That's totally tubular, dudes!
Early humans were not significantly stupider than us modern humans. They were pretty creative in how they solved their problems, and it was their quick thinking that got humanity to the point where we had enough free time to figure out later innovations like bronze, plaster, and agriculture.
A great example of this: They figured out the basic concept of cooking. Apes don't do that, and it allowed humans to eat things that other animals couldn't eat, and meant that humans were far less likely to get sick from what they ate. And while it seems like an obvious thing now, it wasn't at all obvious 125,000 years ago: You first had to get the idea of controlling and later building fires, then the idea of trying to use that fire to make plants you couldn't eat into plants you could eat (perhaps combining them with water), and the idea of heating meat over the fire, and observing that if you cooked your food before eating it you were less likely to get sick.
That's why I focused on who was using the product rather than just who was on the screen. For instance, Axe body spray ads have lots of women in them, but none of those women are actually using it. By contrast, ads for breakfast cereal are much more likely to show a mom serving it than a dad doing the same thing.
My overall take is similar:
1. I'm guessing these folks are learning stuff. I certainly did when I started watching some Yale's course lectures.
2. The educational value is somewhere between a History or Discovery Channel bit and an actual college course: I learned a bunch of stuff I hadn't learned before, but I don't by any stretch of the imagination think that I've done the equivalent of an undergraduate course.
3. I can think of far worse hobbies and bigger wastes of time. If you believe, as I do, that education and knowledge is valuable in its own right and not just a way to increase potential earnings and productivity, then at worst these folks are stretching their brains a bit and having more ideas to draw on.
So a worthwhile effort, but probably not the equivalent of the full college experience. Although I'm guessing there are a lot of Open University graduates who would be happy to contest the idea that distance learning can't work really well.
Sadly, this is a common marketing strategy, for several reasons:
- Women are a lot more likely to be homemakers than men, so they're easier to bombard with advertising.
- Women are slightly more likely than men to make decisions using emotion rather than logic (everyone uses both ways of deciding, but where they conflict men are about 60-40 in favor of logic while women are about 60-40 in favor of emotion).
- Women do most of the shopping in most households.
- Women are significantly more socialized than men to give presents to each other to cement social bonds.
All this adds up to advertisers targeting women for common household products, particularly women who grew up before the rise of Second-wave Feminism. And although this is changing a bit, most ads for cleaning supplies, food, diapers, paper towels, etc feature those products being used by women rather than men.
Seems like the administration was running arms/missiles to Syria via Turkey from Benghazi, which US Ambassador. Stevens brokered. To tie up loose ends, they arranged to have Stevens sent to Benghazi with little security or protection on 9/11 when attacks were likely and left him to die.
Your hypothesis doesn't even come close to making the slightest bit of sense:
1. We'd have no problems running arms into Turkey directly and from there into Syria: Turkey is a longtime NATO ally of the US, and very nearly called upon the US to directly defend their country from Assad's government in Syria (Turkey had been hit with several missiles). There's absolutely no reason for Libya to be involved at all, and given the chaos in Libya it would be stupid to create a stop in Libya just so that various bad guys would have a nice chance to steal the weapons en route.
2. It wasn't much of a secret that the US was arming the Syrian rebels. As in, reports were in the New York Times to that effect. You argue that the Obama administration deliberately killed off a senior official to protect a secret that wasn't a secret.
3. The administration didn't send Stevens to Benghazi. Stevens chose to go there himself. At best, you'd have to have the Obama administration conspiring to convince Stevens that the building was secure when it wasn't.
4. Killing someone who's high-profile doesn't hush up any potential scandal, it draws attention to it.
If the police don't have probable cause for criminal activity, refusing to consent to the search makes it illegal.
Sure, they can make up probable cause. Sure, the police sometimes get away with illegal searches. Sure, it doesn't always work. But just because they get away with it doesn't mean it's legal, and there's no reason to consent to being the victim of criminal activity.
Here's what I thought the story was:
- Obama avoided going to Vietnam, just like those cowardly Democrats John Kerry and Al Gore.
- He moved from where he was born in Kenya to Indonesia to study how to become a secret Muslim terrorist.
- At the tender age of 6 years old, he helped Bill Ayers bomb the Pentagon.
- As soon as he got back to the US, he started doggedly following Jeremiah Wright's hatred of America, but remained somehow a secret Muslim.
- All policies Obama has ever made as president have been about trying to take away everyone's guns.
- In 2012, he had the gall to not show up to a debate with Clint Eastwood.
I could go on, but these are the kinds of things a significant portion of the US says they believe about him. (And, for the record, absolutely none of them are true)
That's nonsense. What the union negotiates for depends on what the union members vote for, so you don't have to put things like "can't promote people to management" into the contract if you don't want it.
A example of the kinds of things a union could organize for programmers if one existed:
- Limits on and payment for overtime, after-hours and weekend work.
- Office conditions. Usually that isn't an issue, but if it is and your choices are "deal with it" or "quit", you may want a third option.
- Hiring standards that prevent a true idiot from ever working at the company.
- And yes, minimum pay agreements.
There are at least 3 counters to that:
1. There are not an insignificant number of cases where a normally responsible person becomes an irresponsible person, either due to extreme emotion or mind-altering substances like alcohol. A responsible person and a gun isn't typically a problem. An irresponsible person and a gun is frequently a deadly problem.
2. How do you sort out who's responsible and who's not responsible? If, for instance, I'm talking to somebody I don't know at a gun show, I have no idea whether I'm dealing with a fine upstanding citizen like yourself, or a suicidal PTSD-suffering war veteran who's planning on going on a killing spree and dying in a shootout with the police.
3. If you can print a gun, irresponsible people can print a gun and use it to kill responsible people like you.
4. The measures that have gotten the NRA in an uproar recently are (1) universal background checks, which would help me in the previous scenario figure out whether I'm about to sell my AR-15 to a responsible citizen or a convicted murderer who was just released on parole, and (2) allowing absolutely anyone to print a gun, which means that that murderer can still get the most convenient tool for killing people available without any difficulty.
That doesn't work:
- Once upon a time, the lawful government of a powerful country tried to kill all the members of an upstart religious group that was worshipping some guy who (they claimed at least) the government executed for high treason. That upstart religious group is now the most popular and most powerful religion in the world.
- Once upon a time, the lawful government of a powerful country tried to kill everyone who believed that citizens should be equal. That government was overthrown.
- Once upon a time, the lawful government of a powerful country put down a major rebellion of almost 1/3 of the country by force over the course of about 5 years of fighting. 150 years later, there are still thousands of people who think that the rebels were right, and the symbols of that rebellion are still frequently seen, most commonly in the area where the rebellion started.
I could go on, but I think you get the point.
And offers both worse service/schedules and en route service than either.
The en route service is actually significantly nicer than buses or planes: You get about 2-3 times as much leg room, on some routes there's a full-service diner on board, and there's almost always a lounge / cafe car with very comfortable seating and snacks for sale. Some of the Europeans I've run into say that Amtrak's on-board experience compares favorably to what they get in their countries, even if the trains are slower.
For long distance trains, part of the appeal for some is seeing the country from what is in effect a moving hotel room. Neither buses nor trains really offer that.
Also, quite interestingly, it's the standard way to travel long distances for Amish and Mennonites.
And, of course, Congress let the railroads prioritize Amtrack, on the leased trackage, *lower* than the frieght traffic, leading to frequent *long* delays of schedule.
Not exactly. What happened was this:
- In the early days of Amtrak, railroads were required by law to prioritize Amtrak over freight traffic.
- In the 1980's, Congress quietly slipped in a provision at the behest of railroad lobbyists that said that while railroads were still required by law to prioritize Amtrak, Amtrak no longer had the power to sue the railroads to enforce that rule. This of course allowed the railroads to ignore the law, since no one could enforce it.
- George W Bush of all people got through a repeal of that provision. I'm unclear why or how this happened, but I'll take it.
- Trains sped up noticeably on leased track after that provision went through. For instance, in 2002 the Chicago-Boston route was frequently 4-6 hours late in both directions due to freight traffic. By 2009, it was mostly on time again. (I mention this route just because I've taken it many times over the years.)
There at one point was a serious proposal to get a high-speed rail line starting from San Diego and expanding north. It got shot down by Orange County, because the residents were worried that those trains would bring the wrong sort of people into their neighborhood.
Not true. By the 1490s, it had already been pretty well established that the earth was round. It was the uneducated masses and official church dogma that this was not true, and this created a climate where openly saying the earth was round was not exactly a safe position to take.
This is untrue on many many levels:
1. The Earth was established quite conclusively as round and had been measured to within about 1000km by about 250 BCE. The Flat Earth Theory was not even considered remotely seriously by the 1490's.
2. The church dogma and common knowledge at the time was not that the Earth was flat, but that the spherical Earth was the center of the universe, and that the moon, planets, sun, and stars moved around it (the church dogma was that God made them move the way they appeared to move). That's what Galileo got in trouble for challenging, not the Flat Earth Theory.
3. The reason you're thinking that some people thought the world was flat in the 1490's is that Washington Irving made up the story over 300 years later to make Christopher Columbus seem more heroic than he really was, and history textbooks have been repeating the lie ever since. The real story is that the Earth was known to be much larger than Columbus was claiming in his sales pitch, so when smart monarchs consulted their scholars (or their own learning) they had every reason to believe Columbus was either a charlatan or an idiot, and turned him down. The only reason Columbus discovered anything was the fairly weak Spanish monarchy's desperation for a way around the Middle East and sheer dumb luck.