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Comment: Re:Procedural Rules? (Score 2) 128

by tirefire (#46770715) Attached to: Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

What are they teaching kids in schools these days? Back in my day Gideon's Trumpet was in the curriculum and we went over all the key / formative SCOTUS rulings over the US's history.

I totally don't know. I took civics class in high school in 2008, and a couple weeks were devoted to students researching and presenting information about landmark court cases to the class. I was home sick the day everyone picked their court cases, so I got stuck with a court case I had never heard of and that I knew nobody else wanted: Gideon v. Wainwright.

What luck! I got to watch Gideon's Trumpet during school hours, I read and learned way more about the public defender system than I had time to present, and I was actually just playing hooky the day I stayed home! While everyone else was bitching and moaning about how much they were procrastinating on their presentation, I was lost in this story of a poor old drifter without much book-learnin' showing supreme court justices how shit should get done in America.

I learned some time later that on the day students picked their court cases, fully half of the class demanded to research Miller v. California ("you know, the one about PORNOGRAPHY... tee-hee!"). There was such a stalemate, I think the teacher finally had them draw straws.

Comment: Re:The bay area used to have affordable housing (Score 1) 359

by tirefire (#46767489) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

As much as your racist mindset would like that to support your conclusion. It simply doesn't. Being 13-14% of the population does not imply being an even distribution within the demographics of the population. If all 75% of that 13-14% is poor (not unreasonable), but only 10% of the white people are poor (also not unreasonable), then that would give you pretty much the exact same number of poor people of either race. The result - an unsurprising 50/50 split in crime rates too.

I don't think it's poverty that leads to crime (West Virginia is poor and has low crime). Rather, I think that surrendering to poverty leads to crime. Joining a gang, dealing drugs, and expecting to get killed or imprisoned for life by age 30 only seems tolerable if you're convinced that there aren't any better options.

But there are better options. Anyone who can borrow or save a few hundred bucks can buy a greyhound ticket to North Dakota. There is an oil boom going on there, right now, with scads of job openings requiring no prior education or skills, with starting salaries around $50,000/year. That's higher than the median household income in the US. Most companies even have barracks on-site for employees who can't find housing. Also, working a bottom-rung service industry job near the oil fields is still pretty lucrative; I hear Walmart cashiers are making $20 an hour in ND!

Comment: Re:Facebook Censorship (Score 1) 218

by tirefire (#46674461) Attached to: Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

RoK is woman hating shite.

The funny thing about "RoK" to me is that I think of kings as highly feminized men. They wear (er... wore) dresses, they wield a lot of power over other people, they constantly mingle with other powerful people, and they're very rich. Lots of women just find that irresistible, which is too bad, because if they didn't, maybe something would have been invented during the middle ages other than the bubonic plague.

Comment: Re:EVN (Escape Velocity Nova) (Score 1) 270

by tirefire (#46320543) Attached to: How much time do you spend gaming compared to 10 years ago?

Still have a copy of it kicking around, too. :)

Yeah, I loaded up my old copy a few months ago and played through it a couple times. I was glad to see there are plug-ins to help the game run on widescreen displays and at higher resolutions than the default 1024x768. It looked great on my 1680x1050 screen.

Comment: Re:Gave it up (Score 1) 270

by tirefire (#46308607) Attached to: How much time do you spend gaming compared to 10 years ago?

Then I spent $40 on a pledge for this Star Citizen, which I suspect I'll spend a lot of time playing over these next few years.

Just read up on Star Citizen and I've become interested as well. Have you ever played or heard about Escape Velocity Nova? It sounds somewhat similar to Star Citizen, though EV Nova is single-player only.

I found EV Nova to be highly engrossing and fun; it's a free roaming space trader / space combat game with RPG elements. It's shareware, so you can download the full game and play about the first 50% of it for free, with the option to $30 for a license that unlocks the full game, with all the special missions and spaceship outfits and what-not. And you can use the same license for the universal binary mac version (the game was released in 2001, and there's an x86 mac version! bless those devs hearts :P), or the windows version, or both. You can also get free plugins for EV Nova to play the two earlier games in the EV series, again on either mac or pc. Hands-down the best shareware game I ever bought. Oh, there are also a ton of user-made mods and total conversions out there, even though it's always been a bit of a niche game.

I used to go on 12-hour binges with games like Battlefield 2 and Diablo 1/2, but I always found that EV Nova never inspired me to push myself and play more than an hour or two a day. Maybe it's because a lot of the story is described in text terminals and requires some degree of imagination to "come alive", I'm not quite sure. Since it offered me such a good deal of fun for so little addictive potential, I thought I'd share it with you; it's a good game for someone who likes space trader / combat games but also has a life to attend to.

Comment: Re:It followed a few of the plot lines, but ... (Score 1) 726

by tirefire (#45379313) Attached to: Critics Reassess <em>Starship Troopers</em> As a Misunderstood Masterpiece
Did you notice the part where (Heinlein) states matter-of-fact that the United States was destroyed because they ended corporal punishment in schools, and that the only way to instill a moral compass in a child is to beat it into him?

The combination of mandatory attendance and no corporal punishment in public schools HAS ruined them. A child can be disruptive all day, getting sent to the principal's office and then bouncing right back into the classroom an hour or two later. That child will know that teachers' hands are tied and that he will face no real consequences for keeping everyone else from staying on task. Put just two or three of these kids in a classroom and that classroom will be in chaos damn near 100% of the time.

We need to either start beating schoolkids again OR make attendance optional. I favor the latter.

Comment: Re:That's not news (Score 1) 393

by tirefire (#44405079) Attached to: Every Public School Student In LA Will Get an iPad In 2014

If you spread that $30M over 1000 teachers you'd get about a $30k bump per teacher. Imagine recruiting teachers at $70k/year instead of $40k/year.

So with a class size of 31, and a $30k salary bump for the teacher, that works out to spending an increased $967.74 per student per year.

That totals $11,613 over a student's 12-year public school career. Imagine if schools just gave that $11,613 to students as a graduation present: "Congratulations on graduating. Here's eleven grand and change to help you get started with your life." Any group of four graduating friends, rich or poor, would be able to pool their graduation gifts to start a business partnership with $46k in capital and no loans whatsoever .

I'm guessing most people's first reaction to that idea would be, "WHAT? JUST GIVE THE KIDS ALL THAT MONEY? They wouldn't spend it responsibly!"

Well, if the kids don't know to handle a responsibility like money by age 18, maybe there are bigger problems in the school system besides a lack if iPads.

Comment: Re:He's no longer under indictment (Score 1) 1737

by tirefire (#44276435) Attached to: George Zimmerman Acquitted In Death of Trayvon Martin
That CBS story is infotainment. It's low on details and high on emotionality. CBS throws in a reference to the Trayvon Martin case, which kicks the emotional temperature up a notch (there are 962 comments... cha-ching!)

Here's an actual court document from the prosecution arguing that "stand your ground" didn't apply to this woman's case.

Pause for storage relocation.

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