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Comment Re:Lack of understanding rather than nefarious (Score 1) 94

The problem is that there are presently too many Republicans co-opted by corporate money, and not enough that care more about the principles to call them on it. Part of this is due to the fact that US politics has become more like rooting for your Sports team, and thus all about "beating the other side no matter what." That phenomenon exists on both sides, though I think it's more powerful on the right, since the right tends to value order, authority, and cohesion moreso than the left.

Thus, instead of Republicans arguing that we need to introduce actual competition into the market by advocating policies such as local loop unbundling and removing the current state of affairs where your ISP has a monopoly on provision of services because they own of the local physical transport infrastructure. To make a shorter version of that argument, "more competition will lead to better service via free market principles." This would provide a counterpart to the opposing idea of enforcing network neutrality via federal regulation. We would have debate and compromise, and eventually come up with something that takes the best from both, and that everyone could live with.

Comment Re:motivation (Score 4, Interesting) 170

It probably doesn't get highlighted in the hiring process. Most people don't brag about that in interviews - the misbehavior comes out later.

In most companies, someone pulls a stunt like any of the ones listed here, and they're quickly smacked down, or fired outright (depending on the incident). Judging by the rumors and reports of incidents at Uber, that wasn't the case there. Instead, HR seems to have been told to ignore and protect "high performers" in a penny-wise/pound-foolish policy that leads to the sort of culture like you see described. What happens is that when people don't get punished for the first few things, they start to realize that the normal limits don't apply, and the bad sorts start pushing the envelope. Eventually you get a workplace culture where all sorts of stuff is tolerated, and you wind up with a toxic work environment.

Comment Re:Stop the presses! Someone in IT fucked up! (Score 1) 128

First, you shouldn't be surprised if you get modded Troll for deliberately using a flamebait/trolling example that is wholly unrelated to the topic.

Second, you're deliberately confusing the issue. If I operate a business, and I sell pork products, and you buy a steak from me, you're not paying for pork, no matter how much you scream about marginal costs and fungible funds.

Third, you're creating a strawman argument, because Planned Parenthood does not primarily provide abortion services, attempts to play cute with the numbers aside. At most the number of PP patients who received an abortion was 12% of the total, and that's assuming none had more than 1.

Comment Re:I'm not surprised. (Score 1) 900

Reading the whole post, the author definitely described a lot of sh*tty things that Uber allowed bosses to get away with that had nothing to do with gender, because they were "high performers". The example of secretly altering the employee's review after the fact, to prevent them from transferring out of the group, is a clear example. The guy who was bragging about actively sandbagging his boss to steal his job was another. In a corporate environment like that, once people learn that there's a group for whom the rules don't apply, all bets are off, including sexism and harrassment of all forms.

Why does this happen? Probably because the higher-ups put pressure on HR in a few cases, and stressed that they wanted those people kept/protected at all costs. Probably because the company's legal department wasn't being involved, or being told to ignore it. Eventually the individual bosses in question realize they're not going to be punished for it, and start doing whatever they want. Their peers and others see it, and the problems expand from there.

Comment Re:Let's be clear on what we mean by election hack (Score 1, Informative) 251

Yes, let's be clear, because nobody claimed that actual voting machines were hacked. This was merely a strawman/canard thrown out to confuse the issue.

First, why we care that the DNC was being hacked is because that's the exact same thing Watergate was about, except that Watergate was a physical break-in to wiretap the DNC, rather than hacking their emails, but for the same exact purpose - to look for anything that could be released that would make the political opposition look bad. The fact that it was Russian hackers doing it is just another layer on the cake.

Second, I voted for Sanders, but there is ZERO proof the DNC "rigged" anything. The rules for the contest were laid out well in advance, and were pretty much in keeping with the way the rules have always been, and that never changed. That individual DNC staffers favored the long-time party stalwart over a long-time independent who came in just to run? Everyone knew that. That Debbie Wasserman-Schultz tried to set a debate schedule that favored Clinton? We knew that in 2015, and we made a stink about it then, and forced more debates. Not shocking.

In fact, the only accusation I've heard that could even come close is that the DNC vice-chair gave Clinton advance knowledge of a debate question, except that she 1) did so in her CNN contributor capacity (and got fired from it over), 2) it was a blatantly obvious question that anyone should have seen coming (Debate in Flint MI, gee, think they're gonna ask about the water crisis? Duh), and 3) CLINTON FLUBBED THE QUESTION ANYWAY.

Comment Re:Our society is fucked (Score 4, Insightful) 158

No, they want to micromanage people in the name of profit.

Employers aren't using this for anything other than trying to squeeze as much productivity out of people as possible by treating them like robots or animals. This isn't a new trend, as employers have been using monitoring software on computer workstations that determine when people aren't at their desk typing/etc, and keeps track of when they use the bathroom or take a coffee break. It's a terribly short-sighted thing, as people don't function like machines. I'm just glad I work at a job where my output is what's important - that I do the work I'm supposed to, whether I do it quickly or slowly, whether I take breaks or not, and whether I take 30 or 60 minutes for lunch, or whether I waste time posting to Slashdot or not.

Comment Re: I'm sure he had nothing to hide (Score 5, Insightful) 895

I'm pretty sure we don't need to worry about the Baltic states invading anyone.

As to why we should worry about someone (Russia or otherwise) invading the Baltic states, do I really need to explain why we believe that countries shouldn't be allowed to just invade other countries? That's the core reason WW2 was fought, and why the UN was created - to basically outlaw aggressive war. Yes, I realize that hasn't eliminated war entirely, but every conflict fought since then has at least made some sort of excuse of operating within the UN framework. We do not want to go back to the pre-1914 world order where might makes right.

Comment Re:Uber? (Score 0) 641

Another suggestion would be to require additional licensing to operate one of these vehicles. We already have it for certain classes, including motorcycles and commercial vehicles. Why not high performance cars? An inexperienced driver that isn't capable of handling the car is a danger to both themselves and others, but someone who has that experience isn't nearly as dangerous. I presently drive a high horsepower car, and I certainly wouldn't want someone whose only experience was driving a base model econobox to get behind the wheel of it. It even took a little getting used to for me, and I was moving from a car only 100hp lower. The controls just don't respond the same way (you have to absolutely feather the accelerator rather than press down firmly, for instance).

If anything, the main reason this hasn't been as big of a problem before now is that you need ridiculous amounts of money to get a supercar. Something like a high horsepower Mustang/Challenger/Camaro though can be just as dangerous in inexperienced hands, but is far cheaper than even a Tesla, hence why you can see all kinds of videos about Mustang crashes from idiots peeling out of their local Cars and Coffee meet.

Comment Re:Political fallout (Score 4, Informative) 457

This isn't something specific to California. There's old infrastructure that's been poorly maintained all across the country, mostly because no one has been willing to put up the money to pay for it, here, there, or anywhere. Here's a report on that from last year, though it was sparked by failures of dams elsewhere:

Second - yes, this is a 'natural disaster', because that's exactly the term we use when the natural phenomena dump ridiculous amounts of water in a particular location. In other places it produces devastating floods, like last year in South Carolina. Here California was somewhat lucky, because they had a dam like this in place with an empty resevoir that absorbed it - and that wall of water would otherwise be flooding the valley below, along with all the people who live there, and may yet still if the emergency spillway collapses.

Comment Re:That's a lot of wasted water (Score 5, Interesting) 457

It may be hard to comprehend, but California is a pretty big state. It also covers a large swath of territory from north to south, and the northern edge is almost nothing like the southern edge, in terms of terrain/climate. Northern California is no longer in drought, but Southern California is a different story. Geographically speaking, it would be like saying "Pennsylvania is no longer in drought, but Georgia and South Carolina still are", because that's about how far apart the ends of California are from each other.

Comment Re:effect on the 2016 election? (Score 1) 139

People vastly overestimate the power of the DNC (and RNC) in choosing candidates. The DNC sets the rules and schedule, and arranges the debates, but the rules (who has a primary, who has a caucus, etc) were all determined long before either Clinton or Sanders jumped in. People complain that the DNC favored Clinton, but I've yet to see anything that influenced anything even remotely substantial. Again, though, that's missing the greater point.

What you're missing is this - Money. Money is what allows candidates to run in the primaries. When candidates drop out, it's not because they were doing poorly, so much as that their poor showing led to no more donations (big or small) coming in. You want to know who 'anointed' Clinton? It wasn't Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, it was the collective donors of the Democratic party who weren't looking to back anyone else. There was only one person who got around that, and that was Sanders, by mobilizing large numbers of grassroots donations. Nobody else had the cash to make anything more than a brief showing in the first few debates.

Oh, and by the way - she was selected by the majority of voters in the primaries. I voted for Sanders, but Hillary still beat him by every real measure, in both votes and delegates.

Comment Re:Theoretically (Score 4, Insightful) 172

The concept of a Free Market is a great teaching tool, but much like its counterpart, the infinite frictionless plain, it doesn't actually exist in reality in its theoretical form. That's because there is no free market where everyone involved has 100% access to all relevant information, and 100% freedom of action to buy or not, nevermind a complete absence of any consequence for behavior.

What is true, though, is that competition is a powerful force, and as long as that is kept reasonable/fair and free of anti-competitive forces, it can be harnessed to produce very positive results. Competition provides impetus for improvement and efficiency, where a noncompetitive market does not (and tends to lead to stagnation, arbitrary price increases, poor quality, and such).

Why this is important is that you need laws and regulations to make sure that the market is free and fair. Regulations can do things like make sure that weights and measurements are right (so you're not being cheated) or that companies aren't doing underhanded things to try and force competitors out of business or otherwise conspiring to scam the consumer (price fixing, cartelization, etc). That doesn't mean that every regulation is good, especially if they're being written by the competitors (regulatory capture), but they're not inherently evil either.

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