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Comment Re:New word for Webster's (Score 1) 238

It's not a valid word. You are attempting to form the agent noun from treason, and the most common and regular way to do that is with the ending "-er" as in beat+er=beater or roast+er=roaster. But it is incorrect in this case, the noun is irregular, and the correct agent form is traitor "one who commits treason."

Also, the founding fathers saw fit to define treason very very narrowly and to do so in the Constitution itself, which is why the charge would not fit in the US, though it might be possible were this in a different jurisdiction.

Comment Re:M.E.H. (Score 2) 218

"Of course. To put it anatomically, KDE 4.0 had its heart in the right place, even if its other innards were completely jumbled. The problem with Gnome Shell, on the other hand, is that it has its head up its ass."

Aptly put. Sad to say, though, as a result of the excessive attention paid to these projects and their anatomical difficulties, the state of the UI on Gnu/Linux and related systems has arguably degraded. The only consolation is that competing options from MS and Apple have seen the same thing happening. In their case it is clear why they are doing this - they degrade one platform in a bid to gain control of a different market. Monopoly rents being what they are I suspect this is a rational business decision.

It's hard to see any similar motivation for GNOME, which once upon a time was supposed to be about software liberation.

Comment Re:My work pattern has been stomped on (Score 1) 631

"But installing anything other than the subset of frequently used applications that are available as slackware packages is often somewhere between annoying if ./configure,make,make install works and do it yourself dentistry without anesthetic painful if it doesn't"

Installing with make is usually a breeze on slack. Every other distro I have tried seems to go out of their way to break this and make it painful. How this turns into an argument for using them instead of Slackware I dont know. That's just backwards thinking.

"There's a lot to be said for apt-get. I sometimes wish I could tolerate Ubuntu for the convenience of apt-get"

Ever heard of slapt-get?

Comment Re:Again with the Reagan worship (Score 1) 50

Reagan was not a perfectly consistent conservative, and his term in office the government was not very conservative at all actually, but it's hard to think of any better word to describe Reagan himself. Beirut was one of the best points to show this, in fact - although he at first fell for war party line and setup a foothold in the middle east, it didnt take him long to wise up and reverse course.

The rest of the things you mention are blameworthy but I honestly believe he was mostly a patsy on those, he trusted and believed the wrong people, he didnt ask all the right questions, he was loyal to his subordinates to a fault, and a lot of bad stuff went down on his watch. What you dont mention is that the size of government grew in all areas even faster than under his predecessor, but then again that's blame Congress has to take the majority share in.

Overall I would characterise Reagan as a conservative who had difficulty governing, as a conservative.

Comment Re:America is fucked ... (Score 1) 455

You (and others) are simply missing the point here. We are talking about authority. You are talking about procedure. It's true that there is no court of appeal above the Supreme Court, which is what your point amounts to. And that may well give them some de facto power to 'interpret' the Constitution away. But that does not mean they or anyone else has actual authority to do so. There is also a clear procedure prescribed for amending the Constitution, you see, and the Supreme Court is not involved.

Comment Re:America is fucked ... (Score 4, Insightful) 455

Because the court system have an extremely poor record when it comes to striking down unconstitutional laws that are politically popular. Unfortunately the courts just cannot be counted on to lead on these issues. They wont be willing to stand up for justice until it becomes unnecessary for them to do so (because the politics will have swung far enough to legalise - we are very nearly there already.)

Comment Re:America is fucked ... (Score 4, Insightful) 455

To answer your question (though I suspect you know the answer already) an amendment was required to prohibit alcohol because the constitution gives the feds no power to do such a thing. And the only reason it didnt require a constitutional amendment to outlaw cannabis and cocaine and opium is simply racism - our ancestors were willing to let the government expand its power unconstitutionally in this way after being re-assured this would only be used to outlaw drugs that "others" used. Cannabis was primarily used by chicanos, cocaine by blacks, opium by chinese immigrants.

That racism is something we are paying the price for still today.

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