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Comment: Re:"Obamacare Enrollment"? (Score 1) 721

by wytcld (#46720789) Attached to: Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

The number of people who have actually paid, out of these 7 million, remains a closely-guarded secret.

It's not a secret. It simply isn't a figure anyone has at hand. Generally you can pay for a policy up to 30 days late. The final enrollment date was the end of March. It's not the end of April yet. Even when it is, they will need to time to compile all the different figures from across the country.

Meanwhile:

More than 9 million Americans have gotten health insurance for the first time thanks to Obamacare, according to a new report from the Rand Corporation.

Most of the people who got new insurance didn’t buy it on the Obamacare exchanges but rather signed up with an employer, the survey found. Rand says that 8.2 million people have gained insurance from an employer since September — more than 7 million of them who had no health insurance before.

NBC

So that $95 maximum penalty this year, plus all the increased awareness of the availability and desirability of health insurance, has led to millions more signing up for health insurance. This is bad ... why?

Comment: Re:one warning came to pass (Score 1) 230

by wytcld (#46610151) Attached to: Geologists Warned of Washington State Mudslides For Decades

Well, you could either conclude "Too many warnings! I'll shut my ears and hum." Or you could not build homes under a mountain famous for its mudslides. If you build on an earthquake fault, you can build to handle a quake. You can fund repair of bridges, buildings and transit systems before they fail. You can avoid taking in too much sugar (salt it turns out is mostly good for you; low-salt dieters don't live as long, on average).

We do have the resources to vastly improve the odds. We mostly aren't investing to do that because we're committed to the joy of watching billionaires jaunt around in their personal jets and submarines, so are unwilling to tax them, because a hereditary aristocracy was such a good idea when Europe did it. We know our place as peasants. When the preventable disasters come, we won't even scream, because we know Jesus will take us directly to Heaven.

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 824

by wytcld (#46603091) Attached to: Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

Being conservative is not a protected class. It's not that rare at certain kinds of companies for people to be shown the door if they're "outed" as a conservative (possibly the most famous being the editor of Playgirl).

References please. Considering that 90%+ of those in the executive suites at larger corporations are card-carrying Republicans getting their news from Murdoch-owned organs, the "not that rare" and "certain kinds of companies" means what? That you know of one example - the editor or Playgirl? That the kind of company is one that is aiming a product towards relatively liberated, sexual women who conservatives, by and large, hate, and so having a known conservative as editor is going to be bad for circulation?

Would a seller of vegan foods find it advisable to fire an executive who is discovered to run a factory hog farm on the side? Sure, the executive is within rights. But isn't that a threat to sales?

Comment: Re:Instantly fired. (Score 1) 824

by wytcld (#46602133) Attached to: Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

Thank you! It's depressing how many top-modded comments think it's just fine to support truly evil legislation that removes rights from millions of people because freedom of religion. Or who think it's impertinent to ask a boss to step down for having furthered evil when that's been done outside of work.

This has nothing to do with religion. It's about moral truth. Sociopaths who can't comprehend basic moral truths should not be top executives of our corporations. If your axioms are freedom and equality before the law, then the right to marriage belongs equally to all adults. If your axioms are not freedom and equality before the law, then you're a sociopath and should be barred from positions with authority over others.

Comment: Re:is it illegal? (Score 1) 137

by wytcld (#46563129) Attached to: Silicon Valley Anti-Poaching Cartel Went Beyond a Few Tech Firms

Your sense of scale is lacking. A corporation with billions of dollars, thousands of employees, and politicians beholden to it offers you a wage to work for it. Your bargaining power is that you might go work elsewhere. If most of the "elsewheres" for your particular skills are similar corporations, and if they have colluded and agreed not to offer you a job just if you already are working at any of them, then once you have that first job, you are no longer free to bargain. You, as a single individual, have been decisively ganged up on.

A labor union, as a response to such power (and labor unions historically very much were formed as response to such power) is also a way of ganging up. Labor unions have never been as rich as the corporations, and have rarely had equivalent political sway. But to negotiate as anything like an equal with a gang - here not just a single large corporation but a gang of large corporations - you need a gang behind you too. This is an excellent reason to unionize tech workers.

Having corporations and government melded into one isn't capitalism, by the way. It's the classic Italian definition of fascism. That some libertarians want to have that mix with government being the relatively weaker partner and corporations stronger does not change the satisfaction of the definition. It's the melding that is fascism, not the relative distribution of power within the meld.

In a true democracy corporations are kept separate to compete with each other, and government is often oppositional to their interests. Workers are allowed to form unions as a counter to corporate power. This creates, paradoxically, stronger corporations, since they are no longer coddled by government and allowed to suppress wages, they have to actually be clever and productive to profit. Fascism isn't just a nasty name; it's an inferior system ultimately, even from the corporate point of view.

Comment: Re:How do food shortages make sense for warmer cli (Score 2, Interesting) 703

by wytcld (#46558523) Attached to: IPCC's "Darkest Yet" Climate Report Warns of Food, Water Shortages

First, we need some references for your claim that in the period when Europe was unusually warm there was increased overall agricultural output there. Maybe, maybe not. Second, Europe is on the whole on the cool side of temperate. It's way north on the globe. The larger proportion of the world's human population and agricultural lands are in warmer climes, many of which are already borderline in terms of water and relief from heat. If more wheat grows in Canada 20 years from now, but the central US is a permanent dust bowl, that's a problem if you're not Canadian. It can also be a problem if you are Canadian, since the US is likely to one way or another annex your land, or else insist you provide us wheat on very favorable terms.

Comment: Re:it may be good that billionaires fund science (Score 1) 401

by wytcld (#46498347) Attached to: NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization

The government, which governs things to some extent, shouldn't be looking ahead at all. Only private corporations and billionaires should look ahead. The government's job is to look backwards, with the goal of returning us to the past.

Yes, that will work. The conservative model of government.

Comment: Re:What the hell (Score 3, Interesting) 401

by wytcld (#46498261) Attached to: NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization

NASA's self-interest is in promoting space ships. If the elites who control government funding see that the best path for future survival is for their children to leave the planet, they'll fund NASA to build more space ships. Forecasting space ship demand is as central to NASA's project as forecasting widget demand is to Widgetronics.

Comment: Re:Makers and takers (Score 1) 676

by wytcld (#46466683) Attached to: 70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

When the federal reserve increases the supply of money, inflation is the net result.

That's an ignorant claim, based on an way over-simplified conception of how the money supply works. The Fed has greatly increased the money supply in the last few years. Yet inflation has been at around 2% or less per year. Just because you have a theory that "increased money supply > inflation," and can draw a simplistic model to illustrate it, doesn't mean that the model or the theory corresponds with the complexities of economic reality. In clear fact, your theory fails to predict the results over the last few years. Simple, "common sense" theories of a great many things don't really work when subjected to rigorous collection of evidence.

By definition, every country with currency inflation has minted enough currency for it to inflate. But there's a large number of countries which have printed large amounts of currency with no more inflation than other countries which have printed only small amounts. So overall, the correlation you're claiming doesn't hold. The picture is far more complex. A theory complex enough to comprehend it will not claim that increasing the money supply necessarily results in inflation, since that necessity is specifically disproved by abundant historical evidence.

Comment: Re:Makers and takers (Score 1) 676

by wytcld (#46466579) Attached to: 70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

The price of beef is affected by the price of raising cattle, which has gone up substantially because of prolonged severe drought in the American West. Buying feed is far more expensive than letting them graze.

This is not "inflation." This is the sort of cost increases we face when the weather is unfavorable. It's part of why climate change will be so expensive for our economy if we don't head it off, even if the current drought is arguably a return to the norm for the West after a century of unusually wet weather there.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin is a virtual commodity, not a currency (Score 1) 704

by wytcld (#46397619) Attached to: Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

If you want to haul away tons of gold you have to back a truck up to the vault, and physically crack it.

If you want to haul away "tons" of bitcoin you have to ... yup, it's just like stealing gold! Not really. Gold is safer because it's bulky and physical. Those are the same advantages it has in some circumstances over paper money. So bitcoin is not like a commodity.

Comment: This rumor (Score 3, Interesting) 347

by wytcld (#46333147) Attached to: NSA and GHCQ Employing Shills To Poison Web Forum Discourse

The notion that shills are poisoning the discourse itself poisons the discourse. Shouldn't we then treat whoever brings forward this notion as a troll?

It's not just the NSA. It's evident in forums across the web that there is quick, coordinated trolling of any discussion of climate change or health insurance - the main targets of the Koch Bros' web of disinformation front groups.

What remains to be seen is whether the Koch Bros' fronts and the NSA are allies in these efforts to poison the watering holes, sharing techniques and perhaps even operatives. There's clear evidence the NSA has spied for American industrial interests, for instance against Petrobas in Brazil, which competes against some of the Koch Bros' firms.

Comment: Everybody's a hero (Score 1) 388

by wytcld (#46109499) Attached to: Edward Snowden and the Death of Nuance

Look, Hitler was a fucking hero, to the Germans. There's no ultimate, single, universal scale of heroism. This isn't all being judged in God's eyes, and He isn't telling us who the heros are. Caesar was a hero, to the Romans, but not to the followers of Christ. That said, we owe more of the modern world to Caesar than we do to Christ. So we should render unto Caesar some credit for that.

There are some clear cowards in this story. It's cowards who spy and lie. God has personally identified these cowards to me. But heroism, by contrast, is always relative to point of view. Charles Manson was a hero. Justin Bieber is a hero. The congressman threatening to throw the reporter off the balcony was a hero. And everyone who is a terrorist to us is a hero to other people. Similarly, our heroic troups are terrorists when they enter civilian homes at night and kill the people there.

This doesn't mean there aren't "real" heros and terrorists. Just that the reality of both depends on who you are, and where you're looking at them from.

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