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Everything posted by BobHamburger

  1. Avoiding gray areas is my goal also; that's why the whole "reasonable doubt" concept is insufficient in death-penalty cases. What I was getting at with the notion of "incontrovertible guilt" is a situation where there is no doubt whatsoever that the accused committed the crime. The accused is holding a smoking gun, the victim's blood is splattered all over the accused, DNA from the accused is found in the relevant body cavities of the victim, and 100 reputable witnesses saw the crime in broad daylight. Or, in the case of Gacy, the accused's basement contains the bodies of over 30 victims, all
  2. I have a problem with the concept of a jury of my "peers." Who, exactly, are my peers? My neighbors? Coworkers? College classmates? Correspondents on LAVA? Do any countries use permanent, professional jurors? I wonder how that would work out here.
  3. I'll bite. In general I oppose capital punishment, simply because of the possibility of executing an innocent person. On the other hand, there are some people out there who are so irredeemably evil that they simply did not deserve to live any more; mass-murdering pedophiles like John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy come to mind. I believe that there needs to be a higher level of guilt in such cases; not merely beyond a reasonable doubt, but beyond any shadow of a doubt, incontrovertibly guilty and beyond social redemption. In only those cases do I believe that the state is justified in taking a life.
  4. I'd wager that none of us on this board have ever had any formal legal training. While we're certainly all entitled to our opinions, better-informed and more experienced minds have gone through these concepts at length. Mark, however much you might philosophically object to the concept of jury nullification, there is a long history behind the concept, predating the birth of the US and the creation of our constitution. I'll cite just two examples for consideration: District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, in Unites States v. Dougherty, 1972, saying: "[The jury has an] unreviewable and
  5. Absolutely correct, Chris. I don't feel guilty one bit. I've been paying into this system for almost 30 years, and now I need to use it; seems to me this is the whole basis of insurance. I put up money and I say, "Bet ya I'm gonna get sick!" The insurance carrier counters with, "Bet you're not gonna get sick!" One of the things that's not right about the current system is that insurance carriers sometimes drop customers just when they need the coverage. I don't even understand how that can be legal, but we hear horror stories all the time of people who get their policies canceled just as they
  6. Use your favorite low-pass filter; that's all that an envelope detector really is anyway.
  7. This is all very interesting, I don't need to lose any weight; I'm 5'10" and 163 lbs. I've never even been close to overweight. My cholesterol is also well under control (<140), between the low saturated fat intake and Lipitor. I could use a boost to my HDL, which averages in the high 20's, and which I've been told is genetic.
  8. Just don't forget that you'll need Old Glory Robot Insurance
  9. This illustrates how most people are either ignorant of -- or in complete denial about -- the absolutely crushing costs to which they could be subjected. A simple hospital stay and surgery and you're looking at a $100K bill. This kind of thing would financially wipe out most middle-class families.
  10. So, my friends out there in LAVAland, you must have all noticed that I've been posting a bit more over the past few days. As I mentioned in this posting, I've had some medically-enforced time off lately, and I've been told not to do any work at home. Which leaves me with time on my hands to ponder life, the universe, and everything. I logged on to my health insurance provider today to look at my claims history. I was horrified to see that my 5 day hospital stay, triple angioplasty, and associated tests and physician charges totaled to roughly $95K. Of course, that's not the negotiated amount
  11. Ben, the government impinges upon your right to own and bear arms all the time. Without all kinds of regulations, limitations, certifications, or permits, the average citizen can't own artillery, fully-automatic weapons, or even a shotgun with less than an 18" barrel. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Your birthright only exists because at the founding of this country there was no standing military. It was the expectation that every able-bodied man would show up equipped with his
  12. I'm neither a rabid right-wing gun advocate nor left-wing gun control wimp. I have no issues, however, with the prudent control and regulation of the purchase, ownership, and transfer of firearms. I do not believe these concepts abrogate or limit our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The UN's program is entirely focused around the illegal trafficking of firearms, and their statements need to be considered within that context, not some conspiratorial they're-out-to-get-us mindset. I don't see the evil intent that others do. Let me draw a parallel to illustrate my feelings on the subj
  13. Actually, I'm lactose intolerant, so cow's milk and I never cross paths. I use soy milk on cereal these days. Wonderful stuff.
  14. Not at all; neither side is immune from using rhetoric in their arguments. I don't support PETA or Greenpeace for the same reasons. From my slightly left of center viewpoint, though, it seems that the folks on the right side of the aisle are more consistently flexible with the boundaries of truth. Or maybe I just notice it more.
  15. So, I'm sitting here watching my son play with his motorized airplane toy (he's four and a half and impossibly cute), when the phone rings. It's a representative for the National Rifle Association, who proceeds to play me a recorded message from Wayne LaPierre, NRA's president, about how the UN is trying to push a global gun ban. We need to stand up, take action, and get out our checkbooks to ensure that keeping and bearing arms, our inalienable 2nd Amendment right, as American as apple pie and the 4th of July (and jingoism and xenophobia), isn't trampled by some foreign folks. Hey, I'm a big
  16. I can't argue with exercise, Paul. The cardiac rehab program that I completed three years ago really brought me back to life after the initial MI. But it's no panacea either... does anybody remember the running guru, Jim Fixx? He croaked of -- you got it -- a heart attack at age 52.
  17. Ugggh. The conservative pundits have gotten their clutches on yet another conspiracy. Here's how it always plays out: 1. Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and the rest of the blow-hards will have a field day 2. There will be endless counter-charges, recriminations, and nervous hand-wringing from all sides 3. The sources of their information will be shown to be bogus, fabricated, exaggerated, or otherwise found to be utterly without credibility, and then, 4. Without any attempt at correcting the public opinion or otherwise "un-ringing the bell," the yellow journalists will quickly and unapologetical
  18. The extremists (Ornish et. al) advocate complete abstinence from alcohol. Most of the other studies that I've seen advocate moderate (not more than 1-2 drinks/day) consumption as being part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. Some studies focus on red wine (with its corresponding resveratrol content), while others maintain that the source of alcohol is irrelevant. I probably have about 5 drinks/week, averaging less than one a day. I like a good small-batch bourbon on the rocks before dinner, or some wine or beer with dinner. Both my personal MD and cardiologist think this is just fine. But if I rea
  19. Thanks so much for your well intentioned reply. The article you referenced -- and accompanying physician's website -- illustrate some of the difficulties in researching this subject and getting a clear picture of the choices available and true, current state of the art. I've found that web content on this subject falls into three pretty clear categories: 1. Out-and-out fraud and quackery. It's been around since the beginning of time, and the Internet has just made it that much easier for all of the crooks and petty thieves out there to make a quick buck off of people's fears and misinformatio
  20. I'm looking for advice from the collective brainpower assembled on this site... Four years ago, at age 45, I suffered a heart attack from a completely blocked LAD artery. I had an angioplasty to unplug the vessel, but there was some small residual antero-apical damage that left me with a mild arrhythmia. Since then, I've been taking aspirin, Plavix, a beta-blocker, and Lipitor. I've changed my diet to a very low sat-fat, low cholesterol approach, and I try to get regular strenuous exercise. I'm not a smoker, not diabetic, don't drink a lot, and have never been even close to overweight. I've r
  21. Congrats on your new little cluster of joy!
  22. I worked for many years for a Select Integrator, and was involved with recruiting and training new hires. Categorically, the ones who had had at least a modicum of CS training -- the requisite couple of classes that every engineering curriculum includes nowadays -- did far better than those who had never done any formal programming before. To a reasonably educated individual, the common conceptual base which underlies virtually all programming is more important than the specific language a person learns first. I'm one of those old codgers who had 20 years of text-based language experience prio
  23. is working on distributed real-time control applications.

  24. After 9 years of being a CLD, and fending numerous "I thought you already were a CLA" comments, I finally decided to take the plunge. I have to admit that I have a much greater respect for the Architect community; that exam isn't exactly a walk in the park. Well, it's done, I passed, and now I have a lovely certificate. Suitable for framing or wrapping fish.
  25. QUOTE (Tim_S @ May 16 2009, 10:49 PM) I'd go one step further: set up a machine with separate boot partitions for each version of LV that you want to install and support. It's a royal pain to approach it this way, as it requires you to re-install all of the toolkits as you mentioned, but from my perspective it's the only sure-fire way to keep the various versions completely clean and self-consistent. When you install newer versions, there's an annoying tendency for the newer drivers, DAQ stuff, etc., to overwrite what's already in place. Our friends at NI naturally assume that all you'r
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