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Comment Re:Welcome to the Trump future... (Score 1) 433

I've been following this story, and I expect we're not looking at the future, but rather stagnation in the status quo for the last fifteen years or so plus statistical noise.

Where things gets interesting when you start disaggregating the trends. If you look at the life expectancy data by county, the disparity is shocking: almost all rural and poor counties saw little or no improvement in life expectancy since the late 80s, but life expectancy has improved dramatically (5 years or more) in urban and wealthy counties. And here's an interesting fact: the gap between white and black life expectancy has narrowed, but this is largely due to stagnation in life expectancy among working class whites.

This indicates to me that poor access to health care advances for working class and rural whites has driven the overall stagnation in life expectancy. This is in part what Obamacare was intended to address, however it can't possibly improve the situation in rural counties without Medicaid expansion.

Comment Re:Google, Motorola, Intel . . . (Score 0) 257

1) money will come back into the US and help our economy

False. Many of those who brought money back into the U.S. cut jobs. From the U.S. Treasury itself:

In assessing the 2004 tax holiday, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service reports that most of the largest beneficiaries of the holiday actually cut jobs in 2005-06 - despite overall economy-wide job growth in those years - and many used the repatriated funds simply to repurchase stock or pay dividends.

Also, as the New York Times pointed out, using the government's own reports:

About 92 percent of it went to shareholders, mostly in the form of increased share buybacks and the rest through increased dividends.

In other words, no help to the economy.

2) whoever does it will be crucified for being easy on big business income taxes

Which Bush was but then again, this was the same guy who handed over $700 billion of taxpayer money to banks and Wall Street firms so they could pay out their bonuses. Obviously he didn't care about being crucified or what the people thought. It wasn't his money.

Comment Question (Score 2, Interesting) 63

I know amber is fossilized tree resin, but at this point is it possible to somehow dissolve the amber without destroying what's inside it?

It would be interesting if it could be done so we could see the tail and feathers in real light without the amber being in between.

Also, from the picture, there are bits and pieces of vegetation not to mention at least one ant inside the specimen which could be recovered.

Comment I'm kind of surprised they don't do more tie-ins. (Score 1) 334

I'm not talking advertising tie-ins, but why not do additional story lines available for streaming purchase? Especially in those big ensemble superhero movies that are always so narratively cluttered because they have to give you a thin slice of so many characters.

Comment Re:After Criticism (Score 0, Troll) 70

And all this while fake news sites like CNN and the New York Times and the Washington Post continue to operate.

Probably because they're real news sites, with real reporters, who go out into war zones, or visit earthquake survivors or flood victims or report on government waste. You know, what real news organizations do.

Unlike those fake news sites like Breitbart who twist other people's work to suit their propaganda needs.

Just because CNN, the New York Times and so on report facts about Trump's crimes and lies doesn't make them fake news. They're doing their job. Or would you prefer to hear from Fox which which routinely reports fake news such as porn being shown on CNN?

Comment Re:Sad (Score 3, Insightful) 185

Well, I dunno. It seems like blaming Fitbit for Pebble's financial failure.

Let's take a consequentialist view of matters. If the rule is you have to buy the whole business and continue to operate it, even though it's losing money, Pebble goes out of business and it's customers and debt holders suffer. If you can sell of just the good bits without the obligation to continue running the failing as before, the customers suffer but the debt holders get some relief. Which approach is better?

Comment Re:magic internet money (Score 1) 254

My understanding is that the president can unilaterally launch a nuclear strike.

Your understanding is wrong. The president can't simply press a button and launch missiles. There are numerous steps that have to be done and cross-checked by a series of different people who all have to give their approval.

If any one of them give a reason not to launch everything grinds to a halt. And I'm not talking about someone who doesn't want to do it simply because. They will be replaced. I mean a legitimate, military or other reason not to launch.

Comment Re:Lovely...with no pressing issues... (Score 1) 134

Actually, the Diefenbaker Conservatives have prior claim - the destruction (literally) of the Avro Arrow (the most advanced fighter of the time) at the behest of the US government because the Bomarc nuclear SAM missiles would supposedly make the Avro obsolete (funny how we still need jet fighters and bombers more than half a century later, isn't it).

I have to correct you on that there, as the CF-105 wasn't designed as a fighter -- it was designed as an interceptor. Interceptors (and in particular the CF-105) weren't designed for areal dogfighting with other fighter aircraft -- they were designed to take down larger aircraft such as bombers.

The purported reason for cancelling the Arrow project was that the world was moving away from nuclear capable bombers towards ICBMs. The threat that the CF-105 was designed for was Russian bombers flying over our northern coast, but the advancement of technology was making the need to fly bombers unnecessary, hence a straight-on interceptor was no longer necessary.

Indeed, today very few countries design or purchase straight-up Interceptor aircraft for their air defence. Fighter jets became advanced enough back in the 60's and 70's to take on the role of both fighter and interceptor as needed. A multi-role fighter-interceptor was a much better investment for a smaller country like ours.

You are also somewhat incorrect concerning the BOMARC missiles. While the US designed them to be nuclear capable, and the initial intention was to have Canada's inventory equipped with nuclear warheads, in the end Died the Chief caved into public pressure, and the nuclear option was scrapped. Eventually, of course, all of the BOMARC missiles were scrapped -- the mission they were intended for (destroying bombers flying towards the DEW line) evaporated in the face of ICBMs.

Today we face relative little danger from bombers from Russia flying over the north pole, and even should that happen we have modern advanced middles to take care of them. There really is no place for dedicated interceptors anymore, and there hasn't been for decades. Now none of that is to say that Diefenbaker was right to scrap the CF-105s -- the way the completed jets and all of their plans was dismantled/discarded/destroyed is a national disgrace. My family knows very well how this went down and the pain it caused -- my grandfather was a mechanic at AV Roe who worked on the Arrow project, and who became unemployed at the projects termination. His pride in the Arrow project and his regret at its destruction (and general anger towards Diefenbaker and his cabinet for causing it to happen) lasted until the last of his days.

Yaz

Comment Re:127 Mill Maintenance robot vs 4 Billion AF1 (Score 2) 38

Well, it's actually $3.75 billion. And it's not one, but two aircraft, so that's 1.875 billion apiece. That's to ensure the executive branch can function in a military crisis while one of the planes is being service.

Deduct 375 million apiece for the airframe, and we're talking 1.5 billion dollars in customization for each aircraft, including aerial refueling capabilities, which on a two-off job is a craft job; no economies of scale. Add defense and countermeasure capabilities that Air Force is extremely close-lipped about. Is there a actual escape pod on Air Force One like in the movie? Well probably not, but I'm sure the idea was at least contemplated. However it's pretty certain that if someone locks onto AF1 with a targeting radar the aircraft will have options that a stock 747-8 doesn't.

Next outfit each one so it can function as a replacement for the West Wing and the Situation Room for up to two months -- that's a deducible requirement based on the known fact that the aircraft stores 2000 meals for 100 people. That means three-of-a-kind electronics and communications systems (one for each airframe and one for the actual White House).

Is 3.75 billion too much for that? Probably. But it's hard to think of any weapon development program since WW2 that is less extravagant.

By that standard 127 million for an orbital repair robot is an almost inconceivable bargain, even if you factor in a 5x cost overrun.

Comment Re:A new golden age (Score 0) 322

Finally with an entrepeneur taking the reins we may be staring down a new golden age for America...

A) Trump is not an entrepreneur in the strictest sense. He had daddy give him a few million plus ready made contacts to get started. A true entrepreneur would be like Jobs and Wozniak or Gates or Musk.

B) The only gold we're going to see is the hideous gold paint Trump will plaster the White House with.

Unemployment at less than 5%? Puh-leeze. I guess maybe if you count crap work and part time jobs with no benefits.

Those people are working, aren't they? That means they are not unemployed. Therefore the number is correct. The survey only asks if you're working, not what kind of work.

Trump is going to take the world by the balls and basically start squeezing and say "stop fucking us over OR ELSE. Now would you like to talk?"

And in turn countries, such as China, will say, "Give us our money for all the bonds we've been buying from you." That then sends us into an economic depression as we have to come up with ways to pay those bondholders or do what Trump thinks is good business sense and throw up our hands and default.

Because the U.S. defaulting on its obligations will have no impact whatsoever.

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