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Comment: Re:300 MPH flesh sacks of water (Score 1) 333

With airline travel, the infrastructure already exists: the airfields, the traffic control, the hotels and car rentals and expressways. Yes, the public paid for them, but they are built and there is no annual appropriation to keep planes in the air. Ticket prices pay for landing slots and terminal rents.

Planes are more energy efficient than ever before -- airlines are scrapping perfectly good planes so they can replace them with newer more-efficient ones.

I am not opposed to investigating the Hyperloop idea; I am opposed to building the HSR (high-speed rail).

I have traveled from LA to SF many times -- actually, San Diego to the Bay Area, not San Francisco specifically. I always drove my own vehicle, so I'd have it available while there and not need to rent one. But I also stayed for a week at a time; if I was returning the same day or in a day or two, I probably would have flown. I would have traveled by train only if it was cheaper and reasonably quick. Likewise, I would travel by Hyperloop if it was cheaper than flying.

Comment: Re:300 MPH flesh sacks of water (Score 1) 333

We already have a fast and efficient way to transport people from LA to SF -- it's called air travel. There may be more efficient ways to travel, but they're slower. And there are cheaper ways, but they're also slower. High-speed rail may be fast, but it will always require taxpayer subsidies to keep it running; so it's not an efficient use of limited public funds.

Comment: Re:Hey, remember when Steve used to screw us over? (Score 1) 146

The US has a particularly bad corporate income tax system, which discourages companies from repatriating foreign earnings. The companies have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to maximize after-tax income by; they can't do this if they pay taxes in the foreign company where income is earned, then pay again by bringing that income back to the US.

There is no moral or legal obligation for companies (or individuals) to pay more than necessary. There is an obligation on the part of the Congress and the president to fix the tax system, but that won't happen during the remainder of this president's administration.

Comment: a government-owned and operated broadband network? (Score 1) 327

There is a difference between destroying something that already exists, and blocking something that is still in the planning stages. The headline is wrong -- Rupert Murdoch is not destroying or seeking to destroy anything.

Additionally, there is a difference between competing private networks and a single government monopoly. We have recently seen that an imperial government can coerce private media companies, to obtain information about users and subscribers. How much easier it would be if there is a single broadband network run by the very government that seeks to gather the information.

There seem to be very good reasons why a government should not be given a monopoly over broadband networks for the entire country. I think China has such a system, and maybe it works for them, but quite a few of the Chinese do not seem content to let their government filter their access to the internet. Murdoch has had decades of experience dealing with China, so maybe he knows something about closed media systems.

Comment: Re:Earth (Score 2) 116

by JBaustian (#44216949) Attached to: Researchers Complete New Gondwana Map
The theory of a 6000-year-old Earth was made by Archbishop Ussher in the 1640s, not in the Middle Ages which ended 400-500 years earlier.

It was a valid theory at the time, based on the best available evidence, but wrong. Even today there are many theories which are commonly accepted as scientifically valid, but which are most likely wrong in part or entirely. Our descendants will laughingly mock anyone who still believes them, just as some of us dare to mock today.

Comment: Re:it just doesn't matter (Score 1) 775

by JBaustian (#44186867) Attached to: Electric Vehicles Might Not Benefit the Environment After All
The average car on the road is something like 11 years old, maybe older. Just because some people trade for a new car every 3 years does not mean their old one is scrapped -- they are driven into the ground, usually, unless totaled in a crash. And the typical used car ends up with 200-300 thousand miles before it goes to the crusher.

EVs really aren't designed to last that long. So whatever fixed environmental costs there are to manufactured the vehicle and later on to scrap it must be distributed over a smaller number of miles.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James

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