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Comment This isn't a victory for Behring-Breivik. (Score 3, Insightful) 491

Someone once pointed out that hoping a rapist gets raped in prison isn't a victory for his victim(s), because it somehow gives him what he had coming to him, but it's actually a victory for rape and violence. I wish I could remember who said that, because they are right. The score doesn't go Rapist: 1 World: 1. It goes Rape: 2.

What this man did is unspeakable, and he absolutely deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. If he needs to be kept away from other prisoners as a safety issue, there are ways to do that without keeping him in solitary confinement, which has been shown conclusively to be profoundly cruel and harmful.

Putting him in solitary confinement, as a punitive measure, is not a victory for the good people in the world. It's a victory for inhumane treatment of human beings. This ruling is, in my opinion, very good and very strong for human rights, *precisely* because it was brought by such a despicable and horrible person. It affirms that all of us have basic human rights, even the absolute worst of us on this planet.

Comment Re:Not Listening to Mike Rowe (Score 1) 1032

>Taking out huge loans that you don't have a way to repay, to get a degree that has no potential for income, show a serious lack of judgement.

Offering loans to people who have neither the means to repay them, nor the potential to repay them, shows an even greater lack of judgment. As such, the company offering the loan should learn from its mistake, by the person defaulting on the loan.

The decoupling of consequences from decision making creates moral hazard - decision makers tend to optimize their decisions in their own best interests:
-Banks lend to people unlikely to repay.
-Academic institutions raise tuition to fund showpiece buildings, climbing walls, and gourmet dining halls that not a required component of a top education.

While individuals should be held responsible for their poor decisions, there also needs be some accountability for the financial, government and academic institutions creating this systemic moral hazard.

My personal preference is to retroactively make all student loans eligible for default which penalizes banks and the government for creating the moral hazard of undisciplined lending, and limits academic institutions' ability to continue to increase costs going forward.

Comment Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 100

There likely are specific laws, likely related to holocaust and Armenian genocide denial and such, that would allow a group like the Sikhs to sue a US firm that aids and abets such calumnies.

Considering the 1980s attack on the Sikh ethnic group by Hindis was a well organized and deliberate attempt at genocide, I would suggest that they have a good case.

More personally - Zuckerberg you goddamn moral coward, if Facebook doesn't support groups like this, it serves no useful purpose other than data mining and privacy undermining.

Comment Too damn complicated (Score 4, Insightful) 113

It's too damn complicated for level 1 techs, let alone end users and the general public, to attempt to opt of surveillance, or even intelligently express their dissatisfaction with government and corporate policies.

Politicians don't care and corporations do. These policies will persist until people's lives are strongly negatively affected. Will it require significant damage as a result of foreign powers hacking into the industrial grid? Probably. God knows we aren't in the streets protesting TSA security theater, and its difficult to get more privacy invasive than seeing folks naked.

Comment Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1, Flamebait) 609

>NOMINATE scales people based on their choices relative to contemporaries

That's exactly *why* it works across decades. Because it allows a continuous chain of comparison even between people who never served together. (E.g, person A served with person B, person B later served with person C, person C later served with person D, etc)

Comment Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 5, Informative) 609

> "JFK was more conservative than most conservatives are today"

BULLSHIT!

Keith T. Poole at the University of Georgia has built his career on quanitfying the liberality/conservativeness of politics.

I couldn't find his numbers for John Kennedy, but he gave John Kennedy a -.318 during the 83rd Congress, making him the 15th most liberal member of that body. By comparison, in today's Senate, he'd rank as the 31st most liberal senator, between Senators Wyden and Murphy, and more liberal than EVERY SINGLE Republican in Congress.

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