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Comment Re:What a world.... (Score 1) 266

A free market may well include monopolies and cartels, but in general these are due to the presence of regulations, not their absence. The more heavily regulated the market the higher the barriers to entry and the more prone it becomes to regulatory capture, both of which favor a small number of large, well-established players.

You should decide whether you believe "free market" actually means anything in actual economics. Early on you agree that it is a political term, then continue to pretend it has meaning.

The claim that monopolies are "in general these are due to the presence of regulations" is nonsense. The most famous examples of monopolies and cartels - the Standard Oil Monopoly, the U.S. Steel monopoly and the de Beers cartel had nothing to do with regulation and everything to do with unfettered market power.

Comment Re:U.S. Fires Over 1 Billion Training Rounds a Yea (Score 1) 285

The military already has its own production facilities sufficient to supply any actual war. But they have not expanded them to keep up with the escalating consumption for training, and so have been making large ammo buys from outside sources. This "green" training ammo would be additional production capability for training, having no impact on war readiness.

Comment Re:U.S. Fires Over 1 Billion Training Rounds a Yea (Score 1) 285

Try Googling about this, and you find lots and lots of people actually expressing shock, astonishment, and incredulity. Recently Alt Right sites were pushing the notion that DHS training ammo purchases, again larger than Iraq combat expenditure (not as large as the military purchases), was proof of an Obama plan to impose martial law in the U.S. because it couldn't possibly be needed for training.

So yeah, a lot of people find this shocking.

Comment U.S. Fires Over 1 Billion Training Rounds a Year (Score 5, Informative) 285

Yep. They do. Their annual ammunition buy is currently about 1.8 billion rounds a year, and essentially all of this gets used in training.

How many rounds do they use in actual combat operations? At the height of the Iraq War the U.S. expended only seventy two million rounds a year in combat. How many were they expending in training each year at that time? 1.1 billion rounds! The rate of training ammunition expenditure has since gone up, and is now 1.8 billion rounds. Before 9/11 the military had a less intense training regimen, they only expended 350 million rounds a year, but that was still five times more than the rate of expenditure in Iraq.

People are always astounded (incredulous, really) to learn that ammunition used in war these days is just round-off error in training ammo purchases.

So, yes, not having to clean up one or two billion casings a year would be a big benefit.

Comment Re:Confirmed Existence? (Score 2) 162

Someone recently did revise estimates of the number of galaxies by an order of magnitude.

No, they didn't. You cannot read the popular summary written by someone who did not read the actual paper to understand what the finding was. What they found was ten times more galaxies that had been seen to date in the early Universe, due to the limitations of the data collection methods used thus far, but this matches the expected value that is predicted by current theoretical models!

The number of galaxies in the Universe declines with time, as their average mass increases due to processes of galactic coalescence. This paper detected the galaxy density at an earlier time than hitherto been observed, but this closely matches the expected value predicted for example by the theoretical model cited in the paper (Torrey, P., et al. 2015, MNRAS, 454, 2770).

So instead of "revising estimates" it instead confirmed predictions an almost diametrically opposite result.

Comment Re:Seriously... (Score 2) 102

I would normally agree, but if they fire you and then send out an email to everyone telling you how bad you were (and you feel that that's a lie), then that's crossing the line. The industry is pretty small, you're bound to run into many of those people again in later jobs, and the bad reputation of you they are creating can have a real impact down the road.

Quite true. Smearing your professional reputation is actual damages. But also realize that personnel matters are legally confidential and sending out an at-large critique of the employee is a clear violation of employment law. Your employment file is not a black-mail dossier for the company to use as it sees fit. There should be heavy penalties for this, on top of considerable actual damages. Only a hit that noticeably dents the bottom line of a corporation will get its attention.

Comment Re:Seeking an insane amount of money. (Score 1) 102

At some level, you have to ask if "damages" are the only value of a lawsuit. If there's illegal behavior like this at a massive scale, the words "too big to fail" come to mind. There has to be a fine, even if that fine doesn't go to the plaintiff. Half of their quarterly profit would be nice, except the accountants would Hollywood the shit out of that.

This nails the issue precisely.

You hear a lot of conservative rhetoric about government regulations and enforcers to the effect of "we don't need no stinkin' regulations or regulators, private lawsuits are perfectly capable of controlling corporate behavior". Well, this what private lawsuits to provide a check on corporate behavior looks like. Another private lawsuit option is of course a class action lawsuit, but strangely conservatives have been working hard to make those very difficult to file. Almost as if their talk about torte liability being a check on corporate behavior was pure hypocrisy.

Comment Re:So, wait 5 weeks... (Score 2) 858

Funny how a political cult that proclaims the sanctity of "original intent" is ignorant about the intent of the Electoral College. It is to prevent unwise popular passion from selecting an unfit executive.

From Federalist Paper 68:

It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief. The choice of SEVERAL, to form an intermediate body of electors, will be much less apt to convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements, than the choice of ONE who was himself to be the final object of the public wishes.

Thats right. The Electoral College exists specifically to thwart an "extraordinary or violent movement" that might directly select one unfit person.

If the Electoral College does not do its duty this year, fulfilling the specific reason it was created, then it should be abolished.

Comment Re:This is how you drain the swamp (Score 3, Insightful) 858

Well yeah, philosophically there isn't any really good comeback to nihilism.

How about this (said to a self-proclaimed nihilist): "You are a liar and a hypocrite. If you really thought nothing mattered, you not bother to continue living." Every living self-proclaimed nihilist is a lying hypocrite. The "nihilism" is only selectively deployed against things they don't like (yet again proof of their lying hypocrisy).

Comment Re:Reagan Air Traffic Controllers Strike again.... (Score 5, Informative) 858

How the fuck did this guy get modded up? Trump is NOT his employer. Trump is fucking civilian until he actually takes the office.

And even then he will NOT be their employer (and he will still be a civilian). He does not own the United States or Federal Government. He is temporary management hired by the voters, and lacks unlimited powers, even within the executive branch which he manages. We do not elect gods, or kings, or tyrants (only tyrant-wannabes).

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