I don't believe corporations should be able to freely spend their money on partisan politics. The Citizens United decision was a travesty.
So what? Just because you don't like the ruling doesn't mean that it was flawed in some way. The basis for the ruling was that the "Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act" unfairly made it illegal for corporations to do issue advocacy ads (which are expressions of free speech), but not other categories of people. This created an unconstitutional constraint on free speech by groups of people organized in the form of a corporation.
Recall that I spoke of restrictions on the right of people to act on behalf of a corporation? This is one way it can happen. If I spent $1 million of my own money to take out an attack ad on President Obama, it would be legal under the above law. Similarly, it would be legal, if I spent $1 million of some other individual's money. But it becomes illegal, if it's $1 million of a corporation's money. The people whose interests the corporation represents just had their First Amendment rights taken away.
And the idea that certain privileges should have a subsequent impairment of rights is a poisonous belief. There are certain situations where these are baked into the Constitution, such as when the person holds a political office or government position of power. They are held to theoretically higher and tougher standards than a normal person and a variety of concrete restrictions have been placed on their power.
But the same is applied to other classes of people, such as people who own property or drive (drug seizure laws), or who fly (the ongoing security theater in US airports).
Finally, there's really no way to make the law workable since it can't ban political speech without violating the First Amendment.
The reality is that as worker productivity has increased by orders of magnitude, worker pay adjusted for inflation has decreased sharply.
People who say things like this don't get that there is more to the world than their little slice of developed world. The rest of the world's wages, which is considerably more numerous, is improving when adjusted for inflation.
managed to hit about 6 miles
Oops. I didn't remember the altitude correctly.
One of those defense companies, which was funded more than a billion dollars over the past couple of decades to develop high altitude airships, managed to hit about 4 miles before their 150 million dollar vehicle broke up. Sure, it had a bit more functionality, but "it works" beats functionality every time.
The reason is quite simple: we have all the technology and resources required so that people DON'T need to work, that was the whole concept behind the leisure society.
There's an even simpler reason. Because people make choices. They may not want to work, but they do want the things they can get by working.
So, what do you do with all these people? Well, you make them spend exorbitant amounts of time in meetings and generating data and reports to make them look productive.
Or their employer can have them doing useful work when they're doing work. That in turn creates more opportunities for useful work elsewhere in the economy, should anyone be interested enough in it.
We are squandering the most glorious time in history in terms of energy resources, technology and machinery in order to maintain a social order that comes from the caves.
Nah, that's an agrarian society thing. I'd say the leisure society ideal is actually more the caveman thing since both have a strong emphasis on doing as little work as possible.
I keep seeing the argument of what we get for a dollar funded to NASA. I ask what we get for a dollar funded to professional sports. I get to see some grown man chase all over some field trying to snare a ball.
You have to consider this from return on investment. For buying an overpriced ticket, you get to see grown men chasing a pigskin. That's huge value compared to typical NASA projects, which while they do somewhat more, also cost a bunch of orders of magnitude more.
Watching it on TV is even better from the ROI point of view.
Our society seems to be quickly succumbing to what the economists refer to as "tragedy of the commons", where everybody is in it for themselves regardless of the cost to others. Our government is passing all sorts of laws encouraging "rent seeking" ( ownership benefits ) at the expense of production ( job creation ), leading us into a welfare state. I see big social problems ahead with this leadership model, as the ownership faction will run amok, leading to enormous wealth disparities between those who labor and those who own. We are setting ourselves up for a civil war between the worker and the politician/banker classes.
I view NASA's activities as contributing to this state of affairs. It's not all their fault. I doubt they would have spread the work of a project over a bunch of congressional districts, if that weren't the most important aspect of the project from Congress's point of view.
but notice that it is not expected to predict the form of any new species at all nor predict the numbers or types of species extant in a million years from now (but expect cockroaches).
Given that we just moved hard into a non-evolutionary mode, this shouldn't be a surprise. For example, I think there's a fair chance that in a century most organisms on Earth will not even be descended from organisms alive at this time. It's hard to make predictions about a million years from now when DNA based life might almost vanish in a century from things that haven't been created yet.
I'm not saying that corporations shouldn't have any rights. There is good reason to grant corporations a limited amount of personhood so they can be treated as a single entity legally and so their investors have liability limited to what they've invested in the corporation but that's about all the rights they need as far as I'm concerned.
That's the current state of affairs. You already have what you want. This drama is for naught.
You are not very good at reading comprehension.
That's what's written there. I'll quote it in full so we don't have this particular disagreement again:
The key paragraph:
Most people believe that Fukushima DaiichiÃ(TM)s meltdowns were predominantly due to the earthquake and tsunami. The survival of Onagawa, however, suggests otherwise. Onagawa was only 123 kilometers away from the epicenterÃ"60 kilometers closer than Fukushima DaiichiÃ"and the difference in seismic intensity at the two plants was negligible. Furthermore, the tsunami was bigger at Onagawa, reaching a height of 14.3 meters, compared with 13.1 meters at Fukushima Daiichi. The difference in outcomes at the two plants reveals the root cause of Fukushima DaiichiÃ(TM)s failures: the utilityÃ(TM)s corporate Ãoesafety culture.Ã
A natural disaster is a tragedy. A man-made disaster due to corporate culture is a crime.
TEPCO runs both the Fukushima Daiichi and Onagawa plants. It's the same corporate culture which in one case you laud and another you declare a "crime".
Also, note that Onagawa remains off line. When is it going to be rewarded for its good "corporate culture" by being allowed to restart?
Death is a very concrete measure of harm.
Except that it ignores all the people who survived by are now suffering. In the case of Fukushima it is often chosen deliberately to ignore those people because the speaker is trying to make out that it was not very harmful.
If we're going by that measure, the earthquake still caused a lot more suffering. Also a lot - if not most - of that suffering is self-inflicted. Why should TEPCO be shouldering the blame for other peoples' psychological faults?
Many of them experienced near or above their lateral force limits during the earthquake, and it is standard procedure after one to shut down and do a full inspection to look for damage.
And many did not. And for those that are being inspected, how many years does it take?
New seismic surveys have also revealed previously undiscovered fault lines below several plants. They need to be investigated to determine if they present a significant safety risk.
So what? You can still run the plant while you figure that out.
The fact that these plants have not re-started has nothing to do with hysteria, it is simply that none of them have been able to demonstrate they are safe so far.
That's the old safety theater game. These plants were operating safely for decades, but now they have to "demonstrate" beyond a reasonable degree that they're safe all over again.
1) It can save lives, if there are any survivors and they crashed in a remote area (see Alive).
2) It would lower the cost by not requiring us to recover black boxes.
But let's look at those claims. For the first one, the example is in 1972. Things have changed since. Why do we need to try so hard to solve an already solved 40 year old problem?
For the second claim, we would still need to recover black boxes and other parts of the aircraft - especially if the telemetry wasn't working at the time of the crash.
Then you have a couple of arguments claiming the costs aren't that high such as it being "pennies" per passenger. As I already noted, it becomes another item to break and delay the plane flight - that puts it well beyond pennies per passenger right there. Second, there are costs per flight above just buying the system such as the maintenance check of the system and any licensing fees.
Then you argue that the system is already in use for maintenance reporting. The difference there is that it doesn't have to work. They can fly a plane with a broken system in that case.
Finally, there is the opportunity for a large scale mess, if the system for receiving this telemetry stops working. Then you have not just one plane but hundreds or thousands. Do you ground all of them, especially if they don't have black boxes?
So tired of your, and peoples like you, ignorance.
Then stop being part of the problem. Do you seriously believe that airlines are resisting this proposal merely because they want to save perhaps as much as a few million dollars over 30 years? That's nothing compared to the costs that you ignore.
Should we remove that equipment, or are we better off with it?
That's the question that should be asked about any such equipment. We have both costs and benefits more or less laid out. The benefit is that it provides better information for the times that planes are lost - when it works. And costs are that it's another critical piece of gear that has to work in order for the plane to fly. That's not just a $100k one time cost.