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Comment Re:Fucking idiots (Score 3) 1532

They also re-elected a GOP majority in the House

For the House, Democrats got a MILLION more votes in than Republicans. The Republican majority was elected by gerrymandering. I accept that the system is imperfect and sometimes sucks, I'm not denying the legislative authority of the duly elected legislature. However it does completely invalidate your attempt to associate that house majority with a completely fictional popular-public mandate.

As to the claim but electing Obama was a referendum on the ACA that is equally stupid.

Considering Obama made it a central issue of his presidency, and a central issue of his campaign, it makes a hell of a lot more sense than trying to claim an anti-ACA mandate based on the negative one million votes by which the Republicans won the house.

Polls show half the country thought the law was already fully in effect until last week

Firstly, polls show a majority against Obamacare only when you include the percentage who "oppose Obamacare" only because it didn't go far enough and establishing a Single-Payer system.
Secondly, a comical percentage poll in favor of "The Affordable Care Act" and opposed to "Obamacare". A substantial percentage of opposition have no clue that ACA=Obamacare, and that a substantial percentage of oppositions is nothing more than clueless echoing of hollow "Obamacare is somehow bad" soundbites.

That is why our government was designed to operate with Checks and Balances. The budget ( and requiring it to start in a specific body at that ) is a clearly intended to put a hard limit on how far away the other two entities President and Senate are allowed to deviate from the will of the House. If the House ( the peoples body ) really hates something they absolutely should be able to kill it using this method.

It's interesting how you conveniently forget that one of the checks is that the House can't legislate anything, including budge decisions, without approval of the Senate. And they can't do so without Presidential approval, unless they can get a 2/3 mandate from both the House and Senate.

It also doesn't much help your case when the "will" of a majority of the House members is to drop the current shutdown bullshit and pass a clean budget, and it's John Boehner blocking blocking that easily passed bipartisan budget from coming to a vote. For internal party-politics reasons Boehner is allowing the radical minority TeaParty wing to burn down the house if they don't get what they want.

Does anyone who has really thought about this want the budget to become a political nuclear weapon?

Yes it absolutely should be.

Okey dokey... how about the Senate refuses to pass any budget.... zero dollars for border control.... zero dollars for the military... unless it's attached to some issue... lets say radical gun control. Here's a list of what sorts of guns are illegal, and it's a felony prison sentence if you don't turn in or destroy any illegal guns. There ya go. Using the budget as a nuclear weapon.

This is exactly why the TeaParty idiots are unfit to govern, and why the Republican party as a whole has become unfit to govern for letting the TeaParty wingnuts run the show. Because BurnTheHouseDown ideological extremism is DESTRUCTIVE. It's hurting the economy, it's hurting people, it's hurting the Nation. In a Democracy we're supposed accept that sometimes we just don't have the votes to get what we want, and we don't fucking threaten to blow up the goddamn country with nuclear weapons like a bunch of terrorists if laws aren't passed/changed/repealed to our liking.

It's not even like they are fighting over the budget, and saying they don't want to provide funding for ACA. They are demanding a change in law be passed, completely unrelated to the budget, and using the budget as a nuclear weapon to fucking blow up the country if their unrelated law doesn't get passed. No different than the Senate using the budget as a nuclear weapon to get a budget-unrelated gun control law passed.... when they know they just plain don't have the votes to pass that completely unrelated law.


Comment Re: Fucking idiots (Score 1) 1532

An almost endless series of scientific studies have thoroughly refuted the null hypothesis. The proportion of homophobes who are homosexual is strongly different from the proportion of homosexuality the general population. Homophobes are several times more likely than the general public to have an erectile response to gay porn, to spend more time looking at gay porn images when given a variety of images, and to have a faster reaction time for homosexual terms when when the test primed them for self-identification.

For example in this study two thirds of non-homophobic men showed no erectile response to a gay porn video, while 80% of homophobic men did have an erectile response.

Homophobes being active or repressed gay is a cliche because it's typically true, especially among the loudest most driven anti-gay crusaders. There is a reason they're driven.

Other research has found that such individuals are also highly likely to have been raised in very authoritarian and repressive homes. In such a home it would be emotionally dangerous or even physically dangerous for a child to express any homosexual inclination. In such a situation it becomes a survival mechanism for a child to develop an intense hostile internal repression of homosexual inclinations. This internal hostile repression is then directed outward at anyone and anything that threatens to evoke their internal repression.


Comment There's three nominees (Score 0) 273

Edward Snowden, the fugitive American former intelligence worker, has made the shortlist of three for the Sakharov prize, Europe's top human rights award. Mr Snowden was nominated by Green politicians in the European Parliament for leaking details of U.S. surveillance. Nominees also include Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot in the head for demanding education for girls.

I will tell you, it is three nominees. Snowden, Malala, and the - what's the third one there? Let's see. OK. Snowden, Malala , and...
The third nominee, Snowden, Malala, and, let's see. I can't. The third one, I can't. Sorry.

But whoever it is ain't winning, because whatever they did was like totally lame compared to Snowden exposing U.S. government spying and Malala getting shot in the head for wanting girls for go to school.


Comment Re:Comparative sacrifice (Score 1) 273

Malala gets this one hands-down. Both made very important statements we must pay attention to, but a fucking headshot beats hanging out in a Russian airport IMHO.

I disagree, strongly. Have you actually listened to her speeches? Sample:

"If you want to see peace in Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan; if you want to end the war; to fight against the war; then instead of sending guns send books,â

Riiiiiiiiiiight. The only reason she's so popular is because she's a harmless photo-op for politicians who are sitting around doing noting. While everyone is happy to talk about little girls not getting to go to school because the Taliban blew up their school, nobody seems interested in the widespread murders of civilian boys and men, or conscription.

Most people think there's this massive imbalance in literacy rates. It's about 9%, between men and women.

That's unfortunate, but it hardly compares to the mass worldwide surveillance and conspiracies - or the courage required to acquire all those documents, leave your life behind, and kick a world power in the teeth.

Comment a used DSLR (Score 1) 182

Low light means you want the largest sensor well size you can (ie biggest individual-sized pixel), and a wide aperture lens. A few P&S cameras have both, but you're better off with an actual DSLR.

In terms of a body: the Panasonic GH2 is pretty popular among videographers for quality and controls; there are a bunch of firmware hacks out for it. If you don't mind not having video, you can pick up a used Canon 40D for peanuts, and it's a fantastic camera, and close to your price range.

In terms of lenses, you'll want the widest aperture lens you can afford. The simple/cheap way to do this is a fixed (prime) lens; figure out what focal length you need (for non-photographers, the "mm" in "100mm lens", aka "zoom factor".) Canon and Nikon both, for example, sell a 50mm f/1.8 lens that costs about $50-60. Even with the crop factor, might not be quite enough for your purposes, however.

Comment doesn't "solve" our transportation problems (Score 2, Interesting) 233

A few days ago I saw an interesting comment about alternative fuels that re-cast the issue for me.

Namely: they're a distraction. By focusing on the "greenness" of the fuel for cars, be it gas, ethanol, hydrogen, CNG, electricity...we ignore the problem of operation space and storage space (not to mention, the inefficiency, energy-wise, of moving 2 tons of metal just to move one person.) As population grows, we don't have space for everyone to bop around by themselves in their car, nor do we have the space to put them when they're not in use. Bloomberg figured this out a couple of years ago, for example, and hence his strong push of cycle infrastructure in NYC, to great result.

Sure, more cars = not a problem in the middle of Nebraska. But in any metropolitan area, traffic is an enormous burden, and we cannot just throw more pavement at the problem. It's well known that adding lanes doesn't add capacity. We also don't have room for all these cars to park, at least not without paving every square inch in sight.

We need to get people out of their cars. That means higher gas taxes (which haven't been adjusted in decades), car-sharing systems, legal protection for pedestrians and cyclists, and infrastructure spending on pedestrian walkways, cycleways, usable long distance/regional/local public transit (and ending the insistence that public transit pay for itself, something "private" road/infrastructure users aren't expected to do). For example: it is *idiotic* that you cannot take luggage or a bicycle with you on the entire Amtrak northeast corridor.

Funding alternative fuels is fine, but don't do it if you won't fund alternative transportation infrastructure as well. Imagine what $2BN (what Obama wants to spend on "alternative fuels") can buy in terms of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

Comment This may also remove the bias (Score 1) 80

Dogs are mostly interested in being good pack animals and pleasing the alpha. When your handler is pleased by getting to search vehicles/bags/etc...

I'm almost completely convinced that police dogs are merely a slight sophistication of "Hey look, *smash*, your taillight is out."

Do rats have such social capabilities?

Comment Re:Go Team.. (Score 1) 513

I don't understand the point you (or Naomi Wolf) is trying to make. In the article you point to, she says

It is actually in the Police Stateâ(TM)s interest to let everyone know that everything you write or say everywhere is being surveilled.

How so? She doesn't spell this out, and I didn't get it from what you wrote either. Why would it be in the police state's best interest to have their activities known? And if it is in their best interest, why would they go to the trouble of having Snowden disclose it in the style he has, rather than simply announcing it?

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