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Comment Re:Major /. faux pas (Score 1) 55

"noise during takeoffs and landings"? I've been on plenty of airplane flights, from a Cessna up to a 747, and on none of them have I ever noticed noise from flaps. I don't get the whole fuel-savings bit, either. That's kinda the point of flaps--increase lift at lower speeds, with a corresponding increase in drag. When you're landing, your engines are running at reduced power anyway, and when you're taking off, the flaps don't stay extended for very long--just the first few minutes of flight. Now, if you told me they were making wings that could alter the thickness of the airfoil or the length of the wing in-flight, I'd be interested.

Comment Re:what happens when the batters wears out? (Score 1) 398

Do you have any idea how much money you could be saving by doing your own maintenance? Your local auto parts store has frequent sales on oil and filters for $25 for a set. Changing the oil takes a whopping 10 minutes. And unless you're driving 20k miles per year, you certainly don't need to be changing the oil every 3 months. A brake fluid flush *might* take you a couple of hours but requires no special tools (a combination wrench set, a short piece of hose, a jar, and a jack and your lug wrench is all you need). The AC "service" was probably just a matter of topping off the coolant (another 10 minute job). A transmission fluid/filter change is slightly more expensive and time-consuming, but again, no more than an hour.

Comment Re:Good or Bad (Score 1) 715

I think there's a false assumption here--that separating students into different schools based on academic performance is a Bad Thing. On the contrary, such segregation would enable the schools to tailor their teaching to the needs of their respective students. So the higher-performing students aren't held back due to a lower-performing student, and the lower-performing students don't feel lost because the teacher has to trying to teach an arbitrary curriculum at an arbitrary speed.

Comment Re:Yeah, like the present school system is working (Score 1) 715

There is one thing, however, which I don't know how we can fix, at least not from a legislative or policy standpoint, and that is the lack of parental participation.

While I agree with some of your points, I'll take issue with this statement. In my opinion, the lack of parental participation and school/legislative policy have degenerated in a vicious cycle. Schools try to do more to help kids, while discouraging/preventing parental influence on school policy. As a result, parents are less involved, which leads the school to do more, etc.

As for "day long day care" - so true. Look no further than the push for 4k and Head Start, which have repeatedly and consistently failed to produce lasting benefits, while costing taxpayers *billions*. There's no educational justification for it.

Comment Re:Tigerdirect is the victim here (Score 1) 109

What was odd about the Fry's case was that many of the companies that got that business were actually lower-cost suppliers, like ECS. Right after that case broke, Frys stopped doing the really good CPU/Motherboard deals. So customers actually ended up worse off when they caught the guy.

Comment Re:Lousy ideas (Score 1) 1013

Speaking of which, automatic firearms are already banned, unless you go through a rigorous screening process. Nearly all handguns today, and many rifles, are semi-automatic (one trigger pull per shot). It's "semi" because although the gun automatically loads the next round, it will not automatically fire that next round.

Comment Re:Lousy ideas (Score 3, Informative) 1013

It's fairly well understood that the sound of racking (that's the proper term, I believe) a shotgun actually will not scare away an intruder. I wish it did--I'd much rather have the bad guy run away than have to shoot him.
Secondly, if you want a larger spread, you don't get a larger barrel--it's 12gauge (or 40, or whatever) all the way down. You can get barrels with different chokes, which constrict the opening at the end of the barrel to various degrees.

Comment Re:Just another cautionary tale (Score 3, Informative) 164

For perspective, the tax breaks given to oil companies amounts to about $2.4 billion/year (in the form tax breaks which are similar to the same tax breaks that every other industry gets for investing in expansion). Loan guarantees like the one A123 got totalled $90 billion in the "stimulus" bill passed in 2009.

Government sticking its thumb on the scales of the economy is always a bad idea--whether it be bailing out banks or perpetual ethanol subsidies + ethanol mandates + import tariffs.

Comment Re:This isn't a bad thing. (Score 0, Offtopic) 567

I'm afraid the data doesn't match up with your perceptions. The rich already pay a higher effective tax rate than those in lower income brackets on average (about 24%), while the bottom 50% pay an average of less than 2%. Yes, by all means, let's let the wealthy pay their proportionate share of taxes, by reducing their tax rates!

Comment Re:If you are young(ish), save for yourself (Score 1) 567

The current projections are for the Social Security Trust Fund to be depleted around 2037, last I checked. At that point, assuming the government only pays out what it brings in, benefits will be reduced by about 25%. I would assume with current demographics, the payroll taxes will pay for an ever-shrinking percentage of the original benefits, until the baby boomers die off in significant numbers.

I don't know anybody under the age of 55 who is planning on receiving benefits from SS when they retire.

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