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Comment Re:The death of common sense (Score 3, Insightful) 220

Having the student issue a written apology to the teacher and having him post a simple "obviously this was a joke" tweet seems like it should have handled the situation quite well and made it a learning experience for the student. Engaging the parents early would help ensure it's taken seriously and reinforced at home. No damage done, no lawsuits, no absurdly ignorant police chiefs.

Comment A tough area (Score 0) 220

Based on the facts presented thus far, I don't really see that the school district has a leg to stand on and that police chief needs to head back to night school to brush up on some law basics. Now that teacher; she may have had cause for some sort of civil action against the student, especially if the school did any sort of investigation of her based on the content of the exchange.

If the school wanted to take action here, they should have provided the teacher with lawyers and legal options upon request. If the tweets caused some sort of disruption on their own (frankly, the school district's actions caused more disruption than anything else), only then should they have acted based on the results of an investigation. Here they just seemed to have been lurching about without any sort of plan or clue for how to proceed properly and objectively.

Comment Re:rip-off (Score 1) 296

If it's required by law (e.g. driver's license, medical license, etc) then sure. If it's an IT cert, then it's absurd. And if the justification is that some contract requires it, then fire the asshole who wrote and/or signed that contract.

I understand that people place differing levels of confidence in certs and I don't begrudge them that. I disagree that IT certs mean much, but others think they're more useful. Where my strong objection comes in is holding that over somebody's head and bringing in auditors to shitcan everyone (regardless of how good a job they're doing) because some useless piece of paper expired.

Only way I'd ever take a job at a place like that is if the annual salary was enough for me to retire on. That way, even if they shitcanned me the day the cert expired, I'd be set for life anyway. And I'd still go in every day thinking to myself "fuck this place". They certainly would never get my best work, which only comes when I'm pouring my heart and soul into the work I'm doing to build something I can be proud of.

Comment Re:rip-off (Score 3, Insightful) 296

Then they were better off for it. Any place that'll pull that kind of bullshit without regard for knowledge, skill, and work ethic (Hell, any place without regard for treating its workforce like human beings instead of numbers) isn't a healthy place to work anyway. I don't care if they're starting you a $250k; without any sense of job security, you go in each day and go to bed each night wondering if you'll have a job tomorrow.

That's no way to live. Fuck that place.

Comment Re:Drone It (Score 1) 843

So adding an A-13 modernized Warthog, and F-36 new Lightweight Interceptor would be very useful.

Not at a $Trillion a program. It crowds our spending for stuff that actually works. I think the first-wave stuff should be top-of-the-line stuff that we dump R&D into to keep it 20+ years ahead of everybody else and I think the first-wave stuff should be capable of making it safe for everything else to fly pretty much unchallenged. After that, give me cheap stuff that works. We can have multiple types of aircraft in each role, but they need to be cheap to design, cheap to build, and cheap to fly.

The F-16D's unit cost is $27.4 Million. A fleet of 1000 of those costs you $2.74 Billion (which over 5 years is pocket change).
The F-35's unit cost (averaged between the three models, which range from $148 Million to $337 Million) is $245 Million each (no R&D costs included, just building one). A fleet of 1000 then costs $245 Billion. Over 5 years, that will consume 9% of the entire DOD budget. For one plane. One shitty plane that can't dogfight and whose cockpit is too tight to allow pilots to look behind them.

The F-35 doesn't even have a well-defined role. The F-22 rules the skies; bar none. The B-2 owns all ground targets regardless of ground defenses. What's left that we need a plane that costs up to $337 Million before we put gas, weapons, or a trained pilot in it?

Comment Re:Drone It (Score 1) 843

In an ideal world they'd probably be building a new version of the A-10. Something has to have advanced in the field of aircraft design since my Mom's 21st birthday. The F-16, AC-130, were also all designed well before Mom hit the big-21.

What's the age got to do with anything? We have working airframes; working designs that are proven to be exceptional at their respective jobs. We could spend a whole bunch of time, money, and lives (test pilots mostly, and some regular ones too during initial roll-out) on new designs, but we'll get maybe slightly better (or possibly slightly worse) performance out of them and in the end we'll net out behind.

Fire up the plants and start rolling new A-10s and F-16s off the assembly line (alone with F-22s). Streamline the manufacturing so they're produced as inexpensively as possible. If we find how to do their jobs better in 20 years, we'll have wasted only some minor resources in manufacturing, so the risk is minimal. They're a fantastic investment. Own the skies with the F-22, the ground defenses with the B-2, and everything else with cheap, effective aircraft.

I know our government doesn't like that because it isn't porked up all to shit, but it's the right way to move forward militarily.

Comment Re:Drone It (Score 1) 843

So for $1 Trillion, we can maybe step up part of the now-more-limited capability (loss of A-10 capability, smaller number of aircraft requiring longer maintenance intervals between sorties) air campaign? Maybe? And we're doing this because our elected officials have constructed a system of perverse incentives that discourages efficiency and competence and encourages ludicrous waste?

(None of this being news to me, just confirming we're on the same page; in which case we're talking about two different things. I'm speaking of what ought to happen in a sane, sensible world and you're speaking of what will actually happen because unrestricted representative democracy has yielded idiocy, incompetence, and impotence at the top.)

Comment Re:Drone It (Score 2) 843

a) None of those are stealth.

The F-22 is (in fact it has better stealth than the JSF) and so is the B-2 (also has better stealth than the JSF, but you called it out in your other reply so we'll let that one slide).

The others don't need stealth to fulfill their respective roles.

b) None of those can fulfill the roles of any of the others.

Correct. The F-22 is extremely stealthy and will clear our whatever aircraft the enemy puts in the skies. It also has limited ground strike capability, but that's a real waste. The B-2 (also extremely stealthy, possibly more than the F-22) is then clear to come in and start really pounding ground defenses. You take out all the stationary radar, SAM sites, AAA, C&C, etc with that while the F-22 provides protection. You don't risk lucky shots against your B-2s by sending them after less heavily defended targets; you just use them to clear a path for your remaining forces so they don't face anti-air defenses.

Once all appreciable anti-air has been destroyed and the enemy can't put a plane in the sky without F-22s dropping it, you're free to send in your non-stealth aircraft. F-16s bomb the Hell out of stationary targets and can provide some target-of-opportunity strike capability. A-10s take out mobile infantry, supply convoys, etc. AC-130s and A-10s provide your close-in air support for whatever ground missions you need to complete your objectives. Each has its own distinct role to play; one thing it's great at doing. Used together, you get the best of all worlds.

c) They're all old designs that don't look good on a budget request.

Depends on what you mean by "doesn't look good on a budget request". As a taxpayer, they sure as Hell look good to me. They're much cheaper than JSFs and each is much more capable at the specific job it's intended to do. Those "old designs" have all the bugs worked out of them and are reliable as can be. And when one does break down, it costs peanuts to repair or replace it. If the folks in charge of the budget don't think that looks good, we need to fire them immediately.

d) Particularly a $1 Trillion request.

We could buy so many of those things for $1 Trillion that we wouldn't have pilots to fly them all. So we'd buy a few less than that and train enough pilots to fly them. The result would be a force so large that we could run dozens of simultaneous sorties 24/7/365 and overwhelm anyone anywhere with omnipresent force.

So we'll have a very expensive plane that does nothing particularly well, but we'll have a lot of them, and against almost any opponent we're likely to face it will be literally invincible because getting through stealth (even the Gen 1 Stealth of the F-117) is a lot harder then it looks in a Navy white paper.

Actually, getting through stealth isn't that bad when using low-frequency ground based radar. Getting through it in the air is a challenge. That's why the advanced stealth of the F-22 and the B-2 are a much better fit for early combat: they'll have vastly better survivability than the JSF. For later in the campaign - when the enemy no longer has effective anti-air defenses - there's no reason to fly significant amounts of costly aircraft sorties. At that point, you want to fly legions of cheap, effective aircraft in and pin down the enemy so they can't so much as glance out from under the rocks they're hiding under without JDAMs raining down on them from all directions.

Comment Re:Drone It (Score 1) 843

Sorry, what debacle with the F-22? Near as anyone can tell, it's the best air superiority fighter ever built and will be for the next 15 - 20+ years. Do they cost a lot? Yes. But don't compare the cost of opposing military aircraft to the cost of the F-22. Compare the cost of opposing military aircraft to the cost of the AIM-120 AMRAAM fitted to the F-22 because the first indication the opposing pilots are going to have that F-22s are in the area is a missile warning.

The Iranians experienced this already when they decided to send up planes to harass some US drone aircraft. The US sent an F-22 up and after the F-22 pilot got bored waiting for the Iranians to notice he was there, he radioed them to get out of his airspace.

"He flew under their aircraft to check out their weapons load without them knowing that he was there, and then pulled up on their left wing and then called them and said ‘you really ought to go home.'"

"I can't see the [expletive deleted] thing," said RAAF Squadron Leader Stephen Chappell, exchange F-15 pilot in the 65th Aggressor Squadron. "It won't let me put a weapons system on it, even when I can see it visually through the canopy. [Flying against the F-22] annoys the hell out of me."

Comment Re:Drone It (Score 1) 843

The F-22 isn't supposed to be dogfighting. The F-22 is supposed to blow the enemy out of the sky from BVR long before the enemy knows F-22s are in the air. That's why it was always so stupid to compare the fly-away cost of a new F-22 to the fly-away cost of other nations' aircraft. The real comparison is the fly-away cost of other nations' aircraft against the cost of the AIM-120 AMRAAM fitted to the F-22 that's going to blow their aircraft away.

If you have F-22s dogfighting with anyone, something has gone horribly wrong.

And the JSF is a flying pile of horse shit. We'd have been much better off building new F-16s, A-10s, and AC-130s. Let the F-22s own the skies, let the B-2s take out the nastiest air defenses, and then let all the cheap stuff fly in and mop up whatever's left on the ground. I don't know what the Hell problem the JSF is supposed to solve. If the problem were just that the US military has way too much money laying around, we'd simply build more F-22s, B-2s, and carriers. Obviously that's not the problem, so what the Hell is the JSF?

Comment Re:The founding documents present a path... (Score 1) 161

I am also unarmed.

Whose fault is that? Pick up something used and cheap. Start interacting with local firearms communities and someone will probably give you something if you're that bad off and then take you to the range to show you how to use it. "I am unarmed" is the battle cry of those who've long laughed at the Second Amendment. If that's you, fine; stop laughing and get involved in some communities.

Comment Re: what is interesting is not that it won (Score 1) 591

I think your parenthetical expression is a bit more than just word-fluff entered by a founding father in a flurry of poetic inspiration. It clearly describes the intent of the amendment. People need to be armed to defend the state.

Actually, it says "being necessary to the security of a free state. You see, the guys who wrote this had just risen up against their government and created another in its place. "A free state" doesn't mean "The United States of America"; it refers to a fundamental concept. That concept is one of a place free of tyranny. The men who wrote the Second Amendment would have gladly overthrown the government established by the US Constitution had it become sufficiently oppressive and tyrannical. They would have done so in order to ensure the security of a free state and they would have done so with their own guns.

The US didn't have a big standing army at the time, and it was clear that to keep free, they would need to be able to call up their citizens if they were attacked, and those citizens better be armed. Given that the US currently has a larger army than the rest of the world combined, I don't think that calling up their citizens is very relevant at this point.

We're covered for foreign enemies. We aren't covered from domestic ones. Tell me, what good would your argument have done if terrorists had attacked again before the 2004 elections and President Bush had called off those elections and simply declared martial law coast-to-coast, then stated that he would remain as commander-in-chief until the threat of terrorism was over? Assuming the army stood with him, what's your plan B for year-10 of the George W. Bush presidency? For year 20? For year 30? Oh right, you don't have one. Just "let's all hope that doesn't happen (because I'd be screwed!)".

Same with the electoral college. In the good old days, the state would have a vote in November, and would select the person(s) that would get up on a horse and ride to Washington DC to represent the state in electing the president. There was simply no other way. The electoral college became obsolete with the telegraph, but it's still around.

No it isn't. Abolish the Electoral College and watch as "flyover country" becomes exactly that. The top 20 cities would get 95% of every candidate's attention and promises. Anyone living outside a metro area may as well not bother showing up on election day.

The stated reasons for the second amendment are no longer relevant, yet the amendment stays. Maybe the amendment should be updated to: "The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, for no reason whatsoever, shall not be infringed".

The amendment remains relevant because it - like most of the US Constitution - is less a practical guide and more a statement of principles. Principles like the government not dictating what religion we should follow or what opinions can be expressed. The Second Amendment is a statement of the principle that when all else fails, no matter what, responsibility for establishing and maintaining freedom ultimately falls on the people, and that as such, they must always have access to the tools necessary to fulfill that responsibility.

It doesn't matter whether the tyrant comes from halfway across the globe or from just down the street; the people - all of us - have the responsibility to ensure that no tyrant lords over us. The people having the convincing capability to beat any challenge to their freedom ensures no such challenge is made. Despite all the dire predictions of fringe leftists in this country, there was never a chance President Bush would crown himself king; if for no other reason than even he would have to know it would end very poorly for him. Tyrants don't come to our country because of the US military. Tyrants don't come from our country because of the Second Amendment. The idea that we don't need the Second Amendment because we have the military is as foolish as the idea that we don't need the First Amendment because we have the Internet. Modern inventions don't negate principles; they reinforce the need for them.

Comment Re: what is interesting is not that it won (Score 1) 591

What bothers me about current rulings is that the mention of a militia obviously means a potential military force, and therefore the right of the people to keep and bear military weapons shall not be infringed.

More specifically, the weapons protected must be of a capability reasonably expected to be useful in fighting and winning against a foreign or domestic aggressor with state sponsorship. In other words, weapons equal to those possessed by any government around the world - including our own - which can be used effectively to win a war. Hence, full-auto machine guns, artillery, Apache gunships, and F-16s are fully in scope for the Second Amendment. What's more, there's an interesting argument to be made about even the classified stuff being available to the American people for study, purchase, building, etc.

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