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Comment Re: Castro dead (Score 1) 279

99.7, such a believable (and unverifiable) number. I'd like to know who dreamed it up and how they justified it. Was it people who recognized the alphabet?

Any post relying on such a dubious statistic is suspect right off the bat.

Comment Sour grapes (Score 5, Insightful) 1429

Clinton and Trump campaigned in the swing states because that is what the Electoral College encourages. The popular vote "imbalance" is a mirage. If they had been campaigning for the popular vote, if there had been no Electoral College, the campaigns and the results would have been different in ways we can't imagine.

To change the Electoral College process now, after the popular vote is over, is sour grapes.

Comment Re: Castro dead (Score 0, Troll) 279

Hopefully Trump won't renew the economic oppression of the Cuban people.

Unsure how to respond. If you mean is Trump the heir to Fidel, the answer is no. If you mean the stupid embargo, that was the best thing to happen to Castro; he couldn't have asked for a better justification to continue his own oppression of the Cuban people.

If you actually do think Castro was good for Cuba, you are sadly ignorant. Batista's Cuba was famous for literacy and doctors per capita, compared to the rest of Latin America, so Castro's improvements were pretty small, he killed far more people, and destroyed all chances for improvements.

Maybe you are one of the who thinks Che Guevara was heroic and cannot see the irony of selling t-shirts with his picture.

Comment Re:Energy budget (Score 1) 151

Yes, dropping stuff from orbit is easy -- unless you want it to survive. Then you need as much structure as payload. This also doesn't account for the raw materials -- how do you get that to the orbital factories? This is, by definition, heavy industry, not smart watches. Cars, trucks, steel stock, drilling machines -- nothing small and light.

Thus my question about the energy budget.

Comment Energy budget (Score 3, Interesting) 151

I understand the allure of separating heavy industry from people and parks and nice things, to centralize the pollution. But if you put heavy industry in space and most people still live on the ground, it takes an incredible amount of energy to get the raw resources into orbit and bring the finish products back down. If you mine the moon or asteroids, that still takes a lot of energy to get to space-based factories. If you put the factories on the moon or near the asteroids, that's still a lot of energy to ship finished products back to earth or orbital habitats. If you put the factories on Earth near the resources, it's a lot of energy to get the finished products up to orbit.

Besides, factories pollute a lot less now than they used, they are getting cleaner all the time, and we rely on heavy industry, percentage-wise, a lot less than we used to, and all these trends are going to continue.

And if energy becomes so cheap (fusion, cold fusion, who knows) that all this shuffling is practical, then it would also be practical to simply pour all that energy into making heavy industry even cleaner. The problem with cutting pollution isn't the idea, it's doing so efficiently, and with cheap energy, efficiency becomes more relative.

So what am I missing? What is the actual benefit to separating heavy industry and people?

Comment Re:Supply and Demand - where is the demand? (Score 1) 425

Several million times a year, guns are used to deter or prevent crime. Most of those are merely showing the gun or announcing its presence. Very very few of these make the news, because they are boring. But they work because guns are simple and effective. If all guns were smart guns, they'd bo so unreliable that very few criminals would be deterred by them, and crime would skyrocket.

On, and all your police would be be effectively disarmed too. Unless of course you think police (who commit more crimes off-duty than conceal carriers) are more responsible than "civilians".

Fuck off, slaver who is too stupid to think.

Comment Best fix for poverty is removing regulation (Score 1) 1

One of the worst aspects of the regulatory state is how it gets in the way of people helping themselves. Occupational licensing, state-sponsored cartels like taxis, land zoning, regulations which prevent people planting vegetable gardens, all these things hit the self-supporting the most. Minimum wage laws hurt the unskilled by cutting back the opportunity to learn skills from entry level jobs. Too many places even make it illegal to feed the poor without restaurant-level food prep, or for groceries to give away food on its sell-by date, or fruit and veggies which are too ugly for commercial sale.

US local, state, and federal governments spend $7-8 trillion every year, which is around $50,000 for every household in this country. It's amazing that people have anything left for themselves, and since income taxes don't come close to matching this, it must come from sales taxes (10%), property taxes, business taxes (35%, I think, which is just passed on to consumers), and all the other taxes that are hidden away and people aren't aware of. This is an incredible drag on the economy -- 40% of GDP. Estimates are that somewhere around 15% of the work force get their pay from taxpayers -- whether directly (employees, military) or indirectly (military and other contractors).

Certainly a lot of this would be spent anyway (roads, schools), but competition would make it cheaper, better, and more innovative.

If welfare were cut way back to the essentials of people who cannot take care of themselves, if unemployment insurance were obtained privately like car and home insurance and related directly to work record, if health care were privately obtained and insurance was strictly for catastrophes, and if the poor and unskilled could help themselves by cutting hair for friends and neighbors without six months or a year of full time schooling, if neighbors could baby sit for neighbors without government regulators setting standards that parents are better able to judge -- if, if if the government would just stop making it so hard for people to help themselves --- the need for government welfare would drop like a rock. /rant

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