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Comment That Walmart Bit... (Score 1) 940

I would say that Walmart is subsidizing the welfare system more than the other way around. People that are on welfare and work at Walmart wouldn't have any job, most likely, if Walmart didn't exist. After all, who actually has the scale that allows the formation of a job of a greeter that waves when you walk in. Only a big store can do that and carry a profit. Speaking of which, Walmart actually doesn't make a great profit margin. It just has lots of big stores.

Comment I vote for Gridlock! (Score 1) 819

The very thing needed for a democracy to genuinely work at a national level is for people to be of one mind. That is obviously not the case in the United States and hasn't been since, well, ever. Even the American Revolution was driven by the minority of the population, as was, quite frankly, the Civil War. Today, the country is pretty sharply polarized, and no group really trusts each other and nor should they. We have liberals and other statists (including neoconservatives), evangelicals, libertarians, anarchists, all of them who have an idealized life that is completely different. Add to the mix of wide political outlooks that include continual race and gender based politics and political argument, and you've basically a country that can't help but be in a continual state of gridlock.

My ideal case is to deconstruct anything about the government. I resent that the courts have so much power over my family that they have soured my ability to trust any kind of governmental power whatsoever and my only answer is to vote to shut it down. This libertarian idea is impossible to reach, so the best bet is to let the powers that be bash each other, so, I always vote for divided government. Shut it all down, I say, at the Federal Level, then break up the states next!

Comment Calibration matters? (Score 1) 425

Well let's say there's some degree of error between the calorie in general and the calorie for you. I would think that, it's some multiplier, and that, you should be able to adjust it by monitoring your diet and the consistency with what you eat. Like, if you gain 1 lb a week, and eat 10000 calories during that time, then regardless of what the measure is, you need to either adjust your intake down, or increase your burn rate, or both. I hate to be barbaric about it, but you never see fat people in gulags and concentration camps. Sooner or later, calories DO matter.

Comment Strawman! (Score 1) 130

AS opposed to what? Having an article written about in a science journal about another planet that no one cares about, just to dick measure? Let's face it, there's not much in space exploration at this moment that is anything more than pure entertainment, machine or non-machine. Getting an exact date on the end of the universe isn't going to change anything, and in any case, even if the universe did end, there's not a damn thing we can do about it anyway. So in essence, you argument of sending machines to gather content for your entertainment is no more valid than someone who wants people on the red planet. But, if we keep sending people out there, we will figure out a way to do it less expensively, and there's plenty of people that would go, simply because the earth is too big of a pain in the rear for them.

Comment With someone else's money (Score 1) 215

The whole thing about the left, is that they say they are nice because they want to spend someone else's money to do what they want. If they got up and did whatever they wanted to do, on their own, they wouldn't need government. But nope, they want to take everyone else's money to build their wonder society because their own society is too useless to build anything for itself. It's like a cancer, consuming everything in the body of the nation.

Comment Re: invalid data (Score 1) 337

Strasser was one of the guys purged from the party.

From Wikipedia:

In what became known as the Night of the Long Knives, selected men of the Schutzstaffel ("Protection Squadron"; SS) arrested and eventually killed at least 85 people from 30 June to 2 July 1934.[20] Among these were Strasser, who had been included in the purge on Hitler's order.[9][20] He was shot once in his main artery from behind in his cell, but did not die immediately. On the orders of SS general Reinhard Heydrich, Strasser was left to bleed to death which took almost an hour.[21] His brother Otto, who had left the NSDAP in July 1930, managed to avoid the Nazi purge and survived World War II.[22][23]

Comment Flexibility is a feature (Score 1) 904

Electric car advocates continually make the flawed argument that because an electric car can have a daily range of 200 miles or so, it can replace the gasoline car for most users. This isn't true at all. People pay for gas cars not just to be commuter appliances, but to have transportation flexibility. Flexibility matters to a lot of people, even if they don't use it, it matters. It's nice to know that if I wanted to, I could drive my gas car the 790 miles to my in-laws house, or 200 miles to my brothers, or 500 miles to my aunts and uncles. It my cheaper for me to take a plane to go by myself, but, add a wife and a couple of kids, then my transportation cost for each trip is about $100-$150 in fuel and my time in driving.

So, with that in mind, I think the real tipping point for electric vehicles will be total operating time on a charge. That means, I want to be reasonably able to drive 10-12 hours on a long road trip with perhaps an hour time for charging. Once that happens, then electric cars will take over for everyone.

With that said, in a married family, having two vehicles, one for road trips, an SUV, and a daily commuter that is electric, makes a great deal of sense. But most families are going to have that "one" vehicle.

Comment Automate Science (Score 1) 613

The simple answer is, who cares? Why should we be trusting science to a bunch of arrogant people that cost too much, live to short, and have such an inefficient method of programming anyway? Science itself is something that should be automated, to create a world where everyone gets to know exactly how to do whatever they want to do, without all the whiny political bs about it? Wah, women can whine about being unemployed just as much as automated men increasingly are.

Comment It's about results (Score 1) 320

I think it is laughable, when viewed against the net of human history, to say that there is a problem with science. The world is increasingly wealthy overall. However, there is a problem in complexity. There is a misunderstanding even among scientists about the fundamental mathematical underpinnings of information. The butterfly effect and the P=NP problem essentially say that, as far as math goes, we don't know what initial dependency might have some severe effect downstream, and that, if there are too many variables, we can't do much anyway.

Yet, politicians of certain political stripes and some scientists themselves are enamored of the idea that we should have "science based" policy making. Policy making is about masses of people, and too many variables. Thus, even though science can say, "these people are less meat based upon and were be better off", science cannot say "everyone will be better off if we eat less meat so let's make it a law". Indeed, there's a baked in butterfly effect that says any public policy has winners and losers. When we make laws that say, 90% of the people will be better off, well, those 10% are going to be irritated. At some point, as a civilization wanders through its history, it accumulates more and more of those people that were screwed by the law. People being what they are, they don't care about how they might have benefited through being in the 90% groups, but how they were in the 10%. If new science proves that the people in the 10% were actually -right-, then, it only makes matters worse.

From a government perspective, we've actually picked the worst things to apply science to. In most people's lives, it is their diet that matters most and the science underpinning FDA recommendations and recommendations from other food authorities has been fabulously and publicly wrong. Many Americans have grown up hearing that first, butter was bad, then, butter was good, then, corn syrup was better than sugar, then sugar is better. First, its clogging of the arteries caused by cholesterol caused by diet, then, just as every middle aged american devours statins, we find out it is a combination of stress and lifestyle. It doesn't help that the public lumps doctors in with scientists - to them, scientists just means "smart people", and they see doctors screw up enough that every family has the story of the loved one that doctors wronged.

The mistrust of the medical establishment when it comes to diet is epidemic and bipartisan. There's plenty of both tree hugging liberals and gun toting conservatives reading about various health food supplement and other weird nonsense about diet and health and even medicine on the internet. The FDA and the food industry alike are seen as corrupt in the minds of both conservatives and liberals is telling. Granted, they filter that corruption into their own political worldview, but that they don't trust these institutions at all suggests a real problem.

From there, it is easy to see, that if the public doesn't believe any of the science about the thing most common in its life, and the institutions designed to protect that science, then, it is going to be a hard sell for the public to genuinely trust science in anything beyond the latest breakthrough to make their consumer products better.

Comment I'd take the Samsung check (Score 1) 192

So a well funded player rolls out a new camera missing a feature its established and highly regarded competitors have, and a web site gives them a great review. Dang, why didn't I have that domain name! I should write bad reviews of the new Samsung and wait for the next model and ask for a reviewers copy. I ought to get some spending cash then!

Comment So what (Score 1) 160

I think that could, in the modern American political discourse, be the refrain. Have a look at a map. Generally speaking, urban areas vote blue and in favor of some sort of a national vision, whereas rural areas consistently lap up a steady diet of misinformation that says they are supporting the cities when every outlay from the state capitals to even the federal government suggests the opposite is true. The rural areas say they hate government and redistribution of wealth - fine - then let them do without the wealth redistributed to them and maybe cities, unshackled by them, can begin to turn their own finances around.

Comment Enough of the anti-city agenda (Score 5, Insightful) 160

Laws prohibiting municipal broadband are entirely anti-city. In a country where politics is such that cities are routinely decried (while ironically states redistribute their tax revenues to rural areas and suburbs), I think it is time to frame broadband rights as a freedom from government for cities.

Cities should be allowed to be more independent from the states that hold them. They should not be stripped of the competitive advantages that localized economies of scale provide. They should be allowed to offer their own utilities, to toll the interstates that cut through them, and they shouldn't have to pay a gasoline tax that largely serves rural interests, and above all, part of that independence should be to allow them to offer broadband.

Comment There's no such thing as externalities. (Score 1) 441

You invent externalities as if there is some kind of mandate that "Society has to bear the solution to some problem." Here's the reality. I absolutely do not. You can't argue in generalized terms about the affairs of humans in a digital age where everyone is perfectly capable of understanding their economic interests. If I live on a big hill, I don't have to care if your beachfront sinks. If it is cheaper for me to burn coal to heat with, I'm going to burn coal. It's that simple. Raising the taxes on my energy is really, to me, you screwing up my life so that you can have your fancy beachfront house. It's equally not fair, either way, and there's not so much as the notion of external costs as it is you are looking to raise a rent on the poor to preserve your beach property and fancy solar sailboats while the rest of us try and buy bread. We don't need you. We don't need your coasts. There's too many people already, as your side is fond of saying!

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