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Comment Re:Fundamental right????? (Score 1) 188

Thanks for posting this. There are a lot of people who don't get the concept of rights, and sometimes I think there are a lot who really don't want them. For some people the idea of a society where there are no underlying principles and everything is decided based on what would be popular at that moment is very warm and fuzzy. Perhaps this is because that's the way governments operate when they're not constrained by a strong understanding of rights. That it doesn't work is lost on a lot of those who think that having a decent, comfortable existence is something to be ashamed of. I think the problem is that to understand rights you have to admit that the world is not what you thought, that there is no benevolent government that will take over for the benevolent god who didn't take care of you, and that you have to occasionally think.

Comment Disease (Score 5, Insightful) 94

Why does research always have to be done to cure diseases? Have we stopped doing research just because it would be nice to know this, because we might be able to do things we haven't dreamed of yet? 'Curing disease' is the reporting version of fighting terrorists and stopping kiddy porn - filler because you can't think of anything real to say. Surely understanding how our brains work is one of the most interesting things we can do, isn't that good enough?

Comment Re:This is a MUCH bigger threat than terrorism. (Score 1) 410

Is there any provision in American law that allows the government to sign secret treaties? I understand that they aren't expressly authorized to give up the authority given them by the people to another government, and that only a madman would think they could place their citizens under the control of a government they didn't elect, and thus that this is logically wrong, but is there even a spurious justification for it? How can you possibly have justice when your government is negotiating treaties you aren't allowed to see? How can the machinery of justice function when you can't know the laws? How can a person know what actions are forbidden, how can a lawyer defend them, how can people know which rights they no longer have, how can the police know who to imprison? Does any of this make any sense either from the viewpoint of a human being living in a society made for human beings, or from the point of view of a single cog in a machine that can't be understood and can't possibly function?

Comment Re:Non-issue? (Score 1) 578

It's not a question of whether it's reasonable for them to do this, it's whether you should have to put up with it. People now have a desperate yearning to believe that things are normal and get on with their lives, so they post all sorts of reasons why this is reasonable and good. It doesn't sound reasonable and good to me - if nothing else it will lead to both sides being ready for the next step later. The time hasn't come yet when this kind of thing will make your life intolerable. Will it lead to that? You have to decide. If there's a way around this, or to screw the system so it doesn't work or the people doing it regret it, I'd use it. I have yet to be fingerprinted, even by a totally safe system. And anyone who reads /. should know that there is no totally safe system, no matter how calm and reassuring that kool aid looks.

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