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Comment: Re:So? (Score 1) 475

by kilfarsnar (#48026881) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

There is a good reason for private schools, as public schools can be staffed by a lot of retarded teachers, but if private schools don't do a good job, you can go to another private school, while there is only one public school system, and if the corrupt teachers find a way in, once they are encroached, you can never get them out of there, as they are all better at backstabbing politics protecting their own jobs than teaching your kids. It's like a quality education is the right of every citizen's child, but a free public education system - a communist creation without private owners that care about their customers, and through that their own bottom line - may not give you that after all.

Once we restructure our economic system so that everyone can afford to send their kids to private school, I'll agree with you.

Comment: Re:Uhhh (Score 1) 904

by kilfarsnar (#47994549) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

No it isn't. We made a relatively early decision in this country that debt slavery isn't acceptable, nor are debtors' prisons. We also decided you don't necessarily have full rights to your own money when you have an outstanding financial obligation, and that your wages can be legally garnished.

But we also have legal protections to insure that punitive and fiduciary measures don't create undue hardship. We have a pretty good system that does alright at balancing the risk-mitigating concerns of the creditor with the basic needs of the debtor, but in no way is failure to pay a debt actually illegal.

That fact doesn't even remotely justification the mindless advocation for it that the GP has. We don't need to have any Shylocks(and no, I'm not trying invoke the fact that he's Jewish) coming along for their pounds of flesh.

I understand your point and was mainly reacting to the poster's dickish opinion. But I do believe there are laws on the books requiring the payment of debt. You may not be arrested or go to jail, but there are legal consequences for not paying a debt.

Comment: Wow (Score 1) 904

by kilfarsnar (#47994413) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

How about we make it that much harder to be poor in the United States? What a place. If you think the banks don't run things in this country, just look at the way debtors and lenders are treated. Lenders must be made whole, even though they are charging a higher rate on these loans due to the added risk they are supposedly taking on. Debtors, well they better find a way to pay.

Reminds me of one of my favorite movies. "But now the guy's gotta come up with Paulie's money every week, no matter what. Business bad? "Fuck you, pay me." Oh, you had a fire? "Fuck you, pay me." Place got hit by lightning, huh? "Fuck you, pay me."

Comment: Re:OK (Score 1) 268

by kilfarsnar (#47993647) Attached to: IBM Solar Concentrator Can Produce12kW/day, Clean Water, and AC

Yeah, I want these fucking things all over my neighborhood. I swear to god if these start sprouting up like toadstools I'm going to start using them for sighting in the .22. I can't understand what the heck people are thinking sometimes.

Maybe they're thinking this is a great way to distribute renewable energy in a decentralized manner. But after reading you post I too am wondering what people are thinking sometimes.

Comment: Re:"Washington has always needed an "ism" to fight (Score 1) 224

by kilfarsnar (#47993213) Attached to: Where Whistleblowers End Up Working

How people can miss this one truth of government I'll never know. They all tend to find an "enemy" to focus the peoples hostilities on, and if there isn't one they invent one.

This is a good thing to remember when the news is telling us about the bad guy du jour that we must go fight against. Whatever they are telling you, it's bullshit. We may not know what the truth is, but whatever they are telling you on TV isn't it.

Comment: How Secrets Are Kept (Score 1) 224

by kilfarsnar (#47993121) Attached to: Where Whistleblowers End Up Working

And yet, when I talk to people about shady things that it looks like to government has done or is doing, I am told that if such a thing were happening someone would talk. Someone with a conscience would come forward and expose the shady operation.

Well, not necessarily. As we see here, there is a high cost to coming forward. If what you are coming forward about is classified, expect to go to prison as well (with the bonus of perhaps not being able to prove your allegation because it is all classified). People's sense of self preservation and responsibility to family may just keep them from talking about any nefarious deeds they know about. We can't take for granted the idea that people will come forward about crimes or malfeasance. Sometimes they do, and we should be grateful for their sacrifice. But many more do not because the personal cost is too high.

Comment: Re: Mind boggling (Score 1) 167

by kilfarsnar (#47983241) Attached to: Now That It's Private, Dell Targets High-End PCs, Tablets

BTW if you wanna know why the market is such a fucking mess you can blame Ronnie Raygun for forcing the retirement funds of the entire nation to be pumped into the market via 401K and 403B. Remember this next time somebody on the right says putting social security into the market would be a good thing.

Oh man, my brother in law used to be on that kick. Thought it was a great idea to put Social Security into the market. Think of the returns, he said! I replied that we already have 401k's and IRA's that can be in the market if we want those returns, and the fact that SS was not in the market was actually a good thing. When the market tanked in 2008, I asked him again if he thought putting SS in the market was a good idea. Not so much then!

Comment: Re:The review ecosystem is good and truly broken.. (Score 1) 249

by kilfarsnar (#47964141) Attached to: Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

...and no one knows what to do to fix it.

In 2010 the new Web was all about "user generated content". Today, the modern mantra is: "Don't read the comments"

Reviews and review sites have almost exactly the same problems as comment sections: there is no way to filter the ignorant and/or malicious from the informed and sincere. Case in point: there are currently exactly two reviews of my book on Amazon. One from a reasonably thoughtful reader (3 stars) and one from a troll who apparently has given Charles Dickens the same rating as me (2 stars).

There was a five-star review which was from someone who had read the book and genuinely liked it, but Amazon determined it was from someone I knew (likely because I bought her a book on the site a few years ago) and removed the review. This is a ridiculous practice--it would invalidate a huge number of reviews in traditional publications--but is made necessary by authors who try to game the review system in the stupidest possible way.

What do you think about something like Angie's List? As I understand it, you have to be a paying member to rate service providers which is supposed to make the reviews more trustworthy. I don't subscribe to the site though so I don't know exactly what it's like.

Comment: Re:At some point us intelligence changed (Score 1) 183

by kilfarsnar (#47944981) Attached to: Snowden's Leaks Didn't Help Terrorists

While I agree, I'm not sure how much of a transformation happened. If you look at the origins of the CIA, they were about making the world safe for American business pretty much from the beginning. That's not all they did, or do of course. But Allen and John Foster were Wall Street lawyers after all.

The CIA was about having an American intelligence agency suitable to face the challenge of the Cold War: the enormously powerful and dangerous Communist bloc lead by the nuclear armed Soviet Union which was further fortified by the Warsaw Pact nations, Communist China, and the growing number of Communist insurgencies across the world. Trying to explain the CIA as "making the world safe for American business" is silly.

The Communists killed 100,000,000 people in the last century in all manner of cruel tortures, executions, forced starvations, and many other crimes against humanity. Why wouldn't countries want to prevent that from befalling their people? Of course! The real danger is "Wall Street bankers and lawyers!" Please.

The Soviet Story - trailer

Well, you will notice I said they did things other than protect American business interests. That is not their only function, of course. They have a broad range of activities, I'm sure. I am aware of the Cold War, as well.

However, it is not in any way silly to suggest that the CIA does in fact try to make the world safe for American industry. If that were not the case, why did they assist a coup in Iran after President Mosaddegh moved to nationalize the oil industry, taking business away from Western oil companies? Why did they assist a coup in Guatemala when the government there wanted to reclaim land owned by United Fruit? Why did they assist a coup in Honduras when they tried to increase their minimum wage? Ever hear of John Perkins? He has some interesting things to say about what he did on behalf of the CIA and World Bank.

This is all a matter of record. I don't really think it is controversial to say that the CIA protects and advances US business interests. They could do that and fight Communism at the same time. It's not an either/or situation, as you portray it. In fact, from a certain point of view, they dovetail nicely.

And yes, the real danger is in fact Wall Street bankers and lawyers. But that's a different discussion.

Work continues in this area. -- DEC's SPR-Answering-Automaton