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Comment Who owns your car? (Score 4, Interesting) 232

Who owns your car? Who does it serve? Who does it obey?

We lost the war for our pocket and portable computers (cell phones and tablet). We lost the war for our TVs, movie players, DVRs, etc. We lost the war for the computers that are already in our cars.

Most disturbing, we are in the process of losing the war for our desktop computers, the very heart of general purpose computing as an individual right.

If we want to own our cars, we need to stop losing control of our computers, pronto.

Comment Re:A Constitutional Rat's Nest (Score 4, Insightful) 682

In 1789 "press" meant a movable type device that printed a single sheet, at most a few times a minute. I wonder, how far from that can you go and still claim the 1st amendment applies?

A typewriter?
An electronic fax machine?
A computer? A cell phone? A global inter-network?

So there are limits to protected "presses", ill defined as they are. But If we finally had to update the 1st amendment due to rising tech, things could get interesting.

If the 1st Amendment is a civil right, what purpose do presses serve the citizen? If self expression, and since there are many more ways to express one's thoughts and feelings today than in 1789, should we amend the 1st to emphasize the goal of self expression rather than allow it to advocate presses as a means to an end that's ill served by the tech advance of ever broader expression systems - telephone and internet?

Given the huge difference between an 18th century press and modern communications, and the indifference of regulators to respond to that difference, it seems likely that the escalation of presses protected by the 1st amendment is going to cross a line, and soon.

Comment Re:Eating is Dopamine (Score 1) 380

Nothing says "I have a valid opinion worth listening to!" quite like lumping cholesterol in with "harmful substances".

Just kidding. Cholesterol is the very foundation that all animal life is built on. It is the chemical that allows us to be complex multicellular organisms that aren't made of plant cells.

You may also have missed some other recent memos. Arterial plaque appears to be caused by inflammation, and cholesterol accumulation in the damaged areas appears to be part of your body's repair efforts.

Comment Re:Obesity still is an imbalance regardless (Score 3, Insightful) 380

You have cause and effect reversed. You are going to eat more if you are gaining weight. We understand this relationship correctly when children are growing, when women are pregnant, and when we breed some cattle to be thin and produce milk while others are bred to be heavy so we can harvest more meat off of them.

In evolutionary terms, we eat when we are hungry. We certainly are not the offspring of organisms that failed to observe this simple rule. Those organisms are dead, and if they had any offspring, the offspring are dead too.

And don't forget that people tend to gain or lose weight after poop transplants, tending usually towards the donor's BMI.

There is more, if you care to go do some research. Science is poking holes in the "fat people are lazy and/or stupid" myth almost daily now.

Comment Re:we should copy europe (Score 1) 277

It isn't a lie, it is a definition.

The real problem with training requirements is that we've seen how it works out in practice. We know from long and painful experience that it is far easier to defend the line before the first toe crosses than to try to shove the whole creeping body back.

I encourage people to get at least basic training before they buy their first gun, and to get real training (far in excess of the mandatory minimum here) before they think about carrying it on them. But any call to make those legal requirements will always be met with same full political opposition as any other gun grabbing scheme.

Read your own post again. You step quickly and easily from "we're not even talking about 'outlawing' guns." to "it will take awhile to drain the swamp of easy guns". I think it is pretty clear that your goal with the call for training is to "drain the swamp" of people that take the 2nd amendment personally, making them a political minority, and thus easier to stomp on later.

Perhaps that isn't a calculated move on your part. It is entirely possible that you are merely a useful idiot. (That is a technical term, by the way, and not a personal insult. Google it.)

Lately the supreme court has been on a tear, with ruling after ruling indicating that the 2nd really means what it obviously and clearly says it means. Do you see Chicago, NYC and Washington, D.C. meekly submitting? Hell no. Now it is technically legal to get licensed in those cities, but the process is as onerous as possible in an attempt to circumvent the rulings. You are calling for the rest of the nation to get closer to our murder capitals, while the supreme court is calling for them to get more like the rest of the nation.

And this is why the NRA is a political organization. They can't accomplish any of their other goals if they lose the political fight.

Oh, and the notion of draining the swamp of guns is a bit silly. 3D printers, desktop mills, hobby lathes, etc are rapidly making it much easier to build your own guns at home. That genie seems unlikely to go back into the bottle any time soon.

Comment Re:It is what it is (Score 1) 332

Double False. Japan was trying very hard to avoid having to surrender.


With regards to unconditional surrender (I have been informed of your 18 July message*), we are unable to consent to it under any circumstances whatsoever. Even if the war drags on and it becomes clear it will take much more bloodshed, the entire country as one man will pit itself against the enemy in accordance with the Imperial Will so long as the enemy demands unconditional surrender...

Togo concluded by saying that he had read a long message of 20 July from Sato, but that the decision he was communicating had been made by the Cabinet and that Sato should proceed accordingly.

Comment Re:It is what it is (Score 1, Troll) 332

There weren't 80,000 civilians in either of those cities. I'll quote, and then link to, an extensively documented discussion on the topic:

To start with, the lions share of the population (basically everyone between roughly fifteen and forty-five) were conscripted. Furthermore, even those not falling under this classification were trained to attack soldiers with anything they can get their hands on. Even small children were taught to strap bombs on themselves and roll under tanks. This is why I insisted at the outset on the distinction between "combatants" and "non-combatants" and thus be properly viewed as unlawful combatants and not "civilians" in the proper sense of the latter term.


Comment Re:Cool (Score 0) 363

Just in case this was a serious question, I'll answer it.

Generally, the sale of body parts is prohibited to reduce the incentive to create more of them. It is pretty much the same logic that bans child pornography, without exceptions.

Most of the people commenting on the internet are either strongly opposed to abortion, or are strongly in favor and are somewhat unlikely to shift from that position. These videos are shifting just about everyone else to the right, which is why there is an all-out assault on the videos. Switch to -1 and see which opinions are being suppressed here, and which are being promoted. Turn on the TV news and see the talking heads claim that multi-hour videos with no cuts have been edited or faked.

A lot of people that nominally support abortion and nominally support using the corpses for research still find it ghastly that doctors are crushing the heads of tiny humans specifically to harvest human organs. It appears that a lot of the support in the middle was predicated on sterile, humane abortions being the norm. But the truth is leaking out now, and the nation has to decide if we really want "In Moloch We Trust" on our coins.

P.S. Virtually all abortion advocates in certain age ranges used to call Vietnam vets "baby killers". The internet is busy digging up as much of that old footage as can be found, as we speak.

Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature. -- Rich Kulawiec