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Comment Next up: Random Baby Option (Score 2) 171

I'm going to file a patent for a method for randomizing all options when deciding what you want in a baby. Just pick an egg at random, mix in a bunch of sperm, and you get a Random Baby. Don't worry about license fees, though. I'm not greedy. Anyone who uses this method will only need to pay me $1. What's that? This is so broad that it covers natural conception? Well, waddaya know. Now pay up!

One dollar per baby born times about 4 million babies born every year in the US = instant retirement!

Comment Re:Here is the difference Mr. President (Score 1) 565

I think that, if I could magically change only one aspect of US politics, politicians being allowed to redraw their own district lines so easily would be what I'd change. The dominant group uses it to either spread opposition across multiple districts (ensuring that it never reaches a high enough percentage to threaten their candidates) or bunches them all in one district (giving that one up but making sure that the rest go with their party).

As the district lines get more and more convoluted, Congress doesn't need to worry about their job: there's a 90% retention rate even with only a 10% or so approval rating. Imagine if your boss only had 10% confidence that you could do your job but you still had a 90% chance of keeping your job. It definitely wouldn't encourage you to improve your performance.

Among other things, without that self-ensured job security, turnover would make it a lot harder for lobbyists to get "pet Congressfolk."

Comment Re:Thus providing another example of scientific er (Score 1) 63

Ranked Funny here but I've seen religious folks say that and completely believe it. Were you to post it to a forum filled with ultra-religious folks, it would get ranked Insightful and would be followed with comment after comment saying how this definitely proves how science is wrong because it changes while religion is right because it doesn't change at all ever*.

* Ignore all those times over the centuries when religion has changed. Those never happened. Not at all. Everything's always been the way it is right now. Saying different is heresy!

Comment Re:Who watches the watchers? (Score 1) 330

The problem isn't so much that a freak occurrence would lead to a government of factions unable to work together but that third parties would be prevented from rising up to challenge the major parties. I actually think that a "factions government" would be for the best. Initially, I wondered if one faction would do what happened now and shut down the government, but each faction should be small enough that the others would be able to ignore them and continue on. Instead, we've got a faction within the GOP which is bending the entire party to their will and thus shutting down the government unless their demands are met.

What would realistically happen, though, wouldn't be the election of a government of factions, but the rise of one or more third parties. As they got more popular, though, the Democrats and Republicans would work together to re-write the rules to make it harder for those third parties to gain prominence. If there's anything that brings out the bipartisan spirit in Washington, it's some upstart group who thinks they can eat at the table that the Democrats and Republicans gorge themselves at.

Comment Re:You can never get the BIG BROTHER to change its (Score 1) 330

That's the problem when someone says "But a strong enough third party would FORCE the Democrats and Republicans to change their platforms/behavior." It ignores how power-obsessed the Democrat/Republican parties are and that THEY make the rules for how politics works. A third party won't magically spring up with 57% of the vote. It'll start small. Perot did very well but got under 20%. So the Democrats and Republicans worked together... to essentially ban third parties. They can exist but rules are put in place making it hard for them to take off. If, in the next election, another third party made a strong showing, you can bet that more rules would be put into place to knock the third party down. At best, the Democrats and/or Republicans might make some token effort to address the reason for the third party's rise, but only enough to quiet people down a bit and make them forget about voting third party.

Comment Re:Here is the difference Mr. President (Score 3, Insightful) 565

Like I said in another thread: When a guy with Middle Eastern ancestry takes hostages and threatens people unless his demands are met, it's called terrorism. When a group of politicians in suits takes the government hostage and threatens people's livelihoods unless their demands are met, it's called politics.

What's sadder isn't the 80 or so Republicans that are "representing" their districts (which actually do consist of people opposed to Obamacare), but Boehner who can't see that this is a minority of Republicans and is bending the entire party to their will. He could easily ignore them (let them rant and rave all they want) and work to pass a bill. He can even say "We don't like Obamacare but sadly we don't have the votes right now to repeal/delay it" to somewhat appease the more radical factions. John McCain said this and much as I have problems with the man, he's right there. You want to oppose the law? That's fine. That's your prerogative. But at some point you need to accept that you can't take action against it right now and move on. You can keep working to drum up more support for your side and launch another attack on the bill later, but shutting down the entire government because you don't like something but don't have the support to repeal it is going too far.

Comment Re:Here is the difference Mr. President (Score 2) 565

Sadly, the GOP alternative is "The free market solution which we have and which has no problems whatsoever." When you point out the problems, they ignore you and assume that since THEY have enough money to afford health insurance or get government health care by virtue of being a member of Congress, nobody else has problems ever.

Now that I mention it, all of those Congress folks who say how government run health care is evil and we should go free market... Are any of them waiving their Congressional health care in favor of purchasing their own health care plans? I'd think they were being hypocritical if they didn't.

Comment Re: Fucking idiots (Score 1) 1532

Exactly. Each party is very much in favor of cutting out unneeded spending. They just have different definitions of "unneeded" and tend to funnel any savings (and then some) towards their definitions of "needed" spending. All the while, they decry the other party for wasting money on what the other party thinks is important.

Comment Re:Fucking idiots (Score 1) 1532

Actually, it's worse than that. They've tried the other means. They've launched dozens of "stop Obamacare" bills but all have failed because there just isn't Congressional support for it. They challenged it in the courts but the Supreme Court upheld it. Basically, they've run out of legal options to stop it from going into effect short of having a huge Republican majority and/or a Republican President next election cycle. They don't want to wait that long, though. So they're holding the government hostage unless Obamacare is killed (or delayed long enough for them to get said majority and kill it). If the Democrats and Obama don't agree to kill/delay Obamacare (a LAW which has been held up as Constitutional by the Supreme Court), then the Republicans will keep the government shut down.

Don't we have a name for groups of people who hold hostages unless their demands are met?

Comment Re:Complicated. (Score 1) 78

Depending on the stalker's actions and location, the police may do nothing. My wife and I were harassed by a woman online (long story but she's quite crazy: thinks she's a prophet of god etc etc etc). It was hard to deal with because we're in the US and she's in Canada. Eventually, she harassed someone in Canada who took legal action but even then all that happened was that the police stopped by and TOLD HER who reported her. (Like that wasn't going to make her double her efforts to harass the people "god" told her to harass.) She's still operating, bothering people online and jumping from account to account as they get suspended. She's been doing this for years and the police haven't done anything because she's stopped short of threatening physical violence. (She has contacted employers and companies that people work for, though, thus threatening economic harm.) Going to the police is a good idea, but don't just assume that they will handle the stalker.

Comment Re:Google Play Store (Score 1) 88

Same here. My kids were buying tablet computers with saved up money and the Kindle Fire looked great. I especially loved the built-in parental control software. But locking into the Amazon store was a deal breaker. We got Galaxy Tab 2 tablets and supplemented them with apps for parental controls. I even added the Amazon App Store onto the tablets to take advantage of their free app of the day.

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