• stewartm commented on the diary post Just Because We’re Natural Born Killers Does Not Mean We Are Not Good People by Masoninblue.

    2014-09-20 13:35:40View | Delete

    The significance of the recent scientific study published in Nature, which found that chimpanzees are natural-born killers, is that killing has a genetic basis.

    I would actually dispute this and argue that we’re “naturally” far more like peaceful bonobos than violent common chimps in our biology. Humans are capable of violence, to be sure, but it [...]

  • stewartm commented on the blog post 1 In 4 Americans ‘Open To Secession’

    2014-09-20 12:22:42View | Delete

    Secession is merely an extension of the “state’s rights” dog whistle, in an attempt to exclude and/or discriminate against others.

    IMHO, I think we’re seeing repercussions from the situation in Scotland, and now we are seeing “progressive secessionists” just because they perceive the Scots are the “good guys” and Cameron government ‘the bad guys’, and they want to stick one to the banksters and the oligarchs.

    But I’m with you: the Scots have not been ‘good guys’ throughout history, the Cameron government isn’t going to last forever, and smaller states and local governments are often more “free” to persecute or to enact horrendous measures when not restrained by a larger majority. It seems to me as a US Southerner that bigger government representing more voices is usually superior than smaller government(s) representing fewer voices.


  • stewartm commented on the diary post Scotland Rejects Independence: A Victory for the Rich? by lauraw.

    2014-09-20 12:14:56View | Delete

    This independence movement made some other countries nervous, notably Spain, whose Basque and Catalan minorities have been making noises about breaking free. Yes, it’s a can of worms. Quebec. Kurdistan. Eastern Ukraine. The North Caucasus. How many more minority groups are angry that an established government is giving them short shrift, politically and economically? A recent [...]

  • stewartm commented on the diary post Changes to MyFDL by Jane Hamsher.

    2014-09-20 08:40:10View | Delete

    Tried clearing the Firefox cache, did not work. But take your time, not in any hurry.


  • stewartm commented on the diary post Changes to MyFDL by Jane Hamsher.

    2014-09-20 08:29:24View | Delete

    Me neither.


  • stewartm commented on the blog post 1 In 4 Americans ‘Open To Secession’

    2014-09-20 08:24:10View | Delete

    I’m ag’in the idea of secession, even if temporary advantage is to be gained. The South seceded in 1861 just because they lost an election, it’s a case of taking your ball and going home if you lose.

    And since *somebody* has to lose an election, then how do you govern at all if the loser can just quit?


  • stewartm commented on the blog post The End of the Conservative Democrat

    2014-09-20 08:16:11View | Delete

    The problem is that these polls use self-identification, instead of actually first polling on positions to classify more objectively.

    The other problem is simple ignorance, among both parties’ supporters, about what the parties actually support. A lot of Tea Partiers who hate Obamacare don’t realize that it’s a *conservative* plan and that if McCain would have been elected, health care “reform” under McCain might have looked very similar. Among Democrats, there is a lot of wishful thinking about what Obama actually is and what he supports.


  • stewartm commented on the diary post Changes to MyFDL by Jane Hamsher.

    2014-09-18 14:57:25View | Delete

    I’m pre-backed up. I haven’t diaried a lot, though I comment (on and on and on…haha) fairly frequently.


  • I’m not surprised that young people feel this way because it is the truth. While it is possible to cause harm by misusing or abusing almost any substance, any objective analysis indicates alcohol use does much more harm to society than marijuana use.

    This has been known by the experts for decades. In most studies I’ve read, considering factors like addictiveness, short- and long-term toxicity, years of life/disability lost, and social harm/harm to others, like this one, alcohol easily cracks the top five, and sometimes takes the #1 spot, while tobacco usually cracks the top ten. Tobacco usually scores as slightly less dangerous only because it usually kills you when you’re older and its social harm is much lower.

    Most public perceptions on the relative drug dangers are very inaccurate; hallucinogens like LSD score much lower even though they no doubt can spur mental illness, because unlike either tobacco or alcohol they are generally not regarded as addictive. Cannabis has always scored near the bottom (as in ‘least dangerous’) of all the lists I’ve seen.


  • stewartm commented on the diary post Independence Yea or Nay? by Elliott.

    2014-09-16 06:24:41View | Delete

    England really has been a bit of dick towards Scotland (as John Oliver puts it) — going all the way back to “The Hammer of the Scots,” King Edward I, who apparently made it his life’s mission, his Great Cause, to conquer Scotland. After he whipped Wales’s ass, that is.

    As I said, this, and the [...]

  • stewartm commented on the diary post Independence Yea or Nay? by Elliott.

    2014-09-16 06:10:49View | Delete

    I’ll be the contrarian here…making a big bruhaha about changing the flag is a distraction by the 1 %. And, from my perspective as a native US Southerner, I would say that governance from far away is often superior from governance from those close at-home. That’s not just true of the South vs the US [...]

  • My observation is, does this have anything to do with what happened to TrueCrypt?

    On 28 May 2014, the TrueCrypt official website, truecrypt.org, began redirecting visitors to truecrypt.sourceforge.org with a HTTP 301 “Moved Permanently” status, which warned that the software may contain unfixed security issues, and that development of TrueCrypt was ended in May 2014, following Windows XP’s end of support. The message noted that more recent versions of Windows have built-in support for disk encryption using BitLocker, and that Linux and OS X had similar built-in solutions, which the message states renders TrueCrypt unnecessary. (In reality, Bitlocker is available only for Enterprise and Ultimate versions, not Professional or Home, and Linux and OS X do not have complete replacements for TrueCrypt.) The page recommends any data encrypted by TrueCrypt be migrated to other encryption setups and offered instructions on moving to BitLocker. The SourceForge project page for the software at sourceforge.net/truecrypt was updated to display the same initial message, and the status was changed to “inactive.”[15] The page also announced a new software version, 7.2, which only allows decryption.

    Initially, the authenticity of the announcement and new software was questioned.[16][17][18] Multiple theories attempting to explain the reason behind the announcement arose throughout the tech community.[19][20][21]

    The Truecrypt Foundation always kept its membership secret, maybe to avoid external pressure (?) Maybe the NSA got to them anyways? There are several court cases on the Wikipedia site of TrueCrypt frustrating the PTB’s “right” to indiscriminately spy on us.


  • Justin Amash and Rand Paul have both been pushing back vigorously against the NSA.

    I still think his comment has merit; these guys remind me for all the world of how “hard” Nancy Pelosi was against spying until, of course, her vote actually mattered.


  • stewartm commented on the blog post Obama Should Go to Tehran

    2014-09-12 10:49:36View | Delete

    Obama should go to Tehran just because it’s the right and smart thing to do. Our demonizing of Iran is just the Israeli tail wagging the American dog, and should stop.

    All of this means that of course, it won’t happen.


  • And if you don’t think there’s a difference, then good luck if people like them ever get into that position of power.

    I could buy the argument that Obama would be less terrible than McCain/Romney overall, and less terrible than McCain would have been (Romney is less certain), but that doesn’t change the fact Mr. Constitutional Scholar’s justification for this executive constitutional overreach is even more strained than Bush’s (i.e., ISIS has not attacked the US).

    Being murderous and barbaric does not grant the US president a justification for war.


  • The real problem originated with the concept of going to “war” against something that is not a state (Al-Qaeda). I said back in 2001 that Al-Qaeda should be pursued like a criminal organization, and the target of an international police hunt rather than a “war”. This bad precedent is now being expanded, which is also predictable.


  • stewartm commented on the diary post Two heart felt questions about ISIS – by elisemattu.

    2014-09-12 07:32:58View | Delete

    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity and greed.

    Had to amend that; remember, all these arms sales benefit the defense industry.


  • stewartm commented on the blog post Obama Relegates Congress to Merely Providing Him With Good PR

    2014-09-12 07:29:42View | Delete

    Why have a government at all?

    Insofar as war is concerned, we already have a dictatorship. Cheney and David Addington won, the president can kill people on a whim with no checks.


  • stewartm commented on the blog post Obama Relegates Congress to Merely Providing Him With Good PR

    2014-09-12 07:27:40View | Delete

    The remedy is to gut the military. To reduce it to a fraction of its current size.

    Actually we could have the same size for a fraction of the cost, if we were ruthless with contractors.

    But to your admirable idea, I’d add a) de-privatize as much of the defense industry as possible; much of the cries for bombing to every scenario is nothing but the paid shilling of defense industry spokespeople; and b) bring back the draft, so that it’s not just the offspring of those with bleak economic futures at-risk to get shot.


  • Yes, there are some really bad militants on the other side of the planet but that has basically been the case for most of history. The really big difference this month seems to be that the media decided to talk about them more, and ISIS seems really skilled at viral promotion.

    And yet no TV pundit, save Rachel Maddow, seems to have picked up on the obvious fact that getting the US back into the ME is apparently what ISIS *wants*, repeats *wants*, to see happen, for similar reasons why Bin Laden was delighted by the invasion of Iraq. They are goading us, and it’s working like a charm.

    And since when is doing exactly what your adversary wants you to do a sound strategy?


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