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Comment Re:Salvation Army (Score 1) 570

So you're saying that the Red Cross should have a lean, hand-to-mouth budget, then give lots of money to financial institutions in the hopes that said financial institutions will always be there when needed, immediately after a disaster. Then spend money hand-over-fist because of getting lots of money, then return to a lean, hand-to-mouth budget.

And, somehow, this is better than being financially prepared for a disaster, spending only on what they know will be helpful in a given instance, regardless of how much the instance makes the news, and saving any windfall for the next disaster.

Comment Re:Loss of archives is going to be bad (Score 2) 80

Some people from Archive Team ( are working on it, which means that, most likely, some amount of data will eventually end up on

Still, it'd be nice if AOL would say, "Here's all the data we have. Please save it." and present it to, rather than depend on a group of rogue archivists to not miss anything.

Comment Re:"they have iphones" and other garbage comments (Score 1) 944

Of course you can (protest a company while buying the company's product). It makes you a hypocrite though. You don't have to buy an iPhone. You don't have to eat a Big Mac.

In no way does it make you a hypocrite. Saying, "You shouldn't use Apple products", then using Apple products makes you a hypocrite. Saying, "I like Apple and their products but wish they'd stop using slave labor" is logically no different than saying, "I like my wife but I wish she'd stop smoking.".

Comment Re:Rough Decisions (Score 1) 699

My dad is/was a preacher, and one of the things I learned growing up is that funeral home directors tend to have a great sense of humor.

Think about it -- in order to do the job well, the director has to accept death as a part of life, help other people through a trying time, and stay sane despite that.

So, of _course_ the good morticians laugh a lot.

TSA agents, on the other hand, have to serve a giant bureaucracy, do highly questionable things to people who are almost certainly innocent, and justify a job where they almost certainly will never actually save or change lives in a good way.

How can they possibly avoid being insane, power-hungry sociopaths?

Comment Re:Its like the mob (Score 1) 513

If you don't like the terms of the contract, DO NOT sign the contract. It's really that simple.

If you don't want mandatory arbitration, then don't use that credit card.

If you don't want to pay for ESPN3, then don't use that internet provider.


If the contract were a contract of equals, where the consumer could say, "No, I don't like this portion", cross it out, and negotiate further, then I'd agree with you.

In a world where "contract" means "list of things we may change at any time, and you must abide by, because there's no reasonable alternative", well, even if you're right, it's not "really that simple".

Comment Re:Recession? (Score 1) 98

only complaint I have about them is the self-checkout

But self-checkout lets you check out in Pirate!

Okay, the necessary disclaimer is that that's my website, and I made the themes.

And, of course, they only work with ITG's machines, and I have no idea which self-check vendor your library uses.

Still, speaking as someone who was originally not sold on the self-checkout machines, especially when the edict from above was, "Make everyone use the self-checkout machines unless there's no other option." Once that got toned down, and I came up with the themes, they became a fun, focal point of the library where people would go because it offered something of value, rather than just making it so the library doesn't have to hire more people.

I suppose my secondary point is that this is another case where technology has scary aspects, but has some nifty possibilities that weren't necessarily foreseen.

Comment Re:Line between Civil Disobedience. . . (Score 2) 377

The myth of 'Civil Disobedience is all about getting caught' is spread by those who don't like the goals of today's civil disobedience, only those of yesterday.

Please, don't make the English language less flexible.

Those who break laws publicly in order to point out the unjustness are practicing civil disobedience.

Those who break laws secretly in order to point out the unjustness, while hoping not to get caught, are practicing vigilantism.

Those who break laws secretly, while hoping not to get caught, are merely law-breakers.

None of those positions are inherently good or bad. If this were about copyright infringement, the civil disobedience group would be the people who admit they pirated stuff, but fight the charges anyway. The vigilante group would be those who go out of their way to pirate, oh, Disney films, and spread them far and wide anonymously. The law-breaker group would range from people singing "Happy Birthday" at public events to those making millions by pirating new movies and selling cheap copies.

Calling a vigilante someone who is practicing civil disobedience reduces the flexibility of the language in an attempt to drape the moral high ground of civil disobedience around the shoulders of the greyer vigilantism.

Comment Re:The More Young College Grads I Meet... (Score 1) 671

How many high-school drop-outs have you met?

The thing about a college degree is not that it proves you're smart -- it doesn't. It proves that you had the ability to follow directions well enough to sit through 16+ years of schooling while regurgitating enough answers to keep the teachers happy.

It's a hoop to jump through, and having jumped through it shows you're not a complete screw up. You could still be a narcissistic sociopath, but so could the high-school drop-out.

Illegal immigrants, on the other hand, had to jump through the hoop of finding some way of making it in the country. They likely have to do moderately well at their job, as it's not like they have a safety net. Still, they're also less likely to have a solid grasp of English. They're also riskier to hire. Those problems make them good for low-level jobs, but not especially useful someplace where you want a person to stay for years.

Comment The Porn Matrix (Score 1) 640

Someone tried to convince me that there was a real Matrix 2, but when I watched The Matrix Reloaded, I realized it was just a porno spoof. I mean, seriously, would a real movie spend THAT much time switching between a sexy-hot party and a sexy-hot sex scene?

Comment Re:Too fucking bad.. (Score 1) 502

i'm glad i'm not an American if this sort of thing is acceptable there.

Why would not being an American stop you from being prosecuted? In this case, the crime was against a US politician. If Julian Assange teaches us nothing else, it's that the US government doesn't especially care about where you're from if you annoy it badly enough.

Comment Re:Not a great idea (Score 1) 760

Problem: While many French enjoy snails, and many Scandinavians enjoy Lutefisk, almost no one else does.

Cultural likes of generally disgusting things seem to rise from a cultural familiarity originally born out of desperation.

Having eaten crickets, I'd describe them as vaguely meaty with a side of shredded sandpaper.

That unpleasant texture makes me think this story is a bit like encouraging using sand to increase the volume of food you're eating, and thus decrease the caloric intake.

Certainly, there are cultures who consume more sand in their food. It doesn't make sandy food equally valid, at least so far as tastiness goes.

If we're desperate enough, though, yeah, sandy food and insects will be on the menu. We'll probably even like it eventually.

Comment Re:Federal funds used to destroy embryos... (Score 1) 388

You don't sacrifice one person's life for another ... And that's the basic objection.

For the sake of argument, I'll accept the entirety of your post as you meant it.

Now, the embryo that was brought into existence through IVF will now either a) be thrown in the trash, possibly after dying a natural death in the freezer, never having developed beyond a few cells or b) be used for research that has the possibility of saving lives.

This is in no way comparable to abortion. This is directly comparable to using the organs of a person who is now brain dead, and will die shortly.

Most compassionate human beings want to help the living, not the soon-to-be-dead.

In the real world, that's the choice -- let them die a meaningless death, or have their lives mean something.

Comment Re:And I've got a 10 inch... (Score 1) 397

Sex for women is who will it be. Sex for men is when will it be. A big difference, no?

Yes. Thus the fact that the top end for women will have lots of prostitutes and porn stars, and the top end for men will have pick-up artists and celebrities.

I'm still not certain which of those groups are bigger.

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