enforcement system of last resort' or 'prevent Mexico from reclaiming her northwestern states' for example.

"I do think it is likely time to split our country up into 2 (or more) independent nations. Frankly I don't expect that our country will survive more than another 10-20 years without that happening anyways"

You know, when other countries have problems with different groups not seeing eye to eye on everything, one common remedy suggested by Merikans has been something called federalism. It allows the country to keep the benefits of union, while avoiding much of the squabbling, by keeping the central government relatively weak and small so that it doesnt matter so much which region controls it. Perhaps we should investigate that before splitting up?

I seem to recall some old white dudes named Jefferson and Madison and that whole generation even talked about it a bit. Nah, couldnt be. If they had, we would have a federal system here already, and we wouldnt be talking about breakup, right?

"Is regressive taxation not state action? "

Taxation *is* state action. It is the primordial state action, because it is the see of all other state actions which require funds.

"How about restrictions on health care for certain parts of the population?"

Restrictions on health care, like all restrictions on peaceful honest business, should be repealed.

Comment: Re:Why "morphing" (Score 1) 136

by Reziac (#47538935) Attached to: Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

No need; I'll just park out in this handy Montana hailstorm. Free dimples!

Actually, that happened to my old truck -- got hailed on pretty good and had small dimples pretty uniformly over its entire upper surface. Didn't do shit for its MPG. And after a few years the dimples went away (let's hear it for Ford steel!) and you couldn't tell it had ever happened.

Comment: Re:recoiling in disgust is not the same as apathy (Score 1) 198

It helps considerably when that state legislature is a part-time avocation, not a full-time career. Frex, here in Montana it's 90 days every other year -- not enough time to pass bullshit and certainly not enough income to make a living. So the nimrods who are unhireable except as politicians don't thrive here; you can't live off being a politician in MT. (And a lot of local positions, like some county commissioners, are volunteer.)

Conversely, look at California where the legislature is a fulltime job, and observe what a crowd of Peter Principles it's attracted...

And yes, I have considered it, because common sense has to start somewhere. Hell, there's a opening on the local mosquito abatement board... not every job has to be ruling the world. Fixing your little corner is most of it.

Comment: Re:Vote (Score 1) 198

I don't know about other stuff or what's current, but back in the 1980s Southern California had basically two telcos: Pacific Bell (good service and reasonable rates), and GTE (horrible service and much higher rates). GTE, being the poor little put-upon underdog company, was given protected monopoly areas where PacBell was not *allowed* to offer telco service.

Fast-forward to the massive restructuring that eventually turned GTE into Verizon, and now Verizon enjoys the legacy of GTE's protected monopoly areas.... which they remained even tho Verizon was now the 800 pound gorilla.

Comment: Re:yeah, why can't they suck boundary layer ...? (Score 1) 136

by Reziac (#47538835) Attached to: Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

Okay, since the effect is apparently speed-related -- your thought about channels underneath made me wonder if an air intake feeding a channel system could be designed to regulate that airflow according to forward speed, and therefore regulate dimpling, without the tedium and moving parts of yet another pump.

Comment: Re:11% fuel efficiency improvement (Score 1) 136

by Reziac (#47538793) Attached to: Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

So you do it on the sides (which naturally drain), but not on the roof (which doesn't), and possibly on the undersurface (if practical). The sides are about 2/3rds of the surface area of a big truck box anyway. But per this interesting comment from an AC:
the benefit is speed-related, and "always drives at the same speed" is an absurd assumption for a car, let alone for a big truck.

Occurs to me to wonder, tho, what happens with drag if you reverse the dimples (as one would to prevent water accumulating). Someone who actually knows, pipe up!

Comment: Re:11% fuel efficiency improvement (Score 1) 136

by Reziac (#47538757) Attached to: Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

I'm wondering if it's more efficient only in limited speed ranges, and at other ranges actually increases drag.

But nominally-identical vehicles often get different MPG (my truck gets almost double what other supposedly identical trucks get!), and that MPG can change over time as well, so given how small the differences reported are, in this case it may be individual vehicle variance.

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