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Comment Re:Some privacy is more equal than other (Score 1) 294

Obviously, privacy of police officers is less equal than that of Planned Parenthood officials.

And you have a problem with that why? Police officers on duty don't have the same expectation of privacy that a private non profit and its officials have.

Are PP's employees "entirely different" from policemen?

What law enforcement powers do PP employees have again?

receiving even a little bit of tax money changes everything.

So PP employees should be able to go out and write tickets for speeding and stuff because they get a little tax money?

I notice you don't mention any applicable law. If we just go off of the vague assertion that it "changes everything" rather than a concrete law, then there are plenty of negative ways we could interpret that which make matters worse.

From what I'm reading here, this case doesn't look good for the activists. They committed fraud, they covertly videoed someone (which incidentally may be illegal to do even when the target is a police officer), and libeled Planned Parenthood afterward. The first two are felonies. The last a civil tort.

Comment Re:"Green" technologies aren't sufficient. (Score 1) 154

Or we could, you know, build clean garbage incineration units like they have in Europe which are actually net producers of energy.

Coal burning is actually a net producer of energy too. And if burning trash "cleanly" is so awesome as a power source, then why not dig up some of our monstrous trash heaps and burn those? Cleanly, of course.

BRB I need to throw some batteries away. /s

Comment Re:Can't blame NASA (Score 1) 166

Did NASA let this happen, or did Congress force it on NASA?

I believe both are true. A key point IMHO was in the wake of the massive downsizing from the Saturn V. NASA could no longer maintain the huge infrastructure of the Saturn period in the mid 70s. But rather than resize their ambitions for the budget they were getting, they overbuilt launch infrastructure (the Space Shuttle) in a gamble to get more funding for actual space exploration and development down the road. The Challenger accident ended that gamble.

At that point in 1986, the Shuttle had failed as a tool to gain more funding and enable more space activities. But they continued it for another quarter century, finally ending the program in 2010. We've since 1986 have had a vastly overpriced space station, at least two Shuttle predecessors, and two Saturn V-scale rockets developed without a point by NASA.

If NASA wanted a coherent, productive space strategy, they had numerous times where they could have changed their ways to get that, even in the face of congressional meddling. It has long been more important to lock in funding than it is to actually do anything in space.

Comment Re:Tradeoffs (Score 1) 578

I am in no way a populist, I am an anti-nationalist and I would prefer to see the people of the entire world doing better, so why would I be an enemy of the West? I am not UKIP, not Donald Trump, not Marine Le Pen and not Vladimir Putin.

As a libertarian, anarcho-capitalist I do not believe in building ever bigger governments though, so the smaller the better. This is a win for individual freedom, that's what it is.

Comment Re:Tradeoffs (Score 2) 578

This isn't "globalist", it is exiting a regional trade pact. I have misgivings about free trade, but almost none of those apply to countries with similar standards of living, similar product safety requirements, similar financial rules, easy migration, and similar worker protections.

We don't have similar standards of living, worker protections, educational attainment, or health outcomes across the 50 United States. What makes you think the EU can claim such outcomes between members? The anti-EU crowd was bitching about internal EU migration years before they started bitching about the Islamic "invasion." Imagine a New Yorker getting pissed because someone from Mississippi moved next door and took his job....

Comment Head of Vecna (Score 5, Funny) 52

I guess this is slightly on-topic.

From Steve Jackson Games website....

Many years ago (back when we all were still playing D & D), I ran a game where I pitted two groups against each other.

Several members of Group One came up with the idea of luring Group Two into a trap. You remember the Hand of Vecna and the Eye of Vecna that were artifacts in the old D&D world where if you cut off your hand (or your eye) and replaced it with the Hand of Vecna (or the Eye) you'd get new awesome powers? Well, Group One thought up The Head of Vecna.

Group One spread rumors all over the countryside (even paying Bards to spread the word about this artifact rumored to exist nearby). They even went so far as to get a real head and place it under some weak traps to help with the illusion. Unfortunately, they forgot to let ALL the members of their group in on the secret plan (I suspect it was because they didn't want the Druid to get caught and tell the enemy about this trap of theirs, or maybe because they didn't want him messing with things).

The Druid in group One heard about this new artifact and went off in search of it himself (I believe to help prove himself to the party members...) Well, after much trial and tribulation, he found it; deactivated (or set off) all the traps; and took his "prize" off into the woods for examination. He discovered that it did not radiate magic (a well known trait of artifacts) and smiled gleefully.

I wasn't really worried since he was alone and I knew that there was no way he could CUT HIS OWN HEAD OFF. Alas I was mistaken as the Druid promptly summoned some carnivorous apes and instructed them to use his own scimitar and cut his head off (and of course quickly replacing it with the Head of Vecna...)

Some time later, Group one decided to find the Druid and to check on the trap. They found the headless body (and the two heads) and realized that they had erred in their plan (besides laughing at the character who had played the Druid)...The Head of Vecna still had BOTH eyes! They corrected this mistake and reset their traps and the Head for it's real intended victims...

Group Two, by this time, had heard of the powerful artifact and decided that it bore investigating since, if true, they could use it to destroy Group One. After much trial and tribulation, they found the resting place of The Head of Vecna! The were particularly impressed with the cunning traps surrounding the site (one almost missed his save against the weakest poison known to man). They recovered the Head and made off to a safe area.

Group Two actually CAME TO BLOWS (several rounds of fighting) against each other argueing over WHO WOULD GET THEIR HEAD CUT OFF! Several greedy players had to be hurt and restrained before it was decided who would be the recipient of the great powers bestowed by the Head... The magician was selected and one of them promptly cut his head off. As the player was lifting The Head of Vecna to emplace it on it's new body, another argument broke out and they spent several minutes shouting and yelling. Then, finally, they put the Head onto the character.

Well, of course, the Head simply fell off the lifeless body. All members of Group Two began yelling and screaming at each other (and at me) and then, on their own, decided that they had let too much time pass between cutting off the head of a hopeful recipient and put the Head of Vecna onto the body.

SO THEY DID IT AGAIN!... [killing another PC]

In closing, it should be said that I never even cracked a smile as all this was going on. After the second PC was slaughtered, I had to give in (my side was hurting)...

And Group Two blamed ME for all of that...

Comment Re:Machines replacing bank tellers? (Score 1) 276

The mob wants to steal, that much is clear. When you are talking about 'resisting' what exactly is it you imagine people must resist? Their inability to steal from people who are better at protecting their assets today than ever before.

What exactly are the expectations? That you will come out with stones and you will get somebody to throw you a bone? That you can put together a system to steal on your behalf because you can throw stones?

I think the productive population on this planet needs to mobilise and make sure this never happens again that a mob with stones should be able to steal anything at all. Automation is the answer.

Comment Re:Hope it goes better than the plan did for Kelo (Score 1) 297

Fortunately, it appears Gorsuch is also very critical of Kelo. According to CNN, in an email to a couple of friends at the time, Gorsuch praised Thomas' rather scathing dissent (interestingly, Scalia joined only in O'Connor's dissent, not Thomas').

It's interesting that Trump nominated Gorsuch. Trump seems to think Kelo was a "great" (or maybe "beautiful" or maybe just "pussy grabbing worthy" - I don't recall his exact words) decision. I'd guess that Trump wasn't aware of Gorsuch's views on Kelo before nominating him.

Comment Re:Didn't they opt themselves out? (Score 1) 297

That's standard. Pretty much every law that's passed has a clause at the end exempting Congress from having to obey the law.

This is a bit different though. The browsing history of Congresscritters while in Congress may be exempted. But their home Internet connection falls under a local ISP's purvey, so their history could be harvested under the new law.

Comment Re:How? (Score 1) 297

The problem is most ISPs in the U.S. are government-granted monopolies. So there is no competition, no alternative ISP for people to switch to if they're upset that their ISP has decided to sell their browsing history. And without the pressure of outraged customers switching to a competitor, there's no reason other than principle for a company not to sell the data.

Comment Re:Two problems (Score 4, Informative) 297

And if they can't do that, they'll draft such a law THEN charge you.

First, just drafting a law doesn't make it law -- they would have to pass the law through the usual channels.

Second, the US Constitution prohibits Congress from passing ex post facto laws (Article I, Section 9: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.") and States from passing ex post facto laws (Article I, Section 10: "No State shall [...] pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law [...]).

Comment Re:And it might be illegal (Score 1) 297

The FTC can't "pass" a "law".

Perhaps you meant: "If it is within their regulatory authority to do so, the FTC should enact regulations requiring that *every* corporation must protect customer privacy."

(Although, I don't know why such a requirement would be limited to corporations -- I don't see why unincorporated businesses should get a pass).

Comment Re:Tradeoffs (Score 1) 578

WTF?!? Russia is small!?!? It's the largest country in the world by far!

Sure, if you're looking at it from the childish perspective that acres of dirt (and snow) make up "a country." That's not what matters. Population, economic power, international trade, energy self-sufficiency, the ability to defend borders, and so on ... those are the things that make up a country, and contribute to how you measure whether or not one is large or small. Previously, the Russians made themselves (temporarily, in a short-lived illusion) "larger" by being willing to slaughter (or allow to die) untold millions of people and take over other countries as they built the creaky Soviet empire. They are now a "small" country in the scheme of things, which is why Putin is once again pushing into other territories.

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