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Comment Re:Surprised (Score 1) 492

The apparent lack of familial issues was merely an illusion. As soon as divorce became a realistic option the numbers of broken homes exploded as victimized women fled abusive relationships.

Much of the troubles among minority communities, especially African Americans, came with the war on drugs. That single policy has systematically destroyed entire generations, and not by accident.

The internet and modern 24 hour cycle media can be thanked for the impression that we're more stressed and divided than ever. Crime has actually been in a steady decline practically since our country started tracking those statistics. When something horrific does occur you can be sure that it'll be published and covered to some extent by dozens of news sources. Major political divisions have been with us since the founding of the country, the only real difference today is the speed and omnipresence of the media coverage today.

Wealth inequality has definitely been getting worse, which is why the middle class is disappearing. Obesity has risen as access to food has increased and sedentary lifestyles made more of the norm. Despite both of those things though the average person today likely has access to better healthcare, at least on the medication side of things, and a longer life expectancy.

Comment Re:You have to do better than this. (Score 1) 225

On its own this isn't bypassing rational thought and decision making. However when you look a little deeper you'll see that those good feelings are attributed to a mystical source, instead of conditioned chemical reactions in the brain prompted by specific stimuli. Spiritual leaders then play on that miss attribution to manipulate the congregation. Now those spiritual leaders very likely believe what their saying because it affects them as well, but that doesn't really change reality. And of course other people throughout history have manipulated this quirk of our physiology, not just religious leaders.

Comment Re: What an empty life (Score 1) 725

I have to disagree about the consequences of middle of the road opinions. Maybe middle of the road opinions don't lead to massive sea changes over night, but I've seen large changes over the course of even my short life. Gay rights for instance have come a helluva long way in the last few decades as demographics have shifted effectively moving the middle of the road.

PS. Do you know anyone other than PETA members, that take PETA seriously? How long will the BLM movement be relevant if they stay on the PETA path?

Comment Re:How? (Score 1) 313

In the past running a VPN from within the NIPR to the open internet was definitely possible. I know because I saw people get busted for it when I was in the military. In every case I knew of it was done to get around the web filters to peruse gaming forums, play games, or get to some other entertainment site. SCIF's commonly have NIPR terminals for every desk as well as terminals for air gaped networks spread around. So I can easily see how someone of a sufficiently high rank in an organization might get away with having an extra terminal setup with a VPN connection to the open internet. Sure regular peons and mid level management might get fired or prosecuted over such things, but top level management is frequently able to get away with anything but murder.

Comment Re:Change the law (Score 1) 1424

It's still fair to say that the military, particularly the enlisted side of things, is recruited. Yes, ultimately the members of the service are volunteers but all branches of the military have recruiters who spend much of their time actively trying to find people to talk into volunteering. The military also offers benefits aimed squarely at financially insecure groups of society.

I only served in one branch of the armed services and so can't speak to the depths of indoctrination among them. However I can say from my experience that the branch I was in was pretty demonstrative of the US as a whole demographically although skewed a bit towards the conservative side of things, but that's not really surprising. You don't see or hear military members protesting and striking because the UCMJ would be used to toss them in prison immediately if they did it in uniform or cited their status as military. That doesn't mean they aren't participating though, they just can't advertise their status as that could constitute representing the military.

While the military at any one time might represent a very small percentage of the population, 13% or so of adult US citizens are veterans. If there ever arose a popular civil war in the US again we would likely end up with two armies largely made up of, and led by people with actual experience. So while hypothesizing about future civil wars or insurgencies citing past one side military vs unarmed civilian massacres isn't very useful.

Comment Re: Change the law (Score 1) 1424

I'm honestly a little puzzled by your post. You talk about fascists in the EU, which I'm not well informed enough to debate. Then you say that Trump isn't fascist. Immediately followed by stating that it's impossible for a fascist to get into power here in the USA, by citing examples where racist behavior shut down careers. It would seem that you are equating or confusing racism and fascism, while those are actually very different things. Although as Hitler showed they can of course be combined.

Comment Re:You never "Grokked" it (Score 3, Informative) 227

If I recall properly the aliens in District 9 were from a slave caste. The ruling caste of aliens which were presumably smarter, had all died through some catastrophe. The surviving aliens were locked out through genetics and couldn't make use of the technology to escape or exert power over the humans. The plot revolved around a human character that stumbled upon and was accidentally exposed to a fix. The fix starts changing him into an alien of the ruling caste which elicits fear and greed among various parties leading to the action scenes.

I believe District 9 was meant as a commentary on Apartheid. The aliens are treated as sub humans that have to be contained, controlled, and exploited. The main character starts out as a member of the empowered group, and transitions into being part of the oppressed group. In the end even though the main character is an alien to all outward appearances he retains his humanity as demonstrated by leaving gifts for his estranged human wife.

Comment Re:this has happened many times at Northrop Grumma (Score 1) 302

Sometime in the 2000's an email made the rounds with a large power point slide show of pictures depicting a foam fire suppressant system test that went better than expected. I want to say that the attachment was 35 megs but that seems a bit over the top. Anyways the unit from whence the photos originated was the subject of a lot of mockery among airmen everywhere though there wasn't any re-alls going on with it that I saw. Within a day or two though an engineer from that group sent out an email seemingly across the entire Air Force insisting the test went perfectly as planned and that everyone should stop laughing about it and wasting Air Force resources forwarding the email.

Comment Re:This is a good thing. (Score 1) 418

I was partially wrong. The law does not consider a fetus a person with a full measure of rights. This is similar to how children do not possess all the constitutional rights and are subject to their parents or the state making choices for them. Regardless, the highest court in the nation decided in 1973 that a fetus is not of equal status with the mother, and that the mother is more important. As emotionally tumultuous as it may be a fetus is not a baby, it is a part of a woman. Traditionally the juncture point of fetus to baby has been birth, and I see no reason to change that, as it provides a distinct point of separation.

Comment Re:This is a good thing. (Score 1) 418

First of all the law, in general, does not recognize a fetus as a person. Some localities my differ on that but they are the exception.

Secondly, as I said you can't force one person to undergo medical treatment and procedures to preserve the life of another and claim to support self determination. A Fetus, even if it were afforded all the rights of a citizen can't legally demand that another person accept potentially life threatening risks to preserve its own life. If such were the case you'd see people in need of various transplant procedures suing others for a kidney, part of a liver, or a hip worth of bone marrow.

Comment Re:This is a good thing. (Score 1) 418

I can't speak to other peoples objections to that third trimester plan, but I can voice my own, which would fit within US law.

In the USA you can't currently legally force one person to subject themselves to a medical procedure in order to protect or aid another person. The only exception I can think of to that is vaccinations, which aren't quite the same because it isn't to protect/aid another person but society in general and frequently is coerced by denying services rather than forcing through actual use of force. By requiring that a pregnant woman undergo a cesarean section surgery rather than some other abortive procedure you are forcing her into taking on more or different medical risks than she consents to. To me abortion is a self determination issue, even if you assume that a fetus is possessed of the same rights as its mother it's wrong to force the mother into medical procedures against her will to support it.

Personally I find abortion very distasteful and wouldn't support anyone I know in having one outside of mental or physical medical necessity. My personal tastes though aren't as important to me as trying to maintain a civil and just society.

Comment Re:African-American sounding names? (Score 1) 476

You probably interact with plenty of racists on a regular basis and just don't realize it. It's a well known failing of the internet that people feel free to act like assholes on the internet. So in normal social interactions with people who are in close physical proximity everyone tends to be mindful of what they say and when because if they insult someone it could have real lasting consequences in their life. On the other hand if you spout every vile thought that crosses your mind online the people that see it are likely to either be strangers from around the country/world, or a close circle of friends that are likely of the same mindset.

I'm not immune to this myself just because I am aware of it. I did however once randomly meet someone 2400 miles from home who knew my parents. That was a sobering experience in that I realized that even though I thought I was far from anyone who's opinion I valued, there I was talking to someone who could contact my parents straight away.

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