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Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

readin Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (390 comments)

What's the sacrifice though? Having cars that either get really excellent fuel economy or run on battery power? Forcing electrical utilities to switch to separate billing for grid-tie and power consumption, so that customers that want to put solar panels on their roofs aren't shafted in order to have overnight electrical service from base-load power? Mandating emissions inspections based on original standards at the time of manufacture on all vehicles newer than 30 years, so that gross-polluting vehicles that are not running right are either fixed or taken off the road? Most of these things don't have all that much cost, and for some of them, they're a cost that the individual should have borne anyway.

How about rationing international air travel because of the huge carbon footprint it creates?

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

readin Re:Yes, of *course* (470 comments)

Corporations are owned by stockholders. Stockholders have a responsibility to take an interest in what they own make sure it is well-managed. If they don't and the corporation fails, they get punished in a free market. If the CEO makes off with a bundle, then the stockholders are to blame for giving him the contract. If the CEO makes off with a bundle with the result that creditors don't get paid then the creditors have some responsibility for failing to consider the health of the corporation and its governing structure before lowing it money. No one gets punished? Ask an Enron stockholder or creditor. Then ask the shareholder how much time he put into voting in the shareholder elections that happen periodically. No one put a gun to that shareholder's head and forced him to buy Enron. He could have bought shares in any corporation or put the money in a CD. The creditor likewise made a choice.

But when it is the government, no one has a choice.

By the way, if a corporation does bad things and then goes out of business you can still go after the owners who made their corporation do those bad things. Oh wait, no you can't, because a corporation is a GOVERNMENT created fictional person who is assigned blamed for the things the owners do.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

readin Re:Government Intervention (470 comments)

Anti-monopoly regulation is one of the few types of market intervention I support. Another one is truth-in-labeling and other laws designed to make sure people have access to the information they need to make decisions.

2 days ago
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Former NATO Nuclear Bunker Now an 'Airless' Unmanned Data Center

readin Safe at last! (147 comments)

the refurbished bunker has walls 11 feet thick and the central complex is buried twenty feet under the earth.

Finally my World of Warcraft characters will be safe!

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

readin Re:Government Intervention (470 comments)

Exactly. While Europe usually seem willing to commit fully to the second best choice - a government controlled industry, Americans seem to get stuck in the worst choice - an industry so heavily regulated that the virtues of the free market are extinguished but not heavily regulated enough for the government to take responsibility for the consequences of government actions.

So now we have a bunch of government created monopolies and government regulations wreaking havoc across the landscape, and when the problems become apparent they are blamed, as you humorously allude, on the "free" market. The big businesses gain because lack of a free market protects them from upstarts, and the government people gain by having increased power and greater access to campaign funds and post-government lobbying jobs.

2 days ago
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Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture

readin Re:For the sake of discussion... (316 comments)

I do not think anybody particularly cares about cash found next to the evidence of an overtly prosecutable crime. The problem is when the cash itself seems to be the target, in the absence of any apparent crime. The examples the made the news were things like driving 64 mph in a 55 mph zone with $5000 cash on hand -- here is your speeding ticket and the police keep the $5000 cash.

I care about the cash found next to the evidence. If the guy isn't found guilty the government shouldn't keep his cash no matter how bad the crime was. Keeping the money as evidence until the trial is ok (so long as it isn't being done just to keep the suspect from being able to afford to defend himself). But keeping it permanently when he doesn't get charged or after he is aquitted violates the 5th and 6th amendment just as keeping him permanently imprisoned in similar circumstances would.

about two weeks ago
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Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture

readin Re:WTF? Yes it is illegal! (316 comments)

Fifth amendment guarantees that no one will be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Sixth amendment guarantees a jury trial. Now if life liberty and property can be deprived willy nilly so long as some minor paperwork is done and we call it "due process", then what is the point of the sixth amendment? It is clear that due process means a trial.
I.e., property and liberty are both protected by the same amendment and given the same level of protection in that amendment. If your property can be taken simply because someone used it in a crime, then your body can be locked up as well. You may have been taken hostage by a bank robber, they can put you in prison for the rest of your life without trial for that.

about two weeks ago
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Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture

readin It's about time (316 comments)

Wow. When Holder finally decided to do something right he really did the right thing in a big way. This is amazing wonderful news. I hope his 'constitutional scholar' president follows through and explains to SCOTUS why such seizures needed to stop because they're unconstitutional.
This doesn't entirely make up for Holder's racism or failure to enthusiastically investigate crimes by the IRS (in its harassing political opponents), but it is still a, to quote Biden, "big fuckin deal". Good job on this one Holder.

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

readin Re:That explains a lot doesn't it? (894 comments)

While your examples are obviously extreme to illustrate a point one can lobby peacefully. If you cannot wear your favourite religious clothing item to go to school then go to a different school.

Great libertarian idea provided that the schools aren't government run and funded. But if libertarians have already lost that fight and the schools are government run and government funded telling people to pay for schooling twice is unfair.

The beauty of democracy and why it's so much better despite it's numerous flaws is that everyone has a voice. Where is my voice under religious rule?

I'm not advocating religious rule.

Democracy is not beautiful. It is messy and dangerous. We only put up with it because every other form of government that has every been tried has been even more vulnerable to tyrannical takeover from within. Preventing such tyranny is the point, not providing everyone with a voice. Freedom of Religion is even more important to preventing tyranny.

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

readin Re:That explains a lot doesn't it? (894 comments)

Said in context it meant that if religion conflicts with the law the law takes precedent.

I can only agree to that if the law is conflicting with religion only for the purpose of protecting another fundamental right. If, to use an example from France, a school has a dress code require no headwear of any kind because they believe it makes for a more respectful atmosphere, then exceptions must be made for people who can show they have real religious objection, whether they be Sikhs, Muslims, Orthodox Jews, or certain Christian groups. Otherwise how can you argue that those people who believe God requires them to wear the headgear should remain peaceful? As was said by a guy protecting Jews in WWII (in violation of the law IIRC), I would rather be with God against man than with man against God. If law is superior to one's beliefs than what is superior to law? Should all those Russians who resisted the Communists should be condemned for following their conscience rather than the law. Should all those Germans who resisted the Nazis should likewise be reviled? Is Lech Walesa a horrible person for breaking the law?

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

readin Re:"if someone says a curse word against my mother (894 comments)

In one case, a person is right in your face insulting your mother. That is generally going to be a physical confrontation, the person is probably puffed up his chest and picking a fight.

A more civilized society would allow dueling as a reaction to such an insult. In other words, instead of being able to immediately punch the person who insulted your mother you could challenge him to a duel (perhaps the law might put limits on the lethality of such a duel) giving the person who was insulted a chance to defend the mother's honor but also giving the insultor a chance to apologize or simply chicken out before any blood is spilled.

It's been said that an armed society is a polite society.

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

readin Re:That explains a lot doesn't it? (894 comments)

France is a law abiding country. The law is above religion. The law protects freedom of expression as a fundamental right.

Would you also say the law is above speech? Can the law be above something and that something still be free?
The law can't be above religion without being above speech because freedom of speech and freedom of religion cannot be separated. Without freedom to think and think and believe, how can you have things to say that are different from what the government approves? And without the freedom to communicate your thoughts and believes, people have no way to learn and adopt ways of thinking and believing that are different from that the government approves.

A separate thing to consider - most people's beliefs outweigh their loyalty to country and law. I suspect this is true even with you - if the law required you to kill your mother would you do it? For me, a country that does not allow me to freely practice my religion is not one that I can be loyal to. A country that considers its laws superior to the laws of God is not a country I can be loyal to. Limits on religious practice are allowed not because the law is superior, but because we recognize that even our fundamental rights must be limited in some cases so that they do not destroy other persons' fundamental rights. The right to conduct human sacrifice for an Aztec religion conflicts with the right to life, so one of them must bend. Religion is thus not subject to law, it is subject to respecting the rights of others so that we can have a peaceful society.

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

readin Freedom of Speech Freedom of Religion (894 comments)

Something the Pope and other liberals need to get through their head about speech codes and infringements on religious liberties is that Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion are inextricably melded. You can't have one without the other. Without the right to think and believe anything you want, you won't be able to say whatever you want. Without Freedom of Religion your statements of what you believe become proof of your religious failings. Without Freedom of Speech no one can learn of or understand anything beyond the officially sanctions beliefs and ways of thinking.

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

readin Re:"if someone says a curse word against my mother (894 comments)

I think you have a point. While for a long time in American history you might expect the authorities to look the other way if someone insulted your mother or wife to your face and you immediately cold-cocked them, I suspect they would have been far less likely to tolerate you traveling miles to initiate a confrontation with said person.

about two weeks ago
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Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

readin Re:Degenerate (303 comments)

Anthropomorphism is degenerate no matter the situation.

True. Anthropomorphism is always trying to get into trouble and ruin other people's lives.

about a month ago
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Would Twitter Make President Obama 'Follow' the Tea Party If the Price Is Right?

readin Re:Why shouldnt Barack Obama follow the Tea Party? (121 comments)

I don't know, but I'll take a guess.

  1. 7. Neither Republican nor Democrat, though the Republicans like to throw raw meat to the people who want a big wall and massive army of border guards to patrol it, as if that would solve anything. Probably only 1 or 2 small parties. It's not a big issue. And what about reform of immigration laws, why only ask about enforcement?

It's a big issue for a lot of people - but generally the kind of people who work and don't have a lot of spare time to get out and protest. As for "reform", enforcement is a major part of the reform - in fact it is the reform that makes all other reforms possible. But to be comprehensive enforcement has to come first before any other reforms are passed because we know from history and from the behavior of current leaders that a deal won't be honored by those who oppose enforcement. In fact we already did a comprehensive reform that included enforcet ment and amnesty in 1986. We got the amnesty but not the enforcement. Fool me once...

9. Why do you need a political party for that? The govenrment can't control your personal life, unless you let them. As for "when working", well, that's not personal any more is it?

I spend a huge portion of my time at work and I'm lazy. Some people spend more time at work than they do with their family. At work I want to be able to practice my religion free of government interference. I want to be able to choose who I spend time with and form relationships with free of government interference. Whether you agree with me or not, there are a lot of people who agree with me

11. Government bashing, again? It's not the government that's the problem, it's the powerful. The government is only a problem if it's too easy for the powerful to corrupt and control it, and it is no longer answerable to the people.

Who has more power than the one who can use force for any and all purposes beyond self-defense? When you say "powerful people", you mean the government. No matter how much power Bill Gates has, he can't order me to use Windows and send armed men to my home if I don't comply. He can't tackle me in the street and sit on me until I die because I was selling competing operating systems without paying him.

You really prefer living in an anarchy? Then move to Somalia.

False dichotomy straw man. I didn't say "eliminating government", I said "shrinking government". The point of government is to protect our rights. To do that we have to allow it to use violence. Having given it the power to use violence we should recognized that we have created a dangerous creature and make sure we limit what it does.
We make sure the military is firmly under civilian control and we limit what the military can be used for because we realize how dangerous a military is. But a government is similarly much better armed than the general population and it too should be tightly restricted.

about a month ago
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Would Twitter Make President Obama 'Follow' the Tea Party If the Price Is Right?

readin Re:Why shouldnt Barack Obama follow the Tea Party? (121 comments)

They are? OK, please answer for me:

1. Which party wants to decrease corporate money in politics? 2. Which party is for decreasing the length of copyright? 3. Which party supports jail time for fraudulent bankers? 4. Which party would increase the penalty for crimes committed by corporations, instead of the current toothless fees we currently have? 5. Which party is for reducing our illegal surveillance both here and abroad? 6. Which party is for eliminating the NSA?

I mean, sure, they're different on a bunch of minor crap no one (should) care about, but when it comes to major issues, they're identical.

And let's not forget:


7. Which party is for enforcing immigration laws?
8. Which party is for ending corporate welfare?
9. Which party is for limiting the role of the federal government in our personal lives (including when we're working)?
10. Which party is for limiting the rolling back regulations that keep small companies from growing?
11. Which party is for shrinking government spending (and thus giving us more free time so less of our economic output has to be diverted to government functions)?

about a month ago
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N. Korea Blames US For Internet Outage, Compares Obama to "a Monkey"

readin Re:More moaning and groaning for nothing. (206 comments)

It should depend on what the first lady is doing. If she does an interview on a topic of substance (like racism) or makes a lot of noise pushing a policy iniative ("Just say no", controlling fat, etc.) then it's fair to make fun of them based on those subjects. Barbara and Laura Bush were both pretty quiet. I don't see how it was fair to make fun of either of them. Are you saying that because SNL did it, it must be ok? SNL made fun of the first lady, so making fun of the first lady is ok, but SNL didn't make fun of the first daughter so making fun of the first daughter isn't ok?

But actually SNL did make fun of first daughters. A quick search of "SNL Jenna Bush" came up with this: http://www.imdb.com/character/...

about a month ago

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