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Everything posted by Marvin

  1. quote:Originally posted by Cruis.In: what? What what? It's a movie. About George Reeves. The TV Superman. His "suicide."
  2. The official site doesn't have much to look at yet. But I'm going see this one even if it isn't that good. Just to refresh my memory ... how, when it happened, all us kids wondered if the bullet had been made of kryptonite.
  3. Well, around here, any round-headed snake is non-poisonous. Unless, of course, the coral snake has a cousin ... the corral snake.
  4. When did you move to Minnesota?
  5. quote:Originally posted by UnderLord: Look at the book enders game, you can play both sides of the coin in that book =) The thing I didn't like about Ender's Game was that the author thought it something special if a person didn't get disoriented when "down" had no meaning. There's nothing special about it.
  6. quote:Originally posted by Darkling: This is the reason why they say that the stock market is a very safe investment, when you're looking to invest for at least 3 to 5 years, because generally if you where to purchase a portfolio today, and in 5 years there was a crash and you sold at that point, you most likely would not lose any part of your INITIAL investment....Generally ... but not always. And, in this game, it's not the rule that counts ... it's the exceptions. I bought heavily into a Science & Technology mutual fund in 1999. In the first year, I picked up about 5%. The year after that, the stock lost nearly 50% of its value. It still hasn't recovered much more than 60% of its initial investment. Lucky for me, it's not my only source of money. But others might not be so lucky ... especially when you're talking the entire population of the country dabbling in the market. Like the guy who put all his money in vacuum tubes just prior to 1947. Or 8-track tapes. Or Betamax. Or laserdiscs. Or White Front. Or GEMCO. Or Rambler. Or Enron. Or Dot-coms. Or on and on and on. Granted, you wouldn't call that a proper portfolio. But, even my "proper" portfolio leaned considerably toward tech stocks. Why? Because some people just can't accept the possibility that an industry with as good a track record as technology could turn sour. It's a crap shoot. But the guy I worry about isn't the guy with what could be considered a balanced portfolio. It's the guy who in 1946 hears about a company making a new breakthrough in vacuum tubes and (if he had had the choice) puts all his social security into that company. Then, out of nowhere, along comes the transistor. Now he's broke and needs an even bigger win just to break even. So he does the same thing year after year ... until, forty years later, he has nothing. Or until he finds himself unemployed and still has nothing. Who, then, pays for that guy's mistakes? If this country ever decides stocks and bonds are as good as money in the bank, this guy will show up and do dumb things. And, after he does, all the old arguments will surface again ... protesting the rude and callous way society treats those who are down on their luck. And we will be right back where we started in the 1930s.
  7. quote:Originally posted by Darkling: The conditions that caused the great depression, no longer even exist.No, I suppose they don't. Leastwise, not as long as the current regulations remain in place. And I guess we need not worry about conditions that never before existed. Like, for instance, as long as new international players behave themselves. Another major crash would be a one in a million shot. Unfortunately, when it comes to one in a million, this country behaves a lot like Discworld.
  8. quote:Originally posted by Darkling: When Social Security was first designed, it was actually an illusion created to raise taxes on income by 10% ... a scam, the money went directly to the general treasury, where part of it was used to pay the most impoverished retirees, and the rest went to Trumans Building projects and other things like that.Not according to a rather comprehensive history of Social Security. Truman didn't even show up until ten years after the plan began. And Social Security, as finally adopted by the federal government, wasn't the only plan to be considered. I quote: Radical Calls to Action The decade of the 1930s found America facing the worst economic crisis in its modern history. Millions of people were unemployed, two million adult men ("hobos") wandered aimlessly around the country, banks and businesses failed and the majority of the elderly in America lived in dependency. These circumstances led to many calls for change. The Establishment Response If America was to avoid the siren songs of the "radical calls to action," responsible political leaders would need to offer some persuasive alternatives. As the Depression grew, three general approaches emerged: do nothing; rely on voluntary charity; and expand welfare benefits for those hardest hit by the Depression. quote:They knew when they first put the program into place, that they wouldn't have to pay too many people, because the retirement age of 65, was also the average age of death for most Americans.Actually, a lot of people were living beyond what was then considered the age of retirement ... meaning, the age at which a person usually became too sick or weak to work. Keeping in mind the number of men who still made a living as manual laborers ... farmers, coal miners, steel mill workers, etc. quote:The system has always been a "Pay as you go" system, even when Republicans have TRIED to setup a REAL trust fund and have people setup investments to go into that trust fund ....I always find it ironic that there are people who want to put Social Security monies into the very same institution that created a desperate need for Social Security in the first place. Again, I quote: When the New York Stock Exchange opened on the morning of October 24, 1929, nervous traders sensed something ominous in the trading patterns. By 11:00 a.m. the market had started to plunge ... Before three months had passed, the Stock Market lost 40% of its value; $26 billion of wealth disappeared. Great American corporations suffered huge financial losses. AT&T lost one-third of its value, General Electric lost half of its, and RCA's stock fell by three-fourths within a matter of months ... As America slipped into economic depression following the Crash of 1929, unemployment exceeded 25%; about 10,000 banks failed; the Gross National Product declined from $105 billion in 1929 to only $55 billion in 1932. Compared to pre-Depression levels, net new business investment was a minus $5.8 billion in 1932. Wages paid to workers declined from $50 billion in 1929 to only $30 billion in 1932 ... So as 1934 dawned the nation was deep in the throes of the Depression. Confidence in the old institutions was shaken. Social changes that started with the Industrial Revolution had long ago passed the point of no return. The traditional sources of economic security: assets; labor; family; and charity, had all failed in one degree or another. Radical proposals for action were springing like weeds from the soil of the nation's discontent. President Franklin Roosevelt would choose the social insurance approach as the "cornerstone" of his attempts to deal with the problem of economic security. Social Security was designed as insurance against another stock market crash. Against when businesses go bust and employees lose their jobs. Why in the world would a sane person want to, now, put any portion of an insurance fund into that same stock market? That's like putting all your backup files on the same hard drive where you keep the originals. quote:Besides, retirement is something relatively new, 100 years ago NO ONE ever talked about retirement, except those who actually planned for it, and saved for it.In fact, one hundred years ago (1906), most Americans were still living as an extended family. The year 1920 was a historical tipping-point. In that year, for the first time in our nation's history, more people were living in cities than on farms. When grandpa got too old to work the farm, his grown sons and daughters took over ... leaving grandpa to his rocking chair on the porch. Originally, here's what the President intended for Social Security: "Security was attained in the earlier days through the interdependence of members of families upon each other and of the families within a small community upon each other. The complexities of great communities and of organized industry make less real these simple means of security. Therefore, we are compelled to employ the active interest of the Nation as a whole through government in order to encourage a greater security for each individual who composes it . . . This seeking for a greater measure of welfare and happiness does not indicate a change in values. It is rather a return to values lost in the course of our economic development and expansion . . ." --Franklin D. Roosevelt: Message of the President to Congress, June 8, 1934.
  9. quote:Originally posted by ShoHashi: Polls will open on Sunday, August 6, 2006 at 12:00AM EST and will close on Sunday, August 6, 2006 at 11:59PM EST.One day? I just got my (real life) sample ballot today. Early voting started 29 July. Absentee ballots aren't due until 8 August. Could you please follow Nevada's lead and add a few days to the voting time?
  10. For the position of Leader, Prime Fleet, I nominate Commander Kalshion D'Dragon. I make this nomination for the following reasons: * With the possible exception of Remo, Kalshion has been with the Fleet longer than any currently active member. Kal practically grew up in Prime Fleet. * Kalshion has participated in most every multiplayer activity and assignment in which Prime Fleet has been involved. * For years, Kalshion has been a motivated leader in the area of role-playing. In fact, Kal initiated Prime FleetÔÇÖs most popular, ambitious RP story line of the last two years. * As G6 Battalion Leader, 1st Combined Marine Battalion, Kal has been in charge of boot camp and readiness training for all Prime Fleet marines. * Kalshion actively promotes Prime Fleet and defends, whenever necessary, both the Fleet and the 3000AD community. His support of the community centers around the fleets and fleet interaction. It is for these reasons, at minimum, that I enthusiastically nominate Kalshion to lead Prime Fleet in our next great phase of exploration, colonization and defense of GalCom territories.
  11. quote:Nobody was trying to justify or excuse Hitler in the 1930s.That's wrong. The whole world excused Hitler. Even when he invaded Poland.
  12. quote:Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr: He isn't actually a psychic. He just pretends to be one using his remarkable power of observation and auto-suggestion.Power forced on him as a not-so-ambitious kid by his dad ... a cop. Dad (now retired) shows up when needed and his are often some of the best scenes. Like with the doghouse.
  13. quote:Why not give the newer members here a voice? ... Why not let the people who ARE active members put their stamp on the BC universe?I'd guess at least half of the fleet players now holding lead positions were once n00bs standing on the sidelines, learning the Ins and Outs of the 3000AD universe. Those of us who decided it to be worthwhile stuck around and filled slots vacated by three-digit (or less) veterans. I don't think that situation has changed ... active n00bs still have a voice and the opportunity to make contributions and changes to game play and organization. Both in RP and on line. I suspect the next big surge in membership will materialize when the light of UCO can be clearly seen at the end of the tunnel. Emphasis has already shifted away from role play to multiplay and the shift will almost certainly continue. Any major reorganization should be done with that in mind.
  14. I suggest $ilk set a firm date for a meeting with Remo on TeamSpeak. At the top of the list of things to discuss should be the question: In what direction is Prime heading? And not just whether or not fleets will be consolidated. Of greater importance is how the daily business, training, and mission readiness will be conducted. Until decisions are made in those areas, many current members of Prime will be waiting in the wings (NPI) before deciding what to do, personally.
  15. Mmmmm ... I'm in no position to accept the appointment either. Top dog should have a computer capable of running the latest incarnation of UC and my rig doesn't meet specs.
  16. quote:Originally posted by aramike: Government oversight is NOT the government contracting someone to do something. It's the government assuring that someone does something using legal ramifications.Agreed. Mostly. But it takes a lot of faith to think the government is any better at assuring a foreign company remains legal in its dealings ... any better than it is at running something themselves or contracting out. If the government can be nudged aside when it comes to savings & loans, cable TV, the airlines, and utility companies ... what makes you think they can't be made as impotent in other cases of oversight?
  17. quote:Originally posted by aramike: What do you think is easier: maintaining the roads or telling someone to maintain them? Telling someone? You mean like telling someone to supply you with toilet seats ... then pay $640 for each seat? Easier, yeah. Cheaper, no. More efficient? Yeah, right. It's a case of being stuck either way. But, if I'm gonna get stuck, I'd rather it be locally instead of by some foreign company that can then waive the tolls for fellow countrymen.
  18. quote:Originally posted by aramike: You want the government to be IN CHARGE of maintaining roads, but you think that same government can't even effectively oversee said roads. Or, it could be said you want the government to oversee roads but think the same government can't even effectively be in charge of maintaining said roads.
  19. Personally, I think all highways should be private. That way, we could charge visitors and illegals as well as resident taxpayers. Assuming, of course, the government doesn't give visitors and illegals free road passes as they come into the country. Another advantage is there would be less overall traffic. While paying taxes is an annual event we do without thinking about it (usually, we're preoccupied with just getting the thing to the post office on time). But if we're forced to dig into our pockets every ten or twenty miles down the road, we're more likely to weigh the need to travel that next ten or twenty miles. Maybe it would be better to walk, or take a bike, or just stay home. Or carpool ... to divide the cost. Granted, if the proceeds from the tolls all go to foreign investors, the solution can't be called "perfect." And, now that I think about it, if a not-so-friendly country was to set up a dummy company and purchase some of our more important roadways, they could undermine American commerce simply by failing to maintain those roads. In effect, they could destroy America from within. Not with bombs or radical brainwashing ... but by doing absolutely nothing. Just sit around and let the roads crumble. Until that day, though, I'd be able to get from Santa Monica to downtown L.A. in record time. Assuming I could afford the tolls.
  20. quote:Originally posted by Tac: I think characters with flaws are the best. Its what makes MONK great. His brother has the flaw. Monk is perfect.
  21. quote:Originally posted by Kalshion: In the story I described that as he pushed his craft his vision started to blur....If he was already rated, that would be different. The money was spent. It would've been worth it to figure out a work-around. To tell the truth, I've seen very few "flyng" stories that conform to reality. There are, in fact, problems that develop in the eye if a pilot experiences too many Gs ... especially negative Gs. But things like that usually get overlooked in a story line. I don't know why your readers objected. Maybe you spelled a word wrong and they read the sentence in a way you never meant.
  22. quote:One of my latest storie's deal's with a sixteen year old who developed a seeing problem while taking his flight exam.... Your character simply picked the wrong profession. Poor eyesight can be a killer in the flying business. Take depth of field. When closing on another aircraft head-on at 1000 mph (500 mph for you and 500 mph for the other plane), your stereoscopic vision better be near perfect. Same-o if you're trying to join on your leader ... I knew one guy in UNT who washed out of flight training 'cause he kept overshooting. Or color blindness. Flashing red lights are hard to see if they look green to you. Nobody gets flustered at a flashing green light. Cockpits are color-coded. If your character was going blind ... well, that's goes beyond the pale, actually. Daredevil could never safely fly a plane. Vertigo would kill him ... just like it killed Kennedy Jr. Flying near-blind is worse than flying inside a cloud ... you have no visible horizon to use as a reference. Consequently, there is a tendency to slowly bank and/or pitch in one direction or another ... slow enough so that your inner ear doesn't detect the ever-increasing change in attitude (and possibley altitude). You think you're flying straight and level ... but you aren't. When the plane eventually departs, your sense of balance gets confused ... why should a plane, flying straight and level, depart flight? You get disoriented. First rule when disoriented is: get on the guages ... and believe what you see. Or die. A military pilot with eye problems can kill himself and anyone else flying with him ... either in the same aircraft or in the same flight. A commercial pilot is responsible to his passengers, his crew, and the company employing him. While the same could be said of many people in many professions, few professions depend as heavily on eyesight as flying. Bad eyes can get the pilot killed. They can get the passengers killed. They can turn a multi-million dollar asset into scrap iron. They can put a hole in the ground where once there was a grade school or hospital. Pilots might fly by the seat of their pants but there is a direct interconnect between seat and eyeball. Give your character a profession where it's possible to overcome his medical problem.
  23. quote:Originally posted by aramike: Constitutionally, "freedom of speech" refers not to reporting facts; rather, it refers to opinions not being suppressed. Almost without exception, when somebody expresses an opinion, somebody else will demand that it be backed up with facts. Pretty interesting how you do that if facts are not allowed to be published. Kind'a waters down the arguement ... makes the opposition look foolish. Fanatical. Spouting lies. Perfect.
  24. quote:Originally posted by aramike: I don't give a crap who knows what I am reading. Why? Because I'm not doing anything wrong. Obviously you're not reading 1984.
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