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Comment Re:Hammerheads in Vermont (Score 1) 577

Nope. We've just been something that you USians have a problem with. Fiscally conservative. Our social programmes of course have to be sustainable.

Whether we're "socialist" or not, isn't really a useful moniker, as you mean different things. The Social Democratic Workers Party is currently in government (together with the greens), and we have a decidedly mixed economy, much to the left of the US, so "social democratic" is a useful descriptive label.

Yes, the US looks good if you take all the money that the 0.1% controls and spreads it evenly across the country. Problem is that that isn't nearly true. Not even close. If you check almost all other quality of life indices, Sweden/Norway/Denmark/Finland etc. routinely come out on top.

Are there challenges with the current influx of refugees? Yes of course. That's why we've "closed" the border. It's the only thing we can do. We'll manage that as well, given how we're now running a record economy with record exports and a very positive trade balance.

Fiscally and financially we're of course doing much better than the US. But then again, that's not that hard these days, and haven't been for a long time.

P.S. I'm not sure the economist you refer to would prefer to be referred to as "she", but who knows.

Comment Re:Hammerheads in Vermont (Score 1) 577

By the way, if you want to get the story from a Swedish economist...

By which to say you mean an economist living and working for a British conservative think-tank in London, cherry picking quotes from the late nineties (news flash, economy is better than it was then, not worse), then sure. The senator from Vermont actually has a demonstrably bigger clue about current affairs, then a guy with an agenda. Who would have thunk?

That's the problem with economics not being a science after all. There are too many people with an agenda that find their home there, and reality be damned.

Comment Re:Of course it is. (Score 1) 286

The Space Shuttle did not directly use any military components, but the design was informed by the capabilities of the military-industrial complex.

And looking at the whole shuttle system, not just the launch system, the shuttle's design was driven by military requirements (wouldn't have had the same wing area without them), and there were several classified missions flown. So overall, while it can't be claimed to be a "military product" it wasn't as "civilian" as one might think, instead clearly in the "dual use" category by purpose. (Even though the US Air Force as you say, largely abandoned it after Challenger).

Comment Re:The end (Score 1) 173

And that's completely ignoring the many positive signs, and our documented ability to deal with similar problems. (I'm old enough to have first hand experience of the last two major ones, and we came out of both smelling like roses. Compared to e.g. the US, which seem to be fundamentally incapable to deal with their deficit no matter what.).

You're also completely ignoring the many positive signs towards dealing with our current problems.

So, you've committed the classic problem of foretelling doom and gloom, on par with Stellan LundstrÃm. ("Exports seems to be ... will be reduced ... if reduced ... seems ..." etc. etc.) And it's funny. He never seems to be right, even though he's been at it for a very long time now. Even a broken clock and all that.

So of course, if you foretell doom and gloom you will of course be right eventually, but you're the kind of guy that says that "since we're producing record numbers right now, things will only get worse". While that's trivially true, that's all it is. Trivial.

Sweden has a robust and diversified export economy (as opposed to Norway), and there aren't any signs that's about to change. Current immigration is a challenge, but there are clear signs that problem will be dealt with (in many different ways) in fairly short order, so no long term threat there.

Comment Re:The end (Score 1) 173

Sweden is not doing great. Most of their GDP increase is fueled by migration related activities and financed by borrowed money.

Nope. Not even close. Sweden is doing exceptionally well right now, and our government spending is well within bounds, the current refugee crisis notwithstanding. Our economy is as always driven by export, with the manufacturing industry again having retaken the export crown. No "migration" in sight, and our economy is most certainly em not driven by housing costs. (In fact it's putting a damper on our economy as a whole). Borrowing to fund spending was many years ago.

That Norway is in deeper trouble long term is true, as its economy is much too dependent on oil. However, with so much money put away for a rainy day, those problems are far far away. Even the Norwegians should be able to plan ahead with that much warning. And as a result of the krona losing in value other exports are doing much better.

Really, where do you get this stuff from?

Comment Re:Why not call it the honor bit (Score 1) 105

It's asking you to respect your own honor and integrity by not taking something the owner is willing to share but not give to you. The logic that says because determined dishonorable people will do it that it should be honorable for me to do it beggars belief.

What? First, the reason copyright exists is because I tolerate it. That's why there is law that says that I can copy a TV show, not only law that says that it's illegal. So there is no "owner" that's willing to "share" but "not give" as there is no owner that has that option!. We haven't given them that option, and that's that. We've given them a limited say in who gets to copy what, under what circumstances, and that's it. If they don't like to live under those limits, then by all means, don't let the door hit your collective arses on the way out.

Furthermore, you've got the argument completely backwards. They're the ones saying that "We absolutely need this otherwise we'll be robbed blind and reduced to begging in the streets". We then, rightly point out that you don't seem that poor to me, even though everybody's supposedly "stealing" your stuff left and right, so you don't get to curtail all our use, through technological means, what the law wouldn't allow. Since it patently doesn't work, and cannot work, and you're doing fine, you don't have a leg to stand on! In either case it's our decision, not yours.

Comment Re: Militant Slashdot (Score 1) 295

Nope, it's not "incredibly" easy to convert a AR-15 to fully automatic.

Older receivers were easier but still required permanent modifications that made the receiver a "machine gun" in the eyes of the law, with no way to restore it, short of welding (and welding aluminium is tricky).

Modern receivers require machining and quite a number of different small parts to become fully automatic. Now, is that machining particularly difficult? No, but then again, if you have the tools and knowledge to do that, building a fully automatic firearm from scratch is "easy", as it's not particularly difficult to do without such knowledge and tools (the Sten only cost a quid or two to manufacture during WWII for a reason).

So, yes, as an adult you should be terrified as the difference between a semi auto receiver and non registered fully automatic one is ten years in jail and a $100,000 fine. As others have already mentioned, a fully automatic assault rifle isn't measurably more dangerous in trained hands than a semi auto one. The fully automatic fire is only really effective in the assault, to basically provide your own covering fire, and since that tactic a) haven't been popular with infantry forces in the past several decades, and b) is only useful against an armed and prepared opponent anyway (i.e. it's superflous/not applicable in most civilian settings), there isn't really much extra effect to be had from fully automatic capability. (The one semi recent such shooting we've had in Sweden with an assault rifle, the perpetrator didn't actually use the fully automatic capability much. In the more recent Norwegian case, the weapon didn't have any fully automatic capability, and that of course had no discernible bearing on the outcome.

That's of course not to say that its a good thing that crazy people have easy access to capable firearms, but whether your efforts should be aimed at the "capable firearm" or "crazy" that's not at all clear. We have very strict weapons regulations in Sweden, and that obviously haven't had one bit of effect on the recent spree of shootings; with fully automatic AK-47 type rifles that were fired on automatic in one case even. But again it's not clear that the automatic fire had any effect that the same volume of semi automatic fire wouldn't have had. It's as others have said, probably the other way around. (And in China petrol and knives have been used in lieu of a firearm, so there's no simple solution, like the people so singularly set on banning guns would have you believe.)

Comment Re:TV DIED with LONG paid for ads by the consumers (Score 1) 164

In Norway though, it's similar in that it's the presence of a receiver that counts, BUT you can have your receiver disabled and not have to pay the TV-license. Which you can't in Sweden. There's nothing stopping you from using a screen without a receiver and just watch Netflix etc. though (radios fortunately no longer count).

And it wasn't actually common sense in in the TV-licensing authorities that changed their interpretation of the law. It was the court clarifying the interpretation for them. The licensing authority were taken to court and lost. Chalk one up for judiciary, where evidently common sense was more common.

Comment Re:It's really too soon for this post. (Score 1) 118

Cost. Drilling or production rigs are a couple of magnitudes more expensive than the barge they use now. As it seems to be, almost sort of, working, there's no need to spend that much extra. They're trying to be the cheaper alternative to the likes of the ULA, remember? ;-) (You can always buy a bigger one later, but if you start with too big, then that's sunk cost).

(The ULA OTOH would probably have bought two brand new off shore platforms, ice rated ones, and gold plated them. Just because... ;-))

Comment Re:That, and with contractual agreement not to use (Score 1) 127

I'm afraid that EU privacy laws and practices are widely misunderstood.

No argument there. Quoting from your own citation:

"The employer acted within its disciplinary powers since, as the domestic courts found, it had accessed the Yahoo Messenger account on the assumption that the information in question had been related to professional activities and that such access had therefore been legitimate."

Tom De Cordier, a lawyer at CMS DeBacker in Brussels, said the court had taken a "very liberal stance".

He said: "Much of the courtâ(TM)s decision seems to be based on the fact that the employee had claimed that the relevant communications were of a professional nature."

The case in question was one where the company had accessed communications in the belief that they were not private, as the culprit claimed they weren't. The court, when challenged, then said that that was not unreasonable (as I assume most would agree), as that it was reasonable to then take that information into account (which is dodgier but I'll let it slide for now). But as you're taught in the corporate world here in Sweden if you clearly mark something as "private" (say a folder on your networked storage account), the company is in deep doo-doo if they access it. Same as with mail. If it's adressed with my name above, the company name (and adress below), then you'd formally be breaking the law if you opened it and weren't the named person. Doesn't matter one iota if the company has clearly stated that you can't use company resources to send or receive mail. Oh, they can bitch and moan, but they can't open letters that aren't adressed to them, that's a clear violation of the law (and there are cases to prove it).

This case is one where the company reasonably didn't understand that the communication was of a private nature. If they had tried to e.g. listen in on phone calls without that being completely clear beforehand they would be in a completely different situation.

Now, exactly where the line is drawn when it comes to network monitoring, no-one knows, as there aren't many, or even any, cases yet. But that fact alone points to the corporations knowing that they're in a weak position. They always use something else, such as non-performance of duties, when it comes to the court.

Comment Re:That, and with contractual agreement not to use (Score 1) 127

Most international and US domestic employees include clauses in the employee contract that explicitly permit company monitoring of content on work owned or devices, including work owned telephones and networks. There is effectively no "private communication" on your corporate laptop or machines you use for work.

And in much of Europe the employer would be breaking the law (wiretapping) if they did such monitoring. Ownership of the "thing" the employee is using isn't the issue here. I've worn plenty of work clothes owned by the company, does that mean that the company can ask me to strip? Or perhaps a better analogue, ask me to empty my pockets? Since, after all it's company owned equipment and I can expect any privacy as to the content of my pockets?

I, and fortunately the lawmakers where I live and work, think not.

Comment Re:That's exactly right (Score 1) 645

For what would you need/use the fossile fuel when your heating already is electric?

For heating, cooking etc. Just like the continent. When electricity prices triple (like they will when we reach German levels), then people will of course change their heating systems, as that becomes economically advantageous. We'll go back to (mainly) gas, again, like the rest of the continent/world. Hell, at those prices, we could see people going back to oil, as you could (almost) cover the cost of that. Since most houses have a water borne heating system (i.e. with radiators/in-floor heating) changing to another source is relatively cheap and easy.

I doubt that ... first of all the greens would need a majourity.

American right? In a parliamentary system you don't need a majority to be part of government. It's just a question of how well you negotiate (we don't even have a majority government for that matter). That we're set to close down our nuclear is already a fact. The decisions have already been made, and the laws are there, so there's nothing to argue about there.

And secondly the prices would only rise if the installed power plants would produce the power more expensive or some odd tax scheme would be established. Both is rather unlikely, e.g. fresh installed wind power is already cheaper than nuclear power from ages old reactors.

Nope. Prices are, like everything, a question of supply and demand. That a wind turbine might deliver electricity "cheaper" per kW (which isn't objectively true BTW) is of no consequence if you don't build the thousands upon thousands that are needed to replace just one reactor. Since we have been oversupplied by electricity and hence have been enjoying low prices will of course end. No electricity producer will build a couple of ten thousand extra wind mills just to keep prices low. It doesn't work like that.

Second, changing from wind to nuclear needs a new national grid, as our wind would be preferably put in the north of the country. To replace our southern nuclear generators we would need massive investments in our transmission capacity (conveniently ignored in the "cheaper" argument). Again no-one would do that to even replace current capacity, we're talking about a doubling of transmission capacity. It's gotten to the point that large wind parks in the north are now being blocked, because the transmission capacity to get the power to where anybody would be interested in it, just isn't there.

Again. If electricity prices increased sharply in Germany, and that's ignoring the transmission problems, that are only masked by the rest of Europe (mainly France) covering for the instability of the German grid, why do you think that Sweden could magically avoid the same fate? Especially as our power was markedly cheaper to begin with.

Comment Re:I would gladly jump on the nuclear bandwagon (Score 1) 645

Waste is a political problem nothing more. The "waste" from one reactor becomes the fuel for a different reactor. The problem is that materials used for making bombs is an intermediate process in the next level of use of that "waste" so instead of doing something productive with it we store it instead.

And while I understand the politics of the argument, and while I'm all for non-proliferation I don't understand it in the context of the US. It's not like you don't already have thousands upon thousands of warhead (albeit about an order of magnitude less than when you were at your peak), so exactly who would be worried about the US reprocessing its fuel? The size of the arsenal is kept under wraps by inspections and the like anyway, and reprocessing could be fairly centralised and kept under close scrutiny; those problems seen solvable.

So, while there are plenty of nations that I'm happy aren't reprocessing fuel left, right and center, when it comes to the US that cat isn't just out of the bag, he's not even in the same county anymore.

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