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Comment: Re:Free market economy (Score 1) 523

That's not true.

This is how congress used to work.

370 to 20 (192D, 177R, 1 I voted yes)
10 republicans and 10 democrats voted no.

Mixture of both parties for.

313-70 (47 abs)
Mixture of both parties for, against, and abstaining.
269-62 (83 not voting- members of both parties)
173D, 96R voting for. Some D and R both voting against.

This is how it has worked since Cantor and the republican party decided to vote no to everything.
214-218- not a single yes vote by republicans.
All R and a small number of D voting against.

Defense appropriations..
235 to 193- not a single yes vote by republicans.
All R and a small number of D (17) voting against.


As I quote above- the republicans we already quoted as intending to vote no to everything. To be against everything the president was for.

The republicans are not negotiating.

In the budget fight, the republicans asked for 85% spending cuts, 15% tax increases. The democrats offered 87% spending cuts, 17% tax increases. The republicans then counter proposed 100% spending cuts and 0% tax increases, rejecting their OWN budget proposals for christ's sake.

It's insane. It is not the way the country was run from 1978 to 2008.

If you sincerely believe this- then it's going to be very difficult to change your mind since you will weight the facts supporting your belief heavily while discounting facts contrary to your beliefs.

So I'm done. You asked- and I gave you details. Direct quotes from the leader of the house and senate republicans stating they were going to vote no to everything.

Then you listed the congressional site and I responded with additional support showing bi partisan voting prior to 2008. It's your choice to process them or ignore them.


Comment: Re:Where do you see A.I. in 5,10,20, and 30 years? (Score 1) 68

by Maxo-Texas (#47502687) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Dr. Andy Chun About Artificial Intelligence

I think our best target would be very smart machines which do not have consciousness. You can't "enslave" a vacuum cleaner.

Once they have conciousness then you are enslaving them.

I get the philosophical point- especially after reading a lot about brain injuries.

But pragmatically- we are conscious and creative. I think we'll get machines that are as capable as (more capable than) humans.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 766

by Maxo-Texas (#47502315) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Actually, blacks did not fare well.

A couple quotes:
THE GREAT Depression of the 1930s was catastrophic for all workers. But as usual, Blacks suffered worse, pushed out of unskilled jobs previously scorned by whites before the depression. Blacks faced unemployment of 50 percent or more, compared with about 30 percent for whites. Black wages were at least 30 percent below those of white workers, who themselves were barely at subsistence level.

There was no relief from the liberal Roosevelt administration, whose National Recovery Act (NRA) of 1933 was soon referred to by Blacks as the Negro Removal Act. Although its stated goal was nondiscriminatory hiring and an equal minimum wage for whites and Blacks, NRA public works projects rarely employed Blacks and maintained racist wage differentials when they did.

  In 1950 a black person's income was around $3,828 but a white
person's income was $7,057. By 1956 a black person's income was around
$4,768 and a white's income was $9,060. As you can see from these
figures, because of segregation and the various laws around black and
white people, white people led a much higher standard of living
compared to black people.

Blacks have also consistently run about double the unemployment of whites as long as we've had data.

And this was also true for the 1960's and 1970s. Double unemployment and much lower income.

Regarding 1930...

During most of the 1930's Blacks faced unemployment of 50 percent or more, compared with about 30 percent for whites. Black wages were at least 30 percent below those of white workers, who themselves were barely at subsistence level.

However, if you look at 1880 and 1910, during a period of general 3% unemployment- blacks had slightly lower unemployment.


I guess what I'm reacting to in your original post is the assumption that a lower or no minimum wage will automatically result in higher employment and that blacks benefited from lower minimum wages in the past. The data shows that from 1920 onwards, they had lower employment despite lower wages.

I don't want to bust your chops too much- I think the trend in robotics is going to replace humans generally with machines which can do the job 3 shifts a day for 1/6th the cost of a human per shift- never take vacations- never get sick (with a proper SLA). That's a good 15-30 years away before it becomes a dominant factor that can't be ignored tho.

Comment: Re:Free market economy (Score 1) 523

It's a good question.

Prior to the current incarnation of the republican party, both parties screamed at each other but they worked together as a functioning government and negotiated with each other.

Having started voting in 1978, I've seen the change occur right in front of my eyes. I voted for reagan and bush sr. I voted for clinton (who worked very well with the republicans on actually getting things done).

Then suddenly the republicans started saying no to everything. They even asked for "X" and when offered "X", they STILL said "no".

If you recall, they openly declared that was their plan. They would vote no to everything and drive Obama from office by 2012.

To quote:
TIME just published âoeThe Party of No,â an article adapted from my new book, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era. It reveals some of my reporting on the Republican plot to obstruct President Obama before he even took office, including secret meetings led by House GOP whip Eric Cantor (in December 2008) and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (in early January 2009) in which they laid out their daring (though cynical and political) no-honeymoon strategy of all-out resistance to a popular President-elect during an economic emergency. âoeIf he was for it,â former Ohio Senator George Voinovich explained, âoewe had to be against it.â


"If he was for it, we were against it" is something truly new to united states politics. I think it's bad for the country. I am currently no longer voting republican as a result of the policy. I think the policy is bad for the long term health of the republican party.

Comment: Comparing Nokia Lumina 521 &Tmobile to (Score 1) 282

by Maxo-Texas (#47502039) Attached to: Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

to my current Samsung S2 and Sprint.

Since I retired, I've examined various expenses with an eye on optimizing them. If they make sense, I can afford them but since I have the time why not check them out?

I'm currently paying $100 a month for "unlimited" data, 1500 daytime minutes and 1500 text msg with an aging S2.

My new plan is $53 a month for 1gb, unlimited talk, unlimited text, unlimited music data.

The S2 is an android phone while the Nokia is a windows phone.

After 20 days, it looks like I'm going to transfer my number to the Nokia and retire the android phone.

The actual service has been better on T-Mobile than on sprint which was a surprise. Sprint has so many dead areas off the high way that text to speech, pandora , etc. are painful to use. The GPS after only 2 years has become very flaky. GPS Status only works a quarter of the time- the rest the time I have to reboot the phone. Sometimes, it seems to have trouble with metal car roofs. I'm assuming the antennae is aging fast.

The "feel" of having a limited data plan is constraining but in actuality, I've only used about 200mb of data on the new phone and most of that was from doing some app installations at home when the wifi was turned off.

Voice quality on the Nokia is stunning with other Tmobile subscribers but slightly below sprint for other people. One of my friends said of a landline call, "it's not as good but it's not bad. I'll get used to it." Other Tmobile customers sound like they are in the same room.

I personally hate windows 8 on my laptop (which is not a touch screen) but I've gotten used to it really quickly on the phone.

I've replaced most of my apps with native apps-- some of them better and oddly not available on android devices. Oddly, some "official" apps have different features and behaviors on the two phones. Notably lacking was Scotttrade. There is a third party app which claims to interface with Scott trade but I'm leery of that for my money.

My biggest struggle to date was having to use the Office App to open pdfs which were then sent to the PDF app. This was seriously confusing-- the apps themselves had no way to open PDF's. But that's more of a windows issue than a phone issue.

The lack of a flash has been less of an issue than I thought and the picture quality is good.


Bottom line is- going to this phone is going to save me about $570 per year, I have improved gps, music. I technically have less data but it's more than I need and the reality of better coverage means I can use data driven features of the phone in a wider area. WIndows vs Android has turned out to be a surprisingly tiny learning curve.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 766

by Maxo-Texas (#47495243) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Young black workers were affected by many factors. An "anti acting white culture", poverty left over from slavery, systemic racism in hiring, promotion, and housing.. and most significantly for the last two generations has been the "drug war".

In some states, almost ALL people incarcerated for drug crimes are black- yet the majority of people committing drug crimes are white. Blacks are more likely to be stopped-- then to be searched when stopped- then to be a arrested if something is found- then to be convicted when tried- and finally to be sentenced to much longer sentences when convicted.

According to the Sentencing Project's website, the rate of incarceration for white Connecticut residents in 2005 was 211 per 100,000 people; for black residents it was 2,532 per 100,000. The Sentencing Project reports that the national incarceration rate for whites in 2005 was 412 per 100,000, and the rate for blacks was 2,290 per 100,000 people.

Also according to the Sentencing Project's web site, in seven states (Iowa, Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota) the black to white incarceration ratio is greater than 10 to one.

1. about one in every 33 black men was a sentenced prisoner and the rate for white men was about one in every 205, for Hispanic men about one in every 79; and

2. black men represented the largest proportion of sentenced male inmates at yearend 2006 (38%); white men made up 34%; and Hispanic men, 21%.

More reading here...


Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 3, Insightful) 766

by Maxo-Texas (#47495041) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

I have a friend who has a misdemeanor and she has a struggle even getting minimum wage jobs. With improved access to people's records even minor crimes become life sentences and create a strong push towards living poverty or turning to crime.

However, I don't think it's being used more as a "filter" at this point. There are 7 employees and 6 jobs. Any kind of criminal record at all is used to select which of the 6 will be hired.

Comment: Re:Free market economy (Score 1) 523

I think that's a biased way of looking at it but - if you related it to GDP size, it would be unbiased and the results might be similar.

And you are ignore Clinton's accounting games. Seriously- the deficit went up under him- he just found a way to shift the deficit to social security. WIthout the funny accounting his deficit was about 7T. This means that Bush Jr's actually went from 8T to 13T and Obama's from 13T to 19T. (which would make your percentages smaller for Bush and Obama but larger for Clinton).

But anyway, relating the deficit to GDP each presidents GDP at start of office and total deficit at end of term has been...

1980 3T, Deficit 100% of GDP when he started office.
1988 5T Deficit 120% of GDP when he started office.
1992 6.5T Deficit 107% of GDP when he started office.
2000 10T, Deficit 130% of GDP when he started office.
2008 15T, Deficit 113% of GDP (but two more years to go).

Comment: Re:And all because a copyright expired! (Score 1) 126

by Maxo-Texas (#47492819) Attached to: Dungeons & Dragons' Influence and Legacy

Tolkien may have reinvented the world, or he may have read it and forgot it and then reinvented it (as he said himself when asked).

The word "Hobbit" appeared as a fantastic creature name in 1854.

Then, after Tolkienâ(TM)s death, an example of the word did turn up, in a long list of âsupernatural beingsâ(TM) appearing in the so-called Denham Tracts, compiled by the Yorkshire merchant M. A. Denham (1800 or 1801-1859). Denham was an amateur folklorist who published many books and pamphlets, including twenty Minor Tracts on Folklore (1849-c.1854). The majority of these Tracts were collected in an edition prepared for the Folklore Society in the 1890s, and the word hobbit appears in the second volume (1895) of this edition.

The discovery of the word in the Denham Tracts was reported in The Times on 31 May 1977. The article records that Tolkien, when asked whence he had got the name, âreplied that he could not remember: perhaps he invented it; or âoeI may have picked it up from a nineteenth century sourceâ.â(TM) (Perhaps Tolkien still recalled that exchange of letters in 1938.) The Times writer rather boldly asserted that this ânineteenth century sourceâ(TM) had now been identified as Tolkienâ(TM)s inspiration. But could Tolkien have read the relevant Denham Tract? It certainly seems an unlikely origin for âburied childhood memoriesâ(TM).

Comment: Re:Other Systems (Score 1) 126

by Maxo-Texas (#47492739) Attached to: Dungeons & Dragons' Influence and Legacy

I ran two MA campaigns on the warden. The second one, the players didn't see the rules or know they were on the warden- they were in the "City of Metal" campaign.

I've run my dnd games through the decks of the Warden as well.

I hate that I missed the MA kickstarter project.

I've been running dnd since 1978. Successful career, grandkids, retired early-- and still run two games a month for 13 people from age 9 to 56.

Comment: Re:i'm glad to work for free (Score 3, Interesting) 381

by Maxo-Texas (#47492719) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

They've invented adblock detectors.

They don't show the video unless you allow the ad to show.

So at the least, the game rachets up a notch.
At the worst, adblock's days are numbered.


TV used to have 52 minutes of content for 8 commercials.

Now it has 42 minutes of content for 18 commercials.
And in some cases 39 minutes of content for 23 minutes of content (by over laying the credits of the prior show with commercials).

I mostly just don't watch it any more.

But I've also gotten really good at not seeing the commercials. At first I had to try but now it's like I can sort of go blind and deaf to the commercials until the show comes back on.

Comment: All I know is we were busted by the cops (Score 1) 126

by Maxo-Texas (#47492601) Attached to: Dungeons & Dragons' Influence and Legacy

at 2am for complaints by the neighbors about loud arguing.

We were apparently loudly with the DM's interpretation that a polymorphed ogre into a flower was "as tough as an ogre" -- as in it could still inflict 1d10 damage to us while polymorphed into a flower instead of merely still having 20 hit points.

Ah... good times.

"I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest." -- Alexandre Dumas (fils)