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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Description
Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 2678 (Senior)
User ID 13410
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
28. Re: National Day of Unplugging Mar 8, 2014, 10:22 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Quboid wrote on Mar 8, 2014, 09:57:
Why is being engaged in a conversation with someone physically beside you so much better than being engaged in a conversation with someone who isn't?

Because your behavior is showing to the person you are physically with that you'd rather be hanging out and talking with someone else, an act which is hurtful and rude? Look, I don't give a shit, and people can do what they want in this regard, but your question was far less rhetorical than you thought.
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
25. Re: Out of the Blue Mar 8, 2014, 00:25 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Agent.X7 wrote on Mar 7, 2014, 20:37:
If you cannot tell the difference between looking at a screen while walking and looking at a screen while stationary, you are beyond my capacity to help you understand.

Also, shockingly, guns do not kill people all by their lonesome. You know, being inanimate objects and all.


In the first case you're harming no one; in the second you're ignoring your wife on a dinner out. Responding to business needs justifies ignoring your wife so don't judge? How do you know the person responding to a text while walking hasn't just received news that grandma had a stroke? Look I get that when you're texting while walking you could accidentally step in front of a bus, but if the example you used was the high school quad, then the greatest danger is stepping into a light pole or bumping into someone, hardly horrible things; certainly no worse than rationalizing ignoring a loved one on what is ostensibly special time spent together. Look I don't give a shit one way or another -- in fact I totally get what you were saying about putting out a fire at work, or simply being tired and not having much to say, and am just giving you a hard time -- but don't try to have it both ways with regard to judgement. If an outside observer doesn't know the whole story and as a consequence shouldn't judge you, then what privileges you to judge without knowing the full story of someone to whom you are merely an outside observer? That's what I'm trying to point out. So knock it off with the snide insults to my intelligence, mmm-kay?

As for guns, you're right the gun doesn't kill, but then neither does the person. The person just squeezes a trigger: it's the inanimate objects of the bullets which actually inflict the internal trauma which kills someone. Likewise, lethal accidental discharges are quite common: if man is the only killer and a gun merely a hunk of metal, who is the killer in such a situation when the user of the gun never had any intent to kill? See how fun splitting hairs is? I'm not trying to get into a gun control debate here though. The point is that you can't separate a tool or a technology from its user in trying to assign moral blame because the two are functionally one unit. A hammer is just a piece of metal without a carpenter, but then a carpenter isn't really a carpenter if he doesn't have any tools of the tools he must have in order to build something. Likewise, cellphones may be useless hunks of plastic and metal without users, but users who use cellphones to their own detriment probably wouldn't be doing so if they didn't have a cellphone. See how you can't just separate the man from the machine and pretend there is no relation between the too?

This comment was edited on Mar 8, 2014, 00:34.
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
13. Re: Out of the Blue Mar 7, 2014, 16:02 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Agent.X7 wrote on Mar 7, 2014, 14:07:
It's not the tech, it's the person using it.

That sounds suspiciously like "Guns don't kill people; people kill people." Look I get the whole "the world changes and you have to be able to adapt to change" bit but that doesn't mean that it's not a worthwhile to question to ask if the world is changing for the better. You aren't going to be able to evaluate whether technology is actually improving your life if you don't take a step back from it every now and then.

Also I'm surprised you didn't notice the irony of calling people using their phone while walking stupid, and then demanding that you not be judged for using you phone while at dinner with your wife.
 
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
38. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 5, 2014, 21:49 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Saboth wrote on Mar 5, 2014, 20:57:
Regarding Comcast offering internet to poor people: '5 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 1 Mbps, according to a company FAQ.' for $9.95 a month. I currently pay $50 a month for 6 mbps down and 1 mbps up from Comcast, which is sad in its own right, before we get into people getting it for 1/5 the cost.

Hey I'm on 3mbps/1mbps for $40 a month! We should be shitty, overpriced internet buddies!
 
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
23. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 5, 2014, 15:43 Scottish Martial Arts
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Mar 5, 2014, 15:31:
Min wage jobs typically (here is where I become curt and dismissive) are not life long jobs (they shouldn't be).

Then perhaps they ought to pay more so that people have the resources to move on to better work? If the only people working minimum wage jobs were teenagers in the summer, I'd agree with you. But a lot of people end up in minimum wage through minimal fault of their own. Sure some people are lazy and never apply themselves, but a lot of folks stuck in minimum wage are capable of a lot more yet had a bad run at life and there they are.

When you work minimum wage, you make so little money it's kind of ridiculous. You HAVE to take on a second and third job if you hope to have any money left over at the end of the month. That means your free time to say, go to school or learn a new skill or network to make connections for a better career, is extremely limited to non-existent. Likewise, money is always extremely tight. You are never not worrying about how you're going to get to the end of the month. You are never not feeling guilty when you engage in the frivolous $3 expenditure of getting a few things from the dollar menu at McDonald's rather than eating PB&J for the 15th lunch in a row. The amount of stress you are under because money is so scarce makes it that much harder to do the things necessary to get a better job. Gradually you become so drained, you can't muster that energy. And because you have next to nothing at the end of the month, you aren't making progress. You end up stuck, working your ass off, generally in stressful, tiring, and demeaning work, just to go nowhere.
 
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
20. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 5, 2014, 15:34 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Pigeon wrote on Mar 5, 2014, 14:57:
The biggest problem I think that would occur are massive layoffs as companies try to avoid that initial hit.

I guess my thought on this aspect of a minimum wage hike is that the layoffs probably won't be as massive as the Chamber of Commerce, or other business lobbyists, would like to make us think, and that the benefits of a higher minimum wage would outweigh the immediate employment costs. Standard microeconomic models make it pretty clear that price floors lead to surpluses, or in the case of labor markets, a minimum wage SHOULD lead to surplus labor, i.e. unemployment increases. That said the standard micro-economic models make a lot of assumptions in their predictions, primarily that employers are A) already operating at 100% maximum efficiency and B) are completely rational in all decision making. Those are big assumptions to make. What if an employer's operations are less than maximally efficient? Well than he could still maintain his bottom line in light of a minimum wage hike without cutting payroll if he addressed those non-labor inefficiencies, say by using cheaper raw materials, or not wasting as much raw material. Likewise, let's say he is operating at 100% efficiency, and the minimum wage hike is cutting into his bottom line: is his first response to layoff employees, some of whom he may have grown to like and value as people, and not just economic producers in his employ? Perhaps his sense of responsibility to his employees, an emotional and non-economically rational factor, makes him choose to take a cut to profits rather than do harm to someone he cares about.

Furthermore, the problem with all economic models is it is very difficult to conduct experiments. In chemistry, you come up with a model, make predictions using that model, and then you conduct experiments to see if the results of the experiment match the predictions of the model. If the results don't match the predictions, then the model is wrong. That's how science works. In economics however, you can't conduct an experiment because of the ethical dimensions -- what if your experiment ruins the livelihood of thousands of people? What this means is models may make sense on a logical level, but there is always a question mark of whether they reflect reality. The standard microeconomic models are pretty darn clear that higher minimum wage leads to higher unemployment, but without repeated experimental verification how do you know if the model itself is accurate? Well, the close that you can come in economics is to look for natural experiments, i.e. in the case of the minimum wage, try to find two different jurisdictions with relatively similar economic situations, but where one raises the minimum wage and one does not. If unemployment rises dramatically in the former, as your model predicts, then there is more credence to your model. If not, then your model may have some problems. Here's the thing: the natural experiment evidence on the minimum wage suggests that while there is some increase in unemployment, it is relatively marginal, particularly when compared to the gains you get in terms of, say, getting people out of poverty.

Economics is all about trade-offs. Certainly raising the minimum wage will have some negative consequences. The question is will the benefits outweigh the costs? My sense at any rate -- and partly this judgement is colored from having to work minimum wage for a while despite being a college educated adult, i.e. not a high school kid on his first summer job -- is that there will be more people who will be better off than will be hurt.
 
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
14. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 5, 2014, 14:40 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Task wrote on Mar 5, 2014, 12:46:
Oh yeah and that Buffett guy avoids millions in taxes in offshore accounts, while believing the middle class should be heavily taxed, while his Berkshire company hasn't paid taxes in 10 years. sweet. The poor get poorer, and the rich get richer. nice, good game

None of that is true... He's long called bullshit on the rationalizations for greed which many in his industry put forth, and has been a strong advocate for capital gains to be taxed as earned income, i.e. make the rich pay the same percent in taxes as those whose income comes from a paycheck. In short, he's kind of the antithesis of your typical uber-rich asshole.

Most financiers are scum, sure, but if there was a moral model which we wished our capital owning class to aspire to, Buffett would probably be close to it.

This comment was edited on Mar 5, 2014, 14:51.
 
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
12. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 5, 2014, 14:35 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Yeah, I'm confused by the Warren Buffett hate as well. I guess all financiers are evil by default?  
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News Comments > Op Ed
15. Re: Op Ed Mar 5, 2014, 01:02 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Cutter wrote on Mar 4, 2014, 19:50:
You those games are availble on the PC right? So that pretty much invalidates his argument right there.

Jesus Christ, read the article and address his argument. Or spout off not knowing what he said. Your choice.

Panickd did just that and actually contributed something to the discussion by pointing out the ways in which the author's argument does not hold. All we've heard from you is how you don't like something you haven't read.

The author's point was that the console manufacturer's traditionally subsidize hardware through software sales, thus their business model depends upon maintaining the price of software at current levels. Furthermore, traditionally, console gaming is something where you buy a disc in a case, whereas in the PC space most PC gamers haven't bought in a physical new release in 5 or 6 years. Panickd has correctly pointed out that the current hardware generation is not subsidized, and that furthermore the console industry is transitioning towards digital distribution.

I don't know whether this guy is correct, but I can say that as a PC gamer the amount of money I spend on individual games has been steadily dropping since digital distribution became the primary way people buy games. If competitive markets do in fact tend to drive prices towards the the marginal cost threshold, as he asserts in citing some economic research, then the near zero marginal cost of digitally distributed games would go a ways to explain why we're all paying less and less to have more and more games, many sitting in backlogs that would demand taking a year off work to get through.

This comment was edited on Mar 5, 2014, 01:14.
 
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News Comments > Diablo III XP Bonus
71. Re: Diablo III XP Bonus Mar 4, 2014, 19:30 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Undocumented Alien wrote on Mar 4, 2014, 17:07:
IT'S OFFLINE!!! WHY DO YOU CARE IF THERE IS ITEM STAT HACKING, IT AFFECTS YOUR EXPERIENCE 0%.

The game can also be played online. People stat hack their items and then take them online, where they percolate through the broader economy, affecting the experience of anyone who wants to play online. It was the same problem which affected Diablo I battle.net play (Hellspike armor anyone?) which I'm guessing from your affinity for capslock you are too young to have experienced first hand.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
2. Re: Op Ed Mar 4, 2014, 19:25 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Cutter wrote on Mar 4, 2014, 18:35:
And Nicolas Lovell's Blog has just shown us why hyperbole is only good for clickbait articles.

Edit:

In Chapter 3 of The Curve, I set out the economic arguments for why a digital product will tend towards a cost of zero over time

Really? Someone needs to tell Bobby Nodick that about CoD, or TakeTwo about GTA, or....

Read the whole article; he addresses why console gaming will not tend towards a zero price point separate from the fact that it's still largely a packaged goods business. It's an interesting argument although I was perturbed by his reference to the "Iron Laws of Economics".
 
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News Comments > Evening Metaverse
4. Re: Evening Metaverse Mar 4, 2014, 18:57 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Axis wrote on Mar 4, 2014, 17:55:
Everyone listens to music but how many know what a Clef note is?

Probably no one because a Clef is not a kind of note. But people who listen to music without understanding much of music theory or how to play an instrument are the poorer for it.

Should everyone know industry terms if they aren't part of that industry?

One would hope people are curious and seek to understand things for their own sake, but in the absence of that, people should have a bare minimum understanding of the world around them, hence education. Given the essential nature of the web to modern life in an advanced nation, people should at least have heard of HTML and know that it pertains to the web. No, they don't need to be able to markup content with HTML, or even really understand what it does or how it works, but they really ought not to think it's an STD, for the same reason people really ought not to think the sun revolves around the earth, that vaccines cause autism, or that a device which runs electrical current through your abs will allow you to lose weight without getting off the couch. I would think "HTML has something to do with the internet", would be a sufficiently low hurdle of knowledge, but given the anti-intellectual bent of our culture maybe it is.
 
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News Comments > Saturday Metaverse
25. Re: Saturday Metaverse Mar 2, 2014, 01:00 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Axis wrote on Mar 1, 2014, 23:58:
What I cannot stand is Obama and his usual lip service, it makes us look more weak and insignificant than had he said nothing at all - we've lost all credibility because every "red line" Obama puts out there is crossed and laughed at.

You are aware that foreign leaders don't get their intelligence reports on Obama from Fox News, correct? I'm only marginally supportive of Obama at best, i.e. I think he has admirable qualities but has been mostly ineffective as a president, so don't get the impression that I think his record is of unbridled strength. But that said, "strength", and the perception of it, is more than a willingness to launch misguided invasions which bog down the better part of US military strength for a decade and empower regional adversaries. Certainly, if I were a foreign adversary, I would note Obama's caution to a fault, his tendency towards paralysis by analysis, and his domestic political weakness. I would note his signaling miscalculations as the Syrian Civil War escalated, i.e. having Assad call his bluff over the chemical weapons "red line", but conversely I would recognize the wisdom of not compounding that called bluff by intervening militarily in Syria in an attempt to save face, when such intervention is highly unlikely to serve US interests. Furthermore, I would note his ready willingness to violate the sovereign territory of allied states to launch cross-border special forces and drone raids to assassinate perceived threats to US national security. I would also note his willingness to project power when there is good reason to believe it can depose an adversary, i.e. Libya. In short, my assessment would be "cautious, reluctant to intervene, but if he believes US military intervention is likely to serve US interests, rather than a mere desire to appear tough, then he is likely to use it."
 
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News Comments > Saturday Metaverse
20. Re: Saturday Metaverse Mar 1, 2014, 20:47 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Axis wrote on Mar 1, 2014, 14:06:
Hey Franken, how about you worry about the US and Britain's promise to Ukraine? That's a hell of a serious issue that NO ONE is reporting here in the US...

Obama will as usual do nothing... even when there's an 'international law' that Clinton signed...

Not that I want him to, but he's such a terrible representative of our country it's sickening. But ya, he'll just keep being "deeply concerned" or "strongly discouraged" or some other useless statement he makes as he sits back and tries to forget he's in shoes way to big for his tiny feet.

Axis, you claim to have been in the military, so clearly you must know something about military affairs. Tell me this: what military presence do we have in Ukraine? What naval presence do we have in the Black Sea? How far away is the nearest US military installation of any size? How far away is the nearest US military installation of a size sufficient to support war in Ukraine?

The answers, respectively, are none, none, about 350 miles away in Bulgaria, and about 800 miles away in Germany. Think about this for a moment: we don't have any airbases close enough to Ukraine to provide a credible deterrent from the air. We could make a handful of aerial tanker supported air strikes as a show of moral support but that's about it. Likewise, the experience of the Gulf and Iraq War demonstrate that it takes months to build up a credible land based force on foreign shores, so the Army is out as an immediate deterrent. What about the Navy? Can't we just move a few battle groups into the Black Sea? IF we get permission from the Turks to cross the Bosporus, which is no sure thing, we could conceivably do so, BUT, the Russians already have a fleet, complete with ports to repair and resupply at, in the Black Sea. We would have to fight through a blockade of the straights to move a fleet into the Black Sea, and that fleet would have to deal with both the remnants of the Russian Black Sea fleet, and the Russian Air Force which has bases throughout the region.

So what does this mean? It means that military intervention on the part of the US/EU in the Ukraine to maintain its territorial integrity would necessitate a full-scale, medium-intensity war on land, on the sea, and in the air. Is keeping ethnically Russian, and Russian speaking Crimea a part of the Ukraine worth such a war to you? Or are you just interested in blustering and finding new ways to hate Obama?
 
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
33. Re: Morning Metaverse Feb 25, 2014, 00:34 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Cutter wrote on Feb 24, 2014, 23:57:
I guess we'll never know if people like Axis and Max are just nothing but trolls or really that delusional and stupid. Either way, what a waste of life.

Axis is real; he's just an ideologue with elaborate filters for complexity. What he says is true, and also bullshit. Why? Because reality is complex and he's presenting one part as if it is the whole.

Yes, the military does tend to be MORE conservative, but not exclusively conservative, than America at large, but only in certain respects, and for a myriad of reasons beyond his "liberals are losers and the military isn't a loser" narrative (although I wouldn't exactly call stalemate in Iraq and Afghanistan winning). Alternative explanations, each of which have a role, is that the military is a more "traditional society" profession, like farming, and thus is going to attract those who find more comfort in embracing tradition rather than changing the future, that traditional gender roles within military families tend to be strongly enforced because the constant moves make it impossible for non-military wives to work, that most bases are located in the South where the land is much cheaper, and thus more Southerner's, who tend to be conservative, get exposed to the military and its members on a more regular basis and thus are more likely to consider it an option for themselves, etc.

Likewise, Axis's assertion that no soldier enters the Army in search of violent adventure is either proof positive that he had REMF MOS, i.e. he was NOT an 11 Bravo, or he has a VERY selective memory. Some soldiers are circumspect or ambivalent about being a part of the profession of violence, others are there for no other reason than to have that chance to see a man die by their hand. Even for the former, who recognize the complex nature of war, including all of its evil, there is still the desire among professional soldiers to one day see war so that you can find out if all your training and practice made you good enough to face your enemy in combat and kill him.

Finally, my own experience of keeping in touch with the officers in my year group (I ended up getting last-minute medically disqualified shortly after being branched Infantry), is very much in line with Sepharo's. Not all of my peers were rah-rah USA #1 Republicans, although some were, to include me, but I can't think of one who doesn't now view the world in less one dimensional terms. The Army/Military as the Paragon of American Virtue and a Symbol of All That Is Good? Bullshit, it's a human institution with some very good people, and some very bad, and most somewhere in between, leading to institutional outcomes of roughly the same proportion. The American Military as Unstoppable Asskicker of Righteousness? Bullshit, it's probably the best conventional air-land force in the world, but that still didn't stop us from being fought to a stalemate by illiterate goatheaders in Afghanistan, and the notion that we could launch an invasion of democracy into Iraq sure looks pretty laughable now. Muslims as the antithesis of all that is Good, Holy, and Just? Meh, they're just people man, some good, some bad; most want the same things the rest of us do: to see their children grow to a happy and prosperous adulthood.

Does this mean all my peers turned into flaming liberals? No, most of the right-wingers are still amped up about gun rights and government spending, but they are certainly less one-dimensional and more circumspect when it comes to the issues that surround American military power and the Global War on Terror. Those who are more liberal on economic issues largely put that down to the financial crisis and its aftermath. Most were already liberal on cultural issues, i.e. gays, abortion, etc. because very few millenials toe the conservative line in that regard.
 
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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs
19. Re: Morning Legal Briefs Feb 24, 2014, 16:29 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Mad Max RW wrote on Feb 24, 2014, 16:26:
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Feb 24, 2014, 16:24:
Mad Max RW wrote on Feb 24, 2014, 16:22:
The only thing that will turn things around is if people stop buying when it gets too expensive. Comcast will get too big until they are forced to split apart. But I hope it never changes just so I can continue watching it cause you such mental anguish.

I like how the moderator is cherry picking what posts to delete while ignoring your raging.

How utterly typical for a conservative. All set to be aggressive and offensive, until they're responded to in kind, at which point they bitch and moan and play victim.

How typical of a liberal coward putting words in a person's mouth such as claiming I support any politician or even Comcast. I dislike them, too (actually paying more than you, believe it or not) but I can afford it. Whining on a video game site does nothing.

Why identify a problem and try to find a way fix it when you can masturbate to "USA #1!!!" and bitch about communists, amirite? /modernconservatism

Furthermore, you started your participation in this thread by loudly proclaiming your opposition to Net Neutrality, something which telecom vigorously opposes, despite it being clear you don't know what the fuck Net Neutrality is. Clearly, someone trying to manipulate you told you it was bad, and you swallowed it hook line and sinker because it fit your ideological predilections. If you do vote, and if you vote in line with the bullshit you spout here, then you are indeed supporting the politicians who support Comcast's ability to exploit everyone to the country's detriment. Good job on that one.
 
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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs
17. Re: Morning Legal Briefs Feb 24, 2014, 16:24 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Mad Max RW wrote on Feb 24, 2014, 16:22:
The only thing that will turn things around is if people stop buying when it gets too expensive. Comcast will get too big until they are forced to split apart. But I hope it never changes just so I can continue watching it cause you such mental anguish.

I like how the moderator is cherry picking what posts to delete while ignoring your raging.

How utterly typical for a conservative. All set to be aggressive and offensive, until they're responded to in kind, at which point they bitch and moan and play victim.
 
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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs
15. removed Feb 24, 2014, 16:16 Scottish Martial Arts
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Feb 24, 2014, 18:36.
 
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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs
13. removed Feb 24, 2014, 16:06 Scottish Martial Arts
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Feb 24, 2014, 18:37.
 
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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs
11. Re: Morning Legal Briefs Feb 24, 2014, 15:53 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Mad Max RW wrote on Feb 24, 2014, 15:50:
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Feb 24, 2014, 15:42:
Mad Max RW wrote on Feb 24, 2014, 11:49:
Creston wrote on Feb 24, 2014, 11:16:
We should just fucking ban Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner altogether. Hand their networks over to local municipalities, then close them the fuck up.

You would be a big fan of the government's proposed net neutrality bill where everybody has access to the same internet speed. Although it will be slow and expensive as hell with additional fees for high traffic websites like Amazon. It's easy and "fair" to make sure everybody has shit. We don't want hurt feelings now do we?


You don't have a clue what you're talking about, do you? Why am I not surprised?

I know exactly what happens when the government tries running things. And this is what will happen. But you are a butthurt liberal statist coward and there's no point talking to you.

And you don't know what a natural monopoly is. You think that all markets are naturally competitive, and you're willing to be abused by a monopoly and see your country fall behind in infrastructure development in order to maintain that mistaken belief. In short, you are an ideologue and a moron, who can only repeat what right wing radio tells you.

 
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2678 Comments. 134 pages. Viewing page 3.
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