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Comment: Re:Germany should pay war reparations for WWII (Score 1) 634

by Shakrai (#49770065) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

Finland lost 10% of her territory, had to relocate 15% of her population, and pay reparations for a war she didn't start. Despite all that, they've built one of the most successful countries on the planet, by any metric.

It's truly sad to see how far the cradle of western civilization has fallen. On the bright side, tourism there will be dirt cheap when they finally get booted out of the Eurozone.

Comment: Re:Not pointless... (Score 0) 328

by Shakrai (#49769973) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

Were you paying attention to what two idiots did with pressure cookers in Boston a few years ago? Or what another idiot tried to do with a propane tank, which this story says may also have been in the vehicle?

I would not be the least bit surprised for there to be many instances of people having left one in their car.

I own both of those items. I've transported them within my vehicle many times. What I haven't done is parked my fucking car outside the local Federal building and left it unattended with those items inside. Should I have to think that way? No. Is that the sad reality of the world we live in today? Yes.

Jesus Fucking Christ, look up what "common sense" means sometime. Stop trying to rationalize this as some sort of oppressive Governmental action. This is called an "abundance of caution," and is perfectly understandable to anyone that hasn't been living under a rock for the last twenty years.

and the miscarriage of justice is wanton and unnecessary destruction of valued personal property

Which he'll likely be reimbursed for, notwithstanding the fact that he was illegally operating the vehicle immediately prior to this happening. A pressure cooker costs ~$30, a rear window ~$400, and a propane cylinder ~$30. We're not even talking one thousand dollars worth of damages here.

Comment: Re:Not pointless... (Score 1) 328

by Shakrai (#49769873) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

Do you think quoting my post line by line makes you sound like less of an absolutist idiot?

Like its gas tank?

Gasoline doesn't explode, it burns. Of course, as our resident expert in IEDs and Constitutional Law, you already knew that, right?

I've never been pulled over for a routine traffic stop when I wasn't driving.

In New York State you can get expired registration and/or inspection citations while your car is parked. There ain't nothing to see here. Drive without a license and you'll get cited for driving without a license. If you have proof they made up that charge or revoked his license for political reasons why don't you present it? Otherwise you're just making shit up to fit your narrative.

Comment: Re:Not pointless... (Score 0, Flamebait) 328

by Shakrai (#49769477) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

You people really are something. Have you ever heard the expression, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should?"

I can legally put every single firearm I own into the trunk of my car with thousands of rounds of ammunition and drive through Washington DC on my way to Virginia. That doesn't mean cruising past the White House on this little road trip is a sensible decision, never mind parking nearby while I grab a bite to eat or take a few photos.

Fucking common sense says don't park your fucking car a block away from the United States Capitol with anything inside that could be misidentified as an explosive device. It also says you should keep your drivers license current and in good standing. You think they just cited him for that offense without checking to see that he was actually operating the vehicle? You are familiar with traffic cameras right? Hell, he probably admitted that he was driving when they interviewed him.

He's not getting the book thrown at him in any of the media accounts I've read, he's getting the same treatment he would have received if he was pulled over for a routine traffic stop. If it's his first offense he'll probably get off with a small fine and a conviction for a violation rather than a misdemeanor. There's no fucking miscarriage of justice here.

Comment: Re:Not pointless... (Score 2, Interesting) 328

by Shakrai (#49769345) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

To the best of my recollection, there is no legal parking on that section of 3rd Street, NW or SW, near the National Mall. If you illegally park your car near the US Capitol Building you should probably expect some scrutiny. If you have a pressure cooker inside in the day and age of improvised explosive devices you should expect further scrutiny. Is the latter bit "fair?" Maybe not. But it's reality in this era.

If the police don't investigate an illegally parked car near a sensitive structure they're grossly negligent. If the investigation reveals you broke the law to get the car there, well, you're going to get charged. If this gentleman was driving on a suspended license it was only a matter of time before he got charged anyway; he just managed to do it in a high profile fashion, vs. the thousands of idiots doing the exact same thing that get picked up in a more mundane fashion every day of the week.

Comment: Re:Not pointless... (Score 2) 328

by Shakrai (#49769191) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

Especially if the cops revoked the owner's driving license just to accuse him/her of something or other.

Not to burst your paranoid bubble, but the cops can't just revoke drivers licenses in the United States. Generally speaking, your drivers license can only be revoked or suspended after convictions for certain serious traffic offenses, a combination of convictions for minor traffic offenses, or failure to pay renewal fees when your license expires. A handful of jurisdictions allow the cops to physically take your license when you're cited for DWI; the actual suspension thereof generally occurs at your first court appearance.

In this instance they haven't released any of the back story, but it would seem that the guy was driving on a suspended or revoked license, which is a crime most everywhere in the World. It's a tough one to get away with in the day and age of license plate readers but if you're gonna attempt it you're probably best advised not to park your car on the Mall in Washington DC.....

Comment: Re:Not Surprising (Score 0) 634

by ScentCone (#49767307) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment
Yeah. Except, it's the EU countries that went the austerity route that are now in the best shape, financially. And their people see that, and vote to reinforce the politicians that made that wise choice. Government largess can't make the economy grow when the government is too corrupt, and the people too indifferent (or too used to getting away with) to pay the taxes that will let the government throw around huge sums of money. "Stimulus" spending with borrowed money is right up there with sacrificing chickens or doing a magical dance when it comes to fixing what's actually wrong with places like Greece. The problem is cultural, and has been that way for decades. The Nanny State mentality is bad enough, but trying to keep it going when at the same time the entire nation plays games with tax collection so they can all lie to themselves about it is a recipe for ... contemporary Greece.

Comment: Re:Oversimplification ... (Score 1) 238

by ScentCone (#49764461) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

Does the average worker have a retirement investment account?

I suppose that depends on how you define "average." In the US, over 52 million people participate in 401k plans. That's in addition to those who have other retirement vehicles (like IRAs, etc). Almost all of those funds are tied up at least in part in mutual funds. Probably most people who aren't working aren't contributing to such a plan, though many who are out of work still have money sitting in them. Alas, we have over 90 million people who aren't participating in the labor force - the highest number since the 1970's. In more recent times, when more people had jobs, there was a much more common interest in how one's mutual funds were performing, because more people were actively slicing off a piece of each paycheck to invest therein. That tended to make more people aware of, and interested in how it all works.

Comment: Re:Fear of Driving (Score 1) 169

by ScentCone (#49764435) Attached to: <em>A Beautiful Mind</em> Mathematician John F. Nash Jr. Dies

It amazes me how nutty people get over "terrorists" when the roads are like a civilized version of Mad Max. People constantly die every day. Tens of thousands of lives unnecessarily lost every year just to automobile accidents. I feel like I'm the only rational person when I experience a certain apprehension every time I get behind a wheel, knowing that while racing through space in a multi ton coffin, even a small mistake could send me careening to my death.

The difference is that while you are indeed taking a small risk every time you get on the road, you have the luke-warm comfort of knowing that just like, you the vast majority of other people on the road don't want to die themselves, or see you die. Doesn't mean they're all as careful as they should be, and some are indeed belligerent and dangerous on the road, though they are the minuscule exceptions. Most accidents are the result of inattentiveness in one form or another, or poor judgment.

People, on the other hand, who do things like blow up train loads of passengers in London or Madrid, or who try to blow up an aircraft on final approach over Detroit, or who park a car bomb in Time Square ... they're trying to kill you. It feels different because it is different. We all internalize certain risks, but bristle - very reasonably - when we learn of someone who, out of malice, wants to kill you and everyone else nearby. A dead kid is awful. But there's something substantially different between a kid on a sidewalk getting killed by an out of control car, and a kid like the one in Boston, who had his guts blown out by someone who stood there, looked right at him, and decided to set his IED down on the sidewalk right next to him.

Comment: Re:Wouldn't the new cells have the same diseases? (Score 1) 33

by ScentCone (#49763059) Attached to: Nerve Cells Made From Blood Cells

which perhaps others would do if grants were fairly distributed

Translation: everybody who wants grant money should get it. There should be an infinite supply of other people's money so that everyone engaged in their own pet field of research should be able to do whatever they want, indefinitely, without worrying about demonstrating to anyone else that what they're working on is more interesting, more useful, or even sane, compared to the next guy's project. That would be truly fair. The guy looking to synthesize unicorn DNA from horses and narwhals should definitely get some funds diverted his way from that jerk across the hall in the other lab who's working on that stupid HIV vaccine. Because otherwise it's NOT FAIR.

Comment: Re:America needs to change as well (Score 1) 238

by ScentCone (#49762765) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

And it is LONG past time for America to tax delivered items.

You mean, increase the taxes on delivered items, right? Because most states already have sales and use taxes, some of them quite high. We'll ignore for the moment those states that have decided they'd rather cover their overhead through things like property taxes or other income taxes, forgoing sales taxes.

If you order a new computer display from an out-of-state vendor, your state's taxes are still owed. Think that just because a business located in some other tax jurisdiction isn't working on behalf of your state to collect and remit your state's taxes on your purchase that somehow you're off the hook? Just wait until you're audited by your state, and you'll find yourself paying those taxes and substantial penalties.

It's not "long past time" for a change, because the situation you want is already in place. If you have a complaint, it should be about your fellow local state citizens who are cheating on their sales and use tax obligations. That's between them and their state government, not between your state government and a business that's located and chartered (and paying taxes) in another state entirely.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.