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Comment I thought they *used* to launch their own (Score 2) 154

But y'know it's *so* much cheaper to outsource the launches and satellites so that a) the people who actually *build* the stuff get the same salaries and bennies as government employees, or a good bit less (how much was assembled in, say, China?), but whose profits and execs make up for that by earning *so* much more, tens of times what, say, the President of the US earns.

I think I remember when the military launched its own satellites with its own rockets....


Comment So this is Plan B (Score 1) 337

For when Bernie becomes president, the Dems-who-are-Dems, not DINOs, take control of Congress, and we tax interest and dividend income at the same rate *I* get taxed at, instead of Romney's 14%.

Wonder whether the big companies will let their CEOs telecommute....


Comment Such a deal... (Score 1) 459

Of course, what no media even talks about, is that Iran would have had *one*, and only one use for ->having- (not using) a nuke: MAD.

1. Iran would never nuke Jerusalem, which is holy to all Muslims, as well as Jews and Christians.
                  Would Westboro Badtaste Church want to nuke Jerusalem, if they allowed gays to worship
                  at the Wailing Wall?
2. The US state of New Jersey is bigger than Israel. At one point, Israel is 17 mi wide (go look it up).
                Dropping a nuke *anywhere* in Israel means that Jerusalem would get fallout, at the least.
3. Dripping a nuke in Israel would also hit the Palestinians, who the Iranians consider friends.
4. Considering the jet stream, guess where the fallout would continue to (hint: a country ruled
                by an Ayatollah).
5. Notice that there's a small border area with Israel, that's called Iraq, Syria, and Jordan. Sort of
                keeps armies from coming through to invade Israel.

Therefore, MAD with Israel would have been the only reason. So, those who don't like the idea, and think we should force regime change in Iran (I mean, it worked *so* well in Iraq), I'd expect each and every one of you to line up to enlist in the US Army, as infantry, to be ground troops for the invasion and conquest of Iran.

Otherwise, shut up.


Comment I already do (Score 1) 654

I drive one day out of ten to work. But overwhelmingly, Americans are *stupid*.

Datum: I used to live in Chicago, in a far north neighborhood. I'd take the commuter rail into downtown. The last few miles, it runs along/in the middle of the expressway. At least four days out of five, if not 9 out of 10, we'd be cruising down at about 55mph, and the traffic on the freeway would be either stop and go, or almost standing still (except when it was standing still). Oh, and a lot near where I worked advertised an "early bird special", in by 07:00, "only" $22/day.

But they're driving their cars, usually with only one person in them, for "convenience".....

These days, taking a bus and the Metro adds perhaps 10 min to my commute.


Comment The facts about Greece (Score 1) 431

Too much of what has been reported in the U.S. media in these last, fraught weeks has echoed fulminations of the creditors that distort reality. Syriza has been painted as a party of the extreme left, with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government depicted as irresponsible and irreverent. This scorn comes from troika functionaries committed to enforcing utterly ruinous policies and whose behavior towards a democratically elected government has been insulting in the extreme.
--- end excerpt ---

                mark "libertarianoids - you're entitled to your opinions, you are *not* entitled to your facts"

Comment "Idea person" == too much money, few brains (Score 1) 217

The Middle Ages nobility: Read? Why would I learn that - I have clerks for that. The only proper thing for someone noble is to hunt and fight.

Mid-20th century: managers and execs don't touch a keyboard, that's what the all-woman secretarial pool is for.

Now: learning to actually do work and make things? That's beneath us, we just buy people to do that, they don't do anything useful (i.e., make money for me), it all comes from my Vision!


Comment Good. (Score 1) 423

As Sen. Sanders say, gun laws for rural New Hampshire, where they often hunt for food, *must* be very different from Chicago or LA, where the hunting is for members of some opposition social group of *people*.

Oh, and then there's all the cowards who are TERRIFIED of anyone not just like them, and needs GUNS to protect themselves....

              mark, who lived in inner cities half his life, and has never felt the need for one,
                                              and who's only known a few people with one

Comment No (Score 2) 340

I wouldn't want to try one. For one, standing still for long hours isn't that good for you, either. For another, that's a *great* idea, now management can make your working/living space even smaller (Dilbert's old Velcro on your back, and hang you on the wall coming, soon).

Then there's those of us with other issues, like my arthritis.

I'm waiting for the introduction of not only treadmills under the desk, but have them generate electricity, so you produce ROI doubly.....

And ergonomics? I sit with my keyboard in my lap, several feet from my monitors. The way my cube's aligned, I can't really put my feet on the desk, but that meets all those ergonomic criteria, y'know, with wrists supported, monitors straight ahead....


Comment like the 50's, but more so (Score 1) 278

In '58, the famous essayist CP Snow published an essay entitled, "On the Two Cultures". In it, he was talking about the cultures of the sciences vs. the liberal arts. He noted, for example, that he knew plenty of scientists who could quote Shakespeare chapter and verse, but not one liberal arts person who even knew the simplified three laws of thermodynamics.

It's gotten much worse, and spread, thanks to the GOP's explicit building a reliable base of yellow dog Republicans out of the extreme right, the conspiracyists, the group that wants their RIGHTS (but aren't interested in their responsibilities) andthe funnymentalists who think the world's only 6000 years old. Then the media whose owners want that legal and tax and spending agenda treat them as "equally valid", and dumb down the science in school, and this is what you get: the party adherents whose mind is made up, don't confuse them with facts.

                mark "the RW trumps your opinion"

Comment It's *still* a stupid scare (Score 3, Informative) 409

First of all, Iran COULD NOT USE the bomb if it had one.

1. They can't bomb Jerusalem, which is as holy to them as to jews and Christians. Their own
              people would slaughter them. AND they'd kill most of the Palestinians in the Occupied
              Territories of the West Bank.
2. Israel is smaller than the US state of New Jersey. At one point, I believe it's a total
                of ->17mi- wide. What this means is using the bomb *anywhere* in Israel means
                fallout on Jerusalem.
3. Following 2, it *also* means fallout on the Palestinians.
4. Oh, yes - the winds would mean that fallout would COME BACK TO IRAN.

Therefore, the ONE and ONLY purpose that Iran would want the bomb is MAD with Israel (who has a bunch of bombs, and would cheerfully use it on Iran, if they didn't think there'd be no Israel left afterwards.

Oh, yes, and with all the climate-change deniers here, *no* *one* could imagine that maybe Iran's worried about when their oil fields are played out, and planning to do things with the money while they have it to prepare for the future, no, no, that's *way* more than next quarter....


"Trust me. I know what I'm doing." -- Sledge Hammer