Mar. 18th, 2008

jackofallgeeks: (Default)
I don't think I can really comment on This story about an
Australian man putting his life up for auction. Contrary to my
initial impression on reading the headline, he's not selling himself into
slavery. Instead, having recently split with his wife of 5 years, he's
selling his house and everything in it, his car, and has packaged in an
introduction to all his friends and a trial run (which can turn permanent)
at his job at a rug store. He expects to get more than $390k, the appraised
value of his house. After the eBay auction closes, he plans to walk away
with his wallet and passport and get on the next flight to anywhere.

Part of me can only sit and wonder at the kind of pain this guy must be
going through to overhaul his whole life like that...
jackofallgeeks: (Default)
is one of the reasons why I love The Register.

DARPA (the Pentagon asylum for usefully-insane scientists) is apparently
making progress with its plan to build cyborg infiltrator machines wearing
living creatures like fleshy cloaks.

Lest anyone think that this is a story about California politics, however,
one should note that thus far DARPA and its associated groups are working
with moths rather than immense Austrian bodybuilders.
jackofallgeeks: (Default)
So, This is
an article describing the preparations being made on a Supreme Court case
concerned with the Second Ammendment, the right to bear arms. It's a case
that was brought by a DC cop who argues that the DC ban on personal firearm
ownership infringes his constitutional right to arm and defend himself. The
city argues that the Ammendment was meant for militias only, and not private
citizens. (The city also goes on to say that, even if that weren't so, the
Ammendment doesn't hold the force of law in DC since it's a "federal
enclave," which seems an odd argument to make.)

For my part I find this very troubling. I do not currently own a gun,
though I've often considered getting one (of course, I'd need a lot more
experience and training firing one before I were comfortable owning one).
Defense of myself and my property against criminals is, I think, a noble and
just reasoning, but secondary; more so, I believe and have always understood
the Second Ammendment to be a safeguard against governmental abuses, a
guarantee that citizens can defend themselves against the government, should
it be necessary.

The Founding Fathers were in a position where their government had become
offensive and hostile toward them; further, the declaration of independence
draws strongly on the political philosophy of Locke, who I've read to also
say that a people have a right (and duty) to defend themselves against a
government who no longer serves their interests.

In a country where the government and their agents are the only ones who can
bring force to bear, what assurance do the people have that they will not
find that force directed against them? What resistance can we give,
unarmed, against an armed foe? I don't believe we currently have a
reason to fear the government, but if our right to arm ourselves is taken
away now, what recourse will we have if the government does become a
threat? The Second Ammendment is assurance that such a time will not come
or, if it does, we can be preparred for it.

Many people are concerned with the expanding governmental powers, and many
on the other side of the political fense point to the President's
apparently-monarchial attitude and the questionable activities of certain
government agencies. How much more concerned must we be, then, when they
tell us we have nothing to fear, and we ought to go quietly, disarmed, into
the night?
jackofallgeeks: (Default)
While I'll admit freely that the mind and body have a complex interply which
is a large part of what defines each of us, it seems to me that these days
everyone wants to blame every behavioral quirk on genetics. i'm skeptical
of that trend, and so I'm equally skeptical of This
study, which claims to have found the gene that's 'responsible' for Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder (or, rather, accounts for why some soldiers can
"deal with it," and others develop PTSD).
jackofallgeeks: (Default)
So, putting a
snake in your Vodka
is kind of weird, but what I don't get is why the
penalty for selling alcohol is so high. I imagine that it has to do with
the fact that states (the nation?) often require liquor liscences, but I
guess my question is why we care about the manufactor and distribution of
alcohol so much? Why does it need to be enforce with jail time and
thousands in fines (or, more to the point, "at all")?


jackofallgeeks: (Default)
John Noble

August 2012

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