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Comment Moral Crusaders (Score 1, Interesting) 73

I'm a lot more suspicious of moral crusaders than I am of criminals who are looking to make a buck or just make mischief.

I don't think I have to list the atrocities that have been committed in the name of a "moral crusade". If you really don't know what I'm talking about, then you are probably already a moral crusader.

Comment Re:Anyone surprised? (Score 1) 323

And based on actuarial data, he can expect to live about 15 more years.

Not at his weight. We don't know his actual height but we do know he's obese. Obesity at his age is just as detrimental - if not more so - as obesity at a younger age.

Keep in mind: he's never smoked, he doesn't drink and he has the best healthcare money can buy

So he won't die of lung cancer or liver cirrhosis. That doesn't mean much. We know that the rest of his health report is full of lies - and that as he signed a form claiming it to be truthful he blatantly lied under oath to the American people - so it's impossible to know what else is wrong with him. He's coming on 71 years old, which is up there. The current life expectancy in the US is around 76.6 for males, but he was born in 1946 when the number was 64.4 for men.

As for healthcare, it is not clear he is actually making good use of it. Just like in business he clearly likes to surround himself with people who will tell him what he wants to hear, rather than what he should hear. The comments from his physician on his evaluation are quite possibly enough to warrant a malpractice suit. His doctor should tell him to lose at least 50 pounds, if not more. Ever see footage of Trump exercising or eating something healthy? Me neither.

Comment Re:Costlier lobbying is a good thing. (Score 1) 52

The reality is that we now have the least-corruptible administration in a very long time. Many of the top personnel are quite independently very wealthy, which makes lobbying to them pointless and ineffective.

"Corrupt rich people can't be corrupted" is a very stupid argument. How do you think they got rich in the first place?

The benefit of having government made up of rich, corrupt people is that they're already corrupted, so the little dance around ethical barriers can be dispensed with from the get-go and you can go straight to the quid pro quo.

Comment Re:Trump is a criminal idiot (Score 1) 354

If you think John Hinckley, Jr. was acting out of a sense of patriotism, then you're the fucking idiot. Hinckley was a batshit-crazy "Taxi Driver" wannabe who was trying to impress the object of his obsession, Jodie Foster. He considered killing Jimmy Carter, then switched to Edward Kennedy, before finally settling on Reagan.

You know what they say, even a stopped clock can be right twice a day.

Comment Re:Anyone surprised? (Score 1) 323

I'm not sure why some coward tagged your post overrated. I happen to disagree with several parts of what you said, but the overrated tag is unwarranted here (as it is in most cases).

The Clinton Administration was prosperous, had a great economy

For the rich. Workers got the shaft, hard, when Clinton picked up the Reagan/Bush free trade law and ran with it.

While the rich saw their wealth accelerate greatly under the Clinton Administration, the poor made better gains under the Clinton Administration than under almost any other of the past several decades. I can tell you that during that time my own wage was the furthest it had ever been from the federal or state minimum wage prior to when I completed graduate school. For some time I had a retail job where I was pulling about twice the minimum wage; now around 20 years later people in that same retail job are working it for about the same wage I made back then.

shitty service jobs paying a fraction of what a good unionized factory worker would make

You're absolutely right that the unions lost ground under Clinton. However they lost less ground under Clinton than under Reagan, either Bush, or Obama. Is that weak tea? Absolutely. It's easy to get the unions to yield when things are prosperous, and easy to strong-arm them into yielding when things are not. We've also had an overwhelming message of how terrible organized labor is (after all, who wants a 5 day work week, paid vacation, sick leave, or worker safety?) that makes it easy for the government to help big business disarm the unions.

Comment Re:FTFY (Score 1) 323

Democrats voted in overwhelming numbers for a full out Socialist over Clinton.

No, they did not. First of all, it is an oversimplification to call Sanders a "full out Socialist". He has many significant socialist leanings but he diverges from the common platform in several ways. More significantly though, the primaries and caucuses were won by Hillary. Even if the superdelegates didn't exist, even if we ignore the state lines and just take the straight votes, even if we stand on our head when we count the ballots, she still won the nomination in the vote tally. Was it close? Yes, it was really quite close. Arguably it was close enough that it forced her to change some parts of her platform to bring the Sanders supporters in to support her, but that wasn't enough to win the election in November.

Were democrats trying to keep her out of the white house, as you claim? I have yet to meet anyone who voted in a democratic primary or caucus who went there to vote against someone. By comparison there were huge numbers of people - on both sides - who went out on election day and primarily cast a ballot against someone.

Submission + - Light Sail propulsion could reach Sirius sooner than Alpha Centauri (

RockDoctor writes: A recent proposition to launch probes to other star systems driven by lasers which remain in the Solar system has garnered considerable attention. But recently published work suggests that there are unexpected complexities to the system.

One would think that the closest star systems would be the easiest to reach. But unless you are content with a fly-by examination of the star system, with much reduced science returns, you will need to decelerate the probe at the far end, without any infrastructure to assist with the braking.

By combining both light-pressure braking and gravitational slingshots, a team of German, French and Chilean astronomers discover that the brightness of the destination star can significantly increase deceleration, and thus travel time (because higher flight velocities can be used. Sling-shotting around a companion star to lengthen deceleration times can help shed flight velocity to allow capture into a stable orbit.

The 4.37 light year distant binary stars Alpha Centauri A and B could be reached in 75 years from Earth. Covering the 0.24 light year distance to Proxima Centauri depends on arriving at the correct relative orientations of Alpha Centauri A and B in their mutual 80 year orbit for the sling shot to work. Without a companion star, Proxima Centauri can only absorb a final leg velocity of about 1280km/s, so that leg of the trip would take an additional 46 years.

Using the same performance characteristics for the light sail the corresponding duration for an approach to the Sirius system, almost twice as far away (8.58ly), is a mere 68.9 years, making it (and it's white dwarf companion) possibly a more attractive target.

Of course, none of this addresses the question of how to get any data from there to here. Or, indeed, how to manage a project that will last longer than a working lifetime. There are also issues of aiming — the motion of the Alpha Centauri system isn't well-enough known at the moment to achieve the precise manoeuvring needed without course corrections (and so, data transmission from there to here) en route.

Comment Re:User's need to take responsibility too. (Score 1) 216

i know apple is easy to blame but it wasn't too long ago when they were at the bottom of the totem pole and IBM, Dell, HP, Nokia all made a ton more hardware and yet were people bitching then?

You bet they were. Extending the usable life-cycle of electronics has been an issue since at least the early 1990s.

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