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Current Topic: Society

RE: Teens prosecuted for racy photos
Topic: Society 11:28 am EST, Feb 11, 2007

Acidus wrote:

News Alert to all your 16 and 17 year olds out there: You can bang, but you cannot take pictures of it.

Looks like they were using this to set an example. They were convicted not necessarily for what they did, but for what they might have done. There was no proof of intention, but I guess the court saw an opportunity to set a precedent.

Minority opinion:

The critical point in this case is that the child intended to keep the photographs private. She did not attempt to exploit anyone or to embarrass anyone. I think her expectation of privacy in the photographs was reasonable. Certainly, an argument could be made that she was foolish to expect that, but the expectation of a 16-year-old cannot be measured by the collective wisdom of appellate judges who have no emotional connection to the event. Perhaps if the child had as much time to reflect on these events, she would have eventually concluded, as the majority did, that there were ways in which these photos might have been unintentionally disclosed. That does not make her expectation of privacy unreasonable.

I tend to agree.

I wonder if/how the judgement would have come down in the following scenarios:

1) Two underage people are married.
2) One underage person and one underage person are married.

RE: Teens prosecuted for racy photos

MemeStreams response to Georgia Senate Bill 59 - 2007
Topic: Society 5:32 pm EST, Feb  4, 2007

A bill has been proposed in the Georgia State Senate which would require social networking websites, possibly including MemeStreams, to verify that minors who create accounts have parental permission. In practice this would mean that any Georgia website, no matter how benign, which allows users to create profiles, would be required to implement as yet undefined age validation procedures for all new users.

We beleive that this proposal is a bad idea for a number of different reasons. We composed the following open letter to the sponsors of the legislation in an attempt to articulate our concerns.

Very well put Tom. Hope you get positive results from this.

I cannot believe he had the nerve to actually said this:

"They can find a way to do this," Staton said. "That's my challenge to them."

Talk about being out of your league.

MemeStreams response to Georgia Senate Bill 59 - 2007

Kill Whitey
Topic: Society 11:48 pm EST, Jan 30, 2007

"The only nigger on the planet is the white man and the white woman."

"You are either supporting the white people in their process of death, or you're for African liberation, it's one or the other."

"We have to exterminate white people off the face of this planet to solve this problem."

* * *

Okay. Sometimes I get bored and I type random things into Google, Youtube, whatever. Tonight, I typed in "kill whitey" and was treated to the video above.

A 10 minute tirade by Dr. Leroy Jefferson aka Kamau Kambon. I don't find this threatening. I find it quite hilarious actually. It made me laugh.

He runs a bookstore in Raleigh, NC. I'd like to have a sit down with this guy and really pick his brain.

He's got enough things right with the retina scanning, the DNA banks, the racial profiling, the constant montitoring. But the (not unfounded) paranoia of these events to come has somehow melded with the anger he feels about what has happened to his ancestors and has brought him to the conclusion that this Orwellian control grid being implemented is just the white man's tool to further hold down the black man. His recommended solution? Kill whitey.

Desire for power knows no race. Power is fleeting though, throughout history that's the lesson to be learned. I just wonder what leads a well educated person to arrive at such a rash conclusion, that killing a race would somehow help things for another race? Guess it's like fighting fire with fire in their mind, a logical calculation of sacrificing some to save the many.

Kill Whitey

RE: Senator wants restrictions on social networking sites | Capitol Updates
Topic: Society 1:37 pm EST, Jan 30, 2007

Decius wrote:

A Georgia senator worried about the safety of young teenagers who log on to Internet social networking sites such as and has proposed a bill that would force such companies to tighten up their access to minors.

The measure would make it illegal for the owner or operator of a social networking Web site to allow minors to create or maintain a Web page without parental permission. Senate Bill 59 also would force and to allow parents or guardians to have access to their children’s Web pages at all times.

Oh great. Looks like this is going to be an interesting few months. Here is the bill.

When does this come up for vote?

I don't see how this could be enforced. Say it was passed, and now Memestreams has to comply. You have to now add some logic that checks if their DOB is < 18 years from today. If so, you now have fields for the parents? Contact #'s for the parents? Does this become like the old BBS days where you voice verified?

What's to stop A) False DOB B) False parental information? So the person you call back is their older sibling and they say, "Sure, go ahead."

Now how do you deliver the credentials to the parents? Do the parents have to login first to begin with?

This bill has no details whatsoever. What generally happens with these? Are these bills generally "function prototypes" for lack of a better word that are later fleshed out after adopted?

Very curious to see how this goes. I'm guessing it will be shot down without a second thought based on how poorly it is authored, but you never know.

RE: Senator wants restrictions on social networking sites | Capitol Updates

RE: Slashdot | Bill to Treat Bloggers as Lobbyists Defeated
Topic: Society 4:43 pm EST, Jan 23, 2007

Decius wrote:

The attempt to require political bloggers to register as lobbyists previously reported by MemeStreams has been stripped out of the lobbying reform bill. The vote was 55 to 43 to defeat the provision. All 48 Republicans, as well as 7 Democrats, voted against requiring bloggers to register; all 43 votes in favor of keeping the registration provision were by Democrats.

Thank God. I tell you, the older I get, the more I see that (R) starting to appear next to my name on the ballot.

RE: Slashdot | Bill to Treat Bloggers as Lobbyists Defeated

Colbert meets O'Reilly
Topic: Society 1:51 am EST, Jan 20, 2007

Colbert on O'Reilly:

O'Reilly on Colbert:

Colbert meets O'Reilly

RE: Stratfor | Rhetoric and Reality: The View from Iran
Topic: Society 4:49 pm EST, Jan 19, 2007

Rattle wrote:

Fear and uncertainty are the foundations of international agreement, while hope and confidence fuel war. In the end, a fractured Iraq -- an entity incapable of harming Iran, but still providing an effective buffer between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula -- is emerging as the most viable available option.

Not exactly a new idea. Interesting that 25 years ago this was one of Israel's ideas for Iraq.

RE: Stratfor | Rhetoric and Reality: The View from Iran

RE: Fed chief Bernanke's prepared testimony before Senate - Jan. 18, 2007
Topic: Society 2:09 pm EST, Jan 19, 2007

Decius wrote:
This is your country on Medicare and Social Security.

The ratio of federal debt held by the public to GDP would climb from 37 percent currently to roughly 100 percent in 2030 and would continue to grow exponentially after that. The only time in U.S. history that the debt-to-GDP ratio has been in the neighborhood of 100 percent was during World War II. People at that time understood the situation to be temporary and expected deficits and the debt-to-GDP ratio to fall rapidly after the war, as in fact they did. In contrast, under the scenario I have been discussing, the debt-to-GDP ratio would rise far into the future at an accelerating rate. Ultimately, this expansion of debt would spark a fiscal crisis, which could be addressed only by very sharp spending cuts or tax increases, or both.

There is some very sound advice in here. The following statement seems so logical and obvious that one wonders why the Fed Chief has to say it.

Members of the Congress who put special emphasis on keeping tax rates low must accept that low tax rates can be sustained only if outlays, including those on entitlements, are kept low as well. Likewise, members who favor a more expansive role of the government, including relatively more-generous benefits payments, must recognize the burden imposed by the additional taxes needed to pay for the higher spending, a burden that includes not only the resources transferred from the private sector but also any adverse economic incentives associated with higher tax rates.

Unfortunately, there are a whole lot of people who are living in total denial about this.

I like the SSA's debunking of why SS is not a Ponzi scheme. From the SSA:

"There is a superficial analogy between pyramid or Ponzi schemes and pay-as-you-go insurance programs in that in both money from later participants goes to pay the benefits of earlier participants. But that is where the similarity ends. A pay-as-you-go system can be visualized as a simple pipeline, with money from current contributors coming in the front end and money to current beneficiaries paid out the back end. So we could [imagine] that at any given time there might be, say, 40 million people receiving benefits at the back end of the pipeline; and as long as we had 40 million people paying taxes in the front end of the pipe, the program could be sustained forever. It does not require a doubling of participants every time a payment is made to a current beneficiary. (There does not have to be precisely the same number of workers and beneficiaries at a given time--there just needs to be a stable relationship between the two.) As long as the amount of money coming in the front end of the pipe maintains a rough balance with the money paid out, the system can continue forever. There is no unsustainable progression... [ Read More (0.1k in body) ]

RE: Fed chief Bernanke's prepared testimony before Senate - Jan. 18, 2007

RE: First Muslim in U.S. Congress to use Jefferson's Koran -
Topic: Society 10:56 am EST, Jan  4, 2007

Rattle wrote:

The first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, attacked for planning to use the Koran at his swearing-in instead of a Bible, will use a copy of the Muslim holy book once owned by Thomas Jefferson, an official said on Wednesday.

Representative-elect Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat, requested the 18th century copy of the Koran for the unofficial part of his swearing in on Thursday, according to Mark Dimunation, chief of rare books and special collections at the Library of Congress in Washington.

Ellison, a Muslim convert who traces his U.S. ancestry to 1741, wanted a special copy of the book to use, Dimunation said, and approached the library for one.

The third U.S. president, serving from 1801 to 1809, Jefferson was a collector with wide-ranging interests. His 6,000-volume library, the largest in North America at the time, became the basis for the Library of Congress.

I've been ignoring all the silly bickering about Ellison getting sworn in using a Koran, because frankly, it's too damn stupid for me to take seriously. As far as I'm concerned, the item used in any oath should have significance to the individual taking the oath. What is the use of taking an oath on something you don't find personally significant? He could use a picture of his mother for all I'd care.. However, I do think it's really neat that he is using Thomas Jefferson's copy of the Koran.

Aye. It seems like technically one shouldn't have to use an article of faith for the oath.

" religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust" -- US Constitution, Article VI, Section 3

There's no Consitutional basis for such that I can see.

RE: First Muslim in U.S. Congress to use Jefferson's Koran -

RE: How can Illegal Immigration help our Homeless situation?
Topic: Society 3:03 pm EDT, Apr 25, 2006

finethen wrote:

I agree this problem is complex and filled with propaganda on both sides. But you owe it to yourself to take a look at both sides of the arguement and realize that deportation/ fences/ a permanent lower class is not the answer to a problem that is (at least partly) the result of a hundred years of U.S. interference in Latin America. I sure don't have the solution, but I know that blind hatred and scapegoating is not it.

I read that study you are referring to. A few points:

* The study uses 2000 population numbers, but 2003 wage data. That is disingenuous and skews the numbers, leading to higher figures of purported tax payments. Say there is a hypothetical population of 100,000 illegals in 2000, earning a total of $1,000,000,000, for a total of $10,000 per capita. Wages rise over time, lets say between 2000 and 2003 there was a 12.1 % increase. the ECI numbers that are available. I understand you can't really equate the Employment Cost Index numbers with the work that illegals perform, since they are, well, undocumented and no one really knows what their realized wage increases have been over those years. But ECI numbers are a benchmark that is generally recognized so I will use them.

If you don't factor the growth of the illegal population between 2000 and 2003, in 2003 you have a total of $1,121,000,000, or $11,210 per capita. That's $1210 more per person, thus more income to reflect more purported taxes paid, just by using lower population numbers with higher wage numbers.

A more fair study would not misrepresent these figures, or at least try harder to extrapolate population data to fit more closely with the wage data time frames. Yes, these things do matter.

* The study emulates property tax payments by saying that rent payments count. I almost laughed out loud at that. Imagine if I tried to claim on my income taxes that the rent I pay right now somehow counts as a property tax payment, and I tried to itemize that on my income tax return. Complete fabrication. If there were no illegals here renting houses or apartments, those houses and apartments would be rented to someone else. Seriously, I cannot believe this was included. This one point alone is enough to make me question the entire study.

* The study states "Studies have shown numerous income tax compliance rates for that population, several ranging from 50% to 70%." They use the 50% figure. Okay, what are these studies? Without a reference, this number is just a number pulled out of thin air to me.

* They do at least mention remittances. Unfortunately, I cannot find any data about the percentage of illegal immigrant remittances versus legal. All public figures I find are an aggregate total to each country.

"Another caveat to the use of national average income is the lack of data on remittances. Studies have shown that many immigrant workers send a portion of their inc... [ Read More (0.2k in body) ]

RE: How can Illegal Immigration help our Homeless situation?

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