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Washington Redskins Stripped of Trademarks

Glothar Re:My two cents (646 comments)

This was petitioned by citizens, not the US government. The US government simply applied the laws it has on the books.

And those laws are simply a reflection of the role its played for quite some time: The US government does not (er... should not... tries not to...) support the mistreatment of protected classes of citizens. As a person, you're allowed to think whatever you want about another group, you're allowed to support whatever group you want, you're even allowed to say whatever you want about a group (within reason). But you won't always get the support of the US government in doing so. Sorry. If you want to toss racial slurs at Chinese workers and pretend its okay because no one complained about it in 1840, then... good luck with that. But the US government isn't going to support you. As far as I'm concerned, that is absolutely the role the federal government should be taking. I'm all for local government deciding how to spend local taxes and states setting local regulations, but I want the federal government making sure that basic human rights are preserved.

This is the basis for the Civil Rights movement. Are you also not a fan of the US government's enforcement of Civil Rights?

about 2 months ago
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Washington Redskins Stripped of Trademarks

Glothar Re:Not so fast ... (646 comments)

Unlikely.

This suit was specifically drawn up to avoid the procedural issue with the previous suit. Numerous lawyers have already said that the appeal used in 2009 is completely invalid for this suit.

about 2 months ago
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Washington Redskins Stripped of Trademarks

Glothar Re:My two cents (646 comments)

It's been offensive since 1933, as well. Just because something has been around for a long time doesn't mean that it's okay. Jim Crow laws were around for about the same period of time before they got torn down, too.

There is no intelligent debate over whether "redskin" is a racial slur. If you're trying to make that argument... then you're just ignoring reality. The amount of time that the racial slur was ignored doesn't really increase its legitimacy. The law is clear: No racial slurs in trademarks. Actually the law is even more clear than you think: the racial slur status is determined at the time of the challenge. Even the law doesn't care when the trademark was originally issued. If, twenty years from now, the term "Pepsi" becomes a racial slur against people from Taiwan, then Pepsi can lose its trademark protection.

Of course that just ignores the bigger issue, of course: Yeah, a lot of people want the team renamed because its named for a racial slur. But what is up with all the people who want to keep the racial slur as a team name? Who would actually want that? What sort of upbringing do you have to have that makes you think its totally okay to have a team with a name that is derogatory to the people it claims to represent?

about 2 months ago
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Washington Redskins Stripped of Trademarks

Glothar Re:Chicago Blackhawks too? (646 comments)

No.

A single counter-example does not prove a global fact.

In order for something to be derogatory (in the legal sense, and in the moral sense for most intelligent people), it doesn't need to be offensive to all people it describes. It only needs to be offensive to a significant portion of those people.

So how about we put your statement to the test. You claim its not derogatory because a Navajo school uses it. So why not walk into a town hall on a Nebraska reservation, or a Iroquois tribal gathering in upstate New York and say: "Hey, look at all these redskins!" If you honestly believe that your statement proves that its not derogatory, then you should have no reason not to do that. If you are thinking to yourself "No, they'll be mad at me..." then deep down, you recognize that its widely accepted as derogatory, but you just don't want to admit that it is.

about 2 months ago
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Gunshot Victims To Be Part of "Suspended Animation" Trials

Glothar Re:Space travel (357 comments)

And in a dozen generations:

...forgets what they were even trying to accomplish and just decide to drift in space and live their lives

...or sets up a new religion based on the vindictive Banishers who imprisoned them on the ship

...or go crazy looking into the vast darkness of space, and turn into bloodthirsty barbarians who seek out other colony ships to kill and eat them

about 5 months ago
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Gunshot Victims To Be Part of "Suspended Animation" Trials

Glothar Re:Space travel (357 comments)

What's a VCR?

...and why doesn't it support NTP?

about 5 months ago
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Is Weev Still In Jail Because the Government Doesn't Understand What Hacking Is?

Glothar Re:So if you forget to lock your front door (246 comments)

However, It is illegal to take ladders around to every window and door looking for one which will give you a glimpse of what is inside.

Again: Intent matters

about 5 months ago
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Is Weev Still In Jail Because the Government Doesn't Understand What Hacking Is?

Glothar Re:So if you forget to lock your front door (246 comments)

I always found this confusing about people. I don't know if its greed or selfishness, or an utter lack of personal morals, but at least in the US, there seems to be a common belief that failure to try and stop you from doing an action means that the action is legal.

Example: If I walk into a store and the cashier station is empty, with the register open and a stack of $20 lying on top, is it okay and legal for me to grab the money and walk out?

Of course not. That's not my money.

Somewhere, loads of people have gotten the idea that its only immoral or illegal if someone is actively trying to stop you from doing something. If I leave my car door open, that doesn't make it legal for you to drive off with it. If I leave my phone on a bench and look away, that doesn't mean that its okay for anyone passing by to take it. ATT didn't tell weev it was okay to take the info. Any person with half a brain knows that it wasn't intended to be public. The fact that it was easy to do doesn't make it legal

Should ATT get in trouble for lax security? Sure. But that doesn't absolve weev, either. If I build a house without a door, my insurance company might decide to deny my claim if I'm robbed. However, that doesn't mean that the robber didn't commit theft and shouldn't be punished.

about 5 months ago
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Measles Outbreak In NYC

Glothar Re:Marketing is everything. (747 comments)

"Gluten Free" is yet another in a chain of semi-fad dietary taglines. Yes, there are a bunch of people who should or must avoid gluten. However, they are greatly outnumbered by the number of people who should or must avoid lactose. Where are all the food tags bragging about being lactose free? Where are the articles claiming that a lactose-free diet is better for everyone? (Note: There is more biological support for adults eating a lactose-free diet than a gluten-free diet). Yes, my grocery store does have a tiny section of non-dairy dairy-like products. It's about a third of the size of the gluten free section, despite the fact that the number of people who need it is probably three times the number who truly need gluten-free food.

The point isn't that "Gluten Free" isn't something that is necessary for some people, the point is that a bunch of fad-crazed people are latching onto it blindly without actually having any real reason to do it. For a small percentage of people, it is a required dietary restriction. For many, many more people it is a pseudo-scientific food fad that they use to pretend like they are improving their lives.

The only upside of all this is that, like some people's illogical fascination with organic food, even if people have no logical reason to restrict gluten, the search for gluten free foods usually means that they eat less pre-prepared foods and less fast food, which is going to be a big upgrade and much more likely to improve their health and well-being than the existence or non-existence of a protein their body is probably just fine with.

about 6 months ago
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How To Hack Subway Fares Using Fare Arbitrage

Glothar Re:SF is easier to hack than that (240 comments)

Ah. So, you feel fine with freeloading and forcing everyone else to pay for your transportation and who knows what else, but you want a say in what gets fixed...

Yeah, not terribly sympathetic here. I grew up with very little money, and instead of stealing or cheating my way to getting things that we couldn't afford, we just made do without them. I guess you took the other path: If you can't afford it, steal it or make someone else pay, and then blame the world for not living up to the standards that you refuse to adhere to.

about 7 months ago
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Creationism In Texas Public Schools

Glothar Re:Biology workbook (770 comments)

Whoa!

I was ready to disagree.. but... I don't. Finally someone who points out the actual problem with public schools: Parents and Society. Parents, for thinking that it's the schools' job to raise their children and their unwillingness to accept money being spent on anything that doesn't benefit their child. Society, for glorifying the weak education of bankers, stock traders, CEOs and reality stars while insulting scientists, engineers, and anyone who "knows too much".

about 7 months ago
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Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

Glothar Re:Sounds like an ad (961 comments)

Not to contradict you with facts, but Paul Walker wasn't driving. His (semi-)professional, trained race driver buddy was.

about 9 months ago
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Getting Evolution In Science Textbooks For Texas Schools

Glothar Re:Won't this problem vanish with micropublishing? (710 comments)

Why is this still a problem. Why can't the publisher's do a special run of their text books for Texas that includes whatever rubbish Texas wants, and then provide decent text books for everyone else?

Because its cheaper to just create a book that includes all the rubbish Texas wants and force everyone else to buy it, too.

about 9 months ago
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Anonymous Clashes With D.C. Police During Million Mask March

Glothar Re:Stay behind the line! (388 comments)

Successful?

The whole point of the Tea Party is to be un-successful. They want to be part of government so that they can do nothing, and prevent others from doing anything. To date, they haven't really accomplished much of anything, other than passing some pretty offensive local laws. In national government, they've mostly only managed to keep the government from doing anything of value.

If that's success, then its a success I don't ever want to emulate.

about 10 months ago
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Anonymous Clashes With D.C. Police During Million Mask March

Glothar Re:Stay behind the line! (388 comments)

Clearly you don't live anywhere near DC.

I used to work in DC (Dupont Circle) and I'd see people going off to protests all the time. I probably saw a protest every other month. There were protests at the White House on a nearly daily basis. If something important was happening (WTO, UN talks, some diplomatic visit) there might be a few protests in a day.

The number of people arrested would be minimal. For the daily protests, it was rare for anyone to be arrested. Only the really large protests got arrests, and only for doing blatantly disruptive or dangerous stuff. Yeah, some people got arrested during some of the WTO talks for "expressing their displeasure with US trade policy" However, I don't have much sympathy when they expressed their displeasure by starting a tire fire on a parkway used primarily by non-governmental commuters.

Yeah, I'm not surprised that some Anonymous people got arrested for their protest. They were protesting... something, and decided that a good way to make their point was to block up traffic consisting mostly of non-governmental people just trying to get home to their families. DC police and the park service are very experienced in handling protests. If you want to protest, they will actually help you. But you don't get to be unsafe. You don't get to threaten the safety of other people, and you don't get to block up traffic just to draw attention to yourself.

about 10 months ago
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What Works In Education: Scientific Evidence Gets Ignored

Glothar Re:Creation (440 comments)

I think you misunderstand the scope, here.

While I respect Feynman, and I don't doubt the honesty of his report, again: That high profile anecdote is very, very far from the standard experience. The experience I related happened in a decent (Top 100 or so) middle school. The books were presented to the teachers in... a cardboard box. I think there might have been priority shipping. Committee meetings were held during lunch or after school while they all wished they were somewhere else. Teachers examined the books at night in their own homes (while not getting paid). They never saw a single representative from the publishers. There were no lunches. No one from any company ever even talked to them. There were apparently some emails and maybe a phone call or two to some district clerk. I'm confident in saying there was no bribery because there no opportunity. This idea people have in their head that these things are always political and that some smooth-talking corporate shill is around to wine and dine teachers is straight out of people's imagination. I'm sure it does happen in some rare cases, but to think that even a majority of the high-profile districts experience that? You've got to be living in TV Land.

This is the point. If you're not a high profile district in California, New York or Texas, the publishers don't care about you. At the same time, the selection is pretty much done by normal teachers looking at the books and trying to find something that includes the most useful stuff and the least blatantly racist or outright incorrect information.

about a year ago
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What Works In Education: Scientific Evidence Gets Ignored

Glothar Re:So much does not work (440 comments)

No, actually we can't.

Various lobby groups (primarily conservative, but that could easily be coincidental) have created laws that prevent the tracking of individual students. They're scores can only be analyzed in aggregate, and the aggregates are largely useless because they are effectively randomized from one grade the next. Furthermore, you can't track the number of special education students. Or the number of students who are still learning English. Or the students who recently transferred. Or students who were away from school for a significant period of time. All of these things must be ignored, according to the law. And you can't even blame the teachers. These are the rules put in place by politicians based on the demands of parents.

Of course, this doesn't stop politicians and administrators from using those numbers in coming up with various conclusions. Example: "Teacher A had a 3% drop in test scores this year. We should sanction them." Nevermind that the margin of error is 5%. Or that two student were sick the day of the test or that the entire class had 5% more non-native English speakers. Ignore the fact that you made laws to ensure that the statistics were useless, but you them anyway. I'd like to say that this is caused by politicians and administrators who are clueless in statistics --and that's largely true-- but I no longer believe that is the biggest problem.

Its because its not about actually finding the truth. It's about numbers and doing whatever we can to raise those numbers so we can claim that the USA is the best.

about a year ago
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What Works In Education: Scientific Evidence Gets Ignored

Glothar Re:Why would technically brilliant want to teach? (440 comments)

Some additional information:

  1. You don't get a 2 month vacation. Its more accurately a 2 month furlough. How come when steel workers or some weapons contractor is forced to take a 2 week furlough, its a horrible tragedy, but when teachers don't get paid for two months (and often continue to do work), it's called "vacation"? Beyond that, they get the same days off that other government workers get off, fewer days than banks do, and usually only 2-4 other days to take off at their discretion. It's probably the worst vacation plan you can get with a Masters degree.
  2. Until you build up some seniority, schools actually have some of the highest chance of layoffs among university-degree positions. Often the layoffs are simply fire-then-rehire-elsewhere, but its as disruptive as getting laid off at some financial office and having to go somewhere else.
  3. Many states prevent exactly the sort of union activities that people here pretend are endemic. A number of states outlaw them outright. Many more allow them, but leave them utterly toothless.
  4. Even if your state allows unions, they're hardly ironclad protection against firing. People act like teachers never get fired, yet I've seen loads of it. Of course, in many cases it is "hidden" by statements like "Teacher X moved to a different career" or "Teacher X transferred to another district".
  5. The Ontario school district is not at all characteristic of the school districts in the rest of Canada, much less the US. It's actually the exception. Most teachers here pay more for health insurance than I do (and my insurance isn't impressive) and have no retirement plan at all. Also, remember that the top end of teacher salaries are usually for Ph.D's with post-doc university credits. For that level of education, the pay is actually rather low.

about a year ago
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What Works In Education: Scientific Evidence Gets Ignored

Glothar Re:Creation (440 comments)

"Teacher Opinion" might be a little misleading. It's not really bribes like the OP suggested, but the reality is somewhere in the middle.

I've known a number of teachers who were part of textbook selection committees. The shortest one I remember was a six-month process. The last one I heard about was a ten month process (the entire school year) and involved looking at two dozen books, narrowing the field and requesting full materials on just five, and some back-and-forth on supplying samples of online/digital materials (many of which were still being produced).

Were any of the teachers bribed? No. Did any of them get free material? Nope. Did any of the administrators get any... perks? Can't say. I'd assume not. That said, the process was not purely based on the selecting the best book. Instead, it was based on picking the least-bad book. The books being examined were history books and every last one of them showed a bias toward a some group. For example, one of the books spent an entire chapter on the history of Texas. Texas is big and all, and it's story is interesting, but I don't think it warrants more pages than the settling of the (rest of the) West, or industrialization or World War I (!!!). However, Texas buys a lot of books, so books are written to appeal to Texans, even to the point of including pseudo-factual propaganda about how special and cool Texas is.

So, no bribes that I know of... except for the fact that all the major developers pander to a few select parts of the country.

about a year ago
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Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

Glothar Re:Oh, really? (1255 comments)

Sadly, I believe you'll find that --as far as education is involved-- Slashdot is not a place that welcomes people with experience. Instead, people are valued for uninformed opinions and political stances based on anecdotal experience. To them, it is better to punish a hundred people (teachers) because one of them annoyed them ten years ago than try to actually try to analyze the problems.

If someone posted on a story saying "I'm a restaurant waiter and I think we need to seriously look at adding some restrictions on the Open Source system" they would get 800 comments laughing at them for talking about something they know nothing about. But say: "I'm a coder with self-diagnosed Aspergers and people should listen to what I have to say about the education system" and somehow its considered "informative".

They don't care about your experience. They don't care about logic. The vocal minority (I hope) here simply thinks that their limited experience is both typical and sufficient for them to draw conclusions about a diverse system spread across a country.

about a year ago

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