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Comment Big deal (Score 1) 587

An award that purports to be for the "best science fiction that year" and gets voted on by ~6,000 people? Irrelevant. DragonCon has more attendees. GenCon has more attendees. The fact that screechy message fiction has been winning and stories that aren't preachy screeds are on the ballot is causing a meltdown pretty much tells you everything you need to know. Look at some of the messages from the leaders on both sides. Who is doing more labeling of their opponents? I'm not attending. I'm not voting. I wouldn't buy a cup of coffee from Starbucks if the barista was going to preach at me about some fatuous cause. I'm sure as Hell not going to buy a book or go to a movie where I'm going to be hit over the head with a message. No matter what the message is. I'll buy a book or a ticket to a film that tells an entertaining story. End of argument.

Comment Re:Obviously McCain doesn't understand the story (Score 1) 722

And the Wall Street Journal has access to universal truths that allow them to see the only clear path out of this mess? Right. Pull the other one. It's got bells on it. The Wall Street Journal is another status quo organization. It's paid to say things that it's readers want to hear. In fact, I don't think there is a way out of this mess. It's just a question of who can keep the broken machine running a little longer. It has been broken for over 50 years and nobody has bothered to fix it. They've just thrown more grease at it to keep everything lubricated. No overhaul, no replacing broken parts. Party polarization has reached the point where if one party can't have it's way they'd rather see nothing happen than the other guy's vision come true. That is not a working political system. Sorry for the nihilism. Go back to your television. Nothing to see here.

Comment Re:Obviously McCain doesn't understand the story (Score 4, Interesting) 722

Disagree. In Tolkien's narrative the Hobbits were clearly an analog for simple English villagers that he grew up around. They want to live life without the bother of the ambitious and the power hungry. The Tea Party are those same simple folk, transplanted into our modern era, who have reluctantly decided to get involved. A few years back they were being denigrated as the inhabitants of "flyover states". Nobody cared about them and they didn't matter, until they decided to get involved and upset the status quo. Because both parties represent two faces of the same shit mountain. Choosing between Democrat and Republican is like choosing between Saruman and Sauron.

Comment Re:Ban guns (Score 1) 2166

Nice, can't just disagree with my statement, have to add in the personal attack.

Your statement fails because you don't understand the full spectrum of force. Yes, a gun can kill people. It can also be a test of skill in a recreational activity. It can also be used to put meat on the table. It can also be used to signal the start of a race. But the presence of guns in the hands of an armed citizenry has a chilling force on the exercise of power by a government. Once it was demonstrated that an armed citizenry can successfully resist not only the armed forces of a government, but the armed forces of the most powerful empire on the planet, then the concept of authority and power originating with the people was born.

An armed population tells a government that nowhere their armed forces go will truly be safe. A government, no matter how large, cannot guard every bridge and railroad crossing. Not every government official can be well guarded all the time. The citizens always outnumber the authoritarian forces. If the minds of those citizens have been set alight with the fire of freedom from oppression, no force can stand against them.

I don't know. Maybe you went to a school that didn't cover this concept. Pretty easy, considering the degradation of public education. The American Revolution gets glossed over. Maybe you're from a country that doesn't recognize the right of their citizens to keep and bear arms. Maybe you were just sick the day this topic was covered. In any case, you didn't get it. I hope this has been educational for you. But it isn't my job to increase the quality of your shoddy education. Good luck with the whole ignorance thing. I hope it works out for you.

Comment Re:Ban guns (Score 1) 2166

Which translates into .2% per capita. Auto fatalities are far beyond that in the same interval. How do you feel about banning automobiles? I notice that Nationmaster ranks them on raw numbers first, and South Africa ranks highest in numbers of deaths. Do those statistics also include legitimate self defense, criminals killing other criminals and police killing criminals? I really DOES matter how you parse these "statistics".

Comment Re:Ban guns (Score 1) 2166

So, where does a revolver fall in your logic? 8 shot .357 revolver versus a 7 shot 45 caliber semi-automatic pistol. In the case you represent the semi-automatic pistol is an evil assault device useful only for killing people and the revolver is a harmless hunting firearm? Sorry. Your logic fails the reality test. Try again. Also, the "1000 rounds a minute" needs some debunking. The action of the weapons is theoretically capable of that, but the magazine would never allow that rate of fire. You have been getting too many of your "facts" from movies, television and George Soros' talking points.

Comment You want to impress me? (Score 1) 151

Don't send a robot to the moon to explore sites we've already explored. We did that during the Apollo missions. Apollo 12 landed within walking distance of Surveyor 3. Now, if you really want to do a follow up that would impress me go find the Apollo 10 LEM ascent stage that was released to a heliocentric orbit after the mission. It's orbitting aroudn the sun somewhere, the only presumably intact flown LEM ascent stage. All the others impacted on the moon somewhere.

Comment Lies and Propaganda (Score 2, Informative) 644

The Geneva conventions most specifically did not deal with the use of WP. The Geneva conventions dealt with the treatment of combatants and non-combatants. The Hague conventions dealt with the use of arms and munitions. This is like the old lie about shotguns being illegal weapons or the .50 caliber machinegun not being legal for use on people. The shorthand rule is is that if they are legal combatants they are legal targets (until they surrender or are incapacitated). If they are illegal combatants they are legal targets. If they are non-combatants they are not ever legal targets.

The treaty concerning white phosphorus is The Chemical Weapons Convention, which the United States amongst others has not signed. This is not to say that WP is a chemical weapon like mustard gas or phosgene. It's a fragmentary incendiary, more like napalm in a solid state.

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