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Comment Re:This is a good thing. (Score 0) 369

Ever wonder why cancer rates are up?

Because more people are now living long enough to develop cancer rather than dying of other things. Until such time as people are immortal, the total mortality rate will be 100%, and if you reduce the rate of one cause of death, the people who would have died of that thing will die later on of something else, increasing the rate of that later thing and keeping the total constant.

Comment Re:In other words... (Score 1) 142

No warhead. No guidance system. So basically we shipped them a big paperweight.

Since it's solid-fueled it's probably launchable (no need to fuel it). No guidance means it can't hit a small or maneuvering target, and no warhead means it won't explode when it hits, but a 45kg object travelling at over Mach 1 coming through (for example) the windows of an office building could still ruin a lot of peoples' day. The Cuban government isn't going to do anything stupid with it, and they have probably have plenty of real, functional Soviet equivalents anyway, but it's good that this didn't fall into the wrong hands.

Comment Re:This is just an attempt by the Republicans... (Score 3, Interesting) 140

Well, let's see...

That's from one quick search (obviously not needed for the Chernobyl item). And beyond those, the contrast in the level of pollution between democratic, capitalist West Germany and authoritarian, Marxist East Germany at the time of unification is well-documented, the subject of many studies and articles. It's about as close to a lab comparison as you could ask for.

Are there, and have there been, environmental problems in the free world? Certainly. But the idea that they're worse than in undemocratic countries is ludicrous, especially since the Marxist countries had their problems even with the benefit of hindsight, since most of them industrialized long after the free world had.

Comment Sorry, no. Actually, just plain "no" (Score 1) 1032

"Instead of guaranteeing loans, the government would have to guarantee a college education."

Uh-huh. So, if he were going to college today, I should foot the bill so Mr. Siegel can get his masters in philosophy, become a "cultural critic" as he's described, and write articles demanding that I foot the bill so he can get his masters in philosophy, become a "cultural critic" as he's described, and write articles demanding that I foot the bill so he can...

I sense a stack overflow coming on.

No. Hell no. For the most part, degrees that don't pay for themselves are degrees in things that you don't need a degree to pursue. Mark Twain and H. L. Mencken, to name just a couple critics, had rather illustrious careers without any degrees. As for philosophy, anyone with the aptitude for it would do just as well reading books on philosophy and having discussions with similarly-inclined people.

Comment Re:Intent matters. (Score 3, Informative) 312

Information that could make civilians more dangerous to police or military should not be available to civilians at all, obviously.

On the contrary, it's precisely the opposite: civilians must have access to such information, to keep the police and military in check. As far as the US goes, this is discussed extensively in the Federalist Papers, in particular by James Madison #46 and Alexander Hamilton in #29. Both explicitly state the assumption that the citizenry at large will outgun any Federal standing army. To quote the latter, "...if circumstances should at any time oblige the Government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the People, while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights, and those of their fellow-citizens." The rationale for the Constitution, and therefore for the very existence of the Federal government of the United States, is predicated on this imbalance of power in favor of the citizenry.

And mind you, Madison and Hamilton were speaking for the pro-big (relatively speaking) government faction. Their argument, stripped of the flowery language, was: "Don't worry, it's safe to let the central government field an army. If the politicians try to misuse it, the citizens will just shoot them."

Furthermore, the very idea of any power or information being available to government agents but not to the citizenry is contrary to the core philosophy of the US system. Per the Declaration of Independence, governments "derive their just powers from the consent of the governed." That is, whatever powers government has are delegated to it by the citizens. The government's powers are a subset of the powers of the citizenry, by definition, because for the government to have the power to do X, the citizens must first have the power to do X in order to be able to delegate it.

Comment Re:I do not understand (Score 1) 538

I never claimed they don't - both the "for the children" and "war on terror" crap is used by opportunists in both parties to use emotionally charged rhetoric to distract from the actual effectiveness of their pet laws. Democrats are just more likely to run on a platform of opposition to that thinking than Republican candidates are.

I really disagree with you on that, especially the relative balance of "for the children" usage, but that's probably because we have different ideas about what the "actual effectiveness" and merit of the laws. For example, if you're a Democrat, you probably don't see the use of school shooting incidents as justification for laws that violate the Second Amendment to be examples of "for the children", while I do. Likewise, the "have the government make this decision because it will decide more intelligently than the parents can" argument is almost-entirely a Democrat thing. It's not a "for your children" argument, it's a "for those other parents' children, because those parents aren't smart like you" argument. All sorts of health, safety, and education mandates fall into that category, such as the Democrat hostility to alternatives to public schools. "Spend money for the children" is a mostly-Democrat thing as well, as is the infantalizing "spend money on the children who are no longer really children but we'll talk as if they are" variant, such as Obama's "stay on your parents' insurance until you're 26" thing.

Now, presumably you think most of my examples are things that should be done, but that's my point: we will tend not to see the "for the children" argument unless it's being used to push something we disagree with.

Comment Technology section seems... odd (Score 3, Insightful) 428

Javascript and AngularJS and NodeJS? If you're using one of the latter, aren't you using the former by definition? And also, while I have nothing against Angular (learning at the moment myself), is it really more-used than jQuery? I see jQuery all over the place when I look into the source of sites I find interesting, far more often than I run into Angular.

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