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Comment: Re:The cop got it wrong. (Score 2) 108

The very definition of a delinquency is an act that, if it had been committed by an adult, would have been a crime. And as long as the case isn't remanded to the adult system, that doesn't change - he will have been found to have committed one or more delinquencies, not crimes.

Even children in jurisdictions that don't have mandatory remand to the adult court system for acts such as murder can end up being found to have committed a delinquency, not a crime.

Some people would say this isn't right - but consider that as a trade-off, juveniles accused of delinquencies don't have a right to a jury trial, and a process with a much higher standard of proof.

Comment: Re:Unless (Score 1) 108

Right now he does NOT face five felonies. That's a simple fact. He may, at some future time, should the juvenile court system so rule. Right now, though, he only faces delinquencies. Given that about 10% of the e population has had run-ins with the juvenile system, this should be better known.

Makes me wonder how many non-criminals who have been taken into custody have thought that they have to answer "yes" when asked if they've "ever been arrested, even as a juvenile" , when they can legally say no.

Comment: Re:Transphobic assholes (Score 1) 41

by BarbaraHudson (#49605527) Attached to: Statues of Assange, Snowden and Manning Go Up In Berlin

What this says is that the originators of the idea (sculptor Davide Dormino and journalist Charles Glass) are more interested in the agenda (and self-promotion) than in the people behind the story. You don't honor someone by actively disrespecting who they are, insulting them and putting the lie to the greater truth. Hopefully, since the stated purpose is to encourage ordinary citizens to speak out, hopefully others will also call out these two (and everyone who backs this misrepresentation of Ms. Manning).

And before anyone starts with the "we don't have the data to make a representation of her as a woman" argument, if you can't do it right, then maybe you shouldn't be doing it at all. Ditto for the "artistic integrity" argument - artistic integrity my arse!

Comment: The cop got it wrong. (Score 3, Insightful) 108

Only problem with that is that the police officer was wrong. Georgia law does not mandate that juveniles be tried as adults for 3rd degree arson - which is what this was (attempt to damage property of another worth $25 or more). So, legally speaking, the kid wasn't arrested - he was taken into custody (this difference is so that adults can legally say they were never arrested if their only contact is with the juvenile system - this means that it doesn't tarnish them for life).

So, he committed a delinquency, not a criminal act (a delinquency being any act that, if it were done by an adult, would be a crime).

So, when the article, based on information from the cop, states:

The boy, who was not identified because he is a minor, faces five felonies, including burglary and arson. Lt. Daniel said the charges could land the young man in prison for several years.

, ... he is wrong. The minor faces 5 delinquencies, not felonies. Even detention at a youth detention facility is not considered prison under the legal system.

Comment: Re:Popular support (Score 2) 149

by hey! (#49604091) Attached to: NASA Gets Its Marching Orders: Look Up! Look Out!

I was eight years old when Neil Armstrong stepped off the LEM onto the Moon. It was an overcast day but the thing I remember vividly was how quiet the city was; aside from a few trucks in the distance and the wind blowing between the buildings there was simply nothing to be heard. The street was utterly deserted, more deserted than it would have been in the middle of the night. I'd gone out to find someone to play with, but gave it up for a bad job. I came in just in time to watch Armstrong step off the LEM. Cronkite couldn't make out what Armstrong said -- later it turned out Armstrong had bungled his line.

The only thing since then that has come close for shared amazement was 9/11.

The thing is there will never be another moment like that, not for manned space exploration. For those of us too young to remember WW2, the Apollo program was the biggest, most exciting thing that had happened in our lifetime. Older people had grown up with the Moon as the very symbol of something that was impossible to obtain. Every human being who'd ever lived and who wasn't blind had looked up in the sky and seen that big fat Moon hanging up there looking so close you could touch it.

Mars isn't like that. For most people it's just a name. More people have seen fake Mars in movies than have seen the real thing. So I'm guessing that few people will interrupt their lives to watch the first step on Mars. Maybe some of us will, but there won't be the same amazement, that sense of witnessing a once-in-a-species event.

Speaking of movies, one of the things that happened after 1970 is that production values on sci-fi movies went way, way up. Most people today have grown up watching representations of humans traveling to the stars; that's the new milestone for the human imagination. So I don't think there will ever be the kind of adulation for real astronauts that we had in the 60s. Actors are more photogenic than real astronauts and they don't spend their time doing tedious and inexplicable things.

But I don't think it's impossible to get people interested in space exploration; only that it's folly to put men up there and expect the public to automatically get excited. Henceforth space exploration is only going to matter to people who've been educated enough to find science interesting. That in itself is a worthwhile goal.

Comment: Re:Did a paid shill write this summary? (Score 2, Interesting) 149

by hey! (#49603913) Attached to: NASA Gets Its Marching Orders: Look Up! Look Out!

I've been a Democrat since 1979. I'd vote for Bernie Sanders if he weren't an abrasive, self-righteous prig who'd inevitably do more damage to his allies than to his enemies. But despite that I'm almost 100% in agreement with the man. And I haven't seen any rampant Republican agenda here. More like rampant laziness, if there were such a thing.

If the editors spent a whole minute between the moment they opened the story and the moment they hit "post" I'd be flabbergasted.

Comment: Re:Bernie Sanders (any real shot at winning?) (Score 1) 276

by hey! (#49603861) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

When hardline socialist parties gain power they tend to become more pragmatic. Such parties usually still consider themselves socialist and think of themselves as working toward eventual socialism.

The Socialist Party in France is a good illustration of this. Go back and look at the history of the Mitterrand presidency. In 1984 he abandoned nationalization of industry so that France would qualify for the European Monetary System. The subsequent collapse of the leftist coalition forced him to "cohabit" with Chirac's conservative RPR. Since then it'd be fair to characterize PS as a center-left party.

Comment: Re:Bernie Sanders (any real shot at winning?) (Score 1) 276

by hey! (#49603755) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

Technically a "socialist" is anyone who believes in "social ownership" of the means of production. A "communist" is someone who believes in the common ownership of the means of production. This may sound like a distinction without a difference, but "social ownership" is a broader concept than common ownership. Common ownership is just one form of "social ownership". Worker cooperatives are another form of social ownership.

Logically then, all communists are socialists, and not all socialists are communists. Some communists see non-communist socialism as a desirable intermediate step toward communism, others do not. Some communist and socialist ideologies fit within the umbrella of "social democracy", others do not.

Socialists and especially communists tend to be idea-fetishists, and so often display a peculiar mania for mutual ideological excommunication.

Comment: Re:Bernie Sanders (any real shot at winning?) (Score 1) 276

by hey! (#49603657) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

Most "democratic socialist" parties are socialist (like the DSP in the US), or have at some point in their history been socialist, or at least see socialism as a desirable long-term goal. But I'm sure there are exceptions. What you really have to do is ask what someone *believes*, not what they call themselves.

Sanders has never run away from the word "socialist", but what he seems to believe in is a strong welfare safety net, labor unions operating in a market economy which allows private profit but with regulatory restrictions on the ability of private entities to externalize costs like pollution. There are plenty of people who would call that "socialist", but most people who just plain call themselves "socialist" wouldn't. What he wants is for the US to be more like "Nordic model" country such as Sweden or Denmark. Maybe that's not your personal idea of political paradise, but it's a hell of a long way from North Korea.

As to why Sanders would call himself a socialist, it may be that's what he calls "socialism", but I think it's because he's a contrarian and gadfly who likes to rile people up but excels at retail politics in a tiny, tiny state. I'm all for his preferred policies, but personally I think he'd be terrible president because he's a self-righteous political prig who'd alienate and undermine any of his allies that didn't toe the line.

Comment: Re:He's a socialist (Score 1) 276

by hey! (#49603151) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

Well to be fair the man calls himself a socialist; he's just wrong about that. You're spot on about the bailout though. It's like my Bolshie Uncle Ivan used to say. "Kid," he'd say, "nobody really believes in socialism. Nobody believes in capitalism either. It's 'socialism for me, capitalism for you!'"

Comment: Re:Can he win? (Score 2) 276

by hey! (#49603119) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

You are aware that budgets take effect the *following year*, right? The US fiscal year X starts in October of X-1.

The 103rd Congress was elected in November 1992, convened in Jan 1993, so they had input into the FY 1994 and FY 1995 budgets. In FY 1994 the federal deficit went down by 52 billion, and in FY 1995 the federal deficit went down by 39 billion. This means the deficit went down by about 20% in both the 103rd Congress/Clinton budgets.

But to be fair to George H.W. Bush the deficit was already coming down. After the deficit peaked at 290.3 billion in FY '92 , GHWB reneged on his famous "read my lips" promise and new taxes in FY '93 to reduced the deficit by about 12% to 255 billion.

Comment: Re:It took 5 years? (Score 1) 159

We can only go by reported vulnerabilities - we have no data for unreported vulnerabilities, and claiming that there are fewer unreported vulnerabilities in the linux and bsd kernels than in the windows kernel is totally unprovable - it's "magic thinking". And as shellshock and heartbleed have shown us, linux and bsd are not "magically invulnerable".

Times change. BSD used to have the least, followed closely by Linux, but not any more. Whether this trend will continue in the future is unknown, but for right now, "them's the facts."

Neither software development (open or closed) is perfect. They both have obvious problems. Back when the Windows kernel was more vulnerable, people claimed it was because Windows was used more. Today linux is more vulnerable, even though we haven't seen any increase in uptake, so why is linux more vulnerable now?

Simple - Microsoft, after having one near-death experience too many, got their act together. The excitement we had 20 years ago over the promise of linux - "maybe this will be the year of linux on the desktop" - will never happen, and we know it. As Apple has shown with BSD, and Microsoft continues to show with Windows, the vast majority of people are quite willing to pay for software and don't care about whether it's open or not. The problem with linux is fragmentation, and it's now too late to address that.

Comment: Re:Can he win? (Score 1) 276

by hey! (#49602911) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

Well, one thing about politics is that it occasionally serves up the wildly unexpected. But only occasionally. Sanders' views fall into acceptable range for the most highly partisan Democrats, but they're well aware they have to win votes outside the party base. They'd *prefer* Sanders to Clinton but most of them can live with Hillary -- the ones who can forgive her for voting for the Iraq AUMF bill that is.

As for having tried "Clinton", Hillary Clinton isn't Bill Clinton, any more than Jeb Bush is George W. Bush. If she were this election would be over. She's probably smarter and maybe even tougher than her husband, but she does't have the off-the-charts charisma.

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein