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Comment: Re:Best buy (Score 1) 187

by dfenstrate (#49364347) Attached to: Best Buy Kills Off Future Shop

Actually no.

I just hate it when U.S. companies have to barge into Canada and throw perfectly good brands in the Recycle Bin like that. Our country is too Americanized. But I too am shocked that they allowed this redundancy to last so long, plus how abrupt it was.

Thank you for perpetuating the old joke that the Canadian national identity is based on Maple Syrup, Hockey, and 'not being America.'

Comment: What, no link to a hoax news site in there? (Score 1) 728

by dfenstrate (#49349907) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

A couple of days ago, a Christian musician family in Phoneix (I think) went obviously nuts and engaged in a massive firefight with police in a big box parking lot they were camping in. Their entire repetoir was about Jesus coming and the End Times - and I'm guessing, since they were all armed, they were the US Government-Obama-is-Satan cultists that are extremely pervasive in the Confederacy (the West is just the suburbs of the Confederacy, has been since the end of the civil war). We have a gigantic armed cult of doomsdayer Dominionists dispersed throughout the country, and the FBI taskforce that monitored it was taken down at the insistence of Congressional confederate Republicans. Our loonies wear ties and Glocks and praise Jesus and fear the negro President. Not even a little bit hyperbolic.

'5, Interesting' is a high score for bullshit.
I know you leftists hope and pray that every new mass murder is a right-wing terrorist attack. You must be constantly disappointed that nut jobs with leftist sympathies and Islamists are doing the actual killing.

Comment: Would I blow that much anyway? (Score 1) 480

by dfenstrate (#49034663) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket

I'm one whose behavoir aligns pretty well with the article. I start playing the lotto when the jackpot gets north of $150 million. Statistically and historically it's wasted money, but I can blow $10 here or there without much consequence. If I saved and invested all the money I wasted on powerball, I'd have maybe $1,000-2,000- not a life changing amount of money for me.

As I type this, a thought occurs to me- maybe I should double my lotto expenditures- every time I buy lotto tickets I deposit the same amount of money into a mutual fund of some sort- see where I'm at in another 10 years.

Anyway, the interesting thing about lotto economics is not middle class and higher people who use modest discretionary funds for a shot at the big jackpot. It's that lotto sales are highest in the lowest income communities- people with less money to waste, for whom $10 is a more significant part of their paycheck. The lotteries are funded largely by people with the least money to spare.
Now it's likely that in the absence of state driven gambling, illegal gambling would arise (or grow bigger), possibly with even worse consequences for the least well off among us. That's a significant factor in the moral case for or against state-sanctioned lotteries. There are some states without lottos- Hawaii, Alaska, Utah, Mississippi and Alabama- so there ought to be some information about this factor. A quick google search yields some leads, which I do not currently have the time to digest.

Comment: Re:Yay Canada! (Score 1) 231

by dfenstrate (#49018009) Attached to: Canadian Supreme Court Rules Ban On Assisted Suicide Unconstitutional

Your case doesn't sound like she kept her personal dog alive longer than the authorities thought proper. Negligence to the point of irrecoverable injury (as determined by 'professionals' who would have to put in the work to nurse the dogs back to health) isn't the same thing as caring for a dog when other folks think it best to put it down.
That's where this 'voluntary assisted suicide' thing goes, by the way. To the murder of the inconvenient.

Comment: Re:Yay Canada! (Score 1) 231

by dfenstrate (#49015007) Attached to: Canadian Supreme Court Rules Ban On Assisted Suicide Unconstitutional

It's got to be better than forcing people to continue to live an unbearable life. If you were to do that to a dog, you'd be charged with cruelty

Really? Where?
Anyway, Holland is having a grand old experiment with assisted suicide. There's a great deal of debate on the matter over there, some of it worth reading. You can start this little experiment in Canada with the grandest of intentions- and then find yourself in a spot where doctors kill off the elderly and invalids to free up hospital beds.

Comment: Re:Oh, some rich are a huge part of the problem (Score 1) 297

by dfenstrate (#48989393) Attached to: Mississippi - the Nation's Leader In Vaccination Rates

Maybe they just have information about immunizations that you do not have.. doctors that tell them that immunizations are unsafe that you do not see because you are sent to a nurse at best, but most likely a social worker with no medical education... she knows best what is good for you

If that were true you would be able to cite doctors & studies supporting your position. But you can't, so you didn't.

Comment: Oh, some rich are a huge part of the problem (Score 5, Insightful) 297

by dfenstrate (#48988525) Attached to: Mississippi - the Nation's Leader In Vaccination Rates

If somebody isn't immunized, then even the rich people who are insured are at risk in the event that their infants are too young to be vaccinated, or couldn't be vaccinated because of medical complications.

The self-indulgent rich are actually a huge part of the vaccination problem. Check out where some of the latest outbreaks have been- Hollywood, Disney world, etc- not places for people with no money.

A journalist named Seth Mnookin wrote a book, "The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science and Fear", and was Interviewed recently:

anecdotally and from the overall data that's been collected it seems to be people who are very actively involved in every possible decision regarding their children's lives. I think it relates to a desire to take uncertainty out of the equation. And autism represents such an unknown. We still don't know what causes it and we still don't have good answers for how to treat it. So I think that fear really resonates.

Also I think there's a fair amount of entitlement. Not vaccinating your child is basically saying I deserve to rely on the herd immunity that exists in a population. At the most basic level it's saying I believe vaccines are potentially harmful, and I want other people to vaccinate so I don't have to. And for people to hide under this and say, "Oh, it's just a personal decision," it's being dishonest. It's a personal decision in the way drunk driving is a personal decision. It has the potential to affect everyone around you.


I talked to a public health official and asked him what's the best way to anticipate where there might be higher than normal rates of vaccine noncompliance, and he said take a map and put a pin wherever there's a Whole Foods. I sort of laughed, and he said, "No, really, I'm not joking." It's those communities with the Prius driving, composting, organic food-eating people.

There's also a great comment attached, by a poster named 'Tom Billings (qualifications unknown)', that gets into the causes of autism: Genetic

Actually, it's simpler than that. It's just very unpopular, because it says things about humans we don't like to hear. You don't need government subsidizing something for it to increase. That is only one cause of some increases in some things.

The genes associated with autism are mostly SNPs and single folds. Single nucleotide polymorphisms and single folds are single mutation events. You would expect those to be just as common throughout history as a result. So, why don't we see in the past the same rates of autism we see today? It's brutally simple. The children born with such genetic differences mostly didn't survive to reproductive age. They were murdered.

His comment goes on and it's worth a read.

Comment: It's all about the shoes. (Score 4, Informative) 200

by dfenstrate (#48983117) Attached to: Too Much Exercise May Not Be Better Than a Sedentary Lifestyle

The doctors told him that pretty much anyone who jogged that much has to get new knees.

Running is a complex biomechanical activity. Most people I see running are not running with biomechanically-correct form. This probably stems from lack of knowledge of how to run correctly, lack of core strength to run correctly, shoes that do not fit their physiology and personal running form, etc., etc.

Since most people run with poor form, it's not a surprise that most people that jog require knee replacements.

Running, when done correctly, produces minimal stress on knee joints, even at 10+ mph.

Modern padded running shoes promote bad form, causing knee and other injuries, and prevent your feet from strengthening, causing planar fascitis and a few other maladies. Your foot is actually well constructed to run, but it can't do it's job wrapped in a ton of leather and foam.

I've had some success with minimalist running shoes (abrasion protection only, no padding, sole is about 1/8" thick)- it's important to enable your feet to strengthen. After a few weeks of walking around in thin shoes, I started running again and it felt like I had new feet- it was awesome.
Wearing thin shoes forces you to land on your forefoot, allowing your very complicated foot to absorb shock like it's supposed to. Wearing thick-soled shoes allows you to land on your heel, and that force is transmitted straight up to your knee. The padding prevents immediate pain but the shock goes through nonetheless.

There's a great book on running, called "Born to Run", that discusses this and many other aspects of running. I highly recommend the book.

Comment: Risking death? That death can be delivered quickly (Score 1) 577

What is deciding is if they really want a change to risk death. And if enough people want that, change will happen and governments will be overthrown by the population. Or serious change will be received (mixed schools and what not in the US) even without the population having guns.

You neglect, in your theory, the morality of the ruling party that the death-risking civilian is up against. I hold that Gandhi could peacefully & effectively protest British rule in ways that would have gotten him killed in many other parts of the world.

Communists, Nazis, Islamists, numerous other nasty ruling clans throughout history- are all perfectly willing to slaughter people who speak up in opposition to their rule. The young would-be gandhi never gets a chance to get noticed and gain a following because he's killed at the first sign of trouble.

In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences. -- R.G. Ingersoll