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Comment Re:Let's send out Independent Election Observers. (Score 1) 180

Why in the world does it matter that they are volunteers? Do you think people can't volunteer with malicious intent? This tells me that it's all being done by amateurs which makes me much less confident in this system than I was before I read your post.

Oh God. Virginia!? Seriously? It's pretty much guaranteed that your voting machines were hacked for most of the last several elections. You were using the least secure voting machines ever made (On the bright side you got rid of them last year). You didn't need to replace a circuit board, you could quite literally hack into them from a half mile away with a rudimentary antenna built using a pringles can! Please read this and weep:

Comment Re:Government should not provide services (Score 1) 101

That's a perfectly valid approach in many industries. However, water is generally the prime example of an industry which is a natural monopoly. The costs of installing water pipes and actually having multiple possible sources of water would be insane, and all the construction necessarily to maintain them would be crazy too. In this case the federal government setting minimum standards for local/state governments seems the best approach. It seems the main failure here (other than corruption) is that the testing standards were too loose.

Comment Re:This will be fun (Score 3, Insightful) 584

However, Matthew 5:41 says "And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles." [ESV]. This refers to the law at the time where a Roman soldier could require someone to carry their gear for 1 mile. Odds are very good that whatever that soldier was doing it probably qualified as sin. This seems to be a pretty clear case of assisting someone in sin. To me a possible distinction is whether the "sin" would happen without your assistance. In the case of the soldier and the gay wedding it's going to happen regardless of what you think, so I think the answer there is that you should bake 2 cakes.

Comment Re:Mars is impossible (Score 2) 310

While the risks can sometimes be overblown you seem to be swinging in the opposite extreme. The ISS and all shuttle flights have all been well within the Earth's magnetic field, which is our biggest radiation shield. The Apollo program is the only time we've sent humans beyond this shield.

Mars has a minimal magnetic field compared to Earth. Just about every plan for long-term habitation of Mars has involved spending the majority of the time underground due to the radiation exposure. As others have pointed out, digging this out and living in it is not going to be very easy.

Comment Re:Musk isn't going to Mars (Score 1) 103

I agree. I haven't seen anything about re-usability on the SLS which is just nuts. I actually think Airbus' approach with the Adeline is a more realistic approach, but they don't seem to be nearly as far along as SpaceX is. Any sort of re-usability is clearly better than none.

My main disagreement with Ms Garver is that she portrays this as a turf war. Musk has an edge of bravado about him that can make him seem a bit un-serious. Re-using rockets sounds great. Re-using them on the same day sounds like a greedy businessman trying to skimp on safety checks. I think this is what NASA finds upsetting. I may be very wrong.

Comment Re:Musk isn't going to Mars (Score 2) 103

Actually, that's not what he's planning on using. He's planning on building a super-heavy lifter roughly comparable to the Saturn V or SLS. Here's the link from the article: If you scroll down you'll see a cross-section comparison. This thing makes the Falcon Heavy look like a toy.

He is planning on some Falcon 9 based flights to Mars, but those will be just be landers and/or supplies. Here's the wikipedia link for that one:

Comment Re:stupid (Score 4, Insightful) 305

A very strong case can be made for Doctors not even prescribing specific drugs. Even the best docs don't really know the drugs that well, but pharmacists do. Doctors should do the diagnosing of the issue(s) and if they wish to use a pharmaceutical treatment send the information to the pharmacist and let them consult with the patient and choose the appropriate drug(s) and dosage. This is especially important when dealing with multiple medications from multiple specialists. Pharmacists are by far the most under-appreciated medical professionals.

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