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Comment: Re:There are limits to freedom of speach (Score 1) 484

by tnk1 (#48183801) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

I'm sorry to quote hardcore authoritarians like Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson at you. Perhaps you would prefer the more soft-core fascist, Thomas Jefferson,

"[a] strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means."

Or just read about some of the other Nazis who have said the same things in this right-wing agitprop piece:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...

Comment: Re: What I recommend (Score 2) 113

by tnk1 (#48183763) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Hosting Service For a Parody Site?

I'm hearing that this person wants to criticize someone in Poland who likes Putin. I'm guessing Russia is not actually a good choice here.

Russia is only better when you aren't doing something that directly opposes Russian interests. If you are opposing Russian interests, you'd probably have better luck in China.

Russia doesn't protect free speech, they just allow things to be hosted that piss off countries they don't like. That looks like free speech only to those who the Russian government likes or doesn't give a shit about.

Comment: Re: Polish (Score 1) 113

by tnk1 (#48183747) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Hosting Service For a Parody Site?

Historically, they do hate them just as much. It's just that the Germans are only the second to last occupiers. The Soviets are the most recent.

The Poles also kicked out millions of Germans from the lands they they were granted out of Germany when the USSR compensated Poland for lands that the USSR itself took from Poland. The Poles also hung the shit out of a number of Nazi war criminals.

No one has let the Poles hang any Russians. So, I'd say that the Poles have the bigger score to settle with the Russians.

Which is not to say I think that the Poles actually want to settle any scores, I just think they want to avoid being a puppet state of Russia again. Germany isn't currently attempting to do anything like that.

Comment: Re:There are limits to freedom of speach (Score 1) 484

by tnk1 (#48183699) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

Maybe you should blame the people who decide to do the mobilizing.

No. You should not force someone to ignore a threat that they cannot themselves prove is untrue.

If by that you mean "free speech" isn't free because it isn't totally free from all possible restraint or responsibility, then perhaps it isn't, but considering the alternatives around the world, I think it is also completely missing the point.

In any event, it has already been pointed out that the Constitution is not a suicide pact. If speech has a good chance of getting people killed by creating a credible, but fraudulent threat, that's in no way legal, and I don't think any less of the government for considering that to be a perfectly reasoned exception to absolute free speech.

Comment: Re:Cheap way to score political points (Score 1) 484

by tnk1 (#48183653) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

Yes, a longer maximum sentence, or more charges that can be applied are usually the difference between getting off as "innocent" and having to take a plea deal to avoid the possibility of complete disaster. It creates convicts where no convicts would usually be found.

And while I have some sympathy for those prosecutors who must deal with the organized criminals who can use the system against them, the reality is that these sorts of escalations just end up causing more poor people to become incarcerated.

Comment: Re:There are limits to freedom of speach (Score 1) 484

by tnk1 (#48183599) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

Threatening to hit someone, when the person making the threat is willing, able, and appears ready to do so is actually the legal definition of "assault". Actually hitting them is "battery".

Yes "assault" seems to be a synonym with "battery", but under the law, they are different things.

Comment: Re:There are limits to freedom of speach (Score 1) 484

by tnk1 (#48183579) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

Calling in a bomb threat usually mobilizes police and emergency responders. If we let people who were "just joking" off, then we need to become a lot more thick skinned about when we dispatch those responders. And then when someone dies because there was a real issue and the sensitivity level had to be reduced because the rest of them were "just joking", the first responders end up looking incompetent even though they were forced to their wits end with this bullshit and stepped back their response.

I think it is reasonable to charge someone for being that kind of asshole which falsely mobilizes that sort of response. Perhaps the people calling the cops might be asked to ask, "are you joking?", but I don't agree with that unless it is a kid or something. Adults need to know better.

If we don't actually make that sort of speech illegal, I think we should also make it not illegal for the people affected by this "joker" to beat the ever-living shit out of that person for scaring them, and potentially causing someone to die because responders can't take reports seriously anymore. After all, free speech should not make you immune from the consequences of that speech.

Comment: Re:May I suggest RTFA? (Score 1) 317

by tnk1 (#48182715) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

I think the problem is the Canadian government does not want to cobble together multiple suppliers for one weapon like this. If they can go with Mosin-Nagants, they have a durable weapon that's an even older design than the Enfield, and probably still has a bunch of suppliers. Just make sure to get a model with some decent sights.

They could also go with an M98 system, like a K98k.

That or you can pick a weapon that was designed sometime in the 20th Century, as opposed to the 19th. There's a lot of bolt action goodness out there.

I do agree that if they go with a composite, and not wood, they would benefit from the weight savings, but they will need to be very careful about the characteristics of the material they use, and all that technology is going to cost $$$. The big benefit of those old bolt-action rifles is that they were designed and built in the days of the conscript armies before WWI. Other than something like an AK-47, you don't find weapons as numerous, durable, and well tested these days without some R&D money that needs to be paid off.

Comment: Re: Scarier still.... (Score 1) 366

by tnk1 (#48160867) Attached to: Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

Eugenics *can* work, for some value of "working". The problem with eugenics is that you have to have a goal and then work towards it, but that goal has to be rather objective, well defined, and the end goal actually has to be *an improvement*.

What is a "smart" person? An idiot savant who is a human calculator? Someone who takes tests well? Someone who is imaginative?

All of those probably have different genetic and environmental components and we may need all of those types of people. It may be useful to have a few more of each, but do we need 100 million people who can ace the SAT?

And the same goes for so-called "sheeple". It doesn't take very much for people to become an uncontrollable mob that almost accidentally throws you out of power. What is the "activist" gene? What is the gene for "courage"? Are both of those behaviors expressed as a result of a combination of more than just a few traits? Does the new tractability of a population actually hurt you more than it helps you?

You can totally turn your population into a group that you define as say "Aryans". But does being "Aryan" actually make you more successful or help humanity? One might say that the only thing a eugenics program to create Germanic types is good for is... creating more people who are Germanic.

Comment: Re:Let me get this right (Score 1) 835

by tnk1 (#48160675) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Yes, you need to tax where the money is. On the poor and middle class.

Wait... what? Why? Because there are so many more of them by far.

It is a lot easier to get one dollar out of 300 million people, than it is to get 300 million dollars out of one person. That one rich person has the ability to fight back more effectively, and they are a lot more likely to notice the fleecing and try to do something about it.

More to the point, there are not a lot of people you can get 300 million out of. Even if they don't all flee to the Bahamas, you start to run out of rich people.

The Communists in Russia and China killed all the rich people and took their assets and money. It probably helped a little at the beginning, but it clearly didn't fix their problems. If you add up the amount of money that the richest people in the US have, and then take *all* that money away, including their assets and capital, you get about a trillion dollars. Sounds like a lot, but the US goes through that in about three months, every year. After you spend all the rich people's money, you then have the same expenses, but you've done little more than add a handful of people to the welfare rolls.

A small number of phenomenally rich people doesn't compare to the amount of money that millions of workers make put together. And those rich people aren't holding on to that money in the Scrooge McDuck vault. Unless they reinvest their money, it gets taxed by inflation. Not to mention that most of the "wealth" of people like your Bill Gates' and Buffets are in corporate stocks and other investment instruments, not in actual cash.

The problem with the economy isn't that there are a lot of rich people hoarding all the money, it is that our spending is out of control and that the poor and middle class are facing increasing prices without increasing wages.

If there is a problem with rich people, it is not so much that they are extremely rich as much as that it causes them to lose touch with the basic need to survive, which causes them to become involved in decisions that benefit only them, while ignoring the human element. They are not a giant money pinata which if we keep hitting it, will make everyone and the government suddenly comfortable, the biggest problem with the rich is that they *make the decisions for everyone* because they have the ability to sit around and run for Congress, or contribute to campaigns, whereas the rest of us need to get a real job.

In short, you have people running the country that don't understand the actual problems that most of the country has.

Comment: Re:Let me get this right (Score 3, Insightful) 835

by tnk1 (#48160207) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

I'd have to agree. Want to help a campaign contributor? Create an obscure rule that allows the contributor to profit based on their specific circumstances, but that no one else understands enough to object on, unless they are a knowledgeable "special interest". Then shut up the opposed special interests by giving them their own rule to satisfy their own constituency.

Want to pretend to help the middle class? Create rules that look like they're getting something, only for those rules to be one-time, or quietly dispensed with in the next rule reshuffle.

The value of an understandable tax code is less about saving the middle class though tax breaks, and more about making it possible for the people to actually understand how much the government is taking and how the programs that our legislators vote on will affect that number.

Comment: Re: Designed in US, Built in EU, Filled in Iraq (Score 1) 376

by tnk1 (#48160063) Attached to: Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

I don't think the war was to cover up a program that everyone else already knew about. In fact, the war made the chemical weapons transfers into a matter of more general knowledge. You probably wouldn't know squat about it today to write about this if the war hadn't happened.

Why would they launch their whole war using as an excuse the very thing that they wanted to cover up? Even a moron would know that it would cause every journalist and conspiracy theorist on the planet to find and publicize the West's involvement in the Iraqi CW program in the 80s.

Sometimes I get confused about people who think that our politicians are masterful Machiavellian schemers, while at the same time, those same theorists count on the fact that our evil genius leaders fail at something like basic misdirection.

If I was trying to cover up a chemical program with a war in 2003, I wouldn't draw attention to the chemical weapons I'd... let's see.... pretend that al-Qaeda was moving to Iraq and fabricate tons of evidence of that. It would make a little more sense, no? And you wouldn't have pesky UN inspection teams. Hell, fake terrorists are much easier to fabricate than chemical weapons programs, wouldn't you say?

Comment: Re:This is the "Oh Noes, the ISIS has WDM" moment. (Score 1) 376

by tnk1 (#48159849) Attached to: Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

Cheney's crowd is no longer in power, and say what you want for Obama's near-sighted policy on pulling out all the troops... you'll have a hell of a time getting them back on the ground unless you have a significantly less flimsy pretext. Heck, you'll have trouble enough getting them back on the ground for a *good* reason.

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