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Comment: As Doomed as the Kellog-Briand Pact (Score 3, Insightful) 318

Remember that? That was the 1928 pact that outlawed war.

You might remember how well that worked out.

This will work out just swell until Russia or China or ISIS develop an effective fighting robot and are able to deploy them in sufficient quantities to make a decisive difference in battle.

Plus there's the impossibility of enforcement. How can you prove it was a robot rather than a remote-operated drone?

And there's the tiny issue that, knowing how slowly the wheels of the "international community's" court systems turn, the war is likely to be won or lost before those violating it ever come to trial...

Comment: Jonathan Coulton Tweeted about getting one. (Score 4, Informative) 468

by Nova Express (#48284893) Attached to: Boo! The House Majority PAC Is Watching You

Which you can read about here. And his letter didn't come from a PAC, it came from the Democratic Party.

I've never gotten anything remotely like this letter from the Republican Party or a conservative PAC (and I probably get well over 200 begging direct-mail solicitations a year).

I don't see such intimidation tactics as paying off for them...

Comment: Stopped reading after two big errors (Score 3, Informative) 296

by Nova Express (#48218029) Attached to: How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

1. "In 1991, Andrew Rapport declared Microsoft the winner in the PC contest because Microsoft and Intel had harnessed the Asian supply chain and dramatically undercut the cost of the eccentric Steve Jobs’s Apple Mac." No, by 1991, it was John Scully's Mac, as Jobs was ousted in 1985.
2. "When Apple’s first notebook, the Macintosh 100, wasn’t embraced by consumers because it was two big, too heavy, and too expensive" No, that would have been the original Mac Portable (1989), which was all of those things. The Powerbook (not Macintosh) 100 was actually a very light ultra-portable.

Since author Steven Max Patterson and his editors couldn't be bothered to perform basic fact-checking, I stopped reading at that point...

Comment: Another Advantage for State Level Control (Score 1) 279

by Nova Express (#48137625) Attached to: Who's In Charge During the Ebola Crisis?

Without a top-down bureaucracy calling the shops, states can try 50 different methods to control the pandemic, and compare results to see who has the best one. They're not stuck mindlessly doing what Washington has dictated, even if it's wrong.

The CDC is swearing up and down Ebola can be transmitted by airborne infection, but what if they're wrong about this strain?

The federal government is much more likely than the states to continue a wrong course of action long after it's been proven a bad idea than the states. See also: Welfare, agribusiness subsidies, the food pyramid...

Comment: Overall death toll under communism: 100 Million (Score 2, Informative) 540

by Nova Express (#47880553) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Let's not forget that the best estimates for the death of communist regimes killing their own people is right around 100 million people. Both The Black Book of Communism and R.J. Rummel's Death by Government come up with roughly the same number of people killed.

Communism is incompatible with both human rights and a healthy economy, and never has, never can, and never will meet the needs of its own people or offer better lives than those under capitalism.

Embargoes have nothing to do with it...

Comment: Postal is an Ideological Fanatic (Score 4, Insightful) 454

by Nova Express (#47505491) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

The way he defines success and failure is framed to say all missile defense fails.

Iron Dome uses a combination of a proximity (radar activited) fuse and fragmentation. Sometimes the interceptor destroys the warhead. Sometimes it causes an explosion of the propellant which destroys the warhead. Sometimes it simply breaks the incoming missile or rocket into segments or destroys its ability to follow its planned ballistic path. According to Lloyd and Postol, if the warhead isn’t destroyed the interceptor failed.

You don’t need a Ph.D. to see the immense flaw in this logic: if someone fires a missile at you and you aren’t hit that is good news.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant

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