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Comment Re:"I forgot" (Score 1) 500

It's not BS. Perhaps you haven't been watching very closely, but these voter ID laws are indeed being actively used to disenfranchise many mostly poor, minority voters. Alabama, for instance, passed its voter ID law then promptly closed the DMV offices in most of its majority poor, black counties.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-...

Just how many hoops do you want people to jump through to be able to exercise their right to vote, especially when voter fraud is by all accounts minimal? A lot more people are being disenfranchised than alleged voter fraud is being prevented. But that kind of egregious distortion of the electoral system suits those who don't like that poor and minority voters can vote, such as yourself (because you disapprove of which way they vote), just fine, doesn't it?

Comment No public information request needed (Score 1) 258

Are you sure that it even takes a public information request? There are sites on the internet that aggregate public employee salary data and make it available through a simple google search. My salary and my co-workers' salaries are available for anyone to see through such a search because we work for a public state university. It even includes previous years' salary data. In fact, a google search for just my name brings a link to my salary on findthedata.com within the first page of results!

Comment Re:Use of force? (Score 1) 202

I agree with most of what you say, except I don't quite understand your point about respect for polite behavior. It seems to me that several countries that are more advanced and civilized and less violent than the US accept less polite behavior. Can you explain what you mean?

Comment Re:Use of force? (Score 1) 202

Yeah, I'm also voting for the second option (America failing as a civilization).

Yes, there are many terrible cops should not be cops in the US, but the majority of them are actually not terrible. You have to realize that cops are thrown into an environment where they might be genuinely in fear for their lives a good part of the time.

Think about the current situation in the US:

1. Almost no gun control, which means that virtually anyone anywhere may be armed to the teeth.

2. Poor access to education for large segments of the population, which means that the population at large and the cops don't generally have a very good or high-level of education, which, in turn can lead to elevated levels of violence. For instance, there was a recent study that demonstrated a pattern that cops with only a high-school education are more likely to use force than cops with a college degree, and most cops don't have a college degree.

3. There's a dangerously low amount of social services, and a particularly egregious lack of certain services like public psychiatric wards (I understand that this was thanks to Saint Reagan). This means that there are many honestly, completely crazy people roaming the streets. I have personally seen many, many, many schizophrenic people running around yelling at themselves, or making other crazy noises and gestures on the streets. It's very, very sad.

4. Historic racial, and class tensions in the US, which means that people already come into this with pre-conceived notions about the other.

5. America has a LOT of poverty. This amplifies every problem listed above.

Put all these factors together and you have a recipe for disaster, which is exactly what we have been seeing. I don't blame the cops in general - like I said, there are some bad apples, but they are generally in a very, very tough situation

Comment Re:Laws (Score 1) 822

While I agree that any toddler who shoots a gun accidentally should be automatically taken away from their parents, there are some flaws with your argument:

1. If guns are similar to hazardous chemicals, why don't guns require gun locks like hazardous chemicals do (child-proof lids)? Hint: gun lobby fights any effort in this direction.

2. Guns are many, many times deadlier than kitchen knives, electrical outlets, heavy objects, or hard floors.

Comment Re:Color me naive.... (Score 5, Informative) 411

It sounds like they went way beyond that. A comment on Jalopnik says:

According to the report from the EPA, it used figures such as steering wheel input, barometric pressure, engine run-time, wheel speed, etc, to determine it was being tested on a dyno.

I think VW is going to be in a world of hurt over this. Apparently their 2016 models are already being held at the port and cannot be delivered to dealers.

Comment Re:YAY (Score 1) 266

RedSteve's reply above mine is right: Vector Calculus and and (intro) Art History classes are in no way equivalent. The College Algebra or Intro Statistics that Liberal Arts majors are required to take IS roughly equivalent to the Art History (or other Liberal Arts GE classes) that STEM majors are required to take.

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