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Comment Re:clearly the truckers are right (Score 5, Informative) 331

The State of Maine states that the Oxford comma should *never* be used in Maine legislation. This means the second(last) item after a comma in a list should be considered a separate item, based on the legislative drafting manual. I don't see how the court could ignore this.

"A. Series. Although authorities on punctuation may differ, when drafting Maine law or
rules, don’t use a comma between the penultimate and the last item of a series.

Do not write:
Trailers, semitrailers, and pole trailers

  Trailers, semitrailers and pole trailers

Be careful if an item in the series is modified. For example:
Trailers, semitrailers and pole trailers of 3,000 pounds gross weight or less
are exempt from the licensing provisions.

Does the 3,000-pound limit apply to trailers and semitrailers or only to pole trailers? If the
limit is not intended to apply to trailers and semitrailers, the provision should read:
Pole trailers of 3,000 pounds gross weight or less, trailers and semitrailers
are exempt from the licensing provisions.

If the limit is intended to apply to all three, the provision should read:
If a trailer, semitrailer or pole trailer has a gross weight of 3,000 pounds or
less, it is not required to be licensed."

Comment Re:The thing to do, here (Score 1) 299

In French, an umlaut indicates that the vowel is to be separately pronounced, as opposed to being pronounced as part of a dipthong (see Noël). In this instance it indicates that the pronunciation is "co-op" as opposed to "coop" as in "chicken coop". That said, an umlaut is not a component of English so who knows why they are using it.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 4, Informative) 238

You've just reinvented hydroelectric power stations ;)

The practical problem to extracting a useful amount of energy from water is that you have to restrict its flow. You'd end up with a giant lake like every other hydroelectric system, except it would flood the city.

There's no getting around the fact that extracting kinetic energy from water makes it slow down. When it slows down it backs up. Its level raises as upstream flow is converted to gravitational potential energy in the form of increased head height while it is "waiting" to flow through the restriction.

If you want to allow the water to flow mostly unimpeded, you could only extract a fraction of a percent of the available kinetic energy.

Comment Re:Almost seems destiny (Score 1) 406

They could just do what they did with quantitative easing...have the Fed buy the debt. US bonds are essentially junk anyway, that's why the Fed alone owns 13% of them; what's another 10%? China has already been divesting itself of US treasuries anyway.

A huge swath of US treasuries are owned by medicare/medicaid and social security, so rising rates would increase their yield.

US debt is a bit of a shell game, as only 27% of it is owned by entities not under control of government.

Not saying any of this is a good thing...

Comment Re:Wrong even if correct (Score 1) 255

If it means anything to economists, the longest period of sustained US deflation (1873 - 1879) was a period of high economic growth (>7%). This in spite of some economists of the time predicting inflation would occur because of the increase in gold supply. There's evidence that the period from 1800 to 1900 experienced an overall deflation of around 50%, while the country's economy expanded immensely. Whether deflation is bad or good depends more on the context and reaction than any mathematical model. That's why I am a contrarian. If most experts say it will be a certain way, it probably won't be.

Comment Re:Wrong even if correct (Score 2) 255

I believe the idea that people stop spending money because of deflation is a logical fallacy. People need food, housing & utilities, healthcare, vehicles & fuel, entertainment etc. These are ongoing needs that need to be serviced in the present. All consumers look at is the price NOW. As we can see from consumer debt levels, people don't consider the future regardless of inflation or deflation.

Technology is an inherently deflationary market (today's money would buy something better tomorrow), and it drives economic growth more than anything.

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