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Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1, Flamebait) 608

by Raul654 (#49726175) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

>NOMINATE scales people based on their choices relative to contemporaries

That's exactly *why* it works across decades. Because it allows a continuous chain of comparison even between people who never served together. (E.g, person A served with person B, person B later served with person C, person C later served with person D, etc)

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 5, Informative) 608

by Raul654 (#49725605) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

> "JFK was more conservative than most conservatives are today"

BULLSHIT!

Keith T. Poole at the University of Georgia has built his career on quanitfying the liberality/conservativeness of politics.

I couldn't find his numbers for John Kennedy, but he gave John Kennedy a -.318 during the 83rd Congress, making him the 15th most liberal member of that body. By comparison, in today's Senate, he'd rank as the 31st most liberal senator, between Senators Wyden and Murphy, and more liberal than EVERY SINGLE Republican in Congress.

Comment: As a lawyer . . . (Score 1) 353

by hawk (#49670181) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Own the Rights To Software Developed At Work?

I am a lawyer, but this is not legal advice. If you want legal advice from me, pay my retainer. If you get your legal advice from slashdot, you deserver whatever happens . . .

Anyway, I've read much of the below. If you are in this situation, and it's not worth paying a lawyer who practices in this area, what you're doing isn't that important.

I don't work in IP at the moment, but there is enough misinformation below to keep several lawyers busy.

There is a reason for hiring a professional programmer instead of doing it yourself. Similarly, there is a reason to hire an actual lawyer rather than misinformation of the internet . . .

hawk, esq.

Comment: Re:Compares well (Score 2) 408

No-fault is about taking money away from lawyers, who used to litigate each and every auto accident as a lawsuit in court before the insurers would pay. Eventually the insurers decided that they spent more on lawyers than accident payments, and they had no reason to do so.

If you want to go back to the way things were, you are welcome to spend lots of time and money in court for trivial things, and see how you like it. I will provide you with expert witness testimony for $7.50/minute plus expenses. The lawyers charge more.

In general your insurer can figure out for themselves if you were at fault or not, and AAA insurance usually tells me when they think I was, or wasn't, when they set rates.

Comment: Re:More than $100 (Score 1) 515

If we don't have more than two children per couple, the human race would've died out a long time ago.

I think the proper way to state that is "If we didn't in the past", not "If we don't". If we were to have 2 children per couple (approximately, the real value is enough children to replace each individual but not more) from this day on, it would not be necessary to adjust the number upward to avoid a population bottleneck for tens of thousands of years.

Comment: Re:$30 (Score 1) 515

The Northern California Amtrak is actually pretty good for commuting from Sacramento to the Bay Area and back because the right of way is 4 tracks wide in critical places and it has priority over other trains for much of the time.

Acela in the Boston/NY/DC corridor is also good, because the right of way is 4 tracks or more for most of the way, and it has a track to itself along a lot of the route. Other railroads run on parallel tracks.

For the most part, though, Amtrak suffers from not having exclusive track. It runs on freight lines that host cars so heavy that the rail bends an inch when the wheels are on top of it (I've seen this first hand).

Comment: Re:More than $100 (Score 1) 515

No. If anything, I assert that good trains are a hallmark of the set of good economic policies that lead to the general well-being of the citizenship.

Poor people are poor because they can't get jobs. One of the reasons is that they can't get to jobs. Can't afford a reliable car and insurance and gas in the US? Can't work! Too often, that's the equation.

The other reasons they are poor are that we were equally bad in investing in other things we should have spent more upon publicly, like good primary education. This is caused by more wealthy folks not wanting to pay the necessary taxes.

Comment: Re:More than $100 (Score 1) 515

I have a lawn and there are turkeys and quail in the front yard today and we can hear the coyotes howling some nights (that's on the edge of Berkeley where it meets Contra Costa county). If I want to be in San Francisco, I have to get to the train station, which is a mile away (convenient, by the way, to lower income homes). And then it's all train from there, under the Bay, out again in the middle of the city.

In two more years, I will be able to get to San Jose that way. Right now, that is an hour and twenty minute drive if I start at 6 AM, and two hours if I start later. It will be a shorter time on the train, more relaxing, a hell of a lot safer, and will allow me to work on the way.

This is what railroad transportation can mean for people with lawns.

Comment: Re:$30 (Score 1) 515

Well, I am not convinced by the auto ownership report that failed to include the purchase price (really!)

I think there's a lot about European behavior you're not taking into account - like the kind of car they actually buy (really small compared to ours) and what they use it for (often, just getting to the railroad station), and the clear indication that car ownership was because of their larger middle class which is itself an indication of better economic policies - like having good mass transit.

I think you have the tax picture wrong, and it's still the better-off people who are contributing the most to mass transit through their taxes.

Regarding the bus, I'm not convinced. The biggest problems are that it can't be connected to electricity efficiently (San Francisco's catenary busses can't exceed 40 MPH while on the wire, and rarely approach that speed because they share the route with cars), it is labor intensive compared to rail, and it has the traffic and safety issues of an automobile. And too often light rail is little better than a bus. It's only when there's an exclusive right-of-way that you get efficiency.

And ultimately there may still be people who vote against mass transit, but they are shooting themselves in the foot.

Blessed be those who initiate lively discussions with the hopelessly mute, for they shall be known as Dentists.

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