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Comment Re:So why the secrecy (Score 1) 171

You should have taken the prior poster's advice because your ignorance is really showing here. It doesn't matter whether you're in the city or the country, cell towers don't allow the same positional accuracy as GPS. They're not even remotely close. Sure, the phone company knows what tower you're associated with, but that tower covers several city BLOCKS at the very least. Given that thousands of other cell phones are likely in that same urban radius, it makes locating you via cell tower kind of ridiculous.

Comment Re:Because It's the Only Thing That Actually Works (Score 1) 290

This touches on most of the reasoning but leaves out the most obvious thing: the B-52 is as close to the "ideal" for a subsonic bomb truck that we've been able to come up with.

Look, we need different types and numbers of aircraft for any given military engagement. They should be:

1. A small, elite force of the best stealth and precision-targeting weapons we can muster as a nation, flown by the most rigidly-trained men and women our nation has to offer. These forces lead the initial attack, destroying command and control facilities, air defenses, air bases, and logistics. Given our huge lead in these areas of technology over our hypothetical foes, these missions should have a very high success rate and low attrition rate.

2. Once the enemy air force and air defenses have been beaten down, the value of stealth is greatly diminished. At this point we're far better served by cheaper, less maintenance-intensive forces like a B-52 or A-10. Their ruggedness and numbers make them ideal for this lower-threat environment where stealthy options would be too expensive to maintain and too valuable to lose in a protracted fight.

3. When all major targets are bombed into oblivion by the forces in item #2, you need to keep a constant presence around to deter regrowth. But things like B-52's are expensive to keep flying around waiting on something to bomb. Far better to spend money on armed drones which can orbit for a full day, out of sight, waiting to deliver a "bolt from the blue" when a bad guy steps outside for a piss. All the destructive power of a precision-guided munition married to the omnipresent terror of a sniper in an unknown and unreachable location.

Comment Re:Defense systems? (Score 1) 331

You should read "Red Storm Rising" by Tom Clancy. Saturating the missile defenses of a carrier battle group aren't as hard as you think. Squadrons of strategic bombers (Tu-22M and successors) can carry more ASM's than the carrier battle group has SAM's, and they can launch them out of range of carrier-based interceptors. And this assumes the SAM's are any good at hitting the incoming missiles. Peacetime testing has been depressingly inconclusive on how effective this defense really is.

And even if you don't have enough bombers to carry enough missiles to empty the SAM magazines of a carrier battle group in one mission, those bombers can refuel, rearm, and sortie again in less than a day. The carrier battle group has to put into port to rearm or perform a very vulnerable underway replenishment.

Further, it's not like the bad guys need to scout for the battle group either. Satellites know where they are 24x7. The carriers can't hide. They can't fight off successive attacks by long-range land-based bombers carrying long-range missiles. They're hideously vulnerable yet the Navy continues to insist otherwise. Reminds me of how we were in 1941 regarding the invincibility of the battleship against the airplane.

Comment Re:Defense systems? (Score 1) 331

There are all kinds of problems with what you propose but I'll touch on some of the most obvious ones:

1. Subs don't just rely on torpedoes. They can launch anti-ship missiles as well, from very close range.
2. Detonating a torpedo using underwater "slat armor" or netting wouldn't help much. Water is very good at transmitting blast force because it's incompressible. Look up "water hammer effect" and you'll see what I mean. Unless the armor/netting is an impractically-long distance from the hull, a nearby detonation is going to do a lot of damage.
3. Such armor and/or netting would cause so much drag as to make the ship impractical to move or maneuver.
4. Such armor and/or netting would only work once if it worked at all. Subsequent shots to the same area would go through the hold in the armor/netting and hit the hull. Same thing happened with tank/anti-tank weaponry. See "tandem charge warhead" under anti-tank weapons. The first charge defeats your anti-warhead countermeasure. The second charge is applied directly to the hull of the vehicle.

Comment Re:Defense systems? (Score 1) 331

Never mind the fact that if you launch an ICBM, every other nuclear power will see a first strike attempt, and launch counterstrikes. Won't that be fun? You sink a cruiser with an ICBM, and everyone else lays waste to your country with nuclear weapons. Great trade-off, eh?

Let me propose a hypothetical situation to you and see what you think would happen.

Suppose the US and China get into an escalation that involves an actual shooting war. Good example: we put a carrier battle group off their artificial island in the South China Sea, they scream it's a violation of their sovereignty, and it escalates from there until somebody pulls a trigger or two. Let us further suppose at some point the Chinese pop a tactical nuke over our carrier battle group and wipe the entire thing out. Thousands of sailors dead, billions in hardware destroyed. Now what?

Do you honestly see the US immediately escalating to nuking cities as you propose? Do you think the current administration would ever do anything like that?

Now reverse the roles. If we nuked a Chinese battle group (assuming they had one to nuke, which they currently don't), do you think they'd show the same restraint?

Comment Re:Actually, hard to hit (Score 1) 331

Making the shells longer, heavier and faster doesn't help. They've already got more than enough penetrating power to go all the way through. The trouble is transferring energy to the target rather than the sea underneath.

You act like applying it to the sea underneath is somehow inferior to hitting the vessel itself. All that kinetic energy has to go somewhere. If the vessel is effectively tissue paper, the ocean beneath it is not, being made of this incompressible stuff called "water." The water would vaporize explosively. If the ship wasn't destroyed outright by such a blast, it would undoubtedly be sunk by the following void "crater" in the water when the ocean sweeps back in. You don't even need to hit the ship at this point; the water vaporization blast would almost certainly be enough.

Comment Re:Perspective (Score 1) 331

The US is the only country that acts that way.

I guess you don't pay much attention to current events in places like Ukraine (Russian invasion) or the South China Sea (Chinese laying claim to international waters). But hey, go right on with that narrative that the US is the only one doing the saber rattling. You're sounding totally credible at this point.

You think our interests are global. How did you come to that conclusion? By your reasoning, all countries should have global interests that they defend, and should be bombing the crap out of the world like we are.

You're right, we should never take an interest in anything that happens outside our borders because we don't need anyone else's oil, or steel, food, or valuable minerals to keep our economy humming. Yep, we can just sit back and the world couldn't possible evolve into something that might threaten our interests. I mean, it's not like that happened in the 1930's and caused a hundred million deaths. Nah, that's just crazy talk.

You know, the sad thing is people like you are utterly oblivious to history. I don't so much mind you having to relive it because of your ignorance, but I really hate it when there's a lot of you out there and your ignorance causes the rest of us to have to relive it and, usually, die for it as well.

Comment Re:Perspective (Score 1) 331

After Medicare, the skilled nursing facility is billing ME over $4000 a month.

And thus you stumble upon the core of the problem, completely bypass it, and move along to a false conclusion.

Have you ever stopped to wonder WHY you got a bill for $4k...and that's AFTER Medicare paid the lion's share?

Go have a conversation with ANY healthcare professional working in a hospital and you'll see they're not getting rich from these fees. The hospitals themselves are permanently on the edge of bankruptcy as well. Who's making out a like a bandit here? Big Pharma? Nope. Although many pharma companies are doing quite well, it's not because they're making bank on everyday schlubs like you and me. They make bank on stuff like Viagra.

So where does all the money go if it doesn't go to the healthcare providers, their facilities, or the drug companies? It goes to insurance and legal fees. Malpractice insurance is insanely expensive, largely because lawyers make insane money suing doctors.

So, if you want lower healthcare costs you should be pushing for tort reform. But nobody seems to be smart enough to connect the dots. They just see a big bill from the hospital and assume the healthcare system is broken. Look deeper. Follow the money. It's not healthcare, it's the legal system that's sucking you dry.

Comment Re:Perspective (Score 1) 331

They are over there to destabilize governments that are currently not favorable to US policy. Once destabilized, they get puppets installed that will do as they tell them to.

Please explain to me, in concrete terms, how this is a problem for me, because from where I'm sitting there are three possible kinds of "other governments" to choose from:

1. Friendlies/Allies - They're on our side, work with us, support us, and don't cause trouble for us.
2. Neutrals - They're not on anybody's side. They neither help nor hinder us.
3. Enemies - They actively work against our interests and foment violence against us.

We have no need to destabilize category #1. Category #2 isn't a problem either since they don't interfere with us. Our problem is with category #3, and those are the kind I *want* destabilized, overthrown, and replaced with governments more friendly to us.

I don't care if you're a despot or a democratically-elected People's President of Whateve-istan, if you declare yourself opposed to our interests, we're going to oppose you. And we're a fearsome thing to oppose when we choose to be and when we have leadership that actually includes a spine.

Comment Consumer ignorance (Score 1) 482

It's beyond me in this day and age of ubiquitous information available at one's fingertips that anyone can walk into a dealership and NOT know what they want to buy (or at least have it narrowed down to one or two models and/or trim levels). You should do all your research BEFORE going to the dealership. The only point of going to the dealership should be to actually drive the car and confirm or refute what you already know about it.

Dealerships HATE informed customers because it basically removes the need for a salesperson. I don't WANT some smelly guy in a bad suit trying to tell me what I want. I already KNOW what I want. The only reason I'm even there is because I can't order one from the factory directly. I have my financing worked out with my credit union before I set foot in his doorway. The salesperson's total interaction with me ought to be "Here is a filled-out build sheet for the car I want along with all options I would like. Here is the price I'm willing to pay which ensures a modest profit for you and your dealership. I will not negotiate one penny above and beyond that, nor do I want to be sold on additional options or extras I have not already specified. Please locate the car in your database. If you have one on the lot that matches it, I'll take it today. If not, please have it delivered here and let me know when it arrives. Thank you. Goodbye."

Why in the hell can't we just ORDER these things from the factory??? Oh, dealerships have local politicians blocking that sort of thing. Land of the free, home of the brave-but-not-so-brave-that-we-want-actual-competition.

Comment Re:This is only true (Score 2) 365

When what's legal and what's sustainable for the society are not aligned, there are likely one of two results: 1) Law is changed to be more sustainable or 2) the society suffers.

But hey, more power to those who can screw over everyone else for their tax free money!

If what the company is doing is not sustainable, the company will fail, as it should. If what society is doing is unsustainable, it will fail, as it should. It's called capitalism and if you leave it alone, you'd be surprised at how good it works.

What would you propose? We block companies from doing these kinds of inversions? They'd just transfer their entire operation overseas and then the US would see zero percent of that income. There are any number of other countries that would LOVE to have them, as is evidenced by their lower tax rates and success in luring said companies.

The stupidity is the assumption you can somehow control these companies, or punish them for their actions. Controlling them is impossible so long as there are other places to do business. Punishing them does nothing but punish those who consume their products or services. Putting them out of business adds to unemployment. Banning their products or services from the US market would damage consumers *and* employees. You know...employees...those people who work hard every day to take home a paycheck to their families. Not everyone at a corporation is Scrooge McDuck burning hundred dollar bills to warm their gold-plated mansion.

No, the answer is to lower our corporate tax burdens and win this business back to US shores and the US tax system. It doesn't take a genius to realize that 15% of something is better than 26% of nothing.

Comment Re:Heinlein quote. (Score 1) 378

I hate to sound obtuse or unimaginative, but I'm wondering WHY anyone would want to colonize the Kuiper Belt? Other than scientific curiosity -- which is best served by robot probes -- what's to be gained by living there that you can't accomplish elsewhere in our solar system for much less cost and risk?

I can think of only two immediate reasons: those desiring the ultimate in autonomy and those fleeing population pressure. The former would be pretty extreme and would somewhat depend upon the latter happening first. The latter would have to be extreme indeed to the point where all the reasonably-habitable areas inside Pluto's orbit are already filled up, probably requiring hundreds of billions if not trillions of human beings assuming high population densities in, on, and orbiting every available planetary body and moon in the solar system.

Of course there's always the "because it's there" option for adrenaline junkies, but again you'd have to deplete all the other slightly-less-extreme objectives within the solar system before you'd need to hit the Kuiper Belt. And the expense involve would be beyond the reach of even the most intrepid adrenaline junkie.

Comment Re:After RTFA (Score 1) 157

Funny, I read it as incomplete review which wasn't very forthcoming (or accurate) on details: "The public inquiry was poorly conducted and did not allow people to get the full information," said Ms Sageloli. " The published notice was hard to understand and did not clearly indicate that it concerned a data center. "

Please note the passage you quote is being mouthed by the person leading the charge against the data center...hardly an unbiased source. What did you expect her to say? That she utterly failed to look into the project during the review period and thus wants to retroactively punish the data center for her laziness and apathy?

This is PRECISELY why public reviews are held in the first place. Only seven people even SHOWED UP to the review, yet 424 now complain about the data center.

I've dealt with data centers for a good chunk of my IT career. It strains the imagination to think they failed to disclose they'd have chillers and stored diesel, as one or both are pretty much standard fare for any data center anywhere on the planet. The site layout would've REQUIRED them to have these items outside the data center in plain view, which means the space planning would've show where they needed to go, which means the official proposed plans DID include them during the review.

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