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Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 19

The significance of both the ethnic and religious tensions be damned. The only logical "failure" here is in containment to the region.

Well, now: I feel there may be a few inputs that you're not evaluating clearly here. You can't merely ignore the ethnic/religious dimension. It matters to the people at large, even if, at the ruling class level, such are merely buttons to press.
And the cost of "containment" may end up being orders of magnitude higher than you realize. DoD contractors are salivating even as you speak.

Comment Re:If you're a $100k/yr engineer (Score 1) 337

It's pretty well documented. Wealthy and educated people get treatment programs, while poor (and let's face it, black) people get jail. It's because what we're really using our drug policy for is to keep the poors in check.

What's even better documented is the fact poor black people get harsher sentences, because poor black people vote for politicians who advocate tougher sentences in their jurisdictions.

It's unfortunate, but it's caused by sociological factors, NOT a grand conspiracy by white people to keep black people down...

Comment Re:Splendid, Captian (Score 1) 14

The purging is the positive example. For a nihilistic* example, see academia.

*Stipulate that it's "nihilistic" in the sense that the current course, if followed, would lead to universal university meltdown before too many more years. However, I don't think the idiocy sustainable.

Comment Re:You better fix your unicode characters (Score 1) 14

Yep. I'd add that I think Cruz may be a reasonably valid Christian, AFAICT.
Further, I think that the only real faith point to make in politics is that a candidate believe *something*, for two reasons:
(a) Hopefully, some anti-megalomania insurance, and
(b) A test suite to run on the candidate's record, to see how bad of a liar they are.
My *least* preferred candidates are the Huckabee types. If you were called to ministry, I've never heard a valid reason for taking a demotion to enter politics.

Comment Re:Screw paying for ANY television viewing (Score 1) 224

TV Fools says I would need a 350 ft tower to get any signal

That makes no sense. Except for the dark side of the moon, there's no place on Earth where you'd have ZERO radio signals. TVFool doesn't have a zero value that it would ever show. It might show stations in RED or GREY as a quick hint that the signal isn't strong, but a good antenna can handle very weak signals in those ranges.

So what is TVFool showing as the dBm of your strongest network station? I've got good (but not perfect) reception with ATSC signals as weak as -120 dBm, with just a single good 4-bay UHF antenna and preamp. And mine are all 2Edge reception...

If you really are on the fringes, it's possible touse two or even FOUR antennas, together, to pull-in even weaker signals without a huge tower.

Comment Re:Screw paying for ANY television viewing (Score 1) 224

I watch live events carried only on ESPN. Or a certain few programs only available on cable

There are plenty of people who have become accustomed to the shows they watch on cable, and just refuse to adapt to the near-equivalents available OTA. You're not unique in that aspect, but I'm completely unsympathetic to those who are merely set in their ways. And you really are part of the problem, one of those making it profitable to lock-up content under expensive paid TV service packages.

I have to have the satellite for broadcast channels also because I live in the middle of a pine forest and would need a 100 ft tower to get an antenna over the trees.

OTA TV signals do NOT require line-of-sight. In my case, I've got TWO mountain ranges in my way, but I still get OTA television.

What's your zip code? I looked-up Yosemite, since that was the first (and biggest) "pine forest" which came to mind, and found a good TV antenna 20ft above ground can EASILY receive all the major network stations in the area. Of course you could be in one of the few areas in the country where OTA signals are too far away, but it sounds like you've really never tried, and you've always just assumed the worst.

Comment Re:Screw paying for ANY television viewing (Score 1) 224

I see 'streaming video on mobile devices' as another tech bubble that will burst sooner than most people think it will. There is only so much bandwidth available, and people keep demanding more and more of it, and all the while wireless providers like AT&T and Verison are literally gouging people for service,

Except "streaming video on mobile devices" does NOT imply that people are using their cellular data plans at all. The linked article even talks about people using free business/municipal WiFi.

I see it either coming to a point where you can't get more people and more bandwidth because it just doesn't exist, or it getting to the point where people are paying so much money that they start backing away from it

I don't see that happening... Spectrum reuse (smaller towers, lower-power antennas, with much shorter range) will allow the existing available cellular frequencies to be utilized many times more efficiently, blanketing small areas (neighborhoods) with much higher speeds, which don't interfere with the big towers covering large geographic areas.

The up-coming FCC incentive auction will give the cellular companies big new swaths of lower frequencies. Meanwhile micro-cells and pico-cells are decreasing in price and increasing in popularity with cellular carriers, and their operation necessarily involves higher spectrum reuse. LTE-U operates just like WiFi, on the same unlicensed frequencies and with a very small radius of service, and those devices should be available very shortly.

Meanwhile there are people like me (and I don't believe I'm anything like alone in this) who have no smartphone and see no reason to ever get one, because of how much wireless companies gouge for 'data plans'

You're not alone, but certainly in a very, very tiny minority. Back in early 2013, the majority of all Americans owned smartphones, and that trend has only increased several percent per year:

Early 2015: "overall smartphone penetration up to 77% of mobile phone owners in the U.S. Among recent phone acquirers, 91% chose smartphones as their mobile handset [...] Overall smartphone penetration continues to rise rapidly, increasing 8 percentage points"

While there's some truth to what you say about the two biggest US cellular carriers, it doesn't apply to T-Mobile/Sprint.

T-Mobile now offers unlimited video streaming (Netflix, HBO NOW, Hulu, more) that doesn't apply against your data allowance. And that's besides T-Mobile offering "unlimited" data plans for some time.

Sprint doesn't charge overages at all... they prefer to throttle your data connection down to much slower speeds, rather than disconnect your data, or charge you extra fees. And a Sprint service like Boost with several GBytes of data is just $30/mo, including most taxes/fees.

MVNOs can have even better deals. RingPlus, FreedomPop and others offer free plans that include cellular data. Some MVNOs like Republic will allow activating your smartphone for $10 with unlimited calling/sms, but NO DATA PLAN at all. You are tied to WiFi for internet, but that means no overage charges, ever.

Comment Re:Splendid, Captian (Score 1) 14

We remember that having a tattoo, or a piercing, or hair too long meant exclusion from "polite" society.

I've got ink.

And yet you have the gall to throw "cultural marxism" in my face as if we in the west didn't already have a culture of stifling anything that dared move in a direction the herd didn't approve of. You and your ilk bleating and moaning and complaining, confused at the world they live in, too stupid or too proud to understand this very thing you've ceaselessly complained about for years is the direct result of you wanting exactly that, just to your own specifications. I hope you choke on it.

While we're huddled under the bridge for warmth, be sure to ask me the difference between positive encouragement that grows a culture, and nihilism.

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce