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Journal: A Thin Line Between Religion and Dementia? 1

Journal by Salty Moran

This woman threw three kids off of a peir into the San Francisco Bay because "god told her to", or so she claims:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/05/24/kids.tossed.ap/index.html

She also once claimed that God told her to jump out of a window and was previously diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic with delusional thought disorder.

My question is this: what separates a "true believer" from a mentally diseased individual? Who is to say that God DIDN'T tell her to kill her kids? As far as anybody who believes the Bible is concerned, it would hardly be the first time God demanded a parent murder his/her child(ren) or other family members.

Why is this woman "sick" while others who claim that God is a motivating force in their beliefs are simply stating their opinions?

When is that line crossed, and how could we ever know when we cross it?

User Journal

Journal: Abortion Topic: RU-486 Hearing 3

Journal by Salty Moran

I saw this Washington Post article this morning and had to kind of stop and think for a few minutes about what the complaint is.

To be honest, I'm still not sure. Maybe if somebody reads this, they can clarify what the concern is, because eight people dying from complications over the course of taking a drug that more than half a million people have taken doesn't seem like a major concern to me. I noted that there were other reports of complications, but even 1000 "adverse events", as the article puts it, doesn't seem that big a deal to me. Even that means that less than a quarter of a percent of users experienced an "adverse event", and only 1% of those "adverse events" was life-threatening even. To put some icing on that cake, the "adverse events" apparently were culled from multiple years of data.

Perhaps someone with a little more medical insight can explain what I'm missing? Is this tiny number really of significant medical concern? How does it compare to other common drugs on the market?

To be honest, I'm not sure what I think about abortion. I don't like the idea, but it's sometimes necessary, but it's not always used out of necessity.

I do think, at this moment, however, that this new "flap" about this pill sure appears, at least on the surface, to be a deceptive means of gaining traction on the anti-abortion issue. That doesn't play well to me and makes me seriously question what other deceptions may be undertaken to push that particular agenda on the issue?

So, what is it? Deception, or does this data actually compare poorly to other drugs as far as safety goes?

User Journal

Journal: Study in Rude: Welcome to the Internet

Journal by Salty Moran

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=185623&cid=15330538

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=185583&threshold=1&commentsort=0&mode=thread&cid=15320565

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=185607&threshold=1&commentsort=0&mode=thread&cid=15321229

This is my second foray into Slashdot. All my original comments were purged, that's how old my first account was.

At this point, I'm regretting bothering to come back. It used to be that you could come here and talk tech with people. Now, you can basically come here and get verbal abuse from a bunch of immature people trying to substitute abuse for actual knowledge.

It's unfortunate, but with the popularization of the Internet via the WWW, I suppose this is par for the course.

*sigh*

User Journal

Journal: ASPX Is a Four Letter Word

Journal by Salty Moran

And yet it makes food appear on my table.

I just keep telling myself that I program the databases more than I program the webpages, but I don't know if I believe that myself.

Whoever invented the bizarre manner in which Request.Form() handles checkbox values was a very bad human being.

Editorial

Journal: Walking on Wires, Tapping on Walls 2

Journal by Salty Moran

Ten years ago to this day, the major news story was the crash of ValuJet Flight 592 into the Florida Everglades. A tragic event which killed all 110 passengers and crew onboard, it was nothing compared to what we see today.

Today we learn that the already highly dubious NSA wiretapping program was more sinister and deeply rooted than we thought. Many dismissed the original objections on the grounds that all calls ended on one side or the other outside of the country. Others simply were apathetic. Some supported it as a political matter to shore up waning approval rating in the President and the dipping public trust in the republican party as a contrast to those who opposed it on the very same grounds, but from opposite motivation.

Today, however, we find that it was much more sinister. Anybody who is a customer of or has recently called a customer of any of the major telephone companies, save anybody who has somehow managed to call from and to only Qwest customers, is currently on file with the NSA. At this moment, you almost certainly have a record at a federal agency in the executive branch of government.

Many people are focusing on the fact that this is an obvious abuse of governmental power and fourth amendment rights, but the more dangerous lesson here comes when one combines this news story with the news story that broke alongside of it: the NSA has killed investigation into its practices by refusing to grant clearance to review its practices.

While the wiretapping and collection itself is alarming and dangerous, the most dangerous part of all this is that nobody is making any serious move to stop it. The NSA has flexed its muscles and, for the time being at least, declared itself untouchable. As an agency with the power to litterally enter into any home in the U.S. undetected, citizens of all political affiliations should be deeply and fundamentally frightened by this turn of events.

It is important that we stop focusing on the "Big Brother of 1984" aspect and recognize that comparisons to fiction necessarily diminish the gravity of the current situation. We need to stand up and flush the system in power to remove all of the detritus that has caked the walls of our system over the years. All the corruption that has come to be taken for granted, all the abuses that have been met with apathy, and all the influence that is peddled by dangerous minority groups with overbearing agendas.

It is about time people stopped blindly following politicians, whether because you "trust" that they won't abuse their power, or that you "trust" that they're actually trying to stop abuses. People are people, not political toys and segmentable machines. It's time we started acting more like people, and less like pawns in a chess match.

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal

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