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Comment Re:The U.S. ain't perfect, but... (Score 1) 522

You need to look up the meaning of the word 'technically'. A lot of things are 'technically' illegal but nobody will ever get prosecuted for them. A lot of things are 'technically' acts of war that would never actually lead to a declaration of war for obvious reasons of practicality.

The likelihood of it happening has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not something is technically true. I specifically used the term 'technically' because the odds of it actually happening are very close to zero - it would literally require a country with a completely insane maniac in charge. That's not a zero chance - insane maniacs can and do get put in charge of countries - history is filled with examples. It's just a very remote possibility because this leader would have to be truly insane - and the reality is that if he is that insane you can't avoid a way with him, he will find *some* excuse.

Comment Re:Criminal behavior (Score 1) 84

Nice strawman, like the hat.
I specifically defined what the proper criteria for a legitimate advocacy group would be: an anonymous one-man-one-vote democratic agreement on every issue it lobbies for.
I never said the votes had to be unanimous - but at least it must be decided democratically.

>Corporations are run democratically.
One share one vote is not democracy - it's the very definition of plutocracy. But I suppose considering the side you take, I shouldn't be surprized that you don't know the difference. I specifically stated that for a corporation to have a legitimate lobby right it needs a one-man-one-vote election on the issue, with votes for workers.

> Why you feel it should be an equal vote for everyone I can't imagine though
Because that's how democracy works and this is not a vote specific to the company. This is a vote about lobbying the government to pass laws and policies that will affect all of society. You can't pretend those are similar situations. You are not voting on corporate management issues, you are not busy safeguarding your investment. While you may be doing all that as well - you are now doing it in a way that forces all the rest of society to, including the non-shareholding employees of your company to help you do so. That's an entirely different kettle of fish. That requires a democratic process.

>I don't have as much of a stake in the company as the larger shareholders, they have much more invested than I do.
And when it's a vote about matters internal to the company there is some logic to that (cooperations are still a far more democratic setup, and as a result consistently better managed and because the people who actually do the work get all the profit - they actually raise quality of life far better for workers. The world's largest cooperation now has over 80-thousand worker-owners running businesses in some 40 different industries and is the single largest employer in Spain, and in Argentina cooperations are the largest employers as well collectively, there are over 20-thousand, mostly formed when the economy collapsed in 2007. The workers just kept showing up running the abandoned businesses which corporate owners could not keep afloat themselves. In the same economic situation where the corporations failed - they succeeded, and because they all paid well they all had a steady supply of customers from each other).

But that is a lesser matter because either way it's about how the company is governed internally which is not something anybody outside has a stake in. The moment the company gets political however they give everybody a stake because immediately they are affecting everybody. The most directly and immediately affected are the employees. They are the ones who get screwed if companies lobby governments to ban union shops. They are the ones who die if companies lobby for reductions in health and safety standards. They deserve an equal say in that decision.

Comment Re:The U.S. ain't perfect, but... (Score 1) 522

I never said anybody would actually do it. And they certainly wouldn't do so on the united states since this is a UN treaty and that means violations are heard by the UN and the US has a security council veto so the UN never gets to act against it no matter how outrageous they are.

But just because it won't happen - doesn't mean it isn't technically true. I used the qualifier 'technically' on purpose - specifically to indicate that it wouldn't actually happen, or at least, it's incredibly unlikely.

Comment Re:The U.S. ain't perfect, but... (Score 1) 522

Violating treaties can, in fact, be acts of war. An act of war is not always a first strike you know - it's merely an act which could - in theory - justify a declaration of war against you. In this case the adjudicator of such justification would be the UN so it would never actually pass because the US has a veto in the security council, but the point stands.

Even if you ignore the treaty - there is that other major limitation on governmental power - the one they *all* have: that which is actually possible to do. Not accepting the refugees is simply not a possible thing for governments to do. If you're running for your life - a no-entry sign is going to be ignored. You sure as hell won't refrain from jumping your neighbour's fence to get away from somebody trying to kill you will you ? These refugees are fleeing for their lives - and if governments refuse to take them they will come anyway.
The only choice you get is whether they come as processed refugees through proper channels - so you can vet them and rule out the dangerous ones or they can come in as illegal immigrants. The latter means you get no vetting at all.
Oh and by the way contrary to what republicans dogwhistles claim - the vetting process is in fact incredibly stringent and takes several years, and that's just the UN vetting - the US does another vetting process afterwards which is even more stringent and takes even longer - the average time for a refugee to actually be allowed to enter the US is over 6 years. If you don't accept refugees - they actually get there a lot sooner because they don't go through that process of waiting for years and years of background checks and intelligence reports.

But they *will* come. Short of actually deploying the entire military all along the borders there is no way in hell you can stop it - and even that won't stop all of them.

Comment Re:BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!! (Score 1) 257

>You might be thinking of average lifespan, which is misleading. Ancient people often died in childhood, dragging the average down. If they made it though childhood, they'd live to old age.

Doesn't actually affect what I'm talking about. When most people died in childhood - the population that reached adulthood was obviously reduced. And besides which - your numbers are still just plain untrue. The vast majority of people did not reach old age until the mid-20th century even if you discount childhood deaths. Diseases like polio and mumps killed millions of adults every year before we had vaccines (as Malaria still does today), heart attacks at 60 were common (my grandfather died at 62 from a heart attack - and this was extremely typical at the time, mid-1970s), factory and worker safety laws and standards weren't what they are now so industrial accidents killed a lot more people a lot more often - those were all working-age adults. Polution levels were much higher until the late 1970's to early 1980s which causes huge amount of deaths at young ages (we actually don't know exactly how many but suffice to say that it's probably one of the single largest killers of otherwise healthy adults even TODAY when it's much lower). Cars were A LOT less safe - and most car accidents were fatal, we see a few million dead in car accidents a year, in the 1960s it was tens of millions. Food security is at an all-time high and malnutrition and hunger rates are at an all time low - which means straight up less people starving (famines were still common events until the green revolution which didn't start until the end of the 1960s), but it also means that people in general are healthier simply from not frequently dealing with the health consequences of malnutrion or terrible diets when little food is available.

All these things have had a massive impact. Even if you discount child mortality entirely the average lifespan has gone up by a huge chunk iin the past hundred years (which is only since 1966 remember). Somewhere between 15 and 30 years depending on how rich your country is.

Comment Re:The U.S. ain't perfect, but... (Score 1) 522

That 'twaddle' is called international law. Specifically the UN Convention on Refugees of which the US (and all those other countries) are signatories. They HAVE to take - because they promised the world they WOULD take and NOT taking is a violation of an international treaty and technically an act of war.

Comment Re:The U.S. ain't perfect, but... (Score 1) 522

> Nowhere else in the world has the robust guarantees of free speech that America has
Bullshit. Freedom of speech is a constitutional right in a huge number of countries. And nobody has them robust - INCLUDING the USA, they just have different priorities about what they consider needs to be restricted. In America you can't show sex on public TV in daytime, in Germany you can show fetish porn in the lunchtime show. In South Africa you aren't allowed to commit hate speech, but then with only a minor bit of differences you can't do that in the USA either.

Nowhere in the world is free speech an absolute right and the US does NOT in fact have an above average level of protection for it - only Americans believe that, no scratch that, only Americans who are flagrantly ignorant of the world believe that - those Americans who can find Germany on a map are not that ignorant.

Comment Please note (Score 1) 522

"a global community of technologists, civil society groups and internet users" is a list that does not include any governments - authoritarian or otherwise.

This is REDUCING the number of governments who can do harm to the internet - not increasing it. Just because the US has not previously abused this power does not mean we should trust that no future US government would do so. Hell there is a presidential candidate right now who has previously expressed a desire to massively censor the internet - "coincidentally", that candidate is the same one who opposes this move...

Comment Re:Shows the lengths.... (Score 1) 170

Think for a second. Lung cancer progressively impacts your ability to breath meaning you get less and less oxygen meaning your heart has to work harder and harder moving blood around faster to keep supplying oxygen to your organs.
It's not even controversial that lung cancer patients often die of heart disease by wearing their hearts out before the lung cancer itself can kill them, it's a common fact. When the lung cancer is from smoking - which also can contribute to heart failure (though this was not widely known at the time) - the combination is pretty much guaranteed. You take an already damaged heart and make it work three times as hard as it otherwise would - it's going to fail fast.

There is a common line in biology (at least among warm-blooded creatures) that a heart is only good for about a billion beats. The longevity of a species is directly tied to how long it takes them to hit that number. Elephants have slow hearts and live many decades. Starlings have rapid hearts beating over 200 times a second - and live less than 2 years.
And alone of all species on the planet - humans actively try to increase their heartbeat and work their muscles more than they bare minimum. No other animal does that. No lion runs except when the hunt requires it. No antelope goes above a walk unless it's being chased. Because every time you use a muscle it is damaged, you get micro-injuries on every movement and the more you use it the worse it becomes - muscles wear out, the heart is no exception. Every other animal tries to spare their muscles as much as possible by living their lives as sedentary as they can - and use them only when it's required to find food or escape being it.
Humans alone use them for the sake of using them. Humans alone think 'excercise' is a GOOD idea.

Comment Re:BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!! (Score 3, Insightful) 257

> What we have is an epidemic of cancer

Nope. We really don't. The increase in cancer cases over time tracks *exactly* the increases in human lifespan. We've always been equally prone to it (barring isolated and regionally limited edge-cases) - but until quite recently almost everybody got killed by something else first.
Now that we survive most virusses, bacteria and parasites and have basically eradicated just about all our natural predators (with the exception of the mosquito) - we actually live long enough for cancer to happen, and the more people live long - the more get it.

That said - cancer is not a disease and does not have a cause. Cancer is a collective noun for a whole host of diseases all with different causes, which just happen to have one, single tiny thing in common. The reason we haven't cured cancer is because nothing could possibly do that - no single treatment can deal with so many different diseases, all with different causes (many of which are unknown). Even the shotgun treatments of radiation and chemo are not useful on all of them.
On the other hand we are making massive progress in curing and preventing specific cancers. In the last few years, for the first time in history, we actually developed a vaccine that can completely prevent several cancers (HPV vaccines grant effective immunity against cervical cancer and several types of throat and lip cancers). The reason is that we discovered that a specific virus causes these cancers - and could create a vaccine against that virus.

Gene-targetted treatments are already greatly increasing life expectancy, survival rates and quality of life of many cancer patients - with far less negative side effects than the shotgun treatments. More experimental treatments using things like magnetofluids are being investigated which may offer new and uniquely safe types of surgical treatments which are viable on a much larger set of cancers.
We are making progress - but this is a war against a massive army with a huge variety of different batallayons and there is no one attack to defeat it, not single battle will win this war. Lots of small victories that add up - that's the way to do it, and it won't happen quickly, but it is already happening much quicker than we could have hoped even a decade ago.

Comment Re:BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!! (Score 1) 257

Not to mention there is a reason why evolution has not given us any defenses against it. It's part of the very structures evolution use in the first place, and furthermore it very rarely affects reproduction. Even things like testicular cancer usually happens late enough in life that you could have had kids already. Since so few cancers actually prevent you from first having kids - not only do genes with a propensity for cancer not get eradicated but there is also no evolutionary pressure be better at surviving it.

Comment Re: Who knew? (Score 1) 294

>A tax break is not debt forgiveness. A tax break is a reduction in the tax you owe.
These two sentences both mean exactly the same thing. See a tax is a debt.

I also never said normal citizens don't get tax breaks - it's entirely irrelevant to what I did say. My point was that every corporation gets money from the government. Some in the form of tax breaks, some in the form of all sorts of subsidies, and special tax breaks for certain kinds of businesses etc. etc. there are a billion ways that government puts money in the pocket of corporations. That and that alone was my point.
What government does for citizens was *not* part of my point.

If it was I would have mentioned this. When Detroit's municipality was essentially bankrupt - they stopped paying pensions to retired municipal workers because they claimed they didn't have money to do so. Pensions, by the way, are funds those people had paid in during their careers- it was their own money they were being denied. The pension bill was around 28-million.
At the exact same time - a series of tax breaks and other corporate welfare bills were passed in Detroit giving a combined 60-million dollars to various corporations - the bulk of which went to two Koch-brothers owned businesses. This was income lost by the city which the businesses saved - which is mathematically indistinguishable (and is not different from) just plain giving the companies money.
Please note how the corporate welfare Detroit was paying (under, you guessed it, republican pressure) was more than double what they would have needed to make the pension payments to the retired workers. Yet somehow they could afford the latter but not the former ?

The problem with America isn't the welfare system - it's that the welfare system spends nearly all it's money on the already rich and almost none of it on caring for the poor, even stealing money from the poor to give to the rich. Which is the only way to describe failing to pay pensions (their money) but managing to give tax breaks to corporations instead.

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