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China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

iserlohn Re:Make-work Project? (212 comments)

It's what they have always done. The candidates you get to chose however are all from the same party, or officially blessed.

Haven't you heard of all that stuff going on in Hong Kong, how Beijing previously promised direct elections for the Chief Exec via Universal Sufferage in 2017, and just recently then they announced that all candidates have to be vetted by the 1200-person "Election Committee" stacked with pro-Beijing representatives? That caused ~500k people to take the streets and protest in Hong Kong.

yesterday
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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

iserlohn Re:Here we go... (431 comments)

To get our attention.

The GP even said that explicitly.

2 days ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re: Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

No, we call them the rich and powerful. They are usually in positions powerful positions in the private sector that influence government through money.

5 days ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

Actually, your point was addressed multiple times. A barebones government would be more influenced by vested interests, not less.

We don't need big government nor small government. We need smart government and we need to put in the right regulations to ensure that power is distributed and kept in check for the common good.

about a week ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

Um, that's why we have the rule of law to protect fundamental rights and a democratic process to ensure accountability.

There's several reasons why we have elections in our representative democracy. To elect a dictator is not one of them. The problem is that this system has been thoroughly polarised and distorted due to the amount of money that has been thrown at this process.

about a week ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

No, (democratic) government requires constant upkeep and attention by its citizen in order to work properly. That's the idea that libertarians like you don't (and actively try not to) understand, and hence undermine.

You're so focused on promoting your own little ideology, that you forget about the big agenda. People like you is what caused the whole federal government to shut down and nearly ruined the global financial system.

about a week ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

You just described why the existing system of lobbying (and corporate influence) is bad. The government should be a "referee" on the other powerful interests, with power that is derived from the "people".

The best way to do this is to limit the amount of money that individuals and corporations can use to influence the result of elections.

A corporate free-for-all will not lead to a better society. We had that back in the Victorian era and it sucked.

about a week ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

Which is why we should keep government in check of its mandate (ie. accountability), but also to be powerful enough to be a useful counterbalance to all of the other powerful actors in our society.

about a week ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

With regards to corruption, the rule of law and good government goes hand-in-hand.

That's also why it's sometimes important to have certain basic rights immutable - it prevents populist but abusive policies and mob rule in general.

about a week ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

Just because you don't agree with everything the system represents, doesn't mean that the system is broken beyond repair.

I mean, you probably disagree with your mom on many things as well. The fact is that in life, you don't always get your way. You need to live and get along with other people.

Libertarians pretend that everybody can live inside their own little bubble (they can't, society as we know it breaks down, and actors will come in an fill the power vacuum).

about a week ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

So being in a facist (or libertarian) oligarchy with no accountability is better than being in a social democracy with many services provided by a government which is accountable?

Regulations are there for a purpose - for example, the FDA was created to save lives. Over regulation is stifling and encourages rent-seeking behavior, but under-regulation cause us to revert back to the previous, non-desirable state. So we need to find a balance.

As you said, the current system is breaking down, but not because of the system itself. It's because it hasn't been maintained. As citizens we should be more involved in ensuring that the system is kept in check, and that powerful interests, both private and public, is kept in the balance.

about a week ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

There will always be people in power. That's why good government attempts to balance this power so that the result is beneficial to society as a whole.

Power concentrated in the hands of organisations such as multi-national corporations (or even less omniscient entities such as car dealership networks) is no better than being in the hands of an autocratic and abusive regime.

For us in the developed world, at least we have some sort of say over policies implemented by a government which is in theory accountable to the people. Why not improve this system so that is is *more* accountable? Rather than advocating for it's dissolution and letting someone (e.g. private actors, which will always be less accountable) fill in the power vacuum?

about a week ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

Pretty much the most insightful post on this topic as of yet.

Objectivitism (i.e. Aynd Rand) is basically a pipe dream similar to Communism. Human nature dictates that those with power will always try to exploit the weak. The basic tenants of good government is to balance this equation in favor of the common good.

about a week ago
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America 'Has Become a War Zone'

iserlohn Re:War of government against people? (875 comments)

In terms of crime figures, yes, but they do definitely poison the debate on sensible measures to ensure that guns have responsible people as owners.

about a month and a half ago
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America 'Has Become a War Zone'

iserlohn Re:War of government against people? (875 comments)

Furthermore, I wasn't really focusing on the actual killing by fringe anti-government elements, but the very presence of these people in the debate and their rather extreme attitude poisons the discussion around guns.

These people are of the type that believe more guns actually decrease gun crime. That's an absurd position that is proven to be wrong study after study.

about a month and a half ago
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America 'Has Become a War Zone'

iserlohn Re:War of government against people? (875 comments)

You are right. To put things in perspective though, the requirement to keep ammunition centrally at the armoury is relatively recent (2007), and even before, gun crime in Switzerland is relatively rare.

about a month and a half ago
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America 'Has Become a War Zone'

iserlohn Re:War of government against people? (875 comments)

First of all, the level of firearm ownership in an area does have an effect on the firearm homicide rate. It correlates -

http://ajph.aphapublications.o...

Violent crime has gone down in most of the industrialized world over the past 3 decades, regardless of whether a country restricts firearms or not -

http://rgambler.com/2013/11/03...
http://jpo.wrlc.org/bitstream/...
http://www.economist.com/news/...

However, America's violent crime rate is much higher than most developed countries -

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

The growing consensus (in public policy circles at least) these days is that it is not gun ownership that is causing this violence, but the American gun culture -

http://www.businessweek.com/ar...
http://world.time.com/2012/12/...
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/t...

The problem is that we keep looking at gun ownership rates The Swiss has high levels of gun ownership, but they also have a very strict culture of gun safety and training. Men are required to undergo military training and be in the reserves for 10 years, keeping their sealed army-issued firearm at home or in the Zeughaus, for use in case of invasion. Thus, they have lots of guns, but little gun crime.

Now, the question is how do you measure gun culture? In America you have this issues with two main groups poisoning the culture - the gangs and the "don't tread on me" types. How can you design a study to measure the effect of this culture on gun crime?

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do 4G World Phones Exist?

iserlohn Re:Hell yes Nexus 4 (259 comments)

IIRC, the Nexus 4 only has the hardware for one of the LTE bands (Band 4), by sheer coincidence due to the part used for the air interface. Google said they disabled LTE support on the device as a cost saving measure, but possibly also under LG pressure to differentiate the Nexus from their top-end phones. Most LTE phones support at least 5 or 6 of the bands to ensure that they are compatible with most providers in that region.

about 2 months ago

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