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Comment: Re:Now I understand her record at HP (Score 1) 161

by Fire_Wraith (#49366727) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Near Launching Presidential Bid
Depends on what she's really running for. Recent history indicates that a lot of the second tier candidates for the Republican nomination have managed to sufficiently raise their profile in so doing, and gone on to reasonably lucrative work as commentators on various news networks, especially Fox.

Or, as someone snarked to me about one candidate or another recently, "He/she's running for a Commentator spot on Fox, not for President."

Comment: Re:Oh goody (Score 1) 161

by Fire_Wraith (#49366711) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Near Launching Presidential Bid
The Constitution doesn't tell the States (or DC for that matter) who can vote in their internal elections, or what sort of form those can take, save that it guarantees them a "republican form of government," meaning essentially that your state can't decide to replace its legislature with a hereditary Monarchy for instance. Most states mimic the federal government in form (executive, bicameral legislature, etc) but not all do - Nebraska for instance has a unicameral (one house) legislature.

The States though have some reasonable discretion at how they run their elections. While I find it difficult to think of a situation where a State might have more strict requirements for voting in its non-Federal election, there is precedent for a State allowing someone who can't vote in a federal election to vote in a state election. Prior to the 26th Amendment lowering the voting age to 18, many States already allowed 18 year olds to vote in non-federal elections, and the Supreme Court upheld that Congress had the right to regulate the minimum age in federal elections, but not at the state and local level.

Now, whether that would extend to citizenship would be an interesting question, but there's certainly precedent for it in terms of both age and women being allowed to vote in state/local elections, when they could not do so in federal elections.

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 1) 365

by Fire_Wraith (#49356461) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up
It takes two people to fire any of the nuclear weapons in the US (or Russian, or I believe any of the others') arsenal. A ballistic missile submarine only needs two people to turn their keys. And yet, that's enough to keep us from having a bunch of missiles wiping out several million people (and potentially provoking other strikes that cause millions more to die).

You're never going to be completely able to eliminate all risk. Even if you made it ten people, well, it's still theoretically possible that you could have a ten person suicide pact if they'd all secretly joined some sort of cult - but the risks are far, far lower. Having one person be a suicidal narcissist who's managed to escape screening or otherwise arouse suspicion is far more likely than two people doing so, who are in the same position to do something like this.

Comment: Re:Will that be enough? (Score 1) 194

It depends on what you need to protect. You don't need to cover every inch of coastline to protect the most populated areas. Consider Fudai, one of the few towns that survived the March 2011 tsunami, because its mayor in the 1970s insisted on building a seawall that was 50% higher than most people thought was necessary. Now, this seawall didn't protect everything - Fudai still had tremendous damage to its docks and the boats therein, but all the peoples' houses, the school, etc, escaped unharmed. That makes it a heck of a lot easier to repair the damage than if you're trying to repair the entire town, nevermind the loss of life.

Comment: Re:Does Moore's law apply to Tsunamis? (Score 1) 194

Consider also the case of the town of Fudai, whose mayor in the 1970s, insisted on building a 15.5 meter (51 foot) seawall to protect against tsunamis. This was much higher than most people thought was necessary at the time, but it saved the town from the March 2011 tsunami.

Comment: Re:I wonder how the Gen Con people would feel (Score 1) 875

by Fire_Wraith (#49342371) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill
Did you even bother to look at the two games I linked?

Did you bother to read what I wrote?

Gen Con can absolutely set rules for what sort of content can be presented, or what constitutes appropriate attire for the convention, just like any other business can.

What they can't do is discriminate solely on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Have they done any of that? No? I didn't think so.

Comment: Re:Do It, it worked in AZ (Score 1) 875

by Fire_Wraith (#49342327) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill
"The law is in response to assholes making trouble and causing timid, straight-laced shop-owners to lose heaps of money. Instead of choosing another business to get their goods, the troublemakers insist on bringing grief to one shop."


Just what sort of situation do you think is going on here?

We're not talking about a gay couple coming in and wanting to have sex on the countertops.

We're talking about something like this:

Customer walks in, asks to order a cake for a wedding.
Shopkeeper asks relevant questions like what sort of flavor, decorations.
Customer responds, and mentions wanting two groom dolls or two bride dolls, or to have it made out to "Adam and Steve."
Shopkeeper refuses because it's for a gay wedding.

This isn't any different, or any less distasteful, if they were being refused because the Shopkeeper learned it was for an interracial wedding, or an interfaith wedding.

Religious Freedom should be about conducting your private life as you see fit. It should not be about forcing your beliefs onto others, nor about using those beliefs as an excuse to discriminate in otherwise public commerce, or to refuse to do the job you were hired to do (such as fill prescriptions).

Comment: Re:I wonder how the Gen Con people would feel (Score 2) 875

by Fire_Wraith (#49339499) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill
If I run a business, I can refuse to serve people based on their conduct in my establishment, or for failure to follow non-discriminatory rules.

For instance, I can specify that there will be no public sexual activity in my bakery, and I would likely be well within my rights to kick out anyone who breaks that rule, whether they're gay, straight, or "American Pie" reenactors.

I could likewise make a rule against trying to incite violence or hate, and I'd probably be in the clear to eject anyone that was doing so, since I'm banning conduct - and particularly conduct that is disruptive to my business and my other customers. I could probably be sued over it, depending on how I enforced it, but I'd have a reasonable leg to stand on in court.

So yes - I expect GenCon would be perfectly fine if you wanted to do something like come and play some games of Third Reich ( You might even be able to run a game about the Holocaust like Brenda Romero's "Train" ( ) so long as it's about illustrating/teaching a point, and not celebrating or making light of such a horrific subject.

But if you cross a line beyond which most people would say it's objectionable content - well, that's a different story. In that case, those groups would be banned not because of their race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, but because of what they're trying to do there. See the difference?

Comment: Re:Countries without nuclear weapons get invaded (Score 2) 228

by Fire_Wraith (#49339127) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament
More specifically it was American/British/Dutch, as China was already at war with Japan at the time, having been invaded in 1937. America was the organizing power though. Britain and the Dutch were embroiled in a war with Nazi Germany, and would have been hesitant to take such action without American guarantees/involvement. The idea, generally, was to force Japan to back down and end the war with China, and it followed on the heels of earlier action such as freezing Japanese assets in the US, and embargoing the sale of things like scrap metal to Japan.

It wasn't so much about their economy though, as the fact that Japan did not produce enough fuel and other POL products to run its military. Had they done nothing, they would have run out of fuel for their planes and ships, rubber for tires, etc. Not only would they be unable to continue their invasion of China, they would also be unable to fight back against the USA/Britain/etc should it come to war at a later point.

Essentially the Oil Embargo brought matters to a head, and forced Japan to choose between caving to the demands, or going to war, regardless of how bad the odds might be. Human nature, unfortunately, is to choose the latter - i.e. "not without a fight."

You're right though - it is an interesting question, of how far a nation can go in using economic means to influence or deter other nations, without resorting to warfare, or pushing another nation to outright warfare. The USA/etc _did_ push Japan into a corner in 1941, but that doesn't mean they weren't right to do so in the context. We should definitely have expected the eventual result, though.

Comment: Re:Countries without nuclear weapons get invaded (Score 2) 228

by Fire_Wraith (#49338981) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament
The USA is in the process of destroying old chemical weapons stockpiles, as are the Russians. Getting rid of the stuff isn't easy, or cheap. According to semi-unreliable sources (, the USA has gotten rid of approximately 90% of its stockpiles, while the Russians have gotten rid of 78%.

Comment: Re:Countries without nuclear weapons get invaded (Score 2, Insightful) 228

by Fire_Wraith (#49338945) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament
Assad made a decision to ditch his chemical weapons in order to avoid military intervention by the USA.

Not all "WMDs" are alike though. Nuclear weapons are weapons of state preservation in a way that Chemical weapons have never been. Chemical Weapons are nasty stuff, to be sure - but in terms of history, they've been more of a liability than an advantage. I can't think of any state that managed to stave off invasion because it had chemical weapons, and at least one was invaded in part because they were alleged to have chemical weapons.

If anything, the lesson will be that Chemical Weapons are a bigger liability than benefit, and that Nuclear Weapons development is a gamble - but if it pays off, you're set. Once you have the bomb, you're not going to get attacked, though getting there is a dangerous proposition.

Comment: Re:They have the freedom to leave it they want (Score 1) 875

by Fire_Wraith (#49338613) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill
Existing law already expects that a business owner or employee who sees evidence of criminal activity report that activity to the police. Failing to do so - such as developing pictures that are clearly criminal in nature (not that anyone really develops pictures anymore, but it's a good example) - makes one complicit in the crime.

But then, we're not talking about criminal activity here. We're talking about perfectly legal activity, and discrimination against people solely because they belong to a particular group.

Comment: Re:Leave then (Score 4, Insightful) 875

by Fire_Wraith (#49338553) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill
So, you think that people should be free to discriminate, for any reason? That it's okay so long as it's just private citizens, and not the government?

So by that line of thinking, it would be okay for there to be a town where:

-The local bus company won't serve ($category) people.
-The local taxi company won't serve ($category) people.
-The local restaurant won't seat/serve ($category) people.
-The local real estate agency won't sell homes to ($category) people.
-The local baker won't bake cakes/pies/etc for ($category) people.

Putting it in the context of "religion" doesn't make it any better. Nor does it make it any better regardless of whether ($category) is Black, Gay, Hispanic, Jewish, Muslim, or, yes, even Christian.

Here's an idea. Maybe, if your religion says you can't serve everyone else in society equally, then you shouldn't be choosing to work in a role where the rest of society expects you to treat everyone equally and fairly in public life? If I'm a religious conscientious objector who believes it's wrong to kill people under any circumstances, should I be able to voluntarily join the Army and then be exempt from anything to do with shooting anything or anyone? Of course not.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990