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Comment Re:Why limit calculator choices for tests? (Score 1) 328

For High School and early College degrees, knowing the basics helps later work when working with the more advanced tools. After learning (and being able to know) the basics then move into the more advanced tools. Both are needed. Generally when working on complex systems it's easiest to understand when it can be broken down into clear, demarcated segments. Overall it's complex but each individual segment is made up of basic understandable ideas. That way you don't need to look at everything all at once. This is the way much of networking works using the ISO reference model. Knowing the basics helps when you need to fall back

It's the difference between knowledge and understanding. Our society often fails to value the latter, since it is not immediately useful in the short-term and requires a wise long-view to appreciate. This is very much to our collective detriment.

Comment Re:Which company bought this 'new' rule? (Score 3, Insightful) 1143

Again, you're so small-minded that you can't conceive that air pollution (smoke) is bad for other people.

I must have been *imagining* that my dad's woodstove made me use my inhaler more often. Fuckwit.

Perhaps your anger (or passion, if you prefer) is supposed to make you more convincing. It only actually makes you appear more malicious and less reasonable. The more important and close-to-home the subject is, the more critical it is not to succumb to such petty temptations.

Comment Re:Which company bought this 'new' rule? (Score 2, Insightful) 1143

The right wing tends to be against regs that they /think/ affect people like them. Other people? Fuck 'em, I got mine.

That's American culture. I am reminded of that each time someone in a car pulls out in front of me, nearly causing an accident, when a five-second wait would have left the entire road to himself. Any sort of kindness or patience is viewed as submission and subservience, it would seem.

The failure of course is a simple misunderstanding. Kindness and patience are about what sort of person I am, not what sort of person the other guy is.

Comment Re:Fuck Obama (Score 1) 1143

Republicans are the fascists, Democrats are the socialists . You really should learn to shut your ignorant lie hole. Then we wouldn't know how stupid you are.

Actually Republocrats are the fascists, and Surprise! Demicans are the fascists too. You really don't understand how "good cop, bad cop" is played, do you? Polarization and transfer (or confusion) of identity are key components. It shuts down critical thought and scrutiny by drowning it out in a frenzy of "us against them" tribalism. It's really very simple for something so terribly effective and generally unnoticed.

Comment Re:When are they going to weigh-in on (Score 1) 1143

Once you realize that the modern American political definition of liberal no longer has any basis with the latin word liber, the phrase liberal fascism starts to make sense, particularly in the context of modern American liberalism.

This is where I depart from the licentious anything-goes lazy people who like to say things like "well you know languages evolve over time, so no matter how badly we misunderstand and misuse a word, it's always correct because we will claim it's an evolution of language!" Sometimes the correct way of doing something is the correct way and anything else is a failure, and it's too bad if someone is so self-important and haughty as to get offended by that.

The "nothing is ever wrong, just different but equally valid at all times no matter what" mentality leads to Orwellian Newspeak. It's the inevitable conclusion and it does not depend on the intentions of anyone participating in it.

Comment Re:When are they going to weigh-in on (Score 2) 1143

Poor libertarians had to make up a word to distinguish themselves from "liberals".

Don't you worry. There's a concerted, intense, yet subtle effort to make the general (uninformed, won't do their own research) public believe that each and every "libertarian" is the exact same thing as an "anarcho-capitalist". Got to make sure the whole freedom-loving movement doesn't catch on and become popular, you know, and to make sure of that it must be demonized as emotionally and unreasonably and quickly as possible. When people otherwise sympathetic to the desire for freedom are hesitant to call themselves (small 'l') "libertarian", the job is done correctly. Various political and monied interests will take care of that, not openly through argumentation, but through portrayal, framing, and association. It's the same way any smear campaign is done.

Comment Re:Here is a thought.. (Score 1) 400

For what it's worth, my personal opinion is that Coulter is a high-strung bitch and that there are already too many people like her. But if the Devil himself says that two plus two equals four, I would have to concede it was correct. That doesn't mean I agree with the Devil on any other issue or support him in any way. You can't get very far in these discussions if you get caught up in the personalities involved. Constructive discourse vanishes at the point where someone does that.

People only call Obama a "commie" because he is expanding an already powerful and far-reaching government, and people have come to associate Communism with out-of-control governments. Yes, Communism is one method and fascism is another and there are others still that produce the same kind of society. I understand that, but this is the way it's meant when most people call him a Commie. They're not evaluating the tenets of Karl Marx and applying them to modern poltiics; they're scared of this man.

Comment Re:then why did some states succeed? (Score 1) 400

When you have the media bought and paid for, they can convince the masses of anything.

The mass media certainly is bought and paid for. It's owned by the people who put both Democrats and Republicans into office, who fund campaigns, who make or break presidents and congresscritters. Do the research sometime and you'll find that various banking interests and others routinely fund both candidates. Why, it's as though they have the same level of control either way so they don't have to care who wins...

Comment Re:Does govt want an insurance website? (Score 1) 400

Doesn't it strike anyone as odd that the Govt can design and implement a billion+ dollar data storage center for the NSA but can't deploy a website to allow people to sign up for insurance?

The US govt is deeply split on if it wants ACA. Hell, the Dems are rushing to get the ACA in place to make it difficult to undo. The Republicans shut down the govt, to stop ACA, before it becomes difficult to undo. Much like Apollo, the most difficult part, was getting the govt, to decide it wants to pay for it.

Grant me the legal authority to print money anytime I want and make everyone else pay the true cost of it (inflation) and I, too, could pay for anything money can buy. In the Apollo days they at least tried to pretend that debt is important and that there's something deeply wrong with running a government in a way that would bankrupt any business or household.

Oh incidentally, for those who think the group identity of those who suffer is really important, inflation is the most regressive tax there is. The truly wealthy have investments like securities and real estate that scale with inflation. It's the poor who try to improve their standard of living by living within their means, saving, and building wealth over time. That's who is hardest hit by inflation, because it devalues their savings. It's amazing how "regressive taxes" are EVIL and routinely railed against by a certain element, yet this one has gone unnoticed for so long.

Comment Re:Here is a thought.. (Score 2) 400

For example, the TSA has a huge annual budget. Yet they've never caught a single terrorist.

The purpose of the TSA is to get Americans (even more) used to the idea that government agents can search you whenever they deem it necessary, without a warrant. Sure, a long time ago some old white men wrote a 4th Amendment saying they can't do that, yeah sure, but by stepping into the airport you automatically agreed to waive your inalienable right, EULA-style. So you see it's all legitimate and there's nothing to see here.

Comment Re:Here is a thought.. (Score 1) 400

That semantic distinction, in practice, is besides the point which was that deflecting blame on a matter of geography doesn't address the root problems of large projects especially with territoriality in play. Again, I have not read much on the issue but did glean that a large number of government databases (of various forms) needed to integrated. One doesn't even have to introduce politics of Democrats versus Republicans in this case. Many agencies and egos were likely involved on the government side while dozens of contractors (likely competitors) were at the service side.

One of the very first requirements for competence (mere competence, not greatness) is the ability to realistically assess what you are (and are not) capable of doing, and in what rough timeframe, and then to plan accordingly.

Comment Re:Here is a thought.. (Score 1) 400

inability for the government to manage a simple website

It could be, the observed failure exceeded the planners' expectations... The site does not merely suck, which could've been blamed on the evil insurers somehow. It completely does not work.

But I'm not sure, the suspicion is correct myself: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity" (Hanlon's Razor)...

The real question is, if they so badly mismanage something so common and widely implemented elsewhere as one Web site, why should they be trusted with anything more complex?

Comment Re:Here is a thought.. (Score 1) 400

Go to You Tube and search "Obama single payer". In 2009, he was saying that's what he preferred.

He performed a similar flip-flop on the issue of homosexual marriages. It's nothing unusual from a high-level politician.

Personally I believe homosexual marriage is one of those "distraction issues", something that never really goes away so you can pull it out and make a controversy over it anytime something else starts making you look bad. I could speculate that he was initially against homosexual marriage because that is generally consistent with his claim of being a Christian, something that was important at that time because many voters believed he was Muslim (and for some strange reason, people actually care about the private personal beliefs of elected officials whose job couldn't be less personal). I could also speculate that he flip-flopped on it because he perceived that this was the way the winds of popular opinion were blowing.

I doubt very much that any federal politician actually gives a damn about who gets married and whether it's called "marriage" or a "civil union". I do think that getting the federal government involved in a matter that has always been handled by the states is a handy way to grab power and cause people to be even more accustomed than before to federal involvement in daily life. Now that is something politicians really do care about; they rarely miss an opportunity. No Child Left Behind was Bush's method of doing the same thing, since K-12 education had always been the domain of the states.

Abortion, homosexual marriage, gays in the military, flag-burning, rich vs. poor, black vs. white, and others that don't come to mind right now are all distraction issues and have all been used as such. No federal politician actually wants any of them to go away because they like pulling them out when convenient. Sadly the American public (as represented by the mass media) has a terribly short memory.

Comment Re:Here is a thought.. (Score 1) 400

>Citing anne coulter as a reference

Yeah, and we're done here.

-- BMO

Jumping on the first flimsy excuse to dismiss the argument is never going to convince anyone who didn't already agree with you. I for one was hoping you would explain why Obama's plan was similar (or maybe, effectively identical) to Romney's. The calmer, more rational person at least provided something to read that I can critically analyze regardless of who's name is on it.

If I had been so deeply affected by a Fox News personality that the mere mention of her Web site made me want to be so childish, I'd be ashamed to admit it. But I would admit it. I don't know you and I don't know the user "mi" but so far he has been the calm, rational, believably sincere person who isn't trying to be dismissive, isn't calling other people names ("moron") and isn't trying to change an abstract debate into a popularity contest concerning who's name is on what.

I want to believe you can do better.

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