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Comment Re:'Free Trade Agreement' (Score 1) 152

Can we drop the nonsense that TPP is a 'free trade agreement?' A free trade agreement would be very simple. Don't bomb us or torture our citizens, and you can trade freely with us. TPP undermines free trade by forcing countries into even further support of anti-capitalism legal monopolies as a condition for not restricting trade.

It is kind of free, free of government interference. It's really just the uber rich fucks agreeing amongst themselves how to split up the world.

Comment Re:How unsurprising (Score 1) 152

The US is being gently pushed ( nudged ) into a beginning of irrelevance

I'd consider it more the US government trying to do whatever it can for the 0.1% of the country that pays for the majority of political campaigning, and screw the other 99.9% of us. And whether the US government becomes irrelevant or not, as long as the corporate overlords are happy, the politicians will be kept comfortable.

In the words of Number Two: "But you, like an idiot, want to take over the world. And you don't realize there is no world anymore! It's only corporations!"

Those 0.1% are not Americans as such. They are international. They have their money scattered all around the world. Dick Cheney is practically a citizen of Dubai. So don't expect them to keep this country in any kind of livable shape. Scrape every last dollar out of the economy, and go live like a king in the Middle East. I worked for currency traders when they devalued the Mexican Peso 20 years ago. Boy was that a feeding frenzy. History will repeat itself.

Comment Layers and layers (Score 1) 409

It makes sense. The powers that be don't trust the cops on the street any more than we citizens. They need to know which are subversives, e.g. refusing to beat on Wall Street protestors with enough vigor. So the NSA watches all police forces to make sure that their bully boys are doing their jobs, making the uber rich even uber richer.

Comment Re:Well (Score 2) 191

I would disagree. The idea that aliens are nearby, using the same freq we are, are transmitting something we will picky, and that we are looking in the right place in the sky... The odds are so very long...

So it's good that that's not what SETI is looking for. They are not expecting to find alien I Love Lucy reruns. It's any EM pattern that is not otherwise explainable. Many such patterns have been discovered, but were later explained away by the astrophysicists as spinning neutron stars, etc. Natural phenomenon. Likely signs of life would be something like EM leakage from artificial generators, not necessarily some form of communication broadcast.

Comment Re:Futility of certain laws (Score 1) 550

I understand the apprehension caused by firearms that can't currently be detected, but I don't quite understand what he's trying to accomplish in enacting a law that can't be enforced

It's not about making sense. It's about marketing himself as a successful politician when election time rolls around. That's why Senators and Congress Critters love putting their names on laws. Name recognition wins elections when the constituents couldn't care less about the real issues.

Comment Re:Well, it's something. (Score 4, Insightful) 308

If crime rates are going down, then why is my local police getting military grade equipment and gear?

Because people like you seem to think there's a need. They need military gear because they need military gear. Tautology, yes, but no less the truth in this case. Crime rates have been going down across the board since the 70's: lower rates of violent crime, less non-violent crime, less white collar crime, everything. The only reason you may get the impression it's happening more frequently is because channels like CNN didn't exist in the 70's.

A local suburban police force got an armored ram-car a few years back. They had no need for it. What they had was a bunch of federal "beef up the national police forces" money and nothing to spend it on. So they bought a tank. Some military contractor made a ton of money selling those things.

Comment Re: That's a shame (Score 1) 332

People don't understand that most fatalities from skydiving involve stunts of some sort: hook turns, base jumping, wingsuits. The translation from the French article isn't all that great, but it looks like he was attempting a hook turn and didn't judge the distance well.

People who just jump out of a plane, open their chute, and drift to the ground rarely perish.

That's not enough for some people. They need that next greater rush. It's just like rock climbers that start by climbing in teams, then free climbing (no ropes), and then solo free climbing (no partners). Needless to say, at some point many of them just never come home after their last climb.

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