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Comment Re:He's been trying for months now (Score 1) 832

The reality is that, during the Obama Administration, income inequality has skyrocketed. That follows 8 years of income inequality falling, during the Bush years.

The link you posted is for the entire world. It's not reasonable to blame Obama for the entire world's economy. You should have posted this link for the U.S, which actually shows that you're not wrong, but not for any reason that makes Bush look good.

For the first 6 years inequality under Bush skyrocketed. In 2007 - 2009 the economy took the biggest dump since the Great Depression, and many rich people lost their shirts and their income. The Great Recession more than erased all the "gains" in inequality Bush made in the previous 6 years.

So the only reason Bush shows a slight loss of inequality is that his policies nearly caused a new Depression. That's not something to brag about.

Comment Re:The argument is over (Score 1) 935

Guns are out there. Accept it. The notion of "but if the guns weren't there" is meaningless. They're there. They're not going away.

In the short term, yes. In the long term they are definitely going away, if you look down the road far enough. The mechanism of gun ownership demise won't be political though. It will be accomplished via evolution.

Having a gun in your home significantly increases your risk of death â" and that of your spouse and children.

And it doesnâ(TM)t matter how the guns are stored or what type or how many guns you own.

If you have a gun, everybody in your home is more likely than your non-gun-owning neighbors and their families to die in a gun-related accident, suicide or homicide.

Ergo, people who own guns are gradually removing themselves from the gene pool.

The General Social Survey (GSS), conducted roughly every two years by the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, with principal funding from the National Science Foundation, provides a widely-used look at the rate of gun ownership over time. The GSS data show a substantial decline in the shares of both households and individuals with guns.

Comment Re:Fuck Wired, Fuck Gizmoto (Score 1) 291

I don't know Australian law but even things like capital gains tax only take effect when you actually sell the asset.

I hope you're not mining bitcoins because you've gotten it wrong enough to end up in jail. Since it's an asset you have to balance the value of the asset at the time you received it against the cost of mining it. If "Satoshi" made a profit when he mined his bitcoins and didn't report it then he has committed tax fraud.

For example, if he mined 1,000,000 bitcoins when they were worth 10 cents each, his profit is $100,000 of revenue less the cost of electricity and depreciation of his mining rig. It's hard to imagine him not turning a profit with those kind of numbers. Craig Wright is in big trouble if he is Satoshi and never reported his bitcoin earnings.

Comment Re:Crazy. Naval swarm warfare. (Score 1) 331

Considering that the Phalanx weapon system can target and hit all the falling pieces of the incoming missile it just destroyed? Not a problem with your swarm that will be destroyed quite quickly.

The Phalanx weapon system certainly has the ability to target and hit bird-sized objects, but in early testing that sensitivity turned out to be a liability. The first time they turned it on for live fire testing it immediately began blowing away seagulls and other birds just as fast as it could.

The Navy wasn't pleased - wasting all that expensive ammunition on wildlife, not to mention the danger such a weapon would pose in a fleet. So they had General Dynamics retune the system to ignore small bird-sized targets. They tuned the algorithm to only ignore birds, but if an enemy swarm looks and acts enough like birds the Phalanx won't do anything to stop them. And if the enemy "birds" are armed with RPGs or the like they could be a serious threat to any ship.

Comment Re:It's not fanaticism (Score 2) 728

How the hell did you weave SUVs into your argument? The terrorist attack on Paris is the fault of SUV owners?

Maybe you're trolling but I'll bite.

The Middle East contains oil. A LOT of oil. The kind that's easy to extract and easy to refine. The countries in the Middle East with oil are governed by autocratic dictators who give themselves titles like "Sultan" or "King". They keep the oil profits for themselves and their family (the "1%"), and everyone else is dirt poor.

Being dirt poor sucks. It sucks everywhere in the world, but in the Arab world being dirt poor is even worse if you're male. In Arab culture, a young man cannot get married until he has a decent job and enough money to pay a dowry. And given the control that male family members maintain over every aspect of the lives of their daughters and sisters, a poor young Arab male has little prospect of getting married, getting laid, getting kissed, or even talking to a young lady that isn't a relative!

These dictators make a lot of money from oil. Enough money that foreign governments fall all over themselves selling military hardware and know-how to them. The foreign governments also like to put military bases in Arab countries to guarantee continued access to oil. The result is these countries have a lot of military power arrayed against any peasants with revolution on their mind.

So what's a poor young Arab male to do under these circumstances? Well, as it happens, the oil-rich Arab dictators tend to have a strong interest in supporting various militant groups that fight under the banner of their brand of Islam, and a lot of oil money flows in that direction. So when a poor young Arab male with no prospects hears he can make a bunch of money if he joins a militant group and fight for Islam (or at least one brand of it), that is attractive, and many of them do join.

So, due to the political and cultural realities in the Arab world, oil money fuels Islamic militant organizations. Since gasoline and diesel come from oil, driving a vehicle that gets poor mileage (like an SUV) instead of a fuel efficient car (like a Prius) means more money for Islamic militants.

And that's the link. Does that mean that the terrorist attack on Paris is the fault of SUV owners? No, of course not. SUV owners find themselves in a situation (large family/little league coach in a car-centric country) and they deal with it, much like young Arab males find themselves in a situation and deal with it. But the fact remains that those two situations will continue to lead to attrocities like we had in Paris if nobody changes.

But I can't change other people, all I can do is change myself. But what can I do? Well, I can buy a Prius and stop driving my pickup to work. I can install solar panels on my home. I can visit relatives via Skype instead of driving or flying. There's a lot I can do. Whatever I do, I won't be able to stop Islamic terrorism but I will at least be doing my part.

Comment Re:What action should be taken? Stop burning oil (Score 1) 249

At some point, a powerful country will be willing to go to war to halt carbon emissions. If you do the game theory math, if you don't bring down greenhouse emissions, the earth will eventually overheat and mass death will occur. If this is the outcome, there isn't any reason not to start blowing up everyone and everything emitting greenhouse gas. Either everyone dies, or you start dishing out death and destruction, and you might survive the resulting war(s). It's a pretty cold blooded calculus.

Hey if it's too hot, nothing like a little nuclear winter to cool things off.

Comment Re:More anecdotes (Score 1) 372

Tasers are part of the problem. They were introduced as a way to keep officers from having to shoot with their guns when someone was out of control, but didn't have a weapon. Instead officers think that it's okay to use it to get compliance for everything, thus abusing people while abusing the intent of tasers.

torture --n. 1. The act of inflicting excruciating pain, esp. as a means of punishment or coercion. - Random House College Dictionary

Taser is torture unless it's to avoid shooting someone. Police who torture should be prosecuted.

Comment Re:When will their price be on par with ICE cars? (Score 1) 107

This concept of "oil subsidies" is just nonsense.

Oil subsidies are huge, a fact you can easily confirm with a few seconds of Googling. Here's what I found in less than 10 seconds:


Comment Re:What about a bus? (Score 3, Informative) 280

Bicycles and walking are powered by very non-green energy sources. An engine that spews CO2 from one end and methane from the other end.

I don't know if you're being funny or serious, but that's a common misconception so I'll assume you're being serious. The CO2 and methane that we animals spew all came directly from the atomsphere through the food chain or through breathing. It's a closed cycle - plants and animals take CO2 from the atmosphere, store it a short while, then release it back into the atmosphere. That closed cycle is the gold standard of sustainability, pretty much the opposite of "non-green".

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