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Everything posted by SH3RL0CK

  1. Why would no experience as a judge be a concern regarding a candidate for the very top judge in the nation? Indeed, having a well over a year experience in arguing court cases should have prepared Ms. Kagan for any conceivable issue that might be presented before the supreme court [/sarcasm] Without question experience is important, and there are many others who are more qualified candidates. That said, I do very much like her academic experience. And the President is Constitutionally permitted to appoint anyone he pleases. As per my previous post, I am optimistically looking forward to the confirmation hearings as I'd like to know more about her. With the virtual supermajority of democrats in the Senate, I'd say she is a shoo-in unless the media decides to 'bork' her (which they clearly aren't going to do).
  2. I'm a bit concerned because I think she lacks experience...it seems to me to be like the Harriet Miers nomination by GW Bush. Note in particular from the article I don't mean to say that her other experience counts for nothing, but clearly this should be at least a concern. I would think there are candidates with more relevant experience...and I would expect the Senators to question this aspect. However, given a near super-majority in the Senate and what seems to me to be a favorable press, I don't doubt she will be confirmed. I'll wait until the confirmation hearings before forming an opinion on her however.
  3. But why should this be? Why wouldn't there be migrations in both directions? However, looking at the evidence, it does appear to be the case. Maybe the Sahara desert is a large enough obstacle that it couldn't be crossed by a substantial number of people (though I'm fairly certain it wasn't always a desert- and besides the Nile River and the oceans provide paths around it)? The theory that modern Homo sapiens drove away Neanderthals (hence none in Africa) doesn't seem to fit given I think there must have been significant interbreeding to add even 1% to the genome of a population.
  4. It would appear genetic evidence has now determined that for non-African humans, humans are 1-4% Neanderthals: http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2010/05/07/theres_a_little_neanderthal_in_us/?p1=Well_MostPop_Emailed4 Not sure what implications this might have regarding how we view ourselves...
  5. While this is true, many of the parents of children are understandably asking, are we sure the studies are correct? Have the studies considered all the possibilities? Probably not - I don't know that this is even possible. FWIW, I agree with you. But the solution to this issue is to solve the autism question. The Pharmacutical companies and the government should also recognize that people will naturally view them with suspicion...these rightfully lack public trust because they HAVE performed things like the Tuskegee experiments. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_syphilis_experiment from the article:
  6. I now know these were not dinosaurs, but I still have to ask why these animals went extinct. Consider also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichythyosaur which is nearly identical to today's dolphin. So why do we have dolphins swimming in the ocean and not Ichythyosaurs? I can't imagine the ocean temperature dropping by enough to cause extinction...
  7. If only this were the case, I can't quickly find what Rick Perry used to scientifically decide this vaccine was warranted. However see the following... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Perry#HPV_vaccine Now maybe all the above is coincidence and the decision was the right decision, though poorly handled. But given the above reference, I have to believe that financial gain for both Gov. Perry and Merck was some factor in this decision.
  8. Really? How about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesosaurus or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pliosaurus considering the vast heat capacity of the oceans, I have to wonder why these dinosaurs are still not around. Edit: Ah, I see the rest of your post where these are now not considered dinosaurs...I did not realize the scientific consensus had changed regarding these animals.
  9. I'll have to watch it when I get more time. But I do have a concern about getting a vaccine for every little possible germ. At some point the costs to society outweigh the benefits to society (but not the benefits, or should I say profits at our expense, to Big Pharma). I'd rather have the sniffles for a day than get a vaccine shot with my arm sore for the next week and worrying about getting one of the "rare" side effects with "minor" complications (at least rare and minor as defined by the pharmacutical companies). After all, pharmacutical companies do make money on vaccines, and from a business perspective they will push as many as they can. Of couse they will claim that the vaccine is necessary. And, they will use government to help them make their profit, which IIRC was a concern (albeit I think unwarranted in this case) about gardasil in Texas. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gardasil (emphasis mine) Who can say that in the future Merck won't want our government to mandate (for a profit to them of course) a vaccine with serious side effects to prevent diseases which nobody would ever realistically get anyway? Anyway I'll try to take a look at this tonight if I get time.
  10. This is a good observation. While being "fair" and "irrational" may lose you the $1 you may have otherwise gained, it also forces the others to offer more than the $1 because they do need your participation (or at least the participation of a majority). If you are the top guy and a majority of the others won't settle for $1, wouldn't you offer, say $100k each so that you can get perhaps $400k instead of nothing? If you aren't playing "fair" and are being entirely rational, all you will get is the $1 if you are not the top guy. Why settle for that when by being irrational you can get more? Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged And then sometimes you have to play it out so that others know you aren't just bluffing. So what if you, as exec # 7, lose $1? Its not a big deal because on the next time everyone else knows they have to offer more, perhaps considerably more, to get your participation.
  11. No problems with harmonics or noise either? What power rating(s) did you selected for your inverter(s)?
  12. Most appliances don't run on DC power, nor at the voltages likely supplied by the solar panel. How did you address this issue?
  13. Ok. So something that benefits only a handful of people is pork. Something that benefits everyone is not pork. At what percentage of the population does a pork project become not pork? 51%? 33%? 0.01%? Probably someone will bring in the collective cost associated with such percentages...in other words, maybe I don't mind 0.01% of the population getting a benefit if it costs me $0.0000000000000001, but maybe it bothers me if it costs me $1000. Or maybe not, depending on what specifically it is. I'm really pointing out that one person's pork is another persons necessary program, it is subjective and cannot be easily defined. The original post asked where to cut spending? I would suggest we look instead at what NOT to cut first and break things listed there (in post # 1) up into three groups: 1) What functions are absolutely necessary by the government? These I will contend are by definition not pork and cannot be eliminated. Maybe reduced, but we still need them. My list would be National Defense, Basic Scientific Research, possibly Foreign Aid. 2) What functions are not necessary by the government - but are either more cost-effective or more efficient when run by the federal government than run by the states or private enterprises? These I will also contend are not pork as the benefits outweigh the costs to society as a whole. Possibly these programs can be cut, but should not be eliminated. My list would include Transportation, Mass Transit. 3) What functions are not necessary by the government nor are more cost effective or efficient than either the states or private enterprise? I would suggest that these programs be cut drastically if not eliminated outright given the current budget deficit. Should the budget deficit shrink due to either an economic recovery or budget cuts, then we can consider refunding these programs. My list would include agriculture (basic research excepted) and housing. I'm not sure where to rank social security, medicare, unemployment benefits and some others. Social security CAN, without a doubt, be done more efficiently by private individuals, but that does not mean it WILL be done more efficiently. Likewise with medicare, unemployment benefits, etc. Also, these programs provide a benefit which may outweight their costs... Where would others rank these items? Other thoughts?
  14. Of course I see the benefit to social security and to education. But proponents of pork can point to benefits also. The bridge to nowhere would have been very nice for the handful of people who used it. Where is that line between a useful program and pork?
  15. So then what is the difference between enriching a specific politicians constituency politician and the constituency of a specific political party? Either one could be at the expense of the collective whole? Social security in its current form gives those over 60ish money from those under 40ish. National defense on the other hand, simply protects all citizens in the US. Now don't misunderstand, I'm not suggesting social security is necessarily pork...just trying to figure out what is, and isn't pork spending.
  16. Would not a particular segment of society (such as the African-American community, Hispanics, the young, seniors, etc.) be similar? Consider that national political parties (such as the democrats or republicans) would obviously not be restricted to any particular locality regarding where the money is spent. Social security is primarily spent on a particular segment of society, the elderly and therefore I contend it could be considered pork. A politican cannot overlook the votes from the seniors... Now I'm sure the motivations are more than just to garner votes, and that in a sense even national defense could probably be considered pork...
  17. Perhaps a serious discussion here of what is meant by pork would be appropriate, granted that you provided a legitimate source with a definition. Some people would say that social security (one of FDR's pet projects) is pork as it will benefit only a small segment of the US population (those currently over the age of 50 or so). Social security is not at all insignificant... But considering that I, and everyone under age 50 or so, will almost certainly receive back very considerably less in social security benefits than I pay in, at some point the question of why do we have this program at all will be seriously asked. And to be honest, I really don't know which is worse (and I'm going to exagerate a bit here), screwing the elderly by leaving them destitute or screwing the young by stealing their money...but the way we are currently heading will result in both.
  18. IMO, the problem isn't whether or not these tax cuts are maintained. Regardless, the root problem isn't fixed. The problem is that government cannot stop spending. I think both Democrats and Republicans have yet to learn that big government spending on pork doesn't buy as many votes as they think. With the possible exception of the new Health Care Bill (as we have yet to see how that will play out), when was the last time you voted for a particular candidate because they supported a new spending program (I cannot think of any for myself)? Any instances of when you voted against a candidate because of this (I can think of several)? Perhaps true fiscal conservatism would serve well whichever party actually adopts it (but I won't be holding my breath for this to happen).
  19. I was not aware of this bridge (thanks!), though I did know about the chunnel between England and France. Still, there is a limit that a single bridge or tunnel can transport as opposed to multiple routes which exist on the continent...I don't know whether these, plus ferries, would be sufficient to meet the transportation needs of England and Scandanavia or not. We might soon find out.
  20. Since the eruption has been going on for a while, and historically can last for years, I'm wondering if this will result in a temporary global cooling? I haven't heard any estimates on this though, so maybe its not enough ash (or maybe the media is only focusing on the travel disruptions). Regarding travel, if this continues for a long time the Europeans will need to utilize their excellent train network for inter-European travel and to send passengers to whichever airports are open for global travel. Fortunately for them, their train system is probably flexible enough to do so IMO (with possible exceptions being England, Ireland and Scandanavia which are separated from the continent).
  21. I think that may be dangerous if anyone will be entering the greenhouse as furnaces might exhaust CO rather than CO2. Yes, it would be cheap, but proper precautions should be taken if doing this. And you don't want to be running the furnace in the summertime. There are several chemical reactions which could be done relatively cheaply that would be safer. I would suggest looking into this instead of using the furnace or at least during the warmer months. It probably within the realm of google to find out where these greenhouses that input CO2 get their supply. I'd suggest starting there first.
  22. Of course one could support an UNCONSTITUTIONAL item and not violate their oath, nor be a hypocrite, if this support is qualified by stating that you intend to change the constitution accordingly (while abiding with it until such change is implemented). It is designed to be modified provided a sufficient supermajority agrees. An example of this very thing happening would be Prohibition. The constitution isn't the absolute final say on the law considering it can be changed.
  23. But if the asteroid rotates, as is almost certainly the case, then the outgassing will essentially be balanced due to the rotation. I suppose it would be possible to ignite the nuke along the rotational axis...which I presume would accomplish the objective of altering the solar orbital trajectory. The composition of the asteroid would be critical. If it did not contain water or other volatile compounds, I doubt much would be accomplished by doing this as there would be no outgassing. Unless the explosion was close enough to vaporize the stone or metal, in which case I think there is a definite risk of breaking the asteroid up into multiple peices, each of which would pose a significant threat (turning one problem asteroid into many). Not that I am really opposed to this type of research (I would say we should do this provided we can afford it), I'm just reinforcing my opinion that other techniques such as gravity tractors appear more promising to me.
  24. Considering the varied nature of asteroids, from a single solid rock to a rubble pile, also containing a widely varying amount of water and other ices and/or metal and/or carbon, there is going to be a vastly different response to a nuclear explosion on the surface which would be difficult to accurately model, even if we could catagorize the composition of an asteroid likely to impact the earth. If the asteroid is either very fragile or a pile of rubble, exploding nukes on it will likely not alter its path because there is nothing really to push against. So instead of a pile of rubble falling to earth we could wind up with a radioactive pile of rubble falling to earth. Also, as happens on occasion, launch rockets fail. I doubt a launch failure would cause the bomb to go nuclear. However, I'm concerned by the possibility of radioactive material (such as used in a nuclear bomb) falling across a very large portion of the earth in an uncontrolled fashion. Couldn't this be an environmental catastrophe? I'd prefer to spend the money on other asteroid pushing possibilities (such as the gravity tractor). Some of these possibilities don't depend at all on the composition of the asteroid and need only the trajectory (very easy to determine) to be known to be effective.
  25. I think what this poll is really saying is that the American people don't think they are getting their moneys worth out of the taxes paid. So why send more money down the rathole for further waste? That said, I think this poll also indicates the public recognizes the usefulness of government and government programs, hence the hesitation to cut back on any program. I actually would favor a freeze in the overall budget (i.e. no increase in money at all) perhaps even setting the budget at 2005 levels, until such time as revenues catch up via economic growth and the deficit is gone. But I realize the US government should keep its promises to social security, etc. (or shouldn't have promised what we can't afford - though thats for another thread) so this won't happen.
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