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Comment History (Score 1) 311

Historically, in the USA the news was subsidized by the government to the tune of about 3% of the GDP (if I recall correctly, it was almost half of what we spend on Social Security today) and that wasn't cut off until Lincoln ( due to the civil war. )

The primary argument for public libraries and public schooling was that citizens of a democracy must be competent enough to operate it. Same goes for the press. All three are still not enough to maintain competent citizenry.

Today, Americans are almost totally incompetent and it is not because of their failure to maintain the system which sustains their democracy it is simply a sign of their incompetence. All democracies ALWAYS fail from within, it's a cycle of life - much like Ben Franklin stated when he ended the constitutional convention.

The relatively SHORT life of the USA is likely a result of it's great success. It wasn't earned success either, much of it was luck; perhaps if it was earned it would have been better prepared? (World Wars enriched the US greatly, post civil war corruption and lack of organized labor made it a better place at the time of the industrial revolution, vast territory for expansion and resource exploitation.)

Comment Wrong: NRA is a hyrbid (Score 1) 935

Unlike most issue groups, the NRA is 2-in-1 in that it is both a corporate lobbyist organization AND an citizen activist organization.

They have tons of money, corporate influence in addition to a huge membership of many gullible suckers.

People think the oil industry is powerful--- just imagine if they created a "Motorists of America" front group to get boots on the ground protesting industry positions under false characterizations like the NRA routinely does.

Comment On both occations the snark indicates ignorance (Score 1) 138

Just like Pelosi and every other time a politician said similar things, it's an indication of how most negotiated deals work. One doesn't need experience to understand this just a basic grasp of how things work in the real world.

In the case of Pelosi, anybody who passed US government 101 should grasp how much sense her statement actually makes. Same goes for "I was for it before I was against it" which also sounds bad out of context or with ignorance.

Analogy: Love the 1st movie but hate the movie trilogy.

Comment Parent is right + ADVANCED USERS OPT OUT (Score 1) 316

Mozilla is FOOLISH to decide things based on passive polling of their users WHO DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DECLINE THE USAGE MONITORING FEATURES. I know they have no idea how I use firefox because I turned it off.... Simply because nobody prints anymore does not mean removing the print feature completely is a wise move. I will not be surprised if they repeat this .

The main problem with tab groups was that they failed to make them GLOBAL and tied them down to the window only. No sync support or ability to put groups into windows etc. these are basic things that would make them more usable and easier to integrate the feature so users discover it. The feature was not complete - they refused to finish it and put in some more work before giving up on it. One should have been able to put all windows into tabs groups and get an overview of all the windows using the tab group view they had. Users could close windows and retain all the tabs in a group for that window-- restoring it later on. one could ask when closing and/or simply maintain a history section of the tab group view where old windows could be promoted from history to tab groups.

ADVANCED USERS decide and promote software - they keep screwing us over.

Comment Re:What is it about... (Score 1) 620

The "325,000" was referring to large amount of US code and possibly the poster was also thinking about the legal system being based around past court rulings. There are legal systems which do not place so much faith legal presidence. Such systems are much less foobar'ed due to activist judges.

The Supreme Court is BS. They do not decide truth or reality; within our flawed system they do have too much say-- but they are not the final word.... until a more corrupt Supreme Court makes up some BS to throw out an amendment and the citizens relinquish even more of their power to the bureaucracy, "the people" get the final word. They are old LAWYERS (they need not be lawyers...but we seem to think they must be.) Truth has nothing to do with the law; it's not science. If you want to pursue truth and reality you'd not put lawyers and politicians in charge of everything nearly all the time.

"The people"
When you read the constitution and the amendments, it's clear that it was a well thought out legal document-- written before jargon made law an exclusive realm of professional lawyers.
When they use "the people" they are talking about everybody as a group, not individuals. The 1st amendment just before that one was worded stronger; they clearly could have phrased it with similar strength had that been their intent. Guns are clearly not on the same level of speech (besides they use "arms" which includes nukes.) It is really beside Jefferson's point which the poster was making: we are wasting too much time splitting hairs over some phrasing that is vague enough to be taken too many directions (that said, the Supreme Court interpretation of it is BS just like Citizens United or Separate but Equal.)

The poster; like Jefferson, is making the point that the document is not holy writ. It should be altered more rather than playing crazy word games with what is a fairly clear for such a SHORT document-- revisions would help clarify as long as they were terse and didn't blow up into craziness like the US Code has. The whole point of judges and juries was to INTERPRET and APPLY human intelligence to specific situations rather than try to program all possible scenarios on paper. Past arguments can be relevant but one shouldn't be wasting too much mental energy trying to morph them into different situations when people can just THINK out the new problem. (not like we don't have contradicting legal decisions despite our belief in legal presidence.) More thinking is required and less dependence upon paper "thought".

2 centuries is nothing. there are older democracies and many older governments. A good document will "stand the test of time" but time also... "time changes all things" so if the document is so good, it would heavily influence future revisions. If the system is broken then the new versions would reflect the corruption; keep in mind that corruption will not be stopped by some static document (it takes ACTIVE humans constantly fighting corruption - you can't stand still or let down your guard.)

Comment Introducing technology creates more attack vectors (Score 1) 263

If you can not find volunteers to count ballots, then your democracy is already dead.

If you can not have a fair process for the voting system, then your democracy is dangerously dysfunctional, if not totally doomed.

If your voting system is like the USA, you are stuck in the past and need to become a modern civilization (see

If you can not reasonably predict outcomes from exit polls you are heavily propagandized to the point where mathematics, science, and education have too little influence.... your democracy is going to fail.

If you think Nate Silver is a genius for simply being competent in a corrupted profession then your part of the problem.

Comment It's nearly a "You have to be there" situation (Score 2) 396

Cult members have a difficult time leaving too and they usually have a way out.

Dogs can break free of their electric fence too... or when the fence is off they can do so easily... yet both situations work quite well at keeping the dog policing it self.

Modern Psychology is powerful enough to get many people to enslave themselves. It's not perfect, but it only needs to work well enough on enough people. Once caught up in such a situation, it has to be difficult to escape - and since it requires a deeper understanding to really grasp, outsiders will be clueless in their judgements of the victims.

Comment Democracy: Lessig (a lawyer) is in not error! (Score 1) 458

Most people, (especially Lawrence Lessig who is a lawyer) does NOT mean "direct democracy" every time the word democracy is used. It should be obvious to everybody who doesn't have a propaganda stick up their ass.

A REPUBLIC by definition (look it up) is where the ultimate power is held by the people, thru their representatives; the implementation is not really specified. The creation of the word itself even gives you the meaning!

People who are paying attention should have known for some time that the public does not have the power anymore.


They can smash stuff legally already; however, a flying drone is something they are not equipped to smash out of their way, unlike your car parked in front of a fire hydrant... (I've seen a firetruck smash a car that was in the way.)

The law is not needed, what is needed is a way to take out drones quickly. They may not have the right to operate the kind of guns needed to shoot down drones.... plus the falling drone is a new kind of problem -- it is not like cutting holes into burning houses or ripping apart a car.

I would propose a gun which shoots a net on a rope. the net should have some loose strings on it just in case it's one of those drones which have a lot of protection around their propellers. The other benefit is that if you can "bag" a few drones instead of letting them fall, you might be able to track down the owner later on.

Comment Re:In the USA... (Score 1) 188

Remember RoundUp and how EVIL it was. It's not relevant that some aspect of it is not as bad today; the damage was done and is still being done as well as new ways to repeat the same process with new chemicals and plants.

I didn't get into how they work to undermine science when it goes against them. People thought tobacco was bad with it's industry holding progress back for decades; Monsanto is more capable today than big tobacco ever was.

Comment In the USA... (Score 1) 188

Monsanto would have spent the money and had it blocked from market because it does not use any pesticides. (remember their successful round up ready approach lets them charge for GM seeds AND for the pesticides for the genetic disease they unleashed. Oh yes, it's a genetic disease, they didn't make the plant sterile for the same reason they someday will likely create pathogens where only they have the cure. )

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