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Comment: For those who don't get it, different altitudes (Score 5, Funny) 62

by raymorris (#47962355) Attached to: 2 Mars Missions Set For Arrival, Both Prepare for Orbital Maneuvers

For those who don't quite understand that "worthy of Monty Python " implies something ridiculous, so improbable as to be almost beyond imagination, let mw get serious for a moment.

They will not collide because the only time they will be "near" each other they'll be at very different altitudes from the Martian surface. One will be 10,000 meters above the surface while the other is 33,000 feet above. Veteran scientists who worked on the Mars climate orbiter have confirmed this is plenty of separation between the two.

Comment: Not all fail. Mars climate orbiter (Score 1) 62

by raymorris (#47962303) Attached to: 2 Mars Missions Set For Arrival, Both Prepare for Orbital Maneuvers

Not EVERYTHING the government does us a total failure, of course.
They do tend to fail in comic ways, and often spectacularly. Mars climate orbiter, anyone? Robin Williams did a great bit about that.

Do you REALLY want to argue the position that governments aren't prone to ridiculous screwups? You can point to a couple of projects that ended up working. On the other side are thousands of projects and trillions of dollars that all ended in utter fail. The entire Bush II administration- mostly fail. His successor- again mostly fail, as evidenced by his approval ratings in the 30%s.

Comment: see also, Monty Python. Killer rabbits unlikely (Score 1) 62

by raymorris (#47961973) Attached to: 2 Mars Missions Set For Arrival, Both Prepare for Orbital Maneuvers

Also, you might want to check out Monty Python sometime.
The feared killer rabbit is a favorite. Encountering a killer rabbit, and being forced to defend yourself with the Holy Hand Grenade, is approximately as likely as said collision. Hence the Monty Python reference. Yet governments do indeed fight "holy wars", presumably with holy hand grenades, because nothing is too ridiculous for a government.

Comment: a collision wouldn't surprise me (Score -1, Flamebait) 62

by raymorris (#47961521) Attached to: 2 Mars Missions Set For Arrival, Both Prepare for Orbital Maneuvers

For somw reason, it wouldn't surprise me if these two craft collided, despite being the only two approaching the entire planet. It just seems that any time a government spends a lot of money to do anything, it normally ends with a fail worthy of Monty Python .

Comment: pass their forearm near the card reader to unlock (Score 1) 210

by raymorris (#47961223) Attached to: Secret Service Critics Pounce After White House Breach

Oilcan completely see how a security agent can open the lock by merely passing their forearm near the card reader as they approach the door. Wear the security card on the forearm, hip, or other appropriate place and even a relatively inexpensive reader such as many office buildings use will allow instant access by authorized personnel, while keeping unauthorized people out.

Comment: lock the front door before spend $1.5 billion (Score 2) 210

by raymorris (#47959559) Attached to: Secret Service Critics Pounce After White House Breach

Absolutely there's no such thing as perfect security. I say that as a security professional. My wife, a childcare professional, will tell you that locking the front door is a good idea, if the house is a target. They spend a billion and half dollars every year on the secret service, who doesn't bother to lock the door. That's how government does things.

Comment: Re:Only $11 million per person! (Actually $20 mill (Score 1) 370

The Obama administration chose to publish the ten-year cost number, because that makes them look better than any other choice. Too short and the startup costs aren't amortized much, too long and you get into the time period where we're scheduled to actually pay for much of it. Those 12 million people wil need insurance for the next ten years, so it's perfectly appropriate to talk about what it will cost to cover them for ten years. 12 million isn't a one-time number, as if they only needed coverage for one day. The number of previously uninsured people may covered may fluctuate a bit, but not by order of magnitude or anything like that.

No, that's not a mistake I made. I made a much simpler mistake, though - I lost track of the number of zeros ehile trying to calculate trillions in my head.

Comment: better than a "legal notices " ad in the paper (Score 5, Insightful) 182

by raymorris (#47958041) Attached to: NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

This is, I think, the key line in TFA:

> A Family Court official ruled that Noel Biscocho could use Facebook to serve Anna Maria Antigua because other, more traditional methods to slap her with papers have not worked.

Historically, when the defendant absolutely cannot be reached any other way, the service of last resort was to put a classified ad in the "legal notices" section of the newspaper. In order for a judge to accept that, you had to show that you didn't know where the person lived or worked, and had no reasonable means of finding out. It seems to me that in case like this, delivery via the person's _active_ Facebook account is much better than a classified ad,and may well be the best available method of reaching the person.

Comment: I'm wrong, shouldn't figure trillions in my head. (Score 4, Insightful) 370

My numbers don't work. Now I'm not sure how I got that number. Perhaps I should use paper and pencil when calculating Obama-sized costs.
I'm going to show my work like this is fourth grade, so if I blew it again someone can easily point it out.

Direct federal cost: 1 300 000 000 000
people covered: 12 000 000
(roughly double the cost once you include premium increases, but let's start with just the cost we'll pay as federal taxes).


1 300 000 000 000
                            12 000 000

Start dropping zeroes from both to get reasonable sized numbers for numerator and denominator:

1 300 000 000 000 dollars to cover
                          12 000 000 people

1 300 000 000 dollars to cover
                          12 000

1 300 000 dollars to cover
                          12 people

108 333 dollars to cover
                          1 person

With premium increases, maybe $200,000 per person. So that's expensive, but not nearly as expensive as I had first calculated.

Comment: Re:Only $11 million per person! (Actually $20 mill (Score 0) 370

> Your math doesn't work out. Care to show your work?

$1.3 trillion (US) federal tax cost / 12 million people = $11.3 million per person covered.
Does that look right so far, or did I fat-finger the calculation? That's US trillion, which is different from UK trillion, I believe.

In addition to the $11.3 million indirect cost to the taxpayers, we have the the significant increase in premium costs since insurance companies now have to cover people who wait until something happens before they buy insurance, and the cost of generally moving away from INSURANCE (protection from catastrophic loss) to having a third- party payer for massage therapy. That cost increase could be anywhere from 25%-140%, depending on where you live and which study you use. One person could make a reasonable argument that the total premium increases minus out-of-pocket reductions is half a trillion, and someone else could make an argument just as strong that it's two trillion. My previous post guesstimated around a trillion. That number isn't solid, of course, but we can certainly say "$11.3 million per patient federal tax cost, plus a lot more in increased premiums".

Comment: Re:Only $11 million per person! (Actually $20 mill (Score 0) 370

> I can't help but noticing you left the duration out

That's the ten year cost, per the administration plan. So around $2 million per person per year, assuming cost reductions later as per the Obama administration's plan.
The short term cost is much higher per year, of course. If we recognize that kicking the can down the road doesn't actually work - that a future Congress will kick it again, the actual costs are likely to be higher, but I wanted to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. It's bad enough based on accepting his numbers - we needn't bother trying to be more accurate and figure whether it'll actually be $30 million or $40 million per person.

Comment: Only $11 million per person! (Actually $20 million (Score 4, Informative) 370

Let's assume that 12 million estimate is correct, that due to Obamacare, 12 million people who weren't insured before are now insured. Of course, other people give different estimates, but let's give Obama the benefit of the doubt.

The net cost of Obamacare to the federal taxpayers is $1.3 trillion (CBO). $1.3 trillion / 12 million people covered = $11.3 million per person.
I don't think we got a good deal.

The $11 million per person covered is of course just the direct cost to the federal government. In 2013, we saw the following rate increases due to Obamacare:
Connecticut: 37% average rate increase
Florida: 42% average rate increase
Illinois: 33% average rate increase
Michigan: 39% average rate increase
Minnesota: 35% average rate increase

The trend accelerates in 2014:
Delaware 100%
New Hampshire 90%
Indiana 54%
California 53%
Connecticut 45%
Michigan 36%
Florida 37%
Georgia 29%
Kentucky 29%
Pennsylvania 28%

So there's another trillion dollars it cost average Americans, in the form of much higher premiums. A couple TRILLION dollars to (maybe) cover $12 million people. At a cost of around $20 million per person covered, I don't think I'd trumpet that as a victory if I were a Democrat. (And in fact Democrat most candidates are distancing themselves from the mess.)

Comment: Re:Constitution only a few pages. You can read not (Score 1) 117

by raymorris (#47956357) Attached to: Proposed Law Would Limit US Search Warrants For Data Stored Abroad

In response to Tail Hook, Congress passed laws preventing commanders from overturning jury conviction for sexual assault, requiring a civilian review when commanders decline to prosecute, requiring dishonorable discharge or dismissal for those convicted, eliminating the statute of limitations for courts-martial in rape and sexual assault cases and criminalizing retaliation against victims who report an assault. The President did nothing. So who, exactly, demonstrated the power to do something about it?

Save the whales. Collect the whole set.