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Comment: Re:The irony (Score 1) 294 294

What is considered "fit" isn't so simple as a longer neck or stronger muscles.

Technology and social structure are PART of evolution. As a matter of fact it seems that such things outweigh almost any of the other "natural" advantages a species might have.

At the end of the day, we squabble, and we can be short sighted, but the human race is the most evolved and complex species to ever walk this planet. From an evolutionary standpoint we're crowding everything else out. Honestly I don't think most species will survive long-term unless they are of use to us - either as pets, food, or work animals.

Comment: Re:and the beer is really good (Score 2) 528 528

There's no shortage of pretty good beer in the US (heck I make my own). The problem is that only a small percentage of people actually want it. Anything beyond Budweiser or Coors Light is considered "weird tasting". That's changing, but for the most part people are drinking that "mass marketed barley water" by choice, not out of lack of options.

Comment: Re:The kneejerk anti-Stallman guys are out in forc (Score 1) 216 216

That doesn't mean they are all literate on the command line or that they understand a lot of the stuff that goes on behind the scenes, but I daresay most of them understand the difference between open source vs. proprietary.

Don't confuse knowing the difference with caring about it. I've using Linux since the late 1990's. I have a CS degree and am a programmer for a living. I understand very well the "free in beer vs free as in speech" argument.

HOWEVER, most people really only care about the "zero cost" definition of free. And when it comes to open source most only care about the source actually being available, not whether its under the GPL or not.

"Libre" as it is applied by the zealots is a concept that only a very small subset of computer users care about - even if they understand it. You're not going to get them outraged by explaining it.

Consider the opposite: lets say Ubuntu listed software as "Free", but when you clicked install it prompted you for payment credentials for $5, with the justification being that you're free to modify the source and do as you wish, but the software has a monetary cost. THEN you'd see outrage because it'd be stepping on the definition of free that people actually care about.

Comment: Re:Eliminate all tax withholding (Score 1) 413 413

Yes, I pay taxes. My salary doesn't come from THOSE taxes though (income taxes). It comes from different taxes - namely, property taxes.

So I guess you could say I shouldn't be billed property taxes. Ok - what about someone who works where I do but lives in a different jurisdiction (very common)? That jurisdiction isn't going to give up THEIR revenue because he works for a different one, and it wouldn't be fair to the other employee that they still have to pay property taxes while I don't because I live in the same jurisdiction where I work.

Or consider someone who is renting - they're not paying property taxes anyways - but his landlord certainly is, and you can bet it's folded into his monthly bill. Why should I get to own a house tax free whilst he's having to foot his landlord's taxes as part of the payment?

I know, I know. We could hire someone to figure out all these exceptions and such, and then straighten it all out. Make sure that Federal government employees don't pay Federal income taxes but still pay state, and state employees pay federal but not state. And local government employees pay both but no property tax *IF* they're living in the same jurisdiction they work in.

Congratulations - you just rehired those recently laid off IRS employees that you thought weren't needed under this new "simple" system.

Comment: Re:More ambiguous fees (Score 1) 413 413

Trust me it's really popular to call new sources of revenue (or old ones renamed and raised) as "fees" rather than taxes. That way politicians get to proclaim in their campaigns that they've never voted to raise "taxes". Sure your bill is higher, but it's the "fees", not more taxes.

Comment: Re:Eliminate all tax withholding (Score 1) 413 413

By making it not taxable, they could be causing an employee to drop into a lower tax bracket overall.

"Lower tax brackets" (or rather, their effect on taxes) are a persistent myth.

There are tax brackets, but you're only taxed at the higher rate for overage from the previous tax bracket.

Comment: Re:Eliminate all tax withholding (Score 1) 413 413

You do realize there's all sorts of levels of "government" right?

I work for a local (county) government myself. My salary is mostly funded by the county's main source of income: property taxes (with a bit extra from sales taxes).

Income tax goes to the federal and state government. Why would I not pay taxes to those entities when my salary isn't being funded by it?

Or if you go to state employees - why withhold the federal government's taxes when their salary is funded mostly by state income taxes (and vice versa)?

If I had a nickel for every time some internet genius thought there was some simple fix to all of government's problems I'd be rich enough to all ALL of our taxes.

Comment: Re:dont' engage it with people there? (Score 4, Insightful) 392 392

Shouldn't any reasonable marketing idiot realize that actually having a feature that prevents the automatic car from driving into someone and NOT making it standard is a recipe for a major lawsuit?

Saying "You know, we tried to make it work, and just couldn't, so be careful." is a lot more defensible than saying "We figured we could withhold a vital safety feature in order to charge another few hundred bucks for it.".

Comment: Re:Tolls? (Score 1) 837 837

Not always. County and local roads are funding largely by the county, but not all of their budget comes from property taxes. A lot of their budget comes from the state, or from special option taxes (ie, our county has an extra $0.01 on the dollar of sales tax specifically for road improvements). They also can get federal grants and such.

Comment: Re:not surprised (Score 1) 649 649

Dwindling? 63% of the population supports the death penalty, and the low point in public support was actually back in the 1960's. Indeed over the last century support has gone up and down here and there but there is no downward trend overall. We're actually higher in support now than when the first poll was done in 1936.

Comment: Re:Why doesn't he want to live in Africa? (Score 2) 170 170

I see you couldn't address my simple question.
Why doesn't he want to live in Africa, among his own race, and ONLY his own race? Could it possibly be because he is a 'white supremacist', and believes that white people make better societies than blacks do?

Perhaps because most people don't take race into account at all for such positions and economically people tend to be much better off in the US? Afterall if his goal was to live among white people as you suggest then several countries in Europe would be a far more sensible choice.

Comment: Re:Lies! Lies! All lies! (Score 1) 284 284

For Christianity, that means hating gays, subjugating minorities, and living a selfish, materialistic life while judging others.

Perspective. Christians over here are greedy, call some people some mean names, and are refusing to make a few gay wedding cakes, whilst Muslims are hacking up and beheading people with machetes and you try to draw an equivalence?

Comment: Re:guess what (Score 1) 284 284

Um, I'm not a religious person myself, but I grew up in one of the most backwoods fundamentalist Southern Baptist Christian families you can imagine. Even they viewed the Old Testament as basically "good reading" that was completely superseded by the New Testament.

You generally can use the Old Testament as a guide (ie, the Ten Commandments), but if it is contradicted AT ALL by the New Testament then the New Testament takes precedence.

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955