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Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 1) 680

Additionally, I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that climate change deniers skew more religious than climate change acceptors.

What's more, I vaguely recall reading some actual religious arguments against anthropogenic climate change. Something vaguely like:

[1] "The climate is not changing significantly enough to harm humanity, because God would not let that happen"


[2] "Only God is powerful enough to change the climate".

And then there's the US's ridiculous Rapture cult, who would WELCOME an Extinction Level Event because they're convinced they'd be Raptured. Don't even get me started on THAT crowd.

Comment ARCTIC vs ANTARCTIC (Score 3, Informative) 319

As even a cursory Wikipedia reading will note, ARCTIC ice is DECREASING in extent at a faster rate than ANTARCTIC is INCREASING.

In other words, Antarctic ice is growing X units per year, but Arctic ice is SHRINKING more than X units per year.

The net result is that the Earth's ice cover is shrinking.

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_sea_ice#/media/File:Antarctic_Grows.jpg

Those who believe anthropogenic climate change is a myth thrive on the confusion caused by nuance like this. But the Earth's climate is not a simple system. It has nuance. Ice may be shrinking overall, and yet still growing in some places.

Comment Re:Transgender Persons (Score 1) 412

Trans woman (that means "body born 'male', brain 'female') speaking up here.

I hate being trans. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I would sooner wish a slow, painful death upon someone than wish that they share in this agony.

But I'd sooner jump off a building than take some hypothetical treatment that would make me want to be male.

Comment It's not a 'free market v government' thing. (Score 2) 246

I'm as far from a 'free market religionist' as one can get. I'm a ridiculously left-wing hippie-dippie liberal. To me, this isn't about some sort of mad faith in Adam Smith's Invisible Hand. It's simply a reaction to the fact that our government would rather allocate huge sums of money to things OTHER THAN manned space exploration.

For instance, the military. And the contractors that support the military.

NASA's budget has, quite simply, been far too small to support an envelope-pushing manned space flight program for quite some time. Witness how the Shuttle (1970s tech!) was used into the 2010s. NASA's manned spaceflight program stalled some time in the 80s and never really recovered. (It may have been the Challenger tragedy that made funding NASA significantly harder; I don't know. I'm not a politician, nor an economist.)

Quite simply, the government ISN'T doing it. And it probably won't, for the forseeable future. Who does that leave, with the kind of money to go to space? Corporations.

It's simple logic. Has nothing to do with 'the corporations are better than the government' or any sort of rhetoric at all. It's just "[X] isn't doing it, so [Y] is gonna try, because it's something some people want."

Comment Re:The party of anti-regulation (Score 1) 176

They only take stances against regulations that impact the ability of the very rich to get richer. For example, they're against evil evil anti-pollution restrictions, because those cost rich companies MONEY. However, the ever-extending copyright terms MAKE rich companies money-- so it stands to reason that they'd be all FOR those "restrictions".

Comment Re:of course (Score 1) 176


No, the GOP is NOT "more closely aligned with the ethos that could back copyright reform than the Democratic party." While the Dems may be more heavily entrenched in big media circles, the Repubs are most DEFINITELY in favour of "helping the 1% get one-percentier". Ever-extending copyright terms definitely benefit the 1%. As long as it's making the rich richer, it's in the GOP's interest, even if it's primarily being pushed by people from the Dems' camp.

Comment Re:The GOP is very divided. (Score 1) 176

It's also worth noting that, as instituted by the government, 'marriage' is HARDLY a religious sacrament. You go down to City Hall and fill out a form. It's a legal contract.

(Also, there are plenty of religions ready, willing and able to marry gay couples, so, yeah, your "ERHMAGERD GUMMINT IS REDEFINING RELIGIOUS TERMS!1" argument just don't fly. Which religion is the benchmark? Yours? I see, then. So you want the government to enforce the terms of YOUR religion for a secular institution. Yes, marriage is now a secular thing. You don't need to enter a place of worship to get married. Get with reality.)

Comment Re:Do Not Want! (Score 1) 254

I'm sorry, but-- having been a long-time VICTIM of trolling-- I must point out that most trolling is unambiguously INTENDED to harass and to cause emotional distress-- "for the lulz". It doesn't take a rocket scientist to read some of the shit kids post on 4chan and recognise it IMMEDIATELY AND UNAMBIGUOUSLY as deliberate bullying, plain and simply-- harassment, which (yes) SHOULD be illegal.

Comment Re:nonsense (Score 1) 729

See, I could agree with the idea of letting the kids and/or parents choose when their vacation is. I highly disagree, however, with the idea of reducing or eliminating vacation days given to kids. Some (many? most? all?) kids NEED those vacation days.

Comment Great. Just what kids need. (Score 2) 729

No time off from mindless busywork which doesn't, by any stretch of the imagination, prepare anyone for the real world.

No time off from senselessly time-consuming homework. (Why is it that students are given homework anyways? In the real world, your boss doesn't generally give you 'homework'; you work your 8 hours and you're DONE FOR THE DAY.)

No time off from cruel and sadistic bullies.

No time off from incompetent and disinterested teachers.

No time off from the mind-numbingly uncaring bureaucracy of the school administration.

No time off from waking up before dawn to trundle out to the school bus, alone and half-awake.

I'm 33 years old, and I look back at my school years as some of the worst times of my life. The suggestion of eliminating the summer respite would only make an already grueling and unpleasant period of every person's life significantly worse.

Now, there ARE ways to improve our school system. They don't involve adding more time to the school experience. They involve, among other things, tailoring the curriculum to the needs of each student, reducing the focus on mindless drilling for standardised tests, reshaping the curriculum to focus on useful real-world skills, transplanting money currently spent on sports (which should have no place in an academic environment anyways) and other non-academic things such as ROTC into better textbooks, better teachers, and perhaps even undoing some of the damage idiot parents in this country routinely do to their children (such as teaching them that Earth is 6,000 years old and was created in six literal 24-hour days, for example). They also involve treating students like human beings and not mere items on an assembly line, and ensuring that every student is treated with dignity. (The epidemic of school bullying needs to end NOW.)

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