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Comment The Grand Canal (Score 2) 168

That would be extremely uncharacteristic of China. We're talking about a civilization that built an 1100 mile long canal over a period of 1000 years or so. China has been doing long term planning, especially infrastructure planning, for an incredibly long time. That canal project started in the 5th century BC.

Comment Re:Is Stallman THAT obtuse? Is it possible? (Score 1) 510

The production of art is good for society, whether you personally appreciate it or not. Artists need stuff like food and shelter to produce their art. Given that many many great artists are completely unappreciated until after their death, the free market system doesn't really seem like a good way to incentivize the production of art.

Comment Re:Ohhh the irony... (Score 1) 744

Free speech still means being responsible for the words that fall from your lips. If you spew enough hatred for long enough, someone will come take you out for it. It just can't be the gov't according to our constitution, although even the first amendment has an exception for "fighting words." I would consider the sort of venomous hate speech these people are known for to constitute fighting words.

Comment Re:At first I wondered... (Score 1) 527

The point for security is that right now, the major cash crop for gangs and cartels is marijuana. Just like Alcohol and Al Capone during prohibition, they had so much money it was hard to fight a war against them. Instead we legalized alcohol and shut them down for tax evasion.

If we legalize marijuana, the black market profit margin goes away, so theres no incentive for them to do it. They lose a huge amount of their income, and as a result have many less resources to fight against law enforcement. Cause -> Effect. You give stoners the option to go to a legal store and buy from a trusted brand instead of deal with some shady dealer, and they will. The black market only exists because the government imposes restrictions on things the public uses, you undo the restriction, you destroy the black market.

Comment R2K not alone in this. (Score 5, Informative) 546

I used to work a different major polling company, and I can assure you R2K is not alone in just making up numbers. Easily 80% of surveys that went through my region were completely falsified, and the remaining 20% rarely matched the demographic they were supposed to be answering for. Survey administrators have quotas, and then get paid extra for additional surveys past that, but there is basically nothing done to verify any of the surveys turned in, and everybody in the company knows it. Don't always trust what you read, especially not statistics.

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