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Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 814 814

NATO purchased F-16s. That was the big market they were designed for. It was designed to be cheap and incorporated a lot of what we learned from the Mig in Vietnam. As an export fighter it was great. It can't hold a candle to the F-15 though which with 2 engines has a great safety record and ruled the skies during it's heyday. I really think though that the future is aircraft like the X-47B.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 4, Informative) 814 814

That's pretty much the same sentiment they had just before the Vietnam war. And then took a big bloody nose from the inferior Migs. The worst thing about the F-35 though is it's a single engine fighter. In war redundancy is everything. When the engine on the 35 gets damaged the only option is to pull the ejection handle and hope for the best. That's a hell of an expensive lawn dart. If you want to see an example of how bad it can be just look at the F-16. It's nickname IS lawn dart. When the F-15 loses an engine they turn around and go back to base. That's how you live to fight another day. After the debacle with the F-22 and the F-105 I can't believe they bought another single engine fighter.

Comment: Re: Demographics (Score 1) 256 256

That's part of the problem. The money never makes it to the classroom. I can't believe the overhead nowadays. The teacher/student ratio is about 32 to 1 which is too high but somehow the office staff has more than quadrupled in the typical school. This is despite the fact that when I attended they used typewriters instead of word processors. We got by with a principal while now they have 3 assistants. They've quadrupled the number of counselors as well and added all kinds of staff positions. This is fine if you have the money for it but books and supplies and teachers should come first. As with most things government related the tail wags the dog.

Comment: Re: Demographics (Score 1) 256 256

Where I live the per capita spending on students has risen over the years far ahead of inflation. The results have remained largely unchanged. Money is important but a lot can be done cheaply if you have good management. Without support from a solid family structure money will make little difference. One thing I am glad to see is schools serving breakfast now. For far too many children the only meals they get are at school. Libertarian though I may be free food for children is an exception I make. It's horrible that children in this country go hungry. I don't know what the solution to America's education problems are. I know we've had numerous Governors in my state attack the problem with money and it's accomplished zilch.

Comment: Re:Demographics (Score 4, Insightful) 256 256

I went to school to speak with my daughter's teacher when she was in the third grade and struggling. We discussed her situation at length for about 30 minutes and covered a lot of possible actions to help her improve. At the end of that time her teacher thanked me profusely for coming to the meeting. I was rather surprised and stated that I was thankful to her for her time and help and would not have dreamed of failing to come. She then told me that over the past week she had scheduled 7 meetings with parents and I was the only one to actually show up. Parents are the biggest shortcoming in the education of children today. If parents do not get involved then no amount of money spent on education will accomplish much. When I was a child my parents involvement consisted of beating my ass when I had problems at school. This method, while crude, was effective. It would have been much better if they had taken the time to do more but what they did do was better than the apathy so many parents exhibit towards their children's education.

Comment: Re: In other words (Score 1) 305 305

It's what everyone does. The Cherokee Indians in Georgia got screwed unbelievably. More civilized than their white neighbors they had the bad luck to have gold discovered on their land. Off to Oklahoma on the trail of tears. No one gave them anything. US history is filled with such stories. What's done is done and there is no way to fix it now without even bigger injustices. Eventually you have to move on.

Comment: Re: In other words (Score 1) 305 305

I will say that when the Southern States seceded from the union it was technically not treason. At the time there was no provision against secession. That's basically what the war ended up being about. Slavery was a key reason for the war but far from the only one as it's painted in today's revisionist history. In all reality the rich bastards that drug the South into the war were responsible for slavery ending at least 2 or 3 decades earlier than it would have otherwise. The one good thing to result from the war was the end of slavery. Sadly so much else was lost. They set the stage for the monstrous bastardization that is today's Federal government.

Comment: Re:sigh... (Score 1) 939 939

A bunch of big banks isn't everything. Banks don't share the wealth when they're swimming in money. Why should we bail them out of their fuck ups when their greed causes them to go tits up? They continued handing out huge bonus checks to executives right on through the bailouts. I could vomit. Thousands upon thousands of houses empty and the only people that got hurt were the people on the bottom. The fuckers that caused the entire problem were shielded from their bad decisions. That's wrong, pure and simple. The surest sign it was wrong was the bipartisanship of the entire thing. Any time both sides of the farce that is the American Political system band together you can be sure the American people are going to get fucked over.

In practice, failures in system development, like unemployment in Russia, happens a lot despite official propaganda to the contrary. -- Paul Licker