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Comment Re:Christie is ideal (Score 1) 576

So you want the US to go full imperialist? It's an idea; solve the Mexican illegal immigrant problem by annexing Mexico. Send in a team of special prosecutors (perhaps ex-US Attorneys headed by Christie) to bring the corruption down to New Jersey levels, then admit the Mexican States to the US.

Woah, woah, slow down there pal. Do you really want another California?

Comment Re:Wrong people to strip (Score 1) 576

These are blue-collar, hard-working, decent people who have come here to escape ruthless violence

It sure would be nice to separate the honest hard-working blue-collar folks who come into the country seeking a better life from the drug runners and gangsters who caused the "ruthless violence" you speak of, and are doing their damnedest to export it across the Rio Grande - more than they already do, that is, firing .50 caliber machine guns across the river at the DEA. Immigration is about accountability - how are we supposed to send the thieves and thugs packing if we can't even keep track of who is who? Trump is making a damn good point - we can track a UPS package from store to doorstep with childish ease, but the much more serious issue of keeping track of noncitizens in our country is in a hopeless shambles.

In fact, Mexican workers that are paid "under-the-table" (as in they don't have anything taxes taken out of their paycheck) are relatively rare.

I'd love to know how their taxes are being reported to the IRS without their non-legal status being noticed - simple complacency? Does the IRS not care as long as they get their cut? But aside from that nobody should be personally insulted if they ARE paid under the table; the only reason most businesses hire such people is that they can get away with paying them less than minimum wage. The fear of deportation after any law enforcement contact cements their status as nonpersons that can be abused and exploited at will.

If our immigration system was better structured and more efficient, these things wouldn't be a problem. People wouldn't have to overstay their visas illegally to stay in the United States; the path to citizenship would be clear-cut, and we could afford to stop summary deportations because we'd know damn well who was on the straight and narrow and who wasn't. The biggest victims of our fucked-up immigration system are the immigrants themselves.

Comment Re:A silly test (Score 1) 491

When they say shoot back maybe they're talking about a serious anti aircraft missile... okay. But why are you doing close support in that kind of environment in the first place? US doctrine says you get air superiority before you advance your ground forces. Which includes pacifying ground based AA.

Exactly. Something people often ignore is the difference between a STRIKE fighter and a dedicated CAS aircraft. The F-35 is going to make a superb strike fighter; especially its ability to fly into the teeth of enemy air defense networks. But one thing we've learned in wars like Desert Storm is that the short-ranged, low-level stuff - SA-9, SA-13s and various Self Propelled Anti-Aircraft Guns (SPAAGs) just can't be wiped out en-masse like the big long range SAM sites can. They're quick, mobile and just too easy to hide, so any aircraft going in low will have to expect to take fire from them. The A-10 is armored to hell and gone in expectation of this. The F-35 will fly well above their engagement ceiling. Whether or not it can still find targets successfully is the big question.

Why not give it that new sensor package and helmet at well?

It already does. The F-35 basically comes with the Sniper FLIR pod built into the plane; this same pod has been used as an external mount on many other aircraft - including the A-10. As for the helmet, the A-10 doesn't really need it; that helmet is more about 360 degree visibility for dog-fighting.

My issue with the F35 is that its trying to be everything to everyone and generally succeeds so far as I can tell at nothing. That's bullshit.

That's because you've been listening to too many morons who don't know what the fuck they're talking about. The "Fighter Mafia" guys who created the A-10 and the F-16 have been spewing shit at every aircraft built since their Precious Gift To Fighter Pilots was made; complaining that the new planes are "too big" and will be "spotted too easily," as if the Mark 1 eyeball is the primary early-detection sensor in modern air combat. Next time Sprey opens his mouth I hope someone shouts "GET BACK TO YOUR PORCH, GRANDPA!"

The plane does fucking plenty. Like the F-22 before it, it's got this nifty "supercruise" feature; suffice to say this thing can thunder along at supersonic without using afterburners. Most fighter planes spend most of their time at high subsonic speeds, which is their most fuel-efficient cruising speed. Going to 100% power (military) will push them over the sound barrier - a bit. But to really hit their maximum speeds; to push towards 1.7 or 2 or even 2.5 knots, they've got to lay on the afterburner - and that DEVOURS fuel like nobody's business. Two hours of fuel at cruising speed is gone in twenty minutes with afterburner on; since fuel is being injected directly into the exhaust chamber - instead of a jet engine, the afterburner basically turns it into a rocket. The F-22 and F-35, on the other hand, can blast along at those speeds all damn day. Much like the Concorde or the SR-71, those planes and their engines are designed to fly supersonic as a matter of route, with sane fuel consumption enabled by normal engine operation. This not only gives them incredible range, but they reach targets a hell of a lot faster. The F-18, as good a plane as it is, has terribly limited range; the F-35 nearly doubles that - and the F-35 can carry nearly double the damn payload, depending on configuration, twice the distance as the F-18. As for dog-fighting - note the wing shape similarities between the F-22 and the F-35. Then account for the vectored-thrust nozzles that let you continue to "point" the nose even after your wings are no longer generating lift (i.e. a stall, falling out of the sky.) Traditionally, good-turning planes are defined by big wings that let them turn very tightly before the wings no longer generate lift and they fall out of the sky. The F-22 and F-35 don't need that - they can damn near turn around on a dime to put their guns/missiles on target. Yes, they can dogfight.

A multi-role fighter is no replacement for a dedicated CAS platform - if CAS was so dead, why are we still buying attack helicopters? But "multi-role" does NOT mean "jack of all trades, master of none." Far from it. The P-47 became legendary as a ground-attack fighter because of its ability to shrug off battle damage and its heavy payload. The P-38 was similarly legendary as a ground-attack plane because of its twin engines (allowing it to survive otherwise lethal hits from ground fire) and a payload so heavy that some examples were converted to light bombers! (In fact, the A-10 "Lightning II" is named after the P-38.) What history seems to have forgotten is that both of these spectacular "multi-role" fighters were built as specialized high-altitude, long-range escort fighters. The P-47 especially was optimized for high-altitude, long range and high speed fights with tons of complicated ductwork in its big belly to power the turbochargers that gave its engine high-altitude performance. The F-4 Phantom was quite similar; its speed was utterly insane for its day and set several world records; it was a plane designed around hunting down strategic bombers and giving them a bad day. But in all those cases, that massive performance edge turned out to have plenty of fringe benefits, such as being able to deliver literal tons of explosives onto the heads of unpleasant people at high speed. The F-35 will have its uses, believe me.

Comment Re:Hmm, the only reason to use Firefox... (Score 1) 191

My reason for not using Chrome is twofold:

1. Chrome uses your machine resources to the fullest to make things faster. That's good - I bought a lot of RAM, I want it to be used. Unfortunately, it also means Chrome uses a lot of machine resources - like, a LOT. 2. They've had the same moronic tabbing scheme for *YEARS.* Firefox got rid of the "every tab link gets smaller as more are crammed in" after version 2.0, for chrissakes.

For someone like me who likes to have a LOT of tabs open, Chrome is simply unusable. If not for that, I'd be using it now - Firefox's constant stability issues are inexcusable, and even Pale Moon has issues.

Comment Re:Well-regulated militia (Score 1) 698

Your insistent assertion that the majority opinion in District of Columbia vs. Heller was shockingly arbitrary is an opinion I find hard to lend credence to, given that the majority opinion was quite throughly documented, supported, and defended. Would you care to elaborate on your opinion? Or are you simply bitching because the decision of a majority of legal experts disagreed with your personal bias?

Comment Man Has A Point (Score 2) 165

Yes, the original article is (yet another) example of this current avant garde trend of characterizing everything as "code," but for once the underlying point has some merit: the entire institution of civil law is a structure, a system, designed to produce a desired result.

Many of my Poli-Sci classes in college were taught by erudite gentlemen who helped us ponder the beautiful and challenging intricacies of political theory. The best professor I ever had was not one of those men. He was a self-described "crazy bearded anarchist" who's class on "government budgeting" focused mainly on pragmatic advice for city managers (how to catch people embezzling, how to navigate city council politics and how to cover your ass from witch-hunts) He understood democracies and the laws that shape them from the bottom-up; the end result. The end result a political system needs are viable candidates - which they must produce from a pool of mere flawed humans, with all their foibles.

People are people - we lie and cheat all the time. The professor illustrated the point by asking us students if we ever lied - say, when we were talking to an attractive member of the opposite sex at the bar. Such things are endemic to human existence, so any system of people-selection hoping to produce a desired result must be made with the expectation that people will lie, cheat and game the system to the best of their ability. Such a system will ideally make the skills required to game it successfully synonymous with the skills to lead governments in an effective manner.

This pragmatist approach flies in the face of the nigh-holy ethical apparatus people envision when they think of what government should be; thus our perpetual disgust with politicians that will always fall short of Plato's gilded City On The Hill. The constant and ever-wearisome lamentations about The State Of Politics Today misses that the system works. To use the United States as an example: Senators and Representatives spend a great deal of their time "pork-barreling," doing their best to get federal spending directed to their state (or passing laws that benefit private industries in their states.) To quote Hall's third law of politics: "Constituency drives out consistency (i.e., liberals defend military spending, and conservatives social spending in their own districts)." Politicians do this because they need votes to win elections, and hauling goodies to their home districts is a surefire way to win loyalty. The bitching about this awful low-minded thieving of Federal tax dollars continues nonstop, but nobody considers that the system is working as intended: those politicians are indeed representing their constituents interests.

America is a unique example of a democratic republic created by people who had an opportunity to build a proper "system" from the ground-up, without having to accommodate any pre-existing legal structures. It's interesting then to note that Americans are a particularly litigious people; we don't detest a politician who lies so much as we detest one who breaks the rules. A system where people can flagrantly ignore the rules is as useless as a screen door on a submarine, for the same reasons. People will game and cheat the system as much as possible, sure - but their very existence guarantees that everyone has to cheat equally, starting from the same baseline. If nobody cared about the laws backlash against those who break them would render the system ineffectual. The strongly litigious nature of American culture is a massive reinforcement against that. The law is the system, and the system is not designed to enforce morality or ethics, but equality. The system is effectively synonymous with equality, and equality is the core concept enshrined by democracy. Americans tend to respect a politicians office inherently; it's been found many times that "President " consistently polls a few points higher than "" alone. This is also why people reacted so badly when Obama sassed the Supreme Court in a State of the Union address; it wasn't viewed as a complaint directed at the justices, but as an attack on the institution itself, (which is precisely why Obama prefaced his complaint with "With all due deference to separation of powers..") Roosevelt's "court packing" plan blew up in his face for precisely the same reason. These are tangible and highly-visible examples of government and politics as a system, reinforced and defended by a culture that takes a keen interest in maintaining its functionality. Not its morality or ethics, but its functionality.

Unfortunately, people almost always talk about morality in the context of laws; trying to ban that which they see as immoral (such as rich people giving campaigns money.) Banning something outright just results in the rich people hiring lots of lawyers to find clever loopholes to continue doing the same thing - its worth great efforts to do so, because by the rules of the system they need that money to play. Brian Boko is absolutely right to say "what we need are more people willing to look at the laws of this country based on their function." We need to view law as a functional tool to make the desired behavior the most profitable course of action for someone looking to "win" the system. His point cannot be emphasized enough; public discourse about politics rarely if ever laments a lack of functionality but rather a lack of morals. How many times have you heard people lament the "good old days" when politicians were "civil" and cultured people who could sit down and work through their differences all proper-like? These people seem to forget a man was once viciously caned to within an inch of his life in the middle of Congress. There has never been an era where people - or politicians - were anywhere near as civil and cultured as we'd like, and presumably there's never been an era without people griping that things used to be so much better back in the day. These perceptions are demonstrably false, and obscure the real issue: by the metric of producing desired behavior, so very much of our law (and especially campaign finance law) is highly nonfunctional. If we're truly concerned with results, then we need to start looking at how to achieve them. As a nation and a culture we must concern ourselves with finding what works, rather than legal proscriptions of what we wished worked.

Comment Re:Indeed (Score 1) 385

Nobody's trying to "smear" GamerGate, we read what you write in your own words on 8chan, /r/KIA, and under the #gamergate hashtag.

A movement with no spokesmen, which communicates primarily through venues that enforce total anonymity by default is awfully convenient for those who would use "their words" against them, since any 15-year old child on his smartphone can - and will - be held up as representative of the entire group. This is simply an extension of the "cyber-bullying" cause, where people try to conflate toss-off statements posted anonymously on the internet with serious and credible death threats. Through an anonymous, geographically remote medium like an imageboard, the possible consequences of saying nearly anything are almost nonexistent - so people say whatever they can, just because they can. It takes little wherewithal, conviction or true feeling to type "you are bad and deserve to be raped," whereas making the same threat in person almost guarantees a visit from stern men in institutional blue; which is why they're taken seriously - the motivation required to prompt it must be that much more severe. The personalities at the center of this "Gamergate" fracas make a policy of conflating the former with the latter to enhance their claims of victimhood - and if the baseless internet trashtalk isn't pouring in fast enough, they'll start actively baiting the trolls themselves.

Your entire movement started when Adam Baldwin tweeted links to YouTube videos smearing a female game dev's sex life because her ex-boyfriend wanted to run a hate campaign against her.

It sure did! And if said dev had replied in a different fashion, it would've been utterly forgotten by now. I've got a bachelors in Journalism, and I can tell you that absolutely nobody with a quarter of a brain or over the age of 20 is at all surprised that industry publications are little better than shills for the advertisers that provide all their income. The difficulty of monetizing online journalism (a task even major, respected mainstream news publications have struggled with) almost guaranteed it'd be even worse for online gaming websites. It's not exactly breaking news to anyone. It should've been a minor story only a few cared about, and died a quiet death when the muddy nature of the allegations became clear.

But that's not what happened.

What happened was a game developer resorting to moral fiat argument; i.e. my critics are sexist and thus automatically evil and wrong. At a stroke this transformed the issue; it went from some nobody indie dev arguing with nobody internet nerds to An Attack On Women. This alone polarized the issue and involved a massive preexisting base of communities, activists and political context (which was the goal, of course.) But what really blew the flames into a forest fire was the obvious collusion and outright slander by the gaming news sites being criticized: they all published "gamers are dead" articles arguing that "gamer culture" had been completely overtaken by sexism and misogyny, the implication being that anyone who identified as a "gamer" (i.e. all the people criticizing them,) was by definition a sexist, misogynistic bastard, and their opinions could and should be rejected out of hand.

This kind of argument tactic is nothing new in the political sphere - moral fiat arguing backed by complicit media outlets is a staple of left-wing strategy, as best evidenced by theCindy Sheehan phenomena. I've watched it in action for years. But when I was writing political op-eds on a home-grown website run by me and a few highschool friends, all my peers were playing Halo tournaments and generally not giving a damn about politics, like most young people. For my generation, "Gamergate" was a rude awakening; the nasty nature of real-world politics (media-complicit slander, moral fiat arguing and the rest) finally hitting them in the face. Older folk are used to this crap by now, but my young generation isn't; they're still in the throes of high dudgeon and righteous outrage over these revelations. Thus this apolitically inclined crowd has been brought into direct contact (through the invocation of Attacks On Women) with the tumblr crowd, which has come to define "Social Justice Warrior" as an epithet. Tumblr "activists" are characterized by lots of talk and no action; Freedom Riders they ain't. When moral fiat arguing is the order of the day, one needs an "-ism" of their very own to hold their ground; a minority group to belong to, so they may claim oppression when they deemed it infringed upon. This precipitates a constant cycle of balkanization; the existence of which demonstrates that tumblr "activists" are primarily interested in arguing with each other rather than advancing any social cause. These are the oft-reviled "SJWs," the perfect distillation of moral-high-ground fiat (itself an attempt to suppress dissent by marking it as categorically wicked) combined with a propensity to spend many hours on the internet arguing about it. One might say this crowd of youngsters is apolitical as well - they show little interest (and expend no real effort) in advocating civil rights causes, but enjoy the ability to hide behind the skirts of real feminists who suffered real slings and arrows (some of them quite tangible, hurled through windows, occasionally aflame) when it suits them.

You're absolutely right - "Gamergate" has little to do with "ethics in gaming journalism" and hasn't for quite a while now. It's a socio-political clash; and most of the sound and fury is powered by large groups of young people with a lot of free time and unbridled energy shitposting at each other on twitter nonstop. As a regular 4chan poster - who is also a full-grown tax-paying adult, mind you - I've seen some young adult internet acquaintances who've made it their hobby, just as the tumblr "activists" make their nigh-constant arguing/labeling their hobby. Christopher Poole (founder and until-recently owner of 4chan,) explicitly banished discussion of it off of 4chan, comparing it to "Project Chanology," (a prior sizable activist movement, that one against Scientology.) Before this move, the video game board of 4chan had little space on it for actual videogame discussion because the "devoted core" of Gamergaters just posted thread after thread after thread. The speed and ferocity with which developments are followed and arguments are waged far outstrip mere interest; it's a hobby combined with a practicing social group, much like tumblr's "SJW" communities are. The fact that Milo Yiannopoulos (an opinion columnist/journalist) who writes primarily about mainstream social and gender politics took an early interest in it is the best indicator of how quickly the whole shebang escaped the limited context of "gaming journalism." Milo says it flat-out himself at the end of this article: Very frankly, I don’t care enough about video games to try. What I do see is a huge number of people left out in the cold. So if, on occasion, I’m moved to write something about what I see in the video games industry, I hope you’ll come to it with an open mind." His "open letter" spends lots of ink forming a bridge; "yes, I'm an evil child-eating Conservative whom peoples of your age demographic are not known to favor, but we've got more in common than you might think."

I, too, am a wicked conservative - I am so conservative that I club baby seals to death with other baby seals. I'm coming from a different worldview, a different context, so naturally my interpretation is going to differ quite a bit. But human nature is a fairly consistent and easily observable factor, and the propensity of young people without summer jobs to spend altogether too much time arguing incessantly about Serious Issues is well-known. The "mass harassment campaign" you speak of is probably a lot less severe than you think; an illusion driven largely by the vigor and pace of the never-ending twitter war between the two camps.

If it wasn't for Newton, we wouldn't have to eat bruised apples.