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Comment Re:Hillary, is that you? (Score 1) 307

A true flat tax (and nationwide sales tax) is doomed because they will "hurt" the poor. Right now, millions of poor people get thousands in earned income credits without working or paying a penny of income tax. Those EICs (aka over-the-top freebies from the gov't) will be eaten up quickly in (or completely removed from) a flat tax system.

And no, people wouldn't suddenly get interested in any congressional action or civics/politics at that point. You'd just have a millions-strong mob of relatively uneducated poor people tearing the country apart before you could say "economic theory".

If the gov't actually got that mess under control, then you'd have a mini-recession due to the loss of income to all the businesses that rely on that infusion of deficit spending fueled cash every spring. The poor go out annually and buy that new hot water heater, even larger TVs, newer and better cell phones to make rap videos about their SNAP cards, the family vacations they couldn't take otherwise, etc.

And don't underestimate the long-term importance of higher income taxes (and inheritance taxes) keeping a class of super-rich people (think old-school European royalty - dukes, etc.) from really taking a firm hold in the USA. Yes, those higher taxes are cruel and patently unfair to the wealthy that work their butts off to get into the top 10%, but they are an unfortunate necessity in a society where too many of the super rich don't share their wealth domestically. Instead, they ship the money out to other countries - all in the name of increased profits, to feed Wall Street's insatiable need for higher stock prices. (Why can't a company's growing profits be re-invested back into society via more R&D expenditures and wages while still turning a handsome profit? Why this unending need for increased profit at the expense of everything else?)

Disclaimer: I'm a GOP guy that loves balanced budgets and is sick of ideological rot within my own party.

Comment Mod parent up please (Score 1) 125

Issac Asimov's prequel, Prelude to Foundation, is even more explicit than Foundation in putting this concept on display. People throughout the galaxy forget how to use advanced technology that had been invented in the past. Citizens on Trantor, the galactic empire's capital that's a planet covered with one giant city (think Coruscant in a planetary dome), can't even keep the systems all running right. Eventually even basic knowledge about nuclear power is lost and the galaxy becomes a splintered mess, powered by gas and coal.

In our general arrogance we see going backwards as impossible, but that kind of future could easily happen to us if our increasingly specialized fields aren't continually populated by at least one person willing to study it and keep the knowledge alive (and not just in dusty tomes or stacked SSDs.

There are many other great concepts covered in those books that make you think. They should be required reading for high school, IMO..

Comment Re: We Need To Add To US Surveillance Programs? (Score 1) 343

Not all conservatives believe this "we need more security" tripe anymore than all liberals think that all abortion should be legal up to the day of birth and the baby parts should then be sold to fund Planned Parenthood (and its employees).

I'm a fiscal conservative, gun owner, and I believe that Edward Snowden was a hero for what he did exposing that trash.

Too many citizens in this country need to stop labeling and stereotyping everyone else into some caricature silo - and need to start considering "the other side" and its views.

Comment Disagree about the actual issues with the article (Score 2) 55

Did you actually read the article, or did you just have a bad experience with Drupal (or its community)?

I agree with the GP comment about the article's concerns. That's not saying there aren't real problems with Drupal as a whole when it comes to usability for noobs, or documentation, or getting enthuiastic community support anymore (it has died off some since the D7 to D8 community schism.

But come on. It doesn't take a security team to deal with the article issues. And you don't even have to do manual testing after an update. Just use automatic CI testing (Behat, etc.) to ensure the site holds up after an update. travis-ci.org tied to a Github repo for automatic test execution with each new commit is your friend.

Finally, if you aren't using version control (such as Git) for professional web development - Drupal or not - that's irresponsible, unprofessional, and dangerous. It's like driving drunk without insurance in someone else's car. Sooner or later it's gonna catch up with you - and if you're managing a web site that does more than serve a simple brochure site, that car crash is not gonna be pretty.

Seriously - get with the times. Use Git. Learn "git clone", "git init", "git add somefile.php", "git commit", "git push", "git fetch" (and "git pull"), "git diff", "git log" "git stash", "git reset --hard HEAD~1 (or the commit's hash)" (and what --soft and --mixed mean vs. --hard), "git revert", and you're ready to do 99% of anything you'll ever need to do with Git. It's just not that hard or scary. Really. If you want ridiculously hard, try using the superfluous, bullshit Database API in Drupal 7 to anything beyond a SELECT query. Talk about a waste - was db_query() with sanitation really not good enough, Dries? Backdrop got that part right... :)

Comment If you want to enjoy old Star Wars nostalgia, (Score 0) 400

watch the best short parodies of it.

The best, IMO - Robot Chicken's Emperor Palpatine going off about the Death Star.

If you want a great view of what the prequels could have been and burn a few joules off saying, "Damn it," a few more times about what they actually are, here's one man's great takes on Ep. 1 and Ep. 2. It's too bad he wasn't actually a Fox exec...

Comment Sodium and explosions (Score 1) 209

Isn't sodium really toxic (not good when exposed to air) and explodes on contact with water (youtube.com has plenty of examples of this)? I wonder how long it would be before a lawyer sues the battery makers after someone opens a battery somewhere near water? Maybe they have taken this into account with the battery design?

Comment Re:Children or not (Score 2) 200

Also - not everyone that drives fast is an ahole. And not everyone who drives the speed limit is NOT an ahole.

Agressive and inattentive drivers are the problem - slow or fast. Speed cameras and other forms of photo enforcement, however, are just safety theater that happen to make a buck or two for the camera companies.

On Arizona's ugly history with speed and red light cameras (short, short version):

Former governor Janet Napalitano signed a contract for Redflex to put up cameras (fixed and mobile) everywhere in 2008. Janet actually labeled her statewide speed camera system as a revenue source in one of her AZ budgets - but still claimed it was all about safety. Peace didn't ensue, however, and accidents didn't suddenly drop way off (they dropped, but that was ultimately proven to be because of the recession dropping the number of drivers). While some drivers noted that it was "a nicer drive" and not as crazy on the roads, other drivers just accelerated and slowed down between cameras. Angry pro-camera people started driving like self-righteous assholes - refusing to "bow" to speeders. Some of them set their cruise control to just over the speed limit to avoid tickets, while blocking all lanes ("Move over for faster drivers? WHY? JUST SLOW DOWN!"). Anti-camera and/or aggressive drivers got really pissed off and were madder and more aggressive than ever. The rest of AZ just ignored the whole thing - unless they suddenly got flashed in the "high revenue" locations where they weren't "speeding" in their minds. (Cameras were being placed in locations to maximize revenue (where 65 dropped to 55 on interstates, at the bottom of declines/hills, etc.) Soccer moms and grandparents who loved the cameras early on would suddenly turn on the system when they got a ticket they felt like was nothing more than a speed trap. The public debate on and offline turned ugly, with vandalized cameras (including an axe wielder on an interstate), monkey mask rebels ignoring cameras, freeway and local/city protests, court backlogs (years behind), dodged process servers, etc. There was even a fatal freeway shooting of a camera van operator by a really angry "patriot" (he's still in prison, AFAIK). When the CEO of Redflex wasn't bribing city councils, she was weaving tales of blood and gore on the highways if the cameras were ever turned off.

After Janet bailed on AZ in late 2008 to cash in her chips in DC, any attempts by certain GOP state legislators to get a bill on the Gov. Brewer's desk to ban photo enforcement were blocked by camera company lobbyists and a GOP state house speaker that loved photo radar. The tech was seemingly here to stay.

Then Gov. Jan Brewer - yes, the Obama finger wagger and racist-sounding SB1070, "unshackle the police to catch illegals" signer - did the right thing and refused to renew the statewide contract with Redflex - effectively pulling the plug, and turning the heat down. One group (Camerafraud) was coming close to getting a ban on the ballot as a proposition for statewide vote, but after Brewer's contract cancellation they came up about 40K signatures short (120,000 were gathered) because removing the state speed cameras seem to calm enough people down as a compromise. It never ONCE came to a full vote.

Now the state is seemingly in a ceasefire state on the issue. Most people don't care about it anymore - at least as long as the state speed cameras don't come back. At the city level, certain municipalities have stubbornly held onto them for revenue, but most AZ cities got tired of getting screwed over by Redflex and ATS contracts where they actually lost money while the camera companies made serious coin.

Amazingly, after all of that occurred, there are STILL plenty of Arizonans who believe their short-sighted, 90IQ beliefs about photo enforcement, like: "if you don't do anything wrong, you won't get a ticket," "I don't speed - so who cares?", or, "I'm tired of (expletive) drivers who (fill in the angry blank, usually something they don't do). Can you get even with that dude that cut me off last week for me, photo radar?" Which of these groups fit you, NaChO?

Comment Re:Children or not (Score 1) 200

You're trolling, and I'll bite. Though there are cases where speeds have been calculated incorrectly, they're usually correct.

They have also, however, been just as efficient at exposing the problems with hard speed limits. Sometimes 45 is too fast; other times it's too slow - and machines can't (yet) calculate that. Many speed limits are set due to politics/fearmongering, environmental views, and revenue streams - not science/facts. It's a mini-miracle that we aren't still under the shackles of the 55 MPH national speed limit. (I could see Pres. Obama vetoing any legislation to repeal it if he'd been in office at the time, citing the environment and openly mocking anyone who couldn't see his point of view - while never driving a single mile between far-distant cities in the Western US on wide open roads in desolate areas.)

Comment Re:Why? (Score 2) 96

"Awesome - ok... Does it allow addons?" A: No

"Does it block ads?" A: No

"Does it sync?" A: Well, kind of - if you use iCloud.

"I don't want a Safari clone with a Firefox branded UI. Shoot..."

I'll try it, but it sounds like it'll be in vain. I've used Mozilla and then Firefox since the dark Netscape 4.x days... and even knowing this was the likely end result, this is still probably the most disappointed I've been about Firefox during that decades-long run. I do not want to switch to "Google Owns You" Chrome, and Safari sucks.

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