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Comment Re:Perhaps globalism might be in fear for once. (Score -1) 1302

I expect to there be less government under Trump, I may be wrong though. I expect reduction in government interference to the individuals (and when I say individuals I do mean people who are mostly abused by the power, those who have something to take away from, thus businesses and yes businesses are people.) That's the only thing that matters, one thing, the only thing, the singularity of things: less government interference.

Comment Re:Now lets see. (Score 4, Interesting) 1302

You might be interested in reading "American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America", by Colin Woodard. The author argues that there are 11 distinct cultures in North America, which don't align neatly with state (or even national) boundaries, and that US politics is primarily a competition between two shifting coalitions of these 11 cultures, coalitions anchored in the Yankee culture (Democrats) and the Deep South culture (Republicans). One value that both of those cultures hold in common is authoritarianism, though of very different forms.

Yankeedom is built around and values a communitarian form of authoritarianism, derived largely from its Puritanical heritage. Even though the religious aspects of Yankee Puritanism have gone away, they've been replaced by a secular form of the same thing, which is the notion that while it's critical that the people as a whole have "independence", meaning they can form their own assemblies and regulate themselves, the individual should willingly subjugate his or her own will to that of the community. In Puritan days, this was severe; almost any form of disagreement with the community's religious and social values resulted in severe punishment. Individual freedom was not valued, and tolerance for alternative views was extremely low. Also, Yankeedom reveres education, and therefore the fruits of education, including progressiveness.

The Deep South is built around and values a hierarchical form of very strict authoritarianism, derived from that region's slaveholding culture, which enabled it to establish an essentially feudal model of lordly manors occupied by elegant idlers, supported by masses of lower classes. The southern planters placed tremendous value on "liberty" but it was the old Greek and Roman notion of liberty, which is available only to those at the top. The south took the "lower classes" notion a bit further than feudal lords with their serfs, but the southern class-based society wasn't just "planters" and "slaves", there was also a large underclass of what we might now call white trash, which was also expected to be subservient. What's perhaps odd about the old Deep Southern notions of hierarchy is that they were so deeply embedded in the society that although the underclasses chafed a bit, they also grew to expect a strong hierarchy and to respect their aristocratic leaders.

So, the two core cultures around which our political battles revolve are both authoritarians. Their allied cultures are less authoritarian, but it's the core cultures that hold the whip hand. In particular the left coast is very big on individual freedom and self-realization, but also has its roots in Yankeedom, including the trust in education and progress, which makes is a natural ally of the Yankee culture even though they disagree on individual freedom. Similarly, the far west culture is very libertarian but allies with the deep south because of its opposition to Yankeedom, rather than because it likes the southern authoritarianism.

Anyway, that's a flavor of what's in the book. You probably won't agree with all of it (I don't), but a lot of it makes a great deal of sense and I found that it really illuminates my understanding of the major political dynamics in the US, and has helped me understand why there is this strong streak of authoritarianism in a country that purportedly values freedom and independence.

Comment Re:Down with Putin - Down with Trump (Score 1) 270

I've heard Trump praise many people. I'd bet real money he doesn't own a copy of Mein Kampf although I've know lots of people who have read it as it was in my High School's library. I doubt that Trump will be nearly as great as his followers thing or nearly as bad as his detractors think. Regardless we have 2 other branches of government to keep him from getting truly outrageous. Putin doesn't have the power to be a threat to the US. His country is already suffering under sanctions now.

Comment Re:Retracting the Truth (Score 1) 65

They're saying that technically accurate or not, the article is misleading and doesn't give context. In particular, this supposed threat is almost impossible to exploit in practice, as it requires the attacker:

1. Knows exactly when you're going to swap a SIM card over or otherwise change phones
2. Also knows you simultaneously have a bunch of messages waiting to be sent, that the attacker actually cares about.
3. Also knows that you have gone into settings, and unchecked a setting that would normally be checked that warns you if a change in encryption keys has occurred
4. Has access to all the infrastructure in the middle.

That's a tall order. It'd be easier to just steal your phone, or hit you on the head with a blunt instrument XKCD style until you talk.

The letter also points out that the article discourages people from using a popular messaging platform over this issue whose security is generally first rate, encouraging them to seek alternatives that either may be insecure, or may be taken as a sign of guilt (eg Signal), making it easier to pinpoint dissidents with something to hide.

So, yeah, the article may be technically correct, the best kind of correct, but if it leaves people with a false impression, then it's probably right to withdraw it.

Comment Re:Not impulsive at all (Score 1) 1302

Yeah, I must admit I'm on the impulsive side though. The entire conspiracy theory that, for example, he tweets to draw attention away from the crap he's doing has two fatal flaws: he's always tweeted like that, and he doesn't actually apparently give a rat's ass if anyone knows he's corrupt and racist.

He's essentially had some luck in his life, but doesn't strike me as particularly smart or calculating. He apparently based his election campaign by studying Mussolini, apparently oblivious to the long term damage such a strategy will cause to, well, pretty much everyone.

I'm not seeing it. I see someone impulsive and thin skinned, who takes the easy route when offered, and has little imagination or understanding of people.

Comment Re:liar (Score 1) 540

What was she 'getting away with' - dare I ask? You seem to assume there were incriminating documents that she 'destroyed' by hitting the 'delete' button on her email account. And yes, she had her IT guy use a tool to 'really delete' them. So what? There is zero evidence that there was anything 'immoral, deceitful, reprehensible or unconscionable' in those deleted emails - beyond your assumption that because she's Hillary Clinton, there has to be.

The fact that the obvious, fairly innocent, explanation makes a whole lot of sense doesn't even merit mention to you. But picture yourself with lots of political enemies just waiting for an excuse to subpoena your email account in search of potentially embarrassing stuff to use against you. You'd want the ability to hit Delete and have it matter too. Again, her deleting stuff from her personal server does not delete it from the State Department's records - if it was department business originating - or ending up - on department accounts. Is it possible that she was hiding something consequential? Sure. Is there any evidence of that? No. Evidence of opportunity is not evidence. That's why she wasn't prosecuted. And y'know what. She shouldn't even have been investigated, since the investigation was about Benghazi, and her role in it was well known. She lobbied for limited aid in toppling Quadaffi, and bad things happened afterward. Not illegal things. That's it.

Comment "Quiet title action" (Score 4, Interesting) 55

The previous story about Zuckerberg's lawsuit caused me to do a little research. I have never thought much of the man, but there's really nothing wrong with the court action he's taken in Hawaii. What he's doing is a an "action to quiet title". Basically, he has already purchased the plots of land in question, from the majority owners. The problem is that the title to this land is unclear, because there are also many minority owners, most of whom really have no idea they own anything.

An action to quiet title is a court proceeding used to deal with such fuzzy ownership situations, to clarify them so that clear and unambiguous ownership can be established. It involves a process to find and identify owners so they can be negotiated with, or in the event they can't be found to legally remove their ownership to clear up the title. That last bit is unfortunate, but there's really no other way in cases where the ownership in question goes back many generations and has never been documented. The alternative is to leave the legal ownership of the property in limbo. I guess Zuck could do that, but if I were in his shoes I wouldn't want that... and I know because I am more or less in his shoes.

My wife inherited some property from her father. We have a "quit claim" deed that legally transfers the property to us, and my father-in-law had a quit claim deed from the previous owner, and so on back several steps. In our case, all of this was documented and recorded with the county (which is *not* the case with Zuckerberg's land -- so we have a much better position). Our problem is twofold: First, quit claim deeds are not warranty deeds, which means that while they're legal, they are only evidence of ownership, not a guarantee of ownership. Second, the legal description of the property boundaries was changed a few decades ago, and it's not completely clear if the new description actually matches the old one.

In our case, odds are very good that a title company can simply research the past sequence of titles, verify that everything is good, and issue us a warranty deed which guarantees our ownership. BUT there is a possibility that the research may find that there is additional cloudiness in the ownership, in which case we'll have to file an action to quiet title to flush out any other claims to the land and, if they can't be found within a certain time period (a year, I think?), to get a court ruling that we unambiguously hold title to the land.

This is a pretty common thing, and it's really not at all abusive.

Comment Re:Sad (Score 1) 364

3D shot/rendered correctly does add to the enjoyment of a film for many people.

Not me. I've seen a fair number of 3D movies in theaters, but I really prefer 2D. 3D doesn't add anything for me. I can appreciate the work and effort it takes to do it well, and to make it "natural", and on good equipment that outputs enough light it doesn't do any harm to the visuals... but it doesn't add to the story, and doesn't really improve the visuals. Beautiful cinematography is good either way, and nearly a century of practice has taught cinematographers (and photographers) how to depict great depth on a flat screen. Not that the human eye has any parallax-derived depth perception beyond a few dozen feet anyway.

So, what does 3D do? It requires me to wear glasses over my glasses, and it costs more. I suppose some people must like it or theaters wouldn't be able to charge a premium for it, but I pick the 2D showing unless there isn't one available at a convenient time.

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