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Comment Re:End of open and honest? I'll disagree. (Score 1) 221

I'm pretty sure I can post open and honest comments while not being anonymous.

If you're white, middle-class, cisgendered, belong to a mainstream religion, have political views within the mainstream, and live in a cosmopolitan community, yes.

If you're a closeted gay atheist anarcho-communist in a small town in "flyover country", maybe not so much.

Comment Re:Will Any Effort Be Made To Validate The Report? (Score 1) 399

No - according to the CDC, 18.3% of women and 1.4% of men experience rape.


The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey -- source of the CDC numbers, according to your linked PDF -- doesn't include prisons. It also does not count the 4.8% of men who reported being "made to penetrate someone else" as rape victims; a definition of rape that's dependent on the topology of someone's genitals rather than issues of bodily agency is highly problematic.

If we include prison rape, evidence suggests that more men are raped than women, though we're dealing with numbers with large error bars.

(None of this is intended to downplay the seriousness of sexual assault.)

Comment Re:Tradition (Score 2) 284

If its not mandatory, its a survey.

So gather data via surveys.

Requiring residents to complete a census of their households is hardly onerous.

Disclosing private information to the state is onerous. Especially when that data may later be misused if a later government decides to change policy. (Japanese Americans who told the feds their details in the 1940s thought their data was protected by law. Then the feds changed the law. Haw haw.)

At no time has anyone ever faced a fine or spent time in jail for failing to complete the census. There is a penalty, because under law you cannot have an action declared mandatory without a statement of penalty for failing to comply.

So it's not actually mandatory. So people who don't want to complete it can trash it with no consequences. So it's a volunatry survey. You support the state lying? Saying "we'll put you in jail if you don't fill out this paperwork!" and then not doing it?

Your position seems self-contradictory. "We have to compel people to give us their data or else we won't have accurate data![*] But if we put people in jail for not giving us their data people will get upset and overturn that law. So we can't really compel people to give us their data. Se we can't get accurate data. And that's a return to rational, science and evidence based decision making." ([*] I don'r accept that, I'm trying to summarize what I read your position to be.)

Comment Re:Tradition (Score 1) 284

.., census takers are not babykillers

No, but they are assistants to concentration camp operators. That happened in the U.S. within living memory, it's not ancient history or something that can only happen in so-called "backwards" countries. It is established historical fact that census data can be used against people.

Comment Re:Open and (Score 2) 284

No, their plan actually calls for making evidence based policy instead of simply deciding what they want the facts to be.

Evidence would be good. Compelling people by threat of force to give evidence is not.

And it degrades the quality of the evidence. "I'm from the government. How often do you use illegal drugs? If you don't answer you're going to jail. If you say yes it goes on a permanent record that the next administration might use against you. Ah, you never use them? Thanks for the valuable sociological data, citizen.

There are ways to gather sociological data that don't involve threatening people. Give me an anonymous survey, maybe a cash incentive for filling it out.

Don't know Canada's laws but the U.S. census gets nothing from me but a number; the feds are constitutionally empowered to conduct an enumeration for purposes of allocating representatives, not to forcibly pry into my life to evaluate the effectiveness of their policies.

If you don't think this is important, ask a Japanese-American who was put in a concentration camp in the 1940s. Once the state has your data, it is not private; it can always change the rules.

Comment Re:Please, no. (Score 1) 438

Last night I saw a Maybelline commercial, advertising Star Wars-themed makeup. Note that this was aimed at adult women, not little girls or teenage girls. That by itself was the Writing On The Wall, telling the story of what's become of the entire Star Wars franchise: It's turned into some sort of a joke.

Meh. Is that any more ridiculous than the Burger King Star Wars glasses that were out in the 70s?

I agree that the ST reboot movies were bad (the first could just be taken as fun, but Into Darkness was awful) and I've got a bad feeling about Abrams and Lucas and Disney and taking a crap on the corpse of the original SW trilogy, but I'm not seeing that merchandizing deals tell us anything about the movie.

Comment Re:I'm majorly confused (Score 2) 291

Why should I care where the sun is, where the moon is, where the earth is, with respect to time?

Because the primary function of time since the dawn of civilization has been to allow human activity to synchronize with the position of the sun, from planting seasons to night watches.

If it's winter, I can start work at 9, I can start at 10, I can start an hour after sunrise.

If you never leave the server room, perhaps. Most human beings have lives that are affected by sunlight. At the very least commuting in light or dark matters. Construction, farming, and many other jobs are deeply affected by daylight conditions. And some of us actually just like to go and play in the big blue room while it's blue. (Try it sometime!)

Comment Re:Censoring speech... (Score 0) 585

It is hard to call what happened in Gaza anything but self defense

Indeed, Palestinian Arabs have been engaging in self-defense against Zionist invaders since the Balfour Declaration. It's good to see you realize this.

what Israel did in response was pretty tame,

Oh, I see. In your mind it's self-defense when the attacker uses overwhelming force to try to end the mild and ineffective resistance of the victim.

Comment Re:"The code comes out cleaner"? (Score 1) 497

Then one day I realized I hadn't used a VT100 terminal to write code in well over a decade

80 columns goes back much longer than the VT100, it's a punch card thing.

But longer lines needs a smaller font to fit on the screen, or take up real estate I could fill with another editor or terminal window. And I can just deal with 80 columns on my phone in landscape mode during an emergency SSH session into the server.

A densely-printed book gets about 70 characters to a line. 80 is about the right number to have in your visual field.

80 characters is the One True Line Length.

Comment Re:A whole year's subscription for one page (Score 1) 98

If we had overhead-free micropayments, there would be no issue. "This article costs $0.01. Buy? Y/N"

No, the issue is still there. The issue is that, a few niche cases aside, your content needs to be programmatically accessible to search engines in order to be useful on the web; you want to charge human users; but there isn't a way to distinguish the two, especially since search engines have zero (or negative) motivation to help you restrict content.

Comment Re:Highest Profit (Score 2) 712

There is a much bigger body of evidence that show most cops are the exact opposite of that statement.

No. There isn't. Anyone signing on to be a cop today is signing on to fight the War on Drugs and to enforce inherently immoral laws. It is inevitable that when you have that state poking its nose into people's private business, that the state's recruits will consist of the morally crippled and the frighteningly naive. Give those recruits a few years to marinate in a culture of conformity and silence, and you have the most dangerous street gangs in America today.

Comment Re:Highest Profit (Score 1) 712

There is a huge body of evidence that shows a hell of a lot of police abuse their powers and violate peoples constitutional and legal rights all the time


Here's one link for you: in 2006 -- almost a decade before the Baltimore Uprising this spring -- a grand jury in Baltimore found 21,721 meritless arrests of African-Americans over a one year period.

Comment Re:Highest Profit (Score 1) 712

How about a 2 hour course for high-schoolers in the inner cities called: How to behave around the police?

How about a course for police called "How to respect human rights"?

Add mandatory jail time for resisting arrest.

"Resisting arrest" is already a crime. Usually it's a bullshit charge. Let's start with mandatory jail time -- and vigorous prosecution -- for cops making illegitimate arrests or using excessive force, or for prosecutors who bring bullshit charges against citizens or let cops skate off free.

Resisting or not shutting up while getting arrested should include a smack of the baton.

You are an authoritarian asshole and I hope that some day you learn enough to be embarrassed by the views you now hold.

Comment Re:Highest Profit (Score 1) 712

Police on a call can do many things that civilians can not do.

Not legitimately, no. As soon as you get away from the core value that "the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence," you have an illegitimate use of police power. And one which violates the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection.

If I witness a serious crime, I have the right (and perhaps the moral duty) to use reasonable and necessary force to stop it, same as a cop. (This is not legal advice, consult your local laws, I am discussing here what a sane and just set of laws should look like.) I don't have the right to break into someone's house to look for evidence, or to arrest someone accused of a crime that happened somewhere else days ago -- but neither does a cop, that power comes from a specific warrant, not a badge.

Yes, I don't have the right to enforce traffic laws on the public roads, but the roads are government property and they get to hire whatever security they want for that. Traffic cops are to the roads as "mall cops" are to malls -- empowered by the management, nothing more.

Remember that this country is older than the idea of police as we know them today. We got by all right for quite a while without special rights for police.

MSDOS is not dead, it just smells that way. -- Henry Spencer