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Comment Re:House loses most staunch Democrat (Score 1) 406

"Look, we've already put a trip to the Bahamas in our itinerary, the only thing we can reasonably do now is sign up for more credit cards."

The economists promise us there are complicated economic reasons why our present debt is good, or at least not bad, and I'm not saying they are wrong (I'm not educated enough to do so). But I don't think the domestic analogy is the way to go if you want to defend that position.

Newtonian mechanics is not going to explain how the cat is both dead and alive.

Comment TOLD YOU ALL SO (Score 1) 263

And of course, those of us who prefer humans make basic marks on physical media are right about all of this and talked about the expense and untrustworthy nature of voting machines.

Here in Oregon, we vote by mail, and are joined by WA and CO now, with some other pockets here and there in various states. It's awesome, works, can be trusted, is difficult to fraud on a scale that would impact anything, and turnout is generally higher than the poll methods in use most everywhere else today.

We can actually manually count and evaluate every last vote if needed.

Comment Re:Wrong! (Score 1) 485

Fyi, desegregation and decriminalization of SSM have also both happened under a mostly Christian society. I don't think it was because an atheist cabal took over (unless you are intellectually in camp with the extreme fundamentalists, they might say that). Under what special mode of reasoning do you get to credit the Christians who accepted these rules and not the Christians who fought against them?

It used to be abolitionists who were the crazy extremists. What did they typically cite as their reason for advocating those extreme beliefs?

Otherwise, what rational reason is there to deny other people their own choices in how to live their lives as long as they aren't victimizing anyone?

Right, the only motivation anyone has for wanting society to go along with their ideas is religion. That's why we have people who want to ban you from ordering a large soda, smoking a cigarette, homeschooling your kids, using gender pronouns, etc.

There are plenty of societies which have realized religious beliefs are a problem and have restricted them. Which of those do you find more free and preferable to the one you live in right now?

Comment Re:Until they can't (Score 1) 576

Unless we are going to have immigrant get scanned in everywhere they go

Credit cards? You could require people with visas to be paid only through special accounts accessible by card. Mind, I'm not saying you should. But you'd have a lot of incentive for them to "check in" regularly and data about their habits which would probably lead to detectable changes even if they handed off the card. Of course, with premeditation, human beings can still disappear, but it might be evident when it happens and where to start the investigation.

Comment Re:Glad they didn't read the books (Score 1) 197

There's a rather large gap between writing "a rape occurred" and graphically depicting it. If the events were related by characters secondhand, I'm willing to bet no one would care. GoT does deserves 1st amendment protections, of course, but I can sympathize with people who find it troubling that extended depictions of torture and rape are considered entertaining.

Comment Re:GTFO! (Score 1, Interesting) 480

They evidently don't like it, but it's pretty dumb to quit because someone else got a raise, esp. when it means the CEO is now making less than you. I suppose the story was supposed to be "CEO sacrifices pay so engineers can upgrade Escalades to Ferraris," which of course would have been very heart touching.

Comment Re:Raising questions about freedom of speech? (Score 3, Insightful) 298

There is also nothing in the constitution that says any entity must allow you to use their property at the exclusion of others in order to express your speech.

Correct. Only a government entity (such as the city) must allow you equal access to their public resources (such as this park) without using forceful intervention (such as sending in police) to suppress it.

the city said no if a wanted criminal and fugitive from law would be a party of it.

Free speech is about the speech, not the person speaking. Otherwise we should not have any problem, e.g., banning Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto. After all, Marx is dead -- and was never a citizen -- so surely his right to free speech would not be infringed by the ban.

Comment Content producers (Score 1) 141

Writing a joke is hard work. Sure, it's 140 characters, but it can take a long time of searching out inspiration, research, and then writing and rewriting to get it in its punchiest form. Most of us come up with good ones on our own every once in a while, but producing enough to sustain an online following can be a heavy investment. It's no surprise the producers are leaning on twitter for some protection of their reputation and/or livelihood.

As usual, though, it is misguided. The difference between a successful joke and a failed jokes is precisely that the former is likely to get repeated. It's half the reason people follow this accounts and watch comedians is so they can borrow material to entertain their friends and romantic interests. Maybe that's not 100% honest but that's a part of what's driving your traffic. Some jokes have to be told from your perspective -- a citation ruins the humor. (Or you've modified it and citing now would be entirely honest.) Sometimes you remember the joke but not where it came from. That's part of the life of a joke.

But it is strikingly dishonest when you have other accounts stealing material wholesale, morning radio programs running your material without credit, and traffic-generating pages copying it verbatim (except for the citation). Whether that should invite legal response I don't know, but it should certainly invite some shame.

Comment Re:The national average is 15.9 students per teach (Score 1) 162

Right, my point is that the average is 15.9. So if some classrooms have 30 kids and the average is 15.9, that proves the point that there are a lot of classrooms with less than 15.9 kids so that the average is 15.9.

That's the whole point of averages.

Every classroom could have 15.9 kids, but because we like paying people not to do anything, we have 30 kids in one room and (30 + x) / 2 = 15.9 which works to 30 + x = 31.8, x = 1.8

For every 30 kid classroom there can be a classroom with 1.8 kids and the average is 15.9

Which is my whole point that we have a lot of half empty classrooms with teachers collecting a full paycheck while other teachers have overflowing classrooms for the same pay.

Comment The national average is 15.9 students per teacher (Score 1) 162

When you talk about overloaded classrooms you're talking about STEM classrooms.

We have plenty of teachers. In fact, we could fire a lot of them and still be below 18-20 per class.

The issue is that we specialize in worthless teachers who collect full paychecks with empty classrooms because they're not competent enough to step in and teach a STEM period or two. As if the standards for becoming a K-12 math teacher are even particularly difficult.

As a bonus for firing a lot of worthless teachers and actually having full classrooms, we can give significant raises to the teachers we actually need. Which will in turn attract a lot more competent teachers who can solve other issues.

Comment Re:Mars is stupid (Score 1) 136

All very good points, but let's consider that colonization may involve a bit of compromise. Maybe in the best case we continue to need respirators and good shelters. Is that unacceptable? Doesn't mean it's not useful to increase the surface temperature, release certain gases, start some form of food production.

The stability and accessibility of Mars remains very important at our present stage of technology. We aren't going to wait for terraforming to complete before we start colonizing. It's a major advantage if the process is easy to monitor and interact with, if resources are easy to extract (mining), and equipment failure is less of a concern (no caustic substances at 500C).

In the end, it's probably better to get more practical experience at terraforming something else before we start on our #1 target anyway.

Comment Re:Project administrators held PRC passports! (Score 1) 142

Technically speaking, the previous elected administration was also the Obama administration. And however outdated the security practices might have been under Bush, they are at least 7 years more outdated today under Obama, which is not an equal failing. Notably, the cyber aspect of national security has become much more pointed in the years that he has been in charge. You can give Obama a pass if you honestly don't think it should have been a priority, but most would consider national security should be one of the presidents' top priorities. In any case, if you want to distribute some of the consequences to Bush, I suppose we can go egg his house or something, but the practical side is that however much accountability we are willing to assign to previous administrations is that much less incentive for the present administration to take this seriously.

"Now this is a totally brain damaged algorithm. Gag me with a smurfette." -- P. Buhr, Computer Science 354