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Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 1) 883

When I go to McDonald's now, I can enter my order in a touchscreen terminal near the tables. Goodbye, one job per terminal. Or three, as they need to be manned continually and that means shift work.

I can still see the army of people back in the kitchen making the food, but I've no doubt McDonald's is researching means to semi-automate their kitchens. You can't get rid of all the staff, but you can certainly cut back the numbers.

Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 1) 883

The DNC did conspire against Bernie, but they had their reasons: They regarded him as too unreliable in the presidential election. There was a chance he would say things that were far too left-wing for the American people to accept, and his anti-corporate positions would be a serious problem in fundraising. Politics is a very expensive business, and if corporate donors refused to support Bernie it would have crippled his campaign.

The DNC were afraid that their left-wing grassroots members would nominate an unelectable candidate. In a satisfying symmetry, many in the Republican party were afraid that their right-wing grassroots members would nominate an unelectable candidate with a history of saying the most offensive things and no political experience: Trump. So the DNC did all they could to keep Bernie from winning, and the RNC did all they could to keep Trump from winning. The DNC succeeded in their aim, the RNC didn't.

Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 1) 883

Political affiliation is also a form of tribalism.

How else do you explain the strong correlation between positions on gun control, abortion, climate change mitigation and immigration? These issues have absolutely no relation at all, yet if you know an individuals position on just one you can guess with a high degree of reliability their position on the other three.

Comment Re:For them theoretically hacking a private org? (Score 1) 348

I must make one small correction: Being gay is not a crime in Russia. Not officially anyway. Police harassment is commonplace though, and they do have a law since 2013 which forbids any promotion of 'non-traditional' sexuality to minors, including any public statement where there is any possibility at all that a minor may see it. A law which the government interprets sufficiently broadly that they considered prosecuting Apple for including the same-sex couple emoji in the iPhone.

So if you say you are gay in Russia, the police may well arrest you for promotion of homosexuality to a child, on the grounds that a child may have heard you say that. And even if they don't, your local gang of thugs will come around to beat the crap out of you. And then the police will arrest you for provoking them, and let the gang off with a caution.

But the actual being gay part? Not a crime. They don't need it to be.

Comment Re:Syrian drones (Score 1) 154

While Christians were certainly persecuted in Iraq, most of the violence was muslim-on-muslim. The tension was always there, but the brutal government of Saddam was at least very good at keeping the peace. Take that away, dismantle most of the police force to rid it of those loyal to the old regime, and those simmering tensions quickly erupt into open violence.

Comment Re:Syrian drones (Score 1) 154

The Nazis were an existential threat. Russia was (and many say still is) an existential threat, and so the US built a great many nukes as a deterrent.

The Middle East Mess is not an existential threat. People worry about civilian casualties because they can afford to worry. If IS actually had the ability to pose an existential threat, you can be confident that many countries would not hesitate more than a month before firebombing the whole region no matter how many civilians were killed. But even the Syrian government is such a pathetic joke that there is no political will to even send in the army, just for cheap-and-safe airstrikes.

Comment Re:years behind (Score 1) 154

The most plausible theory I've seen is that it was a Russian weapon, but not necessarily a Russian operator. Remember Russia wanted to keep plausible denyability, so they were limited in how many men they could send - smuggling a weapon across the border was enough of a risk, but a crew of trained radar and SAM missile operators would have been worse. So it's quite possible the air defence system was being operated by a rebel fighter who had been given some hasty, incomplete training, or by a Russian covert operative who had no experience with such a weapon. This would explain why they were unable to distinguish a civilian airliner from a military aircraft, and why they didn't check against freely-published civilian flight schedules.

Comment Re:Serious question (Score 4, Insightful) 689

Just look at what happened in Iraq. The country was under the control of a brutal, oppressive dictator. America marched in, took out his regime, executed him, and celebrated at the introduction of freedom and democracy - and then it all went to hell, as it turned out the country was full of violently opposed factions and Saddam's brutal oppression was the only thing keeping them from turning on each other. So Shia-v-Sunni terror attacks became so commonplace they didn't even make the news after a while, and eventually Islamic State were able to form and rapidly recruit.

That's the Syria situation. How many rebel groups do they have now? Fighting each other half the time. Even a brutal dictator is better than anarchy.

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