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From User: Decius

Current Topic: Miscellaneous

How the Second Amendment Works - YouTube
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:16 am EST, Nov  3, 2014

A conference talk on the history and interpretation of the Second Amendment.

How the Second Amendment Works - YouTube

Watch the entire 30-minute Urban Outlaw documentary
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:55 pm EDT, Oct 25, 2012

The fuller version of Urban Outlaw debuted at the Raindance Film Festival in London, and is now available to watch from the comfort of your own computer. Sit back, grab your Porsche hat, dim the lights and enjoy the complete story by scrolling down below.

Watch the entire 30-minute Urban Outlaw documentary

A Noteworthy Year
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:19 pm EST, Dec 29, 2008

My annual review is now complete. Obviously I think it's all good, but here's my take on the best of the best:

It's good to have a plan, but if something extraordinary comes your way, you should go for it.

The question to ask is not, Are we safer? The question to ask is, Are we better off?

There are great benefits to connectedness, but we haven't wrapped our minds around the costs.

I'm not saying we should stop, but I think we should at least examine which lies we tell and why.

It's not about left or right, it's about right and wrong.

Being "always on" is being always off, to something.

In our unending search for panaceas, we believe that happiness and "success" -- which, loosely translated, means money -- are the things to strive for. People are constantly surprised that, even though they have acquired material things, discontent still gnaws.

If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

In all his speeches, John McCain urges Americans to make sacrifices for a country that is both "an idea and a cause". He is not asking them to suffer anything he would not suffer himself. But many voters would rather not suffer at all.

Every now and then I meet someone in Manhattan who has never driven a car. I used to wonder at such people, but more and more I wonder at myself.

A Noteworthy Year

The year 2008 in photographs (part 1 of 3) - The Big Picture -
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:10 pm EST, Dec 19, 2008

This collection is very interesting. Don't miss part 2 and part 3.

The year 2008 in photographs (part 1 of 3) - The Big Picture -

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Benazir Bhutto killed in attack
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:01 pm EST, Dec 27, 2007

Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated in a suicide attack.

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Benazir Bhutto killed in attack

Seventh Annual Weblog Awards
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:00 pm EST, Jan  5, 2007

Nanochick wrote:
I think its about time that the Memestreams Community and the people who work hard coding Memestreams in their free time get the recognition they deserve. Therefore, I have nominated memestreams for a "Weblog Award", and I hope others in the community will do the same.

Thanks Nano! I don't think anyone has nominated us for a Bloggie before. Frankly, if everyone who regularly reads this site nominates us, we stand a reasonable chance to get past the first round. That would certainly be fun. Apparently you can nominate a blog to multiple categories. I think "Best Community Blog" and "Best Kept Secret" are probably the best two for us, but I won't discourage other nominations. :) Just do it quick. Voting closes on January 10th.

Update on 2007-01-25: The nominations have been announced. MemeStreams is not on the lists.

Seventh Annual Weblog Awards

Guns Germs, & Steel: Home | PBS
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:09 pm EDT, Jul 11, 2005

Now a PBS series which start airing tonight...

Guns Germs, & Steel: Home | PBS

The Long Tail Blog
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:07 am EDT, Apr 14, 2005

The Long Tail is about the shift from hits to niches. Several readers have asked what this means for the future of mass (hit-driven, mainstream) culture in America. The short answer is that it will not only get less mass, but that this is a trend that's already well underway.

This Long Tail Blog could be a big hit! Stay tuned!

The Long Tail Blog

RE: Question of the day
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:26 am EDT, Oct  2, 2004

Decius wrote:
] Is it moral to use tax payer dollars to fund things that a
] large group of people in a society feel are totally immoral or
] unethical? Stated another way, is it ok to force people to pay
] for something they think is immoral, or should we have a broad
] moral consensus on something before we spend public money on
] it.

In an authoritarian society, this question might have some practical utility. In the United States, it seems rather academic.

A candidate for office is ethically obligated to present his/her views to the voting public. The people should be as inquisitive as possible, and no public or foreign policy question should be out of bounds.

Come election time, the people vote. You vote for the candidate of your choosing, with full awareness of the views and intentions of all the candidates. The winner carries out his/her stated policies.

Some candidates choose to separate their personal views from their public policy recommendations. Others do not. How any given candidate stands in this regard should be evident to the voters.

As a politician, one way to achieve such a separation is to make it your policy to defer to the public on certain matters. Call for a referendum and let the people decide for themselves regarding the outcome of a sensitive or highly charged issue.

Congress controls how money is spent, and it is supposed to represent the people in our society. If everyone in Congress had made known their views on stem cell research prior to being elected, then the collective outcome of a vote on a funding bill should be accepted by the public. If not, then the voters apparently didn't care enough to ask (and insist on an answer), because the topic has been part of the conversation for a while now.

Some of your examples are dubious. I don't think a majority of people "on the left" find the Iraq war immoral. The Congress voted in support of it, and they voted to continue funding it during the period of the occupation, even after we knew there were probably no WMDs. The morality of the action has nothing to do with the fact that the French opted not to help us pay for it.

I don't know your threshold for judging when we've reached "broad moral consensus" on an issue, but the whole idea strikes me as rather libertarian in the sense that it implicitly advocates for a smaller government.

Let's say the threshold is eighty percent. So then you go out and get one hundred voters who form a perfect cross section of the American public. You split them up, put each one alone in a room, and sit them down with a copy of the federal budget and a box of red pens. They are instructed to review the budget and redline anything they deem to be "immoral".

Once all of them are done, you compile the results, one line item at a time. If the item was redlined by more than twenty people, then it gets deleted from the budget. "No funding for you! Next!"

RE: Question of the day

map of springfield
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:05 am EDT, Sep 15, 2004

Finally! A map of everyone's favorite fictional berg, Springfield!

map of springfield

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