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Comment Re:USPS (Score 2) 132

First class postage is still under $1 for a letter picked up and delivered door to door, usually in a few days. It's a huge bargain if you ask me.

Of course it is. And it's a huge bargain because the USPS is operating at enormous losses, losing ~$8B per year.

What's UPS going to charge you for a letter? $10? $5?

We don't know because they're not allowed to, unless the letter is "urgent" (overnight or 2-day). I suspect that their prices wouldn't be much higher (if any) than USPS, at least for urban areas. They might even be lower. People who live in more rural areas (like me) would likely pay a bit more, but that seems fair, just part of the cost of rural living.

And then they just drop the letter off at the local post office for delivery to your door usually. Same with FedEx.

That's because it's illegal for them to use mailboxes or to deliver first-class residential mail, thanks to the government-guaranteed USPS monopoly on mail delivery.

Perhaps we could scale back delivery days and save labor costs. Say three days a week to the door and only weekday delivery to P.O. boxes? That would drop about half their labor costs, keep service levels high for those who need it, and perhaps allow the USPS to get back to even instead of loosing money all the time.

That might work. While we're at it we should eliminate the monopoly and allow UPS and FedEx to compete with the USPS on all sorts of shipping, and remove all of the remaining subsidies. Let them all compete head to head on price and convenience, on a level playing field.

Comment Re:Star of David used by Neo Nazis... (Score 1) 366

My position is that anyone can have any opinion they want, and that the significance of that opinion to others depends on whatever level of trust the claimer can command. This puts some people in a de facto privileged position. This can be rational (e.g. privileging an oncologist's opinions on cancer over a layman's) and in other cases not (privileging a fellow mom's opinions about vaccines over an immunologist or toxicologist).

So my point is that you CAN make any of the claims you suggested, but your authority won't carry much weight because you're just a random bloke on the Internet. You would have to make a convincing argument. However even then there are lots of very credible-sounding arguments out there that don't sound credible to someone who has actual knowledge.

The bottom line is knowing the truth of any claim is quite difficult, particularly when it involves jargon. In general the judgment of someone who has spent some time studying an issue is more be trusted than what "stands to reason" in your own judgment. Even so, an expert should still be able to give a coherent defense of his positions.

So in the case of this frog meme, I have no particular reason to doubt ADL; however if it were important to me I would look at the evidence ADL puts forward in justification of their position. I do not necessarily agree with ADL on everything (e.g. on Muslims displaying tokens bearing the Shahada), but they have more than any other group tracked violent extremist groups and their affiliates and therefore are in at least a position to compare and contrast the symbols used. If, however, it were an organization like Kahane Chai, I would feel no particular reason to look into their reasoning because they're a racist group. Life is simply to short to treat a source that is consistently nonsense as if it might be credible.

Comment Re:Star of David used by Neo Nazis... (Score 1) 366

Well, actually technically speaking you're the one begging the question: you haven't established that either you or I enjoy some kind of privileged position in which we get to condemn other people for condemning language they don't like.

So by all means condemn them for calling things "hate speech", it's your right; but it's also their right.

Comment Re:nice video, but the launch seems backwards (Score 1) 195

so far, statistically the 1st re-use (2nd launch) have a 0% probability of surviving into orbit

There is absolutely no data about the probability of a reused SpaceX rocket making it to orbit, because it's never been tried. The one that blew up wasn't a reused rocket, it was new.

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