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Comment Re:No (Score 1) 499

Oh yes, let's live in a country with no government services. Companies are clearly able to regulate their behavior to stop pollution, stop creating dangerous mechanical devices, stop producing penis enlargement pills with the side effect of killing the patients before enough people cotton on and stop buying them, etc.

Make sure you are well educated on every good and service you use from the private sector, they have your well-being at heart. And please order ahead for your tombstone from Joe's Tombstones and Fishing Supplies, Joe wants you to know he'll be there for your corpse when you ate the wrong listeria encrusted salad.

Comment Re:Your mortgage got you stressed? (Score 4, Informative) 112

The auto industry paid most of the money back. Depending upon accounting rules, the U.S. lost approx. $9.8 billion to $16 billion. However, this does not count the dent in the U.S. economy and ultimately the tax receipts of NOT bailing out the auto industry (actually, just GM and Chrysler). That dent would have been very large and many people thrown out of work, not least the supply chain for that industry. There is a similar story with the banks paying their wad back.

Whether you like it or not, a government is a giant insurance policy. We use it to protect the people from getting whacked, something the whiners about the ACA conveniently forget (would that we were all rich and employed). One can argue the banks and Wall Street are too big, and I'd heartily support breaking the former up and reducing the influence of the latter or at least taxing those leeches a lot more.

Comment Re:Hubris and Self-Interest (Score 1) 281

Problems, I think, in general come about because some issue to be solved is complex with interlocking parts. It all the parts were more or less disassociated from each other, they'd already have small solutions, and gluing them together might give a sort of federated solution to something that probably isn't such a big issue to begin with, mainly because the pieces are already doing the job and the interactions are minimal.

The problem with adding people is lines of communication forced by interacting problem parts. One has to forge agreements, discover a global architecture (not some silly whack job such as agile produces), decide on layers of authority, etc.

Comment Re:Bullying (Score 1) 450

Schools do bear some of the blame. But let's not forget the sainted American people who have no problem letting Johnny do whatever the hell he pleases until he gets caught by the police. Or the parents who are busy praising Johnny no matter what trouble he gets into because they don't want to cause self-esteem issues. Or the parents that are too busy with their own lives to bother paying attention to their sprogs. Or parents who figure it is the schools' job to raise and discipline their sprogs so they can take no responsibility themselves.

Comment Re:More like "lack of clue" instead? (Score 2) 203

Scale, son, scale matters. The EPA is charged with overseeing a lot of very different technologies, any one of which COULD be reverse engineered with enough time, money, and the right kind of people. To presume the EPA can do this across an entire industry much less over several industries is silly.

Comment Re:Identity Theft (Score 5, Interesting) 161

I second this advice, I did this several years ago. It should be noted, however, that the three credit record agencies cannot prevent someone from getting credit in your name. The system relies on the intuition, and it is only that, that any self-respecting credit issuing entity will require a credit record (and a good one, at that) before issuing credit. If Joe's Bank and Bait Shop wants to issue someone a credit card in your name and doesn't give a flying rat's ass about your credit history, they are free to do this.

There is no national system to prevent credit from being authorized in your name, even to aliens from other worlds.

Comment Re:Gun-free zone? (Score 1) 1164

It might have to do with the inadequate mental health care in the U.S. with respect to other countries. The liberal and libertarian impulses that everyone has a collection of freedoms has been hijacked into everyone is free to water and nurture their mental ill-health until a violent episode brings them into contact with the police.

Comment Re:Honestly, sounds low ... (Score 2) 146

My guess is the $5 Billion is fairly low. Who would organize the redone software, every two-bit company out there would contribute and then claim they owned a piece of the result. it would be a cluster-f of immense proportions. Meanwhile, the companies that currently rely on it would be SOL for further updates for security issues. Then there is the cost of companies throwing up their hands and buying closed source because every two-bit company with their closed software stack would be promising bargains like crack dealers...errr...like they currently do but now with a more captive clientele.

Comment Re:The Nazis Could Have Won (Score 5, Interesting) 295

Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June, 1941. The problem, which you note, is that Hitler was military dolt. He split his forces and decided to go south to capture oil fields. Things went great at first, but Hitler didn't understand that a map doesn't portray just how big the Soviet Union was or that Stalin was prepared to sacrifice untold numbers of Russian troops. Because Hitler didn't prepare for a long campaign, his troops were left unprepared for the winter of '41.

Great generals do not make the mistake of thinking the enemy thinks like they do. They are able to put themselves in their enemies' heads and think like the enemy. Hitler was more or less a pompous ass. The Soviet generals were not all that great either, Stalin had already purged the good ones. Their hero, Zhukov, was more or less a bulldozer driver. He'd have never risen in rank in pre-war Germany. Of course the Americans had their pompous asses, e.g., MacArthur. Admiral Nimitz was once asked why he kept a picture of MacArthur in his office given that they never got along together. His reply was something along the lines of, I want to remind myself what a real ass looks like.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan