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Comment Re: Saudi Arabia, etc. (Score 2) 653

Yes, because trying to change with state policies about marriage has something to do with religious freedom. My marriage has nothing to do with religion -- my wife and I were married in a facility that is usually a nightclub by a good friend with no mention of religion. We specifically sought to remove any references to religion in our wedding ceremony because my wife and I aren't churchgoers. I'm sure there are some folks who don't approve of that sort of thing -- should they get veto power over my non-traditional wedding ceremony because they say it offends their religious beliefs? Should businesses be allowed to deny us service because we didn't seek to hold our wedding in a church as a religious ceremony?

A marriage license is a valuable document. My income is taxed at the lowest possible marginal rate even though I make a great deal more than the usual cutoff because of my marriage. My wife is able to make decisions for me if I am incapacitated. The state recognizes our relationship and grants those rights even though folks might have religious objections to our marriage. By doing so they protect our religious freedom, specifically our right to be free from religion.

Finally -- SSM advocates aren't trying to "force acceptance" of anything. They're trying to force the state to treat homosexual people the same as heterosexual people. People are still allowed to hold bigoted views in states accepting same sex marriage. They're still free to express such views. Their views just don't have the force of law. Way back when people used to bring up the same kind of religious objections to interracial marriage. Would you argue against allowing interracial marriages based on religious objections today?

Comment Re:if you want your day in court (Score 1) 215

The courts aren't really subject to re-election pressures the same way officials in the other branches are. Even in states that elect their supreme court the incumbents almost always win. Federal judges are appointed for life so only truly bad behavior on their part will get them removed from office.

Comment Re:Dumbass (Score 1) 168

Snowden didn't help anyone. Anybody who was unaware of mass surveillance by 2013 is an idiot. If you weren't taking affirmative steps to protect data you wanted kept private on the internet, that's your problem. Get over this idea that protection your privacy is somebody else's job. Don't expect governments to protect your privacy -- you wouldn't trust a fox to guard a hen house, right?

Comment Re:Speechless ... (Score 1) 168

Except the people did directly support politicians who changed the law retroactively to make warrantless wiretapping OK in 2006. When faced with "your intelligence agencies did illegal things so we changed the law to retroactively make them legal" the American people basically yawned. Just because you're too ignorant to remember recent history doesn't change a thing. The American people have had many opportunities to scale back domestic intelligence gathering. Pretty much without exception they have chosen to keep the politicians who push surveillance in power.

Here's a hint -- all of these things were problems long before 9/11. The PATRIOT ACT basically codified a number of existing practices and allowed the government to use them at greater scale. Pretending "privacy" is some thing you had and just recently lost is nothing but ignorance. If you want privacy you have to take affirmative steps to protect your privacy. Anything else is just blaming others for your own laziness.

Businesses Ends Free Dynamic DNS 242

First time accepted submitter mkitchin (1285710) writes in with news about Dyn ending its free DNS service. "For the last 15 years, all of us at Dyn have taken pride in offering a free version of our Dynamic DNS Pro product. What was originally a product built for a small group of users has blossomed into an exciting technology used around the world. That is why with mixed emotions we announced the end of that free hostname program today, officially turning down on May 7th."

Comment Re:Yeah, right (Score 0) 245

How is it "stomping on your privacy" to share data you have agreed to share? If people are naive enough to believe Facebook was setup solely for peoples' enjoyment, that's their own damn fault. If you share things online you're uncomfortable with other people knowing about that's your own problem. Expecting Facebook to make your privacy their business is silly.

Comment Re:Privacy And Sin (Score 1) 472

Thinking about the problems of government policy in any depth makes it obvious simple solutions aren't possible. These folks are unwilling to accept that - they believe they are wiser and more able than any human that came before them. Since they're ubermen they believe that the muddling through humans have done for hundreds of thousands of years is no longer necessary -- if only people would follow their enlightened example all would be well. They don't seem to understand that their ideas have been tried and found wanting -- they're convinced they are the only people who really "get it."

I'll give libertarians credit for one thing -- they've made me far more conservative with their radicalism. Seeing how their simple solutions would fail terribly in the real world has made it easier to see how some of my own preferred policies probably wouldn't work as I intended were they adopted. They also have a pretty good understanding of the futility of the government attempting to regulate private consensual economic relations between individuals -- only an authoritarian state could do it effectively.

I just wish more libertarians could accept that they are just one of many ideological traditions that we NEED to make good policy. Not one of the many ideologies is absolutely right -- part of the genius of a properly-functioning democracy is that it forces the kind of collaboration between competing viewpoints that gives us the best possible policy.

Comment Re:Privacy And Sin (Score 1) 472

"[The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes"

It's right there in the Constitution. Pretty darn simple. You may disagree with the Supreme Court's opinion of what constitutes interstate commerce, but your opinion doesn't carry the weight of law. The Supreme Court's does.

Comment MS Office (Score 2) 163

I may not remember correctly, but doesn't Office 2007 and above have an option where you can set what time to enable/disable the out of office message? That would seem to cover this patent. When was the application made?

What do folks at the USPTO do, exactly? You would think any reasonably-intelligent person would reject this on obviousness grounds and not even need to find prior art.

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