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Comment Re:Foolish, foolish (Score 1) 429

> If we want peace with the Muslim world, we need to go home and quit treating them like subjects who are illegally camped on "our" oil supply

Not true. For example, after Gulf War I there was a lot of hostility from the Muslim world when the USA failed to kill Saddam Hussein. At that time the US was considered culpable for "abandoning our allies" and thus justified terrorist revenge.

The problem is that certain non-governmental organizations are acting in an extra-legal manner by using terrorism to achieve goals. If the countries do not want US presence they have every right to expel the US from their soil. Just look at Iraq's recent decision to have all US troops out immediately.

However, if the governing body of a country desires a US presence and a non-governmental organization decides to use violence to oppose that presence then the application of force either by the the governing body or the US on behalf of the governing body is essential to ensure the rule of law. Caving to their demands or ignoring their actions is not an acceptable outcome.

Comment Re:That is no prediction (Score 2, Interesting) 291

> On the gripping hand, what the fuck are we actually doing over there anyway?

We are enforcing Afghanistan's 1941 signing of the Declaration of Universal Right of Man. Hopefully by providing an environment where an alternative to the Taliban can establish power we will provide a lasting buffer against their tyranny.

For those who say it isn't our business to protect the rights of others, that line of thinking was invalidated by WWII and previously in the Civil war.

Comment Re:HEY! Not cool. (Score 1) 566

I'm always surprised when engineering / math types here on Slashdot completely fail to grasp economic concepts because they too are based on mathematics.

Let me reframe the problem in a way that a math person can understand: the economy is a chaotic system. Any attempt to mathematically constrain that system from the top down will simply cause the system to react in a way that foils those constraints in unpredictable ways.

The inability to control the chaotic system will eventually lead to more and more compensating controls until the entire system of controls breaks.

In other words, the economy does not function because of regulations, it functions in spite of regulations.

Comment Re:Sounds like Pre-WW1 Talk (Score 1) 152

In the early 1900's an Italian mathematician named Vilfredo Pareto explained the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few using a mathematical model now named after him. He and a sympathetic politician named Benito Mussolini set out to re-engineer society so that it was more fair and equitable. Similar forces, with equally noble goals transformed Russia and Germany in their own attempts to eliminate the gap between rich and poor.

The rise of warfare and the end of prosperity is the direct result of the rise of competing economic systems. An emergent behavior rooted in jealousy and entitlement will eventually destroy the current round of peace and prosperity as well.

Comment Ordinary Americans Shouldn't be Allowed to Invest (Score 1) 182

Until Americans get much, much better at basic mathematics and risk management in general, it is foolish to allow the average person to invest in a venture capital manner -- and history is a guide as too why.

During the years 2000 - 2007 millions upon millions of Americans took out first, second, and third mortgages to invest in real estate -- a tangible product that historically is a good investment. They all signed loan documents containing something called "The Truth in Lending Act" disclosure that says in very clear, very understandable terms "You are being loaned money at 1-2%. Your interest rate can eventually increase to 7-8%. This loan may cost you WAY more than you can ever afford to repay." Everyone who signed a loan document during those years saw that document, saw the possibility that they could get screwed, and said "I'm going to get rich".

When the bottom of the market fell out people didn't blame themselves for ignoring the Truth in Lending Act disclosure. They didn't blame themselves for ignoring the mathematics behind interest rates and monthly payments. They didn't blame themselves for not having money management skills and avoiding overextending themselves. Instead they blamed the bankers and society in general. Way easier.

If the average person is allowed to invest in venture capital schemes then a lot of them are going to lose their asses because most businesses don't work out. Until we live in a society where it is no longer OK to say things like "I just don't understand math" then it is not OK to allow those same people to risk their savings on long shot gambles. Because, as we have already seen, society will inevitably have to bail those same people out when things go bad.

Comment Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (Score 1) 602

Looks to me like the graph says > 40% of the GDP is spent by the government. Again, how much do you want to be spent on socialized programs, 100%?

What's the difference between military spending and welfare? At least military spending supports engineers, scientists, and people working for a living. Welfare money may as well be thrown down the drain.

Comment Re:US doesn't mandate disclosure (Score 1) 288

You are not understanding my replies if you think that I have no objections to your details. As I have said over and over again: you don't provide any real solutions, you ignore basic economics, and your ideas are not grounded in reality.

If a crop can be selectively breed to have a certain trait, can it also be genetically modified to have that trait?

Are you proposing that Africans clear more land for planting? Why not just use GMO crops on the same amount of land?

Selectively breed crops cannot survive in the wild. They do not contribute to biodiversity. GMO crops can be adapted much quicker to changing conditions like pesticide resistance.

Non-GMO crops require more pesticides and herbicides, pollute the ground water more, require more land to be cleared for growing area, and do not contribute to biodiversity.

Comment Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (Score 1) 602

True socialist states are states like Greece, Ireland, Portugal, France, Italy, and Spain -- all countries that are currently or will soon be embroiled in a debt crisis. Why would you advocate the same policies for the US?

BRIC countries do not owe their growth to socialist policies. Quite the opposite -- each has enjoyed significant growth because of less government involvement over the last few decades.

Comment Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (Score 1) 602

And I think we can surmize, given the US's current level of social-capitalist involvement, as compared to the rest of the modern world (G7 and BRIC), that we are not anywhere remotely close to the excessively socialist side.

The US government spends over 40% of the GDP each year on an increasingly upward trend:

At what point (75%, 85%, 100%) would you say the US government is "socialist enough". Keep in mind that at its peak the USSR only directed 45% of their command economy.

Comment Re:US doesn't mandate disclosure (Score 1) 288

You are personally attacking me. I have refrained from attacking you personally even though I find your opinions very naive.

You say things like "distribution is the problem". As though building more roads will suddenly feed people. Wrong.

You ignore basic economics: supply and demand. The amount of food grown in Europe (or anywhere) directly affects the price of food in Africa.

You ignore basic mathematics. It takes more land to grow organic food than it does to grow food with chemicals. More land means less supply. Less supply means higher prices. Higher prices mean more people in Africa starve. Europe is not an island all to itself.

You don't propose any solutions that are rooted in science, engineering, or economics. You simply point to articles written by people who are trying to manipulate public opinion for their own greedy goals.

You seem to know nothing about genetic engineering. It is many times faster to engineer a plant than it is to selectively breed a plant.

Comment Re:US doesn't mandate disclosure (Score 1) 288

There is no need to attack me as person -- I disagree with your point of view but I do not lower myself to insulting your person -- please grant me the same courtesy.

If you could point to any sort of scientific references I could most easily be swayed.

GMO has no disadvantage compared to selectively breed crops. The anti-GMO community is motivated by greed: they want to protect European farmers from lower priced imports. The anti-GMO community does not care about feeding the poor in Africa or India, they would rather see those people starve than to see a European farmer put out of business.

GMO food requires less pesticide and herbicide to grow. GMO crops can be more quickly adapted to insects and herbicide resilience because the genes can be targeted directly. Poor people will benefit from GMO food by 1) reducing the amount of fertilizer and pesticide they have to buy 2) increasing the amount of food they can grow on their land and 3) lowering the cost of the food they buy.

Organic farming is a selfish, inefficient abomination. By abandoning modern farming techniques organic farmers directly starve the poor. Those who eat organic food do so out of pure selfishness and disregard for the less advantaged.

Comment Re:US doesn't mandate disclosure (Score 1) 288

First, GMO requires less pesticide and herbicide than non-GMO crops. Your statements about water pollution and Roundup are wrong.

Secondly, genetic modification works faster than selective breeding. GMO crops can be adapted to resistance more quickly than selective breeding.

Third, there are starving people in the world because there is not enough cheap food. GMO is the only way to grow more food on the same amount of land WITHOUT more pesticides and herbicides.

What is your solution to world hunger without GMO?

Comment Re:US doesn't mandate disclosure (Score 1) 288

I read your responses, but they fail to answer my basic questions. I am thinking it is because English is not your native language. This is why I have simplified the question:

How do you propose to grow more food without GMO? (Feel free to pick one)

a) Do not grow more food and continue to allow people to starve to death
b) Clear more forested land to plant more crops
c) Use more fertilizer and pesticides to increase crop yields.
d) ?????

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