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Comment Re:What?! (Score 2, Insightful) 642

Then why is the USA the only country using indirect elections?

While I think the electoral college is pretty nutty, in defense of the USA, they're not alone in their use of indirect elections.

Virtually every jurisdiction using the Westminster Parliamentary System (mostly Commonwealth countries like the Canada, Australia, the UK etc.) use indirect elections.

A riding ('district') elects a Member of Parliament (MP) who heads off to the legislature. The party with the most number of MPs form government, and the leader of that party becomes Prime Minister. So in that sense, the PM is 'indirectly elected.'

Comment Re:University Professor Here (Score 4, Interesting) 605

What you are witnessing is the disintegration of American secondary education.

My (Canadian) brother married an American. Once their (American-born) kids were of a 'certain' age, they moved back to Canada, for exactly this reason. They were appalled at the degradation of American public education, and they saw their options as being 1) paying gazillions they didn't have for private school, 2) home schooling with the loss of all the resultant good stuff that comes from going to school or 3) putting their kids in public school and having them wind up with an inferior education.

So now the kids are enrolled in public school here in Vancouver.

Comment Re:The masses have changed. (Score 0) 525

A family (with or without kids) where there are two adults each making $75K a year should be able to afford $50,000 for a car

Just because you can doesn't mean you should. Buy a $30,000 car and give the remaining $20,000 to charity. $20K can do a lot of good in Africa - You could send a whole village of girls to school for $20K, you could fund a LOT of Kiva loans for $20K. That's the sort of thing that makes a real difference in this world.

Comment Get a nice watch... (Score 1) 322

I know I'll get flamed, because on Slashdot 'looking nice' means wearing socks with your Tevas (preferably black), but there are a few basic things men of a certain age should have - One of them is a nice watch. I have an Omega Seamaster that I've worn pretty much every day for the past seven years. I just can't see the need to put a portable computer on my wrist - It just screams 'unprofessional.'

Comment Re:Cameras (Score 1) 70

you know that little buzzer or dinger that goes off incessantly whenever I leave the lights on or don't buckle up and you think it's a "feature"?

It's absolutely a feature. Unlike the good ol' days I no longer mistakenly leave my lights on (although it's always been a big of a puzzle to me why the lights don't turn off with the ignition, like the wipers and fan, but whatever), never leave the key in the ignition and I always wear my seatbelt, so the seatbelt beep is irrelevant.

PS Oh yeah and next time just pull out the fuse. While I'm sure the hammer and coals and all that is cathartic, it's rather unnecessary.

Comment Re:Yep. And more... (Score 1) 171

American democracy is far more powerful to effect change than that Colt .45 under your pillow ever will be. Why will we see immigration reform in the USA in the next four years? Because Latinos vote. Why has the Republican party gone loony? Because Tea Partiers vote. Why is weed legal in Washington state? Because of the vote. If you want your rights back stop buying guns and start unelecting the people who are taking them away, and make it clear why you are unelecting them.

Comment Re:Video is mostly factually correct (Score 1) 188

Religion in all of its forms is bad

Sorry, can't agree with this. In my city, religious organizations feed the hungry, shelter the poor, hold the hands of the dying lonely and help make children smile.

I don't see any secular humanist orgs stepping up to that.

I'm an atheist, but I still give money to the Salvation Army.

Comment Re:Yawn. Savages reject modernity, film at 11. (Score 1) 188

So is Google a bunch of savages for taking down a video someone posted of 3D printing an AR-15 magazine?

Dude, Google is a corporation, not a government. If the government forced Google to take down the video that would be double-plus ungood, but they didn't. Google can take down whatever they want, in the same way Apple can approve whatever apps they want.

...and I guarantee if the government really had the power to censor YouTube they'd pick a lot more incriminating content than a video showing the use of a 3D printer. Most gun nuts wouldn't even know how to switch a 3D printer on...

Comment Re:Where's the accountability? (Score 1) 644

where exactly does one draw the line between a failure to check your sources, and becoming a tabloid?

That's an insult to tabloids. Most tabs (like The Enquirer) are rigorous with their fact-checking to prevent lawsuits from angry celebs. When they say Demi is pining for Ashton, chances are good that she actually is.

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