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Comment Re:Bank them (Score 1) 333

My thought upon reading this story was, "Oh, thank God!!"

I had been hoping there was a definite end that science could not trick. I was beginning to fear that the medical community was going to try to force any level of existence to continue without regard to quality. Death is a part of life. I'd rather live with that than trying to force a 100 year old body to keep it's heart beating just because some family member doesn't know how to cope any other way.

That is a view and a choice that I can respect, but why should you cheer the possibility that no one be able to choose any other way? That those who want more life be denied it?

Like a lot of the elderly people you mention, I think I too would choose death over prolonged suffering, helplessness, and a lack of ability to accomplish much more than running the bills up for my family. But I don't think I would choose death until that was all I had to look forward to, and I would be happy for any medical advancement that pushes that inevitable time back and that preserves health into those latter years.

And if the generation after me is able to live forever, I will not begrudge them that just because it was too late for me. (Okay, maybe I'll be a tad jealous.) However, I'd oppose any efforts to stop it with what's left of my life.

Comment Re:Not Uncommon for Portland (Score 2) 332

We Portlanders greatly appreciate our open air reservoirs however the City Water Bureau does not. Despite a large public outcry to keep our open air reservoirs our water department despite saying that they were working to keep our reservoirs, did not file for a waiver from the department of homeland security to keep the reservoirs open air.

What the hell... WHY?

I used to live in Portland for about three years and regularly drank the tap water The idea that I was drinking water straight from an open-air reservoir post-treatment nauseates me. Why would anyone want this?

Comment Re:No. (Score 1) 1633

The rights protected by the 2nd amendment are rights retained by the people and, in my opinion, are not subject to regulation by states under their powers.

In your opinion. I clearly disagree, finding more agreement with Breyer's dissent in McDonald v. Chicago (2010) that incorporation under the 14th was inappropriate because it is not a fundamental, individual right.

The Second is the only Amendment in the Bill of Rights that explicitly explains the intent behind the right enumerated there -- that the ownership of firearms is intended for the establishment of well functioning militias. That means the right is limited and not fundamental, and the government should have a free hand to regulate so long as that purpose is not thwarted. To hold otherwise is to regulate the militia clause meaningless. I do not think any phrase in the Constitution should be treated so.

If you're implying that the 2nd amendment grants a power to the states then I'd like to understand what structure in the Constitution would give you the impression that anything in the Bill of Rights grants any power to a state.

Well, if you're going to completely disregard the Second, then you must at least look to the Tenth, which held that powers not reserved by the federal government belong to the States or to the people. Note that "the States" is capitalized as a formal term in the same way that "State" is in the Second and in the rest of the Constitution. Once again, this points to the explicit, focused intent of the Amendment to address state and local concerns.

Furthermore, its very clear from the rest of the Constitution that the founders intended the States to still have a large role in the life of their citizens. The structure of the Senate is the clearest expression of that intent, giving an entire house of the legislature over to (originally) state-appointed representatives, balanced between the states.

Comment Re:No. (Score 1) 1633

I say that is a completely different topic and I'm not sure why you brought it up other than to try to be a smart-ass. What you mentioned is not undermining the constitution, and as such, is completely off-topic.

Yes, it is. Any misinterpretation of the constitution is an undermining of its intent and effect, regardless of whether that results in a situation you like or not, and the pure individual right interpretation of the Second Amendment undermines states' rights.

A militia was a force of the proletariat. Every man that was able to take up arms was expected to do so. Therefor, the common man was considered militia and did *not* need to join the army nor any other organization to be considered such.

Yes, it was made up of the people, but the whole phrase "well-regulated" is not mere puffery. It means a militia in proper and working order, and it explicitly referenced as "being necessary to the security of a free State." The governments of the states have long been held to have the right to regulate arms within that context, and the federal government has the right to regulate firearms that do not have a purpose in a militia. (See US v. Miller (1939) on regulation of sawed-off shotguns.)

Anything not specifically outlawed by the constitution or the state is defaulted to being a right. Therefor, yes, you would have the right to own a gun even if the 2nd amendment didn't exist.

Unless a state passed a law saying that you didn't, by your own statement.

Comment Re:No. (Score 1) 1633

You want to use the phrase "well-regulated militia" as a way of allowing the national government to regulate firearms.

Actually, I view the Second Amendment as a state's right and support the right of the states to regulate arms, seeing at the concept of a militia is directly tied to the state power and not individual power. If a state wants to ban handguns and keep only a professional militia (e.g. the National Guard), that should be their right.

Comment Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1633

Larger "ordnance" is not illegal to own or use in the US. One may privately own fighter jets, tanks, cannons, rocket launchers, etc. While there are some restirtions they are hardly banned, and never have been. So what is your point?

Title II weapons are heavily regulated in ways that handguns cannot be, under current standards. The federal government as the power to regulate them -- even the power to outright ban them. The fact that they have not exercised that power is no proof that they don't. Even DC v. Heller (2008), the case that nailed down the notion that firearm ownership was an individual right, upheld the notion that it only applies to certain types of weapons (referring to US v. Miller (1939).

And that's my point. A strict reading of the Second Amendment in no way forbids the government from preventing private citizens from having ordnance. It only guarantees the right to bear arms, not ordnance.

Comment Re:But what is a militia? (Score 1) 1633

All a state would have to do is amend their constitution to proclaim that all their able bodied citizens are members of the state militia for defense of their lives, property, and the state if mustered into action. What can the feds do then?

Not much, if the militia clause is given effect as a state's right instead of an individual one. Then again, there's not much for the citizens to say if a state wanted to define its militia as a purely professional force and outright ban private ownership either under that scenario.

Comment Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1633

The most literal interpretation of that 2nd amendment means I could possess nuclear weapons, bacterial weapons, chemical weapons, and were I wealthy enough, my own tanks, APCs, fighter jets, bombers, etc.

No, in the 18th century there was already a clear separation between man-portable "arms" and larger "ordnance," and all the examples you mention would definitely qualify as ordnance. You *might* be able to make an argument for chemical & biological weapons, but any sane court would by long precedence consider those to be outside of the realm of what a citizen's militia should possess.

Comment Re:begrudge education (Score 1) 220

There are around 8.5 million Children in the system and around 100k prisoners. Each prisoner costs way more more per head than child, per year.

Yes, and you failed to specify per capita spending when you said, "If they spent the same on education as they did on locking people up per year then maybe you wouldn't have to lock so many people up." If that was truly your intent, then you should have actually said it.

Comment Re:This is not a bad thing (Score 1) 870

The point is, quite a few jobs and entire industries no longer exist as a result of automation. We can start throwing our shoes at the machines like during the industrial revolution, or we can enjoy the benefits they bring us, accept the growing pains, and adapt to the new world.

One big difference is that jobs lost during that time period were largely fungible with new opportunities, because none of those jobs required much in the way of training -- just work ethic and physical ability. Close one factory, open a new one, get people training on a new repetitive assembly line task.

One big difference with the automation revolution is that automation is going to completely eliminate all jobs that don't require training and education, because those are the jobs most easy to automate. We've already been suffering a lot since the 80s in America's transition towards a service economy, as cheap foreign labor and robots took away all the industrial jobs.

When even service jobs become automated, there will be nothing for the non-professional class to do except try to retrain before the next job gets automated. And that ignores the elephant in the room -- that many people who work unskilled or low-skilled jobs simply aren't willing or able to train for more skilled jobs, and those people will still have themselves and families to feed.

I agree with you that we shouldn't recoil in terror from automation and enter some kind strawman dystopia where all innovation must get vetted for release, but we need to be prepared for the implications of automation, and we need to consider whether or not our economy as it stands today is simply incompatible the coming technological shift -- and which is more important?


Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose? 490

Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes: "Why do Netflix and a few other companies keep the DVD format alive, when streaming is more convenient for almost all users? The answer is not obvious, but my best theory is that it has to do with what economists call price discrimination. Netflix is still the cheapest legal way to watch a dozen recent releases every month — but only if you're willing to put up with those clunky DVDs." Read on for the rest of Bennett's thoughts.

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