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Comment Re:It has a deep tradition it seems (Score 3, Interesting) 217

In plenty of places, you can put a well wherever you like and it'll work. I'm quite sure that's the case on my grandfather's property. There's a lot of homes there with their own wells, there's presumably a big aquifer or the like underneath (I've never bothered to check to see what). So the reason dowsing worked was that any spot was fine.

He did it just because he believed it was how it was done. Of course each time it 'worked' and as such he kept doing it.

What I found interesting about the thing was that it was a 'common man' kind of thing for him and others. He wasn't a huckster that went around dowsing for people, he did it himself, for his wells, and just using whatever Y shaped stick he'd come across. To him, it wasn't mystical, it was just a process one did like so much else in farming and ranching and it was something anyone could, and would, do.

I think that might have something to do with why dowsers keep believing in it. There seems to be a real strong cultural thing that dowsing just works, and so they believe that must be the case.

Comment In the case of my grandpa (Score 1) 217

I imagine anywhere on his property would have worked. In total he ended up putting in 4 wells in different locations, spread around, for different purposes. Seems like a safe bet there was an aquifer or the like below all of it. I'm sure he could have chosen any spot, and he already knew the area he wanted it in. He just dowsed for the specific spot.

Comment It has a deep tradition it seems (Score 4, Interesting) 217

Some people don't even think it is special powers, just a thing you do. My grandpa did the dowsing thing to decide where to put the various wells on his property. Not because he thought he had special powers, it was just how he'd learned you select your well spot. Anyone could do it. He figured it worked since every time he'd drill that spot, and before long have a functional well.

For him it wasn't magical or special powers, it was just the standard process. Get Y shaped stick, walk around, it signals where the well goes, put it there.

Comment Re:No, you grow up (Score 4, Insightful) 569

You feel like you are "fighting for scraps" because your big screen TV is 6 years old, you have a surround sound system but you don't like it, and your fridge 10?

See this is what I'm talking about with needing to take a more global look at things. Oh no, you don't have all new conveniences, whatever shall you do! I don't either, for that matter. My fridge is about 10 years old, and I've no wish to replace it as it keeps working great. My microwave is over 30 years old, it was given to me a long time ago and just keeps on trucking. Again, no reason to replace it as it still works great. Having a good life doesn't mean buying everything new all the time. In fact a big part of it can be managing your money by spending it smartly on things as needed and keeping what works.

Then of course you have to go with the silly doom and gloom "You won't have a good life soon!" shit and show a rather poor understanding of economics.

Look man, sorry that your life is not working out as well as you believe it should but you also should maybe do a little research and see how good you have it compared to the majority of the world's population.

Also consider that maybe, just maybe, you are part of the problem with your ability to get and keep a job. Layoffs are something that everyone is likely to face from time to time, but if you keep losing your job, if you are always having problems finding one, well then perhaps you are doing something wrong. I don't know much about you so I can't say what, but perhaps some introspection is in order. It is like the people who perpetually have bad relationships yet never seem to consider they may have a part of that.

Comment Also (Score 5, Informative) 1737

Civilians don't get to do "warning" shots. The deal with the use of deadly force is that it either is or is not justified. There isn't a situation where it is justified to "just try and scare them" with a gun.

In the case of something like this, the justification would be that you feared for your life. In most places that allow lethal force for self defense, that is a valid reason. The thing is, just firing a warning shots could show that you really DIDN'T have an imminent fear for your life. You weren't so afraid you felt the need to shoot your attacker, just "warn" them. Thus you weren't really in fear for your life, so no justification.

I am not aware of jurisdictions that allow you to use guns to just try and scare people for various reasons. You can use them to defend yourself and sometimes others, but only in grave cases. If the case isn't grave enough for that, then you aren't justified in using it in any way.

Basically as a civilian in a self defense situation don't draw your gun unless to shoot and don't shoot except to kill. If the situation isn't serious enough to warrant that, then a gun isn't the answer.

Comment Re:Due Process (Score 2) 1737

That was for sure my feeling on the OJ case. I thought he was guilty (and sure do now after his book that Chris Rock accurately predicted) but had I been on the jury I'm pretty sure I would have voted to acquit. The prosecution fucked up the case, and there was reasonable doubt.

This is slightly different, what with self defense being an affirmative defense, but same basic deal: Doesn't matter what you think happened, matters if it was proven to whatever standard the court instructs you is required.

Comment Jurors usually follow judicial instructions (Score 4, Insightful) 1737

Remember that they looked for people who hadn't followed the leadup to this a ton. Not everyone gives a fuck what is in the media. Also it turns out in most cases jurors do a reasonable job of following what the judge tells them. The judge tells them what evidence they can consider, and what is required for a charge, and they usually listen to that, at least reasonably well.

The system is far from perfect, but they really do try and get people who have little to no knowledge about a case beforehand, and they try to instruct those people as to what is and is not to be considered.

Also the prosecution screwed up their case at several points, and that makes a big difference as well.

Remember that while the rest of the world (that was interested) was following the media accounts, the jurors were following only what happened in the courtroom.

Comment Oh grow up (Score 4, Insightful) 569

Seriously the OSW "99%" whining is really, really stupid.

So let's do a bit of analysis: You have to be making over $400,000 per year (or have multiple millions in the bank) to be in the top 1% in the US. Everything under that is, by definition, "the 99%". The median income in the US is about $50,000 which would be "the 50%".

So, what is life like there? Well I have a fairly good idea, what with making around that. At that income you can afford to own your own house. Not a huge one, but plenty of space. You can afford to have a car that is nice, and in good working order, you don't have to fight with a junker. You can have all the appliances of modern life: dishwasher, fridge, washer/dryer, A/C, stove, etc, etc. You can get more food than you can or should eat, even if you eat out semi-regularly. You can have entertainment, like a bigscreen TV, surround sound, modern computer, broadband Internet, etc. You have enough money you can afford to put some in savings, to deal with unexpected events and not be thrown into debt by them.

In other words, you can have a damn good life. I want for nothing, I have an exceedingly good standard of living on a global scale and I am very, very grateful for it. Do "the 1%" have it better than me? Sure, but I am not "fighting scraps" (I presume you meant fighting for scraps). I am sitting in my air conditioned home, typing on my nice 30" computer screen while contemplating which of my many food options I wish to avail myself of for dinner. That is not a bad life in any way, shape, or form.

So seriously, stop with the uninformed bitching. Stop with this class warfare "1%" type shit. There IS an income inequity problem in the US and we do need to look at it. However it is not a case of "all of us vs them" nor is it valid to pretend that everyone who isn't the most privileged of the elite are starving in the streets.

Also, when you start talking equality, you might want to look on the global scene. You may well BE "the 1%" globally. Starts are a little hard but the median GDP in terms of purchasing power parity is like $12,000. So you can say if you want true equality that anyone making more than that, including you probably, need to give up their money.

Comment Re:Man the FL state attornies just want to fuck up (Score 1) 569

No, the judge gets to decide their relevance. Attorneys can't just enter whatever they want into evidence. The judge has to decide it is relevant to the case at hand. None of the gun stuff would be admissible. Nobody contends Martin had a gun, so it is of no relevance at all. Saying "Well he wanted to get a gun," is silly, particularly since there was no way Zimmerman knew this.

The stuff on fighting, maybe, kinda depends on the context. It might hinge on the claims the state made, like if they claimed Martin wasn't strong enough to have done any harm then it might be admitted in as counterevidence.

The stuff on marijuana, well that did come in, but only because there was evidence he had it in his system. Drug use in general is not relevant, you don't get to try and make the victim (or the defendant) look like a bad guy. Drug use would only be relevant if the person in question was on drugs at the time. It seems the ME's report says Martin had evidence of marijuana in his system, hence that is admissible.

But no, you don't just get to introduce anything you want to attack a witness/defendant/victim and say "Well the jury gets to decide!" That is not what the law says. The judge gets to decide what evidence is presented to the jury to consider.

Comment Re:Man the FL state attornies just want to fuck up (Score 1) 569

Well having not kept up on all the evidence in the trial I can't say anything for certain, but in general it seems like they could make manslaughter charges stick. Doesn't matter is Martin was an asshole a punk, etc. What matters is that it seems Zimmerman followed him, confronted him, and was probably not realistically in fear of his life when he shot him. The whole "slamming on the pavement" thing has been contested. There really isn't hard evidence of what happened.

I'm not saying I'm sure, just saying I think they probably could make the case. Murder no way, but Manslaughter I think is a realistic possibility.

In terms of why not let juries hear evidence? Well because it may not be relevant and it may bias them. Just because someone did X that people do not like it does not also follow that they did Y. That is why you can't generally mention a defendant's prior bad acts unless they somehow relate to the particular case. So if someone was convicted of robbery in the past, you can't bring it up in an unrelated murder case just to try and make them look like a bad guy.

Same for victims. That someone was a bad guy or a thug or whatever doesn't deny them due process of law. As such you can't try and introduce evidence they were bad people for untreated shit.

So that Zimmerman did drugs is not relevant unless he was on drugs at the time of the attack (apparently he was and that did come in). That he liked weapons was not relevant unless he had one at the time (which he didn't). That kind of thing.

For example suppose you are a firearms enthusiast and own many guns. Also you are a computer security professional and know plenty about securing computers and circumventing said security. So some asshole you know gets his phone hacked and embarrassing pictures posted online. He thinks you did it, confronts you, and beats you with a bat and puts you in the hospital.

At his trial, would you want his defense team to be able to bring up these things. Would you want them to try and say "Well using a weapon was justified because he thought causality might have a gun, after all causality is a well known gun nut and owns a ton of weapons!" and "It is likely casualty did in fact hack my client's phone, look at all the training and experience he has in this area, it would be easy for him to do!" They try to make you look bad because of something totally unrelated to the case.

I don't care enough to go and review the evidence but the judge, who does, decided it wasn't relevant in this case and she probably had a reason. Martin may well have been a thug, but that doesn't have any bearing on the legality of this incident.

Comment Man the FL state attornies just want to fuck up (Score 5, Interesting) 569

Seriously, I think the state had a pretty good manslaughter case against Zimmerman, but with all the antics they've been pulling, they are just asking to get an acquittal or an overturn on appeal. You can't go and give a guy a good performance eval and a raise, and then suddenly fire him and claim that he's a bad employee when he reveals that you may have been messing with evidence.

The worst part? Sounds like the evidence wasn't really relevant.

I hope this guys successfully sues these idiots.

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