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Comment: Re:Third Amendment Violations, dead ahead (Score 1) 33

by BlueStrat (#47563967) Attached to: Airbnb Partners With Cities For Disaster Preparedness

The fiction that our second amendment rights are "under assault" is a kind of strange delusion bordering on mass hysteria that has no relationship to reality. Across the country gun rights are soundly trumping any attempt at sensible gun safety regulation.

Michael Bloomberg, is that you?

Strat

Comment: O RLY? (Score 3, Interesting) 33

by BlueStrat (#47563843) Attached to: Airbnb Partners With Cities For Disaster Preparedness

Today, city officials in San Francisco and Portland announced a partnership with peer-to-peer lodging service Airbnb to work out some disaster-preparedness plans ahead of time.

As opposed to trying to shut them down, along with the various ride-sharing services, as we've seen them try in recent times? Ride-sharing could work the same way in transporting disaster victims/refugees.

I wonder what other services the government might want to shut down that could be helpful in a disaster ::cough::quadcopter drones::cough::?

Good to see at least some in government aren't totally blinded by monied interests intent on stifling the advance of technology to preserve obsolete businesses and business models.

Strat

Comment: Re:What's it going to take? (Score 1) 120

by BlueStrat (#47542109) Attached to: When Spies and Crime-Fighters Squabble Over How They Spy On You

The Constitution starts to become a little like the Bible: Once a pretty good idea, born out of its time and back then a great set of rules to live by to ensure that everyone can survive and thrive.

It's just that times change, stuff gets invented and certain things ain't as simple as they used to be, while others got way simpler. Plus in both cases people who kept reading the stuff over and over trying hard to find loopholes and, of course, finding them to subvert the original idea.

In other words, rules and regulations have to keep up with time. Else they become a relic and a tool for mocking them.

Except that the US Constitution is based on a set of basic and nearly-timeless principles of human nature and how they interact with and within governments that have proved themselves over history spanning from biblical times until the 1700s when it was written.

Human nature and the nature of government corruption and politicians' lust for ever-more power & control have not changed since the 1700s.

There is already a process included in the Constitution for any necessary modifications. That's what the Amendment process is. It's slow and difficult, and requires an overwhelming majority of people to approve for good reason. If it can be changed by whatever short-term political winds that blow, then it become useless as a standard and/or as protection against government oppression of citizens.

Strat

Comment: Re:Why oppose this? (Score 1) 82

The government has every right to determine whom and what is coming into the United States.

The notion of governments having rights is doubly complex.

The Federal government in the case of the US has no rights, it has duties & obligations, and powers granted by the governed specifically to carry out those duties & obligations, and only those duties & obligations included specifically in the US Constitution.

It also includes a list of specific restrictions upon what powers the government may or may not exercise and how in areas that were felt to be particularly critical to creating and maintaining a society designed for maximum individual freedom, general order & prosperity, personal responsibility, and the protection of private property rights.

In my nearly 6 decades of experiencing firsthand the changes and the impact they had at the time that many younger people here only read about in wikipedia, I've seen and continue to see more than a correlative relationship between the trend away from the restrictions on government power from the early 1900s up to current times and it's resultant explosion of government spending/debt, abuse/abridgment of civil rights, the surveillance state, and the overall general trend of decline of the US domestically, socially, and internationally in nearly every way.

Government is in some ways similar to a nuclear fission reactor-based national power grid. You only place enough fissionable material in each reaction vessel of a number of reactors to achieve critical-but-stable output to power a limited area, you don't try to place all the fissionable material in one reactor at once to avoid the costs of building multiple reactors. Well, you'd only do it once, and very, very briefly at any rate, heh!

Once government power exceeds "critical mass" and the chain reaction of growth of power cascades, an authoritarian government is the inevitable outcome. I believe there's still time to at least avert the worst scenarios, but not much time. And the longer we delay, the worse things will become and the more people that will suffer.

Strat

Comment: Re:Barbara Streisand award (Score 2) 424

by BlueStrat (#47464943) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

What you can do is write a review that is so incredible positive, that the irony is so obvious that nobody will miss it. I don't have the time, and don't have the inspiration and my ironic food dictionary is offline at the moment. So if anyone can think of a review of Il Giardino [tripadvisor.fr] that will make me really curious - go ahead and make my day! ;-)

Uh, this is the interwebs where there exists a near-singularity composed entirely of missed obvious sarcasm & irony. It's similar to Relativity theory regarding the increase of energy required as a mass is accelerated to a significant fraction of C. The amount of irony and obviousness required would approach infinity and might even cause a tear in the very fabric of the Multiverse itself.

Besides, this is France we're discussing. If the review causes the French restaurant to be swamped with too many customers in the judgment of the restaurant and the court, you might get sued for damages because of a *good* review!

Strat

Comment: Re:Last century stuff (Score 1) 753

by BlueStrat (#47447753) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

tracked? no one cares about your beer, pizza, gamer video card, lap dance and dime bag purchases

What about that AR-15 bought from a friend? Or what about those electrical/electronic parts you ordered that could either become the heart of an IED timer/detonator device or fix the controls on grandma's hobby-ceramics firing-kiln in her garage that she's been after you to fix, after some nutcase phones in a bomb threat?

Or what about bus/train/plane tickets to a city where an anti-government protest is scheduled, coupled with your purchase of spray paint and other sign-making supplies?

If all such data is so uninteresting and worthless, why is it authoritarian governments historically make such a priority out of obtaining as much as possible from everyone they can force to comply?

Strat

Comment: Re:Not surprised (Score 4, Interesting) 170

by BlueStrat (#47373769) Attached to: Privacy Oversight Board Gives NSA Surveillance a Pass

Why do you think it is sudden? Congress, with the courts approval, have been infringing on Constitutional rights since the Constitution was written. They make exceptions all the time: when you can speak (no "fire" in a crowded theater); when you can assemble (Sorry "Occupy", move along... move along...); which guns you're allowed to buy (all without infringing on your right to keep & bear!); and when a warrant is required to execute you (Drone, zooooom, boom!).

The ends justify the means in each of those cases, so it does now too, and will again in the future.

All that shows is that we're not the 'land of the free and the home of the brave,' and never have been. Of course, things like slavery made that obvious anyway. Our government is and always was full of freedom-hating scumbags.

Nothing is ever perfect. The US Constitution sets the standard, or the bar against which the government must constantly be measured against and corrected when government strays/errs.

Through the history of the US, it has been both closer to that ideal and farther away, and in different areas and in different ways to different people at different times. Since government size has expanded so greatly since the 1920s, likewise so has its' power and control over ever more aspects of our lives and control of ever more US business, health, resource, & economic infrastructure. That expands the severity and scope of such bad government behavior.

We are in yet another moment in US history where we must decide how far we allow government power to reach, how many of our choices it can eliminate/control, and how much monitoring & control over our speech and communications it can be allowed to achieve.

Remember; If the capability exists, it will be misused regardless of any laws or oversight put in place. It's human nature, and especially human political nature.

Strat

Comment: Re: They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone r (Score 2) 268

by BlueStrat (#47342023) Attached to: That Toy Is Now a Drone

Note that the amendment does not presume to be granting the right to keep and bear arms. It acknowledges the right as pre-existing, and explicitly prohibits the government from infringing it.

NO, it doesn't, and had NEVER been interpreted that way until the 1970s/80s.

Learn some damn history before talking about it.

It is YOU who needs to learn some history.

The Rights outlined in the US Constitution are the Rights every person is born with as they are the rights of "Nature and Nature's God" (as described by the founders).

Every person has a natural right to protect themselves. Every person has a right to voice their opinion. The US Constitution merely highlights and emphasizes what the Founders considered some of the most important of these rights in order to emphasize that the government may not infringe upon them.

The Constitution incorporates a negative list of Rights, that is, it is a non-exclusive list of some of the natural individual Rights that every person is born with that the government may not infringe upon.

It is always disturbing when the ignorant speak out with such vehemence and confidence upon matters in which they have no clue. Such public ignorance is what allows tyranny to take root.

Please, for all our sakes and for your own, educate yourself rather than parroting partisan political talking points.

Strat

Comment: Re:True in theory (Score 1) 186

by BlueStrat (#47339641) Attached to: Larry Page: Healthcare Data Mining Could Save 100,000 Lives a Year

I would *presume* that any large-scale collection and analysis of medical information will eventually be abused by someone. That still leaves the question of whether its a reasonable tradeoff.

Data is power. The more data that is collected about people, the easier they are to control. Just look at every single authoritarian police state and how they always gather as much data on people as possible. It's a means of control.

I don't know about you, but I don't feel like I have any surplus freedom. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact.

A free and open society is not without risks and responsibilities for the individuals in it. Data collection and mining to the extent that people like Larry Page desire is incompatible with a free and open society. He's just trying to convince people that the freedom you have is not that important, heck you barely use it and "look! ooooh, shiny!".

Every nation that became an authoritarian state that arose from within, started with convincing the people the freedoms they were losing were for the "greater good".

I'll take my chances with a free and open society where so much data about me is not collected & mined, and in the control of others with power over me who do not necessarily have my personal best interests in mind, thanks anyway Mr. Page.

No sale.

Strat

Comment: Re:The headline is juicy, but hides a real problem (Score 1) 212

Hmm, I just now replaced a TV that was15 years old, only replaced because it was breaking down. (I still have it though, it's too heavy to drag down to the recyclers)

Remember several decades back when there were still television repair shops, so you'd go to have it fixed, replace the picture tubes, tune the chokes, etc?

There's a perfectly functional Sanyo TV, matching DVD player, and VHS tape deck from 2002 sitting in my entertainment center.

Right next to a 1970s Lafayette Electronics (remember their electronics kits and Ham/CB radios?) analog stereo receiver, the kind with slide-rule AM/FM dial for the tuner portion, and an analog signal-strength/FM-stereo-signal-centering meter. That powers two pairs of 12"-woofer Rat-Shack "Optimus" speakers from the early 1980s. Still sounds great, and easily powerful/loud enough to rattle the windows and bring the local constabulary.

I also feed video/audio to the system from my 2001 and 2006 PCs, as well as my SGI Octane system from ~1998.

My cellphone is a 'soapbar' style basic LG from 2005.

*I* and people like me who do not throw money at them every other year for the latest "Oooh, shiny!" are their enemy and their target. Africa just has a higher proportion who don't (and/or can't afford to) buy their products according to an "optimum upgrade schedule" designed to maximize their profits.

The e-waste angle is just another tool being (mis-)used to "nudge" people to keep paying them over and over, and not repair, reuse, and/or re-sell their products.

A *government* tool that would not exist, or at least not in a form that would allow the corrupt politicians to use in this way, if we did not allow governments to grow large enough to have so much power and control over everything and everybody's life that holding those in government accountable becomes impossible as a practical, peaceful matter. We've seen this recently with the DoJ, IRS, NSA, GCHQ, etc etc.

Strat

Comment: Re:Logical Consequences (Score 1) 398

by BlueStrat (#47269423) Attached to: Why China Is Worried About Japan's Plutonium Stocks

There are US bases in Japan as well as South Korea. Any attack by China on either would be the launching point for another World War. Ukraine doesn't rank in the same region of US interests as Japan does. Not in the same Galaxy.

All true.

Except that the current US administration would do nothing except make PR statements and call for sanctions. Maybe.

"I just heard about the Chinese attack on Japan in the news just like you did. I will make a strongly-worded statement...as soon as my teleprompter tells me what it is."

I wonder which YouTube video would be blamed? Or would those emails suddenly disappear like 2 years of IRS emails just conveniently did?

And both the major US political Parties are equally as deceitful, corrupt, and power-hungry. There really is only one US political Party, the Government Party vs We the People.

Strat

Comment: Re:Boo hoo. (Score 1) 238

Cry me a river. I'm sure that we could reduce that possibility ten fold if we placed cameras and microphones inside everyone's house. Does that mean we should do it? Absolutely not.

But, but...we have to destroy freedom in order to protect Freedom(tm)!

Why do you hate Freedom(tm) and America(tm)??

"Those who would give up essential liberties for..."

Ah, screw it! Apparently most people are fine with sacrificing any and all of their individual liberties and rights as long as the talking heads tell them it makes them more safe. Or, that changing this slide into totalitarianism in America is someone else's job.

There will always be the risk of people doing bad things in a free and open society. If there was not the ability for individuals and groups in a society to do bad things, then that society by definition would be neither free nor open.

Strat

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