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Comment Re:1 point for Obama (Score 1) 794

I think someone as adept in the spook world as Snowden is would likely have a hidden stash somewhere. But that doesn't matter wrt this argument.

What matters here is that there is a very real and significant possibility that he could do something more. As long as that possibility exists, he can not be granted a blanket pardon. He could certainly be pardoned for specific offenses for past activity, but first those need to be specified by indictment, which has yet to be done.

We could argue over whether the possibility is 10% or 1% or 0.01%, but that would be foolish. You cannot completely argue away the possibility, and there can be no blanket pardon under these conditions.

Maybe a car analogy is necessary here. Obama, and every sitting President, has the power to pardon Johnny Queue Publique at any time after JQP has been accused of stealing a car. But there is no provision that would allow JQP to be pardoned for a car theft that has not yet occurred. The President cannot give anyone a free pass to steal a car tomorrow. Not even President Trump will be allowed to do that, any tweets to the contrary not withstanding.

Comment Re:1 point for Obama (Score 1) 794

A serious technical detail in granting pardon to Snowden is that there is no way to determine if his "crimes" are completed.

With Manning there is no question that the acts that put him in prison are done and history. With Nixon there was a similar situation, since he could not have possibly continued his illegal/unethical acts after he was removed from office. But with Snowden ----he is still sitting on a lot of material that may have all kinds of consequences if it is released, or may even be affecting events now, without being released, if he is using some of it to blackmail someone.

I'm not saying that he is doing any of that or would do any of that. I'm merely pointing out that the kind of actions that he could be brought to trial for are not necessarily complete, so a blanket pardon should not be done as yet.

I can only see two ways Snowden could be granted a pardon. Either he is brought into the USA justice system and charged with crimes ---then he could be pardoned of just those crimes, even before the trial is done. But he needs to indicted for specific crimes. Or the other way is that he could be given a blanket pardon on his deathbed, when he clearly has no ability to do anything more.

I am glad that Snowden did what he has done and in my opinion he is a true American patriot. But the very system that he has worked to fix cannot grant him a blanket pardon at this time.

Comment Re:...Or Just Take Aspirin. (Score 2) 99

Excedrin and other APC preparations have only one benefit over plain aspirin swallowed with coffee: for some people, there is a beneficial placebo effect with certain brand names. More power to them.

However to some extent the placebo effect is dependent on ignorance that you have been given a placebo, so if you used to find that Excedrin worked better than aspirin with coffee, I may have just destroyed that benefit for you. Too bad. Find another sugar pill.

Acetaminophen (paracetamol, Tyelnol) is no more effective than aspirin (acetylsalicilic acid or ASA) in pain relief, and IIRC, does not potentiate with ASA nor are the two taken together any better than either one taken alone when taken in the usual recommended adult doses. But I'm pulling that from 30 year old memories from my days as an RN so someone could check on that.

There are downsides to both acetaminophen and aspirin.

Too much acetaminophen can irreversibly damage your liver, possibly leading to death or a liver transplant. Since the stuff is indiscriminately added to a huge number of pain relief compounds, it is possible to OD without realizing it, especially for those who think that since the Excedrin they took 15 minutes ago isn't taking care of the headache, they'll just take some Tylenol now, and maybe wash it down with Alka Seltzer Plus. Bye bye, sucker! (BTW, if you are contemplating suicide, don't do it with a couple of bottles of Tylenol. For if the paramedics get to you in time to pump your stomach and save you, you will live the rest of your short miserable life without a working liver, and that is hell on you, and everyone who has to breathe the stenches you emit.)

Too much aspirin can permanently damage your hearing, or kill you in a number of different ways, or turn you into a semi vegetable through bleeding into your brain. One thing is that an early sign of a mild OD is tinnitus, which is a high pitched whine from damage to your inner ear. It is generally reversible by abstaining from more ASA for a time. So there is that warning sign for some people (but maybe not for you and maybe not all the time so don't rely on it).

Aspirin washed down with a cup of coffee is as effective as any of the fancy brand name compounds in treating migraine and the aches and pains of daily living. Caffeine definitely potentiates the analgesic effect of aspirin, while also acting directly on the blood vessels that cause migraine pain. Plain coffee is the preferred way of delivering the caffeine, since it contains a number of other drugs that also have some benefit, and because a warm solution more quickly gets into the blood stream than a cold one laden with sugar, etc. This statement is true when the possible benefits of a placebo reaction to a given brand name drug are discounted--- but we have already destroyed that placebo effect for you with this post, eh?

Bayer aspirin is generally priced twice as much, or more, than just plain aspirin, but is no different from any of the rest once it is out of the bottle. Still if you want to enhance your pain relief with a bit of placebo effect, Bayer might well work better for you than the cheap generic stuff.

Comment Re:Use Blender? (Score 4, Informative) 221

Yes, Blender. It is cross platform and on an adequate platform (multicore CPU, certain GPUs) it could possibly do what is wanted. It can also be extended using Python plug-ins, so it could be further developed if necessary. Blender can also use render farm technology so it can probably scale to meet any reasonably large job, its limitation being only the number of computers you can afford to use.

Since the person(s) inquiring about this had not mentioned Blender, I can only assume that they are either too lazy or too lacking in basic Google skills to do any work themselves. Learning to use enough of Blender's interface to manage its video editing tools is not something one can do in a weekend. Learning enough Python to create any necessary plug-ins is also non-trivial. The inquirers seem to want someone to make a one-button application to do what they want. I think they have a basic misunderstanding of what Free Open Source Software is all about.

Comment Re:I wouldn't live near heavy traffic (Score 2) 118

If you do a longitudinal study on a thousand people living in an adverse environment, you need to account for the high likelihood that fewer of those with pre-dementia conditions will relocate to better neighborhoods during the study than those with normal mentation. It would be exceedingly hard to adjust a study of this kind to account for this differential out-migration.

In other words, those who have pre-dementia conditions are more likely to remain in an unhealthy environment than the average person. Persons with below average coping skills face higher barriers to relocating. Also, dementia, with its decreased ability to assess one's environment, increases a person's tolerance of negative environmental conditions. So it is also not only more difficult to move away, there is less of a perceived need to do so.

There is a strong "correlation does not imply causation" factor with regard to this study. It has value in strongly suggesting that if you want to find a neighborhood with a higher than average population of demented residents, you should look for places with lots of noise pollution, bad odors, relatively low tax bases, and similar markers of marginal living conditions. But I think we pretty much knew that already.

Comment Re:An Actual Sentence? (Score 1) 734

True that ---although it should be mentioned that it his sentence is just barely coherent.

More to the point, Trump's statement shows that he has direct evidence that none of the vote tally apparatus was targeted. Which he could only have if he were a partner in the conspiracy to wreck the American election process.

Which raises the concern that Trump may be a kind of Manchurian candidate, whose secret agenda is not to be an effective President but to do as much damage as possible to American society.

Comment Using Flash as a fake news filter (Score 1) 88

I'll continue to run my internet access computer with Ubuntu without Flash.

On a daily basis I scan Yahoo News, Google News, Slashdot, and several other news aggregators to try to keep up with the world, while avoiding getting sucked into any echo chambers or news bubbles. That means I see stories from a hundred or more different web sites over a week's time. If a story depends on a Flash component, then I am comfortable in blowing it off without reading it, since it is certain that if there was any real content, that story will be carried by another, more legitimate, website.

The presence of a notice that I must have Flash installed to see their precious content means, to me, that all that website is pushing is dross. It takes maybe a second to read that and push the "delete tab" key.

Comment Re: Waaah! (Score 1) 600

That phrase, "We have to make [whatever] great again" is inherently bigotted.

It begs three questions:

1. What was it about [whatever] that made it so great, back then in its Golden Age?

2. Who is the group that is f*cking that up? Who is this enemy?

3. How do we go about crippling the enemy's ability to continue to f*ck it up? Because surely if we do that, everything will go back to peaches and cream, right?

Since these questions are subliminal, not clearly stated but strongly suggested, there is no need for the demagogue to do more than suggest an answer to the second one, "who is responsible for this mess?". Those who do not use critical thinking skills (either through ignorance of the skills or through an unwillingness to do the work) will have no trouble filling in the blanks. The demagogue and his cronies need do no more than provide further suggestions to shape what has become an unthinking mob into doing their bidding.

A problem with Trump's approach is that the unthinking mob is a fickle and easily distracted flock of sheople that needs continuous shepherding to keep it moving and on track. Hitler and his cronies did not originally plan to kill 6 million Jews, but a demagogue must be a leader, and as a leader he must stay in front of his mob, no matter where it is going.

Trump is a demagogue: he is a master of turning sheople's frustrations and despair into an anger that can be directed. His tweets should be studied alongside the studies of how Hitler managed his rise to power. He is not going to create solutions to the USA's problems, because the power of his approach depends on constantly magnifying the enemy to keep his base stirred up. He has no policy goals or long term agenda because those get in the way of how he maintains his power on a daily basis.

I doubt that he will still be President at the end of 2017. I'm pretty sure that by then he will have driven the country so close to one brink or another that his impending failure will be obvious. He will then bail out, as he has always done. How many times has he driven one of his projects into a death spiral, only to use a bankruptcy parachute to save his own butt? He will abdicate, leaving Pence holding the bag. He will probably emigrate to some nation that has no extradition treaties with the USA. For after all, he is a cosmopolitan Citizen of the World with no particular ties to any one country.

</rant>

Comment Re: "Suggesting" ... (Score 1) 715

I don't usually respond to A.C.'s comments, but this is an exception, since I can provide the A.C. with some useful guidance.

While it would be very difficult to build your own reality bubble (assuming you want to avoid being institutionalized or kept doped up on antipsychotic drugs), today thanks to the development of social media you don't have to build it yourself.

Brietbart News Network probably has what you want. The cost is in a currency you won't miss: once you are in the bubble you no longer have any need for your personal integrity anyway.

Or if you feel that Brietbart is too dang newfangled for your taste, there is still room in Rush Limbaugh's classic bubble.

(I recognize parent post was probably intended as sarcasm. But the step from it to the purely farcical was a short one, and one I could not resist.)

Comment Re:Testify Under Oath about it (Score 1) 715

What active Congressional investigation does not include testimony?

Why, any Congressional investigation that is active before the real investigators have determined what the facts of the matter are.

"Congressional investigations" are not investigations--- at best they are sounding boards to help determine how to best spin conclusions out of the stuff the true investigators bring before them. In the recent past they have rarely achievee in this low level of impartiality: as a general rule recent Congressional "investigation" committees have been nothing more than echo chambers pushing their own agendas.

The rest of parent comment are merely insults that have no value in a reasoned discussion. They merely suggest that the person who wrote them cannot keep his inner toddler from throwing tantrums when the way he wants things to be bump up against the way things actually are.

Comment Re:"Suggesting" ... (Score 1) 715

Wow.

I am glad that I do not live in your reality. I am glad that your reality is not the real reality.

I worry quite a bit that too many voting Americans are living in fantasy realms that have been developed and are being tended by social media manipulators. Have we reached the "Four legs good, two legs BETTER!" stage of Animal Farm?

Comment Re:Testify Under Oath about it (Score 1) 715

Your argument might carry more weight if you knew the difference between purging yourself (like bulimics do in the bathroom) and committing perjury. There is no excuse for this kind of sloppy writing, not since Google has made proofreading so easy.

About the subject: This is an active investigation. There can be no testifmony until it is completed.

Comment Re:"Suggesting" ... (Score 1) 715

they keep saying "election hack" in all of the headlines

Who, exactly, is this "they" you are referring to? Please be specific: name some of the individuals or corporations who are part of this mysterious "they". Cite the times and places "they" supposedly made these statements.

Either do that, or admit that you are talking out of your ass and that you are pushing FUD without any basis in reality.

Comment Re:Environment Trumps money! (Score 2) 263

Total disruption of the Middle East with destruction of oil fields would push the cost of other fossil fuels up high enough that coal would become competitive again. That would also bail out Exxon's $500 billion partnership investment with Russia for long term exploitation of Arctic oil. If you cannot beat your competition in the marketplace, then kneecap them.

Trump will be in position to do a lot of kneecapping, before he abdicates and emigrates to some country which has no extradition treaty with the USA. Like, for instance, Russia....

If you don't think that possible, look at his history of screwing over contractors and milking his investments until its time to declare bankruptcy.

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