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Comment Re:Cost is the Achilles heel of nuclear power. (Score 1) 299

You see, the thing is, nuclear *is* a great idea.

But it's simply not. Tout all the vaporware you can buzzword - breeder reactors, thorium reactors, etc etc - it's still going to be more expensive than wind and solar. Build nukes as safe as you want, they're still going to be more of a risk, and still be more expensive to decomission.

Doesn't matter if solar and wind are cheaper than nuclear if solar and wind can't do the job of powering our civilization without coal/natural gas/oil or nuclear.

How do you price all the wars that are going to be fought because solar and wind are simply not sufficient for powering our civilization? Or coal.

So choose. Either we choose to proceed with Global Climate change and on our death beds feel good about having "tried" to prevent it with solar and wind power... or we actually engineer a way to avoid the worst of climate change by expanding nuclear power capacity and investing as a society in new more efficient and better nuclear power designs.

'Cause right now, in the US, it looks like we have two very messed up perspectives. Half the US is going to invest in Solar and Wind and feel a false sense of entitlement to keep living unsustainable lifestyles (because despite their low carbon emissions in their homes and vehicles they are relying on the industrial output of the other half of society which is burning coal/oil/natural gas)

And the other half is going to deny it all to make themselves feel better and burn whatever they can (including coal) to produce cheaper electricity and power industrial manufacturing.

And then both sides will continue to call the other side a bunch of idiots and they will be half right and half wrong.

Bury your heads in the sands and repeat. The two major factions appear to be seeking blissful denial rather than real solutions.

Comment Re:The USA mocks you (Score 1) 328

And to achieve this goal, they buy electricity from France. A smart move, after all: you get the praise for how clean your energy production is, and you let the others deal with the dangers associated with its production.

let the others deal with the [fear mongering] associated with its production.

There I fixed it for you.

Comment Re:Lawrence Lessig (Score 1) 857

We need to clean up our elections and take back our politicians. Neither dems nor GOP are doing it. They are as corrupt as ever. Lessig has the right idea.

1) No more publicly funded partisan primaries. Parties should pay to run their own caucuses if they want to "nominate" someone. And party "nomination" should hold no more legal weight than any other endorsement, keep those endorsements off the ballot. If states still want primaries then make them non-partisan and just put the top overall candidates on the ballot regardless of party.

2) Eliminate official party registration. In my state, Massachusetts, it is illegal to be a registered member of more than one party. I've asked. This completely undermines the constitutional principle of freedom of association. The unnatural divisions that sole party registration creates have divided us and allowed us to be conquered by corruption in both parties and created a nation where wedge issues dominate partisan politics.

3) Ballots should allow more than one choice. Ranked Preference ballots (eg 1, 2,3 choices) or approval ballots where you check off all the candidates you find acceptable are all superior ballot counting methods which prevent vote splitting like what we saw in the Republican Primary and eliminate the need for the shameful Democratic Party primary where only one serious candidate was allowed by the party elite through a coordinated centralized effort by the DNC to undermine the democratic principles of having a free and fair election with actual choices.

Comment Re:Why this law exists (Score 1) 248

One of the most important aspects of our voting process is preventing coercion. This is done by making your vote as anonymous as possible. Imagine your boss comes up to you and demands that you vote a certain way or you will lose your job, and tells you to take a ballot selfie to prove it. If a ballot selfie is illegal, then no one can force you to vote that way. While I respect the first amendment argument, protecting voting rights is the more important concern here.

How does the law in any way prevent what you describe? It doesn't. The coercion is already illegal, so why wouldn't it already prevent what you describe... secrecy. Ballot picture laws don't actually physically stop people from taking pictures of ballots and secretly sharing those with a single person, they just make it illegal to do so. Given a ballot booth, sometimes with a curtain, and a small camera such as those on every cell phone then there is very little likelihood of getting caught taking a picture unless you willingly share that picture with multiple people or make no attempt to conceal the taking of the picture. What the law punishes is legitimate exercise of constitutional rights and does nothing practical to address the issue of voter coercion because there is no practical means to prevent people from secretly taking pictures of ballots.

The only thing ballot picture laws prevents are 1) People choosing to share their votes with others which is protected speech and 2) Recording their votes so they can be used collectively to verify election results haven't been tampered with at the polls. Both are important parts of ensuring the integrity of elections and override the spurious concerns over voter intimidation, coercion and vote buying.

The First Circuit has already correctly ruled that New Hampshire's prohibition on ballot pictures was an unconstitutional violation of first amendment rights.

Comment Re:Not a good idea... (Score 1) 248

If it is legally permissible to prove, through photographic evidence, who exactly they supported, then it is entirely possible for people to intimidate someone else into providing such proof, because you have absolutely zero proof that they are taking that photo entirely of their own volition, and with no influence from anyone who wants to know how that person voted.

So you are saying because it is against the law it can be stopped? The law isn't preventing the scenario you describe in any meaningful and practical way. People can secretly take pictures of their ballots and present those pictures secretly to a third party without much fear of getting caught. Most voting booths are design to conceal a persons choices which would also conceal whether they take a picture of the ballot or not. So the only thing the law is really preventing is the voluntary public disclosure of a person's ballot.

That law stinks of an attempt to give cover of law to election fraud, not an honest attempt to prevent voter coercion.

Comment Re:Not a good idea... (Score 1) 248

If we allow this, we open things up so that people can be pressured to vote one way or another. People's votes are their own, they shouldn't have to answer to their bosses or anyone else about who they vote for.

And if we prohibit people from recording their own votes by their own choice then we are preventing people the one means at their disposal to prevent wholesale election fraud. Forget the 'hey I want to show my support' aspect. We have a system that totally relies on trusting a small number of people to not conspire to change the voting results as they see fit. If trust breaks down, as it has broken down today and will break down from time to time, then we need to give people the option of recording a copy of their own vote in order to provide some means of independently verifying the result after the fact. It is that simple. Secrecy of the ballot is of a secondary concern compared with verifiable trust that our election results are true.

Comment Re:Taking CO2 out?? (Score 3, Insightful) 376

That'd take nuclear - something that intelligent people understand and support, but unfortunately that's a tiny fraction of the voting population.

Anti-nuclear power = Climate Change Denier. Or might as well be. We simply do not have the technology to stop or even reduce CO2 emissions in the necessary time frame at the necessary scale without a massive investment in new nuclear power generating capacity. Really there isn't a meaningful benefit in investing in expensive solar and wind alternatives unless there is also a large scale investment in nuclear power right now.

Well there is a benefit to solar and wind power, but it is mostly so rich limousine liberals can delude themselves into feeling good about their role as they change the planet and cause regional wars and famine and are really just as responsible for all that death and destruction like everyone else is.

Comment Re:Air into water (Score 2) 156

Or about 5 cents per liter -- not too far off from the 2 cents needed

Thanks for doing some quick math, but "not far" is not how I would describe the challenge... It is not an order of magnitude (10x) of improvement, but even taking your numbers that still means the new device has to be over twice as efficient in a humid area and probably closer to 4 times as efficient in a much less humid area.

Comment Re:6.8 Billion (Score 1) 344

Not supporting nuclear power to a greater extent than we have today is going to ensure that we exceed Global Climate change targets which are meant to keep climate change largely within acceptable limits.

Maybe Global Climate change is unavoidable at this point, but just trudging forward with solar and wind without seeing their real limits doesn't do anyone any favors, except dragging things out for the fossil fuel industry until they hit their production limits. The future is at least 60% nuclear or else it is going to get a lot warmer for our kids and grand kids than civilization can really withstand.

With that kind of environmental damage we can expect some serious regional or world wars with food production and water resources as underlying causes and the mass migrations we see because of that. Already we can view the war in Syria as not just a factional struggle, but as a result of too many people struggling to control too few resources and then dividing along sectarian and ethnic lines when resources become too scarce.

Comment Re:Irony (Score 1) 90

Another Yahoo Apologist AI chat bot?

Well, you either accept the leak and reported stories as fact... which means anyone at Yahoo that knows about it really can't legally say anything about it publicly without going to jail or you don't accept the facts as they have been reported and it may not even have ever happened.

I choose to believe the facts that were reported and that Yahoo did likely cooperate with the government under a secret order which means exactly what I said. Yahoo isn't saying they don't have information they are saying they can't reveal that information and are asking the only authority they can ask to declassify the information so they can talk about it publicly.

Personally, I am not pulling any punches... if the story is true and Yahoo didn't legally object in court to the sort of untargeted keyword searches being alleged, then Yahoo was complicit in a criminal conspiracy to violate the constitutional rights of millions of Americans.

And by untargeted I mean they used keywords instead of having a constitutionally valid warrant for all the emails to or from specific individuals.

Comment Re:Irony (Score 1) 90

So Yahoo, a company that made its name as a search engine, can't search through its own corporate records.

"we find ourselves unable to respond in detail" doesn't necessarily mean they don't have any records about this, it most likely means they legally can't respond because it is either classified and only cleared individuals given access to the information have it or they are simply under threat of felony prosecution not to divulge that they were under orders. Also, it is very likely they would not have been given any copies of those orders. It would be sufficient to show them the orders without giving them a copy.

Comment Re: Alternative (Score 1) 917

Bingo! You nailed it. The Federal government can always "borrow" the money from the Federal Reserve and as long as it always borrows more than it has to pay back then it isn't a drain on taxpayers.

Really the net government borrowing is the only way to increase the money supply over the medium to long term, since money borrowed by banks does eventually need to be paid back to the Fed.

So lower rates are a temporary monetary stimulus followed by a contraction of the money supply when rates go up.

Give the money to the people. No way there is a level playing field without a base income at least. It used to be that land was so cheap it was the equivalent of a basic income since you could always go out and subsistence farm. That level of equality was what enabled Liberty to thrive for a time in America.

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