atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2406: Stupid astronomers give me a headache.

"Should Pluto be a planet?"


Love this whopper in the lede: "Now that Pluto may have regained its status as the largest object in the outer solar system,..."

*blink blink*

...they had to invent a new word ("plutoid") to describe what Pluto was, because it certainly wasn't big enough to be a planet, and now it's bigger than the fricking SUN?

Space dot com: proofread much?

* * *

Why stop with 60-year-old scientists? Instead of just sending scientists in their 60s to Mars, let's send everyone there. That way the Democrats no longer have to worry about people coming to their senses as they age!

As great as I think it is to come up with new ideas for how we can get more people into space, I don't think sending people one way to inhabitable planets is quite the way to do it. Besides, I don't think a one-way trip would actually save any money.

See, if you're sending people there to stay, it means keeping them supplied with consumables, because there are no Wal-Mart or "Space Supplies 'R' Us" stores there. There aren't any factories or mines. There are no farms; there aren't even any indigenous plants.

It also means sending a huge mass of supplies and parts with them. If you're on Mars and suddenly realize you need to replace a $0.12 O-ring or you're all dead within a week, and you don't have that O-ring, you can't just bop down to Home Depot and pick one up. That o-ring has to be shipped to Mars from Earth...and there's no FedEx service, either.

So you need to bring a lot of stuff with you--critical spare parts, food, water, air, and everything else you need to live on a planet where there is nothing but rocks and sand. In fact, a permanent stay means sending more stuff, more ships, more missions, to Mars than a single round trip would. It ends up not being cheaper, but a lot more expensive.

On the plus side, a permanent manned base on Mars means we actually get our heads out of our asses and, y'know, explore space.

* * *

Dennis points out that Democrats are now fighting for the Bush tax cuts, at least mostly. For people who earn less than $200,000 per year.
Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I could have sworn that for the past nine or so years, every Democrat, liberal and progressive with a piece of paper and a crayon has been writing op-eds about how the Bush tax cuts couldn't/wouldn't/can't/won't/don't/didn't work. I had always assumed that meant they thought the cuts were a bad thing...

And you know what? I won't even argue that point. Personally, I doubt the Bush tax cuts have done much of anything. But that, dear friends, isn't the point.

The point is that Democrats cannot have it both ways.

If the Bush tax cuts are ineffective, then they need to go away. Period. If for some odd reason Democrats now think these cuts need to be renewed - even if only for the "middle class" - well, then that means they either knew they were working and lied about it, or they are simply so intellectually bankrupt on matters economic that the only response they can come up with is to fall back on the tried and true political strategy of class warfare.
I'm pretty sure the Democrats knew the Bush tax cuts were a good thing, and simply lied about it because the notion of letting people keep more of their own money is completely foreign to the Democrat worldview.

Democrats think that the money you earn at your job belongs to the government--all of it--and that the money you take home after all the taxes is just the result of government's largesse. When someone says that taxes are too high, the Democrats immediately begin asking how the government can afford to cut taxes and they throw around phrases which discuss "paying for the tax cut".

The problem is--the thing the Democrats don't get--that the money I earn through the sweat of my brow belongs to me. Government points a gun at my head and says, "Hey, I'm taking twenty-five percent right off the top, and you can suck it." Then the government gets testy when I ask guys on my side to lower the fraction which government is taking: "If you get to keep more of your money, who's going to pay for firemen and police? Who's going to take care of all the pitiable helpless folks who can't find jobs and must live in housing projects? We'll have to shut down the Washington Monument and stop fixing roads."

When the government decides it needs more money--regardless of whether it actually does or not--it can decide to take more from me. And no one ever asks me if I can afford it. Changes to tax rates are always discussed in terms of what the government wants and needs; the needs of the taxpayers are never addressed. No one says, "The middle class already sees about half its income taken in various taxes and fees; where will they get the money to pay for this tax increase?"

This past election means nothing if the Republicans don't start asking that basic question all the time: "How will the taxpayer afford this?"

It used to be that a single income could support an entire family. That was before the damn taxes got so high; now it takes both parents working full time to have enough money to support that family on the income they have left after paying taxes. Compare taxation levels now--adjusted for inflation and as a fraction of total income--to those of 1950 and tell me I'm wrong.

* * *

Why is it "nearly impossible" to locate forms from 1970?
Yitzhak Walster, 79, is one of the founders of Dishon, a moshav in the Upper Galilee. Today he suffers from high blood pressure and a heart condition, and has undergone several extensive procedures to treat both.

Walster, classified as a disabled Holocaust survivor, completed the necessary document and attached medical forms. He hoped the conditions he described would raise his disability level from 37 percent, allowing him greater government assistance and the ability to buy the medications he needs.
Well, shazam! A guy who's nearly eighty years old who has hypertension and a heart condition! Those goddamned nazis!

This sounds like utter bullshit to me.

* * *

Oleg talks about buying a suppressor in the US versus what it's like in New Zealand. ("Suppressor", for you liberal bedwetters out there who'd never own guns because you're not murderers, means "silencer".)

Apparently New Zealand is full of bloodthirsty murderers with blood in their eyes, and the streets run red with blood, because all the people there can have silenced weapons, and we know that means uncontrollable gun violence...huh? What's that? It's a nice place to live? What, there aren't a thousand murders every hour there? How can that be, when they have relatively unrestricted access to firearms?

These days, "land of the free; home of the brave" just sounds like a bad joke.

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