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Comment Re:That Analogy Falls Apart (Score 2, Insightful) 917

I don't think many people in the US are willing to admit it, but part of the reason why the Russians beat us into space was that they were willing to accept more risk than us. The US has a space exploration record largely lacking in tragedy, and the Russians definitely have had more incidents, but as a result they were able to move forward slightly faster than us.

I don't think there's anything wrong with that as long as the people you are sending to their potential demise know the risks and know what they're getting into. No matter what the risk though there are people out there who would sign up for this without hesitation. I say there's nothing wrong at all with looking into it.

Comment Re:Awful attitude (Score 1) 653

No one's asking you, personally, to apologize for Turing's treatment. You're not the one who did it, obviously, but the UK's government was, and it's still around as an entity. If they would just acknowledge that it was wrong and acknowledge Turing's contributions to the world before his untimely death, it would not only make a lot of people feel better but, more importantly, it would acknowledge that such a thing won't happen again. That last bit is the most important part and I think that a refusal to apologize can seem like an inability to admit wrongdoing.

Think of it like the US Government apologizing for slavery. There were no reparations attached to it, so all it took to make it happen was an acknowledgment that slavery was wrong and that until the mid-19th century the US Government was complicit in its continuation. Even though the people making the apology were not slaveowners and the people accepting it were never themselves slaves, it's still important to recognize that it did happen, in this country, and that it won't happen again. As my family wasn't even in this country during that time, and we were enduring our own oppression in Europe, I don't find it necessary myself to apologize but I do think that the government who was complicit needs to. Same deal for the UK.

Comment Re:Schedules are important. (Score 1) 443

But parents DO have an option for school.

Not everywhere. The whole point of having public education is that every single person in the country is entitled to having a basic education, and everybody graduates from 12th grade with the same basic education. Private schools don't exist everywhere by any stretch of the imagination and home schooling isn't an option for everybody.

Also, voucher or not, everybody pays into the education system the same way helping out with our military expenses isn't optional here (if only it were!).

Comment Re:Schedules are important. (Score 1) 443

I'm a freelancer, so I have to pay for my own health insurance, which *sucks*. I'm paying well over double what I was when I was full-time employed and on a company plan. It's hard to imagine a government healthcare system like medicare or VA being more expensive than my current insurance, so if that becomes an option for me I'll probably switch. For the record, I'm not poor, I just don't want to over-pay for health insurance just to show off how much money I have to spare ;).

The other thing that bugs me is this argument that something run by the government necessarily has to suck. You're, presumably, a citizen and presumably can vote; this is government for and /by/ the people, so make it not suck! We the people are in control here and we don't have to reelect representatives that screw this up. We can vote for people in whom we have confidence they have the intelligence to create something that will serve us well. Don't even try telling me it's because the government is so huge and there's so much bureaucracy either because there's the same issues in big insurance companies, and those guys /aren't/ elected by the people. They're only beholden to their shareholders in the end, but we're all shareholders in the government.

Basically, quit your bitching and make sure your congresscritters do the right thing here and make a healthcare system we can be proud of rather than the current one which is frankly an absolute disgrace. As one of the wealthiest and most capable nations on the planet it's shameful that we don't take care of our own people.

Totally agreed on the debate getting out of control, though. Healthcare reform is a huuuuuuuuge issue and I feel like it deserves a sane and rational debate, which isn't happening because of fearmongering and childishness. I could be equivocal about this and say the childishness is seen across the board but that'd be a lie; the GOP needs to sit down at the table like adults and hash this out with the rest of the grownups.

Comment Re:don't tread on an ant ... (Score 4, Interesting) 359

I'm guessing the reason they didn't mutate to their environment is that their spread across the globe was assisted by humans accidentally, and thus happened much faster than their evolution would allow. They've only been that widespread fairly recently, in the grand scheme of things (like in the past few hundred years), like humans of any particular widespread ethnicity, they can recognize each other as being similar.

Now, if the different supercolonies across the globe manage to all get along and work together, the ants are ahead of us for sure.

Comment Re:Yeah right (Score 1) 857

Agreed, and my apologies about the correlation/causation argument; I kinda figured I'm on slashdot and that's one of those /. phrases.

What we really have to protect against is the witch hunt state, where the rules for what's a warning sign and what's protected expression become too arbitrary. It's important when suspicious behaviour is out in the open to recognize it and take note but people's privacy has to be respected. Though I hardly consider myself a threat to the state who's to say the stuff I read mightn't be suspicious to someone who didn't know me?

I dunno I just worry is all.

Comment Re:Yeah right (Score 2, Insightful) 857

While this is true, correlation is not causation and just as there are a lot more ordinary people in this country than terrorists (unless you believe the Bushite propaganda), there's probably a lot more ordinary people who dig the Constitution than domestic terrorists.

I don't keep a pocket copy of it on me or anything but I do firmly believe that a well thought out understanding of the Constitution is essential for being a citizen (that goes for other countries, too, with their respective government-establishing documents). It's important to know your rights as well as to know what's expected of you where you live. Your taxes pay for the government, so it's handy to know a little about it.

The real thing that I take issue with here is that mere possession of /any/ readily-available document could be grounds for suspicion. Implicit in our first amendment rights is the right also to consume whatever speech or press we wish. Like the Patriot Act's provision that libraries could spy on what you read. If a book is in a public library, it should be understood that I can pick it up and read it without suspicion.

It may take a little longer than four years to dismantle all the horribly horribly wrong things that have been done in the name of national security in this country.

Comment Re:Good Joke (Score 1) 857

It's not just incumbents that introduce bad legislation. It's not as though all the junior senators out there are doing nothing.

Of course now is where I would point out poorly thought out legislation a junior senator has proposed but as I really should be working right now I have none. It can't just be the old guys though.

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