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Comment Re:How much is an AG these days? (Score 2) 247 247

That's why there's a role for lobbyists, but of course there's tonnes of room to improve how the system works (who gets access, etc.).

there would be a role for 'expert groups', given these were transparent enough to guarantee neutrality, and given their expertise is confirmed by peers.

free roaming lobbies could be useful too but only if you make sure that that their prominence is proportional to social demand, not the money they can hand out. then again lobbies would be of course targeting voters and the media instead of congressmen, but this at least would be more transparent.

anyway, i fully agree: the fundamental issue is close monitoring of politicians. the fact that this so obvious and necessary feature isn't implemented already just means it's not wanted at all.

Comment Re:Not quite (Score 1) 485 485

If Germany starts forgiving debts for everybody, then the Germans are paying for someone else's prosperity

the debts europeans (not only germans) are paying were originally from private european banks who made big money investing in greece. europeans (and germans) should some day ask their respective governments why they made them responsible for those private debts.

people are right, it's not a loan. it's a scam.

Comment Re:Sunk cost fallacy (Score 1) 485 485

The money that was loaned to Greece has been lost.

It's not like they put it all in a big pile and set fire to it. (Or did they?) Where is all that money now, anyway?

according to a chief economist at the imf, about two thirds went directly to foreign banks. the remaining third went to greek banks.
http://blog-imfdirect.imf.org/...

Comment Re:title is wrong (Score 4, Insightful) 485 485

banks were mostly saved in 2010 already. the debt is since then public and will be repayed with european tax money, one way or the other.

plus a bit of greek blood, i guess, since they have no money left. this show right now isn't about banks anymore, it's just political. it's about destroying syriza, sending a strong message throughout europe and, well, try to make this failed system last a little longer. doesn't look good.

Comment Re:Totally sucks (Score 1) 99 99

I don't know the original poster, and I have no reason to accept what he's telling me is accurate - or even true.

he could not even exist, it could be a machine generated article, and it wouldn't make a difference. people just discuss the content, which happens to be the perspective of this imaginary guy, the perfect internet stranger. whether he's telling the truth or not isn't relevant in the discussion, unless you want that to be the topic.

Comment Re:Citizen of Belgium here (Score 1) 1307 1307

Citizen of Belgium here. That is totally cool with me. Please pay back the 660 euro per person that you owe us on your way out, though (in Euro, not Drachma)

sorry to disappoint you, that money was 'owed' mostly to private german and french banks, who knew the risk all too well, and busted. it was them who managed governments to buying that into public debt and bailing them out, so you now get to pay for their foolish screw up with your tax money. have fun with your euros, now, and go cry a river to your own puppet government. good luck.

Comment Re:Responses (Score 0) 251 251

My site, on account creation, generates a password and sends it to you in email in cleartext before putting it in the DB. In that email is a link to reset the password; you can't log into the rest of the site until you've done so. The updated password (and the original) are stored encrypted in the DB.

If anyone has a better suggestion, I'm all ears.

my better suggestion is don't do that. i don't even need to know the reasons, because there can't possibly exist any valid one.

oh and if you built that site yourself ... a very good suggestion would be stop building sites, now. this isn't about skill, it's about basic understanding of network fundamentals.

get a professional, you can retain absolute control about how the site looks and what it does but considerably reduce the odds of screwing up that massively or damaging other people.

plus, considering you current status, a very good suggestion would be to take the site down and get it fully audited.

Comment Re:"Are" or "could be"? (Score 1) 104 104

come on, it's sant joan ...

Exactly. So there are thousands of drunk people setting off fireworks in the street all night, and no visible police presence. No wonder a small minority of tourists think you can do whatever you want in Barcelona with no repercussions.

I'm not saying the police should stop Sant Joan, I'm saying that there should be a police presence in places where there are a lot of drunk people, and there isn't.

you're mixing things here. drunks get drunk, fireworks are set off mainly by kids with their families and these things happen in separate environments. none of this is a crime so police presence is not needed at all. accidents do happen, though, and even occasional vandalism. i've seen many waste containers light up on sant joan. firefighters tend to show up promptly. no big deal.

if you love this city it's a pity you didn't get a glimpse into the magic and the exceptionality that imbues this very special night. this pagan celebration dressed with a catholic 'cover' for political reasons is (was?) pretty unique and pretty deep in the roots of collective conscience. and although it has been very much 'globalized' and lost much of its charm there is still a lot going on for many. you should have seen it when i was a kid, with bonfires on every beach, on almost every crossing in the eixample, a freaking wonderful ... warzone of fire, love, happiness and magic. you could literally breath it. it was that very special night when you were allowed to do all things usually prohibited, literally play with fire, where generations of catalans have gotten laid for the first time. if you are alive ... what's fucking not to like?? :D it's sant joan!

of course it isn't the same now, partly taken over by the party-till-you-drop industry. the same one that is absorbing new year's revetlla and the festes de gràcia with their top quality product: cheap booze, extremely loud music and a license to piss on the streets. aaaand tourists, of course. you did know that you were coming into an underdeveloped country, did you? :)

but it's still sant joan and i'm afraid you just haven't experienced it in an appropriate environment. it's actually a family/neighboor thing, you won't find it in mass parties, which are just the standard screw up. as a lone stranger you need to be hooked up by some friend into his/her circles. people honoring these traditions are dwindling but should not be hard to find yet. and catalans have nothing against foreigners, you will be welcome, i guarantee you.

Escudellers is where the worst tourists seem to end up

escudillers would be the last place i would choose for sant joan! it's probably fine for any other night if you're ok with lumpen and it's sort of burlesque and dissonant ambient. i liked it a lot for much of my youth, i don't go down there much lately but it still is pretty much the same ... in a different way.

people selling drugs quite openly

i honestly can't see a problem with that. were you forced to buy? :)

Try getting a NIE (even as an EU citizen) since the hostility got ramped up last year. Now you need a work contract, padrón, and more. And try getting a work contract or a lease on a flat (to get the empadronamiento) without a NIE. Possible, but hard. And you won't be able to get your utilities connected without a NIE (and you have to wait weeks for a cita previa)

hold on. every local is subject to exactly the same process to obtain his dni (the equivalent of your dnie), which is mandatory from age 16. and yes, bureaucracy is nuts. now listen: i once lost my dni. first of all, it had already expired 15 years ago and i never had the slighest trouble (apart from some bank clerk being a jerk and having to call up the director, occasionally), this should already tell you a lot about how things work around here. i wouldn't have bothered to go to the police if i hadn't lost the darn thing. funny thing is that the police officer absolutely refused to issue a new one unless i could deliver ... (get a seat) ... the whole history of ins (altas) and outs (bajas) of the padrons where i had lived for the last 25 years or so. in my case that would cover about a dozen different locations. so i now would have to make a request to each of those places for the relevant documents. lucky me, i had recently made one such request and remembered a crucial detail: you need a dni to be able to request such document in the first place. guess what? confronted with this dilemma the officer just silently issued my new dni, an exact replica with the same 25 year old address. he told me to fix that asap. i never bothered, and you can bet he knew. since the i have renewed my dni once more. it still shows the same address.

i have to ask again. you DID know you were visiting an underdeveloped country, didn't you? this is how stuff works around here. it's no different for local or for strangers. strangers just have a harder time catching up.

there's still plenty i would like to comment, but this is getting too long already. maybe next time. anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts anyway!

Comment Re:"Are" or "could be"? (Score 1) 104 104

Nit de Sant Joan on Tuesday until dawn: tens of thousands of people (mainly local) dancing, drinking, pissing in the street, vomiting; I didn't see a single policeman all night.

come on, it's sant joan ...

I love this city, but the hostility from a lot of people to everyone who isn't catalan gets me down.

this is, of course, bullshit.

and how does this bs match with you admitting ' like 7.5 million tourists a year in Barcelona. The vast, vast majority are well behaved'? care to support it with some facts, apart from the obvious one that bulls do bully?

Comment Re:"Are" or "could be"? (Score 1) 104 104

Which is it?

do not apply for a permit, fail to pay insurance and tourist tax, and ignore Catalonian law that forbids short-term rentals of rooms in private homes

Phew... Malum prohibitum crimes: it is only wrong because it is illegal. Screw you, Statists, get back to enforcing the malum in se — you know, the kind of thing, that is illegal because it is wrong.

there's a reason. barcelona is a dense city and living places are scarce. for several years there's been a trend of people buying out flats for short time rentals during touristic seasons, specially in the most sought after quarters. that's good business for some but makes home scarcity worse for locals.

i'm assuming those airbnb listings aren't actually from people sharing a room, but from such 'entrepreneurs'. (this is my speculation, no first hand information here)

and the running naked thing can be a real nuisance for some, too. again, it's a tight city and drunks shouting on the streets at night won't let you sleep, plus you might find out in the morning that they have also urinated on your building's front door. not nice. that's probably exaggerated a bit in the media. however, it's still undesirable tourism.

funny thing is ... local authorities now could just scan those airbnb lists and start dusting off those houses. wanna bet?

"There is such a fine line between genius and stupidity." - David St. Hubbins, "Spinal Tap"

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