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Comment Re:Since CC defines the purpose of K-12 education (Score 1) 113

None of this would be necessary if parents were empowered with vouchers to send their children to the accredited schools of their choice, whether public or private. Vouchers work but like common core there are powerful interests aligned against them. The irony is that the children who would benefit relatively the most from vouchers, poor minority children from inner cities, are the ones least likely to receive them. Meanwhile, the wealthier white families who live in the suburbs can afford to send their children to high quality private schools where they receive an education that's substantially superior to that available in many public schools. This advantage of persists right on through college and into adult life where those who were better educated in their youth have better outcomes in health, wealth, longevity and quality of life. Anyone who claims to care about poor minority children while at the same time demonizing vouchers needs to take a hard look at their priorities because their methods are at odds with their stated goals.

Comment Re:we're already close to that! (Score 1) 380

You know what the problem with the Tesla is? It won't last as long as a good old reliable gasoline car, which if well cared for can still be filled up and driven, often over 300 miles, decades after its original manufacture date. The very expensive batteries in the Tesla will have been replaced many times over by then. There's a reason why old Toyotas and Hondas maintain their value as beater cars many years after the last residual value from the original sticker price is gone.

Comment Re:Let them drink! (Score 3, Informative) 532

we levy a tax that the government uses to cover the extra public healthcare costs that come from smoking.

The US had that too. It's called the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. The idea was that tobacco companies would pay a one time fine(s) and a portion of their revenues in perpetuity, ostensibly to fund health care costs incurred by states providing care to those with tobacco related health problems and also for anti-smoking campaigns to discourage young people from taking up the habit. That was over 20 years ago now. What happened you ask? Well, the states were greedy and impatient. They wanted money now to spend on other things, so they bundled up most of their rights to the periodic payments into a series of bonds and sold them to get a lump sum now with the added benefit that the proceeds from the bond sales escaped the spending restrictions on the settlement payments. They could spend the bond money on whatever they wanted and they did on just about everything but health care and anti-smoking The part that they didn't sell off, now goes towards shoring up their budgets, although many states still run deficits, with very little actually spent on health care or anti-smoking. This perpetuates a perverse arrangement whereby the states are incentivized to have more young people start using tobacco so that those settlement payments keep rolling in. Not only that, but because the payments are based on tobacco company revenues it's bad for the states if tobacco profits decline because their remaining share then pays even less and they've already anticipated and spent that money in their yearly budgets. The tobacco companies now feed the money addiction of the states, just as they do the nicotine addictions of their smoker customers. The whole thing is just too damn funny, but there's a good lesson in this for the leftists out there. Government is perverse. It subverts any good intentions that you thought it had or wanted it to have and becomes instead a corrupt mockery of high minded liberal ideals. Like smoking, large government is a bad habit that's hard to kick once you get started, even though you know that it's harmful.

Comment Re:What choice do we have? (Score 1) 710

when I walk down the hallways of typical silicon valley software companies, I can walk for the length of a long hallway and not see a single american face there. when I walk thru the hallways, I often don't even hear english spoken at work anymore!

No wonder they suck and fail at such high rates.

its NOT my choice to work long and hard. its forced on us and we have no say in the matter.

If you're going to work long and hard, be a consultant not an employee. Job security is an illusion now anyway so you might as well formalize the short term relationship and get paid higher rates for the work that you do.

this won't end well. I expect that in a few more years, you won't find a single US born person working at the tech companies.

Probably not, but historically speaking it never has anyway.

I'm not even sure where the americans went to. what jobs did they end up with? certainly not at the bay area software or hardware places.

They simply dropped out of the labor force, which means that by the government's logic they're no longer unemployed. The June labor force participation rate of 62.8% is the lowest in 36 years.

greedy ceo's deserve all the blame. when the revolution comes, I hope I have a ticket to their hangings. they are truly destroying our country and they could not care less! they are insulated and not affected by this.

I'm sure that the French nobility of 1789 also thought that they were insulated from the people's anger, until it turned out that they weren't.

and if the ceo's are not put up against the wall, I do expect to see people going postal ('going software' might be the new phrase) when they are completely squeezed out and they feel they have nothing left to lose but go on a killing spree.

On the plus side this is America so getting a gun is no problem. You don't even need to be sane, all you need is $100 dollars or less and you too can have your very own Saturday Night Special.

I feel sorry for our society. its melting down before our very eyes and no one is doing a thing about it.

Society doesn't care, it's getting exactly what it deserves.

Comment Re:Also focus on (Score 2) 284

Bill got to be one of the richest men in the world by understanding that you do not "destroy" your enemies, you embrace them!

To quote DS9:

Gul Dukat: A true victory is to make your enemy see they were wrong to oppose you in the first place. To force them to acknowledge your greatness.

Weyoun: Then you kill them?

Gul Dukat: ...Only if it's necessary.

Comment Re:War of government against people? (Score 4, Insightful) 875

One argument against registration is that we cannot be sure how those records will be used by the government or who might obtain or misuse them in the future. We have already seen some media outlets publish names and addresses of gun owners and types of guns owned from information that probably shouldn't have been publicly available. A very handy tool for convicted felons looking to steal a gun, among other potential abuses. However, even that's just the tip of the iceberg. Who knows what future governments might do with this information or whom they might expose it to? Giving information to the government is dangerous because it gives governments or their allies the ability to control others through threats to publish the information, or selective publication of the information or blackmail or any number of other nefarious uses. We have already seen with our phone and email records that the government cannot abstain from mischief. Why should we trust them with a registry of every gun owner in America?

Comment Cartels (Score 4, Informative) 253

That's really only true in the United States and somewhat less so in Europe. In most of the rest of the world they don't really give a damn about copyright, at least in practice. Oh sure, foreign governments will sign the copyright conventions or promise to enforce local laws, but in practice they turn a blind eye.

First, film and music piracy is largely considered to be an American problem and it's hard to get people to care much about rich foreigners being less rich (and all Americans are rich by their standards). Second, in Mexico, Brazil and other South or Latin American countries, media piracy is looked upon with about the same seriousness as jaywalking if it's looked upon as a crime at all, which it's often not. The police down there largely couldn't care less and they look the other way in return for modest bribes. Third, in societies such as Mexico and Brazil, which are very unequal in terms of wealth and income, pirated or knock off goods are the only way that most people have any access to consumer items. Without pirated media and knock off goods, they largely wouldn't be able to afford any foreign things like DVDs, name brand fashions, music, video games and the like.

Lastly, the copyright business in Mexico especially is frequently under the control of the cartels (the drug cartels not the American media cartels). The two biggest are Los Zetas (who based their logo on the title card of The Godfather) and La Familia Michoacana. The pirated DVD business doesn't bring in as much scratch as drugs, but it does provide walking around money to pay cartel foot soldiers and helps the cartels maintain presence and better control territories in Mexico. Of course, it goes without saying that they're not very concerned about copyright laws being that they torture and kill as a matter of doing business. The Mexican government itself already doesn't have a large enough budget for their own internal needs, never mind enforcing foreign copyrights. So you see, copyright is essentially de-facto meaningless outside the United States and Europe.

Comment Re:They became tied to jobs in the US when (Score 1) 154

FDR imposed wage and price controls because the US wartime economy was already going at full tilt. Everybody was working maximum hours at maximum effort to produce all of the goods and services required by our military in a time of total global warfare. There was essentially zero unemployment and no spare capacity in the economy. Under these conditions it was necessary to impose wage and price controls because without spare capacity the economy was very sensitive to inflation pressures that would have occurred had employees been able to demand and receive higher wages which they wouldn't have been able to spend on consumer goods anyway or only at very inflated prices. I'm not saying that wage and price controls are always good, but at that particularly time in history there were necessary. There is much to criticize concerning FDR, especially from a conservative's point of view, but wartime wage and price controls aren't a good source for reasonable critiques.

Comment Re:All I'll say... (Score 1) 224

Europe seems to think that its citizenry is too stupid to make that kind of decision

This is the natural position of the Social Democratic Left which runs Europe. It's the same tendency that you see here in the United States in President Obama, the Democratic Party and liberals in general. They believe that the people are too stupid to decide their own lives and therefore it's not only right but necessary to remove from them the "burden" of making their own choices, healthcare being a prime example, for their own good; Even if that means that personal freedoms or individual liberty must be sacrificed to do so. It's a sad commentary on the US citizenry these days that many of them agree with this nanny state coddling and willingly surrender their freedoms for the syrupy sweet paternalism offered up by the liberals. It seems that they'd rather have 24/7 access to the lives of the Kardashians or fritter away their time on such mindless entertainments as "American Idol", "Dancing with the Stars" or the endless red carpet circle jerks put on by the Hollywood elites and their fellow travelers instead of getting off their collective asses and taking responsibility for their own lives and making their own decisions.

Comment Re:no (Score 1) 437

What's the point if you need to be able to drive?

It's not just your funeral we're talking about here, but everyone else you share the road with too. If it's my ass on the line out there then you damn well will be licensed just like the rest of us, automated car or not, or you won't be driving on the public right of way. BTW that's the position of the California DMV too. In fact, they're considering additional knowledge and training requirements, similar to those required for the motorcycle endorsement on the class C license, to include knowledge of override procedures and failure modes in the automated driving systems. I agree with that and I think that most other voters here in California would too.

Comment Re:Could elect not to sell any vehicles in Califor (Score 1) 462

They seem to be sticking their heads in the sand and hoping that EVs go away.

They have a legitimate gripe. The regulators are forcing them to sell the car at a loss by regulating the price in relation to other cars that they sell which forces Fiat to either eat $14,000 for every 500e sold or raise the prices on all of their non-electric vehicles to compensate. Who gets hurt by this? It isn't the rich man driving his luxury Tesla Model S. No, it's the middle and working class Californians who pay for this subsidy with higher prices on low and mid market vehicles. California has found yet another back door way to tax the middle class while leaving the rich untouched. What will they think of next?

Rather than seeing how Tesla is doing and worrying about the affordable model coming in a year or two

The affordable model is always two years away with Tesla. Frankly, I don't think that Musk cares very much about offering something that the average American can afford. Oh, he'll pay lip service to that idea because doing so is politically correct, but privately he almost certainly doesn't care. Actually it makes sense that the Model S costs $70,000+. It's not so much environmentally friendly as it is a way for rich people to enjoy some conspicuous luxury consumption. It's conspicuous because it's Tesla and luxury because it's both expensive and impractical. The rich driver of the Model S is signaling to the average peasant that he can afford to spend $70,000+ on an impractical car, driven on weekends for pleasure, while they are forced to drive a 10 year old beater or take public transportation and struggle to pay the bills.

they just churn out a lazy compliance car by shoving batteries in an ICE car, shove their fingers in their ears and hope no-one buys them.

Which is the most economically sensible thing for them to do. They know that electric cars are money losers for them, so they try to minimize their losses if they cannot avoid them entirely. If I were the CEO of Fiat I would order my production plants to incorporate non-removable weights into the frame of the 500e to further reduce the attractiveness of the car to potential buyers by radically reducing both the range and the cargo capacity.

Fiat Chrysler is a dinosaur, and is going to be killed off by evolution unless it makes a real effort.

I doubt that. Fiat Chrysler makes practical cars that ordinary working people can afford. In fact, the luxury car brands historically end up being bought and owned by the mass market companies. For example, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bugatti are owned by Volkswagen Group while Fiat owns Ferrari. I would be very surprised if the Tesla investors turned down an attractive buy out offer from one of the big auto groups, keen to run Tesla as a luxury brand, in the years ahead.

Comment Re:No surprises (Score 0) 688

The only way to fix this is to break the monopoly that public schools have on public education and the best ways to do that are vouchers and charter schools. Everyone except the teachers and their unions can see this but as Upton Sinclair said, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it."

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