Article about smuggler with nuclear warhead blueprints

This is a discussion on Article about smuggler with nuclear warhead blueprints within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; The culture of dependence you speak of is indeed a fact, medievalelks (wow! I typed it right on first try! ...

  1. #16
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    The culture of dependence you speak of is indeed a fact, medievalelks (wow! I typed it right on first try! where's my cookie? )

    But it is mostly sponsored and nurtured by the governments themselves. It's almost laughable, if it didn't make you cry, that They moan about how people are so dependent on Them, when They spend rivers of money on campaigns promoting better welfare when elections day come. It is also the result of one simple fact... it doesn't work. Born poor, die poor is the life of the vast majority of the population with this problem. It's all their fault?

    Regardless it is the task of the government to provide for those in need, give initial support and help catapult them to a better life. That some take advantage of the system, I have no doubt. On the other side of the scale you have the successful that take advantage of holes in the tax system.

    But to think anyone that doesn't succeed in life is a loser, is too a selfish act. Money exclusion, social discrimination, differentiated education, aren't just inventions. Whether you want to believe it or not, in America, just like in any other western country, poverty exists. And the vast majority of this people work hard in their lifes to try to improve at least the future of their kids. The vast majority fails. Being born slaves and dying slaves to a system that still needs someone to clean their urine, wipe their gutters and feed their mouths.

    I'm happy for your inlaws. But don't even think using their experience as the proof everyone else is to be blamed if they don't do it too. try being born latino, black or white in a trailer park in America. Then come to me and tell me in the face when you can't make it when you reach 50 that you are loser.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  2. #17
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    Well, I don't think I said that poverty does not exist, and in fact believe that we will always have it. But you have to break the cycle at some point. And yes, it's harder for some than others, but it happens all the time, my in-laws being an example that was close to me. They came from a war torn country in the 70s with nothing. On the other side, I know of a 20 year old girl that had two kids before she was 18. She made a calculated move to moved out from her mother's house into her own apartment "so she could get more welfare". That's not the fault of the system, the "rich", or the Man - it's the fault of the individual.

    Unless a person has mental illness, at some point in their lives they know the difference between right and wrong, and which choices (namely to work hard in school and stay out of trouble) will lead to which results.
    Last edited by medievalelks; 06-18-2008 at 07:30 AM.

  3. #18
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Regardless it is the task of the government to provide for those in need, give initial support and help catapult them to a better life.
    That's one theory of it. The other side is that we have smaller government that allows people to determine their own destiny and financial support. I do not feel it is the government's responsibility to bail anyone out of their situation....including huge businesses who make poor decisions and end up needing a government bailout. Many complain about those bailouts being unfair but then turn around and complain about the government not helping them.

    I, for one, want the government as far away from my affairs as possible. No matter what it is they get their hands on they always manage to royally screw it up.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 06-18-2008 at 07:52 PM.

  4. #19
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by medievalelks View Post
    Many don't, because we have a culture of dependency now that expects the government to provide for them from cradle to grave. If you aren't making it, look in the mirror. The reason's in there.

    I didn't say everyone makes it - they plainly don't, and most don't try. And I didn't say it was easy.

    But the opportunity is there.
    I wouldn't put it that negatively, but I think we agree more than we disagree. I mean, looking at it in a different light, a lot of people succeed. You're gonna hit some hard spots and you're gonna fail, but you've got what you love, and that should be all that matters. You could do something else and make a lot of money but there's a point where that isn't so fulfilling especially if you just wade your way through it. And you're going to be doing your work for the majority of your life, and all the time you spend doing something you detest adds up.

    But that's what I say. It's not that I'm unconcerned about the income gap or anything like that, but people get focused on the bottom line a lot. Where we disagree I think is that government should be able to help.

    I mean if you take a chance and become an artist, or open some type of store, (books or music for example) and it doesn't work out at first, what happens to your life? You can't just leave people out there in total poverty, they need access to reconciliation options if they screwed up their taxes or need to pay a hospital bill. You bought into the American dream - if America let people down so hard the whole promise of freedom and prosperity would look like a bold face lie.

    People think currency is something that they can just own, but its made out of blood, tears, and people's hard work. I'm convinced this is the reason people have weird ideas about what money is supposed to be and who it belongs to. But work and sacrifice is what gives it its value and it's one of the reasons people wouild fight to protect the state.

    Sorry for butting in. I think we're supposed to be talking about bombs, but whatever.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    That's one theory of it. The other side is that we have smaller government that allows people to determine their own destiny and financial support. I do not feel it is the government's responsibility to bail anyone out of their situation....including huge businesses who make poor decisions and end up needing a government bailout. Many complain about those bailouts being unfair but then turn around and complain about the government not helping them.

    I, for one, want the government as far away from my affairs as possible. No matter what it is they get their hands on they always manage to royally screw it up.
    +1. I would describe myself as a libertarian politically (as if people couldn't tell from my stance on drugs and hookers :-))

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by citizen View Post
    I mean if you take a chance and become an artist, or open some type of store, (books or music for example) and it doesn't work out at first, what happens to your life?
    But if the government bails out everyone who fails, that would be pretty costly, no? And doesn't that mean that the government is fostering unfair competition?

    Hot dog vendor A and hot dog vendor B open up shops across the street. A beats B in the free market, but B then gets help from the government to stay open.

    Isn't that unfair to A? Why should the govt. pick a winner?

    And there are options for people who fail - family, friends, church, private charity, etc.

    You bought into the American dream - if America let people down so hard the whole promise of freedom and prosperity would look like a bold face lie.
    No one is promised prosperity, just the right and freedom to attain it. Personally, I'm too chicken to start a business right now, because I don't want to risk my life savings at my age. If the govt. backed me, I could half arse it and see if it works. If not, no biggie - the rest of you paid for it.

  7. #22
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Well my argument wasn't so much about picking favorites, but I tried to point out with example that government could spur business, or at least ease bankruptcy, by opening financial options to the public. Foreclosure should be a fair and hasty process. After foreclosure, a public safety net like welfare is helpful if you really can't find work for a stretch. (Incidentally, a person so unskilled or uneducated really had no point in starting a business, but people make stupid decisions, banks can make bad loans, and no political philosophy really solves that one.) Banking law might also be helpful if we needed serious reform for mortgages or business loans - the life cycle of a dollar is important.

    America leaves this to the private sector of the economy still for the most part, though. There are credit unions and ways to consolidate your debt through a bank or agency. What the government should do additionally, at minimum, is review the tax code, close loopholes, and make it easier for people to pay. The easiesat to pay: owing $0, but that's not always good for the ledger.

    The point about medical bills was just another area I thought the government could be helpful for most citizens. How insurance and health care works in the U.S. is also through the private sector, but:

    * being covered (in full or in part) by your employer was part of making it accessable to citizens;
    * as well as providing public options for the very poor and elderly, and
    * some states have their own plans for families with children.
    The Michigan governor, for example, extended a program called SCHIP to more families here and my family used it until I was too old.

    I'm not particularly concerned about who takes care of that either, but I think if private insurance is going to mean anything, more businesses need to participate like they used to. I haven't taken a real crack at the problem, but reforming some of the laws might also be helpful. Read the wikipedia page on EMTALA for example:

    Improved health services for uninsured
    The most significant effect is that, regardless of insurance status, everyone in need of urgent medical assistance is now legally guaranteed to receive it. Currently EMTALA only requires that hospitals stabilize the emergency. According to some analyses of the U.S. health care safety net, EMTALA is an incomplete and strained program.[8][9]


    Cost pressures on hospitals
    According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 55% of U.S. emergency care now goes uncompensated.[10] When medical bills go unpaid, health care providers must either shift the costs onto those who can pay — mainly those with health insurance or government programs — or go uncompensated. In the first decade of EMTALA, such cost-shifting amounted to a hidden tax levied by providers.[11] For example, it has been estimated that this cost shifting amounted to $455 per individual or $1,186 per family in California each year.[11]
    It seems like the law hasn't paved a road for certain people to pay off their hospital care, and business doesn't seem to be providing real financing help.

    But the point was that, yes, the government can help people build a successful life, it's just a matter of how it happens and what role public services play, and if they don't exist, then what replaces them.

    I'm rambling...

  8. #23
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    Well, these debates about what govt should and should not provide will be going on long after I'm gone, and frankly, I don't ever expect to be on the winning (read: elected) side in my lifetime. There's too much momentum in the other direction.

  9. #24
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Well personally, I hold the position that in order for a system to be fair and efficient it has to maximize the effective use of its resources. If one system is better able to make use of a resource than another, it can and should succeed. This doesnt just apply to using them more efficently in general, but in particular as well. Lets say I run a lemonade stand and ther are 5 other lemonade stands on my block. now I invested my allowance in that lemonade but noone on this block wants to buy my lemonade because they already bougth lemonade from 4 other stands. Now I am faced with a choice. I can either let my lemonade go to waste adn lose everythign I have worked for, or I can go sell my lemonade on the next block over. Now the people on this block dont like the peole on the next block adn dont want them to have any lemonade, so now comes the real question. At what point does the decision of block A to deny block B lemonade compel block A to accept the expense of reimbersing the excess lemonade stands in order to prevent them from simply moving to block B. For the lemonade stand owner its a simple business decision. For the Block Association its a strategic decision. Yes the optimum situation would have been for me to open a hot dog stand instead, but since the BA was spamming for decades throughout the cold drink war with block CCCP that Block A needs more lemonade stands, they do in fact have some responsibility for the fact that too many people responded and are now locked in to either selling lemonade or living in relative poverty.
    Last edited by abachler; 06-19-2008 at 01:47 PM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  10. #25
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Well personally, I hold the position that in order for a system to be fair and efficient it has to maximize the effective use of its resources. If one system is better able to make use of a resource than another, it can and should succeed. This doesnt just apply to using them more efficently in general, but in particular as well. Lets say I run a lemonade stand and ther are 5 other lemonade stands on my block. now I invested my allowance in that lemonade but noone on this block wants to buy my lemonade because they already bougth lemonade from 4 other stands. Now I am faced with a choice. I can either let my lemonade go to waste adn lose everythign I have worked for, or I can go sell my lemonade on the next block over. Now the people on this block dont like the peole on the next block adn dont want them to have any lemonade, so now comes the real question. At what point does the decision of block A to deny block B lemonade compel block A to accept the expense of reimbersing the excess lemonade stands in order to prevent them from simply moving to block B. For the lemonade stand owner its a simple business decision. For the Block Association its a strategic decision. Yes the optimum situation would have been for me to open a hot dog stand instead, but since the BA was spamming for decades throughout the cold drink war with block CCCP that Block A needs more lemonade stands, they do in fact have some responsibility for the fact that too many people responded and are now locked in to either selling lemonade or living in relative poverty.
    So you are saying that no one gets seconds till everyone gets firsts? Sounds like a failed form of government that some rather large players have since abandoned.

    I don't want the government in my health care because they will muck it up. It will be much like going to the driver's license bureau where you take a number and get served 8 hours later. If they do pass national health care be prepared for an instant overflow of the U.S. medical system. Business will cease offering benefits to workers since they can cut costs by allowing the government to do it. What this will amount to is a medical system on overload that will not be able to respond. Not to mention that government will now bear the burden of all the medical claims that used to be covered by companies who could afford to offer medical benefits. If every company just stopped offering medical benefits to workers....the cost to the government in a national health care system just skyrockets. Yet I never hear this discussed in any rallies or on any news station. I want to know. Who the heck is going to pay for this grandiose system? It's certainly not going to be free and since our system depends on benefits now....it will be a long, costly, hard road to get to national health care. And c'mon you and I both know if a business sees an opportunity to cut medical costs and uses national health care as an 'out' they will - and you would too. The whole scheme right now as they present it just doesn't make sense.

    I'm not saying that the ideas our polticians are putting forth aren't good ideas but I am saying they are wholly unrealistic. We do not have the resources, the money, or the infrastructure for half of what current politicians are proposing.

    Another example of this is the recent proposal by McCain to build 45 reactors by 2030. Wait a minute didn't all the greenies rally against these things back in the 80's? Now all of a sudden they are safe? We still do not have a good way of dealing with the radioactive bi-products of nuclear fission. To continue to build reactors with no known way of dealing with their extremely hazardous waste is completely irresponsible. It's the same type of thinking as we will just use oil till we run out or come up with a new form of energy that we've been following for the past 50 years. So the greenies want to follow the same path as the oil folks and just 'hope' that we come up with a safe way to deal with the bi-products. Both of those approaches suck. BOTH the dems and the repubs have failed ideas.

    My opinion is that in the USA I think BOTH political sides have completely lost touch with reality, science, and common sense and none of them have good answers to hard problems. It is time for serious change that I fear will never come. I would consider myself a former Republican turned independent. I'm tired of both sides just blathering at the mouth with no real answers.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 06-19-2008 at 04:21 PM.

  11. #26
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Many civilized nations have public health care, and they don't have the problems you mention. Canada has it, and they arent overloaded?

    Would there be a huge influx of new claims, sure, but that is only because there is a huge backlog of people that need helathcare and arent getting it now. Elective procedures arent covered, so nose jobs and lypo still come out of your pocket. Doctors get paid a set amount, so there is no incentive to milk the system, since they don't profit.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  12. #27
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    I think the problem is not so much the actual system which does "work" in many countries - be it private or government based - but instead the transition.

    A transition from a public health care system to a private is surely less dramatic (and private health care systems exist on about every country with public ones), than the other way around. I feel once you get to a private system there's no turning back. And the reason has mostly to do with what Bubba addressed; mostly the government loses the ability to cope with the expense of a public health care system.

    If anything it would have to be a very slow transition, maybe first addressing small fringes of the population as the government (re)built its tax base in order to pay for the new costs. And taxes would have to be raised and would hit harder the general population.

    ...

    But, all in all, I feel it's giving a step backwards. As much as I may be pro-social when it comes to a government responsibilities, I am as far as the system isn't perfect. On an ideal democratic state, the population and the private initiative has the responsibility to ensure all the social and economical aspects of their society (everything, health care, education, etc). The government acts solely guaranteeing equal opportunities and the stability of the system through its laws and the enforcing of those laws.

    In the imperfect democracies we live in today where private initiative hasn't yet gained a social view, I'm afraid the government still needs to take the reins on these and some other matters. Regardless, it's not wise to go back. In this context, the USA gave a step forward when it privatized part of their health care system (I'm not fully familiar on how it woks over there). I understand there are problems, otherwise the debate inside the USA wouldn't exist, but I could almost bet social unrest would follow a private to public transition due to:

    a) massive(?) tax raises;
    b) Loss of doctors that would flock to the private system because the government couldn't pay their usual fees, forcing the creation of laws to force doctors to give "monthly hours" to the public system at a lower pay, which in itself degrades the quality of the public health care system;
    c) Degradation of public hospitals and clinics because the government would also have to now care for them. In a country with 300 million inhabitants, I can't even imagine the figure needed to keep these hospitals, running. Probably higher than the current defense budget!

    In the end, the whole system collapses before it is even born, in my opinion. Here in Portugal with just 10 million we have already faced two or three years where the whole health care system was declared unsustainable within the next 10-20 years. The debate over a private health care system is cooler now, but has been very intensive and will eventually be again. It's just a natural step that some countries have given already and others will eventually.

    If the private health care system has problems, doesn't surprise me. What doesn't in these years of pre-unrest (make no mistake)? But shouldn't they be trying to solve them instead of proposing a old-fashioned and more than disproven system that even countries like Canada and France (once the two best public health care systems in the world) are having trouble sustaining?
    Last edited by Mario F.; 06-19-2008 at 06:25 PM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  13. #28
    and the Hat of Clumsiness GanglyLamb's Avatar
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    The problem imo with public healthcare is the increased elderly population.

    In Belgium we have public healthcare, which is nice since when I have an accident or anything I have to pay maybe 75&#37; of the total costs involved. But I am a young guy, I dont need that kind of treatment 24hrs a day...

    And thats where all these old folks come into play:

    a) they dont work so dont pay taxes
    b) they keep living longer because of better healthcare

    Healthcare is provided because there is income of the taxes, but young people now have to pay for pensions of the old people at this moment and their healthcare as well (since they themselves arent working any longer so indirectly they are not contributing)...

    There have been talk here as well as how sustainable this is going to be in the next coming years... Its already a known fact that we as a younger generation will never be able to reach the level of luxury that older generations could afford, simply because the yound base that provides this ever growing old base is getting smaller and smaller compared to the elder base. Not to forget that the age that one can go on pension is increasing.

    Quick example: my parents build their own house, took a mortgage for 15 years which at that time (16 years ago) - was an average timespan of mortgages, right now young people are taking up mortgages that span 40 years !
    This means that at the age of ~23 you go to work, start paying off your loans, by the time you are 63 the loan is payed off.... And oh yeah within a few more years (probably within 40 years this will already be longer) you can go on pension... But within 40 years there will even be many more elderly, so the pension I can rely on isnt just going to cut it. So while im paying off my loans, I also have to create my own backup funds for when I retire so I can look after myself. Its like a blade with more then 2 edges ...


    So in short the healthcare system worked in the past but it is assured that it will fail in the future. At least thats how I look at it now, as soon as I start working I'll already be saving for my pension on a private basis (which in turn means I might possibly not enjoy life to the fullest since I can be saving for my pension for 40 years on a private basis and drop dead or have an accident before I even might enjoy it). I also know now that I will never be able to afford a house like my parents simply because its too expensive and I really don't see any benefits from taking up a mortgage that spans 40 years.

    Maybe im just a pessimist but I'd rather think like this then to estimate a bright future and bump my head into the wall later on.
    Last edited by GanglyLamb; 06-20-2008 at 03:13 AM.

  14. #29
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Well, the big problem is the over-reliance on capital flow to estimate the sustainability of the system. Its a lto easier to measure dollars/yen/euros/kugeran's than to measure mettric tons of medical supplies or house paint. Unfortunately for Wall Street, it is the actual production of goods that determines sustainability independant of however many or few units of exchange are available. People don't consume dollars, they consume gallons of milk, 2x4's, gasoline, 'I'm with stupid' T-Shirts, and pet rocks. The wealth of a nation is measured in tons of manufactured goods per capita. America, adn the world for the most part, have been in an economic decline since world war 2, with fewer goods per capita produced each year even as our population ages, implying an eventual decrease in maximum manufacturing capacity. Although currently we are nowhere near capacity. A lot of this stems from Vietnam era economic policy and the corporate debt restructuring that took place in the 80's to fend off hostile takeovers.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  15. #30
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    I'm not entirely sure if my statement on health care made sense to anyone. This side discussion happened after I posted it and now I guess some people think that I want public health care. Not really.

    When most American industries and businesses provided employment benefits, such as health insurance coverage or co-pay, the system worked really well. I don't have any statistics but at least if you had a job, you were covered if you had a minor accident, like a broken leg. A lot of employers aren't offering to do this anymore, especially in big corporations like Coke, Ford, and Sprint for example.

    I don't think private health care is bad at all. It's just that, if we did find a way to insure the most people, or especially find a way for the uninsured (consequently, the unemployed) to pay their own bills, it would work better. Amending the legislation is probably necessary.

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