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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

tnk1 Re:There are limits to freedom of speach (477 comments)

I'm sorry to quote hardcore authoritarians like Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson at you. Perhaps you would prefer the more soft-core fascist, Thomas Jefferson,

"[a] strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means."

Or just read about some of the other Nazis who have said the same things in this right-wing agitprop piece:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Good Hosting Service For a Parody Site?

tnk1 Re: What I recommend (113 comments)

I'm hearing that this person wants to criticize someone in Poland who likes Putin. I'm guessing Russia is not actually a good choice here.

Russia is only better when you aren't doing something that directly opposes Russian interests. If you are opposing Russian interests, you'd probably have better luck in China.

Russia doesn't protect free speech, they just allow things to be hosted that piss off countries they don't like. That looks like free speech only to those who the Russian government likes or doesn't give a shit about.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Good Hosting Service For a Parody Site?

tnk1 Re: Polish (113 comments)

Historically, they do hate them just as much. It's just that the Germans are only the second to last occupiers. The Soviets are the most recent.

The Poles also kicked out millions of Germans from the lands they they were granted out of Germany when the USSR compensated Poland for lands that the USSR itself took from Poland. The Poles also hung the shit out of a number of Nazi war criminals.

No one has let the Poles hang any Russians. So, I'd say that the Poles have the bigger score to settle with the Russians.

Which is not to say I think that the Poles actually want to settle any scores, I just think they want to avoid being a puppet state of Russia again. Germany isn't currently attempting to do anything like that.

yesterday
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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

tnk1 Re:There are limits to freedom of speach (477 comments)

Maybe you should blame the people who decide to do the mobilizing.

No. You should not force someone to ignore a threat that they cannot themselves prove is untrue.

If by that you mean "free speech" isn't free because it isn't totally free from all possible restraint or responsibility, then perhaps it isn't, but considering the alternatives around the world, I think it is also completely missing the point.

In any event, it has already been pointed out that the Constitution is not a suicide pact. If speech has a good chance of getting people killed by creating a credible, but fraudulent threat, that's in no way legal, and I don't think any less of the government for considering that to be a perfectly reasoned exception to absolute free speech.

yesterday
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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

tnk1 Re:Cheap way to score political points (477 comments)

Yes, a longer maximum sentence, or more charges that can be applied are usually the difference between getting off as "innocent" and having to take a plea deal to avoid the possibility of complete disaster. It creates convicts where no convicts would usually be found.

And while I have some sympathy for those prosecutors who must deal with the organized criminals who can use the system against them, the reality is that these sorts of escalations just end up causing more poor people to become incarcerated.

yesterday
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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

tnk1 Re:There are limits to freedom of speach (477 comments)

Threatening to hit someone, when the person making the threat is willing, able, and appears ready to do so is actually the legal definition of "assault". Actually hitting them is "battery".

Yes "assault" seems to be a synonym with "battery", but under the law, they are different things.

yesterday
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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

tnk1 Re:There are limits to freedom of speach (477 comments)

Calling in a bomb threat usually mobilizes police and emergency responders. If we let people who were "just joking" off, then we need to become a lot more thick skinned about when we dispatch those responders. And then when someone dies because there was a real issue and the sensitivity level had to be reduced because the rest of them were "just joking", the first responders end up looking incompetent even though they were forced to their wits end with this bullshit and stepped back their response.

I think it is reasonable to charge someone for being that kind of asshole which falsely mobilizes that sort of response. Perhaps the people calling the cops might be asked to ask, "are you joking?", but I don't agree with that unless it is a kid or something. Adults need to know better.

If we don't actually make that sort of speech illegal, I think we should also make it not illegal for the people affected by this "joker" to beat the ever-living shit out of that person for scaring them, and potentially causing someone to die because responders can't take reports seriously anymore. After all, free speech should not make you immune from the consequences of that speech.

yesterday
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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

tnk1 Re:May I suggest RTFA? (286 comments)

I think the problem is the Canadian government does not want to cobble together multiple suppliers for one weapon like this. If they can go with Mosin-Nagants, they have a durable weapon that's an even older design than the Enfield, and probably still has a bunch of suppliers. Just make sure to get a model with some decent sights.

They could also go with an M98 system, like a K98k.

That or you can pick a weapon that was designed sometime in the 20th Century, as opposed to the 19th. There's a lot of bolt action goodness out there.

I do agree that if they go with a composite, and not wood, they would benefit from the weight savings, but they will need to be very careful about the characteristics of the material they use, and all that technology is going to cost $$$. The big benefit of those old bolt-action rifles is that they were designed and built in the days of the conscript armies before WWI. Other than something like an AK-47, you don't find weapons as numerous, durable, and well tested these days without some R&D money that needs to be paid off.

2 days ago
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Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

tnk1 Re:Overly broad? (409 comments)

Glucose should just be outlawed along with its insanely toxic by-product, glucose-6-phosphate.

Aside from its other effects, that stuff even dehydrogenates into NADPH. Is there really any reason we even allow these chemicals into our body?

2 days ago
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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

tnk1 Re: Scarier still.... (363 comments)

Eugenics *can* work, for some value of "working". The problem with eugenics is that you have to have a goal and then work towards it, but that goal has to be rather objective, well defined, and the end goal actually has to be *an improvement*.

What is a "smart" person? An idiot savant who is a human calculator? Someone who takes tests well? Someone who is imaginative?

All of those probably have different genetic and environmental components and we may need all of those types of people. It may be useful to have a few more of each, but do we need 100 million people who can ace the SAT?

And the same goes for so-called "sheeple". It doesn't take very much for people to become an uncontrollable mob that almost accidentally throws you out of power. What is the "activist" gene? What is the gene for "courage"? Are both of those behaviors expressed as a result of a combination of more than just a few traits? Does the new tractability of a population actually hurt you more than it helps you?

You can totally turn your population into a group that you define as say "Aryans". But does being "Aryan" actually make you more successful or help humanity? One might say that the only thing a eugenics program to create Germanic types is good for is... creating more people who are Germanic.

4 days ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

tnk1 Re:Let me get this right (832 comments)

Yes, you need to tax where the money is. On the poor and middle class.

Wait... what? Why? Because there are so many more of them by far.

It is a lot easier to get one dollar out of 300 million people, than it is to get 300 million dollars out of one person. That one rich person has the ability to fight back more effectively, and they are a lot more likely to notice the fleecing and try to do something about it.

More to the point, there are not a lot of people you can get 300 million out of. Even if they don't all flee to the Bahamas, you start to run out of rich people.

The Communists in Russia and China killed all the rich people and took their assets and money. It probably helped a little at the beginning, but it clearly didn't fix their problems. If you add up the amount of money that the richest people in the US have, and then take *all* that money away, including their assets and capital, you get about a trillion dollars. Sounds like a lot, but the US goes through that in about three months, every year. After you spend all the rich people's money, you then have the same expenses, but you've done little more than add a handful of people to the welfare rolls.

A small number of phenomenally rich people doesn't compare to the amount of money that millions of workers make put together. And those rich people aren't holding on to that money in the Scrooge McDuck vault. Unless they reinvest their money, it gets taxed by inflation. Not to mention that most of the "wealth" of people like your Bill Gates' and Buffets are in corporate stocks and other investment instruments, not in actual cash.

The problem with the economy isn't that there are a lot of rich people hoarding all the money, it is that our spending is out of control and that the poor and middle class are facing increasing prices without increasing wages.

If there is a problem with rich people, it is not so much that they are extremely rich as much as that it causes them to lose touch with the basic need to survive, which causes them to become involved in decisions that benefit only them, while ignoring the human element. They are not a giant money pinata which if we keep hitting it, will make everyone and the government suddenly comfortable, the biggest problem with the rich is that they *make the decisions for everyone* because they have the ability to sit around and run for Congress, or contribute to campaigns, whereas the rest of us need to get a real job.

In short, you have people running the country that don't understand the actual problems that most of the country has.

4 days ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

tnk1 Re:Let me get this right (832 comments)

And the rich tend to buy with credit backed by their assets, which is debt that they can frequently write off to their advantage.

4 days ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

tnk1 Re:Let me get this right (832 comments)

I'd have to agree. Want to help a campaign contributor? Create an obscure rule that allows the contributor to profit based on their specific circumstances, but that no one else understands enough to object on, unless they are a knowledgeable "special interest". Then shut up the opposed special interests by giving them their own rule to satisfy their own constituency.

Want to pretend to help the middle class? Create rules that look like they're getting something, only for those rules to be one-time, or quietly dispensed with in the next rule reshuffle.

The value of an understandable tax code is less about saving the middle class though tax breaks, and more about making it possible for the people to actually understand how much the government is taking and how the programs that our legislators vote on will affect that number.

4 days ago
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Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

tnk1 Re: Designed in US, Built in EU, Filled in Iraq (376 comments)

I don't think the war was to cover up a program that everyone else already knew about. In fact, the war made the chemical weapons transfers into a matter of more general knowledge. You probably wouldn't know squat about it today to write about this if the war hadn't happened.

Why would they launch their whole war using as an excuse the very thing that they wanted to cover up? Even a moron would know that it would cause every journalist and conspiracy theorist on the planet to find and publicize the West's involvement in the Iraqi CW program in the 80s.

Sometimes I get confused about people who think that our politicians are masterful Machiavellian schemers, while at the same time, those same theorists count on the fact that our evil genius leaders fail at something like basic misdirection.

If I was trying to cover up a chemical program with a war in 2003, I wouldn't draw attention to the chemical weapons I'd... let's see.... pretend that al-Qaeda was moving to Iraq and fabricate tons of evidence of that. It would make a little more sense, no? And you wouldn't have pesky UN inspection teams. Hell, fake terrorists are much easier to fabricate than chemical weapons programs, wouldn't you say?

4 days ago
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Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

tnk1 Re:This is the "Oh Noes, the ISIS has WDM" moment. (376 comments)

Cheney's crowd is no longer in power, and say what you want for Obama's near-sighted policy on pulling out all the troops... you'll have a hell of a time getting them back on the ground unless you have a significantly less flimsy pretext. Heck, you'll have trouble enough getting them back on the ground for a *good* reason.

4 days ago
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Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

tnk1 Re:Designed in US, Built in EU, Filled in Iraq (376 comments)

Iraq definitely had chemical weapons. That's what they gassed the Shiites and Kurds with. Not to mention the Iranians.

Of course, that program by 2003 was probably not operational, but they certainly still had some around.

The major question is whether it was worth going to war over what they still had. Probably not. Gassing people is bad stuff, but if Saddam had done that to anyone other than the Iranians (or their own people), Saddam knew that it wouldn't hurt US troops much, and it would make *everyone* hate his guts.

The real reason we went to war with Iraq was simple... there was a sense that something had to be done or Saddam would have walked away scot free from the Gulf War, and his sons would eventually be in power now like Kim Jong Un is now in NK. By 2003 everyone was starting to be itchy to get the sanctions lifted, and the no fly zone was expensive, and really wasn't going to last forever. A little fake contriteness, no more stupid shit like invading Kuwait, and he could get back to work on some nukes and become invulnerable like NK is.

Make no mistake, a war in the ME was inevitable, and another one is probably still inevitable even if we had not screwed up and cut and run from Iraq. There's just too many people out there who hate each other who are living on top of too much oil.

There's people out there that decry that wars would be fought over oil. All I can say to that is, what else do you fight a war over? Democracy? Give me a break. Other than fighting back against an invasion, it's about the only rational reason to fight a war. If you run out of resources, your country and your society goes to shit. Agreed that we should get off of oil, but the rest of the world is as addicted as the US is, and even if we went to 100% domestic production, we can't let Europe or China lose access due to instability or we go down with them.

WMD was a bullshit reason to fight a war over, no question. The war was still coming anyway. In fact, it is still coming. Unless we can get most of these people out there out of the 13th Century, this is going to stay ugly until the oil runs out or we figure out how to get off oil without trashing our economy. And make no mistake, the only real chance of WWIII is if someone trashes the global economy. If that happens, there will be blood.

5 days ago
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Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage

tnk1 Re:Or, just don't get married. (445 comments)

Actually, I thought about it, and you're actually right, and I am somewhat ashamed about that particular statement. Contrary to your belief, I know quite a bit of economic history, but I can totally see why you might think I didn't. That's what happens when my brain gets detached from my fingers.

However, the point is still that you have marriage for a state objective of maintaining order. That is why the state even cares. Those who do not breed do not produce children. Maintaining a stable family unit, whether that be an extended family or a nuclear one, or something different, is useful to a state because it creates order for relatively low cost. Today, we attempt to replace that with programs, but they are not as well developed as order generated by clan or family relationships.

State sponsored marriage is not about love, for the state it is about the exploitation of love to maintain order. And well that it is, because I don't want the state telling me what "love" is. Now that we're expecting the state to legitimize "love", we're walking down a path we might not realize we are going down.

about a week ago
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The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

tnk1 Re:So we can't call anyone stupid anymore (622 comments)

This is an important distinction to make.

Jennifer Lawrence is not at fault for her stuff being stolen. She's not a slut and she didn't deserve it. No one deserved to get her nude selfies. She has every right to get naked and nasty for her man and transmit that over the Interwebs.

However, at the same time, it was an action that was not without risk. We should feel sympathy for her for falling prey to that risk, but what we should not do is become outraged that it is possible for it to happen.

A lot of people are outraged that things like this can happen and want to nuke any possibility that it could ever possibly happen. This is where the line has to be drawn, both for this and for crimes like rape. We cannot have a risk-free society.

You need to protect yourself. There are hackers and crazy animals who are rapists out there. The people who will respond to your reasoned arguments about why you should be able to put your relationship porn on the Internet, or why you should have every right to walk down the street in spandex and pasties are the very people you didn't need to worry much about in the first place. By now, they know the arguments and are complying with the reasoning.

What I see happening is blaming all males or male hormones or the Patriarchy for women being unsafe to walk down the streets half-naked, when it isn't "males" at all, but rather people with psychological problems. I see people blaming Apple or hackers or society in general for the fact that a high value target got her nudes found and distributed, when it is actually people who get off on cracking sites and trading personal details like baseball cards on TOR who are the issue. They are the panty-sniffers of the Internet.

Victims of crimes like this are not at fault for getting raped, but when they don't protect themselves, we don't all suddenly become accountable as a society for a problem that we can't completely eradicate without turning ourselves into a thought-controlled police state.

about a week ago
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Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage

tnk1 Go to church? (445 comments)

I'd say that an atheist has a belief system that has nothing to do with going to church, but that there may be some sort of comparable action or ritual that might cause a similar effect.

If they maintain that action, they may have a higher chance of staying together. If you separate the religious element from the action of going to church, you still have a regularly scheduled social activity where a number of people are assembled to do some sort of coordinated action. Atheists can certainly have things like that, although it is probably not something as common as going to church.

It also might be that the two studies in question don't correlate well together. There are studies all the time that seem to contradict one another in various details. So... YMMV.

about a week ago
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Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage

tnk1 Re:Why is the paper so important? (445 comments)

The government has a good reason for paying off breeding couples to get a legal arrangement. Think about it carefully. There may be discrimination, but it is far from nonsensical from a state perspective.

about a week ago

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