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Comment Re:And, who has the Obamacare ID validation contra (Score 1) 390

"Bringing Obama into the discussion distracts from the fact that it doesn't matter who the president is, the government will continue being the government and continue doing whatever it wants."

That makes no sense. When President Bush was overreaching with the Patriot Act and foolish military ventures, it was correct and proper to blame President Bush. When President Obama overreaches with the Affordable Care Act, it's correct and proper to blame President Obama. Because Obama is the one responsible for this particular clusterfuck, that we're talking about and experiencing right now.

Complaining about "the government" does nothing to discourage the next idiot in charge from repeating this mistake. And it give the other would-be tyrants no reason to worry about the consequences to themselves: If you get caught, just read a prepared statement about how gosh darn angry you are on TV, throw out a few passive-voice "mistakes were made" non-explanations, and the buck is passed. And then relax as easily manipulated people eagerly rush to reassign blame in a foolish attempt to appear Wise and Above The Fray.

Comment Re:And, who has the Obamacare ID validation contra (Score 1) 390

"We get nowhere when we fight about one party over another. But thats how all the debates are framed, and partisan drones are programmed to jump all over the opportunity to blame opposing party while ignoring the same transgressions when it is their party being bad."

No, that's exactly how it should work. When the Republicans do something horrifically stupid it's ridiculous to expect the Republicans to denounce themselves for their own stupidity. They're too invested in denying their own failure. When the Democrats do something horrifically stupid it's ridiculous to expect the Democrats to denounce themselves for their own stupidity. They're too invested in denying their own failure.

Which is why it's absolutely vital to a functional government that the people to whom we grant power are locked in dynamic opposition with one another, at every level, all the time. The "pox on both their houses!" approach is utterly counterproductive. It does nothing but encourage natural opponents to work in common cause against outsiders - and that's you and me.

Comment Re: Wow, this is stupid. (Score 1) 629

"Think back! Remember the Cretaceous Era? Happy dinosaurs, whole mountains of Unobtainum! All for us!"

"And remember when somebody came along, and they took all our Unobtainium? And we never found out who it was?"

(points up into the sky toward Kepler-62)

"It was them."

And a new Golden Age is born.

Comment Re:No (Score 2) 629

"Obviously someone can always invent some new hypothesis as to why, for reasons of alien psychology, aliens would want to travel, but nobody knows squat about alien psychology, so there's really no point in debating it."

So there's no point in debating "why", because you've already decided that no possible value of "why" can satisfy the conditions you've assumed to be true. Your logic has run rings 'round me.

But let's say you're right. Let's look at human psychology, instead. Do humans ever undertake incredibly expensive, dangerous, and impractical ventures with virtually no chance of success, and absolutely no chance of return on investment? On a whim? Because they're curious? Because it's there? Yes. They do.

So what was your point, again?

Comment Re:Limited Data Set (Score 1) 270

"Basically, incomplete data leads to inaccurate analysis"

And absent data leads to even wilder speculation. In a free society, people talk about events and about other people and sometimes they say things that turn out to be wrong. Such is life.

This is all pretty meaningless. Some dudes on some forum speculated about some pictures and some people who's names were broadcast by the police. The police were slow to provide context or correct misconceptions, so people tried to fill in the blanks themselves.

The major news outlets were doing the exact same things, of course, with a much bigger audience. They're supposed to be trained professionals with editorial fact-checking and special access to reliable sources. But the truth is that they're actually crowdsourced too, it's just a very small, very insular crowd with a very limited sphere of expertise.

Comment Re:I Still Don't Get It (Score 1) 106

"The goal is to keep companies like Google or Facebook from doing what amounts to surveillance of the population."

European governments prefer to do that sort of thing themselves. They get so jealous.

But in all seriousness, it's a pretty stupid law if the intent is to prevent gathering information. The allegedly private information that those people broadcast to the entire neighborhood via unencrypted wifi is still being broadcast and presumably is still unencrypted. Sure, the courageous privacy police may have saved Europe from those nefarious Google people and their dastardly plan to map public streets. But, meanwhile, the skeevy guy in the apartment across the street is still watching his neighbors' financial transactions, romantic dalliances, porn-watching habits, religious observances, and all the other lets-pretend-it's-private public network traffic that Google's wifi triangulation system really couldn't have cared less about.

If the EU actually wanted to protect people from broadcasting private things in public, then they'd need to make it against the law to sell an open wifi router. Why do you suppose they don't do that?

Comment Re:Why? (Score 4, Insightful) 106

Using your same logic, your conversation with your friend across the room can be heard by any random person passing nearby, just because it's floating through the air. Why would that be a breach of privacy?

It would not be. And neither is intercepting unencrypted wifi traffic. Because you've deliberately chosen a means of communication which you know can be easily overheard.

This case is just an example of self-serving bureaucratic pandering. It makes just as much sense as the government demanding that everyone wear earplugs in public lest we overhear "private" information being shouted from the rooftops.

Comment Re:Forgotten 2012 campaign poster (Score 1) 405

"Terribly. And yet, marginally better than what was promised by his opposition:"

Romney told the truth about what his policies were going to be. Obama lies, repeatedly, does exactly the same thing, and treats his peers in the House with contempt for even asking the question.

So I'd appreciate if you could please explain how is the current situation is "better", in any way, than even the most extreme interpretation of the Romney campaign's soundbites.

Do you want politicians to be asked hard questions? Do you like accountability and transparency? Do you think it's important for the media to be skeptical of the government? Then you should vote Republican.

Comment Re:Conspiracy! (Score 1) 659

"Your friend didn't need full access to records to prevent his death. He needed a second opinion, which he probably should have gotten before eating became impossible. His second doctor could request the records, and get them, and see the mysterious error that happens twice."

Or the patient could request the records, take them to multiple doctors for their opinions, perhaps do some research on his own, and perhaps not die.

But, hey some hypothetical doctors avoided being inconvenienced by some hypothetical lawsuits for a little while longer, until the patient had the temerity to drop dead without filing the proper forms. So that's a win.

Comment Re:Conspiracy! (Score 1) 659

"But as for the 2nd of your examples, yes a hidden feature is abusable. But this is your DOCTOR we're talking about. They are in a position of trust. If you don't trust your doctor, you need to find a new one. If you're a doctor and you've proven yourself untrustworthy, you need to be delicensed. It should be safe to assume you can trust your doctor. Given that, they should be allowed to selectively hide information from you for your benefit.."

That's utter nonsense. I determine the relationship between my doctor and myself. My doctor is my employee. I give him money, he provides a service. I trust him to provide this service until I decide I want to take my business somewhere else. I trust him to treat me as a peer, not as a child or a piece of property to be managed according to someone else's wishes. I trust him to do those things well because he wants to keep my business and avoid a poor reputation.

Any professional who pleads that they "need" to hide things from you "for your own good" is an arrogant fool who does not have your best interests as a priority. Would you use a mechanic who hides a brake fluid leak because it might worry you needlessly? Or a computer technician that refused to tell you what software he installed on your personal machine, and then refused to provide you with the admin account so you could see for yourself?

Clearly such a person does not respect you, nor are they worthy of your respect.

Comment Re:It is about not lettting ideas be silenced (Score 1) 194

"Indeed. The 1st Amendment protects us from government, but who protects us from powerful groups, such as companies, unions, etc.?"

You do. It's your responsibility as a citizen to secure your rights. No one is going to do it for you.

" We really need a supplemental "Bill Of Rights" to address organizations of people and how individuals are protected from those organizations."

The Bill of Rights doesn't protect anyone from anything. It recognizes the inherent rights of human beings and sets limits on the power granted to the government by the people. If you insist on giving the government more power to "protect" you, you shouldn't be surprised when those same powers are used in ways you don't like.

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