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Comment Re:Better leave now (Score 2) 239

I know there has to be a book about that, but it's slipped my mind.

The whole thing of "first wave" colonists who spend generations getting there, and when they do... they find that the third wave colonists have been there for a few generations already, and all the planets habitable by them and their archaic technology are already taken.

"Songs of Distant Earth" Arthor C Clarke has a set of stories like that.

Comment Re:Useful Idiot (Score 1) 396

Fox and the BBC are in no way comparable. While BBC has lost some of its teeth lately, it is still far from harmless to the government.

Also, compare how the main Russian media speak about Putin with how Fox News speaks about Obama. For a third example, note that Rush Limbaugh does not, AFAIK, live in perpetual fear that thugs will beat him to a pulp and leave him dying in a ditch somewhere. Yet that is what tends to happen when journalists don't do as they are told in Russia.

Comment Re:Useful Idiot (Score 1) 396

It was fairly obvious that Russia was far from the top of the list of places Snowden wanted to flee to. When the US is able to arrange for even presidential planes to be forced down, it is difficult to escape.

This will no doubt not be the last uncomfortable thing that he will have to do. Let us just hope that it stays at "uncomfortable".

Comment Re:No, followed by "what's a well-regulated militi (Score 1) 1633

The judge wants to gut the 2nd, not fix it. What would be a true and proper fix? IMHO, we need to clarify "well regulated militia" as "those people who are fit for military service". IMHO that means it's within the right of the states, even the Feds to determine that some people are unfit (mentally unstable, etc.) and thus deprive them of this right. If it were argued that the State was declaring people unfit for political purposes, that would wind its way through the court just like anything else. There's no escaping the need for actual judgement in a court.

Thus, I think it might be reasonable for the state to compel you to give up your gun if you buy pot for any reason (medical or otherwise). A pot-head is not fit for military service. Your guns or your drugs, not both. We want sanity at the trigger end.

So marijuana is a dis-qualifier, but you got nothing to say about beverage alcohol?


Your reasoning on pot should mean a similar choice should have to be made so that if you own a gun you can never even have one beer.

Comment Re:Dear Stevens (Score 1) 1633

Enact this, and as a former serviceman who swore an oath, I am obligated to stop you at all costs.

Your argument would
a) do nothing to reduce crime or mass killings
b) furthermore, since we have no militia, it is a de facto nullification of a primal right (and no, the National Guard is not a militia, sorry, you don't send a militia abroad to foriegn wars)
c) with the increasing breaches of American civil liberties, we need our guns now, more than ever...

You swore an oath to The Constitution. If it's enacted, it becomes part of The
Constitution to which you swore that oath.

If that oath included a "but only the version in existence right now" clause, then imagine the clash between military and the public when Prohibition was repealed.

Comment Re:People v. Persons (Score 1) 1633

People: "body of persons comprising a community". It is a singular noun. "Peoples is the plural." "People" is not the plural of "person" - that is "persons". The second amendment does not refer to the right of any individual person to keep and bear arms outside of membership in a militia. The language is already there, but almost everyone, including members of Supreme Court regularly misinterprets it.

In other places, The Constitution, and the various Amendments, are rather particular about using people or persons, and I'm starting to wonder if the Second wasn't written screwed up on purpose, so that no one could say for absolute certain what it means.

Comment Re:Actually the correct fix is far fewer words (Score 1) 1633

'A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, and the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.' Instead of applying revisionist views that have no Constitutional basis.

According to current rules of grammar, usage, and sentence construction, the Second Amendment (although it may have made sense at the time, according to the standards of that time) nowadays looks like the result of the collision of two different sentences, and your addition of that single word in that part of it doesn't make it any clearer, unless maybe you were trying to prevent the infringement of a well regulated militia.

Comment Re:It's crap (Score 1) 1633

The US Military has spent ten years wearing out its combat troops trying to pacify a country the size of Texas, opposed by goat herders and drug smugglers. You think that a military that is fractured by domestic conflict would be able to control an area 14x as large if there was a widely distributed insurgency sparked by some egregious violation of the constitution? Dream on.

The key word there is pacify. We certainly have the weapons technology to allow us to just kill everybody there (and let God sort them out, I suppose), it's trying to avoid collateral damage, human fatality-wise, that makes things problematic.

But we aren't as tribal here in the States, and in a situation where the actual military was unleashed domestically, neighbor would be more likely to give away neighbor, especially if the alternative was having the entire neighborhood reduced to dead bodies and smouldering rubble just to get the guys in one house.

And our military has the firepower to do that to an entire neighborhood, and then another, and then another....

If it gets to the point domestically that due process and all that is out the window, the civilians are outgunned, because they can't afford their own air force, or a navy that can sit offshore and bombard them from miles away, etc.

Comment Re:It's crap (Score 1) 1633

The whole point is for the citizens to be able to form a militia in order to defend themselves from their own government...

Are you quite certain that that was the intent of the authors, and not a viable alternative to a standing army, or some other reason? The whole point of the Constitution with the establishment of elected representation and restrictions on the powers of the federal government was to have a functional government from which the populace would not need to defend itself. Were they expecting that one amendment to deter a government which ignored the rest of the text?

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

No, because then they cease to be militia and have become regulars.

Oh, btw, why a well regulated militia? so that they were capable of holding their own against regulars. Just an FYI.

I would think that well-regulated would include "could reasonably be trusted to obey the chain of command and not just decide for themselves who to fight when, where, and how, and to not be as big a threat to the general populace as any invading army".

Which is why the Second doesn't start out "A bunch o' likkerd up good ol' boys with shootin' irons, being necessary to the security of a free State..."

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

When the constitution was ratified, the militia was the only defense that the United States had, and all able bodied men were expected to be ready to serve.

Now, whether the militia is the intent of the second amendment is a question that we have been asking for a long time now. The wording of the second amendment is not particularly clear on that.

And yes, I know that this opinion is not popular on a site as conservative as slashdot. That is why we see this as a front page story bashing the person proposing the re-examination of the second amendment.

The wording of the Second Amendment is not particularly clear, period. Unfortunately.

But we do know that the authors were pro-militia in large part because they were very nervous about the alternative--a large standing army.

The world and technology have changed so much since then that I'd be very nervous about our not having a somewhat large standing army.

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