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Comment: Re:Big bags of water... that's what we are. (Score 1) 141

by Mr. Slippery (#48648969) Attached to: Can Rep. John Culberson Save NASA's Space Exploration Program?

Yes there are good reasons for going to Mars. Greatest among them is to safeguard the species from any catestrophic impacts on Earth they would extinguish us.

No potential impact to Earth would render it less hospitable to life than Mars is. For speicies survival a set of fortified underground bunkers/mini-cities would be far more practical -- and unlike Mars, we do have the tech to do that.

The suggestion that we currently have the technology to colonize Mars is, in brief, ridiculous. No human has been move than 500 miles from Earth's surface in over four decades, and the farthest we've ever sent a human is under 250,000 miles; at its closest, Mars is 38,000,000 miles away. We do not know how to safely get a human being that distance through interplanetary space, and the first few people we try to send are quite likely to die.

That investment of blood and treasure might be worthwhile if there was something useful for humans to do when they got there, but there isn't. We'll get better scientific results by building and sending better robots.

There is no practical reason to send humans to Mars in the near-term -- say, next five centuries. Especially not when all of our resources are needed over the next century or so to put human civilization on a sustainable footing. We can probably do some useful stuff with humans in Earth orbit and maybe on Luna, but deep space is for robots.

The only justification to put humans on Mars is some vague hand-waving about "inspiration" -- i.e., it's a huge performance art project. Maybe someday humanity can afford that. But not now.

Comment: Re: Diversity is good, especially in SciFi (Score 1) 368

by Mr. Slippery (#48595317) Attached to: Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

Science fiction isn't fiction that has elements that aren't science but might appeal to geeks who like science....Science fiction is science that is fictional. Very different animal and naturally restrictive.

You are using a defintion of a term, which is at odds with the defintions of that term used by almost every other educated native speaker of English. This will probably make it hard for you to communicate. You might want to look to that.

Comment: Re:James Risen vs James Rosen (Score 3, Informative) 55

by Mr. Slippery (#48587741) Attached to: Attorney General Won't Force New York Times Reporter To Reveal Source

Luckily, he is James Risen from the New York Times... If he were James Rosen from Fox News...he would be labeled a criminal co-conspirator and flight risk by Eric Holder so that they could trace his phone calls and emails.

They snooped on Rosen. That's bad.

They snooped on Risen and threatened, repeatedly over the past six years, to lock him up. That's worse.

Both journalists were attempting to enable the American people to keep tabs on the U.S. government (supposedly "theirs", in reality owned by corporate interests and the security-industrial complex). Your partisan take on the matter is counter-factual.

Comment: Re:Fire all the officers? (Score 1) 515

by Mr. Slippery (#48583163) Attached to: Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

We love to rag on cops, but they do a dangerous job

Farmers are more likely to be killed on the job than cops are, and most cops who die on the job die in vechicular accidents, not assaults. Cops' seige mentality is bullshit.

If you start firing cops for every mistake or worse, jailing them, you quickly run out of cops

(Of course a citizen watch would be a huge social/poltiical change. But I'm not sure anything less than a huge social/poltiical change would fix the problem.)

Comment: Re:Fire all the officers? (Score 3, Insightful) 515

by Mr. Slippery (#48583091) Attached to: Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

You and OP look to be in the same clan when he claims they're doing this "in a rather violent manner". Hyperbole much?

An unjustifed arrest is assault and kidnapping. It is a violent crime.

That's true even when the pigs (and those who trample citizen's rights deserve that epithet) don't apply chemical weapons or electrical torture devices, or beat citizens into submission, or use lethal force.

If I forced someone into a cage at gunpoint for no good reason, I would go to jail for a long time. The same should apply to a cop.

Comment: Re:Read one, write other (Score 1) 567

by Mr. Slippery (#48575195) Attached to: The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

I guess you've never seen a regular web user. They don't write documents at the same time they're reading a website.

At home, perhaps their media masters have managed to turn the web into as passive and one-way a medium as television. But at work, even these drones are quite likely creating documents in a word processor, or e-mail messages in their MUA, or entering data into a web form, while referring to another document (e-mail message, website).

There is a reason that every physical desk is in landscape mode. Put documents next to each other.

Comment: Re:5th Admendment? (Score 2) 446

by Mr. Slippery (#48510113) Attached to: 18th Century Law Dredged Up To Force Decryption of Devices

And you're thinking that George Washington was one of those idiots who thought a little tyranny would work out well?

George Washington the aristocratic slaveholder who crushed the Whiskey Rebellion, screwing over farmers (including many Revolutionary War vets) to pay off bondholders? I'd say "a little tyranny would work out well" might be a decent description of his stance, sure.

Comment: Re:And this is how perverted our system has gotten (Score 1) 436

by Mr. Slippery (#48492721) Attached to: Supreme Court To Decide Whether Rap Lyric Threats Are Free Speech

Things that were illegal didn't suddenly become legal just because they weren't explicitly mentioned in the Constitution.

No, but unless they fell under the Constitutional powers of the feds, they remained state crimes, not federal ones.

OTOH, some things that were illegal in the states did suddenly become legal when the 14th Amendment was passed. Any laws restricting free speech, religious liberty, etc., as well as any provisions creating unequal protection, were null and void from that point on.

Of course, the state often operates under unconstitutional, null and void laws anyway, as much as it can get away with. Jim Crow was illegal, marriage inequality is illegal, much of the War on Drugs and the War on Guns and the War on Copying is illegal, but they've got the guns.

Comment: Re:And this is how perverted our system has gotten (Score 2) 436

by Mr. Slippery (#48492669) Attached to: Supreme Court To Decide Whether Rap Lyric Threats Are Free Speech

That statement is not consistent with Supreme Court jurisprudence.

Correct. The point is that SCOTUS jurisprudence often has fsck-all to do with the Constitution.

For example, the first amendment has been held *not* to give you the right to incite violence. (See Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire.)

A perfect example. Chaplinsky was engaging in exactly the sort of political speech that most requires protection and was in no way inciting violence. He called somebody a nasty name, that's all. The Court's absurd and immoral decision had neither law (i.e., the text of the Constitution) nor reason on its side.

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan