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Comment Re:You have more freedom than you think (Score 1) 449

This race is really about how bad a two party system is. Trump and Bernie made massive inroads because neither party is delivering on their promises.

I am so sick of people who fail to understand our two-party system that I want to fucking scream. The small parties that exist in any parlimentary system (labor party, green party, consumer party, religious party, businessman's party, etc,) all exist in our system as well, but because first-past-the-post voting is our system, they all have to band together into the biggest coalition they possibly can in order to have a chance at winning. So the party primaries tend to produce candidates with very broad appeal across their respective side of the spectrum. Thus whoever wins the Presidency has at least 50% of the country supporting them to begin with, as opposed to a parliamentary system where the "winners" try to hash out a coalition post-facto and they pick a chief executive, not the voter. The "winners" have a much narrower segment of the populace behind them - a much smaller mandate - and the Prime Minister pick is the result of politicians doing horse trading, not the will of the people.

The fact that Bernie got so far - and that Trump actually bucked the establishment party entirely, like the Bull Moose before him - just demonstrates the flexibility of the system. The Scary Party Apparatus was unable to stand against him, because they stood against the will of the voters.

You need to learn how it all works, as you gain experience you become qualified for higher and higher end projects.

The entire history of our nation disagrees with you. On average, Presidents win the Presidency about 15 years after their first significant electoral victory. Long-time career politicians, like Senators, do not win the Presidency very often at all. (Obama didn't even serve a full term as a Senator before running for the top job.) That's because people don't vote for candidates with too much baggage; and career politicians have traded too many horses and used cars to be very convincing when they claim to have strong principles on this or that. The people who tend to win the Presidency tend to be powerful personalities with clear-cut agendas - and they are not, as a rule, career politicians.

This is by design. See Federalist Paper No. 70, specifically the concept of "energy in the executive." Congress is the domain of the deal-making career politician; where compromise rules and change is implemented very gradually. The executive branch was intended by the Founding Fathers to be a fire under Congress's ass; for the office - and the holder of that office - to provide the impetus and energy that Congress, by design, cannot have.

The President is not a god damned Prime Minister. They're not some balding bureaucratic asshole picked by other balding bureaucratic assholes. They're a powerful - and individual - expression of the popular will, and that's important considering the incumbency rate of Congress is over 90%. Please, I implore you, and everyone else - do some fucking reading about our god-damned political system before you sit there and spout off more fucking bullshit about how unutterably awful you think our system is. It isn't fucking rocket science. It's all available online. You can buy the Federalist Papers in paperback form for a few bucks off Amazon. You fancy yourself an educated voter? Go get the fucking education.

Comment Re:so is snipping police officers (Score 1) 983

: the steady drift to more militarized law enforcement.

The police could have approached the suspect without fear of injury from his rifle fire if they had what is known as a "SWAT tank;" generally just an armored vehicle, often a modified version of a military Armored Personnel Carrier. They're used to get police into a building or close to a suspect despite them being armed. They could have fired tear gas canisters from the shielded rifle ports in the side of the vehicle, that sort of thing, and not have had to use the bomb on the robot to kill him.

These vehicles are stupidly expensive - unless you buy a military surplus MRAP, which is pretty much the same thing. But then you are "militarizing the police" and demonized for it.

Comment Re:consequences... (Score 3, Informative) 247

I see you didn't click any of the links. For starters, the this one clearly explains that these "drive-bys" are not, in any way, shape or form, mutually exclusive with traditional diplomacy. They're a tool for enhancing traditional diplomacy. This link explains the legal nuances of the freedom of navigation operation in much greater detail, and describes the legal and diplomatic needle the operation was threading. Sailing a single destroyer past an island is hardly a flexing of military muscle. Flexing muscle is when you sail an aircraft carrier battle group through the strait of Taiwan. As for the hacking, please note the lede paragraph of this story:

Chinese state-backed hackers have carried out a string of cyber espionage attacks on U.S. companies, violating a pact signed by the two countries to stop carrying out this kind of activity, according to a cybersecurity company.

The two-way street you suggest has already been attempted, and it has sadly resulted in jack diddly. Attempts to bridge these gaps by inviting China to participate in the major US-and-allies annual pacific naval exercises were similarly undermined by the Chinese sending an uninvited spy ship.

You see, there is no lack of diplomatic effort being made regarding American-Chinese relations - but time and again the Chinese have declined to reign in their aggressive efforts to enrich themselves at the cost of others. It is only natural that the United States has been taking measures to re-assert their commitments; (diplomatic, economic, and defense-wise) to their many regional allies in the face of ever-more-bold Chinese demonstrations of military power and diplomatic hardball.

Comment Re:consequences... (Score 5, Insightful) 247

It is pretty idiotic that our foreign policy and military establishment seem intent on picking periodic fights with China over stupid little things rather than trying to elevate the relationship to become close allies.

Have you been living under a rock for the last several years? The Chinese have been using dredgers to build artificial islands atop coral reefs in the South China Sea, and these islands are now equipped with huge runways for operating military craft from fighters to patrol aircraft to medium bombers; all so they can project firepower over the entire South China Sea. To simply claim the entire Sea right up to the coasts of their regional neighbors as their own is one thing, but China has invested in a massive military build-up to back up their claims with raw force. Many of those nations are our regional allies, especially the Philippines. And if that's not enough, the Chinese have long engaged in hostile cybercrimes against the United States, not only hacking critical military defense information (like the information on the F-35 they stole) but also an ongoing government-ran campaign to steal American commercial trade secrets that mirrors their complete and utter disdain for Western Intellectual Property rights.

And you're going to tell me that America is the one "picking fights" because we dared sail a ship too close to a few of their sand-castles? Freedom of Navigation exercises are run frequently, all over the globe, and are NOT mutually exclusive with traditional diplomacy.

I understand that some people are deeply suspicious or even disdainful of America's role in world politics; but when you try to make out the 800 pound gorilla of Asia - who's busy mugging everyone it can get its hairy paws on - as the poor victim here, you just come across as a moron.

Comment Morpheus called it (Score 3, Interesting) 247

"The need to be observed and understood was once satisfied by God. Now we can implement the same functionality with data-mining algorithms."

"Extreme surveillance hardly inspires reverence. Perhaps fear and obedience, but not reverence."

"God and the gods were apparitions of observation, judgement, and punishment. Other sentiments toward them were secondary."

"No one will ever worship a software entity peering at them through a camera."

"The human organism always worships. First it was the gods, then it was fame (the observation and judgement of others), next it will be the self-aware systems you have built to realize truly omnipresent observation and judgement."

"You underestimate humankind's love of freedom."

"The individual desires judgement. Without that desire, the cohesion of groups is impossible, and so is civilization. The human being created civilization not because of a willingness but because of a need to be assimilated into higher orders of structure and meaning. God was a dream of good government. You will soon have your god, and you will make it with your own hands."

And to provide the counterpoint, a very brief warning from Twitter as to how quickly it can all go wrong.

Comment Re:Might I suggest (Score 1) 101

This is encouraging news - thank you for the information. The FAA is notoriously... unfriendly towards the Common Man, but the issue of commercial drones is very much in the national spotlight, and something much closer to home for the average citizen. Maybe this will affect a significant change in how the FAA deals with the populace.

Comment Re:Might I suggest (Score 1) 101

Not unless you want years in prison: http://www.engadget.com/2016/0... Of course we have plenty of examples in TFA of abuse of drones, and Castle Doctrine lets you kill someone who's invaded your property without permission, but shoot down a $400 dollar toy and they can jail you for years and years for Federal Crimes. Fucking bastards.

Comment ABOUT DAMN TIME (Score 1) 224

Every time I see a "some jackass proposes Mars mission" post on /., I pop in, read the article, and close it in disgust when I see the clown didn't mention NERVA or thermal nuclear rockets. A nine month journey to Mars is simply not possible with our current level of technology - the life support mass alone would be nigh impossible to orbit, from both a technical and financial standpoint. A nuclear thermal rocket (such as the NERVA) offers a specific impulse of 850 or more, at least four times better than most conventional chemical rocket engines can manage. Moreover, it also provides enough raw thrust to perform important time-sensitive maneuvers (such as orbital insertion and circularizing) once it gets there, unlike an ion engine, and scales up to a human-sized craft quite well. A NERVA engine gives you a transit measured in weeks, not months. It's basically a prerequisite for any serious Mars mission - especially in the timeframes being discussed, because it's the only one that's had actual R&D work done on it before and reached the prototype stage.

It is extremely satisfying to be vindicated by NASA itself - clearly, they can add as well as I can, and came to the same conclusion, as evidenced by this exciting news that they are actually continuing development of thermal nuclear propulsion.

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