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Comment: Re:Most taxes are legalized theft (Score 1) 238

by TubeSteak (#47923567) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

But, yes, the US has an unfortunate tendency, since the War of Independence, and the Civil War, continued to the present, of always fighting wars off budget.

That's not even remotely true.
The US has, for most of its history, levied taxes for the explicit purpose of paying for wars.
The Federal Government didn't exist during the Revolution, so the individual states raised taxes.
I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty of pre-20th century war taxes, because they were on things like slaves, carriages, sugar, and whiskey.

Just remember, every dollar you spend for something you don't need, is a dollar spent to help the Axis
To pay for the Korean War, Congress heaped taxes on top of the already high WWII rates.
President Johnson cut domestic spending and created surtaxes specifically to pay for Vietnam.
AFAIK, George W. Bush was the first President to categorically refuse to raise any taxes to pay for his wars.

Comment: Re:Here's another idea... (Score 2) 225

by TubeSteak (#47917177) Attached to: AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

I live in Japan [...]

And don't come back with the "US is too biiiiig!" excuse. You have electricity, water and gas, don't you? How did you get that if the area you live in is "Too biiiig!" The density where I live is no more than a place like Nashville, or Arlington Heights, or Jacksonville, or Albuquerque, or Portland, or Anytown, USA.

You're making several wildly inappropriate assumptions:

1. Despite being the size of Minnesota, Japan has the world's third largest GDP
2. Japan has a very high population density
3. Many Americans in low density rural States don't have water and gas, they have wells and a wood stove.
4. Japan and America (and each individual State) have completely different regulatory environments and philosophies. No shit we have different outcomes.

Comment: Re:perhaps pessimism goes in cycles? (Score 4, Insightful) 174

by TubeSteak (#47914713) Attached to: Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future

Anyone remember the seventies pre-Star Wars? You couldn't produce an SF film unless it had a downer ending.

Highlights of the early 70s include the USA abandoning the gold peg, the CIA overthrowing the government of Chile, the Vietnam War showing itself a failure, the oil crisis, Pol Pot killing millions in Cambodia, African countries overthrowing their leaders, etc etc etc.

The 70s were a dark and stormy time.
And don't forget that the Cuban Missile crisis, despite happening the previous decade, had a serious effect on the US psyche.

Comment: Re:Great one more fail (Score 1) 580

by TubeSteak (#47901677) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Statistically the only problem the "smart gun" solves can is already taken care of by responsible gun owners with a safe.

Yet Another Responsible Gun Owner Shoots His Own Penis
At least five American men have shot off their penises since 2010.
http://crooksandliars.com/2014/06/yet-another-responsible-gun-owner-shoots

I keep hearing about these responsible gun owners who are so very careful with their dangerous weapons, so I can only conclude that this guy did it on purpose!

The problem for the "responsible gun owner" is that they have to be responsible every. single. time.
Why not use technology to help with that?

Or do you accept that a certain minimal number of children accidentally killing each other and dudes shooting themselves in the dick is the price we pay for freedom that is arbitrarily unregulated.

Comment: Re:Good episode of Frontline (Score 1) 119

by TubeSteak (#47898781) Attached to: US Scientists Predict Long Battle Against Ebola

Liberia is/was classified as a "fragile state," despite being near the bottom of the failed state index.

Cultural issues exacerbated the spread, but the actual problem is the Liberian Government's inability to (or decision not to) mobilize resources and quarantine infected patients or infected areas.

People are already calling for the President's resignation and arguing that the her poor *handling of this plague has pushed Liberia back towards being a failed state.

*and a general inability to create a viable healthcare system during her 9 years in office.

Comment: Re:NSA probably already has this technology (Score 1) 119

by TubeSteak (#47897511) Attached to: The Challenges and Threats of Automated Lip Reading

Why would automated software pick the "real" words over the BLR version?

Those BLR guys are going out of their way to produce something ridiculous.
You can train recognition software using real language samples and some grammar rules.

Why would you assume that we can't strap these two technologies together?

Comment: Re:Let's look at the data (Score 5, Informative) 59

by TubeSteak (#47886243) Attached to: Ozone Layer Recovering But Remains Threatened

If you want to understand why the new inhalers are so expensive, read this:

The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/us/the-soaring-cost-of-a-simple-breath.html

It's a product of the USA's captured regulatory system.
Europe doesn't have the same problem, for a variety of reasons.

Comment: Re:Container ships (Score 2) 485

by TubeSteak (#47868439) Attached to: To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

The largest container ships have huge particulate emissions, but that's because there's no regulation on particulate emissions according to international law.

The lack of regulations is why container ships use Bunker No. 6.

It is one grade above the stuff we use to make asphalt and the dirtiest part of oil that can still be used for fuel.
If allowed to cool to room temperature, it turns into a semi-solid.

Countries have started creating regulations for marine engine particulate emissions near their shores,
but banning bunker fuel would have serious effects on the global shipping industry and product prices.

Comment: Re:Super-capacitors? (Score 3, Interesting) 485

by TubeSteak (#47868343) Attached to: To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

As an investor in renewables, China is well in the lead of ever other nation.

Either the Pew report or that article is giving you an incomplete picture.
China, despite being a leader in nuclear and renewable power, is also going balls out to build coal-gasification plants.

China will be closing some coal power plants, but only ones nearest to its major cities (and responsible for the atrocious air quality). These will be replaced with 50 coal-to-gas plants in NW China and the synthetic natural gas will be shipped to new power plants in/near the cities. Cleaner air, but more CO2 per unit of power.

As a side note, China is responsible for about half the world's coal consumption, with no declines predicted.

Comment: Re:By Country (Score 1) 199

by TubeSteak (#47868157) Attached to: China's Island Factory

They're huge slow(ish) moving, crazy expensive floating cities that could be made irrelevant with a salvo of cheap, dumb missles. (aegis be damned) They're dreadnoughts waiting for their Taranto.

The reason you damn them is exactly the reason they are relevant.
Floating cities. Carrier groups are essentially a military base on the move.
Hospitals, ammo dumps, fuel/food resupply, helicopters and airplanes, drones, marines, logistical support, etc.

The idea that we can adequately project force with only bombs is ludicrous and not something that can be explained in a /. post.

Comment: Re:I really don't my vital body parts to be on wif (Score 2) 183

by TubeSteak (#47863587) Attached to: In France, a Second Patient Receives Permanent Artificial Heart

If you want to communicate, plug something in (or use near-field etc)

NFC is a misnomer.
With a sensitive enough receiver, you don't need to be "near" a NFC device to hear it talking.
With a large enough magnetic field, you don't need to be "near" a NFC device to get it talking.

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