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Comment: Re:if you've voted R or D... (Score 1) 217

You state that there is no 'center,' extreme, liberal, conservative, left, right, etc etc.

I find this odd, as 'left,' 'right,' 'liberal' and 'conservative' are political definitions. It's like saying there's no such thing as 'sweet' versus 'sour.'

The American system, of course, boils lib and con down to absurd extremes, and assumes an all-or-nothing take; pro choice? you're also pro gun control, etc etc.

Then you categorize some choices as 'evil.' Can you expound on that a bit?

Comment: Re:if you've voted R or D... (Score 1) 217

It's better principles, maybe, but it also guarantees that your vote is tossed away.

The system, as is, is designed to not allow third parties to win. Therefore, by voting third-party, you're implicitly not voting for a candidate that could actually win.

Like I said in another post, change the system. Somehow.

Comment: Re:Minivans are practical but ignored (Score 1) 205

by bmajik (#47501367) Attached to: New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

I think VW might contract the actual manufacturing to Chrysler.

Indeed. The VW Routan was a Chrysler Town and Country with some different skins on the inside and out. It was so much not a VW product that the VCDS system (the thing you can use to do vehicle diagnostics on any VW, Audi, Seat, or Skoda product since the early 90s) doesn't even talk to it.

In the German market, VW sells Vans of all different sizes. None of them are currently imported to the US; the Eurovan was the last rest-of-world van that was available in North America.

Comment: Re: Hmmm (Score 3, Informative) 205

by bmajik (#47501143) Attached to: New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

We have 3 kids in car seats, and an Odyssey.

When we lived in town, it was great. Back then, my only serious gripe with the Odyssey is that if you are running a second set of wheels (e.g. for permanently mounted snow tires), and don't fit a 2nd set of expensive TPMS sensors to those wheels, the VSA (stability control) cannot be defeated via the console switch.

This is a problem because the VSA implementation sucks and is frankly unsafe when accelerating on surface transitions - for instance, when you are waiting on a gravel road and are about to pull onto a paved highway, the VSA system senses differing levels of wheel grip between the wheel on pavement and the wheel still on gravel, and cuts power, precisely when you need maximum power to quickly get to highway speed.

Last fall we moved to a rural area, and now poorly maintained roads (deep snow in the winters until I clear it, deep ruts whenever there are rains) has really shown me the shortcomings of the vehicle. My wife has gotten it stuck 4 times in our first winter.

The Odyssey needs 2 things to be superlative. Air suspension with adjustable ride height (it is a very low vehicle, for ease of entry/exit for small kids), and a proper AWD system.

My wife is now desperately wanting an AWD vehicle. But to get a proper AWD system (e.g. locking transfer case or at least a torsen differential), and the useful seating capacity of a minivan, you need to be looking at full-size truck based SUVs, like the Excursion or Sequoia.

I'm aware that the Sienna comes in an AWD version, but its particular AWD system and ride height doesn't inspire me that they will be foolproof enough to want to make the switch.

Sadly, my wife also refuses to drive a Mercedes G-wagen :)

As an aside, the Odyssey towing capacity isn't really sufficient. It's 3500lbs, and it requires upfitting the vehicle considerably with things that don't come factory - PS cooler, ATF cooler, hitch wiring, etc. (In addition to the actual hitch receiver).

When we were considering camping options, essentially nothing that had enough floor space for a family of 5 could be towed behind an Odyssey.

Comment: Re:if you've voted R or D... (Score 1) 217

No, see, that's the problem. You, as a voter, are presented with a choice. Do you vote for the candidate you actually want, knowing full well that the American system, as currently implemented, is specifically geared against third-party candidates? Or do you game the system, and aim for the best realistic outcome?

Comment: Re:if you've voted R or D... (Score 2, Insightful) 217

Nonsense. For example, if you voted for Ross Perot, you're directly responsible for the Republicans losing the White House. If you voted for Nader, you're directly responsible for the Democrats losing the White House.

Either go back to your government as intended; that is to say, without political parties, or accept the fact that there are, in fact, political parties, and change your government setup to work with that.

Comment: Re:MS Research was meant to mop up talent, that's (Score 1) 161

by SuiteSisterMary (#47493803) Attached to: Microsoft's Missed Opportunities: Memo From 1997

The only reason Microsoft still has it's 'monopoly' is it's ability to change and refocus, thus preventing it's competition from disrupting them.

Were Microsoft static, it would have been supplanted long long ago. When is the last time, for example, you saw a piece of software which advertised, as a system requirement, "IBM PC or 100 percent compatible?"

There's got to be more to life than compile-and-go.