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Comment: Re: But is it cheaper? (Score 1) 164

by Attila Dimedici (#46814995) Attached to: The Science Behind Powdered Alcohol
The rest of the world can do whatever it wants, but when you are discussing a topic on a U.S. based website, with a majority of contributors living in the U.S., you can expect that people who are discussing a topic will be using the definition of a word as it is used in the U.S.. If you would prefer to use the word vodka to mean "any distilled beverage", that is certainly your privilege. However, do not expect to actually communicate much with that term. If you do, I will tell you that currently the best vodka is made in Kentucky.

Comment: Re: But is it cheaper? (Score 1) 164

by Attila Dimedici (#46814809) Attached to: The Science Behind Powdered Alcohol
Well, if you consider 1949 to be fairly recent I guess you are correct. According to U.S. law vodka is a neutral spirit without distinctive character, odor, or taste (there are in addition definitions regarding the degree to which it is diluted from 95% alcohol for sale). Considering that traditionally the word vodka is just an eastern european word with the same derivation as whiskey (both are derived from the word for water) ANY distilled spirit could be called "vodka", including brandy.
Basically, it comes down to this. when English speakers began using the word vodka, they already had words for distilled beverages which had distinctive character, odor, or taste. As a result, especially considering that there was no distinctive character, odor, or taste that defined vodka, vodka came to mean in English a neutral spirit with no distinctive character, odor, or taste.

Comment: Re: But is it cheaper? (Score 1) 164

by Attila Dimedici (#46813635) Attached to: The Science Behind Powdered Alcohol
If the vodka has any taste other than the taste of alcohol, the distiller has failed (except in cases where it is specifically flavored such as vanilla vodka). Vodka is supposed to be a flavorless spirit. For that matter, there have been numerous blind taste tests and the results indicate that while people can distinguish between vodkas when they drink it neat they cannot do so when it is in a mixed drink (the tests mostly compared mid-level vodkas to premium vodkas, so there may be some difference between bargain basement vodka and good vodka).

Comment: Re:And again: (Score 2) 88

by Attila Dimedici (#46804277) Attached to: General Mills Retracts "No Right to Sue" EULA Clause

If you've ever read "This does not affect your statutory rights", it's an acknowledgement of this (and, in fact, they don't even need to say that - because not saying it wouldn't affect those rights either!).

Actually, the reason contracts have such language is because that language increases the odds that a court will allow the parts of the contract which do not call for your statutory rights to be violated to stand even if other parts are found to be inapplicable because of laws which state they cannot be enforced. It is a form of severability clause. Those parts of the contract which are not contrary to law are allowed to stand when those that are contrary to law are struck down.

Comment: Re:Sick Society (Score 4, Interesting) 250

Yeah, that explains why the cities with the strictest gun control laws have the lowest murder rates and those with the laws making it easier for law-abiding citizens to own and carry guns have the highest murder rates...No, wait, it's the other way around. If you actually look at the facts it turns out that it is people like Bloomberg who are blood-drenched and the NRA who are the heroes.

Comment: Re:So - who's in love with the government again? (Score 5, Insightful) 397

by Attila Dimedici (#46795663) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

You make an interesting complaint but you provide no argument or evidence that the government doesn't have a good reason to propose this rule.

But you see that is exactly his point, he should not have to present anything in order to prevent the government enacting a new rule. It should be up to the government to present an argument or evidence that this proposed rule is not only a good idea, but necessary. When the government proposes a new rule, the first reaction of a free people should be, "Not until you convince me that it is necessary for this branch of government to implement this rule."

Comment: Re:This Republican scam to destroy education... (Score 1) 105

by Attila Dimedici (#46795349) Attached to: Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

Wealthy areas have students that do well, poorer areas, less so.

Right the explanation must be the fact that they have more money to spend on schools. It could not possibly be because those who have values that encourage their children to value getting an education are more likely to be wealthy, while those who do not encourage their children to get an education are more likely to be poor. It is not possible that the same factors which cause the parents of children in wealthy neighborhoods to be wealthy are the same factors which cause those parents to raise well-educated children.

Comment: Re:This Republican scam to destroy education... (Score 1) 105

by Attila Dimedici (#46793959) Attached to: Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

On the other hand, such districts can be poorer. While the suburban schools are wealthier. My state used to have heavy state funding of schools, to even out disparities), but that started to be cut. According to a quick google search, the year it came under heavy attack involved a state congress that leaned Republican.

That would make sense if not for two things. First, those inner city schools were already failing before the state funds were cut. Second, there is no correlation between how much a school district spends per student and its success at teaching those students. A few years back, the Washington, DC school district was spending more per student than any other school district in the country, yet was one of the worst school districts in the country (I have not seen the numbers for a few years, so it may no longer be spending the most per student).
Also, the urban areas don't "lean" Democratic, they are overwhelmingly Democratic. There are occasions when a Republican will win the Mayor's office, but that is rare and the overwhelming majority of other elected offices are controlled by Democrats.

Comment: Re:Clueless. (Score 1) 105

by Attila Dimedici (#46793947) Attached to: Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities
Did you fail to notice that the person I was responding to was saying that this was a Republican scam to destroy education?
More importantly the idea that we are collectively responsible for anything is part of the problem. The only kind of responsibility that matters is individual responsibility.

Comment: Re:This Republican scam to destroy education... (Score 2, Interesting) 105

Umm, have you looked at who runs the schools that are failing to teach minorities to read? In particular you might want to take a close look at the party affiliation of those running the school boards, and the rest of the political machinery of the local government in those place. Further, you might want to look at the history of the political party in question. Then you should ask yourself, if they still held to the political philosophy and beliefs they held in 1860, what would they do differently to better accomplish goals in line with that political philosophy?

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 1) 348

The reason that Mark Steyn was not mentioned in the article is because this case is not the one which Mark Steyn is involved in. Mark Steyn will not be using a FOI request to attempt to gain access to Mann's emails. Mark Steyn will be using the discovery phase of the lawsuit to attempt to gain access to those documents of Professor Mann's that he wants access to.

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234

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