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Comment: Re:Big Whoop. (Score 1) 59

by PopeRatzo (#46802839) Attached to: SpaceX Successfully Delivers Supplies To ISS

Unlike every previous launch, however, we the taxpayers are paying a fixed price to SpaceX, instead of the bloated cost-plus contracts that are large part of the reason why there hasn't been much progress in manned spaceflight in the last four decades.

Well, it's theoretically less expensive, but not yet. If you extrapolate out 50 missions, you start seeing SpaceX making an actual profit instead of a projected profit based on a fee stream.

My problem is that the entire thing still relies on government. If there is value in a "private" space industry, it hasn't been found yet.

Further, none of the profits ever materialize if you look at the external costs of the federal government already having done the hard work. Unless you believe SpaceX started with a clean sheet of paper and didn't make use of the past half-century of government space programs.

At best, you can say that there's a place for government and private industry to work together on the really big things like space travel. Without the government over-spending, there's good reason to believe we'd never have seen any space program at all. Or, convince me that without the initial public investment, any private company would have done the basic research required to send the first satellite into space.

Comment: Re:Don't be ridiculous (Score 1) 154

by CAIMLAS (#46801119) Attached to: Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

They're already unenforcable -- against criminals, who steal them (both wholesale and retail, sometimes even from police evidence rooms) and illegally import them.

... or from police weapon lockers.

They also make them. See the case recently in Australia of motorcycle gangs making some (very) effective subguns (automatic pistols and the like).

It's pretty trivial to make a firearm capable of being used to perpetuate crimes against people: they just have to be better than not having a firearm, so looks, and impression of effectiveness, are more important than actually being well made firearms. Someone with crude hand tools can make an AK in a day or two, and that's a fairly capable firearm. The net result of regulation and elimination of privately owned firearms is that only criminals and cops will have guns, and military (and militarized police) will be the main ones with firearms suitable for any sort of tyrannical resistance and/or hunting.

There are already efforts well underway to prohibit any firearm with a rifled bore - you know, something that was invented to the point of being effective in the 15th century, and have been in common military as well as domestic use for 200 years. Still, you can't regulate ingenuity.

This is why they're also trying to control/eliminate consumer ammunition production (by making it prohibitively expensive through the banning of things like smelting lead, making it illegal to import lead, and things like that) - at least in the US.

Comment: Google Can And Should Be Blamed (Score 3, Insightful) 202

by Bob9113 (#46799925) Attached to: Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

Google can't be blamed for this: one of its jobs is to lobby for laws that benefit its shareholders,

Yes, they can, and should, be blamed for this. Pro-social corporations should be rewarded for their behavior. Anti-social corporations should be punished. This is a pretty basic part of free market theory and the power of the purse. Stop repeating this sociopath-loving dogma as though it had any relation to healthy free market economics. Public backlash against despotic corporations is a very important correcting force in the free market.

Comment: Obama = Coward (Score 3, Insightful) 179

by optimus2861 (#46799117) Attached to: Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

I would have loved to been a fly on the wall in Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office when this non-decision was announced. Obama has once again taken the cowardly way out and punted a tough decision. He wants to continue to fundraise from environmentalists by saying "We're being tough on the Keystone pipeline and insisting it meets our environmental standards!" and then do the same with the big business crowd by saying, "We haven't said no to Keystone, we just want to make sure it meets our environmental standards." He doesn't actually want to make the decision, because then one crowd or the other will tell him to pound sand. Even though the entire job of being President of the United States is about making those decisions!

Worst president of my lifetime. Not even close.

Center meeting at 4pm in 2C-543.