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    Dunno right now - Kapowsin looks nice though.
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  1. Nah Mate, Yank lavs are much better than the ones in Blighty - If I ever move back to the UK I'll be making a point of shipping a proper toilet or two and a bunch of mounting flanges with wax rings so I can convert, even if I have to drop the pipe out to the vented stack so it comes in between the floors. Now if we were talking heaters/combi-boilers I'd be able to back you up as a fellow Brit (because they ARE 100 years behind in that department), but I'm afraid that in the game of toilets, the USA wins. Oh, as for the original post: If the plumber were telling the truth I'd have had to replace my toilet a dozen times. It might not be pleasant if the aftershave's wrapped in a poo blanket by now, but it's not that tough to remove it. I have a cat called Zebadee, Boing...
  2. Abolutely with you Jakee - as a former UK resident and holder of a burgundy as well as dark-blue passport, I can back you up on the 'you can't own a gun in the UK' thing. One might not be able to easily own a firearm but it is possible, legal and I've done it in the UK. For those interested in pure thought approaches to why we are here, and why what we see is seemingly just perfect for our needs (y'know, the sort of thing which makes people think there might be a god), I suggest reading something on the anthropic pricinple (starting with the weak version, which is a truism by any standard although it asserts nothing). Whilst occasionally hijacked by creationists and manipulated to support their arguments, it is an excellent starting point for a rational discussion on the subject. Also, the excellent book 'The Goldilocks Enigma' by Paul Davies goes to great lengths to explore the matter fairly, giving mind to theists as well as non-theists in the exploration of the nature of existence. If you don't own a copy you're missing out, whichever side of the theism fence you sit on. I rest.
  3. Because THIS is the sort of stuff religion tends to cause: Or this, from the other camp:
  4. Oh calm down dude, you sound like an atheist version of Rush Limbaugh. None of it matters, seriously - if it gets too bad those of us who think will eventually be able to get ironic asylum in Brazil, Europe or Australia on the basis of possible persecution for lack of religious beliefs - that'll leave the dwindling population of morons bahaving like villagers from the middle ages, slowly devolving into flat-earthers and witch burners. Eventually we'll be able to return and take the land because they'll have all starved to death. Actually, I'm quite enjoying this little vision of the future, bring on the exodus!
  5. "I don't want my tax dollars going to fund abortions." ... Why not? It'll stop "ghetto dwelling welfare moms" from overbreeding and creating yet more ghetto kids who go on to sponge off welfare. Overall, it's a bargain and seems like it's logically the fiscally conervative route - I'm confused. Morals aside, this seems like a no-brainer, and I'm assuming morals are put aside for the people who oppose healthcare reform, because they are ironically allowing this sort of thing to happen by living in their temporarily perfect little worlds:
  6. Agreed- 'Promote' it is, but as Bill Von notes, only in the preamble... Interestingly though, does not doing something about organized price gouging 'Promote' the well being of the people? I suppose you could argue that Government has no place preventing such abuses, but then I would think you might logically nullify most of the sociological advances our country has seen in the last 80 years, undo the premise for an oganized police force and make room for re-establishment of Mafia-style rule. I feel like Jane Goodall sometimes in this country.
  7. "and a business passes the cost to the consumers-that's how we stay in business. I'm sorry you're poor-but don't take it out on me, go earn more" Erm, I'm NOT poor. In fact this does affect me because I make enough to qualify for the additional taxes but I worked a damnned sight harder when I was making less money than I do now and I realize there are plenty of people I still depend upon who NEED this legislation to get insurance. If you're short sighted enough to hurt the people you depend upon then I pity you the poverty of your imagination. And as for business passing on the costs to consumers, I agree. That's why this is there - there is NO reason for a healthcare plan to cost what the 'Cadillac' plans cost, consumers will have reason to move elsewhere if those companies 'offering' such plans pass on the cost, reinvigorating the market forces we rely upon for your economic premise to be valid. This is of paramount importance for you to be able to compete equitably in the pursuit of the American dream - without someone (read Government) to prevent organized monopolies you will soon find yourself either party to one or the victim of one. Remember the Constitution contains, in it's preamble the commitment to ensure the general welfare of it's constituents, where welfare is defined as n. 1. health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being
  8. Fair enough, I can understand why someone with a massive investment income making over $250k might feel a little miffed about this, but they DO have to remember that the extra taxes only apply to the income they make OVER $250k, not the bit up to and including $250k (which is quite a bit of money...). You will note also that the tax on 'Cadillac' plans is on the insurnace companies, not on the consumers. This is commonly known as 'The invisible hand of the market', where if those cheeky buggers put up your premium, you have the option of going to another plan and force that company to reduce it's premiums. Come to think of it - that's pretty conservative and capitalist isn't it, not really what you'd call lefty... So, to recap - Rich people will have a tiny slice of their investment income taxed (boo-hoo), and what amounted to an organized Monopoly with price fixing has been broken up. Sounds like a pretty balanced plan in terms of left/right to me. I also note that healthcare insurance company stocks didn't exactly plummet on the news
  9. OK, a few facts would seem to be in order to dispel the bollocks which abounds in these debates, fuelled by Beck et al. Here's the bill distilled for those too lazy to read it before commenting (and yes - it's a matter of public record so you can read it if you want to, I suggest you take a few law classes first though or you'll get lost in the language):- Coverage: Would expand coverage to 32 million Americans who are currently uninsured. Health Insurance Exchanges: The uninsured and self-employed would be able to purchase insurance through state-based exchanges with subsidies available to individuals and families with income between the 133 percent and 400 percent of poverty level. Separate exchanges would be created for small businesses to purchase coverage -- effective 2014. Funding available to states to establish exchanges within one year of enactment and until January 1, 2015. Subsidies: Individuals and families who make between 100 percent - 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and want to purchase their own health insurance on an exchange are eligible for subsidies. They cannot be eligible for Medicare, Medicaid and cannot be covered by an employer. Eligible buyers receive premium credits and there is a cap for how much they have to contribute to their premiums on a sliding scale. Paying for the Plan: Medicare Payroll tax on investment income -- Starting in 2012, the Medicare Payroll Tax will be expanded to include unearned income. That will be a 3.8 percent tax on investment income for families making more than $250,000 per year ($200,000 for individuals). Excise Tax -- Beginning in 2018, insurance companies will pay a 40 percent excise tax on so-called "Cadillac" high-end insurance plans worth over $27,500 for families ($10,200 for individuals). Dental and vision plans are exempt and will not be counted in the total cost of a family's plan. Tanning Tax -- 10 percent excise tax on indoor tanning services. Medicare: Closes the Medicare prescription drug "donut hole" by 2020. Seniors who hit the donut hole by 2010 will receive a $250 rebate. Beginning in 2011, seniors in the gap will receive a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs. The bill also includes $500 billion in Medicare cuts over the next decade. Medicaid: Expands Medicaid to include 133 percent of federal poverty level which is $29,327 for a family of four. Requires states to expand Medicaid to include childless adults starting in 2014. Federal Government pays 100 percent of costs for covering newly eligible individuals through 2016. Illegal immigrants are not eligible for Medicaid. Insurance Reforms: Six months after enactment, insurance companies could no longer denying children coverage based on a preexisting condition. Starting in 2014, insurance companies cannot deny coverage to anyone with preexisting conditions. Insurance companies must allow children to stay on their parent's insurance plans until age 26th. Abortion: The bill segregates private insurance premium funds from taxpayer funds. Individuals would have to pay for abortion coverage by making two separate payments, private funds would have to be kept in a separate account from federal and taxpayer funds. No health care plan would be required to offer abortion coverage. States could pass legislation choosing to opt out of offering abortion coverage through the exchange. Individual Mandate: In 2014, everyone must purchase health insurance or face a $695 annual fine. There are some exceptions for low-income people. Employer Mandate: Technically, there is no employer mandate. Employers with more than 50 employees must provide health insurance or pay a fine of $2000 per worker each year if any worker receives federal subsidies to purchase health insurance. Fines applied to entire number of employees minus some allowances. Immigration: Illegal immigrants will not be allowed to buy health insurance in the exchanges -- even if they pay completely with their own money.
  10. Thanks David - I hadn't woken up enough to have that cross my mind, you're absolutely right, the flour dust could ignite like it has done in flour mills. I suppose I hadn't even considered the possibility they would make the crust there too. I'm a bit thick in the morning...!
  11. Yup, I agree wholeheartedly. Sociologically speaking we have a reasonably coherent understanding of 'liberty' in the US - the right to grumble about government, to vote, to dress however we want etc. The exercise of some of those liberties, however, may be interpreted as a violation of another's liberties (to not see your white hairy ass crack poking out of the top of your sagging pants while shopping in Vile-Mart, for example). In short - there is no 'hard' definintion of liberty (or indeed of democracy - it has several) and therefore no - liberty is not dependent on democracy, in fact one could more robustly argue the opposite, that democracy is dependent on liberty of some sort as a prerequisite for any of it's forms.
  12. I saw that and wondered if the casket would have a crust on it and a tinfoil base or if he'd get a massive cornish pasty shaped one - only joking OK... Really though - what a sad way to go - surrounded by pie filling. Why on earth would a pie factory explode? It says the Police are not treating it as supicious but I'd be pretty cirumspect about eating a pie from there now...
  13. And we've seen in the past that she's a great path to much better things... I have NO idea what Twitter is for - it actually irritates me to think of people spending so much time sharing what they're up to when they could be getting up to it instead. The 'virtualization' of everything is pretty sad really. I'd rather have a shitty real day than a great virtual one anytime. Having said that I'd better log off Dropzone and actually DO something eh?
  14. bellyboy

    pd pulse

    Fair enuff - I'm certainly not going to be winning any pullup competitions anytime soon! I thought it was really good too, Gareth had already 'set' the line attachment points on that first jump so I didn't have to. I shall have to recruit his services to make the first jump on my new canopy so it's ready to go and I know it works! This business with the lines though.... We all know there are some canopies which spank you more than others and which are more sensitive to packing technique. I reckon PD have made something here which opens about as well as you could hope for with NO fancy tricks being played to get it there. Alright, I'm off to the canopy coloring program - it's friday...
  15. bellyboy

    pd pulse

    Yup, no stretch I guess. It does seem that the Pulse is a fine opener though, no nose rolling or stuffing required - in fact it opens great with a flake, quarter and bring the tail around then dump it on the ground. I don't think it's a deal breaker at all given the forgiving nature of the planform but hey - it's ultimately your decision whether you'd rather buy a canopy which opens without needing elastic lines, or you prefer the insurance against being spanked. I'll try the Storm too but I think PD made some good decisions with the Pulse.