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Comments made by GeraldFnord

Rants And Raves: The Return Of SchlockFest


December 1, 2012 at 7:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Gary Kreep Says His 'Birther' Positions Do Not Relate To Being A Judge

It could be relevant:

As he believes that Obama were not legitimately the President, he might further claim that that meant that it were legal to ignore laws and treaties signed by him or to assist federal officers in executing executive orders issued by him.

June 21, 2012 at 8:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Dr. Bronner Takes Hemp Fight To White House

All hail all-one-Goad and oil-expressed harmonisation of school, home, work, and Safeway! Take butter, juice of one lemon, apply to politician's eyes, reaction certain, as Hillel taught to the Real Jesus---EXCEPTIONS ETERNAL ABSOLUTE NONE! Then restore balance with DILUTED Miracle soap. O.K..

June 18, 2012 at 8:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Debate Over Prop A: Should City Ban Project Labor Agreements?

Is cost the sole arbiter of how decisions were made? If so, there's a large country nearby filled with people who will work fairly cheaply....

My point being is that the government must be a good steward of the monies put in its care, but its obligations do not end there, and include (in my arrogant and entirely accurate opinion) setting a model for fair and decent treatment of workers, which is in our self-interest because most of us are in that number.

May 8, 2012 at 8:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

SD City Beat: Pepper Spray Use Rampant At San Diego Juvenile Lock-Ups

I can't shake the feeling that at least some of the officers' basic opinions were on the order of, "We really should be allowed to shoot them, or at least club them senseless, whenever we feel the need to do, and our judgement never questioned because no-one else understands our job and these criminals, so they should be _grateful_ they're just being pepper-sprayed."

May 8, 2012 at 8:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

'Bully' Doc Stirs Discussion

Maybe this just reflects the cynicism in a once-{routinely-bullied} 'blue monkey', but I think that one reason that bullying is so hard to root out is that it's an integral part of our education/socialisation process, and that we actually treasure its results. Most norms are arbitrary, and many of them make little sense, and so only violence and its threat can impose them.

As for who'll watch this: I can very easily imagine bullies' flocking to it to cheer, and in search of easy targets.

April 11, 2012 at 7:32 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

The "Quantum Leap" Between Religion And Science

Terry Pratchett has two characters in his excellent "Nation" say:

“Perhaps things can be true in special ways?” she suggested.

“No. People say that when they want to believe lies,” Mau said flatly. “And they usually do.”

I love the Talmud, and can admire the bloody-mindedness of the Church Fathers, but I'd exchange them all for the differential-form derivation of the curvature tensor in a a Schwarzschild manifold, or Fermi's Golden Rule: the former tells us about what's inside our heads, the latter about _everything_.

Social truths _do_ live entirely in our heads...that's why they're inferior to actual ones.---they can be influenced by persuasive or loud/threatening voices. They cannot be subject to the sort of testing that makes them not beholden to wealth or power or the mob or our fears (say, of living forever in unbearable pain) and hopes (say, of living forever somewhere nice).

October 5, 2011 at 9:19 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Conflict-Of-Interest Questions Raised About SD Congressman Darrell Issa

Funny that someone who believes that pursuing one's self-interest above all others' should be a paramount value (or nearly) and that the social has no call on our resources , and who has demonstrated his ability to do so very effectively, expects us to believe that he will _cease_ to serve his self-interest and deprecate those of the general polity.

August 19, 2011 at 8:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

U.S. Demand For Drugs Fueling Violence In Mexico

Not to belabour the points above, but I buy powerful drugs---caffeine and sucrose---several times a week, and I don't think that any murders were involved.

In addition to the excellent points made above, though perhaps considered as a corollary of the 'poisoned' paragraph, note that prohibition encourages stronger and stronger products---and in the case of marijuana, at least, severely distorted versions. (We spent several millenia breeding marijuana to be a reasonable thing to eat and get high or medically better thereby, a few centuries' time modifying that basic stock for smoking, and now a couple of decades and extreme, modern, techniques taking the older cannabinoid profile and ruining it...and as a conservative, this offends me.)

May 16, 2011 at 11:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Juan Melendez: Innocent on Death Row

Death penalty opponents, of whom I am one, I think often just don't viscerally grasp the palpable _need_ at least some proponents for people to be punished---that for them, the world is fundamentally right, a crime, and especially a serious crime, puts it out of kilter, and the world can only be set right by someone's being punished for the crime.

This exists entirely apart from the claim that punishment will make us safer, and so is immune to refutation of that purely practical claim by any amount of evidence that punishment doesn't work as claimed.

(Similarly, those of us who want drugs legalised on the basis of the harm they would so do's being less than that done by their illegal status talk _past_ people for whom drugs will make us inpure and must be tabu-tabu (except perhaps those who have one favoured drug, alcohol for many Americans, marijuana for Rastas, who believe themselves dead-set against all drugs).

This is truly a Kultukampf, since my conviction that it is absolutely wrong to kill a living, breathing, human, being who is not an immediate threat is just as a-rational---at least to a homo econimus or a psychopath---as the death penalty proponent's belief that punishment is right in some fundamental way, and just as resistant to refutation by evidence.

I hope that my side wins. Perhaps it will: Europeans used to relish public punishments and insist on there being a death penalty. The great discredting of the extreme Right by the fascists and Nazis (who were not, pacem Jonah Goldberg, a left-wing movement, as their fundamental ideology was based on illiberal respect for Authority and a Tradition they believed predated actual traditions) and the visceral understanding that the innocent _could_ be executed changed that. Living free from the fear of starvation has helped keep things that way---frightened people seem to take refuge in punishment of obviously bad people, even as "obvious"'s meaning degrades.... Of course, in this nation we were spared the former, and never really committed to having an unafraid popuulace, so I'm not sanguine....

March 18, 2011 at 8:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal )