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Comment: Re:FUD filled.... (Score 1) 212

It sounds like this transformer had its center tap grounded and was the path to ground on one side of a ground loop as the geomagnetic field moved under pressure from a CME, inducing a common-mode current in the long-distance power line. A gas pipeline in an area of poor ground conductivity in Russia was also destroyed, it is said, resulting in 500 deaths.

One can protect against this phenomenon by use of common-mode breakers and perhaps even overheat breakers. The system will not stay up but nor will it be destroyed. This is a high-current rather than high-voltage phenomenon and thus the various methods used to dissipate lightning currents might not be effective.

+ - Letter to Congress: Ending U.S. Dependency on Russia for Access to Space 1

Submitted by Bruce Perens
Bruce Perens (3872) writes "I've sent a letter to my district's senators and member of congress this evening, regarding how we should achieve a swifter end to U.S. dependency on the Russians for access to space. Please read my letter, below. If you like it, please join me and send something similar to your own representatives. Find them here and here. — Bruce

Dear Congressperson Lee,

The U.S. is dependent on the Russians for present and future access to space. Only Soyuz can bring astronauts to and from the Space Station. The space vehicles being built by United Launch Alliance are designed around a Russian engine. NASA's own design for a crewed rocket is in its infancy and will not be useful for a decade, if it ever flies.

Mr. Putin has become much too bold because of other nations dependence. The recent loss of Malaysia Air MH17 and all aboard is one consequence.

Ending our dependency on Russia for access to space, sooner than we previously planned, has become critical. SpaceX has announced the crewed version of their Dragon spaceship. They have had multiple successful flights and returns to Earth of the un-crewed Dragon and their Falcon 9 rocket, which are without unfortunate foreign dependencies. SpaceX is pursuing development using private funds. The U.S. should now support and accelerate that development.

SpaceX has, after only a decade of development, demonstrated many advances over existing and planned paths to space. Recently they have twice successfully brought the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket back to the ocean surface at a speed that would allow safe landing on ground. They have demonstrated many times the safe takeoff, flight to significant altitude, ground landing and re-flight of two similar test rockets. In October they plan the touchdown of their rocket's first stage on a barge at sea, and its recovery and re-use after a full flight to space. Should their plan for a reusable first-stage, second, and crew vehicle be achieved, it could result in a reduction in the cost of access to space to perhaps 1/100 of the current "astronomical" price. This would open a new frontier to economical access in a way not witnessed by our nation since the transcontinental railroad. The U.S. should now support this effort and reap its tremendous economic rewards.

This plan is not without risk, and like all space research there will be failures, delays, and eventually lost life. However, the many successes of SpaceX argue for our increased support now, and the potential of tremendous benefit to our nation and the world.

Please write back to me.

Many Thanks

Bruce Perens"

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47506251) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Not necessarily (think about it!), but in any event, it is far from clear that minimum wage actually gives more people more money.

Counter examples (actual, real-life, counter-examples supported by data) would be interesting to read.

You can, of course, add the money received by those people who benefit from the minimum wage laws to the total money available to spend. However, businesses pass increased costs on to consumers, or go out of business.

Or they could, shock, horror, take less in profit.

In effect, people's net purchasing power goes down. Instead of helping the people you want to help, you end up hurting them.

Purchasing power isn't going down because labour is getting more expensive, it's going down because labour is steadily getting paid less and less because capital is taking more and more.

The only place the continual downward pressure on wages ends is a tiny proportion of wealthy people who own everything and a huge proportion of people of subsistence incomes. When hardly anyone has any disposable income, where do you think economic activity is going to happen ?

Thus, merely "increasing" economic activity is not a valid goal: to be beneficial to society the economic activity has to be healthy activity, not the production of shoddy products. This can only be the case if we don't cause a net reduction in people's buying power (which is what minimum wage laws tend to do).

Again, evidence to support this claim would be useful.

In reality, countries with higher incomes at the lower-end, rather than the rock-bottom incomes you are advocating, are the countries that have the higher quality goods you are insisting they will not.

No this is done by welfare laws (of which there are a plethora).

No, welfare is there as a safety net for people who are unable to work. Since neoliberalism took over the western world and maintaining a certain level of unemployment became a policy goal (to reduce worker bargaining power and suppress their wages), it has become a necessity for millions of people ready, able and willing to work but who cannot find anyone to work for.

What you are talking about is a universal basic income, which would need to be set at a similar level to minimum wage to meet that objective.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47504961) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

I never gave my opinion on the matter.

Yes, you did. Your opinion was:

"So lets pass a law that says every person should be paid $50,000 per hour. Economic activity ought to be AMAZING then!"

Which, while obvious hyperbole, is meant to somehow refute the original point by taking it to an extreme never suggested or implied.

Your ignorant political stereotypes led you to make assumptions about what things I never even commented on.

I didn't make an assumption about anything. Your following comment called people who couldn't find work "parasites".

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47504081) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

just because you are economically illiterate doesn't make something "a lie".

You argue the service "can no longer be provided".

That is a lie. It *can* be provided. It's just that customers clearly don't value it enough to make providing it worth the cost.

if it could and it were economically advantageous for companies to provide it, they would have done it.

Yes. I believe that was my point. It's not sufficiently "economically advantageous" to cover its cost.

Nobody had to force the gas stations in the past to provide the service, it was in their best interest to do it because it attracted more customers and there was a competitive pressure to do it.

I'm not quite sure what your point is with this straw man. No-one said anything about anyone being forced to provide full service in the past.

that's the propaganda line, sure. The reality is of-course completely different. The wages of the workers have been destroyed by inflation, not by 'corporate profits'.

Ratio of labour to capital share of GDP says otherwise. Nearly all the benefits of productivity increases over the last few decades have been siphoned to the top 10%, and especially the top 1%. Workers have been getting shafted as their bargaining power has been progressively destroyed by removal of their legal protections and the sadistic philosophy of NAIRU (to say nothing of the ever-increasing "rights" of corporate entities). Meanwhile, the taxes that are supposed to discourage the inevitable greed, selfishness and hoarding of the wealthy and recover some of their waste into productive endeavour, have been completely gutted.

That's before even talking about the mind-boggling explosion in private debt that has been taken up by households in an effort to maintain increasing living standards in the face of stagnant or declining incomes. Encouraged by banks and the wealthy, of course, because people madly paddling the canoe rarely have time to rock it.

It is a pattern that has repeated across the entire Anglo world for decades, it is the aftermath of Thatcherism, Reaganism, and whoever-your-local-neoliberal-psychopath-copying-them-was-ism. Every country has had one, and the outcomes have been the same in all of them - reduced unionism, reduced workers rights, increasing unemployment (because of the previous two events), dramatically decreasing taxes (primarily for the wealth), privatisation of public assets, decaying public infrastructure, decreasing public services, decreasing welfare, decreasing social mobility, increasing income inequality, etc, etc.

What's astounding (well, not really) is that after 30 years of this disaster, most politicians and a sizeable chunk of economists argue the problem is we're not doing it enough !

The world is heading towards a new fuedalism, where the serfs are kept in their place not by threat of arms, but by barely adequate incomes and oppressive debt. It's a Libertarian wet dream - all the slave labour they want to make the rich richer, while maintaining a facade of voluntary participation from the victims since no (overt) physical coercion is involved.

The inflation is created by the Federal reserve bank of America buying up bad USA debt from the Treasury (and the rest of the market) for decades following Nixon's default on the US dollar in 1971.

The core problem in the money supply isn't inflation, it's usury.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47503863) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

I don't think you know what that fallacy actually means. Nothing I wrote is even close to an excluded middle fallacy.

Really ? You don't think there's any possibilities between no minimum wage and a $50k/hr minimum wage ?

Call it a slippery slope fallacy if it makes you feel any better, it doesn't make your argument any less wrong.

Hurr, durr, ad-hominem fallacy!

You clearly believe the absurd rhetoric that people choose to be unemployed "because welfare!", then you launch off onto another straw man fallacy.

Like I said, mindless tripe. Unthinking regurgitation of conservative articles of faith.

"Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone." -- G. B. Stearn

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