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Comment Re:Vote (Score 5, Interesting) 707

You don't think there's a difference between the major parties on gay marriage? Because there definitely is. As for starting a war with Iran, one party is clearly more likely to do that, although it's hard to say absolutely that either one won't. They'll probably both bring the troops home from the current theaters though.

Balancing the budget within the next four years isn't an important real issue. It's arbitrary, and possibly counter-productive. Balancing the budget eventually is a worthy goal, but doing so in the middle of a recession is not. Auditing the fed sounds reasonable but I wouldn't call it important.

I agree with you on the NDAA and the Patriot act, and the pointless war on drugs. But those values have to be weighed against other important, real issues, where there is a real difference: Education availability, corporate person-hood, investment in green energy, support for the worst-off, international diplomacy, trade policy, immigration policy, financial regulation, health-care cost-management, and of course, social policy. These are all important, real areas of disagreement between the two major political parties. Will you ignore them all?

Comment Re:expanding on your words: (Score 3, Informative) 957

Corroboration: this story from This American Life. The first act has a few funny anecdotes about absurd things people believed for longer than would seem plausible.

Kristy Kruger: It was about a group of five to seven people, kind of standing around the keg, just talking. And somehow a discussion of endangered species came up, in which I posed the question, is the unicorn endangered or extinct? And basically, there was a big gap of silence [...]and then everybody laughed. And then that laughter was followed by more silence when they realized I wasn't laughing. And I was like, yeah, oh God, unicorns aren't real? Oh no.

Comment Re:Because (Score 3, Insightful) 361

Though everything you said might be true, the sources you provided give no indication of that.

When it comes to top brains, on the other hand, USA is indeed #1 by a huge margin.

Actually that link shows it has several of the top universities, ranked by files they put up on the web (and the visibility thereof). Top brains? not proven. Even if those are the universities where the top brains congregate, it's far from clear that those brains are American ones.

It's also doing rather well in R&D

That source, a Wikipedia article whose own source is no longer accessible at the relevant hyperlink, says that the U.S. spent more than any other country on R+D in 2010. In percentage of GDP though, you're down around fifth or sixth. Ok, so you spend a lot on R+D. But is it effective? efficient? no answer there.

tech achievement

Ok well this is measured, in your source, by 4 things:
1) Patents granted and royalty license fees received from abroad, both per capita
2) Number of internet hosts per capita and percentage of exports that are "high or medium technology"
3) Telephones and electricity consumption per capita
4) Years of school and enrollment in math and sciences.

I'll give you number 2 and maybe even 4 as a reasonable measure of technological development, but with a broken patent system churning out meaningless patents, and a wealthy population hooked on cellphones and wasting electricity, the deck is stacked here in favor of the U.S. in a way that has nothing to do with technology. And you still come in behind Finland.

corporate governance

Wikipedia offers a spartan PDF with literally no context or explanation. Corporate governance by what metrics?

And for what it's worth, your suggestion that some people aren't important in an assessment of national intelligence is bunk. It's often up to the public to make informed political choices about scientific issues, from evolution to global warming to birth control to etc. etc.
It's important that the entire populace, hookers and all, is educated enough to make the right decisions.

Comment Re:Now see, This is why you are a boob (Score 1) 462

[...]the One World Government/Police State that is proposed as the answer to totally regulate carbon, wrecking the first world, transferring most of the remaining wealth to the developing world, etc. leaves us an impoverished socialist hellhole[...]

So much bunk.

Maybe some people are proposing something like that. I've definitely seen quotes like "cap first world economic activity". But while you're arguing with an imagined, monolithic group of "greenies", people in the other corner are busy having a heated conversation that goes something like: "Well, people don't believe science. So what ELSE can we do?"

Isn't this article proof enough that people are talking about lots of ways of addressing the problem? Government investment in green tech on a larger scale, that's one way to go. Nuclear is another, and despite what you think about "greenies", I'd bet that most people who've accepted the AGW science would also accept nuclear solutions. If that's not enough of a debate for you, there's also been plenty of research and discussion about "climate engineering" based solutions. Some people are even saying "preventative action is impossible... so how can we prepare?"

Honestly, there's a simple fact you've missed: you can't trust one side to report to you on what the other side is saying. Never trust fox about what a democrat said, or MSNBC about what a republican said, or Drudge about what AGW scientists say.

If you knew what the other side was actually saying, you wouldn't be having this ridiculous joust with a strawman.

Comment Re:That's *it* for me and Blizzard, man!! (Score 1) 540

This should help.
The most important part is that you need to ensure your account credentials are being saved to your computer. Probably not the best thing for security, but what do I know. If I remember right, following those steps should allow you to start steam in offline mode when you don't have a connection.

Comment Re:No Alaska (Score 1) 297

At time of writing, I saw two or three people declare this proof of global warming. Most people simply defended AGW, without using the 12-month period as evidence. They do this as part of the eternal argument with the other side, which uses every mention of temperature, climate, or weather to shit all over people who listen to scientists.

There's plenty of good evidence for AGW already without jumping at every outlier on the temperature charts.

Comment Re:No Alaska (Score 1) 297

All that says is that the U.S. has a really abnormally hot 12 months starting in Nov. 1999, and had an even abnormally hotter 12 months starting in May 2011. Neither of these things say anything on their own about temperature trends even in the U.S., let alone globally. It's just supposed to be interesting that the 12-month average U.S. temperature record was broken, the same way it's supposed to be interesting (but isn't) when local papers say "Rainiest Year in UK Since 1903 :(" or "California June Sunniest Ever!"

Maybe it's also useful for scientists who use the NOAA report, who might investigate other variables to see if that "hottest 12 months" correlates with increased insect populations, or lower cancer rates, or whatever.

I think the problem is that you're trying to have an argument about what this data means with someone who never showed up. Not EVERY story about temperature or climate has anything to do with the politics of AGW.

Comment Re:Anti global warming target practice (Score 1) 297

It's called The State of the Climate report because it contains information on the state of the climate. If you'd ever bothered to read it, you'd know that the "Global" section contains lots of data on global temperature, sea ice extent, precipitation, and more. Of course, since the information is compiled by the U.S. government, it also contains in-depth information about weather and climate in the U.S. (believe it or not, global climate isn't the only kind of climate).

So no, the label doesn't convey any lie. But you certainly do, whether by ignorance or intent.

Comment Re:Good science and hats off to him (Score 2) 297

Usually part 3 is the establishment of a neo-pol pot regime, or national socialism, or some financial scam to make the rich richer and the poor poorer, or most commonly meaningless feel good frippery that will do absolutely nothing but "raise awareness".


Despite my/our disagreement being with Part 3, we get slandered and our words are twisted around

YOU get slandered? Wow, how hard that must be for you. If only those Nazi libs knew what it felt like to be slandered, I'm sure they'd never do it you again.

By the way, the Pol Pot talking point is one that you might want to reconsider. It makes you sound like a foaming rabies case. Why parrot all the other fringe Repubs when there are plenty of other socialists both real and fictional to pick from?

Comment Re:No Alaska (Score 1) 297

What? Why do you think it matters when the period begins? And how do you think it indicates anything "opposite of what the standard AGW crowd will take away" from it? Since it's just the US (contiguous, at that) it doesn't indicate *anything* with regard to AGW. So how about you just leave it at that, instead of trying to stretch thin evidence and make flimsy claims.

Comment Re:Seriusly America (Score 1) 735

The Austrian school of economic thought is not the only one with claims to legitimacy, so hold your horses. Keynesian economics is at least as legitimate, even if you personally can't believe it. If government spending kickstarts the economy, then it's worth paying the (very low!) interest on debt and then repaying the principal somewhere down the line. The question is, can it fire the economy to that degree? Well, no one can agree, but Krugman isn't "shit-your-pants-insane" for thinking so.

Here's another point Krugman makes that I think is pretty good: Without some inflation, businesses and individuals just sit on tremendous amounts of capital, since that's the safest thing to do. If inflation was higher, you wouldn't see companies sitting on cash reserves billions of dollars thick- they'd be investing that money in economic activity, hopefully job creating activity. Obviously there's such a thing as too much inflation, and we can quibble about where that is. But the conservative position- that 4 or even 5% inflation would mean the apocalypse- neglects the fact that companies are holding on to their cash right now, and that hurts growth.

And for what it's worth, austerity can and does hurt the economy in all kinds of ways. Maybe it also helps in some ways, but here's the thing(s): public healthcare saves money, via preventative care, so long as the poor won't be left to die otherwise. Police forces save money (if they're working right) by preventing property damage, theft, and ensuring the safety of those engaged in commerce. Coherent public education strategies create money by preparing the workforce to be productive. Cutting these programs *costs* money, and it may cost more than it saves.

If you disagree with me and you want to counter-argue, that's great. I only ask that you recognize I'm not "shit-your-pants insane" or "beyond help" to think any of these things.

Comment Re:I vividly remember (Score 1) 744

It's weird that you chose to a link to a site which argues exactly the opposite of what you're claiming: even when some scientists predicted cooling, six times as many predicted warming.
It's strange how more and more, the "skeptics" are leading me to information that validates AGW theory! Just the other day, some particularly rabid commenters on the conservative blogs convinced me that the "97% consensus" number was totally unfounded and lacked a source. Since I'm the kind of *legitimate* skeptic to whom all claims are suspect but worth investigating, I attempted to track down a source myself and within three minutes had two published papers showing 97% agreement among the scientific community on AGW.

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