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Comment: Re:Misaaplication of the law (Score 1) 790

The judge lauded the school's behavior and expressed her complete confidence in the school first, then she allowed the defendant (victim) to present his defense. But still, she's a judge so I'm sure she knows what she's doing and she can't possibly be biased in any way. After all, if in her unbiased opinion, the school has never done wrong before, I can't see why she would even need to ever hear evidence to the contrary.

Comment: Re:Oh why not? (Score 1) 313

by mvdwege (#46724043) Attached to: Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

She was an integral part in shaping the disastrous foreign policy that led up to the war. In an interview before the inauguration (maybe even before the election itself) on CNN she was telling the interviewer that when in power she and the rest of the team would make an end to the 'Clinton multilateralism'.

In other words, she was pushing for the disastrous 'our way or the highway' policies of the Bush Administration since before she even got to the State Department.

Comment: Used to be with it, but they changed what "it" is (Score 2) 371

by Cajun Hell (#46695497) Attached to: Smart Car Tipping Trending In San Francisco

the new crime

Vandalism and pranks are not new. And this particular form (tipping/inverting/moving_to_weird_places any unusually small/light car) is something I've heard of going back to at least as early as the 1960s. Your grandparents were doing this when they were kids (assuming your grandparents were assholes).

Next on slashdot: someone spraypaints the screen on someone else's phone! It's all part of the new Anti-Tech Movement!! You are totally a square and working for The Man and thinking-inside-the-box and not-cool, if you aren't doing this yet. You probably don't even have an onion on your belt, lamer. Get with it, man!

Comment: The price is still too high (Score 1) 518

by Cajun Hell (#46639565) Attached to: Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory

100% of people eventually die. If every person's death costs society $6M (on average) then society is doomed to bankruptcy unless people generate at least that much GBP per capita per lifetime. Wikipedia shows average income as about $32k per year so everyone needs to work for about 187 years before the die. And that's to break even.

They don't work that long.

If we say everyone should have to work about 50 years, then society breaks when a life is worth about $1.6M. Keep in mind, breaking even means utter desolate poverty; each person generated enough wealth and pays 100% income tax, to reimburse society for their later costly death. At that break-even point, no person can afford to eat a single meal in their life time, no person ever lives under a roof, etc. We probably want to do more than break even (life should be worth living), so even $1.6M is probably an extreme overestimate of the cost of death.

Of course, this is all based upon certain assumptions. ;-)

Comment: Re:Peering and Bandwidth Symmetry (Score 2) 182

by Cajun Hell (#46546881) Attached to: Level 3 Wants To Make Peering a Net Neutrality Issue

Since the beginning of peering, the rules have always been that if you have roughly the same amount of traffic inbound and outbound, peering has no charge. If one direction generates more traffic than the other, the source pays for the asymmetry.

And to think: I have been paying my ASDL provider, when I should have been charging them.

Comment: Re:Ridiculous. (Score 1) 914

Here in the UK, there's a whole bunch of sentences that don't involve time in prison. People can be fined or made to work so many hours in community service or prevented from being in certain areas etc.

Those are all examples of something that you would never tolerate being done anyone, unless it were a criminal sentence. Instead of referring to them as fines or compelled service, you would call them theft and involuntary servitude. Being part of a punishment changes everything, and makes the intolerable become tolerable (or even downright desirable and a good idea). If I pointed a gun at your face and said "pick up that trash" or "teach these kids to read" then I think we would later find ourselves in court, where the whole topic of conversation would be my criminal actions rather than the relatively benign actions that I wanted to force you to perform.

Who are you to tell me (hypothetical drunk driver) I'm not allowed to visit pubs? Who are you, to stand in my way and forcefully prevent me (hypothetical pedophile) from enjoying a nice sit on a bench in the playground, where I can admire and chat up the delightfully fresh, juicy children? Oh, you're the government, enforcing my criminal sentence, that's who. Good thing, because if anyone else tried to interfere with my life in such a manner, that person would be in big trouble.

It seems absurd to think of preventing convicted pedophiles from hanging out in playgrounds as "torture" but if a non-government entity followed you around and consistently harassed you (a person not convicted, or even suspected to be, a bad guy) are you sure you might not use "torture" to describe it?

Also, what about government's role in building infrastructure such as roads, airports etc?

If I pointed a gun at your face and demanded 500 quid because I want to hire some guys to build a road, then we'd be back in court again, with you at the witness and me as the accused. Building roads and airports is technically fairly easy (you don't need a government for that) and anyone could theoretically do it ("Tonight on Gardener's World: Monty Don shows you how to build a path around your rose garden."). The hard part is getting the resources (laborer's time, materials, the land itself). We have agreed to allow a special entity go around to force everyone cough up their share of the expense. It's not a crime when that entity does it. It is a crime if anyone else does it. If there weren't so many expenses involved in building infrastructure, we wouldn't have the government do it, because we wouldn't need to. ("Tonight on Love Your Airport: Alan Titchmarsh shows an elderly widow how to construct an eight thousand foot long reinforced-concrete runway.")

It's a dirty job, but we all come out ahead if we get together and agree to make a special entity exempt from the usual prohibitions against doing it.

Comment: Re:How could you do it? (Score 1) 276

by mvdwege (#46537325) Attached to: Interviews: Ask J. Michael Straczynski What You Will

Just like he blamed 'One More Day' on Joe Quesada?

My question to JMS would be: how do you always get away when you produce crap and manage to make others take the fall?

Note to the JMS fanbois: yes, he does produce good stuff, but he slipped up plenty of times, and for some reason noone holds it against him but always blames Executive Meddling

Comment: Re:Ridiculous. (Score 1) 914

we cannot, as a society, debase ourselves by resorting to torture of the mind, body, or soul.

What else is there? Have you ever heard of any sentences in any societies, that didn't involve that stuff in some form?

All sentences are intended to do normally-intolerable things to a convict, where whatever you do to them, would literally be a crime if it weren't part of a sentence. The whole point of government is to create a highly-regulated monopoly on those dirty things that "nobody should ever do yet somebody's gotta do it."

IMHO any activity that isn't usually considered evil, is not a job for government. If you ever find out your government is doing something not repugnant, then you should revoke your government's power to do that thing. Everything they do should make us think "ugh, that's horrible" followed by "except I guess it'd be even worse if they didn't do that."

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow