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Comment: Re:That is what you lost... (Score 1) 562

by macsimcon (#48853625) Attached to: Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

First, some definitions: in English, the word "many" is defined as a large number. Two is not a large number.

There are only two countries in Europe with compulsory voting, and they don't enforce it (I'm not going to name them for you, you'll have to learn something by doing the research yourself). Australia is the only English-speaking nation with compulsory voting which also enforces with a fine, and they aren't in Europe.

Second, you're (intentionally, I suspect) missing my point that, in general, an educated populace is more likely to vote, where an ignorant populace will not, and that's the reason Europe has higher voter turnout than the U.S.

Third, you can't claim I'm spouting biased propaganda without providing evidence. Do you have any? Ah, I thought not. But don't trouble yourself, I do have evidence. Both President Clinton and President Obama have raised taxes on the wealthy, and they are Democrats. President George W. Bush TWICE cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and he's a Republican. Mitt Romney, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul...all are Republicans, and all have consistently suggested lowering taxes on the wealthy. Just this month, Republicans reduced the amount of the Social Security Disability Fund in the future, which helps those who are not wealthy. Republicans have reduced food stamp funding, and they've fought to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which help poorer people afford food and health insurance, respectively. Republicans support the Keystone Pipeline, which benefits the billionaire Koch brothers. The United States Supreme Court, with a Republican majority, illegally halted the recount in 2000 to allow Republican (and member of the top 1%) George W. Bush to become president. He subsequently charged up trillions in debt to pay wealthy private industry to wage war, probably one of the largest redistributions of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy that we've ever seen.

President Reagan (darling of Republicans everywhere) reduced the top tax rate from 70% to 50%. He was a Republican, and that benefitted the wealthy, no one else. And it was Republicans in Congress who came up with Gramm-Leach-Bliley, allowing the 1% to gamble with their money and stick middle class and poor taxpayers with the bill (while also setting us up for the Great Recession).

Have you even looked at the Republican Party platform? You can read it, you know. It endorses regulatory reform (so the wealthy can get away with poisoning our food and environment without fines or penalties), and privatizing Social Security (so wealthy banks can get trillions of dollars in new accounts they can charge fees). It suggests pulling more money out of welfare programs (so the poor will be desperate enough to take that job at the local McDonald's...owned by a wealthy person), and both gut the FDA and restrict Americans' rights to sue when they're harmed (both great for the top 1%).

I don't straddle the fence like some milquetoast moderate, I see things for what they are: the Republican Party stands for elevating the wealthy, while destroying the middle class and the poor, and represents the single largest threat to America since World War II. Yes, more than terrorism. And much more than Libertarians.

While we're engaging in ad hominem attacks, I'm sorry you don't have the balls to admit the truth, and think I should moderate my position. Republicans came down with the Citizens United decision, which benefits the top 1%. Democrats take corporate money for their campaigns as well, but it is a false equivalency to claim the parties are basically the same. Democrats are pro-union, which benefits working people, and not the top 1%. Republicans are anti-union. Democrats want to help poor people, and the Republican Party does not.

Honestly, I can't figure out if you're just ignorant, or a moron. Is it possible you're a sociopath or a malignant narcissist? Those are practically prerequisites for Republicans and Libertarians these days.

Politics is a hobby of mine, so I don't expect you to know everything I do, but you could bother to do SOME small amount of research before taking such an untenable, absurd position. America can't afford to have voters so naive.

By the way, the Fortune 500 is much too large to be an oligarchy. I would characterize the United States as more of a kleptocracy than republic these days.

Try harder...to know what you're talking about.

Comment: Re:That is what you lost... (Score 1) 562

by macsimcon (#48841793) Attached to: Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

As an American, I think it’s more than a little unfair to blame Europe for what has happened to our country.

European citizens vote at rates far higher than we do. If we ever get to 80% of the eligible population casting votes in an election, and we still get corruption, then maybe it would be time for a revolution.

But you can’t even consider a revolution when barely half your nation votes. When a large segment of the population thinks the government should keep its hand off medicare, when they consistently vote for Republicans who only have the interests of the top 1% and the corporations in mind.

President Obama sucks in many ways, but he’s no President George W. Bush, and he’s no Mitt Romney. He may kill people with illegal drone strikes, but he didn’t destroy an entire nation for nothing, leaving hundreds of thousands dead. He didn’t run up a $3T war debt, with billions unaccounted-for being paid to government contractors.

As a nation, we get the government we deserve, and many of us just don’t pay attention or vote.

Comment: Re:How is that startling? (Score 2, Informative) 413

by macsimcon (#48478935) Attached to: Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

I don’t think you understand how this works. The states draw their own districts, which explains Republicans’ desire over the last several years to capture as many state legislatures as possible.

You’re actually making the OP’s point: Democrats lost so many seats in the House this year BECAUSE of the Republicans’ gerrymandering. Without it, Republicans lose votes each year, as the will of the voters is actually expressed.

Comment: Re:I'm sick of this thread and sick of all of you (Score 1) 330

by macsimcon (#48294665) Attached to: Reactions To Disgusting Images Predict a Persons Political Ideology

I did read the link, and I surmised only that conservatives or more deeply disgusted by the images than liberals.

Does this mean liberals are more tolerant of the reprehensible? Does this mean conservatives are less tolerant of the reprehensible? Who knows.

I’m not sure that the study has any practical application.

Comment: Re:Not a good week... (Score 0) 445

by macsimcon (#48282887) Attached to: Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crashes

That was quite an illuminating rebuttal.

Going into space is not like air travel. It costs a lot of money per pound, it's a vacuum, it's cold, and there's radiation. We already see permanent health damage from astronauts on the ISS after only six months. It's not that there are technological challenges to be solved, it's that some of these problems have no solution. Ever.

This isn't a matter of discovering Bernoulli's principle, it's a matter of discovering a new power source, or a way to defeat gravity, neither of which are likely to happen any time soon.

I'm sorry to dispel your childish notions of space travel for everyone, but it just isn't going to happen in your lifetime. Space travel will never be economical enough for anyone but governments, and it will never be profitable. Thus, I laugh at people like Elon Musk, who is just a 13 year-old boy with billions of dollars to waste on the silly flights of fancy.

You might want to get some help, MightyMartian. You're projecting your suicidal thoughts and inadequacies on others.

Comment: Everyone is waiting for California (Score 5, Informative) 320

by macsimcon (#48241851) Attached to: What Will It Take To Make Automated Vehicles Legal In the US?

A few months ago, I attended a talk on autonomous vehicles at the Petersen Auto Museum in Los Angeles. The executive from the California Department of Transportation told us that they’ve met with dozens of representatives from different states and countries, and they are all waiting to see what happens here.

California already has laws allowing the testing of autonomous vehicles, and many manufacturers have enrolled. They counted fifteen companies that were working on autonomous cars, including Toyota, Volvo, and most every car company you could name.

They described the five categories of vehicle automation, and explained that the first autonomous (not Musk’s so called “autopilot” which isn’t) vehicles will hit the road in the summer of 2015.

Comment: TCAS, Mode S, and IFR (Score 1) 72

by macsimcon (#48155995) Attached to: Designing Tomorrow's Air Traffic Control Systems

Right now, if I want to fly from LAX to JFK, I need to wait for ATC to slot me so I’ll likely be able to land without delay upon reaching JFK. Why do I still have to talk to ATC to do this? Why are humans even involved when computers could do this instantaneously? I should just be able to file my flight plan from a laptop or smartphone, and the system tells ME when I need to depart (i.e. I get an email stating “depart RWY 19R 1900Z to 1905Z). This would make ground control’s job a hell of a lot easier. Any aircraft not contacting ground twenty minutes before their assigned departure time goes to the back of the line.

Furthermore, anything in the air, whether a helicopter, drone, or 1950s taildragger should be required to have Mode S. If my TCAS is interrogating everything in a 360 degree sphere around me, and feeding that to my MFD and autopilot, there’s very little chance any of us will ever run into each other, and I don’t need to worry about visibility when flying VFR, or ATC while flying in IMC.

Comment: Re:Not Even Close to a Fair Comparison (Score 1) 181

by macsimcon (#48125869) Attached to: The Cult of Elon Musk Shines With Steve Jobs' Aura

OK, here's how I define success: Apple. Toyota. Exxon. Products that average people want, can afford, and buy.

Unlike SpaceX and Tesla, those companies didn't need government handouts and contracts just to survive. They actually have people running them who know what they're doing, and they have millions of customers who are willing to give them money for their products and services.

Have you investigated SolarCity and PayPal? Massive complaints from customers and investigations from governments. Not exactly a model of ethical behavior or even good business.

The Gigafactory is a taxpayer-funded boondoggle for now; like most of Musk's "successes" its real promise is way off in the distance, and completely unprovable.

Tesla is not ranked among the Fortune 500. It has lost money for almost its entire existence. Not exactly a well-run company.

If I made a car that cost $1B each, I could make it the fastest and safest car ever, and Consumer Reports would love it. But there aren't enough people on Earth who will buy such a car to make it profitable. This is the problem Tesla finds itself in: create one of the most expensive cars in history that only the top 1% will buy.

Meanwhile, all the other big car companies are making plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles that average people can afford, and they will be around in twenty years when Tesla is just a failed memory.

Hey, I love the P85D, but I can buy three Chevy Volts for less than the $130,000 I'd pay for one P85D. And I can drive the Volt anywhere in the world without worrying about finding a charging station. And by the way...where ARE all those promised charging stations (there is ONE in my county)? Yet another of Musk's tall tales that has yet to come true.

Commercial space launches have been available well before SpaceX. What are they doing that's so innovative? Other than sucking at the government teat, I mean.

And SpaceX's contract has been suspended.

Musk is just a huckster, even more so when compared to Jobs.

Comment: Re:I'm OK with this (Score 0) 181

by macsimcon (#48125511) Attached to: The Cult of Elon Musk Shines With Steve Jobs' Aura

Yes, I'm sure. Musk isn't a visionary, he's just a dreamer. Electric cars have failed to catch on. Solar power has yet to achieve mass popularity. SpaceX has yet to do something that NASA couldn't. And unless Musk is actually a second Einstein, space travel won't be possible for the masses in his lifetime.

Jobs improved product after product, over and over again. Musk's products have failed to achieve mass appeal, over and over again.

Jobs will go down as the greatest industrialist in the last hundred years. Musk will be a footnote.

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