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Comment: Re:Stupid is as stupid does.... (Score 1) 312

by jamstar7 (#46744377) Attached to: Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

Going to the moon is expensive AND pointless. You have to do everything you do in Earth orbit, but it has to happen farther away from safety and at the bottom of a gravity well. There's absolutely nothing of value on the moon that couldn't be gotten cheaper by snagging bits off of a water bearing comet, or bringing that same water or up from Earth, for that matter, or mining a few local asteroids in-situ.

Look, gravity is *bad* and expensive. You don't go looking for it. You simulate it a bit with centrifugal force when necessary, but that's all.

Keep in mind that all the exploration of the Moon so far is like taking a detailed analysis of a single grain of sand from a beach and declaring that 'nothing of value is on Earth.' We haven't come close to any statistically meaningful samples yet.

Comment: Re:So.. (Score 4, Insightful) 312

by jamstar7 (#46744289) Attached to: Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

It would appear that Tea Party Politics are a form of infectious disease, and it's spreading to Russia. Does anyone have the time to tell Capt.PutPut that the USSR, and the Space Race are over?

I dunno, from here, it looks like he's attempting a Soviet Reunion.

Hope he can get the original drummer when he 'gets the badn back together'...

Comment: Re:He needs support in congress... (Score 1) 312

by jamstar7 (#46681525) Attached to: Why No Executive Order To Stop NSA Metadata Collection?

If he issues an executive order to undo the spying, it is likely that those in congress who want the spying to stay will refuse to support Obama on other things he wants.

You're assuming he already has support in Congress. Keep in mind they haven't sent him a budget in five years. Considering that's supposed to be the top priority per the Constitution, seems to me that somebody's dropping the ball. And it don't look like El Presidente.

Comment: Re:He can't because of Bush... (Score 1) 312

by jamstar7 (#46681511) Attached to: Why No Executive Order To Stop NSA Metadata Collection?

Bush wrote his orders in such a way that no other President can undo them. It requires congress, so this is 100% Bush's fault, and Obama is not allowed to undo it. I hate the people irrationally attacking him for something he simply cannot undo. Please attack the family responsible for it instead. The Bush junta created this and has left it in a state that Democrats cannot legally undo.

Yeah, he can undo it. He just can't make it stick. Next asshole in the chair can undo his undoing with the stroke of a pen. That's why they need a law in place to fix this. There's just no way he'll get that unless some serious changes happen in the midterms. Congress needs to purge the Tealiban and get people in there willing to compromise and govern.

Comment: Re:No Law (Score 1) 312

by jamstar7 (#46681491) Attached to: Why No Executive Order To Stop NSA Metadata Collection?

So you are saying Congress needs to authorize the current activities legislatively, before Obama would feel he had authority to override them by executive order? So as long as the activities are completely illegal he's powerless to stop them, but if they got a legislative fig-leaf then he could stand up to the Republicans by defying them? You just might have a future at the office of White House Counsel young man!

No, we're saying that in order for the changes to stick, it will take Congressional action, i.e., a law. Executive orders can be rescinded by the next guy in the chair. See LBJ's rescinding of JFK's executive orders dismantling the CIA.

Comment: Re:No Law (Score 1) 312

by jamstar7 (#46681483) Attached to: Why No Executive Order To Stop NSA Metadata Collection?

I almost hope Hillary wins, Obama is not going to leave office if he loses to a Republican (and his followers will eat it up; 'election was rigged, election was rigged!').

So sorry, the Constitution requires he step down at the end of his second term. None of this 'El Presidente For Life' bullshit you see in bad movies.

Comment: Re:Is it not obvious? They have dirt on him! (Score 1) 312

by jamstar7 (#46681419) Attached to: Why No Executive Order To Stop NSA Metadata Collection?

As a constitutional law scholar and professor Barack H. Obama knows damn well he can issue an presidential executive order to stop the NSA's activities. Yet he effectively does nothing by waiting on Congress. Shame on Uncle Tom. And you thought Sam was your uncle.

Executive orders can be overturned by the next guy in the chair. Case in point, Kennedy wrote three executive orders dismantling the CIA and spreading its programs to the winds. Some were to be assigned to the FBI, some to military intelligence, so on and so forth. One of the first things that Johnson did when he took the chair was to write executive orders rescinding Kennedy's executive orders to dismantle the CIA.

Obama is a constitutional lawyer. He taught constitutional law. He knows if he tries to shut down the NSA by executive order, which is his right and power as the chief executive of the Executive branch, ordering a department under the Executive branch, that order can be rescinded at any time. He needs Congress to pass legislation to stop it if the fix is to become permenant. Or, at least permenant until the Supremes wipe it away.

Comment: Re:evidence? (Score 1) 312

by jamstar7 (#46681379) Attached to: Why No Executive Order To Stop NSA Metadata Collection?

Check who voted for the Patriot Act the first time around. Almost everyone from all parties. Those were their true colors; they took advantage of the situation and used it as an opportunity to take away our rights. Furthermore, many people in both parties (except now it's Republicans that tend to do this more often) continue to vote to renew the Patriot Act.

If Obama really hated this, he'd try to stop it with his executive orders *even if* that would only be temporary. At least it would stop the collection for now. But he doesn't, and it doesn't matter what he does, because you seem to be an Obama drone.

Of course just about everybody in Congress voted in favor of the PATRIOT Act. If they hadn't, their political opponents at home would have had a field day in the next election cycle. "Congressman Blowhard is AGAINST security. Vote for Candidate Fuckwad. HE'LL KEEP YOU SAFE!" At the time, if you weren't in lockstep because "America! FUCK YEAH!!" you got accused of being unAmerican, told to pack your shit and leave the country, etc. Because, if you didn't buy corporate America, the terrorrorrorrists win.

And no, you can't stop the law of the land with an executive order. That's not what they're for. Executive orders are how the president manages the Executive branch. They have no standing or force outside the branch. Why do you think Obama EO'ed a minimum wage increase for federal contractors only? Because that's as far as he could push it. Federal contractors work under the Executive branch. And he took shit for doing that, the 'tyrant' rants cranked into high gear. They're also used to set policy and priorities for enforcing the laws on the books. Considering he can only work with the funding CONGRESS gives him, he has to prioritise. There just isn't enough money in the pipeline to do everything.

Comment: Re:An Airforce General once said... (Score 1) 236

by jamstar7 (#46443621) Attached to: SpaceX Wants To Go To Mars — and Has a Plan To Get There

Eh. Better yet, build a nuclear rocket that doesn't release any radioactive material at all. After all, you only need the heat. Use a propellant that absorbs UV and flow it around a nuclear lightbulb, and you have a rocket many times as efficient as anything we can build today, even at the low end of its theoretical range. Anyhow, it should be usable in atmosphere...

Interesting stub. But the engine eventually will become so radioactive that you can't get near it. I'd still want to test this thing in space just in case. It could open up the nearer planets and asteroids to colonisation and exploitation...

Comment: Re:An Airforce General once said... (Score 2) 236

by jamstar7 (#46438127) Attached to: SpaceX Wants To Go To Mars — and Has a Plan To Get There

A new plane doesn't make a new engine possible. A new engine makes a new plane possible.

It's great that there Elon Musk is pushing out gains in performance, reusability and most importantly cost in chemical engine design! Kudos to him (and his company).

Of course for the real exploration of the solar system to begin, we'll need nuclear (fusion!) or other such unrealized technologies. Still it's a good start!

It's an excellent start for high lift capacity. You really really REALLY don't want to use nuclear engines in a biosphere, you want to use them in space.

Comment: Re:surprised!!!! (Score 1) 704

by jamstar7 (#46403763) Attached to: Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

Occam's Razor says, even if there was no governmental or corporate involvement in the heist, they won't bend over backwards to help the victims recover their losses, and just may be quietly cheering on the 'thieves' from the sidelines.

You say it like it's a bad thing. One of the objectives of bitcoin users is to avoid paying tax. And yet you believe governments should "bend over backwards" to help cover the inevitable losses from an unregulated market? Covered presumably by the tax paid by people using ordinary currencies.

You can't have it all ways.

I'm just making observations. Do I own any Bitcoins? Not that it's anybody's business, but no, I don't. Do I like the idea of private currencies? Sure do. Do I think the government was behind the heists? Doesn't matter who did it, the government benefitted.

Comment: Re:surprised!!!! (Score 1) 704

by jamstar7 (#46403607) Attached to: Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

The concept of currencies outside of government control tends to make governments nervous.

Yes, because the advocates of those currencies are loudly crowing that the entire point is to enable criminal acts. That it's a perfect money laundering service and that this is a great thing.

But if a government responded rationally to this widely advertised lawbreaking by shutting down the people who launder money and the mechanism they're using to do it, that would somehow be immoral, and anyway they wouldn't do it. Because, um. Government bad, government inefficient, Bitcoin rules, FBI drools?

I'm shocked, shocked that Bitcoin exchanges might conceivably be running into money problems related to fund and transfer freezes from ongoing international drug investigations. That's simply not possible, because Bitcoin!

Saying that Bitcoin is only good for criminal purposes is like saying bittorrent is only good for stealing copies of movies. Any technology can be used for illegal purposes. Bitcoin put money outside of government control. Bittorrent allowed the individual more control over what files they choose or choose not to share, rather than the Napster model which openned up your eintire hard drive for browsing and downloading. Steam uses the bittorrent protocol. So do other MMOGs when they want to put updates to their gams out. The tools themselves are not inherently criminal, and Bitcoin is merely a tool.

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!