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Comment: About that.... (Score 3, Informative) 222

by dfenstrate (#47416619) Attached to: Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On

Every American should incorporate themselves. It's the only way to guarantee you have rights. If you are a closely held corporation, your religious rights cannot be infringed, your property cannot be confiscated, you can commit heinous crimes and only face a fine (no jail time for CEOs); and furthermore, NSA "spying" can be sued over as industrial espionage or as copyright violations under intellectual property rights laws.

Basically you have way more rights as a corporation. If you're an individual or "citizen", you're screwed.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you're someone who hates the recent hobby lobby decision; nonetheless, the opinion delivered by Alito directly addresses this 'corporations are treated like people and it's wrong!!!' outrage perpetuated by the left.

"As we will show, Congress provided protection for people like the Hahns and Greens by employing a familiar legal fiction: It included corporations within RFRA’s definition of “persons.” But it is important to keep in mind that the purpose of this fiction is to provide protection for human beings. A corporation is simply a form of organization used by human beings to achieve desired ends. An established body of law specifies the rights and obligations of the people (including shareholders, officers, and employees) who are associated with a corporation in one way or another. When rights, whether constitutional or statutory, are extended to corporations, the purpose is to protect the rights of these people. For example, extending Fourth Amendment protection to corporations protects the privacy interests of employees and others associated with the company. Protecting corporations from government seizure of their property without just compensation protects all those who have a stake in the corporations’ financial well-being. And protecting the free-exercise rights of corporations like Hobby Lobby, Conestoga, and Mardel protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control those companies.

In holding that Conestoga, as a “secular, for-profit corporation,” lacks RFRA protection, the Third Circuit wrote as follows: “General business corporations do not, separate and apart from the actions or belief systems of their individual owners or employees, exercise religion. They do not pray, worship, observe sacraments or take other religiously-motivated actions separate and apart from the intention and direction of their individual actors.” 724 F. 3d, at 385 (emphasis added).

All of this is true—but quite beside the point. Corporations, “separate and apart from” the human beings who own, run, and are employed by them, cannot do anything at all."

Comment: Misused? Murder is intrinsic in communism. (Score 1, Insightful) 526

by dfenstrate (#47404781) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

Unfortunately, communism has earned a fatally bad reputation after being misused by so many dictators during the 20th century.

The murder part of communism is a necessary component to deal with people who don't want to play along. That's why it happens all the time. If you don't want to play by the rules of a society that has anything resembling a market economy, the outcome is well known: Your standard of living slides down to the lowest your fellow citizens will tolerate seeing.

If you don't want to play by the rules of a society with a Marxist economy, well, abject poverty is always an option there, too. A rather common one. But if you want to work for yourself, and keep a significant portion of the fruits of your labor? Well, sorry, that's where the murder comes in. Against the fundamental rules of the society, you see.

If you disagree, kindly tell me what you do with people in your ideal communist society who want to put in above-average effort, and reap the extra rewards. Besides murdering them. The communist societies that exist within larger market economies can eject slackers, and the motivated can simply leave. The societies that are entirely communist need other options. Exiling the motivated will simply rapidly impoverish those that remain.

Comment: Re:Administrators (Score 4, Insightful) 538

by dfenstrate (#47290073) Attached to: Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job

In all aspects of education, from primary school to university, the growing swarms of administrators soak up the budget. In some school systems, they vastly outnumber the actual teachers, have better pay, and yet contribute nothing to the operation of the schools.

You beat me to it. It's time for adjunct administrators and more full time professors.

Comment: stumpwm (Score 1) 611

by Digi-John (#47129515) Attached to: Which desktop environment do you like the best?

It's a tiling window manager written in Common Lisp, which means I can change any of the behavior on the fly. I guess you can do the same with xmonad, but I don't know Haskell, I do know a bit of Lisp.

Unlike a lot of tiling window managers, it does user-defined "static" layouts. You start with a single frame covering the whole screen. You can split that vertically or horizontally. You can then split either of the new frames vertically or horizontally, and so on. When I used to use i3 and xmonad, I'd get annoyed when my windows kept moving around and resizing whenever I opened/closed a window. Now I have a few different virtual desktops with layouts I find useful. Browsing on one, with a big frame for the browser and some smaller ones on the sides for xterms. Programming has half the screen for emacs, the other half for an xterm or two.

It takes a second or two to start, because let's face it, modern Lisp implementations are slow to launch, but once it's running it's quite responsive. Memory footprint isn't tiny (we're running a full Common Lisp system here), but I'd wager it's still smaller than KDE, GNOME, or Unity.

One thing I really loved was that the default keybindings were good. The default keybindings in WMs like i3 often eat a bunch of bindings for other programs--I had a hell of a time using i3 and emacs at the same time, for instance. Most of the commands are prefixed with a Ctrl-T, so you'd hit "C-t c" to create a new terminal, sort of like doing an Emacs command (C-x C-s). Yes, I know you want Ctrl-T to open a new tab in your browser; to send a Ctrl-T, you just hit it twice (C-t C-t). You can also add keybindings to the running WM using a little snippet of Lisp code, and if you like it, stick that in your .stumpwm file so it works every time. I left most things default but added Alt- to switch between desktops.

Comment: The disease spreads.... (Score 1) 389

. Mitt Romney takes advantage of loop-holes in tax laws to hide his money from US taxes by shuffling it around shell corporations in the Cayman islands. Mitt pays accountants and lawyers to set all that stuff up. The whole reason the US produces so many lawyers is to help rich people and corporations walk right up the the often fuzzy line between what is legal and what isn't.

Oh, look, it's a 'Take every chance to blame an enemy of the left whenever possible even though it's not remotely connected to the topic at hand' post. I thought these were confined to; it appears I was mistaken, and it also appears there are moderators on board. Perhaps your very own sock puppet moderators.

Comment: Re:Well duh (Score 1) 477

by dfenstrate (#46929685) Attached to: Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

Then there's the DRM. "That wouldn't affect you unless you are a pirate!" you say? Bullshit. .

There's an Anime series (a remake of Neon Genesis Envangelion) I would have purchased by now, except it's coded in a different region. That means I have to want to watch it enough to not only pay for the discs, but a region-free player as well. So I haven't purchased anything, when they could have had my money already for the discs.

Comment: Re:Punishment fits the crime (Score 1) 1198

by dfenstrate (#46880441) Attached to: Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs

Taking someone's life through a death sentence or a whole-life prison term will never bring restoration to the family of the victim.

So do away with most whole-life sentences. Restore decent parole opportunities. That's what happens in almost every other civilized country, allowing almost all prisoners an opportunity to reform.

The rise in supermax prisons has way more to do with the potential profit for the commercial prison industry than it has to do with crime.

I never said anything about life in prison or a death sentence bringing restoration to the victim's family. I'm concerned with getting dangerous, extremely violent people away from the living permanently. A dog gets rabies. Am I mad at the dog for getting rabies? No. Does it matter how he got rabies? Only insofar as we can eliminate the source; for the fate of the dog, it doesn't matter one wit. The dog is put down because it is simply too dangerous to be allowed around the living anymore. So it is with death row inmates. As for what 'civilized countries do', kindly provide some stories of comparable murderers who were successfully re-introduced to society.

Comment: Re:Punishment fits the crime (Score 1) 1198

by dfenstrate (#46878291) Attached to: Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs

> 20 minutes of semi-conscious agony ending in a heart attack vs. breathing dirt

False dichotomy. Everyone reading this would not be effected by either, as long as he's behind bars.

Cue the madding crowds telling me why I'm wrong to hold my opinion

He'd still be there to torment his prison guards and fellow inmates. The decline of the death penalty matches up nicely with the rise in supermax prisons.

Everyone who brings up your line of logic imagines that the most base, vicious members of society will sit in prison for the rest of their days reading books and reflecting on their life's choices. It isn't so.

Take a good look at how these life sentence crooks entertain themselves when they have nothing to look forward to but decades of confinement. Then decide if you still think lifetime imprisonment is irrelevant to the living, and to lesser criminals.

Comment: Re:Let me tell you about stealing dirty bomb mater (Score 1) 72

by dfenstrate (#46852275) Attached to: Security At Nuclear Facilities: Danger Likely Lurks From Within

So, you don't actually steal it. You blow it up, along with the site itself. Cause safety system failure and cause a meltdown. If you don't plan to survive the attack, you can certainly use a nuclear plant itself as a sort of weapon.

You say it like that would be easy. It wouldn't. Nuclear power plants have significant numbers of armed guards who run drills against adversary teams trying to do just that sort of thing; a factor that's very important, but omitted due to the nature of my previous point.

I'd also like to point out there is a short supply of suicide attackers who have any sort of real capacity to run a mission. 9/11 was the last time anyone with more than five brain cells willingly died in an attack. There's been the occasional unwilling but reasonably intelligent suicide bomber, but a guy like that ain't doing much besides driving a car up to a target.

If you have proof to the contrary, I'd like to see it.

Comment: Let me tell you about stealing dirty bomb material (Score 3, Insightful) 72

by dfenstrate (#46849597) Attached to: Security At Nuclear Facilities: Danger Likely Lurks From Within
You die. Seriously, the stuff that's radioactive enough to make a dirty bomb is radioactive enough to kill you before you get offsite. New fuel (less than 5% enriched uranium) is not particularly radioactive. It's perfectly safe to stand next to it; to inspect it before you put it in the nuclear reactor. On the other hand, spent fuel is incredibly radioactive, and when it's being handled it's kept under 30' of water so it doesn't kill everyone in the building.

Now, let's assume you had access to the fuel long enough to get it out of the pool. You would receive a lethal dose of radiation in 36 seconds; enough to kill you within a month. Even if death doesn't come for weeks, you would be rapidly debilitated- which of course would leave you immobile next to something giving off massive amounts of radiation, so I imagine you'd be dead-dead within a half hour. Probably much less.

Now, there is spent fuel that's had several years to decay sitting in dry storage on most nuclear sites, but they're kept in casks and bunkers which are so robust, you're not going to be able to steal or breach them in less time than it takes for three states worth of Law Enforcement and FBI to come crashing down on your party.

That fuel in dry storage would still kill you, but it would take longer.

Comment: That logic has it's limits.... (Score 1) 409

by dfenstrate (#46532521) Attached to: Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

If all the money spent on software licence had instead been spent on developing software, the government would have produced the necessary software ten times over and been able to distribute for free instead of still paying to this day.

I don't contest the logic of this statement in and of itself, but I do wonder were this kind of thinking ends. The Government has it's own critical tasks to perform, and officials should focus their efforts on, well, governing what they're supposed to look after. Should the government build it's own office chairs? It's own cars? How about servers? Handguns?

Comment: Re:Manners (Score 4, Interesting) 401

by dfenstrate (#46495279) Attached to: NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization

Eventually, wealthy and liberal societies come to an end for other reasons

Those 'other reasons' are pretty simple: Liberal and wealthy societies become complacent due to the ease of their lives, and that makes them neglect the principles and practices that made them powerful and wealthy to begin with.

The default human condition is poverty, misery and violence. Escaping that is rare, and it takes a special society to make wealth, power and security seem normal. Once wealth, power and security are seen as birthrights and not hard-won prizes, the parts of a society that make it special are neglected (because, hey, they're 'mean' and 'hard work'), and rot sets in.

Gosh that takes me back... or is it forward? That's the trouble with time travel, you never can tell." -- Doctor Who, "Androids of Tara"