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Comment: Re:Waste? (Score 1) 208

by bigpat (#46787769) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

And there is a good solution for storage, but the allies of the fossil fuel industry have combined with the anti nuclear folks to block Yucca mountain from opening. Bury the nuclear waste deep in the earth, because that is where it came from in the first place.

It is very sad for the thousands of people that lost their homes because of radiation around Fukushima. But compare that evacuation to the effects of the earthquake and tsunami itself, which claimed the lives of 15,885 people and injured 6,148 with 2623 people still missing, the response to the radiation leak is just one after effect of the tsunami, but it hasn't caused any deaths.

As for "Such a fire will render the U.S "virtually" uninhabitable.".... a hundred nuclear weapons were detonated on the US mainland as part of above ground nuclear weapons tests. While I think that was incredibly stupid and irresponsible and there have certainly been health effects and increased cancer deaths in the decades afterwards, the radiation leaks at nuclear power plants pale in comparison to the radiation released by those above ground tests and as far as I can tell the US is still inhabitable.

Comment: Re:Not getting funded. (Score 1) 157

by bigpat (#46756761) Attached to: Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

I would love to do some recreational flying, but I can't afford to with a family and a mortgage and many expenses. And I couldn't justify it as an expensive hobby before then.

The point was simply that people don't fly because it isn't economically viable to do so. The number of pilot's licenses isn't an indication of people's ability to fly or their inclination to do so. It is an indication of the expense of flying which is partly the result of FAA regulations and the lack of efficient mass production of light aircraft.

Comment: Re:Not getting funded. (Score 1) 157

by bigpat (#46750571) Attached to: Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

Personally I don't have a pilots license because I don't have the money to waste on something that is of no economic benefit. If I could fly from point A to point B and get their in half the time and avoid traffic for similar costs to a car, then I would learn and adapt. And so would a lot of other people.

Even if not everyone is suited to flying, as you suggest, then getting a portion of the population off the roads would still make a huge impact on traffic and ultimately allow us to grow our economy without needing to make diminishing return type of investments in transportation infrastructure.

Comment: Re:Not getting funded. (Score 2) 157

by bigpat (#46750491) Attached to: Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

Why does a small jet engine have to cost too much? A quick search of jet turbines for model aircraft shows that the 52lbs max thrust P200-SX from JetCat costs $5,495. Sure you would need 6 or 7 of these to get an average sized adult off the ground vertically with some minimal airframe, but we aren't talking about millions of dollars we are talking about something under $100k to put together some sort of ultralight VTOL.

I think the best flying car hope right now is actually in the small autonomous UAV space, but we need the FAA to start allowing more commercial development of UAVs in certain areas away from heavily populated areas.

All the other technical hurdles seem pretty manageable for at least moving us along the cost/performance curve to make small VTOL aircraft more affordable for more people.

Comment: Re:Fuck Obamacare (Score 1) 722

by bigpat (#46727573) Attached to: Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

Yes, I think you are right on the constitutionality issue. People get tax refunds for all sorts of things... "Cash for clunkers" comes to mind. And nothing in the Constitution prevents a regressive income tax. Which is what a tax penalty mostly applied to middle class families that feel they can't afford Obamacare or employer provided plans really is. I warned people ahead of the Supreme Court case that it wasn't likely to be overruled because the mandate was just a tax based on some criteria that wasn't constitutionally protected.

But I think there is probably a constitutional line someplace, I mean if the health insurance mandate was a criminal or civil penalty instead of a tax penalty based on income then it would be considered unconstitutional or if the money was spent towards supporting some particular speech or religion, like giving people a tax credit for buying just the books on Oprah Winfrey's book club list or a tax penalty if a person doesn't buy a cross, or mandating dues payments to the Party.

Funny enough I think the Massachusetts RomneyCare model is actually unconstitutional, under the state constitution. Because Massachusetts constitution specifies a flat income tax and only allows deductions under the income tax and not extra taxes ... like a penalty. But as far as I know there has been no legal challenge.

Comment: Re:7.1 million is pathetically low, so ya I believ (Score 1) 722

by bigpat (#46726953) Attached to: Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

In 2-3 years the number uninsured will drop much farther.

Ya, no shit. Because the fine will go up more people will be compelled to buy the insurance. Still doesn't mean it is "affordable" or sustainable. This is a band-aid solution to prop up the health insurance system with more unwilling participants.

Comment: Re:7.1 million is pathetically low, so ya I believ (Score 1) 722

by bigpat (#46718537) Attached to: Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

Now that Obamacare IS the system and it IS the problem, then maybe on one side of the isle we can talk about fixing Obamacare and on the other we can talk about replacing.... and mean the same thing.

But seriously, on the left I think we/they should be happy with a compromise that sees an expansion of medicaid and some sort of very basic universal healthcare paid for with a broad base progressive tax. Not single payer for everything, just emergency medicine for all and a few sick visits. Figure another 2% on top of the medicare tax.

And for conservatives, introduce an option to opt out of the insurance market and not get fined under the individual mandate. Instead of an Insurance mandate, give people an option for a savings mandate. So you have to save up to 5% of your income every year until you have saved a certain amount of money, say $50k or $100k (indexed to inflation).

Treat the savings option like a Traditional/Roth IRA where you can invest the savings however you like, but only take it out tax free for medical expenses until retirement age. But then at retirement make it tax free up to a certain amount. Encouraging more savings and investment should also help with a retirement savings problem that we have in this country.

Comment: Re:7.1 million is pathetically low, so ya I believ (Score 1) 722

by bigpat (#46717495) Attached to: Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

Um.. most of US population is already covered though their employers/family plan. They're talking about the 40 million or so Americans who cannot get affordable coverage due to preexisting conditions, income restraints, and the like.

And apparently most of those people still can't get affordable coverage

Comment: Re:7.1 million is pathetically low, so ya I believ (Score 1) 722

by bigpat (#46717389) Attached to: Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

Are you sure that's the right comparison?

Like I said 60 million is the better comparison. So, 7.1 million would just be 12% of the uninsured. Or 23% if you exclude a bunch of groups like you would.

But really a lot of those 7.1 million people were previously insured last year. Bottom line is that Obamacare hasn't really addressed the uninsured problem, let alone actually made structural reforms to the health care system. It is a band-aid on the current HMO/health insurance system in order to stem the tide of people dropping overly expensive insurance plans. We still are left with a system which is the most expensive in the world with poorer health outcomes.

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold

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