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Comment: Re:hahahaha those laws are nuts. (Score 1) 2

by PopeRatzo (#47530385) Attached to: and who taught them everything they know?

2. Abodah Zara 26b is taken seriously out of context. What the original says is "but minim [idolatrous priests, whether Jewish or gentile], informers, and apostates [specifically Jewish] may be cast in [a pit], and need not be brought up." This says nothing about killing, and much less about killing gentiles. If it says anything about killing, Jews are included. The discussion, however, is whether a gentile may circumcise a Jew. The argument about who may be thrown into a put, pulled out but not thrown in, etc., concludes by saying that the pit should be covered so that nobody goes in.

I'm glad you cleared that up. But is the pit covered before or after the minim is thrown in? And are we talking a deep pit or a little indentation in the ground? You would think a book of law would be more specific on these matters.

Comment: Re:Bugs... (Score 1) 176

by PopeRatzo (#47526705) Attached to: "Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

Can you call them "bugs" when they were specific design specifications?

The F-35 is a $300billion dollar abomination. Earlier today, there was a story about a $300million dollar IT mess in federal government and there were howls of outrage.

This useless plane is 1000 times more expensive and unlike the IT mess, the plane's "bugs" are there by design.

Comment: Re:How things become property (Score 1) 6

by PopeRatzo (#47525331) Attached to: Property is Moral Opposite of Liberty

What exactly is "free for the taking"? Water? How much may I have? All of it? Half? Or only as much as I need? Do I get more if I want to take a bath, or bathe my dog, or add chemicals and pump it into the earth at high pressure to extract oil?

There's a problem with seeing anything as "free for the taking". There's always a cost. Always a value. To me, to you, to everyone.

Best to ask your neighbors, "Hey, there's water running under my land, you wanna see if we can put in a well and use it? If we pitch in, we can all use the water. That's more useful than putting up a fence, sucking up all the water and then selling it for $1/gallon. Because eventually, your neighbors will cut your throat unless you can hire some of them to protect you from the others, and that will eat into your profits.

Ain't nothing free for the taking. Think of it as free for the sharing. Even, to some extent, yourself. Do you really "own" yourself?

Former CIA spy and writer Robert David Steele talks about a very interesting concept: "true cost accounting". It means that you have to figure in externalities when you derive price. When you go down that road, capitalism starts to look very different. It's like seeing it for the first time. I recommend his books, especially "Open Source Everything". Not so much because I agree with everything he says, but because he forces you to see things differently.

Comment: Re:a question.... (Score 1) 63

by Rei (#47516505) Attached to: Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

That's not what everything I've read about the disaster has said. The mountain has gone through cycles - whenever it collapses, the river gets moved away, and the slides stop for a time, but eventually it wears away the footings enough that it falls again. They'd even tried to prevent landslides there by manually shoring up the base back in the 1960s, but it just flowed over their reinforcements.

The waterlogging of the soil is also a necessary factor too, mind you - not saying otherwise. :)

Comment: Re:a question.... (Score 1) 63

by Rei (#47516433) Attached to: Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

I had paperbark birch seeds, which are also pretty water tolerant (though not as much as river birch), but none sprouted - ironically I think the seeds were too wet when I stratified them (same with my maples). Isn't river birch (B. nigra) a warm-weather birch species? I've got some cuttings of random local birches from a neighbor but I have no clue whether any of them are water tolerant enough to take swampy ground. Also birches don't usually get that tall so I don't know how expansive of a root system they'll put down. The abundant local species B. nana (dwarf birch) grows (nay, volunteers) readily here almost anywhere that sheep don't graze, but it's just a shrub, I doubt it'd do the trick (though it's probably better than just grass). It can take wet soil, although not totally swampy conditions.

For the wetter areas I also have about a dozen or so western redcedar seedlings - they're not as swamp-tolerant as dawn redwood and western recedar, but they're still reportedly quite tolerant of wet or even waterlogged soils, and they should be more cold/wind hardy than those two (wind is actually the big issue, it doesn't really get that cold here). I've also got a number of other pacific northwest trees with varying degrees of standing water tolerance. Oh, and a species or two of tasmanian mountain eucalyptus (don't remember which ones) that tolerate fairly swampy ground and should at least stand a fighting chance against our winds.

Basically, I'm just going to plant a ton of stuff and see what survives. ;)

One plus is that where the ground is persistently wet and at landslide risk, it is slowly flowing water, it's not standing. It's constantly replaced by fresh, cold ground-filtered water, so there's probably not as much risk of root rot as might be common otherwise. But there's still the oxygen issue. That and the damned sheep, but I'm working to fix that issue once and for all...

Comment: Re:a question.... (Score 1) 63

by Rei (#47514829) Attached to: Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

To be fair, if you look at the scale of that thing, what fell is far deeper than tree roots are going to go.

There was a landslide on my land a few years ago... actually just 50-100 meters from where I'm getting ready to build my house (but the terrain is different, that's a groundwater-infiltrated glacial till-underlain marsh while my house site is basalt bedrock). It's weird looking at pictures of this giant slide, how much it looks like a 20x bigger version of my little one, from the smooth, rimmed conchoidal scarp to the river-damming piles of debris at the bottom. In my case, there were no trees, but there was grass. The grass managed to hold it for a while... but not forever. The roots just don't run deep enough. In my case, the solution (in progress) is surely just to plant water-tolerant trees (here's to hoping that dawn redwood and swamp cypress can survive in Iceland...). But what sort of trees could anchor such a massive slope as the Oso one? I know a lot of desert trees like mesquite can have super-deep root systems, but they wouldn't grow in Washington.

Comment: Re:Pft (Score 0) 914

by Rei (#47513945) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

You do realize how commonly men are beaten and murdered, don't you?

Eat your red herrings on your own time. And the next time you pick a red herring in a discussion about rape, you might want to pick one that doesn't also apply virtually equally to women.

Carrying a knife will even things out quite nicely, though. Clawing out eyes works pretty good, too.

Great, so let me see if I've got you right. I'm supposed to walk around armed at all times (illegal here), and try to claw out the eyes of someone who's strong enough to pick me up and carry me up a hill as if it's nothing and could almost certainly easily beat me to a pulp, and if I don't, then it's my fault and its not really rape? Is this what you'd consider a just society, just laws and just standards? Where through no fault of her own a woman can be given the choice between "be f***ed by some guy you don't want to" or "get most likely beaten to a pulp and then f***ed by him", and if she chooses the former, even if she says no over a hundred times and tries repeatedly to walk away, then there's no crime?

Comment: Re:Pft (Score 1) 914

by Rei (#47513921) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

I found the cited article (always with the indirect sources...) ("No Penis, No Problem"), but I'm having trouble tracking down some of their data for further analysis.

For example, I found the CIUS data on rates of arrest for various sex crimes, and the numbers match, but they don't define non-rape "sex offenses except forceable rape and prostitution" anywhere that I can locate. Given that indecent exposure, for example, is usually classified as a sex offense excluding forcible rape and prostitution, that kind of matters.

I tried to track down that "large survey of college-age women" (cite 111), but the citation is just to a book which isn't available online (at least not the relevant part). I cross-checked the author's name and the claimed data and found no peer-reviewed publications about it.

The cite for 112 is the same as for 111.

The cite for 116 is interesting because most of the results I find when I search for it are criticizing the authors for using bad methodology to support a "satanism scare", that nursery school teachers are ritually sexually molesting children for satanic purposes. It was only focusing on cases supposedly connected to satanism, and was alleging that there's a widespread problem with women running day care centers hold satanic parties with the whole staff taking part in mass sex abuse. Needless to say, this was another book, not a peer-reviewed paper.

The cite for 117 is the same as for 111.

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