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Posts posted by akh

  1. Well, it doesn't hurt to hope. Its still disappointing. I agree with Grotzinger, the mission should be one for the history books, but I know some will feel its a failure if no definative evidence of life is found.


    But, the mission has really just started. Much more is ahead for Curiosity.

  2. Just to put things back into perspective, as quoted from CNN article;



    NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory spokesman Guy Webster told CNN that the science team is not ready to discuss the soil inspection from SAM and that the same policy applied to past results from the Curiosity mission.


    "The scientists want to gain confidence in the findings before taking them outside of the science team. As for history books, the whole mission is for the history books," he wrote in an e-mail. "John was excited about the quality and range of information coming in from SAM during the day a reporter happened to be sitting in John's office last week. He has been similarly excited by results at other points during the mission so far."



    Full halt on expectations. See, scientist do get excited by silly things ;). The sad thing is that many have already, and will continue to accuse NASA of sensationalism. The major point that is missed is that a NPR journalist was present during the initial data downloads. That's the point of origin, and the only point of origin, not a NASA press release. The NASA website makes no mention of the above events. I would expect that any scientist would be as excited as a sports fan who just saw their team score a t-down (some of those fans get excited to the point of insanity), when new data is presented. Should the journalist report the excitement? Yes, that's journalism. But I would not blame NASA if the hype did not meet the expectations of the hopeful. Equally, any result should not give those who feel NASA is a waste of tax dollars any traction either. To me, anything that furthers our knowledge and understanding of reality is worth the effort. Sometimes that knowledge excites the minds of a select few. But sometimes, on occasion, something is discovered that truly turns things on end. Rarely, are they ever punctuated events.




    You are the extremists. Your willingness to use men with guns - to initiate the force - to micro-manage everyone's lives, most of which you have *never* met, is infinitely more extreme than my position to not force you to do anything. We're talking about retirement choices. Not pillaging neighborhoods. We're talking about health insurance, not killing puppies. You kidnap people and put them in cages that you have built...for pot - medical pot at that, not for violating any body else's rights or hurting or taking from someone else.


    You people are nuts if you think I'm extreme for not making you do anything at all, and not doing anything to you and wishing for the same in return. Seriously...do you hear yourself?


    I honestly don't think you understand the position(s) of many of the core members of this forum. The exact issues you address are some of the very same that upsets many here. I will not speak for others, but I for one have always had issues with the imprisonment of drug offenders. I have no desire to take things form others by force. I own not a single firearm.


    But when you make statements that you would support terrorism (or you wouldn't be against it) if certain people who you feel have done you wrong were the targets...that is about as extreme and radical as you can get. I have read some fairly inflamatory ideas and remarks on this forum. But in all honesty, this is the first time I have found them to be as frightening as yours. You say nobody will die by your hand, but your previous comments suggest that you would be fine if others did die, if it furthered your ideology. That's messed up! There are some clerics in Iran and Taliban leaders elsewhere that share your approach. They preach and applaud death to "infadels", but will claim to have no blood on their hands.

  4. The only reason I'm even against terrorism is the targets they typically choose.



    Care to explain that? Which group(s) of innocent people would you like to see die?


    As far as individual freedom, I know some say they would prefer utter anarchy, but I don't think they really know what they are asking for. Why would Texas have any less control of an idividual? Seems to me the conservatives, by definition, would ply more control.

  5. Well, its tough to say. I can't imagine anything else that would be as significant, but scientists can get excited about silly things ;).


    I will split the difference and say that they may have found evidence that increases the probabilty of, or is suggestive of life, or past life, on Mars. I do not suspect that they will make a definitive announcement.


    But, I am one who believes that there is far more life out there, and possibly in our own solar system, then most would have ever suspected. I really do think that life can be seen as a natural course of planetary evolution.

  6. Most "race car" manual boxes are not true manuals. They use paddle shifters.

    It used to be that manual boxes were better in all respects; better effeciency and more power to the wheels and more control. The recent trend towards clutch disks over torque converters and transmissions with 7 or more ratios has made todays more sophiscticated automatics better in areas that manuals ruled.


    Don't forget CVTs.


    I still like to down shift and engine brake as a form of abs, but again todays cars do a good job of that too. But I drive old manual clunkers :).

  7. How ironic. Since the Caucasus mountains actually go through Armenia you likely actually are Caucasian, even though the majority of people from white europeans are not.



    Yes, most people do not realize this. Which is why I said I am Caucasian by any measure (I was hinting at that irony, nice catch!). It gives me a good chuckle to know that terms Caucasian (Caucasoid) and Aryan actual refer to darker skinned peoples in an area widely regarded as Middle Eastern, not white Europeans as many assume or want to believe. But that is a different subject entirely.


    I am not opposed to voter ID laws per se. I am very opposed to the way that they were pushed through as a an emergency measure by the right to suppress votes. They can deny it all they want, but its pretty obvious. Honestly, I never would have dreamt that I would get caught in the bs net. Remember, I did have a valid drivers license after all! So the ID wasn't enough, and a voter ID would not have changed anything at the polls. I still had to prove that I was a citizen of the country I was born and raised in. Honestly, I would have thought that the people on the political right would be more enraged by this than the liberals. Aren't they the ones always railing against the government's intrusion into the rights of the civilian?




  8. rigney says: Perhaps then we should do away with all scientific research ....since probably 90% of either is still little more than supposition and theory?


    Well that pretty much sums up your purpose here. If it wasn't thinly veiled to start, you went ahead and and conceded your true intent. So, given your predilection for attacking science, or any form of evidence based investigation, I need to ask a question.


    Rigney, is this the end of your trolling?

    If it is not the end, I am sure you will keep posting garbage. However, it will be with full admission of your intent to troll. If it is the end, perhaps you may find something more constructive to do with your life.

  9. I'm not so sure... many latin americans are conservative christian on social issues and the Republicans are probably now realizing they can't win national elections without courting minority voters. Anyway, it seems likely that the issue won't come up in the current congress.




    They even said it themselves as they were wiping away the tears after Romney's concession speech. Literally within minutes! Unfortunately, this will do nothing to rip them from the grips of the fundamentalists.



  10. Got it. The figures are right and America has the bestest and truest system in the world.


    Americans will kill, rape and pillage at the same rates as the rest of the world but won't cheat at election time. This is because cheating in an election is just so much more wrong than murder, rape and importing illegal drugs from South America.


    The wider point that you avoided is that the stats for fraud are so far out of line compared to other crime stats that there must be a problem. Other crimes have similar rates across the developed world, why is this one different?


    Please divulge the secret Oh Great Ones as to why the American populace are just likely to kill, steal or rape (per 100,000 population and within a few percentage points) but are orders of magnitude less likely to cheat on a vote. The data diverges and this makes me suspect the data, if you don't agree then what is the reason for the divergence?


    It's that simple.


    Nice, lovely stuff.


    Numbers and citations please. You still have no proof of actual voter fraud in the US which is greater than published numbers. You still are making generalizations and correlations with nothing to back them up. Quite honestly, its the same disposition the Teabaggers in this country posed and this position has been found to be utterly false. I don't equate kill, rape, pillage (Do individuals really pillage? I thought that took collective action, like a group of 20 or more.) with voter fraud. Voter fraud requires an intentional, planned thought process. High risk, high penalty (up to $5000 fine and five years in prison) for essentially no personal return. So yes, it may not follow the same pattern as any other crime trend, in this country and in this culture. The ones most commonly accused of voter fraud are poll officials themselves, not the voter. No change in ID law will address that issue.

  11. I plan to attend a lecture by Dr Robert N. McCauley on Sunday with the Atlanta Free Thought Society. He studies the cognitive science of religion. It should be interesting. His premise, that religion is natural and our minds are better suited for religious beliefs than scientific inquiry, seems plausible, but I am not sure this agrees with my own personal experience. In fact, I find the opposite to be true.



  12. Don't try to become a modern immortal denying the basic facts of the world.


    Yes, I will heed this wisdom.


    Actually its easy enough to find the Lord residing in you than finding a zombie.


    No zombies huh. I think maybe you will have better luck finding a troll. You seem to have similar traits, they would take to you easily.

  13. Well,


    It does seem that the entire issue stemmed from the initial registration at the DMV that had the incorrect address, which I was told by the DMV employee would also be corrected. I blame myself for not following through, but not for the problem. I still do not have any understanding as to exactly why my citizenship was in question. They are not really giving me any answers other than the address issue and that this is the first time I voted in this county. This process requires a human hand, its not just automated. Sadly, I am left with the conclusion that my name may have played into the issue. I asked them if they had quotas, or were directed to spread the "Challenged Ballot" across demographics so as to eliminate suggestion of bias. Its not like ethnicity (W) is unknown to the Board of Registrations and Elections. The women I spoke with said that she was "unaware of quotas", which is akin to I don't know, or maybe, or yes.


    My suspicion is that the discrepancy of address was flagged (they had my address as a house two down from where I live), they noted the first time voter, looked at my very foreign name, and upon review, they put the challenge through as a question of nationality. The letter I have specifically states that "you indicated that you are a citizen, but the information on your Driver Services record does not match". The only thing that did not match was the address, period. The rest of any evaluation was done by a person or persons. Which leaves my name, as the only indication of distinction.


    In my opinion, that is discrimination. I bet I wouldn't have had an issue in Glendale, CA

  14. akh, I hesitate to ask but are you of a minority race? Most of the people challenged, at least according to media sources, are somewhat less than lilly white... I know several black people who claim that voter intimidation was once pretty much routine... The tea party, claims their current effort has nothing to do with race but I have my doubts about the veracity of that...


    Caucasian by all accounts, but not lily white. Middle and last name are Armenian. Two other voters that appeared at the provisional desk before I left were black and asian... no joke. Asian guy was super mad, but I didn't listen in on his issue because i did not feel it was my business. Huge voting issues in the neighboring county. Multiple voters who had registered did not show up in the rolls.

  15. Another update.


    The list of acceptable forms that verify my nationality is long, but very short on actual options for me. The only two options that could apply are Birth Certificate, US passport, or Insurance document created 5 years prior to application that shows nationality. Well, I don't currently have a passport. I did not have any insurance other than car insurance 5 years ago, as I could not afford it. Which leaves me with birth certificate, which is retained in Florida, my place of birth. I can get the document to the Georgia Board of Registrations and Elections in the allowed three day time period via electronic transmission. But it costs money, of course and I must have some way to create and send the file with a copy of my drivers license (Really? So I can use my drivers license to get my birth certificate to prove my nationality and citizenship, yet my drivers license itself was not enough to allow me to vote). I don't have a scanner, so that means I have to pay at Office Depot or what ever or wait till I get to work to use their scanner.


    All this because of laws passed to combat nearly non-existent voter fraud? I never in my wildest imagination would have thought this would be happening to me. But it is...feels like shit to be one of the disenfranchised. Feels like shit to have your own country, your place of birth, deny you one of your basic rights as a citizen for what amounts to as no clear reason what so ever.

  16. Phi, I wouldn't be so sure. We prosecuted about 80 people at the last Federal election with some 14 million voters and the US is claiming about 90 prosecutions for 300 million votes.


    I don't follow, are you making a correlation? So the experience in your country should be a direct relation to what really happens here? Of those prosecuted, how many were actually convicted? What was the offence? What was the reason/motivation behind the attempt at fraud?


    Ever think that the more voters you have, the less likely there is to be fraud simply because it does not make sense to commit fraud when a single vote is far less likely to alter the outcome?




    Either Americans are unusually and almost unbelievably honest, or someone is fudging the numbers.


    Proof of either accusation? Why can it not be the opposite situation?


    BTW, it seems my issue is directly related to the F' up at the DMV and my address. At least that is what I am being told. But, there is a high degree of vagueness as to why this called my nationality into question. The DMV issue may have been the initial flag, but there seems there is much more to this.

  17. This election is a a complete mess. Maybe I am over sensitive after having to cast a provisional ballot because somebody, somewhere decided I might not be a citizen, but something tells me this will go down as the worst, most contoversial election in our history. At least you got to the machines! I had to fill out a bubble sheet.


    Thank the guy for the recording. I don't know about legality, but just someones word on the experience would not have been of any value. I have already shown the vid to everyone I know, and will continue to do so.

  18. I'm bringing two forms of government ID AND my voter registration card with me this afternoon. I had no trouble with the primary earlier this year, nor in any prior election in the 14 years I've lived in Virginia, though,so I don't expect trouble.



    I would suggest that anybody who still needs to vote today should do just that. Although, in my case it would not have made any difference. I was still flagged in the system and they could not make a card for the electronic voting machines. I still don't understand how I can confirm my registration online, yet seperately they have me flagged as having questionable citizenship.


    I still have concerns over the actual provisional ballot. It seems some election officials are trying to get them thrown out if there are any errors.

  19. I

    Can I ask you what party affiliation you registered with? It shouldn't matter, but in every case I've heard so far where the local election commission has decided to jump with both feet on the slightest anomaly the voter has been registered Democrat. And Georgia is a pretty firm red state.


    If you were a betting type, where would you put your money? I run against the grain on many issues in this state.


    I have voted in Georgia for the last three presidential election cycles, this one was the forth. I went to university here, paid in state tuition. There are multiple levels of information that identifies me as a citizen of the United States and of Georgia, yet.....


    I am starting to fume more and more about this as the day goes on. I was in shock at first, it was a bit surreal now that a have had a few hours to think, I really am worried about the fate of this country more than ever.


    Unfortunately, I have to work all day or I would have made a few phone calls already.


    Another thing, I can go online, as I did weeks before to confirm my voter registration. Its there, along with information giving directions to my pollinjg location. They knew that I would show up there to vote, they had a sheet of paper, a document with my name on it already in place. But somehow I was unaware of any issue until I tried to vote (WHICH IS MY RIGHT AS AN AMERICAN!)

  20. Did you vote though?




    And I had to stand over the guy as he stumbled through the process. He had know idea what he was doing, which makes me very nervous about the voting process. He had to keep calling the other official over make sure he was doing it correctly (at least he wasn't trying to hide the fact that he was clueless), but he admitted he had never actually filed one before. But, I still have to file additional paper work to prove that I am a citizen of a country that I was born in and have lived in my entire life.



  21. So, I stood in line in the rain at 6:10 this morning to make sure I could get in and out when the polls opened at 7 am. Presented my drivers license to the lady at the voting desk, they scanned it and told me I had to fill out a provisional ballot. So I go to the next desk to fill out the provisional ballet where they inform me that my United States Citizenship is in question! The guy at the provisional desk actually already had a piece of paper in front of him with my name on it, before he knew who I was, that stated my citizenship was in question.


    Born in the USA, lived here all my life, but they don't think I am a citizen. I have never had this issue, ever!


    The only strange thing is that my license has my correct address and the address in their system was incorrect. The incorrect address was the same address that was placed on my license as a mistake at the DMV, which I corrected over a year ago. Georgia mails out drivers licenses, so you must live at stated address to get the license. I did not get much information from the voting officials, but they did not think that the address mistake was the issue. In any case, I was told when I corrected my address at the DMV, that my voter registration information would be updated.


    I think this is directly related to the very strict voter ID laws in Georgia. But really? I have lived in the USA all my life. I was born here! I have had a passport in my name issued in this state (Georgia). I carry insurance here, paid taxes here, got married and divorced here, and I am employed here. But Georgia does not think I am a citizen!

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