DarkCloud

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  1. This news story I found probably isn't about Lancer, but just sending well wishes in any event. "MANILA, Philippines -- Police say a retired U.S. Marine living near the Philippine capital was bludgeoned to death by robbers who broke into home and stole his valuables on Christmas Eve.Police said Monday that robbers used a metal pipe to kill 61-year-old James Thomas Kakara, who was alone in his house in the resort town of Tagaytay. His Filipino wife and her daughter had left to spend Christmas Eve with her family nearby. ... (cut) ..." http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/25/4145470/retired-us-marine-killed-in-robbery.html --- ---As an aside, outside of monitoring this thread for a little while, sadly I probably won't be back posting anything else here at least for a while. Explanation: busy. No guarantees either way if I'll be around or not.
  2. Ok, then that's good to know-I did not know exactly where Lancer was based; the story is still problematic for the person of interest in the story, but good for Lancer. Thank you and have a good day. :) *edit: ah, good, the Christmas Smileys are still working here. :)
  3. I have a question for y'all ISiddiqui 533 posts 4,820 views So is anyone here NOT from Poly? Theben 233 2,060 WPC Bible-Trivia-Quiz eastsidebagel 413 1,548 Grandpa Troll's Harem Grandpa Troll 268 1,354 Here's to a Peaceful OT Alexander 128 1,184 Members Pictures: Show your thighs, Ladies! eastsidebagel 95 1,117 I am the warlord Buster's Uncle 204 891 The Custom Avatar Project Buster's Uncle 202 791 Hi Girls SlowwHand 93 676 Is Apolyton down? lemonhead 74 658
  4. .... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/23/world/europe/23oslo.html
  5. Good to hear . And glad that the lawyers were able to be at the mediation-it's useful to have a cool head who knows the stakes present to organize things. Once again, good luck.
  6. If someone has assets, Mr. Scruffy, then in the US that person would WANT a lawyer. The following comments apply in General, they do NOT apply in any specific state, but they are general guidelines that apply in some states. These are just things that someone in the US might want to think about and why a lawyer is likely needed. 1.A Judge can order counseling for parties to see if there is a chance of reconciliation. If the parties in 60 days don't agree, then the judge can either extend, or end the forced counseling. 2.Parties can go to mediation to work things out. But this can be difficult to do when assets are at issue and there is a child--without a child this could be easy. 3.There cannot be the same lawyer for both parties. Each party has different interests and it would be a violation of attorney-client relationship for an attorney to represent both. (I think there may be a weird counseling sort where an attorney can make recommendations like a mediator, but that attorney can at no point represent the interests of both people as their lawyer). 4.Mediation... unless the parties are invested in it- it can be a poor idea. There's a vast difference between people and outcomes for people who come because the court tells them and the people who voluntarily come. Things also tend to go better with lawyers involved than without- since the lawyers actually know the stakes. 5. Some states don't give 'alimony' or 'spousal support' except when spouses have been married X amount of years, like 10 years. Factors that courts will look at for spousal support include whether one spouse works or not, spousal savings, whether a spouse has more education than the other, or if a spouse has commitments that preclude them from reentering the workforce (e.g. disabled spouse, or disabled child). 6. But there is in the US a thing called the Uniform Child Support Act (???) The parent who is the possessory conservator; not the managing conservator (the one who gets to take care of the child), needs to pay the managing conservator 20% of net income until the child gets to be 18. 7. Americans may have something called 'separate property' . The separate property is inherited from wills, etc. and it is the property of the spouse. However, lots of times, Americans co-mingle these assets in a joint bank account. In a divorce, the judge will make a just and right division of property that is not separate property, so it can be important to properly identify the funds. 8.It is possible that in the court, parties can share the child as 'Joint Managing Conservators'. A court might apply that if: Parents have shown the ability to reach shared decisions, Parent can encourage and accept positive relationship between child and other parent, Both parents participated in child rearing before suit was filed, Geographical proximity. Consequences of a JMC could be; Exclusive power to make decisions can be given to the primary JMC,Court order designates teh person with exclusive right to determine child's primary residence and est. geographic area of primary residence., Either JMC can be ordered to pay child support. And there will probably be a court order that will incorporate a parenting plan that sets out rights and duties of each parent, provides for periods of possession of and access to the child, provides for child support, and optimizes the development of a close and continuing relationship between each parent and the child. If a case becomes a high conflict case, court may appoint a parenting coordinator (impartial 3d party appointed to assist the parties resolve parenting issues) or a Parenting facilitator, who can do the same as coordinator, but who can also monitor compliance with court orders. 9.There are stautory general rights if one party is a possessory conservator. Generally, the possessory conservator may receive the child on Thursdays 6-8PM; and on the 1st, 3d, and 5th weekends (6pm fri to 6PM Sun), and I think 1 month in the summer. Those may only apply if someone lives in 100 miles. They can be modified on a showing of good cause (usually to award Less rights-the possessory conservator needs to prove what is in the best interests of the child)... If someone pursues this in mediation, they might be able to sometimes get better visitation rights. An attorney can walk someone through that. 10.A lawyer can help one party determine if there has been 'fraud on the community.' If there has been fraud, that can affect a just and right division of property. 11.In assigning custody, a court will look to the best interests of the child. Factors they may consider are: Desires of child, physical and emotional needs, parental ability, stability of home enviro, parent's plans, opportunities for the child. Negative factors: intentional use of force v. spouse child or other parent; acts and omissions showing that one parent is less fit than the other. 12.INteresting trivia. If someone dies before the child reaches 18, their estate still has to pay the child support. The amount payable gets discounted to present value. 13. ERISA pension plans are a bit different from Life Insurance. Someone who has one would want to talk to an attorney about the beneficiary designation and consequences. 14. Rules are different if someone is in a community property state or one of the others. Only about 9 states are Community property states. Ones that are not community property states may have an 'elective share' statute for spouses. 15. And of course...while statements made for purposes of settlement negotiations are usually confidential (especially when made in mediation)--the more one blabs about things, Mr. Scruffy, even thorough a third party-unless that third party is a lawyer- that person may be opening yourself to getting evidence presented in court that one would not want presented. Best policy, once reconciliation is off the table, is to keep one's mouth shut and to do all the talking through a lawyer. *note again, this is not legal advice for any jurisdiction. The above is just a list of some common principles that sometimes apply, sometimes don't; just things to think about and to ask an attorney about. MrScruffy-THIS is why someone needs an attorney in the US.
  7. El Cid- don't worry, I'm making a note to respond to your post. Feel free to PM me If I don't get to it in 3 weeks.
  8. Metaliturtle- I don't remember which state you are in, but I strongly suggest that (if you can't afford a lawyer) you at least play telephone tag with legal aid clinics that can either a. Point you in the right direction of a lawyer in a good price range. or b. Provide general advice for a reduced rate. I have no idea how good this below link is with respect to having workable numbers, but it's a link of legal aid offices in Minnesota and it was the first google hit for "Legal Aid minnesota". http://www.lawhelpmn.org/mn/StateDirectory.cfm/County/%20/City/%20/demoMode/%3D%201/Language/1/State/mn/TextOnly/n/ZipCode/%20/LoggedIn/0 A search for legal aid in your state may help, especially with a simple legal question like: "does anyone know any legal ramifications for me moving out as far as custody goes?". I would advise against trusting most of what you see on the Internet since each state has different Family Code Laws and laws change, even though there is a Uniform Family Code that applies in certain instances and that has been adopted by certain states. It is very possible that your state's laws might differ from the usual state laws. It is best to find a lawyer who is licensed to practice in your state--if the lawyer gives bad advice you could potentially recover in malpractice. - Also, the less you post about things related to the divorce in public the better. Similarly, if I were in the same situation, until I spoke to a lawyer who is licensed in my state, I would communicate with other people by phone rather than by email or text messages--if at all possible. - Good luck.
  9. Hm. The complaints you cite really actually appear to be mostly with technological progress generally. Or at least it appears to be a frustration that technological progress has externalities and you want to move beyond those externalities. My opposition to your statement is that I believe very much that when it is financially feasible we will move beyond the externalities that can be moved passed; but that some externalities will always remain... I also apparently am more willing to accept trade offs. For example, I have had relatives die of cancer, but even if cancer's rise is in large part human caused (which is very possible), I don't really have an issue with it. Thanks to the wonder of plastics (bottled clean water for the 3d world), (prosthetics), and rubber (better transportation), people's life expectancy has rose despite the apparent increase in toxicity and 'bad things'. All around the world life expectancy has grown by leaps and bounds due to oil and gas. >>To add insult to injury, they as an industry, are one of the richest industrial blocks in the world(taken as a whole) and while they could be using their vast wealth to arrive at solutions to the problems of today, they prefer to protect share holders and CEO's bonus pay over the As far as 'huge bonuses'... I don't see ExxonMobil or any oil companies on this list: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/top-ceo-bonuses-2010-heinz-oracle-cisco-nike/story?id=12404900 And ExxonMobil is one of the 3 biggest companies in the world in terms of revenue. Are the bonuses large.. yes. If the CEOs produce then they deserve bonuses. I won't argue with you if you state that all CEOs are in general awarded much higher bonuses as a percentage of income earned for the company-- I have some issues with the structure of a lot of the things that go on in voting for corporate board salaries-- but, once again, that's not a complaint that's specific to the oil companies, it's a 'herd' complaint. 'Everyone' is doing it, so while it's a problem- it's a structural one rather than an oil-specific one. I'd rather seek a structural solution than to just demonize one part of the issue. The company also gives money to charitable organization (in excess of what makes sense to give--that is, they give more than they can use as tax deduction material) http://www.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/community_wwgiving_report.aspx Still not sure once again why they should be building windmills. The companies have VASTLY increased efficiency in withdrawing oil from the ground and in reducing loss and flaring and other things that lead to pollution and loss of hydrocarbons. Self-Serving, yes, they probably are as a company--all companies are self serving. Even Google... Especially Google. What corporate model do you think that all companies should pursue? Can you name a sustaining model that would help human society and still result in technological progress? What is it that you want--I've heard you describe what you want, but can you name a few companies or countries where what you want has worked?
  10. Price doesn't necessarily mean anything. Profit margins are what matter. And fluctuations in oil prices hurt everyone. If a petroleum company knows that oil will be at 60/barrel for 2 years, they can invest in developing technology and new fields with that assumption. If they invest assuming 60/barrel and it falls to 30/barrel, then they lose massive amounts of money because the fields they developed were only viable at 60/barrel. (Also notable, although this may be addressing something entirely different: Milk, a renewable resource, has almost always been cheaper than a gallon of gas at the local fill-up station. [Why? Transportation costs play some role, but still it's something to think about--our renewable Milk has traditionally been more expensive than our gas, and it probably still is even with gas at $3.50/gallon. It's sort of impressive that gas prices have been able to stay as low as they have, given that everyone realizes that we will run out of oil some day.) Admittedly if oil is above 60/barrel and it stays there and the companies didn't invest thinking oil was at 80/barrel, then the companies are okay. But remember, around 1998-2000, oil's price dropped impressively and unexpectedly. That caused huge problems. Research programs at some oil companies were abandoned and many were laid off. The small guys in the Texas oil fields also suffered immensely. I know people who worked in oil towns--the downturn was devastating with drillers going out of business left and right. And what's worse-- if they've already drilled the uneconomic well, they either have to eat the losses (selling it on the market, driving prices down more), or they can only leave it idle for about a year--if it's idle for more than a year, they have to plug the well (which costs money), because environmentalists won't let them leave it open otherwise... landowners who want the oil company to keep drilling also oppose the idling of a well, but oil companies usually can deal with them by contracting for delay rentals, and the implied covenant to market only applies if the well is an economically productive well. I'll agree with you though if you're complaining about market speculators driving up the price without regard to market forces. I am very suspicious about debt and odd financial instruments. As you may be aware, I defend producers of things (thus the Wendell Willkie quote in my signature at Apolyton); I'm not going to pick a fight with you if your gripes are about bankers, investors, speculators, etc. because I suspect them since they moreso than anyone produce the least for the benefit they give (loans created by accruing investments are a benefit...but I'm still suspicious of them) :) It's an odd society that rewards the dilettante investor (rather than the angel investor) more than the producer. -- I understand about lack of time- I really shouldn't be posting here at this time myself :fear:
  11. http://www.hankthecowdog.com/books/24.htm Horror and supernatural. The cowdog talks. It's a good series and the author read it well, if I can recall correctly. Fairly amusing. keep in mind--> "Again, the first printing sold out in a matter of weeks, but not to children. “In the beginning, I wasn’t doing programs in schools and never intended the story to be for children. My original audience consisted of adults, most of them involved in agriculture. I knew nothing about children’s literature, and still don’t.”"
  12. Sounds like an ignorant statement. 1. Indeed, most businesses have begun empathizing short-term profits so as to satisfy shareholders, not really a good thing from even my point of view, but *every* industry does it, so it's not too shocking :). 2. Oil and Gas profit per dollar invested is something on this proportion (according to a chart that was published in the WSJ around 2005) 1:14 whereas microsoft earned 1:35, and most other industries earn more profit than oil and gas industries (but less than microsoft). (Doing a little research it appears that in 2008 the API (industry org) "says its members earn about 8.3 cents per dollar invested, compared to 18.4 cents for pharmaceutical manufacturers and 19.1 cents for beverage and tobacco producers." The oil and gas industry re-invests a significant amount of its profits. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/PainAtThePump/story?id=4749343&page=1 (from ABC, not exactly a partisan friend of oil and gas companies) 3. investment of profits into better technologies for tapping oil has resulted in the massive expansion of hydraulic fracturing efforts across the US, deep water drilling like Deepwater Horizon, that simply wasn't possible 40 years ago, Antarctic explorations, oil shales, synthetic oils, biofuels, and more. 4. "Big Oil" is the major investor into new technologies that would extend the time that oil is available. It hurts them when reserves go down for their company- stock prices suffer. The Oil companies you don't like and should be worried about are the national oil companies that own over 85% of all reserves !!!! "Big Oil" only has about 15% of all reserves... not so big after all- they can't even control the market prices for oil/gas fluctuations. They have all the technology and invest and the other national oil companies either steal their tech or borrow their tech or buy their tech and then copy it. You should be thankful for Big Oil having a profit motive and being on a stock market where their amounts of reserves are checked, or else we'd have run out of oil/gas long ago due to flooding out oil reservoirs due to saltwater flushes or gas flaring. The soviets were notorious for that stuff. (*Note: my argument about incompetent saltwater flushes is better than the gas flaring argument- see Nigeria for example, but as gas becomes more financially profitable to not flare, there is more incentive to recover it- and that has been ongoing). [Note 2-gas has been flared in the past because less well capitalized oil drillers could afford to drill the oil, but not to recover the gas. However, oil can be beneath a 'gas cap' that gets punctured... so the gas may leak while the oil company only intends to actually get the oil. It's not like they're polluting for the sake of destroying the environment and to anger Captain Planet.] Whereas Europe and Asia might be able to function with ultra-high priced gas due to high density that justifies a good public transportation system, the US' culture of suburbs and its infrastructure is not amenable to a change from personal cars to public transportation. While it can be done, the US economy would likely be shattered with even more debt than we see today... 5) Just wondering, why should an oil company practice anything other than corporate social responsibility beyond not bribing another country or intentionally polluting, or even negligently polluting where law does not require it. Under what legal theory does it make sense to require them to invest in renewable energy? They're not in the business of renewable energy. If their shareholders decide its profitable, they might do that, but that's not what all their engineers and infrastructure is invested for. You don't force McDonalds to raise horses for meat instead of cows to reduce methane production... McDonalds' isn't in the horsemeat business, so too are oil companies not in the renewables business. I suppose if you're a communist or someone interested in a highly command-control economy that might look like it makes sense; but command and control economies are almost always less efficient than market forces (witness: soviet economy).
  13. Ah, thought you were in the Philippines with Lancer.
  14. Well, it's nearly winter in the southern hemisphere, isn't it?
  15. Sounds generally right: They could do with more distinctions among the Republican types; like Fiscal Republican, etc. The below though isn't an entirely correct assessment, but it's what they define Libertarian as:
  16. Rusty Edge has it- the Toltecs! :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toltec
  17. It's difficult to give a hint without basically giving it away or narrowing things too much... It is said that these people invented a lot of things; like medicine.
  18. No, not that one.
  19. I gave hints. And I can think of at least three cultures that built pyramids that have not yet been guessed. - Thanks for the link Alexander. The civilization is not a playable civilization in Civ I, II, III or Civ Rev. This does not necessarily mean that it was in Civ IV or V. . Hint: The civilization lasted less than 1000 years. Hint: Some might argue that this civilization is the same as another civilization, or an off-shoot of that civilization.
  20. Hint: This civilization is not a playable civilization in Civ I, II or (I think III). I don't know Civ IV or V very well, but would assume it's not playable in it as well. - Maniac- Not these specific statutes and pyramids. - Hint 2: While China is an excellent guess from Alexander, that is not the answer. The correct answer is not a trick answer, but this civilization is sometimes associated very closely with another civilization. - Hint 3: Basically they are sometimes considered predecessors of a later civilization.
  21. Well, the market pricing takes care of people using unlimited energy. People who actually pay the real price of electricity are "punished" for overusing it by a higher bill. Perhaps the externalities are not properly priced into things currently, but I would oppose adding in ephemeral "global warming" externality pricing, since the science behind the exact impact of an exact amount of pollution of that type from an exact source is very uncertain. Oh and I agree about how scientific progress is necessary to support; I don't agree about mandates like 'use corn ethanol fuel' and 'use only this type of light bulb' however, that are created to overcome the collective action problem...because as the Soviet model demonstrated- bureaucrats often choose wrong. The market is usually more efficient in choosing winners. Maybe, maybe not. I'm not an epidemiologist, but I recall reading a Scientific American episode recently that was discussing how asthma rates were rising all around the world in children; even in countries that did not have soap (a too clean environment was the previous explanation for rising asthma). Maybe that's due to pollution (but they haven't proved that yet, and asthma is high in some relatively clean countries--so if it's pollution, it's ambient pollution rather than direct and close pollution); or maybe it's because the children with asthma would have died in the womb otherwise; or maybe it's because children born to older women are more sickly. Depends on the degree of environmental impacts that you want to reduce, and which benefits you want to have. Generally, you are probably correct; however, in the US, birthrate is still above replacement. Also, Islamic religions, Mormon religions, and many (but not all) Catholics seem to enjoy having many children and not using birth control regardless of wealth. Maybe the real reason for lower childbirth is tied to the expense of a child rather than improved living conditions per se. That is, if you send a child to college, that child costs you a lot more money than it does to send the child to work when he is 16. And paying for health checkups theoretically should cost money (even after insurance co-pays); but if you are in a 3d world country, you would just have to watch the child suffer and die. Children in the West (which includes Japan) cost more that Children in LDCs. ... That's sort of a tangent here.
  22. I always play as Zakharov or Morgan in Alpha Centauri. I actually did not realize you lived in the islands. I am glad to know that you understand what it means to live, and that you are willing to live the way that some of your posts indicate you think other people should live--through minimal consumption. I still strongly oppose totalitarian environmentalism that would force people to live on the margins. I could however get behind some of your principles if they are taught, but not enforced; because people in the West need to learn how to make do with less. I remember that for many years, I would not turn on hot water while showering so as to conserve money--people need to be taught money saving tips so they know how to take care of themselves when inevitably, the cost of heating, and fuel rises. I would rather people use less heated water than the government subsidize their electricity. But sadly, if prices do rise, the government will subsidize the poor's electricity- and I would despise the poor if I saw my hard earned tax dollars wasted that way. Those who can afford the luxuries of hot showers should pay for them; the others can make do with the minimum necessary for survival. Okay, then it's good to know that you are at least a rational environmentalist who understands about tradeoffs. It irks me when some talk about pro-pro environment and who hate technological progress and industrialization, but who still want modern health care and sanitation systems--that seems intellectually dishonest. If a group of people do agree to live in the nasty, brutish and short mode, and people in it agree they want to live like that- I would dislike and disapprove of their choice, but at least I would respect their intellectual honesty; and it is their choice to make. For example, I dislike the Amish and other backwards people because I very much believe in studying and supporting and promoting technological progress. However, I respect them far more than many modern environmentalists who are anti modern-society, but who live within modern society. The Amish have made a foolish choice I think; but they are closer to the land and actually know real skills of living, whereas the rest of us will likely starve to death should modern logistical supply networks fail-- so I do realize that they may have the last laugh in the end. I really think that the environmentalism dialogue needs more discussion of the trade-offs that need to be made. It's not just a simple calculus of "save the trees and everyone wins"; the discussion is far deeper. Maybe most people aren't mature enough to have that discussion? Maybe politics isn't mature enough to decide those issues except through the battle of interest group lobbying (pro industry v. pro environment forces).
  23. No and No and No (sadly). I need a specific name and it is not multiple-answer; but I'm sure you know the name of these peoples.
  24. *Edit. Removed point one since I'd rather not rant too much. - 2- In that particular instance at least, science was on the government's side. The environmentalists' opinion was that no drilling anywhere is good because it will have some negative environmental effects.
  25. Ok; I figure you are correct that Kings is the wrong way to label #2; Dukes was more correct. That being said, I did mention Lafayette -- Question: This was a pyramid-building culture. They also built statues. This is not a trick question; they are not a "modern" industrial culture.