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Comment: Re:This is wrong! (Score 1) 406

by kilfarsnar (#46823709) Attached to: Supreme Court OKs Stop and Search Based On Anonymous 911 Tips

Hmm, is there any proof of this smell? If not, it is equivalent to hearsay, wouldn't you say? And no, 2 policemen do not make 2 separate witnesses, especially for this case. You only have to point to lots and lots of historical lying by police to invalidate that argument on reasonable doubt grounds. But then again, "smell" by itself doesn't do much for them, they need something tangible. In this case, they found plenty.

AFAIK, the statements of law enforcement are treated as fact, unless they can be proven false. So if an officer says he smelled marijuana, he smelled marijuana unless you can prove he did not. I'm not a fan of that either, but it is the way it is.

Comment: Re:SCOTUS (Score 1) 307

So can we just all admit that we have no control over our government anymore

Why admit something that isn't true? Would I love to have more control over my government, the US government? Absolutely. Would I like to have a much smaller government which can be controlled easier? Absolutely. Would I like constitutional rule changes, like abandoning the first past the post, that undermine the current political oligopoly? Absolutely. That doesn't mean that no control currently exists, but rather what control does exist can be greatly improved.

At the national level, very little control exists. Unless you have money for lots of contributions and lobbyists, you won't get much traction. I find it interesting that you say we have some control, but still describe our current situation as a political oligopoly.

Comment: Re:SCOTUS (Score 4, Insightful) 307

Yeah, and if SCOTUS rules against it they can use their many SCOTUS investigators to make sure the administration is complying, and the legendary SCOTUS army to stop them if they're not.

So can we just all admit that we have no control over our government anymore, and that any idea that we live in a democracy or a republic is just a pleasant fantasy? If a Supreme Court ruling can be simply ignored by the other two branches, why are they there?

Comment: Re:re (Score 1) 285

by kilfarsnar (#46806951) Attached to: $42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

Question is why are these people starting a family that they cant afford and shifting the cost of having that family to us the tax payers? I am 35 years old, and I would have certainly loved to have started a family earlier (in my 20s) but had to wait until I had sufficient savings to a point where I can afford to provide my kids with opportunities that they will need in other to succeed. While I believe everyone should have a choice on how many kids they want to have or when to have them, I do not believe it is fair to tax strangers for your reproductive decisions.

This would hold up if people always made rational, well thought out decisions. But we all know that is not the case. Plenty of people on this site will tell you that free will doesn't exist; that we are all driven by reactions to the events around us that are colored by our genetics, predispositions and previous experiences. I don't think it's quite that simple, but the fact remains that we all have stressors and attitudes that shape or choices. We are not rational actors, and our actions cannot always be justified logically.

Comment: Re:Obamacare exists because... (Score 1) 285

by kilfarsnar (#46806217) Attached to: $42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

Also virtually nobody in the USA chooses between a $90 doctor's visit and feeding their family. The choice is usually between a $90 doctor's visit and a $90 cable or cell phone bill.

You need to get out of your socio-economic class more. You may not know these people, but 16% of the US population lives below the poverty line ($23,050 yearly income for a family of four). Those people may indeed have to choose between eating and a $90 doctor visit. It may not be a lot to you, but $90 is almost 5% of their monthly income. They are feeding, housing and transporting four people on less than $450 a week. An unexpected $90 expenditure reduces that to $360. That's a significant hit; one that requires forgoing other things.

Comment: Re:Rewarding the bullies... (Score 1) 797

How do you know what an ape thinks? I understand that a lot of my choices are not made consciously. That's why I used the word choice instead of free-will. However, I have the ability to bring some of those unconscious choices into consciousness. I have made the choice in the past to alter my perception of something in order to adjust my reaction to it. I have the ability to observe the outcomes of certain actions or attitudes and adjust my behavior to achieve a different outcome.

We have recognized that simply letting the strong have their way does not lead to a peaceful stable society. So we create laws against assault, fraud and theft. We hold ideals of equality for people in society and before the law. This was not always the case. We have made choices and changed how society works. Are we there yet? Have we created the precise society we want? Of course not. Many people still choose to use their power to dominate others. It's a process whose outcome is uncertain. But we have achieved much more than the apes. And that is due to our ability to create according to our choices.

Comment: Re:sickening (Score 2) 797

And a very strong reason why we won't be sending our child to public schools.

They are not places of learning. They are prison systems for children in which the biggest bully rules.

I would not be surprised if there were a strong correlation between the freedom of bullies and test scores. Why should anyone care about school when it's absolute torture going? How can they learn when it's all about emotional and sometimes physical torture?

Meh, I went to a white-bread private school and I still got bullied. In white-bread private school, your bully's father is a multi-millionaire who gives a lot of money to the school, above and beyond tuition. Ever deal with entitled, spoiled rich kid bullies? They're a lot of fun. And you can't get the school to do anything about it because they want daddy's money. Don't kid yourself. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes and socio-economic classes. Wealth and privilege only make it worse.

Comment: Re:Quite logical reaction (Score 1) 797

What did his mother expect from the school as a reaction? Siding with the victim of bullying? Seriously? Allow me to give you a brief rundown of how school deal with bullying.

What a school wants is "peace". They want pupils to shut up and not cause a problem. Especially not a disciplinary one. So how do they deal with bullying? Well, easy: Not at all. Because it is not a school's problem. The bully has his victim, is satisfied and will not cause any other problem towards the school, its property or its faculty. The victim is being pushed and punched.

Now when does the school run into a problem in this scenario? Right. When the victim does not want to play his role anymore. That is when the school runs into a problem. Because now they have to do something. Until that moment, there was no reason for a reaction. A pacified bully is no problem, and a victim that lets the bully kick him is none either. The very LAST thing the school wants is to be forced to take action against the bully. Because then not only does it draw attention to the bullying problem, it puts a very unhappy bully at their hands, someone who knows how to cause trouble if he wants to, who may or may not be even supported in his actions by his parents.

The school's reaction is a logical one: The victim upset the apple cart. He created a problem for the school. What the school wants is him to shut the fuck up again and swallow the punches.

Why does this explanation make me think of US foreign policy?

Comment: Re:Rewarding the bullies... (Score 1) 797

"...Picking on the weak is wrong, and you don't get to take advantage of a fellow human because you're physically or mentally able to do so."

You are kidding right? Survival of the fittest is the only rule in life. Just look around. People who were smart enough to "make" the most money or physically brutal enough to steal the most are your owners.

When someone has that kind of power by whatever means, and uses it to make your life miserable, you have to take them out when it is clear your "society" is not going to help you.

Even kids know this, and some of them actually attempt it.

The truth is that we are still apes with a haircut and shinier, smarter ways to kill each other.....same as it was when all had was a rock.

Survival of the fittest describes the ability to reproduce, not dominate those around you. Indeed, if it referred to the ability of an organism to dominate all around it, it would eventually run out of resources and die. Not very fit.

You are correct that might makes right. But we are different from the apes in that we have a choice. We can choose the kind of world we want to live in and work towards realizing it. Just because the powerful keep making the same selfish choices doesn't mean it has to be that way. We make it that way.

There is still a lot of pain, fear and ignorance to be worked through in the world. We are improving in that many of us recognize that the patterns of domination are not good for us. We at least recognize that it's not what we want. But we still go with selfish impulses, so clearly we have a way to go yet.

If bankers can count, how come they have eight windows and only four tellers?