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Comment Re:Free Trade (Score 5, Insightful) 474

Are you suggesting that the both the employer and the employee should be forced to continue a relationship they don't want ... or that only the employer should be forced to, but the employee can do whatever they want.

Well, this might seem really weird to you, but the second scenario is how it works in pretty much every country in Europe. "At will" employment contracts are largely illegal.

The employer can't get rid of you unless one of these is the case:

  • You have committed gross misconduct
  • You have committed a series of acts of lesser misconduct, which have all been documented through the agreed grievance procedure
  • Your position is redundant

Note that in the last case, you won't be required to train your replacement, because it's your position which is being made redundant, not you.

For their part, employees have to work their notice period, which for some difficult-to-recruit positions can be as long as six months.

Note that Germany has some of the strongest laws on employee rights, and also is one of the most productive countries in Europe. Germany is also the third largest exporter in the world, only slightly behind the USA (not bad for a country with a quarter of the population and a fraction of the natural resources). I'm not saying there's a cause and effect, but I am saying that productivity and employee rights can co-exist.

I get it. You think that everyone who starts a business is suddenly a slave to the state, and to anyone that wants a paycheck from them. You're exactly the sort of entitled, lazy bum that's chasing businesses and jobs out of the country.

No, it's the ruthless and uncontrolled search for profits that are chasing businesses and jobs out of the country. Businesses are not motivated by enforcing some idealist "protestant work ethic". It's all about the money. US workers cannot compete with Indian workers: they don't have access to their cost of living, for one thing.

If an employer wants loyalty from employees, they only need pay them a fair rate for the job and provide decent conditions and the employees will stay.

If an employee wants loyalty from an employer in the US, they're shit out of luck.

Comment Re:The gender bit is misleading (Score 2) 303

Ah, the old "1 million lemmings can't be wrong!" argument. Okay.

Had I said "Hundreds of people say this, so it's true", you could have sensibly made that comment. But I didn't.

She deliberately provokes aggressive reactions with her pointlessly inflammatory articles: she is a classic troll.

Then she has the gall to complain when she gets the reaction she wants. The Guardian used to be leagues better than to publish the kind of drivel she writes for them: it's on the intellectual level of the Daily Mail.

I assume they only publish it for the page views.

Comment Re:The gender bit is misleading (Score 2) 303

How do you figure that? It sounds like you are saying female authors troll their readers more.

Some do in the Guardian. Jessica Valenti, for example, is a notorious troll.

In TFA she is quoted as saying:

'Imagine going to work every day and walking through a gauntlet of 100 people saying "You're stupid", "You're terrible", "You suck", "I can't believe you get paid for this". It's a terrible way to go to work'

Hundreds of people say this, because it's true.

Comment Re:#prayforparis (Score 1) 728

The CIA World Factbook also quotes no sources.

53% of French people when asked ""Irrespective of whether you attend a place of worship or not, would you say you are a religious person, not a religious persons or a convinced atheist?" answered "Not a religious person" or "Atheist".

A Gallup poll (same wiki page) asked "Is religion an important part of your daily life?", and 74% of French people said "No". That makes France the 7th least religious country in the poll (which covered the vast majority of the world).

You can't get figures from the census because —due to the law on laïcité — a person's religion is not one of the questions.

France apparently has a 12% church attendance rate.

I lived in France for years and never met anyone who I knew went to church, or who professed a belief in God to me.

Comment Re:Sweet! (Score 1) 361

The article in Atavist is great too.

I couldn't help but think when I read it a couple of months ago that the problem with this type of extortion (or kidnapping) has always been the handover of the cash. This is where the feds are going to nab you.

Less of a problem with bitcoin...

Comment Re:Percentages? (Score 1) 381

No, you're spot on. This poll is totally bogus.

He told The Independent: “The NSPCC and Childline, organisations that exist for the protection of children, are quite deliberately using an atrocious study to feed into moral panic, and it’s clearly been coordinated with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.”

Mr Barnett said that regulators had been using porn for several years to justify internet censorship and “create a case for turning Britain back into a digital island”.

Source: NSPCC accused of risking its reputation and 'whipping up moral panic' with study into porn addiction among children

Comment Re:Here's a better idea (Score 1) 381

The ISP is required to be offered child web filter for free as part of the service.


Why on earth should people who don't want this kind of bullshit (maybe like me, they have no children) pay for people who want it?

I say if people want their web filtered so that children can't access porn, let them choose an ISP who offers this virtual impossibility.

Typical Tory bullshit. They claim to be in favour of:

  • "Let the market decide"
  • Personal freedom
  • Less red tape
  • Smaller government

But when it comes to sex, they just can't help themselves from doing the exact opposite to their supposed principles.

Comment Re:password recovery to defeat reverse identity th (Score 1) 213

Now any time she gets a bill for any service, her first step is to recover the password, then schedule service disconnect. Seems harsh, but it is the only way.

It's not "the only way" at all. If she can login to schedule service disconnect, she could login and simply change the email address to ''.

She then no longer gets mistaken emails, but with the advantage of not being a total dick to the poor sod who made an honest mistake with their email address.

Comment Re:"Are" or "could be"? (Score 1) 104

come on, it's sant joan ...

Exactly. So there are thousands of drunk people setting off fireworks in the street all night, and no visible police presence. No wonder a small minority of tourists think you can do whatever you want in Barcelona with no repercussions.

I'm not saying the police should stop Sant Joan, I'm saying that there should be a police presence in places where there are a lot of drunk people, and there isn't. Escudellers is where the worst tourists seem to end up, and it's full of beer-cerveza men, people selling drugs quite openly, etc. No police at all, because I guess they'd have to get out of their cars, which they pretty much never do in the evening. Spain has nearly twice the number of police per person as England, and in England they manage to find the resources to police events like this, or trouble hotspots.

this is, of course, bullshit.

No it's not. A lot of people here are hostile to guiris. For one thing, that's why they have a borderline offensive name for them. Maybe you're not -- and that's great -- but a lot of people are. Try renting a flat as a guiri, for example: some of the flats are mysteriously rented, yet they're still advertised, and when your catalan friend calls for you, they're suddenly available again.

Try getting a NIE (even as an EU citizen) since the hostility got ramped up last year. Now you need a work contract, padrón, and more. And try getting a work contract or a lease on a flat (to get the empadronamiento) without a NIE. Possible, but hard. And you won't be able to get your utilities connected without a NIE (and you have to wait weeks for a cita previa). The system has been changed to make it as hard as possible, and it's not like this in Andalucía, for example, so it's not a national issue. It's clearly illegal under EU law on freedom of movement to force EU nationals to jump through hoops like this, but the government are going to do it for as long as they can get away with it.

Also witness the election of Ada Colau; discuss this with Barcelonans and the first thing they will talk about is tourists, and how they've made the city unliveable, yada, yada. Despite the fact that large areas of ciutat vella were too dangerous to go into before the post-olympic rebirth (eg Sant Pere, Born, Barceloneta, parts of Gòtico), largely down to increased numbers of tourists and foreigners making these areas too valuable to Barcelonans to leave them to the prostitutes and criminals.

and how does this bs match with you admitting ' like 7.5 million tourists a year in Barcelona. The vast, vast majority are well behaved'? care to support it with some facts, apart from the obvious one that bulls do bully?

And there you go. Your prejudice is showing. Almost half the tourists come from Spain; are they the problematic tourists you're thinking of? What about all the people who queue to go to the Sagrada Família or Parc Güell. Are they drunk or running around naked? All the Chinese and Japanese tourists? The cruise-ship day trippers? The families with children?

The reality is that if you walk down the Rambla at the busiest times, you'll massive numbers of tourists, and it's bloody obvious that virtually none of them are the type to be pissing in the street or running around naked later that day.

Comment Re:"Are" or "could be"? (Score 1) 104

According to the summary, the customers are "partying all night, some running around naked, and generally trashing their neighborhoods".

Except this is largely bullshit (on the part of TFA, not having a go at you). There is currently a big backlash against tourists in Barcelona, it's almost something of a moral panic.

There was one incident last year of two italian guys running into a supermarket naked. One incident.

I've not heard of any neighbourhoods being 'trashed' either.

Since then, tourists have become the official outlet for the xenophobia of many Barcelonans (it was Madrid before).

We get something like 7.5 million tourists a year in Barcelona. The vast, vast majority are well behaved.

And of course, the behaviour of tourists is a completely different issue to licensing tourist apartments and short-term lets. We get a huge number of young tourists staying in completely legal hostels, and they're some of the worst behaved. Basically, the hostels are targeting the drunken mexican-sombrero-wearing teenager crowd, because who else wants to share a room with 15 other people?

The police, meanwhile, do virtually nothing about unruly behaviour in the streets. I was out partying in the streets on Nit de Sant Joan on Tuesday until dawn: tens of thousands of people (mainly local) dancing, drinking, pissing in the street, vomiting; I didn't see a single policeman all night.

But they're not adverse to banging on the doors of apartments with guiris staying in them and demanding to see tourist licences, which the tourists don't have (the flat owner has the licence, not the guest). This happened to a young German woman I know, who was staying in a completely legal tourist apartment. They could have just looked up the address on the Catalan government website, but it's a lot more fun for two armed goons from the Mossos d'Esquadra to scare the shit out of a young woman travelling alone in a strange city, threatening to chuck her out onto the street if she couldn't produce the licence in 24 hours (of course they don't have the power to do this).

I love this city, but the hostility from a lot of people to everyone who isn't catalan gets me down.

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