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Comment Re:Speech as a crime (Score 2) 161

You do have a right to stop someone from saying things that a reasonable person would perceive as threatening.

And there's very little that someone hundreds of miles away from you can say over the internet that a reasonable person would perceive as threatening.

Someone in the same room with me, or standing in front of my house, saying "I'm going to punch you in the face for what you said!" is a true threat, the person has the imminent means and opportunity to carry it out. Someone in a different city tweeting "@tom_swiss I'm going to punch you in the face for what you said!" is not a threat. Their arms just aren't that long.

Comment Re:Oh yeah, that's money well spent (Score 1) 161

Can somebody tell me why motivation makes a difference?

Because intent matters.

Intent is a very different thing than motive. Motive, in your example is the reason why the first guy planned his murder: for gain, for the lulz, ethnic or religious or political hatred, whatever. The act is still one of deliberate intent, regardless of motive. Your second guy had no intent to kill.

Motive may matter when we turn to the question of how to rehabilitate a criminal. But it can play no rightful role in defining a crime.

Comment Re:B-b-b-but GUNZ is SKEEERY!! (Score 1) 331

If guns kill people, then no one ever kills themselves; they are murdered by various inanimate objects: guns, ropes, knives, bridges, pills, etc. I don't see people talking about someone who hanged themselves as a "rope death" or someone who jumped of a bridge as a "bridge death". It's as if guns were a special case, for some political reason.

Comment Re:Who cares..?? (Score 1) 704

... and elect a ho-hum stay-the-course centrist....

You misspelled "unprincipled sociopathic war criminal" there. Unfortunately it's not a choice of stepping into a dog turd to avoid a bullet, it's falling on a sword to avoid a bullet.

The only thing to do in that situation is use all available means to push the system into giving you more choices next iteration. Vote Green or Libertarian and demand electoral reform.

Comment Re:Always been doing it (Score 5, Interesting) 107

So since you are hearing ads (and I'm assuming you a relatively young anonymous coward) you would rather hear irrelevant ads shilling restless leg syndrome aids VS cheap flights to cancun?

Can't speak for the AC, but if I can't avoid corporate mind control (a.k.a. advertising) entirely I'd like it to be as mistargeted as possible. Facebook sometimes seems to think I'm in Sri Lanka or Laos and sends me ads I can't read, that's perfect.

Comment Jota, Ghost Commander, and my VPS (Score 1) 286

Jota is a free software basic Android text editor. Ghost Commander is a free software file manager that lets me transfer files via sftp. I have my own server. So from my phone and tablets I can download (when connected), create and edit (connected or not) and upload (when connected) notes, writing projects, or whatever. From my full-fledged PCs its even more transparent, I use sshfs to mount the remote directory. (You have your own cheap VPS, right? I mean, I know /.'s standards have declined, but I assume we're still all techies here, and VPSs are cheap. Given that, why would you want to store your stuff on some computer you don't control?)

Comment Re:Stranger Danger! (Score 1) 211

Capitalism's goal is free people satisfying the needs and desires of their fellow citizens.

Capitalism's goal is the enrichment of the capitalist class via the state-backed exploitation of workers and of the natural resources that are the common property of humanity. If any needs or desires of people outside the ruling class happen to get met -- which used to happen but is now more and more rare as capitalist scum become more efficient -- it's a by-product, not the goal.

Land existed before civilization, before humanity. It becomes "property" only via state action. The ante for the game of turning land (a real thing) into "property" (a human fiction) and backing that up with state force, is seeing that every human being has a warm, dry, clean, and safe place to sleep and store their stuff and attend to basic human needs.

Comment "let us spy on you so we can rescue you!" (Score 2) 208

And while it's impossible to know for sure, it's entirely possible that the time Gleeson saved by not having to call an ambulance manually helped save her daughter's life.

Extremely unlikely. The few seconds difference it might make is lost in the noise in all the factors that affect the response time. This rings as a bullshit justification of constant surveillance: "We're always watching out for you! Like a helpful older sibling."

Comment Re: Why do we need US political topics? (Score 1) 245

Which implies that you still -- almost sixteen years later -- reject the findings of every recount -- both official and unofficial -- that found George W. Bush to be the legitimate winner.

1.) State and federal law and international treaty put a variety of requirements on the Florida 2000 selection of electors. These laws were not followed. Ergo Florida never sent a legitimate set of electors to cast their ballots.

2.) The complete Florida recount done by researchers found that, despite the illegal disenfranchisement of many voters, using the "clear intent" standard Gore got more votes in 2000 in Florida than Bush did. The press coverage universally buried the lede and talked about how the limited recounts Gore called for would have left Bush the winner.

Those are the facts. Those of us who push for history to recognize them, and for the political system to make sure the situation does not re-occur, are not "holding a grudge".

Comment Re:Why is he in jail? (Score 1) 416

Since when is Palin an "elite" in America?

Since she was elected governor of Alaska, at least. Possibly since she was elected to the city council in Wasilla, though I'm not sure how much power or status that gave her. Certainly as mayor she was able to use her status to impose her will on people.

"Elite, sometimes "Ãlite" is a small group of powerful people in political and sociological theory, such as an oligarchy, that controls a disproportionate amount of wealth or political power in society. This group holds a superior position among the ordinary people and exercises greater privilege than the rest of the population." -- the wik

Comment The Church of All Worlds exists (Score 1) 527

There is a legally recognized "Church of All Worlds", inspired by Heinlein. It's a sizable Neopagan group started by Oberon Zell (who corresponded a fair bit with Heinlein). The judge's apparent ignorance of this fact demonstrates the unsoundness of his ruling.

Pastafarianism is as real as any religion. Questions of religious liberty must be based on the sincere beliefs and actions of the person, not in the origins of the religion. Dude has FSM tats, has undergone some expense and pain in the name of Pastafarianism, so it's not a trivial thing for him.

Comment Re:Dictation (Score 1) 188

Lying to a cop is not a crime, in and of itself.

Yes, it is, at least here in Maryland: "A person may not make, or cause to be made, a statement, report, or complaint that the person knows to be false as a whole or in material part, to a law enforcement officer of the State, of a county, municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the State, or of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Police with intent to deceive and to cause an investigation or other action to be taken as a result of the statement, report, or complaint....A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding $500 or both."

Comment Re:That's not the reason tourists stay away (Score 3, Interesting) 106

It's your damn xenophobia. Teach your people some manners and we'll talk about visiting.

I've spent about four months total in Japan, mostly in Osaka but some day trips out to the boonies. The Japanese people I encountered were almost universally polite and helpful. I got quite a few free drinks and even a free dinner from people who wanted to practice English.

Yes, there was one drunk guy unhappy to see a white guy on his street and yelled at me, one cashier who ignored me and one older guy who didn't want to sit next to me on a train. Meh. More than balanced out by the woman who all but took me by the hand to help me find the temple I was looking for when I got lost in her little town.

I see more rudeness from fellow Americans in a week here than I'd see in a month from how Japanese folks treat Americans. I'd go back in a heartbeat, and hope to do so someday.

Comment Re:Ok (Score 5, Informative) 556

Nearly everybody has a driver's license.

No, actually, large numbers of people don't. Many Americans don't drive. I know that many middle-class suburban Americans are shocked to learn that other Americans live differently, but it's true. in fact some Americans are entirely unable to obtain government issued IDs.

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