heckblazer

heckblazer

  • Commented on The Ferguson Question
    I'd rather not have a resumption of nuclear testing over DC as it would lead to my own death and the deaths of hundreds of thousands (and mostly black) people....
  • Commented on The Ferguson Question
    It's off-topic, but I have to say that I thought that this tweet from the British Embassy commemorating the 200th anniversary of the burning of the White House was hilarious and that the people who objected to it are humourless...
  • Commented on The Ferguson Question
    Charlie's pretty much nailed it, which means he has my full permission to write about alternate history Americas :). I do think the UK may have a bit of a parallel. What I've read about the Troubles in Northern Ireland...
  • Commented on The Ferguson Question
    They are also making the assumption that any rioters and looters are not locals. Blaming protests on "outside agitators" has a nasty racial history in America. Also, in regards to the mentions above on the Tea Party turning on Wall...
  • Commented on The Ferguson Question
    I just realized that if you're discussing the militarization of police in America it's worth pointing out that using the military to enforce laws is illegal here. This is due to the Posse Comitatus Act, the current version of which...
  • Commented on The Ferguson Question
    TRX @ 129: Then there's the Fed itself, which has allocated itself police powers in general, as well as seconding them to almost every bureaucratic sub-entity. I assume you mean the federal government and not the Federal Reserve, although the...
  • Commented on The Ferguson Question
    Up through August 8, 2014 crappy policing had no real negative effect on Ferguson's economy, and crappy policing was long endemic. The worst non-fatal incident I've heard of was one where police arrested the wrong man, beat him, and then...
  • Commented on The Ferguson Question
    Charlies is absolutely right that power structures designed to keep down blacks can be easily repurposed; white guys in California got lynched after all. By the same token though, lynching primarily targeted black men, and without minding that racial dynamic...
  • Commented on The Ferguson Question
    How much of this is attributable to Sheriffs (heads of police forces) being elected in the U.S., rather than being appointed/promoted? It can be a factor, viz. sheriff Joe Arpaio, but sheriffs are county level and department heads at other...
  • Commented on The Snowden leaks; a meta-narrative
    Wikipedia does have an article on the trial of Conrad Murphy, Michael Jackson's personal physician. The jury convicted and the judge sentenced Dr. Murray to four years, but he was released early last October due to California's prison overcrowding problem....
  • Commented on The Snowden leaks; a meta-narrative
    Dam H @ 10: I agree that the current US reliance on contractors in security and intelligence is a big problem for that and other reasons. However, its not a factor in Snowden's case according to Snowden himself. He says...
  • Commented on Circumstantial connections
    Another terrorism possibility is that the intended target was Europe but the explosives detonated prematurely....
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    paws4thot @ 303: If you doubt this, get a stack of 20 notes of an arbitrary but common denomination (or mixed denominations will work if all notes are the same size in your local currency), fold them in half, and...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    What you're describing is speculation on the futures market, which of course happens. The original point of futures though was to hedge risk, and in ideal circumstances both parties benefit. For example, when a wheat farmer sells a future he...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    Bitcoin has all the fun of the gold standard only with the effects cranked up to warp 11. The overall deflationary trend in particular sucks as deflation kicks ordinary people in the teeth. Just ask William Jennings Bryan. The (Note...
  • Commented on PSA: Why there won't be a third book in the Halting State trilogy
    It was reported a few years ago that CIA and FBI were monitoring WoW and Second Life, so I'm not especially surprised NSA decided to get in on the action. In those previous cases my suspicion was that someone had...
  • Commented on The revolution will not be hand-stitched
    The fashion industry already tried to expand its copyright protection in America last year, though the bill ultimately died (that link also gives an overview of US fashion IP). I wouldn't be shocked if they tried again. And since Chrisj...
  • Commented on Catching a Blighty
    As to the idea that the US sends off poor minorities to die in its wars, the reality has been a bit weirder. For the first half of the 20th century blacks served in segregated non-combat units. There were exceptions...
  • Commented on Catching a Blighty
    The way I'd put World War I in perspective for us Americans: the UK (and France and Germany Austria and Russia) lost more soldiers in that one war than the US has in all of our wars put together....
  • Commented on Making history personal
    If you count trace evidence of habitation I've seen 120,000 year old human footprints at Lake Natron, Tanzania. You're probably not going to find anything more substantial from that far back. The oldest intact structure I've been in was Newgrange....
  • Commented on Parasites
    I'd hazard the most likely cancer is one that's endemic to the circulatory system, since this is something that has to be easily sucked up by a mosquito. If my Google-fu is correct the Syrian hamster cancer is one that...
  • Commented on Parasites
    For short stories there's "Bloodchild" by Octavia Butler. It happens to be online courtesy of the Washington Post. The story "The Things" by Peter Watts may also qualify, as it's The Thing from the Thing's viewpoint. It also happens to...
  • Commented on Parasites
    If by "favorite" you mean "creeps you out the most" I'd go with parasitic cancer. Tumors that are themselves contagious? Brrrr. Luckily they're rare, with only three types known. The first is Devil Facial Tumor Disease. It's transmissible by biting,...
  • Commented on Who ordered *that*?
    Vanzetti @ 11: China has competitive advantage in part _because_ it is less liberal. I expect that will change given the huge stresses their rapid growth has caused. The environmental degradation has been staggering, and it will have to be...
  • Commented on Changing my mind on nuclear disarmament
    Absolutely. Even with smarter modern production making a nuclear weapon requires large-scale industry that's usually pretty conspicuous though. Nuclear reactors and large centrifuge cascades are difficult to hide, not that some people don't try....
  • Commented on Changing my mind on nuclear disarmament
    That was indeed the doctrine, and they did in fact redirect and/or scramble fighters. The fighters didn't know where to go though since no one knew where the hijacked airliners were. NORAD was designed with the assumption that aerial attacks...
  • Commented on Changing my mind on nuclear disarmament
    Yeah, the resources the US poured into the Manhattan Project was *crazy*, they effectively built several cities dedicated to the production of bomb materials and nothing else. My favorite detail along those lines is how due to wartime copper shortages...
  • Commented on Changing my mind on nuclear disarmament
    The fewer nukes the better, and if someone has balls enough to disarm more power to them. I would note that the mentioned American aircraft carrier situation isn't the result of any sort of plan about the future of the...
  • Commented on PSA: Ignore the news
    Chechen extremists haven't attacked the US before and I don't see why they'd start now. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev claims that they had no outside help, though he's not exactly the last word in reliability. If his brother did get professional terrorist...
  • Commented on PSA: Ignore the news
    One thing I'd note about the FBI is that their new electronic case management system didn't become operational until May of last year. Before that they tracked cases using paper and a hodge-podge of 1980s era databases. One thing I'm...
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