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Comment Standard protocol (Score 2) 102

I wish the EU would force makers of messaging software to standardize the protocols they use so that I can choose to use the program I want to use. As it is now you have to use what everybody uses to stay in touch with your friends, so now I have to give the datasuckers at Facebook all the information I so desparately don't want them to have because Whatsapp is a handy tool that everyone uses. I would gladly pay for a program that does what Whatsapp did before it was part of Facebook and nothing else, but I can't now because I can't force friends and relatives to use the same thing I do.

Comment Re:Criminal (Score 1) 525

The end of your quote is the important part. They still have an effective two-party system in those places, its just that the identity of the two parties in question varies depending on where you live in the country. In other words, they have regional parties.

We have had that happen in the US. In fact, that's essentially what the founders thought would happen (if you substitute "parties" for "candidates"). However, that hasn't happened since the 1960's (when southerners were dead-set against Civil Rights for black citizens, but couldn't bring themselves to vote for the party of Lincoln).

Comment Re: How many people really support her? (Score 1) 525

The "theoretical" aspect you deride was terribly important to potential Democratic party competitors when they were deciding whether or not to run.

...theoretically. There's no proof whatsoever of this statement.

If they were to take such a thing under consideration, they'd be pretty silly. The Superdelegates are almost all elected officials, and like elected officials everywhere, have historically voted along the same lines as their constituents.. For example, rather a lot of announced "Hillary" super delegates in 2008 in the South switched their support after she got waxed in their state's primaries. She had a huge lead in them going into the primaries in 2008, and they mattered not at all then either.

Historically, they have NEVER changed the outcome of a primary race, and have never seemed in any serious danger of doing so. So any problem with them is indeed totally theoretical.

Comment Re:Why do people still go there? (Score 2) 347

Death Valley isn't really anything special. The Grand Canyon, othh just cannot be adequately depicted in pictures. It was probably the inspiration for Douglas Adams's Total Perspective Vortex, which would drive people mad by showing them their actual importance in the universe.

FWIW, I can remember a time when the US was indeed relatively lax, and it was Europe that it was a total PITA to travel in due to all the border security theater. Interesting that the shoe is now on the other foot.

Comment Re:Criminal (Score 1) 525

This is ONLY because the system has been rigged by the two parties to be a two party system.

No ... just... no.

We had two parties naturally form from the very first national election, when the "founders" thought parties were evil. Multiple times viable new parties have been formed, and every time within an election or two all but the strongest two had died out. Nothing more nefarious than human nature is at work here.

Any voting system with a first-past-the-post vote automatically has 2 parties as its stable state.. The only way to "fix" that is to get rid of all first-past-the-post votes (eg: No president, nationwide proportional representation for everything, people vote for parties rather than people).

Railing against "stupid" voters is as futile as railing against "greedy people" who won't let Communisim work. If you want people to behave differently, you need a completely different system that rewards them for behaving differently. Otherwise, you may just as well go to the beach and complain about the tide.

Comment Re: Criminal (Score 1) 525

They might poll better next election which helps get them onto national televised debates, increasing their exposure.

The only possible endgame of that of course is that one of the other two parties dies out, so that we are back to two parties, but one of them has a new name and possibly a new coalition of voters. That's what happened in the mid 1800's when the Republicans killed the Whig party, and its what happened in the early 1800's when the Whig party killed the Federalist party.

As long as we have first-past-the-post elections, we by definition have a two-party system. That's just mathematically (and historically) how it works.

You can think of USA parties as like coalitions in multiparty Democracies. What is a "party" in those countries, is a "wing" in the USA. Wings can and do switch parties. For example, the Dixiecracts, who used to be the spine of the Democratic party, switched to the Republican party at the end of the 20th Century, and with this election now seem to be running it.

The two major parties compete for voters from the various wings. It works very much like a multi-party parlimentary Democracy, except that its before and during the campaigns that the ruling and opposition coalitions are formed, instead of after.

Comment A life without steak ? (Score 3, Informative) 189

Look you can be vegan or whatever if you want, but I think I'll take the risk and eat my juicy barbecued steak. As for the methane : it contribute only roughly 25% of the warming that CO2 does. The reason are simple : the half life of methane in the atmosphere is short and the quantity of methane are 1/200 of those of CO2. And then enteric fermentation is barely above 16% of total methane emission (all farm animals counted, not only cows). Coal mining , oil drilling and treatment is above that , about 19%. Then there are other sources, rice cultivation (12%), waste treatment and landfill (12%), burning of biomass (9%) look up wiki if you wish for more details and more importantly : the sources of citations. Sure we should keep in check, as long as we don't concentrate on "cow" and follow other venue , like reducing coal and oil CO2/Methane emissions.

Comment Re:14,000 ABANDONED WIND TURBINES LITTER THE USA (Score 1) 220

whoosh. hint if they require massive subsidies to be viable then they are NOT competitive. anything can be claimed as competitive if you ignore the costs of generation.

There are an impressive amount of issues with this statement, considering its only 3 short sentences. In rough order of importance...

  1. The subsidies expired. They don't exist any more. The "if" part of your second sentence evaluates to false, so there was really no point in writing that it down in the first place.
  2. Carbon-burning technologies are getting huge subsidies unique to their industry (that have not expired). There are official ones, like oil exploration tax breaks, and unofficial ones, like being allowed to simply dump their waste carbon into our air for free. If they had to pay their own production costs, and taxes on their own profits, and to clean up after themselves like the renewables do, the carbon burners wouldn't even be close to competitive with the renewables.
  3. That's not how "whoosh" is used here. Its for jokes or sarcasm that the poster bit on, not for simply being wrong. S even if your criticism was right (hint: it wasn't), "whoosh" would not apply here.

Comment Re:If you meant ugly when you said stunning (Score 2) 220

Those of you who don't live near one let this Tulsan tell you, the unsightly looks of an oil refinery having nothing on the nasty smell. There's a whole quarter of our city that most folks don't want to live in if they can avoid it because the typical prevailing winds blow air from the Tulsa oil refineries that way.

I've never smelled a wind farm, but I'm guessing it isn't nearly as bad.

But hey, our gas is $1.78 a gallon here today because of those refineries. Vroom vroom!

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