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Comment Re:Dramatic contemporary issues (Score 1) 116

I've never been a Star Trek fan, it's an ok (collection of) series and I enjoyed most of the movies but it never really grabbed me to the point where I'd make sure to watch every episode. But for some reason I really got into Enterprise. Until the time travel story line, yes.

I also like Enterprise, especially for its "stuff isn't quite ready for space travel" and the Vulcan's "we have to help the poor earthlings and not let them hurt themselves as they venture out" approach. The time travel story line jumped the shark; and the alternate universe one, "In a Mirror, Darkly," involving the Tholian Web and some real promise. A ST:Empire with the Klingons as good guys had a lot of potential.

Comment Re:Um, duh? (Score 1) 289

So, decisions/involvement/circumstances for the parents and household when the student is ten years old ultimately impact if that student, eight years later, will have the prerequisites to compete at an elite college. Poor parents, single parents, parents that end up with stressors that prevent them from committing the time and attention to their child's upbringing will, on average, harm that child's educational performance and will lead to reduced opportunities simply because the student does not have the academic basis in order to attend these schools.

Excellant points. Parental involvement and understanding of the college entrance "game" will always be a big factor in who applies and who gets in, and that probably correlates better with income than say a students potential to succeed in college. Applying to college can be daunting, and if you don't have a parent who has been through the process and have a school that is geared to getting kids in college it will be much more difficult. Add in the perception that "college is so expensive that we can't afford it" even though many schools will provide enough financial aid to make it affordable and you have a double whammy, plus if you don't see many kids going to college from your neighborhood you may not even have expectations of going to college.

You hit the nail on the head when you said the challenge is reaching these kids early in the educational process; but that takes money we as a nation seem unwilling to invest.

Comment Re:Best fucking part (Score 1) 787

As far as I can tell, there are no formal US charges pending against Assange. There aren't likely to be any charges either, because he's done no more than the NY Times did with the Pentagon Papers. Unless, of course, the Justice Department wants to start indicting newspapers for publishing this sort of thing.

IANAL, but if Assange encouraged or guided Manning prior to her taking the documents then a conspiracy to commit espionage charge might be attempted. If a prosecutor wants to go after Assange I have no doubt they could find something to charge him; never underestimate the ability of a prosecutor to be inventive when interpreting the law and desires to go after someone. The morality of such an approach and whether or not those charges would stick or he would be convicted is another issue.

Comment Re:Best fucking part (Score 1) 787

Precisely what would the charges be?/p?

I am not sure; but no doubt if the US wanted to they would find something. For example, if he encouraged or directed Manning they might try eepionage and conspiracy charges, with the US nexus the email servers. I think that is a dangerous stretch and the charges might not stick. It that doesn't mean they couldn't try. Some of the lawyers I know view the law much like a board game; there is a set of rules and it is up to them to see how they can use them to their advantge. Never underestimate the ingenuity of a US attorney if the government wants to grab someone.

Comment Re:Best fucking part (Score 1) 787

"Earlier this month, WikiLeaks said it would agree to a US extradition request for the site's founder, Julian Assange, if Obama granted clemency to Manning. It was not immediately clear if WikiLeaks would make good on its promise."

The funny part is that there has been no US extradition request for Julian Assange. So basically, he didn't offer anything. It was just a way to keep his name in the news.

I wondered about that as well; on the surface it appears to be a PR ploy since he has not been charged with any crime and would probably argue he is protected as a journalist. OTOH, the US could charge him anyway, request extradition and let him argue he should not be charged. Sweden could off course ask the US to extradite him to face charges there if he went t the US; or the UK cold arrest and hold him pending extradition, if he leaves the embassy, and let a UK court decide which country gets first shot at him.

Comment Re:Your move, Assange.... (Score 1) 787

It also said "in exchange", as in Obama would have to agree to trade one for the other. Since he has now granted clemency anyway there can be no exchange.

I'm not taking sides, just pointing out that the offer was clearly for an exchange.

Alternatively, it cold be interpreted as "if yo do X I will do Y;" not as a literal exchange. Anyway, the linked tweet doesn't even mention an exchange:

"If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case"

rather that Assange would agree to US extradition, of course agreeing to something and actually doing it are two different things. The ball is in his court so it will be interesting to see his response.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 5, Informative) 787

Snowden cannot be pardoned, because he has not been convicted of any crime. There is no conviction to pardon or commute. He has to surrender and be charged in order for that to happen. Obama already commented on that, he said that regardless of how he feels about Snowden, you can't pardon someone who hasn't been convicted of anything.

Not true, the President's pardon power is pretty broad; specifically, the President has the "Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment." There is no mention of conviction or even a trial, merely that an offense be committed "against the United States." The only limit would be in case of impeachment which is not germane to Snowden. As long as someone committed an act against the US a pardon may be issued by the President. Of note is that doesn't prevent state charges, stemming from the same act, from being brought as the President's power only extends to "Offences against the United States." In Snowden's case I have no idea if a state could decide to charge him or even what the charge could be, but someone could very well commit a Federal and state crime in the same act and thus a Presidential pardon would have no impact in the state's case.

I take Obama's comment as meaning his standard for considering a pardon includes having been tried for the act before he will consider issuing one; a standard Snowden has not met.

Comment Re:Your move, Assange.... (Score 2, Informative) 787

Manning wasn't pardoned, his sentence merely got reduced. Assange's offer was for a pardon.

Actually, the tweet said clemency, not pardon; which commutation certainly is based on the definition of clemency: Leniency or mercy. A power given to a public official, such as a governor or the president, to in some way lower or moderate the harshness of punishment imposed upon a prisoner. Will be interesting to see what Assange does now that Obama has granted clemency.

Comment Re:Sounds about right (Score 1) 84

With the Pound now trading at around $1.23, and the UK app store incorporating VAT at 20% while the US store doesn't include sales tax in the list priced, this sounds about right. Certainly the "UK premium" is nothing like the 50-100% that wasn't uncommon a decade or so ago.

Apple look simply to be pricing in the devaluation in Sterling that has occurred since the beginning of Brexit. I'm not sure anyone can find much to fault with that. The real question is how quickly Apple will move to reduce prices if/when the Pound recovers?

Prices tend to be sticky in terms of reduction, if simply if only customers get used to the higher prices so absent a steep decline companies tend to keep prices at the higher levels once they raise prices.

Comment Re:Double standards? (Score 1) 273

If Snowden is a criminal for leaking classified information to the media, why isn't there a full scale government investigation to identify the people who are leaking this classified "Russian hacking" stuff to the media? Do we have any laws left which are enforced in a fair & uniform manner? A government which makes it a practice of enforcing laws arbitrarily is an illegitimate government.

Pretty simple - some leaks you want, some you don't.

Comment Probably won't happen. (Score 1) 273

At this point, what's the upside for President Obama? It will no doubt set off a flurry of criticism which won't stop once he leaves office. He seems to want to live gracefully and pardoning Snowden would prevent that and potentially complicate any post-presidency political plans he may have and impact his legacy. The popular story won't be "Obama pardons brave whistleblower" but "Obama pardons traitor who helped Russia." The truth and moral arguments will get lost in the noise, especially since it is easier to vilify than explain the nuances, so the political calculus is to simply leave the mess for the next guy to deal with and move on.

Comment Re:Pardon Manning and Snowden (Score 1) 379

But it is polite to call them by their name. For example Jack Smith marries Jane Koff, and he takes her last name. It would only be polite to use his new name.

I worked with Jack. The first time somebody called the office and asked for him by his full name and said he worked in the back room I thought they we joking. When they insisted I go get Jack I decided to ply along and asked for Jack. Turns out that was his real name.

Comment Re:The story smells fishy (Score 4, Informative) 142

The batteries burn, not violently explode. The pilots would have seen and smelt smoke, and done something about it, like move the phone out of the cockpit.

This is more likely a pilot suicide.

It's quite possible;e by the time the fire was discovered it was too late. A very hot fire could quickly get out of control, such as one that brought down SwissAir 111.

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