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Comment Re:No excuses necessary (Score 1) 1862

An insane white supremacist.

Except that he wasn't. He was invited to Aryan Nation meetinga, eventually decided he didn't like what they were selling, and had no further contact with the group. Even if he was, however, rights must be protected for the worst of us, or they won't be protected for anyone.

Weaver was no threat and had harmed no one. Then the Federal Government entrapped him and tried to blackmail him into joining the Aryan Nation as an informant, and he refused. Which led (eventually) to the standoff.

If he didn't have guns there wouldn't have been an armed stand-off in the first place

I agree, they would have just indiscriminately killed everyone on the Weaver property. Hundreds of unarmed individuals are shot by U.S. police every year, after all.

Or, maybe they would have shown "restraint" and just arrested Weaver and railroaded him through court on trumped up charges. Charges that were closely scrutinized as a result of the standoff and that were eventually shown to be baseless. Obviously allowing government thugs to round people up and imprison them with no possibility of reprisal is a desirable outcome...

and two people wouldn't have died.

Three people actually died: Weaver's son was killed by U.S. Marshals under questionable circumstances, Weaver's wife was assassinated by an FBI sniper (no other way to describe shooting an unarmed woman holding a 3-month old in the head), and a U.S. Marshal was killed in self defense by a friend of the Weaver family.

That third death is very key: A Federal Agent, who was in the process of violating the rights of U.S. citizens, and who had just killed the Weaver family's dog and fatally wounded Weaver's son, was killed by a private citizen. An act ruled as self defense.

No, that's an excellent argument for maintaining the right to bear arms.

Comment Re:No excuses necessary (Score 1) 1862

Actually, I'd say Randy Weaver: the knowledge that he owned firearms kept an army of Federal Agents at bay without Weaver firing a single shot. If he hadn't been armed, chances are we wouldn't even know who he was, as he'd of been executed like his wife and son by a bunch of out-of-control "law enforcers".

Comment Re:No excuses necessary (Score 1) 1862

Did you notice the constant erosion of your rights since 9/11?

Are you arguing my rights would have been eroded LESS if Federal agents didn't have to worry about being shot in the face when entering my home uninvited?

The American public's acceptance of unconstitutional expansion of government power since 2001 is not an argument for allowing more rights to be stripped away, but instead an argument as to why we must zealously guard the few we have left.

Comment Re:Agree 10000% (Score 1) 177

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Admittedly, prices have gone up since I left, but are still nothing compared to the prices I see my coworkers quote for the schools they went to.

$230.0/hr for Undergrad at "full-time" status of 12 hours, or $186.0/hr when you take 15 hours like I tried to always do.

$331.34/hr for Graduate "full-time" at 9 hours, $264.00/hr if you can manage 12 hours (4 classes).

Both are resident prices. Non-resident works out to be like 3X for Undergrad and 2X for Grad, I believe.

Even 12 hours of graduate school for a semester is still less than UC was asking for some of these classes...

Comment No excuses necessary (Score 2) 1862

The only excuses for guns are the hobbies of hunting and target shooting. It's not worth it.

The primary purpose of protecting the right to own firearms is to allow the civilian populace of the United States to maintain the necessary power to resist and possibly violently overthrow an oppressive, out-of-control government.

Hunting and target shooting are just side benefits.

Comment Agree 10000% (Score 5, Informative) 177

It's been about six years since I've been in school, but even my most expensive semester of graduate school was only about $1750. Last I checked prices were still in the low $2000 range there. That's for 12+ credits (9+ credits in Graduate School), not a single 4 credit course.

These big schools and their even bigger price tags. What the flying fsck are they smoking?

Comment "Commissions" Don't Work (Score 1) 353

Set up a commission, give them unlimited fact-finding authority over the ISPs.

Any such commission would eventually be captured by the industry it's supposed to regulate, becoming useless.

The only solution to our problems is a freeer market. Competition is the only thing that will provide the necessary downward pressure on prices and incentive to invest in better quality of service. The only way to achieve increased competition in these marketplaces, however, is probably through a decidedly non-free-market path.

The service providers must be broken up, with the divisions that control the infrastructure being split off from the portions that provide services/content to the end user--either into separate private corporations, or by nationalizing the infrastructure, thereby eliminating the conflicts of interest that plague the existing industries.

Yes, even as a quasi-libertarian die-hard free market capitalist, I am quite serious about the suggestion to nationalize. Infrastructure (spectrum/towers, copper cable, fiber, whatever) is a natural monopoly. The only way for it to be efficiently managed is either via heavily regulated (preferably via something like common carrier) private companies, or a publicly owned utility model. As long as the people who own the pipes are also the ones delivering you service, all the pressure is applied in the exact wrong direction, leading to increases in prices and reduction in quality.

On the other hand, when anyone can become a service provider by paying for access to the lines/towers (on a pricing schedule that treats all providers equally), if a service provider starts overcharging or under-performing, a competitor can move in and eat their lunch. People will flock to providers who provide the best value, since they will no longer be chained to a specific company by regional monopolies on the resources.

Oh, and while you're at it, get rid of that abomination called CDMA.

Comment Re:Kudos (Score 1) 1061

And, BTW - the GOVERNMENT is mandated to respect free speech.

In the U.S., WE ARE the government. Yeah, I know it doesn't seem like it, but it's still true regardless.

Besides, what exactly are you suggesting the people being disrupted do? Are you trying to incite violence against individuals taking part in a peaceful demonstration?

Comment Cell Phones Not Always an Option (Score 1) 445

There is so much legacy copper cabling running between the floors in the labs I work in that they're practically Faraday cages. Even my desk, which is outside of a lab proper but has a lab above it, I get no reception. "Desk phones" are still necessary in situations like that... Though I prefer asynchronous communication via email or IM, so people can deal with it on their own time.

A few of us who are lucky enough get to use Spectralink mobiles, at least. There are repeaters for them inside the labs.

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