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AvatarComments by Damon*

On “More on Being a Woman in a Male-dominated Field

I support Professor Dario Maestripieri's position, but it's worse than just not enough hot girls at this conference.

There are simply NOT enough hot "super model" types around anywhere! (With the possible exception of a Victoria's Secret fashion show.

This deficiency simply MUST be corrected!!!!

On “The Cheap-Ass Gourmet – Roast Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Braised Greens

I like to brine but rarely do since I forget to plan that far in advance sometimes. If company is coming, sometimes I'll remember-and I like the chicken both ways: brined and unbrined.

Now, as to stuffing those herbs/garlic under the skin. Kudos. Also, do it at the intersection of the leg to the body and, if you can, around the drumstick. Nothing better than all that flavor swirling around the thigh meat! I use several cloves and several spigs of garlic. Oregano also is good.

On “A Theoretical Case for a Romney Presidency From a Foreign Policy PoV.

I think there needs to be an argument about whether or not our foreign policy should be any form of interventionism. Notice that no candidate is even challenging THAT assumption. Why not, say 100% neutral. That would have the benefit of, at least, zero hypocrisy. "The concerns of others are of no concern to us". But we'll happily trade with them.

On “Gang Green

"...a bit troubling. Very chicken-and-eggish."

Yah think? It's a set up. The rules have been crafted to minimize any actual debate. Link. Frankly, I'm disgusted by this, but not surprised.

On “Who’s Going to Demand Full Employment?

Two different types of markets. One is exposed to competition, one not.

On “The Candidates on Guns

I'll provide a decent example of why a suppressor might be put to good use. Here on the east coast, we have a lot of deer running around getting hit by cars. Often times, the legal hunting of deer is relatively close to inhabited areas—i.e. suburbs. Those suburban folks might like to NOT hear gun shots every fall so close to them. I know of folks who have complained of this personally.

Also, as someone who lived a few miles from an outdoor gun range, I can tell you that some suppression of the weapons would have been nice on some of the more powerful weapons being shot. While I was far enough that it didn’t impact my life, I'm sure the folks living closest to the range would have liked to hear less noise.

On “Nassau County is Not an Obama Love-fest

I wouldn't be surprised it the number was indeed 102%. Given the history of voter fraud in Maryland, and the various shenanigans, I'd be surprised if it wasn't higher. And yes Mont. County is BLUER than blue. Lots of snarky comments describe it as "the people's republic of mont. county" even by those on the left. And god, don't get me started on the residents of Takoma Park!

On “Who’s Going to Demand Full Employment?

Not in "closed shop" states or where the union has negotiated a contract that requires those working in the industry/shop to join the union. Not joining the union wasn't an option at the auto plant I worked in for 6 summers. State law and union rules.

On “The Arcana of Political Economy: A Follow-Up

I don't recall, but isn't there a "transmute" spell or a potion that allows for turning iron into gold? If so, this could also have an economic impact.

As to the rarity of spell casters, common sense would dictate that the more powerful casters be in service to powerful lords, or be lords themselves. If in service, they would be likely supervising a staff of underlings working on a variety of efforts: crafting magic weapons/armor, creating spell scrolls for lower level casters serving in the armed forces, construction of assault/defensive weapons such as siege engines, surveying the astral/ethereal planes and keeping track of the coming and goings of demonic servants, etc. and advising the Lord on magical matters. I'd also expect that there would be similar type of work to be performed as part of your "guild tax/obligations"

Keep up the good work. This is quite interesting.

On “Governor Romney and the Ladies Fair

"The obvious response – the only response for a conservative Republican – was to say some variation of this: “As a champion of the free market, I believe everyone should be paid exactly what their contributions are worth – no more, and no less. That should be just as true for women as it is for men, and discrimination should never be tolerated.”

I would have also accepted "The study was bogus and that has been well documented" but that wouldn't have been the "best" answer, would it?

On “Conservatives and Science

Good article and comments. My comments, not entirely on point...

Problems I have with "science":

Published research in the popular media and before others in your field have had time to reproduce your results.

Sloppy reporters who fail to understand the study and what it might mean, and then inflate the results into some crisis when none of the results have been confirmed. While this is really part of the general crappy skills of reporters, it’s my contention that, as the scientist, it’s your job to make the public understand what your work actually means, so they bear some of the blame.

Scientists using their work for their own political / status advancement. It’s supposed to be about the science.

Scientists unwilling to provide their research to others so the study results can be duplicated and confirmed.

On “The Candidates on Guns

Guess I'll have to clarify. What I posted is what an assault weapon is. The law that was passed banned weapons that had 2 or more COSMETIC features, like a grenade launcher and a bayonet mount. A grenade launcher is cosmetic because the grenade falls into the list of stuff that's currently illegal absent a FFA stamp. Here's the full list by weapon type:

Semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following: Folding or telescoping stock
Pistol grip
Bayonet mount
Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
Grenade launcher (more precisely, a muzzle device that enables launching or firing rifle grenades, though this applies only to muzzle mounted grenade launchers and not those mounted externally).

Semi-automatic pistols with detachable magazines and two or more of the following: Magazine that attaches outside the pistol grip
Threaded barrel to attach barrel extender, flash suppressor, handgrip, or suppressor
Barrel shroud that can be used as a hand-hold
Unloaded weight of 50 oz (1.4 kg) or more
A semi-automatic version of a fully automatic firearm.

Semi-automatic shotguns with two or more of the following: Folding or telescoping stock
Pistol grip
Fixed capacity of more than 5 rounds
Detachable magazine.

All this is cosmetic because it doesn't impact the mechanism of the weapon, i.e. the weapon is still semi-automatic, one round fired per trigger pull. So, it all came down to "how scary" the weapon looked. In other words, the ban was nonsensical vis a vis its purpose.


I fail to see the difficulty in understanding what a real assault rifle is. This is a damn good explanation. From Wikipedia:

An assault rifle is a select-fire (either fully automatic or burst capable) rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine......

The term assault rifle is a translation of the German word Sturmgewehr (literally "storm rifle", as in "to storm a position"). The name was coined by Adolf Hitler[3] to describe the Maschinenpistole 43, subsequently renamed Sturmgewehr 44, the firearm generally considered the first assault rifle that served to popularise the concept and form the basis for today's modern assault rifles.

The translation assault rifle gradually became the common term for similar firearms sharing the same technical definition as the StG 44. In a strict definition, a firearm must have at least the following characteristics to be considered an assault rifle:[4][5][6]
It must be an individual weapon with provision to fire from the shoulder (i.e. a buttstock);
It must be capable of selective fire;
It must have an intermediate-power cartridge: more power than a pistol but less than a standard rifle or battle rifle;
Its ammunition must be supplied from a detachable magazine rather than a feed-belt.
And it should at least have a firing range of 300 meters (1000 feet)

Rifles that meet most of these criteria, but not all, are technically not assault rifles despite frequently being considered as such. For example, semi-automatic-only rifles like the AR-15 (which the M16 rifle is based on) that share designs with assault rifles are not assault rifles, as they are not capable of switching to automatic fire and thus are not selective fire capable. Belt-fed weapons or rifles with fixed magazines are likewise not assault rifles because they do not have detachable box magazines.

On “Who’s Going to Demand Full Employment?

I don't know how one can conclude that you need unions (a monopoly of labor) to generate full employment. The two concepts are innately contradictory.

On “On Liberal Media Bias

There is a bias. It's a bias towards "statism". Few give the opposing view.

On “The Real Generation War

You can't "fix" ponzi schemes. You just gotta end em.

*Comment archive for non-registered commenters assembled by email address as provided.