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Comment Let's play a game (Score 1) 706

OK, some of the people here on Slashdot think that Hillary Clinton is a multiple murderer. Without (ahem!) a smoking gun. However, you're bright guys. Two goals are posited for the murders: defend the reputations of the Clintons and make sure that Hillary is elected President. So let's make a different list, a list of people who would be the best targets to ensure those goals. Now, Monica Lewinsky would have been on that list, back before that whole scandal broke out, but she's still going. I propose that Donald Trump himself should be on the list. Maybe we could even take out his vice-presidential running mate at the same time. It's certainly possible. Think of how most of the South Korean cabinet got wiped out: The Rangoon Bombing.

With a Dead Pool created, we can make predictions. If those people start dropping off, maybe we've got something there. But I doubt it. I gave up on this kind of evidence way back when, despite all the evidence, I found out that Paul McCartney isn't dead.


Comment Re: Clintons have killed tons of people (Score 1) 706

Please, check out the Snopes page on this. ( I'd like to point out that a version of this page has been debunking a version of this "body count list" since 1998! Many of the names on the list are misspelled (which tells you something), many have "links" to the Clintons that are ludicrously thin or entirely absent, and the last paragraph of the page is something that never gets brought up by the believers:

One final question to ask yourself before falling for any Clinton Body Count list: If the Chief Executive was having people bumped off left, right, and center, why aren't Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp on this list? At the time of Mary Mahoney's death — a death this list hints was ordered by Clinton — neither Tripp nor Lewinsky were the high-profile household names they now are; they were complete unknowns. It would be another six months before information about them would explode into the news. If the President were in the habit of having those dangerous to his presidency put in the ground, why didn't he order these deaths?

Comment Bad idea even if it worked (Score 4, Insightful) 373

I have to say that I'm against life extension research. My one comfort, when some bad person gets the firmest of grips on a suffering country, is that the bad person will die, and someone else with different views will take over. Imagine Stalin remaining in power till 1978 (he'd be only a hundred) instead of dying in 1953. Or Mao Zedong in power till 2045. Does anyone think the world will be better off? I don't like what President Erdogan's doing to Turkey. I honestly take some comfort in the fact he was born in 1954, and he's unlikely to be on the scene in ten years' time.


Comment Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1) 609

I think the US system is a lot more flexible than the European system, since it's a lot harder to create and organize a new party in Europe than to shift the direction of one of the US parties. The latter can be done one politician at a time.

Well, now, I wouldn't think that was true. It's easier to create a small boat than turn around an aircraft carrier. In Canada, which is arguably similar to Europe, parties start up, balloon up, and pop on a regular basis. Similarly, in Europe, I'd argue that it was easier to make the German Green Party or the Pirate Party an electoral success, at least enough to get its points heard in parliament and the press, than to turn the Democrats or Republicans into a Green Party or a Pirate Party. Think of the votes one of those big tent American parties would lose nationwide if they actually adopted a (for now) minority viewpoint. The urge to govern the nation squishes minority opinions, even when they are well-regarded and electable in one region.

Comment Re:Uh... haven't you heard of LiveCode? (Score 3, Interesting) 299

LiveCode is great in many ways, and I really appreciate that it is now a free download, but it lacks one feature that really made a difference to people who were learning HyperCard. In Livecode, every object is its own layer. In HyperCard, there was a simple, useful distinction between the background layer and the card (foreground) layer. People quickly grasped how to make a picture or button show up on every card or just one. Now, if you google "livecode background layers," you're likely to get instructions to add a background to a single card. I hate to say it, but I don't think that LiveCode, even free, can build the same kind of community that HyperCard has...simply because of this choice. It's not a trivial difference.


Comment Re:Duh (Score 5, Insightful) 818

You know, I think the surest way to keep politicians semi-honest is to have a multi-party system and its corollary, the minority government. Just in my own lifetime I've seen a prairie protest party (Social Credit by name, not nature) disappear, a major party on the right (Progressive Conservative) go from the largest parliamentary majority ever to extinction, a party that wants to break the country in two become the Official Opposition, another prairie protest party on the right (Reform) try to take national power, a socialist party (NDP) go from perennial third or fourth party status to being the Official Opposition, Canada's other major party, the Liberals, drop down to a poor third, the party on the right reconstitute itself, the Green Party get a member in parliament for the first time... And I'm simplifying. New parties are always bubbling up, and the three biggest parties go up and down and sometimes disappear.

Nothing keeps the rascals on their toes like fear of the electorate.


Comment Re: France is obsolete today. (Score 2) 506

England is a country that has been incorporated into an artificial conglomerate along with the countries of Scotland and Whales. These artificial constructs tend to come apart anywhere in the timespan of a few decades to one or two centuries. In fact, the secession movement in Scotland is gaining more ground recently than ever before. And similarly, there are now some new countries to appear as well as among many others the California Republic and the Texas Republic secede from the United States

Hilarious. The artificial construct that you expect to come apart in two centuries at most was established by the Act of Union in 1707 when the UK was formed. Wales and England were joined into one kingdom starting back in 1535. We've had an odd period of dissolving nations, mostly in Europe, since the end of the Cold War, but notice that Quebec rejected independence in two plebiscites already and Scotland is likely to reject independence in its own plebiscite, according to all the polls.

I suppose we can solve the problems with Iran by waiting for the Medes and the Persians to split into two nations? No? Surely they're overdue by now, having been united in 550 BC. Don't hold your breath, though, because one man's Mede is another man's Persian these days.


Comment Re:Wow (Score 2) 888

The problem with garbage jobs is salary. Don't put a salary only related to the skills needed, but also to the "unpleasenes" of the job. You will have all the garbage mans you want.

I think it was HG Wells who said that it was unfair that the pleasant, rewarding, challenging jobs were also the best paid ones. The shit jobs should be the best paid ones because they have the fewest intrinsic rewards.


Comment Re:Why can't you just be friends and get along? (Score 1) 282


On the surface, it seems like the Japanese government has repeatedly acknowledged its crimes during World War II. See List of war apology statements issued by Japan.

They have indeed. They have also repeatedly retracted those apologies. The strongest apologies have come from lower level officials. Even an apology by the prime minister is really like John Boehner apologizing for America. An clear and unambiguous apology by the emperor would carry far more weight.

Not exactly. An apology from a prime minister (and there are quite a few on the linked Wikipedia page) is like an apology from the President of the US. Prime Minister=head of the government. If you want one from the head of state, however, the emperor, then how about this one on the same page?

October 8, 1996: Emperor Akihito said in a speech at a dinner with the South Korean president, Kim Dae Jung: "There was a period when our nation brought to bear great sufferings upon the people of the Korean Peninsula." "The deep sorrow that I feel over this will never be forgotten".


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