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Comment: Re:Statehood for England (Score 1) 349

by shutdown -p now (#48674725) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

Don't forget that states themselves can initiate an amendment (through convention). Then you basically just need 3/4 of the states - first to submit the amendment, and then to ratify it.

Here's a fun fact: because of the disparity in state size and population, it's actually possible for the Constitution to be amended with less than 50% of electorate in favor, so long as they are all in smaller states (if you take the list of states and sort by population, you'll see that the top 1/4 adds up to more than 50%).

Comment: Re:Tree of liberty (Score 1) 349

by shutdown -p now (#48674709) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

The constitution (hence the name) legislates the rights of the government versus its citizens and the rights of the citizens versus the government


And any law enacted that restricts citizens' speech (whether it is directed against government, or other citizens, or something else entirely), is enacted by the government. By Congress, specifically.

And the Constitution specifically prohibits the government to enact such laws.

Seriously, you're arguing against the literal meaning of the amendment. Even ignoring the centuries of precedence on the subject (which convincingly say that you're wrong - have a look at Brandenburg v. Ohio), even just the text itself makes it blatantly clear: Congress shall make no law. Don't embarrass yourself.

Comment: Re:Hypocrites (Score 1) 435

by shutdown -p now (#48673099) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

And the proof or evidence that this will happen is where?

In the fact that it happened in every other communist country to date that has underwent a similar process.

Are we so naive that we trust their government and corrupt to do what we think they should for the good of the people?

No, but I trust their government to be pragmatic. It's easier to rule over fed people than it is to rule over hungry people. And when there's a fresh new revenue stream, and not even crumbs from it get to the people, the latter get restless, and restlessness leads to riots. Any smart and successful dictator knows that. Judging by how long the Castros have been going, they're not deficient on both counts. So yes, they will share. Not much, perhaps, but even a little helps.

All of Europe has been in free trade with Cuba. By your logic, if it were to really help, it would already have.

And it did help, of course. If everyone would embargo Cuba, it would be as much of a shithole as DPRK is. But it's not.

Comment: Re:Hypocrites (Score 1) 435

by shutdown -p now (#48668749) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

False. Your confusion lies in the fact that you believe this will do good for the Cuban people, as if somehow magically a place with no free market and a government that has historically given it's people dirt will all of a sudden benefit from these relations. This money will go to the Cuban communist regime, not the people that are suffering that need it. That is where there is truly no logic and severely detached from reality.

Even if 1% of that money gets to the people (and, pragmatically speaking, more of it will for sure), then they are going to be better off.

More importantly, if it prompts economic reforms along the lines of what most other communist countries did - the closest example here probably being Vietnam - the people are going to be vastly better off even if the authoritarian political system remains in place.

Either way, while we can only guess what will happen without sanctions, we know full well what happens with the sanctions: absolutely nothing. So what exactly is their purpose then?

Also, even if it was for revenge, would you really blame someone who feels that way?

Blame them for feeling that way, no (well, it depends on who they were before Castro; if it's one of Batista's cronies, or the members of the top ruling elite supporting him, I'd say they can suck it and go cry in a corner; I have no sympathy for people robbing others under gunpoint when they get robbed themselves in a similar fashion). But I will blame them for letting that emotion guide their political decisions, and especially for pushing the same onto others.

Oh, as for my comfy chair. I was born in a communist country. Don't try that "you rich American asshole can't understand" on me.

Comment: Re:But an unborn baby is not a person. Riiiiiight. (Score 1) 185

by shutdown -p now (#48655469) Attached to: Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

You yourself talked about "until they reach 18 years of age"; abortion is clearly but one aspect of this, and arguably not the biggest one by far (there are far more children who are born, but have their rights limited until they are of age, than aborted fetuses).

I didn't want to touch on abortion for the simple reason that it's vastly more complicated - there's the issue of when you start considering a fetus a person (it is obvious to any rational person that a fertilized egg or an embryo is not a person in any meaningful way, while a pre-birth fetus is; but where do you draw the line in between?). There's also the sticking issue of the fetus, regarding of any rights it may have as a person, potentially infringing on its mother's rights to her body. Reconciling those two rights is not obvious.

In any case, none of this has anything to do with this particular case.

Comment: Re:Am I missing something? (Score 2) 225

by shutdown -p now (#48655159) Attached to: GCHQ Warns It Is Losing Track of Serious Criminals

The fact that pretty much the entire pro-gun cohort is rallying behind the cops regardless of what they do

This is not true, actually. The hardline conservatives are into cop worship, but libertarians are pretty strong in pro-gun movement as well, and they are generally not a fans of police militarization and excessive use of force.

Comment: Re:But an unborn baby is not a person. Riiiiiight. (Score 1) 185

by shutdown -p now (#48655133) Attached to: Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

Nobody has to take care of the orangutan for it to exercise this right. But for a baby to exercise its right to freedom, it has to be nurtured for around 18 years or so, and that's much too inconvenient.

Assuming that you're referring to actual babies that have been born, then they still have human rights that their parents or legal guardians can't deny them. For example, you can't lock up your kid in a cage, even though other more reasonable limits on the freedom of movement are allowed. Generally speaking, it's okay so long as it's in their interest. Similarly, in this story, they're not letting the orangutan go where it wants, but admitting that the current arrangement is definitely not in its interest.

Comment: Re:An interesting point is (Score 2) 185

by shutdown -p now (#48655057) Attached to: Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

If these creatures get legal self identity, then are they also legally required to obey our laws?

I thought about it as well, but now I think there might be precedent for a kind of a special status there. Think about those uncontacted Amazonian tribes - they're definitely considered human, and if you were to kill one of them you'd be charged with murder, but I'm pretty sure that those tribes don't know or care about e.g. Brazilian laws, and they are not actually enforced against them. I do wonder how they word that in law, though.

Comment: Re:Monkey Business (Score 1) 185

by shutdown -p now (#48654975) Attached to: Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

I would assume that if this ruling stands, the law would treat an ape the same way it treats human children, or adults that are considered incompetent. This means that someone else makes the decision for them, but the law still protects their fundamental rights (such as e.g. a right to life), and, at least in theory, the decisions must be in their best interest, which can be legally enforced in some circumstances. It's still way better than being treated as property.

Comment: Re:Hypocrites (Score 1) 435

by shutdown -p now (#48653347) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

There is a difference between tolerating and supporting. With Batista, US has actually supported him - helped him maintain power and suppress his political opponents. With Cuba, we're talking about tolerating what they are. Which is clearly the best that can be done, given how several decades of attempting to pressure them did absolutely zero good for anyone in the country.

The only people who object to the lifting of sanctions are those that are motivated by personal revenge against the Castros. There's no other logical reason for the embargo.

Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 419

Compiler optimizations don't really help if your code is I/O or input-bound, which accounts for most of the code written today - so users rarely see the benefits. Occasionally you get a situation where one particular code path is CPU-bound and is hit often enough that optimizing it matters, but in that case it's usually still easier to use C++ for that particular bit, and some other high-level language for the rest.

Granted, with all the changes already in C++14, and more good stuff coming in C++17, C++ itself gets more high-level every year. Right now I'd say the problem is really more with the tooling than with the language... debugging C# or Java is still a much more comfortable experience than debugging C++. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 419

Promises and async is indeed a good point. I've been writing async (UI) code in C# for the past two years, and have almost forgotten what a mess it was before tasks and await.

BTW, async/await is also proposed for C++, though it is a much more generalized construct there:

VC++ has a preview of the implementation in the current betas:

One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor... is to discourage... from expecting too much from mathematics. -- N. Wiener