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Comment Re:Editorializing... (Score 1) 408

I don't think the percentage of cars in accidents is really that helpful without knowing more about average drive time and conditions. According to the numbers I found, there are around 200 million drivers in the US and those drivers are involved in 10 million accidents a year. That's 5% of the population roughly who are involved in accidents a year, which is half the automated cars. However, you have to bear in mind that the average driver in the US drives only 13,000 miles a year which really isn't that much. Its hard to say how many miles the automated cars have logged during the period mentioned in the article after the expansion in California, but back in April 2014 they had already logged 700,000 miles, and that was before the expansion of the driverless fleet. Its hard to nail down exact numbers, but I would imagine that these cars are racking up significantly more miles then the 13,000 a year average of regular drivers, which makes the 10% less meaningful since more drive time would increase the likelihood of an accident.

Comment Re:Big Data (Score 5, Informative) 439

Battleships became obsolete beginning in World War 2. During that war the US Navy moved away from focusing their fleets around the big battleships and instead focused on building their carrier fleet supported by smaller destroyers. Aircraft carriers make battleships obsolete because a carrier can destroy a battleship long before the Battleship could fire a shot at the aircraft carrier. One of the big battleships could fire nine 2,100 pound armor piercing shells every minute at a range of 19 miles. A plane could drop a 2000 pound bomb on a battleship from a range of a hundred miles. Not only that, but planes were cheap and could be quickly replaced, but replacing a battleship was expensive and time consuming. Part of the reason the US had some early stunning victories during WW2, despite Japan being more prepared for war and having one of the most powerful Battleship fleets in the word was the the Japanese were often still fighting using battleship tactics used in the previous wars while the United States was forced to use carrier tactics because their battleship fleet was gutted at Pearl Harbor. All the advantages that battleships had, namely a larger platform for heavier armor and massive guns, have all been negated by the introduction of air power and better munitions. That is even more true today with the guided missiles and more powerful aircraft.

Comment Re:Makes perfect sense. (Score 1) 376

If they were banning them for privacy, then they wouldn't allow them before the movie starts. The fact that they're only not allowed once the lights dim means the theater owners don't care about privacy at all; after all in the dark the glasses wouldn't be able to see much of the audience at all.

Comment Re:Grammar (Score 1) 107

Both are correct, although s' seems favored over s's, either one can be used and be considered correct. This particular rule is one that is of style, not grammar, which might be surprising. The only rule suggested in style manuals is that you remain consistent and stick with one or the other in whatever you're writing.

Comment Re:The bigotry of the political correctness crowd. (Score 1) 107

Your logic eats itself. But thanks for trying. I love the bigots screaming "You have to be tolerant of my bigotry!" Fortunately for you, we are. We allow you to express your opinion (which the Russian law does not). But don't for a second think that grants you immunity from criticism. Don't for a moment think you are above being called on your twisted logic. It's because bullies depend on being the loudest and angriest to get people to cower, and all this "you have to be tolerant of my intolerance!" is just one step removed from a bully crying about the unfairness of someone finally standing up to them. Because ultimately your position is untenable. So you construct straw men like the conspiracy of "PC Police" that are attacking you. It's easier than actually having to state your position, because ultimately your position is so sad and terrible it does not hold up in the light. Instead it's easier to play the victim.

Comment Re:Hyperbole (Score 3, Insightful) 107

You don't "necessarily support" this law? So you're not willing to defend it, but you're upset people are coming out against it? The problem is that they define "propaganda" as broadly as possible, to the point where even talking about homosexuality in a non-negative light is criminalized. Gatherings of gay groups is also criminalized (and not just parades, this includes political groups), whether a minor is present or not. In fact the law is worded in such a way that it doesn't really matter if a minor is present, although that's the reason d'etre proponents have claimed. It has nothing to do with minors and is simply a cheap way to inflame prejudice and cover their ass. "We're just doing it to protect the children!" It's nothing more than bigotry and homophobia, where lawmakers are increasingly using it as a scape-goat to distract the Russian people from the widespread corruption that sickens the country at every level. And saying "At least they aren't shooting people!" isn't the greatest defense. This is only the beginning of a slew of laws already proposed by Russian lawmakers which have gone so far as to say that gay people should undergo forced medical treatment to undo their homosexuality or even be exiled. And under the law as it stands, while Russian citizens are only required to pay a fine, foreigners can be imprisoned two weeks for speaking out (in addition to be fined and then removed from the country).

Comment Re: Absolutely the case (Score 3, Informative) 369

There wasn't much outrage in May because there was no evidence that the rebels used nerve gas in May. There was accusations made by Carla Del Ponte who was a member of an inquiry team for the UN who once made a name for herself prosecuting the Mafia. She claimed that it was the rebels trying to make it look like it was the Syrian government... However that wasn't backed up by any concrete evidence, and her colleagues disagreed (mostly again, pointing out that there was no evidence). The biggest question mark is of course where the rebels would have gotten the nerve gas. But probably the main reason most people ignored it? The source. Carla Del Ponte has a long history of making up allegations that later prove to be false. In 2005 she accused the Vatican of sheltering Croatian war criminals. She accused NATO pilots of war crimes in Kosovo before quickly recanting. And finally she published a book about Albanian doctors butchering Serbian prisoners and selling their organs, allegations that eventually led her to prosecute. All the accused have since been acquitted as Del Ponte was unable to satisfy any sort of burden of proof.

Comment Re: Something It Isn't (Score 4, Informative) 775

Except, no, that isn't the case, at least not in the United States. Neither is it in the case in Canada nor the United Kingdom. You have no expectation of privacy when you're in public, and unless someone tries to resell the image as part of stock photography or something you cannot stop them. You do have an expectation of privacy in a restroom, but no court is going to say you have an expectation of privacy walking in a park. And if a policeman did take my camera and destroy it, I would have action against that police officer. That is absolutely not legal and neither does a police officer have any right to make you stop taking pictures in public. There are exceptions, like military bases, federal buildings, or many private owned areas (like a football stadium), but for the most part you can take as many pictures of whoever you want in public areas and it does not violate the law.

Comment Re:Yay! (Score 1) 160

Well, you're partially correct. The American Colonies did receive prisoners as well. However it's estimated that the American colonies received 50,000 convicts from 1718 to 1776, whereas Australia received an estimated 165,000 convicts, so more were sent to Australia. Australia may have more of a reputation because there were colonies set up specifically for penal purposes, however the convict population of Australia was still dwarfed by regular immigration and settlement in the free colonies of Australia. Also, your assertion that the "worst" convicts were sent to the American Colonies simply has no historical merit. Most of the convicts sent to the colonies were done so over petty violations of the law, many of which are no longer illegal or now would be classified as a misdemeanor. This includes things like stealing food, being in debt, cutting down trees or killing rabbits on land that didn't belong to you. Criminals accused of serious crimes were simply executed, not sent to the colonies. In fact during this time execution was so common for most crimes that the laws of this period were nicknamed the "Bloody Code." Even relatively minor crimes against property were subject to execution. Sending prisoners to the Colonies was seen as a humane alternative to the draconian legal system of the time. However those who were convicted of serious crimes such as murder were not sent to either penal colony.

Comment Re:Which programs? (Score 1) 720

In the last twenty years there has been a massive realignment of military bases from overseas to stateside. Some 350 installations overseas have been closed since the end of the Cold War, including some major base closures in the Philippines and across Germany. In that time with all that relocation, not a penny was saved. While all these bases have been moved back to the states, the military budget has increased from around 400 billion dollars a year in 1992 to 600 billion dollars a year right now. That does not count additional funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While it seems to make sense that repositioning the military back in the states would save money, there is no evidence that it does. For one, the cost of stationing soldiers overseas isn't significantly higher then stationing them overseas. In fact some nations have historically PAID us to be in their country, including Japan, which you mention has quite a few bases. Secondly positioning more soldiers in the states makes doing their job more difficult and more expensive by forcing soldiers to travel further and be in less optimal position to respond when called upon. Strategically there's a reason why we need bases spread out in other places outside the US if we want to maintain the ability to respond to crisis around the world. The first is resupply and refueling. Ships need ports of harbor, planes need refueling. One of the reason the US maintains a presence in Spain, for instance, is because it provides a harbor at the entrance of the Mediterranean and additionally a place for planes to resupply and refuel. Spain allows the US to fly its planes through it's airspace without first getting permission. So if we need to get all of our troops massed in the states (as they are more and more) out of the states to some hotspot, then that flight from South Carolina to northern Africa is going to need a place to stop and refuel and a country willing to let them through. Having existing arrangements with governments and existing facilities to handle that is important. Also troops stationed in Italy or Germany can more quickly be deployed to the Middle East then troops stationed in Kansas. Finally many more bases are located in more prosperous nations like Germany or Japan because it is easier on the families and the servicemembers who have to relocate there. While the morale of our troops might not seem all that important from a fiscal standpoint, it encourages skilled servicemembers to stay in the military and increases the overall effectiveness of those servicemembers. For instance when Reagan took office he actually cut military spending from the level it was at under Carter, but put more emphasis on quality of living, increasing the effectiveness of our military that was suffering at the end of Vietnam.

Comment Re:non-issue (ha, pun!) (Score 1) 299

Well I think the artists and writers of the comic would argue that what they produce is not pornography, and while you can pretend that the other issues were simply overlooked, that's a little hard to believe considering the amount of attention this is now getting and how quickly issue 12 was banned (before it was even released). The other issues have not been removed, and believe me the sex is not hidden away; one of the issues opens with an extremely graphic sex scene. I don't have any apple bigotry, I don't care one way or another. And Apple may finally be coming around to supporting gay marriage now that the winds have changed. The fact remains that they classify gay sex in a comic book as pornography and do not classify heterosexual sex in a comic book as pornography. You can claim it is an oversight all you want, but I think most people find that very hard to believe. If it was an oversight, why has Apple not removed the other issues before this one as well, since those depictions of sex were, as I mentioned, far more extensive and explicit? If they wish to act consistently, then they either have to take every issue off their market or return issue 12.

Comment Re:non-issue (ha, pun!) (Score 5, Informative) 299

The issue is that Apple didn't have any problems with the extensive heterosexual sex in previous issues which on the whole were more graphic and more extensive. They also had no problem with depictions of drug use and child prostitution, all things that have been depicted in the comic previously. It wasn't until it depicted a man receiving oral stimulation from another man that they decided it was "inappropriate."

Comment Two reasons this is bad (Score 3, Interesting) 457

First of all, this isn't introducing "market forces," this is government trying to control the market. Government has proven that it is terrible at predicting the direction the market will be going in the future. It's one of the fundamental flaws of communism. Government is simply not nimble enough to respond to market forces that can easily change on a dime. Do you think that the people pushing this bill know that journalism degree holders between the age 22 and 26 have a lower unemployment rate then mechanical engineers in the same age group? It's 7.7% to 8.6%. But a law like this would attempt to steer students away from journalism and into the mechanical engineer profession without any idea of the data because a bill like this is all about encouraging the STEM fields. Whether they need it or not. The second thing is that government and elected officials, who would be making these decisions, are susceptible to "influence" by lobbying groups backed by companies who may not have the best interest of the upcoming student at heart. If you're a company that can convince schools to flood the market with engineers, for instance, then you are able to leverage lower wages for those engineers because their skill set becomes less unique in the marketplace. The net result being an influx of engineers who are more likely to be unemployed and who make less because companies can afford to pay them less.

Comment Re:Ha, you threaten teacher jobs and see what happ (Score 1) 570

I'm sorry, which part is a lie? I never said their pay was poor, just that comparing it to national or state averages is a bad measure. Nothing I said was factually incorrect. Median income that doesn't take into account education level and is comparing apples and oranges. It would be like saying that doctors are overpaid because they are paid four to five times what the local janitor makes. Pay does not exist in a vacuum, it is based on value and training. The average doctor makes 146,000 a year compared to a national average income of 50,000. Of course that's meaningless because to become a doctor it requires a higher level of education then most other jobs. We have no problem taking that into consideration, but when teacher salaries are considered anything above average is considered being overpaid. This is despite teaching requiring a four year degree, despite the job being difficult enough that it's hard to keep people in the profession. Turnover of new teachers is startling high; 46% of new teachers quit within the first five years and go on to other jobs. After that the rate which teachers leave the profession to do something else is at 16.8%. The media likes to attack teachers for having easy jobs. Romney even insinuated teaching wasn't a real job. But my father, who almost thirty years ago left his job as a Petroleum Geologist for Marathon Oil Company to be a teacher because he felt like he could make a bigger difference there, almost quit his first year of teaching. He'll tell you it was the hardest year of his life and he wasn't sure how he survived it. Now he's a great teacher nearing retirement, earning a Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science several years ago. But even he considered leaving the profession because of classroom environments much rougher then he expected and lack of support from parents and administrators. I don't see anyone claiming that teachers are in poverty. That isn't the issue.

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