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Comment Re:Well Trump has one thing right (Score 1) 540


The whole reason we have standard-of-living laws (including, but not limited to, minimum wage) is because people with nothing to eat and no hope tend to be willing to do things that are very disruptive to the civil function of society. If I have no food, cannot afford food with the jobs I work, I will take food - because if the choice is "possibly face consequences for my actions later" or "starve to death now," it's pretty obvious which one I'm going to pick.

And before you say, "but I have a gun and will defend my home," let me point out that there is very little stopping me from stealing firearms, too.

Desperate people do desperate things. We don't just care for our fellow man because it's the right and generally accepted "moral thing to do" - we do it because there are very good self-preservation reasons to do it.

The same thing applies to other social support systems, like health care, welfare, jobs programs, and the like. Yeah, we can save a few personal dollars to get rid of them, but getting rid of them isn't going to magically make the problems those programs exist to solve go away - it's just going to mean we're choosing to push the consequences for the existence of those problems wholly onto the people that suffer from them.

You might argue that's fair - but they'll still rob the local grocery store to get something to eat, and you end up indirectly (or directly, if you're the grocery store owner) paying for the problem anyway.

Comment Re:He's literally not (Score 5, Insightful) 551

Okay, I normally like to stay out of these discussions so I can moderate instead, but this is ridiculous.

1. First, unless you want to start a mercantilism-esque trade war, "make Mexico pay for it" isn't really feasible. Second, more people are going to Mexico from the US than are coming to the US from Mexico. Building a wall would be a rather pointless waste of resources. See

2. Catch-and-release was used because it costs a great deal of money to imprison, house, try, and deport illegal immigrants. You need to do due process to avoid violating the constitution. In America, you're innocent until proven guilty - and that applies to people suspected of being in the country illegally. You cannot strip the rights of somebody because you *think* they don't have them, otherwise those rights are meaningless. If you want to end catch-and-release entirely, be prepared to spend a lot more money on law enforcement and the INS.

3. There are constitutional reasons why you can't compel the state law enforcement to do things. Also, DACA/DAPA (which is what I assume you mean when you refer to "Obama's deadly policies") didn't allow criminals to stay; if you had any serious convictions (any felony, any serious misdemeanor, or 3 misdemeanors of any kind) you weren't eligible.

4. Again: Constitutional issue. We preserve the right of law enforcement agencies to enforce laws as they see fit; "sanctuary city" is simply an extension of that. Sanctuary cities aren't "safe havens" for illegal immigrants. They're simply cities where the *local* law enforcement will not assist with matters that consist only of immigration status violations. The federal government is welcome to conduct their own operations, as is its right.

5. Sure, you can revoke DACA/DAPA - but be specific, it wasn't amnesty, it was an executive order to provide a temporary stay of enforcement. Amnesty is a different word that has a very different meaning.

6. We... already do? Visas aren't issued blindly, and their requirements are based on nation of origin. See

7. This is a concern only with a few nations (mostly in the middle east) and I actually agree.

8. This would cost tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars to set up and operate. We're not Israel; we don't have a single major point of air entry and a few heavily controlled land entry points. It would also not be terribly useful, because unless you're willing to track people once inside the country (and that opens up a whoooole different can of worms) it's not going to do a whole lot. You know person with X biometric data entered the country, great. Now what? They've moved and dropped off the radar. Good luck catching them.

9. The only way to make it not attractive to work here is to lower how much American companies pay, and I for one do not approve of dragging our standard of living down into the mud in order to accomplish that. You can punish companies more harshly for using illegal immigrants as labor, but making it objectively less attractive to work here isn't really feasible.

10. Which historic norms? Immigration's been pretty steady for the last twenty five years, give or take, so immigration as a function of population size has actually *dropped.*

America's problems (well, most of them) aren't because of immigrants. The real issues facing American workers stem from the ruination of unions in the 90s, the increased automation of the last 50+ years, and the willingness of other countries to not offer high standards of living for workers. The problem isn't going away, and blaming immigrants for it isn't going to fix the issue - especially when we have a ticking time bomb in the form of driverless trucking no more than a decade away.

Trucking employs about 1.8 million people, and contributes about ~700 billion to the economy - a bit under 5% of our GDP. It's also going to be gutted by automated vehicles. That's a crisis that we can already see coming, and there isn't an easy answer - because "just get a new job lol" isn't really workable for everyone involved in the single largest field of blue collar workers left in America.

Comment Re:If true, it's because Macs are starting to suck (Score 1) 376

Honestly, the apt comparison here would be the Surface Book with the Macbook Pro. They're both aimed at businesses / developers, they're both supposed to be quite fast, and they're judged on the basis of availability of features that a professional would use. While the surface pro is a fine system for light work, it's not really in the same market segment or performance category.

(That said, I use an original surface pro for classwork - and it handles things like photoshop, maya, and the like without issue.)

Comment Re:Oceans (Score 2) 186

Same. Climate change on land has some serious potential effects on species that cannot adapt quickly enough and will cause some long-term issues with human habitation (some parts of the planet near the equator might become uninhabitable due to temperature or storm severity), but ocean acidification has the potential to wreck entire ecosystems.

Too low pH in the ocean and sudden crustaceans can't make shells, and that's a MAJOR problem - and not just for people.

Comment Re:Fine (Score 3, Informative) 1368

California actually pays the federal government more money in taxes than it gets back in benefits, so... it would do fine, actually. It's not a lot more - I think in 2014 California got back 95 cents for every dollar in taxes - but it's still close enough that California could take over paying for federal programs itself without any significant disruptions in services or programs.

Comment Re:Thin-skinned, can't stand to lose even once (Score 5, Informative) 1368

I think it has a lot less to do with losing - the left has lost before, after all - but with who it lost to and what that person has indicated he wants to do to the nation.

Both sides have to deal with losing and the pain of seeing one's own view of what the nation should be ignored or overruled. That's part and parcel of politics, and has been for... well, as long as there have been opposing views. I see a lot of people worried that the changes Trump wants to implement will result in their direct loss of life and liberty.

If, for example, Trump follows through with his promise to deport all illegal residents, the fourteen year old sister of a friend of mine will lose her mother. She doesn't have Mexican citizenship, and her mother doesn't have U.S. citizenship. If he follows through with his campaign promises to roll back LGBT rights, then some of my friends may no longer be counted as married. If he follows through with his ban on Muslims, several of my classmates that are here on scholarships may be forced to return to their countries of origin instead of applying for citizenship like they planned on doing. If he stacks the supreme court and overturns Roe vs. Wade, many women will die due to seeking unsafe and back-alley abortions. If he repeals Obamacare, I will lose health insurance, and as a type 1 diabetic that's kind of a big deal for me.

So it's not just losing, its the very real possibility of having families broken apart, futures ruined, and lived destroyed. That's why many liberals and centrists are appalled at Trump's victory.

Comment Re:Dear Californians (Score 1) 1368

The only water California gets from out-of-state is a share of the Colorado River, which runs along its southeastern border. All the rest of California's water originates within the state's borders, due to the fact that the American Cordillera runs along the eastern edge of the state. It's why eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona are all very dry - they're in the rain shadow of the mountain range that runs along both American continents.

Comment Don't think it'll happen (Score 4, Insightful) 1368

Anything posted in the immediate aftermath of the election is part of coping, so I take this sort of thing with a great heaping helping of salt. The right wing did it when Obama was elected, after all, and outside some squawking about birth certificates nothing came of it.

Whether or not it sputters out in this case depends on what happens in the first three to six months after Trump takes office. If he ends up more moderate than he was on the campaign trail, then things will almost certainly continue on as usual (so to speak). We'll probably see some regressive tax policy changes and erosion of various minority and women's rights, but nothing too catastrophic. The poor will get poorer, the rich will get richer, and the environment will continue to get worse at the same rate it is today.

Alone, those things aren't enough to spur serious action.

If, however, he manages to convince the Senate and Congress to go along with some of his wackier campaign promises, then there's a very real chance things could get serious quickly.

- If he trashes too many social support nets, then all bets are off. If you and your family are starving, you'll do pretty much anything to get food, and if it happens in bulk you have the spark of revolution on your hands. Throw a heavy-handed response to rioting and you have martyrs and a circle of escalating violence.
- If he makes enough blatantly discriminatory changes and gets them through a stacked Supreme Court, he could provoke enough ire to prompt serious nonviolent secession talk. If, for example, he bans all Muslims or Mexicans from entering the country, and his ban survives a supreme court challenge, California will look long and hard at the idea of leaving because there's a large enough majority of people that don't agree with that kind of action here to support that.

If all he does is chip away at the progress made in the last ten or twenty years, he'll be fine. If he starts taking a pickaxe to things that have been part of America for the last sixty or seventy, all bets are off.

Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 5, Interesting) 917

It's currently 2016, getting close to 2017, so we're rapidly reaching the two decade mark.

I would say that Slashdot has a strong *libertarian* bent, not necessarily a conservative one. It's definitely gotten more pronounced in the last few years, going from grumbling about government to out and out hatred of government. Even the on-topic comments about tech have gotten pretty bad, with tribal shit-flinging drowning out the rare piece of actual insightful commentary.

Comment Ballot stuffing isn't how you steal an election (Score 2) 531

The people tearing into electronic voting are going after the wrong target.

In a state where there is only one news agency (the government one), it's possible to steal an election by ballot stuffing, fake votes, etc. In a state where there are a fairly large number of independent and semi-independent news agencies, it's pretty much impossible. If all the pre-election polling and exit polling indicates candidate A is winning by 7%, and candidate B suddenly comes out with a 5% lead despite that, everyone starts taking a *really* close look at the election mechanisms, because statistically you just don't see that kind of inaccuracy across the board.

To steal an election in America, you have basically three options:

1. Have a deniable asset do an unanswerable last-minute negative campaign. Think "election day mailer claiming candidate B has ties to organized crime." It doesn't need to be true, it just needs to skew the "undecided" voter long enough to go to the polls, because we don't invalidate election results after that kind of event here.

2. Gerrymander the districts so your party has an overwhelming advantage. This is very well-described elsewhere, so I'm not going to go into the mechanics behind it, but needless to say it works and it's legal in a lot of the country.

3. Make it harder for members of the other party to vote. Want to make it harder for the elderly to vote? Put restrictions on voting by mail, because many of them have mobility issues. Want to make it harder for the poor and working class to vote? Put specific ID requirements (driver's license is a common one since there's not a whole lot of reason to have a driver's license if you have no car) in place, or restrict polling place hours so that they won't be able to vote during work. There's also the popular "play games with the voter rolls" stunt, but we're starting to wise up to that one, so it's getting less effective.

So there you go. Want to steal an election? Manipulate who is allowed to vote and how their vote is apportioned, not how their vote is cast.

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