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Comment Cows are not strictly herbivorous. (Score 1) 255

They'll munch on bones of other animals when they find them.
They need all the calcium they can get as they are pumping it out through milk.

Just like the way they'll go for some chicken nuggets if they are low on other nutrients such as phosphorus or iron.
Nature is red in tooth and claw.

Comment Here you go... (Score 3, Informative) 326


The reasons stated for banning are, in this order: gambling, evolution, use of religious symbols of other religions ("six-pointed star of Judaism", "the cross", "angles and triangles - Masonry", "Symbols of the Shinto creed").

So... the "Zionism-promoting" thing is invention and interpretation of Times of Israel, as neither Zionism nor Israel are mentioned in the fatwa.
Other than that, the entire thing reads like any other religious edict of any religion - detached from reality, one leg in conspiracy theories and religious paranoia, other leg firmly cemented in mental issues.

Comment Re: Wow, the UK is even more screwed up than the U (Score 1) 238

"While I thoroughly agree with your post - your choice of a 'good' third choice was terrible."

I don't see how this can realistically be blamed on Churchill, it was an inherited problem, and Britain was in the midst of war with barely enough resources to feed it's own population. What exactly could he have even done by that point? India was already defacto out of British rule by that point anyway because it was a condition of India's support for Britain in the war, hence why a mere 4 years later they were able to transition to full independence.

Do I think Churchill was perfect? No, his government after all was responsible for the treatment of Turing and Turing's resultant death. But Churchill did a lot of incredibly good things as well, the European Court of Human Rights being an obvious example, but his efforts post-war were what led directly, and indirectly to things like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Criminal Court, the EU and so on and so forth - institutions he either led creation of, or created the environment in which such institutions could be created have created decades of European stability, and given justice to and protected the human rights of millions.

If you judge him by the standards of the time he was far and away about the most progressive leader going. Of course, standards at the time were pretty poor sure, but it's still a night and day choice between Churchill, Stalin and Hitler - declaring him one of the worst leaders in history is rather over the top hyperbole, you're effectively basing that on making him guilty of inaction in not pulling a magic trick to resolve a problem he did not cause and could not realistically resolve, and ignoring the fact that the ideas he had and institutions he created are what have led to the stability and success of the modern Western world. This is something that is all too well being eroded as modern leaders regularly declare things like human rights as bad, or try and shout down the international criminal court because it dares to try and tackle war criminals and so forth. Churchill sought to create structures and institutions that would prevent or minimise the likelihood of the atrocities of World War II ever coming to the fore on that scale again, and to bring justice when they do happen. As much as modern world leaders are now fighting back against that, he has to date, been completely successful, and so if you do blame those 3 million Indian deaths on him you must also credit him with the 100s of millions of lives he's saved both in helping to push an end to the war, and with the prevention of further instability preventing further wars and war crimes since. You cannot simply pick some indirect problem and blame it on him without also accepting the other indirect good things.

Comment They've joined NATO in 1952... (Score 1) 153

Since then they had a coup about once a decade.

1960 one ended with hanging of Prime Minister, Minister of Labor and Finance and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
1980 one ended with 50 (official) executions and half a million arrests.

Comment Re:The wording (Score 1) 238

Because the reality is numerous studies (well, those from impartial organisations) have shown immigration is of net economic benefit to the UK, and not one single prime minister would ever be willing to create a situation where we go into recession because we've decided to cripple a number of industries just because of a bunch of blame gaming.

Migration to the UK was already controllable for migrants coming from outside the EU, and we already had a points system for those people, and yet, more people still migrate from outside the EU than inside, despite the propaganda meaning that even where we could control immigration we can't and wont. IIRC the most recent figures showed something like 272,000 migrants from outside the EU last year, but only about 236,000 from inside. If we really wanted to we could've cut immigration in half by just banning migration from non-EU sources already, but we don't and wont, because we need things like scientists, doctors, nurses, teachers, fruit pickers, and so on and so forth because no one here wants to or can do those jobs.

This is precisely why so many top Brexiters fled with their tails between their legs when they won the vote - populism is such an easy politics to get people onside because humans mostly appear to love being angry, so pick something to get them angry at and they'll rally around you. The difficult bit is if you win you then have to somehow square your populist lies and blame gaming with reality - this is also the problem we now have by way of increased racism in the UK. Politicians like Farage put so much effort into blame gaming and demonising minorities that hate crime is massively up, and an MP even got killed in the run up to the referendum.

Note that I'm not trying to generalise here, migrants are not a net economic benefit to every country - the number of Syrian migrants seen in some European states and the lack of the lack of suitable jobs for them, as well as migration into the US do result in net costs, it's just simply not true of Britain where they're net contributors.

Of course there are more than economic arguments, talk of integration (though I don't buy those personally - violent football hooligans born and bred in Britain also don't integrate, it's not a migrant specific thing, some people are just assholes), but economics is at the core of a politician, particularly a prime minister's calculations. No PM will ever put themselves in a position where they have say "Guys! I fixed the immigration problem, but yeah, your grandma died because we ran out of nurses, oh and taxes are going to have to go up to make up the shortfall in income to pay the police too. We're also out of carrots for Christmas this year, no one to go and pick them.".

Technically though yes, as an island, there's nothing to stop us from physically locking down our country as such, though even then people will smuggle across to some degree.

Comment Re: Wow, the UK is even more screwed up than the U (Score 2) 238

"So yes, getting things done in the U.S. system is harder, and it's easier for a few states to block legislation. That doesn't mean the U.S. system has greater legitimacy, quite the opposite. The state governments are barely accountable for their actions, and even a party with strong popular support can fail to get its legislation passed thanks to the byzantine electoral system."

I think you have a rose tinted view of the UK's electoral system if you genuinely believe it leads to greater accountability. Let's be clear here, the ruling party has 100% of the power in the UK despite only representing 37% of the voting electorate in this parliament, worse though, party leaders determine the direction of the country and are typically the figurehead that people vote for, and as such when there is a handover in this case, the country can be pushed in a direction that is completely against the will of the people. Theresa May now has the option to take the country in whatever direction she wants for 4 years despite having no democratic mandate to do so, beyond on one simple point, that we should leave the EU but with no definition of when or how.

The UK would be better if it had proportional representation, but it doesn't, due to first past the post, the UK's electoral system nearly always turns out what can be best described as minority backed dictatorship as the British system almost never turns out a party backed by a majority, or a coalition backed by a combined majority. The last government was the first exception in a hundred years where we had a coalition that actually represented a compromise goverment covering over 50% of the population's votes.

The idea of our system is that it leaves us with local representatives, but even this is broken and is in itself the source of the problem - at local level the representatives can be even less representative, in some constituencies a represented is elected with less than 25% of local support, this absurd situation means that someone who is meant to represent his local region is actually opposed by over 75% of the people that live there. If those 75% are liberal and support gay married, whereas the other 25% are an organised church loving, gay hating minority, then that representative may vote in a manner that the vast majority of his constituents are firmly opposed to.

Germany is one of the better examples of governance in the world. Picking between the UK and US electoral systems is like narrowing yourself to a choice between Stalin and Hitler as your leader when you could instead go with a 3rd option and just have Churchill.

Comment Re:Wow, the UK is even more screwed up than the US (Score 1) 238

That's not really a great comparison because Queen Elizabeth has no executive powers, whereas Obama does.

The reality is that the UK simply just doesn't have a president equivalent, the closest thing is our prime minister, who, as you say, also doubles as leader of the house. All of Obama's executive powers are held by the Prime Minister in the UK.

Comment Re:The wording (Score 3, Insightful) 238

Actually, from all the people I know who didn't vote they didn't vote because they said they just couldn't tell who was lying and who wasn't, so didn't feel informed enough to vote. It's not that they didn't care, it's that they'd rather make no choice than a bad choice. Their feelings on the matter weren't "Don't care" but typically something like "I want the best for my country, and kids", they just had no idea which option that was.

Of course, many people who did vote also had no idea who was lying to them, either they just decided the opposite, that it's better to risk making a bad choice than no choice.

The referendum result was clear, but it's certainly not the case that the British public made an informed choice. The result of the referendum was by and large an uninformed choice. Not that it matters, but I suspect if the debate was much more clearly informative that many of those that didn't vote would have and I suspect in a fully informed debate many people wouldn't have taken the risk. Ultimately leave won the referendum, but lost the argument, because much of what remain predicted would happen has happened - Farage admitted he lied about the NHS, other leavers like Daniel Hannan admitted they lied that they'd be able to bring immigration down now, Cameron has in fact left and we do in fact now have 4 years of dictatorship ahead of us, the pound has in fact tanked, and the FTSE 250 is down whilst the 100 is being proped up only by a commital of £250bn stimulus reserve (12 years equivalent of EU fees) by the BOE. Project fear turned out to be project fact, and team leave fled for the hills when their bluff was called leaving everyone else to suffer the consequences and clean up the mess.

After all is said and done it looks most likely that we'll end up in the EEA, paying the same amount we do currently, without a seat at the table, and having suffered a few years of reduced economic capability. The whole things looks like it will have become a completely unnecessary needlessly damaging exercise with nothing clear to show for it.

From that I don't think hardly anyone really had their say as such, I just think millions of people had a completely random stab in the dark. The number of us who had done our own fact checking to verify the claims from both sides (by actually looking up and understanding statistics on the economy, migration and so forth) and who were able to vote on the actual facts were an absolutely tiny minority.

Comment Re:When will they learn? (Score 1) 104

"You are wrong. They are lost sales -- just not a 1:1 ratio."

How do you know this, where is your data? I never used to watch super hero movies, like the Marvel and DC ones, they were never my thing I thought, until I did actually download the first Avengers movie and really liked it. As a result I bought it on Bluray along with all the other surrounding films like Captain America, Iron Man, and some of the DC ones like Green Lantern.

Not only was my pirated copy of Avengers not a lost sale, it actually has netted them over 30 additional Bluray sales now. So that's a ratio of 30 movies purchased for one pirated movie.

So again, where is your data? I'd wager not only is it unlikely that there are not lost sales from piracy, but there are in fact gained sales as is most definitely the case with me. Were I not able to download that initial Avengers movie, the industry would now be down 30 sales including a copy of that movie itself.

You seem to be making wholly unfounded assertions, without having anything to back them up.

Comment Re:#BlackLivesMatter (Score 1) 983

And modern liberals aren't authoritarian? To the point of legislating soft drink cup size? Or the shape of cucumbers in EU?

You are confusing standards with prohibition.

A law stating the size and system of measurement of cups used to serve beverages in restaurants is there so the owner/server can't fuck over customers with glasses that look big but actually contain less beverage than what the customer paid for.
Not really that important for Pepsi (until your kid complains to you asking you to fix the "injustice") but can be important when a bar full of sports fans starts complaining about half of their beer glasses being filled with only foam.

A law stating the size of cucumbers doesn't mean cucumbers of different size will be banned or thrown away - just that AFTER GOING OVER A SORTING GRATE the cucumbers of certain size will be used for pickling in jars of certain sizes while others will be sold fresh.
That's how you get your canape sizes pickles cheaply - without having to buy several jars of pickles and then handpicking the pickled pickles of puny proportions.

Both kinds of laws are there cause customers complain about being tricked by the salesmen or salesmen complaining about customers being picky - both sides demanding that the government officials do something about that.
Thus, the laws regulating standards.

Comment Yes, it is an issue. But not about robots. (Score 1) 983

Or drones.

It's an issue that now and forever every guy with a gun, who is surrounded by police or simply holed up somewhere and high on paranoia - is expecting to be exploded with bombs and perhaps robots.
And while this may or may not trigger a series of shootings of drones and toys - it most certainly will create a situation where now the perps expect that they are not getting arrested.
That it is a fight to the death. No negotiation. No deescalation. Cops will kill you so you must kill cops.

It's actually a bit ironic that Detroit depicted in RoboCop was actually mostly Dallas.


Bitcoin 'Miners' Face Fight For Survival As New Supply Halves ( 164

SpzToid quotes a report from Reuters: On Saturday, the reward for [bitcoin] miners will be slashed in half. Written into bitcoin's code when it was invented in 2008 was a rule dictating that the prize would be halved every four years, in a step designed to keep a lid on bitcoin inflation. From around 1700 GMT on Saturday, instead of 25 bitcoins up for grabs globally every 10 minutes, worth around $16,000 at the current rate BTC=BTSP, there will be just 12.5. That means only the mining companies with the leanest operations will survive the ensuing profit hit. "The most important thing is to be the most efficient miner," said Streng, the 26-year-old co-founder of German firm Genesis Mining, which has "mining farms" in Canada, the United States and eastern Europe, as well as in Iceland. "When the others drop out, that means that they leave the market and give you a bigger share of the pie."

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