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womble

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  1. If someone knows the Complete Works 'cold', they'll probably be able to communicate their thoughts relatively cogently. Lit classes don't just require memorisation. My maths education involved learning about compound interest, as well as Pythagoras. We did Pythagoras first, because that's pretty effin' simple. It only involves powers of 2 and addition. If someone couldn't handle that, they couldn't handle compound interest equations. There is definitely room for both in the system. The problem with maths is that kids are taught, or learn very fast, that "maths is hard". So you end up with people asking whether measurements are offered in cm or mm when simple common sense tells you that a waist high thing is not 90mm high... Functional innumeracy is unfortunately prevalent; combine that with the Societal demands for material posessions Right the heck now!!!!! and you've got a personal credit crisis. Schools shouldn't have to teach saving-to-buy... The problem as I see it with language teaching is that it's gotten too relaxed, and actual use of language has been deprioritised over appreciation of it and freedom of means of expression. You really need to know the rules before you start breaking them.
  2. Aunty says the Syrians are claiming the civs were off base. They are also asserting that the Syrians are claiming that not all the TLAMs made it to the target area. It is conceivable that there were civilian casualties from cruise missiles that fell out of the sky short of the boundary fence for whatever reason. Syria does have a pretty good air defense network, IIRC, courtesy of Mr Putin, and Tomahawks can be shot down.
  3. That enunciates the problem I think. It's what it looks like to an outsider, and if someone who comes from the background can corroborate, it seems to add emphasis.
  4. Yes it was. Urban, diverse communities tended to vote for remaining within Europe, while whiter rural districts voted to leave. Some of that will have been because the rural districts see accession-state citizens taking the menial, largely unskilled agricultural labour jobs, and pushing out the native youngsters. There are more jobs, and better, needing more skills and better English, in the cities, so the impact of willing labour in towns isn't so noticeable, except in the quality of plastering and reliability of plumbers. [The above may include some tongue-in-cheek stereotyping - Ed]
  5. There's probably some principle of moving goalposts here, though: "Working 27 hours a day so you can pay for healthcare is unhealthy, so we're going to push your premiums up so you need to eat cheap process-recovered food padded out with carcinogens to keep your food bills down enough to be able to afford the cost of health insurance. But eating that crap is even more unhealthy, so we're going to increase your premium so you have to scrimp on the heating/aircon, which increases your chance of sickness, so we're going to up your contribution again..."
  6. I'm sorry I don't have any answers, but I wanted to add another globalisation-sanctioning inequality that would need to be addressed to bring a "level playing field": environmental legislation. While China (et al) can continue to burn cheap coal in inefficient power stations, their goods will remain cheaper even if their labour costs equalise. Unfortunately, it looks like the general Governmental Will is to equalise this field by eroding the environmental protections already in place in the "first world".
  7. Michael, you might have set that off yourself if you were noodling about teh Intarwebz researching/boggling at the activities of those folk.
  8. Hopefully someone will come up with something a bit better than those. Given that every book involving them is in some way about how they are inherently flawed. Personally I find the "technology won't make humans redundant in large numbers" assertion to be complacent. Sure, buggy-whip makers went under with the advent of the automobile, and had a (very, very niche) revival with the advent of socially-permissible BDSM, but the technology of automation is already having a large effect on the kind and quality of job available and those effects are only going to be magnified as technology becomes more capable. The other "worker" that became very much less employable at the advent of the car was the horse. What's coming has the potential to do the same to people-as-workers.
  9. But his followers are adamant that amendments cannot themselves be amended (even if that's demonstrably false). How would they cope with the cognitive dissonance necessarily imposed by such altered states of thought?!
  10. Didn't you post this exact same thing a couple of pages up-thread?
  11. Background: WW2 supers (Allies), planning an infiltration of a castle where the Nazi supers are. The castle happens to be adjacent to a training camp for Wehrmacht mountain troops and is accessible only by cable car, and the Ubmenschen are all members of the SS. Jimmy (preternaturally coordinated assassin from London's seamier side): "So the fellers at the cable car station in the valley are SS, not Gewurstjagers*, right?" * [For those with no German] "Gebirgsjager" are the mountain troops. "Gewurstjager" probably means "sausage hunters"...
  12. "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." Frank Herbert. Dune.
  13. I didn't say it was right. But, and I think (from an outsider's perspective, this seems like it should be important) one of the big things that Trump voters picked up on as a Good Thing that must've outweighed all the impossibly egregiously Bad Things about him, was the promise to return manufacturing jobs to the US which had previously been "offshored" (or, in the case of manufacturing capacity built and staffed in Mexico to supply the US market, "cross-bordered", perhaps). Such possibilities did not seem real to the liberal-leaning (and maybe the right-leaning, I don't know) economics establishment at the time, and there was ridicule heaped upon the claim. It will be interesting to see whether these 700 jobs by a major manufacturer are the thin end of the "US manufacturing renaissance", or largely a publicity stunt for Ford to garner home-country approbation, and not followed up by other heavy industries and in larger number. And if these changes do, in fact, materialise, I'll be interested to see the reaction of those who said, as I did, that it wasn't possible. Whether it is possible remains to be seen. But diverting the issue into his appalling character (the guy disgusts me too) doesn't do the liberal argument against the monster any favours if it ignores any actual successes of his regime. So the question remains to be answered when we have further data: is his rhetoric providing an environment for US business to thrive based on domestic production like "everyone" said couldn't be done?
  14. MSN is being disingenuous, from what I saw. I make no claim to infallibility, but I thought the talking head which I can paraphrase as saying "We decided to invest more in the US plant instead of building the new plant in Mexico, largely due to the anticipated favourable business environment under Trump when he finally gets his ass in the Big Chair," was a Ford guy. MSN may not be lying when they say "Ford weren't going to close the Kentucky plant", and I'm sure Trump does, indeed, claim credit where it is anything but due but that's not the question at issue (and it's common practice in all walks of life).
  15. So Ford are rethinking their decisions on where to manufacture cars, at least partially because of the anticipated favourable business environment in the US under The Trump. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38497898 Is he going to be able to perform the miracle of returning industrial capacity to the States? 700 jobs doesn't seem like many. Is $1million invested per job a reasonable return or is Ford gettin' all poh-liddical?
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