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Comment Re:I'll tell you where (Score 1) 776

If you can manage to remove your loonybin libertarian spectacles, wipe the foam from your mouth and pause to consider for a moment:


You will find that fire officers/fighters do put a very great stock in rescuing people from house and other fires. Never really heard of them preventing the spread and leaving the people inside to choke.

What I'm gathering there's a problem here with either Reading Comprehension on your part or Clear Writing on my part. Either that or you fetish for Straw Men.

While rescues of initial victims are a happy event often made possible by the personal heroism of Police Officers and Fire Fighters they are not the primary function of Police and Fire Departments in most towns and counties. Property recovery isn't the main focus of burglary investigations either. Most rescues from burning buildings don't involve single-family homes, but rather extricating people from neighboring apartments to where fire is spreading. If the fire breaks out in your apartment and you're still in there by the time a fire fighter could rescue you then you're most likely dead. That's why fire escapes can be so important.

We have too many people that do not understand even the most basic personal responsibilities in large part because of idiotic, romanticized, and sheltered notions of what emergency service personel can do. I meet people who expect cops to run forensics on smash-and-grabs. I see people pointing fingers when the Fire Department didn't arrive in time to save somebody's kid from a home where that someone didn't replace their smoke-detector batteries. I read people who are utterly horrified at the idea of any citizen carrying a licensed firearm for self defense because "that's what we have police for!"

Police Officers are not your personal bodyguards or home security personel. Fire Fighters aren't psychic, can't fly, and their trucks don't teleport. CSI-[Insert City Here] is fictional. The person who has the primary responsibility for the safety and property of an adult of sound mind and body is that adult. I'd like to think the folks that pretend otherwise fell of the back of a turnip truck, but they usually come from dense urban areas, suburbs, or college campi.

I suspect you probably wish fire services could only stop the spread because you see government (any larger than the minimum possible) as an intrinsic evil. "We must set the example, self-reliance is the only way, etc.etc."

I suspect you might just be a complete nutter.

Regarding possible taxation of things that are bad for you; you are following a fairly typical libertarian fundamentalist tactic - wilfully conflating banning things and putting taxes on them.

I think you may be looking for the poster across the street. He actually posted words about banning or taxing things. Can't miss him.

Comment Extranational Proxies + Nukes Don't Mix (Score 1) 1032

It is one thing for countries to pick sides when smaller nations go to war or rival factions spring up in a civil war. The USSR backing Iran vs. NATO pushing Iraq, or the PRC backing North Korea and NATO backing South Korea. It is an entirely different kettle of fish when a country is arming, financing, and training extra-national networks to carry out terror attacks. The nuclear ambitions of nations that engage in that last sort of activity can't be tolerated. Eventually some random "infidel den of inequity" is going to eat a nuclear or severe dirty-bomb attack from Hezbollah or a similar state-sponsored terror proxy. At that point you'll have to either declare war on the sponsor-nation based on gathered intelligence, or accept that sort of savagery as the new face of war-making and "diplomacy" that the rest of the world must accept.

Given the alternatives, bombing Iran's nuclear program back to the stone-age every 5 years until they stop sponsoring terror proxies like Hezbollah seems the least awful.

Comment Re:I'll tell you where (Score 1) 776

And yes Lefties, we can still have fire departments and police and roads and a military with a Limited Representative government.

You know what else is good for a laugh? I keep running into nanny-staters who think that the Police Officers and Fire Fighters have a primary roll of directly defending the individual citizen from violent crime or fire-related death and property loss. Police and Fire services protect the community from the spread of crime and fire incidents. In most cases the initial individual victim's life, his/her property, or his/her family is forfeit in the incident with or without the Police Officer or Fire Fighter.

If someone breaks into your house and robs you, kiss your stuff good-bye. The Police aren't bringing it back. Unless the perpetrator is committing serial crimes in the same area he or she isn't getting brought to justice either. If someone comes to kill you, the police will probably actually investigate the crime post facto, but your survival in an isolated incident isn't something their going to be able to influence. The obligation to protect your life and property (and that of your family) from any given incident rests squarely on you, citizen. The Police don't install home security systems. The Police don't stay in your home with a firearm to repel intruders.

Likewise a fireman isn't responsible for putting in smoke detectors. He doesn't provide you with Fire Insurance for your home and property. He doesn't come to your house and set up an evacuation plan. Count yourself lucky if he comes to a school to encourage your kids to learn basic safety that you are supposed to be teaching and reinforcing yourself.

Nope, Police and Fire services don't protect the individual from crime and fire. They protect the community from the spread of crime and fire from individual incidences. The survival and safety of your family on the individual unit level is your responsibility and the nanny state can't fix that and let you retain your liberties. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.

Comment Re:NOT READY, DO NOT WANT (Score 1) 70

I tried Moblin on an Intel Aspire One D250 and on an Asus 701 4G with 1GB RAM

People still write code for the 7" Asus model? I mean, I own one but I didn't even bother trying to shove UNR on the thing. I really wouldn't expect much support for 2-year old models that support less than a 8.9" screen.

Comment Warrants for Police (Score 4, Insightful) 277

I think it is absolutely critical to distinguish between a warrant-based system for Evidence Gathering by Law Enforcement and a system of Intelligence Gathering by Military Offices. Wire-tapping without a warrant to introduce evidence in a criminal prosecution is a no-no. It is, however, completely distinct from gather intelligence or recon data abroad to target enemy soldiers, spies, and saboteurs. If somebody a valid target to be shot up by a predator drone without a trial then bugging their phone calls isn't really a 4th Amendment issue.

MA state and local policy investigators are part of Law Enforcement and thus all their searches, seizures, wiretaps, and electronic monitoring are subject to warrant requirements.

Comment Re:Illegal Searches (Score 1) 517

Bill Clinton issued pardons on far worse offenses as political rewards

TBH I never understood why the US puts up with presidential pardons. Why on earth can the president pardon someone and how is that different from having a King?


Elections, terms limits, impeachment, and judicial review come to mind. I suppose you can put the shoe on the other foot pretty easily too. I can't understand tolerating an unelected judiciary serving lifetime terms that can not be undermined / rebuked / countermanded by other branches of government. That's essentially an undemocratic oligarchy, isn't it?

Comment Illegal Searches (Score 1) 517

No, admitting illegal searches but punishing those who introduce the evidence would be a terrible plan. Those in positions of power could create sufficient incentive by means of bribery or blackmail. While gangs, mobs, and corporations are likely candidates the worst offenders by far would be the state and federal governments. You're going to hit me with a $20K fine and 5 years in prison? My labor union owns the governor or has an influential lobbyist with the White House. Good luck making that stick.


Bill Clinton issued pardons on far worse offenses as political rewards on his way out of his second term. In our media culture it would probably be a positive rather than a negative to shield cop or agent who conducts illegal searches but manages to put "the bad guy" behind bars. That's an Orwellian nightmare waiting to happen.



Comment Re:Obligatory Bogus First Post ... (Score 1) 754

The closest anyone can get to the "truth" within the realm of science is a model which is self-consistent and compatible with all known observations and which involves no unnecessary assumptions or entities (Occum's Razor). The model could still be demonstrated false by future observations, however. The concept of absolute truth, propositions which once (correctly) proven can never be falsified, is the domain of pure logic and/or philosophy, not science.

The problem is most opinionated folks in our society (and on the Internet) suck something awful at philosophy. In an effort to appear "smart" they try to bludgeon their way through conversations with inappropriate claims with regards to science. Most of the time they don't even have a firm grasp of the science in question, but they know that accusing other people of disagreeing with established science is a great way to discredit someone, even when you are wielding that science in a logically fallacious manner.

When all you've got is a (borrowed) hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Comment Re:Insulation from Lawyers? (Score 1) 950

how convenient

a monitor won't show that the child has complained ten times. or is dehydrated. or is developing a headache.

An abnormally elevated heart-rate while exercising (typically accompanied with higher respiration and lowered perspiration) is a normal symptom of the early stages of dehydration. Being able to track a student's heart rate across a curriculum would help more reliably identify this abnormality. It would certainly be more reliable and practical than letting every student with enough low cunning to say, "I have a headache" systemically evade their fitness training.

Comment Re:The EASY way out! (Score 1) 538

There's two (well, more than that, really) sides to the suicide coin.

1. You have men like this. Men who have seen that which they have wrought, and found a life well spent. Rather than wither away and die as you say, these people deserve an 'easy out.'

It think people seriously overlook the right to simply refuse futile and degrading extraordinary methods to preserve life beyond its natural conclusion. We have a lot of options for pain management that provide a useful alternative to taking a shotgun to one's face.

3. Also, you have those who genuinly have something wrong with their mind that pushes them to it. You can't blame someone for something external pushing it down on you like that.

Not just something wrong with their minds - there are people who have something wrong with their surrounding culture. There are many sad situations where "something external" is a social prerogative that condemns the disabled as being burdensome and unworthy of life.

4. Finally, unless there are more I'm too tired to think of, you have those that go for a good cause. The good soldier diving on a grenade. Sacrificing one's self for the good of many, etc - the true altruistic finale.

That doesn't qualify as suicide. That's an altruistic act of heroism that happens to have the undesired outcome of dying. Likewise, killing in self-defense is not murder. It is an act to preserve one's own life from an aggressor with the otherwise unwanted outcome of killing.

Comment Failure to Read the Article (Score 1) 1376

Four paragraphs into the article they note that the Irish Constitution (from 1937) explicitly prohibits the publication of blasphemy. "it goes on to prohibit the publication of 'blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter'


Further even in the First Paragraph they note that the new law came into being in removing the old 1961 Defamation Act. So the title of the original post is completely misleading. Blasphemy has been prohibited under Irish law for a long time. This is not a new situation in that regard. In the Sixth Paragraph the author notes: "only one case was ever taken under the blasphemy prohibition since the introduction of the constitution in 1937 (a 1999 case against a newspaper, in which the Supreme Court concluded that it was not possible to say 'of what the offence of blasphemy consists' and that 'the state is not placed in the position of an arbiter of religious truth')."


In other words, this is much to do about nothing. Ireland doesn't prosecute blasphemy. It does have a need to do a little house-cleaning on the wording of its Constitution to bring it into line with popular practice, though.

Comment Education Reform? (Score 1) 468

Well, if it works it'll create an new avenue through which to assault some of the corruption degrading our education systems. Text-book publishing is a giant scam. Removing the heavy overhead of print-based publishing could significantly increase competition. Perhaps schools will be able to focus on purchasing content rather than page-count. Is it too much to hope that we won't see quite so many products purchased without proof-reading? Maybe we'll see an end to needing to drop $150 for a "revised 5th edition" copy to replace the old "5th edition" copy of a book because it updates 3 typographical errors. Wouldn't that be a trip? That's not even getting started on the potential for interactive content presents over static text and diagrams.

Comment Seriously doubt "forced" is accurate (Score 1) 1297

Unless they strapped the man down with his eyes open I doubt Saddam was actually forced to watch the movie.

The man was entitled to a roof over his head, a bed to sleep in, a pot to piss in, and regular meals. I seriously doubt he was denied access to religious scripture either.

It was, in all likelihood, one of the few movies they'd let Saddam watch as a break from the mind-numbing tedium of sitting in a cell by his lonesome.

Most likely, it is one of those awful misuses of the word "forced" just like people routinely misuse the word "torture." Seriously, by the definition of most folks locking someone in a room by themselves with no entertainment and just food, water, shelter, and waste facilities would be "torture." It certainly sucks, which is why the innocent aren't supposed to be subjected to such treatment on a whim.

Lots of lawful punishments for criminals, unlawful combatants, and POWs would be considered "torture" and "human rights violations" if the state just grabbed a random civilian off the street and subjected them to such conditions.

Sorry, but if you in prison awaiting trial for crimes against humanity and your only choices are to watch "South Park" make fun of you or sit in your cell and watch nothing you aren't being "tortured" or "mistreated." You've got it way better than many people in prison for lesser offenses, honestly.

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