Patterico's Pontifications

8/18/2016

Farts, Donald Trump, the Spanish National Debt, and a Stark Choice

Filed under: General,Stark Choice — Patterico @ 7:20 am

This story was prompted by a Hot Air Headlines entry about the volume of farts. Stick with me.

Spain’s national debt reaches highest level in over century

Spain’s state debt reached €1.1 trillion ($1.24 trillion) in June, the highest level since 1909, according to the data released by the Bank of Spain.

People wait at the employment center to open in Sintra, Portugal. © Hugo CorreiaSpain & Portugal avoid budget fines
Sovereign debt has been continuing its unswerving escalation since 2008, when it was 39.4 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP).

Debt rose 4.7 percent in June compared to a year ago when it amounted to €1,057 trillion.

The figure, equivalent to 100.9 per cent of the country’s output, is well above the target projected for the current year.

Why am I talking about the Spanish national debt when I started out talking about the volume of farts? I’m getting there.

I followed the Hot Air Headlines fart-volume item to the original article: How Big Is A Fart? Somewhere Between A Bottle Of Nail Polish And A Can Of Soda. (Saved you a click!) This passage caught my eye:

Certain foods, beans included, produce more easily fermentable residues as they break down in the stomach and intestines. More fermentation means more gas, so the “flatulogenic foods” really will increase the volume of gas in your gut and in your farts. In 2012, for instance, researchers took healthy volunteers and those who suffered from chronic gastrointestinal problems, fed them either a neutral or fart-inducing breakfast, and then put a catheter up each of their anuses to collect farts and transfer the gas to a machine that measured the volume of those farts in real time.

I decided to follow the hyperlink to learn more about this study. Specifically, I was curious to learn: did taxpayers somewhere pay for “scientists” to put catheters up the anuses of volunteers? So I went to the study, titled Anal gas evacuation and colonic microbiota in patients with flatulence: effect of diet.

Funding This work was supported by the FIS PI10/00902 grant (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion, Spain), the Spanish Ministry of Education (Dirección General de Investigación, SAF 2009–07416), Fundació La Marató TV3 (MARATV3_072010), the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013: IHMS, grant agreement HEALTH.2010.2.1.1-2) and a grant from Danone Research (France). Ciberehd is funded by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III.

If your Spanish is failing you: yes, government grants were involved.

And then I noticed this morning’s story about Spain’s record debt.

This kind of thing is universal, folks. It’s not just the U.S. Government that taxes you and spends the money on idiotic stuff. It happens everywhere.

Let’s get local. We face the possibility this November of having a Democrat in office, Hillary Clinton, who is promising to spend $275 billion that we don’t have on a federal infrastructure program. Our debt is $19 trillion, and most of the infrastructure issues, to the extent they exist, are local and state issues, not federal. Nevertheless, Hillary is unfazed. She apparently thinks Barack Obama’s giant stimulus was a great idea, and needs to be repeated.

Luckily, we have an alternative: Donald Trump, a Republican stalwart and fiscal conservative who . . . says he’ll take Hillary’s proposal and double it. Remember this from a few days ago?

Donald J. Trump took a step to Hillary Clinton’s left on Tuesday, saying that he would like to spend at least twice as much as his Democratic opponent has proposed to invest in new infrastructure as part of his plan to stimulate the United States’ economy.

The idea takes a page out of the progressive playbook and is another indication that the Republican presidential nominee is prepared to break with the fiscal conservatism that his party has evangelized over the past eight years.

Nevertheless, we are going to be told that we must vote for Trump because, I don’t know. I guess because he’s a fucking clown who never means anything he says and therefore maybe he won’t actually carry out this stupid idea? Is that the argument?

It’s a stark choice, folks. This is easily the most least important election of our lifetimes.

115 Responses to “Farts, Donald Trump, the Spanish National Debt, and a Stark Choice”

  1. Trump and Clinton should do the country a favor and give up their campaigns, to go to Spain and volunteer for science.

    Patterico (bcf524)

  2. Milhouse explains why this research is critical in 3…2…1…

    Patterico (1c44e0)

  3. It’s all about global warming! Farts = AGW

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  4. it might be kinda nice for a change for failmerica to have something to show for all the debased yellendollars it throws around

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  5. but this is a self-limiting reaction, whether you’re borrowing for infrastructure or to pay piggy pensions

    chinesers are smart

    and even the perverted saudi royal filth aren’t gonna keep buying failmerican trash paper forever and ever

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  6. Greetings:

    That scientific fart data, was it at Standard Temperature and Pressure (STP) or something more internal.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  7. A good chunk of Spain’s debt was involved in chasing skydragons, under zapatero.

    narciso (732bc0)

  8. Trump and Clinton should do the country a favor and give up their campaigns, to go to Spain and volunteer for science.

    Amen! That will solve the whole national nightmare. Kaine v. Pence. That I can live with.

    BTW what about cow farts? Their farts are particularly dangerous and polluting. I think we need a study. Give me a million bucks and I’ll do it.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  9. Miss me yet? — Francisco Franco

    nk (dbc370)

  10. The good news is Pennsylvania’s lovely Attorney General Kathleen Kane resigned and is now available to become Hillary!’s attorney general. She fits right in to the democrat syndicate. Like a lambskin glove.

    Rev. Hoagie® (0f4ef6)

  11. The only sane reason to prefer Trump over Clinton: Trump’s illegal and dictatorial actions will be vociferously opposed by the federal bureaucracy and the news media, while Clinton’s illegal and dictatorial actions will be pushed by the bureaucracy and lauded by the news media.

    David Pittelli (0a4463)

  12. If AGW were still a plausible theory then this research would indeed be useful. Even without that, such research might yield unexpected and useful results; how can we know without checking? As a general principle scientific research always pays off somehow in the long run, and is thus a far better way for a government to spend money than 90% of the other things it does.

    Of course better still is for the government not to
    spend money on things that are not part of its legitimate mission, and leave it up to private institutions to decide how much money should be spent on research, and how it should be spent. But when cutting government spending we should start with the stuff that’s not just completely wasteful but actually destructive, move on to the spending that’s not destructive but is a complete waste, and only then move to the spending that actually returns some value. It’s just a matter of priorities.

    Another way in which spending cuts should be prioritised is by sheer volume. A program that wastes $1B should obviously be cut before one that only wastes $100M, or $10M, or a mere $10,000. They say that if you look after the pennies, the dollars will look after themselves, but that applies to someone who isn’t already bleeding money the way the USA is. Given the current entrenched spending structure, concentrating on wastes of petty cash such as the NEA and NEH means giving a free pass to the looting of hundreds of millions.

    Milhouse (ce9efb)

  13. The only sane reason to prefer Trump over Clinton: Trump’s illegal and dictatorial actions will be vociferously opposed by the federal bureaucracy and the news media, while Clinton’s illegal and dictatorial actions will be pushed by the bureaucracy and lauded by the news media.

    Extension of the above: Trump may be impeached. Clinton won’t be.

    Milhouse (ce9efb)

  14. But Rev. Hoagie, what about the cute little Loretta Lynch, who has served the country….er, the Clintons so well?

    Patricia (5fc097)

  15. Spain traditionally repudiates its external debt.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  16. Aside from your Trump hatred, Patrick, have you made note of the fact that we need infrastructure repair and that Obama’s “Stimulus” was directed away from “burly men” and toward women whose activities do not do much about infrastructure.

    Real infrastructure, as opposed to Democrat handouts, requires “burly men” to do the work.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  17. Our esteemed host quoted:

    Donald J. Trump took a step to Hillary Clinton’s left on Tuesday, saying that he would like to spend at least twice as much as his Democratic opponent has proposed to invest in new infrastructure as part of his plan to stimulate the United States’ economy.

    The idea takes a page out of the progressive playbook and is another indication that the Republican presidential nominee is prepared to break with the fiscal conservatism that his party has evangelized over the past eight years.

    Perhaps if our party had “evangelized” fiscal conservatism for longer than the past eight years, and actually meant it, it might mean something. The younger President Bush had something that no Republican President has had since before the Depression, a Congress controlled by Republicans, and the result was that they spent worse than drunken sailors. Yeah, Barack Hussein and the Democrats have been worse, but that’s no compliment to the GOP.

    If Donald John Trump becomes our 45th President, he probably will propose these huge spending projects, and the Republicans in Congress will fall right into line, and approve them. After all, the fiscally conservative Republicans of 2001-2007 certainly approved the spending projects of that compassionate conservative, George Walker Bush!

    The Dana who was awake during the previous decade (f6a568)

  18. Real infrastructure, as opposed to Democrat handouts, requires “burly men” to do the work.

    Do you get the sense, though, that there are a whole lot of road crew guys who are unemployed? I’m sure there are some, but not nearly enough to handle the supposed infrastructure work that we need. So the government will just use this as an excuse to pay for “retraining” of people who will join programs in order to keep receiving welfare benefits and then drop out without finishing them. Meanwhile, the crew who is replacing the sewer pipes on the street abutting my home and has been there for six weeks now will continue to carry on. I’ve walked by several times during the day and there’s almost always two guys standing around while a third guy operates a back-hoe. No progress seems to be made, and what probably could have been a two-week job drags on and on.

    Side note: I’m sitting in a coffee shop in San Francisco right now doing some work, and a group of “burly men” in flouresecent-colored safety vests are here having a coffee break and chatting. They’ve been at it for 45 minutes now and show no eagerness to return to work. I guess it’s good to be a unionized public employee.

    JVW (c53e69)

  19. The younger President Bush had something that no Republican President has had since before the Depression, a Congress controlled by Republicans, and the result was that they spent worse than drunken sailors.

    I’ll go to my grave thinking that Bush had an implicit deal with Congressional Democrats that he wouldn’t challenge them on domestic spending programs if they gave him mostly free reign to conduct the War on Terror. We now see what a fool’s errand that is.

    Let’s face it, too: “Republican” business interests are every bit as lustful for government spending programs as the bureaucratic class is. The GOP candidate appeals to that segment of the GOP coalition.

    JVW (c53e69)

  20. If the men on these infra projects need to be “Burly”, maybe thats why Trump is interested in a run-amok Russia – the ensuing mayhem in eastern Europe probably results in a flood of the right kind of emigre, one that Trump has employed on a regular basis.

    #8 – if Trump was to raise that bluff to Hillary – I will resign if you resign – and succeed in having both moving off the ballot, to hell with Tubman, DJT can be the image, partially in orange to boot, on the new 20.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  21. Road crews are OK, the upper-skill “you can die right now” trades like electrician are OK, its the carpenters, drywallers, roofers, and concrete formers that are hit mainly from increased illegal competition.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  22. #18 JVW,

    They may appear to be actual construction workers, but it’s San Fran, so it’s possible they’re just fetishists! (LOL)

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  23. They may appear to be actual construction workers, but it’s San Fran, so it’s possible they’re just fetishists! (LOL)

    Well, there was a motorcycle guy, a cop, and an Indian with them, so. . .

    JVW (0f646f)

  24. #23 JVW,

    They could have been on their way down to the local YMCA.
    Or maybe they’re in the Navy, and just enjoying a little R ‘n’ R.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  25. The younger President Bush had something that no Republican President has had since before the Depression, a Congress controlled by Republicans, and the result was that they spent worse than drunken sailors.

    Say better: They spent like drunken Democrats.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  26. I’ll go to my grave thinking that Bush had an implicit deal with Congressional Democrats that he wouldn’t challenge them on domestic spending programs if they gave him mostly free reign to conduct the War on Terror.

    Was this supposed to be some sort of secret?

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  27. Mr. 57 was in the navy if i remember right

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  28. After all, the fiscally conservative Republicans of 2001-2007 certainly approved the spending projects of that compassionate conservative, George Walker Bush!

    I agree with The Dana who was awake during the previous decade in that the only difference will be on what the Republicans will piss away our money on not the fact they will.

    Rev. Hoagie® (0f4ef6)

  29. Was this supposed to be some sort of secret?

    Well, it’s not as if there was a press conference of Bush and Congressional leaders to announce this agreement. And after the 2000 dot-com bust and the 9/11 attacks it seems that Bush bought in to the silly Democrat idea that government spending has some kind of economic multiplier effect, which not surprisingly seems to be the hallmark of Hillary!s economic agenda. For as much as Democrats whine that Republicans place too much faith in tax cuts, it’s really government spending that inexplicably remains a magic charm for progressives.

    JVW (0f646f)

  30. Memo to The Great White Dope: Spain’s NATO payments disappear like a fart in a windstorm.

    …Our debt is $19 trillion, and most of the infrastructure issues, to the extent they exist, are local and state issues, not federal.

    There’s more to it than just filling potholes on Wilshire Blvd.

    ‘Most’ infrastructure issues are not solely state and local projects alone. Your office may very wll be in a Federal courthouse. Next time there’s a major quake in LA and the roadways collapse, Federal funds will help finance rebuilding fallen roadways- incentives et. al, not solely local LA and CA taxpayers. Rebuilding crumbling bridges and disintegrating roadways along the nation’s interstate system as well as modernizing rail systems, port facilities, water, power and communication grids, airports and such– outdated Cold War era military facilities and even a space port (as was done w/partial Federal funding for SpaceX ops at KSC in Florida for instance) are an investment. And yes, it puts people to work.

    You need to get out more. Visit Europe. Or South Korea. Or Dubai. Then come home through LAX. Or JFK and La Guardia. And realize the ‘greatest country in the world’ really ain’t that great in a lot of places that once made it appear so to the rest of the world. They’ve move on– at America’s expense.

    It is fiscally irresponsible and utterly absurd for the United States to keep dining out with the entrenched mind set of post-WW2 war thinking. And there’s still a lot of it. It’s not 1965. Or 1975. Or 1985. Trump is right about this. It is foolish ‘policy’ for America to allow its own infrastructure, more or less designed and built in the New Deal era through the Eisenhower years and tweaked there after, to crumble while ‘protecting’ other nations who have made the quality of life in their nations better than it is here at America’s expense. Trump is correct about this. HRC is just trying to steal his thunder.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  31. DCSCA, bravo!!!!

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  32. “Nevertheless, we are going to be told that we must vote for Trump because, I don’t know. I guess because he’s a fucking clown who never means anything he says and therefore maybe he won’t actually carry out this stupid idea? Is that the argument?”

    Actually, the argument to the nevertrumper’s is: The only thing standing between Hillary and the White House is Trump. Or is that too nuanced for you?

    But the real reason to vote for Trump is that he loves America and thinks the federal government should be for Americans first. And also he’s got some pretty good plans and ideas. And has said the type of judges he’ll nominate for the Supreme court. Hillary has said what type she’ll nominate too, though. I like his list better. How ’bout you?
    Oh, right — “He is lying.”

    fred-2 (ce04f3)

  33. Look at the bright side, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are liars, so maybe they won’t spend anything.

    Dejectedhead (0c7c2f)

  34. Mr. Trump isn’t a liar he’s the best one.

    He has a lot of good plans to do on America and he’s gonna be exemplary at doing president stuff.

    I’m very eager for him to get underway.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  35. 32. Hillary Clinton won’t spend it on what she says she wants to spend it on (useful projects or necessary repairs)

    Her whole advocacy of this is an excuse to give more work to construction unions and government contractors or otehr special interests.

    The repairs will be mostly unnecessary; will inconvenience people; will not add anything new, even if it can be added at low cost or even make the whole thing cheaper, because that requires an environmental impact statement or something and would cause a delay; and will sometimes produce something worse than what it replaced.

    Even if there is something that genuinely needs to be fixed, that will not be the priority. If there is one bridge that needs repair, fifteen similar bridges that don’t have problems will also be included in the contract. And things that obviously need repair will be left alone, as an argument for spending more money.

    Any new projects, which may comprise up to 25% of the spending, will be uncompleted, and designed that way, so that people in the future will have an incentive to spend money to finish it and get somethig out of it.

    Safety measures will be added at multiple times the cost of simpler safety measures.

    Donald Trump doesn’t really have any intention of doing anything – that’s why it’s so easy for him to double the money, although some amount of federal spending would happen, as is happening now.

    Hillary Clinton and the Democrats have a hidden agenda in their calls, for years, to rebuild supposedly crumbling infrastructure. Donald Trump has no agenda at all here, except to out-promise her. To trump her, in other words.

    Sammy Finkelman (44f942)

  36. Among the strangest and most dishonest trolls to frequent this blogs comments is DCSCA. This sentence from #30 above is exactly representative of his crap. Let’s look at it carefully:

    It is foolish ‘policy’ for America to allow its own infrastructure, more or less designed and built in the New Deal era through the Eisenhower years and tweaked there after, to crumble …

    Let’s take this part first. How many lies and distortions are built into just the first half of this sentence?

    To begin with, no politician at any level, state or federal, on either side of the political aisle has ever adopted, as policy, the notion that we should deliberately allow infrastructure to crumble.

    To the contrary, from time immemorial (weigh in here about Rome, senators, and viaduct projects, SPQR?), public works projects have been the single most reliable means of generating votes and graft opportunities. All of the political dynamics of “giving the people what they want” combine to encourage politicians to vote for and fund, from the public fisc, these “shovel-ready infrastructure renewal projects.” Why, who could forget the massive surge in employment and quality of life from Obama & Pelosi’s 2009 trillion-dollar Stimulus Package?!?

    Also completely presumed as a foundation for this assertion is the notion that the government should be doing the infrastructure investment. That’s how lefties always roll — a government solution for every problem they can identify, and they never run short on problems to identify, especially when it can create a new department, a new program, a new level of civil servant administrators, new permanent and unfireable public employee union jobs, and more graft for the Democrats’ principal constituencies.

    Also completely presumed as a foundation for this assertion is the notion that the federal government should be doing the infrastructure investment. Graft and payoffs from Washington can typically be an order of magnitude greater, with an order of magnitude less accountability and transparency, so this is always the liberals’ preference: Federalize everything.

    So basically, the only thing remarkable about the first half of this sentence is just how many ways it finds to be dishonest and deceptive. This isn’t about your bridge being safer, and anyone who thinks that’s what the likes of DCSCA is concerned about — you need to google the term “concern troll.”

    Continuing with the second half:

    … while ‘protecting’ other nations who have made the quality of life in their nations better than it is here at America’s expense.

    The first word of this phrase is the Big Lie of the whole sentence, the pivot point, the grand diversion and illusion needed to lead you, the reader, into passionate illogic. “While” is a word chosen here, with the sentence structured in this comparative way, to suggest connection, correlation, and indeed, causation. But that’s crap, an utterly false and malicious equivalency.

    How much money should be invested in infrastructure renewal, the mix between public and private, the mix between local, state, and federal, and the choice of projects — these are all matters of legitimate public debate, and they are indeed being debated daily. To suggest that our defense and foreign policy commitments are overhanging, driving, and limiting all of those decisions, at all of those levels, all the time, is, again, to deliberately ignore the fact that pork barrel politics don’t wait for balanced budgets: See, again, as an example, the completely unfunded trillion-dollar 2009 stimulus package, which the Dems admitted was based on no budgeting at all, but instead on the fact that a trillion was the largest nice, round number they thought they could get away with.

    More statist crap, more hypocritical trolling. Exactly what we know we can always expect from DCSCA.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  37. @35. =Yawn=

    If youz’ explainin’, youz’ loozin’, Lucy.

    Pop some corn an catch Trump’s speech tonight in Charlotte, unfiltered, on C-SPAN.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  38. Disco Stu, The International Man Of Mystery. I stopped making jokes about his mental impairment when I realized that I only thought I was joking. He really is mentally impaired.

    nk (dbc370)

  39. But urbanleftbehind says “bravo!” Does your argument counter that, Beldar?

    Patterico (bcf524)

  40. The claim that the infrastructure was crumbling was itself a leftist lie for the purpose of justifying more spending. There was never any evidence for it. The supposed evidence was the Minneapolis bridge collapse, but that had nothing to do with any lack of inspection or maintenance, and no inspection could possibly have found the flaw in the original construction.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  41. this is what eight years of zapatero yielded, mostly spent on skydragon traps,

    narciso (732bc0)

  42. “weigh in here about Rome, senators, and viaduct projects, SPQR?”

    Focusing on democracies, Themistocles and Pericles beat Rome by a few hundred years with the Long Walls and Acropolis public works projects. A Roman, Sulla, did do some demo work on the Long Walls a few hundred years later but it wasn’t a public works effort.

    Rick Ballard (ce29ad)

  43. @ Patterico (#38): I got nuthin’ for “bravo,” I’m totally defeated.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  44. most of zaphod work, has the @dolci and gabbani touch,

    narciso (732bc0)

  45. I really get tired of stories that ridicule some science project just because it sounds gross.

    The fart study was probably decent science. So, unless you are against government funding science, what’s the point? All it does is detract from a more serious message that the government spends to much.

    John Moore (e14975)

  46. On the wrong things. Too much of this “science” is workfare for over-educated unemployables.

    nk (dbc370)

  47. I am against government funding science, but I’m more against almost everything else it funds, so the science spending should be the last thing cut, not the first. Proxmire is a dirty word for a reason.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  48. Really? Did we ever find out why monkeys clench their teeth? That was what Proxmire criticized. And what about why lesbians are fat? I’m still on tenterhooks on that second question.

    Science has become a shibboleth for the uninformed who couldn’t tell you what the elements are in the air we breathe and think we should ban dihydrogen monoxide, but don’t want to be accused of being anti-science. For one example, Josh Ernest justified the Department of Education’s advisory to public schools to allow “transgender” students to use the facilities of their chosen sex by saying it’s supported by science. What science that would be, nobody even asked.

    nk (dbc370)

  49. alchemy and divining, you might like a aussie author’s take on cloak and dagger and sorcery, called the rook, I’m reading the sequel now,

    narciso (732bc0)

  50. Finding out why smokers don’t get Parkinson’s would be good science. So far, research with nicotine in patients who already have Parkinson’s has not been fruitful. But there might come a time when the magic ingredient in tobacco, whether nicotine or something else, is like fluoride or an aspirin a day, without the risk of cancer or emphysema and ashes all over the place. After that, we can worry about monkeys with TMJ.

    nk (dbc370)

  51. The infrastructure is clearly a mess in many urban areas. NY City’s potholes are a classic example. I haven’t been there in a while so maybe they’ve actually been repaired – but I doubt it. There’s also a significant need for unclogging traffic choke points around some major urban areas. If traffic routinely goes at a crawl during rush hour, that by definition means more spending is needed. But the problem was created in the first place in many of those major urban areas by diverting huge amounts of spending to worthless education spending, welfare etc. When the Federal government gets into the game money just gets thrown around according to some political formula, and not spent where it would alleviate traffic tie ups.

    Gerald A (76f251)

  52. Pork to constituencies.

    nk (dbc370)

  53. stephanie meyer will be producing, so considering her last stand alone effort,

    http://ficklefishfilms.com/2015/11/the-rook-on-hulu/

    narciso (732bc0)

  54. Another reason the roads are a mess in many large metropolitan areas is that they’re in blue states and the Democrats divert road funding to mass transit.

    Gerald A (76f251)

  55. Not quite the same as Power To The People. 😉

    But you raise another point, too. California has a law which prevents raising real estate taxes. What would it look like without federal money? Still, it gets back less from the federal government than its people pay in federal taxes. It’s a way for politicians to tax us while looking like they’re giving us money.

    nk (dbc370)

  56. “You mean to tell me you still built that even though the Republicans wouldn’t authorize more money to repair the crumbling roads?”

    —Barack

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  57. Full moon.

    Read ’em and howl– laughing.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  58. Proxmire was a pig-ignorant boor, just like Donald Trump. His name is justly used to this day as a dirty word. He didn’t just attack two studies, but hundreds, most if not all of which were good science.

    A psychological study of biological causes and objective measures of aggression in humans, monkeys, and rats seems perfectly valid and useful. Only a boor like Proxmire would think it an obvious waste of money. And because of his ignorant criticism it lost all its funding and had to stop. We will never know what valuable findings we missed out on because of this, or what applications they might have had.

    The study on why lesbians are more prone to obesity than other women was after his time, so I don’t know why you mention it. The opposition to this research came not from Proxmire but from the likes of the Family Research Council. How could you possibly argue that this is not a valuable question to look into? Surely you can see that it’s an important public health issue that needs answering.

    Gerald A, potholes are not a sign of a crumbling infrastructure; they’re the normal and expected result of snow. There isn’t any way to prevent them. And filling them is the city’s job, not the fedgov’s. Slow traffic is not a sign of crumbling infrastructure either; it’s a matter of too many cars on the same number of streets. There’s no way to build more streets, nor would anyone want to even if it were possible. The only answer is to encourage people not to drive, by improving public transport. Which, incidentally, used to be run by private businesses at a profit, before government started interfering with it.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  59. proxmire, also attacked the space program, which was a more worthy endeavour,

    narciso (732bc0)

  60. I mentioned the lesbians not to defend Proxmire, except in principle, but to deride the kind of research funded. I don’t think the Family Research Council had anything to do with it. It came up when the NHS whined that it was unprepared for Ebola because of lack of funding, and it was pointed out to them that they had enough money to fund this nonsense. Obese lesbians or Ebola — I wonder where the money should go.

    nk (dbc370)

  61. @59. Actually, Proxmire attacked NASA expenditures because, aside from being a highly visible target in the ’60s moon race period, very little Apollo era contracting and subcontacting was going to firms in his state. A more insidious villain on that front was Mondale. It’s all in the Congresional Record from those times. The irony was, Goldwater denounced it in his famed 1964 Cow Palace speech, too, before his infamous ‘vice/virtue’ line so it was lost in the backwash. But Barry made sure he had a VIP seat next to LBJ when Apollo 11 left the pad. Yet today, pretty much everything around us in our high tech daily lives can trace some facet of its origin to the R&D kindled by NASA in that era.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  62. actually read corera, almost all computer application came from darpa research, cryptography and the likem

    narciso (732bc0)

  63. @58 Gerald A, potholes are not a sign of a crumbling infrastructure; they’re the normal and expected result of snow.

    Although accurate it is quite provincial. Apparently you’ve never driven the quaint and cratered avenues of Los Angeles, California. Guess all that LA slush and snow keeps you away.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  64. @62- Yeah, a lot of DoD demand and NASA contracting for lightweight microchip development surged in that period as well.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  65. Wilmore.
    No more.
    Full moon.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  66. missing the point entirely,

    narciso (732bc0)

  67. Pet constituencies and pet causes and the taxpayers pay.

    nk (dbc370)

  68. So….spending on roads, bridges, airports, and ports is just like spending on fart research. What have you hackers done with Patterico???

    Andrew (65863d)

  69. Mr Moore wrote:

    I really get tired of stories that ridicule some science project just because it sounds gross.

    It’s not that the science project sounds gross; it’s that the science project sounds stupid!

    If some private group wants to spend money to study animal farts or why lesbians are fat, then hey, go for it. But when the government spends money on such stupidity, yeah, I object.

    The Dana who understands the difference between necessities and government spending (f6a568)

  70. Mr A wrote:

    If traffic routinely goes at a crawl during rush hour, that by definition means more spending is needed.

    Given that New York City was your example, your conclusion is unsound. The problem isn’t a lack of government spending, but the fact that the streets in Manhattan can’t be widened, because there is no more room.

    The urban engineer Dana (f6a568)

  71. The Milhouse who didn’t take his name from President Nixon’s middle one wrote:

    The study on why lesbians are more prone to obesity than other women was after his time, so I don’t know why you mention it. The opposition to this research came not from Proxmire but from the likes of the Family Research Council. How could you possibly argue that this is not a valuable question to look into? Surely you can see that it’s an important public health issue that needs answering.

    I will certainly argue that that was not a valuable question into which to look. If someone in the private sector wants to waste spend money, fine, let ’em, go for it! But why we should be borrowing money from China to spend on this is beyond me.

    Why are lesbians more likely to be overweight? Because they eat too much! There’s the answer, and it didn’t cost the taxpayers $3.5 million to get it.

    Yes, there was a very intentional pun in there. :)

    The fiscally conservative Dana (f6a568)

  72. unaesthetic lesbos i know i know

    it’s serious

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  73. Gerald A, potholes are not a sign of a crumbling infrastructure; they’re the normal and expected result of snow. There isn’t any way to prevent them. And filling them is the city’s job, not the fedgov’s. Slow traffic is not a sign of crumbling infrastructure either; it’s a matter of too many cars on the same number of streets. There’s no way to build more streets, nor would anyone want to even if it were possible. The only answer is to encourage people not to drive, by improving public transport. Which, incidentally, used to be run by private businesses at a profit, before government started interfering with it.

    Milhouse (5a188d) — 8/18/2016 @ 10:20 pm

    Mr A wrote:

    If traffic routinely goes at a crawl during rush hour, that by definition means more spending is needed.

    Given that New York City was your example, your conclusion is unsound. The problem isn’t a lack of government spending, but the fact that the streets in Manhattan can’t be widened, because there is no more room.

    The urban engineer Dana (f6a568) — 8/19/2016 @ 4:53 am

    I did not say whose job it is to fill in the potholes. I’m just pointing out that we have infrastructure problems. In the case of NYC, as I said in the same post:

    But the problem was created in the first place in many of those major urban areas by diverting huge amounts of spending to worthless education spending, welfare etc.

    and in my followup I said:

    Another reason the roads are a mess in many large metropolitan areas is that they’re in blue states and the Democrats divert road funding to mass transit.

    The fact is there’s a lot of messed up infrastructure according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. I did not address who should be paying to fix it. In some cases the federal government has at least partial responsibility.

    But there are now some wacky people who, if Trump says there’s some problem, automatically have to say there’s no problem. It’s a strange phenomenon.

    With respect to traffic moving at a crawl, I wasn’t thinking of the city streets but since I started out talking about the potholes I can see how someone might think that was the context. I was thinking of major arteries going into and around the cities. Although even within the city there can and should be attempts at improving traffic, like the Westway project that enviros succeeded in blocking, allegedly because of a fish.

    Gerald A (945582)

  74. A lesbian walks into a bar and tells the bartender, “An entendre and make it a double”. So he gave it to her.

    nk (dbc370)

  75. Gerald A (945582) — 8/19/2016 @ 6:16 am

    The fact is there’s a lot of messed up infrastructure according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.

    They have a conflict of interest. I don’t believe it. There may be some bridges that were never built correctly in the first place.

    From the link:

    According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, about one in nine bridges nationally are considered “structurally deficient” — deemed safe for travel but in need of renovation or replacement.

    If they are safe for travel, they are NOT structurally deficient. Maybe you could argue they’re vulnerable to damage in the future. “Structurally deficient” probably means that, for various reasons, some good and some bad, they wouldn’t design a bridge like that today.

    The chunk of concrete that almost fell on Ms. Dean came from a bridge that was built in 1963. It was already on the list of roughly 80 bridges in Maryland deemed structurally deficient and was in the design phase of being resurfaced, officials said.

    Eighty bridges. How many bridges exist in Maryland, altogether? How many of these 80 bridges are really bad? Of these, how many were not good on the day they were opened? How many do they propose to “fix?” Is the fix the cheapest or the quickest fix?

    about 77 deaths and 1,400 injuries could have been prevented if railroads had installed a safety system known as Positive Train Control.

    This is about the most expensive and Rube Goldberg method you could think of for fixing this, and it can’t be done in a reasonable amount of time.

    Sammy Finkelman (44f942)

  76. So, unless you are against government funding science

    Let me stop you right there.

    I am.

    Patterico (bcf524)

  77. Gerald A (76f251) — 8/18/2016 @ 8:15 pm

    If traffic routinely goes at a crawl during rush hour, that by definition means more spending is needed.

    People say no, because they say, if you add capacity, you’ll just get more traffic in short order. People start using the roads, it becomes possible to live further away from a job etc. Many roads are an an equilibrium point, and adding capacity only means the equilibrium point will involve more traffic but traffic will still, at times, go at a crawl. Traffic will increase till crowding deters more people from sing the road. If capacity is redued, traffic will go down but only to the point will still tolerate it. It will not say the same – the road will not become a 24-hour parking lot.

    Sammy Finkelman (44f942)

  78. If traffic routinely goes at a crawl during rush hour, that by definition means more spending is needed.

    No, it means we need to find a different way to pay for the roads — pay for use — and raise the price until they are not clogged.

    Patterico (bcf524)

  79. Rick Ballard (ce29ad) — 8/18/2016 @ 6:13 pm

    Focusing on democracies, Themistocles and Pericles beat Rome by a few hundred years with the Long Walls and Acropolis public works projects.

    The Acropolis public works projects were actually paid for by Persia.

    Sammy Finkelman (44f942)

  80. So, unless you are against government funding science

    Let me stop you right there.

    I am.

    Well, you might not want to lose too many young people to smallpox, polio, flu, tetanus and diptheria. You might need them to fight a war or something. And I really don’t think we should totally privatize hydrogen bombs.

    nk (dbc370)

  81. nk (dbc370) — 8/18/2016 @ 8:01 pm

    And what about why lesbians are fat? I’m still on tenterhooks on that second question.

    It could they had it backards. It could be that one factor in why they became, or stayed, lesbians, was that they were fat, so few men were interested in them. It is well known that half of all lesbians become hasbians. One famous case is the wife of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chirlane_McCray

    Sammy Finkelman (44f942)

  82. Or the gestalt personality which makes them sexual deviants also makes them overeat? But let GLAAD pay to research that, not generations of tax-payers.

    nk (dbc370)

  83. The honorable Mr Finkelman wrote:

    Eighty bridges. How many bridges exist in Maryland, altogether? How many of these 80 bridges are really bad? Of these, how many were not good on the day they were opened? How many do they propose to “fix?” Is the fix the cheapest or the quickest fix?

    The raw numbers may be correct and still lead people to incorrect conclusions. We’ve had hundreds, maybe thousands, of bridges in poor shape in the Keystone State, but that number is so high because it includes a lot of very small bridges, running over creeks or ditches, and not the huge ones that come to people’s minds. You can have a bridge that’s just ten feet long, but it still counts as a bridge when there’s a political counting up of the numbers.

    The Dana who runs a concrete plant (f6a568)

  84. My belief in the urban planning truism of induced demand (you cant build your way out of it, induced demand, build it and they will come) negating any projected gains in throughput efficiency was put to rest when the Illinois Tollway finally added a 4th lane to I-94 NB/I-294 NB from the Wisconsin border to O’Hare in the mid-2000s. What used to be a dread ride from the Waukegan area to Joliet/Aurora became a lot more pleasant. Alas, that road may be filling in with more travelers because of the fear of driving through Chicago proper on the free I90/94.

    A lot of the funding generated by bills like the Stimulus gets frittered away in studies – a different constituency, but pork nonetheless.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  85. If traffic routinely goes at a crawl during rush hour, that by definition means more spending is needed.

    People say no, because they say, if you add capacity, you’ll just get more traffic in short order. People start using the roads, it becomes possible to live further away from a job etc. Many roads are an an equilibrium point, and adding capacity only means the equilibrium point will involve more traffic but traffic will still, at times, go at a crawl. Traffic will increase till crowding deters more people from sing the road. If capacity is redued, traffic will go down but only to the point will still tolerate it. It will not say the same – the road will not become a 24-hour parking lot.

    Sammy Finkelman (44f942) — 8/19/2016 @ 7:05 am

    I don’t know who those people are, but that’s highly implausible.

    Also it’s known that some of the worst congestion is from choke points where major highways intersect or certain exit ramps taken by huge numbers of vehicles. Many of those choke points are pretty close to the city so they can’t be the result of people moving way out in the suburbs. And the idea of deliberately not alleviating choke points in order not to encourage people to move further out into the suburbs is the kind of thing the looniest enviros come up with.

    Gerald A (945582)

  86. My belief in the urban planning truism of induced demand (you cant build your way out of it, induced demand, build it and they will come) negating any projected gains in throughput efficiency was put to rest when the Illinois Tollway finally added a 4th lane to I-94 NB/I-294 NB from the Wisconsin border to O’Hare in the mid-2000s. What used to be a dread ride from the Waukegan area to Joliet/Aurora became a lot more pleasant. Alas, that road may be filling in with more travelers because of the fear of driving through Chicago proper on the free I90/94.

    A lot of the funding generated by bills like the Stimulus gets frittered away in studies – a different constituency, but pork nonetheless.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb) — 8/19/2016 @ 7:54 am

    Speaking of Chicago, the bottleneck study determined that the nation’s worst bottleneck, as measured by hours of delay, is in Chicago.

    Gerald A (945582)

  87. I believe it. I live right by the 90/94 junction these days. And the worst part is the traffic goes into a crawl and then, two cigarettes later and a mile up, it clears up and you don’t know what the problem was.;)

    nk (dbc370)

  88. 88. If I drive to work, I best leave Gurnee by 5:45am to get to downtown Chi by 6:30 – if I leave by 6:15, it can easily take until 8:00/8:30.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  89. In Italy, they paint the center line between opposing lanes, but do not mark individual lanes going in the same direction, and Italian drivers simply make their own lanes. This results in horrible bottlenecks at intersections, as drivers fight their way through. Italian drivers are just plain nuts, and the women are every bit as crazy as the men.

    The Dana who wants to buy a villa in Tuscany (f6a568)

  90. Our esteemed host wrote:

    If traffic routinely goes at a crawl during rush hour, that by definition means more spending is needed.

    No, it means we need to find a different way to pay for the roads — pay for use — and raise the price until they are not clogged.

    In theory, federal and state taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel do just that. Trouble is, you keep raising those fuel taxes to do as you have suggested, and the working class can no longer afford to get to work!

    Fuel taxes have been a lot higher in Europe for like forever, and the result is that Europeans have much smaller cars. In the older cities, with all of the congestion, you see a lot of motorcycles and motor scooters. It’s kind of funny sometimes, seeing an Italian woman in full business attire, meaning a skirt and high heels, driving a motor scooter.

    The Dana who wants to buy a villa in Tuscany (f6a568)

  91. @58 Gerald A, potholes are not a sign of a crumbling infrastructure; they’re the normal and expected result of snow.

    Although accurate it is quite provincial. Apparently you’ve never driven the quaint and cratered avenues of Los Angeles, California. Guess all that LA slush and snow keeps you away.

    The claim specified New York, where the potholes are the normal and expected result of the yearly snow. I have no idea what causes potholes in LA.

    I will certainly argue that that was not a valuable question into which to look. If someone in the private sector wants to waste spend money, fine, let ’em, go for it! But why we should be borrowing money from China to spend on this is beyond me.

    Why are lesbians more likely to be overweight? Because they eat too much! There’s the answer, and it didn’t cost the taxpayers $3.5 million to get it.

    Oh really? How do you know that lesbians eat more than other women, if nobody’s ever looked to see whether this is so? And if it does turn out to be so, that just shifts the question. Why do lesbians eat more than other women, if indeed they do? How is this not an important public health question? If we don’t know why something is happening, how can we hope to correct it? Understanding the role of sexual orientation (if any) in obesity is as important as understanding any other aspect of the obesity problem.

    The Family Research Council and other nuts’ objection was ostensibly because lesbians are only a small proportion of the population, so who cares about their health. Of course the same is true of Ashkenazi women and their increased risk of cancer; was studying that, and isolating the causes, also a waste of public money? Is research into sickle cell also a waste?

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  92. 78. No, it means we need to find a different way to pay for the roads — pay for use — and raise the price until they are not clogged.

    No. It’s an element of urban planning and design.

    For instance, look closely at your traffic patterns next time you’re on the freeway in Los Angeles.

    Freeway access/exit ramp systems are designed differently in LA than in, say, NY/NJ. On LA freeways, exit ramps are built ahead of the entering traffic access ramps. So exiting traffic has to merge through the entering traffic to leave the highway and entering traffic has to merge through the exiting flow. It’s a lousy design, especially at rush hour. The freeway design creates its own congestion. Next time you drive to work, watch it in motion– or non-motion.

    @76- “So, unless you are against government funding science…Let me stop you right there.
    I am.”

    You ‘am’ wrong.

    @80. Well, you might not want to lose too many young people to smallpox, polio, flu, tetanus and diptheria. You might need them to fight a war or something. And I really don’t think we should totally privatize hydrogen bombs.

    Precisely.

    Would like to give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s just railing against research grants to study, say, using manure to feed Texas high school students cow pies to save a buck. (Would they notice? Let’s do a study– New York will pay for it!)

    Applying stringent cost/benefit analysis stifles general research– and progress (something conservatives resist.) On the other hand, Edison’s benefactors told him to stop tinkering and start making things people wanted (and could be profitable.) There’s a necessary balance. But just being opposed to it is a knee-jerk reaction– or just being a jerk.

    When his kids are grown he’ll complain about paying school taxes, too.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  93. The claim that the infrastructure was crumbling was itself a leftist lie for the purpose of justifying more spending. There was never any evidence for it. The supposed evidence was the Minneapolis bridge collapse, but that had nothing to do with any lack of inspection or maintenance, and no inspection could possibly have found the flaw in the original construction.

    This comment was based on my memory of Randal O’Toole’s article on page 23 of this PDF.

    We all recall 0bama’s insistence in 2009 that infrastructure was falling to pieces, and all the horribly dangerous bridges that needed instant repair or we’d all die. We all also recall that hardly any of the money appropriated in such panic actually made it to the alleged destination. The “shovel ready projects” turned out not to be so shovel-ready after all, and the money went to all the usual suspects.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  94. To save people downloading the whole magazine just for one article, I’ve uploaded the article here.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  95. In principle government should not be funding scientific research, because that’s not what it’s for. The CDC, NSF, NIH, etc. should all be private charities. But unlike most government spending, science is inherently worth doing, and yields a return, which means most of the money spent is not wasted. Sometimes it even returns more than is spent, so it makes a profit, which still doesn’t mean government should do it. But even when (because it’s run with typical government inefficiency) it makes a loss, it’s not a total loss. If it returns 80% of what’s spent, or even 40%, that’s good for government work. So when prioritizing the necessary cuts to governemnt spending, science should come last, not first. And the sort of ignorant ridicule that Proxmire and his followers heap on projects that their puny brains can’t understand, or their black hearts disapprove of because they might help the wrong people, only makes my case stronger.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  96. @#84. See #92.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  97. Studying the Zombie Apocalypse sounds silly, but a lot of valuable science comes out of it. It’s a good way to examine possible responses to epidemics of all kinds, and other such crises. And if an literal zombie apocalypse ever does happen, we’ll be glad of it.

    Speaking of which, one of the best fictional treatments of the serious questions raised by the zombie apocalypse is Mira Grant’s Newsflesh series. How would the CDC react to being given dictatorial powers? And how can a free state survive such a crisis?

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  98. How would the CDC react to being given dictatorial powers?

    It would immediately determine who would be saved and I’ll give you three guesses who.

    And how can a free state survive such a crisis?

    It wouldn’t.

    Rev. Hoagie® (0f4ef6)

  99. 92. Are those auxiliary ramp structures separated from the mainline by barriers and if yes, are these used close to downtown LA or 5 or more miles outward? The exit-ahead-of enter-ramp has helped make the Dan Ryan south of 6900 S here in Chicago operate more smoothly (less , but it helps that passenger traffic flow is very single-directional depending on which rush period (heavy NB in AM, and heavy SB in PM). Friends of mine living in LA have told me that what we see from 5p to 7p here is what they see 24 hours of the day. I will say that the last time I was there the freeways were in good condition (e.g. no potholes, which seems to be a municipal issue) with little in the way of congestion (except for 57 from Anaheim to I-10 – parking lot). Caveat – this was the first week of a year, a time of year many Angelenos are back in their old rancho.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  100. How would the CDC react to being given dictatorial powers

    It would immediately determine who would be saved and I’ll give you three guesses who.

    And how can a free state survive such a crisis?

    It wouldn’t.

    Read the books. Humanity and freedom have gone through rough times before, and come out on top.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  101. Mr Milhouse wrote:

    Why are lesbians more likely to be overweight? Because they eat too much! There’s the answer, and it didn’t cost the taxpayers $3.5 million to get it.

    Oh really? How do you know that lesbians eat more than other women, if nobody’s ever looked to see whether this is so?

    It doesn’t matter if they eat more than normal women; the ones who are overweight are eating more than they should, period. That’s pretty much what causes obesity.

    And if it does turn out to be so, that just shifts the question. Why do lesbians eat more than other women, if indeed they do? How is this not an important public health question? If we don’t know why something is happening, how can we hope to correct it? Understanding the role of sexual orientation (if any) in obesity is as important as understanding any other aspect of the obesity problem.

    Sorry, but it isn’t an important public health question, nor is there any reason that the government should be involved in correcting it. Our media are full of all sorts of ads and products and exercise equipment to help individuals lose weight, if they so desire, and that’s fine with me, because it is a private choice. But it should not be the role of the government to be involved in this.

    At some point, people have to be responsible for themselves.

    Supposedly, normal men have a higher obesity rate than do homosexual males, and I don’t think that it’s the government’s responsibility to worry about that, either.

    The coldly realistic Dana (f6a568)

  102. @100- Hard to describe but it’s like a circle attached to the side of a straight line rather than the tips of a ‘Y’ to a straight line. Just a hunch, but the design likely had to do with cost savings and land use around the elevated freeways for the access ramps but regardless, it creates congestion by design. You don’t notice the design difference unless you’ve driven a lot on roads back East and wonder why it gets so congested on LA freeways. Then you suddenly ‘see it’ and realize it’s not just traffic volume but the design itself.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  103. Dana, obesity by definition is a public health question, and if one demographic has significantly different outcomes from another it’s important to understand why. Jumping to the first conclusion that pops into ones mind is how we get from the sometimes-real phenomenon of cancer clusters to the ludicrous fear of every environmental factor anyone can think of that might have something to do with it. Actual research generally finds the answer, which is usually that it’s just a fluke, but occasionally there’s something to it, not necessarily environmental. E.g. the clusters of breast cancer in Lawn Guyland, which turned out to be genetic, and resulted in tests that have proved very useful.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  104. 104.Dana, obesity by definition is a public health question, and if one demographic has significantly different outcomes from another it’s important to understand why.

    That sentence right there, worded and phrased in one way or another about one topic or another is the exact reason we have out of control spending, idiotic research grants with shrimp on treadmills, and who knows how many other trials, tests, polls and surveys. Thousands of people (usually “experts”) believe they have a very, very important problem that must be explored….at the publics expense. Personally, I think it’s all camouflage hiding nepotism and/or money laundering. (when a convenient hostage is not available in the M.E.).

    Rev. Hoagie® (0f4ef6)

  105. Studying how an important crop responds to environmental stress is certainly important. I’m against government funding of even the most important scientific research, since that’s not what government is for, and if it got out of the way then private institutions would fill the void. But of all the extraneous things government does, sponsoring research is the least wasteful.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  106. Purely theoretical science with no apparent practical application would not likely be created by totally private institutions. The The Large Hadron Collider for example would never be built without government funding. Even some science with possible practical applications would probably not get as much funding, if it was just general knowledge but not something with any apparent potential to be commercialized.

    Gerald A (76f251)

  107. If private money can’t fund something then maybe it shouldn’t happen, or at least not right now. Wait until it’s cheaper.

    Your point really amounts to the fact that government doesn’t care about the cost/benefit ratio. It just decides what’s important without reference to such crass measures. But then how does it decide? And what makes its decisions wiser than those made by people who do have to watch a bottom line?

    Sure, the Large Hadron Collider is a good thing; but is it worth what was spent on it? What other science could have been done with that money, and had to be foregone to pay for it? We don’t know. I’m not saying private decision makers would have been right to reject it, I’m saying that it’s at least as likely as the opposite, and there’s no reason to suppose they’d have been wrong.

    Without NASA the moon landings probably wouldn’t have happened until the 1990s, but we’d still be going there now, and we’d have a lunar base.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  108. Basically, just because something is good doesn’t mean it’s worth any price. Fresh wild salmon at $15 a pound is a bargain. The same fish at $30 a pound is every bit as good, but not worth it.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  109. Sure! You see the money that went into the Large Hadron Collider and the results thereof but what you don’t see is that same money may have cured cancer controlled aging or discovered the defective mental gene that causes liberalism saving billions of lives.

    Rev. Hoagie® (0f4ef6)

  110. I don’t think the government should fund anything which implicates the First Amendment. Any way you can Voxsplain it, it’s supporting some speech or religion to the competitive disadvantage of citizens who do not receive such funding, even if it is as tenuous as the Art Institute of Chicago providing space for an El Greco.

    nk (dbc370)

  111. when i think of farts i think of stinkypig

    she’s so rank (cause of the build-up of various fluids)

    i honestly can’t testify to her degree of gaseousness

    you’d have to get really close, get all up in that stink

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  112. @109. If private money can’t fund something then maybe it shouldn’t happen, or at least not right now. Wait until it’s cheaper… Without NASA the moon landings probably wouldn’t have happened until the 1990s, but we’d still be going there now, and we’d have a lunar base.

    Highly doubtful.

    The Russians were certainly trying to get there well into 1968 and Soyuz was designed for lunar flight.

    In 1957, private enterprise had zero incentive to respond to Sputnik in kind. That is, until they realized it challenged the viability of other ‘western’ technologies competing in the marketplace. So government assumed the burden of response and fiscal risk, launched NASA in 1958, let contracts to private firms and the rest is history.

    Putting Gemini aside, much of the $25 billion investment costs (1969 dollars) of the Apollo program were used to actually construct and refine the physical infrastructures and develop the hardware for the project as planned ‘within the decade’ using LOR.(For instance, the lunar module took 7 years to design and refine before it flew. And much of the Apollo command module had to be redesigned after the ’67 fire.) Every effort was made to marry, merge, modify and employ as much existing technologies available at the time (such as the F-1 rocket engine, hypergolic propellants and so forth) to assure reliability and minimize risk on new technologies. But everything from the gimbal motors to steer the SPS engine to constructing the VAB, the Saturn V launch complexes at KSC, the Saturn V itself, the MSFC in Houston to the DSTN (Deep Space Tracking Network) as well as the Saturn test stands at Huntsville and so on had to be built. In addition, NASA had to budget for expenditures to pay the military as a recovery force as well.

    You’re suggesting 1990 deep-pocketed, private enterprised moon flights would have been operational to a ‘lunar base’ as if profit driven, private firms would have created a similar infrastructure, a moon base, a system to serve it and lunar spacecraft on their own without any reasonable expectation of the venture capitalists financing it to get a return on investment in a quarterly driven free market.

    Investment capital is like electricity– it follows the path of least resistance. It gets a faster, better return going into oil than into space. Even today, Space X balked at that and pushed to have existing facilities at KSC modified at government expense, not Space X’s, for ops there and still their costs to fly keep rising. An it pads its costs with as many government contracts as possible.

    Keep in mind this is 2016, and in the 55 year history of human spaceflight, there has been no private enterprised firm yet to even try, let alone successfully launch, place into Earth orbit and safely return anybody aboard a privately built and financed space vehicle. Let along run scheduled flights to and from a ‘moon base.’ Because the cost- and the risk– is higher than the benefit– and value– of the return. That’s why governments do it.

    Revisit the 1949 film, ‘Destination Moon.’ The premise of the film was a private enterprised venture out to the moon. ‘Course to justify the costs in the plot, they made sure uranium was found on it at the end.

    Apollo 17’s Gene Cernan said recently that privateers literally ‘don’t know what they don’t know yet’ about developing profitable, reliable, and viable commercial HSF operations. And he is proving to be right. For free market, quarterly driven firms, the largess of the costs involved coupled w/t low to no ROI time frame is what prohibits it.

    That’s why governments do it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)


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