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Comment: Re:The ebola plan you propose would not work. (Score 1) 326

by mark_reh (#48195427) Attached to: 3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

You don't understand. While ebola might be a poor weapon compared to something like smallpox in terms of its ability to kill large numbers of people, it is readily available (just a plane ride or two away) and produces HUGE amounts of fear. Fear is the goal of terrorism, and fear is what is expensive. All those people blowing themselves up don't usually manage to kill more than a few others in their immediate vicinity but that's OK because killing a lot of people isn't necessary to instill fear. People never know when someone is going to try to do it near them, so they stay away from markets, cafes, etc. that are easy targets. Airlines can't sell tickets when people are afraid they'll catch ebola on a flight. If people aren't traveling, all the associated businesses suffer. Everything shuts down.

Remember 911? What did the response cost? Trillions of dollars wasted on pointless wars, lost business, creation and operation of the TSA, universal government surveillance of US citizens, etc. And what did it cost the terrorists? A few hundred thousand to have a few guys trained to fly jets.

The day a news story breaks about government agents arresting a terror suspect at a border and finding that they recently traveled to west Africa is the day everything stops working for months.

Comment: Re:good (Score 2) 326

by mark_reh (#48193711) Attached to: 3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

Disaster? With a single shot plastic toy that is liable to blow up on you when you pull the trigger? Do you watch the news? Have you seen the ridiculous measures being taken at crazy expense to ineffectively deal with a few cases of ebola in the US? If ISIS or Al Queda or any other nutty group wants to do damage, printing poorly functioning plastic guns is not the way to do it. The way to do it is to send a bunch of suicidal jihaddists to west Africa to get exposed to ebola. They will have about 2-3 weeks to travel to other places, such as airports, sports events, etc., where large crowds of people gather. Can you imagine the financial impact? No 3D printers, no bullets needed. Just a few airline tickets and maybe some phony passports.

Cody Wilson is nothing but a master manipulator of the media. His 3D printed gun is crap. You can make a better gun with a piece of wood, a drill, and a rock. The media is stupid to give the guy all the attention they do for making a piece of plastic junk. You have nothing to fear from 3D printed plastic guns, even in the hands of ISIS.

Comment: Unfortunately this new knowledge won't help most (Score 1) 422

by mark_reh (#48183931) Attached to: Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

people. As a dentist I often treat people who drink soda even though their teeth are turning black with decay. If people are able to ignore such an obvious sign of a problem, "shorter telomeres" isn't going to mean anything to them.

The battle against ignorance has to be fought with 2x4s, not more information.

Comment: Say what? (Score 0) 407

by mark_reh (#48167783) Attached to: As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

says Natasha Frost. "People don't care so much about crime, and it's less of a political focus."

People still care about crime. I think what has changed is the definition of crime and the idea that punishment should match the crime. People have figured out that it costs a lot more to keep people locked up than to prevent the crime or "rehabilitate" the criminal.

What's next, universal health care?

I'll be surprised if the "conservatives" don't start using the "criminals are being let out of the prisons" argument to try to scare people for the upcoming elections in November and 2016. OTOH, maybe the gun nutz among them will claim crime has dropped because more people are walking around with guns.

The "free market solves all problems" capitalists will have to figure out a use for all that empty jail space- I know, they can convert it to "affordable housing" for illegal immigrants and solve two problems at once!

Comment: Re:I have two things to say about this. (Score 1) 336

by mark_reh (#48108129) Attached to: Why the FCC Will Probably Ignore the Public On Network Neutrality

In addition to a couple popular-among-single-issue-voters hot isses like gay marriage and medical weed, they also have a terrible property tax system that screws the public schools and a legislature that controls only about 15% of the budget because the easily manipulated voters have commited the other 85% of tax revenues to specific projects by voting for things they no almost nothing about.

Representative government is better than mob rule, but with decisions like "citizens united" essentially selling all our elections to the highest bidder, it's only just a little better.

Comment: I have two things to say about this. (Score 4, Interesting) 336

by mark_reh (#48071107) Attached to: Why the FCC Will Probably Ignore the Public On Network Neutrality

1) Thank God they don't pay attention to most public comments. Can you imagine the magnitude of the disaster that would result from a California style of mob-rule in Washington? We definitely DON'T need THAT.

2) They pay far too much attention to their corporate sponsors instead of doing what they are paid to do- use their brains and think about how to give us the best possible services. It's no surprise that the Republicans have a major hand in screwing us all, after all, their platform includes denial of science.

Comment: Ebola as a weapon for terrorists? (Score 1) 258

If I were an Al Queda or ISIS big shot and wanted to do some damage that would scare the crap out of people I would send 20 or 30 suicidal jihaddists to Liberia to get themselves exposed to ebola, then put them on planes to whatever western countries I didn't like. You have a couple weeks after exposure before you get sick- plenty of time to travel. Some would get stopped at the borders, but some would get through and be able to deliberately infect as many people as possible before becoming too sick to function. Maybe they don't even have to travel to the target countries- If they infect people in airports they can spread the virus all over the world very quickly.

I am surprised I haven't heard any speculation about a scenario like this on the news- especially Fox "News".

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990