O/T: One Down

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Greg G. said:

And a recent interesting story about IBM privatization v. "socialism": http://www.indystar.com/article/20091016/NEWS05/910160379/Indiana+axes+welfare+contract+with+IBM
Unfortunately, it is in regards to welfare services, but it could be there is a lesson in there somewhere...
Greg G.
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wrote in message

http://www.indystar.com/article/20091016/NEWS05/910160379/Indiana+axes+welfare+contract+with+IBM
What?
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LDosser said:

That properly run, government can be as or more efficient at providing services than private for profit industry.
Our problem is the "properly run" and efficient part...
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

http://www.indystar.com/article/20091016/NEWS05/910160379/Indiana+axes+welfare+contract+with+IBM
Business is not designed to give away money--the failed concept is that you can help people by giving them money without also giving them incentives to work and the skills necessary to obtain work (which are different from the skills necessary to _do_ work).
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J. Clarke said:

Nonsense. A properly run business should be able to excel at any task assigned - whether manufacturing or disbursement of funds and services. If not, it should fail. In this case, IBM failed to meet the standards of even a reputedly grossly ineffective government entity.
My point was not about welfare, but about the efficiency and effectiveness of government vs. private enterprise. I'm not about to defend the current state of affairs with regards to the dirt bags in public office, nor the assortment of profiteering corporations and their drooling stockholders who do no work at all, short of counting their returns on investment. Simply pointing out a single recent case where privatization didn't work - and there are plenty more.
Privatized prisons and parole services have many in law enforcement and justice up in arms. Companies made big promises, but have utterly failed to meet either performance objectives or efficiency goals. Most consider the move a huge mistake. The government was considered inefficient, but the private companies have turned out to be, as many expected, profiteers whose primary objective was to extort money under the color of law while providing no services in the public interest. In other words, they proved even worse than big, bad government.
As for the welfare aspect, I don't disagree with your point. But where are you going to employ them? Without jobs people cannot work, without cash flow, employers cannot hire. The jobs that once provided income to the poor and uneducated, such as textiles, steel, and much manufacturing, have been shipped offshore. Even agriculture has been taken over by AgriCorp and machinery. NAFTA killed off Mexican farmers ability to profit from farming and resulted in a huge influx of immigrant workers looking for income. So they end up being exploited at meat packing plants and farms thereby pushing even more US citizens out of jobs they would otherwise hate, but do to make a living.
So what do you propose the unemployed do for a living? The right opposes abortion, and you're never going to stop people from having sex, so the problem simply grows and grows. Nothing productive is done on any front. All I see and hear is more rhetoric, vitriol and failed ideology. The stupid breed en masse and the right screams, "But what about the unborn children?" Bullshit. These morons put more thought into breeding dogs and horses than they do bettering the human race. Personally, if some idiot wants to speed at 110 MPH and not wear a seat belt while talking on a freaking cell phone, I say let him. It's Darwin in action - they are unwittingly saving us from ourselves. Kids should be protected from ignorance, adults, not so much.
Those that have want even more, and those that have nothing harbor no hope of extricating themselves from the miserable lives they lead. To the newly born this is no longer the land of opportunity, but a land of corporate fuel screws and impoverished consumers of imported crap. Unless, of course, you are born into the aristocracy/plutocracy. Even the few that break out of poverty through education are ultimately saddled with debt which takes 20+ years to pay off - if then, in this present economic situation. We can spend a real 32% of the Federal budget on military profiteers plus another 18% on the debt from past military spending but we shun science, education and birth control. We then export jobs and factories en masse to a communist nation while amassing trillion dollar trade deficits. Smart!
I suppose the short of it is, we're f'd. The US is a failure. Happy?
Greg G.
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wrote in message

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/IFHP%20Comparative%20Price%20Report%20with%20AHA%20data%20addition.pdf
Can you think of a reason why Australia showed up on the spreadsheet and not on the graphs?
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Greg G. wrote:

If you don't understand the difference between the enumerated powers, local responsibilities, and the government takeover of private enterprise then there is no reason to even attempt discussion on the topic.

--

There is never a situation where having more rounds is a disadvantage

Rob Leatham
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Greg G. wrote:

People need NASA to live? Do tell.
The founders carefully considered what the government should pay for and listed it in the Constitution. There is nothing there about the government paying for medical treatment. And schools, police, and fire departments are not funded by the national government, nor are parks. I don't know what a "community power consortium" is but there is certainly no Federally funded power grid.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/IFHP%20Comparative%20Price%20Report%20with%20AHA%20data%20addition.pdf And the government paying for it is going to alter those charts in what way?
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J. Clarke wrote:

There are a lot of things we take for granted that aren't mentioned in the Constitution, yet it might be awkward to do away with all of them.

Say what?

Considering that the power companies have displayed indifference to protecting their systems from computer hackers (especially those paid by foreign powers) I for one won't be surprised to see the federal govt. take a more active interest in that industry.
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DGDevin wrote:

But it would be healthy to do so. And you're right - the sheeple have been dulled and have themselves requested a form of government that they "take for granted" so long as their own various oxen are not gored. Then one day, when the economy is on the skids, unemployment has skyrocketed, and the various government bodies broke, the sheeple finally wake up in complete alarm only to demand more gasoline on their foolish fire: More government.

Fire, police, etc. are ordinarily funded at the state/local/city level. The snoopy Feds have inserted themselves there was well of late all in the name of "I'm from Washington D.C. and here to help you." Local parks are locally funded. Federal parks are Federally funded. Oh, and some of the worst land abuses ever seen in this last century were on Federally owned/"managed" lands, because government is so very good at doing things like this.

That's hilarious. Let's do a simple examination of some facts - you are, as always, free to your own opinions, but not your own facts:
- "The power companies" for many years enjoyed a no-compete monopoly courtesy of ... wait for it ... the government. During this time these same companies did a lousy job of forward investment in transmission lines, and distribution infrastructure, and only a mediocre job of power generation infrastructure. For instance, they routinely estimated new nuke facilites at $3B that actually came in at nearly twice that, and then used their government monopoly status to jack up rates. It was GOVERNMENT that made this foolishness possible. The government's own generation sites like the TVA aren't much better (if at all) and have been a morass of politics, inefficiency, and incompetence.
- There are considerably more successful hacking attacks on government and DOD facilities than there are power gen facilities. In part, of course, this is because there are so many more government/DOD targets. But, if you think that the federal government taking a "more active interest" in securing the power infrastructure is going to make things better, think again.
- Outside the very narrow world of secure military and intelligence systems, the Federal IT infrastructure is itself a mess having been conceived by bureaucrats and executed by something worse than union labor. That's why Federal CIOs change with the season. No one can cope with the unholy mess that results from a marriage of politics, bureaucracy, an unfirable workforce, and and incoherent and overlapping set of fiefdoms. A few years ago I gave a talk at a conference of Federal CIOs. The single thing they were most proud of as a group was that they had managed to outsource some of their mess to private industry. That in itself speaks volumes.
At this point, I doubt *anyone* knows what to do about these large scale infrastructure issues. Most of the self-stimulation money set aside for this appears to be more oriented to paying off political favors to the various special interests and unions that supported the current administration's ascension to power. The 30 or so years we spent listening to the scientific illiterates parade against nuke power means that we've lost a lot of expertise in the area and have graduated precious few nuke engineers. Now the same bunch of scientific illiterates have decided that the answer to our power problems is wind and solar - which together won't make much of dent even if they do end up working as claimed AND it still doesn't address the distribution problem. And all of this ... every bit of it ... has taken place under either direct Federal regulation or, at the very least, strong Federal "interest" in the matter.
Yeah... the thought of the Feds doing this should give us great comfort ...
--
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Tim Daneliuk snipped-for-privacy@tundraware.com
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Tim Daneliuk wrote:

A reliable recognition sign for a certain sort of Usenet character is his use of the word "sheeple." People who are convinced *they* are so much better informed (and of course smarter) than pretty much everyone else are usually neither.
Some of the folks who wrote the Constitution anticipated and even recommended its occasional overhaul--why it's almost as if they knew that circumstances they could not have foreseen would arise. And yet there are those today who apparently would have been happier in the late 18th century, if only there were a way to send them back.

Tell your local govt. you don't want them taking any more federal money for things like education or law enforcement and see what their reaction is.

No, it isn't. Given the opportunity to harden their system against such threats the power companies have done almost nothing, and they are painfully vulnerable to cyber attacks.

That would be a refreshing change of pace for you. Alas, the spew that followed had little to do with what I posted, and as always it is seen through the lens of your "libertarian" paranoia. I don't know why you even pretend you're answering what other people post, you're so much happier just waving your placard and yelling your chant, and you hardly need to involve other people to do that.
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"DGDevin" wrote:

Catch 60 Minutes last night?
The utility problem is known and under scrutiny by Congress at this time.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Have "hackers paid by foreign powers" caused a significant power outage in the US?
Looking at it online, the "60 minutes" episode is a bunch of typical modern chicken-littleism. Lots of "the sky is falling" but no specifics to speak of. "Be afraid, be afraid, demand that the goverment pass new laws and impose new taxes".
They say for example that "The Chinese are inside the power grid". How did they determine this? They show a diesel generator being destroyed in a test and then talk about "the big generators can be destroyed"--I wanna see 'em make black smoke come out of a steam turbine. And they outright lied--they said that generators are no longer made in the US--that would be news to General Electric.
Maybe there's a risk, maybe not, but that show didn't prove it, it just mongered fear.
I stopped wasting my time on that show long ago.
Now, if someone could make black smoke come out of a reporter, _that_ I'd _pay_ to watch.
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J. Clarke said:

Make that two tickets for admission.
Greg G.
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On Tue, 10 Nov 2009 07:37:52 -0500, the infamous Greg

YOUTUBE THAT PUPPY!
---------------------------------------------------- Thesaurus: Ancient reptile with excellent vocabulary ===================================================
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Nope. That's Pay Per View there -- and would be more profitable than pr0n
--

There is never a situation where having more rounds is a disadvantage

Rob Leatham
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"J. Clarke" wrote:

Interesting.
You state, "I stopped wasting my time on that show long ago.", but you seem to be knowledgeable about the piece.
Strange.
Lew
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DGDevin wrote:

I do not think I am "better informed" nor do I think I am better than anyone. I wish to live my life peacefully, cause no harm or fraud to others and want the same courtesy extended to me. When others conspire to pillage my liberty, wallet, or future, I object. This is not arrogance, it is self-preservation.

Unfortunately for you line of argument here, most of the changes in the 20th Century were done outside those guidelines. FDR, in particular, attempted to pack SCOTUS because he knew he was violating the limitations of the Constitution of the US. This is not my opinion, he says as much in his own notes and writings. More recently, the Anointed One has been quoted (from his lawyering days) as ruefully acknowledging that the Constitution is a document of "negative" entitlements and expressing a desire to make it otherwise. IOW, there has been precious little conformity to either the 18th Century version of the document NOR it mechanisms in place to change it. Instead, the political class and the moochers that they feed have just decided to skip all those steps, not show their work, and pillage the clear intent of this important bit of foundational law.

My local government has - as you suggest - become addicted to Federal money. So what. So has nearly every part of society. That makes this neither wise nor desirable.

And I see that when you cannot answer a discussion of ideas with other or better ideas you resort to diversion, personal attack, and otherwise avoiding the topic. The government you wish to enshrine with more power regularly fails to do its job well already. No amount of rhetorical tap dancing on your part can avoid this inescapable fact.
--
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Tim Daneliuk snipped-for-privacy@tundraware.com
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On Mon, 09 Nov 2009 13:42:08 -0800, DGDevin wrote:

I caught that one too, but figured if he didn't know the percentage of local budgets that come from federal grants, it was a waste of time trying to educate him.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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Larry Blanchard wrote:

Some of the folks I know in law enforcement would spit out their teeth at the thought of no more federal money, they'd be sunk without it.
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