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Comment Re:What about the rights of those injured by firea (Score 1) 1164

Although it should be noted that current US Federal law explicitly identifies all able bodied men in a pretty wide age range as being in the militia.

But yes, the 2nd amendment is worded that way meaning that in order to raise a militia you need an at least partially armed and experience populace.

Comment Re:Gun-free zone? (Score 1) 1164

The military is hardly any better. The USAF requires requals once every couple years, and even then the accuracy requirement is laughably low.

The problem is that ammunition is just plain expensive. Last time I bought pistol rounds, 15 years ago, it was pricey and I can't imagine it's any cheaper today. When I thought about building an M4 the ammo was around $1 a shot.

Comment Re: Gun-free zone? (Score 1) 1164

That will depend entirely on who you get checking inventory and such. I knew a guy that was in a lot of hot water until they figured out that his "missing" rifle round was never actually given to him.

And it's not just firearms and ammunition that are tightly controlled on military bases. Enlisted folks living in dormitories weren't allowed to keep pretty much any kind of weapon including metal practice swords or decorative knives. I remember one guy almost getting locked up because he was carrying a rather small expanding baton in his pocket coming back on base one night.

Comment Re:Umm, so children are people too? (Score 1) 257

"And no, veggies don't pair with fried foods."

Nonsense! Fried okra is pretty good. Fried green tomatoes can be even better. Jalapeno poppers go well with hot wings, as does celery sticks. I'd eat fried pickles with just about anything, and don't even get me started thinking about fried wickles.

We don't actually fry much of anything in my house, though I get fried chicken from the deli on occasion. But we do steamed veggies with just about every meal and the kids generally love it. We usually toss the vegetables with a thin pat of butter and a little salt and pepper. Sometimes my daughter will decide she doesn't like one of the vegetables in the mix for a week or so then she moves on to something else.

Comment Re:Bias? Or reality? (Score 1) 445

I'm not diametrically opposed to having specialized schools for children that actually need a completely different environment to function or survive. Some of my relatives actually run a small private school supplying that market and part of their focus is teaching their students to cope with normal social interaction.

That said the way my city handles the whole situation is atrocious. Starting at the kindergarten level the schools are separated into normal and magnet schools. At the elementary level about 25% of the normal schools are good or okay. At the middle school level, there is one in the entire city that isn't horrible, it isn't good or great, it just isn't horrible. At the high school level none of the normal schools are tolerable. The graduation rate, even including the magnet schools is in the high 60's, and that is after improving noticeably in the last decade.

The magnet schools can only take so many kids each year. So even if a child tests well enough to get in they have to get picked in a lottery to get accepted. Current students automatically stay at the magnet school of course and so you only get a few openings in each grade per year. To make it even more fun the magnet schools specialize in different curriculum even at the elementary level. So not only does your kid have to luck out in a huge way to just get accepted to one of these schools, but you have to pick a specialty for your kindergartener, when it's commonly accepted that most young adults haven't a clue regarding what they want to do in life.

What this basically means is that in a few years if my kid hasn't won the lottery I'll have to move my family. And even if my first kid wins, the second kid means the deadline just shifts a few years. The only other option is private school and since tuition is actually higher than my mortgage that isn't much of an option.

Meanwhile the school board and local politicians are seemingly satisfied with the situation. If you complain about the poor quality in the normal schools you get directed to the magnet schools and their lottery. They invest laughably small amounts of money into the schools and hold up the magnet schools as gleaming gems, ignoring the festering normal schools. And honestly it's not even the fact they are consigning the vast majority of gifted kids to normal schools that pisses me off. What gets my goat is that they are writing off all of the kids that don't go to magnet schools, normal and gifted alike. No kid deserves being treated like that. Magnet schools are essentially their excuse for not putting any effort or resources into the normal schools.

That is basically a thousand plus kids a year my city alone is prepping to be future tenants in our nations private prison system.

Comment Re:Western media not sharing the whole story (Score 1) 578

History already answered this question. It doesn't happen overnight, and it might even take a generation, but immigrants in huge numbers have been successfully integrated before in the USA. Ellis Island is a popular tourist spot because many Americans are direct descendants of people who passed through there at some point. I'm descended from people who arrived as part of British colonization, Scottish cattle rustlers, French Terror refugees, some Germans, and if you believe family folk lore a couple Native American Indians. And that's just the stuff I can recall off the top of my head.

I agree with the idea that we don't want our country filled with lots of little subdivided groups that refuse to associate and mingle. And I don't have any easy solutions for making immigrants 'assimilate' as you call it. But I can tell you for sure that by stigmatizing immigrants and freaking out about it in general we only encourage immigrant groups to close in on themselves and avoid cultural mingling. If we're afraid of our culture changing as a result of immigration, we'll just have to get over it. Culture is always changing and trying to crystallize it is a hopeless and fruitless endeavor.

Comment Re:Bias? Or reality? (Score 1) 445

Where I'm at the gifted program is a series of completely separate schools. And of course they don't have room for all of the qualifying children. To determine who gets in they have a lottery, and the losers are stuck in the normal schools that are frankly speaking of abominable quality. I would much rather they eliminate the special schools and just improve the normal schools, have advanced classes for the kids who qualify for them. As it is now the normal schools are pretty much left to rot while the special schools get held up as gems of the community.

Comment Re:Western media not sharing the whole story (Score 2) 578

Crime is crime, the numbers might go up with large influxes of people. But they will still likely stay at historically very low rates. We hear a lot more about crime today than in times past simply because we live in a more connected world and so are exposed to sensational news from all corners of the world. Crime rates have a lot of room to grow again before they impact the average person noticeably.

I never presumed that having more open borders and immigration policy would lead to less people immigrating, why would you even imagine that? Immigration is good, I would be very happy to see a lot more immigration in the USA. If you open the borders and hand out green cards to all interested parties then you've eliminate the largest motivation for illegally crossing the border, and hence being an illegal alien. I've never heard of an immigrant that wanted to be here illegally rather than legally, being illegal is simply the most practical option for most of them.

Illegal aliens hurt job prospects for unskilled natives because they have little to no recourse when offered wages below the legal requirements. By legalizing immigration those workers can demand they be paid the legal minimum, and so you actually hand the advantage back to the native because they already speak the language. The applicable communities also benefit since those workers can be paid above the table and have taxes collected. Since there will be a larger pool of laborers to draw from obviously jobs could get a littler harder to find. That said, most of the jobs that have been created since the 2008 economic mess have been in the unskilled labor bracket.

I've never smoked, drank, sniffed, snorted, or consumed in any fashion anything that is legally prohibited in the USA. I've also never consumed alcoholic beverages or tobacco products. I've never experimented with anything that has ended up eventually being banned or restricted. I do so for my own personal beliefs, those same beliefs though demand that I not tell others what they can or can't consume so long as it doesn't victimize another. Alcohol prohibition failed and was eventually repealed, and the war on drugs is similarly a losing proposition and simply a waste of resources and human potential. I only brought it up because aside from illegal immigration drug smuggling is probably the biggest driver of illegal border crossings.

Comment Re:Doors (Score 1) 323

In many jurisdictions you are actually required by law to remove snow and ice from the roof of your car before driving it. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone getting a citation for it though except in cases where it caused some other incident like an accident.

Comment Re:Western media not sharing the whole story (Score 0) 578

Oh, what a bunch of bullshit.

Immigration is a positive net affect for a country the vast majority of the time. Illegal immigration is a problem in the USA only because our politicians insist on keeping it that way. I've known people who where here in the USA for more than a dozen years legally trying to get permanent papers before finally getting it. If we killed the pointless war on drugs and simply issued social security numbers to those that asked in a timely manner illegal border crossings would be a thing of the past.

Comment Re:Navigation wqy bqck then (Score 1) 106

The problem with using a clock at sea, as opposed to on land, was that the constant and highly varied movement of the ship disrupted the clockwork mechanisms of the day. So yes, you still needed an accurate clock to use this same method on land, but engineering a clock for such use on land was already accomplished.

Submission + - UCLA claims technique for carbon-neutral cement manufacturing (

An anonymous reader writes: The world produces around 5 billion tons of portland cement each year, or nearly three-quarters of a ton for every person on Earth. For every ton of cement produced, about a ton of carbon dioxide is released — accounting for about 7 percent of the world’s total CO2 emissions. A new technique developed at UCLA captures and recombines CO2 from the first step in cement manufacturing to help power the second. In addition, the new method requires about half as much heat as typically required.

Comment Re:"Best military science fiction novel ever?" (Score 1) 241

I would say that our treatment of veterans, as a society, has improved but still has a long way to go. Within the military its self there are some pretty major problems. The army actually created special units to try and help vets where they could get specialized treatment and either be rehabilitated or medically separated. Instead some commanders placed over those units have taken it as license to kick out as many troops as they can through chapter 10 discharges. That specific type of discharge leaves a veteran high and dry when it comes to trying to get help. I read an excellent series of articles about it awhile back,

One of my friends came back from a deployment pretty messed up mentally and emotionally. He luckily separated honorably, but then couldn't get any help getting treatment until the VA made a decision on his claim which took more than 18 months. That may not be a horribly long time but it was enough for him to land in jail and have his wife divorce him and try to take their kids. Luckily he got a decision from the VA shortly after getting out of jail and was able to get treatment in time to not be totally shafted in the divorce and retain some level of custody or visitation with his kids. If he had been chapter 10'd he would likely be homeless and destitute at this point.

Comment Re:Free money isn't free (Score 1) 1291

US Federal employees have actually been contributing to SSI in the same manner as everyone else since the 1980's when the change was made from CSRS to FERS.

Under FERS federal employees contribute to SSI, a pension plan, and a 401k'ish system called TSP. SSI is the same for them as for everyone else. The TSP is a professionally managed fund that gives a number of options for picking risk vs reward and is basically identical to a good 401k with very low management fees. The pension plan requires minimal input from the employee and eventually pays up to 1.1% per year of service of high three pay, provided they have enough years of service to qualify at all and wait until retirement age to start getting checks.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan