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Comment: Re:Lol... (Score 5, Insightful) 329

by prisoner-of-enigma (#46981215) Attached to: EA Ending Online Support For Dozens of Games

I oppose the very idea of "professional entertainment", be it musicians, athletes, actors or games programmers.

Let me get this straight: you oppose all forms of compensated entertainment? So you consume no music, no movies, no fictional books, no games of any kind (electronic or otherwise), view no works of art...nothing at all? Or do you consume these things but just presume that people should never be paid for providing them to you?

I'm not about to shill for the copyright-manipulating media conglomerates, but IMO your viewpoint is either hopelessly extreme or ridiculously hypocritical. If people choose to entertain someone else, that effort has intrinsic value. Now exactly what that value might be is debatable and purely subjective based upon the value it has to those consuming said entertainment, but it surely has value to those who consume it, otherwise they wouldn't. You pay for people to fix your food at restaurants, or to build your computer components, or any number of other trades that require someone with a particular skill to perform a particular service. Why should entertainment alone be considered a pro bono profession?

Comment: Free market works (Score 1) 258

And this, ladies and gents, is why the free market works when it's allowed to work unhampered by meddling from politicians. AT&T is a shit company. I hate their service and product offerings, but even more I hate their flippant attitude towards their customers. Along comes Google to kick them out of their complacency. If AT&T gets on the ball and delivers good service at good prices, it's good for me. If AT&T drops the ball and Google displaces them, it's good for me. Competition, folks. It's a win-win.

Comment: Complete restructure??? (Score 4, Insightful) 143

What? And destroy the current lucrative system of kickbacks, cronyism, and propping up otherwise unprofitable, unaffordable, unworkable systems and businesses? How will Senators and members ever get elected properly without the subtle system of bribes that currently grease the wheels of professional politics? Don't you know *anything* about how to get stuff done inside the Beltway?

Sheesh...you people need to get a grip and understand how power works in this country.

Comment: Funny (Score 1) 333

by prisoner-of-enigma (#46938695) Attached to: NASA, France Skeptical of SpaceX Reusable Rocket Project

Isn't it funny how NASA -- the agency that for *decades* screamed that the shuttle's reusability was the *key* to why America should depend upon it for our *primary* launch platform -- is now willing to admit the whole "reusable" thing was crap and everybody *knew* it was crap. We'd have done far better to keep using things like Saturn V's.

Now I sincerely *hope* SpaceX has somehow learned from NASA's failure and perhaps *can* make the economics of a reusable engine work. One thing at least: if SpaceX *can't* make it work, you can be sure it can't just make up the difference with taxpayer money and call it a success. As a private enterprise, it can't.

Comment: Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (Score 1) 298

by prisoner-of-enigma (#46559263) Attached to: Iran Builds Mock-up of Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier

The F-22 was inferior in almost every important metric to its competitor, the YF-23.

That's not entirely true, and I say that as fan of the YF-23. The F-22 was less stealthy but more maneuverable. The Air Force valued the latter somewhat more than the former at the time, and here we are today.

That said, the real farce was that Lockheed was allowed to submit *two* proposals. The first one clearly would have lost to the YF-23, so Lockheed was allowed to go back to the drawing board and submit a second...*after* the USAF told them what they needed to change in order to win over their hearts and minds. Northrop was given no such second chance.

Comment: Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (Score 5, Insightful) 298

by prisoner-of-enigma (#46559225) Attached to: Iran Builds Mock-up of Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier

The F-22 is an air superiority fighter, the F-35 is an attack fighter.

First, if all they needed was a strike aircraft with overwhelming air-to-ground capability, they already had it with the A-10 Warthog (or Thunderbolt II for you purists). It can carry a cubic assload of bombs, has extended loiter capability, can take off and land on short, unimproved runways, is perhaps the best aerial gun platform in the history of aviation, and can take an immense amount of punishment, make it back to base, and be repaired for another strike before the pilot has time to grab a sandwich. Alas, it's not "sexy" enough so nobody wants to fly it. Fighter jocks look down on the "air-to-mud" boys, you know. But us grunts -- I'm a former Marine -- absolutely love knowing your call for CAS is being answered by a 'hog.

Second, the F-35 is not just being pitched as an "attack fighter" as you claim. It's being positioned as the Swiss Army Knife of airframes, the complete multi-role, multi-service, multi-theater, all-season do-it-all flying wonder plane. It's stealthy...but not terribly stealthy compared to other airborne threats. It's fast...but not very fast compared to fighters it's likely to face. It can flow slowly for accurate bombing...but not as slowly or as accurately as what we already have. It has endurance...well, not so much. And it costs less than what it's replacing...except it doesn't. McNamara tried this same crap back in the 60's and we ended up with the F-111, a "fighter" that couldn't fight. It was too big, too heavy, too complex, too expensive to make, too expensive to maintain, too hard to fly...and *nobody* wanted it. Today the F-111's are largely rusting away somewhere while B-52's are still flying, delivering bombloads much more effectively, reliably, and cheaply.

Honestly, what the US needs in the way of air power is this:

- A small but elite force of the stealthiest, fastest, most-maneuverable, most survivable, most advanced aircraft this country can possibly produce (i.e. F-22, B-2). These are our "alpha strike" planes. They go in on the first day of a conflict and kick the shit out of SAM sites, ground- and air-based RADAR, Command and Control facilities, fuel and ammo dumps, runways, and staging areas. After a brief but furiously intense campaign, the enemy is left without any effective way to defend against even basic air strikes. Then the war is turned over to...

- A medium-sized force of semi-stealthy and non-stealthy attack aircraft (fixed- and rotary-winged) which can now operate with near impunity due to degraded enemy defenses. A-10's, B-52's, F/A-18's, AH-64's...you get the idea. These are much more affordable than the "alpha strike" package to keep operational. They're also already bought and paid for, have large cadres of trained pilots, and can deliver much bigger attack loads than their stealthier brethren. This phase keeps up until the enemy is more or less fully subdued and organized resistance has almost been wiped out. Then things are turned over to...

- A very large force of unmanned and/or autonomous drones equipped for air-to-air and air-to-ground operations. These can be cheaply maintained for an indefinite period with absolutely zero political cost should one get lost to enemy action. Further, they act like omnipresent snipers, orbiting beyond normal aural and visual range but ready to deliver a laser-guided Hellfire "bolt from the blue" in an instant. The effects of such constant threats on enemy morale cannot be understated. Meanwhile, our "boots on the ground" are largely back home or operating in secure areas, reducing the chance of domestic upheaval by an unhappy populace over some "neverending war."

The biggest mistake this country is currently making is assuming we need just one type of aircraft for just one type of conflict. Modern wars have many different phases, most of which will involve a "low intensity conflict" in an area where large, high-value targets are not present. Having a fleet of super-advanced weapons which costs too much to make and too much to maintain is just stupid when there are better options on the table.

Comment: Re:Bush's fault. Obama the Man. (Score 1) 152

by prisoner-of-enigma (#46507357) Attached to: Obama Administration Transparency Getting Worse

"Whenever anything went wrong it became usual to attribute it to Snowball. If a window was broken or a drain was blocked up, someone was certain to say that Snowball had come in the night and done it, and when the key of the store-shed was lost, the whole farm was convinced that Snowball had thrown it down the well. Curiously enough, they went on believing this even after the mislaid key was found under a sack of meal." -- Animal Farm, by George Orwell

Comment: Just wait... (Score 2) 304

by prisoner-of-enigma (#46329243) Attached to: Oklahoma Schools Required To Teach Students Personal Finance

I'm sure someone will stand up shortly and complain that this is somehow racist, sexist, or otherwise deleterious to the well-being of the pupils being schooled. Can't have kids learning about how money is made, handled, taxed, and invested. That would interfere with them being good little minions who simply do what they're told by their betters...i.e. those in government power.

Prof: So the American government went to IBM to come up with a data encryption standard and they came up with ... Student: EBCDIC!"

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