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Comment Re:He only took away the sit-down money (Score 1) 344

You're right, very early on the climate was very pro-nuclear, and I should have said 30-40 years instead of 50. But when it swung the other way, it swung HARD - my statement wasn't hyperbole, most plants in that period were literally stalled out of existence by anti-nuclear groups.

I wasn't saying that there are no real concerns for safety or non-proliferation or waste disposal - I'm saying that they were so overblown by the environmentalist fringe that the projects were stopped completely due to legal hassles, and that is true.

Constantly changing regulations had something to do with it, too - these things take 10+ years to build even without opposition stall tactics, and by that time the regulations would be so completely different that the plant would require several years of modifications to be brought online. Regulations have stabilized somewhat since then, which makes building new plants or finishing abandoned ones a much more attractive prospect.

Comment Re:He only took away the sit-down money (Score 3, Insightful) 344

"Succeed on its own merits..." Boy, that's a laugh.

The US nuclear industry has lagged behind because for the past 50 years, the regulatory and political environment allowed anti-nuclear activists to delay the completion of plants indefinitely. You can't make a profit from a power plant without actually producing power; the anti-nuclear groups simply stalled the completion of plants until the companies gave up on the existing projects and walked away. Nobody tried to start new projects because they weren't willing to risk $10 billion on what might amount to a really ugly paperweight.

The nuclear industry never had a chance to succeed on its own merits. If they halted after they lost the taxpayer handout, it was because that was the only thing left letting them make a profit.

Comment Re:health insurance is like auto insurance now (Score 1) 2424

They had in mind a country where everyone is free, not equal. There's a difference.

That depends on how you define "equal." You're right, the founding fathers didn't want equality of outcome. But they DID want equality of opportunity - which is a necessary component of true freedom.

Healthcare, internet, and basic food and shelter fall under the former, not the latter. You can't work your way out of poverty or reach your full potential if you're dying of cancer, or unable to pay your medical bills, or unable to feed yourself and your family; and without decent internet access your education and available opportunities both suffer, especially when you consider the impact on nearby business.

In today's society, a man who needs health coverage and can't get it is a man that's being denied the American dream. I can't believe that the founding fathers wouldn't have something to say about that.

Comment Talk to the engineering students. (Score 1) 835

I'm in the CE program at the University of Michigan, and our engineering department is huge on Linux. All Windows PC's in the engineering computer labs dual-boot into Red Hat. All the programming courses use the GNU compiler package as the reference compiler. Most of the software the engineering classes use is Linux-based - they even provide a VNC client so you can do your work without a Linux computer or having to go to the lab. (As an aside - most of the engineering labs also have some Macs, and a few have Solaris machines for certain special-purpose software.) The department is structured so that it's essentially impossible to graduate without being semi-competent in Linux.

The LS&A college (Literature, Sciences, and the Arts - the "standard" college that most people apply to) has its own separate IT department, and they're much more Windows and Mac-oriented (very Mac-heavy in the math department for some reason). Even they support Linux, though - I've run a dual-boot on my dorm computer for awhile now, and I've never had any problems using Linux to access University resources. It's not really used as a teaching platform for them as far as I know, and I'm sure a lot of the general tour guides would have no idea what to tell you if you asked, but most of the ones doing the North Campus tours (i.e. the engineers) probably know more about Linux than you, me, or your daughter.

I don't know what your daughter is intending to study, but I would imagine a lot of schools delineate things the same way - Windows for the regular school, Linux for the engineers. If Linux use is a big deal I recommend you talk to the engineering department to get some straight answers. And if that's the platform she's most comfortable working with, I recommend looking toward an engineering major as well.

Also, Go Blue. (obligatory)

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