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Comment: Re:Already done, and the US lost (Score 1) 969

by Starmac (#38618534) Attached to: Tensions Over Hormuz Raise Ugly Possibilities For War

For the sake of the rest of the world, I hope the American's can learn something from their past before they end up fighting a enemy who wants to fight.

Have you ever read the ROE for an "exercise"? Or understood the way "PK" is computed? A successful "solution" is credited as a kill. Countermeasures aren't considered effective. A radar or IR lock on an aircraft is considered a kill, even with missiles known for their lack of success. (i.e. the early "Sparrow") Weapons with very high PK are derated - i.e. the AIM-54C, the AIM-9. Aircraft aren't loaded out with full weapons - no one would have gotten anywhere near a battle group with Aegis destroyers and F14s hauling 4 Phoenix, 2 Sparrow, and 2 Sidewinders. AWACS and full tanker support aren't always included. The main point: it is an exercise to spot weaknesses, and practice co-ordination with friendly forces. You should sit in on a ready room prior to the event. Engagements don't go as well as exercises for many reasons: it just isn't real - and - what good would it do if we consistently crushed our allies? They'd leave every military problem to the US (You do it, why should we risk it, you're so damn good at it") and eye us with nervous contempt - what stops the US from turning on them? For discussions' sake, how do you think Americans would react if Iran actually managed to sink a carrier? As nasty as it seems, I believe the gloves would come off before the evening news reported the sinking. What would the response be? Overwhelming destruction of Iran's military, their nuclear facilities, and ability to affect world events. Would the US use weapons of mass destruction? No one's saying out loud, but after 30+ years of sh*t from the Iranian gov't., I expect most Americans would support the use of nukes - tactical OR strategic. If you whack a dozing giant with a 2X4, expect to get ground into dust.

Comment: Re:Are they nuts? (Score 1) 891

by Starmac (#38617942) Attached to: Why Fuel Efficiency Advances Haven't Translated To Better Gas Mileage

Poor folks normally drive old cars that tend to get better than average mpg. An old Honda civic dx is pretty cheap.

Poor folks drive whatever they can afford at the time a car becomes available in their limited price range. Waiting even a month for a Honda when a Taurus is available is unreasonable when your $8/hr job is on the line or access to very limited health clinics requires a car - spending any time on a cold bus stop (if there is a bus!) is literally gambling with your life for some. More often than not, that 10+ yr. old Ford came from a family in better shape than theirs, so the tires and general condition were better. The Honda was likely traded when it needed work the owner can't afford. If you actually saw the shape of many poor family's vehicles, you'd be aghast.

Comment: Re:We've had an increase in gas prices... (Score 1) 891

by Starmac (#38617808) Attached to: Why Fuel Efficiency Advances Haven't Translated To Better Gas Mileage

If you have the cash to own and drive a car enough to the point that a higher fuel tax makes an impact on your bottom line, you're not "super poor".

Define "super-poor". At what point does one qualify for your largess? Choosing between eating 3 meals and having the ability to get to work which keeps a roof over your head along with OTC meds to make it through the day? Don't worry - you'll understand soon enough.

Comment: Re:East Coast Space Program (Score 1) 195

by Starmac (#35802240) Attached to: NASA Announces Final Homes of Shuttle Fleet

This museum would have been a more appropriate place for a shuttle than an oversized greenhouse next to the West Side highway.

Agreed. But as that's out in Bethpage, the number of visitors would be more than halved. Sure the whole thing looks out of place on the West Side... there's not much in the way of shipping anymore to make the CVA look at home there. I've no doubt Bloomberg bent the administration's ear pretty severely to win this. I've not made it north in several years and when I do the C of A museum is right up there on my list. It was an amazing sight watching the new Tomcats fly out of Calverton back when I earned my wings. (sigh)

Comment: Re:NYC? WTF? (Score 1) 195

by Starmac (#35801060) Attached to: NASA Announces Final Homes of Shuttle Fleet

How the fuck do you decide that NYC gets a shuttle instead of Houston? That's so screwed up I don't even know where to start. What the hell has NYC contributed to the shuttle program (or anything to do with space)?

Once more with feeling: Can you say "Grumman Aerospace" or "The early history of American Aviation", Dilbert? Try googling "Lunar Excursion Module", then "USS Intrepid". Geez, the ignorance of American achievement in aviation is staggering. Try looking up "Chance-Vought Aviation", Fairchild Aviation, Sikorsky, Republic Aviation, and maybe, well, skip them all and go to "LI Aviation Museum - Cradle of Aviation". Then look up LaGuardia Airport, Idlewild Airport, NY Marine Air Terminal, then Floyd Bennett Field, and Roosevelt Field (Lindberg ring a bell?). The early industry grew up where there was capital and a skilled workforce. The NY area was/is bristling with aviation pioneers, investors, and workmen. Add the surrounding tri-state area and the results jump even higher. That's how NYC got a shuttle - and as other have pointed out, the sheer number of people that will actually see it is higher there than anywhere else.

Comment: Re:East Coast Space Program (Score 1) 195

by Starmac (#35800056) Attached to: NASA Announces Final Homes of Shuttle Fleet

No kidding. NY shouldn't have gotten one. They are just a stone's throw away from the Smithsonian, and had little to do with the space program. Houston or Huntsville would have been better choices for historic reasons, and Houston or Chicago for most widespread access to the public.

I guess designing, manufacturing, and delivering a product that performed better than specification is little to do with the space program? Perhaps you've heard of a small firm named "Grumman Aerospace"? They designed and built the LEM that not only actually touched down on the Moon, but saved the crew of Apollo 13, and did so with humor and pluck. They proudly spoofed VW's "It's ugly but it gets you there" ads with a full page for the LEM, and with tongue-in-cheek, produced a six-figure "towing bill" for the feat.

Comment: Re:East Coast Space Program (Score 1) 195

by Starmac (#35799912) Attached to: NASA Announces Final Homes of Shuttle Fleet

Yes, but that's not really an appropriate way of making the decision. Seattle has been incredibly important to the history of aviation, and yet what we get is a hand me down trainer. Not to mention that the northwest is more or less completely unrepresented. Not to mention the many astronauts that we've produced.

It's pretty screwed up given that NYC got one, and we didn't. And people wonder why we on the West Coast feel so resentful of the East Coasters. It's this sort of spoiled entitlement crap that really gets old. At least we here in Seattle have a meaningful connection to aviation.

Yes, but that's not really an appropriate way of making the decision. Seattle has been incredibly important to the history of aviation, and yet what we get is a hand me down trainer. Not to mention that the northwest is more or less completely unrepresented. Not to mention the many astronauts that we've produced.

At least we here in Seattle have a meaningful connection to aviation.

Yes, Seattle is and has for a long time been important to aviation. Thank God for Boeing! Still, I believe very few seem to realize the connection the NY area has to aviation because those firms from the NY area, particularly Long Island, relocated to the west coast shortly after WWII. Many of the most storied names in aviation started on LI, unfortunately they are but a memory, and a dim one at that; remembered mostly as the name of a shopping center or mall. (shakes head). Perhaps the shuttles should have gone on tour of the country first, then been placed on permanent display. Personally I don't much care where in the US, just somewhere they're more desired and appreciated than the fate of the F-14 sitting in a field at NAS Atlanta, along with several others that are now rotting hulks.

Comment: Re:I'd like to take a minute to say (Score 1) 195

by Starmac (#35799656) Attached to: NASA Announces Final Homes of Shuttle Fleet

And why shouldn't NASA, like practically everyone else, report to the electorate? We've all heard the "science first" routine and then seen the internal positioning and squabbling result in unbelievable cost overruns, a la Livermore and the DOE

Is this somehow better or worse than spending billions on W.'s launch vehicle only to have it scrapped and sent back to the drawing board by Obama?

No, it's not. The process stinks at the moment, and there's a ton of waste this way too. There has to be a better way *with* congressional oversight. NASA shouldn't be a president's legacy builder... or jobs program either. But since the sums of money involved are staggering, the people footing the bill should have a lot of input, and the final say. Say what you will about the Apollo project, the public was squarely behind it (Yeah, I witnessed every mission along the path) As I see it, the difficulty began with the lack of foresight to leverage the accomplishment into the next goal. Going from a 250,000 mile journey to low earth orbit was a definite let-down for most of the populace. There was more interest in the naming of the prototype than that of most missions. I practically belted a customer when arriving onsite still shell shocked at the loss of Challenger and the response was "So..?"

Comment: Re:I'd like to take a minute to say (Score 1) 195

by Starmac (#35798044) Attached to: NASA Announces Final Homes of Shuttle Fleet
>>NASA needs to be given autonomy... they need to be given a long term goal (a generic one like "set up a moon colony as a dry run for a mars colony, then get to Mars", or "set up a mining outpost in the asteroid belt") and then left alone to decide the best way to achieve that Sorry friend, can't agree with you on this one. NASA has always had a political component; they know who's buttering their bread. And why shouldn't NASA, like practically everyone else, report to the electorate? We've all heard the "science first" routine and then seen the internal positioning and squabbling result in unbelievable cost overruns, a la Livermore and the DOE. Even IF every employee was altruistic, without oversight the results can have unintended consequences, such as the Fed's manipulation of the market. "Experts" told they know better than the public, hold the public in disdain. Not how it's supposed to be. Think I'm wrong? How does your local DOT set the speed limits? It is supposed to be the 85th percentile of what drivers operate at, not what a traffic expert decides will produce the greatest revenue opportunities for their municipality.

Comment: Re:Solution: Tax gas more. (Score 1) 1139

by Starmac (#33296724) Attached to: Is a US High-Speed Railway Economically Feasible?
What subway system is forced to make at least 50% of it's income on fares? Surely you don't mean the MTA? Transit systems are already heavily subsidized by Vehicle Taxes, tolls, federal, and state governments. For *far* too long transit passengers have been getting a [half] free ride on the backs of commuters that use other means of transportation. Enough BS, and charge the riders the real costs of operating these fleets of trains and buses. And No, they shouldn't get priority handling on roads, etc. Equal is equal!

Comment: Re:Well this sucks!!!! (Score 4, Informative) 284

by Starmac (#32411568) Attached to: Foxconn Workers Getting Raise With Apple Subsidies

None of them give a shit. Slavery was always the goal. We outlawed it in the US.. but not overseas.

The US Workers who demanded a modest life style, home and health care... were sold out by those companies who would rather employ slaves, then Americans because its more profitable and slaves are easy to abuse.

More like the corporations are hostage to their financial performance and stock price. Who holds them hostage? The retirement plans with billions invested and expect their 10 -15% ROI. The beneficiaries of those plans? Grandmom and Granddad who retire comfortably at 55, 60, 62... You can't demand exceptional financial results from companies and corporations and handcuff their options to deliver those results. It's called Capitalism - the only incentive that gets people to produce more time and again is personal financial gain.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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