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Comment Re:Investigating if laws were broken (Score 3, Informative) 312

mens rea. Meaning that you have to have a guilty mind (i.e., intent) to have broken the law

My understanding of "mens rea" is that the defendant knew (understood) that they were performing the action (the "actus reus") irrespective of whether or not they knew that the action was illegal. Some people commit physical actions but don't know what they're doing ... or can't stop themselves (e.g. the insane, underage child lashing out, etc).

And that the demonstration of intent (knowingly breaking the law) only exacerbates the offence.

Then again, IANAL, so my legal commentaries are probably as valuable as those of the underage child I mentioned above ...

Comment Re:What can *we* do? Serious! (Score 1) 145

I absolutely endorse your statements.

I refuse to vote for the 2 major parties.
Many tell me I'm "throwing away my vote", as those for whom I vote have no chance of winning.
And you know what? 99.9% of the time they're right! But ...
    -> every now and then, change does happen
    -> when the assholes in power notice that their winning margins are thinning, you better believe it grabs their attention

Here's what I have previously said on the subject.

Again, I absolutely agree with your stance.

Comment Re:SAVE US AND THE WEB FROM MOZILLA! (Score 1) 324

he did not lose his freedom of speech at all; freedom of speech != freedom from any and all ramifications.

So in your version of the USA, people can say whatever they like, and consequently be (fired | publicly shamed | arrested | executed) and you consider that freedom of speech?

I'd hate to think what you consider to be a LACK of freedom of speech! Cutting-out of tongue at birth?

Comment Re:We can learn from this (Score 1) 163

There's no way the politicians will change the law so they can no longer get paid

They may fight us, but I refuse to roll-over and play dead.

I'm moderately active in trying to raise awareness of such practices:
    - I contact politicians and express my dissatisfaction
    - I contact advocacy groups / unions / etc and show my support
    - I add comments on popular Australian newspaper forums, aiming to raise awareness and expose the hypocrisy and moral corruption of our politicians
        (if nothing else, I can at least sow disdain with the current parties)
    - I contact journalists and give them suggestions for stories that will also raise awareness of corrupt practices
    - I share facts with family, friends and colleagues -- again, to sow disdain with the current setup (conscious not to become overbearing)

And I always make it clear that I loathe both major parties in Australia. It pains me when I see my fellow Australians blindly support one party and vilify the other: both parties are horrible! I believe we need to weaken the major parties (which necessarily means more smaller parties) so that they adjust their stance and truly serve the public.

In the future, I'm hoping to mobilise my neighbours into getting active and seeking to participate in our local (municipal) politics. So many local seats are so darn marginal, one only needs to influence a couple of hundred people to change the outcome.

Yes, I'm very hopeful (naive? deluded?) but I've made some waves, and will continue to.

Please don't lose hope. Become a thorn in their side!

Comment Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 533

For a power company there is absolutely no difference whether YOUR washing machine stops washing and they have to get rid of the 1kW that machine was draining OR YOUR solar plant suddenly increases its output by 1kW.

Dang, that's a great example.
I'm enjoying reading your responses; you're arming me with better arguments to counter those who irrationally favour protecting old energy giants instead of clean energy.

Thanks! (Danke!)

Comment Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 533

I'm happy to meet you half way:
I don't mind paying extra for 10 - 15 years or so, until we transition to a society where the average home doesn't even need to be connected to an electric utility.
As more homes disconnect, I expect utilities to raise the price of electricity, improving the ROI of alternative sources, accelerating the disconnection of residences.

So long as when the time comes, utilities don't try to prevent me from going off-grid. Or don't try to force a flat bill on me even if I don't use their service; just because they've got a few politicians in their pockets.

But I suspect that when that time comes they'll change their arguments. Because ultimately, these companies want to protect their profit margins, and renewal energy is a direct, and imminent, threat.

Comment Re:Just say "No". (Score 1) 142

they need to try and think of another way of ending the conversation

That used to be me, when I was younger. However for several years now:

Salesperson: Hi sir. How are you today?
Me: No thanks. [While I continue walking, without pausing.]

We have plenty of people in Sydney CBD streets trying to hawk something.
Thankfully, I have never found them to be particularly aggressive / persistent.

2 pints = 1 Cavort