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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

breech1 Re:Dear Stevens (1570 comments)

Enact this, and as a former serviceman who swore an oath, I am obligated to stop you at all costs.

An oath that you obviously do not understand. The oath (and I took a similar one) declares that you will support and defend the Constitution, which includes all the articles *and* amendments. If this were to be enacted, it would be done as an amendment, thereby becoming part of the Constitution. Your oath would obligate you to support and defend that amendment as any other. You don't get to pick and choose based on your personal ideologies because doing so makes the oath meaningless. If you like the idea, then fine; work to make it happen. If you don't like the idea, then fine; work to stop it. But leave the solemn oath out of it.

2 days ago

Amherst Researchers Create Magnetic Monopoles

breech1 Re:Contradicts current theory? (156 comments)

No it doesn't contradict previous theory. The existence of a magnetic monopole would require adding some extra terms in Maxwell's equations: one for magnetic "charge" (the monopole) and one for magnetic "current" (moving monopole) analogous to electric charge and current. (Adjusting Maxwell's equations this way is a popular exercise in advanced undergrad / grad level E&M courses). If your system happened to have a magnetic monopole in it, then you would need to use the equations with the extra terms. You would see some extra effects due to the monopoles, but they would be accounted for. The extra terms would give a nice symmetry to Maxwell's equations, helping to demonstrate that the electric and magnetic field are manifestations of the same phenomena (which isn't clear until you get to special relativity).

about 3 months ago

Bradley Manning Offers Partial Guilty Plea To Military Court

breech1 Re:Fascist bloodlust (380 comments)

My feeling is that the US government by consistently refusing to ask for the death penalty in spying cases [...] has encouraged people to continue to try to get away with this.

The US gov't could seek the death penalty for spying cases, but chooses not to. The reason is that a caught spy will eventually talk about why they did it, and who they were working with, if the death penalty isn't an option. That information is far more valuable than naively "trying to send a message". (Whether or not the death penalty is a deterrent is a separate argument. The intelligence officers only care about determining why the spying occurred and who the handlers were.)

about a year and a half ago

Barack Obama Retains US Presidency

breech1 Re:Now what for the Republicans? (1576 comments)

They go further to the right (unfortunately). I think there's a good chance the Republicans repeat what happened after 2008: savage their nominee by complaining he wasn't conservative enough. Their solution will be to move further to the right to address that rather than realize they likely lost because their candidate moved too far to the right to appease the extreme wings of the party for the primaries.

about a year and a half ago

Barack Obama Retains US Presidency

breech1 Re:Kill the Electoral College please... (1576 comments)

The electoral college is necessary to balance power between large and small states.

No it's not. That was never the purpose. The electoral college was needed for southern states to get some credit for slaves that they wouldn't get if there was a direct election of president. (See, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_College_(United_States).) Besides that, the effect of the electoral college is to put the focus on a few swing states. No one cares about CA and TX and numerous other states because those states will reliably go for a particular side.

about a year and a half ago

Scientists Want To Keep Their Research Work Out of Court

breech1 Re:Helping to Keep it Secret... (288 comments)

Or it could be a work in progress. During research, there's lots of communication about the interpretation of data, what other values should be recorded, is this true data or a bug in the simulation, and so on. If you had a political axe to grind, you could easily cherry pick that communication to feed the stupid conspiracy theories. You could hope that the general public would be smart enough to understand that, but intelligence is the first casualty of politics.

about a year and a half ago

Cameras To Watch Cameras In Maryland

breech1 Re:Good. (297 comments)

In some construction zones, it's 12 mph. So you wouldn't get a ticket in a 55 until you did more than 67 mph. I have no idea if there's an MD law requiring the 12mph pad, or if it's set zone by zone.

about a year and a half ago

Growth of Pseudoscience Harming Australian Universities

breech1 Re:Fundamentalists (566 comments)

Seconded. Wish I had mod points.

more than 2 years ago


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