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Comment: Re:Defund Amtrak NOW. (Score 1) 393

Bullshit. Name one city served by Amtrak that doesn't have a nearby airport.

Amtrak runs through the midwest as a bribe to midwestern congresscritters.

Except that most of those midwest states are red states and want to shut Amtrak down. If Amtrak's future depends on lobbying midwestern congressman, then they aren't doing a very good job at it. As for Amtrak cities without commercial airports, there are many, unless you consider driving 100 to 200 miles to an airport as having a nearby airport. And if they have a small regional airport, you can bet it is heavily subsidized by tax dollars in one form or another.

Comment: Re:And OP is retarded. (Score 1) 335

by Dcnjoe60 (#49720917) Attached to: Stock Market Valuation Exceeds Its Components' Actual Value

Which means that in a massive economic downturn, your silver is going to be just as worthless as dollars. The only reason that silver is worthwhile is because people assign a value to it. If it has no value, then it's worthless. If you can't get access to water or food and the people around you have no need for silver because they value their food/water higher than your silver, then you're kinda stuck.

And if you are one of the people with food/water and the people around you need it, your pretty much at their mercy, too. Think of all the zombie movies, even though you can actually kill people, you can't kill or defend from all of them and eventually, you, too, will be over run and without food and water.

The best solution is to stop the apocalypse before it gets that bad because if it really happens we're all screwed.

Comment: Re:Defund Amtrak NOW. (Score 1) 393

Give me a legitimate argument why we should be subsidizing Amtrak's daily operating expenses. Because of Congressional interference and failure to follow the 1997 law we have a situation where taxpayers are paying up to half the cost of a ticket for those almost 1 million riders who ride the northeast corridor on a daily basis.

Well, on 9/11, when all planes were grounded, Amtrak looked pretty good. Could the infrastructure in the NE handle an extra 1M commuters? 30% of the bridges there are already classified as sub standard and past their useful life. If the infrastructure can't even be maintained for current levels of use, how will they fare with increased use?

Besides, Amtrak is like the post office, it is a private entity that is extremely regulated by the government. It might make great business sense to stop Saturday delivery for the post office or for Amtrak to cut routes, but they aren't allowed to do so. It's also ironic that most major cities will pay more to build a stadium for a professional team than Amtrak gets in its government subsidy.

Again, why single out passenger trains? Why not all manner of transportation, include air? There is far more spent subsidizing these other modes of transportation than Amtrak gets. There is a reason why every other western country subsidizes rail (and air) transportation and at a far greater level than the US -- it's called the common good.

Comment: Re:And OP is retarded. (Score 1) 335

by Dcnjoe60 (#49720037) Attached to: Stock Market Valuation Exceeds Its Components' Actual Value

Silver is just as worthless in an environment where nobody has anything. If things really go to hell, it'll be whomever has water/shelter/food, so don't bother hoarding precious metals as they won't be so precious if you can't get clean water.

On a small scale, you are correct. Simple bartering for goods and services works well. Unfortunately it doesn't scale up and some common means of exchange is always developed, whether it be silver, gold, sea shells or even bitcoins.

Comment: Re:And OP is retarded. (Score 1) 335

by Dcnjoe60 (#49720003) Attached to: Stock Market Valuation Exceeds Its Components' Actual Value

Real Estate will always be worth something. Even if we decide that precious metals are worthless (maybe someone invents a Star Trek replicator), land will always have value. At the very least you can farm it and feed yourself and your family.

It may always be worth something, but not necessarily anything close to what you paid for it. As for land always having its value, tell that to the people in Centralia, PA or Times Beach.

Comment: Re:Defund Amtrak NOW. (Score 1) 393

Almost nobody uses trains outside the Northeast and along the West Coast. In those areas, the trains are very heavily used, and used by all walks of life. The reason why Amtrak looses money each year is because they are forced to support the "fly-over" states which have little ridership.

Those states you refer too defer that cost. Also, the reason Amtrak is forced to support the "fly-over" states is because it is cheaper than building airports and providing air service.

And before somebody says, people choose to live there, that's their problem (or something to the effect), one could turn that around and tell the people of the northeast to grow their own food and drill their own oil because they choose to live there, too.

Comment: Re:Defund Amtrak NOW. (Score 1) 393

I don't care how many people per day or per anything else ride the rails - why should I subsidize their ticket prices?

Here's just one article that talks about the subsidies and where they lie. The northeast regional routes of Amtrak was making over $200 million in profit each year. Once Amtrak became a foster-child of the federal government the federal government started interfering. Most of the money-losing routes that Amtrak operates are there because of demands from local members of Congress in order to gain their support for more subsidies.

Here's another article highlighting that Amtrak's operating law required them to become profitable by 2002. That didn't happen.

Why should you subsidize truckers and airports? It costs $3M to build 1 mile of interstate. Sure it looks nice on the back of all those semis that they pay $6,000 in fuel taxes. Too, bad, they don't tell you the damage they do to the pavement is far greater than that. But, of course, if we didn't subsidize the trucking industry and made them pay the real cost of transporting goods, then prices would go up and you, the taxpayer would still be paying for it, plus a profit percentage on top of it.

Why focus on passenger rail as the problem. Most airports are heavily subsidize in the US. Yes, carriers pay gate fees, but those fees do not cover the true cost of building and maintaining the infrastructure.

Face it, Amtrak, highways, airports, etc. are subsidized by the taxpayer because they ultimately benefit the taxpayer.

Comment: Re:Defund Amtrak NOW. (Score 3, Insightful) 393

Why the FUCK are my tax dollars going to support this idiot organization? Why the FUCK are my tax dollars being wasted on a train service that almost no one uses? If some tiny number of dumbasses cannot afford a car or refuse to just because they prefer to eat granola and hug trees, then let them PAY FOR IT THEMSELVES.

Of course, the incompetent democrat in the white houseopposes all common sense, but at least there is one party working for taxpayers instead of against us.

Instead of defunding Amtrak, maybe it's time to properly fund Amtrak. You seem worried about your tax dollars, but don't seem to mind the billions of them spent on subsidizing air travel and highways and even waterway traffic. What is really lacking in the US is a cohesive transportation policy.

But, hey, it's easier to shout "Defund Amtrak" then it is to actually fix the infrastructure and transportation problems in this country.

Comment: Of course... (Score 1) 393

What do you expect them to say? But really, the PTC system wasn't turned off for shits and grins. It was still being installed and waiting final calibration and certification. Besides the NTSB is still trying to explain the sudden acceleration (twice) as the train approached the curve. One thought is a software glitch with the onboard system. If that is shown to be the case, then PTC wouldn't make much of a difference.

Comment: Re:nature will breed it out (Score 1) 950

Heroin was an over the counter cough rememdy for most of this country's history. Most of the people who used it did not become addicted to it. Addiction is a biochemical disorder in the production or action of various hormones, not a physical property of chemicals.

Heroin was "invented" in the late 1800s as a less addictive alternative to morphine. By 1920 it was strictly regulated as a response to the 200,000 heroin addicts in the US. As such, heroin was readily available for maybe 50 years in the US and it was indeed addictive, which is what caused congress to act with the Dangerous Drug Act.

Addiction is not a biochemical disorder. It is a biochemical process. Opiates, by their very nature, trigger responses in the brain that lead to addiction. It does not matter that some people can become addicted more readily than others. Heroin was an attempt to alter the physical property of morphine to make it less addictive. It worked, heroin IS less addictive than morphine, but it is still easy to become addicted to it. This is not because of a biochemical disorder in the brain, but because of the very way our brains work.

Comment: Re:nature will breed it out (Score 1) 950

One's parents don't have to use heroin for their offspring to develop an addiction to it.

No, but your parents still need to pass the genes that help you enjoy heroin and get addicted to it. Some of the people with those genes would try heroin, and if they got addicted and didn't have children they wouldn't pass those genes on. Over the long run, the population would genetically drift towards having less heroin-addictive genes.

Except that many things are addictive without a genetic predisposition. So even if all of the people with some sort of addiction never bred again, there would still be addictions. Most addictions do not have a genetic trait as much as we want to be able to say it's not our fault.

Comment: Self-driving cars statistically worse (Score 1) 408

There are approximately 254.4M registered vehicles in the US and of those about 6M are in an accident each year. That equates to 2.4% of the registered vehicles are in some sort of accident. From the AP report, 4 out of 48 autonomous vehicles were in an accident which equates to 8.3%. Based on the information presented, autonomous vehicles are 3.5 times more likely to be in an accident than non-autonomous ones.

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics. -- unknown, but known not to be Mark Twain

Comment: Re:nature will breed it out (Score 1) 950

being that many of them won't pass on their genes, nature will take care of it

No, it won't. Regardless of whether somebody addicted to porn or video passes on their genes, future young men can still develop the addiction. One's parents don't have to use heroin for their offspring to develop an addiction to it.

Comment: Re:And thats why the MOT checks emissions here (Score 2) 395

by Dcnjoe60 (#49646153) Attached to: 25 Percent of Cars Cause 90 Percent of Air Pollution


And, en-route, invented electronic engine management, catalytic converters and everything else required to meet those targets, which is now all compulsory equipment, standard and included on all cars. Not a bad thing at all.

If you're worried about it, test old cars regularly and take them off the road. If you don't, then you're not worried about it.

Cars, in locales that have emission testing, are only required to meet the emission requirements in place for the year manufactured. This is a good thing, because otherwise, emission standards could be tightened and everybody would be forced to buy a new car. Since older cars have a finite life, the problem of poorly running old cars will eventually resolve itself. When that occurs, the studies will show that overpowered high horse-powered cars and SUVs are the major polluters. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a desire to limit those.

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors