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Comment: Re:Economics (Score 3, Informative) 148

by Shakrai (#49340141) Attached to: First Nuclear Power Plant Planned In Jordan

You can push for the design output, but only at the expense of maintenance, and there's a glowing lump in the Ukraine that demonstrates what happens then.

Chernobyl had nothing whatsoever to do with maintenance. It happened as the direct consequence of an ill conceived experiment, which deliberately bypassed safety protocols, with the added bonus that the experiment was moved at the last minute from the day-shift to the less experienced night-shift crew.

Comment: Re:People (Score 1) 216

by Shakrai (#49285667) Attached to: France Will Block Web Sites That Promote Terrorism

I was actually referring to all immigrants to Europe, not Muslims in particular, though they certainly seem to get the double whammy of "you're not from around here, are you?" combined with hostility towards their religion.

Europe is traditionally a place that people leave so it's not surprising that they haven't figured out how to assimilate immigrants.

Comment: Re:meanwhile (Score 1) 342

by Shakrai (#49284229) Attached to: UK Chancellor Confirms Introduction of 'Google Tax'

You're quoting the Ma Bell divestiture as an example of helpful regulation?! Ma Bell:

1. Took her universal service obligations seriously.
2. Invested money into keeping her plant modern and current.
3. Was friendly to labor.
4. Threw gobs of money at Bell Labs for the sake of science, with no expectation of immediate payout or profit.

The contrast with modern day ILECs is telling. I'm less than one thousand feet from our central office and can't get DSL faster than 3mbit/s because Verizon wants out of the wireline business and is bleeding it to death. And who can blame them? They've forced to compete against unregulated cable companies while still meeting all of the legacy ILEC obligations, ranging from service commitments to labor contracts.

If Ma Bell was still around I would have had fiber many years ago. For all her flaws she put money back into the business and planned for the future.

Comment: Re:meanwhile (Score 2) 342

by Shakrai (#49284147) Attached to: UK Chancellor Confirms Introduction of 'Google Tax'

My personal opinion is that business should pay absolutely no tax whatsoever. All tax should happen when people extract money from a business. Taxing business is just taxing investors, pay and conditions of employees, or shareholders.

You left 'customers' out of the list. Many taxes are simply passed onto customers as a cost of doing business. Of course, you're exactly right, and I've said this for a long time. A corporation can only transfer money to individuals in the form of salary (taxed) or dividends (also taxed); taxing corporate income is a form of double taxation and at the end of the day is little more than a hidden backdoor tax on individuals.

Comment: Re:Free market will sort it out (Score 4, Insightful) 254

by Shakrai (#49284065) Attached to: Evolution Market's Admins Are Gone, Along With $12M In Bitcoin

You missed his point. His point was that something will always be prohibited and they'll just move into selling that instead. It doesn't have to be drugs. Explosives and other forms of weaponry come to mind as items that are either outright banned or at least highly regulated in most of the World. Are you going to legalize and deregulate them too? Laissez faire for C-4? It would make the Fourth of July a lot more enjoyable but other than that I'm not certain it's a good idea.

Comment: Re:I feel for them... (Score 1) 273

Quote yourself citing south vietnam please. I just skimmed over the past posts to try and find what you were talking about and couldn't find it.

Maybe if you tried reading instead of skimming you might have understood what I'm trying to tell you a few days ago. It was at the beginning of my second to last post, not even in the middle or at the end.

As for this....

but you were so busy pissing on the flag that you didn't realize I am such a proponent as well.

If you accused me of that in public I would fucking slug you. Don't confuse my annoyance with flag waving hawks and reluctance to go to war for pissing on the flag.

I'll accept you as an equal

I don't really care if you accept me as an equal, look your nose down upon me, or kiss my ring with reverence shown for religious figures. You're some idiot on the internet, nothing more, nothing less. I had thought based on your other posts (not directed at me) that we might have an interesting conversation about foreign policy. Then you started talking like it was a game to be won ("admit it or concede") and just admitted that you don't even read my posts. You're just an internet know it all skimming posts for individual lines you can pick apart. Perhaps you'll surprise me with your reply but I doubt it; if it's more of the same do not expect any further engagement from me.

Comment: Re:I feel for them... (Score 1) 273

As to the US violating its agreements, I note that you haven't provided any contemporary examples to back up your position. I will have to take that as your admission that you don't have any which is an argument in my favor.

Either back up your position with a contemporary US example or concede.

I gave you one. South Vietnam. Do you really think that saying "back it up or concede" proves your POV? Want two more? We have abandoned the Iraqi Government and the Sunni tribes that allied themselves with us. We're in the process of abandoning those Afganis that allied themselves with us. The people who have fought with us in those places are screwed. A lucky few will get asylum and become American citizens, the rest will be marginalized if they're lucky and lined up against a wall if they're not.

This is not pointed out at as a criticism of my country, for I am a proponent of realpolitik. At the end of the day so is the majority of the American body politic. You could recognize this fact if you stopped waving the flag long enough to read what I've written. This isn't a game, it's the real world, and America's word is only good as long as the American electorate is willing to back it up. Both our enemies and our allies are cognizant of that fact. The only one who seems to dispute it is you.

Comment: You're selling it all wrong.... (Score 5, Insightful) 95

by Shakrai (#49262365) Attached to: BlackBerry's Latest Experiment: a $2,300 'Secure' Tablet

I don't think many politicians would bother to use anything this secure as their records would be kept and likely accessible after a court order.

You're selling it all wrong. Better records retention for a politician? Pa-lease, that's like trying to sell a greenie an SUV because it gets great gas mileage. Let me show you how it's done, from TFS: "For instance, it can prevent data from a secure email being copied and pasted into the Facebook app running on the same device—yet allow it to be pasted into a secure collaboration environment, or any other app forming part of the same 'federation,' he said."

Sales pitch: "You see Congressman, the enhanced security framework prevents you from accidentally tweeting pictures of your junk that you were trying to send to a private audience. The iPad can't do that. Neither can your Android phone."

Comment: Re:Send a letter (Score 5, Interesting) 107

by Shakrai (#49262219) Attached to: Senator: 'Plenty' of Domestic Surveillance We Still Don't Know About

I'm sure there wouldn't be any consequences (to themselves) whether the spying is classified or not

If Senator Wyden actually believed that these programs were undermining civil liberties he could read them into the Congressional record with no consequences whatsoever to his person or position. He'd undoubtedly lose access to classified information going forward but he could not be held accountable for the breech thereof.

The thing is, and nobody here wants to hear this, all of the people "in the know" about these programs seem to agree that they're necessary. Even those Senators and Representatives whose political leanings suggest they wouldn't support these programs (Wyden, Pelosi, et. al) haven't outright condemned them. Neither has the sitting President, who may you recall railed these practices as a candidate, then reversed himself once he had the nomination and was presumably read into (Presidential candidates the same briefings as the sitting President) these programs. Some people "in the know" have nibbled around the edges, suggesting reforms and more oversight, but none have condemned the practices in question or tried to change them.

At the end of the day, under our system of government, you delegate decisions such as these to your elected representatives. If you don't agree with their judgment vote their asses out of office. If you can't convince enough people to vote with you on these issues then that's your starting point. Remember, soap box, ballot box, jury box, ammo box, in that order. Step #1 isn't even complete, unless you think Slashdot is representative of the entire American body politic.

Comment: Re:I feel for them... (Score 1) 273

I said that the US honors its agreements.

And you're wrong. I'm sorry but the US is no different than any other democratic nation in this regard. Public opinion will always limit the options available to American policymakers. We abandoned South Vietnam to an adversary that didn't have the ability to vaporize American cities, simply because of the body politic was tired of the war.

If you'd stop waving the flag for a few moments you could fully absorb what I'm telling you. I did not say that we would definitely not march for the Baltic States. I merely question that it would be as automatic as it would be if say Great Britain, Canada, or Germany were attacked by an outside force. You really think the American public would get behind a war for the Baltic States? You're talking the theory of power, I'm talking reality, the United States is a democracy, and you'd have to sell the people and legislature on the concept.

We are the head of a political and military alliance.

There is no "head" of NATO as such. It operates on consensus. No consensus, no response. As a practical matter, there's not very much the United States could actually do for the Baltic States without involvement by the Western European powers, so now we're talking about the body politic in other democratic countries, countries which are even more risk adverse than the United States. It's easy to man the ramparts as an American, we haven't fought a real war on our soil in over 150 years.

If members of the alliance can be struck without a response from the US then that diminishes our credibility.

You're proceeding from the assumption that the body politic gives a shit about American credibility.

That is one of the reasons Putin's actions were so unbelievably stupid. The US is interested in pulling out of Europe entirely. We want to focus more on east Asia. If Putin had simply kept it in his pants a bit longer, we'd have left and he could work slowly to gain goals.

Of course, claiming territory is only a small part of what he wants. He also needs to bolster his domestic political position. And for that he needed to get the Russians all stirred up with patriotic furvor. And so far apparently the Russians hate America more now than they did during the Cold War. So well done Putin.

No offense, but you don't know as much about Russia or Vladimir Putin as you think you do. In fairness, neither do our policymakers, not in the Executive or in the Congress. Start with this article and branch out from there.

And no, we're not going to meet them in open combat.

I agree that it's unlikely but never say never. If nothing else there is plenty of room for miscalculation. People in the know, who watch both Moscow and Western Europe seem to think it's possible: "Carl Bildt, the former Swedish foreign minister, said a war between Russia and the west was now quite conceivable."

In any case, this whole conversation started because I question your assumption that American policy treats all members of NATO equally. It might appear that way on paper but you've yet to convince me that the American body politic would march for the Baltic States (or the new members in the Balkens, for that matter) as readily as it would march for Western Europe. I'm a student of geopolitics, recognize the dangers in not upholding our treaty commitments, and even I'm not certain that I would be willing to march for them. I'm not sure how old you are but I'm old enough to remember when nuclear weapons were aimed at me; that's a sobering thought that tempers my blind enthusiasm with a healthy dose of reality.

Good day to avoid cops. Crawl to work.