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Comment Re:Austrian Machine (Score 4, Informative) 141

A school, I might add, that couldn't even COMPREHEND THE EXISTENCE of stagflation

What do you mean? Keynes modeled stagflation; he didn't use that term, but it's clear that Keynes, and those who studied his work, were aware of the effect of a supply shock on an economy.

The issue with Keynesian policy and stagflation is, given two problems with conflicting resolutions, how do you address both of them?

We now know that tackling them one at a time works. First you address inflation, then you address stagnation. This isn't a weakness of Keynesian theory -- it's validation.

Comment More Obvious Than That (Score 2) 82

anyone not know this already?.. it seems pretty obvious

Pretty obvious the world is flat too, but it's helpful to use the scientific method to confirm whether or not it actually is.

Actually, it's pretty obvious that the world is round if you have some basic math. Or stand up on a westward-facing beach and watch the sun set a second time. We've known the world was round since way before Columbus, it's just that we could do the math and knew it was WAY too far around the ocean to India to make it, so nobody else was stupid enough to try. Columbus was REALLY lucky there was a landmass in the middle.

However, in my experience the connection between colds and sleep is even more obvious. The more sleep you have, the weaker the cold becomes, and vice-versa. Vary your sleep a little and you'll see it's as directly observable as "When I drop a rock on my foot, OUCH!"

Comment Stingray and Extorting Criminals (Score 1) 184

They are being absurd. It's hard to see anybody at burning man using phones or internet devices for drug purchases and sales. You have 70,000 people in a signal-free desert, with the occasional wifi point. People are walking around in bright colors and costumes and interacting in real life.

Nevada treats the drug use that is there as a chance to extort recreational drug users from out-of-state. Basically (for most drug offenses) they catch a lot of nonviolent out-of-state offenders and offer the choice between a serious criminal conviction with a very low fine and a tiny conviction (maybe even a civil offense) if they pay a much larger fine.

Comment Clarity (Score 1) 262

Let's say it all together: Acquittal doesn't mean that the accuser lied. Just like in the vast majority of cases, rape is incredibly hard to prove. If they felt there was evidence that she lied, rather than insufficient evidence to prove "guilt beyond a reasonable doubt", then they would be trying her for making false charges - which, computer used or not, is usually a felony.

Regardless, I won't consider justice "blind" until "she consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standard as a robbery defendant's claim "he consented to give me the money" - as an affirmative defense / defense theory.

Rape is easy to prove. If a woman or man is raped get themselves to a hospital for a rape kit. Then file charges and the police can obtain a warrant for DNA sample from the alleged rapist. No match? No charges filed and no record allowed. Any false reports filed should result in a criminal record for the liar.

Actually, NO. You are completely wrong. A huge portion of rape is date rape. In order to prove rape you don't just have to show DNA. There also has to be a lack of consent.

You also have the problem of mixed-messages, where without a clear standard of "what is necessary to show consent" it is *very* common to have two people have sex together where one thinks it's rape and the other doesn't. This is usually because a woman might feel like she already has said no by some protest which seems equivocal to a guy and he doesn't realize it's her saying no. If you aren't *clear*, then the result can very easily be rape according to her but not according to him.

Comment Propaganda (Score 1) 388

As a friend often tells me, before the Civil War people would say "the United States are", and since the war they say "the United States is".

I suspect that's because of the Union/Northern Propaganda. Part of any war is figuring out the narrative to use to sell the war to your people, both the people fighting and the people undergoing hardship at home. While that's always been true on some level, it's been particularly important since the use of the longbow in 1415 at the battle of Agincourt. (Because at that point wealth and a small number of people was no longer sufficient to win a war--mass infantry and therefore control of public sentiment became necessary to field an army.)

We have been swinging the other way for some time now, because of automation, and democracy will become much less useful to the preservation of the state over time. I'll be surprised if it survives the next Millennium. We've been raised to like it, and it has a lot going for it, but it's too inefficient in its current form probably anywhere in the world.

In any event, today's common claim is that the Civil War was a fight "to preserve the Union," and while I don't see a contemporary reference to that propaganda in a quick google search, if that was part of the narrative then the shift to "The United States Is" was inevitable, and probably started as part of that campaign.

Comment Massive and stupid (Score 4, Insightful) 214

is going to be massive, and it's going to be stupid. There will be calls for the government to issue a stop to all AV operations, much in the same way that the FAA made the unprecedented order to ground 4,000-plus planes across the nation after 9/11.

That wasn't a stupid decision. It was a reversible order to prevent any immediate further terrorist attack that might be planned until they could get a handle on the situation and figure out who we were at war with and what to do in terms of airline security. While we ultimately made really stupid decisions about airline security, it was the right call. If you remember the mood of the general public on 9/11, we would all have considered it profoundly stupid to let most commercial airlines fly right after that, at least without better precautions than were standard. They had just flown an airplane into the Pentagon and another had crashed on its way toward the Capitol or White House. We had thousands of planes in the air we were trying to keep track of and only a few military jets ready to intercept.

Comment Re:Same for Guns (Score 2) 262

If you sell counterfeit Gucci bags out of your house, and you happen to have a gun in the house, then you have "used a gun in the commission of a crime", and you are now a felon.

The Supreme Court overturned that, for most values of "using a firearm" that don't actually mean "using a firearm." It overturned all 9 circuit courts a few years back when they interpreted "using" a gun in the commission of a crime too broadly. They found it about as ridiculous as you do.

I'd be interested in the citation on that.

Bailey v. United States, 516 U.S. 137 (1995)

(Although Congress undid SCOTUS's correction to some degree.)

Comment Re: Acquitted (Score 0) 262

Legally no, he is no longer an alleged rapist. As such a newspaper would never print that he is an alleged rapist since they know that they would lose a libel case.

Same reason why OJ was not called an alleged murder in the press after being a quite.

There is no legal definition of "an alleged rapist."

A newspaper doesn't decide what's legal, although they can be risk-averse. Libel is more of an issue because you don't have the guilty conviction, but he would still have to show he was not an alleged rapist in order to win a libel case.

Comment Re:Same for Guns (Score 1) 262

If you sell counterfeit Gucci bags out of your house, and you happen to have a gun in the house, then you have "used a gun in the commission of a crime", and you are now a felon.

The Supreme Court overturned that, for most values of "using a firearm" that don't actually mean "using a firearm." It overturned all 9 circuit courts a few years back when they interpreted "using" a gun in the commission of a crime too broadly. They found it about as ridiculous as you do.

Comment Re:Acquitted (Score 0) 262

He's not an "alleged rapist" anymore, fucktard submitter. He was acquitted.

Wrong, on two counts.

First, the person who claims he raped her is still alleging he is a rapist. The state is prohibited from bringing new charges against him, although it clearly could have gotten him on statutory rape charges.

Second, a failure to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is not a finding of innocence. A defendant who is found not guilty is not necessarily innocent--he may even likely be guilty. It's just that there is at least some "reasonable" doubt about whether he's guilty.

The victim still alleges he's guilty, and an acquittal has nothing to do with making someone no longer an alleged criminal.

Submission + - Alleged Rapist's Most Severe Crime Was Using a Computer

An anonymous reader writes: Today in a nationally publicized case, an alleged rapist from a fairly elite boarding school was convicted of a number of related misdemeanors, but the jury did not find him guilty of rape. According to the New York Times, his lone felony conviction was using a computer to lure a minor." In effect, a criminal was convicted of multiple misdemeanors including sexual penetration of a child, but the biggest penalty they face is a felony record and years in jail because they used a computer to contact the child, rather than picking her up at a coffee shop, meeting her at a party, or hiring a fifteen-year-old prostitute. Prosecutors have these "using a computer" charges as an additional quiver in their bow, but should we really be making it a felony to use a computer for non-computer-related crime when there is no underlying felony conviction?

"Is it really you, Fuzz, or is it Memorex, or is it radiation sickness?" -- Sonic Disruptors comics