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Comment Re:There's no There there. (Score 1) 248 248

I think you're missing that that's still a bunch of money coming from the Federal government, even if it is a minority of their overall funding. The Republicans would just love to eliminate that expenditure altogether, and move it to the defense budget (even if it is puny in comparison already).

Comment Re:Yeah, be a man! (Score 1) 578 578

That just sounds like "regulation"; Europe is known for being more regulated than the US, and for a lot of things, that's a good thing. Just look at the privacy laws Europe has; they prevent a lot of the abuses going on in the US now. The downside to regulation, of course, is that it makes it very hard for new businesses to start up and grow quickly; there's a reason Silicon Valley is in the US instead of Europe. However, for large, established industries, Europe generally does them much better than the US. What kind of fool would choose a Lincoln over a BMW or Mercedes, for instance? Also, have you ever taken a cruise on a multi-billion dollar cruise ship built in the US? Of course not, because the US can't build such a thing. All those ships are built in Europe. Government regulation doesn't seem to be a problem there. They also build a lot of high-end airplanes and helicopters in Europe.

And since when does industry in the US cling to traditional values of right and wrong? Corporations in the US are infamous for being completely sociopathic. I don't think I need to go into too many examples, but the Ford Pinto is a pretty good one (they decided to allow people to die in crashes and just pay out settlements because it was cheaper than adding a $1 part to prevent the cars from catching fire). For a more recent example, look at GM and their ignition switch fiasco which they actively covered up and refused to fix. Strange that I never see that kind of stuff from European corporations, or Japanese ones. The US is also the home of patent trolls. They don't seem to have that problem in Europe either, again probably because of regulation.

The problem with regulation, of course, is that you need a government that has a low enough level of corruption to make it work. That's why regulation never seems to work well in the US; the government is far too corrupt. Why European governments aren't as corrupt, I don't know, but I suspect it's because the US is too large, powerful, and diverse.

Comment Re:There's no There there. (Score 1) 248 248

(first off, teacher pay isn't in the same money bucket as NASA, they do not compete).

This is totally incorrect. They're all part of the overall government budget. Yes, a lot of funding for schools is at local levels, but not all. And there's plenty of politicians who would love to eliminate one or the other, or better yet both, and use the savings to pay for tax cuts for the rich or for more bloated defense programs.

Comment Re:The Party Line (Score 1) 578 578

You're right about the primaries, but it's unlikely your vote is going to change anything, so once you get to the general election, it's pretty pointless. Still can't hurt to vote in the primary to try to fix things there though.

Just look at the upcoming election: there's tons of excitement and buzz about Bernie, but of course Hillary will be the one who gets the nomination. There's no point in electing Hillary over Jeb.

Comment Re:They are fools (Score 1) 578 578

Snowden himself suffers minor inconveniences relating mainly to lifestyle and the ability to see friends and family.

The friends and family bit is easily the biggest problem for him. The lifestyle might actually be better over there. Over here, an early-30s geek has a terrible time with dating; American women are mostly fat and ugly after the age of 25 (and certainly over 30), and if they're not, they absolutely hate geeks. Russian women, OTOH, are famous for being hot. I'm not sure how Russian women feel about geeks, but if he's well-employed over there, I imagine he has beautiful women lining up to date him.

The main lifestyle problem for him over there is that the Ruble isn't worth much these days for various reasons, so he likely doesn't have nearly the buying power with a job there that he had working here. So if he could get out of the country without trouble, he probably couldn't afford any decent foreign vacations like you can on an American IT worker's salary, and probably has to drive some crappy Lada instead of a BMW.

Comment Re:No surprises there... (Score 5, Insightful) 578 578

One important difference between Obama and Sanders is that Obama had pretty much zero track record before he took office. He was a state senator for a brief time, and then a US senator for a very brief time, and that's it. He was really an unknown; why people elected him is a mystery, probably just because they thought he was an "outsider". Sanders, OTOH, has a very, very long track record in politics, so you can just refer to that. If he ends up behaving completely different after being elected, then you really have to wonder if the Presidency isn't being completely controlled by someone else.

Comment Re:Yeah, be a man! (Score 5, Informative) 578 578

The evidence is classified, so the trial can't be public. Classified information doesn't suddenly become unclassified when it's made public. It doesn't matter if the whole world knows; these are government rules, they're not supposed to make sense.

Comment Re:extracting "fuel" from the very fabric of space (Score 1) 478 478

If you don't need to carry propellant, not only can you get to Pluto in 18 months, you could probably decelerate and get into orbit. This could make for some exciting exploration of our solar system. And maybe we can catch/pass Voyager with a new interstellar probe?

It doesn't mean that at all, not necessarily. This drive still needs electrical power to operate, so it needs an energy source. Theoretically, assuming they can make a version that actually produces a decent amount of thrust, you could have solar-powered probes exploring the inner solar system using this drive. However, Pluto is too far away, and there simply isn't enough available energy there from sunlight. There's a reason deep-space probes use RTGs instead of solar panels: once you get past Mars or Jupiter, there just isn't enough light for them to be worthwhile.

Comment Re: Looking more and more likely all the time... (Score 1) 478 478

If linear momentum is not conserved, the laws of physics are not the same throughout the universe and vice-versa.

Not necessarily; it could be like Newton's Laws vis-à-vis relativity. Newton's Laws model behavior just fine at low speeds (like an apple falling from a tree), but don't hold up at velocities closer to lightspeed (like space probes traveling to Pluto).

This thing could just be taking advantage of some unknown branch of physics, something we just don't normally see. Before space travel, humans never made anything which moved faster than a bullet (a little over the speed of sound), so we never had much of an opportunity to see that Newton's Laws were incomplete.

The moon is made of green cheese. -- John Heywood