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Comment Re: Uh, just pay extra (Score 1) 644

That's the killer question, all right. In Germany they pay just under half. They get health care and pension at 55, iirc. And they bitch about taxes and how expensive everything is just like we do in the U.S. But they basically have no homeless people and have seemingly solved a few other problems I see every day on the way to work (their highways are excellent, for example). And yet they still turn our BMWs and Mercedes that do well in a capitalist marketplace. So, I don't know if 46% or 47% is the number, but I know it's possible to be doing a lot better than we are if you just act like an adult, tally up the shit you really want and then pay for it.

Comment Re:Uh, just pay extra (Score 2) 644

There are only three line items over $500B a year: pensions (including SS), health care (including Medicaid and Medicare) and defense. Your "half a trillion" is a fairy tale. I didn't watch your video, because there's always a conspiracy theory to back up any contention. If we were spending almost as much on welfare for immigrants as we spend on Defense everyone would know it, not just the people who watch certain YouTube videos.

Comment Re:Uh, just pay extra (Score 2) 644

First, you are the government's master, or can be if you want to be. Pay attention when public opinion really swings against something. They jump through their asses like their anuses are on fire. Second, you owe an amount that covers how you benefit. And there's the rub. People want a one-to-one direct correlation they can follow, like a lunch bill. They don't consider what they don't see or don't see directly connected. But, for example, the state department and the defense department make the world safe for American business. They -- and their counterparts in other countries -- make global corporations possible. So the people who benefit more from what the government provides should pay more taxes. People like to look at a person getting $12K or $24K in entitlements and say they're making more from government. Meanwhile, Wal Mart can only sell cheap Chinese goods as inexpensively as they can because the Navy and the Coast Guard make sure the shipping lanes are open and free of pirates. Imagine how costs would soar if our ports looked like the coast off Somalia and the corporations had to pay for their own security, didn't have the State department making treaties and solving problems so they could do business overseas as easily as they can, etc. Wal Mart would go under about three months after their current stock ran out. So the Walton family should pay not only more taxes, but a higher percentage of taxes.

Comment Re:Uh, just pay extra (Score 1) 644

They have to work the public relations side just like those who want less taxes did when some of their economic peers weren't asking for a tax cut. Why invent a new standard now? While most people see any tax cut as an unalloyed good, there are always those who point out that something will have to go away for this to happen. If you pay attention or check the history tax cuts that don't come right after a war are followed fee hikes and new/higher taxes in other areas, as well as budget cuts and decay that happens too slowly to notice. It's expensive to run a modern country.

Comment Re:economic illiteracy (Score 1) 954

You need money to move around, whatever else is going on. As current events show, there's essentially no bottom to people's greed, and without some mechanism to force some money out of people they would hoard all the money while their workers lived in the dumpster behind the store and ate cast-off flour and rotting olives. There's no benefit to society there. I've lived in a (former-ish) banana republic like that. Nothing new or innovative happens there, because it all falls into nepotism or crony capitalism. Money has to circulate and people have to be able to create enough of a cushion to take a chance, go to school at night, etc. If we don't have that, we'll be out-competed by societies that do. If you look at our history we did best when the tax structure, minimum wage laws, the GI Bill and union numbers did not favor the rich, they moved money around to people who wouldn't get it in a purely capitalist society.

Comment Re:I'll have to give it another look.... (Score 2) 111

Pretty sure fluxbox (admittedly a WM, not a DE) does. From the wiki: "It is possible to force an application to always have the same dimensions, position, and other settings when it is first launched. These settings are saved in the ‘apps’ file. Most simple settings can be saved using the “Remember” submenu of the window menu, which can usually be opened with a right-click on the titlebar."

Comment Re:I wonder... (Score 5, Interesting) 50

I work in the parent organization for the lab in Edgewood Maryland. The lab in Utah belongs to a different command. I'm going to say what you probably expect me to say, which is that we've got really good people. We have people whose work was used in Africa against Ebola, who are working on bar-coding spores, synthetic biology, scanning suspicious mail for the White House and the UN, etc. If you remember the mission during which the U.S. neutralized the Syrian chemical weapons stockpiles, all the actual scientists and engineers but one or two came from our labs, and they also designed the equipment and went to sea to do the de-mil. You may remember it as the Cape Ray mission, but it should probably have been called the Edgewood mission.

One non-obvious reason people work for the Army is that we do things nobody else needs to do. So, for example, Edgewood lab is the only place in the country certified to remove level 4 hazards from explosives. You can't get that kind of excitement just anywhere.

Comment Re:Yellow Journalism (Score 0) 208

Actually, it's more like drama and conflict. A lot of these stories are neither sensational nor sensationalized. But they're little vignettes of drama and conflict that, taken together, make people think the world is a mass of horrors. Sensationalism does happen, but it's usually a reporter (or often headline writer) who wants to sharpen the focus or drive a point home. That pulls things out of context or balance and when people who know about the story see the article/video, they say it's sensationalized. Really, it's just been made more dramatic. I know: a distinction without a difference. But this is what I do.

Comment Re:News For Nerds? (Score 1) 401

>Only a pittance of it compared to the massive payouts made to other entities. And even then, it was only a small start, while the rest has snowballed on its own. That's by design to promote U.S. industry. The military does R&D that's so expensive or risky -- or so military-specific -- that industry can't or doesn't want to do it. Then it turns the technology over to industry to use it and eventually build what the DoD needs and then the DoD gives them a bunch of money for what they build. The government doesn't want to compete with industry, it just wants them to build what it needs. The rest, for example most of the technology in the iPhone, is gravy for the industry and the country. Full disclosure: I work in the clanking heart of the military-industrial complex.

Comment Re: News For Nerds? (Score 1) 401

Because 369 of them are to repeal Obamacare and the other one is stupid for different reasons. Remember, the government was set up so that the various parts could check and balance each other. One Senator can stop a bill if he wants to badly enough. The House, because it controls the money, can stops things as well. And if those two agree the president can veto it. And if all three agree, the courts can still kill it. The founders did that on purpose.

Comment Re: News For Nerds? (Score 1) 401

It's not that the Democrats are afraid (I don't think), but that this agreement has become how the Senate does business. They used to force the guy to get up and talk for however long, but now they just take it as a given and move on (except for the pre-arranged show Cruz put on). It doesn't matter what Reagan's situation was. The parts of government compromised back then. Now they don't. McConnell said it up front: our job is to make sure Obama is a one-term president. The whole tea party movement was predicated on stopping Obama. They did everything they could to ensure that and failed, but they've doubled down ever since. The other reason it doesn't matter what Reagan did is that we ought to look at successes, not failures.

Comment Re:News For Nerds? (Score 1) 401

Because fiscal bills have to come from the House and the Senate kills anything any single senator mentions in the same sentence as the word filibuster, the Republicans have had the power since 2010. Check Senate confirmations. Check budgets. Check government shut downs. So what is there to tell the Democratic Party to shut up about? And really, look at the news, the Repugnicants make all the best noise anyway. It's like watching morons channeling sociopaths in a shouting match.

Comment Re:Prepare Now (Score 1) 142

I keep bringing this up to my "you can get a job if you want one" friends and their eyes glaze over. It's inevitable, and at the same time unthinkable. Even my more liberal friends respond with the more of the same of what they think we should be doing now. The only person who seems to understand is a brother of mine who believes the "elites are going to depopulate the world" theory. I think guaranteed income is a start, and cutting the hours in a work week is a good step. But in this climate (in the U.S.) that's a laughable pipe dream. I think we should go to a freemium concept. You get a 3D printed house and a certain amount of food grown by agricultural robots on federal land. And maybe basic TV and ubiquitous wifi. Anything above that and you have to get a job and pay for it. There are a certain number of people who will just spend their time lying about doing nothing, but I think the majority of people will want something enough to get a job. Also, people who don't have to slave away at something crappy will have the freedom to try something creative. I think a world full of boutique shops -- like etsy but on carts or store fronts -- would spring up.

Comment Re:How many don't use the chrome part? (Score 2) 321

I bought one of the 11.6" Samsungs last Christmas. It's the machine I take to work/on travel, etc. I also use it like my wife does her iPad -- downstairs in front of the TV, up in the bedroom before bed, etc. For me, it's small, decent to type on and has no fans. I had an iPad at work and a hand-me-down Kindle Fire, but tablets are useless without a keyboard, and then you've essentially got a chromebook. I have a desktop running Slackware 14.1, and until a few weeks ago a big ol' Dell Precision laptop running Crunchbang. I could put something else on the chromebook, but why? I'm all-in on the google services. At $250 it was a convenience I could afford.

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