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Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 304

If you look in the FEMA site, they say that they provide gramts to perform repairs not covered by insurance. And no, they don't do a needs test. Now, the typical rich person does not let their insurance lapse just so that they can get a FEMA grant. Because such a grant is no sure thing. They also point out that SBA loans are the main source of assistance following a disaster. You get a break on interest, but you have to pay them back.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 304

I understand your point about view land being desirable even though it's a flood risk. I live a mile or so from the Hayward fault. But I have California's risk pool earthquake insurance. The government wouldn't be paying me except from a fund that I've already paid into. I imagine that the government does pay some rich people in similar situations, but as far as I'm aware disaster funds go to the States from the federal government and should not in general become a form of rich people's welfare. Maybe you can find some direct evidence to show me that would make the situation more clear.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 304

What you are observing is economics. As a city or town population grows, the best land becomes unavailable and those who arrive later or have less funds available must settle for less desirable land. Thus many cities have been extended using landfill which liquifies as the San Francisco Marina District did in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, or floods. Risks may not be disclosed by developers, or may be discounted by authorities as the risks of global warming are today.

Efforts to protect people who might otherwise buy such land or to mitigate the risks are often labeled as government over-reach or nanny state.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 304

Oh, of course they were caused by misguided engineering efforts. Everything from the Army Corps of Engineers to Smoky Bear goes under that heading. The most basic problem is the fact that we locate cities next to resources and transportation, which means water, without realizing where the 400-year flood plane is. Etc. We have learned something since then.

Our problem, today, is fixing these things. Which is blocked by folks who don't believe in anthropogenic climate change, or even cause and effect at all. They don't, for the most part, register Democratic.

Comment The problem with your explanation (Score 5, Insightful) 304

The problem with your explanation is that it's fact-based, and stands on good science. This is the post-truth era. Thus, the counter to your argument will be:

  • Evidence for a human cause of erosion is thin and controversial, and is being pushed by loony liberals.
  • We need those oil and shipping jobs, and jobs building and maintaining levees, not more regulation that stifles them!
  • Cause and effect is not a real thing, except for one cause, God is behind everything.
  • This is part of God's plan for us. The end time is coming, and when the Rapture arrives it will not matter that Louisiana's coast has eroded. Cease your pursuit of unholy science and pray to save your soul!

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 330

so far hasn't done anything irreversible.

I think the first victims have been farmers who can't bring in their crops. Just the people who voted for him in California's central valley and wherever else we depend on guest workers. I don't see citizens lining up to pick those crops. The small family farmers, what's left of them, will feel this worse, the large corporate ones have the lawyers necessary to help them break the rules and truck people in from South of the border.

The second group of victims will be the ones who need health care that doesn't come from a big company. It's a lot more difficult to start a small business when there is no affordable way to get health care. And that is the case for my own small business - I'd be in bad shape if my wife left the University. I think that's the real goal - to keep people from leaving employment in larger companies and going off on their own.

Comment Re:So... (Score 4, Interesting) 330

Donald Trump, unfortunately, satisfies a common desire among the populance to right things by means that won't actually right them. It's a desire to rid Washington of inaction by cleaning it out of the current folks who don't seem to get anything done: and then you find that the things they were working on are harder than you understood. It's the feeling that you can get things going right by having a manager who lights a fire under the responsible people: just the way that bank managers pressured employees to increase revenue or be fired until those employees started opening accounts fraudulently for customers who hadn't asked for them.

What I am having a hard time with is how our country gets back out of this. I fear Humpty has had such a great fall that there is no peaceful recovery.

Comment Re:VoIP with WiFi (Score 1) 99

I'll have to check when flying if they list what they block before you pay. I would think they would need to, but probably not.

The most likely candidate to work would be Signal, but I think that only handles calls between people using that app. It's all encrypted, so unless they block the app entirely, it should be good.

Unless they block ssh, you could use any VoIP with a tunnel, but that's not something the common person is going to be able to set up.

Comment Discrimination City (Score 5, Interesting) 155

I have to staff exhibit booths a few times a year. I absolutely hate that applicants treat it as a modeling job and send me their photos. My wife hates it too :-) .

I ask that they be capable of standing for 8 hours per day for three days straight, and that they be well dressed, well groomed, and personable. I will always hire the smart ones (you'd be surprised how many folks with a Masters or Ph.D. are looking for weekend work), and they rarely are the model folks.

I started putting "NO PHOTOS" in my ads a while back. I am thinking of asking folks to use a first initial and not indicate their gender, just to see what happens.

Comment VoIP with WiFi (Score 2) 99

So they're not enabling cellular service, but you can usually pay their extortion price for WiFi and then make all the VoIP calls you want. If you use Google Voice, it's just like any other call. You can also use Signal, Skype, or whatever.

But for the other 95% who aren't clueful with the technology, it keeps them quiet. In time that might change. I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years, most people only use data on their devices, regardless of whether they're making a call, sending a text, or browsing a web site.

Comment Re:Not completely insane (Score 1) 289

Nonsense. If you look at what Tesla would be making if they weren't investing in the future, they would be making a handsome profit on the Model S and X. The difference in capital spending between Tesla and GM is that Tesla is expanding, while GM is spending on maintaining their business. Tesla is spending to become a much larger company, while GM is spending to try to stay the same size.

Comment Baggage Fees (Score 1) 135

I've twice signed up for airline credit cards when traveling with my family because they offer to waive the baggage fee (at least for the first bag per ticket). Even if I hadn't canceled the card before having to pay the annual fee after one year, I still would have come out ahead.

Though the last time we flew, I went to Walmart and bought some carry-on bags that were cheaper than the checked baggage fee. Still, when flying with a family with connecting flights, checking baggage is nice.

Comment Not completely insane (Score 1) 289

The price isn't completely insane. If you figure that GM sells 10 million cars a year, but has very narrow profit margins. Tesla is looking for a production rate of 0.5 million cars by the end of next year and 1 million cars a few years after that. But Tesla has a much higher margin on its cars than GM. So if you look at the projected profits of Tesla selling 1m cars vs. GM selling 10m cars, Tesla comes out on top.

Of course, when Tesla is selling 1m cars per year, they'll likely still be expanding, so the profits will be lower, but Wall Street generally likes to see companies use their margin to fuel growth instead of using their margin for profits--it's always about the future.

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